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Charles Lindsey

Finding Akira

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"Mr. Brom please bring the Phoenix to a halt. Mr. Brasfield please bring all Shuttles and IC's online as soon as possible. Mr. King, as soon as they are online make four teams of one IC and one Shuttles each. Send one team each to different corners of the region. Miss Siamet, please contact Commander Pallo of the GCV Cornucopia. See if you can link with Mother Goose and find a nursey ryhyme titled "Sing a Song of Sixpence" first verse only. When it is loaded transmit it to all IC/Shuttle teams. Mr. King; once all teams are in place have then transmit Miss Siamet's file repeatedly. Bounce them through the jumpgates. I want to set up a resonance field Akira cannot fail to notice. Locke's assistance in this would be invaluable. We have to get him furious enough to engage the failsafes. Calling him Crow or Blackbird is the only way I know how."

Rattler please forgive me, Chavik thought as he watched the last of Spectre jump out of Pluto. We have to find Akira and discover why he did what he did. Bucking orders was not in Commander Chavik's general line of thought. Helping a friend was. He hoped his mad assumptions would work.

Commander Chavik

ICV Phoenix

[This message has been edited by Charles Lindsey (edited 01-04-99).]

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Guest Locke1

"Mr. Fenster, open a channel to Commander Chavik on the Phoenix," said Commander Locke of At All Costs.

"Open sir," said the young comm officer

"This is the Cowardly Lion to the Wizard. We are preparing to join in your transmission to give the Scarecrow his brains back. I've launched all four of my munchkins, they'll carry the trans as well. Lion out," said Locke.

Mr. Wiggin at Tactical grinned broadly.

"Sir, you are really enjoying these codename games aren't you," he said.

"It's an art form, my friend," Locke said with a returning grin.

"Mr. Fenster, activate our transmitters according to Chavik's specs and send the message. Order the shuttles to join in."

Across the vastness of space, born of the fury of the big bang over 10 Billion years ago, where galaxies and quasars were created and destroyed in a perpetual dance of light, one spot stood out like a beacon, a lighthouse of radio energy. The region of Pluto was flooded with the photons carrying a vital message, an urgent calling with the fate of a ship and its commander in its hands:

"Sing a song of sixpence. Pocket full of rye. Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie...," repeated ad nauseum across the velvet curtain of space. Time would tell if it would be enough to bait in Akira.

Locke smiled.

"I love my job."

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As the Guardian and Spectre made the jump through the "Back Door" leading to Sygan, The Mecca of the Insurgency, Rattler had issued a Fleet Reform order. It had been answered by all but three. There hadn't been any reports of conflict or collisions since their departure from SOL, so he couldn't understand the missing ships. He carefully kept scanning the TacOps Display, eagerly looking for that flash which accompanied another ship coming through the door, but found none.

Rattler: Comms, scan the log and look for anything that would give credance to their "Missing Movement" status. It's not like them to ignore orders.

Comms: Scanning Sir!

Rattler: While you're at it, scan for all message transmissions going on out there, look for strong, and weak ones, Please.

With that, Cmdr Ammy Miller began flicking switches like a mad woman on a mission. A smile crossed her face as she worked. She remembered seeing Rattler, not 2 hours ago, dress down a junior officer for reporting for duty looking like he had slept in his uniform. He had made the young man feel like he was cheating the rest of the crew and, at the same moment, had appealed to the good side of the man to preserve his self integrity. Once the butt chewing was done, Rattler had put the young officer into the command chair and had started coaching him in the finer arts of Tactics, Navigation, and Basic Operations of a Fleet! Now there's one for you. Chew him out in one breath, and praise his performance in the next. Ammy Miller was going to like this Commander Rattler. He was a Leader, in the purest sense of the word and they would learn from him.

Rattler: Anything Comms?

Comms: Nothing in the log Sir, and last known locations of Cmdr's Chavik and Locke were at the jump gate leaving Pluto. They're unaccounted for from that point. As for the transmissions Sir, You have got to hear this!

She deftly piped in the received transmission throughout the Guardian, allowing all hands to hear what was coming across the vastness of space.

....Sing a song of six pence, a pocket full of rye, four and twenty black birds, baked in a pie, and when the pie was opened, the birds began to sing, what a merry merry dish, to place before a king.........

Rattler immediately recognized what the transmission was, as it could only be Chavik and Locke, still out there searching for the CROW! He smiled inwardly, not showing it to the rest of the crew, rather keeping private thoughts private. Now where the hell are you Storekeeper?

Rattler: Comms, shoot the following message back through that portal we just came through, RAW Power, Broad Band. Just say "God Speed and Good Hunting to the crews of Pheonix and At-All-Costs. We're headed home, and you are expected to follow! Right After you find Akira! Don't come home without him! This is the price you pay for not following orders! And Thanks "Old Friends" for not following them!" Now send it Comms!

Comms: Message Transmitted, Sir!

Rattler: Issue continuation orders to Spectre, Comms. We're still headed home! You have the Conn, Rattler's off the Bridge. Wake me if we get any news from Storekeeper!

With that, Ammy Miller issued the following orders to Spectre..."Spectre, prepare to jump, final destination, Rattler's Den! Jump in 5.4.3.2.1 Jump!"

With that, Mother issued one single advisory, "Jump Annomoly Forming, HyperJump Activated!"

Again Spectre faded into the background of space. They were headed home, and to a hero's welcome that was well deserved. Even if GalCom wouldn't admit to it, Spectre had saved their bacon and they knew it! The knowledge of this was enough!

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<RP>

"Sir, we're getting some - ahh- unusual transmissions coming through."

The bridge was almost empty. Most of the crew were off duty, and only a skeleton crew remained on the darkened bridge. The Battlecruiser was, for the most parton, in shutdown, and DeSylva was only on the bridge to scan thorugh the sensor logs and try and review som of the things that had happened during the recent Gammulan war He looked up.

"As in, Kerra?"

"Well, sir - ahhh - I'll play it."

The bridge speakers warmed up, and the transmission came through, slightly crackly due to it's broad transmission range.

"Sing a song of sixpence. Pocket full of rye. Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie..."

DeSylva's brow rumpled for a moment, then his shoulders slumped. "Check the signature. It's insurgent, isn't it?"

Kerra taped a few buttons. "Yes, sir, it is. How did you know?"

DeSylva shook his head. "Educated guess," he said sourly. "Switch it off and disregard it."

"But sir, shouldn't er -"

"I don't want to know, Kerra! I just don't want to know."

A few more minutes passed. A few more sensor logs were processed. DeSylva heard Kerra clear her throat again.

"Um, sir - I'm intercepting another anomalous tight-beam transmission. From Pluto this time."

Desylva looked up warily.

"Something about...a scarecrow? And munchkins?"

DeSylva's eyebrows raised. "Ignore it."

"But sir, really I -"

"No! I said ignore it. I [em]really[/em] don't need to know this right now."

Kerra shrugged her shoulders and cancelled the message. A few more minutes passed before a third transmission filtered through to them. She drew breath to notfiy the commander, before thinking better of it, deciding to simply play it through the speakers.

"...and Thanks 'Old Friends' for not following them!"

DeSylva looked up. He sighed. "Reply along the same band. Tell the sender that as long as he keeps his boys cloaked they won't come to any harm. And then terminate the transmission. Oh, and any more nursery rhymes filter through here - I don't need to hear them, OK?"

Kerra nodded and bent to her task, while DeSylva rose and headed for his quarters...

"I don't know whether I'm happy or sad they're trying to snare a Crow..."

</RP>

Locke, was that little Oz scene spontaneous, or did you plan it? A nice piece of work. *grin*.

