The Cron Drift is a vast, largely stable belt of asteroids, the remains of a colossal detonation of Sith sorcery that had eradicated what was once a prosperous star cluster, decades ago during the Great Sith War. Now, it is a scarcely used layover between the Perlemian Trade Route and the Lianna System hyperspace hub, used primarily by those ships wishing to avoid the more heavily trafficked lanes. The complex radiation still inundating the Auril sector plays havoc with short range sensors, doing much to mask the comings and goings of various spacecraft.
It would have remained blithely beneath the notice of the new Sith Empire, had an automated probe ship not found something amidst all the latent stellar radiation and sensor glitches: an uncharted base built into a small planetoid, at which a heavily damaged Sith Derriphan-class battleship was docked, with markings matching those of a ship presumed destroyed in a recent Republic raid. Darth Malak's orders were clear: annihilate everything in the base, and if the thousands of tons in precious kolto remain aboard the Derriphan, reclaim it.
A trio of Interdictor cruisers (including Darth Malek's own fearsome *Leviathan*) were committed to the operation, along with twelve squadrons of fighters, but the key personnel were placed aboard a bleeding-edge Phantom stealth shuttle. With all the sensor disruption inherent to the Cron Drift, the ship will be invisible. Navigating the asteroids safely will take a deft hand, but once the Sith lords are landed, the bulk of Malek's battle group will move in to cut off any escape and complete the slaughter.
The Phantom emerges from hyperspace and though instruments are spotty at best, the naked eye reveals their target, well hidden among billions of broken stones and streaks of stardust: a skeletal docking arm connects a Derriphan battleship to a ground facility on a large, lumpy asteroid. Moored beside the Derriphan is a heavily damaged Republic Axehead frigate. Garbled comm chatter between frigate and ground installation conveys the need for a hasty unloading process.
Targi has taken the time to place on the cargo pants along with the tunic of which he wears within that robe shifted about him, the hood pulled up while his golden cat eyes look to people in the shuttle. He then lifts up his lightsaber with the Force so he can begin to spin it about, then he takes the device with his tail and begins to juggle it. The safety is clearly engaged upon it as well.
Sara Kostas, Mandalorian and turn-coat for her own people, she is an emblem of change following the battle of Malachor. She wears crimson plated beskar'gam, but is missing her helmet. A standard, flame-resistant shoulder cape is fastened over her left pauldron, set aside enough for her jetpack which is both small and efficient. This Mando'ade carries Revan's sigil as her own and proudly displays it upon a sash that hangs like a mark from her right hip.
Kostas checks her blaster before holstering, then frees the heavy repeater cannon, switching the LIDAR tracking device online and fastening the /massive/ weapon to a T&E arm platform. This allowed her to move the weapon without having to strain beneath its weight.
She fastens the battery pack, and the cannon begins to glow. A hand endearingly pats the large weapon and Sara smiles a pretty smile. "That's the hum, ol' girl. Don't you let momma down, now."
Normally, Tai went light on the armor front when it came to what she wore into combat. A commando mission into an asteroid base, though... That called for some changes. A black bodyglove with environmental seals similar to the one in standard Sith trooper armor made an adequate base layer, with the boots, shin guards, and vambraces carried over with only minor modifications to slim them down and decrease weight. The torso armor was mostly removed, leaving plates only over the chest and back, along with the forearm and handguards. The helmet didn't have much chance for modification, and her hair trails out the back through a miniature magcon field cribbed from a fighter pilot helmet. Finally, while still metallic, the armor's finish is now a matte dark grey, almost black. Still sith, but with an almost subtle Mandalorian influence.
At the moment, Tai's still strapped into the assault shuttle, lightsabers clipped to her belt and awaiting combat. Kostas gets a nod of respect from the Zabrak, an appreciative look playing over the weapon. "Kandosii, vod." She immerses herself in the force and lets it flow through her for a moment, tilting her head to one side. "That's.... strange. I can't feel anything alive worth mentioning around here. These ships should have a crew of thousands, not to mention the base..."
