Things were pretty much normal on the Liberty. There were a few
new faces onboard as well as some old faces now missing. As usual
Corsair Squadron had been doing its fair share of patrols and escort
missions. These missions had been no different than normal but some
of the pilots had got a little tired of the lack of actual combat
recently. Rogue Squadron had been kept very busy though, and it
looked as though the elite squadron was finding all the action at
Fortunately for some of the Corsairs things were looking up. An
interesting mission that could not be left until the Rogues were
back had just become available thanks to some top class reconnaissance
on their fellow Corsairs' part.
Lt. Col. Bob "Blindman" Lin strode into the briefing
room in which Chris "Jalb_K" Reynolds, Alrick "Krayt"
Durgan, and Jonathan "Condor" Rees sat. Surprisingly,
a couple of the Buccaneers were also present for the briefing too,
so this made it look like the mission was going to be something
a little more interesting. When the Lt. Colonel spoke, he looked tired but
"Well Renegades, we've been idling our burners lately; but
Command has decided go give us a go, so let's get started." He turned to the Corsair pilots as their faces lit up with the prospect
of some kills. "Your squadmates have brought to our attention
a relatively unguarded munitions convoy passing through a classified
sector on the outer rim. The Empire must have planned to sneak it
past us unnoticed as a quick sensor sweep of the convoy revealed
only a handful of Eyeballs and Squints escorting, with a few in
reserve onboard a pair of Corvettes that form the primary defenses
for the convoy. Of course we have other plans for this convoy, but
our recon did not pass unnoticed so reinforcements are undoubtedly
already en-route. Now we would prefer to capture the entire convoy
intact, but insufficient time and manpower prevents that. So..."
he paused to let the tension build up, then: "Guardian has
assigned a flight of two B-wings from Buccanneer that will attempt
to destroy the entire convoy and deny the Empire use of these resources.
Three A-wings from Corsair will provide escort for the B-wings and
intercept all fighter defenses. Notice I said attempt, not because
I doubt your abilities, but because I want you all out of there
at the first sign of trouble. Is that clear?"
All the pilots nodded. "It doesn't appear so, but we can never
rule out the possibility of a trap. Also— Intel suggests Imperial
reinforcements will be heavy and in significant numbers, so be careful!
This does however leave the question of why is this convoy so important,
so as a precautionary measure Flight Officer Ralter will be joining
you on this mission to capture anything of great value to our wing
and the Alliance in general. To this end we will have commandos
on board the Darei to help with capture operations, if any.
Therefore Corsair Squadron also has the responsibility of keeping
them safe, right?"
Alli walked into the briefing with a sense of purpose, followed
shortly thereafter by a small yellow creature that could only be her pet
"Right!" she said. "Do you think we can rely on
these guys?" she asked Pika. She smiled after a small nod came
in return then replied "Yeah me too".
A short while later the mission's pilots had gathered in the main
hangar and were completing final checks to their ships.
"So," said Jalb, "you have the honor of flying
with the best today! I'll let you take my other wing if you think
you can handle it."
"Sure," Condor replied with a smirk, "I'm not in
the mood for lead today, so I will be happy to pass it on to the
next best qualified. You need the experience."
"Heheh, you wish Condor," came the reply.
Moments later they were aboard their A-wings with Josh "Hellcat"
Kinney and Alastair "Rancor" Harper aboard their respective
B-wings. Alli was not yet with them as her modified Corellian Transport
was capable of much greater speeds than the fighters. This allowed
her to leave later and gave the others a chance to secure the combat
area first as well.
Each Corsair pilot switched to their squad channel and checked
in. "This is Five, reading all green for go."
"Copy Five, this is Six, all systems operational."
"Nine here, roger that, clear for lift off."
"Liberty Control," Jalb_k said, switching to the wing's
frequency, "Corsair flight of three, requesting permission
to launch, noses hot."
"Control to Corsair flight," purred Pashk "Silk"
V'tikan, the Bothan flight controller. "Copy, noses hot, permission
to launch granted. Force be with you."
