STAR WARS: The FREEDOM Adventures Episode Thirteen
DESRIPTION: As we speed towards the conclusion, we join up with the events of "A New Hope," including a certain new Imperial battlestation ...
NOTICE: Star Wars is Copyright Lucasfilm. This story is not for sale or profit by anyone, including me. Also, portions of scenes from "Star Wars" are used in this story. They were written by George Lucas, and no infringement is intended.
Space just outside the Coruscant system shifted, and abruptly the Imperial Center had a new moon. Rather small as stellar bodies go, it was steel-gray in color, with what looked like a huge crater spreading out in a disc on either side of its equator. Moving under its own power, it approached the Coruscant system closer, moving past the larger but less ominous-looking moons, until it stopped in a geosynchronous orbit over the Imperial City.
After a moment, a pair of Star Destroyers, DEVASTATOR and AVENGER, moved in towards the giant sphere. As their TIE escort ships were to the Star Destroyers, so were the Destroyers to the moon. Tiny, almost insignificant insects, built well but on an entirely different scale.
A shuttle launched from the DEVASTATOR, spread its wings, and with a roar of ion engines streaked towards the moon. Four starfighters broke off from the DEVASTATOR's TIE escort, taking up guard positions around the shuttle.
The shuttle flew straight to the surface of the moon, and then inside it.
For this was the only moon in the galaxy with a built-in docking bay.
A black-cloaked figure descended from the shuttle's ramp, to be met by an almost skeletal older man in the green uniform of an Imperial Grand Moff. Behind the moff were two younger men in similar uniforms, one looking dour, the other smug.
"Lord Vader," said the man, "Your presence at the first flight of this great battlestation is truly--"
"You may recall, Moff Tarkin, that I dislike wasting time with words. Is the Death Star operational?"
Tarkin beamed with pride. "It is, Lord Vader, and precisely on schedule."
"So it is. The Emperor is pleased."
"He should be," said the smug-looking officer, General Tagge, "This battlestation will crush the Rebellion for him."
Vader skewered the other man through his biosupport mask. "Your overconfidence is remarkable, General. The Rebellion will be crushed by the power of the Dark Side, not by mere weapons of destruction."
Tagge's sneer showed exactly what he thought of the "power of the Dark Side," but Tarkin cut him off before he could reply, and likely get himself killed.
"Perhaps we should show Lord Vader some of the more impressive features of the Emperor's new weapon, and allow him to judge."
The young general smiled for the first time. "It will be a pleasure."
"I will tour the Death Star, but time is limited," said Vader, "Princess Leia of Alderaan is leaving on another of her diplomatic missions."
"What is it this time?" asked Admiral Motti, the other officer, "Food? Medical supplies? What excuse is the Angel of Alderaan using to cover her treason this week?"
"Medical supplies to a world in rebellion," said Vader, "I intend to be there to greet her upon arrival. The Rebels have continued unchecked for too long. This time, the Empire will crush the Organas and their allies once and for all."
"Dren Antilles, you old Corellian spacedog!" Captain Mykel Garreth of the Rebel frigate FREEDOM signalled to the younger man across the hall of Yavin IV. Antilles smiled and started over. He, like Garreth, was decked out in the closest thing the Alliance had to a dress uniform. Unlike Garreth, he looked distinctly uncomfortable in it.
"Myke!" said Antilles, shaking the shorter man's hand, "I heard you'd defected from the Empire. I kept meaning to get together with you, but..."
"I know," said Garreth, understanding all too well. "Schedules."
Suddenly Antilles burst out laughing.
"What's so funny?"
"Your hair!" said Antilles, like himself a former Imperial officer. He was also a former student. "I've never seen you out of the crewcut. Back at the Academy, you would've had the ears of any cadet who showed up with hair like that!"
Garreth ran a hand through dark hair that was just starting to grey. It was thinning in front, but about twice as long in back as the Empire would have allowed.
"One of the perks of Alliance membership," he said, "Is a better barber. You know it'll be a year two weeks from tomorrow?"
"No!" said Antilles, genuinely surprised. "You've been with the Alliance that long?"
"What about you?" said Garreth, "Last I heard you were assigned to... the Alderaanian consulate?"
"Oh, but that's changed now," said Antilles, "I'm back in space! In charge of the TANTIVE IV, the personal flagship of Her High and Mighty Worshipfulness, Princess Leia Organa."
