Log:Resistance: Smashed Into Who Knows What
Smashed Into Who Knows What
Saturday - 9th of February, 2019
Datunda - 19th of Selona, 1159
|Poe Dameron, Jessika Pava, Miri Sakir, Rance Hood, Tallissan Lintra, Fiora Diaz, Karas Darkwing, Rey, Lofty, and NPC members of the First_Order|
Mission briefing: The Resistance fighters are a microjump away from Kessel, where an RSD is posted above the prison/mine planet. A Resistance Intel team infiltrated the prison and has just sent a signal that theyre making a run for it. The job is to jump in, blow up the 4 anti-aircraft cannons that are preventing the Intel team from taking off, and fight off any First Order fighters which try to stop the Ex-fil.
The ships and pilots of the Resistance Starfighter Corp had set course for the Kessel System, exiting hyperspace when the jump was 99.8 percent complete, leaving them a mere moment's microjump away from the planetoid itself. The advance infiltration team was scheduled to have gone into orbit of Kessel forty minutes prior. The waiting has gone on, ever since. Floating in the void, waiting for a subspace signal that the covert team was extracting.
The wait in comm-silence is nerve-wracking. But finally the signal comes: <<Clear the road.>> The advance team is preparing for a hot takeoff, and Black Squadron is up.
There are few more ominous sights in the galaxy than the fractured planetoid of Kessel, hanging amidst the black holes of the Maw Cluster. The X-wings arrive in formation on the far side of the misshapen planet from the RSD Conqueror, giving them time the opportunity to slice into the gravity well of the largely airless asteroid unopposed. Diving fast for the Kessel Prison Complex, their scopes register the four heavy dual turbolaser turrets that defend takeoff and landing at the corners of the ugly duracrete block that is the prison and mining compound. The atmosphere is too thin to give color to the space outside, which remains an empty black above the barren asteroid.
Poe is seated in the cockpit of Black Leader, the leading X-Wing that is angled down toward the surface of this misshapen rock of despair. His view is that of entry, where transparisteel has tinted to render the pressure of entry, the fiery display, unharmful to his eyes. With his visor down already, Poe is focused upon the readout on his targeting display. Four heavy dual turbolaser turrets pose as the immediate threat, so he highlights them through a shared targeting priority that is transmitted to every fighter within his proximity.
<<"This is Black Leader. Spread our formation wider to make it difficult for their targetting systems to single us out. Once we're at attacking distance, follow me. We're moving low and fast to take these things out in one go, if we can manage.">> His X-Wing has already broken through, and the contrails of red engines expand with a brighter red as he increases his velocity toward the ground, almost immediately going supersonic.
Information shared to her targeting computer is brought up immediately by Ali, who prioritizes the information sent by Black Squadron's leader versus the rest of the sensor data flowing in as they approach the prison compound. Jessika Pava reads over the information through the tinted visor of her flight helmet, and sets her gaze on one of the turbolasers for elimination. As soon as the command to spread the formation wider apart is given, she angles her X-Wing slightly to port to drift from Black Leader's side. The fusial engines stacked on top of one another flare a little brighter as speed is feed to them through the throttle, and she keeps them in cruise position to maintain a low profile. <<"Black Two acknowledges. Targeting the turbolasers.">>
Usually, Miri sticks snacks in her flightsuit if she knows she's going to be there for a while. This isn't a snack mission, though. She'd probably puke in her flight helmet and never tell anyone about it, anyway. She's on knife's edge, tenterhooks, counting breaths and watching her instruments. There's a fresh addition on the left side of the nose of her X-Wing: a hand-painted red she-wolf, with gore dripping from her fangs. Sort of matches Miri's new scar. And suddenly, it's go-time. <<Wolf Four copies,>> she says, uncharacteristically terse.
Rance Hood has probably been a name few people around the Resistance know well. But when he shows up, he brings two people with him that seem to know what they are doing: Miri and Fiora. His X-Wing sits in silence while he stares off into nothing, waiting for the signal. At hearing the call his helmet perks and he looks over to the other two to make sure they are looking at him. Radio silence from them. He lifts two fingers on each hand into a firing fingergun, next to the canopy windows, and a tilt forward. 'Arm it up, push it up.' He takes a two-count to flip his master arm on and punches the throttle forward to follow Poe in radio silence. As they start the dive in, Rance breaks into the clear, "Wolves, Lead, I'll watch your rear. Four, take the lead on strike. You are red and free."
The wait was wearing, too much time to think about losing another pilot if this extraction does not come off. Tallie pushes it all away, repeatedly, preferring to make up bad jokes to play on the squadron when they are back safe or plan on what kind of swoop bike she would buy if she ever got to a planet where they needed them. A forbidden thought comes to her: a memory of Ektor's com chatter before other engagements. It is bittersweet.
