A Line in the Sand (Jom, Sarela)

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Doren Vassyl
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A Line in the Sand (Jom, Sarela)

Post by Doren Vassyl » Sun Jul 07, 2019 7:35 pm

***Rogue Planet Aivis, Grid Coordinates H-12***

***Imperial T4 Shuttle Blackthorn, en route to the planet's surface***


Captain Vassyl lazily eyed the gleaming hulls of the Black Lances squadron as they danced about the shuttle convey. Their ionic screech had kept Doren alert as multiple Sentinel and T4 shuttlecraft bore down through the upper atmosphere of Aivis and towards its marsh-covered surface. "Another insufferable mud-hole", Vassyl mused to himself, "it will take an age to scrub the filth out of my boots". Unkind memories of Endor and Kashyyyk flooded Doren's memory, and he did his best to push the conditions of the strange world towards the back of his mind. Aivis, a satellite that had remained static in the face of time. Yes, its heritage was one of deceit and mystery.

Several millennium ago, during a stellar collapse in the Denarii system, the planet in question had been forced out of orbit, left to wander in an bunker of deadspace until it was eventually rediscovered during the days of the Old Republic. Interestingly, it was the stocky Xexto that moved first to colonize the land untouched by time, and quickly discovered its seemingly unending veins of precious ores. As soon as word reached the senate's ears, the Republic made a mad dash to seize the system for "government projects"; the Xexto proved more tenacious than expected, at violently opposed galactic bureaucracy, digging trenches and tunnels that went deep into the planet's crust.

Funding proved a consistent issue for the quadramanual miners, but the Clone Wars provided an excellent alternative by way of the Separatists. When the New Order rose, the Empire caught the Republic's slack, and the conflict escalated into a state of total war. The Xexto reached out to the Rebellion, the Hutts, and several other shady benefactors for economic support- only to renege on their word when it was convenient to do so. It was a cross-generational struggle that just continued to take with little to give. In recent years, the Empire had tried to pull out and leave the isolationist Xexto to their own devices, but the objections of infamous Moff Durron of Bonadan had forced the military's reluctant hand.

And so, their efforts renewed by the higher powers, the Imperial war machine stood firm in the grime of the Aivin marshes once more. Vassyl could practically feel the tension in the works as the Blackthorn sped through the cloudy lower atmosphere, and hailed Fort Veers for landing clearance. The titanic, triple-plated durasteel fortress had been named in honor of the famed Imperial general, who made significant gains on Aivis during the short time he was stationed there. Its hulking black exterior was as foreboding as it was impressive, and Doren turned away from the viewport and back towards the interior of the passenger cabin, directed his gaze on his various companions.

The first to seize his attention was the demure sight of Ensign Sarela Malkova. Admittedly, the well-traveled Sephi was amidst a trial period within the Imperial Medicorps- but for the sake of rank and file, honorary titles were put in place to ease logistics. For his part, Vassyl could not help but grin at her composure. Though the young woman had been running the paces for a good week or so, her military uniform betrayed no signs of fraying, and might as well have been fresh from its packaging. While Storm Medics and physicians employed by the Army wore bulkier armor, Naval Non-Comms sported the same uniforms as technical crewman: a loose-fitting gray jumpsuit, lighter than the command olive drab, and a crisp black cap.

It was a smart look for Doren's aspiring colleague, and one that would help to enhance her authority outside of the military. Still, as quickly as Vassyl's complexion lightened, it soon curled into a tight-lipped grimace. This was no vacation, nor was it was it the comforting haven of Jaemus. Though the away team would be a good distance away from the engagement parallel, this would prove to be the silver-haired initiate's first taste of the violence born of war. Though some might view it as a rite of passage, Vassyl had hoped for a tamer introduction to warfare. Aivis was known for its guerillas and do-or-die resistance, and the figure count for the wounded was nothing to sneeze at. Sustained safety was of tantamount concern.

