Contract Bureau Shuttle
"The Bureau has a shuttle?" Celevon Edraven asked as he sipped from a steaming cup of caf.
"Eh..not exactly. It belongs to the Hapan House of Del'Abbot, but Marick said that I could borrow it for Bureau business. He doesn't have much use for it on Port Ol'val, see" Talos Erinos lied as he sat on one of the plush chairs in the lounge of the luxury shuttle.
In truth, Marick Del'Abbot, the Arcona Arena Master, had no idea that Talos had taken the shuttle, or even that he knew the access code.
"You trained me well, captain" the Erinos thought ruefully as the shuttle banked port and the sprawling base of the Arcona Army Corps came into view. Celevon noticed this:
"We're not heading to the Bureau, brother?"
Talos shook his head. "Negative. This contract is time sensitive...so read quickly" he said before tossing a holo-file to the assassin.
:: Contract 029 ::
*Protectee: Ssg. Yulan Ved
*Affiliation: Arcona Army Corps, Cavalry.
*ID Phrase: Shoot First, Ask Later
Right Celevon. No time for any background info on your protectee, only what you need to know. So here it is; Yulan Ved is an enlisted Non-Commissioned Officer in the AAC and he and I go back a long time. He knows that I'm a Dark Jedi and he knows that the true rulers of Dajorra are Dark Jedi. Don't ask how. Anyhow, he's been nothing but supportive and in light of Lord Zandro's recent capture, he's been trying to form a task force to get him back.
That in itself is commendable, but you see, Zandro has always been more of a fighter jockey...and therefore, his reign has pissed off the brass, and indeed most of, the Army. And now they see Yulan as a puppet of the Consul, and since someone (or something) has already beaten them to Zandro...they're settling for the next best thing. 24 hours ago, Ved contacted me and said he was scared for his life.
Unfortunately, and as much as I care about Yulan, my duties to Galeres and Arcona come first and I can't expose myself to any more flak by rescuing Ved. As I trust you explicity, I need you to go in my stead. He's somewhere on the AAC base, but probably not the cavalry garrison...to predictable. As Zandro served in Soulfire and trained a lot of the commandos in the Army Special Forces, I'd suggest looking in their barracks area. Once you find Yulan, identify yourself and then get him back to the Citadel.
You will, undoubtedly encounter resistance, but at most, it'll be soldiers with an interest in seeing Zandro never rescued. Good luck, brother. And thank you.
:: End Dossier ::
"I won't fail you, brother. I'll find and get your friend back to you." Celevon said when he was done reading the file.
Talos gave the Hunter a small smile:
"I know you will, Celevon. Now, get back to the cargo bay...you'll find your gear. We're skids down in 5 minutes. Oh, and I didn't know what you'd want... so I kind of brought it all." Talos said sheepishly, averting his eyes from his blood-brother.
Celevon merely chuckled, gave Talos the bird in good humor, and rose from the couch he was sitting on before heading aft.
As soon as Celevon had stepped off of the ramp and walked a few paces forward, the shuttle rose and took off. He wore his Dar’Verd armour and carried all of his standard equipment, plus a few extras. One thing that wasn’t something he normally carried was the BX-80 Blaster Rifle. On a whim, he had grabbed several extra clips for both his Silenced SSK-7 Heavy Blaster Pistol and the BX-80. He had purposely left the helmet in his quarters at the Citadel. As he approached the gate, he saw the guards stationed there eyeing him warily and in a highly suspicious manner. Once he was within several meters of the gate, one of the patrols stopped him and asked for his identification. Pleased that he had remembered to grab his I.D. before leaving, Celevon pulled it out of the pouch where he kept it and handed it to the patrol. He could see the man mouthing the words ‘Army’, ‘Special Forces’, ‘Sniper’ and ‘Classified’. After several minutes of showing the Jedi Hunter’s identification to his fellow workers to see if it was legitimate, Celevon was allowed to pass with all of his weapons and a false ‘Have a nice day, sir’.
