As the Liberty slipped silently out of hyperspace the bluish pink tunnel dropped to starlines and then to the distant pinpoints of light off in the distance.... An eerie glow crested off the Liberty's Port side.
The bridge crew went about their normal business of scanning the sector and running any ion traces for ships that had been in system last hoping to pick up the tracks of local pirate activity. With a sudden Swoosh of the door Vidster stalked out on the deck still looking as confident as ever. He glanced around to the other ranking officers on deck nodding as he went. His eyes finally came to rest upon Blindman, who was at a computer terminal checking upon the maintenance of Corsairs A-Wing starfighters. Vidster walked over and with a deep "hurumph" (clearing his voice) got Blindman's attention.
"Still no word from Intelligence on the whereabouts of Talyn?" said Vids.
"Do you still believe he took the A-Wing and went Merc?"
"Not sure.... But all I know is.. is that as soon as he hits deck.. I'll make him hit deck..." both turned, smiled, and laughed but were interrupted by a Young Calamari officer who jumped outta his seat, whooping and cheering as he went. Everyone on the bridge paused to look and tried to figure out what had just occured to the junior officer. Another Calamari looked at his neighborís screen, let out a laugh and congratulated the other officer. By now everyone had gathered around the screen wondering what had just transpired. Vids and Blindman made there way over and heard some of the conversation going on."
"Wow, you actually found him?" and "the payoff to whoever found him, from what I hear, was big."
Vids confidently walked up and startled everyone by near yelling "Found who?!?"
Everyone near him jumped and some scrambled back to their posts fearing disciplinary action. ;)
Vids and Blindman both glared down at the screen and were shocked at what they had just seen. Down on one of the near by planets moons an Emergency Beacon was placed and had been transmitting for some time.
The signatures it gave off told the Liberty's computer showed as follows:
PRIORITY 1 TRANMISSION
CLEARANCE:£ÜÖÉļ•Ęÿù∂ß -- CLASSIFIED
NEW REPUBLIC ORDER MEDVAC A.S.A.P
DOWNED PILOT SEND MEDVAC TO PLATOMIR SYSTEM
REPEAT DOWNED PILOT SEND MEDVAC TO PLATOMIR SYSTEM
SYSTEMTYPE:DODONNA/BLISSEX A-WING EMERGENCY SYSYEM
IDENTIFICATION:**DECODED** SYSTEM MODEL SR47-V1
PILOT:**DECODED** -AUTHORIZED- NICK "TALYN" DUNCAN
MOTHERSHIP:CRS M:80 LIBERTY
STANDARD TIME SINCE SET:5MONTHS-16DAYS-13HOURS
PILOT STATUS:AWAITING RESCUE(UNINJURED)
MEMO: God would someone PLEASE!!!! PLEASE!!!! PLEASE!!!! GET ME OFF THIS ROCK!!!!! SITHSPAWN...
I SPILT MY LUM
With a bit of a smile twitching on the edge of their lips they both cited in unison "BOY IS HE IN FOR IT NOW!!!!!!!"
[In the hangar bay]
Corsair Squadron's commanding officer stepped out into the hangar bay of the CRS Liberty. As his senses were bombarded with the smells and textures of starfighter fuel and electronics, he stretched out with the Force. Sorting through the different textures of the minds of each crewman in the room, he was able to pick out those of his wingmen for this rescue sortie -- Captain Mitchell, as well as Lieutenants Rees and Vorwald.
While he wasn't expecting any trouble, Blindman radioed his XO while strapping into his A-wing. "Kallysto, get Wolf and Mav on the cat in case we run into anything out here, and put the rest of the squadron on alert status. I don't know if the new recruit, Houseman, is adjusted to the Mon Cal environment yet, so hold him back for now unless we run into something really bad."
With that, one ATR and four gray and orange A-wings were launched out into the void surrounding the planet of Platomir to bring back one of their own.
[On the planet]
"Corsair Lead, we will be coming up on the rescue beacon in two mikes. Suggest you fan out in Cover Pattern Four," Hyl's voice came over the comm.
