Log:Raiders of the Lost Cache Part 3
A call of instruction and Narsai got ready to turn the Thunderheart around, after a few muttered comments about the ruse discovered by their people. Sneaky false Mandalore is sneaky. "We'll have to hit them fast, before they can hammer the Malachor," she communicates as they go flying up from the atmosphere in blurring speed. "I'd keep our ship focused on power to shields until we cut the head off the ship." She's already in her armor, her weapons worn openly. This is going to be a fight and a half after all. "We'll board using the Thunderheart in the confusion, just try to get there before we have all the fun."
"All explorer and Mandalorian forces on Dxun, this is Russ Ordo. If you have any space worthy vessels still under your command man them now and return to space. We will need all available hands if we are to win the coming battle." Russ turns slightly and nods to his bridge crew, indicating for them to jump them to hyperspace. "Men you all have your orders, do your ancestors proud. FOR MANDALORE!" Russ moves from the bridge quickly now, arriving at the hanger bay in minutes to join the crews boarding the gauntlets for the boarding of the enemy Dreadnaught. This operation depends greatly on speed, all Mandalorian forces are ready for immediate deployment on arrival in the AO. The hyperspace travel time is mere minutes, won't be long now until they have to deal with the dragon.
Laika had been spending most of her time recovering in the med-bay. But this was too important and she was too impatient. Securing her armor in place she walks behind Russ silently, the Feline warrior far more at home in close combat then a ship to ship battle, but she'd join the on the gauntlet fighter none the less. "If we run into their systems I may be of some help, I've been improving my skills with computers...not much else to do in a medbay cot."
Swinging down from the tree he was sitting in, Rax nods to Narsai, wearing a black t-shirt and rugged pants. "'Bout time he got back. Right behind you, vod." Whistling to a few Mandalorian troopers loitering around, he swings a finger in the air and points at the Thunderheart as he heads for the Infiltrator, which soon powers up and screams into the atmosphere.
Precision hyperspace jumps are not easy, especially for capital ships. So, as the Mandalorian forces jump into the system, the grim visage of the Dreadnaught looms in the distance. Huge, grey, long, and squat, the Dreadnaught looks something like a carved brick floating in space, and it sits in the darkness of the void far from Dxun, which is a small orb in the distance.
"Russ Ordo... Welcome back. I see you recovered your manhood when you went home to change your pants..." Heavily vocoded, the voice of Mandalore the Igniter rasps across the channel. "But if you think I am going to be ambushed so easily..." The engines of the Dreadnaught ignite, and it starts to turn, ponderously in the distance, like a leviathan of Manaan, roused to prey. "...You have another thing coming."
Over Dxun, the Herald is turning about, sublight engines on full burn. The fighters are nowhere to be seen at the moment.
There's a pause as he hears what's said, and Kev nods, moving to get ready for departure. "Excellent," he offers, words kept rather quietly.
It's risky, it's ment to be impossible and Narsai is quick to find out why. Giving her own cry of startled terror as the ship exits on the wrong side of the shields Narsai yanks the controls upwards. They don't explode, which is a plus, but the sound of sparking metal and scraping contact has the pilot gritting her teeth as she avoids a fatal collision. "Hold on!" she yells. The Thunderheart has arrived it seems, making one heck of an enterance.
"All forces full attack! Remember the enemy craft is not fully manned, loosen up your positions so that their turbolasers have a harder time adjusting!" Russ speaks loudly into his helmet comms as the boarding party ships tear out of the hanger and form up with the attack craft on their flanks to provide cover all ships accelerating to full atack speed, lasers already beginning to cross the cold of space in between them and the ponderous Dreadnaught. "Foward to glory men! This pretend Mandalore seeks to lead our people to misery and inglorious death, it is up to us to stop him!"
Sitting in her seat of the gauntlet fighter, Laika can'tdo much more then hope, pray and hope again that their pilot knows what he's doing. It'll be a real short fight forher if the ship is hit by a turbolaser.
