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The EMPIRE STRIKES! part II:

from ACT II

Part two:

The 1st Alliances


The Tauntaun pulled up short as it reached the crest of this particular snowy hill. Luke reached down and patted the great beast’s neck in comfort. “What’s the matter girl?” he asked. “It’s just our new friends.” But the animal showed no sign of decreased agitation as it considered the goliath that stood a mere fifty meters away. A goliath so big that despite standing in a gully and over a quarter of it buried in snow still looked down on them. It metal was battle worn. Scorn and pitted but it still shown white where blast, and reentry burns had been cleaned off. At least three dwellings high if Luke guessed right, about as tall as the Millennium Falcon was long and then some. It stood on two legs that Luke had himself seen firing out engine thrust as it landed right in this very spot. Two mechanized arms held what he had first thought to be some kind of missile earlier but now knew that it was the primary weapon of the giant gladiator. It carried the gray oblong tube in the port arms position, ready to use it if need be. It’s head was similar to many droid head units he was familiar with although he knew that at the heart of what appeared to be a giant droid, was a very normal looking human. It was called a Veritech, the primary fighting unit of what the Rebel Alliance hoped would be their new allies. “All is clear in this sector. Although I can barely make out anything beyond the far ridge.” came a voice over Luke’s communicator. In accordance with the initial agreement the two sides, or three now as it were, would all provide security for these talks, jointly. “I’m going to check out a meteor that came down just over that ridge, then I’ll head in. The Tauntaun can’t take too much more of this cold.” Max Sterling watched as the rebel soldier directed the animal he road on over the far ridge. As far as he was concerned these “Rebels” were an amazing fighting force. Their ability to adapt to and adopt different methods, tools, and now cultures was something he thought The RDF could use. While his people had adapted to the Robotechnology fairly well, they would never have considered let alone been able to use a place such as this frozen world for a base of operations. They certainly would not attempt to domesticate alien beasts of burden let alone transport them to different worlds for their own use. But he figured that when up against an enemy such as this Empire, you had to take advantage of every possibility. The world was an ice world. The small rebel base, due to resource management and also for stealth, was made almost entirely of ice, snow and permafrost. That made keeping the materials and personnel warm particularly problematic. The members of the rebel Alliance wore their standard issue cold environment gear. They were used to having to deal with the harshest and most extreme environments. Staying ahead of the Empire required them to go way past the red safety line in many ways. The plans for this particular base had been in the works for a while, so when this planet had been found, they had stumbled onto a good opportunity. So they were having a much easier time dealing with the conditions of this world than their new friends. The Federation people were a little put out, but their cold weather gear was holding up well. They were not used to these harsh environments, worlds barely meeting the requirements to be considered “M-class”. They were not used to negotiating in unfamiliar territory, or from a tactically weak position. Their hosts were obviously dealing with the changes to the known universe a hell of a lot better than they themselves were. Although from what they were learning, the “Rebels” situation had not really gotten any worse. They were already running, hiding, and fighting a gorilla war against a vastly superior force. The Starfleet people had lost almost all contact with Federation space and had no idea how to get back or how to make contact. Something the newcomers could relate to. The Colonials had already lost their homes, 12 colony worlds that had been attacked and destroyed by a race of artificially intelligent beings known as the Cylons. Those whom had survived the attacks had banded together in a rag tag fleet of ships and fled in hopes of finding a rumored 13th colony on a world that was translated by the Federation computers as Earth. Already on the run and having already lost their homes the Colonials situation was actually looking better. They had found new allies, ones whom could possibly be their long lost brothers, descendants of that 13th colony. This prospect seemed to help keep the Colonial people warm for their gear was poorly suited to this environment. Only the group of people from Super Dimensional Fortress or SDF-1 for short, seemed to be openly optimistic. Their strange ship, that appeared to be three separate ships cobbled together, was the largest ship to make the rendezvous. It could be seen with the naked eye as it hung in low orbit. The small delegation they had sent comprised of a tall bright eyed chocolate skinned woman who had But the cold confines of the small hidden ice base did nothing to cool down the very heated discussion going on in the room the rebels had designated for their command operations. Representatives from more than half a dozen different groups plus a few smaller ones, meet around a conference table. It was standing room only for many of the personnel jammed into the Ops center. The meeting was clearly affecting the on technicians’ ability to monitor their systems. That did not inhibit the arguments going back and forth across the conference table. “Clearly we all have our own priorities and pressing concerns. But we all agree that our separate and individual agendas must be put on hold for the sake of this