Rebel Squadrons

(44:5:20) Where Only Fools Dare Go

By FA Michael Raven
Unit: The Rebel Squadrons
Narrative, Nov 01, 2007
Back to Articles

-=Bridge of the Victory I-class Star Destroyer Styx, 44:5:20:19:02=-

“We will emerge from hyperspace shortly, sir.”

The short report had broken a good twenty-minute silence amongst the bridge crew; every last officer in various states of contemplation after the frantic report from Resilia’s supply depot. A key link in their ability to maintain well armed and stocked vessels; the Resilia facility maintained a well stocked munitions depot and various container fields of vital materials. Situated on a world thought safe from both the opposing Imperial faction operating in the region and the ever-annoying pin-prick strikes from the Republic fleet; the facility had been left relatively undefended, vital fleet assets deployed elsewhere. It was thought that the facility’s location, and the frequency of large cargo convoys, each with their own escorts, would be enough to defend the world against attack.

Something had gone wrong.

A squadron of B-wings from the gnat-like Republic fleet hit the facility at a critical juncture; with both a redeployment of the defensive vessels and a convoy at the midpoint of its journey, the facility had been caught with its pants around its ankles. Their frantic distress call had reached the Styx, one of the major starships slotted to defend a convoy as it traveled from Hexos to Resilia. Acting immediately, the Styx along with a few of the other escorting starships went into high-acceleration maneuvers to reach an appropriate hyperspace vector to intercept the Republic B-wings. Their mission: Attempt to destroy them before they caused irreversible damage to the facility.

These facts passed quickly through Captain Nar Rae’s mind as he stood silent at the prow viewport of his bridge. Hands clasped behind his back, his eyes were affixed on the mottled blue-white sea that was hyperspace. His executive officer, a young man by the name of Maximilian Lear, stood to his right; his own eyes seemingly drifting around the bridge.

“Sir, do you really think it wise to detach from the convoy like this?” His question was only the second thing to break the silence otherwise choking the life out of the normally lively bridge. His voice betrayed his outer calmness, cracking slightly as he finishes his sentence; more of a reflection of his inexperience than actual nervousness.

“I am not concerned with the convoy; our routes have been secure since we began operations in this sector. The facility, however, is an immobile asset that is apparently now known by the Republic fleet.” The Captain’s reply was pointed, almost as if he were insulted at the insinuation that his executive officer did not approve of his decision to leave the convoy.

“I see, sir. But perhaps we should have left our support craft behind and just taken the Interceptors?”

“Hrmph. And potentially leave ourselves open to attack via enemy capital ships without heavy support? What do you take me for, a fool?”

“No… No Sir. I just thought…”

“Rank?” Captain Rae interrupted his subordinate in mid-sentence; leaving the young officer stammering for a moment before he manages a reply.


“And mine?”


“I think. You listen, and give me advice when I deign to care about your opinion. You never question my orders, never question my decisions, and above all, always support what I say to do whether you like it or not; else you get replaced. Do I make myself clear?”

“…Yes. Yes sir.” The Commander went silent, his gaze returning to the prow viewport; gazing out at hyperspace. Murmurs slowly sprout up across the bridge, as seasoned veterans discuss, with quiet voices, the most recent altercation between Captain Rae and a subordinate… it was not the first time a tirade like this had interrupted normal operations.

“Sirs. Hyperspace reversion in five seconds.”

“Very well. Once we have emerged, raise shields and make best speed toward the enemy B-wings; launch all starfighters and prepare a concussion missile barrage.”

Various confirmations rang out from the bridge pit as the Styx shuddered powerfully with its reversion to realspace. The Captain’s eyes widened for just a moment at the scene in front of him through a magnified image on the viewport. Debris from dozens of containers littered the once organized and safe depot, floating aimlessly in space. The station itself was ablaze, a plume of fire rocketing out of one side of the main command structure as its interior oxygen supply was ignited and exposed to the cold depths of space. The Republic B-wings continued to race through the area like rabid dogs, biting at the heels of anything nearby. Blood red laser blasts lance from the cannons of the distant grey blips only to cause further crimson explosions against the otherwise serene backdrop.

