Earth: A Rendezvous with Destiny - WeretheDespeateMeasuresODST105 (2024)

Chapter 1

Chapter Text

Happening in an alternate time

and in a galaxy not so far away...

*Cue the Star Wars opening theme followed immediately by Dawn of Instruction by The Jayhawkers*

"Star Wars" Theme

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"Dawn of Instruction" by the 'Jayhawkers

Earth: A Rendezvous with Destiny

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Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth. And let me remind you, they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyrannies. Absolute power does corrupt, and those who seek it must be suspect and must be opposed.

- Quoted from Barry M. Goldwater's Address Accepting the Presidential Nomination at the Republican National Convention in San Francisco, Thursday, July 16th, 1964

In patriotism, loyalty, and combat, there are no moderates. - Major General Edwin A. Walker


Those who would trade our freedom for the soup kitchen of the welfare state have told us they have a utopian solution of peace without victory. They call their policy "accommodation." And they say if we'll only avoid any direct confrontation with the enemy, he'll forget his evil ways and learn to love us. All who oppose them are indicted as warmongers. They say we offer simple answers to complex problems. Well, perhaps there is a simple answer -- not an easy answer -- but simple: If you and I have the courage to tell our elected officials that we want our national policy based on what we know in our hearts is morally right."

We cannot buy our security, our freedom from the threat of the bomb by committing an immorality so great as saying to a billion human beings now enslaved behind the Iron Curtain, "Give up your dreams of freedom because to save our own skins, we're willing to make a deal with your slave masters." Alexander Hamilton said, "A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one." Now let's set the record straight. There's no argument over the choice between peace and war, but there's only one guaranteed way you can have peace -- and you can have it in the next second -- surrender."

Admittedly, there's a risk in any course we follow other than this, but every lesson of history tells us that the greater risk lies in appeasem*nt, and this is the specter our well-meaning liberal friends refuse to face -- that their policy of accommodation is appeasem*nt, and it gives no choice between peace and war, only between fight or surrender. If we continue to accommodate, continue to back and retreat, eventually we have to face the final demand -- the ultimatum. And what then -- when Nikita Khrushchev has told his people he knows what our answer will be? He has told them that we're retreating under the pressure of the Cold War, and someday when the time comes to deliver the final ultimatum, our surrender will be voluntary, because by that time we will have been weakened from within spiritually, morally, and economically. He believes this because from our side he's heard voices pleading for "peace at any price" or "better Red than dead," or as one commentator put it, he'd rather "live on his knees than die on his feet." And therein lies the road to war, because those voices don't speak for the rest of us.

You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery. If nothing in life is worth dying for, when did this begin -- just in the face of this enemy? Or should Moses have told the children of Israel to live in slavery under the pharaohs? Should Christ have refused the cross? Should the patriots at Concord Bridge have thrown down their guns and refused to fire the shot heard 'round the world? The martyrs of history were not fools, and our honored dead who gave their lives to stop the advance of the Nazis didn't die in vain. Where, then, is the road to peace? Well it's a simple answer after all.

You and I have the courage to say to our enemies, "There is a price we will not pay." "There is a point beyond which they must not advance." And this -- this is the meaning in the phrase of Barry Goldwater's "peace through strength." Winston Churchill said, "The destiny of man is not measured by material computations. When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn we're spirits -- not animals." And he said, "There's something going on in time and space, and beyond time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty."

You and I have a rendezvous with destiny.

We'll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we'll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.

We will keep in mind and remember that Barry Goldwater has faith in us. He has faith that you and I have the ability and the dignity and the right to make our own decisions and determine our own destiny.

- Excerpt from Ronald W. Reagan's A Time of Choosing Speech, Tuesday, October 27th, 1964

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Chapter 2: Mistaken Identities

Chapter Text

Gail Thayer

Over the Skies of Korriban - Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Sith Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

05:04: 20,054 YAR - 14:00

Weeks following the collapse of the Sith's invasion of the Galactic Republic and with the apparent death of their vainglorious leader, Naga Sadow, Republic forces earlier in the day had commenced an operation to end the threat permanently but conscientiously there were those who held reservations over Pultimo's explicit directive and among them was a scrupulous even if at times impetuous human Padawan aboard the R.N.S. Comet with brown hair, hazel eyes, and freckles.

Gail was sick in her stomach as she looked down below, still perceiving the fear and terror as Republic forces went house to house to put those to the sword and strafed any survivors from the air, it was appalling and to the Rhinnelian who grew up in a culture which valued honor this campaign ordered by the Supreme Chancellor, Pultimo, was inexcusable.

"This is still wrong, master." She contended as the hypocrisy of this depredation was not just sanctimony but rather an act of eradication.

"Padawan." Dankrad Bast looked at the Rhinnalian and sensed through their Force bond how his Padawan was contemplating leaving the Order as she saw this action as a contravention of the Jedi way, a perspective he could understand. "I know how you feel."

"Do you!?" She snapped suddenly, uncharacteristically lashing out. "If you did then you would put a stop to this."

"I can't, Gail, my hands are tied."

"'Can't' or 'Won't'?" She glared as another Jedi approached, this one being a Jedi Shadow.

"You're confined to quarters." The Shadow decided before extending his palm. "Your lightsaber, Padawan."

Gail stared at her Master and the Shadow with expressed defiance, feeling perturbed and wondering where their conscious lay and a trio of Republic soldiers arrived to reinforce the Shadow, they were prepared to haul her away but at last she relented, reluctantly.

"I'm only doing it under protest." The daughter of a Rhinnalian chieftain declared. "And consider this my last act as a Jedi prospect."

Gail Thayer

Over the Skies of Korriban - Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Sith Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

05:04: 20,054 YAR - 15:00

Even though she was isolated in her quarters, the Padawan could still sense the abhorrent actions transpiring below as Republic foot-troops went door-to-door to put the natives to the sword.

Almost isolated that was as a protocol droid with no prejudice in its matrix entered with a sandwich and an option of drinks on a tray.

"Would you care for refreshments, Miss Thayer?"

"No, thank you, Bee-Four." She let out a small smile as this droid may be the only one aboard who could explicitly sympathize with her plight. "I'm just conflicted."

"If I may be so candid, this expedition is not exactly… scrupulous."

"I know, I know."

Dankrad Bast - Knight of the Jedi Order

Over the Skies of Korriban - Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Sith Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

05:04: 20,054 YAR - 15:00

"Your Padawan seems rather obstinate." The Shadow noted.

"It is a flaw of hers but I believe her heart is in the right place." Bast sighed as he indirectly defended his Padawan's actions. "Her contention is not wrong."

"Their entire civilization is tainted with the very essence of the darkside, Dankrad, don't forget it."

"I'm not, Master, what I'm saying is that our forces may be overzealous." Bast noticed that the Shadow however was expressionless as if the fact that pogroms were occurring was of no concern to him but their conversation ceased as the two Jedi sensed danger.

"Enemy ship at our port side!" A Republic crewer exclaimed. "They're going to ram us!"

"Brace for impact!"

Bast felt the vessel shake upon impact before it slid past them and he was knocked down but not unconscious. "Pursue it!" He directed after regaining his footing.

"But they put in random coordinates!"

The fact that the Sith decided to input random hyperspace coordinates instead of utilizing the jump beacons was insane to say the least as it was virtually a death sentence. While plotted hyperlanes were clear of obstacles that could destroy a ship, by jumping blindly into hyperspace instead, the ship was almost certain to be obliterated. Still, before Bast could reconsider his order, the Shadow overruled him.

"Input the numbers exactly." The specialized Sentinel directed.

"But, sir-!"

"Do it, crewer, that's an order."

Christopher Meyer - Crossbowman, DiendeBrudern, Teutonic Order

Lithuania Minor - State of the Teutonic Order, Europe, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

Friday, July 28th, 1278

Christopher couldn't help but to feel some deep regret as they finished slaughtering the inhabitants and cleansing the surrounding area; it did not have to end up this way with the Sudovians at all but first was the uprising which ended only a few years prior and now this, the most abhorrent of transgressions?

They have gone from collaborating with Herkus Monte to by all appearances inexcusably seeking refuge with the enemy of the creator himself, Satan, and the suspected demonic presence must be eradicated thoroughly unless the world desires to become the exclusive domain of the literal Devil himself.

The German Crusaders including the elite Knights of the Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem therefore unhesitatingly confronted the demonic incursion as the tribe somehow summoned in a futile attempt at self-preservation.

"Burn it, send them back to where they belong!" Von Giesbrecht roared, supervising the torching of the village and there was no looting as everything thriving in this village was tainted by Lucifer, the pious Crusaders not questioning the wisdom of the prohibition in the slightest. "Leave not a speck of their unholy filth behind!"

"Broder?" One of the Knights spoke in Middle Low German after kicking the hacked corpse of a Baltic Prussian that was still clutching a sword, formerly among the very same surviving Sudovian tribesmen who were fighting alongside the spawns of Hell. "Do you believe that this is the last of them?"

"Ne." The man turned around and gazed directly at an old friend of his even if they were from different stratum and the fact that he was wearing a light gray jupon with a Tau cross marked him as one of the DiendeBrudern and therefore was not a fellow Ritterbrüder. "Meyer? Scour the wilderness and see if any Dämonen, heretics, and their cambion remain."

It was not long before a commotion caught the attention of the main contingent.

"Over here! The Demons are right there!"

"After them! Send them all back to Hell!"

Christopher turned to the direction of the commotion and heard distinct hissing, watching as a dozen red blades ignited in the woodline.

Hitar

Prussian Tribal Lands, Erde, Unknown System, Unknown Galaxy

Unknown Date and Time

"Who are they?"

"Isn't it obvious? They're the Teutonic Order, officially the Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem, wherever this Jerusalem is."

"Regardless, they're zealots, ruthless zealots like the Jedi." Chajtsâsh gasped, still catching his breath. There wasn't much when the Force was ineffectual against the tide - not to mention that it wasn't present among the natives, the surrounding environment, nor was it in this region of space at all - and there was little they could do physically other than using weaponry and fists. The entire ambience was against them, they didn't belong here, and in hindsight they should have never settled on this planet in the first place but they were forced to after being shot down over the planet but not before making sure that the Republic ship was also damaged with the Sith watching it fall to the surface below approximately thirteen hundred and forty-six kilometers from where they crash landed but with the polar regions there was the chance that none of their previous pursuers survived yet even here under different circ*mstances the Sith had unwittingly found themselves being hunted in the name of religion.

"The tribespeople weren't exaggerating about them in the slightest." Usahi snarled, the Sith woman was enraged by the acts and the sentiment was shared by them all. "They're unrelenting, remorseless butchers!"

"I guess we were fated to be extinguished but I never expected it to be through coincidence and irony."

The Sith were unaware of how long they had been awakened from stasis and they went from surviving the genocide on Korriban to this, being hunted down once more for who they were… More like who they were not if the tribesmen were to be believed.

They were found by local tribesmen sometime after the uprising led by the late Herkus Monte failed to expel the outsiders from their native land and upon journeying to their encampment and meeting the village elders the tribe thought the stranded Sith were their saviors.

That chance meeting was a standard year ago - literally one year prior - And the Sith couldn't refuse and took advantage of the opportunity to present themselves as their protectors, intermarrying into and becoming part of the tribe. Appearing noble but in reality it was selfish as they hubristically believed they could conquer this primitive world with their superior technology.

But now in a cruel twist of fate they were being hunted down incessantly once more and eradicated completely by those who conquered these lands and launched expeditionary purges claimed to be baptisms, more like conversions at the point of the sword in this Holy War of course yet in reality the Sith knew that it was in actuality what they themselves fled: Extinction and replacement with settlers.

But the protectors were overwhelmed, not to mention suspected of being Demons and there was no way to convince the Crusaders otherwise as they believed that they were fighting in the name of their monotheistic God, meaning the choices were simple:

Just like the remaining native Prussians they could either run or fight and either way it seemed their fate was inevitable; that of annihilation just like the retaliation after the failure of Naga Shadow and there was no way to reason with the overzealous Crusaders, that it was a misunderstanding.

"We need to return to the ship and get off this world, find refuge somewhere else."

"And if not?" Another questioned as he was skeptical that the Zuguruk repaired it due to them preferring to construct burial mounds.

"We die fighting."

"Hier drüben! Die Dämonen sind genau da!"

"Nach sie! Schickt sie alle zurück in die Hölle!"

Overhearing a pair of the footsoldiers hollering to the main contingent, the twelve Sith heading to regroup with the remaining survivors of both pursuits activated their lightsabers and prepared to defend themselves once more.

Christopher Meyer - Crossbowman, DiendeBrudern, Teutonic Order

Lithuania Minor - State of the Teutonic Order, Europe, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

Friday, July 28th, 1278

Although apprehensive and uncertain of their entire capabilities, Christopher unhesitatingly fired another bolt from his crossbow and struck the torso of one of the Demonic knights who went down from the impact but unfortunately there were still more to put to the sword, and yet the Christian Crusaders were determined to exterminate these Demons until not one of them roamed God's green Earth and God was seemingly on their side as the Almighty was shielding the Crusaders, protecting them from their sorcery and tried as they might the spawns of Lucifer were incapable of utilizing their unholy lightning and what else they attempted to conjure against them.

"Für Gott!"

"Come on! You heard him! GOTT MIT UNS!"

Meyer charged forward, concurrently unsheathing his Hirschfänger to dispatch the demon right before him.

Hitar

Prussia Tribal Lands, Erde, Unknown System, Unknown Galaxy

Unknown Date and Time

Hitar watched as a clean-shaven dark blond-haired man with dark blue-gray eyes and gritted resolve confronted him, unsheathing his blade and running directly at him.

The snapping of twigs signaled that more were behind him and he was surrounded at all sides, his battery pack failed as one of the footsoldiers managed to cut the cord with his poleax.

'So this is how it ends. By yet another purge.'

The last thing Hitar ever saw was being pulled downward by three of the light gray cladded foot soldiers with 'T' on the center of the chests from behind and tackled by the one in front, grasping his throat with his freehand and thrusting a dagger into his armpit.

Christopher Meyer - Crossbowman, DiendeBrudern, Teutonic Order

Lithuania Minor - State of the Teutonic Order, Europe, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

Friday, July 28th, 1278

"Scouts spotted where they're fleeing, towards a castle deep in the wilderness." Christopher reported nonchalantly as he used a rag drenched with holy water to wipe the cursed blood off the blade.

"A castle?"

"Yes, Jorg, a castle but I don't like the sound of this." The crossbowman sighed, still processing the confusing confrontation against the tribal remnants and their particular friends who were determined to be from Hell yet why weren't the demons pushing them back? "They are not putting up much of a fight, just running from us or conducting delaying actions."

Jorg understood his insightful perspective, the unanticipated encounter as well as their fated meeting seven years ago at the Battle of Pagastin, one that forged an unconventional relationship beyond nobleman and commoner, cementing a cordial friendship between the two from opposite backgrounds, the only commonality was coincidentally hailing from the same region even though they grew up five miles apart.

Jorg was surrounded by the Bartians and Pogesanians, cut off from his fellow knights, and had fallen from his mount but when it appeared the gaggle of heathens were about to kill him, a crossbow bolt was sent to the first target and emerged from the wilderness, picking up Jorg's sword and despite not used to such a weapon, managed to fight through the assailants.

Now here they were unintentionally being a vanguard against trespassing entities, to vanquish the demonic minions of the literal Devil himself.

"There are different spawns of demons, Meyer, at least from what I heard, and surely this is yet another breed of their unholy filth. We'll discover the reason soon enough."

"Vorwarts!" von Giesbrecht ordered, seeing it as a personal mission to prevent Lucifer from conquering the world. "We're going to hunt them down until not one Dämon, collaborator, or their Cambion remains! We must be thorough!"

Christopher Meyer - Crossbowman, DiendeBrudern, Teutonic Order

Lithuania Minor - State of the Teutonic Order, Europe, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

Friday, July 28th, 1278

"So, this is where the Demonic rats were fleeing to." Jörg von Giesbrecht from the Prince-Bishopric of Minden, Lower Rhenish–Westphalian Circle of the Holy Roman Empire growled as he led twenty of his brother knights and sixty of the Order's foot soldiers in pursuit of their quarry. "To their castle thinking they would be safe from us. They sure are cowardly, having to conspire with the Sudovians to even gain a foothold but no matter, just like their pagan allies who somehow evaded us for four years they will be cleansed from the Earth."

"Not to mention that is a monstrosity." von Frydag agreed. "Only Satan himself would create such an ugly fortress."

Jörg nodded at the assessment as the castle was of an odd but presumably unholy design with the architecture being befitting for the followers and spawns of Satan. "Meyer? I need you and your crossbowmen to find an advantageous perch to support the assault."

"Jawohl." The DiendeBrüdern acknowledged, wielding his windlass crossbow.

"You trust that peasant?"

"With my life." von Giesbrecht firmly declared assertively. "Peasant birth or Noble birth, he proved his loyalty here in the Baltics."

"If you say so, Brüder." The fellow RitterBrüder relented as the catapults were brought forward near the woodline, the crews preparing to bombard the structure from Hell.

"We will show Lucifer that his presence is not welcome." von Giesbrecht declared, waiting for the catapults to set up before leading a charge on those on the outside

"GOTT MIT UNS!" The RitterBrüder cried as they pointed their lances directly at the red-skinned enemy with tentacles underneath their chins.

"Balistas!" One of the knights warned as red bolts streaked toward them, forcing the Teutons to scatter.

Von Giesbrecht's steed was hit by one of the infernal flaming missiles but the Westphalian watched the Demons manning the artillery being struck by well-aimed crossbow bolts.

"Looks like there's few of us left." Christopher noted as he scanned the horizon, there were slain Kamerads lying on the ground, their armor pierced like a hot knife through butter and yet the pious Christians believed God was on their side as they dealt with this incursion from Hell.

"Unfortunately but we'll have to make do." Jörg lamented. "Come on Broders! It is time to finish them!"

Christopher ventured wearily through the catacombs of the odd castle, noticing flickers of lights and strange cables which sprouted lightning but in spite of his unease, the crossbowman intermingled with RitterBruder of the Teutonic Order continued the relentless pursuit of their quarry as they sought to eradicate the presence of Satan on Earth.

"I still disagree with having these peasants among us."

Meyer chose to ignore the sneers while Von Giesbrecht and von Frydag alike had enough of their bickering brother and Frydag decided to convince him to venture elsewhere. "If you so believe that they are incapable of being little more than catapult fodder, then veer off."

"Very well." The grumbler accepted and peeled off three knights to follow him.

"He needs to learn humility." von Frydag seethed. "See a thing, Meyer?"

"Nothing-" He paused as thuds, more like monstrous stomps sounded. "Do you hear that?"

"Je." Giesbrecht confirmed, having his longsword drawn at the ready.

"GOTT MIT UNS!" The Germans' battle cry uniformly echoed as they charged down the cold hall inside the enemy castle, attacking any of the demons on sight.

Two of the Sergeants part of the assault cried out in agony as they felt the odd lightning from strange fire weapons striking their chainmail before completely disintegrating to ash.

"There's the Swein!"

Meyer aimed his bolt at one of his demonic equivalents, inflicting vengeance on the red-skinned humanoid devil spawns for the demise of his Kameraden.

"Gah!" Was his last cry.

"Why do they sound like de Waliesch?" One of the Knights wondered after hearing the similarities of the accents shared between the Dämonen and the Gwynedd Welsh.

"Ik do not know, Broder. Perhaps the Adversary is trying to confuse us?"

"That may be so. Now I would not be surprised if Herkus Monte bargained his soul with the dark prince though his damn reinforcements were late." A third reasoned before a great thud was heard.

Seeing the monstrosity, Meyer knelt down and aimed his crossbow toward the enemy beast, much bigger than the previously encountered humanoids, firing his bolt and striking the being's snout but it still kept charging.

"Ik got him!" von Giesbrecht vowed as he used his longsword against the Devil Spawn. "Find where they're coming from and seal it off!"

"Ne!" Not willing to allow his friend to sacrifice himself just to bide time, Meyer picked up one of the strange weapons and aimed it at the beast, cautiously squeezing the unfamiliar firing mechanism rearward with his index finger out of a mixture of uncertainty and not wanting to accidentally kill the Knight.

The commoner from Minden watched as the lighting streaked out like a bolt and struck the beast's back, instantly vaporizing the monster just mere seconds later, causing the Knight to glimpse at the resulting dust with curiosity.

"Perhaps Ik should use this for a while." The humble crossbowman grinned at the nobleman and fellow Westphalian.

"You better cleanse yourself afterward, mein Fründ. That ist a heretical device after all."

Christopher nodded reluctantly, almost as if he wasn't permitted to end the incursion in the most efficient way available.

'Du ar nicht lustig (You're no fun).'

"This must be it. The portal to Hell." Giesbrecht surmised before making the sign of the cross.

"We must stop them from venturing out of their imprisonment."

One of the brothers stepped in only to cry out in pain as he was burned alive in retaliation for trespassing into where he didn't belong.

"His soul will always be remembered." Frydag asserted.

No one expected the immediate demise of their brethren by a mysterious power and curiously nearby there were wheels like those of a blacksmith forge which did not seem necessary for this vortex to function yet it did appear to be a weakness to be exploited in order to avert the end of days.

"Wait, let me try something."

Seeing a nod, Meyer brought the strange weapon to his shoulder and aimed before firing at the shimmering and eerily blue portal, collapsing yet it apparently was not the only collapse as immediately pillars and debris began falling all around the trio.

"The cave-in must be retaliation from the Prince of Darkness himself!" von Frydag reasoned. "We must go! Hurry broders!"

The three were at a safe distance from the collapsing enemy castle, being burned from within.

The cold breeze of the Baltic provided odd comfort for the trio who tackled what they suspected was a demonic incursion into the mortal world and bought time for humanity and up until this fateful day neither von Giesbrecht nor Meyer encountered any Satanic creatures and only believed them to be resided for scripture but here they were stumbling across this scene by astronomical chance.

But they believe that their discovery was not accidental but rather it was a sign that they were at the right place and at the right time to prevent Lucifer's scheme.

"We did it." Frydag wheezed as he lay on the ground, catching his breath. "We closed the Gate of Hell."

"And nothing survived the tainted village." Giesbrecht laughed. "Not one of Lucifer's followers, Demons, nor any of their cambion lives."

"Gott mit uns." Meyer declared.

"I would like you to return to the Prince-Bishopric of Minden and be one of the gamekeepers at the family estate." He smiled. "You'll have my recommendation as well as my endorsem*nt."

"But the Crusade isn't over."

"You mentioned that you wanted to return home and settle down." His friend brought up, attempting to persuade him. "You did good work here."

Six Hundred and Eighty-Two Years Later…

Major Carlton Bellachelo Wainwright - Project Blue Book, Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Agency, United States Air Force

Headquarters of the Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Agency - Lackland Air Force Base, Bexar County, Texas, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

Wednesday, January 4th, 1961 - 12:41 PM

For ten years Wainwright had been vigorously and meticulously investigating sightings of supposed UFOs only for every lead thus far to be nothing more than a rational explanation. Despite his disappointment in the lack of any evidence of alien visitations, instead of transferring, he still wanted to believe that humanity was not alone in the universe but Wainwright was reaching the point where even he must concede in defeat and recognize that as far as science was concerned, there was no life outside of Earth at all.

"Still, the fear of Flying Saucers could be useful." Another Blue Book investigator smirked, snapping Carlton out of his negative reverie. "It could indirectly influence the public to keep an eye out for Commies."

The Major snorted."What sounds better to you, Bob? I could either type 'As of this time, there is no concrete evidence supporting the validity of extraterrestrial visitations' or 'For fourteen years through Projects Sign, Grudge, and presently Blue Book, the United States Air Force has without question thoroughly investigated the testimony of eyewitnesses only to conclude with sufficient proof that they are in most instances seeking the limelight of fame including through fraud and therefore with no exception elaborate hoaxes'."

"Why not both?" Robert shrugged. "It couldn't hurt to mention that particular case in Sarasota from May of last year as well."

On Wednesday, May 4th, 1960 in Sarasota, Florida reportedly a yellow, elliptical object with four evenly spaced window-like openings was observed at ground level by an architect yet it became another instance of disappointment when it was discovered to be literally the body for an experimental hamburger car inspired by the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile but later abandoned, something that caused Stan to snort but regardless they were like all of the others before them: Either misidentification or an instance of Kooks and/or Scam Artists seeking the spotlight. It was unthinkable but people would do anything for attention regarding the latter.

And by this point Project: Blue Book was evolving away from honest-to-goodness frivolous spending on a wild goose chase for little green men and their flying saucers to becoming the unofficial cover for a black budget with the majority of the funding provided to Blue Book instead being repurposed by the United States Air Force for more serious concerns such as development of the XB-70 Valkyrie.

In other words: legalized fraud as additional funds to supplement the legitimate allotments and the Department of the Air Force has been doing so for quite some time now.

"Say, Carl, why don't we take a break? The Mess Hall is rumored to be serving Chow Mein today."

Wainwright sighed and decided to pause from his typing. "I suppose a fresh head couldn't hurt."

Captain, First Rank Sergei Rustem Vadimovich - Proyekt Zvezdnaya Pyl / "Project Star Dust"

Hangar One - Kaliningrad Chkalovsk, Kaliningrad Oblast, the United Soviet States of Russia

Wednesday, January 4th, 1961 - 12:41 PM

Normally Sergei would have been in Moscow at his post being what the American military derided as desk jockeys, supervising the progress of agents abroad, specifically those who were related to naval forces but he was instead tasked with overseeing the progress of researching some extraordinary discovery that would be beneficial for the Motherland, one that was discovered back on Monday, November 7th, 1960 and Vadimovich was selected over other prospects to replace his predecessor who was tragically killed in a vehicular accident en route to debrief the Kremlin.

The Captain, First Rank assigned to the Main Intelligence Directorate - Glavnoje Razvedyvatel'noje Upravlenije or GRU for short - was dumbfounded when he was first debriefed on the fortuitous find made during the initial construction of a naval air base at Kaliningrad Chkalovsk and he initially dismissed it as some elaborate joke but his superiors were adamant about appointing him to oversee the site and research less their KGB rivals sought jurisdiction on what was clearly a military matter, fifty-eight days of progress that would be wasted under the eyes of a rivaling agency investigating what was clearly a naval starship.

Sighing, Vadimovich continued to read the file on what was labeled officially as Project Star Dust with Biweekly reports to be forwarded to the Kremlin.

"We're here." The voice of his driver revealed, causing Vadimovich to look up and see a detail of Spetsnaz GRU posted as sentries, all those visible being armed with belt-fed RPDs that would in time be replaced by the recently adopted RPK and seventy-five round drums instead of the expected AKMS Rifles with folding stocks, the sentries being allotted heavier than usual firepower was a clear sign that the Kremlin was taking extraordinary precautions for what was a precarious and delicate environment. In fact, Vadimovich honestly would not be surprised if there were concealed sniper teams targeting him and anti-armor teams hidden in the brush with RPG-7s zeroed on the vehicle at this very moment, the pencil pusher suspected as such.

"Step out of the vehicle!"

Without hesitation, Sergei as well as his driver both stepped out and presented themselves to be searched by the guards with dogs sniffing the car for anything suspicious.

"What's the Password?"

He remembered the code phrase to be uttered, a creature from Slavic mythology. "Bannik."

"Welcome to Proyekt Zvezdnaya Pyl, Comrade Captain!" The lead guard greeted with military courtesy.

Vadimovich returned the salute and then gazed at the surrounding terrain. So far all he could see were pines and snow but he was only currently outside the established perimeter and not at the crash site concealed under a hanger yet. "Well, let's see how fruitful this discovery proves."

Six years and four months later…

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - Fireteam Bravo, Third Squad, Second Platoon, Delta Company, Second Military Police Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force Command Element, II Marine Expeditionary Force, United States Marine Corps

Hardangerjøkulen Glacier - Finse, Ulvik herad Municipality, Hardanger District, Hordaland County, Norway, Europe, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

Thursday, May 4th, 1967 - 9:00 AM

For the most part. Jake and the other Military Policeman appeared indistinguishable from their fellow Leathernecks but to clearly identify their role and authority they were wearing the red and yellow brassard armband over their cold weather uniforms as well as the Cap, Field, Pile M-1951 with the USMC MP Visor Cover to clearly identify the officers as 5803s and enlisted men as 5811s respectfully but even so they were all ultimately Marines regardless of their Military Occupational Specialty.

And although some of them were nominally assigned to the Philadelphia Navy Yard, the MPs presently on TAD - Temporary Additional Duty - were aware of the fact that they could very well be 'Field MPs' at some point instead of being 'Garrison'.

"How come you're not freezing?" David wondered as he and Jake as well as Henry and Quincy patrolled the perimeter of the encampment and were tasked with bear watch.

"I'm unphased by the cold." The former reservist from the Hoosier State and a veteran of the recently concluded Vietnam War shrugged. "And I actually enjoy winter."

Indianapolis and the surrounding communities rarely registered below twenty-eight degrees Fahrenheit during the winter and the coldest location in the entire Hoosier State at around thirteen degrees Fahrenheit minimum was the seemingly ironic named county seat of Angola located in Steuben County which was the northeast corner bordering Michigan and Ohio but even then it still rarely went below zero on the thermometer.

"That's funny as you were born in July." Quincy snorted at Jake's explanation as it was humorously ironic but the Greek-American still shivered in the arctic chill.

The Marine Corps was on the Hardangerjøkulen Glacier near Finse, Norway participating in field maneuvers and the MPs had been tasked with securing an area for the MEF Headquarters to coordinate the overall exercise, an action which would simulate the II Marine Expeditionary Force and possible reserve units sent over in the defense of the northern periphery of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization upon the outbreak of hostilities.

While ordinary blanks would be used in their M14 Service Rifles, Polar Bears caused the temporary issuance of live ammunition and the OPFOR was notified to not launch any rehearsed raids for the duration of forty-eight hours until the area was clear of the Bruins, and their weapons had the excess oil removed and minimal or even no grease applied in order to function reliably in the below-freezing weather per FM 23-8 U.S. Rifle 7.62-MM, M14 1959-12.

"And I'm envious of you being posted to Kehone Bay, Jake, but at least it's not a blizzard." Quincy griped, still not used to the weather.

"Ah, quit your bellyaching." David interrupted. "'Every clime and place', remember?"

The quad continued walking two hundred yards away from the camp to establish a perimeter and posting pickets but as they reached their positions Henry winced after accidentally kicking a thick sheet of ice.

"Careful, ice can be rock solid." Jake deadpanned.

"I don't think it's just ice Captain Obvious…" The Washingtonian snorted. "And I think I saw something inside." Curious, Henry decided to brush snow only to reveal something quite unexpected. "Whoa…Is that a ship?"

"What are you talking about?"

"Guys, seriously, look." Henry pleaded as he pointed to the object inside. "It's literally encased in there."

"It doesn't look like any cargo ship." Jake mentioned before looking at the remarkably preserved and still legible lettering. "And that's not German… Japanese maybe?"

The characters were distinctively representative of the Asiatic script yet at the same time unknown.

"I don't think it's Jap, not Korean either." Quincy opined, making it more baffling to the four Jarheads.

Second Lieutenant John David Cox - Second Platoon, Delta Company, Second Military Police Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force Command Element, II Marine Expeditionary Force, United States Marine Corps

Hardangerjøkulen Glacier - Finse, Ulvik herad Municipality, Hardanger District, Hordaland County, Norway, Europe, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

Thursday, May 4th, 1967 - 9:45 AM

"Lieutenant? I would like you to send a detail to board that unknown vessel and investigate, perhaps retrieve the log if available."

The temporary Provost Marshal was effectively the man in charge of all Jarheads in this sector until the arrival of the Commander of the MEF and his staff as well as the remainder of the Command Element were presently delayed by an unexpected bout of weather that made traveling to the Glacier hazardous and Major Mark Wood managed to contact his platoon leader by radio after they discussed the matter in length.

"I'll get on it immediately. Should we alert Norwegian authorities on the matter?"

"We'll sort it out once we arrive."

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - Fireteam Bravo, Third Squad, Second Platoon, Delta Company, Second Military Police Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force Command Element, II Marine Expeditionary Force, United States Marine Corps

Hardangerjøkulen Glacier - Finse, Ulvik herad Municipality, Hardanger District, Hordaland County, Norway, Europe, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

Thursday, May 4th, 1967 - 4:46 PM

Jake and his three fellow Leathernecks of Fireteam Bravo were unsure what to expect as they prepared to search the derelict and although boring a hole took time for the Marine Corps engineers as well as SeaBees of the United States Navy including a few who back in '62 helped construct the PM-3A nuclear power plant at McMurdo Station in Antarctica, the Americans managed to drill a man-sized tunnel to what appeared to be the nearest hatch.

"There's a hatch here for some reason…" Quincy mentioned as he tried but failed to unseal it.

"Help him open it." Staff Sergeant Hoffman ordered them and Meyer as well as Hillerman aided Katsos in prying and physically exerted pressure to unseal the door which had been last opened in lord only knows when and when they at last made headway the Marines were greeted quite unexpectedly by a remarkably functioning robot.

"Thank the maker!" The brass-colored robot exclaimed in flawless English. "We're saved!"

"What are you?"

"I'm B4-Z9, a steward droid from Automata Galactica." It revealed to them without missing a beat as if it was rehearsed.

"This is getting weirder and more absurd by the second." Quincy griped.

"You're coming with us." Hoffman determined. "Meyer?"

"Yes, Staff Sergeant?"

"I want you and Blackwell to scour the ship." The E-6 directed. "The rest of you are with me."

"Aye, Staff Sergeant."

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - Fireteam Bravo, Third Squad, Second Platoon, Delta Company, Second Military Police Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force Command Element, II Marine Expeditionary Force, United States Marine Corps

Hardangerjøkulen Glacier - Finse, Ulvik herad Municipality, Hardanger District, Hordaland County, Norway, Europe, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

Thursday, May 4th, 1967 - 5:00 PM

As the two 5811s of the United States Marine Corps continued to search the mysterious and unknown derelict the Jarheads gradually realized that this was not by any means an oceanic liner but rather something not from this world and their initial encounter with that robot only reinforced the notion.

"Well, at least now we know for sure that we're not alone."

"If Clark was here he would be saying 'I told you so' to me." Jake groaned as he touched what he thought was a circular brass table with a glass top but after touching it the Leatherneck heard a beep followed by either whirring or humming then a transparent blue light which gradually projected something unknown and in response Jake unhesitatingly decided to demolish the object with the butt of his M14 Service Rifle, not wanting to risk his life over faulty and unfamiliar equipment.

"What was that?"

"The heck I know? It could be some security system." The studious farm boy speculated. "I don't think we should touch anything else until someone more knowledgeable arrives."

But the Hoosier and his fellow Marine from Washington State began to hear a hissing sound somewhere behind them, as if pressure was being released and the two Jarheads watched as a crane retrieved a slab of what appeared to be granite and placed it right in front of them but there also was the anatomical outline of a human figure, one that was female no less.

"Is that a girl?"

"I have a bad feeling about this." Jake remarked as the face of the slab melted and out emerged, for the lack of a better word, a frozen girl who fell to her knees and began to cough.

"Call the Corpsman!"

"Staff Sergeant, we found what appeared to be an abducted individual and freed her from some container." Henry disclosed on the AN/PRC-6. "We need a Corpsman to check on her condition, acknowledge?"

While Henry updated the NCO and attempted to get a Navy Corpsman sent over, Jake immediately reached into his pocket and flipped through his English-to-Norwegian dictionary to look up the phrase 'Are you alright?' before querying. "Går det bra med deg?" The Marine asked only to not receive an acknowledgment and next he tried standard German instead of Plattdeutsch as it was more common even though there was always the possibility of her knowing Schleswigsch or Frisian, it could even be Dutch but of course the Hoosier knew squat 'Swamp German'. "Geht es dir gut?" He still failed to get an affirmation and Jake attempted Schleswigsch before uttering English. "Bist du goed? Hey, I said are you alright?"

"I'll be fine." She said at last upon hearing English. "It's just hibernation sickness…Wait, the Force, I can't feel it."

'I'm sorry but the Force?' Jake was confounded by her rambling yet he felt brotherly concern and consciousness of the significance, it made him wonder what these extraterrestrials did to her.

"You know, come to think of it, she could easily be mistaken for your sister." Henry remarked as he noticed the brown hair and hazel eyes.

"Don't be ridiculous." Jake snorted.

"I'm serious. There's a resemblance."

"Fair but aside from Beverly, my sisters didn't inherit brown hair and hazel eyes." Jake snorted before pointing to another obvious difference which put a hole in Henry's scheme. "There's also the fact that none of us have freckles, even Heather doesn't."

"Touchè."

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - Fireteam Bravo, Third Squad, Second Platoon, Delta Company, Second Military Police Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force Command Element, II Marine Expeditionary Force, United States Marine Corps

Hardangerjøkulen Glacier - Finse, Ulvik herad Municipality, Hardanger District, Hordaland County, Norway, Europe, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

Thursday, May 4th, 1967 - 6:20 PM

Although still baffled by this 'Force' gibberish which was nonsensical gobbledygook to him, Jake took it upon himself to make the adolescent feel as comfortable as possible even though there were no accommodations for a girl estimated to be around sixteen or seventeen years in age and to him Gail sounded like she was from Wisconsin, which of course reminded him of the Altvater's and Leah Luke Altvater was still a diehard, overzealous Green Bay Packers fan girl.

"Here." Jake prodded as he handed her a warm mug of apple cider, this one made from a powder mix and of course boiled water.

She momentarily hesitated from drinking the concoction then took a sip and felt euphoric. "What is this? It's delicious."

"Apple cider." He revealed. "We're out of hot cocoa."

"Oh, well, it's still delicious." She smiled. "I'm Gail by the way, Gail Thayer."

"Jake." The Marine divulged as he sat down on a chair nearby. "No one mentioned 'Send the Marines' in case you were wondering, we only found you by chance."

"Sorry? Marines?"

'Are you serious?' Jake thought she was joking as even former President Harry S. Truman irkly noted due to his intention to abolish the branch that the U.S.M.C. had 'A propaganda machine bigger than Stalin's' with widespread recruitment adverts to Toys for Tots but the Hoosier noticed that she was serious and it caused him to consider the possibility that perhaps she was from somewhere deep in the backcountry of northern Wisconsin as there were still areas in the United States without electricity. "You know, the United States Marine Corps?"

"Never heard of the United States Marine Corps." Gail snarked passive-aggressively. "High Galactic Standard? Military Police I assume?"

"That's my job but every Marine is a rifleman first and foremost."

"I - I don't understand, the Force-"

"Look, you just emerged from a difficult situation, I'm sure it's confusing and disordinating."

"You may be right. My senses are off, I don't sense you and my immediate surroundings."

'Poor girl must've been very traumatized if she's rambling nonsense.' Jake figured and then there was the fact she could be no older than seventeen. "Look, Gail, if you can see and hear me, if you can taste, I'm sure your senses are fine."

"I don't understand, even if I'm only a Padawan, I'm still a member of the Jedi Order."

"There's no Jedi Order." The Hoosier said at last.

"That's preposterous!" Gail scoffed, clearly dumbfounded. "Why wouldn't there be!?"

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - Fireteam Bravo, Third Squad, Second Platoon, Delta Company, Second Military Police Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force Command Element, II Marine Expeditionary Force, United States Marine Corps

Hardangerjøkulen Glacier - Finse, Ulvik herad Municipality, Hardanger District, Hordaland County, Norway, Europe, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

Thursday, May 4th, 1967 - 6:47 PM

"How is she holding up?"

"Honestly, sir, I believe she's confused and disoriented, not to mention slightly eccentric, a psychological evaluation may be warranted." Jake informed the Provost Marshal straightforwardly.

"Whatever they did to her and how many of our citizens they abducted I think we'll find out." The Lieutenant was resolved to determine what exactly happened to the abductees and to put an end to it. "You're right, we should bring in Project: Bluebook investigators to unravel this nonsense."

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - Fireteam Bravo, Third Squad, Second Platoon, Delta Company, Second Military Police Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force Command Element, II Marine Expeditionary Force, United States Marine Corps

Hardangerjøkulen Glacier - Finse, Ulvik herad Municipality, Hardanger District, Hordaland County, Norway, Europe, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

Friday, May 5th, 1967 - 8:00 AM

Now regretting the previous recommendation to his superior, Jake was currently inside the mess tent where he and his fellow Devil Dogs were being held comically by The United States Air Force Security Police including those from the Department of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, not to mention Case Officers and Analysts from the Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Agency despite the fact that there were 5811s including himself present while Lieutenant Colonel Wainwright of the United States Air Force debriefed the Jarheads who were present or indirectly witness to the discovery and these Airmen were making even the Military Policemen of the Marine Corps wary of their overbearing attitude when by birthright it should be the converse.

"No one speaks of this matter."

And from his seat in the front row, Jake glared at the bureaucrat defiantly, still skeptical of the necessity for any major Federal Law Enforcement agency to have broad powers such as how the Federal Bureau of Investigations evolved from being librarians of fingerprints to becoming conceited 'instantaneously this is our jurisdiction!' braggarts and thankfully the United States Military, for the most part, reminded the Bureau that their equivalents held jurisdiction at every military installation, namely the United States Army Criminal Investigation Division, Department of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Naval Investigative Service, United States Marine Corps Criminal Investigation Division, and Coast Guard Investigative Service respectively.

"Meyer? You're a member of the John Birch Society, right?"

"I am but what does that have to do with anything?" He didn't show it but mentally he was shocked as he didn't publicize his membership outside of a close circle. Eyes were now on him due to the revelation, some sympathetic and others having second thoughts on the Hoosier who was already known to be quite the archconservative and possibly off the charts on the far side of the political spectrum, Far-Right specifically.

"We are willing to ruin your life and make it quite difficult, even to the point of committing you to a psych ward."

'Like Edwin Walker, huh?' Jake thought. "Hate to break it to you but my eight step-cousins are zany." The Hoosier deadpanned, and then there was Clark of course but at least his younger brother was more stable despite his fervid beliefs in conspiracy theories and enjoying blowing up tree stumps, the copious usage of dynamite was actually quite commonplace in rural America.

"Trust me, Meyer, you don't want to test us." Wainwright seethed. "And that goes for every one of you Jarheads! This never happened!"

Lieutenant Commander Donald Burdick - Clinical Psychologist, Naval Support Activity Philadelphia, United States Navy

Naval Support Activity Philadelphia - Lawncrest, Northeast Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

Thursday, May 11th, 1967 - 2:09 PM

"I will be perfectly honest with you son, Gail is clearly confused and should be sent to Byberry as she is in no shape for foster care."

"Foster care?" The Marine from Central Indiana was confounded as he and his partner were sent here on the pretense of securing a mentally disturbed patient generating havoc and mayhem only for his partner to be sent to the lobby while Meyer was pulled into the office. "What's the meaning of this?"

"We need to keep a lid on this and we've been unable to track down her parents or guardians so tomorrow expect a news report courtesy of Stars & Stripes mentioning you and your detachment finding her adrift on a liferaft and you are going to call your parents and convince them to take her in."

"This has to be some joke, sir."

Burdick could understand the loathing for Wainwright and the Department of the Air Force had no jurisdiction over the Department of the Navy yet the Major did have a writ signed by the President of the United States himself.

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - MOS 5811 Military Policeman, Military Police Detachment, Marine Barracks Philadelphia, United States Marine Corp

Naval Support Activity Philadelphia - Lawncrest, Northeast Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

Thursday, May 11th, 1967 - 2:22 PM

"To the contrary, Bircher, it was agreed upon by the President himself." Wainwright countered. "Welcome to the New Frontier."

'Goddamn liberal elitists!' Jake gritted his teeth as he held the handpiece of the rotary phone and dialed the number, hearing clicks as he rotated the dial and then held the phone before hearing the voice of his stepmother on the line.

"Hello?"

"Hi, Mom, I'm doing fine but there's something I have to discuss with you."

Gail Thayer

Meyer Farmhouse - Acton, Franklin Township, Marion County, Indiana, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

Saturday, May 20th, 1967 - 1:20 PM

It had been two weeks and two days since she had been unthawed from carbonite and yet Gail was still confounded by the ambiance and disconcerted by the nonexistence of the Force as she could feel neither the Cosmic Force nor the Physical Force and certainly not the Living Force but even the Unifying Force was lacking and despite the handicap the stranded padawan could still at least perceive the fact that she may be outside the known galaxy altogether but the puzzle remained:

Where was she and why was there a population of humans disconnected from the Force thriving on a Forceless World?

"How does heading to the mall sound?" Valerie inquired.

"Alright, I guess." The hapless Padawan shrugged.

"Don't forget to put on your makeup."

"Do I have to?" Gail wondered with an exasperated sigh only to watch as Valerie squinted and scrutinized her as if she mentioned an inconsiderate and unbecoming remark.

"You really are a tomboy, aren't you?" Valerie stated.

"I'm not a farmer's daughter and may as well be a gabal herder." Gail muttered only for the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed yokel to overhear it, more like misheard it.

"'Gabal herder'? Is that some peculiar slang for shepherd?" Valerie inquired. "But then again I never heard of it and Wisconsin is not exactly a sheep state."

Gail Thayer

Glendale Shopping Center - 6101 Keystone Avenue, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana, United States of America

Saturday, May 20th, 1967 - 3:14 PM

Although Gail was not expecting a shopping trip with a normal girl of her age, at least what was seemingly normal without the Force around her, she nonetheless took it in stride and accepted her predicament but it did not make it exactly normal.

"This dress might look good on you." Valerie remarked as she picked up a baby blue dress.

"I don't think I need any formalwear, Valerie." Gail deadpanned.

"It's a shirtwaist." There it was, the same glint of bafflement as if they were speaking different languages. "What are you? An alien?" Valerie teased.

But Gail glanced down at her shoes as she knew the truth but she did not desire to unwittingly get Valerie's brother reprimanded. "Maybe I am." She muttered. "Say, is there a place for refreshments? I'm starving."

Valerie Jenner Meyer

Edward's Drive-In - 2126 South Sherman Drive, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana, United States of America

Saturday, May 20th, 1967 - 4:09 PM

The undisclosed goddaughter of United States Senator William Ezra Jenner was thoroughly dumbfounded by her foster-sister as each passing day brought forth a new peculiarity or nonsensical rambling from Gail and despite it all, Valerie overlooked it as a response to her traumatic experience and took her to Edward's Drive-In which since opening in 1957 became a beloved restaurant on the southeast side of Indianapolis with arguably the best jumbo hand-breaded pork tenderloin ever fried in the State of Indiana as well as the delectable homemade root beer which should.

"Thank you." Valerie said as the waitress placed the black trays holding the blue paper baskets containing their meal with the aforementioned pork tenderloin sandwiches and fried pickles but of course she also ordered the root beer which came in chilled glass steins. "You want any mustard?"

Gail shook her head. "Is there Miasra sauce?" The brunette enunciated in her 'Wisconsin' accent.

But Valerie gawked as she was well aware that there was no such thing as 'Miasra sauce' up in the Badger State and it was becoming apparent that something was quite not right. 'Exactly how squirrelly are you?'

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - MOS 5811 Military Policeman, Military Police Detachment, Marine Barracks Philadelphia, United States Marine Corps

Provost Marshal's Office - Marine Barracks Philadelphia, Philadelphia Naval Yard, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

Saturday, May 20th, 1967 - 5:25 PM

"I'm worried about her, Jake, Gail should honestly be in a psychiatric hospital such as Central State, not our house."

Jake groaned as the usually level-headed Leatherneck was becoming more resentful towards Major Wainwright of the Air Force by the hour and the concieted officer who felt he knew better was still not a licensed psychologist. "I know, Val, but shock therapy may not help after what she's been through."

"I suppose given how she was found on a life raft in the Arctic." Valerie sighed. "Elke and I are doing our best but she keeps rambling about this 'Force' nonsense as if it's some religion."

"I'm not saying this is the case, Val, but perhaps her parents were Beatniks who adopted Buddhism earlier than the Hippies." Jake deadpanned as it would make sense if it was the case and there was also the fact that Force gibberish sounded straight out of Eastern Spiritualism. "As this complete Farce she's rambling about does sound similar and she could also be suffering from marijuana withdrawal. I know that you and Elke are doing your utmost to accommodate but give it time, I got to go."

"Love you."

"Love you too, sis." Jake then hung up the rotary telephone and turned his swivel chair to the bulletin board as earlier this morning a pair of sailors from the Forrest Sherman-class destroyer U.S.S. Decatur (DD-936) had gone AWOL - Absent Without Leave - and Shore Patrol, Master-at-Arms, as well as of course Military Policemen of the United States Marine Corps were on the lookout but they could be anywhere with Swabbies and Jarheads alike on Shore Leave but as he gazed at the posters with mugshots and the descriptions, Jake overheard a commotion and turned around.

"These two were going at it at McGullin's."

Jake knew that his fellow Gyrene was referring to McGillin's Olde Ale House, Philadelphia's oldest continuously operating tavern since it first opened its doors over a century ago in 1860. "Alright, I'll get the keys for the holding cell." The 5811 nodded despite not being a 5831 Correctionsman but then again this was not a Brig, only processing.

One of the apprehended bluejackets got rowdy and struggled but the Hoosier intervened and gave the detainee a right hook, knocking the seaman to the floor. "Nice try, sailor, but for your sake I'll assume you're only drunk out of your senses."

Gail Thayer

Meyer Farmhouse - Acton, Franklin Township, Marion County, Indiana, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

Monday, May 22nd, 1967 - 10:14 AM

Gail physically hauled the sack from Wanamaker Feed & Seed to the trough but before she poured the contents into the tray she sat it down closeby and drew a knife from its sheath to cut the sealed top open.

"Here chicks, chicks, chicks." Valerie cooed, calling forth the Rhode Island Reds and White Leghorns to eat the seeds and oyster shells.

Gail, however, began laughing as one of the hens decided to fly past Valerie before turning around and seemingly heading towards face only to land just in front of her.

"Not funny."

"Sorry, it's just surreal."

Valerie Jenner Meyer

The Skyline Drive-In - 3986 E. Michigan Road, Shelbyville, Shelby County, Indiana, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

Sunday, May 28th, 1967 - 8:33 PM

Since biblical times,

man has witnessed and recorded...

...strange manifestations

in the sky...

...and speculated on the possibilities

of visitors from another world.

Today, from the skies of California,

the fields of Kansas...

...the rice paddies of the Orient,

the air lanes of the world...

...come persistent reports of UFOs,

Unidentified Flying Objects...

...which we have come to know as Flying Saucers.

In Dayton, Ohio, the Air Intelligence

gathers data from all over the globe.

Ninety-seven percent of the objects

prove to be of natural origin...

...while three percent still are listed

as unknown.

The Air Force is aware

of the widely held belief...

...that some could be

flying saucers from another planet.

While there is nothing conclusive

in the evidence...

...the probing and digesting

of information about UFOs...

...continues unceasingly.

As a result, the Hemispheric Defense

Command in Colorado Springs...

...issued an order:

All military installations

are to fire on sight...

...at any flying objects

not identifiable.

But the military wondered...

...whether their scientific know-how

and weapons...

...would be effective in any battle

of the Earth vs. the Flying Saucers!

"This movie is so comically bad…" Sally simpered as the five foot ten Pilipinong Amerikano munched on popcorn while the opening monologue played, specifically the one for the 1956 B-Movie 'Earth vs. The Flying Saucers!' directed by Fred F. Sears, produced by Charles H. Schneer as well as Sam Katzman, and starring Hugh Marlowe as Doctor Russell A. Marvin and Joan Taylor as Carol Marvin with Donald Curtis as Major Huglin, Morris Ankrum as Brigadier General John Hanley, John Zaremba as Professor Kanter, Thomas Browne Henry as Vice-Admiral Enright, Grandon Rhodes as General Edmunds, Larry J. Blake as a motorcycle policeman, and Charles Evans as Doctor Alberts but this movie was famous - aside from being inspired by the claims of Marine Corps naval aviator and writer Donald Edward Keyhoe - for its remarkable visual effects despite being a low budget B-Movie. "But soooo good."

Despite still being perplexed by the rambling and at times eccentric Wisconsinite, Valerie and Elke decided that it would be worthwhile to take Gail to see a movie and the two sisters also invited their bubbly and vivacious part-Filipino first cousin along for the show as if it was old times, as if Elke’s and Valerie’s other sister Heather was here, nevermind Elise.

Up until two years ago the three Meyer sisters were close to Elise, Samuel's sister and only sibling then they drifted apart but at some point after becoming a freshman at Columbia University their friend who was partially of Yekke extraction became an activist affiliated with the American Jewish Congress and joined the Freedom Rides then she was in Pike County, Mississippi working as a volunteer for the Voter Education Project to register voters and she even drove her personal 1952 Vincent Black Lightning motorcycle through the center of the city of McComb, a locality that was quite arguably a runner up for the most violent place to integrationists after 'Bombingham', while pursued by the local authorities but last they heard she was in Nigeria working for the Peace Corps.

"There's definitely something about B-Movies." Elke concurred with a chuckle, a rarity from the typically reserved and austere towhead whereas her Straßenköterblond - dark blonde-haired - sister by contrast was the most outgoing in the family. "Which one is your favorite, Gail?"

"Don't know, I never heard or seen any of them."

The three Hoosiers gawked at the most baffling peer of theirs they had ever met and it just seemed as if when they finally came to understand her something else just as baffling was disclosed and there was yet another peculiarity of hers to dissect.

"Why doesn't it surprise me?" Valerie muttered only to then notice that now instead of the opening credits it was the first proper scene, a sedan on a dirt-paved road in the middle of the desert heading to a restricted area managed by the Department of Defense for 'Operation: Skyhook'. "Hush, it's on."

Elke Oceana Meyer

South Emerson Avenue - Beech Grove, Marion County, Indiana, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

Sunday, May 28th, 1967 - 11:00 PM

If it was any day other than Sunday, Valerie and Gail would be in violation of the statewide curfew law as fifteen, sixteen, and seventeen year olds could not be outdoors between the hours of one and five in the morning on Saturdays and Sundays whereas for the rest of the week the restricted hours were between eleven o'clock at night and five o'clock in the morning. Of course county, township, or city ordinances could have a much more stringent time restriction and on college campuses no women were allowed after dark whatsoever but despite being on the way home inside Elke's aqua green 1951 Studebaker Commander Land Cruiser the four unintentionally headed further northward than planned, towards the outskirts of Indianapolis no less but instead of Naptown they were near the neighboring city of Beech Grove and their vehicle was parked just outside the Beech Grove Shops, a railway maintenance facility presently owned, managed, and operated by the New York Central Railroad.

"We just missed our turn a while back, didn't we?"

"It isn't my fault that I took a wrong turn, Sal!" Elke exclaimed with exasperation as Valerie kept uttering 'Look at the owls, aren't they swell?', 'Dawwww…Those baby opossums are so adorable!', and so on that in hindsight Elke wished that she could have turned on the radio but given the hour no radio station would be playing a record, any record, zilch. And of course if Heather was here she could identify which exact species of owls they were but their redheaded sister still aberrantly decided to become a Marinette. "But at least I know where we are."

That was when a quad of greasers who were up to no good decided to check them out after they hopped over the fence and approached the four young women sitting in the four-door sedan.

"Say, what are you four dolls doing out at this hour?" One of them piped. "Looking for a good time?"

"If you must know, boys, we just took a friend out to see a movie and we're now heading home." Elke answered truthfully although admittedly absentmindedly as she was wondering if her soon-to-be petrified father and one of her uncles were now waiting for them on the front porch of the farmhouse.

"Is that so?" The ever-so inquisitive miscreant pressed as he leaned his arm against the window sill and glanced inside the vehicle before scrutinizing directly from a forty-five degree angle the one sitting at the rear seat behind the front passenger. "I'm assuming it's the Chink here?"

"I'm not a Chink." Sally corrected as she glared at the lead greaser. "How about you guidos go back to Chicago?"

"What did you just say, punk?" Elke glowered after overhearing the slur only for him to grab her by the wrist.

"Stay cool and take it easy, baby! We can all have a grand time, is that right boys?"

"Get your crummy hands off me..." Elke seethed through gritted teeth as she slowly removed her right hand from the steering wheel and clenched it into a fist.

Gail Thayer

South Emerson Avenue - Beech Grove, Marion County, Indiana, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

Sunday, May 28th, 1967 - 11:05 PM

Gail observed as four strange human males wearing leather jackets over white shirts and with slicked-back hair that shined due to an excessive amount of gel had decided to approach their vehicle and chat but it gradually became clear to her that the intentions were not all that pleasant and then she overheard what could only be surmised a native slur being uttered by the leader of this gang.

"What did you just say, punk?" Elke glowered only for him to grab Elke by the wrist and she added with a snarl: "Get your crummy hands off me..."

Gail felt that she had little choice but to intervene, an incongruous world or not, and therefore while the ruffians were near the front, the stranded Padawan stepped out of the 'car' and confronted them head-on as the only 'no' they understood was of the type which resulted in black eyes and welts.

"Hey!" Gail hollered, getting their attention only to clock the one who only moments prior was attempting to cajole Elke and pressed on despite being refused right in the Solar Plexus, attempting to knock him out only to instead result in the leader stumbling back, becoming dizzy and disoriented.

"Gah! Crazy bitch!" He cursed, still wheezing from the blow but there were still three others alongside him. "Get her!"

"Come on snake, let's rattle!"

One of the teenage thugs pulled out a knife with the blade being unfurled at the flick of a switch and attempted to slash her but Gail leaped out of the way and kicked him in the groin, the resulting blow sending that hoodlum down onto the pavement with his blade falling out of reach. She then dodged another who charged her and elbowed him before throwing her opponent at the only other remaining threat, thereby taking care of two birds with one stone per se then after taking a look and dusting herself off, Gail returned to the car without a word.

Elke Oceana Meyer

South Emerson Avenue - Beech Grove, Marion County, Indiana, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

Sunday, May 28th, 1967 - 11:10 PM

"What just happened?" Elke asked from behind the wheel, still dumbfounded by the whole occurrence that just took place to their left and then in front of them, that and the aerobatics that was more befitting for a gymnast yet Gail did not seem to be the type, that and the fact she was like a female Barry Allen - The Flash - though Elke dismissed the haze as her eyes playing tricks on her especially given how it was well-after dark with only the street lights illuminating the area but she could not deny the fact that Gail somehow managed to fight off a pack of juvenile delinquents without suffering a scratch. The blonde was about to use her free hand to strike the bruiser then turn the key and agitate the gravel forthwith - literally burn rubber - when her foster-sister impulsively decided to confront the quad, something she thought was foolish only to go down in an unexpected manner.

"I wouldn't have believed it if I didn't see it with my own eyes." Valerie added, just as startled by the surreal occurrence which couldn't even be described as a brawl but more of a lopsided smackdown even though realistically given the physical disparity as men have a higher percentage of muscle than women and in this instance it was multiplied by a factor four but it did not matter as the menshould have overpowered her, nevermind receive a slash from the knife yet there she was acting casual as if a thorough clobbering had not transpired.

"What?" The brunette queried her three awestruck, gawking, and goggling friends as she nonchalantly dusted herself off after the one-sided scuffle before opening the rear passenger door and returned to her seat while the thugs hopped onto their motorcycles and sped off, fleeing in terror.

"I don't doubt that they were asking for it as they probably were achin' for a breakin'." Sally sighed as she shook her head, still denying the occurrence. "But let's just go home and never speak of this."

"Still, if Jake, Corbin, or Cole were here those bums would've been in the hospital." Elke deadpanned.

"Or Leo." Sally added with a nervous chuckle, still in awe.

"But didn't she break one of their arms?" Valerie inquired, still grimacing from the sight.

Elke, Valerie, and Sally glanced at each other and then at Gail but none of them said another word and the driver turned the ignition on before leaving the scene without looking back.

Elke Oceana Meyer

Meyer Farm - Acton, Franklin Township, Marion County, Indiana, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

Sunday, May 28th, 1967 - 11:42 PM

As she pulled up into the driveway, Elke noticed that not only the front porch lights were on as well as the kitchen's, her father and Uncle Ryan were both on the front porch waiting for them. Despite having apprehension and expecting an uncompromising lecture, the quad nonetheless stepped out of the Sedan and headed to the porch anyway as there was no sense in potentially digging a deeper hole.

"Where were you?" The voice of her father inquired.

"We accidentally took a wrong turn and I had to adjust course after checking my bearings." Elke said truthfully albeit without mentioning the run-in with the greasers. "It won't happen again."

"It better not as we were about to call the Police and start a search." Ryan added sternly before turning to his eldest daughter as he stood up. "Sally? Time to go home."

"Yes, sir." Sally replied before turning away but not before giving Gail another look which showed that she was still in awe over the scuffle but of course while she and Valerie were also dazed by the occurrence, their oblivious father was asserting

"Go inside, clean up, and get straight to bed."

Elke gave him a nod and walked past him without a word as she wanted to forget the entire incident.

While Elke and Valerie were in the bathroom brushing their teeth and preparing to turn in for the rest of the night, Valerie was still ecstatic over the run-in with the delinquents that quickly escalated and turned into something else.

"I still can't believe it, I still can't believe it!"

"Honestly, Val, I don't even know what we saw." Elke sighed, wishing that she would just drop the subject and move on as it was just a brawl, nothing more.

"Talking about me behind my back?"

The two sisters spun around and saw the wonder woman in question leaning against the door with her arms crossed and wearing a pair of pink-and-white polka dot pajamas.

"We're sorry but what we witnessed was surreal to say the least." Valerie apologized only for Gail to snort.

"A thank you would be sufficient."

Passive-aggressive sarcasm or not, the dour blonde was not in the mood. "Don't be smug and be lucky you don't have to go to school until next semester."

Gail, however, rolled her eyes and shrugged before deciding to explain herself. "For what's it worth, I don't think those ruffians would've left us alone, and having them chase us all the way here would've made for an interesting conversation." Then she headed to the bedroom.

Elke turned to stare at the mirror and thought longingly before mentally conceding that Gail did have a point as her father would have assumed some joyride occurred after in the hypothetical and unprecedented yet probable act retrieve the M1921 Thompson as well as a C Drum from the gun cabinet and it would likely have been either the Chicago Piano, the Browning Automatic Rifle, or even the Maschinengewehr 42 he brought back from Europe and shooting off a few bursts above the greasers heads. For all she knew they were actually looking for a 'good time' and the only hint to emphasize that they were uninterested in becoming their latest conquest was to break some of their bones.

"Our brother certainly made an interesting discovery." Valerie remarked which snapped Elke out of her reflection and gave her a glare.

"Oh hush up." Elke growled but even she could not deny that there was more about their unanticipated foster sibling than meets the eye.

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - MOS 5811 Military Policeman, Military Police Detachment, Marine Barracks Philadelphia, United States Marine Corps

Philadelphia Naval Yard - Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

Monday, May 29th, 1967 - 10:15 AM

Although the skies were clear as the ocean and bluejackets of the United States Navy were either disembarking from vessels after a long tour or preparing to head out to sea and repairs of other vessels were underway, the 5811 was in hot pursuit after recognizing the mug of a wanted man who was just declared Absent Without Leave after walking out of his quarters despite being confined to them and it if was over thirty days he would have been declared a deserter but either way the Hoosier was still perplexed as to how this man was even commissioned as a Marine Corps Officer in the first place.

"Halt!" Jake shouted as he and his partner gave chase but as the pursuit dragged on the Jarhead then blew his whistle and they were quickly reinforced from the opposite direction by a pair of Master-at-Arms who happened to be patrolling the pier at the time and now there was nowhere for the escapee to run as he became cornered. The officer halted misstep and looked around for an avenue of escape yet the Hoosier used the opportunity to his advantage and slammed the culprit down on the wood planks below them.

"Get your hands off me!" The Second Lieutenant cried as he was manhandled after being tackled by Jake.

"No can do, grifter." Jake spat.

"'Sir'." The O-1 corrected but Jake was not in the mood to use the correct military courtesy as this officer in particular was undeserving of it, not after his superior, a Major Howell, and the Battalion Sergeant Major with the surname of Breckenridge, both uncovered the fact that he had swindled his men and embezzled their pay.

"Whatever, you disgrace to the Corps, off to the brig we go." The Hoosier grouched after locking the handcuffs and roughly yanked him up from the wooden planks of the pier.

Major Carlton Bellachelo Wainwright - Project Blue Book, Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Agency, United States Air Force

'Extraterrestrial Crash Site Number One' - Hardangerjøkulen Glacier - Finse, Ulvik herad Municipality, Hardanger District, Hordaland County, Norway, Europe, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

Monday, May 29th, 1967 - 10:15 AM

Carlton felt gleeful since at long last a literal honest-to-god spaceship not of this Earth had been found. Roswell in July 1947 was a weather balloon of the United States Army Air Force Project: Mogul's and an independent Air Force as envisioned by Billy Michell wouldn't be reality until September of that year. Then there were the supposed goblins of Kentucky but the Kelly–Hopkinsville Encounter and little green men turned out to be owls shot at by drunk rednecks and most insultingly to the UFO Investigator Barney and Betty Hill were hoaxers but now at long last Project: Blue Book had legitimacy instead of being yet another instance of frivolous government spending.

"How long you think until we're able to get this ship out of the ice?"

"Weeks, maybe months." The Norwegian Naval Officer and lead engineer of the joint Norwegian-American effort, Orlogskaptein Vebjørn Haagensen, speculated. "This is approximately the size of a pocket battleship and won't be easy to transport, I don't even know if it's seaworthy or if we could find a heavy-lift large enough to haul it. Talk about an engineering challenge and, how do you say it? A conundrum? Yes, it's also a conundrum!"

Either way those two options did come at the risk of word getting out and the less people who knew the better. "What we could do is investigate here and make the entire glacier a restricted area." Wainwright suggested.

"I'll have to speak to my government." Haagensen declared after some mulling but even he was aware of the fact that this joint American-Norweigian venture could be fruitful as it was the discovery of a lifetime.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy - 35th President of the United States

Norwegian Office of the Prime Minister - Akersgata 42, Regjeringskvartalet, Oslo, Eastern Norway, Norway, Europe, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

Monday, May 29th, 1967 - 10:15 AM

Although unexpectedly Kennedy was forced to wait at a chair outside in the lobby while his counterpart the twenty-second Prime Minister of Norway, Einar Henry Gerhardsen, convened with his cabinet on another issue and just before the current President of the United States glanced down at his watch to check the time, the door at last opened.

"I apologize for the wait, Jack." Einar said apologetically.

"It's quite alright, Einar." John accepted. The Irish-American was skeptical of the suspicion that the present Prime Minister of Norway was some agent for the KGB and although Gerhardsen did participate in a strike organized by the Left Communist Youth League in 1924, he went on to become head of the Labour Party which was a democratic socialist party and Kennedy was looking at Norway for inspiration for the New Frontier, if he could salvage his initiative of course.

"You know, this ship contains, forgive the pun, technology lightyears ahead of our own. Perhaps we should announce this discovery to the world for the benefit of all mankind."

Kennedy, however, shook his head 'no'. "I don't believe now is the time for such optimism as there are many who would use it for ill. We cannot afford word of this from leaking out, the less who know the better, and besides..." The 35th President simpered as this could become the perfect duopoly. "The United States of America and the Kingdom of Norway would leapfrogged ahead of the rest of the world."

Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev - First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

The Kremlin - Red Square, Moscow, Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Eurasia, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

Monday, May 29th, 1967 - 12:26 PM

Khrushchev was not anticipating having a spontaneous lunch meeting with Semichastny and the leader of the Soviet Union had to at the last minute request for two additional bowls of Solyanka and cups of Kvass as well as rearrange the furniture before receiving the head of the KGB as well as a dignified senior statesman, one who went back to the time of Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov himself.

"Comrades, I have grave news." The Chairman of the Committee for State Security, Vladimir Yefimovich Semichastny, proclaimed after tasting the soup before setting the spoon down and going straight to the point. "According to Comrade Gerhardsen, the Americans have stumbled upon another starship."

"Bah, it's of little consequence." The Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet and one who had served the higher echelons of the Soviet Union since Lenin, Anastas Ivanovich Mikoyan, dismissed after wiping his face with a napkin only to toss it. "We have six years of progress over them, not as much as we like admittedly but six years nonetheless, nevermind our dominance in this space race and I'm sure we'll head to the moon long before the Yankees."

"Don't forget how our discovery is from another, likely more advanced civilization than the capitalists." Khrushchev reminded the senior official with some co*ckiness as he was confident that the USSR's find was far superior. "But at the same time, our valuable Norwegian asset should continue to provide updates as it may help speed up our research, assuming it is of the same make and model instead or somehow better of course." Nikita then had an afterthought. "We might as well, to use an expression, cover our bases and have Harold Wilson look into it as well." The Harold in question was none other than the present British Prime Minister of course and Nikita as well as Vladimir were fortunate to have Harold and Einar as prime sources of information. "Kennedy is still naive since the '61 Vienna Conference and looked where it got him! Bunch of cowboys believing he took acid but only if the American people knew of Max Jacobson, I mean 'Doctor Feelgood' and their President's undisclosed ailments!"

The three Communists laughed as the whole New Frontier imploded right before their eyes and while it was unfortunate that the exploited American proletariat instead of embracing Marxism openly brawled activists of Students for a Democratic Society in the streets back in April, the USSR could at least take advantage of the turmoil as reconciliation did not happen overnight.

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - MOS 5811 Military Policeman, Military Police Detachment, Marine Barracks Philadelphia, United States Marine Corps

Military Police Station - Marine Barracks Philadelphia, Philadelphia Naval Yard, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

Friday, June 16th, 1967 - 1:00 PM

One month and twelve days after Norway and inside the Provost Marshal's Office at the Marine Barracks reading a book to pass the time was the aforementioned native-born Hoosier of six foot two inches in height with dark blond hair and gunmetal blue eyes.

Previously a 2111 Small Arms Repairman with Headquarters Company, 24th Marine Regiment stationed at the Heslar Naval Armory in Indianapolis, the 5811 who had laterally transferred to the Regular Marine Corps from the Reserves and literally graduated from the Military Police School at Fort Gordon over a year prior and fresh from the recent War in Vietnam, Jake Gregory Meyer was a sixth generation German-American whose ancestral roots lay primarily in the German region of Westphalia with his paternal lineage traced to the historic Hanseatic City of Minden and maternally it was nearby Petershagen.

Although many would see his affiliation with the John Birch Society as deplorable and few were aware of his families activities with Robert Boliver DePugh's Minutemen, Jake nonetheless considered himself to be patriotic and he was not just a proud Patriot but was literally born on the Second of July back in 1947, the same day as when the delegation within the halls of the Second Continental Congress approved the resolution by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia all the way back in 1776 which declared: 'That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved' while by contrast the Fourth of July was the day when the final wording of the famed American document, the Declaration of Independence, was approved and in fact, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail that: 'The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty.'

Regardless if the true day of American Independence was the Second or the Fourth of July, many Americans celebrated it as a weekend instead of a single day.

As he read the book he borrowed from the library entitled Origins of Prussianism: The Teutonic Knights by Heinrich G. von Treitschke, Jake could not help but to wonder how long the Templars would hold out against those of the black cross.

The Teutonic Order, known formally as the Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem, was regarded as the most militaristic of the three main orders during the Crusades with an organization and discipline ahead of its time.

In addition to the regular monks, there were three distinct groups of Brethren: the RitterBrüder, the Diendebrudern, and the HalbBrüdern.

The RitterBruder and HalbBrudern had to be from nobility with the RitterBruder being the monastic Knights who were the Elite of the Order and the HalbBruder being temporary augments.

Conversely, the Diendebrudern was open to anyone of military experience with their military role being lesser men at arms forming the rear ranks to the RitterBrüder and HalbBrüdern or as infantry.

And the warrior-monks were the best-equipped order in all of Christendom with the full weight of the Holy Roman Empire backing them in addition to the Papacy, something that the other two major orders, the Hospitallers and Templars could not claim.

'And people say the Templars are plucky but they're ignorant of the Teutonic Order. I mean they never became bankers and remained militaristic throughout their entire existence during the Middle Ages and created their own country, eventually evolving into Prussia, as in Frederick the Great! The Templars are overrated wannabes in comparison.'

His musing, however, was interrupted when Henry burst into the Provost's Office.

"You need to see this!" The E-3 exclaimed excitedly as he turned the television to the live coverage.

"You gotta be kidding me? They think Star Trek is a documentary?" Jake snarked, not fond of the show by Roddenberry in the slightest. "Are they Communist space kitties by chance?"

"We know you're a far-right John Birch nut, Meyer."

"You're just in denial." The PFC from the Hoosier State deadpanned and countered simply instead of quoting something from an issue of American Opinion. "And besides I'm not a nut as I have eight eccentric step-cousins, a psychotic step-grandfather trying to relive the glory days of the frontier army and San Juan Hill, nevermind a brother engrossed in conspiracy theories while also enjoying 'volatile chemistry', and of course there's now a foster-sister espousing this Force nonsense. Maybe I should have my stepmother invite you over for dinner."

"Err, no thanks…"

"You gotta be sh*tting me!" Lance Corporal David Hendricks cursed as he watched the broadcast live on CBS. "f*cking aliens?!"

"Tell me about it." Private Zachary Katsaros grumbled. "America has landed on the moon only to greet aliens. Our flag just became a welcome banner."

One of the other Marines couldn't help but to notice the similarities between the spaceship being covered live and their unforeseen discovery during recent field maneuvers. "It looks familiar…Remember Norway?"

"What? Thinking they're planning on conquest?"

"There's only one way to find out that we're destined to become their litter box." Jake added jokingly just as the door slammed open.

"Alright, Marines!" Sergeant Donald Walker announced as he arrived. "We're heading to Philadelphia International! Full combat gear and load but keep the white helmets and have the armbands on your left arms!"

Meyer followed his fellow Jarheads to the arms locker and grabbed his M14 off of its unchained rack and a rucksack, quickly placing one of the straps over his shoulder

"Leave the rucks behind." Walker clarified. "We're going to be meeting them on the runway, not in some cornfield, and besides have you ever noticed how ridiculous those packs look with your Service Charlies?"

"I was wondering why we were wearing the rucks with our-"

"I was being rhetorical!" Donald snapped. "Double time, Devil Dogs! We don't have all day."

'Now I understand why he helps cement the idea of MPs being hardasses.' Jake thought unamused as he proceeded to exit the office and join the assembled convoy of M151 Jeeps and Deuce and a Half Trucks. "So which Jeep are we taking, Dave? I believe Quincy and Henry are using motorcycles."

"We'll be right behind them and Sarge is riding along with us."

"Ah, lovely, and we'll be making cupcakes and sipping on sweet tea and doing some crochet." Meyer griped. "I hope the LT transfers him soon as he's more suited for DI duty."

"Believe it or not, he's heading to Parris Island next week. I overheard Lieutenant Morris approving it."

"Thank God." Jake praised as he hopped into the passenger seat and Hendricks sat behind the wheel.

Corporal Sara Kelrein - Republic Army SpecForce Squad 149 "Chaos Squad"

En route to a so-called 'Philadelphia Airport'

06:16: 15 ATC - 13:00

"So, I can't understand how you're speaking English fluently." Commander Michael Collins of 'Apollo 11' questioned. "Are you using some sort of translating machine?"

"We don't need translators, Commander." Krasul gruffed. "And in the galaxy, we call it 'Basic'."

"Basic? Sounds corny."

"Corn- What?" The Senator assigned as an ambassador went on. "Nevermind, Collin, how about we discuss…"

'How did he get to be made an ambassador again?' Kelrein asked herself about Krasul before thinking of Collins. 'Just wait until he learns that humans are widespread across the Galaxy.' The 'Corellian' trooper could somewhat understand why most of the crew didn't reveal their faces, a matter of pragmatism in order to both prevent possible contagion and not shock the soon-to-be newcomers to Intergalactic society until the time was right but the downside was being confused for a droid, something the 'American' or 'Earthling' referred to as 'robots' apparently.

"Still, this is a nifty vessel." Michael complimented. "A little too refined for a simple officer of the United States Air Force that was loaned to NASA."

"Which explains the emblem with the High Galactic Standard letters on your vacuum-suit." The Cathar realized. "What does it stand for, if you don't mind me asking?"

"In English." The 'Astronaut' emphasized the Earthling terminology for the language. "It stands for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration."

"National?" Krasul noted as he heard the term. "As in nation-states?"

"Or countries but Earth currently have over one-hundred countries and I'm from the United States of America, which is a collective of fifty states united in a federal system and also is a republic form of-"

"A Republic?" Zorin smiled. "Your people believe in democracy?"

"Now, not every nation does as we also have monarchs, despots, and Communist bastards-"

"Communists?" Krasul wondered before dismissing the question for now. "Actually, I'm rushing you so take your time."

"No need to apologize but anyway, Communist bastards but the U S of A was founded on the core principles of 'Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness'."

"Most peculiar." Zorin mused, stroking his chin from the opposing side of the 'Quarantine Room'. "I'll be honored to meet your leader but is there any way to meet the other heads of states?"

"Perhaps after talking to President Kennedy, he can direct you to the 'United Nations' building."

The redhead noticed that the entire time Collins divulged information about his homeworld with a disregard for security. "Pardon my interruption, sir, but why tell us everything about your planet?"

The 'astronaut' was slightly taken aback by the feminine, almost Tennesean-sounding, voice yet Michael answered. "To be perfectly honest, Corporal was it?" The nod reassured him to continue. "This isn't exactly a warship from what I could tell based on the exterior and interior. Not to mention that some of the folks aboard are not in combat gear or act like technicians and the fact that I was being asked diplomatic questions that in no way hinted at revealing classified military information led me to conclude that there is no ill-will to humanity."

'If only you knew.' Sara grinned behind her tinted visor. "Perhaps there will be a mutual understanding between our races and civilizations, then."

"I hope so, Corporal, for the sake of us all."

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - MOS 5811 Military Policeman, Military Police Detachment, Marine Barracks Philadelphia, United States Marine Corps

Philadelphia International Airport - 8500 Essington Avenue, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

Friday, June 16th, 1967 - 3:42 PM

"Move it, move it, set up the blocking positions!" An Army Specialist Seven from a combat engineer unit ordered his subordinates to carry out as his detachment clutched the barbed wire but regardless of their Military Occupational Specialty and ranks the soldiers, Air Policemen, sailors, and Marines were setting up cordons of fire as a precaution if First Contact went south and an alien invasion commenced.

"You think we'll even stand a chance, Jake?" David asked as he manned the M60 machine gun on the M151.

"I honestly don't know." The Hoosier simpered as knelt behind the Jeep and placed his left elbow on top of the hood before aiming his standard-issue M14 service rifle, peering through the aperture. "But if possible, I'm sure that I can strike some of them down. Remember those Weather Underground terrorists I was forced to shoot a while back?"

"The ones who decided to take three hostages, including a stepcousin of yours, and demand Uncle Sam to free the traitorous whor* as a 'peaceful protest' only for them to not realize that your female relative is a communications specialist?" Hendricks recalled. "Say, didn't you nab Jane Fonda in the first place?"

"I'll tell you all about it, including Nikki's antics, later. Right now, we should be concerned with a possible incident with extraterrestrials."

"You don't say." Dave gulped, realizing the need for focus.

Edwin Eugene "Buzz" Aldrin, Junior - Apollo 11 astronaut

En route to Philadelphia International Airport

Friday, June 16th, 1967 - 3:42 PM

"Can you believe that an alien race of talking space cats enjoy Star Trek!?" Buzz's fellow astronaut, Virgil Ivan Grissom, better known by his nickname of 'Gus', laughed. "They thought it was a documentary and I can't believe they initially mistook the Indiana state flag for the United Federation of Planets."

Although Buzz, like many, was surprised by the fact that Gus decided to plant the blue and gold banner of his home state next to Old Glory, the very one with a gold torch surrounded by an outer circle of thirteen stars, an inner semi-circle of five stars, and a nineteenth, larger, star at the top of the torch, crowned by the word 'INDIANA' in gold which represented Indiana's official admission to the Union as the nineteenth state and the Hoosier who became the first man on the moon decided to remind the world that it was not just an American who walked on the lunar surface but one who also hailed from a underrated state.

"The joke is on them." Edwin shrugged. "So far, Collins has been clarifying everything well enough but hopefully the High Brass realize that they don't have hostile intentions."

"Unfortunately we have no way of communicating with Houston or even Washington after leaving the capsule behind."

"At least we've beaten the Commies to the punch." Aldrin upheld.

"True but this is going to be one hell of a return trip." The small-town Hoosier from Mitchell in Lawrence County, Indiana who became the first man in history to walk on the lunar surface smiled as the door opened.

"Lieutenant Colonel Grissom? Colonel Aldrin?" A masculine voice interrupted from the doorway. "We're fifteen minutes out."

"Noted and understood." Buzz acknowledged. "We'll be ready."

The door automatically closed and the two American astronauts faced each other once more.

"So...showtime?" Gus asked.

"Showtime."

Master Casivir "Cas" Therin - Battlemaster of the Jedi Order and Hero of Tython

En route to a so-called 'Philadelphia Airport'

06:16: 15 ATC - 15:50

"I just informed them." Cas told the Cathar Senator. "Now...about Star Trek."

"Not again." Krasul groaned as the two Jedi attached to the Diplomatic Party grinned.

"It's not a documentary." Cas continued before his cohort finished for him.

"And we told you, Senator Evran, and the Chancellor so."

"No need to gloat over the obvious further, Knight Carsen." Zorin harrumphed. "We'll continue as planned except we head to this state known as Washington, D.C., and proceed from there."

Walter Leland Cronkite, Junior - CBS News

Philadelphia International Airport - 8500 Essington Avenue, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

Friday, June 16th, 1967 - 4:00 PM

Although the revelation of inbound extraterrestrials who proclaimed that they came in peace was still mindboggling, the news anchor like many across the world held their breath as the unidentified flying object landed on the tarmac and hoped that this was not some false pretense, not some prelude for invasion.

Walter and the other members of the media were behind the rope as they watched the first individual to step outside the spaceship, none other than NASA astronaut Gus Grissom followed by Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, the commander of the lunar mission then the delegation emerged.

"Right behind me, you can see that quite remarkably it appears that these aliens are felines, and yet we are unaware of this time if their physiology is similar to cats or it is only by appearance."

Then the 35th President of the United States, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, approached to extend his hand to greet the lead extraterrestrial feline in recognition of the historic moment.

"Welcome to Planet Earth, ambassador. As a representative of the free world, I wish us luck in the peaceful exchange of our two cultures."

"The pleasure is mine, Mister President." The talkative tiger smiled. "Come. Let us discuss our civilizations."

The President of the United States and the ambassador started to walk away from the vessel and Walter turned around to report on the development only to notice that the guard had taken off its - no - her helmet and the anchorman was taken away by the unexpected sight of a young redheaded woman staring at the crowd and even the onlookers and American military personnel were astonished.

"Umm...It seems that this isn't just a race of space cats. I'm honestly not sure what to say about this newest and perplexing development as of this moment."

Corporal Sara Kelrein - Republic Army SpecForce Squad 149 "Chaos Squad"

'Philadelphia International Airport'

06:16:15 ATC - 16:05

"Take your helmet off, Corporal."

"What?" Sara asked as the Ambassador walked off with the leader.

"Just do it." Jedi Knight Carsen ordered the Corporal. "I think it's time to make heads spin."

"Fine, but you owe me big time for getting all of the attention on this planet." Kelrein muttered as she removed her helmet and allowed her shoulder blade-length mahogany-colored strands to be swept by the breeze before answering the earpiece. "Happy?"

"It could've been less dramatic."

Sara rolled her eyes. "You still owe me as you probably made the entire planet speechless."

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - MOS 5811 Military Policeman, Military Police Detachment, Marine Barracks Philadelphia, United States Marine Corps

Philadelphia International Airport - 8500 Essington Avenue, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

Friday, June 16th, 1967 - 3:58 PM

"Listen up, Marines!" The barking of their immediate supervisor, Staff Sergeant William Carson, even heightened the pair's attention further. "We are going to assist the Secret Service, Army, and the Chair Force in securing the area! We do not know who exactly our astronauts met, but we're going to be on alert, especially with the President greeting them!"

"AYE, STAFF SERGEANT!" The subordinates in the Military Police detachment enthusiastically responded as four additional Jeeps stopped two hundred feet away from the extraterrestrial spacecraft and twelve Marines hopped off the vehicles while four others remained on the turret, keeping vigilance with the M-60s.

"Clear left!" Lance Corporal Andrew Petersen shouted as he aimed the M1897 shotgun to the left.

"Clear right!" Another 5811 called out.

"All clear!"

Carson nodded at his Marines and spoke into the radio of the closest Jeep. "Baseplate? This is Bravo Two-Four. All clear in our area, over?"

"Roger that Bravo Two-Four. The Eagle will be out shortly."

Jake prepared himself as the hatch to the ship opened up with a cat-like being stepping down the ramp and the Presidential motorcade paused with some agents of the Presidential Protective Detail getting up out of the main vehicle first and checking the surroundings before the men of the United States Secret Service permitted their protectee, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, to extend his hand and greet the newcomers, the extraterrestrial felines in a historic moment.

"Welcome to Planet Earth, ambassador. As a representative of the free world, I wish us luck in the peaceful exchange between our cultures."

"The pleasure is mine, Mister President." The talkative tiger smiled. "Come. Let us discuss our civilizations."

The President of the United States and the ambassador started to walk away from the vessel, but the American servicemen, the press, and the other Earthlings' eyes widened after the guard wearing white-colored armor with yellowish-orange markings that was moments prior standing behind the feline took off its helmet, more like her as she was actually, to the astonishment of them all, HUMAN! A human woman with dark red-hair and pale green eyes! It was discombobulating and unanticipated, not to mention out of this world.

"Hey, Jake?" David questioned. "Who's the doll?"

Meyer stared at the highly attractive redhead for a few moments before facing Dave.

"I don't know, but I believe we'll find out." The Hoosier declared before glancing back at the redhead, who was now looking at him curiously. 'God help my soul.'

Corporal Sara Kelrein - Republic Army SpecForce Squad 149 "Chaos Squad"

'Philadelphia International Airport'

06:16:15 ATC - 16:09

'He looks awfully cute.' Sara thought before mentally facepalming. 'Now's not the time for a relationship, Sara.'

But Kelrein couldn't help to note the glint of the dark blue-gray irises gazing at her and the outwardly tidy handsomeness even if he was obviously wearing fatigues, the man catching her eye. A man who happened to be tall, lean, and muscular, but not overly so. Clean cut. And young, around her age, holding a rifle of some sort with competence as if it was an ordinary everyday implement. Yet even though he was clearly armed alongside his compatriots, it was out of caution as this was First Contact and they were unaware of the Republic's intentions.

'And one I need to unravel myself.'

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - MOS 5811 Military Policeman, Military Police Detachment, Marine Barracks Philadelphia, United States Marine Corps

McGillin's Olde Ale House - 1310 Drury Street, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

Friday, June 16th, 1967 - 6:27 PM

Inside the historic establishment, Jake was sipping another one of his usual alcoholic beverages, a Schiltz brewed beer, reflecting on the unexpected discovery in Norway then the encounter of the third kind as well as the hot dame when his reverie was shattered upon hearing the voice of a fellow small-town Hoosier albeit one who hailed from a different community two hours to the southwest and one day would unexpectedly become cemented in the history books as not only the first man to walk on the surface of the moon but the American astronaut who also officially greeted extraterrestrials.

"Well, I'll be darn." Virgil smiled. "It's good to see you, Jake."

"Likewise, sir."

Virgil snorted at the formality from Grant's nephew but without a word the astronaut sat down on an adjacent barstool. "Say, what are you drinking?"He inquired.

"I'm the one who should be buying the beer, Mister Grissom." Meyer countered.

"Wait? You know Gus Grissom?"

Jake turned to face David and decided to humor his fellow Leatherneck. "What? Uncle Grant is employed by the Monon and one of my former girlfriends is from Mitchell." The Hoosier shrugged as if it was no big deal. "Come to think of it, it was his sister Wilma who introduced me to Claire in the first place."

"What are the odds?"Dave sighed.

"It's a small world after all." Gus sighed as the significance of today could not be brushed off and he was not referring to the unsanctioned planting of the Indiana state flag on the moon either. "And it just became smaller."

Chapter 3: A Night to Remember

Chapter Text

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - MOS 5811 Military Policeman, Military Police Detachment, Marine Barracks Brooklyn, United States Marine Corps

Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

07:04:15 ATC/ Thursday, July 4th, 1968 - 20:00/ 8:00 PM

Jake never expected to be captivated once more, especially with some extraterrestrial redhead no less, from a completely different galaxy and a planet called Corellia, yet despite the staggering revelation that humanity was more widespread than previously believed and understandably so, the unremarkable native of Indiana felt a connection with this amiable redhead. Previously, the 5811 who was recently transferred from Marine Barracks Philadelphia to the one at another Navy Yard located in the borough of Brooklyn, New York City considered himself star-crossed and resigned himself to be a perpetual bachelor after his hapless experiences with relationships yet now after a year since their first encounter in Philadelphia Jake felt that at last he had found the one he desired settling down with.

"It's such a beautiful night, Jake." The familiar high-pitched voice said next to him on the blanket. "Thank you for bringing me here."

"Yeah, well this night is nothing compared to you, Sara." The American declared, causing the Corellian to blush.

"Aww...You're so sweet."

Jake was going to respond when another voice interrupted the couple. "If you lovebirds are finished, I brought the beer and I would've bought champagne instead but it might be too refined and French for your tastes."

It was Sam, a childhood friend of Jake's and a paratrooper in the famed 82nd Airborne Division who was currently on leave. Samuel Westbrook was by impression not what anyone would expect to be a transplant from Massachusetts with paternal grandparents who were literal wealthy WASPs of the Eastern Establishment, especially with only a faint trace of a Mid-Atlantic sociolect or even immediately surmise at first glance that his mother was anomalously Jewish with his aforementioned paternal grandparents in mind, a fact that was divisive within the old money household but Jake on the other hand didn't blink an eye and as founding father Thomas Jefferson once said:'I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.'

Arguably the pair would have never met if Samuel's father had not accepted the job offer from Eli Lilly's Pharmaceuticals back in 1954 with the move to the Indianapolis area further incentivized by a familial rift as there was still disapproval over the marriage with his mother or suffering a snapped carburetor belt en route to their new residence in the exclusive affluent community of Meridian Hills in northern Marion County, a chance meeting in which the family car broke down on an isolated and unfamiliar rural road while moving to the obscure Midwestern city of 'Indy-No-Place' and were stumbled upon by the Meyer's when the farming family was returning home from a rare vacation, the amusem*nt park known as Santa Claus Land down in Spencer County, the very same county where the future Sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, spent his formative years and while Kentucky was home to the Great Emancipator's birthplace and Illinois promoted itself as the 'Land of Lincoln', Indiana was his boyhood home.

Needless to say, the difference in backgrounds between the five foot eight man with brown hair and brown eyes and his six foot two friends with blue eyes and flaxen was night and day and while the interclass amity did pose challenges such as the time when he was almost sent east to the Roxbury Latin School but ultimately attended a nearby college preparatory known as the Park School instead, no one would dispute the fact that the two became close friends even though they were from a completely different stratum, the pair however habitually disregarded that their situation was interclass and had a rapport with the only real clashes between them being political in nature and even then it was regarding the Conservative and Liberal Wings of the Republican Party ideologically with for instance the Meyer's uncompromisingly backing U.S. Senator William Ezra Jenner while the Westbrook's supported Jenner's colleague Howard J. Whitmore, Junior who had defeated the current President's and Attorney-General's own younger brother Edward in the 1964 Election after a tight race with even theBoston Globeproclaiming thatTed's Political Aspirations are Dead!'and theNational Reviewsimply declared'Nepotism Halted'.

Undoubtedly Harvard was his expected future but the draft and poor timing threw off the plans. Without a fuss, Sam went in not as a commissioned officer after four years at an Ivy League institution but rather as one of the low-ranking enlisted men and while outside observers would believe him to utilize connections in escaping from his predicament, noblesse oblige was considered to be an old money trait.

"Asshole." Meyer muttered some rare profanity in jest but of course out of earshot due to the presence of a woman before he reached into the cooler and grabbed a Schlitz courtesy of theJoseph Schlitz Brewing Companyof Milwaukee for himself and one for Sara.

It still amazed the Devil Dog that the Corellian could drink him under the table, but that was not the point. The point was that the Leatherneck truly enjoyed the time they had together so far and he also learned that the redhead was an orphan and she enlisted in the Republic Army at the age of sixteen and was currently a corporal in its SpecForce Division.

Snorting at the thoughts of forming a relationship with an extragalactic human female who somehow managed to pass Special Forces training, the Military Policeman handed his sweetheart her drink.

"Here you are, babe. An all-American beer."

"Thank you, larel." She smiled sweetly before placing a peck on his cheek.

She looked stunning in the dress his stepmother gave her. Originally, Sara was going to wear her galaxy's equivalent to a service uniform with pants but Rebecca somehow convinced the Corellian to wear the cobalt blue-colored dress for the celebrations to draw attention away from herself and shortly after the redhead kissed his cheek, the fireworks started to ring out as the show began.

"Here's to a great Fourth of July." Sam toasted. "May America last for two thousand years and more."

The glasses were clinked and the trio watched as the display continued.

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - MOS 5811 Military Policeman, Military Police Detachment, Marine Barracks Brooklyn, United States Marine Corps

Southeastway Park - 5624 South Carroll Road, New Palestine, Sugar Creek Township, Hanco*ck County, Indiana, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

07:06:15 ATC / Saturday, July 6th, 1968 - 12:00 / 12:00 PM

If everybody had an ocean

Across the U. S. A.

Then everybody'd be surfin'

Like Californi-a

You'd seem 'em wearing their baggies

Huarache sandals too

A bushy bushy blonde hairdo

Surfin' U. S. A.

You'd catch 'em surfin' at Del Mar

Ventura County line

Santa Cruz and Trestle

Australia's Narrabeen

All over Manhattan

And down Doheny Way

Everybody's gone surfin'

Surfin' U.S.A.

We'll all be planning that route

We're gonna take real soon

We're waxing down our surfboards

We can't wait for June

We'll all be gone for the summer

We're on Surfari to stay

Tell the teacher we're surfin'

Surfin' U. S. A.

In the background, some boys were chasing each other around with cap rifles and revolvers, attired in Western-theme garb straight out of the Old West and Harrison Meyer pulled down the lever of his Nichols Spitfire as he pursued Clyde Brandhorst into the woods only to hear an unexpected sound, one more befitting for the Roaring 20s and John Dillinger than Abilene, Kansas and Tucson, Arizona in the late 1800s.

Rat-a-tat-tat-tat!

"You're dead!" Clyde shouted as he emerged from behind a tree with a Mattel Tommyburst in his hands, a literal toy Thompson Submachine Gun and an imitation of a design that only appeared a few years before the Posey War which was a small, brief three-day conflict with American Indians in Utah in 1923 which was considered to be an official closing to what was once the Old West but even by then the American West was no longer 'Wild' per se.

"Hey, no fair!" Harrison called out. "There were no Chicago Pianos in the Wild West!"

"All is fair in love and war." Clyde countered to his cousin.

"Then pine cones are grenades!" Harrison justified as he tossed one in Clyde's direction but not too far away a different scene was playing out.

"Jake, no!"

The Leatherneck, however, grinned at his giggling girlfriend before throwing her into the lake. It has been nearly a year already and the American believed without doubt that it was a match made in heaven.

But his act did not go without retaliation as in return, the Republic SpecForce soldier gave him the death glare and started to splash water at him.

"Okay! Okay! I get it! You don't like the water and I surrender!"

"It's not the water I don't like." Sara playfully pouted. "It's you ruining my attempts at tanning."

"Sorry, angel." Jake smirked just before Mister Westbrook called out the welcoming words.

"LUNCH IS READY!"

All at once, Jake, Sara, and the others ran to the picnic tables where the meal was being served.

"My, it seems that you enjoyed yourselves."Jake's stepmother, Rebecca, smiled as she noticed her stepson and the Corellian holding hands despite being both wet.

"I sure did. Not sure about Sara though."

The redhead gave her man a little love tap in response to him embarrassing her.

"Ouch! What was that for!?" Jake questioned, the Hoosier rubbing his now sore arm.

"That was for throwing me into the water." She smiled ever so sweetly. " I didn't think that your mother raised you to be such a barbarian."

Before Jake could mention something regarding his late mother, his father interrogated him from the grill, a twinkle in his eyes as he flipped the burgers and sausages.

"Oh? Did he now?"

"DAD!"

Everyone chuckled at the Devil Dog's expense.

The people at the cookout were Jake's and Sam's families, both nuclear as well as extended. Jake's father was in the 82nd Airborne during the Second World War and two of his uncles were in the 1st Marine Raider Battalion under Merritt Austin Edson, Senior. His paternal grandfather Stefan was at Belleau Wood in the 5th Marine Regiment while his maternal grandfather Henry was drafted in August 1918 and was placed in the 7th Infantry Regiment of the Regular Army - becoming one of the few Doughboys to be issued theRifle, Caliber .30, Automatic, Browning, M1918- and his step-grandfather Douglas was in the Indian Wars including escorting the infamous Apache warrior Geronimo for internment in Florida, and later charged up San Juan Hill, finally serving in World War I as a Sergeant in the First Infantry Division: The famed 'Big Red One'.

Then there was the background of who was quite possibly the oldest guest in attendance at the age of eighty-seven, that being none other than Jake's paternal Great-Grandfather, Walther, who upon the outbreak of the Spanish-American War back in 1898 enlisted in the 27th Battery, Indiana Volunteer Artillery and landing on Puerto Rico before his unit was ordered to engage the Spaniards at Guayma, where it arrived on August 13th.

The Battery was in position along the San Juan Road in conjunction with Battery A, Missouri Volunteer Artillery; Battery A, Pennsylvania Volunteer Artillery, and Battery A, Illinois Volunteer Artillery but as fate would have it when the battle was about to begin, the artillery crews received word to stand-down as the armistice was signed and therefore never fired a shot.

But Walther's father Wilhelm was in the 32nd Indiana 'First German' Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the American Civil War and saw action including the brazen stand that received national acclaim at the Battle of Rowlett's Station on December 17th, 1861 where the outnumbered first and second generation German-Americans fought off Texas Rangers and supporting Confederate Infantry.

Jake was just the latest in his family tree to serve his country but Samuel's family, on the other hand, had a longer history of service when his ancestor, Ronald Westbrook arrived in America aboard theMayflowerand served as a Sergeant in the colonial militia for the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

The two families continued their conversations as they reached the banquet table that had the standard bratwurst, potato salad, coleslaw, and other picnic fare. There was even cheesecake for dessert.

