Oct 18 2013 7:14pm
Liberator Cruiser Farrogut
Two Hours before the battle of Sullust.
Colonel Marrius Connors sat looking over his daily progress reports. He knew what he and his regiment were doing was important. With the galaxy in the shape it was in he knew 3 Corps would need to be ready. General Forlon had made sure he and the other regimental commanders knew just what was at stake. While 3rd fleet was on its way to Sullust, Most of Forlon 's Task Force were on the verge of battle. The main body of 3 corp would land on Sullust and take the worlds major star pots and tunnel entrances. Colonel Connors and his regiment however were out working on training with the new AV battle armor and getting ready for what came next. They knew it was just a matter of time before they would find and face other enemies besides the Empire. General Frolon Knew in time Admiral Reshmar would have no other choice than admit that. Colonel Connors felt the same as Forlon. Before the holonet crashed he had watched footage of the Dominion and what little there was of the what many were calling the reavers. It was his job to be ready for any and all foes. He knew the day was coming when the Empire would be the lesser of the enemies he would have to face. His troops had not gone with the fleet to Sullust. Their mission was far more important. They were to test and evaluate the new battle armor obtained by 3rd fleet. Colonel Connors however had no idea how soon a threat would arise. An image appeared on the screen of the bald cantankerous Forlon. His hardened face had the familiar scowl Forlon seems to always have. Connors knew the man had another side. He had seen it once, and hoped not to again. He nearly died that day and he was in no hurry to go ice boarding on Hoth ever again. No matter if it was on order. Connors saluted Forlon and spoke.
"General, sorry to bother you. I know you and the 32nd are on standby at Sullust."
Forlon waved it away and took a sip from a glass he grabbed from off screen.
"That is alright Colonel, What is it you needed to tell me. Your message said it was urgent."
Connors nodded and brought up a display which he and Forlon could both see.
"General I received this message from Randon two hours ago. They have requested assistance from 3rd fleet."
Connors played the message where the provisional council of Randon was requesting assistance from the Alliance. Video footage of armored figures bursting through a rural Financial district played then the video went back to what seemed to be a spokesman for the Randonians. Forlon looked over the data stream scrolling at the bottom of the video listing statistics like death toll and property damage. As the video finished he took another drink then shook his head.
"Colonel, Sullust is hours away and we have no idea what the outcome of that battle will be. Admiral Reshmar is dark. In transit and I will not be in contact with him until after the engagement. Were standing by in case were called and I can not conceive sending you into battle at this point. We know far too little about this enemy. Who are they, where did they come from. It has been two weeks since I have heard from fleet command. I have no idea what the hell those pencil heads are doing on Yavin. We have carried out the last set of orders and have no new orders as of yet."
Colonel Connors thought about what he had seen and the people of Randon and started to speak up in defiance. He was cut short by Forlon's wave once again.
"That being said I can not ignore this either. We are the good guys or are damn well supposed to be. Colonel take 1st Expeditionary Company and investigate. Keep the regiment on stand-by and go see what were dealing with. Engage only if there is no option. See what this enemy is doing on Randon. Find out who and what they are. Little I am tired of not having the proper Intel for operations.. Were going into Sullust today on Intel that is over a week old. I do not like it and I will be frell if I send your regiment to its death."
Connors nodded and began going through the steps he would ned to do to get this going. A full battle company with support. While his men were battle hardened they were untested in the new battle armor. His thinking process was broken when Forlon spoke again.
"Colonel, These new toys are not cheep. They cost us a Defender-class star destroyer to get. Make sure they are worth it and make damn sure you get each and every one back."
Connors saluted Forlon and the screen went dark. The first real world trials, The first chance to see what these things can really do. He knew his men were ready. He understood the Generals line of thought and respected his caution but Marrius had never been the cautious type..
The trip to Randon had taken the better part of the night. Marrius had spent the time planning and finalizing the preparations for anything that they could face.. He had to assign and reassign forces to get the right mix for his expeditionary force. The three ships in his force had left Daalang and moved into orbit above Randon. Below the world seems quiet and calm. Large modern cities stretched up out of the earth with massive financial buildings reaching for low orbit. Other smaller cities spread out over the surface housed markets and bazaars which span kilometers in all directions. From low orbit the surface looked like one bright light. Connors looked at the image of the world on the displays them watched as one of his majors zoomed into a section of a northern city. As the magnifications zoomed in it became apparent that the surface was far from quiet. Small explosions became visible as the zoom slowed and settled. Major Lant began the mission briefing.
