Log:Array Consortium: Blade Hunting

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Blade Hunting

Location: Somewhere in the Inner Cluster Sector, Near Teke Ro
Participants: Aola Ziveri, Sion, Adhar Gann

With the successful hunt in the Y'toub system, the Consortium begins patrols in the space around Bannax Station and the general vicinity of Teke Ro, home system of the Ancona species.

And so tonight's distraction, in which we begin to probe the situation of the Kandaka Blades. The Blades are a Trandoshan-led pirate operation based out of the Outer Rim, but with the destruction of Hosnian and the fall of the Republic has taken advantage of the lack of security to begin raiding into the Mid-Rim. From what all can be determined, they're all nasty bastards, operating mostly through starfighters and modified transports - though there are rumors out there, rumors of much heavier ships operating somewhere in deep space near the Cona System. On the other side of te Cona System, also in deep space, is Bannax Station, a decades-abandoned munitions station once operated by the Old Republic; its supplies are all quite still preserved, and having found it an enterprising group of gangsters named the Terbor Brotherhood are selling off its entire inventory to whoever can pay before draining its holds and moving on to fresher operations.

The Blades, however, are causing many problems for the Brotherhood, and so they've hired the Consortium - thanks to the mighty powers of Pash Danigo's avatar of a long-lost space tortoise god of destruction called the Fathier Express, the Consortium's resources, and its fairly mouth-foamingly terrifying reputation that's sprung up of late thanks to its brawling with the Mathall Syndicate. The Consortium has been hired to stop the Blades from raiding the station or any ship that does business there. How that happens is immaterial to the Brotherhood.

Today, recon. Gamblers One and Two, the Avengers piloted by Sion and Aola, range ahead of Voidwing - called High Roller - piloted by Adhar, supported by a pilot from the Business, and also Tamrae. The three ships are to travel through a series of four waypoints, investigate curious hyperradio traffic and sightings of supposed fighter activity, and destroy whatever you can before heading back to the station and reporting in before heading back to the Serious Business.

The three ships dive into realspace at the starting position, a wide open spacefield; there's an hour of patrol travel between this point and the jump coordinates to the other. "Gambler One and Two," Adhar says over the squadron channel, "Go ahead and see what you can find out there. We're right behind you."

"I knew a Wookie once who had a drinking cup made out of a Trandoshan's foot." Tamrae says conversationally. "He said it was okay cuz it grew back, so it didn't count." She's perched in the gunnery chair for the Voidwing's laser turrets, tapping a foot a little nervously. "I mean, I guess they DO grow it back, but wouldn't that be kinda weird, running into someone who had yer old foot an' made it into a mug for caf? Then again, the Trandoshans were pretty horrible ta th' Wookies, so...bad blood I guess." Yes, she chatters a bit when she's nervous.

Flying a TIE Avenger for long periods of time isn't a comfortable way to travel. But it was that or stay home, so Sion Corvara opted for the former.

And her nose is itching. Abominably. And of course she can't scratch it while she's wearing a flight suit!

"Gambler Two, long-range scope's negative so far," she reports, throttling up to investigate farther ahead. "You okay over there, One?" she asks, sympathetic to her fellow pilot in the other atmosphere-free craft on this mission.

"I would have thought they would rot, or break down after a while..." Aola muses at the comment about the feet, although she's mostly talking to the empty space within her fighter before she keys her own communications. "Gambler 1 acknowledges. Keep an eye out. We'll find them eventually. We're the hunters today." Trandoshan's or not, the Twi'lek grins. As far as she's concerned there's noone who's better than her in the vaccum.

"That we are, Gambler One," says Adhar over the comms. "All right, let's get into character. Start running active scans, everyone. Let's see if we can't get anyone's attention."

Meanwhile, his fingers fly across the boards, starting up Voidwing's sensor suite as hot as it can go. He's got a fever, and the only prescription is MORE SENSOR.

"Well, it was just bone, so I guess he preserved it or somethin'...." Tamrae says to the question about said foot, before settling back and focusing on the sensor readout for the gunnery station as Adhar advises people to pay attention. Which she really should, since...she's never ACTUALLY fired one of these guns before. Well, video game versions of it, but not an actually turret...

Yeah, she should probably just...go back to engineering now and let the actual gunner take over as he comes back from the fresher and gives her a look. She slides down the ladder then heads back towards the tiny engineering compartment. Back in her box!

"I can't say I'd want to drink /anything/ out of someone's foot, preserved or not," Sion comments, her fingers busy with the controls as she switches sensor modes. "Going loud. If something's out there, we'll soon know."

