Crystals and chaos (Sin'd)
Ellandra woke up as the nearby soldier nudged her with a half murmured, "We're here..."
The next several minutes the shuttle eased full of organized chaos. To an outsider, it appeared no one knew where anything was. To another soldier, or trained eye, packs were being confirmed, uniforms buckled up and the sea of white storm troopers were soon settled back in their seats ready for deployment.
The unceremonious *thud* of the shuttle was matched with a klaxon tone and lights as the door opened for the small squad to exit and head for the destination not to far away.
Mygeeto was a large planet in the middle of nowhere, as far as Ellandra was concerned. The stark, unfriendly atmosphere and crystalline like surface reminded her of a geode turned inside out. Before her a ways was what may pass as a small field butting up against a treeline. A quick goggle check upon exit showed a small walled housing compound. Probably just a local family wealthy enough to protect themselves with the stone and crystal barrier.
The mission brief was easy. Go to the surface, retrieve the crystal shipment, go back home. But once in flight, Ellandra was called aside and given completely different orders.
Ellandra was in the third row of pairs as they exited the shuttle. The was soft din of conversation between some of her comrades. But the dark haired beauty remained silent as the squad leader called her out once they'd exited.
A white trooper stepped forward at the call of her name and took lead towards the compound. She heard the murmuring behind her grow louder ad they headed away from the mine and towards the compound.
Last edited by Ellandra Rellik; 11-02-2019 at 12:31 PM.
Reason: Story adjustment
Within the main building of the compound, the former army captain was sitting in a round high-backed chair. His leg crossed, poring over figures and statistics of his small mining operation, he was close to retiring for a cup of Deychin tea when something made the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. A high-pitched whining coupled with a low humming drone could be discerned, a sound that Tjer had heard for much of his adult life.
Setting down his holopad, Sin'd walked with a sense of dread to the long thin window that allowed him to survey his compound.
Within the valley now sat an Imperial shuttle, its ramp lowered and roughly two squads of stormtroopers shuffling down its length. Their movements were precise and well-drilled as could be expected from the men who formed the tip of the Empire's spear. The view was like an out-of-body experience for the former soldier. He had once drilled those same maneuvers, how one squad fanned out to provide security for the shuttle, their weapons at the ready as the others approached the compound cautiously.
They had nothing to fear, ironically. Sin'd boasted no security force or bodyguards. It was just him, his servant, the slaves in their own quarters away from the main office, and whatever guests he was entertaining at the time. There usually weren't any considering the remoteness of his little fief, but there were currently several offworlders bunked in the second floor below his own quarters and office on the top floor.
Adjusting his appearance, Sin'd called for his servant to prepare to receive guests. He stared at the approaching group, his left hand held in the small of his back in a tight fist, so tightly that his nails were cutting into the flesh. A mixture of anger and indignation seethed through him, but his eyes never betrayed his true feelings and he appeared calm and focused.
"What's that Mr. Rebel, you would like to have a diplomatic discussion about reconciling our differences?"*pew pew pew pew*"What an interesting point of view. Here's my rebuttal." *pew pew pew pew pew* ~ Forse Dirum
The squad leader called a halt just inside the wall, but Ellandra continued towards the main house without stopping.
The servant who answered gave the woman pause before she nodded slightly. "Tell the Captain his presence is required." She had served with Sin'd a few yrs before he retired and she knew id she left it a request, he'd decline. Probably politely… maybe… but most likely just send back a simple 'no'. She hoped he wouldn't do that this time.
With her helmet on, the slightly augmented hearing allowed her to follow the sergeant's foot falls up the stairs before the sound faded. Except for the suit being a bit scuffed, definitely not parade worthy, she looked to be a clone of every other uniform poised behind her out of earshot near the gate. Just another stark white target in a world of variegated greys.
The servant returned shortly after with a return message from the visitors. The response was a little surprising to Sin'd, he had expected the troopers to intrude on his residence in search of some sign of illegal activity. Being called to them meant there was another reason for their visit, and one important enough to warrant a personal visit.
Taking a long grey coat from a hook near the entrance to his office, he walked down the stairs to the second floor passing several of his visitors on the way. One was a potential business partner, a dark-haired Thyferran named Brakin Marogg. He had requested a meeting with Sin'd on his own behalf, which was a little suspicious, but his credentials seemed to check out and it would be bad business to refuse a sit-down for no reason than baseless suspicion.
Marogg was never far from his bodyguard, a reptilian marauder whose name Sin'd had never learned. He wasn't even sure if the thing could speak, but the brute looked like it could hold its own in a fight so Sin'd decided it prudent to leave him undisturbed.
"Trouble, Tjer?" the Thyferran grumbled. He had heard the whine of engines overhead and the filtered voices of the stormtroopers at the door.
"It's nothing, nothing at all," Sin'd brushed him off as he passed. "The meeting is still on, but perhaps delayed. Please consult with my servant if you have any concerns," he gestured to the woman following him.