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Guest Locke1

hehe, that was a little collaboration between Chavik and me. I wanted to call the mission "Operation Scarecrow," but since the thread was named already we snuck in Oz another way. And don't worry, we've got lots more Oz references cooked up and waiting in the wings <evil grin>

Commander Locke

ICV There's-No-Place-Like-Home smile.gif

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<RP ON>

To: Cmdr. Gareth DeSylva, GCV First Light

From: Cmdr. Alun Tringad, GCV Black Falcon

Subject: GCV Black Falcon refit/overhaul

Looks like those months in mothballs caught up to her, the GCV Black Falcon has been ordered to Galcom HQ for an overhaul and a refit. ETR is one month. And just as I got her back, too. CIC must not like me anymore or something. Anyway, I've been given a choice, I can take command of a Starcruiser-class Heavy Cruiser on her shakedown cruise, or, I can fly a desk at ISSHQ for a month. Let me know if you need me commanding Renegade, if not, I'll take command of the Midway, the Heavy Cruiser I was talking about. Why Galcom would want a Galactan-class Battlecruiser Commander like me to either fly a desk or command a cruiser, is beyond me. But I guess they are a little short on extra BCs, with the Gammulan war and all. Anyway, (I talk to much) I need to know if you want me on Renegade or not, in two days. Hope to hear from you soon.

Cmdr. Alun Tringad

<RP OFF>

DeSylva, I want you to say no, you don't need me on Renegade. I'm planning some covert ops into Gam space with my cruiser on it's so-called shakedown cruise smile.gif. Just say you don't need me, and I'm relieved of my dutys as ISSTSA Coordinator until I get the Falcon back. Unless you REALLY need me smile.gif.

Later all.

------------------

William Ramsay, Jr., AKA:

Commander Alun Tringad

GCV Black Falcon ISS05

Tactical Support Coordinator, ISS Fleet

[This message has been edited by William Ramsay (edited 01-03-99).]

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Chavik had left his command chair and was pacing the bridge. "Anything yet?"

"No sir, all teams have reported in and they have seen nothing," replied Miss Siamet.

Chavik wanted to curse. They had combed the region several times. Plus they had searched all the moon Charron. Akira's Iridium had to run out soon and then they would be able to spot him. He had hoped the transmission would goad him enough but it did not seem to be working. "Ok, we need more power people. Get those solar panels out. I want every spare ounce of power put thru the comms panel. Launch all probes. Make sure they have the TDF signal, hopefully they will see it as a flag of truce. Bounce that signal off everything we have. Use planets, asteroids, meteors, anything at all. It's time to pump up the volume. Punch it through SubSpace, Real space and hyper space."

"Miss Siamet, attach that and send to Locke."

***Begin Transmission***

"Wizard to Cowardly Lion. Please find attached plans and implement. We are going to need every bit of power we can muster.

We have got to get Akira's attention and we don't have much time left. It's time to run down the yellow brick road a little farther and see where it takes us."

"Send now,please," said Chavik.

"Sent sir and we have received a message from Rattler," said Miss Siamet.

"Speaker please." Chavik listened to the message and breathed a sigh of relief. All seemed forgiven. Now he just had to make good on his promise.

<RP> OFF

Commander Chavik

ICV Phoenix

[This message has been edited by Charles Lindsey (edited 01-04-99).]

[This message has been edited by Charles Lindsey (edited 01-04-99).]

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Guest Locke1

{RP}

"Okay people you've heard Chavik's plan, get moving!" barked Locke. It seemed their plan wasn't working and Locke was beginning to get uneasy. Pluto, after all, was well within Galcom territory.

"Wiggin, I want ICs on Standby. Send the following message to Chavik, Fenster. Tell him to be alert for any flying monkeys sent by the wicked witch. If we spot any, recommend an immediate return to Kansas."

At All Costs' solar panels unfurled and its probes were launched. The signal boost was noticeable even on a casual glance of the R.A.D.A.R display, but Locke wasn't sure it was enough.

"Get me a channel to Chavik," he said.

"Wizard this is the Cowardly Lion. I have implemented the plan, but suggest you prepare your missiles and vessel in case we need to send them down the yellow brick road. Personally I hope we can draw the Scarecrow out of the Emerald City without needing to go in ourselves, but we need to be prepared for that contingency. Lion out."

Locke stared out of his bridge. Out there, in cold, deep, space, was the Nevermore. Somewhere, lost, and in need of help, was Akira. Locke prayed silently that this mission would be successful.

{/RP}

[This message has been edited by Locke1 (edited 01-04-99).]

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Commander Alun Tringad was sitting on the now empty bridge of the Black Falcon, alone.

"Danz, have shuttle-1 ready when I get there" said Tringad into his personal commlink.

"Yes sir" replied Danz Borin, the Black Falcon's tactical officer.

The ship was empty other then Tringad and Borin. The only systems that were left on were life support, and the shuttle launch systems, so that shuttles bearing repair crews could come and go at will.

I sure am going to miss her, thought Tringad to himself. "I have to command a cruiser, a freaking cruiser," he cursed under his breath. Well, better get going.

The GCV Midway, a Starcruiser-class Heavy Cruiser, came into view of the shuttle.

"She looks new" said Borin.

"She is, brand new. We're taking her for her shakedown cruise" replied Tringad.

"Why didn't Galcom give us another Galactan?" asked Borin.

"I don't know, it's not my job to ask questions, it's my job to follow orders"

"Does Commander DeSylva know you're taking command of a cruiser?"

"Yes, he knows, and he relived me of all my ISS responsibilities until I get the Falcon back"

"Oh, that was nice of him" said Borin sarcastically.

The shuttle touched down in the Midways shuttle bay.

"There's still one thing that bugs me though, why me?" asked Tringad thoughtfully.

"I though you didn't ask questions" said Borin with a smile.

"Oh yeah, I forgot," replied Tringad, as he exited the shuttle with Borin right behind him, "I don't"

---------------

William Ramsay, Jr., AKA:

Commander Alun Tringad

GCV Midway (Temporary Position)

[This message has been edited by William Ramsay (edited 01-08-99).]

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"Anything yet?" Chavik almost growled.

"No sir, none yet," said Miss Siamet. She was getting worried. She had never seen Chavik quite like this. Even the junior officers in the "Pit" kept their chatter abnormally low. The silence was deafening to someone who had spent the better part of five years listening to multiple messages.

"Suggestions?"

"Yes sir, I believe concentrating the signal would help. We should gather our forces in and make the beam tighter," replied Miss Siamet.

"Good, send this to Locke."

***Begin Transmission***

Lion, this is the Wizard. My Good Witch Glenda has given us a tip. I believe we should go down the yellow brick road a little further and check in that corn field for the Scarecrow. We have caught glimpses of the Wicked Witch but no Flying Monkeys. All Munchkins should gather in the cornfield also. Wizard out.

***End Transmission***

"Get that out to Locke and target Charon. Get all probes there also. Send to all IC/SC teams to regroup at Charon. And get the Medical officer to the bridge"

Chavik had been staring at Charon for a few minutes when the Medical Officer walked onto the bridge. "You needed me sir?"

"Yes, I need a debriefing on the effects of that thing attached to my chair. Akira has apparently used it to keep control of his strike group when he released all the other personnel on Re'trat's ship. Could he have kept that much power under control and still be around to tell us about it?"

"Well sir," started the Medical officer, "we really don't know the specific effects on each individual. The subjects I've seen that haven't made it are not a pretty sight. But it is possible. A few have made it extended periods. If they stay too long they either get delusional or go plain mad. They can't handle the input."

"Explain please," said Chavik.

"The technology is unknown sir but it's the closet thing to a cybernetic link we have ever found. Only androids can link better with computers. With the possible exception of the Droidans and Syrions. We know so little of them as well..."

"The effects, can they be counteracted?" Chavik interrupted impatiently, "we've tried insulting him no end and we haven't seen a thing."

"Well sir perhaps something he admires, nostalgia if you will. It may calm him down rather than infuriate him. Get him off the high he is riding."

"The high?"