"This is Poast, one of the northern most financial districts. This is where the message we received said the attacks first began. As you can see most of the city is aflame. I think this is the work of the Randon PDF. They seemed to have used some sort of incendiary weapon."
Images of burns carcasses and burning buildings appeared on the lower section of the screen. The collections of lieutenants and platoon sergeants looked over the images. A moment later another image appeared. Lant pointed at a small space port south of the city.
"This is out point of entry. Last reports have this unknown force massed in the center in Poast manufacturing district. We have as yet made contact with the Provisional council and as of yet have had no new Intel on the situation on the ground. We do however know this is not the only area of interest. We picked up traffic coming in which indicated at least seventeen other cities have been engaged by what they are describing as monsters"
Connors listened to the rest of the briefing then dismissed his command force and looked over the map once again. Something did not make sense to him. Rumors and scattered details he had heard of this new enemy had them coming from space in most cases. There is no proof that who ever was attack Randon arrived from space. He looked at the lay out of the planet and of the drop zone. He turned as he was addressed from behind..
"Colonel, We have the Provisional Council on the horn."
Connors nodded then walked to the communications station. He looked at the small image then turned.
"Put it on the big screen ensign."
Conors waited, then a moment later the image of three men filled the massive forward screen.
"Gentlemen, I am Colonel Connors of the Alliance to Restore the Republic, How can I be of assistance?"
The central man took something from his suit pocket then looked over it. Connors watched as the man read through something than spoke.
"Colonel, thank you for answering out plee for assistance. I am council Kentar of the Randoni. This is my chief of staff Frut Mille and the commander of our planetary defense force Major General Satnal Gor."
The man motioned to the two as he introduced them. The shorter name which Kentar introduced as his chief of staff was dress much like the coincil himself. Navy over jacked with gold lined sleeved and a golden pauldron on his left shoulder. In contrast the General wore a Military jacket with some sort of gold insignia and sleeve rims. A collection of medals lined his right shoulder which Forlon knew was there for show. He looked over the men then returned to the conversation.
"Gentlemen, I have studied the video you sent with your message Can you tell me anything about this group?"
The general spoke then. His voice was low and boomy. It almost sounded like it rattled his throat as he spoke.
"Colonel, My men have had some success against then in small numbers. When they first appeared . We wee caught off guard, now we know more we have managed to hold the capital. Most other outlying financial districts have not fared as well. Most of our force is stationed here in the city. Our patrols and settlement garrisons have been totally wiped out. That was until yesterday, We lost all contact with our orbital sensor net and were blinded. A planetary based sensor station managed to detect a ship moving into orbit before it too was jammed. The a few moments later we were hit by an orbital bombardment. It was a wide dispersion strike and did little damage to fortified buildings. Outer areas of the city and the smaller settlement bazaars took more of the damage than anything."
Connors grimaced at that news. Whoever they were they had starship support. He turned away from the display and the three men who now waited on him.
"Commander, Launch a patrol and have them look around the system. Put all ships on high alert. We may have company."
Connors turned his attention back to the three Randoni. They stood quiet and motionless awaiting his response.
"We will look around Council Kentar, Please see that we have all of the Intel your people have gathered."
The general took a pad and looked at it then spoke.
"Colonel, This has been left out of the Intel and general reports. We have a large population of non-humans here. So you may understand why. We do know one thing, bodies of the few invaders we discovered were T'Doshok."
Coners took a moment then realized the man was talking about Trandoshan's. Pirates and slavers no doubt, but he had never seen them operate on such a scale. They usually worked in small capture teams or alone.
"I will see to it we get to the bottom of this gentlemen. I will speak with you once we have made landfall."
Connors watched as the men nodded and the transmission ended.
"They seemed odd."
From his left Connors heard the voice of Lieutenant Galen. He had been watching from the tactical station. He smiled and walked to stand beside Connors.
"I mean did you get a look at the brass he had on his chest, They must be fighting a war we don't know about for a man to obtain such a motley collection as that. Do you think he is a war hero?"
Connors fought a laugh, he was in charge and could not let such comments go. Not even if they were funny.
"Lieutenant, I have no idea what or how he came to deserve those. That is between him and his people. But between you and me I think anything he could have done here in this place to get medals was not something you or I would want medals for."