The call comes and she throttles up opening Black Five wings to the widest for speed. She angles away from the tight group going to starboard to the farthest of the four gun emplacements. She is a bright light in the sky as she angles in steeply. <<Copy that, targeting back starboard.>>
E-Wing pilot, veteran scrounger, cargo hauler and courier for hire, Fiora Diaz is no stranger to slightly insane jobs. The ones where the shooting-at and being shot-at happens are the most exciting ones. Waiting in silence isn't her strong suit and she fidgets impatiently in the solo-cockpit of her fighter. Gloved fingers tapping out a staccato pulse against the console, head tipping from side to side. To the unelightened observer she may appear to be having some sort of spasm or fit. Truth be told she's wired music into her helmet, off com of course, and only when the word filters down that they're free to engage does the E-wing pilot notch the volume down and guides her fighter into position in the shadow of those spunky X-wing black squadron pilots that are hardwired to volunteer to clear the road. "Zenith-5 acknowledges, committing." Fixing the heavy dual TL Turrets in her sights as she begins to maneuver, Diaz guides the E-wing in a swooping arc with random jinks to make her flight path erratic while pouring on the speed to edge ever nearer to the mission objective.
Karas stirs in his cockpit. He didn't like waiting, but they had to so he did what he could to stay relaxed and that was well sit there. Once the signal came through, the systems on his fighter come alive and he is quickly racing off along with the others of Black Squadron. As the make their decent, targeting data streams in to targeting computer, his visor darkens as he moves into formation with the others. His X-Wing moving with a of fighters so that they are spread out, <<Copy that.>> he says .
"Look at this." Rey says to those in the cockpit of the Falcon with her, the ship still in hyperspace in its final moments. "According to this readout the navi-computer has a pathway on how to get _inside_ of the Maw." She looks over to Lofty who is in the co-pilot's seat beside her since Chewbacca is still recovering with the fleet. She shows a big grin. "Han flew this ship, into the Maw's core." She shakes her head side to side. "No one's ever done that before. According to everything I've read, at least."
That is why the Falcon is here, its navigational maps are remarkably deep, and this system is one of the most detailed maps of all.
When the timer on the Falcon's console goes off, Rey flips the display off and looks up. She breathes out sharply. "We're dropping out of hyperspace." She tells the others with her.
A moment later the Millennium Falcon bursts from the hyper-tunnel back into the Kessel System. Rey's never been here, she looks out the forward webbed viewport in awe of what she sees. But after a second she shakes herself to focus and navigate the ship.
Lofty is seated in the torn leather co-pilot's seat of the Milennium Falcon, fiddling with hyperspace coordinates for a microjump. His Fizzyglug can is set on the deck plating beside his seat. After the microjump is complete the Talz flips a few switches to angle a deflector shield then rises. "Power up turret," he warbles to Rey, then lumbers back and climbs like a monkeylizard up into the topside turret. Once in the turret seat he uses his claws as delicate manipulators, bringing the quad turret online, and places a communication set on his head. "Don't fly into Maw," he replies to Rey over the internal comm channel.
As the prison complex grows near enough for the eye to catch such details, an ongoing blaster fight rages within the fenced-in landing zone: an E-web repeating blaster in a watchtower opens fire on a powered-up but still grounded U-wing, answered by small arms from the ship's boarding ramp until a salvo from a repeating ion turret on the shuttle silences it. More blaster fire from the prison is directed at the U-wing, afterward.
The quartet of planetary turbolaser batteries rotate ponderously to open fire on the incoming X-wings, sending vivid green lances sizzling through space at the attackers. At maximum sensor range, but approaching at top speed, a first phalanx of TIE/fo fighters have entered orbit from the out-of-range RSD Conqueror.
Poe is the first to level out, pulling back hard on his stick and groaning aloud. The small craft manages, but everything inside is shaking and Poe is pushed back against his seat. He reaches up with his free hand, toggling several switches up to increase the output of inertial dampeners. <<"Beginning attack run now. Make your shots count!">> Poe says, leaving a large trail of dust from the surface as he speeds toward the emplacements. Once he's within attack range, his S-foils open, jerking him forward from the sudden loss of airspeed. It was such harsh motion that Poe's helmeted head struck the ejection spine of his seat behind him. "No, I'm, buddy. Let's just stay focused on this, alright?" Poe weaves to his starboard, performing a slow barrel roll and engaging. Two of his shots hit just before he blasts past it, angling up again. "Alright, BB-8..extend our sensors. We need an eye in every direction."