"My, you are moving up in life, aren't you?"
"Yes," said the other man, "In fact, I can't stay for this briefing. We're en route to Ralltiir, bringing supplies to the troops. Just making a quick pickup here."
"We?" said Garreth, "Leia's here? Why, I haven't seen her since she was..." He made a hand gesture at about the level of his knees, though that was a bit of exaggeration.
"Why not say hello? There's time for that, if it's quick."
Garreth hissed softly. Bail Organa was an old friend, and he'd have loved to see if his daughter had grown into as impressive a leader as the grapevine said. Certainly it would be more pleasant than suffering away in the Great Temple, with this blasted jungle humidity. But...
"Can't," he said, "Briefing..."
"Right. I suppose the peasants have to suffer through this kind of thing," said Antilles good naturedly. "Well, I guess I'm through slumming with the little people. Listen, Myke, next time I'm in port, I'll buy you a drink."
"And I'll buy you one," said Garreth, and patted him on the back. On the raised podium in the center of the Great Temple, the Rebel leadership was assembling, and the murmur of voices died down as the briefing geared up to start.
"Oh, and if you get a chance," said Antilles on the way out, "Say hello to my young cousin, Wedge. He's with Red Group, attached to this base. Fine pilot, that one. I've told him a lot about you."
"If I get the chance," Garreth promised, "I'll drop in on him."
On the podium, an aged Rebel general named Jan Dodonna, one of the few high-ranking officers in either fleet that Garreth had never met, spoke through a voice amplifier.
"Welcome to our new base on Yavin Four. Within a few days, you will all be receiving assignments. Many of you will be assigned to protect this base, or fight the Empire in other sectors. But a large percentage of your efforts will be directed towards locating the plans for the Empire's new weapon. We have attempted in the past to learn more about it, but our efforts have been continually thwarted. This project is under top Imperial secrecy. Or was, until yesterday."
Dodonna gestured, and a hologram of what looked like a small, gray moon appeared. The place where the new weapon was being held?
"This was taken by our agents, just off Coruscant."
"Corsucant doesn't have a moon like that," said Garreth.
"Indeed it does not, Captain Garreth. We believe that this - fully the size of a small moon - IS the Empire's new weapon."
"That's IMPOSSIBLE!" said someone, "You can't build anything that big!"
"The Empire has," Dodonna repeated. "I must remind you, we still do not know for certain exactly what it is. But I'm sure you'll all agree with me when I say that Command has a very bad feeling about it."
There were general murmurs of assent as the room's assembled personnel studied the hologram. Garreth couldn't take his eyes off it.
A weapon? The size of a MOON?
Evverd kept his eyes on the nebula, the shimmering mass of star particles that put off enough interference to hide a freighter.
Or a starfighter.
"Where are you, kid?" he said aloud, "Bo, try and boost the scanners."
R2-B0 bleeped an affirmative, and in a moment the scanners of Evverd's fighter were running at 150 percent of normal efficiency. They still detected nothing.
"I know he went in there," Evverd said, "There's no place else he could be. Unless..."
Evverd throttled up his X-Wing and turned it towards the asteroid field several clicks out. "He's not that crazy... is he?"
Bo tweedled an assessment of humanoids in general that annoyed Evverd, but that the Corellian pilot could not really disagree with.
"All right, then, let's play..."
As the snubfighter accelerated, Bo squawked. His binary language came up on Evverd's screen: The droid wished to remind him that they'd lost three fighters this year already.
"Don't worry," said Evverd, "I know what I'm doing."
The X-Wing hit the edge of the stellar debris field, and Evverd heard the plinking of tiny rocks against his hull.
This isn't so bad, said Bo on the computer screen. If we remain on the edge of the debris field, the odds of serious collision are only...
Evverd grinned, and punched the accelerator. The rocks became bigger, one of them streaking past his topside hull about a centimeter away from taking Bo's domed head off his socket.
The droid screamed.
Evverd laughed. "Don't worry, pal. He can't be too far in..."
His eye caught on a very large asteroid about half a click distant, one the size of a big island.
"There," said Evverd, "That's the place for an attack."
The X-Wing soared towards the large asteroid, all the while flipping and banking to avoid smaller, but no less lethal, rocks.
