Log:Aldera Squad: Serreno Trail
[ Ejnar Celchu (Ejnar)]
Aldera Squad found themselves hovering some distance away from the wreckage they had wrought in the Halmad System, having returned a week or so later at the behest of New Republic Intelligence. The remaining two Aratech Bulk Freights that survived were gone and so were the Victory Class Star Destroyer named 'Reckoning' and returning nemesis the Nebulon B Frigate 'Antan's Revenge'. All that was left was scrap and the opportunistic salvagers that were now picking apart the wreckage. They had paused a moment when the Republic IDC's popped up on their sensors, worried it was some type of local enforcement fighters... but then went back to their work once the Flight of fighters went about their own business.
Droids, navi-computers, Brains all worked and waited as the numbers were crunched from the data recovered during their Raid. Every twenty minutes or so a single number in a hyper coordinate would pop out. When the calculations were done, the Navi computer lined up the coordinates with a system already in its Databanks. Serenno. The world had some similarities with Aldaraan, mainly that it was ruled by an aristocracy and had a number of regional Counts. One of them happened to be Count Dooku also known as Darth Tyranus, a high member of the Confederacy during the Clone Wars. Jedi with knowledge may know more about him than the average layman.
Ejnar was flipping through a few things on a Datapad, wedding plans, menus... a whole mess of things. Five Tee whistled at him as soon as the calculations were done. "Huh... interesting." He keyed his comms, his voice coming through on the secure Squadron channel in odd changing tones due to the constantly modulating encryption. <<"Aldera Six... Calculations complete for jump. Ready when you all are.">>
Jumping in blind into enemy territory was very dangerous, but someone had to do it in order to get intel and the rest of the New Republic was busy fending off the Sith Empire and keeping the peace with the First Order.
[ Bors Thul (BT)] "I'm goin' there... to see my father. I'm goin there, no more to roam. I'm only travelin' oe'r Alderaan. I'm only goin' oe'r home..."
Singing to himself while waiting, head back, visor up and eyes closed with his hands on his stomach until Ejnar's report crackled over comms. Sitting up and slapping a button on his controls, <<"Aldera Lead, copy you Six. Aldera Squadron, set forth and leap to the space between the stars, ere the foeman slip past and wisdom be lost for our tardiness.">>
It already plugging in the coordinates and locking in the jump, causing Bors to stare at his nav boards for a beat. "Oh that's right." too used to doing everything himself for decades before he had the droid to assist.
<<"Aldera Lead, squadron. This is a mission of expedience and gathering. Scan and record, dare thee not become entangled. Find the foe's number and ships then get the hence... Jumping in ten...">>
[ Zacara Saronno (Zaca)] Zacara Saronno was relaxing as well as she could in the tight space of the A-Wing's cockpit during the hyperflight to the Serenno system. For her part, she had never heard of Count Dooku, and, it being roughly fifty years since they began, wasn't the most educated on the Clone Wars. She knew the main bullet points that the primary schools teach on Espirion, but any knowledge of a 'Count Dooku' only stayed in her brain long enough to pass an exam as a young girl. All that she was concerned about tonight was finishing the mission that started a week ago. The nerds had run the numbers she helped gather in that previous mission and it was time to put them to use.
'ere the foeman slip past and wisdom be lost for our tardiness.' came over the encrypted comm prior to the jump and the Espirion had quirked a brow, using the time of the jump to try and work with the puzzle pieces to translate that to Basic in her mind. The computer chimed and Bluff sat up, hands wrapping around throttle and flightstick. The puzzle would have to be solved later. She reaches forward, keying to transmit. <<"Five copies. Scout and report.">>
[ Aryn Cortess (AC)]
<<"Three copies, scouting and reporting.">> Aryn's voice is a bit dull, but not from boredom, just from being focused on the instruments in front of her and the general readouts. "You have the jump coordinates, Cedar?" The droid warbled something back to Aryn and she nodded. "Be ready when they start to jump!" She sets her craft to follow in formation, one gloved hand resting on the lever to send them ahead.
[ Ejnar Celchu (Ejnar)]
Dots of starts turned into streams off light until they became solid white. Then with a flash the familiar blue vortex of Hyper Space permeated the view out of their cockpits. The trip countdown read fifteen minutes, a short jump and the first 7 minutes went by without a hitch... Until.
The Two E-Wings, A-Wing, and X-Wing of this flight of Aldera Squad were ripped from their peaceful home in Hyperspace back into real space...
