Log:Resistance: Tricky Swap
The planet Omwat is a great mottled wall of green and yellow that dominates one's view, while the distant ring of Azzameen station is visible only to long-range sensors as the Resistance corvette and fightercraft circle slowly around the pair of bulk freighters that have rendezvoused at the edge of the planet's gravity well to make some unknown exchange of precious cargo. One ship is the Tridarian, a civilian BFF-1 heavy freighter, a long standing ally to the Resistance. The other is the Errantry, a Republic Navy GR-75 bulk transport. Moored together for the clandestine transfer, the meeting has been tedious and uneventful, thus far.
Black Leader had launched just a few minutes ago and was now cresting over the top of Yelsik's Valor, moving along the length of the ship gracefully. With S-foils closed and in cruise mode, the ship moved at a faster pace than it would when they're opened. "This is Black Leader. All call-signs report in and form on my wing. Extend your sensors to maximum effective range and keep your heads on a swivel." Black Leader dips over the bow of the ship, rocking from side to side a bit before leveling along the freighter. He yawns a bit, just as BB-8 warbles something. "Yeah buddy, those freighters are pretty damn slow. Just watch out.. you know how these things go for us."
"Black Two, reporting in." The comm toggle lasts just long enough for Jessika Pava to get her message across. It's a verbal confirmation of the visual one the Major already has, because Jessika's X-Wing cruises to the starboard of Black Leader, s-foils closed for speed. Compliance with the operational orders is not something she needs to actively engage in to accomplish. At work in the astromech slot of her craft, BB-A11, affectionately referred to as Ali, is busy setting her snubfighter’s sensor range to maximum. Jessika nonetheless checks these sensors, and the pips represented on them, as a double-check system. Ali, as a droid, can process all the information faster than she can, but their success is based on a partnership.
"Black 6, reporting for duty." David starts off, an almost mantra-like statement at this point. His gloved fingers touch the controls gently, as if the craft is an old friend. The s-foils open, and Ones, his all-powerful R2-unit spins his dome behind the cockpit. "Scanners operating at maximum range."
"Black Nine, all systems nominal and head is rotating as per Leader's request" The crackle and interference of space somewhat dull Ran Fyr'kria's usually melodious tones, but the general smugness in his voice mostly makes it through. His hands run across the console, setting the sensors to their max, over the complains of his R3 unit. "Hush," he says, in a much less pleasant tone. "You'll do what you're ordered to do." His T-85 takes the appropriate place in the formation, and his engines glow to life.
"Zenith-5" Still enjoying the new-ship smell that comes with a brand new E-wing, Flight Cadet Diaz taps the comm panel to chime in: "Zenith-5, reporting in," not terribly chatty this pilot is as she mutes her end of the comm again and sets to work scanning the system and running another round of system checks. New Fighter Smell!
Having left after the briefing, Karas was already suited up and ready to go. Having moved up the ladder to his fighter, he looks around the deck of the hanger bay, watching as the other pilots moved and got into their fighters. He smiles and he closes his eyes and saying a small prayer for them all to come home safely. "May the Force be with us." he says as he looks back to see Spark loaded into his X-Wing. He smiles and he settles down into the pilot's couch. His hands begin flipping switches and prepping the fighter for pre-flight. It doesn't take a long time at all, the newer fighters didn't take much time, he smiles a little.
Buckling up and looking through the canopy of his fighter, his helmet on his head and resting his hands over the controls of the throttle and pilot's yoke. Letting out a breath, he watches as his wingman launches Black 5. The repulsor engines lift the fighter up and the landing struts fold into the fighter and guiding the snub fighter forward and through the shields, Black 4 engines flare up and the T-85 rockets out, pulling hi fighter up and doing a barrel roll. He smiles as he forms up with the others, "Black 4 here." he says as he looks into the blackness of space.
Inside Black 12, Rey is going over her computer readout. "Been awhile." She says to her co-pilot in the form of Artoo housed behind her. He beeps softly back at her. "Ship's in good shape, so it seems." Another beep is heard.
Outside the fighter, the X-wing rockets toward the others and her voice comms in. "Black twelve here. Ready to go." The engines of the starfighter flare to life as it speeds toward the others.
"Suka, in formation and ready to roll" crackles Hatty's voice over the comms. She's an old hand at this particular bird, but new to flying with this squadron, and slots her fighter in smoothly at the very edge of the formation. Gyroscopic positioners rotate her cockpit into position with a mechanical whir, shields engaging and weapons coming online with a tap of her fingers to the controls.