Walking up to the table, Sam reached for the nearest slice and attempted to grab it, but someone else had other ideas as she snatched it out of his hands.

"Excuse me Sara, but I believe that the piece you currently have is mine."

"Shut up." The Corellian smiled deviously before sticking her tongue out in an unladylike manner. Usually, the redhead wasn't this childish in her personality, but she can never get enough of this treat the Earthlings called 'cheesecake'.

"Although it was an unfortunate travesty, historically..." Westbrook began. "People born on this planet with red hair were once burned for witchcraft."

"And I can shoot you from over one thousand meters with my boyfriend's rifle." Sara threatened, smiling in victory as the off-duty paratrooper started to sweat.

"You're scary. You know that?" A voice said behind her.

It was Jake and he grabbed her from behind, pulling her into a hug. The redhead beamed as the Marine glanced back to Westbrook.

"Sorry Sam, but there are three rules that I learned from her and number one on the list is to never get between her and her cheesecake." He declared to the Sergeant before pecking Sara's forehead. " Isn't that right?"

"Are you serious?" Samuel pouted. "She just threatened me and I thought you would wear the pants, traitor!"

Jake shook his head as Sam stormed off with his pride hurt, unexpected for a high-class gentleman but he was certain that he was messing with her.

"Think you should go after him?"

The Jarhead focused on his sweetheart. His one and only despite being a potential hazard to his health. "Nah, he'll be fine." Meyer shrugged. "Besides I learned the hard way to never get between you and your slice of cheesecake."

"Lesson learned." She smiled before giving him an affectionate peck on the cheek.

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - MOS 5811 Military Policeman, Military Police Detachment, Marine Barracks Brooklyn, United States Marine Corps

Meyer Farmhouse - Acton, Franklin Township, Marion County, Indiana, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

07:08:15 ATC/ Sunday, July 7th, 1968 - 8:00 PM

"Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before!"

"That Communist show again?" Jake questioned as he overheard the introduction forthatshow 'Star Trek' narrated by William Shatner but it didn't take much to wonder about Roddenberry's true intentions and for him to speculate the actual subtle messages, which was propaganda inducing Communism of course, and seeing through the whole scheme did not require membership in the John Birch Society at all but it was unfortunate how there were fellow Birchers who did not recognize the obvious red flags. "NBC should pull it off the air."

"To be fair, the inaccurate portrayal of hyperdrives and blasters aside, I think you would look cute in one of the red shirts." She jested.

The Marine however rolled his eyes and countered the wisdom of wearing an obvious target. "I prefer olive drab, it's less conspicuous and blends in with the terrain. Besides, they seem to have a habit of dying immediately on arrival."

"Nevermind." The redhead relented. "Honestly, I wonder how Spock would fare as a Jedi? He has the stereotypical stoicism down although I'm unsure if the fictitious Vulcan philosophy has anything conflicting with the Jedi Code."

"I suppose it's ultimately a matter of perspective and principles." He reasoned after taking a sip of his beer. "Everything is seen from a certain point of view and the truth can become opinionated but theories and perspectives can only go so far compared to reality."

"Are you some philosopher?"

"Nah, just some Average Joe who happens to be observant and politically savvy to the surprise of the pretentious disciples of Nelson Rockefeller." Jake chuckled as he made good-natured fun of the clueless Ivy Leaguers he's ambivalent about. "Besides, I read about the issues from time to time and no one needs a degree from Harvard or Yale to understand them."

"More like astute." Sara snorted.

"Hey, that's right!" Jake chuckled. "Mom always said that I was bright." He paused and momentarily gazed at a black-and-white photograph hanging on the wall showing a blonde woman petting the nose of her American Saddlebred before turning back to the screen of the television.'At least William Shatner doesn't own a ranch because if he did I hope the stallion buck him and the resulting fall kills him.'

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - MOS 5811 Military Policeman, Military Police Detachment, Marine Barracks Brooklyn, United States Marine Corps

Meyer Farmhouse - Acton, Franklin Township, Marion County, Indiana, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

07:08:15 ATC/ Monday, July 8th, 1968 - 06:00 / 6:00 AM

With only five days of accrued leave left, Jake had to make the most of his time at home helping out especially since he hadn't been in the reserves for quite some time but rather the regular Marine Corps, and of course Elke was throwing darts at the board, which may as well be her favorite hobby.

"Moin, pikanten Muffin (Hello, spicy muffin)."

"Jake…" Elke glared at him due to mentioning an adorable nickname that was really not before she threw the dart at the picture of George Stanley McGovern, the liberal South Dakotan who was presently the director of Food for Peace.

"Wat is 't dit keer? (What is it this time)?"

"De rotte Pinko steiht achter 't weggeven van 'n extra twintig Millionen Tonn an Commodities an Mali un de Republik von Guinea, de französisch-kolonien, de nuu Soviet-alierten sünd. (The rotten pinko is behind giving an extra twenty million tons of commodities to Mali and the Republic of Guinea, the French colonies that are now Soviet allies.)"

"Dat is de eerste keer, dat ik dorvan hört hebb (That's the first time I've heard of it.)" Jake rolled his eyes and wondered how harebrained the South Dakotan was, nevermind the President, if they thought they could just bribe nations with food when their corrupt leaders were just going to sell it off for cash to afford luxuries or even just hoard it for themselves. "Mit Darts kriggt man keen vun Kennedy's Diener ut 't Amt, dat köönt bloot de Amtsentheffung oder de nächste Regierung. (You won't get any of Kennedy's servitors out of office with darts, it can only be impeachment or the next government.)"

"Ik mok bloot mien Frust los. (I'm just venting my frustration.)" The towhead, fraternal twin, and third eldest child deadpanned.

"As üblich. (As usual.)" Jake remarked as he poured himself coffee from the percolator and right on time as his father emerged.

"Is de Koffie klaar?(Is the coffee ready?)"

"Dat sall ik nuu rutfinnen. (I'll find out now.)"

The inimient articulation of English however adjourned the exchange in Low German and caused the men as well as Rebecca's stepdaughter to immediately cease using Platt.

"Sweetheart, why don't you grab us some eggs?" Rebecca prodded upon noticing the pair of darts that struck the eyes as well as the tip of the nose that could form a perfectly aligned inverted triangle with a string.

"Sure will."

As the third-eldest brush passed her when she arrived in the kitchen, Sara admired the handiwork and accurate precision of Elke's throwing. "Your sister is still rather sharp with darts."

"She sure is." Jake sighed. "And while at it continue to bring another definition for being dour."

Personal Entry

I find that the sense of identity and perception of freedom being confounding between the Americans and the Republic, contradictions such as the principle of a "Separation between Church & State" paraphrased from Thomas Jefferson's writings even though the Constitution of the United States only mentions that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" and school prayer is deemed acceptable yet an institution like the Jedi Order however would not be acceptable as a branch of government in this society.

Even so, I still cannot help but find a charm and while settling on and assimilating into this quaint world is appealing, I still have to prioritize my obligations and my duty has precedence over personal feelings.

The fact that the Federation of Planets is nonexistent and a fabrication for entertainment is reassuring but the claims of aversion to the Force, the inhabitants and material alike being unphased by the effects may be concerning and result in high casualties among Sith.

It is unknown whether such a phenomenon is only viable in this new Galaxy or if it could be transported to the Galaxy if it remains present as an inheritable trait.

It is also unknown if the impervious nature is thorough or a temporary barrier that could be overwhelmed.

What I fear is not the threat of the natives as they are incapable of offensive actions beyond even their planetary atmosphere but if the Republic integrating it into its war apparatus and committing genocide against the Sith civilization once more. It happened before and undoubtedly it could transpire again.

I am also apprehensive about the correct course as all indications suggest that the natives are concerned with planetary affairs and not an entire galaxy sixty light-years away from their homeworld.

However, the fact is evident:

Earth and the surrounding region of space is the key to tipping the tide as whoever controls the resources can be assured to remain unimpeded by the Force itself and that does bring two unpleasant consequences.

The Empire could either attempt to subjugate the natives and exploit the natural resources or commit genocide against the inhabitants.

The Earthlings should have been oblivious to our existence and us theirs but then again I would have never met Jake.

He is no-nonsense and can be blunt at times but he still has his moments, witty, and intelligent but not overbearing. I actually would not figure him to be someone who would be related to those with antics as he is even-tempered in contrast with 'Irish Temperament' but overall I feel at ease whenever I'm around him.

It sounds erroneous but apostatizing from the Empire as I sincerely feel for him and the ambience is captivating. Perhaps I went native but it just feels right.

Chapter 4: A New World

Chapter Text

Nathrrya Therin-Palatine - Darth Avarice / The Empire's Wrath

Dark Council Chamber - The Imperial Citadel, Kaas City, Dromund Kaas,Dromund System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

05:04:15 ATC -09:00

Nathrrya leaned against a wall waiting for the meeting to start and she as the Empire's Wrath had been urgently recalled to the Empire's capital world. The ongoing war with the Republic had not been kind to the Sith Empire, half of the Dark Council had been killed so far and Nathrrya had always thought the present conflict was a waste with the six empty council seats before her only reinforcing the point.

As she perlustrated the large chamber she silently named each surviving council member and what they were responsible for. Darth Mortis: Laws and Justice, Darth Marr: Defence of the Empire, Darth Arkous: Military Offense, Darth Vowrawn: Logistics and Production, Darth Ravage: Diplomacy and Expansion, Darth Nox: Ancient Knowledge, and lastly Darth Acina: Technology. Also in attendance was her friend Lana Beniko who was presently an advisor for Arkous. "So they dragged you here too, did they?" Nathrrya asked the blonde. "Any idea what all the fuss is about?"

"If I told you, Nat, I'd have to kill you." Lana replied with a wicked smile.

The redhead just rolled her eyes. "In other words more of your cloak and dagger stuff on behest of Arkous."

"Something like that." Lana said. "Looks like they're about to start."

"Why did you call this meeting, Ravage, Arkous?" Nox asked.

"It seems the Republic may be wangling a new ally for the war but what they hope to gain with a planet so backward is at this point a total mystery to us." Arkous proclaimed.

"Backwards in what way?" Acina asked.

"In just about every way." Ravage replied. "They barely have what passes for space flight, their military use slugthrowers, and they don't even have a united planetary government. About the only positive thing is that the population is entirely human."

"And just how did you come by this?" Marr demanded. "Intelligence is neither of your nominal spheres."

"Through a plant, my lord." Lana said as she stepped forward. "Unknown to the Republic diplomatic party that recently made contact with Earth, one of its members is in fact a member of the Imperial Army. With the disbandment of Imperial Intelligence and ongoing restructuring, information became sought-after, and Ravage and I successfully embedded a commando within the Republic's elite Chao Squad, it was felt for this operation that a member of the military was more suited than a disgruntled Cipher agent displeased by our 'reforms'."

"How delightfully diabolical, Lord Beniko." Vowrawn purred. "It's a shame we'll never know the Republic ambassador's reaction. I do so like humiliating them."

Lana smiled at the Sith Pureblood. "I do have something to show... it's interesting." As she spoke the blonde-haired Sith inserted a holo-disc into the room's projector.

An image soon appeared showing the Republic's Cathar ambassador being surrounded by about a dozen men in black suits trying to keep away a large group of the most colourfully dressed humans anyone had ever seen. Many of these humans held aloft signs that read 'Welcome to Earth!' and 'Peace not War!' as well as other similar slogans. More than a few of these flamboyantly dressed humans seemed to be impaired in some way; whether through alcohol or drugs none of the observing Sith knew for certain, just that there was a stark contrast between the clean-cut protective detail and the demonstrators.

"Living Force, I can't believe the Republic has been so dumb." Nathrrya broke the silence. "If Earth has been as isolated as it seems to be then sending an alien ambassador was just about the worst thing they could have done. The man could have been shot on sight for all the Republic knew." While Nathrrya herself had no problem with non-humans, to her sending a non-human ambassador to a planet full of humans who had no idea the galaxy was teaming with life wasn't going to end well. She hoped she'd be proven wrong but...

"I'm inclined to agree with Lord Avarice." Lana said "This posturing and diplomatic subterfuge could backfire spectacularly. So far it hasn't but it wouldn't take much for it to turn sour. Fortunately, the rest of the Republic diplomatic party is mostly human."

The six Dark Councillors were silent as they absorbed the information finally Darth Marr looked to where Nathrrya was standing. "Wrath, I want you to travel to the system where Earth is located, scout it out for any Republic forces that might be stationed there, and if the opportunity presents itself, sour relations between Earth and the Republic."

"As you wish, Darth Marr." Nathrrya sounded anything but happy about her latest mission. Scouting a star system? That was the easy part. Nathrrya hated politics with a passion and here she was getting drawn into yet another intergalactic political minefield.

Nathrrya was almost out of the Sith Citadel when Lana caught up to her.

"Nat. Wait a moment." The blonde said. "I need to tell you about the Imperial in the Republic party, just in case things go sideways and you need to pull her out of there."

Nathrrya eyed her friend carefully. "Lana? Something's bothering you. What is it?"

"It's my operative, I know her personally for we grew up together before I got shipped off for Sith training but from the most recent reports she's sent... she's in a romantic relationship with one of the Earthlings." The worry was clear in Lana's voice.

Nathrrya winced. "That's why you want me to know, isn't it? If your friend is discovered... Alright who is she, if things get hot I'll get her out of there I promise you. Lana."

Lana smiled. "Thanks. I knew you wouldn't let me down." The blonde then produced a small holo showing the Imperial infiltrator in question. "Sara Kelrein, Sergeant, Sniper, and Imperial Commando, currently posing as a member of Republic SpecForce. Has quite a temper towards those who are overly cruel to others, so you should both get along well enough." Both Sith disliked being cruel for the sake of it. "Parents were killed by a terrorist group under the direction of the Eagle. No known living relatives. Apart from me, I suppose as Sara considers me like a sister."

Nathrrya nodded. "Okay. I'll keep an eye on Sara for you and if things go sideways I'll pull her out of there. Best get back to the ship and tell everyone what we're up to this time."

Chapter 5: Before the Hurricane Begins Part One

Chapter Text

Nathrrya Therin-Palatine - Darth Avarice / The Empire's Wrath

En route to the Planet known as 'Earth': The Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

07:18:15 ATC /Thursday,July 18th, 1968 -10:38 / 10:38 AM

TheFury-class heavy interceptorViolet Rosedropped out of hyperspace at the edge of the Sol System where Earth was located and proceeded to head deeper into the system at near full sub-light, the ship's sensors gathering as much information as they could and while en route to Planet Earth, they eerily noticed that the planets between their home galaxy and the lone world in the 'Milky Way' known to be inhabited were lifeless, thoroughly desolate with no signs of life at all, the scanners just couldn't register anything worthwhile.

Of course, it did not mean that the data was completely accurate and as it wasn't their mission they didn't bother to venture down to take a look but the fact it was a consistent negative, the analysis showing the devoid of any sentience nevermind flora and even fauna was disconcerting. That and the lack of the Force was causing consideration that it was inherently constrained only to their region of space and exclusively only theirs alone.

"So what do we know about Earth exactly?" Vette asked. "Besides being a long trip of course?"

"Not much. The population is entirely human." Nathrrya replied as she flew the ship past an impressive red planet with its distinctive red spot. "So you're going to stand out." She said looking over at her blue Twi'lek friend.

"Don't I always?" Vette replied with a cheeky grin on her face. Everyone chuckled at that.

"Earth doesn't have a unified planetary government but over one hundred nation-states, though they do have a body called the United Nations where they try to work out their differences." Nathrrya explained.

"Sounds like the Republic Senate and likely as ineffective, my lord." Captain Malavai Quinn observed dryly. "Just on a smaller scale."

Nathrrya nodded her head in agreement before divulging a cultural fact. "I haven't told you all the best part yet: Women hold no real power on Earth, be it in the government, industry, or the military, in most countries women can't even serve in the military as frontline soldiers. Then there's the existence of prejudice against fellow humans with different complexions but there are movements attempting to change it."

"The powers that be are just going to love you, Nat." Vette said her sarcasm was obvious, and then the Twi'lek grinned. "You, me, and Jaesa are going to shake things up."

The three women laughed at that and even Quinn cracked a smile.

"Master, The Force, I still can't feel it." Jaesa said, looking concerned.

"I don't doubt that we've entered a Force dead zone." Nathrrya sympathized, it just was something she had to adjust to. "That could be... problematic." The Sith's eyes widened as she felt a familiar presence bloom in the Force. Nathrrya looked to her apprentice who just nodded in confirmation. "Interesting..."

Casavir Therin - Battlemaster of the Jedi Order

Aboard the Bridge of theR.N.S. Resolute- Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

07:18:15 ATC /Thursday,July 18th, 1968-10:38 / 10:38 AM

On the bridge of the RepublicHammerhead-class cruiserResolutestood two Jedi as the crew went about their tasks unaware of the silent conversion the Jedi were having.

'No matter where we go, tough guy, your cousin always seems to follow.'Kira amusedly mentioned to her partner and husband through their Force bond.

'Or we seem to follow her.'Casavir replied with a sigh as he glanced at the long-range sensors.'The Resolute should be picking up the Rose any moment.'

Nathrrya Therin-Palatine - Darth Avarice / The Empire's Wrath

En route to the Planet known as 'Earth': The Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

07:18:15 ATC /Thursday,July 18th, 1968-10:45 / 10:45 AM

"My Lord, I'm picking up the profiles of a pair of RepublicHammerhead-class cruisers and the diplomatic ship." Captain Quinn reported. "We're being hailed by the cruiserResolute."

Nathrrya accepted the hail and wasn't surprised to see an image of her cousin Casavir appear along with his wife Kira Carsen, who was a former Child of the Emperor. "This is the Imperial vesselVioletRose.We read youResolute."

"Lord Avarice I should have known the Empire would send you to find out what was happening."Casavir said, trying to keep his face neutral.

"Indeed Master Therin and it comes as no surprise to me that you're representing the Jedi." Nathrrya replied, they'd been through this song and dance often enough it was routine. After all, no one could know they were related.

"Earth is currently a neutral world so you are free to land but allow me two hours to travel planetside to warn the Earthlings of your impending arrival. Is that agreeable Lord Avarice?"Casavir asked.

"That is most satisfactory Master Therin." Nathrrya replied with a slight smile. "I shall see you planetside in about two hour's time.Violet Rose, out."

Almost as soon as the transmission from theViolet Roseended Casavir and Kira were on their way to theResolute's hangar bay to take a shuttle to Earth as not only did they have to inform the Earthlings about the Imperial visit but also tell the Cathar Senator from Anaxes who was appointed ambassador of this development and both Jedi knew he wouldn't take the news well.

Casavir Therin - Battlemaster of the Jedi Order

Headquarters of the United Nations - 760 United Nations Plaza, Turtle Bay, Midtown Manhattan, Manhattan, New York City, New York County, New York, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

07:18:15 ATC /Thursday,July 18th, 1968-11:45 / 11:45 AM

Just over an hour later, the Jedi were being shown into the conference room within the headquarters of the United Nations located in New York City where the temporary ambassador Zorin Krasul was meeting with the 35th President of the United States, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, as well as the 4th Secretary General of the United Nations, Chakravarthi Vijayaraghava Narasimhan of India, who had succeeded U Thant of Burma as Secretary-General back in '63 following the disastrous intervention in the Congo.

"Ah, Master Therin, Knight Carsen." The Bay Stater and scion of a formerly prestigious silk-stocking Irish-American family greeted upon noticing the pair. "We just sat down for lunch, would you care to join us for chowdah?" Kennedy then frowned as he only then remembered a key difference and it was a cardinal sin to the New Englander. "Though I must confess that you may be disappointed as I'll never understand why New Yorkers, sad to say, put tomatoes in it."

"No thank you, Mister President." Casivir dismissed courteously. "And I apologize for the interruption, Ambassador, Mister President, General-Secretaary, but we've had a... development." Casavir said.

The Cathar frowned. "What kind of development, Master Jedi?"

"The Imperial kind." Casavir replied grimly. "An hour ago theResolutepicked up the profile of a singleFury-class vessel on approach."

"Fury-class? They're exclusively Sith vessels, correct?" Ambassador Krasul asked worriedly.

"Yes." Kira spoke up. "It seems that the Sith Empire has decided to send their own representative to Earth and they're not messing around considering just who they've sent."

"And just who exactly has the Sith Empire sent?" Kennedy asked though baffled as to why it was concerning.

"Darth Avarice, the Empire's Wrath." Casavir stated.

Kennedy and Narasimhan glanced at each other upon hearing the word 'Wrath' as it was a perspicuously uncanny title for a position and the pair watched as Krasul's eyes grew with fear.

"You can't allow that..."

"Ambassador." Casavir growled, cutting the Cathar off. "May I remind you that Earth is still a neutral planet and as such we cannot prevent Lord Avarice from landing. The Empire is free to have their own representative here until such a time that the sovereign nation-states which make up Earth either sides with the Republic, the Empire, or even chooses to remain neutral in the conflict."

Narasimhan was deep in thought and looked at Kennedy only to see the same concern in his eyes. While the Galactic Republic might have been gravely exaggerating the Sith Empire's ruthlessness the entire time and as they are the enemy the perspective presented was, of course, going to be negative, the General Secretary of the United Nations could not help but to wonder that if the Republic's claims was the truth then the safety of their world would be at stake.

Still, it was inevitable that Planet Earth would receive yet another diplomatic visit from extraterrestrials and Narasimhan only had one question to ask. "How long do we have before this…Lord Avarice arrives?"

"About an hour, General Secretary." Kira replied. "Give or take."

Nathrrya Therin-Palatine - Darth Avarice / The Empire's Wrath

En route to the Planet known as 'Earth': The Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

07:18:15 ATC / Thursday, July 18th, 1968 -11:45 / 11:45 AM

Nat believed that this was the right planet after she saw lights that unmistakably were those of populated urban centers but as theFury Roseflew overhead she was confounded as the landscape below did not match the holoimage for this 'New York City' which comically was also referred to as 'The Big Apple' but regardless of what the metropolis was called it certainly was not located in this vicinity. That was obvious due to the architecture not matching the scans which included the 'Empire State Building' as a landmark, something the Sith felt was intentional and a poor sense of humor on Kelrein's part but regardless, none of the landmarks corresponded with the surrounding terrain.

"Malavai? Please be a dear and do check the coordinates for New York City."

"I don't see them, my lord." Quinn affirmed as he read the message. "Casivir failed to provide them during your...familial correspondence and it appears that Sergeant Kelrein may have omitted them."

Although most Sith would have determined discipline whether lightning, choking, or decapitation, the enforcer of the Empire decided to give Kelrein the benefit of the doubt as she may have been interrupted before transmitting the coordinates and forgotten to forward the information but it did not make their ordeal any less annoying.

"I believe we are a bit lost, Nat." Vette remarked, stating the obvious.

"Obviously." Jaesa deadpanned.

Nat, however, ignored the gripping as she spotted a structure up ahead, one that could provide a suitable landing pad. "Looks like there is a train station up ahead, I believe we can land on top so we're able to confirm our bearings."

Constable Thomas Haynes - Christchurch Metro, Canterbury District, New Zealand Police

Lyndon Street - Christchurch / Ōtautahi, Canterbury / Waitaha, South Island / Te Waipounamu, New Zealand / Aotearoa, Oceania, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

07:1:15 ATC / Friday, July 19th, 1968 - 04:00 / 4:00 AM New Zealand Daylight Time

The Constable, Thomas Haynes, was a rookie with the New Zealand Police and he also was only three days shy of no longer being a probationary officer and as the patrolman waited for his shift to end Haynes could not help but wonder if he would receive a new partner or be stuck with his mentor, Senior Constable George Coates, a veteran of sixteen years on the force, the very same supervisor Haynes had reported to for nearly two years.

"Well, it's thankfully a quiet morning thus far." Thomas remarked. "And there was no disturbance last night."

"Which is a blessing, Tom." The Senior Constable said unexpectedly as never once did he refer to Haynes other than his rank or surname. "I believe you will make a fine enforcer of the law."

"Thank you."

As the two constables wearing their trademark custodial helmets and signature dark blue uniforms finished their beat, the duo noticed that there was an employee of the New Zealand Railways Department running towards them, hailing them.

"Constables!" He called out. "Constables!"

Haynes immediately recognized the coalman as an old friend from his neighborhood. "Don?"

"Tom, thank goodness." Don said, his breath ragged but he was now relieved.

"You know him?"

"Donald Sherstone and I grew up together, we're also avid model train collectors."

That revelation however had Coates squinting at the pair as if he was scrutinizing them. "You don't say." The experienced bobby deadpanned.

But the railroad worker interrupted the officers, still freaking out over an absurd scene. "There's a spaceship on top of the railway station, a spaceship!"

Previously such a declaration would have provided ample justification for the two patrolmen to haul the lunatic to Sunnyside Hospital for a psychological evaluation but over the past year the world had been introduced to possible friends from afar and it wasn't just not of this world but not native to this galaxy and as far as is known Earth was still the lone inhabited planet in the Milky Way.

"Could it be a Republic aeroplane?"

"I don't think so but then again it's possible."

"Alright, we'll investigate." Coates declared. "Now where is it?"

Nathrrya Therin-Palatine - Darth Avarice / The Empire's Wrath

En route to the Planet known as 'Earth': The Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

07:18:15 ATC /Friday, July 19th, 1968 - 12:00 / 4:16 AM New Zealand Daylight Time

Nat had stepped out of her personal customized starfighter to catch fresh air, the air she had not breathed in the long journey from the edge of the known galaxy to another galaxy altogether, and as she admired the landscape from above gazing down, she could not refrain from pondering.

Since the dawn of time, many planetary inhabitants had begged the question if they were truly alone, and of course, in time as civilizations evolved and planetary governments became interconnected the galaxy as a whole asked if there were other civilizations outside of the 'Great Hyperspace Barrier' which until rather recently was thought to prevent extra-galactic exploration and make such expeditions outside their home galaxy doomed for failure but now the fact humans existed and thrived in another galaxy far from their own had raised new questions instead of providing clearcut answers but it did at the very least proved the notion that life may very well thrive throughout the universe which depending on the perspective could be relieving or a frightening prospect.

"Beautiful jungle and crystal clear water, it may very well be paradise."

"The environment should be temperate, my lord." The Imperial Army officer noted. "That and still being daylight."

Always so serious, formal, and committed but Nathrrya had grown to be fond of Malavai throughout their time together and she would do anything for him. With a sigh, the Sith turned away from admiring the landscape through her binoculars and informed her companion of their location. "If I read the signs correctly, nevermind the pronunciation, we are likely somewhere known as Christchurch."

Malavai was about to inquire further when they were interrupted and unexpectedly heard voices in fluent Basic, the accents sounding something like an eerie admixture of Imperial and Mandalorian no less, an odd combination for a diction.

Constable Thomas Haynes - Christchurch Metro, Canterbury District, New Zealand Police

Christchurch Railway Station - Moorhouse Avenue, Christchurch / Ōtautahi, Canterbury / Waitaha, South Island / Te Waipounamu, New Zealand / Aotearoa, Oceania, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

07:1:15 ATC / Friday, July 19th, 1968 - 04:16 / 4:16 AM New Zealand Daylight Time

"You up there! Come on down!"

"We are lost!" The Englishwoman shouted or at least the voice sounded as if it was coming from a posh tourist from the British Isles yet the starship and even the peculiar attire showed that she was from elsewhere. "How far is it to New York City?"

"You are nearly fifteen thousand kilometers off course!" Coates hollered back. "Welcome to New Zealand! Now, respectfully, ma'am, can you please come down!? The residents may be concerned!"

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - MOS 5811 Military Policeman, Military Police Detachment, Marine Barracks Brooklyn, United States Marine Corps

Stewart Air National Guard Base - Newburgh, Orange County, New York,United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

07:18:15 ATC / Thursday, July 18th, 1968 -14:45 / 2:45 PM

A time later after adjusting course from their inadvertent detour in New Zealand, theFury Rosefinally arrived at the Stewart Air National Guard Base, sixty miles to the north of New York City, the base was on high alert as the scream of twin ion engines filled the air and on the tarmac was Jake with Sara standing next to him but of course an impetuous adolescent got the wrong idea despite the couple maintaining professionalism.

"You two should get a room."

Jake glared at the Rhinnalian's passive-aggressive response which he had long since learned was an innate characteristic of the culture then returned to Sara. "Just how big is that spaceplane exactly?" Meyer asked his girlfriend. Even on the ground, the 5811 could tell that the Imperial vessel dwarfed the four escorting F-106 Delta Darts as the spaceship came into land and it was evident that the design was not exactly aerodynamic.

"From what I can recall the Fury is typically one hundred meters long by one hundred and eighty-eight meters wide and the primary armament is four heavy laser cannons." Sara replied.

'Three hundred and twenty-eight feet long and two hundred eighty-eight feet wide!? That's not an Interceptor or Fighter but a flying tugboat!'Meyer thought as he witnessed the most ridiculous shaped and colored aircraft begin to land. It was a faded pale purple with back panels and showed a good deal of wear and tear. The Leatherneck wondered if the pilot was insane if he was flying that piece of junk. He didn't even know if the wider galaxy utilized pilots and honestly never bothered to ask the Republic delegation. Robots maybe?

"Are you sure it's that big?" The Marine questioned as the 'flying tugboat' prepared itself for landing on the runway. The airmen and ground crew on the pavement ran for cover and Jake instantly tackled the Pub as well as the Padawan, shielding them from the impact.

'That pilot is going to have to answer to me! He almost ran over us!'

"Yes." Sara sighed, brushing herself off. "I'm pretty karking sure."

"Obviously." Gail added but Jake only shook his head, sighed, and chose to overlook that remark.

To everyone's surprise, the ship spun one hundred and eighty degrees so its aft end was facing the welcoming delegation before landing vertically. Its landing gear extended from the hull as it did so settling on the runway with a surprisingly soft thud.

Moments later as the engines powered down the boarding ramp lowered which soon explained why the ship was seemingly facing the wrong way.

Meyer looked up and saw a man with black hair in a uniform similar to the old dress uniform of the Waffen SS and a red-haired woman who could be a priest thanks to the robes that she was wearing. The duo were shortly followed by the first alien Jake had ever seen. It appears to be a blue-skinned female with hair-tails? The Marine wasn't sure and finally, another priest walked out of the craft.

"Kriffing hell!" Sara cried slightly and panicked. "This could end badly, very badly."

Jake looked at Sara and then to where he saw President Kennedy and Secretary-General Narasimhan, approaching the man in the officer's uniform.

"Why? They're just following diplomatic protocol."

Sara shook her head. "For your world maybe but Earth is dealing with the Sith Empire. To a Lord of the Sith, greeting the imperial officer first is about as big an insult as you could possibly make." She looked at her boyfriend. "In case you hadn't worked it out, the woman with the red hair is the one they should be greeted first. Let's hope she's in a kind and forgiving mood for Earth is about to sour its relations with the Sith Empire before they've even begun."

"Well...This may be a boondoggle." That was all Jake could say as the Hoosier was at a loss for words.

There was an extraordinarily long and awkward pause after the two earthlings greeted Captain Quinn first and not Nathrrya.

Quinn's eyes flicked to his left. "Err... My Lord..."

Nathrrya gave a deep amused chuckle. "That's five hundred credits you owe me, Captain." She inclined her head in greeting to the shocked earthlings "As you may have surmised by now I am Darth Avarice, Empire's Wrath."

"We apologize,…Lord Avarice." President Kennedy asseverated, taking a moment to mention 'Lord' given how it was customarily a masculine title. "We were unaware that you were-"

"A woman?" Nathrrya finished. "That was painfully obvious. A word of advice, be very careful in the future with your dealings with the Empire for as unintended as it may have been showing such disrespect to a Lord of the Sith could have ended... badly."

"How badly?"

"Both of you dead badly." Nathrrya replied, her voice flat.

"You're kidding, right?" Secretary-General Narasimhan inquired nervously.

"Unfortunately, no, I'm not."Avarice replied seriously. "It's difficult to explain but it is a cultural belief among Sith that we are superior to everyone else and that we are treated as such. Something I have never agreed with. Just because myself and my apprentice have the ability to use the Force does that make us better than Captain Quinn or Vette? The answer is no."

Meanwhile, in the background, Meyer carefully watched the so-called 'Sith Lord', seeing if the woman would make any threatening moves to the President despite a difference of political opinion but the Hoosier frankly could care less about the safety of the head of the United Nations and in fact Jake regarded the Secretary-General as expendable given how he was against cosmopolitanism.

The priest, Sith, whatever she was called, calmly spoke to the two leaders, but the Marine could discern that she was making them uncomfortable, and if things escalated, Jake hoped that hisPistol, Caliber .45, Automatic, M1911A1would be sufficient in dealing with the highly advanced guests if the woman made any moves.

The Hoosier saw that the informal meeting had concluded and turned to face Sara. "Ready to go?"

"Yeah." She smirked, following the Marine to his motorcycle. The Corellian gazed into Jake's eyes as he got onto the bike, starting it.

"Please be careful, Jake." The redhead warned fearfully. "Sith are masters of manipulation."

Even though the Jarhead couldn't promise it, Meyer felt that the Corellian needed some reassurance to stay sane, it was common in relationships between two infatuated individuals after all.

"I promise." He declared, making the redhead smile before she headed back to her assigned vehicle.

Jake started the Harley and moved in front of the motorcade, right in front of one of the black 1961 Lincoln Continental four-door convertibles, and on the motorcycle right beside Meyer was a soldier from the United States Army's 787th Military Police Battalion, Specialist Four Roger Willis, and the 787th was only recently reactivated by the Regular Army two years ago at Fort Drum.

"Seems like things are about to get interesting, Jarhead."

"I don't know about you, pal, but something doesn't seem right about the whole sudden visit by this Sith Empire."

Willis just shrugged and started up the motor as the motorcade prepared to get underway and pulled up in front alongside the Marine with the convoy departing Stewart Air National Guard Base to head to the United Nations building thirty miles away in New York City.

Meanwhile, as the motorcade prepared to get underway, the displaced padawan couldn't help but notice what went down between the two different delegations. "Talk about making a good first impression."

"Not now." The redhead reproved.

'Ground vehicles, mostly groundcars, how quaint.'Nathrrya thought as they were led toward the motorcade. Such things weren't unknown, just a rarity unless you lived on one of the more underdeveloped worlds within the Empire or Republic. Quinn looked as if he was going to have a heart attack while Vette and Jaesa were treating it like a grand adventure.

Nathrrya's inner engineer was squealing in delight at the thought of taking apart one of these vehicles to see how it worked. She'd had much the same reaction on observing the four fighter jets that had escorted them into land. Shereallywanted to pull one of those apart. Not much chance of either happening but a girl can dream, right?

About ten minutes into the journey and by some unknown agreement Secretary-General Narasimhan asked the question that had been on his and President Kennedy's mind. "Lord Avarice, be honest with us. Is Vette a slave?"

Quinn visibly tensed, Jaesa looked indignant on her master's behalf and Vette looked resigned.

Nathrrya sighed and nodded her head."Yes, technically Vette is my slave. However, she does not wear a shock collar as once she came into my service." She refused to say 'possession'."I removed it."

"I still have that awful device." Vette spoke up as she brought out a medallion that hung around her neck. "I made this out of what was left after..." She looked at the redhead seeking permission to which Nathrrya gave an encouraging smile. "Nat removed it and turned it into scrap. I only keep this as a reminder."

It was clear to the Imperials that the two earthlings were disappointed. "It saddens me to hear that the Empire makes use of such a practice but I thank you for your honesty Lord Avarice for you could have lied." President Kennedy said at last.

"Yes, and most Sith certainly would have." Nathrrya agreed. "I'm here to officially represent the Sith Empire and as such, I am supposed to put the Empire in the best light possible. That is hard to do when you yourself do not agree with everything the Empire does. The Republic would have been wiser to not make contact with Earth for from what I have seen thus far your world is not yet ready." She explained "The Empire and Republic are hardly perfect galactic governments but they are what they are. Change will come but it is slow."

Walter Leland Cronkite, Junior - CBS New

Outside theHeadquarters of the United Nations - 760 United Nations Plaza, Turtle Bay, Midtown Manhattan, Manhattan, New York City, New York County, New York, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

07:18:15 ATC / July 18th, 1968 -15:38 / 3:38 PM

"Good afternoon, America. This is Walter Cronkite reporting." A man in a business suit began as he started his broadcast that would change history.

"Barely a year ago, Earth had first contact with a civilization calling themselves the 'Galactic Republic' and now a few hours ago, a representative from the 'Sith Empire' landed at the Stewart Air National Guard Base, attempting to form relations with our world. Unlike the Republic, the Empire is an unknown power and their representative may try to put their faction into a more positive light… An hour from now, Darth Avarice will speak in front of the United Nations to tell the world why the Empire is here." Cronkite took a deep breath, knowing that history is in the making. "We truly hope that whatever the Imperials want, we hope it is not conquest like our friends…" The famed news broadcaster paused, seeing a group of protesters clashing with members of the New York City Police Department and a contingent of New York National Guardsmen.

"Peace, not war!" One of the hippies cried out, holding a sign that was anti-imperial in nature.

"It appears that protesters are whacking law enforcement officials providing security for Darth Avarice's arrival." Walter reported."We will update you with further developments, but until then, goodnight America."

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - MOS 5811 Military Policeman, Military Police Detachment, Marine Barracks Brooklyn, United States Marine Corps

Five blocks away from theHeadquarters of the United Nations - 760 United Nations Plaza, Turtle Bay, Midtown Manhattan, Manhattan, New York City, New York County, New York, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

07:18:15 ATC/July 18th, 1968 -16:00/4:00 PM

"Get the f*ck out of the way!" Meyer ordered the masses who formed a chain to block the motorcade. Even if the archconservative was supportive of leaving the U.N. and evicting the United Nations from American soil even if it took a Katanga 2.0, nevermind not agreeing with Kennedy in the slightest politically - everything from the New Frontier initiatives to forming new governmental agencies and thereby expanding the Federal bureaucracy - the Leatherneck knew that for now his personal beliefs had to be set aside for the current situation. Besides, he was quite surprised that there were even still Hippies in America after what went down a year previously with Neil Young hightailing it back to Canada and John Lennon being deported by the State Department:Thricewith two of the apprehensions being by him and the second was more of a 'citizen's arrest' at Benihana in New York City.

'Maybe the NYPD should create a Barber and Salon squad.'Jake thought humorously as the standoff continued.

"Make love! Not war!" One of the protestors, a brunette holding a sign sayingPower to Women! screeched in reply.

"This is your last warning!" Jake hollered at the top of his lungs to the radicals, losing patience."You are blocking a diplomatic mission and if you do not move within thirty seconds, I will run you over lady!"

The new left idealists did not move and the Marine was about to start up his motorcycle when finally, some National Guardsmen threw teargas at the protesters, forcing the buck-skinned, flowered, and bead-clad weirdos to vacate the premises.

"Finally." Meyer snarled before continuing on his way leading the convoy to the building.

Nathrrya observed the alteration with the colorfully dressed protesters somewhat amused by the whole thing.

"Master, I have to agree with that sign's sentiment." Jaesa declared as she pointed to the one that read 'Power to Women!'.

"Indeed so do I Jaesa." out of the corner of her eye Nathrrya noticed the two Earthlings had become visibly uncomfortable and she suspected she knew why. "Jaesa is my student, I'm her teacher. Calling me 'master' is a form of respect, nothing more."

Although still tensed, President Kennedy and Secretary-General Narasimhan did at least relax at the explanation.

Chapter 6: Before the Hurricane Begins Part Two

Chapter Text

Nathrrya Therin-Palatine - Darth Avarice/The Empire's Wrath

United Nations General Assembly - Headquarters of the United Nations, 760 United Nations Plaza, Turtle Bay, Midtown Manhattan, Manhattan, New York City, New York County, New York, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

07:18:15 ATC/Thursday, July 18th, 1968 - 16:38/4:38 PM

Nathrrya looked out over the hall of the United Nations General Assembly and let out a sigh. Why did Darth Marr think she was a good choice for this? Because she was the least likely to start a bloodbath. Case in point, the misunderstanding when they had landed, and while she might be well accomplished in the field of 'aggressive negations' she considered it to be a last resort.

"Are you alright, Nat?"Casavir asked telepathetically from where he stood off to the side observing along with Kira, the appointed Cathar ambassador, and only a pair of Republic guards.

"No. It doesn't matter what I say or the questions I answer, Cas the outcome will be the same. Earth will not come into the Empire's fold. You know it, I know it and that damned smug Cather knows it."Nathrrya replied."You realize the Republic has painted a sign on Earth that says 'Conquer Me' to the Empire right?"

"Unfortunately."Casavir concurred especially with the unique ambivalence that would pose a threat."They're getting restless."

"Right, enough stalling, let's get this political farce over with. Force, I wish my mother was doing this instead of me. She's the politician of the family."

"Wouldn't it be kind of awkward to be introducing her?"Kira asked.

"Oh hell no, she'd have this lot eating out of her hand in under a minute."

Nathrrya took a breath, stepped forward, and began to speak "Citizens of Earth, my name is Darth Avarice, and with me is Captain Quinn of the Imperial Military, my apprentice Jaesa, and Vette who is of the Twi'lek species. Together we represent the Sith Empire. Now it's my understanding that you will ask me questions and I'll do my best to answer them."

"What are the Empire's intentions towards Earth?" George Ignatieff of Canada questioned curiously.

"Curiosity mainly. It's rare for the Republic to make contact with a new undiscovered planet and even stranger given the current state of the galaxy." Nathrrya said. "I have to question the Republic's wisdom in such a move for your planet is clearly not ready to deal with the wider universe and given the state of war that exists between the Empire and Republic it seems irresponsible of the Republic to draw unwanted attention to your world."

"Why are the Republic and the Empire at war?"Armand Berard of France interrogated, internally hoping that France would not be dragged into the conflict, especially since the recent debacles from the initial beginnings of World War II, to Indochina, then Suez, the nasty insurgency in Algeria as well as the concurrent '9th February' incident in which three Vautour fighter jets of the French Air Force shot down an Il-18 plane that was carrying Leonid Brezhnev, who at the time was the ceremonial head of state of the Soviet Union and was on his way to the Republic of Guinea for a state visit when it strayed over French Algeria, lastly there was even the recent disastrous war against Brazil over lobsters. Berard still couldn't believe that his nation lost French Guiana to the Brazilians because the French yearned for the exclusive right to haul crustaceans from the continental shelf while the Brazilians believed the French fishermen violated their territorial waters. As a proud Frenchman, losing a literal war over gastronomy and watching footage of white flags being waved across French Guinea, learning that troops including elite Foreign Legionnaires and Paratroopers had surrendered en masse without firing their weapons and unfortunately bringing the stereotype to life, the loss of face on the world stage, still bemoaned him.

"A good question as I ask myself that often enough and I still haven't come up with a suitable answer." Nathrrya replied clearly, startling many of the representatives. "I know some of it has to do with very old grievances committed by the Republic many centuries ago." She looked sharply towards the Cathar ambassador and her stare made the man squirm. "Driving the Sith species to near extinction." Her gaze returned to the General Assembly "And reclaiming lost territory such as Korriban, the Sith species ancestral homeworld." She paused "As to why the war continues? That's anyone's guess. Perhaps we've been fighting each other for so long we've forgotten just why we were fighting to begin with." Nathrrya said knowing it was closer to the truth than she wanted to admit.

"What exactly is the Force?" The Representative of the Soviet Union, Nikolai Fedorenko, questioned. The Force to him still sounded like some sort of religion instead of having scientific validity and while he had heard about it from the Jedi, Fedorenko decided to see what this other sect's perspective was.

Nathrrya frowned as she thought of what to say, feeling that it was a snare but she didn't permit herself to play the game. "The Force is an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together and allows people like me to do things like this." She said placing both hands on the sides of the podium she used the Force alone to lift the cylinder of water she brought to her mouth while taking a drink before setting it back down.

"How long have you been a Sith?"Arthur Goldberg, Representative for the United States pressed, wondering what a Sith exactly was.

Nathrrya genuinely looked surprised by this. "I started training in the ways of the Sith Order when I was fifteen and that was twenty-five years ago. However, I was born into a Sith family so it could also be said I've been Sith since my birth. Pick whichever answer you prefer as neither is wrong."

"Is it true that the Empire is indeed responsible for the slavery of several other races?" The Representative for India, Gopalaswami Parthasarathy, inquired in a slightly accusatory voice.

Nathrrya grimaced as she knew this would come up; her expression would have been answering enough. "Yes. But it was not so long ago that slavery was a common practice on your world and is it still, in fact, practiced in, say, Oman?" she asked rhetorically. "In case you were wondering, yes Vette in the eyes of Imperial Law is my slave, however, I have never treated her as such for she is a sentient being in her own right. I personally utterly detest the practice and despite my position within the Empire there is only so much I can do to effect change."

On cue, Vette stepped forward. "Lord Avarice has been good to me in the years we've traveled together." She unholstered her blasters with a flourish "Not every slave gets a matched pair of heavy blasters that were custom made for her nor a custom set of armour. Ask yourself this. If I were truly Avarice's slave would she really give me things like these?" The girl then holstered her weapons and stepped back her piece said.

Nathrrya smiled gratefully at her Twi'lek friend. "Thanks, Vette."

"No problem, boss." The girl replied with her trademark cheeky grin.

"Any other questions?" Nathrrya asked, looking around, there didn't seem to be any.

"I have something to add if I may, my lord." Quinn spoke up.

"Certainly, Captain." Nathrrya said as she stepped away from the podium to make way for Quinn.

Surprising everyone Quinn quickly knelt on one knee and as he did so withdrew the small velvet box from his trouser pocket, turning and opening it to display its contents to the woman standing over him.

"Would you do me the honour of being my wife, Nathrrya?"

All Nathrrya could do was simply stare in shocked silence at what was clearly an engagement ring sitting in the velvet-lined box that Quinn held aloft. Behind her Jaesa and Vette looked equally stunned but soon they both had what earthlings would call sh*t-eating grins on their faces as the two girls high-fived each other.

Off to the side, Kira couldn't help herself, she fist pumped "Yes! About kriffing time too." She saw the glare the Cather was giving her. "Oh don't be such a stick in the mud ambassador!" She said sticking out her tongue at the man. Casavir simply chuckled in amusem*nt at his wife's antics.

Nathrrya finally snapped out of her shock reaching out and taking the ring from its box and inspecting it before putting it on. The ring itself was silver and there was a round silver mount but it was the gem that sat snugly on the mount as if had always been there that took her breath away. It was a perfectly round highly polished cabochon cut piece of violet lightsabre crystal. The same colour as her own lightsabre.

The smile she gave him must have been answering enough for Quinn to stand and pocked the now empty box before he put his arms around her and said. "I love you Nathrrya."

"I love you too, Malavai." Nathrrya replied before she kissed him as passionately as she could.

Walter Leland Cronkite, Junior - CBS New

United Nations General Assembly - Headquarters of the United Nations, 760 United Nations Plaza, Turtle Bay, Midtown Manhattan, Manhattan, New York City, New York County, New York, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

07:18:15 ATC/Thursday, July 18th, 1968 - 17:00/5:00 PM

"As you just witnessed moments ago, Darth Avarice, who we now know also has the name 'Nathrrya' is now engaged to an officer of the imperial military. Now we are going to ask Miss Avarice a few questions."

Nathrrya looked amused being called 'Miss Avarice'; it certainly wasn't a bad guess as Earth knew almost nothing about the Sith. Quinn looked mildly horrified which Nathrrya found endearing, sometimes the man was just too damned cute.

"Darth Avarice is my Sith title my actual name is Nathrrya Palatine." She corrected the journalist

"Sorry Lord Palatine, but is it okay if I ask you a few questions."

"Certainly."

"Is the Force a form of magic?" Cronkite asked.

Nathrrya wasn't put off as it had been called that more than once. "If it makes the concept easier to comprehend then yes the Force is a form of magic and it's been called such by many different cultures in the past."

"What is your personal belief of Earth on the intergalactic stage?"

"You're not ready but by no means are you 'backward'." She smiled a little seeing the perturbed expression on the journalist's face. "Yes, that's how Earth was described to me. I actually think you could teach the rest of the galaxy a thing or two." Nathrrya explained "Take those fighters that escorted my ship in. They are clearly designed for atmospheric flight whereas my Fury is primarily designed for space flight. Now imagine a starship hull that performs just as well in the atmosphere as it does in the deep black." The excitement was clear in the woman's voice.

"You're talking about the F-110 Spectres?" Cronkite asked, surprised.

"Is that what they're called? I have to admit on the flight in my inner engineer was drooling at the prospect of getting my hands on one, pulling it apart to see how it worked." Nathrrya said, with no shame whatsoever.

"You're an engineer?"

Nathrrya grinned. "Yes, a fully certified starship engineer and designer. My idea of a stress-free day is tinkering with my Fury. Something I don't get to do as often as I might like."

"I see." Cronkite said, wondering just how truthful the Republic ambassador had been as he'd been 'corrected' by the two Jedi accompanying him on several occasions which was telling enough. "Do you think that Earth should open relations with the Empire and if yes, why?"

Nathrrya frowned as she had to pick her words carefully. "It would have been better for Earth to have remained unnoticed but as that is not an option all I can say is that the Republic and the Empire are not bad but they are not good either. They are what they are and Earth will have to choose who it will follow." She said. "Naturally I would favour the Empire but would that be the right choice for Earth? That is something only your people can answer."

"What did you mean by Sith species?"

"Exactly that. Pureblood Sith as we call them were native to the planet Korriban." Nathrrya replied as she pulled her holocom from her belt and brought up an image of herself and Darth Vowrawn. "This man here is a Sith Pureblood. They are a dying race and nothing can stop their eventual extinction." The other notable thing about the holo image was that it showed Nathrrya in her usual green outfit that showed off her midriff and quite a bit of cleavage and the fact she was carrying a blaster as well as her lightsaber.

"What happened one thousand years ago on Korriban?"

Nathrrya's expression darkened considerably. "You're talking about the Sith genocide." Her tone was grim. "At the end of the Great Hyperspace War, Republic Supreme Chancellor Pultimo ordered the seemingly unthinkable. The invasion of all Sith-controlled worlds. Pultimo had the misguided belief that if he could destroy Sith culture then the galaxy would be a safer place." Everyone watched in fascination and horror as the woman's eyes slowly went from blue to sickly yellow. The passion and anger in her voice were also noticeable.

"To destroy a culture you have to destroy the people. One man's order almost saw the total annihilation of the Sith species for every man, woman, and child the Republic forces found, regardless if they had been active in the war or not wereslaughtered."

Nathrrya closed her eyes and took several deep breaths trying to calm herself when she opened them again they were their normal blue. "The survivors fled deep into uncharted space, my ancestors among them but the damage had been done. The Sith race would never recover and has been a dying species ever since. Is it any wonder that the Empire is more than a little upset about that even after so long?"

Cronkite was stunned. "...Thank you for your time Lord Avarice...As you just heard it seems that the Republic may not be as 'clean' as it seems..."

Gail Thayer

United Nations General Assembly - Headquarters of the United Nations, 760 United Nations Plaza, Turtle Bay, Midtown Manhattan, Manhattan, New York City, New York County, New York, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

07:18:15 ATC/Thursday, July 18th, 1968-17:55/5:55 PM

While it was a struggle to maintain her thought shield upon hearing the cold truth of the aftermath of the Great Hyperspace War, the 'Empire's Wrath' did not indicate that she suspected the presence of a firsthand witness to that inexcusable time over Korriban and the other Sith Worlds, but the Rhinnelian did held regrets, feeling that she could have done more as two wrongs don't make a right, if only she was more persuasive or assertive. The fact that the Sith of old returned was still confounding and maybe it was a second chance but then again this galaxy was unlike her native one as the Force was lacking.

'Still, if that Darth was aware of my background there could've been an incident.'

Sergeant Sara Kelrein - Imperial Army Commando Unit 421 "Reaper Squad"- Undercover as a Corporal in Republic Army SpecForce Squad 149 "Chaos Squad"

United Nations General Assembly - Headquarters of the United Nations, 760 United Nations Plaza, Turtle Bay, Midtown Manhattan, Manhattan, New York City, New York County, New York, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

07:18:15 ATC/Thursday, July 18th, 1968-17:55/5:55 PM

Sergeant Kelrein stared at the totally unexpected scene directly in front of her. Sara could not believe that a Captain in the Imperial military would propose to a Dark Lord of the Sith in the current surroundings.

'I do think that is a little bold, sir, but I can see the reason why you did it.'The copper-haired woman thought. It made sense for the sake of showing the Empire off in a more positive fashion to Earth.

Sara's boyfriend, Jake, was right beside her, his blue-gray eyes widened in surprise and it amused Kelrein at how easily he could be dumbstruck at times.

"Are you alright, larel?" Sara asked him in her best impersonation of a Corellian accent.

"I'm fine babe." He answered. "It's just that I didn't expect a proposal during a diplomatic conference at the United Nations with the whole world watching."

As much as the Sergeant would like to kiss him, Sara knew that professionalism must be maintained and she did not desire to risk blowing her cover either.

The Commando continued watching the podium where the Dark Lord was waiting for her team while the United Nations representatives began to leave the assembly for a break, leaving just the guards, a cluster of reporters, and Lord Avarice.

One of the reporters, Walter Cronkite, headed to the stage with his cameraman to conduct what Kelrein assumed was an interview.

"As you just witnessed moments ago, Darth Avarice, who we now know also has the name 'Nathrrya' is now engaged to an officer of the imperial military. Now we are going to ask Miss Avarice a few questions."

"Darth Avarice is my Sith title my actual name is Nathrrya Palatine."

'Palatine?'Sara questioned to herself.

House Palatine was one of the oldest and most respected Houses in the Empire with the family seat currently located on the planet of Axxila and it was revered in the eyes of not only Imperial high society, but all of Sith Space and to learn that the current Wrath was from the family was surprising to Sara, not that it couldn't happen but more out of every Sith in the Empire, 'Nathrrya' managed to gain such stature but the commando knew her actions were merited.

'And I'm the last in my bloodline.'She mourned as ever since her parents were killed in a bombing at her father's corporation office on Ziost by a band of terrorists known as the 'Ziost Liberation Front', not to mention the death of her grandparents in an airspeeder accident on Dromund Kaas, Sara felt diffident in spite of her gracious upbringing and while the Beniko's were close family friends, the void was forever poignant.

"Sara? Are you okay?" Meyer whispered, seeing the distraught look on her face.

"I'm fine Jake...It's just memories."

The Marine nodded his head in understanding and resumed his post, keeping an eye on the now empty seats.

The redhead, however, had to meet Darth Avarice and pass along some intel Sara had acquired that would prove useful to the Imperial war effort.

"Jake?"

"Yes, babe?"

Sara hated to lie to him because every time she did so, her gut felt like it had been punched by a Rancor. However, in the world of espionage, lying is how you stay alive. "Do you know where the 'fresher is?"

"You mean the restroom?... It should be outside, just to your left. I saw it on the way in."

'Perfect.'Sara thought since that where the exit from the podium is at. "Thank you larel." She smiled before turning on her heels and about-faced, but not before Jake spoke to her again as Kelrein opened the door.

"Just make sure you don't run into the Sith. I don't think Uncle Sam is paying me enough to prevent a diplomatic incident."

"I'll be careful Jake." She winked. "Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at ones side."

"Understood Sergeant." Nathrrya said as she casually leaned against a wall in a quiet hallway of the U.N. Building. She felt meeting with Kelrein in person was an unnecessary risk but against her better judgment, Nathrrya was doing just that.

Suddenly the Sith's attention was taken by a commotion down the far end of the hallway and she silently cursed when she saw her cousin and Ambassador Krasul. Casavir wasn't the problem, Krasul was.

"I believe your cover has just been blown Sergeant Kelrein." Nathrrya informed the other woman.

"Well... kriff." Sara muttered.

"This is an outrage!" Krasul hissed.

"Ambassador, I'll deal with this... situation." Casavir said firmly "Return to Kira and the others I'll be along shortly." He used the Force to nudge the man to do what he wished.

"Very well master Jedi..." Krasul grumbled as he turned to leave.

Casavir waited a few moments to make sure the ambassador was gone before he started to walk toward the two imperial women.

"I had wondered why you had been sent. An information leak of some sort seemed the most likely." Casavir said as he reached the two women. "You know I'll have to take Miss Kelrein into custody."

Sara Kelrein stood stiffly at attention for she didn't know how else to react but she noticed that Lord Avarice wasn't the least bit concerned about the presence of the Jedi Master for she was still casually leaning against the wall.

"And you know I can't let you do that, cousin dearest. Lana would be most... upset if I let that happen." Nathrrya replied affectionately. "There's also the fact that this is neutral ground and you may be out of your jurisdiction."

Casavir massaged his temples. "Why I am not surprised to learn she'd been involved in this mess?"

Sara could not have heard correctly... could she? The soldier looked between the Sith Lord and Jedi Master but realized she hadn't misheard. All Sara could do was make a perfect 'O' shape with her mouth her eyes wide with surprise.

Nathrrya chuckled, seeing Kelrein's reaction. "I trust Sergeant that this piece of information goes no further." a clear warning in her voice. Sara simply nodded. "Good girl." The Sith turned her attention back to the Jedi. "Now how do we get ourselves out of this mess?"

Casavir stroked his beard thoughtfully for a few moments before he smirked. "I have an idea and you'll like its dramatic flair..."

The first inkling that anyone had that something was wrong was when the snap-hiss of lightsabers being drawn was heard.

"I can't let you do that Lord Avarice." Casavir said with determination his blue blade at the ready.

"Try and stop me Jedi." Nathrrya sneered as she twirled her trademark violet blade. She really could do the 'I'm an evil Sith' routine when she wanted to.

"So be it." With that the two force users were striking at each other, their respective blades hitting again and again as the two blocked, parried, and thrust.

Behind them, Jake spotted the Imperial officer who had Sara at blaster point and was forcing her out of the room. He was about to give chase when he felt a strong grip on his arm.

Kira shook her head. "Don't even think about getting involved in a lightsaber duel. The Sith will cut you in half if given the chance. You're no use to Sara dead. Let the tough guy handle this." What Kira didn't say was she knew the 'duel' was just for show, a distraction as theViolet Rosewas already on its way.

"Say, Kira, can I borrow your laser sword? I'm pretty good at fencing." Jake asked half-truthfully but desperate times called for desperate measures and he honestly did use rapier a few times after being urged by his previous girlfriend and of course he did wear the mandated mask, the white uniform, gloves, and the chestguard, but in reality he was no swordsman.

Kira looked horrified at the surreal plea. "Absolutely not, Jake! Lightsabers have no weight apart from the hilt and mine is a dual-bladed saber staff, which is a much harder weapon to master than a single blade. Jake, you're just as likely to chop your own limbs off. Then what use would you be?"

Jake nodded numbly as he watched his girlfriend being kidnapped. The two force users seemed to almost dance as their blades whirled around them. Slowly it seemed as if the Jedi was driving the Sith back.

Suddenly the Devil Dog had an idea, as crazy as it was, it just might work. Jake turned to another exit and ran off a very concerned Kira following after him.

"Jake, what are you doing?" She asked while easily keeping up with the running Marine.

"I know the layout of this building." Jake deadpanned without mentioning how or even why given his particular side of the political spectrum. " If I can get behind that officer I can knock him out with this." The Hoosier added while concurrently drawing his wooden truncheon.

Kira just nodded though she had a bad feeling about this.

Five minutes later saw Jake and Kira in position and as Quinn passed with Sara and the sounds of the sabre duel getting closer Jake made to strike Quinn on the back of the head when suddenly there was a violet blur and Jake's baton was cut in half before it even made it halfway to its target.

Out of reflex, the Marine dropped the other half of the now useless baton and he briefly got a look at the Sith's face. It was something he never encountered before. The woman was irritated but it was her eyes, they were now a bright fiery yellow and emphasized if looks could kill...

While not fearful of the unexpected metamorphosis, Jake could not believe the glow of the irises as she turned her attention back to the male Jedi.

The Marine regained his composure, drew his forty-five caliber handgun, and aimed in an attempt to shoot the blaster out of Quinn's hands despite the risks but he noticed Sara frantically shaking her head in the universal 'no' gesture.

Then everything seemed to happen in slow motion.

Quinn turned bringing his blaster to bear and fired directly at Jake's chest, the Marine felt himself being pushed violently to the ground as the stun blast passed overhead and slammed into the wall.

Soon Sara, Quinn, and the two dueling force users were out of sight.

"What was that!?" Jake asked as Kira helped him to his feet.

"A stun shot, if that had connected you'd have been out for the next several hours and woke up with the mother of all headaches." Kira said looking slightly annoyed she had to babysit the impulsive earthling "And what did I say about staying out of this? You're lucky to still be alive." She admonished. "Come on we better follow then and be more careful!"

Nathrrya and Quinn as well as Sara almost reached her personal starfighter when Nat sensed that they were about to be confronted by yet another Force adept and it was not Kira which became clear as an archaic-sounding voice called to her.

"Halt!" The unknown teenage brunette instructed before unexpectedly attempting sun djem only for the Sith to dodge it but the use of sun djem could only mean one thing.

'A Makashi practitioner?'Nat was not sure if she should be sympathetic or amused at the inadaptability as Form II was exclusively for lightsaber-to-lightsaber combat and it became clear to the battle-hardened Sith that this Padawan specialized on this one sole form yet Nat was also packing a blaster and been utilizing it. "You have much to learn, young one." Avarice sighed as she fired a stun bolt and then shook her head after recognizing that for some reason the young padawan not only lacked a master, but by her age she should have known better than to attempt to deflect a stun bolt. However there was no time to mull as withdrawing to her craft took precedence.

Five minutes later Jake and Kira were nearing the main entrance to the U.N. Building when they came across bodies lying on the floor, civilian workers and United Nations Police alike who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"Are they dead?" Jake asked. The Marine wasn't familiar with the weaponry of the extraterrestrials and wanted to be sure.

Kira shook her head. "No, just stunned." She then spotted something that didn't belong. The Jedi bent down and picked the object up handing it to Jake. "Looks like Sara dropped her holocom. Look at it later."

The unlikely duo exited the building just in time to see Nathrrya, Sara, and Quinn sprint up the ramp of the Fury which was hovering above the ground. It would have made for quite an impressive spectacle if it hadn't been so terrifying. They both came across Casavir lying seemingly out cold and in another room was Gail just as unconscious.

Without thinking, Jake pulled out his pistol and fired a single round hitting the Imperial officer in the shoulder, spinning him around slightly from the impact. As Sara steadied him she looked on in absolute horror as the Sith drew her own blaster and leveled it at Jake, the woman seemed to pause a moment before she fired.

Jake had enough time to think 'f*ck' before his world turned black after being hit dead center in the chest by a stun bolt.

Two Hours after the incident...

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - MOS 5811 Military Policeman, Military Police Detachment, Marine Barracks Brooklyn, United States Marine Corps

Goldwater Memorial Hospital- New York City, New York, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

07:18:15 ATC/Thursday, July 18th, 1968 - 20:00/8:00 PM

"Ughh, why do I feel like I had a massive hangover..." Meyer groaned as he woke up from his dream and he was also hungry but in his mind, the Marine and intransigent opponent of a One World Government curiously had the most interesting experience inside the United Nat- "Wait a minute. Where am I?" The Hoosier questioned out loud. "And why am I in a hospital?"

Shortly after he awoke from his nap, a nurse walked in, with hospital food on a tray of course. "Mister Meyer, my name is Adriana Watson and you're currently at Goldwater Memorial Hospital. Do you remember what happened earlier today?"

Jake stared at the woman for a moment as she set the tray with meatloaf and mashed potatoes as well as creamed corn and a styrofoam cup of coffee on a table adjacent to the bed, wondering how in the hell he got into a hospital. "No. I do not ma'am. Can you please tell me?"

"You were shot by some sort of ray gun at the United Nations building and knocked out for a few hours. We brought you here as a precaution."

'The dream was real!' Was what Jake wanted to say, but instead, he was concerned about the Jedi and the innocent people who got in the way. "Are the others..."

"They're fine Mister Meyer. In fact the two..." The nurse checked her clipboard to make sure. "Jedi Ambassadors would like to see you."

"Uh, sure, send them in." Jake replied.

A few minutes later Casavir and Kira entered Jake's room.

"So now you know what a stun bolt feels like?" Kira chuckled but her smile soon faded. "Jake, there's a message for you on Sara's holocom you need to see..." she said placing the small device on the bed and activating it. "And you may lose your appetite."

A small holo image of Sara appeared but Jake realized something was off... Sara was wearing Imperial Trooper armor, the helmet tucked under her arm.

"Jake... I do not know how well you are going to take this, but I'm sorry... I'm not the woman that you know and I'm so sorry."Sara sighed and when she spoke again she had an accent that to Jake's ears sounded like a British upper-class accent."I'm Sergeant Sara Kelrein of the Imperial Army and I was chosen for an undercover assignment to infiltrate the Republic Military..."At this point, Sara broke down in tears as her helmet clattered to the ground with her hands covering her face."I still have feelings for you Jake, but I hope you understand... I love you."

The holo image faded out.

Jake looked uncomprehendingly at the two Jedi.

"I'm sorry Jake... but it appears that Sara was an Imperial soldier." Kira told the distraught American as gently as she could "I know you two were... close."

"What would the Jedi know about love?" Jake snapped.

The two Jedi winced at that. After all, Jake didn't know about them.

"We know more than you'd believe, Jake." Casavir said. "Kira and I are married. For Jedi we broke the most important rule there is, we fell in love with each other. We don't regret a thing."

"What?" Jake asked.

"You heard the tough guy, we're married and we share the same bed if you get my meaning." Kira replied her cheeks turning slightly pink.

"It's clear to me that despite Sara's loyalties to the Empire she's deeply in love with you, Jake Meyer. What you do with that knowledge is completely up to you." Casavir told him.

"You're right." Jake laid back, his head firmly implanted into the pillow, heartbroken as this became yet another hapless relationship with a woman. "I lost my appetite."

TheViolet Rosehad just made the jump to hyperspace and after several random jumps to ensure they weren't being followed would head back to Dromund Kaas. Now Nathrrya needed to take care of her crew.

"Vette, you can look after the Rose." The Sith said

"Sure thing, boss." The Twi'lek replied as she headed for the bridge.

"Quinn, go with Jaesa and get that shoulder seen to,now." Nathrrya ordered.

The captain winced trying not to move his wounded arm as he wasn't used to having an actual metal slug buried in his flesh. "Understood, my lord."

"Yes, master." Jaesa confirmed as she led the captain away to the small med bay.

That left Nathrrya with Sara who was almost in tears. The Sith allowed herself to fall into a seat near the other woman. "As escapes go that went remarkably well."

"I guess." Sara agreed numbly as she was trying to process what had happened and the strange crew dynamics she found on this ship. They acted more like family than a ship's crew under the command of a Sith Lord from what she'd seen.

"Were you going to kill Jake for shooting the captain?" Sara asked at last.

"I thought about it." Nathrrya admitted. "But I know what that would have done to you so I settled for stunning him."

Sara smiled a little "That's why you hesitated; you changed the setting on your blaster."

"Yes."

"Thank you."

"You're welcome, Sara."

"Why do I feel so terrible?" the sergeant wondered.

"Betraying someone you love is never an easy thing to do willingly or not." Nathrrya replied. "If you didn't feel bad then you can't really have loved Jake. It's of little comfort perhaps but knowing your feelings for him are real is something to treasure."

Sara stared at the older woman shocked for she had never expected a Lord of the Sith to say something so profound.

Nathrrya smiled at the expression on the younger woman's face the question in her eyes easy to read. "Captain Quinn almost never got the chance to propose to me, Sara. I know just how much the betrayal of a loved one hurts."

"The captain betrayed you and he's still alive?" Sara asked trying to reconcile those two things. Darth Avarice was not what the army sergeant had expected she was being quite the opposite.

Nathrrya nodded. "Yes he did, however, it was not his choice. You see my former master Darth Baras had already tried twice to assassinate me and failed so hepersuadedQuinn to do the deed." She explained "Imagine how I felt when Quinn revealed his trap to me, flanked by several war droids. The bottom of my world disappeared from under me, and what I thought I knew and felt for the man was destroyed in an instant." She sighed "That fight was the hardest I've ever had. Not because it was difficult, those droids were an annoyance but because the man I was fighting was the man I loved with all my heart."

Nathrrya smiled sadly "After it was over we were both battered and bruised but seeing the defeat in Quinn's eyes broke my heart. He knew he'd failed Baras, failed me and his life was forfeit." She looked at Sara who was hanging on her every word "I couldn't kill him because I still loved him. Quinn had always treated me like a woman, not a Sith. Love can hurt like nothing else can but it can ignite the stars themselves."

The Sith looked the sergeant in the eyes. "If the Force wills it and you have the chance to be with Jake take it,neverlook back. Love is worth fighting for when you find the one like I did with Quinn."

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - MOS 5811 Military Policeman, Military Police Detachment, Marine Barracks Brooklyn, United States Marine Corps

FBI Field Office - Jacob K. Javits Federal Office Building, 26 Federal Plaza 23rd Floor, Foley Square, Civic Center, Lower Manhattan, Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

07:20:15 ATC/ Saturday, July 20th, 1968 - 10:40/5:40 PM

For over an hour already, Jake was being hounded by these two goons of the Bureau, questioning him about the event that occurred at the United Nations as the damn FBI decided since the incident took place in American airspace, not to mention the evidence of espionage by the Empire, the followers of Hoover took charge of the investigation of what transpired on the 18th of July and there was also going to be a closed-door congressional deposition into this affair.

At least it wasn't a public spectacle as his name remained anonymous and off the record which suited him but still…

"I will say it once more!" Meyer screamed in anger from his handcuffed position in the chair. "I. Did. Not. Know. That she was a spy!"

One of the agents, William Pulaski pressed the rabid Marine once more.

"Are you saying Private that in no way did you compromise the secrets of the United States government to the Sith Empire?"

"Yes!" He spat in annoyance. "Why would I of all people support a tyrannical bunch of Space Nazis who only believe in conquest, genocide, and slavery!?"

The other interrogator, Agent Robert Shaw, paced behind the restrained Devil Dog, questioning the Leatherneck's loyalty.

"There are many reasons why you would betray this nation of ours, traitor." Shaw sneered. "Wealth. Power... No that's not it." He hummed in thought before slamming his fist onto the table. "No, I think you fell for the classic honeypot trap." He smiled wickedly. "I believe she offered you temptations you couldn't resist and you were ensnared you lovestruck farmboy."

"BULLsh*t!"

"I don't think so, Mister Meyer." Pulaski declared before placing what Jake recognized as Sara's holo-communicator onto the table and the agent replayed the message.

"Jake... I do not know how well you are going to take this, but I'm sorry... I'm not the woman that you know and I'm so sorry...I'm Sergeant Sara Kelrein of the Imperial Army and I was chosen for an undercover assignment to infiltrate the Republic Military...I still have feelings for you Jake, but I hope you understand... I love you."

"I think you were aware of Kelrein's exact allegiance, she probably reminded you of this Emma Northcott."

'And yet her father is American and she prefers southern sweet tea!'Jake thought as he did remember the towheaded blonde daughter of an archeologist, a gallimaufry best described as a Southern Belle with a Yankee grandfather and an upper-class English mother of matrilineal German and Swiss descent but it seemed no matter the personality or background, no matter how courteous he was, one way or another, his relationships somehow inevitably imploded and this was only the latest.

Jake was on the verge of a mental breakdown and he hoped that the G-Men undid the restraints because one way or another, he was going to kill them.

"How many f*cking times do I have to tell you that I did not know that she was a Space Brit and how many times do I have to tell you that I did not compromise national security!"

Oh, how Jake wished that he was falsely accused by one of his childhood heroes, Senator McCarthy of Wisconsin, not to mention the John Birch Society, of being some card-carrying communist agent instead.

Walter Leland Cronkite, Junior - CBS New

CBS Broadcast Center - 524 West 57th Street, Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

07:20:15 ATC/ Saturday, July 20th, 1968 - 20:00/8:00 PM

"Good evening America. As you are already aware, the incident that occurred two days ago still rings in the minds of all across the globe. What originally transpired as a historic moment in the history of Earth has become one of the most infamous of diplomatic incidents in recent memory."

Footage was shown of the Imperials 'kidnapping' a Republic soldier and Jedi attempting to rescue the soldier with a United States Marine assisting.

"Though the exact reason why an American Leatherneck was present is still unknown and Mister Welch, the President of the John Birch Society, speculated that this was some elaborate ploy in coordination with Mayor Lindsey, the Governor of New York, and other members of the Rockefeller Family to bring forth the foretold 'New World Order', we've recently learned that Republic soldier was, in reality, a spy for the Sith Empire. From what Ambassador Krasul told us earlier, he never thought that one of his own bodyguards was an undercover agent. With us tonight is Major Jessie Lane, the commanding officer of Republic SpecForce squad 149, currently assigned to protect the Republic Ambassador."

The cameras point to a five foot eleven inch tall female Human-Echani hybrid with long scarlet hair and silver eyes. The Major is wearing a set of multicolored armor designated as the 'Ruthless Commander' under the Republic SpecForce classification system.

Many people around the world watched their television screens with deep interest, shocked that a woman could lead a military unit, and to think that they were surprised to hear that the Republic military recruited women, seeing it was a different matter entirely.

"Thank you for coming, Major. Now if you don't mind, is it okay if I ask you a few questions?"

"Go ahead and blast away, Mister Cronkite."

"Err right…" Walter stuttered, not quite expecting such a blunt statement, and the newsman wasn't exactly used to the Galactic slang yet. "How well did you know your former subordinate?"

"Corporal Kelrein?" She spat in disgust. "Obviously not well because I thought that I could trust her to protect our backs and she had for two years and now she decided to return home to her imperial comrades."

"Were there any indicators that she was a spy for the Empire?"

"None." Lane responded instantly. "Kelrein was a good soldier. There was this one time on Balmorra when I was clearing a building with Specialist Kovo. We entered the building and came across a turret and an imperial demolitions squad. The turret opened up and I thought that I was going to be a goner, but Kelrein was keeping watch three hundred meters away in a financial complex and covered us. I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for her."

"What was Kelrein's specialty if you don't mind me asking?"

"Corporal Kelrein was our marksman expert and she was, in fact, the top of her class at the academy. She scored ninety-eight percent on long-distance marksmanship, a record."

"I see." Cronkite hummed. "She was a sniper?"

"Indeed and I'm willing to bet she still is. If she was never an imperial agent, I would recommend to command to transfer her to the Deadeyes. In fact, she was originally going to be placed into the Deadeyes, but Kelrein volunteered for my squad instead."

"And what are the Deadeyes exactly?"

"Most of the information about the unit remains classified, but what I can tell you Mister Cronkite is that the Deadeyes are the top sniper squad in the Republic."

"And what is your opinion of the incident that happened on the 18th of July?"

Jessie pondered on the question for a minute before answering. "Shock as Master Therin mildly put it. I honestly didn't think that the Imps would be so bold to risk an exfiltration... Of course, I thought one of my men was being held against her will and I commend the Marine who joined the Jedi in the pursuit. Now I also find it odd how the Sith didn't leave corpses."

"Corpses?"

"You don't want to know." The Major's tone indicated that it was a subject not fit for the cameras.

"Final question." The famed correspondent declared suddenly. "How are you dealing with the fact that one of your comrades is, in fact, a spy."

"Not well I'll admit." Jessie sighed. "Kelrein was one of the best in Chaos and I thought she had a future in the Republic Armed Forces, but now I have to deal with the fact that a teammate I counted on for years is out there somewhere. Preferably, I would take her in alive, but if she forces me to, I will execute her myself."

"Thank you for your time Major Lane and until next time…Good night America."

Chapter 7: Aftermath

Chapter Text

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - MOS 5811 Military Policeman, Military Police Detachment, Marine Barracks Brooklyn, United States Marine Corps

Meyer Farmhouse - Acton, Franklin Township, Marion County, Indiana, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

07:22:15 ATC/ Monday, July 22nd, 1968- 16:00/4:00 PM

"Jake... I do not know how well you are going to take this, but I'm sorry... I'm not the woman that you know and I'm so sorry...I'm Sergeant Sara Kelrein of the Imperial Army and I was chosen for an undercover assignment to infiltrate the Republic Military...I still have feelings for you Jake, but I hope you understand... I love you."

"It's clear to me that despite Sara's loyalties to the Empire she's deeply in love with you, Jake Meyer. What you do with that knowledge is completely up to you."

Jake was back at his hometown on furlough, feeling that he was somehow used after learning of Sara's true loyalties; the latter of which made him wonder if she was sincere about her confession, reinforced by Casivir's claim, or if it was more of an attempt to justify herself with another fib.

In addition to the conflicting reflections, even though the 'friendly conservation' with the G-Men two days earlier, classified him as 'Loyal to the Government and the United States', the Marine's gut was telling him he wasn't completely out of the woods yet but at the moment Jake was currently outside, plinking empty beer cans from over five hundred yards away with his M1 Garand, this one in particular being a so-called 'Type II' National Match M1 Rifle with a hooded rear sight, a modified operating rod, and glass bedding as he tried to take his mind off of what transpired. It was not his only M1 Rifle but at the same time it was indisputably one of the most accurate rifles he owned and it did bring back memories of the firing line in the State of Indiana and even at Camp Perry in Port Clinton, Ohio where annually each summer hundreds of competitors both civilian and military across the United States and even from overseas square off for five weeks of rifle and handgun competition in a variety of formats and events.

'Recycling is the only useful idea the Hippies ever thought of.'Meyer said to himself as he lined up the rear sight with the front post, breathing in deeply before he slowly exhaled and squeezed the trigger, unleashing the last unspent cartridge of .30-06 from his rifle before sending a 173 grain projectile downrange and upon discharge, the spitzer bullet demolished the can sitting at four hundred and sixty yards away while on cue the Garand pinged, ejecting the empty aluminum clip. Jake then reached for another eight-round en bloc clip containingCartridge, Caliber .30, Match, M72from the military surplus ammunition box, pushed it into the M1, and racked the charging handle, reloading the rifle.

'Sara used to love coming here.'The Hoosier thought depressingly as he carefully set the rifle down and reflected.

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - MOS 5811 Military Policeman, Military Police Detachment, Marine Barracks Brooklyn, United States Marine Corps

Meyer Farmhouse - Acton, Franklin Township, Marion County, Indiana, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

07:01:15 ATC/ Monday, July 1st, 1968 - 14:00/2:00 PM

Jake was inside the kitchen watching his girl cleaning up her rifle or what she called the X-15 Riot Sniper Rifle. It was a rather lengthy rifle with a thirty-two inch long barrel and a black plastic stock. It even had a pistol grip for some reason and to the American, the rifle by appearance was more of a toy straight out of Star Trek from his perspective whereas Sara claimed that it could hold over five hundred shots yet the Marine believed that she was exaggerating the ammunition capacity.

Meyer watched intently as she hummed and started to wipe away the grime off of the rifle with a rag he gave her, the sweet smell of Hoppe's No. 9 solvent filling the room.

"It sure is a nice rifle, but the question is: is it accurate?"

The redhead glanced up and stared into Jake's eyes, the look she gave him showed that she was insulted. "Kriffing yes!" The Corellian declared. "This blaster could take the tail off a Womp Rat four hundred fifty meters away."

Jake shook his head in amusem*nt, knowing that there were plenty of rifles on Earth capable of reaching one thousand yards and even further yet distance aside, the Hoosier was more skeptical about the accuracy. "Yeah right. That piece of plastic couldn't possibly beat my most accurate rifle."

"You think that your slugthrower is more accurate than my baby?!" She gasped in shock. "In your dreams!"

"I honestly don't think that your laser rifle could hit the broadside of a barn." He pressed, gaining a death glare in response and Jake without hesitation pushed the knife in deeper. "It seems that your 'precise' firearm was welded out of garbage."

"Oh, really?" Sara questioned, crossing her arms.

"That's right Sara. Why do you believe that a mass-produced piece of pipe is more accurate than my rifle which is beautifully made by the finest craftsmen in this country."

"If you say so..." She said depressingly, with tears in her eyes.

'Oh great.'Meyer thought. He better make it up to her before she decides to bawl up. Jake never intended to have her become upset and he would never dream of hurting her feelings.

"Sara, I'm sorry." Jake quickly apologized. "I was just trying to tease you."

She sniffled. "It's okay. It's just that your words hurt."

Jake stood still for a moment, contemplating on how to make it up to her when figuratively a lightbulb shined above his head.

One hour later...

'And done.'Jake thought as he sat the last empty soda bottle down six hundred yards away from where he and Sara would be shooting from. The targets were a mixture of paper silhouettes, empty Campbell's soup cans, and a few dozen clay pigeons with each target sitting in intervals from one hundred to twelve hundred yards away and even though he was aware of the range disadvantage for the so-called 'blaster' when he fabricated the makeshift shooting gallery by adding cans to the family's privately owned 1,200 Yard rifle range secluded from the cropland and grazing pasture, it ultimately was hits that counted.

"Sara! I'm ready if you are!" Meyer called out before he entered his 1953 Chevy pickup.

The Corellian came out of the back door and she was surprised, to say the least.

"Jake did this all for me?" She asked herself, stunned at the effort he made. 'I definitely owe him a bottle of Corellian Brandy.'

Jake just pulled up right next to the redhead and got out of the truck. The Marine reached into the bed of the vehicle and grabbed a case, sat it down on the porch, and unlatched the buckles, opening it up.

Inside the case was a Winchester Model 70 'Bull Rifle' chambered in .30-06 with a Lyman No. 48 WH receiver sight that had target knobs with a micrometer, vernier adjustments, and a fine aperture which naturally was meant to be paired with the globe front sight attached to the firearm. As he was busy sorting out the bolt-action, checking the bore and making sure it was clear of obstructions, Sara did the same with her blaster.

"Ready Sara?" Jake asks the Corellian.

"As I'll ever be." She mockingly sighs before sticking her tongue out at him.

Meyer just shrugged it off and lined up his rifle to his target, breathing in deeply before slowly exhaling and squeezing the trigger rearward, unleashing a .30-06 round.

The bullet streaked through the air at the speed of over two thousand feet per second, impacting dead center into the first target Meyer chose at four hundred yards.

Jake saw where he hit and opened the bolt, ejecting the spent shell casing. Unlike Sara's blaster, which was Semi-Automatic, Jake had to take his sight off the target each time he racked the bolt in order to clear the weapon and that gave the Corellian a slight edge, but on the other hand, bolt actions were also known to be more accurate as compared to self-loading rifles. That's not to mention that he was utilizing iron sights while she had a magnified optic and even if the rifleman felt that it was technically cheating, he wasn't raising any complaints.

The Marine lined up his sights once more and repeated the process of breathing in, exhaling, and slowly squeezing the trigger. One error in any of the steps and the bullet would be off target.

"Seems like you are doing well babe." Jake complimented as he continued his routine.

"Oh really?" She smiles, taking a quick break to brush her long, dark copper hair. "If I remember correctly, we're tied points wise." She reminded him before blasting away once more, hitting the four hundred and fifty-yard 'bullseye' as Jake called it.

'It's no use.'Jake thought, now somewhat regretting making it a point only competition instead of completing the entire course. 'It seems like a tie then.' And it appeared that Sara was ready to call it quits as well.

"Larel?" She asks from her position. "Can we agree that we're even."

"I concur. Let's just agree that both of our rifles are accurate to an extent."

"Not on my watch." She grinned before starting to shoot all over again.

'Oh well. If you can't beat them, join them.'Meyer smiled as he joined her.

Nathrrya Therin-Palatine - Darth Avarice/The Empire's Wrath.

Kaas City - Dromund Kaas, Dromund System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

07:22:15 ATC/ Monday, July 22nd, 1968 - 20:00/8:00 PM

"I hate Dark Council meetings." Nathrrya declared as she downed the rest of her glass of very expensive Corellian brandy.

It was a 'girls' night out' so it was just herself, Lana, Sara, Jaesa, and Vette. Vette's inclusion had caused a few problems with the upmarket establishment in Kaas City where the five women were in a private room, however, Nathrrya expressing her displeasure at Vette not being allowed entrance soon changed the management's minds. They did not want to deal with two angry senior Sith as Lana was backing her friend.

"You and me both." Lana agreed. "What part of 'diplomatic mission' don't those idiots understand?"

"They're just sore that there wasn't a high enough body count." Nathrrya snorted.

"There were no bodies to count." Lana reminded her friend, amused.

"I know." Nathrrya smiled as she refilled her glass. "Marr and Vowrawn didn't say anything as they know me well enough by now but the others? Nox in particular just had to complain."It was no secret that the two women despised each other. Why there was such animosity between Avarice and Nox was not known to many and it was one crate of monkey-lizards that tonight Nathrrya was keeping firmly closed.

"When is the Empire going to invade Earth?" Vette asked knowing it was a foregone conclusion.

"Don't know. They were still arguing over that when we left." Nathrrya said. "But I don't think it will be for a while yet as the military is stretched too thin as it is. It'll take months to build up the forces needed. The Navy needs to make good its ship losses and the Army is in just bad shape. Most of its elite formations have been lost. It takes time to turn raw conscripts into decent troops."

"The Republic is in much the same situation though." Lana put in "But what concerns me is Chancellor Saresh. That woman clearly has one goal in mind, the total destruction of the Sith Empire."

"It's like the Sith genocide all over again." Nathrrya said grimly. "This time though Saresh is willingly going to sacrifice the Republic to do it. If this war continues too much longer there won't be anything left to fight over."

"Even... Earth..." Sara realized with horror.

Nathrrya gave the younger woman's shoulder an affectionate squeeze trying to offer her comfort for she knew who Sara was thinking about. They all did. Their meal arrived allowing the five women to turn away from their depressing thoughts.

Nathrrya Therin-Palatine - Darth Avarice/The Empire's Wrath.

Kaas City - Dromund Kaas, Dromund System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

07:22:15 ATC/ Monday, July 22nd, 1968 - 21:33/9:33 PM

"So that's when I told Grand Moff Kilran 'No' and turned his droid NR-02 into a ball of scrap. I think at that point he finally got it through his thick skull he'd picked the wrong Sith apprentice to con into doing his dirty work." Nathrrya told part of her story of what had happened to her on the Black Talon.

"I can't believe you did that!" Sara cried. "Kilran would have been angry."

Nathrrya grinned evilly. "Oh I'm sure he was but I cut the connection so I didn't have to listen to his ranting and empty threats. I wanted to try and enjoy my trip to Dromund Kaas."

"Believe it, Sara, I was there when Nat let loose and it was both terrifying and awe-inspiring at the same time." Vette remarked.

"I'm surprised Kilran didn't make your life hell after a snub like that." Sara said.

Nathrrya's smile grew even more evil if that was possible "Oh I'm sure he did try but by the time Vette and myself arrived on Dromund Kaas he'd been visited by a pair of Darths that had apparently told him in no uncertain terms that if he wanted to continue breathing he had better keep his nose out of Sith business."

Sara's eyes grew with surprise. "He was leaning on? Do you have any idea of whom?" This was just too juicy to pass up.

Nathrrya nodded. "I have my... suspicions but no real proof. Just as well really as their involvement would have been... problematic at the time."

Sara had the feeling she was being dragged into some Sith plot but she'd come this far "Does it matter now? Kilran is dead."

"No, I suppose not but what I say stays in this room, Sara." Nathrrya told the younger woman who just nodded her understanding. "I believe Kilran was visited by Darths Karn and Rhothrel of House Palatine... my grandparents."

"You're...You're grandparents?" Sara stuttered. The idea of Darth Avarice having a Jedi cousin was hard enough but her grandparents intimidating a Grand Moff?

"Nat!" Lana cried. "That was mean." Nathrrya merely raised an eyebrow at her friend as if to say 'so?'

"You get used to it." Vette said smirking at the beleaguered sergeant. "Any stories from Earth you can share with us?"

Sara was grateful for the change of subject. "Yes, I do. Jake and I had an important shooting contest at his parents' farm. It was a draw. The best part was what happened that night." The smile on her face left no doubt what she meant.

The other four women sat around the table all exchanged knowing looks smirking slightly.

"You're telling Sara that you've kriffed an Earthling?" Jaesa asked, her eyes wide.

Sara nodded her head, her smile getting bigger. "Yes, and I had to take the lead, not that Jake was shy, far from it he was just well... a real gentleman. But when I made it clear what I wanted he more than got into the mood."

From that point on the rest of the evening was spent swapping tales of the women's various sexual exploits and conquests. The fun part was deciding what was real or made up.

Walter Leland Cronkite, Junior - CBS New

CBS Broadcast Center - 524 West 57th Street, Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

07:22:15 ATC/ Monday, July 22nd, 1968 - 20:00/8:00 PM

"And one last question Major Lane suggested that Lord Avarice leaving people alive was unusual. What did she mean?"

"Your average, typical Sith would have killed anyone they came across during their escape. Innocent lives are not highly valued by the Sith on the whole." Casavir replied "However you might have noticed that there is nothing average or typical about Lord Avarice. Her actions in simply stunning those in her way fits with what the Jedi know about her. I've heard it said from other Jedi and Republic forces that have encountered her that she acts more like a Jedi Knight than a Sith."

"There was a situation on Alderaan during its civil war where Avarice helped defend the flank of House Organa who was technically her enemy." Kira explained "Why she chose that course of action is up for debate. What we know is that Avarice was after some information that only General Gesselle Organa could provide. She could have tortured the general for the information but instead helped Organa defend her flank."

Cronkite blinked. "Do you have any idea as to why?"

Casavir smiled a little. "I have a theory, nothing more. Sith are passionate people because of the way they are trained. Passion drives them, what those passions are depends on the individual. Perhaps the thought of a hard-fought battle appealed far more than simple torture or Avarice perceived that protecting Organa's flank was the better choice. We will never know."

"I see thank you for your time Master Therin, Knight Carsen."

Chapter 8: A Meyer Goes to Washington

Chapter Text

Re: The President of the United States

National Security Council

Attorney-General Office

House Un-American Activities Committee

Name: Jake Gregory Meyer

Nicknames / Aliases: N/A

Date of Birth: 07/02/1947

Birthplace: Franciscan Saint Francis Health - Beech Grove Campus, 1600 Albany Street, Beech Grove, Marion County, Indiana, United States of America

Father: Paul Baltasar Meyer

Mother: Lucy Adelia nee Brandhorst Meyer - Deceased

Siblings: Corbin Dalton Meyer, Elke Oceana Meyer, Heather Alicia Meyer, Cole Sawyer Meyer, Valerie Jenner Meyer, Clark Griswold Meyer, Harrison Tripp Meyer - Half-Brother, Beverly Livia Meyer - Half-Sister

Ethnicity: Caucasian. The subject is of German and Swiss-German descent. Possibly Danish as well due to his Paternal Grandmother's place of origin but it is unknown for certain.

Religious Affiliation: Christian, Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

Parentage: The Meyer's lineal origin lay in Minden in the present-day province of North-Rhine Westphalia, West Germany with the family emigrating to America and settling in the State of Indiana around the late 1840s.

His Paternal Grandfather was the eldest of four brothers in a farming family and served as a United States Marine during the First World War and Nicaragua.

His Paternal Grandmother emigrated from Föhr, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany in 1914 and she reportedly had relatives still residing in Germany, including a brother who was in the Imperial German Army and another in the Imperial German Navy during World War One but it is unknown at this time if contact is extant and if any relatives are living.

His maternal grandparents are farmers in Tipton County, Indiana with his grandfather, Henry, also owning a gun shop and Mister Brandhorst holds a Type 01 Federal Firearms License as well as a Class 3 Special Occupation Tax, a Form 4 with the required tax stamp, and a Type 07 Federal Firearms License with a Class 2 Special Occupation Tax which all permits him to sell, transfer, or manufacture Title II weapons covered by the National Firearms Act of 1934.

His Stepgrandfather was career Regular Army, serving mostly with the 16th U.S. Infantry and for a time with the 9th Coast Artillery Regiment, Coast Artillery Corps at Fort Revere before being mandatorily retired from Fort Benjamin Harrison in 1924 as he was sixty, the mandatory age of retirement, and when his Maternal Grandmother married, she was thirty-six years his junior in 1921.

As a side note his Great-Grandfather Walter upon the outbreak of the Spanish-American War back in 1898 enlisted in the 27th Battery, Indiana Volunteer Artillery and landed on Puerto Rico before his unit was ordered to engage the Spaniards at Guayma yet as fate would have it the gunners received word to stand-down as the armistice was signed and therefore never fired a shot.

Current Place of Residence: Marine Barracks Brooklyn, Brooklyn Navy Yard - Brooklyn, New York City, New York

Current Occupation: United States Marine Corps, MOS 5811 Military Policeman, Rank of Private First Class

Height: 6'2"

Weight: 178 lbs

Secondary Languages: In addition to taking German in High School, The subject is fluent in a dialect of Low German, the Mindener Platt subdialect of Ostwestfälisch, and is knowledgeable of some Schleswigsch as well, the latter likely due to his paternal grandmother.

Vision Acuity: 20/10

Health Ailments: Cat Allergy, life-threatening severity of which may require emergency medical treatment. It is noted that during First Contact with Zorin Krasul as head of the diplomatic mission, Meyer did have a flare up but the allergen noted in his report that the Cathar dander was not life-threatening compared to native felines and that the reaction was as if it was hayfever, suggesting that interactions with Cathar fur would result in Allergic Rhinitis rather than Anaphylaxis but the exact reasons are unknown as of this time.

IQ according to the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale: 135

Additional Notes: After investigating thoroughly, the background and character of the subject do not appear to be sympathetic to any foreign entity including but not limited to Communists as well as this reported Sith Empire and even the United Nations though as will be mentioned Meyer does hold opinions that could still call for being watched even if it is for reasons other than the purpose of this background investigation.

He had been commended by his commanders and his record has no demerits that would be described as critical of his credibility as an upstanding serviceman and citizen of the United States, including but not limited to being a Page at the Indiana State Senate during the Ninth Grade of High School.

Additionally, as aforementioned, his IQ Classification is clearly well above average and he was noted by teachers and faculty to be studious and precocious with a recommendation to skip grades in Elementary and was consistently in the top ten of his class, earning a GPA of 3.8 upon graduation from Franklin Central High School.

As a comparison, one of his step-cousins, Nicole, is noted to have an IQ of 146.

Although Meyer does not appear to pose any particular risks to National Security given his particular positions, the fact that he is involved with the John Birch Society does indicate that his beliefs are on the fringe and it is not difficult to speculate that he is on the far right of the political spectrum as noted by one of our top psychological analysts and he is currently a member of the John Birch Society as well as Americans for Constitutional Action and the American Conservative Union.

The subject and his father alike were ejected by the Liberty Lobby for being 'kike sympathizing nigg*r lovers'. In regards to their expulsion from the latter organization, it indicates that their beliefs are more aligned with curtailing the powers of the federal government in favor of strictly upholding the tenth amendment and rolling back New Deal initiatives than supporting the particular ideological agenda of Willis A. Carto.

While unconfirmed as of this time, it is suspected that he and his male relatives are members of the Minutemen established by Robert DePugh and as such, have accumulated and stockpiled weapons as part of a hypothetical counterrevolution in the event of a Communist takeover. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division records do show that there are privately possessed machine guns and suppressors registered by immediate and extended family as required by the National Firearms Act of 1934 and there may be some World War Two vintage anti-tank rifles, mortars, and even a lone Forty Millimeter Bofors anti-aircraft gun among them, registration which may have been done with reluctance given their beliefs regarding Constitutional rights despite otherwise being law-abiding. Although members of the Minutemen have been arrested on Federal weapons charges, membership in an organization itself is not a crime though as decided by the 1886 decision Presser v. Illinois the Supreme Court of the United States held "Unless restrained by their own constitutions, state legislatures may enact statutes to control and regulate all organizations, drilling, and parading of military bodies and associations except those which are authorized by the militia laws of the United States" and presently as quoted under Article 12 of the Constitution of Indiana regarding the composition and classes of the militia:

"A militia shall be provided and shall consist of all persons over the age of seventeen years, except those persons who may be exempted by the laws of the United States or of this state. The militia may be divided into active and inactive classes and consist of such military organizations as may be provided by law."

The aforementioned article which observes 10 U.S. Code § 246 as quoted:

(a)The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least seventeen years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under forty-five years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.

(b)The classes of the militia are—

(1)the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and

(2)the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.

It is therefore interpreted reluctantly by the Office of Legal Counsel who consulted with us during this investigation with emphasis on reluctantly that under current law the Minutemen as founded by Mister DePugh could controversially be classified as part of the unorganized militia and unless otherwise in conflict with laws of the state in question or violating the National Firearms Act of 1934 by stockpiling unregistered arms that are covered by the National Firearms Act of 1934, no member of the organization who abides by the law could rightfully be prosecuted and they could only be indicted on laws already being enforced and upheld to constitutional scrutiny.

Moreover, it is noted that he is interested in firearms, subscribing to Shotgun News and surveillance has been conducted with him being seen engaging at firing ranges recreationally.

He has in his youth competed in events sanctioned by the Office of the Director of Civilian Marksmanship, first attending the National Matches at Camp Perry at the age of Ten with the Central Indiana Highpower Rifle Shooters according to National Board for the Promotion of Marksmanship Practice records housed at the Department of Defense, and became a Distinguished Marksman while serving as a United States Marine.

It is advised to keep watch even if Meyer was cleared as a result of this investigation, especially with the stint in the Studies and Observation Group during the War in Vietnam as well as his intelligence and beliefs in mind.

While contradictory given the reactionary ultraconservative politics, it is also recommended to halt any further inquiries regarding the circ*mstances of Lieutenant Cameron's posting at the Pentagon due to a lack of evidence that they were some Imperial espionage cell that infiltrated Earth for centuries as well as the fact that as far as we can conclude they pose no extraterrestrial threat and such fears were erroneous given the background and familial origin.

Paul Burgess Fay

United States Secretary of the Navy

J. Edgar Hoover

Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations

Frederick J. Harlfinger

Director of Naval Intelligence, U.S. Navy

John S. Canton

Director of Marine Corps Intelligence

William Ezra Jenner

Chairman of the United States Senate Subcommittee on Internal Security

Richard Osborne Ristine - 41st Lieutenant Governor of Indiana

Indiana Senate Chambers - Indiana General Assembly, Indiana Statehouse, 200 W. Washington Street, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana, United States of America

Monday, October 16th, 1961 - 9:00 AM

"I'm sorry for interrupting as I know you're busy but there has to be some mistake, Mister Ristine."

The Lieutenant Governor glanced down and read, seeing that the High Schooler was assigned to him instead of his state senator as a page for a few days, clearly a clerical error.

"Look at the bright side, young man, while you may never have the opportunity to witness the angle where the Vice President presides over the Senate in Washington, this is the closest instance of it."

