View Full Version : Invasion: Dogs of War

Jun 6th, 2018, 09:56:48 AM

There was something in the water. A shift in the currents. A change in the tide. Tukphen wished it was an unfamiliar feeling, but it was anything but. He had felt it when the Republic and the Confederacy had brought their war to Mon Cala. He had felt it when Vader and his Inquisitors had punished Dac and her sovereign for the actions of a rebel few. He had felt it when King Lee-Char had with his dying words compelled the Mon Calamari into uprising, and into the role they had taken within the Alliance to Restore the Republic. He had felt it at the Liberation of Bothawui, as their Rebellion slowly began to evolve into a viable beacon of liberty; and again with the Starkillers, the Treaty, and the Alliance of Free Planets. Sometimes the change in the tides tasted sweet, and warm. Sometimes it was cold and bitter. Others, the flavour was more complicated, squirming in your gut like over-ripe shellfish. That latter kind was what Tukphen tasted now, stronger and more vile than ever.

They all knew why they were here: Admirals and Generals, Senators and Ministers, gathered together to have the talk, the conversation that would end with the question: are we ready? The Defense Committee had already been briefed on the tragedy that had befallen the Imperial world of Terminus, and the terrifying prospect that the saurian monsters the Novgorod and her unlikely Imperial allies had once driven from the Gordian Reach had returned, and this time in greater numbers. It was a nightmare scenario come true for the select few that had been made aware of that classified encounter two years ago, and the knowledge that the nightmare had struck at the Empire this time rather than the Free Planets offered only the faintest modicum of solace.

At least the surroundings were familiar, both in location and atmosphere. Though the auditorium where they had gathered here on Bothawui - some via hologram and others in person - had been constructed for more noble purposes, the general shape and the way that the officers and other participants clustered into small pockets of familiarity and conversation while they awaited the last arrivals reminded him of the old days, of the briefings before Endor and Bothawui. Back then, the Galactic Civil War had scattered the Rebellion in all directions, and these meetings and briefings were often rare and precious moments of being in the same room again as those you respected and fought beside. Certainly, Tukphen's own responsibilities to Supply, both for the Rebellion and the Free Planets, isolated him from many of those old familiar heroes. Guilty as he felt for it, Tukphen allowed himself this one small comfort. That was something you learned during war - to make the most of every small positive you could find - and, if the tides were turning the way it seemed, it was a lesson that they would all need to revisit in the days to come.

The Minister's eyes settled on one of those old familiar heroes, a face more familiar than most. Tukphen strode over without hesitation, careful to moderate his tone and expression to convey his pleasure while at the same time respecting the grim cloud that hung above them all.

"Reshmar, old friend," he uttered warmly, as he drew close. "It is good to see you again, despite the circumstances."

Jun 6th, 2018, 11:50:34 AM
Reshmar looked around the room at the collection of Alliance personnel. dozens of races collected together here for the purpose of moving the Alliance Defense Force forward into the next decade. Military commanders stood next to political leaders who stood next to business moguls. Every facet of the Alliance war machine was present from senior staff to human resources. There were many screens displaying those who were on patrol and representatives from governments allied with or part of the Alliance present. It was a meeting Reshmar had pushed after hearing of the atrocity on Terminus, one he had wanted for a long time but until now had no real reason for. A long overdue preceding heralding change and uncertainty for the future of the Alliance.

Reshmar stood among his Senior staff of the First Fleet greeting guests as they entered and answering a few questions as the group shuffled into the meeting chamber. It was rare the Supreme Commander attended meetings these days. Reshmar had been expecting something to happen to shake the fragile peace the Alliance now enjoyed. He had kept his thoughts and observations private as not to alarm anyone or envoke mistrust with the rest of High Command. It was known that Reshmar did not support much of the structure that made up the cold war now simmering between the Empire and Alliance. He did not trust many of the people in this room. His stand against the peace treaty had been misunderstood by much of the new generation of command. They had not lived through the bad times, the times where many Mon Cala were enslaved, as was much of the galaxy. He had gotten to where he was by taking the long hard road. He did not make many friends on the way through the ranks and the few he had made were now dead or retired. It was refreshing when he noticed one of those few friends walking his way and greet him.

"Ah, Tukphen, Good to see you again. It has been too long" Reshmar replied to the Mon Cala now standing before him. "I am glad you made it today old friend, so many did not."

