Born on Alderaan 1000 years before the rise of the Empire, the young Caine Orikan had a peaceful childhood - the Republic, though in decline due to constant harrowing attacks by the Sith. Caine's parents were merchants, not overly successful but not destitute, and provided well for Caine as he grew up on the peaceful world of Alderaan. Despite many arguments that his parents had in regards to his father's wishes to volunteer for the Republic's military, the battle of Korriban in 1006 was the breaking moment and he left with a tearful goodbye. The thirteen year old Caine came to understood his father's loyalty to the Republic and swore to himself that tearful day that he'd - one day when he was old enough - to follow the same admirable path. Caine excelled in the studies of math and science, though, and was torn as he reached the age of eighteen of which path to follow, instead of joining the military straight off he went to assist in a path that would lead his talents towards the efforts of designing a new ship, one that would be able to (when complete) assist the military by acting as a heavy troop and supply carrier by modifications to the engines and power supplies. These revolutions of technology included vast increases in speed - both subspace and hyperspace - as well as much stronger shields and exponential increases in firepower. After two more years of a few successes and many failures the drive was perfected enough to mount on a small craft, which would be brought to bare in an attempt to assist the tide turning during the many months of the battle of Ruusan. The mission planners had huge hopes for Caine's mission, as a testament to how strong the vessel was. As for why Caine volunteered for such a dangerous mission, the answer was simple in his mind: it's where his father was. The theoretic baselines had been tested over and over again in various practical tests, showing that the technologies were sound, but, perhaps not quite as solid at the levels required to actually turn the tide in the form of a single ship - but the funds for the project were nearly dried up and if successful then all worries would be set aside and victory forthcoming - victory which meant the potential for incredible peace that had been denied, in its full glory, from the people of the Republic.

The Virgin LaunchEdit

Caine walked toward the craft which would take him to the stars, and beyond to the battle and his father. His gait was quick, nigh military in the cadence of his step, and the look on his face showed pure determination coming out of his brown eyes. His hair was neatly cropped, and the flight suit shined in the light of the walkway to emphasize the apparent crispness in his demeanor. The focus was derived by the chance to make up a promise he made with himself long ago - when his father had first left to help the Republic and the Jedi against the most recent of the Sith's incursion. Caine was caught deep in thought to that effect as Rek Keler, his best friend and best researcher, came running up behind him with a datapad in his hands. He sighed deeply barely looking up, and stopping as he recognized his friend from /feeling/ than anything else, and it was a feeling tainted by an air of fear. Gathering a breath he calmly asked, "What's up, Rek?" Rek's nervousness was coming out of him in veritable waves, betraying that the news was worse than Caine had thought initially. "Well... I don't know how to say it... but... it's worse than I thought.... the dissonance that might build up in the energy-well of the hyperdrive might just critically phase-shift the ship and... and... anything that's in it - you namely..." The result of such implicit to have dramatic, and probably terminal consequences. "We've gone over this, " Caine's annoyance at this distraction almost palpable in the air, "those numbers show a small phase-shift, probably leading in nothing more than a mild disorientation, nothing catastrophic as you seem to believe." "I'm just concerned for my friend, I don't want to see you die out there." The fear welling up, and the tears welling up in the eyes of his slightly shorter friend. "I can handle myself, and, remember, " Caine's voice strong, in an attempt to be reassuring, "we have protocols in place in case of necessary emergency recovery." He resumed his march back to the portal to his fate, and possibly the fate of the Galaxy. Rek simply placed his head down, in respect and remorse, knowing that this might be the last time he saw his friend alive or dead.

Caine shook his head as he strapped himself in, and did the pre-flight checks - the ship he was to pilot was streamlined and sleek looking like a bird of prey in all its majesty. All of the blood, sweat and tears that had gone into the design and finally construction phase put a grim smile on his face. "ExCom, this is Power Flight One, I'm green and good to go for initial flight tests." These moments, he reminded himself, is what made a person great, though he could feel a bit of fear, at his friend's inability to understand the situation and at the possibility that Rek might find one way or another to get /someone/ to call it off, the smile of grim determination held to his face. After a few moments of tense silence ExCom, short for Exercise Command, replied, "Power Flight One, this is ExCom you are green to go. Transmitting flight vector now." And so the information arrived, as it Caine quickly flipped a few switches and the ship lifted up gingerly on it's repulsor coils. Up and out of the atmosphere the ship flew smoothly, the aerodynamic frame slipping easily from the gravitational pull of Alderaan. He turned back to his comm unit, "ExCom, ships holding steady, preparing outbound flight maneuvers, wish me luck that no phase-anomalies catch me unawares." "Kill some Sith for us out there." Caine chuckled, "I will." "May the Force be with you. This is ExCom out."

He smiled, "And here we go..." more flips of switches and the sky before him swiftly, too swiftly by his normal accounts of hyperspace travel, became the streaks of stars speeding past. He lolled his head back for a moment, when the ship began to rock and bounce as though he was being struck by micro-meteors at a high rate of speed, klaxons blaring there was a long studying of incoming data. Caine frowned deeply talking to himself, "Kriffing Sithspawn, relativistic shields down... and, what's that!?" he glared at another portion of the readout, "And I can't drop out of hyperspace until I get to the route," the ship leveled out as though almost to agree with him. "Which means, by the time I get there..." another look at the readouts made Caine sigh heavily, "where I sit a few days are going to pass by, for the rest of the galaxy it could be years, decades, centuries or even millenia. Great."

A few days later, waking him from his sleep in the cramped quarters, alarms were sounding around the cockpit. He would have started up and bumped his head if he wasn't buckled in at the time, "Now what!?" The hyperspace corridor broke open and before him, taking the entire view of his cockpit in the reflected light of the world before him, "Kriff, it must be Ruusan..." the blast shields came up to protect his eyes from the fire of the heat flaring around the fast-moving sleek lined ship. Looking at the consoles he sighed, "Need to reduce speed NOW..." Caine could barely even hear himself over the rumbling of the ship against the friction of the planets atmosphere, "Come on.. come on!" his frustration flared as the ship continued to burn under its increasing velocity, the cockpit heated up so that Caine began to sweat - from both the heat and the overwhelming pressures both within and without of the place that might just become his tomb. He flipped a few more switches, which brought the nose of the craft up, still red hot from the descent, and suddenly the ground came up. The ship skidded across the surface of the planet like a stone skips against water, buffeting but not knocking the soon to be sore Caine. He groaned, and slumped in his chair, awake and barely aware but sending out pulses of pain.

[More to Come]