Len Iode #14377
Vadin Cal #13992
Last Voyage of the Charon
Len Iode #14377
Len sat outside the command center inside the Solari. He had been called to the ship for a top secret mission, and he was supposedly going to be given a team. Len sat, looking through his data pad, as he went through all the information about his team, Garza’s Pathfinders. Interesting, he thought to himself, It seems that I missed a few thing before. I should give this list another run through.
At that moment, the door to the command center opened up, and Turel looked at the Chiss. Len stood up quickly and saluted the Consul.
“Come on in, your team is in here as well.” Turel said, with a grim look on his face.
Len entered the room to see Tisto and a short man in what looked like Katarn-class armor. Len nodded to the two of them, not understanding why this was the team.
“Before we begin I would like to introduce you to Vadin Cal,” Turel said seriously. “He is a former K.U.D.F. soldier who turned Bounty Hunter after we lost New Tython. He came back recently to help us out.”
Deserter, Len thought, giving the man a glance.
“If We may,” Vadin spoke up. “We believe sir, that you said this was very important.”
“Yes, now that introductions are out of the way…” Turel began. “Six hours ago we got a call from a SenNet Agent who was aboard the Charon. Supposedly, he noticed some kind of weapons team aboard, and when the ship suddenly died, he contacted us. His transmission was cut off, though, you should hear it.”
Turel pressed a button on the center table and a hologram popped up of a tall human. “Solari, come in Solari. I have discovered something, I don’t know what. I am currently onboard the Charon. We recently stopped at Nar Shaddaa and picked up what appears to be some kind of weapons team. I suspect they are part of the Iron Throne. That’s strange, the ship just fell out of hyperspace. I’m requesting immediate extraction, I repeat I am requesting—”
The hologram immediately shut off.
“Zander,” Vadin called out.
“So you do know him?” Turel asked.
“Yes, he is our friend,” Vadin stated. “We were in the Tanduran and Dac United Forces. We didn’t know he became SenNet. We need to get him out of there!”
Turel nodded. “That is why I have the three of you here. Your job is to get to the Charon, find out if he is alive, and try to recover this weapon, or any information about it that you can. Tisto will pilot you there, I have a shuttle prepared for the three of you. It has the coordinates pluged into it already, and just needs a pilot to fly it. You are dismissed.”
Vadin nodded, saluting Turel, and leaving the room promptly with Tisto close behind. Len looked at the two leaving before addressing Turel. “Sir, may I talk to you?”
The Consul turned to Major Iode, “I sense your discomfort in working with a ‘Deserter’, but we need all the help we can get. He also knows the operative in question.”
“That’s all fine and dandy sir,” Len contained his anger, ”but how can I trust my life to someone who ran when we all needed each other the most.”
Turel lowered his voice. “I never asked you to trust him, I want you to observe him. Make sure he deserves to be brought back into the fold full time.”
The Chiss brought himself under full control. “I understand. I don’t like it, but Tisto will be there so I know someone has my back.”
“That’s the spirit Major.” Turel turned towards the door and took two steps before pausing. “Oh and Major?”
Len looked up from the datapad in his hand.
“May the Force be with you.”
12 Standard Hours Later
Onboard the shuttle “Freedom”
2.75 LY from Nar Shadda
Len had been studying the files on his datapad of “Zander”, the SenNet operator on the Iron Throne ship. He had pieced together that Zander was a Sergeant in the TDUF and was studying to enter SpecForce training in the KUDF when New Tython got glassed. In chaos that followed, he had been hand picked to infiltrate one of the Brotherhood’s Logistical ships by Turel. Posing as a cargo specialist, he had sent regular reports detailing supply movements, and on the rare occasion, troop movements. This was the first time he had directly contacted Odan-Urr since going undercover. How odd for a man that has been so careful in his planning, Len thought, Must be something extremely dangerous.
Len clicked out of the case file and opened the intelligence report the operative had transmitted detailing the specifics of the Charon. On the other side of the pad, Len brought up a standard deck plan of a Hammerhead-class corvette.
Tisto poked his head in from the cockpit. “Len? I’m not bothering you am I?”
Looking up from his reading the Chiss adjusted his glasses. “Not at all my friend, just finishing reviewing Agent Zander’s file and his field notes. Good man, takes painstakingly detailed notes. Every report is like a novel and none of it boring.”
Len pause and stood, ”I’m going on a tangent, sorry. What’s up?”
Tisto chuckled, Len had a well known tendency to ramble. “We’re approaching the last known coordinates. Vadin is just finishing getting his equipment together.”
Len hid his remaining anger about a deserter joining them on this mission. “Good.”
“Is something wrong Len?” Tisto asked, wondering why Len was not with Vadin, checking out the gear.
“Nothing, why?” Len replied, lying.
“Just wondering. Always good to know what we are working with,” Tisto said with a smile. “This Vadin guy has an impressive record, I checked up on his file after putting us in hyperspace. I wonder why he left the T.D.U.C.”
“I have no answers,” Len said, holding back his anger. “I should go prep my gear.”
Len got up and went to the cargohold, passing Vadin as he came into the main hold. A small orb floated around Vadin.
“Beep beep boop click,” it said.
“EM-H,” Vadin began. “I do believe Turel chose the right man for the job. After all he hasn’t met you yet.”
“Click Click Boop Beep,” the training remote replied.