"Ohhh. baby..." Sings the horrible voice of Elrych as he rockets in behind Rey, his music playing softly in his cockpit. "Black eleven reporting in..."
"Bored Seven, standing byyyyy." Black 7 is in the right formation and everything, but occasionally it does a slow spin along its keel while keeping formation. "Uuuuuuugh," Ektor groans to Tenner for the umpteenth time since the hyperspace travel to the system started. The droid has stopped humoring him with a response. Eyeing the two big freighters joined at the airlocks, he drawls lazily over the comms, "Anyone else find it funny that we got sent out here to watch two bulk freighters bang each other all day?" He's exaggerating, it's barely been a few minutes.
For once, eyesight rather than the blinking of sensors is the first clue that there is a new arrival in the system: allowing the gravity of Omwat to pull them directly out of hyperspace (putting dangerous strain on their hyperdrive motivators) is the aggressive head-on profile of a First Order Nebulon-K assault frigate, arriving too close and at far too precise a time to be coincidence. Promptly, a half dozen TIE/fo fighters (Alpha 1-6) launch from its hangars, but curiously they do not accelerate toward the Resistance ships. Instead, as the frigate looms into maximum weapons range and fires its first probing turbolaser blasts, the TIE fighters hold position, forming a defensive screen in front of the frigate, protected in turn by the big ship's point defense guns. Mere moments later, six more TIE/fo fighters (Beta 1-6) emerge from hyperspace, three on either flank of the frigate.
Poe is content to listen to Ektor complain as the others report in. He compares the names he hears with the displayed IFF signatures, just to double check. With the wing formed up, Poe feels pretty confident in their numbers for once. It was BB-8 that alerted him to the sudden presence of First Order, and he adjusts to look. "I see them!" Poe watches as the TIEs form up, and he watches as they form a defensive line in front of the frigate. When Beta squadron appears, Poe spots a vulnerability in their formation indicative of an inexperienced squadron. "Everyone find a target and put ourselves between that frigate and our objectives. Call your targets as you fire, and IF you need help, announce it. I recommend looking at Beta squadron, their formation is loose, and can give us a path to their frigate to wipe out some surface cannons." It's Poe that leads the team in, engaging once within range and blasting poor Beta 1 hard with all four cannons. "Hitting Beta 1." Poe flies right at them, the aggressive stance forcing the other pilot to fly right into Black 6's weapons lane. Poe cuts through and eyes the frigate. "Valor, put yourself between this ef-oh frigate and our objective, and turn every cannon you've got to help us out. I'm making an intercept course to see about some of those cannons!"
"Copy, Black Leader. Following you." David again intones, as routinely as before. "Quality hit, Lead, I'll clean 'em up for ya." he offers in support, aiming for the same target Poe leaves behind, his laser fire striking true and allowing Black 6 to pass harmlessly through some space dust that was a TIE Fighter just seconds before. "On your tail, Black Leader. Moving to engage the frigate with you."
"No, I don't think they--," Jessika is chatting with Ali when the Nebulon-K comes out of hyperspace. A fluency in binary negates any need to consult the screens on her instrument panel to see the bleeps and whistles translated into Aurebesh, which means her gaze, tinted by the visor of her helmet, is free and ready to witness the spectacle occur. "Those aren't pirates." She doesn't toggle her communications button to transmit that information, because no one needs the obvious stated. A quick flick with a leather-gloved finger switches her craft from cruise mode to attack, and its s-foils split apart to create the recognizable X the craft is so known for. This automatically disables the safeties on her laser cannons, and in time to engage.
The lancing salvo of fire from the tips of her wings pepper the darkness of space, but the black hull of the TIE/fo in question is strobed by the superheated gas, helping highlight the visual look she has on it through her viewport to pair with the image of it wavering in the crosshairs of her targeting computer. "Confirmed, Black Leader. Black Two engaging Beta Two." That part of it is already done. All that's left now is to close the distance and continue the fight.
The Bothan in Black 9 was lazily stroking his fur with one hand and twisting the yoke with the other when the First Order ship jumped into the system. Immediately Ran straightens up and drops the brush he'd been holding, using both hands to get the ship under control. "Alright," he says to the droid, "pay close attention to what I'm doing and if you think you can help- keep it to yourself. As the other members of his squadron streak towards the fighter screen, Ran's breathing grows ragged. He takes a moment and closes his eyes, drawing in a deep breath and letting it out slowly. When his eyes open again, a grim smile crosses his long face. He hits the throttle.