"Yes sir, it is very much like it only worse. The cybernetic link I was explaining has it's quirks. The human brain will take the the input from the sensors and translate them into real feelings. A hit on his ship would be like hitting him. If he was controling six ships a loss of any one of them would be like losing a limb. Most men can't take that and wind up mad. If he was concentrating on his task maybe he was able to transcend that. There may be hope."

"Thank you, that is all." said Chavik.

"I think I'll stick around and watch you sir. You seem a bit tense."

Chavik bristled but allowed the man to stay. No sense having to buck the Doctor's one trump card. "Miss Siamet, access the libraries and find any reference to Raven you can find. He must admire the bird to get insulted at Crow. Cross reference to Akira's files. See if you can find a link." Chavik got back in his command chair and put on his VR console. He ran a systems check to calm himself down. Iridium was low nad the system engineers were running their fool heads off trying to bring everything back up 100%.

I think I have something sir," reported Miss Siamet.

Send it through my console," Chavik replied. He read the title and author and was amazed. He knew Akira had fondness for antiquities but this was incredible. Over 1100 years old and it still had captured his attention. Or perhaps because of it. It's not bad, thought Chavik. "Miss Siamet, cease current transmission and begin sending this instead."

If the chatter on the bridge had been low before it stooped as an 1100 year old bird issued his call once more.

*****

THE RAVEN

Edgar Allan Poe, 1845

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,

****

He should be tired by now, Chavik thought. They listened. The silence becoming eerie as Mother quoted the ancient poem.

****

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering,

fearing,

Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;

But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,

****

I wonder how dark it is for him.

****

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting

On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;

And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,

And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the

floor;

And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor

Shall be lifted-

****

Locke, get here soon. May this Bird fly you home Akira.

****

nevermore!

****

<RP> off

Commander Chavik

ICV Phoenix

[This message has been edited by Charles Lindsey (edited 01-12-99).]

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Guest Locke1

Woohoo, I finally got 2.01! I searched high and low for the boxed version, but no luck, not even at Virgin where I had heard there was a sighting. Call me impatient, but I settled for the SSL patch and it is amazing!!! Just got the 2.02 patch and the Insurgent Free Flight mode is the bomb! First thing I did was race to Sygan, prepare a Type One Fleet, and use it to destroy Pixan, and capture Velari, Centron, and Alliance starstations. Beware Galcom HQ, you are next! Muahahahahahahah! smile.gif Great work Derek, this was all I hoped for and much, much more!

{RP}

The haunting rhythms of Poe's poem darted through space even faster with At All Costs aid in signal amplification. It was their last hope for rescuing Akira before things would get desperate. Commander Locke, pacing on the battleship's bridge, was already desperate. The mission had gone on far longer than hoped, and the bad feeling Locke had had since its inception was only getting worse. Iridium was low, and the mission couldn't continue if the two lead Insurgent Battlecruisers suddenly decloaked in Galcom space. Locke sighed, and sat down at his console.

The datapad before him displayed the plans for Operation Dorothy, Chavik's and his last ditch effort for finding Akira and the Nevermore. There was still hope that the highly risky plan would not be needed, but this mission had prepared Locke well for disappointments. He finalized the plans and orders, and prepared for them to be carried out at a moment's notice. After checking over the plans two more times, he carefully saved and locked away the file in the ship's restricted access database.

Before retiring to his quarters, Locke checked the sensor reading again and sighed. Nothing as usual. Nothing but cold, dark, lonely space. The crew was weary, coming only days away from the climactic battle at Jupiter, and Locke himself was feeling the strain. If this mission drags on any longer, Locke thought, Akira isn't going to be the only one going mad.

[This message has been edited by Locke1 (edited 01-14-99).]

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<RP>

Rattler stands looking out over the Shipyard, patiently watching the shipfitters breath life into a new Battlecruiser. He smiles broadly as the Nose Art takes shape and becomes recognizeable for the first time. Necromancer will live again! Although not the same ship that he had plunged to her death in the recent Gammulan War, still the same, This would be a proud ship worth carrying on Her NameSake. She should be finished within a couple of weeks, and her first order of business will be to go find the "Lost Children" of the Insurgency, should they not return by her christening date. Without a conscious thought, Rattler strides to the other side of the observation platform and looks longingly towards the open Space. His brow contracts to a frown and he begins serious contemplations of what would be his cours of action, should he not recieve word soon. Now where the [email protected][email protected]#[email protected]#$ are you guys? Chavik, Locke, and Akira were not personnel that the Insurgency could afford to lose, and Rattler was [email protected][email protected]$ sure that he wasn't going to lose them, if they were still alive out there. His thoughts wandered a bit, to the ship that he was about to leave for some other deserving Commander. The Guardian was a fine ship, and he wouldn't give her to just some Commander. She would be wasted there, and that would be a crime against The Guardian and The Insurgency as well. No, he had to find just the right Commander to Skipper Her.

<RP/>

------------------

Rattler, Spectre, Insurgent One

Official BC3K Tester

[email protected].net

ICQ 12894104

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<rp>

The Corsair Wing Commander surveyed his WingÔÇÖs status report, it was a small status report at that. Four Heavycruisers were lost during the WingÔÇÖs ÔÇ£Strategic RelocationÔÇØ (aka retreat) from the Gammulan Homeworld located at Gamma1. How those four Cruisers were lost was a fluke. Gallion studied the battle logs trying to figure out what went wrong. The more he studied, the more baffled he became, baffled more from disbelief than anything else.

The recall order from Commander Tac, Wraith Fleet Commander, couldnÔÇÖt have come at a more inopportune time than it did. Right at the exact beginning of the WingÔÇÖs coordinated attack on both the Gammulan Homeworld and the Hexar Space Station orbiting the planet. Battle logs showed what Gallion already knew, the OTS attack on Gamma1 was a waste of ordinance. All five OTS weapons were destroyed by ground based SAL and SAM defenses before they entered the planetÔÇÖs troposphere. They became another bright spot in the sky to those Gammulans that were observing from the planet surface.

Two Cruisers were lost when they were disengaging from their attack on Hexar. Both were hammered by several Pacer and Slave missiles launched from the space station. Lucky hits, Gallion thought, they were at the wrong place at the wrong time. Two more cruisers were lost when they collided with each other after hyperjumping to the Tyrnnis jump point. A flaw in their NAV computer programming, a flaw that was suppose to have been fixed months ago. Just to be on the safe side, Gallion had the Comms, Fight, Navigation and Engineering officers look at the Graf SpeeÔÇÖs NAV computer system and programs. He didnÔÇÖt want anymore surprises.

The Wing had to fight their way through both to the Gamma1/Tyrnnis jump point, Tyrnnis and LV-110 systems. Scanners indicated that a debris field was located but no Gammulan bases in the LV-115 system. Commander Gallion, over serious objections from both is crew and the other Wing ship commanders, to make course for the debris field. Both the Graf Spee and the Prinze Eugen, along with the remaining Heavycruisers sustained damage during the strategic relocation of the Wing. None of the eight ships was disabled but the entire wing needed time to relax and heal. The past 12 hours have been exciting, too exciting in GallionÔÇÖs opinion. The debris field provided the camouflage and concealment from Gammulan scanners. Giving Corsair Wing the time it needs to repair, rest, and heal. Unfortunately, the field also hampered the wings monitoring efforts. Only one probe remained, on the Graf Spee, available for launch. Gallion did not want to alert the WingÔÇÖs presence within the system to the Gammulans unless he really had to.

Gallion began to review the Commlog also. Long-haul communications were down, victim to the two lost cruiserÔÇÖs death explosion. Their explosion was nuclear chain reaction, not a ÔÇ£normalÔÇØ ship explosion, if it there was such a thing as normal ship explosion. The resulting explosion caused a huge EMP that fried every communications system in the fleet. It is also probably the reason why Gammulan reinforcements did not arrive earlier in defense of their Homeworld. Communications were erratic and garbled were working. Commlog was full of fleet and ship battle communications. Gallion was able to determine that the Gammulans launched a major attack in the Sol system and that an alliance between all Terran forces, Galcom and Insurgent, was necessary to defeat the Gammulan attack.