"Roger that, Salvatore. Spectre, take Knight and Condor and set up station here. I'm gonna land with the transport. Keep your guns hot, we could need ground support," Blindman ordered.
Flying slightly ahead of the rescue transport Salvatore, the Corsair A-wings dipped over a low rise and flew over what looked to be a makeshift camp. The canopy of the A-wing had been ripped off of the fuselage and turned so that its concave end faced down, effectively becoming a huge water tub. Bits and pieces of the A-wing could be seen here and there - one of the side-mounted laser cannons was used as a tent post, holding up the tarp that was issued in the emergency survival kit.
Hyl addressed the team in the back of the ATR. "Okay team, this is a nice, easy pickup. Nothing's firing at you. Let's get the bacta treatments ready for preliminary treatments. I'm starting the landing cycle."
In seeming unison, the A-wing of Corsair Leader and the ungainly transport settled onto the ground.
[in space, on board the Liberty]
"Captain, we've got trouble," the sensor officer noted calmly. The Lib's bridge crew hadn't gotten to their present positions by becoming hysterical at the first sign of red blips.
Captain Trevin Evert, the CRS Liberty's commanding officer, straightened from the Comm station where he was monitoring the rescue op, and strode quickly to sensors. "What've you got?"
"I'm picking up hyperspace contrails of a cap ship on the other side of the planet. Multiple tracks, big ones. Possibly Nebulon-B frigates," replied the sensor officer.
The captain looked questioningly at his XO, who was standing across the bridge. "No," he said, shaking his head, "we're not due to join up with the rest of the task force until we finish the Full Force operation. And I don't recall seeing any orders from Ra'Kaat for them to join us either."
Tight-lipped, Evert told the Officer on Duty to sound battle stations, then pulled out his commlink. "Get me Colonel Rambo."
"Understood." With that, Stryker switched his commlink to a different frequency. "Renegade Wing, this is Rogue Leader. Launch the sprint team, and the rest of you get to your fighters. We've got possible hostiles moving in from the other side of the planet. We will try to fight a delaying action in order to allow the Salvatore enough time to get back up here. Do not, repeat do NOT try to engage the fridges unless they get within range of the Liberty. Wait for my order to attack, it is possible that they don't know we're here yet. Stryker out."
Turning to the comm officer in the wing's tactical operations room, he said, "Get a message down to Colonel Lin. Give him the situation and tell him to get back up here ASAP."
[Back on the planet]
Like a lone cry from the night Talyn asleep under the tarped area awoke to the sound of multiple ion engine whine's... like music to his ear he jumped up and out still half covered in the emergency blanket. Before he could finally stand up he found himself slamming against the ground. And hard. As he shook the dread from his eyes from his hardship over the last few months he finally was able to crawl outta the makeshift tent only to get a glimpse of the backside of 3 A-Wings shooting off in the distance. Jumping and hooting like a mad man Talyn was again interrupted by a new but familiar sound coming from behind. As he turned and looked an Assault Transport appeared over the horizon Escorted by another A-Wing. Now overwhelmed he began to jump up and down screaming at the top of his lungs, "over here!!!! OVER HERE!!!!.
As the Assault Transport began its landing cycle, the repulsors kicked in full force to help slow the descent of the large ship. Unfortunate for Talyn who, was looking a bit withered and teary-eyed at the sight of friendlies in the area, was engulfed in a huge cloud of dust that hit him like a vibroblade slice right to the chest. Knocking him down and bashing his head against a rock he fell unconscious...
As the transport finally set down the dust cloud began to drift out and settle but was again kicked up by the repulsors of the A-Wing escort making its landing. Once both ships were on the ground a couple New Republic Armed Forces troops popped out and set up a perimeter of the camp and began to gather up anything that could have or may have been of value. Next off came the Medvac team once they were down the ramp with the repulsor sled they looked around for the misshapen pilot but he was not found. They started walking toward the tent to investigate whether or not Talyn was actually deceased when the pilot of the repulsor sled tripped on Talyn's limp body. The repulsor sled shot off on a collision course with the battered tent and a trooper scooping the tent out.
