Handover (Closed for now)

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Dravius Stari
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Handover (Closed for now)

Post by Dravius Stari » 2012-05-08 14:56

They had all been here a thousand and one times before. The conference room on the Monte Cassino. It was a durasteel table, with durasteel chairs and the logo of the Federation laser etched in the centre. The room had a projector for maps or other projections of the speakers choice, and a control panel was near the head of the table. Always Dravius was at the head of the table, and always did he chair the meetings. It was simply how things were done.

As Amatius Amor took his favoured position at the end of the table, the others slotted into theirs. Mirandrax sat next to him, her right as Captain of the ship. Flavius sat on his right, and opposite him was Lucius Nova. Artorius sat next to Lucius and the space next to Flavius was saved for Evethius Actonius. Captain Dekku had attended one meeting, and Dravius hand indicated a seat next to Evethius for him as his permanent seat. Finally Amatius brought up the rear.

They all turned and looked at him and nodded slowly, standing. He started.

"Thank you all for coming. I have called you here as I was contacted by the Supreme Commander. We had a discussion and he made me an offer which I was not in a position to refuse. I called this meeting to inform you of this, and of the why of my decision. I also must tell you that what I tell you now is the strictest confidence. I make it an order that the information spoken here today does not leave this room. Understood?"

"Yes sir"

"Excellent. Supreme Commander Wesiri has offered me command of a ship named the Lobotomy. It is not a combat vessel, but rather a research vessel. If we are to have any chance of winning this war, I need to provide more support to the Federation's research activities, especially in regards to cloning and genetic engineering. This particular ship is a retrofitted MC80, and is unique. But it is also incredibly top secret. It has a cloaking device and historically was famous for not being anywhere. In the current climate, thats a little difficult. But its a resource to be deployed. It still has some defences, and a few starfighter squadrons. But overall, its not a combat ship. The price of this ship was the return of the Monte Cassino to the fleet. Flavius, Amatius and Lucius. You are stationed here. I would like you to work with me on the Lobotomy, which will needless to say be renamed. Artorius, I extend the same hand to you. Mirandrax will remain as Commander of the Monte Cassino. But to the three of you I mentioned, you will not need to leave this ship should you not want to. I would like to have you on my team, but the choice is yours. If you walk my path it will be by your own choice, as it has always been."

Amatius stood and spoke, his deep voice in sharp contrast to Dravius flat tone.

"With you sir. No questions asked. No answers need to be given. You change ship, I change ship"

Flavius then stood and saluted.

"You are a man of honour sir. I will be proud to serve with you once more"

Finally, Lucius stood puffing his chest out and saluting in the Imperial fashion - rare for an ISIS officer.

"I wish to serve with you Vice Marshal Stari"

Dravius nodded and motioned with his hand for the three to sit which they did. Artorius grinned then nodded at Dravius, as sign that their alliance would continue for the moment.

"Thank you all. Ensign Valentius is a fine officer and captain. She will prosper. The Monte Cassino will return to Third Fleet from where it was originally taken. Grand Admiral McFini is a talented if unorthodox commander. If there is nothing else, dismissed"

They stood and filed out of the room, except for Mirandrax who had gotten up silently and taken a seat at the extreme end of the table. She looked straight at Dravius with a face that betrayed nothing. He prompted her gently.

"More to say have you?"

Her expression darkened as her reply was hissed back

"Yes sir. Permission to speak freely sir"

"Granted"

Mirandrax exhaled and declenched her fists. Whatever she was going to say, it was going to be interesting.
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Re: Handover (Closed for now)

Post by Mirandrax Valentius » 2012-05-11 15:19

"And what is the meaning of this? "

Mirandrax stared intently into the eye of that mask. She wanted to jump at him, tear it off and beat him with her fists but she restrained herself. As quick as she was, he was faster. As strong as she was, he was stronger. His wrist muscles would likely be able to snap hers if there was a comparison done. Although she was restrained, she was still seething, and her breathing was faster and heavier and her body was coiled like a cat waiting to strike at its prey.

Dravius however, was unmoved by this display.