Before sensors could catch up, visual scanning was the first thing available to the pilots. Sitting before them was an old Imperial Interdictor Barge, it's two large Gravity Well Generators active and spinning. Sixteen laser canons bristling and coming to life as the four enemy ships entered this empty section of space with nothing but stars and a few distant nebula around them. Several Aratech Bulk Freights sat as if waiting to be inspected.
Scanners started to catch up just as Ejnar turned off all his warning alarms and flashing lights. He went through a basic check of subsystems, making sure the wretch from Hyperspace didn't cause any problems. So far so good. <<"Been a while since I've had this happen... Either someone knew we were coming or this is a checkpoint...">> Or Both. He triggers his shields to double front and scans for any fighters.
[ Bors Thul (BT)] "Bloody hell." snapping his visor down and It wailing for their sudden predicament, "Yes, yes I'm aware. Increase shield output, I'm getting us righted." His e-wing's erratic, forced, emergence from hyperspace already being righted and the sight of the Interdictor filling his cockpit viewscreen.
A quick switch to comms and Bors's voice rendered warbling and metallic comes, <"Squad, Lead, well we know there be an Interdict-">> cut off by the deluge of laser fire that instincts drive him to maneuver through, twisting into a helix spiral, "Bugger". Weaving through much of the attacks with a stutter of emerald fire crashing against shields and making the droid behind him squeal.
"I'm very aware. Thank you."
It's the damned interdictor firing...
"It get me lock." switching then to comms <<"Squad, drop ordinance on that thing, get it to turn off the well generators or get rid of it so we can make an expeditious exit!">> signals light up on his HUD and the firing stud is pressed, blue fire streaking through space to slam into the shields of the massive craft. Not downing them, no, but causing them to opaque along one quarter of the projectors.
"See, I am attending."
[ Zacara Saronno (Zaca)] The computer had been reporting that the exit from hyperspace was coming up, but it didn't say it was -now-. That's the first thing that ran through Zacara's mind as the ship dropped violently in to subspace, twisting laterally from its latent momentum as the same alerts and klaxons sounded off in hers as did in Ejnar's. The difference between the two was that Zacara was able to focus within the noise, perceiving each alert as a different colored swirl before her like wisps of smoke from the air filters. "Blast it!" she declares, fighting with her systems to get control of the ship. Before she gets that control, however, the interdictor was already firing on she and her squad mates, and Zacara took two of those hits direct. Her shields shimmered all around her, dropping immediately below half, which was accompanied by yet another alert tone, its yellow strands joining the symphony of color in her cockpit.
Wresting control back of the flight systems, Zacara straightens her ship out, double checks that she's in rough distance of the rest of the squadron, quickly checks that everyone's beacons were still active and set to work charging her shields. The A-Wing doesn't have an astromech slot so the Espirion has to repair her shields manually. The power throttle is manipulated to divert emergency power to shields, but the system as a whole was still recovering from the force of the interdiction. It took quite the toll on the small frame of the A-Wing. The alerts still went on all around her, seemingly having little effect on her ability to focus. However, as she had regained control of the ship, they slowly started to dissipate, the swirls of color diminishing along with them. Finally, she had Aldera 05 stabilized and was able to issue a response. <<"Five copies, aim for the kriffing gravity wells.">>
[ Aryn Cortess (AC)]
When they emerge from hyperspace, the fight is on. They're immediately swarmed with incoming fire, and rather than fret about it, Aryn gives her focus to the Force, allowing the brief moments of clairvoyance to guide her through the motions. To any who follow the movements of the fighter, Aryn leads it through several ace techniques, but from Aryn's perspective, she's simply marrying her instinct to the influence of the Force.
She avoids fire, following the rest of the team, Aryn establishes a lock (thanks to Cedar) and releases a pair of torpedoes that speed straight toward the Interdictor barge. Shields shimmer upon impact, and though Aryn can't visually tell it's done anything, she knows that the torpedoes are nothing to scoff at.
[ Ejnar Celchu (Ejnar)]
Ejnar's cockpit rocks as he's hit by one of the Barge's bristling point defense turrets, the flash causing him to wince a bit. Five Tee whines at him, complaining, but The Alderaanian Lord has other plans. "No... not yet. See if you can piggy back off of Lead and Three's torp lock... This thing needs to go away." Thankfully the rest of the Squad had the same idea. Ejnar comes about and lets his torps loose, the purple-blue colored cones smashing into the shields. Lord Celchu takes a quick looks at the scanners. <<"Their shields are hurting after that...">>
The Barge continues it's madness, firing as well as it can at the much smaller and faster craft it was engaging. Mayhem on the bridge as low shield klaxons blared and some systems were flickering on and off. Crew worked to try and repair their shields...
