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      CommentAuthorNylad Mazzic
    • CommentTimeMar 21st 2009 edited
     
    Rayce Hantonar woke to the sound of the trees, complaining softly to one another in the wind. There was no sun in the sky awaiting him and greeting him as he awakened. There was no sparkling dew on the grass. For a moment, he thought he still had his eyes closed it was so dark. It was indeed night, at least on the planet of Kallen, and time to get to work. He had practiced for some time to wake at nightfall and sleep in the day, thus living in a nocturnal and unusual fashion. He reached out to his left, his hand coming down on his night vision goggles. He put them on and tightened the straps until he was comfortable. The effect of the goggles still amazed him at first. He felt like he could see everything, it was all lit up like day. And yet it wasn’t like daylight, objects appeared almost to glow of their own accord. After enjoying this spectacle, Rayce got up off his small bed of leaves and began preparing.

    The Rebellion had noticed more Imperial supply ships were being sent to this planet than would be normal for an outer rim planet with few resources of any kind. They had suspected that the Empire had something going on here, possibly a small garrison or listening post. So Rayce Hantonar and Curtellian Jaldan had been sent to the northern regions of a large continent on Kallen to investigate. Rayce was moving towards the target building in the middle of a dense forest while Curt stayed on their ship, The Instigator, to relay instructions and information via tightbeam transmission. The two of them maintained contact throughout both day and night, just in case there was some emergency requiring immediate attention.
    Rayce began speaking quietly into the comlink on his ear. “Curt, it’s time to go,” he said. Curt, who wasn’t as accustomed to this nocturnal lifestyle yet, mumbled something back about the time but did get up. They opened their packs and for a while they munched silently on ration bars as a kind of breakfast. Their ration bars were dry, stiff, and difficult to chew but they did their best for the sake of nutrition. Nutrition was about all you would get out of a ration bar; they certainly weren’t made to taste good.

    Curt gave him a rundown of their mission. “Okay, we know approximately where this place is thanks to all those transports landing there.” Tearing off another bite of his ration bar he continued, ”Basically what we need now is for you to get some info on the size of this building, the layout, number of landing bays, all the stuff that might help us deduce what this thing is. If we can’t guess it’s purpose by the outside appearance, obviously we’ll have to go inside.” Rayce nodded, “And that’s where the fun begins.” He got up off the springy ground. “With any luck they won’t have any heavy surveillance or scanning equipment.” Curt said. “We can hope,” was his reply.

    With that, Rayce started putting on the rest of his gear. It was important that he not carry anything more than was necessary because if he packed it, he would have to carry it through every part of the mission. When he was done, he removed his goggles for a look at the night the way others saw it. He gazed at the stars, briefly forgetting his mission, the forest, and the entire planet. He was captured by the awesome beauty of the stars, filling the vast sky.
    •  
      CommentAuthorNylad Mazzic
    • CommentTimeMar 21st 2009 edited
     
    If anyone was wondering this is, in fact the Star Wars universe so I'll try to remain Movie-like. I plan on posting every week or two, but we all know how plans go sometimes. ;)



    -Nylad
  1.  
    Nice! I'll look forward to it eagerly.
  2.  
    Thought it must be. Cool, I'll try to keep up!
  3.  

    Neat, Star Wars! I'll be watching.  :-)

    Atypical Anemone

    •  
      CommentAuthorNylad Mazzic
    • CommentTimeMar 29th 2009 edited
     
    Thanks for the comments, all of you! :) I should have the next chapter up in just a while here, unless I decide to spend a bit more time on it in which case it will be tomorrow. :)


    Nylad

    Edit: I decided it finish it up today and Chapter 2 ended up being more than 1000 words long...
    But this is a writing forum! which means that the reading of that writing must also be done! and so I present chapter 2.
    ;)
  4.  
    Chapter 2
    Rayce was broken from his reverie by Curt, who gave him his heading and told him approximately where he should be in relation to the facility. They rarely used any sort of locator system for fear that their enemies might detect his signal and use it against them. Using an old fashioned compass was just fine, at least for Rayce’s navigational purposes. Once he was sure of his direction, Rayce began his mile long trek. Stepping carefully over low bushes and ferns, he walked almost silently across the mossy ground. There were animals, in these woods, little fuzzy creatures that collected food for the winter months. They leaped adroitly from tree to tree and stopped occasionally to chitter at him. Rayce had researched this planet and discovered that there were not very many predator species on Kallen. A majority of the predators here were large, lumbering beasts that left their caves once or twice a month to eat a prodigiously large meal and then spend the rest of the time in their homes. Also, these animals all slept at night therefore posing little danger to Rayce and his mission.

