The Greater of Two Evils

Open roleplaying at the Nemesis' lounge. Open scenario locations are not restricted to the lounge.
Image

Moderator: S.T.A.R.S.

Forum rules
Open roleplaying at the Nemesis' lounge.

Image
The Lounge offers a wide variety of foods and drinks from all over the galaxy while looking on the breathtaking view of the stars above the 20-km long arrowhead hull of the Federation's most elite battleship.
Post Reply
User avatar
Lynine Skycken
Coordinator
Coordinator
Posts: 121
Joined: 2011-01-20 23:24
Custom Title: Jade
Organizational Unit: ISIS 15th Division
Location: Wherever the sun is!
Contact:

The Greater of Two Evils

Post by Lynine Skycken » 2012-08-07 18:45

Disgust. Outrage. Hatred. All these words, and more besides, came to Lynine's mind during the shuttle ride back to Third Fleet, the Surface Marshal safely returned to them. The sight of the latest Federation toy- no, superweapon- filled Lynine with an intense seething hatred. But it wasn't directed at the NIF per se, she was more upset with herself for allowing herself to be convinced that the Federation was different than the old Galactic Empire, the one that had forced her people to work the mines to fuel an Imperial war effort with nothing given back to them but hardship, pain and misery. She remained silent about her thoughts however, no longer able to tell who was real and who wasn't in the world of cloak and daggers. Being a security guard was so much easier, spot the trespasser, shoot the trespasser, none of these mind-games, politics or weapons of mass destruction were involved.

The first stop was on the Lusankya to let the Surface Marshal off along with the army soldiers and royal guards- and Dark Jedi- before the vessel made its second leg of the trip back to the Inquisitor. As soon as it landed, Lynine quietly got off the vessel, removed her armour and was intercepted by an officer who wanted to debrief her on what had happened. She obliged them, being lead into a small side room just off the hanger where she was asked to describe what had happened.

And she told them, detailing, at length the whole operation that was probably lucky to have succeeded at all in retrospect. Of course, she was trying to focus attention on the fact that there was a new superweapon being built in the Federation yet the agent seemed to keep shifting that focus back to the operation itself, as though news of its existence were old hat, like she was the last one to find out about it. That only made her more frustrated, remembering hearing time and time again how much better the Federation was, claiming the moral high ground as the focus was no longer on such massive, nigh indestructible battle stations, but instead on their warships- which were just as bad but at least they were on a scale that could be more effectively taken care of by the galaxy at large.

The briefing ended and Lynine, seeing no one else was willing to give the secret station even a passing thought, asked, "How many people know of its existence? Am I the only one who was left out of the loop here?"

"You've had a long day," the officer said softly, once again dismissing her outrage, "Get some rest and be aware that maybe your eyes were playing tricks on you, after all, you were just forced out of a shuttle that was about to explode were you not? Is it not therefore possible that maybe you were imagining things, seeing a terror weapon capable of bringing out your worst fears Miss Skycken?"

The observation was quite possibly accurate, though Lynine, in all her blind outrage, wasn't willing to believe she had imagined everything. "I know what I saw." Her voice came out like a shallow hiss.

"We're going to look into it, however, without holographic proof of what you witnessed, you have to understand the position I'm in." The man scratched his head. "I don't doubt your words, but we can't act on hearsay alone for such an outlandish claim. We'll see what we can look into but-"

"Who gave me and Juni the orders to board the shuttle that took us there? There's proof somewhere, just find-"

She was cut off as the man slid his chair back and stood up. "Get some rest. I know you're having a hard time adapting to life here in the Federation, but you can't go around spreading nasty rumours like you seeing a Death Star. It's still a very touchy subject around here for most." And like that, he was gone, leaving Lynine to wonder if she was losing her mind or if this was simply their attempt at gagging her.

I know what I saw... she repeated in her head, the image of the station forever burned into the back of her eyes, every blink causing her to see it again, her heart rate increasing a little each time. Getting up, she left the debriefing room, only to bump into a familiar face.

"Everything okay?" Zaniah asked, her sickly green eyes looking at Lynine's weary form as though she had just been put through a spin cycle. The look of concern was enforced only by the hand she placed on her shoulder.

Shaking her head, Lynine said, "I'm not sure any more. I've only been here a couple months and it seems that I'm quietly being pushed up the ranks yet when I try to convince people of what I saw, I might as well still be an operative." That was about the best way she could think of it, what good was it being a ranked agent if no one would even give her the benefit of a doubt? Then again, who could blame them? Her record was abysmal. What had she accomplished? Deceived her own people by helping protect an NIF science team on her homeworld, got herself panicked in a dark room during an effort to capture an NRI infiltration team, get chewed out by her superiors by failing in her mission to kill a target Bothan, helped steal a worthless starfighter and brought ruin and possible economic devastation to the Mon Calamari world of Dac.

"For what it's worth," Zaniah began, withdrawing her hand, "I believe you."

That helped, a little, because now Lynine felt an overarching need to do something about the station. It total destruction was preferable which wouldn't be so bad as she saw nothing but droids and those massive, brutish rancor looking humanoids inhabiting it. She wished the rescue team could have destroyed it but they were lucky to have gotten the Surface Marshal out. She was about to open her mouth to speak again when the other woman said, "You should listen to the officer though, you look beat. Get some rest and give yourself a few moments to think straight. There's not a whole lot that could have been done."

"But-"

"I'll explain later, you're only going to fly off the rails if I try to now." She smiled reassuringly. "Besides, you deserve a break right now."

It was true, all the fight Lynine had was long gone, she felt as though she had only been given a few hours rest over the past week. Reluctantly, she agreed and walked to her quarters, a more private, if very small, stateroom now that she didn't have to share with anyone, which was nice as it meant she could decorate it how she wanted. A single potted plant sat on the table, it's bright yellow flower facing away from the wall with a dayglo lamp behind it shining at an angle so it caught both the plant and the single bunk in the small room. It was still artificial light, but it felt a lot better than the fluorescent light those glowstrips produced. Getting undressed, she lay down on the bunk, closing her eyes and enjoying the warmth the small light provided. Something isn't right though.

