Tibrin to Asmeru was a trade run off of the main hyperlanes - and like many other routes in the Hadar sector it had less traffic from patrol craft than the main routes. Called to strike a pirate group marauding the lane the Tibrin government called on a strike team.
Three arrived, but the compliment of those boarded on the Woor'tra now seemed enough that the Ishi-tib agreed to the operation proceeding. Settled in open space, midway along the route the Interdictor Buoy provided by the Tibrin Dictatorship caught a Brayl-Class freighter modified for ne'er do well deeds. No distress call is made, but weapons not normally found on the class begin powering as do shields - and jamming signals to stop hyper-comms.
<<"There it is. We're too small a team for a prize capture - but I'm sending the ship to the aft quarters near engineering. We can magnetize and open our own door - then get in and apply explosives in their main engine room... Unless you two have other suggestions.">> Hadrix's rumble comes through the internal comms even as the ship speeds towards the other - limited weapons firing but considerable shields and maneuverability coming into play as coherent light splashes against shields or streaks past into the eternal ether.
<<"Better speak up quick too - need to get inside their turret blind spots.">>
Mandl scrambles to the appropriate airlock, no stranger to 'quickly, quickly, EVA suits on...' It is, at least, something they are practiced in and proceed through without complaint. If any of the other EVA team struggle, Mandl can guide them through the process.
<<I'm fine with explosives. Better than trying to shoot our way to the control center. Believe me, I've done that, and it's not fun. HiBall is a dab hand at hacking,>> Nerys continued as she geared up, and made sure her droid was as well. <<He might be able to plot us a decent route and get us some access to their security so we can try to either misdirect them or heads them off.>>
The ship shakes again before there is a hard 'krunkph' of metal hitting metal and another when the airlock extends and magnetizes to the hull. From the flight deck, Hadrix is descending while his ID10 is at the open lock, placing cutting charges. The massive mandalorian toting a rifle just barely two feet shorter than him, and clearly modified with a much larger capacitor and charging chamber than one might normally see.
<"If he can get us there quicker when on board, by all means. Heiyu and Gripper will be remaining on the ship - because they can keep the doors sealed, or shoot as necessary."> Gripper's response being to extend the barrel of what looks like a K-16 from her chassis.
<"Assuming we all have night-scopes, infrared or low-light on our suits if one of you can kill lights after we board, that's even better."> Hadrix turns to the others, nodding slightly, and then back to the hull within the airlock and then to Gripper who gives a signal before lifting up and letting the hatch seal. The 'RUNK' from below is still audible despite the armor reinforcements, tamped shape charges superheating to cut a circle out before the hatch opens again (following an atmosphere check)
<"I have your back, in we go."> motioning to the others as already red alarm lights are flashing below, through the smoke and loud voices approaching.
Mandl descends. Or is it an ascent? Hand-over-hand, they progress steadily between vessels-- a methodical *thumpf, thumpf, thumpf,* never moving one limb before the former is securely in place...
Nerys, who, having opted, in recent weeks, for lighter medium armor and not the powered armor she had been using, moved up to stand beside Hadrix as the droids did their work, <<We can handle the lights, and I can help track any targets we encounter.>> Rather than seeming intimidated by the Mandalorian towering over her, Nerys, instead, tipped back her head so she could look up his way, a grin just visible through the helmet of her suit, <<How could we fail?>> Mando backup, best backup. HiBall, who was armed, though not as keenly as his fellow ID10, was settled on her shoulder, legs on either side, one arm wrapped around Nerys' neck, giving the look of an armed droid toddler sitting side saddle. Once Mandl has begun the entry, she followed after, HiBall's single eye flashing red as he searched for the panel they would need.
Dropping down after the others with a monolithic thud among them, Hadrix nods and shoulders the assault repeater like it was a normal blaster rifle. The baleful glow of the tibanna pressurizers and the crystal-shard chamber matching to the buildup whine of the weapon.
<"Contacts, point me and I'll cover. I'm your cover, direct me as needed."> The massive Mandalorian stands like a statue dedicated to war, cape blowing back in the atmosphere feeds.
Figures are forming in the dark. Mostly small, but there is a larger shadow looming to the left - smaller right - where deck plates indicate the target location is. Decisions decisions.
Mandl *tappa-tappa* into their wrist-comm. 'LOL, IKR, DTF?' No, no-- all business. '6 HOSTILES. ATMO & GRAV. LIKELY GAMORREANS.' Mandl picks the heavily-trafficked corridor and pops off several shots, perhaps an... attempt... to warn them off before resorting to Huttese.
HiBall made a low sound, as he detached himself from his shoulder mount, skimming over to a panel, which he made quick work of. Many hands literally made light work. And he had both many hands and and much work. The sounds of doors thudding home rang out from the left hand side, as he shut down the hatch, the hydraulics slamming the one closest to the entry point closed and and another further back towards the command deck, hopefully trapping the forces coming that way between the doors and along the corridor. Nerys leaving the droid to his work, raised her weapon and aimed down along the right hand corridor leading to engineering, as the lights winked out, leaving them in nearly total darkness, save for the flickering of the red alarm lights about twenty meters down along the right corridor. <<We should move to engineering as quickly as possible.>> As soon as she was in position, HiBall returned to her, still, likely, scanning for the next panel he would need, ready to johnny down the lane if necessary.
Lights out and doors close - shouting comes from one side and confusion from the other. Light beams click on, exposing the truth of Mandl and Nerys's hearing. Only a pair, unable to spot the forms of the invaders in their beams of light. One speaking in rodese and the other in nikto as their beams move against opposing walls.
A perfect time for an ambush. For some people.
Hadrix simply turns to face down the right hand corridor with the left sealed behind him, head moving as he whispers - barely picked up and more like static on his externals, <"Kote'echoy, Ni'kote'echoy">
Mandl's brain seems to seize up. Calculating their wisest move in a weightless do-or-die is, perhaps, a Bith's kryptonite. It's not like bringing down a hive-city from below, because that went flawlessly in comparison. This is-- nerve-wracking. "Kriff, kriff..."
Nerys and HiBall were a good team, and so, they moved together, the pair firing red bolts down along the corridor at the oncoming crew. Well, they tried to, anyway, as their bolts all went wide. And well, that's how things went. It might make the incoming crew less likely to shoot them back, if they had no idea where the shots were coming from. A girl and her droid could hope. <<We're okay, Mandl. Just got to get to engineering. Stay with me.>>
<"Keep with Nerys, I have your six. No surprises..."> The repeater cannon erupts suddenly, spraying multiple plasma darts down the corridor as Hadrix moves behind and to the side. One of the lights whips upward and a scream is cut short while return fire spaks against the left grieve of the mandalorian, striking the wall in ricochet as he begins to plod forward.
More rodese is heard, shouting, static - likely comm work and the light begins to backpedal some from the oncoming assault squadron.
<<"Gripper?">> <<"All clear, they don't seem to have EVA crew, or none suited up.">>
At least there was that - up ahead as they approach, able to identify now they were along the dorsal centerline corridor of the ship, heading aft, a left-hand branch opened up, heading starboard, potential traversal, or ambush point. But the flashlight was further along aft.
Mandl absorbs Nerys' pep-talk, *zapf-zapf* with renewed purpose!
HiBall, who moved to the next panel he could see, chittered in a very negative fashion, Nerys piping up, <<Shush, you.>> Which he did, as Nerys held up a hand, halting movement, or trying to, head turning left and right as though she were listening, which, as she spoke, it seemed that she had been, <<Straight aft is the fastest route to the engines, but we've got company coming from that split corridor starboard.>> She glanced to Hadrix and Mandl, "I can try to seal the doors, but can one of you try to handle it?"
They hold at the crossing while the plan is set, Hadrix looming and turning his cannon down the starboard corridor, <<"Copy.">> murmured as he takes up position, watching and waiting. "I don't have my slicer with - and I'm not as good with the hard wiring. But I can hold and fire as needed, or move in rearguard for you.">> Simple enough words from the big man while he stands.
Footsteps grow closer from the way he's pointed and more clattering due aft. <<"Whichever of you handles it, I have your back...">> jaw working in his helmet before he speaks again. <<"Can the local door controls be manipulated, rather than system-wide access?">>
Mandl nods, confident moreso in their species' familiarity with tech they're (probably) literally born into, bathed in-- a quick patch-job festuring some handy bypasses and they've sealed the door before the incoming horde.
Nerys, seeing Mandl working at the door, came across the comms, <<Thank you. Moving forward.>> Which she did, trusting Hadrix to cover her as best he could, even though she was in the front. HiBall, who moved to the next panel, got a spark for his troubles, and offered a warble of pain, before he rushed to catch up with Nerys. There was always another panel.
Door shut by Mandl, keeping their passage a clear back and forth, the group proceeds through meters of corridor until reaching an antechamber of sorts. Ballooning out to a 8 meter circular room with control panels attended by a supervisor droid and with a pair of gamoreans ignoring angry Nikto speech over a nearby commlink. The green porcine creatures eating, disgustingly, from two massive bowls. Raw meat and other 'delicious' treats tumbling from their mouths or hanging on their hooks.
While they eat and ignore orders, a quartet of humans in grubby armor stomp in from a port side corridor, opposite a matching starboard - the same as the assault team come in opposite a corridor going further aft.
"SPACE! KRIFFING SPACE!!" the first one in shouts, "WE'RE BEING BOARDED YOU USELESS TUBS OF GREEN LARD!!" that at least draws attention - and no one sees Nerys, Mandl, Hadrix or their droids.
Mandl uses their temporary... cover... to announce the party's presence by leaving a pair of blaster-bolts in the gut of one hulking green... obstruction... let's not make this racial if we can avoid it!
Nerys, well, clearly decided that stealth was not the way to go, and as soon as Mandl put down one of the Gamoreans, she opened fire on the other, a bolt striking the creature in mid bite. Rude. HiBall's smaller blaster bolt put paid to that one, but he was not a droid of much skill for nothing and he fired again, taking aim at the first of the humans who had run into the room and ruined their very clever plan. D-roid rage!
THEY'RE BEING BOARDED! AND FIRED UPON! Blaster fire from droid, bith, mandalorian, and smaller flying droid erupt from the corridor - cutting down Gamoreans and a human in a storm of fire that they attempt to return as pirates dive for cover, including one using the green pig faced creature as a sandbag while clutching at his sides.
"CALL IT IN! CALL IT IN! WE'RE UNDER FIRE! THEY'RE HERE!" one cries out in panic while the supervisor droid stands, turns, and even makes a small rotation, "Oh MY!!!" flailing it arms in the air, looking extraordinarily perplexed while having no facial movements.
Mandl stumbles as their chestplate erupts in sparks! "Agh," they manage, responding-in-kind through sweat and an *obvious* paleness. That was not an insignificant wounding...
Nerys, moving out of instinct, darted to the side, putting herself between the injured Bith and the remaining pirates, the movement causing her shot to do wide. Well, that was why she was no real fighter. HiBall, trying to cover Nerys, fired again, one of his shots trying to cover her movement, the second putting down one of the remaining, leaving them only two, and one of those wasn't looking good. Wait for it, meatbags.
The spinning mechanism inside of the repeater cannon barrel continues and the roar of expended plasma follows in the wake of Mandl, Nerys and Hiballs shots. As men are injured or downed, only the one behind the gamorean body, clutching the wound at his side, he fires and scores blaster scoring against the plating at the chestplate of Hadrix. The other remaining compatriot cries out as his cover is shredded and melted before he is blown in half, parts sticking to the spikes of molten durasteel cooling in the body.
More footfalls are coming through, from the port side corridor. Heavy footfalls - heavier armor or more gamoreans. Thus far the due aft passage looks clear, and the starboard - or go back.