Jun 6th, 2018, 12:28:46 PM
"Too many," Tukphen agreed.

If there was anything that made Tukphen question his choices over the decades, it was the thought of all of the losses, and all the sacrifices that had occurred in the name of rebellion. At one time, Tukphen had been among them on the front lines, riding the bow wave of the Alliance into the pages of history. But, his history with the Mon Calamari Shipyards, and a mind suited for the logistics end of the strategic spectrum soon saw him slide into Ordnance & Supply, the branch of the Rebel Alliance tasked with arming and supplying the Rebellion's warriors. Though part of him missed the opportunities to become part of history, he was proud of his contributions, certain of how vital it was to the Alliance's very survival. When his people had asked him to serve as their representative, and when the Alliance had asked him to continue his service as Minister of Supply rather than as an Admiral, he had humbly accepted.

What had at first seemed like an honour quickly revealed itself as a burden, however, and Tukphen's head swam as he listened to droning voices dissect the intricacies of agriculture, or the complexities of building schools and hospitals. He understood their importance, and accepted that they were vital to the growth and survival of the Alliance of Free Planets, but he missed the days when such problems could be solved by retrofitting a Nebulon-B, or raiding an Imperial convoy. To swim under their own strength was far harder than riding the currents of larger seas.

His thoughts steered back towards the man before him.

"It is rare to see you here on Bothawui in person," he observed. It was true: Reshmar largely seemed to keep out of the Senate's way, commanding the Alliance First Fleet personally as it patrolled and explored, coordinating with his subordinate Admirals to direct the Alliance's regional fleets. Tukphen's expression shifted, mouth hanging slack in a Mon Cala approximation of a human smirk. "Confide in an old friend. These long patrols of yours: is it a dedication to vigilance, or have you found a secret pleasure planet out there that you keep sneaking off to?"

Jun 6th, 2018, 01:01:01 PM
Reshmar rolled his bulbous eyes at the comment. Mon Cala expressions were very slight at best and few races outside the Mon Cala could every understand, translate or even notice most of the time. The excellent eyesight gifted his people by eons of evolution in the dim light refracting waters of Daca was among the best in the galaxy. Reshmar finished the expression with a gruff chuckle and answered.

"Old friend, Tuekpa would find me and poison the world if I had been" replied Reshmar thinking about his wife. He had been thinking of her more and more since their last meeting. Her choice to continue her career, now that their children were grown, had not been one he was happy with but he supported. He could not ask anything of her, He had been gone for far too much of their time together to ever ask anything of her. SHe was a brilliant scientist and he knew she was happy back at work which made him happy. The thought of him running off to some pleasure world and her tromping in to confront him about it gave him a plesent laugh and reminded him of how she was, how he was when they were younger.

"No, I have spent these long years since the peace with the Empire making sure it lasts," said Reshmar bringing his thoughts of his beloved wife and laughter into check. A hundred different powder kegs spread out across a line that stretched a hundred light years had proven very difficult to maintain, patrol and enforce. Half the time the forces watching the front had no idea if they were on the right side or wrong side of that long thin line. That was true of both sides. More than once Reshmar had to intervene in what was little more than two grumpy sub-rate commanders squabbling over who was king of the playground. The imperial commanders along the line were particularly green. It was only when 1st fleet arrived that both sides began to think level headily and a line in the sand was once again drawn by Reshmar and the power of 1st fleet. More than a few times shots across a bow had occurred but luckily no real fighting occurred. Yes, he and the other commanders of 1st fleet were constantly moving up and down the line waiting for whatever could and would happen to happen. He knew it was a matter of time before some anxious green Imperial seeking praise and glory went too far or some cautious Alliance commander to misunderstand the situation and react poorly would pull them back into a war he knew never truly ended.

Here today he along with the few friends he had would see to it that when the day comes, the others would have the resources and readiness to react to a situation they never imagined would come. He paused a moment then finished his reply.

"It has been a long road old freind. Tell me where are those power converters 1st fleet requisitioned three months ago, Are you using them to power your holodrama projector again?" said Reshmar countering the man's jovial wit.

Jun 7th, 2018, 04:54:41 PM
"I'm afraid so," Tukphen replied with a chuckle. "You might need those converters to power your ships, but I need them to find out what happens next on Queens of Naboo. Safety of the Free Planets be damned: if I have to wait another day before learning how Stacy reacts to discovering her husband is secretly a clone, I may well stage an interstellar invasion myself."

