Log:First Order: Fall of Kalarba Part I
A long time ago in a galaxy far,
far away.... STAR WARS THE FALL OF KALARBA: PART I It is a time of galactic turmoil. The RESISTANCE, led by a handful of fearless radicals, have upset the delicate peace created by the actions of the FIRST ORDER, after a suprise attack by a powerful new weapon. With their Supreme Leader, KYLO REN, the First Order resumes their expansion of territory and dispatches a single Star Destroyer to Republic-aligned KALARBA, to remind the galaxy how powerful even one ship of their Navy really is....
A blue globe marbled with green and white hangs against a backdrop of pinpricked black, a thin band of airglow wrapped around its outer edge. Abruptly, a familiar, foreboding wedge of grey hoves onto the scene, expanding as if from the void itself.
On the ground, scanners notice this intrusion immediately, and a panicked response begins to unfold from Kalarba's government. Hails to the Star Destroyer moving with plain intent towards the planet are not returned.
Zooming up into space, a makeshift flotilla of starfighters and civilian craft rally around a single aging Pelta-class frigate, a remnant of the Republic before even the days of the Empire. Arraying themselves in a battle formation, the Kalarbans prepare to defend their planet from the threat of the First Order, unwilling to submit without a fight.
Meanwhile, TIEs and a few assault landers launch from the Finalizer. Aboard one is Kylo Ren, with members of his elite Vanguard. "We're going to take that frigate," the Supreme Leader announces to the others, pointing at the blip on scanners that represents said frigate, "and use it to destroy the shield protecting the capital. The shield is a remnant from the Republic, strong enough to withstand a volley of turbolasers indefinitely. So we're not going to hit it with turbolasers."
Artemis drags her tongue along her teeth but finds that it provides no relief from the cloying, sticky mass of biofilm that lingers there as the rest of her mouth remains void of moisture like the surface of Tatooine. The source of her trepidation is unclear, perhaps a remnant of food poisoning from a stall on Nar Shaddaa, or that they would not be facing against an overtly military force like Blackrock and instead would likely find civilians stuck in the cross fire. Whatever it is, Artemis' brow is subtly creased, her lips pressed flat and cracked. Fortunately, her trepidation is hidden behind the plastoid composite helmet she wears presenting only the flat expression and black plastic visor to the rest of the world.
Artemis goes through routine as a machine checking both of her rifles before favoring the shorter ranged one to be cradled in her arms. The longer range sniper rifle is connected to a rack mount on her back for easy retrieval and to not require her absolute attention as they stomp about the station. There is little to do but wait and go through the rest of the motions.
"Sir," Artemis acknowledges Kylo's instructions and flicks to comms. <<AR-1015. Squad, sound off.>> She sounds tired, over the vocoder and the comms themselves, but there's still an ember of fire in there for the coming battle.
Standing for the moment with her hand bracing in a webbing hand hold, Karys is inspecting the pistol at her left holster and switching from stun to kill on her output. Sliding it away she does the same for the other before she wides her stance and slides her booted feet just a little further apart so that she is ready for the sway of the ship in its artificial gravity. Her attention is on the Supreme leader though with the helmet on it's hard to tell from KS-0218, just the gleam off her opaque visor. There is a nod to show her understanding of what is to happen.
<<KS-0218 reporting.>> she remarks over comms with a glance towards AR-1015 and those that follow in succession.
Drath is just happy to be out of the random civilian interactions he's been experiencing and back to the familiarity of an operation. Not that it's visible outside of that black and red helmet. His F-11D blaster rifle is cradled in his grip, the man standing nearby in the lander with his free hand gripping one of the handles nearby. Garding in his standard Vanguard Stormtrooper armor, he responds with <<DL-1991, sounding off.>> over the comms to Artemis' request. His attention, as it were, rests upon the Supreme Leader however, taking in the details of this plan with acute attention. He can likely guess where this is going, but he doesn't voice as such. Not during the middle of a briefing.
Clad in his new armor, flametrooper helmet in place, and plasma rifle cradled close - Hadrix watches the mission detail, any expression lost behind his helmet, but his entire body is trembling, like a racing steed waiting for the gates to open.
<<"AO-904 reporting.">> Hadrix responds over comms, the visor of his helm locking onto Artemis now, helm canting ever so slightly to the side as he begins checking over the mounted weapon systems. 11D to the right arm, ax on his back, knuckles mounted in the fist, sword on his leg. the T-21 on a swing arm like his flame rifle. If anything this armor has turned him into an even bigger walking arsenal.
The interior of the lander is bathed in red light as the small craft makes its way closer to the frigate, TIE escort outside beginning to engage with the other starfighters, both 'military' and civilian. Green and red bolts of plasma spear through the blackness, occasionally igniting a burst of flame on the receiving end. Kylo pulls his battle helmet on as well, hiding his face behind the mask of black and chrome.