Galen nodded then walked away back to his work at the tactical station. Connors did not trust the Randoni, He knew the the council was nothing more than a puppet of the few major Financial conglomerates which bleed the Mytaranor Sector dry. In fact He suspected there was aa Alliance cell on the world. How else would he have the intel on the men he had meet already. HE would make contacting them his first priority. He wanted to get some real answers. Not something someone had given a puppet permission to tell.
Oct 27 2013 6:14am
Fire engulfed the three Bantha Assault shuttles as they shot down through Randons thin atmosphere like a meteor storm. A slight jolt indicated to the assault troops inside that the shuttles had cleared the upper atmosphere and the fire from re-entry was fading. The three craft changed course in unison and moved towards the center square of Poast's financial district. The shuttles began to shake violently as flak filled the air from some un-identified emplacement on the surface. Colonel Connors latched himself into the drop line and waited for the deployment signal. He looked over his helm display one last time and spoke to the 1st Marine Expeditionary force.
"Ok Marine's, We have chop so lets expect a hot LZ."
A few of the marines he could see nodded an affirmative and he turned to look out the shielded deployment hatch. The three Bantha's split formation and each moved to its assigned LZ. Connors team and his support platoon readied themselves for the rapid deceleration they knew was to come. Their suits would help fight the gravity and acceleration change but there was still the odd feeling of ones stomach adjusting to the sudden stop. A light on the top hull turned red and began to blink. A moment later the shuttle abruptly slowed and came to a stop thirty meters above the ground. The light turned green and the the shields dropped opening the deployment hatch to the torrent of fire now lapping up at the shuttles. The deck below Connors feet began to shake as the massive quad turbolaser turrets opened up on fire on the city below. Connors stepped to the edge of the deployment hatch and looked out onto the street below. He could not see who was firing on the shuttle or where it was coming from. An explosion rocked a building to the port as a turbolaser bolt found something flammable. He turned to the two platoons standing ready to rain hell down on who or what ever was now fully engaged in the battle.
"Repulsors on. Were jumping."
Conner's turned and in a second was gone. He looked around taking note of the few targets his heads up display painted as his suit slowed his decent. He slammed down onto the street below taking a knee to aid his stability. He looked up as three bolts slammed into his armor scorching the paint. Behind him he heard the thuds of his force as they landed. A moment in time was frozen as he closed his eyes to clear his mind and reset for battle. His eyes opened and he thrust himself from the ground and ran towards a target taking cover in the building to his left. His armor took another glancing shot from what he could only guess was a small slug gun. The inertia of the blow knocked him off his step. He stabilized himself mid stride and lifted his right arm up and let lose a volley of fire from the E-web attached. The wall of the building exploded from the assault and opened a while large enough for Connors to burst through.
Connor's burst through the buildings wall and into an open room where four armored figures lay on the floor stunned from Connors entry.. They spun and tried to stand as Connors lifted his left arm and targeted them. Two of the figures jumped behind some make shift barricade they had erected taking up positions and firing at Connors. The remaining two, who had not reacted as swiftly, were immolated as Connors fired a thermal detonator from the grenade launcher equipped to the underside of his left arm. Connors suit shook as a heavy bolt slammed into his left torso. He spun and was thrown to the floor crashing into a doorway and the a joining room. He flipped over and jumped to his feet and took up a position in the doorway. A moment later a second armored figure slammed through the wall behind the two enemy troops and grabbed them by the back of their armor slamming them into each other. The man nodded to Connors then walked back out of the building and ran off towards another building across the square. Connor checked his damage and cleared the building he had entered. A massive explosion shook the building knocking out dura glass windows and collapsing the building across the square. In his mind he thought of the man who had assisted him and how he had just ran into the building which now was nothing more than a pile of dura steel and twisted frame.
Twenty minutes after the force had dropped the square was calm, smoke billowed from the buildings which had been damaged. Bodies littered the ground where Connors men now laid them out for inspection. Among then three of Connors men lay. Brave men who would be remembered and honored later when the Corp was able. For now they were prepared to be lifted back to the Farragut. Connors cleared his h.u.d and took his helm off. The air rushed into his lungs tasting of smoke. His men were at work clearing the square and setting up a make shift command post. A crackle in his ear broke his trance as Major Lant's voice broke through the static.
"Colonel, Zone beta clear. One casualty. We lost Kingston."
