Brown Coats

He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother

Dean lay on his bed in the infirmary, depressed and bored to tears. He was still in a lot of pain.

He looked up as Sam came in with a pack of Fly Boys. He popped one open and threw the other one over to Dean.

“Drink up before that nurse catches us, she seems a little uptight.”

Dean took a long swig and shot a serious look towards Sam.
“Sammy, you guys shouldn’t have come for me. I wasn’t worth the risk.”

Sam clenched his fist, if Dean wasn’t already beat up, he would do it himself for saying that. “Course I came for you, you would’ve done the same for me.”

“We’re soldiers, Sam. We signed up to die for this cause. You put our men at risk. You put yours and Katria’s life at risk. I wouldn’t want to jeopardize the lives your building together. “You selfish bastard, what do you think that your death would’ve done to us, to your wife Billie, Katria, what about me, do you think we, I could have lived without you?”

“Billie told me about the ciphers, Katria could get into a lot of trouble over this.”

“Katria took a calculated risk that ended up with Arturo dead, and you alive. Don’t worry about it; you just need to get better.”

They stared at each other in silence for a few minutes remembering everything they had been through together.

He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother:

Sam leaned over and surprised Dean with a hug. You’re my big brother, I’ll always have your back.”

Dean said “Hey no chick flick moments, I’m fine, go spend some time with your wife. I’ll be on my feet before you know it, I’ll be back helping you out at Winchester Farms soon enough. I think it needs both Winchester men to take care of things there. He winked at Sam.

Sam got up to leave and when he reached the door, Dean called out,
“Hey, Sammy, Thanks for looking out for me.”

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Soldiers and Civilians

“As CPHW-Whitefall has already reported, the decision has been made to honourably discharge nearly a million of the home guard. While their service to Whitefall was exemplary, it was decided that maintaining such a large army was difficult on the civilian sector, with too many people not supporting families and being loving parents for children. What good would it be, if an entire generation grew up only seeing one of their parents during the few days of leave? So, while those wishing a full career in the military where kept on to continue their roll of Home Guard, or deployed within the ranks of the Dominion Army, the rest where granted the opportunity to return home to their families, and the futures they sought before the war started out. The new Whitefall Military model will be victory though superior quality and dedication, rather then the inefficient model of quantity over all else. Jobs will be made available, and assistance will be provided to veterans unable to integrate easily into non-military society. Many of you now holding draft notices will surely be happy to hear that the draft is as of now, officially cancelled. Feel free to dispose of the notices as you wish, and go live your own lives. As an extra bonus, the federal Food subsidy has now been increased from two Biele a day per person, to 4 Biele a day per person, and some additional food from off-planet is currently being distributed, and though stretched rather thin, we have hope for additional shipments. In the meantime, this shipment is fully paid for by the government.”

Erick ended his speech, and disappeared of the stage. The next event was much more solemn. Agent Harry Tasker’s award ceremony… A joyous affair if only he was around to see it. The man was a hero. It would have been good to tell the people of his heroism, but now was not the time. Some would undoubtedly worry of the decrease in military personnel, and they need not be further worried by a failed terrorist plot. Give it some time, Tasker will yet have his moment of glory, but not right now. For this ceremony, it would be only the Home Guard and Dominion Forces, along with representatives of CISIS. He had had two special medals already made for the occasion. The ‘Hero of Whitefall’, one for the late Special Agent Harry Tasker, and another for Commander… no General Katria Everdeen. She too had been instrumental in stopping the terrorist plot. And then… then there was THAT.

