Log:Silence of Corulag
This time there was a full briefing before the mission launched. Intelligence officer Unis Lodrish, a Trandoshan, spoke through a translator droid. "During the Galactic Civil War, the Sienar Corporation maintained a covert Research & Development facility on the planet Corulag, fifteen kilometers north of the capital city, Curamelle. This facility was devoted to the construction and testing of prototype TIE fighter models; recent analysis suggests this facility has been restored to operation. This strike group has been assembled to fight through any defenses, and destroy the facility while avoiding collateral damage to the civilian population.
"To learn what the First Order's suppliers are at work on, an electronic warfare officer will be assigned as the co-pilot of a Y-wing in order to conduct a field analysis of the facility."
Translation: Green 2 will have an 'Electronic Warfare Officer' on board instead of a gunner. Even worse than that, Ektor's co-pilot for the mission is one Lt. Antilles. Having gone through pre-flight, laid in the hyperspace course, and launched from the Renegade, he continues to react to the situation with predictable poise and professionalism. "All I'm saying is that if Intel is trying to get me killed, there are easier ways, yeah? Hey Tenner-" he vocalizes to the astromech, "Run the angles, and tell me if it's mathematically possible for schoolgirl to shoot us with the turret from inside the cockpit?" Over the comms, he adds, <<Green Two, ready to jump.>>
A bonus about flying your own heavily modified ship that has saved the known galaxy on countless occassions is that you don't get stuck with Gunners that will shoot their own ships down. Chewie, however apparently has lost that privilege as two people he only sort of knows are filling the role as gunners on the Falcon. The wookie bellows over the comms. 'If you break anything, I will break you back, got it?' His words are automatically translated over the comm system in the ship. He looks not entirely pleased to have been briefed by a Trandoshan, damn that breed.
Unis wasn't crazy about fur in the Briefing Room air filters, either.
The hydraulic lift that lowers Jessika Pava's T-65c X-Wing from the Renegade's fighter bay to the launch bay hisses as it locks into place on the plated deck, leaving the snubfighter facing the shielded opening that separates the gravity-heavy and oxygen-filled interior of the Frigate with the cold, dark vacuum of space. Strapped into the pilot's seat, Red Two does a final flight check of her systems and gets a duplicate report from her R3 unit, Case, for an all green. <<Renegade, Red Two. Ready for launch.>>
<<Affirmative, Red Two. You are clear for launch.>>
With one hand on the yolk, Jessika's other hand, padded in a thick glove, brushes a finger across the repulsorlift toggle. The X-Wing lifts from the deck, and a second switch retracts the landing gears up and into the fighter. Grabbing the throttle, Jessika shoves it forward, and the quad-engines of her fighter flare bright and red in a sudden surge of speed that rattles her to the bone. The interior of the Frigate turns to a blur of grey as it rushes by.
As soon as the nose of her fighter clears the shield, Jessika cuts off the repulsorlifts and lets the sublight engines do all the work of carrying her out into the void. Like a bubble popping, the hard jarring that come from the effects of gravity quit completely, and the X-Wing feels as if its gliding across ice. Letting out a breath and forcing her body to relax from its tension, Jessika maneuvers the starfighter towards the vector pre-programmed into her navicomputer. "Case, lock in our route." An affirmative bleeping comes in response.
Cutting some of the speed off the throttle, Jessika's head turns slightly right to glance out the transparisteel slit of her cockpit, out towards space. The view is tinged by the yellow visor shielding her eyes, and the Tierfon Yellow Aces symbol is proudly displayed on the side of her helmet. She focuses her attention forward as she lines up on the vector.
<<Red Two, ready to jump.>>
After her own experiences with Trandoshans, Nova Korell could completely sympathize with Chewie... if he hasn't just threatened to break her back, anyway. "Aw, Chewie, don't you trust us?" she asks from her positio in the ventral turret, adding just a bit of syrupy-sweetness to her tone. "If I break it, I'll try to patch it up, promise. I patched /you/ up once, so you know I'm good for that!" She turns her attention to the turret, an antique if she's ever seen one. She runs over the controls and systems again, trying to match them with her own previous experiences in gunnery. SOTA this isn't, but it all seems to work. In a Frankenstarship sort of way. "Low side, all systems go," she says into the intercom, professional again. "All good where you are, Sarge?"