    Rayce carefully navigated through a series of fallen branches and onto a large rock, from which viewpoint he saw that he was near a large clearing, fifty yards southwest of where he stood. He moved closer, flitting from tree to tree.
    “Target is in sight,” he whispered.
    The target was a building of diminutive size, rising only two stories above ground level. There was no mistaking it for anything but a building of the Empire as there was an Imperial insignia on the north face. It had no windows, at least on the north and east faces, and to his relief, he couldn’t see any surveillance besides a small camera on each corner that rotated back and forth. Rayce knew that these cameras, if they were to spot him, could be set to observe him in several different ways, including infrared, electromagnetic output, motion analysis, and of course night vision, all providing someone was watching those video feeds. Rayce thought about this for a moment and decided that this facility must have someone watching video feeds from those cameras. If the cameras were fully automated they would have to set off an alarm anytime they saw something out of the ordinary or else not at all. With all of the wild animals on this planet, they would either be setting off alarms right and left or else destroying the entire purpose of having any security cameras at all by not alerting anyone.

    After coming to this conclusion, Rayce studied the camera’s patterns. It took each camera seven seconds to get from viewing one wall to the other, and they were timed such that any point around the building was only unwatched for about four seconds.
    “Security’s no worse than usual, they’ve got a type two rotational setup,” Rayce said.
    “Good. Keep your eyes peeled.”

    Rayce moved stealthily around the building taking note of anything important. The building was quite plain to look at, with bare walls revealing nothing, making one suspect they had something to hide. Having noticed a service ladder on the east side of the building, Rayce decided to have a look at the roof. He moved to the east side of the building, watching the cameras as he went. Even though a point around the building was unwatched for only four short seconds, Rayce figured that if he moved with the rotation of the camera he could get to the wall of the building and up the ladder before he was in sight of the camera. He discussed this with Curt who set up a model of this security system on his computer. After factoring in the average running speed of a human, the rotation speed of the camera and the approximate distance from Rayce to the building, he informed Rayce that it was possible, but he would only have about half a second of leeway.
    Rayce snorted, “Did you use the average running speed of a human? I think I can run faster than the average human.”
    “See now, that’s a different statistic entirely. I used the average running speed of a human, not the running speed of the average human. It’s different.”
    Rayce chuckled. “I suppose you have a point,” he conceded, “But at any rate, no pun intended, I can make it to that wall in time.”
    “All right, just be careful,” was Curt’s reply.
    Rayce grinned, “You know me.”

    After much calculation and two false starts, he dashed to the wall of the building, running between the two camera’s sight ranges as they rotated. He rushed up the ladder taking it two rungs at a time. Upon reaching the top, Rayce’s attuned hearing picked up a faint whirring. Rayce thought to himself, “almost sounds like… another security camera!” He saw it now in the middle of the roof rotating towards him. “Oh no…”
    Over the next few moments, if someone was very attentively watching these video feeds, they might have glimpsed either eight black-gloved fingers clinging to the edge of the roof or, a few seconds later on one of the east wall cams, they may have observed the end of a black boot pulling itself onto the roof. Rayce fervently hoped that they had not.
    “That was awfully close,” Rayce whispered as he walked easily around on the roof just behind the security camera’s vision. He had just barely been able to drop to the edge of the building before the cam on the roof went by and he had to get back up before the camera on the east wall came around.

