Rebel Squadrons

PSG Xa113: Harassment

By GEN Damon Lightwind
Unit: The Rebel Squadrons
Narrative, Jun 29, 2011
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OK folks here's the long awaited log and current mission story sorry for the delay it couldn't be helped. Also note I have updated the Mission Zip on the KB to include a copy of the story as well.

The TIE story should follow shortly and I'll keep you posted as it should be only a day or two more. Again sorry for the delay sometime things in RL conspire against us at times. Also note the TIE mission is a Com Tac mission it was thrown in for fun.

This mainly due to this part of the story being a fiction only kind of thing. Hence it can be played off of as a training Sim of sorts. To Quote Castor it is as follows:

"People need to understand that the TIE mission is a Combat Tactics mission. It's supposed to be durned near impossible. But "durned near" is the operative phrase. It's passable, and it's worth the ComTac medal for that ship. I've done it plenty of times."            

Don't shoot me I is only thy sorry had too. Lastly to to ease any confusion to any of our members especially our newer ones here's the link for the X-Wing Rules of engagement link:

Should you have any questions please contact Spokes or myself as soon as possible. Now that I've covered all that happy hunting and enjoy the story.

Begin Log, Xa12a – Sabaac: the Aftermath

Damon Lightwind

-= CRS: Odin, Med Ops=-

Damon arrived in med ops with the help of his protocol droid Patch. The pressure bandages over his eyes would have to stay on until they said otherwise, and it didn’t matter what he had to get done. But this was because of the blood clots that had formed behind his retinas from the injuries he’d sustained during the Sabaac operation. The clots had looked like floating continents obscuring most of his direct vision, and his special relationship with bacta had made it necessary to remove the clots manually – with a tight sonic beam focused right in the center of each of the clots. The sonic vibrations broke up the clots into small enough cells that his own body could reabsorb them, and the pressure of the bandages kept his eyes from forming new clots while the original injuries healed. He had spent the last few days in his quarters, but now could at least be recognized as himself. …for the most part.
“Brings new meaning to the term ‘compress’”, Damon thought.
The swelling had all but subsided. All that remained was only making various parts of his body only slightly misshapen. It had dissipated more over the last few days then during his time in the tank a few days earlier.
While resting he had learned of Castor’s plight and how some of the others were doing via reports he got from Patch. Damon was starved for information, being virtually incarcerated in his quarters by his blindness and inability to make most of his muscles work right. To pass the time …and to give his overactive mind some input… he sent Patch out to gather info on what was going on.
But what he really longed to do was just go down to the Officers Lounge and hang with his fellow pilots. His two droids had been the only interaction he had with anyone since he’d been released to his quarters. …and the fact it was mostly MedOps was a little disturbing all by itself. But even as much as he disliked being in MedOps, he strangely found these scheduled trips there a comfort.
As he entered, he was quickly greeting by the female MedTech. “Captain Lightwind glad to see you. How are you feeling?”
Damon replied with a chuckle. “Well… Better each day, I guess. And glad to be seen. Wish I could say the same about seeing you. But at least it’s real nice to hear someone else’s voice. Um… no offense Patch.”
“None taken, Sir.” Patch responded.
The MedTech let out a little laugh and said, “Have a seat. I’ll be right over to check on your progress.”
“Understood, lead the way Patch!” Damon replied.
Patch helped Damon over to a near by med bed, and stepped to the side to be out of the way. A few moments later the med tech returned.
“Okay. I’m going to start by taking the bandages off your eyes. Just like we did yesterday, I want you to keep them closed until I say otherwise.” Damon nodded, and she began removing the bandages. “Hmm…”, she hmmmed seriously.
“What?!” Damon almost opened his eyes.
“Oh, nothing. That’s just Medical Humor.”
“Oh, sheesh!” Damon sighed. “Scare me to death, why don’t ya?”
“Well… if you say so,” she chuckled.
“You’re evil,” Damon said with a contrived low voice.
“You’re not the first to say so,” she said seriously. “As a matter of fact, the last is preserved right here in… No. I’m kidding.” She laughed. “Actually, it looks like the your facial swelling has gone down quite a bit. You’re still a little purple in spots, and there’s still a little left. But it’s looking much, much, better.” After that she moved to check his ribs, and Damon winced in pain this time, not trying to hide the fact.
“I see your ribs are.….”
“Yes. Still a tender subject.” Damon said with a tone that matched the wince from the pain.
“Well that’s not good. Looks like you’re going to be out of action a little longer.”
“That’s fine with me. I have no intention rushing it.”
“I figure another three or four days minimum. …and, yes, you may rest in your quarters, as you have been,” she said.
Damon smiled and said. “Fair enough! …um… is it okay if I go hang at the Officer’s Lounge…?”
She lowered the ambient lights and then said, “Okay. Open your eyes slowly as you did yesterday.”
