[G7 - Ilum - FF] II | Crystal Command Center

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After years of searching for the location of the sacred crystal planet of ILUM, members of the FOLLOWERS OF THE FORCE venture out of the known galaxy on an epic pilgrimage. To their horror, they found a planet stripped and cracked open by the EMPIRE, long plundered of its Kyber Crystals. An equatorial durasteel trench desiccated the planet, out of which still crawled Imperial troops. Furious at the planet's savaging, the pilgrims' call goes out for help and the FREEDOM FIGHTERS answer...



Admiral Yima had not come to Ilum only to fight the Empire. The cheerful old man was as much a pilgrim as anyone else. When he'd first arrived at the Western Temple, he'd stood gaping at its entrance, stopped in his tracks by a kind of reverence his crew had never seen in his mischievous face before. 

"You know...this is a very holy place; we are lucky to see it," he had told them, his voice slow and gentle, but oddly comical. His eyes were squeezed closed when he smiled. 
Sensing that the Admiral would notice, they were sure to be respectful when they hauled in the equipment.

That had been weeks ago. The Western Temple was a rare site, eroded by time but never discovered by the Empire, its crystals still intact and its architecture preserved. Now it served as temporary home to nearly a hundred people, a mix of pilgrims and fighters. An FOB had been established inside the Temple grounds for the Freedom Fighters to use as a staging point. The soldiers and officers brushed shoulders with the devotees and monks who had begun to arrive, having heard that making the trek wouldn't end with their immediate destruction by the Empire. Having heard the Freedom Fighters would keep them safe.
Researchers and scribes stood on scaffolding, carefully scanning the crystals and taking quiet notes about the architecture. Below, Freedom Fighter officers milled around workstations and readouts, comparing topographical data and tabulating findings from probe droids. 


Admiral Yima took a deep sip from his cup of tea. The contents were fragrant and warm, steam rose from the surface and drifted through the cold air. 
"I wonder if Master Yoda was here, once," he said, like an ancient-yet-giddy schoolboy. He looked aside to his Bothan data master, Bey'wan Pwua'Tua. "Bey'Wan, do you know about the legendary Master Yoda?"
The Bothan was staring keenly at a hologram of Ilum, studying its surface. "No, Admiral, I'm afraid not," he replied, his tone ever calm and precise.  "Was he a Jedi?"
"Ah! Yes! You are exactly right, my friend. Even I don't know much about Jedi, but you cannot live for hundreds of years, be the greatest Jedi there ever was, and be forgotten!" The Admiral chuckled. "You know, they say he was less than three feet tall."


Bey'wan raised a curious eyebrow, but he was distracted by the hologram and the Admiral knew it. Yima smiled and let the subject drop. The last thing he wanted to be was a nuisance. "I look forward to hearing your report," he said, by way of farewell, and Bey'wan snapped out his focus. 
"Oh? Oh! Yes, of course, Admiral. I'll have it for this evening's briefing."
"Very good, Data Master." Yima turned around, and called, "Noora!"
The young woman in the yellow jumpsuit at the communication console looked back over her shoulder, slipping her headset off her ears. "Yes, Admiral?"


"Would you please let me know if you hear anything from Mr. Kel's team? I'm going to take a quick walk outside, and get a short breath of fresh air."
"Will do, Admiral!" she said, giving him a quick thumbs up. "Don't get too distracted catching snowflakes on your tongue, okay?" 
Yima smiled. "I will see you soon."
Noora had once been a janitor on the Peace and Quiet, the Admiral's flagship. By a strange turn of events during the battle of Fondor, she ended up in the starfighter that dealt a killing blow to an enemy cruiser. She left to travel the galaxy for some time after that, but eventually returned and worked her way onto the bridge. The Admiral liked having her around; she was good at her job, and she had a funny disposition to boot.
A good sense of humor was more valuable than gold, especially in times of trouble.
If you were in trouble, what would you do with gold? But a laugh? Priceless.
The Admiral walked past naturalists and historians on his way to the entrance, smiling and greeting some as he passed. The chance to study Ilum's temples was fortunate, indeed. A nagging fear pulled at the back of his mind. He did not know where it came from, though the sight of that trench certainly weighed on the spirit. He worried the planet was too far gone, and would never see true peace ever again.
He walked out into calf-high snow, felt the wind whip at his face. He was old, his body did not warm itself as strongly as it once did, but he welcomed the sensation. Nature and its condition impacted the lives of everyone who lived with it, whether in harmony or imbalance. But you couldn't always feel that impact, not like you could feel a crisp wind cut across your face, or a rough surface under your fingertips. To feel his surroundings pierce the comfortable film that was his sensory experience was like...was like...
Yima blinked out at the snow.
"Like what...?" he asked quietly.
He was frustrated he couldn't find the words to express what he was feeling, but that failure highlighted the absurdity of his sudden poetic musings. 
He laughed out-loud at himself. He needed the occasional reminder that he wasn't as clever as he sometimes thought he was. It was good to be humbled.
He smiled, lifting his face to the snow and smelling his rapidly-cooling tea. Leaning down, he grasped a handful of snow--biting cold against his fingers--and turned to go back inside.