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brains and bodies

“Eureka!” Billy wasn’t sure how long she’d been sitting here; cramped in the closet sized room she’d hidden in after ditching Dean and Mal with their game. She’d run about 40 different simulations and had 30 data cards spread around that she’d been dragging info from; droid specs, what she’d learned from Katria’s neuro interfaces as well as info pulled from the Isabella’s memory banks on Sarah’s legs and even the creation of Renevee and tick tock. But after all this time she had finally figured it out! she knew what needed to be done to allow Zack’s brain to control the droid they had created for him. He would be able to interact with people again. For a moment she reflected on the special kind of torture being trapped in your brain could be she shuddered. She called Lucian to let him know the good news but couldn’t get a response. “That’s strange,” she murmured even on the Isabella he should be in range. She checked the clock maybe he was sleeping. It was about noon. That meant she’d been working all night! She had to get back to Dean. She raced down the hall and stopped abruptly at his window seeing 2 of the injured clones in his room. For a moment she couldn’t breathe it was a night mare there was Kiki sitting laughing talking drinking a cold one but it wasn’t her, she was dead, there was a sharp pain in Billy’s chest. She shook it off and took in the scene, all three were sitting on the bed laughing (well Dean was more wincing) there were controls to that wretched game laying on the floor and one of the clones had her hand on Dean’s arm she was leaning towards him looking very flushed.
Billy slammed the door open. “WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?!!”
The clones jumped up to salute with varying degrees of effectiveness due to their injuries, and Dean looked up at Billy quizzically. “Problem sugar?” he asked in his ‘your acting crazy but I don’t know why’ tone.
“Don’t you ‘problem sugar’ me mister, what are you doing with them!?” An image of Dean and Kiki making out in the bushes pushed it way into her head. She wasn’t sure what she was more upset about the fact that he was hanging out with these test tube Kikis or that he was obviously flirting with them.
“Them? This is TC-5523 or Teece, and that’s Jax, both with Yellow Squad 3, they took a nasty frag trap in the face when searching for the General’s brother.”
Belinda stared at her very dense husband, “and you’re just hanging out, the three of you? Alone? Without Mal?”
“Ya, Mal had to go, cause Nat had to go Cause Lucien was board or something… don’t know but Garrick was in a real snit, and Wishu Mein frou, don’t mention him to the nurse cause she’s got a huge hard on of hate for that fellow right now. Teece and Jax were awake so I figured why not the company? You’ve been gone all night. ” he paused for a moment looking Billy up and down noting that she had on the same clothes she’d stormed out in the night before, “where did you get to if I might ask?”
“I was working!” snapped Belinda. “I’m surprised you even noticed I was gone!”
“Of course I noticed I was stuck alone in this goram room all night!” Dean shouted.
Billy held her ground, “oh so you got a little lonely and went looking for the nearest attractive women to keep you company?”
Teece and Jax looked nervously back and forth between the two of them. Teece cleared her throat “umm we’re just going back to our room ok?”
There was no response as Billy and Dean stared angrily at each other.
“You try and beat up any guy who even looks at me and then I find you making time with HER! I mean these.” It was then at Billy’s angry gesture toward the clones that they realized they’d left.
“Are you even listening to yourself you sound nuts!” Dean stood up abruptly instinctively using his intimidating size to get the better of the confrontation. He was please to notice he was only slightly unsteady.
“Aaaaarrrrggg!” Billy gave into the urge to stamp her foot. “If you weren’t hurt I’d punch you!”
“Give it your best shot!” he challenged.
Billy ran at him arm raised, he easily deflected and wrapped his arms around her pinning her arms to her side. Unfortunately Dean wasn’t very steady and they fell back onto the bed. Dean winced but knew he must be on the mend because the pain didn’t dissuade him from taking her lips with his and plundering her mouth with his tongue.
Suddenly Billy couldn’t remember why she’d been mad, all she could think of was how good Dean felt. She broke the kiss and pulled back looking him in the eye, “am I hurting you?”
Dean shook his head and pulled her sweater off. Billy shook her curls out of her face, “you’re sure?”
Dean smiled, “you could never hurt me babe, but just in case you do all the work, and spare my ribs.” He pushed up until she was straddling his narrow hips drinking in the site of her in tight black jeans and a hot pink bra.
“Good,” she whispered as she attacked his clothes, “because I can’t wait anymore.
“Huh,” said Jax to Teece just outside the window. “I guess she’s not going to kill him.”
Teece blushed looking at the pair writhing on the bed as various piece of clothing flew around the room. “You think they’re gonna…you know… right here with the curtains open and everything?”
“Yup.” Jax was almost drowned out by a particularly load moan. “Let’s get back to our room before that angry little nurse come to investigate that racket.”
Not long after, Peirce came striding down the hall it had taken all of his considerable charm to convince that dragon of a nurse to give him his clothes back so he could get out of here. Not that he’d be going far as the queen had generously offered rooms in the palace for his stay. He started whistling, it would be good to get back to work.
He stopped cold outside the window feeling like he’d been punched in the stomach. She was facing away from him but he’d know Lindy anywhere, her silky skin, the rhythm of her hips and the feel of her soft hair cascading down her back. He was mesmerized, and then he heard Dean cry out and was simultaneously made aware of his hands grasping her waist and the hair on his legs and the fact that he was still wearing his socks. Pierce felt like he was going to throw up he staggered away from the window holding the wall for support he felt hot and took in a gulp of air. He knew they were married, and he heard the same rumors about their sex life as everyone else but he hadn’t been prepared to be confronted with it. After a moment he stood up formed his features into his careful mask of amused disdain. Again he was walking, he’d get the hell out of this god damn palace and find himself a drink and if he was lucky he’d have the opportunity to break the nose of some local thugs.