Thankfully, to Vassyl's greater relief, their pilgrimage planet-side had yet to see any form of trouble. The Captain was further consoled by the presence of Ensign Jom Etro, whose praiseworthy skills Doren had experienced first hand over the course of a daring mission deep behind enemy lines. As a token of good faith and gratitude, Vassyl had requested the upcoming pilot take the helm of his premier shuttle for the duration of their visit- as a means to diversify his practical expertise. At the same time, the Captain assumed the zip craft facilities and other naval production lines nestled beside might be of interest to the prospective flying ace. Indeed, with any luck, this assignment would prove educational for both of Doren's younger wards.

After what seemed like a bleak, disquieting eternity, the main air traffic tower provided the shuttle with its landing clearance, and bade it to roost on platform three. Several large sentinel transports would follow suit shortly thereafter, and comprise the largest supply run of Vassyl's career. Whether or not the Captain condoned the fool's errand of a struggle was better left to his private thoughts, though his posture had its usual, treacherous cues of disgust. For all intents and purposes, it was a simple drop-off: but in spite of his meditations Vassyl could not dissipate the nervous knot in his stomach. "Do make haste with the landing cycle Mister Etro", Doren cautioned, "They aren't likely to keep the base shield open for long".
-------
"He's dangerous that one"
"Because he's a fanatic?"
"A fanatic with a conscience"

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Sarela Malkova
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Re: A Line in the Sand (Jom, Sarela)

Post by Sarela Malkova » Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:14 am

Posture rim-rod straight, Sarela had taken exponential care in making sure the loose loose-fitting gray jumpsuit she wore was without a single wrinkle. Her hair was done up in an elegantly knotted bun, which help to create an air of sophistication when paired with the black cap that rested upon her head. Since joining Doren’s crew, she’d trained daily within the medical bay, extending her know-how within the Imperial Medicorps. As a Naval Non-Comm, this was her first time off of the Reverent since leaving Jaemus and travelling to Axxila to gather her few belongings; mostly clothing, jewelry and small momentos here and there. Thankfully, in her absent, no one had ransacked her home. Sarela hoped that the Toydarian that owned her apartment complex didn’t have a hard time finding a new occupant to live within it.
Before leaving Jaemus, the kind and motherly droid known as Ninebee had gave the young woman basic training and understanding in caring for others as an aspiring Medic, along with okaying Sarela with more physically demanding activities that would be required aboard her new home. Her ribs were no longer broken, the bruises having healed while still on-planet. Now, she was without legality a part of the Empire; and felt almost as if she had a purpose now - which Sarela had been void of since escaping the slavers planet of Orvax IV. For a few weeks, she’s seriously contemplated going to the Sephi homeworld, and trying to find any possible family-connections, but, with a goal and mission now, such thoughts had simply became background noise.
As for their current destination, the satellite known as Aivis, once apart of the Denarii system; both of which Sarela had never once heard of. She’s been given the basic know-how so that she could grasp the situation they’d find themselves in. In all honesty, she wasn’t sure if the years-upon years of bloodshed over such a desolite satellite drifting alone in space was worth the trouble; but, it wasn’t her place to question such matters that had been going on long before her own birth. Plus, this was her first mission with Doren, and the young woman fully planned to show her worth, and overly questioning the actions of their higher-ups wasn’t a smart plan of action to take. No, Sarela knew when to keep her mouth shut, and when to ask questions and extend her own opinions to the matters at hand.
As for their current company, which consisted of Doren, and a pilot named Jom Etro; whom Sarela had yet to meet yet, but had asked for his name anyways, in case he tried to interact with her. Plus, it was always good to know who excelled at what. Unfortunately, she felt rather unprepared, at least if any form of combat were to happen. She was mediocre at best when it came to blaster usage, having had a handful of practices over the last two months; along with a few hand-to-hand training sessions. In all honesty, she was leaps and bounds better when it came to healing versus hurting someone. Just in the last two months alone, already the doctor and caregivers she was training under and with had said she had, quote, “A healer's touch”, which she wasn’t totally sure was quite accurate, but had taken the complement nevertheless. As for her piloting lessons… Sarela didn’t want to comment much on those. If bantha’s could fly, they’d more than likely do a better job than she could.
Then, as their ship hit a small air of turbulence, Sarela’s body tensed, but quickly eased back into a posture of elegance and infierance; an air of perfessionalism. Quite honestly, her travels across the Galaxy had never brought her into such a lonely place, and the aura that it gave off made her want to ship up and ship right back out; but she was beyond ready to show Doren that it wasn’t a mistake to trust her and let her become apart of the crew; even if she did have a hard time opening up and befriending most of them, enjoying alone time, and drawing within her small cabin. Maybe with time, she’d open up more with her fellow crewmates, but for now, old habits die hard, and the young woman was slow to trust most of those around her, save for Doren; whom she trusted wholeheartedly and without a shadow of a doubt.
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Jom Etro
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Re: A Line in the Sand (Jom, Sarela)