In a bright flash of red laser cannon fire, the turbolaser's shields and boxy housing dissolve and explode, scattering debris and igniting a flash of light that transforms quickly into a dark cloud of smoke. As soon as she's registered the target is gone, she hits her s-foils toggle again and snaps back into her seat thanks to the added propulsion from most of her snubfighter's power focus on engines. It's about as hit-and-run as their fighters can get.
Miri catches Rance's glance and returns the fingerblaster, then blows the "smoke" from the barrel before heading in. She's low. She's fast. She finishes off the turret that Poe started, the targeting computer letting her know she finished off the target. For a brief whimsical moment, she wished the vacuum of space hadn't swallowed the sound of the explosion. She bets it would have been satisfying. <<Wolf Four to Black leader, Turret Alpha is toast.>>
Rance dives in through with the Wolves, eyes flitting over towards Poe, then back forward. He watches Miri begin her run and he drifts a little right. Screaming in, he taps the throttle a few times with his thumb and then pops the foils. The drag decellerates him enough but he toes in rear thruster while nosing forward. Throttles push past the detent. The maneuver pops him up, leaving a smaller attack profile as he leaves his velocity vector and strafes heavy fire across the shields of his target. Watching a few break through, he rolls hard and breaks high. "Wolf Lead, shack on Charlie. Off to the south and breaking high for engagement." He leans forward in his straps and cranes his neck out over each shoulder, watching for those TIEs, then to each side. Blowers lit, he is building energy with the climb.
The explosion from Pava's straight on hit was fascinating to watch in the thin atmosphere, it mushroomed and spread in grey clouds with hints of angry red against the black of space. Avoiding fire from Turret Charlie Tallie swerves as she drops in low, headed for Delta Turret, the g-forces making her grimace. She does the high-G sipping motion, breathing in and saying the word 'hook' like her father taught her after popping the foils, muscles tensed against blood pooling in all the wrong places.
"Give me that target, Fiver." Firing all her lasers at the last moment, Delta turret shields blaze red, shimmer and disappear as she flies overhead into a hard turn to return.
Belatedly remembering that her official call-sign is Wolf-5, Diaz thumps the heel of one hand against her helmet with a muttered, "Knucklehead" at herself. Learning curves suck! She zeroes in on the delta-target and fires off two of the three heavy laser cannons to help turn the target into molten slag, a fierce grin on her face as she and Pava turn it into nothing but expensive trash. <<"Wolf 5 to Black Leader, turret Delta is slag. Burning for the planet and maneuvering to engage and provide cover, over." >> This said, Diaz floors it, so to speak, and spears toward the planet.
The dive is steep but necessary, keeping in close formation with the others. Black 4 doesn't engage his S-Foils yet, he needed the speed and with those in the squadron he knows they know this too. When Black 2 comms them, he double clicks his radio in acknowledgement. The smoke contrails from the engines of his X-Wing start to evaporate and moving off to slightly to the left. Keeping his fighter low to the ground, he too when in range flips the toggle for his S-Foils and fires. The large green laser blasts fly past but his shots barely hit but seeing them connect he shakes his head. 'Damn I was off.' He thinks to himself as he quickly pushes more power into his fighters engines.
The disc-shaped Millennium Falcon roars along behind the X-wings and other fighters that break apart and ravage the turrets. The Falcon spins in a nimble corkscrew as Rey navigates the hefty ship through a narrow gape in structures along the surface of the planet that the Resistance pilots are tearing into.
"They're on-point today." Rey says to the person who takes Lofty's seat on her right, none other than Rose Tico herself! Rose? Well... she looks a little nauseous at Rey's piloting but otherwise is keeping it together, or trying to. "Wow. I mean, Okay.. Ah... Artoo has, I mean is ready at the Engineering port." Rose says nervously over to Rey.
"Good." Rey replies in a far more confident tone than her co-pilot's. "I need you here monitoring the systems, telling him where to go to fix..."
"Lofty! We have TIEs incoming!" She shouts over the comms then. "Turrets are hot and ready to go!" Of course she has the lower turret fixed forward at the moment.
Lofty takes a moment to get used to the Falcon's turret controls. Pedals move the AG-2G quad laser cannon left or right, while the control sticks angle it vertically. After a few tentative movements the large Talz uses his paws and feet to swivel the dorsal turret's lasers toward the turbolaser emplacements on the facility. But BLAM! The last emplacement goes up in a gout of flame as Karas Darkwing finishes it off. "Lofty see squints on scope. They coming fast," he warbles to Rey, trying to get the approaching fighters in the wedge of space they call the 'Money Lane' where his turret's lasers are most efficacious.
The powered-up U-wing lifts off the ground, angling shirpy upward, even before the boarding hatch is fully closed, its s-foils changing angle swiftly. At the steep angle of ascent, it's a bit of a relief not to see any passengers tumbling out of the craft, but in short order the escape vessel has powered up its shields and is streaking for high atmosphere. The Resistance targeting computers register a dozen incoming enemy fighters, arrayed into two flights of six: Alpha 1-6 are angling to cut off the escape vector and keep the intruders trapped in atmosphere, while Beta 1-6 are driving directly at the U-wing and its fighter escort.
<<"Good call, Black 2">> -- Poe's intuition proved solid as a bead on not one but two intercepting squadrons is picked up. Closing his S-foils, Black Leader bursts forth with speed and he levels off from the port side of Jess. <<"Good run on the turrets, everyone. Now focus on the fighters. Call your targets and engage. We have to keep them off our friendlies!">> Poe's voice is strained, and any familiar with the man, he sounds stressed. His flying pattern is erratic, aggressive, and he seems hungry to kill when he engages slightly too short after calling: <<"Black Leader engaging Beta 1!">> It's a brilliant miss, and he overshoots the fighter to fly over the U-Wing before angling low to break off and come back.
Breaking off from the wreckage of turbolasers that have been left behind at the prison compound, Jessika angles the nose of her fighter starward and glances at her sensor panel for confirmation of their bearing and heading. "Priority target Beta flight fighters," she orders Ali. A subtle groan from the leather of her flight glove is lost under the din of the engines in the compartment as Jessika adjusts her own velocity to approach them. Shooting at stationary targets is a lot different than shooting at the squints swarming towards the Resistance's escaping U-Wing, but that doesn't make it impossible. She barely misses Beta Two, whose dark craft lights up red from the proximity of the deadly lances released from the tips of her laser cannons.
Moments after Rey sings out about the incoming fighters, they show up on Bettina's sensors. <<Wolf Four to Wolf Leader, I'm going to go clear the way for the transport. Watch my ass.>> Miri pulls a hard turn and heads to tangle with that squadron. She goes in guns blazing, scoring a solid hit on her first pass, though not enough to knock him out.
Rance tops out the climb and keeps his throttles at the firewall, coming over the top lazily and allowing the X-Wing to dive down hard and fast. He picks up velocity like a freight train and moves in. He rolls onto his back in the dive, watching Miri and Fiora - and especially their rears for any TIE's rolling in on them. The hits from Miri catch his eye and he slices down. "Wolf Lead, Copy Four. Lead's engaged, fast pass from your four oclock high." After the damage done, he stares as the nearly destroyed TIE somehow manages to maneuver like new. "What the ffff-" Blaster streaks barely miss him and Rance blows through the engagement zone and hauls back on the stick slowly. Conserving the energy, he zoom-climbs back up high and begins looking for more bandits that might be after the Wolves.
The plume of smoke from the turrets dirties the sky until Tallie climbs above the debris falling back to the ground. She frowns unconsciously at Poe's voice calling out directions to the squadron. <Copy that Black One, Beta Three is mine> Foils collapsed she races towards the incoming squints with the U-Wing their objective. "Fiver, get'em," she snaps as she rolls onto to her starboard wing and fires at the TIE. They trade laser love notes but Tallie's leaves Beta Three shieldless after she delivers hers.
Keeping a wary eye on the position of the U-wing trying to ex-fil it's way off planet to the unwelcome accompaniment of a paired escort of Squints that seem determined to keep that pesky U-wing around for a while longer.. << "Wolf-5 to Wolf Leader, engaging Alpha-2." >> The plucky little E-wing jukes again before angling to the side and opening fire on Alpha-2, taking down it's shields and tallying up some hull damage. Another swift jink then juke has her skinnying past the return fire, this time flipping a 180 - sweating and swearing her way through the heave and buckle of inertia and momentum to fight for a clear line of sight for the next pass.
New targeting data is picked up, and seeing that the squadron was breaking off to deal with the threats. Karas pulls back on his stick, he angles himself behind the other two fighters climbng up to meet Alpha squadron. The shots fired by his squad mate misses the leader, but Fiora hits her target. Black 4 does a barrel roll around Fiora and as the snub-fighter comes out of her shadow red streaks of lasers thunder upwards hitting Alpha Lead dead on. Watching as the fighter explodes, Black 4 breaks away and but not before Alpha Leads wing man drop in behind him and scores a hit, green laser fire from it and another of Alpha Flight also comes in at Karas.
