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The Talon House

A Son of the Empire


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A Son of the Empire

By: Ryan J. Hickey

Disclaimer: This is based on the Star Wars Universe, loosely based on stories and characters created by George Lucas but is in no way connected with Lucas Inc.

Now that is out of the way. I hope you enjoy, this is bits and peaces of story that I have been working on for a year or so. I keep getting sidetraked so I thought I would post what I have, how ever broken up it is. Hope you like it.

The two wings of TIE fighters move away from the hulking Star Destroyer Razors Edge. Moving into formation and dropping towards the blue green ball that is Derra II.

"All Flights report as in formation Razor’s Edge, going com. Silent till We reach the jump off point for the ambush."

"Good hunting Captain Jagen.", Responds the Star Destroyer’s Comm. Officer.

The small ball-shaped star fighters, with their square solar wings, glide through space to positions in the shadow of the only inhabited planet in the Derra system, Derra IV. If Imperial Intelligence was correct, an under-defended Rebel convoy would be leaving the system soon, and then two wings, over one hundred-forty TIE fighters, would descend on only twelve Rebel X-wing star fighters. While the X-wings have the advantage of shields, the TIE's are far more maneuverable with better acceleration.

Jagen thinks about how much he hates missions like this. This was not an ambush; it was going to be a massacre. The battle plan Fleet Captain Ramirez had given him was to send in his top pilots and take the convoy out fast, but that would be a waste of time, and if one of the Rebels got lucky it would be a waste of a good pilot. So he had altered the mission orders, so as to send in his newest, most green pilots and let them get their "first blooding" out of the way. He found himself scanning his sensor board looking for the FOF of one new pilot in particular.

Shaking his head, the Imperial Ace asks himself why he keeps doing that, ‘During training flights, during physical and hand to hand combat training, and even during meals. Why do I do it? Yes, he has talent, if he lives he will likely become an ace, but he’s no different then a hundred other green pilots…’ ,Something inside Jagen scoffed at that, insisting that he was not the same, ‘There is something about him, well he is more outgoing then most other Imperial pilots but not as boastful, and I do like that. Some times as pilots we get such big heads that we think were better then everyone. He also has a spirit that fills a room when he enters it.’

The Wing Commander dose not even notice the grin that spreads across his face, his thoughts making him lose track of the count down chronometer on his tactical board, ‘ He can also really move, he's the only one, other then the Stormtroopers, that can match me in hand to hand. His body is so trim, smooth, and light, it’s like he just glides around the ring. Even when I do get my hands on him he just gives me that damnable smile and I lose my hold on him…it's that smile. That must be it, every time he flashes it at me, and it is different then the ones he gives the rest of the squad... I just can’t think… I lose all ability to stay on track…’

Jolted from his musings by an audible beep in his helmet, the computer lets him know that the chronometer has run down. Quickly he shakes the last threads of his day dream, and berates himself for losing track of things like that, scanning his tactical board once more.

There they are, 5 bulk Gallifree-class medium freighters and there 12 x-wing escort.

"Edge wing, Blood wing, move in and engage designated targets. Flights One, Three, Five, and Seven, move to covering positions. Our job is to prevent the Rebels form escaping… I want the "kids" to take this convoy out.'

It is a testament to the respect his men have for him that there is not one complaint or grumble from the older, more experienced pilots. In any other squadron the best pilots would get the "honor" of the kills, for no there reason than they were easy and that would let them rack up more on their kill charts. But Jagen felt missions like this would let him give the younger pilots the live fire experience they needed to become better.

As the battle quickly unfolded it is clear that the Rebels were taken totally by surprise and that some of the new pilots, and one in particular, are on there way to make ace in record time.

As the last of his pilots are taken back into the belly of the durasteel beast called a Star Destroyer, Jagen looks out at the debris of what he can not quite call a battle. Through the glow of the magnetic containment field that holds in the ships atmosphere, but dose a poor job keeping in heat the officer can still see the burning hulks of what once was a Rebel cargo transport. Pulling on his black gloves he turns to the Naval ensign standing next to him.

"Yes ensign?"

Nervously the black clad naval officer holds out a data pad. "Sir, the Captain has asked that you report to him on the bridge as soon as your pilots are all aboard."

Absently waving the pad away, the Imperial Ace replies, "Please inform Captain Ramirez that I will need to check on my pilots first, and then will report with copies of their flight logs."

