Log:Black Squadron: Conflict in Pamarthe

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Black Squad launches a three pronged attack above Pamarthe

OOC Date: January 4, 2022
Location: Pamarthe
Participants: Black Squadron, Jessika Pava, Bors Thul, Ulani Kalgaav, Ektor, Poe Dameron

Pamarthe. An unremarkable world for remarkable pilots. This globe looks like a giant storm, with land masses that range in color from green to rocky grey. It's primarily ocean though, and with worlds like that, it's primarily stormy. The same can't be said for its orbit though, where a massive transport holds vigil and slowly travels the planet's orbital ring. Like the planet itself, the transport is unremarkable by all accounts, but that's not what the New Republic heard.

What began as a peaceful morning of no activity changed in a matter of seconds. The sudden arrival of a Republic cruiser caused some alarm, then it was followed by a pair of frigates. Almost immediately, fighters began to pour from its core, and at the head of the fighter entourage was Black Squadron.

Gold Squadron had begun to check in, with Gold Leader standing by. Red Squadron followed, with their Red Leader standing by. Two transports check in, and Red Squadron attaches themselves to the flank whilst Gold squadron hangs back to give Black Squad all the room they need.

<<"This is Black Leader, all fighters report in for the log.">> Poe's voice sounds robotic over the encrypted line, but it's still distinctly Poe Dameron. The bearded pilot is settled into the cockpit of his T-85 X-Wing with BB-8 entrenched in the socket behind him. He has engaged his afterburners, and closes the distance to the transport anticipating the sudden appearance of the ARC-170 Squadron.

As if on cue, the ARC-170s begin to pour into the open and set an intercept course for Black Squadron, their s-foils locking and gunners active. "There they are.." Poe says aloud, switching comms to the war-net to inform Captain Cali, <<"We've got contacts. ARC-170s closing /fast/. Black Squadron lock s-foils into attack position.">> Poe's fighter does just that.

<"Black Two reporting in."> Reaching forward from the throttle, a simple switch adjusted from one position to the next triggers the hydraulics in the snubfighter's wings to separate and turn them from a pair into a quad, each with a laser cannon extending from the tip and changing the reticle on Jessika Pava's heads up display to signify the linked rate of fire her targeting computer has as the primary mode for the engagement. The extension of the s-foils into attack position forces the craft's speed to bleed off, power to engines shunting from one source to another so that it can utilize the starfighter's weapons without overloading capacitors or draining them too quickly. Sensor reports rapidly appear on her display and the X-Wing is oriented into a vector that will bring the groups aware of each other into a head-to-head.

<<Black Three- uh oh, holy drek: Pretty Boy, I ain't got no S-foils.>> Even in encrypted monotone there's no mistaking Ektor's particular brand of idiocy. Off comms, he chuckles and lazily flips deflectors double front for the oncoming joust.

And just like that: shore leave was over. It's a bit jarring to go from the majestic wilds of New Alderaan's mountain range to the majestic wilds of space. Since the briefing, Ulani has had only a little time to get her head back into the game and even as Black Eight thrursts from the Pantheon hangar bay, she is still clearing the last few cobwebs from her vacation brain.

<"Black Eight reporting in."> Ulani answers, the s-foils of her x-wing spreading apart in readiness.

The R2 unit in the spot behind her whistles and whirrs, somehow managing to sound sassy as they get into position. "Yes, Rinky. I /do/ see them." Another short beep-whine causes Ulani to dare a glance over her shoulder. Just a little. "Yes. I'm sure."

<<"Black Seven, reporting in">> Lock S-Foils! Wait. Have none! Ha-HA! Visor down and hands flying over his controls, Bors's RZA-2 maneuvered to soon scoot ahead of the formation to get a better look at the old recon craft inbound. Humming to himself his normal merry little tunes that seem to set a cadence that he works with, up-tempo. Dock shanties really.

"Got no beard, y'got no beard. Y'can't sing shanties if y'got no beard!"

And it begins, pulling above Ektor's Y-Wing, inverting and waving to get his attention; all so that Bors can point at the X-Wings around them, making flapping motions and a very clear raspberry pucker of his lips made before he shoots ahead, laughing the whole way; filling his cockpit with it, even if he keeps it off the comms.

