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    1. #1
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      PM-Invite Operation: Tinder Box


      0 Not allowed!
      Engines whined in the background amid the tumult of a platoon readying for deployment as Cabrin moved to the comm station and keyed in the frequency for his daughter. Knowing that every mission could be his last, he needed to speak those words to the one that had been through enough already. As her image emerged over the holoimager, he smiled.

      "Hey kid, how's things going?"

      "Good," she grinned, glancing over his shoulder. "Why do you do this to me?"

      His brow furrowed, "What are you talking about?"

      "Call me right before you're going into danger," Cymbrecia shook her head. "I hate that. You love me, I love you. Go and kick some *** and get home. Done."

      He laughed, straightening. "You do have a way with words."

      "Yeah, no idea who I got that from." The grin perpetual, her mood sobered. "Just be careful and come home, or I'll have to jump in the Witch and come there and kick your butt."

      Hands up defensively, "Okay, okay. I promise, boss." He took a deep breath and tried to keep from getting emotional, but it was hard sometimes. "I do love you, Brecie."

      His daughter only nodded, "Yep".

      Not wanting to turn off the link, he lingered for a long moment, appreciating the time spent even if it was only brief. Memorizing her face, blue eyes and curly black hair, he reached and clicked it off. Shaking it off, he turned and hurried toward the shuttle now taking on one of the four squads that he commanded and whom he planned on bringing every one of them back, regardless of what it took. Alive or dead.

      Busy with activity, the ground crews ushered the maintenance droids away as others unlatched the fueling lines and carried them away from the four dark grey vessels prepping to leave as Cabrin moved to the access door and patted the last soldier as he climbed aboard. Glancing to the crew chief, he nodded to him.

      "Force be with you, L.T.," the Twi'lek male shouted over the engines.

      "See you soon." Hurrying up into the crowded interior, Cabrin found a seat as the door closed behind him.

      Thanks Satkia

    2. #2

      1 Not allowed!
      Llewel had been gone a while. The last mission she had been on had left more scars than she was happy with. But it still beat the alternative.

      As everyone filed into the transport, she kept her seat about halfway up the passenger side of the vehicle. A momentary darkness covered the door as another body blocked the light. The sillouette was one that made her tilt her head slightly as if trying to remember a dream. As the person stepped deeper into the dark interior, a word fell from her lips with more volume than she had intended.

      "Cabrin?" Her voice almost cracked. She hadn't seen him on the roster at the barracks and had assumed he was gone. Figuring he had finally gone home to his girl, it never dawned on her the listing in the bachelor quarters were for those of lesser rank. She never looked on the mission roster to see who the officers in charge were. Granted, she was a Lieutenant now, given it because of her actions in the last skirmish.(*) But it hadn't occurred to her... it didn't matter... he was here and alive. For Cymbrecia's sake, she was glad.

      And for her own, she was as well.

      Shifting sideways, she called to the man as a space beside her cleared. "There is space here, Sir." She wasn't sure how much she wanted to let the others know, but deep down, she was grateful to see him in more ways than one.




      (*) Got promotion before I left last time. No real ceremony thread or anything so the 'promotion in combat' seemed a good idea. It also explains her new scars, and her absence.

    3. #3
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      0 Not allowed!
      Familiar faces all glanced up to him as he walked between his seated soldiers, their gear and weapons crowding the available space. Then he heard a familiar voice whom he hadn't heard in a long time. Smiling, Cabrin moved to claim the chair beside her and strapped in. "Hey there," he greeted happily. "I see the captain sent you with us, awesome." It had been a long while since they had worked together and the memories of that previous mission came flooding back as the shuttle lifted off into the air. "How've you been?"

      Lights dimmed as the glowpanels shifted to flight mode, the brightest cone of light now filtering in from the cockpit window and down the center of the interior, highlighting boots, fatigues and nervous hands. The mission now drifted to the background as he admired her face once more, the smooth lines and attractiveness not quite fitting the gear she was wearing. He also knew his daughter would have a field day harassing him about having a crush on a fellow officer as well. Again.