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Don't Cross the Sanitation Director

Bobby looked out over the side of the shuttle,

“hang in there Bruce, Just a little further” Bruce nodded and waited patiently, he had gotten the call early that morning that he should connect with Paulie and Bobby, and be ready for anything. The shuttle raced across the deserts of Bremen, Liliac was a large place and they were pretty remote. Finally they got there, nothing but sand dunes for miles. Paulie walked over to a crate, and opened it up, inside, hogtied and gaged sat Choo. Paulie sent a punch that broke the captive’s nose before hauling him out of the crates.

“Listen here ya sack of ching wo shit” Paulie said “This here is my buddy Bruce, you threatened the wrong fella’s family you shit headed rice eater” a look a fear washed over the captives face as Paulie cut his leg restraints and stood him up. “Give’em a couple good ones Bruce, show’em what happens when you threaten little kids”

Bruce stepped forward and launched a solid punch into the face of the man, followed by two successive knees into the stomach; the captive slumped to the deck of the shuttle. Bobby and Paulie grabbed his arms and hauled him back up to his feet.

“Think you get off so easy, ya dirty puke?” Paulie asked, with that the two men pushed the captive out of the shuttle and allowed him to fall the 25 or so feet down onto the hot dessert sand. He lie there for several long moments, but then began to role and jump to his feet. Wearing nothing but boxers he had no protection from the scorching sun or the blisteringly hot dessert sand.

The captive quickly rolled about working to get to his feet with his hands still bound, it was then that Paulie reached into another crate, three paint ball guns emerged. “two parts paint, one part cookin’ oil, that ought to teach this frackin guy” Paulie said handing one of the guns to Bruce “Yer blue, extra points for a happy face” the shuttle moved into a better position as the three men began to shoot down at the captive. Choo quickly began to run, but with no specific direction to go, and no cover to be found, his attempts were futile and only proved to provide more sport for the two marked men and Bruce.

After twenty minutes or so Choo lay on the sand with dozens of deep welts on his body and a slick sheen of cooking oil that would not help his chances in the sun. Paulie grabbed a megaphone and hollered out to him.

“You understand what happens when you cross good men you filthy shit? Yer just lucky that my friend Bruce here is a little more merciful then me!” he reached into a crate and pulled out tin canteen, he opened it up and opened up a little baggie of salt and poured the salt into the canteen. He then closed it and shook the canteen thourghly. Chuckling somthing about “keeping him thirsty on his walk” Once that was done he hurled the canteen at the captive, smacking him in the shoulder and chuckling as Choo winced from the impact.

He then reached into his crate and threw a pair of bright pink flip flops down. “Listen here you rotten shit faced pig! You walk ten miles east, you’ll make it to a Brown Coat outpost, maybe they’ll take pity on you, maybe they won’t, but if you live, you tell everyone what happens when they cross Bruce Whitmen of Whitefall!” with that the shuttle pulled away and took off across the desert before exiting atmosphere and returning Bruce home.