“…Sensors! I want a full report yesterday! Ops, why haven’t those Interceptors launched yet?!” Rae bellows from his position at the front of the bridge, his hands falling to his sides; balling into tight fists.

“Interceptor flights are launching now sir…” A flight of Interceptors rockets out from the ventral hull of the Styx, the quad-laser equipped fighters searing toward the B-wings with the intentions of stopping their dance of death. Blue hues snap over each Interceptor’s hulls as their pilots activate their modified fighter’s shields and weapon systems.

“Sir, I’m reading abnormal power readings from those B-wings.” The sensor officer spoke up from his console, looking over a display overlaying the B-wings with their shield and power status.

“Hrmph. I am not concerned.” The Captain replied with confidence, watching the scene enlarge in his viewport as the VSD quickly closed the distance between their jump point and the battle zone.

“Sir, their hyperdrive motivators are charged; they are leaving the system.”


“Their hyperdrives were already charged upon us entering the system, they will be out of the sector approximately twenty seconds after our Interceptors are able to engage them.”

Moments pass in silence on the bridge of the Star Destroyer, distant green flashes and bright explosions dot space near where the B-wings were located, signaling that the Interceptors had engaged them. For the first time in his life, Captain Rae was left speechless; his eyes wide open as he stares at the multiple flashes accompanying the remainder of the Republic B-wings lancing into hyperspace.

“Sir, incoming priority message from the convoy…” The Communications officer was struck mute for several seconds before continuing. “…They are under attack by nearly the entire Republic Fleet. Their Star Destroyer is spearheading the attack and has already caused massive structural damage to three of the five remaining escort starships… Multiple convoy vessels have already been destroyed by escorting starships, and support craft have disabled at least three vessels.”

“…I… What?” Captain Rae turns around slowly, his right hand literally shaking, either with rage or surprise; nobody could quite tell. The normally stalwart man looked as if he was a six year old girl who had just been told they couldn’t have a toy. His lower lip quivering his serene moment was promptly broken by his executive officer barking orders… and the cold feeling of stormtrooper armor on his clothing.

“Don’t bother recalling the Interceptors! Helm, set a return course and get us there, now! …Captain: I am relieving you of duty for gross incompetence and dereliction of duty… Troopers, take him to the brig…”

Captain Rae, dragged from his bridge unceremoniously, could only gape wordlessly as two critical assets, both under his purview, were decimated in a single fell swoop by a Republic gambit that he had bitten down on.

“KRIFF!!!!!!” His yell would resonate across the halls of the Destroyer for what would seem like days.

-=Imperial I-class Star Destroyer Redemption, Detention Area, Cell Block Alpha, Interrogation Room 015-A, 44:5:13:04:12=-

Seven days earlier.

“Good morning, Lieutenant Coombs… How was your night?”

The voice, the voice! The voice was back again. Snapping her head up, Lieutenant Coombs quickly combed the area with her eyes to ascertain the source, the quick motion nearly throwing her from the cold slab of durasteel that she called a bed. She pushes back her bloodied hair, moving it away from her eyes so that she could try to see the source of the voice in her dark cell. Her bruised hands slowly snake out, feeling against the cold floor and walls as she claws her way around the small two meter by two meter cell. Her knees and hands splash into a good two centimeters of cooled standing water that rests at the bottom of her cell, goose-bumps spreading across her exposed skin as she slowly rises to her feet. The bitter coldness of the water bites at her bare feet, sending constant chills through her spine as her arms wrap around the grey sleeveless jumpsuit she wore. Running her hands along her arms, her teeth gnashed together from the immediate pain that hits her from multiple bruises and lacerations across her body, she begins to shiver, her eyelids clenching shut as she wishes that the voice has gone away…

“I see you are awake… good.”

“NO! No… No… no…. no… No. I don’t want. I don’t want! Not awake! Sleeping…” She mumbles, yells, and stammers all at once, moving her legs as if to pace in place; only to find herself huddled into a corner of her cell, stammering incoherently with her arms trying to hug warmth into her body.

“Ahh… I suppose I should help you wake up then!”

The voice seemed almost angelic for a moment, a precursor to a searing light with the intensity of a noontime sun flooding the cell; sending Coombs into a squeal of pain and discomfort. Her hands rise to her eyes, holding them tightly shut and covering them as some sort of minor protection against the light.