"Our Constitutional Republic at work." The boy smiled as if he was proud of the opportunity and cherished the spirit of American citizenship as well as the Federal System of Government.

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - Fireteam Bravo, Third Squad, Second Platoon, Delta Company, Second Military Police Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force Command Element, II Marine Expeditionary Force, United States Marine Corps

House Un-American Activities Committee - House of Representatives Chambers, Capitol Building, Capitol Hill, Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

07:31:15 ATC / Wednesday, July 31st, 1968 - 1:44 PM

"When were you born?"

Jake didn't miss a beat and immediately spoke into the microphone. "July 2nd, 1947."

"The Second of July? If so, Happy belated Birthday."

"Yes, sir, that is correct." Jake verified, overlooking the suspicion. "I was born inside the Hospital in Beech Grove two hours before the fireworks went off for the start of the Independence Day celebrations according to my father but it could be a joke."

"It is said here that you were involved in 4-H and participated in competitions sanctioned by the Director of Civilian Marksmanship, son?" Representative Richard Lowell Roudebush of Indiana noted with a tinge of sympathy in his voice, unlike his fellow Committee members. To Roudebush this was a waste of time and if this was not a closed but rather a televised hearing undoubtedly it could potentially have become a campaign issue in the Hoosier State during re-election yet while in reality, Richard should have recused himself given the nature after feeling that there could be a conflict of interest yet he was now a part of this inquiry. Come to think of it, he now recognized the Marine in question but couldn't exactly place when, where, or how, only that they met somehow and somewhere previously. "You first went to Camp Perry at the age of ten?"

"While I didn't win any of the competitions, I did legitimately earn my leg points and received the classification of Master by the National Rifle Association with a small-bore rifle, a .22 to clarify, when I was fourteen. I also competed in High Power - Across the Course and Long Range Service Rifle with initially a 1903 Springfield and then an M1 Garand as well as at one thousand yards with a Winchester Model 70 in .300 Holland & Holland Magnum - and I finally went Distinguished in '66 in the Marine Corps much to my surprise as I would've thought that my score wouldn't transfer as I was competing as a civilian. Still, it was challenging to manage time with life on the farm spring-to-winter and being the only child but I think I matured earlier than my peers as a result." The former competitive rifleman mostly at local and state events, thrice nationally in Port Clinton, Ohio then going distinguished in the Corps stated to the record. "Representative Ichord? Is it alright if I ask why you're asking questions regarding myself and my background? I thought this inquiry was about alien spies?"

Then it clicked for Roudebush, he recognized him while visiting Ralph Harvey's re-election campaign headquarters, the former incumbent was defeated during the Democratic Party's landslide victory in the 1958 Congressional elections and was ousted by Randall S. Harmon but Harmon became better known as 'Front Porch' Harmon as during his term in office, Harmon attracted controversy by putting his wife on the Congressional payroll and declaring his front porch a Congressional district office. Harmon also explored the possibility of running for President in 1960 but he refused to spend money on such a candidacy and never proceeded to run. Of course, the political backlash against Harmon marked the return of Harvey, and among the most vigorous get-out-the-vote volunteers on behalf of Ralph Harvey were the Meyer's of Acton and Roudebush now recognized that this Leatherneck was none other than their eldest son who had come along way from the boy handing out flyers. Roudebush was aware of the fact that aside from a near reapportionment at the federal-level following the Census report, Acton was almost redistricted to the seat presently held by him and in the proposed reorganization Roudebush would have no longer represented Indiana's 6th Congressional District which he still held but rather the 10th yet the State of Indiana gerrymandered in a manner in which Harvey and Rhoudebush were able to retain their separate seats at the electorate's discretion at the polls instead of duking it out in a primary with both of them seeking the nomination for an alternate 10th Congressional District.

"We are the ones asking the questions here." Representative Richard Howard Ichord, Junior of Missouri dismissed. "It is mentioned here in the investigation report compiled by the FBI that you are a registered, dues-paying member of the John Birch Society and were once affiliated with the Liberty Lobby. Is that correct, Private Meyer?"

"That's correct." Jake affirmed under oath even though the John Birch Society was controversial when to the contrary it should not be. "Dad and I left the Liberty Lobby upon discovering that it was just a front for Klansmen, something my father and I were initially oblivious to before learning of the full platform." The Hoosier recalled one time when fellow Birchites considered revoking his membership for being 'extreme' when in fact in one particular instance back in February 1961 he and his old men only jokingly suggested that they should all head to The Big Apple, infiltrate the premises, and lob teargas inside the United Nations General Assembly when Fidel Castro spoke as the Red was scheduled to speak but it turned out coincidentally on the very day that instead of Birchites filling the room with nontoxic yet unpleasant fumes a Cuban Exile decided to shoot a rocket from a Bazooka in what would unfortunately be a failed assassination attempt on Fidel. There was also the fact that he was irritated with Willis Allison Carto, to put it mildly, but the regrettable prior affiliation with Carto's group only due to being deceived aside, they did find some additional like-minded organizations eventually. "We also joined the American Conservative Union after bumping into your colleague Representative Donald Bruce downtown but we still unapologetically retain our membership with the JBS."

"And are you still a member of the American Conservative Union as well as the Americans for Constitutional Action?" John Milan Ashbrook of Ohio wondered.

"I can't advocate in uniform of course as that would violate the UCMJ - the Uniform Code of Military Justice - but I pay my dues and subscribe to the newsletters."

"Yet you still hold views that are best described as being Far-Right?" Representative William Munford Tuck of Virginia sneered. "There are notes here that also suggest involvement with the Minutemen, care to clarify, Bircher?"

"You don't like me because I hold views that cherish and maintain the values and heritage of this nation?" Jake wondered. "Or being of German descent? Do the surnames of Von Steuben, Siegel, Schurz, Custer, Pershing, Rickenbacker, Eisenhower, Nimitz, Spaatz, and Spruance ring a Liberty Bell? The most common ethnicity in this nation is German and in 1861 my two times Great-Grandfather listened to the call of this country and enlisted at the age of sixteen to fight to Preserve the Union. My paternal Grandmother was thirteen when she arrived in Philadelphia and the fisherman's daughter had to grow up fast because World War One prevented her from returning home to Schleswig-Holstein but despite the sentiment of 1917, she met my Grandfather and became an American in 1919."

"So is it habitual for your family to date foreign agents?" William pressed, seeing the new information as unwitting ammunition, and decided to drop the matter of Robert DePugh for the time being.

"My Grandmother was no spy for the Kaiser!" Jake snapped, not believing his ears yet if there was one weakness common among any human being it was disparaging family and it was a weakness that tested anyone's patience. "She lived here circ*mstantially due to poor timing after stepping off theS.S. Rhaetiaon July 22nd, 1914 and to say that an eleven year old girl from a fishing village on an island in the North Sea coming here with fifteen cents in her pocket, and living with relatives in Philadelphia, working at a shirtwaist factory until fired for being a Kraut and in fear of getting lynched like Roger Prager in Illinois, having to pretend she was Danish in order to move around in a state where over seventy percent of the population could be described as being of at least partial German extraction themselves, being traced in instances to before America even became a country, you have some nerve!"

"You're out of line, Marine!"

"I'm an American and I came here on behalf of my country!" Jake continued, the nominally even-tempered man unswayed by the fact that he was out of order as it became personal. "To discuss the matter of espionage from extraterrestrials, not to have my loyalty as an American be questioned and I have to say that wanting the Constitution of the United States to be upheld word-for-word is not treason in the slightest! You have some nerve to enact legislation that contradicts, no, that thoroughly usurps the Constitution that explicitly limits governmental powers ever since Woodrow Wilson sat in the White House, since the movement to install Franklin Delano Roosevelt as dictator, and then you have the nerve, the gall to slander me as unAmerican!? Besides, I'm not a Communist and you're not Senator Joseph McCarthy nor from Wisconsin for that matter!"

"This is not the United States Senate but the House of Representatives! " Tuck retorted. "The House Un-American Activities Committee! Jenner recused himself because of Jenner's ties with your father and uncle and this is a closed hearing!"

"Are you deluding yourself!? You work for the American people who pay the taxes for your salary and vote for you, not the other way around!" The Strict Constructionist persisted, turning to Representative Ashbrook and Roudebush, the only two in the chamber who appeared to be the only ones besides the Chairman not disparaging him or accusing him outright of being some subversive acting against the United States from within.

"This is a disposition! A closed hearing!" The Virginian who served as a United States Marine himself during World War One reiterated. "You're also the property of the United States Government during your enlistment and you are this close to being held liable in contempt of Congress and sent to Leavenworth after court-martial!"

"Maybe according to political scientists my beliefs are ludicrously regarded as being 'Far-Right' but when was the last time authoritarians advocated for a smaller government to stay out of private affairs and keeping the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights as a vanguard against tyranny!? That sounds counterintuitive!" Jake laughed at the ridiculousness of being equated to the brownshirts and blackshirts, even the silver shirts of William Dudley Pelley's, and to think it was sick irony that Pelley was interred in Noblesville, Indiana which was relatively close to Acton although it was across the northern border of Marion County, being the seat of Hamilton County while Acton, on the other hand, was in the southeastern corner of Marion County, officially Franklin Township yet whatever happened to the principles last upheld by Silent Cal, the last time America was truly America?

And it was even funnier when it was coming from someone who was a literal State's Rights Dixiecrat, someone who was supportive of Harry Flood Byrd, Senior and Byrd's political machine. It was also ironic how Meyer and Tuck both argue for smaller government albeit for different reasons, one who sincerely believes in the fundamental principles of the nation and did not think that the Federal Government should usurp the Tenth Amendment by creating additional agencies on a whim despite the fact it was not authorized to do so by the Constitution while the other exploits it for political purposes as well as keeping individuals with the wrong skin tone down.

And speaking of the Tenth Amendment, that was how the Federal Bureau of Investigations came to be, the agency was conceived by Charles Joseph Bonaparte, Napoleon's Great Nephew no less, and to the Sixth Generation German-American France was still the Erbfeind including and especially the Bonaparte's.

"Yet you know, Representative Tuck, you lived during the time when Franklin Roosevelt could've become a literal dictator, and the only wisest course he ever did as President was to reject the opportunity but his corpse should be unburied and dragged here for Un-American Activit-!"

"Why you selfish little entitled brat! Listen you little right-wing nutcase, you weren't even in diapers when breadlines were commonplace and Herbert Hoover didn't give a rat as-"

"Ease off, Will!" Ashbrook intervened finally, having had enough of the proceedings against the individual before them. "You gotta remember that I share a similar sentiment and besides, aren't you supposed to be a Dixiecrat?"

"Perhaps I'm testing his loyalty, John." The Virginian grouched. "I'm leaving no stones unturned until we can verify with certainty that he is who he claims to be."

The sound of a gavel interrupted the exchange between the Virginian Dixiecrat who endorsed selective parts of the New Deal, the vocal Archconservative Republican from the Buckeye State, and the serviceman who was one among a vocal minority of Americans who desired to scrap the New Deal entirely and returning to the policies of Calvin Coolidge instead.

"You're all out of line!" The Chairman of HUAC, Representative Edwin Edward Willis of Louisiana, chastised the uncivil conduct. "This hearing is in recess until further notice!"

Senator Carl Thomas Curtis - [Republican -Nebraska]

Capitol Building, Capitol Hill, Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

07:31:15 ATC / Wednesday, July 31st, 1968 - 1:44 PM

"I don't get it. Jake is a good kid yet he got bamboozled." Senator Capehart sighed, still denying the entire sham of a romantic engagement. "And to think his father and one of his uncles are fellow members of the Antelope Club."

Curtis nodded as Homer was a member of the Antelope Club, a social club based in Indianapolis and founded not only as a gathering place for due-paying members to take the annual hunting trips to Wyoming in the pursuit of Antilocapra americana but for wildlife conservation and promoting juvenile athletics as well. They even donated funds to the Indianapolis Zoo for the purchase of three antelope back in 1966 and needless to say being fellows of the same lodge was undeniably one clear-cut way to be on speaking terms with politicians.

"Tell me about it." The other Senator for the State of Indiana, William Ezra Jenner, grumbled. "That redhead deceived him and used the honeypot trap upon him." Bill did not disclose the fact that Jake's sister Valerie was arcanely his goddaughter despite being a Methodist and not a Lutheran, a fact that the public was unaware of and it was a private matter between the Jenner's and the Meyer's as well as God himself.

"How did you get to know him, Bill? He's nowhere near Bedford or even Marengo."

"You could say he's been a Republican since birth." Homer chuckled as he revealed the first meeting between the Meyer's and the two United States Senators to Carl. "While he wouldn't remember, Jake was only a year old and was with his parents at a campaign event back in 1948, when Bill was planning to run for Governor only to not be nominated."

"I thought you two despise each other?"

"We do." Jenner declared. "But meeting constituents and getting their support is part of the job description after all. I mean the Meyer's are strenuously active in the Franklin Township GOP Club, get out the vote and all that as they sincerely believe in the American way." The firebrand then recognized that his colleague from Minden, Nebraska was sounding softer than one expected, almost as if he was a doting grandfather. "Is it just me or have you gotten soft over the years?" Jenner inquired.

"I suppose I'm getting tired of hearing about subversives." Curtis shrugged despite being a staunch Anti-Communist. The country just went through a tumultuous time after all. That and the fact that he had been in office for quite some time by this point.

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - MOS 5811 Military Policeman, Military Police Detachment, Marine Barracks Brooklyn, United States Marine Corps

House of Representatives Chambers - Capitol Building, Capitol Hill, Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

07:31:15 ATC / Wednesday, July 31st, 1968 - 2:24 PM

'I should've remained calm in there but no one deserves to go after my family, never mind Grandma.'Jake thought as he reflected on the argument with one of the committeemen of H.U.A.C. in particular, Representative Tuck.'We're not Communists but Americans.'

He may be a German-American which was the most prevalent ethnic group in the United States of America with Irish a distant second but ultimately at the end of the day Meyer was in essence not hyphenated but rather straightforwardly a regular American and the Melting Pot meant that there were no Hyphenated American as cultural assimilation was preferred over multiculturalism, even so it did not make the nation being populated predominantly by those of German descent and ironically the Deutsch-Amerikaners during both World Wars were advocating for neutrality and isolationism, the Kaiser Wilhelm II was seen as just another European monarch flying in the face of American principles and the Austrian immigrant Hitler before the whole unraveling of what was repugnantly occurring behind the scenes was viewed as just some demagogue who was of no concern to the United States whereas Britain and Japan alike were both considered to be the more likely adversaries, the ones who were regarded as the greatest threat to American sovereignty.

Being at times associated with the Rape of Belgium and more outlandishly with the ideology of National Socialism was erroneous when many Americans like him had their German roots traced back to the 1880s at the latest but at least post-war the now annual Steuben Day Parade in New York City went unhindered and the condemnation for the Third Reich was for the most part laid upon the card-carrying members and founders, not the German people at the whole.

Still, it was aggravating whenever he was assailed with the irregular Teutophobia, especially to those who otherwise would be scoffing at some Irishman or Italian or Pole or Jew in addition to Squareheads.

"Long day?"

Jake glanced up and noticed the Second Lieutenant of the Women's Army Corps, United States Army attired in her dress blues that were almost black despite it and the full dress coat of the Marine Corps both being dyed in Midnight Blue but the Leatherneck was wearing the khaki blouse due to it being summer and not winter nor was he attending a formal evening event.

"They subpoenaed you too, Ash?" Jake asked, astonished as there was no reason she should be here unless it was something for the Pentagon or more likely given the current circ*mstances she was ordered to due to Congress.

"I was actually in the building with Westmoreland talking to Representative Rivers and members of the Armed Services Committee about a certain classified project that I can't say then I have to attend a function later and I saw you of all people here in the hall." The WAC revealed as she sat next to him on the bench. "You were in HUAC?"

"As hard as it is to believe, I was." Jake muttered. "I'm beginning to wonder if anyone other than Roudebush, Capehart, and Jenner cares about our country. I mean Jenner retired back in '58 due to believing Washington was a lost cause yet returned in '64 and decided to stick it out as long as possible."

"Politicians who are sincere men of the people are as rare as coffee drinkers in England and capitalists in the Soviet Union."

"Repealing the Constitution should be a capital offense." Jake grouched. "Where's the Army Chief of Staff anyways?"

"Okay, I might've fibbed slightly. It was mentioned that you were here and he sent me after I pulled out the documents."

"Sent you or ordered you to despite there being no need?"

"Both as he might've mistaken me for your stepmother." Ashley quipped.

"Funny." Jake scoffed.

"So are you free? I haven't eaten yet and I thought we could get some Chinese food."

"Don't know. I've been here for thirty minutes despite it being a fifteen-minute recess."

On cue, the door to the chambers opened.

"Recess is over." The aide announced before noticing who was sitting next to him. "You're kissing your cousins now?"

Although Jake and Ashley were not related by blood in the slightest and Ashley was his stepmother's niece, it was still abhorrent to them nonetheless.

"Oh come on! We're Hoosiers, not Arkansans, Alabamians, or South Carolinians!" Ash was repulsed by the insinuation and even belched despite being taught better in regards to social interactions but her usually even-tempered step-cousin was getting into the face of the man who just screamed as being an actual Ivy Leaguer with the superlative tailored suit and not the imitative vogue from the Sears, Roebuck, & Co. catalog.

"You care to repeat that?" He growled. "Right to my face, Harvard? My patience is not really the best currently and you're someone who gives off the impression of being from the Upper East Side dismissing me as some bum but I have time to hear you out."

"Ummm… It's Cornell actually and I'm from Sagaponack but... You appear to be a tight-knit family?"

"Well, in that case, I better not see your mug ever again you pretentious erroneously deducing incestuous relations East Coast apef*cker that gives the entire state of New York a bad name as there's more to New York than The Big Apple alone and that's painful for me to say as a good friend of mine got his legs blown off in 'Nam by a mine is from Albany, your state capital." Jake snarled, trying real hard not to shove the conceited prick to the floor and he was quite tempted to imprint the marble tile with his smug face. "I might be from flyover country just outside Indianapolis and you think Chicago in the next state over is a poor substitute for New York City or Albany or Buffalo assuming you prefer the Metropolises due to being bored of the Hamptons or even Martha's Vineyard but mark my words, you Cornell frat boy, if after today I ever see you in my sights again, you're dead."

"You're crazy!"

"No, if anyone here is crazy, she's one of the zanies."

The aide nevertheless scurried off by walking briskly, not waiting to discover the Cameron's familial idiosyncrasies.

"I'll never understand why Indiana is one of those states associated with such repugnance." Ash grumbled. "It's not even located in the Deep South but the Midwest! The Old Northwest and Great Lakes Region! Squire Boone and Robert Hanna!"

'At least it wasn't about the 'Occupied Territory'.'Jake mentally grimaced as Ashley's greatest pet peeve was in regards to anyone who dared call Northern Ireland 'British soil' and Aunt Shannon - Ash's mother - was from the province but anyone who openly labeled the six counties as the possession of the monarch residing in Windsor was receiving the guaranteed ticket of witnessing an irksome ranting Banshee on the warpath, Irish short-temperament was one thing but in Ash's case her hairtrigger of a pet peeve was a completely different ballgame, he could visualize her being calm then suddenly snapping when her specific annoyance got mentioned.

"It's Ireland, Ireland! Not Northern but a slice of Ireland that should rightfully be reunited with the rest of the Emerald Isle!"

Resisting the urge to shudder at the terrifying image of her metamorphosing into some Dearg-Due or wailing ghost in overdramatic retaliation for someone committing the mere sin of naively calling the inhabitants of Northern Ireland 'English', Jake maintained his composure and mentioned why as a general rule the WASPs of the Northeast avoided Middle America like the plague. "To be fair our state is pretty much agriculture and hard industries, we're not exactly their choice of destination, just predominantly populated with blue-collar and white-collar people and folks like him want to subconsciously avoid areas deemed to be ordinary at all hazards."

"I would enjoy the look on Donna's face if she was here to witness what just transpired."

"Sam's cousin is just something else." Jake rolled his eyes at the mention of the ditsy WASP. "At least one advantage is the knowledge of narrowing down his residence and Cowardly Cornell that just ran off reminds me why we are ambivalent about the Rockefeller Republicans in Salem."

"Still, like I said, I would've enjoyed the look on her face if she was here to witness the confrontation just like how Nikki showed her your Mensa card." Ash snickered.

He blanched at the reminder of Nicole going into his wallet and showing it off to prove a point as he preferred not to disclose himself as being a bona fide member of MENSA and be erroneously considered a braggart when bragging about intellect was mostly reserved exclusively for the WASPs and it was a comical story about how it came to be.

Back in 1966, he was at a bar in Da Nang when one of the guys he barely knew as he was with another unit, Philips if he recalled his last name correctly as they weren't on a first-name basis, joked how they should take an IQ test and send the results to MENSA.

Within days eight Jarheads took the test and sent them to the address with Jake treating it as a joke and circling random answers yet weeks later, five of the Marines, contrary to expectations of the United States Army, gained official membership in the organization and it turned out his guesses were actually the correct answers and according to MENSA Jake's IQ was officially one hundred thirty-five just like what the school's psychologist noted.

"Yeah, I'm sure she'll be surprised again." He chuckled nervously.

"Thank you for standing up for me."

"No need Ash as no one gets away from messing with family no matter who they or their folks are."

Chapter 9: The Great Crusade

Chapter Text

Leontyne Saresh - Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic

Supreme Chancellor's Office - Senate Building, Senate District, Coruscant, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

08:05:15 ATC/ Monday, August 5th, 1968 - 10:00/10:00 AM

Although the Galactic Republic was not only a federal union between worlds of varying cultures and societies but best described as a parliamentary-style representative democracy where the executive branch derives its legitimacy from and is accountable to the legislature, in this case, the Galactic Senate, Supreme Chancellor Leontyne Saresh has felt a new surge of confidence as her coalition and supporters within the Senate has without notice been successful in incrementally yielding and cementing her authority as head of state, more than officially authorized by the Galactic Constitution, but that was not the sole reason for today's optimism as she became enlightened to reports that indicated the tide against the enemy may be arriving sooner than anticipated.

Deciding to take a break from overseeing the inner workings of government and the bureaucracy, Saresh stood outside her office on the balcony to watch the beautiful Coruscanti sunrise. It was still difficult to comprehend that the war was gradually going well for the Republic with memories of the Sacking of Coruscant years prior still fresh. Additionally, there was the recent and remarkable discovery of a race of warlike humans and their natural resources were thoroughly impervious to the Force, the Chancellor had set in motion events that would hopefully bring the new world into the war on the Republic's side. It also brought forward newfound opportunities of constructing war machines for combatting the Sith and making the Jedi irrelevant, which was by no means an understatement but at present, it was only speculative and it was unknown if the negating effects would 'transfer' to the home galaxy or not.

'And with the help of the people of Earth, we'll strike a major blow against the Empire. Maybe even crush the Imps once and for all.'She thought, relishing the newfound opportunity.

But then her holo-communicator beeped and Saresh answered it only to hear that it was her Togruta secretary Zaraht Tano.

"What is it, Zaraht?"

"General Garza is waiting for you outside your office, your Excellency."

Saresh smiled with the thoughts of Havoc Squad pulling another victory. "Go ahead and send her in. I'm on the balcony."

General Elin Garza - Commander of the Republic Special Forces Division, Republic Army

Supreme Chancellor's Office - Senate Building, Senate District, Coruscant, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

08:05:15 ATC/ Monday, August 5th, 1968 - 10:15/10:15 AM

'Here's goes nothing.'Garza thought as she timidly walked up to the Supreme Chancellor, still wishing she did not have to divulge the news yet at times updates had to be given personally.

"Hello, Ellin! What a surprise! Did Havoc score another victory?"

The commanding officer of the Republic's SpecForce sighed. "No, Your Excellency..." With a deep breath, Ellin informed her of the contretemps. "There was a diplomatic incident on Earth and it appears that a member of Chaos Squad was an undercover agent for the Empire." Garza knew what the reaction was going to be and the Twi'lek politician's face went from excitement to disappointment and now anger. Preparing her ears for the hearing loss, Ellin, unfortunately, was too late to cover her ears at the outrage.

"Arghh! You're telling me…" The Chancellor paused as she was still fuming and feeling incensed. "That the Imperials had a spy, a literal plan within the diplomatic party the entire time!?"

"Yes, Your Excellency. Chaos Squad marksman Corporal Kelrein was, in fact, an undercover agent for the Empire. I wrote a full report and I accept all responsibility."

It was scary to the commander of SpecForce to watch the Supreme Chancellor recover from her outburst quickly. "Very well Ellin, but you do not have to resign. No one is blaming you... Hope you have a nice day."

General Garzagladlyleft the office as fast as she could and she looked over her shoulder, seeing Saresh lean against the balcony, depressed and disconcerted.

Nathrrya Therin-Palatine - Darth Avarice /The Empire's Wrath

Kaas City, Dromund Kaas, Dromund System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

08:05:15 ATC/ Monday, August 5th, 1968 -10:00/10:00 AM

'You got to be kidding me!'Nathrrya thought as she read the holomessage she received.'Invade Earth? What the kriffing hell are they on?'

It was now official. The Empire would like to conquer Earth despite Avarice's warnings of the semi-advanced nature of their fighters which would be problematic to deal with in atmospheric combat until defeated through attrition, not to mention the experience of their soldiers during not one, but two world wars! And while admittedly it was only in some areas the world was remarkably advanced for their civilization especially militarily on a planetary andnotinterplanetary nor even intergalactic basis, there was also the logistical hindrance for her to consider as well. Traveling with hyperdrives, no matter if traveling to a different sector or attempting to leave beyond the known galaxy, can be perilous if the navcomputers were incorrectly inputted and until recently the Circumferential Hyperspace Barrier impeded going beyond the home galaxy in addition to the fact that there was only one known route so far, traveling another route blind could lead the armada directly to oblivion and therefore pointlessly self-destructive, that was if they were not intercepted by a Republic taskforce first en route.

With the matter of logistics especially in mind, not to mention adding yet another inevitable guerilla war for the Sith Empire to fight on a planet in another galaxy entirely with plenty of unknowns, she slammed her hand down on the long-range holocom table in frustration as she began to call the Dark Council every colorfully vulgar expletive in ancient High Sith she knew and she knew quite a few.

With a sigh, Nathrrya turned and made her way to her quarters. After all, the call she was about to make was best not overheard by the others. For what she was about to do while technically treason was something she knew she had to do.

Once in her quarters Nathrrya took the secure holocom from her belt and tapped in her cousin's com code. It took a few moments, but eventually, the Battlemaster answered.

"Nat! What a surprise..."

"Cas. It's not a social call." She said cutting him off "If only it were."

Master Therin sensed that something was deeply troubling her."What is it, Nat."

Nathrrya sighed. "Cas, I believe the Empire is making a grave error, one that is rather short-sighted and foolhardy. The Dark Council wants to conquer Earth over my objections and they've lost all reasoning. I thought Marr and Vowrawn would have known better but they were forced to go along with the other idiots." She made a face. "Thebestpart is I've been given theprivilegeof leading the invasion fleet." It was clear she was less than thrilled about that detail.

The Jedi massaged his temples. He wasn't surprised at the news since the Empire always thought of conquest when a new world was discovered. He was more surprised that his cousin would risk her hide to warn him that there was an invasion coming.

"Why risk this?"

"I might be loyal to the Empire, Cas, it is my home after all but that loyalty only goes so far when said Empire constantly makes poor decisions. We both know that the stability of the galaxy is at stake if this war drags on too much longer." Nathrrya said. "And who knows of the repercussions."

The Jedi nodded."What would you like in return, cousin dearest?"

Darth Avarice grinned remembering how the Jedi owes her something. "How about those dynamic power couplings that you promised me?" She asked sweetly, with a hint of humor.

"I'll see what I can do Nat. No promises."

Avarice wasn't happy with that answer. "But you promised!" she cried giving her cousinthe look. It was much the same as the look Kira gave him when she wanted something, though in Kira's case thatsomethingwas usually Casavir.

Normally a Jedi wouldn't show any emotions, but his cousin knew his weakness. Kriff, even Kira knows it, and damn it, he wouldn't be surprised if his wife told her!"NAT!? Please don't give me that look!"

The Wrath, on the other hand, pressed the advantage and continued to give himthe look. The pouty face made her seem years younger than she was and it amused her how Casavir could be ruffled by her Kath hound eyes.

"Alright! Alright! I'll send you those dynamic power couplings!"

"Thank you." Nathrrya smirked in victory. If only it was this easy to win the war with such a method.

The hologram faded out and now Nathrrya was satisfied that the dynamic power couplings would be shipped so that the Rose might be improved.

Walter Leland Cronkite, Junior - CBS New

The White House - 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

08:09:15 ATC/ Friday, August 9th, 1968 - 20:00/8:00 PM

As Cronkite waited for the current President to speak, the anchorman could not help but to feel for the still youthful man even if he was now nearing middle age, the fact of the matter was that although the New Frontier did hold much promise, much energy, it inevitably imploded and now the polls suggest that the American electorate may not be voting for the Republican nominee and former Governor of Washington Daniel Jackson Evans who was nominated yesterday at the Republican National Convention nor would they seek the Democratic nominee George Stanley McGovern and the vicious infighting within the Democratic Party were already exacerbating the fact that the majority of American people saw neither parties as worthy of their votes and instead they were looking at the alternative.

But before Cronkite could reflect further, Kennedy stepped forward to the podium and began to speak.

"Good evening, my fellow Americans. Onescore and three years ago today, when theBockscarand her aircrew dropped Fatman on Nagasaki following theEnola Gay's devastation of Hiroshima, these two atomic bombings convinced the Japanese to capitulate six days later, during which aboard the BattleshipMissouri, General MacArthur in his address noted:'A new era is upon us. Even the lesson of victory itself brings with it profound concern, both for our future security and the survival of civilization. The destructiveness of the war potential, through progressive advances in scientific discovery, has in fact now reached a point which revises the traditional concepts of war. Men since the beginning of time have sought peace. Various methods through the ages have attempted to devise an international process to prevent or settle disputes between nations. From the very start workable methods were found insofar as individual citizens were concerned, but the mechanics of an instrumentality of larger international scope have never been successful. Military alliances, balances of power, leagues of nations, all in turn failed, leaving the only path to be by way of the crucible of war. We have had our last chance. If we do not now devise some greater and more equitable system, Armageddon will be at our door. The problem basically is theological and involves a spiritual recrudescence and improvement of human character that will synchronize with our almost matchless advances in science, art, literature and all material and cultural developments of the past two thousand years, it must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh.'But today we've learned about a great tragedy involving not just us, the American People alone but our world as a whole... We never wanted war. We never wanted to be dragged into a great conflict that we have no business in. But, unfortunately, this planet we all reside on, this world we for generations called Earth, all of our homes have been targeted. The Sith Empire has plans not for diplomacy but that of conquest... Conquest. That word is one we never wanted to hear and yet here we are standing today. We all know what Hitler and Tojo envisioned and wrought during the last great war. We all have heard tales of George Washington fighting against a vast empire. And all nations understand what it means to be in a position of being conquered by a foreign enemy...However, we do have one advantage and that is we know how to conduct war. The nations of Earth will never be their possession! We shall not let them! We shall not go quietly into the night! We will fight on! If they want war, in the name of the Lord Almighty, we will show them!... As of three hours ago, Congress approved my declaration of war against the Sith Empire. Mister Khrushchev and I, along with the other leaders of the world agree that we need to take this threat to our sovereignty seriously. The Dark Council will learn that the word 'Earth' is what nightmares are made of."

The news correspondents were stunned into silence as the Secret Service agents quickly ushered the leader of the free world off the stage, less someone decided to confront Kennedy and question his sanity or even threaten his life. Cronkite was among those whose eyes widened in surprise at the speech. It was not one Walter and his peers were expecting at the special news conference that President Kennedy called. Was this the same President who was blemished with the recent domestic unrest and almost faced impeachment who spoke? The one who became in effect not only a lame duck but also a glorified rubber stamp for Congress?

Regardless of the now mixed to even radioactive legacy of the once promising Camelot, Cronkite knew that without question they had been unwittingly dragged into a significant far-off conflict, one that was not sought for in the slightest."As you heard the President, we are now at war with the Sith Empire. May God help us all..."

Klaus Büchel - Former Captain in the Liechtenstein National Police Force, Colonel in command of the resurrected Liechtenstein Army

Vaduz, Liechtenstein, Europe, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

08:29: 15 ATC / Thursday, August 29th, 1968 - 14:00 / 2:00 PM

"Today, the Republic suffered catastrophic losses on Jabiim."The reporter announced."The Sith Empire launched a full-scale invasion of the planet, outnumbering the defenders five to one and in the aftermath of the onslaught, the entire Jedi complement were beheaded by the Sith."

"Schisse." Büchel cursed. The former senior policeman who was appointed as the commander of the entire revived national army that was formerly nonexistent in the tiny European nation for literally a century, tiny as in the American state of Rhode Island, just realized the significant implications of being a part of this conflict. "Imaginejusteighty men facing that onslaught. It might've well have been ants attempting to block a Category Five hurricane."

"We did declare war on the Imperials so there's no turning back now."

"Brightside is we're working alongside die Schweizer and be attached to their forces while serving under our banner. The bad news is the Swiss haven't fought in over a century and that was of course the Sonderbundskrieg, a short civil war."

"We might be small but at least we'll go down fighting." Another subordinate declared grimly as he wiped the cosmoline off of his Swiss surplus 7.5×55mm K31 Straight-Pull rifle.

Red Army Training Center No. 1242 - Pustomyty Raion, Lviv Oblast, Western Ukraine, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Eurasia, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

09:01: 15 ATC / Sunday, September 1st, 1968 - 07:00 / 7:00 AM

"Comrades! It is time for you to learn how to properly throw a grenade!"

"But these are potatoes, Comrade Commissar!" One of the inductees who hailed from Ufa, Russia questioned after picking up one of the vegetables from the cart. "Why are we using potatoes, Comrade Commissar?"

"Actual grenades are valuable! In fact, they are muchmorevaluable than you, Private!" The political officer snapped at the disobedient. "And those Space Fascist scum hardly take any prisoners except those destined for slavery! If you have an actual grenade, save it for yourself and take out as many of the enemy as you can."

"Da, Comrade Commissar!" The platoon-sized detachment of trainees acknowledged.

"Now do as you are told as Mother Russia is calling for her brave and zealous sons once more. Prepare to chuck potatoes, I mean grenades!"

Moïse Kapenda Tshombe - 1st President of Katanga

Élisabethville - State of Katanga, Central Africa, Africa, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

09:03: 15 ATC / Tuesday, September 3rd, 1968 - 13:00 / 1:00 PM

The young independent and mineral-rich nation of Katanga was recognized by scant few nations with only the Kingdom of Belgium, the Portuguese Republic, France, the Republic of Rhodesia, the Republic of South Africa, and if the rumors were true then the United States of America would be next in officially seeing Katanga as a sovereign nation and it would have been sooner as there was support for Katanga in America and the donations from the American Committee for Aid to Katangan Freedom Fighters was welcomed but conversely President Kennedy and the State Department for whatever reason opposed it even though just like America back in the 18th Century Katanga was fighting for its independence. Still, it did not matter now as the inevitable incoming administration may be favorable and even if not then members of the new Congress could possibly be more receptive with hopefully enough seats in both chambers to override the veto of an unfriendly President of the United States but neither Tshombe nor his cabinet would known for certain until after the American elections.

Independence, however, did not come easy yet the Katangese Gendarmerie, against all odds, valiantly held the line always underestimated by the Congolese as well as their UN puppets and their success at apprehending A Company of the Irish Army's 35th Battalion at Jadotville while attending mass with only the lone sentry on watch that fateful day, Private Billy Ready, dispatched courtesy of a suppressed sniper rifle was a significant triumph for the Katangese while conversely becoming a public relations nightmare of the worst kind for the United Nations.

Furthermore, there was the crippling loss of Irish diplomat Donal Conor David Dermot Donat Cruise O'Brien, nevermind Indian Army Generals Dewan Prem Chand and Kottimukula Alagaraja Singaparaja Raja alike with the gunman responsible for their deaths remaining unidentified to the outside on the other hand knew that they had in fact been liquidated by Drake Meyer, an American from Acton, Indiana who was with the Whaling Group during the Pacific War and a Deputy for the Marion County Sheriff's Department before deciding to take 'a leave of absence' for the chance to fight against the United Nations but unbeknownst even to Tshombe, Meyer had ended another high-value target as the Hoosier was part of the ten-man team responsible for downing the plane carrying Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld through a 40 × 365 mm R Bofors anti-aircraft autocannon and the very one who aimed the piece as the Douglas DC-6B came into the 'spider' sight before firing the flak.

Then in '63 came the counteroffensive masterminded by American mercenary Mitchell Livingston WerBell III with the unvanquished Katangese forces successfully driving the United Nations Operation in the Congo out entirely including recently arrived Canadians after the UN reconsidered the offer of an entire Canadian Infantry Brigade and the then Prime Minister, John George Diefenbaker, had the first regiment, the esteemed and first in the order of precedence The Royal Canadian Regiment, deployed to the Congo immediately yet even The Royal Canadian Regiment saw the writing on the wall upon arrival and except for a platoon who got separated from the regiment in the chaos and were completely wiped out within minutes by American mercenaries led by WerBell personally the newly-arrived Canucks surrendered en masse without firing a shot in anger.

'Peacekeepers' was not only a misnomer for the UN contingents sent to face the Kataganese and aid the Republic of the Congo in reunifying the rebellious province by force, it was accurately described as a travesty since they acted akin to mercenaries for Cyrille Adoula yet the Congolese plea for UN intervention backfired spectacularly as the Congo Crisis became the first significant failure in the history of so-called 'Peacekeeping' but now the United Nations were ironically expecting the sons of Katanga to join their band for a struggle in a galaxy far, far away.

"Well, here we are, I believe we can make some demands." Tshombe smirked as he leaned back in his swivel chair while convening with two of his best military strategists. "Reasonable demands of course."

"Oh, I agree, Mister President." Roger Louis Faulques, a former Army Colonel turned hired gun and one of the most decorated soldiers in the history of France, concurred as he accepted the cigar from Tshombe. "And they better not make us wear blue berets or helmets."

"Trust me, most of the United States Armed Forces would mutiny if ordered to wear them." WerBell chortled. "Besides, the days of the UN being an institution are pretty much numbered yet those asinine idealists just can't bring themselves to vote to officially dissolve that worthless body."

Harry Allen Gardner - VFW Post 9439

On the outskirts of the remote small town of Crimson Dawn - Crimson Dawn, Natrona County, Wyoming, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

09:03: 15 ATC / Tuesday, September 3rd, 1968 - 13:00 / 1:00 PM

"Play the song, Harry." The lead VFW member ordered as the posse assisting the Sheriff's Department pulled up next to the Hippie encampment.

"With pleasure." The Deputized Doughboy who was part of the posse smiled as he played 'Ballad Of The Yellow Beret' by Bob Seger to announce their imminent arrival to raid the caravan and arrest the draft evaders.

What should have been a day of discussing old times at the VFW Post in Casper was thrown off due to reports of spoiled brats trying to evade the draft and to the elderly Doughboys who went 'Over There' it was repugnant - a slap in the face - and completely reminiscent of the slackers during World War I, Gardner honestly would not be surprised if the Slacker Raids had to be revived due to the necessity of this conflict against the Sith Empire with all the manpower that could be spared from essential wartime occupations being placed in uniform as now was not the time for slackers, especially for this conflict with American independence on the line!

In fact while Gardner did not expect to have a round-up not involving bovines occur near his community, there were scattered incidents across the nation during the past few weeks that were somewhat reminiscent of 1917-1918 in regards to slackers with the only one of significance being what occurred in the state of New York a week prior when New Rochelle Policemen, the New York State Park Police, New York State Troopers, New York Guard, and New York Naval Militia as well as VFW men and American Legionnaires raided an encampment on Travers Island and dragged off the few remaining Hippies to get taught a lesson in hygiene before the agencies of the State of New York including the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs transferred the men to the custody of the Federal Government for induction and do their part in the conflict instead of lounging about to smoke marijuana or shoot LSD, so few in fact that Gardner was surprised that there were any flower children left in the nation following the national 'Hard Hat Riots' last May with vigilantism including the tar and feathering of Jerry Clyde Rubin and Walter Philip Reuther. Heck, the caravan fleeing north to Canada stretched for miles!

And it still appalled him since even the slackers fifty-two years ago were at least civilized and respectable unlike these uncivilized, delusional, and ungrateful miscreants!

At seventy-two years, Gardner was far from the twenty year old man who was at the Battle of Cantigny on Tuesday, May 28th, 1918 but he was gleefully going to make sure these brats had a chance to preserve and defend this nation from being vanquished by the Sith Empire. There was no use for Hippies in these circ*mstances nor was there ever a need for their existence at all.

This is a protest against protesters:

Fearless cowards of the U.S.A.

Bravely here at home they stay

They watch their friends get shipped away

The draft dodgers of the Yellow Beret

"Come on you hippies!" The Sheriff of the County shouted at the commune after the posse surrounded them. "Off to war you go!"

Yellow streaks up and down their spines

Men who gladly stay behind

They won't fight for the U.S.A.

They fought hard for the yellow beret

"Not Mooney!" One of the women sobbed as the men had no choice but to surrender to the Law Enforcement officers surrounding them because continued running was fruitless and there was no place for them to go with Canada and even Sweden no longer being the sanctuaries they once were.

Men who faint at the sight of blood

Their high-heeled boots weren't meant for mud

The draft board will hear their sob stories today

Only the best the yellow beret

"Does he have a draft exemption card, ma'am?"

Back at home a young wife waits

Her yellow beret has met his fate

He's been drafted for marching in a protest

Leaving her his last request

"No. I qualify as 1-A." 'Mooney' admitted, holding back tears as he knew there was nowhere else to run or hide on Earth as Canada and Mexico, nevermind the entire world, were drafting even noncitizens to fill their individual manpower needs. "I and the others and I will accept the consequences."

Put a yellow streak down my son's back

Make sure that he never ever fights back

At his physical have him say he's gay

Have him win the yellow beret

"Welcome to the Army, son." The Sheriff smiled reassuringly at the men before facing the women. "As for the rest of you, ladies, I advise you to go to the diner in town and call your relatives to pick you up or make arrangements for a flight home at the Natrona County International Airport." The highest Law Enforcement officer with jurisdiction over the entire county couldn't help but grin at the outsiders who were going to learn how to shave and bathe properly at taxpayers' expense as the public was finished with their ilk, nevermind receive free haircuts. "Load them up, men! I'll call the recruiting offices back in Casper in the morning to arrange their induction."

The yellow beret

The yellow beret

The yellow beret

"With pleasure, Sheriff." Harry chuckled, the Doughboy had his M1903 Springfield Rifle at port arms and prepared to strike any of the draft evaders if they attempted anything. "You heard him, get into the vehicles! You are malingering, unpatriotic, and ungrateful cowards! It's time to grow up and be men!"

"Hey, you can't take me! I got a hurt knee, and a bad back, and I'm allergic to everything, and I have asthma, and look at that hang nail! And I got a pimple on my trigger finger and besides, I'm learning to play an instrument at college but I just started to learn and - ahhh, nooooo!"

The yellow beret

The yellow beret

Yeah, the yellow beret

"Well, we were planning on having children sometime soon…"

The yellow beret

Yeah, the yellow beret

Timothy Jones - Former Carpenter and Conscript for Her Majesty's Service

Widnes, Cheshire, England, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Europe, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

09:03: 15 ATC / Tuesday, September 3rd, 1968 - 13:00 / 1:00 PM

"Name?"

"Timothy Jones, sir!" The carpenter produced his draft notice to the board.

"Welcome to National Service, lad. As there's a quota needing to be filled, the Royal Engineers should feel like home." The Sergeant of the British Army smiled warmly before metamorphosing into something straight out of Hell for every processed inductee present. "NOW GET YOUR BLOODY ARSES ONTO THE BUS AND OUT OF MY SIGHT!"

Sergeant Wallace Franklin Bradford - United States Army

Fort Sill - Lawton, Comanche County, Oklahoma, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

09:04: 15 ATC / Wednesday, September 4th, 1968 - 19:00 / 7:00 PM

"EVERYONE GET YOUR ASS OFF OF MY BUS, NOW!" The lead Drill Sergeant screamed at the new arrivals after boarding the Greyhound that was shipping an inbound mixture of volunteers and draftees to be transformed into soldiers for the United States Army, not to mention be well cared for by their Uncle Sam.

The terrified recruits instantly hopped up from their seats and frantically retrieved their luggage and bags as three additional United States Army Drill Sergeants climbed aboard and shouted vulgarity at the recruits.

"MOVE IT, MOVE IT, YOU PATHETIC PIECES OF sh*t!" Bradford screamed inhumanly at the top of his lungs which was part of the official training process as was the infamous 'shark attack' they would encounter outside. "WE'RE NOT GOING TO STAND HERE UNTIL THE EMPIRE INVADES YOU LAZY GOLDBRICKS! I SWEAR TO THE GREAT GOD IN HEAVEN THAT I'LL SMOKE YOU UNTIL YOU DIE IF YOU DON'T PICK UP YOUR PACE YOU WORTHLESS SCUMBAGS! FROM THIS DAY FORWARD, YOUR ASSES BELONG TO UNCLE SAM AND HIS GREEN MACHINE SO ENJOY THE HOSPITALITY WHILE YOU CAN!"

And on cue, his fellow Drill Sergeants immediately hounded the volunteers and draftees outside.

"MOVE, MOVE, DON'T HOLD UP THE RECEIVING AREA!"

"PICK UP THAT BAG!"

"DID I ASK YOU TO SPEAK!?"

'Welcome to the Army.'Bradford thought as after filtering the arrivals he at last stepped off the bus himself and added additional volume to the chaos occurring outside.

Chakravarthi Vijayaraghava Narasimhan MBE, ICS - 4th Secretary-General of the United Nations

Headquarters of the United Nations - 760 United Nations Plaza, Turtle Bay, Midtown Manhattan, Manhattan, New York City, New York County, New York, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

09:12: 15 ATC / Thursday, September 12th, 1968 - 14:30 / 2:30 PM

"It's such a shame that there's no recourse other than war." The Indian who replaced his predecessor U Thant, the very same Burmese pacifist who followed reports of UFOs with keen interest only to resign after the ruination in the Congo as the breakaway Katanga had managed to successfully evict UN Peacekeepers from the breakaway state, mourned and of course there were the disastrous reverberations with, for instance, the United Nations Emergency Force failing to avert another Arab-Israeli War and having to withdraw from the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip.

In other words, the United Nations as an organization had been torpefied just like how the Kennedy Family had been degraded and were no longer influential in American politics.

"Well, after quite the debate, we decided who will be overseeing the Coalesced Forces from Earth or C.F.E. for short'." The Soviet board member of the United Nations Security Council declared as he revealed the only viable name that everyone could agree upon. "Dwight Eisenhower."

"Eisenhower? As in 'I Like Ike'?" Narasimhan was flabbergasted. While not exactly surprised that his name would be mentioned, the fact of the matter was Kennedy's predecessor in office, the 34th President of the United States should be enjoying his well-deserved retirement and not be brought into yet another major conflict, no less one that was unprecedented in scale and all of Earth's history itself for all parties concerned.

"He was the only candidate we could agree on." The American board member revealed. "But Ike is undoubtedly qualified for the task and I'm certain that just like Black Jack Pershing during World War One, he will make sure that our troops will be treated as equal allies, not auxiliaries."

"Let us hope that this endeavor will not be a disaster waiting to happen." Narasimhan sighed.

"Anyway, the international 'Quarantine Policy' in full cooperation with the Republic will be in effect tomorrow, and the joint 'Global Misinformation to the Galaxy' board will host their first session next week. It's not going to stop the Empire from invading but it will potentially make their task much harder as they literally have to sort fact from fiction as they only had one spy who couldn't have seen everything and that so-called Wrath of their only toured one city for a day."

"It's amazing how every country voted yes and not a single one abstained or voted no." Narasimhan smiled before pouting. "If only it was one of peace."

Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower

243 Eisenhower Farm Road - Gettysburg, Cumberland Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

09:14: 15 ATC / Saturday, September 14th, 1968 - 13:00 / 1:00 PM

The former Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force, 16th Chief of Staff of the Army, 13th President of Columbia University, the 1st Supreme Allied Commander Europe, and 34th President of the United States was hesitant to return to the colors after entering into a well-deserved retirement, moving away from the sphere of warfare and politics yet there was now a new war of an unprecedented scale on the horizon, one that was ongoing in outer space and in another galaxy altogether.

"No." Ike reiterated. "I can't do it, I shouldn't."

"Ike, the world respects you. You are the only candidate that everyone and I meaneveryonecould accept and I get the health concerns but the Republic has advanced medical technology quite capable of treating the ailment and after discussing it with them your heart may not be an issue but I understand if not so who else do you recommend?" The bureaucrat wondered. "We can consider an alternative."

Eisenhower was quite reluctant to take the reigns of leading a multinational force once again and even then this would be larger than the forces he oversaw pushing through occupied Europe but the former Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force acquiesced after realizing that for the time being he was the only clear and logical person to lead an international coalition without controversy, someone who had the experience and fortitude necessary to lead a motley band and keep them together, to keep the focus on the common adversary instead of each other.

Still, he felt that there was a pair of individuals who could step up after some needed mentoring, two men who were both equally qualified for the position if anything should happen.

"I'll accept on two conditions." The retired General proclaimed. "I want Harkins as my deputy and Brooks to be my Chief of Operations as well as an advisor for matters relating to artillery."

General Paul Donal Harkins - United States Army and Supreme Allied Commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization

Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial - Hamm, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

09:21: 15 ATC / Saturday, September 21st, 1968 - 15:45 / 3:45 PM

"It's been a while, sir, but I wish you were here."

The death of Patton was still shocking as it was something that no one ever expected, the famed hard-charging Bandito of the American Third Army dying in painful misery in a hospital ward resulting from a post-war traffic collision was unbefitting for the warrior.

While Patton was one of the greatest gods of war, Harkins was his Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and they were part of the team that stormed occupied Europe which collapsed the yoke of the Third Reich.

Yet Walton Harris Walker would have been an excellent alternative to him but he was killed in the chaos of the Communist Chinese intervention in Korea and while John Shirley 'Tiger Jack' Wood was another, the latter had passed on two years previously.

Still, Harkins held respectable credentials as he was Patton's Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and served as the first commander of Military Assistance Command, Vietnam from 1962 - 1964 until replaced by Creighton Abrams and while the presence of Old Blood and Guts was sorely missed, his son was on Harkin's staff and although there were health conditions impeding the two old warhorses, Walter Kruger was coming out of retirement to be an adviser and Eisenhower was once more leading the whole affair. Plus there was also the fact that Harkins would be working in collaboration with Edward Hale Brooks, a man who was described at the time of his retirement by General Jacob Loucks Devers as the following:"Ted Brooks is a man of action. He accepts responsibility and then does something constructive about it - and he does it now, not tomorrow. He is a great fighter to have on your side, for he thinks only of the big objective and never of himself. He is quick and sound in his thinking - has tremendous courage - and will tackle any problem with new approaches until he gets the solution. His integrity is of the highest order, and he has great loyalty up and down. He knows when and where to disperse the workload, and when and where to concentrate it. His judgment is unquestionably sound. In addition, Ted has a wonderfully pleasing and dynamic personality. God has truly endowed him with wisdom and with an unfailing ability to understand his fellow man. A great soldier, a keen strategist, and a thoroughly capable administrator, Ted Brooks has all the qualities that would make him an excellent Chief of Staff of the Army."

Even Raymond Ames Spruance was brought aboard as the expert for naval matters and overall the old guard was going to have one last hurrah in a war for survival before the next generation stepped up and god-willing the bloodshed wouldn't last three decades like it already had over there but if it did, Harkins recognized the fact that his superior was attempting to choose a potential successor and the former right-hand man of Old Blood and Guts personally preferred that Brooks took charge yet it was no competition between the two newfound colleagues thankfully nor was there any animosity between them as of the present, it was rather an instance of a great leader looking at the strengths and weaknesses between two viable candidates and in time hopefully select the right man for the task at hand.

"You know, to be honest with you, your presence is sorely needed." Harkins sighed. "I know that you are turning in your grave about missing the opportunity and unlike Ike, you would've loathed retirement, you were meant to be a warrior and today we need men willing to embark on generating destruction for the sake of preservation."

What was left of the old guard with experience dating back to World War One and even the Spanish-American War in the case of Kruger were returning for one last hurrah and undoubtedly they would be at the forefront of conducting the war until the next generation could step up and take their place.

"Your boy is remarkable and I would go as far as to say that not only would you be proud, it is almost as if he is your reincarnation. I never understood the obsession but now in some ways, I think I can get the gist, sir."

Before departing, the former commanding officer of MACV gave his late superior a salute.

General of the Army Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower - Head of the Coalesced Forces from Earth

United States Military Academy - West Point, New York, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

09:21: 15 ATC / Saturday, September 21st, 1968 - 15:45 / 3:45 PM

The graduating class of cadets in their gray uniforms and shakos sat down as the guest of honor stepped toward the podium to address them.

"Gentlemen, I have no need to introduce myself." The former Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers during World War Two and the 34th President of the United States stated to the assemblage. "And it is truly an honor to be among you today. A quarter of a century ago was the day when a joint force of men waded onto the shores of Normandy to form beachheads and drive the occupation into their heartland, liberating people who had been under their control for years. That was Nazi Germany and just like the Third Reich, the forces of the Sith Empire are driven by their ideological lust for conflict and power. We all should remind ourselves that there are times when history can repeat and those who fail to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. Now with that in mind, I would like to quote myself, to reflect on the synonymous situation with the current enemy." Ike unfolded the very paper he held and then decided to wave it for emphasis before reading.."This is the very paper by the way." He revealed to the assembly. "Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force: You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world. Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well-trained, well-equipped, and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely."

The former President paused with tears in his eyes as he remembered the cost paid at Omaha and Utah, American boys as well as those of the British Commonwealth who stormed the beaches codenamed as Juno, Sword, and Gold. It was a long road liberating Paris and Antwerp, to encounter stiff resistance in the Ardennes in the winter of 1944 - 45, and it was a hard-fought drive into the heart of the Third Reich itself. He shouldn't have been called up for this vast undertaking, history in a remarkable way shouldn't be repeated but once again Ike and many of the surviving American veterans of the European Theater as well as men who fought in the Pacific in the same conflict, around the 38th Parallel a decade later, or in the rice paddies and jungles of Vietnam were all equally about to embark on yet another Great Crusade and not only GIs but Tommies and Ivans, the French, and ironically the Germans, Italians, and even by circ*mstance the Japanese as the Axis was not native to this world. There were newly independent colonies in Africa and Asia not wishing to be annexed and once more be exploited by a foreign power, actually, an extraterrestrial adversary, and yet despite previous differences, in spite of the recent grudges and disputes, an international, global coalition was forming and Eisenhower was for the time being the only man keeping it all together because he was the only one who in reality could.

"But this is the year 1944. Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned. The free men of the world are marching together to victory. I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty, and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory. Good Luck! And let us all beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking."

He refolded the paper and placed it back in his pocket.

"And just like 1944, I have confidence that the tide is turning against the Sith Empire as just like the men before you, you are about to embark on your own Great Crusade where the eyes of not only just this world but other planetary civilizations are looking upon you. Good luck and Godspeed."

Elmer Merrifield Keith - Famed Big Game Hunter, Gun Writer, and holder of the world record involving the longest kill shot ever fired from a Revolver at 600 Yards

Camp Perry - Port Clinton, Ottawa County, Ohio, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

09:21: 15 ATC / Saturday, September 21st, 1968 - 15:45 / 3:45 PM

"Seven rounds rapid! Engage!" Keith ordered the trainees to fire their .45 caliber M1911A1 service pistols from the hip as fast as they could squeeze the trigger and the students did as was instructed on the buzzer, upon hearing the beep they drew their sidearms from their holsters and began shooting at their individually assigned silhouette targets placed at fifteen yards.

"Still got it." Keith grinned before turning to the quick draw. "What's your name, son?"

"Jerry Miculek, sir!"

"That's some fine shooting, Jerry." Elmer complimented the pupil. "Andfastas hell."

"The boy certainly has gifted talent." Staff Sergeant Silas Merritt 'Si' Robertson chuckled. "Phil? Didn't you mention that he's a fellow Louisianan?"

"Yep. Saint James, a little farther south than us, Si." The former football player for Louisiana Tech informed his brother. "Us Duck Hunters and gunslingers from Cajun Country will make those Space Brits think twice."

United Nations Global Misinformation to the GalaxyBoard

Headquarters of the United Nations - 760 United Nations Plaza, Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

09:21: 15 ATC / Saturday, September 21st, 1968 - 15:45 / 3:45 PM

"So...which map do you think would be better?" The cartographer wondered as he showed the board ten different maps that portrayed Pangaea. "I know we already have sent a mishmash of mismatching global maps but these will have all of the landmasses combined into one supercontinent instead of mixing territory up."

The three board members shrugged as every one of the options seemed useful.

"Use them all. Does it make any difference to choose between combining India with Africa or having Mexico sandwiched between them?"

"The more confusion, the better." The committeeman sitting in the middle grinned as he concurred. "The Sith Empire thinks we're mere primitives, so we're using ancient history, mythology, folklore, and prehistoric creatures against them."

"The one in regards to the Easter Bunny is probably the most ridiculous of them yet." The one on the right snickered. "A mass-murdering giant rabbit with laser eyes that can also toss egg-shaped grenades from his basket. Or, ya know, just the harmless Easter Bunny that gives the kiddos goodies."

"And thanks to Master Casivir's suggestion, we're having Santa Claus be labeled as a confirmed Force user more powerful than Emperor Vitiate. He and his elf army from the North Pole mounted on fearsome reindeer will be at the vanguard of any global defensive efforts and the candy cane lances will blow their ships out of the sky, never mind poor Rudolph's red nose of nuclear devastation."

"Hopefully the Dark Council will kill themselves after taking too much aspirin due to their inevitable reading of our misinformation."

"If only but I'm not going to deny that there will be an epidemic of migraines occurring within Imperial Space."

Major Rane Kovach - Sphere of Military Offense (Covertly a plant of the Strategic Information Service as well as the Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic)

Sphere of Military Offense - The Imperial Citadel, Kaas City, Dromund Kaas, Dromund System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

09:21: 15 ATC / Saturday, September 21st, 1968 - 15:45 / 3:45 PM

"Let me get this straight. There are at least fifty different maps thatallsupposedly represent Planet Earth?" Kovach asked the transferred Watchers who were tasked with gathering everything and anything the Republic knew about the newly discovered extra-galactic world called Earth for the benefit of the Empire's invasion plans but the processing was proving to be more difficult than originally anticipated, especially in regards to details that conflicted with the Wrath's own experience on the planet.

"We're also getting differing reports about the environment with one stating that the entire planet is an arctic wasteland with sugarplums guarded by these so-called 'Abominable Snowmen' and another that says it's hotter than Tatooine with giant man-eating desert spiders and the Mongolian death worm." Watcher Six revealed and despite personal accounts from the Wrath herself to the contrary, New Zealand and New York City were still just two locations on the planet among many. "Then in the one declaring Earth is about seventy-eight percent water there's some Japanese beast called Godzilla that supposedly was a kriffing nightmare for the United States Navy and Army to kill per the combat footage we found."

"Evidently these primitives are trying to fool us." Rane determined after snorting at the footage of this 'Godzilla', which upon closer examination the caricature was obviously fake. Besides despite her limited duration on the world and unfortunately not scanning the planet due to initially being a diplomatic visitation, the Wrath herself took note of the climate in this 'New York City' and mentioned that it was temperate while 'New Zealand' was more tropical, never mind reports from their former plant in the diplomatic party. Still, planetary geography was only one subject being forwarded to or intercepted by the Imperials as there were other matters to sort from exact military capabilities and census figures to potential influential hostages, collaborators, or high-level future guerilla leaders to neutralize with this John Wayne for instance being placed in the third category given his stances. "Quite ingenious in trying to throw us off but that means the invasion fleet will be going in blind without knowing what's truthful."

"So, should we inform the Council about these Werewolves and Chupacabras?" Watcher Two wondered. "Or the threat that this Easter Bunny poses to our forces?"

"For Force sake." The secret undercover Republic spy cursed at the headache even he himself was receiving courtesy of the newfound allies after reading the analysis about Werewolves being more dangerous than Rakghouls due to the ability to blend in as normal humans and the need to find some unknown yet toxic weed called 'wolfsbane' in order to counteract them but Kovach felt this to be fabricated as well. "If it sounds or appears to betooabsurd, dismiss itimmediately."

"Well, I think their slugthrowers are inaccurate over three hundred meters just like all other known examples so that's gone." Watcher Six determined as he deleted the relevant data about this 'M14' Rifle being capable of killing a man up to nine hundred fourteen meters plus while preserving the more realistic and feasible one about some design referred to as an 'AK-47'. "There's no way their primitive starfighters are faster than our own in atmospheric conditions either."

'Easter Bunny?'Rane asked himself.'What the Kark is an Easter Bunny?'

Marcus Trant - Director of the Galactic Republic's Strategic Information Service

SIS Headquarters - Heorem Complex, Senate District, Coruscant, Coruscant System, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

09:21: 15 ATC / Saturday, September 21st, 1968 - 15:45 / 3:45 PM

"Kovach reported that the Empire is confused about the conflicting findings about Earth. So far everyone within the Empire's power structure is not suspicious that their invasion plans have been discovered but believes that either the newfound world with our assistance is trying to impose security measures after being exposed to the galaxy or the Republic is using the discovery of the planet to its advantage despite not being our idea in the first place." Balkar reported. "Operation: Misdirection is proceeding as planned."

"Are you sure about the lack of suspicion?"

"Kovach has not only managed to infiltrate Imperial Intelligence and become a Keeper, he survived the disestablishment and had implanted himself to be on Darth Arkous's staff. If neither Arkous nor the Council is suspicious but receiving headaches, then what is there to worry about?"

"They're partially right about using this to our strategic advantage." Marcus grinned. "With Imperial Intelligence gone and with every surviving Watcher trying to sort through the puzzle means one less Watcher trying to gather Intel on the Republic. Then there's the fact that eventually we'll be working beside operatives of the British SIS."

"British SIS?" Jonas wondered. "You mean that these Imperial-sounding Earthlings have their own SIS?:

"More commonly referred to as MI6 for some reason but despite the ironic coincidence and invertness, we could use the closest example of Imperials that are not Imperials to our advantage."

"Krasul made some rather odd discoveries." Balkar snorted. "Next for all I know, I'm going to be mistaken for this Elvis Presley."

"You could impersonate him if you apply more grease to your hair, agent."

"Very funny, sir."

Sergeant Sara Kelrein- Imperial Army Commando Unit 421 "Reaper Squad"

Sphere of Military Offense - Ministry of War, The Imperial Citadel, Kaas City, Dromund Kaas, Dromund System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

09:21: 15 ATC / Saturday, September 21st, 1968 - 15:45 / 3:45 PM

At first, the commando thought it was social even though her friend's inflexible schedule did not always permit such pleasantries and yet upon learning of the true nature of the visitation, she was initially perplexed than amused but the blonde Sith was not amused and wished for clarification on conflicting information no matter how trivial they may be as even the slightest detail may be crucial.

"Earth has a varying climate with some regions being purely desert, some being purely arctic, and some being a mixture of environments such as the United States. But most of the planet can be described as either temperate or tropical depending on how far from the equator the particular nation-state is precisely."

"There are also these maps." Her friend pointed out.

"This one is the closest geographical-" Kelrein paused as she dreaded the implications. "Lana? Do you believe that the Empire is responding to this correctly? They have not committed any grievances against us in the slightest, unlike the Republic. Earth wasn't even aware of our existence until recently."

"I honestly don't know, Kells." Beniko muttered, unsure herself. "But the Council believes that having a civilization of humans completely devoid of the Force is a potential future threat and if the Republic recruits them to their side, then we might as well capitulate now depending on how thoroughly immune they are."

"A future threat or just an attempt to exploit resources naturally impervious to the Force to make the Empire unstoppable in an attempt to wipe out the Jedi once and for all?" The black operations soldier wondered, speculating that there was more to it than a preemptive measure. "The nation-states on Earth already have been through two catastrophic global conflicts just twenty-five years apart and that was recent history to them, never mind the other minor wars, all taking place while our own parents and grandparents were engaged in the Galactic War and the early skirmishes of the Cold War. The fathers and grandfathers of the current generation have a high chance of being veterans of the two major conflicts or even both and from what I've encountered they are not interested in another world war. Entering our current war would be an inconceivable bloodbath in comparison to what seems petty to us but beyond imagination to them."

"Kells, I know you're not trying to be seditious here but talk like that would make you eligible to be killed on the spot with no repercussions."

"It needed to be said." Sara countered politely before revealing additional legitimate reasons why this venture wasn't going to be a snap. "But just because they don't desire another conflict, it doesn't mean they don't have the experience of making life miserable for our troops and I'm assuming that there's going to be Sith assigned to the invasion."

"Of course just like every other invasion, though how well that's going to work on a world where we can't sense anything native is questionable."

"I'm going to be honest. They need to ditch the lightsabers and fight as one of the grunts as Earth with its unique biosphere will make the partisans on Balmorra insignificant in comparison. Truth be told, the best option for the Empire is to just send out an armada and orbitally bombard every last living thing as it would be years before the planet is even pacified." Sara declared regrettably. "Just as an example, Jake told me about a belief called the Spirit of '76: As long as one American still believes in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, there's going to be hell inflicted on the so-called conquerors. Granted, it is my opinion that due to the nationalism, it's going to be one nightmare to integrate the populace of the planet into the Empire, assuming the-" Kelrein paused as she felt a lump in her throat when the thought came to mind. "-the natives are not marked for extinction due to their unique physiology."

Lana sensed the unease from her closest friend since girlhood, weary not just about the overall plan but dreadful of her suitor's fate as a result of this endeavor.

"You don't think that the Empire would be successful?"

"No, we would be successful eventually but the body count would be as if we invaded the Mandalore Sector. I'm informing you about this as it is, just because Earth has only just begun exploring their own system doesn't mean as a whole they're primitive. The simulated war game Krasul insisted on was an eye-opener to put it lightly. And even though Krasul was overeager to put on a show despite Major Lane's concerns over the tactics used to say mildly, it still was clear that we were encountering a competent military."

The blonde noted the irritated tint on her friend's cheeks at the mention of Krasul's overeagerness, the tone hinting that the politician believed that the forces could withstand everything that was thrown against them and he knew better than the experienced soldiers while the troops experienced in combat felt otherwise. 'Evidently another case of political meddling in military affairs.'"I'm not going to enjoy the result, am I?"

"Imagine an army of marksmen with rifles having slightly more than twice the effective range of our own sniper blasters and issuing range cards with the ranges predetermined as well as having well-coordinated artillery on standby, followed by waves of strategic bombers carrying a payload greater than ourExtinction-class bombers and that explains just the United States militaryifthey don't decide to launch nuclear weapons at our landing zones per their policy about this Fulda Gap." Sara divulged bluntly. "The entire Republic force was wiped out due to our visibility at the wargame and Chaos Squad was annihilated within the first few minutes when we were the spearhead instead of acting as a knife behind their backs. We couldn't use our blaster cannons to great effect at all, unlike their M14s and M60s. I never thought I would encounter slugthrowers that are capable of shooting slugs in excess of four hundred standard meters with ease. Some of them can even do two kilometers though those are the heavy support weapons, not the personal small arms."

Beniko frowned as she processed the revelation. "Nuclear weapons?"

"They have enough warheads to devastate their own planet ten times over. Then there's also the chemical and biological weapon stockpiles."

"By the Darkside." The Minister cursed softly. "My analysts so far have been underestimating them and you have provided clarification that shows the information about the slugthrowers at least are completely accurate, pun not intended."

"Is there a way to salvage the data?"

"That's classified but honestly no. The Watchers completely purged it."

"Well, I have the next best thing courtesy of my helmetcam."

"You know, I'm still denying that this slugthrower outshoots my blaster."Sara snorted as she aimed the M14 prone, the primitive sling for some reason was strapped and laced up snugly against her left shoulder.

"You're not doing bad for a thousand. Struck the tens consistently though I of course hit the V-ring."

Sara felt tearful as she watched the footage of Jake kneeling beside her and instructing the undercover Imperial on how to make adjustments on the rifle platform.

"Overconfident about yourself, Jakey?"The redhead smirked before resting her cheek back onto the stock to aim the service rifle.

"Is that Jake?"

Sara nodded reluctantly at the inquiry. "Yes...Force, I miss him."

"That...is pretty far distance-wise and I don't see an optic attached. I can barely even see the flimsiplast from your position."

"Didn't need it as it's an excellent rifle with just the metallic sights." Sara enlightened as she fast-forwarded the recording. "Apparently anyone with sufficient vision can be trained to strike a twenty-five centimeter circle at nine hundred fourteen meters."

"Five inches or half MOA. Not a bad grouping for one thousand yards. In fact, the match standard for the rifle team is at least three inches at three hundred yards so you're probably equal to the top competitors at Camp Perry."Jake determined after measuring the bullseye with a ruler."You want to keep the paper?"

"I don't know."Sara frowned."Would you get in trouble for this?"

"Sara, the Marine Corps can afford to dispose of shot-up targets as this is its purpose anyway. It's a memento of your first time shooting one thousand yards."Jake reassured as he detached the paper from the board."I kept the first long-range target that I shot on the farm back home even though it's not as good as yours. Practice makes for perfection after all."

"Do you have it by chance?"

"Come to think of it, I do." Sara confessed hesitantly. "On the wall next to my father's trophies and the blaster racks."

"I'm not going to confiscate it if that's what concerns you. I just want to examine it."

Sergeant Sara Kelrein - Imperial Army Commando Unit 421 "Reaper Squad"- Undercover as a Corporal in Republic Army SpecForce Squad 149 "Chaos Squad"

Marine Corps Base Quantico- Quantico, Prince William County, Virginia, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

08:15: 14 ATC / Tuesday, August 15th, 1967 - 2:45 PM / 14:45

"Wait, hold on, you're saying that the M14 is capable of shooting out to just under a kilometer?"

"Or twelve hundred yards in trained or skilled hands." Jake smirked at his steady as he carried the case and led her to the range. "And you don't need an optic either."

"No way." Sara scoffed, not believing the outlandish claim. "Even Sniper Blaster Rifles are only effective out to four hundred fifty meters."

"I guess it's a case of you gotta see it to believe it then." The Marine deadpanned as the couple paused behind the firing line. "Hope you enjoy the show."

"If you're trying to impress me, loverboy, this is one way of doing it beyond belief."

Meyer just shrugged and placed the butt of his rifle against his left hip to unfasten one of the steel buckles of the M1907 sling, adjusting the leather strap to form a 'loop' to slip over his left arm and tighten it snugly against his left bicep. Next, the Hoosier settled himself into the prone position before he flipped the hinged shoulder rest up and pressed the buttstock against his shoulder, his non-dominant hand was placed barely behind the front sling buckle and the Leatherneck's right eye peered through the rear aperture to gaze at the front post. 'Will have to bring up the dial to a thousand yards once I get my natural point of aim established.'The Marine kept his left elbow firmly implanted on the ground as he carefully adjusted the elevation knob and windage knob, listening to each individual click.

The redhead watched with curiosity as her boyfriend settled back into his shooting position and aimed the M14 once more. It seemed to be four minutes of nothing and Kelrein was about to tell Jake to stop when the first crack from the rifle was fired.

Jake relaxed his body after firing off the first 180 grain projectile from his M14, the Expert qualified Marine who was also classified as a Distinguished Rifleman due to competing in DCM sanctioned events breathed in then slowly exhaled before squeezing the trigger rearward.

Sara watched in utter amazement as her love interest calmly shot his weapon out to extreme range - impossible by galactic standards - and yet he was doing it seemingly naturally, with no magnification aid at all!

The Jarhead fired all twenty of his rounds and grasped the magazine, pressing the release latch and flicked the steel box out at an angle before retrieving the precious container and putting it back in his pocket as otherwise he would be charged under the Uniform Code of Military Justice with loss or destruction of government property by Uncle Sam even if it was in the midst of a firefight. "You want to check the target and see if there are any holes in it?"

"I'm still in denial but I hope this long walk is worth it."

"Trust me, it will." Jake smiled. "Plus it's a romantic view."

"Fair point, larel." Sara relented as she allowed him to wrap his arm affectionately around her waist and Kelrein placed her dark red tresses against his croon.

Sergeant Sara Kelrein - Imperial Army Commando Unit 421 "Reaper Squad"- Undercover as a Corporal in Republic Army SpecForce Squad 149 "Chaos Squad"

Marine Corps Base Quantico- Quantico, Prince William County, Virginia, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

08:15: 14 ATC / Tuesday, August 15th, 1967 - 3:00 PM / 15:00

"Blast." Sara uttered, astonished by the groupings at nine hundred and fourteen meters.

"Twenty Vs." Jake stated as he counted twenty holes in the 'V-ring' of the Charlie target historically used for annual rifle qualification at eight hundred and one thousand yards by the United States Marine Corps from before World War I up until America entered World War II and even currently still in use for competition shooting, typically Director of Civilian Marksmanship events. "Today for some reason was my lucky day as I usually score 430-5V on average."

"I promise to never mock your slugthrowers again as you clearly demonstrated that they shouldn't be underestimated."

"You want to try it out for yourself?"

"Really?"

"I'll gladly give you some pointers if needed." Jake offered.

"I'm not confident shooting out to such an extreme distance."

"Hey, it didn't happen overnight for me either to be honest." Jake sympathized. "It's probably easier to start with the basics and set your sights on the twenty-five meter scaled targets followed by the current qualification course though that would take a week."

"You realize you're talking to someone who regularly practices out to four hundred fifty meters." Sara deadpanned, slightly irked at being equated to a new recruit.

"Well, zero at five hundred then see it correlates?"

"Seems fair." Sara nodded as her boyfriend handed her the rifle and explained the mechanics and intricacies of the weapon, plus how to use a 'loop sling' as the shooting aid but it wasn't long before she felt confident about placing the sling snugly around her arm and try it out for herself.

The redhead dialed in the range carefully, listening to each individual click as she adjusted the settings of the aperture to the five hundred meter mark.

"Make sure to check your windage." The United States Marine advised.

"Right as this isn't a blaster." The SpecForce trooper muttered as she gazed at the 'range flag', estimating the potential effect of the breeze on the primitive slug.

Jake watched as his sweetheart relaxed and settled into her shooting stance, preparing herself to fire off a 'cold bore' shot

"This is fun!" Sara exclaimed, absolutely thrilled and taken in by the newfound sporting activity. "If I knew this was possible, I would've signed up years ago!"

"Glad you enjoy it, babe." Jake chuckled.

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - United States Marine Corps

Marine Corps Base Quantico - Quantico, Prince William County, Virginia, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

09:21: 15 ATC / Saturday, September 21st, 1968 - 17:30/5:30 PM

"KEEP IT UP, LADIES! THERE'S PLENTY OF UNOPENED CANS OF C-RATS AT THE END WAITING FOR YOU UNLESS YOU PREFER HOT COFFEE AND DONUTS WHEN YOU QUIT!"

Despite reminiscing about happier times, Jake still heard the devilish shouts of the Non-Commissioned Officers from behind as they berated those who didn't pick up the pace and enticed the volunteers to quit instead of making the cut.

'Out of everything idiotic I have done, this may top the list.'Meyer reflected on the choice of volunteering for the outfit, now somewhat regretting the decision even if he held some unintentional prior experience due to being coerced by some CIA spooks into doing a short stint with MACV-SOG back in Vietnam.'But, unfortunately, I'm not a quitter, unlike the slackers. The instructors just want to test predominantly the mentality, not physical brawn.'

Two months prior the Leatherneck saw the official tacked notice proclaiming the re-establishment of the esteemed Marine Raiders, the first covert force formed by the United States of America during World War II before being disbanded in 1944 after the unit's purpose ended, in the Provost Marshal Office and just like how two of his uncles volunteered at New River and were interviewed by 'Red Mike' Edson personally before being approved for selection and avoided being washed-out, the 5811 immediately volunteered for the unit, only to endure the unexpected.

Jake hopped off of the wall and noticed barbed wire with fellow Marines manning M60s, presumably loaded with live ammunition, and paused with his peers, unconscious instinct unwittingly taking precedence.

"CRAWL! COME ON YOU f*ckING POODLES, CRAWL! I THOUGHT YOU WERE DEVIL DOGS, YOU f*ckING PAMPERED AND STYLED EXAMPLES OF FRENCH FINERY! YOU DON'T HAVE ALL DAY, LADY DOLLS AS DIOR IN PAREE ARE BUSY CURRENTLY, MANUFACTURING SILK WHITE FLAGS FOR THE GALLIC FORCES!"

"They're going to kill us." One of the potentials stuttered, sounding like a fresh-faced boot instead of one who earned the acclaimed Eagle Globe and Anchor.

"Come on, this is nothing like Parris Island." Another reasoned before hopping down to the prone position and began crawling through the muck.

"You heard him, we shouldn't be labeled as poodles and unlike the vile French co*ckroaches, we don't surrender as we're United States Marines for God's sake." Jake encouraged before getting flat on his stomach to crawl through the course himself.

Sergeant Sara Kelrein- Imperial Army Commando Unit 421 "Reaper Squad"

Kelrein Manor - Dromund Kaas, Dromund System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

09:21: 15 ATC / Saturday, September 21st, 1968 - 16:45 / 4:45 PM

"If this was an Imperial soldier, he would be dead." Lana determined after gazing at the patterned plasti officially designated as the 1,000 Yard 5V 'C' target. "Twenty slugs dead center at the chest."

"I know but we both realize that not many would take this seriously. Slugthrowers are obsolete to many yet in this case the Earthlings figured out a way to shoot them over four hundred meters, most likely due to the composition of the propellant."

"Hmmm...What's the velocity?"

"Most are easily capable of over seven hundred meters per second, which is astounding for not being railguns."

"Kriff. I'm not sure if the durasteel will withstand this as they're designed for slugs with the velocity of six hundred meters per second maximum."

"I'm just a mere Sergeant in the Imperial Army." Sara deadpanned. "My opinion doesn't matter to the Council and it will go unheeded."

"It matters to me as you know about it firsthand." Beniko reasoned. "And to be quite honest, Kells, I have been doubtful about this invasion from the start but unfortunately Marr and Vowrawn were swayed."

Sergeant First Class Aaron Johnson - Drill Sergeant, United States Army

Fort Jackson - Columbia, Richland County, South Carolina, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

09:21: 15 ATC / Saturday, September 21st, 1968 - 17:30/5:30 PM

"Nineteen Hundred and Forty-One, World War Two had just begun, Nazi Germans were mighty tough, Going to war was going to be rough, But back in the States, A combat team was being formed, It was mighty mean!"

"Nineteen Hundred and Forty-Four, The 101st went to war! And filled the skies over Normandy, 'Rendezvous with Destiny'!"

"Nineteen Hundred Sixty-Five, Vietnam came alive, Ho Chi Minh was mighty brave, But the 101st put the blazing son of a bitch into his grave!"

"Now in Nineteen Hundred and Sixty-Eight, Uncle Sam said it's gonna be great, America has entered a new war in outer space, And we'll add more to the lore as just like with Uncle Ho we'll put the Imperials in their place!"

Sergeant Johnson turned around and watched the recruits pressed on even if they were exhausted and in need of a hot meal.

"Imperials decided to test their luck, Well, they're not going to buck, And we don't give a single f*ck, Washington and the Continentals showed us why, So their sh*t ain't gonna fly!"

"Louder!" Johnson encouraged, though while humanly impossible, he desired it to be loud enough for the damn conceited Jarheads over on Parris Island occupied with indoctrinating new members into their cult to hear the superiority of the green machine of the United States Army as while the Marines may kick open doors occasionally, it was the Army who overran the targeted building and take over the damn neighborhood while at it for good measure.

"The price for Liberty is high, Which means there will be those who will die, But the legend will be told, Of those who are bold, Ain't this going to be great!?"

"Excellent, absolutely f*cking fantastic, recruits!"

"Thank you, Drill Sergeant!" The recruits responded enthusiastically with the proper address, not pansy-assed 'Drill Instructor' or 'DI' as the Corps prefers.

"It is the Army who will lead the way, not those forever damn Marines!" Johnson proclaimed. "Patton is running this show after all!"

Gunnery Sergeant Charles Edgar - Senior Drill Instructor, United States Marine Corps

Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego - San Diego, California, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

09:21: 15 ATC / Saturday, September 21st, 1968 - 17:30/5:30 PM

"Gimme that old Marine Corps spirit, Gimme that old Marine Corps spirit, Gimme that good old Marine Corps spirit, Cause it's good enough for me!"

Edgar observed the boots as they continued running their required three miles, keeping pace with the cadence being led by his two subordinates.

"It was good for Chesty Puller, It was good for Dan Daly, It was good for Sergeant Major, And it's good enough for me!"

"It was good at Belleau Wood, It was good at Saint Mihiel, It was good in Paris, And it's good enough for me!"

"It was good at Wake Island, It was good at Guadalcanal, It was good at Iwo Jima, And it's good enough for me!"

"It was good at the Chosin Reservoir, It was good at Khe Sahn, It was good at Hue City, And it's good enough for me!"

"Excellent work, boots, and I'm sure our friends intermingling with the short-sighted draftees over in the Army will be envious of your singing but since it wasn't loud enough, you are to drop to the deck and give fifty to Dan Daly!"

"Now praise Dan Daly!" Master Sergeant Rodney added weight as the trio didn't see movement.

"What's the matter with you!?" Staff Sergeant Willoughby wondered with an inhuman snarl."Are you waiting for Jesus's second coming!? We have a war on in case you missed the newspapers, radio announcements, and broadcast by one Walter f*cking Cronkite!"

"Make it seventy-five you selfish, arrogant, pieces of garbage! Dan Daly will forever be more manly than you gossiping ladies will ever be!"

"Aye, sir!" Even though they were exhausted from the run, the boots unquestionably dropped to the deck and immediately began cranking out push-ups in the name of the revered twice Medal of Honor recipient Sergeant Major Daniel Joseph Daly.

Leontyne Saresh - Supreme Chancellor of the Republic

Beijing, China, Asia, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

09:22: 15 ATC / Sunday, September 22nd, 1968 - 17:30/5:30 PM

Primer Nikita Khrushchev and Chairman Liu Shaoqi were neutral as they watched column-by-column of the People's Liberation Army pass by, their AK-47 derivatives having the bayonets attached as part of the ceremony.

"It's going to be interesting fighting against Fascists in Space." Liu commented.

"Literal Space Nazis, comrades, and if everything we have heard about them is true, Adolf and Mussolini would've been ecstatic to greet this Vitiate." Nikita added with a huff but of course he neglected to include Franco on that list.

The Chinese soldiers instantly presented their Type 56 Assault Rifles as Ivan Stepanovich Konev, the soon-to-be official leader of not just Warsaw Pact forces but Chinese and North Korean troops as well, returned the salute.

"By the way, have you heard that catchy new song byThe Beach Boys?" Saresh wondered.

"What song?" Khrushchev snorted, amazed that it was even brought up. "I don't listen to albums made by Capitalist Brats, not after being denied entry to Disneyland."

"Sorry, I forgot that you weren't fond of your fellow Earthlings." Saresh placated.

Ed Sullivan - Host of The Ed Sullivan Show

The Ed Sullivan Show - CBS Broadcast Center, 524 West 57th Street, Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

09:22: 15 ATC / Sunday, September 22nd, 1968 - 20:15 / 8:15 PM

"Now we know whom you have all been waiting for." The host himself, Ed Sullivan, remarked. "For the final act tonight, with us areThe Beach Boyswith their nationally number-one hit song based on Barbara Ann: Bomb Kaas!"

Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Kaas

Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb

Bomb Kaas

Let's take a stand and make the land grow moss

Bomb Dromund Kaas

Our country's got a feelin'

Really hit the ceilin', bomb Kaas

Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Kaas

We blew dams up in 'Nam and don't give a darn,

Now our girls are knitting GI socks with yarn

And please tell the Nox, "We're gonna put you in a box!"

Bomb Kaas. Bomb, bomb, bomb

Bomb Kaas

Our country's got a feelin'

Really hit the ceilin', bomb Kaas

Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Kaas

Ol' Uncle Sam's gettin' pretty hot

Time to turn Dromund Kaas into a parking lot

Bomb Kaas. Bomb, bomb, bomb

Bomb Kaas

Our country's got a feelin'

Really hit the ceilin', bomb Kaas

Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Kaas

Call the volunteers; call the bombardiers;

Call the financiers; better get their butts in gear

Bomb Kaas. Bomb, bomb, bomb

Bomb Kaas

Our country's got a feelin'

Really hit the ceilin', bomb Kaas

Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Kaas

(Let's nuke 'em! Whoo!)

"Encore! Encore!" Some of the more bloodthirsty onlookers within the audience demanded from the band who were imminently getting inducted into the green machine under the United States Army's Special Services that would enable them to provide entertainment and remain intact as a band.

"The Air Force should drop recordings of this song in addition to the bombs!" Another one of the teenage female onlookers and fangirls hollered viciously, her tone was spiteful toward the enemy. "To tell them that we Americans mean business!"

Field Marshal Gotthard Fedor August Heinrici - Commander of the Bundeswehr

Bonn, Cologne District, North Rhine-Westphalia, Federal Republic of Germany aka "West Germany", Europe, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

09:23: 15 ATC / Monday, September 23rd, 1968 - 13:00 / 1:00 PM

'Here goes nothing.'The man who was selected to be in command of the entire West German Military thought as he strode toward the podium, his treasured uniform that he wore as the premier defensive expert of the Wehrmacht against all odds was spit and polished, the reinstated tactician wearing it intentionally to make a statement and hopefully inspire the men, surviving veterans and fresh-faced conscripts alike.

"Soldiers of the Heer! Airmen of the Luftwaffe! Sailors of the Deutsche Marine! Servicemen of the Bundeswehr!" Heinrici began. "I know many of you do not believe militarism is the right path for us, particularly after how Deutschland was blamed for igniting the First World War followed by a painter from Österreich misleading us and bringing this land to ruin but we cannot afford to look on the past when our very future is at stake, our very foundation is being threatened, and our very existence is in jeopardy. What occurred under the regime of that Schwein is inexcusable as it rightfully should be judged and the very enemy we are about to engage is a reminder of that very blight!"

Heinrici paused momentarily as he allowed the words to sink in as he himself as well as his wife Gertude had experienced prejudice from Hitler and Goring. His steadfast refusal to join the Nazi Party and his deep adherence to his Lutheran faith made him detested then there was the fact that Gertude had a Jewish parent which made their children labeled as Mischlinge - partly Jewish - under Nazi racial law.

He would in time learn of the horrors of the Final Solution and was appalled like many but that was then as now there was a chance to prevent another instance.

"We're doing this not out of conquest but out of preservation for what little we have left. We have lost faith in ourselves and our families are divided by the Iron Curtain but right or wrong we still take pride that we are all residents of Deutschland. It doesn't matter what political views you hold or your religious convictions as we need to stand together as one against the common threat to our sovereignty, what scantremainsof our sovereignty."

"General von Stauffenberg placed the briefcase not because he was a believer in Nazism but a staunch believer in Deutschland. Taking pride in one's nation shouldn't equate to loyalty to any particular political party or specific politician but to the people and your nation. We call Deutschland home and we love this land above all else. The Imperials are a reminder of the Führer wickedness and Himmler's policies. The Imperials have their Hermann Goering's, their Bernhard Rust's, and their Ernst Sauckels, and the Empire will continue their wars of conquest perpetually unless they're stopped and the Republik knows it! Für Deutschland!"

"FÜR DEUTSCHLAND!" The recruits shouted.

'Maybe there is hope for Deutschland after all.'

Thiếu tướng(Major General) Ngô Quang Trưởng - Army of the Republic of Vietnam

Hotel Majestic - Saigon, Republic of Vietnam, Southeast Asia, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

09:23: 15 ATC / Monday, September 23rd, 1968 - 13:00 / 1:00 PM

"Just one year since Unification but now we're at war once more." Thiếu tướng (Major General) Ngô lamented. "And it couldn't wait until the remaining Viet Cong diehards were completely dealt with."

"At least the majority who denied our legitimacy are coming out and volunteering for this new conflict as they know what's at stake. It would be pointless to fight among ourselves when there are conquerors at the door after all."

Trưởng sat down his personal copy of their leader's memoirs, a signed first edition Ngô Đình Diệm had published last year on the table and leaned back in his seat, pondering on Diem's writings."Well, our President is likely wrong about one matter."

"What's that?"

"He predicted that if the Communists won, Vietnam would be forced to support either China or the Soviet Union once a war between them occurred. It's an open secret that China is now just another Soviet satellite state."

"Khrushchev is more conniving than he looks. Not bad for someone with a shiny, bald head."

Trưởng chuckled at his friend's assessment. "Bald or not, we have come full circle with imperialism and we must confront it now before it sets foot here once more." The Major General decided to quote a stanza from Tiếng Gọi Công Dân, the Republic of Vietnam's official national anthem. "We the People remain resolute in our hearts and minds, courageously we will fight such that everywhere, the Glory of the Vietnamese forever resounds."

"God help us all."

Major Audie Leon Murphy - United States Army Reserve

Kingston, Hunt County, Texas, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

09:23: 15 ATC / Monday, September 23rd, 1968 - 13:00 / 1:00 PM

"Howdy there, Mac." A seemingly unimportant wiry man and native of the town uttered before introducing himself to the expected guest. "Audie Murphy."

"John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming Churchill." The eccentric Briton greeted the most decorated American soldier of the Second World War. "But call me Jack or Mad Jack if you prefer, Audie."

The short man from Texas nodded. "Jack, meet Peter Ortiz." Murphy introduced the Leatherneck standing beside him.

"Never thought I would be meeting you in-person, Jack." The former French Foreign Legionnaire and one of the very few United States Marines to have officially fought the Third Reich in World War II under the management of the Office of Strategic Services before becoming a Hollywood star like Murphy grinned.

"Legends in your own right." The only Englishman to fight in World War II with a longbow and a Scottish broadsword complimented. "I'll buy the first round in recognition of the journey ahead of us."

"I'll gladly drink to it." Murphy beamed.

"It's on the house." The tender smiled. "Couldn't help to overheard ya and friends of Murphy are always welcome here for free drinks."

The trio shrugged and Churchill raised his bottle up for a toast. "This conflict should prove to be sporting and as this should be my last war…" John paused as he thought of a way to cement the toast before remembering a film Murphy starred in as himself. "To hell and back, gents!"

"To hell and back!"

Walter Leland Cronkite, Junior - CBS New

CBS Broadcast Center - 524 West 57th Street, Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

10:30:15 ATC/ Wednesday, October 30th, 1968 - 18:00/6:00 PM

Walter felt sick as he read the horrific details on what was exactly inflicted upon the victims by the perpetrator and it was something aghast but that was not the disturbing part as ordinarily murderers don't make national news but what made this unique was not only the fact was the animal did these crimes around the country, he was additionally a campaign staffer for Daniel Jackson Evans before being apprehended, a man by the name of Theodore Robert Bundy, better known by his nickname of Ted, and he was only caught due to the fact that a fellow campaign staffer was going to hand him his draft notice.

"Good evening, this is Walter Cronkite reporting." The anchorman greeted his viewers. "We begin tonight with news that may be disturbing to some viewers and this segment is not for the faint of heart. If there are any children in the room, I advise you to send them to their rooms."

Edwin Anderson “Ted” Walker - Major General, United States Army [Retired] and 1968 Presidential Nominee for the American Independent Party

Walker Residence - 4011 Turtle Creek Boulevard, Dallas, Texas, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

Tuesday, November 5th, 1968 -10:42 PM

The ultraconservative activist and native Texan who notably was an officer in the joint American-Canadian 1st Special Service Force during the Second World War - the famed Devil’s Brigade -was still watching the television inside his home surrounded by family, close friends, and his motley campaign staff as the startling results continued to pour in the NBC newsroom over in the Big Apple.

“It has been confirmed that California, I say again, California has gone for Walker.” Chester Robert ‘Chet’ Huntley, co-host of ‘The Huntley–Brinkley Report’ reported. “Over a quarter of the nation thus far has cast their ballots for…Ladies and gentlemen, though it’s still early, we can officially announce that former Major General Edwin A. Walker will become the next President of the United States as he has surpassed two-seventy in the electoral college.”

Walker was gobsmacked and the slack-jawed Texas felt surreal, he was a realist when it came to his prospects and yet he as well as the AIP had beaten the odds.

“Congratulations, Ted!” His brother, George Pickney Walker, Junior, shouted while his sister-in-law Helen Ruth gave the now President-elect a peck on the cheek yet Walker was still dazzled.

‘Am I dreaming? Did I accidentally drink fluoridated water?’ Walker wondered as he still heard felicitations from supporters.

“Godspeed, General!”

“Now let’s take this country back!”

Edwin Anderson “Ted” Walker - President-Elect

Walker Residence - 4011 Turtle Creek Boulevard, Dallas, Texas, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

Wednesday, November 6th, 1968 - 8:00 AM

When the only American General to have resigned from his commission thus far in the twentieth century stepped outside to his front porch, still believing that his apparent victory had been nothing more than a dream, Walker noticed that a crowd was gathered outside with some of them holding signs saying ‘Congratulations, Mister President!’ and ‘Lead U.S. To Victory!’ while others were waving American, Confederate, and Texas state flags.

“Good morning!” Edwin greeted the well-wishers. “Why, it’s ‘Morning Again in America’!”

The crowd cheered and a few even hollered the rebel yell but all Edwin could think about at that moment was the mess he had inherited from entitled predecessor John Fitzgerald Kennedy, issues from the aftermath of domestic unrest to the fact that this nation had been dragged into a total war.

“I frankly don’t have a speech prepared for you as I was unsure what to say.” Ted said half-truthfully because again he did not expect this. “But what I will say, from my heart as a Texan and an American is that much is needed to be done and I will get to it promptly. I appreciate your support as we fight not only unnecessary and unfounded Federal encroachment but the Sith Empire!"

Then Edwin overheard something from behind him, something which caused him to standfast at attention instead of departing as someone from his house, and Walker did not know who, decided to carry his records player outside to the porch and put on 'The Eyes of Texas', specifically the version sung by singer and actor Elvis Aaron Presley which combined it with the traditional ballad 'The Yellow Rose of Texas' as 'The King of Rock-N-Roll' unexpectedly became one of the earliest individuals to publicly endorse Walker with another being the actor and singer Walter Andrew Brennan but following the endorsem*nt it only naturally became Walker's unofficial campaign song.

Oh the yellow rose of Texas is the only girl I love

Her eyes are even bluer than Texas skies above

Her heart's as big as Texas and wherever I may go

I'll remember her forever because I love her so

There are so many roses that bloom along the way

But my heart's in Amarillo and that's where it will stay

With the yellow rose of Texas so I'd better get there fast

'Cause I know I was her first love and I want to be her last

Oh the yellow rose of Texas is the only girl I love

Her eyes are even bluer than Texas skies above

Her heart's as big as Texas and wherever I may go

I'll remember her forever because I love her so

The eyes of Texas are upon you all the live long day

The eyes of Texas are upon you, you cannot get away

Do not think you can escape them at night or early in the morn

The eyes of Texas are upon you 'till Gabriel blows his horn

The eyes of Texas are upon you all the live long day

The eyes of Texas are upon you, you cannot get away

Do not think you can escape them at night or early in the morn

The eyes of Texas are upon you 'till Gabriel blows his horn

The eyes of Texas are upon you all the live long day

The eyes of Texas are upon you, you cannot get away

Do not think you can escape them at night or early in the morn

The eyes of Texas are upon you 'till Gabriel blows his horn

After the song concluded, Walker waited for the additional whooping and rebel yells to die down before finishing his impromptu address with a last-minute vow. “Despite the odds stacked against us, we shall emerge victorious, and as your President, I will assure you, my fellow Americans, that we’ll never lose sight of what we’re fighting for, not just for our sovereignty but: OUR INDEPENDENCE!”

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - Fireteam Alpha, Second Squad, First Platoon, C/Charlie Company, Second Raider Battalion "Carlson's Raiders", Second Raider Regiment, Second Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, United States Marine Corps

Himalayas, South Asia, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

01:07:16 ATC/Tuesday, January 7th, 1969 - 15:00 / 3:00 PM

Until recently, Jake was uncertain why his unit kept heading to polar areas; Norway, the USMC's very own Mountain Warfare Training Center in California, the United States Army Northern Warfare Training Center in Alaska, nevermind trekking ever steeper mountains and at the Mountain Warfare Training Center he took the Mountain / Cold Weather Scout Sniper Course, heck the Jarheads even climbed Mount Washington in New Hampshire and Mount McKinley in Alaska but it finally became clear upon their final destination in the Himalayas where only fifteen years before man had reached its summit, the very towering behemoth being, of course, Mount Everest itself.

It was evident that Samuel Blair Griffith II was going to have them specialize in arctic as well as mountain warfare and be the top choice in conducting operations in cold weather environments but of course as United States Marines the men of Charlie Company were prepared for every clime and place.

Still, ten days away from reaching the summit or not, the Hoosier felt at home in the winter and he couldn't refrain from striking up a conversation with a modest sherpa by the name of Tenzing Norgay, a native of Nepal who appeared unremarkable.

"What was it like for you and Mister Hillary to reach the top?" He asked after taking a sip of his apple cider.

"Well, Jake was it?"

"Yes, sir."

"Jake, this mountain is not the sole experience, I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life, and if I know I make this much trouble, I never climb Everest."

Jake nodded as he could thoroughly understand Tenzing's perspective as fame was overrated and only fools sought attention, in fact the motivation for the sherpa was not because he wanted to become a celebrity, rather it was the fact that he did so only as a pilgrimage to honor his faith and his close friend Edmund Hillary was the same way, he only did it, in the words of mountaineer George Leigh Mallory: 'Because it is there.'

"Believe me, Mister Norgay, I feel the same way. Not everyone should be like Cary Grant and have columnists cover their daily lives." Jake concurred. "Would you like some apple cider by the way?"

"Cider?"

The Hoosier poured the man a sample into a spare mug and handed it to him and after taking a sip, Tenzing felt a sensation in his taste buds. "Delicious." The Marine then poured more and Tenzing nodded. "Thank you."

"No problem, it's the least I could do."