Post by Jom Etro » Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:53 pm

Etro lowered a gloved hand onto one of many levers amongst the ship’s controls, pulling back slightly as the shuttle dipped into the cloudy atmosphere of the planet. The screaming of ion engines could be heard all around as the impressive envoy of Imperial ships soared far above the ground. Although it wasn’t a common sight to see in a Lambda, Jom still wore his flight suit all TIE pilots wore. It was good to be back in the air, as the pilot hated being cooped up for long periods of time. This was where he loved to be. Carefully aligning the ship’s trajectory with the location of the destination and set the impressive craft at an angle that would be comfortable for the ships occupants.

Etro wasn’t particularly sure why the good Captain Vassyl had selected him for this mission. Although he had worked with him before on a mission deep into hostile territory, surely there must be a Pilot better trusted to keep the officer safe. However, it was an honor that Jom would never forget the feeling of. Unfortunately, the reason of this travel was not a pleasant one. The hand of the Xexto’s military had been forced, and now the tension between the Xexto and Empire had developed into pure chaos, with the local population putting up more of a fight than the Empire had originally expected. Fighting in the seemingly endless marshlands of a distant planet was quite an unpleasant way to die, and Etro didn’t plan on meeting his end here. He would have to perform well. As the Imperial shuttle hit a small bit of turbulence, the pilot lowered the output of the sublight engines and quickly quickly glanced back to see if the occupants of the ship were alright.

As he looked, he spotted two prominent figures, the first being the esteemed Captain, and the second being a female he had never seen before. Everything seemed calm for now, but who knew what was going through the passenger’s heads. Captain Vassyl was a man with a truly outstanding reputation among the Empire. With a seemingly unbreakable determination and wise judgement, Vassyl was a legend in the eyes of his troops. The Empire, not to mention the galaxy, needed more people like him.

As for the other notable passenger, the passenger list he was given stated that she was medical personnel. That was always a welcome sight. From what Etro has seen, life on the battlefield was pure chaos, and a medical officer was a comforting site. Although Jom had yet to actually meet this woman, she seemed to be well acquainted with Captain Vassyl. Perhaps she was an old friend or good ally.

Setting these thoughts aside, Etro focused on the task at hand. The destination was now in sight, and as the Lambda-class T-4a shuttle drew near, the occupants could view the fortress in its full glory. Diverting his attention to the communications, he received orders to touch down on Platform Three. It would be done. Checking his sensors a final time to ensure that the base’s shields were, in fact down, Etro slowly maneuvered the craft around and engaged the landing gears. The designated landing pad was vacant, but would be no longer.

Toggling a few switches all around him, and engaging a few systems after keying controls in front of him, the Lambda’s wings lifted into a landing position and the sublight engines were on standby as the thrusters on the underside of the transport touched the ground. He shut down the crafts main systems and lowered the loading ramp. They had arrived. Getting up, Etro stood at attention.

Captain Vassyl, we have arrived at our destination.

