The Photonovel Alliance
ALLIANCE INTELLIGENCEChapter 3REUNION



After his failure to bring Jedi Master Qwarr to the aid of the rebel alliance, Col. Airen Cracken readily volunteers for a new mission, negotiating with a Wookiee chieftain on Kashyykk, on which he is joined by the rest of his squad, formed of his closest friends from his days on Conturuum.


    



Hank Landow: Cracken’s childhood friend, the squad’s heavy weapons specialist

Jaig Landow: Hank’s force-sensitive, soft-spoken younger brother

Jaas Greyleaf: a Nosaurian pilot whom rarely speaks

Havi Tyrax: a clumsy and easily confused Aleen doctor, mechanic, and scout

R2-B3: Cracken’s personal, heavily modified, astromech, only understood by Havi and Cracken



    



After landing on the forest planet, Cracken briefs his men one last time, as Havi has a short attention span.

—“Jaas, Saigorr, and I will go to meet the chieftain, the rest of you will stay here to act as a decoy. The Imperial presence here isn’t as strong as it used to be, but you can never be too careful”.






“Is that clear?”

—He is answered with an unanimous “Yes, sir” (and a “beedle-woop” from Artoo)






With that, the Colonel turns and leads the trio to their designated meeting place. As their fellow rebels watch them leave, Havi asks:

——“Anyone bring a Dejarrik board?”






Unbeknownst to them, their arrival has been detected by an Imperial garrison





Where Imperial Inquisitor Dreyfus is giving orders to Commander Scorn, Cracken’s nemesis.

——“We have detected the drop off of a group of rebels in a clearing in the forest. As far as we know, they are all still at the landing site”

—“I doubt they are,” Scorn replies. “I have been tricked by such decoys before. I’ll call out my men, bring out the Hunters, and they will soon be in your hands”.






“Then be gone, take whatever vehicles you need. Oh, and Commander, don’t tell Tarsus about this just yet. I want a fair try at catching rebels for once”.





With that, Scorn rallies together his Storm Commandos, and they head off into the woods.





An hour later, Cracken has arrived at the designated meeting place, only to find no sign of the Wookiees and much evidence of a fight with Imperials.





“The chief mentioned in his last message that the Imperials were searching for more Wookiees to run their mines. He thought they were perfectly safe. Apparently they weren’t”.

——“Rawarrr!” Saigorr howls.

-“Don’t worry buddy, we’re get your people back. It looks like they’ve only been gone for a day or two. Let’s move!”






The trio head look out upon the maze of tree branches, the fastest way to travel on Kashyykk.

— “Well”, Jaas breaks his silence to comment, “This looks safe”.






“Of course it’s safe”, Cracken answers. “The Wookiees do it all the time”.

—— “Yeah, but I’m no Wookie.”

“Eh, you’ll do fine”.






Back at the Imperial garrison, Scout Trooper Sergeant Bass is furious.

— “Doyle! Where are the walkers?”






“Scorn and his commandos took them all sir,” Private Doyle reports. “They’re on a top secret mission to capture a group of rebels”.

— “Nothing stays secret for long here, does it. Rally the men and grab whatever vehicle you can find. We won’t let them steal a job from us again”.






Meanwhile, the trio of tree-climbing rebels has taken a short cut, in hopes to catch trail of the Imperials who took the Wookiees, but upon arriving at a nearby bridge, find only a small squad of Stormtroopers preparing to destroy it, blocking their path.





Cracken quickly develops a plan of attack.





Jaas climbs higher up in the tree, aims his missile launcher, and; before the charges can detonate; fires…





The tank is knocked from the bridge in a burst of flame…





The tank gone, Cracken and Saigorr swing (and stumble) onto the bridge…





To defeat the remaining Stormtroopers.





In the aftermath of the fight, the trio turns to leave again.

— “If they’ve been taken as slaves”, Cracken surmises, “they won’t be going anywhere in the forests, which means they’ll be in the plains. If we take a shortcut, we can catch up to them at the Great River”.

“More climbing?” Jaas moans.

— “Well, you’ve been talking a lot lately”.






Meanwhile, Bass’ squad has acquired a tank and in marching across the plains.





“So, Doyle,” the Sergeant asks, “Where did you get this tank anyway?”





“Well, sir, we kind of just borrowed it”.

— “Well, in that case, I think this mission should be continued under silence. Block all communications”. — “Roger that, sir. Communications blocked”.






A short time later, they reach the edge of the forest.

— “Men”, Bass declares, “It’s time we learn how to climb these trees”.






“I’d rather not”, one troop mutters.

— “Well, Goldie, whoever doesn’t come gets the honor of returning the tank”.

At this the squad unanimously begins to climb…






As has their quarry, which is making good time when Saigorr lets out a cry of alarm.





“What is it?” Jaas asks, apparently being in a talkative mood today.

— “Two Hunters, coming in fast”, Cracken translates.






The translation is soon verified by the sight of the Hunters swooping through the branches: the deadliest droids to ever leave Imperial labs, great mechanical beasts of the air, the scourge of all rebels, and a favorite tool of Commander Scorn.





The trio scramble to avoid the first assault, having dealt with the robotic predators before.





Jaas promptly leaps onto the back of one as it flies below





Using on it his last missile, he blows a gaping hole through the droid…





And it crashes to the ground, taking Jaas with it.





Its companion, meanwhile, has turned back to Cracken…





Knocking him from his perch





He grabs onto another branch, but the mechanical monster quickly returns…





Prompting Cracken to fall again, this time able to shoot the Hunter beneath the head, its weakest area.





And holding onto another branch, watches it spiral to the ground.





Climbing back to Saigorr, the two prepare to wait on Jaas…





But they have been found by Scorn’s men.



ALLIANCE INTELLIGENCE
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THE FORGOTTEN JEDI
 
Chapter 3Chapter 4
THE HUNTED
 
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