It was grim humour, but a familiar kind: often the only kind that had been available in the darker days of the Rebellion. Perhaps officially, Tukphen had been in charge of the Alliance's flow of parts and ammunition, but he felt a responsibility to transport other essentials from unit to unit as well. Joy, comfort, and the familiarities of home were - in his opinion, at least - as vital to the Rebel cause as missiles and modulators. Without the latter, it would be harder to fight; but without the former, it would be harder to want to. Many of the Alliance's Admirals and Generals overlooked the value of a letter from an old comrade, an exchange of libraries that ensured starship officers had access to stories they hadn't read before, or subtly adding a surplus of ryshcate ingredients to commands where Corellians served whenever a special occasion rolled around. The Rebellion was resourceful, they always found a way to extract the best from any scenario; but their ability to do so was not a substitute for the value in Tukphen and his people helping to make that a little easier.

These days, easy trade among the Free Planets largely made such things unnecessary - not to mention a logistical nightmare of insurmountable proportions. But just as they had found a way in the past, perhaps they needed to find a way now. Not something that any one else in the room might value to the same extent that he did, but still: that in itself was the Alliance's strength over the Empire, the differences and diversity that combined together to make them greater than the sum of their parts.

The moment passed however, and Tukphen's jovial tone faded.

"Times are tough, and resources are sparse, my friend," he uttered, a faint sigh escaping from his air bladder. His vision glanced towards the rest of the room. "I fear that is something that is about to grow far worse."

Vansen Tyree
Jun 7th, 2018, 05:08:47 PM
Of all the places Vansen Tyree could currently be, the corridors of Allied Command on Bothawui were among the furthest from his preference. Ever since news had begun to filter in from Terminus - or an ominous absence of news, which in many ways was far worse - he had begun to dissect and criticise every decision that he had ever made. His promotion to Admiral. His acceptance of responsibilities here on Bothawui. Allowing his Challenger to become an Academy and a memorial, rather than the warship it was built for. Letting others command his Valiant. Letting Captain Quez steal his Valkyries away. Even his retirement from the Empire: all of those choices, and many more, were scowled at in hindsight, inching him away from a position where he might be able to do a damned thing. He longed to feel useful; to be useful. These days, in this Alliance, that wasn't a wish that was granted to an Admiral like him all that often.

There were other reasons he might have desired to be elsewhere as well, and one of them was apparated before him, her image manifested before him thanks to the ambulatory holoprojector that she had once given him as a gift, but that Vansen was quickly learning was more about her ability to nag him more effectively from lightyears away. Taataani Meorrrei was back in the Carshoulis Cluster, her responsibilities to the Alliance Senate and to her people extracting her from his life for a short time. It was an accepted reality of their lives, but that didn't stop it from being regrettable. The fact that Vansen was having to peer through the ghostly visage of the object of his affection to see where he was going as he tried to progress his way down the corridor didn't exactly help matters, nor did it do much to lift him out of his trademark gruff and scowling demeanour.

"Yes, I have the damned projection numbers. Just like I did the last time you asked."

His voice was irritable, but the Senator knew him well enough to understand that it wasn't aimed at her, no matter how deserving she might be of a fraction of it. Vansen glanced down at the datapad in his hands, confirming for the seventh time that his last statement had not been a lie. Something a little defensive started to creep into his words as they continued to grumble their way out of him.

"I'm actually quite adept at this sort of thing, you know. I'm not one of your cubs, Taataani. You can tell by the lack of the ears and the tail. I am actually capable of functioning without this level of long-distance mothering."