He was almost there when a new contact dropped onto his scopes from behind. Evverd cursed as his aft shields registered four quick hits.
Evverd rolled straight towards an oncoming asteroid, forcing the other fighter to back off. Then he dove in towards the large asteroid.
"Nice trick, huh, Mav Leader?" said a young voice, Alderaanian-accented, over the comm.
"Don't get cocky, kid," said Evverd, and blasted down into an uneven trench cut into the rock by some unknown cosmic phenomena. The trench was deep, but only barely wide enough to admit an X-Wing. In the places where it crept outwards, it wasn't even that wide, and Evverd had to flip the fighter to get through.
"What are you DOING?" The voice was suddenly alarmed. "You can't run that trench, it's too narrow!"
Evverd laughed. "Ever been to Tattooine, kid? The locals race is a place called Beggar's Canyon that makes this look like a well-travelled starlane."
The other pilot, Jev Parrak, said, "I'm sure not following you in there!"
"That's the idea," said Evverd, and gunned the engine harder.
The Corellian glanced down at his screen to read Bo's take on all this.
"I've never seen such language from a droid," said Evverd, "You must be hangin' around me too much."
Bo heartily agreed with that statement.
"You'd better come out and fight!" said Jev.
"Or what?" Evverd loved it when his opponents made unenforcable threats.
"Or... or I will come in after you!"
"Go ahead," said Evverd. A few months ago, when Jev had been a talented but hopelessly raw pilot new to an X-Wing, that threat would have been effective. But the kid had matured as a pilot since then. Evverd no longer felt compelled to shepherd him through every little procedure. Jev was as good a flier as anyone in the squadron except Evverd himself, and the Corellian felt no fear at letting him run the trench.
"Just be sure," he added, "You know what you're getting into."
Jev's X-Wing started to bank, but the comm crackled with static before he could begin the run.
"What do you two lunatics think you're doing?"
"Wargames, Kerri," said the squadron leader, "Vital to a well-prepared military force."
"Dogfighting in an asteroid field? We come to pick you up and you're just gone? You've given everyone on this bridge a heart attack."
Jev deadpanned, "Aw, Mom..."
"What am I gonna do, Kerri? Kid's too good for the computerized piltos in the simulator. Gotta practice somehow."
"You mean it?" said Jev in that little-kid voice he had. Evverd tended to be sparse with praise. "I'm too good for the..."
"Just get back here now," said Kerri.
"We're really fine, you know," said Evverd. Just then, a smaller asteroid plowed into the trench in front o fhim, setting off a landslide that showed his cockpit and droid with a hail of lethal rocks.
Evverd just barely shot under it, and not without a few dents.
"On second thought," he sighed, "We'll be right there."
"That was just stupid!" said Kerri, meeting them in the hangar bay. "You could have been killed, you could have gotten him killed..."
"Ease off, sweetheart," said the Corellian as he removed his flight helmet, revealing a sweaty mop of hair. "It's nothing I haven't done before. Remember that time near Kasshyyyk, when you and I outran the..."
"Rik, you are going to die one day."
Evverd shrugged. "And you're not?"
"You know what I mean!" Kerri's eyebrows knitted together. She hated it when Evverd turned a serious argument into a smart-remark contest.
"I'm fine," said Jev, coming over from his own X-Wing. "Really. I would've had him if you hadn't come along."
"I dunno about that," said Evverd, eyeing the younger man skeptically, "But you did all right. Go wash up, kid. We'll fly again in..."
"Not for a while," said Kerri, "Janzen's leaving has us shorthanded on the bridge. Effective now, Jev, you're back on helm duty until we get a replacement."
"But you heard him! I'm a great fighter pilot!"
"Good pilot," said Evverd, "I said 'good' pilot."
"And we need good pilots on the bridge," said Kerri, "Now go. Your shift starts in two hours."
"You're disciplining me because of ONE..."
Commander Kerri Lynden, first officer of the frigate FREEDOM, sighed loudly. "One thing has nothing to do with the other. It's just personnel. Now scoot."
Jev groaned. "Just like Marta Janzen to leave us short... you know, ever since she bailed I've had a funny feeling I know why she left. I can't figure it out."
"It's your imagination," said Kerri, and watched as he left the hangar.
"Did you zap the kid?" Evverd asked, referring to Kerri's ability, as a secret Jedi Knight, to alter the perceptions of others.