The service droid? It continues to flail "OH! OH! How horrible! OH MY!!" green optics flashing wildly as it toddles in a panic circle.
Mandl crawls to better cover before anything more pressing-- asking weakly: "What remains to be done? Can Mandl assist yet?" Mandl limps to a console, Bith pragmatism aloft like a flag. Dripping sweat, grimacing, they attempt to cut off any further pursuit via the remaining entrances...
Nerys, who moved her weapon down to low ready, holding it with one hand, turned to move towards Mandl, to offer the Bith whatever support she could, <<Just a little bit further. I'll help.>> She was small, but mighty, and seemed capable of helping them and moving, <<HiBall, scout ahead, keep an eye out, don't get shot.>>
Following the other two, repeater cannon held at a casual angle to obliterate the pirate hiding behind gamorean flesh, Hadrix looks to the others.
<<"Do what you need to.">> tossing a satchel their way, <<"Charges, if you need. I'll cover our exit.>> It's thunderously quiet now with the final cessation of fire. Screens blink, reporting on systems and power draw. One could, if they worked long enough, disable systems throughout the ship. But the engines lay just beyond - to be tampered, tinkered with or simply set with blast charges.
<<"They're going to start cutting doors. Probably throw grenades through holes...">> <<"Why would you say something like that?">> Gripper's stern female voice comes through. <<"It's what I'd do.">>
Mandl isn't flashy or fancy or leaving a flaming 'M' in hyperfuel-- with workmanlike purpose and skill, they merely get the job done. "Here," they dictate, pointing. "... there." And up there? "... also there."
Nerys and HiBall, seeing Mandl moving over to work on the hyperdrive, took themselves over to the engine consoles, HiBall hooking in to access the systems and open the relays, while Nerys withdrew a leads from her armor and tapped in a command to overload the system. They worked in perfect concert, though in silence, oddly, as they went from hot mic to their own internal communication system. And then they were back, <<Alright, we have the system set on a cascading failure. We need to run, very fast, and hope the ship is ready to detach as quickly as possible. If we did this right, we'll have enough time.>> She glanced to Hadrix, <<Do we need to carry them?>> Clearly, she wasn't going to leave Mandl behind and wouldn't risk them falling behind.
Mandl gathers themselves up, gritting-- wait, Bith have no teeth-- 'gritting beak?' "Mandl will race you home! Go go go!"
Nerys, much like her trusty borrowed droid, knew to get while the getting was good. And it was //very// good right //now//. They took off after Mandl, not passing the Bith, even if they could have done, making certain to stay just behind them in case they needed assistance. Nerys ran behind, HiBall floated ahead, both of them armed and determined to get back the way they came. They had no intention of waiting for the big *KA*BOOM*.
Seeing Mandl begin to run, a chromium sphere is drawn out of one of Hadrix's belt pouches. Bounced there and the T-visor of the Mandalorian's helmet turns back to the engine room, to the banging and hissing of cutting tools at the hatch. <<"Extra insurance." stated before a button is pressed and a slider is moved, eliciting a high pitched whining alarm beep.
Their passage back up, thankfully uninhibited, only bodies from the prior fights - to the airlock in the ceiling, opened by Gripper as they near. Mandl's hands taken by the ID10 as she hefts him up. Mandl scrambles wretchedly up the airlock, wincing, thinking only of a warm bed and the sweet, cloying smell of healing bacta... soon... closer, closer...
Nerys was lifted next with the aid of both Seekers and moments later Hadrix's rockets flared to lift him up and in just as something causes sound to be eliminated. The hatch slams shut and Gripper pulls away so quickly that the magnetic locks of the Woor'Tra, the Wind in The Void, drags the pirate craft a meter before they disengage.
Within, Nerys' cascading system failure joins Mandl's charges in the end of the craft - with a little Mandalorian flavor as the thermal detonator left behind joins them The ship is rocked by the explosion, shield systems report impacts. Heiyuu shrieking in binary as it steers the ship away at maximum speed. Carried away from destruction and into victory.