.246 ABY – Squad: Delta 3 – Planet Onderon – Whisper Base – Cael Log
Voba, Gaave and Xian have been busy. They have most of the holovideo screens hooked up and are channeling data from various places around Iziz. There are also less exposed wires this time around. Zal is helping Roots and Florek work on the life support system in the YT-1210. (Berrenger) “Don’t worry about the cost of the parts.” As he just smiles at me when I ask him how much they cost us. Cant figure out that guy. It is beginning to rain a little harder. Torre has been overly busy keeping the leaking trash compactor from flooding the floor. Treb and the young recruits are returning to base via the lower road leading to the motor pool.
1830 Hour – Gaave lets me know that he would like to have a full meeting when the recruits and Treb return. (Cael) “They are ETA in 20 to 30 minuets.” (Gaave) “Great, then we will meet in the conference room in 1 hour.” I go and open the bay door to meet the recruits in the motor pool. They all look tired. Treb seems very energized. (Cael) “Meeting in the conference room in 20 minuets. Everyone, get a little dried off and cleaned up. Good job squad. Good job Treb” I grab a cup of java from the cafeteria and head to the conference room. Voba is there already and cussing in his native language at some wires. Gaave is inputting data at a terminal. I sit down at the main desk and put my boots on the desk hard enough that they can hear me. Xian jumps to attention. Gaave even jumps at the sound. Voba just rotates his head slowly to look at me with a scowl on his face. I just smile at the 3 of them and sip my java. They finish the set up by the time people start filtering in. Gaave soon begins the meeting. There are local maps up on some of the screens and images of the area around Jiranna Base on others. (Gaave) “Good evening everyone. I have some good news and some bad news.” (Cael) “Start with the bad news, so we have something good to look forward to.” Gaave gives me the stare. Like I am scared of him. I smile back at him and sip more java. (Gaave) “OK, the bad news. Moff Dardano is prepping troops for a jungle attack. Most likely on this base. You can see here from this vid footage they are running jungle simulation tactics. We suspect they will attack sometime within the next 28 days. We also intercepted messages from Moff Dardano to local leaders. We are pretty sure he has 2 platoons of storm trooper infantry. His air support is a squadron of TIE fighters and a few TIE bombers.” (Zal) “And the good news?” (Gaave) “Sven has procured some spices from local plants. This should make mess hall that much better. Also our supply drop is due in tomorrow. We should receive most of what we asked for. Some antiaircraft weapons, droids, other electronics. We also have a line on some hidden money, maybe.” (Cael) “All this in the drop? What do we have that can move all this back to base?” (Zal) “It should all fit in the YT-1210.” (Cael) “I would feel safer if we had a perimeter guard on this drop.” (Voba) “What do you suggest?” (Cael) “Flower, Moonbeam and I will meet the Crate at the drop zone on the bikes. We can set up a perimeter watch.” Gaave looks angry at the reference to calling the YT-1210 the Crate. (Treb) “raaaaaahhgh huuguughghg awwgggghhh aarrragghuuhw huurh [ translation – I will also go on the bikes. ] ” (Voba) “OK then it is settled. Cael, Flower, Moonbeam, Treb will rendevous at the drop zone. Zal will pilot the YT-1210 there.” (Zal) “I will take 3 of the recruits to help in the supply transfer. Zeb, Bobby and Billy Ray.” (Cael) “That crate going to fly without too much problem?” (Zal) “Some of the problems are fixed already. Nothing I cant work around.” Everyone studies the holo map of the area surrounding the drop zone. It is a large plateau jutting out of the jungle below. Middle of nowhere. (Cael) “Everyone, dismissed. Those not on night duty, get some rest. We have a big day tomorrow.” Voba walks past me. (Voba) “Crate, I get the joke. Old little bucket ship the Box. New bigger bucket ship the Crate.” he chuckles as he walks past. (Gaave) “Her name is Majestic Gundar, you nerf!” I just chuckle at how upset Gaave is. In my quarters I run over the duty roster for the next 2 days. I am starting to put the partisan rebels in some positions around the base. Make them earn their mess and cot. I take 1 shot of bourbon and catch some sleep. Tomorrow will bring us lots of new toys. Whether we break them is another story.
