Log:Resistance: Tion Cluster Headache
A hundred kilometers outside the settlement of Sah Gosta on the desolate, arid world of Argai are an intricate formation of deep canyons called the Emperor's Catacombs. The ruins of towering statues older than the Republic stand (and lie) at the nexus of three dry canyons, worn down by aeons of harsh wind until only the faintest traces of once-intricate stonework remain visible. An ancient stone plaza serves as the landing point for the handful of starcraft which have gathered for a clandestine handoff. Resistance Intel has made the trip aboard the Ocilu, with the Dusty Jawa for an escort.
A little Nella 342 light freighter and a quartet of mismatched Tionese fightercraft are landed on the ancient flagstones. In front of a shady nook against the canyon wall at the foot of a colossal humanoid statue that long ago lost its head and torso, a handful of Tionese (including Ektor, a Sullustan, a Sarkan, and a pair of humans) are lazing in the shade around their prisoner, rather reduced in grandeur since his capture. Lord Santhe's ornate jacket, sash, and shoulder cape have been pilfered by three of his captors, his remaining clothing is dingy and dusty, all jewelry is gone, and in addition to several days' growth of salt and pepper stubble, he's sporting a split lip and black eye.
The Dusty Jawa burns atmo as it closes in on the landing zone. Whoever's sitting in the co-pilot seat (hopefully a pilot) will get a look from the man as Sar begins to set the big bird down. The hydraulics creak under the weight of the Jawa, steam pouring out from under the thing.
"Alright, everybody. Keep it casual. We're not trying to start a fight. Just pickin' up one of our buddies, got it?" He stands up, armor plates clinking as he makes his way back through the neck and round the corner to walk down the boarding ramp. A quick look down at the S-5 mag-locked to his leg and he begins to trudge his way towards the Tionese soldiers.
Merek has put on his black fiber armor with the helmet he has as well, which is custom tailored to his form. He takes out his blaster while he checks the safety, and keeps one of his hands upon it. He is on the Jawa as the escort while he nods to Sar's words, then he stands up while he makes his way from the ship to follow with the others also.
"Oh, wherever my droid goes, I go too," Sapphira Yavok croons. The crooning is quiet, and to herself. Why? Because she's by herself. While everyone else is off on this job, escorting people and whatnot, Sapphira is off on her own along the canyon wall. Dressed in her tailored black shadowsilk and with her sniper rifle across her back, she's moving along toward the high ridge line above the canyon. And she's making a pig's ear of the job. "Oh, wherever my womp rat goes, I goe--son of a sithspinin' bitch." She slips, kicking up some dust and sending a few small rocks tumbling to the ground. She manages to keep her grip, though, and not tear her shadowsuit. Another few steps, another lyric gets hummed, only to be broken by another string of curses. The same pattern repeats. "That's it," she declares to no one. "This is my wakeup call. No more dehydrated ice cream. No more beer. Certainly no more caf." A grunt, and a groan, and she's on her way up again.
Lofty awkwardly climbs down out of the topside turret of the DUSTY JAWA. The large Talz barely fit in there! Unfortunately he knocks over a can of FizzyGlug while exiting and it pours all over the durasteel floor plating. He shoulders an old surplus EL-16HFE rifle, strapping it across his body, and lumbers after Sar Yavok and down the boarding ramp. "This planet too dry," he complains to Sar Yavok.
Somewhere in the belly of the Jawa, Tess is going checking her weapons of which she has plenty. maglock on holsters for her rifle, swords, knives and the F-11 blaster she's checking as the ship breaks atmo for their destination somewhere in the middle of damn nowhere. When Sar informs them they've settled and the ship adjusts beneath their feet, she reaches for the T-visored black and red helmet with one hand and slides it over her head. The environmental seal's and snap hiss of her weapon receiving a bolted charge are indication enough that she's ready. Falling into step behind the Lt Colonel with her weapon held so the barrel is cradled in her curved elbow. "You good, sister wife?" Her voice sounds from the vocab in the helmet, but the visor is pointed at Sapphira during one of her tumbles.
The Ocilu is not a fast, nor maneuverable shuttle, which means while it's hard to get in trouble flying it, it's also boring to fly it. It's nothing like the Outrider, or her X-Wing. Still, there's important cargo on board, and that means taking the duty seriously. Not long out from their rendezvous point and landing, Jessika cranes a glance over her shoulder towards the passenger section of the ship. "We're close to landing. Be ready." Adjusting forward, the dark-haired pilot shifts her hand over the instrumentation panel to begin adjusting their speed. When they're closer, and the ground is looming before them, she eases off almost all the power in the sublight engines to its repulsorlifts, so the craft can be brought in for landing. "Deploy gears."