Regardless of Poe's orders, Black 9 closes on the lead TIE in Alpha flight. "Black 9, Alpha 1 in my sights." As soon as he sees the green light of a target lock he opens fire, and the TIE-fighter easily spins out of the way of his stream of single-fire shots. The other pilots hear a sharp intake of breath before Ran snaps the comm off. "DID YOU CHANGE THE TOGGLE FROM QUAD FIRE," he bellows at his droid, who warbles a hesitant response.
"Black Leader, Suka. Acquiring target lock on the f-oh frigate. If you all could keep those ties off my ass in the meantime, it'd be appreciated." The lumbering b-wing pivots on its axis, swooping around ninety degrees and strafing away from the main formation of fighters as its pilot starts keying in a trajectory for her weapons payload.
Karas hears their orders, "Roger that Black Leader." Karas calls seeing that Beta Squadron is flying in a loose formation, he didn't like that, the F/O normally isn't sloppy at all. Flipping the switch to open the S-Foils of his fighter, the T-85 rockets forward, and he quickly moves into position, thinking he has a shot, Karas pulls the trigger but his shots miss Beta 4. "Firing on Beta-4" he calls. The T-85 X-Wing pulls up sharply rolling out and diving slightly to get behind Beta-4 not wanting to let it get away.
Black 12 swoops in after the rest with its engines shot and the pilot shifting the ship around in an angle to take it toward the Beta fighters of the First Order. "Black 12 on Beta 6." The young Rey's voice sounds out.
A moment later and her X-wing's cannons come to life, sending sizzling red energy of death toward the First Order fighter, who nimbly starts to dodge her attack!
"Just another run, that's all this is, just another run. No biggie, nothing to sweat, right Voltz?" Diaz mumbles to the R5 unit which is really mostly a R-5 unit that's been cobbled together with mismatched parts of a bunch of R4's and R5 but is more R-5 than anything else. All of this runs through the pilot's brain at a fast pace as she flexes her hands and takes the first pot-shot at one of the enemy ships, the turbo lasers splashing harmlessly off into space. "No Joy," she mutters and punches up the targeting scanners again and prepares for another go-round.
Elrych continues to sing to his tunes even as the command to engage comes through. He opens himself up to the force and can see where Beta 6 will be. A smirk forms on his lips as he is right there to blast the TIE with his cannons. "Eleven on Six. Shields gone, hull damage. Nice work Rey-Rey. Just a few more like that and we will be golden."
"Black 5, I have target lock on Alpha 3." Behind her the Unnamed Droid chirps. "I know, I know, look at that bad boy go!" she whistles appreciation as the TIE jinks and drops into a vector that she expected him to go but much faster than she calculated. Red lasers lance just over the canopy of the TIE as it jinks to port and slides away from her attack. "Baaaaah," she screams and does a roll to starboard to avoid return fire. The pilot doesn't even know where to get her in his targets and she rolls back up under him to try again.
"If this is banging, it's awfully..." Miri's quip is cut short by the incoming bogeys. "Sakir copies. Black Two, I've got your wing," she sings out, peeling off in formation with Pava. She sees an opening and dives, coming up underneath the TIE, scoring a hit, albeit off the shields.
"This is Captain Kelchu of the Errantry- we're breaking dock with the Tridarian, and moving for a hyperspace jump point, now. Some of my crew are still aboard the other ship, but we'll need to pick them back up, another day." As the captain of the bulk transport states this, and as the two behemoth freighters slowly separate, the first salvos of turbolaser fire from the First Order frigate sizzle through space; at such range, only one connects, still slamming hard into the Tridarian's shields.
As the dogfight erupts in earnest, Ektor veers hard to drive at the frigate along with Ran and Behat'i. "I heard something about blowing up big guns, yeah? That sounds good. And right, Bettina? Like two real slow whales." Slipping past his opposite TIE without injury on either side, the Tionese drawls, "Through the fighter screen. Taking a run at the forward turbolaser batteries."