The Commlog entries that both sparked GallionÔÇÖs interest and worried him the most were conflicting. Several were from both Wraith HQ and Commander Tac, Wraith Fleet leader. Gallion drifted asleep in his command chair on the bridge as he read these communiqu├®ÔÇÖs. Dreaming of Scarecrows, Tin-men, Lions, Tigers, [and] Bears (oh my), a yellow brick road, a wizard, and a Crow.........

<rp/>

------------------

CMDR Gallion

GCV-Graf Spee, Corsair Wing

Wraith Fleet

[This message has been edited by Gallion (edited 01-29-99).]

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"Miss Siamet, Send to Locke: I'm going to try to follow Scarecrow into the Emerald City. Cover my back from any Flying Monkeys."

"Mr. Pierce, if you would stay a while longer I would appreciate it," said Chavik speaking to his Medical Officer. And to his Chief Engineer, "Mr. Cooper, initiate failsafes on this thing," he said indicating his command chair.

Chavik slipped his VR console on and pushed the button that would activate the SVR. The command chair wrapped around him. The small lens appeared between his feet and the virtual controls snaked out around him. Chavik gave a small shudder. Nasty things, he thought, no time to pick at straws though. He pushed the final button and waited.

At first it was like a small buzz. The kind you get from just the right amount of a good wine. Then he realized it actually was a buzz. He concentrated and could "hear" Mother conduct staus checks on everything from life support to support ships. He concentrated on the Tacscan and brought that into his will.

The sheer amount of information was almost staggering having been used to only visual cues. He concentrated again and brought this level of sensory input under control. He was breathing slightly hard he thought. How did he know that? From his own reality or Mother's standard LF scan?

He concentrated yet again and brought SH1 into the scope of his will. He brought shuttles two, three, and four online as well. It was like slowly immersing himself into a hot tub.

He sent the shuttles out to the reaches of space to the furthermost navigable waypoints. When he brought the ICs online and did the same the effect was cumulative. It was like jumping into twenty feet of water and staying under. The pressure was tremendous.

He thought he felt warnings but they felt so insignificant. Like a small itch or something not quite remembered. His thoughts turned to space.

There was Gazer1. So small. He knew his shuttles were massively smaller still but he could "feel" them, they were like hands. He was getting giddy now. He knew he had to hurry. He cast his thoughts to space along the links to nine different ships. Out to space. Into space. Farther and farther he threw his thoughts as far as his fingers could reach.

He sent his ships past the jumpoints. As quickly as they as they could go but with no navigable jumpoints it was slow going. He strained to hear. Just when he was about to give up he had an image. Faint at best, one of stars, moons, planets, feathers, flying, snow.

He strained more and could feel the pulse of the universe pounding in his ears. Just when he thought he had a direction a wave of dizziness hit him and everything washed out. HE was flying now. He looked for the place to go next and...

"Turn those bloody things Off!" shouted Mr. Cooper. He had been watching Chavik's vital signs on his monitor. They had been elevated and a few warning signals had gone off but those were only first stage warnings. Designed to let the commander know things were getting touchy. They had steadied so Mr. Cooper had not worried about it. Chavik had been using the ships to his advantage. Spanning the region to most effectively use the scanners. Definetely cognitive thoughts.

Then things all of a sudden went haywire. Life signs changed erratically. Brainwave functions going thru the roof. "Mother, Lower the command chair." Mr. Cooper waited impatiently as the command chair slowly lowered to the floor. He tried to remove the SVR but it held fast. "Mother, Remove the SVR from Commander Chavik."

"Cannot Comply," she answered in her always too pleasant voice.

"Emergency Medical override Alpha theta omega! Release now!" Even with the emergency medical override the chair seemed reluctant to remove itself from Chavik.

"Miss Siamet, contact Locke on At All Costs, inform him of the situation. I'm taking Chavik to medibay. Mr. Brom, I suppose you have the bridge in Chavik's absence?"

Mr. Brom nodded and watched as Chavik was taken to Medibay. "Miss Siamet, he was right about At all Costs. Please inform me when we get a reply. With that he turned and started towards the command chair. He stared at it a minute or two before deciding he had best keep his feet on the yellow brick road.

<RP> OFF

Mr. Brom

Acting Commander

ICV Phoenix

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<rp>

His Marine bodyguard awakened Commander Gallion in his command chair. Chief Engineer Scott was waiting nearby to talk to the GCV Graf Spee commander.

CE: ÔÇ£Wing status report sir,ÔÇØ Scott said while handing a datapad to Gallion.

Commander Gallion, still trying to shake the cobwebs from his all-too-short rest looked at the datapad Scott handed to him. His confidence slackened when he read the Communications Systems and Cloaking Device readiness. Communication Systems for the entire Wing were unreliable, short-range transmission and reception were operational but long-range comms were out. The EMP during the WingÔÇÖs exodus from the Gammulan homeworld fried microprocessors needed for repairs. Iridium supplies were next to nill, entire wing could cloak for approx 10 minutes. Just enough time to set the Wing up for failure if they were to run across ÔÇ£hostileÔÇØ forces. A chance Gallion was not willing to take this deep in Gammulan territory.

Gallion: ÔÇ£Nav, set course for the moon orbiting LV-115; FO, prepare all remaining Shuttle craft with probes, were are going mining; Comms transmit all to Prinze Eugen, Cruisers are to remain in Debris Field. Set course and engage when ready; we have 2-hours to get as much Iridium as we can.ÔÇØ

Gallion looked at the chronometer, a device known as a clock in ancient days, and skunked down in his command chair farther. CE Scott returned to his duty station, knowing that there would be no rest for the weary. Gallion scanned his gaze over the bridge area. Everywhere he saw the signs of constant operations beginning to effect the bridge crew. He activated his intercom system, keying the medbay, ÔÇ£Doc, do we still have that case of ÔÇ£special medicationÔÇØ on-board?ÔÇÖ

Med Off: ÔÇ£Aye Sir, you know my opinion of these drugs.ÔÇØ

Gallion: ÔÇ£Yes, I am aware, what is the longest amount of time that we can safely use them?ÔÇØ

Med Off: ÔÇ£39 Hours Sir, anymore and weÔÇÖll have a bunch of zombies on our hands.ÔÇØ

Gallion: ÔÇ£Thanks, be prepared to issue to Wing in 2 hours, OUT! TACNET OPEN: Prinze Eugen and Cruisers go to minimum manning; expect 2 hours down time; rest your people while we can. Gallion OUT! Commander to crew: minimum manning; 2-hour sleep for all; rotate crew. Enjoy it while we can people, things will get very hot soon. Commander OUT!ÔÇØ

Gallion reclined back into the security of his commanderÔÇÖs chair. The bridge was a flurry of activity as the crew began to file towards the Turbo shaft. With the AP engaged meant no one had to actually fly the Graf Spee. Both the remaining BCs emerged from the debris field and jumped towards the moon orbiting LV-115, shortly both BC established an orbit around the moon, shuttlecraft launched, deployed their mining probes, and returned to their mother craft. All I can do is wait now, Gallion thought as he began to review the COMMLINK/Log. A lot of garbage. The EMP really did a number on the COMMLINK/Log datafile. Transmissions from Wraith HQ were really hosed, almost as if someone or something was trying to jam them. One message really stood out to Gallion; it was a direct communiqu├® from Wraith Fleet Commander Tac to the Graf Spee:

<static>...<garble>...Spee

<static>...Wraith-HQ compromised. Do not trust <static>... ginating ..<garble>from<static>..HQ .... <static>... <static>...IFF codes have been <static>...<garble>...<static>...TDF has been d...<static>... Source of ..<static>...<garble>...<static>...has been traced to <static>...Cruiser, RACE/CASTES/AFFILIATION UNK.. <static>...<garble>...<static>...base... <static>..<static>...<garble>...<static>....transmissions to Wr...<garble>...<static>...mder Tac OUT.