At the last second the trooper leaped out of harms way but the tent.... well was not so fortunate. As the sled made impact the A-Wings turbo-laser fell over and was still charged with 1 shot left. The heart stopping noise of !!!THUWHACK!!! echoed through the forest nearby and a tree toppled over not to far away.
"Spectre to Blindman, you copy?"
Partially unable to hear due to the noise Blindman only was able to make out "Spec'o'Man yuppie?" Blindman unable to clearly make out what had just happened talked back to the comlink. "Come again?"
"Blindman.... What the heck just happened? We just got transmission from Liberty that 1 possibly 2 ImpFrigs are looking to pick a fight with our CAP so quit taking your sweet time and get off that rock... we may be in for a doosie."
Though still unable to make some parts out Blindman got the picture. "Copy that, three. I'll be up in a jiff, just gotta make sure we get the salvage and our meat." With that remark Corsair lead chuckled a bit and was cut by Spectre on the comm.
"Canít stay and chat lead squints and eyeballs inbound. Seven and Nine on me pattern delta 1, shield config double front...."
Blindman then spotted Talyn being loaded up onto the now dented repulsor sled and being hauled into the shuttle. "Lets go people. We got uglies coming in fast."
Spectre's voice came in over Blindman's commlink, as the rescue team was loading Talyn into the transport. "Boss, we've got possible Imp capships coming in. Stryker has the rest of the wing deployed and they're gonna try and hold them off until we can get back up there."
[On the bridge]
LT Reynolds watched as the Bridge crew went about its business, preparing the ship for hanger operations. "Sithspit" he muttered "I'm stuck here again, bugger this!" With that he tapped in a coded sequence and activated his commlink "2nd LT Houseman here", Chris smiled, "Krayt, It's Jalb. Want to get outside for a while?" Matt recognized the tone of Jalb's voice, and was more than intrigued. "What have you got planned buddy?" Krayt came back. "Alright, listen up 2nd LT," adding stress to the rank "These are orders, so your butts covered, OK! The rest of the Wing is launching without us, and they seem to have neglected to activate backup. We are now Corsair Alert 5 & 6. Get down to the bay and get our eggs prepped, I'll meet you there as soon as I get off the bridge, and Krayt... Load for Bantha. K out"
Krayt was in and out of the ready room in a quasar, and on the hanger deck soon after. SGT Marion Vornac strolled up to the young pilot as he started going over his pre flight checks. "Been left behind have you sir? Always the way with the new guy..." Krayt looked up startled, "No Sarge, got orders. Jalb_k and I are on alert status, and we need a loadout of heavies, could you bring 12 over?" Marion peered into the earnest pilot's face and decided he was serious. With a bit of a shrug he said "Rockets it is, but I don't know what your gonna do that the Buccs can't, then again, they've only gone out with protorps." He returned with a gravsled and the two of them loaded up the tubes on both A-wings.
Jalb_k came into the hanger just as they finished. "Alright Krayt, get in and light em up, we're gonna go standby at the epihelion of the planets moon. Our sensors and comms will be fine but no-one will be able to track us that close to the atmospheric horizon". He clasped Krayt on the shoulder and gave him a serious look, "You have a choice here, I'm making this up as I go, remember, but I'd prefer to give the boys some insurance, you don't have to come." Krayt returned Jalb's solemn expression, then grinned from ear to ear "HA, you're joking, I'm in, no way I'm going to be left behind!" With that he punched Jalb_k on the other shoulder and scrambled over the nose of his fighter and into his cockpit.