Paulie turned to Bruce, “There ya have it Bruce, ask and ye shall receive, let’s just hope you remember how forthcoming we were should we need you to return the favour later”

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Aftershocks 1
To love someone is to be their foundation when the rest of thier world is crumbling

It wasn’t long after Billy left that Gerrick entered with two nurses following him talking at him more than too him about how the patients couldn’t be moved yet. Mal and dean looked back and greeted him warmly. But the atmosphere he brought with him seemed to kill the mood faster than he killed alliance soldiers. Natalia of coarse didn’t feel it but anyone who knew Garrick well could tell how he was feeling even with a mask covering his face.

“Mal you and Nat gotta come with me were headin to the Hypocratis.” Gerrick said in his gruff voice as he tossed them both their gear.

"I told you sir they can’t leave until…”one of the nurses began

“Stuff it lady these are captains orders he needs to head out that way and doasn’t want Nat to be unprotected.” Garrick cut her off. She stiffened with offense at being told to shut up but garrick had a way of breaking peoples train of thought.

“Wait wait. Why can’t we just stay hear. The Silverhold hospital is just as safe as anywere else besides we got both myself and dean hear she should be safe enough shouldn’t she?” Mal asked slightly confused.

“Oh ya real safe a half dead marine, and a guy who passes out when he take ten steps away from her, That’s not exploitable at all!” Gerrick said sarcasticly. Mal bristled a little at the jab. Gerrick seemed to be in a worse mood than usual, maby he had run out of pain meds or something. “Besides the captain said somthin about needin to keep people close right now.”

“Hell man you gonna look a gift horse in the mouth just go with em its a chance to get outa this goram hospital bed.” Dean urged Mal.

“Look you wanna argue? argue with the captain we’re on a tight schedual” Mal sighed, as they spoke Billinda could be hurrying back with a nice cold flyboy! if he left now…

“fine.” Mal said picking up his bundle of belongings

“Did somthing happen?” Natalia asked excitedly. “are we going to rescue someone else or..?”

“Gear, door, NOW!” Gerrick ingected making her swallow the rest of her sentence. Mal kinda wished he could shut her up like that. then again he wasn’t 7 feet tall with a voice that sounded like the rasping of a thousand smokers. “See ya Dean when this Issue is dealt with we’ll talk,” His mood seemed to warm up a bit “We havent got the chance to sit down and drink together in a while it would be good.” With that Garrick walked out the door, Mal and Natalia said their goodbyes and followed. As Mal left Dean gave him the ‘keep me updated’ gesture, Mal nodded.


*****************************************************************


The Scene on the Issabella was a dark one. Lucian sat with Sarah on the bed of the Captains quarters gently holding her to his chest as she shivered and clung to him as if letting him go would cause her to plummet through the floor. Lucains face was grim, frightfully grim. In the medical bay the clone commander, Lucky was stable but not improving, Renevae was tending to her as Sarahs eyes were to swollen for her to see properly out of. Lucain had cleaned some of the blood off Sarahs face and tended to her wounds but she was still in rough shape, Large purple bruises were forming all over her arms, legs and upper torsoe There was a large cut on the small of her back where a jackknife had carelessly jabbed while cutting clothing. The mechanical part of her legs were bent and broken in various areas it was unlikely that she could walk too far without them being irreparably damaged. She had fought long and she had fought hard but now her body was paying the price for such resistance. Lucian quietly blessed Lucky if she hadent arrived when she had…Sarah would have been much worse. Rage boiled within Lucian, White hot embers of fury stoked by each injury he saw each wimper that escaped Sarahs lips. Their would be death for this, He already had tic tok analyzing the blood sample on the screw driver that they had pryed from Sarahs hand, Lucian would find these creatures and there would be no mercy for them. When mal and Natalia got on board. They were disallowed from entering the captains quarters and were only allowed to talk to Lucian through the com on the door.

“Alright Lucian what the hell is going on?” Mal demanded through the console he was more than a little aggravated at the treatment he was getting at this point.

“Sarah has been injured I am takeing her to see weaver aboard the Hypocratis. Natalia is being sought by the blue lotus so I can’t leave her alone while I go off world and since you are bonded to her throught the force you had to come.” Lucain stated quietly through the com. He sounded…dangerous. What the hell had happened!? Fed up he asked just that.

“Lucian What happened?”