      Without regarding the other men and women in the shuttle, he neglected to see their interest in the discussion now going on between the attractive lieutenant and himself. One that he had heard many talk about in certain circles, in fact. He would have to keep an eye on them, he mused.
      Last edited by Cabrin; 02-08-2018 at 02:28 PM.

    4. #4

      1 Not allowed!
      She smiled as he took the seat and was glad that he happy to see her. She nodded as he spoke of her assignment. "I'm ok. Was sent off world a while ago, just after our last mission. It's still black listed so can't discuss it. But the last six months I was in medical and rehab. Just got my clearance last week to come back." She nudged his shoulder with her own as she laughed. "Needed you at my back that time." She joked with him in hopes he wouldn't feel bad for her.

      She was grateful the fatigues covered her upper arms and back. The scars had needed several grafts and even now made her look like she had been left in a cooker for too long. Though the skin was oddly whitish pink instead of angry read as if she had truly been cooked. She was also thankful that the din in the transport meant, even at this close setting, he didn't see the scar up the right side of her neck to behind her ear. She was just relieved beyond measure that she would have his back, and he would have hers, once more. "I asked to go on the next mission, so here I am. How is Brecie doing? I hope she doesn't think I abandoned her. We were keeping in touch so well then when I left we had to go dark. I didn't even get to tell her why." She steeled her jaw to keep it from wavering.

      After that first day in the plaza together, the three of them had been on two more outings, but it was Brecie that Llewel had communicated with the most. They never spoke of anything personal. Llewel never asked about her boy friend, and Brecie never asked about Llewel's life. It was always talk of the latest holos, or clothes, or what they had purchased last time they were out on their own. But it had been two weeks off planet then almost 6 months of rehab. And Llewel had never written the girl back. She had been embarrassed when she came home, to have ignored her two weeks. But then it became fear that because of the elapsed time, the girl would hate her. Soon, she just talked herself out of contacting the young woman her supervisor loved more than his own weapons.

    5. #5
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      0 Not allowed!
      Hearing about her injuries sobered the roguish lieutenant and though he had better luck keeping the Witch Hunt flying in the air than masking his regret over not being there for a fellow soldier, he grinned when she playfully nudged him. Seemed every soldier had a way of dealing with their chosen profession.

      The mention of his daughter changed his thought process immediately, glancing to his hands as he smiled. "She's a pain as usual," he lied, then returned his gaze to her. "Keeping the salvaging business going and harassing my clients as often as she can." Cabrin chuckled knowing she was definitely a chip off of the old block. "She did mention that you had vanished off of the radar for a while, but knew that with this life that happens sometimes. She'll be glad that you're not occupying a shallow grave somewhere," he smiled, knowing that option was never far from the truth. "Have to give her a call when we get back, or stop by the shop."

      As they spoke, the loadmaster made his way down the center aisle and then stopped near them, leaning over and gaining Cabrin's attention. "Fifteen minutes, L.T.," he yelled over the buzz of discussion and morass of other sounds filling the cabin.

      Nodding as he glanced to the thinly built sergeant, Cabrin's mind then returned to the mission, though he appreciated the distraction. "Thanks."

      Continuing on, the crewman in tan coveralls soon reached his chair within the back of the cockpit.

      Blue eyes refocused on Llewel once more. "This is supposed to be a cake walk, but you know how that goes. Intel has a great way of oversimplifying these things sometimes. Never works out that way, does it?" Though he knew Maggie wasn't involved as much in the details of this particular mission, she would be monitoring their communications with headquarters, just because.

    6. #6

      0 Not allowed!
      Llewel smiled and nodded. "Get the intel, then deal with actually happens when you get there. That seems about right." She laughed and reached beneath her seat to pull out her rifle. As a sharp shooter, her weapon was more of a part of her gear than most men's duffle bags. She set it butt down on the deck and began checking it. When the others disembarked, she would come out last. Her direction was slightly different from those she was with. After all, she needed higher ground to watch over those currently surrounding her.