"Well I am not psychic Mirandrax. Tell me what your issue is"

"My *ISSUE* is that yet again, in our hour of need you are abandoning us! ME!"

Slamming her fist down on the table to make a point she looked at Dravius, her teeth gritted.

"We're the first batch. The best of the best. You had a damn launch party. Why the hell are you leaving us? Is it because your a man and that stupid ship is bigger than this one? Well it can't fight, and not even Grand Admiral McFini could use that thing to win a battle. Your precious Supreme Commander is probably glad to be rid of that old rustbucket and you blindly allowed him to do so! And whats worse, you'er throwing me back to the fleet...like....I am some ordinary piece of meat!"


.....if he thinks that I am going to let him sit here and ruin everything we built together, he has another thing coming. I cant lose him, or the four he mentioned....

Dravius walked over to one of the transparisteel windows and placed a hand against it.

"I am not such a brilliant commander that you fear for your life. I am a pilot at the end of the day. I have no business commanding starships. We are now at war. The kind of war where our very survival is threatened. Never forget that. When the Supreme Commander approached me, I made a command decision. Not a personal decision. Not an emotional decision. Nothing would please me more than to take this crew and a better version of this ship and continue undertaking missions. But we do not have that luxury anymore. The Supreme Commander doesn't just have me helping the production of the clones, he now has me training them. I need the ship he offered to help me find new ways to train. New equipment. The only way we can win this war is if we take the old tactics and throw them out the window. This will be my major contribution to victory"


"You think I dont know its war? That I dont see Nova's reports? I see them too. I am still the commander of this vessel. But I see the men and women serving too. I see Sergeant Wynn in security. He was in my batch. He's exactly 3.4 seconds older than I am. I know him. Your new ship has a crew of at least 3000. Will you know their names? Will you learn their ranks. Will you eat with them? Will you mourn them too? Or is this about your ego?"


"No. I do not have an ego in the way you might think it. You are ready to serve in any fleet under any command. Third Fleet will suit you. There is no commander who supports his officers more than The Grand Admiral. Listen to him. Learn from him. And get promoted to a better ship. I will need you more than ever Mirandrax. I will need a ship that can undertake missions, but I need you as an ally, an equal. Not a subordinate. Now the time has come for you to show the Grand Admiral that you are no worse than any other officer because you are a clone. That a clone crew can deliver victory and results. They will hate you for what you are unless you show them you are the best."

"And when I get the promotions and the glory, I am still to be your driver?"

These words were hissed as she punched her chair, causing it to spin quickly. She placed a hand hard on the chair and stopped it turning and stared hard at his back.

"No. Everytime I leave for a mission, Everytime I transfer to another ship you act in a similar way. Everytime I mention my death you sieze up. Something is behind your stringent objections. Our talks on leadership were some time ago. What is behind all this?"

...oh gods....he's getting closer...he cant know...he can never know.....

"Dravius its nothing. Its just. Its these emotions thats all"


"No, its not. I am older than you. I have seen the full gamut of human emotions. Behind this anger is something else. Usually behind anger is fear. What do you fear Mirandrax? What fear grips your heart that makes you lash out at me?"

Mirandrax breathing quickened and for a moment she was glad he was staring out into the void as an expression of horror crossed her face.

....he is....it just cant be....he cant be reading my mind that isnt possible...even jedi's cant read minds!....

"Well uh...it isn't a fear thing...like you said...gripping my heart...I um...I just...you know....um...I'd rather stay with you...."

"Your lying is terrible."

Dravius turned around to her and took a step closer. Mirandrax trembled slightly and gripped the chair for support. Her skin had gone a touch paler and it was obvious that something was horribly wrong with her. She maintained a valiant attempt to seem calm but it was a battle that she had lost badly.

"What's wrong? Why don't you want me and you to be apart?"


"Well I wasnt..you know..lying...maybe um...like i said maybe you should just...you know...like...well..um...stick around..yeah"

"No, thats not it. Tell me. I can't help you if you don't tell me what's wrong Mirandrax. I would tell you"

She lowered her head and sighed, shaking it slowly, ironically in the manner similar to the way that Dravius almost always did.