Aola Ziveri doesn't speak, she simply flicks her scopes to active scan and turns her gaze out through the front of the sphere that was the fighter's cockpit. Without her faithful companion to run the scanners, it all just felt...slower.

Slow or not, that's three ships making a whole lot of noise as the lot of you travel the circuit, banging away with actve sensors. As Tamrae stps back from the co-pilot's station, a sleek, lean Faleen male slips into the co-pilot's seat, all Second Coming of Scaly David Bowie. "All right," says Adhar as the three of you head on, "Let's see who comes to the door."

And some ten minutes later, who comes to the door is...a very bad day. Leaping out of hyperspace - what Sion's sensors mark as a microjump - come a flight of Z-95s out of space some five thousand kilometers away, arriving in a wide X-formation. Interception, you see. They're coming for you, and fast.

"Welp," Adhar mutters under his breath, "That is not what I expecting. Buckle up, everyone! That is a very bad group of neighters coming our way!"

"Shavit." Tamrae notes from her position in engineering. She's sort of monitoring from a screen there, as there's not much she can do but watch for the moment.

The warning ping from Sion's sensors interrupts her musings on the etiquette of drinking out of someone's foot, preserved or otherwise. "High-Roller! Gambler One! They didn't come from far away! They've got to have some kind of station or base ship nearby," she comms. "We'll have to watch out for that. I know these are bad odds, but they could get a lot worse if there's a capship out there!"

She fixes herself to Gambler One's wing. "Deflector screens up full, weapons charged... ready to go!"

Hostiles. Many hostiles. Force. The Twi'lek pilot actually has a moment of lips parted in suprise before she shakes her head and grips the controls tighter. "Good, then we don't have to fly far when we deal with this lot." Shields and weapons ready, the blue-skinned pilot speeds forwards. "Watch each other's backs. We can take these guys!"

Taking aim, Aola actually opens fire slightly before the other craft are in range, intending to force them into panic, or to flying right into the flurry of laser canon fire.

Firing into the formation appears to be the way to go; the formation attempts to break, units peeling off from the edges easily, but the core ships are jumbled. Taking advantage of the confusion, Adhar and his gunner fire over the Avengers; ion blasts lance through the group, though they hit nothing, while the ship's heavy belly turrets fire large, bright crimson blasts that tear through one Z-95s foreward shields and leave wounds in its nose. Another ship is utterly annihilated as Voidwing looses the bright blue streak of a proton warhead, which hits another Z-95 and instantly converts it into a superheated cloud of divided atoms. Three other ships still make up the group, and they're still heading straight ahead, right at you.

"You're frellin' right you can take 'em! Yer faster an' more manuverable than those old junkers..." Tamrae says, flinching a bit at the explosions. "Please don't ruin th' paint job boss, I just touched it up...." She shifts from foot to foot, bracing herself as the ship manuvers.

"That won't matter if we can't even up these odds some!" Sion replies, already going for a missile lock on one of the core fighters. With the rest scattering, she figures the best odds will be to take advantage of the confusion in the middle of the group.

She gets tone, and pickles off a pair of concussion missiles at her first target. The second kill of the engagement is the result, the Z-95 becoming a brief but blindingly bright star itself. "Gambler Two, scratch one!"

She doesn't waste time beyond that quick report, switching weapons and targets and boring straight in at another fighter, all four laser cannons hammering. This Headhunter's considerably less dozy, and peels off desperately with a singed forward shield to show for it.

Aola's little gambit works, half the ships peel off and the rest are caught in the middle to quickly find themselves meeting the 'Gambler' and 'Roller' firepower. Aola's blaster bolts wing one of the craft, sheering off one of the craft's wings before it banks away. The second craft isn't quite so lucky, its evasive maneuver finding it swiftly colliding with the concussion missile the Twi'lek had launched.

"Yes! Can't touch this, ya frellin' pirates!" Tamrae crows from her position as more of the enemy fighters come apart under the triple firepower of the Array vessels. They haven't even landed a hit yet after all!

So fast are three of you moving that you're easily able to scream past the reforming position; it's a simple thing for Sion and Aola to whip around and get into firing position to meet the four who come down in a four-pronged pincer attack, but Voidwing is not as agile as the Avengers. Adhar has to work the yoke hard as he banks left and up, pulling the ship into attack position with such force as to cause the ship's spaceframe to groan, and while successful Adhar manages to hit the beat just short enough to miss with the ship's ion cannons once more.