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Doren Vassyl
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Re: A Line in the Sand (Jom, Sarela)

Post by Doren Vassyl » Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:11 pm

"So we have Ensign", the Captain affirmed dryly. Doren's tone hardly showed any signs of enthusiasm, though his disgust was by no means aimed at his comrades. As the boarding ramp met the durasteel platform with a definitive thunk, Vassyl blinked with irritation as the humidity began to adhere to his face. Though it had been a non-issue during the flight, mid-morning fog hung heavy in the air, and the Captain nearly squinted his eyes shut in an attempt to follow the walkway leading off towards the fortress' main superstructure. Letting slip one last sorrowful sigh, Doren motioned for his retinue to follow after, which comprised of Miss Malkova, Mister Etro, and two armed representatives from the 446th Infantry Division, clad in the fine white plastoid.

It was a small, but functioning unit. With any luck, Vassyl's cohort would not be sticking around any longer than was needed. Still, in keeping with the Captain's usual luck, a tall shadow slowly emerged from the opposite end of the forked path that fed into platforms three and four- a shadow which he knew all too well. "Vassyl? I didn't expect to find you sneaking around here", a gruff voice declared with an obtrusive edge, "Shouldn't you be off chasing religious dissidents?". "Rear Admiral Baethan", Doren answered back, curling his arm up into a reluctant salute, "I can't help but wonder what I've done to deserve this honor". "For the sake of your pride", the flag officer sneered, offering a curt gesture in turn, "I hope they didn't send you to this rock to hand off medical supplies".

Vassyl grimaced in light of the Rear Admiral's loaded remark. That was an obvious nod to the Captain's failed invasion of Thyferra: a tumultuous defeat that nearly resulted in Doren's resignation. Vassyl had only spoken face to face with Sanford Baethan on a handful of occasions, yet each successive encounter proved more distasteful than the last. The second son of a prominent noble family hailing from Borleias, Baethan had prematurely prided himself on naval excellence, and saw Doren's concurrent rise through the ranks as a slight against his prestigious career. And, after Vassyl's unexpected appointment to executor of the Third Fleet's Second Battlegroup, what had been mild distaste quickly festered into seething hatred.

Nonetheless, the Captain had expected such venom from his less-than-amicable superior, and wasn't about to take the verbal beating lying down. "No bacta shipments today", Doren mused back, a slight grin sprouting on his face, "Mainly power cells, ferried on bulk cruisers in loose formation. I was extra careful to keep the convoy spacious and maneuverable- a sentiment I'm sure Your Excellency can appreciate". Internally, the Captain delighted as the color briefly retreated from the Rear Admiral's face, only for it to resurge with a furious, pulsing crimson. The outrageous chops that curtailed from under the Borelaien's hairline shuddered with malice, and his naturally pointed nose upturned involuntarily, resembling some sort of crude horn.

As it so happened, Baethan's fleet detachment had been set to run drills twelve hours before the start of the most recent Empire Day some weeks past. The Rear Admiral, in his typical arrogance, elected to commence the usual libations early, and invited many of his chief staff to do the same. When the time came to commence the fleet exercises, what then ensued was one of the most inane and unprecedented set of friendly collisions in recent years. Though he was the chief architect of this disgraceful act, Baethan had set about axing his underlings and finding various ways to silence others. Regardless, Doren had a healthy set of ears, and he was all too keen to remind the belligerent officer of that fact. Each and every second the man spent reeling from this reminder made this trip all the more worth it.

Desperately searching for an angle to counterattack, Baethan's gaze flashed to Sarela and Jom, who stood somewhat out of place amidst the trooper duo and their commanding officer. "And what have we here", Sanford grilled directly, "New auditions for your enduring band of misfits? What prison did you spring them from? Or are they refugees from one of your 'diplomatic missions'?". Doren's frown grew more stern and heavy. It was one thing to call the Jaeman out for his own failings- he would not however suffer any such insults against his crew. Then, at the turn of a credit coin, a smile replaced the Captain's surly likeness, and softly admonished, "If my companions are special envoys, you'd do well not to slander them, Rear Admiral: if such events reached their home nation's ruler...".