"I love you. There. I said it. Just...I...I need to go"

....you idiot...your supposed to be a damn soldier. And now look at you. You arent even fit to be thrown at the Emperor!....

Mirandrax got up and sprinted out of the room back to her quarters, her hair whipping behind her as she ran. Tears welled in her eyes but she forced them back as she made it into the turbolift and hit the button for the next level. When the doors opened she exhaled and ran again as her mind began mocking her

.....cry baby. He might even recycle you for your material. You failed him totally and utterly, and worse you failed yourself....

Reaching the captain's quarters she signed in and ripped her clothes off before punching a code into the greywater shower that overrode it and allowed for her to take longer showers. As the hot water came on she grimaced and laid her head against the wall.

Only then did she let the tears come. As if a dam had burst they sprang from her eyes without mercy, her soft sobs drowned out by the sound of the water spraying from the shower head. As she sobbed the warm water did its best to coax the young woman to enjoy its embrace, but even there amongst the steam, the warmth and the water, she could feel only coldness and pain.
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Re: Handover (Closed for now)

Post by Dravius Stari » 2012-06-13 12:04

"I love you. There. I said it. Just...I...I need to go"

Dravius was fast. Faster than most humans thanks to his creators. All of him was fast. Mind, body. Thoughts. Even he though was sometimes surprised ad these were hardly the words he expected as Mirandrax barrelled out of the room at top speed flying down the corridor.

As the door slid shut he re-adjusted the chair as he began to think.

...so this is what is behind it all. This has what has hampered things. This is what she has struggled with. This is why you have sometimes struggled with her. She has been terrified that you will find out. Go to her. Comfort her. ....

Dravius opened a channel to the bridge n the comm panel located on the table.

"Sergeant Wynn, this is Vice Marshal Stari"

"Yes sir"

"Inform Operative Nova that Ensign Valentinus and I will be unavailable for some time and he is in command"


"Yes sir."

As he killed the channel he strode from the room, the only noise easily discernable being the noise of his boots hitting the floor as he walked down the hallways and soon reached Mirandrax's quarters. As he typed in an override code the door slid open. He entered and wait for it to shut before locking the door with another override code.

He could hear the noise of the water as the shower continued to pump out spray water out. A gloved finger extended and typed in another override code, and slowly the door slid open.
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Re: Handover (Closed for now)

Post by Mirandrax Valentius » 2012-06-13 12:42

I love you.

Three words which changed the world. Three words which started wars. Which created and destroyed empires. Three words that built and lost fortunes. Three words that meant everything to any number of species in the galaxy.

All she had to do was not say these three words. Under torture she would provide name, rank and serial number. In an interview she would smile and bat her eyelashes, the visual equivalent. In the lounge she would hide behind a gentle smile or laugh, or a quick joke. But alone, with him, her resolve had crumbled.

The tears had left her now and she was too exhausted for more mental recriminations. They would come later. Her indulgence was not food or alcohol, although perhaps they would come in time, but rather the shower itself. The greywater shower had been designed as a backup for the sonic shower, but Captains codes turned it into something the best showers in the luxury suites. The hot water had been like a parent, desperate to comfort and it had been ignored like aparent.

Suddenly, the door slid open softly and steam began to escape. Leaning against the wall she looked at the door. Only one person could override her codes on the ship. Only one person had the clearance.

..no...

Slowly he emerged from the steam.

...Dravius...

"What are you doing here!?!?"

It sounded more shrill than it was meant.

"I have come for you Mirandrax". His voice was barely above a whisper, but loud enough for her to hear it against the water beating down.

She looked at him in confusion as his hands disappeared inside the robes and moments later, the gloves were flung to the back of the refresher.

...what the...

"Do you have any idea how you look right now? The water makes you glisten". His voice never wavered. Not slightly. Not even for a second.

He moved closer and took her in his arms. She ached for more, but what was happening now, under the shower head was....like a dream. The water soaked his robes, but he did not seem to care, only concerned with her. He had stalked her like prey almost, and yet...she would not have moved for all the credits in the galaxy.