The reprisal came then.
[ Bors Thul (BT)] "It I need thee release the safety locks on the torpedo tubes and route control fully to me with your firing solution." teeth grit and feeling the faintest tug of the maneuvers he is putting the craft through thanks to the droid having toyed, instinctively, with the inertial dampener when it saw what he was starting to do. "And get shields up."
Thoughts of his own safety going out the airlock with the need to get the others clear and with a passive acknowledgement, Bors throws his throttle to its much beloved '11' and leaning into his attack run.
"I know dark clouds, 'll gather 'round me. I know my way is rough an steep. But golden fields lay just before me, where the Father's Redeemed shall ever sleep."
Warnings begin lighting up across the board and a rapid twittering of beeps telling him that torpedo cycling is struggling when staggered pairs begin dropping from the tubes. Six in total in a dotted line that smash into shields, again, again and again until the the first electromagnetic tears sing of their impending collapse.
Then a section of the hull blows out and sympathetic detonations follow.
"I'm goin' home, to see my mother! And all my loved ones, who've gone on... I'm only going o'er Alderaan. I'm only going o'er home."
[ Zacara Saronno (Zaca)] Zacara was wearing her angry face. Pink brows cast down, yellow and green eyes narrowed in determination, jaw set to one side.
<<"Getting a lock on those bucketheads,">> she reports while the alarms around her finally fade.
This time when the interdictor fires on her, she's ready. Four turrets streak laserfire in her direction, one shot missing. The A-Wing spins and weaves between the other three like an acrobat competing in a tumbling exercise. The A-Wing levels out, flying closer to the interdictor. Attention is given to her computer as the smuggler runs the flight computer through its targetting routine. Sensors are locked on the interdictor and the instructions are issued to find a lock and hold it. <<"Locked. Priming missiles!">> Her other hand moves to her side console where she flips a safety panel open, then toggles the missile switch to 'active'. Underneath the hull, Aldera 5 loads its missiles into position, awaiting the fire command.
[ Aryn Cortess (AC)]
With the shields gone, Aryn hears the high toned noise of another lock, indicating she had a shot once the snubfighter was oriented toward the boat. Seeing it dead ahead, Aryn took a moment to suck in air, before triggering the second release of torpedoes. This time, when they connected, devastating damage was achieved along its exterior hull. <<"Direct hit on the exterior hull, but three is out of torpedoes. I can follow up with cannon blasts if our team does not get it with the next pass!">> Aryn's fighter zips by, angling wide and circling for another pass. Behind her, the trails of laser fire try to persuade her away from the craft, but Aryn's flying leave the enemy marksmanship much to be desired.
[ Ejnar Celchu (Ejnar)]
Ejnar sweeps in behind Aryn and lets loose another Volly of Torpedo's, green energy blasts whipping around him. The warhead impact on the hull, exploding deep into the Barge's superstructure... Yet it limps on and continues to fire back. The Gravity Well Generators still spinning and keeping the Squad from their mission. "You have /got/ to be kidding me." Ejnar proclaims to Five Tee just before the droid announces shields have been restored to full service. On the Barge, fire-teams work to contain fire. The Captain asks for a Damage report and is somehow pleasantly surprised that nothing major has been hit. "Get those Kriffin' shields back up. NOW!" They Order. The Barge burns, plasma flames erupting through massive scars where the Torpedo's have bit.
[ Bors Thul (BT)] <<"Copy Three, making my next pass. Six, if we're not where we should be check those coordinates, then get us a jump that puts us out of sensor range of there. We're going to need to decide if we need to restock or go on without ordinance.">> the E-wing hauling over in a loop that begins lazy, allowing a chance to track incoming fire chasing him from the Interdictor.
Banking into a quarter loop that blends into a corkscrew as though to mock the battery crews trying to lock their point weapons on his fighter. There is even a wing waggle when he spins on one axis and then another to bring his cannons on point.
Triple cannons spewing ethereal dragonfire that smash against shields that had only just begun to come back on line, struggling and holding against the onslaught issued, "I am a poor wayfarin' stranger! I'm travelin' through this void of woe..."
[ Zacara Saronno (Zaca)] Missiles locked, Zacara's gloved thumb triggers for launch. They're barely away before her internals are already loading the next, priming for fire. Ahead of her, the concussion missiles streak through the small gap between she and the interdictor, as she, too, was flying at full speed, and they collide with the shield in a noiseless explosion. Not that she would get to see it, as she throttles down to make a tight turn, throttling back forward to put some space between she and the larger ship so she can come around for that next run. Her hand twists on the stick making pre-emptive evasive moves, helping her to dodge all of the return fire so far.