In the hanger bay is Oriana with the men, dressed and ready to go. A bandolier is worn across her chest, an array of grenades stuck into little pockets. On her back is her vibrosword, it's not often carried but this time around, she brings it. Along with that is her rifle. Everything is ready and in check, so she stands there looking a bit serious, arms crosses as those big brown eyes watch the men, as she listens. There isn't much to add right now, only a little shift in that simple armour she wears. Looking to Russ when he enters he is given a nod is given to him, which doubles as a 'ready to go' gesture to.
Something else pops out of hyperspace near the Thunderheart as it races along the grey hull of the Dreadnaught, its shield sparking and flaring as a blue bubble as it races along the edge of the hull after the Thunderheart. Beyond, in space, the Infiltrator suddenly reverts from hyperspace as well, with Rax shouting, "Oh YEAH! Haha! Ohcrap--" Juking downwards as a turbolaser lance roars past the SDS Armed Star Courier. "What the hell, man!" The Infiltrator fans out its cooling foils and its six laser cannons suddenly open up in a rapid fire hail of short blasts, peppering along the Dreadnaught's shields. "This thing is tough!"
Meanwhile, whatever was scraping its shields along the Dreadnaught's hull pulls up, still under the Dreadnaught's own shield bubble and tailing the Thunderheart. A pair of quad laser bursts scream after the former luxury liner, with one blast hitting the rear shields full on. Russ and his Gauntlets continue to close the distance while the Firesprays streak on ahead, not yet targetted.
Hearing that warning to hold on, that is exactly what Kev does, making sure he's well secure for now. "Rough ride..." he comments as he redies himself for what might come, silently hoping they will get to their destination in one piece.
Without her tail-gunners to counter back, Narsai just has to out-run and out-maneuver the B-Wing chasing her back. Last time they'd scratched him up decent, but they hadn't taken him out. "Alright fossil, lets see if you can keep up she says before banking towards the hanger bay herself. She'll add the Thunderheart's not inconsiderable fire onto the weight of the gauntlet fighters. "Alright Brothers and Sisters. Lets show them what we've got."
Now that was one rough landing! But they are all in one piece and these fighters are designed almost exactly for things like this. Russ grins as his seat drops out below him and he drops into a crouch on the hanger floor, it is not long until his 48 Mandalorians join him. All of them fully armoured, and all of them very well armed. A very small force to take a ship of this sized, but it is undermanned and any men they take to beat back the assault makes the space battle that much easier for their comrades. "Alright men, you all know our objective. We are here to take the bridge and show this fake Mandalore that he does not decide the fate of our people. Form up into your squads and follow me, time to cut the head off a dragon."
Laika sits waiting, riding the Gauntlet fighter down beside Russ till it finally comes to a rest. Exhaling a breath she lets her seat drop, dumping them out of the literal 'dropship' and drawing her blaster pistol into her hand while she raises her weapon to scan for threats in the landing bay. They'll have company soon!
With Russ and his team is Oriana, the only one nod clad like a Mando, so she sticks out a bit. The landing was rough but her footing was sure. With the others she'd go to head into the hanger, but the change in pressure as the blast doors close makes her ears feel stuffy and then pop with release as a hand came up to rub at them. Her first move from there is to look around, view the exits, see that's going on, where they are, etc.
The Crusader's hangar bay is not entirely empty. Trussed up in a cradle and hanging from four heavy chains and hooks is the nearly unrecognizable frame of a Basilisk droid. It is heavily rusted, soiled, and worn by the elements of Dxun. It is effectively a Sphinx, a relic of a bygone age, ruined and useless. Yet, even in its mummified, decayed state, the image it evokes is powerful. It is truly huge, easily fifteen feet tall at the shoulder, with a 'head' made of at least a dozen laser cannons, with more ruined cannon barrels bristling elsewhere along the creature's hide. Its claws are blunted, yet even the smallest is the lenngth of a human's forearm.
Elsewhere in the hangar are bits of building, torn from the surface of Dxun. These were Mandalorian dwellings, but there appears to be nothing special about them other than that they are truly ancient. As the doors contiue to slam shut along the length of the landing hangar, the Infiltrator screams in on its twin ion engines, just barely squeaking inside the hangar. It lands with a vicious skid, kicking up a spray of sparks and smashing over a reconstructed Mando hut, which finally brings it to a stop. From the external speakers, Rax comments, "Intentional. Meant to do that. Boring diorama project anyway."
