Rebel Squadrons

(Dateline 44:2:24) FC's Narrative 1: Prelude to Crisis

By FA Dave Trebonious-Astoris
Unit: The Rebel Squadrons
General Announcement, Nov 16, 2006
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[Out of Character Note: This is the first in a series of RS-wide narratives, written by the FC, that will keep the membership informed of the overall fictional direction of the bulk of the RS, as conceived by the Logistics Office. You can expect to see one such narrative each month.]

FC's Narrative 1: Prelude to Crisis

It was not a nice day. It rarely was a nice day on Blerthmore anyway, but today was especially bad. Dave Trebonious-Astoris, the newly installed Fleet Commander of the Rebel Squadrons, paced up and down his office in the Fleet Command Dome. The structure was sealed and environmentally controlled, which was the only thing that allowed the command staff of the Rebel Squadrons to survive on the lifeless planet.

Dave stopped pacing and grimaced. Something just… felt wrong. It wasn't a disturbance in the force. Dave was no Jedi and maintained a slight suspicion for what he considered magic and parlor tricks. His feeling came from his gut. Long service and experience gave an individual a sixth sense for feeling when things just weren't "right." Dave's experience certainly qualified as extensive. He had fought in the Clone Wars and his military career already stretched back more than three decades. He had known situations that were not right, and he knew that this was one of them.

Sighing, he exited his office and stepped directly into the Dome's Operations Center, or the "bridge," as he liked to call it. Several members of his command staff were currently on duty, including his Executive Officer, Michael Raven, and his Operations Officer, Jon Anchorage. Assistant Operations Officer Tyrell "Spokes" Borran was huddled around an operational display in a corner of the room, which was odd since he usually covered the graveyard shift. The center of the room was dominated by an enormous holographic representation of Greeop and the surrounding sectors of space. As Dave stepped up to the display, Jon and Raven parted to allow him access to view the strategic situation. "Something the matter, Admiral?" Jon asked. Dave shook his head almost imperceptibly. "I am not sure, Jon. Something just does not feel right, though. It looks like the IBG has returned to New Trassk Base in the Cadrel Expanse?"

Raven spoke up from the side, glancing over toward Dave with a single eyebrow quirked. "Yes… we've just received a report from Brigadier Ge-" Raven paused, muttering a curse under his breath; he was still getting used to the fact he should be on a first-name basis with most of the Fleet commanders. "…Anton. The fleet arrived back at New Trassk less than an hour ago after successfully containing pirate forces and destroying their outpost. The IBG will be coming here for R&R soon."

Dave nodded. "And the RgF…"

Jon picked up the thread. "As you know, the RgF is engaged in a serious campaign with the remnants of the Zodiac Task Force with the assistance of other New Republic forces. General Pasiechnyk reports that they are still trying to ferret out the survivors of Zodiac and bring them to battle. It will probably be some time yet before they are able to return."

"Our forces within the Greeop and Cadrel Sectors are in a defensive posture," Raven offered, waving his hand dismissively toward the galactic display. "Aurora, Allegiance, Vanguard, and the RF all report nothing unusual, except for a small flotilla of pirate vessels that RID is tracking down."

Dave frowned. "And what about PBF?"

Raven and Jon paused, giving each other a look. Dave noticed and his frown deepened. "Well?"

Raven cleared his throat, adjusting the synthleather gloves on his hands. "We expected to hear a report from the PBF on the outcome of their battle with the pirates of the Minos Cluster several hours ago. We shouldn't assume the worst-"

"No, perhaps we should. Something is wrong here, and it must be with the PBF." Dave pronounced, cutting his XO off mid-sentence.

Raven's quirked eyebrow raised a bit more on his forehead. "If you say so… Sir." He added the 'sir' almost as an afterthought; something else he was getting used to. "What action do YOU feel is prudent at this time? I've already dispatched a communiqué to Lieut… Josh, inquiring as to the PBF's status."

Dave tapped a few buttons on the console and a portion of the galactic display flashed, then dissolved into a planetary view, showing the vessels in orbit around Blerthmore. "I have the Peril in orbit here. I will take her to the Minos Cluster and try to help PBF forces." The Peril was Dave's personal vessel, and he knew he could get it moving much more quickly than he could assemble the main components of the RS' fleet, which were involved in a combination of defensive duties and repairs.

Jon blanched at the suggestion, and Raven responded somewhat indignantly, "You and the Peril alone? Pfft… At least assemble the RF and take the Redemption with you."

Dave shook his head firmly. "There's no time. Somebody needs to get out there ASAP. Raven, you will assemble the RF and follow me as soon as possible. Jon will be in command of Blerthmore in our absence."

Raven turned away and immediately stepped over to a communication console, knowing that Dave wouldn't be easily swayed. Besides, he figured he could get the RF assembled and possibly even beat Dave to the Minos Cluster anyway. He was just opening his mouth to request a communication link with Kaz on the Redemption when the communications' officer on duty, Lieutenant Gosling, spoke up first.

"Sirs? We're receiving a transmission from the Minos Cluster. It's General Hawkins."

Dave froze in his tracks and then did an abrupt turnaround and walked back down toward the center of the room. "Put it up on the display, Lieutenant."

"There's no holo, sir," Gosling replied. "I'll put up the text."

Immediately, the galactic display disappeared and was replaced by floating, green text which quickly seared itself into the vision of those present:

"Taken casualties and damage by ambush. Sending Crimson Ghost back to Eagles Nest for repairs. Sending Echo Hawk back with casualties, and having the Warden escort both. Request they be sent back immediately upon completion of repairs and their current mission.

"Ambush imperial in tactics, we're not dealing with a simple pirate group. Defecting General Kinneer not told everything about strength. He told what he knew, but they didn't tell him everything.

"Request any information on the attack at Derra IV. General Kinneer believes the people involved here were also involved in the ambush.

"With regrets, report end."

Raven cursed under his breath, already looking toward the galactic map to determine how this would affect their current deployments. Jon removed his cap in an ancient token of respect. Dave rubbed his hand over his chin, staring at the words with a thoughtful expression on his face.

"Orders, Dave?" Raven asked, hoping that the plan that had been hatched just a few minutes ago would be abandoned.

Dave waited another minute before responding. "Forget the immediate reinforcement plan. We will sit tight here for now. If Josh had needed immediate help, he would have said so, so we will assume that PBF is not in immediate danger. Send a message to Colonel Vaughan, and inform him that Logistics personnel here on Blerthmore will need to be ready for an influx of damaged ships and wounded personnel. We will begin repairs to the damaged ships as soon as they arrive. Also, arrange an all Executive staff meeting to begin tonight at 1700. We will discuss the possibility of sending additional reinforcements back with the repaired ships."

Raven let out a breath he didn't realize he had been holding. "Consider it done."


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