The whole thing stank worse than rotting flesh, but Lynine couldn't decipher any of the meaning. She hoped Zaniah had the answers to illuminate this whole mess. Something was rotten in the heart of the Federation, and of course, she couldn't be any closer to its vile heart by being an operative who lurked in the shadows. Another one of life's ironies. Eventually her weariness finally overcame her and she succumbed to the sweet embrace of sleep.

Though it would prove to be anything but a peaceful sleep as the nightmares began almost instantly. It was more of the same fare, shadowy monsters closing in and, despite her efforts to push them away, she was set upon, their faceless faces hiding their mouths filled with may rows of teeth. They clawed at her, she tried to fight back, instinctively reaching for a weapon only to remember she was always bereft of weapons in her own dreams. Worse yet, the monsters were always stronger, always able to cut through whatever fight she put up as though they were made of pure shadow. She tried to look past them, find a way out but there was only a single door, and a very large one was blocking the way, the smaller shadows surrounding her in the tiny and cramped room. Reaching for the nearest object, a clay pot, she hurled it only for the large shadow to swat it away as though she had thrown a ball of flimsiplast. Her energy was suddenly sapped from her body and she felt herself weaken. The shadows made their move, moving as a cohesive bunch and smothering her. She tried to scream but was able to do little more than gasp for breath.

The nightmare faded to black, transitioning to another one, this time she was in a strange place, a large pasture or vista, grey clouds overhead thundering, the grass also a very dull grey and looking quite dead, a withered husk of a tree fifty feet away from her rocking in the breeze. Everything was in a strange monotone, like those old-time holovids, except for her as she looked at her own skin, the warm flesh tone, green veins, even her red hair that blew in front of her face. There was nothing else, save for the flashes of sheet lightning in the clouds that looked more menacing than any shadow she had seen before. She found it strange that she could see given how dark it probably should have been, but dreams, and nightmares alike, seldom made sense or followed the laws of physics, optics, biology or any other universal set of laws and constants to which reality adhered to.

The wind became suddenly cold, and she shivered, wrapping her arms around herself as she wondered if this was going to be the entire nightmare, her standing, alone, in an empty monotone field. If so, that actually wouldn't be so bad for once... It was probably one of the more peaceful dreams she'd ever had, ominous and tense but definitely not scary in the least. Walking towards the tree, she sat with her back to it, placing the large dead tree between her and the direction the wind was coming from as she stared out across the dead windswept fields. Sadness filled her. Hull dull... How sad. Is this supposed to be some sort of sign or message? Maybe this was the nightmare, the forces that controlled what people saw in their sleep somehow mocking her now, having grown tired with throwing monsters and apparitions, now they wanted her to stare out and start overthinking what she was looking at, drawing a whole host of conclusions as she started to worry that this was somehow representative of the state of her mind.

It was actually almost freakishly effective as she grew worried, scared even, as she wondered if there was anything even alive out here, aside from her. Overhead the lightning grew closer, the deep rumbles and crashes commanding her attention. She looked up just in time to see a brilliant flash, a lightning bolt striking the tree she was beneath.

Lynine sat up with a speed and swiftness that would have put even a Jedi to shame, her green eyes wide and darting around as she tried to establish where she was and what was going on. Her heart was racing, her breathing rapid, fight or flight mode surging through her veins. The quick breaths turned into pants as she began to calm down, seeing herself in her quarters, the door still locked, the warm glow of light still shining on her just as she remembered it. Laying back down, she put her hands over her face and moaned. Just once, I would like a peaceful sleep. Is that too much to ask? she wondered.

A rapid series of beeping noises drew her attention over to her alarm clock. It was already time to get up and yet it felt like she had just laid down. Sighing, she hit the snooze button and groggily got up. It was time to start another day and as she showered, she heard another beeping sound, her personal terminal alerting her she had a new message. The alarm clock started to beep again and Lynine stepped out of the sonic shower, deactivating it at last as she activated the terminal to see who was messaging her. A briefing already? Wow, I just got back from rescuing the Surface Marshal and already they want me back out in the field. She hoped she could take a day off soon, a nice sunny planet, sipping a drink by the shore. The mental image she painted stuck with her as she got dressed and took a quick moment to water her plant, spinning it around so the flower didn't face the wall. Taking a sip of the water, she capped the bottle and made a mental note to get more water from the mess hall to bring back.

Exiting her quarters, she somehow wasn't surprised to see Zaniah standing outside already. "Have a good sleep?" she asked as the two of them started walking.

Lynine shrugged. "About the same I always have. But I feel more rested if that's what you're wanting to know."

"Good, because we got an emergency briefing that came up. Priority one from the DG herself."

"Oh..." Lynine actually hadn't paid attention to see who sent the message. Now she felt a little sheepish as she rubbed the back of her neck. "Any idea what about?"

Zaniah shook her head. "No, not really. I think maybe it has to do with a follow up regarding the rescue of the Surface Marshal."

"Makes sense." Lynine nodded. She was suddenly reminded she had to ask the woman about something, but she couldn't quite remember what it was. "You were going to talk to me about something this morning too."

"Ah," she nodded once, pressing her lips together in a thin line for just as moment as she considered who to phrase the next part. "It's about your performance. I know you haven't been having the best of times lately, but I've taken notice, and so has the Ubiqtorate. They're talking about letting you play a larger role in some operations they have planned so don't get discouraged."

A sigh escaped. Easier said than done given Lynine's less than stellar track record so far. "I'll try not to..."