[ Aryn Cortess (AC)]
Aryn, unsure of the readout, turns red as she realizes she misread her loadout. <<"Uhhh, Lead, I lied. I still have four torpedoes in the chute.. coming around for another pass..">> Said sheepishly. Warm cheeks do little to steal her focus from their purpose though, and as she rounds for another attack, she weaves between the incoming fire and releases a pair of torpedoes when the lock tone sounds off from her computer. When she passes by, there is an explosion, and the shields have shattered leaving the final pass open for Ejnar. Aryn doesn't state the obvious, she's embarrassed herself enough!
[ Ejnar Celchu (Ejnar)]
As Ejnar touches the stick very lightly, moving his craft nimbly between green laser fire, one scores a hitch on the shields again. It rocks his cockpit once more but it's less of a surprise. "Get on it Five Tee..." The droid warbles, "Don't give me any guff. I know you /just/ finished doing it."
Once More the Alderaanian Lorde comes about and behind Aryn's attack. A little to the port and just above her vertical axis. He launches his pen-ultimate round of Torpedoes just as the First Officer Announces to the Captain of the Barge that they've lost the Hyperdrive. Ironic, considering the mass generators were still running.
Lord Celchu's Proton Torpedo's smash into one of the generators, causing what could only be described as an anti-mater meltdown. The ship began to eat its self, liquid molten metal being swallowed into a swirling vortex of energy. Slowly the barge was ripped apart, forming into an excretion disc around a small black hole which started to swallow all the contents of the ripped apart barge.
Then it collapsed in on its self... The freighters around them all leaped into hyper space. Ejnar wasn't focused on that. Instead he was focused on orders and running math through the computer after checking to make sure there were no other threats. <<"Ready to jump lead...">> And with out another word, his craft turned and leaped into hyperspace.
[ Bors Thul (BT)] Watching the craft go up and the freighters light out, Bors nods to himself. They're alive and the remains of the Interdictor are alternately blowing out or being sucked into themselves.
<<"Copy, Six. Coordinates in. Squad, lets go before anyone else shows up.">> leaning back in his seat and throttling to cruising speed, forming with the others while giving a glance through the cockpit screen at the destruction playing out in the void in their wake. <<"Either this was a trap or something is getting information from us before we've even left Alderaan.">>
A grim notion.
Several more keys are tabbed on his control board and It brings shields down in those last few moments before his ship flickers with pseudomotion in the split second before entering hyperspace.
[ Zacara Saronno (Zaca)] Aldera 05 comes around in another crescent turn, throttling to 80% toward the interdictor. Her gloved thumb hovers over the fire switch for the missiles, but as the craft in front of her starts to implode on itself, she moves her thumb away and with her other hand toggles the missiles back to standby, closing the safety panel over that same switch. Making a wide, leisurely turn to starboard so as to avoid the collateral damage that was collapsing in on itself, Zacara brought her A-Wing back to cruising speeds in formation with the rest of her squadron.
The pilot spends the time in formation to run diagnostics of her ship, checking that nothing was seriously damaged from the interdiction as well as the ensuing battle. The shields held at roughly half and all other systems had recovered well enough to continue the flight. <<"Five's in one piece and ready to jump,">> she says into the comm, letting out a slow breath as the battle adrenaline begins to fade.
[ Ejnar Celchu (Ejnar)]
When the group arrived just outside Serenno, the world looming beyond about the size of a small bouncy ball a child might play with, it wasn't hard to see that the planet was well defended. Several Victory Star Destroyers executing maneuvers within the system stood with martial supremacy. Defense Stations bristling with munitions sparkled even against the brightness of the stars. Smaller support craft and frigates floated between the bigger vessels screened by Squadrons of Clawcraft and old model Tie Fighters. It was all far beyond the scale of Tavira and her old Imperial Star Destroyer and cobbled together pirate gangs.
Curiously, what loomed in the center of it all was an Executor Class Super Star Destroyer. Scans would later place it with the name Iron First, the pride of the Quelli Oversector Fleet and Flag Ship to their Grand Moff: a man by the name of Zsinj. Years of undisturbed isolation and preparation, even in the face of the First Order... hidden quietly like a gem when the Empire broke apart all those years ago.
Even more curiously... was the Sith Empire Frigate flying with it...
There was much to report.