Log:Aldera Squad: Interdicting Interdiction
<<"In and out, don't get bogged down in a scrap, if it looks like ammo or fuel storage we hit it and keep going. Do as much damage as we can on our way through, have sensors going full power and record everything.">> Bors's E-Wing was set to match the speed of the X-Wings present in squad, trying to keep formation from breaking as Aldera Squadron approaching bright lights resolving into shapes akin to pre-fab work-station pods and storage structures. Warning signals broadcasting automated 'stand down' warnings pinging comms.
More of Lana's assets aiding her interdiction of supply headed for Alderaan. Everything from food, medicine and consumer goods being taken and routed to Leilani city or holdings of Panteer's allies holdings. Trying to starve out the Loyalist houses, trying to turn the citizenry against House Cortess.
<<"We may not get another shot at this and retrieval won't be easy if we get shot down.">> chin strap tight and the new helmet feeling odd with the padding forming to his head. Azure paint striped by silver speed lines and the reflective visor pulled down, covering all but his mouth with the letter Besh over where each of his eyes are. <<"Techie you're with Oh My, on her wing. Mamma's Boy with me... Mother grant thee speed and Father thee strength.">>
<<"Aldera Three copies,">> Aryn relays back, her helmet on and visor down. Her voice sounds slightly robotic over the encrypted net. Aryn adjusts her speed to max, and flips a switch to enhance her sensors, but alas hers were not near as powerful as some of the interceptors that made up a large percentage of their squad. When they began to come into range, Aryn opens her s-foils, priming her combat systems to release volleys of laser cannon fire!
<<"I'll do my best, Leader,">> comes Alderaa Two's reply, answered in kind by her own s-foils parting and her targetting systems coming online. She pulls in line with Aryn's x-wing and gives the princess a little wave from her cockpit. <<"Oh My? I didn't know we had upgraded your callsign. I like it.">>
"I'm not painting it pink." Said Ejnar in a very stubborn way. His droid, Five-Tee sitting behind him just behind the cockpit and behind the top side havy canon, whistled in obstinacy. "Well I don't care what you think it would look well. For all we know it's going to be a Lava race this time!" The droid starts to whistle and bleep rapidly just as Bors comes in over comms. "Shhhh, pipe down. Leads on." Ejnar chides the droid who silences its self. Ejnar cycles the sensors and does a few checks, positioning and matching speed with Bors. <<" Six copies, Lead. On your wing.">> Lord Celchu takes a deep breath and looks down towards the approaching city scape, his hand on the control yoke making minor adjustments with the turbulence in the Atmosphere.
At top speed it doesn't take long to pass into proximity of the structures and their interconnecting walk-tubes. E-Wings then X-Wings passing between cables and superstructure close enough to rattle the insides of the ad-hoc station. Spilling crew out of seats and sending others panicked for emergency suits. Real voices add to the stand-down warning message. Commands to surrender, to move out of the structure zones.
It's a jumble of shapes and structures. Of warnings on sensors stating that there are craft incoming with powered shields and weapon systems. That there are automatic sentries, but no fire yet. Or possibly holding back, droid brains waiting for shots that won't jeopardize the station hovering in the void far from any of the system planets. The system star like a moon, glittering distantly.
<<"Transmitting the data Cedar got.. stand by. -- On first glance, there appears to be a few priority targets situated on the surface, however, Cedar detects a structure deeper within; something that could dock a few ships.">> Aryn's transmission cuts short as the rookie fighter pilot begins to navigate the sophisticated challenges they must fly through. In the process of navigating, Aryn triggers her cannons to release a volley of red lances!
WAP! WAP! WAP! WAP!
The cannons hit hard, resulting in a sudden explosion that didn't expand until after the snubfighter had zipped by. <<"..also.. splash one turret...">> Aryn is glancing back briefly, then ahead, a little confusion in her expression. <<"..I think..">>
Now in the thick of things, focus comes a little easier. Weaving between boxy structures and thin walk-tubes becomes a subconscious game of ups and downs. Lefts and rights. A spin here. A buzz there. Anything that keeps those guns from getting a solid lock on them. <<"Right on you, Oh My.">> Though the cannon fire that follows Aryn's is way off its mark. Certainly gave those stuck watching in horror a reason to pucker their collective bums all the same.