They reached a branch in the corridor and Zaniah gestured down the other path. "I have to make a quick stop over at IntOrg, I'll see you at the briefing room." Lynine nodded and continued on her way, making a quick detour to the mess hall before continuing on, unable to see the devious smirk on Zaniah's face.
Image
"I'd better come with you. Just give me a minute to get ready."
"Okay, but if you hear a loud explosion anytime soon, the trip's off." - Olivia Ofrenda & Manuel Calavera, Grim Fandango

User avatar
Crystala Endivain
Grand Inquisitor
Grand Inquisitor
Posts: 475
Joined: 2008-04-20 16:59
Custom Title: Director-General & Dark Jedi Archon
Organizational Unit: ISIS (in its entirety)
Location: Echo-class cruiser, Observer
Contact:

Re: The Greater of Two Evils

Post by Crystala Endivain » 2012-08-19 23:26

The conference room was much larger than the usual fare as the upper echelons in the ISIS, several handpicked operatives, those in SPECWARCOM willing to attend in person, the Surface Marshal and other keynote individuals who could be trusted to hold the information presented here in the strictest confidence. It marked a rare moment in the agency history where several in the Ubiqtorate were present in person even if their rank was hidden and few others knew of their role and position within the vast agency. For Crystala, there was no point trying to mask her identity or role, everyone here knew of her at the very least.

The murmurs in the assembled crowd hinted that something was wrong and indeed something was wrong. The meeting was classified as a level five emergency briefing and only once before in the Federation's history had such a thing been called, in a time that predated Crystala's tenure as Director-General. Whatever it was, it was both serious and very dangerous be it a new threat come to light or one that had suddenly moved to the top of the priority list.

Clearing her throat, Crystala let the din of her audience die down before starting. "Thank-you all for coming on such short notice," she began, dispensing with the pleasantries as best she could. It was their job to be here, but it had been pointed out to her in the past that sometimes, a little appreciation went a long way, longer than the threat of pain, suffering, torture and death ever could. Plus, there was no harm in thanking people for doing things in exceptional circumstances and this was indeed one of them. "As of ten hours ago, this agency, along with elements from the army, are at war." A few smirks in the crowd appeared before the Director-General who's eyes reddened ever so slightly at the sight as she realized the full irony of the statement. "A war not with any external foe, but an internal one." Some of the smiles disappeared, the ones who remained belonging to individuals well rehearsed with dealing with internal threats.

The holopad next to her flickered to life, displaying a logo that few might recognize and those who did would suddenly realize the significance.

Image
Image taken from here.

"The Commissariat." The words rolled off of Crystala's lips like they were made of pure venom, fowl tasting and vile even to utter. "A group that shares much in common with the Commission for the Preservation of the New Order, or COMPNOR. They have one sole objective: the total and absolute subversion of every being in not only the Federation but the entire Galaxy to enforce the will of the New Imperial Federation." That statement got a couple people to start whispering questions to those next to them, questions like how this group constituted the need for such a high level emergency briefing or how they were able to operate at all without their knowing as few in this room even heard of their existence until now. Drawing in a deep breath, Crystala elaborated on the history of the Commissariat as best she could, having only her own perspective to draw upon which was, at best, limited to the few meetings she had been privy to.

"They were formed in the months leading up to Emperor Kane taking the throne. Since then, they have been working in a capacity no where near the scale to what COMPNOR has operated under, instead focusing their efforts on the subversion and indoctrination of various officials, officers and commanders who show even the slightest doubts with respects to the Federation and Emperor Kane. Abductions, brainwashing, re-purposing, reeducation, indoctrination, that is their primary focus." Gesturing to t Surface Marshal, Crystala continued, her eyes now a crimson colour. "Surface Marshal Ambicon here was, to-date, their most high profile victim but she was rescued before they could complete their operation on her."

The woman in question smiled uneasily, feeling the numerous eyes shift in her direction. Keeping the focus on the matter at hand, Crystala continued into the backstory. "The Commissariat was under our protection, a small division in the ISIS working in near isolation to ensure no one else knew of their existence." She could feel the attitude shift, outrage, shock and horror filled some people, though few, if anyone, seemed surprised, the experienced individuals before her knowing that such things were possible if not commonplace in such a secretive community. "That changed with Ambicon's abduction, the conduct of the Commissariat forcing me to either leave this agency to receive the backlash that would result or expose them. As you can probably guess, I opted for the latter as other events, minor by comparison, had culminated to this event."

The holo changed, showing off an org chart that broke down the hierarchy of the Commissariat.
  • A-class - Command branch
    1. Grand Admiral Holestin - Lord Commissar
    2. Grand General Raak (deceased) - Chief Commissar
    3. UNKNOWN
    4. UNKNOWN
    5. UNKNOWN
    6. Major Redstone - Commissar
    7. UNKNOWN
    8. UNKNOWN
    9. Admiral Kendal (deceased) - Commissar
    10. Colonel Jehct - Commissar
  • B-class - Bureaucratic/Political branch
    1. Moff Arnold Hawthorne - Lord Bureaucrat
  • C-class - Information branch
    1. Moff Bryce - Lord of Information
  • D-class - Reeducation, Indoctrination branch
    1. "Old Crone" (identity unknown) - Lord of Indoctrination
  • S-class - Science branch
    1. Harbgor (rank unknown) - Lord of Science
  • Z-class - UNKNOWN
    1. Mr. X (identity unknown) - UNKNOWN
"As you can see, their structure is broken neatly into six classes, with the commanders running the entire operation taking the A class. I've attached holos of the listed individuals in your briefing packages. Most of this information comes from my personal dealings with them and, as you can imagine, they weren't exactly forthcoming with the breakdown of their organization and most of this data was pieced together from various sources.

"Each class has ten distinct leaders usually going by the letter of their class and then a number denoting their rank or position in that branch. The A's have thus far acted as the representatives for the Commissariat as a whole which is why we know the most about them. These are individuals handpicked by a select few to lead the Commissariat while the other branches have largely kept to themselves, hiding behind their chosen representatives."


Taking a moment to let everyone absorb all that information, Crystala glanced over at an agent who shot his hand up, Drey Murray looking at her with a look that somehow mixed his own skepticism with a sense of awe. "Do we know what the other classes are up to beyond the incredibly vague descriptions provided?"