She had sharp intake of breath as the fingers from his right hand caressed her bare skin. His touch was electric, and her skin was on fire as new senses flooded her entire body. As his hand moved, she braced herself on her left leg as she extended her right leg to shut the greywater shower off with her toes, hitting the manual shut down buttons. The shower shut off and slowly the sonic dryers came on, as she leaned closer to him with and whispered "You have reach, but I have flexibility"

As he brought his left hand up to her bare back her eyes closed as a moan escaped her lips.
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Re: Handover (Closed for now)

Post by Dravius Stari » 2012-07-08 12:39

Mirandrax stood in her quarters, her body thinly concealed by the silk robe she had spent so much on. She sat on a chair near her desk with her legs crossed brushing her wet hair. She looked at him with a triumphant smile as he slipped his gloves back on and sealed them again. They were soaked through and the wetness was uncomfortable but it was a small thing, and it went by unnoticed.

In truth all of him was wet, he had been saturated through to the bone. His own quarters were not far away, but that would have to wait. As he stood from the bed she walked closer to him after placing her brush on the desk.

"That was....wonderful..."

He pulled her closer to him and ran the fingers of his right hand through her hair. Her eyes closed and she sighed, pressing against him. He waited for a moment and gently moved back extricating himself from her grip. He bowed gently and she giggled as he slowly made his way to the door.

"Wait...."

"I wish I could.....I have to go now, but I will come back to you...."

"Promise?"

"I promise"

She nodded and smiled as he stepped out into the corridor and the door slid shut.

As always, duty called.
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Re: Handover (Closed for now)

Post by Lucius Nova » 2012-07-24 03:33

Dravius sat at the head of the conference table, with Lucius on his left and Flavius on his right. Amatius Amor stood outside ensuring that nobody would trouble them. Dravius nodded to Lucius who began.

"Well sir. You asked for a full read out of the ship itself. After liasing with the Supreme Commander's office, I was able to get the following information"

Lucius tapped a few keys on the keypad in front of him and a projection appeared that was large enough for them all to read:

Code: Select all

MC80 Lobotomy

Combat Role: Science Vessel 
Crew: 3,000+250 science personnel
Length: 1200 meters 
Speed: 56 MGLT
Hyperdrive: x2 
Shield Rating: 4050 SBD 
Hull Rating: 2000 RU 
Weapons: 15 Quad Turbolasers, 10 Ion Cannons, Space Mine Defense Launcher, Cloaking Device, Four Tractor Beam Projectors

Note: The weapon systems have been modified to be automated, meaning, the ship's AI has control of the targeting solutions. The Lobotomy runs off of a version of the Osiris System, and a lot of the internal workings are also automated to further reduce the crew demand.

Fighter Complement: 2 squadrons. 
"These are the specifications. Of course, the devil is always in the detail, which is as follows:

The Lobotomy incorporates the latest in science, security, and ship automation techology. It contains highly sophisticated ship security systems, designed by the ISIS themselves. Most of the ship's internal defenses can not be seen with the naked eye and usually what one sees is not the only thing in that area. The ship is constantly patrolled by a division of security droids (CSSD) that help maintin the internal security.

The computer systems are hardened to prevent any internal tampering and external hacking. Adding to the security measures is the ship regulation that no Naval officer is allowed on the science decks or near top secret material. The Navy's presence has been limited to only the decks that have been deemed critical to the ship's overal operation, and the only times these officers will be allowed into these restricted areas are in times of extreme crisis. Security details do not mix between Naval and Science decks. Each section has their own set of guards and troops to provide security, and there are always two on duty ISIS agents aboard the ship at all times to provide counter-intelligence operations.

External defense systems have been stripped slightly because it was deemed this ship was to never enter combat. The armaments that remain are purely defensive in nature to provide the crew the extra seconds to call for help or hyperspace to safety. Speed has been sacraficed so that a cloaking device could be installed to add to the defense matrix. A mine launcher has also been added to help with the permenant defenses that are deployed each time the ship exits hyperspace to remain stationed for research.