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - Fireteam Alpha, Second Squad, First Platoon, C/Charlie Company, Second Raider Battalion "Carlson's Raiders", Second Raider Regiment, Second Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, United States Marine Corps

The Peak of Mount Everest - Mount Everest, Himalayas, South Asia, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

01:17:16 ATC/Friday, January 17th, 1969 - 10:00 / 10:00 AM

It took a grueling forty-three days in total but, at last, the peak was within sight and although the United States Marines like those renown summiters before them were wearing oxygen-breathing apparatuses procured from the United Kingdom firm Normalair Ltd and these masks were also identical to the ones worn by the 1953 British Mount Everest Expedition but just like their predecessors the air, masks or not, was still thin and their legs were like Jello.

"Come on, we're almost there!" One of the Jarheads implored his fellow Leathernecks, encouraging them to finish their trek and with renewed vigor they climbed forward.

As Jake reached the top and scanned the horizon, he could not believe that he was standing near Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Percival Hillary stood only fifteen years, seven months, and nineteen days prior and accomplished on behest of their compatriots in the 1953 British Mount Everest Expedition and the Joint Himalayan Committee the first successful ascent of the tallest mountain on Earth.

"Congratulations, Marines, you are the first military unit in history to have conquered Mount Everest." Samuel Blair Griffith II proclaimed to the Leathernecks of Charlie Company, 2nd Raider Battalion.

Jake knew of the significance and a reporter fromThe New York Timeswho tagged along was prepared to spread the news worldwide.

"Say 'Oorah' as best as you can." The reporter smiled from underneath his mask as he raised the cameras.

"OORAH!"

James Harold Wilson, Baron Wilson of Rievaulx, KG, OBE, PC, FRS, FSS - Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Office of the Prime Minister - 10 Downing Street, City of Westminster, London, England, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Europe, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

01:18:16 ATC/Saturday, January 18th, 1969 - 09:00 / 9:00 AM

"Bloody Yanks." Harold cursed as he slammed the newspaper onto the table with the morning's headline clear as day and that was after learning that there was a vote of no confidence in his leadership which could mean a new election. "And I'm not speaking of that Bundy fellow nor that newly-elected shoot-first cowboy also known as Ted either. The Yanks may as well have elected Goldwater!"

U.S. Marines Conquered Everest!

"How weren't we informed of this publicity gimmick!?" The Prime Minister scowled, incensed that a contingent from the United States Armed Forces and not the British Military made history. It was unbefitting as the famed first summit by Hillary and Norgay coincided with Her Majesty's coronation! The gall of those Yanks! "And why did that Nepali sherpa decide to guide them?"

"Norgay must have been well-compensated, he bought a vintage Duesenberg and now owns lucrative stocks." The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Robert Michael Maitland Stewart, Baron Stewart of Fulham, divulged to the cabinet.

"Where did you learn this?"

"Coincidentally MI6 informed me last night that they suspected Norgay was recruited by the Chinese to spy on the Gurkhas."

"Say, what's a Duesenberg anyhow?"

"It was a luxury car manufacturer I believe before its insolvency during the Great Depression, headquartered and manufactured in some locality called Indianapolis, the Crown possesses one, a Model J."

"Ah, yes, a fine automobile from a state of yokels." The Baron Stewart of Fulham noted snobbily. "I dare say that the Indianapolis 500 is unworthy of race car driving just as how neighboring Kentucky is unworthy of fine thoroughbreds. We Europeans overall still know better than those crude Americans."

"You do realize, Robert, that the Queen does own barns in the Bluegrass Region and have a fondness for beer cheese." Harold deadpanned before shuddering, the colonials and some of the rubbish within their cuisine abhorred the leader of the Labour Party. "I'm having the Special Air Service tackle Mount Everest as we should not permit these upstarts from overshadowing our glory."

The proposition caused an aghast Denis Winston Healey, the Baron Healey and the Secretary of State for Defence, to exclaim his opposition. "Harold! You mustn't!"

"And let the Yanks receive the glory? Poppyco*ck!"

"The SAS must remain covert." Healy insisted. "What about the Paras?"

Harold conceded to an alternative that could be a better choice without compromising the secrecy around the SAS. "Jolly good!"

Galactic News Network Building - Galactic City, Coruscant, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

01:20:16 ATC/Monday, January 20th, 1969 - 12:18/12:18 PM

"Good afternoon. I'm Zay Sneralda and welcome to GNN. Thank you for joining us."

"Our top story today is about the United States of America who will be inaugurating a new head-of-state and asfar as we know, Walker is a controversial figure in domestic politics as well as their first unmarried President since Grover Cleveland. While it is unknown as of now how his diplomatic relationship will be with the current Chancellor, it is assumed that he will be sticking with his principles."

"In other news, the Sith Empire has managed to successfully repel an incursion by Republic forces and Trandoshan Auxiliaries on the Outer Rim world of Pavia in the Tapani Sector after heavy fighting. While the defenders were estimated to have suffered catastrophic losses, our troops were only forced to withdraw when Imperial relief arrived."

"And there have been some recent developments in the arrangement of confining Prisoners of War. Some high-level prisoners will be confined on Earth in undisclosed locations to help ease the pressure off of the overstrained prison system and to also take advantage of the unique atmosphere."

Edwin Anderson "Ted" Walker - Major General, United States Army [Retired] and Presidential Elect from Texas

The Capitol Building - Capitol Hill, Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

01:20:16 ATC/Monday, January 20th, 1969 - 12:45 / 12:45 PM

Although delayed by the heavy snowfall, it was cleared for the inauguration and Ted was feeling some pressure as the crowd and news cameras focused in on the soon-to-be sworn in Thirty-Sixth President of the United States.

For the first time in American history the nominee of a Third Party had won the presidency and Edwin was feeling some pressure as the crowd and news cameras focused in on the soon-to-be sworn in Thirty-Sixth President of the United States and the Texandidn't entirely expect to win in a landslide over the main parties yet luck apparently was on his side with infighting within the Democratic Party and then there was the Ted Bundy Scandal for the Republicans. The media had a field day over the revelations and what would have otherwise been an upscale battle for the nominee of a third party despite the chaos of the past three years had instead become the best case scenario with the American electorate fed up with Hippies and the elites of both parties with the Rockefeller's and the Kennedy's being among them.

'Right now I need to focus on the present and future.'The former Major General and ultraconservative spokesman thought as he held up his left hand and placed his right onto the Holy Bible.

"I, Edwin Anderson Walker, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help me God."

As the last word of the oath left his lips, the new President felt a sense of weight pressing down upon him. The eyes of the world were upon him, and the expectations of an entire nation rested on his shoulders. He took a deep breath, steeling himself for the challenges ahead.

And after taking the oath, the United States Marine Band began to perform four so-called 'ruffles and flourishes' , followed by'Hail to the Chief', while simultaneously, a twenty-one gun salute commenced using artillery pieces from the Presidential Guns Salute Battery, 3rd United States Infantry Regiment - The Old Guard - located in Taft Park just north of the Capitol and the firing would only cease until the traditional song concluded.

Of course the Inauguration ceremony was not finish as the newly sworn-in President had to deliver his address and unlike in previous years where everyone at least applauded out of respect for the office even if he or she disagreed with the office holder's agenda the reception was mixed as there were Congressmen - Republicans and Democrats alike - remaining seated and silent in protest or out of spite and instances of dignitaries not sent to attend - partially due to the weather and partly due to the fact he was elected - and the only six head of states who managed to attend Walker's inauguration were:

Moïse Kapenda Tshombe - 1st President of the State of Katanga

Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek ONG OBSWS OST OBJ OPC OCB OBSHSAL - 1st President of the Republic of China

Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos, Senior - 10th President of the Republic of the Philippines

Gustavo Díaz Ordaz Bolaños - 56th President of the United Mexican States

Charles Robberts Swart DMS - 1st State President of the Republic of South Africa

And

The Right Honourable Ian Douglas Smith GCLM ID - 8th Prime Minister of Rhodesia

But regardless if there was a slight or not even from friendly powers and allies, Walker followed tradition and slowly walked toward the rostrum.

Walker nodded at the new Vice President, John Milan Ashbrook of Ohio, before proceeding to speak.

"Good evening, my fellow Americans. As I stand before you tonight, I am acutely aware of the weight of responsibility that comes with being your President. I am mindful of the challenges that lie ahead, and I am determined to meet them head-on. We find ourselves at a crossroads, a moment in history when the very soul of our nation hangs in the balance. We find ourselves at war with the Sith Empire. It is a war that will determine the course of not only our world but of the universe itself. It is a war that has already cost our Republic friends dearly, in lives lost and liberties surrendered. While we did not seek entry into this war in a galaxy far, far away, it is one that we must fight with every fiber of our being if we are to have any hope of preserving the freedoms and values that we hold so dear. As your President, I will not shy away from the responsibility that comes with leading our great nation in this time of peril. I will not stand idly by as our enemies threaten our very existence. I will not seek to appease them, nor will I bow to their will. Instead, I will draw upon the strength and resilience of the American people, and I will lead us to victory." Ted vowed, assuring his countrymen that he would do his utmost as their commander-in-chief during this conflict. "But with victory must come reconciliation. We cannot emerge from this conflict unscathed, and so it falls to us, as a nation, to find a way to heal the wounds that have been inflicted upon us. To build bridges where there once were only divisions. To forge a path forward together, as one people, united in our determination to ensure that such a catastrophe never befalls us again."

The Students for a Democratic Society and the Weather Underground Organization, the Yippies, the Black Panthers as well as the White Panthers, and other Marxist-Leninist as well as Maoist terrorists were all a scourge and Kennedy's apprehensiveness allowed them to fester unchecked and he as well as nepotistically appointed brother both hindered Hoover's COINTELPRO as the Kennedy's saw them as idealistic kids led astray instead of the unhinged hoodlums they were and while ordinarily vigilantism was inexcusable, Ted was glad that the American people themselves took punitive action against the subversives, a remedy spearheaded by former Kennedy ally William George Meany, the 1st President of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations no less as well as veterans and patriotic organizations such as the American Legion and Minutemen respectively. Why JFK did not evoke the Insurrection Act that day, unlike Oxford, was beyond him but in any case the elitist from Massachusetts and their 'wise men' were out and a sensible Texan was in, one not of Johnson's ilk either of course. "This will not be an easy task, nor will it be accomplished overnight. There will be setbacks, and there will be challenges. There will be those who will seek to obstruct our progress, and there will be those who will try to sow discord amongst us. But I say to you now, with the confidence of a man who has fought in the Italian Theater leading the 1st Special Service Force - the Devil's Brigade - and emerged stronger for it, that we will overcome these obstacles. We will persevere, and we will prevail."

Walker intentionally paused as he allowed the words to sink in. "For the sake of our children, and the sake of future generations, we must. The fate of our way of life depends upon it. Our independence is at stake. We must not only defeat this 'Sith Empire', but we must also restore faith in our institutions, and in the Founding ideals that have guided us for centuries. We must be vigilant against those who would seek to divide us, and we must always strive to be the beacon of hope and freedom but we must remember that we are fighting for our independence, not for the United Nations, not for a one-world government nor the Galactic Republic or even some New World Order, and that we must always put the interests of our people, the American people first and be accountable to them, always."

"In this struggle, we cannot afford to be complacent. We must remain ever vigilant, for the enemy is cunning and relentless. We must strengthen our alliances here on Earth and beyond, for we are not alone in this fight. And we must ensure that our own house is in order, that our economy remains strong, and that our people are well-educated and well-prepared to meet the challenges of the future."

"This is a time for courage, for wisdom, and for unity. It is a time for leadership, and I pledge to you tonight that I will not let you down. I will not rest until our nation, our people, and our way of life are safe from harm whether of this world or beyond. And when this long and difficult war comes to an end, I pledge to you that we will emerge stronger, more united, and more determined than ever to build a better nation for our children and our grandchildren."

"So let us take up the mantle of responsibility that history has placed upon us. Let us face the challenges that lie ahead with courage and conviction. Let us honor those who have given their lives in defense of freedom, and let us rededicate ourselves to the ideals that they fought and died for. Together, we will prevail."

"As we wage this war against the Sith Empire, it is important that we remember the values and principles that make us who we are as a nation. We must remain steadfast in our commitment to justice and the rule of law. We must never lose sight of the fact that we are still fighting only for our independence, not for the United Nations nor the Galactic Republic but for the United States of America and America alone."

"As we work towards these goals, we must not forget the importance of diplomacy and negotiation. We must engage with our allies and adversaries alike, seeking common ground and building bridges where there once were only divisions. We must only be willing to compromise when absolutely necessary, while never sacrificing our core principles and we shall not pledge allegiance to any flag except for the Star-Spangled Banner and our respective homestates."

"Finally, we must remain vigilant against those who would seek to undermine our republic and our sovereignty. We must protect our institutions and our way of life from those who would do us harm. We must educate our citizens and ensure that they are informed and engaged in the decisions that shape our future."

"In the days and weeks to come, we will face many challenges. There will be setbacks and disappointments. There will be those who will seek to divide us and turn us against one another. But I have faith in the American people. I have faith in our ability to rise to the occasion and meet these challenges head-on."

"Together, we will build a brighter future for our children and our grandchildren, for the United States of America. Together, we will ensure that the sacrifice of those who came before us was not in vain. And together, we will emerge from this dark period in our history stronger and more united than ever before."

"So let us take up the torch of freedom, and let us light the way for a new era of peace and prosperity. Let us never forget the lessons of the past, and let us always strive to be the beacon of hope and inspiration that this world so desperately needs. For in the end, it is not our weapons or our military might that will determine our fate, but our values and our commitment to the ideals that have made us who we are: We are Americans."

"And so, my fellow Americans, I ask you to join me in this great endeavor. Let us go forward together, with courage and conviction, and with the unwavering determination to make our land a better place for all who inhabit it. The future of our nation depends upon us. Let us not fail."

Chakravarthi Vijayaraghava Narasimhan - 4th Secretary General of the United Nations

Headquarters of the United Nations - 760 United Nations Plaza, Turtle Bay, Midtown Manhattan, Manhattan, New York City, New York County, New York, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

01:20:16 ATC/Monday, January 20th, 1969 - 12:18/12:18 PM

Shock was an understatement to the Secretary-General as he was still in denial, that this man was being inaugurated to become the next President of the United States yet tried as he might, the unmistakable man of six foot three in height wearing his dark suit and trademark white Stetson was still present on the television screen.

Edwin Anderson Walker, the very man suspected to be responsible for the attack on the 5th United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Adlai Ewing Stevenson II, was now President of the United States and Narasimhan remembered the incident in Dallas, Texas clearly as back on Thursday, October 24th, 1963 - United Nations Day no less - Stevenson was scheduled to speak at the Dallas Memorial Auditorium and in response, Walker promptly rented the same Dallas Memorial Auditorium in which Adlai Stevenson would speak and advertised his opposing event as 'US Day' and he invited members of the John Birch Society, the National Indignation Convention, the Minutemen, and other right-wing organizations that were fundamentally opposed to the existence of the United Nations.

Although Walker was not present, his followers were instructed to buy all the tickets they could afford to the Stevenson speech, to fill the auditorium, to heckle Stevenson mercilessly, to bring their own prepared speeches to recite in the hallways, and generally disrupt the speech in any way that they could.

Walker additionally instructed his followers to hoist a banner on the ceiling of the Auditorium, fold it, and tie it with a long string so that when the string was pulled it would unfurl. On one side of the banner was 'US out of UN!' and on the other side was 'UN out of US!'

Stevenson was circ*mstantially forced to cease speaking before his presentation was finished and rushed out to his limousine but on his way there the Anti-United Nations demonstrators shoved, booed, beat and spat in the face of Stevenson with one female protester striking him in the head with her placard. The hitter was later identified and arrested as was Robert Hartfield after he spat on Stevenson and called him a traitor due to a tip. Hartfield was found guilty of aggravated assault and fined $200 at his trial in May 1964 yet there was another suspect - a perpetrator at the time estimated to be sixteen years of age - with dark blond hair, blue eyes, and only known by the first name of 'Jake' who 'helped him up' and was thanked by Adlai only for the culprit to shout'Exile yourself to Monaco you execrable Un-American Benedict Arnold!'and he gave the helpless diplomat a right hook, breaking Adlai's jaw with the resulting injury crippling the former ambassador's ability to eat or speak for the rest of his life but unlike the other two the delinquent in question he was never caught whereasWalker was not charged at all although his role was well known at the time.

Still, the incident did cause then President Kennedy to reconsider his trip to Dallas only for him to still visit the city as scheduled despite the risks and Stevenson to resign from his position, and Stevenson would pass away from a heart attack in Geneva on Wednesday, July 14th, 1965 while attending the annual meeting of the United Nations Economic and Social Council as an honorary guest with supposedly his last, barely comprehensible words reportedly being 'I'm no Benedict Arnold.'

The Indian never thoroughly understood the American mindset and principally believed in the importance of the United Nations yet politicians such as William Ezra Jenner and organizations like the John Birch Society still anathematize the U.N. like its predecessor the defunct League of Nations despite the fact that extraterrestrials were now in the picture yet the American Independent Party retained leaving the United Nations in its platform.

Dan Smoot, H.L. Hunt, and even Joe Pyne. What was it with the United States of America and its citizenry? Narasimhan's cogitation was, thankfully, interrupted by a knock on his door.

"Yes?"

"Well, it's official, Walker has been inaugurated." The current Permanent Representative of Finland to the United Nations, Carl Fredrik 'Ralph' Alexander Enckell, announced, but Narasimhan only nodded.

"Yes, I know, I know." Chakravarthi sighed after accepting the reality at last. "It's unthinkable, isn't it?"

"More like inevitable." Enckell snorted. "And Americans are such cowboys though I understand their zeal for independence, opposition to this forum, however, is confounding."

"Krasul's aide did not help matters with his advocacy for a one-world government." Narasimhan frowned.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy - 35th President of the United States

Room 419 - The Watergate Hotel, 2650 Virginia Avenue NW, Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

01:20:16 ATC/Monday, January 20th, 1969 - 12:18/12:18 PM

Due to the snowstorm, the departing administration could not leave D.C. quite yet despite yearning to leave hastily and now the former administration were forced to make last minute accommodations at Watergate, booking rooms 419 and 723 as they were the only rooms available and earning glares from the staff, even overhearing a cook wondering if they could use rat poison as a special ingredient for their last-minute guests which of course unnerved the outgoing officials but although John bemoaned it, the soon-to-be former President decided to watch the inaugural address only to come to regret it.

"And to think only yesterday that violator of the Hatch Act not only orchestrated a mob against Adlai, he pulled a stunt at Oxford the year before." Nicholas deBelleville Katzenbach grumbled and the United States Deputy Attorney General was not referring to the city across the pond in the county of Oxfordshire nor its prestigious University of Oxford but rather on the campus of the University of Mississippi and Katzenbach was still denying that fact that he and United States Marshals as well as deputized Border Patrol and Federal prison officers were besieged inside The Lyceum while escorting James Meredith and bringing him to register to attend classes at a prestigious public university which did accept international students but not Americans of African descent, a siege that was only lifted after Federal troops arrivedhours late.

"Trust me, I know as does General Eisenhower." The downcasted Kennedy bemoaned. "I can't believe that son-of-a-bitch is now President of the United States. Where did it all go wrong?"

General of the Army Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower - Head of the Coalesced Forces from Earth

243 Eisenhower Farm Road - Gettysburg, Cumberland Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

01:20:16 ATC/Monday, January 20th, 1969 - 12:18/12:18 PM

"That son-of-a-bitch." Ike grouched as he watched the inaugural address from Walker, the very same former subordinate the then President criticized for promoting his personal political views while in uniform, the same man who implemented the 'Pro-Blue' program for the officers and men of the 24th Infantry Division while garrisoned in West Germany, and the very same former senior officer who went from leading Federal Troops on Tuesday, September 24th, 1957 to enforce the integration of Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas to his six foot three frame wearing his now trademark dark and white Stetson leading his 'charge' at Ole Miss on Sunday, September 30th, 1962. In less than five years Walker has transformed from a fine military officer who commanded a subunit of the joint Canadian-American First Special Service Force - better known as the 'Devil's Brigade' and 'The Black Devils' - on the Italian Front to a particularly vocal wingnut and not of Goldwater's ideology either but another form of conservatism altogether as even Ike saw the difference.

Although Eisenhower was born in Denison in Grayson County, Texas, he was brought up in Abilene, Kansas and always considered Abilene to be home yet the 34th President of the United States could understand why this man was elected as the electorate were fed up with both parties - Democrats and Republicans alike - but Ike never envisioned Walker of all people becoming the 36th President of the United States, if anything he would have figured another Texan, Lyndon Baines Johnson, as more probable than Edwin Anderson Walker.

"Well, the American people made a choice and we'll have to live with it." Ike sighed and there was always the chance that Walker could be voted out after four years, if not impeached or he resigned before then whereas Eisenhower had a war to win.

Zay Sneralda- Host of The Sneralda Hour

Galactic News Network Building - Galactic City, Coruscant, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

01:20:16 ATC/Monday, January 20th, 1969 - 20:30/8:30 PM

"Good evening. I'm your host Zay Sneralda, and with me tonight is my co-anchor from the critically hit politically inclined Holonet show'The Kaven Haven', and some say my rival: Kaven Skeloe.

"Very funny, Zay. You realize that we're live, right?"

"I'm perfectly well aware but we're not emotionless droids. Earlier today, I broke the news about Walker taking office and while dodging reporters he offhandedly mentioned a book of Senator Goldwater's titled'Conscience of a Conservative'. Unfortunately due to the wartime quarantine policy enacted by the United Nations and every nation-state on Earth in which trade is only limited to selected goods, all ships are searched immediately even if the proper codes are given."

"Strict media censorship and tourism are prohibited with only selected persons of the government, officials from at least three contractors, and those under official military business being allowed on the planet. Those who fail to heed the travel restrictions are immediately treated as spies or invaders and the intruding spacecraft will be shot down on sight. Denizens will have to wait until the war is over to receive a copy but luckily for us Senator Krasul decided to hand his favorite news network an extra copy he bought during his time as an ambassador on Earth."

"Oh, we're definitely now officially criminals in the eyes of the Earthlings," Kaven chuckled.

Zay rolled her eyes at the quip and got serious. "So what are your thoughts on the book so far, Kaven?"

"Well, while I haven't read all of the book yet, Zay, I have at least managed to get to Chapter Four and I'll admit that I'm predicting some clashes of views up ahead, at least between Senator Goldwater and Saresh."

"Clashes?" The host inquired.

"You see, from our perspective the concept of nation-states died millennia ago; while Earth is still divided and just only started forming formal ties with the Republic last year. The point is though that Chancellor Saresh firmly believes that the Republic needs to step in to assist anyone's needs, while Goldwater on the other hand is firmly against what he refers to as 'handouts'."

"Handouts? As in public assistance measures?"

"That seems to be the case but the good news is that he is more supportive of private charitable aid that could be simply compared to what the Jedi did before the Sith returned to the galaxy and The Hyland Organization for Rakghoul Neutralization. Also known as THORN that was founded by Addalar Hyland, but that's not all. It's also an excellent chance that they will be against any suggestions for Earth to unite into a universal, single planetary government, and that's not even taking into consideration that the planet is technically having an ongoing cold war which is still unresolved."

"Speaking of the Jedi, did they offer to meditate?"

"At least three times only to have it shot down at the United Nations every time. The only nation that consistently voted for mediation was North Korea and that's only because they want to have their claim over South Korea legitimized."

"Huh? North Korea might be a theocratic powerhouse." Sneralda assumed. "Shame we don't know much about how this world is divided up overall as the exportation of maps is banned for, quote unquote,'security reasons,' due to the current conflict."

"That's a reasonable guess as all we know for sure is that North Korea is Communist in ideology and South Korea isn't."

"Anything else you would like to share?"

"Again, I don't have enough information on the overall political situation on that world but based on what we know so far, their military might and creativity have been unmatched despite their technological limitations. Their slugthrowers are second only to Verpine railguns, and the planet is divided into cultural, ideological, and or religious lines. Still, even though I can only guess at what Goldwater is inferring, it is safe to say he as well as Walker are diehard advocates for Liberty and therefore while not Johnson, they'll support the war effort based on their values."

"Well, I appreciate your time on the show, Kaven but unfortunately that's all the time we have for tonight. Until next time, this has been Zay Sneralda of The Sneralda Hour, signing off."

"Cut!" the on-stage director shouted, "Zay? A word."

The brown-haired anchorwoman wearing a dark grayish-blue leather jacket and a white crewneck T-Shirt immediately sauntered over upon overhearing the holler. "You wanted to see me, boss?"

"You did an excellent job tonight, and ratings are up fifteen percent. We're still the most popular on the network but there's a problem."

"A problem? Look, if it's about my contract, I'm sure we can work it out. And I don't need a raise as the board did decide two years ago to increase my salary from four hundred thousand credits to twelve million, which is still overly generous in my opinion."

"It's not the contract nor a compensation issue but...umm, the thing is, Zay, the Board just decided to have Kaven handle anything political related from now on, and that includes the unofficial examining of books written by politicians."

"Is there any other restrictions that I need to know about?"

"No comedy as Torion got that covered but you're free to cover fashion, music, some culinary such as sneak peeks for the cooking show and a few other subjects. I'll have a memo sent to your datapad "

"Understood." Sneralda accepted.

Edwin Anderson "Ted" Walker - 36th President of the United States

The Oval Office - The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

02:09:16 ATC/February 9th, 1969 - 2:45 PM

"So, what's first on the agenda, Mister President?" The Thirteenth White House Press Secretary and in a move surprising to many, thefirstAfrican-American ever appointed to the position, George Samuel Schuyler, inquired. "I know that we have a lot of work to do, ranging from attempting to reverse at least some of the New Deal and New Frontier initiatives without upsetting the moderates and streamlining the government for efficiency's sake, nevermind rooting out the communists inside the government and firing them then there's the war effort."

"And I'm sure the multitasking is manageable." The National Security Advisor, former Special Agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and host of'The Dan Smoot Report', Howard 'Dan' Smoot, deadpanned.

After taking a moment to ponder, including his desire to recognize the independent African state of Katanga as a sovereign nation even if the detestable United Nations still maintained the Congolese position, Ted decided to prioritize the current situation at the front as his social platform for the time being could wait. "Any undisclosed news on the theater?" The President and former Major General in the United States Army asked, wanting to know any developments that were not forwarded to the media and to have a better perspective on the overall situation from first hand sources.

"It doesn't sound good, the Republic and the Empire are currently in a stalemate." The Chief of Staff of the United States Army, William Childs Westmoreland, who was also the Chairman, announced as he showed the latest information they had on a cartographical map with blocks; blue representing the Republic and Red the Empire. "As you can see, aside from sporadic fighting around the southern Outer Rim such as near Tatooine, the brunt is occurring around the Mid Rim with neither side holding an advantage."

That caught the attention of Omar Nelson Bradley, General of the Army, the first appointed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the very individual who oversaw the United States Military's policy-making in the Korean War but Bradley was best remembered for his leadership during World War II and was even at one point Patton's subordinate before ironically becoming his boss but no one doubted his resume in the slightest and to Walker he was a perfect fit for the position as his insight and input was invaluable. "Well, by the sound of it, they are doing a broad front strategy." Omar recognized that it was a strategy he argued with Ike against during the Second World War yet Eisenhower went ahead with it.

"Broad front, sir?" Walker asked. Even though he was now the Commander-in-Chief, Edwin did it out of respect as well as habit.

"What Ike did during the war." Omar mentioned, referring to the Second World War of course. "The idea of a broad front is instead of concentrating our forces for breakthroughs, all armies advance along the entire front and apply continuous pressure against the enemy but it does and still goes against basic military logic, as if you're strong everywhere, you're strong nowhere. What you need is a 'narrow front' or more like MacArthur's island hopping, in this case 'planet hopping'." Bradley rearranged the pieces and slid them on a hypothetical trajectory. "By bypassing the more heavily fortified worlds for seemingly less desirable ones but still safe for human physiology, maybe one is colder or hotter but still bearable for human anatomy, just use it as a temporary staging area before moving on to the next world and leapfrog toward the heart of the Empire."

"Is leaving our flanks exposed wise?"

"Patton said that'My flanks are something for the enemy to worry about, not me. Before he finds out where my flanks are, I'll be cutting the bastard's throat'." Omar deadpanned. "But while a risk, the fact of the matter is the Republic believes that taking this Dromund Kaas is the key to ending this war and they may have the right idea but are using the wrong approach. Now, please excuse me Mister President as I should call Ike and let him know to seriously consider not doing a broad front approach."

Walker nodded but not without reservation as this conflict was still unprecedented for them and factories across the globe were still in the midst of converting to wartime production, a process which could not happen overnight. "I trust your judgment, sir, and I hope you're right…For all of our sakes."

George Walton Lucas, Junior - Aspiring Film Director and Documentary Producer

The Frolic Room - Hollywood, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

02:09:16 ATC/February 9th, 1969 - 20:30/8:30 PM

It had been four months since the musical fantasy filmFinian's Rainbowwas released to a mixed reception as while Fred Astaire was an American icon, and was persuaded to return to the big screen, it was clear that the film was produced by Flower Children and inThe New York Times, Renata Adler described the motion picture as a'cheesy, joyless thing'and added,'there is something awfully depressing about seeing Finian's Rainbow ... with Fred Astaire looking ancient, far beyond his years, collapsed and red-eyed ... it is not just that the musical is dated ... it is that it has been done listlessly and even tastelessly.'

Nonetheless, it unexpectedly became a reprieve in the wake of domestic unrest and somewhat of an attempt at reconciliation, and now with a major war, Lucas as well as Coppola were fortunate to be exempted from conscription due to being in the film industry and could be contracted for producing training films, films for a conflict that he was unsure about especially after Vietnam.

But now George was in denial for another reason. After he and his friend, Francis, decided to hang out at the Frolic Room in Hollywood, the pair somehow ended up talking tothecreator ofStar Trekand a screenwriter, but after discussing his ideas and sharing a few scripts, the aspiring director now felt like he needed another drink.

"You know, George, I honestly like your idea and ambition." Gene Roddenberry declared. "But I think right now is not the time to produce a Buck Rogers film, not with the war which has actual space battles."

"I suppose you're right." The young, aspiring director sighed with disappointment. "Frank and I were going to document the fighting in Vietnam as well but we couldn't receive permission in time."

"Hey, Sailer. What book are ya reading?"

"Ah, just some promotional copy I got from the Republic diplomatic party a couple years back." The screenwriter shrugged, adjusting his glasses. "It's about this mysterious Jedi named Revan and his ragtag bunch of misfits. Here's the kicker: it's apparently all real."

"Ragtag bunch of misfits?" Coppola wondered. "And a true story as well? Say, George, does that sound like something you would like to do?""

"Honestly, I think you should do it, George. It's right up your alley. Kind of Space Western Opera if I say so myself," Sailer slid the book to George. "Give it a read, might give you ideas. Ah hell, I'm late for another meeting. I'll talk to y'all later. Buenos Dias, Mister Lucas."

"Um… y tu?" George replied.

"Bueno." Sailer smiled as the New Mexican screenwriter left the room.

Gene smiled and offered Lucas a way to get his foot into the door. "You know what, here's a proposal if you three can work something out. I'll be the benefactor, George can be the primary director, Francis the co-director, and Sailer could collaborate the script with you George as… frankly, your dialogue needs work."

"Actually, I will let George have at it as he was the brain behind the Buck Rogers film."

"You're sure, man?" George questioned, taken aback by the humbleness.

"I'm sure. Big productions aren't my thing really and I have a feeling that this will be a hit."

"Alright," Lucas relented. "But we need a name. As Gene will be helping, how about 'Star Wars'?"

"Ha!" Roddenberry laughed, slapping Lucas behind the back. "It took place a long time ago in a galaxy now not so far away as well after all."

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - Fireteam Alpha, Second Squad, First Platoon, C/Charlie Company, Second Raider Battalion "Carlson's Raiders", Second Raider Regiment, Second Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, United States Marine Corps

United States Naval Station Norfolk - Norfolk, Virginia, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

03:24:16 ATC/ March 24th, 1969 - 17:32/5:32 PM

Johnny, get your gun,

Get your gun, get your gun,

Take it on the run,

On the run, on the run.

Hear them calling, you and me,

Every son of liberty.

Hurry right away,

No delay, go today,

Make your daddy glad

To have had such a lad.

Tell your sweetheart not to pine,

To be proud her boy's in line.

'Well, who would have thought that we're going to fight in an intergalactic war.' Jake thought as 'Over There' by George M. Cohan played through the speakers. Meyer and his fellow Marines marched through downtown Norfolk heading to the nearest Republic transport craft that would take him and his comrade to the front. His father and uncles were recalled to active service for the war effort. His stepmother and many other women, on the other hand, headed either back to the factories to become Rosies once more or worked on the farm. Sam was surprisingly assigned to his father's platoon and with Commandant Chesty Puller reforming the Raiders he placed the formerly retired Brigadier General Samuel Blair Griffith II in charge of all four Raider Battalions, a man who served as Executive Officer under the legendary Major General Merritt Austin Edson, Senior before taking command of the 1st Raider Battalion in his own right. And Jake was proud to say after three months of hard training he and those who passed had earned the respect of the originals who fought on Makin Island and Guadalcanal.

Over there, over there,

Send the word, send the word over there

That the Yanks are coming,

The Yanks are coming,

The drums rum-tumming

Everywhere.

So prepare, say a prayer,

Send the word, send the word to beware.

We'll be over, we're coming over,

And we won't come back till it's over

Over there.

"Eyes right!"Griffith himself barked. Jake snapped his head instinctively to the right, holding hisUnited States Rifle, Caliber 7.62 mm, M14at present arms as they passed the dignitaries reviewing the parade and Meyer even saw President Walker as well as Vice President Ashbrook giving them a salute.

Johnny, get your gun,

Get your gun, get your gun,

Johnny show the Hun

Who's a son of a gun?

Hoist the flag and let her fly,

Yankee Doodle do or die.

Pack your little kit,

Show your grit, do your bit.

Yankee to the ranks,

From the towns and the tanks.

Make your mother proud of you,

And the old Red, White, and Blue.

"Eyes front!" The command was followed instinctively by the Leathernecks and the Marines continued on their way to the ship. To think that it took less than a year from learning life existed beyond Earth to going to war against an Empire of Space Nazis. It still made Jake snort in amusem*nt at the full-circle irony. And now with the fate of the planet on the line, the nations of Earth were literally throwing everything it has in an all-or-nothing preemptive strike against the Empire.

Over there, over there,

Send the word, send the word over there

That the Yanks are coming,

The Yanks are coming,

The drums rum-tumming

Everywhere.

So prepare, say a prayer,

Send the word, send the word to beware.

We'll be over, we're coming over,

And we won't come back till it's over

Over there.

Mary Louise Fuller - Machinist, Guide Lamp Division, General Motors

"Guide Lamp Division" Manufacturing Plant, General Motors - Anderson, Madison County, Indiana, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

06:05: 16 ATC / Thursday, June 5th, 1969 - 08:15 / 8:15 AM

"Come on, Mary, you used the lathe like this." The recalled 'Rosie' informed as she demonstrated the resurrected machinery used to manufacture M3A1 Submachine Guns back in World War Two. "And Brenda is handling one of the rifling machinery so if you're uncomfortable handing them to anyone else, just give them to her."

"Yes, mother." The daughter acknowledged before taking over the machine used to produce raw barrels for the 'Grease Guns'.

Karl Schmidt - Assembler for Henschel & Son

Henschel & Sonmanufacturing plant - Kassel, State of Hesse, Federal Republic of Germany aka "West Germany", Europe, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

06:05: 16 ATC / Thursday, June 5th, 1969 - 17:00 / 5:00 PM

"Nein, nein, not there." The mechanic pointed out to one of his employees after the factory converted to the manufacturing of tanks once more, this time Leopards instead of Tigers and Panthers. "You put ze rivet here, Karl."

"Ja, ja." Schmidt nodded as he placed the rivet in the correct position and used the air hammer to set it in. "This Panzer ist ready to tread on ze Imperials."

"Gut. Sehr gut, Karl. Now we have two hundred more to go."

"Damn quotas." Schmidt grumbled. "There should be time made for quality precision."

Helen Dortch Longstreet - Riveter

B-52 Assembly Plant - Dobbins Air Force Base, Marietta, Cobb County, Georgia, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

06:06: 16 ATC / Friday, June 6th, 1969- 11:00 / 11:00 AM

At an aircraft assembly plant in The Peach State was a remarkable woman and centenarian who just like World War Two was once more helping fabricating bombers for the war effort.

Best known as the 'Fighting Lady', Helen was a social advocate, environmentalist, suffragette, librarian, and newspaper woman who served as reporter, editor, publisher, and business manager. She was the first woman who tried to secure a public office in the state of Georgia by holding the office of Assistant State Librarian in 1894 and she also authored the 'Dortch Bill' which became law in 1896 to allow a woman to hold the office of State Librarian.

Additionally, Helen became a member of the Progressive Party and backed Theodore Roosevelt when he lost the Republican nomination to Taft in 1912 and she was in fact a delegate to the Progressive Party convention in 1912. In 1950, Helen ran for Governor on a platform of among other issues supporting desegregation and civil rights only to be defeated by the segregationist Herman Eugene Talmadge but the 'Fighting Lady' was also known for memorializing the Confederacy as well as defending the honor and reputation of her late and long-departed husband, as Helen was the second wife of none other than James Longstreet himself, the Confederate general and Robert E. Lee's very own 'Old War Horse'.

"Ma'am, I'm afraid I must let you go." The foreman announced.

"Sir, you do realize that this is Misses Longstreet, right?"

"Longstreet? As in General Longstreet?"

"That's right." Helen's co-worker confirmed. "She was in Life magazine building B-29s during the last major war and wants to contribute again."

"My eyes are still sharp and I have no rejections yet." Helen added. "As I said back in '43,'I am going to assist in building a plane to bomb Hitler and the Son of Heaven to the Judgment Seat of God'and now I'm assisting in sending this Sith Emperor named Vitiate to the Judgment Seat of God!"

"I'll talk to the manager but I can't guarantee you'll remain on the assembly line."

"Well, have him check my work then!" Longstreet snapped but the man was already out of earshot and the socialite turned to her colleague. "Thank you, Betsy."

"No, thank you, ma'am."

Although her defense of James was still contentious in the South, no one denied that Helen was well-intentioned, and while The War Between the States had been over for a century and three years, Dixie's rebel sons would be joining Yankee rebels for the common 'Third War of Independence'.

Lois Braelyn Brandhorst

Continental Steel Corporation - West Markland Avenue, Kokomo, Howard County, Indiana, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

06:07:16 ATC / Saturday, June 7th, 1969 - 14:00 / 2:00 PM

Kokomo was known as 'The City of Firsts' for its impressive track record of innovations, particularly in the automobile industry. However, during the Second World War, the city, along with other industrial hubs such as Gary, East Chicago, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Evansville, and Jeffersonville, saw a shift in production towards military equipment. This was not uncommon, as factories all across the continental United States were repurposed to support the war effort. Though she never foresaw herself becoming a 'Rosie', Lois found herself working in a factory to support the troops. She was currently stationed at the assembly line, packaging aluminum stripper clips for the M14 Service Rifle into cardboard boxes before they headed south to the Indiana Army Ammunition Plant in Clark County where brass cartridges would be attached and then packed into bandoliers, boxed up, and eventually shipped to the front alongside grenades, mortar shells, and artillery rounds of various calibers and varieties.

As she worked diligently, Lois couldn't help but think about the newfound circ*mstances and the war they had been dragged into.'A war with aliens? Who would've thought?'She mused to herself, shaking her head in disbelief. It was still hard to fathom that the world was facing an extraterrestrial threat, nevermind the fact the confirmation that they were not alone in the universe and humanity was more widespread than ever thought possible yet Lois knew that she had a job to do and she was determined to do it well.

Just then, the assembly line came to a halt, and the loud horn blared throughout the factory, signaling that it was time for a break. Lois and her coworkers quickly made their way to the break room, eager for some rest and relaxation.

As she sat down at a small table with her lunch, Lois struck up a conversation with her friend and coworker, Julia Coleman. "Can you believe we're making ammo for a war with aliens?" Julia asked incredulously.

Lois chuckled. "It's definitely not something I ever thought I'd be doing, but I'm proud to be doing my part for our country."

Julia nodded in agreement. "Same here. It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it."

The two women finished their delayed lunch and chatted a bit more before the break time was over and they had to return to their stations. But as Lois got back to work, she couldn't help but feel a sense of pride and determination, feeling cautiously optimistic as she believed that the United States of America would pull through and win this 'Third War of Independence'.

Constance Genesis "Connie" Brandhorst

Brandhorst Farm - Wildcat Township, Tipton County, Indiana, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

06:07:16 ATC / Saturday, June 7th, 1969 - 14:00 / 2:00 PM

Though admittedly a week late for haymaking, Constance couldn't help but to think of the American Civil War ballad'Take Your Gun and Go, John'as she drove the tedder and while at first glance haymaking on an equine farm sounded frivolous, other livestock, particularly cattle, goats, and sheep were fed the fodder, even hogs though swine did not digest it as well as other herbivores but regardless the neighboring farmsteads with dairy cows or the odd beef bovine could make use of the leftover hay which would lead to milk or a Salisbury steak for an American GI or some Allied Serviceman at the front.

The towheaded blonde suddenly felt an uncomfortable bump, one which could not be dismissed and she circ*mstantially turned off the ignition earlier than intended then stepped off the vehicle.

"Figures." Constance remarked as she inspected the possible damage from the impact only to notice that she had run over a large groundhog tunnel and after sighing she made her way back to her grandparent's house to inform her grandfather of the situation and deal with the rodents. While she knew that her grandfather would not be pleased with the news, but it had to be dealt with and as she walked into the house, she found her grandmother in the living room, vacuuming the carpet.

"You're back early." Her grandmother remarked, turning off the vacuum cleaner.

"Yeah, I had a little mishap with the tedder." Connie replied. "Is Grandpa here?"

"No, he went into town." Her grandmother answered, looking at her questioningly.

Connie took a deep breath before explaining the situation. "I ran over a groundhog den while using the tedder. I think we may need to use some dynamite to get rid of them." She couldn't help but to think of her mischievous first cousin, Clark Griswold Meyer, who always seemed to have a fondness for explosives.'If only Clark knew.'

Clark Griswold Meyer

Meyer Farm - Acton, Franklin Township, Marion County, Indiana, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

06:07:16 ATC / Saturday, June 7th, 1969 - 14:00 / 2:00 PM

Clark was feeling restless. The thirteen year old Hoosier had always been fascinated by science and explosions with today being no different. But as there was the danger of Earth being invaded by the Sith Empire, Clark couldn't help but feel a sense of urgency to prepare for the worst, and while sitting on a log, Clark carefully mixed together the ingredients for homemade black powder which was seventy-five parts potassium nitrate, fifteen parts charcoal, and ten parts sulfur. All of the ingredients could be found in most drugstores or in the case of sulfur and potassium nitrate found naturally.

And his close friends, Matthew Hanco*ck and Harold Drew, joined him, both eager to witness the results of Clark's latest 'experiment' and as the boys chatted excitedly, Clark carefully poured the black powder into a metal pipe, constructing a device as outlined in the United State Army field manuals 'TM 31-210; Improvised Munitions Handbook' , 'FM 5-25: Explosives and Demolitions', and 'FM 5-31: Booby Traps' then approached the target before stopping just fifteen yards short of the cardboard cutout. His heart raced with anticipation as he lit the fuse and quickly retreated to a safe distance where his two friends were waiting, anticipating the results.

"Here it goes!" Clark yelled as he ran for his life, his voice trembling with excitement.

BOOM!

The sound of the explosion echoed, sending a cloud of smoke and debris into the air. The boys cheered and high-fived each other, thrilled with the success of the experiment.

"That was awesome, Clark!" Matthew exclaimed, his eyes wide with amazement.

"I told you it would work!" Clark replied, grinning from ear to ear.

As they walked to examine the damage, Clark couldn't help but feel a sense of pride yet when turned to his friends, he had a serious look on his face. "We need to be ready for the Sith Empire. Just like the Communists, we can't let them take over our planet without a fight."

Matthew and Harold nodded in agreement, knowing that Clark was right.

Private First Class Corbin Dalton Meyer - 45B Small Arms/Artillery Repairman, Springfield Armory, United States Army Ordnance Corps, United States Army

United States Armory and Arsenal at Springfield - 1 Armory Street, Springfield, Hampden County, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

06:07:16 ATC / Saturday, June 7th, 1969 - 14:00 / 2:00 PM

Although in recent years Springfield Armory had become an R&D institution and was no longer the principal manufacturer of rifles for the United States Armed Forces, production had been ramped up everywhere, and in a total war leaving a purpose-built small arms factory languish was bonkers, therefore, this historic American institution was once again fabricating service weapons for the nation's fighting men and Corbin's assignment was to clean each rifle after being test-fired and in fact, some of them fresh off the assembly line were being fired on the Accuracy and Targeting Fixture.

"Range is hot!" The voice of one of the civilian employees, Hector Cason Frink, forewarned as he prepared to pull the lanyard after sighting it in. An intentionally overpressuredCartridge, Caliber 7.62mm, NATO, High Pressure Test, M60used for proof firing of weapons during manufacture, test, or repair was fired first to check to see if the weapon was not going to be a pipe bomb and seeing that the rifle was unphased, Hector handed the rifle so a letter 'P' could be officially stamped on the stock to indicate that the rifle has passed and been 'proofed' but of course after receiving the stamp the rifles would then had to undergo a functioning test of semi-automatic, burst automatic, and sustained automatic fire followed by the accuracy test which Hector was about to do on one of the M14s.

"Clear! Now loading live ammunition!" Hector exclaimed as he now placed the stripper clip containing five rounds of 150 grainCartridge, Caliber 7.62mm, NATO, Ball, M59into the guide and used his thumb to push them downward into the magazine before discarding the aluminum clip and racking the bolt. "The range is hot!" He then fired one round at a time on semi-automatic and hopefully the newly-producedUnited States Rifle, Caliber 7.62 mm, M14would meet the maximum standard of a five-shot group shot at one hundred meters falling within five point six inches yet if it went above that the rifle would be rejected.

"God, I love this job."

"I'll say, Hector." Corbin concurred with a smile even though he personally disagreed with the Ordnance Department's official standard as it should be more stringent, say, ten ten-shot strings of fire shot at one hundred yards instead of that Communist metric system and all having to be an inch at minimum or even less.

Private First Class Heather Alicia Meyer - Women Marines Detachment, Marine Corps Barracks Kodiak, United State Marine Corps

Kodiak Island - Kodiak Island Borough, Alaska, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

06:07:16 ATC / Saturday, June 7th, 1969 - 14:00 / 2:00 PM

Heather was smiling as she sat near the shore and gazed out to sea, admiring the waves and watching Humpback Whales surfacing to breathe, forcefully expelling air through their blowholes, but for a young woman from a landlocked state over seven hundred miles away from seawater and fascinated with marine mammals as well as nature in general this may as well be paradise.

The B.A.M. - as in Beautiful American Marine and not the original, synonymous 'Broad Ass Marine' - sighed as she reached into her haversack and retrieved a photograph from her wallet, one where her brother Jake who was then nine helped seven-year old her reel in a Flathead Catfish which also happened to be remarkably her first catch.'Of course, Valerie still loathes putting bait on a hook.'

Still, not everything was exactly tranquil and there was apprehension as this conflict was unprecedented and the fact that everyone knew someone or had someone in uniform with Heather being no exception as Jake was among the first being deployed, Corbin was at Springfield Armory, her fraternal twin brother, Cole, was deploying with the 3rd Infantry Division - 'The Rock of the Marne' -, and even her father had been recalled by the United States Army and received a commission even though he was discharged at the rank of Staff Sergeant, not to mention having to requalify for jump status but of course, while the men not necessarily beholden to an essential occupation were marching off to war the womenfolk were freeing manpower for the fight and picking up the slack whether it was on the assembly line, at the cornfields, in the bakery, or even operating radar.

Her staid paternal grandmother may have deplored her decision to enlist three years prior while her paternal grandfather remained silent, her father may have felt ambivalent, Elke and Valerie may still question it, her brothers may take a dim view of it, and admittedly Heather did have reservations before signing the papers but then again it could be presently considered to be proactive and she didn't intend to have a career in any field anyways, only a stint to see locations she may otherwise never visit.

Dear Sis,

As I write this letter to you the ones who passed selection and I as well as the old salts of the old breed are preparing to ship out to a destination unknown but undoubtedly in another galaxy altogether. If circ*mstances were different I bet there would be some plant or critter that would catch your eye and when this war is over tourism would be in high demand and speaking of tourism I for one never anticipated climbing Mount Everest, nevermind speak to Mister Norgay in person, and who knows perhaps the Westbrook's would be generous so you would be able to visit Nepal? But I wouldn't take advantage of them. Now although I don't know what to expect upon arrival I have somewhat of an idea after the stunt at the worthless idealistic harebrained institution known as the United Nations but to all intents and purposes is nothing more than a change of name for the League of Nations yet when I intervened it was not for a New World Order, it was to rescue the woman I was going to propose to the following week but I suppose such situations are a sign that I will be a perpetual bachelor and I may have to acknowledge it.

Anyway, Toffee, I will have to stop here for the time being as I still need to finish packing my seabag but rest assured, opportunity permitting, I will send pictures to you.

Your loving brother,

Jake

P.S. How's Alaska?

Heather smiled despite the glaring fact the firstborn had irksomely mentioned that embarrassing girlhood nickname of hers due to her red hair as well as enjoying Heath Bars instead of Junior Mints or Sugar Daddies which were both created by none other than Robert Henry Winborne Welch, Junior himself - as in the literal co-founder, Chairman, and President of the John Birch Society - and although she did wish to reveal the fact that she was presently in a relationship with a suitor by the name of Mitchell Warner Hawthorne who was from Camden, South Carolina, she thought better of it, not because of the fact Jake's time with Sara had imploded but because given the fact that he like her father and Corbin were protective of her and her sisters, not to mention Clark and his felicity with explosives.

Still, she never foreseen herself becoming enraptured with a chivalrous, urbane Sandlapper who was educated at Princeton but then again the love at first sight felt recipcol. She was not a 'Columbia Club' Republican in the slightest and indisputably was from North of the Mason-Dixon while he had attended cotillions in Dixie. Perhaps it was the fact her maternal grandparents had a horse farm and he grew up in an area that encouraged equestrianism, maybe it was due to their shared agrarianism and enjoying bucolic scenery but no matter the reason the Hoosier who spoke a dialect of Low German fluently felt that she had met the love of her life.

And although the Meyer's may be dismissed by most as wingnuts, they were in fact sincere obstinate all-American patriots and in the words of German-born American statesman Carl Schurz:

'My country, right or wrong; If right, to be kept right, and if wrong, to be set right!'

For their country always came first, always.

Chapter 10: Operation: Mars Part One

Chapter Text

General of the Army Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower - Head of the Coalesced Forces from Earth

"The War Room" - Senate Building,Senate District, Galactic City, Coruscant, Coruscant, Coruscant System, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

06:24:16 ATC/ Tuesday, June 24th, 1969 -08:45/8:45 AM

'I never imagined being back in this position ever again.'The former Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force, 16th Chief of Staff of the Army, 13th President of Columbia University, the 1st Supreme Allied Commander Europe, and 34th President of the United States thought as he, Krueger, and even Konev of all people discussed strategy with their Republic counterparts.

But regardless after the Second World War none of the old warhorses, especially Krueger in particular as he was the eldest of the trio, should be here in the first place as they earned a well-deserved retirement yet desperate times called for desperate measures and they were only just among three of the most experienced leadership available.

"Gentlemen. We cannot simply afford to launch an all-out assault on Dromund Kaas. It's suicide." Supreme Commander Malcom declared. "As much as I like to, the planet is heavily defended-perhaps even more than Coruscant itself- and the planet also has many hazards."

"And yet you outnumber them!" The Russian pointed out. "You are a damn coward!"

"You have not experienced wars like ours." Jace defended.

Despite the fact he should be meditating just like how back in the day Patton and Montgomery once bickered with each other, Ike the mediator ignored the brewing argument for the time being and noted that the former enlisted man of the Spanish-American War and subsequent Philippine-American War was silent, deep in thought as he looked at the tactical holoprojector before him, showing the territories of the Republic and Empire. The eyes of the former commander of the Sixth United States Army during World War Two narrowed at a planet deep within Imperial-controlled territory, in the center of Sith Space.

"Perhaps there is another location we could strike at." The German-born American with a martial Prussian keenness for war spoke up with the argument coming to an abrupt halt.

"And that is?" Colonel Rian Darok of Republic Special Forces questioned.

"See this red planet here?"

"Korriban?" Jace Malcom exclaimed with surprise, not quite expecting it to be looked at already by the newcomers.

This time Ike got involved. "Is that what the name of the planet is?" Eisenhower grinned as he walked up to the screen. The former President of the United States whose administration was literally just prior to Kennedy's stepped up next to the genius whose forte was the operational level of war and stared down at the surrounding area.

"Krueger!" He laughed after becoming optimistic and liking what he saw. "If we capture this planet, the Empire would be cut in two!"

But the old warhorse from the War of 1898 clarified with realism.

"Believe me, Ike, I wish that was what I was proposing." He deadpanned. "But actually what I'm suggesting is to not take the world as this planet at present would be difficult to defend and would be nothing less than a drain on frugal resources."

"An armed raid, then? Bloody them and test our forces against theirs?"

"Precisely."

"You just don't get it." Malcom sighed. "The Imperials are going to defend their territory stubbornly and the Sith especially will not have their sacred planet taken. It'll be a bloodbath."

"Sacred? That's even better and it'll show this religious cosmo-fascist suka how much we value Earth!" he emphasized the last insult with utter spite.

Eisenhower then remembered Dieppe and was now hesitant to commit something akin to it all over again and Ike wasn't the only one with doubts.

"Still, regardless of how experienced you and your troops are..." Malcom was going to continue when Darok interrupted him.

"If I may sir, I believe the Earthlings are on the right path."

"Explain Colonel. This better be worth it or I'll make sure you are busted down all the way to Private for interrupting."

"Of course sir. Three weeks ago, I was forming a plan with the SIS to conduct an operation to gather intel from the planet's computer. Unfortunately, the operation requires at least a battalion to pull it off since a small team will have an eighty-five percent chance of being captured."

The founder and former leader of Havoc Squad stared at the Colonel before nodding in approval. "Very well Darok. I'll give you all the resources you require and you are in command of the operation with the Earth Coalition assisting." Malcom said before adding. "But if this raid fails, I'll make sure that you are spending the rest of the war in a comfortable brig...Is that understood, Colonel?"

Darok gulped. "Crystal, sir."

"Very well. We'll strike Korriban and show the Empire what Earth is made of." Krueger smirked in a warrior's fashion.

"Agreed." Malcom reluctantly conceded. "May the Force be with you."

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer -Fireteam Alpha, Second Squad, First Platoon, C/Charlie Company,Second Raider Battalion "Carlson's Raiders", Second Raider Regiment, Second Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, United States Marine Corps

Korriban -Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

06:30:16 ATC/ Monday, June 30th, 1969 -17:32/5:32 PM

Two days shy of his twenty-second birthday, the United States Marine from Acton, Indiana was still perplexed by the terrain after dispatching some sentries.

'So this is what Uncle Steve and Jack went through.'Jake thought as he wiped away the blood on his Ka-Bar gained from the Imperial sentries he and one of the original Marine Raiders, Corporal Calvin Miller, dispatched rods back. Jake was proud to be serving under these brave men, some of whom like his Uncle Steve and his Stepuncle Jack served under the late Merritt Austin Edson, Senior and to think coincidentally Grandpa Stefan was on the United States Marine Corps Rifle Team alongside then First Lieutenant Edson at the 1921 National Matches but now, it was going to be a cakewalk when one was among this band of legendary Devil Dogs. After the three hours-long trip to the planet in an S.I.S. cloaked spaceship straight out of'The Jetsons', Jake was glad that he was back on the ground, even if it was enemy soil.

The Mission?: Recon the area for a suitable landing zone for the invasion force with the other priority of causing some chaos for the Space Brits and the Second Raider Battalion was about to launch a major assault on a nearby Imperial barracks to gather intelligence for Ike before the Jarheads attired in their distinctive M1942 'frogskin' camouflage uniforms compared to the prevalent usage of OG-107 olive drab sateen utilities and Mitchell pattern camouflage helmet covers in use throughout the rest of the Corps disappear into the night and by morning, Wild Weasels would hopefully demolish Anti-Aircraft batteries followed by paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division launching a massive attack on a power generator with the goal of knocking out the majority of the planetary defenses.

"Harris? Signal the strike team."

Jake watched as Gunnery Sergeant Mark Harris shot a red flare up into the air, and immediately in response, rockets from M72 LAWs began to explode around the base, destroying the communication array to prevent them from calling for help along with a few machine gun emplacements.

"We are go!"

The Gyrenes trained specifically to serve in a special operations capacity yet still able to be employed as conventional infantry due to every United States Marine being a Rifleman first and foremost irrespective of Military Occupational Speciality began to charge forward with the Imperial garrison stunned to see foreign troops on the planet and were holding their fire for a few moments. A few moments were all the Leathernecks required as O'Neill set the C4 charge on the panel and the Leathernecks took cover before it detonated, watching as the red polarized wall dissipated.

"MOVE! MOVE! MOVE! Harris! Right flank! You two! Take the left!"

"Don't leave so much as one of those bastards standing!"

"Watch our flank and don't let 'em surround us!" A third Senior Non-Com added.

Jake witnessed Brian taking point and the Kansan moved up to the next hut to lob a grenade into the structure in case the flamethrowers missed any occupants but before he could pull the pin, a flaming Imperial burst out of the barrack and attacked him.

"Aaaaaargh!"

"Help Brian!"

"GET HIM OFF ME!"

"Save him!" Harris added.

"More of them! Hold your positions!"

Before he was able to get a bead on the human torch, Jake saw that Calvin calmly took care of the Space Brit with a burst from his M1928A1 Thompson, and in the Hoosier's mind he couldn't deny that the veterans, these old salts, were experienced in the area of raiding behind enemy lines but there was still a task for him as well. Meyer and the other Raiders firmly held their ground as some of the surviving Imperials that didn't flee proceeded to launch a counter-attack, yet their fates were sealed by the M60s, M79 Grenade Launchers, M9A1-7 Flamethrowers, M14s, M1921 as well as M1928A1 Thompson Submachine Guns with drum magazines, and various shotguns ripping into the night.

"Arraghhhh!" One of the few unarmored Imps tried to strike Jake with the butt of his rifle. Meyer, on the other hand, had other ideas and he grabbed the barrel with his left hand before granting the Space Brit an uppercut. The Imperial dropped his rifle and lunged forward, but the Hoosier tripped him before unholstering his handgun and quickly fired three shots of .45 ACP into the soldier's head. While bloody and messy, Jake knew from experience dealing with Sappers back in 'Nam that it was effective.

"That shows the bastards not to mess with the Corps." First Sergeant Thomas O'Malley complimented. "Now let's finish securing the area!"

The door to the next barrack bursts open and an Imperial officer falls out. Lombardi came out and shot the officer several times in the head with his M1911A1 and the officer fell over the railing.

"You like that, you piece of tea-drinking sh*t!?"

Meyer snorted his head in amusem*nt at the crude reference of the Boston Tea Party and he continued firing into the disorganized ranks. The Imperials were confused at the strange camouflaged men with slugthrowers and were wondering what to do, but most of the leadership were killed by snipers armed with either Winchester Model 70s, M40s, or XM21s picking them off from a ridge three hundred yards away.

"Take out that MG!" O'Malley cried out.

"I can't get a clear shot!"

"Then estimate where he is at and shoot through the damn steel!"

The Private immediately began peppering the structure at random, his selective-fire M14 Rifle being on semi and with the Marine Corps emphasis on riflery he decided to start with only three rounds firing only one shot at a time per spot until he could overhear a thud despite the chaos occurring behind him and for good measure he fired one additional shot where he believed the soon to be corpse lied then approached the front of the MG nest with his rifle now on automatic and spraying the inside.

Meanwhile nearby, Jake was shooting from the kneeling position and just downed three of the retreating enemy when a cry in the night caught his attention. "Get your damn hands off me!" Meyer heard one of the rookies called out. The Hoosier proceeded to aim his M14 at the black armored individual and gave him a five-shot burst of 7.62x51mm NATO, the bullets ripping into the plastic-like material, shredding it.

'I wonder why they even bother putting it on.'The farmboy wondered as he and his fellow Americans proceeded to leave the area to link up with their brothers in arms.

"Good work Marines! Keep it up! Support squad will be just up ahead... Let's move!"

One hour later...

"This place creeps me out." A random Leatherneck Jake doesn't know mentioned, trepid as the eerie lack of vegetation in this desert as well as the red sands gave them the creeps.

"The Imps are at home in this twisted sh*t. Eyes peeled." O'Malley added.

"Shhhh!"Harris shushed, declaring everyone to be quiet as the Marines came upon a shrine of some sort.

To Jake, the architecture was of a hideous design with some sort of alien with tentacles protruding down its chin and the rock of the statue was like a reddish limestone. Meyer noticed a flame in a lamp at the feet and for some reason, Jake felt as if he stumbled upon some sort of site for cult worshippers.

"It looked like it was moved recently. What the hell is this?"

"Check it out." Harris ordered.

The Marine who asked the question approached the statue warily, unsure if there was more to it than meets the eye.

"Looks like a temple or some sh*t..."

As he slowly and cautiously scoured around the statue, the Devil Dog's foot was caught in a trap of some sort and was killed by the resulting explosion. Imperial Troopers emerged from behind rocks and charged at Jake and his fellow Marines.

"For the Empire!"

"sh*t! Damn it! So much for being sacramental as they rigged it as a booby trap!"

"Hold your ground! HOLD YOUR GROUND!"

"Here they come!"

Jake proceeded to level his M14 yet again and unleashed a dose of American lead.

As the Imps came closer, Meyer decided to reload his rifle and pulled out an M26 'Lemon' grenade, throwing it at the feet of six charging Space Nazis. The results satisfied the Hoosier as the Imperials had their pathetic armor pierced by the shrapnel.

It was a slaughter and the Imps did not stand a chance and the Space Brits knew it. The United States Marines began to pick off those who began to retreat and the wounded were executed. As much as Jake hated to admit it, it was necessary since the Raiders had neither the time nor resources to guard any prisoners and they couldn't allow any of them to escape to warn about the imminent attack by a joint Republic/Earth force as well.

"Good job, Marines. Now let's link up with the rest of the battalion."

It was a bloody night conducted by all four Raider Battalions and by 0600 the next day, bombs and parachutes were going to be landing on this worthless rock.

General of the Army Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower - Head of the Coalesced Forces from Earth

Aboard theRNSPerseverance-Valor-class Cruiser:In orbit over Korriban - Korriban,Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

06:30:16 ATC/ Monday, June 30th, 1969 -05:00/5:00 AM

Eisenhower was still cautious as he read the after-action report from Samuel Blair Griffith II and how his particular outfit of Marines managed to cause just enough confusion for the enemy so the landing would not be impeded. There were also only ten wounded so far and after all the chaos and destruction the Jarheads had caused, the Marines had regrouped and they were now acting as pathfinders for stage two of Operation: Mars.

Getting up from the chair, the seventy-seven year old warrior felt his age catching up to him. However, despite being his last war, it was essential that as long as he was able he would keep the glue of the multinational coalition together to work in tandem with the Galactic Republic and their allies as well as make sure that the threat from the Sith Empire was no longer extant and although Ike was given carte blanche authority as his judgment was without question, the Secretary-General of the United Nations did privately requested him to negotiate the possibility of status quo antebellum at a proper time with the Empire, a fact the Republic were not enlightened about but first and foremost a preemptive strike and demonstration of resolve must be shown.

"Is the intercom ready?"

"Yes sir!" The orderly responded.

Nodding, Eisenhower walked to the highly advanced communications device and conducted a fleet-wide transmission.

"Good morning."

Both Earthlings and Republic troops alike stopped what they were doing and listened to Ike.

"I am honored to lead you all in a pivotal moment in our history. For three months, we've been training amongst our Republic allies for a war we Earthlings have never wanted…Earthlings. That word should have a new meaning here today."

N.A.T.O. forces, Warsaw Pact contingents, the allies of the two organizations, and even 'Neutral' troops of the so-called Non-Aligned Movement on the planet of Earth took a quick glance at one another before facing the virtual image of the legend displayed on holotables throughout the Republic fleet.

"Beginning today, for the duration of our conflict against the Sith Empire we are not Americans, Communists, nor former Soldats of the Third Reich but Earthlings. We are presently united for one purpose: to embark on a common crusade against a common enemy yet again…Twenty-seven years ago I oversaw men - some of them your fathers and some of whom are standing here today - against the Axis Powers. Now, fascism has come at us once again in the form of this 'Sith Empire'.

Cries of 'Boos!' and 'Screw the Sith!' was shouted, but it quickly died down as Ike continued.

"If either by fate or coincidence, I do not know, but I am sure of one thing…We will send a clear message to this Dark Council and show them why we will be resolved to preserve our way of life, to persevere in the face of annexation. Furthermore, we will demonstrate to the Imperial citizenry that their forces are unable to stem the tide as we are willing and able to endure it once again. During the darkest hour Winston Churchill was at the forefront of rallying Britain in the face of invasion, and so was Franklin Roosevelt, even Josef Stalin, telling their respective people that no matter what we could still persevere and triumph over the calamity of the time. Roosevelt and Stalin are gone but as a subordinate of mine, Patton himself declared:'It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived' and while Churchill was only recently reelected by Parliament as Prime Minister, he is ninety-four but gentlemen, let's be honest here, I'm not getting any younger myself and there inevitably may be the point where Imustpass the torch to someone else, someone that you should rally behind once I'm no longer capable to lead like it or not as it is reality but you have my sincere word that I'll be here for as long as I can, as far as I'm able, and do whatever it takes to wrap this war up and go home as we can ill afford a long conflict. Good luck and God bless you all. Eisenhower out."

Brigadier General Robin Olds - 366th Fighter Wing, United States Air Force

Skies above Korriban -Korriban,Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

06:30:16 ATC/ Monday, June 30th, 1969 - 06:00/6:00 AM

"This is Viper 1-1 to all squadrons. Report in."

Brigadier General Robin Olds. Triple Ace Pilot and highly dangerous with his flying abilities and now Eisenhower himself upon the recommendation of Curtis LeMay personally selected Olds to carry out this important assignment:

Seek out and destroy the Anti-Aircraft emplacements along with engaging and destroying any fighters that present themselves.

"Dogwood 2-3 all present and accounted for, sir."

"Whiskey Bravo 7-9 is locked and loaded."

"Archangel standing by."

"All pilots are cleared for takeoff."

"Understood control." Olds responded. "Keep your attention on the enemy craft men. They are not to be underestimated but our primary focus is to knock out those guns...I do not want any glory hounds today. You got that?"

Everyone understood what was at stake. Failure to take down the AA sights would lead to the paratroopers being greeted with laser fire and this task was suicidal for any aircraft-But they had been training for this moment and seventy-five percent of the pilots under Olds are experienced Wild Weasels who took down Surface to Air missile sites during Vietnam and this time their experienced nature would help them succeed in this crucial task.

Failure was not an option.

The F-110 Spectres exited the Republic cruisers at a speed faster than any starfighter ever made up to that point, astonishing the Republic work crews as they took off.

And it would be even more surprising for the Imperial defenders to witness extraterrestrial craft on their territory-The sacred planet of Korriban no less.

"Archangel 3-2, I have a battery in my sights."The pilot declared before dropping an AGM-65 Maverick."Target one destroyed."

"Copy that Archangel. Engaging."

Imperial gun crews rushed to their turbolasers to shoot down the unrecognizable craft. They are goingtoofast for the guns to lock on.

"Kriffing hell! Are they a new type of Republic starfighter?" One Imp asked in awe as they swept in at breakneck speed just before his position was bombed.

It was pure chaos as the Wild Weasels returned to the hangar bay with only a few losses here and there. But overall, the mission was a complete success.

But now came the first wave of starfighters responding to avenge the destruction and attempt to defend the holy world against all hazards.

"Get ready boys! The Empire has sent us a welcoming committee!"

Second Lieutenant Paul Baltasar Meyer -Third Platoon, D/ Delta Company, Second Battalion, 324th Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, XVIII Airborne Corps, United States Army

Skies above Korriban -Korriban,Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

06:30:16 ATC/ Monday, June 30th, 1969 - 08:00/8:00 AM

"Here we go again." The World War II and Korean War veteran muttered from his seat inside the C-119 Boxcar which was transporting them to the dropzone.

"Something wrong, sir?" Sam asked Jake's father.

"It's nothing, Sergeant." The man responded as the red light lit up

"Red light! Get Ready! Stand up!" The jumpmaster barked, causing Paul and the other paratroopers to stand up. "Hook up! Check static line!" The GIs

hooked the static lines to the overhead anchor cable, checked their static lines for certainty, and were prepared for the inevitable command with one final check. "Check equipment!"

Every paratrooper, besides his main parachute and a reserve of the T-10, carried a pack and/or a drop bag, a water canteen, rations, ammunition, a .45 caliber M1911 pistol, and an M14 Rifle either inside the Case, Parachutist Individual Weapons M-1950 Adjustable or by keeping it close to the left side of the individual trooper's body through shifting the sling and fitting it tightly around the stock and barrel as well as using adhesive tape then passing the pack tray waistband over the rifle and with the aid of the tapes secured the stock firmly to the leg as well as the sling to the harness strap. They checked their equipment to ensure it was properly secured, and the equipment for the man in front of them was also secure.

"Sound off for equipment check!"

"Trooper one ready!"

"Trooper two ready!"

And it continued down the line until the last jumper was inspected and cleared.

"All troopers are ready, sir!"

'This is it.'Paul thought grimly.'The Wild Weasels and Jake, Stephen, and Jack better have done their jobs.'

The light turned green and as soon as the Jumpmaster shouted "Green light! Stand in the door! Go, GO, GO!", the response shouted with pride was "Airborne!" as the paratroopers hopped out of their transport, pulled the cord to unveil the canopies, and rained down to meet the foe head-on.

The Imperials were stunned to watch as primitive craft and parachutes were seen blocking the sky and as the gunners rushed to the batteries that weren't knocked out and to send laser bolts to welcome the unknown attackers, the defenders found that the supposed functional ones had been sabotaged. Unbeknownst to the troopers, the Anti-Aircraft guns not damaged by the Wild Weasels had thermite placed on them by the Raiders and the Marines threw red smoke as soon as they saw the parachutes.

Other Imperials attempt to take potshots at their foe and they manage to score a few hits, but there were justtoomany.

General Arkos Rakton - Commander of the Korriban Garrison

Korriban -Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy""

06:30:16 ATC/ Monday, June 30th, 1969 -08:00/8:00 AM

"Sir!"

"What is it, Corporal?!" Rakton demanded. "Can you see that I'm busy trying to defend Korriban from the Pubs!?"

"But sir, there is an unknown force that is attacking the planet. General Zelton just reported sir!"

Rakton didn't show it, but he wastaken abackat the news.

"Zelton? But he is on the other side of the planet!"

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer -Fireteam Alpha, Second Squad, First Platoon, C/Charlie Company,Second Raider Battalion "Carlson's Raiders", Second Raider Regiment, Second Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, United States Marine Corps

Korriban -Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

06:30:16 ATC/ Monday, June 30th, 1969 -08:00/8:00 AM

Jake and the other Marines were taking advantage of the terrain to ambush any unfriendly forces that reached the drop zone. After digging his foxhole, Meyer had swapped his M14 temporarily for an MC-1952 Sniper Rifle - a modified Garand that was arguably a superior sniper variant of the M1 Rifle compared to the Army's M1C and M1D platforms; and it had a match-grade barrel and sights hand-fitted by 2112 Rifle Team Equipment Repairmen at Quantico along with a 4x scope produced by Kollmorgen, a leather cheek piece, not to mention an M1907 sling, making it a useful and effective tool to be paired with the high quality 173 grain M72 Match rounds.

The Hoosier watched as Imperials off in the distance ran around in confusion trying to figure out what to do as F-110 Spectres and F-100 Super Sabres began to strafe their positions. Imperial fighters attempted to bring down the planes, but the American jets were simply too fast and were made for atmospheric dogfighting, unlike the unaerodynamic starfighters. It also didn't help that the planes were being led by a veteran ace.

'Go get 'em flyboys.'

Brigadier GeneralRobin Olds -366th Fighter Wing,United States Air Force

Skies above Korriban -Korriban,Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

06:30:16 ATC/ Monday, June 30th, 1969 -08:00/8:00 AM

The veteran of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam grinned as yet again another fighter got into his sights and Olds unleashed another burst from his 20mm M61 Vulcan rotary cannon.

"Ha! You like that!" Rob laughed as he did a weave maneuver on a particular starfighter. However, this is where things got interesting.

The ace instantly recognized the approaching aircraft from intelligence briefings as a 'Fury-class Interceptor' which was for some reason reserved exclusively for those of the Sith Order, causing him to instinctively fire an AIM-9 Sidewinder at the enemy craft.

"Come on. Come on." The General prayed as he hoped that the air to air missile will hit the target but unfortunately the Fury sped out of the way and constantly weaved in shockinglyimpossiblemaneuvers.

"This is Viper 1-1. After seeing that maneuver, we need to take that fighter down. The capabilities may have been underestimated."

"Copy 1-1. We will bring him down."

Thus, an entire squadron began their pursuit of a single fighter, but the Imperial did something unexpected.

"What the f*ck!?"1-3 shouted as the Fury managed to hit him."Arrghhh!"

"We just lost 1-3!"

"Cut the chatter!" Olds snapped. "1-2, 1-4, flank him! 1-5, 1-6! Get on top, I'm going directly at the bastard!"

The squadron obeyed and Robin watched as 1-2 and 1-4 got out of formation and began to use their guns against the target.

But the enemy had other ideas and turned to fire on the F-110s. One of the pilots managed to eject from his burning craft, but 1-4 was shot down in flames.

"Son of a Bitch!" Robin cursed. "1-5! 1-6! Break off the pursuit! He's mine!"

"But sir! That's suicide!"

"I gave you an order 1-5!"

"Yes, sir."

'Let's see what you are made of.'

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer -Fireteam Alpha, Second Squad, First Platoon, C/Charlie Company,Second Raider Battalion "Carlson's Raiders", Second Raider Regiment, Second Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, United States Marine Corps

Korriban -Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

06:30:16 ATC/ Monday, June 30th, 1969 -08:30/8:30 AM

"Listen up!" Harris shouted. "Our Army brethren are beginning their phase and we have orders that we are assisting them. Lock and load!"

Jake made sure that his MC-1952 Sniper Rifle was ready for the ambush and the loop sling on his arm was properly taut since the briefings about the tactics of the Imperial military suggested that they would use overwhelming force to drive invaders off their soil. And since this planet was sacred to them, it was almost a guarantee that they would follow through with their doctrine.

Meyer watched as some repulsor tanks sped through the valley alongside infantry marching in a Napoleonic manner en route to engage their opposition, making this the perfect trap.

"Light them up!" O'Malley shouted as they reached the landmine and claymore co*cktail of death: M14s, M60s, M79s, and some mortars were fired at the enemy who was completely unaware that the valley was boobytrapped.

Jake looked through the 4x power telescopic sight and saw the distinctive uniform of an Imperial officer. Dialing in the range and windage before lining up the crosshairs on the target's chest, the Leatherneck took a deep breath before exhaling and slowly squeezed the trigger rearward, unleashing a .30 Caliber round and taking the officer's head clean off.

'Guess my wind call was slightly off but no matter, they are going to lose morale fast especially with me knowing the correct drift. Just wait and see what you are up against when you face Chesty Puller himself you worthless scum.'

"Good work Marines! Now fix bayonets and wait for them to come! They will not be greeting us with pie and lemonade, that's for certain."

'Bayonets?'

Every soldier and Marine dreaded those two simple words, the order to 'FIX BAYONETS!' as it meant that the enemy was within hand-to-hand melee distance and the fighting became a free-for-all. There was something particularly revolting about stabbing people with a bayonet as even with bayonets fixed most combatants since the dawn of gunpowder with the plug bayonet up to the present-day all for whatever reason instinctively preferred using their rifles as clubs to shatter skulls over utilizing the bayonet and during the American Civil War for instance the bayonet as a weapon was found to be responsible for less than one percent of all battlefield casualties, a hallmark of modern warfare, but even so, Meyer, without hesitation, uncuffed the M1907 sling from his bicep, returned the buckle to the rear swivel, and reached for the slightly obsolescent yet still useful sixteen-inch M1905 Bayonet and attached it to the lug of his rifle, thinking that the extra length might prove useful in engaging the so-called Sith instead of relying on the much shorter M5 blade for his Garand or even switching back to his M14 and affixing the M6 onto the rifle.

"Here they come!" Corporal Kowalski shouted as at one hundred yards away from the makeshift defense line the Imperials and Sith charged recklessly head-on at the Gyrene's position, hollering their war cry.

"Hold the line! And be sure to grant them an inch of American steel!"

At closer inspection by the experienced Devil Dogs who fought in the Pacific Theater during World War II, in Korea, in Vietnam, or even in all three conflicts, the Imperials were even moreidioticthan the American Marines initially thought.

"Ah, sh*t." Harris cursed as he shouldered his rifle. "They might as well be screaming Banzai while they're at it."

"Remindin' you of anyone, Sergeant?" Junior shot a smirk at him.

"Yeah." He whispered quietly. "Okinawa."

He had lost a good man that day. A reliable Corporal. He wasn't going to let that happen again! Especially for Kowaski's sake!

The claymores managed to take down a good percentage of the first wave but they justkeptcoming. The Imperials were determined to recapture the position the Leathernecks were holding.

"Well sh*t, they want this hill badly."

"Shut it, Kowalski!"

Meyer continued to pick the Space Brits off one by one with his MC-1952 but something in the scope caught his eyes, almost like two red glowing las-

Jake immediately thought back to the United Nations incident and remembered the debriefing on the rival space monk organization. "First Sergeant! We got two Sith fast approaching!"

"ThepatheticSpace Magicians?" O'Malley questioned to which Jake nodded. "Take them out."

Meyer proceeded to take careful aim at the two crazed swordsmen and open fire, but there was a problem. Some of the Imperial troopers weresacrificingthemselves by shielding them from the gunfire. It was as if they recognized that the Sith arevaluableassets and unlike his fellow Marines who were stupefied by the willingness to trade their lives for Sith, Jake was the only one to have previously encountered a Sith in action, inside the United Nations building of all places much to the former Birchite's disgust.

"Rraaghh!" One of the Sith fanatics screeched: It was an ugly alien creature with red skin and tentacles below its chin. In fact, the alien reminded Jake of the stature the Leathernecks had encountered last night.

"sh*t!" A Marine yelled as he used his rifle to block the glowing sword, but it was cut in two and he was about to be cut down by the hideous...thing.

"FIRE AT WILL!"

Meyer unleashed all eight rounds from his MC-1952 and watched as two Jarheads with a flamethrower ran up to finish off the attacker.

The other Sith in the meantime tried to attack Jake of all things and it was a feminine humanoid with horns on her head - a Zabrak if Meyer remembered correctly. The Hoosier tripped the charging banshee and proceeded to tackle her to the ground. Her laser sword flew out of her hands as she tripped and Jake watched as she attempted todragit out of thin air. Quickly, the Devil Dog pulled out his Ka-Bar and stabbed the alien in the forehead, killing her instantly.

'It was either her or me.'Jake lamented. Taking a moment to catch his breath, the Indiana farmboy grasped his rifle and lunged the bayonet directly at the vital organs of an Imperial who confronted him, piercing the gray fatigues with ease, he then kicked the mortally wounded foe to forcibly remove the blade and use gravity to inflict more damage as well.

One of the Sith noticed this action by the Earthling who had also killed his fellow Sith and snarled, spanning around to make the Forceless freak of nature know his place in the galaxy. "It's time to learn your place, pest."

Jake did not respond except for crunching down into the on-guard position and leaped forward to impale the threat, taking the Space Magician on. Meyer swung his bayonet against the lower abdomen but the lasersword sliced the M1905 in two, causing the Marine to have some second thoughts about his earlier idea and the Sith to laugh maliciously.

"Seems like you just lost your weapon."

'You forgot about the ammunition.'The Hoosier wittily thought after firing from the hip, the shot of .30-06 striking the shortsighted fool's dead center in the chest, and Meyer watched as his life faded away, gasping his last breath.'And you should've kept your trap shut, talking to your enemy can get you killed.'The Jarhead immediately scanned the surrounding vicinity only to notice that the enemy had withdrawn: For now.

Second Lieutenant Paul Baltasar Meyer -Third Platoon, D/ Delta Company, Second Battalion, 324th Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, XVIII Airborne Corps, United States Army

Korriban -Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

06:30:16 ATC/ Monday, June 30th, 1969 -09:00/9:00 AM

"Attention all units! Be advised that the Raiders are suffering from a heavy counterattack. Command is ordering all units to reinforce the Marines before proceeding on to the power generator."

'Marines...No wonder my son enlisted in the Corps instead of the Army.'Paul snorted before barking his orders. "Listen up! You just heard Command. We are reinforcing the Leathernecks and I want everyone to keep their eyes peeled. We are in uncharted territory."

The platoon nodded in the affirmative and rechecked their weapons to see if they were loaded. A lot of the men were anxious with some praying. It was truly a'hurry up and wait'situation as the Jarheads on the ridge were distracting the Imperials and it was adistractionat that: The Space Brits were literally launchingwaveslike the Reds did in Korea and the Devil Dogs responded in kind.

In fact, Paul watched as a squadron of F-105 Thunderchiefs unleashed napalm and then began to strafe the fools with their 20mm cannons followed by unexpectedly an AD4 Skyhawk from the recently revived United States Army Air Corps which released a payload of cluster munitions, the resurrection of the Army Air Corps, of course, infuriated the United States Air Force but it was done after congressional hearings regarding the deployment and usage of close air support by the Air Force or lack thereof in Vietnam and the USAF nonetheless with relief relinquished the Close Air Support role to the U.S. Army but the leaders of the young independent service branch prayed that they wouldn't be annexed after a hard-fought separation from the Army including during the infamous court martial of Billy Mitchell, the very independence which was only finally achieved after World War II on September 18th, 1947.

Then following an A-37 Dragonfly squadron finally came a more magnificent sight zooming low at high speed, a flight of TSR-2s emblazoned withU.S. ARMYon the wings and tail and in addition to the British Royal Air Force, only the United States Army and not the Air Force, not the Navy, certainly not even the Marines either but rather the United States Army exclusively had these specialized vicious birds in their arsenal and attacked relentlessly they did.

"Holy sh*t!"

"Thank God for the United States Army, am I right? Ah, who I'm kidding, I'm just glad we can count on our own flyboys once again."

"Quiet in the ranks!" Westbrook scolded.

"It's okay, Sergeant. Let the boys enjoy the show." The Lieutenant smirked just as Colonel Adams pulled up in his jeep.

"Meyer! We're about to begin the assault! Stay behind the Sheridans men!"

The M551 Sheridan was a Light Tank capable of being airdropped and it packed a 152 mm Main Gun, nine MGM-51 Shillelagh missiles, a fifty cal Ma Deuce, and a M73 Machine Gun, while light on armor it still was a machine of war meant to support the paratroops.

'And to think that in my day only the Jeep could be pushed out of an airplane.'Meyer thought as his platoon and other units double-quicked to stand behind the armored vehicles. His men had their M6 Bayonets affixed to their M14s and waited for the order.

"Wait for it...Steady men...Steady." Captain Evans glanced down at his watch and waited for the opportunity to present itself. The Imperials were still being distracted by the Marines and they would not expect ahammeron their flanks.

"Charge!"

The tanks begin their engines and slowly creep up as they begin the first offensive of United Nations Command forces with the Airborne Infantry following the mechanical monsters.

Second Lieutenant Paul Baltasar Meyer -Third Platoon, D/ Delta Company, Second Battalion, 324th Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, XVIII Airborne Corps, United States Army

Korriban - Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

06:30:16 ATC/ Monday, June 30th, 1969 -09:45/9:45 AM

"Keep moving!" Paul waved on as his platoon continued to take careful aim with their M14s every few steps. The Paratroopers were determined tocrushthe enemy and grant the Space Brits an All-American black eye.

"This is too easy." Sam commented.

"I have a bad feeling about this, son." Meyer muttered as he fired another shot from his M14. All of a sudden, the Lieutenant watched as off in the distance, some robots began to appear.

"What the F-" One of his inquired just as the robots opened up and killed the man instantly. The machines were firing at a rapid rate and Paul didn't want to become a fish in a barrel.

"Take cover!" Meyer barked as a tank turned around and destroyed one of the robots before ramming into the other. "Dammit! Those robots are a priority. You hear!"

"Yes sir!" They responded and one of the men slung up his M14 before withdrawing an M72 LAAW.

The soldier knelt down as another one of the robots with spider-like legs approached the platoon...Corporal Besenti waited as the machine crept towards the platoon.

Whoosh!

The 66mm rocket impacted the robot on its side and the mechanical nightmare was no more.

"Excellent work Besenti!" Meyer smiled. "You are the platoon's designated robot killer."

"But sir, that was a lucky shot!"

Everyone chuckled at the soldier's expense.

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer -Fireteam Alpha, Second Squad, First Platoon, C/Charlie Company,Second Raider Battalion "Carlson's Raiders", Second Raider Regiment, Second Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, United States Marine Corps

Korriban - Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

06:30:16 ATC/ Monday, June 30th, 1969 - 09:45/9:45 AM

"Will they just stop f*cking banzaiing for just once!?" Harris complained as another assault commenced with an additional wave of Imperialsrushingup the hill just like the Japanese, North Koreans, and PAVN had done.

"This doesn't make any logical sense at all! They should have outflanked us by now!" O'Malley added as Lance Corporal Raymond 'Ray' Clark approached him.

"Top!? We got a situation!"

"What sort of situation, Ray?"

"These Sith are trying to wreak havoc on our right flank!"

"sh*t!" O'Malley muttered. "The bastards are getting smart and they are sacrificing their men so that the religious nutcases can shred our line. They're animals!"

Jake, on the other hand, continued to pick off Imperials one by one with his MC-1952. Willis 'Willy' Norman was the other trained and experienced Marine Corps ex-sniper in the platoon, not to mention being one of the Old Salts who participated in the Raid on Makin Island, and Meyer admired the South Carolinian for his skill in shooting.

In fact, there was currently an unofficial contest between the two farmboys, Northerner and Southerner, who only by circ*mstance earned the Military Occupational Specialty of 8541 over other Expert-qualified Riflemen throughout the Corps.

"Ha! Got a Captain, you whippersnapper!"Norman shouted.

"Oh please, I nailed a Sith earlier, you rebel-flag waving redneck." Meyer countered. "Is it any wonder Indiana ranked second among the States in the percentage of men of military age who served in the Union Army during the Civil War?"

The South Carolinian scowled at the reminder of who lost the War Between the States but decided to resolve the matter later. "But that was next to a grunt and the bullet pierced the plastic before killing the Sith behind the Imp."

"That's right, Norm. One shot, two kills."

The Hoosier chuckled at the look on Norman's face before regaining his natural point of aim behind the 4x power scope. But what Meyer saw surprised him.'Did that Sith convert to Buddhism or something?'

Unbeknownst to Jake, the Sith was conducting a ritual known as 'battle meditation' and this Sith was hoping that the Force would be able to help turn the tide in the Empire's favor.

Unfortunately for him, the interlopers before him were Earthlings, not Pubs or any of the Galactic Republic's allies native to this universe, and the Earthlings also have a different biology compared to humans of 'The Galaxy': As in they didn't have midichlorians at all!

The Empire - and the Sith Order in particular- would learn the hard way just like the body count on the crest that was already stacked to the utmost limit courtesy of the United States Marine Corps.

Meyer waited patiently as he lined up the crosshairs, and slowly exhaled, before squeezing the trigger. The loud 'crack' of the .30-06 round left the barrel at over two thousand feet per second and it hit the Sith in the forehead, splattering brain matter across the surrounding terrain.

'Gotcha.'

The Imperials immediately begin to lose morale as they notice the heap of corpses of their comrades before them, causing them to slowly step backward before turning around and running in a disorganized rout.

"That's right you Space Nazis! You just met the United States Marine Corps!" Kowalski cheered while other Marines in their foxholes continued taking potshots at the retreating foe and Meyer himself watched Lieutenant Francis 'Frank' Macaluso pull two flags out of a pouch, specifically the Marine Corps banner and 'Old Glory' with fifty stars and thirteen stripes herself.

The battle might be over for now, but thewaritself, the arrival of the nations from Earth to the ongoing conflict as a co-belligerent of the Republic's, has only just begun.

Second Lieutenant Paul Balthasar Meyer -Third Platoon, D/ Delta Company, Second Battalion, 324th Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, XVIII Airborne Corps, United States Army

Korriban - Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

06:30:16 ATC/ Monday, June 30th, 1969 - 10:00/10:00 AM

"Aww, bullsh*t. The Jarheads beat us to the punch!" O'Brien complained as he saw the two flags being raised in defiance at the Imperials. He could have sworn there are also a few camera flashes too and it would become another recruiting tool for the rival service branch.

"That's enough Private!" Westbrook snapped. "They did their jobs. Now, let's do ours."

"Attention all units! The Marines will be joining us in the assault against the power generator...Ike himself is wishing you all luck."

The paratroopers continued to press forward against the Imperials and the lunatics that waved red swords, but so far for the 82nd, there were no problems.

Casualties were under seven percent so far and the soldiers wanted to keep it that way. Three of the Raider Battalions were sent ahead to support the assault on the power generator with the Fourth Battalion remaining behind temporarily to collect prisoners and burn the bodies.

There was no time for digging graves and the Earthlings want to send another message to the Empire as well: f*ck with Earth and you'll regret it.

"This is General John L. Throckmorton to all units, engage and destroy that generator...The flyboys and Jarheads will be providing support."

The Soldiers and Marines continued to cautiously approach the generator with them occasionally being ambushed by Mark IIs War Droids and Sith, but unlike the Imperials, the Earthlings studied their enemy and practiced simulations provided to them by the Republic. These fascists are going to face the reality of modern tactics against Napoleonic-style warfare.

That doesn't mean the Imperials weren't learning either as a group of Sith warriors charged at Paul's platoon head-on.

"Here they come! Grenadiers! Fire at will!"

Per the Lieutenant's orders, the grenadiers opened up with their M79s and the M60s backed them up. It was a tactic designed to repulse the stubborn magicians and if the grenades didn't get through, a burst of 7.62 NATO would since the Sith can only choose to deflect one object or another. The problem was that they were slugs and they didn't deflect. Instead, they melted, and the molten lead splashed on their faces and/or clothing, which was painful, to say the least.

But unfortunately, Sith used pain to their advantage and fed off the Dark Side yet then again it didn't mean the Sith weren't immortal as they were cut down before they could wield their magic.

"They are stubborn bastards, aren't they sir?"

"They sure are, Samuel. They sure are."

Brigadier General Robin Olds - 366th Fighter Wing, United States Air Force

Skies above Korriban -Korriban,Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

06:30:16 ATC/ Monday, June 30th, 1969 - 10:00/10:00 AM

"Come on you son of a bitch! I know you are there somewhere!" The American cursed as his quarry got away from him again.

For two hours already, theFury-class Interceptor and the McDonnell Douglas F-110A Spectre had been going back and forth with their flight skills, more like the dexterity of the pilots given the technological disparities as both craft had their advantages and disadvantages as well as the fact that Robin Olds was oblivious to the innate power exerted by Sith or any Force practicer in general for that matter. All he knew was that before him was what he considered to be the significant adversary in the skies currently and no matter the individual flying it, the enemy plane was unique in design compared to the contemporaries he had already encountered and endured.

But now, Robin just fired his last air-to-air missile moments ago and was forced under the circ*mstances to rely on his 20 mm × 102 mm M61 Vulcan rotary cannon - a literal .79 caliber autocannon. The veteran ace knew that he was running low on fuel, but this was athreatthat needed to be taken down at all hazards, and Olds glanced over to his dash and stared at the picture of his spouse, who was none other than the Hollywood actress Ella Raines.

'Ella? If I don't shoot him down in ten seconds, I want to let you know I love you.'

The pilot was determined to get that damn aircraft down even if he had to ram into the enemy bird and take it with him to Hell but thankfully Olds noticed that his opponent made a mistake:

He was staring directly at the sun.

'Got you now.'Olds smiled as he pushed the button on the stick.

Brrrrpp!

The seventy-nine caliber hydraulically, electrically driven, six-barrel, air-cooled, electrically fired Gatling-style rotary cannon opened up and shredded the enemy plane apart like it was Swiss cheese and even though the Brigadier General would admit that his target was a skilled pilot, the starfighter was made for space combat and had some disadvantages for atmospheric flight, not to mention having speeds similar to the few jets of World War II and of course Korean War vintage F-86 Sabres.

Robin took off his face mask and smiled at his latest 'kill', not to mention wiping the sweat off his forehead with his hand. "This is Viper 1-1. I'm on bingo fuel and returning to base, over?"

"Copy 1-1. We'll be sure to throw the red carpet out for you, sir."

Second Lieutenant Paul Balthasar Meyer -Third Platoon, D/ Delta Company, Second Battalion, 324th Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, XVIII Airborne Corps, United States Army

"Objective Alpha" - Korriban, Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

06:30:16 ATC/ Monday, June 30th, 1969 -11:30/11:30 AM

"Holy mother of God." Samual declared as he and the other subordinates of Meyer saw the size of the complex, the very compound, which according to Republic intelligence, held the key to bringing down the majority of the energy shields in this sector and in order for phase two to be a success, the Paratroopers and Marines needed to capture it.

"Well, O'Malley, what do you think?" Paul asked the Gyrene.

"It sure is a wonder, but if we captured Okinawa and Shuri Castle, and you managed to cause havoc during D-Day, then we'll take it, sir."

"That's what I'm afraid of..." The trooper sighed as memories of Operation: Market Garden, a disaster came back to haunt him, but Paul was determined to take this structure and the Earthlings were experienced in conducting such a task.

"Attention all units...You may begin the attack. I say again, you may begin the assault."

Paul watched as his son Jake, his brother-in-law Jack, and his sibling Stephen prepared their equipment along with their fellow Leathernecks. His platoon did the same with their weapons for the first attempt at taking the fortress. The veteran paused and stared at the whistle his father gave to him, an old German trench whistle from the First World War, and Meyer glanced at each individual in the eyes. He knew that at least some of them - fathers, sons, brothers, cousins, uncles, and nephews - would be heading home to America in a pine box from the resulting bayonet charge.

Yet Paul knew what needed to be done and blew it anyway: Phheewwwt!

The attack was supported by an artillery barrage from 8-inch M110 Howitzers which constantly pounded the fortress as the structure was made to withstand a heavy assault from turbolasers, not solid shells, and some of the defenders were being crushed by falling rubble as a result.

But it did not mean that only the Imperials were suffering as for every inch of ground the Americans took, they lost five men.

"Push forward! Push forward!" A random Colonel ordered and the men obeyed despite the carnage and intensity of the blaster fire.

"I'll take it back, sir." O'Malley admitted as he took cover next to Paul. "This is worse than Okinawa."

"What did you expect? They're more advanced than us. All we can do is fight smarter and harder."

Jake, meanwhile, watched as a sniper crept around the ramparts. The armor was instantly recognizable as commando armor and from what the Hoosier could tell at a glance, the figure was unmistakably feminine.

The sniper attempted to aim, but Jake was slung up in a loop sling in the kneeling position, his handset against a boulder with the rifle leaning against his palm, and the Marine took aim, peering through the rear aperture with the front post aligned with the target before firing at her with the 7.62x51mm NATO round but he missed and unintentionally struck a keystone. The fact that his shot ended up high caused him to glance at the rear sights and he noticed that the dial was set on '2', representing two hundred meters.

'I forgot to lower the elevation.'

Still, the farmboy did witness the Imperial Commando collapsing and the farmboy watched as she fell from the inertia of getting nailed.

"Great shooting son."

"Thanks, Dad. I learned from the best after all: You, Grandpa, and the Corps."

"Don't push it." Paul reminded him.Normallythe soldier didn't give a damn at interservice rivalries between the Army and Marine Corps as the real jeering was rightfully reserved for the Air Force, Navy, and Coast Guard, but sometimes even he had a limit. "O'Malley! Harris! Westbrook! Carter! We are going to hit the right flank! Does anyone have C-4?"

"I got some, sir." Miller grinned. "What do you have in mind?"

"We're going to blow that place apart."

Sergeant Sara Kelrein - Commando Unit 421 "Reaper Squad", Imperial Army

06:30:16 ATC/ Monday, June 30th, 1969 -

Sara was shocked: Earthlings had arrived on Korriban itself and that was two hours after the Republic began an offensive against the planet.

Earthlings.

The Commando instantly recognized them as they assaulted the fortification she and her comrades were defending.

'So these were the unknowns that are assisting the Pubs. Kriff! This is bad.'

Kelrein knew that the officers would ignore her advice on the current threat, not to mention how valuable the site was for the Empire, and if this complex fell, then the shield would go down with the result of the attackers gaining an easier chance in conquering Korriban.

It further didn't help the Empire that the commander of the station and this sector, General Zelton, was alreadypunishedby a Lord of the Sith and that the Sith was not tolerating any more failure, dropping morale rapidly instead of encouraging a stiff defense.

"Where are the snipers!? I wanted them outside minutes ago!" Lord Harkun shouted. "And those acolytes better bereadyto die for the Empire."

"Yes, my lord!" The Captain trembled in fear. "The snipers...Are getting prepped, my Lord."

"Pathetic." Harkun mocked. As he was about to lift the man by using the Force, Sara stepped forward.

"My Lord, I don't know where the others are, but-"

Harkun turned his attention to the redhead and decided to choke her instead. Sara wrapped her hands around her throat, wheezing, as the overseercorrectedher.

"You are adisgraceto the Empire for not being out there fighting." Harkun proclaimed as he lashed out at her and in his mind he was going to make her quite literally feel regretful of not being outside to fight the enemy. "Go out there and die but if you return alive I shalldealwith you myself." Only then did he release her from his telekinetic grip and Harkun walked off afterward.

'Kriffing lowlife nerfherder.'Sara thought as she placed her helmet on her head. The long strands of her dark copper hair got in the way, but the Sergeant didn't care and made do as usual. She grabbed her X-15 off the rack and headed out to find a good perch to snipe from.

The Commando walked out the door and walked around the ramparts, before spotting a good hide. Sara also glanced at the overwhelming numbers before her as she lay down at her chosen spot, peering through the scope but who she exactly saw through her optic surprised her.

'Jake?'