Well, guess homebase is just as hosed as the Wing is Gallion thought. Things were getting real sticky. Cruiser, unknown type, affiliation, castes, or race was the key to this mystery. A mystery that Gallion was going to solve.

<rp/>

------------------

CMDR Gallion

GCV-Graf Spee, Corsair Wing

Wraith Fleet

[This message has been edited by Gallion (edited 02-05-99).]

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Haven't posted to this forum (Roleplaying Commanders) in a while because I was working on the Webring, so for the sake of everyone else, I'm going to skip some stuff I planned on writing, to catch up with everybody else. Sorry if this is confusing.

<RP ON>

The GCV Midway, cloaked to avoid detection from Gammulan forces, drifted silently through space without it's engines active.

"Position?" asked Commander Alun Tringad, the temporary commander of the vessel.

"LV-110, sir." answered Lt. Cmdr. Danz Borin, the Midway's temporary Tactical Officer (Tringad and Borin are both on temporary assignment from the Black Falcon).

"OK, stay alert people, let me know the second you see ANY other vessels, Gammulan or otherwise." ordered Tringad.

"Yes sir" replied the entire bridge crew at one time.

A few minutes later,

"Sir! I have a visual on an unknow vessel!" yelled Borin.

"What? You should have it on the scanners before you can see it! What's going on? All stations report!" replied Tringad.

"Everything reads as normal sir, it's as if they're using a cloaking devise that leaves them visible." said Borin.

"Everything reads normal here too, sir" said the Midway's Flight Officer.

"Are you reading an IFF signal?" asked Tringad.

"No sir, nothing, only visual readings" replied Borin.

"D***! OK, tell me where they're headed!" demanded Tringad.

"Sorry, sir, unless we get them on the scanners, there's no way to tell where they're going" said Borin.

"There is one way," this from the Flight Officer, "we could send out an IC to follow it"

"No, we won't risk being detected. Anymore ideas, people?" replied Tringad.

"Sir! They're jumping! Still no way to track them, they're gone sir." reported Borin.

"D***! Did anyone make an ID on those ships?" asked Tringad.

"No, sir" was the only reply he got from anyone.

"Borin, you have the bridge, I'm going to my quarters to see if I can match that ship to any we have in the Galcom database. Let me know if they come back, or if you see anything else other then normal trader traffic." said Tringad.

"Yes, sir" replied Borin as Tringad stepped from the room.

When he reached his quarters, he looked up the vessel on the database, no luck there. Then he laid on his bed, closed his eyes in thought, and two minutes later, he was asleep.

<RP OFF>

Hope that catches me up to everyone else.

DeSylva, that should take care of my part, right? smile.gif

Gallion, I was not filling in my part with another ship, I was asked by DeSylva to post that for something he's doing. Hope this doesn't mess up your plans smile.gif

Later all.

------------------

Commander Alun Tringad

GCV Black Falcon ISS03

Tactical Support Coordinator, ISS Fleet

Official BC3K Webring Administrator

ICQ: 18001147

welcome.to/bc3k

[This message has been edited by William Ramsay (edited 02-05-99).]

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<rp>

Corsair WingÔÇÖs two hours of respite from galactic conflict was up. The WingÔÇÖs ships went on full alert as the last of the shuttles returned to the two Gallatin Battlecruisers. The mining expedition hit the Iridium mother-load on the moon orbiting LV-115. Enough Iridium was mined to allow the entire wing to remain cloaked for 70 minutes. Not bad for a few hours work, Gallion thought.

Gallion: ÔÇ£Comms, XMT to Wing; Nav set course for Crystar, engage course and Cloaking device on my mark.ÔÇØ

Comss/Nav: ÔÇ£Aye Sir, course plotted and sent to Wing.ÔÇØ

Gallion: ÔÇ£MARK!ÔÇØ

Each shipÔÇÖs jump towards the LV-110 jump point with out incident. Each ship slowly disappears from visual and scanner detection as cloaking device was engaged. One by one, Corsair Wing went through the jump point, each reappearing on the other side in LV-110. All that is except one unlucky ship. The unluckiest ship in the galaxy, the GCV Graf Spee.

The Graf Spee made it to LV-110 without any problems. The problem was what in the shipÔÇÖs way after emerging from the jump point. Seems that there was an Obstacle, a hidden obstacle. Whose nature was revealed to a startled Gallion when both the Graf SpeeÔÇÖs and the ObstacleÔÇÖs became visible as their cloaking fields wavered. A Galactan Battlecruiser and a Starcruiser-class Heavy Cruiser appeared. What made Gallion forget this little Murphy incident was the appearance of the rest of Corsair Wing.

The other ships of Corsair Wing followed the WingÔÇÖs SOP; when one of the WingÔÇÖs ships has a cloaking ÔÇ£malfunctionÔÇØ the rest of the Wing changes course to render any and all assistance to the unfortunate craft. SOP treats all causes of cloaking field failure as hostile, whether they are accidental (as the Graf Spee just experienced) failures or mechanical failures. Seven ships surrounded the Starcuiser using the WingÔÇÖs infamous ÔÇ£Blossom Flower FormationÔÇØ. The flowerÔÇÖs epicenter was the unfortunate heavycruiser who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Gallion: ÔÇ£Tactical check the Galcom ships registry for that craft; TACNET Open ÔÇô Lock weapons on the Starcruiser, fire on my Mark, Gallion OUT!ÔÇØ

Commander Gallion settled into his perch on the bridge conducting his own search of GalcomÔÇÖs ship registry. The StarcruiserÔÇÖs IFF code indicated that it was the GCV Midway. GallionÔÇÖs registry search failed to find any Galcom craft registered with that name. Gallion folded brought is hands together near his face, to the bridge crew it wouldÔÇÖve looked as if the Commander was praying, pondering his next move. Could this be the cruiser responsible for the IFF sabotage? Could I be this ÔÇ£luckyÔÇØ? He thought. As quickly as it came Gallion dismissed these thoughts altogether. He could never be so lucky.

Gallion: ÔÇ£CO prepare away strike team, target is the Starcruiser, ROE to follow!; CE send one SE to the transporter room. Comms, send message to Starcruiser GCV Midway ÔÇô I have no record of any Galcom vessel registered in that name, Prepare to be boarded and searched or be destroyed. You have 5 seconds to respond. GCV Graf Spee OUT!ÔÇØ

The next five seconds will be the longest. Gallion hated to wait but that was all he could do now. Marines hurry up and he has to wait......

<rp/>

------------------

CMDR Gallion

GCV-Graf Spee, Corsair Wing

Wraith Fleet

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There were butterflies in Commander Locke's stomach as he walked down the corridors of his battlecruiser to the transporter room. He had fought in skirmishes against pirates, had engaged the battleships of his own people during his defection to the insurgency, and had participated in the largest Fleet engagement in Terran history, the First Gammulan War. He had seen death in countless forms, and he no longer feared it. Yet the idea of being disintegrated into his component atoms, shot through space, and reformed in some computerized buffer still filled him with a cold dread.

He paused before the transporter room door. "Ms. Devereaux, you have the bridge as we discussed. Maintain cloak and hold position, but use your judgment if things get hot. Whatever happens, DO NOT follow us into uncharted space. If you are spotted or attacked, return to Spectre Star Station immediately. We don't need any more lives or equipment risked as already is."

Locke switched on his comms to acting Commander Brom on the Phoenix. "Commander, as per your request, I am beaming to the Phoenix to assume command of the operation. At All Costs will remain in Pluto under Commander Devereaux's leadership. I am beaming directly to the bridge using At All Costs transporter Commander, I don't want to waste transporter power by performing a site to site jump once on your ship. Oh, and have your tactical officer prepare the missile according to my specs. Locke out."