Anne Phoenix
Jun 8th, 2018, 02:06:53 PM
The room was starting to get quite crowded by the time she entered, with various fleet admirals, commanders, and logistical staff plus a few representatives from the various shipbuilding companies scattered about in small and large groups alike engaged in various discussion. She was glad as it allowed her to become lost in the crowd as she shyly mingled about.
It had been two years since she had left all of this behind to pursue the resurrection of her family business and it had been only one year since she had thus returned following her encounter with the slavers. Now she considered herself in for life and although it was certainly a silly thought she couldn't help but feel a little ashamed at sharing the room with those who had never left the service to begin with.
Upon her return she was told to head to the Atravis Sector and "clean up her mess". Confused by the order she had arrived only to find the CEO that she had left in charge of Tempest Engineering Works had been usurped by someone whose ambition was matched only with his corruption at taking bribes from both pirates and smugglers alike. She had managed to avoid throttling him to death with her own bare hands but he was now serving a life of hard labor on the world in which he had exploited for his own greed and TEW was now close to being back to its full form.
She didn't see her immediate superior, Admiral Viridis anywhere in the room at the moment but she was sure he would be along momentarily. In the midst of her shadow mingling she found herself next to a pair of Mon Cals engaged in a friendly discourse of good times together. She didn't say anything to interrupt them but she immediately recognized Reshmar, commander of the First Fleet and someone she had once served alongside.

Taataani Meorrrei
Jun 11th, 2018, 12:02:51 AM
"Yes, I have the damned projection numbers. Just like I did the last time you asked.

I'm actually quite adept at this sort of thing, you know. I'm not one of your cubs, Taataani. You can tell by the lack of the ears and the tail. I am actually capable of functioning without this level of long-distance mothering."

The hologram of Senator Meorrrei barely flickered as the mobile projector kept apace of the scowling Admiral.

"Vanssen, jI ljike to thjink that jyou do jyourr besst worrk underr durresss."

Her grin was politely cheeky in that way that he'd come to find when she needled and toyed with him. The only difference was that the smile didn't quite reach her eyes, which were heavier and more tired. Part of that could be explained away by planetary time difference. On Bothawui, this was a midday meeting. On Prime, it was deep into the small hours of the morning.

"jYou expect me to rreljy on a Mon Calamarrjian to keep jyou at jyourr besst? Thejy can't even be botherred to massk thejirr own sstjink."

The barb was only half-hearted, and Taataani puffed at the exhausted remnants of a cigar, sending a halo of glowing holographic particles to fade into the ether.

"The Hjigh Motherr'ss not taken well to the newss. Sshe brrjiefljy enterrtajined the notjion tonjight of temporrarrjiljy sshuttjing down trraffjic on the Hjydjian. jI need everrjy weapon at mjy djisspossal to talk herr off that ledge. Natjivjissm jiss sstjill aljive and well forr the consserrvatjive matrrjiarrchss and thejirr sstupjid prrovjincjial mjyopjia. jIt occassjionalljy takess a rremjinderr of how well we'rre dojing underr the Alljiance to sshut them up."

The Senator's tail slowed its sway, and she looked carefully at the Admiral.

"Vanssen, what'ss gojing on down therre? jI wouldn't assk jif jI could fjind out on mjy own, but mjy own ssourrcess arre unnaturralljy qujiet. jIss jit rrealljy..."

She glanced around carefully. The holofeed didn't show third parties unless they were quite close, but Taataani knew they were outside of closed doors, and the topic wasn't to be discussed completely openly.

"...jiss jit rrealljy them?"

Jun 12th, 2018, 10:32:41 AM
Reshmar softly chuckled at Tukphens retort and nodded in agreement when the Mon Cala Ordinance officers mood shifted away from the joke the two shared to a more serious one. Reshmar knew of the issues supply and ordinance were having. It was part of his job to know what was going on in the defense force. Much of the vessels currently being fielded by the fleet were still old and many were of Kuati and Corellian design, making parts much harder to get these days. The new ships built in Alliance yards by Alliance worlds were slowly making their way off the assembly lines but they were too few too slow to fill the gap which was being left as the older ships were being decommissioned and generally breaking down. Mon Calamari shipyards did little to help as far as numbers went. Their tooling was designed for Mon Calamari vessels and each one of those took far longer than other manufacturers vessels did. It had been the Bothans and their modular designs that have done the most to fill the gaps in the fleet. Tise frigates and cruisers could be built in a fraction of the time a Mon Calamari corvette could. The Carshoulis Cluster had been supplying vessels to the joint fleets but they too were slower in production than the Bothans. Now ships from Rothana were starting to arrive to help beef up the weak Alliance fleets. Reshmar knew the Empire was doing no better with their supplies even though they held most of the largest manufacturing worlds in the galaxy. Thiers was a problem with leadership at the lower sector and system levels. Reshmar's informants kept him in well informed of what the Empire was up too. He knew it was just a matter of time before this so-called peace would fail. Now with the attack on Terminus, he knew the Empire would find a way to make this about reigniting a war they so desperately needed for their economy and morale.