If she were the type to curse, Ulani would be cursing. As it is, she holds her controls a bit tighter in frustration but continues to keep up with Alderaa Three.
Ejnar waves through the super structures just aft and to the port side of Bors. A steady hand and a hawkish eye guides his craft. His azure gaze looks down to the scrolling sensors now and again, Five-Tee in charge of taking the pictures. "Stop... right there..." The droid scrolls back on image. "Back one more... Zoom in..." THe droid does as commanded. "Ahah..."
<<"Lead, Six here. I got a positive contact on some fuel storage rigging at the center of the complex. Suggest a torp run. It will probably take out that and more. Sharing sensor data... now">> While that gets sent Aryn's own targeting data comes in. He cycles quickly through the closer targets and picks a turret just up ahead of him. He barrel rolls and then levels his craft. Three linked canons rip into the turret and it explodes violently in a bright sparking flash. <<"Turret gone.">>
Shrapnel is flying as one, two, then three of the visible turrets are gone, Bors's fire chasing behind Ejnars's to stitch along and turn that third into a swelling durasteel balloon that becomes another blossom of fire. Debris skitters along shields becoming simulacrum of meteor showers in their wake, the remaining turret swiveling the middle of its body and opening up with quad laser bursts to chase after Aldera Three as all four craft rip by.
<<"Good eyes, push in, take your shots and don't stop to admire the handiwork.">> Bors's voice crackling and distorted over comms, quieting when the half dozen sensor marks visualize as Cutlass craft with their forward cannons already heating up in preparation to fire.
Quick maneuvering, split second timing, and reactive use of maneuvering systems keep Aldera Squad from smashing into hulls or getting parts of their craft caught on cables. Evading crashes and putting targets in sight, prior sensor highlights making them jump out bright orange on HUDs, flashing green when targeting reticles wipe over them,
But at the middle of it all, spaced from the fuel and ordinance pods, the 'ribs' of a miniaturized shipyard with the skeletons of what look like T-85s being built by droids within them.
<<"It is new to me as well, Two.">> Aryn finally gets around to answering Ulani as the pair were told to return for another run. Aryn complies, increasing her speed by pushing the throttle, then engaging the after burners a second later. The general force of the speed put Aryn firmly against her seat with a stuttered, "..o-oh myyy." Relying on her enhanced senses, Aryn guided Aldera Three right into the narrow canal where all the docking and construction was taking place. Seeing the targets partly obscured with rapidly passing ribs, Aryn's reference of the manual indicated using a targeting device.
Her intuition told her to use the Force, and as her perception of time began to slow in that instant, her connection to the Force strengthened. Aryn's eyes locked onto her target and after a second of honing her connection, she released two linked, vibrant and violet proton torpedoes. Just as Bors said, her focus was on movement, not results, so Aldera Three had no idea her torpedoes made their mark, key-holed through the maze of ribs to smack one of the docking arrangements, and transforming it into charred slag. <<"Two torpedoes out, but I have no visual on effect!">> Aryn warns, turning her focus to another fly by..
Unwilling to blitz through without offering some kind of assist, Ulani starts to divert some of the auxiliary power. This, as expected, upsets Rinky Dink -- her R2 unit -- quite a bit. He starts beeping and squealing in what can only be droid-like panic. "Don't mind it, Rinky. I know what I'm doing." Or at least she hopes that she knows. She thinks she knows. Flying with the Black for even the short span she did, it was impossible not to pick up on a few tendencies.
Not to mention her beau treats every vehicle capable of flight as if it were his precious A-wing. So that even a luxury flight would often turn into a barrel roll and a too-fast landing. Thus Alderaa Two's thrusters SCREAM to life and she bolts forward as irresponsible speeds; exploding two containers with expert shots followed by the ceremonial lighting of a fuel rod that gets the fireworks popping like a centennial celebration. <<"Splash... ah... a bunch. A lot. Much splashing.">>
<<"You got it... Oh my?">> Ejnar says over comms, trying out the call sign and really having a hard time with it. "Oh my... OHHHHH MYYYYY." He shakes his head and gets back into the game, <<"Heavy Damage but it's repairable... I'm going to follow up.">> They could go after fuel pods and ordinance all day, but if they had the ships to use it such as the T-85's under construction than it would make missions like this even harder to do. "This thing needs to go." Pulling back hard on the yoke, Ejnar manages some distance from the construction site. He's too close and there's too much in the way to use the computer so he goes by his gut. Taking a deep breath he looses two Torpedo's. They same violently into a fuel rod. <<"I was totally aiming for that... by the way.">> He mentions with a sigh and a shake of the head.