Seeshon pilots The Phantom, the sensors not required as he lets a combination of the Force and his skills as a pilot lead him through the astroids. His usual robes are augmented with a sealed black vac suit, adjusted to allow for complete freedom of movement and of course he's wrapped in his usual cloak. He spots a good landing spot and moves to settle down. "Coming up on target, should have a clean landing."
Throughout the majority of the flight, Hyris sat in the back of the cabin meditating. As Sheeshon calls back to the ship's 'crew', the woman finally opens her eyes and rises from her seat on the shuttle. She strips back the hood of her cloak before stripping off the outermost drapery, leaving behind a long-sleeved pitch black tunic, trousers, and boots.
The sleek and deadly Phantom shuttle glides unnoticed into the hangar of the cannon scored Derriphan. The landing bay- designed for a half squadron of Sith Fighters- is vacant, affording Seeshon ample space to set down the craft. Though the Sith fighters are gone, the Star-forged maintenance and security droids can still be seen through the canopy, the larger vessel's auxiliary lights still receiving power, though many flicker.
One blocky maintenance droid lumbers toward the descending shuttle, carrying out service programming, while a half dozen Sith Mark IV Assault Droids stand along the perimeter on four arachnid legs, optical sensors and blaster cannons at their core.
Targi lifts up a bit from the seat while he thinks about it a moment, then he wiggles that muzzle of his. He then begins to step from the shuttle while he lifts up his lightsaber with both hands, snap-hiss igniting the weapon while he spins that about, "Prepare for fighting!" he calls to the Sith when he notices they are about to fire on them. He assumes most will sense it too, though there is a benefit perhaps to Sara for it. "Blasters were striking the walls, looks like there was a fight!"
Kostas nods to the Mando'a speaking Sith, but she has no words for her. She didn't know her. Turning her scarred glare toward the ramp, the swaggering Mando'ade hoists her cannon high and moves into position. A jerk of her head, and the LIDAR tracking monocle slides over her one eye giving her a sight-picture of her weapon that feeds in thermal optics. The tracking system idly moves as a constant scanning IR, but it's oriented up until she comes down the ramp to look around.
Initial physical scan reveals carbon scoring on the bulkhead indicative of drek-shots. It makes Kostas laugh. "Whoever shot this tub up can't rekking shoot for drek." Her voice is raspy but not incapable of understanding.
Kostas moves to point, lowering the weapon and taking a wide stance to scan for contacts. When the LIDAR picked up on a UID IFF, the arm locked the weapon on target, and Kostas initiated the cannon spool. It moaned, spinning until the bay lit up in a stream of blue, slower-than-light contrailed cannon bolts that cut down a Mark IV Assault Droid where it stood. "MORE CONTACTS! ENGAGE!" Screamed the Mandalorian, laughing wildly as the hue of her blaster fire shaded her scarred face and sadistic smile.
"Definitely a trap." Tai's sabers ignite as her boots touch down on the hangar bay's plating, blades resting back long her arms. Any incoming blasterfire is deflected, the acolyte bounding across the hangar and trisecting a droid with a slash of her sabers. She spins, sending one saber arcing across the hangar. Regrettably, the miss just leaves a glowing slash in the deckplates. Summoning it back to her grip, Tai turns towards her next target.
Seeshon had moved quickly through the ship as they touched down, lightsaber drawn and ignited in one quick fluid motion as he makes a sweeping slash first one way then the other as he cuts the droid into three pieces, a third strike would further reduce it, though the droid has fallen away.
Hyris ignites her lightsaber as she strolls down the shuttle's ramp behind everyone else. The woman watches as her associates engage the security droids before they can engage them first. A grizzly smirk runs across her face as most of the danger is taken care of for her. "Watch out for that one!" She calls out with a laugh. A hum emanates from the Sith's blade as she reaches out with her opposite hand.
A droid across the hangar is suddenly crushed into the deck, shattering into a number of pieces.
A sigh is released as she slips away from the hangar fight, moving towards the hallway leading up to the vessel's bridge. The others seem to have a handle on things, right?