    After checking out the roof, they went on with their investigation which was successful in gleaning a reasonable amount of knowledge which was dutifully recorded by Curt. Their report was as follows:

    • The building is two stories tall and has only three perceptible entrances, the main entrance on the west side of the building, the hatchway on the roof which must be opened by password, and the shipment entrance to the south, which, we assume, opens only when the transports and cargo ships are scheduled to land.
    • There are two standard size landing pads on the south side of the building.
    • Security is moderate, having seven different known camera arrays on the exterior of the building, one at each corner and one at each entrance with one on the roof. The guards on the main entrance change at exactly 10:30 PM and also at 4:30 AM. Other guard change times are currently unknown.
    • We have not witnessed the actual landing of a cargo ship, but if the Empire holds to their current pattern, there should be three occurring within the next two weeks.
    • We investigated the roof of the facility and found nothing out of the ordinary, having only standard communication equipment, (one of Vastek’s earlier models) the aforementioned hatchway, and a single camera which caused no small amount of anxiety when discovered.

    The interesting part of the report ends here and was followed by several pages of, as Rayce liked to think of it, “Extra information” which consisted mostly of a more detailed account of the night’s actions, several graphs of the facility, the approximate x-y-z coordinates of each object of interest in relation to the building, and many more things far more boring than these.
    Curt was always a bit of an over-achiever.
    •  
      CommentAuthorTrenchcoat
    • CommentTimeMar 30th 2009
     
    Lol. x-y-z graphs aren't necessary to life? You crush me, Nylad. And please don't try to keep chapters under 1,000 words in length. There's absoballylutely no need. :D
    •  
      CommentAuthorNylad Mazzic
    • CommentTimeMar 31st 2009 edited
     

    So sorry. I'm sure that Curt would share your views, being a very, technical minded sort. :-D

    I know, that's not abnormal for a chapter, but it's certainly a whole lot longer than my usual 300 word essays and book reports that I have done. Fear not, I don't plan to limit myself in such a way.

    Out of curiosity, however, what is the text limit for a single post?

    •  
      CommentAuthorTrenchcoat
    • CommentTimeMar 31st 2009
     
    hmmm, I don't remember. We generally just split the chapter into two sequential posts if we overrun.
    •  
      CommentAuthorNylad Mazzic
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2009 edited
     
    Chapter 3


    Rayce adjusted his weight and considered. The branches and leaves of this tree spread out from the trunk and were mostly flat, providing the perfect place to lie forwards, if you dare trust it with your weight. Rayce had found a particularly thick branch and was using it in this manner. He took this precaution not because he feared falling, but for the reason that if his branch broke, it would fall. And if it fell, it would surely attract attention. There would be no way for him to relocate himself to another branch without being seen. Hence, he chose a thick branch.

    The wide shape of branch was also helpful for the examination of things below. He could gaze out through the leaves without revealing himself. Revealing himself would not be as much of an issue in the black of night, but unfortunately, some people insist on doing their business during the day, therefore Rayce must be awake at these times to ensure that all possible information be gathered. He sat in the higher level of a tree just south of the landing pads, sleepily awaiting the arrival of a ship. The type of cargo being shipped could say a lot about a building. Unless the Empire had wavered from their schedule, which Rayce doubted, this was the day that a cargo ship would come. He just didn’t know when. If Rayce decided he was too worn-out to function at his best, he carried a small vial of energy stimulant which was found to be useful when sleep deprived. Rayce didn’t like to use it because he had discovered the hard way that it gave him dizzying headaches which were worse than the fatigue. He still carried one though, just in case.

    Rayce ran his fingers through his short, brown, hair. He always kept his hair very short, and he had several reasons why. In hand to hand combat, for example, long hair can easily be used as a handle. The attacker can then smash your head against whichever surface he decides to be most painful. Hair can also get caught in things like, doors, tree branches, fan blades, or any number of mechanical devices, none of which would be enjoyable or advantageous for the wearer of lengthy locks. So Rayce kept his hair short.

    Speaking of short, this was another trait that Rayce held. He was only 5 feet 6 inches tall, a height that he found useful for getting through tight spaces and the like. Most people would not find a short person very intimidating, but Rayce was living proof that you don’t necessarily have to be big to look menacing. Stance is everything.


    Rayce considered what he would do when the ship finally did come. He thought about his current position and decided to move to the other side of the tree. It would do no good to go through all the trouble of avoiding guards and cameras if he was just going to be seen by a ship as it was landing. He successfully moved himself to the other side and then informed Curt about his decision, for lack of better things to do.

