LegendsLog:Action of 9 Selona
Against the Sith Armada, any mistake in planning would surely prove fatal. Days had passed while intelligence was pored over, all while Revan's relentless ground offensive on Barada Zee claimed outposts, redoubts, and fortresses across the continent. Patience at last was rewarded: a convoy carrying thousands of tons in kolto, munitions, and other materials of war was being sent to resupply the Sith legion, and Brianna received the word: we depart within the hour.
Erchirion's battle group hardly inspired awe, all of the four capital ships was older than any crewman aboard: a Praetorian-class frigate, an old Hastati picket ship, an older CGS dreadnought, with the flag being a Great Sith War era battleship; large and imposing, but with a fraction of the firepower found aboard a modern cruiser. Two vessels carried obsolete or civilian grade fighter craft: LITACs, a pair of Stingers, and a handful of Star Sabers. A solitary Ministry-class shuttle was prepared for the boarding party: Brianna, a skeleton bridge crew, and two squads of green volunteers, led by a sergeant who had survived a single battle.
By conventional reckoning, the squadron was no match for a Sith convoy.
The preparation at the ambush site was extensive. Placed at the very last step of the hyperspace route to Barada Zee, in case the Sith commander had taken a path other than the most direct one, they were dangerously close to enemy reinforcements; less than an hour in hyperspace away. Fighters were deployed, to save launch time in battle. Those capital ships equipped with tractor beams had been dragging colossal chunks of ice from the rings of a nearby planetoid, many of them over a kilometer across, to create a crude hyperspace snare sizable enough to trigger a ship's collision avoidance failsafe.
Then, the warships were positioned to threaten the rear arcs of the anticipated convoy, and the broadcast went out: <<Engaging communications blockade. Maintain battle stations until notified otherwise.>> With that, the flagship had begun emitting a disruption field that would- in theory- delay any Sith calls for help. Then, they waited.
Two hours later, the fight began, going from boredom to pitched battle in an instant. A quartet of Derriphan battleships had been caught in the primitive trap, and the Ministry shuttle promptly launched, as Republic turbolaser batteries roared to life.
Brianna Kae was seated in one of the ready seats in the personnel hold of the shuttle. Around her, the boarding crew was prepping their weapons, slapping on the last pieces of plasteel armor, and fitting their commando helmets on. Brianna sat in relative silence, honed in on the elements of the force which instilled a sense of calm before the storm. Her natural affinity to using the force allowed her to tap into the surface thoughts of those around her. Everyone but the Sergeant put off a nervous air, their thoughts on family, home, and all things they feared to lose in this fight. Brianna made no cryptic talk of the force or inspiring speeches. With combat on the horizon, now was no time for philosophy, and Brianna was hardly the one capable of making that kind of impact.
Her influence came through action, and when she rose and unclipped her lightsaber in preparation for the breaching action and boarding, she looked completely calm about it. She brushed off her hooded robe, dropping it behind her and revealing just the tunic of a Jedi Master, dark autumn orange and tanned trousers with tall boots. Armored pauldrons adorned her shoulders, and a protective chestplate guarded her vitals from potential harm. She tied back her white hair for measure and released a long, calming sigh.
The fusilade of Republic turbolasers hammer the rear-most Derriphan battleship, chewing through thick armor and causing a chain of minor explosions, but the durable ship does not crack, and as the Sith capital ships begin to face about, establishing missile locks on their tormentors and vomiting dozens of fighters into the void, a formation of Light Tactical fighters screen the advancing shuttle. Even as a chaotic dogfight erupts in the black between the larger warships, autoblasters open fire on Brianna's Ministry-class, rocking the light shields, but failing to drive off the approaching boarding party. The civilian grade escort fighters pay a heavy price for seeing the shuttle aboard, as three of the LiTACs are gunned down by the swarming Sith, though they take one with them and as a barrage of ion bolts cripple the damaged Derriphan, the pilot reports by shouting over their shoulder,A "We're coming in- prepare to disembark. Ready... Now!"
With a shudder, the shuttle's landing skids impact the deck of the *Conquest XXI* , the airlock releasing with a hiss, and the Sergeant throwing open the hatch and yelling, "GO, GO, GO."
The landing was anything but smooth, and the lights inside the hold dimmed to red. This imposed a sense of dread on the team, but Brianna finally became an inspiration. She activated her weapon issuing a SNAP-HISS noise that heralded the exposure of a sapphire blue energy blade. It extended to its full length of 1.2m, and hummed with even the most subtle of movements.
