As part of INN’s ongoing evolution, we’re taking a deeper look at Star Citizen Organizations, one of the most important, emergent structures within the community. For our next Organization Spotlight, I’m very pleased to introduce our readers to the Republic of Lorell.
The Republic of Lorell is presently a small, but growing, dedicated role-playing organization, punching way above their weight with content creation, structure, and planning. The net effect of all the work they’ve put into their foundation has been to attract a great group of friendly, creative members of the Star Citizen Community who get together daily to hang out in chat and have regular, weekly events.
The thing I like most about being part of the Republic of Lorell is Captain Mac Guiviere’s morning greeting. He does it every day, makes you feel as though you’re part of something, and you’re waking up from your bunk to come down to the mess hall. -LT Ethrillarr Khrome, C.O 2nd Sq
Upon initial introduction, a cadre of Lorelli officers welcomed me into their discord channel and answered my questions in-character. Next, they presented me with a series of well-written documents describing their history and structure, created by senior officers Admiral Wesley Tavik and Rear Admiral Galadriel Pope. The information contained in these papers is so compelling that it inspired me to create the following, in-fiction, organization spotlight.
Republic of Lorell Archives: March 23rd, 2612
The following events unfolded on Black Monday, a key date in the history of the Republic of Lorell.
That day, two hundred kilometers above the surface of Lorell, a pair of battered, dark-gray Aegis Comets with maroon highlights and a faded gold star on each wing circled each other in a fierce, but inelegant, mock battle. Barely visible streams of focused, red light flickered from the range finders mounted below the nose of each ship.
Two hundred meters above, a heavily modified, 150-meter cargo ship drifted in a lazy, clockwise path around the locus of the two smaller ships’ clumsy maneuvers. In just the right light it was possible to make out her faded name, The Mother Lode, painted beneath the port and starboard viewports on the bridge at the front of the ship. Below her name, the words ‘223rd Training Command’ were much more visible, having been recently added in hand-drawn letters with bright-white, reflective paint.
Mostly cargo space, The Mother Lode was normally used to make short supply runs back and forth between the many asteroid mining operations above Lorell and giant warehouses on the planet’s surface. However, those days in 2612 were anything but normal.
Since the beginning of The Second Tevarin War, the planet of Lorell had experienced a sharp, year over year economic decline. Despite many contributions to Messer’s victory, including manufacturing capacity and lost sons and daughters, their pleas for UEE assistance were ignored.
After the war had ended, Lorell descended into chaos. Jobless, hungry and with their backs against the wall, citizens took to the streets in cities around the planet. Before long the Lorell Senate voted for independence and quietly pledged fealty to anti-Messer elements. Lorell’s many mines and manufacturers sprang back to life and began churning out munitions for the resistance. – Lorelli Historians
Just weeks before Black Monday, residents of Lorell loyal to the Messer administration and the small contingent of locally stationed UEE security units deftly left the planet.
The Mother Lode, still carrying the remnants of supplies which were meant for nearby mining operations, had recently been hastily retrofitted. In addition to surplus command and control and long-range radar systems, she was outfitted with armor, missiles, and a pair of large, fixed, energy cannons to augment her smaller, defensive turrets fore and aft. Upon completion, she was pressed into her new role, preparing reserve fighter pilots to defend low-Lorell orbit (LOLO) over a warehouse and manufacturing zone on their home planet.
Forty-six more, similarly dilapidated Comets trailed behind The Mother Lode, in a tight squad column. An eager looking child no older than fifteen or sixteen years of age gripped at the stick of each ship, wearing comically oversized shock helmets and mix-matched flight suits.
Inside The Mother Lode, Captain Quentin Hakkar, a middle-aged man with weathered, olive-colored skin, stood on the top deck of the bridge staring down at the battle below. In spite of a wide scar which started under his chin and divided his right cheek before disappearing under his hat in a line where no hair grew, Hakkar was a handsome, fit older man in his early 60’s. His face looked patient and thoughtful, his dark brown eyes bright and resolute.
Captain Hakkar’s uniform, though pressed crisp and perfectly fitting, was quite well worn. His garrison cover, pants, and shirt were standard-issue, khaki-colored UEE naval officer attire. Above his rank insignia on each arm was a gold star indicating his status as an unrestricted UEE line officer. On his left chest, he bore many medals and insignia showing valorous combat service in The Second Tevarin War. An experienced observer might also notice a distinct area at the top of Hakkar’s right shoulder in the shape of the UEE Navy logo where his uniform had faded significantly less, under a patch which was recently removed.