Spectre, Condor and Knight punched out of the atmosphere and into a world of hurt. "Squints! I've got seven of them on scope, mark, 2.3 and closing! Alpha by 2, Iota by 2 and Zeta by 3" Knight sounded off. "Must have snuck up in the ionosphere, alright gents, wide separation, I have Zeta, Knight, Alpha, Wolf, you have Iota. Head on then 3 way loop and cross, turn and burn boys" came Spectre's reply. As the 3 A-wings sliced towards the Interceptors they spread horizontally and picked their targets. At extreme range with good tone the Corsairs opened up. Two squints were vapor in short order and a third went screaming out of the fray with a panel sheared at the pylon. Then they were through, "Loop and switch cross is right" Spectre called off. With that the 3 A-wings pulled into tight loops, cutting speed, at the same time changing targets to the one on their right with Condor making a wider loop over and left, taking Knights last Alpha squarely with a linked shot through the cockpit. Knight pulled in behind Zeta 2 and stitched him ruthlessly as Spectre dispatched Iota 2. The last Zeta pulled out and went non-aggressive. The three Corsairs painted him with laser lock then their comms crackled "Rebel Flight, I surrender, I say again, I surrender!". Spectre drawled back "Copy Zeta 3, power down now. Full system shut down except life support. Any other system twitches and you will be vapor, understood?" The Tie pilot replied "Understood, Wilco, powering down." Spectre grinned to himself. "Rogue Lead, this is Corsair Three, we have one captured, require pickup, and I expect more."
"Copy Corsair Three, this is Rogue lead, Maintain present position and prepare to intercept dupes. Liberty sensors have two Frigates coming out of sensor shadow now, each have launched a flight of four bombers, I'm picking up Tie escorts now. Rogue Squadron, break and take those fighters, Buccaneer, leave the sprint team and hit those Frigates."
Jalb_k tensed as he heard the order for attack. "Don't play our hand yet" he thought. He knew
the Buccs out there had enough torps between them to destroy 1 of the Frigates, maybe, but just short of enough to take down two sets of shields. He and Krayt just had to sit tight and wait until they knew what Guardian was going to do. Three Y-wings and two B-wings online, 54 torpedoes. This was gonna be tight.
"Alright Buccs, listen up" came Guardians voice over the comm, "Valkrie and Paladin" you two are on frigate two, Hellcat and Rancor, you guys are on me, get the shields down and disable the frigates." The Buccaneers lined up on their targets and launched their torpedoes. On the first frigate, the shields collapsed completely and two of the torpedoes impacted on the hull, vaporizing some of the armor, the other frigateís shields managed to absorb most of the damage, but itís shields were down to critical. "Rancor, give them a hand with the other frigate" came Guardians order. "As ordered sir". Buccaneer squadron closed quickly with the frigates, lasers and ions blazing. Then Strykerís voice came over the comm, "Hey Guardian, you want some help with that other frigate. They seem to have run out of fighters." With both Guardian and Rogue closing on the frigates, they turned and headed to escape the mass shadow of planet.
[Above the moon]
"Hey Jalb" came Kraytís voice on their comm channel, "I was playing around with my sensors and found something that doesnít look right." "Itís probably nothing," thought Jalb. "Where are they centered?" came his reply. After he received the coordinates, Jalb did a sensor sweep of the area and found what Krayt had mentioned. "I canít really tell from here, stay up here and keep an eye on things, I am going to go take a look." "Will do" came Kraytís reply. About a minute later, Jalb was within 10 kilometers of the sensor reading when his threat alarm shrieked. He checked his screen and saw a pair of missiles had been launched at him. Keeping his cool, he turned his Awing towards the incoming missile and aimed his lasers at them, at 2 kilometers he opened up on them and by the time they had gotten to 1 kilometer, both were shrapnel. Two seconds later his sensors cleared and showed that the sensor reading was in fact an imperial listening post. "Hey Krayt," Jalbís voice crackled over the comm, "I think weíre in trouble."
[Attacking the remaining frigate]
With one frigate already "dead-in-space," the second was about to join its counterparts status as Buccaneer squadrons' pilots continued to pound it with precision ion blasts across the hull. Just as the frigates' shields passed 20%, sensor alerts rang in the ears of the attacking force, and one new red blip could be seen on the sensors.