The ARC squadron moves fast for fossils, but now they'll test their mettle against the finest the New Republic has to offer, and cold turkey at that. With an ideal vector plugged in, Poe gets a slight grin on his face and flips down the visor on his helmet. <<"You at least got blaster cannons on that wishbone, let's see what they can do!">> The comment is fired back to Black Squad's reformed pirate.

The initial joust commences and Red Squad announces, <<"This is Red Leader, we're starting our approach.">>

Gold Squadron is on the move, too, swinging wide to avoid the initial contact to not give Arc Squad a target rich environment. <<"Gold Leader here, looking for our vector now.. follow me in, boys.">>

Once within targeting range, Jessika uses a combination of her Fabritech's computer and her own experience to line her lead reticle up with the target painted on her visor. There's zero hesitation in pressuring the switch on the upper right quadrant of her flight stick, leading to a rapid salvo of red laser cannon fire spitting from the tip's of her snubfighter to smash rapidly against the ARC-170's shields. They're forced to shimmer and oscillate, though the hammered pressure in such short stint greatly weakens the craft's emitters and leaves it vulnerable lest something or someone is able to effect repairs and save it from what might be impending doom in the coming skirmish. She passes close enough to see those shields ripple on the break.

<<Yeah, rekk em up, Gold!>> Ektor robo hollers over comms as his fellow Y-wings prepare a bombing run. Lagging slightly behind his more nimble squadron mates, Ektor falls back on old habits and follows Black 2 as Jessika hammers the shield of ARC 2, Ektor's nose cannons impaling the vessel in the instant after Jess had left it weakened. A dumb chuckle is his commentary. <<Boom, baby.>>

The mission is clear: intercept the ARC's so that the transports can make it to the Horizon unmolested. Hopefully. Ideally. Banking to the left, Ulani picks a target from the buzzing herd and opens a line of fire to try to cut off their trajectory. The red streaks of doom miss the mark but the enemy is forced to spin on itself and twist away. Ulani pulls on her yoke to keep on ARC Three's trail.

Rinky Dink -- that snarky little droid -- beeps merrily. Is is that mockingly? "I /noticed/ I missed, Rinky," Ulani sighs. Yes, definitely mocking.

Ulani doesn't linger on it, instead noting the successes of her squadmates. <"Whoo! You guys haven't lost your edge!">

Head to head action, what could be better and with the jump on the venerable old craft, Bors flicks a toggle on his controls to begin sighting up the lead position of the opposing force, "Oh, hey there. Just got a little something... it's ok." fighter slewing side to side if a shallow U as he twists horizontally, racing towards the enemy.


Repeatedly the slower craft is keeping just clear of his brackets. Bip-bip-bi-

"Lock confound it!"

Proximity warnings go off and Bors rolls his eyes, thumbing an arming trigger, "Fine... Fine. Bounder! We'll do it your way, scalliwag!" LANGUAGE BORS. Two blazing red missiles shoot out at nigh point bank range, detonating in momets to send feedback through shield systems, spray armor and what looks like atmosphere from the craft now angling to get back to safety.

<<"Black Seven, disabled one.">> nodding to himself, no kills yet. The way he likes it.

Black Squad scores a kill, and one's routed. The success of the initial joust prompts a bit of pride from Poe. The fact they came away with a kill at all was impressive, Arcs were known for taking punishment and pushing through. At the call from Lt Thul that one was disabled, Poe confirms, <"I see him. Looks like he's limping home! Good one Black Seven. -- Watch these Arcs, team. You think you can get away from them and they still get you!">

As if on cue, Poe is drawn into a heated fight with one, urged into spinning and firing simultaneously. Their shots miss, but Poe damages the craft's shields enough that they bank wide to escape, yet Black Leader is following close behind, turning up the speed.

<<"Black Leader, this is Red Leader.. be advised.. friendlies entering your AO (Area of Operations). We've engaged with the Arcs to keep them from our escorts.">>

<<"Red Leader, this is Black Leader, roger.. we've got you on our sensors. Good luck!">>

<<Black Leader, this is Gold Leader, we're starting our attack run on the transport. Be advised, shields are up.">>

<<"Gold Leader, this is Black Leader, good luck.">>

Just as the transmissions indicated, the squadrons have joined the fight. Gold Squadron flies in a defiant formation toward the transport, their nacelles glowing bright, distinguishing them in their wedge arrangement. They begin their descent toward the transport just as the Pantheon broadside comes into range, the massive cruiser turning slightly to give her guns room. Turrets and cannons begin to come online, lifting up from dormant positions and rotate with the help of tracking and other gunnery components. Just as Gold squad closes the distance, massive green lances from the Pantheon batteries open up, causing cannons to recoil from each dual blast. The contrails of green bolts cross the void in brief flashes, colliding with stalwart shields that hold out, initially, from the cruiser's punishment.