"Nice shot, Black 6!" Poe says, adjusting his course slightly and shoving the acceleration stick forward. All four engines on the stern of his craft emit bright red circles of energy as he closes his S foils to close the distance. "Roger, Black 6. I'm moving quick, so stick to me." Poe angles after the stern of the frigate, twisting hard to stay on the threatening side and navigate dangerously along the exterior hull. "Copy that Suka. If any one is free, watch our bomber Suka. I'm going for--" Poe's craft took a hit from a strafing fighter, both pilots adjusting course to avoid each other. "..Black Leader going for a surface cannon." Just as he said it, his cannons split open again and lit up red, two shots missing initially, but the final two splash, splitting the turbo cannon into dust and debris. Poe's craft speeds up again, S foils closing as he flew right in front of the bridge.
"Fast won't be a problem for me, sir." David replies easily, pushing the throttle forward to follow Poe's maneuver. "Got a straight run at a tower." he announces, readying his shot after Poe's destruction of one of the cannons. He shoots, then has to dodge away from the same TIE that hit Poe. "Got a hit, target's still up though. Coming around."
"Don't reroute anything, just spread existing power among the deflector shields and work on restoring lost energy!" Jessika has little time to say anything else. She's in evasive mode, with her craft juking and swaying to try and stay out of the firing matrix the enemy pilot is looking at. Her shield indicators flicker, and her astromech reports success with following the order she just gave. "Black Eleven, no names over the net!" If there was any name to not say on a frequency that could be potentially hacked, that was the one. "Black Two to Bettina, thanks for the support." Whipping her craft around, Jessika kicks the pedal and yanks back on the throttle, both visibly slowing down and then compensating by guessing which way the TIE will juke.
She guesses right, but the nimble TIE/fo banks despite the solid indicator she has to fire, and her shots, which should have smacked its shields, go wide into the void. She has to admit some small, grudging respect for the pilot in question, but that doesn't stop her from accelerating and working to get the shot that will eradicate it out of space.
Everything goes to hell relatively quickly. While Ran struggles with the controls of a new type of fighter, Alpha 1 easily slides behind him and opens fire. His ship shudders as it takes the hits, and the Bothan emits an alarmingly high-pitched shriek. He eyes his comms, making sure his line wasn't open for the outburst, and grits his teeth. The R3 unit behind him bleats, and Ran hisses in response. "I underSTAND I would have missed anyway, but it's the PRINciple of the thing. Just get those shields back up!" He pulls back on the stick and his fighter climbs, juking and weaving to try to get a bead on Alpha 1. He squeezes trigger and four lances of light streak out in unison, missing the TIE completely. Growling, Ran snap-rolls his ship away from the dogfight and towards the frigate itself.
Black 12 continues after Beta 6. "Good shooting, Eleven." She says over the comms. "We've got him boxed in, I think. Almost there..." She continues to fire her cannons at the fighter, chasing after it in hot pursuit while she tries to listen to the other comm chatter.
Elrych sticks with Rey as they weave through the chaos of battle, he has to pull away though as Six comes in of his aft and scores a single harmless splash across hus shields. Thankfully Rey is there to let him to break off. El pulls back on the speed break turning the ship around at almost a 180. Kid his R2 unit squeals as the g forces hit as he burns the thrusters at full hurtling towards six. The TIE is can't ght unaware as Rey sets him up, occupying him with her fire. He explodes in a fiery explosion. "Alright Rey, let's get you one now."
Between Voltz's repair abilities, which sound more like the droid is breaking stuff than fixing stuff, and her abilities to finagle and fix stuff on the fly, Diaz gets the shields flickering back into place just enough to keep her from flying sans shields entirely. Go Go gadget!
"Engaging Alpha 3, Black Leader" she says calmly. "Oh, do I know how to pick them, eh? Am I complaining? No, but there is always at least one good pilot in the squadron. Not always tha leader - like the best are NOT good FO leadership material." These slow words are set against a background of high speed maneuvers as she fires misses and takes a vertical to the freighters ride straight up to flip and return to renew the fight.
"Whales would be more elegant, Black 7" Miri replies. Apparently chatter helps her focus. She flips and comes around for another attack run when Beta 3 comes to his buddy's aid, scoring a hit off of her shields. "Bettina, engaging Beta Three, and you're welcome, Black Two!" she sings out, using her ship's call sign for the first time. It feels good. Even if Beta 3 is slippery and uncooperative, refusing to get shot.