    “Well at least it’s a change in scenery,” he thought to himself as he looked at the lofty trees and the tiny ferns far below. Gradually he began to notice a sound, not unlike that of an insect buzzing at first, but then it grew in intensity and volume.

    “Finally!” Rayce said, “Transport has arrived and is going through landing procedures. Want some pictures?”

    “Good idea,” Curt replied. Rayce moved back to his original position and thought for a moment, trying to remember which pocket he kept his camera in. He rummaged about for a few seconds then he remembered - - it was in the bottom pocket on his left side along with his flashbang detonator and the rappelling cable. Curt was always telling him he should organize his stuff, but Rayce had pointed out that in certain scenarios it would matter which side of your body each item was on and which hand you could reach it with. Secretly, he didn’t organize at all.

    Rayce pressed the record button on his camera and began taking video. He watched as the ship’s hatchway opened with a hiss, just as the same happened with the door on the facility. Small cargo droids came out of the ship, lifting crates that were larger than they were. More droids came from the building and moved energetically into the ship, coming out laden with more crates. After the last box was carried out of the ship, the pilot came out and went into the building, probably to be relieved by another. Then something strange happened. All the cargo droids there were four of them began carrying more crates – this time from the building to the ship. These crates were obviously different from the first, but it was still a strange sight to see them undoing all their hard work. Rayce had been counting crates as they went into the building. He related this number to Curt and then began counting crates going into the ship.

    “Strange,” he said when the crates were all loaded.

    “They took eight crates into the building and then loaded almost four times that into the ship.”

    “Ah, so they’re manufacturing something then.”

    “That would explain all the cargo ships. They were never solely for unloading supplies but for receiving them.”

    The doors on the facility slid closed. The freighter hummed as it rose into the sky. Rayce discreetly took video of the ship from behind his tree until he could only see a tiny grey dot in the light blue sky. Then he sent this video to Curt, being careful to delete the copy on his camera.

    Rayce set up camp to the south of the building this time, simply because it didn’t matter. It was almost noon, and Rayce was hungry. He took out a ration bar and glared at it distastefully. Maybe it was time for a change in diet. Meat was out of the question, unless he could eat it raw or find a way to cook it with his blaster.

    “Curt, what are some good edible plants that grow on Kallen?” he asked. Curt supplied a list of several plants, leaves, and roots that could be found in his area along with descriptions of each. After walking a short distance, Rayce had gathered enough greenery for a small salad.

    “Well, it’s different at least,” he said munching on a dark green leaf.

    ***

    Curt examined the video, playing it in slow motion, to watch carefully for details. Rayce’s camera was very good quality, meaning he could zoom in on any part of the video and see it with almost the same clarity.

    “You were really high in that tree,” he commented.

    “Had to get the best view,” Rayce chuckled.

    Curt took special note of the words and numbers on the crates, these told him what was in each crate and also the quantity. All of the crates so far were the standard things necessary for a small outpost such as this. They consisted mostly of food supplies, new uniforms, even cleaning products, but nothing that uncovered any new info. He had expected this. On the other hand, the things going away from the facility should say a lot more about it. He skipped to that part and zoomed in and was working on it when slowly, very slowly, he fell asleep on the table.
  5.  
    Oh no! Does this mean that Curt has been found by the Empire?!

    Or, I guess he could have just gotten tired.
    He should know better than that!
    •  
      CommentAuthorTrenchcoat
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2009
     
    CURT. Wake up! Wake up! It isn't safe to sleep in such places.
    •  
      CommentAuthorNylad Mazzic
    • CommentTimeApr 6th 2009 edited
     

    Don't worry peoples. He's still on his ship in the northern regions of the continent, so he "should" have no problems. 

    Unless I decide to give him some... >:D

  6.  
    Oh no that sounds bad! Wake up, Curt!!! Alarming Anemone
    •  
      CommentAuthorTrenchcoat
    • CommentTimeApr 22nd 2009
     
    I am afraid that despite the author's attempt to reassure us, such a long silence can only mean one thing... Curt has been taken prisoner by vandalous squeegees!
  7.  
    *squeak!!!* Surely not the villanous squeegees! I thought we were dealing with professionals here.
  8.  