It doesn't take long before the whole ship shudders and shakes, taking direct fire from the frigate as they come dangerously close. A pair of TIEs launch ion torpedoes into the side of the little cap ship, making the hangar entrances vulnerable, and with a sudden jolting screech, the lander comes in hot, skidding across the frigate's landing bay, grinding to a halt, and then settling flat with a lurch.
Quick as that, the landing ramp lowers with a puff of steam, the floodlights above blaring to dazzle anyone attempting to shoot into the belly of the beast, and Kylo's lightsaber ignites with a baleful growl. "Secure the bay," his vocoded voice instructs, while a dozen marines come flooding out of the white passages that lead deeper into the ship.
Artemis staggers as the ship is rocked, her feet instinctively splaying out and hand questing to provide an anchor against which to fix her to the ship. Beneath the helmet her matte-blue eyes widen as the scrabbling claws of fear threaten to rear up, an animalistic response to the explosions just beyond the bulkhead. Training takes over and the weight of the rational packs her instinct back in to a tiny ball. There isn't a whole lot she can do inside the tin can anyway: her faith placed firmly in the Supreme Leader's preternatural vision for not putting himself in to the way of fatal forces, and the skill of the pilot of the craft they ride in.
<<Wedge formation, find cover immediately on egress.>> Artemis commands when the ship halts and the dazzlers turn their incursion point in to a mockery of the Chance Theatre. Pressing forward with rifle shoulders, she draws in a deep breath and leaps in to the unknown with coiled muscle and nervous energy propelling her on to the station with all celerity she can manage. Immediately her gaze snaps on to a target and with a sequence of motions practiced thousands of times, she snaps off a blaster shot before hunting for a berth for cover. Not bothering to check her target, she casts her attention back to make sure the squad is towing the line.
Karys curls her hand into the webbing as her armor creaks a little with all the swaying as they are buffeted. When the ramp lowers with finality to the action, the direction given by the supreme leader laser focuses the new recruit further and she is off, letting go of that handhold to pull both pistols, one for each hand as she tucks in at Artemis' left and watching her squad lead pick a target the adrenaline running through her veins is calmed by slow, direct brewing to keep her from losing the ability to aim
Down the ramp she goes and three shots sear the air from her pistols, looking immediately to for a place to find cover and start to pick off the wave of defenders.
The thrill of battle beginning to course through him, that adrenaline that is triggered by the assault craft being hit puts Drath on edge. At last, the drop ramp is down, and raising his rifle as the rest of the squad exits he follows behind Karys and Artemis with his rifle raised. The first two targets are down, and as is seems clear the continued directive of focus fire isn't necessary, he instead opens fire on a new target before he fans out to the right of Artemis as opposed to Karys' left. The bolt sails past, but the man seeks cover behind a crate nearby, his rifle being hefted up and aimed over top of the crate as the battle continues to rage around them.
The rumble of weapons fire causing the ship to shake, and then suddenly the screeching sound. One hand on a hanging stanchion Hadrix locks his grip and braces to keep from being thrown about. Kylo's order sets adrenaline flowing through him. There's a rumbling in his chest as he is up, motion assist servos humming with the movement.
Artemis's command sends him forward, into the blaze of weaponsfire, plasma rifle up and as soon as he is in the clear he traces his barrel first to 1015's target, and then to where Karys's bolts drop one, then two. It is the one remaining standing under Drath's fire that is chosen - focusing fire.
Using the advantages of his new suit, he drops into a runner's slide, skidding along his hip to brace against the nearest cover before his weapon is spraying liquified fire into the midst of the defending forces. Catching the poor man on his right side, the flesh and tissue melting off as the plasma coats shoulder to wrist, the flailing motions of the man carrying it to his face and torso, reducing him in parts to skeleton that glows cherry red even as it begins to ash over. He is silent, save for the periodic rush of air through his nostrils that sets off the volume activativation on his comms.
Saanvi brings up the rear, laiden with medical supplies and ammo she trots out and scans the carnage before identifying suitable cover and sprinting for it though she does not yet begin firing-perhaps seeking cover before drawing fire her way out of fear that Drath might be the one to tend her should she become injured.
Boots down the ramp herald the arrival of another figure to the fray. Following the Vanguard down the exit from the assault craft, Oran is here, as usual a dark figure with his face shadowed by the cowl of his robes. His pace is even, unhurried, and without slowing or pausing, he holds a hand out towards a piece of debris on the ground, a section of pipe about as long as his arm. The metal leaps up and hits his gloved hand with a solid, muffled sound, then he lifts it and throws the pipe like a javelin toward one of the enemy combatants. Guided by powers beyond the man's ability to fight, the pipe whistles through the air and hits the soldier dead center, pinning the corpse to the wall like a bug on a specimen board. The Order has arrived, and these agents of disarray will not be suffered to persist in their anarchy.