“AWAKE! AWAKE! NO LIGHT!” She screams, any sense of proper Basic had left her weeks ago, having gone through day after day of blinding light, searing heat, cold, questions, physical beatings, everything had worn her mental state down to the point where she was little more than a boiling brook of shattered humanity.

“Good morning!” The voice repeats itself, she didn’t know why. After a few more moments of blinding light, a dull tap announces its cessation. She slowly opens her eyes, floating spots of color splayed across her field of vision; even in the total darkness, the splotches taunted her. She reaches out with one hand, clawing at the wall where she could see the colored dots, trying to paw at them and remove them from her eyes.

“I see the dots are back.”

“Dots bad. Bad. Eyes hurt because of dots.”

“Would you like medicine for the dots?”

“Medicine good. Dots go away have it.” She mumbles nearly incoherently, nodding to herself as she claws at them.

“I can give you medicine, if you can give me answers. Can you tell me what your rank is?”

Rank. That word meant something. Her hands snap to her head, clawing at her temples.

“I have rank…”

“Yes, yes you do… What rank do you have?”

”Lieu-ten-a-bant.” She manages to spit out, remembering the word that they called her when she heard ‘rank’. Her hands claw at her face, nails digging into already raw skin as she tries to think; to figure out what was going on.

“Close enough. That’s good. Yesterday you forgot what rank you were, and I couldn’t give you your medicine.”

“I ‘member yest… that day. Was bad. Hurt head lots… Head still hurts.”

“Where were you stationed, Lieutenant?” The voice asks, the question coming forth much more quickly than what she was used to. Sometimes the voice was nice; he asked what her favorite color was, or her favorite animal. She liked talking about those, it made her feel better and forget what happened when she made the voice mad. When the voice was mad, it would make cold jets of water spray her for hours on end, or make the light come back, sometimes it would make the men with the sticks come in and make her go to sleep. Once, the voice made a big man in black come in; and take her to another room. That was a bad room, with sharp things that the man used to cut her… to make her scream… to make her try to remember more things… That was a very bad room.

“Aphene!” She says excitedly, she remembered that name too! It was funny to say, and brought a small smile to her face.

“Good! Good! That makes me very happy! Tell me… what did you do there?”

She opens her mouth to speak, smiling slightly as she becomes more comfortable…

She slowly makes her way over toward him, her arms bloodied and cut from the shards of transparasteel on the floor…


A loud explosion causes the two of them to go deaf nearly instantly as both of them are thrown to the floor; skidding across durasteel plating littered with shards of transparasteel and metal.


“Yes?” The voice sounded curious now, inquisitive… Coombs couldn’t help but continue to stammer as the images continued to flood her mind.

…She spots the colonel another five meters up the hall, his head impaled through by a wayward peel of durasteel jutting out of the wall.

“…I Do… I di… I am… Im…Colonel?”

“Mary. Mary, are you listening to me?” The voice was using her first name again, it did that when it was getting angry. Mary… Yes… That was her name. Cell. Darkness…

Her body freezes as a trio of Y-wings suddenly burst from behind the hangar, small spherical objects dropping from open ventral bomb bays. As she stands there, the hangar erupts into a massive fireball, and as she watches the rolling flames approach her body, she does the only thing she could do…


She screams.

The voice from the intercom speaker above her head seems to sigh; mumbling heard from more than one person on the other side as her acute hearing picks up at least two voices she hadn’t recognized before now. She blinks a few times, feeling around her cell quickly for a panel or seam that she could pry open in order to attempt to escape.

Jets of cold water erupt from the walls and ceiling of her cell; battering her down to the ground in moments, her hands wrap around her body in order to defend against the onslaught. After a few moments, the jets stop; and she manages to raise her head as darkness begins to obscure the edges of her vision. Her eyes widen slightly as the cell door opens up, two men stepping inside with long black batons…

It was time to sleep again.

