The Photonovel Alliance


“We’ll need to make our way to my hangar without drawing any attention to ourselves,” says Captain Brior as he walks rapidly down the cold corridor, trying to keep up with the two men.

“We’re trying to get out of here as fast as we can,” shouts Basso under his breath as he nudges the officer forcefully with his helmet.

“If our little meeting planetside didn’t quite go as planned, we’re supposed to make sure you get away before they find out your big secret, Captain Imperial Contact.”

“Then we should ensure that we’re not caught,” says Brior. “And shuffling around an Imperial Star Destroyer isn’t my idea of a rescue attempt.”

“Is Able Squad on board or not?” asks Keel quickly as he leads the group. “We need to know.”

“No, they blasted away-made the jump to hyperspace aboard a shuttle! I bought them enough time to escape I believe-”

The men look at each other.

“Well, this is gonna get real good real fast!” says Basso. “Come on, and act natural.”

“And that’s all you know about Able Squad, you are sure?” asks Colonel Elliot.

Lieutenant Sumner furrows his brow trying to get his point across. “Yes, I swear it! I swear to you that’s all I know.”

The officer watches Sumner closely, her eyes moving back and forth upon him, studying.

“So be it,” she says finally, turning to one of her Stormtroopers.

“This man was in the detention block for treason-”

“-See to it that his file is cleared.”

“What?” he says surprised by the colonel’s words.

“But I will tell you this Lieutenant Sumner, if you ever, ever cross me, disobey an order, question me…I will skin you alive and throw your carcass out an airlock.”

“And I’ll tell them it was an accident.”

“Until then, you have new orders.”

“Find Able Squad, and kill them for me.”

“So how’d you get on board?” asks Brior still considering the situation.

“Stowaways, obviously,” smirks Basso under his helmet. “We were embedded on your ship during the last rotation in case you needed an emergency escort.”

“I see,” replies the officer. “We’ll need to take the next port hall.”

“Copy that,” says Keel.

“We’ll have to make our way to docking bay 4,” whispers the captain, trying to keep up with the men. “My personal shuttle is there, but it’s a long way.”

Keel scoffs as he shakes his head. “That’s why we needed Able Squad.”

“You were gonna talk ‘em into giving us a lift,” says Basso sarcastically.

“What?” Brior asks as he eyeballs the man.

“Apparently they ran into some trouble with Dreya down there,” says the soldier as he checks the next hall.

“Well, yes,” stammers Brior. “I mean-but they-they don’t know-”

“Don’t know what?” asks Keel as he turns to face the officer.

“They don’t know I’ve been an Alliance contact,” admits Brior. “They never knew.”

“I couldn’t risk telling them” he sighs. “I thought they’d understand when they met Dreya, considering Kane’ past with her, but I believe I was mistaken. The situation I was put it…I couldn’t justify giving myself away. Not when I received a transmission from the Emperor himself.”

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” says Keel in dismay.

“Ma’am,” reports a soldier as he approaches the colonel. “Security detail checked in. Captain Brior was not in his quarters.”

“Then where is he?” asks Elliot.

“A Mousedroid reported that he was seen with two Stormtroopers discussing a ‘rescue mission’ of some sort”.

“We’ve had enough incidents for one day. I want him detained, and do it quietly.”

“Yes colonel,” acknowledges the squad leader as he reaches for his comm. “DT Squads 6 and 7, switch to secure channel and await orders.”

“What a joke,” says Basso as he considers the circumstances.“You mean to tell me you never even let your squad in on the plan? How did you expect the meeting to go planetside? Did you think Able Squad would just suddenly turn to the Alliance?” he asks in exasperation. “We trusted you!”

“Our focus now,” says Brior firmly, “should be to gain access to my landing craft; we will be able to make the jump to hyperspace.”

“Won’t work. We heard they launched a CAP,” says Keel. “They’d shoot us down before we even made the jump.”

“I might prefer that,” says Basso forcefully. “It’d be better than wandering the halls with the good captain.”

“Do you understand the implications here? I received a transmission from the Emperor himself right before the mission,” says Brior. “They’re on to us.They dispatched a second cruiser, we have been found out!”

“The plan didn’t work out how we envisioned it” says Brior. “I understand your frustration, but I was in a terrible position,” he says with regret in his voice. “I couldn’t risk giving myself away. I had faith my men would make the right choices down there, and they didn’t.”

“Wait,” whispers Keel firmly. “Someone’s coming.”

“You’re going to be my little pawn,” says the colonel as she walks briskly down the hall. “Do you understand that Sumner?”

The lieutenant swallows hard as he walks behind her.

“You will follow up on any leads about Able Squad, and we’ll keep it all off the record. As far as anyone is concerned they’re already dead.”

“In return I’m giving you a platoon, and you will find them. And then you will kill them. Do you understand?”

The man considers his objective. “Yes colonel. I will do my best.”

“Troopers, two of ‘em,” says Keel.

“We’re cut off,” replies Basso checking their six. “There’s two back there as well.”

“I still have my cover,” whispers Brior. “I’m still an Imperial officer.”

Keel’s helmet bursts with static. “We’ll cover you.”

Suddenly two Stormtroopers turn the corner and enter the hall, facing the men.

“Brior?” asks one of the Stormtroopers.

“I still retain the title of captain, trooper. What does this concern?”

“Captain, you’re wanted by Colonel Elliot for questioning. Please come with us to command.”

“We were just bringing him up there now,” says Basso as he nods towards Keel.

“And why am I needed?” asks Brior as he looks at the Stormtroopers.

“Some sort of security threat sir. We honestly don’t have all the information, just orders.”

“I see,” says Brior as another pair of Stormtroopers joins them. “Well, lead the way soldier.”

“Just ahead sir, we’ll cut across and take the turbo lift from there.”

“Right up here, sir.”

As the group walks by, suddenly an adjacent blast door opens.

Caught by the surprise, Basso and Keel raise their blasters, but are rushed by the Imperials.

“Hands up!” demands one of the Stormtroopers. “Take his helmet off!”

“CLEAR!” yells the squad leader.

“One rebel KIA ma’am; Brior is in custody.”

“Good,” replies the colonel with a smile.

“Hello, captain.”

“Dealing in Alliance connections I see.”

“That’s a shame, but was expected,” she sighs turning to look at Basso. “And who is this?”

The trooper looks the woman over. “Wedge Antilles, pleased to make your acquaintance.”

“Hmmm,” she smirks. “Very cute. Take them both to interrogation.”

“Find out everything they know by any means necessary.”

“And then contact Imperial High Command-”

“-Tell them I’d like to speak with Emperor Palpatine.”

<<  Chapter 1-09 Chapter 1-10Chapter 2-01  >>
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