The half dozen assault droids are slashed, blasted, and telekinetically torn apart, until only two reain to unload a barrage of rapid fire blaster bolts. Most are blocked or dodged, but by sheer volume of fire, one catches Tai Cirra in an arm. Red alert claxons blare the the ship, adding a crimson hue to the dull and flickering yellow panels set into the skeletal girders beams of the stripped down interior.
Meanwhile, the ponderous maintenance droind has trundled up to the Phantom shuttle, and affixed a refueling hose.
Targi maneuvers along while he spins his lightsaber about to one of them, then he picks up his weapon as it comes back, deflecting all of the bolts while he begins to throw the weapon in another circle while he begins to climb up onto the droid. When he takes his lightsaber back, which only cleaves a glowing nice light into the droid plating though not striking upon it clean. Then he strikes clean into a droid while he maneuvers away from it, his robe shifting about like a wave.
The Mandalorian holds her ground despite the incoming fire. Her laughter is almost as cyclic as her cannon fire, and she turns her weapon upon a second target obliterating them with a wall of blue bolts. When the droid is reduced to smoking components, Sara eases up on the trigger and lifts the smoking cannon up slightly smirking. "Think they'll get back up? Hahahaha!" She doesn't wait around to see. She had spied one of the Sith Lords moving from the hangar, so it's after Hyris that she trails, jogging with some practiced ease, her heavy armor making thick thumps with each step. She was not a warrior you took to sneak anywhere.
Unfortunately, Tai's deflection can't quite repel firepower of this magnitude. Out of the flurry of bolts one makes it past her blades, and isn't fully dissipated by the body glove. Pain flares in her right shoulder, before the zabrak shoves the sensation out into the Force. "Okay, clearly... Some osik went down here. And I want to know what. I'll catch up." Tai takes a knee, resting her hand on the deckplates and opening herself to the Force.
Tai senses the most dramatic events of the past week: the ship being jerked out of hyperspace, and being slammed with turbolasers, pilots rushing into fighters and hastily launching, a shuttle landing, and a squad of troopers led by a woman with a blue lightsaber, who cuts through several droids.
Seeshon looks around the area, considering their options. "We should head to the bridge, see if we can secure ship systems." He takes in the surroundings thoughtfully. "I think knowing may be wise. I want to know if we should expect a sizable Republic presence, or if it's security droids." He looks to Tai for a moment. "You should get a read of the room, tell us what you learn?"
Tai's emotions in the force fade somewhat as she immerses herself. For a moment, she's calm, before a surge of anger pulls her back. <<"Jedi. There's a Jedi here. She must have been masking the presence of the crew. At least a squad of republic troopers too.">>
Hyris has more or less abandoned the group, only the Mandalorian nearby. As she strolls down the corridor towards the bridge, she runs into four more of the executioner droids. The lack of immediate fire is a welcome relief, but the sight of the blown open blast doors is not. The Sith calls out to the droids with an irritated tone, "You are going to allow me to pass. Drones."
Her yellowed-brown eyes poke back and forth between all four metallic beings. "I will not hesitate to destroy you." The woman nods back towards the hangar, trying to imply that she single handedly defeated the security down the corridor.
The team stalks through the vacant corridors, hearing the looped comm chatter between ship and base that they had noted on approach. The barracks are vacant, a Republic trooper's helmet discarded in one corner as the bridge comes into sight. The massive doors leading to the capital's ship's nerve center having been forced open as if by two colossal hands, though those adept with the Force can recognize it was a practitioner using a tremendous and sustained exterion of will to force open the vessels most secure barrier. A quartet of Mark IV assault droids are posted outside the ruined door when Hyris stalks up the corridor and commands them. Not equipped with Basic vocodors, their meaning is still clear as the four scramble and squawk in alarm to hurry inside the ruined door, to take cover. Through that angled door, the siht of a bipedal, metallic figure standing at the hel can be spotted, and past that- out through the canopy- the arrival of Dark Malak's battle group can be spied, as entire squadrons of fihters filter between the asteroids, toward the hidden base.
Targi looks to the droids which maneuver for cover while he wiggles his muzzle and offers a nod also to that team of Sith. He then tries to bring about a shield while he speaks, but it doesn't exactly work. "I think that we're about to be assailed," he offers that information.