Locke took a deep breath, then walked into the transporter room and into the transport platform. The field activated, and Locke experienced a moment of nausea. In a split second, however, the whole experience was over and Locke was standing on the proud bridge of ICV Phoenix, slightly to the left of the command chair.

Brasfield's voice bellowed out immediately, "Commander on the bridge." The command chair lowered to the floor, and Commander Brom stepped off.

"Commander Locke," he said. "It's good to have you aboard. We received your medical officer just a few moments ago, she's gone straight to the medibay to prepare for the upcoming mission. Commander Chavik's situation is stable, I'm told, Pierce says he can wake him, but only for short intervals."

"Good, " said Locke. "I need to speak with him immediately, there's a piece of information I think he has that we need for the mission to proceed." Locke turned to the rest of the bridge crew. "Until he's back on his feet, I will be in command of this ship. We can't risk two Battlecruisers out looking for Akira under these circumstances, so At All Costs will stay here. Until then, we need absolute coherence and precision, people. This is a highly sensitive mission and I need not remind you we are behind enemy lines."

Locke sat in the command chair, adjusted the VR display, and said, "Understood?"

Everyone nodded and spoke their assent. Locke was pleased by their confidence, and it helped to boost his. He called up his personnel computer and sent a message to the medibay requesting Chavik to be woken up and prepared for his visit. He checked on the status of the missile, and saw that everything was ready for his word. He smiled, then set himself to the task at hand. Locke detached from the chair, and strode to the medibay.

"Chavik, old friend, can you hear me?" Locke asked nervously, peering over at the tired face of the man on the medbed. The damage wasn't permanent or serious, but it was enough to shake up Chavik and put him out commission for the duration.

"Of course I can hear you, you fool. My eyes are open and I'm staring right at you. I don't know why they've put me in this accursed bed, I tell the medics I'm fine but no one listens." He sighed. "I'm not used to being in this position."

Locke spoke, this time less nervous. "I know the feeling, my friend. When my ship was disabled in Polaris I woke up in a similar situation. It is the worst feeling of helplessness in the world for a starship captain to lie wounded in the infirmary of his own vessel. I assure you though, Chavik, Phoenix is safe in my hands. I won't let any harm come to the old bird."

He leaned in closer and spoke again, "You know the information we need?"

Chavik strained his eyes as if he were looking for something, then relaxed and spoke, barely above a whisper, "Yes, it's all here... Part of that VR link is still in my head. It must be a residual from the connection... but it's so hard to access now. Before I could just open my eyes and look across space and SEE, but now I have to struggle... I can do it, though, its faint, but...I know where the Nevermore is, Locke. I can see it...I can almost reach out and grab it...but oh, it's too far...too far."

"Chavik, please concentrate. Where is the Nevermore? Akira and his ship are depending on us."

Chavik's face twisted in agony and concentration, and rasped again, "She's... in nullspace, Locke. Just as we suspected...Must've had a hyperdrive failure...slipped...Get me that datapad, Locke, bring it to me right now before the memory slips. I can enter the approximate coordinates in nullspace...Hurry Locke."

Chavik set the coordinates, then slipped back into sleep under the medics' careful watch. Locke had the coordinates fed into the computer, which then set the trajectory for the reconfigured missile. Locke returned to his place on the bridge and prepared for the journey.

"Tactical, fire the missile on my mark...MARK!"

The reconfigured questor blasted away as the countdown on Locke's VR display started. At twenty seconds, Locke ordered the ship to jump, with the waypoint set to the missile.

The Phoenix streaked through hyperspace, gaining on the missile. The countdown reached 10.

"Ladies and Gentlemaen, hang on please. In the next few seconds we will either be blown to atoms or end up in null space somewhere near the Nevermore. Personally I prefer the latter, but well...time to see if those ruby slippers really work."

The counter hit zero, and the missile exploded into multicolored, fiery shards. The Phoenix's hyperspace computer went crazy, trying frantically to regain the lock on the destroyed missile to set an exit point from hyperspace. The theory was still debated, but without an exit anomaly, once the Phoenix passed the point at which the missile had been destroyed it would reach an abrupt end to the hyperspace corridor, and could no longer exist in this universe. Which meant, that, theoretically, since matter cannot be created or destroyed but rather transformed from one form to another, there were two possibilities as to the fate of the Phoenix.

Possibility one : the Phoenix would appear in a point in Null Space corresponding to the point in hyperspace at which the ship disappeared. According to the computer's calculations, somewhere near the Nevermore.

Possibility two : The vessel, and everyone in it, would explode in an impressive fireball.

Commander Locke stared straight ahead as the ship reached the end of the hyperspace corridor, and grinned maniacally.

[This message has been edited by Locke1 (edited 02-06-99).]

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<RP ON>

Commander Tringad woke to a huge rumble and a very loud noise.

"Commander Tringad to the bridge!" came Danz Borin's voice over the ships internal commlink.

"I'm on my way. What the hell happend?" replied Tringad, as he raced to the bridge.

"Don't know, sir, but we're no longer cloaked!" came Borins voice once again.

"D***!" yelled Tringad as he stepped onto his bridge, "OK, status report!"

"Looks like a Galactan rammed us coming out of hyperspace, sir" said Borin.

"Is it ours?"

"IFF code says it's the GCV Graf Spee, sir"

"That's Cmdr. Gallion's ship"

"Sir!" this from the Comms Officer, "Message from the Graf Spee!"

"Put it on the speakers" replied Tringad.

"'GCV Midway, I have no record of any Galcom vessel registered in that name, prepare to be boarded and searched or be destroyed. You have 5 seconds to respond. GCV Graf Spee OUT!'" is what came over the speakers.

"Tell them we'll agree to the boarding party, just don't fire!" ordered Tringad.

The Midway wouldn't be in their records because they've been in Gamm space for a long time, and the Midway was just launched three days ago, thought Tringad, as soon as they see that we are, in fact, a Galcom vessel, they'll welcome the company.

<RP OFF>

Gallion: Tag! You're it! smile.gif

Later all.

------------------

Commander Alun Tringad

GCV Black Falcon ISS03

Tactical Support Coordinator, ISS Fleet

Official BC3K Webring Administrator

ICQ: 18001147

welcome.to/bc3k

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I am taking some ÔÇ£poetic licenseÔÇØ with TringadÔÇÖs dialog.

<rp>

Commander Gallion watched the seconds tick by; 5....4....3....2....

TacOff: ÔÇ£Commander! The Midway has lowered their shields and powered down their weapons.ÔÇØ

Smart Commander, Gallion thought.

Gallion: ÔÇ£Away Team ROE, do not fire unless fired on first. Any sign of trouble, squawk once. Find the MidwayÔÇÖs Commander. When found notify me at once. Get their NAV, Commslog, and TacOps data ASAP. You have 3 minutes, Gallion OUT! Engage Transporter!ÔÇØ

Gallion relaxed a bit into his command chair, waiting for the Away Team to complete their orders. He turned to get a cup of Java when the Away Team Leader reported in.

AT: ÔÇ£Commander, Midway Commander has been secured. He says his name is Commander Alun Tringad, ISS Fleet; data recovery begun; two minutes until completed.ÔÇØ

Commander Tringad, ISS Fleet? Gallion looked him up in the Galcom ship registry. Tringad is the Commander of the GCV Black Falcon, Galactan Class Battlecruiser. WhatÔÇÖs he doing in command of a Starcruiser class Heavycruiser? Gallion thought about for a few microseconds and decided he didnÔÇÖt want to know. ISS Fleet was a weird bunch. Many secret squirrel activities, they always got the latest and greatest toys and games.

Gallion: ÔÇ£Comms, open secure, low power, tight-beam holo-vid channel with Midway. Away Team, out Commander Tringad in his chair and keep an eye on him.ÔÇØ

Comms: ÔÇ£holo-vid channel opened Sir!ÔÇØ

Gallion activated his holo-vid player and scrutinized the MidwayÔÇÖs Commander when the channel between the two ships synchronized up. Yep, at least he looks like Commander Tringad....