Also on the bridge, Lieutenant Jessica Rosa, a sharp looking, much younger woman sat at the First Officer’s station with perfect posture, carefully monitoring ship’s systems as well as traffic and radio chatter coming from other ships in their vicinity. Her white uniform was immaculate and also bore the Second Tevarin War campaign insignia, as well as a Distinguished Logistics Command Award and a Military Spacelift Tevarinitarian Medal for her tour during the refugee integration crisis after The Purge.
Captain Hakkar and Lieutenant Rosa were supported on the bridge of The Mother Lode by Petty Officers Mike Sanders at the helm and Jack Lacroix at the radar station towards the rear of the deck. In the engine room, Master Chief Petty Officer Kohana ‘Chief’ Clayton managed the ship’s systems and kept everything running properly.
The Comets below suddenly stopped circle strafing each other. “I got you! I got you again!” A teenage girl’s voice crackled gleefully across the ship to ship net.
“No way! No, you didn’t! There’s no way I was in your sites and…” A particularly young boy’s voice replied.
“Ace, she made the shot.” Captain Hakkar’s voice interrupted firmly but gently. “There must be something wrong with your training indicator. Rejoin the squadron and let the next pilot take their turn.”
“Nooo…But Captain, it’s working. I, um…I just didn’t notice,” The boy replied, sheepishly.
“Point goes to Delilah,” Hakkar ignored Ace’s insubordination and tapped the reset switch on his handheld training module while thinking to himself, these two are both going to be good pilots, but Ace…He’s just 11 years old. He’s going to be exceptional if I can just teach him to obey orders and to get comfortable with making mistakes before it’s too late…”
“You’re cheating, Ace! ” Delilah teased.
“No, I’m not! “Ace replied.
“That’s enough. Return to your starting positions,” Hakkar said while thinking to himself that it was probably a bad idea to put the siblings in the same unit. “Remember what I taught you Ace. Put another dimension into your maneuver to avoid being too predictable.” Hakkar coached.
Though he was always a patient and competent instructor with all of his students, there was a lot Hakkar didn’t understand about children.
“Whew!” Delilah hooted, adrenaline getting the best of her.
“Yes, sir,” Ace replied, sullenly. As he maneuvered his Comet back to his corner, he heard a series of chimes indicating contacts entering the command vessel’s long range radar bubble. Ding!… Ding! Ding! Ding!…Ding! Ding!
Ace squinted outside of the cockpit as the chime continued. Ding! Ding!
“Standby trainees.” Captain Hakkar said. “Radar, are you seeing this?” Ding!…Ding! Di-Ding! Ding!…Ding! Di-Ding!…Ding!
“Affirmative sir, I’m catching multiple contacts dropping out of quantum drive in the direction of the Lorell Local Jump Point…Approximately 10 kilometers out on our starboard beam.” The radar operator responded. Ding! Ding! Di-Ding! Di-Ding!
“Do me a favor and turn off that indicator.” Captain Hakkar made his way across the deck, snapped his handheld training module back into the command seat and retrieved a pair of telescopic binoculars from a storage locker. He peered out of the starboard viewport for a moment and then his mouth fell open slightly.
“What the…Lieutenant Rosa, get me Planetary Defense on the long-range, immediately.”
The Lieutenant executed his command wordlessly.
“Ace and Delilah hold your position, rest of the squad, form up with them.” Closing the mic, Captain Hakkar turned to Petty Officer Sanders and said “Helm, turn right 90 degrees…Slow ahead. Pitch down 30 degrees. Limit your advance to 500 meters.”
“Aye, Captain,” Sanders replied.
“Captain, I’ve got Admiral Freyr on the long range.” Lieutenant Rosa reported, trembling slightly, as she held out the long-range handset.
“Admiral, this is Captain Hakkar. The jump point defense team is under attack…” Hakkar’s face tightened as he went silent, apparently interrupted by the voice on the other side. “Understood. Yes. Yes. Understood. You can count on us, Admiral.” The entire conversation was over in 30 seconds.
Captain Hakkar passed the handset back to Lieutenant Rosa and then turned to stare out the forward viewport. Strangely silent, he stood there for a moment, scratching the scar tissue where it crossed his chin.