Baethan's color retreated once more almost on cue. Of course, neither Jom nor Sarela had any affiliation with the Sith, or any other independent powers Doren had interacted with in recent months. But the Rear Admiral, in his burgeoning ignorance, would be unable to disprove or confirm such claims. So far as this bout was concerned, Vassyl would walk away with his head still pointed at the sky. "They are hardly worth my concern", Baethan concluded hastily, "As are any emboldened nobodies from the Outer Rim. Do mind yourself, Captain, this is no place for common conscripts". With that, the lumbering man started down towards the adjacent platform. Vassyl waited until his could no longer detect his form in the misting air, before muttering quietly, "Running back to the Core as he always does, I imagine".
-------
"He's dangerous that one"
"Because he's a fanatic?"
"A fanatic with a conscience"

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Sarela Malkova
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Re: A Line in the Sand (Jom, Sarela)

Post by Sarela Malkova » Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:30 pm

Rear Admiral Baethan, with his unattractive chops, and even more unattractive personality, was quickly becoming a rather bothersome individual; his voice alone grating on Sarela’s nervous. She’d encountered many overbearing, spiteful, hateful and idiotic men that tried to act like some Alpha Male, and it was easily apparent that Admiral Baethan was one. Rather than a leader, he was nothing more than a loud-mouthed bully seeking attention and recognition for things he had no claims for. She couldn't help but hope that, in due time, things went south for him, and he would either sink or swim well-away, learning from his own idiocracy; mostly though, the more spiteful part of her hoped that the man sunk in whatever situation he found himself in. Sarela's only wish in the matter was that it was only himself that Admiral Baethan harmed when it did happen, and not innocent bystanders.

As he walked away, not once had Sarela's calm face slipped or shown a glimmer of how much she disliked the man and how he treated her Captain. She respected Doren too much to allow such trivial emotions to show, especially when he was putting such faith in her not to embarrass him or their crew; having trusted that Sarela was prepared enough for the undertaking of whatever Aivis might hold. So, once the two were finished speaking, Sarela remained in position, her stance holding an air of practiced professionalism; Sarela wanted to make Doren proud, and by proxy, their fellow crewmates.

She knew that, now on the Galactic stage, she could no longer fall back on her old ways of running when situations became too oversized for her to deal with. Jumping on a shuttle and riding it from planet to planet. For better or worse, the young Sephi had chosen her place, even if it had taken years of wandering and beatings to do so.

Still remaining ramrod straight, Sarela took a moment to scan the heavily fogged mid-morning air. The walkway, which lead to the distant fortress, was partially masked from view, and Sarela stopped herself from trying to squint to get a better view of it. The survivor within her hating that she didn't have a clear view of the place they'd no doubt be staying in. Old habits, as they say, died hard. It was also beyond creepy. She'd hate to patrol the superstructure alone on any given day if it was always as foggy as it currently was.

Shifting her gaze back to Etro and Doren, from the far off fogged fortress, along with the two armed 446th Infantry Division soldiers, with their white plastoid armor, Sarela silently wished for a blaster as well, even if she sucked with them. Though, not totally unarmed, the young medical-trainee had an assortment of items tucked away here and there, the grey jumpsuit being much easier at concealing things than her old tight fitting and barely there clothing. For one, the flexible, metal, hair tie that held her bun in place, could easily extend enough to strangle someone if caught off guard. She also had a small vibro-knife tucked away, which, though tiny, could just as easily kill if it cut into the right arteries, her medical training helping her to know where such areas might be depending on the species she was dealing with. For now, though, she tucked such thoughts away. If they were lucky, the group's visit would stay well away from the main conflict at hand, and well away from the bloodshed.
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Re: A Line in the Sand (Jom, Sarela)

Post by Jom Etro » Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:53 pm

The mission had seemingly only begun when the groups first hostile encounter began. However, this came in the form of Rear Admiral Baethan. As the lumbering figure spoke, all Etro felt was a great distaste for this man. It was men like these that had no place in the upper ranks of the Empire. As the pilot, like many others, knew that the vile officer had previously put his inability to lead on display during the most recent Empire Day. His actions had resulted in numerous injuries all varying in severity. Yet somehow, Baethan had slipped through the fingers of justice. The comment that Captain Vassyl, who kept surprisingly calm, made did seem to fluster the man. Jom’s respect for the Captain only seemed to increase as he spent more time around him.