Damon opened them very slowly, and it took a few moments but his eyes adjusted.
“How are things looking?” She asked.
“Well… you kinda look like a wookiee, but I can tell there’s something alive looking at my face,” Damon answered.
The MedTech moved closer and said as she closely checked his eyes, “Good. Glad to hear that. They are coming along quite nicely. Your ribs, however, have to be given some more time. Let’s take it day by day for the next four or five. You just rest. Don’t exert yourself, or it’ll take longer.”
“Yes, Doctor,” Damon said. “Umm… Lounge…?”
“It’s a little farther to there than to here from your quarters. Yes?”
“Walking is good, if not too far. Stress is bad. Exertion is bad. Fluids are good.”
“Sneezing is bad,” Damon added.
“Ah. Yes and no,” she more or less agreed. “You can’t stop a sneeze, and it’s going to hurt. There’s nothing you can do about it, so just sneeze. Don’t try to tense up your chest; that just makes it worse. The best thing you can do is just relax and let it go.”
“But it really hurts. I can’t help it.”
“Did I just hear a whine…?” The MedTech looked around searchingly. But she smiled and looked back at Damon. “I know. It hurts. And it’s a lot like trying to make your eyes stay open when you sneeze. That’s impossible too. However. Here’s a thought. When you sneeze, try forcing your eyes to stay open. That’ll give you something else to think about other than your ribs.”
“Great. So now my eyes can explode out of their sockets, and I just got ‘em back.”
“Won’t happen,” she said. “There’s hundreds of millions of years that you’re not going to be able to override in randomly spaced fractal-second intervals. But that doesn’t stop you from trying.”
“Okay,” he said doubtfully, and then asked, “How’s the Admiral doing?”
She sighed and frowned, then answered. “It’s too early to know for sure. He was in really bad shape, and still is. We’re doing everything we can for him. If you like you may visit his tank.”
“If it’s as bad as I’ve heard, I don’t think I’m brave enough for that yet.” Damon said.
“Understandable. Not many can, and quite few of us feel the same way. However, unlike you, we don’t get that luxury of choice here for obvious reasons. Though I was surprised to see Mr. Stargazer visit them for that long.”
Damon quickly looked back up at her and asked. “James went in there?”
She nodded and said, “Yes. He seemed troubled even before he went in there, and didn’t think he had it in him to do so. Or at least lately he’d seemed withdrawn from everything. …which has me a bit concerned.”
Damon sighed and said, “I know what you mean. I worry about him as well. I’ve worked with him very closely, and I tried to get him to believe in himself more. He tries, but I fear his lack confidence is holding him back.”
“Agreed. I hope you’re able to get through to him somehow. I hate to see him like this.” The MedTech added as she walked off into the next room.
Damon pondered a moment as he looked toward the tank room contemplated entering to visit them. He turned to Patch and said, “I want to go in there, but I just can’t bring myself to do so. I’m surprised James found the courage to go in there most of all, yet I can’t find the same for myself.”
“Each person deals with things differently; is that not what you and others have often said? I am afraid this all I can offer here, sir,” Patch said quietly.
Damon nodded. Then something donned on him, and he quickly turned back to Patch then started to ask, “I almost forgot! We need to give that.....”
“Scrappy and I took care of that upon getting word of Admiral Borran’s return to duty. All info regarding that has been turned over to him, as you had instructed,” Patch quickly interjected reassuringly.
Damon was relieved to know that was taken care of and continued ponder more about things. His mind raced from the past operation, to James, and back to those still in tanks in the adjacent room. A moment later the MedTech returned and said, “Okay. Just a couple of drops in each eye and you can return to your quarters to rest some more.”
Damon looked up at her and nodded. She administered the drops to each eye, and he cringed from the sting after each drop landed.
“Sorry about that. It’s normal to feel a little sting, considering your eyes are still quite sensitive at the moment. Just take a moment to work them in by blinking to regain your vision this will help clear up the fuzziness you mention earlier,” she instructed.
A few moments and several blinks later the stinging stopped and his vision returned. Damon then turned and says. “The stinging has stopped. …and you’re starting to look more like a Bothan, now.”
“A step in the right direction, then. Definitely let me know if I start looking Ithorian. Remember; nothing strenuous. I’m serious. Stay out of the flight sims, and stay out of the pit.”
“Yes, Doctor.”
“And not long in the Lounge. I think you’re probably going to find the chairs more uncomfortable than is worth the trouble. If it hurts, go to bed.”
“Yes, Doctor.”
She turned to Patch, pointed straight at the droid and said directly commanding the droid, “It’s your responsibility to enforce this. Make sure he does as I’ve instructed, and takes the cautions I’ve recommended.”
“Yes, Doctor,” the droid said far more enthusiastically than Damon had.
“Thank you, Doctor,” Damon said.
She smiled, “You’re welcome,” and returned to her duties as Damon headed out with his hand on Patch’s shoulder, more for balance at this point, because the drops had done wonders for his vision.