They exchange looks as the Dusty Jawa settles in. It creaks and groans like an old metal can under the temperature change. Tallie unbelts once she has run the checks for the landing sequence and swings around in her seat. "Quiet and steady then we go." Still, she checks the charge on her blaster and re-holsters it over her civvy flight suit before following him out and down towards the soldiers.
Aboard the Ocilu is Poe Dameron, seated in the passenger section, but rises up when he hears from Jess. He steps into the light of the control cabin and leans over one side of her chair while hanging on to a handle above. The ship rocks and he rocks with it. She has not needed a co-pilot for the trip until this point, so when she says deploy gears, he steps to the other chair and sits. One hand casually flips the switch and they can hear the sound of the skids coming to bear. "Deployed." He replied. Poe does not remain in the chair for long. When they are going through the motions of a gentle descent, he works his way to the back. When the ship has settled, the ramp is deployed and Poe waits for Jess to walk down it. Whilst waiting, he seats a blaster within a holster on his right thigh, and adjusts the rigging on his shadowsuit, leaving his face bare and topped with messy dark hair. "Ready?" He asks, a goofy grin on his face.
Ektor steps off the canyon wall, where he'd been leaning in the shade of an ancient statue, arms held out lazily to his sides as the pilot meanders forward to greet his incoming Resistance fellows, "There they are: right on time, yeah?" With a languid ringmaster's flourish he looks back at the handful of Tionese. "Somebody get our guest of honor on his feet! Lord Hutt-sucker Fancypants has an audience, yeah?"
Santhe is nudged to his feet grudgingly at first, then with a shove as one of the Tionese humans thinks he was taking too long. Clapping his hands and rubbing the palms together, Ektor turns a grinning eye back to the decision makers. "Arright so.. What? You gotta sign for him or something? Got some kinda tests or technobabble stuff? I mean, we already checked him over for bugs, but.." A shrug.
"Here," Sar says to Lofty, digging a small bottle of NasaSnort(TM) out of one of the pouches on his belt. "Wherever your nose is...do you have a nose?" he wonders, whipping the bottle at the Talz.
Approaching Ektor, Sar will reach out and give the young man a slap on the shoulder, "How's it goin’, son? He give you too much trouble?" Niceties coming from the helmeted and vocoded voice behind that Mandalorian helmet of his. Weird. "Red, get over here and check him for bugs. No offense to the Tionese. Just procedure."
The Lt. Colonel looks over at the approaching Poe and Jessika, offering a nod to the both of them.
Merek settles when the group arrives at the exchange, and he looks around a bit to keep watch. The Private shifts the pistol of his while he allows his gaze to move towards the man which they came to pick up.
"Oh, you know, livin' the dream. Krif," Sapphira says, kicking up another bit of rock and dust just as she gets to the outcropping she's intended to reach. Those words are broadcast over the comms in response to the Mandelorian-clad 'sister' down below. Once she's got solid ground under her feet, Sapphira goes about her work jovially and easily, setting the rifle and scope up with the tripod, drawing it back against the rocky outcropping and herself into the shadows, things of that nature. She puts her eye to the scope and grumbles, giving the thing a few slaps.
Sar's question on the comms brings pause, however, and Sapphira peers over the brim of the scope at Sar, as though he can see her skepticism. "You know I'm halfway up a fracking cliff right now, right?" Sapphira asks of her 'father', before she begins to fiddle with the scope again. This time it's much more delicate, much more intentional. Her voice broadcasts again. "Everything looks clear from up here, but we might be getting our sensors scrambled. Could be the canyon walls, but..." she fiddles a bit more, and then squints down at those below. "It looks deliberately scrambled to me. Pilots, can you confirm any sensor jammers? Was this part of the plan, is it the Tionese doing this?" She lets that question hang in the ether for whomever might wish to take it up.
Lofty catches the bottle from Sar in his paw and peers at it, but doesn't dare stick it up his proboscis. "No thank." He stuffs the bottle in a pouch on his colorful bandolier and keeps following Sar Yavok, pausing when he does to stand firm and look intimidating.
"On it." Tess answers Sar's request for Sapphira to inspect the prisoner for bugs. Aside from her helmet looking iconic, it has some pretty sophisticated equipment with which to give him a once over with her instruments which clearly isn't going the way she thought it would. Her heavy synthed voice sighs out and she swats at the side of her helmet with one armored palm. "Yeah, I'm getting the interference too." She says with Sapphira, bringing her weapon up into a more readied position with the barrel pointed down at the sand. "Could be the canyons, but I didn't have any trouble with mine on Mandalore... and it's mostly just a canyon.." Looking, in so far as her visor points in his direction, at Ektor. "You do a patrol around this spot before we got here?"