Connors thought about it for a moment trying to remember the man. Kingston was new and as of yet had not crossed Connors radar. He pressed the transmit key and replied.
"Three here Major. We encountered heavy resistance. Were wrapping up here and I will send a runner to you with sit rep and orders. For now lets go silent. Have you heard from Delta?"
The com cracked again and the voice of Major Vurisk Irys'vys cam over the coms.
"We had it easy here Colonel. No losses. Very little resistance. My team has set up a perimeter and have unpacked the transmitter. We will have stable coms in just a moment Colonel."
As his men reported, Connors turned his arm checking the grenade launcher which had been dinged when he was thrown through the door in the building. It seemed ok but was scratched badly. He would not use it if he didn't need to. The last thing he needed was his arm blowing off.
"Good Major. We will do the same as time allows. For now were still in clean up. Major Lant, When we get encrypted let me know. I do not want anyone listening in. And I mean anyone. I do not trust these Randoni. I get the feeling our presence here will be an issue for them Get our coms up and lets see about finding our sleeper cell."
The com channel went silent as Connors teams went about setting up a working communications and control system and seeing to its own.
Oct 27 2013 4:51pm
Drop + 6 hours.
Connors sat on a foldable seat which had been brought down with the rest of the mobile command center from Farragut. The Drop Zone had been fortified and His men were resting as they could. The landing had been too easy. The forces they had encountered were not what Connors would have expected. And certainly not what The Randoni claimed. He had looked at the enemy bodies they had collected and while some were indeed Trandoshan the majority were human. The sound of heavy repulsors broke the morning quiet as the Bantha Transport landed outside Connors Field HQ. He waited as the noise calmed and the transport came to rest. A minute later Major Lant and Irys'vys walked into the small enclosure. Major lant had taken his armor off and was suited in his urban camo. Major Irys'vys was quite the opposite, he wore the massive assault armor, which made his fury head look small in comparison.
"Gentlemen, Glad to see you."
The men saluted then walked to the table in the center of the room. Connors motioned for then to sit and waited for the men to get comfortable. He ran his hand over a control panel and a map of the area flashed into view. Three points highlighted the corners of the triangle which contained the central part of Poast. Connors brought up a side bar which contained strategic info an real time data. The display ran through everything from altitude and atmospheric conditions to damage and fatality count.
"Gentlemen, In the last six hours we have had very little contact with an hostile force. The forces which we engaged upon landing have been the only hostile action we have seen so far. While this is not entirely bad news, what is bad is that we have had no contact with civilians either. Patrols report no contact at all."
Lant nodded and stood. He brought up a zoomed in section of the city outside the triangle.
"My scouts have pin pointed where the flak batteries are. Here, Here, and here."
Three dots appeared on the screen roughly twelve klicks outside the city. Connors nodded and added them to the updated target list. Lant zoomed out and then back in on a section inside the triangle.
"We know of one tunnel system which leads out of the city. My men found it here."
A small dot appeared and was added to allocated targets. Lant looked aver the display then sat. Major Irys'vys then stood and reported. His bothan fur rippled a bit as he gave his report.
"Colonel, We had very little resistance coming in, We were able to get scouting parties out quickly and my men found little in the way of strategetic targets. We did however find this."
A dot appeared on the display. It was at the edge of the triangle made by the three landing zones.
"This is a bank which seems to have been made into a makeshift prison. We found cells and what we think was an incinerator. My men are there now investigating. We have found DNA samples from at least five different species."
Connor took in the report and nodded to the men. He stood and offered them water which both took. He zoomed the image out until surrounding cities came into view.
"Lant, Take a platoon to investigate the road between Poast and Veandin city. One of our Banthas reported seeing movement about three clicks outside Poast heading for Veandin. Watch yourselves we have no idea whats out there. Stealth is key here major. Do not engage without support."
He turned his attention to the Bothan and smiled. The massive armor made him look out of place. But then is made everyone who wore it look that way without their helmets on.
"Major Irys'vys, Send a scout team to investigate the tunnel. I will have a mapping drone sent down from Farragut to assist. Also, send a team to paint those flak batteries. They keep bothering the Transports en-route. See that they are neutralized."
The men saluted as Connors ended the meeting. Then the loud whine of repulsors filled the air as the Bantha Shuttle lifted off and shot off into the sky. Connors knew something was not right here. It was time he found out what. He left his HQ and walked across the landing zone to the communications tent. Inside his support staff worked diligently at recording and deciphering any and all data coming in from the sensor net they had set up after the landing. Most of the data they received ws from their own teams on patrol. Very little in the way of com traffic hd been picked up other than their own.