      She nodded to Cabrin. "I hope whoever you have spotting for me can sit still for more than ten min. I don't want some boot who needs to go take a break every ten minutes or can tell a breath from a breeze." She teased him winking knowing he would never send a cadet out as her spotter, but she was also letting him know she was back up to speed and knew what she had to do.

    7. #7
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      "Can't break tradition," he commented about the intelligence that had been given before their departure. Everyone that did this for any length of time knew they had to keep constant vigil on an enemy, otherwise things changed too quickly to keep up with. No one stayed static for long, he knew. As she began checking her weapon, he listened to her suggestion and he grinned, "That'll be me," he took a deep breath and let it out, then scanned the faces of the many others setting down with them. Most of them having already seen enough action to be trusted with their jobs, his sergeants well trained. But there were some new soldiers here as well whose own experience may be about to come in a hail of gunfire. He only hoped they listened to the others around them and made it out of this one alive.

      Blue eyes turned back to Llewel. "Best to keep an eye on things while next to your rifle, kill two birds kinda thing." They had already worked together once while doing recon on a mercenary gang some time ago, so they both knew the drill. Every special ops unit traveled with the sniper next to the leader and this mission would be no different. As he mused on their coming destination, he raised his left arm, then lifted the thick pad over the comm device and holoimager, accessing the topographical map of the town and surrounding area. Corellia's country was gorgeous and he had gotten to see some of it while not on deployment. Leaning over to her slightly, he showed her his plan. "Newport's got some suspected Corellian Hundred activity," he began, then pointed at a small cluster of buildings on the outskirts, then to the neighboring hills. "We'll insert here, then move in from the north and east. Figured you and I with," he pointed to a young looking man with glasses across from them, "Sparky there, my comms guy. We'll do overwatch while the recon team goes in and adjust once we know more."

      Hearing them talk about him, the corporal nodded and smiled to the female lieutenant.

      "Intel says the small farming complex here is a staging point for some cell in the area. They've been noticing a lot of comms gear going in, which supposedly being a residence of some hard working family didn't add up. L.F.I. detection also noticed eight in an underground-like bunker, which is where they believe the nerve center is. They're tracking down the local benefactor to this cell now, so no word on whether or not they want us to pick him up also, for interrogation. Command'll let us know."
      Last edited by Cabrin; 02-10-2018 at 09:59 AM.

    8. #8

      0 Not allowed!
      "That'll be me." Cabrin said.

      Those words untied a knot Llewel hadn't even realized was in her chest. She had suffered last time because her spotter had given them away. The storm troopers had snuck up behind them and captured them both. She hadn't even realized it bothered her still till she had thought of one of the rookies on the transport having to have her back. There were one or two she recognized and would have accepted, but the rest seemed far too young. Knowing it was Cabrin made her feel much better.

      "Sparky, huh?" She glanced to the guy Cabrin had motioned to. At least he didn't look straight from the Academy. "As long as he knows how to be quiet, Cabrin... I don't want a rookie on this." Her voice was a bit more gruff than she meant it to be. But in all honesty, she'd rather be alone than risk all that again. She would be able to let go, die in the process. But if Cabrin was captured... She didn't want to think of Brecie having to come visit her dad in the hospital with the scars she, herself wore now. She promised the girl she'd keep her dad safe. Despite losing contact with the woman, she wasn't going to go back on that promise now.

    9. #9
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      Cabrin smiled, closing the link to their command ship, high up in space hovering over the planet, then lowering the camouflaged pad over the top of it, securing the cover once more. "He's actually been with me on several missions already and normally you don't even know he's there," he reassured, then glanced toward several other soldiers harassing one another like most did. "Can't say that for everyone," he joked.

      Shifting mental gears while they had the time, though shortening by the minute. "Been redecorating in the new house we bought. Going to have a house warming party next month, so you're invited." Sarcastically adding, "Brecie insisted," he shrugged, playfully messing with her, then smiled. "Getting the tile redone now along with some new work on a fireplace. Going to be nice when it's done."