.247 ABY – Squad: Delta 3 – Planet Onderon – Whisper Base – Cael Log
0500 Hour – I wake up in a sweat. Not an overly bad nightmare. I have had it before and it is getting old hat. Watching my parents consumed in flames as Alderan burns. I might have to take out some frustration in PT this morning. At PT, all the present recruits are here. 8 of the rebels are also here. Calisthenic for 10 minuets then I put us through a run through the base for another 10 minuets. (Cael) “Good run everyone. 15 minute fresher and grab some chow.” I shower, shave and change into a day uniform. In the chow line. We can all smell whatever Sven is cooking, and it smells pretty good. When we get it. We are still not sure what it is, but it taste better then what Torre was cooking. After breakfast I put a call out to Darius. (Darius) “We are still settling in the villagers at the Hunting Lodge. My aunt has us busy making sure they have everything. We did have some trouble with some of the Rupee riders, but we took care of them. We should be on our way back either later today or most likely early tomorrow.” (Cael) “Roger that. Be careful and do not engage the enemy at all costs. Whisper Base out.” I also put out a call to Omnath. He has been out on patrol for a while with no contact. I get no reply. That is a bad sign. That is how we lost Keith. I next check to see if everyone has taken to their duty station. I have 2 rebels assigned to each of the turbo laser batteries. They are running through the simulation for aerial assault. Next I check on the 2 mechanics I assigned to maintain the generators. They are going over the wire diagrams. I also find the other 2 rebels on maintenance detail, repairing a ceiling panel that was shot out during a fire fight. Another of the rebels is in the motor pool prepping the bikes for today’s mission. The bikes are purring as smooth as a fluff kitten.
1015 Hour – Flower, Moonbeam and I are in full armor in the motor pool. Our bikes are all prepped when Treb shows up. We give him the quick once over of the controls. He nods yes to all of it. I let Zal know we are leaving. (Zal) “ I will give you a 20 minute head start and meet you at coordinates 237 – 122.” (Cael) “Roger that.” The mechanic opens the bay door and we head out. Treb is better then I expected on the bike. We ramp the speed up to 100kph. We should be at the rendezvous in 1 hour.
1035 Hour – Zal lifts off the YT-1210. She has trouble with the yoke. When she gets to hover, she looks closer at its base. There is something stuck in the spot where the yoke enters the dashboard. She pulls out something sticky. The yoke works perfect after that. She heads to the drop zone. After about 15 minutes. She gets a sensor read on the bikes locations and the Cruiser Tarqunious. The cruiser is coming in a little faster then it should. After a minute it becomes clear that the cruiser has 2 tails. Sensors show they are TIE fighters. (Zal) “Cael, the cruiser has some company on their tail. I will bring the ship in low and pick you 4 up.” (Cael) “Roger that. I have you on the sensor.” we bring the speed down to 25kph as Zal lowers the ship. She opens the port side ramp. We each fly the bikes right up into the crate and park them in the cargo hold. I go up to the cockpit. Zal is on the comm to the cruiser. Letting them know what she is up to. (Zal) “I need you in the turret.” (Cael) “OK, but how are we going to deal with 2 TIEs?” (Zal) “You just shoot when I give you a target. Leave the flying to me.” When I get to the turret. I put on the targeting head set and power up the gun. It is still giving me the error message “Low Tibanna Gas.” (Cael) “Zal, we are still low on gas for this cannon.” (Zal) “Then don’t miss many shots.” Zal comes up to the underside of the Cruiser. Using it as a cover. She brings the crate out from under the cruiser. Several maneuvers and she powers between the 2 TIE fighters. Causing them to break in different directions. The cruiser slips into a cloud bank. Zal follows 1 of the TIEs. My 1st shot misses but puts the TIE into a maneuver away from his wing man or the cruiser. Zal