“For the love of god man need I explain every action I am makeing? I am sorry for keeping you in the dark and draging you along on this. If I had any other choice I would let you stay on silverhold but for now I ask you please no more questions just trust me!” A long silence followed.

“Fine, I’ll go along with it though isn’t the hypocratis on rout here? How are you going to meet up with them?” Mal realized that that was a question but he was sure Lucain had ment only questions about why not how.

“I have already contacted them and given the coordinates that we will meet at. the Issabella will travel to the same point dock with the Hypocratis and the hypocratis will then continue its coarse from there to Angle. By my estimate we will end up meeting the Hypocratus 7 days earlier than if we simply waited for it to arrive on Angle” Lucian Replied. Mals mind reeled at what type of calculations must have been involved in that plotting but then again he was alsoe talking to a man who did astrogation in his head who knows what he could do with the aid of a computer.

“Alright I’ll leave ya alone then.” Mal said turning away from the computer. “Common Natalia Lets go see if the ship has anything to eat on it” Natalia, Mal noticed, was being abnormaly quiet. Perhaps it was the tone of voice that Lucian had used over the com or the feeling in the air but she was simply looking around the room without a sound. They went down deck to sit with Garrick Harren and Koth in the mess hall.


*********************************************************************


After an indeterminate amount of time Sarah finally spoke “The babies.” she said in a quavering voice.

“I can sense them, I am force sensitive remember? They are both alive and Weaver will look at them when we arrive” Lucian assured her. A sigh of relief came from her at that, and he prayed to any deities still left in the verse that he was right. “their mother did a good job protecting them” She looked up at him through her swollen eyes for a second, then a sob escaped her.

“I was so scared Lucian. I…They…”

“shhhh” Lucain stroked her hair with one hand and held her close with the other. He had never seen Sarah so distraught before. The fury threatened to rise up again but he squelched it. Not now. Now he needed to be there for her. Not go on some anger driven quest for revenge. So they sat, Sarah weeping into his shoulder as he quietly tried to comfort her until her tears stoped coming.

“Lucian?” She said after a long silence

“Yes,love?” Lucain replied gently

“could you play something for me on your violin? I really want something else to think about right now.” She almost whispered

“Of coarse, my dear what would you like to hear?”

“Anything so long as your playing it.” She answered. Lucain nodded and leaned over to his desk pulling out the ornate Violin case. Pulling the beautiful maple instrument out he carefully tightened and rezined the bow, nestled the Voilin under his chin and began to play. Careful all the while not to break contact with Sarah. On cue the faux fireplace lit up quietly and the internal lighting softened so that the firelight could creat its warm rustic ambiance as opposed to the harsh white lighting. He played a slow comforting tune A Lilacian Lullaby he had learned long ago from his father. As the notes gently peeled off the strings he felt Sarah begin to relax a little, he closed his eyes and kept playing, losing himself in the music and letting its gentle caress carry them away if only for a little while. While drifting with the melody his mind began to wander and take him through the events of the past few weeks. the past few days had shaken him So much deciete so much tragedy it was as if the verse itself was testing his friends bonds to each other. He remembered the look on Eriks face when they had entered that ridiculous “tribunal” The beaten weary look of a man who shouldered all the worlds wrongs without a second thought and then realized painfully that he was only human. The mantel of leadership the site of his people and wife starving, The burden of a good-willed heart faced with impossible choices. The Violins melody shifted into ‘will of the heart’ A tune he had learned on Whitefall from a farmer As if filtering through images in a slideshow Lucians mind moved on to the next face, Bilindas. The look of abject terror at the site of dean being tortured. the strong face she had worn the whole time as she tried to move the verse itself to bring him back safely. The strong face that hid an already reeling phyce and heart beaten by hurt, betrayal, worry, guilt. Then the fury that crossed it when Erick and Victer argued with her about the cyfers. The remorse in her eyes when she finally killed Archtoro. Remorse! It was a tragedy that Such a gentle soul was caught in this ugly conflict. Forced to do things that tormented her so. The tune of his Strings changed again. this time to a song called ‘Melodies of life’ a song a musician from Ariel had taught him in exchange for passage out of the core. Sarah was resting against him now, Her breathing becoming steady. Katria was next in that current of images the pain in her eyes when fate placed her in the position of choosing between her men and her best friend. The shock when Victor had told her she would be court marshaled for following her heart, The confusion and lose when her father was shot by that same best friend. Confusion, toumiol, death, it was taking over all their lives and now fate was trying to tear them all apart denying them the support of each other. One final face drifted into his mind as he played on. A face of calm compassion, a young face. His tune changed to one he had been taught by an old man he had met on three hills. ‘Rain’ Why? Why had she had to die? He had seen so many friends die, so many tragedies, so many comrades cut down by this ridiculous war and yet the death of that pure orphan child… She had always been there since that first day on the Isseballa when he had first met Noir. through all the violence and all the chaos those determined blue eyes had only shone brighter with caring and compassion quietly encouraging everyone to be strong and move forward. Even her final moments She only cared for those around her, selflessly throwing her life aside to save everyone from that wretched darkness. He could already feel Noir’s distress through the link they shared, something had happened, Something terrible, or maybe it was her concern for Sarah, now she would return to find out that Rain was gone, the verse was a cruel place to those it so loved to punish.