Sara doesn't wait to be told they must storm the bridge. The Mandalorian storms the bridge. She observes, in the time that it takes her, the door frame and threshold that had once hosted blast doors. Their energy emitter has been obliterated, and the doors forced open with a tremendous amount of force. With wreckless abandon, she breaches. "OYAAA! HEY! HOLD THIS!" The sound of her cannon spooling up and opening fire to her immediate right suggests the hard-charging Mando'ade has found and engaged something unseen. As she charges to the right and out of view, droid components go spreading in her wake and into view of those behind her. "HAHAHAHA.. I HATE DROIDS!"
Jogging to catch up with Hyris and the others, Tai has a bad feeling about the tableau on the bridge. <<"I've got a bad feeling about this. I saw the Jedi go this way, but I'm not seeing or sensing them...">> And then the Mando goes charging in and starts the assault. NOt eager to try to tank another hit from the droids, Tai raises her hand and concentrates, a faint shimmer visible in the air in front of her as she holds the shield.
Seeshon makes his way to the bridge at a steady pace, ignoring the droids as the don't prevent a threat he instead focuses on the Force forming a shield of protective energy around himself he presses forward. He watches the Mando charge in with a sigh. "It seems we should press forward." With that he picks up his pace to join the fray.
Hyris waves at the droids with her free hand as they sprint back into the bridge. The woman turns in time to see the rest of the Imperials have caught up...and without much time have moved past her and into the room. A small sigh is released as the Mandalorian defector opens fire on the fleeing droids. Her head turns back towards the command center and as the last person passes, she falls in behind Seeshon Dren.
As the bridge is stormed (never bring a Mandalorian to a ship you don't want stormed), the old battle droid standing at the helm inputs a command to the ship's terminal. As Sith fighters begin to strafe the Republic Axehead, those who spare an eye for the sensors might note that the Sith battle group is deployed with the four Interdictors spread to block escape in any direction. The war Droid inputs it's command, and an automated voice declares, <Hangar blast doors engaged. Self destruct sequence.. initiated.>
Targi looks to the Mandalorian when they begin storming that bridge, then he spins his lightsaber while he maneuvers to swing into a throw, cleaving into one of the droids, then it comes back to a paw while he strikes another with his weapon. Then he calls to them, "The War Droid might have the codes, try to keep it in working condition!"
Keep it in working condition he said? Sara can do that, sure! She adjusts her aim, pivoting in a wide stance and smirks. The cannon spools and spits a cyclic rate of blue blazing bolts into the Sentinel droid, spilling components and bits and pieces in every direction. The smoking barrels slow from spinning and she angles the weapon up smirking. "Oh... my bad!" It was not in working order anymore. She rekked that thing up.
Tai keeps the shield up, trying to juggle enough energy to toss the carcass of one of the Mark IVs at the last remaining one while keeping her protection. Unfortunately, This takes a bit more concentration than she has at the moment and the wreckage instead takes out the chair for one of the consoles. <"...Well, if we can't shut off the self destruct, those of us without vac armor can put on the emergency masks and space ourselves out the window. Should be able to get far enough from the ship to get picked up before it blows."> Tai? Cynical? Noooooo....
Seeshon frowns as he looks at the bipedal droid. "Krath battle droid. That's old." He's about to say more when he's shot he turns throwing his lightsaber at the last of the droids. The attempts on his life cause his rage to flare for a moment, his expression annoyed. He throws his lightsaber, missing the droid, though as the blade returns to his hand he fells the last droid in a quick flurry. "Did we bring a computer specialist?"
Despite the fact that Hyris was positioned behind Seeshon's force shield, one of the stray shots blasts around it. The woman reaches out with her free palm to catch the bolt whilst dissipating the threath. She pretends to brush off dust from her shoulder as the droids are slashed and shot to bits by the other Imperials. Her eyes glance about as she begins to privately worry about their impending doom...but doing very little to actually help with the situation...not that she'd be much help at accessing the computers.