The A-wings took the lead and rose off the deck, then glided slowly
around to face the hangar exit. Seconds later their engines kicked
in and thrust them forward. They swooped out away from the Liberty
at one-third power, followed shortly thereafter by the pair of B-wings
from Buccaneer Squadron. The snubfighters made formation around
Jalb's craft as he downloaded jump co-ordinates to his comrades.
"Hyperspace in 3—2—1."
The familiar sight of stars cascading in beams of pure light greeted
them as they left the relative safety of the Liberty far behind'.
Condor checked his chrono; there were mere seconds until reversion
to realspace and his mission. He was going to have to work fast,
his comrades in Buccaneer and on the Darei depended on it.
The cascade of light shimmered and faltered, finally slowing to
a halt. Several shapes began to grow in his line of sight as his
A-wing decelerated from hyperspace. He recognised the shapes of
the bulk freighters straight away; there were six of them, protected
at the front and rear by a corvette. The Buccaneers' first task
was to penetrate this defensive perimeter to reach their targets.
Condor's combat computer reported eight standard TIE/LN Starfighters,
or "eyeballs," in the area. Jalb spoke up:
"Right Condor, Krayt and I can handle these guys. You take
close escort of the B's in case any slip by us. We have to give
them a clear run to target."
"Roger," Condor replied.
"Oh yeah," added Jalb, "while you're there do a
quick ID of the freighters, let's see what we got."
No sooner had they split than their combat computer reported a
launch of four TIE Interceptors, or "squints," from the
corvettes. Condor reacted quickly:
"I'm on them. Give me a hand with the ID run when you're
"Copy that," replied Jalb.
"You sure you're all right with them?" Krayt queried.
"I'll shout you at the first sign of trouble," came
Corsair Nine and the Buccaneers slipped under the eyeballs' formation
as Jalb and Krayt opened fire. Jalb's shots tore the left panel
clear off his target while Krayt hit his victim dead on causing
the cockpit of the TIE to condense into a cloud of ionised gas.
"Woo-hoo!" Jalb screamed. "Chalk up another one
for the Corsair boys!"
Meanwhile Condor had pulled aside from the Buccaneers on an intercept
course, attempting to take the squints out before they could harass
the B-wings of Buccaneer. As Hellcat and Rancor closed on the convoy
they each targeted a corvette and began to lock their weapons.
"I'm locked, torps away!" came the reassuring update
from Hellcat. His flight of torpedoes slammed straight into his
corvette's bridge section simultaneously lowering the shields of
the vessel while blasting huge chunks of armor out of it at a time.
It didn't stand a chance and quickly broke up under the onslaught.
Rancor had similar success with his torpedoes hitting the engine
section of his corvette and detonating the entire ship.
"The corvettes are down, clear for ID," announced Rancor.
"Only one minute until Alli gets here," added Hellcat.
"Let's make sure there's no welcoming committee for her!"
The squints had split into two elements as Condor closed. The
first continued towards the Buccaneers, the other had broken off
and had now targeted his A-wing and was closing fast. He jinked
to port to avoid the barrage of lasers, and in doing so got a laser
lock on one of the other squints. Unleashing a quick salvo of dual
shots, he managed to tear one apart in his first pass. He followed
up on the second's tail and had caused severe damage to it when
he felt the slam of Imperial lasers on his aft shields. He slewed
his craft left and right but had difficulty losing the maneuverable
squints that obviously weren't being flown by rookies. The odd stray
shot from his pursuers hitting his shields started to worry him.
But just as he saw no other option but to call on his wingmen, the
welcome sight of Hellcat's B-wing appeared right in front of him
and fired two linked shots straight at his pursuer at point blank
range. This surprise brought a quick smile on Condor's face and
the shock caused the squint's wingman to break off. Seizing the
opportunity Condor turned and inverted bringing the fleeing squint
into his sight. His first shot was too high, but managed to clip
the squint's starboard wing. The proximity of this shot caused the
squint's pilot to swerve away from the blast straight in line with
his second shot. The ball cockpit was sheared end to end by the
"Thanks for the save back there Hellcat!" Condor called.