-=Imperial I-class Star Destroyer Redemption, Detention Area, Cell Block Gamma, Interrogation Room 001-G, 44:5:13:09:47=-

“Good afternoon, General; I presume you have found your accommodations adequate to this point?” Rear Admiral Michael Raven had been waiting for some time outside of the well lit and heated interrogation room before entering, giving his guest some time to sit and contemplate his day. The prisoner had been taken from his guarded guest quarters to the room earlier in the day, after being allowed to enjoy a meal alone. The Rear Admiral takes a seat across from his guest, looking over the middle-aged Brigadier General with his cool un-telling blue eyes. The Brigadier General runs one hand along the dark beard running down his chin, his own green eyes as dull and un-telling as the Admiral’s. His Imperial uniform, which he had been permitted to wear, was adorned neatly on his body, his rank plates shining slightly with a new coat of polish.

The General pauses for a few additional moments, taking the time to adjust his cap; before folding his hands in front of his body, much like the position that Raven had just taken up.

“Brigadier General William Vaughn, Service Number ILO-One-Zero-Five-Six.” He replies, allowing his face and eyes to remain impassive as he shifts his legs to a more comfortable position; it was going to be a long day.

“Come now, General; it will do you no benefit to continuously repeat information that I already know over and over; at the very least you could answer simple queries as to your approval of the accommodations you have been given.”

Raven could not believe the audacity of this man; but it had been decided between Commodore Harley Quinn and himself that the Brigadier General, because of his status in the loyalist Imperial faction, should be treated with respect and dignity. More brutal techniques were reserved for the easier-to-crack lower-ranking officers, which had provided helpful information… ‘Helpful’, unfortunately, would not win this war, they needed deeper information, more detailed Intel, things that only higher-ranking officers would be privy to… And this man was the key.

“Brigadier General William Vaughn, Service Number ILO-One-Zero-Five-Six.”

Raven adjusts his seating position ever so imperceptibly; it was the seventy fifth time that the Brigadier General had repeated that phrase this week, once per question asked of him. Raven had been keeping track. It was slowly driving him into fury, and he had been taking that anger out on every subordinate officer that had crossed his path recently; much to their dismay. Fortunately, he had been able to control his body language enough to not give the General anything more than very low key hints as to his emotional status.

“Perhaps… perhaps you would be more encouraged to answer a question of a different nature.” Raven says after a few moments, reaching to a series of controls; his fingers work against the panel for a second or two. A holographic image of a broken, battered, and bloody Lieutenant Coombs appears on the center of the table; causing the Brigadier General’s right eyebrow to nearly leap off his forehead as it quirks.

“This is Lieutenant Mary Coombs; we were… gifted with her company some time ago, after our assault on Aphene, a few weeks before we secured you. Over the past few weeks she has been becoming more and more erratic. Her mannerisms, speech, mental focus, capacity, and general state of well-being have been detrimentally affected by factors outside of our control; as we have made every effort to keep her as comfortable as you.”

Though outright lying to the man, Raven had been driven well past any semblance of tolerance for him. His normal reservations for facetious statements had long since worn down to only a tiny voice in the back of his mind that was easily squashed. After waiting for a few moments to allow the holographic image of the woman to fully sink into the General’s mind, he continues.

“Perhaps an audio demonstration is in order…” The General responds with a simple nod, thoughts already flashing through his head; wondering if she was hemorrhaging information, and if so; at what rate.

“I see the dots are back.”
The General immediately recognized the voice as Raven’s, he had been working on the lieutenant personally, obviously. He wondered just how desperate the Republic fleet was for Intel, with their fleet commander personally doing interrogations.

“Dots bad. Bad. Eyes hurt because of dots.”

“Would you like medicine for the dots?”

“Medicine good. Dots go away have it.”

“I can give you medicine, if you can give me answers. Can you tell me what your rank is?”

“I have rank…”

“Yes, yes you do… What rank do you have?”


“Close enough. That’s good. Yesterday you forgot what rank you were, and I couldn’t give you your medicine.”

“I ‘member yest… that day. Was bad. Hurt head lots… Head still hurts.”

“Where were you stationed, Lieutenant?”


“As you can hear…” Raven spoke immediately after stopping the playback, folding his hands on the table; interlacing his fingers betwixt each other. “Our mutual friend is having some mental problems…”

And she is hemorrhaging information faster than a broken faucet... William couldn’t believe what he had just heard; and silently wondered to himself why this Republic Admiral would dare show him… what did he have to gain from this.