The last Droid defenders of the captured Derriphan are taken out decisively, leaving the bridge firmly in the reclaimers' hands. Theirs are not the first lightsabers to be used here, as carbon scoring and dried blood speak to an earlier battle in the same place. The reactor overload warnings still blink across every screen, and the battleship rocks in its moorings as Sith fighters complete the destruction of the nearby Axehead frigate, which falls to pieces, more so than it detonates.
As hasty decisions regarding explosions must be made, a further strand of chaos is visible through the canopy: heavy cannonfire slashes into the nearby asteroids, targeting no ships, but disrupting the previously stable drift of colossal stones, and sowing the space outside with dangerous sprays of shattered stone. Harmless to a ship of this size, but deadly to light fighters.
Targi lifts up his lightsaber while he spins the weapon while it squeals back into the hilt. Then he takes a moment to look at the console while he maneuvers by the droid a bit. Then he's linking up with the system while he taps on things, "I can't override it at the moment, I have stabilized it, we should be safe, next procedure will be listed." A command line is pulled up while he begins to enter a few of the sequences. "If someone would like to assist." This Sith took his computer classes well.
<"I'm not a slicer, but I did read about a force technique that might help. ...Kind of wishing I'd read a bit more about it, now."> Grimacing inside her helmet, Tai rests one hand on the console and reaches out into the force, trying to feel the pathways in the console that lead to the computer core. If it's anything like an organic intelligence... <"...I think this thing just insulted my mother.">
This Mandalorian doesn't give a rekk about computer things. She turns with a small flutter of her crimson cape and begins to jog. <<"There's more than one ship on this station. Rekk this piece of drek, and let's go get the other one. Besides, we ain't found no kolto, yet and that's why we're here.">> The Mando makes it to the nearby airlock and pulls the lever to cycle the hatch. In she goes with the same reckless abandon as her charge onto the bridge. "OYA!" She echoes down the umbilical, laughing.
<<"This ship is the objective.">> He heads over to the console and closes his eyes focusing his mind the Dark Side pulses through him, a tightly controlled knot of chaotic power. "There, it's not such a bad system if you know how to handle it." He nods slowly. "The system is closed and all operations are restored. We are due to clear the base next I believe?"
Hyris doesn't care to assist Targi, Tai, or Seeshon with their programing. "I will be back." She affirms in an attempt to remind the others that she doesn't want to be left behind. The woman meanders out of the bridge with her lightsaber in hand. As she wanders down the corridor in an attempt to follow the Mandalorian, she drags the blade along the ground...creating visible burns along the deck plating. Her pace quickens as she hears the 'OYA' vibrate down the halls.
<<"I don't think they'd keep the kolto on the brige. But we probably should check the base and the other ships. Unless the computer knows if it's been offloaded.">> Tai shrugs, giving Seeshon a grateful look from behind her visor, and heads off after Hyris and Kostas.
The ship's sensors are restored to full operation, as are communications; the looped chatter of unloading cuts out, to sync in on the live Sith channels, which are engulfed in chaos. Two new capital ships (A Great Sith War-era battleship and cruiser) have emerged from a hyperspace microjump and opened fire on one edge of the spread-out Interdictor formation.
Sprinting the length of the docking spur, with Hyris trying to keep up (Seriously, calm down, Kostas), the once-Mandalorian is the first to board the asteroid base, finding a pile of scrapped droids, several functioning load lifters, and hundreds of durasteel cargo canisters. Most have been emptied, but not all.
Targi checks on the console while he nods to folk, "Looks like there was a fast off-loading, probably on station," while he begins to follow them to the station.
Making it into the station, Sara happens upon this massive pile of materiel, components, droids, cannisters and containers. She grows quiet, lifting her big cannon up and setting it down on the deck so she can look through all of the stuff gathered here. She starts doing a lot of the grunt work, hoisting up the kolto containers that have been drained, and setting them aside to make it easier to look through the other things. There's /some/ order to the chaos by the time the others arrive. They likely find the dark-haired warrior opening a large trunk of weapons to find new rifles neatly stored in the foam, ready for war!