      "L.T.'s a happy homemaker," the corporal across from them joked, gaining some chuckles and smiles from those around them. "Ruining that killer instinct that I thought you had, sir."

      Cabrin glanced to the radioman, "How's KP sound, Sparky? Get those dishpan hands back that you've been craving." A comment that garnered jeers from the others, allowing Cabrin to return to his discussion with Llewel, though he loved the banter with the men.

    10. #10

      0 Not allowed!
      The fact that Sparky had been on more than one mission made Llewel pleased. No one watched Cabrin's back more than once if he wasn't happy. She nodded that she was pleased and ready to accept him. Her face didn't hide surprise as he spoke of the new house. They had talked of him and Brecie getting one last year, but she hadn't heard they acquired it. "Congrats on the new place. I'm sure it's gonna be great. And I'll definitely be there." She smiled and glanced around as the jokes floated around the loud area.

      She laughed with the rest, nudging Cabrin's shoulder with her own. As it died down with the Lieutenant's threat, she smiled and turned to him as he sat back down. "Well at least they like you. That kind of loyalty usually works better than fear."

      She watched the lights flicker. Five minutes till all hell broke loose on the target zone. She just hoped it would be a swift in and out. Didn't they all? But as she wished it, knowing everyone else in the transport was doing the same, she also realized another thing they were all doing the same... realizing it wasn't going to happen.

    11. #11
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      He nodded quietly knowing the men came first and he had come to rely on them just as much. Taking care of this issue with the Corellian Hundred had been a long and arduous one as the group seemed well entrenched in Corellian society. An issue for their own independence that he understood, just not the method of their protestations. Terrorism was never the answer, he mused.

      Soon, the lights dimmed and the loadmaster raised his hand, forefinger in the air denoting they were about to disembark and should be out of sight of the compound they were now going to assault. Forested hills between them and the target zone, Cabrin and his sergeants planned this part of the mission out carefully. Secrecy until they wanted the terrorists to know they were there was paramount. Gear ready, Cabrin unbuckled himself as did all his men, then the row across from him rose first and prepared to leave the shuttle. This was the moment of truth, he knew as the nervous adrenaline began flowing through his body.

      The soft landing was barely felt and then the ship's interior went completely dark as the doors on either side opened up, allowing his men to exit quickly, one behind the other. Once the last of the first row was out, he rose with the starboard side and pushed out with them as well. Into the cool night air, everyone formed a perimeter and crouched down, everyone facing outward and toward the treeline surrounding them. Once the shuttle rose back into the air and soon disappeared, they waited and listened to the forest for any sign of detection, lasting some minutes. IR glasses lowered down over his eyes, Cabrin watched and waited to the sounds of bird calls and insects. Quiet.

      Turning, he motioned to the two sergeants with him to move, and everyone rose in unison and began heading south into the woods, climbing the high sloped hill as they did in an arrow formation, a heavy weapons man leading with Cabrin to his left and behind, the medic to Cabrin's right and behind the heavy weapon's corporal. Keeping their spacing, the squad moved as quietly as they could and listened to everything around them, using hand signals when the need arose.

      Soon, Cabrin motioned for the sergeant to take the squad on, keeping to the forest as he, Llewel and Sparky moved to the backside of the hill's crest and then crawled up to the rise, giving them now a narrow view of the whole farming compound. Slipping through the tall grass, Cabrin then removed his macrobinoculars and began assessing the compound for any movement, but found none so far which was a good sign.

      Once ranges were gained, he whispered to Llewel, "Eight-fifty to the northwestern barn, wind... right to left, two miles an hour. Eight-sixty two to the main house." He let her range in the rifle as Sparky monitored the four squads for him, their comm traffic non-existent until they found their designated spots below the trio on the hilltop and far to the left, beyond the main access road.
      Last edited by Cabrin; 02-13-2018 at 08:23 AM.