Crystala shook her head, a sinister smile slowly taking form before she answered. "Not entirely, no, but that's part of the reason why you've all been assembled here today. The Commissariat is a cancer in the Federation and threatens to not only destabilize this agency but undermine the navy, army, space force and the Federation as a whole. Since their formation, abductions and disappearances of individuals have increased exponentially and while most of the individuals in question have said things that would make one question their loyalty, the Commissariat have interfered with numerous investigations and have committed numerous blunders that we have had to fix and cover up, usually suffering the negative repercussions as a result.

"I'm sure the events with the Divergent are still fresh in everyone's mind. It turns out that a key group of agents who possessed solid intel about the vessel a full month before the Battle of Arkania had been abducted by the Commissariat before that intel could be handed off to us. Of the four agents, only one was ever recovered and evidence of extensive brainwashing and mental tampering was discovered. He's still undergoing treatment but it's feared whatever was done to him, it's far more sophisticated and intensive than the reeducation programs offered on the Misfit."


That made Eri shudder visibly, the thought that she might have ended up in the same state, or worse, a frightening prospect. Worse yet, who was to say she wasn't already like that? A sleeper of sorts, waiting for some sort of trigger before undertaking whatever programmed actions she had been instructed to do.

Changing the holo again, Crystala turned to look at the galaxy map it now displayed. The galaxy had been divided into the different coloured zones, green to show NIF territory, red for NR, yellow for Hutt space and clear for neutral or unaffiliated worlds and space. Within NIF space shone several small blue dots. "Being ordered to protect the Commissariat meant also protecting their bases and territory. On the briefing packages lists the different bases they possess however, after their recent blunder, it's suspected that they're going to be doing everything possible to relocate their holdings and reestablish new bases. In short, I got them riled up to help put them on your sensors, it's up to you to do the rest.

"Ultimately, the Commissariat needs to be destroyed entirely and utterly. To do this, we need to take out the key individuals in each of their branches but it won't be easy. Because this group was created by the Emperor, they have access to some high level technology that even we don't have access too, most notibly, Blood Troopers..."
The holo changed once again to show the form of a hulking humanoid with an expressionless face, red eyes and a menace that looked as though he could tear an entire hospital worth of babies and go on to butcher kittens, puppies, ants and still have enough left over to rip a world in half. "I won't get into the specifics of Sith Alchemy and the genetics involved here, mostly because that's knowledge even I have no clue of, but suffice to say, they're powerful and stronger than they look."

"And able to take more than just a couple shots to the face..." the Surface Marshal commented sourly, bitter that something could actually not die from a well placed headshot. "Don't underestimate them..."

Crystala nodded in full agreement. "Thankfully they're fielded in very small numbers, usually protecting key installations."

"If they have a whole science division," Amberly began with a frown, "Just what sort of other tech do they possess and how worthwhile would it be for us to perhaps acquire some of these toys?"

"That's entirely up to you. If forced to choose between securing valuable technology or destroying the Commissariat, I prefer you pick the latter of the two. The sooner this group is gone, the sooner we can focus our efforts on the New Republic and other external threats." Crystala sighed, letting her blue gaze fall to the side of the room where there was no one. "With everything else we have to worry about, resources are going to be scarce which is why I'm going to leave the overall field level command of this whole operation to SPECWARCOM. Everyone not directly affiliated or tied to them will work more a support role as your time, capabilities and resources allow."

It was an operation that was right up the New Republic's alley: an overwhelmingly powerful foe that had to be fought with a force that possessed barely a fraction of the resources. It was high time the NIF showed that they were capable of the same accomplishment.
"Dagger of the ISIS? No, I am the hand that wields it!" - Director-General Endivain
"The quickest way to find the needle, burn the haystack!"

User avatar
Lynine Skycken
Coordinator
Coordinator
Posts: 121
Joined: 2011-01-20 23:24
Custom Title: Jade
Organizational Unit: ISIS 15th Division
Location: Wherever the sun is!
Contact:

Re: The Greater of Two Evils

Post by Lynine Skycken » 2012-11-21 02:19

2 Days Later. Eriadu

The rain poured down in sheets, the drenched ground covered with so much water that no matter where one stepped, they were splashing in water. It had been coming down like this for the past three days, a sinister storm along the coast of the metropolis had decided to hang around rather than try to climb the mountains into the valley beyond.

For Lynine, it was actually kind of refreshing, the majority of her time lately having been spent aboard vessels or space stations where the weather was always the same, dry with a high chance of harsh artificial light that always brought out the worst in her mood. Though the weather still tugged at her emotions, the Zelosian felt more relieved than anything to be breathing fresh, non-recirculated air as she stood in position, giving her suppressed carbine a quick once over.

A voice spoke softly through her earpiece. "This is Hub, all units report in."

Putting two fingers up to her ear to activate the comm, she said in a soft voice, "Jade in position." A series of acknowledgements from other voices echoed her own statement. A momentary flash attracted Lynine's eyes up to the sky as she mentally counted the seconds before the deep rumble of thunder roared past.

She was crouched in a large store yard, seeking shelter from the floodlights behind one of the many stacks of crates that littered the yard. The feint sound of activity from the labourer droids in the far distance served as a reminder that the place wasn't as deserted as one would like but the horrible weather meant few people would care to be outside to actually oversee the droids' work.

"Alright team," the agent over at the Hub began, "Once we get the signal from Alpha One, you're a go. Stand-by."

That was the one thing about this job, Lynine had come to realize, there was a lot of waiting. The army always poked fun at how long it took the ISIS to screw in a glowbulb- and the ISIS in turn always poked fun at how many people it took the army to do the same task- and now Lynine could actually see why, though she was no less appreciative of that fact.

