Rebel Squadrons

PBF 7.06 Narrative

By FA Joshua Hawkins
Unit: Patriot Starfighter Group
Fleet NL, Dec 17, 2006
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-= 44:2:20:12:00 On board the ISD Arcanus =-

As admiral Rhyler Tavus stands on the bridge of the Imperial I-Class Star Destroyer Arcanus, he smiles with the thought of torturing the Patriot Battle Fleet for all they've done to him in the past. "If they only knew the amount of effort I've put into this operation." Rhyler thinks to himself and smiles a little more as he stares out the viewport at the black field of space beyond.

"Admiral, incoming message from the Satanic Rage." the communications officer in the pit of the bridge called out to the daydreaming admiral.

"Oh, wonder what he wants, I'll take it in my office." Suddenly the admirals good mood dwindled as getting a call like this couldn't mean good news.

After the short walk to his office Rhyler sits back in his chair and wonders just what could be important enough for this communication. After collecting himself and straightening his uniform, Rhyler hits a couple buttons on the computer and suddenly the image of the Satanic Rage comes into view, followed by a slow fading into the gentleman who runs things over there. "Ahh, Tavus, good to see you again," a hint of sarcasm and bile dripping from the words, "I need you to do me a favor."

"Indeed, a pleasure to see you again." With the response containing the same sarcasm as was received, but with a little more tact in hiding it from a higher ranking officer, "What can I do for you, sir?"

"I'm sure you've heard by now, but I'm going to be taking a little romp through the Greeop sector soon, and I was wondering if you could keep those pests that you've been playing with busy in the cluster so I don't have to worry about them coming up my tail pipes as it were."

"Aye, the Cluster will be home to their demise. I've already planned it. I know their every move before they do."

"Good, good. See that they don't pose a problem for me. By the way, how is that old ISD treating you anyway? " Without waiting for an answer the screen goes blank which leaves Admiral Tavus sitting alone with his furry and anger. "That man will be the death of me."

Knowing full well that the PBF will be responding to a distress call if one is sent, he'll need to find a way to keep them here. Which means he'll need to block the route home with an immobilizer. The only one near by that he could probably get was with two others in a certain Grand Admiral's fleet. With a sigh he hits a button and gets his bridge. "Comms, get me the Chimera as soon as you can, I need to speak with the Admiral." Without waiting for a response he sits back in his chair and wonders what he could possible bargain with to get one of his immobilizers even if only temporary.

After a few moments the bridge responds that the Chimera and the Admiral is ready. "Patch is through." With that the figure of a blue skinned chiss with red eyes comes into view. Sitting regally as his desk with artwork and books carefully placed about his office, indicative of either his previous or next conquest. "Admiral Thrawn, my apologies for disturbing you, but I need to ask a favor. I would like to borrow one of your interdictor cruisers for a mission. On my life I assure you that it will survive and should any harm come to it, I will use parts from my own ship and personally fix it."

The chiss, relaxed in his chair and rubbed his chin a moment before responding, "I have no use for your life Admiral, but I do have a use for my immobilizers. Though I do have one that needs it's shields upgraded. I will loan you the Constrainer, and it will indeed mean your death should any harm come to her Admiral. You will also do me the task of upgrading her shield systems for me."

"Of course Sir, I will see to it personally. I will send over the plans I have for the operation that requires her service so you may see what is to be expected. We cannot avoid some danger to her, but she will have orders that once her shields go down she is to escape as all possible speed to Gesaril, where there we will upgrade her shield systems to the best in the Empire."

"No need admiral, I trust in your judgment. Just protect my immobilizer."

"Aye Sir, I shall. Thank you." With that, Rhyler saluted the fading image of the Grand Admiral and allowed himself to smile again, knowing this is just one more nail in the coffin that is the PBF. Now, the only thing left is to make arrangements for a new shield system and some new power converters to upgrade an immobilizer 418 cruiser.

-=44:2:23:21:30 Aboard the Calamari Cruiser Windstorm =-

Lieutenant General Josh paced up and down his office aboard the Windstorm. Every so often, he would open the door of the small cooler unit nestled beneath his desk and examine its contents. Every since the battle and subsequent retreat from the White Guard Fleet, his personal collection and ration of drinks had slowly dwindled. Yet, the more he thought over those events, what he could have done, who had died, the more he stared at the inside of the cooler. But at the same time, Josh's mind mulled over the reassuring words of Mike "Macman" McEwen, as he tried to come to terms with the events of the past few days. He also reasoned that it would be a long time before supplies arrived from Blerthmore.