    Whoops!  Curt must have been in a coma, he slept so long.  I don't have much as far as the next chapter, but I suppose it will do. 

    •  
      CommentAuthorNylad Mazzic
    • CommentTimeApr 26th 2009 edited
     
    Chapter 4

    Curt awoke, realizing that he couldn’t feel his left arm. His mind raced as he tried to figure out what had happened.

    “Localized anesthetic? Surgery? Torture? Oh no, I must have been caught by the empire!”

    Curt opened his eyes, fearing the worst. Oh. He had been sleeping on his arm and it was completely numb. He chastised himself for such foolish behavior. Jumping to wild conclusions was something he found himself prone to do, especially when left by himself. Rayce, apparently, had gone to sleep also; his steady breathing could be heard easily over the comlink. It was nearing sunset, He had fallen asleep in the afternoon. He took note that the computer had finished playing the video clip and was patiently awaiting his command. He keyed it back to where he had left off. There was still data to be gathered, a few fragments of information waiting to be found. He tapped the controls, moving his view until it was centered on the crates moving out of the building. He paused, looking closely at one of these metal cubes and found something that rather surprised him. This crate was labeled as food supplies. He examined the next crate and the next, with the same result. These were all claiming to be food and rations. This was briefly puzzling. If this facility truly produced food supplies, then why would the Empire send more food supplies to it?

    After considering for a moment, Curt thought he realized what was going on. These crates were marked as food, but it was unlikely that they actually contained provisions. They were labeled this way to hide their true contents. It was ironic that this very detail made them highly suspicious.

    Curt smirked, wondering why they didn’t do this with all of their crates and supplies. Then, reflecting, he realized they might have. The Empire could just as easily place a chip on each crate which could be scanned with the same purpose.

    “Hmm, maybe the crates weren’t so useful after all. Oh well, there are still a few things we can use here.” Curt thought.

    After finding several more points of interest, Curt relayed this new info to the Rebellion. Half an hour later, there was a reply which ordered him to discover the contents of this building by whatever means necessary. If the Empire was trying to hide it, it must be important.


    Curt reviewed the schematics of the facility, this time looking for an entrance. Obviously, he would need a plan.
  9.  

    Hmm, why is all this CSS showing up?

  10.  

    This is great! keep it up,, *eagerly awaits more of the story*

  11.  

    Thanks!  I am now puzzling along with Curt as to how to get in....

  12.  
    Great story so far! BTW, I don't think 'tis CSS showing up, but formatting from your word processor. Try saving it as text only, then copy-pasting. That should clear the formatting that can't be displayed here. :-) Adjunct Anemone
  13.  

    Thanks, that makes more sense.  I'll do that now. 

  14.  
    It's been months and months since the last update! *is sad*
  15.  

    *is sadder still*

  16.  
    *Opens MS word hoping the angry mobs won't kill him until he finishes the next chapter*
  17.  
    I'll do my best to restrain myself, seeing as I am way behind in all of my writing responsibilities as well.
  18.  

    I might not be so lenient, so you'd better get the move on!

  19.  
    Chapter 5
    It was a stormy night on Kallen. The rain came so heavily and the wind so fierce, that it often knocked massive leaves off trees, sending them careening to the ground. It was this very motion that had given Rayce the idea for their current plan of action.

    Rayce now set down his load of branches and nuts behind the roof’s security camera. He then kicked the camera as hard as he could. The camera bent forward slightly under this force but continued to function, turning slightly off it’s axis. It rotated like this until it’s path brought it into contact with the metal roof, where it stopped with a grinding noise. Rayce began to spread his load of sticks and nuts across the roof. Then he hid, anticipating what would come next.

    Fortunately, the roof of the facility was not completely void of cover. The entrance to the inside was actually a door which meant that Rayce could easily hide behind this. This might be somewhat difficult to visualize, so I’ll try to explain what it looked like. From the outside it just looked like a small building on the roof of a larger one, but on the inside of the building there were stairs leading up to the door. The Empire, it seemed, had this strange desire to make every part of each of their buildings square and imposing. Because of this rigidity of structure, when walking up these stairs a tall person would have to duck under an outcropping part of the ceiling, the part on the inside corresponding with the place on the outside where the roof of the main facility meets the wall of the small building.