"Lieutenant Strazi, Report."
The blueish skinned Duro turned and saluted. He handed Connors a data pad which held all of the traffic from the last six hours.
"Sir, We have picked up some chatter in the north western section of Poast. Outside out containment zone but close bye. A team has been sent out to investigate and as yet has not reported."
Connors looked over the data. It was not unlike his stealth scouts to go without reporting. Most did not even carry transceivers. Capture was not an option for men like these. They reported upon return and completion of mission or never at all.
"Lieutenant, Open a wide frequency com channel. Multi-band transmit, I want to see if anyone out there is listening."
The Duro walked to a station where two officers sat listening to com traffic. He had them set up the wide band transmission then nodded to Connors. Connors opened the channel with his suits controls and spoke.
"Phoenix beta one, Authorization code Seven , Seven four one one. Situation golden, report. Location Poast, Co-ordinates One Five three Two Seven by Two four one Five Five. Awaiting."
Connors ended the transmission then left the communications tent. He knew someone was out there. Someone was listening and soon he was sure he would have guests.
Oct 31 2013 2:08am
He lived for the hunt.
Perhaps that was why his people and the T’doshok people were destined to fight each other forever, or so it seemed more and more. Randon had been prominent, albeit out of the way. The movement here had taken time to coalesce, and it wasn’t until the Trandoshan first wave that the hunter’s own people had truly intervened.
Casually snapping the next of his latest kill, Vryyr surveyed the battlefield. It was odd, he had noticed, that the T’doshok had brought so many humans with them. Mercenaries, he assumed. Vryyr was not the type of wookiee to ask a lot of questions. He was more than content with the designation his compatriots had given him: Corporal.
It was a very officious sounding rank. though the word meant little to the wookiee communities residing in the jungles of Randon. The fight for independence left little room for pomp and circumstance, and guerilla warfare was a methodology that came naturally to Vryyr’s people.
There was much honor to be gained in the righteous kill, his T’doshok enemies were not wrong to praise the Scorekeeper, their goddess, for every kill made under honorable circumstances. But his people, the wookiee people, had learned a long time ago that commitment to honor can lead to extermination.
The wookies of Randon were not afraid to fight dirty. They had been hitting Trandoshan raiding parties from the moment the lizard-like sentients had made landfall. Each kill was not a Score to be tallied, but an everlasting reminder that Randon would stay free.
That Vryyr’s people would stay free.
They called him the Outlander, although it was not a title given with scorn. Vryyr was not native Randon-born. He, to the admiration and wonder of many of the younger wookiees, had been born on the homeworld, on Kashyyyk. Often, he would tell the young hunters of the Shadowlands beneath the treetops, of monsters so foul they turned even the blood of the hunter cold.
And yet, those memories were bittersweet for the Corporal. Kashyyyk was his homeworld, the planet of his birth. It was also the planet he had been taken from, losing everyone he had ever known or loved in the processed, and been sold into slavery on some backwater Outer Rim world.
From there, his Imperial overlords had gotten him into gladiatorial combat. He had gotten himself into lockpicking and grand theft shuttlecraft.
The Outlander had settled on Randon, and for a while it seemed as if things would be fine. But as the Empire’s claw stretched farther and farther across the galaxy, soon the hunter realized that someday nowhere would be safe.
Still he had been indecisive. He wasn’t entirely certain if he wanted to face that side of himself again. The side that had so brutally ravaged innocent sentient beings in the gladiatorial pits of the Outer Rim. Staring down at the corpse of the Trandoshan, he could not help but feel as if something was not right.
They’re not hunting. They’re sweeping a perimeter.
It dawned on him suddenly. T’doshok loved the thrill of the hunt. It was just as important to them as the sacrificial kill itself. But these Trandoshans weren’t on one of their Great Hunts, and the humans around them...it was the height of dishonor. But that could only mean…
They had lost favor with the Scorekeeper. These men weren’t soldiers. They were mercenaries.
“Corporal Vryyr, incoming message!” came a call from the underbrush.