Gallion: ÔÇ£Commander Tringad, I do not know what you think you are doing in Gammulan space with a dingy, nor do I care. Forgive this breach in protocol but I am sure you understand given the circumstances. All we need is information and my Team will be gone and you may continue your cruise.ÔÇØ

Midway: ÔÇ£Understand Commander, we will assist in any way that we can.ÔÇØ

AT: ÔÇ£Data recovery complete, transponders activated.ÔÇØ

Gallion: ÔÇ£Engage Transporter! Relay to the Wing, weapon systems off! Commander Tringad our business with your ship is complete. Again, my apologies. I have one request of you.ÔÇØ

Midway: ÔÇ£Sure Commander Gallion, what can I do for you?ÔÇØ

Gallion quickly explained Corsair WingÔÇÖs adventures over the past few days. Commander Tringad listened without comment or gesture until he heard the last item on GallionÔÇÖs tirade ÔÇô TDF IFF Code sabotage. Gallion noticed how Tringad changed from a person just half-listening to him to a person that hung on each and every word that he said. Commander Tringad quickly filled Gallion in on the TDF debacle in Sol. Gallion made a decision, a decision that could cost what little was left of his Galcom career, but it was a risk that he was willing to take. He had to find that mystery ship. He needed information that would not have been recovered during the Away TeamÔÇÖs data recovery on the Midway.

Gallion: ÔÇ£Commander Tringad, what I am about to ask you to do and ask for must not leave this conversation. I need you to transmit these two files to your HQ. Your HQ will know what to do with them. Second, I need any information that you have on Insurgent One, and I need it now. We have been sitting in one spot in Gammulan space far to long as it is.ÔÇØ Gallion pulled two files up, ÔÇ£TraitorÔÇØ and ÔÇ£DutchmanÔÇØ, and transmitted them to the MidwayÔÇÖs commander and waited, he really hated to wait.

Commander Tringad looked as if he had been smacked across his face when he heard GallionÔÇÖs strange request. How would the Corsair Wing leader know that he even knew who or what Insurgent One was? Tringad contemplated GallionÔÇÖs request. Given the events of the past few days, he thought that nothing could surprise him, yet he was stunned. What would a Corsair want or do with this highly classified material? Insurgent One was the most wanted man in Galcom space. Tringad did something that he hoped that he would not regret as he bought the dossier up and transmitted the data.

Midway: ÔÇ£Data transfer complete Gallion. I hope you know what you are doing. We can both hang for this you know!ÔÇØ

Gallion: ÔÇ£Understood Commander Tringad, my thanks. Again my apologies for detaining you and your ship. Pass to your HQ, Wraith HQ may be infiltrated.ÔÇØ

Just then the battle klaxon on the Graf Spee started ringing. The ship computer started its automated script, ÔÇ£Battlecruiser Acquired, Missile launch detected...ÔÇØ Gallion looked at his TacOps display and saw 15 red blips appear out of nowhere.

Gallion: ÔÇ£Tringad get your ship out of here! Corsair will cover your escape! Do not engage, RUN! You have 1 minute to get out of this system! Gallion OUT! TACNET OPEN! Gallion to Wing, cover the Midway --- be prepared to disengage and resume previous course on my Mark! Graf Spee OUT! All right people, showtime! LetÔÇÖs show these Gamms how to dance!ÔÇØ

Corsair Wing spread out. Each ship engaging the Gammulan warships that had the audacity to engage them. Gallion watched his TacOps display, slowly; ever so slowly; the Midway faded from scanners. Whew, at least they are halfway out of here, Gallion thought. 45 seconds left ÔÇÿtill the Midway is safe, then it will be Corsair WingÔÇÖs turn to run.

<rp/>

------------------

CMDR Gallion

GCV-Graf Spee, Corsair Wing

Wraith Fleet

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<RP ON>

"Sir, Corsair is giving us one minute of cover, then they're backing off." said the Comms officer.

"Alright, let's take them up on the offer, Helm, set course to Gammula->Alpha Gamma wormhole, and prepare to jump on my mark, mark!" ordered Tringad.

The Midway shuttered as it leapt into hyperspace, leaving Corsair to deal with the new Gammulan threat.

"OK, I think it's time to go home, Helm, as soon as we get out the other side, set course to GHQ. Borin, see if we can cloak yet, and if we can, cloak when we come out of hyperspace." said Tringad.

"Yes, sir" replied Borin.

"I'll be in my quarters, Danz, you have the bridge."

"Yes, sir"

Tringad went to his quarters to think, to think about what had just happend, and why Gallion would ask for such a favor.

<RP OFF>

Later all.

------------------

Commander Alun Tringad

GCV Black Falcon ISS03

Tactical Support Coordinator, ISS Fleet

Official BC3K Webring Administrator

ICQ: 18001147

welcome.to/bc3k

[This message has been edited by William Ramsay (edited 02-07-99).]

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Im loong overdue on this thread *G*.

<RP>

The familiar nausea of a jump hit the crew of the GCV Usagi as she entered the void of her home port, Cyrian. On her bridge, Commander Tac silently waded through datapad after datapad of data collected from the TDF conflict, specifically the data from the communications from Wraith HQ and the Wraith Fleet.

"Max, have your boys sift through the comms sent from Wraith HQ to Delta and Corsair Wings, I hope Gallion didn't catch the same virus as Delta Wing."

"Im on it sir" replied the Chief Engineer.

During the TDF conflict, Delta and Corsair Wings were ordered behind enemy lines to slow down the advance of any hostile forces into the Credian quadrant. The plan was to have Delta harrass the enemy reinforcements as they passed through Credian space at the same time as Corsair would be attacking important enemy assets to confuse the Gammulans as much as possible.

Something had gone wrong. Terribly wrong. The Gammulans had jammed all communications going out of Terran space during the battle, and Commander Tac had been unable to reach the remainder of his Fleet. As Hell Hound Wing joined the fray in the Sol system, the Usagi's Comm officer had been able to contact Wraith HQ via a tightbeam signal. Using Wraith HQ as a relay station, Tac was able to contact Gallion for a few brief, confusing moments... and no word from Delta Wing.

After the Gammulans were fought off, the task of mopping up the mess was left to the ISS and Orion Fleets, Wraith Fleet had more pressing matters... the great majority of its Fleet was still MIA.

As search and rescue ships were dispatched from Wraith HQ and other friendly stations, Tac had pondered the possibility that he had lost his whole fleet... a terrible possibility.

The hours went by until a Wraith Interceptor found Delta Wing. It was adrift in space, far from where it was supposed to be.In fact, it was where it was ordered to wait for instructions!. After the 16 Galactans had been towed back to Wraith HQ was the source of the problem been found: A virus had been planted in the Wraith HQ tightbeam transmission. The implications were staggering. And there was still no word from Corsair.

That is, until the ISS had sent him news of Gallion's encounter with a Galcom cruiser.

Mia Kurazawa, the Usagi's Tactical Officer was desperately attempting to draw up a defense plan for the Wraith HQ. If the HQ had been infiltrated some other surprises might come up, and so far only Hell Hound Wing had the only ships they could rely on.

"Its no use Commander, I've tried all I can think of and the HQ is still open to attack." screeched a frustrated Tactical Officer.

"Even the best plans are prone to failure Mia, its the human factor that decides battles... the Gammulans learned that, dont you forget it."

"We are low on that too Commander"

"Aye, I know..." sighed the Usagi's Commander. He could not move from his base and he could not send help to his loyal Corsairs. The universe had a sick sense of humor.

"Comms: Coded transmission to the Graf Spee: "Glad to see you're still swashbuckling Gallion. We dare not use Wraith HQ for the time being, it might be infiltrated. Delta Wing was completely disabled in the first phase of the TDF conflict.Commander Ian Tokai has taken over Delta Wing and is trying to bring Delta back online. As soon as he is succesfull you will receive Wraith reinforcements. Send your status and most pressing needs, they will be sent to you from our nearest Starbase. Godspeed, Tac out".