Predictable poise aand professionalism indeed. Dawn Antilles is certainly trying, having found herself once more out of the bridge, in which she is exceedingly comfortable, and into a starfighter, that which is /clearly/ not meant for her to ride in. Her fragile health in her childhood had been the sole reason why she has never took to the skies like the other members of her illustrious clan, helplessly marooned on the ground instead with her books and lament the curse of having a weak heart and poor constitution. The latter, especially, is sorely tested through an elevated blood pressure as she sits at the back of Ektor's Y-wing, clad in a flightsuit too snug for her liking, and emphatically convinced that if the last mission didn't kill her, this one will.
She hear her 'partner' say what he does somewhere in front of her, and her helmeted head leans over, looming just over his right shoulder. A single pinprick of emerald light glints from the visor, where she is eyeballing him sidelong.
/Tell me if it's mathematically possible for Schoolgirl to shoot us with a turret from inside the cockpit./
This close, she angles her head, and whispers:
"If there's anyone who can calculate the precise method as to how....it would be /me/."
And with that, she settles back on her seat with a harrumph. Despite herself though, her expression reflects a hint of that ever-present mischief - though once they get going, it's certainly not going to last.
She has brought with her the tools of her trade: a communications jamming array, much like what she brought with her to Kwai, a retrofitted console to apply what little digital sorcery she may have in her disposal, and her big, nerdy brain.
Sitting in the turret aboard the Falcon, Hazar tells the people over the internal comms on the vehicle, "Don't worry about me, sir. I love these thirteen hundreds. First time I shot down a TIE was in one of these. The Falcon's got way more firepower than the Guarlara, though. Faster, too." He's alert in his seat, moving the turret controls around so that he can take his time getting used to them before the action starts. "Top side is lookin' good, Korell. You ready for this?"
Hot on LtJG Pava's six is the Z95 Headhunter 'Red 5', piloted by Jaya Kassis. Once clear and in space, she angles her craft toward the programmed route fed from navi-computer and flexes her gloved hand over the appropriate controls to jump. Rocking her head from side to side, Jaya determined she was ready.
<<This is Red 5, ready to jump!>>
<<Green Leader, ready to jump,>> remarks Captain Yavok from the cockpit of his black and green Y-Wing. "You ready, Rexy?" the Old Man asks of his R3. The little droid bleeps and bloops dryly. "I should probably learn how to understand you at some point," is Sar's response.
Ektor snorts at Dawn without looking back, "You couldn't do it if you tried. I'm just worried you screw up so bad that you do it on accident."
The planet Corulag is a pleasant terrestrial body, divided rather evenly between blue seas and green landscapes of mixed urban sprawl and untouched bamboo forest; multiple space stations orbit the well developed Core world, deep in the First Order sphere of control. Though no capital ships hang in orbit, as the formation of outdated fighters emerge from hyperspace and dive into the atmosphere, frantic transmissions from Corulag flight control are broadcast: <<Unidentified fightercraft: you do not have clearance for aerial approach, repeat: you do not have clearance. You are ordered to break off your approach at once!>>
Inside the diving Green 2, Ektor drawls, <<Nice planet. Looks they forgot there's a war going on, though.>> With a squawk from Tenner, he adds, <<Anyways, I'm reading the target facility on scopes, and.. Looks like a squadron of TIE/fo fighters launching from the capital on intercept course. Six already in the air, six more launching, now.>>
The Resistance targeting computers label the incoming fighters Alpha 1-3 and Beta 1-3, witg the launching craft Gamma 1-3 and Delta 1-3.
'I will take care of any repairs needed to be done on the Falcon, thank you. There are not many I would trust to work on my ship, but if we get shot down you can patch /me/ up' Chewie's words have a pause before the translation is given. As they come into orbit of the planet, his ship being the odd ball out in no real formation and the fact its a Corellian freighter. 'Hazar, help out your gunner mate if you can or need to, please.' There's a laugh and then he snorts
<<Guess we better turn around, they told us we cant come>>
<<They think we're attacking the city>>
Chewie uses the restricted resistance channel to talk between all the fighters grouped before connecting with the ship that had contacted them. <Nonsense, we were invited>
Arriving out of hyperspace, Red Two is quick to angle her fighter towards the planet. Full speed sees her passing Green Two's slower Y-Wing to play interceptor against the incoming TIE fighters, and Jessika is already getting a readjusted grip on her yolk while simultaneously using her heels to adjust herself with minute movements in her seat. Time to go to work.
<<Red Five, Red Two. Let's make sure none of these fighters harass Green Squadron. We're running intercept.>> She angles the nose of her snubfighter so she's not hitting atmo head-on, and that familiar rumbling from before, as the effects of gravity start to pull on the craft, sees her lightly rattling in her seat. Far from the ranking officer present, Jessika doesn't suggest a plan of attack as the Millennium Falcon transmits it's message, which is consistent with her own assessment.
Once she clears the upper layer of atmosphere, a switch sees her s-foils lock themselves into attack position, and much like the TIEs put themselves between the incoming fighters and the city, Jessika ensures her X-Wing is put in between the incoming TIEs and Flight Officer Apollyon's Y-Wing.
"I'm good, Sarge. It's my first time in a turret like this, but not my first time in this kind of fight," Nova replies confidently. "At least we're not flying the ship, right?"
She actually smiles, hearing Chewie. "Hands off on the patching up the ship, got it," she replies. "No promises on you, though, since you talked mean to me. I'm a sensitive girl, you know."
The starport's warning, and the sensor readings, snap her back into the here and now. "I guess it's showtime, and here we are with front-row seats," she replies, swiveling her turret to track the approaching TIEs. "Just gotta wait for them to get in range..."
/You couldn't do it if you tried./
"Your /face/ tries pretty hard, but you don't hear me crying about it," Dawn retorts.
And then, they jump.
Whatever intention there is to keep up their comradely sniping fades when the swirling blues of the hyperspace lanes fade, and they're suddenly in Corulag, entering its atmosphere with a rush of fuel, engine, and the forces of Astrophysics. Green eyes /widen/ when she sees the multitude of space stations established there. The remark from Ektor, that bandits - known enemy military aircraft - are about to engage has her heart leaping into her throat. Oh, stars, oh, stars, oh, stars, they're coming right for them.
"At least if we die, we can continue this while in the warm, loving embrace of the Force," she remarks hoarsely. "Those ghosts are going to /hate/ us." As always, in the first few minutes of an active engagement, that tactical mind goes completely and utterly blank.
This is why she would never make it in a starfighter.
"Roger that, Chewbacca. I am available to assist," says the young Sergeant Jast as he starts to scan for targets, itching to see a little action. When Nova says that she's good Hazar nods to himself, "Alright. Let's just let these guys get in range and we'll start doing our job." The enemy ships are studied even as he readies himself to line them up on the targeting computer. "If either of you guys see something I don't let me know. I'll make sure to keep you informed as well."
The jump was what Jaya expected, and when they emerged, it seemed sporadic but roughly in the original formation they had departed. Glancing port and starboard briefly, Red 5 followed the others down, twisting the craft slightly as if to glide into a favorable descent. Another cursory glance was cast over her controls, and at the flip of a switch, she brought up her targeting display. "Now we're in business, ol' girl. Let's see if you still got the moves." Unclear if she's talking to the ship, or about herself. At the command of the Red Squadron XO, Jaya initiates her own comm to answer.
<<Understood Red Two; Red Five is in position for intercept.>>
Jaya appeared at Pava's direct starboard and was holding course ahead of the slower Y-Wings. Flexing her hand over the yolk, her finger hovering over the trigger. "This is where the fun begins.."
Sar Yavok remains quiet in the cockpit of the the Y-Wing, eyes flitting between his scanners and the viewport. He shuffles a little bit and leans back against the chair, tugging on his harness. Time to go to work.
The Corulag System Defense TIEs approach the Resistance craft headlong, and are caught at an awkward intercept angle as a result of the patchwork attackers unexpected attack vector.
"Would you shut up and start shooting until we get into transmission range of the ground?" Ektor snorts at his gunner. "Pretend the TIEs are the hopes and dreams of your parents and shoot em down in flames all over again, yeah?" Green 2 advances behind the screen of Red 2 and 5, taking a shot of opportunity as a Beta TIE swerves to avoid Jess, its shields collapsing and its hull scored.
'I have faith, I am just touchy about my ship' Chewie says in response to the banter from Nova. As Chewie is not really in formation, he guns the engines and swoops up high, coming in from above on Beta 1.
As the Falcon comes in behind the Tie, some maneuvering by Chewie at the controls has him keeping a good firm lock on the TIE. 'Light him up ladies' He did just call Hazar a lady. Chewie lets loose with a burst from his fixed guns, hitting a slightly glancing hit on the fighter.
<<Beta 1 hit>>
The Beta Wing has chosen to focus their particular little group in the swarm, and Jessika, who doesn't bother with the chicken that swerved to avoid her and got clipped by Green Two, goes after Alpha One, the following Wing, who is not even facing her. Better to sow discord than to let them rush their chosen targets. "Over here, you piece of drek." She mutters it under her breath after banking her X-Wing up on its side and sweeping to port, so that she's slipping in behind the wing of three and putting her back to Delta and Gamma, who are still heading towards Red Five and Green. The targeting reticle on her fighter settles solidly on Alpha One's craft, and a squeeze of the trigger spits a bright lance of red that dissolves his shields and leaves scoring across his hull. The obvious panic after leaves her other shot going wide, but she's in pursuit.
"We've picked up a tail..." Nova warns, her voice fainter, distracted, as she spins the turret, trying to line up on Beta 3, which is trying in turn to line up on the /Falcon's/ tail. She discourages the pursuit with a burst of quad-laser fire that smacks the TIE solidly just left of center. "Shoo, you!"
/Would you shut up and start shooting.../
Dawn stares at the back of Ektor's head for a /long/ moment when he tells her to get her hands on a gun and pull the trigger, especially when he almost fell victim to her friendly fire just a few days ago. "...holy shavit," she murmurs; the whisper is hushed, as if Ektor's comeback has awed her somehow to the point of sounding this way.
And it did, on some level, because she responds with:
"I might've actually overestimated your learning curve."
With trembling, reluctant fingers, she reaches for the controls of the guns, hits a few buttons and pulls the trigger. "Just remember this was /your idea/!"
Something /sparks/, the acrid scent of a short filling her side of the cockpit, and the whining scream of small alarms wink with garish red lights over her console. It must be some kind of sorcery indeed, because her disbelieving eyes are registering the warning messages that she has somehow overloaded the cannons.
"...*&#*&46$**&$&&$**#**!!!!" What language even /was/ that? Either way, Dawn gets to work immediately to fix the problem. That engineering background should be good for something. Right?
When it comes to shooting, well, that's a thing that Jast loves to do. And based on the way he nails that enemy fighter he was pointed at it's evident that it's something he's good at. As Chewie and Nova also light into the vehicle and it turns into so much space debris Hazar lets out a cheer, "Nice shooting, guys. Keep lining us up like that, Chewie, and we can take out a whole squadron of these jerks."
Jaya rocks gently from one side to the other before engaging the intercepting fighters. Switching her speed at once, she locks onto <Alpha 2> and engages by firmly squeezing the trigger mechanism near the top of her yolk. The result of her fire had chased the Tie off target, his shields crumbling to boot. Jaya breaks away, twisting to her starboard and diving after him to engage further. She adjusts her engine output by pushing the throttle a bit which makes the entire craft begin to rattle.
Below, the target comes into sensor range. The SFS facility is a large campus that looks to be a converted public park, complete with a lake and scattered trees. Several square kilometers within a security fence, there is a landing field and five large buildings, with perhaps a dozen smaller structures.
"How the kriff did you overload the ion accelerator- Never mind, forget it! Stop touching the cannons and do your computer drek, I think our chances actually went up with you behind a busted gun." Green 2 weaves and jukes through the dogfight on approach to the ground facility, when laser cannons flash from behind. <<Eh, drek I gotta tail.>> "Hang onto something, Schoolgirl; this might get bad."
Likely too focussed on the fact that Hazar and Nova managed to take out a couple targets on their own, that Chewie was not paying attention when suddenly he has 2 tie's on his rear, the first misses , the second one hits with a good solid hit that literally makes the Falcon lurch up and down as if in some rough air. Chewie lucks out and manages to not be hit by the other shots.
While she's engaging Alpha One, Jessika also has her head on a swivel. It's one of these glances that spots a TIE jostling for position with Green Two, and the Y-Wing's slower speed doesn't do it any favors. Pulling a hard U-turn after harshly cutting her speed, then shoving the throttle forward once she's facing the other direction, Jessika adjusts herself into position behind the damaged TIE. Before it gets a chance to take advantage of its position on Ektor's six, Jessika blows it to smithereens with a well-placed secondary shot that simply smashes right through its engine and superheats its hull. It's alive for all of a second before exploding violently, sending debris cascading through the sky.
<<You're clear, Green Two.>>
Knowing that she's been sitting still for far too long, Jessika starts to bank away, so that anyone on her six is not given a clear target.