Elaborate security doctrines have also been implemented. The exact location of this ship is unkown to most people, only the highest ranking members know where this ship is at any one time. Numerous check points dot the hall ways as passes are checked and rechecked with the ship's crew logs. Everything is scrutinized and the punishment is swift and severe. Security is the number one job of the crew and officers to ensure that the secrets developed by the scientists on board remain secret.

Hanger bays have been reduced to only the point where they are now large construction areas for space prototypes, be them starfighters or new space mines. Large laboratories have been put in for all fields of research, with several minor laboratories constructed for specific research projects requiring their own special needs. Naturally, all laboratories have fail safe measures that can be enacted in case of catostrophic failure within the experiment.

The Osiris AI monitors the internal and external environment and makes adjustments accordingly while providing information to the command staff. Everything that could be automated is automated on this ship because it was felt that the smaller the crew, the less likely there could be a leak and the overall cost to maintain the ship would be reduced considerably."


Lucius exhaled after speaking so many words and licked his lips. He was thirsty, but that could wait. The priority was to brief the Vice Marshal on the situation with the new ship he was given. They needed to make plans to turn it into a true weapon that the Federation could use against the Republic to smash it and bring it to its knees.

"Interesting. I understand the ship was previously under the care of Agent Romanov. He does seem somewhat paranoid"


That was clearly the understatement of the century. Lucius allowed a wry smile and then continued.

"Permission to speak freely?"

"Granted"


"The man sounded like a nutcase sir. But you can't deny his design brilliance. In any case, its a ship designed for the most extreme security. The crew seem stuck in a timewarp of when he was still around. They are loyal to a fault, but I don't know they can adapt to the new environment. The ship is functioning, but there is no coherent purpose, no mission. The scientists are fine, but then scientists are always content to solve problems of theory rather than political realities. My assessment is, if you crew it with your clones and move your upcoming droids for security that we can dispense with the ridiculous security. Co-mingling of personnel should drastically improve morale as well as if we have the same standard of food we have here."

Flavius and himself both chuckled at that. Mirandrax had pushed hard for decent provisions on the Monte Cassino and it had definately improved his morale.

"So what changes would you make Operative?"

Lucius exhaled and spoke. He had the full attention of the Vice Marshal and this was not something to mess around with.

"Get rid of the crew, and move them to IDOMIR's ships. Put the clones in, move the checkpoints. Remove the fighter research in the hangar and transfer the data to IDOMIR. Fill the spare space in the hangar with shuttles, and create a space for your droids. Improve the food, and consider a new training center for the men. Store your Knights on board, and take a squadron of Defenders along with them. And fit in a decent sized armoury. Move some key personnel to the ship, and that would be it. That should make the ship much more effective, but still able to deliver what its meant to"

"Impressive. And you Lieutenant?"


"I agree mostly with Nova. My concerns are narrower, i'll admit it. I want good equipment, good food, decent shuttles and a secure homefront. The men in your security detail need to be trained to stormtrooper standard sir. Anything less on this ship is not acceptable. We also need someone good for the brig. No disrespect to the clones sir, but we need a person who has worked in the jails of the federation. Someone who knows by instinct what to do. The clones can work with him and hell even have a clone commander of that section, but overall, you need a real person for the moment. You could always rotate them out later."

"I tend to agree with you both. I have ordered the ship into drydock for the re-fit. Operative Nova, I want you to build a file on personnel you think we should recruit. When the ship arrives at drydock, I want you two to supervise the rotation of the crew to IDOMIR and deliver them the fighter research data. Give it all to Designer Saint. He wont like the extra people, but he will love the data and the material they were working on. Lieutenant Bretorius, I need you to compiling a list of what you'd like to have in terms of equipment. No guarantees as we are at war, but at least if I know what you want then we can work with that. If there is nothing else, dismissed"

Lucius and Flavius stood and Flavius saluted as the two left the room. Lucius made quickly for his office as there was much to do, and as always, so little time.
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Re: Handover (Closed for now)

Post by Vibius Prax » 2012-08-04 12:28

ABOARD THE MONTE CASSINO.....