A massive Star Galleon sat, fully illuminated by numerous large spotlights to assist the numerous droids busily loading the vessel. A large loading bay was open, revealing the spacious interior of the immense vessel. The ISIS had moved swiftly since the briefing, determined to hamper the movement efforts of the Commissariat in a swift and decisive manner. Unfortunately, many of the soldiers and officers doing their bidding were completely unaware which meant they weren't to be treated as hostiles per se. It was a very tricky situation the ISIS found itself in, unable to fully commit to rooting out this enemy organization without sparking a full fledged faction war within the NIF.

So instead we engage in a shadow war. It would have been amusing if she could see the humour in killing unwitting pawns in a grander scheme. Observing the troop movements outside, it was obvious that the stormtroopers clustered together in idle conversation weren't too concerned about an attack and rightfully so. Eriadu was deep in Federation territory and they had probably done this routine hundreds of times before without incident, why should tonight be any different, save for the pouring rain? Odds are they're not even aware that this vessel is being loaded with ultra valuable cargo...

The details of what the cargo actually was were vague- as usual- but what the informant did reveal was that it originated from a base nearby that the army had successfully raided earlier that rainy day which had been picked mostly dry. An informant revealed that numerous hovertrucks had managed to evacuate all the sensitive material to this freight yard in the days and morning before the army raid. Now it was left to the ISIS to swoop in and finish what the army started, namely the determination of the cargo's new home and the acquisition of the cargo.

The two objectives seemed to conflict with one another as it seemed to Lynine that the two would be mutually exclusive from one another, either the cargo would be tracked to the destination or it would be intercepted. However the ISIS planned to accomplish this goal would have to unfold as soon as the signal to begin was given. In the meantime, Lynine kept herself occupied by watching the activity around the landing pad, counting the number of guards on duty, the droids hauling large shipping containers and the like.
Image
"I'd better come with you. Just give me a minute to get ready."
"Okay, but if you hear a loud explosion anytime soon, the trip's off." - Olivia Ofrenda & Manuel Calavera, Grim Fandango

User avatar
Spyker Katarn
Apprentice
Apprentice
Posts: 1104
Joined: 2008-05-05 04:54
Custom Title: IC: RSM, SWC, Army. OOC: Admin, Academy Instr.
Organizational Unit: SPECWARCOM, Omega Order
Location: New England
Contact:

Re: The Greater of Two Evils

Post by Spyker Katarn » 2013-04-26 05:59

NIFSS Blood Angel, in transit towards Eriadu

"Officer on deck!" At those words, every crewman on the bridge snapped to attention as their commanding officer strode into the room. Captain Adrian Hunter, formerly of the Second Fleet's B-801 Skirmish Line and CO of the Blackhawk 1 looked over his staff, noting their actions as he waved them back to their duties. To the crew, he was a known variable in a potentially volatile equation; his skill as a commander when coupled with the care he took for those under his command had been notable in a fleet known for its former TFCO's paranoia and cold regard for the lives of his men. With this, he had long since earned the respect of his crew, and their efforts reflected that. They hated to disappoint the man.

As he took his customary position at the center of the bridge, he was approached by his XO, a lithe Twi'lek woman from Corellia named Liara Cyn. Raised by human parents, she had a fine appreciation for the merits of different species, and had often taken point when dealing with civilian government representatives. Cyn was a protege of Captain Hunter's, and had served him well for several years now. When the slot for the Angel opened up, Hunter had only one selection for the post, and she readily accepted. She saluted the older man, and simply said, "Captain."

"At ease, X. What's our status?"

"SITNORM, sir. Ops tells me the assault units are in place, and the pods are locked in. Teams Beta, Gamma, and Epsilon are in the pipe for rapid deployment as reinforcements, with operatives Sigma, Tau, and Chi already groundside." Cyn ticked off other developments for the benefit of the Captain, moving with a prompt efficiency from point to point. Eventually, the captain just held up a hand, eyes twinkling at his XO.

"That's enough, Commander. I trust you have everything well in hand." Turning his focus to the planet ahead of him, he called out to the bridge crew. "Helm, take us to planetsynch over the AO. Thrusters to station keeping, with compensation for orbital strike if needed. Ops, check our stealth systems; I want us buttoned down tight. Weps, get the turbos charging. If we have to go loud, do it as soon as we get targeting information. X?" He turned back to his executive officer for the final order.

"Sound general quarters. All hands to battle stations."
Image
“I've lived too long with pain. I won't know who I am without it.”

User avatar
Lynine Skycken
Coordinator
Coordinator
Posts: 121
Joined: 2011-01-20 23:24
Custom Title: Jade
Organizational Unit: ISIS 15th Division
Location: Wherever the sun is!
Contact:

Re: The Greater of Two Evils

Post by Lynine Skycken » 2013-04-27 02:09

Inside a heavily converted YT-2400, several agents were huddled around various terminals, the effort at coordinating even this small strike team while also monitoring comm traffic, ship movement and any other variables that would affect the operation requiring a group of operators that nearly equaled the number of operatives in position.

Standing near the holoprojector displaying the whole region, showing the various contours, crates and structures of the AO, the lead Supervisor watched the scene unfold with parsed lips.

"Still no word from Alpha One," an agent announced from the other side of the cramped operations room.

"They just arrived, I doubt we'll get confirmation this quickly," was the response in an indifferent tone. Experience through numerous ops had provided the knowledge of what to expect by now as studious eyes watched the glowing holo which provided the only other light source in the room aside from the lit monitors.

"Sir, call from Observer."

The Supervisor glanced over at the external communications officer, brow furrowed. What could they possibly want? Taking the receiver and holding it to his ear, he said, "Millbrandt here."

The voice wasn't familiar to Millbrandt but he had only ever dealt with people in his immediate department, not with anyone actually close to the DG. There was a distinct tone of Kuati nobility in the voice that spoke, but beyond that, he had little to go on, aside from the fact it was a woman. "The DG has finished reviewing the intel and wants to know where we're at."

