Log:Aldera Squad: Poking The Wampa
Sensor pings that had been nothing but blips to indicate position were gaining transponder designations as the elements of Aldera Squadron neared them. Identifying R-41 Starchasers under Lance Squadron and Skipray Blastboats under Spear.
Beyond them the Lancer Frigate, The Light of Truth was resolving from what appeared as first as large star, but its shape becoming sharper on scopes. Already starting to turn in the wake of the dozen spade shaped fighters moving at full speed towards the loyalist squadron. Automated signals demanding surrender to House Panteer incoming over broadband comms.
<<"Lead, Squadron, as a dear friend, mine, would be wont to say in moment such as we find: We have but one shot at this!">> Bors's voice sung out over comms while the flight was moving in assault formation, three wings - short squadron, half strength, <<"Each one of them we put out of commission means more transports can reach New Alderaan. That is food and medicine, clothes and neccessities that the people need. It also means Lana's forces will be thinner for our next steps.">>
The incoming Lance Squadron's systems show weapons and deflectors to full, the signals demanding surrender having ceased and the dozen fighters breaking into wings, <<"Mamma's boy with me, Seven with Three, Five with Nine. We make two, maybe three sweeps and we micro-jump at the coordinates already in your systems. More than that and that Lancer will be getting in range.">>
Ejnar double checked his VFR instruments as well as his sensors. "We good to go, Five-Tee?" Asked the Alderaanian Lord of the droid seated behind him in his E-Wing Snubfighter. As sensor pings started to pop up and then identifications of the enemy squadrons came in, he sounded off. <<"Roger Lead, on you... I'm going to head after the Blastboats. They're mean and have heavier armor and shields than the Star Chasers.">>
His afterburners flared to life, a nice purple color as he matched speed with Bors leaving some of the slower ships behind them.
<<"This is Three, understood. Moving for Seven's wing.">> Cuts the posh sound of Aryn Cortess as she adjusts her flightpath for Cian Eastim's fighter, engaging her thrusters and opening the S-foils for her T-85 X-wing. The mechanical noise is heard within the cockpit, but otherwise lost in the symphony of noise generated by the afterburners. Aryn is pumping enough speed that she closes the distance quick and begins flipping down a few switches to initiate her targeting computer. <<"Three, ready to go, Lead.">>
Zipping through space, Yv keeps her eyes on the flight instruments before her, gauging any number of things that one ought to be gauging when in this situation - speed, location, what she knows of the enemy's tactics, and those of her fellow soldiers. When she sees a clear opportunity to fire, she does. Quietly, she speaks, updating her fellow squadron members.
Cian Eastim punches it in his X-wing, flying with Yv in a team formation of sorts along with the rest of the squadron. <<"I'm gonna gun for the big guy, Yv-">> Laughing as she fires he nods out the window to the rest of the group as he can see those close by in space. Opening fire he misses but turns as he tries to follow to get another bead on the enemy.
The two strike-interceptors blowing past the screen sows confusion in the ranks. Forcing fighters to spiral out of the way, dive or bank hard in the attempt to get clear of fire that has begun peppering them. It serves to help line up targets for Aldera Squad and to diffuse the weight of return fire that would be brought around for their response.
<<"Lead, Copy Mamma's Boy, on your wing. Focus fire, they've got thick skins.">> Bor's voice, made tinny and robotic by scramblers, cutting off when one of the R-41s twirls into a surprising half-loop to rake fire across his rear deflectors, <<"Rest of you, work on their snubs and call out if you need help!">>
The bulk of two Skiprays growing in the forward view of the paired E-Wings, turrets beginning to rotate to lead and track. Their hinged, forward slung, tail fins rotating sharply in harmony for the intended killbox.
In the scrum of the furball where the rest, it's ten to four, with the older model fighters attempting to focus wings on single fighters. The advantage of the Loyalist fighters being The Princess's ability to directly work with the Republic. Newer craft, modern equipment. Thus far it has been the balancing factor of numbers in past engagements.
It's a weaving, looping, torrent of craft. Proximity sensors buzzing, target lock warnings, jetwash making shields flare. The lead and XO of Lance Squadron paired with different wings than normal, further confusion seeded. But the Light of Truth is coming about and its batteries of quad turrets are being brought to bear.
Ejnar barrels through the Starchaser screen, juking and jiving around the craft as the Squadron merges with them, causing all sorts of havoc in the ranks of Lance Squadron. His afterburners flare even brighter as he pushes past and towards the Blastboats. 5T whistles for him to pay attention to his aft. He looks to the sensors and notices a Starchaser he picked up on his tail, looking over his shoulder he can see it start to fire. He rolls his nimble craft, letting the light laser slip past him and into the background of stars. "Don't got time for that... The Blastboats hit hard."