"Hey no problem Birdman," came the reply, "we Buccs
need some kills too ya know."
"That's the squints taken care of," reported Condor,
"beginning ID run".
During the conflict with the squints Corsair's Five and Six flyers
had been kept equally busy. After the initial pass the eyeballs
broke formation and juked in all directions. The two pilots had
each managed to stay on one and persisted in showering their path
with lasers until they were no more.
"Two to one," Krayt mused, "I'd take those odds
any day." The remaining eyeballs were then evenly spread on
Jalb_k's and Krayt's tails.
"Let's go for the old one two," Jalb replied.
The two A-wings turned to face each other head-on as their followers
did the same. As they closed to 1.5 klicks they both opened fire
at each other just as the eyeballs fired upon them.
Jalb broke up, and Krayt down. The eyeballs realized only too
late the old trick they had fallen for. The Corsairs had left behind
them four ties and a whole lot of lasers. The combination wasn't
pretty as an inescapable barrage of both Rebel and Imperial energy
beams surrounded the lead eyeballs. The resulting explosion made
it difficult for their wingmen to see for a moment. One had escaped
relatively unscathed; the other had lost a significant part of its
port solar panel and thus some of its manoeuvrability. They didn't
see each other until late, far too late. They both tried to break— but with no time and one of the two damaged, collision was unavoidable.
"Yeah! Scratch eight!" came from a delighted Krayt.
Rancor had already identified the cargoes the first two freighters as Condor's A-wing
came flying past him towards the others.
"Just standard munitions at the moment," reported Rancor.
"You take the first Hellcat, and I'll take this one. Oh and
save the torps for later in case we need to finish in a hurry."
"Will do," answered Hellcat.
Just as Condor's A-wing closed on the remaining freighters, the
familiar sight of Alli's Corellian Transport Darei appeared on sensors. The other
Corsairs moved to escort and were on her wing in moments.
Condor ID'd the remaining freighters with ease. The first were
just loaded with standard munitions, but the last pair's cargo caught
his attention a little better. Both were packed full of starfighter
warheads: one load of advanced missles, and the other advanced torpedoes.
This was too good to be true for Renegade Wing; warheads were in
short supply at the best of times for the Alliance, so this find
was like striking gold.
Jalb took control of the situation once again. "Hellcat, Rancor, disable those freighters now! Alli— capture
them as quickly as possible, reinforcements can't be far off now.
We'll finish the others off."
Under the combined firepower of the three A-wings, the non-warhead carrying freighters
lasted no time at all. The first buckled under a solid wave of laser
fire, and the second was dispatched with a few well-placed missiles.
Meanwhile the Buccaneers used their remaining torpedoes to cripple
the shields on both of the freighters. Seconds later the familiar
blue glow of ion cannons washed over the freighters' hulls.
"Targets disabled," reported Hellcat.
"Copy that," answered Jalb.
The graceful shape of the Darei glided above and lowered
itself onto the first freighter.
"Give me two minutes to unload commandos onto the freighters,"
"This is Nine, roger that, we'll cover you."
It seemed like an eternity as they waited. Finally the Darei disengaged
off the freighter and moved towards the other.
"So far so good," Krayt reported.
"Doh!" replied Hellcat, "never say that until it's over!"
The sudden appearance of an Imperial-class Star Destroyer and
several corvettes spurred the pilots into action. Moments later
a smaller Victory-class Star Destroyer appeared towards their exit
vector. The first captured freighter, with only seconds to spare,
accelerated towards and under the VSD and escaped into hyperspace
narrowly avoiding the hail of laser fire the Star Destroyer had
aimed at it.
"That was close," said Rancor. "We won't be so
lucky next time, it's moving to block our escape."
"We'll have to force it back so we can get jumped out of
here. Anyone got any torps left?"
"We've got two each," replied Hellcat, "not enough
to dent that ugly piece of space trash."
"I've got a couple loaded up to fire onboard, too,"
"We had better save them for our withdrawal," suggested
Hellcat. "We'll need them to pin that VSD down."