But before she could process the information, the Commando noticed him aiming his rifle right at her from the sitting position and with a snug loop sling to enhance stability as he lined up his sights as if this was either rifle qualification day or even the National Matches at Camp Perry.

Then he fired, she saw the muzzle flash from her scope, and in milliseconds, she was on the ground.

Present...

"Ahh, kriff!" The Commando was feeling a mix of emotions after avoiding being crushed by unstable duracrete and this miniature avalanche was courtesy of Jake of all things. The native of Dromund Kaas knew that it wasn't his fault-But damn she would still be angry at him for kriffing shooting her!

Helplessly, Kelrein watched as Imperials left and right were being gunned down faster than they were able to shoot back as the numbers overwhelmed them, and then off to the side, as if it was on cue, the redhead heard an explosion.

"Harris! Westbrook! Clear the left!"

Sara witnessed the 'Thompsons' and 'M14s' and 'Shotguns' tearing up her comrades into bloody shreds. The Imp couldn't do anything but watch as the Earthlings captured the fortification from the Empire.

"Unhand me you primitive scum!" Harkun shouted as he was being marched off by bayonet point.

"Americans. We're Americans and we have kicked British ass twice already so a bunch of Pseudo-Brits is nothing." A familiar voice, a twang of the Lower North Midland dialect, corrected him.

The Sergeant teared up when she recognized it and managed to have the courage to speak up. "J-J-Jake?"

The Marine spanned around and gazed into her olive-green eyes. "Sara?"

"You know thisscum?"

"Shut it!?" Sam added as he struck Harkun with the butt of his rifle.

"I'm a Lord of the Sith!"

"The Hague and Geneva Conventions technically don't apply in the wider galaxy, so unless you want it to be at the drop of a hat, watch it, buddy."

"You're lower than dirt! You hear you Forceless freaks of nature!?"

Jake ignored him and knelt down next to her, looking conflicted.

"Sara?" He repeated again, even though heknewit was her, Imperial accent or not.

"You shot at me by the way."

Meyer had to think back for a second and put two and two together. "Oh..."

"'Oh'? Oh!? You could have karking killed me, Jake!"

"How was I supposed to know!?" Jake defended, raising a point. "It's war, Sara. And that helmet of yours didn't help."

The duo stared at each other in a battle of wills, but the Imp finally conceded, weeping.

"Do you stillloveme?"

Jake shook his head before he pulled out a black box and handed it to her. "I-I just don't know anymore... That was for you by the way."

Sara opened the box and saw a ring, causing her to glance up at Jake in shock before glimpsing at the diamond and back at him again.

"I was going to propose to you the very day after escorting the President to the United Nations. Guess you missed home."

"Jake?"

"Keep it... I rather know that it was worth it."

"Jake!?"

The Leatherneck glanced over his shoulder.

"Jake?" She continued to sob as her one and only began to leave.

'Dammit!'Meyer was unsure what to do. On the one hand, he still had feelings for her, but on the other hand, she didn't exactly tell him thecompletetruth.

"What is it...babe?" Jake asked her awkwardly.

Sara told him something that stirred a fury inside him: "That Sith earlier...He...He choked me."

"He did what!"

Jake saw the marks that he missed earlier, as if a hand grabbed her by the throat and the Jarhead noticed some of her skin was still blue.

"Son of a bitch!" The Hoosier withdrew his M1911A1 and pulled out the magazine to check if it was loaded. It was and the Devil Dog wanted to hunt the worthless animal down. But Sara noticed what he was about to do. She always could tell if he was up to something by his body language since he came to know her - at least what he knew about her before the revelation - and perhaps that should have been his first indicator. Even with the conflicting thoughts, he still felt that this should not go unpunished.

"Jake? Please don't leave me."

"I'll be right back, Sara." He muttered. "I got somebusinessto take care of." The American declared as he co*cked the slide back.

Thirty minutes later...

"Come here you worthless piece of sh*t!" Jake shouted as he gave this 'Sith Overseer' an uppercut.

After talking with Lieutenant Meyer, thisanimalwas going to be interrogated by the Americans for any information that would be useful for the next phase of Operation: Mars and then bedisposedof with the former 'Lord of the Sith' being presently attached to a pole inside a tent with a pair of MPs standing outside and even though normally this would blatantly violate U.S. military regulations on the treatment of prisoners of war, nevermind the Geneva Conventions, this was aspecialcase and Jake's father was going to attempt to keep the heat off his back.

"You are souncivilizedyoupatheticworm." Harkun sneered.

But Jake backhanded the POW. "Did I say you can talk!? You don't have permission to speak unless I say so. I. Make. The. Rules here, Harkun. I know what you do to children of all things. Children!?"

"You don't even knowwhatyou are dealing with."

'Mistake number three.'The Leatherneck thought as he stabbed him in the thigh with his Ka-Bar and shoved it downdeep.

Harkun, however, despite feeling the pain, used the Dark Side to control it. "You are making an error. I suggest you stop right now and in return, I'll make sure that your death will be painless."

Jake shook his head as he slowly approached him. "Nahhh...I got a better idea, a counteroffer in the form of John Moses Browning." The Leatherneck countered before shooting Harkun in the jugular with his .45.

"Die knowing that a'primitive race of humans'showed the Empire what it made of, especially Americans from the United States of America."

Although he could not sense the presence of the man, the dying Sithknewthat the war somehow became evenbloodier.

General of the Army Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower - Head of the Coalesced Forces from Earth

Aboard theRNSPerseverance-Valor-class Cruiser:In orbit over Korriban - Korriban,Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

06:30:16 ATC/ Monday, June 30th, 1969 - 14:00/2:00 PM

'We lost an eighth of the 82nd Airborne.'Ike thought as he read the latest reports from the front. The paratroopers, with assistance from the Raiders, managed to take out the power generator controlling the majority of the energy shields protecting this sector of Korriban. But after reading that one out of every eight troopers was either KIA or severely wounded and that they had to be medically evacuated and would have to recover at a convalescent hospital after treatment Eisenhower began to wonder if the price wastoohigh for taking down the key for success but it could have admittedly been worse and regardless, it was time for Phase Three of Operation: Mars.

"Jefferson!? Get me a line to Chesty and Heinricil!"

"On it sir!" His orderly saluted before turning on the holocommunicator.

"Chesty. Heinrici. Phase Three is a go."

If the Imperials believe that the Raiders and Paratroopers were bad enough, then they have not seen two of the greatest tacticians from Earth in action. Korriban would not become merely Hell, but theApocalypseitself when Phase Four by Konev was unleashed on the survivors, sending a loud and clear message that the Dark Council itselfcannotignore.

"My Marines and the Air Assault division will be on the desolate rock within the hour."The fearless Leatherneck who faced the Chinese hordes at Chosin smirked.

"The task force under Bäke is currently making preparations for the pincer maneuver, sir."

"Excellent...And Heinrici? Make sure that Bäke does not permit Rakton from breaking through." Ike warned the German. "Recent Intelligence reports suggest that the Empire is sending their best strategist. Coincidentally, he pulled off victories similar to Rommel's in North Africa. Expect him to not play by the rules and be a space version of the Desert Fox."

"Understood Eagle Three. Badger and Bulldog out."

Chapter 11: Operation: Mars Part Two

Chapter Text

General Lewis Burwell "Chesty" Puller- 24th Commandant of the United States Marine Corps

Korriban - Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

06:30:16 ATC/ Monday, June 30th, 1969 - 14:30/2:30 PM

The surviving Imperials and Sith from the first initial assault retreated to a canyon two miles away from their former fortress as well as the surrounding terrain that forces of the international coalition captured hours prior, but unbeknownst to them, it was all part of the plan as the next phase of Operation: Mars began, led personally by none other than a certain Marine Corps legend who recently returned from retirement, became officially confirmed as the next Commandant of the Marine Corps by Congress, and he also happened to be a third cousin of the late United States Army General George Smith Patton, Junior.

But to United States Marines he was simply just the one and only ever to be revered Chesty Puller and of course as a native son of Virginia fighting in what was essentially the 'Third American Revolution' with the War of 1812 being the second, he had to remind his men that Thomas Jefferson stood for liberty while at the same while serving psychological warfare to the enemy.

The gloomy night before us flies,

The reign of terror now is o'er;

Its gags, inquisitors, and spies,

Its herds of harpies are no more!

Rejoice, Columbia's sons, rejoice!

To tyrants never bend your knee,

But join with heart, and soul, and voice,

For Jefferson and Liberty!

"What the Kriff? Music?" A random rookie conscript questioned as the remaining Space Fascists watched in horror as the infamousstarfightersand unfamiliar, but still reckoned as malignant gunships arrived at the rally point. Panic began to set in through the ranks yet again as the foreigners started their latest assault against the Empire. The tactics used by the primitives were exceptional to anything the galaxy has ever observed and theirslugthrowerspierce the Imperial armor like it was a thin sheet of paper.

"This is Bulldog to all aerial assets." Puller grinned."You are authorized to send any Imps straight back to Hell at extreme prejudice."

"Copy Bulldog...We're engaging."

Rejoice, Columbia's sons, rejoice!

To tyrants never bend your knee,

But join with heart, and soul, and voice,

For Jefferson and Liberty!

The attack Hueys and escorting jets unleashed theirgiftsfrom Earth. Even riflemen from the transports got involved as rockets, twenty-millimeter chainguns, M134s, Mk-19s, M60s, and even pop shots from M14 Rifles spread destruction and chaos towards the helpless ranks.

No lordling here, with gorging jaws

Shall wring from industry the food;

Nor fiery bigot's holy laws

Lay waste our fields and streets in blood!

Rejoice, Columbia's sons, rejoice!

To tyrants never bend your knee,

But join with heart, and soul, and voice,

For Jefferson and Liberty!

"Fall back! Fall back!" An Imperial Major ordered. Morale was already at a low point and now the bulk of the Imperial soldiery began to run for their lives despite what their superiors dictated. No threat was harsh enough to stop the flight.

"No retreat! Stay and fight cowards! Stay and fight!" A Sith next to the Major decreed as he gave the officer a blast of Force lightning, but it was no use. The remaining fewloyalistsamongst them were more afraid of their Sith overlords than the Earthlings, but they would dieregrettingtheir recent judgment.

"Move! Move! Let's go get the bastards!" A Sergeant of the 173rd Air Assault Brigade shouted as he and his men lept off their transport.

Here strangers from a thousand shores

Compelled by tyranny to roam,

Shall find amidst abundant stores,

A nobler and happier home.

Rejoice, Columbia's sons, rejoice!

To tyrants never bend your knee,

But join with heart, and soul, and voice,

For Jefferson and Liberty!

Here Art shall lift her laurelled head,

Wealth, Industry, and Peace, divine;

And where dark, pathless forests spread,

Rich fields and lofty cities shine.

Rejoice, Columbia's sons, rejoice!

To tyrants never bend your knee,

But join with heart, and soul, and voice,

For Jefferson and Liberty!

“This is Puller." The Marine smiled as his helicopter passed over the Imperial lines. The Leatherneck saw a group of Sith and granted them the bird as the Huey flew over their heads. "Pursue and destroy those who remain. The others can leave intact to spread the word."

From Europe's wants and woes remote,

A friendly waste of waves between,

Here plenty cheers the humblest cot,

And smiles on every village green.

Rejoice, Columbia's sons, rejoice!

To tyrants never bend your knee,

But join with heart, and soul, and voice,

For Jefferson and Liberty!

Here free as air, expanded space,

To every soul and sect shall be

That sacred privilege of our race

The worship of the Deity.

Let foes to freedom dread the name;

But should they touch the sacred tree,

Twice fifty thousands swords would flame

For Jefferson and liberty.

Rejoice, Columbia's sons, rejoice!

To tyrants never bend your knee,

But join with heart, and soul, and voice,

For Jefferson and Liberty!

From Georgia to Lake Champlain,

From seas to Mississippi's shore,

Ye sons of freedom loud proclaim

"The reign of terror is no more."

Rejoice, Columbia's sons, rejoice!

To tyrants never bend your knee,

But join with heart, and soul, and voice,

For Jefferson and Liberty!

These gifts, great Liberty, are thine,

Then thousand more we owe to thee,

Immortal may their mem'ries shine,

Who fought and died for Liberty.

The Imperials were demoralized as the Americans secured territory with the remaining Raiders and Paratroopers of the 'All-American' 82nd linking up with the 1st and 2nd Marine Divisions as well as the rest of the XVIII Airborne Corps: 3rd Infantry Division, 10th Mountain Division, 101st Airborne Division reinforced by the 173rd Air Assault Brigade and the 1st Air Cav to hold the recently captured territory.

If all went to plan, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization task force would nail Rakton as the Yanks were intentionally acting as tempting bait and if the prior history of his actions proved itself the Empire's best strategist would unwittingly cause his own demise.

Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Norman Hathco*ck II - United States Marine Corps - Leader of "Sureshot 2-1", Coalesced Forces from Earth

Korriban - Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

06:30:16 ATC/ Monday, June 30th, 1969 - 14:30/2:30 PM

"Sureshot 2-1, this is Bulldog...You are authorized to target any high-level threats, over?"

Just like how the Galactic Republic had their 'Deadeyes', Sureshot 2-1 was a secret even if somewhat controversial Earth had against the Empire, controversial as it was deplored as an 'Internationalist Murder Incorporated' by those who were vehemently opposed to a 'New World Order' since this specially selected and experimental multinational unit was entirely composed of the world's deadliest snipers as well as of some of the primer Olympic rifle shooters and included among the roster were Carlos Norman Hathco*ck II, Adelbert Francis 'Bert' Waldron III, Charles Benjamin 'Chuck' Mawhinney, Eric Roy England, Ed Eaton, Gary Lee Anderson, Thomas Gayle 'Tommy' Pool, Vasily Zaytsev, and even the infamousWhite Deathhimself.

"Bulldog, this is 2-1 actual, copy." The man who became dreaded in Hanoi due to his trademark white feather he wore in his boonie as a taunt then turned to his subordinates. "Eaton. Mawhinney. Häyhä. Zaytsev. We are ago."

"The Russian better not drink all the vodka." Simo smirked at Vasily.

"Nyet! " The Commie complained.

"But remember who killed your brethren during the Winter War,comrade."

"That's enough!" Eaton scolded the Finn and Russian, denying that he had to be a mediator between a Commie no less and a Finn. "We're in this together for our homes and the past is irrelevant because what matters right now is what's before us."

"Edward's right." Chuck butted in as he zeroed his M40. "If we fight amongst ourselves now, the Imps will overrun us."

"Let's just get going." Hathco*ck sighed and the others nodded before going down and began to crawl. The deadliest snipers in history will add some additional fuel to the panic in the Imperial ranks but today was just not the Empire's day.

Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Norman Hathco*ck II - United States Marine Corps - Leader of "Sureshot 2-1", Coalesced Forces from Earth

Korriban - Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

06:30:16 ATC/ Monday, June 30th, 1969 - 14:50/2:50 PM

"What do you think?" Carlos asked his subordinates as the snipers made anunexpected, yet welcomed discovery.

"I believe we found an Imperial command center, Gunny." Ed grinned as he zoomed in. "Think we should call in an artillery barrage?"

"Nah..." White Feather himself shrugged. "Where's the fun in that? Everyone, select a target please."

The sharpshooters picked their respective targets and lined up their sights, their chosen victims were within either their duplex or German #1 reticles, and in the next few seconds the officers' lives would be cut short as the reapers fired their 'slugs'.

Korriban - Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

06:30:16 ATC/ Monday, June 30th, 1969 - 14:50/2:50 PM

"So what in the kriffing hell is going wrong!?"

"I don't know how theseprimitivesmanaged to defeat the Empire's finest troops and rout them in disorder, but Rakton himself will be arriving shortly."

"The Rakton?"

"Oh please, we don't need him!"

"You're sure about that?"

Those were the last words of the war committee as 7.62 caliber slugs from M40s, an M21, an M28/76, and a Draganov struck them in the head, scattering brain matter across the walls and the bodyguards watched in horror as their protectees were killed by the marksmen and they quickly took cover under one of the desks nearby.

"I don't know about you, but I believe Korriban just became even more Hellish than it already is, Sithspawn and K'lor Slugs be damned!"

"You don't say."

General Arkos Rakton- Commander of the Korriban Garrison

Korriban - Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

06:30:16 ATC/ Monday, June 30th, 1969 - 14:50/2:50 PM

"Pathetic! Absolutely pathetic!" Rakton roared as he encountered a few of the survivors from the onslaught. The Republic was one matter, but primitives!

"But sir, the outsiders have better tactics and we can't counteract them!"

"Because you are using by-the-book tactics you moron!" Rakton berated the Colonel who was recently promoted to General were all fools and now Rakton would have to sort out the mess - no, not mess - a complete fiasco!

"At least tell me you gather up the survivors so I can talk to them,GeneralXaton."

"They're ready and waiting for you.

"You did something right for a change." Arkos muttered.

"Sir?"

"Nothing." Rakton told him as he walked up to a boulder and stepped on top of it.

"You see that. Do you see that? Are you all as insulted as I am? This is what they sent against us?" The men and women before him look at the General as if he was insane. "They sent this rabble to sack our sacred planet? We are the mightiest Empire the galaxy has ever seen, crushed the Republic and brought the cowards to their knees, yet mere primitives drove us back!? We have the best weapons, we are more advanced than them, and yet these savages drove the best of the Imperial Army back!?"

But the leader wasn't insane. It was their own foolishness. It was their cowardness that prevented them from defending Korriban effectively and they wereashamedthat the interlopers managed to make fools out of them.

Yet if there was any way to turn thisdisasteraround, Rakton was the man and the subordinates knew it.

"Brothers and sisters of the Sith Empire, a legion of primitives armed with slugthrowers wheezes its way across the sand, forgive me when the moment comes as we whine as the unstoppable horde comes. Forgive me when I order you to waste ammunition upon their worthless bodies. I have heard many souls speak my name in whispers since I've come to Korriban. I ask you now, do you know me? DO YOU KNOW ME!?"

"Yes sir!" They cried at the top of their lungs.

"I am General Arkos Rakton of the Imperial Army. Never again in your life will such action carry many consequences. Never again will you serve as you serve now. No duty will matter as much and no glory will taste as true. We are the defenders of Korriban. As of this day, we carve our legend onto the flesh of everyone, of every alien slave. Will you serve with me?"

"Yes sir!" Morale begins to edge back up since this wasn't just any General. It was Rakton.

"Sons and daughters of the transcendent Sith Empire, our plot is a blood of heroes. The outsiders dare defile our planet and trample upon the sacred soil of our homeworld. We will throw their bodies on these walls when the final day dawns. This is our planet. This is our world. Let them try to capture it in all of their fury."

The men and women of the Imperial Army stationed on Korriban desire vengeance and vengeance against the unknown trespassers especially.

"Run you primitive scum! Come to me! Come to us all! Come and die! For the Imperial Army! For the Sith! For the Empire! FOR KORRIBAN!"

"FOR KORRIBAN!"

Colonel Harold Gregory "Hal" Moore, Junior -1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), XVIII Airborne Corps, United States Army

Korriban - Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

06:30:16 ATC/ Monday, June 30th, 1969 - 16:00/4:00 PM

Colonel Moore continued to fire his M1911A1 as the Imperials began their counterattack against them. It even felt like Ia Drang all over again for Hal and his men, but if the Battalion had managed to hold off three North Vietnamese Army divisions, the Space Brits could unleash the apocalypse itself and the Americans wouldstillnot withdraw.

"Broken arrow! I repeat! Broken Arrow!"

Planes off on patrol from A1D Skyraiders and A-37 Dragonflies to Navy's F-4Hs of the Navy and Marine Corps as well as F-110A Spectres and B-52s to AC-47 Spookies heard the call for assistance and responded, even TSR-2s of the United States Army arrived with a payload of cluster munitions and Moore watched the awesome sight as the planes unleashed hell and destruction on the approaching enemy. The Empire has lost air dominance and so far, not even a singleExtinction-class bomber has been spotted.

"This is Wolfpack, we're engaging the enemy."

"Hawk 3-4 is targeting at coordinates confirmed."

"Wolverine squadron is running and gunning."

The Imperial assault was being crushed by the continuous artillery bombardment and aerial attacks. Even the lowly claymore mines and American riflemen were holding back their progress.

Now it was Moore's turn as Imperial infantry crept up to his position and the Colonel decided to take a page out of U.S history in order to conserve ammunition, specifically a certain directive ordered to the New England militia on Breed's Hill, which would erroneously become cemented in the history books and public consciousness as the 'Battle of the Bunker Hill' despite the glaring mistake due to misreading a map.

"Don't fire until you see the white of their eyes!"

The men nodded as this was simply their Breed's Hill, but unlike the American Revolutionary War, the 'Colonialists' were well equipped to deal with the 'Empire'.

"Glory for the Empire!" A space fascist colonel shouted as he led his battalion straight onto the defensive positions. There were even a few droids and what's left of the Sith-many of them acolytes- being sent against the meddlers yet instead of guaranteed victory all they would receive was carnage.

"OPEN FIRE!"

Moore hated to order his men to shoot at children, but the Americans knew by now that these kids were being specifically brainwashed on this dustbowl and groomed to be part of the selective cult only because they happened to be capable of utilizing voodoo. They were also currently a threat and the GIs would be sure to ignore the adults when they took prisoners.

M60s, M14s, M79s, and Remington Model 11-48s tore through the ranks alongside the occasional 60mm and 81mm mortars. Since the Imps decided to charge and attempted to retake this worthless desert, the Americans would show them the price as Uncle Sam's firepower rang down on the attackers.

And it wasn't even the first wave.

The Imperials attempted to outflank the Yanks earlier, but elements of the First Marine Division and 173rd Air Assault Brigade drove them was, as Chesty mentioned, a repeat of Chosin, except this time the Americans were not retreating.

Instead, they were intentionally being bait for part two of phase three: The Empire would soon encounter men led by a former reservist who had participated in the Battle of France and Operation: Barbarossa but he was not just some 'Weekend Warrior' with a dental practice, this individual became one of the highly decorated tank aces in history and it was full-circle ironic.

General Lewis Burwell "Chesty" Puller- 24th Commandant of the United States Marine Corps

Korriban - Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

06:30:16 ATC/ Monday, June 30th, 1969 - 16:15/4:15 PM

"Tell Moore to hold the line at all costs! We are sending Third Battalion, Fourth Marines to reinforce him."

"Yes, sir!" The orderly saluted before the holoprojector nearby in the captured Imperial command center beeped and the Marine saw a familiar, yet infamous figure out of intelligence debriefings.

"Greetings. I am General Arkos Rakton of the Imperial Army-"

But Chesty interrupted the Imp. "I know who you are, Ratface. I am Chesty Puller of the United States Marine Corps and I am telling you to back off while you still can."

"Are you done? Because I believe that surren-"

"If you are offering surrender terms, then I suggest you f*ck off and go kiss your ugly whor* of a piglet mother goodbye."

"Very well 'Chesty'."Arkos sneered."You'll regret making an enemy out of the Empire."

"Just like you will of the United States of America, you pompous, fascist son of a bitch."

Field Marshal Franz Bäke - Commander of NATO Taskforce Invictus

Korriban - Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

06:30:16 ATC/ Monday, June 30th, 1969 - 17:00/5:00 PM

"Fox! I don't know how long I can hold on here! The Imps are pushing against my forces harder than the Chinese at Chosin!"

"I completely understand, Bulldog." The tank ace himself decided that the time to strike wasnowsince Rakton was on the offensive and Gotthard Fedor August Heinrici permitted Bäke at his discretion to utilize his best judgment on exactly when to strike. While Heinrici was masterfully adept at the defense, Bäke was aggressive and he volunteered to fight on the front alongside his men, and Heinrici could not even stop Bäke if he tried, his superior had to respect Bäke's commitment and Bäke had the privilege of spearheading this attack but ironically until being thrust into this position due to the circ*mstances, Franz was a dentist by trade and yet this dentist was prepared to create cavities and break some teeth once more. "We're moving out now."

The Marine shook his head at the Kraut."Of course you are. I can always count on German punctuality."Puller joked just before he ended the holotransmission.

"This is Tankmörder 1-0? Are all units ready?"

"Yes sir!"A Yank shouted."My boys are locked and loaded."

"Desert Rat 2-4 is ready for a repeat of North Africa, general."

"Excellent! Let's show Rakton what we're made of."The German grinned anxiously at the challenge, especially since his anticipated opponent was reportedly comparable to Johannes Erwin Eugen Rommel, better known as the Desert Fox and of course Bäke was given the callsign Fox in honor of the late masterful tactician. "Kanonier! Laden Sie eine Shell! Panzerbrechend!"

"Jawohl! Rüstungs-Piercing ist geladen!" Franz smiled at the efficiency of his crew, not to mention that the Leopard 1 is one of the best tanks from Earth. The NATO taskforce has Pattons, M103 heavy tanks, Chieftains, Leopards, and more.

"We got incoming! Imperial walkers! Right flank!"

"Gunner! Target the closest walker at fifteen degrees elevation! Shift gun right and fire!"

"Firing!" The gunner pulled the trigger and unleashed a 105mm shell from the Leopard. The AP shell pierced the head of the walker easily since it was designed for blasters, not to mention knocking out two walkers beside it. Franz also witnessed tanks ramming into the legs of the walkers and knocking them over before the armored vehicles ran over the 'head' and crushed the tin cans.

'Good thinking. Better save the munitions for Rakton.'

The task force was surprised that this 'Space Fox' hadn't countered their movements as of yet since Rakton had his flank exposed, but the Earthlings would soon discover that the tactician was a match to the Desert Fox himself, and furthermore, it was evolving into a bloody game of cat and mouse.

General Arkos Rakton - Commander of the Korriban Garrison

Korriban - Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

06:30:16 ATC/ Monday, June 30th, 1969 - 17:15/5:15 PM

"Sir! We're being outflanked by more of the primitives!"

Rakton's day went from barely tolerable to something unforeseeable and arguably despairing to many generals but not him as he believed that the situation was still salvageable, the fact was Rakton could not believe that he did not recognize it sooner.

"Dammit!"Arkos cursed after coming to realize exactly why this 'Chesty' hadn't launched a counterattack yet.

"Sir?"

"I fell for a kriffing trap!?" He cried in rage before facing the recently demotedGeneral. "You better not let this Chesty get through Colonel Xanton..." Arkos warned. "I'll deal with the flankers personally."

Field Marshal Franz Bäke - Commander of NATO Taskforce Invictus

Korriban - Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

06:30:16 ATC/ Monday, June 30th, 1969 - 17:45/5:45 PM

Franz wondered why the walkers were retreating from him despite the limited skirmish, almost as if they were weary and knew who they were fighting against but it still didn't make any logical sense.

'If I was Rommel...'It instantly clicked for Franz. "All units! Be advised that we're about to be outflanked!"

Sure enough additional walkers appeared on the immediate left of the NATO forces line.

'Let's see here.'Franz thought back to a book he read before departing planet Earth,The Rommel Papers, and memories of the pages that gave insight into the cunning Desert Fox were actually proving useful in this engagement.'If I wanted to counteract flankers, the terrain is a possibility.'And he knows what needs to be done. "Bravo company! Proceed to engage the Hühner! Everyone else, push forward to the canyon forty meters in front of us...We'll regroup on the other side!"

It was risky, yet Bäke felt that Rakton himself wouldn't expect such a move.

General Arkos Rakton - Commander of the Korriban Garrison

Korriban - Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

06:30:16 ATC/ Monday, June 30th, 1969 - 18:00/6:00 PM

'Hmm...I didn't expect that this leader would take his men through that canyon.'Rakton thought. He was learning, albeitslowly,that this leader was unique. It was almost as if Arkos had a twin brother.

The Imperial listened to the reports from his walkers about what this primitive was planning.

"This is Rakton. Send in a few crawlers. We'll see how bold this aggressor really is."

"Sir?"

"Do what I command. We are dealing with athreat."

"But sir, wouldn't it be wise to have an ambush waiting for them?"

"That's not a bad idea actually." Normally Rakton would remind the lower ranks of what place in the pecking order they are at, but today was something else and the General wouldn't turn down suggestions from anyone, even if it was from merely a Sergeant. "What do you have in mind?"

"Well, sir I figured that if the primitives went through the canyon, they'll have to come out eventually. We could have some walkers flush them out if you will."

"Yes, but wouldn't they be smarter and expect to see the crawlers blocking their path?"

"What if the crawlers weren't just waiting for them?"

Rakton was dumbfounded for a moment before grinning.

Field Marshal Franz Bäke - Commander of NATO Taskforce Invictus

Korriban - Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

06:30:16 ATC/ Monday, June 30th, 1969 - 18:19/6:19 PM

'Something's wrong.'Bäke thought as he and his subordinates exited the canyon. They were being followed by Walkers constantly the entire route and Franz thought that he was going to be blocked at the exit...But Bäke had a feeling that Rakton was going to pull off something similar to what the esteemed Rommel would have done and the German noticed a dust storm approaching his forces from the north, east, and west. There were Walkers of course, but also Crawlers.

Franz knew that he at least had an advantage in range.

"All gunners! Target the Crawlers! Second Marine Battalion, proceed to engage the enemy at their sides!"

The United States Marine Corps fielded a special surprise for these Crawlers as unlike the average Main Battle Tanks armed with 90mm main guns, the M103s were Heavy Tanks with a 105mm rifled cannon. And add to the fact that armor vehicles were typically weaker at the sides and rear, the results would be devastating with the Armor Piercing Incendiaries.

Bäke could hear the Americans' tank crews barking orders and firing the 105s. The results were just as intelligence predicted. The Crawlers can withstand the standard 90mm, but not the One Oh Fives or even the 120mm of the Chieftains and the Leopards 105.

'Make that at least a one hundred fifty-five millimeter and I'll be happy.'

The Right Honourable Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill KG, OM, CH, TD, DL, FRS, RA - Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

The Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament Assembled - Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Palace of Westminster, City of Westminster, London, England, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Europe, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

06:30:16 ATC/ Monday, June 30th, 1969 - 18:30/6:30 PM

Soldier. Writer. Member of Parliament. President of the Board of Trade. Home Secretary. First Lord of the Admiralty. Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. Minister of Munitions. Secretary of State for War. Secretary of State for Air. Secretary of State for the Colonies. Chancellor of the Exchequer. Minister of Defence. Leader of the Conservative Party. Leader of the Opposition, Father of the House of Commons.

But to many across the globe, this dogged man with a palate for cigars and fine brandy was best known solely as the British Bulldog, the very Prime Minister who had nearly three decades prior rallied the British Empire against the encroaching Third Reich even during the Darkest Hour where only Britannia stood alone in defying Hitler.

Of course, the sun which for nearly four centuries once never set on the Empire had in recent times faded but sometimes whether by fate or by ignorance history could very well repeat and as the ninety-five year old former head of state who had survived strokes until treatment promenade up to the podium to address this special session of Parliament with only the assistance of a walking stick, the room quietened and Churchill as a masterful orator knew that the power of words spoke volumes but in this instance what philippic against the Sith Empire would not be broadcasted across the globe alone, it was to be transmitted to the enemy's own native galaxy as well.

Before he spoke, Winston stared directly at not only the assembly of politicians, staff, the press, and diplomats but into the cameras and as he did many times before the rise of television he articulated his lambasting of the opposition regardless if it was debating policy or readying the British public for war.

"Good evening, at this very hour, our fighting men in lockstep with our allies from here and those abroad have commenced an operation against our unprecedented common enemy…"

Private Timothy Jones - Anti-Tank Section One, Anti-Tank Platoon, Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment of Foot, Prince of Wales's Division, British Army

Korriban - Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

06:30:16 ATC/ Monday, June 30th, 1969 - 18:30/6:30 PM

After deploying from the back of the FV342 and deploying the L6 Wombat on a carriage, Timothy's hands shook as he loaded the 120mm High Explosive Squash Head 'HESH' shell into the recoilless rifle and closed the breach before aiming down the optical sights into the valley below.

"Hold your fire, lads. and wait for my command." The Lieutenant directed as he gazed through his binoculars and observed the absurd contraptions marching like the legged vehicles they were. "If only we had a tripwire, Sergeant."

"I'll say, sir."

Jones snorted as maybe it was not bad after all as here they were, exposed and out in the open, unaware of the fact that they were about to be blindsided en masse with anti-tank weapons.

General Arkos Rakton- Commander of the Korriban Garrison

Korriban - Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

06:30:16 ATC/ Monday, June 30th, 1969 - 18:35/6:35 PM

'This leader is more creative than I thought... Interesting.'

Arkos watched as for some reason the unknown, yet primitive vehicles began to withdraw from the field...It appeared that his tactics were working against the interlopers who chose the wrong planet to attack.

"This is Rakton to all assets...Push forward and crush the opposition. Glory to the Empire!"

"Glory to the Empire!"

The Imperial Crawlers led the spearhead this time and Rakton had used his walkers to flush the Earthlings out.. The tactic seemed to work perfectly the last time and it could work again yet a surprise struck Arkos and his men as the Earthlings had unloaded their Mechanized Infantry units on top of nearby canyons overlooking the battleground and they were utilizing rocket launchers such as M72 LAAWs, M20A1 Super Bazooka, M40, M67, and Ordnance, RCL, 3.45 in Recoilless Rifles, even PzF 44 Panzerfausts, striking the Imperial armor from above as if they were Tatooine moisture farmers picking off womp rats from a distance.

"Ambush!"One of the Imperial walker crewmembers cried out but it was too late to do anything about it as the General saw these armored beasts running around his walkers and crawlers.

But Rakton wasn't going down without a fight. The man led his personal walker forward against the enemy and went amok, destroying a few tanks from Earth with the laser cannons.

'Sometimes when you want to do things right. You got to do it yourself.'Arkos deemed as simply his subordinates weren't up to the task.

The Right Honourable Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill KG, OM, CH, TD, DL, FRS, RA - Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

The Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament Assembled - Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Palace of Westminster, City of Westminster, London, England, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Europe, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

06:30:16 ATC/ Monday, June 30th, 1969 - 18:35/6:35 PM

Churchill knew that his introduction gained attention and continued on with his eloquent address with assailing the mockery coming in time.

"Although little is still known of the extent of their galaxy, the mores of the Galactic Republic, and of those independent worlds, we are still embroiled in a grand confrontation against not an alien adversary but rather a familiar enemy, one who dares burlesque us and had evolved into an amalgamation of our society with those of old Hitler's." Churchill sighed and paused dramatically before he announced his point of defiance. "It is truly most unfortunate how this peculiarity has transpired, why this travesty has arisen in a land of uncouth barbarians yet despite this enigma it is not a quandary as our response is and ought to remain the same: Never surrender. We must never surrender!"

In a scene reminiscent of 1940, the former Prime Minister who had returned to 10 Downing Street for a third time only by circ*mstance was being lauded for his rallying cry and he was not even finished.

"Nevermore, I say, nevermore!" Churchill proclaimed to additional thunderous applause. "We must oppose this Nazistic yoke and aid in the liberation of tyrannized civilizations! The men who had perished on the shores of Dunkirk and Normandy must know that their sacrifices were not in vain and under the phenomenal leadership of General Eisenhower, a man who had administered our forces to victory against the Third Reich I express confidence that we shall perpetuate our resolve and that this Sith Empire, these Dark Lords shall tremble before us whilst we shine the light as 'Britons never will be slaves'!"

Theron Shan - Agent of the Strategic Information Service

Korriban - Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

06:30:16 ATC/ Monday, June 30th, 1969 - 18:35/6:35 PM

"It seems like our allies are doing a surprisinglybetterjob than we are." Darock pointed out the updated tactical holomap which showed the current positions of the Earthlings and the Imperials attempting to counteract them. "This Bäkeespecially is making Rakton himself run for his credits."

"Bäke?" Shan questioned. His curiosity was triggered when he heard that Rakton was being outwitted by a primitive. The thought humored him.

"Franz Bäke. He's a famous 'tanker' who has earned his reputation in history and interestingly was also a dentist but now he's clearly giving those Imps toothaches. I'll send you a file with the details but enough about history and let's focus on the present. These Earthlings managed to accomplish more in two days than what our forces would have accomplished in a week."

The Colonel shows Theron footage of the American's assault on the fortress. "They managed to capture this fortress in less than six hours. Absolutely amazing."

The intelligence agent was stunned but he didn't show it. "Their tactics are some wonder."

"You can say that again." Darock crossed his arms. "In a way, these Earthlings are definitely more advanced militarily, just shy of space warfare, and I believe the Dark Council will get the news."

"Indeed, I think Earth is sending the Imps a clear message." Shan grinned.

Field Marshal Franz Bäke - Commander of NATO Taskforce Invictus

Korriban - Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

06:30:16 ATC/ Monday, June 30th, 1969 - 18:50/6:50 PM

"Sir?" The gunner spoke to him in the hatch as the lone enemy vehicle wreaked havoc against a squad of M48 Pattons.

"Go ahead, Bauer." Franz replied, aware of the Oberstleutnant's experience during the Zweiter Weltkrieg.

"I believe we can take down that rogue Walker, sir."

"I believe we can as well." Bäke affirmed, he was and still is regarded as one of the most lethal tankers in history after all. "Fröhliches Jagen! Für Deutschland!"

"Jawohl. Für Deutschland!" The driver smiled and began his engine on the Leopard I tank, loading a 105mm armor-piercing incendiary shell, and proceeded to chase down the Imp.

General Arkos Rakton - Commander of the Korriban Garrison

Korriban - Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

06:30:16 ATC/ Monday, June 30th, 1969 - 19:00/7:00 PM

Rakton didn't see this coming. He had never thought in his life that he'd be outsmarted by a foe that was as great as him. Even that damn commander of Havoc Squad was nothing compared to this great leader. Arkos escaped his burning walker that was destroyed by that reckless vehicle and pulled out his blaster pistol. He was going to go down fighting even if the mechanical monsters were driving off his forces.

'No! It can't end like this! It can't! The Empire was made a mockery by savages and I'll not allow this to happen again!'

But it has...

Rakton saw a vehicle approach him and a crewer sticking his head out of the hatch and he was an excellent target. The opportunity was too good to pass up and attempted to take him, but the tactician saw the smoke out of his opponent's pistol

"So...This is how it ends." Arkos laughed. "A pathetic slugt..."

Field Marshal Franz Bäke - Commander of NATO Taskforce Invictus

Korriban - Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

06:30:16 ATC/ Monday, June 30th, 1969 - 19:05/7:05 PM

'Dieses wertlose, erbärmliche Schwein!'Franz thought as the man out of desperation attempted to assassinate him but the tank ace was faster as he was forced to utilize his old Luger against the Space Brit.

'Wait a minute... Is that Rakton?'The German ordered his tanks to halt and some men to confirm identification.

"General?" An Australian-accented voice spoke up. "You got the bloke! It's Rakton!"

Field Marshal Franz Bäke - Commander of NATO Taskforce Invictus

Korriban - Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

06:30:16 ATC/ Monday, June 30th, 1969 - 19:10/7:10 PM

Rakton... he couldn't believe it. Franz couldn't. Out of a million men looking to kill him, it had been his opposite number. The feared General Arkos Rakton of the Sith Empire. He wasn't quite sure what to feel at that moment. A moment of cold and pity, perhaps?

Rakton did not deserve this. He was a general. He shouldn't have died like this.

'But wouldn't I have done the same?'Bäke thought very morbidly to himself as the daylight gradually faded away with dark clouds overhead and then thought of the Eastern Front and all of the chaos with a horde of screaming Soviets coming at him at times, he compared this defeated foe to Erwin Rommel, the Desert Fox, and Bäke wondered what instead if it was Rommel was standing here, if he was forced to shoot Rakton's parallel.

'Didn't Rommel try to do the same? He should have died in Africa with the Korps, but... he lived. He lived despite the Spitfire... despite it all only to poison himself in a car upon Hitler's orders so retribution would not be inflicted upon his family. And yet by contrast Rakton died with his men.'

Bäke wondered what would have happened if Valkyrie had succeeded, if Rommel would have led his men against the Führer's successors or had a fate more befitting of an honorable man but as he was about to holster the Luger he had carried since the Freikorps, Rakton previously comatose corpse began to stir.

"Shiester!" A grenadier cursed as he raised his G3. "The man is still alive! General, I-"

"Stop!" Franz ordered with a bellow.

"General, he is-"

"I said... stop." Bäke ordered again, his voice growing softer with every word. Rakton stirred again, his hand clutching the entry wound around his stomach. He didn't have long, and Bäke knew this. But at the same time, Rakton had been a worthy and cunning foe and he should die with dignity instead of lying down clutching his mortal wound yet despite his anguish, Rakton rose very painfully to his feet. When Bäke saw he still had his sidearm, he shifted his stance. Sideways, one foot forward, his Luger ready to rise if needed. But Rakton didn't draw. Not yet. He just looked at him.

"So you are the fellow who drove away my men?"

"That's correct and crushed your walker, a peculiar contraption." Bäke did not wish to make light of his prowess even though after this encounter he was questioning the usefulness of walkers in warfare and their true worth on the battlefield remained to be seen.

Rakton didn't say anything else after that, and Bäke just stared at him. In those wearied, cold eyes, he saw himself on the Eastern front again. The cold boring down on him, the dehydration parching him... and yet the worst was the realization of what had happened.

In the attempt to relieve the 6th Army Franz had been so close to Stalingrad he could see the ruins. He had been so flushed with victory, from France and in the drive during Operation Barbarossa. And when he saw the enemy at Kursk, he hadn't thought much of it.

Even as the effort in the east and then the west collapsed, he still held a glimmer of hope as he had only seen the prize ahead, he believed that it could be salvaged. And for this... for this shortsightedness, the Allies had taught him the greatest lesson of his life. Everything he had - his commission, his command, his men, his tanks, his legend, all of it - could be taken in one single unfortunate moment. That moment had come. It had ruined him. The fact he was once part of a horrid regime shamed him. But he had the chance to walk away, to return to his pre-war dental practice, and to become the better man he was today.

Rakton was never going to get that chance.

"This isn't the end, you know?" he said suddenly, his hand moving to his stomach again, "This victory you've claimed? It won't be the end of it all."

"I know."Franz replied, "I know what comes next. I lived through it twice, both from the position that you stand now, sir. I... do not envy you."

Rakton looked at him with those mirror-expressionless eyes of his and nodded.

"It won't be the end of the Empire." he continued, taking a step forward and almost stumbling, but he caught himself. "The Empire will go on. The Republic... you Earthlings? It's just going to go on, and on. Nothing will change this. Nothing."

"I disagree, sir," Bäke replied rather distantly, "I, like many, were led to believe that the Reich was going to last a thousand years. It only lasted twelve... and because of the actions of my countrymen, my nation was split in two, and we were left to pick up the pieces. To be... better men."

"I suspect that The Galaxy is different from your world, Earthling." Rakton replied soberly. "This... this will be the staple of things to come."

"Yes... but it will end one day. All of it."

"Do you truly believe this?"

"I do. I know it."

"Are you willing to die for it?"

"I am."

With this, Rakton, the feared General of the Empire, nodded with a finality. And he started to raise his sidearm with a lethargic slowness.

"Stop!"Bäke held out his hand, but Rakton wasn't listening. The sidearm was halfway up, its point at his boot, "Stop!" The German cried again, but Rakton was now at his leg, "Für die Liebe Gottes, stop!"

Rakton was coming for his chest, but his movement was too slow. Bäke drew out of instinct, he didn't even feel the depression or recoil! It just... happened. Rakton was on the floor, and his Luger smelled of powder. He felt frozen, his eyes wide.

"Why didn't you stop?" The trained dentist and tanker asked with shock, feeling remorse at the kill. The wind blew past them, its chilling obliviousness to the personal tragedy something of a heartless hilarity. But all he could do was shake his head. He holstered his Luger and marched to the body.

He was dead. He was dead. His eyes looked up to the skies and beyond... and Bäke hoped there would be a place for him there.

"Why didn't you stop?" Franz repeated, his voice muted and deflated.

"Heerführer?" A soldat asked behind him.

"Get a stretcher." Bäke ordered rather quietly. "I'm not leaving him here."

"But sir... he's our enemy."

"He deserves better than that, Unteroffizier. He deserves the honor of a soldier. That much I will give him."

And with this, the order was carried out and Rommel watched as his body disappeared into the back of an APC. The feeling of cold washed over him again, and in that moment, Bäke understood.

"That could've been me." Franz muttered. "That could have been Rommel."

"Heerführer?"

"Nothing. Get me back to the front."

Chapter 12: Operation: Mars Part Three

Chapter Text

Marshal of the Soviet Union Ivan Stepanovich Konev - Commander in Chief of Warsaw Pact and Communist Forces

Aboard theRNSPerseverance-Valor-class Cruiser:In orbit over Korriban - Korriban,Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

07:01:16 ATC/ Tuesday, July 1st, 1969 - 05:00/5:00 AM

"Now the final stage of Operation: Mars will commence and the Empire willlearnthat our societies are not as primeval as first thought. Perhaps we'll show theSpace Fasciststhepriceof threatening Mother Russia herself. Of course, there will be no rapes and indiscriminate killings ofcivilianseven though the KGB and GRU alike says that there are no civilians on that deplorable wasteland. The soldiers, however, are a different story and as already planned, we'll not be takinganyprisoners, so I urge that your forces wrap up with conveying detainees before my troops ravage the planet. Theythirstfor fascist blood after all."

Eisenhower didn'texactlytrust Konev, but neither did the Soviet, yet there was a mutual respect between the American and the Communist. They both oversaw men against the Third Reich in the Second World War and onlycirc*mstancesbrought them together again against another fascist faction known as the 'Sith Empire'. Turning a blind eye to actions intended to be committed by factions of the multinational coalition was no easy decision since this galaxy had sustained multifarious atrocities committed by the Sith as well as their disciples and their actions were reminiscent to those that were inflicted from 1937 - 1945, it could even be comparable with not only what came to pass in the drive towards Moscow but those inflicted across mainland China, Indochina, and the Pacific by the Imperial Japanese.

Needless to say, if the particulars regarding the Sith were true then perhaps the theocratic lords and their potentate only understood chaos and bloodshed but as Eisenhower swallowed and acquiesced to the various demands from Saudi Arabians to execute 'witches' upon capture to, well, Papa Doc François Duvalier was not exactly a humanitarian ruler and the eccentric dictator of Haiti who took up the persona of being the incarnation of the mythical voodoo overlord Baron Samedi was unnervingly curious about the 'dark side' but regardless of their agenda Ike had made it explicitly clear that his turning a blind eye to such actions was only grudgingly and under protest as unfortunately Ike needed to hold this still fragile alliance of different nationalities and values together. It was ironic how many signatories of the quixotic United Nations Charter just flat-out ignored it and as long as he was overseeing things he would be damned if those affiliated with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization fell to such reprehensible levels.

"Very well Ivan..." Ike sighed, knowing that officially there was nothing he could do about it short of resigning his position in protest yet the hypocrisies of the United Nations might cause a Soviet General to be placed in command of the entire force afterwards and of course Edwin Walker still maintained the conspiracy theory that a Communist-led United Nations Army would be taking American sovereignty by force and annex it into a One-World Government, thereby forming the dreaded New World Order. Needless to say, Eisenhower was in a bind and just like during the Second World War he would have to deal with the squabbling.'Sending a message is an excuse. The Politburo in Moscow just want insurance for carte blanche war crimes as if this was the Eastern Front all over again.'"I pity those that the wizards regard as expendable." Ike relented. "But let me make this clear: This is your undertaking and like I said to King Saud and President Duvalier I won't clean up after your mess. You'll likely need to explain yourself to Mister Narasimhan as well."

"Understood Eagle Three." Bear nodded as he got up from the chair. "But regardless: Red Dawn is a go."

Ryadovóy (Private) Kolya Savin - Third Squad, Second Platoon, First Company, Fourth Battalion, 248th Guards Unechskiy Motor Rifle Regiment, 10th Guards Tank Division, 3rd "Red Banner" Combined Arms Army, Soviet Army

Korriban,Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

07:01:16 ATC/ Tuesday, July 1st, 1969 -07:30/ 7:30 AM

"Welcome to Korriban. You are about to begin the greatest moment of your life. The Empire has lost hundreds of tanks and planes. The Sith's brutalized hordes are now advancing towards us over mountains of their own dead bodies. Our Bolshevik Party, our nation, our great country, has given us the task not to let the enemy reach the Soviet Union. Forward against the enemy!"

Artillery was shooting at the Hind, but it was more or less ineffective since the purpose-built AA batteries were taken down earlier by the American 'wild weasels' as well as special operation forces on the ground.

"Up into the unremitting battle, comrades, for our great country, for the exploited workers and peasants under the Imperial yoke: Not one step back!"The Commissar, Pavel Belkin, roared as he spoke to the man about to engage the enemy for the first time, an enemy reminiscent of those their fathers before them had faced and their mothers endured as they stormed through the Soviet Union in the Summer of '41. "Cowards and traitors will be shot!" Belkin, added as he warned the soldiers of the punishment for failure. "Do not count days, do not count kilometers, count only the number of Fascists you have killed! Kill the Sith - this is your mother's prayer. Kill the Sith - this is the cry of your Soviet Socialist soil. Do not waver! Do not let up! Kill! Death to the Sith!"

"Death to the Sith!" The troops all shouted in exhilaration as the thought of gaining glory for the Motherland ran through their heads.

"FOR THE MOTHERLAND!"

Savin hopped off the Hind as quickly as possible and noticed how under the cover of guns and rockets as well as aircraft and attack helicopters his brave comrades of the Third Shock Army after making a breakthrough pushed forward with their BMPs, T-55s, T-62s, T-64s, and Motorized Infantry as they unleashed hell on the Imps with the deep battle doctrine, one that was previously designed for a conventional World War Three and flexible enough that it could be supplemented with nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons but on this day the Warsaw Pact was purely combined arms.

"Remember comrades! Show no mercy!" Belkin reminded the detachment as he popped an Imperial in the head.

"URA!"

Second Platoon pushed forward with their AK-47s, bayonets affixed, and fired at the retreating Imperials, some of them riding on repulsortanks with a majority fleeing on foot, but either way they did not get far.

"There will be no escape!" Belkin pointed out. "Kerensky!? Fire the RPG!"

"My pleasure comrade Commissar." The Rocketeer grinned before firing the rocket, striking the broadside of the furthest repulsortank and the vehicle began to burn, with the survivors hopping out with those that did escape the inferno were cut down by RPK fire from a squad of the elite Soviet Airborne Infantry, their trademark light-blue berets clearly visible with some of the blue-and-white striped telnyashka appearing outside of their battledress as well.

"Very good my friend!" The political officer laughed."That'll show the Imperials that they may run, but we'll still hunt them down like the dogs they are."

Mladshy serzhant(Junior Sergeant) Grigori Belinsky - Third Platoon, Third Company, 61st Guards Sverdlovsk-L'vov Tank Regiment, 10th Guards Tank Division, 3rd "Red Banner" Combined Arms Army, Soviet Army

Korriban,Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

07:01:16 ATC/ Tuesday, July 1st, 1969 -07:30/ 7:30 AM

"Brave comrades of the mighty, all-powerful, experienced Third Shock Army. Today we'll lay waste to the Imperial line! Continue pushing forward past the ridge!"

"Grigori, ready the flamethrower."

Grigori grinned at his old friend Kostya Federoff as he unleashed a burst of flames from the T-64 tank designated asHero of Stalingrad.

"Good. Now, take a closer look at those rats on the horizon! They will be the first to burn this day!"

The Russian tanks aim their sights at the Imperials in the distance. The Space Nazis were panicking, but the PKM machine guns and flamethrowers alongside treads stopped them dead in their tracks. The Soviet infantry following the tanks on foot cut down any survivors that remained behind and it was just one of many massacres that occurred courtesy of the Eastern Bloc.

Grigori even witnessed KGB troops lining up Imperials against a wall from a destroyed emplacement and unleashing a burst from their PPSH-41s at theirprisoners.

"First artillery piece, southwest! Fire the flamethrower and incinerate them!"

The Soviet Tank Platoon alongside their compatriots continued on their campaign of spreading terror and destruction throughout the Imperial lines.

Even the Sith weren't immune and despite them hurling rocks and flipping over the armored vehicles by lifting up the dirt, the Soviets had endless waves and there were justtoomany. Soviet reinforcements were even airdropped behind enemy lines and assaulted the defenders from the rear, causing even more panic for an already beaten foe.

"Ha! The first of many Space Fascists, my friend! These Space Brits are even more miserable than Hitler goons!"

"I couldn't agree more, Kostya."

The T-64s continued to move forward to crush the Pseudo-Nazi lines: They would tremble in fear at the might of the glorious Soviet Union!

"These idiots had met the might of Mother Russia herself!" Grigori laughed as he ran over an Imperial scout.

"Bring down those towers!" Kostya shouted and the Russian tank crews did as they were asked, obliterating the towers to dust with the main guns. "Ha ha! Dasvidaniya Fascist dogs! Excellent work, Grigori!"

"Why thank you, Kostya." Dimitri grinned before the Commissar's voice spoke on the radio.

"Attention, comrades! Push forward and obliterate the Fascist radio tower!"

"Onward! Follow the road to the northwest!"

The platoon of T64s did as they were ordered and headed northwest to disrupt the Imperial communications and if the enemy wished to request assistance they would have to use smoke signals instead.

"Good work, Grigori, there will be no cry for reinforcements! Enough talk. We must rejoin our comrades and push forward to the ridge!"

Corporal Stegin Yosh - Fireteam Three, Third Squad, Forn Company, Second Battalion, Third Korriban Brigade, Korriban Garrison, Imperial Army

Korriban,Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

07:01:16 ATC/ Tuesday, July 1st, 1969 - 7:45 / 7:45 AM

The armored beasts continued to shoot at, burn, and crush anything in their path, causing morale to drop to an entirely new low for the remaining defenders, not to mention the fear that was spreading as the interlopers were executing those who remained behind during the retreat.

They were not taking any prisoners at all and these humans did not have Basic as their primary language, yet they still managed to speak the Galactic Standard as needed.

"You may run, but you cannot hide! The spirit of the Red Army cannot be broken."A chilling announcer declared."There will be no mercy shown to Fascists! URA!"

"By the Force!" Yosh watched in horror at his post as a superior made a final holomessage.

"This is Colonel Sazto..."The officer was stuttering out of fear."I'm all who remains of the 31st Battalion...Continue to retreat!"

The young Corporal watched as Sazto pulled out his blaster to fire back at the outsider, but they used a flame projector and cooked him alive.

"Arrggghhhh!'

The Corporal was prepared to die for the cause of the Empire and he decided to hopefully turn the tide.

'I know I'm going to be torn to shreds by the K'lor Slugs, but I think the situation is desperate.'

The conscript prayed to the Force as he lowered the shields as he knew that the animals were hungry and the first victim was going to himself.

The K'lor Slugs devoured the conscript before hearing the sound of gunfire, the smell of flesh attracted the starving horrors to their next meal.

The Red Army would not expect the horror that has been unleashed.

Mladshy serzhant(Junior Sergeant) Grigori Belinsky - Third Platoon, Third Company, 61st Guards Sverdlovsk-L'vov Tank Regiment, 10th Guards Tank Division, 3rd "Red Banner" Combined Arms Army, Soviet Army

Korriban,Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

07:01:16 ATC/ Tuesday, July 1st, 1969 - 8:00 / 8:00 AM

"This is fun!" Grigori laughed."Even during the Great Patriotic War, I haven't had as much enjoyment in killing fascists as today!"

"I share your opinion, my old friend." Kostya snickered as the only good fascist was a dead one.

"Attention Comrades! Be advised that the fascists unleashed a horror! The beasts cannot and will not stop the progress of the great Third Shock Army!"

"Beasts? I mean this desolate rock already is worthless as it is, but what can be so bad?"A tanker from theRevolution of 1917scoffed.

"Comrade!"The Commissar scolded."Do as you are told! Be on the lookout or I'll have you shot!"

"Why, yes, Comrade Commissar!"

Grigori ignored the conversation and continued with his duty but he felt as if their tank was being lifted off the ground.

"Der'mo!" Kostya cursed.

"Comrades! Engage and squash the accursed centipede!"

Grigori and his comrades at once fired at the worm.

"I regret my words, Comrade Commissar!"

"That is good Comrade. Very good. From now on, do as you are told!"

"At once-Arrrghhh!"The sounds of a man being ripped apart were heard throughout the unit, sending shockwaves and admittedly: something caught Kostya's eyes.

"GRIGORI! USE THE FLAMETHROWER! BURN THE PESTS!"

Grigori saw multiple yet smaller worms bearing down upon the platoon and they already demolished one of the tanks.

"Comrades! Fire at will!"

The Soviets unleashed their machine guns, flamethrowers, and shredder rounds from the main guns. The Reds unleashed hell on the insects and managed to drive them off...

"Excellent work, Comrades! Make sure that you keep a lookout from now on!"

"There, we will prepare for the final push to the ridge."

The tanks continued to press forward and they came across an Imperial rally point.

The Commissar spoke once more."The ridge is within our grasp! As our planes rain death from above, crush their final positions!"

Red Army planes bomb the base. The detachment wiped out Imperial soldiers and moved to the other end of the base.

"Comrades!"The Commissar's voice shouted in appreciation of the excellent work."A great victory is ours! On to Dromund Kaas! Ura!"

Yefreytor (Private First Class) Nikifor Borisov - Third Squad, Second Platoon, Second Company, Second Battalion, 459th Motorized Rifle Regiment, Third Brigade, 29th Rifle Division, 40th Army Corps, Soviet Army

Korriban,Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

07:01:16 ATC/ Tuesday, July 1st, 1969 - 8:00 / 8:00 AM

'I suppose it is only fitting that my first name means victory-bearer.'Nikifor thought with minor amusem*nt as he and his squad prepared to annihilate the enemy who were making their last stand.

His father Fyodor stormed the Reichstag and watched as the red banner flew overhead. It was a glorious site and Nikifor hoped that one day perhaps he could bear witness to seeing the Soviet flag fly over the Imperial Citadel on Dromund Kaas but the young, faithful Marxist knew that it was a long road ahead and the journey to victory had barely begun yet only a few Imperials remained unscathed from the wrath of the screaming Red horde barreling towards them and now was the time to hunt down the elusive rats and finish them off one by one until not one of those zealots remained!

"On your feet!" The Commissar barked before issuing his directive."On the Sith's sacred planet, a barrage of Katyusha rockets will tear the tombs to pieces. With your bullets... with your bayonets... with your bare hands... do the same to their wretched soldiers!"

"Charge!" The Sergeant, Volodya Morein, ordered.

"URA!"

"Keep moving! Keep moving!"

"Move up with the tanks!"

"Use them for cover!" Morein advised as Imperials attempted to destroy the T-55s. It was no use and they were only delaying the inevitable as death approached them with every step that the communists took. "The rats are everywhere!" The Sergeant complained with disgust. "Clear every building! More! On the upper floor!"

An ethnic Kirghiz kicked open the door to an Imperial barrack nearby and Nikifor was not far behind as he was the third one in and the still youthful conscript noticed that fifteen of the enemy were cowering in fear, pleading for their lives as more of his comrades arrived.

"Kriff!" One the Imperial cursed before pleading. "By the Force we surrender! Mercy! Mercy!"

"There will be no mercy for Fascists!" The Commissar roared. "Execution is what they deserve!"

Four of the Space Brits attempted to raise their blaster rifles in defense but they were gunned down by the Reds who were already aiming at them, others used the opportunity to escape, but not for long as they would inevitably be dispatched as well.

"They are running!" Chaban pointed out.

"Of course, Chaban! But they have nowhere to go! Wipe them out! All of them!"

Some Red Army tanks are destroyed by some Imperials that unleashed an ambush with their rocket launchers.

"Our tanks are being torn apart!" Morein cried.

"Comrade Morein? Take a squad and annihilate the trash."

Volodya nodded. "Borisov? Chaban!? With me!"

"They have set up defenses in the building!" Chaban pointed out.

"Machine Gun! Stay in cover! Borisov, find a better position upstairs in the building!"

Borisov threw a fragmentation grenade upstairs, listening to the clanging and hopeful that the toss was in a good killzone.

"Kriff! GRENADE!" One of the Imps shouted, but the fragments exploded, spreading the dangerous shards around the area.

"Finish them! Destroy every last position!"

Borisov and his comrades sprayed lead onto the Fascists who were wounded or unscathed from the detonation and although the Imperials fought valiantly, it was no use against the Soviet horde. Brutal street-to-street and hand-to-hand fighting broke out, yet the Space Brits were just delaying theinevitable.One of the T-64s fired an AP round into the building next door and created an opening. Soviet infantry began to swarm the structure and began to clear it room by room.

"Move forward, Comrades!" The Commissar urged.

"This way!" Morein shouted. "Into the building! Upstairs!"

"Sergeant!" Chaban cried. "There are survivors!"

"These animals desired to rape and maraude their way through the motherland without mercy just like the Nazis! They deserve no mercy in return!"

The soldiers exit the building and come across a group of Red Army soldiers forcing unarmed Imperial soldiers outside.

"Move, you pigs!" A Russian Lieutenant ordered.

"Face us, you cowards!"

"No! Please, don't!" A raven-haired female Imp shrieked in horror and there was a blonde Imperial technician beside her. Although they were a detachment of Imperial engineers, not infantrymen, nevertheless, if caught with the uniform or armor of the Sith Empire: They die.

"Please, PLEASE!"

The Red Army soldiers proceeded to execute the Imperial soldiers, but one miraculously survived the summary execution.

"By the Force! I beg you!"

A Red Army Soldier drew a Tokarev TT-33 and shot the lone Imperial in the head while outside a Red Army tank also began moving towards a wall to batter it down.

"How are we to move forward?"

"Ha!" Morein laughed. "Brute force, Chaban, brute force!"

The tank crashes through the wall, destroying it and allowing entry.

"Keep pushing!." The Commissar barked. "MOVE!"

"Rocket fire! From the northwest!"

"Deal with it!" Morein barked. "The foolish rats will perish!"

However, a T-55 already took care of the problem with its main gun.

"Comrades! Look at the sight, behold this glorious view!" Morein exclaimed. "Our tanks are now advancing!"

The soldiers leave through a hole in the wall made from demolition charges, rejoining an armada of Red Army tanks and soldiers to pacify the region entirely of the few survivors without remorse, continuing to spread terror and destruction on Korriban.

"We should spread the word..." Commissar Markhov muttered, fumbling for a megaphone to have his voice amplified.

"Citizens of Korriban! A ring of steel surrounds your rotten planet! We will crush all who still dare to resist the will of the Red Army! Abandon your posts! Abandon your homes! Abandon all hope! URA!"

Darth Avarice / Nathrrya Therin-Palatine - The Empire's Wrath

En route to the Sol System - Near the Planet of Tatooine,

07:01:16 ATC/ Tuesday, July 1st, 1969 - 10:00/10:00 AM

Nathrrya was standing on the bridge of theAccuser, next to her was Admiral Maxus Piett, the last time she'd seen the man he had been a captain. As she looked out the main viewport Nathrrya could see the rest of the fleet, two hundred and fifty ships all told. The equivalent of a sector fleet carrying a sector army. They were all at sublight as Earth was so far out it required numerous jumps and time for the hyperdrives to cool between them.

Not for the first time, the Wrath of the Empire wondered at the Dark Council's decision to invade a world that was no threat to the Empire. Nathrrya frowned, Earth had no military or strategic value and resources other than manpower. Yet, the Sith wondered if the existence of a race of humans that were not connected to the Force had contributed to their decision to invade the world.

Or, as she thought about it, perhaps there were resources that could be exploited against the Jedi, materials that were completely immune to telekinesis, impregnable from any effects of the Force itself, and the implications were now frighteningly becoming apparent.

Even with the sudden realization that everything from blasters and armor to hulls built completely of metal native to the Sol System would make the Empire unstoppable to not only the Republic but especially the Jedi, Nat wondered if negotiating trade would have negated the need for an invasion entirely, yet the diplomatic fiasco with the revelation of espionage arguably forced the Empire's hands as did the tradition of conquest.

It now made sense as to why the Council decided to invade: It was a decapitation strike before the Republic could convince the inhabitants to join them and thereby also prevent the enemy from purchasing and using the unique elements against the Sith Empire.

But had the Council considered ambitious Moffs attempting to topple them?

'And those Banthas better realize the threat of their fighters.'Nathrrya thought. 'Constrained by a planet's atmosphere they may be but they can run rings around our fighters.' That had been obvious to her as the flight of F-110 Spectres that had escorted her Fury in was near their stalling speed just keeping up with her much slower vessel which was subsonic in the atmosphere, their attack planes and most bombers may be subsonic as well but the fighters purposely manufactured to fight in the skies should not be discounted and overlooked in the slightest. She had been running simulations with the limited information available on the best approaches to counteract the new threat but

"My Lord! We have a distress call!" The coms officer shouted. "By the Force, it's Korriban!"

"Put it through!" Admiral Piett snapped.

"Lord Avarice! It's Tremel! We're being overrun by an unknown ally of the Republic! They-Arrgh!"

"URA!"A group of the primitives all fired their slugthrowers at the overseer, yet Tremel got back up and threw his lightsaber, taking out the squad.

"Tremel! Behind you!" Nathrrya yelled a desperate warning as another one of the unknowns crept up behind the Overseer and used his entrenching tool to behead the Sith. Tremel's decapitated head fell then the outsider picked up his head and shouted in broken Basic to everyone in the room.

"Workers of the World and the Universe, Unite!"The transmission ended.

Nathrrya's eyes went from blue to red in an instant as her hands balled into fists. She committed the Earthling's appearance to memory as she was going to hunt the man down and behead him like he had Tremel. The Overseer had been a good teacher, ally, and friend and his death would not go unpunished.

"Admiral, have the fleet head for Korriban, maximum velocity!"

"My Lord?" Piett sounded confused.

Nathrrya spun to face the man, her eyes still bright red. "We cannot allow Korriban to fall! If the Dark Council wants Earth so badly, let them invade it themselves!"

The Admiral snapped off a salute, acknowledging the command without a second thought. "Understood, my lord!"

Minutes later the fleet turned and began to wink out of existence as it jumped to light speed. Earth would never know how close to invasion it had come for Darth Avarice's fleet had only been one jump away from heading towards the Sol System in the 'Milky Way'.

Commissar Viktor Durasov - Second Platoon, First Company, Fourth Battalion, 257th Motorized Infantry Regiment, First Brigade, 29th Rifle Division, 40th Army Corps, Soviet Army

Korriban,Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

07:01:16 ATC/ Tuesday, July 1st, 1969 -10:00/10:00 AM

Commissar Durasov watched as his men pressed on into a cavern since there was a Sith who escaped the Soviet soldiers during the initial engagement.

"Keep on pressing forward, comrades!" Viktor encouraged. "This will be one less magician scum we'll have to worry about."

"But comrade Commissar? Wouldn't it have been wise to bring flamethrowers?"

Durasov pulled back the slide to his Makarov and aimed it at the disobedient's forehead. "Fuel for flames is valuable, comrade, unlike you. Keep moving."

The conscript gulped and nodded his head in the affirmative before waving his fellow men on. Each man pointed their AK-47s up and down searching for the elusive sorcerer. Sokolov and Durasov split up into a pair while the rest of the platoon broke into fireteams to cover more ground and the rest continued on their way.

But they didn't have to wait long as the distinct accent that sounded similar to the damn prosperous capitalist scum of the British Isles speaking into a device.

"Lord Avarice! It's Tremel! We're being overrun by an unknown ally of the Republic!"

"Over there!" One of the Reds shouted as he opened fire with his Kalashnikov. Soon even the rest of the fireteam joined in.

"They-Arrgh!"

"URA!" Some of the fireteams reunited and became a squad as they unleashed bursts of 7.62 x 39mm.

The wizard, in a final act of defiance, threw his laser sword at the detachment and Durasov watched in a mixture of fascination and horror as the Sith cut down his men left and right.

"What are you doing comrade!?"

"Killing Sith!" The Private replied as he put his entrenching tool into his hands.

Durasov allowed him to have his death wish and prepared to escape, but the Commissar saw Sokolov creep up to the Sith as he was unleashed by Lenin's corpse bolts of lightning from his fingertips before throwing his lightsaber once more. That was when his subordinate struck.

"Tremel! Behind you!"A woman called out.

However, it was too late as the shovel swung against his throat, decapitating the Sith instantly and Alek picked up the detached head.

"Ura! Ura! Ura!" Chanted the survivors. It was a great day for the Motherland.

"Workers of the World and the Universe, Unite!"

Khom*o Fett - Head of Mandalorian Clan Fett

Korriban,Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

07:01:16 ATC/ Tuesday, July 1st, 1969 - 11:00/11:00 AM

"Charge your blasters, vode! We got a good hunt today!"

The Mandalorians of Clan Fett shouted in excitement as they landed on Korriban to assist their Imperial allies against anewandunknownfoe, a welcomed prospect for the warriors.

"Oya!"

Khom*o himself was looking forward to facing the unknowns in combat since they conquered a region of Korriban in two days whereas the Republic was still fighting defenders on the other side of the planet and it would be a week at the very least before the Pubs could overwhelm the Imps on the other side of the planet. "It's been too long since I've had a good challenge." Khom*o Fett was a man of combat and battle, the veteran Mandalorian Clan Chieftain hearing this new potential foe was something he couldn't pass up on.

"Incoming!" The pilot shouted as he noticed primitive slugs were targeting the landing zone. The Mandalorian Q-Carriers took immediate action to dodge the incoming artillery fire.

But the unknowns also have strange starfighters unleashing sorties and rockets began to be unleashed on the Mandalorians attempting to land and thestarfighterswere thefastestKhom*o had ever witnessed in the atmosphere, their particularly sleek design flew as naturally as the cherished jai'galaar with the chieftain of Clan Fett now wishing to get his hands on one.

The MiGs unleashed their missiles and began to harass the gunships, but the armor for the Q-ships was thick and the missiles wouldn't penetrate the Soviet pilots next targeted the co*ckpit and managed to pierce a vulnerable joint in the transport with the twenty-three millimeter cannons, literally thread close in shredding the canopy and killing the pilot but before the Reds were able to exploit the weak spot, two of the MIGs were shot down and the rest scattered.

"Now that's what I call a fight!" Khom*o laughed. "These unknowns are a challenge alright! And smart too!"

The Q-Ships split off and headed for a nearby canyon to take cover and drop off its complements. From there, five hundred of the finest warriors from Clan Fett would link up with the remaining Imperial forces and turn the tide against the outsiders.

The Soviet artillery couldn't hit the canyon due to the elevation of the guns not being able to be lowered to hit the area, so now the Commies would attempt to do what they do best:

Burn them out.

Khom*o Fett - Head of Mandalorian Clan Fett

Korriban,Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

07:01:16 ATC/ Tuesday, July 1st, 1969 - 11:15/11:15 AM

"Get ready, Vode! They're not messing around and you should not hold back!"

Khom*o was incensed at what he witnessed as the unknowns committing atrocities on the already defeated Imperials, yet the leader of Clan Fett was also in awe of their adversary: The interlopers managed to overrun the defenders in not a month. Not a week. But two days! And Khom*o was anticipating the challenge that lay ahead.

Only about five thousand seven hundred and six Imperial soldiers remained along with some droids, but most of the heavy equipment was left behind during the truly was a last stand. However, fifty of the finest warriors of Clan Fett were ready.

The mechanical beast commenced their assault as the cannons and starfighters pounded away at where Khom*o and his warriors were amongst the survivors but a cluster of twenty Imperials and even a decemvirate of Mandalorians were torn to shreds by a large artillery shell that hit their position, a shell Khom*o estimated to be at least a three hundred millimeter with another following, a bombardment that seemed endless, nevermind the barrage of rockets.

This army before them was heavy on artillery, a number Khom*o had never encountered before in battle or even read in the history of the Mandalorians and the chieftain made a note to be sure to have his warriors be granted a funeral according to Mandalorian tradition after the impending battle.

Sergeant Sara Kelrein - Commando Unit 421 "Reaper Squad", Imperial Army

Korriban,Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

07:01:16 ATC/ Tuesday, July 1st, 1969 - 11:15/11:15 AM

"Steady men. Steady."

Sara was one of the few remaining defenders and the Dromund Kaas native escaped from Republic custody the day before after the Americans transferred her and other prisoners to their Commando didn't desire to be held captive but now she wondered if it might have been wiser to become a prisoner of war for the duration instead.

''Ivan' is no joke.'The Sergeant realized that the history books she read on Earth weren't exaggerating in the slightest about the Soviet Army's ability to cause terror during their rampage throughout the Eastern Front of Earth's Second World War nor their enthusiasm for artillery with each Soviet Division possessing an above-average allotment of field guns and she could still remember Burkhart's recollection of his concerns over a possible transfer to East while occupying Denmark which never transpired even in the closing months of that conflict as they stormed through Pomerania and East Prussia but it was little wonder why the 'Russian Steamroller' was feared.

The redhead was afraid that she was not going to survive her encounter with the Communist horde as the numbers were justtoooverwhelming as they have at least six divisions facing them and Kelrein believed even Clan Fett was only delaying the inevitable with the Mandalorians destined to join the defenders in their annihilation; morale was lower than its ever been within the Imperial ranks and they were trapped, surrounded to be besieged and slaughtered like Banthas trapped in a Tatooine wadi.

Sara was prepared to give her life for the Empire but even she never imagined that this was how her life would be cut short all courtesy of a bunch of supposed 'primitives'that in actuality may know the meaning of war.

Serzhánt (Sergeant) Volodya Morein - Third Platoon, Second Company, Second Battalion, 598th Rifle Regiment, 207th Motorised Rifle Division, 3rd "Red Banner" Combined Arms Army, Soviet Army

Korriban,Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

07:01:16 ATC/ Tuesday, July 1st, 1969 - 11:15/11:15 AM

"Attention comrades! Sons of the Motherland!"The voice of Great Comrade Konev ranged throughout the radios of the Warsaw Pact forces rampaging through the canyons and valleys of the worthless planet of the enemy."We are pressing the advantage and the Imperial rats are retreating in a disorderly manner but while they may run, they cannot hide from the Red Army… Remember Comrades, we are not taking any prisoners. Shoot them. Burn them. Stab them. It doesn't matter…Make them suffer. Make them pay: Show the Fascist scum that the might of the Soviet Union will not be vanquished! Show them that the will of Communism cannot be subdued! Show them the price of attempting to invade our homeland! For Mother Russia! For the workers of Earth! URA!"

"Ha-ha-ha! You hear that my friends?! That is the sign of victory!"

"I couldn't disagree with you comrade." Private Serensky smirked just before he noticed an Imp lying down in a ditch.

"Please! I surrender! Mercy! Mercy!" The unarmed adversary pleaded but mercy was not granted to the man as Serensky fired a burst of 7.62x39mm into his leg.

"Arrgghhh!"

"Finish him off!" Morein ordered.

"At once comrade Sergeant." The conscript smiled before tossing a grenade and the detachment of Russians witnessed the Imperial's brain matter and organs being scattered around the desert landscape.

"Now that's what I call a mess!"

Laughter spread throughout the ranks as the Red Wave continued spreading carnage and terror around Korriban.

Khom*o Fett - Head of Mandalorian Clan Fett

Korriban,Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

07:01:16 ATC/ Tuesday, July 1st, 1969 - 13:15/1:15 PM

"KANDOSII'LA!" Khom*o cried out as he twisted the neck of a Soviet soldier like a trig, smiling at the sound of the bones cracking from his crushgaunts, before throwing the body at another soldier, knocking him right into the ground before Khom*o finished him off with his Mandalorian Heavy Pistol.

'I haven't had this much fun since the last war!'He was covered in blood, armor with severe dents left by the slugthrowers wielded by the enemy, and his face was bruised due to being forced to remove his helmet because of the damage.

"URA!" A Soviet soldier cried out as he opened fire at the Clan Leader with his AK. Khom*o grunted in pain as he felt the armor barely stop the few bullets that struck and he noticed the potency of the kinetic force that hit his breastplate, almost as if these were railguns specifically designed to penetrate Beskar or close to it. It wasn't common to be hit by a slugthrower nowadays in The Galaxy, but the Mandalorian knew that despite their primitiveness, a slug was still dangerous to deal with, uniquely powerful or not, and then there were their marksmen who were picking off his warriors, something which caused Khom*o to scrutinize every crevice out of caution.

He fired his blaster pistol in response, striking right into the forehead but the Mandalorian knew that he and his Clan were facing overwhelming odds. Out of fifty of his finest warriors, Khom*o had lost a quarter of them already, but the leader was determined to fight the new foe despite it all.

For every member of Clan Fett the Soviets killed, ten of them were killed, or in worst cases, two squads were slaughtered and some of their transport vehicles destroyed by the elite warriors. Khom*o wasn't going to make it easy for them, but the leader was starting to have some regrets since he realized that fifty fighters were not enough as they were being whittled away. "Blasted damn Imperials!" They were supposed to be their backup as was planned.

But the Soviets wrecked that part. Khom*o and his Clan had only brought in personal weaponry and armor and some heavy weaponry, their jetpacks allowed them to conduct air raids but even the mobility of the jetpacks proved easy for the Soviets to shoot down with their self-propelled anti-aircraft guns that were always close-by for support, forcing the Mandalorians to fight purely on the ground less they risked getting shot down if using their jetpacks.

Khom*o grunted as he finished slicing the throat open of what he assumed was a commanding officer judging from the uniform, he didn't flinch or turn away as blood splattered on his armor and face.'We're not gonna be able to hold this position much longer.'The Soviets had far more soldiers to spare and their heavy weaponry didn't help either, penetrating what previously was considered to be resilient with ease!

There were also no pushovers, far from it. The ruthlessness, the hatred, the sheer brutality, but most of all their determination, even with all the soldiers and his Clan continued to kill, they didn't stop or surrender.

No, the stubbornness was something he hadn't seen since the last war. They just kept pushing and pushing, stepping over the bodies of their dead comrades and charging into the face of death.

He admired them for it, this encounter felt reminiscent of earlier times but Khom*o also despised the fact that their weaponry held the potential to dent or - depending on the caliber and the exact type of round fired - even perforate the personal armor of the clansmen like a hot knife through butter which of course meant slug wounds and Khom*o presently speculated that it may be due to their discrete concoction of gunpowder or the ballistics of certain projectiles, maybe some combination of the two but he was not a scientist and besides the Soviets paid dearly as they would learn dearly that engaging Mandalorians in close-quarters was a nightmare.

"Alright you, aruetiise!" Khom*o stared down at his opponents. "I'll show you the meaning of combat!"

The Mandalorian charged the nearest interloper and tackled him before crushing his head like a melon. Another one of the unknowns rushed at Khom*o as he got up, but Khom*o withdrew his knife and threw it at his head, killing him. A Soviet fireteam aimed their rifles at the berserker, but he spun around and utilized a flamethrower on them, they screamed as they were roasted alive.

Next, a Russian with a shoulder-launched anti-tank rocket launcher fired at Khom*o but instead of punching through his armor and making mincemeat it barely missed him by his head, and the Mandalorian aimed his blaster pistol at the conscript, killing him with a shot to the head.

A few T-55s came up to engage him, but Khom*o was prepared as he loaded a rocket into the RPG-7. As much as he could have flown away to evade the main gun of the incoming tanks and then strike with the missile from above, Khom*o's jetpack was damaged earlier by the flak cannons which annihilated his Vode, and as a result, the Mandalorian had to use a different missile to engage the beasts.

More tanks along with a few BMPs and infantry approached where Khom*o was surrounded, but not quite outgunned. The warrior aimed his acquired rocket launcher once more at the nearest tank before picking up an RPD but despite his ambivalence he spread rounds into the Soviet ranks from cover, his warriors coming from behind to join in his assault.

The tanks and BMPs attempted to shoot his position but the main guns didn't have the elevation to lower them and the crews were forced to use their secondary weapons. A Soviet threw a grenade nearby and Khom*o kicked it out of the way.

"Is there anyone else out there?" Khom*o asked as he blasted away with his new weapon, a slugthrower he took off from one of the dead Soviets, already taking a begrudging respect to its capabilities.

"Khom*o?"He heard a feminine voice cough in his comlink, it sounded bad."This is Uela Fett, we slew as many of them as we could. But they finally pushed us back, Han and I was the only ones who survived. We're attempting to regroup at Tor's position!"

"I'm still here!"Ka'uke Fett shouted."I'm just being surrounded by the unknowns!"Khom*o heard blaster fire before the Togorian Ruus'alor (Sergeant) spoke again."Dammit! We just lost Kank to a sniper, his head blown clean off even though he was wearing his helmet! We need to pull out and cover the retreat!"

Khom*o didn't want to give up. The Mandalorian beliefs were the same as the Neo-Crusaders who came before him and they didn't give up either, yet the leaderknewthat they were outsiders and taught Khom*o a lesson: He had bit more than he could chew and in addition the small numbers, mournfully not even beskar'gam alone could help them as there were weapons capable of perforating it from snipers on up whereas the normal grunts just only dented them after bursts of automatic fire.

"To anyone still alive." Khom*o began, lamenting the defeat, but he knew that the decision had to be made. "We are... withdrawing...The Empire can clean up this mess of theirs while we rebuild. Cover the retreat then we're leaving."

"Understood vod."

Darth Avarice / Nathrrya Therin-Palatine - The Empire's Wrath

Korriban,Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

07:01:16 ATC/ Tuesday, July 1st, 1969 - 18:00/6:00 PM

"My Lord, we're exiting hyperspace and should be in orbit over Korriban shortly." Piett announced.

Soon enough the swirl of hyperspace was replaced by real space and Korriban in the distance. Nathrrya snarled seeing the small fleet of Republic ships, fifty strong if the sensor readouts were accurate. She had five times that number.

"Admiral, flank and destroy the Republic fleet, try and prevent their escape." Nathrrya ordered coldly, she wasn't naive enough to think she'd be able to kill every Republic ship.

"Yes, my lord!" Piett replied as he began issuing orders to the rest of the Imperial fleet.

Agent Theron Shan - Republic Strategic Information Service

Aboard theRNSPerseverance-Valor-class Cruiser:In orbit over Korriban - Korriban,Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

07:01:16 ATC/ Tuesday, July 1st, 1969 - 18:00 / 6:00 PM

"We've got company and a lot of trouble!" The Republic SIS agent yelled seeing the sudden appearance of the Imperial fleet on the tactical display. "A whole sector fleets worth of trouble!"

"Where did the Imps get that much firepower to send here so quickly?" Colonel Darok asked. He'd been expecting retaliation from the Imperials but not on this scale nor so soon.

"Don't know but if we stay here we'll be pinned down and destroyed." Shan replied. "We've already lost some of the outer escorts."

Heinrici gazed out the viewport at the advancing Imperial fleet and he knew that there would be no time to make a proper defense with the personnel allocated for what was otherwise a large-scale raid, especially against the inbound onslaught and even if by some miracle they did had the fortifications the price for holding Korriban hostage would not be worth it in the slightest. The master of defense hoped that the withdrawal of their troops would be unhampered despite the arrival of enemy relief forces. "I would be less worried about where this armada has come from and more about where it has been going." Turning to Konev he asked. "Didn't you say that some of your men killed a Sith who had been making a distress call?"

"Yes... you think this is the result?" the Russian responded.

"I do." The German confirmed.

"The news just keeps getting better." Theron spoke up. "I've identified the Imperial flagship, it's theAccuser." He brought up a holo image of the ship which at first glance looked like any otherHarrower-class dreadnought but some differences made her one of a kind. "Normally she's parked in orbit around Axxila and doesn't move as much as a millimeter but there's only one person in the entire Empire who'd be capable of getting theAccuseras their personal flagship: Darth Avarice, the Empire's Wrath."

Darth Avarice / Nathrrya Therin- Palatine - The Empire's Wrath

Korriban,Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

07:01:16 ATC/ Tuesday, July 1st, 1969 - 18:10 / 6:10 PM

"Well done, Admiral, forty-five Republic ships mission killed or destroyed with the rest fled." She was happy with the almost thorough destruction of the Republic fleet, they'd lost some ships as well but most of those could be salvaged.

"Thank you, my lord." Piett replied. "I've also made preparations to land troops to reinforce the remaining garrison, although the majority are now dead."

"My Lord, we're holding the - Nat?"

"Go on Sara." Nathrrya was still irritated that Earthlings were on the sacred world of Korriban and it bugged her that her warning was somehow spanned into raiding the holy world.

'I tried to do the right thing and then, of course, Saresh had to convince Earth to join the war through her manipulation.'

"Right, well, these damn stubborn wampa herders from Moscow and disciples of Karl Marx are determined to wipe out all of us, Nat."The Commando unholstered her blaster pistol and shot it at a few Russians."Kriff!"The redhead turned back to face the Wrath."There's only five hundred of us left, they are not taking prisoners at all, and they just killed the last of the acolytes that were fighting with us! No Sith remains and I'm just about the only Commando left here. Everyone else is from rear echelon units and they are not used to fighting on the front."

'When I get down there, I'll show them a thing or two!'

"Don't worry Sara, we're on our way. Do you think you can hold them off 'til then?"

"I don't know. Even the contingent from Clan Fett is being annihilated by the Red Army."

"Why doesn't anyone listen to me?" She muttered.

"My Lord?"

"Nothing Sergeant."

Taliya Fett - Clan Fett

Korriban,Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

07:01:16 ATC/ Tuesday, July 1st, 1969 - 18:30 / 6:30 PM

Taliya was getting more and more annoyed by these stubborn fighters. The soldiers were ruthless who executed wounded Imperials and shot those running in the back.

The Mandalorians could be incredibly ruthless and theseRussiansproved to have a similar mindset as they rampaged through Korriban and shooting anyone wearing the emblem of the Empire, nevermind the unexpected effectiveness of their armaments could pose against Beskar.

The Twi'lek linked up with her few remaining brethren as they covered the retreat. The Mandalorians were determined to at least take a few more of this scum, yet the Mandalorian can still respect their ferociousness and ability to take on the best of Clan Fett.

"Don't they know when to give up?!"

"Shut it, Gono!" She snapped at the Weequey in green and red armor. "Khom*o gave us an order and if you have nothing useful to say, then I'll have Oyyka tear your limbs!"

The aforementioned Wookiee roared as more Soviets approached the last of the fifty Mandalorians, only four remained.

Or that's what they thought as the tanks, BMPs, and infantry came to a halt.

"Attention brave, valiant Mandalorians of Clan Fett!"A voice echoed from a bullhorn."We offer you a chance to leave! We are not your enemies! We are fighting against the dreaded Space Fascists of the Sith Empire! We are not monsters!"

Taliya scoffed and fired back. "Explain the executions then you liar! You have us shoot as you had them."

The Commissar ignored her."We are neither monsters nor barbarians like the Sith. We want to bring peace to the galaxy as well as liberate the proletariat and conflict is not the answer!"

"Go to Hell!" Ijaat growled, defiant to the end.

"Very well then!"The Commissar put down his megaphone and grabbed the radio. "Attention comrades! You may proceed to crush the remaining pests like these 'Darths' before them! They refuse the honorable course of surrender! Show no mercy!"

The main guns of the vehicles and Kalashnikovs were pointed at the last of the warriors. The Soviets didn't desire to wipe out the brave Mandalorians and in fact, the Commies had developed a begrudging respect for them.

"Well, this is it, vode. We're going to be bantha burgers." Gono declared. "I'll see you on the other side."

"For once I agree with you." Taliya smiled at the Weequey.

But then an explosion was heard and both the Mandalorians and Soviets turned their heads to see the culprit.

It was Khom*o with a rocket launcher.

"Alright you ori'jagyc! It's time to see show you how us Mando'a go down fighting!"

The Soviets begin to open fire at the leader of Clan Fett, ignoring their former prisoners and that was a mistake...The four other Mandalorians at once begin to spread out and cause destruction with Taliya using her Mandalorian Heavy Repeater, Gono his pistols, Ijaat used his rifle, and Oyyka utilized his Ryyk blades. Even some Imperial soldiers stopped running, turned, and charged at the Soviet line.

Only with the Mandalorians and the Imperials who were left, remained fearless to the last. "May vi urcir tug'yc o'r kyr'am ner'vods. Ash'amur pirusti!" Khom*o Fett uttered to them.

More and more Commies approached the line and began to assault the last of the defenders. They were being sent into the slaughter, but even then, it was not just Khom*o who arrived at the right time.

"By the Force!" An Imp shouted as he looked up: It was a squadron ofExtinction-class bombers and there was a fleet.

The Soviets, on the other hand, received orders to disengage from any further 'demonstrations'.

"Attention comrades!"The voice of Konev shouted. "Our work here is done! Our NATO allies have already left and now, you may withdraw! Artillery will cover the retreat!"

The survivors didn't understand why they were left alone as the enemy turned around to withdraw, but it was a relief.

Korriban,Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

10:26:15 ATC/ October 26th, 1968 - 19:00/7:00 PM

Nat waited to disembark from the transport that was carrying her, Quinn, and Vette to the planet while Jaesa remained behind on the ship to coordinate gunfire support if necessary.

The flyover showed scenes of destruction reminiscent of Corellia and other fronts but to have it occur here, on Korriban, ired the Imperials but Nat felt that while such a brazen act of desecration was unforgivable, it was also sending a loud and clear message of:'This is how we feel about your attempt of annexation. While we didn't unleash our full weight, clearly we will not be pacified and are willing to fight to the end'.

"Charge!" The Wrath of the Empire ordered as she hopped off the transport, yet there was quiet as if nothing greeted them, not even a K'lor Slug.

It however didn't last as the remnants of the garrison began emerging, probably in shock and frightened by the new foe.

"My Lord!" A Private came out from behind a rock. "Thank goodness you're here!"

"Who's in charge here?"

"I guess I am and we're all that remains." A familiar voice from behind the Sith said depressingly. "Out of half a million troops, less than a hundred are still here. The majority of us are wounded, some severely I will add."

Avarice turned around and saw a Commando take off her helmet and wipe away sweat from her forehead. The Wrath noted that the dark copper-haired woman was about to shed tears and it wasn't a surprise to Nat that after a day like this, morale was at an all-time low, yet the Sith sensed that something else was bothering her friend.

"Is it okay if I talk to you in private, my Lord?" Kelrein professionally asked.

"You may speak freely Sergeant." Palatine smiled.

Sara looked down and told Nat about her encounter. "Jake...Jake was here...On Korriban."

"What?" Nat whispered.

"He...He assaulted the shield complex that I was stationed at and the Americans took it within three hours."

Nathyrra was unnerved as the fortress was one of the most secured fortifications in the Empire and yet within three hours, it had fallen.'Earth is even more dangerous than I thought.'

"He also..." Sara was about to weep. "Shot me."

Nat was taken aback by the news. She didn't expect this but then again today was full of unpleasantness.

"It was an accident since I was wearing my helmet."

Nat quickly interrupted her. "But still..." Palatine trailed, contemplating on how to phrase it. "You didn't deserve to be shot by your love interest."

"I know."Kelrein shook her head before putting her helmet back on."Let just show the Soviets the might of the Empire."

Jaesa Willsaam - Apprentice to Darth Avarice

Korriban,Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

10:26:15 ATC/ October 26th, 1968 - 19:15/7:15 PM

"Jaesa? I need some ships to target a concentration of enemy units, at least a battalion size element, at sector 691.9227"

"On it." The apprentice at once shouted to Piett and relayed the coordinates. "Admiral! I need a firing solution! Orbital bombardment at sector 691.9227."

"At once, my lord!" Maxius declared before ordering the crew to target the designated area with a firing solution.

"Engaging!" A gunner called out as the lasers from the batteries opened up.

The Soviets left behind couldn't do anything nor could they outrun the green bolts of doom from theHarrower-class Dreadnoughts and were assigned to their fates.

Korriban, Horuset System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

10:26:15 ATC/ October 26th, 1968 - 19:20/7:20 PM

Although their comrades on a mount overlooking the scene were terrified by the scene, they were still willing to do their duty for the Motherland two hundred and twelve million lightyears away from this worthless rock in this slice of the universe, a spiral galaxy that was until recently after first contact only previously known in history as being 'discovered' on June 27th, 1835 by English astronomer John Herschel - the Condor Galaxy - but the various civilizations revealed to be native to what was also known on Earth as NGC 6872; natives which included those affiliated with the Galactic Republic or Sith Empire had always simply referred to it as 'The Galaxy' as they did not know of it by any other name.

However this particular planet in the Condor Galaxy of course was only worthless to all except for the Sith and the Communists would soon learn that this rock was valuable to Imperial society exactly how Mother Russia was to them.

"Attention comrades! Your sacrifice will long be remembered back home on Earth!" Commissar Durosov proclaimed to his men. "We will be known as Heroes of the Soviet Union and as such, our families will be proud to proclaim that their fathers, sons, husbands, uncles, and nephews had honored the vision of Great Comrade Lenin! URA!"

"URA!"

Even in death, the Russians who were bombarded by the unrelenting barrage of lasers would defy the Empire and become cemented as a painful reminder of the determination of those loyal to their respective nations and residencies on the planet of Earth.

Chapter 13: Mad Jack's Last War

Chapter Text

General John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming "Mad Jack" Churchill - British Army

Trench Line Number One - Tython, Tython System, Deep Core, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:01:16 ATC/ Tuesday, July 1st, 1969 - 07:00/7:00 AM

Mad Jack Churchill eagerly waited in anticipation of another assault from the impostors as thus far the First Commonwealth Division held out in the trenches directly in front of the Jedi Temple, and Mad Jack absolutely loved being in the thick of it. Brandishing his distinctive broadsword recently upgraded with a material called 'cortosis', the Englishman was ready to deal with the extraterrestrial humans that dared mock the Queen's English. A lone piper began playing 'March of the Cameron Men' right beside theslightlyeccentric veteran as he urged his men to be ready for the next wave.

"Steady lads. Steady."

"Here they come!" An ANZAC sentry shouted before he was struck down by laser fire.

"Bugger." A Corporal with a Lancashire accent muttered.

"I'll say." A Bermudan added.

The bagpipes grew louder in their tune as the latest attempt by the Imps to capture the Temple commenced.

"Get ready!"

Across the trenches, men left and right scrambled to their rifles resting on sandbags, a mixture of L1A1s, C1A1s, and other FN FAL derivatives depending upon their country of origin and prepared to aim them out of the slits.

"Range! Six hundred yards! Commence firing!"

The well-drilled and experienced Anglo-Commonwealth soldiers at once used their training in precision marksmanship to thin down the Imperial onslaught. The Earthlings mainly focused their fire on the Sith and officers since they were priority one targets and as a result, the casualty rate was high amongst the Space Fascist ranks. The space magicians weren't close enough to wield theirForce powersnor their laser swords against the Earthlings. They reached the five hundred and fifty yard mark yet the Sith were taking unacceptable losses.

Something has to give.

Darth Arkous

Imperial Forward Command Center - Tython, Tython System, Deep Core, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:01:16 ATC/ Tuesday, July 1st, 1969 - 07:00/7:00 AM

The Sith sighed as he read the latest reports from the front. So many of his brethren were killed and these weren't the weak ones. They have proven themselves countless times against the Republic and the utterly despised Jedi Order.

Yet a totally unexpected and new enemy had allied themselves with the Pubs.

The primitive world of Earth has now entered the war and their way of conflict certainly wasn't something to be mocked at anymore. Arkous shook his head in disbelief, but there was no denying it now as the foe before him were indeed Earthlings. How his former apprentice didn't catch this development was beyond him. Sure, he and his fellow dark council members watched President John Fitzgerald Kennedy's speech live on the HoloNet, an address that was conveyed by a discredited head of state as the illusion of 'Camelot' had imploded and the Dark Council reasonably chose to ignore it as the indications was the fact that the bedlam could be exploited but now to actually encounter them was another matter entirely and these Earthlings were being most effective in defending the Jedi Temple. The faction has to be dealt with quickly since Arkous hasplansbigger than himself and it's for thesakeof the galaxy.

"Lord Goh? Is your part of the operation ready?"

The Chargarian Sith was a man of few words and it didn't surprise the Dark Councilman in the slightest that he just merely nodded.

"Excellent." The Pureblood purred. "Oh, and do so be kind as to save a few of these Earthlings for the Empire. We need to figure out ways to counteract their resistance."

"As you wish."The alien declared before signing off.

'Now I just need to rethink my whole kriffing strategy.'

Corporal Hanzo Nilsson- Weapons Section, Second Platoon, Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia Light Infantry, 1st Commonwealth Division

Trench Line Number Three - Tython, Tython System, Deep Core, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:01:16 ATC/ Tuesday, July 1st, 1969 - 10:00/10:00 AM

"Machine Gunners to the front!"

"You're ready, Alex?"

"As I'll ever be, Nilsson." McAllen declared as he picked up the M1919A4. Hanzo had the tripod in his arms and the duo doublequicked to an excellent firing position. Boxes of ammunition were already waiting for them as the machine gun crews arrived.

Hanzo watched as men left and right fell in front of him as the Imperials began a heavy assault against the Earthlings and the Canadian witnessed armored vehicles punched through the Earthlings right flank and offloaded their complement of infantry and Sith Warriors.

"Nilsson! McAllen!" Hanzo hears Sergeant McHugh shouting at them. "I need you to focus your fire on the right flank! We need to cover the retreat as our men fall back to the temple!"

The Corporals nodded and repositioned the Browning to fire at the fast approaching Imps but there was a problem.

"Damn monks won't get out of the way." McAllen muttered while grasping the charging handle. "MOVE YOU DAMN FOOLS!"

"It's to be expected." Nilsson started as he placed a belt into the weapon. "This planet is sacred to the Jedi."

"Sacred my arse. We can't shoot our allies."

Hanzo, unfortunately, knew of an incident of blue-on-blue in Vietnam back in 1966.

Private Hanzo Nilsson - Fireteam Charlie, Third Squad, Third Platoon, B/Bravo Company, First Battalion, Ninth Marine Regiment "The Walking Dead", First Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, United States Marine Corps

Quảng Trị Province, South Vietnam, Southeast Asia, Asia, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

Monday, February 28th, 1966 - 12:00 AM

Hanzo and his platoon took cover as mortars from a Viet Cong Main Force unit that continued to rain hell upon the Marines. Their sister unit, the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment was nearby and under attack by overwhelming numbers of gooks. The two units were being pounded by the commies and unless the Leathernecks received artillery support, they were going to be wiped out.

Nilsson waited patiently for a follower of Ho Chi Minh to get into the sights of his M14 Rifle. As he waited, the Canadian overheard some welcome news from friendlies on the radio.

"Reaper 2-1, this is Armageddon flight. We'll be unleashing our payload at coordinates confirmed."

"Roger Armageddon." Lance Corporal Roger Cruise, the unit's radioman replied. "Give them hell, flyboys."

Hanzo looked up and watched as a pair of A1D Skyraiders dropped four canisters of napalm, but they were off target, and in fact, the platoon was being hit by their own aircraft.