-= CRS: Odin, Officers Lounge =-

A few short minutes later Damon and Patch arrived at Tess’s. It was busy, but looking over the scene he could tell there was a semi-somber feeling in the air. Still, Damon saw a good portion of his fellow pilots and ships crew. Most were at tables eating or just having drinks, while others walked around mingling with those they came across. Damon felt more comfort as some of the others waved, nodded, or pointed at him as he made his to the bar. He smiled and acknowledged them with a nod.
As he reached the bar, the barkeep asked, “What’r’ya havin?”
“A Corellian ale, if I may, please,” Damon answered.
The barkeep nodded and turned to get the drink, returning a moment later. “One Corellian ale. Is there anything else I can get you?”
“Yeah. What ever the featured dish is today. I’ll take two! I’m starved!” Damon requested enthusiastically, thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to be able to do so.
“Well… Find yourself a seat, and we’ll bring it right out to ya. …hopefully, you like ‘rodent’,” the barkeep mumbled just loud enough to be heard.
“What?!” Damon coughed, passing some of his ale through his sinuses, and wiping the drips from his nose on his sleeve.
“Joke,” the barkeep said, and laughed.
“Sheesh! Everyone’s a comedian today!” Damon complained half-heartedly, and turned to survey the lounge for a place to sit. After a moment or two, he noticed James sitting at table in the back corner by himself. “That’s odd…” Damon thought to himself as he made his way toward the younger man. Damon turned to his droid and said, “Patch I’ll be alright. Just go stand off to the side. I’ll call for you if I need you.”
“As you wish, sir. But also remember my orders from MedOps,” Patch replied.
“Those don’t actually count, considering you’re my droid, and all, do they…?”
“I’m afraid they do, sir,” Patch answered. “I believe it’s covered under the continued well-being of The Principal section.”
Damon frowned. “There’s no such section.”
Patch just nodded slightly then became immobile as Damon walked away. After a few steps, Damon turned back to look at Patch once more. The droid nodded one more time in affirmation to the unspoken question, and Damon turned away, continuing on toward James.
“My droid’s turned into a comedian too…?” Damon shook his head.
When Damon got to James’ table, he asked lightly, “Hey, bud… Can I join ya for a bit?”
James looked up, flashed a quick smile and said, “Yeah! Sure! Glad to see you’re up and about! And you can see!”
“Yes! It’s a miracle! I thought my frontal lobes were going toget sucked out my eye sockets. …and that was just while I was in MedOps…!” Damon said with a chuckle and winced a bit. He quickly looked up at Patch, to see if the droid had noticed, butt it remained a statue.
But James had noticed and quickly asked, “Are you Okay, Damon?”
“Yeah. I’m fine. Just forgot my ribs are still on the mend, and it still hurts when I laugh.” Damon answered.
“Ah. So. Why are you here, and not getting some rest?”
“Well two days of solitude was enough for me, so I asked if I could come down here. I was granted a few hours reprieve,” Damon explained.
James nodded as a serving droid arrived with Damon’s food.
“Awesome! Real Food! Thanks!”
The serving droid gave a nod, and then headed off to its next task.
Damon dug in, not quite biting chunks out of his fork in the process, but asked nonchalantly, “So, bud… Why you sitting by yourself? This is a little out of the norm lately, even for you.”
James sighed and said. “I really don’t want to talk about it.”
After having a sip of his drink Damon just glanced up at him and pushed a little. “Even after all we been through, you can’t talk too me? Sheesh! Come on! What’s bugging you?”
James just sighed and spun his glass while staring at its contents and said. “I don’t know. Everything, I guess. The assignments… our objective… the Admirals… the General… and… well... me.”
“Ah. Dude. This last operation did a number on all of us, so it’s real understandable to feel that way. I have my concerns too, and, believe me, my doubts at times as well.” Damon said reassuringly.
“You have doubts…? I find that hard to believe, because you always seem to know what to do,” James said as he looked back up.
“Yes. It’s true! I do have my doubts, just as anyone else here does. I don’t always know what to do. Sometimes it just comes to me at the moment. …sometimes…” Damon paused slightly and ducked his head, making an admission that he didn’t really want to, “a little after the moment. But the point is, I’ve learned a lot here, and I count on those around me now more than I ever did before.” He stopped to take another bite.
“HA! What do you know of doubts? Everything comes to you so easily! I try so hard to get it right, and then it always comes out wrong!!!” James snapped.
Damon put down his fork and sighed. And he realized how familiar this scene was. …only he remembered from James’ point of view …and more than once. He smiled and looked up toward the ceiling briefly, as if to say “Thanks – you were right” to both his previous CO Shane and Castor. It was true, what they’d said to him about learning to get closer to those around him – things would come to him easier; and they had. So much so, in fact, he didn’t really dwell on his past any more but more on the moment at hand. Damon pushed his plate away – it tasted like chicken, but that meant it could be anything. …including… rodent.
