Act 8.0.1 - Prologue: A new dawn.   Posted by Master Servious.Group: 0
Master Servious
 GM, 2181 posts
 The ultimate power
 in the universe!
Tue 21 Nov 2017
at 00:48
Act 8.0.1 - Prologue: A new dawn
Aboard Kota's Flagship - Nebulon-B Frigate 'Reprisal'
0900 Shipboard time

It was a fairly animated group that finally left the medical frigate the next morning and made their way by shuttle to Kota's command frigate.  Wether it was the idea of meeting the legendary general, getting answers, Devon's 'mixer' or just happy to be free from their confinement, the sense of excitement was palpable.  Stuck in the passenger compartment they had nothing to do besides look out the windows.  Some like Devon looked eagerly for their ships, especially the Nightshrike, which was nowhere to be seen.  In the shipjacker's case he'd hoped for a glimpse of his trusty Moonshadow but to no avail.

The team was led to a briefing room, not unlike the many the veteran Talons had sat in before.  This one had a major difference.  Mark's (and subsequently Devon's) briefings had always had a steady supply of caf and food.  If a mission was planned these tended to increase.  Here however there wasn't even glasses of water.  What the room did include was neatly assigned places for the Talons (and Arcas, Aderek and Lin) to sit.  Some took their seats, other chatted or wandered.

Right on the allotted meeting time, a number of people arrived.  The first was General Kota.  Those who had not met him, quickly recognised him by the descriptions the other Talons had supplied.  There weren't that many old blind men walking around with the ease of a combat veteran, less with a lightsaber clipped to their belt.  With him came a Cerean who the Talons recognised as Captain Nuruk, one of his tactical advisors.  Behind them came two people and a droid.

The first of the trailers was Zyra Jax, was looking resplendent in a uniform that the team had seen on most of the troops on board and had learned was the standard uniform of the new Alliance to Restore the Republic.  Her rank insignia held four blue dots, signifying a rank of a naval colonel.

Beside Zyra floated a hover chair, a 2-1B droid close behind.  Sitting within it was Mark Sheppard.  The former Talon commander was looking much better than he had on planet.  He was still pale and thin but he had more colour in his cheeks and his eyes had their old intensity.  He was also dressed in an Alliance uniform, but his chest held five blue pips and his collar a single star, rating him a brigadier general or rear admiral.  There seemed to be some disparity with flag rank in the new alliance, especially the starfighter corps as various military, paramilitary, security and civilian forces merged.  Still the fact both of them wore the uniform was telling.  At least for now, the two had received positions of authority in this Alliance.

This message was last edited by the GM at 00:30, Mon 27 Nov 2017.

Rahm Kota
 NPC, 1 post
 Alliance General
 Jedi Master
Sun 26 Nov 2017
at 21:44
Act 8.0.1 - Prologue: A new dawn
Kota did not dally but immediately sat and instructed the others to do so.  Then he got down to business.

"I've been briefed on your team's mission to Despayre by Captain Sivren.  Casualties were high but you achieved your mission objectives.  Nearly one hundred prisoners have been rescued.  They are being shipped to various locales to recover and then will be returned home.  Some have elected to stay."

"Captain's Sivren's report on Delta squad was interesting.  He cites your lack of military discipline and structure but is impressed with your ability to come up with, how did he put it., "creative ways of tackling problems".  I must admit I was especially impressed with your covert infiltration and capture of the Imperial skyhook.  I could use people like that."

"While your mission yielded us many lost colleagues, it was only the smaller piece of a much larger puzzle.  Simultaneously with your mission to Despayre my fleet attacked a key Imperial Shipyard base near Mantooine.  While we managed to destroy two Star Destroyers in drydock and damage several others, this too was a feint.  The real target was a research base known as Desolation Station.  A small team managed to infiltrate and steal a component of a new Imperial superweapon.  A component destined for the Despayre system no less.  Clearly there is more to that planet than just a prison."

