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Leaph Chausew

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Star Wars: The Outer Rim Conflicts (Working Title)

by Leaph Chausew » 10 Dec 2012, 00:57

You guys don't seem to have a sub forum for posting player created fiction so I'm posting my story here. This is a work in progress and covers my main character Leaph's life from Rebel Alliance cadet all the way through the Galactic Civil War to just after The Battle of Endor.

The story is based on RP carried out in Star Wars Galaxies and the story driven space campaigns we held on the Starsider server. Many of the characters featured in the story were NPC and established player characters in game and I have tried to make the narrative fit in with canonical events as much as possible, with perhaps a 'little' artistic license.

I'm writing this story for enjoyment and as a memento of sorts of starfighter combat in SWG. I'm posting the narrative here so that those interested may learn more about Leaph and his historical context. Feel free to comment in this thread too. Enjoy.



Foreword


The Karthakk system remained contested for the duration of the war and our imperative was always to prevent the Empire from establishing a large space port on Lok. To quote another author: ‘Lok was a barren, dusty planet in the Outer Rim territories . Sulfur pools, lifeless rivers and volcanoes were commonly found on the planet.’ It was the odorous armpit of the galaxy.

Our forays into Imperial dominated quadrants within the Karthakk system contributed to suppressing the Empire’s efforts in establishing this foothold, but all of us knew that these sorties were but a remedy, not a cure. Serving as part of a cadet group with Havoc squadron, who were intended to hone our combat skills against disorganised low lifes and pirates within the system, we were painfully aware of our vulnerability and ineffectualness should the Empire intensify its focus there. So we established Rebellion Blaze early in the war.

Rebellion Blaze became our primary foothold. Following the same designs of the heavily armed deep space Freedom Station, our forces were bolstered with a downgraded, but very capable, starfighter platform positioned within a relatively secure zone surrounded by asteroids.

Rebellion Blaze, or simply Blaze, as its crew referred to it, enabled higher frequency supply drop-offs and personnel exchanges for our operations on Lok. It would also be responsible for saving my life on many an occasion.

I was being briefed for one of my final sorties as a cadet when the call for major strike action came in from Alliance High Command. The Empire was enroute with an invasion force intent on occupying the planet and building the starport which surely would have crushed our operations in the system and smothered Nym’s smuggling operations. I felt unready for this; I think all of us did. And we were scared.
Last edited by Leaph Chausew on 10 Dec 2012, 01:14, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Star Wars: The Outer Rim Conflicts (Working Title)

by Leaph Chausew » 10 Dec 2012, 01:11

Chapter 1: Star Ravager

9 Months BBY...

Twelve Z-95s and eight Y-wings clustered around the carrier Bitter Dancer. Carrier. Our ride was a converted Y8 mining ship with a myriad of TIE launch racks jury rigged to its deep keel. Four tiers of racks reached out both sides of the keel, capable of holding three fighters each, making for a total starfighter capacity of twenty four vessels. I emitted a brief sigh as I looked the vessel up and down.

Corroded durasteel plates encapsulated Bitter Dancer. About twice the height as it was long, the CEC vessel was as useless at mining as it was ungainly in appearance and difficult to manoeuvre. The Alliance, having discovered far more creative and lucrative mining methods, often converted Y8s into makeshift carriers or retained them for other specialised operations.

The lance-like heavy mining laser, which protruded twenty metres in front of the bridge, was missing. In its place was a complex array of antennae and sensor dishes built for hyperwave communication, intelligence gathering and jamming. Otherwise, the awkward vessel was identical to any other Y8 except for the replacement of its other mining lasers with four CEC AG2G quadlasers.

I positioned my Headhunter between Havoc Leader Warvog Arkon’s Headhunter and my wingman Eshiem’s. “Engaging maglocks.” A red LED on my console blinked three times then switched to green to confirming the ‘95 was clamped in place. We would remain snug within our snubfighters for the duration of the ride.

I looked ahead and saw the Y-wings form up into flights of four ahead of us. Possessing Class 1 hyperdrives, they would reach the target system some minutes ahead of the Y8. And such was the nature of Havoc Squadron. Supposedly a training squadron, isolated on the Outer Rim, we flew old and dilapidated fighters which were deemed unserviceable within the fledgling fleets of the credit-strapped Rebel Alliance. The Mark III Z-95 Headhunters were of Old Republic stock, armed with tripleblasters and lacking hyperdrives. Tripleblasters were all but useless against anything moderately shielded, but the fighter compensated somewhat with respectable agility and hardiness. The Y-wing was even tougher possessing powerful blasters, an ion cannon turret and sturdy armour, but it moved like a pregnant hutt.

The comm crackled. It was Lady Viopa. “Pilots, our latest intelligence reports at least one squadron of TIE fighters, a flight of TIE Interceptors and two flights of uncategorised TIE craft escorting the Star Ravager at its last position - all vessels are hyperdrive equipped.”