Soon the comms came to life and Stryker did his job giving orders to all squadrons, "Alright, Corsairs, get back and intercept the fighters, Rogue's we are going to take out that Destroyer. Put all of your torpedoes into it and we will have to finish it off the hard way. Bucc, stay here and finish the job, then help on the ISD."
"Roger that Rogue Lead" Bucc CO Guardian responded, "Alright Buccs, lets finish this clown off and help out on the attack of the ISD. I want simultaneous attacks on the frigate so we can bring her to a dead stop as soon as possible."
A chorus of "affirmatives" sang into Guardians ears, as all the pilots at once turned to engage the frigate, hoping it will be the last time. At 2.3 klicks out, all of the bombers targeted the same point on the frigate to weaken the shields faster, and at 1.8 klicks the frigate opened up with her barrage of laser fire. Holding their ground, the pilots continued plowing into the heavy fire fight the Imperial gunners were putting up, and at 1.6 klicks out all Buccaneers let rip their ions cannons causing the area they were shooting on to glow an illuminant blueish color. With the frigates shields dropping to 10% now, Rancor started taking on too much fire from some of the frigates laser batteries.
With Buccaneer squadron finishing off the remaining frigate, Rogue and Corsair squadron moved in to intercept the new (and party crashing) Star Destroyer.
[Warhead attack on ISD]
"Rogue squadron, this is Rogue lead, spread out formation and arm torpedoes." " "Hey Stryker" came Jalbís voice over the comm. "Krayt and I have a load of rockets, and we are starting our rocket run." Not even going to ask he thought. "Go for it, and good luck" chuckled Stryker as he began targeting the Star Destroyer with his torpedoes. However, this fight wasn't going to be as easy as he thought when alarms rang in his ears warning him of incoming missiles....this star destroyer captain must have been a boy scout, because the ship was loaded with Adv. Missiles. Just as soon as the missiles were launched, the fighters followed with T/I's, T/F's and T/B's springing from the bay of the wedged shape ship. "Looks like we have got more problems people. Look sharp and watch your backs," ordered Stryker as he went evasive launching a dual shot of torpedoes at the Star Destroyer in the process. With the rest of Rogue squadron gaining a target lock and firing off the rest of their torpedoes, Corsairs' 5 and 6 moved in to arm their rockets. As the warhead attack was taking place, the rest of Corsair squadron broke off to engage the enemy fighters. Rogue joined in to take on the more serious threat, T/B's while Corsair began attacking the T/I's (bomber escorts).
As soon as Jalb_k and Krayt had a red lock, the trigger fingers went into action launching 12 rockets each towards the star destroyer. Trouble came when the star destroyerís adv. missiles destroyed all of Rogues torpedoes and now the rockets were being destroyed. A very frustrated Jalb_k radioed Stryker, "Stryker, we have encountered a problem...seems that only 4 of our 24 rockets fired managed to get through the defense screen of the star destroyer. The rest were either destroyed by missiles or laser fire...its going to be a hell of a fight mate."
"An even bigger problem Stryker, is that the ATR Salvatore has broke free of the planets atmosphere and a flock of T/F's are moving to destroy the transport," commented Rogues XO Vidster. "Blindman, do you copy? This is Stryker...a group of enemy fighters are moving to engage the ATR. Think you can handle it? We seem to be tied up at the moment." "No problem Stryker" came Corsairs CO voice over the comm, "Alright you three (Spectre, Knight and Condor) spread formation and lets turn to engage the enemy fighters."
[Back at the frigates]
"This is Rancor, I'm taking to much fire here. Aft shields down to 50% and forward shields are dropping rapidly, need to pull out quick." "Gotcha buddy, I'll give you some breathing room," Hellcat commented as he armed his laser cannons and came about to target the closet laser turret to Rancorís battered bomber. Pretty sure of his shot, Hellcat opened up making direct hits on the laser turret. With the turret out-of-order, Rancor was in the clear. "You're clear Ran...oh damn. This is Hellcat, engine system has been damaged, I'm a sitting duck out here LITERALLY!!!" "Roger that Hellcat...Paladin you seem to have more shield strength than the rest of us, move in to shield Hellcat until his engine systems come back online. The rest of you, move in to disable this frigate once and for all," Guardian spitted out orders as he rerouted power to his shields and prepped to bore in on the frigate.