“Thats why I am here” he said quietly “To be there when they need me.” He looked down at Sarah who was now sleeping, lulled by the comforting touch and the soft music, her hand still held a death-grip on his shirt but she was otherwise as relaxed as someone in her condition could be. He brought his last song to a close and replaced the instrument in its case. Gently He shifted her onto the bed and lay next to her, Softly cradling the young queen in his embrace. He felt the ship shudder as it entered hyperspace. “I’m sorry Sarah. I am sorry I let something like this happen to you. I swear I will do everything In my power to make sure it never happens again” he said. He kissed her forehead and focused all his will on healing her until sleep final took him.

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A wave sent to the Isabella

Hello?

Hello?

This is Cat Grant, Silver Lining is anyone there?

This is Tic Toc of the Isabella, how may I help you?

I am looking to reach Lucien Calgori, please

I’m sorry miss, the captain is currently not taking any calls

there was a long silence before the pleasent female voice continued

“perhaps then you could help me Mr. Toc, I am looking for a comment from Captain Calgori, His ship was seen landing at the transport factories in Saturna, four days ago, and the queen hasn’t been seen since, is the Captain involved with the Queen for a romantic get away?”

Tic Toc was silent for a moment, he didn’t know what to say, where was Renevee, she was much better programed to deal with these things

“Uhh… No Comment” the tin man said, feeling proud of himself for diverting a crisis, and following the Captains orders to not spread a word of the happenings to anyone

the silence continued over the com

“Actully Mr. Toc, can I ask you another question, my resercher here just handed me an important tid bit”

“Sure, Ms. Grant, go ahead”

“The logs report that Clone Purple 7 squard was assigned as the Queens escort on the last day she was publicly seen…”

“Ms. Grant I cannot confrim or deny that info” Tic Toc cut in, hoping to end this quickly, he buzzed Garrick to come to the bridge as he felt he was getting out of his depth

“that’s ok, I can confirm that. The logs also show that of Purple Squad 7, 8 of the Clones were found dead on the scene, 3 are criticly wounded, and 1, their commander is missing. I guess what I am asking, with what seems to be presented before me is… well… Did the Sons of Plunder attack or kidnap the Queen of Silverhold?”

“Thats poposterous!” Tic Toc yelled into the com

“So you do know where the queen is?” Cat shot back at him

“ahh… Ummmm… No further questions or comments… but we didn’t kidnap her…. but no comment ok…. goodbye”

the com went dead.

Cat sat back in her chair for a moment, there was a reel story here, not some romantic dallaince the would be relgated to a gossip colloumn on page 7, but a real honest to god story here… and she would find it.

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A Letter to Alexa

High Centurian Alexa Voltair, Welcome to the Dominion.