The shuttle craft comes to a landing with a slight lurch of the hydraulics shifting in response to the shuttle's weight settling on its struts. She doesn't shut the craft off completely. Its engines go off, killing most of the noise, but the instrument panel is still lit up, the communications still work, and the shields can be activated at a second's notice. That also means that it's sensors are still on. Jessika doesn't suspect anything until Sapphira's voice comes over the comms and announces what might be some sort of jamming going on. Rather than rising from the pilot's seat and heading into the back, she answers Poe's question differently than she was prepared to. "Hold on a second, they're reporting some strange interference."
Which means Jessika's focused on the control panel and its sensor software. The sensors in the shuttle have a much greater distance than any personal suite, and while the canyon walls are natural barriers, there are also ways to get beyond that when there's something like a ship involved. What she can't get beyond is the interference that's being reported. In a much more serious voice, she reports to Poe after a few of those seconds. "You need to ask the Tionese if they're jamming anything, because if they're not, we're being scrambled by someone else." For all intents and purposes, that is not a good thing.
The tense questions concerning the jamming that are being passed back and forth do not bode well. So much for standing down and making an easy approach, Tallie unholsters her gun and carries it, per instructions, nice and easy. Nice and easy she shadows the Mandalorians in their formidable gear looking under armored in her flight suit. Her eyes follow Ektor being, to her mind, the motherlode of information concerning what the Tionese are doing or not doing. "Well, Ektor? Do we have a verdict on this?" she adds as she walks up behind him.
Poe is left to hang near the back, his goofy smile fading when the transmission comes over his ear piece, and Jess' voice carries concern. Turning from the ramp completely, he looks back toward the cabin and awaits her synopsis of the situation. Her response merits one from him, in the form of a nod. "I'll check, be ready to launch this bucket if something pops off."
Poe finally emerges from the Ocilu and is seen striding briskly toward the gathering. Sar's nod is returned just as Poe closes the distance to stand beside him. "This may have been asked already, but does anyone know about the signal scrambling that's happening in this.. general.." He motions with his hand, indicating the spot they were at, "..area? It's affecting the craft too." Poe gaze looks to Sar first, then travels to the Tionese, his expression seemed to indicate that he was waiting for an answer.
Having never been to this planet or place before, Yuun is walking behind the others, having elected to say with Poe's group for the time being. Taking a moment to look at the scenery and looking to the rest of the group. This is the second mission with the Resistance he is on, still a bit nervous and trying to get the hang of how they do things, so for now he is quiet as he moves along.
Ektor cracks a crooked grin at the jovial greeting he gets from Mando-Sar, nodding along lazily, "Procedure, yeah?" he drawls with a snicker. "I hear you. Go on, do the thing. We been sitting here for an hour already, but nah- any fight this piece of drizzling drek had in him didn't last long past when we got him." The Tionese leans closer to mutter to the Lt. Col quietly, "Unless you ever punched a guy that owns PLANETS, before? NO IDEA how satisfying it is."
To all eyes, 'Lord Cornelius Santhe' is looking rather.. unimpressive. While fit for a middle aged man of wealth, his salt and pepper hair is tousled and dirty, his jaw sporting several days of growth, and his once-elegant and ostentatious faux-military styled blue and gold uniform has seen better days. 'Cowed' would be an apt description.
Looking back to Tess at her inquiry, he raises both brows. "A sweep? Yeah, sure we did a flyover. Nothing here but some rock rats and old statues." Word of jamming gradually drives the grin off his face. "...Nah, we ain't jamming nothing. Any of you turn into slicers while I weren't paying attention?" A look over his shoulder at the other irregular pilots, who are shaking their heads at him and looking a little less cocky. "Uh.. We oughta.. probably get to those birds, yeah? Quick now: who gets the Hutt-sucker?"
Tapping a few commands onto his wrist-mounted computer, Sar grunts softly. He reaches up and smacks the side of his helmet a few times, his HUD targeting element suffering some major interference. Grunting again, Sar reaches up and unclips his helmet, the lock hissing as it releases. He slides it off and fastens it to hang on his belt.
A hand is run through his hair before he rests it on the grip of his S-5. He looks to Ektor with a grin and says, "I might just have to give it a shot."
Clearing his throat and spitting onto the sand, Sar looks over at Poe and says, "We'll take him on the Jawa. Thicker hull than the Ocilu. Faster, too. You and Pava fly escort. How bout it?"
Merek doesn't have a lot to say about the situation, though he lifts a brow at the conversation. He doesn't have that much on him that is affected, as such he is content to keep watch even more as this means that more than likely there is someone that knows they might be about.