“I’ll leave enough of them for you.” Eshiem squawked jubilantly. “Try n-”

I silenced his channel and keyed up my flight systems diagnostics on my H.U.D. Throughout the war, blazing aces would rise and fall. Everyone had heroes; everyone had nemeses. But above all, everyone yearned to be greatest. This was a most delicate and rarely spoken truth. And it often cost lives. Of course I wished to excel but I didn’t believe in bravado in the face of death. It was distasteful. Most important was the mission itself.

I toggled the H.U.D. to display the mission objectives all the while listening to Viopa.

Star Ravager’s hyperdrive vector signature indicates that it is taking the Triellus Trade Route from its last position at Tatooine where it will likely stop at Nelvaan to rendezvous with the freighter convoy coming in from the Corellian Run. Elements of the 5th Roving Line are moving to intercept the freighters before they can jump to Nelvaan. You have approximately one hour window to complete your mission. Good luck pilots. May the Force be with you. Viopa out.” The dignitary closed the channel.

Arkon’s voice crackled over the intercom, “Keep your thrusters idling. We’ll be disembarking hot and making for Nelvaan’s dark side while the Y-wings scout entry and exit hyperjump points. Maintain comm silence until my signal. The Imps seem to be bringing new fighters to the party so stay sharp, stick with your wingman and shoot to kill. Don’t do anything stupid - I specifically mean you Chausew. Havoc Lead out.”

I grimaced. The twi’lek formally known as General Warvog Arkon was Havoc Squadron’s cantankerous leader. A veteran of the Clone Wars, Arkon had fought with the CIS and then, during the rise of the Empire, carved out a living flying for and leading various pirate and smuggling organisations. I didn’t know his reasons for flying for the Rebel Alliance. On the ground, he was reclusive and impossible to talk to. His verbal communications to us cadets typically involved tirades of verbal abuse and strict, often punishing, orders. We feared but respected him. We obeyed his every command without question and those of us who lived owed our continued existence to his training. It was also appreciated, amongst the more perceptive of us, that being part of Arkon’s Havoc Squadron afforded a certain level of respect and protection on the harsh world of Lok upon where we were stationed. The gnarly twi’lek feared no one.

I turned to glance into Arkon’s canopy and gave him a nod. His piercing yellow eyes blinked once at me before casting down at his instruments his weathered flight gloves reaching to vacuum seal his maroon helmet to his teal flightsuit. The twi’lek’s helmet extended at the back of the skull to allow for his blue worm-like lekku to be encapsulated within the flight suit either side of his head, dropping and draping over his shoulders partway down his chest. I sealed my own flight suit.

The countdown came in: Three... Two.. One. And then pinpoint stars elongated to incandescent streaks followed by the haunting blue of hyperspace. I closed my eyes.
Last edited by Leaph Chausew on 13 Dec 2012, 01:47, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Star Wars: The Outer Rim Conflicts (Working Title)

by Leaph Chausew » 11 Dec 2012, 02:08

An unnerving shudder reverberated through Bitter Dancer’s spindly fighter racks as it exited hyperspace into the Koobi system. Nelvaan was a sapphire pearl against the barren void, its three moons conducting a lazy waltz around its circumference.

I spooled my thrusters to forty percent as the pre-mission briefing instructed and turned to Eshiem, dialling up his comm volume. The human male gave a zealous thumbs up which I returned casually.

A fellow Corellian male, Cadet Eshiem flew Havoc Eight and had latched himself onto me since we’d been assigned to the squadron following recruitment. He was of medium height and build with a terracotta crew cut. His saucer-like baby blue eyes puffed out and were shadowy from an out-of-cockpit existence of playing hologames and slicing codes. This indoors digital predilection had led to the man developing a somewhat pasty and blotchy complexion which was further aggravated through sleep deprivation. Despite his enthusiasm for starfighter combat, this lifestyle took its toll in the cockpit. And Arkon had immediately paired us up as wingmates upon deciding that we were best friends.

I kept my eyes on Eshiem’s fighter while awaiting the docking clamps to release us: that would be the signal to move...

The Incom 2a Fission engines hummed eerily behind me, synchronising at thirty nine percent. I nudged the throttle a millimetre forward, turbines hissing faintly in response. Forty three percent - good enough. I toed the rudder pedals counteracting the subtle yawing motion resulting from the thrust increase.

The clamps abruptly prized open with a hollow clank of rusted durasteel grinding against worn pivots and we accelerated towards the planet. Silence permeated our helmets.

The Y8 blinked out of existence on sensors as it re-entered hyperspace. A single bead of sweat trickled down my spine settling in the small of my lower back and, for the first time, I experienced the sinking sensation of loneliness. There’d be no possible retreat to the protective embrace of Rebellion’s Blaze on this sortie if it went awry. There were only two ways out. I gritted my teeth and ground the perspiration against my seat.