"Noora," the Admiral said casually, so as not to attract attention. "Watch this."
Noora turned curiously, just in time to see the Admiral wind up, and--
The snowball exploded against Bey'wan's jumpsuit, making the Bothan leap like a startled squirrel. Slowly, he gathered what had happened. Noora and the Admiral's bellowing laughs were damning enough evidence. 
"...Very funny, Admiral," said Bey'wan, in his best impression of someone who hadn't just been beaned with a snowball. 
"Yes, Bey'wan," the Admiral wheezed, wiping his eyes. "I most definitely agree! Though, it, disappointing to see you act so unprofessionally, Data Master. You are normally so composed."
Bey'wan stiffened, starting to sputter a response until he realized he'd once again been made the butt of a joke. Hiding a slight smile, he turned back to the hologram. "Won't happen again, Admiral."
Noora stifled laughter, but Yima gave him a satisfied nod. 
"Very good! See that it does not."
And all went back to normal.

Hunter Team returned from the field later that evening. A bunch of smelly soldiers who'd come straight from the Thaw--the frontline. The team dispersed to use the porta-showers and grab a cup and plate of something hot. 
Later that evening, all the technicians, officers, soldiers, and specialists gathered in the Control Center for a briefing. The field teams whispered stories to their technician friends, and commanders quietly exchanged intel. There was an uneasy spirit in the air. So far the Empire hadn't posed much of a threat, but that only meant there was another shoe that was going to drop, sooner or later. 


Bey'wan commanded the floor. He congratulated Hunter Team on another successful deployment, and thanked everyone for their time and service. Then he moved onto intelligence.
"I believe the Empire has plans for the core of the planet, plans beyond just intrusive mining," Bey'wan told the staff. "Topographical data suggests there's an element of infrastructure to the trench, more sophisticated than a mining operation would require. Our probes have returned footage of supplies being carried into the crevices, rather than taken out."

One of Hunter Team, sitting with his mates, threw up a hand. "What are the Imps gonna build in the planet's core?"

"Maybe a reactor?" suggested Webster, a technician.

"We're not sure yet, but we're considering dispatching additional droids to learn more. That's not all; we've got another ping when it comes to strange intel. Hebbis?"

Bey'wan welcomed forward an Ugnaught comms officer, who smoothed his brown uniform before addressing the crowd. 

"Uh, I intercepted some transmissions when I broke a channel code. They switched once they realized, all I heard was some stormtrooper chatter--friends talking, y'know--but they mentioned their commanding officer. We think it's this man, Colonel Kallech," he gestured to a holographic image of a man's face, broad and dark featured, with a scar indicative of a long service record. "He used to be Lieutenant Kallech during the war, must've gotten a promotion from the Remnant. His men don't seem to like him much. Say he spends too much time in his office. Talking to some droid they called, 'The Professor'."

"Do we have any idea who that might be?" asked one of the flight commanders.

"We'll, er, let you know if we find that out."

Finished, Hebbis stepped back to his seat and Bey'wan again took the floor.

"Thank you. Now, the scope of our original operations on Ilum extended only to protecting the travelers and sacred sites, but the remnant force in the trench clearly has manpower and resources to spare. If there's something else going on here, I think we ought to consider expanding our mandate to finding out what it is."

"And puttin' a stop to it," growled Fenree Kel, picking his teeth with a small icicle. 
The members of Hunter Team and Chamber Squadron vocally agreed.

Bey'wan turned to look at the Admiral, and immediately saw it in his face; he wasn't convinced.




"Thank you, Data Master," Yima said, stepping forward. His old armor shone in the lamplight, his blue robes hanging over them with regal grace. He could look like a king, when his mood was right. He looked around at his staff, his expression somber. "And I thank all of you, for all your work. We will consider the cost of this kind of intervention. I know you all want to fight the Empire, I am constantly grateful for your perseverance and spirit, but...we must be careful not to pick fights we cannot win. And I'd like for all of you to live. There are people on other planets who need the Freedom Fighters. Need you. If you die on Ilum, there will be a little less hope in the galaxy."

He looked around at their faces, people he knew well and had worked with for years. He considered faces that were no longer there. Then he turned back to the Bothan.

"Was there anything else, Bey'wan?"

"That's it for tonight, Admiral."

"Very good." Yima smiled, that serene and unbothered smile. "Thank you again, everyone. Go and get some rest. We will decide on our next steps soon."












Thanks for looking!

Edited by RocketBoy

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Some really great design and forethought has gone into this.
The subtle detailing, adding the trans pieces as crystal shards really work.
The console design is fantastic too, from the holo projector to the displays, it really is some great design. The design of the base looks very make do and mend, as though they've had to set up as quickly as possible with whatever equipment was to hand.
Very Rebellion and resistance inspired!
The character design really captures your factions ethos too - looking forward to seeing more from the FF!

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Really nice build! The minifigures, props and landscaping are all great. It fits well with a star wars aesthetic too!

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The base is brilliant - you're really beginning to master that freeform technique! I also love the crystal-columns although simple... The platform in the back is a bit crude and looks a little rushed... The yellow female pilot is killer! (maybe another round with the eraser would be nice 😅)...

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This is a really interesting build with many good ideas to get the planet feel. Lots of Hoth-like stuff and nice characters. The dark background actually helps to some shots. 

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