As the unlikable man directed his attention to Etro along with the medic, the pilot’s distaste for the man grew. He could feel his fists clenching, resisting the urge to speak out against this poor excuse for an Imperial officer. This was no way to act towards any Imperial. Still, Etro knew how to act towards his superiors. No Imperial would be able to succeed at any of the Empire’s academies without learning discipline.

As the figure left the party’s line of sight, Jom allowed himself to relax as Vassyl spoke.

Running back to the Core as he always does, I imagine.

Of course Baethan would. The Rear Admiral was clearly both a coward and a fool. Soon enough, he would get what he deserved, Etro was sure of it.

As the dark figure of the massive fortress, came into view, Jom heard the familiar screaming of ion engines coming within rang. As he looked up, the pilot saw a small squadron of TIE Bombers with a fighter escort. Either those ships were in a patrol, or the situation on this planet was escalating on this planet quickly. However, both were likely options, though Etro hoped that the conflict would be avoided by the Empire. Even if conflict was unavoidable, he doubted that Doren’s envoy of ships would take part in it. Either way, Jom would follow Captain Vassyl through anything.

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Re: A Line in the Sand (Jom, Sarela)

Post by Doren Vassyl » Fri Jul 19, 2019 12:25 am

As Doren and company neared the blast door feeding into the fort's west wing, the Captain paused at the sound of repulsorlift engines purred in the distance. Looking back from whence he'd came, Vassyl observed a far newer, freshly polished Lambda ascending above the fogline- no doubt Baethan's own personal transport. The shuttle seemed to idle for a few moment, invoking a raised eyebrow from the Captain. Then, as if somehow aware of the Jaeman's gaze, the shuttle screeched forward, and shrank from view. Doren hadn't the slightest clue what that display had amounted to: perhaps it was one last attempt to one-up the young officer given the worn state of his own vessel. Whatever the case, Vassyl wasn't in any mood to dally. Without a word, he turned about, and continued to lead the party forward.

Thankfully, the inside of the facility of was well-insulated and did not suffer the mists that danced about its exterior. Doren hit his peak marching stride on the sleek onyx floor, passing by technical staff, guard patrols, and the usual potpourri of military characters. Interestingly, the Imperial Standard had been draped across the interior walls with liberal finesse. Many of the flags bore the opaque saturnalian orb across a silver banner. There were a few, more elaborate woven flags, that instead sported the Imperial Seal in gold over a crimson backing. Doren appreciated the extra effort to instill fervor in the local garrison, though he wondered if the ornamental splendor was a little excessive given the unerring bleakness that lingered on the fort's doorstep.

Coming to a stop before the customs office, Vassyl expected a brief transaction and an hour or two of unwinding while the cargo was offloaded. Sadly, his expectations were swiftly dashed on the unseen rocks dotting below the fog perimeter. "The Brigadier General wants to see me?", Doren repeated with a dumbfounded expression, "Has something happened with the shipment? A logistical error?". "The communiqué doesn't specify, Sir", the sheepish desk worker explained, "It simply insists that you embark for the command hub without delay". Frazzled, but not one deny a commanding officer on his own turf, the Captain reluctantly requested a reply be sent to affirm his acceptance. Soon, the five-member team found themselves in a large turbolift, and began climbing back towards the heavens.

At certain intervals, transparasteel gaps presented the occasional, fleeting glimpse of the landscape below. The fog was as tenacious as ever, but as the party reached higher heights, a distant bushel of trees or languid canopy of floral broke through the drab gray of their surroundings. Stepping out onto the main command thoroughfare, Doren had nary a moment to look down on the various technicians bustling about the sunken sub-terminals, before an inordinately pitchy voice rang out, "'Captain Vassyl! At last we meet!". The Jaeman's eyes quickly fell upon a man, no more than four or five years his senior on estimate, that stood a handful of inches shorter than he. "Brigadier General Groemche", Doren answered with a deft salute, "How may I be of service?".