Vibius was shown to the intel section by two armed soldiers carrying weapons that looked deadly enough. Each soldier looked competent enough to deal with him if he was a security check, but he supposed paranoia was behind the thinking of the man who ran the ship, that strange Vice Marshal. He had yet to meet this man properly, but he was on his ship, so he expected a meeting to be soon. Then...then the work could begin.

A smile spread across his face and The Chirgueon twitched as it sometimes did when he got excited. As the men marched in step with him, he took in the ship as best he could. People moved around it quickly, and it was well provisioned. It had a sense of cleanliness that was more....sterile than anything else.

...thats what it is...the ship doesn't feel natural at all....

Vibius suppressed a chuckle as he entered the intel work area, which was essentially a poky office with a desk, two chairs and giant screens that had information displayed all over them. It was however, encrypted so it made no sense to Vibius. In any case, he did not care about the intel agent's previous archives. Vibius had something else entirely on his mind.

"Good Evening Assistant Designer Prax. Welcome to the Monte Cassino. I am Operative Lucius Nova, I run Intel and Security here on the ship. It was I who requested you to work with us. "


"Well met Operative. Thank you for your request."

"You know about our work?"

"Some of it. Gossip and rumours before I got the briefing back you sent me. It was informative and well laid out. And utterly fascinating"

"Thank you. I and the Vice Marshal believe you have much to add to our program. You will find him fair, but he is also incredibly tough. If you displease him, this will work out unpleasantly for you."

"I.....understand Mr Nova..rest assured I will throw myself into this program fully"

"Excellent. That is what we are looking for. War is happening inside and outside the Federation. If we can perfect this program, this can bring about a fast peace with the Republic, and let us settle our internal problems. Of course, I dont need to tell you that if we can get there fairly quick, you stand to be rewarded handsomely. Credits, research facilities - all of those things are on the table to reward you Mr Prax"


"That would be a great day. You have seen my record Mr Nova. You know what I have done. But it has been all for science."

"I know you believe that. Now is your chance to prove it Vibius. Show us that you are the scientist we all think you are."

"I will."

"Excellent. Private Citrix will escort you to your quarters. Rest and I will escort you to a meeting with the Vice Marshal tomorrow"

"Thank you Mr Nova"

Vibius rose and shook hands with Lucius. As he exited the Private Escorted him to his quarters. The room was comfortable. It was stylish, but bare.

....stylish simplicity....

Grinning. He closed the door and locked it. He slid his gloves and boots off and stretched out. The he removed his uniform and lay on the bed sighing. It had been a long day, and tomorrow would be even longer. But it could also be the best day he could have for along, long time. And that thought made him smile as he fell asleep.
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Re: Handover (Closed for now)

Post by Dravius Stari » 2012-08-07 12:58

Dravius sat at the head of the conference table on the Monte Cassino, with Amatius and Flavius standing behind him in full stormtrooper armour, the plastoid polished to a high sheen. They stood at attention, silent guardians of the Vice Marshal who was in his traditional attire of flightsuit over a body glove, boots and gauntlets of a pilot, topped off with his robes, mask and vibroswords. On his left sat Lucius Nova, clad in ISIS black, with a series of datapads in front of him. They were all switched off however, as he waited for the new arrival.

Private Citrix had escort duty once again and escorted the new member of the crew of the Cerberus who would for the moment, berth on the Monte Cassino until it was ready to be returned to Third Fleet. The Handover process was far from simple, and The Grand Admiral would get a ship that was in many ways far superior to those in its class.

The handover itself was why Assistant Designer Vibius Prax was coming to the conference room today. Dravius had decided to project an image of power and authority. This was necessary because the Assistant Designer was not like the clones who understood that Dravius was their benefactor. The others on the ship had been drawn to him for various reasons. Amatius through a life debt, Flavius through simple chance, Lucius through skill, Serron through charity and Artorius, who simply was. Vibius had been rescued by the Supreme Commander's own men, and Lucius had seen the value in him and requested him transferred to the program. They had agreed and when he had mentioned that Vibius would be quartered on the Cerberus, they had been agreeable to this.

