Day 6: Black Sun Rising
Each member of the newly formed joint mission team settled in to their quarters, then arrived early for their first briefing in this new format.
"Uh, hello." "Hi."
Initially, they stay completely seperated, Rebels on one side of the room, Imperials on the other. Looks are exchanged, a few forced pleasantries, but there is no mixing of the groups. Clearly, no one is particularly happy about this arrangement, but in time, things will change. They won't have a choice if they want to survive, let alone succeed.
Commander Blazer and Admiral Blaire meet outside the conference room.
Commander Blazer: "Well Jek, this is it, the moment of truth."
Admiral Blaire: "I suppose we'd better get in there and see what happens. I haven't been this nervous since the Assault on Raldir."
Commander Blazer: "You were at Randir? Me too!"
Admiral Blaire: "I was second in command of the occupation forces, it was hell. The commander of the opposing forces kept expecting our moves and countering perfectly. Weirdest battle ever, it was like fighting myself."
Commander Blazer: "Uh, well, that was me."
Admiral Blaire: "Well, you old gundark!"
Commander Blazer and Admiral Blaire enter the room together, continuing their animated discussion of the past. The conversation seems to be getting heated, then just as quickly, they start laughing like the best of friends.
Commander Blazer: "You know, I never would have believed it, but in the long run, we had the same goals, we just didn't always use the same methods."
Admiral Blaire: "Well, the Emperor was a strange man, cold and vicious, but he led a lot of us to believe that we were fighting for law and order, to keep the uncivilized both safe and under control for their own good. It was a pompous vision of things, but had some merits, if only he had been a good man. We realise now that he wasn't, it's one of the reasons we want peace so badly, there has been far too much war."
Commander Blazer: "I understand completely. Even now, I'm having a hard time convincing them that this is all real. They were born during this war, they've never known anything else, they still can't find trust in their hearts."
Admiral Blaire: "We're in the same position on that as well, but maybe this experience will change that. Maybe it takes having a common enemy to bring people together."
Commander Blazer: "We've certainly got that in Black Sun, I hope we're up to the task."
Grand Admiral Volrik walks in, startling the former Rebels who weren't expecting someone with his kind of presence. Pretty much startling the Imperials, too, and they should be used to him by now.
Members of the two groups look at each other and their reactions and sort of chuckle, then realise, nervously, that they felt the same way. It isn't much, but for a moment, they share a common feeling, an understanding. The stares turn into curiousity as they wonder what else they have in common, and how they will find peace with their former enemies. If they survive that long.
Grand Admiral Volrik: "Let's get started."
Commander Blazer: "We should wait, sir, we're being joined via viewscreen by Jedi Master Luke Skywalker."
Grand Admiral Volrik: "Who?"
Admiral Blaire: "Sir? Surely you've heard of Luke Skywalker, hero of the Rebellion."
Grand Admiral Volrik: "Don't call me Shirley, and no I haven't."
Admiral Blaire: "That's a really old joke, sir."
Grand Admiral Volrik: "Joke? Don't start that again."
Commander Blazer: "I heard this really funny joke about a jedi, a sith..."
Admiral Blaire: "Oh..."
Commander Blazer: "It's a good one!"
Admiral Blaire: "Sir, Luke Skywalker singlehandedly destroyed the first Death Star, his father was Darth Vader. Is this helping?"
Grand Admiral Volrik: "OH! That Luke Skywalker. I was thinking of a painting I once heard of."
Admiral Blaire: "Same one."
Grand Admiral Volrik: "A painting destroyed the first Death Star? I'm impressed. It must have been either really good or really bad."
Admiral Blaire: "Yes sir..."
Grand Admiral Volrik: "I knew a watercolour once that caused an earthquake."
Commander Blazer: "I heard about that."
Admiral Blaire: "..."
The Admiral turns on the viewscreen just in time to see the painting of Luke Skywalker appear.
Luke Skywalker: "Let's get started."
Admiral Blaire: "You should meet my superiour first, sir."
Luke Skywalker: "Hmmm? Oh, yes, I've heard about him."
Admiral Blaire: "Luke Skywalker, this is Grand Admiral Volrik, Grand Admiral Volrik, this is Luke Skywalker."
Grand Admiral Volrik: "I'm not stupid, I know who this is."
Admiral Blaire: "But sir..."
Luke Skywalker: "It's a pleasure to meet you, Admiral."
Grand Admiral Volrik: "Grand Admiral."
Luke Skywalker: "No, I'm a Jedi Master."
Grand Admiral Volrik: "I meant that I'm a Grand Admiral."
Luke Skywalker: "Right. What does it take to become a Grand Admiral?"
Grand Admiral Volrik: "A silly hat."
Luke Skywalker: "You seem to be imminently qualified."
Grand Admiral Volrik: "I like you already. Damn shame about that whole Death Star incident."
Commander Blazer: "Should we get started now?"