He leaned forward and looked at James seriously a moment. He said, “I understand better than you think I do. Do you remember how we met?”
“Yes. The Admiral introduced us after conversations with each of us....Why?”
“Well it’s like what Admiral Efrata-Landis said we each had something to offer the other. In my case it was my knowledge to better help you. In your case it was your friendship which has helped me a great deal and in turn helped Ray too. What I mean by that is… remember back when she got lost in the shuffle, and they didn’t even know she was here... remember?”
James nodded, but looked back at Damon with uncertainly on his face as he went on.
“It was that day I last thought about my past, and focused more on the family I had in front of me. I hadn’t realized it until now, but since then things have been coming to me easier, because I let you both in. Before that I was afraid to let anyone get close for a very long time, and in doing that I denied myself the pleasure of friendship and lost a part of myself in the process. It took me a long time to figure that one out, and I see you doing the very same thing. You do try, and you know what to do, but it starts with confidence in yourself, and I know you have it in you because I’ve seen it.”
James nodded and thought a moment, sipped his drink, and said. “You’re right. But I... I just don’t know any more. I try so hard, and all I do is disappoint everyone. …especially you with all the time you put in helping me.”
“James you’ve got to work that part out for yourself. And we’ll all help you, but some of it has to come from in there.” Damon tapped James in the center of his chest.
James nodded reluctantly and continued to stare at his glass, spinning it. After several moments of silence between them he said, “I try so much to be like you, Ray, and the others, and when I don’t I feel like I’m disappointing you all. It’s so frustrating I can’t even think clearly when I need too.”
Damon finished off his ale, sighed and said, “I know. That’s exactly how it was for me for a very long time. I was so wrapped up in my own head I couldn’t focus much at all, and often got into trouble. My advice is if you can’t get it worked out, then go home, and take the time you need to clear you head. No one is going to fault you for that and I’d hate to see you get hurt or worse because you can’t focus.”
“ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR SLAGGING MIND!!!!” James hollered and Damon motioned for him to settle down as others turned to look in their direction.
After a moment conversations restarted and James continued more quietly, but just as urgently, “Go home while that thing is out there!!!!”
“James, listen. Be reasonable here. If your head is not in the game, it could cost you your life. …if not others too. I don’t think you want that on your conscience any more than I want it on mine. Sometime the right thing to do is take a step back.”
Once again for several moments there was silence between. James finally said, “You’re right. That is not something I want on my mind.”
“I know it’s not something you wanted to hear, but as a friend I think this is the best way to help you. Besides you still have plenty of fight left in you, so I know we’ll cross paths again,” Damon said.
Patch made his presence known with a little vocal static and then said. “Sir, you should be going soon.”
“Understood, Patch. Thanks,” Damon acknowledged.
“So, Damon… I guess there’s only one thing left for me to do. But I’m not sure I have the courage, or know where to start,” James admitted.
“No worries. I’ll help you. Just stop by my quarters later, and we’ll work on it together. I’ll also go with you to see Admiral Borran if you’d like.” Damon suggested.
James nodded, got up and left. Damon waited a moment, considered finishing his rodent, but motioned for Patch instead.
As Patch helped him up, they both heard a familiar throat clearing sound and turned to find Ray standing there. “That was a good thing you did for him, and I’m surprised he agreed to it.”
“Oh, hi, Ray! How long were you standing there?” Damon asks.
“Been here since just after you got your plate of food thought about joining you two. But after I heard what you were talking about, I felt it was better that I didn’t.” Ray explained.
“Yeah. Had a bit of an epiphany along the way. Damon said with a laugh and winced from the pain.
Ray asked with concern in her voice, “You alright?”
“Yeah. I’m okay. Just got to get back to my quarters and rest,” Damon answered. “Mom says so.” He surreptitiously pointed at Patch.
Ray took up a position beside him to help Patch escort him out of the lounge.
Damon smiled and said. “Thanks. I appear to have sat in that chair a little too long, it seems.”
Ray chuckled “No problem that’s what friends (or family, as you said) are for.”
“Oh you heard that too,” he said.
She nodded. “Did you mean it?”
“Yes. …whole heatedly,” Damon answered.
“So… do you think James will be okay…?”
“I believe he will. Some how, I feel he will find his way in the end.” They reached the exit of the lounge, and began the slow trek back to Damon’s quarters.