With his bomber taking a beating from laser fire, Hellcats chances of pulling out of here alive were bleak, but he spoke to soon. Just as the last of his rear shields went dark Paladin moved in to position himself between the frigates gunners and Hellcats bomber, now taking the punishment. "How would you like a bit of metal used as your shields Hellcat?" chuckled Paladin as he compensated his shields. "Heh, my friend you don't know how glad I am to see you here. Thought I was going to beco..." Hellcat was interrupted by Paladin, "How much more time till repairs Hellcat?" "Still got another 10 seconds." "Guardian, I'm not going to be able to keep this punishment up for that amount of time." "This is Guardian, all Buccaneers disable this sucker now. Damaged or not I don't want to lose 2 pilots at the same time." As the urgency played out, Hellcats engine system came online jolting him into his seat as his bomber jumped forward. Seeing his squad mate active once again, Paladin engaged his thrusters and proceeded to move out of range of the frigate just as the giant ship's shields dropped. In a matter of seconds the ship was dead in space, lights flickering and all.
Forgetting about his recent ordeal, Hellcat radioed Guardian "Hey boss, we're not going to let Rogue and Corsair have all the fun are we?" as he noticed the fireworks taking place off in the distance. With a smile on his face Guardian responded with, "That's a big negative 6. All craft form up on me and proceed to the engagement area." As the bombers gathered on the CO's wing, they sped off to join the other engagement taking place and leaving the two frigates lying motionless in space.
[Back at the ISD engagement]
"This is Guardian, Stryker we're on our way. The two frigates are dead in the water and all craft are still accounted for." "Roger that Guardian." As the Rogues X-wings continued to engage the T/B's and Corsairs A-wings fighting off the T/I's, the escorts of ATR Salvatore were now within range to engage the T/F's. "Alright boys, chose your targets and let em rip," came Blindmanís order as he pulled his A-wings laser mounts to aim on Alpha 1.
"OK Krayt, you're my wing, form on me, echelon heavy right" Jalb_k transmitted as he and Corsair Six overshot the ISD after their very ordinary attack run, "We're going in hot...." he cut off as acquisition tone started bleating in his headset. Jalb_k looked over each shoulder out of habit then started cycling through his threat display, "Krayt, I'm getting locked up here, do you see.. No, wait! Stryker, this is Corsair Five. New contacts at 4.3, 2 marks, looks like T/A, wait, make that 4, I say again, two pair, brights closing. Six and I will split them." Suddenly Jalb's normally calm Macquarian drawl became a terse monologue, "They have tone, they have tone. This is Five; I'm going evasive. "Krayt, now would be good!" Krayt could not believe the rate of closure, nor the fact that they were all ignoring him, and was equally stunned at the fact that Jalb_k had just evaded 4 AM's and was looping around for a shot at the trailing bright, "KRAYT!! Five minutes ago would be better!" The call was like a slap to Matt's face and he pulled himself back into the battle, taking an aggressive line to intersect with a T/A coming around on his flight lead.
Vidster had monitored the comms between Corsair Five and Six and partially ignored the small stab of worry he got. "Krayt, I don't know, too new, but I know what Reynolds is like with brights and he'll die before he admits it" he said to himself. He led the dupe he was following just so, and a quad blast to the missile hold shattered it prettily. He keyed a private channel to his CO (I don't know how Vids got out here. Op Full Force is still on, and last I heard he was in the brig *G*) and spoke "Boss, Vids. I think Jalb may have bitten off more than he can chew. You're lookin' good here, d'ya mind?" Stryker didn't need to think long and hard "Swing on over, but try not to be too obvious. Just fly casual, we don't want him to think we have no faith in him." "Roger Stryk, I'm out" came Vidster's reply as he peeled off toward the melee at the rear of the ISD.