Sara takes in a big whiff of air, and smiles. "..it still has that new rifle smell." She giggles, running her uncovered fingertips along the receiver of one rifle.
Tai heads on after Sara into the bay itself, and engages in her own poking around. <<"Looks like they've already decanted some of it.">> The Zabrak's time with the Mandalorians is somewhat evident given that she /also/ ends up at the weapons crate. <"Shiny. These /are/ pretty nice ones. new, too. I think I saw a heavy repeater crate a few over...">
Nodding Seeshon begins towards the airlock. "We should see if we can get the supplies, return them to the ship and then get it off world." He smiles as he looks at the droid components. "It would be a shame to leave this ship here when it's been so very helpful." With that he heads to join the others at the airlock. "We should be able to maintain air superiority." He seems almost to regret not being out there. Once he's caught up with the others he glances around, trying to locate the supplies. A quick glance spared for the Mandalorian. He seems distracted, his attention still on the battle happening outside.
Hyris eventually catches up with the Mandalorian as she stops to search through the massive pile of material. The woman reaches out with her free hand to draw the dropped blaster cannon towards her with the force. She reaches out with the lightsaber...and in a red flash the premium weapon is cut into two pieces. "Oh... my bad!" The Sith mocks with a passive aggressive tone. She covers her mouth to drive her point home.
"Oooh, assault cannons?" Asks the Mandalorian turning to look for them in time to see the other Sith Lord childishly destroy her personal weapon. As the cannon falls into two smoldering chunks at either side of the woman, Sara draws out a thermal detonator and brushes her thumb over the activation stud before smiling. "You showed me. I wonder how bad the Sith /really/ need this kolto. Or if Lord Malak will tolerate failing to get it?" The explosive is threateningly ticking down. "Oh, my bad..."
Targi looks to the detonator which is being held by Kostas, then he takes a moment to lift up his lightsaber while the other hand begins to shift upwards, manipulating the Force and affecting the Mandalorian's mind. Kolto must be saved, it looks like he will need to put his all into it while he focuses, "You *WILL* deactivate the thermal detonator and will SUBMIT!"
Kostas' fair face tilts slightly when the Sith commands she deactivate her weapon and submit. It takes a moment, but the Mandalorian's thumb brushes over the mini-nuclear device and her smile fades as all individual thought is replaced by those placed in her mind. "I will deactivate the thermal detonator and submit." Sara says calmly, staring blankly at the group for the moment, still under the spell of the force and its influence. She holds the weapon in her hand firmly, but it eventually finds its way back to the pouch on her belt. A methodical motion that was indicative of a warrior who had reached for that pouch a thousand times before.
Tai waves her fingers, and lifts the two halves of the cannon to hover next to her. <"Kostas. I'm Tai, of Clan Cirra. We can repair and reforge it. I liked working with you, and I know you have valuable skills."> The zabrak unseals and lifts off her helmet, an earnest expression on her face. "Skills that are valuable to Lady Revan, and to the rest of us. It's in /all/ of our best interests that we keep working together."
Seeshon frowns at the destruction of the weapon, a look of anger flashing across his features at the act for a moment. When Targi uses the Force to De-esculate things he relaxes a little, looking to Tai as she speaks he seems thoughtful before looking to Kostas. "We have an objective to complete, let's get the kolto loaded and we can get out of here." He frowns. "We've less than half the kolto, if we can secure this base we may be able to recover more, or at least determine where it has been sent." He turns his attention to the task of loading the kolto.
Hyris looks with approval at Targi as the Farghul defuses the situation...to a degree, quite literally. She lets out a snicker and shakes her head as Tai offers to repair it. The woman stows her lightsaber along an attachment point on her clothing.
The advance team gradually returns to the task of locating any remaining Kolto amid the debris stewn hangar. In the end, they will find that 47 percent of the Derriphan's original tonnage of kolto remains; a sizable cache, to be sure.
The battle beyond the asteroid hangar is short and sharp, well before the prized canisters are re loaded, the ambush is over, the attackers have fled, and Malek's fleet (less one destroyed Interdictor and a number of fighters) hold supremacy unchallenged in the Cron system. Mission accomplished.