Ta’ Re` Djo

I jumped out of my B-wing, shaking, and landed on the flight deck. It was obvious that I was still a little “into the mission”. It was also obvious that I needed to unwind. Unfortunately for me, my first priority was finding Castor since I had a bad feeling about the mission we ran. I had lost track of Castor’s ship, and I had feared the worst.
I walked briskly to the Deck Officer and grabbed his arm, probably more aggressively than I had actually meant it to be. “Where’s Castor?” I didn’t quite demand the question, but it was certain that I was a little nervous.
The Deck Officer turned to me, a bit unhappy, but when he realized who I was, he answered me. “He’s coming in at the Medical Ops port, sir.”
“How about Borran?” I asked, just as quickly.
“Doing a bacta dance under cover of a maintenance accident.”
I took off running. For as much as the DO prides himself on knowing where everyone is at all times, its funny that he didn’t know that Borran is allergic to bacta, and therefore couldn’t possibly be doing any kind of bacta dance. Hmmm.
I rounded the corner into the hallway where Castor was supposed to be coming in and practically ran into a man who’s a.k.a. was “Rabid”, and it seemed that he had been running to get to Castor, too. I didn’t know too much about him, only heard some stories, mostly about how most of his scars were self inflicted. I had to catch myself as my jaw almost dropped. I had never seen that many scars on a man’s face or hands. …EVER! It was hard not to stare at him, having never met him before. He looked frightful, but I didn’t really catch a harsh vibe from him.
“Yah,” he said gently.
Yah? What the heck does THAT mean? Yah what? was all I could think. I didn’t dare say it though. Even though he hadn’t said anything about the fact that he caught me staring, I was still a little afraid that he might turn and bite my head off. Or try, in any case.
“Sir!” someone called as General Greedo stomped by. He was cursing something in Rodian but I had NO idea what he had said. It sounded kinda nasty though.
“What’s HIS problem? We got the Odin back. …AND the Star Destroyer, just like he’d planned.” I whispered softly, leaning carefully in towards Rabid so that he could hear me.
Rabid had been about to answer something, but the words caught in his throat. I looked in the direction Rabid was looking in� and saw it. A gravlift had come through the doors right after the General, Castor laying on it. I gasped as I looked at what was left of him.
Castor was covered in blood. From the quick look I got at him before I had to turn away (which is impressive considering I’m a hunter) he was missing at least two fingers, a thumb, most of the bones in his arm, his shoulder was broken and at least one side of his rib cage as well. His left arm was immobilized and his left foot was twisted and crushed. His right eye was mushed shut and there was blood in his hair. As he barely breathed, bloody foam came out of his nose and mouth around the breather they had held in place.
I dropped to my knees, shaking harder than I had been before. “How in the name of the First Witch was he able to get the shields down on that first bunch of TA’s? How could he DO that in that condition? Oh, gods! I should have been there! How did he do that? How did he do anything? How did he even get into his ship?” the last part of her words trailed into nothing and were completely undecipherable.
Rabid had grabbed one of the MedTechs and asked them, “What happened to Castor? Is he ok?” His questions were more of a demand than my previous questions to the DO.
The Medic stopped and shook his head saying, “I don’t know. He’s in really tough shape, and he’s lost an awful lot of blood. There was a search for wounded throughout the Star Destroyer. We had a list of personnel over there. They found him on the flight deck, but we didn’t even see him until one of the Wookies on the team reached down and picked him up. I don’t know how we could have missed him looking like that.”