For the information to have reached that far up the echelons of power, it would have been unfathomable if not for the nature of the intel they were dealing with. Scraps recovered back on Corscaunt provided a glimpse of the intel for sale and that glimpse sparked an interest from the section chief of the ISS who managed to convince the Director of the ISS to allocate extra resources to the recovery of the information. It was only logical that, for such a radical allotment of skilled operatives and resources that the DG would be interested in knowing what was going on.

"We're in position and are waiting on our informant."

"Neck deep in hostile territory with some of the best field staff we've got... Sounds like quite a gamble for something that could turn out to be nothing." There was a ring of truth to it, work wasn't in short supply and by taking the extra hands for this, it meant there would be fewer available for other ops which would either get delayed or ran an increased risk of failure because of the lack of resources.

"Perhaps, but you've seen the scraps. Left alone, it could very well tip the balance of power and I doubt that's a risk anyone wants to take." There was a pause as the holo lit up with additional activity as a message flashed on the screen of the operator monitoring Alpha One's status. "All the cards are in play and everyone here is already committed, to pull out now would be disasterous for everyone. Frankly there isn't anything to discuss."

There was a brief moment of silence as the operator suddenly turned around and established eye contacat with the Supervisor.

An instant later, the woman on the other end of the comm said, "Very well. Do what you need in order to get that cargo." The other end went dead.

"We get confirmation?" he asked the operator, who gave a firm nod. "Okay, signal the agents. Weapons free."

A single beep sounded in Lynine's ear, heralding the team to move out. Advancing forward, she carefully navigated the rows of crates, bringing herself nearer to the landing pad where the Star Galleon sat. As she approached and started to enter into the illumination of the floodlights, she activated her armour's cloak and vanished from all sight. Unfortunately it didn't render her incorporeal so the rain still hit her and any keen eyed observers would be able to see a void amid the rain approaching. Lynine wasn't about to blindly run out in the open however, staying close to whatever shadows she could find as tracked labour droids trundled past. So long as I don't get run over, she thought, stopping suddenly as another large droid suddenly turned in front of her and picked up a sixty foot crate with its massive forked arms, backing up and then rolling once again towards the Star Galleon. Lynine followed in its wake, the reassuring feel of her carbine in her hands reminding her that there were still options if things went sideways.

The other operatives were likewise converging on the vessel, approaching from different angles. The advantage of being in the wake of the droid behind her meant she didn't have to worry too much about the puddles beneath her feet, few people would be bothering to watch the droid itself and would hardly be alert to anything immediately around it either. Reaching the Star Galleon, she followed it up the ramp, glad to be out of the rain but now inside the brightly lit vessel's hold, she felt a bit more apprehensive even with the cloak. There were more guards inside than she would have expected, though they clearly felt confidant that no one would be slipping past the ones posted outside, one of the Stormtroopers even having his helmet off, sipping a steaming mug of stimcaf as he talked with a comrade high atop a catwalk that overlooked the entire hold.

Breaking away from the droid now, she slipped down a narrow gap between several stacked crates, deactivating the cloak for a moment. "Hub, Jade. Inside behemoth, moving onto primary objective." Moving a little more slowly now, Lynine navigated her way through the cargo hold towards an access door that would lead her to the rest of the vessel. She remembered the briefing where the Supervisor went over a detailed layout of the vessel's interior and was weary of triggering any alarms. The ship was purpose built to be as hard as possible for pirates and enemy boarding crews to take over, choke points, automated defense guns, traps and all manner of nasty surprises. It meant a very small guard compliment could hold out against a numerically superior foe for reinforcements to arrive. If that wasn't enough, the cargo module could be ejected from the ship and then travel to a safe destination thanks to its hyperdrive. It made Lynine wonder at the time why someone didn't just design automated hyperspace capable cargo containers in the first place. Why bother with massive vessels?

Reaching a doorway, Lynine was somewhat surprised to see the door hiss open for her, identifying a standard issue Federation code cylinder and granting her access. No doubt Hub would be interested to know this but in favor of staying silent and avoiding unnecessary sounds wherever possible. Just as she was about to move through the door, she heard the distinctive crack of a blaster discharging. A sense of dread flooded her which intensified as raised voices called out. Her comm came to life suddenly.

"Hub to all units, report!"

"Shots fired," a voice Lynine heard once before but couldn't connect to a name. "I don't think it was any of us though..."

"Hub, Lynx. I'm seeing a lot of movement to the southern portion of the compound." There was a pause. "Fifteen unknowns have infiltrated the AO, one of them using a sniper rifle to take down a tango." The fact that there was a third group didn't sit well with anyone as Lynine could hear voices shouting for the droids to hurry up was one rose above the others demanding they forget about the remainder and dust off immediately.

"They're picking up the pace here. Probably going to rush the rest of the loading."

"Double-time it people," Hub ordered, "Ignore the unknowns unless they become a direct hindrance."

To Lynine, it sounded like they were a direct hindrance but she supposed it wasn't quite as direct as she would have liked since the guards were more focused on the rabble outside, more shots ringing out through the heavy rain. It meant the rest of the commandos could get inside more easily, or so she surmised. Little did Lynine know that things were only going to get a lot more crazier from here on out.
Image
"I'd better come with you. Just give me a minute to get ready."
"Okay, but if you hear a loud explosion anytime soon, the trip's off." - Olivia Ofrenda & Manuel Calavera, Grim Fandango

User avatar
Spyker Katarn
Apprentice
Apprentice
Posts: 1104
Joined: 2008-05-05 04:54
Custom Title: IC: RSM, SWC, Army. OOC: Admin, Academy Instr.
Organizational Unit: SPECWARCOM, Omega Order
Location: New England
Contact:

Re: The Greater of Two Evils

Post by Spyker Katarn » 2014-01-11 06:05

NIFSS Blood Angel, in geostationary orbit over Eriadu

"Are we in position, helm?" CPT Hunter's voice called out over the controlled chaos that was a warship's command bridge. From his console, the helmsman could see they were exactly on point, and signaled as such to his CO. Also calling out status updates were the acting Operations officer and the primary weapons officer, both of whom were reporting they were standing-to and their departments ready. To wit, the Operations officer took the central role as the bridge's Battle Analysis Computer lit up its holographic projectors.

