Never Say Vacation, pt 2 July 2001

By Ginna Wilcoxen, Based on Roleplay by Phaedra Whitlock and Ginna Wilcoxen


Aella turned around and stared at the steward. "Why, I'm honored. I'm sure 
it's every passenger's dream to see the bridge." She answered sweetly, her 
smile was predatory. 

Smiling tightly the steward kept his polite mannerisms. "This way, miss." He 
turned and led her to the bridge. Aella followed in silence trying to behave 
and not to smile. 

Knocking the steward showed her in. Aella could see that the Captain was 
conferring with his officers by the communication station. 

"Captain." Aella greeted evenly, she could tell there was something up 
indeed; it didn't take Intel training to see that the bridge crew was upset. 

The Captain turned and straightened. "Captain Skott?" 

Aella absently check her pocket for her ID then looked at the steward, at 
least his change in manner was now explained. "Yes. I'm she." Clearing her 
throat before the steward left. "I think you have something of mine?" 

The steward handed her ID over to his captain who looked at them then handed 
them to Aella. "You said you had information from the Alliance. What's going 
on Captain." 

"I never those words Captain and I'm sorry if you were misled." Aella glared 
at the steward. "What I said was I would see what I could find out from the 
Alliance. What is the problem with landing?" Aella looked around her it 
didn't take her long to notice confusion and concern on the officers' faces. 
"What's wrong? Is it a malfunction?" 

"No, we do not have a malfunction." The captain looks wintry. "We cannot 
contact the planet. The relay beacons are down. We can't raise anyone. Not 
even other ships who are in orbit." 

Aella studied him carefully. "Have you checked your equipment? I mean could 
something been damaged when we came out of hyperspace?" Looking at the com 
station Aella had her answer even before the captain replied, everything 
showed it was working properly. 

The Captain turned, calling over his shoulder for someone to go do an avac 
and check the dish anyway. "No, we have not." Aella could tell he didn't 
appreciate having his equipment disparaged 

"I ask forgiveness Captain, I work with communication devices and it's habit 
to look for mechanical failure first." she rubbed the back of her neck, she 
didn't believe in the Force. She thought it was something for the Jedi, but 
she didn't like what she was feeling about the silence they would call it 
instinct she called it gut reaction. 

"Captain, do you have a shuttle that I could use to take me down to the 
planet?" 

Relenting slightly he turned then stopped. "Of course. As you know we use 
shuttles to transfer passengers to ground and orbit." 

Aella nodded, she didn't want to make an enemy of this man. "I don't know 
what could have stopped communications or why they haven't repaired it, and 
that doesn't explain the trouble you're having with the ships. "Let me go to 
the planet and see what I discover, and if I can fix it and let you know." 
she glanced around the bridge. She had concern over her friends and her 
parents that were below. "I of course will abide by your decision." 

"Can you pilot a shuttle?" 

"Yes, I can." 

The Captain gestured to two of the officers. "Go with Captain Skott, and see 
that she has no mechanical problems." 

"I thank you sir." Aella bows slightly. She stopped by her quarters long 
enough to gather a few things stuffing them into a backpack, sealing the 
records she had been working on. She doubted if anyone would be able to read 
her notes, but she wasn't going to take any chances. Once that was done she 
then placed them in her backpack as well. 

~*~ 

Devastation was visible everywhere, as the shuttle went to land Aella saw 
where ships coming in to land just crashed taking out big chunks of the space 
port city. Fires were still blazing; whole blocks were black from burning 
and the soot that was in the air. It was hard to decide where to land the 
shuttle but Aella finally found a spot. Avoiding the debris she turns to the 
two who came with her grabbing her backpack she pulled out her blaster 
strapping it on she then placed the pack on her back. "I don't know what 
happened here, but I'd recommend your Captain keeping his eyes open and not 
letting anyone down here." 

They nodded as one went back inside and alerted the captain. Aella wiped her 
eyes as the dust and smoke assaulted her eyes. Moving toward one of the 
wrecked ships she studied the outside looking for any signs of a firefight, 
but the only damage the hull had was when it hit the ground. Taking in a 
breath Aella peeked inside and turned away from the crushed bodies. 

Aella tilted her head slightly something was bothering her, then she realized 
it there were no sounds not an insect buzzing or bird nothing but silence. 
It really bothered her even when she worked with the computers she had some 
type of white noise. 

Moving away from the shuttle and the other crashed ship Aella moved closer to 
where mechanics and droids should be. She found only more debris from where 
transports had fallen. One droid unfortunately had been in the same place 
when the transport crashed only its foot was visible. She let out a whistle 
she continued inward. 

When she came across a body Aella bent down to study it. Blood that had 
pooled and clotted was visible, There was evidence that the man had been 
mauled, but she couldn't tell by what. Releasing the strap that held her 
blaster in palace Aella felt secure she would be able to reach it if she had 
to. 

Looking over her shoulder she realized that she couldn't leave the officers 
from the luxury liner down here, it was apparent that something had happened 
here and they were only civilians. Moving back toward the shuttle she 
decided she would come down on her own and do more investigating on her own. 

~*~ 

Aella was happy to step foot back on the luxury liner. After she reported 
her discovers to the Captain she couldn't wait to get to her room and take a 
long hot shower. 

Aella opened up a coded transmission to the Alliance she wanted them to know 
what she had stumbled onto, and if anything happened to her hopefully they 
would be able to figure out what had happened here. Thankron Zeta was far 
enough on the rim to be ignored not only by Alliance but Empire as well. 

