Tales of the Iron Horse

Changing of the Guard

New efforts for a New Year

35:10:35 GrS

“On this, the Eve of a new Galactic Year, we must reflect on the past year, not dwelling on our defeats, but building on our victories…”

Senior Advisor Setenna Hase speaks from the platform, loudly, without the aid of a holoprojector. The troops of Resolute Base are formed on what is charitably called the parade ground. The uniforms are as well-kempt as can be managed in the aftermath of the Arda assault. Following the rescue of Hase, the spirits of the base have been much higher, and all seem to be ready to go into the New Year with redoubled effort.

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Iron Squadron is the smallest element on the field, but placed prominently at the front. Its five members stand stoically at rest; Private Balta shuffles awkwardly, having played no part in the group’s heroism, only been assigned days after their successful return from Ord Radama.

“This was not the year that the Empire routed the Rebels at Arda I,” continues Hase. “This was the year the Rebel Alliance destroyed the Death Star!” She pauses to let the crowd’s cheers subside._ “…and showed the Empire that their iron grip does not reach as far as they might think. Yes, we have suffered some setbacks. And we have lost many. But now is the time to move forward. It is in that spirit that I execute my given orders. Commander Qurno,”_ the Duros officer stands and approaches her on the platform, offering a salute.

After returning it, Advisor Hase produces a datapad and reads aloud from it,

" Danel Qurno , by the order of Mon Mothma, Commander-in-Chief of the Alliance to Restore Republic, I confer on you the rank of General, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto." She lowers the datapad to pin new insignia to Qurno’s uniform. “I therefore now appoint you Senior Military Commander of Resolute Base, and all Alliance units in the Jaga’s Cluster. Please assume command effective immediately.”

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Qurno shakes Hase’s hand and bows his head briefly before turning to address the formation.

“I know that most of you have served a long time under General Niall. Many of you have never served under anyone else. Some of you even defected from the Empire with him. Your dedication—and his—to our cause will never be taken for granted. I cannot replace him. I will not try. But I can remember him. He was my mentor, and one of the finest leaders we will ever see. I will endeavor to lead you in a way that he would approve.”

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“But as Advisor Hase has said, now is a time for moving forward. Let us go into this New Year with renewed determination. Let us capitalize on our victories over the Empire, and continue to show them that our resolve will not wane. That no matter their atrocities, they will be answered.

“Had things gone differently, this might be a much darker day. Were it not for the efforts of a small group of heroes, our esteemed Advisor might be at this very moment in Imperial hands, tortured. Were it not for their efforts on Arda, we may not have ever escaped. I know that many of you may have been suspicious of their motivations and loyalties. But let their past be a testament to the fact that the Empire’s reach affects all walks of life. Let it show that it is the right of all sentient creatures to oppose tyranny. We must be united in our cause against the Empire, and the heroes of Iron Squadron have shown their devotion to that cause. Join me, then, in welcoming them to Resolute Base, and to the Rebel Alliance.”

Applause rings from the formation, around and behind Iron Squadron. Qurno offers something of a smile to the small unit.

“We have much work to do. But let tonight be a night of celebration. And tomorrow, let the New Year begin. And let each day of that year be one less day of tyranny! Dismissed!”

The formation’s heels click together and the troops begin to disperse, celebrations beginning and lasting long into the night.

36:1:1 GrS

Private Balta escorts Iron Squadron down a series of corridors in one of the smaller buildings, through what appears to be a maintenance building. He arrives at a door on which is a hastily made sign reading “Iron Squadron”. He opens it tentatively. “This is your—I mean..our—ah…ready room..” The door slides open to reveal a smallish room that may have once been storage, now made into quarters. It is poorly lit and sparely furnished. There are a two bunk beds against two of the walls, with trunks at each. Two desks line the other walls and a table sits in the middle of the room. An adjoining door bears the words “F/Sgt Rindo”.

“That’ll be you, sarge. I mean, you’re all sarge. But I meant you. Er, that is to say, Sergeant Rindo.” The private coughs and tries to recompose himself. “You..that is to say, we, er, Iron Squadron now report directly to Commander Qurno. General. I mean General Qurno. Sir. Sergeant.” He coughs again. “I’ll start unpacking my things.”

Rindo’s room appears to have been a closet. It contains a single bed, trunk, and small desk. The only lighting appears to be the desk lamp.

After some time settling in, the group is paid a visit by General Qurno. When realizing he’s in the room, Balta snaps to attention and begins babbling apologies. Qurno sends him back to his tasks.

“Your talents have already proven their usefulness to us. We hope to put them to greater use going forward. Unfortunately there is little we can do to deploy you at the moment. The base, and even the Rebellion, have very limited resources..”

“General,” one of the members chime in. “we may be able to help you there. Have you ever heard of the Jewel of Yavin….”

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