The Photonovel Alliance
ALLIANCE INTELLIGENCEChapter 10THE GLORY OF FANGORN






    



One year, 6 months before the battle of Yavin, the galaxy is in turmoil. It is a monthe after the Rebel Alliance’s first major military victory at Castille IV; yet the Galactic Empire still publicly insists the rebels are a small, isolated terrorist group. Through the past month, Col. Airen Cracken’s band of rebels have coped with the loss of their Nosaurian friend, Jaas, but carry on in their works of espionage.





Jaig Landow struggles to balance time between his life as a rebel commando, and that as a young Jedi, training under Master Qwarr.





New characters have entered the story, including the Galactic Empire’s greatest detectives, James Marquand and Richard Watts, who are tasked with bringing down Cracken and his team.





Other familiar names have changed status. After his arrest for treason following the debacle on Castile IV, former Lt. Hogan is now imprisoned on the remote, frozen planet of Annesland, overseen by his former right-hand man, Commander George S. Klink.





While Inquisitor Dreyfus has been relieved from active duty and placed as head instructor at the Imperial Dark Side Acadamy, deepening the resentment between him and Chief Inquisitor Tarsus. But Tarsus’ thoughts are elsewhere, as the ambitous darksider plots to increase his power.





Admist all this, Cracken and his men depart on their latest mission, to Fangorn, capital of the Fangorn Empire. Splitting up, Cracken, Hank, Havi, and Sila fly the Lucky Mantu towards the city while Jaig, Artoo, and Saigorr sneak in via frieghtor to meat a contact. But the team did not expect the massive storm awaiting them.





Struck by lightning, the Lucky Mantu plunges into the sea, though the team ejects in time. Cracken is knocked unconsious, and as the waves buffet him back and forth, the memories he briefly recalled on Castille IV come flooding back:





Lying in the field of ashes, explosions still going off, blasterfire, Hank shaking him: “We’ve got to go!”





Most of his men lie wounded on the ground. Marquand is there, acting like he cares about the rebels, he never cared. He was a traitor… “We’ve got to go!”





Saigorr howls, pulling Havi out of the rubble, rushing to the shuttle. Havi’s family is still trapped, so many more still trapped……“We’ve got to go!”





“We’ve got to go! Air, stck with me!” Hank keeps yelling, but it’s all a jumbled mess of noise.

——“Got to go back……she’s still there….I can save her….We can’t go ‘til I do…

-”No! She’s gone Air! You’ve got to let her go! We can’t lose you too!“

——”No! No! Leave me….Can’t go without her……I can do it……

-“No! We’ve got to go now! Listen to me! We’ve got to go……got to go….got to go…”






Spinning through the waves, the storm of memories slowly fades away, until they have once mor eretired to the back of Cracken’s mind…





And he is washed up on shore.





He lies asleep on the rock for another hour…





Before awakening to search for his comrades.





He first locates Hank…





Who has washed up into a small cave.





After freeing him, the duo set off to find the others, but Havi spots them first and calls out…





The diminutive Aleen scout is trapped in quicksand.





After freeing him, the trio climb to a higher point to looks for Sila.





Though there is no sign of him, Cracken refuses to harbor the thought that the young pilot may not have escaped the sea.





And his hopes are confirmed when Havi spots footprints.





Which lead to signs of a struggle.





“It’s Sila all right,” Havi points out. “Here’s his gun”.





“Then let’s go!” Cracken orders. “It looks like he’s been taken prisoner. They can’t have gotten far on this beach”.





“Unless they had a boat,” Hank mutters, as the footprints end at the edge of the roaring sea.





Distraught, the two humans sit down to think up a backup plan.

-“Jaig will still carry out his part of the mission on schedule. The only problem is how to contact him and tell him that we’ve got a new job”.






The duo are interrupted by Havi:

-“Hey guys! I found a crossing! This just got a whole lot easier!”

——“I have a bad feeling about this,” Cracken mutters.






Sure enough, Havi’s “crossing”, is a dam of sorts, comprised of a loose collection of rocks stretching across the

bay.

-“You have got to be kidding me!” Cracken moans.






“Come on Air, it can’t be that bad,” Hank comments.

-“Trust me, it is. I’ve already been drenched once today, and that’s more than enough”.






And so the rebel trio scrambles across the rocky passage, the hydrophobic Colonel struggling to stay dry.





“And this is why Jaig is the scout,” he mutters to Hank during a break.

—“Come on Colonel,” Havi chirps. “You’ve got to learn to swim sometime”.

-“Well, these are not exactly ideal conditions for that, Havi”.






And so they continue…





The two humans always far behind the agile, water-loving Aleen.





Until they finally reach the other side, within sight of Fangorn city.

—“I am never doing that again!” Cracken shouts.






The next day, a bruised and battered Sila Kott awakes within his prison on the palace grounds.





“Rise and shine, cupcake!” the head guard snarls. “General Wolffe called, he want you to come over for a cup of Jawa Juice.”





A rope is tossed down and Sila is hauled out of the pit.