It's a safe bet that the crew of the good frigate Constellation were not expecting a boarding party, of all things. To be blown into a million pieces by a Star Destroyer ten times larger? Yes. A boarding party? No. "Give 'em hell!" shouts their fearless lieutenant, a man with a pair of cybernetic legs and defiance in his eyes, at least until he's gutshot by the first blaster fire off of the landing craft. Groaning, he collapses into a heap before catching another shot almost immediately after that sends him slumping into his final slumber.
The marines fan out as quickly as they can, wide eyes casting hurried glances at their leader's corpse, and before long one of them is incinerated, another impaled by a spike, they're falling like flies.
The masked figure of a man with a flaming red sword lifts a hand towards them, and one of their number shrieks, his head snapping back with a sickening crunch, cry of terror cut short. They're here to fight till the end, though, and squinting through the dazzle of the spotlights, they return fire at the shiny plastoid-armored invaders, green bolts scattering into the air.
Artemis takes a shot to her left leg with a surprised yelp, the plastoid composite doing much to spread out both the kinetic energy behind the superheated plasma and the contained, voracious inferno it carries with it. The armor melts away where the bolt found purchase leaving behind puckered skin and the frayed fabric of the woman's underarmor. She grits her teeth, inuring her mind against the desire to hold the wound and curl up around it as she sights back along the trajectory of her assailant. A snap of her barrel, a squeeze of the trigger, and her own lethal weapon tears through the private's posterior leaving a great deal of vital connectivity between upper torso and legs missing.
<<Minor wound sustained. Left leg.>> Artemis growls as she presses her back against the berth and finally gives herself a moment to eye the damage to her person. Minor probably isn't the word but she's still functional. <<Keep it up. Watch for reinforcements.>>
As return fire becomes a bit more intense Karys slips towards a set of crates, slipping away from Artemis finally to be able to take cover that will give her something substantial to use as shielding. She takes a moment to check her pistols after a red bolt goes sailing past her helmet on the way down. The trajectory noted, Karys slows herself, catching her breath before she lifts up over the top edge of the heavy reinforced shipping crates as she holds out both pistols. Squeezing off first from her right it catches Tinbin hard against his shoulder and the bolt from her left pistol angles in to slam into his chest and send him down smoking.
Her body turns to the man next to him, just that minor twist of her torso to keep her hand and aim steady before the third shot is released on Trigg and a solid hit staggers him. Moments later Drath's own fire drops her second target.
Drath props himself up on that crate, using the purchase as a steadying factor. It's not long after he's in cover, however, that a green blaster bolt slams into his left arm, sending him reeling back from the crate a bit with a cry of surprise and pain that doesn't go out over the comms. Using the box to steady himself, he grips his rifle tightly with his right hand and tracks the team's fire as it comes. Art's target goes down, Karys' target goes down, then she hits a second target, and... There! Firing a burst of red blaster fire, the bolts find purchase in Trigg's helmet, searing and burning through it with the intensity of an overcharged shot as the man's helmet is turned into a smoking husk and his lifeless body slumps to the ground.
Pushed back as a blaster bolt catches him in the torso plate. Kinetic mesh disapating much of the blast, but the heat of the blaster bolt scores the armor, leaving a blackened spot, and burns the flesh beneath. Hissing and murmuring combat doctrine, focusing to ignore the injury and press on Hadrix snarls and slaps one strength enhanced fist against the ground while he pushes forward, using the boost of momentum to right himself.
<<"Injury sustained.">> is reported into comms. Leaning from cover, Hadrix looks for the ones that look like authority. The flame rifle belches again, raining an arch of irridecent fire spewing out over the battlefield to splash against Far'kkry now. <<"Moving to provide cover, lead.">> Hadrix notes, shifting cover positions while he has his firing stud pressed, trying to draw attention from the field command..
Saanvi spots Drath and Artemis each get hit. She pops up and takes a shot at onee of the nearby privates and then sprints towards Drath first <<Medic en route, any critical cases report Code Red to signal urgent need.>> long legs pump and her gear jostles and bounces against her armor as she approaches Drath.
Oran lacks commentary for either the terrifying murder prowess of the Vanguard or the minor(?) injuries they've sustained, and continues his prowl through a bay now scarred with blaster fire and lit with the unstable, hungry flame of Hadrix's flame and the bodies it's consuming like candles. His right hand reaches out toward another soldier, another sentient fighting for a free galaxy -- and shortly dying for the same, forgotten in a frigate bay with a broken neck. He will be remembered later by leaders who tell everyone this is worth it, and perhaps by comrades who could be forgiven for questioning that.
The defending force has all but failed outright at repelling the boarding party. A full three-quarters of their squad is dead. One of them is most of the way there and still on fire, but he's ignoring that. It's probably the last thing he'll ever ignore, but he's ignoring that, focused instead on taking out one of the ones without armor. That seems like it'd be easier, after all, but for some reason it's not. Maybe it's the fact that he's on fire.
Kylo is also ignoring the burning man, already heading towards the white passageway that leads deeper into the ship. At one time in the past, these halls were a bright, clean white, but now it's more of a dingey eggshell. "Clean up the rest. We make for the bridge."