swivels the ship in a tight turn that makes the blood rush to my toes. (Cael) “Easy there Zal. I don’t want to loose my lunch or the back half of this crate.” (Zal) “Just shoot the Fricken TIE.!” I take a second shot as it is coming around and take its port wing clean off. It spirals down to explode in the jungle. By this time the other TIE is circling near the cruisers location. Zal swings us around again and I put the targeting computer on the 2nd TIE. The warning buzzer is going off. I am out of Tibanna gas. (Cael) “Zal, I got nothing to shoot with. We are out of gas for the gun. I still have him targeted. Bluff him.” (Zal) “OK….Tie wing, you are targeted. You either leave the vicinity or you will meet the same fate as your wing man. Your choice, decide.” (TIE 2) “Ah…How do I explain breaking off pursuit?” (Zal) “Dump your Tibanna gas. If you cant shoot you cant do anything. You are running out of time and my gunner has a hair trigger.” (TIE 2) “OK…OK..dumping gas.” The TIE dumps a cloud of Tibanna. Then turns tail and flys back towards Jiranna Base. I lock down the gun and go back to the cockpit. (Cael) “Nice flying. He could not get out of the target sight.” (Zal) “I told you I use to fly those. I know their strengths and their weaknesses. I will drop you 4 on the plateau before the cruiser comes in. Then give them a clear landing zone. I will swing around and come in by their load ramp.” (Cael) “OK, lets go team.” Zal brings us into a hover. Lowers the ramp and we pile out and split to 4 directions to scan for trouble. The cruiser comes in and lands when Zal clears the zone. She slides around and lands on the load ramp side. The crates starboard landing gear is right near the edge of the slope, but it is stable. I can see the 3 boys loading the crates from the cruiser. Looks like 3 more repeating blaster cannons. A crate of armor. A medical droid. A skid of personal shield generators. Our Dendric security advisor and 3 crates marked Detonite “Handle with care”. Well there is our explosives we need. The cruiser crew is opening another larger hatch. They are hoisting a Z-95 Headhunter. Zal must be happy we have that. Now we have some decent air cover.
1145 Hour – Zal calls me over to the Z-95. (Zal) “I cant fly both the crate and the headhunter. You think you can handle the Z-95? I mean just to fly her back to base, nothing fancy.” (Cael) “Yea, I can handle that.” Zal gives me the quick run through of the Z-95s controls. Most of them I knew. It aint no speeder bike. All the crates are loaded onto the YT-1210. I start the warm up procedures on the Z-95. Treb and the girls are already on their way back to base. The cruiser takes off in a slow turn. I can see Zal inside the YT-1210s canopy. I lift off the Z-95. Quickly I realize I have the port thrusters and vanes in the wrong location. The Z-95 pivots backwards and to port. When it gets over the edge of the plateau the ship falls to the right. I quickly realign the thrusters and close the vanes. Point the fighter into a dive and pull up at speed. I soon get up to treetop level. I drop the speed and go into a hover. (Zal) “What putz maneuver was that?” (Cruiser) “Delta 3, I can now see your new toy is clear of crashing. Cruiser Tarqunious out.” (Cael) “Yea, yea, yea, I forgot to realign the thrusters. I will follow you in Zal.” The flight back to base is uneventful.
1300 Hour – Zal has me land 1st on the duracrete pad. I move the Z-95 into the far corner. She then lands the YT-1210 in a position that the loading ramp is facing the base. As I climb down from the cockpit. Torre comes up to me. (Torre) “Good day Cael. Maintenance repairs on the base are commencing. Our only problem is the Ice macker is broken.” (Cael) “Just great, How are we suppose to make sunset margaritas at the end of the day, what horror.” As I walk past Torre towards the door. (Torre) “Sir, I have a renowned recipe for sunset margarita in my data banks. We are missing several ingredients. I can….” (Cael) “Thats OK Torre. We can do without them for now.” (Torre) “Yes Sir Cael.” I should have known better that Torre would not get the joke.