"Just remember not to leave me here if we end up in hyperdrive to get outta here," Sapphira announces over the comms. You know. Just to be triple sure. "I've drank Tionese liquor before, and it's no way for a girl to live." The redhead says. She's turned off all electronic monitoring on her scope, and is instead using it to sweep the surface around her. Sweep left. Sweep right. Sweep left. This time, when Sapphira's voice comes back on it's a bit clipped. "We've got incoming. One shuttle approaching low at high speed." Directional coordinates are included. She whispers the next part, as if to herself. "Two, three, four...Eight starfighters following." There's a pause, just long enough to take a breath and let it out again. "Not to alarm anyone, but ... I think that's Ren's ship." She just lets that one hang in the air.
Lofty splutters at the alarming news. The Talz grabs the prisoner with one giant paw and places him on his shoulder like a sack of Dresselian plums. Then the large alien is off, hustling toward the Dusty Jawa to deposit their valuable human. "Hurry!"
"Lofty, double time it to the Jawa and get him buckled into the cargo hold." Tess says when the prisoner is hoisted up onto his shoulder. After a few more seconds fiddling with her HUD, she too yanks her helmet off and hooks it to her belt. She waits for Sapphira's report and grunts, weapon now fully at the ready, "Well that's great, we're about to get hit with strafing runs and the only cover is our way out..." She sounds calm about it at least. "Yo, Maj... you might want to high step back to the ship, looks like it's about to be a target rich environment and I'm shit on ship mounted weapons." To Sapphira, "If we have to bug out, you might have to dig in and wait for evac. I won't let dad leave you, though." As if he would. "What's the plan, we sticking around to punch it out or trying to make a break for it?"
No sooner out of the shuttle then they are heading back in. Tallie, a wary eye turned towards the upper walls of the canyons, heads back to the shuttle ramp at a quick walk. Ren's name coming over the com gives the young pilot pause, a frown etches her mouth as the walk becomes a jog towards the ramp within a few steps of the Talz and his human burden. She jogs up and around the two of them. Sliding into her seat, she listens to the incoming reports one finger to the communications bead in her ear then she buckles down initiating systems on, bringing up scans and uncapping weapons in rapid order. "Systems are green for take off, weapons are green," she reports to Sar, half turning in her seat to count the incoming crew for the return.
"The Ocilu is drek in a fight, and we wouldn't be able to cover you in it. Take this man and get going." Turning to look at Ektor. "I need a fighter. Can I take one of yours so we can clear the way for the Jawa and Ocilu." Seeing as the Ocilu had their intel squints aboard, they could not leave it behind. Additionally, the ship was slow, weak, and barely armed making it a poor choice to escort as was initially pitched. Poe patted a closed fist on Sar's shoulder in parting. "Load up, everyone. This site is compromised. When you all get aboard the Jawa, scan him again for some internal tracker. We can't risk being found again." Poe looked back to Ektor but raised a hand to his own ear. "Testor, get the craft prepped for launch. We've got company closing fast."
Looking up as hears about the incoming ships and that one looks to be Ren's ship, the young Jedi pales a bit. "Sith spit." he says as he looks to the others. He isn't ready for him, nowhere near, but he looks to the others for a long moment, and will do what he needs to to help. "Let's get going." he says as he notices Poe getting the others moving. "Can I get a ride on the Jawa?" he asks. Quickly moving in that direction, his hand doesn't move to his weapon, if they have to fight in the air, that would be good. "What's their ETA?" he calls into his comm.
When things get moving, they build quickly. The prisoner shrinks back from the monstrous shaggy alien, but is hauled off his feet despite any struggles. As the Tionese are hastily grabbing up flight helmets and starting to dash pell mell for the varied fightercraft they had landed around the ancient plaza, the sound can be heard: the screeching of distant engines growing louder by the second. Ektor nods at Poe, as he is running toward his Preybird, âPick one, yeah?? Just send one of my pilots back on your boat!â Soon the ominous, predatory profile of an Upsilon-class shuttle looms into view, its cannons roaring to life offering cover fire as the boarding ramp lowers. It is no figure in black, but a squad of troopers in blue and white who emerge. Fortunately, the Resistance withdrawal is underway. Unfortunately, one of them has spotted Sapphira.
Not yet in range, but visible overhead are eight TIE/fo fighters in four precise pairs, each craft shining a brilliant white in the Argai sunlight. As they scream nearer, keen eyes might note the blue trim of Lianna's Throneguard squadron.
"Copy that," Sar says to Poe, turning to begin his jog back to the YT-1300. "Come on, Yuun!" is his response to the Jedi. It doesn't take very long for him to get back in the pilot's chair. "Lofty, stow our prisoner and get seated top-side. Tess, I want you on guard duty. If he gets too mouthy, stuff him under one of the floor panels. Lintra, watch those readouts. Start prioritizing targets. Sapphira...well...survive."
Merek looks over to the ramp while it lowers. As the troops come from it, he lifts up his pistol and aims to one of them, then he takes a shot at them twice. Both strike with clean accuracy while he moves back to the Jawa so he can board it with the others, as he makes a hand gesture for Lofty towards the ship, "Come on, I'll cover you getting the VIP in here!"
"I know he won't," Sapphira says in regards to Sar leaving her. "But a reminder always helps." she adds for Tess, though the message is clearly for both of them. And maybe, maybe it's just a little softer, a little more sincere. She speaks a bit louder into the comms for the next part though. "That doesn't mean leave me if you can avoid leaving me, mind you. Aw, Krif." As the troopers begin to emerge, Sapphira yanks back on the action of her rifle. Because why not. Let the covering fire begin. "Tion if you can ship me some coordinates where I can hole up with your friends, that'd be just grand." Pew.
Lofty hustles his girth inside the DUSTY JAWA with Lord Santhe bouncing on his shoulder. The prisoner gets a facefull of fluffy white Talz fur for the duration of the ride, then is tosses down in the cargo hold and cuffed awkwardly to a pipe. "Check prisoner for tracker!" he warbles through his snoot to anyone who can hear him. Then it is off to the topside turret, nearly slipping and falling on spilled FizzyGlug, sitting in the quad turret's gunning chair and flipping switches to warm up the guns. He delicately places an undersized communications headset on his head.
"On it." Tess is moving at a jog towards the Jawa's lowered ramp while the others board and get the ship ready. Shields are down and there's plenty of targets that might get a lucky shot off on the Jawa's sensitive instruments, so she takes a knee near the hydraulic piston on one side of the Jawa's loading ramp and brings up her rifle to bare down upon the blue clad troopers. "Good shot, Private." She says sideways to Merek. Her shot goes well wide of her target. "I need music..." She says quietly to herself as she sets up to use the landing strut as cover. "Can't do this without music."
"Getting out of here," Jessika calls back to the intelligence agents who never disembarked from the ship. "Close that hatch!" One of them steps from the seat to hit the panel. The ramp ascends to seal off against the ship, and it's stripping and final position triggers a quick hiss as compression in the cabin normalizes and signals its sealed off from the outside environment. Jessika engages the shuttle's repulsorlifts a second later and it raises up off the ground. She swivels her seat and lunges to slap the opposite side of the control panel, where the controls for the landing struts are waiting to lift the gears up into the belly of the ship.
The live armaments warning warbles as the Upsilon shuttle cannons make acquisition. A screen has six incoming TIE fighters to add to the mayhem. Tallie reads off the screens without looking up, "We have more incoming, TIEs will be on us within the next two minutes. I count six... no eight joining the party. Button this can up. Our armaments are live, we are good to go at your order, sir!"
Poe chooses the HLAF after watching the others scrambling for their places. A part of him wanted to draw his blaster and engage, but their mission required that they get away, and that meant blasting the TIEs out of the sky. He turns from the retreating troops as the shadows of the ships from above glance over, the iconic loud screams of TIEs passing by to establish positive I.D. on their targets. Poe makes it to the HLAF and motions for the pilot to join the others on the Jawa. He takes over the prep, climbing the ladder and kicking it off before plopping down into the cockpit of the Corellian made fighter.
"..I can fly anything.." Poe mumbles as he flips up a series of switches, pulls the canopy handle back to lock the canopy in place, and punches the repulsorlifts knob with a gloved hand. The pitched whine of instruments coming online give Poe a chance to feed his arms through the harness straps and adjust his head. "Coming online now..weapons are good." He disengaged the landing struts.
Yuun hears Sar as he calls for him to get a ride with him. The dark skinned Courscanti Jedi rushes towards the ship indicated, as he does he hears blaster fire starting. Rushing towards the ship, Yuun skids to a stop and turns and waits at the entrance of Sar's ship, "Come on people..!" he calls out as he grips his lightsaber hilt in his hand. The weapon isn't ignited, he's waiting just in case, but wants to make sure the others get on the ship.
Ektor climbs into the Preybird cockpit, and starts firing up systems long before buckling down either flight helmet or hatch. A low stream of profanities growled out through his teeth. "Bad Day is live, looking for air and locking down the hatch- he throws his flight helmet into the vacant co pilot's seat. "Can hardly see drek outta that thing, anyway," he mutters. His fellow Tionese are not so lucky. Though one R41 completes flight prep in time, a further two fighters are not powered up before the TIEs will come into range. As well, the pilot who Poe displaced- a Tionese woman- is struck by blaster fire while running toward the Jawa, knocked from her feet by the impact, and dragging herself with a scream toward the imagined safety of the light freighter. She won't make it without help.
"Let's go!" Sar shouts into the comm. "Get on this ship, now!" Sar says, just sitting in his chair and waiting for the rest of the folks to board. "Lofty! Open fire on those soldiers!"
Merek seems to be doing well with his shots, then it seems like one of them that is shooting back manages to hit him good in the hip which sears through his armor while it moves from thigh to side. He's floored with the blaster, although he shifts to take a stance and lifts up his blaster with which he takes two more clear shots that bring another down.
Some might wonder about where he found such skills, while the knight also looks to Tess, "I'll cover you, if you're picking up the pilot," he tells her. He seems to be managing quite well with making that cover.
Sapphira gets a clear body shot on her target, but he's still up and on his feet, so there's no celebrating to be had. Particularly as he chucks a shot her way. It's but for the grace of the stars that she's far enough out of range that the blaster bolt flies over her head to singe the rock wall above and behind her. She pauses long enough to turn her head and look at it, then she's back to her rifle again. "I'm so humped," she mutters to herself, then into the comms. "Pilots, once everyone's in the air if you could give me a quick strafe of these troopers, it'd be much appreciated." From there, it's back to the pew game.
Lofty eventually powers up the massive quad laser turret on the DUSTY JAWA. The Talz closes his lower set of low-light eyes to shield them from overly bright sunlight, and attempts to get an angle on the troopers approaching and firing. "No shot on whiteshells. Only on ships!" he warbles back to Sar, and then tracks one of the approaching TIE fighters with blue-and-white markings. He fires off a blast at the leader, THWAP THWAP THWAP, but only scalds her shields.
They're under some pretty heavy fire now and all the protection of the landing strut isn't doing much to assist in keeping her carbon scored armor from getting more battle scars. "Well this sucks." She murmurs and glances around the side of the strut just enough to take a blaster to the outermost side of her left arm. The spark of cybernetics and heated armor plating jerks her head away, but she slams her palm down upon it to quelch it with a tight grip of her gauntlet.
Tess grunts quietly and slings her rifle when the pilot goes down. She gauges the distance and then takes off at a run towards her, sliding along the sand up beside the Tionese pilot. "Wrap your arms around my neck... and take a deep breath, this is going to hurt like hell..." Her own arm protests, the cybernetics are damaged, but finally makes it around the girls waist and hoists her up. Making sure that she is between the pilot and the soldiers coming off the transport as she runs towards the loading hatch. "Almost onboard, I've got wounded." and a flesh wound of her own, "I'm fine, get your asses on board." Hauling the woman along with her. "Sar, prepare to dust off as soon as I touch that loading ramp, I'll lock my magboots and closes the hatch on the way out."
After getting the shuttle's landing gears up, Jessika pushes back into the seat and fixes it into its forward position. With the hatch raised and the landing struts out of the way, all she has to do now is engage the shields. They shimmer into existence, powered by the deflectors positioned around the starship. It's not a lot of protection, but it's better than no shields at all. Feeding power into the sublight engines, she avoids throwing the throttle to full lest she accidentally kick up a significant amount of dust and blind their ground team. What she does do is flip the shuttle about, towards the eight incoming TIE fighters. "Hang on to something." This is stupid. But Black Squadron has a history of doing stupid stuff.
Swinging her shuttle about towards the striped starfighters heading for the still-grounded fighters, Jessika utilizes the singular useful weapon available to her in a split-second: the craft's sole laser cannon. It's not powerful. It's not going to magically wipe out the eight fighters. But it just might give the other two Janissars time to make it off the ground, and it might peel a focused group into disarray as they try to split up for multiple targets. The laser cannon makes a solid connection, and Jessika banks as hard as the shuttle will let her after, in hopes that they'll pursue her.
Spawning the boards where she is tracking the TIEs, Tallie feeds them to both the Talz and Sar. "One slightly burned, seven to go. Knock them out of the sky." She bares her teeth in a humorless grin as she sends more solutions to the two of them. "Drek, drek...I want up and out of this place. Come on Tess, move your fastest."
Poe's HLAF further ignites its engines, huge heat waves circling from its rear as the engine roars and the craft moves. "Covering fire coming in, make the most of it, guys." The green bolts from his fighter make loud bass boosted 'PLOOP' noises, showering the opposing ground forces with dirt, debris, and shattered rock. Poe fires a series of these rounds, gliding beneath the Ocilu as it goes up to cover. Poe can hear small bits of rock bouncing off the exterior portion of his craft, and he can see where clouds of dust now separate the enemy ground pounders from those hunkered around the Jawa. He can not stay here long though. Shoving the throttle forward, Poe is slammed back against his seat. He growls.."Grrrwooow this thing really moves!" The HLAF is a flash in the sky, angling high and right over the Ocilu, who is left his wake that rattles the canopy.