She raises the weapon up in a mid-guard which is kept close to her. The pilot yells and the ramp comes down, bringing to view the hangar bay and their immediate threat. Brianna moves forward with all the grace a Jedi can summon, cutting down a droid in a single blow. She pivots, ducking low and raising her free hand. A thunderous bass rattles the room, the only proof that she is calling upon something that remained unseen. The result of this effort sees the droid at the other end of the hangar lifted into the air and thrown back against the bulkhead. It clatters and begins to rise back up, firing a shot from its rifle that's returned to its sender in a casual intercepting swing of her sword.
The red lance returns to its source, spilling them backward in a humorous clatter and Brianna is left standing in her guard as if watching the droid to see if it rose again. When it did not, her weapon lowered. "Find your objective Sergeant, and let us proceed. The longer we linger, the more unlikely it will be that our friends will survive this ambush. Tempo will win this fight."
The Sergeant nods once to the instruction, firing a bolt that takes out the hangar surveillance camera. "Yes, Jedi Commander. Let's MOVE, rifles up-" Troopers are assigned to sweep left and others right as they emerge from the hangar to the ugly, bare-girders corridor of the tough, but ungainly Derriphan. No living crew are visible as of yet- a number of maintenance droids are struggling to restore function to ionized systems, and ignore the team. Their arc welders fo as much to break up the darknessas the flickering bulkhead lights.
A quintet of the Mark IV Assault Droids have converged on the corridor blocking access to the fortified bridge by the time the Jedi and her team have moved twenty steps; standing on four arachnid legs, with their central bodies consisting of little more that optical sensors, weapon barrels, and a basic processor.
The tempo is there, and the Commandos follow her. When they reach the command corridor where the path to the bridge is, a series of droids have cut off their assault by placing themselves in the way. Brianna does not hesitate to lead the attack. She cuts one down, twirling her weapon overhead with purpose to drop a second in quick succession. When she tries to hit a third, the droid manages to step aside, creating a brief window of time where Brianna's weapon sailed harmlessly by with a loud WMMMPH sound. "Open fire. Bring them down!"
With the ship's systems still ionized, there is no intercom chatter or reports of the larger battle ongoing beyond the dark bulkheads, but as the squad sergeant brings down another of the four legged battle droids, and the battle at the doors of the bridge turns on a lightsaber's edge; the mechanized guardians are struck down and the engineers get to work opening the barricaded bridge portal. A half dozen living troopers in silver and black armor emerge from the ship's barracks, shouting battle cries as they open fire..
Brianna is in the thick of the battle as Sith troopers storm in and join the fray. Being at the furthest point ahead of her squad, Brianna is the center of attention. If not for the efficiency she displays in cutting down two formidable droids, then for the ease at which she ended a Sith Trooper by impaling them through the chest to utilize their body to sustain the wave of blaster fire the small Jedi earned.
When Bri pushes the trooper from her weapon, she draws closer to the squad to start her next attack, content to bring them down quickly but not brutally. Even under fire, this Jedi Master seems to anticipate where her opponents fire and moves to compensate every time.
One of the Republic troopers drops to the deck, clutching at a wounded abdomen and shouting in pain. The rest of the squad escapes harm, as the Sergeant drags the wounded soldier out of the blaster crossed corridor. An engineer struggles to override the bridge lockdown order, making little headway. One of the suddenly outmatched Sith Troopers roars for more droids, while keeping up what fire is possible in the face of a Jedi Master.
Brianna ducks casually under a blast and rewards its origin point by cutting them down with a single humming slice across their chest. The remaining two are dealt with in just as quick a fashion, concluding with a moment to glance around before deactivating her weapon and holding it in her hand. "What seems to be the issue?" Asks the Jedi Master surrounded by steaming corpses and orange hot dissected droid parts.
A curse from the team's engineer. "The override isn't working," he answers Brianna. "We need to blast through the hatch and take control of the bridge, before-" A pause as the labor of the Sith maintenance droids begins to bear fruit: emergency lights return, and the thrum of power to the engines marks the first of the stricken battleship's subsystems brought back online. "Explosives!"
"I see. Stand aside." Brianna takes a central position in front of the door and raises her hands. For a moment, nothing appears to happen, but the sounds of ticking metal straining under the friction of some unseen power. Her cheeks begin to turn red, sweat wets her hair, and her hands begin to shake. When it seems as if Brianna is going to keel over from the strain she finally screams and pulls her arms wide spreading her hands. A massive groan of hydraulics being forced off track followed and finally, the locks disengaged and the hatch was forced open.
Out of breath, tired, and weakened, the Jedi activated her weapon once more prepared for danger, but maybe not ready to face it entirely. "The task is done. To our objective!"