Grand Admiral Volrik: "Yes, this is a serious matter."
Luke Skywalker: "I'd like to take a moment to address the group, if I may."
Grand Admiral Volrik: "Go right ahead."
Luke Skywalker: "Thank you, Grand Admiral." *long pause* "I, like many of you, was born during this war. I grew up hearing the stories, I even wanted to join the Imperial Academy at one point, it was a common dream for a young boy, especially one who didn't see many opportunities in his future.
When my opportunity arose, circumstances thrust me into the Rebellion instead. It was less a choice and more the guidance of the force, I believe.
My father was the Emperor's strongest supporter and personally responsible for much of the evil that was done. He was misled, but he allowed himself to be. He was weak and fearful, and hid that by becoming strong and cruel. He went from being deceived to being deceptive, from being a victim to being a victimizer.
I am my father's son. I am both good and evil, as we all are. I have seen the darkness and the light. Before me today, I see an opportunity. An opportunity to set things right.
Set aside your own weakness and fear, set aside all the lies you've been told about each other. Look at your former enemies and realise that you don't even know each other yet. Talk to them. Eat with them. Break down the barriers.
We came together initially to make peace, and this is the ultimate test of it. We face a common enemy, an enemy that wants to undo all the good that has been done, that wants to keep this war going forever, for in war is profit and profit is all these gangsters crave. Stop them by stopping yourself from being prejudiced and full of hatred for each other. Stop them by being friends."
Grand Admiral Volrik: "Thank you, Master Skywalker, those were truly inspired words that I hope our young men and women, er.. woman, will understand."
Luke Skywalker: "Tell me, do you have a qualified mortician?"
Grand Admiral Volrik: "Do I look like I need one?"
Luke Skywalker: "Well... Um. Ours was killed and we have no one who can determine loyalty."
Grand Admiral Volrik: "Yet you people were killing members of the team, night after night, knowing you couldn't even determine if they were loyal?"
Luke Skywalker: "Only once. She deserved it anyway. We assume the rest were done by Black Sun."
Grand Admiral Volrik: "I see. Yes, we do have a mortician who can determine the loyalty of anyone who is put to death."
Luke Skywalker: "Excellent. At this point, the team should understand the situation and be ready to stop thinking of each other as enemies, realising that we came together for peace, and peace we will have, as long as we can stop Black Sun from destroying us from within."
Grand Admiral Volrik: "I don't know, they aren't very bright sometimes, I'm going to spell it out in detail for the slow ones.
Listen and listen good!
Put aside your past differences. There is no Empire and no Rebellion here, there is only the side of peace and the side of chaos and war. We came here to end this war. THIS WAR ENDS HERE!
Black Sun has infiltrated both the Empire and the Rebellion and will do anything to keep it going. They will attempt to create distrust between us. It won't be hard, we already have decades of distrust that we can fall back on. We mustn't allow that.
If I hear you people talking about "them", spitting out their names with distaste, it damn well better be directed at Black Sun, because they are the only enemy now.
They have members sitting in this room as we speak. Find them, kill them. End of story. And in the interest of open cooperation, voting will no longer be done in private. You will be expected to make your accusations right here in the conference room. It's about time we saw where people's loyalties lie."
Luke Skywalker: "I agree completely and that about covers it. May the force be with you."
Commander Blazer and Admiral Blaire, in unison: "You have your orders. DISMISSED!"
The Team (In Alphabetical Order)
Adley "Newbie" Ahm (Black Sun Operative) - Played by Adam
Pvt. Terris "Toupée" Bentman - Played by Tim Bit
Pvt. Nester Brand - Played by Natman8000
Pvt. Boden Constrek - Played by Bob the Construction Worker
Pvt. Razak Crade - Played by Ricecracker
Pvt. Darek Dasner (Loyal) - Played by Da Death Star
Pvt. Signicious Drumthwack (Loyal) - Played by Silent-Sigfig
Pvt.Wedge Durnkist - Played by Wouwie
Widanko "Wiseguy" Fenk (Loyal) - Played by Whitefang
Edner "Eddie" Flak - Played by Escape the Fate
Pvt. Pepper Fletchman - Played by Professor Flitwick
Pvt. Al Iztad - Played by Alice
Pvt. Drake Knator - Played by Dragonator
Pvt. Danko "Whatshisname" Legovski - Played by Darth Legois
Pvt. Quincy J. Mann - Played by Quarryman
Pvt. Trent "Madman" Maverick - Played by Trexxen
Pvt. Zariah Phervik (Loyal) - Played by Zepher
Sarge (Loyal) - Played by Stash2Sixx
Sgt. Tong Pincer - Played by Tiny Pies R Us
Pvt. Hincklina Ross (Unknown Allegiance) - Played by Hinckley
Pvt. Ivy Shadowspark (Loyal) - Played by Imperial Shadows
Dayton Stern - Played by Sir Dillon