The Bunkerbuster is stirred by the deft use of thrusters to shield the bulk freighters from the incoming fire of the frigate Ascendant, and not a moment too soon, as turbolasers hammer the shields. "This is the Valor, shields at sixty percent. We can't take many more hits like that." Frantic efforts to restore shield power are underway while the Tridarian and Errantry glide into position for their escape vectors. The fire linked proton torpedoes fired by Behat'i slam unerringly into the frigate's forward shields in tandem with the Yelsik's pair of turbolasers. The Resistance still can't match the firepower of the larger ship, but they are punching far above their class.
In Black 7, careening through cannon fire in a terribly fuel inefficient manner, Ektor manages to navigate through the frigate's magnetic field, dodging fire from TIEs behind, and point defense guns ahead to skim the surface of the First Order warship, annihilating a pair of turbolaser turrets in a deft display of destruction. "I dunno, I seen a lot of whales, and I don't think they'd be all that 'elegant' at work. Oh, two big guns down yeah?" Laughing, he yells at his droid, "Tenner! Grow fingers do you can flip my tail off, yeah?"
"Roger, Black 6." Poe says, spinning slightly only to angle sharply toward the frigate once more and toward their turbo laser batteries again. Angling another pass, Poe obliterates the damaged turret struck by Dave, then flies past the expanding explosion. "Splash another turbo laser turret. We'll need some more guns on these turrets to help the Valor. She's strong, but we don't want to test our luck." Poe flips one of the switches on his dash and adjusts course along the frigates exterior again, weaving between obstacles. Hearing Jess address the issue of CommSec, Poe's thoughts briefly land on Rey. A transmission from the Valor earns a cursory glance toward the distant Corvette, and subsequent dog fight of all the fighters. "Don't forget our objective team. Those freighters must make it away."
"Copy, will break off my attack run and try to keep those TIEs off Ektor. Black 7, I'm on you. Give 'em hell. And a bunch of bombs, too." He breaks off, avoiding laser fire skillfully as the cannons turn to chase him. Turning to actually take aim at the tail on Black 7 gives one of the cannons a light hit on him, and he reports such with laser fire at the target he's chasing. "No hit. Keep on the objective."
There's a lot less turbolaser fire filling the darkness of space. Jessika can't see why that is, she just knows that it's the state of things. The swarm of fighters weave through one another, and Jessika banks and rolls around a pair of dogfighting craft to stay on Beta Two's tail. While the pilot has failed to acquire any clear shot on her, Jessika is finding that all hers are being avoided at what seems like an almost imperceptible last second. She can see the targeting computer lights flaring, meant to provoke her finger into squeezing the trigger. Every time she does, the cannon fire she expects to put some sort of dent into the TIE/fo's shields is narrowly avoided. Until they aren't. But it's not her fire that does it. It comes from elsewhere.
Choking down the growl of frustration threatening to rise in her throat, Jessika veers off and shuts her s-foils for a quick, unexpected burst of speed. Disengaging from Beta Two so as not to stack friendly forces on one target, she changes her heading for the Nebulon-K. "Black Two is changing targets to the frigate's cannons, Black Leader."
Black 9 was tearing over the surface of the First Order frigate at full speed, seeking out the brilliant flash of a firing turbo-laser, when his R3 screamed a warning. Immediately Ran pulled back on the stick, climbing away from the ship's hull and rolling to port. The Bothan swears in his native tongue and finds Alpha 1 on his scopes. Growling, he pulls his ship around and drastically cuts his speed, letting the Tie streak out in front of him. He holds for a moment, carefully lining up his shot, and then pulls the trigger again. The shot comes much closer to landing this time, the TIE only narrowly avoiding the quad blast. Ran grimaces and throttles up, continuing the cat and mouse game. Briefly he thumbs through the status of the other ships, pausing to watch another of the enemy frigate's turbolasers grow dark and hear Poe's advice. The Bothan sighs dramatically, then rolls back towards the capital ship. "Keep an eye out for that TIE, Chamberlain. And keep those shields UP while you do it," he says, clicking on the comm. "Black Nine, gonna pick off those point defense lasers while you kind beings take the cannons."
"No chipping the paint. No ruining the new ship smell. Come on, Voltz, see if you can get those shields working better," Diaz grins at the rapid-fire binary that Voltz slings back in answer. But the shields DO get better, so that's really what counts. Diving and ducking her way around the not-as-empty-as-it-looks space, Diaz gets a lock on the same enemy ship she'd missed last time. The trio of heavy laser cannons open fire simultaneously and lash out at the enemy fighter.
