Friday, 1 July 2011

175: Q is for Quietus

CAUTION: Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.

The A-to-Z of the GFFA.

Admiral Kendal Ozzel, Grand Theft Auto style. I did that, me.

'As clumsy as I am stupid'.
That's what he said, I'm not kidding.

A 6'7" cyborg calling me clumsy. I heard about the first time he wore that suit. He was staggering about like a stunned wampa, apparently. He got the hang of it pretty quickly, admittedly, but his brain didn't seem to catch up. He's still just a massive battle droid with the brain of an oafish infant. Normally I'd be hesitant to even think such a thing, but I don't suppose it matters now.
I'd be lying if I said this didn't hurt.

Do you have any idea - any idea? - how many technician hours we lose every month due to false alarms? If the whole system wasn't so results driven, it wouldn't matter, but all the brass are interested in is hits. You can spend days analysing heat signatures and electromagnetic waves from an apparently uninhabited planet, and when it turns out to be a dead end? No thanks. No thanks at all. There was a small rock in the Raxus system last month, no atmosphere, no gravity, circling in a very loose orbit around Raxus Prime. A higher-than-normal metal content, but the galaxy's full of junk (especially Raxus). "Com-Scan has detected a faint energy signature," they said. "Your team has been tasked to provide full report on the situation." Oh great. Comscan gets a whiff of something, but can't tell what it is or provide any analysis. Like an Akk-dog that picks up a scent, but can't tell you if it's the prey you're after, or just something that might be lunch.

Of course I see the value in having people perform the investigation. I know that the best machines will never be able to out-think even an average fugitive. After 16 standard hours of probing and measuring, it turned out there was a small base buried in the asteroid. Well, I say 'base', it was more of a storage facility. The landing bay had been sealed long ago, and thanks to collisions from smaller asteroids,had atrophied to look indistinguishable from the rest of the surface. Myself and three commandos from the 501st managed to hack open an emergency exit on the other side of the rock. When we finally made it in (two hours of cutting in hard vacuum), the passage was so decayed that a chunk of loose debris broke the seal on Sergeant Bax's suit. I had to write the letter to his family. I hardly knew the man, but after working with him that day, I knew that we lost a loyal, intelligent soldier so that we could investigate an abandoned warehouse, to appease an overgrown bully in a cape.

I think he heard that, it just got tighter.

After all of that work, once we were inside it took a little under fifteen minutes to ascertain that there was no threat, no leads, not even any life support. Judging by the level of tech, the facility seemed to have been abandoned around the time of the clone wars. 'The signal' that Com-Scan so astutely picked up, was an astromech droid that had been left on charge. It wasn't 'on', just on charge. Its memory had been wiped, it didn't even have an operating system. Just a relic, un-needed equipment, left behind for someone else to take care of. We made sure there was nothing of any value in the facility (there wasn't), then returned to The Executor with Bax's body. After submitting three separate reports (two of those in triplicate), I pulled some strings to let the 501st go down to the gunner bays and have some target practice on the rock. I hope that Bax was watching.

Fast forward a month, and Vader's on the same record again. A planet in the Hoth system's got a facility that's generating an energy shield, and because the Empire's outdated records show nothing for that planet, Vader's got it in his bonnet that this is where the Rebellion is hiding. A fairly sizable political/terrorist movement, operating out of a refrigerated warehouse. Well, fine, let's look into it. After all, I must obey "my Lord". Even though, I might add, that he has no military ranking whatsoever. He's essentially Palpatine's lapdog. And although The Emperor grows ever more eccentric, having this lout lead an operation to hunt down our enemies is akin to letting a child perform delicate surgery with a hammer.

I just heard bones crack. Odd. Didn't feel them, just heard the noise reverberating from my mouth.

Yes, I ordered the fleet to drop out of hyperspace close to the planet. I don't have time to waste sneaking up on an empty base, just to illustrate the point that this obsession of his has gotten out of hand. What I do have, is enough AT-AT Walkers to destroy that shed and anyone foolish enough to still be in it by the time we get there. I get the feeling I won't be leading that assault, though. I wonder who he'll get do do it? Probably Veers. I have a lot of time for Veers, I like his style. Ambitious, but he has the history to back that up.

Black spots in my vision. So he's taking it all the way. Although he usually does, I've seen it enough. This is humiliating for everybody.

So I suppose this is it. He's talking, I can tell by the way his helmet's moving, but I can't hear what he's saying. I can't hear anything over the roaring of the blood in my ears. And that face. I can just make out the highlights of the mask in all the other blackness. Not the last thing I wanted to see, but this was bound to happen. Oh well, it's all someone else's problem now.

Just a relic. Un-needed equipment. Left behind for someone else to take care of.

...Did I leave my mouse-droid on charge? Oh don't be flippant, Kendal, that's what got you into this mess.

This post is dedicated to the late, great Michael Sheard. You can read more about him here.
Admiral Ozzel's twitter stream can be found at @AdmiralOzzel. On the whole, it's a lot more lighthearted than this blog entry.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.

• Photos and videos appearing in this blog post are for informational and reference purposes only, and no ownership of copyright is claimed or implied by me. The intellectual and physical copyright of such material belongs to its creators and owners.

• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organizations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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