"It's not important," said Kerri, as they walked towards the lift. The sounds of repair all around them masked their conversation from prying ears. "As long as Janzen is gone."
Evverd frowned as the lift opened. "You don't sound sure of that."
"I'm not." Kerri looked down at her boots. "She's out there, somewhere. She knows I'm a Jedi, and somehow she's a Jedi too. She'll find me."
Evverd pointed at the jagged alien crystal Kerri wore. "Not while you have that."
The lift started on its way. "The crystal's power won't hide me forever. Janzen - and I'm pretty sure, the Emperor - knows I'm on this ship. I'm putting us all in danger. As long as I'm here, we're a target."
"We're all targets anyway," Evverd said, "How could you make Palpatine any more hellbent to destroy us than he already is? He sicked the EXECUTOR on us."
"That was coincedence," Kerri said, "They'll go after FREEDOM on purpose now, because of me. I'm..." she looked up, brown eyes worried, "I'm thinking of leaving."
"Leaving the FREEDOM? Or leaving the Alliance?"
"Both, I guess." Kerri shrugged. "Whatever my destiny demands of me."
Evverd shrugged. "Okay. When do you want to go?"
The Jedi was surprised. "You'd leave your squadron?"
"Well..." the Corellian actually seemed to be blushing, though his dark skin color made it hard to be sure, "There'll always be other ships..."
"That's sweet," said Kerri, and patted his hand, "But I don't know what will happen. You may be able to come with me, you may not. Either way, I know I'll face Janzen again."
She shuddered, only slightly. "And I'll do so alone..."
TWO WEEKS LATER
The massive Star Destroyer DEVASTATOR had swallowed up TANTIVE IV like it was a mere toy, the Death Star plans were at an unknown location, and Captain Antilles was dead, as likely as not.
But Leia kept her head high, and her voice firm, as she addressed the monster before her. "Darth Vader. Only you could be so bold. The Imperial Senate will not sit still for this. When they hear you've attacked a diplomatic..."
"Don't act so surprised, Your Highness. You weren't on any mercy mission this time. Several transmissions were beamed to this ship by rebel spies. I want to know what happened to the plans they sent you."
Leia kept her best Angry Princess look in place. "I don't know what you're talking about. I'm a member of the Imperial Senate on a diplomatic mission..."
"You are part of the Rebel Alliance, and a traitor!" Vader's mask glowered down at her for a moment, but then he gestured to his stormtroopers. "Take her away!"
The rec hall was filled with officers and crewers from nearly every species in the Rebel Alliance, from the towering Wookiee Gaaraanzii to the little Yuzzum who assisted the cooks in the galley.
Mykel Garreth blinked in confusion. "What's all this?"
"To commemorate one year's loyal service by the best damn captain in the Rebel Alliance," said Lieutenant Sedra Covell, his weapons officer. Her eyes sparkled, and she raised a glass of something in toast. "To Captain Garreth... he didn't turn out nearly as bad as we all thought."
"To the Captain," the crew echoed, and dozens of glasses clinked together.
"Corellian ale," said Rik Evverd, gesturing with a glass, "The good stuff. You can't get this anymore, thanks to the war."
"Indeed you can't," said Garreth, pouring a glass for himself, "How many regulations did you break this time?"
The Corellian gave his best who-me shrug. "I didn't do anything."
"I did," said a deeper voice from one side. Garreth turned to see Lando Calrissian, done up in his finest suit and maroon cape, lifting a glass. "To your health, Captain."
"Lando? But how...?"
"We thought, since he helped you join the Alliance, he should be here to help celebrate," Kerri explained.
"Besides," said Lando, "I needed a little something to cheer me up. You wouldn't believe what Han Solo did to me this time!"
Garreth groaned. "No, but you're going to tell me all about it anyway, aren't you?"
Lando chuckled. "A few dozen times. I tell you, this time I have had it with that old pirate... next time he shows up, I'm going to turn him over to the Empire myself."
"You don't mean that," said Garreth.
"Sure I do," said Lando, and drained his drink, "Not even for the reward. Just to see the look on his face. But, hey, this is a party... Congratulations, Myke. I always knew you'd do okay."