The Supreme Leader's orders aren't an excuse to get sloppy and Artemis generally ignores the impetus behind the command. Following her own directions, she sights along her teammate's firing lines and focuses on one of the targets already being accosted by the Vanguard. Her shot is, perhaps mercifully, lethal and severs the man's mortal coil cleanly. How fortunate he gets to die without melting in to oblivion at the hands of Hadrix's plasma weapon.
Artemis goes to stand and winces for a moment as her wounded musculature threatens to buckle. Fresh pain writhes up her leg exciting the nerves and eliciting a grunt from the squad leader. It does not take her long to get used to it but her gait is staggered to favor her right leg more than the left. Zipping from cover to cover, she does not bother adding anything verbal to the comm chatter. Everyone knows what they're doing.
Karys is aiming down on her next target as the Sargeant falls she exchanges fire with Private Flammin, narrowing her gaz as her first shot takes him hard moments after his own bolt streaks towards her. Aiming the pistol in her left hand she misses, going wide as her third shot is all together sent high when his blaster bolt hits her in the left bicep. It sends her back and into cover with a faint thud. She gasps and grits her teeth as the smoking starts to abate slowly and she checks her ammo before she even consider drawing back up but as she does, her target does down from another round sent by Drath. One target left as their leader marks his path towards the bridge without lookin back.
As the last finally goes down she pushes herself up and holds her blasters out, rolling her left shoulder to try to loosen the tension from the blast from her appendage.
Driven purely by adrenaline and instinct, Drath attempts to ignore that wound in his favored arm for the time being. The battle is wrapping up, but those Resistance are still firing live rounds at the Vanguard, and as such they're still threats. Pushing himself up out of cover, a cringe coming over him as he moves out of cover for the final stages of the battle. Another couple of Resistance scum go down, and after ensuring Artemis' target stays that way, he turns to focus his fire with Karys' own shots. His bolts find their mark in Flammin's chest, virtually burning out the chest cavity of the Resistance member at rapid speeds. He too goes down almost immediately, the focused fire from Karys and Drath overwhelming the Private.
Saanvi is approaching him for threatment, and after doing a quick glance around to ensure all the targets are down, he lowers his weapon and still himself to allow it to happen. It's like taking a pit stop in a race, everything is still going on, but sometimes you just have to pause for service.
<<"Lead, drop to my seven flank, I'll provide cover while you command.">> Hadrix drops to private comms, sending his message specifically to Artemis as he follows her movements, aiming to get into spear-point position. She has a leg hit, he doesn't. Practicality. He ducks and shifts to new cover as more weaponsfire is aimed in his direction, snarling inside of his helmet before he is back up, arm extended.
The plasma stream is dead center, coring into the fighter like a high-powered hydro-drill. His sternum buckles and then flame and vaporizing ichor explodes out the back. They shouldn't shoot at him if they don't want him to retort.
Saanvi moves with Drath, until he stills. She has a system. Open the breach in the armor, rinse with a squirt bottle of sterile saline, identify bleeding, stop it, close the wound and patch armor. That explains the many packs and pockets she carris, and she has their locations on her person memorized meaning she probably does exercises fast drawing supplies like the NERD she is!
The Vanguard's deadly weapon accuracy has lured Oran into a false sense of security that he is in fact surrounded by a team of competent professionals. He's met them, he should know better. But when you put them in the context where they are most familiar, most trained, most competent -- they do a good job, and the pile of dead freedom fighters littering the smoke-poisoned frigate bay attests to it. The Knight steps neatly over the body of a Private gasping because his brain hasn't yet realized his body's bleeding out beyond repair, and follows Kylo.
The hallway beyond leads into the ship's bowels, where Constellation's bridge can be reached by traveling up. The bridge is located at the very top of the ship, and of course the area they've just landed in and cleared is very much not that. It's the middle, vertically speaking, amidships horizontally speaking, whereas the bridge is in more of a crowsnest position. This means a lift trip is in store, more likely than not.
As the Vanguard funnel into the hallway, they will find the fairly-white passageway fairly empty, aside from the clatter of their own boots and the jangle of their own gear jostling against betaplast body panels.
Considering Hadrix's suggestion for a moment, Artemis assents with a hissed <<Copy.>> over the comms. Her gait slows to allow the other trooper the opportunity to easily overtake her. Taking in a breath, her olfactory glands reel at the smell of blood and ozone, cooked flesh adding an extra spice to the odious mixture. Some things were impossible to get used to and, at least for the trooper, this was one of them.