The squad sergeant places the Republic troopers on either side of the bridge doors, grabbing the engineer by a shoulder, and guiding them out of the Jedi's path, "No explosives." As Brianna labors, the team watches with tension thick in the air; tension which only grows as the muted mechanical clatter of another subsystem coming online. The engineer murmurs, warily, "If they're smart, that was the hyperdrive coming online.." But then the door is finally forced open, and the storming party charges in, to find a bridge staffed by eighteen black and grey clad members of the Sith Navy. "ALL DROIDS TO THE BRIDGE," the captain is ordering into the ship's closed circuit comms. The canopy beyond shows the ongoing battle: two Sith fighters pursue a Star Saber, while a trio of heavy concussion missiles streak from a Sith warship to slam into the Republic flagship, which retaliates with a forward fusillade. A crippled Republic frigate has been shielded by the bulk of the Legatus-class, and as a chorus to the spectacle, the warning claxon and automated vocoder inform the bridge, <Gravitational obstruction detected. Hyperspace jump obstructed. Gravitational->
Brianna was among the last to enter the bridge, but the first to engage close quarters. The Jedi spun in place, ducking beneath two shots and cutting upward in an arching slash that split a man's armor and spread ashing embers through the air. When her blade moved, its humming noise was distinct as she danced to the next person, running her weapon through their mid-section and kicking them free from her weapon. Her third attack missed entirely, and she cried out from the strain of the poorly spent momentum, bouncing back to a balanced stance.
The Republic naval troopers storm the bridge, sparking a chaotic skirmish for the nerve center of the capital ship. Amid the blasters, the screech of a striking lightsaber, and the chaos of the ongoing battle outside, the Derriphan's captain is informed that weapons are back online. "Target lock on the Ganelon! FIRE EVERYTHING." <Gravitational obstruction detected. Ten kilometers to clear. Hyperspace jump obstructed->
Brianna seems to be the center of the Sith focus. Everything is firing at her, and she feels the pressure. Three soldiers are cut down in quick succession and Brianna steps back to a defensive stance. One, two, three, four blaster bolts angle back to their source, with three simply missed from exhaustion and suffering form. The Jedi holds her guard. Facing off with the last of the troopers, prepared to bring them down should they stay committed to trying to kill this boarding party. Sweat drips from her chin as she tries her best to keep her focus despite the overwhelming effort.
With a foothold on the bridge, thanks to Brianna's expert saber work, the battered squad of Republic troopers fire to slightly better effect, taking cover behind carbon scored durasteel consoles. One of the crewmen is gunned down running to access a control terminal, the Sergeant is wounded, but a second engineer gets to the desired terminal, and starts the navigational computer calculating a lengthy course to Coruscant, overwriting the present course to Barada Zee. "That should keep it busy for awhile-" knowing that the warship cannot jump while the computer is calculating.
At the command console, the Captain seethes, "Fools! She can't block you all at once- KILL THE JEDI-" It sounded good in theory. Unfortunately for the Sith captain, Brianna CAN in fact block all of them at once. And does. "...Well, hell."
There was no glee in her effort to fight. It was reactionary. When the troopers moved to intercept Brianna, she cut them down in quick succession. No excess gore or deep slashes. Despite her exhaustion, her strikes were measured. Pulled just enough to be fatal without demeaning or dismembering the enemy. When they fell, it appeared that the fight was won. Brianna stood before the remaining troopers, shoulders heaving and face flushed. She held her weapon to one side, her free hand to her other side as if positioned for balance. "Secure these prisoners and disarm them. No one comes to harm unless they show a threat. Sergeant, have your engineers take control of this vessel to carry out the remainder of this mission."
"Yes, Jedi Commander," the Sergeant assents, as the skeleton bridge crew hastens to shut down weapons, power down the engines, and report on systems, damage, and the status of the battle outside.
"Structural integrity at thirty-five percent. This ship only had a crew complement of twenty-five; how is that even possible-"
"Sensors reading three Derriphans destroyed- heavy damage to the Trevalyan and Uth Bayard- remaining Sith fighters scattering-"
<Gravitational obstruction detected->
"WILL SOMEONE SHUT THAT OFF?"
The battle outside winds down, as one of the troopers approaches Brianna to ask with quiet awe, "Do you.. have need of anything, Master?"
"Hmm? No, no.. I'll be fine once we're in hyperspace. Please, just ensure we maintain control of the ship." Brianna pats their shoulder affectionately and walks away, following the corridor to look over the interior of the ship.
Brianna's explorations find a Star-forged warship operated almost entirely but automation. Few comforts existed here, even before the damage inflicted by the present battle. Thousands of tons in cargo are carried, both in kolto canisters and more destructive munitions. A tense moment ensues when Brianna finds a further cache of functional Mark IV Assault Droids, but the commands have already gone out, and the Jedi does not register as hostile to the quadrupeds.
Outside, the battle is finally finished, the communication blockade is dropped, and the destruction or relocation of the glacial snares in undertaken, leaving only spreading debris to mark the site of the ambush. The signal is given, and the captured Derriphan, together with its captors, streaks into the safety of hyperspace.