The threat display comes up at the last second and instincts take over, Karas tries to weave through the laser fire and dropping low and rolling, the T-85 is hit multiple times, a bright blue flash of energy erupts around his fighter signaling that his shields just went out. "Krif! Spark I need you man, get on those shields, I will do what I can to keep us from getting hit and hopefully taking out a few more." He slows his fighter just enough to feign the severity of the hit he's taking hoping the two Alpha Flight Ties stick to him giving the others of Black Squadron to sweep in and take'em out.
The Millennium Falcon comes rip-roaring around a rocky cliff-face and banks hard to keep up with those fast and nimble X-wings!
"Here we go!" Rey says to her co-pilot and gunner. "This is where the fun begins."
Rose looks out of the ship's viewport with a continued nervous demeanor. She shakes her head right to left. "I'm not sure I... I uh, need any more fun in my life." She counters.
"Oh come on." Rey says as the Falcon rockets over a collection of prison-related buildings. She sees the rest of Black Squadron engaging the TIEs ahead of them. "Live a little." And she squeezes the trigger on the Falcon's controls causing its lower turret to send out a BURST of red laser death!
"That got him!" Rey shouts, seeing the shots mostly connect hard. "Lofty, serving one up to you!" And with that the Falcon angles its nose down beneath the battered TIE fighter!
Lofty reflexively leans back as Rey brings the Milennium Falcon corkscrewing through a tight spot. "Very close," he warbles into his headset. The freighter is angling toward Beta Squadron's TIEs so Lofty closes his lower set of eyes and manipulates the pedals and flight sticks, bringing Rey's target fighter up on his turret's flight scope. Once the scope's grid space begins FLASHING he depresses the firing stud, sending out a series of laser blasts with a satisfying BRAP-BRAP-BRAP. The TIE explodes which is even more satisfying.
Though numbers are on the side of the First Order, it is nowhere near the overwhelming odds they are accustomed to, and a pair of the TIEs fall in the opening joust. A pair of Beta fighters do weave through the Resistance screen to fire at the rising U-wing, but the transport's erratic flight keeps the vessel untouched.
Poe is engaged from behind, and his flight pattern, despite being erratic, was easily read to take a shield hit that rattles the craft. "Hang on, buddy." Poe warns, as he cuts the craft sharp, making Poe's vision blur under the pressure of the turn. Just as his eyesight starts to fade, he takes some pressure from the stick and levels out. He starts breathing harshly, but angles his head back in time to see BB-8 dipping down low to repair his shield generator.
<<"Black 2, Black Leader; I'm engaging the two near our friendlies. Be advised, I've got one tailing me hard.">> Poe says, his voice a little less strained but sounding focused. Beta 5 must not have seen Poe's approach from below, but his four cannons connecting was enough to cause serious damage. The fighter peeled off from the U-Wing.
Adjusting to his new angle, he settles his targetting device on Beta 6 now, Poe's eyes darting from the targetting read out to the craft as they dance from side to side.
Miri banks and rolls as she tangles with her target, and she misses the slippery bastard entirely. Henibi chirps helpfully, asking her if she drank enough water today. "Not now, Honeybee. Not. Now."
Rance still has his throttles firewalled. Head tilted back, he cranes over his right shoulder to watch Karas taking heavy action. A chance round cracks at his shields as he begins his pull and dives back in, "Black Four, Wolf Lead. I'm trying to grab some of your heat. In hot from your nine, very high." He fires early, trying to ruin the shot that Alpha Five was going for, then walking the tracers to try and follow. He doesn't push the engagement through the turns and extends out, capitalizing on the energy advantage. Anyone watching can see the aggressor pilot in how he fights his ship.
Beta Three and Black Five are going to dance the dance. "Gotcha upset, did I?" She croons as Fiver whistles at the sidestepping jink the X-Wing performs under Tallie's hands. It rattles them both but the green laser fire will continue into infinity now as they avoid. "Hold onto your capacitors, Fiver!" She pulls back on the yoke climbing and rolling to avoid giving a large target and loops back on herself towards the TIE as it flies past her.
She drops in behind him with the gift of all four cannons firing, red death is dealt as three of her cannons connect. One moment the TIE is there then only a debris field remains. <Black One, that is Beta Three down. Acquiring new target on Beta Five>.
Some of the sweating and swearing gains volume as Black-4 emerges from her shadow, startling the E-wing pilot just enough that Diaz flinches subtly, the fighter wobbling briefly as she tracks the path of Black-4 before letting out a low whistle. "Sweet," she mutters before turning her attention back to the task at hand. << "Wolf-5, Alpha-2, committing, over.>> Exchanging fire again with the same Squint she's rocked and rolled with before, this time missing the mark, immediately beginning the turn to come back around. Shutting off the threat tones, Karas gets communication from Spark that his shields are back up to 20 percent. The X-Wing pulls up suddenly, having seen laser fire from his wingmen miss their intended targets, he turns sharply to his left and as he does he sees Alpha 4 coming into view, it must've been pacing him to get a lock. Bad news for him, Karas presses the triggers for his laser cannons sending three of the burst at the TIE, he watches as the shields collapse. "Paint him Spark we will keep with him." << "I need a bit of help on the two thats on me." >> he calls to Rance and Fiora.