"But Sir, the captain was…"

With a precision turn Jagen levels a glare at the young bridge office.

"Yes Sir, I will inform the Captain."

Turning back to look down on to the hangar deck where his pilots are being extracted from their TIE Fighters. He finds himself searching for the tussled mop of blond hair, his thoughts wander once more, ‘Why am I willing to anger a Fleet Captain just to get a look at him?’ , Shaking his head, Jagen peered around the hangar, ‘There he is…’

His pilot’s eyes, honed by years of tracking and targeting small fast moving objects, easily locks onto a young, blond haired, fair skinned pilot, standing next to his star fighter smiling and moving his hands in excited mimicry of his maneuvers during the short but vicious battle. Clearly filled with the pride all rookies feel after there first engagement. Even more so because this one pilot accounted for 3 enemy kills, a full 1/4 of the total enemy X-wings.

After a moment that he wish’s would last for years, Jagen regains control of himself replacing the inadvertent smile… the same stupid one he always gets watching the young flight officer… covering it with his official Imperial scowl. Noticing for first time that the ensign was still standing next to him, Jagen winces inwardly. Part of his reputation was of being a cold, heartless bastard, ‘I'll have to do something so as to keep my reputation.’

"I forgot you were there. You are dismissed."

….the room was a clean, medical white. Bright lights overhead reflecting back off of the spotless tiled floor, and even the medical technician as dressed in crisp white, his twelve polished silver buttons arrayed down the left side of the medical tunic, black boots polished to a high gloss. The only thing in the room that did not conform the meticulous cleanliness of the examination room was the subject himself. Too tall really, for some one who is a fighter Ace, at 6’2”. His close cut black hair a blooded mess, Imperial issue pants ripped along the seam of the left leg, boots scuffed and scratched, and a steadily dripping red stain on the rumpled gray Imperial tunic front, from a cut and swollen lip, and gash over the right eye.

"Well let’s see who we have here. Computer begin recording of orientation for Patient 24601." the meticulously clean medical tech. Pulls a data slate and writing styles out from his front pocket, and adjusts his glasses to look closely at " the patient".

"You are Captain Jagen Forge correct?"

"Where am I?" Lifting his head the patient reveals a face covered with black and blue bruises, squinting threw dark eyes nearly swollen shut he spits blood on to the floor.

"You are in Imperial Re-education camp 212 for Deviant behavior. I am Doctor Nicoles Vunt", he began, taking a step back to keep the blood from even touching his spotless white uniform, "And I will be in charge of your re-education. You’re really very lucky Captain. If you had been found out even a year ago or were of a lower rank you would likely not have been giving this chance. We have worked vary hard to prove to the Empire that your kind of deviancy can be treated and cured with the proper methods."

His words ended with a smile of barely suppressed pride.

In one quick movement, the patient closed the distance between himself and the technician, smacking the data pad and stylus out of his hands, gripping him around the throat and squeezing.

"Where. Is. Ronan.", Jagen finally replied with a deadly, even tone.

"He…" Vunt gasped, suddenly starving for air, "He's not here…he was deemed of insufficient value to be sent to a re-“, the white-clad man coughed hard, as hands scrabbling to pry the iron-like fingers away from his throat, “re-education center."

The beaten man’s claw-like fingers tightened their grip, and Jagen’s cool voice hisses, "Then that’s bad for you Doc. The good old empire taught me how to kill with more then just my TIE fighter, and I don-"

Jagen jerks like a puppet with the strings cut, he is enveloped in a light blue glow, as a stun beam strikes him. His legs gave out, and his eyes rolled back in his head, he becomes nothing more then a limp body falling to the floor with a thump.

The Imperial rehabilitation technician watch’s him fall, impassive save for the rubbing of his fingers on his neck, “Don’t worry Captain, in a few short weeks you won’t care what happened to your lover, I dare say you wont even remember the stupid young man.", He turns back to face the hidden holo camera, and continues on as if nothing at all had happened, "Subject 24601 will be a little more difficult to re-educate then originally estimated. Guards come and retrieve him and see that he is placed in a secured room till further notice…Dr. Vunt end log."

…the tall savanna grasses waves in the light breeze as he listens to the roar of transports entering and leaving the new hidden Rebel Hanger. He draws his blaster pistol with his black gloved hand and remembers the first time he ever saw grasslands like this: it was back on Carida, the Imperial training world, during his freshman year of Officer training. Born and raised on Imperial Center, he had never seen anything other then the well-ordered gardens of the rich, free flowing grassland and open space as far as the eye could see was unthinkable.