"Ground operations have commenced; the ISIS teams have begun their assault. Our own personnel are in overwatch sites here, here, and here." Orange indicators winked on over the blue wireframe terrain to show the real-time updates as the ship's sensors tracked their transponders. "We've detected hostile forces in these positions, and they seem to be heavily concentrating in defensive lines around these structures. Infrared and radio imagery is still inconclusive, but gamma and x-ray signatures reveal possible radioactive material. We'll need eyes on-site to confirm. The ISIS teams should have the needed gear."

Hunter nodded to his bridge officer, then returned his focus to the wireframe. Things looked to be heating up down below for the ISIS teams. Around the perimeter were three green triangles: theirs.

"Sierra-One, this is Three. I'm at position Delta, setting up now. Over."

"Copy, Three. Two's already set and working at position Bravo. I'm just about as well at Alpha. Ping the friendlies below when you're ready, then you're weapons free on marked targets. Sierra-One, out." Sierra-One, better known to her unit as "Sigma," had been deployed to the planet's surface as one of the three-person sniper unit assigned to the mission. Their job was twofold: provide overwatch support to the ISIS operations teams assaulting the compound below as well as mark targets for interdiction and neutralization by the Angel watching over them. Normally Omega would be handling this, but he'd been removed from active service pending an investigation into suspected activity on his part. As a result, she'd taken his place as the number three sharpshooter in the company, with Alpha-One on a training rotation.

Looking around one last time before settling into a sniping position, Sigma felt she had picked a particularly nice spot to serve as her sniping roost: a warehouse approximately one and a half klicks from the target. Her Katipo rifle had plenty of punch at that range, and with both its specialized gas and suppressor would render her nearly untrackable to the shot-tracking equipment common in counter-sniper operations. Pulling a camouflage net over her body would take care of the rest, except for the small aperture where her weapon poked through. Through her scope she could see everything in her assigned zone, especially the Star Galleon that was lit up like a casino on Nar Shaddaa. Just as she finished settling in and scanning the zone, she heard the buzz in her earpiece that was the go-mission tone.

A series of green triangles lit up on the operator's HUD as the telemetry flowed in from the Angel's sensors. 'And that would be the assault team, right on schedule,' thought Sigma. A group had split off from the main body to secure the entrance to the spacedock while most continued on to the Galleon to secure the cargo. She followed the main group for a few more moments before flashes caught the corner of her eye. Shifting her view brought the second team into focus, and a series of red diamonds lit up as their own telemetry linked into the battlenet. The flashes appeared again, and this time she recognized it as blaster fire. The sounds of more fire came from the southern end, near the position Sierra-Two had taken. She clicked her COM over to the main operations channel to hear the tail end of the ISIS team's communique.

"--fired. I don't think it was any of us, though." Sigma listened a moment longer, hearing that fifteen hostiles had entered the AO to the south, with one sniper amongst them. She clicked back to the Sierra Team's channel to check on the others.

"Sierra-Two, Sierra-Three, status check, over."

"Two here, I've got eyes on several hostiles. They haven't seen me yet."

"Sierra-One, this is -Three. I count fifteen hostiles in my zone. That's one-five targets. Orders, over?"

"Copy that, guys. We are weapons-hot at this time. Provide cover fire for the ISIS teams; focus on any heavy combatants or heavy weapons. Sierra-Actual will coordinate. Use the LAMs on your rifles to target for orbital strike if needed. Sierra-One, out." With that, she carefully took aim at one of the enemies pinning down the ISIS team in her zone, let out half a breath, and pulled the trigger. He went down with half his chest melted, and she swiveled the barrel of the Katipo to her next target. The battle was joined.
Image
“I've lived too long with pain. I won't know who I am without it.”

User avatar
Lynine Skycken
Coordinator
Coordinator
Posts: 121
Joined: 2011-01-20 23:24
Custom Title: Jade
Organizational Unit: ISIS 15th Division
Location: Wherever the sun is!
Contact:

Re: The Greater of Two Evils

Post by Lynine Skycken » 2014-01-11 07:00

The sounds of blaster fire became little more than dull, muffled snaps as Lynine cautiously worked her way deeper into the vessel. The stomping of rushing feet alerted to movement from behind and she reacted quickly, pressing herself against the wall as quickly and quietly as she could, hoping that the uniformed officer would stay to the middle of the corridor. He did and, thanking the Stars for cloaking devices, Lynine continued moving deeper and deeper through the ship. The informant probably would be panicking by now, but at this point everyone was beyond committed. The dull sounds of blaster fire were slowly drowned out by the sound of the vessel's power-up sequence. Not much time, she thought hastily to herself, quickly recalling the layout of the vessel and the expected location of their informant.

Her comm crackled suddenly. "Oh Sith, looks like they've already summoned reinforcements!" the voice of Lynx said aloud, "Shuttles inbound!"

"This is Hub. Say again, can you confirm shuttles?"

"Affirmative Hub, two shuttles and four TIE Interceptors are inbound!"

Lynine knew the concern. That was far too fast a response from the local garrison for that to be normal reaction time to an emergency. Which means... Shelving the rest of that thought, Lynine told herself to continue with the mission above all else. Advancing past the final cargo deck, she wasn't too surprised to not yet see any resistance though a Stormtrooper did rush down a different hallway and entered the cargo bay itself. Lynine thought about trying to tap into their comm channel but by now she was close enough to the rendezvous point: the crew quarters. Entering the area, she scanned around quickly to ensure no one was around before approaching one of the many doors that lined the corridor. Approaching it, she felt an uneasy sensation pass over her. Glancing around, she dismissed it as nerves and took a half step towards the door. It didn't open. Frowning, she glanced at the keypad. The icon showed the door was locked. Reaching onto her belt, she pulled out a small device and affixed it to the keypad. Tapping a few buttons, she let the slicing device run through its sequence, the palms of her hands itching that she tightened her grip on her carbine a bit more, tensing up.