alliance?” Captain Jean Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise was a diplomat at heart. In his long tenure as Starship Captain he had sat in on and arbitrated many a negotiation or treaty between his Federation and many worlds. He was a mild looking man, a little past middle age, balding and slight of frame, a wild deviation from the sheer power of the vessel he commanded. Having seen the ship Enterprise in action, many of the Rebels were expecting its commander to be a more impressive, imposing, darker figure, not this small man. But slight as he was this Captain Jean-Luc Picard had a presence that did match his vessel. When he spoke there was not one person or being in the room who did not give him their full attention. His words rang clear and true across the conference table and there were nods of ascent, but another voice cut just as clear and just as strong. “The Alliance was here long before your people arrived Captain Picard,” She was Princess Leia Organa, leading figure in the Rebel Alliance. Like Picard she was small in stature but still commanded respect. But hers was gained not from her presence, which was not as impressive as Picard’s, but from her rightfully earned reputation. It was a reputation earned by taking on some of the most dangerous missions against the Empire, earned by fighting in some of the bloodiest battles and earned by facing their most terrifying enemy and living to tell the tale. “…but it won’t be here for too much longer if you don’t remove your ships from this system.” “The Enterprise’s long range sensors…” Picard began. “…Will not detect the Empires Star Destroyers until they are already on top of us.” She cut him off. “My science Officer has assured me that the Enterprise can be hidden in this systems Star’s magnetic field. Our analysis of your technology tells us that your long range detection capability is limited. You have led us to believe that Imperial technology is of the same class.” Leia Organa looked to the pale humanoid standing behind Captain Picard. The briefing she had been given on their new allies was rife with speculation. One of the strangest reports had been of this being; the android that looked like a man. Making androids appear humanoid to the point where they might be able to pass for a living sentient being was outlawed in the Republic a millennia ago. It was considered an abomination. She was not sure how she felt about the notion herself and she was also unsure what to think of a people who would do such a thing. “The Enterprise is ready to move into a concealed position at this very moment.” Picard continued. “As soon as we have coordinated with the ships that are unable to enter this planets atmosphere.” Standing behind his Commanding Officer and best friend, Col. Saul Tigh listened to the exchange between their new allies by holding the strange “Starfleet” device awkwardly by his ear. Unfamiliar ground he was thinking, but then that’s where they had been living, fighting, dying, ever since the Cylons nearly obliterated the human race. Or so they had thought. Here now were humans from if it was to be believed; other Universes. “We haven’t agreed to that.” Tighs head snapped up as his Commanders voice cut through the air. “We’ve looked at the coordinates you’ve proposed. That position is too close to the star. Our Ship won’t last long there.” Tigh was not sure his Commanding officer should have told them that. It was giving away too much Frakkin information about their defenses. “Yes Captain we know. However…” Their Commanding Officer answered. He may not have been a Cylon but from his bearing Tigh would bet a hundred cubits he was no military officer. “…However it is possible for my ship to extend its shields around your ship as well.” “How would we maintain proximity?” Adama was asking a the question but Tigh knew what he was really getting at. “We would simply link our computer systems…” the man name Picard began. Tigh answered for his commanding officer with a sharp: “FRAK THAT!” Luke was about to turn about. The snow fell so heavily on this world that the meteorite strike might have been covered up by the time he found the impact site. There was nothing to see here. But the Force nagged at him, filled him with an edgy awareness of something… impending. What could it be? So he took another the Tauntaun for another lap. Just one… and then he would head home back to base, warm power cell and some almost warm rations. Still the Force pulled at him despite the cold. If he allowed it to… if he let it… Luke found himself staring at an usually shaped mound of snow. It was something… Quickly he slid off his mount and trod through the snow towards the mound when it collapsed. The snow fell away to reveal a downed ship of some kind. The Force began to fill him with warning. Something was… impending. Behind him the Tauntaun began to bay fearfully. Luke almost turned back. “Woor…” but that came from the wreck! Was it possible that this ship was the meteorite that he had seen? He marched closer and could see the fumbling form of a man in the cockpit of the ship. Without too much trouble he ascended the wreck and pulled on the canopy hatch. This was no space worthy vehicle. It had come from somewhere else on this desolate ice world. He pulled on the canopy… and pulled… until finally it came open and in a rumble both he and the pilot fell into the snow. But the rumbling was not from the canopy popping open. Luke looked about as the very ground beneath them shook and quaked. He Tauntaun took off in fear. “Hey!” Luke called after it. “Wait!” “Wooorr…” the pilot, a dusty and disheveled man wrapped in the rags that would never keep him warm on this world was lolling about disoriented. As the ground began to roll even more Luke finally could make out what he was saying: “Wooor… Woor… WORMSIGN!”



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