“Careful, mate,” a second guard tells the first. “He’s in mighty bad shape”.





“Yeah, I’ll be careful,” the head guard laughs, and proceeds to hit the young rebel in the back with his gaffi stick.





Unbeknowst to Sila, someone very close to him is walking the streets of Fangorn City.





Imperial fighter ace Hans Kott, along with his best friend and fellow ace, Cpt. Oxixo, is celebrating the retirement of Gen. Garret Riechenbach by staying as far away from the formalities as possible.





“Are you sure this is the same place?” Oxixo asks. “The signs so faded you can hardly tell”.

—“Of course it is, Ox. It’s been a whole year, and when was the last time K invested a single credit in the upkeep of this place?”

-“I guess so. As long as the food and drinks are the same, I couln’t care less”.






With that, the pilots step into The Hollow Tree; the seediest and highest acclaimed bar in the Fangorn army.





Where they are instantly recognized by the bartender.





“Hans, Ox! It’s great to see you again!”

—“It’s good to be back, K”.

-“What do you want? The regulars?”

—“Yep.”

-“What were they again?”






“Ole K, as forgetful as ever”, Ox whispers to Hans after placing their order. “You’re right, this place hasn’t changed much”.

——“I just wish I could say the same for the Empire”, Hans sighs.






“Everything here’s gone down hill since Wolffe took over when Traine and Dad died”.

——“I sorry I couldn’t make it to the funeral, Hans”, Ox tries to console his friend. “Hogan wouldn’t let us off Naboo. At least he’s gone now, the old nerfherder”.

-“No, it’s not that, Ox. I understand, they only gave me three days off. It’s just that Wolffe has been filling up the vacancies with thugs. The new security chief got his job straight out of prison”.






“I’m sure things will turn out fine,” Ox replies as their drinks arrive. “Palps is in charge now, remember? Now forget all that, and how about a toast?”

——“To old friends?”

-“To old friends.”

—“Better be counting me as one, fellows,” K smiles. “You technically shouldn’t be getting those Fangorn Army discounts, remember?”






The festivities are cut short however, by the arrival of Marquand and Watts, who were also invited to the retirement party.





“Sorry, chaps”, Marquand says. “But Wolffe isn’t about to let his finest pilot get out of the ceremonies. You’re both wanted back the palace”.

——“Of course, no rest for the weary,” Ox mutters. “Come on, Hans, let the boredom commence”.






As the duo leaves the detectives turn to the bar.

——“What do you say, Watts? We have the time for a drink or two?”

-“I think that’s a jolly good idea, Jim”, Watts replies. But neither is able to order before they are approached by one of the patrons.

——“Marquand? Watts? You’re wanted outside”.

-“That chap was right Watts, no rest for the weary”.






The two detectives head back out into the street, but are unable to locate anyone who wants to speak to them.





Until Hank and Cracken leap on top of them from the roof of the bar.





“Okay, Hank,” Cracken orders. “Get the uniforms off and tie them up. Then we’ve got to make a beeline for the palace. I hope Havi’s found Jaig by now”.





Sure enough, Havi has reached Jaig, who is presently at the Fangorn Gardens, in meeting with the rebel’s contact, the pirate captain “Patch” Quasile.

——“We were originally tasked with stealing a shipment from the Imps, but we’ve encountered a complication. One of our men has been captured by the Fangs. Our leader is planning to infiltrate the palace to break him out, but we need help getting offworld”.






“And a chance to mess with both the local empires? Sounds good to me. I can have a man inside the palace within the hour. What do you think, boys?” he asks, turning to his crew.





“Sounds good to us”.





“Then it’s a deal” Patch decides.

—“Good,” Jaig smiles. “Let’s move”.






As the rebels put their rescue plan into action, their rescuee is expiriencing his second session of Fangorn torture.





“You will tell us your plan, scum. Why are you here?” Supreme General Wolffe snarls. “I can do this all day, and if it doesn’t work, then we’ll start the hard way”.

——“You’ll never break me!”

-“I’m sorry,” Wolffe laughs. “I can’t take those words seriously coming from your mouth. You’re pathetic”.






“Traitor!” Sila shouts as the General walks away.

-“Traitor? Now if I’m the traitor, why are you the one locked up for treason?”






“I was installed in this position perfectly legally, by Emperor Palpatine, the legitimate ruler of all civilized planets in this galaxy,” Wolffe continues. “And there’s nothing you and your terrorist friends can do about it.”





“I wonder if you will recant your bold statements when your brother learns of your treachery. Bruce! Clean up Mr. Kott, I want him to look presentable when Hans arrives. I have a party to attend”. With that, the General leaves the chamber.





“Come on, ya little girl”, Gen. Ulrich Bruce, Chief of Security, punches Sila in the face. “Let’s get you cleaned up for your brother, eh?”





Shortly thereafter, in the throne room, General Riechenbach, former head liason to the Galactic Empire, is finishing his retirement speech.