Meanwhile, the hangar sits empty, with blast doors at the aft side closed and sealed.
Decending from the ramp of the scratched up ship she cherishes, Narsai walks with her blaster in its hip holster and the hilt of her rarely used weapon resting in her hand. Yet to be ignited, the lightsaber remains tightly grasped in her armored hand before she looks up at the wreckage of the droid and then the dwellings. "Seems we're not the first ones to start digging. It might be worth pouring through their records for dig sights once we've secured the ship," Narsai comments before nodding and moving towards the exit to the hanger. They have work to do.
Russ and the others are already moving when the others join him the squads formed up and ready for combat. Russ's new blaster pistols are held securely in his hands and his helmet is firmly placed upon his head and vaccuum sealed. "If we manage to take this ship we will be claiming everything, but put thoughts like that from your mind. Focus on the now, we are likely outmanned and we need to move fast so our forces fighting bravely in the cold of space are not overwhelmed." Russ turns slightly "Combat engineers move foward, we have an obstacle we need reduced here. Narsai, Laika standby if they can't reduce it you guys are on deck."
The few Engineers with Russ march forward, approaching the blast doors with sapping and slicing equipment ready!
Standing near the back, watching the men Oriana glances to the relics, to their past. A part of her would just love to drop all her weapons and just go over these things inch by inch and find out all she can, but that's a part of her that can't exist at this time. The Inflitrator comes screaming in, and from where she is, she turns to watch it enter. A smirk tugs at her lips briefly, though it's short lived because while looking back, and spotting Narsai while doing so, eyes find something that makes her heart stop. "Aw, no." Mutters the woman, moving forward hurriedly pushing through the armoured men and women to get to the front. "Wait, wait!" Her voice bellows out, urgently. Once near the front a hand would motion to what she has spotted first being the blast doors. "I'm pretty sure they have cloaked mines here," Her hand motions to a spot under the control panel. "And here. I can try to disable them. -Try-, but it's -risky-." Eyes fix on Russ. "If they have cloaked mines, I'm guessing that they may be expecting us and this sort of drastic manoeuvre. And that they plan to feed us into a bottle like trap and take us out." A pause and she thinks. "Or maybe we can all retreat back find cover and set off those mines with a shot or two, let them come in thinking we're taking out and surprise attack them."
"Hopefully they'll think we stumbled on them and their trap will backfire," Laika comments while taking aim, nodding at Russ' order to take out the mines and moving back before raising her pistol, a single bolt aimed to trigger the explosives. "At least we don't have to worry about a vacuum this time..."
The mine explodes in a vicious shockwave, spraying shrapnel and popping the ears (potentially again, for some) of those unprotected as four mines are exploded by Laika and the other Mandalorians with Russ. The blast doors start to open, thunking and whirling and grinding as they disengage their seals. As the huge doors begin to slide apart, ten Mandalorians in varying shades start to fire through the breach. Notably, most of the armor is black with red accents. Those suits of armor are quite obviously former Deathwatch Commandos.
As Rax Vaelus descends from the Infiltrator, he starts to ask, "So, where's the welcoming--Whoa!" Ducking back as blaster bolts start to fly, he draws his blaster and snaps off a while shot before ducking behind a landing strut in his jungle survival outfit. "Nevermind, looks like we found them!"
Having stepped out as well, Kev frowns as her hears the part about the mines, and as those doors open and the enemies starts firing at them, he does his best to try getting behind cover, but ends up taking some hits, stumbling and falling. And letting out some choice words that one should not repeat in the process.
As the Crusaders open fire, Russ's men form ranks and return fire, mowing down the opposition in a furious hail of plasma that threatens to melt the wall behind them. Eight enemies are instantly down, with two igniting jetpacks in a desperate bid for cover beyond the blast doors!
Fire comes their way and Narsai's instincts scream and guide her movements just enough to get her twisting out of the way before she raises her lightsaber, the blade igniting with a snap-hiss before she brandishes it and nods to the others. "Right, push forwards!" she calls, charging the two men remaining with her glowing blade.