Mouth remaining dry, Artemis swallows hard and lingers just outside of the maw of the passage, allowing the others to take point rather than continuing to lead the charge herself. <<904 up front, 1991 partner up.>> She instructs, waiting. <<Keep yours eye open for traps.>>
As Hadrix takes point and Artemis asks Drath to pair up KS-0218 slips over towards the squad lead. She's shrugging off her wound as she looks to AR-1015. <<AR-1015 I will walk with you.>> She is shifting then to set a pace and keep with Artemis. She is moving forward at a steady pace behind AO-904 when's he looks up and hesitates. <<Hold. Shield emitter.>> Her voice hisses over the internal comms as she steps forward closer to Hadrix and points upwards towards the nodule not far ahead of them that is protruding from the ceiling. <<Whether it is a active is not certain.>>
Drath keeps himself still for the treatment as Saanvi offers it, hissing a bit as the spray hits it, but staying still nonetheless. <<Copy.>> he responds to Artemis, the Trooper hefting his rifle up once again when the squad begins to move. The wound hurts less now, he can move onward, and move forward he does. <<Forming up.>> His rifle balanced on one arm, he reaches down into his belt, removing a canister of bacta sealant and slipping up next to Hadrix. Scanning with the device, he takes a moment to warn <<Keep moving, Nine-Oh, attempting to seal injuries.>> Unfortunately, the First Order training didn't fully prepare him for his first time in the field attempting such an activity, and as such the sealant is applied a bit too deeply into the wound.
<<"Copy lead.">> Hadrix's response is simple as he slips into his normal position, the walking tank keeping the flame rifle trained. There is even a shift to a step left to kick Far'kkry's smoldering head in passing, the wet smack of metal to char accented by a sound not unlike a thick melon rhind breaking. He wants to talk, he's excited, he's actually out on more than a slash and burn or a hit and fade - but he is maintaining doctrine for the time being.
Drath's attempt to treat his wound results in swelling, enough that his armor pinches at his collarbone hard enough to create what is going to form into a small hematoma that will need to be drained. It draws a feral snarl from the big man and it looks like he is about to cock a fist and let loose when Karys's call out brings him up short. He stops in position, following where she points before his head returns to move on a swivel, ready to fire. He's no tech expert, he knows to stop, he's not going to mess with it.
Saanvi Stows the last of the patching kit and tossses gloves. This done she slaps on a new pair of globs and trots forward towards Artemis << Medical en route to tend lead.>> as if they cannot SEE that she's zero'd in on Artemis.
Nodule! Oran has spotted this ceiling anomaly as well, and he pauses while studying it warily for a long moment. Whatever he sees, or senses, doesn't seem to send him into high alert, but neither does it give him any particular insight into the nodule's function or specifics. The short Coruscanti man turns his attention to Karys, who seems to understand what it is but didn't provide enough detail to satisfy him. "KS-0218. Elaborate and explain," Oran instructs. "Advise regarding this device's presentation of impediment to our progress, and how to dismantle it if it presents an obstacle."
Abruptly, the sound of electronics swelling fills the air and a luminescent barrier reaches down from the nodule, wrapping the boarding party in a bubble made up of shifting tendrils of light that surround them and prevent passage. The nodule was a ray shield emitter, and now the Vanguard are stuck here.
"This is Captain Arntout speaking." The voice comes from the ship's PA system, dry and crunchy. "We've detained a boarding party on Corrider J-17. According to the reports from Delta Squad before they went dark, the Supreme Leader is among them. I'm dispatching Mid'naa and Boagg'reeus to take them into custody and stand trial for their crimes against the galaxy. Delta squad will not have died in vain."
Inside the bubble, Kylo rakes his lightsaber uselessly against the ray shield, then smashes it against the barrier, hard. All this does is cause the weapon to rebound with a crackle and spark. "Get this thing turned off," he demands of the others.
And then they're rats in a cage. Artemis merely presses her lips flat and takes the opportunity to give Saanvi unimpeded access to her injured leg. Fortunately, unlike the ill-trained Drath, the doctor makes things better rather than worse and the stinging ache is instead replaced with a dull thud that is easier brushed aside from her mind.<<Grenades?>> Artemis considers the problem at hand, relaxing her rifle to point its muzzle towards the floor. <<Charges?>>
Karys watches the emitter and makes a sound of frustration for merely a few seconds before she sighs and note that here is no way to touch anything that could help break the flow of power that has caught them fast. Her head dips however and so tilts her head shocked. <<Probably not a good idea, no room for cover.>> That is said before she looks to Kylo and points down. <<Do we have any idea what is below us? If we could get through the flooring we can bypass or we might find power conduits to help break power to this section of the corridor.>>
<<Sorry, Nine-Oh.>> Drath says to Hadrix as he goes about botching that medical attempt. He's learning, and he does well above average on the simulations, but it's clear that the simulations are different from live fire scenarios. Slipping that sealant back into his belt, he decides to forego treatment of Karys in favor of allowing Saanvi to do it. That's why he avoided attempting to treat Artemis, after all. << I have grenades.>> the Trooper responds to 1015, reaching into the pouch next to the one he'd just dipped into and removing a frag grenade. <<She's right, though. Not sure it's the best idea.>> Being the demolitions expert that he is, he knows these things!