Wookiees were adept at hiding when the need arose, though you wouldn’t think it to look at them. Though in the local Rebel hierarchy Vryyr didn’t merit much higher than a lowest level grunt, he was one of the eldest wookiees that had taken up arms, and as such that gave him the de facto respect of all wookiees under his CO’s command, an annoyance Lieutenant Kowalski, a human, never forgot to remind him of.
“If you can believe it, Alliance,” came a considerably louder call from further down the line, this one human and a mere grunt like the others, “Looks like the space cav has got it in their heads to be the big damn heroes on this one, eh?”
“Let me hear,” he said, and the comm officer rushed to replay the message. The humans were...skitterish around their wookiee counterparts at times, Vryyr most of all. Even the most well adjusted wookiee could have a mighty temper at times, and Vryyr...well, Vryyr was anything but well adjusted.
”Phoenix beta one, Authorization code Seven , Seven four one one. Situation golden, report. Location Poast, Co-ordinates One Five three Two Seven by Two four one Five Five. Awaiting.”
“Origin?” he and the Lieutenant asked at the same time. The Lieutenant glared, but said nothing.
“Industrial, definitely,” the comm officer mumbled out, focusing all his mental acuity on getting his CO the information he had requested. Vryyr too, to stay in the good graces of the wookiees, “Poast, sir.”
“Poast, makes sense,” Kowalski mused aloud, “Hottest lizard face activity is that away. Looks like we’re leaving the jungle, boys. You sure your men can keep up in the big city, Corporal Vryyr?”
“We will manage.” it was all he offered, and the brevity perturbed the Lieutenant as much as a sardonic retort would have.
“No trees for the wooks to climb, boys!” hooted one of the human resistance fighters, “Don’t worry, we’ll show em how urban combat’s done!”
As soon as the words escaped the man’s more, a soft roar rose up from every wookiee within earshot. The young soldier jumped ten feet in the air and when he came down his legs were still shaking.
“What the frak was that all about!”
“They’re laughing at you,” Vryyr responded, often times feeling the messenger for his people, as he was the one most accustomed to the mechanical device all his brothers’ wore that allowed their Shyriiwook dialect to be understood by Galactic Basic Standard terms, “We are leaving this jungle, but we are not leaving the jungle.”
“What the fuck is that supposed to mean, mystic Vryyr?”
“It means, your jungle is no different than ours,” he gave what could be considered a wink, “Poast is just made of duracrete, not earth.”
The moment they had gotten the call from Alliance command they had started humping it in high gear. Everyone on the planetary resistance was attempting to maintain radio contact as much as they possibly could. It had taken them long to realize that, occasionally, the Trandoshans could track their movements via their comm frequencies. Also a curious shift in tactic that Vryyr had noticed and filed away.
Finally they reached their destination. The air transport lie mostly camouflaged under brush and leaves where Vryyr’s team had left it hours before in an attempt to ditch the Trandoshan scout party that had somehow managed to pick them up on their sensors. Now the scout party was dead, and at least for the moment, the danger was gone. For them at least.
For the Alliance soldiers landing now in Poast, that could be another story. With a message like that, sent in the clear, every T’doshok hunting party on the planet would be heading for those coordinates. Hopefully, they had brought enough guns with them to hold off such an onslaught. If not...well, they would have to improvise.
“Alright, Rebs!” Kowalski grunted, “All aboard to Poast, next stop lizard city!”
Nov 6 2013 5:28am
Light side of the planet.
Planetfall + 16 hours
Alerts sounded and warning sensors came to life aboard the Farragut. Captain Kerstan jumped from his command chair and ran to the sensor panel. The lieutenant working the controls had already started homing in on the reason for the alarm.
"Captain, Something just exited hyperspace."
"What is it?"
"I can not tell sir, It is masking itself and has moved into the planets shadow."
A moment later the signal from the Marine camp went dark. Kerstan looked around the room at the feeds which now showed nothing. The radio signal was gone and the streaming data link had been severed. In a frantic voice Kerstan turned and ran back to his command seat.
"Helm, break orbit, set a course for what ever that is. Set actions stations to condition red, all duty stations to battle stations. Commander Teszi, prep the wing. Hold launch until we know what were dealing with. Plan for the worse. Coms, Have Captain Nurt and Captain Lerin move into a screening formation line abreast."
Kerstan's crew went about carrying out his orders and the three ships began to move. The Farragut being the slowest of the ships would set the pace for the maneuver. The two gunships moved into flanking positions and matched the Liberator Cruisers speed.
"Helm, ETA to visual."