The sound of the maglocks disengaging could be heard in the relative stillness of the area, the door hissing open. The brightly lit bunk room had only one occupant inside, seated on the far bunk. Lynine stepped in and disengaged her cloak after seeing no one else present inside. The sole occupant stood up, her short jet black hair framing her worried and tense face as she fixed the ISIS Commando with a quick appraising look. "I hear gunfire," she said hastily.

"Yes," was all Lynine could say in response, not sure what else to say. Seeing the woman's expression change into one of dread concern, that sinking feeling came back worse than ever now. "Where's the cargo?" Perhaps getting straight to the point would be the best bet, Lynine hoped.

"You're looking at it." The reply winded Lynine. With all the droids loading crates only moments ago, the last thing she had expected to hear was that their informant was the cargo as well. Reading Lynine's expression perfectly, the woman said flatly, "This is their last ship. They already cleared out everything else."

Lynine wasn't sure what to make of that information, it wen't beyond her pay grade but it did have implications she knew would be important to someone else further up the line. "You know how to handle a weapon?" she asked, drawing her sidearm and flipping it in her hand before offering it grip first to the woman. "My cloak only has room for one." The woman accepted it and checked the charge once before nodding. The floor shook briefly beneath them, a sign that the ship reactor was fully started which meant the repulsors were next and those wouldn't take as long. And I don't have a grav-chute... Turning, Lynine was about to exit when the door opened suddenly, a Federation officer appearing. He cut himself off in mid-sentence, having starting to say that the Stormtroopers were holding everyone back. Lynine had her blaster raised. "No sudden moves," she cautioned. The officer swallowed and nodded slowly. She motioned for him to enter, blaster still pointed at him and when he was past her, she quickly took one hand and grabbed his sidearm out his holster. Looking at the informant, Lynine motioned for her to leave through the door.

"What's going on?" the officer looked confused and bewildered.

Lynine didn't respond and instead worked to close the door but before she could, the informant fired a muffled shot from the loaned blaster that was already equipped with a suppressor. The shot struck the officer and Lynine turned, opening her mouth to demand what she was doing.

"He'd just comm for backup," came the quick reply as the officer's lifeless body slumped to the floor. "We need to get off this ship."
Image
"I'd better come with you. Just give me a minute to get ready."
"Okay, but if you hear a loud explosion anytime soon, the trip's off." - Olivia Ofrenda & Manuel Calavera, Grim Fandango

User avatar
Spyker Katarn
Apprentice
Apprentice
Posts: 1104
Joined: 2008-05-05 04:54
Custom Title: IC: RSM, SWC, Army. OOC: Admin, Academy Instr.
Organizational Unit: SPECWARCOM, Omega Order
Location: New England
Contact:

Re: The Greater of Two Evils

Post by Spyker Katarn » 2014-05-05 04:36

"Captain!" The female officer manning the COMSCAN station, LT Alessandra Rhysode, called out amongst the din of the bridge crew. "I've got four squints inbound on the AO. They're heading for the ground teams. A pair of shuttles are with them, too." Six red diamonds lit up on the BAC display, moving rapidly over the simulated terrain. They were still a good ways away from the zone, but clearly on a course for the base. The operation was at risk of going very bad, very fast. Captain Hunter had to make a decision, lest they had to abort. The threat the Commissariat posed was too great for them to pull out now, he determined.

"Scramble Demon Squadron. I want those Interceptors out of the sky." Another heartbeat, and another order. "Deploy the reinforcement teams. We're moving up the timetable. Gloves are off, people." With that, the activity on the bridge increased even further than it already was. Comlinks between departments started burning up the lines as the orders were passed down. Final safeties were removed from the turbolasers as their crews waited for final firing coordinates.

Additiona orders went down to the pod launch bay, where klaxons sounded to signify the launch of fifteen of the Angel's twenty-five drop pods. A shudder ran through the ship as the magclamps released, followed by the electronic launch system's propelling of the pods from the frigate's underbelly. Inside each one was a fully-outfitted member of a Special Warfare Command Direct Action team. One full team--five people--could clear a large fire support base. Three of them, a full main operations base. With their help, the ISIS teams already on the ground had a better shot at completing the mission.

Acquire, shoot, shift. Acquire, shoot, shift. Sigma was moving on autopilot at this point as she kept up her suppression of the enemy forces. The ISIS team was making steady progress towards what looked like an administrative building, but it seemed as if two popped up every time she took one down. Luckily, there was no fire being directed at her position thanks to the Katipo's specialized rounds, but that was small solace as she saw the amount of fire being poured in the direction of her comrades below. During one of her reloads, flashes of light from the sky above caught her eye, and she pulled away for a moment to look.

The dots were moving, she could see that, and soon enough they resolved into columns of flame that she recognized as drop pods. Ten of them broke off in one direction to reinforce the main unit while the remaining five changed course that looked like they would drop right into the enemy lines. She hit the com to let the rest of her team know.

"Two, Three, reinforcements inbound. Should be hitting the ground in thirty."

"Copy, Lead. We'll roll out the welcome mat." The snipers started pumping out even more fire, putting round after round downrange into targets that were brave enough to show their faces. A scream from overhead signaled the arrival of four TIEs as well, friendly IFFs reading their intentions, while a rumble from below heralded touchdown of the pods as they impacted. A brief hesitation of fire from the enemy gave the new arrivals time to bang out of their pods and start raising hell. For now, friendly forces had the upper hand. In a few minutes, they'd know if it was a permanent state.

OOC: Fini, the DATs and TIEs are all yours now. I'll keep writing the sniper team and the Angel crew, but let me know if you need anything else.
Image
“I've lived too long with pain. I won't know who I am without it.”

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest