Log:Emergency: And We All Fall Down
It isn't long after the death of Ezaen, First Order Spy, at the hands of Ektor-Xer Apollyon when disaster once again strikes the Renegade in the form of a mysterious blast that rocks the flagship in a way that can be felt by everyone on board. Electricity, the taste of ozone, shoots through the crew's senses as ripples of energy coruscate through its body from fore to aft. Lights flicker, then darken abruptly, and the comforting humm of main and backup engines dies in worrisome, empty silence. For a moment, just a moment, there is nothing but still air - palpable, and dangerous, in the ship's interior.
But only a moment.
Lieutenant Dawn Antilles is one of the first on the bridge, harried and still zipping up a spare, snug flightsuit with a helmet on her side, and while she is not a pilot, she is already preparing for the worst. She flies through the double doors, cheeks already flushed with exertion, eyes lit with purpose and no small measure of fear, brought there by her foresight. Her job entails that she see several steps ahead, and none of them, at present, are good.
"Status!" she demands, rounding on the first bridge officer she sees, his expression pale.
"Main and auxiliary engines are unresponsive, lieutenant! Most of our systems are down, too! Shields, weapon systems...oh, stars, everything is--"
"What about communications? Sensors?"
"They're down, too, but our backup power is still working!"
"We have redundant circuits set in place for those," Dawn replies, turning to the communications officer. "Use the manual override, toggle off the main and switch to backups, slot VRX-22-40BN. We need to be able to talk to each other, and see what's out there. We're being attacked, we need our eyes and ears."
It isn't long until communications are up as the lieutenant runs her own diagnostics, as well as the Renegade's sensors. The flagship's grim-faced pilots, the first to see what is in front of them, put in their reports: "Bombers and fighters, lieutenant, from Bothawui's surface! They're headed this way!"
"Twenty. /At least/."
Green eyes shoot up back up the viewing canopy as the ship's sensors detect starfighter-sized blips heading their way. "That shouldn't be enough to get through our fortifications once we scramble, even without shields," she murmurs. "What are they plan-- "
"We're going down, lieutenant! We can't keep her up any longer!"
Realization hits her then and horror twists her expression. She looks at the incoming fighters, their present trajectory...and the planet itself as she rapidly visualizes the incoming sequence of events to follow. She grits her teeth, and gets on her now-active comm to Rear Admiral Gren Delede, and the rest of Command:
"Command, we're dead in space and we're going down fast. We have incoming bogeys, at least twenty. Recommend non-essential personnel undertake evacuation procedures, get spare pilots in our transports, and get our maintenance and repair crews in spacesuits and portable transponders in case the worst happens." Like hull breaches. She is determined to save as many as she can. "I think they're going to try and bombard us upon re-entry into Bothawui's orbit, and do maximum damage with whatever atmospheric detonations they can get onto us....we might need to scramble as many fighters as we can manage to keep them off. We're..." She takes a deep breath. "We don't have a lot of time until air runs out, sir. Engineering is going to have to prioritize getting our ventilation systems back up before we even try and jumpstart her heart, and we're going to be going down while we do it. Please give us your orders and please allow me to leave the bridge so I can spearhead repair efforts."
Renegade's commanding officer isn't even aboard the Rebel Assault Frigate, as disaster strikes. He's strapped into the snug cockpit of his E-wing, and was in the process of returning from a shakedown on his newly repaired and refitted starfighter. A beep from the astromech socket behind him draws his attention to sensor readouts indicating there is a problem, and a moment later, the squawk of his radio, followed by Dawn's voice, draws his attention. A scowl forms, and he reaches up to slap his blast visor down.
It takes a brief moment for him to process this information dump, and then he's snapping back orders. <<Understood, Antilles. Do whatever you can to fix my bloody ship. You sound like you've got it well in hand but don't be too cautious. Losing that ship is -not- an option.>> He slams his throttle forward, and twists his interceptor about, burning toward the approaching force of hostile starfighters. <<Scramble every fighter that can fly. I'll take the CAP in hand, and move to intercept while Rennie gets birds in the air. Copy?>>
<<CAP, Renegade Leader. I'm sending coordinates. Meet me there, and prepare to engage.>> While his fighter streaks through space, hopefully the active birds can meet him, en route. He'd rather not go head-in to twenty fighters, alone.
Ektor is sprinting toward the fighter deck, flight helmet in hand, hollering to Tenner, "No socket on the B-wing, go on you know what to do.. He tosses the flight helmet ahead of him into the cockpit before racing up the ladder and running through a disorderly pre-flight: the bomber powers up, ground gear retracts, then the canopy is sealed shut, the boarding ladder falls away and Green 3 rockets out of the hangar before it has hit the ground. "Kriffing S-foils.." he mutters, setting the craft into attack position. Only then, with one hand on the flight stick does he settle the flight helmet on his head with the other, chinstrap hanging slack. << I hear you, boss,>> Ektor answers Gren. <<Guns in the black and on intercept course.>>
"GAAUUUUUU! GET TO DER TRANSPOAHTS! GAU!" bellowed Jonn Drayson, Action Hero, as he stood at one of the junction points in the corridors, holding on to a wall, and directing the hurried mass of support and non-essential staff towards the transports in the hangar. "CAHLM OAHDERLY FASHYON, BUT HURREH!" He was not one to give orders quietly. Not being capable of anything but ground-pounding, this was his duty for today
Elrych Cometburn was a pilot, a pretty good one. Maybe not as good as those heading into the frey at the moment. He was with Jonn, showing people to his own and Jonn's ships in order to help them evacuate. "Come on, this way folks." Supposidly this was the way of the Jedi. Help the week and powerless from those strong and powerful. But wasn't that just a blanace in and of its self? This was not the time for such pondering. Pushing his thick rimmed and darkened shades up the bridge of his nose he continues his duties with his fellow Jedi.
The hangar is flooded with activity as pilots scramble to their crafts. Among those is Jaya Kassis, who trails a bit behind Ektor until she reaches her X-wing. With the canopy already up, and the ladder locked in place, the ritual of climbing is expedited when she tosses her helmet into the cockpit and climbs up after it. Simultaneously, Jolts is being locked in place. Pre-flight is immediately started the moment Jaya is seated, and she listens to everything turning over while sliding her helmet on and breathing in deeply. Giving her chief a thumbs up, the canopy is lowered and ladder taken away. As soon as Red Five is taken to launch, her craft exits the ship at full speed, which firmly plants the older woman back against her seat. Shaking her head slightly, Jaya's expression changes. It is game time! Her visor is slapped down as all visual readouts begin to display. <<This is Red 5. I'm here for the fight!>>
David Ironside had been in the hangar bay when disaster struck. Scrambling back to his feet after toppling over from the blast, he gathers two pilots wearing their flightsuits, leading them into the Fighter Bay, where his new T-85 X-Wing is waiting with the N-1s of Gold Squadron. While Jump Jye and Dar Keedar hop into their N-1s, David has his trusty astromech hoisted into Gold One. Helmet on, the squadron repulsorlifts out of the bay, blasting into the open airspace. The X-Wing flanked by the N-1s. <<This is Gold Squadron, we're ready for whatever they can throw at us.>> Jye and Keedar chime in with similar sentiments shortly afterwards.
A flash of light from just beyond the pull of Bothawui's gravity well. A ship rockets out of hyperspace and snaps back into subspace. An X-wing, classic Rebellion era model. Inside the cockpit of the fighter, young Rey is looking left to right at her controls while her astromech co-pilot is beeping frantically at her over the comms.
"I see them." Rey says back Artoo. "They're in trouble." To which Artoo makes a long and grim whistling noise through the X-wing's speakers. "Hang on..."
Rey reaches her right hand out and finds the proper comm channel. << Silver Leader to Resistance Fleet. I'm here to help. >>
Without another word, the young pilot places her bare hand onto the throttle of the T-65 X-wing and shoves it all the way forward. "Reroute power to engines, we need to get to them fast!" And within a second later the pink/red glow of the fighter's engines burst brighter than before and send the ship on a blazing course to catch up!
Kaiden doesn't know much about was of Jedi, X-wings, or fixing ships. What he does know is that there's an emergency, and Jonn is the easiest to hear over the din and trouble of what's going on. The Zeltron tries to take stock of everything that's happening around him and what, exactly, he should do.
You know how Sar wasn't here for the previous scene? Well, that's because he was flying escort to the Renegade in Green Leader. Yeah!
<<No, it's fine. Just take your time,>> he comms to the rest of the fighters, looking over his scanners.
Karas had also been in the hanger when everything went to hell, he was quickly scrambling up on his feet, he was standing on the ladder going over his data pad and checking a few instruments when he was thrown off the ladder and landed hard int a few crates. It takes him a few moments to get his bearings, but with the alarms sounding and he sees pilots rushing to thier fighters, the young pilot quickly gets to his feet. Seeing Jaya getting into her fighter and a few other Red Squadron pilots rushing as well, Karas is running. "Spark get'er started!" he hollers at his astromech droid as he reaches the ladder and quickly climbs up into the cockpit. As he enters the canopy starts to close and the engines come to life. Putting on his helmet, he hears the comm traffic. <<So am I Red-5. Red Squadron get ready for a fight, we hold off the enemy for ever long we can give the Renegade.>> he calls into his comm. Red Leader engines flares as it launches out of the hanger, climbing and rolling, he quickly forms up with his squadron.
Experiencing what's tantamount to a flash earthquake on a frigate out in space is not anything good. When Jessika is able to pick herself up off the deck, the stillness is unsettling. Blaring sirens and flashing red lights come moments before orders are barked over the vessel's internal intercoms, and that sends everyone scrambling. Jessika rapidly yanks her sleeves out from their tied position around her waist and is in the process of suiting up when she makes it into the fighter bay. There are others scrambling around her, but she's able to maneuver through them to where her iconic fighter rests. She doesn't rush once she makes it to the equipment, because slow is smooth and smooth is fast. Once her vest and life support are on, she scrambles upwards.
Traffic on the frigate is frantic, but Jessika is calm. She's got time to yank her gloves on, seat her helmet in place, and fasten all the points of her harness. Once her astromech is slotted into place, the X-Wing is put on taxi from the fighter bay and set into place in the launch bay. Only then do its fusial engines flare to life and its repulsor lifts kick up. Guiding the snubfighter out of the bay and into the cold vacuum of space, Jessika's leather-clad fingers drag the visor of her Tierfon Yellow Aces helmet down into place and quickly reaches over to tune her frequency to the greater net rather than the internal squadron net.
Feeding more speed to her craft, Jessika angles her craft into an intercept vector and changes the s-foils from closed to open. With all the voices flying over the communication net, Jessika's content to remain silent. One gloved hand lifts to settle over her chest for a second, and there's a brief moment where Jessika's eyes are closed and her lips move silently. When they open again, her face is set into one of utter concentration and determination.
OUT IN SPACE:
Fifteen fighters launch in full speed towards the incoming pastiche of squadrons spilling out of the Renegade, accompanying five bombers that are presently forming an intercept course not at where the Renegade is, but where it is expected to enter atmosphere - evidence enough that the young tactician's apprehensions are disastrously well-founded. The complement looks familiar - many of them are the same ships that attacked the Resistance during the operation to get rid of Bothawui's hostile spy satellites, this time led by a distinct fighter splashed in blue and black - the better to blend into its surroundings.
The firefight begins almost immediately - the priority, it seems, is to protect the bombers, though each fighter is armed with some serious payload also. The entire group seems kitted out for the very purpose of taking down a large capital ship. The surrounding darkness comes alive with a spray of laser fire and blasting cannons, all directed at the incoming slew of starfighters led by the Rear Admiral.
IN THE SHIP:
"Copy, Renegade Leader," Dawn patches through the comms. "Maintenance and engineering crews, send me the data on the repairs and give me live updates every two minutes!" Armed with her datapad, she slaps on her helmet and proceeds out the bridge and towards the ship's expansive engineering bay. She gets there quickly, crouching down next to one of the crew, a harried looking person practically buried under wires.
"How's our air?" she murmurs.
"We have ten minutes," the engineer replies. "More, maybe, the more people evacuate."
"We're going to have to re-route the power going to our main ventilation array by hooking it up to the auxiliary power," the lieutenant diagnoses immediately. "We're going to need to manually override it. Where's the hatch?"
"Here." The engineer calls up the route. "We're going to have to go in deep, the switch is at the very end. And it's /heavy/, lieutenant. No offense."
"I'm just going to have to find the help, then." She patches through the shipwide comm. <<Need a solid pair of hands to meet me at this section of the ship.>> She rattles it off. <<Whoever's available! Otherwise we're /all/ going to be delirious in five minutes!>>
Things are starting to get difficult in the main evacuation zone. As Jonn, Elrych and Kaiden ensure that all non-essential personnel get on the transports, the floor starts tilting in an angle. Items that are not bolted down starts sliding closer and closer towards the ships that are presently being boarded by quickly trotting bodies. The Renegade is tilting, and it's tilting /fast/. These obstructions are starting to move faster and faster, liable to take out the more vulnerable underbellies of the various shuttles parked in the hangar.
<<Green and Gold. Focus on those bombers. Red, engage that escort.>> Gren's voice comes clear over the radio, as he banks his E-wing to port, lining up a burst of triple laser fire on one of the Bothan starfighters, and pulling the trigger. Red blasts of laser fire reach out, and touch the enemy, but it isn't exactly a solid hit. <<Good to see you, Silver Leader. We could use a hand with these fighters.>> His shield rip open, and his droid screams from the astromech socket. "Piss! Fix it!" The heavy escort fighter is struck by a solid bit of return fire from somewhere in the chaotic scrum. <<No time for anything fancy, just kill these furballs.>> Now is not the time to be politically correct.
Ektor is not subtle in his approach. The big B-wing is roaring straight at the incoming enemy bombers. <<On target. Closing,>> he reports, sending the new assault fighter into a crackling swing around the cockpit, dodging any fighter fire. He misses with the heavy cannon, but the B-wing's autoblasters chew into one Bothan bomber, leaving it badly damaged but not dead.
Jonn Drayson contined to relay people to the evacuation point as the call went out, gripping tighter to the doorframe to keep from falling down the corridor. But, in between, he had words for his prospective student. "Elrych, you are ah pilot, you have der skills, go and get a fiyghteh and help dem out dere." He pointed frantically towards the hangar bay, the same direction where the escapees were going, and where the fighters were. "Do nahd be afrayed, for der Foahse will guide you. Now, gau, my apprentice! GAU!" Elrych thus dismissed, he looked at his datapad which had a map to a super heavy switch that required a heavily muscled man. This was a task Jonn Drayson was MADE for. He broke into a run towards the indicated point. <<"I AM ON DER WAY, I WILL GET DER HATCH OPEN,">> he roared into his comm. Probably deafening the people at the other end too!
Elrych Cometburn pauses as the ship starts to tilt. He had just finished getting people aboard the shuttles when Jonn started screaming at him. He had notice the crates starting to fall. "But Papa Jonn, the crates!" He knews the man was caught up in the moment. Turning the Padawan takes a large gulp and raises his hands. Just then something rocks the ship and he staggers, but the crates seem to follow his movements and fly against the bulkhead and into the corner. There's no telling if he did that or just the turbulance of that lurch... but the ships were safe for now. Turning he went at a run towards the Landing Bay where there was one Naboo fighter left. Putting in his ear buds and scrolling to find that right jizzy song to help him groove out in the empty. He climbs up the latter and into the ship. "Hey who the hell are you?" A Deck hand asks, "Just some kid..." THe canopy closes and the engines flare and Elrych blasts out into the fight.
Jaya was on an intercept course, but altered only to insert herself in the Red Squadron's formation. When orders came down on their focus, she locked her S foils into attack position and prepared to engage. At once, warfare expanded into a vivid display of exchanged fire. It was near impossible to avoid being hit, or so the alarm indicated when Jaya's shields popped. She cut her speed, and dove after the first escort fighter she could find. The craft barreled down after them, and as they sped and leveled out, Jaya closed the distance and engaged. Her first contact in this conflict results in an immediate kill. Banking left, Red Five angles back after her squadron, looking for the next enemy craft to intercept. <<Scratch one!>>
Gold Squadron rushes into the fight, the X-Wing leading the two N-1s. Red laser fire is exchanged between the enemy Preybirds, Starchasers and the X-Wing, the shots going wide, wide, between the fighters of Gold Squadron. David's accuracy isn't so off, striking one of the fighters directly in the hull. As the fighters close the distance with the enemy, more lasers fly in both directions, green lasers taking out one Preybird and the smoking Starchaser. <<Well done, boys. You especially, Keedar.>> David compliments the team, before asking for a damage report. Replies come out that both N-1s are now without shields. <<You have droids, right? Get those shields back up, there's a -million- where those two came from, still.>> His attention is pulled to the sensors by R2-1S. "That's Gold 4. Who's flying that?" <<Gold 4, this is Gold Leader. I'm not saying you're not welcome to join, I just gotta know who's in there.>> David attempts to identify the mystery pilot who's inserting jizz directly into his ear at the moment.
<< Happy to be seen, Renegade Leader. >> Rey's voice crackles over the comms as she stares out from behind the yellow visor of her pilot's helmet. << Closing distance now. >>
Rey's right hand reaches out and she flips a switch on the console, causing her X-wing's s-foils to slide open, priming the guns for a fight. As she draws closer to the Renegade she glances over to it to see it on its angle downward, being pulled into the planet by the gravitational strength. With a heavy exhale, her eyes go forward again and she locks onto an incoming fighter.
"Here we go." She tells her Droid who beeps and whirls his domed head behind the canopy. Moments later Rey is firing her cannons and dodging incoming laser fire! A glance off of her shields has her ship twirling in a new direction... There are some GOOD pilots out there, and not all of them fly for the Resistance...
Coming around, she squeezes the fire trigger on her 40 year old X-wing's flight stick, launching shots at the enemy who shot at her tearing into its hull and causing a moderate amount of damage!
<<Copy that, Renegade Leader,>> Sar says, throttling up and pulling away from his escort flight. He pokes at a button on his console and his targetting computer flips down. He peers through it and hums softly to himself. He toggles through his firing modes until he gets to the one that looks like a torpedo. "Alright, Rexie, let's get to work." A torpedo whips through space and crashes into the side of one of the enemy bombers. Kerplow.
The first thought that Kaiden has is the call of Dawn for help on that switch, and although he takes an initial hard step in the direction of her call he still sees Jonn who, frankly, is much better equipped to help the young Antilles. His second thought? The other people. Damn. Running out of oxygen doesn't even enter his mind yet, neither that aspect nor the the things crashing toward the transports. The red-skinned man is ushering them, those other people, trying to herd them toward the transports as best he can.
<<Copy that Renegade Leader.>> Karas says into his comm. Hearing everyone over the Tact Net, the Squadron Commander speaks to his squadron, <<Alright Red, we have our orders engage, call for help if you need it, try to keep within range of one another. Good hunting.>> he calls out as he settles back into his pilot's cushion. Flipping the switch which activates the S-Foils, for his X-Wings, the wings move into their X formation. Checking the sides of his ship seeing how Red formed up and than moved out to attack, he gave a small nod, <<Tally ho engaging escort lead.>> he calls as his T-65 races along with the other fighters as they lead the charge into the fray.
Evading laser fire is hard, but the young Coruscanti pilot has lived through many fights, yeah he's been shot down a few times, but he only keeps getting better and it's showing. The X-Wing dips slightly but quickly pulls up as the head to head is about within range. He rolls his fighter and an intentionally overshoot his enemy only to pull back hard on the stick to come in above and behind the lead Y-Wing. Spark gives a loud screech of joy as the targeting brackets go green. Red laser fire erupts from the X-wings laser cannons. Each racing off and scoring hits upon the Y-Wing he sees the shields wink out and the hull take damage. He knows he has a fight on his hand, but one he welcomes.
With the Squadrons assigned their taskings, Jessika adjusts her communications band onto Red's internal net and sets her vector for the incoming screen of multiple targets. They're out numbered, and Jessika's eyes are grateful for the visor when the light show starts. Beginning immediate evasive maneuvers, Jessika does her best to weave through the fire coming their way. Anything else leaves her too much of a sitting target, and a sitting target tends to be a dead one. <<Good shot, Five.>> Assessing the situation playing out before her in front of her viewport, she can see that the Resistance fighters aren't the only one scoring hits, though. The enemy is knocking out shields and hitting friendlies, and this is the same group that had already hurt them once.
Her own shields go down seconds later as Red Squadron engages the bulk of escorts. Rather than panic, Jessika guides her flight stick to line up with one of the approaching Starchasers in a head-to-head that sees her targeting reticle line up with him. A simple squeeze of the trigger spits lances from the tips of two of the X-Wing's quad weapons and turns him into an exploding wreck of twisted hull. "The shields are out, Case! Get them back up!" Banking back towards the fray, Jessika hunts for her next target. <<Red Two, scratch one.>>
OUT IN SPACE (STARFIGHTER CORPS):
As the firefight begins in earnest, a massive fireball is visible in the distance - Green Leader destroys one of the five bombers, leaving four lying in wait for the Renegade while the rest of the fighters engage the less-fortified starchasers. Eleven fighters are left on the field, though judging by the sparks in a few of them, some of them are damaged. Should anyone look, they'd find that the Renegade is starting to tilt dangerously into orbit, the very front of it starting to glow with re-entry flames.
The enemy ace, streaked with black and blue and more difficult to see visibly (visible, however, in sensors) tears away from the main formation once Karas engages him. It takes off at a lightning streak, and veers off. It appears to have found a target.
R2 will warn her; the ace is on Rey's tail, and he's getting her in range.
This is when the bombers start to move. They engage immediately, starting to drop their payload the /moment/ the flagship gets in range. Explosions rock along the ship, visible even from the canopy of the furthest starfighter away from the rest. And it spells trouble for those inside.
IN THE HATCH (JONN AND DAWN):
When Jonn finds Dawn, she's already opened the hatch leading into the shafts leading into the manual switch. "Jonn, thank the Force," the younger Antilles says, visibly relieved. "Come on, we don't have a lot of time."
They descend into cramped quarters, that opens up but only slightly. The switch is a lever, large and red and situated in a circular pedestal, much like a crank. The ominous silence around them is almost defeaning; this deep in the underbellies of the Renegade, the fact that it is absolutely dead is hard to ignore. The air is progressively getting thin.
She opens a panel and gets down on her knees, to open up a panel and start running wires through it, as well as a few tubes. "We need to realign it from six o'clock to twelve o'clock," she says, nodding to the switch. "Do you think you can-- "
Explosions rock the chamber violently. On the fire side, a hole punches through as one by one, multiple hull breaches register, with the bridge crew sending them panicked reports through the comms. The hull is breached from the far side of where they are, small at first, but space is what it is and the sudden depressurization starts /tearing/ at the wall.
It pulls at the young Antilles, and with a bloodcurdling scream, she's lifted off her feet, about to get sucked out towards the very far, far end away from Jonn.
EVACUATION ZONE (KAIDEN):
Transports are /still/ leaving when another hull breach occurs, sucking out crates, and will start to pose trouble for people who are still boarding. Kaiden will be able to spot the controls on the far end, that enable him to seal off the affected area, and buy personnel more time to evacuate. But the air is getting thin, and the Renegade is starting to slant dangerously. Getting there will be difficult.
Not to mention the danger posed to him, personally, as he runs the risk of getting pulled. He only has seconds to make a decision.
"Nice work, droid!" Gren calls over his shoulder, as a triumphant toot from the rear indicates that the shields have mostly been restored. Renegade Leader weaves through a flurry of laser fire, and makes a brief pass on one of the four surviving bombers. But, his laser cannons spit fire into nothing, drawing an exasperated sigh. "Maybe it really bloody is time to hang up the helmet..." The salvo ripping into Renegade draws a snapped order. <<If you've got a shot on a bomber, take it.>> It might make things a bit bloodier for the SFC pilots, but that's the job.
Ektor's B-wing rocks with a light hit to the shields, as the Tionese pilot mutters a curse on seeing the first volley of missiles streak clear of the enemy bombers. He's continuing to have trouble aiming the heavy laser cannon on the far tail of the craft, and has little better luck with the autocannons, scoring minuscule damage on the already damaged Preybird.
"NAAAAUUUUUU!" was the cry from Jonn as his compatriot of the day was hoisted from her feet! Grabbing her by the wrist to prevent her from sailing away was easy. Jonn Drayson was a SUPER SOLDIER and nothing was going to stop him. Stopping himself from flying away, though? No easy matter. He was lifted off his feet, holding on to the switch to keep himself from careeing out into space.
He had to think fast. The bulkhead seal switch was on the opposite wall. He reached out with his mind and caught a bit of detritus, and promptly mentally flung it into space. Sithspit. "DAWN, HIT DER SWITCH!" he roared at her, fighting against the vacuum and moving his arm with all the massive muscles he had. He was Jonn M. Drayson. Vacuum was nothing to him. With mighty strength, he HURLED Dawn Antilles, the slip of a girl, towards the bulkhead seal switch.
Elrych Cometburn has some fast paced swinging Jizz-wailing Max Rebo blaring loud enough to be heard through his comm system mic every time he triggers it. <<Ah... Elrych Cometbern, Gold Leader. Pilot and Driver. Transport Specialist... sort of a Jedi, I guess. Gold... what'd you say, 4?>> His ship hurdles towards the looming battles and soon he was close enough to take his how shots at some of the enemy. A deep breath is taken and things seem to go quiet for a second, and things lean towards the hyper realistic as he taps into the force for guidance. "Oh shit this is better than spice..." <<Fair warning, I'm a terrible shot. So appologies in advance.>> Banking hard to the starboard side, he gives a bit of a twist and a wirl, attempting to lock onto one of the bombers. He glances off over at the enemy leader's ship heading off towards Silver Leader. He brows narrow slightly but looking back ahead he stays focused on the important task. The computer gets a lock but one of the enemy fighters shoots past him causing him to break that just as he lets off two blasts. "Sithspit..." He grumbled and moves around for another pass, keeping an eye on his sensors and his six.
Blue Squadron, two of the best Resistance pilots, flying hotshot A-wings zip into the fight, and tag team some bombers. One of the Preybirds goes up in flames, while another suffers some slight damage. Captains Wexley
Jaya adjusts course, avoiding additional damage while simultaneously locking onto a wounded Starchaser that was chasing Renegade Leader. Twisting her craft to stay in pursuit, she watches as the craft dances in and out of her sight before finally lining up. Engaging the target from behind, she obliterates the fighter tailing their Admiral and adjusts course to return to her squadron again. <<Red 5, scratch two! Oorah!>>
Gold Leader flies through the wreckage of some poor Starchaser, followed closely still by his wingmen. <<Glad you could join us either way, Cometburn. You're Gold 4 right now, yes.>> He leaves the comment about the Jedi's skill with a trigger out of his reply, genuinely happy with the impromptu assist. Said happiness doesn't last especially long, Starchasers coming from two angles up and down at the trio. Before they can split up, they're absolutely showered in laser fire, though miraculously none hit Jump Jye's Gold 2. The other two, not so lucky. Dar Keedar had just managed to get Gold 3's shields back up, when they're immediately tested for integrity. Luckily, they seem to hold up. David himself, in his X-Wing, manages to dodge most of the incoming fire, returning immediately to blast a hole right in the hull of the Starchaser, ripping off the canopy. The pilot's feeble skin follows soon after, but Dave is already moving to a next target, dodging skillfully around the loose canopy. The two N-1s manage to tear up another Starchaser, coming at it from both sides and just cutting the hull to shreds. <<Gold Squadron, scratch two more.>> comes the comms report from David.
Rey continues to fly Silver Leader on hot pursuit of the fighter that she'd taken down to 50% of its hull strength. She has him just out of her sights bobbing and weaving away from her guns. Artoo starts to whistle and beep, alerting her to the Ace thats on their tail... Rey's eyes go left, and then right trying to look out of her canopy on either sides of her while she guides her ship. "I don't see him!" She shouts back to the droid.
The targeting system on Rey's X-wing starts to whail at her as she scores a lock on her enemy and her eyes shoot forward again while her hand squeezes around the flight yoke, sending red lasery death at the enemy fighter! The resulting explosion is tremendous at the enemy fighter is ripped apart and Silver Leader zips through the fire!
... Only to line up a shot on a second fighter that so happens to be flying her way! Once more Rey squeezes the trigger on her weapon systems and the second fighter is pelted with X-wing cannon fire and it too is reduced to an explosive smouldering wreck!
"Wow." Rey gasps, Artoo cheering in his droid-like way as she pulls hard to starboard to bring the ship back around toward the Renegade which is still FALLING!
"I should buy Maeve some flowers or something," Sar muses to himself as he whips the weighty armor-plated Y-Wing around. "Rexie, make a note to remind me of that. Something purple," he adds, before he catches a smattering of plasma to the hull. "And fix that, would ya?"
Zeroing in on another bomber, Sar lets another torpedo loose. It fwooshes around for a hot minute before it collides with the enemy bomber's cockpit and tears the vessel to shreds.
<<Good Job Red 2 and Red 5, keep up the good work.>> he calls to his pilots. This enemy ace is pretty good in a Y-Wing, he manages to score a light hit on Red Leader with it's turret, though Red Leaders X-Wings shields still hold. Jinking and managing to roll back in again, Karas fires two hasty shots, only one hits barely the other misses it's mark. <<Silver Leader, enemy ace is still on you, I will get him.>> he calls to her on his comms. Keeping on the enemy Y-Wings tail, who is still chasing Silver Leaders X-Wing, Karas isn't losing control, he's going to take him down.
Re-engaging into the fray, Jessika does a quick check of her sensors and a quick visual check out her viewport to make sure she's not about to smash into something. She can see the other X-Wings of Red zipping through the heavy swarm of enemy fighters, but the pilot quickly repurposes her attention to the fight. Spotting a Starchaser with free reign, because they're still outnumbered, Jessika makes minute adjustments with her yolk and foot pedals with management of speed to try and jockey for position behind him, where she'll hopefully be able to line up a kill shot. "Come on, Case, don't leave us naked out here." A quick check towards her shields indicator is hopeful, especially as a button on her console is flicked to aid the astromech with her own redundant program.
Not that it matters much. The program nor her astromech are capable of restoring any of her shields, and it's by talented reflex alone that she's able to respond to the sudden wharbling warning from Case in time. Banking and rolling hard, the X-Wing narrowly avoids fire from one of the other Starchasers, and a fleeting image of the one she has in her sights is nowhere near her reticle anymore. One does sweep in front of her, but there's no time to line up a shot, and she's mostly silently hoping as she squeezes off a strafe of fire in its direction. All the shots go wide.
OUT IN SPACE (STARFIGHTER CORPS):
More are plucked out of the sky, and the newfound assault against the bombers see more of them falling towards orbit in flames. The two remaining ones damaged, they turn and make an all out suicide run towards the Renegade. As they do this, the six remaining starfighters engage the Resistance's forces with every attempt at defense, to prevent them from getting to the remaining bombers as they attempt to deliver /all/ of their bombs towards the beleaguered flagship.
And then, the Renegade starts to enter atmosphere.
It burns like its very own supernova upon re-entry, its massive shape descending from space like a world-ending asteroid. Miraculously, the bridge manages to hold, but that may not matter in a few minutes.
The enemy ace rips away from Karas' attempts to pin it down, however damaged it may be. It corkscrews through dark matter and the debris of its comrades, evading Red Leader as it bears down from Rey. Its pilot focuses fire, targeting her fighter and sends beams of light heading her way.
Smoke wafts from her engines, and R2 screams a warning as she's sent hurtling down to the planet, alarms clamoring around her.
IN THE HATCH (JONN AND DAWN):
Jonn's scream has Dawn exhaling as she's /thrown/, before she twists her body and her shoulder slams right into the switch, fractures cracking through her upper arm as she bites back a cry of pain. Tears blur her vision, but the Jedi's gambit saves their lives - a broken arm is worth it. The bulkhead seals shut, and both of their bodies collapse on the ground.
There's virtually no air left in their space after that, and her vision starts to swim. She attempts to fight it, her functioning arm lifting to point at the switch. "Jonn..." she chokes. "The switch...we need...the air..."
Kaiden knows across the hangar is the release that will seal off that section of the ship and allow those people to more time to escape. But oxygen is thinning, and he's starting to have trouble catching his breath, even as he tries to put all of his momentum into moving across toward the release. He doesn't even try to conserve his oxygen, yelling for everyone to get into transport as he's moving more and more, and more sluggish.
Experienced combat pilot? Sure. Crack shot? He used to be. But, at the moment, something seems to be wrong with the Admiral's guns. Or his eyes. Or both. He slaloms his starfighter through the remaining defensive formation of Bothan fighters, and makes an extremely ineffective attack run on one of the last bombers. <<Renegade. You really need to bloody get those engines online.>> An irritated growl, and the old officer sighs. All of his stuff is on that damn boat.
Blue Squadron's follow-up attack run is more successful. Blue Leader manages to walk a significant amount of blaster fire up the spine of one of the last pair of bombers, before being struck by defensive fire, and sent off out of the fight. The A-wing is smoking, and rolling as they enter atmosphere, crippled. Captain Nunb remains close to Wexley's wing, making sure the pilot is safe in the stricken starfighter.
Ektor forgoes the heavy laser entirely, trusting to the chin mounted autocannons; aiming with those still feels more natural, and the Tionese finds success. His first blast at last wrecks the badly damaged Preybird, before a swift turn brings a deadly stream of fire to bear on the last charging bomber, tearing it apart in the sort of explosive fireball you only get in atmosphere. <<Green Two, last enemy bombers are gone- Where'd Silver go, yeah?>>
The switch! Jonn turned and looked at the big heavy switch. It looked pretty amusing from where he stood, but he wasn't quite in the state of mind to realize he was going hypoxic. He wrapped a hand around it and gave it a pull, and it didn't budge. Hrm. Okay. A bit more force was needed. With a mighty "NYAAAAAAAAARGH!" he wrenched the switch into the active position and the room began to hum. Air! Glorious air! "Dere!" he grunted out. And with that, he turned and walked/stumbled to the collapsed Dawn.
"You should go and have dinneh wid Elrych," he advised, completely out of place, as he hoisted her off the ground with zero effort into a standard fireman's carry, always being careful of the arm. And just like that, he started making his way, carefully, towards central engineering where they were needed next. "He nyeeds to get auht moah, but he is a good kid and dehsyerves a chance." Always the parent!
Elrych Cometburn is a really good pilot. Like really good. Maybe not rediculiously good, but those watching him see him juking a jiving through explosions, attempted attacks, and various ammount of debris. It's as if he's dancing, to music - or something. The fighters that chose to go after him are having some real trouble tracking him as he cycles through his targeting computer on the classic Naboo fighter. His sunglasses covered eyes look around through the canopy and he spots Rey getting hit and sent towards the planets surface. "Alright you Sarlacc loving dingle meep. Let's dance..." He pipes his Datapad right into the ship and the music BLARES through his cock pit. Turning hard he blasts his throttle forwards and take a few long shots which go nowhere near. "Should have used a torpeado..." He says to himself refusing to admit he's /that/ bad.
Jaya had made it back to her squadron, but her shields were blown out again from direct fire. She pushed her craft down, twisting slightly in a clumbsy flip. When she leveled out once more, Jaya had an immediate shot and took it. The result of her fire saw another Starchaser obliterated. She banked to her port though and angled for another. They increased their speed and tried to break away but she was on them quick. Adjusting so her targeting systems could align once more, Jaya opened fire again with identical results. She avoided the debris of her fourth kill and angled back up toward her squadron. <<This is Red Five, that's two more out of the fight!>>
Gold Squadron zips through the furball, dodging laser fire left and right. Well. Golds 2 and 3 do. David himself is shaking from the impact of an R41's weapons, two of them seemingly going for a head-on collision with the squadron. David squeezes the trigger, sending shots wide, between and over the fighters. Their dodging however, sends them right into the line of fire for his two wingmen, the emerald blasts placed much closer together than the wide spread of an X-Wing's wingtips, and almost simultaneously the two unfortunate Starchasers go down unceremoniously as their engines catch on fire before exploding.
Triumph over downing two enemies at almost the same time... is quickly lost however as Rey banks her X-wing around and pulls up alongside the Renegade only to have her engine suddenly blasted by the Ace behind her!
The alerts inside her cockpit start to sound off, as do the frantics whistles from Artoo, and Rey looks back over her right shoulder to the starboard upper engine which is on fire now that they're entering Bothawui's atmosphere. "Shut it down!" Rey shouts back to Artoo who is already trying to do that. Rey can see parts of her ship sheering away. She looks forward again toward the planet as Silver Leader descends alongside the Renegade.
<<Silver Leader. I'm going down... I can't fight in this condition.>> She announces over the comms, unsure of whether or not the Ace is still on her tail.
The damaged X-wing's s-foils start to close-up again into their resting position and the T-65 soars ahead of the Renegade toward the surface of Bothawui and the waterfalls of a massive fractured lake ahead... a dark trail of smoke behind the Incom fighter.
As they pass by the Renegade, Rey watches it out her port side and observes the damage its sustained. She's struggling to keep her own X-wing on course, but the manueverability is severely shot now. She looks forward toward the surface and the nearing lakes with its tumbling waterfalls. "They're not going to make it..."
Suddenly then, Rey reaches up to shunt all shield power to the aft of her fighter. "We're landing, Artoo..." She tells her co-pilot. "There!" She nods ahead toward a rocky land bridge that spans between two of the huge Falls. "Prep the gear, this is going to be a hard drop..." The atmosphere and wind rocking the X-wing is already promising that much to both of them.
That damn Ace is good, it's been evading Karas most of this damn fight, but Karas isn't letting that kriffing nerf ass licker get away. "We come here to help, and you krayt dragon ass lickers sabotage us..." Red Leader's T-65 rolls through laser fire, but the enemy Ace scores a pretty solid hit on the fighter. Alarms are going on inside of the cockpit, and the fighter is shaking pretty badly, though Karas is able to keep his calm. It seems the longer this goes on the more focused he's become. <<I'm on him Rey.>> he calls to his wingman. Somehow he is able to find his target and he unloads onto the enemy Ace the X quad laser cannons spit angry red energy beams towards the Y-Wing cutting through the middle of the fighter and along the pylons holding the engines destroying the enemy Ace. Rolling through the debris, <<Silver Leader......>> alarms can be heard through the channel and, <<Your tail is clear.>> Karas calls to her and he pulls back, <<Red 2 and Red 5, coming to you>> he calls as he pilots back to his squadron to help them with the rest of the clean up.
In the few split seconds she has between one engagement and the next, Jessika once more tries to get the redundant repair program to run in conjunction with her astromech trying to get the X-Wing's shields back up. That's not all she can focus on, though. After hitting the switch, she's got her attention fully devoted to guiding the flight stick in hopes that she can keep her X-Wing nimble throughout the fight. Anything that'll stave off allowing the enemy fighters a free or easy shot in her direction. Jessika tries to keep up with the chaos of the fight, but these things are just background noise. The Renegade is still going down, and there's a quip over the comms about Snap being hit and hurtling into the atmosphere. Even Rey is going down.
"Get. it. fixed!" Just like last time, this group of Bothan fighters is simply overwhelming them with numbers, and no amount of skilled flying seems to be making a difference. Jessika rolls her fighter back towards the one that escaped from her before. She catches glancing fire that makes her snubfighter shudder, but she keeps her yolk steady and refuses to break off since it was the shields that took the hit, having come up moments before impact. The pilot ahead of her either thinks she'll break off or simply doesn't know where to go next, but Jessika punishes such an action by squeezing the trigger and sending a stutter of fire into the Starchaser. It erupts in flames and she swings around to avoid smashing into the gravity-locked debris.
ENGINEERING (JONN AND DAWN):
Her body swept up by the larger Jedi, Dawn's hazy eyes flick up to the man's face as he bodily carries her to engineering. Pains spread through her chest and her senses are spinning. "Jonn, you're going to have to do it," she murmurs, delirious, still, from the lack of oxygen and the shock of nearly having her blood get boiled out of her. "My arm, I can't move it..."
They pick their way into the heart of the Renegade, where he'll have to situate her to the side, past unconscious bodies of other engineers who have collapsed from the lack of air. "The panel...open it...we need to...jumpstart the core..." Lashes flicker. "The cables...and the chips...we have to move them into the back up array. I'll...guide you through it..."
Their comms crackle, and a barely audible whispers slips through their ears.
"Lieutenant...surface collision imminent."
"How long do we have?"
Dawn presses bloodless lips together. There isn't enough time. Closing her eyes and willing for a miracle, she turns her pale face towards Jonn.
"Let's get to work."
IN THE EVACUATION ZONE (KAIDEN):
Just before Kaiden runs out of air entirely...
.../something/ happens and the ventilation systems are activated. Air fills his lungs, clears the sluggishness of his mind, and the switch is right within reach, enabling him to seal the damaged bulkhead and the transports to take off safely from the hangar.
However good would that do, in the end, when the Renegade continues its collision course below.
OUT IN SPACE (STARFIGHTER CORPS):
The enemy starfighter corps is decimated, and when cosmic dust and laser fields clear, there is no sign of Silver Leader. From the Renegade's hangar, the last of the transports take off, efforts made possible thanks to Kaiden's sacrifice - unfortunately, this does mean that the Zeltron is left behind, with the rest of the essential personnel still trapped in the crashing ship.
The squadrons would find a clear view of it; like life rafts, the transports spill into the skies, carrying as many of their staff as they can spare.
<< Thanks, Red Leader! >> Rey calls out over the comms when she sees the explosion from the Y-wing Ace that had done this damage to her aged X-wing. But her course was still locked in... dead ahead to that land bridge between the tall canyon of waterfalls.
The trail of smoke from Silver Leader's upper starboard engine puffs several more times before Artoo successfully deactivates it and the fires are put out... but the engine is visibly dead when viewed from behind the fighter.
Wobbling around some, the wings dipping on port, then starboard, and back again... the craft makes its descent between the falls and Rey pulls hard on the yoke to bring it around while the 'feet' extend out from beneath the nose and the rear engines.
The engines drop first and slam into the ground of the land bridge, then the nose comes down and the ship drops unceremoniously onto the wet rocky surface. A moment later and the canopy on the fighter is opening, the pilot is rising up and rushing out of her ship's cockpit. Her hands come up and she pulls her helmket from her head before dropping it without care and now she stands on the nose of the X-wing and stares up to the Renegade as its on a direct approach toward her and Artoo.