The Falcon flies past the explosive rubble of Beta Six and comes up in a hard pull that brings it rolling around and eventually diving back down toward the skirmish. "Nice shooting, Sodie Pop." She says over the comms to her upper gunner. "Not out of the woods yet though."
"I've never been a fan of forests." Rose whispers/mutters beside Rey. As they bank around though, the panel behind Rose bursts open and a smoking gas comes pouring out. "Oh, oh, thats not good!" The girl with the black hair stammers as she stands up and reaches for a tool from her belt.
"Its the compressor!" Rey shouts as she flies the YT-freighter toward their next target, knowing precisely what it was without having to even look. "That entire panel has needed to be replaced for at _least_ a year!"
"Hold on!" The Falcon dives beneath a natural rock out-cropping and comes up right in-line with Beta Four! Its forward facing turret unloeads more cannon-fire right against its shields, as the TIE zips OVER the Falcon!
"Squint down!" Lofty warbles excitedly through his snoot, piping it through the comm channel. But even as Beta-6's fuselage is erupting in gouts of flame that recede into the distance, the Talz is churning his turret around and aiming down the length of the splitter couplings. The grid-like electronic scope FLICKERS and FLASHES to denote a target lock on TIE Beta-4. While Rey pincers it the ventral cannon, Lofty depresses the firing studs and sends leading laser blasts out ahead of the enemy fighter from the dorsal cannon, smashing into its hull and disabling its shields. "He still alive." But hopefully Beta-4 breaks off its assault on the U-Wing.
Though another few TIEs weave through the durasteel screen of Resistance fighters to make runs at the U-wing, it is to little effect and they pay a steep price. Of the nine remaining TIEs, two are seeking to escape the fight, heavily damaged. Though sensors read a second squadron of TIEs entering atmosphere from the direction of the distant Conqueror, unless the U-wing strikes some disaster, they will not arrive in time. Already clearing what would be high atmosphere, the shuttle is making good speed toward the edge of Kessel's gravity well.
<<"Black Leader copies all.">> Is the response to both Black 2 and Black 5. Laser bolts are glancing by from all angles and Poe has to decide what he's going to do. Becoming the reckless hero, if only for a second, Poe can already hear Leia admonishing him in the back of his mind.
Poe slaps his S-Foils to the closed position and tips his nose back, angling skyward. The sudden change in direction and angle of speed makes his craft stall for a moment. Alarms blare as Beta 1 hisses by him closely followed by Black 2, who is hot on their tail. Meanwhile, Poe's craft is an obstacle to the engaging A6 who breaks off to avoid colliding with the Ace pilot.
Poe's view of the sky above rolls back as his engines sputter and he follows the trail of A6 before managing to loop until his craft was parallel with the ground view and he was upside down. Poe groans, slapping the S-Foils open again and /shoves/ max speed to the engines which sets him back in his seat. He engages A6, blasting past their shields in the blink of an eye, then damaging their craft so bad that sparks and smoke begin to trail from its stern.
Poe angles to his port hard, his vision darkening from the mere gravity of the turn until B2 was in his sights. He scored a glancing blow at first, then followed up with a much more aggressive hit, pulling the fighter away from his wingman and trusted friend, Jess. <<"Black two, Black Leader.. I'm taking the one trailing you, now.">> His communication is quick and to the point as he chases B2 down to finish the job.
Weaving through the swarm of TIE fighters to find Black Leader and the enemy on his tail doesn't leave Jessika with many evasive options. Again, impacts against her aft shields translate as a shudder through her snubfighter thanks to feedback from the deflectors generating them. A quick glance at her instrument panel and vocal feedback from Ali keep her apprised of the status of her fighter's vulnerability, but she's not ready to go into full-on evasive mode. Not yet. There's still some fight left in the craft, especially if her astromech can adjust those shield values to keep her in the fight longer. Setting her sights on Beta One, she keeps mental tabs on the U-Wing still trying to escape. There's not enough fighter coverage to keep it totally safe.