TRANSMISSION BEGINS 
ENCRYPT BEGINS 

To: General M. Branwyn 
From: Aella Skott 

I have found a disturbing sight on Thankron Zeta. It has been attacked by 
unknown force and I'm not totally convinced that the Empire is behind it. 

I will begin a through survey of this, and hopefully find out what happened 
here. I have attached vids to show what I have discovered on my first trip 
down to Thankron Zeta. 

Though I am not a medical doctor, the marks that have mauled the victims 
doesn't seem to be anything I've ever heard, vids are attached as well. 

Captain Aella Skott 

Transmission ends. 

Aella pressed the send button and reviewed what she had found, the medical 
labs on the liner wasn't much use unless you needed an aspirin to cure your 
hangover. Repacking the samples she took Aella retrieved herself another cup 
of coffee and went back to studying the vids she had taken and making plans 
on what she would look for when she went back down tomorrow. 

Rubbing her hand through her hair she didn't know what she was doing going 
back down there, she was a computer wiz use to doing things via reports and 
research. But she had friends and family down on Thankron Zeta. She had to 
find out what happened to them. 
~*~ 

Aella landed the shuttle and stepped out, she couldn't believe that some 
fires were still burning. She moved out trying to look at every body she 
came across. They knew she was coming and they would most likely be at the 
spaceport. She hoped she was wrong. 

Aella stopped when she heard a ship overhead making sure her blaster was 
ready she followed the direction and headed toward where it would land. 
Stepping out from behind a building she watched in silence. Was it the 
people coming back to make sure they succeeded in destroying everything or 
had the looters arrived? 

Hiding behind a building she watched as it landed it looked like a battered 
freighter and it steamed lightly. Aella stood there for about a half-hour to 
her estimation before the ship lowered it ramp and a humanoid figure in 
spacer togs and helmet came out warily. She was able to see it was armed. 

'Great' Aella muttered to herself. 'Chemical warfare.' She watched as the 
figure looked around the other side of ship then walked toward her shuttle. 
Drawing her blaster she waited as she went over her options. She could stay 
hidden and let her only transport be taken or sabotaged. She could confront 
the person and possibly end up like so many others she had found so far, or 
she could try to run in the other direction and hopefully find that her 
friends and parents escaped by some miracle. 

Debating them in her head and running out each scenario and how they could 
end she decided to stay put and watch for now. After all the Captain did say 
he would alert someone to her location, and she did send out that 
transmission to the Alliance so there was a chance for rescue. 

The suited figure moves away from the arc of fire of the shuttles laser 
cannon, and knocked on the hull by the door. Aella watched 'well if he's an 
attacker he's polite.' she told her herself. Stepping out she kept her 
blaster out but pointed to the ground. "No one's home." She yelled. 

The figure wheeled and dipped to present a lower profile, the blaster 
wavering. "Yours?" 

Aella nodded. "If I was going to shoot you, I would have already. What is 
your interest here?" 

"I'm supposed to be delivering some cargo, but there doesn't seem to be 
anyone here." 

"No, there isn't. Something happened here and it wasn't nice. For your own 
safety you should leave." Aella kept her eyes on him and listened for 
anything out of the ordinary silence she had been listening to. 

The figure looks around then at Aella. "And you?" 

"I'll leave as soon I find out what happened to m ... what happened here." 

The Suit looked at her, then away. "This isn't the first world. There's been 
talk of several others like this." 

Aella couldn't believe it the destruction here was horrible. Had the Empire 
discovered another weapon? Was it linked into the missing Jedi? She had heard 
reports, of other planets, but she never thought they would be like this. 
"Others? Like this?" 

The Suit nods, sounding a little sympathetic. "Yes. If you're here looking 
for friends or.... family... I don't think you will find them alive." 

Aella let out a sigh. "I know, but I also know I have to find out and there 
are others who .... needů" Aella stopped herself. "I shouldn't hold you up in 
leaving." She took a step backward refusing to turn her back on this suit but 
wanting the safety of the building behind her. Dead? no ... there had to be a 
chance that someone was still alive, there just had to be. 

"Others?" The Suit moved away from the shuttle, a wide arc that brought her 
no nearer Aella, nor into the shuttles laser cannon arc. 

"Others who have family somewhere else." Aella stumbled to get the words 
out. She couldn't come out and say Alliance what if this so-called suit had 
loyalties to the Empire. "Have you heard how many have been found like this?" 
she counted her steps soon she would have a solid building behind her a 
possible shelter. 

"Six, I think. Possibly more. Some worlds have little traffic or outside 
communications. And then we would not know." 

Aella absorbed the information six worlds like this? The realization was hard 
to comprehend. Straightening her posture Aella looked at the suit. "Who do 
you work for?" The suit seemed to know more than a simple deliverer of goods. 

A hiss gurgled out of the suit's respirator. Not a human sound. "I'm a free 
spacer. I haul cargo wherever people want it." 

Aella nodded, wishing she had her communications set up from the Alliance's 
base. Let alone wishing for a medical team to go over this place. "I was 
wondering if I knew the name of the person who hired you." she motioned 
behind her with a wave of her hand. "I thank you for your time, but I have a 
search to continue before it gets dark." and space to put between us in case 
you're a looter or the person responsible. 

"Good luck, and if you do find out, let me know." 

"And how will I contact you?" Aella paused. "I don't even know who you are?" 
She hated sounding like a tourist, but she wasn't going to give away her 
identity to just anyone. 

The Suit turns back. "Pride of Dreams, It's my ship." 

Aella nodded and backed toward the building, once out of the suits line of 
vision she continued her search 


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