"So I wanted to thank you for your small part in this operation.  While your mission did not end up causing any shift of Imperial ships in time to help my plans, the rescue of our people is worthy in itself.  I also wanted to extend you an offer to join this Alliance.  You have all been fighting the Empire.  Why not join us in fighting in a way that makes a real difference?  General Sheppard has accepted command of a task force within my fleet and he has taken Colonel Jax as his adjutant and chief intelligence officer.  I have no doubt he will have a post for you all if you wish it.  If he does not and you wish to serve, send a holomessage to Captain Nuruk and we will find a place for you."

"For any who do not wish to stay, we will be staging several jumps, starting in an hour.  After the first jump we will be offloading a shuttle to land at a neutral port.  From there you may go wherever you wish.  May the Force be with you all."

Without a word he stood and left, Nuruk following..

This message was last edited by the player at 03:27, Mon 27 Nov 2017.

Mark Sheppard
 NPC, 412 posts
 Human Male
 Alliance General
Sun 26 Nov 2017
at 22:07
Act 8.0.1 - Prologue: A new dawn
Unable to stand to attention, Mark straightened in his chair and offered a salute before returning his attention to the team.

"I'd like to start off by saying thank you for coming after us.  Your actions help save nearly one hundred souls from a fate worth than death.  While so many would have given up, taken the spoils and ran, you risked yourselves to save us.  Given so many of you were not even members of the Black Talons when I left, it speaks volumes.  My heartfelt thanks."

"Now as you heard your operation was just one part of a much larger campaign.  One in which other of our colleagues and our equipment saw action.  I think you'll be happy to know that Ms Masters survived the battle unscathed.  Mr Allen was forced to eject but he has survived and is already making a new CO's life hell.  I believe my recommendation he be transferred to a test pilot unit in R&D may suit both the young Duros and many a battlefield commander.

Ms Lambar did not fare so well.  She was serving on board Nightshrike when it suffered critical damage.  She survived but I understand there were. . .complications."

"Ship-wise our R-41 Starchaser and one Z-95 headhunter were destroyed.  The last Z-95 survived with minor damage.  The Nightshrike survived but was so critically damaged she'll need to be scrapped.  The Moonshadow took severe damage but the repair yard boys are working on her as we speak.  They predict she'll be operable again by the end of the week."

"So as a result of this battle, the Black Talons are down to one Z-95 headhunter and one Ghtroc 720 transport and next to no funds.  We have lost our ability to operate as an independent unit.  However, ever since Zyra and I travelled to the summit where we were captured, I had no longer planned for us to operate alone."

"Since only Mr Kismet has been with us since the beginning I should clarify the original purpose of the Black Talons was to serve as a specialised fighting force within the Permellian Hydian Alliance.  Part starfighter squadron, part commando.  Go anywhere, do anything.  When the PHA disbanded us, I took the operation independant.  We continued to fight the Empire in our own way.  Now with the formation of the Alliance and General Kota's blessing, I plan to return to my original plan."

"Kota has given me a small taskforce of two Marauder Corvettes.  Each can carry a single squadron of fighters.  At the moment one carries, Y-wings, the other Z-95,s both understrength.  While I have personnel for those two fighter squadrons, it is my intention to raise a third which I will tentatively call 'Black Squadron'.  It's personnel will have various roles on the ship, not all will be pilots.  They will be whatever I need them to be.  While Kota will undoubtedly pass down missions for my force, we will also be tasked with undertaking missions of opportunity.  I tend to use that authority to hurt the Empire everywhere I can.  Black Squadron will be whatever I need them to be - pilots, commandos, saboteurs, infiltrators."

"Those of you who have served the Talons already, your transfers to my new command will be approved on your say so.  Just let Colonel Zax or myself know.  Mr Endeel and Blaque, Ms Daochi.  Mr Kismet has vouched for you all and I extend the offer to you as well."

"Please note, while I would expect Black Squadron to continue working as a team of equals, independant experts, there will obviously need to be a formal rank hierarchy involved.  Obviously given my new rank and responsibilities and my current lack of flight certification, I can not lead the squadron.  You will need to elect your squadron leader and his or her deputies.  Recommendations to the Colonel."