Vibius was a cloner, the dirtiest of the sciences after the clone wars. He was good. He was skilled. But he was strange. He had his own concepts of right and wrong, and ethical experimentation. He had a fetish for creating strange hybrids. It was unclear what made him tick from a psychological perspective, and the device on his back led to more than a few rumours. Still, they were at war, and they needed every chance they could get to break the deadlock and if not win victory, then force a peace which was victory enough.

As Private Citrix opened the door and showed Vibius in, the door slid shut and Dravius rose, gesturing to a seat near him.

"Welcome Assistant Designer. I do hope that you have found the accomodations suitable. I am Vice Marshal Dravius Stari, at the moment in command of this vessel, but soon to be another. That is why Mr Nova brought your file to my attention. Currently, the Federation runs a cloning program of sorts. It is limited in nature, and is controlled by the Supreme Commander. I assist in this program and one of my tasks is to train the clones at our facility on Dosuun. To assist me in this in, I have been handed a research vessel known as the Lobotomy, but that I have renamed the Cerberus. On this vessel we will run all kinds of experiments, and undertake all kinds of research to further the cloning program and indeed the Federation's goals. The vessel has 249 other science officers. You are the 250th. I have displaced one officer for you. Such is the faith I place in my trusted subordinates. My hope is that you can attain that level. The rewards will be significant, and great. The risks, as high as they can get. Failure...will lead to any number of things up to and including death. That is what I offer you Vibius. Do you want this?"


"I do. Cloning has been mocked. Cloners have been vilified. We have been on the run for years since the clone wars ended. I am 60 years old Dravius with nothing to show for my work. I want a project that will restore dignity to my name in academic circles. That will allow me to publish. That will rehabilitate the work that we do. To create a legacy that firmly places the work we do in the category of respected and respectable."

"Redemption is a goal that can be admirable and yet have many flaws. I choose in you to see it as the latter. Do not fail me."


"I will not Vice Marshal...not in this..."

"Good. Do you have any questions?"

"A few. When will this transfer occur? Am I to remain here until it does? When will I have access to lab facilities and meet the other scientists?"

"Good questions. I am uncertain at this point as the ship is undergoing preparations. You will officially remain on this ship. As we are at war, everything is monitored and security is incredibly tight. Within the walls of the ship, you have free reign. I will be arranging visits to both Dosuun and Bespin where the production is located. If there is nothing else, we are dismissed and you will find when you return to your quarters that a significant amount of information has been sent to you. I would encourage you to review it. Time will soon dry up"

"Nothing further sir"

Dravius stood and Vibius and Lucius stood as well. Vibius extended a hand, but Lucius shook his head and he quickly withdrew it. Instead he offered a bow of his head and moved out of the room. Private Citrix was waiting outside to escort him back to his quarters. Dravius resumed his seat and made a gesture with his hand towards the table. Lucius sat in his seat and Flavius and Amatius took their helmets off and took a seat, watching Dravius.

"Thoughts Mr Nova?"

"Well, he's impressed enough I think. He should fit in fine sir. I'm keeping an eye on him to be sure. Bottom line: We saved his ass. If he turns on us he's dead and he knows it. Once you're settled in, he will work his ass off for us."

"And the device strapped to his back?"

"It passed the SupCom's checks, so thats enough for me. I'll investigate it and get a full readout. Even if i have to rip it off him"

"Good. That is important to me. Amatius, Flavius anything else from either of you?"

"Just one sir. I doubt he could be any use in combat. 60 years old and that durasteel contraption is like a big bullseye on his back. If he's that important, reserve him a place in the escape pod."

The three chuckled as Dravius nodded slowly.

"A point well taken Flavius. Alright the three of you are dismissed. I want a report from you Flavius and you Lucius on my desk by 0900 tomorrow. Understood?"

"Yes sir"

They filed out of the conference room and Dravius swivelled to watch the ship pass by another star. As always, nothing was simple in this galaxy.
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