<<"Copy three, they're away.">>
The detonations of ordinance being set off by cannon fire piercing their storage boxes and setting them alight is creating a mess with readouts for all of the 'sensor flak' suddenly in the area. Shields are reporting minor strikes and hab-pods are being shoved by shockwaves that cause connection tubes to bow and bulkheads to kink at crumple zones.
When the miniature suns of the proton warhead strikes on the buildyard ribs go out, it's as though a massive bite had been taken out of them. Molten metal was looping and cooling into myriad designs that could be art if not for the circumstance.
The incoming cutlass craft weaving through detonations that are providing a screen for the Loyalist forces. Only one from the back half of the fighter wing able to get a shot and daring to take it on Aldera Lead, opening up with ratcheting cannon chatter that sends Bors into a wheeling roll that risks contact with a floating container crate,
<<"Bounders!">> Language, Bors! His spleen being further vented on a fuel rod, drawing a line of black char marks up the slender central line that breeches and ignites spacecraft fuel, turning the storage bulbs into spark-lights that overcharge and bursts like too much amperage has been run through.
Flash cooling slag shaped like wheeling plates and spinning daggers now fill the air and the central construction structure sparks, gushing flame from rents in its hull and loosing droids who cannot maintain their contact with the metal plating.
Aryn pulls off death-defying flying as she rounds back into the narrow canal for a second pass. It's not without its risk, which Aryn realizes when a turret manages a slight blow against her shield. Adjusting her flight pattern to mitigate, she starts her approach just as her BB-series droid, Cedar, dips inside the craft to begin routing power to shields.
She has clear sight of the construction yard, and with a final pair of violet torpedoes released, Aryn renders the construction yard total slag, prompting a chain reaction of explosions that expand just as the T-85 Aldera Three is zipping out of the range.
<<"This is Three; I think I hit something important down there..">> Aryn wasn't being funny, she just didn't pay attention to the result of the blast.
There is little time to enjoy splashing a'many popping boxes as more reinforcements are on the way. <<"You know, we should do more collarteral runs. We appear to be quite good at those.">> She's still keeping up with her wingman -- wingwoman -- wingwing -- as the pair strafe through the maze of tubes and containers and leave explosions in their wake.
Three of Ulani's own cannos hit another fuel rod in passing, but it is the booms from Aryn's target that turns her head. <<"Can confirm, Three. I do believe you hit something quite imporatnt indeed.">>
Ejnar didn't often talk much on comms but as of late he'd been feeling chatty. <<"You know...">> There was a strain in his voice as he looped around a tower and ducked under some cables and walkways, barrel rolling here, cartwheeling there. All of it took a bit of strain on his body. <<"A lot of the missions back in the Civil War days... at least this is what my Father tells me. IT was less so Dog Fighting and more so... this.">> Ejnar cycles through his target list and recognizes the crate. <<"Ah yes... hunting down entire convoys of Baleen Freighters. Running away when the Imps show up. Those were the says.">> He squeezes the trigger on his yoke, sending three heavy canon blasts rocketing into one of the Ordinance Pods. It explodes several times, bright an fiery. Definitely some secondary and tertiary combustion in it.
<<"Thine father was oft a figure of discussion when ere I was held close, on the family Ship, hearing of exploits done. Thought oft extrapolated from news reports.">> Bors comments through gritted teeth, a shower of sparks running to either side of the centerline of his fighter where it scrapes against a hab-pod, narrowly avoiding being hurled into open space by disrupting navigation.
It still kicked him into an awkward spin that put his nose facing incoming Cutlass fighters.
A shipyard rib, somehow having survived the second torpedo run, spins into a causeway tube between hab pods that are launched back by the burst of atmosphere caught between that is ignited by flame jetting from the destruction, bending other tubes connecting them to more and creating a chaos pattern of untethered connections and cables that snap and flail in the eternal night like wild snakes.