Taking a deep breath, he slowly raised his arm..."Good… the ships taking off should cover the sound."

"Should cover what sound Jagen?"

Jumping only a little he turns quickly and clasps his hands behind his back to hide the weapon. How did he sneak up behind me? How could I have let down my guard for that long? I never would have allowed that to happen before I met him.

"Nothing, Garen. What do you want?" he asks hotly as he glares at the smaller pilot taking in the red glow of the setting sun that surrounds flight officer Garen Draga in a golden orange nimbus.

The two of them could not have been more opposite. The elder of the two, Jagen Forge, was born a son of the Empire, raised to serve and trained to think as the Empire wished him to think. Standing 6'2", really too tall to be a fighter pilot, his black hair cut close as if he was still an Imperial office. In contrast, Garen Draga was the perfect 5'6" for a pilot, his long sandy blond hair pulled back into a pony tail, all except for the few strands that doggedly refused to be tamed and would fall across his right eye, forcing the young pilot to casually brush the strands away. They also dressed in total opposite of each other. Where Jagen wore dark, somber colors cut very conservative with slacks and polished boots, Garen seemed to revel in the fact that the Rebels had yet to issue a uniform. His jacket was light tan colored Nerf hide, patched in places, draped over a white T-shirt stained with years of grease and sweat, and combat pants tucked into his Alderaanian riding boots.

Shrugging and absently tossing the stray locks out of his shimmering blue eyes, Garen replies, "Nothing really, was just going for a walk and wanted to know if you would join me."

"No." Feeling two contradicting emotions Jagen, glances away and violently suppressing the urge to accept this offer, but knowing that he couldn’t, he has to do this. He was raised to understand that his perversion was not allowed. Imperial officers who fell in love with members of their own sex were sent to "Re-education" centers for correction of this anti social behavior, because it was too costly to simply kill them out of hand. However, if the correction did not take hold, as it obviously had not in him, they were expected to deal with it as any good soldier would. He could not afford to wait, and he was already losing his nerve. The mere presence of this other pilot stirred the feelings he has so ruthlessly oppressed. Yearning to hold and be held. To love and be loved. To kiss and be....

Turning away from Garen, and shaking his head to clear the unwanted thoughts and feelings, Jagen nearly shouts, "No!"

He would never know if it was simply an error or if some part of him had wanted Garen to see the blaster but ether way the always careful and controlled fighter pilot forgets to shift it in front of him as he turns.

"What in the Emperor's black bones is that for?"

Jagen stops turning just in time to see Garen rush forward and grab the barrel of the blaster pistol. "For me to do what has to be done. That’s what," and looking into the deep blue eyes... eyes that anyone could easily get lost in, the eyes suddenly filled with anger and…was that fear?

"But I thought that you…I thought that we…", Garen's voice breaks and his eyes glisten with barely contained tears. Looking beseechingly up into his would be lover's nearly black eyes

Jagen takes a stronger grip on the pistol, absolute in what he knows he must do.

Raising his free hand and placing it against Garen's cheek, Jagen replies, "I do…you know I do. But we can't..."

"If you do, then why?" He cries out in anguish, "Why can’t we?"

"Because I may fight now for the Rebels, but I was raised as and will always be a 'Son of the Empire' and that means we can't. I have to do this Garen." Taking his hand, Jagen brushes away a single tear sliding down the younger pilot's cheek. "It is how the Empire raised me."

Throwing himself against Jagen's chest, Garen releases the blaster and grips the starched and pressed jacket, tears freely falling from pain filled eyes. "The Empire has taken too many of the people I love; my family on Alderaan, my friends in battle and…and Kendrith…" choking on the name of his first lover killed some three years ago at the battle of Yavin Four. "…I will be damned if I will let an Empire that's nearly dead take the last person I love away from me!"

Looking down in shock, lifting Garen’s face, Jagen looks into the stormy blue eyes, and instead of seeing the anger, hate or even fear he expected he is nearly overwhelmed by the pure love in those eyes; a love so total that even the thought of losing it creates real pain in the young man; a love so total that as it wash’s over Jagen it wash’s away all the fear and self hatred he has held in his heart for so long, and left behind is only the love the two of them hold for each other. With that realization, there came a peace he had never known.

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