One of the officers at the helm station did the calculations then answered.
"Four minutes sir."
Kerstan shook his head. If what he thought had happened four minutes might as well be forty. He buckled himself into his chair and brought up his hud and data display. The display began to scroll data and an image of the planet appeared. The curve of the world was all that was in the image for the time being. Soon he would see his prey. He only hopped it was not too late.
Dark side of the planet
Connors awoke as his head hit the floor of the mobile command pod. Around him the lights flashd and the floor he now attempted to get up from shook. A thud sounded then the room shook again knocking him back to the floor. He looked around the room for his suit but found only darkness. The power had gone dead and darkness surrounded him. He jumped from the ground as it stabilized and ran to the hatch. He opened the hatch to a chaotic sight. Around him bodies lay and men ran. Many had been caught off guard like he. The generator blazed in the distance as did many of the housing pods. A sergeant ran to him and saluted.
"Sergeant, Report." The man lowered his hand and began his report.
"Sir, as best I can tell we were hit by an orbital bombardment. Where the hell are our ships colonel?"
Connors wondered that himself. He looked around to make out what was left standing. The communications tower was gone and so was the ordinance pod. And half the power armor with it. The communication pod was still in tact but without the tower he had no way to get past the communications jamming. He saw the pavement below him lighten before he heard the first of the next salvo hit. A bright flash in the distance lit the camp up fallowed a second later by a concussive blast throwing them to the ground once again. Connors picked himself up and ran to the communications pod. He found Major Lant and Lieutenant Strazi looking over a display discussing what was going on. As he entered the two men noticed him and waved him over.
"Colonel, We picked up a coded signal just before the bombardment started. Our teams on the out side of town indicated armor moving up from the west before we lost them. This bombardment has knocked out everything from coms and sensors to our point defense turrets. They knew just where to hit us Colonel."
Connors shook his head. He knew the lizards would attack but had no idea they had this kind of support. He looked over the screen and the data then cursed out loud.
"Have you heard anything from Captain Kurstan or the Farragut?"
The Duro Lieutenant shook his head.
"No sir, The attack took out coms from the start. Were four minutes into this and so far have no indication the Farragut has even noticed were under attack."
Connors cursed again and kicked a near by table over.
"How the hell did this happen? There is no way they could have gotten by Farragut without her warning us."
Strazi, nodded and spoke.
"Sir, Farragut is on the far side of the world sir, It could be they just have not moved to engage."
Connors shook his head. The third salvo slammed into a building to the west of the camp collapsing it and shaking the ground. Connors picked up a rifle from the floor and turned to leave the building.
"Major, someone is spotting for them, I want them dead."
Lant grabbed his rifle from a wall rack and walked out of the pod behind Connors. Outside the pod was a shambles of debris and bodies. Injured men lay in agony screaming and calling out for help. Burnt bodies littered the streets of the square they had used to make camp. Corps men ran from body to body looking over each and evaluating their chances. When they were beyond help then corpsmen moved on. If they could be treated they were tagged and left for the second team to see to. A group of marines gathering in the square dragged bodies from rubble and assisted the corpsmen. Connors whistled and waved for their attention.
"Marines, form up on Lant. Were going hunting."
Nov 6 2013 7:22pm
It had not taken Vryyr’s team long to take the dilapidated Low Altitude Assault Transport from the deep jungle to the forests around Poast. But they had been forced to fly as low to the ground as possible to avoid sensor detection, and they had abandoned the vehicle several clicks out from the city itself. LAATs had their way of drawing attention, even ones as ancient as theirs.
It was almost dawn by the time the Rebel platoon had eyes on the city itself. Vryyr had been prepared for a warzone, but nothing could have prepared any of them for carnage on so large a scale. The Rebel marines had not even been groundside a full day, and already the scouts had reported nearly wholesale destruction.
“Looks like we arrived too late for the party,” Lieutenant Kowalski hissed through the underbrush, “Damn shame, we could have used the fire support.”
“We’re not going in?” Vryyr asked, the translator covering his mouth converting his native Shryiiwook into more comprehensible, if monotone, Basic, “There could be survivors.”
“Stow that chatter, Corporal,” the Lieutenant snapped, “Even if there are any of them left, there’s an armor column advancing on their position as we speak. Walking into Poast, even for an extraction op, would be suicide.”
“RRRrrruurgh! Arrggg!” moaned another wookiee.