Rance watches Alpha Five turn on him through the extension and he watches the tracers sail towards him. He pulls high and carves a lazy yo-yo up and back around. Coming back o nthe throttles, he dives back in again. "Black Four, Wolf Lead. Copy. Drew one off, engaged, your bandit." He yaws his vector left, winging over and skidding across the sky to bring the firing plane more level as he picks up speed again. There's a low grunt against the G's as he pulls lead on the bandit in pursuit of Karas, smoothing the lead as the bandit slides into the gun funnel. "Guns guns, Wolf." At less than 500m the rounds roll through the TIE and blow out the other side. The fighter rolls briefly, spewing flame and then explodes as Rance pulls pitch hard right and accelerates past. "Wolf Lead, splash one. Black Four, your tail is clear. Off to the north, coming over the top." His X-Wing rockets up, vapor violently shedding off his wings with the high-G pull. Head tilted back over his shoulder, stick in his lap, he grunts as he flutters the throttle around fifty percent to bring the nose around.
Firing, rolling to dodge fire, firing back and... AHA! Miri scores a solid hit on the TIE. <<Yeah, that's right, EAT IT!>> she cries, forgetting for a moment that she's transmitting. <<I, ah, DAMN it, he's still up,>> she says sheepishly, hauling Bettina's ass through space as she tries to square him up for another shot.
Beta One becomes the coveted target as Black Five seconds Poe's wing and comes barreling from high above the two of them. Fiver gives her the target but the TIE throws shots that pass over her bow. The thrust carooms both droid and pilot hard against their restraints and they are behind Black One and Two. The Falcon obliterates Beta Two and Tallie reorients with Fiver's feed on the Alpha formation.
<< "Wolf-5, Black-4, Copy that, wil-co, Black-4," >> Diaz replies via comm and is maneuvering to engage when Rance nixes the problem entirely and sends Alpha-4 back to the scrap yard where it belongs. "Nice shooting, Boss," as she picks out another target from the remaining gaggle of TIE's. << "Engaging Alpha-3," >> she calls out and skims a round in it's general direction to get it's attention. "Well," she exhales a low breath, "that worked," already maneuvering to avoid return fire while skimming a look around to pinpoint Black-4, the U-wing, and the rest of the soup.
With his tail cleared, <<Thanks Wolf Lead, I appreciate the help.>> Karas says as he sees that his shields are being repaired and coming back up online. <<Wolf-5, coming up along side your port wing going after Alpha-6. Let's take'em down.>> he says to her as his pushes his fighter. His X-Wing races after the two TIEs on the U-Wing, they already have a lead on them and once within long range, four angry arcs of red lasers chase after the enemy TIE. But they are way off target. <<Let's close it up Wolf-5.>> he says as he closes his S-Foils giving his fighter more speed.
"I got it, I got it!" Rose frantically utters as she's reaching up between the two seats to the exposed compressor panel. She's quickly sorting with her tool in her hand to try to deactivate the faulty coil. "This is absurd. What kind of moof milker worked on this?"
"I did. Sort've." Rey replies as she pilots the Falcon back around toward the others. She sees a bit of Poe's manuever and moves to angle her way toward Jess and the other fighter on Beta 1.
"Oh, sorry... I mean, its lovely work." Rose respond then, getting the compressor back in line she slaps the panel shut. "We're going to have to fix that when we get back."
The Falcon's cockpit lights up and more cannon fire from the lower turrent sizzles out from beneath it and splatters across Beta 1.
"Get'em, Lofty!" Rey says over the comms inside the ship while Rose slides back into Chewbacca's co-pilot's seat.
Lofty briefly wonders where he left his FizzyGlug can, then remembers it is probably beside Rose Tico's feet right now. Hopefully she doesn't knock it over. As the YT-1300 bears down menacingly on Beta-1 the Talz allows the targeting sensor to float, aiming down the 'Money Lane' to where the dorsal and the ventral quad laser cannons' fields of fire intersect at the fore of the ship. "Squint almost in range." When Rey spooks the TIE with a series of ventral laser blasts Lofty leads it, sending a series of BRAP-BRAP-BRAPs from his turret two-at-a-time. They hit and Beta-1 goes up in a violent flaming explosion.
Another TIE is shot down in the rising fray, as now fewer and fewer of the First Order ships are left in a state suitable for carrying on the combat. When Beta Leader- the last of the ranking officers in the initial flight- becomes the target of concentrated fire and is struck down, there are none left in position to fire on the U-wing. Clearing the gravity well unopposed, the vessel begins preparations for the first of several hyperspace jumps to maintain security and check for any tracking devices.
Poe takes several hits that results in his paneling showering sparks over him. Despite the burns across his lower face, Poe slaps the S-foil switch down and spins by the TIE, angling up and adjusting his speed to increase. Poe stays above the U-Wing, matching their speed and ascent. <<"This is Black Leader..">> There's some coughing, and Poe is waving his hand to woft the smell of burning components toward his vents. When his coughing subsides, he speaks again. <<"Break contact and follow our friendlies. We don't have time nor the resources to stay and dance. Form up and prepare to jump.">>
Poe has to repair a few things while they exit the atmosphere. He's able to bring what he needs to back online, and BB-8 assures him that their shields are back where they need to be. "Set a course for us to jump, BB-8." Poe has another coughing fit, and he lifts his visor to wipe his face.