We entered Nelvaan’s modest mass shadow within ten minutes and shrouded our fighters within the blackened cloak of its darkside. We waited.

I heard that the quiet before the storm was always the worst part of any battle. It was a cliche, but such it was for a reason and the silence served to amplify our trepidation a thousand fold. Against the backdrop of stark nothingness, I felt my trembling was all too obvious to my comrades not-so-far away in loose formation.

Ten minutes passed, then thirty, then an hour. No Star Ravager and our mission window was closing...

I looked across through as many canopies as I could trying to make out the pilots within, what they were doing. Arkon sat back gazing out at the void, his eyes coolly scanning.

Eshiem sat as bolt upright as he could against the reclined seat, his eyes staring straight ahead. I gestured at him, a rude sign, but he remained transfixed.

Havoc Six, a new human pilot in my flight named D’thome peered out into the void, like many others in the squadron, his eyes squinting, searching, and head pushed forward as if reading an optician’s holo.

The fourth pilot in our flight, and D’thome’s wing man, was a self assured human named Erom. He had been a full Lieutenant with a Y-wing squadron, but was now ranked Flight Officer and that’s all we knew about that. Erom rarely spoke and there was something eerie about his quietness which put us off further enquiry. He only ever seemed to respond to his squadron designation of Havoc Five too.

We played patience without a word between us suspended amongst the stars and shrouded by Nelvaan’s dark side..

And then the universe exploded.

A piercing pitch of interference grated through our collective earphones and, collectively, we swore curses in our native tongues.

“Fierfek, what was that?!” gasped Eshiem over the comm.

I didn’t respond but the wavering screech had resolved itself into a raucous thunder.

“Distress signal priority one incoming!” commed the Y-wing flight leader. “It’s the...”

Bitter Dancer blazed across the starscape trailing a kilometre comet tail of blazing fuel.

“We must assist - “ the Y-wing continued..

“We’re no use to it!” growled Arkon. “All ships accelerate to attack speed. It’s a trap. Remain within the planetary shadow and expect incoming. Y-wings commence area patrol... Everyone else, form up in flights on me.”

I winced at the acid in Warvog Arkon’s voice and opened the comm to my pilots. “Ok, Deviant flight form up, loose finger-four,” I instructed. “Six, keep them peeled. We’re likely to be bounced from aft or below. Five, follow everything Six orders - stay with your wing element. Same for you Eight - you’re with me.”

“Yessir,” chimed Eshiem. So did the others.

Typically, Havoc Squadron consisted of Alliance recruits who, for various reasons, weren’t deemed suitable for training within the main fleets or privateers wishing to commit their allegiance to the Rebellion. Eitherway, pilots were always inexperienced in military combat and many possessed only a few hours of vacuum flight experience, let alone combat. The assignment to Lok, a distant outpost on the Outer Rim, had been supposed to offer a relatively safe training zone for new pilots to gain confidence flying low level operations. But lately, we were getting murdered. Today seemed to be shaping up to be a day like any other, only this time being stalked by phantom predators a whole hyperjump away from ‘home’...

I knew the finger four was essentially useless in space; however, D’thome was very vacuum flight light and I had to work with what he knew to maximise his survival. I opened a channel to Arkon, “Nothing on scopes yet Le-”

“Can it Seven! Comm silence!” snapped Arkon back at me. Fifty metres ahead of my flight, Havoc One abruptly powered down his engines and, using manoeuvring thrusters, completed a single roll to starboard, and then another roll to port. I gritted my teeth and shook my head. It was standard survival protocol we’d used a number of times in the Karthakk system and the message, though primitive, was effective and clear: with the battle apparently lost before it had begun and our ride home in flames, Arkon had decided we were catastrophically outmatched in this fight so opted to abort and, for lack of a better phrase, hide us. With such close proximity to Nelvaan and thrusters set at zero, we’d be pulled into a rapid sweeping orbit around the planet.

I gritted my teeth and noticed that our Y-wing friends were now far out on the edge of our scanners. And one by one, they jumped to hyperspace. The signature left by their hyperdrive engines would hopefully convince the Empire that whatever force of ours which had been here had escaped. There was still no sign of the Imperials.

In the distance, Bitter Dancer pirouetted lazily, listing to port as it was captured by Nelvaan’s gravitational pull. Fires and localised explosions flayed across the stricken vessel splitting it across the seams of its modular superstructure. And then it erupted as its reactor went critical. I saw no escape pods. And then it was gone.

Across the gulf of space, a flight of four peculiarly shaped TIEs, invisible against the black, streaked towards us. Each boasting three proton torpedo launchers and and advanced targeting computers, the stealthed fighters painted each of us as targets and waited. We would never see them coming...
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Leaph Chausew

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Re: Star Wars: The Outer Rim Conflicts (Working Title)

by Leaph Chausew » 13 Dec 2012, 02:00

[Author's comment: I've edited the first couple of posts heavily and added new story. Will hopefully add some more tomorrow.]

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