"Copy that," answered Jalb. "Corsairs, we're going
to have to keep any fighters off the Darei while she finishes docking.
Condor, work with the Buccaneers and hold any forces from the VSD
away from the Darei; Krayt and I will do our best to stop any from
the ISD. Alli, tell me your guys are almost done 'cause we're running
out of options fast!"
"Another minute at least Jalb, just give us a little longer."
"We'll try, but there's no promises."
A swarm of fighters poured out the ISD and headed straight towards
them. They were only 10 klicks away so they would have a warhead
lock on the Darei in little more than a minute. The duo of A-wings
kicked their engines up to full and closed as quickly as possible.
"OK Krayt, it looks like we only have one option here, go
for the bombers, it's our only chance."
"Let's just hope we stay alive long enough to do that then,"
came the reply.
Meanwhile there was a launch of only 2 squints and 3 dupes from
the VSD; it was starting to look a little more promising this end
of the engagement.
"I'll keep the squints off your back, go for the bombers,"
"Will do Birdman," replied Hellcat, "don't let
As Condor flew head-on at the squints, he switched to missiles
and fired a snap shot at the lead fighter. It disengaged immediately
and concentrated on staying clear of his warhead. With the first
out the way for a while he focused his aim at the second and closed
with frightening speed. His target noticed the unwanted attention
he was receiving and moved to engage. At this range it was near
suicide against a shielded craft; both exchanged laser fire but
the squint's merely deflected on his shields. Condor's shots hit
home and the squint tore apart with ease as he flew through the
remains of his foe.
This had left the Buccaneers unchallenged in their run against
the dupes. They each took one down in moments from missile lock.
The survivor managed to let a twin salvo of torpedoes loose before
the clumsy B-wings could turn to fire. The azure projectiles speed
off towards the Darei.
"You have incoming!" Hellcat screamed as a hasty warning
to Alli. Within seconds of impact a flare launched from the transport
and intercepted the first torp. The second, unchallenged, slammed
straight into the transport shaking it end from end. The shields
held, barely, and the Darei regained control momentarily.
"Careful guys, another one of them and we're done for!"
"We are severely outnumbered here Alli! If you're not going
to be done in the next thirty seconds we're going to have to withdraw."
"Almost there boys, just hold them off for a few seconds."
The squint on the run from Condor's missile came dangerously close
to Hellcat on his evasive maneuvers. It provided an opportunity
too great to pass up for the impulsive pilot. He locked all lasers
on Hellcat and opened fire. Hellcat saw the threat immediately and
dodged accordingly, but it was not enough due to the B-wing's massive
profile. Two of the four lasers from the initial barrage hit his
craft, rocking it with the impact. The squint pilot pulled behind
Hellcat with ease with his squint's far superior maneuverability.
Just as he was about to fire, the missile he had carelessly ignored
slammed into his side blowing his craft apart.
"You're clear Hellcat!" commented Condor. "Our
exit vector is cleared of fighters for the time being."
"Copy that" said Jalb as his small flight of A-Wings
approached the cloud of fighters before them. "Nine, give us
some help out here; Buccaneers stay on escort."
The two Corsairs tore into the group of TIEs, narrowly missing
the shower of lasers fired upon them and continued towards the large
group of dupes behind them. A hastily fired missile from each A-wing
took two down instantaneously. As they closed, the Corsair pilots
switched to lasers and fired into the group. The dupes broke formation
and scattered. Despite the trail of eyeballs and squints that followed
them, the two A-Wings managed to snap off enough shots to discourage
any dupes from staying straight enough to get a warhead lock on
the Darei. However the sheer number of enemy fighters soon got the
better of them, and Jalb had to disengage from the dupes to avoid
a pounding of laser fire coming from the fighters close on his tail.
This was all the chance the Imperial pilots needed. A volley of
about twelve torpedoes sped off towards the Darei at breakneck speed.
"There is more incoming Alli," said a solemn Jalb, "please
tell me you're done."