“Captain, I’ve got 65 individual contacts. By their signatures, it looks like a squadron of mixed fighters and interceptors, a command ship, and 16 Tali’s.” Radar said as The Mother Lode came to rest between the incoming contacts and her little flight of trainees.
“Captain?” Lieutenant Rosa pressed him, but he continued looking out towards the barely visible flashes of a battle raging, nine kilometers away.
“What happened to the jump point defense team, Captain?” Sanders asked.
Captain Hakkar turned to face his team. “Planetary Defense Command lost contact with them.” Hakkar looked grim but resolved as he suddenly grabbed the ship net mic and addressed his entire crew.
“Team, this is not a drill. The inbound force is a heavily defended UEE orbital bombardment squadron and the Admiral just let me know that diplomacy with the UEE failed a few hours ago and they’ve broken off communications. Although a quick reaction force is scrambling to join us, we are presently all that stands between Messer’s fleet and our homes.” Hakkar paused for one moment to let this information set in and then cleared his throat.
“There is no way we can attack this force head-on in open space, so we’re going to try a feint. Listen up Comets: Groups Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie, make for the corner of the Benelli field, approximately 30 kilometers out, bearing 2-7-0. I want you to take a defensive posture and conceal yourselves among the rocks when you get there.” Hakkar took a deep breath and raised his voice for effect.
“Deltas, I want you to form a wedge on me and stick with The Mother Lode like white on rice. We’re going to advance on the enemy as if we’re charging and then beat a hasty retreat, so they chase us into the asteroid field, where we will detain them long enough for reinforcements to arrive. Move Comets. Time, now! Remember your training and watch each other’s backs out there!” Captain Hakkar closed the mic on the ship net.
“Helm, flank speed. Up 10 degrees.” Hakkar ordered.
“Aye, Captain.” Sanders methodically pushed the dual, split throttle wide open, and The Mother Lode shuddered as her engines roared to life. Outside, while the Delta flight wordlessly formed a wedge around The Mother Lode, Ace, Delilah, and the rest of the ambush force peeled left and methodically jumped into quantum drive towards the asteroid field.
Hakkar keyed the mic on the ship’s internal comms. “Chief, I need 100% power to thrust now.
“Aye, Aye,” A voice replied over a roar of background noise.
Captain Hakkar drove his command ship forward as hard as possible. When they reached flank speed, he ordered Sanders to fire the afterburners to push her even faster. When she reached v-max, the ship vibrated and groaned under pressures she hadn’t felt in many, many years.
Nothing aboard The Mother Lode was properly stowed for combat maneuvers and a steadily growing collection of aluminum mugs and various other items from the bridge slid, rattled, and rolled around the deck. Hakkar settled into his command chair and pulled a dusty four-point harness across his chest. Outside the forward viewport, the approaching fleet grew, in size and detail.
“5 kilometers from the edge of their formation Captain…4.5 kilometers…4…3.5” Lacroix reported.
“That will be all radar; man the forward turret. Helm, decouple. Give her 100% reverse thrust and 100% left. Keep the nose pointed at the enemy and slowly bring her ass around until we are falling backward into the asteroid field. Then give me full reverse thrust. Lieutenant Rosa, I want you on shield management. I’m taking the forward cannons and missiles.”
“Aye, Captain.” She replied.
As the helmsman executed the maneuver, The Mother Lode began shaking violently, the sound of metal twisting and stretching in protest to the lateral G forces on her hull. Her large engines, designed to push a full load of industrial equipment and raw materials around space, were capable of formidable force.
Looking down from above the unfolding scene, The Mother Lode traced a graceful, parabolic arc to the left before settling into a straight line away from the oncoming fleet and towards the asteroids, where the ambush team lay in wait.
For a moment, it seemed as though The Mother Lode was positioning herself for a circle strafing attack on the enemy’s vanguard, but Hakkar’s timing was perfect. The Mother Lode swung close enough to get the enemy’s attention and draw them into a chase but remained far enough away to avoid becoming entangled in a fight for their lives too early in his plan.
“It appears as though only half the fleet is giving chase Captain.” Lieutenant Rosa reported.
“Damn it.” He replied. Hakkar had considered the possibility that only a portion of the fleet would give chase, making this entire strategy a wasted effort to stall the orbital bombers. His mind drifted to the millions of innocent families on the planet below them and then he grabbed the ship’s radio and dialed up engineering.