Reaching the bottom floor, Sin'd braced himself for the frozen air of Mygeeto and touched a pad, opening the door and coming face-to-face with the emotionless visor of the Empire's killers once more.
"How can I be of service, trooper?"
Ellandra listened to Sin'd as he descended the stairs. The half heard comments barely registering as she remembered why she was here.
When the door opened, she was glad the helmet hid her expression. *He looks the same.* She thought to herself as he questioned her reason for being here.
Realizing she was staring, the soldier gave a nod of respect. "The Empire sends for you, Captain. I'm here to take you back, Sir." The voice was altered by the helmet so he would have no idea who she was. He'd only know she was female, by the slightly altered chest plate of her uniform, and that she was his junior in rank.
If he cared to look back into the rank and file some distance behind her, he'd realize that the only other female was the squad leader.
((waiting reaction before continuing))
Sin'd raised an eyebrow and the corners of his mouth turned downward into a frown.
"Take me back where, trooper? And why?"
The soldier was being unusually respectful considering the demands that she was giving.
She knew she'd be reprimanded for Brett next action. Anonymity was the whole point to the storm trooper get ups. But this was someone she knew, and above all, respected. He deserved more than some faceless droid making one line demands.
Reaching beneath her helmet, Ellandra flicked the security clips and pulled off the contraption. Id his memory still served him, he'd recognize the woman from drills years ago who had managed to make his troops' simulated boarding attack on her ship a royal pain. She had been in the armory at the time but still managed to scoot around the ship and cause chaos.
Behind her the squad leader snapped and yelled, "Lieutenant!" But she ignored it and looked Sin'd straight in the eyes.
"Back at the Capital, Sir. We may be at peace with the Republic, but it came at a high price. Most of the upper Chain of Command is out manning ships to make sure the Republic doesn't creep beyond its borders." The words were delivered with the precision of a report, not tainted with the emotion many expected of a pleading woman. "The truth is, you're needed."
She wasn't sure how he'd take the news, or the fact she was willing to make the appeal in person, so to speak. But if it brought back one of the best trainers and leaders she'd been privileged to learn from, it was worth it to her.
Usually keeping his face a mask of calmness over his true emotions, Sin'd revealed a rare expression of concern as the trooper removed her helmet. The face underneath was familiar and he had the feeling they had worked together sometime in the past, but his memory was a shambles and he couldn't put a name or number to her.
He concern turned to dismay as she spoke. It sounded an awful lot like he was being reactivated, a system where former members were recalled to duty for a limited time. He had never known anyone to be punished for ignoring reactivation, but then again most of those recalled were of lower rank and didn't matter much in the bigger picture.
No wonder they didn't just send a postcard, they knew I wouldn't answer it, the former Captain thought grimly.
My war's over, Lieutenant," he began, his voice resigned and colored with a hint of pain. "I don't want anything to do it anymore. Galactic conquest, local subjugation, dirty wetwork against the enemies of order. I don't care."
His eyes met the trooper's and went from soft and sad to sharp and cold. "I disagree with it," he paused before continuing, "but what can I do?" He laughed joylessly. Reaching into his coat slowly, he pulled out a small pocket blaster, holding it in his hand and feeling the chill, uncaring metal grip. He hadn't used one since he left the Army. Turned behind him, he tossed it underhand to his servant and told her to put it in his desk.
"I won't be needing it where I'm going."
Turning back to the stormtroopers at his door, he gestured out. "Let's get going."
Last edited by Sin'd Tjer; 11-12-2019 at 01:32 PM.
She knew the look on his face when the helmet came off. She had heard him yell at others to keep it on regardless of circumstances. Anonymity was the whole point of the troopers. But he deserved better than a faceless voice demanding him back into service.
Ellandra listened as he spoke of his war being over. She wished she had the luxury of saying such of herself, and even envied him the simple statement. But when he tossed his small blaster to the servant, she inwardly relaxed. He was coming along and she wasn't going to have to explain why she had failed to being him back.
She put her helmet back on and motioned for the others to head back. They were going home.
Partway back to the ship, she glanced at him a moment before speaking. "You don't remember me, and that's all right. But you were my superior on several missions about 7 years ago. I was a cadet back then. I'm surprised you still have your vision, as often as you rolled your eyes at me for my out of the box thinking." She laughed slightly. "I doubt anyone ever comes back and thanks you for the harshness and extreme demands you made of us on those missions or in training. But I wanted to. I wouldn't be alive, and several others wouldn't as well, if we hadn't been trained by you. And I'm glad more will live because of your coming back. I just wanted you to know."
She kept her head forward and her pace brisk. It was awkward, but it was something she had wanted to say to him for years and, now that she had, she felt a bit foolish and was actually bracing herself for a hard knock, or some verbal berating for being soft.