“You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”
― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
--- | O | ---
A Few Weeks After the Events of Staring at the Void (TSE Dominion of Rimcee)
--- | O | ---
In the aftermath of their previous endeavor Atlas had returned to duty with the Mara-Perlemian Trade Council, the fledgling government as of yet unaware of his own and others extracurricular activities. A few cuts and bruises elicited a few strange looks from some of the command staff but it was little enough that by and large their curiosity was sated by their understanding that sometimes their pilots liked to get a bit riotous on their time off. To date there had been no reports of misconduct from the local enforcement agencies and so as far as they were concerned their pilots took care of their own business.
Atlas wasn't so sure this time though. It had taken a significant amount of arm twisting for him to get his leave approved by the command staff, he'd even volunteered to take additional duty shifts. Begrudgingly, they'd agreed to give him a week of 'personal time' as they called it to sort out his affairs. The pilot hadn't exactly been forthcoming with the details and should command find out what he was really up to, the would be hell to pay - but it was worth it. At least that's what he'd convinced himself.
Second thoughts weren't something Atlas was familiar with but given the circumstances he'd begun to have a few. Their failure at Jaminere had underscored his experience working with other rebel cells, their efforts unorganized and sloppy. They'd proven a point at the very least, that the Sith Empire wasn't quite as secure as might be otherwise thought but ultimately the Empire trudged onward, able to recoup the lost time and production by their efforts. To the casual eye, it even looked as if their expansion had grown exponentially since. It had been discouraging, not only to the pilot turned rebel but also to the shadowy and mysterious figures of the Rebellion as they knew it.
It had been weeks since the failed operation, Atlas had begun to fear the worst - that somehow in their efforts on Jaminere their leadership had been discovered and dispatched. It was with a sigh of relief he'd received a new communique requesting his presence towards another operation. It was that which had caused Atlas to find himself wedged inside the large metal container strapped to the deck of the Cormorant. A generic YT model freighter that had been converted into a medical supply hauler. It had suited their needs, the pilot flew legal cargo regularly and thus almost always had the proper paperwork filed, flight plans published. That and his area of operation had been ideal for the Rebellion - his price had been a bit steep but the reward, if things went well, would more than compensate for the up front.
Intelligence had been disseminated through the ranks that the Sith had claimed control of Rimcee Station. Some pirate had claimed domain over it but had been ousted by the Empire - with ease, by all appearances. The station itself wasn't one of great importance but by all observations it commanded a fair amount of civilian traffic, cargo and transport shuttles would likely be the largest presence. As far as the rebel's objective? That one got a little tricky.
As they'd experienced on Jaminere, the lines got blurred somewhere between 'The greater good' and 'Terrible acts'. Atlas himself had very little weighing on his own conscience but the holonet was filled with news of the event - news that likely made some of them question if this would all be worth it. Some would say the greater good demanded sacrifice towards its end - but if the ends justified the means, what made them any better than the Sith? Was it simply an argument of how to get from point A to point B, or something deeper, more sinister than that? It was a struggle that was constant in the pilot's mind - even now as they traveled closer and closer to their objective. It was too late to turn back now.
"Well lads and lasses, we're approaching Rimcee. Please turn off all electronic devices and ensure your seats are in an upright po--"
His eyes searched the dimly lit container, the light of a single torch illuminating a collection of faces occupying the container around him. From the unamused expressions around him, Atlas grimaced. It was one of his character flaws he supposed, humor at the most inappropriate times - it was one way in which the inner pilot shone through his veneer or professionalism. When death was an eventuality, not a possibility, you had to figure out a way to deal. For him? It was humor. Either way, as Atlas could see the joke failing to land he pulled up hard, clearing his throat before continuing to talk.
"As I was saying then, we're almost to our destination. Sensors show a lot of traffic, more than the initial report."
Atlas held up a datapad, detailed readouts splayed across its screen.
"There's an anomolous presence here, looks like enough gravity signature to be a Star Destroyer. We won't know until we get there but our priority is the station. Everyone knows their part?"
One by one Atlas went down the list, every rebel gathered had their part. Unlike their foiled plot against the Sith at Jaminere, this time there were no rebel fleets, no major space force entering the sector - no, this time they were merely meant to operate under the radar. Unfortunately, this also meant limited reinforcement. They all knew the risks of taking on such a behemoth but they had all come to the same silent conclusion - that this was not only necessary, but right.
The container around them would scramble their lifesigns enough to prevent too close an inspection but allowed them the flexibility to communicate with their pilot over internal comms - which Atlas did.
"Hey cowboy, we're coming up on it. You seeing these sensor readings? Looks like the Sith might have a Destroyer in system. Play it safe yeah?"
Edited by Atlas Viridian, 08 June 2018 - 03:20 PM.