"Thanks to you," said Garreth, acknowledging his old friend with a nod. He cleared his throat and addressed the crew as a whole. "All of you! Even if the Alliance never wins another battle, I will be proud to have served with you. With a crew to beat any you'd find on a Star Destroyer."
He hesitated. As the room grew quiet, he continued, "But we are going to win more battles. I won't lie to you. This war has barely begun. We've lost some good friends in the past year, and we will lose more. But the Alliance is going to survive. We're going to win, no matter how long we have to fight. Not because of ships or weapons, but because of people like you. The congratulations are yours. Here's hoping that everyone in this room returns to celebrate our second anniversary."
As Garreth cut himself a piece of cake, the crew cheered. A few of his crew - Kerri and Evverd, Chief Okel and Gaaraanzii the Wookiee, and Sedra Covell - stepped forward to offer their best, and then the party started. A well-deserved break for a crew that had been on the edge for a long time.
The vacation lasted exactly five minutes.
"Captain to the bridge," said the voice of whichever poor crewer had gotten stuck minding the store.
Garreth jogged to the intercom, hurriedly swallowing a bite of cake.
Mouth still partly full, he said, "Can it wait?"
"Excuse me, sir?"
Garreth swallowed better, and repeated himself.
"No, sir. There's a priority message from the planet. Mon Mothma herself."
"I'll take it down here, Crewman."
"Aye, sir," said the other, undoubtedly pushing the proper buttons to route Garreth's message through to the rec room's holo viewer.
The image of Mon Mothma, the Chandrilan Senator who was the heart and soul of the Rebel Alliance, formed as a meter-tall projection. Her blue eyes were sad, almost haunted, and Garreth knew something was wrong.
"Am I interrupting something, Captain?"
"No, not at all, Mon Mothma." He gestured for the noise level to drop, and it obediently did so. "We were just having a small get-together."
"Ah, yes," said the woman in the holo, "Your first year with the Alliance. I'd meant to send you my regards, but the situation has been so frantic..."
Mon Mothma looked down. "Princess Leia of Alderaan has been captured by the Empire. She was carrying the secret plans to that new battlestation."
In the weeks since Garreth had arrived at Yavin, the Alliance had learned that the Imperial weapon was code-named Death Star. And they had learned what it was used for.
"The plans are lost, then?" Garreth asked.
"We must assume that they are," said Mon Mothma, "And that is not all. With the Death Star fully operational, the Emperor has used the supposed 'threat' of the Rebel Alliance to justify galactic martial law. He has disbanded the Imperial Senate. He promises that it will convene again, when matters improve..."
"...but it never will," Garreth finished for her.
"There goes the last gasp of the old Republic," said Evverd from behind him.
"There is only one course for the Alliance," said Mon Mothma, "We must attempt to infiltrate Imperial space and procure a new set of plans... before all is lost."
"Sounds like a suicide mission," said Lando Calrissian.
Mon Mothma squinted at the new arrival, then blew out a long sigh. "Likely it is."
"Anybody got a fast way off this ship?" said Lando, "If I know Garreth, he's about to..."
"I suppose we've volunteered," said the starship captain, and Lando groaned.
"I was hoping you would," said Mon Mothma, "General Dodonna is tranmitting your instructions as we speak. Everything you need will be in your main computer. Good luck, Mykel. May the Force be with you."
The hologram turned off, and behind Garreth, his crew started murmuring. He turned to them, holding up two hands to quiet them. "All right, people. This is going to be rough, and talking about it won't make it any easier. Commander Evverd, will you please see Lando to his ship? The rest of you, get to your posts. We've been given an impossible mission, and we're going to succeed. Dismissed."
The Star Destroyer AVENGER was on the receiving end of a shuttle this time, not the sending end. What was more, they had not been permitted to observe proper procedure for receiving a VIP guest. Captain Needa had simply been instructed to go to the docking bay alone, and wait for a special courier from the Emperor.
The shuttle's ramp descended. Needa was expecting to see some Moff or Grand Admiral disembark...
Instead, the shuttle's lone occupant turned out to be a young woman. The woman wore a standard shipboard jumpuit, and had cool green eyes, red-gold hair that seemed in the middle stages between having been cut short and growing long, and...
And she wore a LIGHTSABER?
"Captain Needa? I'm Mara Jade."
"You're the Emperor's envoy?" Needa said. Female officers were very rare in the Imperial fleet, and anyway this woman was barely older than Needa's teenage daughter. She couldn't possibly be serious!