“As I look out today upon my friends and colleagues whom I have served along side for all these years, I admit I am slightly saddened by the knowledge that I am leaving this army. However, I trust that I lead it in fitting hands, hands that will lead Fangorn into the future, a glorious future full of prosperity and sucess for all!”





As the speech ends, the guards admit the very late representative from Stonagel Mechanics.





Meanwhile, Hans is first in line to greet Riechenbach.

—“Congradulations, sir. You’ve served Fangorn well. My father always spoke well about you”.

-“Well, I’m not a sir anymore, Hans. And your father always spoke well of you”.






As the former general moves on to the other guests, Hans is approached by Wolffe.

—“I’m sorry to ruin the party for you, Hans, but there’s something you must see”.






Wolffe leads the confused pilot to the interrogetion chamber, where he is shocked to see his brother.

—“Sila! What’s going on here? They told me you were in the hospital, hurt in the attack”.

“I’m sorry, Hans,” Wolffe says. “We didn’t want to hurt you until we were sure of the truth”.






“Your brother’s a traitor, Hans. He’s joined the rebels, the very same ones that killed your fath…”

——“Don’t listen to them, Hans!” Sila shouts out. “It’s a lie! He killed our father!”

-“That’s nonsense, Hans, and you know it,” Wollfe tries to hold the ace back…






But Hans rushes to his brother’s side.

-“There must be some mistake, get him out of here. Sila, tell them it’s all a mistake”.

——“It’s not a mistake, Hans, I’ve joined the rebels, it was Dad’s final wish, he couldn’t stand me working for that scum, Wol..”

-“No, no, no, you’re delusional! Just calm down. Everything will be okay,”

——“Hans, no, it’s true”.






“No, it’s not true! You can’t do this to me! We just lost Dad, I can’t lose you, too!”

—“I’m sorry Hans, I don’t want to hurt you, but I can’t serve Fangorn anymore. It’s dieing, and Wolffe, Bruce, Palpatine, they’re the ones killing it. The only way to save the Empire is to stop them. They’re the traitors! If you weren’t in the GE, you’d probably have already been shot in the back, like Dad”.






“I am too ashamed to call you my brother,” Hans turns away in a daze.

—“I’m sorry, Hans,” Wolffe tries to comfort him. “But we must all make sacrifices for the glory of Fangorn. Your father knew that, he would have been proud of you”.






Shortly thereafter, Hans aimlessly roams the palace grounds, where Oxixo finds him.





“What’s wrong?” he asks. “You look like a ronto just sat on your prize pod”.

—“It’s Sila. You know how they said he was hospitalized in the attack and couldn’t make the funeral? Turns out he wasn’t he joined the rebels! I just saw him, he’s ranting on and on about how Wolffe is destroying the Empire and that his leaving was Dad’s final wish. And I know he’s wrong, Ox, but I never want to see Wollfe’s face again”.






“Don’t worry, Hans,” Ox comforts his friend. “Us pilots stick together. I can get you transferred to Quasile’s fleet, you deserve it, after all, it’s the top fleet in the Navy. Trust me, you’ll forget about Wolffe and his cronies in a month”.

——“Maybe you’re right. I don’t know what I would do without tou, Ox”.

-“You could never get a girlfriend, that’s for sure. I’ve gotten you every one”.

——“Not Private Stevens, I asked her”.

-“She doesn’t count. She felt sorry for you because you just had the living daylights whipped out of you by Mithell”.






As Hans tries to forget his brother, Sila is being escorted back to his cell…





Where they seemingly encounter the visiting Imperial detectives.

—“Marquand? Watts?” the head guard asks.






“Guess again!” Hank Landow punches the guard in the face.





“Come on, Sila,” Cracken frees the pilot. “Let’s get out of here”.





“Not before I blow something up first,” Hank adds.





At the sound of the blast, Jaig, just outside the palace grounds, ignites his lightsaber…





The “representative from Stonagel Mechanics” also hears the blast…





And quickly turns on his Imperial companions.





Oxixo tries to stop him…





To no avail.





Meanwhile, the rebels flee the palace grounds, meeting little resistance in their mad dash to the hanger.





The security systems sabatogued by Patch’s “inside man”, whom joins the group shortly.





The few guards at the hanger…





Are quickly overwhelmed.





And the rebels are home free, or so they think…





That night, Supreme General Wolffe regretably informs Darth Vader that his prisoner has escaped. However, Chief Inquisitor Tarsus ensures the dark lord that the rebel shuttle’s escape route will lead them right into the testing ground of the Empire’s newest weapon.





After the meeting, Dreyfus contacts Commando Shade on Fangorn, who was tasked with guarding the original target of the rebel’s mission.

—“I am disapointed that you could not halt the rebel’s escape.”

-“I apologize”.

—“It is excepted. Now, you are to carry on with the original plan. Procede to Felucia”.

-“Of course, my Lord”.






And on Felucia, bounty hunter Bane Malar is also contacted, by his employer, Inquisitor Tarsus, with a warning of the incoming rebels, and orders to ready his weapons.



ALLIANCE INTELLIGENCE
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SHOWDOWN
 
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HUNT BY NIGHT
 
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