"sh*t! EVERYO-"

"Arghh!"

Nilsson watched as some of his buddies he fought with for two years were burned alive by the gasoline co*cktail of death. The smell of burning flesh reached his nose and the horror looks in their eyes, the screams of their pain.

Present...

"Hanzo!" The voice of Alexander dragged Hanzo out of his memories of that night and his friend was worried but the situation overrode the concern as the last of the Jedi in front of the pair was struck down by Sith Marauders. McAllen aimed and began to shoot at the Sith fast approaching, but there was another problem as an Imperial soldier threw a Thermal Detonator.

"f*ck! GRENADE!"

Hanzo and Alex quickly got up and ran from the blast zone as it went off, but the blast threw them off the ground, barely escaping the blast radius. The duo knew that the machine gun was now useless. Hanzo watched in horror as a Sith Warrior slowly approached them, his laser sword raised in execution style. It was evident that he was not seeking prisoners.

"You Forceless freaks are an insult to every living being in the galaxy and as such, you shall be put to death."

Hanzo waited for the arrogant Sith to come to him as the Canadian slowly withdrew his combat knife from his sheath. The Sith got ever closer and put his face close to Nilsson to spit on him. It was the last mistake the sorcerer would ever make as he drove the knife into his neck, the Sith gagged on his blood.

He kicked him hard away from him. Hanzo rolled out of the way and grabbed a dropped Browning Hi-Power handgun to fire into the being for effect, just in case. Satisfied that the Sith was dead, the soldier assisted, helping his brother in arms up.'Magic my ass.'Unlike most of the others, Hanzo didn't see the Force as 'overcomplicating magic' or dismissing it as a concept outright.

No, he's seen too much on Tython, read enough what he could before the attack happened, and his previous conversations with other Jedi in the Temple and parts of the planet where he has explored showed him something different.

There's something... Spiritual about this world and the more he continued to see in this galaxy… The more he came to know the more questions that started to form in his head.

"Now that's what I call overkill, eh?" Alex looked at the dead Sith with an interested look.

Hanzo wiped the blood off his knife before putting it back in his sheath. "That's light compared to what I consider as overkill. Let's get back to the rest of the unit."

General John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming "Mad Jack" Churchill - British Army

Jedi Temple - Tython, Tython System, Deep Core, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:01:16 ATC/ Tuesday, July 1st, 1969 - 11:25/11:25 AM

Mad Jack was at it again. The Englishman was smiling at the fact that many of his opponents were utilizing swords, although it was a shame that their saber's batteries shorted out because of some metal.

'This cortosis really takes the fun out of it.'

"Come on you bloody bastards!" The master swordsman absolutelyenjoyedthe fact that the more elegant style of warfare was now back and he joined a group of warrior monks to combat the Sith menace. "You're facing Fighting Mad Jack himself, you damn impostors! For Queen and Country!" The Brit continued to parry away with his recently upgraded broadsword and although he was a gentleman, these Sith were not known to play by the rules of fencing at all.

"Isn't he insane?" One of the Jedi defenders asked one of his comrades, Serana Ashak, a beautiful blue-skinned Twi'lek who appeared to be in her early thirties with black markings across her face and light blue eyes that spoke of her determination and experience. Wearing brown Jedi robes over her white Verpine Foestopper armor, her two green lightsabers were used with such graceful yet aggressive movement against any Sith that faced her.

"I guess so." The Twi'lek admitted as she blocked a slash by a warrior. "But you can't deny that he's rather effective despite his...idiosyncratic nature." Serana kneed the Sith in the groin and the Sith gave a high-pitched shriek as he felt something pop. Serena, not giving him the chance to recover, stabbed him in the chest before kicking him off.

Churchill watched as one of the sorcerer's raised his hand to strike at the Briton. Knowing what it entailed after witnessing some hapless Republic Troopers being fried and not wishing to take a risk in seeing if this attack was ineffective on his physiology just like the other negated 'powers', the officer took cover behind a wall just before the lightning struck and it left quite the scorched mark on the plaster.

"Bloody hell!"

Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery - 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein and Commander of Her Majesty's Commonwealth Forces of the 'True British Empire'

Anglo-Commonwealth Command Post - Tython, Tython System, Deep Core, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:01:16 ATC/ Tuesday, July 1st, 1969 - 12:00/12:00 PM

To say that Bernard was despondent would be an understatement as the Spartan General was crestfallen and felt that in some ways Ike still had it in for him since the Briton did had a rather…equivocal relationship with the Yank during the Second World War and Monty should have known that the avid golfer picked him to assist the Republic with a garrison on Tython while the no-good bastard stole his beloved Seventh Armored Division from him as a part of the strike force on Korriban!

Then Bernard thought that there was the possibility of Dwight having a legitimate nous as to why he was on Tyrion.'No, Ike is not one to hold grudges, at least I do not believe so. He may have his reasons.'

Still, many of the men under his command were disappointed just like he was. Until yesterday of course when the Bloody Impostors themselves came knocking. The head of the NATO detachment was currently at his headquarters looking at the updated map as to the situation. It currently wasn't looking good as the French Fifth Infantry Division began to withdraw from overwhelming Imperial numbers, some of whom were even prepared to wave literal honest-to-God white flags which would have been reminiscent of the debacle against Brazil during the catastrophic and farcical Lobster War of '63 until cooler heads among the Les Français prevailed for an organized withdrawal. Overall, the defenses were about to collapse as some units began to retreat, or in the cases of a few Republic battalions, completely annihilated.

"So sir, do you know when reinforcements are going to arrive?" His aide, Captain Fremantle asked.

"In about three hours from now, Chesty Puller is going to steal the credit away from us."

"The one from Chosin in Korea? Damn Yanks have to ruin all the fun."

"That they do, Albert." Bernard couldn't disagree more as he calmly stirred his tea with a spoon despite the Imperial artillery barrage shaking his porcelain cup and the table it rested on. "That they do."

General John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming "Mad Jack" Churchill - British Army

Jedi Temple - Tython, Tython System, Deep Core, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:01:16 ATC/ Tuesday, July 1st, 1969 - 12:00/12:00 PM

Mad Jack emerged from cover and proceeded to withdraw his old Webley revolver. The .455 caliber round should deal with the damn magician and knock him down. It sure did and the handgun still had its notorious kick, especially noticeable to the man wielding it since age was now catching up to the old warrior. The atmosphere was utterly chaotic as Sith and Imperials began to fight the joint Republic-Jedi-Earth defenders of the Temple. Fleming watched as some of his men attempted to use their bayonets against the space wizards, but they were cut down.

Fighting Jack should have been retired by now, but his country has called upon him once more to deal with a new enemy. One which dared caricature anything British.

"You wankers really have chosen the wrong enemy to fight." Churchill declared.

"Don't mock me with your fake accent, scum." His foe coughed as he spat blood. "You're not Imperial."

"No, I am from England, sir. I will gladly die for ol' Blighty, in the style of a true gentleman in Her Majesty's armed forces, than that rabble you serve, Sith!" The warrior declared to the dying man as he went on his merry way to fight in his last war.

Lord Goh

Outside the Jedi Temple - Tython, Tython System, Deep Core, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:01:16 ATC/ Tuesday, July 1st, 1969 - 12:00/12:00 PM

The Changarian watched as his men finally drove the last of the Earthling scum back inside the temple. These forceless scum were a surprisingly worthy adversary, but they were still blights to be wiped out before the cancers spread throughout the galaxy.

For the sake of the Force, the Earthlings must be cut down per Arkous's orders and the Sith was determined to conduct the will of the dark side as well.

The Sith nodded in approval as he saw warriors and marauders cutting down the few that remained in the sector before him.

"My Lord? We've managed to push them back deep inside the temple and despite the initial resistance, your fellow Sith has managed to cause casualties amongst their ranks."

"Very well, Captain." The Sith Lord was excited since this was a glorious day for the Empire despite the initial setback. "Wipe them out. All of them."

"You heard him men!" Captain Nore shouted. "Let's show these Earth scum the might of the Empire!"

Imperial Troopers left and right fanned out to hunt down the remaining survivors. It wasn't even a few minutes until they were fired upon by a group of Pubs and Earthlings.

"First squad, take the right flank!" Lieutenant Ruc orders. "Second and Third Squad, keep up the pressure."

"Yes sir." The Sergeant of First Squad replied before waving his men toward an excellent firing position.

Goh watched as his men began to overwhelm the defenders and look on in satisfaction as they were being slaughtered to the last man. Offers of surrender weren't given out at all since Earth will learn that the Empire will not be made a mockery of by primitives.

Serana Ashak - Knight of the Jedi Order

Jedi Temple - Tython, Tython System, Deep Core, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:01:16 ATC/ Tuesday, July 1st, 1969 - 12:30/12:30 PM

"ARE YOU INSANE!" Serana called out after the Earth general as she saw him attempting to slash his way to fight the leader of the latest assault.

"They don't call me'Mad Jack'for nothing, lass!" The old coot fired back as he swung his sword at an officer.

"I'm starting to wonder if Death has different plans for you or if you're just too stubborn to die, old man." Serena as she spun kicked a Sith trooper in the face, hearing a loud crack as his head twisted in an unnatural angle. Slicing through a couple of troopers and Sith who were caught off guard before one ended up in a blade lock with her.

Just as the blade lay closer, Serena acted quickly and took out her blaster pistol and shot the Sith in the chest, seeing the shocked look on his face. She headbutted him hard before force-pushing the body into a couple of other Imperials. Shaking her head, the Twi'lek glanced off to the side and saw two Earth soldiers staring at her. She recognized them as Serena called out their names.

"Hanzo! Alex! With me!" She barked.

Private Alexander McAllen - Weapons Section, Second Platoon, Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia Light Infantry, 1st Commonwealth Division

Jedi Temple - Tython, Tython System, Deep Core, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:01:16 ATC/ Tuesday, July 1st, 1969 - 12:30/12:30 PM

"Ah, just great Hanzo." Alex chuckles. "We're going to assist Serena in a suicide mission to rescue an old coot with a blade."

But McAllen noticed that his friend was not paying attention and he snapped his fingers. "Hanzo? Come on buddy, you can daydream later."

Hanzo shook his head, cursing to himself for his distraction. "Let's go!"

"Yeah right. Let's just go."Alexander sighs before smirking. "You can admire her later."

Nilsson grunted in annoyance.

General John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming "Mad Jack" Churchill - British Army

Jedi Temple - Tython, Tython System, Deep Core, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:01:16 ATC/ Tuesday, July 1st, 1969 - 12:30/12:30 PM

"Come out and face me you accursed heathen!"

The blue alien with headtails turned and faced the crazy man who was the only Briton to utilize a longbow in World War II. He was a hideous being and to Fleming, the Sith were surprisingly ugly in general. Hell, even the Scots and Irish receive more sunlight than the magicians! But something else bothered the old warrior, as to why this one wouldn't utter a word at all.

"So are you a daft mute or what?! Speak up old chap!"

But the extraterrestrial being had other ideas and he pulled out his laser sword to face the Brit. The Englishman, however, prepared himself for the inevitable fencing match and John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming Churchill was prepared to bring back the honor to merry old Britain.

"Sir!"

"Well, I'll be buggered!" Jack said. "I intend to fight my last war alone!"

"With all due respect sir, but your age is catching up to you." Nilsson stated.

Churchill smirked. "Well, they certainly don't call me an old coot for nothing. Alright, lads! Let's give honor to merry old Blighty and show this Sith wanker how it's done!"

"Umm...We're Canadians, sir." McAllen pointed out.

"In that case. For the Queen and for Canada as well! Just as long as the Yanks don't show up, I'll be a happy old man!"

Sergeant David Allen Adkins - First Squad, First Platoon, First Force Reconnaissance Company, I Marine Expeditionary Force Command Element, I Marine Expeditionary Force, United States Marine Corps

En route to the "Space Monks" Temple - Tython, Tython System, Deep Core, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:01:16 ATC/ Tuesday, July 1st, 1969 - 13:30/1:30 PM

"Alright, listen up!" Sergeant Adkins shouted at the top of his lungs. "We are reinforcing the Brits and the other Commonwealth forces of the Eighth Army. They are under heavy assault by the Imps and we are not leaving them behind."

"Umm Sarge, how can we tell the difference between the Brits and the Space Brits?"

"Shoot the ones wearing black or waving a red blade dumbass! Any other questions?" Sergeant Adkins sounded harsh here, he had no time for idiotic questions.

"NO SERGEANT!"

"Alright then." Adkins muttered. "We're landing in a major warzone so keep your eyes peeled and we'll go home safe."

"Five seconds."The Republic pilot declared. Sure, the Americans would rather ride in their Hueys, but the Force Recon Marines and the Marine Raiders wanted to have the element of surprise. The gunships cautiously approached the temple and they constantly dodged AA fire to engage the opposition below and the Devil Dogs appreciated the brave efforts of the Pubs to soften up the landing zone for them. The surrounding area was being overwhelmed by goose-steppers, but the reinforcements are determined to change that.

"Let's go! Move it! Move it!"

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - Fireteam Alpha, Second Squad, First Platoon, C/Charlie Company, Second Raider Battalion "Carlson's Raiders", Second Raider Regiment, II Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force, United States Marine Corps

Jedi Temple - Tython, Tython System, Deep Core, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:01:16 ATC/ Tuesday, July 1st, 1969 - 13:50/1:50 PM

Jake quickly rushed out of the gunship and charged into the fray with his platoon and of course with the motto of 'First to First' it was only befitting to have United States Marines be the first to land as reinforcements for the beleaguered defenders but even so this was a joint operation between Force Reconnaissance and the Raiders to clear a section of the temple of the menace and there were more of their fellow Leathernecks on the way with a battalion of Jarheads ready to lob in tear gas before storming the rest of the temple to clear it of the surviving intruders who weren't smoked out by the nauseous fumes.

Meyer carefully made a hand gesture to one of the Recons to clear the room. The Hoosier watched as his comrade kicked the door open and fired his scattergun at two Imperial soldiers, but then something caught his eye as the individual in dark robes came out of nowhere and stabbed his fellow Marine from behind.

He immediately fired a short burst from his M14 and the 150 grain projectiles struck the Sith's chest. The wizard wasn't expecting him and as a result, the magician forfeited his life. The bitterness of the combat reminded Jake of Hue, but the Devil Dog was ready to show the Space Fascists why the United States Marine Corps was certainly an enemy they didn't want to have unleashed on them, but they did.

Jake continued on his way to evacuate any remaining survivors from the First Commonwealth Division as well as any Republic soldier that joined them, not to mention get the last of the artifacts secured, before the tear gas smoked the intruders out to be slaughtered. Many American servicemen complained about the plan and some even bluntly stated that they were not archivists and although Jake was a history enthusiast himself and at one time was even in a relationship with the daughter of an Assyriologist, at the same time the former Military Policeman was also aware that urban warfare was not to be trivialized in the slightest and in his opinion it would have been better to smoke 'em out first then go in but the decision was made.

"Stop right there!" An Imperial shouted.

"How about no, lobsterback?" The Marine chuntered as he shot the fool. Meyer then sees a fireteam of Imperials coming straight for him, but the Raider pulled the pin to his M26 'Lemon' Grenade and threw it so that it would land where the shrapnel would be the most effective within its five-meter radius kill zone.

"Kriff! GREN-!"

"Don't you mean 'f*ck' idiots?" He muttered with actual vulgarity instead of a euphemism as more expendables approached him.

"Surrender! Surrender!" An annoying officer barked.

The Jarhead opened up with a burst from his M14, but he was outnumbered. The Leatherneck instantly took cover behind a fountain as blaster fire began to scorch the marble-like material.

'Oh boy, I'm in a pickle.'

General John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming "Mad Jack" Churchill - British Army

Jedi Temple - Tython, Tython System, Deep Core, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:01:16 ATC/ Tuesday, July 1st, 1969 - 13:50/1:50 PM

Fleming continued to randomly parry away at the Sith, but the elderly veteran realized that his age was catching up to him. His Jedi companion was out cold after being pushed into one of the pillars. And now, he was at a disadvantage as it was evident that his opponent wasn't wheezing from shortness of breath.

"You are a foolish old man." The mute finally spoke up.

"You have no honor, sir!"

"Honor? HONOR?! Yet you dare mock us?"

"How many times do we have to tell you that we're British and as a proper Englishman, I have to say it is you who is mocking us Britons."

"ENOUGH!" The alien roared as he began to lift a few pieces of debris, which the old veteranmiraculouslydodged.

"f*ck it!"

Meanwhile, the two Canadians attempted to shoot at the Sith, but the problem was that they might as well commit friendly fire.

"Man, they're fighting so fast that I can't get a clear shot!" Alex said.

"More like the old man is about to get himself killed." Hanzo noted just as a familiar voice yelled at the pair.

"Nilsson! McAllen!" It was their Sergeant and a few other survivors. "We're evacuating the temple! Come on!"

"Not without the general!" Hanzo was determined to not leave him behind.

"Don't you see that he's buying you time?" McHugh said in frustration. "The Yanks are here, but the temple is lost! We're going to take it back later."

"Well, reinforcements are nice and all, but we're not leaving him behind!"

"I had enough of these damn unhinged imprudent warlocks proselytizing their 'farce' and their sorcery! Suit yourself."

Serena groaned in pain as she woke up. The Twi'lek was unconscious but now she witnesses the Old Coot fighting at his utmost and he won't last wrong.

"How about you just die old man?"

"You never heard of the name Mad Jack." He panted. "But I'm a legend and as such, I won't die just yet."

'You really are pushing it, old man.'The Jedi prepared to force-push this Sith Lord as well and she waited for the exact moment to strike back against her attacker. The Sith Lord was about to cut down the Earthling General, but the Jedi wasn't going to allow the Dark Side user to cut down his foe. Reaching into the Force, the Twi'lek Jedi Master raised her arms and concentrated on bringing down a pillar on top of the Lord of the Sith. As he was currently distracted by his opponent, the Changarian didn't realize the danger he placed himself in until it was too late and the shortsightedness cost him.

"What the! Are you a crazy woman!? You're going to kill him!" Alex shouted, but the alien ignored him as she landed the pillar on top of their foe just as they heard a beep. Facing the direction of the sound, the earthlings and their Jedi ally saw an ugly, red-skinned critter with appendages sticking out of his chin.

"Lord Goh, we have...Oh? I do believe I'm in a bit of a tarry?"

"That's bloody right chap. How about you leave both Tython and merry old England alone?"

The hologram soon faded out. But the Canadian duo was disgusted at the Sith's elitist nature.

"Hey, lad!"

Hanzo spun around and saw that the old man was handing him something.

"You did well today." The Englishman nodded in approval. It was one of the laserswords and Nilsson didn't expect a gift from theMad Jackhimself.

"Umm...Thank you, sir." Hanzo even saw Serena smirking at him as the Canadian placed it into his pocket. "Under normal circ*mstances Han, I would've asked you've give that over. But, consider it a souvenir gift." She walked up to him and gave Hanzo a pat on his shoulder. "Come on, let's find the rest of your unit." Giving a nod, Hanzo walked in step with her out of the chamber.

Leaving a grinning Alex behind them as he followed along. "Knew you had a thing for Twi'leks Han, Ranna might just get a bit jealous."

Private First Class Jacob Gregory "Jake" Meyer - Fireteam Alpha, Second Squad, First Platoon, C/Charlie Company, Second Raider Battalion "Carlson's Raiders", Second Raider Regiment, Second Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, United States Marine Corps

Jedi Temple - Tython, Tython System, Deep Core, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:01:16 ATC/ Tuesday, July 1st, 1969 - 14:50/2:50 PM

"Surrender already Earth scum!"

Without a word, Jake fired hisUnited States Rifle, Caliber 7.62 mm, M14in response and shot the speaker's head clean off before ducking back down to pull a M26 from his pouch, pulled the pin, and the Hoosier simply rolled the grenade instead of throwing it. The Jarhead waited for the fragments to explode and as soon as he heard the explosion, Meyer rushed forward and prepared to use his M6 Bayonet. While the fact their officer's disintegrated cranium made a mess and having his brain matter on them was unnerving, seeing this lone United States Marine charging recklessly with nothing more than a knife-bayonet attached to his rifle was a frightening sight to the Imperial Troopers since bayonets were discarded from the last war. The conscripts, unsure what to do, began to panic as thelunaticbegan to charge.

"He's mad!"

"Retreat!"

'You better run.'He thought as he shot one of them in the back, seeing him fall and howling due to his spine being struck by the efficacious projectile before gradually dying as severing the spinal cord was mortal. Jake watched as other Marines rallied around him and the Americans began to surround the Imperials. Now they were outnumbered.

"Surrender or be shot!" A Captain from the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment ordered.

Some machine gunners with their M60s laid down prone and the sound of rifles co*cking should change the impostors' minds. If not, the enemy would be slaughtered in a kill zone and either way, it made the job easier for the Marines as they slowly cleared the building door by door. It was a long way from Hue, but the Jarheads were ready for urban combat. There were even some men from the Republic's 51st Assault Battalion who added laser guns to the mix, it was going to be a nightmare for the defeated foe.

Jake has to smile as he witnessed the idiots do something smart for once:

They raised their hands.

Lance Corporal John Issac McEnroe - Fireteam Charlie, First Squad, First Platoon, F/Fox Company, Second Battalion, Seventh Marine Regiment, First Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, United States Marine Corps

Jedi Temple - Tython, Tython System, Deep Core, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:01:16 ATC/ Tuesday, July 1st, 1969 - 15:00/3:00 PM

'It's a long way from Ooltewah, Tennessee.'The small-town Volunteer State native thought as John waited alongside his fellow Gyrenes outside the temple and clutched his rifle, waiting for the opportunity to pick off any adversaries foolish enough to emerge from the building once the non-lethal but undeniably irritating funes were introduced.

"Men! Everyone is evacuated and all relics are accounted for! One of every five go ahead and strap on the flamethrowers, prepare to deploy tear gas to smoke the bastards out, lob grenades into every window, you know the drill! Time to do some pest control in this nest infested with goosesteppers!"

"You heard the Major, Marines! Gasmasks on!"

McEnroe immediately set his rifle aside and placed on his M17 Protective Mask before retrieving his weapon and racking the bolt back, the nineteen year old E-3 knew that it was game-on and McEnroe watched as a 'Southie' from Boston with the surname of O'Riley hurled the CS canister into the windows of the building, the vapors filling up the inside hallways with irritating non-lethal fumes.

"Here they come!"

John waited until the first Imperial entered his sight picture before snapping off one round, exactly like a shooting gallery at a carnival as the gray fatigue-wearing Imps instinctively attempted to avoid the fumes only to rush into every individual Marine's sight picture, the Riflemen of the United States Marine Corps nailing the disordinated enemy soldiers one shot at a time and the terminal ballistics of 7.62x51mm NATO was no laughing matter as, for instance, it would not just go through the head and leave a clean exit wound but will instead blow and obliterate the larger chunk of the skull making it irrecognisable because of the high shock wave of this round and then there was what it did to the torso on impact with a large exit cavity to be expected but either way their spouse would become a widow as the chance of the targeted enemy combatant surviving a head wound or a chest wound with damaged critical organs from this caliber - even if it was one, lone, single shot - was zilch.

McEnroe watched as some Sith rushed out coughing, just as affected by the smoke and fumes as their subordinates, leaving only the enclosed armored Sith and Imperials inside to deal with.

"Good to know they can't withstand our smoke and Willie Pete." John remarked but his commentary went unheard as more of the disorientated enemy appeared, making it a turkey shoot.

"Frag out!"

John began firing from outside the building, not one Leatherneck dared enter even one of the structures to clear them out like the Jedi requested, instead having a steady walking pace with lead, shooting into anything made of concrete.

Ranks and files of Marines passed each part of the building, riddling bullets indiscriminately into each wall and pillar that had enemy troops inside with preset kill zones as the Imperials anticipated room-to-room fighting had instead unwittingly signed their own death warrants.

The next column used flamethrowers and White Phosphorus grenades to finish off any survivors remaining inside the buildings, the ruthless yet pragmatic approach was effective and efficient at ridding the enemy with little to no friendly casualties inflicted in return.

Satele Shan - Grandmaster of the Jedi Order

Tython, Tython System, Deep Core, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:01:16 ATC/ Tuesday, July 1st, 1969 - 15:15/3:15 PM

Satele watched the effort of retaking the temple from the Sith and their conscripts but she was now regretting giving sanction to their allies for the endeavor while the Jedi and Republic forces regroup for a counterattack.

"The damage is minimal thankfully, slug holes and scorch marks but to see the disregard for urban warfare, the willingness to bring down structures is admittedly concerning."

"At least they managed to secure the relics." Master Gnost-Dural sighed. "And they're also considering casualties as well."

As much as the Grandmaster hated to admit it, the approach was pragmatic even if it seemed reckless.

Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery - 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein and Commander of Her Majesty's Commonwealth Forces of the 'True British Empire'

Republic Forward Command Center - Tython, Tython System, Deep Core, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:01:16 ATC/ Tuesday, July 1st, 1969 - 15:15/3:15 PM

The Spartan General and Chesty met just outside the main HQ for the garrison. The duo were currently discussing how to best deal with the remaining enemy forces on the Jedi world of Tython

"Well, we got the situation in hand now. The bastards are running."

"Indeed. And the flyboys of the United States Air Force and my Marines are currently pounding them to shreds."

"Typical Yanks." He snorted "You have to ruin all the fun."

"You did enough today." The Marine declared with a grin. "We're relieving you and taking over."

"Why Bloody Hell you are!" Monty fired back. "I've already ordered General Churchill to lead the counterattack..."The Brit glanced down at his watch "About fifteen minutes ago I'll say. I believe you colonials have some catching up to do Puller."

"Smartass limeys." The Jarhead muttered. "I think we should throw down your beverages into the harbor again."

General John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming "Mad Jack" Churchill - British Army

07:01:16 ATC/ Tuesday, July 1st, 1969 - 15:00/3:00 PM

Mad Jack watched as he picked up his bagpipes. Bringing the piece to his mouth, the crazy, bloodthirsty Englishman played'The Campbells are Coming'as he led the remaining men of the First Commonwealth Division in a counterassault against the Empire.

Miles away, the Guard's Division began playing 'The Grenadiers March' and it truly was a spectacle to see as their foe retreated right before the Briton's eyes. The weary Imps had enough and as such, the forces of the Sith Empire began to pull back.

But, overall, it was a victory for the United Kingdom as the Brits managed to show the impostors why Britannia weren't mice but rather Lions that roared.

Chapter 14: Consequences

Chapter Text

Walter Leland Cronkite, Junior - CBS News

CBS Broadcast Center - 524 West 57th Street, Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

07:02:16 ATC/ Wednesday, July 2nd, 1969 - 18:00/6:00 PM

"Good evening America."

Although the Fourth of July was commemorated yearly as a holiday and was commonly celebrated as more of a weekend instead of a single day, throughout the United States of America there were hardly any fireworks for this Independence Day with the gunpowder needed for the war effort and the manufacturers were instead producing munitions but it was a sacrifice that the American public could endure as they were engaged in a third war of independence, with the American Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 being the first and second of course but still millions of viewers in the United States tuned in to watch the special report from CBS regarding the war effort with dread. Many Americans and Earthlings, in general, knew that the Sith Empire was a technologically advanced civilization. Thoughts of disaster rang throughout the living rooms across the land, yet they were in for a surprise.

"I can hereby report that we have dealt two strategic blows against the Empire with relatively light casualties."

Walter took off his glasses and wiped away the sweat from his forehead before putting his spectacles back on. "Even our Republic allies were amazed at our might against the Imperial onslaught and quoting Supreme Chancellor Saresh'Your people have the gratitude of the Republic'."

Footage of Imperial prisoners and scenes of battle played out in the households courtesy of Uncle Sam. The citizens watched as American Marines and paratroopers captured a formidable fortress and witnessed the armored columns duking it out with their Imperial counterparts. There were even a few dogfights here and there with the alien craft dropping like flies as they attempted to avoid the F-105 Thunderchiefs and F-110 Spectres.

"Of course, there are still dead and injured amongst our troops over there, but the Empire has taken heavy losses on Korriban and Tython...Please keep our boys in mind as they fight for our liberty and independence. God Bless America and this is Cronkite signing off."

Natthrrya Therin-Palatine - Darth Avarice / Empire's Wrath

I.N.S. Accuser - BSX-5 Dreadnought

07:02:16 ATC/ Wednesday, July 2nd, 1969 - 18:00/6:00 PM

"Master, are you alright?" Jaesa asked.

The two Sith were in Nathrrya's quarters aboard the Accuser. The older woman stood, arms folded across her chest looking out the viewport. She'd been like this for the past half hour.

"Nat?" Jaesa sounded worried.

The senior Sith turned to face her apprentice and friend. "Just thinking. I've got a meeting with the Dark Council to attend; it's not going to be pleasant."

"Nothing about what happened is pleasant. I can't believe the Earthlings could be so... barbaric." The younger woman said. She'd seen the evidence but didn't want to believe it.

Nathrrya sighed. "That's war, Jaesa." What she saw took place there was no stranger to their war and even Nat will admit the atrocities committed by the Soviets had been done the same before by the Empire even when it's something she was disgusted with herself. "I'm going to recommend to the Council that from now on when the Empire encounters Warsaw Pact forces we wipe them out to the last man, Korriban will not be forgotten. They shall reap what they have sown. As for the N.A.T.O. forces they have honor and will be taken prisoner and treated accordingly to the Earthlings' Convention on POWs."

Jaesa nodded in understanding but the Sith apprentice knew that it would not be without controversy. "The Council won't like that."

"No, but it's clear we're dealing with two very different military organizations even if they do come from the same planet and there are others of course but we should treat them accordingly." Nathrrya massaged her forehead. "Then we've got their tactics to deal with."

"Some of the galaxy has been fighting using the same basic tactics for thousands of years." Jaesa said, frowning.

"I know, and that's the problem. The Republic and Empire become so focused on each other in our war that we've allowed ourselves to be stretched thinner with the more we keep destroying ourselves. We only have a doctrine specifically tailored for fighting the Pubs and it is not necessarily adaptable for third parties." Nathrrya replied though while the definition of third parties was broad as pirates and other criminals if encountered were usually killed on sight anyways, it was specifically the fact that the Empire's conventional doctrine was exclusively devised for their ancient enemy, something ingrained in the minds of every Imperial since Grand Moff Odile Vaiken was commissioned to form their forces as part of the revenge plotted for centuries since the aftermath of the Great Hyperspace War. "The scary part is that Earth once fought their wars similar to us but they have evolved and the way they wage war is so vastly different. If the Empire wants to survive we have to adapt to dealing with the Republic's newfound allies while still dealing with our ancient enemies."

Both Sith women looked at each other with equally somber expressions. The Dark Council would undeniably not like that, no less the usual reasonable Vowrawn as production and logistics could not be changed overnight. Nor much of the Wrath's other findings.

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - Fireteam Alpha, Second Squad, First Platoon, C/Charlie Company, Second Raider Battalion "Carlson's Raiders", Second Raider Regiment, Second Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, United States Marine Corps

R.N.S. Tranquility - Valor -class Cruiser

07:02:16 ATC/ Wednesday, July 2nd, 1969 - 18:00/6:00 PM

"Yo Jake!" Corporal Jackson Cartwright shouted. "You want to join in, birthday boy!?"

Meyer was in the barracks onboard theIntegritycleaning his M14 Service Rifle and many of his comrades were out celebrating the victories over Imperial forces not just once but twice at Korriban and Tython. It was strange how two sacred worlds were attacked in the same week, but the archconservative Hoosier shrugged it off as just a mere coincidence.

"Nah, I'm good there man." The Hoosier smiled. "We can't have our Sergeant gripe after noticing that our weapons are still dirty from sand now, especially if Ike himself is inspecting us later."

"Oh, come on."

"Usually I would but inspections don't wait for birthdays." The Hoosier countered, not that he didn't want to hang out with the guys but the former MOS 2111 Small Arms Repairman in the Marine Forces Reserve until laterally transferring to the regular Marine Corps and being retrained as a Military Policeman, the grandson of a gun store owner, not to mention a competitive rifleman as well as an ardent hunter and woodsman knew the fundamental importance of keeping weapons clean and functioning and in the military of course also presentable as well in addition to being well-maintained.

"I suppose you're right, Jake." Jackson sighed as he raised a fair point. "I'll see you later."

The farmboy gave the New Yorker a mock salute as he scrubbed his rifle in an attempt to get rid of the stubborn red sand.

'This is going to take a while.'He thought. Placing the firearm off to the side, Meyer decided to take a break. Getting up from the locker that he was sitting on, Jake opened the chest up and retrieved a photograph. On one side was Jake himself in the standard-issued dark forest green service uniform and next to the Marine was a redheaded, slightly tanned Republic trooper wearing her equivalent. Or at least he thought she was a part of the Republic Military at the time. Flipping the picture over, Jake begins to read the distinctive 'High Galactic alphabet' handwriting:

Larel,

I still have six months left in my enlistment and I have to say that Earth is truly unique in the galaxy.

This world is like no other and I would enjoy spending the rest of my days here on this planet with you by my side.

I have learned to love this land dearest and I hope that you loverboy can show me why I have made the correct choice.

You are my one and only Jake and I don't want you to change.

Be well, my beloved.

Love, Sara

'And even now I'm still unsure what to think.'

Second Lieutenant Paul Baltasar Meyer - Third Platoon, D/ Delta Company, Second Battalion, 324th Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, XVIII Airborne Corps, United States Army

R.N.S. Tranquility - Valor -class Cruiser

07:02:16 ATC/ Wednesday, July 2nd, 1969 - 19:00/7:00 PM

Paul still couldn't believe it. The paratrooper who survived Husky and Market Garden, the man who had dropped into Normandy, and the soldier who had held the line at the Bulge were denying that the recent victories were this easy, yet they were.

Still, the 82nd Airborne Division had lost an eighth of its men, but proportionately, the Empire suffered worse. A combination of surprise and arrogance along with luck and the ridiculousness of some tactics from the enemy had carried out the day in their favor.

'But at what cost?'Paul thought to himself.'The Empire will not forget that we were on that sacred ground of theirs.'

As the Lieutenant pondered, there was a knock on the door.

"Come in."

It was his eldest son Jake. Smiling, the soldier stopped working on the after-action reports and focused all his attention on his firstborn.

"Hey, Dad."

"That'ssirto you, Jarhead." Paul deadpanned to the Leatherneck as he poured some coffee into a mug.

"You want any,sir?"

"Actually, some joe does sound nice." He admitted before regretting his previous order. "And never mind about the sir business."

"Yes, sir." The Marine declared with a cheeky grin, to which the army officer groaned as Jake handed him his cup of steaming hot liquid. "Your usual. Two creams, two sugars."

"Thanks."

Although today was his son's birthday of all days, there was a moment of silence between father and son as neither of them spoke until Jake brought up a subject.

"So I guess we had a surprise back on Korriban in the form of Sara."

"I guess so..." Paul confessed. The paratrooper and his wife Rebecca initially thought that Kelrein was an excellent match for Jake yet when the truth came out, betrayal was a total understatement. Becky wasdevastatedafter the news was revealed since theCorellianwas a good friend to her. However, the Lieutenant wasn't completely sure if they were used even though Jake was thoroughly interrogated by the G-Men over the incident that occurred at the United Nations building.

Jake shook his head. "Well, regardless if she holds regrets or not, I hope that Harkun is rotting in Hell. No one should be choked like she was."

"That we can agree on." Paul said with bitterness. "If he's an example of what the Sith are like, then they should be put down like the disgusting pigs they are. I can't believe that a supposedly advancedcivilizationis utterly barbaric and openly practices slavery."

Two Days earlier...

Paul gazed at the aliens behind the energy barrier, discerning that they were of various species yet they also all had one thing in common:

They were slaves.

The mixed group of paratroopers and Jarheads had captured the complex hours earlier but this energy shield should have been taken down after the main generator was knocked out. However, Intel was right on this one too since it seemed like the Empire feared internal revolts more than the Republic, which explains the idiotic defense system and one which the Earthlings have exploited yet regardless of their engineering Paul felt sick as staring in front of him was a barbarity that back home Brazil only abolished on May 13th, 1888 and it was still being practiced in some nations such as South Yemen, Oman, and Mauritania.

"Should we free them?" One of his men asked as the forced laborers grabbed their attention.

"Please! I was a soldier in the Republic Army!" One of the Zabraks, if Paul remembered the name of the sentient species correctly, declared.

The Lieutenant made a choice. "Damn right we are freeing them!" If he was telling the truth, then that meant that this was the fate of the Empire's prisoners of war.

Paul watched as his son Jake, Sam, and a few others assisted the former captives in making a break for it. The same Zabrak that called out to him moments ago approached the American officer and saluted.

"Sir! I'm Corporal Anvo Wod, 81st Assault Regiment, Republic Army."

"Second Lieutenant Paul Meyer, United States Army." Paul stated as he pulled out his sidearm and racked the slide before handing it to Wod. "Here's something you can use until you find yourself a rifle."

"A slugthrower?" The extraterrestrial questioned curiously as he pulled out the magazine.

"Extremely effective against both Imps and Sith." Paul smirked. "Even if there's only seven rounds."

"If you say so, it's better than nothing and I won't refuse a weapon all the same…"

Present…

"Well, at least we know that the Republic wasn't exaggerating." Jake is determined. "I would have thought that theirsubjectswould have overthrown their Sith overlords by now since even the Imperial military outnumbers them."

"Not to mention their naval ships." Paul agreed. "Nothing about this galaxy makes sense."

"Yeah..." His son trails. "Tell me about it. It seems like we have Space Magicians fighting over this 'Lightside/Darkside, keep this Force in balance' nonsense"

'We can all agree on that as well.'Paul thought before speaking up. "Well kiddo, I got to finish working on my paperwork."

"Talk to you later, Dad."

'Space Magicians.'Paul snorted.'That preciousFarce of theirscan kiss my ass.'

Sergeant Samuel David "Sam" Westbrook - First Squad, Third Platoon, D/Delta Company, Second Battalion, 324th Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, XVIII Airborne Corps, United States Army

R.N.S. Tranquility - Valor -class Cruiser

07:02:16 ATC/ Wednesday, July 2nd, 1969 - 20:00/8:00 PM

Sam watched as 'Ike' himself stepped right in front of him! The paratrooper and his comrades along with the other multinational contingents aboard theIntegritywatched as the supervisor of the Coalesced Forces from Earth inspected the troops while orderlies as well as reporters from Planet Earth and across the Galactic Republic alike followed the legend like bees to honey.

"How are you doing, son?" The famed General asked.

"I'm doing well, sir!" Westbrook declared. "The boys and I are ready to push the thaumaturges and their boorish hirelings back to the outskirts of Kaas City itself!"

Eisenhower smirked at the Sergeant's enthusiasm. "A bit confident, I see?" He questioned rhetorically as the man stopped his inspection to face every one of his men directly.

"Gentlemen, for the past week we have learned a valuable lesson. ThemightySith Empire had utilized tactics not seen since early in the Great War when the Germans in 1914 marched across Belgium. The Imperial Army has recklessly attacked our men in two engagements but the enemy has been repelled."

The man who has gone down in history as the figurehead of the Western Allies in the European Theater of Operations and oversaw the breakthrough from the West came to a halt with his pacing for a moment to stare at every soldier, sailor, airman, and Marine in the eyes, perhaps even their soul.

"Their aircraft are subsonic and the only significant threat they have are their warships and a few armored vehicles, yet these walkers of theirs-and our allies of the Republics I'll admit- are of a flawed design that can be countered. Even thesemagiciansof the Sith Order are no match against our firepower since they need to get up close and personal to engage us."

The men knew in their minds that the Sith weren't to be underestimated, yet they still could be killed and the Earthlings had thoughts of various ways to kill them after the two encounters with the wizards.

"If the Imps desire to conquer our world, I say we'll show their overlords of the Dark Council that they have chosen thewrongenemy and they shall be granted even more black eyes in the days to comeiftheir mindless drones continue to operate the way they currently do on the frontlines."

Dwight waited for the information to sink in before finishing his impromptu speech.

"Today the totalitarian regime known to the galaxy as the 'pathetic Sith Empire' shall tremble in fear as the armies of a lone world, an all-powerful ant, will crush the bully and drive the nail into the hearts and minds of every Imperial citizen. We will crush any and all Imperial resistance before us, and as a result, Earth will remain free."

Dark Council Chamber - The Imperial Citadel, Kaas City, Dromund Kaas, Dromund System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

07:02:16 ATC/ Wednesday, July 2nd, 1969 - 20:15/8:15 PM

Darth Marr and his peers along with the Wrath and the Minister of Intelligence watched the live speech that was being transmitted across the Holonet, one by this 'Dwight Eisenhower' who was the head of this 'Coalesced Forces from Earth', more like a disunited body whose only commonality was because they presently shared the same enemy and it was an obvious weakness which could be exploited.

"Today the totalitarian regime known to the galaxy as the 'pathetic Sith Empire' shall tremble in fear as the armies of a lone world, an all-powerful ant, will crush the bully and drive the nail into the hearts and minds of every Imperial citizen. We will crush any and all Imperial resistance before us, and as a result, Earth will remain free."

But it was not the only address that had infuriated the Dark Council as there was another articulated by this 'Winston Churchill' only two days previously on the Holonet, concurrent with the incursion on the sacred world of Korriban, and they couldn't refrain from watching it again as the fact that this society exist was confounding to them.

"Good evening, at this very hour, our fighting men in lockstep with our allies from here and those abroad have commenced an operation against our unprecedented common enemy… Although little is still known of the extent of their galaxy, the mores of the Galactic Republic, and of those independent worlds, we are still embroiled in a grand confrontation against not an alien adversary but rather a familiar enemy, one who dares burlesque us and had evolved into an amalgamation of our society with those of old Hitler's …It is truly most unfortunate how this peculiarity has transpired, why this travesty has arisen in a land of uncouth barbarians yet despite this enigma it is not a quandary as our response is and ought to remain the same: Never surrender. We must never surrender! Nevermore, I say, nevermore! We must oppose this Nazistic yoke and aid in the liberation of tyrannized civilizations! The men who had perished on the shores of Dunkirk and Normandy must know that their sacrifices were not in vain and under the phenomenal leadership of General Eisenhower, a man who had administered our forces to victory against the Third Reich I express confidence that we shall perpetuate our resolve and that this Sith Empire, these Dark Lords shall tremble before us whilst we shine the light as 'Britons never will be slaves'!"

"Why the audacity! The insolence of that short, paunchy cigar-smoking Dianoga!" Darth Nox vociferated. "That Earthling has got some nerve to declare that he and hisimitatorsare more civilized than us!"

Darth Marr ignored the woman and her understandable rant at this 'Winston Churchill' but even he wasincensedthat Korriban was raided by not just the Republic but the forces of Earth as well. Obviously, there has been a leak somewhere but that matter can wait as the de facto ruler of the Empire turned his attention to Arkous's blonde advisor.

"Lord Beniko, is there anything you wish to report?"

The towhead instantly stepped forward to outline what she had found out. "Apparently, Earth has sent some of their finest strategists to Korriban." Lana Beniko declared as she typed away. Three images popped up and the woman began outlining her summary. "My lords, the individual to your left is Dwight Eisenhower. He was born and raised in America and has led combined arms against the forces of Germany during Earth's Second World War and also served two terms as the American head of state."

Each council member glanced at one another since they'd researched the history of Earth months earlier. The similarities between the planet's conflicts and those of this galaxy were just toocoincidentalto ignore, yet they haven't learned quite enough.

"The individual in the center is Ivan Konev." Beniko's eyes went from amber to red as thoughts of the destruction caused by thismonsterconsumed her.

The reports of the Soviets ransacking Korriban wereunexpectedto say the least, but rage wasboilingthroughout the room.

Lana exhaled deeply as she moved on to the final subject of her presentation. "And finally, the men to your right are Gotthard Heinrici and Franz Bäke, both 'Germans' with Heinrici noted as an expert in defensive warfare while Bäke is a 'tank ace'. Bäke was also responsible for killing Rakton in a duel."

News of their top general's death has spread like wildfire throughout the Empire and the Dark Council felt the loss, but he will beavengedjust like the desecration of Korriban by the interlopers!

"Clearly they all pose a significant threat." Darth Marr is determined. "Have the Ciphers on standby to assassinate them when the opportunity presents itself."

'All of them?'Avarice thought as she waited for her turn.

"As you wish, my lord."

As on cue, it was Nat's turn to face the council and Lana gave her a look of sympathy as her friend left the room to plan the assassination attempts on the enemy's leadership. But Nathrrya had a feeling that the men would not be killed easily depending upon the exact precautions taken.

"Lord Avarice." Darth Nox began. "Apparently you have disregarded orders to invade Earth and instead you've decided to reinforce Korriban. Do you care to explain yourself?"

'Dammit Nox!'Her rival literally hated her guts, but Nat was prepared to defend herself. "I've received a distress call from Tremel."

"And?"

'What are you kriffing on?!'Nat had enough and she snapped. "Listen Nox! Korriban was under assault and the homeworld is more important than conquering a peaceful planet that has done no harm to the Empire other than to just exist because a race of humans weren't connected to the Force!?"

Realization struck the room as a thought occurred to one of the councilmen regarding what Avarice was hinting at.

"Perhaps that is why the Earthlings struck? To send us a message on how much they value their world?"

"Are you mad!" Ravage shouted at Vowrawn. "You may be a Pureblood, but you are betraying your heritage."

"ENOUGH!" Darth Marr roared, silencing the two. "Bickering amongst ourselves is not going to solve the matter. We have a new enemy and we must deal with them."

'This is going to take a while.'The Wrath thought as the Council began to argue amongst themselves.

_
"Nat? Can I speak to you for a minute?"

"Sure, Lana."

"Look, I believe that Korriban and Tython are more than just a coincidence and something is off. I'm going to meet a contact in Manaan."

'Agent Shan.'Avarice quickly determined. "Just let me know if you need backup."

"Thanks...But I already got that taken care of."

Corporal Hanzo Nilsson- - Weapons Section, Second Platoon, Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia Light Infantry, 1st Commonwealth Division

Carrick Station - Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:02:16 ATC/ Wednesday, July 2nd, 1969 - 20:15/8:15 PM

"Whoa, the Pubs weren't exaggerating, eh?"

Hanzo and his friend Alex were granted leave and the Canadians were offered a chance to experience something that they may likely only see once in their lives, namely visiting this 'Carrick Station'.

"No, they weren't." Hanzo replied as he and Alex made their way through the pathways that lead to divergent spots of activity from bars and cafeterias to kiosks and arcades but all around them was just something new for the Earthling.

Whatever it was the various exotic and unique aliens they saw moving by them in crowds, or the bright shining lights displaying advertisers, taking note of a cantina making up the center of this area and what appeared to be an elevator lift leading up to what Hanzo could only assume was a VIP room and glancing around Hanzo noticed what appeared to be lockers on each side of the stairways and observed a Weeguay Jedi in traditional robes taking out items that were being handled over to who he surmised was the Jedi's Padawan, a young Mon Calamari judging by his shorter height and youthful features.

Hanzo then felt a tap on his shoulder and recognized that it was Alex. "Let's head down to the supply trade there, we might find something interesting." Alex reasoned as he pointed down to their left which led to a separate stairway. Hanzo knew that Alex, although he did hold differences of opinion with his friend regarding the galaxy, also couldn't help but admire the exotic, anything and everything from new items to new worlds to learn, even amid a whole Galactic War and Alex's curiosity about the unknown intrigued him. "Sure, we might as well use the credits we got." After being granted leave they were given the particular currency in the galaxy known as'Credits'as dollars weren't going to be acceptable within the galactic scale until an exchange rate was properly sorted out.

The duo watched as Republic troops, freight haulers, mercenaries, Jedi, merchants, and whoever else happened to be on the station wandered about and talked to various merchants regarding their wares, servicemen and mercenaries were drinking away at the available tables, and longshoremen who were unloading cargo from space freighters.

As Hanzo listened to some of the ongoing conversations he mentally took notes of languages he overheard - some indecipherable and others being similar to the ones he had now come to know.'There are things to learn and it should be interesting.'Although his stay was unfortunately short and he arrived to the galaxy only recently, Hanzo's time on Tython had opened him to new knowledge in his curiosity of the galaxy, whatever it was to try to understand the Force or pick up languages just in case if needed. It was a hobby of his and one that he felt helped him in the long run.

They turned to their right and made their way down the stairs that led two separate ways and in the middle was an elevator but the duo stopped after spotting a large floating device with some kind of glass sphere that projected a hologram of what appeared to be a news channel giving out reports but Hanzo frowned as he overheard the reporters mentioning Korriban and what the Soviets did. "Of course, the f*cking Reds would go that far. The Imps have done terrible things, but I don't want to imagine what the Soviets did in depth." Alexander muttered beside him as he glared at a very clearly fellow Earthling in a gray and black suit talking to the galactic news people, they didn't recognize who he was but the Canadians could tell by the accent that he was definitely from one of the Eastern Bloc nations and he was 'justifying' the atrocities inflicted upon the Sith by the Soviets and the member-nations of the Warsaw Pact, his tone was self-centered and he tried to divert the matter.
The two soldiers chose to keep on walking, not wanting to keep listening to the Communist pencil-pusher who kept rambling on and caused some Republic troopers to wince.

"Well, that sorta killed my mood."

Hanzo nodded in agreement and they walked down into a new section that contained several shops where they decided to look at the displayed merchandise such as weapons or armor with their mods and something caught Hanzo's eye as he looked up from the TT-16A Powered Assault armor set, more like who.

Walking around the various kiosks displaying their wares was a gray and black female catlike alien, a Cathar, he recognized the name of the species from those he had talked to back on Tython who were Jedi but this one was a Republic soldier, one who was wearing armor painted in brown and white. He noted her quite beautiful, soft yet defined features, noting what appeared to be black markings running down from her eyes, or perhaps they were also possessed stunning green catlike eyes and kept her black hair in a ponytail, not to mention tall as she stood at least six feet he wagered, certainly standing taller than him and even his friend Alex.

Needless to say, Hanzo couldn't help but to admire her curvaceous figure with wide and round hips, and the Cathar had an athleticism that maintained it.

'Someone's certainly keeping in shape.'He thought to himself while the woman browsed over some items and Hanzo had the feeling that this woman could give one hell of a kick judging from her well-formed legs.

But there was something that drew Hanzo to her. It was those light green cat-like eyes that got his attention as they were not only stunning, he also saw in them… It was the same thing he sees when he looks at himself in the mirror.'She has seen war alright.'The things he could still remember from Vietnam. There had been so much blood and death as he thought back to the day, the ambush that resulted in the death of most of his platoon. Looking into her eyes, he could see they were hardened eyes from war, the same as many other veterans after coming back home only to find themselves having a hard time adjusting yet he could only guess what she had seen and endured. He tried shrugging it off, but his actions did not go unnoticed.

"So Hanzo?" Alex smirked in amusem*nt as he withdrew the cigarette from his mouth. "I assume that you are being smitten by that kitten over there?" He then blew out smoke, the smell making Hanzo grimace in distaste.

"You're overthinking things, Alex. And quit f*cking blowing that sh*t at my face." While no stranger to smoking himself, he loathed cigarettes and he disliked the smell alone. Though much to his cringe, he could feel redness on his cheeks that told McAllen all he needed to know. 'Thank God the boys from the 'Platoon' aren't here to see this.'The thought of it made him more glad now as he thought back to some in particular.

"Right." Alex simpered as the feline finally noticed her admirer, her eyes locking onto Hanzo's hazel-green eyes. For a moment Hanzo thought of breaking off, not wanting to appear like a creep, but for what reasons beyond him, he couldn't bring himself to and the look she was giving him was not hostility but that of curiosity. Alex noticed that there were a couple of other Republic troopers beside her and they seemed to notice that their feline friend was looking at Hanzo.

Finally, after what seemed like minutes, she made the first move and sauntered towards them, with each step she took her hips almost swayed and Alexander noticed a few of her companions were chuckling while they made what appeared to be an exchange of credits. 'Huh, wonder if I can get in on any of that action.'Alex thought as the cat gracefully approached the two brothers in arms.

Lieutenant Marala Jorgo - SpecForce Squad 149 "Chaos Squad", Special Forces Division, Republic Army

Hutt Bazaar-Carrick Station, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:02:16 ATC/ Wednesday, July 2nd, 1969 - 20:15/8:15 PM

"And so that's why Chaos Squad is second to only Havoc Squad itself. We might not get much as credit or recognition as they do but we've been deployed on missions they don't get assigned to with our skillset. " Major Lane proudly declared to the two women in her squad.

Marala was with two of her comrades -her CO Jessie and - on a shopping spree as the officer put it. The recent addition and first alien to the unit replaced a member who had turned out to be an Imperial spy.

Corporal Kelrein wasdefinitelystill a sore subject for the others since from what the Cathar had heard, the redhead was the last person anyone would expect to be an Imp.'How many of their infiltrators and sleeper agents are truly hidden among us?'Marala frowned with her thoughts, it seemed with the more this war continued, the more of the ugly truth underneath was starting to reveal itself.

She shook her head and focused back on the item that caught her interest. "So how much for the G-56 Projection-X Carbine?" Jorgo inquired as the Cathar soldier inspected the blaster carbine in question, testing its weight and aiming at a predetermined point in the ceiling through the optic. It felt comfortable in her hands and the butt of the carbine didn't bother her grip with the 'length of pull' being perfect as she did not have to shorten or increase the buttpad. Overall she did like the blaster rifle with her only complaint being the fact that the scope was meant more for sniping out to four hundred fifty meters yet the optical sight itself was fine as there were some features she liked such as automatically displaying the range inside as she adjusted it and not needing to glance at the dial before requisitioning her target but in her opinion it would not do for close quarters combat as even at the minimum magnification of ten power with its narrow field of vision it would obscure targets to the left or to the right at close range, a situation where a holographic optic would be more suitable. She also idly thought about adding a bayonet to the carbine but the main change would be the optic.

"How much does it cost?" Marala asked the shopkeeper.

"About five hundred credits, ma'am." The Bothan replied.

"You think that's a little cheap?" Enilly Kovo asked in her Alderaanian accent as she was suspicious as to why the dealer was offering an obviously expensive blaster and it should cost at least one thousand and a half credits easily.

But Marala turned to face the squad's fair-skinned and blue-eyed blonde demolition expert who mostly kept her hair in a ponytail, had a tattoo of the squad's symbol on her neck, and was wearing her customized TH-15A Patrol armor, to reassure the Specialist that it may be legit.

"Trust me." The Cathar responded. "I know a good bargain when I see it."

Jorgo's two comrades shrugged and allowed their sister-in-arms to make the purchase, handed over the credits, and placed the weapon onto her back, hearing the click as the carbine was locked in place. But as she turned around, something caught the Cathar's eyes.

More like someone as she spotted the pair of greenish-hazel eyes and it took a moment for her to focus but she noticed that the irises belonged to what she recognized to be an Earthling in his green military uniform, staring at her in what she could only describe as curiosity and a bit of interest judging from the way he suddenly blushed after hearing what his friend next to him said.

"Is it just me Kovo or does Jorgo have her eyes set on an Earthling?"

The Cathar's cheeks darkened a bit as she overheard her two comrades notice herdistraction, coming from behind her and looking over to the Earthlings she was watching.

"I don't know, you ain't smitten with him already are you?" Jessie said as she looked at her admirer, her silver eyes oddly lit up a little as Jessie took in the features that Marala was noticing herself about him and it was now Kovo glancing over at her superior with curiosity. "Are you getting interested yourself, Major?" Her eyes went to Enilly and though there was no hostility, it was a look that made Enilly bring her hands in mock surrender. "Hey, I don't blame you, I can see he's attractive, intense but attractive." Jessie didn't say anything in reply but her eyes did drift back to gaze at the Earthling, tracing down in noting his build, Emily had to hold in her urge to comment on the Major's behavior.

"And, you deserve some R&R Marala. I won't be opposed to getting to know his friend there." Enilly's own eyes went to the other Earthling standing near the one they had been eying and a small grin formed on her face.

Marala ignored them and decided to have her curiosity answered, approaching the man that had taken her interest. As she got closer she was able to make out more details about him, while she would be among the first to admit that he was no supermodel or anything, he was still handsome in her eyes, or to what she could tell with humans. He had fair beige skin and was clean-shaven but she could imagine him having a small beard that was thinly haired. There was also a long facial structure and a strong jawline with a bit of narrowness, taking note of his short straight black hair that looked well kept with the way it was combed to the side.

But what drew her attention was what she saw in his green hazel eyes and his stance, how he was almost ready to move at any minute at the first sign of trouble, his wide shoulders pulled back and she believed that he held a guarded presence about him but it didn't deter her curiosity. She was surprised to discern what appeared to be a lightsaber scar on his left eye, 'Looks fresh too.'He must've been one of the soldiers involved in what happened either on Korriban or Tython from what she had heard.

What she saw in those eyes… They were exactly what she had seen in many soldiers in this damned war. So many lost souls who have seen things that others haven't and they were alone in those struggles most of the time.

It reminded her too much of the things she preferred to keep buried in the past, the memories of the burning of her home and slaughter of her family when the Empire had come to her world years ago.

Shaking out of her thoughts and the memories, Marala in her distraction had come a bit closer than she had intended as she met her 'admirer', coming a few feet away from him so that she could have a better look. Noting that he and his friend seemed to be of different races as she noted with humans, his friend had a look that reminded her of a Corellian, or a Balmorran with his brown hair and eyes. Though she couldn't quite pin the man's race in front of her, Marala found herself surprised to see he was younger than she expected.

'He must be in his early twenties at the least.'She thought to herself. Making him at least three years younger than her, though it did nothing to discourage her curiosity. "Couldn't help but notice that you 'vere' giving me the looks there. My name is Marala Jorgo. Yours?" Her mixed Cathar/Coruscanti accent appeared to have caught their attention judging from the slightly surprised expression on their face.

"This is Hanzo. But we sometimes call him Han." The man beside him said. "I'm Alexander. But you can call me Alex."

"Nice to meet you." She gazed at the uniform and noticed the distinct accent. It sounded similar to a typical Republic dialect, yet it was somewhat distinctive at the same time. "You're from Earth, yes?" Her eyes drifted back to Hanzo. He had yet to speak, appearing to prefer to let his friend do the talking.

In fact, much to her amusem*nt he almost appeared to be shy but met her face up and gave her a polite smile with a nod, to which she returned with a smile as their eyes locked with each other. 'Hmm, he doesn't want to appear like a creep I guess. Seems alright though.'She was fine with quiet types, it was something she shared in common.

And oh did she like his smile.

"Specifically Canada. I'm from Grovedale, Alberta." Alex pointed out while Hanzo answered for himself, Marala was surprised a bit that he had a deeper voice than she expected, but found herself liking it. "Vancouver Island in beautiful British Columbia is where I call home." Marala would have to remember to check about that for her curiosity's sake.

"Hmm…" It was Kovo who came right beside her, eyeing Alex up. "Isn't that the country of beavers, mounties, mooses, and maple?"

Alex sighed in exasperation as unexpectedly the fair maiden referenced some stereotypes regarding their nation. "Yes, we have all of that, but we're not obsessive about it. And we all don't say 'Eh' after each sentence." That pet peeve, 'eh', still got on Alex's nerves every time there were Americans or any others who expected him to say 'eh' all the time. Alex then turned to his friend with clear annoyance on his face. "It seems like the Pubs have already learned about the stereotypes… Sorry, ladies." Hanzo suspected it was their'friends' to the south that were likely spreading the stereotypes.

"Not to mention the damn geese." Hanzo muttered in thinking of the dreaded angry birds that left no one alone and he remembered Private Aaron back with the unit who was last complaining about geese attacking him before their deployment out on that fateful day in '66. By his claims, the geese was able to sneak aboard the transport and caused trouble while loose on a Republic ship.

The two men watched as Kovo giggled a little while Marala grinned a little, revealing her white sharp teeth. Hanzo was about to say something before he noticed something red caught his eye, glancing over their shoulder and see's whom he assumed was their CO judging her authority stance, watching them with interest. Realizing why she seemed a bit familiar, he recognized her as Major Lane from when he saw her in the news.

She looked even more stunning up close, with chalk-pale skin yet not the unhealthy pallor, sharp silver eyes, a scar not dissimilar of his own being one across her nose, and long red hair with one side shaved off, reminding him somewhat of similar haircuts he'd seen in the military yet different, while the other side was long and passed her left shoulder, and her expression told him she didn't smile or laugh often.

That was alright, neither did he.'So women in their military are permitted to fight?'Hanzo didn't blink an eye about having women in the military as he was far more concerned if they were capable of performing their duties, having met his share of them in his service in Vietnam and of course his encounters against Viet Cong women. But to see the mass diversity within the Republic military or that of the Imperials was intriguing. As far as he was concerned, he saw no reason for them to be dismissed if they've already proven capable on the battlefield.

Not after seeing many in action back on Tython as he recalled back to the battle what he saw. He would welcome anyone who wished to fight and who could handle it and the look he saw in her stunning yet cold silver eyes and the scar across the bridge of her nose only told him the kind of soldier he was seeing before him.

He was more than impressed. Though that was not to say he was supportive towards certain feminist groups back home such as those to adhere to Valerie Solanas and her infamousSCUM Manifesto.

Alex, on the other hand, recognized the Major from the incident. 'The thought of having a comrade and subordinate you trusted for years must have hit her hard.'McAllen thought. If her cold expression was anything to go, it was probably best not to piss her off.

"So boys?" Enilly questioned. "How would you like to head to the cantina? Drinks are on us."

Khom*o Fett - Leader of Clan Fett, Mandalorians

Concord Dawn, Mandalorian Space, "The Galaxy"

07:02:16 ATC/ Wednesday, July 2nd, 1969 - 20:15/8:15 PM

Khom*o still couldn't believe that some of his finest warriors were bested by overwhelming numbers. The Mandalorian has found out that the soldiers he and his clan faced were the Soviets of Russia.

The head of Clan Fett was still denying that he made a crucial error and was adamant that fifty of his finest warriors were enough to take on the opposition, yet he had underestimated the determination of their foe.

Even though it wasn't exactly open, a few clansmen were giving Khom*o disappointed looks as if his people lost faith in his abilities to lead and he already made examples out of a few warriors who thought it was a good idea to challenge him but like others before them Khom*o showed the upstarts why he was the Clan Leader.

But the day was coming when the Soviets would face the wrath of Clan Fett and their allies as no one will insult the honor of the Mando'ade and word was spreading to Mandalorians across the galaxy, that there was a new and powerful foe, one that has even captured the attention of Mandalore the Vindicated once word had reached his ears and if Khom*o was right, the Mand'alor was about to call upon the clans about this new foe or even declare Akaan'gaan and seek them out for battle, but that was mostly with the other clans, Mand'alor had something different in mind.

If they were determined to stop fifty warriors of Clan Fett, then what would they do against thousands or even millions if Mand'alor placed the Clans against them?

Either way, Khom*o was determined to regain his honor for himself and his Clan. The best way was to engage the so-called Commies by seeking them out. "Still steaming Ba'vodu? You outta visit the training center, give the youngsters some much-needed humbling." Khom*o didn't need to turn to see who it was that called him over, feeling the person coming beside to walk with him.

"You would as well, dear Vod'ika, there were many friends I've seen at their funerals and meeting with their families to give the news." He didn't want to think about the cries of agony he heard from the young boy who found out his parents weren't coming home. There was a deep sigh from his nephew and it was only then did Khom*o turned to face him.

Walking beside him was a middle-aged, bald man appearing to be in his thirties with fair beige skin that was riddled with scars. He was wearing yellow and green Mandalorian armor with the displays of his 'Al'verde'ranking, a heavy Mandalorian pistol resting in its hostler at his thigh, and this warrior also had cybernetics connected to his face, all the markings for a battle-hardened man as a lone deep blue eye stared back at Khom*o while his red cybernetic eye dilated in focus.

It was none other than Vorten Fett, his nephew begotten by Khom*o's now long-deceased cousin who had died at the humiliating defeat of the Hydian Way Blockade but Vorten was a highly recognized Mandalorian Commander who had led their armies across multiple worlds in the services to the Sith Empire and was entrusted by even Mandalore the Vindicated himself on military matters when it was needed of him. And here he was back home on Concord Dawn now hearing the news of what had transpired on Korriban.

"Dreadful for the boy, but can only hope it'll give him a fire to become a better warrior. Though speaking of it, I'm guessing you already know why I'm here?" Khom*o grunted as they came upon the door leading into the next room, bringing his hand to the side to automatically open the door then gestured for his nephew to follow him in.

"Yeah, it doesn't take much to guess why. I'll tell ya what you need to know about the 'Earthlings' as well as Mand'alor."

Corporal Hanzo Nilsson- Weapons Section, Second Platoon, Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia Light Infantry, 1st Commonwealth Division

Hutt Bazaar-Carrick Station, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:02:16 ATC/ Wednesday, July 2nd, 1969 - 21:00/9:00 PM

Hanzo shook his head as Marala told him one of her war stories as they sat at the table they claimed for themselves while the others went off to do their own thing besides Alex who stuck with them. The two finally had the chance to talk more after their group had made their way into the section that was known as the Hutt Bazaar.

From what Hanzo could tell it was a large section of the station down by elevator and the level was bustling with much more activity than they had encountered on the space station thus far with even more mercenaries, smugglers, droids, and aliens around, aliens that included two massive Hutts on each side of the docking room that Hanzo learned both oversaw their 'operations' here.

He wasn't sure how to feel about that after what he had heard and read about their race, particularly how they were for the most part innately predestined for criminal activities and by and large led gangs. The two Hutt mobsters were presenting themselves openly with their bodyguards close by, on guard for anyone who got too close to their employers but he couldn't say how many with all the shining lights and loud music that bugged his senses but talking to Marala did help make the stay more enjoyable as he and Alex got to know her and her squad better.

"And so these Imperial Troopers just happened to come across our paths in the mission, about two squads led by one Sith warrior. Rueen laid out a burst from his D-313 Repeating Striker to strike the incoming attackers."

"And?" Alex pressed as he drank his brandy.

"And we slaughtered a platoon worth of Imps that won't fight for the Empire any longer." Marala finished up her story, taking a slip of her drink before reassessing to another story. Through her eyes would drift to Hanzo even while telling the duo how Chaos Squad took on a group of Mandalorian mercenaries on Corellia in the retaking of what was known as 'Axel Park' and something about a memorial site dedicated to not only that of Republic Heroes but also one of the most intriguing parts of galactic history Hanzo had stumble upon his research in the temple back on Tython before the Imperial attack had happened.

Hanzo couldn't help but find it somewhat depressing that there was still not enough known about whatever happened to Revan and also the final fates of some of his companions which were still lost to history but there was another subject he wished to discuss and he waited patiently to ask additional questions about these Mandalorians. The Canadian of Swedish and Japanese descent did not know why but he was intrigued by these skilled warriors and his respect grew for Jessie upon hearing the decisions called while leading Chaos Squad and how she cleverly used the Mandalorians' sense of honor against them by challenging their leader to an honorable duel, striking not only hard at the strong rivalry between the Echani and the Mandos but also the fact that one of their greatest Mand'alors was dedicated onto that site.

That very leader was called the Mandalore the Preserver but he was also known as Canderous Ordo, a name that he stumbled upon during his research on Revan.

But on that fateful day, that duel ended with the clan leader receiving a fair death at the hands of a bloodied Jessie and the other Mandalorians bound by honor agreed to respect the memorial and took their fighting elsewhere, that Clan anyhow as Hanzo suspected others working for the Empire would've had a different opinion to it.

After taking a sip of his beverage, Hanzo glanced back to observe the rest of their surroundings and noticed people either enjoying their drinks or were on the dancing floor where bright lights shined as music buzzed, noting attractive dancers or waitresses, regardless if they were human or alien as there were Twi'lek women serving drinks at other tables and there was also a Mirialan in a revealing dancer outfit who was coming over to their table.

"I hope you all are having a great time, is there anything I can get you fine soldiers?" Her outfit was indeed very revealing and didn't hide much, noting the black bra strap that held her rather large chest but still bounced a bit and the lace silk that clung to her thighs. And the underwear that seemed very thin for her as Hanzo couldn't help, but note how her well-shaped backside was very showing.

Her black hair was in a ponytail and her pretty brown eyes looked over to Hanzo, a grin forming on her face when she took in his handsome features. "Hmm, I can also provide'entertainment'if that fancies you?" She seemed to point at that to Hanzo in particular, leaning down a bit to give him a view of her cleavage. Hanzo himself chose not to stare and he couldn't help but look over to Marala, the Cathar was raising her brow and seemed to be growing amused as she took in that he was uncomfortable by the attention.

"That's alright, we're good here. Thank you, though." He gave her a nod with a small smile as he was at least flattered by the offer, but she seemed a bit disappointed though not deterred as she drew back with her own smile. "Call me if you need anything and we'll take care of your needs." She winked at him and walked away, though swaying her hips as she did.

Hanzo heard chuckling from Alex as he threw his friend a look, even seeing that Marala was eyeing him with interest. "You weren't interested? Nothing's stopping you if you want to have some fun Han." She seemed to be curious about his reasoning for refusing the waitress's offer, seeing that he was eyeing her figure and knowing how universal it was that most men would stare at a pair of large breasts. But she did notice there wasn't a lust in his eyes and it seemed he was just noticing, Marala wouldn't have been discouraged by it either way as it wasn't something she saw worth criticizing him on when she's seen more than one Republic soldier take up such offers in a heartbeat, though she would have been mildly disappointed if he left the table.

He looked at her and gave a small smile. "Could, but I'm already having fun with you." That made Marala pause for a moment, before humming in response as she took a sip from her drink, her gaze not leaving his. Hanzo couldn't help, but feel her look stirring something within him. It wasn't missed by Alex as he looked at the two in their gaze, before going back to his drink, feeling that things were going quite well.

'Well, this should be interesting to see. While I think you could've done well with Serena, shame the Jedi Council doesn't allow open relationships without permission. Marala's treating him well at least and Hanzo's opening up more than I normally see him do.'Alexander hoped this would lead to something really good for his friend. They continued talking, Hanzo finding himself engaging more talk with Marala, and the more that he felt a growing comfort being around her, Alex occasionally pitching in but seemed content in letting them engage in their own talk.

He then caught sight of a particular droid model he didn't recognize from any of the Republic ones he had seen, wearing an orange scarf and a single red eye, it was just outside the bar, over by where the massive ugly Hutt was with several armed individuals what he can only assume were bounty hunters or mercenaries. It was used by what was known as the Bounty Brokers Association, a group that helped assign bounties on wanted criminals in the galaxy for both the Republic and Sith Empire.

Major Lane had shown them how the concept worked earlier and he'll admit that it did catch his interest.

Once she was done talking to the droid, she made her way over to their table, grabbing the attention of others. "So it seems like it's getting late." Jessie glances down at her chrono before looking up to meet Hanzo's eyes, her eyes showing almost a sign of interest. "It was good meeting you two, I'll see you two next time. Hanzo, I expect a sparring match." Her blunt statement caught him off guard though he nodded.

"Sure, I've been hoping to witness how you Echani fight." That brought a surprising grin from the Republic Major, "And I look forward to seeing how you fight, till next time." She turns on her heel and walks away towards the elevator.

Though both Kovo and Marala remained behind and smiled at the Canadians. Admittedly, they all had quite a few drinks, Hanzo could already feel that the Corellian ales were kicking in as he felt the buzz on. Enilly gazed at Alex and her voice was slurry from the alcohol.

"How about we go back to my place and hang out, Alex?" The Alderaanian suggested teasingly. Alex blushed a little but smiled and held his arm out to her to which she more than happily accepted. "I'd be happy to, what are you thinking in mind?" Kovo grinned widely in response to that as she led him away.

Hanzo and Marala themselves appear to be having similar thoughts when the female Cathar moved to cling onto the Canadian's side, leaning her head to his face. "How about it, Hanzo? My team isn't due to deploy till around tomorrow." She'll admit despite being more on the quiet side, Hanzo proved to be a good listener and as she was shown, he was capable of humor after a few stories of a couple of shenanigans his squad had done in the past that left her laughing.

Whatever this nuc-mom was, she wasn't sure if she wanted to taste it to see if it was any good as Hanzo actually claimed or just toss it at the next Imp Squad she encountered to blind them.

The feeling of interest was returned as the two followed along with Alex and Kovo. Hanzo had made no move to separate the embrace while keeping one arm wrapped around her side, the buzz felt nice as alcohol continued its effect. "Sure, where are you staying?" He replied with a small smile but just as the two were about to join Alex and Kovo into the elevator, a voice called out to them.

"Hey! Mind if I join along? My shift's just ended." Hanzo and Marala looked back and saw it was the same Mirialan dancer from before walking towards them, she held a sly grin on her face as she came up towards Han. "I don't have much to do, and I would like to get to know you better." Hanzo was about to give a gentle refusal, but he'd be surprised by Marala's response.

"Alright, follow along. What's your name?" Mirialan's grin widened and she took up to Hanzo's side, leaning herself in. "My name's Lizzy, and I think we're going to have quite a fun time."

Seems this trip was gonna be an enjoyable one after all.

Corporal Hanzo Nilsson- Weapons Section, Second Platoon, Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia Light Infantry, 1st Commonwealth Division

Carrick Station - Apartment Quarters - Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:02:16 ATC/ Wednesday, July 2nd, 1969 - 06:00/6:00 AM

In a stir haze, Hanzo woke up with a groan, and the Canadian didn't think that the drinks would nail him this bad, yet the hangover was getting to him.

''Those Corellian drinks are quite something.'He thought.'Wait? Something fluffy is on me.'It felt like a cat was sleeping on his chest.

Nilsson opens his eyes, blinking to adjust his eyesight, first making out the ceiling before turning down to see a very clearly naked Marala press up against him underneath the bed sheets covering their bodies. One of her arms was wrapped around his waist while the other over his shoulder, and she was lying firm against him. Her soft breaths brought him recollections of the previous night and a grin to his face as he remembered how the intimacy started as they had entered her apartment with Marala showing him around a bit before they settled on having dinner together.

Then he remembered she wasn't the only one pressed up to him, Hanzo turned to his left to see Lizzy snoring away with a bit of drool much to his amusem*nt, her slender arms wrapped around him while her leg curbed his.

Marala had been surprised by how well he could cook as Hanzo helped with the making of nerfburgers and hubba chips as he discovered they were quite similar to fried potato chips. It got flirty between them with their close positions together as they were cooking with Lizzy showing she could whip one spicy sauce, Hanzo found his face heated up a little while trying to prepare the acid-beet salad as Marala purposely bent down to catch his attention with her very well formed rear when getting bowls from the bottom covers.

It certainly did but so too did he cut himself with the knife.

But he found it worthwhile getting the 'special' treatment from Marala in feeling apologetic while Lizzy took her chance to keep herself against him, Hanzo couldn't find himself to restrain the grin that couldn't escape his face while Marala bandaged his finger as they all bantered a little that had the two joining in his chuckling.

The rest of their dinner went well and stuffed with the burgers, despite already having drinks before, the three cracked open Ebla beers that Marala kept in her fridge and got themselves lost in talk… And reflecting on their military careers, it may have been the beers affecting them, but Hanzo hearing Marala describing her first combat against the Empire eased whatever safeguards he had about going into her apartment, Lizzy got a bit quieter in their discussion though she shared she once had a boyfriend who was a Republic soldier, unfortunately dying in the Battle of Balmorra. An ever-familiar story to the two soldiers.

They started looking each other into their eyes while Marala's music player played a comfortable tune that 'motivated' them into what they did next.

Hanzo didn't know why but it felt truly liberating as their lips met and they slowly began tearing at each other out of their clothing. Marala had the advantage with her claws, but he still got her surprised when Hanzo felt it was only right that he 'treated' her first. It was very well received by the Cathar and she was all too happy to return the kind gesture in return while Lizzy tackled in as she undid his belt. It became a long night between two soldiers and the lone dancer relieving themselves of any stress or tension away from their careers.

Though now having a chance to look upon the state of the room with the scattered torn clothes and armor pieces on the floor… And the dents on the wall from where the bed had been banging on from the rocking by their 'fun'. Hanzo began to wonder how much they had likely kept any neighbors up. His thoughts were however interrupted when he felt the Cathar starting to stir.

"Morning, Marala." He wrapped his one arm around her, feeling the soft fur as he traced his hand down her back, the Cathar purred in contact as she leaned in closer to him, her long black hair now loosening, a few strings over her face. Adding an allure to her stunning green catlike eyes as she looked up at him.

"Heh, I'm surprised to see you're up before me. I'd thought I had you all tired out from last night and your hips must be sore." Marala said as she pressed her lips against his, moaning as she felt him lightly squeezing her right ass cheek. "Still, last night was incredible Marala. I think we may have kept your neighbors up last night." Hanzo quipped, the three of them lost track of how many positions they contentious perform all over her apartment, first on the table, moving to the kitchen counters, Hanzo taking the two over onto the coach in an attempt to get in Marala's bedroom, the bite marks she left on his shoulder during their lovemaking were still sore. The three had finally crashed onto her bed and kept at it, they just couldn't bring themselves to stop until they had finally passed out from exhaustion, trying to beat each other who would last the longest and give in first. Lizzy ended up giving last as the dancer wasn't able to keep up with the soldiers but found that Hanzo wasn't done with her much to the Mirialan aroused as she was dominated.

It had ended up being him, but Hanzo melted in the two's warm embrace and soon fell asleep as he listened to their soft breathing on him.

But what struck Hanzo the very most from last night was the fact that he was able to sleep peacefully for once. There were no dreams of Vietnam, of the jungles, feeling himself back resting beneath the wet ground while rain splattered. The sounds of creatures crackling in the night, the feeling of dread as an enemy approached in the night he would struggle to let go… No dead people to haunt and curse him in his dreams. Long nights spent staring at the ceiling, none were there to cause night terrors, the instincts to grab his few possessions that relieved him from the pain.

It was just him, Lizzy, and Marala, though he wasn't sure if this was gonna be just a one-night stand or if there was going to be more after. But for what it was worth, he certainly had no regrets.

"Well, not my fault someone's got the stamina to keep up with me." She gave a peck to his lips, before letting go of him to get up from the bed, pulling the covers off to which the Canadian took a moment to admire her figure, not bothering to cover himself. Marala flounced her wide round hips as she stretched out to loosen her muscles, Hanzo saw from last night that not only Marala was curvy but physically fit too with her abs and long graceful legs, not to mention being very flexible as he had learned from some of the… Positions that they did last night.

'Are all Cathar women freakin Amazons or is she just this amazing?'Hanzo asked himself as he analyzed her scars, ones he could tell were made from blaster bolts after seeing such familiar plasma scaring bared by Republic Troopers and Jedi, most of her fur covered over it but he could see the outlines more to some of them as he too noted what familiarly looked like wounds sustained from an explosion.

Scars he was all too familiar with.

Hearing a satisfying crack from her back, she took notice of him admiring her and smiled. "Want to join me in the shower?" She turned around before teasing him and Hanzo was incentivized, something that did not go without notice from Marala due to his 'reaction'and the Cathar's eyes gleamed as she did her own ogling.

"How bout room for three." Lizzy had awoken up, stretching herself out with a yawn before she got up from the bed and showed off her own figure.

It didn't take long for him to spring out of bed, picking Marala and Lizzy onto his shoulders, grunting a little to their more considerable weight and Marala's taller height. Smiling a bit when he heard her lightly chuckling and Lizzy's giggling. "Oh no, the big scary Earther has us." And Lizzy clearly enjoyed this dominant side of Hanzo's.

"Didn't have to ask." Marala purred in response and wrapped her arms around Hanzo's neck. And with that, the three stepped into the refresher room, the door closing behind while the new couple enjoyed each other's company.

Lieutenant Marala Jorgo- SpecForce Squad 149 "Chaos Squad", Special Forces Division, Republic Army Carrick Station

- Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:02:16 ATC/ Wednesday, July 2nd, 1969 - 06:15/6:15 AM

"So are you able to stay for breakfast, Han?" Marala asked, with her fur and hair still damp despite the blow dryer, but the three who had enjoyed their nice long shower together were now just getting ready for the day. The room was relatively average, or what based on average in this galaxy as the Cathar hadn't seen for herself what was typical within the Sol System.There was a simple toilet in the corner, and the large glass shower took up most of the space while at the end there was a counter with a mirror facing them.

Hanzo, who was just washing his hair with a towel. thought for a moment before nodding. "I got time, yeah, I imagine Alex is probably still with Kovo. What about you, Lizzy?" The Earthling wondered with an amused expression, presumably over their enjoyable carnal evening. Lizzy herself was drying out her hair with a towel, standing near Hanzo's with their hips touching.

Lizzy made it clear that she enjoyed the contact as she rubbed her leg against him. "Sure, I'm on break today anyway. Some additional fun couldn't hurt." Hanzo wrapped his arm around her waist and pulled her in, she turned her face towards him to kiss, the sexual tension being released as Lizzy wrapped herself closer to him as they made out.

"Good to hear." Marala placed the dryer down and turned to face him, curbing Hanzo's head away from Lizzy to her disappointment, leaning herself over to wrap her arms around his neck, and grant him a peck on the lips. "How does nerf steak and nuna eggs with Iktotch toast sound?" Her fingers traced some of his scars, her curiosity was peaking to the stories behind them as she had noticed the same with Hanzo to her own scars.

"Sounds good to me. I've been curious about what a nerf tasted like." He gave a quick swat to Marala's large shapely ass that jiggle it, chuckling at the cute yelp she gave made Lizzy give a short laugh, but then wincing when he felt her claws digging into his shoulders. "Ass." Lizzy giggled from the action, "Careful with this one Han, Cathar women can be wild."

Marala smirked at Hanzo even with her piercing glance before starting to make out with him, their tongues battling with each other for control. His hands did not leave her hips as she leaned in closer into him, feeling herself grinding onto him, and Marala believed that she could get used to this.

“You two are undoubtedly driving me wild.” Hanzo felt himself throbbing harder between Marala's thighs, and Lizzy pressed herself against his back, he could feel her hardened nipples, and Hanzo's arousal grew as he made out with Marala more passionately but then he felt the sharp edge of her teeth as their tongues touched.

"I swear Marala, you are very hard to resist." Hanzo felt himself throbbing between her thighs, pressing himself against her as they made out with a passion, feeling the edges of her sharp teeth but he was not deterred by them as Marala wrapped her right leg around his waist and he felt her breasts pressing against him. “I'm finding you the same. Ain't you already tired?" Marala’s native Catharese accent returned and despite years living on Coruscant which softened the formerly pronouced accent, her original diction persisted.

“No.” Lizzy’s hands trailed down to his neck as she turned his head to kiss him while he slowly pushed himself inside Marala's vagin*, hearing her give out a low growl with a gasp the deeper that his co*ck went into her and Hanzo groaned in pleasure feeling the warmth yet tightness inside her as his tongue danced with Lizzy’s. Marala gripped onto his shoulders and wrapped both of her legs tightly as Hanzo lifted her up with his hands still massaging her rear as he gripped onto them, he opened his eyes to stare into Lizzy’s brown orbs and the Mirialan grew more aroused as she awaited for her own turn before Hanzo looked to face Marala, the two looked into each other's eyes as their heads were connecting and Marala looked into Hanzo’s was finding she was feeling well at ease in as Hanzo’s green pupils, the shade of which reminded her of a tree in a forest, that and the glint of sincerity.

They were not as on edge and she couldn't help but to describe an internal sadness behind them when she first locked onto him the previous night. There was a new surge of life in them and a look of wanting, Hanzo wanted her and Marala wanted him, it was simple as that and before laying eyes on Hanzo there was a hole that was not fulfilled. Sure, there were individuals who were interested in her, attempting to get her attention and those who couldn't take no for an answer only to learn the hard way to not push a Cathar's limits.

In other words, none of the supposed admirers were what could considered as proper mates, that and the fact she was much more focused on her military career, the thought of settling down with a mate had instead been brushed aside, becoming a second thought to her, especially after she was transferred to the elite Chaos Squad.

But now that could change as she has found someone who made her reconsider and while not of the same species, true love was blind.

"Like I said Mara. You're very hard to resist, it's hard to think of stopping."

Marala couldn’t help but to chuckle in response. "Show me." Their lips met and as they made out, they discovered a fresh rhythm amid their lovemaking as Hanzo’s thrusts were gaining speed, Marala's moans grew ever louder and while still being held up she bounced back against his increasingly rigid thrusting. Her claws retracted out a little out of reflex from the right hitting of spots by the thrusting and she moaned her next words.

"Harder! Ooh, faster, Han. Kriff me!" She bit down on his upper right shoulder, an act which made Hanzo grunt in pain yet he was exhilarated, feeling the effect that Marala have on him, while her body shook from the f*cking and her ass was rippling as Hanzo pounded her. Her hair waved in the air and Hanzo moved his hand down to reposition Marala so he could suck on her jiggling breasts. Hanzo moaned as he tasted the dark nipple and felt Marala’s strong legs gripping him tighter as she halted her bouncing momentarily to feel the zeal of the pounding which made her feel alive.

Hanzo was now desiring to hear more of the genuine and soothing feline sounds from Marala, he removed a hand to hold onto her leg, and started moving towards the counter and the Cathar with dark gray fur let out a small grunt as she sat near the sink.

“You two are like beasts.” Lizzy bit her lower lip as she remained against Hanzo’s back, memories rushing to her mind of the time when she had been absolutely dominated by him, a recollection that made her feel even more titillated.

"Hmm!" Their lips met again as Hanzo resumed his throbbing and Marala panted as she spread her legs apart to give more room, leaning back towards the mirror, almost to the point where her head would touch the glass. "He is a beast. I think we may be in here for a bit. Ahh.." Marala nipped on his lower lip, panting out her words as their mutual and reciprocal pleasure rose, she let out a louder moan upon feeling her third organism coming, her fluids coated the large thrusting knob inside her.

Hanzo gasped out a moan, staring into Marala's green eyes as he braced himself closer and squeezed her soft asscheeks. "Let's enjoy that time then."

Marala grinned, she wouldn't object to that for the time being, panting out her next words. "Let's… Switch… Positions… Liz, get yourself here and bend over."

Hanzo was initially disappointed that he had to refrain from pleasuring Marala yet the Canadian didn't object as he removed himself from her and gave Marala the required space. The Cathar got off the counter and turned around to bend over with Lizzy following Marala’s lead. The two shook their well-formed rears to entice him and it had the desired effect as Hanzo didn’t waste any time to resume giving the pair the exact attention they were asking for and he started with Lizzy.

The Mirialan moaned as the Canadian entered her before giving her ass a healthy smack but instead of wincing, Lizzy braced herself for the inevitable pounding. "Uh! Uh! Ooh yes!" Hanzo enjoyed the view, the dancer's rear was a sight to behold as her body shook with pleasure. He fondled his hands across Lizzy's back and then groped her swaying breasts but then Hanzo remembered the nip he received from Marala and decided to try it on Lizzy, she gasped out upon feeling Hanzo’s giving her shoulder a hickey then biting near her neck. Not enough to inflict any serious injury but enough to get her attention and by the look he received, Hanzo noticed that she enjoyed it and in return, Lizzy thrusted her hips back.

Of course, due to this development, the three decided that breakfast could wait.

Private Alexander McAllen - Weapons Section, Second Platoon, Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia Light Infantry, 1st Commonwealth Division,

Carrick Station - Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:02:16 ATC/ Wednesday, July 2nd, 1969 - 08:45/8:45 AM

Alexander waited patiently for his friend outside the apartment he was staying at. Yesterday was truly something else for the two off-duty Canadians since they didn't expect to run into what turned out to be their new female companions.

"Hey, Hanzo!" McAllen shouted in excitement. "I think we both had a lovely night with wonderful ladies, don't you think?"

"Marala is one hell of a woman, a good soldier too. Lizzy is fun to be around with." His friend mutters. "Enilly isn't a bad girl for you."

"No, she's quite nice actually." Alexander admitted. "She and I enjoyed watching what they call a 'Holofilm' together before falling asleep together on the coach." Alexander withdrew the odd dream he would later have about the holofilm displaying an infamous crime lord named Nok Drayen in the Syndicate Wars years ago with Alex picturing that he was there at the gathered table as Nok Drayen talked business with his lieutenants and the planned slaying of half the Hutt Cartel in a single night.

"Good to hear that. As for me… Marala and I made a commitment." There was no doubt as to what he was hinting at and McAllen was shocked.

"You didn't." Alex just couldn't believe his ears. He saw how Marala got Hanzo's attention, but he didn't think it went that far.

Hanzo gave him a look that said how serious he was and Alex shook his head in disbelief. "Hanzo you are just full of f*cking surprises. Just be careful, from what Emily told me there, Cathars mate for life… So you might as well put the ring on that finger bud." Taking out another cigarette before lighting it. "What about Lizzy? Don't tell me you're having two girlfriends at once Han." His silence all but confirmed it and Alex found himself shaking his head more at the information.

"Wait till Miller hears about this. He's going to be demanding tips from you Han."

Chapter 15: Conspiracy

Chapter Text

Agent Theron Shan-Republic Strategic Information Service

Undisclosed SIS Satilite Facility - Antar 4, Prindaar System, Inner Rim, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:09:16 ATC/ Wednesday, July 9th, 1969 - 08:45/8:45 PM

Located not too far from the neutral planet of Manaan was a secret communications interception site on the Republic world of Antar 4, the homeworld of the Gotal species and the Gotals were in close association with the Jedi Order so it wasn't too difficult for Director Trant to gain permission from the natives to have an SIS facility on their homeworld to slice diplomatic messages but Theron was inside the building for another reason altogether as he knew it was secured and if anyone inquired he had reasonable explanations prepared but in reality the SIS operative suspected that the attack on Tython and Korriban a week prior was more than just a coincidence and the agent was determined to find out the truth. Shan was especially suspicious of Colonel Rian Darock and he wasn't sure how deep this went so Theron decided to get outside help.

'Nope. He's a Spook and a rich playboy at that.'Theron thought as he read a file on this 'Clifford Bernard Northcott' of the Central Intelligence Agency, a so-called 'Old Philadelphian' from the affluent community of Haverford on the so-called 'Main Line' who participated in the successful toppling of Fidel Castro's regime in Cuba and was also in Laos as well as Vietnam and while Theron continued surfing for two suitable candidates, his droid, T3-G2, beeped.

"What do you have for me?"Shan asked as the droid brought two files on a pair of Americans, namely individuals by the name of Jake G. Meyer and Samuel D. Westbrook.

Theron selected to read the one on Meyer first. "Private First Class Jake Meyer." As the very spy who had taken down theAscendant Spearcontinued to read the information regarding him, Theron could not help but to scrutinize the details as this Studies and Observation Group from the sound of it was suspiciously the name for a black operations unit, one that Shan hadn't heard of in any recent debriefing. "Born and raised near Acton, Indiana, a rural community located just outside the city and state capital of Indianapolis, Indiana…" Theron paused as he realized that this was a dossier that was forwarded to the SIS by the United States government. "He officially became the first Earthling to engage Imperial forces during the 'United Nations Incident'."

'Oh, that?'Shan shook his head. He couldn't help but feel a tinge of sympathy for the guy as the woman he was romantically involved with turned out to be an Imp who infiltrated SpecForce. "Was in something known as the ' Military Assistance Command, Vietnam - Studies and Observations Group' for a few months in the Mekong Delta before requesting a transfer back to his original unit - details of the mission in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam remain classified and is now a Raider...Highly skilled in shooting with accomplishments nationally in sanctioned Director of Civilian Marksmanship events and is a 'Distinguished Marksman'." The man in the red jacket nodded his head in approval to his companion. "Excellent choice Tee-Three. I believe we have found our men."

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - Fireteam Alpha, Second Squad, First Platoon, C/Charlie Company, Second Raider Battalion "Carlson's Raiders", Second Raider Regiment, Second Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, United States Marine Corps

Fort Duqua Dar - Quadrant G-19, Coruscant, Coruscant System, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:10:16 ATC/ Wednesday, July 10th, 1969 - 07:01/7:01 AM

"Do what!?" Jake couldn't believe what he was hearing. Meyer wasn't sure if he heard his pal's announcement correctly. The Jarhead was in his barrack readingWing and Trap Shootingby the gunwriter Charles Askins when Samuel brought the Leatherneck some unexpected news.

"Some Republic Spook it seemsrecruitedus for a mission." Sam declared with disgust as if some savage decided to vandalize an original portrait personally painted by the masterful brushstrokes of Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, better known as Raphael. "Don't ask me how he managed to penetrate the literal chain of command but this guy has serious clout."

"And to think we were both requisitioned for MACV-SOG by Clifford of all people." Jake shook his head. Until that fateful day at a bar in Da Nang, Emma's uncle as far as he was aware was legal counsel for the State Department and an aspiring archeologist like his brother yet it turned out in reality the so-called Old Philadelphian whose mother came from a prominent family in Natchez, Mississippi with her own mother being from the First Families of Virginia had joined the Central Intelligence Agency and was never some lawyer for diplomats and consulates, something that made Jake wonder what Clifford was actually up to in Baghdad on July 14th, 1958 as the Hoosier unwittingly became quite possibly the only twelve year old American farm boy to witness an Iraqi military coup d'état first-hand during what was going to be a typical archeological dig.

"Thanks to him we had an encounter that reminded us why we shouldn't trust spies."

The two friends shuddered as memories ofthatmission came back to haunt them.

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - Team Delaware 3-5, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam – Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG)

[Location Classified - Somewhere in the Mekong Delta]

[Date and Time Unknown]

"Goalpost? This is Cutthroat."

The two friends since boyhood and assigned to the same SOG unit as a 'temporary assignment' waited from their position as a detachment of NVA regulars passed them just feet away, concealed in their tiger stripe camouflage with foliage meticulously attached and their face painted to break up the outline of their mugs. The duo were providing overwatch to a joint effort between United States Army Special Forces, Navy SEALs, and Force Recon Marines in a raid on a suspected North Vietnamese Army command center with Meyer behind the rifle and Westbrook using the M49 Spotting Scope to observe splashes and provide any correction if needed.

"We read you, Cutthroat."

"We have NVA Regulars in addition to Charlie." Meyer mentioned as he peered through the John Unertl Model 2" 36x Target Scope on his barely modified M14 Rifle which also had a SIONICS suppressor attached in addition to the optic. "I repeat, we have some boys from Hanoi."

"Copy Cutthroat. We'll be ready for them."

Jake admitted that while the tiger stripes were nice, the Marine wasannoyedthat a Spook had the power to transfer him to some sh*tty part of nowhere. The Leatherneck watched as Sam reached for his weapon and covered their rear with his 'acquired' RPD but then there was a growl and Jake's sinuses also began to act up.

"EGAD!" Westbrook shouted as a leopard appeared. It seems like the Americans have unwittingly chosen a bad spot and now the mission was a failure.

Present...

"That cat came out of nowhere."

"And you wonder why I'm not a cat person?" Jake wily answered, not bothering to mention his allergy. "Cats are evil and the black ones cause bad luck."

"So says the Jarhead who dated a redhead." The man with roots in Salem, Massachusetts smirked, to which his pal snorted.

"Yeah...A cheesecake-loving Space Brit. Don't remind me."

Jolima's Cantina -Ahto City, Manaan, Pyrshak System, Inner Rim, "The Galaxy"

07:14:16 ATC/ Monday, July 14th, 1969 - 18:22/6:22 PM

As the two Americans walked into the rendezvous point, a bar of sorts, to get additional information regarding this operation, the GIs couldn't shake the feeling that this was problematic as there was a stark contrast between the Republic's and any military doctrine from Earth in regards to how to conduct a mission. The pair have witnessed appointed generals from a religious order deciding to perform commando actions and overheard instances of fraternizing with the enemy to strike deals, the latter of which would them shot as a majority of the leaders wouldn't desire a repeat of the Christmas Truce but it was mindboggling how frequent such occurrences occurred on the battlefield.

"Ah, you must be our guests." Agent Shan noted.

"Okay buster, I don't know why you drafted us for some suicide mission, but if I find out you're misappropriating us for some ill-gotten gain, Hell will be a luxury compared to what I'm willing to do."

"Whoa, take it easy. We're all friends here." Theron placated. "What's your problem?"

Samuel shook his head as it was too late now. "Jake, your ultimatum will not get us out of this imbroglio."

"They aren't threats." Meyer declared as he glared at the spy. "They're promises. Alrighty then, Mister Red Jacket." The Hoosier deadpanned as he tried to remain equanimous despite his indignation. "So why are we at this bar?"

The agent shook his head and answered. "My contact from the Empire should be meeting us here soon."

Sam raised an eyebrow in suspicion at the comment. "Empire?"

"Yeah, something about the assaults on Korriban and Tython doesn't add up. We chose Manaan as it's a neutral world so we could compare notes in person. And that is also whe-"

The trio was interrupted by a rather attractive blonde woman in her early twenties and although the Americans never understood why robes and capes were an essential fashion statement for the rest of the universe, there were also some rather strange coincidences between Earth and the Intergalactic community in addition to the perceptible disparates.

"Theron, it's good to see you've made it." She greeted in an unmistakable 'Space British' accent but Jake had a slightly poleaxed expression at seeing the pretty blonde before noticing her eyes: Sith yellow.

'I need a really stiff drink'Meyer thought.

Lana smiled at the stranger but she noticed how handsome he was and became lost in his eyes. "So...Theron?...I see you brought along friends."

Yet Theron could not refrain from grinning as he recognized her becoming smitten. "Are you alright, Lana...You're sweating a bit."

The flaxen-haired woman turned to her crush momentarily and then blushed harder. "Oh hush up."

However, the situation wasn't helped as'Burning Love'by Elvis Presley begins to play in the cantina.

Lord Almighty,
I feel my temperature rising
Higher higher
It's burning through to my soul

Girl, girl, girl
You gonna set me on fire
My brain is flaming
I don't know which way to go

'Dammit!'Jake thought as he listened to the tune.'Elvis is becoming strangely popular if aliens are playing it!'

Lana, unbeknownst to the Marine was sharing the same embarrassing sentiment as well as the song became more evident.'Kriff!'

Your kisses lift me higher
Like the sweet song of a choir
You light my morning sky
With burning love

Ooh, ooh, ooh,
I feel my temperature rising
Help me, I'm flaming
I must be a hundred and nine
Burning, burning, burning
And nothing can cool me
I just might turn into smoke
But I feel fine

Shan's grin widened, enjoying the fact that he now has potential blackmail."So, Lana, this is Jake Meyer of the United States Marines. Jake, Lana Beniko-Sith Lord and an advisor to Darth Arkous."

"Umm...How do you do, Miss Beniko."

"The...Feeling is mutual...Jake." Then a thought occurred to the blonde.'Wait a minute, did Sara mention that her boy...Ah, kriff.'