“A Wookie.” I mumbled.
“Listen, we’ll do what they can at MedOps, but personally… I’m not too confident we found him in time. I’m sorry. We’ll do everything possible, and probably try a few things that aren’t, too. Just remember,” he said a little bit more calmly, possibly just to try to calm me and Rabid, “the Admiral is our XO too. We’re not going to be careless, and we’re not going to NOT do everything we can. But we’ve got to go now. Time is real short here.”
Rabid thanked the medic and stood with his eyes closed for a minute. It looked like he was trying to calm himself down, and it also looked like it wasn’t working.
I was rocking back and forth, staring at my knees, still mumbling, “I should have been here,” over and over again. Tears welled up in my eyes as I tried not to cry. Rabid put his hand on my shoulder, but I didn’t even notice until he squeezed it rather hard. I winced and looked up at him.
“Kid… I WAS here… don’t beat yourself to death. There was nothin’ ya could’ve done. That I wouldn’t have, given the chance. …or did do when I did get the chance. We all had our orders. So did Castor, and him, Admiral Borran, and the General agreed that, if things turned nasty, Castor would be the one with the greatest chance of survival as commander of the Odin, and still have a chance to help complete the mission. He’s still alive, and he ain’t gave up yet. And it ain’t too very likely that he’s about to. He’s lost too much of his life already to give up.”
His words started to run together in my ears. I was hearing his voice, but I wasn’t really listening. All I could hear was my own thoughts. I should have been here. I could have helped. The next thing I know, my face was pointed in another direction, with Rabid’s hand on my ear. Apparently, he had slapped me.
Breathing hard, his eyes started to dilate, and his voice started to get a noticeable growl. “Stay with me, Ray. I’m the only one that’s supposed to go away like that, and I don’t think I can hang on too much longer as it is. So you are going to have to.”
“But Castor… He’s… I…” I didn’t know what I wanted to say. Well, I know what I wanted to say… there was just too much that I wanted to say for me to get a full sentence out at one time.
Rabid started to twitch, and the growl got a little worse. “Castor’s been through an awful durned lot. He got away from Kessel - one of a real small few that ever did. He lived on raw spice and corpses for the gods only know how many years… Castor doesn’t. That’s where he got his force trainin’, kid.” He struggled to complete what he was saying as he started to foam from his mouth. “And that’s where he dropped all those memories we don’t ask about much. Someday I’ll tell ya how I found out. You gotta understand that Castor ain’t stupid, and he ain’t much into pain. It don’t do for him what it does for me. I know him. Better than most. And I know that he didn’t have to let ‘em do that to him. The fact that he DID says that he figured he had to protect someone. Knowing him… most likely, us. He let ‘em have himself so that they wouldn’t go lookin’ nowhere else for something more fun. He’s crazy like that - he does that sorta stupid crap.” He started twitching harder and the scars on his face started to pop out a little bit more. His voice started to get louder, “Blaster bolts! He didn’t have to let ‘em… he could stopped it! He didn’t HAVE to let ‘em! He didn’t!!”
Rabid, finally unable to control himself, let out a howl. He had been shaking me and squeezing my shoulders hard. I was sure to end up with large bruises from this. He started shouting a bunch of stuff about Castor coming to get him. Then, he suddenly jumped up, and barked, “When we find the one that did this, I’m goin’ to rip his throat… out… with... my… bare… TEETH!” The voice was DEFINITELY *not* Rabid’s, but I don’t think anyone would have believed me if I had told them.

