Log:Rebellion: The Daralxis Route
Mission: The Daralxis Route
Background: The rebels need a supply route to be able to bring in supplies for both the Iridonians under Imperial rule and their own troops on the ground. A mining facility deep within the Daralxis Asteroid Belt would serve as a perfect staging facility, but due to an old an old smuggling corridor called the Daralxis route, the Imperials have hidden proximity mines that threaten any ships that dare venture in.
Objective: Chart a retraceable path through the asteroid belt to one of the mining facilities. This will serve as a hidden rendezvous point within the Daralxis Asteroid Belt where rebel ships can meet with allies from neighboring systems to transfer supplies, weapons, and reinforcements without alerting the Empire.
Setting: At the outskirts of the Daralxis Asteroid Belt, a sprawling sea of asteroids stretches out, presenting an intimidating yet mesmerizing spectacle. The belt, a chaotic maze of tumbling rock and ice, forms a natural fortification, hiding secrets and potential safe havens within its confines.
The belt's beauty is as perilous as it is stunning. Asteroids of varying sizes, from tiny fragments to colossal boulders, orbit in an endless dance. Some of these space-faring giants are pockmarked with craters, while others are smoother, their surfaces glistening with ice. Starlight reflects off these icy surfaces, creating a kaleidoscope of shimmering hues that bathes the field in an otherworldly glow.
This dazzling display belies the deadly challenge laid by the Empire: proximity mines. Hidden among the asteroids, these devices are set to detect the approach of unauthorized craft. Each mine is a silent sentinel, ready to unleash devastating destruction.
The silence of space masks the tension that grips the navigators. The only sounds are the quiet rumble of ship engines and the soft pings of navigation systems cautiously plotting safe courses. The slightest miscalculation could lead to a catastrophic encounter with an asteroid or, worse, the trigger of a mine. However, this route once cleared and plotted, will serve as a lifeline for the rebels, a secret corridor for supply ships to follow.
Around them, the Daralxis Asteroid Belt remains indifferent, a silent witness to the struggle for freedom. Its treacherous terrain and the hidden threats of the mines create an atmosphere of intense focus and suspense. Here, in the vast expanse of space, the navigators are not just charting a path through an asteroid field; they are blazing a trail towards hope, a vital step in the fight against the Empire's oppression.
It certainly wasn't the closest that Lira had ever been, but it was likely as close as Gar Massey had ever come to being 'in the Rebellion.'
There were whispers around the fleet about the uprising on Iridonia and the need to get supplies both to their troops on the ground and civilians themselves, but all the regular hyperspace lanes were being carefully monitored by the Sith. While it hadn't yet reached the point of a planetary blockade, they'd certainly stirred the hornet's nest, and their continued attempts to 'sneak' supplies onto the planet through their normal avenues were leading to closer and closer brushes with disaster.
The Rebels needed a plan. There was an asteroid field with an old smuggling route that had been plotted through it called the Daralxis Route, but it was mined heavily to keep ships out of it. The asteroids, especially the larger one, provided fantastic places to hide and plenty of sensor cover. Without it being watched, it would be trivial to use it -- at least for a little while, until they were discovered -- for getting much needed supplies to the surface.
All they needed was a navigator and someone brave (or foolish) enough to chart a new path through the asteroid field to one of the old mining facilities, then out to the planet. With the potential for collisions and running into one of those mines, it was dangerous. Not /quite/ a suicide mission, but dangerous.
So, of course, Lira was first in line to volunteer.
She needed help, though. She knew she could rely on the Force to help guide her, but she wasn't a good enough pilot if (or when) things invariably went wrong -- plus, she needed a fast ship that was well armed enough to take out mines (or even small pieces of asteroid) at a distance.
And... she knew where to find both a qualified pilot and a ship.
-- -- -- -- -- --
"Thanks for doing this."
Lira sits in the rear seat of the YT-2000 Cosmic Drift's cockpit, the co-pilot's station, just behind Gar in the pilot's seat. She's not flying, but she's there, her hands folded into her lap, her robe still hanging from her shoulders.
Her voice is soft, still with that same measure of distance that doesn't quite reach a level anyone would call 'serenity,' but at least less frenetic than she had been in the past.
Outside the cockpit there was the blue swirl of hyperspace for a few more moments. Then the proximity alarms went off, and everything reverted to real-space, streaks of light sharpening to dots in the distance and the ominous wall of the asteroid field faintly visible in the blackness of space in the distance.
Three seconds later, two X-Wings revert to real-space beside them. T-70s from Mace Squadron that had rendezvoused with them before jumping into the Iridonia System.
<< "That's... quite an asteroid field. Are you two sure you're up for this?" >>
It was the voice of one of the X-Wing pilots who was obviously looking at the same thing they were. It was intimidating in its immensity. There was space between the big rocks for ships, of course, but mines could be lurking behind any of them... and once you got in there, maneuvering to get away from the mines would be a nightmare.