"I'll take questions before the Colonel, who will serve as my adjutant and head of logistics and intelligence discusses other matters.  Speak freely, none of you are under my command at this point."

OOC: Obviously this is a change of direction for the Talons.  There will be a bit more military oversight and a basic command structure but Talons will still have a fair degree of latitude.  If you feel your character might be inappropriate, feel free to discuss changes/replacements with me.

Each character will have an Alliance rank due to the military structure though the expectation is when the Talons are working away from the Rebels, they work as equals as they always have.

This message was last edited by the player at 03:30, Mon 27 Nov 2017.

 player, 550 posts
 Zeltron Male
 Talon 4
Mon 27 Nov 2017
at 10:44
Act 8.0.1 - Prologue: A new dawn
Heigren, never a stickler for protocol, jumped out of his char as soon as the initial briefing was over and warmly embraced Zyra then Mark.

"I am overjoyed to see you alive and well.  I am equally happy you have found yourself in a position you are happy with.  I should point out though that I am no soldier and no pilot.  I'm not sure if I fit this new 'Black Squadron' of yours."
Zyra Jax
 NPC, 277 posts
 Zabrak Female
 Alliance Colonel
Mon 27 Nov 2017
at 10:55
Act 8.0.1 - Prologue: A new dawn
Zyra returned the hug from the plucky Zeltron with equal enthusiasm.

"Don't worry Heigren, I have plans for you."  She gives him a suggestive wink then turns to the others.

"Mark didn't clarify fully.  This 'Black Squadron' would not be your formal role with the task force as we have two fighter squadrons already, Blue and Gold.  You will each be found a relevant role on board with appropriate rank.  Some may serve with the fighter squadrons, others may serve on the bridge or engineering or wherever your skills best suit.  But when we need our secret weapon, we'll assemble Black Squadron and send you forth."

"You are welcome to recommend any role you may be interested in and I'll check if we have personnel slots.  Heigren for example, I'd be crazy not to snatch you up to be one of my supply officers.  You have a unique gift for finding things that I can't afford to waste."

Lin Daochi
 player, 35 posts
Mon 27 Nov 2017
at 20:48
Act 8.0.1 - Prologue: A new dawn
Lin was smiling. It was not because she had thought of something humorous or because she had achieved something grand by herself, but because there was now a force trying to counterbalance the Galactic Empire and that was a great deal more than she had ever hoped for, even if she had been working towards that goal for quite a while. She beamed a smile at Zyra, her contact for some time now and her first link to the Black Talons, or now, the Black Squadron. "I am not exactly a soldier but rather a spy. However, since I do have skills that the Black Squadron would most likely need, mainly those of slicing and flying, I believe I would be suited as a pilot but also as a communications and field intelligence officer. I suppose, I need to start honing those military skills too, so I will not embarrass myself and the squadron."

She thought for a while, then continued. "I believe I can assist Heigren in part when it comes to requisitions too and I think there is a number of other things I can do, other than look pretty. I have, on occasion, worked some time under different guises to obtain sensitive information, which may come in handy. Zyra, or should I say Colonel Jax", she said, giving Zyra a wink, "knows more about that than I am prepared or even allowed to say in public. Not that I do not trust you lot, but..." There it was, the ominous but.
 NPC, 164 posts
 Human Female
 Talon 2
Mon 27 Nov 2017
at 22:19
Act 8.0.1 - Prologue: A new dawn
Kira listens in silence, one of the people in the back seats. For years she spent time on her own, or with a small group. When she came to find the squadron, it was Fiarr and Heigren who found her, the bothan woman and the zeltron. Now she was a part of a team, and that team's dynamics were about to change.

When Lin finished talking, Kira spoke up. "When i was found by Fiarr and Heigren, i was a struggling bounty to the game. And though my skills were pretty good for my level of experience, i was still pretty green." She looked at the bothan and Zeltron. "They pulled me from a dark hole, and for that i owe them."