"I'd prefer it if they would all just buzz off, really." Black 12 replies to her wingman in Black 11. The X-wing banks hard to starboard and comes around to see Black 2 being fired upon. Rey lines up her cannons and takes aim just as another light blast rolls across her ship's shields and makes her fall into a dive!
With throttle cut to half speed, she comes back around to re-engage on Beta 2's tail. Her cannons light up and land three blasts against its hull. "Eleven and I have got your back, Black Two." She reassures the squad's XO.
It was time for a little of the rope-a-dope. Rey and Ely had gotten into the back and forth of combat, tag teaming TIE's seemed to work in this instance. When she's comes in, take a shot, and pull away. He'd be right there for the moment of opportunity. However, he misses narrowly. "He's coming right for you, Twelve. You got this." El maneuvers to get a better position in case Rey can't hit him harder.
"Re-engaging, Alpha 3" Tallie pulls back the throttle so hard to avoid incoming that her Astromech squawks at the stress. Pulling Gs does not faze her but missing the TIE that she has been hazing while the rest of the squadron pound the frigate has her gritting her teeth. Targeting gives her the green and all four cannons fire and miss. 'We're not going to be lucky are we this turn around." But the TIE is having no more luck in tagging her either. Teeth bared in a grin without humor, she eases into a turn on the port rudder and leaves the engagement or so she wants the other pilot to believe.
"Whales can be elegant, they -- THAT'S RIGHT, EAT IT!" Miri cries out as she takes out B3's shields. She wheels and rolls, looking for her next shot. Her little R4 unit beeps nervously, and is duly ignored. The beeps and whistles continue at a fever pitch. "Henibi, unless you're warning me of something dire, shut up more," she grumbles.
Ektor continues his wild and erratic flight path, as his wing mate chases the Alpha 2 TIE off his tail, the Tionese pilot laughs into the comms, "Sounds like a plan, Black- en, kriff I forgot what number you are, yeah? Thanks anyway!" Diving back into an attack run on the Frigate's heavy guns, Black 7 threads the space in between the spitting point defense turrets like passing through the eye of a needle. "Whales.. are not.. elegant."
The Yelsik manages to restore a measure of lost shield strength as the withering fire of the FO frigate abates, somewhat. Yet neither freighter has yet escaped into hyperspace.
"Copy Black two." Poe replies, hearing that Jess is changing course toward the frigate. Poe is not alone in his pursuit of turrets, as the streaking lasers seem to indicate. Black Leader twists in an effort to avoid one shot but takes a shaking hit that bring his shields down. "You know what to do, buddy. I'll handle that turret." Poe engages again, twisting as a strafing fighter attempts an 'easy' hit only to miss awfully! Two cannon shots miss as two hit the turret, and Poe is angling away from the destructive explosion. "Splash another turret. Valor, what's our situation over there? We're getting chewed up by fighters!" Black Leader is seen blazing over the surface of the frigates bow again, red engines bright and craft moving fast.
"Copy that, Black 7. Didn't do much, but he's off your tail. Small issue though. He's on mine now." David grins, gesturing behind him for Ones to see. "You know what to do. Fix those shields." he replies, still unable to get a shot on his pursuer. "Black Leader, Black 7, take down that big bastard so we can get back to the freighters.
Not even swapping to a stationary target aids her frustration. The quick shift to cruise mode leaves the TIE/fo attempting to hit her six baffled at the sudden burst of speed, and it's a speed she maintains right up to engaging with the Nebulon-K. A fruitless endeavor that sees her s-foils snapping open and her laser cannon fire hitting absolutely nothing. All the salvo sails past an unmoving target, and Jessika stares at the lances of cannon fire until they're nothing but little pinpricks disappearing against the darkness of space. The leather of her gloves creak with the knuckle-blanching grip of her fingers tightening, and silence reigns supreme in her cockpit, broken only by the chatter that fills her ears as other pilots report their statuses.
Speeding along the surface of the First Order Frigate, Black 9 begins to draw a bead on one of the point defense cannons blasting away at his squadron. Just as he enters optimal range, there's a wild scream from the R3 unit fixed behind him. The Bothan jerks his stick reflexively, and his first shot goes wide...but so does the first shot of the TIE-fighter on his tail. "I see him," Ran says, too loudly for the small space of the cockpit. "SHIELDS!"