Tracking the situation from the Jawa, Yuun was waiting on the others to board so that they can take off. From the looks of things he felt something wrong and people were coming but slowly, and as he turns his head he notices one of the pilots dropping to the ground. "Krif." he says and as he moves to go help Tess is already out in front picking up the pilot, his thumb activating the power stud on the stun saber. He quickly rushes towards Tess. IT's why he didn't board, he wanted to make sure everyone got back if not he would board and call to Sar to leave. Still he catches up to Tess, "Let's go I got your back." he moves quickly covering Tess and the wounded pilot.
Chaos reigns. The ancient plaza is riddled with explosions and errant cannonfire as eight elite TIEs scream in on the attack and a quartet of outmatched civilian craft (an R41, an HLAF, a Preybird, and the Ocilu) rise to desperately try and defend the craft and personnel still on the ground. In his modified bomber, Ektor looses an unguided cascade of concussion missiles, sending trails of detonation through the air in a futile bid to ward the attackers off, as do others.
But there are too many. A steam of emerald cannonfire strips apart a grounded interceptor, and another detonates a Starchaser just as it had powered up. Another strafing blast scores the unshielded hull of the Dusty Jawa II. Not a single TIE has fallen.
Poe's strafing flyby sends the Lianna troopers diving for cover, granting a single precious moment in which no blasters are directed against the rebels in the ground..
"We're dusting off, now!" barks Sar into the comms. With that, the yoke is angled back and the throttle is jammed forward. The Jawa's meaty engines roar to life and spit fire and dust in their wake. (Hold on, Tess and Yuun). But then he's jamming back on the throttle and engaging the control thrusters along the side of the hull.
The disc-shaped freighter whips around sideways, strafing the enemy shields left on the ground. He's gotta do /something/ to protect his "daughter".
Merek moves back from the ramp while he finds a place to settle in and relaxes back to tend to his wound while he does as well. He slides back the pistol into the holster while he does. He comlinks to the others, "How're things?"
Lofty's turret seat rotates as he uses his massive white paws to aim the quad gun. The four barrels track an incoming TIE fighter that strafes the DUSTY JAWA, waiting for it to pass before depressing the firing studs with his claws. He misses. "Eyeballs all over us!" he complains on the comm.
Tess stomps up the steps after everyone has boarded with the pilot hanging off her shoulder. "Melek, get your ass to medbay, you took a nasty shot out there." The sargeant saw, but there was no time to let someone not shoot until everyone was on board. "What's the situation with Sap, pops? She good down there?" Said on her way to the medbay herself with one injured pilot in tow.
Jessika's efforts to peel part of the attacking TIE squadron off from their strafing run are in vain. All she does is delay the inevitable, and attract attention to herself. Turning the shuttle so the broad expanse of the sky is the only thing in her viewport, she puts the throttle to full and ignores the sensors entirely for the moment. Within range of the scrambling array, they're useless. The repulsorlifts have been cut off, and the craft's engines flare brightly to signify their state at full power. "Make sure you're strapped in back there," Jessika raises her voice rather than trying to look back. "And make sure your life support gear is on." This is going to be a horrible ride. Breaking atmo and making it out of the gravity well alive? Rough.
"Up and running!" Tallie whoops as the ramp is pulled in and the freighter is spinning and lifting. A thumb flips the cap on the missile launcher and she is gritting her teeth at the wait to climb high enough to use the missiles. The fact that Ren might be in the mix of the incoming may be playing on the woman's nerves. She fires the missiles at the most elusive of targets and misses without a TIE even needing to jink to avoid them.
It felt like every encounter they had against TIEs led to the revelation that they were piloted by Ace operators. Poe was exasperated by this, but given the surprise ambush and overwhelming numbers, he was not surprised. He took a hard hit, shields going down to half. "BB-8, work on thos--oh yeah.." BB-8 wasn't with him, and that left a sinking feeling in his torso. Poe displays expert piloting, chasing after one of the TIEs to open a vector for the freighters. Unfortunately, like before, the pilot he chose to engage was pretty kriffin' good. "Damn it, come on!" He yelled. He looked out his canopy to see the Ocilu angling up to break the atmosphere. "Testor, I'm coming to take the heat for you." And his craft broke at an odd angle, swinging after her, but not without a pilot chasing him.
With the short time of no shooting, Yuun covered Tess and the wounded pilot she was carrying. HIs blade didn't extinguish until they got to the Jawa. Seeing that everyone else was aboard thier ships and two of the fighters that are now just smoking piles of junk with their pilots. Yuun gives a small bow of his head and prayer sent to them as they now reside in the Force. He quickly moves up the ramp, "I'm in, close up and let's get out of here." he says. His weapon off and now clipped to his belt. Yuun moves off to find a place to sit.