<<"Lead! Watch your tail!">> <<"Can't shake him! C-">> comms caught over waves just before Aldera Lead flies through the fireball that used to be one of the defending craft, using it to screen against a turret and slewing his fighter to one side to pummel shields of another fighter, hammering them to failure before the heavy guns rip the next ship asunder.
<<"Aldera Lead, splash two.">>
And then sensor warnings, as well as droids, begin to scream at the appearance of the Light of Truth dropping from microjump and already beginning to turn its batteries towards the attacking fighters. Station or no.
<<"Lead, squad... That's our call to exit...">> a warning tone sent over comms from Bors that is chased by micro-jump coordinates in short order, <<"Let's go!">>
With an outbound vector and the order to bug out given, Aryn nods and confirms, <<"Three copies.. setting course for the jump!">> Cedar scrambles the hyper jump coordinates and processes the computer. Aryn is tasked with aligning for the jump. When a beep announced the jump was ready, she didn't hesitate. The lever was pulled back, and she was put firmly against her seat as the X-Wing zipped from sight.
That's all she needs to hear. Ulani is in the process of lining up another shot when the orders come through and before she can bank one way or the other, Rinky is beeping incessantly behind her. "Yes, I heard. We're going. Start calculating the jump coordinates." Flick. She switches to the comms again. <<"Three, I'm with you on the exit. Afraid I've used up my bravado, so not quite eager to leap into another gunning line. But next time, mmm?">>
But not today. They've blowned up enough today to give their enemies something to occupy their time for quite a while. It is no surprise that her R2 unit has the coordinates plugged in lickity split. If it's one thing Rinky Dink is good at, it's exacuation. Just her luck Ulani ended up with the one droid that dislikes being in space.
Sure, she could reprogram him, but that gets into a whole ethical quandary. That, too, can be for another day. On the tail of the others, Ulani hits the hyperdrive and watches the stars streak into lines and then burst into the purples and blues of hyperspace.
There is a flash and a slight rock of Aldera 06's chassis when one of the turrets actually manages a score on him. Ejnar check the shields and shakes his head, just a bit of a singe. Nothing to worry about but something that should have an eye kept on it. When the Light of Truth flashes into existence and lights up his sensor screen, Ejnar grits his teeth. <<"Aye, Lead. Good call.">> Pulling back hard on the stick, the E-wing climbs rapidly away from the now mostly wrecked station. Five-Tee was already calculating the microjump. Heroics and bravado could be saved for the swoop race, being a combat pilot was already far too deadly of a career. Without any preamble, once the jump coordinates were set Ejnar pulled back on the lever and his E-Wing stretched and zipped away into Hyperspace.
The Cutlass craft bank and disburse at the sight of the friendly frigate when it hoves into view. Getting clear when the batteries begin to speak, the ships pointed prow angled towards Aldera Squadron so that the full fury of its turrets can be brought to bear. Combining to look akin to a beam of pure fire drawing across the black of space, colouring nearby hab pods cherry red and ripping several to atoms while the line arcs like water from a hose after the fleeing craft.
<<"Good work everyone...">> a hint of tone suggesting the perspiration beading at his temples and rolling down Bors's jaw, feeling the heavy fire that could cripple light cruiser shields behind he and his fellows when they begin sounding off and It provides reports as each one has disappeared, following the flicker of pseudo-motion preceding their lines stretching and then disappearing in a flash. Much as his own craft does before he is in the hypertunnel as well, on the short trip to the far side of New Alderaan, where the Bail Organa awaits their return.
- Meanwhile, in Leilani City ***
"What... DO you MEAN... it's gone!?"
One of the message couriers was on the ground with a solid durasteel blade hewn through bone and organs, blood pooling all around and the low lighting of the throne room casting the woman's figure in shadow, shave for a line of light highlighting one narrowed eye and the savage, snarling, frown.
"It's gone, your G-g-g... Grace. They... It was a Rebel Strike..."
The man flinched away, covering his face, but she turned, hands fists at her sides and the blade lodged still in the cooling body sliding down the steps from the dais of her throne.
"That's IT... Contact the General... Call ALL OF THEM... NOW... AND THE ADMIRALS!" hands lifted, elbows sharply bent as if to resist bindings about her upper arms and chest, "I've had ENOUGH OF THIS... I WANT HER HEAD! I WANT THEIR HEADS! I WANT PLANS OF ACTIONS OR I'LL HAVE ALL OF -THEIR- HEADS!"