Lira reaches down and keys up the mic, her smile audible in her transmission.
<< "The Force is with us, Commander." >>
Gar was going to have to 'gear down' a bit so the X-Wings could keep up with his house. That was something that made him smile. The Force is with us, but so is ridiculous amounts of speed. Gar's ships had navigated asteroid belts and fields before, from the ones in the Smugglers Run system to the one in the Y'toub system. Heck, he used to park in the one! Gar wasn't worried about the asteroids. What Gar was, in fact, worried about was the mines. Active sensor sweeps would let everyone know they were there, so as soon as a mine activated, Gar was going to have very little time to react. The Cosmic Drift could easily get away from the 'chase you' kind of mine. The turret kind of mine, they could tank some hits from if they needed to. If there were any 'blow up, destroying the asteroid field and causing chaos' kind of mine that existed, Gar didn't know about it, but he'd definitely be doing his best to stay out of plane of those explosives. The shields shimmered slightly as micrometeoroids impacted. Small and fast, thankfully any shielded or armored modern hull could keep the occupants safe. "We're entering the fringe," he says. "Escorts, switch your deflectors on double front. Your rocket exhaust will vaporize small stuff coming in from the rear."
[PASS ( +45)] Lira'una's Meditation @ (100) diff. [PASS ( +20)] Lira'una's Danger Sense @ (100) diff.
<< "Oh, we're not going in there with you, sir. Our orders were to ensure you make it to the entry-point safely and keep the jump point clear as long as you need us." >>
Lira smiled a bit.
"Well, that's news. Probably not super-ideal if we're /all/ dancing around mines, huh?"
Beside her, BB-BB whistled a low, warning sound, rolling his multi-colored white, blue, and green spherical body a bit to look between Lira and the view in front of the cockpit.
"Don't be such a fraidy-bot, Echo. We'll be fine. Gar's a fantastic pilot, and this is going to help a bunch of people."
Dweee. Dwooo. Something like the equivalent of, "If you say so," in Binary.
"I'll do my best to warn you if I sense any danger, Gar... and give you as much notice as I can. I don't know..." She takes a breath and lets it out. There is no try. "I've never done anything like this before, so I don't know how much warning that will be."
A pause, then.
"With your talent, it will be enough, I'm sure. The Force led us here for a reason."
There. That sounded more confident, right?
"Someone led us here," Gar says, pushing the throttle forward. He was going to have to keep one hand on the throttle. This wasn't just a race, though it might become one if they were detected. "Alright, I'm taking us into the field proper," Gar says. What looks like a dirty blur is quickly becoming resolved as rocks that are just as quickly getting very large.
[Lira'una tests an NPC's Quads.] [FAIL ( -19)] Turret's 75 @ (150) diff. [Lira'una tests an NPC's Quads.] [PASS ( +28)] Turret's 75 @ (150) diff.
Lira's eyes slip closed as that 'debris field' resolves more definitely into the massive rocks that were hovering in space before them. They were moving -- everything in space was moving relative to something else -- but it was so slow relative to the ship that most of them looked absolutely stationary. Some of the smaller ones floated a bit. Some of the medium-sized ones had a very slow rotation. But most of them, especially the bigger ones, just hung there in space, barely reflecting light off of the system's star.
Despite another low-whistled protest from BB-BB, the lavender-skinned Twi'lek maintained her composure, sitting with her eyes closed and her hands in her lap, just listening... /feeling/ the flow of the Force around the ship, around the asteroid field.
Almost too late, there was a flash of awareness in Lira's mind. They were barely inside the asteroid belt, but that didn't matter. They were already in the thick of it.
"Mine on your left just ahead..."
Lira's eyes never opened. The words are barely out of her mouth in time, and with the intercom system left open, the two Puddle Jumper crewmembers that Lira had brought with her to man the turrets could hear everything she said.
The guns were already swiveling, squad cannons firing red bolts that lanced out towards a mine. One went wide, but the other hit right on target, creating a small explosion between two medium-sized rocks.
Gar's attention twists. He looks for the mine, and he absolutely sees the debris its explosion created. However, in paying attention to that, he very nearly misses an incoming rock the size of a landspeeder! Twisting the controls, he deftly avoids it. "If we got enough ships," he says to nobody in particular, "I bet we could clear this minefield." Of course, if that was an option, it would probably not be him that these people called to push through the rocky belt to sneak stuff in and out.
[PASS ( +81)] Lira'una's Danger Sense @ (100) diff.
"If we had a Star Destroyer, we could probably just drive right through it..."
The quirk of a playful grin can be heard in Lira's voice, amused by the statement, but also really settling into her center and /feeling/ the Force flow around her... the little rocks that lance off of the shields, the bigger rocks that they're navigating through.
Even with her eyes closed, she could feel it all. It was like... well, it was like nothing she could really describe. It wasn't like she was /seeing/ it. It was more like she just... knew they were there, like how she knew her fingers and toes were still there, even with her eyes closed.
"Another mine ahead... low... right." It was hard to know how to describe 'direction' in space, so she seemed to base it off of her own horizon in the cockpit, which she hoped made enough sense.
This time she was able to give plenty of warning, though.
"Arthree, you're recording our flight path and the sensor data, right? We'll need to transmit this to command when we get back..."
[PASS ( +30)] Gar Massey's Pilot @ (125) diff.
Gar swings left and brings the dorsal turret to bear on the mine, giving the gunner plenty of chance to blast at the next mine. There's a rhythm of every stable asteroid field. Things that would have collided did so millions of years ago. Gar finds it and becomes almost like background noise. In terms Lira'una might understand, he watched the Ballet choreography and somehow managed to insert himself seamlessly between the dancers, fitting in without just plowing through their line. "This path won't stay clear forever," Gar says. "Everything is in its own orbit around planets and stars. I'm pulsing the engines and letting us drift, but if a ship comes through here with its engines flaring like signal fires, other mines might spot them."
[PASS ( +39)] Lira'una's Danger Sense @ (150) diff.
"Do you think we should be /looking/ for the mines, then? I don't want anyone to get hurt coming in behind us..."
Lira's voice is distant at best. She's splitting her focus, talking and focusing on the galaxy around her, trying to consider what their best options might be.
"Do we find the mining facility we need first and then clear them on the way back out?"
There's a whistle from BB-BB at her feet. An offer to scan for facility while Arthree is recording and she's busy taking up a co-pilot's seat that she's not actually using for anything except sitting.
"Ahead... two of them. One high, one off to your left..."
[PASS ( +87)] Gar Massey's Pilot @ (125) diff.
"Everything orbits together," Gar says, "but things shift." The Duros must also be splitting his concentration, but with the assistance of the Twi'lek, he's definitely not having much difficulty doing the job they came here for. "We'd come in from off-plane to all this except that we'd be shot by every mine that's also a stationary gun platform. Those are more common than you might think." He avoids the mine, but he does so in a way that keeps the Drift in the 'shadow' of one of the bigger asteroids. "We're looking for a route that's not particularly obvious that keeps any slower ships than us with less skilled pilots out of line of sight. If we clear out too many mines, whoever set them is going to take note. If we carve a straight line, it's the same as setting up a choke point. Let's find the facility and we'll figure it out from there."
[PASS ( +19)] Lira'una's Meditation @ (100) diff. [PASS ( +21)] Lira'una's Danger Sense @ (125) diff.
If it counts for anything, BB-BB agrees that getting to the mining facility is the next best goal. Granted, that's probably only because he was nervous about flying into an asteroid field in the first place. One with mines /and/ mines. Both kinds.
"You're the captain," Lira concedes with a serene little smile on her dark purple lips. "I trust your judgement..."
There's a pause. A flicker of concern.
"Pull up hard. Now."
And just at that moment, a gaping maw stretches out of one of the larger asteroids. Easily capable of swallowing the ship whole with teeth the size of landing struts and a snake-like neck that lengthens out of a massive crevice in the rock, its head tracks the ships movements sluggishly, but even as it does, there's an explosion beside it, the shockwave large enough to set a few of the smaller asteroids tumbling into their path.
[PASS ( +62)] Gar Massey's Pilot @ (179) diff. Gar Massey
Gar reacts to her words, but not to her directions. Another incoming asteroid above is dodged as the great maw is avoided. "Oh hey. I've heard about those things, but I've never seen one," he says, as calmly as if he were looking at clouds from above. He weaves between two asteroids just before they collide. "This is fun, huh?" he asks Lira.
[PASS ( +49)] Lira'una's Meditation @ (125) diff.
"I mean... it's something to do."
The girl's voice is so calm, despite how the YT-2000 rolls through the danger, that same smile still lingering on her lips while her eyes remain closed.
In the background, however, it's chaos.
The droids are beeping and chirping like alarm bells. The actual proximity alarms are going off. BOTH of the turret gunners are literally screaming into their mics...
"Did you see that?!"
"How drekking big is that thing?!"
"That could swallow a corvette!"
"I bet it has!"
"We were almost lunch!"
"Nice flying, Gar!"
The head of the massive exogorth, for that is the space slug's real name, continues to track the passing ship, but between the Drifter's innate ability to put on speed and Gar's ability to control it, they stay well clear of that hungry maw, and round the corner of another big asteroid.
BB-BB suddenly whistles excitedly, and Lira's eyes finally open, blue orbs scanning forward out of the cockpit.
"I see it," the Twi'lek says warmly, pointing just ahead to where a large landing platform extends out of the side of one of the largest asteroids that they'd yet seen. The durasteel glints when it catches the light. The portion of that platform that extends outside isn't large. It looks just big enough to pull a single capital-sized frigate up next to for loading purposes, but there's also a cavernous opening like a hangar that disappears into shadow.
"Let's take a look at that one there."