<<"Knight, ... any way you could...">> Hadrix, avoiding names, looks to Oran before he actually uses his off hand to make a 'woogily woogily' motion in the direction of the field emitter. He is bouncing on the balls of his feet now, antsy to get moving, looking at the floor and then his rifle. Probably inadvisable...
Saanvi frowns and looks around <<If it contains us it surely contains any percussive or sonic blasts which means we may be in a giant bell or sound chamber." She clarifies for the others "This means explosions within here might be extraordinarily ill advised. I am unfamiliar with the abilities of our esteenlord and Knight I defer to their wisdom>>
Oran takes a half step back at the field that springs up, then his brows lift. Well, the solution is clear, it's time to break that thing and move along. He closes his eyes and drops into the Zone of focus... only to be shortly disrupted by the announcement following. Mid'naa and Boagg'reeus? CRIMES against the GALAXY? He's offended right out of the Zone, and then closes his eyes to try again.
Just in time for Artemis to suggest grenades, and his eyes stop back open again. "Grenades? CHARGES?" he echoes in tones of soul-deep offense and disapproval. "Bit too soon to resort to death before dishonor, isn't it, 1015?"
BACK TO THE ZONE. Focus. All he has to do is focus on this thing and --
Kylo is over there like 'aaaahhhh LIGHTSABER LIGHTSABER FIX IT' and Drath is chirping up helpfully with his possession of the grenades they don't need and Hadrix is making jazz hands and Karys is ready to drop them into the unknown and Saanvi is, you know, Saanvi, and Oran opens his eyes again.
"STOP IT!" the Knight snaps at the Vanguard. "Just -- CEASE. One moment. Cease for /ONE MOMENT/." He glares, exhales through his nose like an annoyed dragon, and then tries again.
This time, finally, the focus stays, the nodule cracks -- the shield flickers -- and then at last there's a satisfying electronic spark-shower and a 'crunch!' from the nodule. It breaks, and the shield drops.
It's more of a fizzling, sputtering cessation than an outright drop, and by the time Oran manages to get in the zone long enough to do what he does, the aforementioned custodians have arrived, with the Captain Arntout in tow, a middle-aged human with salt and pepper hair. "There they are," the captain states, pointing towards the just-released boarding party with his free hand, the other clutching a blaster pistol.
He is flanked on one side by a Devaronian male and on the other by a Devaronian female. The two look nothing alike despite the fact that they share the same species. One has two curved imp's horns sprouting from his bald head, the other merely orange-skinned with a few facial markings. Both of them are carrying force pikes, and have that in common.
"Just brainstorming, sir," Artemis intones with a shrug in the face of the short Knight's tantrum until he so pleasantly requests that they be silent. She thumbs one of her grenades anyway, running the finger in a rhythmic fashion as she waits to see what happens. Oran's sorcery is remarkably effective.
When the shield drops, Artemis does not bother taking the time to switch to her rifle. Instead, she just hurtles the grenade down the hallways without a mind in the world paid to its accuracy. That would be the problem of /over there/ and not /over here/.
They are not alone as that shield falls when Oran destroys the nodule over their head. So much for ideas but KS-0218 had shut her lips when asked and gone quiet for the Knight to work his magic. She has no idea how that stuff works and does not care as she turns about when Artemis arms her grenade. Those pistols lift with a steady certainty and now that the injury on her left bicep has been taken care of and given some relief she doe not have to compensate and squeeze the triggers.
The female is aimed at, releasing two volleys first from her right and then left pistol before her right arm crosse over her left to help steady as she sights down on the Captain and slams a shot into him. There may be a sly grin spread on her lips beneath her helmet.
Drath goes silent when Oran requests time to focus on the shields, and slips that frag grenade back into the compartment on his belt. It'll be useful later, no doubt! At least it's known he always has his frag grenades on him now. The Trooper's attention turning from the breaking of the ray shields to those approaching Resistance scum, his rifle is raised back up in preparation of a fight. One of the Devaronians goes down, then Karys is changing targets to the Captain, and as such he decides to focus his fire there. He doesn't have to say anything, none of the Vanguard do, they all naturally chain their fire together to create a lethal volley in the trio's direction. It's too bad Drath's shots miss, though it's likely hard to tell with the flurry Karys unleashes, along with the fallout from that grenade.
904 doesn't speak when Oran demands it, he does his job, as Oran attends his own. Within the confines of his helmet he gives a toothy grin when the emitter begins to crack, and even wider when captain and the aliens approach.
Shield down and Artemis is hurling a cryoban at the approaching forms. Hadrix doesn't bother to announce, he just turns, steps to clear his line of fire and sprays plasma onto the abdomen of the man, burning open his stomach and filling the newly voiding bodycavity with liquified flame.