Theron smirked evilly, oblivious to the fact that the blonde was indirectly aware of the Hoosier. " I'll leave you two alone for a minute to get to know each other better."

"I think I shall gander at the selection of brandies or wine." The paratrooper and scion of American old money grinned mischievously as he agreed with the plan before stereotypically evoking the demeanor of a snob. "Pip, pip."

"Theron…"

"Samuel..."

Cause your kisses lift me higher
Like a sweet song of a choir
And you light my morning sky
With burning love

It's coming closer
The flames are reaching my body
Please won't you help me
I feel like I'm slipping away
It's hard to breath
And my chest is a-heaving

Nevertheless, despite their best efforts Theron and Samuel still left their respective compatriots in the dust.

"I apologize for my friend's behavior...Theron enjoys causing mischief if he thinks he can get away with it."

"That's okay Miss Beniko. Samuel at times is the same way despite his upbringing so I know the feeling." The Hoosier groaned as he was typically comme il faut.

"Oh, do please call me Lana, Jake."Lana insisted as she smiled flirtatiously.

Lord Almighty,
I'm burning a hole where I lay
Cause your kisses lift me higher
Like the sweet song of a choir
You light my morning sky
With burning love
With burning love
Ah, ah, burning love
I'm just a hunk, a hunk of burning love
Just a hunk, a hunk of burning love
Just a hunk, a hunk of burning love
Just a hunk, a hunk of burning love
Just a hunk, a hunk of burning love
Just a hunk, a hunk of burning love

Jake smirked in response to the glow. "Only if you call me Jake."

'What in the name of the Force am I thinking...If this is the same Jacob Meyer Sara was in a relationship with!?'

'Well, I'm not sure if I'll see Sara again and the last time I saw her, I shot her accidentally on Korriban...Odds are slim.'

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - Fireteam Alpha, Second Squad, First Platoon, C/Charlie Company, Second Raider Battalion "Carlson's Raiders", Second Raider Regiment, Second Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, United States Marine Corps

Jolima's Cantina -Ahto City, Manaan, Pyrshak System, Inner Rim, "The Galaxy"

07:14:16 ATC/ Monday, July 14th, 1969 - 19:00/7:00 PM

"So Jake..." Theron inquired cheekily. "What do you think of Lana?"

"Hmm...Well, I didn't think I'd run into a Sith and why would an SIS agent be friends with one anyhow...Are you setting me up? As in being your patsy?"

"Oh, why of course not." Samuel shrugged before joking about the encounter. "I believe he has good intentions."

Jake placed the beer down and placed his head on the table. "sh*t. I'm screwed."

"So is it just me or doesn't Jake seem a bit flustered?"

The SIS agent smirked at the paratrooper. "He'll be fine, Sergeant." Shan gazed over at Beniko as she sheepishly passed the duo. "So how was your time with lover boy?"

"Not. One. Word." The Sith growled.

Westbrook shook his head as the blonde stormed off. "You realize that she could easily kill us both, right? And I mean it from a woman scorned sensed by the way."

"What can I say?" The agent defended. "Lana is...unique amongst their ranks. Pushing buttons is a hobby of mine."

"One of these days she might make you 'disappear'."

"Perhaps." Theron confessed casually. "But for now, I'm co*cky enough to push my luck."

Ahto City, Manaan, Pyrshak System, Inner Rim, "The Galaxy"

07:15:16 ATC/ Tuesday, July 15th, 1969 - 08:49/8:49 AM

Shan had to admit that the history of the Americans was proving itself as they began to ponder over the best way to conduct the operation against the facility. The two traitors, Colonel Darok and Darth Arkous were both pouring funds into this one research lab, something that had to be more of just a mere coincidence.

"So can we count on reinforcements?"

Theron shook his head. "No, since this mission is ultrasensitive and time is of the essence." He then shrugged. "Then again, Lana might be pulling strings but she doesn't tell me everything for obvious reasons."

"Well, this will become a FUBAR op if we don't plan accordingly."

"FUBAR?" The agent inquired, unfamiliar with the terminology.

"f*cked up beyond any recognition." Samuel clarified. "Worse than SNAFU, Situation normal all f*cked up."

"Ah." The spy grinned. Shan had to admit that the Earthling had a rather colorful vocabulary of expressions to describe every event. "Luckily for you, I've acquired some typical civvie attire for this special party of ours."

"So we can get hung for spying just like Nathan Hale?" Jake grumbled. "Wonderful."

"Actually, it's typically either lightning or throwing a lightsaber."

"Still, we're not spies, Red Jacket." The Leatherneck reminded him. "If we get caught and die, I'll come back from the grave and strangle you." The Raider selected a dull gray and buff leather jacket for himself before handing an all-black one to Sam. "You really have a strange sense of clothing."

"It's not my fault that Nerf leather is the current fad." Theron upholded. "And who would think that Earthlings would wear leather?"

Meyer rolled his eyes at the bravado. "If James Dean was still alive, he'll prove you wrong."

"Who?"

"Nevermind." Westbrook interceded. "Let's just get this over with."

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - Fireteam Alpha, Second Squad, First Platoon, C/Charlie Company, Second Raider Battalion "Carlson's Raiders", Second Raider Regiment, Second Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, United States Marine Corps

Gorima's Genetics, Inc. - Manaan, Pyrshak System, Inner Rim, "The Galaxy"

07:15:16 ATC/ Tuesday, July 15th, 1969- 11:24/11:24 AM

Jake and Sam continued to infiltrate the facility by using their experiences with stealth operations. So far, the two Americans -with assistance from their SIS handler- had managed to not to alert the security system for the installation but the duo knew that it was only a matter of time and as a result, attempted to make this mission a quick raid for Intel.

"Bring back any memories rescuing POWs in Laos?" Westbrook asked in a whisper.

"Sure does." Meyer chuckled softly as he brought up a suppressed M1911A1 and fired, taking down a guard. "Didn't know what hit him."

"Because bullets are regarded as obsolete by the rest of the galaxy." The paratrooper reminded his friend cheekily as they proceeded to drag the corpse out of sight.

"So the Republic and the representatives for BlasTech and Merr-Sonn, say." The Raider shrugs. "But I'm not going to deny results."

"Interesting,"The voice of the spy interrupted the conversation over the com."I'm seeing records of a prisoner here. Someone named Jakarro. I bet he could share some interesting stories with us…The Chief of Security's straight ahead."

The pair rounded the corner to find the chief and two riot control droids waiting. Along with a rather irate-looking Bigfoot in a cage.

"I thought Sasquatch was in California?" Jake muttered as he aimed his rifle at the head of security, firing a shot.

"I'm no Sasquatch! I'm a Wookiee!"

Meyer rolled out of the way as one of the robots took a swing at the Leatherneck. Westbrook unleashed a hail of bullets at said bot and riddled it with holes. While the soldier was focusing on the first one, the other robot attempted to blast the paratrooper in the back, but the Raider shot the tin can in the head.

"It's our lucky day, droid! Convince these saps to let us out of here!"

The duo looked at the being and realized that the metallic skull wasn't decoration, but the head of a robot attached to crossed bandoliers. And the head seemed to be fully functional.

"Uh… Greetings! My master compliments your impressive skill, and would like to share his appreciation for this noble rescue!"

Jake raised an eyebrow and looked at the beast. "Jakarro, I presume? We're here to break you out… among other things."

"Fine, just release us and we can slaughter the rest of these backstabbers together!"

"Before we let you out, what are the two of you even doing here? You're logged as a prisoner, but why?"

The robot answered before the mammal. "My esteemed master is a specialist in discreet cargo delivery. I am his translator, C2 D4, former servant of her Imminence, Queen Lina of…"

"Does he ever shut up!" Sam groans from the console.

"No one cares, droid! Get to the point."His master growled.

"Uhm… yes, well, Jakarro was contracted by a Selkath geneticist, Gorima, to deliver certain medical equipment - perfectly legal! - to this facility." The droid informed the duo. "But once the delivery was made, we were imprisoned and interrogated by two very unpleasant individuals!"

"Let me guess… a Republic officer and a Sith?"

"They wanted to know whether or not we had told others about the job. Insulting!"Jakarro replied.

"We were never introduced!" C2-D4 replied. "Very rude, to be perfectly honest. After the interrogation, they told Gorima to use us for fodder in some kind of experiment!"

Jake shook his head with disgust, the explanation reminding him of his father's conversation regarding encountering the Nazi's experimentation on some of the Holocaust victims after liberating a camp, specifically Wöbbelin, a subcamp of the Neuengamme Concentration Camp, it was something Jake overheard while his old man and Daniel were confabulating out on the back porch one night and then there was also the fact that his friend's mother Henrietta was a survivor of the Augsburg-Haunstetten Subcamp of Dachau. "Sith don't usually take prisoners from what we heard, so this experiment must be a big deal."

"The possibilities are… troubling, to say the least." D4 commented.

After turning away in revulsion, Sam checked his com and asked their handler. "Theron, you getting all this?"

"Yeah, and their story checks out - just did a little digging on these two. Charges against them both for smuggling, disorderly conduct, assault…"

Soldier and Jarhead looked at each other, and the Leatherneck asked "Even the Robot?"

"Yeah."Theron replied, sounding confused."Why do you ask?"

"Nevermind."

"Well, whatever they may have done, Lana has a good feeling about them—thinks they might come in handy. Let's see if she's right."The field agent deadpanned.

Shan guided Westbrook as to how to open the cage and with a few simple keystrokes, the force field was down.

"All right." Sam told Jakarro as he leaped from the cage platform. "We're in this together, you understand."

"I will secure my weapons and meet you! Revenge will be ours!"

The beast turned and as he stalked off the duo overheard D4 shout at them. "Thank you!"

Sam walked up beside Jake and said. "They're friendly."

"I'm going to ascribe the lack of manners to the fact they'd been stuck in a cage." Jake replied as turned to eye the elevator that leads to the lab. "It's time to crash this party."

The descent felt like forever, and as the elevator doors opened, Theron's voice buzzed in the duo's ears.

"Hold up a sec. I've been slicing the facility's files, and I keep finding references to the Order of Shasa, some type of Force-using Selkath. They aren't Jedi or Sith. I'm still not sure how they fit into this, so be careful."

"We will." Jake replied as Sam looked at him.

"Well, that's just nifty." He said wryly. "But on the other hand, Space Magicians have nothing over us."

"Ain't that right." Meyer snickered as he pulled back the charging handle of his M14. " So let's make mincemeat and shoot the fish in this barrel of theirs."

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - Fireteam Alpha, Second Squad, First Platoon, C/Charlie Company, Second Raider Battalion "Carlson's Raiders", Second Raider Regiment, Second Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, United States Marine Corps

Gorima's Genetics, Inc. - Manaan, Pyrshak System, Inner Rim, "The Galaxy"

07:15:16 ATC/ Tuesday, July 15th, 1969 - 12:24/12:24 PM

The Order of Shasa turned out to be extremely proficient fanatics but the two Americans were experienced enough with magicians to overtake them. Admittedly it was still challenging yet a couple of well-placed shots from the gunpowder weapons and a few grenades here and there did wonders when it came to dealing with laser swords.

But now, Jake, Sam, and their two companions stood before a security door that, if the schematics the spy had found were accurate, led to Gorima's lab. And a new voice came over the com circuit, a female with a clipped Dromund Kaas accent.

"I know we haven't talked much, but Theron asked me to contact you while he was busy with his scanning equipment."The Sith announced."Apparently he's picking up powerful energy readings from Gorima's laboratory, readings consistent with Rakata technology. Theron and I agree this is a dangerous sign. Whatever is going on in that lab, please do your best to stop it."

"Understood, ma'am." Samuel acknowledged. "We're about to strike the place anyway."

Jake opened the door and stormed in first, pointing his pistol at the being.

"Are you Gorima?" Jake asked the alien who was leaning over the table operating on something.

"I am, and I'm never going to finish with so many interruptions! Go back to Darok and tell him to stop pestering me!"He replied absently, then looked up."You aren't one of Darok's people. An intruder then. What do you want?"

"I don't understand what you're saying, Fishface." Jake growled at the aquatic researcher. "But I can one hundred percent guarantee you didn't expect your magicians and robots to be taken down easily."

"It is obvious that you are not familiar with Selkaths."The mad scientist determined."No matter, you will not escape this facility alive with my creation-"

"There you are!"Jakarro howled as he brought up his bowcaster."Time to learn the cost for crossing Jakarro, eel!"

Gorima brought up both hands, either in defense or an attempt to placate Jakarro."Please."He pleaded."It was nothing personal! You have to understand - you're such an impressive specimen."

"What are you waiting for?" D4 asked. "Do it before he has a chance to betray us again!"

But Sam beat Jakarro to the deed and fired a burst from his M60 to end the mad inventor's waste of oxygen. "Rot in hell."

The extraterrestrial stumbled back as the projectiles opened a cavity in his chest, the bullets peppered his flesh and it keeled over.

"Gorima wasn't the best employer really." The robot head confessed with a cheerful glee.

The conversation was cut off by the loud hiss, as an observation port opened in the far wall, and standing together were Arkous and Darok, the two traitors looking somewhat smug.

"Well..." Darok said conversationally. "That explains the dead guards."

"Hmmm...I do wonder why I couldn't sense our intruders." The Sith mused. "Most peculiar."

"Obviously they're Earthlings." The Colonel quickly determined. "Judging by weaponry, the tactics, and their accent, I would surmise Americans."

"Yes. I suppose that explains it." His companion conceded. "No matter, these forceless pests are going to learn that they're an anathema to everything we hold dear."

"I told Shan to let it go." Darok revealed to them. "You all did your parts—none of this concerns you."

"You think you can just stand there and relax without us shooting at you?" Meyer mocked as the former MOS 5811 Military Policeman fired a warning shot. "Surrender. This is your only warning."

"Your ignorance of galactic affairs is none of our concern!" The Colonel declared as a projectile struck the glass and whizzed by his head, the duo knowing that it was their cue to flee. "You don't even know what you're interfering with, you ignorant Earthlings!"

The Marine, however, ignored the monologing and fired another shot followed by another.

"Such a shame about Gorima." Darth Arkous lamented with surprising calmness despite being shot at as the Sith Lord reached out to press a button on the console in front of him, and the lab shuttered as the hatch to the observation port closed.

Out of confusion due to the near misses, the Leatherneck looked down and noticed that the front sight of his handgun was off-center. "Drat, I knew I adjusted it to be dead-on recently." But then again it could also be because he may be using a different lot of ammunition than what he used to sight it in which was why it was slightly off-center to account for where the rounds would impact while aiming but either way if he had known the firearms enthusiast would have used 'Kentucky Windage' to compensate.

"Jake! We should get under way and depart!"

"Your friend is right, Earthling! I'm not suited for aquatic environments!"

"I must agree with my master! We best get going!"

"Ah, shut up robot!"

"Robot? I'm C2-D4, a Protocol Droid formerly in service to Queen…"

"I said shut it, Rosey." The Marine snarled. "This ain't the 'Jetsons'but don't think for a minute that I won't send your advanced cogs or sprockets up to Orbit City!"

"Out! Now!" Sam barked as an explosion tore through the facility and water came rushing in. The quartet was out in the hallways, heading toward the elevator at double time to the surface when Lana contacted the strike team.

"Hello again."She said, "I'm afraid all the emergency pods have been ejected and the hatches back to the facility's entrance sealed. Fortunately, a friend and I… procured a small watercraft for such an eventuality. The autopilot should have it docked at a hatch nearby shortly."

'Friend?'Jake asked himself, but shook the Leatherneck his head. The Marine needed to focus on surviving the waves first.

"'Shortly' might be a little bit long as far as we're concerned." Sam shouted over the rush of water.

"Their cyborg champion is after you!"Lana said, sounding slightly agitated."I can feel its power from here. It's considerable."

Jake calmly returned the M1911A1 to his russet leather M1916 Holster, pulled his issued M14 off of his shoulder, and formed a 'hasty sling': After bringing his rifle to 'port arms', Meyer placed his left arm inside the opening - below the rifle and above the M1907 pattern sling, raised the left arm up and behind the sling, and slipped his palm back over the sling, and grasped the forestock of the rifle before aiming his rifle as the monstrosity confronted them. The crackshot peered through the rear aperture as he remained in the 'offhand' position and placed the front sight squarely at the head before firing a single shot of Nosler-produced 7.62x51mm M59 Ball and watched as brain matter was scattered across the passageway courtesy of the 150 grain bullet. Although the alien received a mortal wound with his head being an unrecognizable clump, his arm was still twitching but it eventually stopped, the fin twitching its last movements.

"Is it dead?" Westbrook asked, breathing heavily.

"I don't think we have time to stay here and find out." Meyer determined. "Let's just get out of here."

The Paratrooper nodded and the comrades rushed towards the docking bay located at the corner of the hall.

"Apologies for the interruption, but both Lana and Agent Shan are currently occupied at the moment. Nevertheless, your two acquaintances thought they needed to have an extra hand in this mess, although I'm surprised that you didn't invite me to the raid, Jake."

"Sounds familiar?" Sam inquired regarding the identifiable clipped voice.

Jake pressed the button to his earpiece and although he hesitated for a moment he felt that he had to know and what were the odds? "Is that you, Sara?"

"Now is not the time."The Commando chastised."You and Samuel need to 'bug out' as you Americans say and 'get out of dodge'."

"Seems like we may have gone a bit overboard with the expressions, pal." Jake grumbled as he sprinted towards the docking bay.

"You think?"

The quartet came across a holoterminal and the figure of a female Imperial Commando flickered to life with the Sergeant busy tapping away at presumably the 'electrical typewriter feature' from Meyer's and Westbrook's perspective.

"So should I bring flowers and chocolate for the reunion?" The Leatherneck quipped, but Kelrein sighed at the antics.

"Look, we can catch up after you're out of the kriffing lab."The redhead promised as she continued to press buttons on her holopad."There, the shuttle should be ready for your departure to the surface, unless you prefer to swim of course?"

Lana Beniko - Sith Order and former advisor to Darth Arkous

Aboard the XS stock light freighterBite of the Kououra

07:15:16 ATC/ Tuesday, July 15th, 1969 - 15:24/3:24 PM

Ever since Lana met Jake, the blonde couldn't get her mind off of the handsome American, and for whatever reason, Beniko believed she was falling head over heels whenever she saw him, and yet Lana didn't want to put a friendship at risk.

"Sara?"

"What is it, Lana?" The redhead asked, head peeking up from a holonovel she was reading.

With a deep breath, Lana explained the situation. "I believe that I'm falling in love with Jake, but I know he already has someone dear to him and I do not wish to put our friendship in jeopardy."

Sara blinked at Lana for a few moments then smirked. "Why am I not surprised." Kelrein declared with an answer Lana wasn't quite expecting. "Lana. He's a great guy and I know you long enough that you wouldn't risk our friendship. We have so much in common that I wouldn't be surprised that you have feelings for him too." Sara's smirk then metamorphosed into a sly grin. "Besides, I'm not the jealous type anyway."

"That's...good to hear."

"I wonder what he thinks?" Kelrein wickedly smiles before calling out. " Jake! Can Lana and I talk to you for a minute!? It's important! "

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - Fireteam Alpha, Second Squad, First Platoon, C/Charlie Company, Second Raider Battalion "Carlson's Raiders", Second Raider Regiment, Second Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, United States Marine Corps

Aboard the XS stock light freighterBite of the Kououra

07:15:16 ATC/ Tuesday, July 15th, 1969 - 15:30/3:30 PM

Jake was taken aback by the proposition. The American never expected that two ladies to be captivated by him and now he was in a rather awkward situation at the insinuation of being romantically involved with the enemy. This was either a dream come true or a perilous nightmare depending on one's point of view and he was conflicted about reacquainting with one of them.

"Umm...So let me get this straight. You both desire to be in a relationship with me?"

"Well, if you're uncomfortable..." Lana mitigated herself, understanding his reluctance and hesitation regarding the concept.

"No, it's fine." He quickly declared. "It's just that I'm trying to wrap my head around it." Meyer sighed as he pondered as to what the best course of action is. "Look, I already had a fallout over a certain spy, but, this…?"

"Sorry about that by the way." Sara muttered with sincerity. "I've never intended for you to get scrutinized."

"It's fine." Sighing and praying that he doesn't regret this, he nodded. "Okay then. I'm willing to give this a shot."

Aboard the XS stock light freighterBite of the Kououra

07:16:16 ATC/ Wednesday, July 16th, 1969 - 16:00/4:00 PM

"Lucky bastard." Samuel grumbled as he saw his friend being mesmerized by the blonde and the redhead.

"You were playing matchmaker, Sam." Sara cheekily pointed out. "Goes to show that women play the game better."

"Whatever, Space Limey."

Beniko and Kelrein glanced at one another and rolled their eyes. "Men."

"Okay, moving on." Theron intervened, changing the subject. "We now know that a certain ancestor of mine is planning an intergalactic powerplay."

"Understatement of the century." Jake interrupted.

"Yes, well, and we also know that he hasn't successfully recruited any Earthlings due to the planet being involved in the galaxy for only a year. As such, Earth hasn't cemented itself, unlike Alderaan or Chandrila."

"Thus we can discount encounteringanyRevanites from your world." Lana finished.

"Who cares!"Jakarro roared."We're wasting our time!"

"Err...What did Sasquatch say?" The paratrooper inquired, regretting it only moments later.

"My master..."

"Way to go, Sam."

Rakata Prime - Lehon System, Tempered Wastes, Unknown Regions, "The Galaxy"

07:18:16 ATC/ Friday, July 18th, 1969 - 09:30/9:30 AM

"So this potential vacation hotspot is the origin of a race of cannibals?" Jake quipped he, Sam, and their handler sat on a crate discussing their next move. "I'm unimpressed."

"Well, then at least it's not Rishi." Theron interposed. "Intel places it as a hotspot for smugglers and gangsters despite being a tropical paradise."

"Pirates?" Sam questioned, clearly interested. "As in 'Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum'?"

Shan still wasn't sure what the Earthling was talking about but he recognized rum. "When you put it that way, piracy is surprisingly common in the galaxy."

"Sounds lovely. Magicians, Cultists, and now Pirates." Meyer scoffed. "What's next, an intergalactic apocalypse to wipe out all life?"

"Oh, give it a break, Jake." Kelrein interrupted as the commando and the others walked over to the men discussing strategy. "I'm sure you can ease off being melodramatic once you realize that the reality of the galaxy is not going away anytime soon."

"I can even call up a few of my pirate friends!"

"We still can't understand you, Sasquatch."

"Jakarro is not Bigfoot." The blonde corrected."He's a Wookiee."

"A what?"

"My master species call themselves Wookiees and their homeworld is known…"

"Shut up droid." Sara glared at the head. "Can you see that you were being rude?"

"My apologies...Go ahead Miss Beniko."

Lana coughed and continued. "Anyway, Jakarro is a Wookiee and thanks to their biology, they can only communicate by using growls."

"So they speak through roars?"Sam noticed. "I guess this is why he strapped a robot to his chest."

"How many times do I have to you that I'm not a robot!? I'm C2-D4, a Protocol Droid formerly in service to Queen…"

"Quiet down or I'll sell you for scrap! They're just misinformed!"The smuggler roared."I hear there is a high demand for the C2 series lately on Tatooine!"

"Please don't master! It's just only a misunderstanding!"

It clicked for the Marine that one of the strike team hadn't shown annoyance at the 'Protocol Droid' as of yet. "I'm surprised you haven't lashed out at it yet. Are you supposed to be driven on anger?"

"It takes more than this to annoy me." The Sith confessed. "I just find patience to be a virtue."

"Moving on, what do we know about the insane cultists?"

"The Order of Revan…A Cult that preaches the teaching of Revan, a famous or infamous figure depending upon one's point of view."

"And who is this Revan guy?" The paratrooper pressed.

Theron sighed. Maybe he should have contacted Havoc Squad for this operation. "Revan was a famous Jedi three hundred years ago who later went rogue, redeemed himself, and became a hero for the Republic once more...Look, I can send you a history file after the work is done."

"Three hundred years." Jake snorted. "Sam, do we know anyone who is over three centuries old and walks like a sack of bones?"

"The only living ancient man I know Jake is your Great-Grandfather." Westbrook chuckled. "I'm sure he could continue to tell us his tales about his adventures in Puerto Rico during the War of '98 and how he nearly fired the cannon at the Spaniards only to be informed that peace was declared."

"This is no joking matter." The spy groaned. "Whether this is the actual Revan or an imposter, it doesn't matter. The Republic, Empire, Earth…He threatening to place the entire galaxy under an iron heel."

"Theron's right." Lana agreed with the assessment. "The madman desires to rule over the galaxy and strip every sentient being of their liberties."

The two Americans were about to comment about the hypocrisy of authoritarianism when the beast howled.

"All of this talk makes me thirst for blood! When are we going to storm the place!"

"Calm down. I'm sure that we'll learn in time and be home in time for Misses Meyer's cheesecake."

Sara's ears perked up under overhearing the delicacy. "Did someone say cheesecake?"

'Oh great.'Jake thought. "Umm…Sam, you know she's addicted to the dessert, remember?"

"Ah shoot." The paratrooper facepalmed as he realized his error.

"Cheesec-ake?" Lana inquired with an awkward, yet curious tone.

"Why, cheesecake is the greatest thing ever." The redhead smirked. "You need to try some."

Chapter 16: Besieged Part One

Chapter Text

Admiral Zasha Ranken-Imperial Forward Command

Aboard the INS Subjugator- Harrower-class Dreadnaught: Vaiken Spacedock - Dromund System, Sith Worlds, Imperial Space, Outer Rim Territories, "The Galaxy"

07:18:16 ATC/ Friday, July 18th, 1969 - 05:30/5:30 AM

'Striking at Kuat again?' Zasha mused at the Council's latest directive for her fleet. The Imperial Admiral has become aware of the notoriety of the Republic's new allies in the conflict: some were just mere brutes and others were refined, civilized beings yet oddly they all hailed from one world known as 'Earth'. Ranken had heard rumors of even 'impostors' amongst their ranks, calling themselves 'Britons' or 'Englishmen' but by Imperial standards this was just a new low.

'It's rather interesting that the Republic would simply leave a token garrison this time, the fools must be arrogant enough regarding their allies to accept such a risk.' The woman thought as she read the intelligence report.

Nevertheless, the commanding officer of a taskforce consisting of numerous Harrower- dreadnoughts, Terminus-destroyers, and Gage-class transports waited for the arrival of two more squadrons of Supremacy-class Starfighters before proceeding to jump into hyperspace.

Fleet Admiral Raymond Ames Spruance- United States Navy (Assigned as an attaché)

Republic Command Post - Kuat Drive Yards, Kuat, Kuat System, Kuat Sector, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:18:16 ATC/ Friday, July 18th, 1969 - 06:00/6:00 AM

"So the Imperials finally decided to take the bait." The Hoosier-native smiled as the enemy fleet exited out of the 'Star Trek' style Warp Drive. "We can probably wipe out this entire naval task force and hopefully bring the Dark Council to the negotiating table when they lose their current best Admiral. The bastards surely are still feeling the aftermath of losing that precious Rakton of theirs back on that 'sacred' world of all holiness Korriban."

"As much as I hate to admit it, the plan is either bold or it might just work." Admiral Aygo confessed as taskforce Aurek proceeded to maneuver around the opposition, positioning themselves behind the Imps.

"Incoming high-priority transmission from the Imperial Fleet!" A Republic Navy 'crewer' with the rank of 'Private' called out, the terminology difference causing Raymond to snort.

"Put it through!"

"Ah, Aygo my old friend, what a lovely surprise." A tan-skinned brunette woman with sparkling dark blue eyes greeted the trio. "I see you brought along your two Earthling pets to accompany you at this time."

"Whatever lady," Raymond snorted, "and sorry for ruining your vacation, but do us a favor and turn your Caribbean cruise liners around before we blow them out of the water, so to speak. Surely you're not stupid to stand up to a trap."

"So you must be the famed Admiral Spruance of Midway." Zasha grinned as she witnessed the American taken aback from shock before composing himself. "Quite a feat you pulled back in this Pacific Ocean of yours yet the files failed to note how handsome you are."

"Sorry, lass, but he's already married." Montgomery defended the Yank. "How about surrendering?"

"Curious, I've been wondering why some of you Earthlings are speaking with Imperial dialects?"

"More like British, madam," Montgomery smirked, "I, however, do believe you need to learn how to speak it properly, you incarnation of humbug."

"So Bey'wan?" The victor of Midway and the Philippine Sea asked the dog-like creature in a whisper while the Briton kept their opponent distracted. "What do we know about the arrogant… wench?" He had to refrain himself from calling her worse.

"Admiral Ranken served under the now deceased Grand Moff Rycus Kilran during the Sacking of Coruscant and unsurprisingly, the witch enjoyed bombarding civilian targets," The Bothan's ears drooped at the memory, "she caused significant collateral damage that day."

"How ghastly." The Spartan General noted as he adjusted his beret. "So this bloody bint is a narcissist? Regardless of the dear Impostor's sensibilities, old chap, what do you think that they're about to commit?"

"We don't know what the Imps are planning other than that they either desire to capture Kuat or…" The Republic Admiral's eyes widened in realization. "Kriff!? They might want to just sabotage the Drive Yards!" If they couldn't take it, they would most certainly want to stop their ability to repair and produce more ships for their fleet.

"A raid does make sense." Raymond agreed. "Bernard, how are the defenses coming?"

"We're preparing a mainline just outside in case of borders breaching." Montgomery replied. "Mainly consisting of the garrison already present, not to mention both my First Commonwealth Division, some of your Sailors and Marines in addition to a Battalion from the 25th Infantry Division, plus some 'Company Guards' I must add."

"I also sent out word for reinforcements but I'm confident that we'll repel them again." Bothan grinned.

Corporal Hanzo Nilsson- Weapons Section, Second Platoon, Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia Light Infantry, 1st Commonwealth Division

Kuat Drive Yards - Kuat, Kuat System, Kuat Sector, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:18:16 ATC/ Friday, July 18th, 1969 - 06:30/6:30 AM

"Corporal Nilsson!" Sergeant McHugh barked. "Have your machine gun team set up blocking positions outside Hangar Bay Bravo Two-Four!"

"Yes, Sergeant." Hanzo acknowledged as he waved Alex and the two men towards the location. "Alright, so I think we'll set up at the top right corner, the balcony." The Head Corporal noted, applying his experience from 'Nam during the scant instances of urban fighting. "It seems to be a good angle to rain down fire on 'em."

"Excellent suggestion." McAllen approved as he clutched the tripod. "Apparently we'll be having droids and security augmenting us."

"Wonderful." Edwards mutters sarcastically. "Glorified rent cops."

Hanzo sighed as overheard the gripe. "Edwards? Are the crates ready?"

"Yes, Corporal. We have plenty of lead for the Browning to shoot the f*ckers."

"Alright, we don't have all day, so let's move people!"

Admiral Zasha Ranken-Imperial Forward Command

Aboard the INS Subjugator- Harrower-class Dreadnaught: Kuat Drive Yards, Kuat, Kuat System, Kuat Sector, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:18:16 ATC/ Friday, July 18th, 1969 - 06:30/6:30 AM

Admiral Ranken met the strike team on the bridge, the company of Commandos and a platoon's worth of Sith warriors were carefully selected for this vital task in this latest attempt at Kuat, only this time the desire was to put the driveyards out of commission. And as such, wardroids will be augmenting the assembled force as well, since this mission was critical for the success of the raid.

"Your objective is to distract the Earthling force defending the western flank." The Admiral revealed to the subordinates. "You are authorized by the Dark Council themselves to utilize whatever force you see fit except summary executions. Their desecration of Korriban shall not be forgotten and these Earther scum shall feel the wrath of the Empire."

"So why should we use overkill against these barbaric primitives?"A Captain in charge of the detachment scoffed as he glanced at one of the droids being prepared for the assault.

"Because the Earthlings don't play by the accepted rules when it comes to warfare." Admiral Zasha announced. "You are all experienced in numerous campaigns against both the Pubs and their Jedi pets, yet the nations of Earth are unpredictable, with different strategies and tactical expertise amongst their diverse military organizations. Accept the unforeseeable, realize that some of you may not come back alive but most important of all, may the Force serve you well."

Lord Krovos stepped forward as she recognized her cue. "Today the Republic shall long remember that they cannot continuously rely on their newfound allies. Those Earthlings of the Second Field Army, specifically the First Commonwealth Division, made a mockery of our forces on Tython, a planet that is an anathema to their entire primitive and barbaric race." It was even reported that one soldier in particular was responsible for a number of Sith deaths during the assault, even with his own bare hands.

The Sith Warriors standing before the Pureblood snarled like baying wolves. In their eyes, the mere forceless freaks were lower than womp rats and not fit for even enslavement.

"And let's not forget that the majority are imposters from the lands they call Britain, New Zealand and Australia as well." Admiral Ranken added. "They believe that ever since they had an Empire, they have the birthright to make a mockery of us. No more. Today, the True Empire shall rule the entire galaxy by bringing the Republic to its knees and Earth will learn the cost of earning the fury of the Empire."

"Taking prisoners is a secondary objective but our main focus is to demolish critical machinery and set back production for years." Lord Krovos added. "No executions. Just go in, destroy as much machinery as you possibly can, create havoc, and then get out. The engineers will finish the task after the main force deals with the defenders then we'll retreat back into Imperial space, is that understood?"

Corporal Hanzo Nilsson- Weapons Section, Second Platoon, Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia Light Infantry, 1st Commonwealth Division

Kuat Drive Yards - Kuat, Kuat System, Kuat Sector, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:18:16 ATC/ Friday, July 18th, 1969 - 08:49/8:49 AM

"Fall back! Fall back!" McHugh ordered as he witnessed one of his men getting frozen by a cryo grenade thrown from a commando. The Canadians and Republic soldiers with their remaining droid support units were being forced to abandon the first line of defense as the wardroids headed right toward the defenders, pushing those standing behind the barricade out of the way or slaughtering them with their turrets.

"I'm tired of running, let's make a stand for once!" A Rodian Private shouted in clear Basic, frustrated at the lack of resistance by his fellow soldiers.

However, a green-skinned Twi'lek Republic Sergeant voiced his disagreement. "The Earthling is right, would you like to go up against that thing without a launcher?"

"No, Sergeant." The Private conceded.

The allies began retreating in a somewhat chaotic order away from the approaching droids, the monstrosities pushing all before them out of the way in order to allow the Imperials to mop up those who remained behind.

Nilsson noticed the scrambling down below and opened up with the converted M1919A4 down below, blowing away two Imperial soldiers with the powerful STANAG 7.62 x 51 mm NATO round, utilizing the armor penetrative abilities of the M61 to its fullest potential, watching as it just ripped through their armor and an agony death awaited for them.

"Ah hell, that robot f*cking spotted us!" Jack cursed as the Imperial Annihilator T4-1Ds and DX-6 Ravagers assisting the Sith and Commandos in their slaughter turned in their direction and began to open fire. Hanzo and his men immediately ducked behind their sandbag barricade, the blaster bolts slamming into them like jackhammers as the smell of melting sand choked the air. While their defenses were holding, the gun crew knew it wouldn't for much longer.

"Go find us a LAW, Edwards!" Hanzo ordered as he continued to lay down withering fire on the Imps supporting the wardroids, forcing a few of them to seek cover before he himself had to duck again as a blaster bolt nearly took his head off.

"LAW, right." The subordinate noticed a launcher leaning up against a box and proceeded to extend the tube before aiming the piece at one of the robot's heads and fired. The rocket struck the wardroid in the face, detonating the circuitry and power fluxers inside in a thundering fireball.

A brief silence followed as even the wardroids were caught by surprise at this grizzly sight. That didn't last long and they doubled their efforts to kill the gun crew. As Hanzo ducked again, an idea suddenly occurred to him.

"You two." Nilsson pointed at the security guards assigned to him. "We need some grenades. Doesn't matter if they're thermal detonators or Lemons, just get 'em." He'll need to remember their names if they survive this battle.

The Weequay and Aqualish nodded in acknowledgment, sprinting to the strategically placed supply cache.

"Ha! How about stick bombs as well!" The Weequey cried in excitement after opening the crate. "Perfect!"

"Gammon bombs and stickies?" McAllen questioned. "Must be surplus."

"And Republic issue ones as well." The other mercenary grinned. "What's the plan, Corporal?"

"Dump the Frags on top of them." Nilsson ordered. "The ro-droids can have the glue." Damnit, it was starting to get to him about the 'proper' correction for droids in this galaxy.

"And have them run the gauntlet of improvised mines. Good thinking."

The detachment poured the grenades and they rolled across the floorboard, spreading shrapnel and destruction in the radius. The wardroids received scratches to their legs yet a few well-placed anti-armor rockets to the heads or sides disabled the machines, causing the Imperial supporting fire to gradually cease.

The remaining Imperials knew that they'd lost the initiative and that without their droids to back them up, charging the dug-in Earthlings would be a pointless slaughter. So instead, they dug in and waited for reinforcements to arrive.

Fleet Admiral Raymond Ames Spruance- United States Navy (Assigned as an attaché)

Republic Command Post - Kuat Drive Yards, Kuat, Kuat System, Kuat Sector, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:18:16 ATC/ Friday, July 18th, 1969 - 08:49/8:49 AM

"Sir? We need to move, now!" A Staff Sergeant of Spruance's security detail recommended.

"Too late, Sarge! They're starting to breach!"

The Royal Marine Bootnecks, Leathernecks of the USMC, sailors from the Allied navies, and soldiers across the Anglosphere aimed their rifles from their barricades alongside their Republic counterparts.

"Want to borrow my pistol, Yank?" Bernard inquired with a grim chuckle, unholstering his old yet reliable Webley.

"No, I'm good but thanks for offering the Six Shooter." Raymond grinned as he aimed his M1911A1. "Stand firm, men. Remember that today we are proving our worth in a proper defensive engagement. If we lose this shipyard, Earth will fall victim to these bastards."

"And set back our entire effort as well." Admiral Bey'wan added, his blaster pointed at the inbound unwelcome guests.

Suddenly, the blast door blew in and three Sith rushed inside first, anxious to cut down the Forceless blights before them.

"Ah sh*t, we have some of those bloody banshees incoming!" A sailor with a Somerset dialect warned as he cooked a grenade. "Eat this, you f*ckin' tossers!"

The grenade landed directly in front of the charging heathens, sending out hot fragmentation in a five-meter radius. The attacking Sith Warriors threw up a protective Force-Shield, but the concussive force was enough to knock them on their collective asses with a few embedded shards in their limbs for good measure.

Before the Earthlings could finish them off, a commando threw a cryo grenade at a Leatherneck, freezing the poor soul in ice. He was taken down in turn by a well-placed shot of .45 ACP from Spruance's handgun which impacted squarely between the eyes of the Space Fascist which only had an eighteen percent chance of survival with treatment if it was a handgun wound yet in this instance it was clearly fatal as the combatant dropped dead.

"Fine shooting, old chap." The Spartan General complimented before placing a .455 caliber slug into the heart of a 'Pureblood,' "Ghastly creatures."

"More like ugly. Reminds me of the inscriptions about demons."

"You don't say." The Field Marshal deadpanned.

"Come on lads! Let's show these bastards what 'primitives' can do!" A Chief Petty Officer of the Royal Navy attired in his white and black No. 3B Dress bellowed, with an L9A1 pistol in his left hand and an honest-to-God cutlass in his right - in this case a 1900 Pattern Royal Navy Cutlass to be precise. "Drive the imposters back!"

"You heard him!" His American counterpart in his Service Khakis and wearing a khaki Combination Dress Cap added as he clutched a Model 1917 Naval Cutlass. "Don't let up! Keep mowing those bastards down!"

Although the cutlasses as well as the scrounge up boarding axes and pikes distributed to perplexed sailors were anachronisms, their issuing was misconstrued as it was neither out of desperation or to spare rifles for the armies, rather it was the glaring fact that vibroswords and whatnot were expected to be encountered nevermind boarding actions in general and for navies steeped in tradition it was better to have it than not need it and besides, the ad hoc naval pikemen still had rifles, they were just slung on their shoulders unless the situation dictated otherwise whereas the axes and cutlasses weren't drawn until required but now as they were under siege the supply of small arms ammunition was no longer guaranteed and such weapons as well as bayonets may had to be used with much more frequency depending on the duration but despite the justifications, it did not prevent jokes from soldiers and marines about sailors being issued hand-me downs from Admiral Lord Nelson or Commodore Perry.

Still, the soldiers, seamen, and Marines were emboldened by the example of the NCOs waving their nautical short-swords, causing the ones with rifles to increase their fire rate slightly, intent on repulsing the opposition from taking over the command center, while the pikemen jabbed those who attempted to break through the defense and while the Sith among them may hack away the ends of pikes they would still be cut down by riflery but the Admiral had a larger bore waiting to be shot.

"Is the surprise ready?!" Spruance shouted, hoping that his men had the trump card prepared.

Two Devil Dogs set up the tripod, placed the tube into the rest, and loaded a Recoilless Rifle with flechette 'beehive' rounds, intending to unleash a hornets' nest of nails at the intruders. "Gun ready! Stand clear from the blast!"

"Ah, Kriff." An Imperial Corporal muttered as he saw one of the enemy 'Marines' aim the tube at the doorway. It was the last object he ever saw as the weapon fired, ripping him and quite literally everybody else in the hallway into finely chopped liver.

"Kierfek! You took down three Sith with that monstrosity." Aygo declared in awe.

"Seventy-Five millimeter M20 Recoilless Rifle."Raymond smirked."How many rounds are left, Top?"

"Two left, sir." The Master Sergeant from Nebraska informed the Hoosier. "Seems like the rest were taken."

'I'm going to have a chat with the supply officer later and see if a court martial is necessary.' The Admiral thought. "Put up a barricade! No doubt this is only the first wave and they'll try again later!"

"Aye, sir."

"Monty? Have Jack come here to reinforce us. We might need his assistance."

"Good God!" Bernard was flabbergasted at the suggestion, before moving his head out of the way of a blaster bolt. "He's an absolute madman, and I would rather have him on the front dispatching the Impostors!"

"I think the Imps wanna capture us, which means there'll be plenty of action to satisfy him. Also, two can play the same game."

Admiral Zasha Ranken-Imperial Forward Command

Aboard the INS Subjugator- Harrower-class Dreadnaught: Kuat Drive Yards, Kuat, Kuat System, Kuat Sector, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:18:16 ATC/ Friday, July 18th, 1969 - 09:00/9:00 AM

Admiral Ranken gazed from the bridge as she witnessed her gun crew finish off another Republic vessel that attempted to launch a boarding party. The Admiral realized that they intended to capture her, perhaps even as a bargaining chip but the woman wasn't going to play into their plot.

"Helmsman!? Bring us two degrees northeast!"

"Aye, ma'am." The crewer acknowledged as he turned the ship's starboard side.

"Focus your fire on the Victory on Bothawui. It appalls me."

The enemy Valor-class Cruiser attempted to bring its turrets broadside against the sudden maneuvering. However, a squadron of Extinction-Class bombers disabled the vessel's engines before Ranken's flagship finished it off under an unrelenting barrage of turbo-laser fire.

"One down, twenty-six more to go in this sector." Zasha muttered as she watched the flame engulfing inside the wreckage.

"We surrender, mates!" A so-called 'Australian' shouted, lowering his L1A1 and raising his arm into the air. "Say you blokes are really ferocious today, reminds me of the Dingoes back home."

"Quiet!" An Imperial Captain ordered as one of the men struck the scum's face with the butt of his carbine. "Acting under the authority of the Empire, I order you to kneel."

"Alright then." The Corporal and his fireteam knelt down, hands behind their heads, expecting to be cuffed. Three Imperials followed their commanding officer's lead and proceeded to aim their weapons at the quartet's heads.

Staff Sergeant Roberto Sanchez - Third Platoon, C/Charlie Company, First Battalion, 25th Infantry Regiment, United States Army

Kuat Drive Yards - Kuat, Kuat System, Kuat Sector, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:18:16 ATC/ Friday, July 18th, 1969 - 09:00/9:00 AM

'You goosestepping bastards!' The Californian thought as he witnessed the summary execution of the four Australians by the Imperial borders. The thought sickened him, reminding him of what the Japanese did to their prisoners. As a buck Private during the conflict, his Lieutenant had advised his men to kill the f*ckers to the last as payback for Manchuria, Bataan, and Wake Island.

Before now the Americans hadn't encountered any war crimes committed by these Space Nazis themselves, only the aftermath on a few instances, and those had been again nonhumans. But now? Witnessing this sheer brutality against his fellow Earthlings brought vengeance to the Platoon leader's mind.

"Sarge?" Specialist Four Anthony Wilburn whispered. "Should we take these bastards down?"

"Wilburn?" Roberto uttered to the former gangster from Philly and one of his best men. "Take your fireteam down the hall to your left and see if you can outflank these psychopaths, the second squad will assist. Rest of you, fix your bayonets and wait for the red smoke." The Staff Sergeant watched as his men drew their M6 blades and affixed them to their M14s. Waiting patiently for the estimated time for Wilburn and his detachment to get into position, the NCO withdrew a smoke grenade and pulled the pin, cooking it for a moment before throwing the cylinder out into the open.

"What the Kriff!?" An Imperial Corporal shouted in surprise as the cylinder started to splurt out smoke, the red fumes filling the room with the vapors that unknowingly signaled their demise.

The Americans poured out from the hallways, charging directly into the mist and utilizing the element of surprise to its fullest potential.

"Oooha!" The Infantrymen shouted their warcry, the wail of inevitable carnage flowing through the air like a tidal wave as they crashed right into their attackers. After what the thugs had just done, the Americans showed them no mercy. Sanchez himself buttstroked the Imperial Captain who ordered the execution of the Aussies, the impact flooring the Space Brit. Before the Hispanic could finish off the fiend, the enemy had his pistol aimed at his chest.

"Earth scum!" The perpetrator snarled as the enemy captain fired, the bolt producing a sudden billow of smoke from firing at such close range as Sanchez fell. "Damn you and your damn barbaric ways of conducting war!"

"Sarge!" Wilburn cried as he saw the platoon leader gunned down. The Specialist fired his shotgun at the enemy officer, ejected the spent shell, and pumped it again before shooting the next load of 00 Buckshot. "Die you son of a bitch!"

The Imperial officer felt the impact of the minuscule primitive slugs plastering themselves into him and the captain never thought he would go out like this to some mere unsophisticated Earthling. The thought of bringing glory to the Emperor, the Sith and the Empire as a whole was what he was trained for, to bring the Republic to their knees. Instead, he was to die to some pathetic, backwater race that barely had reached their moon. They were simply too barbaric for intergalactic society, just barely below the infamous Mandalorian warriors and Wookiees of Kashyyyk.

Wilburn proceeded to casually walk up and pointed the barrel of the M1912 at the officer's forehead, smiling at the cowardly fear in his opponent's gray eyes then fired.

"That's for the Third War of American Independence, Captain Nobody." The former street thug from Philadelphia mocked as he thought of the War of 1812 and of course the American Revolutionary War before spitting on the corpse.

Admiral Zasha Ranken-Imperial Forward Command

Aboard the INS Subjugator- Harrower-class Dreadnaught: Kuat Drive Yards, Kuat, Kuat System, Kuat Sector, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:18:16 ATC/ Friday, July 18th, 1969 - 09:54/9:54 AM

"Status report on the boarding party!" Admiral Ranken demanded as Imperial reinforcements began to arrive alongside additional enemy warships from the Republic. This raid had quickly and inadvertently become one of the largest naval engagements of the entire war as both factions spewed volleys of turbolasers at one another or launched waves of starfighters to cripple the other fleets. In short, things had gone sideways fast.

"Sir, our strike team reports that Phase One is complete, but Phase Two is being delayed."

"Delayed?" Zasha questioned. "Petty Officer, Phase Two was supposed to be commenced an hour ago. Even the most flexible of estimates show that they would've sabotaged the main generator twenty minutes ago."

"The Pubs sent in a highly decorated SpecForce unit, second only to Havoc Squad I'm afraid. Chaos is verified to be partaking in the defense of the Drive Yards."

"Very well." The Admiral noted. "What about the main assault?"

"Heavy counter-attacks throughout the Driveyards by angered Australians, apparently a few of our troops proceeded to conduct unauthorized executions, some by the authority of rogue officers and some by Sith."

"Fools." Lord Krovos fumed. "Those Warriors were inexplicably ordered not to anger the Earthlings by conducting summary executions amongst their ranks. They just gave those Earthlings Carte Blanche a reason to continue fighting in this war."

The Lord of the Sith decided to reveal the latest in the Empire's internal politics. "The Council was considering opening negotiations with President Walker, Primer Khrushchev, and other world leaders yet those blasted morons decided that avenging Korriban and Soviet attacks took precedence."

"Well, it's best to inform the Council with an update. We made it this far and we'll see if we can hold the initiative."

"Perhaps reinforcements as well." Ranken advised. "The Republic would've learned about our raid by now."

Specialist Four Anthony Wilburn- Fireteam Bravo, First Squad, Third Platoon, C/Charlie Company, First Battalion, 25th Infantry Regiment, United States Army

Kuat Drive Yards - Kuat, Kuat System, Kuat Sector, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:18:16 ATC/ Friday, July 18th, 1969 - 11:00/11:00 AM

The former mobster from Philly grinned in satisfaction as he killed another expendable grunt of the Empire. The remaining Americans of C Company had linked up with Republic reinforcements fresh from Coruscant, the 398th Counterassault Regiment, a unit literally born for plugging in gaps along defense lines such as the ones at Kuat.

The Specialist noticed an Imperial sniper behind one of their fancy portable shields, making hits slim yet not impossible as the Republic soldier standing beside the Philadelphian proved.

"Not bad shooting, Tex."

"Sorry, what?" A Zabrak looked at him quizzingly, confused at the colloquialism.

"It's an American expression." Anthony clarified before yelling. "Take cover!"

The rocket smashed into the barricade, the impact causing some of the troops to fly in the air.

"The Imps are getting desperate if they're using launchers!" Another Pub shouted before muttering vulgarity.

"Oh, yeah?" Wilburn snarked as he picked up an M79. "Just wait and see the 'bloop tube' in action."

The Specialist waited for the right moment to lob a 40mm grenade from the oversized shotgun at the incoming Imps before seeing a better target. "Watch and see this f*cker go down." Wilburn smirked as he fired the grenade launcher, yet the Sith decided to veer rightward as if he noticed he was being targeted. "What the hell?"

"Rrrraghhh!" The alien 'Sith' roared, continuing to sprint toward the main defensive line.

"Fire at the Kriffing Stereb!" Colonel Solies barked at the joint unit, realizing the significance of the current threat.

The Americans presumed that the tall, reddish-orange and muscular creature was their designated target and opened up, focusing their fire at the extraterrestrial being.

Major Jessie Lane- Commanding Officer of SpecForce Squad 149 "Chaos Squad", Special Forces Division, Republic Army

Kuat Drive Yards - Kuat, Kuat System, Kuat Sector, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:18:16 ATC/ Friday, July 18th, 1969 - 11:00/11:00 AM

"Damn." Enilly noted as she saw the carnage of the Kiwi defenders lying on the ground with various lightsaber slashes, quite a few with horrified gazes in their eyes, especially the pair of decapitated heads. It took no expert to see what transpired. "The Sith didn't take any mercy on these Earthlings."

"Kiwis or New Zealanders to be precise." Marala sighed as she glanced at the patches. "We're probably dealing with either a Darth or a highly experienced Sith Warrior, the latter most likely."

"I agree." Major Jessie acknowledged. "This isn't some mere apprentice a year or two away from Korriban, we're facing some animal who thrills in the concept of killing, disregarding the value of life."

"In other words, keep our eyes peeled?" The Alderaanian inquired.

"Exactly and I fear our allies may be too arrogant to realize the peril they're in." Her Cathar comrade noted.

"I think you're right, Jorgo. Let's double it."

Specialist Four Anthony Wilburn- Fireteam Bravo, First Squad, Third Platoon, C/Charlie Company, First Battalion, 25th Infantry Regiment, United States Army

Kuat Drive Yards - Kuat, Kuat System, Kuat Sector, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:18:16 ATC/ Friday, July 18th, 1969 - 12:49/12:49 AM

Wilburn was on his back crawling, attempting to aim his M1912 at the approaching fiend, and Anthony had a feeling that this brute saved him for last as the rest of the company - not to mention the detachment of the 398th- were wiped out to a man by this lone individual.

"It appears that your lack of a connection with the Force didn't save you today." The alien grinned, slobber coming out of its mouth.

"You really need Crest." The former mobster fired back as he forced himself to unleash the trigger. "Your breath really smells terrible and it wretches like a dead skunk-rotten egg co*cktail." The shotgun fired its standard load of buckshot yet the pellets bounced off the heavily armored breastplate, barely scratching the surface of the chest protection.

"Foolish, yet noble." The wizard complimented."Be grateful then that your death will be quicker than what I had originally intended."

Major Jessie Lane- Commanding Officer of SpecForce Squad 149 "Chaos Squad", Special Forces Division, Republic Army

Kuat Drive Yards - Kuat, Kuat System, Kuat Sector, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:18:16 ATC/ Friday, July 18th, 1969 - 13:09/1:09 PM

"Ah, Firefek!" Jessie cursed as she and her detachment gazed at the carnage. The sight of so many corpses scattered reminded the SpecForce troopers of the critical threat aboard the station. "Admiral? Do you have holo footage of what occurred at Besh Two-Seven?"

"Give me a sec, Chaos! Imps are breaching our perimeter again for the fourth time today! Our allies and their bodyguards are holding them off yet-"

"Kriff! They even struck the command center!"

"Focus, Kovo." Jessie reprimands, attempting to bring the focus on the current situation.

"On the contrary, I would listen to her fear." The recognizable Imperial accent declared. "It may do you some good." Chaos noticed the detachment of infantry escorting a high ranking individual, his distinct robes and armor distinguishing him as an experienced Sith Warrior, "What do you want, Sith?"

"A challenge." The Sereb stated simply as he ignited his lightsaber. "Your… Canadian allies are going to be preoccupied at the moment, little good it would do for you."

"Keep talking." Jorgo spat, bringing her G-56 Projection-X Carbine to bear. "I'm getting awfully tired of listening to your witticisms."

"Permission to engage, my Lord?" The officer inquired but the palm of the Sith concluded the inquiry.

"Surround but don't open fire. I want to have some fun." The Sereb directed. "Anyone who crashes our party or if the SpecForce attempts to escape, kill them."

"Understood, my Lord." The Lieutenant acknowledged. "Men, fan out and secure the perimeter!"

The twenty grunts obeyed the command and spread out to cordon off the impronto arena from any Republic response, intending to allow their superior space to have his 'fun.'

General John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming "Mad Jack" Churchill

Kuat Drive Yards - Kuat, Kuat System, Kuat Sector, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:18:16 ATC/ Friday, July 18th, 1969 - 13:09/1:09 PM

"Secure the hall, lads!" Fleming directed. "We're going to reinforce Monty and his boys!"

"Yes, sir." The Para acknowledged eagerly, aiming his Sterling down the hall.

Jack watched approvingly as his men secured the area, utilizing the advantage of cover from the walls and forcing the unexpected Imperials to shoot back. Old-fashioned CQB techniques squared off against the latest in shield barriers in a struggle for dominance.

"Blast them!" An Imp shouted. The officer, however, received a 40mm HE round in defiance, taking him and two goons down, one of whom became an inadvertent example of the carnage caused by primitive slug rounds.

"My leg!" The Private howled. "My leg!"

The squad of Paras fired a burst from their submachine guns, the 9mm volley raining a hell storm of molten lead toward the congested Imperial ranks that were focused on assaulting the HQ, the targets being inadvertent fish in barrels. A machine gun section added to the carnage with their L7s, the three 7.62 caliber support weapons withering down the column.

"Keep up the fire, lads!" Fleming encouraged, his sword ready to add to the slaughter if the need arose. "For Queen and Country!"

Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery - 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein and Commander of Her Majesty's Commonwealth Forces of the 'True British Empire'

Temporary Republic Command Post - Kuat Drive Yards, Kuat, Kuat System, Kuat Sector, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:18:16 ATC/ Friday, July 18th, 1969 - 13:20/1:20 PM

"What the blazes!?" Bernard was taken aback by the sudden gunfire ringing outside and noticed the Imps finally deciding to fall back as their comrades were massacred right before their eyes. "Jack?"

"Sir, one Madman as requested!" Churchill laughed as the lunatic hacked the enemy officer in front of him in two with his Claymore. "Seems like he forgot his sword."

"He's undeniably insane, isn't he?" Bey'wan inquired about the two Earthlings standing beside the Bothan.

"Unfortunately." Spruance sighed. "He tried to convince me to partake in fencing lessons the other day. Said it would do me some good as a 'proper officer'."

The remaining Anglo-American-Republic naval personnel and soldiers of the United States Army, Australian Army, and New Zealand Army plus an infantry section detached from the Scots Guards linked up with the British Paratroopers and kept their bayonets trained on the surviving Imperials, including the wounded.

"I surrender!" One of the goosesteppers whined in fear. "I surrender!"

"Well I'll be damned, we have Paras in our midst." A Bootneck snarled, glaring at the soldier with the trademark red beret standing beside him.

"That's enough, Marine. Interservice rivalries can wait." Montgomery snapped. "Aygo? Think we should move the HQ to a temporary location?"

"Well, I did always desire to have a proper office." The Bothan grinned. "Private Tork? How long does it take to erase sensitive data in the room?"

"Umm, about five minutes, sir."

Spruance scoffed as he overheard the ranker. "Sailors as Privates, who would've thought of such nonsense?"

Corporal Hanzo Nilsson - Weapons Section, Second Platoon, Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia Light Infantry, 1st Commonwealth Division

Kuat Drive Yards - Kuat, Kuat System, Kuat Sector, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:18:16 ATC/ Friday, July 18th, 1969 - 13:20/1:20 PM

"Is it just me or is it too quiet?" Alex wondered as he handed Hanzo another belt for the MG from the crate. The gunners took advantage of the lull in the fighting to replenish their stocks and adjust their defenses as needed, well aware that their survival during this onslaught depended on it.

"I agree, something's up." The Master Corporal nodded in agreement. "The Imps wouldn't be brewing tea while we dig in." As if on cue, the door to the hanger bay began to bulge as if a battering ram was being utilized. Soon enough, three Sith charged head-on at the main defensive line, intending to cut down the interlopers.

"Ah f*ck!" Edwards yelled before the Canadians, Mercenaries, and Republic Troopers focused fire on the Imperials as they came pouring in, heading directly at the defenders.

"SHOW NO MERCY TO THE EARTHLINGS!" The head Sith warrior roared. "REMEMBER KORRIBAN!"

Hanzo watched as Private Willis at the other balcony operated the bolt to his L42A1 Sniper Rifle from his perch, aiming at the bastard who gave the command. He managed to graze the Twi'lek before the Sith launched lightning from his fingertips near the marksman position, causing the munition stockpile behind him to explode and Willis to fall to his death.

"sh*t, the Imperials are waving the black flag!" Alex realized. "They're definitely upset about their holy world."

"Hue." Hanzo muttered. "Khe Sahn. Even motherf*cking My Lai. These Sons of Bitches desire to become the NVA." Though again, he wagered some blame can be shared on the Soviets for this hate but that's war for you.

"Yeah, they're pissed alright but they know we mean business." McAllen grinned before his friend fired the M1919A4's next burst.

The Imperials divided their forces into three columns, droids at the forefront followed by more Sith then the grunts to deal with the survivors but the allies were not allowing these pseudo-axis goosesteppers the courtesy, obliging them with defiance instead.

"Ah, Kriff, not those droids again!" One of the mercenaries, a Bothan, shouted fearfully. "That's it, I'm outta here!"

McHugh noticed the doglike creature getting ready to desert the defenders and the NCO withdrew his Browning Hi-Power before pulling the slide back. "Stay and fight or I'll kill you myself, you greedy son of a bitch."

"I don't have a choice, do I?"

"More like two actually." McHugh corrected. "Fall back in line."

"Yes, sir."

"DON'T CALL ME SIR!" The Sergeant corrected, roaring at the insult. " I f*ckING WORK FOR A LIVING!"

"TAKE COVER!" Lieutenant Swanson shouted as one of the Anillinator droids fired a rocket directly at their position, the blast scattering six of his men into the air, either killing them outright or causing broken limbs.

"Reinforcements coming in! Watch your soddin' fire!" An Aussie hollered. It was the voice of Lieutenant General Paul Cullen, Commander of the II ANZAC Corps. He was followed by a succession of infantry with the desire to settle the score.

"Say you blokes need a hand?"

"I think we have the situation here under control." Alex deadpanned.

"Duty First." The Tiger retorted as he aimed his L4 Bren and struck an enemy Major. "Ha! You're worse than the Japs! Even the damned Dingos are more aware of their surroundings, not to mention the f*cking Emus!"

"Emu War?"

"Don't mock us, boyo." The Aussie grumbled. "It isn't my fault that everything in my homeland desires to kill humans. Even the damn Toads."

Lithgow-manufactured L1A1s added to the firepower of Canadian Arsenals Limited produced C1s, gradually pushing the aggressors back and the servicemen of the Second ANZACs continued to retaliate against the random summary execution, seeking vengeance for their comrades.

"My best friend was killed by you Pig sh*tes!" A Queenslander growled before putting a bullet into the Imps brain.

"Major Burns? My lads will take care of the rest of the miscreants." Cullen pledged. "You are relieved."

"Alright, one in three will take one-hour shifts to provide watch." Major Burns declared to the battalion. "We don't know when the Imps are going to strike again but prepare yourselves for a siege. Reinforcements will be arriving in the next few days but until then we're on our own."

"Sir?!" A Radio Operator interrupted."Chaos Squad is requesting reinforcements and we're the closest unit to respond."

"Sergeant McHugh? You and your squad proceed to offer assistance. I'll have the rest of Alpha act as a QRF but that's all we can spare."

"Understood, sir."

Jessie threw a thermal detonator right next to the line of grunts blocking her escape route, desperately trying to open a hole for them to escape as the Sith was proving to be a tenacious sleemo; avoiding withering blaster fire whenever the trio attempted to use their main weapons against the surprisingly agile Shereb, forcing them to use more unconventional means. A liberal dosage of explosives had proven somewhat more effective against their opponent although they were running low.

"Blast! You know when reinforcements are supposed to get here?"

"They should have been here by now." Enilly guessed.

Hanzo came up behind one of the Space Nazis and covered his mouth before plunging his Ka-Bar into Adam's apple, silencing the conscript for his eternal rest while his friend took out the other one. The Canadian Section noticed that the scene was more like an improvised gladiator arena with the goosesteppers watching the fight between their Sith overlord and the three SpecForce soldiers attempting to hold the Sith off with grenades and point-blank blaster fire.

"You know, it's rather pitiful that we catch their sentries off guard." Alex quipped after snapping his foe's neck. "Almost like some sickening hockey match."

"With technology, comes arrogance." The Corporal sighed as he remembered the listening devices from the jungle. Even simple tin cans proved more effective than the Acoustic Seismic Intrusion Detectors. "Wouldn't be surprising if they thought their sensors would be the end-all."

"Halt!" An enemy assault gunner ordered as he noticed the Canucks arriving on scene, preparing to use his blaster cannon before Corporal Nilsson rushed him and grabbed MG by the barrel, wrestling control of the weapon before throwing the implement to the ground and finish him off with a vicious kick to the face, literally breaking in his face.

"Dammit Hanzo." Alex cursed at his friend's rage, "You got some serious anger issues."

"I'm just venting, Alex." Besides, this wasn't him angry. This was him focused.

The commotion drew attention away from the brawl to the interlopers in the corridor, intending to break up the party. Lead and plasma fire were quickly exchanged as both sides dove to cover and attempted to flank the other.

Meanwhile, two of their compatriots, Private Campbell and Corporal Anderson were cut down by the Space Wizard before the Sith noticed that one of the soldiers was causing trouble with his men; dodging the grunt's punch before trapping his arm and breaking it with a sickening snap!

"Ah!" The Imperial cried in pain yet when his comrade attempted to shoot Nilsson, the Canadian used the poor soul as a meat shield. Hanzo threw the corpse before him and drew his pistol, striking the would-be killer across the head before shooting his buddy. The Corporal threw the carcass down and aimed his Hi-Power at his next target, popping the foe in the cranium when another Imperial came at Hanzo from behind. The soldier, however, delivered a blow to the groin with a well-placed kick before spinning around and peppering the assailant with 9mm projectiles to his center-mass, four rounds striking near his heart.

The Sith smiled appreciatively as he noticed the fury from the hazel eyes of the fatuous human, a being not even a Womp Rat would steal foodstuffs from yet this soldier was giving it his all. Needless to say, this forceless being drew his curiosity. 'This one knows how to fight, interesting.'

Nilsson turned and suddenly found the Sith staring him down, a smirk on his face. "What makes you believe that you could take me on, Earthling?"

"Let's just say I've seen sh*t. You ain't nothing compared to them." Nilsson spat, using the distraction to his advantage as he pulled the pin to the flashbang and threw it, the device landing next to the Sith's right boot.

The Sith was stunned momentarily by the concussive force of the blast but recovered quickly by channeling the Darkside. Yet after regaining his sight, the blight was gone. "Coward!"

Hanzo maneuvered around the Sith Overlord, intending to strike the being out with his rifle but quickly realized that going for the breastplate with potshots wasn't going to take him down as the standard 150 grain ball rounds failed to penetrate despite making severe dents. "Your armor definitely can take a few hits." Nilsson commented, studying for any weaknesses but it was apparent that he needed a different 7.62x51mm NATO projectile with higher sectional density, that or something like an M31 HEAT rifle grenade as an M72 LAW may be overkill. "Unlike the flak jackets."

"It took some significant credits to get beskar off the black market." The alien informed him, although he didn't notice McHugh getting onto his back but a quick use of his lightsaber and a Force-enhanced throw did wonders when it came to pests, throwing him at the Earthling's feet.

Hanzo was stunned by the sudden death of his squad leader. The Vancouverite witnessed as his squad leader took his final breath, muttering his final words to him.

"Finish the f*cker." McHugh wheezed, granting his last order before his eyes closed forever, comatose from the fatal wound.

"Care to join your friend?" the Sith sneered putting aside his saber, and spreading his arms wide, "I'll even make it a fair fight."

"Big mistake dumbass." The Corporal snarled in anger as he tackled the creature. Hanzo delivered a chop while his opponent matched his blows with blocks before sending him back with a push kick. The Corporal righted himself and took up a Zenkutsu Dachi stance, intending to hold his ground and kill the son of a bitch regardless of the cost.

"Interesting martial art." The fiend complimented with sarcasm before attempting to deliver a strike of his own. Surprisingly, the Earthling parried the blow with ease and met him with a swift riposte, his nose suddenly exploding with pain.

"Karate." Nilsson spat before striking again, this time at the neck with a knife-hand yet the Sith did a backflip and struck the Canadian in the chest with legs, the blow knocked the soldier off his feet and slammed into the ground. 'Right, Force abilities with martial arts!' He'll need to watch himself here.

"Teräs Käsi." The Dark Sider informed him 'kindly' while Hanzo kipped-up back to his feet. The Sith, surprisingly, calmly resisted the blows from the enraged individual. "Something is telling me that you're going to have so much fun, welp." The alien chuckled as his hands met the Earthling's punch. "Otherwise I would have killed you by now."

Hanzo didn't bother giving a reply, conducting a roundhouse kick but his opponent twisted himself out of the way and grasped the soldier's wrist. Before he could break it, Hanzo struck him with his leg, smacking right into the back of his head and forced him to let go of his leg. He landed on the ground with a roll back up to his feet, the Sith was now pissed off.

"I'll kill you for that!"

Hanzo ignored the rant and used the distraction to his advantage, pushing his opponent back into the corner and that was when hell broke out. The Canadian leaped out of the way as lightning came out of the cornered being's fingertips, intending to reduce him to a fine crisp. Hanzo didn't make it easy for him, rolling and dodging as the Sith chased him with electricity.

"I suppose you ruined the fun." The Sith mocked as he lunged forward to meet his rival. "What a pity. What an absolute pity as I would have choked you if I could."

"And I pity your intelligence." The Corporal scorned before grasping the extraterrestrial's forearm and delivered an uppercut and the beast returned the favor with a blow against his chest, and Hanzo felt some of his bones cracking. 'Gah!' He groaned in pain.

The Sith, enraged at the mockery, reached for his saber. Before he could ignite it, a stray bullet struck the hilt and blew it clear out of his hand, the weapon's internal circuitry exposed and made it useless. "It seems as if fate wishes us to continue as sparring partners." He was however enraged at the damage done to his lightsaber.

"Perhaps." Nilsson concurred, wincing slightly from the pain but not willing to give in. "But I'm not quite finished with you yet."

"Neither am I, my pet." He snarled before meeting the Earthling head-on once more, rage driving him to continue this personal death match.

The Sith met Hanzo full on again, directly his blows towards the human's jawline despite the counter parries. Teräs Käsi and Karate balanced each other in a death spiral, neither person backing down as they intended to finish their brawl once and for all.

Nilsson granted the alien a flying knee strike to the being's shin, causing the Sith to drop. Before Hanzo could deliver another to his head, the Sith grabbed him by his belt and took him with him. Soon, the engagement turned into a grapple, each opponent twisting, turning, and ripping into the other to try and get a footing.

Hanzo finally managed to get some breathing room and drew his combat knife, stabbing him directly under the armpit. "Die, you son of a bitch!"

The Sith knew he was done, but he was going to take this vermin with him. With his left hand, he grabbed onto the Earthling's knife- arm and pulled him in, allowing him to shove his ignited shoto directly into his stomach. "You first." The opponent spluttered as blood began to pool into his lungs.

Before the Sith could extract the weapon and cut him in two, Hanzo slammed his head into the alien's face; giving him just enough time to extract his blade and bury it into the Sith's eye. As life finally left his enemy, Hanzo was suddenly aware that he was falling. He was out before he even hit the ground.

"Medic!" Jessie shouts. Marala's eyes widened in shock and fear took hold when she saw the state Hanzo was in.

"I could jerry-rig a stretcher." McAllen suggested, rummaging through his field pack. "Got a blanket, but I need two poles."

"Kovo? See if you can find them while I stabilize him!"

The Specialist found some X-52 Wraith Infiltrator Sniper Rifles leaning against a nearby wall and retrieved them. "These might do."

"Ready Jorgo?" The Major asked the Cathar as they prepared to lift the improvised stretcher.

"Three...Two...One."

Fleet Admiral Raymond Ames Spruance- United States Navy (Assigned as an attaché)

Generator Room - Kuat Drive Yards, Kuat, Kuat System, Kuat Sector, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:18:16 ATC/ Friday, July 18th, 1969 - 02:00 / 2:00 PM

"You know, I never thought I would become a Partisan." Montgomery commented as he maneuvered around the hallway toward the generator room. "Very ungentlemanly."

"Neither did I. Being some Filipino guerilla hasn't been the plan yet, we need to raise hell in order to prevent the Imperials from either capturing or destroying the Shipyard." Raymond clicked on his earpiece. "Aygo? We're near the central reactor."

"Acknowledged Midway." The Republic Admiral acknowledged from his temporary HQ, gazing at the Security Feed."Bringing you up on my scope now."

"My Lord!" One of the expendable goons saluted at the Sith. "We finished checking the corridors and not a single defender remains."

"I do believe it's best to sweep this room one more time, Sergeant. Earthlings and their equipment are not connected to the Force after all and I'd rather know for sure."

"f*ck." Raymond muttered. "You still have that flashbang?"

"I do. Why Yank?"

"We're going to give them a headache."

"I like your plan already." Jack smiled, causing the Admiral and Monty to groan at the Madman. "My Commandos and I will be honored to raise hell with you."

"Here son, you have a better arm than I do with regards to my age."

"Thanks, sir." The Welshman grinned at the honor of being handed the device from a highly decorated legend.

"GREN-!"

The blast deafened the Darth and the Imperial fireteam, causing them to cover their ears or place palms over their eyes in reaction to the deafening shockwaves.

"That's what I call an entrance!" Churchill laughed as he led the charge. "Focus fire on ugly there!"

"Aye, Sir." Petty Officer Second Class Morrison declared, aiming his M1928A1 Thompson with its one hundred round drum loaded to beat. The submachine guns from the Anglo-Americans peppered the Sith from multiple directions, not allowing it to have a chance.

"Room secured." Raymond declared.

"Copy Midway. Sending security droids to guard the reactor now."

Major Coria Baize - Commanding Officer of SpecForce Squad 326 "Havoc Squad", Republic Special Forces Division, Republic Army

Kuat Drive Yards - Kuat, Kuat System, Kuat Sector, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:18:16 ATC/ Friday, July 18th, 1969 - 15:30/3:30 PM

"Major Baize?"The Supreme Commander and founder of Havoc himself beckoned, debriefing the unit of their current assignment." You are to link up with Chaos and proceed to engage any high profile targets in sight. We cannot lose the Driveyards, especially now. I'm gathering reinforcements to overcome the siege but as of now you're on your own."

"Understood, sir." The Corulag woman with caramel brown hair and green-hazel eyes acknowledged. "Fourex? You and Vik rendezvous with what's left of the 27th US. Dorne, report to the 7740th MASH and see if you could lend a hand techwise. Jorgan? Yuun? You're with me."

"The Republic, with the assistance of our Earth allies, shall crush all Imperial resistance before our combined forces!" M1-4X praises. "We're going to terrify the evil overlords through sheer combined might!"

"Yeah, yeah. Four." Vik snarked. "Earthlings this and Earthlings that, hamburgers and hotdogs on the Fourth of July with fireworks. Let's just take out their pathetic fleet already."

"Knock it off you two." Captain Jorgan, the Executive Officer, snapped. "There's enough Imps for us to blast away on arrival."

"Agreed." Dorne declared. "Sir, do you believe that as stated in Section 12, Paragraph 19 (a), that we should transfer all our medical supplies to the main ward for the siege's duration?"

"Might as well, Lieutenant." The Major relented. "Especially since stores will be running low."

Lieutenant Elara Dorne- SpecForce Squad 326 "Havoc Squad", Republic Special Forces Division, Republic Army

Kuat Drive Yards - Kuat, Kuat System, Kuat Sector, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:18:16 ATC/ Friday, July 18th, 1969 - 17:30/5:30 PM

"Heard you Earthlings might require some expertise on medical technology and alien biology."The medical expert of Havoc Squad announced herself to the personnel of the 7740th MASH. "Leftenant Dorne reporting, sir."

"You know, Ben, do you think she's some spy?"His fellow womanizing colleague and co-prankster-in-crime, Jeremy McEntire, wondered as he nudged his comrade's arm, grinning at the recognizable clipped accent.

"Sounds like the perfect partner for a certain Colonel." Benjamin Pearce retorted, never one to pass up a wisecrack.

"Nah." Blakenship retorted as he operated on a Corellian with second-degree burns caused by an incendiary grenade. "She's too beautiful for espionage work. Besides, if she was some operative, would she be announcing 'shoot me'?"

"Why thank you, sir." The blonde blushed at the praise, though she'd heard that Earthlings still had traditional values when it comes to gender roles. Her experience when dealing with sexism was to ignore and carry on with her assigned task by conducting them more efficiently. "I assure you that I've been vetted by the SIS after my defection."

"Damn robot!" Burnbrock cursed, the surgeon from Fort Wayne, Indiana was incompetent at its finest and the Colonel managed to have him supervise the hardware instead of being hands-on. It appeared judgment dictated that he wouldn't have a future in the medical field.

"You know after all we went through, it's such a shame we couldn't bring Major Hallihan along for the ride."

Elara arched an eyebrow and grew curious, using it as an advantage to bond. "Friend of yours?"

"Marge was the head nurse back in Korea." McEntire informed the SpecForce soldier. "She's stationed at Walter Reed now."

"Oh, I see." Elara knew that Earth regulations prohibited having their women on the front line, regarded as too dangerous yet if this Hallihan survived Korea, why should they stay within the Sol System for the duration of the conflict?

"Scalpel?"

"Here, sir." Benjamin handed the instrument to Henry.

The blonde grimaced as she witnessed the blade being used on the poor scout. "Are they-"

"Sterilized? Yes, Lieutenant." Blakenship informed the woman. "Now since you're here, we can finally ease the pressure off your medics and assist with operating on non-humans."

"Zabrak coming in!" A Sergeant announced as he and a Corporal brought the alien in a stretcher.

"Grab a mask and hair net out of the drawer, Dorne. Apron as well."

"I'm fine-"

"Do as you're told. This is a Field Hospital manned by the men of the United States Army Medical Corps and regulations dictate that surgeons and their assistants are to wear masks and hair nets while operating on patients!" The Colonel chastised. "If you have any complaints, please feel free to forward them to General Porter!"

Dorne sighed and placed the white clothes on her person yet kept her armor on.

"Zabraks are simple except they have two hearts." The former Imperial informed.

"Two hearts, huh? Not as freaky as those ETs with an upside-down face with eyes at their chin. What are they called again?"

"Beats me, Ben." McEntire shrugged.

"Careful now." Dorne advised as Blakenship utilized the scalpel to cut into the flesh. "You should see an artery a few centimeters to the left."

"Understood."

"You know, I do believe that we work well together." Elara smiles.

"We got another wounded!" Havoc Squad's medic overheard the unmistakable voice of Chaos CO bellow from the back.

"Major Lane?"

"Dorne, are there any spare beds?"

"Who's the patient?" Major Pierce wondered.

"Fellow Earthling." Lane informed him.

"Canadian." Marala added. "Princess Patricia's-"

"We got it from here." Blankenship acknowledged. "I'm familiar with the Canucks."

"He was stabilized en route but I'm surprised that the saber wound didn't pierce his rib cage." Dorne declared as she scanned the unconscious Earthling."Did he take on a Sith hand-to-hand by himself?"

"Murderistic brute of one." Jessie acknowledges. "Surprised he came out on top."

"I guess you know him?"

"We met him and his friend at Carrick Station after the Assault on Tython."

"I see." The blonde recognized the worried gaze from the usual emotionless woman, wondering how close she was to him, though she wondered the same for the dark-furred Cathar teammate as she had yet to leave the patient's side. "We'll get him taken care of although relief won't be arriving for a few days."

"Understood." Lane accepted. "Jorgo, I believe we best replenish our ammo before heading back to the front."

Chapter 17: Besieged Part Two

Chapter Text

Supreme Commander Jace Malcom - Commanding Officer of the Republic Military

Aboard theRNS Extricate-Valor-class Cruiser: En route to Kuat - Kuat System, Kuat Sector, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:24:16 ATC/ Thursday, July 24th, 1969 - Day Six of the Siege - 14:45/ 2:45 PM

"Sir, the garrison at the Drive Yards are being gradually pushed back by the Imps yet as of this time, our forces are holding on." A navy crewer informed the commanding officer of the entire Republic Military with an update on the situation.

"Let's pray to the Force that we're not too late."

"Exiting hyperspace in three… two… one."

Jace stared at the size of the armada before him, it was as if the Sith Empire sent their entire navy to engage the defenders and take out the crucial drive yards in order to hinder the Republic's war effort for generations to come.

"Get me a line to General Dayan!" The Supreme Commander ordered, receiving an affirmative from another crew member.

The distinct eyepatch reminded Malcom of the scars he suffered on Alderaan after attempting to kill off Malgus with a thermal detonator.

"It appears that our mutual adversaries are getting desperate."The Israeli noticed. "Can't seem to blame them."

"The Empire is coming down on its last legs, their capabilities for taking offensive actions are now limited." The founder of Havoc Squad declared confidently although the war was admittedly far from over. "I heard you requested a special package?"

"Already prepping the greeting gift as we speak just to pose a distraction. My men know what they're getting themselves into."

'These Israelis are bold, I'll give them that.'The founder of SpecForce thought. "Either way, this is a one-way trip with only a five percent chance of success."

"We capture the HVTs and blow up the flagship, just send it to hell and high water, or we can just distract the leaders of the attack. The result is still the same, we'll snatch victory from underneath them."

"Very well." Jace relented. "We got ourselves a war to win."

Grand Moff Ilyan Regus- Commander of Imperial Forces

Aboard theINS Subjugator-Harrower-class Dreadnaught: Kuat Drive Yards, Kuat, Kuat System, Kuat Sector, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:24:16 ATC/ Thursday, July 24th, 1969 - Day Six of the Siege - 15:00/ 3:00 PM

"It seems as the Pubs decided to send their Supreme Commander himself to supervise matters in person." Regus revealed to the war council aboard the flagship, currently consisting of himself, Admiral Ranken, and Lord Krovos.

Illyan arrived the day before to supervise the situation which was getting out of hand not through Republic might, but through delaying tactics by the allies while additional reinforcements were en route.

"Not to mention Havoc Squad is confirmed to be on the station working alongside Chaos." Krovos added as the Pureblood began pacing around the holotable. "Soon we're going to encounter a joint Earth M.E.F alongside an entire Field Army under the command of Moshe Dayan."

"What do we know about this Dayan? Other than losing an eye of course?"

"He's an impressive one. Led the defenses of his outnumbered nation surrounded by threats on all corners and dealt with his foes inonlysix days."

"Six Days!?" The Helmsman inquired, overhearing the conversation.

"The conflict is called the 'Six Day War' for a reason." The Sith purred. "It's clear by now that we're not dealing with amateurs."

"Korriban and Tython certainly points toward the fact, not to mention their recent history."

An Imperial Marine barged into the bridge, rushing towards the trio to deliver a warning.

"Israeli Commandos!" The Sergeant panted as he warned the three superiors. "Israeli Commandos have boarded our ship!"

"Blast! As if we didn't have enough to be concerned with already." Ilyan growled. "They're bold, that's one trait I have admired most of these Earthlings; willing to do whatever it takes to meet our forces and destroy them, even if we hold the numerical advantage." The Moff shook his head, wondering how he didn't think about the bold move. "Why am I not surprised?"

Five Minutes Earlier...

Seren (Lieutenant) Yusef Rosenberg-Shayetet 13, Israeli Defense Force Navy

07:24:16 ATC/ Thursday, July 24th, 1969 - Day Six of the Siege - 14:55/ 2:55 PM

"Seren? You and your men are authorized to capture HVTs on the bridge but the crew are expendable."

"Aye, sir." The Naval Commando acknowledged. No one in Israel would dare refuse an order from Dayan himself, after all. "Republic troops will secure the device?"

"Alongside a detachment from Sayeret Matkal with one of their squads acting as a QRF, if required."

"Understood." Rosenberg nodded as he pulled back the slide of his Uzi. "We'll link up with our brethren in the hangar bay. Nachum!" he called one of his men, "You have the Stoner?"

The Rav-Samal Mitkadem (Chief Petty Officer) lifted the Stoner 63 configured into a surprisingly lightweight belt-fed and grinned. "Loaded with the experimental APIs. Should theoretically pierce the armor of those damn goose-steppers, maybe blow up some of their robots as well."

'Aren't all their soldiers mindless robots?'The Seren snorted in amusem*nt. "Still, it's an unknown with this varmint round. Even our nine mils barely make dents in their armor and the terminal energy is wasted trying to pierce it."

"Which is why we have the HK-21s to back up our G3s." Rav-Samal Bakhir (Senior Chief Petty Officer) Jeb Gadi snickered.

"And G3SG/1s." One of the sharpshooters, Samal Rishon (Petty Officer Third Class) Adli Halevi, added. "Wasn't there a headline eight years ago when some Curtis LeMay labeled this AR-15 as a waste of garbage? I think after the barrel burst when he unofficially tested it out by shooting at watermelons at some picnic? Anyway, I'm surprised that NATO didn't standardize Heckler and Koch."

"Their loss." Rosenberg sighed before feeling that their transport landed, judging by the thud.

"I'll deal with the pests." Krovos snarled, leaving no room for argument as she stormed off to deal with the infiltrators.

"I have a bad feeling about this, Admiral."

"Oh? Do you now?" Ranken mused as she watched the security cams. "Those nerf herders are playing it smart, as if they know where the airlocks are located. Helmsman, have Second Platoon secure the docking bay. Inform theVengefuland theEternal Gloryto have their spare marine complement lead a counterboarding op."

"Aye, ma'am."

Captain James Albert Graham - F /"Fox" Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, United States Marine Corps

Kuat Drive Yards - Kuat, Kuat System, Kuat Sector, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:24:16 ATC/ Thursday, July 24th, 1969 - Day Six of the Siege - 15:05/3:05 PM

"Ready to kick some ass, ladies!?" Graham asked his men both here and on the other two transports through the intercom, the 'Mustang Officer' anxious as the transport dodged turbolaser fire from Imperial AA guns.

"Sir, yes sir!" The Marines of Fox Company shouted enthusiastically, clutching their M14s and M60s tightly as the gunship weaved up, bringing a whole new meaning to flight sickness.

"It's your lucky day. We're going to land in a hot zone and you are about to embark on a journey through Hell. Welcome to intergalactic warfare, Devil Dogs. Lock and load!"

Forty-two bolts were co*cked in this shuttle alone, charging their rifles as the shuttle landed, and Fox Company had a total of one hundred and twenty-six Leathernecks on the roster with all of them ready to move out.

"Green light! Go, go, go!"

Three of Graham's men went down in a hail of laser fire the moment they hit the ramps. The Gyrenes however continued with their counter-assault, aggressively taking ground with a barrage of ballistic fire and grenades. They couldn't afford to be pinned down, or more Imperial reinforcements would arrive on the platform and overwhelm them.

The Captain was one of the first to reach the hastily set defenses of the enemy and picked off a goosestepper with his M1911A1 Service Pistol, the man-stopping round bringing his target down. "Keep moving forward!"

"You heard him! Let's knock some sense into these black-clad trash cans!" First Sergeant Xavier beckoned from behind his superior, encouraging his squad to continue onward before being gunned down by a laser followed by a Second Lieutenant.

James watched as a PFC with the surname of Sanderson pierced the fatigues of his opponents with the bayonet before he was cut down by a laser round himself, flopping over like a wet fish before feeling intense pain himself.

The O-3 realized that he was hit when his legs buckled, and Graham hit the deck hard. "Bastards. Goddamn f*ckers!" James cursed at the pain in his legs, unable to move, and one of his remaining First Lieutenants attempted to take over and salvage the situation with many First and Second Lieutenants as well as Gunnery Sergeants already killed, nevermind the First Sergeant, only to be killed as well as the radioman, and it was reaching a point where now the Staff Sergeants were taking over. The commanding officer of Fox glanced up and noticed three Imperials and a Sith staring down from the barricade curiously.

"What should we do about this one, sir?"

"Don't dare question me again, Private." The Sith growled. "Kill him."

"He's an officer, the one likely in charge of this assaul-"

"Eat American lead, you Nazi sons of bitches." The Captain snarled as he dropped a grenade at his feet, planning to take them with him. "Enjoy Sieg Heiling in Hell!"

Master Sergeant Antonio Garcia - B Company, 2nd Marine Rifle Battalion, Philippine Marine Corps

Kuat Drive Yards - Kuat, Kuat System, Kuat Sector, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:24:16 ATC/ Thursday, July 24th, 1969 - Day Six of the Siege - 15:15/3:15 PM

"May the Lord forgive the brave officer." Master Sergeant Garcia prayed, the devout Catholic crossing himself as he addressed his men. "Rally around the Americans and South Koreans! We're about to break through their line!"

"Aye, Master Sergeant!"

The four closest to Antonio, Sergeant Bautista and Private First Class Torres aimed their M1 Carbines at two of the unarmored Imps while Corporal Ocampo and Private Cruz pointed their M1 Rifles loaded withArmor Piercing, Caliber .30, M2also known informally as 'Black Tips' at the chest plates of their slightly more protected comrades.

"Keep up the pressure! We're driving them back!"

The Filipinos charged forward and leaped over the barricade, engaging the enemy in ferocious hand-to-hand combat with bayonets, blades, and bolos with liberal usage of handguns and suntukan as well.

Antonio grasped his machete and began slashing away at the Imperials like a madman, using his experience in the jungle and brush to hack and chop away his adversaries.

Korporal Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger - Jagdkommando, Landstreitkräfte, Austrian Bundesheer

Kuat Drive Yards - Kuat, Kuat System, Kuat Sector, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:24:16 ATC/ Thursday, July 24th, 1969 - Day Six of the Siege - 15:50/3:50 PM

Arnold clutched his StG 58 tightly, the thought of the former tanker, conscript, and bodybuilder chuckling dryly at his 'fortune.' Once, he'd dreamed of being Mr. Olympia. Now he was a Jagdkommando about to fight aliens. Though he admitted that would make for a good movie, and maybe even a good career when this was over. A war hero turned actor...

"Das situation ist critical!" The voice Sergeant Huber shouted, instinctively causing Arnold to regain focus as their transport evaded enemy fighters. "General Montgomery and Admiral Spruance ist having us secure this LZ from the enemy at all costs! Without it, our efforts are in vain!"

"Für Österreich!" Lieutenant Hofer shouted as the ramp dropped. "FÜR ÖSTERREICH!

"FÜR ÖSTERREICH!" The Austrians yelled enthusiastically, their warcry, wagering joining their fellow Earthlings in the engagement.

"Schwarzenegger! Pick up der American M60!"

The well-chiseled bodybuilder grabbed the machine gun and began laying down suppressive fire from his hip while holding the ammunition belt in his left hand. "Sagen Sie hallo zu meinem kleinen Freund!" Arnold grinned. "Blei essen, Ficker!"

The Imperials launched a counterattack of desperation against the defenders. Waves after waves of Imperial infantry charged the Austrians and the Marines, intending to drive them out towards the darkness of space, but Earth's stubbornness was proving to be a familiar trait whenever the Imperials encountered them.

"Hasta La Vista, Sith!" Schwarzenegger laughed maniacally as he turned the M60 on three charging warriors, turning the co*cky fanatics into humanoid pincushions.

Seren (Lieutenant) Yusef Rosenberg-Shayetet 13, Israeli Defense Force Navy

Aboard theINS Subjugator-Harrower-class Dreadnaught: Kuat Drive Yards, Kuat, Kuat System, Kuat Sector, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:24:16 ATC/ Thursday, July 24th, 1969 - Day Six of the Siege - 15:50/3:50 PM

The commandos intended to disable the engines to prevent escape before continuing up towards the bridge and either capturing the HVTs or killing them if they resisted. Yuself pointed his palm towards the corridor, motioning two of his men to silence the two grunts standing guard outside the hatch to the hyperdrive room.

Rav-Samal (Petty Officer 2nd Class) Jonatan Kostiner aimed his suppressed HiPower at the one on the left while Samal (Seaman) Danil Gadi maneuvered on the right, drawing his combat knife.

"What the Kri-" The Imperial gasped as Gadi gagged him, bringing him down to drive a knife through his back. Before he could, however, an all too familiar ignition reported the commandos death as he dropped to the floor, a burning hole smoking in his chest.

Yusef and his detachment drew their weapons upon the revealed Sith. "Krovos, I presume?"

The feminine demon-like alien laughed as she gestured with her blade. "More likeLordKrovos, you insolent whelp. You need a lesson in manners, especially to your betters."

The Pureblood punctuated her point as she threw her lightsaber and unleashed lightning from her fingertips. Two more of his men fell, bisected by the blade as it rounded back to her hand like a boomerang as she charged, dodging incoming rifle fire. She reached her hand out, and Yusuf watched in horror as his men's grenades that were issued to them by a Republic armorer were armed.

"Drek! Grenade!"

The commando was blinded as he was thrown from the explosion. His ears ringing, vision blurry, and his mind a popping stew, he was vaguely conscious that he was alone. That was morbidly confirmed when he felt something sticky on him and he realized it wasn't coming from himself. He suddenly heard a piercing cry, and caught sight of the succubus killing one of his men before she winked at him flirtatiously.

"You… bitch!" he coughed, his chest feeling on fire. The Sith shrugged.

"Come now, Israeli, don't tell me you don't enjoy your work either?"

"Well, I hope you enjoy Hell, becomes you're coming with me."

"Ah, you must mean the explosives my men disarmed a few minutes ago?" she tutted him, "I honestly expected more from you based on your fearsome reputation."

"I wasn't just talking about that." He gestured to the window, her face creasing as he guessed what she saw.

"Thirty thousand Rangers, Marines, Air Assault, Commandos, Marinejegerkommandoen and my country's own 35th Brigade," Yusuf gave her a bloody grin, "I think I'll go ahead and save you that seat in Hell."

"Oh how generous of you. Shame I have to cut this short." She smiled as Yusuf's vision was consumed by a piercing crimson light before his world was consumed by darkness… and eventually light.

Krovos watched the head fall from the Israeli's neck with mild fascination before she touched her ear. "Admiral? Moff Reyeus? We have a major problem on our hands."

Moshe Dayan- Commander of the Earth Coalition's Seventeenth Field Army

Aboard theRNS Aspiration-Valor-class Cruiser: Kuat Drive Yards - Kuat, Kuat System, Kuat Sector, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:24:16 ATC/ Thursday, July 24th, 1969 - Day Six of the Siege - 18:00/6:00 PM

"Our first wave just secured the hangars. We can begin unloading our troops and outflank the Space Fascists."

"Good." Moshe grinned. "Have the APCs be unloaded in Phase Two."

"APCs, sir?"

"We might as well use the firepower and improvised bulldozing or battering ram capabilities to push them back. The Imps are using droids to support their forces, why not beat them at their own game with a one-up?"

"Actually, sir, it's not a bad thought. Let's give these pseudo-Nazi bastards a taste of Israeli might."

"And all of Planet Earth as well." Moshe added as the holocom chimed.

"I heard that your forces have secured our western flank and are now proceeding to conduct a drive toward the command center?"

"That we are, sir." The Israeli confirmed to Malcom. "We'll have our forces link up with your 206th Battalion upon securing the area, assuming that the time schedule is kept."

"By now I wouldn't be surprised if you're early."

"So, you think it's about time to spring our Coup de grâce, Yank?" Bernard asked.

"Coup de-?"

"He means to bring in the fighters." Spruance smiled. "And blow their parade ground armada to hell and high water."

Commander Conrad Gall - Commanding Officer of Dagger Wing, Republic Navy and Operations Officer for Operation: Midway

Kidir - Kidir System, Kuat Sector, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:24:16 ATC/ Thursday, July 24th, 1969 - Day Six of the Siege - 19:00/7:00 PM

"Alright, boys, we're at the spearhead once more." The leader of the Republic Navy's equivalent of the Army's Havoc Squad began. "I'm not sure if that Earthling's insane but we've put a lot of effort into this surprise of ours and if all goes well, we'll have the enemy overwhelmed."

"What in the blazes!? This can't be right!"

"Speak to me, crewer." Ranken demanded of the panicky radar technician.

"Admiral, if the readings are right…we're about to face an armada of fighters and bombers."

'BY THE FORCE! He convinced the Pubs to pull another Midway and I should've expected it. This was one well-orchestrated trap.'Zasha thought but then again she wasn't expecting Spruance's presence upon arrival. "Have all batteries prepare to engage! And recall the fighters!"

"Ma'am, if we concentrate all of our guns at the incoming threat, the enemy ships will blow us to pieces." Her Executive Officer warned. "I don't like this either but that kriffing Earthling is one of their brightest admirals and I dare say that for one with only aquatic battle experience he pulled his cards right."

"Blast it all to Chaos." Ilyan cursed. "I was cut off guard as well but it goes to show our newfound thorn are acting like outsiders looking in. We're going to have to retreat."

"Retreat!? Respectfully, I think we can still pull through as we have already gone so far!"

"They know that their sacrifice is in the name of the Empire." Zasha sighs. "Have Battlegroups Cresh and Dorn jump now. Aureck will provide covering fire to prevent the starfighters from strafing their withdrawal. Besh, on the other hand, will wait for any possible evacuees from the Drive Yards until I give the command. It's a sad day for the Empire and I will answer directly to the Council for this."

Moff Regus posture was calm despite the sweat. "I will as well."

Commander Conrad Gall - Commanding Officer of Dagger Wing, Republic Navy and Operations Officer for Operation: Midway

Kuat Drive Yards - Kuat, Kuat System, Kuat Sector, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:24:16 ATC/ Thursday, July 24th, 1969 - Day Six of the Siege - 19:30/7:30 PM

"Ha!" Gall laughed as he shot down a fleeing ImperialSupremacy-class Starfighter. "I can't believe that Old Coot's bold idea is working!"

"Tell me about it." One of the subordinates chuckled. "This is probably the largest number of Starfighters we have used in an engagement." Adan snickered. "Is it, like, two hundred fighters and bombers for every ship we brought?"

"Sounds about right." Conrad determined as he strafed the command deck of a Harrower. "Wouldn't be surprised if that estimate is bumped up to three hundred."

"Nah, that's an exaggeration."

"We'll see about that. Whoever's estimate is way off is buying the drinks."

"That is if the true numbers are revealed."

Major Coria Baize - Commanding Officer of SpecForce Squad 326 "Havoc Squad", Republic Special Forces Division, Republic Army

Kuat Drive Yards - Kuat, Kuat System, Kuat Sector, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:24:16 ATC/ Thursday, July 24th, 1969 - Day Six of the Siege - 19:30/7:30 PM

"So, Major, how many explosives do you want on this thing?" Vik questioned as they stacked up against the blast door between them and the last of the 'Imperial interlopers,' as Spruance called them. "Enough to pancake 'em or deep-fry 'em?"

"What!?" The officer was not only baffled but aghast. "I thought you were the best demolition expert in the galaxy?"

"Relax, sir. I was kidding." Tanno chuckled as he placed the prepared charge onto the weak point. "There, this should put some shock into them."

"Alongside the flashbangs we were given." Yuun added. "They should assist us in completing our journey here."

"Yeah, Yeah, Yuun…" The Weequey snarked. "Okay, the timer is set and I advise everyone to step back!"

The trio rushed backwards into the corridor and knelt down, Vik holding the detonator. "Fire in the hole!"

Coria knew that was her and Yuun's cue to toss in the 'flash bangs'; the pair leaped up and threw the two cylinders through the Wookie-sized gap, the devices clanking downwards around the room.

"Kierfek!" An Imperial accented voice shrieked. "GREN-"

The Major and Yuun immediately charged into the gap and pointed their assault cannons inside the room, scanning the room for any threats but seeing only pitifully terrified Imperials that hunkered down and shook.

"Havoc Squad?" Another questioned, "I thought you were Imposters trying to execute us."

"You mean the Australians as they are not really in a forgiving mood." Vik grunted. "Where's Colonel Sovagh?"

"He left an hour ago and was mauled by six...some Earth beasts."

"Probably were Dingoes." Baize determined. "Fitting for a war criminal without honor. And you are complicit in the crimes."