“Now… I am left with an interesting proposal for you. We will cease our information retrieval methods on this young woman… if you assist us.”

“Brigadier General Willia…” He’s interrupted in mid-sentence by Raven raising one hand.

“Before you finish that and seal her fate; allow me to clarify. I offer this with another conditional modifier… I will no longer ask questions about your faction of either the Lieutenant or yourself. We both have a mutual enemy in the ‘rogue’, as we have labeled them, Imperial faction that is operating in this region; you do not have to be a tactician to realize that they have both of us backed into a corner. While you are here, I will only ask of you questions involving them, their activities, and what information that you have gathered about their plans. In exchange for cooperation, I will have all ‘loyalist’ prisoners put in guarded conditions, much like those which you are enjoying. Refusal will indicate to me that conventional methods of interrogation…” The Brigadier General’s eyes widened slightly at that; ‘interrogation’ was one of those words that was not used in conversations such as this; and merely affirmed how serious the Admiral was about the situation he was bringing forth. “…will be necessary to continue to keep my men safe.”

Breathing deeply, the Brigadier General folded his hands together, his first real movement since he had arrived here some time ago. Pursing his lips together, he extends the index fingers on each of his hands, pressing them against the underside of his nose.

“So; you are telling me that if I cooperate, you will treat the others here just as you have treated me? How many others are we talking about? And what assurances do I have that you will keep your word?”

“So you do speak…” Raven smirked to himself, as if to lighten the mood a bit before dropping his second bombshell. “…Yes. We currently have thirty-four other ranking prisoners onboard from your faction. And the only assurances that you have of my word is that if you refuse, I will merely intensify the current methods we have been exercising. Allow me to make this abundantly clear. If you cooperate with me, I will treat everyone as if they were guarded members of my own crew. If you do not cooperate, you have signed their lives to me, and I assure you; I will make every waking moment that they are here a living nightmare. One that they will not survive.”

“You can’t be serious. You can’t honestly tell me your government has authorized such a barbar…” He’s interrupted again by Raven rising to his full height, leaning forward with his palms flat on the conference table; both eyes glaring daggers into the Brigadier General’s very soul.

“We are quite far from Coruscant. Quite far. Out here, friend; we are our own authority. You have five minutes to decide the fate of you and the rest of your compatriots onboard my ship. I pray you make the right decision; I would hate for anything… unfortunate… to happen to poor Lieutenant Coombs.” Raven trails off before folding his hands behind his back, walking out of the room to leave the Brigadier General to his thoughts.

Lowering his head toward the conference table in frustration, Vaughn rubs his face with both hands before pulling them down past his eyes and resting them on his cheeks.


His quiet whisper was a gross understatement compared to the string of curses running through his mind.

Just outside, Raven couldn’t help but grin widely as the door locked behind him, everything was going as expected. His eyes glance around for just a scant moment before they fall on the form of Commodore Harley “Jester” Quinn; the man standing with his arms crossed over his chest a few meters from the interrogation room.

“YOUR ship?” He asks incredulously, shaking his head gently.

“Can’t blame a man for trying… It was a tad necessary.”

“Heh. I liked it; you sounded like you really meant what you were saying.”

“I did mean it.”

Jester blinks slightly with his single remaining organic eye before folding his hands behind his back. His glowing red cybernetic eye stared into Raven’s without blinking. “So… We are going through with it?”

“Yes, it’s the best way to continue the operation we’ve discussed.”

“With my little amendment?” A grin matching Raven’s forms over his face.

“Oh yes, definitely.”

“Who else should I inform?”

“No one… It will have a better effect if we keep this to ourselves, just make sure the preparations are finished before everything is triggered; else we might make a mess of things for ourselves.”

Jester nods, pulling his hands out from behind his back; a flask present in his right hand. He takes a drag out of it, his grin remaining on his face; perhaps even widening just slightly.

“The modifications to the aft cargo hold are almost done; everything should be set to go in about a week, probably less. Do you think you’ve let our guest simmer for long enough?”

“Another few moments. Assuming he agrees, dinner tonight with him? Perhaps we can loosen his tongue a bit for tomorrow.”