Nova opens fire again, her shots spraying around the TIE. An instant later, the ship lurches from that direct hit. "Oof! Sorry! I missed him!" she says apologetically, still trying to bracket that stubborn tailer. "This is so different from the Y-Wing... Get him, Sarge!"
Laser fire zipping past him, Hazar hangs onto the turret controls and whips his quad laser cannons around to face the Falcon's attacker. Once there the young NCO lets off a burst of fire from his guns, sending beams of energy slamming into the shields of the TIE. "Just takes practice, private," Hazar replies over the ship's internal comms. "You hit sometimes, which is more than I can say for most of the guys I run through turret simulators. A lot of us grunts don't spend much time gunning so they don't get to experience the joy of a good space fight like we do." Hazar grows more serious at that thought and grits his teeth as he continues to track his target with the Falcon's guns. "After the flight to Crait I decided I didn't much like being just a passenger."
"I don't know, don't look at me! I pride myself for being a largely non-violent person, but I might actually have to kill whoever serviced your Y-wing last!" All she did was touch it, she didn't do anything! She makes a mental note to inspect all of the SFC's maintenance logs, and possibly formulate a more optimized maintenance plan for all of them.
If she lives through this.
Dawn lets go of the guns, and before she can respond, the fighter /lurches/, and she clutches onto the armrest of her seat, clamping her teeth together to keep herself from /screaming/ when the dogfight begins in earnest. Her heart hammers wildly in her chest and she can barely breathe.
Somewhat lightheaded, she reaches for her console and starts up her jamming array, while setting up the module she needs to begin her 'computer drek.' A bead of sweat trickles down her temple, clinging to her jaw underneath the chinstrap of her helmet. There is a monstrous effort levied at /not/ looking at the pilot's canopy in front of her, out of the real concern of fainting /again/ if things get too close for comfort, and the wild barreling and sweving is making it difficult for her to use her instruments.
"Tenner, I might need a little help here, can you input the following string of code for me?" And she rattles off the syntax.
The heroic (and long-suffering) astromech does so, and she calls up the readings on her screen. <<Hangar's full of starfighters,>> she patches through to the rest. <<And these three buildings...>> She marks them out on the pilots' screens. <<Are the actual manufacturing facilities. I'll have to dig deeper, but considering my preliminary analysis on the output, we'll probably have more luck finding what we're here for in this area.>> She marks it with an X. <<I'll see what I can do to uncover what's in there.>>
Jaya manages to stay with the Tie Alpha 2, banking and rocking as he lurched one way and another. Jaya had to remain mindful of her surroundings so that she didn't just collide with passing allies while trying to smoke this guy. Ensuring her lane of fire was clear before she attempted her shots, Jaya saw nothing beyond her target and opened fire. "Damn!" She missed, but Jaya was determined to bring them down.
The remaining six System Defense TIEs (Gamma and Delta triads) at last reach the skirmish, leaping into the fray with ferocity, if not focus, bringing the number of enemy craft in the air to 10.
Ektor lets out a breath when Jess swoops in to the rescue, cracking a grin, he drawls lightly, <<Thanks, Red Squadron; we love you.>> A token blast of cannons that dies nothing more than scatter a pair of the incoming Gamma TIEs, and he adds, <<Fire control to torpedoes, bringing the boom.>> Dawn's chatter gets a nod, "Gonna hit the hangar first, then. Linking torpedoes and going in." The streaks of blue energy smash into the hangar, doing horrific damage.
That last show of skill was quite embarrassing, and so Chewie leads his tail of Ties down close to the ground until the engine blast from the rear of the Falcon is blowing debree up into the faces of the ties following him, suddenly yanking on the controls, Chewie slips between two close together buildings and shoots skyward, coming in on the furthest Tie that had been following, he lights it up.
<<You can buy me a drink later, Green Two.>> The chirp over the communication's band is succinct. Jessika's sweeping back in behind Alpha One, determined to finish what she started in the first place. Instead, swinging about brings her face to face with two eyeballs from Delta blitzing at hear with the roar of ion engines. There's no indecision for Jessika. She adjusts her yolk to the right a hair, lining up one of the approaching fighters with her reticle. This may be an older fighter, but X-Wings were meant for fighting TIEs, and she reminds them to fear the iconic craft as two solid shots first smash through the fighter's shields, then obliterate the canopy. Spiraling wings are ripped off the eyeball's central point, and the other fighter banks off to avoid taking collateral damage and maybe because they realize what a bad idea such a tactic had been.