Your services have been called upon to meet the pressing needs of the war. Your record shows that you have a remarkable skill set in the areas of Subterfuge and Sniper. Please report to Ithica within 48 hours to collect your new equipment and troop detail. Your new rank will be that of Major, we are assigning you to command a unit from hence forth refered to as Spot Company, Spot will begin with 25 members and be our new Sniper Company. Attached are 965 personal filed, please select 25 soliders to comprise your unit that will be most advantagous to your mission sets. You will be directly under the command of General Keridin in aiding in insitment of civilian uprisings and targeted assasinations. Your tour is currently slated for three years but this could be extended as the need arises. Thank you for your service

Regards

General Carson Ginja
Dominion Command

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White Radio, it's more than static

In the news today, we report sad news for the people of Whitefall, there has been a mass amount of Honerable Discharges from the Former Whitefall Homegaurd

Of the orginial 1,300,000 Employed Homeguard. 25,000 have remained on maintained their original name as Home Guard.

300,000 have been given orders to report to Ithica for training and unit allocation, while the remaining 975 000 former soldiers have been honourably discharged. they were each thanked for their service but told that the Dominion had no further need of the services at this time.

The Dominion has station extra clones around the southern and northern continents of Whitefall to aid the remaining Home Gaurd for the time being while the now unemployed populace reintegrates with society.

High Chancellor Voltair was not able to send comment before press time today.

This has been Kelly Brewster with CPHW-Whitefall

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Padawans

Master Ardun Taal looked out at the Padawans that were going through rote exercises that the council had developed. These exercises were meant to give the learners the basics of the mysteries of the Force, but they did not allow for deeper understanding. Usually. A few students, those close to becoming Knights were discovering some of the mysteries on their own, but for the most part they were going about it in a slipshod manner. He shook his head. It was unfortunate, there was not enough masters and knights to take all the Padawans. The Council had been pressing him to take on learners. He had thought about it and decided that it might be a good idea. The question now was how to choose. Would he take some of the ones that were close to Knight and smooth out what they knew, or would he follow Master Windu’s example and take on a younger Padawan, one that did not have bad habits. It was unfortunate that he could not take both.
Wait. Could he?. Master Taal, felt the tug of the Force at this thought. What would happen if he did. He could help train all of them, fixing the small issues that the more ‘learned’, and they would also be able to help him train the younger ones at the same time. There was a warrior culture from the Earth that Was, called the Samurai who followed a discipline called budo. In it, it seemed that a teacher would teach the students but in large groups the older more disciplined students would help teach the students that were younger then them. The teacher would still direct the what the older students teaching the younger ones, and would correct any other problems that came up.
If that was the case he thought that maybe that he had handful of students of the both type of levels.

A smile came to his face, looking to the students below him. Excellent, he thought, all the students that he wanted where in this group, both the youngest and the oldest ones that he wanted.

Masters Oryan and Athis had come to stand with him.

“Have you thought about taking a Padawan or two, Master Taal?” Asked Oryan.

“Are you going to choose one or two yourself Master Oryan?” responded with a raised eyebrow.

“You really do like to answer a question with a question don’t you Master Taal?” asked Master Aithis.

“Indeed, it has been my experience, students that come to revelations, or answers themselves learns them better. And, I indeed will be choosing some Padawans. If the idea that I have presently works then we might have the answer to our training issues. I go to get my Students now. All 7 of them.”

There was a sense of startlement from the other two masters. “7?”
Master Taal smiled at the other two Masters. “Indeed” And with that he stepped up on to the rail and lept down into the students practicing.

It was a good thing that the exercise that they students had been learning was how to sense with the Force and how to use that process in different situations. As Master Taal descended from the balcony, they scattered out of his way. They all have good reflexes at least. He thought.

And as he came up to standing he was surprised at the automatic formation that all of the students had fallen into. Those with more combat oriented skills moved to the front, be they more or less skilled, the older students defending the younger ones, while those students that were better with support skills moved behind, with again the older ones in front of the younger ones. ‘Impressive, Padawans” He said. “Look around you”. The students did, some realizing what had happened, started, and then drew up proudly in front of the him. “What can you tell me about this formation that you have all fallen into?” He asked pointing at a student, that had not realized what had happened. That student, looked around again, and thought hard for a second. A light came to the student’s eyes when he turned back to Mater Taal.

“Master, those in Guardian, and Weapons training automatically moved both to encircle the threat, and protect the others, while those in training for Healing, Investigation, and other support roles moved into positions to support improve and advise those in front. Older students sought to protect the younger ones.”