Saanvi notes Karys injury and carefully wades back and around to the woman to avoid crossing anyone's line of fire on her way to treat Karys <<Medical>> Saanvi announces to Karys before tapping Karys shoulder so as to not startle her. Once KArys accepts her presence she does her rapid fire treat injury washing the wound, stopping bleeding, sealing wound and patching up damaged armor.
"Storming, certainly," Oran replies to Artemis's bland response. The taciturn trooper gets another Look when she throws her grenade with uncharacteristic abandon, and when it becomes clear that the CryoBan Grenade won't be making an optimal blast radius, he reaches out to snatch it back from the unkindness of mundane physics, and lay it at the feet of Boagg'reeus. There, it explodes, no doubt to the surprise and dismay of the Devaronian who has quite a lot to find dismaying at present.
The capture is less successful than the captain and his elite cadre of bounty-hunting heroes had hoped. In short order, the female, Mid'naa, is gunned down, the captain is set on fire, and Boagg'reeus, the male Devaronian, is now dealing with frostbite. With a howl of rage, the devilish figure flings himself at the Vanguard, his legs smoking with cold, the force pike brandished in all directions. The first swing cracks into Hadrix's arm, hard, conducting enough energy to numb the nerves in that limb for at the next 24 hours. Driven by rage, he whips the weapon out towards two more of the troopers, but he's unable to connect again immediately.
Kylo ignores the fight, walking past towards the crispy corpse of the ship's captain, nudging the form with a booted foot.
Immediately as the grenade leaves her fingers, Artemis brings her F-11D up to bear but she is provided with little opportunity to settle herself and aim properly. Just as she squeezes the trigger, the tingling sensation of danger flits up from her hippocampus and she's forced to divert both herself and her rifle at the same time. Her blaster takes a chunk of the wall and she manages to just barely dodge the flailing pike with a haphazard lunge that belies the weight of her plastoid composite armor. Grunting, her groan is overshadowed by the crunch of the interlaced plates.
Already moving to get into spearhead position, putting his body before the others, even Kylo, Hadrix is struck in the shoulder. The wound is enough to draw a groaning sort of grunt from 904 as it pushes past defenses.
Ablative plating splintering to disapate the blast, trying to absorb the damage like flak against a missile strike. The bolt redirects the metal, turning them into molten needles that fly into the impact crater in the plate. Sizzling and spewing out steam and a cooking meat smell as his body twists instinctively, trying to roll with the injury, his limb dropping, flame rifle swinging up and over to rest on his back on its mount arm.
So Hadrix makes the next best decision he can, charging the devaronian, and attempting a haymaker clobber that goes wide of the mark.
Those three shots all hit and Karys goes still enough as Saanvi sees to her left bicep, letting out a sound over her comms as she nods her head and is distracted as the incoming male unleashes savage strikes to AO-904. She takes a step back to make room in case one of those comes her way. She lifts her pistols and as he rushes forward again she does not anticipate his melee strikes and misses each one, the last nearly catching him but flying just shy. She grits her teeth beneath that her helmet.
Saanvi had been stowing the last of the gear from tending Artemis and to make her way to Hadrix to tend to his wound but stops when he charges off. Noting his target there is a <<SIGH -Oh Four come see Medical>> even as a hand tugs her blaster from it's holster and fires at the persistant foe.
Somehow, some way, Drath manages to sidestep the frenzied assault of that Devaronian as it rushes towards the Vanguard in its frenzied state. Who knows how, really, he's not exactly the most adept at melee combat. Shuffling back a few steps, Drath pulls the trigger, unloading a round directly into the right leg of the force pike wielding alien. The flesh is burned, the bolt eating through whatever armor is in the way to destroy the flesh beneath. Shortly thereafter, the Trooper turns his weapon, tapping the side and ejecting his clip as he digs another out of his belt and pops it into the base of it.
Boagg is proving to be a more wiley foe than his counterpart was, despite the Vanguard's persistent rain of deadly fire into the Devaronian target. Oran observes for a moment, then holds a hand out over the fallen Mid'naa -- her force pike whips up into his hand, and he pauses a moment to sense the fight around him. Blaster fire from the Vanguard, swings from the ferocious but outnumbered alien, tugs on the strings of some hidden web. When the time is right, the Knight holds the pike out with one hand and beckons Boag'reeus with the other, a swift, harsh tug that leads to the alien's impalement through the jaw and upwards. The force pike tip sticks through his broken skull like a third horn. Oran frowns at the blood pouring down the pike into his sleeve, drops body and weapon both, shakes his hand like a cat that just stepped in a puddle, and then follows Kylo.
Boagg'reeus' big, beefy form is remarkably tough, and in his rage he's both hard to hit and resistant to hits. He takes a licking and keeps on ticking, and just before he's unleashing his next volley of attacks on the boarding party, his feet are ripped out from under him and things do not go well from there. Landing on his feet, he stands there for a few long seconds like a statue on the side of a fountain of blood, a sucking sound coming from his throat, until he finally collapses. The halls aren't white anymore.