As Rance pulls through his high-G topper, he catches a glint of light off the canopy glass of his old friend Alpha Five. "Sonuva-" he blurts off the radio and kicks the rear yaw thrusters and swings the velocity vector all the way around ninety degrees to head-on with the TIE as he slides sideways, entering a ballistic fall. The tracers end up just glancing off the shields. "C'mere you little.." he mutters to himself. Two. One. He firewalls the throttles and kicks in supporting nose yaw thruster and slides his nose across the sky to track him as he opens fire through the slide. Its a snapshot lasting only a few seconds. Its enough to return the sentiments, but he shows the middle finger on the pass anyway. A hard kick back on the nose and he slots back down and dives to gain energy. Hearing the call from Poe, he looks over the side of the cockpit to the others and then back in to push buttons on the DDI. "Wolf Lead copies. Wolves, prepare to jump on Black Lead's call." He glances back for a moment to watch for Alpha Five, then back in.
"But dad, you said I could stay out 'til midnight," Miri sasses under her breath. She's riding high on endorphins and adrenaline. <<Wolf Four copies,>> she actually transmits, forming up as ordered.
Real concern for Poe has her dogging him out of the system. A lucky fight for her this time. Shields are holding a steady green and Black Five will spend only the required time in mechanic's bay for after flight checks. They reorient for the run out of the system. <Copy that Black One> She pulls back on the throttle and let's Fiver fix the hyper coordinates for the first planned jump home.
As more of the TIE's fall to the side and the U-Wing starts to gain serious ground on it's escape vector, Diaz edges closer to Black-4 and closes the distance between her fighter and the X-wing that Darkwing is driving. Black Leader's words are the tipping point in her particular decision-flow-chart as to whether or not to take aim at another TIE or put best speed toward escorting the U-Wing out. <<"Black-4, shadowing that U-Wing, best speed, to the jump point,">> is said ship-to-ship first before she flips comms again. << "Wolf-5 to Wolf-Lead, copy that, best speed to jump point, over,">> and proceeds to shadow the heck out of that U-wing while maintaining relative distance with Black-4 ... and keeping an eye on the shields.
Karas sees that the U-Wing breaks orbit and having Poe calls out to the squadrons to leave, <<Black-4 Acknowledges!>> he calls. Pulling up and following the others, <<COpy that Wolf-5, follow on my wing.>> he calls to Fiora as he glances back to look at Spark. "Hey man keep up with the shields." He says. "Thanks for being on top of things, we've been through too much." He says as eh looks forward and he looks to his left to see Wolf-5 from his canopy. Looking forward as he breaks the atmosphere too.
"Nice shot, Lofty." Rey says over the comms, seeing that final cloud of TIE wreckage going down in a heap toward the surface of Kessel. She draws the light freighter around and into a direct path to take them out with their ship they've come to escort. <<"I've got a good gunner, Black 2.">> She says in response to Jess' comment, showing a sly grin.
"I guess we got the jump on them?" Rose asks then, as she settles into the seat beside the pilot and holds onto the edge of the console in front of her.
"Looks like." Rey replies in-short, darting her eyes from her display screens back up to the ship's large canopy in front of them. "We have to get out of this system next, and what an... odd system it is. A shame, I would like a bit of a tour..."
"Yeah, I'll pass on tours. Lofty did great thou---" Rose cuts herself off as she looks down at her feet. "Whats all over the floor?"
Lofty gives a triumphant toot through his proboscis in response to Rey. He takes off his headset and climbs down from the dorsal turret, waddling down the main corridor to where Rey and Rose Tico are sitting in the cockpit. "Oh no, FizzyGlug spill?" His lower set of eyes blink in the darkness of the control station, trying to discern whether his can tipped over in the firefight. Sure enough this mission has claimed a casualty. He takes a few cans of Fizzy-Bip from his bandolier and hands them out to the pilot and co-pilot, keeping one for himself in a massive paw. "Good mission."
Once the U-wing gives a little waggle of its S-foils and streaks into hyperspace, the rest of the Resustance craft are close behind, save for one of the Loth Wolf X-wings, which takes one last hit from the Alpha TIEs to punch through shields, lightly score the hull, and hurry the last of the Resistance in their way, mere instants before a fresh TIE squadron screams into targeting range. The escape from Kessel is complete.