Dracken walked down the corridor leading to the officer’s mess, hands clasped behind his back and a scowl etched across his face. His boots clicked on the durasteel, echoing down the near-empty, well-lit hallway. He was flanked by two marines. They wore the common armor style of the 222nd but their accents were painted blue rather than the standard orange used by most ground troops. They were naval security, working to defend their starships from boarding action or infiltrators. A Corellian Halcyon commando trailed silently behind them as well. Since Senator Kiyoshi’s assassination attempts, the Corellian government had insisted that persons of import from Corellia have one nearby at all times. It was odd having the hulking super soldier always shadowing him, towering over the standard rank and file of the GA’s marines. They always made him nervous. These were deadly killing machines meant to be dropped behind enemy lines in pairs or small squads to decimate enemy fortifications and take out key military personnel and he had one as a guard dog? He was surprised they hadn’t all snapped on him yet.

The door hissed open, the smell of military caf and fancy officer rations danced on his nose. He never understood why they gave officers better food but gave everyone the same crappy caf. He’d had better caf as an indentured Sith soldier back during the One Sith days. He heard one of the officers expanding on that line of thought as he and his entourage walked in.

“You’d think with the credits they put into these dreadnoughts that they’d have the decency to get us some nice caf. Spiran or something...Even that Panathan Caf.”

“You’d drink that Sith Spit? I bet they roast the beans in the same place they cremate prisoners.”

“True,” said the first officer before taking a sip of the caf in his mug and grimacing. Pryce eyed them as he poured his own mug and placed it on his tray. He looked to the two guards and the Haclyon and nodded his head to the food line.

“You might as well get something to eat while we’re here too. There won’t be an attack at this hour.” Pryce suggested to the two marines. The two marines shrugged by the Halcyon simply shifted his position and walked to a corner of the room to observe. Pryce cocked his head curiously then grabbed a piece of flatbread and looked at the menu. The protocol droid behind the counter tilted its head and flashed its eyes.

“Today we are serving a Corellian-themed meal sir, something you yourself might enjoy.” It whired as its arms moved to indicate the highlighted meal. Mounder potato rice and nerf sausage? Pryce grimaced having flashbacks to his time as a crewman eating any ration with meat in it. He was never sure if it was real or some synthetic concoction. To be fair though, the Officer’s meals hadn’t steered him wrong yet. He relented and pressed the pad for the Corellian themed meal.

A few minutes later with a full stomach and caf in his system, he made his way to the bridge. All around him he could see the endless black of space with the green marble of Felucia just off to their right. The fleet was moving again and refueling, the massive maintenance ships floating connected to the main attack vessels of this battlegroup via long spindly arms. Smaller Corellian light tankers were fueling the support ships and gunships on patrol. It wasn’t the same, watching all of this through massive floor to ceiling monitors. It was an amazing simulation and hundreds of times safer, but he preferred the old-style bridge when the only thing that separated you from the vacuum was a set of blast doors and armored transparisteel. The guards took up positions on either side of the main lift door that they’d just exited, leaving Pryce, finally, to walk alone through the massive command center.

“Commander on deck!” Most of the officers stood and saluted. He didn’t fault the few that didn’t. They were likely hard at work coordinating their teams for the upcoming assault. His second in command nodded and stepped out of the command chair but Pryce walked right past the chair and went into the crew pits.

It had been a long month fighting over this planet. He hadn’t expected to have been here in person for the entire assault but he had been, with only short stints away from the fleet to take care of other tasks back in the core, though Annaxes was as far as he had been willing to go. He placed a hand on the shoulder of one of his coms officers.

“Any movements from the Sith?” he asked. The coms officer shook his head.

“No sir, it's been quiet so far. They know we’re here on this side of the planet though. I don’t know why they haven’t moved on us yet.” Pryce shrugged.

“It's early. Even Sith need sleep.” Operation Deluge. Tomorrow they WOULD take the system. The Galaxy seemed to forget that GA ships dropped troops on Dubrillion and Bastion, that they were some of the first vessels to strike out at Muunilinst and their soldiers stayed back to fight off remnant forces as the New Imperial Order moved further up the Braxant Run. How the Galaxy had forgotten that the GA and Sith were ALSO at war had escaped him. Politicians and news pundits seemed to focus on the “familial drama” of a civil war, forgetting the Alliance lives and vessels lost in the conflicts.

They would remember. The Galactic Alliance would challenge the injustice and darkness no matter where it was. No matter who it was. Though they weren’t bringing freedom or any such ideals to this backwater planet, with its single city that was more aptly called a town, their victory here would ensure continued success along the Perlimian. He wondered if then the Galaxy would start treating them with the respect they deserved.