Russ swears loudly as the enemy fire immediately hones in on his command squad, he himself taking a heavy hit to the shoulder. Of course it doesn't take a genius to figure out that when i trap backfires and you are outnumbered bad things happen. The 50 warriors with Russ gun down 8 of the atttack Deathwatch commandos before Russ and Narsai lead the assault foward into the retreating two men. Russ growls as his jetpack throws him towards the fleeing enemy both of his blaster pistols raining hellfire down on the lone retreating man remaining, who drops in a smoking pile. "Foward men!"
She had moved back and out of the way of the blast zone and finding a spot she waits for them to come storming in, a hand grabbing at a frag grenade during that time. Movingg from her spot, which means standing - and doing with the thought that she would be quick enough to throw it without issue, it comes as a massive fail when bolts dig into her body. Yelping and stumbling back, nearly toppling over whoever was behind as she stumbles into an old piece of home, her eyes widen some while looking down to see that it wasn't just a scratch, but it never seems to be. Muttering under her breath, something clearly obscene in her native tongue but not understood by most, the grenade is put away as there are only two left, and her rifle is grabbed. But Narsai is there with, a lightsaber, and then Russ is taking the other guy out. "Well.' Comes the quick remark, to herself while looking down to her trusted weapon and then back up. Hooking it back on and moving from the wall when the call to move forward is made, slightly pained steps bring Oriana to follow.
Laika takes a solid hit or two immediately, thrown from her feet with a strangled gasp. Climbing from the floor the Cathar holds up a hand to the other Mandalorians. She's hurt, bad. Blood leaks from one of the joints in her suit. "I think I broke my stitches."
"Russ... Russ..." Igniter sounds disappointed. "Only fifty men? That's what you brought to me? I expected so much more." A tremor runs through the ship. "But this farce has gone on long enough... Come, join me on the bridge. Without your men. We will settle this as it should be settled. One on one. And leave the Witch behind. You have already proven yourself not above underhanded tricks."
Walking up to join the others, Rax just shrugs, "What's this guy's problem, anyway?"
Over the comms, the Malachor comms to Russ, "Mandalore, the Dreadnaught's shields are down and we've disabled the engines. We have sustained severe damage however. The Y-Wings and the B-Wing are tearing us apart while the Headhunters hunt Gauntlets for sport." There is a pause, and static. "Taking-- *static* ...broadside... *static* ...target the bridge?"
Getting to his feet again, Kev looks around. Seeing Laika went down hard from the shots fired, he hurries over, while getting out a medpac. "Easy there, we'll have you back in action soon," he offers, frowning as he sees how bad those hits were. "You'll be fine," he offers, with a smile, as he works on getting the wounds treated. Rule number one, from his experience, never let the patient see how bad things are.
"Laika, hold the ship. Kev. Stay with her. We can't be sure they won't come after us so get her back to the Thunderheart." At the baiting from the Igniter on the comm-system she looks back at Russ while stil holding the glowing blade. "It could be a trap, this is a man that fakes a dreadnaught. Tell the Malachor to use its speed and it should avoid the salvo..." trailing off she looks at her brother. In the end it'll be his call if he takes the challenge or not.
Russ keys the helmet in his comms and broadcasts to all channels openly. "Self titled Mandalore, you challenge me to single combat now only because your shields are down and you know we can target your bridge directly and yet you ignored all my previous requests for single combat. However i am prone to accept your requests on a couple of conditions. All of your forces are to immediately halt all attacks. We are going to decide the fate of this battle here and now. Your men upon my victory are to surrender to me, as the true future of the Mandalorian people. And mine will do the same if you manage to best me. We will also fight in the presence of an equal sized contigent of our men, so their can be no doubt the fight was fair and there was no trickery."