    “That has to be the worst excuse for a broken security cam I’ve ever seen,” Rayce said as he stood in the rain behind the roof entrance.
    “That’s okay. They don’t have to believe it, they just have to let us inside,” Curt responded over the comlink.

    Rayce crouched for a moment in silence, hearing only the sounds of the storm that was blowing all around him. Lightning flashed from the sky to the treetops and it took Rayce’s goggles a moment to correct for the bright light. Then the thunder growled it’s reply, with that rumbling and crashing that can only be heard in a particularly tempestuous storm.

    Rayce barely heard the sound of the door opening as a man came out to inspect the damaged security camera. By what Rayce could tell from around the corner, this man was relatively tall with a lean frame, his posture indicating that he was pretty low on the chain of command. He was probably a recruit from one of the many planets under the control of the Empire. The man made his way to the security camera in question, his flashlight bobbing in his hand as he was jostled by the wind. He knelt by the device for a moment, then stood again and looked around. The beam of his light fell on the debris that was scattered across the roof of the building. Then, looking satisfied with the explanation, he said something into his comlink about the wind and started moving back to the door.

    “Here we go,” Rayce thought as he stepped out of hiding and began creeping around the man with the flash light. He made his way behind the man in a wide arc, avoiding the fringe of the flashlight’s glow. Rayce had to remind himself that it was still pitch black outside, and unless the man should happen to turn the flashlight his way he would be completely invisible. He hoped. Rayce moved quickly and silently now, catching up with the man just as he started pressing buttons on the keypad. Rayce watched over the man’s shoulder now, memorizing the combination as the man typed it.

    “One-one-three-eight,” he repeated in his head. The man shook the water out of his jacket and continued inside. Just as Rayce was stepping over the threshold Curt startled him by saying something over the comlink.

    “Rayce, up!” he half-shouted.

    An instant later there was a flash of lightning somewhere outside and Rayce’s shadow was clearly outlined on the wall. Then Rayce understood. He jumped, pushing off the right wall with his right foot and then placing one foot on each wall. In this manner he was able to suspend himself in a full split. The door slid shut, silencing the storm, it seemed. Rayce saw the beam of the man’s flashlight tracking across the wall back to the door as he tried to make sense of the shadow he had just seen. Then he turned and continued down the stairs, unaware of the uninvited guest he had let in with the wind.
  20.  
    Yay!
  21.  
    I bet Rayce has a sore foot after that kick!
  22.  

    Hooray for the continuation! Unfortunately I have already finished it , so i need more.

    •  
      CommentAuthorNylad Mazzic
    • CommentTimeOct 29th 2010 edited
     

    Chapter 6

     

    For a few moments, there was only the sound of the man walking down the passageway. Then, as he turned a corner, there was silence in the dim hallway.

    “How did you do that?” Rayce asked.   He dropped to the floor.

    “I don’t know, I just kind of… knew,” Curt said vaguely.

    Rayce gave no answer to that. Curt had done something like this once before. Rayce had been reaching for the handle of a door, when Curt had stopped him, saying there was something wrong about it. On closer inspection, they had discovered Curt was right.  The door had been rigged to stab a poisoned six-inch needle into the palm of whoever turned the handle. From then on, Rayce had learned to trust the younger man’s instincts.

    Rayce slunk to the end of the corridor and peeked around the corner quickly, first looking one way, then the other. He chose left. One of his least favorite parts of working indoors was coming to a junction such as this and being forced by his own anatomy to look in only one direction at a time. In the time it takes to look one direction down a hall, an enemy in the other corridor could have already seen you and drawn his weapon, possibly fired it as well. Grans have it pretty easy, Rayce decided, with their three eyes on separate stalks.

    Walking down the hallway, he wondered how he could find his way to the storage bays. Stopping in front of a door, he drew his weapon from his holster. His blaster pistol was made of non-reflective metal, so that when he drew it in the shadows there would not be any chance of someone noticing the slightest glint of light. It was also a very quiet model; the loudest part of firing it was the brief crackling sound made as the bolt of energy hit the target. The target would generally make noise also, but this could be avoided with proper accuracy.