"My training comes from earlier... but I completely understand, Sarge. Being on board a ship under attack and unable to do anything is the most helpless feeling in the galaxy," Nova replies, still trying to range in that TIE. The /Falcon/ lines up a good approach, but her shots pepper harmlessly around the enemy fighter. Again. "I wish he'd hold still a little more! This is like trying to swat a stingfly with a toothpick!"
Jessika's save gives her some breathing room, and she whispers a quiet word of gratitude through the comms to the female pilot just as she hits her stride. With Tenner assisting her with the wireless uplink into the facility, Dawn rapidly calls up the data that flows in from her en-route digital breach. What she finds in her screens has her narrowing her eyes. "What the..."
Her head lifts up. "They're working on something called the TIE/vn. This entire facility is dedicated to its production, there's even a shipment ready for pick up right at the hangar." Where they are presently streaking towards. "I'll see if I can download the schematics."
Their Y-wing takes off in a blazing streak towards the hangar, and it's when they get there that she realizes the significance of it - what the TIE/vn actually /is/. Green eyes round into dinner plates, lips parting once she glimpses the rows and rows of these starfighters lined up, ready to be delivered to stars-know-where. Her hand lifts, to rest on Ektor's shoulder and gives it a squeeze.
"E..." she says, around a dry throat. She recognizes it. How could she not, when her usefulness to the Resistance is /dependent/ on her meticulous and vigilant study of past engagements. Admirals Ackbar and Thrawn, and now...
"...that's Kylo Ren's TIE fighter."
Hazar Jast is on fire this mission. And so, coincidentally, will be the TIE that he gets his sights on. Once he's gotten a lock on his targeting computer he presses the triggers on his controls and fires a tight burst that smacks dead into the engines, igniting the fuel compartment beneath them and turning the vessel into a funeral pyre for it's pilot. Until, of course, the flame hits the ship's magazine and causes it to explode suddenly, disintegrating the TIE and it's crew. "You got this, soldier. Chewie, if you want to give Korell a heads up before evasive actions so she can compensate I'll take you to the Blue Light for a nerf burger next time we're on Nar Shaddaa."
Jaya squared up on Alpha two and squeezed the trigger, finally obliterating him in a blinding flash of explosive debris. Jaya banked to avoid it, then throttled up again. Angling up toward the new waves of fighters, she's noticed almost immediately and a wall of fire comes her way. Miraculously, she's untouched. With her heart racing and sweat forming along her brow, she takes this moment to line up her next shots.
Banking off to try and assist Ektor, as Chewie had been showboating close to the surface, Chewie is trying to get a lock on one of the three, but just cant get it done, he manages to avoid getting hit by one of the TIE's tailing him, but the second manages a direct hit, the whole ship jutters and alarms go off, but apparently the shields are still holding well enough.
<<We're still in it, but another hit like that or two more and we might have to get the frek out of here>>
As the first volley of devastation descends upon the facility, and the primary explosions set off fuel storage ignitions which begin to rip apart the hangar, one unusual TIE successfully launches, before the hangar doors collapse on a second trying to follow. The Resistance targeting computers do not register it, leaving eyesight as the only means of tracking the angular fightercraft. Few Resistance pilots have ever seen one like them, and none have ever seen more than one.
In the skies above, debris from four suddenly destroyed TIE fighters rains down on the grounds; the Resistance has nearly brought the numbers into parity.
"What the kriff's a TIE/vn?" Ektor wonders aloud at the initial report, managing to evade the fire of two Gamma TIEs, in the course of lining up a bombing run at the previously highlighted fabrication building. <<Whatever it is, they ain't building more here, yeah? Direct hit on Factory Prime." Targets in atmosphere explode much more impressively, as a great plume of fire erupts from the stricken factory. The predatory new TIE vectors to take vengeance on the bomber, but Green 2 dances out of immediate danger in ways a Y wing isn't supposed to. Sorry, Dawn. <<Not for nothing, but I got some admirers after me. Someone wanna pick the vine?>>
Things are getting heated. They're outnumbered, and now, according to the comms, they're dealing with some experimental sort of fighter. Despite the warning from her astromech that there's a fighter on her tail, Jessika adjusts the nose of her fighter and dives after Green Two. <<Red Five, Red Two. Disengage and form up on me. Green Two is swamped.>> Two of the three craft following him are targetable. One isn't at all. <<I've got an eyeball with no signature on his tail.>> Switching from Squadron net to the wider band, Jessika puts all her focus on the scene ahead of her. <<Green Two, Red Two. Need some advice on this kriffer showing up cold.>>
"Make that two burgers..." Nova says, but the direct hit interrupts her. "Sorry! I'm getting better at this, I promise!" she adds, as the TIE dances around her sights like a cloud of zipgnats in summer. She waits for it to try to target them, then opens fire at close range...