Red Squadron is tangled up with black squad, pushing Arc Squadron farther away from their transport, and cutting them off from a good escape. The transports carrying the Old Battleaxe's boarding party sails by, getting closer and closer to the shimmering transport being pummeled by disabling blasts intended to bring their shields down.

Following the break, Jessika rotates her starfighter towards port and then draws back on her flightstick, carving a tight turn with both the angled nozzles of her fusial engines and the maneuvering thrusters sending quick little bursts from stored air tanks to force the back end of the snub fighter around quickly. She grunts from the momentum change, but the straps drawn tight across her shoulders and the rest of her harness keeps her in place. She changes both plane and heading, moving to starboard with a rudder juke and then pulling her flightstick towards her again to turn her nose around in another direction. The whole maneuver sees laser cannons following in her wake, but none make it to her. She lines up on another craft, angling her reticle towards the lead indicator to try for another run on a new target in the fray. Rather than juke away from the laser cannon fire that begins to ping against its shields, the pilot instead tries to increase speed, as if thinking the incoming heat is coming from behind. Instead, it's coming from an intercept vector, meaning Jessika's rudder adjustment is all that's needed to keep the craft in her reticle. The laser cannons from her snubfighter chew through the shields and then bubble through the ARC's hull, making it violently erupt in an explosion as internal components are critically damaged beyond saving.

Ektor banks to starboard as Jessika cuts to port, splitting from the ace in Black 2 as he comes under fire. The light bomber evades the ARC's heavy cannons, and weaves through the stream of turret fire, taking only a single glancing hit to the shields in the exchange. A crooked grin bends his lip as the bomber pilot focuses fire on another ARC. <<Rekk me, it's like these things is standing still,>> he mutters, lasers piercing the shields at just the right point to strike and detonate the heavy fighter's reactor, in a short lived fireball.

Aggression meets aggression and the ARCs seem rather dedicated to meeting Black Squadron face-to-face. Or cannons to cannons. With the looming orb of Pamarthe serving as a backdrop, Ulani continues to chase down ARC Three like a Corellian Hound after a biscuit. A particularly heavily-armed biscuit. Aiming to crumble said biscuit, Ulani's volley pelts her target but only enough to thoroughly tick them off.

Twin hits slam into her x-wing, jostling Black Eight and lighting the interior in a myriad of pretty colours and loud, panic-causing alarms. The shields fall below fifty percent and Rinky Dink's 'screeee' is cut short by Ulani issuing a command. "Run repairs, Rinky, and fast! I can't shake them quick enough!"

It is now, with the threat of being blown up into itty, bitty pieces over the stormy planet of Pamarthe, that Rinky Dink errs on the side of self-preservation and obeys the command. A few dozen sparks and a lurch somewhere in the internal systems and Ulani's shields bulk back up to over half. Her brows furrow, knowing she can't take a hit like that again.

Like a Loth Kitten, all nimbly pimbly, leaping from tree to tree, the RZ-2 does exactly as it was meant to. Twisting a serpentine s-curve through the thick of the fire and out the other side with a flare of both oversized ion engines putting what he passes into, momentary, stark relief of pinkish hue.

"Crowded..." looking to one side and spotting Black Eight and the readings on her shields, "Oh. OH-oh..." heeling over and banking to sweep in on the back end of one of the old republic fighters giving Ulani trouble, <<"Eight. this is Seven, moving on your tail.">> side mounted cannons already spitting and chewing away at the craft's shields.

<<"I shall thrash him thusly!">> and while no strikes are made on hull, it's still a considerable weight of fire levied against the older fighter.

The Pantheon is successful in its barrage revealing that the transport stood no chance in withstanding the punishment from a Mon Calamari cruiser. With the shields gone, the vessel is laid bare, and Gold Squad is moving across low to its hull, dropping ion bombs along its hull. Their formation spread is ideal, covering the width of the ship thanks to large impact blasts.