Rey watches, her feet transfering weight from right to left while her robes whip in the watery winds rushing off the lake's surface. Her right hand snaps up and extends outward toward the Assault Frigate... soon to be joined by her left. "Come on." Rey's lips whisper, a whisper lost in the sounds of the raging waters around her.
Her eyelids slide shut and she calls out to the Force. To slow the Renegade from its fall...
Jonn Drayson was no engineer. He was a man on the ground, punching things until they stopped punching back. He was so far out of his element that it nearly hurt. Thankfully he wasn't alone. "I'm nahd tayking Elrych to dinneh, you have to doo eeht," he said, deliberately misinterperting Dawn's statement to inject a bit of humour into the situation. Maybe that would make her laugh and keep her from passing out. He followed her instructions, doing the manual labour one-handed with fat fingers. "You must nahd fyeah," he murmured, for both their sakes. "Fyeah is der mind killeh." He worked fast, and was rewarded by blinking lights in return. "I have poweh!" he roared in triumph.
Elrych Cometburn watches as the pros clean up the rest of the enemy ships. <<Hey, woah. You guys are really good. Nice work>>. The congratulations are short lived as the young Jedi takes a look out of his canopy to notice the Renegade near its death. His face falls... at least the transports got out. "Papa Jonn, Dawn... that really pretty guy that I saw on the way out..." He didn't know his name. He blinks as the ship starts to slow. <<Oh hey, look!>>
Jaya levels off in a formation with her squadron and diverts her attention to their ship as it enters the atmosphere. Concern crosses her features as she feels absolutely helpless. Sighing heavily, she looks away and tries to maintain her bearing by busying herself with an idle scan of their immediate vicinity to see who was still with them. It had been one hell of a fight...
The call of "oh hey, look" has David turning just in time to see the Renegade slowing.. somehow. The pilot shrugs tiredly, blinking slowly before going on all squadron comms. <<What the-- I am seeing this, right? I haven't fallen asleep?>> The X-Wing turns easily towards the stalled frigate, bumping the shields into random pieces of debris with a hollow *bonk* every time another bit of durasteel is sent careening away. <<Status report. Who's still alive?>> Gold 2 and 3 are quick to report how fine and not-dead they are, forming up on David's X-Wing soon after.
Karas moves out in front of the formation of Red Squadron, <<Keep your sensors on full.>> he says as he flips the buttons to close the S-Foils of his X-Wing. He is looking at the Renegade as it descends, as he watches he also has Spark scanning the area wanting to make sure that they don't get jumped. "Come on....pull up...." he says more to himself than to anyone else. He does look up from time to time, though his droid toodles at him and he feels the controls shift a bit, "Thanks Spark." he says.
As the Resistance starfighter pilots attain victory, there is little they can do but watch as the Renegade, which has little time before it impacts into Bothawui, goes down. Jessika's fighter is tilted as it zips along, allowing her a definitive view of the Frigate in its death fall. Gritted teeth and blanched knuckles underneath the leather of her thick glove are but the smallest signs of the frustration, anger, and hopelessness raging through her like a maelstrom of emotion. More than one of their pilots has gone down into the atmosphere, and one of them is totally unaccounted for. Forced to watch in horror and expacting the impact at any moment, Jessika can scarcely believe when it seems like the Frigate actually starts to slow down.
<<It's not going down!>> Jessika blurts it out over the comms in utter shock. She doesn't know how such a thing is possible, but she can see it with her very owns eyes. Her astromech reports that the Frigate's falling speed has been significantly reduced, and she begins to wonder if the crew managed, in some last minute craziness, was able to stabilize just enough to stop the Frigate from turning into nothing but a hulking mass of a wreck. She has no clue that there are other (F)orces at work. It's hard to focus on anything when the tentative hope that so many lives might not actually be lost starts to bloom in the back of her mind.
When Jonn Drayson fixes the last cable, and inserts the last chip, one last series of pushes from the main control panel...
...the Renegade's engines flare to life, light spilling from its various buttons and switches. The dark shape of the crashing flagship suddenly lights up like a beacon in the relative darkness of Bothawui's evening skies as it rumbles and strains against Rey's Force-fueled grasp. Shudders wrack its damaged hull, bits and pieces falling through the clouds to crash into the picturesque rock formations and natural waterfalls below. But it manages to hold.
It's /miraculously/ holding.
The bridge crew, already bracing for their deaths, find lights flicker back on in their earlier-dead consoles.
"Lieutenant, she's alive!" cries the communications officer through the comms. "/Alive/!"
Dawn lifts her weary head, a grateful glance shot at Jonn: "All power...to the thrusters," she patches through, lashes kissing her cheeks. "Full reverse."
From Rey's vantage point, standing and surrounded by water, she'd be able to see it - this large, smoking vessel, held up by her sheer force of will, turn everything it has to veer off its deadly descent and goes on a slow, but full burn, ultimately keeping it suspended for just a moment, before it starts to rise.
With both of her hands held up and streteched outward, Rey's eyes remain closed tightly with her dark brow furrowed. She's straining with the effort required to hold the massive ship in the sky. Water and sweat combine on her face, splashing from the falls and the exhaustion building up in her to keep the vessel airbourne while the crew aboard finishes their repairs.
She can feel so many things around her...
Karas in his ship, Jessika in hers, David, Gren, Jaya and the rest. She can hear their voices and feel their tension.
She can hear Jonn's difficult to understand accent aboard the Renegade and the others around him rushing to fix the ship.
... and she can feel Luke, Master Yoda. There are others with them... Faces she doesn't know. They're watching her, speaking to her but she can't hear the words!
Standing atop her X-wing's nose, the form and figure of the girl starts to lighten, her braided hair becomes undown and her brown locks unravel and spread out behind her head in the winds. Her right sleeve falls away from her arm and flutters away in the strong breezes.
She can hear it! The bridge crew on the Renegade announcing the ship is back online! She can FEEL the ship reactivate and reverberate with the power flowing through it to keep the mighty vessel alive. A rush of relief pours through her!
Rey's eyes snap open, and a second later she vanishes, leaving only discarded clothing and a few perseonal items behind her that tumble off of the nose of the X-wing and down to the wet rocky surface of the land bridge.