Blastboats were tough, heavily shielded and armored for heavy fighter craft. However... they could be a bit slow and hard to handle especially against a faster interceptor like the E-Wing Snubfighter. Ejnar lined up his shot, the retical on his HUD going green. He squeezed the trigger and all three of his thick fat lasers smashed into the shielding of Spear one, ripping away the deflectors into nothing more than a thin wisp. <<"Six, Positive Contact...">>
Aryn is pursued by two, taking her away from Seven and flying closer to Zacara. A pre-empted motion initiated by Aryn ensures the fighters following her have no definitive hit against her vessel, though the BB-series droid in the socket behind Aryn is all too worried about the fighters behind them. "Do not worry, Cedar.. I can feel them.."
This is said as Aryn is tracking her own target through the targeting computer. They're smacked with one cannon, and then a second volley picks the Starchaser a part, her own snubfighter passing by just before the fuel cells erupted and the fighter was destroyed. <<"This is Three, splash one.">> Aryn engages her afterburners to find another to deal with.
Aldera 05 throttles up as incoming fire focuses on her, taking her craft into a tight crescent swoop, twisting laterally at the same time to give her evasive maneuver an extra few meters of breathing room. Good thing, too, as the laser blasts closely miss her. Coming out of the crescent, she lights up the R-41 that's actively firing on her wingmate, red lasers meeting hull plates and gracing the pair with an explosive display. Zacara reaches for her comms switch as she throttles back down to match speed and fly adjacent to Nine, following the X-Wing in its maneuvers. <<"Five's got L-5.">>
<<"Hit. Shields still okay">> Yv speaks, calmly, the Tattoine native unphased taht she's being shot at, in space, even though she tried to pilot defensively out of the way. Recovering, she moves back into formation with the other fighters, listening to Bors' next orderes. <<"Copy that">> Yv replies, then steers her craft into place, firing at said subs. <<"Fired sir. It went boom.">> she says in that same, calm, chill voice.
Cian Eastim is trying to get a bead on the CO's spacecraft, lining up that next shot when he comes under fire and takes evasive maneuvers. Barrel rolling he is able to nearly come out unscathed but his shields take a hit.
<<"Taking fire, maneuvering, shields hit but ok.">> Calling out as his X-wing zips around he adds <<"Engaging enemy CO, miss">> Growling as he is out maneuvered he punches it, trying to clear enemy fire to line up his next attack.
That Starchaser was still on him but that type of craft could be dealt with later. Their light lasers drifted past the nimble E-wing as Ejnar looked back and used his visual scanners to anticipate the less experienced Pilot's moves. He turns his head to watch Spear one erupt into a fireball as Bors follows up with the attack, <<"Hell yeah, lead. Let's go for another.">>
He rotates hard, pulling his stick back and sending his speeding craft into a tight loop. Spear two appears before him, instantly shooting their Ions at him. THey zip past as Ejnar makes micro adjustments to clear the incoming fire. His reticle goes green again and he fires. Three heavy canons smash again into the shields, ripping them from the craft and setting up his wingmate for the follow up. He rockets past the Skiprey, looking back behind him to see the results.
Aryn, once again, avoids certain doom as she flies evasively enough that laser lances intended for her craft streak out to the void. Her targeting computer aligns a shot with R9 in the moments that follow, and she begins to squeeze the trigger on the yoke, releasing a quad of cannon bolts in passing.
WAP, WAP, WAP, WAP!
At least one lance manages to hit.
After taking her first hit of the battle, the flight's only A-Wing at present, Aldera 05, pauses to assess the damage, but suddenly breaks off from the fighters once its pilot recognizes an opportune shot at one of the Skiprays in the near distance. It's against orders, but smugglers are opportunists and Zacara Saronno was still more smuggler than combat pilot.
The kinks were still being ironed out.
Despite all of that, Aldera 05's golden engines flare to full throttle as she levels out at an attack trajectory that aims laser canons directly at the gunboat's broadside. The canons light the space between the two starships red, those red bolts fizzling away the larger craft's shields and leaving a minor hull breach on its portside. With a lopsided grin, a smuggler's trademark, Zacara brings the A-Wing up in a wide return pattern to re-join Aldera 09, throttling down to match speeds with th
Cian Eastim keeps trying for that CO ship and missing but he doesn't give up. Calling out his attack he comes under fire and rolls and out maneuvers the attack with a whoop!
When she's next attacked, Yv, perhaps learning from that previous hit, steers away, the PEW PEW of the opposing side missing her. Keeping her bearings as the craft rolls in space, she moves into position, attempting to steady. Missing, she lets out a stream of cuss words under her breath. <<"Sorry, boss">> she relays her miss over the channel, likely apologizing for that rather than her cussing. Then, she can be heard calling out a few words of praise to her droid for getting shields back online.
