Training Day 5 (Adventure) - Reuben Calloway Saga 9

Reuben swore under his breath as he missed his target yet again.  These mock space fights were completely different from fighting on land.  Firing a rifle was more tactile.  Swiveling around in a Cillo gunner's chair made him feel completely out of control.

"You're trying too hard, again," Sergeant Bamtrob commented casually over the ship's comm.

Easy for him to say.  He's piloting the 'verting thing.

"Stop trying to fight the motion of the ship.  Work with it."

Reuben squeezed his eyes shut in frustration.  He had been at this for 5 days straight.  He almost missed the intense physical aspect of basic training.  That had been nothing more than an endurance contest.  This required skill.  Skills he didn't have.

But he knew he wouldn't be able to move on until he got this.  He wouldn't give up now.  Not this early in his military career.

"The next round of targets are being launched.  Get ready, cadet."

Reuben opened his eyes and forced himself to relax.  He felt Bamtrob adjust the ship's heading and allowed his body to follow the motion rather than move how he wanted to move.

Out of the corner of his eye he caught the small motion of one of the targets.  He felt the ship adjust.  Using the motion of the roll to his advantage, he aimed ahead of the target and fired.

It exploded in a small cloud.

Elated, Reuben aimed again at the next target but missed.  He missed two more times before he finally hit another target.

Another round of targets launched.

Reuben felt himself become part of the ship.  He was completely focused.  All that existed was his gunner's chair and the targets flying by.

Two more hits.

Another miss.

"Good," Bamtrob comment.

Reuben was startled.  He had forgotten about the sergeant.

"You're improving.  Might be some hope for you yet, cadet."

Descending through the Depths (Adventure) - Calen Natari Saga 10

Artwork by Andrew de Guzman

Calen couldn't help but be a tiny bit flattered by the job the councilor had offered her.  Such an assassination could only be entrusted to someone highly skilled.

Or... highly expendable...

She had little doubt as to which the councilor thought she was.  But Calen fully intended to prove her worth as a hunter.  If the The Spirits guided her well she would achieve a kill that no other scarlati could ever hope to achieve.  There would be glory in the afterlife for her.

Her first order of business was penetrating the zelenca's underwater city.  Not an easy feat since she could neither breathe underwater or swim.  The next thing she would have to do is procure a method of avoid detection while she tried to discover the spies.

Fortunately, Councilor Chum had provided a solution on both counts.  Calen had to give him credit for thoroughness.  Her data pad indicated a location on one of the larger islands where she could find her supplies.

It was a quick flight.  She landed Blue Sun, jumped out and then touched a button on her wrist control panel to send the ship into autopilot.

Calen eyed the Oboi sub warily.  The councilor had assured her that it would be just like flying her own starfighter.  Only in water.  In truth, the prospect terrified her.  Coming from a desert planet, her people viewed water with awe.  It was something to be respected and feared.  And now she was about to pilot through it.

She opened the small cabin and found the remaining supplies.  An environment suit designed to fit most bipedals and a cloaking wristband.  The suit was designed by the zelenca for when, on those rare occasions, they had distinguished air-breathing visitors.  Essentially it was a second skin that filtered the oxygen out of the water for the visitor.

Doning the suit, she climbed into the submarine's cabin and powered up the engines.  The ship hummed to life and lifted off the ground.  Gripping the controls a little tighter than normal, Calen aimed the ship toward the vast ocean and plunged into the water.

For a moment she forgot about the suit and panic briefly took hold as the cabin filled with water.

But the suit seemed to have no trouble with its job because despite being surrounded by liquid she had no trouble breathing.  Calen calmed herself and then adjusted the ship's heading toward the zelenca city.

As the ship sliced through the ocean's depths effortlessly, Calen couldn't help but pause and absorb her surroundings.  She had never before seen anything so alien.  Or so beautiful.

Smuggler (Profession)

Description:  A line of work that is thriving despite the Imperium's crackdown on the illegal transportation of goods.  The Rebellion is constantly in need of weapons and food to supply their underground movements.  While skill with hand-to-hand combat is certainly useful, the best smugglers are the ones that happen to be gifted pilots.

Artwork by Andrew de Guzman

The Factory (Adventure) - Uxel Herum Saga 2

Ah yes... the factory was still there.  Her little secret.  Her fortune.

To any Imperium official that asked, Uxel was a simple fruit merchant.  She sold native foods that most tourists considered to be novelties.  But this business was nothing.  She made enough to make her business appear legitimate, nothing more.

No, the real money was in selling weapons.  The Rebellion was constantly in need of supplies and she was more than happy to sell them.  She never went out of her way to smuggle the weapons.  No, that was a job for beings bolder than her.

She preferred to think of herself as a distribution agent.  Corna was the perfect spot.  So many tourists came and went that no one thought twice about the comings and goings of different species.

But this factory... this would put all of that to shame.  She had long heard rumors of such a place.  That the Imperium had set up a factory in the dark forest.  The lower levels of the forest that no bac dared to venture.

It was the perfect spot, really.  Ego combined with a sizable compliment of guards must have made the Imperium believe that they were impervious to the perils of the dark forest.

For the past standard month, she had flown to the factory location and crept as close as she dared to take notes on her data pad.  The more notes, the more this information would be worth to the Rebellion.

It was a ship factory.  They seemed to mostly focus on the smaller fighters so as not to attract too much attention.  Uxel had already counted the number of guards and was now trying to figure out guard rotations and worker schedules.

She sat on her perch and took a calming breath as she prepared to spend yet another day taking notes and comparing them to her old ones.  It was tedious work.  But her patience would pay off.  She was sure of it.