"I am. I have the recognition chit," she said, and handed Needa a tiny datadot bearing the Imperial symbol. "Plug it into your computer, decrypt it. I don't really expect you to take me seriously until you've read it, but when you're done, I'll be in your office."
Jade's green eyes narrowed. "We have things to discuss, and a lot to do..."
"I have chosen to test this station's destructive power," Moff Tarkin's skeletal face stretched into a smile as he continued, "On your home planet of Alderaan."
"NO!" Leia's voice was pleading. Her eyes focused on the image of her blue-and-white home world, the only home she'd ever known. "Alderaan is peaceful, we have no weapons! You can't..."
"You would prefer another target? A military target? Then name the system." His dark eyes seemed to cut into Leia. "I have grown tired of sking this, so it'll be the last time. Where is the Rebel base?"
Leia hung her head. "Dantooine. They're on Dantooine."
Tarkin smiled at the menacing black-clad form of Darth Vader, who had followed him around like a nek. "There. You see, Lord Vader, she can be reasonable."
Leia inwardly sighed with relief. The rebel base on Dantooine was long-abandoned. Was it possible she would get out of this without bloodshed? At the least, she'd bought time for Alderaan, and for Bail Organa, her father.
Tarkin addressed Admiral Motti. "Continue with the operation. You may fire when ready."
They had been in hyperspace for a day when Kerri Lynden doubled over, hands pressed to her head, moaning.
"Is something wrong, Commander?"
"Wardroom," Kerri said through clenched teeth, "Quickly. We have to talk..."
Young, so gangly as to bony, blue eyes bright with curiosity, newly promoted Flight Lieutenant Jev Parrak eased into the wardroom as though afraid somthing in it would bite him.
Garreth's heart tore. He has no idea...
Garreth sat at the head of the table. To his sides sat Kerri and Rik Evverd. Kerri had suggested that the Corellian be present, since he was Jev's mentor and friend.
The captain nodded. "Sit down, son."
"Have I done something, Captain?"
"Not at all." Garreth had given bad news before, but this...this was beyond his experience. Beyond anyone's experience. The Emperor had finally done it, finally worked his way up to the ultimate transgression.
"I... we... have something to tell you, and I warn you it will not be easy."
Jev found a chair and leaned forward over the table, eyes wary. "What's wrong?"
"We're about to make a shipwide announcement," Kerri said, "But we thought you should know first."
Garreth thought he felt a tear in his eyes, though he was unsure exactly who he was crying for. All of us, perhaps, he thought.
"Alderaan is gone," he said, "The Empire has destroyed it."
Jev laughed. "Destroyed? That's impossible. Nobody destroys a whole planet!"
"It's true, kid," said Evverd, "That new Death Star of theirs... just blew it away."
"No." Denial seeped onto Jev's bony features, "No, that can't be. You can't seriously be telling me that my... my whole planet's just not there anymore. That's billions of lives. Nobody would... not even the Emperor..."
"It is true," Kerri said, "We dropped out of hyperspace and confirmed it less than half an hour ago."
"I... see," Jev's face was totally blank, his mind unable to even process the vastness of the news.
"Is there anything we can do, son?" Garreth asked.
"I don't guess you can alter time, can you?" Jev said, and got up from the chair. "Excuse me..."
The door slid aside, and he was gone. Evverd stood. "I'll go talk to him..."
"Rik," said Kerri Lynden, "Be sensitive."
Evverd glared at her, offended. "Of course."
He left, and Garreth turned to his first officer. "How many other Alderaanians on this ship?"
"Eight," she said, looking still a little pale herself.
Garreth nodded. "Send in the next one." It was going to be a long day, and this was just the beginning.
Mara Jade stared out the viewscreen at the planet Ryloth, a relatively sick-looking little world that was home to the Twi'lek people.
"I don't understand," said Captain Needa, "The Twi'lek have done nothing..."
"Exactly," said Jade, "Totally innocent people who will be utterly shocked and angered. If you'd felt the blast from Alderaan, you'd know what I'm talking about. We'll keep casualties to a minimum here. But its time to send out a little distress call."
Jade frowned. "If she's any kind of Jedi at all, she'll come." She turned to Needa's gunner. "Start the bombardment."
Continued in Episode 14
R. John Burke