“Hey, Chief. Listen, I need you to warm up the tender and load it with every ounce of explosives you can find in the next three minutes.” He hung up before the engineer could even reply. Lieutenant Rosa and the two mates on the bridge were all staring at him.
“Lieutenant Rosa, The Mother Lode is yours. Keep all power on the thrusters to stay out of range as long as possible. Right before you make contact, decouple again and divert all power evenly to the shields and gunnery. And don’t forget that you have a battery of missiles.”
“Captain, I…” Rosa began, but Hakkar cut her off.
“I know Jessica. I know…Just stay calm and remember your training. The rest of their fleet will give chase if we convince them the interceptors are in trouble. I have to convince them. I’ll see you on the other side.” And with that, Hakkar bolted down the companionway and disappeared aft.
He made it to the docking collar for the cargo tender in less than a minute, where he found the Chief tossing the last bags of mining explosives into the smaller ship’s rear hold. “Hey Chief, can I help?” Hakkar asked.
“That’s the last of it, Quentin. We never unloaded the supplies we were planning to deliver before this all started.” The two men had served together for over twenty years, first in the UEE and then together on this cargo ship they bought together. Chief’s use of the Captain’s first name didn’t even register a response.
“I put the remote detonator in the cockpit. Let me help you get your EVA suit on. You can exit the ship before…”
“There’s not going to be any time for that, ” Hakkar replied.
“Captain…” Chief began, his brow furrowed with concern.
“Now don’t argue with me Chief, there’s just no time.” Hakkar stepped into the tender and began to swing the door closed.
“But Quentin…” Chief looked hurt and confused now.
“Chief, step back and prepare to deploy the tender. That’s an order.” Hakkar said.
Chief stared at him for a moment, mouth agape and eyes moistening, and then he came to attention and snapped a quick salute before tossing the EVA suit into the cargo hold, on top the explosives. “Just put it on after you set your course. You’ve put it on alone a dozen times before Captain.”
“OK, Chief,” Hakkar replied, gently.
“It’s been an honor, my friend.” His eyes welled up as he held out his hand, shaking. Captain Hakkar grabbed his hand and pulled him in for a firm hug. As quickly as this rare show of emotion started, Hakkar pushed him away from the docking collar and slammed the door shut.
Hakkar pushed the intercom button. “If you make it out of this alive, keep an eye on my kids for me Chief.”
Chief looked back through the portal and mouthed “I will,” as he cranked down the air lock. He gave Hakkar a thumbs up, stepped back and pressed the docking collar release button. With a dull clunk, the tender separated from The Mother Lode and Hakkar thrust up and away.
Once the tender was a few meters above The Mother Lode, he opened up the throttle and peeled away towards the incoming enemy interceptors.
Without missing a single beat, Hakkar switched his radio to the open, emergency assistance channel and began crying into his microphone with feigned panic. “Mayday! Mayday! Help me! Please UEE…I’m a civilian loyalist in the cargo tender…I’m unarmed! Please don’t shoot! The terrorists stole my cargo ship, and held me hostage!” Hakkar tapped out S-O-S using the flood lights on his ship repeatedly and activated his distress beacon. “Please don’t shoot! Please don’t kill me!”
A cool, professional voice responded, “Tender 1, Tender 1, Tender 1, this is Lieutenant Marks with the UEE Navy. Turn off your flood lights and do not change your course or speed. I repeat: Turn off your flood lights and do not change course or speed.”
“Oh, thank heavens! I’m saved!” Hakkar answered, and turned off his flood lights. He hoped the hunters would not change course to give him a wide berth, but the little tender’s radar was so weak that it would be impossible to determine their formation until they were so close that it would be impossible to react.
“Ace…Delilah…It’s your father.” Hakkar dropped all formality and hailed his children. Ace replied first.
“What are you doing Dad?!? I thought I heard you on the scanner, but your voice sounded funny.”
“Never mind that, there’s no time. Are you there Delilah?”
“Yes.” The older girl seemed to know what was happening.
“Good” Hakkar responded. “Now listen up. I don’t have time to explain what I’m doing, but I love you both. I need you to watch each other’s backs when the battle gets to you. Do you understand?”
“Dad, what…?” The boy sound so confused.