<<"This is Gold Leader.. we have begun our attack run.">>

It isn't long before the transport begins to falter, her engines flickering and disabled and the craft left floundering above the stormy world of Pamarthe. It maintains its orbit thanks to a timely use of tractor beams from the Pantheon.

Transports are nearly to the objective, and Red Squadron is splitting off, leaving several fighters behind to help Black while the others continue onward with the Old Battleaxe's Marines.

<<"They don't have much fight left in them. STICK EM where it hurts, Black Squad. Let's clear em out!">>

<<"Black Leader, this is Red Two, we're joining in to supplement your squad, sir. I hope there's enough for the rest of us.">>

<<"Red Two, Black Leader here, Roger. Come on in, the water's fine. Hahaha.">>

Racing through a cloud of debris left by the exploded ARC-170, Jessika uses the now-dead husk of a fighter to stave off the return fire of pursuers none to happy that she's taken their squadmate out of the fight. There's a rattling of the craft as harmless bits careen against her shields and are sent veering off rapidly into space. She weaves, angling one direction and then the next to avoid on-point shots trying to smash into her craft with the kind of firepower that she doesn't want knocking on the door. Panting breath sounds loud in her ears, and so does the hammering of her heart as the maneuvers themselves and the danger that lurks in wait should she fail them strain on her muscles and her nerves at the same time. Jessika pulls around another engagement, preventing those behind her from trying to cut her off by making them follow.

Coming from around the angry swarm of New Republic squadrons engaging a smaller force, Jessika tries to line herself up on a target's blindside only for them to orient with their viewport aimed her way when she opens up with her laser cannons. They try to dance away, but not without some of her shots smacking solidly against the bubble of protection enveloping them from being eradicated immediately. Jessika commits towards them, honed in on the run with the goal of either eradicating them to the last or bloodying enough of them that they retreat.

Ektor weaves through the storm of cannonfire again, and once again the price he pays for shooting down an ARC is a single impact to the shields, an instant after the astromech had finished repairing them. The Tionese pilot cackles as R2-G13 accuses him of deliberately getting shot to ruin the shields. "What can I say, I like it a little rough, yeah? Drek, not so rough as Techie though- hang on." Switching comms back on as he chooses another target. <<Hey, Techie: stop getting shot, so much. That's rule number one, yeah? Unpredictable! Oh and uh.. prolly go evasive, yeah?>> Super helpful, there.

Ulani's targetting system beep-beep-beeps as one of her squard zeroes into her radius. The voice into her ear turns her head towards the A-wing barrelling in. <"I appreciate it, Black Seven!"> Bors certainly won't hear Ulani scold him about his wreckless flying today. Especially since he left the shuttle back on Chandrila.

She barely has a chance to get that reply out when that myriad of colours and alarms turns into a full-on fireworks display a millisecond before a hit from the side slams into her port. Ulani is thrown in the opposite way, her helmeted head slamming into the thick, silicate glass of her cockpit and ringing her bell. The stars in the distance fade and the madly flashing lights of her cockpit blur together like smeared paint.

Only seconds must've passed when the frantic beeping from the R2 unit makes its way into her ears. "Hnn... run repairs, Rinky." She then switches her communication on, still shaking the daze from her head. <"Black Eight. I'm hit pretty bad. Running evasion while I try to repair.">

Black Eight does its best to spin away; cannons silent as its pilot tries to focus on staying in one piece. <"Roger, Tion. I suppose getting hit is a little too predictable, huh?"> A little good humour to try to get through the fright.

Biddy ship, biddy target, a whole slew of potential hot, fiery, destruction to be had, <<"Black Two, Black Seven - Eight is all shot up, may need some help keeping her covered.">> A slow blink, teeth together and tense while speaking. Eyes following where the shots against Ulani came from and doing his level best to keep out of the sights and lead points of his own pursuer,

<<"If you can shake that one on you.">> Musn't be rude, after all. The fighter under his sights being pursued still, and then there's Ektor on the coms, SUPER helpful

Bip-bip-bip "Come oonnn..." Bip-bipbipbip "Oh! Well. Wonders never cease." FWEEEEE "Oh! OH!" a bright flash of green before Bors thumbs the trigger and cuts two missiles loose and banks to hug Black Eight's six, to play the living shield, watching the doomed ARC struggling wildly to get clear of the pursuant ordinance,

"And now we're bound from the Coruscant to Alzoc III! Rollin' down to Alzoc III, me boys, rollin' down to Alzoc III! We're homeward bound, from the Coruscant, rollin' down to Alzoc III!" watching the explosion and the utter destruction with a grim resistance to look away from his work.