Josh stopped pacing and sat heavily down at his desk. As he activated the personal workstation to begin working on the next move of the PBF, the door chime sounded. Whatever emotion he felt was gone from his voice as he called "Come in!", but he secretly welcomed the distraction.

Brigadier General Gavin Phalon entered the room. Although Josh had purposely avoided seeing any pilots since the retreat, he was thankful to see one now, especially the experienced CO of Gold Squadron. He rose from the seat and saluted the veteran, who returned the gesture, somehow with both respect and yet a small amount of amusement. It wasn't in Gavin's nature to remain serious about everything all the time, even in this difficult time for the PBF. Gavin sat down at the spare chair with a easy grace.

"Yes, General, what can I do for you?" asked Josh.

"Well, Sir, the pilots and I at Gold Squadron have been talking over the recent battle and retreat. About how the Imps knew we were there at that time and how to attack us. Whether General Kinneer could have known, or whether he was a spy." said Gavin. A vision of a mutiny flashed before Josh's eyes, but only for a second. Gavin wouldn't do that.

"Well, Gavin, he seems pretty genuine to me, If you mean that I made the wrong decision..." said Josh.

Gavin chuckled at this.

"No, it's not that. Whether it was the right or wrong decision at the time doesn't matter now.

"What matters is what we're going to do about it. The Imps must be spying or monitoring us in another way. That is why I'm here. General, I ask for permission for Gold Squadron to investigate how the White Guard Fleet is able to track us, and put a stop to it.".

Josh was reluctant about this, however.

"I'm not sure about this. I mean, the Crimson Ghost, Echo Hawk and the Warden are in no shape to fight right now, they're already on their way back to Blerthmore now, so I've already lost some of our capital ships. We need all the pilots we can get right now to defend the fleet until they return. Especially so, as we can't rely on reinforcements from Blerthmore."

Gavin was undeterred. "Sir, we've been hammered in the last few days. The Imps knew exactly where to strike us, and how. Like they expected us there. If we don't find out how they're doing this, then I don't like our chances, whatever we do to respond to the Imps. We could lose more than two frigates and a corvette. Permanently." The usual excitement from Gavin's voice had gone, something Josh had never seen or heard before. "Whatever is done from here on in, the Imps ability to track us must be stopped."

Josh weighed the possibilities as he regarded Gavin with a pensive look on his face. "You realize that any operations you conduct will be from the McGrath. I can't spare any capital ships for a mobile base of operations."

Gavin took that in with a nod. "Understood. Besides, I could never cope with moving house. New sheets are always itchy."

Josh had to smile at that as he stood up and stiffened formally. "Alright, Gavin, you have your wish. General, I formally release Gold Squadron to conduct an investigation into Imperial troop movements, surveillance operations and fleet strength. Anything you can do to hamper Imperial operations will count for something, believe me." Gavin stood and saluted formally to this, before turning for the door. He stopped as Josh cleared his throat.

"Anything else, Josh?" asked Gavin, curiously.

There was a twinkle in Josh's eye as he said, "Who ever dreamed up this plan in Gold Squadron can have my last bottle of Corellian ale. I like his thinking." Gavin smiled as he accepted the bottle from Josh. "I'll be sure to tell him, sir. Good night." Josh watched him go, before sitting back down. He wondered, vaguely, why this small gesture made him feel so much better.

-=44:2:27:03:25 Onboard the Windstorm =-

Sleeping, but not soundly, is the commanding officer of the Patriot Battle Fleet. A man who was not ready for this command, but has grown into it over time and experience. The events of the past month or so have not helped to reassure him, and his nightmares doubly so. Swimming in a sea of blackness, fighting off images of his past and the lives of people he's ordered to death, Josh's dreams are nothing but calm. Without warning the images turn violent and his dreams turn red as blood with an alarm suddenly sounding. Finally realizing this is no dream, Josh leans up to hit the Comm panel. "What is blazes is wrong?"

"Sir, we're recieving a distress signal from the Greeop sector, Blerthmore is under attack!"