Cian Eastim keeps trying for that CO ship, zooming at full speed as he chases after the more experienced pilot. It's hard in combat like this to keep on one target but he pushes the attack and hits shields but calls out the hit over his coms to let the rest of the squadron know the status.
Banking hard he comes under fire again and maneuvers clear of the worst of it but still takes a few hard hits to his shields as he tries to outpace those ships firing on him.
Combined interceptor fire brings down the second blastboat. Shields reduced to a fraction of their power, erased and then fire cuts the craft's reach section apart in a riot of explosions stitch along the ventral side and then following the stream of jet fire from the ejecting pilot. Narrowly clearing danger where others have been vaporized.
More fire comes from the distant Lancer, though proximity sensors give warning that Aldera Squad is on the very edges of range for the multitude of cannons that continue to spew fire into the void,
<<"Lead, Squad. Mamma's Boy and Five can fight over that splash. Skiprays are down. Bug out.">> Bors's voice bursting over comms, tight and controlled in tune with the wheeling of the E-Wing to dip around the rapid fire plasma bursts trailing after his craft.
<<"Supporters of the Usurper, this is the Light of Dawn. If you stand down you will still face fair trial before the true ruler of Alderaan. This is your only warning.">> the clipped tones of the Light's captain now over broadband communication, the weight of their fire finding debris of the Skiprays and reducing it to slag in an intimidating array of firepower being put on display.
<<"Zacara can take that one...">> Ejnar mentions over comms, checking is scopes. Big hitters were down. He could turn and bug out but being the daring pilot that he was, he knows he has just a little bit more time. That Starchaser was still on his rear, shooting at him and missing. He turned sharply, pirouetting his craft. His redical goes green and he fires. The Star chaser erupts into flames as Ejnar pirouettes his craft again and moves on towards the exit point.
"Five Tee, switch to general comms..." He says after The Light Of Dawn makes their warning. <<"Get Bent, Light of Dawn...">> He pushes his throttle forwards as fast as it can go, afterburners roaring and glowing intensely.
<<"Understood, Lead. Making for an escape vector.">> Aryn had no qualms breaking contact from her target. The effort earned her the ire of two others, but Aryn's connection to the Force seemed to put any concerns her poor droid Cedar had, to rest. Her T-85's S-foils locked to cruise, the sudden burst in speed planting her firmly against her seat. Cedar saw to the manipulation of shields to have them angled stern, while she trigger the nav-computer to configure a micro-jump away. When the command came out, she shoved the throttle forward, and everything stretched out in front of her as her craft zipped from view in the blink of an eye.
Zacara keeps her A-Wing nimble, avoiding further fire as the squadron disengages, and as everyone comes around to get to hyperspace range, the Alder-Espirion furrows her brows and grits her teeth upon seeing Lead and Six's radar pings head TOWARD the danger. <<"Kriff alive, you two. Engaging jammers,">> comes her voice over the Squadron comms in a low growl. Reaching forward, Zacara twists a dial, pressing two buttons and flipping a switch and Aldera 05's interference jammers broadcast system-wide, disabling targetting arrays and communications equipment until she's got everyone to a safe distance. Or until she dies. It's not like it would take them long to deduce which ship is emitting the jamming signals. Aldera 05 follows Aldera 03's signals toward the escape vector.
As a new pilot to the squadron, Yv doesn't take any chances - when Bors says bug out, she prepares to bug out, moving to follow Aryn's lead. <<"Copy, sir">> she says over channel, maneuvering her craft into prime gfto positioning. Then, she flips switches, turns dials, and blasts out of there as directed.
Cian Eastim is right with the rest of the squadron and follows on Yv's six. << "Roger" >> he calls over the coms and blasts on out.
The two E-Wings are ironically the last two out, just behind Aldera 5, the A-Wing blasting its scramble signals cutting off comms and causing momentary pandemonium on the command bridge of the Lancer. Figures scurry while the commander bellows with fists raised to shoulder height. What would have been a wall of concentrated point defense fire becomes a scattered cone when jamming signals send misinformation to computer assisted targeting.
Turrets swivel off mark. Quadrupled staccato lines intersect, some even impacting in vacuum to spectacular visual effect when the destructive energies destabilize one another. What little can be brought to bear on Aldera Lead and Six bracket them. Even the narrowest space between cannon fire and Bors is narrowly scraped past by last minute twist of his flight stick and forgotten when his tri-linked heavies come into play, adding insult to injury by finishing off Lance Leader whose shields had already been weakened by Cian's trigger finger.
Aboard the Light of Truth, a gunnery chief is grabbed by their shirt collar and hauled close to a bellowing face, Captain Talia Rist hurling invectives at the poor sot while the second in command and others look through forward viewports, the only thing available with jamming cutting out assisted views.
The last of the small forms of fighter craft elongating in pseudo-motion before disappearing to Light Speed and to safety.