“Ace, do you understand? Take care of your sister for me.” He replied.
“I understand Dad, but…”
“I love you both, very much. Take care of each other.”
“I love you too daddy…” Delilah and Ace Responded.
On the bridge of The Mother Lode Jessica Rosa fought to stay composed and in control of her emotions in front of the crew. She turned to face out the starboard viewport, and a warm tear rolled down her cheek.
Hakkar closed the radio channel, grabbed the detonator, and stared out the forward viewport of his last post, the little, unnamed tender. He thought about his children and his late wife who passed away while he was off fighting the Tevarin. He thought about the fact he was about to kill some of the young men and women whom he fought alongside…And his anger grew as he thought about what Messer had done to his home planet. For the first time in years, he lost control of his emotions and sighed heavily as his own eyes welled up with tears.
A few moments later he heard chimes as the first wave of ships entered his 500-meter radar bubble. He closed his eyes and waited just a moment. Just before he keyed the detonator, he heard the engines of the first ships whizzing by his proximity and smiled.
The sheer power of the explosives used to crack asteroids apart was well known throughout the galaxy, and the little tender carried enough material to supply a mid-sized mining operation for a month. From the bridge of The Mother Lode, the brilliance of the explosion was temporarily blinding. It took a moment for them to recover before they could check their instruments and determine that Hakkar’s timing was perfect, again. He took out roughly half of the pursuers or roughly a quarter of the original wave of Messer’s attack.
As forThe Mother Lode, she made it to the edge of the asteroid field after a brief, open-space battle with what remained of the original interceptors.
Lieutenant Jessica Rosa, seemed to recognize the gravity of their situation and accepted the mantle of leadership without hesitation. Despite her role as a logistics specialist, she did remember her UEE training. In what would go on to be called The Battle of Benelli, her tactics were smart and selfless.
During the battle, she fought hard and eventually two more squadrons of experienced fighters from the Lorell Militia joined them. Together they decimated what remained of the first wave of bombers Hakkar intended to impede. Sadly, they were not the last wave of Tali’s to enter Lorell’s orbit that day, and the rest is, as they say, history.
After the Battle of Benelli, Jessica Rosa and the crew of The Mother Lode switched to search and rescue detail. They managed to reel in seven pilots floating among the rocks in disabled ships, including Ace Hakkar. Ace had also fought quite valiantly that day, protecting his older sister’s wing through most of the battle, firing the shots that destroyed two UEE fighters in the process.
Sadly, Delilah’s fate is unknown. During the last moments of the fight, after Ace’s ship was disabled, she disappeared among the asteroids. There is no indication, nor evidence that her ship was destroyed that day, she simply disappeared without a trace.
When Ace was brought aboard The Mother Lode, battered and bruised, he collapsed in tears, finally able to be the young boy he was, perhaps for at least one last time. Lieutenant Rosa’s final act of heroism was to stifle her grief and sorrow over the heinous atrocities of Messer’s Navy, so she could comfort a troubled little boy named Ace, who had lost his family and his home planet, in the span of just a few, short hours.
In addition to the seven pilots rescued by The Mother Lode, nineteen more survivors managed to limp to a nearby asteroid mining operation. Of the original 48 Comets in the 223rd Training Squadron, 22 were shot down or lost that day, in addition to the incredibly heroic sacrifice of Captain Hakkar. Of course, all of this pales in comparison to the total loss of life across the planet, on this horrific day.
What was left of the Lorell Militia quickly promoted Jessica Rosa to Lieutenant Commander, in the aftermath of the Battle of Benelli. They also gave her command of The Mother Lode which was once again to serve as a cargo and support vessel for what remained of the Lorelli people, now a nomadic culture of refugees, wandering the galaxy in search of a new home.
The Republic of Lorell Today
In the 2940’s the Republic of Lorell is made up of the descendants of the survivors of the horrific atrocity executed by Messer’s Navy. They are a colony long forgotten, a nomadic group of independent operators, still seeking their new beginning. They survive by taking every job they can, no matter how tough or trivial. As long as it puts food on the table and fuel in their tanks, they’ll take it. That said, they do everything they can to avoid any entanglements with the Empire, for good reason.
The members of the Republic of Lorell are chaotic neutral. They do not go out looking to take lives, but they are understandably cautious and quick to defend themselves with force at any sign of a threat, real or perceived.