“Excellent!! That is exactly right. It also showed that you all trusted your training and instinct to let the Force guide your actions. There is one more question that I have for you all. What does this entire group have in common? Anyone can answer this question when they think that they have the answer.”? Master Taal started to walk among them. “Better yet, we will use this opportunity to mediate on the Force for this answer. Position yourselves comfortably on the gound.”

“Now let your mind go. Free your thoughts. This is not thinking of nothing, not a Zen tradition. Keep the question in the back of your mind and let the rest wander. The Force will guide your thoughts to the answer. When you think that you have it, open your eyes, get up and join me.” Holding up a finger, Master Taal continued, “Do this without disturbing the others.”

He went to the end of the new training hall, and sat down. He could still feel the eyes of the other Masters on him from the balcony, waiting to see what would happen.
Time passed, and first one then more stood up until seven students, sat beside Master Taal.

“Students,” he said “do not feel this exercise as a failure on your part, for it is not, but see it as an example in the will of the Force. Know that the Masters above, and the Knights will take you as personal Padawans when your time comes, be patient. I know that this can be difficult, I more than most know this. I know that the Force guides us and I know it will guide all of you to the Masters that you need, and for the excellent Jedi that you will become.

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Counter Strike?

It had been four days in the ICU, Dean’s fever had broken two days ago, yesterday his strength began to return, and today he was driving her crazy. Billy rolled her eyes as she watched in boredom as Mal and Dean continued to play the ridicules video game that Sam had somehow drudged up for them. Billy sat in the room and watched as for the sixth consecutive hour the two continued to pretend to race down hallways and shoot enemy soldiers with guns in an effort to “Free the Verse”. Billy couldn’t believe

“Don’t you to do this for a living, how could you possibly want to spend your leave shooting at people” she asked for the umpteenth time.

“Come on Billy, it’s not like that” Dean said never taking his eyes away from the screen “OHHHHHHH!” the two cried in tandem as they ‘died’ yet again

“Gorum, Wushu, piece of shi-sho mein! That was a Core T-2-31 Pineapple grenade, no way it has a blast zone like that” Mal cursed

“Shit,” Dean added “them purple bellies are lucky if the damn things work at all” the two high fived each other. “Another round?” Dean asked

“You know it” Mal said as he popped up to reset the game. Billy stomped her feet in frustration before yelling

“Really? You two are really just gonna sit in here all day and play games! Couple of children!” the two shared a look that Billy was pretty sure meant ‘Dean go deal with your crazy wife, I’ll wait” it made her madder. Dean stiffly got out of his bed and walked over to her

“Come on baby, you know it’s not like that, whadda ya want from me? I’m stuck here fer another two days ‘fore I’m ‘lowed out, and Mal can’t go ‘til the whole him Nat thing is sorted, we might well while some time don’t ya think?” he gave her his most irresistible puppy in the hospital look, it worked despite herself.

“Fine, but I’m not going to sit here and watch you two idiots all day, I’ve got better things to do” with that he bent down pecked her on the cheek, with a quick

“Love ya” and was working his way back to his stupid controller. Her face turned red again as she grabbed her purse and turned to leave she was just opening the door when Mal called out

“Hey Billy?”

“Yes?”

“Ya think you could grab us a few Flyboys while yer out? Sure mean a lot to us poor laid up loveable solider types” she turned to shoot him a glare, but there is was again, two hospital puppy looks… arg! She was definitely losing her touch

“Fine” the door closed loudly behind her, she doubted they could hear it over their dumb game.

Billy walked twenty feet down the hall back through post op, here she found Natalia lying in the bed board
“Shouldn’t you be in the room with Mal?” Belinda asked

“He said I could come back? That’s great, they kicked me out cause apparently I kept talking through all the important parts of the game” Belinda knew that Mal and Dean had felt cooped up lately, and that they probably could use the time to themselves, but she was also annoyed at being ignored

“Natalia, of course they want you back in there, ask Mal to tell you all about his game, he said he missed your company” Billy watched with an evil grin as the girl jumped up and raced down the hallway, ‘that will teach them’ she thought to herself as she left the hospital wing and continued on with her day.

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