"At ease Captain", the Brigadier declared with a fluid sweep of his hand, "I would not impress any momentary errands on a friend". 'Friend' was it? Doren had not expected such a casual air from one who could, through some military gerrymandering, pull rank if he so pleased. He would soon learn why. "I've been a fan of your work for some time", Groemche enlightened, "And while I've not had the luxury of touring the front, our struggles are not so different. I like to think your suppression of the rebels on Gree is a kindred act to my own campaign here". "I can assure you, Brigadier General, that my involvement on Gree was minimal at best", Vassyl petitioned, not one to delight in such praise, "It is the Marine Corps that delivered that victory, not I".

"So modest!", the cheeky army officer cooed, "Just as he said you'd be: fear not, Captain, everything has already been arranged for your visit". "I'm afraid I don't quite understand", Vassyl persisted, genuine skepticism hanging on his nervous words, "It was my understanding this would be a simple supply run". "Pleading innocent I see", the overbearing socialite insisted, "What say you to this then?". Groemche handed off a small dataslate, whose display made Doren shudder where he stood:

Brigadier General Groemche: I have just now encounter our mutual friend on the way back to my ship. Having found him to be somewhat on edge, I eventually discovered our young colleague holds great interest in the renewed offensives you are in the process of leading. Of course, our humble man here is shy beyond all reason, and would never ask for a guided tour outright. Therefore, I think it would be a wonderful idea for you to surprise the good Captain after he has cleared his other duties. I'm certain it will be a refreshing experience for you both.

Signed, Your Sincere Comrade and Collaborator,
Rear Admiral Sanford Baethan


Now it was Doren's turn for blood to boil and veins to bulge. To think that the snobbish buffoon had hung around in orbit just to transmit this inflammatory libel! Of course, Vassyl was sorely backed into a corner. To refuse this invitation could have any number of politico-military repercussions. The Captain had enough enemies within the Empire as it was- and he wasn't about to increase that number without good reason. "It would seem you've caught me red-handed", Doren confessed, lying through his teeth as his reputation all but hinged on it, "Of course, we would be delighted to see more of this fine establishment". The overt sweetness of Vassyl's voice would probably tip off his companions easily enough. The Brigadier General, by contrast, remained gleefully ignorant.

***

At the Captain's repeated insistence, in spite of the Groemche's consolations that safety was a non-issue, three sets of standard field armor were provided to the naval attaché. A helmet and breasplate comprised the two-piece set, and while it was hardly the best defense one could buy, it was better than a cloth uniform. Doren left the choice of keeping his flight helm or donning the army variant up to Ensign Etro, feeling that both offered about the same degree of protection. Embarking on another lift down to the ground floor, the party soon stepped out onto the sandy wastes, where the Brigadier General excitedly waited alongside the hull of a Hav5 Assault Tank. Turning to face his associates one more time, Doren softly entreated, "This whole situation has gone from bothersome to dangerous, and for that I am sorry. The older Hav5's don't offer much in terms of comfort, but they're sturdy enough. Hopefully we'll be back with the hour". With a smile, the Captain concluded, "The first round of caf is on me once we return".
-------
"He's dangerous that one"
"Because he's a fanatic?"
"A fanatic with a conscience"

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Sarela Malkova
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Re: A Line in the Sand (Jom, Sarela)

Post by Sarela Malkova » Fri Jul 19, 2019 12:00 pm

Rather unimpressed by the apparent display brought forth by the dimwitted Baethan, who she was beginning to like less and less; using his new and shiny Lambda as if it were a badge of honor. Compared to the vessel that Sarela and her companions had travelling in, the polished transport ship was nothing more than a toy to be shown off. Still, it took all of Sarela's willpower not to raise a hand and flip Rear Admiral Baethan off. A rather unladylike gesture, to be sure, but Sarela would hardly consider herself a "high standing" individual within the known Galaxy. She was nothing more than an orphan, bought and raised on a distant slavers planet. Sarela hoped that, maybe, as she learned more medical training, things might change and she'd be able to make up for the misfortunes she'd caused while trying to survive on her own.