"I just told you it's-- !"
And her present partner destroys large chunks of the hangar, including the current production line of TIE/vns....and the ground database which would have given them any hope of prying into the secrets of Kylo Ren's starfighter of choice. Dawn gapes from where she sits, before she buries her face in one hand.
She would say something, but things get absurdly perilous for them now when one of the newfangled and dangerous experimental craft starts /chasing/ them, and the Y-wing does its best to evade with Ektor on the helm. Clutching her seat, she leans her head back and grits her teeth and oh stars, by then it's too late, she is seeing what is happening now and it takes every bit of her willpower not to pass out on her chair.
/Oh, stars/, she thinks. /Just kill me now. Just have this entire place come down and crush-- /
Inspiration hits her with the force of a truck. "E, from what I've studied about these things, they're absurdly fast - I don't know if we're going to be able to hit it by just looking at it, we're going to have to anticipate where it goes. Since it's following us, maybe we can line up the shot for our team." She leans forward, and points. "If we can collapse those support towers, we can bank low to clear and pull up. It's probably going to anticipate that and go high. We can just tell our people where to aim."
As Nova opens up on the TIE so does Hazar. The combined firepower from both turrets turns it into so much space confetti and the sergeant grins and says happily over his headset, "Good shooting!" After that he starts maneuvering his turret to try to lock onto the TIE still buzzing them. "If that guy comes for another pass we'll roast him. In the meantime, don't forget to keep alert for other enemy fighters."
The sound of Red 2 giving orders is what brings Red 5 back toward Green 2 and Red 2. The TIE <Delta 2> following behind Jess trying to line up a shot is obliterated when Jaya swoops downward, firing simultaneously. Expertly manuevering the debris that's left to fall, Jess is flanked by Red 5, who now matches her movements. <<Red Five standing by..>> Announced as she tries to line up a shot on any other TIE in the vicinity.
One of the standard TIEs trailing after the pesky Y-wing breaks off pursuit as the Millennium Falcon fires at it, veering off to drive with the distinct scream of twin ion engines at the famous freighter.
Green 2 answers Jess in Ektor's distinctive mumble, <<Ah, at the risk of getting predictable, I vote for blowing him up, yeah?>> Then Dawn is brainstorming complex tactics, and Ektor's eyes narrow in struggling thought. "Uh. Right. We'll do that." Let's see what that sounds like in Ektor-speak. <<Ah, Jess? I'ma blow up a thing and fly under the rubble. Pretty sure that'll keep fancy plane's attention, yeah? Light him up, will ya?>> Pilots are a rare breed. No sooner has the half baked non plan been announced than Ektor drives the Y-wing close enough to the ground that he weaves to avoid a tree, loosing a torpedo that sears the grass on its way to impacting the base of an industrial data tower, that promptly begins toppling toward its twin. With the Silencer's cannons tearing up earth all around Green 2, Ektor howls with delight as the rear nacelles *barely* clear the falling tower. Sure enough, the advanced TIE veers up and- sensor ghost or not, the trailing Resistance guns have a clear shot.
As Chewie was already coming after the ships on Ektor's rear, the wookie banks after the test dummy ship, he manages to keep a lock on it 'Firing' He calls over the comms in the ship and fires, but its a glancing shot at best. There is a literal roar of anger that nearly shakes the ship as bad as if they had been hit. 'Focus Chewie...' Tension in a pilot is a bad thing.
Green Two calls out the plan mere seconds before enacting it. Only by virtue of trailing behind does she have enough time to compensate for the sudden tactic. The columns explode, and Jess is already pulling back on her yolk, so the nose of her snubfighter is aimed at empty sky. Somewhere in the atmosphere above her, raining a hail of turret fire downwards, is the Millennium Falcon. By the time the Silencer appears in the lower edge of her canopy, it's riddled with scorch marks and gaps through its wing panels. Jessika squeezes the trigger once, and a red bolt of superheated tibanna gas spits from the end of her cannon to smash into the center of its fuselage. The craft veers off, as if it's actually trying to dodge, but it is merely a moment of death throes before it promptly turns its nose into the ground and smashes itself into a crumpled up heap of ruined metals.