    12. #12

      0 Not allowed!
      Once out of the transport, Llewel slung her rifle and it wasn't 20 minutes later and they wereon their bellies moving to the crest of the hill they were taking overlook on. Once there she listened to Cabrin as she sighted in on the two main targets. Using them as a basis, she moved her sights around and found the three small units below them. "Alpha, Bravo and Charlie all in place, Lieutenant." Her soft voice was concise and affirmative.

      As she glanced once more to the barn, then once more to the main house, a small murmur of curiosity whispered from her lips. "Sir... Movement in the farmhouse, northwest window, send from the end. Just one but it certainly passed the window." She moved slowly from one window to another but nothing else showed itself. She swept once more to the barn and scanned over both the main double doors, the small side door and the loft door she could see. "No movement at the barn." She whispered.

    13. #13
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      Following her sighting, Cabrin watched the northern window to the main building for a long moment and though exterior lights illuminated the compound, there seemed to be little activity otherwise which was a good sign that their presence remained undetected. Distant specks of light rose and fell into the atmosphere, denoting freighters rising into space or descending to the starport not twenty miles from them. The edge of the town was only two miles, he knew from the topographical map, so if any action did get loud he knew the neighbors were probably going to hear it.

      "L.T.," Sparky whispered. "Two just found some passive perimeter sensors, they're overriding them now."

      News that he didn't like to hear, glancing at the comms man. "How many?"

      "Three, spaced about twenty yards apart."

      His heart nearly stopped, "Let the other three squads know. Those are going to be all around this place."

      "Copy that," the corporal replied, then passed that note on to the others.

      Sighing, Cabrin went back to watching the compound through his macros. "Intel forgot to mention those," he mused aloud.

    14. #14

      0 Not allowed!
      Llewel took her eyes off the sight for a moment to look at Cabrin. "Ask them to check the dead fall around the sensors. It rained here a couple days ago. Ground is still moist, but not wet. Maybe they can tell if the sensors were set before or after the rain." She had lain on the ground her whole career. She knew from lack of heat, even this late in the afternoon, that the top soil was dry, but just below that was still wet, soaking up the sun's heat.

      She went back to her scope as she finished. "If they are new sets, then chances are we have lost our element of surprise and they are expecting us. If they are older, then perhaps intel just didn't get close enough to see them, or talk to anyone who knew they were there."

      Whatever the reason, they had problems both ways. If they were new additions, then the intel they had could very well be useless. If they were older, then other intel may be just as incomplete.

      Suddenly a figure walked the other way across the kitchen window. "Movement again, L. T. Same window. Other direction. Seems casual. Not like he's in a hurry or anything. May still be able to do this without a lot of hoopla."

    15. #15
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      Cabrin nodded at the suggestion, at least someone was thinking, he mused. Sparky then whispered the added information and then waited for a response.

      Turning his gaze back through the macrobinoculars, Cabrin watched the apparent kitchen window for the movement and soon noticed a female in simple button-up top. Not something he would suspect from someone on watch inside the house, as if they were waiting on company. Keeping his view wide, soon the issue with the sensors was received.

      "Delta says they've been there a while and are now neutralized. They're proceeding toward the west barn now," the corporal informed.

      Cabrin then turned his attention that way and soon noticed a slight movement on the rooftop of the nearby shop. "Contact, eight fifty-one to the left of the barn. Rooftop, sniper. He's a loner."

      Sparky warned Delta to stop and take cover, letting Llewel do her thing. Cabrin knew the minute that shot was taken, they were going to have to speed this up not knowing if the compound had regular call in times or not. If they were as organized as he assumed, they would have no more than fifteen minutes to hit this place before people were being woken up and readied for combat. Scanning the other rooftops now, he didn't notice anyone else.

      "Base, this is Cowboy," Cabrin called to the ship overwatching the operation. "Request L.F.I. scan on surrounding area."

      "Copy, Cowboy. Wait one."

      He knew they were watching the compound itself, but he now wanted to make sure that the Hundred didn't have scout units out in the surrounding forest, ready to ambush the company.

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