A few minutes later, he received directions to the barracks of the Army Special Forces. He was just approaching the building when he heard a scuffle from nearby. Having followed the sounds, he saw three uniformed men attacking a single man. Judging by the rank insignias, the three of them were privates while the fourth man was a.. Celevon immediately moved in on one of the privates and delivered an elbow to the base of his skull. The man dropped like a sack of potatoes. Seeing their comrade downed, one focused on the man who had been barely holding them off until Celevon arrived. The other pulled a knife and slowly walked towards Celevon. After a moment, the private lunged. Celevon leaned out of the way, caught the man’s wrist with his right hand and pulled the elbow taut with a harsh snap. The man inhaled a gasp and Celevon broke the man’s neck with a quick twist before he could scream.
Celevon turned to see the one with the rank insignia of a Staff Sergeant on his uniform drive the palm of his hand into the nose of the remaining private. The sound alone told him the man was dead. When the Sergeant turned to Celevon, his stance still offensive, Celevon raised his hand in a placating gesture and asked, “Staff Sergeant Yulan Ved?”
“Who’s asking?” The man growled out, mentally counting the weapons visible on Celevon.
“My name is Celevon Edraven. I was sent to help you by a mutual friend who told me that you know the truth about Dajorra’s rulers.” Celevon said in a calm tone.
The man’s stance calmed slightly, but was still wary as he asked, “Oh yeah? What’s this friend’s name?”
Celevon smirked in approval at how cautious the man was. “My blood-brother, and good friend, Talos Erinos, formerly Omerta. He asked me to help you as a personal favor.”
The man sagged in relief. “Oh, thank Talos! I was worried for a bit there. Try not to give a guy the thousand yard stare when you’re asking their name. You scared the [Expletive Deleted] out of me. Especially after seeing you take out those two with barely a sweat.”
Celevon’s smirk widened. “Good to know that I’ve still got it.” He paused for a minute, taking stock of the situation before speaking up again. “I have to get you to the Citadel. Do you have a piece?”
The Sergeant shook his head. “No, but I can get one from the Army Special Forces barracks. Their barracks and armoury are combined.”
Celevon nodded. “Then let’s go.”
As soon as they entered the barracks, Ved asked, “So, where did you learn it?”
He didn’t need to ask to know what the man meant. But he also knew that telling the man he was a trained assassin wouldn’t go over particularly well. So he settled for a half-truth. “Camp Soul.”
While the man stared wide-eyed at Celevon for a moment before he regained his composure, Celevon found an acceptable pistol as well as several clips full of rounds in a security locker. He laid them as well as a tactical holster he had found out on a bench and stood guard at the door while the man put it on. Once it was secured, and he was headed towards Celevon, Celevon asked, “We need to get out of here as soon as possible before the situation gets FUBAR when those bodies are discovered.”
The Sergeant was about to say something when a man walked in and immediately went for his pistol. Celevon grabbed the man from behind and stabbed him in his carotid artery with one of the daggers Talos had provided for this mission. He gently laid the body down, pulled the ammo clips out of the holsters for them after he noticed it was the same model pistol that he had handed the Sergeant earlier.
Celevon made a ‘follow me’ gesture and the Sergeant nodded before he followed Celevon out of the barracks. They were near the gates when the Sergeant asked, “Do you have a transport prepped for us?” At Celevon’s headshake, the man sighed and said, “Then I guess we’ll just have to steal one.”
This caused Celevon to smile slightly, before they continued towards the gate. The both of them presented their identification and were headed towards a ship when Celevon heard a bellowed, “Get them! Don’t let them escape!” from behind them. Immediately, Celevon grabbed Ved and dove behind a stack of durasteel shipping crates just as the patrols opened fire on them.
