The Photonovel Alliance
ERA OF DARKNESSChapter 2-06






    



On occasion, a gentle breeze fills the streets of Ethna-





-And a peacefulness takes over, which the city seldom sees.





Unfortunately, today is not one of those days.









“I thought you said they couldn’t aim?” yells the man over the noise of the battle.





“No, I never said that!” shouts Dreya back to the man.





“You must just attract all sorts of attention!” she smiles, as a brief moment of silence occurs.





Jai Wroth, a newcomer to the Alliance, has recently been added to a Rebel squad commanded by Captain Dreya Webber, who leads her men into battle on a usual basis.





“Move up!” she yells as several shots burn through the air. “Secure those containers!”





Though he has been in many dangerous situations, Jai Wroth has never been into battle before.





Nor has he ever seen someone with such a strong will, sense of self-respect, and dedication to service.





“I said move up!” she yells, bravely entering the tight corridor.





“Come on!” shouts an Alliance operative, who can barely speak basic. “You stare later, she say move up!”





“I-uh, I heard! Moving!” he shouts as he bolts from his position, taking several quick steps down the corridor towards cover.









Suddenly another stormtrooper reveals his position-





-and quickly opens fire on the Rebels as they advance.





“Watch it!” yells Jai, as he fires off several laser blasts from his pistol.





One of which hits the Stormtrooper in the chest, dropping him to the ground.





“There’s still two in the back alley!” yells a Rebel.





“I think they’re retreating!” shouts a Nemoidian rifleman, as he watches the last two Stormtroopers flee from the scene.





“Sargent Paige,” yells Dreya as she leans against the building, “Move up to that position and use suppressive fire if necessary!”





“You two,” she calls out to Jai and another Rebel.





“Cover our backs! Everyone else, grab a container and let’s move!”





Though the Rebellion is low on able bodies, their strength lies in coordinated and quick raids upon Imperial supply lines, which allow the small factions to continue functioning throughout the galaxy.





Without these raids the Alliance would quickly run out of supplies, ammunition, and food.





Though they are risky, these attacks are mandatory for the group to survive.





“Alright, we got what we came for!” says Dreya eagerly. “Fall back!”





Before this, Jai Wroth would have labeled these acts as terrorism.





Now he calls it appealing.





The Aqualish makes several deep and high pitched noises before it chuckles loudly.





“What?” he asks. “What did you say?”





“Hey, I don’t speak that!” says Jai as he grabs the other end of the heavy crate.





“Come on!” says Jai as the other soldiers smile.





“What did he say?”





“Efficient as always,” says Anorial, looking over the newly acquired supply boxes from the morning raid.





“Any difficulties?” asks the general stoically.





“No sir,” replies Dreya. “It was by the book.”





“Aside from this one,” she smiles. “He’s got bacta in his ears.”





Anorial eyeballs the man as Dreya walks away from the group, off to preform one of her many other evening duties.





The man chuckles nervously as he pats his leg. “No, no-sir. I’m good! Just not used to battle, that’s all.”





Anorial continues to stare at the man, seemingly looking through him, as if he was reading his mind.





“Yeah, I’m-I’m glad it all worked out,” says Wroth as he searches for something to say, wishing to break the silence between the two men.





“Nothing better than by the book,” he smiles trying to think of something to speak about. “Uh-well, thank you sir, it’s good to be back tonight” he adds, dismissing himself from the general’s presence.





Jai quickly walks away from the Cerean, wondering if he too felt uncomfortable the entire time.





“What a guy,” he says to himself rolling his eyes as he rounds the corner, hoping to escape any more ackward moments.





Jai continues walking through the camp, trying to find a place of solidarity to update Able Squad on the situation.





On occassion the thought of telling Kane and his men about this place gives Jai a feeling of remorse, but if he wants to get his droid back and keep his ship safe, he must fullfil his agreement.





Slowly, he pulls out a device from his jacket and dials in a frequency.





“Kane?” he asks. “Gotta be quick, but they’re raiding Imperial shipments, we hit one this morning. Dreya and the Cerean are here.”





“I read you. Are they after weapons?” asks Kane.

“Well,” replies Jai, “I think they’re after anything they can get their hands on. There’s hardly any supplies here.”






“So, where are you?” asks Kane, leading the question forcefully.

The man takes his time to reply. “Can’t say yet.”






There’s a long silence as Jai listens for Kane’s reply.





“Ask him where we can drop the bombs,” smirks Kalin.





Suddenly there’s commotion within the dwelling, as many people begin talking and yelling, their voices reverberate down the bunker’s halls as Jai looks around.





“I have to go,” he says quickly, turning off the device, looking around to see what’s happening.





“Too bad it’s not like the old days,” says Haas, as a gentle evening breeze blows through the group of men. “We could have zeroed his position and called in an air strike.”

“Doesn’t sound too outlandish,” chuckles Kalin.






“You know what I’d really like to do-” begins Kalin.

“No,” interrupts Meade, standing in the middle of the conversation. “You do realize they’re people, right?” he says matter-of-factly. “And they’re just doing what they believe in. They act sensible.”






“And we’re overstepping what we should be doing.” he continues. “Maybe you should think about that. Our priority should be to stay off everyone’s radar.”





Meade walks away from the group as the others watch him.





“What’s gotten into him?” ask Haas, as he becomes concerned.

“Maybe he’s a Rebel lover,” says Kalin, smiling.






“He’s just” says Kane, considering his friend. “A bit touchy,”





Entering back into the main hall, Jai watches several of the Rebel soldiers run towards the entrance of the small compound as the commotion continues.





They shout to one another as their voices reverberate loudly in the confined space.





Quickly, Anorial appears with other rebel officers following his lead.





“Is it true?” he asks. “What the men say, is it correct?”





“Yes sir!” says Dreya quickly. “Our undercover operatives spotted him at the space port, and he’s on his way here now.”





“Then put the sentries on full alert, and set condition one throughout the network,” he commands.





“Basso has been an Imperial prisoner for too long.”





“And when you’re as old as I am you quit believing in luck or chance.”





“This could be a trap,” says a male rebel gruffly.





“Yes,” hesitates Dreya. “But what if it isn’t?”





“What if it is?” replies Anorial.









“Well,” says Basso. “Thanks for the welcome party.”



ERA OF DARKNESS
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