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Old 07-20-2013, 09:46 PM   #1
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Squadron Legacy, Chapter 10

Chapter Ten: Hope

Tyren’s eyes flashed open. Something was wrong. Immediately alert, Tyren took a few seconds to calm himself. Tyren leaned toward the opening of his rocky crevice to steal a quick glance outside. In between the thick brush that he had placed at the entrance of the cave, Tyren spotted unmistakable movement.

A sharp pang of fear ran the entire length of Tyren’s nerves. Tyren’s pulse quickened, and his senses heightened. Without making a sound, Tyren shifted left and right to see what was outside.

The view that met him wasn’t good. Tyren could make out close to a dozen Mandalorians, all within 100 yards of his shelter. Tyren clutched his knife with a death grip, as if he would be able to take them all down with the small blade.

Despite the gravity of the situation, Tyren knew that it would be best to stay put, and stay low. From his position, he could not tell what the Mandalorian troops intended to do. It certainly didn’t appear that they had spotted him, otherwise they’d already be tearing into the cave. Tyren smoothly retreated to the furthermost corner of the cave, tucking his survival vest into a ball. Though not typically religious, Tyren fervently prayed that the Force would protect him.

Maintaining his cramped position, Tyren’s thoughts began to drift past the day’s events, back to his first day at the Academy.

Riding on the shuttle to the Academy with nineteen other kids with freshly cut hair was one of the most terrifying things he’d done up to that point.

A clean-cut upperclassman blared, “All cadets will sit with their head and eyes straight forward. Arms by your side!”

“Yes sir!” Came the chorus.

“Each of you now has the opportunity to become a cadet in the Republic Naval Flight Academy. The rewards are great, but the sacrifices will be greater. If you think that you have what it takes, then you will get off when my shuttle stops. If you are not willing to give your all, everything that you have, then do not get off my shuttle. Do you understand?”

“Yes sir!”

“You there! Why do you want to go to the Academy?!” The stern looking cadet asked a cadet a few rows in front of Tyren.

“Sir, to fly in the best fleet in the galaxy, sir!”

“What is your name cadet?”

“Sir, Cadet Goordei, Sir!”

“Did you cadets hear that? Cadet Goordei here wants to join the fleet as a pilot. Cadet Goordei here doesn’t look fit enough to scrub the windscreen of an Aurek!”

And so the bashing began…

Soon, it was Tyren’s turn.

“You there! Why do you want to go to the Academy?!”

“Sir, to serve the Republic!”

“Did the rest of you hear that! This cadet wants to serve the Republic! Well, cadet, I’ll make sure you serve the Republic.”

Tyren was forced to scrub the walkways around the Academy for days due to that little beauty. The new cadets soon learned that there were no correct answers to the grilling of the upperclassmen.

“You there! Why do you want to go to the Academy?!”

“Sir, for the free food sir!”

Tyren worked hard to stifle laughter at the audacious cadet. Several couldn’t contain it.

“JUST WHAT ARE YOU LAUGHING ABOUT CADET!?” A red-faced upperclassmen interrogated one of the instigators.

Tyren allowed a small grin as he remembered his Academy days. He never thought he’d ever be as scared as he was that day. He remembered how bravely that he and his classmates were going to charge into enemy territory. And here he was hiding in a cave.

Tyren lay his head down, and tried to sleep. It was no use. After an hour of half-consciousness, Tyren decided to peek out once more.

It appeared that the Mandalorians had also decided to camp for the night. Most of them lay scattered around a gentle clearing by the edge of the creek. Boulders dotted the landscape, and the Mandalorians had placed most of their battle gear on the rocks. A wisp of smoke rose up from a small but hot fire. Basking in the firelight, Tyren could see most of them had stripped down to their armor underlays, leaving the plates off. Several slept, several chatted in Mandalorian. Tyren could see that two Mandalorians seemed to be assigned watch duty. One was just across the creek, furthest away from him. The other seemed to pace in a semicircle, coming within about 10 yards of Tyren’s hideout every several minutes. It certainly didn’t seem feasible for Tyren to leave his crevice. The only upside was that the Mandalorian patrol obviously didn’t suspect that he was nearby.

With nothing else to do, Tyren crawled into the corner and took out his emergency radio. Setting an ultra-low volume, Tyren pressed his ear against the speaker to make out the transmissions.

Tyren heard the standard staticky battle chatter, and followed it for about ten minutes. He was just about to shut if off when something caught his ear.
Much more clearly over the radio, Tyren heard a voice call his callsign.

“Ghost 4, Ghost 4. K’Aldrin, if you’re out there, we’re coming for you.”

A distant spark of hope reignited deep in Tyren.

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Old 07-25-2013, 09:30 AM   #2
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