It's not all that easy but Oriana pushes her way through the people, not pausing when that voice is heard, it actually makes her move faster. Nearing the eldest Ordo with a push through the final line, a medic that's been trying to get her attention comes up at the same time. Without hesitation the guy goes to help her, but gets a fire of verbal bolts of his own from the woman who winces at his touch. Though he insists on checking the injury he is caught off guard by the when she turns and huffs at him, grabbing some pieces of cloth out of his hand. "Oh just give me those and go! Stop fussing like an old woman whose yarn got knotted up won't ya! There has to be others to tend to! Shoo, be gone!" That fabric is shoved under her armour and into place above her wounds in a makeshift attempt to treat it, with a good wince too. And that medic, who got a bit of a glare, saunters off quietly. Then, it's back to business when she turns to look at Russ as he gives his demands. "He sounds worried too," She adds softly, looking up a bit. "You can use that to your advantage, get into his brain, make him rethink himself, the body is only as good as the mind the runs it after all."
Laika's not one to argue. Not this time. She'd not fully recovered from old wounds and now even with the patching up her vision is blurry and everything huts. Bowing her head to Narsai's words she looks at Russ, her face one of guilt but hidden beneath her visor. "I'm sorry..." she says while limping back to the ship. "I'll hold the Thunderheart, they won't take it while I remain."
The trip up to the bridge is without treachery. The march onto the observation platform above the various control stations is eerily quiet. There are 75 Mandalorian Commandos arrayed around the perimeter of the deck, with a figure standing at the far end of the array. There is roughly enough space for 30 men to stand as evenly as the Mandalorians already here, meaning Russ's side will be crowded and doubled up. Mandalore the Igniter is wearing a black cloak about himself, completely concealing and clasped at the center. His mask is pure, smooth black; Beskar'gam as deep as obsidian. There is an audible breathing sound that rises from him, a click, and a slow exhale. This repeats every thirty seconds or so as Russ's forces array themselves.
Kev nods as he hears Narsai's words. "Will do," he replies, turning to follow Laika back to the Thunderheart, steps a bit slower than usual. "Good luck out there," he offers to the others, rather quietly, before they leave.
Doubled up and outnumbered, but Narsai still moves to the forefront with her blade still glowing, a blade she'd taken from a deathwatch commander. She'll let the men take up position, crouchingor otherwise to aim past each other in a wall of fire while she stands back and to the side of Russ. They'd made their challenge, but that didn't mean she trusted igniter to act on it. He'd already stretched the term of equal forces. "Russ...your call."
"I see you have a taste for the theatrical. So be it. Now meet me in single combat, draw your weapon and prepare to die." Russ nods to his sister and takes a single step foward away from his men both of his unique modified pistols held steady in his hands. "I truly hope you do not prove yourself a coward, too many of our people have already been lead away by those who talk big and commit little." He is wearing no cloak the only think setting him apart from his comrades is the colouring of his armour marking him as a commander. Russ spreads his feet slightly his jetpack already spooling up his pistols beginning to raise. He is ready for combat.
This.. Ignitor person, that presents like a tower of black gets a one over, Oriana regards him coolly with her big brown eyes, not that her face among the many means anything. To observe how all this works she'd hovered a few steps back from the siblings, tightly packed among the many the odd elbow nudges her, or she gets a push as others try to see, all in which make her wince but that's really the only sign of the pain. A second is taken to look around, at the faces and the people before they fix on Russ, who has his weapons drawn and jetpack ready too. Shuffling uneasily eyes move to the Mandalor, waiting to see what he does.
There's a click, a hiss of air, and Mandalore's helmet tilts aside slightly, "The theatrical? Oh, you've seen nothing yet..." The cloak billows open, and four mechanical arms unfurl from where they were crossed across the Mandalorian's body. Four blaster rifles are brought to bear, each held in place by a skeletal droid arm, and each clicking as their safeties are removed. The vocoded voice laughs, and all four rifles begin to roar and scream as plasma bolts start to fill the air! Moving forward on digitigrade legs that clack across the surface of the bridge as he lopes along in bounding hops, Mandalore the Igniter continuously fires the rifles!
Russ jets away from the blasts incoming his way, his jetpack quiet beside the tirade of high powered blasts unleashed by his highly customised blaster pistols. His helmet actually live streams his growl as a deflector shield absorbs his first two on target blasts, though the third punches straight through the shield and into the mans chest piece. Russ's moment of victory is shortlived however as more blasts come his way...
Growling as he's hit in the chest, as though someone had kicked him there more than just fired molten plasma at him, Igniter slows his jumping hop of a run, lifting the four heavy guns into the air to continue hounding the Mandalorian with his blasts, "There is no escape--*hiss, click*--Russ! The Third Crusade begins here, with your death!"