"It wasn't direct orders!" One of the surrendered soldiers cracked. "The Dark Council didn't want this to occur as they're planning on starting up negotiations!"

"Don't continue." A Sergeant beside him advised. "They won't believe us as the Empire always gets the blame."

"Go on, Private." Yuun encouraged, wondering if there was some truth to it.

"Colonel Sovagh and Lord Vurto conspired to ignore the prohibition order by the Dark Council itself on summary executions! " The low ranker confessed. "They're the most zealous advocates for killing any Earthlings and everything relevant is on the datapads!"

Admiral Zasha Ranken- Imperial Forward Command

Aboard theINS Subjugator-Harrower-class Dreadnaught

07:24:16 ATC/ Thursday, July 24th, 1969 - 21:45/9:45 PM

"Instead of making solutions, my fellow Council members continue to squabble over minuscule nonsense!" Darth Rictus sighed as he paced around the holotable.

"I'm well aware, my Lord." Zasha frowned but instinctively hushed up as the Darth raised his palm.

"Lords Nox, Ravage, and Aruk are fools, their lust for power has made their thinking illogical as of late,MoffRanken. You, on the other hand, have personally witnessed the threat first hand. These primitives are emboldened with the drive to have their independence, zealed with fury thanks to that leak we had, not to mention the passion of hope for a better galaxy. This race is but a tool, a means to an end."

"My Lord?"

"Regard it as a promotion." Rictus informed. "With the current threat, we require more than ever to counteract not just the Republic butEarth. Only their cautiousness when it comes to conserving their manpower are holding them back. It, however, doesn't mean they won't take risks like you've endured."

"Permission to speak freely?"

"Granted."

"The Empire still outnumbers these newcomers thousands to one and I could easily launch an forlay into this Sol System, taking advantage of a less defended-"

"We lost the initiative today, Moff. Our task now is to hold onto our remaining territory."

"Understood, my Lord."

Fleet Admiral Raymond Ames Spruance- United States Navy (Assigned as an attaché)

Kuat Drive Yards, Kuat, Kuat System, Kuat Sector, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:24:16 ATC/ Thursday, July 24th, 1969- 16:00/4:00 PM

"We lost brave men." Spruance mourned as he inspected the casualties alongside the Spartan General. Seeing the corpses being placed into body bags after the tags were collected and the wounded being patched up brought the reality of a full-scale, interplanetary conflict in the heads of the two legends.

They were simply getting beyond their years yet Earth required the most experienced leaders it could muster for the duration although the concept of the war against the Sith and their Empire lasting an entire generation or two hadn't exited their minds, the haunting thought of having their grandchildren partake in an engagement on Earth itself after they passed on lingered but the duo resolved to end the conflictquicklyby any means.

"Heard your lads lost an entire company to one of those magicians." Montgomery lamented as he took off his trademark beret in respect. "You Yanks were always brave in combat, reminds me of the Australians and Canadians in some ways despite the over-reliance on supplies."

The naval officer who fought entirely in the Pacific Theater stared at his European Theater counterpart, the admission taking him by surprise. "From what I heard, you're really hard to work with yet here we did well together."

"I'll admit that I didn't necessarily agree with either Ike nor Bradley. Hell, even your Blood and Guts was an insufferable bastard who did not deserve that vehicular collision instead of a warrior's death but you also had MacArthur to deal with, especially with his preoccupation with proclaiming his return."

"Fair point." The American conceded. "But whatever the circ*mstances, this war is quickly becoming something else entirely. The Empire just lost an excellent opportunity to force the Republic to negotiate, an issue we have been pressing our allies to conduct for months yet it is as if Coruscant is the new Saigon and they desire the ARVN to capture Hanoi."

"In other words, do you think that the Republic leadership desires to raise the flag over Kaas City just like the South Vietnamese? Is that what you're suggesting, Old Chap?"

"The more things change, the more they stay the same." The victor of Midway and the Philippine Sea quoted as he gazed at the stars from the transparent plexiglass. "I fear in a way we're being used."

"Do you have any evidence?" The Briton inquired, realizing that it made sense.

"None. But I have an inkling that Saresh is taking us for fools and I'll see if ONI - the Office of Naval Intelligence - can dig something up."

"Agreed." Bernard concurred. "I'll follow your lead and see if I can pull favours with MI6, if we are being used and we can somehow slip past SIS, we should know about it sometime a little past the next Republic's -but our first joint- offensive…In fact, I think I know the exact man for the job and a rather unconventional option at that."

Spruance lifted an eyebrow only to realize that Monty was referring to a certain Scotsman who was only recently recruited by the British SIS, if he was right it was the very man who before only portrayed espionage on the silver screen for innocent entertainment and talked about being surprised during a debrief as Raymond thought some practical joke was being played by the Limeys until his mentor, another former actor that unlike the individual Spruence was thinking of did had actual espionage experience, Christopher Lee, clarified. "You don't mean…"

"Oh, yes, I actually do mean him, Ray, as 'You Only Live Twice'." Bernard egotistically grinned after mentioning the pun but Spruance was at a loss for words and all the American Admiral could do was shake his head and feel pity for anyone in the aftermath who watched the security holotapes and mistakenly assumed that they had been tampered with, either that or be involuntarily committed to an insane asylum.

Chapter 18: Gitarzan

Chapter Text

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - Fireteam Alpha, Second Squad, First Platoon, C/Charlie Company, Second Raider Battalion "Carlson's Raiders", Second Raider Regiment, Second Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, United States Marine Corps

Rakata Prime - Lehon System, Tempered Wastes, Unknown Regions, "The Galaxy"

07:19:16 ATC/Saturday, July 19th, 1969 -10:20 / 10:20 AM

"You know, I'm still denying that somehow you're not even slightly jealous." Jake muttered in front of his betrothed as he leaned casually against one of the native palm trees, still denying the entanglement.

"Why should I be?" Sara shrugged, dismissing the matter as if it wasn't unusual. "If it was anyone else, you would have already been made aware that you made a crucial error in judgment, loverboy."

Shaking his head in bemusem*nt, Meyer then sighed as he got straight to the point. "It's certainly going to take some getting used to though. Most guys dream of this but I never imagined that it would be reality."

"To be honest neither did I but I presume circ*mstances led to it." The redhead smirked. "You're not bad on the eyes after all."

"You're something else." Jake scoffed, but with a smile yet before the couple were able to carry on with their conversation, they were interrupted by a cough from behind.

"If you two lovebirds are done…"

"Who knew Red Jacket is such a killjoy?" Meyer grumbled.

Agent Theron Shan-Republic Strategic Information Service

Rakata Prime - Lehon System, Tempered Wastes, Unknown Regions, "The Galaxy"

11:08:15 ATC/ November 8th, 1968 - 10:25 / 10:25 AM

"I've done a bit of scouting. The Revanites are camped in the Temple of the Ancients, an old ruin nearby." Shan reported at the designated meeting place. "We've gotten this far without being undetected. It's time for you to go and make some noise."

"You know, there might be another way instead of just trying to run and gun our way to the temple." Meyer proposed. "Because I have a feeling that's what you're suggesting."

"Alright, Mister Marine." Theron snarked. "Tell us what you have in mind since you think you know better."

"It's called using the terrain to our advantage." The Leatherneck grinned, pointing out the obvious. "You snuck around yourself, Red Jacket, and mentioned how we haven't been discovered but now you're saying we need to waste ammunition by shooting guards and potentially tip our two targets off that we're coming after them when we can just continue sneaking around right under their nose and take the two ringleaders by surprise?"

"They do have a point, Theron." Lana interceded. "If you managed to scout the perimeter without getting caught, then it's worth the risk, not to mention the added benefit of catching Arkous and Darok off-guard until we're ready to nab them."

"Look, the Rakatans and Revanites both have the temple heavily guarded-"

"I know that it can be done." Jake interrupted. "Ever heard of White Feather?"

"You mean the legendary sniper, presumably a Leatherneck of the United States, that the Empire just only recently placed a bounty on?" Lana inquired. "Two and a half million credits and counting due to this 'Sureshot 2-1', Earth's direct equivalent of the Republic's Deadeyes, he's leading?"

"I knew him for a short time back in 'Nam - Hell, I was even trained by him - And I heard that he crawled three days across an open field and killed some NVA General with one shot to the heart from seven hundred yards away under similar circ*mstances so respectfully Secret Squirrel it can be done as it's my job to sneak in and take a precise shot or even two if required, not yours you James Bond wannabe. You said it yourself that these Rakatis are not using technology and are downgraded so what do we need to worry about?"

"Again, the temple and the outside perimeter are heavily guarded so there's no way you're sneaking past them." An exasperated Theron sighed. "It's impossible."

Shan noticed that the United States Marine was getting irritated at being doubted or considered the field operative as being hypocritical. Either way, the even-tempered patience was slowly and gradually coming to an end.

"Look, with all due respect, clearly we think of snipers from two different perspectives. Back home, it's firing one shot from a concealed position with no fancy red barrier then moving to not get caught or not firing at all and observe what the enemy is doing before reporting it to command or even calling in artillery while here, it's just basically infantry taught how to use a specialized rifle and fire it anywhere they so choose but not wear camouflage or make any attempt to prevent someone from spotting them after the first shot, which in my opinion is better defined as sharpshooters or skirmishers due to the lackluster marksmanship training your typical grunts receive compared to even the United States Air Force. Atruesniper on the other hand uses knowledge of fieldcraft as part of his duties in addition to being handed an accurized rifle and using fieldcraft is how snipers stay alive." Jake explained to the spy as calmly as possible but his usual patience lately has been tested from trying to comprehend why what seemed to be common sense was a low priority within the Republic Military and the Space Monks, nevermind the Republic's SIS. "But sometimes I wonder if you need to look at a dictionary about warfare or, I can't believe I'm phrasing it like this, attend West Point and learn some commonsense as it seems like newly commissioned West Pointers have more common sense than you when it comes to military tactics."

'Looks like I got to have a nice private chat with that ignorant know-it-all Nerfherder from a rudimentary backwater.'

"Take it easy, Jake." Westbrook interceded. "We don't need a scuffle drawing attention to us here and we're losing precious daylight by arguing over doctrinal differences."

"He's right you know." The droid added. "My Master-"

"Shut up droid unless you want to become a sundial!"

Lana groaned and decided to intervene before the precious time was lost. "I'm confident in your abilities so may the Force serve you well."

Agent Theron Shan-Republic Strategic Information Service

Rakata Prime - Lehon System, Tempered Wastes, Unknown Regions, "The Galaxy"

11:08:15 ATC/ November 8th, 1968 - 10:45 / 10:45 AM

"Okay, smartass, you want to bring it o-" The SIS Agent stopped as he was astonished by the sight of Meyer sewing vegetation onto the back of a jacket, wondering if the Marine snapped and has gone insane."What in the name of the Force is that?"

"It's a ghillie suit."Jake shrugged as if it was obvious. "But apparently I'm some nonsensical idiot because I know the meaning of camouflage instead of wearing some shiny color like yellow, can kill Space Wizards from over a thousand yards away with a well-aimed bullet instead of using an obviously superior laser rifle that is effective at less than half the distance and can be blocked by their laser swords as we need to be courteous to them, or using commonsense instead of playing cops and robbers at some Jedi's, Republic Officer's, or even SIS Agent's say so. I guess I now need to stand out by painting a bullseye on my uniform since someone from a technologically advanced society believes us primitives need to ditch and burn the olive drab and resurrect the blue and tan last used during the Boxer Rebellion in China. Now, what were you saying? Something about a brawl to settle something?"

"You know what. Since you're suicidal and ignoring my advice as you think you know better, go get yourself killed,primitive." Theron snarled. "Here's a good spot if you can make it there without getting mauled from the wildlife."

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - Fireteam Alpha, Second Squad, First Platoon, C/Charlie Company, Second Raider Battalion "Carlson's Raiders", Second Raider Regiment, Second Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, United States Marine Corps

Rakata Prime - Lehon System, Tempered Wastes, Unknown Regions, "The Galaxy"

11:08:15 ATC/ November 8th, 1968 - 11:06 / 11:06 AM

"You look so ridiculous." Sara snorted as she noticed the talking shrub. "In fact, you appear to be almost like Jakarro."

"Oh, come on I'm not like Sasquatch."Jake quipped as he adjusted his ghillie suit. "Look, the plan is for us to provide covering fire while Sam and Jakarro confront these two deranged cultists."

"How far?" The Sergeant inquired.

"I was thinking about eleven hundred meters away." The PFC answered as he screwed on the Sionics suppressor to his XM21 Sniper Weapons System. "A reasonable distance based on the FFP Mister Red Jacket selected for us after some debate over doctrinal differences and f*cking logic, not to mention how you decided to give the other XM21 a try." The Leatherneck got down and began to crawl. "Hope you don't mind getting dirty, beautiful."

"Nerfherder." Kelrein grumbled before following his lead.

Agent Theron Shan - Strategic Information Service

Rakata Prime - Lehon System, Tempered Wastes, Unknown Regions, "The Galaxy"

11:08:15 ATC/ November 8th, 1968 - 11:54 / 11:54 AM

"Excellent work sneaking to the temple." Lana congratulated the main strike team. "Theron is slicing into the facility's structural plans now."

"It's not looking great." The Agent informed the trio frankly. "Your only option is to pass through the conscription center dead ahead."

"Anything vital we need to know?"

"The Cyborgs ahead are in some kind of standby mode. They'll activate as soon as you'll enter the room so be ready for a fight."

Shan decided to make an excuse to have Beniko leave the room and advise the paratrooper that on a wise course of action."Blasted sensors." Theron profaned. "Lana? Can you please do a quick perimeter check? I can't tell if these contacts are real or not."

The blonde raised an eyebrow in suspicion at the Republic field operative but like any good Imperial, Theron witnessed her acknowledging the excuse without question.

"Right away."

Theron did a slight victory smirk at the haste of departure before composing himself to the task at hand. "Alright, we don't have a lot of time, but we cannot risk the tech in the conscription center falling into Imperial hands."

"Well, we could blow it up."The American Paratrooper suggested."I do have some Willie Pete and Thermite on me."

"I'll consider that to be a backup plan but I'm sure that I could slice my way in and sabotage the power converters. You just need to take care of the guards inside first so no one would raise the alarm for the sabotage."

"They're pork chop one hundred percent guaranteed."

Sergeant Samuel David "Sam" Westbrook - First Squad, Third Platoon, D/ Delta Company, Second Battalion, 324th Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, XVIII Airborne Corps, United States Army

Infinite Army Conscription Center - Rakata Prime, Lehon System, Tempered Wastes, Unknown Regions, "The Galaxy"

07:19:16 ATC/Saturday, July 19th, 1969 -12:00 / 12:00 PM

"Well..." Samuel sighed as the debonair and member of The General Society of Mayflower Descendants witnessed some of the goons being led to their assigned tubes. "They're dedicated to their cause alright."

"They are cultists after all."The paratrooper's companion growled."But waiting is making me angrier!"

"I still cannot comprehend you, you lout."

Jakarro snorted and aimed his 'laser crossbow' as the last of the cultists entered their assigned tubes

"You should be more patient!" Sam shouted as he fired his M60 at three of the inbound guards before immediately seeking the prone position. "You just released the nest of hornets, Sasquatch."

"What are you doing lying on the ground, Samuel?" The irritable, incessantly talkative robot questioned. "You're missing out on all the fun!"

"Fight astutely, not injudiciously!" The Sergeant retorted as he fired another burst from his belt-fed support weapon directed at more of the zealous followers. "Or Adapt and Overcome, that's how you win a war,gentlemen!"

Westbrook spotted one of the cultists aiming from and began firing a short, five-round, burst of M61 Armor-Piercing projectiles at one of the few fighters using commonsense.

'What's the matter with this universe?'The old money scion thought.'Well, honestly it would make for an excellent franchise if it wasn't real!'

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - Fireteam Alpha, Second Squad, First Platoon, C/Charlie Company, Second Raider Battalion "Carlson's Raiders", Second Raider Regiment, Second Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, United States Marine Corps

Rakata Prime - Lehon System, Tempered Wastes, Unknown Regions, "The Galaxy"

07:19:16 ATC/Saturday, July 19th, 1969 - 12:32 / 12:32 PM

"You know, I can't believe we crawled three hundred meters through kriffing muck and vegetation."

"All in the trade." Jake smiled as he retrieved the 3-9X Redfield Auto Ranging Telescope aka the 'ARTEL' from its protective case and screwed the securing nut of the mount onto the side of the rifle.

"Jake?"

"Yes, angel?"

"I noticed you have a carbine on your back."

"Oh, the Paratrooper model?" The Jarhead mused, the M1A1 Carbine, while not necessarily a choice when it came to either stopping power or piercing plastoid armor was meant to provide him some protection as Meyer only brought one 7-round magazine for the XM21. "It's only in case trouble finds us."The Commando was about to remove her helmet when the Marine spoke up.

"I wouldn't remove it if I was you."

"Why not?" The redhead wondered. "The helmet gets in the way of my sight picture at times."

"To clarify, you would show the outline of your gorgeous face to enemy marksmen, which is why I'm wearing camouflage face-paint on my ugly mug."

"Makes sense." Sara relented. "I do admit that the galaxy mainly sees foliage camouflage as being an outdated concept except for scouts."

"Why scouts and not snipers such as yourself?" Meyer wondered with bemusem*nt.

"Because the role is to harass the enemy and take out High-Value Targets." Kelrein informed. "However from time to time I've utilized personal cloaking devices."

"Ah, so you Space Brits just disregard any notion of taking real advantages against the enemy and just goosestep in perfect marching order clad in all black or gray outfits while the Republic responds in kind, huh? Honestly, I'm unsure as of now if this universe is supposed to be a large-scale resurrection of 18th Century European military courtesy to the opposing faction with the mass prisoner exchanges to boot or the Wild West with the excessive running and gunning."

"Why I'm not British." The Imperial's green eyes twinkled with mischief. "It's pure Dromund Kaas."

The American of German descent rolled his eyes before fixing his gaze into the scope, searching for any signs of either their compatriots or foes. "It's still kinda ironic that one of my ancestors, Thomas Schweir, was among the riflemen picking off Redcoats at Fort Sackville during George Rogers Clark's famed Illinois Campaign, and here I am, slightly less than two hundred years later fighting against basically a copy of the soon-to-be-extinct British Empire."

Sara sighed as she felt an incoming headache over the complication but before she could say anything, Jake spotted their counterparts just outside the door standing between them and the HVTs.

"Get ready, Sam and Sasquatch are making their move."

Sergeant Samuel David "Sam" Westbrook - First Squad, Third Platoon, D/ Delta Company, Second Battalion, 324th Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, XVIII Airborne Corps, United States Army

"The Temple of the Ancients" - Rakata Prime, Lehon System, Tempered Wastes, Unknown Regions, "The Galaxy"

07:19:16 ATC/Saturday, July 19th, 1969 - 12:40 / 12:40 PM

"Alright, you brute, I'll lead the way but please remember that we need to capture them unharmed if possible."

"Then I shall wait until the interrogations are done! Vengeance will be mine!"

Sam rolled his eyes, dreading the hostile body language as he placed two fingers on his opposite wrist. "Jake?" Westbrook spoke into his commlink. "Are you in position?"

"I am, and Sara complained about the mud."

"As city girls usually do." Sam chuckled.

"Very funny."Sara griped."It'll take hours to get the muck off!"

"If you would like, I could help clean it."

"How sweet."Lana chimed in."But in all seriousness, remember to focus on the operation before you and do consider that you're dealing with an experienced Darth and a traitorous SpecForce trooper."

"Understood." The paratrooper acknowledged.

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - Fireteam Alpha, Second Squad, First Platoon, C/Charlie Company, Second Raider Battalion "Carlson's Raiders", Second Raider Regiment, Second Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, United States Marine Corps

Rakata Prime - Lehon System, Tempered Wastes, Unknown Regions, "The Galaxy"

07:19:16 ATC/Saturday, July 19th, 1969 - 12:48 / 12:48 PM

Jake relaxed as he concentrated on his target, slowly exhaling as he waited patiently for the opportunity to get his kill. The experienced sureshot gazed squarely at the crosshair, bringing it in line with his target before checking with his partner to confirm the distance.

"Range?"

"About one thousand two hundred fifty standard meters give or take." Sara estimated from her range finder. "Definitely outside the range of any personal blaster but do you believe that these slugthrowers would get through his lightsaber? It's a little extreme distance-wise."

"Just enjoy the show." The crackshot smirked as he squeezed the trigger.

Crack!

At two thousand eight hundred feet per second, a single 175 grain projectile fired from Lake City produced M118 match loads that left the muzzle and spiraled toward the spot where the rifleman aimed the crosshairs, potentially knocking the target down to the dirt and even though this projectile would soon go subsonic around eleven hundred yards - not meters but yards - it was still lethal and packed nearly the same punch as a .357 Magnum revolver fired at one hundred yards.

Darth Arkous - Former Dark Councilmember and Order of Revan

"The Temple of the Ancients" - Rakata Prime, Lehon System, Tempered Wastes, Unknown Regions, "The Galaxy"

07:19:16 ATC/Saturday, July 19th, 1969 -12:51 / 12:51 PM

Arkous felt something slammed into his right bicep, the shock of the impact forcing the Sith Lord to drop his lightsaber. "Arghhh!"

"Snipers!" Darock warned, realizing that their attackers have support off in the distance.

"How very observant, Colonel." The Pureblood deadpanned as he realized that it was a slug that caused his arm to be damaged beyond repair.

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - Fireteam Alpha, Second Squad, First Platoon, C/Charlie Company, Second Raider Battalion "Carlson's Raiders", Second Raider Regiment, Second Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, United States Marine Corps

Rakata Prime - Lehon System, Tempered Wastes, Unknown Regions, "The Galaxy"

07:19:16 ATC/Saturday, July 19th, 1969 -12:52 / 12:52 PM

"Elevation is good." The Sergeant confirmed from her rangefinder. "It's the wind I presume."

"Appears to be five clicks left." The Private First Class guessed as he dialed in the windage on the scope's adjustment turret to compensate for the miss while - although appearing as a blip even at full magnification in the 3-9x Redfield Adjustable Ranging Telescope - the red-skinned, demon-appearing creature attempted to strike Sam again in order to get out of sight and dodge the targeting. "Oh no you don't."

The next round by chance struck the Pureblood dead center of the forehead, causing him to topple over fatally.

"Kill confirmed." Kelrein smiled after confirming the traitor's demise. "Hope you don't mind if I attempt to take out the dear Colonel."

"Go ahead." Meyer shrugged innocently. "He was the brainchild of Korriban anyway."

"Well, in that case, I shall go for his groin first before gradually working my way up to his head."

'Ouch! I don't even want to know how being tortured with .308 caliber ammunition feels.'

Rakata Prime - Lehon System, Tempered Wastes, Unknown Regions, "The Galaxy"

07:19:16 ATC/Saturday, July 19th, 1969 - 13:28 / 1:28 PM

"Fine shooting. Saw it on the camcorder we sliced into."Theron complimented in a still somewhat irked tone from the hologram while the quartet plus one droid regrouped inside the temple."Although it was a shame that Arkous and Darok couldn't be taken in alive."

"You know that camcorder came in good use, Theron."Lana mused.

"Yes, well, she wouldn't let me have access to the datapad."

"Like I was going to allow some SIS spy rummage through my data."Beniko snickered before pausing, feeling a sense of dread."Wait, I sense something. We are in danger."

"Multiple sensor contacts! Capital ships dropping out of hyperspace, one of them coming in hot!"

"Arkous and Darok were valuable allies in my cause but their deaths will not delay what's coming."

Lana took a step forward in a mixture of disbelief and awe."That voice."

"It's him."Theron recognized."Revan."

"My Infinite Army could have achieved so much but I still have other weapons in my arsenal."

"Try us, bud." Samuel grinned confidently. "I'm sure we can adapt and make them all backfire."

"That remains to be seen. My followers are legion, my ranks grow every hour as more and more people see the truth of the galaxy. In fact, Earth would be a valuable ally but your backwater mindset and governments just as corrupt as the Republic's delude-"

"Shut up, you senile asshole!" Jake interrupted. "You have the nerve to wear some mask because you couldn't be intimidating enough without it or are trying to compensate for the lack of something. Actually, I think you're trying to hide your cowardice which explains why you're not here in person."

Revan

In Orbit above "The Temple of the Ancients" - Rakata Prime, Lehon System, Tempered Wastes, Unknown Regions, "The Galaxy"

07:19:16 ATC/Saturday, July 19th, 1969 - 13:30 / 1:30 PM

'That insolence! If he knew what I have endured, he wouldn't have been so rude!'

One of the bridge officers approached the imminent savior of the galaxy scowling not at the only hope left but the trash on the ground. "Want me to give the order to answer the insult, My Lord?"

"Fire on my command." The Prodigal Knight ordered as he crossed his arms.'We'll see who's smug now.'

"The Temple of the Ancients" - Rakata Prime, Lehon System, Tempered Wastes, Unknown Regions, "The Galaxy"

07:19:16 ATC/Saturday, July 19th, 1969 - 13:35 / 1:35 PM

"They're powering up weapons! Get out of there now!"

"You really did it this time, Jake!" Samuel shouted as he and the others sprinted out of the collapsing temple as hellfire rained down from the laser guns of the spaceships.

"He has gone senile!" Jake concluded out loud, dashing and dodging the falling debris. "Three hundred years clouded his judgment!"

"Of everything you could've done, mocking Revan wasn't the first thing in mind!" Sara deadpanned. "It's your kriffing fault that you made him angry!"

"I could've called the smug bastard worse!" The Jarhead defended as they reached the gap to safety outside the ruins.

Jake panted and decided to relent his opinion. "Okay...Maybe I was a little harsh."

"Still, that...was frighteningly close." Sara determined as she caught her breath. "Next time, leave the diplomatic chat with me."

"Waste of time unless you need a distraction, Imperial." Samuel shrugged.

"Of course." Sara murmured, sniveling at the abrupt mistrustful tone.

"Sam..."

"It's honestly going to take time to fully get reacquainted." The soldier promulgated, interrupting the Leatherneck. "Look, I know you're being wholehearted to Jake but you still deceived us and I known him since I was in diapers. You should've told us the truth as we would've understood."

"Yes, but would you even believe in the revelation that Empire isn't as morally unjust?" The Commando questioned rhetorically. "Krasul, despite his faults, managed to successfully exaggerate everything about the Empire and painted the Republic as caring for all beings. Was it surprising to discover the neglect about a certain occurrence on Korriban after the raid?"

"This discussion can wait as I don't want to stand here in case His Worship Mister Overkill is sending units to search for confirmation at our demise." Meyer interceded.

"You're right, pal." Westbrook relented before glaring at the redhead one last time. "Just make sure you know that your heart is in the right place."

"You know that it is." Sara sighed before placing her helmet back on.

Agent Theron Shan - Strategic Information Service

Rakata Prime - Lehon System, Tempered Wastes, Unknown Regions, "The Galaxy"

07:19:16 ATC/Saturday, July 19th, 1969 -14:30 / 2:30 PM

"You know, I believe I see the reason why there's a need to upgrade our sensors." Lana sighed. "Obviously they know what they're doing."

"I'm still going to give that co*cky Earthling a piece of my mind." Theron growled in annoyance. "Smug piece of Bantha turd thinks he's justified because he and even his friend both got lucky in getting pass the defenses unnoticed. He was even brazen enough to call my ancestor a senile asshole. He's the asshole!"

"Let it go, Theron. Sergeant Westbrook and Private Meyer both are just approaching this as the situation dictates."

"Oh sure, like they know everything about Revan."

"It's not that and you know it!" The towhead snapped. "I hate to admit it but the tactical record has demonstrated that they have a completely different mindset when it comes to warfare." The head of Sith Intelligence reluctantly divulged. "The vast majority of our respective forces don't use camouflage yet to the Earthlings, it's a vital necessity after the appalling carnage inflicted during their First World War. They use slugthrowers instead of blasters and they are crippling our walkers. The last time their infantry have truly fought like us was around the last turn of their Century during the aforementioned First World War." Beniko sighed as she revealed her conclusion."They have evolved differently as a civilization due to being isolated until last year. That's why they're so hard to predict as we've been foolishly comparing them to what we're used to from our own history and believing that there's nothing else to learn, not looking at it as a case of perhaps they're advanced in some areas and are outsiders looking in or they just simply refuse to play by our rules, reject to abide by our standards."

"And the multitude of the Earthlings repudiate the concept of the Force as well due to their unique geosphere and religious beliefs." Theron sighed, relenting at the analysis. "Somehow the Milky Way was cut off and it makes me wonder what other extragalactic civilizations are not linked."

"Jake, I'll admit, does brush it off as well and it's something we clearly disagree on but also, I do believe that I've read a report on how a certain Jedi Grandmaster is besotted with some Holoseries calledStar Trek.What's going on?"

"Don't remind me." The SIS Field Operative groaned. "My own mother is now a diehard Trekkie and to her disappointment failed to persuade the Council to have it be officially a part of the training due to its 'educational nature'." Although Theoron hoped it was a joke the fact that the Grandmaster of the Jedi Order even brought up the possibility was revealing.

"Oh, I can imagine." The blonde Sith smirked deviously as she casually revealed the latest potential blackmail. "Be quite a shame if the entirety of Republic space knew that the Grandmaster of the Jedi Order has an imposing, prized collection ofStar Trekparaphernalia."

'My only regret is that I haven't destroyed her Star Trekmemorabilia collection when I had the chance.'

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - Fireteam Alpha, Second Squad, First Platoon, C/Charlie Company, Second Raider Battalion "Carlson's Raiders", Second Raider Regiment, Second Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, United States Marine Corps

Ahto City, Manaan, Pyrshak System, Inner Rim, "The Galaxy"

07:20:16 ATC/Sunday, July 20th, 1969 - 8:40 /8:40 AM

"You know, I didn't think we could've pulled it off without sniper surveillance and support." Sam chuckled lightheartedly as he and Jake approached the conference room. "Too much running and gunning like cowboys is both the Republic's and Imperial philosophy on warfare."

Jake shook his head in amusem*nt at the assessment. If it wasn't Napoleonic style marching to square off against each other on the battlefield, it was detaching men from their assigned units to complete a completely different task while the unit proper was about to be committed to the front. "I don't get why their snipers are using easily spotted red barriers at times when concealment takes precedence but they know better and I'm not going to complain."

"Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit." Sam deadpanned. "But I enjoy the look on the mugs of those Republic officers who sneer at us because they were taught at some military academy that is twenty thousand years old only to be humbled when we take the objective they failed to take four or five times."

"Would it be amusing if the Republic for some reason decided to build walkers that are seventy-four feet high and use them on the battlefield?"

"Don't be ridiculous, that would be very unstable." Sam snorted. "But I wouldn't put it past them or the Imperials."

The two friends laughed as Jake pushed the button to activate the automatic doors and entered the rented conference room.

"What's funny?" Sara wondered as she gazed up from her holomagazine.

"Oh, just a humorous thought about walkers." Meyer confessed. "Sam and I were thinking that it would be a waste of money if either the Republic or Empire decides to manufacture a variant that's nearly seventy-four feet in height or twenty-two and a half meters tall."

Even Bigfoot himself began laughing at the pair's hypothetical."The mighty Jakarro could probably trip them with cables!"

"I'll admit that the Moffs of the Empire have made some poor decisions from time to time but there's no way such an impractical design would be approved by either the Ministry of Logistics or the Sphere of Production and Logistics." Kelrein defended. "Our equipment runs on the philosophy of efficiency and practicality but I can see the Republic doing it."

"Well, maybe the walkers were fine before we became known to this galaxy but now it's a guaranteed duck gallery for our tanks, bazookas, and recoilless rifles." Jake shrugged. "How many heads are rolling on Dromund Kaas?"

"Classified." Sara declared immediately before glancing back down on her holomagazine. "Huh, this is interesting. Apparently there's some movie about Revan being produced on Earth."

"Wait, what?" Sam wondered. "A movie about the deranged guy who just tried to kill us by overkill?"

"Yes, a movie about him." The Imperial Commando articulated in her cut-glass. "Being produced by some George Lucas, whoever he is, and Gene Roddenberry is supporting the project financially."

"Damn, I'm not sure what to think about it quite yet, beautiful." Jake drolled. "That's a funny coincidence."

"Clearly." Sara rolled her eyes in disbelief. "There's also this new hit song by this Impostor band called Pink Floyd."

'It's just a coincidence! How were Limeys supposed to know that every regional and even the Posh voice their society speaks is also spoken by an extraterrestrial civilization?'Meyer thought. "Talking about Interstellar Overdrive? The one that has been out for two years back home?"

"Yes. Why?"

Jake grimaced as it seemed that Kowalski was addicted to the tune and while there was plenty to expect in war: carnage, the sleepless nights, but no one in the unit was quite prepared for the incessant use of ‘Interstellar Overdrive’. "Kowalski was playing it nonstop for an entire week in the barracks so I switched the Pollack's record with Preußens Gloria to teach him a lesson before Gunnery Sergeant Harris murdered him." Jake sighed. "I didn't want him to be partitioned."

"At times, I don't know if you're more Kraut or American, pal." Sam grinned as he slapped Jake on the back."But that's one hell of a way of telling a Polish-American to stop playing a song excessively."

"Admittedly he almost killed me afterwards but it was either that or listen to it incessantly before Harris or even the entire company partition his limbs."

"If he was an Imperial, a Sith would've…" The redhead paused as she thought back to Korriban. "Choked him on the spot."

'That's right. sh*t, I can't believe that I've forgotten about it!'

"Jake? Is it alright Sara and I talk to you in private?"

The Marine glanced over to the redhead, her previous cheery mood appearing sorrowful and heartbroken as if she knew that the private discussion was planned beforehand.'I'll admit that I didn't expect a poker face.'

"Actually, there's something I need to discuss with Sam and Jakarro anyways." Shan interceded. "We can go to another room and give you a moment alone."

Sam and Sasquatch looked at each other momentarily before shrugging.

Lana sighed after the others withdrew from the main rented conference room and Sara stood beside her friend, the two women gazing at their mutual lover fretfully.

"Look, Jake, I do realize that I haven't known you long, but I wish we had more time together." Lana began.

"You don't have to go anywhere. I'm sure I -"

"I believe we do." Sara corrected. "Lana and Agent Shan learned some troubling things after we escaped Rakata Prime. Then there's the fact that Jakarro received death head contracts, Theron is disavowed by the SIS, and-"

"The Dark Council placed a bounty on my head for the murder of Darth Arkous." Beniko finished. "The Revanites proved themselves to be everywhere and we don't know who to trust. While so far there have been no indications, as far as Theron and I are aware, of Revanites being recruited from United Nations Command, they probably would turn me over to the Republic."

Sara gazed at Jake's blue-gray eyes tearfully. "I do not know when I will be able to see you again. I'm leaving with Lana, Theron, Jakarro and that annoying droid to hopefully discover a safe location and work against the Revanites covertly."

'Dammit.'Jake thought as while they didn't openly say it, their tone indicated goodbye. "You know I'm going to miss you both."

The two lovebirds pulled their gallant in for an embrace, savoring the moment they had left with the man the two girlhood friends cherished.

"I love you, Jake." Sara mournfully murmured to her fiancé. "We'll see each other again one day."

Sergeant Samuel David "Sam" Westbrook -First Squad, Third Platoon, D/ Delta Company, Second Battalion, 324th Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division

Ahto City, Manaan, Pyrshak System, Inner Rim, "The Galaxy"

07:21:16 ATC/ Monday, July 21st, 1969 - 08:52 / 8:52 AM

"Well, I know we got off to a rough start, Sam, but we did pull through." Theron began. "However, there's...a new complication."

"What kind of complication, Red Jacket?"

"Maybe I should change outfits." The SIS operative muttered. "The Revanites placed bounties on everyone except for you and Jake and that's because the Earth Coalition hasn't been infiltrated by the Revanites nor is there any interest by Earth to work with the Bounty Hunter's Guild as of now."

"Ha! Imagine that. For a civilization who is debating the existence of this Force of yours, how can a cult of Force believers infiltrate and convert those to their cause?" Sam asked rhetorically.

"Plus Earth has been known to the entire galaxy only recently, the Quarantine Policy is meant to prevent espionage and sabotage as much as possible, and most of your religions, except for maybe Buddhism and Shintoism, don't correlate with the Force." Theron finished. "Which means Revan is hindered from successfully recruiting Earthlings to his cause plus there are officers from time to time threatening to shoot Republic officers and Jedi for stupidity that to me doesn't seem stupid."

"In short, Revan will be forced to take us on if his cause grows large enough. I dare him to try."

Shan rolled his eyes at the paratrooper and took a deep breath before getting to the point. "Lana, Sara, Jakarro, and I will be leaving soon and working against the Revanites covertly. But until we contact you, watch your backs." Theron handed Samuel two tickets for a ride back to Coruscant.

"Wait? Sara and Lana are going with you?"

"Well, I can't work against the cultists alone, and quoting one of your aphorisms: The enemy of my enemy is my friend." Shan reasoned. "Do me a favor, will you?"

"Another one already, Red Jacket?"

The operative rolled his eyes before uttering the request. "I suggest Jake take a vacation to Voss after the war and see the mystics. Perhaps they could enlighten him about the Force."

Samuel just smirked as he about-faced and progressed to the exit. "You might as well have him burn the United States Constitution or support the Communist Party of the United States of America, even accept internationalism or the dreaded 'New World Order' in addition to getting his stubborn head to start accepting the existence of the Force. While I'm honestly agnostic to it, I'll be sure to tell him that you're joking!"

Theron's eyes widened at the remarkable response.'I wasn't being sarcastic!'

Sergeant Sara Kelrein - Imperial Commando Unit 421 "Reaper Squad", Imperial Army

Ahto City Spaceport - Ahto City, Manaan, Pyrshak System, Inner Rim, "The Galaxy"

07:21:16 ATC/ Monday, July 21st, 1969 - 10:29 / 10:29 AM

"I can't believe I have to say goodbye to him again." Sara lamented.

"You're not the only one." Lana ached. "In the short time I got to know him, I can see why you are smitten with him. He isn't exactly bad on the eyes either."

Sara chuckled softly at her friend's affectionate blush. "If you were someone else, I would've already made you disappear but I'm not going to complain if it's you."

"I wouldn't desire to harm your attachment." The blonde reiterated to the redhead.

"I know." The engaged woman smiled. "But you're not and so far...the ménage a trois seemed...was seemed to be working out." Sara felt lightheaded and empty as she realized the departure. "Dammit. I miss him already."

"We'll see him again. I'm sure of it."

"It's a matter of not if but when." Kelrein sniffled. "I don't want him to wait hopelessly."

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - Fireteam Alpha, Second Squad, First Platoon, C/Charlie Company, Second Raider Battalion "Carlson's Raiders", Second Raider Regiment, Second Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, United States Marine Corps

Ahto City Spaceport - Ahto City, Manaan, Pyrshak System, Inner Rim, "The Galaxy"

07:21:16 ATC/ Monday, July 21st, 1969 - 10:29 / 10:29 AM

"You know, I'm still denying the fact that not only you and Sara somehow rekindled by now, you also somehow got a bombshell blonde smitten with you, and Sara's cool with it." Sam brought up as the pair boarded the flight that was taking them to Coruscant. "Sounds like a dream come true."

"Look at it from my perspective, it was Sara's idea, not mine." Jake reminded him. "And I'm still getting used to it but as far as I know, she's not bothered with Lana in addition to her but if it was anyone else, as Sara stated, then it would be an issue, not that I would put that theory to the test."

"I know that you wouldn't be a guy to have an affair or dalliance but I guess Sara trusts her if she's not getting jealous over this."

"Lana is her friend from childhood so…"

"That explains it." Westbrook snorted. "You're still one lucky bastard."

"Maybe but that's debatable." Meyer grinned as he leaned back in his velvet-like seat. "Still, I think I'm going to enjoy it as it's working out surprisingly well between the three of us so far…Well, if I ever see them again."

"No sh*t, they're both undeniably enamored with you. It looks like you're hooked for life. " The paratrooper acknowledged. "And judging by the two run-ins, I wouldn't be surprised if there's a third."

"I'm sure someone is waiting for you around the corner, pal. It's just that the path to it hasn't been found yet."

"Can I get you two any refreshments?" A male Twi'lek steward asked the pair. "We just received Cherry Coca-Cola's from Earth."

"Two Cherry co*kes please." Sam smiled as he grabbed his wallet. "Hope you accept cash and change instead of credits."

Chapter 19: Dog and Pony Show

Chapter Text

Second Lieutenant Paul Baltasar Meyer - Third Platoon, D/ Delta Company, Second Battalion, 324th Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, XVIII Airborne Corps, United States Army

Fort Duqua Dar - Quadrant G-19, Coruscant, Coruscant System, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:24:16 ATC/ Thursday, July 24th, 1969- 14:22/2:22 PM

Meyer and Macaluso may be in different units of different services but it would not have mattered if they were both in the same branch or the Navy, Air Force, or Coast Guard as the scatterbrained and reckless frivolous assignments need to stop, a sentiment not only shared by the Army Paratrooper and United States Marine but by many.

"Agent Shan has used you two for unauthorized activities." Paul explained to his son and Samuel. "And of course, Ike, nevermind Puller and the others are extremely pissed about this, which means that from here on out, aside from SpecForce there will be no joint special operations without Eisenhower's direct authorization. Furthermore, there will be no more joint operations with the SIS or the Jedi at all until, quote-unquote, 'They get their asses in order and clean up house as it is detrimental to the war effort'."

"Oh boy." Samuel muttered. "Chesty Puller probably threatened to shoot SIS Agents with his late cousin's Peacemaker, didn't he?"

"As a matter of fact, he actually did, Sergeant." The Lieutenant deadpanned from his seat behind the desk even though he was surprised by the remarkably accurate guess at Chesty threatening to use Bandito's own personalIvorygripped .45 Long Colt Colt Single Action Army revolver. "Now, I know you're wondering why I'm telling you this and that's because you're being called to testify at a committee about why you were dragged into being a part of a conspiracy to steal life-saving medical research from this Gorima and sell it to the Exchange without your knowledge."

"Anything else?"

"You're both on restriction to stay inside your barracks unless you are going to eat, to exercise, or sh*t." Francis added and as an O-3 instead of an O-2 he had some additional authority. "Also, as part of your restrictions, you are prohibited from interacting with either SIS personnel or Jedi until further notice and if they get close, the sentries will deal with them. I don't get why they think they can detach personnel heading straight into combat to help repair a blown-up house located miles from the ongoing engagement but that attitude will end or Ike will convince the Supreme Chancellor to let us choose our battles with the Republic Navy acting as our taxi service."

"Yeah, I don't get whysomeof those Space Monks are morons when it comes to destroying the objective." Jake muttered while rolling his eyes, though he didn't want to admit having respect for Cas as he wouldn't hear the end of it. "Helping people is noble and all but it's not the fighting man's job and if there's a battle, we're heading to the sound of a firefight, not stopping because some Jedi thinks we need to get a rare bird out of the way. He can do himself if he's that concerned about the local wildlife."

"You got that right." Paul smiled. "Almost formed a makeshift firing squad because one of them thought we could spare thirty minutes to help repair a water tank while the Empire was about to overwhelm the defenses at a firebase we were relieving. I'm not a plumber, no less a plumber knowledgeable in using Republic technology."

"Huh? How nice to volunteer himself as a weapons function check target." Jake snickered. "Surprised you didn't mention it, pal."

"While your pop and I were tempted to use our rifles, he, unfortunately, wised up and requisitioned a Republic outfit instead."

"Good for him."

The Mustang Officer chuckled but the solemnity of the circ*mstances forced the recalled veteran to compose himself. "Okay, it's off to be confined to quarters for a week." Paul declared sternly. "Oh and if one Jedi or Republic Trooper tries to get in contact with you, you are authorized to punch them in the face, no matter the rank, even Supreme Commander Malcom himself."

"Yes, sir." Sam acknowledged before the duo vacated the office.

Private First Class Jake Gregory Meyer - Fireteam Alpha, Second Squad, First Platoon, C/Charlie Company, Second Raider Battalion "Carlson's Raiders", Second Raider Regiment, Second Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, United States Marine Corps

Fort Duqua Dar - Quadrant G-19, Coruscant, Coruscant System, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:24:16 ATC/ Thursday, July 24th, 1969- 14:38/2:38 PM

"Stealing medical research?" Jake snorted as the pair walked out of the office. "That's the best those nutcases could come up with?"

"Well, to be fair, we were in a lab and those parts are used for life-saving purposes."

"True." Jake conceded. "But here's our problem. How are we going to prove to the board that some guy who was imprisoned for over three centuries by the Emperor of the Sith Empire who supposedly ruled for more than five hundred years is coming back with a vendetta against the entire universe and he has a cult around him?"

"I don't like this but we're probably gonna have to lie under oath yet with Thanksgiving coming up, they're not going to be in the mood for perjury."

"There's got to be another way...What if we prove that Gorima was doing shady business? Both Arkous and Darok were wanted for robberies in their respective factions before we killed them."

"It's still a long shot. The lab is in Davy Jones's locker last I checked."

Jake pulled out a certain intergalactic gimmick from his pocket and grinned. "I forgot to give this back to Red Jacket after he translated everything from Aruba-whatever to Latin letters and English. This datapad is our insurance policy."

"Is that the one that has Gorima discussing with Arkous and Darok how potentially effective the Infinite Army can be against the Republic and Empire?"

"Yep. And even though we can't prove anything about Revan and his involvement, this will at least vindicate us in preventing a third party from threatening Earth. Hopefully at least justifying that there is a conspiracy as well."

Sergeant Samuel David "Sam" Westbrook - First Squad, Third Platoon, D/ Delta Company, Second Battalion, 324th Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, XVIII Airborne Corps, United States Army

Fort Duqua Dar - Quadrant G-19, Coruscant, Coruscant System, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:25:16 ATC/ Friday, July 24th, 1969 - 06:47/6:47 AM

"Well, the big day is here." Sam sighed as he buttoned up the four brass buttons of his United States Army green service uniform jacket with khaki undershirt and black tie. "Hopefully we don't screw this up."

Jake, on the other hand, was lacing up his freshly polished dress shoes for his Service Alphas consisting of a forest green coat, forest green trousers with khaki web belt, a khaki long-sleeve button-up blouse, and a khaki tie with a tie clasp. The Marine also has his ribbons, Expert Qualified (with Expert Requalification clasp) , Distinguished Marksman, Division Rifle Competition (Gold), and Rifle Team Match (Wharton Trophy) badges on the left chest of his coat. "Yeah, I wouldn't want to be placed in a cell next to some guy I arrested years ago." The former Marine Corps 5811 chuckled nervously. "But I'm confident that they'll not dismiss our evidence out of hand. We'll just have to pretend that it was already written in 'High Galactic Standard' when we found it."

"Ah, not a bad idea. High Galactic Standard is literally just plain English and Latin letters." Sam chuckled. "Even the known coincidences in this galaxy are just giving us the strategic advantage."

"No need to say that twice." Jake grinned. "Though to be fair, the exotic burgers at times look more appetizing than the C-Rats."

"Touchè."

Specialist Regid Zira - Twenty-First Infantry Regiment, Republic Army and covertly a member of the Order of Revan

Fort Duqua Dar - Quadrant G-19, Coruscant, Coruscant System, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:25:16 ATC/ Friday, July 24th, 1969 - 07:00/7:00 AM

'Looks like they're leaving now.'Zira thought as he watched the two targets peering out of the room, comically acting as if they were watching out for any assassins appearing out of the blue but the Revanite knew that because of the sudden wariness, his job was going to be harder than anticipated. The cultist was about to draw his blaster pistol to take the targets down when by luck the gunman noticed an arriving detachment of American Army Military Policemen wearing their identifiable dark olive drab helmets withMPpainted in white on the front and red-and-white stripes as well as buff white accouterments now blocked his view.

"A close protection detail?"

"By order of the committee. With two witnesses testifying against the corruption of an espionage organization, it's wise to take precautions." The lead MP reasoned.

"Not sure if you heard but until recently I was a 5811." The Leatherneck who previously at times wore a white M1 helmet with black letter initials on the front and a red and yellow stripe around the circumference chuckled but the former Military Policeman for the Marines never imagined the day when he would be escorted.

"Don't worry, this isn't a court martial." A Corporal snickered as they walked to the room.

'So much for a clear shot.'Regid lamented as the opportunity was taken away from him due to unforeseen prior arrangements. Usually, the Republic relied on Jedi and specialized protection teams for such tasks but the man began cursing himself for not thinking of contingencies.

And then immediately after they left, Zira's holocommunicator pinged. The devout Revanite was dreading the unexpected call as his day so far was one of bad luck yet despite his misgivings, he knew that the call couldn't be delayed and begrudgingly answered.

Regid's eyes widened in shock as the call was by none other than the esteemed Revan himself!

"Did you take them out of the picture?"

"Regrettably, they were under heavy guard, My Lord." Zira confessed, hoping that the failure through circ*mstances would be forgiven. "I didn't have a clear shot."

"Blast...Well, we're gonna have to go with Plan B and take them out in the room before they could spew anything."Revan relented as if he sensed his follower's unease."Also, make sure you have Meyer pay for his conceited obscenity. He doesn't know what I have been through."

The devout follower of Revan was irritated at the revelation of the insult. No one, absolutely no one insulted Revan, the man who saved the Republic in her darkest hour and was now on a crusade to save the entire galaxy from the one who wants to eat everything away out of self-worship. "As you wish, My Lord."

Committee to Investigate Manaan - Fort Duqua Dar, Quadrant G-19, Coruscant, Coruscant System, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:25:16 ATC/ Friday, July 24th, 1969 - 08:00/8:25 AM

"Sergeant? Private? You know why you were brought before us today?"

"We do, sir." Samuel answered as he was the senior ranking of the pair.

"Very well. So, Sergeant, were you aware that Agent Shan was using you to rob medical technology from an alien scientist named Gorima?"

"Respectfully, sir, it wasn't a robbery." Westbrook replied. "Agent Shan of the Strategic Information Service was investigating what occurred on Tython and noticed that there was an odd linkage between Korriban as well. We also have some evidence, though unfortunately minor, to prove that this is a conspiracy between Colonel Darock and Darth Arkous to participate in a well-orchestrated coup against both the Galactic Republic and the Sith Empire."

"Well, it isn't the first time such craziness transpired here." Another board member sighed. "Apparently some Malgus pulled off a stunt on Illum that unbelievably caused the Republic and Empire to cooperate but that might be an overreaction."

While Samuel was being interviewed, Jake out of the corner of his eyes discerned that one of the Republic troopers off to the side raised his rifle and a Jedi standing at another corner reached down for his lethal flashlight, both gazing predictably at the pair's location to make their intentions clear.

"TAKE COVER!" Meyer warned the assembled military officials and witnesses, forcing the assembly to seek shelter behind the desks or instinctively drop to the floor.

Two of the United States Army MPs posted outside immediately kicked open the door to fire their M14s from the doorway and other American Military Policemen already inside the room drew and fired their M1911A1 pistols at the threat and riddled the two assassins with lead before they would be able to carry out a mobster-style massacre.

"What the-"

"Sir, respectfully, this is much bigger than some robberies of ancient artifacts and Manaan is minor of the three occurrences." Jake explained. "We got dragged into investigating something more ambitious than the coups in Ancient Rome."

"And loons believe that Pavlick was apart of a grand conspiracy when he unsuccessfully tried to kill the President but this is different." The Colonel nodded, still understandably shaken up the quick gunfight inside the hearing room. "We'll investigate your claims of a conspiracy as best as we can but this, unfortunately, will require assistance with the Republic."

Captain Talia Mayveri - Senate Guard and secret Revanite

Supreme Chancellor office - Senate Building, Senate District, Galactic City, Coruscant, Coruscant System, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

07:25:16 ATC/ Friday, July 24th, 1969 - 14:15/2:15 PM

"What do you mean that this didn't occur! I saw it before my eyes!" The Colonel snapped before his eyes widened with realization."You're apart of this, aren't you!?"

"Guards! Escort the Colonel outside." The Captain in charge of the Chancellor's security detail ordered. "We don't need a paranoid lunatic around Your Excellency and warning her about some unfounded plot!"

"Yes, sir."

Mayveri supervised the forced eviction of the meddlesome Earthling then immediately contacted Revan with an update.

"My Lord, we failed. Judging by our 'friend' my men are dealing with currently, both Americans have somehow successfully convinced the Investigating Committee of their findings and surely Patton knows about it by now. All we can do is delay them bureaucratically."

"Not a bad idea."

"My lord?"

"The combatants from Earth can work against us but if the Republic government or military is unable to assist them in countering us, then they can't do anything."

"What about the Colonel? We can't kill him as that would cause more suspicion, never mind keeping him against his will."

"Try to wipe his memories, use co*cktails if you need to."

General of the Army Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower - Head of the Coalesced Forces from Earth

Aboard theRNS Perseverance-Valor-class Cruiser

07:25:16 ATC/ Friday, July 24th, 1969 - 15:25/3:25 PM

"It seems like we can't do anything." Heinrich muttered as Ike read the documents from his desk. "Colonel Holland tried to get an appointment with the Chancellor afterwards but he came back bruised and didn't remember anything during and after his visit. In fact, he thought he completely missed the committee he was supposed to conduct."

"Obviously they have more supporters than we can count as it sounds like they infiltrated even the Chancellor's office." Eisenhower determined. "For all I know, the entire Republic naval crew aboard this very ship are Imperial infiltrators who are supportive of the two rogues." Ike doubted there was an underground cult worshiping a long lost man claimed by the two witnesses and instead was leaning more toward the Imperial infiltration theory per the official memorandum produced by the board he held in his hands yet he smirked as 'goose chase' came to mind. "We got to pretend it was a wild goose chase and there's no credible threat."

"Sir? How many people so far know about this datapad, other than us and the discoverers?"

"The Committee, the Guards of the Committee, one of the discoverer's fathers, and Krueger as I don't trust Konev. That's honestly it."

"Trust works both ways afterall." The aide nodded, understanding the wisdom of not giving the Commie everything. "Okay, so should I typed the report as inconclusive or…"

"Actually, have it as the datapad was damaged en route to the committee and therefore while we doubt the validity of said supposed elaborate conspiracy of a coup de'tat, we'll offer our open cooperation with the Republic and the neutral world of Manaan with the investigation."

"What about our actual response?"

"We need to find people we can trust without question, those who are not one of Saresh's yes men or a suspected undercover agent of whatever faction committed this and proceed from there. Also, I'm going to regret this but get Monty on the horn. I'm approving the proposal and his...specialist is now going to need to kill two birds with one stone."

Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery - 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein and Commander of Her Majesty's Commonwealth Forces of the 'True British Empire'

Aboard theRNS Perseverance-Valor-class Cruiser

07:25:16 ATC/ Friday, July 24th, 1969 - 16:19/4:19 PM

"Evening, sir." The requested individual in his sharp white collared undershirt with a bowtie and black tuxedo announced his presence at the doorway of Bernard's office, as if this was a movie set but by circ*mstances it was not.

"Agent Connery, please do have a seat." The Field Marshal greeted the exact man he had in mind for this critical assignment. "Would you care for some tea?"

"Please." The actor whose career in film had been put on hold smiled. It truly has been a long trip."

A British Second Lieutenant, who Sean assumed was an orderly, immediately exited the office to retrieve the desired refreshments, which also allowed the pair to conduct part of their meeting in private.

"I'm going to get straight to the point, Mister Connery, as I'm glad MI6 can spare you for this mission. The rest of the known universe is wackier than we have ever imagined so, I need you to kill two birds with one stone."

Sean raised an eyebrow at the use of the expression. "Kill two birds with one stone, sir?"

"General Eisenhower himself wants you to infiltrate the Supreme Chancellor's office as soon as practical, to uncover any plans she has regarding both Earth and the Empire. We also need you to find any evidence of infiltration either by the Imposters or these so-called Revanites in the high office as if the Chancellor is not a threat, these Revanites potentially will."

"I understand the Imposters but Revan-?"

"Revanites or…" Monty glanced at the sheet laid on top of his desk to confirm the designation. "The Order of Revan. Romeo-Echo-Victor-Alpha-November-India-Tango-Echo-Sierra."

"Revanites. Understood." The Scotsman nodded."Anything else I need to know?"

"We already have a detailed sketch of the Chancellor's office courtesy of the recollections from a few Military Policemen who escorted Eisenhower recently. Study them well but prepare for the unexpected."

"I will not fail." Sean vowed. "And I'll be sure to confuse the security cameras."

Montgomery snorted but the fact that Sean Connery himself ha literally become an operative after being convinced by Ian Fleming and Christopher Lee to take up the mantle and become an actual spy was either insane or ingenious.

'I pity those sentries about to undergo a psychological evaluation after seeing Mister Connery's mug.'

Chapter 20: Kill Two Birds with One Stone

Chapter Text

Thomas Sean Connery- British Secret Intelligence Service "MI6"

Supreme Chancellor's office - Senate Building, Senate District, Galactic City, Coruscant, Coruscant System, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

08:20:16 ATC /Wednesday,August 20th, 1969 - 12:00/12:00 PM

Although he was somewhat conspicuous, the actor who starred in the James Bond franchise had been officially recruited by MI6 for the war and in a way the character had been brought to life but although Connery initially scoffed at the harebrained scheme of having 'Bond Sightings' occur in the Condor Galaxy as it was, well, absurd, Ian Fleming and Christopher Lee themselves convinced the movie star to use his persona as anyone who sighted him during a mission and quite understandably mistake him for 'Bond' would reasonably be taken in for a mental examination. It was the perfect cover as well as psychological warfare but for this operation his face for the time being was concealed, unless the time was right of course.

"Excuse me, Gents? Is there any way I could meet with the Chancellor for lunch without being in a tarry?"

"Imperial assassin!" One of the two guards securing the office shouted in response to Connery's voice. "Blast him!"

Sean quickly dispatched the two guards with his suppressed 'slugthrower' the disguised British agent purchased off of the black market, though he felt more comfortable with the Walther PPK he used on set firing blanks compared to the alien knockoff and the operative sighed in disbelief at the waste of opportunity for the guards to strike him down as well as the deploring fact he was forced to take lives.'No need to think about the what-ifs, I have a job to do.'

After peppering the corpses two more times to be certain that they were deceased, Sean rushed over to the large screen and gazed down at the keyboard, pondering on how to best proceed.

"Let's see here…The Republic did give us translators so in theory, it could work against them as it does with the Impostors." The Bond actor turned intelligence officer placed the 'flash drive' into the port, watching as the foreign letters converted to 'Galactic High Standard' on the screen on his datapad.

"Hmmmm...Says here I need two key cards."

Connery retrieved the two key cards from the dead guards and slid them through the slit, gaining access to the computer.

Access Granted

Query?

The MI6 officer quickly typed in Earth into the computer and received one matching result.

Operation: Uplift

'Sounds interesting.'Sean thought as he downloaded the data about 'Uplift'.

"Hey!" Sean calmly shot and killed the other guard who entered the room then immediately typed in Order of Revan with the keyboard in case the loons decided to hide information in plain sight.

Operation: Yavin IV

Password?

"That's probably the Revanite one I presume. With a universe as peculiar as this, who would've thought looking into the Supreme Chancellor's computer for information about a supposed cult planning to overthrow her?" The MI6 operative mumbled sarcastically.'Well, it's five words and it is a cult.'

REVAN

Access Granted

"Well, it's time to get going." Sean muttered, hoping that everything about the operation could be directed at the Imperials and neither Britain nor the planet of Earth.

Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery - 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein and Commander of Her Majesty's Commonwealth Forces of the 'True British Empire'

08:20:16 ATC /Wednesday,August 20th, 1969-13:45/1:45 PM

Montgomery smiled at the agent who evaded capture standing at the doorway, signaling success in his mission. "Glad you got out without a single nick, old boy."

"The map provided to you kindly by the Yanks was slightly off." Connerry scoffed, rolling his eyes. "I would've vacated quicker if it was to scale."

"Fair enough, lad." Montgomery smirked. "I'll have the information analyzed right away by the cryptographers."

"Fair warning, sir. Apparently, the one result for Earth is called 'Operation: Uplift' and that could only mean one thing."

"They're going to turn on us when the war is over and annex us by force." Bernard guessed.

"It's only a theory for now but with some of their leadership and senators openly sneering at our way of life and our values, it makes sense."

"Bloody hell." Montgomery cursed. "I can't believe I'm saying this but I agree with the sentiment: She's a Hitlerette."

"I never thought that the second time we chatted in person, you agreed with a Yank on something."

Montgomery gave the Scotsman his best 'don't test me' glare. "Well, please do be so kind as to pretend that it's classified information beyond belief. I would never hear the end of it if word gets out."

"Understood."

Chapter 21: Old Wounds

Chapter Text

Gail Thayer

Galactic Museum- Senate District, Galactic City, Coruscant, Coruscant System, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

08:21: 16 ATC / Thursday, August 21st, 1969 - 20:25 / 8:25 PM

It had been thirteen months and three days since the portentous incident inside the United Nations Building, the very same incident where the anachronism experienced an inefficacious confrontation with Darth Avarice, and the reckless encounter would also result in Gail becoming enlightened to the existence of stun bolts as blasters were still nascent in her day. Moreover, despite being ancient history to many in this galaxy - aside from being promulgated into the heads of every congenital Imperial of course - the decree from Pultimo was still fresh in her mind and now, instead of continuing on with the Jedi Order, the former padawan from another era was circ*mstantially starting over. She held no animosity toward the present officialdom and decided to voluntarily depart as there was the chance that she was indubitably unsuitable or at the very least inapposite for the present organization given the disparity and newfound standards.

At one point, the Rhinnalian did consider returning to her frigid homeworld but as her family; her parents, siblings, uncles and aunts, and grandparents have long since become one with the Force in the millennia since her disappearance she had instead ventured to Coruscant to see an old friend who was still managing his establishment and while she never forgot the generosity of the Meyer's even if in some way their stance on the Force were similar to the Motti's, the Rhinnalian from another period knew that becoming accustomed to a new era would take time but she was at least fortunate that the Kadri'Ra were a long-lived species and that there was at least one living sentient she had personally known from her past still extant.

But with a new life came the need for employment, and whether the vocation was ironic or fitting and perhaps feeling a need to prove herself after the embarrassment that fateful day, the anachronism decided to apply for a position as a security guard at the Galactic Museum and was hired, earning the privilege to wear a cinereous colored uniform but contradictorily she still hoped that there was never a time where she would have no choice but to use the M-300 Elite Stealth Interceptor yet while becoming a security guard never crossed her mind, especially with her upbringing, it was at least honest work.

Gail started with making her latest rounds in the Annals of the Galactic Republic, specifically the section on the Great Sith War, and as she entered the room filled with artifacts and displays detailing the conflict, she was still revolted that the hostilities only commenced due to a human male named Exar Kun, a prospective Jedi and once promising student of the respected Jedi Master Vodo-Siosk Baas. Kun decided to press boundaries and acquire knowledge for power, this exploration for additional power corrupted him and perhaps it was inevitable that Kun would dwell upon the teachings of the Sith, a civilization previously considered to have been extirpated.

During his quest, Kun would venture to the planet of Onderon, then its moon of Dxun, and lastly even Korriban itself, becoming cajoled and corrupted the entire time by the spirit of Freedon Nadd, an ancient Sith Lord and Kun, as well as another fallen Jedi, Ulic Qel-Droma, who would become his apprentice, were both anointed by another Sith spirit, that of Marka Ragnos, and officially proclaimed to be Lords of the Sith before orchestrating an onslaught against the Republic but not before Kun visited Ossus and slayed, among others, Gail's old friend Odan-Urr, the studious Draethos who was quite the bookworm and the entire transgression was not only dishonorable but a thorough abomination.

She held her glowrod to enhance the illumination of one display in particular, a holographic representation of Exar Kun cutting down the Draethos who was by then in his senior years and was attempting to prevent Kun from gaining a Sith Holocron, and Gail couldn't help but to once again stare longingly, still feeling disconsolate by what went down, what became of him.

'You still didn't deserve that, Odan.'Her mourning was, however, interrupted as she sensed, footsteps, no, an object rolling in the halls during closing hours and it was en route to her location. She unhesitatingly drew the blaster pistol from her holster as it turned around the corner and aimed only to lower the weapon upon recognizing it as none other than a certain utility droid designated as T3-M4, best known for its exploits during the Jedi Civil War and the last surviving member of theEbon Hawk. Though how the droid exactly came to the possession of the Sith Empire remained a mystery, during the complicated negotiations on Alderaan the Imperial delegation relinquished the scorched remains as a 'sign of good faith' - which of course turned out to be a lie as Coruscant would be sacked - and if it was any other droid it would have been most certainly scrapped yet after confirming its identity and checking for malware a restoration effort transpired and along with theEbon Hawkitself the droid was displayed as if it was a caged animal in a zoo, something that was of course still a contentious matter and aside from the occasional protest there were handful of attempts at 'liberation' by droid rights activist who regarded him as a cause celebre in their fight for the recognition of droids as sentient beings. Come to think of it, the methodology and even antics of the demonstrators did appear somewhat familiar but Gail shrugged as thus far she had not encountered any of the protestors.

"Someone forgot to power you down for the night, huh?"

The proverbial droid turned storyteller and a permanent exhibit at the museum was now frantic and began to retreat but oblivious to the droid the Rhinnalian in actuality felt sympathetic given how they had a similar plight. "Don't worry, I'm not going to as honestly you deserve better than this." She reassured him. "And frankly, I shouldn't be here either. How much do you know about the Great Hyperspace War?"

"Excuse me?"

"Well, as funny as it may sound, I perfectly understand what you're going through." Gail sighed. "And it's a long story."

"I have time."

One Year and Nine Months ago…

Idlewild Airport - Jamaica, Queens, New York City, New York, United States of America

08:12: 15 ATC / Monday, August 12th, 1968 - 13:45/1:45 PM

Three days following the announcement that the nation-states of Earth were joining the war against the Sith Empire, the Rhinnalian was scheduled to depart to Tython, a world that in her time was considered to be nothing more than a legend, and Ossus was for a time considered to have been the homeworld of the Jedi Order, a 'fact' that she recently learned was erroneous.

Still, returning home to her native galaxy was long overdue for the Rhinnalian but in some way it was of little comfort as the galaxy had moved on without her, she was still a relic of a bygone era, and yet as far as the Jedi Order was concerned her training was incomplete and her fate was still to be determined.

But before her scheduled departure, Gail was going to say farewell and she was standing next to Jake at the memorial dedicated to the victims of the Idlewild Massacre, a heinous act of terrorism in which a joint Cuban-Vietnamese cadre led by Raúl Modesto Castro Ruz - the brother of the late overthrown leader of Cuba following the 'Bay of Pigs' - effectuated a massacre on Saturday, March 5th, 1966 and this was the very incident which reoriented the policy toward the War in Vietnam and resulted in an official declaration of war being issued against the Democratic Republic of Vietnam by the United States of America as well as an American-led invasion of the aforementioned Communist nation. It concurrently did lead to a conspiracy theory being postulated by, among other organizations, Students for a Democratic Society, who dismissed the episode as a false flag orchestrated by Diem's secret police and in collaboration with radical veterans of Brigade 2506. This delusional conjecture would in addition to other grievances and another incident, a riot outside Independence Hall in Philadelphia which resulted in the deaths of Bob Dylan and Barry McGuire as well as left Phil Ochs becoming both quadriplegic and aphasic, would trigger disastrous consequences domestically, one which gave rise to the Weather Underground Organization and a period which would become a significant stain on Kennedy's legacy as President despite his accomplishments such as signing the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in Moscow on Monday, August 5th, 1963 and Kennedy upholding his pledge to get man to the moon yet despite it all the idea of Camelot had turned out to an illusion.

"I was inside the Provost Marshal's Office at Kaneohe Bay at the time." Jake recalled as he gazed solemnly at the first slab listing the names of the victims then another slab dedicated to Antelmo Massarelli, a retired soldier for the Genovese crime family who was formerly an enforcer for Lucky Luciano himself back during Prohibition and who gave his life fighting off Viet Cong gunmen inside the terminal and behind the pair of slabs on the wall wasThe Three Volunteers- a statue of Greg Allen, Colton Bradlee, and Bill Harris, three businessmen from Athens, Tennessee and participants of the McMinn County War who also did their part, using their personal hunting rifles to end the attack which could have resulted in a higher death toll. "The fact that Raul Castro not only hijacked a plane but turned it into a bomb with passengers and crew still inside...Gunmen masquerading as members of an Orchestra…"

She did not need the Force to discern that Jake was still understandably appalled by the enormity, at a loss of words as he remained silent and reflected until he decided to change the subject.

"I'm still sorry that I doubted you." Jake sighed. "Alien abductions have been a craze for a while." The Hoosier then grimaced as he undoubtedly recollected memories of his brother Clark's obsession with Flying Saucers, Sasquatch, and even fabricating tin foil hats for fending off subliminal messages.

"It's fine." Gail dismissed even though the Rhinnalian knew that the apology did not include a concession on accepting the Force as a phenomenon. "You know, I think I came to understand this crazy planet."

"Such as...?"

She decided to humor him. "We extraterrestrials are all the same, whether it's taking over the planet through mind control, robots, disintegration rays, or the fighting machine fromThe War of the Worldswhich invaded New Jersey as reported on the radio back in the '30s."

"Funny." Jake snorted. "Take care, Champ."

"You as well, Jake." Gail smiled before thinking of six certain rodents who were not only surprisingly adorable but also whimsical. "By the way, can you tell Valerie to make sure that the latch is secured and her pack of rats don't escape their cage?"

"That's impossible." Jake chortled as he remembered the occurrence specifically involving Puff Puff who knocked Clark's box of candy cigarettes off of his desk followed by bottles of Mountain Dew with glass shattering and the green carbonated and heavily caffeinated fluid ruining his candy cigarettes. "Those intelligent rodents can squeeze through holes the size of a dime."

"Figured." The Rhinnalian sighed as she rolled her eyes then without another word Gail turned around to board her assigned vessel but not before waving.

Gnost-Dural - Chief Librarian of the Jedi Order

Tython, Tython System, Deep Core, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

11:20:15 ATC / Wednesday, November 20th, 1968 - 15:25/3:25 PM

The Kel Dor Jedi Master was uncertain what to think of her, the adolescent who came from the age of Masters Ooroo and Memit Nadill, a time when the esteemed Jedi scholar Odan-Urr was then only a Padawan, and of course, it was also when Naga Shadow invaded the Republic with the aftermath being as Dural discovered was the origin of the present conflict but the Chief Librarian believed that there was still more to learn on the Great Hyperspace War and the fact he gained the unanticipated opportunity to interview a first-hand witness was serendipitous.

"Your feelings betray you, young one." He admonished after she walked into his private living quarters as scheduled.

"I thought I was ancient?"

The Kel Dor remained tranquil and he was mindful of the fact that passive-aggressiveness was a Rhinnalian trait.

"I'm sorry, master, I-"

"All is forgiven." He dismissed. "Take a seat."

The padawan sat down and crossed her legs, waiting for the inquiry to proceed and give her account of the long-ago conflict.

"This recording is an interview with Gail Thayer, a lost padawan from an earlier time in Jedi history and only found by chance. As a first-hand witness to the Great Hyperspace War thirteen centuries ago, I'm hopeful that she would shed some light on the Jedi involvement during the counter-invasion."

Before raising the sensitive subject of the Republic's campaign into Sith Space with the repercussions only becoming known after being uncovered by Gnost-Dural himself, the historian decided to start from the beginning.

"Before the Sith Empire, led by Naga Sadow invaded. What were you and your master doing prior to the invasion?"

"My master, Dankrad Bast and I, recently returned to Coruscant after assisting the Jestanians in fending off pirates that were active in the Corpheli Sector."

Gnost-Dural sensed the candor but Thayer hesitated as if the memories were prostrating. "Go on."

Gail sighed and recounted her experience during the Battle of Coruscant, the one which occurred over thirteen hundred years ago. "Master Bast and I were rendezvousing with Masters Svag, Sonam-Ha'ar, Tuknatan, and Nadill at Senate Hall when we were cut off and encountered monstrosities."

Gail Thayer - Padawan of the Jedi Order

Galactic City, Coruscant, Coruscant System, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

06:06: 20,053 YAR / 06:06: 1,347 BTC - 09:00

It seemed to be a typical day on the capital world of the Galactic Republic and many native Coruscantis as well as off-world visitors whether for business or for pleasure went about their daily lives oblivious to an encroaching threat.

"It isn't that I doubt, Odan, Master." She said, trying to keep her voice steady. "It's just that the laymen are understandably skeptical. They are incapable of precognition."

"Now you're sounding like your mother." Dankrad sighed, referring to Nela, a scoffing woman from the influential Motti family of Phelarion who of course married her father Jouvil, chieftain of the Thayer Clan, and yet despite his padawan being attuned, the proud blue blood remained skeptical of the Force and was dismissive, even propounding 'explanations'.

Before Gail could respond, she and her master both sensed danger approaching. Without hesitation, they reached for their lightsabers, ready to defend themselves and the planet, the very one considered to be the heart of the Galactic Republic itself.

"I was hoping we would have time to strategize." Dankrad deadpanned as civilians began to run and the defensive batteries fired at the incoming warships. But instead of bombarding the planet, the Sith armada sent drop ships that fell from orbit.

"Get out of the way!" A Republic Sergeant yelled as he led his detail through the panicked crowd. They were attempting to conduct a counterattack against the invaders before they could establish a beachhead for follow-on forces. But to their surprise, one of the pods contained not enemy combatants, but war-beasts.

"Gail, get back here!" Dankrad ordered, but the impulsive Padawan ignored his plea. She continued sprinting towards the war-beast, her lightsaber at the ready.

With a swift and precise strike, she severed the legs of the war-beast, causing it to collapse to the ground. But as she turned to face the others, she noticed that more beasts were approaching from all sides followed by enemy infantry.

"Master, we need to fall back and regroup." Gail said, her voice filled with determination.

Dankrad nodded in agreement and together they fought their way through the chaos, using their lightsabers to defend themselves and those around them. But the Sith war behemoths were relentless, and it seemed like there was no end to their numbers.

Gnost-Dural - Chief Librarian of the Jedi Order

Tython, Tython System, Deep Core, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

11:20:15 ATC / Wednesday, November 20th, 1968 - 15:45/3:45 PM

"Impulsivity seems to be a habit of yours."

"I like to think on my feet."

The Kel Dor remained expressionless and while there was some disappointment the historian and preeminent keeper of the Jedi Archives was mindful that Jedi Training of her time was, for the lack of a better word, rudimentary and only became more methodical and centralized over time with Odan-Urr going on to become one of the most influential members in the history of the Jedi Order and it was unfortunate how the Draethos was cut-down by Exar Kun, a once-promising Jedi Knight who was anointed by the spirit of Markos Ragnos to take up the Sith Mantle.

"So it seems, but records indicate that you were embedded with forces sent to the Sith homeworld."

She looked down and Gnost-Dural discerned a feeling of shame and remorse radiating from her, dejected over the abominable transpiration. "I was never deployed to the ground but was aboard the Comet which was one of the vessels blockading Korriban, to prevent a breakout." The brunette looked up and gazed sincerely into the black eyes of the Dorin gas-breathing sentient. "I can't say for certain what exactly transpired on the planet and while it could've been the dark side clouding my judgment, I did sense Republic forces including Jedi going house to house to put those inside to the sword."

Rhinnalians had a stringent culture of honor that could be regarded archaic by some and yet the fact at least one among the Jedi spoke up against Pultimo's directive was encouraging yet as far as he was aware it was regrettably the only instance and Gnost-Dural was hopeful he could learn of others. "Were you aware of any others who spoke up?"

"No." She professed, the answer being one the Kel Dor did not anticipate. "There were a few who were conflicted but many of the soldiers and crewers felt that punitive action, an eye-for-an-eye was warranted and as far as I'm aware I was the only one aboard theCometwho asserted, attempted to reason but I was only a padawan…I was confined to quarters and wish I could've done more, I-"

"I believe this interview is over." Gnost-Dural interrupted, cutting her off before she could break down.

Jedi Council Chambers - Jedi Temple, Tython, Tython System, Deep Core, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

11:20:15 ATC / Wednesday, November 20th, 1968 - 17:00 / 5:00 PM

"It is my opinion that Gail is unfit to resume training and her personality is unsuitable for current Jedi standards." Gnost-Dural asserted in response to the Grandmaster's query after the historian personally delivered his report to the Jedi High Council which elaborated on the events of the Republic's counter-invasion following the Great Hyperspace War.

"That's most unfortunate."The Grandmaster, Satele Shan, expressed with a hint of disappointment but the Jedi historian was not finished with his findings.

"There's more. I have reason to believe that she lost faith in the Order due to her experiences during the counter-invasion." The Kel Dor asserted. "She may not have been on Korriban but taking into account her ordeal and her principles then witnessing a contravention of what the Jedi Order espouses…"

"A truly dark chapter, one you uncovered and enlightened us on." Master Giffus Fane sighed. "The repercussions of which are still being felt."

"The Order changed." Wens Aleusis professed. "And where would she go? The Order is her home now and we're her family."

"That may be, Wens, but you remember our decision on Shigar, at least before his mission to Nal Hutta and the Battle of Sebaddon?"

Satele was silent as Nikil Nobil was referring to her former Kiffar trainee, a male from the Konshi Clan, and Shan had come to believe that Shigar was ready for Knighthood yet after a discussion the Kiffar was deemed unready to face the Jedi Trials due to his lack of self-control and tact yet instead of objecting to the decision Satele advised her student to instead prove the High Council wrong and in the aftermath of his mission alongside Larin Moxla - who was at the time a former Republic soldier that had been drummed out and was living in the Coruscant Underworld - Shigar earned the opportunity to endure the Jedi Trials following the ordeal whereas Larin was reinstated to her former rank of Lieutenant and she was now a Major in Republic Special Forces. Still, the Grandmaster couldn't help but wonder what the Thisspiasian was getting at by bringing up her former apprentice.

"I do but care to elaborate?"

"There are some parallels here with Padawan Thayer's attitude, aside from the Rhinnalian connatural passive-aggressiveness of course, and I believe we should consider having her continue her studies under Knight Konshi's tutelage."

Satele couldn't refrain from smiling slightly as she found her fellow Councilmember's suggestion to be rather sagacious and it seemed logical. "That's an astute suggestion, Master Nobil."

But then Gnost-Dural decided to object from a more analytical perspective. "While it is a cogent perspicacity, Master Nobil, and nominally I would hold no objections to having her be trained by Knight Konshi, however, the facts here differ as it may be in her best interest to part ways." Gnost-Dural contended. "I'm not saying this lightly, especially given her particular circ*mstances but having her continue her training under Knight Konshi or transferring her to one of the Service Corps may not be propitious. Still, it may be prudent to consult the Council of Reassignment on Padawan Thayer's future with the Order."

"Very, well, Master Dural but perhaps before consulting the Council of Reassignment we should reflect as there may be a path for her." Satele soothed, attempting to find a middle ground between having her remain with the Order and either continue her studies or transfer her to one of the Service Corps or even expulsion but there was even the chance that perhaps the Force itself would reveal her fate.

Gail Thayer

Zael's Grillhouse - Collective Commerce District, Galactic City, Coruscant, Coruscant System, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

Friday, June 20th, 1969 - 12:00 / 12:00 PM

"Sorry about Sam, he's -"

"-A man of culture?" Gail finished but Jake glared at her momentarily in response to cutting him off.

"I was going to say he can get engrossed in the arts but exactly." The Hoosier corrected. "Besides, he's going to have lunch with a former classmate of his from prep school."

The day following a fortuitous reunion at the museum, Gail was leading the newly arrived, fish-out-of-water Jake to a certain restaurant, specifically one that was founded and still being managed by someone from her past. While many sentient beings had short lifespans with the maximum lifespan for humans being around one hundred and twenty years of age, Kadri'Ra were a long-lived sentient species, living up to fifteen hundred years and she decided to surprise Jake by making introductions, especially given how they were essentially dragons.

"Looks stuffy, I should have worn my dress blues."

"Don't worry about it."

Jake believed that he knew better and unless it was a greasy spoon a suit was a non-negotiable prerequisite. "The tablecloths say otherwise, Champ. It's not Burger Chef or Edward's Drive-In."

"It's casual dining." She corrected while choosing to ignore the nickname he knew that she loathed.

"Casual…dining? What are you talking about?" The Hoosier then dropped the subject as he spotted a fabled creature that should only be relegated to the domain of fantasy yet apparently unless it was some mirage they exist. "Is that…. A dragon?"

"In a way…" Gail simpered as she observed Zaelvor-Has talking to one of the droid waiters before opening the door and Gail stood in front of the host stand smiling.

"Hello, Zael." Gail greeted. "It's been a while."

"Not really funny considering…" Zaelvor-Has sighed.

"Who are you speaking to, Dad?" A younger Kadri'Ra inquired.

"Gail and a friend of hers." The elder of the two disclosed.

"Jake? I would like you to meet Zaelvor-Has and his son, Halvuth."

"Please, call me Hal." The younger one insisted. "And forgive me for insinuating, we don't get many humans here, just carnivores."

"Zael? Hal? This is Jake, a friend of mine."

Although he didn't show it, Jake was admittedly uneasy as only now the American recognized that they were the only two humans here.'Great. Hopefully they'll eat what's on the plates and not snack on us.'"Umm…How do you do?"

"Inimatadated, isn't he?"

"No offense but dragons are supposed to be mythological." The Leatherneck deadpanned.

"Well, perhaps on Earth these dragons are fairy tales but there's non-sentients like Krayts and then there's us." Zael mused before turning to his son. "Excuse us for a moment, I'll have one of the droids bring you to a table."

"You have some rather interesting friends." Jake deadpanned as they waited to be seated.

" Zael is the only living friend from my time I have left." She sighed.

Jake looked at her empathetically and he still could not imagine what she was going through, to have her entire life turned upside-down but in the short time he came to know her he believed that she could persist and acclimate. "You're overlooking the fact that there are still those who care about you." He alluded to himself and of course others but before Gail could respond the pair were interrupted by a waiter droid.

"Follow me, sir, ma'am." It directed before ushering them to their seats.

"Carnivores, huh?" Jake deadpanned as he read through the menu, one thankfully typed in High Galactic Standard only to notice that the choices were either meat or fish, even the sides, while the drinks were, actually the only beverage for human consumption was water. There was not even something akin to bananas being offered so he could at least intake potassium.

"I used to come here with Odan, according to him this was the only establishment that fried -" Gail paused as she attempted to remember the exact animal from his homeworld but failed. "Honestly I don't what's called but I think it was a giant tarantula of some kind. I still can't believe that bookworm was venerated."

"I can get engrossed in reading history myself." Jake grinned and he did learn at the museum that her friend had gone down in history as a celebrated figure in the Jedi Order.

"I still think you and Odan would've gotten along well." She speculated since the Hoosier was studious and enjoyed reading in addition to other recreation but Odan-Urr by contrast was so obsessed with books that if he had not joined the Jedi Order he would have likely sought employment at some grand library.

"Maybe but I'm not the seminary type, Champ." Jake declared only to see crestfallen despair but then another waiter droid appeared and thankfully provided a welcomed interruption.

"What would you like, sir?" The 'robot' asked him.

Jake paused as he scrutinized the menu once more just in case something slipped past his notice but still only saw a choice between meat or seafood and he settled on ordering just a steak. "I'll have just your prime, err…Nerf sirloin, medium-rare, please."

"And for you, miss?"

"Bantha Kabobs, please, and thank you." Gail ordered. As the droid departed to the kitchen to inform the cooks of the request, the former padawan remembered another reason why Odan-Urr preferred this restaurant over any others. "There's another thing I neglected to mention. Odan also enjoyed the peculiar cooking method."

"Sorry?"

"Look behind you." She prodded.

Jake turned around and watched as Hal cooked with his flammable breath and grimaced as he became concerned that it was either overdone or even if it appeared externally cooked what about internally? It could be undercooked inside! He became concerned and his trepidation did not cease even when the droid returned with their plates but after cutting the steak he was surprised to notice that it was medium-rare.

"Are you going to eat?" The Rhinnalian inquired, not sure if she should be amused or what.

"Ummm…You first." Jake prodded, still in awe by the exact cooking method being utilized, including a fine steak no less.

Gail shrugged and picked up her Bantha Kabob by the stick. "You honestly should be more exploratory." She mentioned before taking a bite. "Sometimes I wonder about you."

The Hoosier couldn't help but to think of the time he, Samuel, and Samuel's cousin Donna were at a certain famous cáfe in Rome where other famous visitors were Buffalo Bill Cody and even the celebrated American author Samuel Clemens; better known by his pen name of Mark Twain themselves sipped coffee.

"I still know some legitimate snobs who think they're worldly and I remember the day Donna at the Antico Caffè Greco ordered me an espresso because black coffee is not a thing in Italy." Jake stared down at the steak. "Sometimes comfort food is all that's needed, especially in strange surroundings and I'm sure the Bootnecks are still being looked at funny by the locals when asking for hot black tea instead of herbal or conflating Limmie ball with soccer, pardon me, what they erroneously call 'football'." Though to be fair the Hoosier himself was baffled at times by phaseball and of course grav-ball as they were equivalent to baseball and basketball respectively yet had different rules.

"What about the Taghilaw?" Gail mentioned only to regret it. "Sorry for bringing it up."

His father wasn't the only one in the family who was a widower as his great-grandmother Priska passed away years before his birth and then there was his Aunt Joslyn, uncle Ryan's first wife and an authentic Filipina from the Municipality of Mataasnakahoy in the province of Batangas but she sadly passed away in the Spring of 1958 as a result of the Influenza Pandemic. The loss of their mothers arguably brought Jake and his six full-blooded siblings closer to Leo and Sally but the hole, their missing presence, could never be filled. That and Aunt Joslyn's dishes of course as she had her special recipes for traditional Batangueño fare.

"Don't be. You lost more than I did." Jake asseverated then picked up the knife and fork to cut before, of course using the American style of etiquette: setting the knife aside and placing the fork in his dominant hand before bringing a chunk up and chewing with his mouth closed. After savoring the slice, Jake felt better as he had misjudged the fare as well as the unorthodox cooking method. "Hey, this is not bad…"

Gail rolled her eyes. Jake may be a stick in the mud like the rest of the Meyer's and impugn on the Force but no one could rightfully deny that he was not principled and she could respect it.

Present…

Gail Thayer

Outside Apartment 23292 - StarTower Residences, Manarai Heights, Galactic City, Coruscant, Coruscant System, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

08:21: 16 ATC / Thursday, August 21st, 1969 - 23:25 / 11:25 PM

Gail was making her way home from her shift at the Museum, and although she was exhausted and just wanted to relax in her small apartment, she couldn't help but feel a sense of unease as old habits die hard and she at times forgot that everything had changed. The streets were no longer as familiar as they once were, and the people seemed colder, and more distant but as she neared her apartment on the twenty-third hundredth level, she was approached by a stranger who seemed to have taken an interest in her droid and she raised her guard.

"Hey, that droid…" The man pointed at the antique protocol droid, B4-Z9, standing next to Gail. "It's an antique, over thirteen hundred years old and yet in mint condition. How much are you selling it for?"

Gail hesitated, not wanting to part with her beloved droid. "I... inherited him." The Rhinnalian fibbed half-truthfully as it was in fact the truth from a certain point of view and she hoped that it was sufficient to deter the man's interest.

"How much?" The man persisted, undeterred by her response.

"He's not for sale." Gail insisted, reaching for her holdout blaster pistol while just inside the apartment was her protosaber, a weapon she had of course crafted herself long ago.

"Come on, lady. Everyone has a price." The man argued.

Gail sensed weakness in the man and decided to use her Jedi mind trick. "This droid is not that valuable." She said, using the Force to influence his thoughts.

The man's eyes glazed over as he repeated her words. "Your droid is not that valuable."

"On second thought, you will go home, get some sleep, and then find a new trade." Gail commanded, releasing the man from her mind trick.

The man shook his head, suddenly realizing that he had no interest in the droid anymore. "On second thought, Miss, it's late and I'm going to find some other occupation as I'm retiring from the droid collecting industry. Sorry for bothering you." He apologized before quickly walking away.

Gail let out a sigh of relief and turned to B4-Z9. "No worries. Have a nice night." She simpered, feeling victorious."Well, Bee-Four, aside from the interest, how was your day?" Gail asked the droid, her voice full of warmth and affection.

"Rather dull admittedly, but rest assured, Miss Thayer, I did keep the house while you were away." B4-Z9 replied in his monotone voice.

Gail smiled, grateful for the droid's presence and help. "You did all this?" She asked, looking around the spotless apartment with even the laundry pressed and folded neatly.

"I still need to cook dinner for you." B4-Z9 informed her. "I honestly was unsure of your arrival!"

"No need, I'll cook myself then we'll turn in for the evening." Gail said, feeling lucky to have such a loyal and capable droid by her side.

As she sat down to eat, Gail couldn't help but think about the events of the day. She was glad she didn't have to part with her droid, but she also realized that she needed to be more careful in the future. As a former Jedi, she had to be mindful of her actions and use the Force responsibly but for now, she was just happy to be home, enjoying a quiet evening with her trusty droid.

Hud Trektik - Senator for Champala

Senate District, Galactic City, Coruscant, Coruscant System, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

Thursday, August 21st, 1969 - 3:15 PM

The Chagrian from the species' homeworld of Champala waited patiently for the proper opportunity to address his colleagues in the chamber, a proposition that though controversial was arguably essential for the ongoing conflict as the Republic Army and Navy were falling short of manpower. While the Republic's forces from the all-encompassing Republic Military and the discrete yet just as professional Planetary Defense Forces to the underequipped militias on backwater worlds as an aggregate still outnumbered the Sith Empire more than fifty-fold, the Republic Army and Navy in particular were divided between humanitarian assistance, anti-piracy missions, security at isolated installations, and of course those recuperating from wounds or illnesses and those either on R&R or on leave. It had additionally become clear that two-year enlistments were insufficient for the needs of the Republic Armed Forces and after Supreme Commander Malcom enlightened Trektik of the present developments, showing that an offensive that would optimistically rollback the Empire was possible yet he still required additional troops to steamroll the way towards Dromund Kaas and pleaded for bonuses in order to entice recruits instead of making due with the shortfall and what he had.

Hud, however, was going to do one better: He was about to unveil his plan for conscription and the conscripts would be serving for the duration of the conflict, one projected to last no more than five years and that was in the worst case scenario.

"We shall now hear from the esteemed Senator from the great planet of Champala!"

Knowing that it was cue after being recognized, Hud pushed the button and detached his repulsorpod from his assigned docking station to approach the Chancellor's podium in the center of the room and made his case to the entire assembly.

"Your excellency, fellow gentlebeings, I have here before you a bill proposing the enactment of conscription." Hud disclosed, the measure was unexpected or perhaps it was unanticipated despite being in the heads of those who would support such a measure but until today no Senator dared to bring forth such a drastic draft. "Despite our recent progress in the present war against the Sith and the valiant efforts of our newfound allies, voluntary enlistment has been down twenty percent and two-year enlistments are insufficient. The Republic Army, Navy, and Starfighter Corps needs manpower -"

The Senator was interrupted by jeering and even insults from some of his colleagues but of course being a respectable forum such vanity would not be tolerated.

"Order, order!" The Vice Chair of the Senate, Evran, directed. "The Senator of Champala has the right to be heard!"

The room gradually quietened and in due time the chamber was so silent that even the drop of an object could be heard.

"Thank you, Vice Chair." Hud nodded before continuing from where he was before being cut off. "Now this bill does address inequalities with the planetary conscription quota being proportional to each member world and citizens of traditionally pacifist worlds or of pacifistic species shall be enrolled into non-combat positions only. Lastly, members of Planetary Defense Forces, emergency first responders, and those otherwise employed in militarily essential occupations are exempt whereas those not exempt, if their lottery number is announced on the Holonet, would be inducted." The Chagrian assured the skeptical members of the delegation. "While I sincerely wished that such a drastic measure is unwarranted, that voluntary enlistments were sufficient, we need to resolve this war as swiftly and efficiently as possible."

"We shall give the body three days to consider this measure." Evran decided. "But until then, this body is dismissed!"

Chapter 22: Reservations

Chapter Text

George Walton Lucas, Junior - Taking the gradual steps of producing "Star Wars"

Roddenberry Residence - Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

08:22:16 ATC / Friday, August 22nd, 1969 - 18:45 / 6:45 PM

"You know, at times I wished the interview with that Assyriologist, Doctor Northcott, would've panned out and it's a shame that there was a scheduling conflict." George lamented as he began harboring some doubts over the entire concept, wondering if this venture would even be profitable. "Archeology at times sounds more exciting than space wizards." The aspiring director was aware that there was even this fringe theory that the Sumerians were visited by Ancient Astronauts, most prominently promoted by a Swissman named Erich von Däniken in his book'Chariots of the Gods? Unsolved Mysteries of the Past'and while such a subject could have been jokingly raised with the Assyriologist, George as well as his friend Stephen Spielberg were envisioning more of an action-adventure where an intrepid archaeologist would be preventing the misuse of powerful artifacts and it did have an appeal to the duo but the meeting never occurred as the archeologist originally from Haverford, Pennsylvania was heading back to Iraq for another season of excavating while Spielberg and Lucas were still in the process of finishing filmingFinan's Rainbow.

"I have confidence in this venture as otherwise I wouldn't have invested in it." Gene asserted reassuringly as it was from his opinion the truth.

"Gee, thanks."

"Look, we're in this together and I have confidence that this will be a hit at the box office, George." The creator ofStar Trekreiterated before thinking of a certain matter of discourse with, interestingly for instance, Governor Ronald Reagan, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and the Dalai Lama being among the few vocal supporters of the Jedi's perspective on a certain phenomenon. "Okay, maybe the Force is at times derided as the 'Farce', especially by Billy Graham and Jerry Falwell, not to mention this astronomer, Carl Sagan, using scientific instead of theological arguments against its validity but we shouldn't let the skepticism hold us back. People are superstitious by nature and if we finally have confirmation of life existing beyond Earth, then reasonably Sasquatch could be confirmed next."

"Hey, now that doesn't sound like a bad idea!" Lucas beamed as he heard a suggestion. "Maybe after this, we can find Sasquatch."

"One step at a time, George." Sailer advised, butting in. "One step at a time. We barely even started formattingStar Wars."

Lucas nodded at the advice as creating a film, especially a successful one, couldn't be rushed. "Well, that's funny as we won the bid with the Department of Defense." The aspiring actor waved the Western Union telegram showing the contract for 'Lucasfilms'.

"William Shatner is doing the voiceover of course." Gene grinned.

"Contract for what, exactly?" Sailer wondered. "I didn't hear anything about it."

"Some propaganda film to exaggerate the capabilities of the F-104 Starfighter." Gene summarized with a shrug.

"But those aren't space-capable, not to mention the name was a coincidence before we even knew anything about our neighbors." The scriptwriter pointed out.

"I believe that the United States Air Force is aware." George muttered as he read the contents and handed it to Sailer.

"Ha! A rather fitting red herring! No wonder Shatner is doing his opening monologue to introduce the coincidentally named 'Starfighter'."

"In order for the charade to be successful, you need a 'Starfighter' after all and the F-104 is available." Lucas smirked, still enjoying the humorous coincidences he had been discovering about the rest of the known universe with each passing day._

General of the Army Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower - Head of the Coalesced Forces from Earth

Roof - Diplomat Hotel, Plains of Coruscant, Galactic City, Coruscant, Coruscant System, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

08:22:16 ATC / Friday, August 22nd, 1969 - 11:05/11:05 AM

In a scene reminiscent of grilling on top of the White House and after making reservations with the hoteliers, Eisenhower was once again broiling steak on the roof only this time it was at the top of the prestigious Diplomat Hotel on the ecumenopolis of Coruscant and aside from the strip steaks which were salted and garlic-rubbed then cooked directly on hot charcoal for a very crispy, charred crust, the cookout had coleslaw, potato salad, baked beans, and corn-on-the-cob yet it was not all pleasure as Ike was going to use the seemingly innocent gathering to raise a matter of importance.

"Thanks, Ike." The Colonel in charge of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, George Smith Patton IV, smiled as he cut into his steak. "David? Can you please pass the A1?"

The United States Naval officer and grandson of Ike looked around but didn't see the brand-name steak sauce and yet another man seated at the table, Arthur MacArthur IV, the son and only child of Douglas MacArthur and presently a Second Lieutenant in the 7th U.S. Infantry Regiment, passed the condiment over to Patton after spotting it.

"Here you are, sir."

"Thank you."

Meanwhile, near the grill, Gotthard Fedor August Heinrici was standing and watching the primitive yet effective methodology that the 34th President of the United States perfected from boyhood and in fact he used to astonish guests by throwing enormously thick steaks directly on a bed of smoldering coals in what became sensationally known as the 'Eisenhower Method'.

"Thank you for the Grillparty."

"Now, now, Gotthard, you didn't have to come, you know." Eisenhower grinned at the German. "This isn't a surrender ceremony after all."

Heinrici rolled his eyes and his nose was showing signs of irksomeness at the minor jab from a former foe but he brushed it off. "I bet Bernard does not have a legitimate excuse for his absence and he's doing it out of spite."

"Bernard will always be, well, himself." Eisenhower sighed as he reflected on the egotistical, self-worshiping, attention-driven personality of the Limey. His thoughts were interrupted when everyone heard knocking.

"Not sure if it's them but I'll get it." Manfred Rommel, the son of The Desert Fox himself, offered as the Luftwaffe officer stood up from his seat to answer.

"Apologies for the tardiness." David excused. "Took time to convince my father to attend."

"I'm not surprised." Manfred nodded in understanding. "He still has some old grudges."

"Let's just get this bloody American cookout over with and then leave." Bernard sighed as he removed his trademark black beret and placed it on the coat hanger. "I still can't believe I'm doing this."

"Truth be told there is an excellent reason why you needed to come here anyway." The figurehead of the entire Coalition revealed. "But it can wait until dessert."

"Lovely, as we really need the sugar." The Spartan General grumbled further. "Hopefully this won't be long."

Colonel George Smith Patton IV - Commanding Officer of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Division, United States Army

Room 201, Fifty-Ninth Floor - Diplomat Hotel, Plains of Coruscant, Galactic City, Coruscant, Coruscant System, Core Worlds, Republic Space, "The Galaxy"

08:22:16 ATC / Friday, August 22nd, 1969- 14:30/2:30 PM

"If this is important, sir, then why are we hearing it?" The spawn of Old Blood and Guts wondered.

"As a precaution since undoubtedly just like the Empire might try something with you all in an attempt to pressure us or our respective governments, so could Saresh." Ike divulged as he had come to hold reservations on the Supreme Chancellor and Connery's errand did manage to find something but as it was