Following after her Captain, Sarela kept up steadily; even with her much shorter and small stature compared to the men around her. Once inside the facility, Sarela's eyes scanned over the surroundings, the nicely insulated structure keeping out the damp mist that had bombarded them outside of the facility. Compared to Doren's stride, Sarela's was much more contained, hands clasped before her. She didn't have the military training of those around her, and rather than play-acting at something that she'd no doubt fail at, Sarela allowed an aura of professionalism to shine through. Hopefully, with time, the young Sephi would be able to display the same amount of confidence as the Captain she sat upon a pedestal.

As the group continued through the interior of the facility, Sarela looked at the faces of those they passed. She was able to tell the difference between most. Military officials, technicians, guards, most being human men, a few alien species dotted among them, along with a few droids that moved to and fro. If she were more self-conscious, Sarela would feel out of place, but, after a few moments, she saw a few women dotted within the groups of men. Even if a woman may have a harder time within the military, no matter which branch; it warmed Sarela's heart to still see them. Thankfully, since joining Doren's crew, everyone had been welcoming and helpful, each showing their new crew mate the ropes and how things worked. Sarela had made a few friends as well, one of which being Lieutenant Clemens, who'd Sarela met a few years beforehand on her first venture aboard the Reverent.

Once she was finished observing those around them, Sarela looked at the many flags and woven banners that dotted the surroundings. Even if it was a bit much, she was pleased to see how highly represented the Imperial insignia were, especially with how far off the satellite was. Her thoughts, though, were interrupted when the group stopped before the customs office, shocked with how quickly they were waved onward to see the Brigadier General, as Doren had replied, Sarela looking out of the corner of her eye to witness her Captain's bewildered expression. This was, apparently, not what Doren had been expecting. With Sarela's mind coming to this conclusion, the young woman's nervous quickly set themselves alight. She wasn't much of a fan when it came to unwelcome surprises; most of the ones having ended badly for Sarela when she was on her own. Still, Sarela didn't hesitate as she entered inside of the generous turbolift, which quickly began moving up and towards their new destination.

Preoccupying herself as they moved upwards, Sarela looked out to the small glimpses of landscaped afforded to the group thanks to the transparasteel breaks. The surrounding area was mostly covered in a thick mist, but a few jungle canopies broke forth the higher they climbed. It was quite the sight, knowing that such greenery lived on a planet no longer placed on a set course around a distant star. Their sightseeing was, unfortunately, cut short once the turbolift stopped, its doors opening so that the group could exit into the main command center.

Following at a respectable distance, Sarela watched the exchange between Doren and Brigadier General Groemche, following her Captains salute, happy that she was a swift learner when it came to such displays of respect. Holding the pose, Sarela only lowered her own once Doren had, remaining quiet throughout the formalities that followed. She was also happy to hear General Groemche call Doren a friend, fighting to keep from allowing a smile to form as he complimented her Captain on the many achievements he'd accomplished at such a young age already. It could only mean that Sarela's earlier worries were nothing more than a side-effect of fighting for her life after many years of being alone. Though, such thoughts were quickly smashed into dust as the General continued forth, telling Doren just why their group had been summoned so quickly to meet with him. The sweetness of Doren's voice bleeding through the command centers walls after reading whatever the dataslate had written on it, an indication that he wasn't happy in the least, even if his words said otherwise.

***

Letting out a soft breath, Sarela looked at the Hav5 Assault Tank afforded to them so graciously by the General. The ride back down to floor level had been quiet, no one talking much. This was without a doubt not part of Doren's visitation plan, and Sarela could only hope that no problems fell upon them. The young Sephi did know, at least, that the Rear Admiral Baethan had better wish to never meet her within a darkened alleyway. He'd made more enemies today than friends, which would come back to bite him in the ass one day. Returning the Captains smile, Sarela pushed aside whatever worry was eating away at her, "Of course, Sir." Her voice was light, airy. Her smile stayed a few seconds longer, and then returned to a more practiced mask of confidence. If Doren believed that their group would return without conflicted, Sarela would place her complete trust in the man's words. He had, after all, been apart of the military for many years before even meeting her years ago aboard the Starlight.
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