It's a short ride in a turbolift up to the bridge, and with the captain's previous announcement, no one stops them. The bridge is all but empty when they arrive, manned by only a few key personnel that are directing the ship's other systems. The doors pull open, and rather than their commanding officer, the Supreme Leader and his Vanguard step out. "Your captain is /dead/," the masked man says, turning his head to survey the room. "Set a course to dock with the Finalizer, or join him."
There is a long moment of silence before one of the technicians stands to his feet. "We won't serve you! Not now, not ever!" The others remain silent, looking on with expressions ranging from abject terror to stolid obstinance.
"So be it. Kill them all."
It's this part that turns Artemis' arid mouth in to one filled with alkaline bile, perhaps presaged by the entropic feel of her body and the way she seemed to have little appetite for the coming battle - not that she has ever been a paragon of zeal. As she raises the barrel of her rifle, it's a sigh that escapes her lips rather than a curse or a cry of loyalty for the First Order and its Supreme Leader. <<Open fire.>>
Artemis squeezes the trigger allowing disdain to fuel her shots for the defiance the crew show the heavily armored group. Her accuracy, much like the other shots levelled against her assailants, continues unabated despite her frustration. "Idiots."
As the doors to the turbolift hiss open and Kylo lays down what is going on Karys is stepping out on his left side as her pistols lift and hold until ordered to fire. Both Kylo and Artemis give order and she does not hesitate, spreading her stance and falling into an angled hold she aims without mercy to kill. Defiance will not be tolerated and her first shot goes wide over the head of the Crewman but the next two hit one after the other against Crewman Lape to send them back and down with no further movement as her fingers curl and tighten, her pistols tracking the next target without any hesitation.
Drath follows in formation, forming up with the Vanguard en route to the bridge of the ship. Throughout, he keeps in his group within the group near Hadrix, his rifle resting in his grip as the nameless, faceless (To the enemy) Stormtrooper steps onto the command bridge. The exchange is observed, and the order is given, only to be reiterated by the Squad Leader. Despite their lack of armament, these are the bridge staff, they're the ones who operate the weaponry for this ship. Not that he'd ever disobey an order, but it's with this in mind that he raises his rifle and opens fire on the senior officer remaining on the bridge, burning a hole through the front of his flightsuit and sending him down to the durasteel deck plating with a thump.
<<"Nerve damage, dominant arm, Lead. Holding for field-treatment">> Hadrix's voice is back to the stone on glass growl of his first days in the Vanguard. Rage building in him as he considers his options. He drops to a kneeling posture to make access to his right arm easier while he brings his left up, the repeater cannon mounted underslung to the arm spinning up and churning out crimson needles.
Aiming at the ones who with command markings, keeping his barrel aimed low to account for rise, and the fact he is forced to use the suits strength enhancements to account for one handing the repeater. They failed to surrender, they spit in the face of the Supreme Leader when he granted them reprieve and a chance to serve the glory of the First Order. No better than pirate scum.
A bite of a toggle engages a joint lock in the right arm, bringing it up as if it were being worn in a sling to hang before his abdomen, a number of reinforcement posts sliding and locking into position. It's good armor.
Saanvi moves to treat Hadrix's wound pulling out supplies and then hearing the command from on high. There's the briefest moment of indecision before she abates heer attempts to tend Hadrix and instead grips her pistol once more and commences firing. If the moral implications of gunning down unarmed foes has occurred to her it doesn't show.
Sleeve still wet from the fountain of blood from the Devaronian, Oran moseys onto the bridge after Kylo, brows lifted as the bridge crew is asked to surrender.
And they don't, because of course they don't, thus the order is given: Kill them all. Unarmed men and woman holding out to the brave threads of their determination, their belief in a cause, their desperate hope to hold back the sea with their hands. They don't stand a chance. Before, that was combat. This is murder. A good man would make the distinction, but Oran Arcantael is a company man. His only concession to the circumstance is to snap Ensign Replemm's neck a little faster, cleaner, then the Devaronian got.
Then again, maybe he just doesn't wanna get his other sleeve dirty. This is high grade synthsilk, you know?
And just like that, another firestorm erupts and bodies begin to hit the floor at an alarming pace. "STOP! We surrender!" Hands held high, the two remaining technicians drop to their knees. One of them has already been gravely wounded and evidently uninterested in having the job finished.
"Let them live," Kylo instructs in a flat tone, placing his lightsaber back on his belt. Following the slaughter of the bridge, there's nothing left to do but pilot the ship to the Finalizer to dock, something the Supreme Leader apparently feels himself capable of doing, as he tugs his helmet off and sets it down with a clang on the arm of the pilot's chair before dropping himself into the seat. His face is paler than usual, clammy with sweat, and the scar that splits it is an angry shade of red. "Guard the turbolift. We're taking this back." Reaching forward, he charts a new heading and pushes the thrusters to full before sitting back in the chair, watching the skirmish outside through the viewports as the TIEs continue to wrangle with the other starfighters.