"I to see the cloud of had times growing over the horizon. Let us hope this meeting today is not part of this approaching storm and one of hope and unity for the future"

Reshmar said as he noticed the auburn-haired admiral approach them and stand at their side.

"Admiral Phoenix, It is good to see you again. It is a shame it is under such circumstances we are here but a pleasure still to have you among us."

Reshmar said getting the Admiral. Around him, he saw many familiar faces he had not seen in some time. Most were of his own doing some were just cases of them not having anything to discuss so, therefore, no need to see one another but some were friends he had just not had time to talk to let alone meet.

Torrsk Oruo'rel
Jun 12th, 2018, 02:36:10 PM
"Everyone, find your seats."

Torrsk Oruo'rel's voice was a perfectly modulated and practised bark, exactly loud enough to fill the auditorium, and just gruff enough for the friction needed to carve through any ambient conversations. It was why he had chosen this room, an unremarkable example of the facilities here in the new Alliance Capital Complex, save for his preexisting familiarity with it. Some might find some sentimental explanation for the frequency with which he sought out this one room time and again, but in truth, he simply favoured a similar battlefield. You could take the Bothan out of SpecForce, but you couldn't take the SpecForce out of the Bothan - not this Bothan, at least.

He paid little attention to the assemblage of Alliance seniority as they shuffled into the first few rows of the briefing room, save perhaps for noting which ones loitered and conversed as if they were guests at a Senate fundraiser, and which ones had taken the past moments to focus and prepare. It came as little surprise that the Mon Calamari could be seen clustered together in a shoal, or that Admiral Tyree bustled in with a scowl and with the holographic ghost of his Senatorial shadow in tow. Back in the days of the Rebellion, such conduct was tolerated, and typical. But for the last two years, the Alliance had fought tooth and claw to reforge itself into something better. This building, for all its pretention and ostentation, was a symbol of that: a proper capital befitting the proper government they aspired to be. A shame then that such propriety did not extend to all corners.

Positioning himself behind the holographic podium that formed the center point of the auditorium's arc, the Minister of Defense waited until everyone was settled, taking the time to regard and recognise each of them in turn. Some were merely faces and names, familiar only because of efforts taken in the preceding hours. Others were counterparts from the Alliance Senate, or souls familiar to him from the days of the Rebellion. Torrsk was not enough of a politician to think of any of them as rivals - after all, their objective was ultimately the same, even if their thoughts on the proper execution differed - but he was too much of a Bothan to consider any of them friends. Allies, perhaps, but he had willingly sacrificed his right to the sentiments of friendship and camaraderie when he had accepted his current office, and had no intention of allowing himself to stray into those pitfalls.

"You all know why we are here," he said at last, speaking in his normal tone now that the room's attention was undivided. "Contact was recently lost with the planet Terminus, and Imperial world not far beyond our borders. Our intelligence and reconnaissance have confirmed that the planet has been attacked. Casualty reports have yet to come in, but our current estimates place the losses at near total. Terminus, essentially, has been wiped out."

He let those last words hang in the air, tolerating for a brief moment the murmurs of reaction from those for whom the news was new. From the others, he watched grim looks take hold in their eyes. The death of a world was a sombre thing to contemplate, a cost of life too numerous for anyone to truly comprehend. Even Torrsk had to admit that he was naive enough to hope that the Treaty had placed such atrocities behind them.

As the moments passed, he held up a hand for silence.

"What you may not be aware of is that we know who is responsible."

A glance and a nod were cast to the man beside him, Captain Adonis Inirial from Fleet Intelligence, who dutifully triggered the holographic output on the auditorium's main projector.

"They call themselves the Ssi-Ruuk. Two years ago, prior to the Alliance-Imperial Treaty, the Frigate Novgorod encountered an enclave of these beings in the Gordian Reach. Their efforts were on a smaller scale than the attack on Terminus, and through cooperation with an Imperial Star Destroyer, they were defeated. The Empire made efforts to bury these events, and it was decided by High Command that the Alliance would also respect that secrecy. In light of this new attack on Terminus, however, that secrecy is being expanded to include all of you. Our desire to avoid mass panic is unchanged, but at the same time, we cannot merely sit behind our borders and watch the Empire suffer, when we have a reason to believe that the Alliance could easily be next."