“That sounds fine… what if he refuses?”

“Oh, we’ll still have dinner, but it will be overlooking his cell… I figure that will set a decent ambient mood. Besides, then we can be entertained while we eat; win-win for us.”

“Works for me. I’ve got to get back to the bridge, try not to convince him this is YOUR ship.” Jester mockingly glares at Raven with his mismatched eyes before turning and walking off. The sound of his boots against the hard durasteel floor resonate for a few moments before dissipating into the ambient noise of the Star Destroyer’s normal operation.

Laughing aloud, Raven adjusts his cap and uniform with black synthleather-gloved hands; he turns back toward the door, stepping forward as it slides open. His face instantly stern again, he looks down at the seated General, who was hunched over in the chair; his face buried in his hands.

“Your decision?” The voice was cold, pointed, pure spite contained within it as Raven crosses his arms over his chest.

“…You’ll have my cooperation.”

“EXCELLENT!” The Brigadier General nearly jumped at the sudden exclamation. “The commander of this vessel and I would be pleased… if you would join us for dinner tonight…”

-=Primary Conference Room, Imperial I-class Star Destroyer Redemption, 44:5:19:19:28=-

“...Which is why we will be taking advantage of the situation; attacking the convoy between their hyper points; near Hexos. The B-wings will pull escorting starships away, allowing the rest of the fleet to ambush the convoy; destroying critical material, and preventing it from getting into Rogue hands.” Admiral Raven continued the briefing, having just finished his presentation on the recently uncovered supply depot and critically important convoy scheduled to arrive there.

“How did we come across this little gem?” The question poised from Colonel Kirghy Lommax did nothing less but bring a genuine smile to Raven’s face.

“We now have a source extremely close to the loyalist Imperial’s operational plans in this sector. Through him, we have been receiving information regarding the movements and activities of the Rogues.”

“How? Haven’t the Loyalists been all but routed?”

“Yes, this is true, but as you well know we have a few… guests… onboard. They have been instrumental in supplying intelligence for our continued campaign. Due to their, ahh… status… onboard, they are relatively ignorant of the plight their forces are in; and so long as they remain ignorant, they will continue to supply accurate information.”

“How can you be sure that the information is accurate? I don’t feel comfortable ordering my pilots into what could just be a trap.” Kirghy seemed hesitant to just blindly give his approval to this mission.

“The location of the convoy and station were both confirmed independently by Y-wing Longprobe teams, the data they acquired should be on your pad. Of the seventeen various locations and routes revealed to us through our current sources, all seventeen have been independently confirmed. I am confident that this trend will continue; should this prove to be false, I will gladly release the prisoners to your personal custody to do what you will.”

“That won’t be necessary. Very well… We can dispatch Ragnarok squadron in B-wings to hit the supply depot at Resilia; they have been performing better than any other squadron we have at the moment and can get the job done. Dragon will spearhead the convoy attack, ahead of the Redemption; our remaining B-wings are undergoing maintenance so we’ll have to send them in X-wings.”

“Excellent, make it happen. If there are no other questions, you are all dismissed.”

As the officers of the Subterrel Strike Force stood to leave, Raven’s thoughts went back to his conversations with the Brigadier General. The man was a veritable well of knowledge, and was indeed the gem Raven had hoped he was. Only time would tell if the gem would continue to shine… or shatter into millions of pieces against the dark backdrop of space.

And if you cross me; I will make you wish for a death that will not come.

Grinning wildly, Raven followed the last of the officers out of the briefing room, leaving all to wonder what would be in store for them next.


FA Danny "David Lee Japan" Qatar - Fri Nov 02 2007, 6:51am
fun.....if people aren't reading these things every month, they really should be. :-P
LJG Blackwood - Sat Nov 03 2007, 12:38pm
good story
2LT Nom Carver - Tue Nov 06 2007, 11:00am
I wonder how they come uo with this stuff. Very creative.
2LT Menges"Tex" Avery - Thu Nov 08 2007, 11:32am
Very good and creative felt like I was there when I was reading it
2LT Xar Kahn - Tue Nov 20 2007, 3:11am
I read the first few paragraphs. Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy it, but I just don't have the time to read chronicles :P

Maybe a summary at the end? :P