Celevon pulled the BX-80 out and blind fired his first clip. He actually managed to take out two of them when one of the rounds hit an oil drum and caused it to explode. The Sergeant next to him had one clip left. Celevon noticed that there was a ship not far from them with the ramp down and told Ved, “Get on that ship and get her ready for take-off. I’ll cover you.” Once the man nodded, Celevon raised himself and began to fire as he yelled “Go!” to Ved. Celevon managed to take out three of them before enemy fire hit his BX-80, causing sparks to fly. Celevon snarled as he dropped it and drew his SSK-7.
Celevon noticed a man trying to sneak up on him. He got a double tap to the heart for his troubles. Just then, he realized that the ship was running. He took out two frag grenades, pulled the pins, and tossed them over his shoulders in the general direction of the blaster fire before taking off at a run towards the ship. He jumped onto the ramp and ran towards the cockpit, yelling “Lets get the hell outta this place!”
As soon as he got into the cockpit, he saw the man had almost no idea what he was doing when it came to piloting a ship. With a sigh of frustration, Celevon grabbed him and moved him to the co-pilot’s seat before he took over and sped out of the hanger and pushed it to full speed. Once he was sure that they weren’t being followed, Celevon turned and began heading towards Arcona’s Citadel.
Celevon pulled out his pack of smokes and lit one, after he offered one to the Staff Sergeant who accepted it with a thankful nod. Once Celevon put his out, he told the Staff Sergeant to go see what was on this ship that was worth salvaging while he pulled up Talos’ frequency and activated the comlink. Immediately, he heard a distracted, “Yes?”
Celevon smiled slightly. “Talos, put that damned holo-file down and start up a brew of caf. I got your buddy. He’s fine, with the exception of a few bumps and bruises. ETA is… seven minutes. See you then, vod. Edraven out.”
:: Contract Review ::
Oh, Celevon. You never cease to hit the nail on the head 99.9999% of the time when it comes to these things. Your writing style speaks for not only your training under Sashar, but also some serious natural talent. However, you'll notice that I put 99.9999% of the time; you did have a few errors and I hate to be such a stickler, since they're minor, but they had to be taken into account.
1. Your blaster rifle; since you're kit out with the rest of your Soulfire gear, I'm guessing that you meant your "KX-80" Blaster Rifle, as there is no such thing as a "BX-80". I am not taking any points off for this, but I just wanted to let you know that the weapon you wrote doesn't exist.
2. When your character found Yulan Ved, "Judging by their rank insignias, three were Privates while one was a.." <-- You trailed off in your sentence here and this is something that I find rather "disconnecting" when grading writings (ask Celahir, I've ranted about it before). The main reason I found it disconnecting in your case is because I wasn't sure if you were forgot to finish the sentence, or maybe you were trying to write that Celevon didn't know/recognize the rank. I find the latter quite unplausible, as Celevon is just as military-oriented as Talos. Either way, it was the one thing in your story that detracted my attention.
Again, you've got a gift Celevon. The fictional story of your contract was excellently written and showed a beautiful balance between "Character Definition" and "Action". Like in the Technical Review, there were two things that were lacking that disappointed me.
1. You didn't use the ID Phrase assigned in my intro fiction. I know this is your first Security Contract, and also that I didn't explicitly explain that you had to use it, but I was hoping you would've caught on. As such, it's no big deal however, in the future, make sure you use the ID Phrases.
2. Your contract is the first "A-Class" that I've graded, so I had to remember to dial back my expectations. Which was hard knowing your innate talent
However, I did feel that while the story was very well written, it could've had more in the way of length. Not as long as your previous B-Class, which you said was 7 pages in a Word Processor, but something inbetween.
As stated in both sections above, this contract was very well done, both from a story and technical standpoint. Please keep in mind the tips and pointers I gave you, and in the future of requesting Security contracts, watch out for and use that ID Phrase.
Points Awarded*: 2
*Point amount awarded per New Grading Scale