<<Your tail is clear, Green Two.>>
"Nice shooting, Sarge!" Nova calls, seeing the TIE get toasted. "Now let's swat this last stingfly!" She snaps her sights onto this one, firing as much by instinct as proper sight technique as the second TIE crosses her crosshairs...
/This is it. I've lost my mind. I can barely handle being strapped into these things and now I'm volunteering us as /bait/. Oh, stars, let this work./
Dawn girds herself, planting her body solidly against her seat and clinging to it as hard as she can, nevermind that she has some secure seatbelts strapping her into the cockpit. Ektor demonstrates pretty quickly that he understands what she is getting at and when the debris comes down, she squeezes her eyes shut and gnashes her teeth together, breathing raggedly into her mask. Her stomach lurches, and a potent surge of adrenaline twists down her spine as the Y-wing puts itself in the devastating end of a descending column....
...but she is at least accurate in what the Silencer /does/ when it banks upwards, looking for the high ground to shoot down at them once they clear the falling obstacle.
It explodes in a roaring fireball once everyone fires at where it ends up.
She cracks one eye open when Jessika confirms the kill and she practically sags into her seat. Her hand comes up, to grip her flightsuit in the center.
The Wookiee might be pissed that he's not shooting straight, but he's certainly setting his gunners up for success. As the Millennium Falcon gets a good angle on the TIE Silencer Nova starts sending bright beams of energy into as Hazar Jast lines up his sights on and unleashes a fusillade. The heavy fire strikes the vessel, nailing it's hull and causing sparks to fly. It's just about perfectly synchronized so that mere moments after Hazar finishes shooting the TIE ends up in Jess' crosshairs and she finishes it off, "Darn good shooting all around!"
Jaya had but a split second to bank left and avoid certain destruction. Adjusting her throttle, she groaned as the craft lurched hard and turned sharp. Meanwhile Jessika and the Falcon angled toward Green Two and their trail, leaving Jaya to slowly bring up the rear. Once she was aligned, she engaged the throttle more and sprang forward again. Her sights were lined up for a shot, but when she fired the damn TIE evaded her shot. Now the gunners on the Falcon could see the Headhunter trailing the TIEs that were trailing them.
"WOO-HOOHOOHOOOO," Ektor crows as the harebrained maneuver pays off, <<Damn fine shooting, everybody. Red Two, I owe you another one, yeah?>> Laughing aloud, he prompts, "You see that, Schoolgirl? HA." The Y-wing banks around and picks up one of the TIEs pursuing the Falcon as the freighter roars by, and annihilates it in a volley of laser cannons.
Angling off from putting the more dangerous fighter into the ground, Jessika tries to locate the last two TIEs still in the scrap, but she's too low after following Green Two on his strifing run, and she can't find any targets to pursue. <<Someone give me a heads up on where these last eyeballs are.>> A general call out might get a good vector to turn on, because even her instruments seem to be inconclusive, which means they're somewhere above her and she's either looping to sharply or too wide.
Nova turns to fire on another TIE in the milling mass of the dogfight, but misses the high-deflection, long-range shot. <There are still a few out there! I can't get a good bead on them, but look aft and up!>
/You see that, Schoolgirl?/
"Yes," Dawn squeaks, face ashen and lips rendered bloodless by the fright, the word choked out of her throat. "Every single second. Now let's quit while we're ahead and get out of here!"
/Not /much/ ahead/, she thinks, grimly, still mourning the loss of those schematics. Still, they found something, and get to live to fight another day. At the end of it, she is in the business of saving lives as she is in the business of winning.
It has to happen eventually. Hazar Jast finally misses, for once in this engagement, letting out as close to an expletive as he gets, "Darn it! Nimble little suckers, aren't they?"
Jaya struggles to stay with the Falcon and the TIEs simultaneously. She pulls back on the throttle a bit and begins moving from side to side, trying to target the two and save the Falcon from any blue on blue collateral. Nothing was lining up!
The Resistance had been living a charmed life, this battle. Every near miss, close call and collapsing tower had landed just far enough to leave their craft intact, but the remaining pair of TIEs at last find some revenge on the broad upper saucer of the YT-1300, lancing through the shields and tearing great gouges into the upper hull, setting interior systems glitching and alarms blaring.
It is then that the long range scanners read the arrival of a far-distant Resurgent-class Star Destroyer.
<<Annnnnd that's our cue,>> Ektor opines. <<Lets vector away from that thing and hop, yeah?>>