Black 9 enters an evasive pattern, rolling and weaving as he closes in on the defense laser again. The squealing from Chamberlain grows louder and louder as he lines his shot up, but the Bothan holds his ship steady. As soon as the target reticule glows green he fires a full blast from his lasers, annihilating the turret. Immediately he snap rolls starboard, away from the frigate and into the void, barely dodging concentrated fire from Alpha Leader. Ran allows himself another smile.
"Yes, I know they're shooting at us, Voltz," Diaz's tone of voice is terse but pitched at a reassuring volume all the same. "That's what they're supposed to do." The steady stream of binary that comes from her R5 unit is rather rapid at at an intense decibel. "Yeah, but we're not running cargo at the moment, so it's not quite the same thing," said as she sends the E-wing diving and spinning around again, neatly avoiding the incoming fire aimed in her general direction. "Shifting targets, lets try for the one that Miri's tangling with," sending the E-wing into a half spin as she shifts angle of fire and... ends up hitting absolutely nothing. Again.
Black 4 is still hanging in there, Karas has been dancing with his partner since the start of this party and he is getting tired of this dance partner. Still hearing the others working on their respective targets and dealing damage or putting a hurt on the frigate. Still he needed to focus as his shots miss again. Though now getting an idea and frustrated with himself for not doing this sooner. He banks hard as he narrowly evade the TIE f/o fighter. "Still dancing with Beta 4, but have an idea." he calls into his comm. He weaves his fighter through the cacophony of laser fire, and now pulling up and rolling as he nears the enemy frigate, deciding to use it to help aid him in his fight.
Black 12 continues to tail after Beta 2. Her cannons light up and zip past the fighter, but the pilot in the First Order craft manages to avoid every shot. The same fate befalls her wingman's attempts and Rey's eyes look right, then left to find Elrych's starfighter visually. "Keep on them, if nothing else we're making their life harder, right?" She doesn't sound very encouraged by her own words.
Rey has her own troubles to deal with, knowing that she's being fired on as well, but her craft stays nimble as she sweeps from side to side, even does a roll because those are great tricks!
And so the tables have turned. While maneuvering to get in on the other side of 12 so that he can come in on the pull away once Rey lets her cannons roar, his danger sense tingles and he pulls away sharply. It's not quick as one of the Alpha TIE's rocks his shields into nothing. Alarms go off, sparks fly, but reports say no damage. "Kid... get on it..." He triggers the comms, "12, I've lost shields. Hang on, making a wide pass." He turns, coming about once again while Kid argues with him. "No! That's not where that goes you dullard! Why are you asking me?! Do you need another memory wipe?!" He attempts a shot but it goes wide as the TIE turns away just at the right moment. "Drek..." He watches his sensors. No shields... maybe today would be the day the cold sweet black took him into her embrace.
That long lazy turn that Tallie made away from the engagement becomes an ambush as the TIE takes the bait and turns away from her to target the freighter. Red flares from her laser cannons to light up the TIE with a little hello from the Resistance. The Unnamed Astromech clicks contentedly as target is acquired for her last two cannon. "Boom, " she whispers.
"I'm right, you're wrong. I'll prove it when we're back to the barn" Miri says (regarding whales) stubbornly, through clenched teeth as she spins and weaves, trying to confuse Mr. B3 as she tangles and tangoes with him. She deftly dodges his fire, and she tries to square him up for the kill.
The captain of the Yelsik reports, "Shields holding stable," as the turbolaser barrage from the Nebulon-K is whittled down further. The BFF-1 heavy transport escapes into hyperspace, and the Resistance GR-75 Errantry is vectoring into position to follow. Enough damage has been done to the frigate's forward guns that the big warship begins to turn, in order to bring its (formerly) weaker flank batteries to bear on the Resistance flotilla. It doesn't look like they'll be able to do enough damage to thwart the escape.
In the void, the dogfight has been more a match of skill than a bloodbath. Numbers remaining nearly equal, though damage is done on both sides. One reason it is no bloodbath is that turbolasers do not bleed. "BOOM, one more gun down, yeah? Bet you Hutt-suckers wish you'd installed a few TORPEDO TUBES on that big bastardz yeah? YEAH?" Ektor is taunting a frigate, seeming blithely unaware that they cannot hear him. For as long as Black 7 has danced through the point defense fire of the warship, it is almost inconceivable that the ship remains undamaged. Either very lucky, very skilled, or both. "I am always right," he maintains on the subject of whales. "ESPECIALLY when I'm wrong."