She looked at Mark and Zara. "I'm a fair pilot, but my skills lie in tracking and hunting. In the short time I've been with the group, i have learnt a lot." She placed her elbows on the table, then looked at them again. "...but i have no experience as a soldier. I was practically raised by merc's." She sat in silence for a moment, then sat back.

"...but, for what it's worth, I'm in."
Zyra Jax
 NPC, 278 posts
 Zabrak Female
 Alliance Colonel
Mon 27 Nov 2017
at 22:59
Act 8.0.1 - Prologue: A new dawn
Zyra considered Lin.  "Colonel Jax would be appropriate I think Ms Daochi.  While Black Talons do whatever is required, a member of a military task force has a specific role.  My intelligence team is fairly set and Heigren can handle his own duties, he's certainly got the 'looking pretty' part down.  I'm sure I can find a place in our communications team for you or within a pilot squadron.  Obviously the latter would require a degree of military discipline on your part.  The Talons may be loose with discipline but our squadron commanders are not so. . .fluid."

She turned her attention to Kira.  "Noted Ms. . .I don't have your surname on record.  We have a detailed report on your skills and a bounty hunter will not doubt have use in the Black Talons.  Give some thought as to where you might like to be posted in the Task Force.  You'll need a 'day job' and I don't seem to have any slots for bounty hunters."

This message was last edited by the player at 03:05, Tue 28 Nov 2017.

Devon Kismet
 player, 1111 posts
 Talon 7
 ID: Rian Cloudrider
Tue 28 Nov 2017
at 00:33
Act 8.0.1 - Prologue: A new dawn
Devon smiled and nodded to Zyra and Mark when they entered the room, but stayed quiet till after Kota had left.
Seeing Mark out of bed was a pick-me-up in and of itself.  Seeing him back in uniform was good too - the man was so capital 'm' military that for him to be wearing anything other than uniform was a perversion of nature.

Privately he was relieved that Moonshadow had come back intact, although the fleet losses were otherwise devastating - lending the ships to Kota had always been a hell of a gamble, and the only reason Devon wouldnt be loosing sleep over the lost ships was Zyra had told him earlier that Mark would have done exactly the same.

When Zyra turned a questioning look on him, Devon answered without hesitation.
"Of course I'm in.  An' you already know what I can do."  Zyra probably knew where Devons skills lay better than anyone else in the room.
"Hey, you said Blue and Gold wings are under strength, right?  How'd it be if I... started bringin' my work home with me again?"
Even if they didn't keep anything he stole, they could still be sold to fund more useful ships.

Things were looking up, Devon thought - compared to the last few months.  Here was a chance for him to get back to what he was good at: engineer, pilot, thief.  He couldn't wait to get back into a hanger, covered in grease and up his elbows in the guts of whatever ship he was working on.

The thought that anyone might want him to keep on leading the Talons never even crossed his mind...
Zyra Jax
 NPC, 279 posts
 Zabrak Female
 Alliance Colonel
Tue 28 Nov 2017
at 01:55
Act 8.0.1 - Prologue: A new dawn
Zyra smiled at Devon's enthusiasm.  "You're getting ahead of yourself Devon.  Mark and I are putting together a number of mission objectives and your skills have not been forgotten.  For now though we need to sort out the formation of the unit yourself.  Firstly, where do you see yourself fitting into the force?  Obviously your pilot skills make you a candidate for one of the fighter squadrons though your mechanical skills could also be useful."

"But that also brings up the question of command.  Obviously you've held the Talons together these past few months and from all accounts done a commendable jobs.  Obviously someone will need to lead Black squadron so we'll need a list of viable candidates.  Anyone who may want command should nominate themselves or another.  Either speak up or send me a datapad message.  The Talons have always been a bit more democratic when it comes to leadership and I see no reason for that to change now.  I have final say on crew assignments and no doubt Mark will input into the Black Talon commander but it's not a role we'll force."

OOC: If anyone wants the top job or wants to nominate someone or someones, please either PM me or speak in post.  It's not an easy job, just ask Devon!

This message was last edited by the player at 03:04, Tue 28 Nov 2017.