“I don’t care that you think you are better than us EM-H,” Vadin said chuckling. “I won’t risk the mission because of your wounded pride.”
Tisto smiled at the antics of Vadin and the training remote, trying not to laugh. That droid needs a memory wipe, he thought. There is no reason for it to be acting like it is better than us.
The Charon sat in space, heavily damaged. It appeared as though the entire escape pod array had been bombed, as had the docking bay. Tisto looked at Vadin and Len, both of them in their pressurized suits.
“I am bringing us in,” the Knight Commander said. “Looks like the best hope if for the broken down escape pods. I’ll set our shuttle down right there, then you guys need to jump into the Charon. Hold that area down for me to get into my pressurized suit and jump onboard as well.”
Vadin nodded, his Katarn-class armor having been outfitted with a life support system. The ship moved slowly towards the escape pod array. The three could see dark shapes moving through the windows of the ship as they approached.
“Pirates?” Vadin asked aloud.
“Unlikely,” Len replied with a strained voice. “There isn’t another ship around. Probably just survivors.”
The shuttle pulled up only three meters from the destroyed escape pod array. “Alright boys, I’m opening the airlock, go now!”
Len checked his A280 blaster rifle one last time, glancing at Vadin.
“You take left I’ll cover right” Len ordered.
Vadin keyed the last of the life support controls and nodded, “Shoot anything that isn’t Zander?”
“On stun, but yes,” Len disengaged his grav boots and pushed off, “Garza Actual away.”
Floating quickly across the three meter gap Len unslung his A280 and brought it to the low ready position. Vadin floated to the left side of the escape pod hatch Len had drifted to the right of.
“Override is ready.” Len stated cooly.
Vadin nodded, “Knight 2 in position.”
Len keyed the override command and the airlock slid open, Vadin held onto the inside of the hatch as the pressure inside equalized, sucking out a couple of deceased Iron Legion soldiers. Pulling himself inside, Vadin swept right to left with his blaster, as Len pulled himself in as well sweeping from middle to right.
Activating their grav boots both men called “Clear”.
Len kept looking over at Vadin’s space and the two walked over to the door leading out sealing the outer airlock and pressurizing the antechamber of the escape pod area. “Knight Actual, Garza Actual. Escape pod room secure, moving to landing bay. Two enemy KIA, looked like they we’re dead already.”
“Roger that Garza. Standby I’ll be over in a second.”
Vadin looked at the floor while covering the hatch that lead out to the rest of the ship.
“Major…you may want to see this.”
Len turned to the man, “What is…”
Both of the men saw the blood covering the small viewport when a fur covered paw smacked against it. The Major jumped, though he would never admit it.
Stunned the Chiss stammered “What the hell is that?”
Vadin squinted and moved quietly over to the hatch, peering through he saw the horror of what the creature was doing to a former crewmember.
“If I am not mistaken sir, Rakghouls.”
Moving to cover the door as well, Len covered his partner back to his cover.
“Rakghouls? They should be contained to Taris.”
Vadin took up his position, “Maybe one of them stowed away, or someone was a carrier.”
Tisto chimed in, “Outer door closed I am coming in. We can formulate a plan then.”
The hatch opened and the Knight commander took off his helmet letting his flowing hair free.
“Are you sure Vadin?”
Both men took off their helmets, “Absolutely sir, I saw them once at a spaceport I was visiting.”
The two battle team leaders exchanged “oh crap” looks with each other.
Tisto shook his head “This just got much harder than we expected.”
“Good thing we have the space suits, they should remove the threat of their bite,” Vadin noted.
Len nodded, “We may have to assume the worst for Agent Zander and his information.”
“We do not assume the worst for Zander,” Vadin said stubbornly. “He can fight well.”
“Vadin,” Tisto said. “I know he was your friend but do you really think he could survive rakghouls?”
“Tisto is right Vadin” Len stated, still holding back resentment. “We are lucky that we know about this beforehand. Tisto, do you know of anyway around this?”
The Knight Commander examined the door quickly, before pulling out his lightsaber. Igniting it, he quickly slammed the blade through the door. The paw fell from the door with a wail. Tisto then opened the door, looking at the dead Rakghoul on the ground.
“What are you guys waiting for?!” he said. “Run!”
Vadin grabbed Len by the arm, taking off, with Tisto close behind. One of the two doors in the new room opened, Rakghouls spilling out. The trio raced to the other side of the room, and opened the other door, closing it before the Rakghouls could get in. With no hesitation Vadin activated his Knuckle plated vibro blade, and slammed the nine inch titanium blade through the door controls.
Sparks flew across the room as the heavy vibrating blade cut through the controls like a hot knife through butter. Len and Tisto started in horror as their quickest way back to the shuttle was destroyed without thought. Len shook his head.
“What has gotten into you soldier!” he said angrily. “That was our quickest way back. Maybe even the only way.”
“We are going to be over run sir,” Vadin replied calmly through his breath mask, expecting much longer berating. “We can always get back into the room by manually opening the doors. But we needed to stop the Rakghouls from getting us. Our mission is to find a weapon, not fight Rakghouls.”
“He has a point,” Tisto said. “Although it wasn’t the best choice it does save us from wasting time.”
Len glared at Vadin for a quick second before turning his back to the two. “Yes, we should focus on the mission, although now we have to go around the long way to have a chance at getting to the weapon if it isn’t on this side of the ship.”