Those blasters hurt! Alot! They tear through even Russ's expertly forged beskar'gam, the lasers continuing to burn through his flesh the smell of burnt hair and flesh permeates throughout the bridge. Russ's flight is a short one as the blasts send him careening to the ground, his armoured body raising a huge shower of sparks as it slides along the floor. But Russ is not so easily killed, even by someone who thinks themselves worthy of the title of Mandalore, even someone who has done horrific things to themselves to further their combat ability. Even as he slides across the floor his blasters lift again and fire the bolts tearing into the body of the Igniter, finally the body begins to fall. Russ slowly raises himself to his feet bloody quickly flooding through the holes in his armour, blood dribbling through the rend in his helmet from where he has coughed up more blood to pool with the rest. "You are right there was no escape, not for you. I will show you what it means to truly be Mandalorian. To train your mind AND body into the perfect weapon." He moves over to stand above the dying Mandalore "Say your last."
The life support system keeping Mandalore alive has been irreparably damaged, as evidenced by the gasping, grating sounds that come through the vocoder. Laying on the ground, the four arms twitch and spasm, and a spark from under the chest plate sees the left side go limp. "Spare me..." the cyborg rasps. "...from your drivel. *hssss-ch-nk*" The helmet turns toward Russ, its silver T smooth against the black faceplate. "You are... No one..." The words are filled with hate, but they are weak, and dying.
"You...will be *hssss-ch--ch-nk* the death of us. Our honor. Our..." The helmet falls back. "Glory." The grinding, rasping sound continues for a moment. "...Finish what... You started... Russ."
"I will not be the death of our honour, I will return true honour to our people. Real glory, and lives worth living. I will not be the death of our people, just of you." Russ raises his pistol slightly and slowly squeezes the trigger, sending the final burning plasma bolt in his blaster pistol through Mandalore the Igniters skull. He turns to look at the other men on the bridge and opens up a broadcasting frequency to transmit on all channels "Mandalore the Igniter is dead. From this day forth I am known as Mandalore the Reviver. All true Mandalorians are to rally around my banner. All those who are but cowards wearing the armour of heroes have three minutes to leave the system, if i ever see any of you try to raise against me again you will be destroyed without mercy."
Narsai watches the battle unfold but she doesn't interfere. The glowing blade of her weapon casts light and gives an eerie hum to the closed space, but it is there for caution rather then for attack. Behind the mask of her helmet it's impossible to see her reaction as Russ is hit, damaged and wounded by the cyborg false Mandalore. But he remains standing none the less. The fight ends and only then does she give a silent breath of relief...and her eyes widen as Russ finally takes the step of announcing his claim. Deactivating her lightsaber, the younger Ordo sibling bows her head, taking a knee to the claim in respect.
Elsewhere and unaware, the still-bleeding Laika rests on the ramp of the Thunderheart, clutching her blaster and not knowing of the victory above.
Outside, the Herald abruptly changes course. Without so much as a parting shot, verbal or literal, the Marauder jumps away. Following suit is the mysterious B-Wing, followed by the Y-Wings. The Headhunters reluctantly surrender, claiming to be mercenaries.
There's an eerie silence on the bridge as the 75 troopers seem a bit indecisive. Eventually, however, one of the men in black armor kneels, and all the others follow suit. Rax is kneeling as well. Igniter's life support system continues to chug on for thirteen more seconds before it finally catches up to the fact that he is dead. Was his voice familiar, there at the end? How he said those final words? The Ordo siblings may never know, now. The respirator gives out, and the lights go dark.
"Rise everyone. There is much work to be done. Like getting this big bastard in working order again." Russ moves over to Mandalore the Igniters chair and sits down heavily in a steadily forming pool of blood. "Someone bring me a damn drink, narcolethe if you have it. And I am going to need a docter to tend to my command squad." Russ looks around as he keys into his private command channel "I want casualty and damage reports asap. All unwounded ground forces that can be spared from duties including integrating our new friends are to prepare immediately to descend to the planet and provide relief to those on the planets surface."