<<"Black Seven, splash one.">>

Ulani finds assistance from one of the Red Squadron pilots, their X-Wing covering down on the ARC training Kalgaav's stern. Ulani's gone evasive, but Red Four catches her tail, plugging the ARC with a series of shots and hooting over the comms. Their celebration is cut short when another ARC pelts Red Four, landing all cannon blasts and turrets at once to trigger a sudden explosion. Red Four's pilot has enough time to scream 'No' before the static takes them. Red Two retaliates, blasting the ARC responsible in an angry rage, but then Red Seven goes up in flames too.

After Poe deals with two of the ARCs and flies wide to observe their AO, he comments over the comms, <<"Looks like they're turning tail and heading ashore..">> Sure enough, the remaining three ARCs said 'rekk it' and have started to beat feet back to the atmosphere. Red Two, and the remaining pair of fighters under the Lt's command, chase after them.

<<"Red Two, this is Red Leader, where are you going?!.. Red Two..">> Static follows as the pilot hot mics, and the trio enter the atmosphere in pursuit, making comms sketchy at best. Poe shakes his head. <<"Red Leader, this is Black Leader. Go get your boys and make sure they make it back.">> Poe understood the need for revenge. After Snap.. after L'ulo.. after so many people.

<<"Pantheon Actual, this is Black Leader.. be advised the AO is clear of all hostiles. Gold Squadron is returning to friendly lines and Black Squad will maintain a protected posture until we hear back from the Old Battleaxe, over.">>

<"Moving."> Abandoning the target designated Seven by her battle computer, Jessika peels off and angles for the craft pursuing what she sees is the heavily damaged craft of Black Eight. <"Technie, peel off and ar-tee-bee. We'll provide cover."> The snubfighter's might be near black, but the much harsher color of carbon scoring along the craft's punctured hole, especially where a crisp orange stripe is meant to be streaking down the side, is telling of the damage sustained by the snubfighter. Angling in towards the starfighters hounding the Black Squadron pilot, Jessika looks for the easiest attack vector in. She's beaten to the punch by Red Squadron bullying at the ARC fighters, and while Red Four is able to clear Techie's six, Jessika watches the pilot get hammered by shots from another, ending the short-lived victory.

As messages go out across the net, Jessika puts her craft into formation to conduct patrol in the area in aid of the boarding operation they covered for in the first place.

Ektor pours cannonfire into the shields of one of the last ARCs left intact, going so far as to shift auxiliary power from engines to keep up the fusillade. When the last three enemy craft break off, having taken a toll on two of Red Squadron, Ektor banks to fall back in with Black Lead and Black 2.

Even in zero gravity, Ulani feels a heaviness from her shoulders down to both hands grasping the yoke as she evades her pursuers the best she can as Rinky Dink manages to get a third of the shield back up. Bors' singing does bring her comfort but what follows will likely live on in vivid nightmares for a while to come.

Red Four's successful defenses and then subsequent explosion is horrific enough, but it's the helpless 'no' that causes Ulani to delay in her response. But respond she finally does allbeit in a small, distant voice.

<"Affirmative, Black Two. Black Seven. Returning to base.">

Black Eight's s-foils pull closed together once more and it is a steady but somber hobbling back towards the Pantheon.

"Mother carry them and Father hold them..." Bors watches the members of Red Squadron going up and others moving in pursuit. Lips a line and song gone for now. With a shake of his head and a touch of fingers to his chest before he keys his mic again, <<"Black Leader, this is seven. I'll escort eight in and will proceed back to patrol. It'll take your bricks longer.">>

Wheeling his craft in an arc to level out on Ulani's port side, hand lifting and giving a little motion of his hand visible through the canopy while looking towards her across the short distance of vacuum, barely straining to keep his craft at the same speed of the X-Wing in the wake of the bittersweet victory.