    Rayce opened the door, noting that the button on the control panel stuck slightly.

    “It’s the commander! Hide it!” someone said as Rayce opened the door.

    The first thing Rayce noticed as he looked into the room was that three men were sitting in a circle on the floor. One of them had just stuffed a dejarik board under the bunk behind him; the holographic pieces were still arrayed for battle across the checkered surface.

    One of the men noticed Rayce’s appearance and said, “It’s not the commander, you idiot! Its...” At this the man looked at Rayce closely and knitted his eyebrows. “Who are you?” he said.

    This came as a shock to Rayce, who was expecting to either shoot or be shot at in this situation, not be spoken with cordially. Upon seeing the bunks on the walls Rayce had assumed that he had just walked into the guards’ living quarters. Who else would be living here in this small building? Evidently these men were not guards, if they just sat there while an unknown man barged into their dwelling.

    Rayce thought for a moment. He could just shoot them all. No, that would be unnecessary, he decided. Better to just talk his way out of this one. Thinking quickly, Rayce answered, “I’m here to, uh, inspect this facility, starting with this room.” The men stood up, clearly shocked by this proclamation. Rayce jumped right into his acquired role, looking intently at everything as he walked slowly around the room. This gave him an excellent excuse to look everything over meticulously in case it could hold a clue as to the work of these men and the function of the facility as a whole. He clicked his tongue and reprimanded the men whenever he found something out of place that seemed out of place.   In the closet were four uniforms, coveralls like those worn by convicted smugglers in the holovids. Next to these, hanging from hooks, were four devices that Rayce did not know the purpose of. It seemed natural enough, so he asked.

    “Those are the new Sono-twelve units, sir,” the man with the crooked nose said, “After the droid chews things up pretty good we go through it with these to pick up all the pieces,”

    “Of course,” Rayce said, wishing he had understood any of what the man had just said.

    On the floor were four pairs of boots, dusty and very well worn.

    “Those boots must be polished after every use, men. Furthermore, that closet need to be organized better, these beds need to be made, and oh my, what is this?” he said as he bent over and looked under one of the bunks. He reached under the bunk and brought the dejarik board out of hiding.

    “Playing dejarik in the sleeping quarters. I do believe the base commander will need to be notified of this,” he said, gaining confidence in his assumed role.

    “Oh, please don’t do that, sir! Why he would… I don’t know what he’d do!” said the man who had first noticed Rayce. He had an expression of sheer terror on his somewhat thin face.

    “Well, he’d kill us for sure, just how would he kill us is the question,” said the man with the crooked nose. He swallowed. The third man simply nodded, clearly frightened.

    “Alright, but I’ll be taking this, see? No more games in the bunk house.”

    “Yes sir!” all the men said in unison. They may not be military, Rayce noted, but it sounds like this base commander sure keeps them in line.

    “That’s all for this room. Now since you men were honored with the first surprise inspection, you should lead me on my investi--, er, inspection of the rest of the facility.”

    The three men stood there a moment, Rayce was unsure why.  Then they agreed, one at a time by slowly nodding.

    “Alright, I just hope we don’t have to run into the commander,” said the quietest of the group.  The man with the crooked nose opened the door with an equally crooked smile. “This way sir,” he said with a flourish of the hands. He looked as if he was escorting some famous dignitary.

    “Don’t get smart with me now,” Rayce said, trying to maintain control of everything. The four of them walked down the hallway. “Where was the fourth man of your room?” Rayce asked.

    “He got caught in an accident,” the man with the thin face said slowly.

    “Nothing left but his boots,” said the quite one, his eyes wide with the recollection.

    “What a pity,” Rayce said, more confused than ever.

     

     

  23.  
    Poor Rayce. He has put himself in a very interesting situation.
    •  
      CommentAuthorNylad Mazzic
    • CommentTimeNov 13th 2010 edited
     

    Yeah, I kind of wrote myself into a corner with that one. :P

    Thankful People: Dynamic Juggernaut
  24.  
    very intriguing...



    -D.J. has been here.