Black Leader appears back on the turret's sensors just as he has dead sights and squeezes the trigger, the red glare of his laser cannons lighting up the contours of his face. The explosion that follows is massive because all four shots find their mark, and the fighter passes through the debris, parting the flames and smoke in an instant. Red engines are glowing bright as Poe sails over the stern of the frigate and adjusts course for their freighter. "All call signs, get your last swings in and start looking for your exit vector!" Poe closes his S-foils and punches the afterburner which puts him firmly back against his seat. Shields begin to climb back up thanks to BB-8. "Valor, start your exit now, I'm pulling the squadron out."
"Last call, coming up." David replies through gritted teeth. The TIE on his back is still there, but the LT takes solace in the fact that means he's not on the bomber anymore. Rookie mistake? Who's to say but the crew on that Nebulon-K? David peers out the viewport, making a sweet corkscrew around the enemy capital ship, losing the TIE somehow amidst emerald laser fire. The maneuver ends up with David behind the TIE, opening fire though he misses. The turning of the tables means David has a clear way out now, though, and he takes it immediately.
"Nine here- is Seven always this...vociferous...during dogfights?" Ran continues his game of cat and mouse with Alpha Leader, adjusting his speed, heading, and rotation as frequently and randomly as possible. A lucky guess on which way the TIE would break lines up a shot, but Alpha has already spun out of the way by the time Black 9's lasers get there. A similarly lucky guess causes Ran to dive hard, rapidly reducing his speed, avoiding Alpha 1's blast in a similar manner. "I can't help but notice," Ran says over a screaming R3 unit, "that my shields still happen to not be at full capacity."
Another round of ducking and dodging, another round of exchanging weapons fire has Diaz muttering to herself in a low voice. "No joy, say again, no joy," she speaks into the comm - and briefly - as she and the enemy fighter designated at B5 continue their particular death dance. Which my translate into the idea that either both pilots can't shoot for shit OR both pilots are better at avoiding than hitting the targets they're tangling with.
Black 12's shields take a bit of a hit and the pilot inside the X-wing peels off to port in a half turn and draw-back on the stick bringing her around for one more run. "Stay calm, Eleven. Let the Force guide you. Maintain your balance." She advises her colleague in the young Jedi Order.
One more time, Black 12 sweeps its nose-cone upward and toward Beta 2 and unleashes another futile barrage of laser blasts!
"Blast." Rey says softly before she comes around to starboard now, and the wings on her fighter begin to close. "Black 12. Preparing for exit route."
Elrych listens to Rey watching his sensors and reaching out with the force, "Right... I got it Rey-rey. Thanks..." He turns just narrowly missing a shot from one of Alpha's best. Kid chirps at him, "No I didn't see that coming! I'm not always the best Space Wizard!" He's still concentrating though, the Force bringing B2 into his Crosshairs as soon as Rey causes him to Dodge. He fires, only when he feels it's right, each bolt ripping through the TIE and causing it to explode. "Splash another lead, vectoring for jump now... Rey, I owe you dinner." Kid announces restoration to shields to some percent, "Yeah could have used that about five minutes ago, buddy."
The TIE loses its hull integrity under the barrage of her lasers. She deals red death, there is a haze of detritus trailing behind the fighter and something that pops off to the side away from her. Tallie hopes that it is the pilot ejecting even though if they live, he or she might bring death to someone in her squadron in another engagement. She frowns as she reports, "Alpha Three is down. Prepping for exit." The droid whistles an affirmative and the numbers line up to punch into hyper.
The Resistance GR-75 streaks into the safety of hyperspace, whether or not the unknown cargo was transferred when the First Order frigate arrived, or if another rendezvous will need to be arranged in the future to complete this delivery, none can say. The corvette Valor took a pounding in its role as shield, but will also escape this ambush. As the frenetic madness 9f the combat begins to fade-
"Kriff yeah, I am!" Ektor states proudly. " I mean- I got no idea what vociferous means, but I'm gonna think it means 'really great at blowing drek up', yeah? Speaking of which.. Hey, Bettina. Nice dance partner you got there. I'm cutting in, yeah?" Ektor may be an atrocious example of military discipline, but he is a skilled pilot. Veering abruptly away from the frigate, and driving back through the dogfight toward the safety of open space, the tips of his wings spit red energy, tearing through the TIE that had been dueling with Miri.
One by one the Resistance craft streak away into hyperspace, leaving a cloud of angry TIEs and a monstrous frigate with blunted teeth.