While Blindman, Condor, Spectre and Knight finished off the Eyeballs that came at the 'Salvatore', and Jalb and Krayt played with the Brights, the remaining Corsairs were in the thick of the fray. Kallysto, Mav and Wolf had worked up a creditable 12 squints between them, with another wave on the way.
[Near the ATR Salvatore]
"Just 3 more eyeballs left to go boys," came Blindmanís voice over the comms as he set his lasers for dual shot, while lining up on one of the 3 T/F's. In a matter of seconds all of the eyeballs endangering the ATR were destroyed and the Salvatore was moving into a landing pattern on the Liberty. "This is Blindman, all targets threatening the Salvatore have been destroyed. Knight, you're with me. Spectre and Condor help out Kallysto, Mav, and Wolf with the new wave of squints. Knight we're going to help out Jalb_K and Krayt with the brights." As a series of "affirmatives" voiced across the comms, Knight and Blindman formed up and broke off to engage the T/A's while Condor and Spectre moved in to form up with Kallysto, Mav, and Wolf in preparation for the new wave of squints.
"Alright Buccs, we're nearing the ISD. Spread out and watch your backs, I don't think they are going to like a group of heavies approaching their command ship," ordered Guardian as he took one last look at the shields status of the wedge shaped ship. "Guardian, we've got a problem. The newly arrived squints are veering off and moving to intercept us," warned Valkrie just as the B-wings pressed to within 3 klicks of the star destroyer. Suddenly Kallysto blared out over the radio, "Don't worry Bucc, we are moving in at top speed to take them off your back." Noticing the range between the Awings and the T/Is, Guardian knew that it was going to be a close one as the range between his squadron and the squints dropped to within 2.1 klicks. Now within 1.2 klicks, the squints opened fire on Buccaneer, but no sooner had they opened fire than they became a part of the void of space. As Corsairs' missiles impacted with the T/Is, Guardian and the other pilots of Buccaneer couldn't help but sigh or relief continuing to press onward towards the impstar.
[Engagement with the T/As]
"Krayt, where are ya mate?!" yelled out Jalb_k as he pulled his fighter into a steep climb dodging yet another AM fired at him. As he completed his turn, Jalb_k lined himself up on one of the avengers, setting cannons for single shot and squeezing the trigger sending scarlet colored blasts into the brights shields. Jalb_k's fighter started losing shield strength though when he noticed that one of the brights was on his tail cutting loose with all its cannons. However, the laser fire coming from the T/A was brought to a halt when Kraytís fighter zoomed over Jalb at top speed sending red bolts of fire into the imperial fighterís shields causing it to break off. The bright didn't last long after that, as Krayt pulled in behind it finishing him off before he had a chance to recharge shields. Not a moment to spare, Jalb reacquired the T/A he was working on while Krayt banked hard left and cut engines to 2/3 bringing his fighter on the tail of another bright. The third bright was going to take advantage of the slight advantage he and his associates had. He pulled in behind Jalb_k and started locking missiles. Noticing his threat indicator blinking and then becoming a hard red Jalb_k pulled his fighter into a steep dive while cutting power a little hoping the imp would over shoot, "He's got lock, he's got lock!" Almost at the engagement area, Vids noticed what was going on, and calmly said to himself, "Hang in there buddy," as he neared the melee area.
[Back with Buccaneer]
"This is the Liberty, all pilots we're withdrawing from the combat area. We have reason to believe that the ISD has radioed for reinforcements. All pilots, repeat ALL pilots, we're withdrawing from the area." As the message was being announced, the Liberty turned on her axis towards the hyperspace jump point...towards the ISD.