The gives free field for the belly turrets, however, and Adhar's gunner locks onto one of the fighters and opens fire, blasting through its shields and biting deep into its hull, causing the fighter to split open in a cloud of flame. However, before it dies, the Headhunter fires a missile that strikes Voidwing amidships, going right through its shielding and slamming into the thickest part of its left wing. The ship rocks, Adhar bellowing something horrible as he fights to keep under control - but the damage is mild, and he's ready to fight again.

Meanwhile, the rest fire on Sion and Aola, though only Aola is hit - and only lightly, causing her shields to flicker just a bit.

"/Voidwing/, you've picked up a tail," Sion comms, swooping in on the bandit's tail. "I'll see if I can't pry it loose!" She doesn't quite, though, stitching a trail of green energy above the stubborn Headhunter.

"Keep on 'em Gamble 2, I'll give you some breathing room!" Aola calls as she banks her ship around. The hit was annoying, but the Avenger had better shield and moved better than the outdated Z-95's, Aola was going to make use of that difference. Coming in behind one of the craft she fired her weapons once more, her laser cannons blazing green across her target but the second concussion missile misses its mark.

Their pincer attack failed, the remaining fighters break and run, one in each direction. "Nail 'em down," Adhar calls, but the comms are apparently dead. "Shavit," he roars over the internal link. "Tamrae, get in the crawlspaces and see if you can get the damned comms up!"

While her damaged wing bears carbon scars and buckled plating, the ship still moves expertly under Adhar's hands - while the gunner misses this time with Voidwing's terrible plasburst guns, Adhar manages to strike true with the ship's ion cannons, striking the ship's rear quarter and knocking it out as lightning plays across its hull.

Tamrae mmphs, then zips up her shipsuit, grabbing a rebreather and starting to crawl into the crowspaces, using her arms perambulate quickly through the tight spaces as she approaches the damaged area, slowing a bit as she gets to a damaged junction, pulling out a hydrospanner she starts rerouting power around the break, flicking off the power flow for a moment as she bridges the gap in a brief burst of fusion welder sparks, then slaps the controls to restore power. "Coms up!" she says as she slides back out of the crawlspace, hitting the ship's intercom.

"This one's slippery, Gambler One!" Sion calls, rolling and pulling up as the tailing fighter peels off, trying to break contact. It's not quite slippery enough: A quad-linked laser burst drills straight through shields, hull, port engines and all. The left wing shears off as the engines detonate, sending the stricken fighter spinning away to explode against a stray asteroid. "One more down. I'll fly cover on High-Roller for the moment. That wing looks bad."

"This one's slippery, Gambler One!" Sion calls, rolling and pulling up as the tailing fighter peels off, trying to break contact. It's not quite slippery enough: A quad-linked laser burst drills straight through shields, hull, port engines and all. The left wing shears off as the engines detonate, sending the stricken fighter spinning away to explode against a stray asteroid. "One more down. I'll fly cover on High-Roller for the moment. That wing looks bad."

"Roger that," Aola calls while flying after her target, blasting her weapons away at her target who seems to be managing to avoid the glowing green death that spews from her fighter. Seems more than one of these guys were slippery.

As Aola keeps her guns blazing, the ship that nimble dodges her fire screamssuddenly ahead as all power is dumped into the engines - and the hyperdrive, it appears, for after a second of screaming escape thrust leaps into the world beyond. The other, two, do not; one of them is hit simultaneously by the Voidwing's guns, ionizing it first and then blowing it apart bu the ship's heavy, heavy turrets.

That leaves one, and it is booking it as best a possibly can...

"Bet that one's heading back to the barn to report in," Sion guesses, forming up on /Voidwing/. "Which means we're probably about to be staring a barn in the teeth. Let's finish up and get gone; we've already got a damaged ship, and we don't have the firepower to take on heavy stuff."

Aola Ziveri 's superior crafts and firepower doesn't seem to be enough, the Z-95's are outright making fools of the fighter aces and the superior technology they wield. Frustrating wasn't even halfway to where the Twi'lek pilot was feeling. "Stay still you son of a..." she growls into her helmet.

"We're not /that/ torn up," Adhar says under his breath, then keys the comms. "Let 'im go, Gamblers," the Captain instructs, "We've got a prisoner we'll wanna fetch befoer we get out of here. Cover me while I pry that cuss out of his run-down bird and we'll head back to the station."

That said, Voidwing gets to work; shadowing the ship, Adhar heads out to capture the fighter's pilot with a fusion cutter and a strong stunner pistol. Within half an hour of the survivors' departure, you are off and on your way to a grateful and interested Brotherhood command party - and a half an hour after that, the lot of you are set for home.