"Understood, get the fleet ready to jump on my command, get Macman to the bridge as soon as possible. I'll be there shortly. Also, wake Max on the Promoetheus and give him the same information we have"

"Roger that ,sir."

Josh spends a moment to rub his eyes, and wonder just what is going on. Without wasting any more time he dons a uniform and runs out to the bridge.

After a moment of getting settled in and finally letting all the information sink in, Josh wanders around to various computer panels to get the updated information. Noding and giving orders to various bridge personnel as Macman wanders in and Max comes to life via holonet display on one of the terminals. "Sorry to wake you two, but we're needed. Blerthmore is under attack. Renegade, ad Intrepid forces are responding from Tarsonis, so we'll be the covering the other flank. Presumably the way they came in. We don't know who's behind this but I'm betting it's not the folks we've been chasing. Get the ships ready for hyper jump asap. I want to leave 10 minutes ago."

Max yawns, but was already barking orders as Josh was talking. "Prometheus and the Retribution crew ready and waiting."

Macman chimes in after, "The rest of the fleet is ready as well General."

"Comms, give me fleet wide." After a nod from the communications officer Josh begins again, "This is General Hawkins, I'm sorry to wake you all at this time but I'm sounding general quarters. I need all flight staff ready, and all pilots to be ready at a moments notice. Blerthmore is under attack by unseen forces. We're going in hot ladies and gentleman. Intrepid and Renegade forces should be there when we arrive, I just hope that we arrive in time to help. I cannot assure you that our home will be there when we arrive, all I can ask is that you fight bravely, and take the fight to the enemy with all your heart." Josh's voice rising with more passion and a fire in his eyes that the bridge crew starts to see and some admire, "We are the Rebel Squadrons, and we will not fail! Flight crews, I want X-Wings and TIE Advanced loaded and ready, Pilots! To your ships! We're going to war. May the Force be with us!" Josh nods and the communications officer closes the channel "Helm, contact the fleet and take us home"

"Aye Sir, hyperspace jump calculated and plotted, we're jumping in 20 seconds."

Josh looks to Mac and sighs, "You think we'll make it in time to make a difference?"

Macman just stares at Josh expressionless, "We'll have to, we don't have a choice."

Josh just nods in understand and begins walking around gathering more intel patently waiting for the hyperspace jump to be finished. "Helm, how long until we're there?"

"Should take us about an hour or so, exact time wasn't factored in when I asked for coordinates."

"That's fine, long as we make it there soon. I have a really bad feeling about this."

After about 20 minutes into the trip the ship started groaning and came to a sudden stop, tossing everyone who wasn't strapped in about the place. Including Josh who was standing on the bridge near the door, and promptly found himself face first onto the deck plating a few feet away. Shaking his head and getting to his feet he starts barking orders, "Status reports, what the hell just happened?"

"Sir, enemy dead ahead! We've been pulled out by an interdictor!"

"Shields up! Launch the fighters. Target that interdictor and then destroy whatever they have to so we can head home. Get us close enough to help out those fighters!"

Now, far from home, the pilots of the Patriot Battle Fleet must fight their way out from another ambush. An ambush that was well thought out had alot of planning. Josh can only stare at the battle monitors for so long before resigning to the fact that we will not be in time to help out. "Comms, contact Blerthmore, tell them we've been ambushed en route and will not arrive. Also, send that message with my deepest apologies. We can not help them now. It's up to Renegade and Intrepid now."

"Aye sir, message sent. Are we sure they'll get it?"

"We have to hope, get me the fighters please."

"Channels open, fighters reported in"

"Brave pilots of the PBF, I give you distressing news, these imperial ships you face have prevented us from reaching home. These souls of the damned you face shall earn our wrath. We will not stop until every last one of them is destroyed. You're new orders, destroy everything!" Josh nods to the comm's officer who closes the channels.

To no one in particular Josh walks to the front of the viewport to watch the battle and speaks, "They've messed with the wrong people. They've destroyed my home and the people I once loved, they will NOT do it again. I promise you this" Josh seemingly lost in his thoughts has a fire raging inside him that makes those around him start questioning his mental sanity. The bridge crew sits and waits for the final outcome of this battle, for they all know, it's just the beginning.


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