Mission 3.13 ‑ Harassment

As Grey and the Cadets file into the briefing room, Castor was found seated ‑ not pacing as his normal “pre‑mission” jitters demanded of him. He was obviously not yet entirely healed, or fully accustomed to his “new” body parts. Admiral Boran sat in his mobile chair looking not entirely happy. When the commotion died down, not quite as quickly as it normally did, since few had seen Castor since the beginning of the Sabaac mission, and those that had hadn’t been able to look for long, Castor began. “First off,” he said without quite his usual volume – his larynx had been one of the replaced parts, “Med Ops says that I’ll be okay, and probably up to speed shortly. I’m, understandably, having a time with ‘adjusting’ to a few body part replacements. But soon I will make them my own, and you’ll never know the difference if you hadn’t been there ‑ nor will I.
“Secondly, we’ve done an analysis on all data collected from the Sabaac mission recordings, and, with what we’ve gotten from the Imperial prisoners so far, and we’ve discovered (this probably won’t be a surprise to you) that Kedrin is involved with the Star Hammer project. Apparently, he somehow escaped destruction in the last mission of our previous Tour.
“This MAY be news to you, or it may not… but Kedrin has escaped us a second time, during the Sabaac sequence. His vehicle was a Shuttle which launched from the A2nirdeK during the last phase of our mission. General Greedo expressed his concern to me over this little tidbit of information shortly after I came out of the body shop. To say the least, he is disappointed that an opportunity for Kedrin to make the General’s acquaintance was missed.
“We have access to much information, now. Hopefully, we can soon find the Star Hammer project, along with who is financing it. Kedrin will get his come‑uppin’s ‑ I have no doubt about that.
“So. With this mission we accelerate our harassment tactics, and try to draw those in charge of the Star Hammer project into over‑committing themselves. This will open the door wide for them allowing the opportunity for grave tactical errors, such as Kedrin’s direct attack on the Odin.
“It is possible that Kedrin’s actions were unauthorized. If this is the case, then we may not have to worry further about him ‑ his many failures concerning us will catch up to him, sooner or later. If his actions were authorized, then we may still not have to worry about him as losing his Star Destroyer, along his captured Calamari Cruiser, and returning with nothing but a Shuttle for his troubles is no menial setback.
“Who ever is going to draw the duty this time will be flying solo, in an A‑Wing. Your mission will be to identify and destroy all of the Containers in the supply drop. These Containers are intended for the Star Hammer project Research Team and guard. Stay alert for on site area defense, and be ready for the arrival of reinforcements as may appear ‑ all of which you may destroy if you have the time.
“May the Force be with you.”
The briefing was fairly short, but not so sweet. The Greys got up and left, wondering who’d get the short straw on this one. They’d all left before Castor got up to leave. …after four failed attempts to do so. Admiral Boran watched him with a sour look.
“One of these days they’re not going to be able to replace what’s been damaged,” he said quietly.
“Yes,” Castor agreed. “One of these days I’m going to die. …as will we all.” He steadied himself against the table. “Hopefully that won’t be any time soon, and Science will stay at least one step ahead of my needs.” He smiled. …and then his left knee buckled and hit the floor with a loud crack.
Spokes lifted an eyebrow. “Medic?”
Castor considered a moment. “No… I don’t think I broke it. The nerve sequence hasn’t entirely bonded, so it doesn’t hurt.” He chuckled. “Although I might wish that it did. I’d have full use of it then.”
“Tell me about it,” Spokes said dryly, and motioned slightly toward the front of his chair.
“The leg isn’t so bad… that’ll bond in a day or so. The eye, though…” Castor put a hand tightly over one eye, and the other rolled up and back. “That… may take a little longer.”
“If you push, will that help…?” Spokes asked.
“Maybe…” Castor gripped the back of Spokes’ chair as the man swiveled it around with one small deft motion.
“Go as slow as you need,” Spokes said.
Castor laughed as they started for the briefing room exit. “This is a lot like the blind leading the blind.”
Spokes helped move the chair up the ramp so Castor wouldn’t have to put any more pressure on his new leg than was necessary.
“Thanks,” Castor said gratefully.
“I do what I can,” Spokes chuckled. Just before they got to the point where the door would automatically slide open, Spokes added, “I may have to shoot Greedo if he tries to do something like this again.”
“I’m not sure I’d suggest it,” Castor said seriously. “From what I understand, he’s got his own clone version of himself being grown, and constantly sending memory and experience tapes to feed it. …so it grows up knowing exactly what he knows.”
“So…?” Spokes said as they rolled out into the passageway.
“So… from what I understand… each clone gets worse.”
Spokes turned so he could see Castor, albeit slightly upside down from his vantage point. “Oh, God…”
“Yah.” Castor replied.
And they both laughed.



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