Chapter 1: Landfall
The scout vessel shuddered as it exited hyperspace, gently waking any aboard who had fallen asleep. The quarters
were tight, but the two dozen beings had managed to find their own private spaces as best they could. The tension was heavy and put a damper on any conversation among the assorted contractors.
From the cockpit area stepped a middle-aged Chiss
, probably one of a thousand not part of the Empire. He had introduced himself as Wishbone, the handle the group of mercenaries would know him as before they made the jump to hyperspace.
Wishbone stopped at the opening to the hold, and patiently waited for the murmur of conversation to die down. He held a datapad in one hand, the other resting on the wall beside him.
"Listen up! We are making our approach to Abregado-rae from the edge of the system, so there is no turning back now. As such, I will give you the final details. First, welcome to Taskforce Styanax. For those who don't know, this is a Styanax
," Wishbone said as he held up his datapad for all of the mercenaries to see. There were some nods and mutters among the group, many satisfied with the deadly-looking creature their unit was named for.
"Styanax are native to Tralus, they keep to deeper waters and strike with a stinger that saps the energy of what it hits and leads to paralysis. Fitting, since you will need to keep to the shadows and sap the Empire's strength where you can. We have a small operating base set up where we will land. It is shielded against scanners and hidden in a series of canyons. We have automated defenses as well as native rebel fighters guarding the perimeter," Wishbone continued. He tapped a few buttons on his datapad, and a wave of notification bings swept through the group.
"You all have your preliminary role assignments, fitted to your skills. You also have your associated callsign. When communicating over the comms, in earshot of non-task force members, or whenever you think someone else might be listening use them. The Empire has a nasty habit of using the personal information of contractors to kidnap loved ones and other detestable things. We want to avoid that, so we have also put SIS assets in place to keep an eye over anyone who might fit that descriptor. For their safety of course, nothing for any of you to worry about," Wishbone continued. His tone, Imperial accent, and the content of his speech seemed to unsettle many of the mercenaries. Nonetheless, they kept their gripes to themselves, for now.
"Now then, I understand that many of you have not worked together before. I suggest you all aquatint yourselves as best you can. We have another two hours at our creep to get to Abregado-rae, in one and a half I'll finish my briefing"