"Not quite!" said Alli. "What range?"
"Six klicks," replied Jalb.
"We're in trouble. Torpedoes are loaded up now so we have
no missiles to intercept the torpedoes."
"Use the torpedoes then!"
"No can do; they're not quick enough to get in the way in
time— my launchers are front firing."
"Condor, you're mid-way to us, try to intercept them first,
you're Darei's only chance."
"I'll try Jalb," Condor said tightly.
"Good luck Nine."
Condor saw the shimmer of blue coming towards him. He switched
to single fire lasers and hoped he was quick enough. As the torpedoes
approached he targeted the first and opened fire. Torpedo after
torpedo was shot down, but they appeared to keep coming, never ending.
Finally he could see only the blackness of space behind them. A
final volley of five torpedoes came towards him from every angle
in front. He snapped out five shots, but in his hurry only three
"Wow," said Jalb, "good shooting, you got them
"That's a negative," said Condor, let down by his failure.
"The last two got by me."
"Brace for impact Darei!" ordered Jalb. Mere moments
from the fatal impact the elegant forms of Hellcat's and Rancor's
B-wings glided in front of the Darei and fired a linked shot each.
The incoming torpedoes fizzled into nothingness.
"Woo hoo!" said Jalb, "way to go guys!"
"Capture operation complete!" reported Alli.
"Let's get the hell out of here then!" replied Condor.
"Copy that Nine," said Jalb, "on our way out, ETA
one minute." The two A-Wings amidst the TIE swarm turned tail
and kicked their engines up to flank, tearing away from the enemy
fighters and leaving even some of the squints for dust. The rest
of the Alliance forces turned to engage the VSD and head for their
The Darei and the two B-wings from Buccaneer let loose with everything
they had. The volley of torpedoes served its purpose, slamming into
the VSD with such force that it was knocked back as its shields
were pounded down. The B-wings and the Darei slipped under the VSD
and took the opportunity when it was pinned down to fly past and
jump to hyperspace.
The freighter was by now closing fast on the exit vector, however
it was moving too slow to slip past the capital ship as the others
had. By this time Jalb and Krayt had caught up almost to the final
freighter and Condor took their wing.
"I say we charge them," suggested Condor.
"I knew we brought you for a reason," Jalb laughed down
the comm. "You're the lead, Condor; it's your idea so you have
the honor." The others slipped behind him and sped off towards
the freighter with the faster squints in hot pursuit. The three
A-wings got in range just before the freighter and caught all the
attention of the VSD. All three fighters opened up on the bridge
and top of the hull while gliding left and right to avoid incoming
fire. The VSD was such a big target that even with this movement
they hit with all their shots. The incoming Corsairs though were
a little harder to hit. The splash of rebel lasers against the Star
Destroyer's bridge was enough to distract the vessel's commander.
The freighter flew past as quickly as possible and jumped as soon
as it was able. Seconds later the A-wings that had by now cleared
the VSD aimed to do the same. The following squints were close behind
but not quick enough as the trio of fighters jumped as one into
the welcome quiet of hyperspace.
Back at the Liberty the pilots were met with congratulations from
their comrades. They had just had word that the fighters of their
ship had been allocated all the captured warheads, which would make
their jobs a lot easier for the foreseeable future. They all met after debriefing for
a celebratory drink.
"Pretty well done Condor," said Jalb. "You did
OK. If you're really lucky I may let you fly with us again some
time. I'm surprised you could keep up with us."
"Gee thanks," replied Condor jokingly, "but I've
had enough of the little league for the time being."
"Yeah right," Jalb added, "now you've flown with
the best, nothing' will compare".
"I'll take your word for it Jalb... for now! Oh by the way,
well-flown Buccaneers, you guys can be useful even in those tanks
you call starfighters."
"Good thing I was there to bail you out, Tweety," added
Hellcat. "What would you do without me?"
"I'm sure I'd manage, Kitty, but I had to give you guys something
to do, gotta earn your pay."
"You guys never stop do you?" asked Alli.
"We're Renegades," replied Rancor. "That's the