"Message sent sir"

"Mia, contact the nearest Starbase and have it standby to resupply Gallion and his ships."

The Tactical officer did not reply, she swiftly moved into the TacOps display and began barking orders to the officers on-station at the Starbase.She would make one hell of a Commander one day.

"Commander, Engineering reports the logs from Delta Wing indicate that the virus was not sent from Wraith HQ."

"How can that be Max?"

"Well sir, we've found that the virus is out of sync with the transmission, it must have been added somewhere along the way."

"Attempt a trace, Comms: Send Gallion a datalink with this new information and that of all files concerning the TDF conflict."

"Will do sir" replied the comms officer.

A heavy weight was lifted from Tac's heart. The source wasnt from within..now all he had to do was find out who had done it... and rip their hearts out.But for the moment, all he could do was SIT in Rinaal babysitting his Starstation. The universe had a sick sense of humor indeed... and Tac felt he had become the center of its attention.

</RP>

Cool thread you guys got here. I dont want to interfere in it until I see where its leading.

Gallion: Remember we have Starbases all over the galaxy, use them. You can repair, rearm and re-equip there.

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<RP ON>

"Emerging from hyperspace" said Mother, as the Midway came out of hyperspace in front of the Gammula->Alpha Gamma wormhole.

Commander Tringad walked onto the bridge as Borin engaged the cloaking device.

"Is the cloaking device online?" asked Tringad.

"Yes, sir, it works fine, minimal damage from the collision" replied Borin.

"Good, is course set to GHQ?"

"Yes, sir" this from the Nav Officer.

"OK, people, let's go home"

"Yes, sir!" replied the bridge crew in tandem.

The Midway went through the wormhole into Alpha Gamma, and then, with the auto-pilot engaged, jumped towards Crystar. There, she would go through the Alpha Gamma->Omega Centauri wormhole to Kruger. The path home would be a long one, but Tringad was sure his little ship would make it.

<RP OFF>

Later all.

------------------

Commander Alun Tringad

GCV Black Falcon ISS03

Tactical Support Coordinator, ISS Fleet

Official BC3K Webring Administrator

ICQ: 18001147

welcome.to/bc3k

[This message has been edited by William Ramsay (edited 02-08-99).]

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<RP ON>

The Midway exited the Sirius->Sol wormhole into Jupiter, as Commander Tringad thought about all the good men who had died here just a month before. He had flashbacks about the huge battle that took place, and of how two enemys joined together to fight a common foe. It was the best -- and worst -- day, in Terran history.

The Midway shook as she leapt into hyperspace towards Earth. The crew of Midway was going home.

The crew cheered as the Midway came out of hyperspace and the huge mass of Earth came into view, with Galcom Headquarters in her shadow. The Midway lowered shields as the Comms Officer asked for docking clearance from Galcom HQ. They were cleared to dock, and did so. They docked next to Commander Tringad's ship, the GCV Black Falcon, just out of "dry dock" from her refitting and overhaul.

"That was one hell of a shakedown cruise." said Tringad, as he entered SH-1 to be taken to the station's administrative offices.

"Yeah, I'll never forget THAT one." replied Danz Borin, following in Tringad's footsteps.

"Well, I can't wait to get back to the Falcon and sit in my chair again."

"I know what you mean, after serving on a Starcruiser, the Falcon will seem like Heaven." said Borin with a smile.

"The Falcon would seem like Heaven to me even after skippering a cruiseliner worth a hundred trillion Galcredits." replied Tringad, full of pride for his ship.

"I wouldn't go THAT far, Alun."

About an hour later, they boarded a shuttle to the Falcon. They were met by the familiar faces of Combat Officer Gavin Hechler, and Chief Engineer Albert Camley.

"Welcome home, sir, nice to have you aboard" said Hechler, as he shook both Tringad and Borin's hands.

"We sure have missed you." added Camley, who stayed aboard during the refit because of his knowledge of the Falcon's inner workings.

Tringad started towards the bridge, "Well, let's launch this baby."

They all came to the bridge, except for Camley, who went to engineering, to launch the ship.

"Mister Borin, you may have the honors" said Tringad.

"Yes, sir" replied Borin, "Helm, take her out"

The Black Falcon came to life and started to move out of the docking bay.

"As soon as we're clear of GHQ, set course to ISS HQ." ordered Tringad.

"Yes, sir" replied the Nav Officer.

The Falcon cleared GHQ.

"Alright Helm, let's go"

<RP OFF>

Wow, that was long, later all.

------------------

Commander Alun Tringad

GCV Black Falcon ISS03

Tactical Support Coordinator, ISS Fleet

Official BC3K Webring Administrator

ICQ: 18001147

welcome.to/bc3k

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Chavik stirred. He was free yet trapped. He could roam the region but he was alone. And the images. Kings, jesters, blackbirds flying out of pies. One huge bird in particular had his attention. A rather large bird as birds go, staring at him, daring him to speak. To which it would always reply "Nevermore!"

That name seemed familiar. Important somehow. As did the image of the bird itself. And particularly where it was sitting. It was sitting on someone's head. No, not a head, a bust, it was sitting on a bust. But it seemed oh so familiar. the red hair, the beard, the eyes. Those eyes, at once bright and menacing, as were the bird's. Two die rolled around in his head and landed on one's. Snake eyes. Black dots, black as the birds eyes. Black on white, white as the stars. White as snow.

Chavik stirred, and awoke. Sweating, breathing hard, and thinking of Akira. A buzz filled his head almost like when he was linked to the SVR. It was the same link. It was weaker than originally but stronger than when Locke had had him awkened. He could point to Akira. So it remains for a while longer, thought Chavik. He doubted he could gain control of his ship but it should be enough he thought.

The droid trundled over and seemed about to administer another dose of medication. Chavik waved it away and when it appeared to insist he spoke an override command. One of the perks of being a commander he thought smugly. He threw off the covers and arose, stilled clothed from when he had been taken off the bridge. At once Medical officer Anthony Pierce was at his side demanding "Where do you think you are going? I want to observe you another eight hours at least. I saw some things that downright scared me and I don't want you trouncing off getting looped again."

"We don't have eight hours Mr. Pierce. We have precious little time indeed. Akira certainly doesn't have eight hours and we don't have that much Iridium. Medical computer, scan Commander Chavik and report on his readiness to return to duty."

"Life factor is 98% and fatigue factor is 15%, subject may return to duty under supervision."

"Now access Mother, coallate current situation, my link with the SVR console, my current state of readiness, and Commander status and report again."

"Subject is needed for information pertaining to mission, Command decision, and is allowed leeway in deciding own duties given command status."

Chavik grinned widely at Pierce who did not look at all pleased. "Medical Computer and Mother, I do hereby override Medical Officer Pierce's opinion that I stay in Medibay so long as I stay conscious and lucid. Will you concur?"

"Yes sir," both computer chimed in at once.

"Thank you," said Chavik and turned to Mr Pierce. He said, "Shall we go?" and immediately headed for the bridge. Mr. Pierce stared after Chavik before giving a start and following.

Once on the bridge everyone seemed surprised to see him. "Don't worry," said Chavik, "both Computers have determined me physically fit for duty upon the condition I stay conscious and lucid. I trust you all to help them make this decision. Heads nodded all around. "Now people, we have work to do. Akira needs us. He is out there," Chavik said pointing up, to his left, and behind him, "and he is fading quickly. Mr. Brom, yaw 102 degrees left and pitch 35 degrees up. Some of my link remains and we will take advantage of it while it lasts."

Mr. Brom began inputting the coordinates and other officers seem intent on other tasks. The Phoenix slowly spun around and pointed in the direction Chavik had directed. The junior officers in the pit were the only ones to notice as Chavik's finger remained fixed on the place he had spoken of. They started whispering among themselves.

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