"Ok, spread formation and do not, repeat DO NOT target the ISD. Last thing we need to worry about are AMs fired at us," ordered Guardian as he ran a check of his shields one last time. With the Buccaneers pushing on, Kallysto, Mav, Wolf, Spectre and Condor engaged the impstars fighter defenses of squints near the star destroyer itself. Taking on fire from a combination of two T/Is and the star destroyer, Condor yelled out over the Mic, "Flight control systems damaged." To make matters worse, his fighter was heading straight in on the ISD just a little under 1.4 klicks away. Giving a quick look at his repair console, Condor noticed that he had another 13 seconds till repairs to the flight control system were done, then he looked at the growing imperial capship ahead of him. He didn't like the thought of being a part of the impstars hull at all.
Only seconds away from collision with the ISD, Condor noticed the blur of Spectre's A-Wing slip in above him. It took only a moment for him to realize what he had planned. There was a worrying 'smash' as his fighter was bumped down by Spectre, narrowly flinging it clear. He looked out the side of his cockpit to see Spectre only meters from the ISD's surface. Amid a flurry of laser fire Spectre spun out and clear of the shadow of the ISD.
"Thanks Spectre," said a slightly shaken Condor,
"I owe you, big time". Seconds later flight control was returned to operational status and they both entered the fray once more......
[Back on the Brights]
Jalb jerked his fighter back and forth trying to shake the missile lock, just as he heard the missile warning, the space around him erupted into turbolaser blasts as he came within the ISD's range, "Oh great, this is all I needed" he thought. He heard a small explosion behind him and then another larger one, checking his scanner, he no longer saw the missile or the Advanced behind him. Then Krayt's voice came over the comm, "He got hit by one of those turbolaser blasts." he chuckled. "And I finished up the third one, you want the last one or should I take it?"
Before Jalb could get off a reply, his sensors showed the bright taking laser damage and exploding a few seconds later. Then Blindman's voice came over the comm; "sorry we couldn't let you guys have all the fun. Alright Corsairs, let's finish off the remaining fighters and get out of here."
[On the bridge]
"Captain we are within turbolaser range now"
"Then fire at will" The liberty opened up into the star destroyer and it opened up back at the Liberty a couple of seconds later. But with the Corsairs taking out it's fighters before they could do anything to the liberty, and two squadrons of fighters doing strafing runs across the hull, The ISD's shields fell quickly. Then the Liberty and the Buccaneers opened up with their ions and the Star Destroyer was dead in space inside of fifteen seconds.
This is the Salvatore; we have landed in the hangar bay and are transporting Talyn to sick bay.
All fighters this is control, we will meet up at the rendezvous point, the Liberty will be entering hyperspace in thirty seconds.
[Back on the bridge]
"Sir, twenty seconds till hyperspace"
The sensor operator then spoke up again,
"Sir, I have three more enemy capital ships entering the system on the other side of the planet. It looks like two Victory Star Destroyers and an Interdictor."
"How close are they to powering up the gravity wells?" Came his reply.
"Sir, they came in with power already running, the gravity well is already expanding"
The Sensor officer watched the gravity well expanded, catching up to the Liberty quickly. Two seconds later Renegade wing entered hyperspace, leaving the new arrivals far behind them.
Stryker watched from the hanger gallery as the last of the A-wings powered down and settled to the deck after rendezvous. He couldn't help but feel pride in the pilots of his wing. 2 Nebulon B's and an ISD disabled, 64 Imp fighters of various configurations accounted for and not one lost by the good guys. Admittedly there were a few space frames that were on the short side of spaceworthy, some of the Buccs had certainly taken a hammering, but all things considered... "A pity we couldn't have captured those disabled craft." he thought to himself. "Oh well, such are the fortunes of war."
His gaze fell on a group of pilots, backslapping and grinning at each other, hands held out in front replaying maneuvers from the dogfight just in case their buddy had missed it out there. "Humph, Corsairs!" Stryker smiled to himself, a smile which turned to a frown as he spied Corsairs Five and Six in the middle of the gathering. Wondering what he was going to do about them and trying to figure what rules they had bent or broken, he finally decided to leave it up to their CO, "Blindman can sort that one out!" he grinned, and with that turned on his heel towards his cabin and a well deserved refreshment.