The frantic scramble to escape is underway, as the sole surviving Tionese Starchaser takes a hit, but remains in the air. Ektor hammers the shields of Throneguard 4 with his heavy cannons, driving it off Jessika's tail, but taking a hard hit from his own pursuing TIE in turn. "Eh, kriff ne sideways. Shields down. I can hear Tenner laughing at me from here.."
On the ground, Sapphira seems to have vanished in all the confusion, leaving the Sienar troopers to scour the wrecks for any survivors.
"Sapphira, what is your location?" Sar asks over the comms, trying his best to spot his dumber daughter out in the desert. He grunts and jams the throttle forward again, sending the Jawa out of the canyons and into the dogfight. Oh, hey; a bad guy.
Training in on the TIE, Sar squeezes the firing nub on his controls, sending a fusillade of bolts from the pair of heavy blasters mounted under the cockpit. HWEK HWEK HWEK. Kapew! Weeeeeeiiiiiiirrrrr. BOOOOM.
Merek picks up his medkit while he moves towards the same place Tess has, while he unwraps some supplies. He takes out a few gadgets which he uses to hypospray him self, and he takes a roll of gauze which has bacta on it to place upon it also. He tends also to the VIP, so that they will be alright as well.
Lofty whirls the DUSTY JAWA's turret around aftward, lining up a shot on pursuing TIE fighters. Throneguard #7 scored a solid hit on the shields so he is in Lofty's sights; however, Sar yanks the ship up out of the canyons, causing Lofty's cannon burst to go wide. A particularly tall canyon formation is impacted and explodes with superheated rocks and explosive force.
"Just get me in close, I'll jump down and grab her and jump jet out." Tess says over comms, clearing out the area around the loading hatch. Ready to slap it open with her maglock boots and jump jets to get down to Sapphira and then back up again without Sar having to land.
Weaving in and out of incoming fire, Jessika compensates for the shuttle's shortcomings through flying alone. The TIEs are faster than she is by a good margin, meaning there's no outrunning them. She can only evade their shots. She has support, though. The fire from Ektor and Poe keep a majority of the enemy craft away from her. "Thanks for the support!" She hates this, though. Hates being the one running away from a fight, rather than charging into it. She swears to herself if she makes it out of this, she's not getting stuck on shuttle duty again. The mistake is a lack of co-pilot, too. She knows every maneuver counts, because with the shields taking heat, there's no time to take hands away from the flight controls to try to balance it.
But that doesn't mean her friends aren't having a hard time. "Get out of here, Tion! You're taking too much damage." Flying escort works only when there's a ship and a pilot to fly it. Knowing she's already taken too much time away from evading, Jessika doesn't even think about a direction before banking that way, ensuring another salvo of TIE fire misses the shuttle.
The young pilot pulls herself together and targets something that is not small, eyeball shaped and capable of jinking at high velocity. Straight at the transport on the ground, Tallie whispers, "Boom!" Scans tell her that any live weapons are now offline. She allows herself two satisfied exhales before sending new solutions to both Sar and Lofty and fervently wishing she was in Black 5.
As promised, Jess wouldn't have long to deal with T8. Poe came in from the stern of the ship, blasting the fighter a number of times until its shields fried and sparked, and Poe's cannons overheated. "He should be off your tail now!" Poe's reward for sticking to fighter duty earns him the ire of T1, who is hot on his stern taking Poe's shields down as well. Sparks fly from Poe's console and he flinches from it, jerking the stick instinctively to break off just as the other pilot breaks off. He has a feeling he won't be able to get away from them so easily. He frantically begins to run a diagnostic to repair his shields, rerouting auxiliary power to help them recharge.
Ektor is in a heavy fighter, flying on a straight approach in pursuit of much faster starfighters, who outnumber him. The bomber is having a namesake bad day, as his shield generators are struck, and the stench of ozone, fused circuits and stale smoke flood the cockpit. The Preybird is rocked again with more cannon fire, and he grins despite himself as Jess makes that frank appeal over the comms. "Hey, don't be racist. I ain't the only Tion out here, yeah-" one of the last displays still functioning on his battered heads-up display is the targeting computer, which flickers back to life as they gain enough altitude, just in time to display the destruction of Fa-Zan aboard the last R-41. "...Oh. Yeah, guess you don't gotta be any more specific." He breaks off, trying to lose his tails as the frenetic brawl spirals higher into the thinning atmosphere.
As sky gives way to space, and the battered Resistance craft finally clear the gravity well, a last minute redirection is ordered from Major Dameron, ensuring that the vessels will jump to a safe midpoint to give themselves the needed time to verify whether their cargo is being tracked, before at last returning either to home base, or for the Yavok left behind.