“What the frack did he just say?” Kowalski asked, unable to comprehend the wookiee language.
“He says he doesn’t like this, sir,” Vryyr translated as directly as he could, “Speaking freely, neither do I.”
“I don’t recall giving you permission to speak freely, Corporal Vryyr,” Kowalski snarled in response.
Wookiee chortles arose all around them, muffled by their sources’ self-restraint.
“Now what?” Kowalski asked.
“Wookiees don’t ask to speak freely, sir,” Vryyr responded, “Sir, permission to lead a squad of volunteers to see what we can do about harassing that armor column.”
“Would it make a damn bit of a difference if I said denied?” Kowalski sighed.
“Sir, no, sir.”
“Very well, granted. Its your own funeral, Corporal,” Kowalski nodded, but there was no friendliness in either his tone or his expression. Vryyr got the impression that he acquiesced if only because the wookiee’s death would make his life somewhat easier, “Volunteers?”
Every wookiee raised grunted an acknowledgement. Vryyr picked seven of them, said his goodbyes to the few sentients he had bonded with that were not coming with him, and set off through the cover of the woods.
The Main Road
West of Poast
It was a ragtag assortment of armor, likely thrown together piecemeal to provide auxiliary support for the T’doshok hunters. And yet, here they were, marching into the city that might very well hold Randon’s salvation.
The most common amongst them were the AT-ST’s, and as tempting a target as they presented Vryyr and his team in terms of sheer mobility, he did not want to risk splitting his squad up and the scout walkers could not hold eight people.
In the end, the Rebel detachment waited for the vanguard to pass them by, and instead opted to take out their rearguard. Four AT-ST’s surrounded an AT-TE, the ancient All Terrain Tactical Enforcer that was the Republic mainstay during the Clone Wars. That was their target.
Vryyr and three other wookiees clung to the branches of the trees overlooking the convoy, and the other four members of his unit had crossed the road behind the column and swung deftly up into the treetops on the other side.
“Harpoons and tow cables,” Vryyr whispered in Shryiiwook through his comm unit, “Get those charges ready. On my mark. Mark.”
At once, four cables shot out from the treetops above the rearguard passing by now directly below them, two on either side. Using their bandoliers, the wookiees pushed off from the trees and sped over the armor units, dropping down onto their assigned targets in a synchronized grace indicative of a warrior race such as Vryyr’s people.
Heavy charges were placed on the hatches of each AT-ST, but Vryyr and three others had landed, as planned, atop the AT-TE in the center. Before those operating the armor could even react, Vryyr had placed a smaller charge on the top-hatch to the AT-TE, and as each wookiee leapt from their respective AT-ST and dug in with their sharp claws onto the side of the Tactical Enforcer, the Corporal raised his detonator.
“Fire in the hole!” he moaned in his native tongue.
The AT-ST cockpits exploded in a shower of sparks, sending them toppling to the ground. One fell onto the front of the AT-TE, nearly sending Vryyr sprawling from atop the vessel. He pressed the detonator once more, and the smaller charge blew off the top hatch.
His three fellows dropped stun grenades down into the bowels of the tank, and all of them proceeded to cover their ears and eyes.
Vryyr was the first one in, catching one Trandoshan in the chest with a charge from his bowcaster before charging straight in for hand to hand combat with the other. He proved a quite worthy opponent, but at the end of the struggle he lay at Vryyr’s feet with a broken neck.
Surveying the interior of the AT-TE, he realized that the two T’doshok warriors he had taken had been the only ones on board, the rest either human or Bothan, meaning the other wookiees had made short work of dispatching them. The vehicle was theirs, and the T’doshok rear was now entirely exposed to a Tactical Enforcer piloted by some very angry wookiees.
Vryyr grinned. Time for the real fight to begin.
Nov 6 2013 10:33pm
The Farragut rounded the planet moving to intercept the enemy ship now bombarding the marine camp. The four minutes it took to make the trip seemed like a lifetime. Captain Kerstan could only imagine what kind of hell the marines had been delt. Four minutes of orbital bombardment would be a nightmare for any force. He watched the forward view port and the larger screen which showed a magnified image of space. Then in a second his mind crashed. The image slowly appeared around the curvature of the planet. There sit something far worse then Kerstan could have ever imagined. The ship sat like a beast of prey waiting for Farragut. Its guns laping out at the surface of the planet below. Within second the attention of the enemy was redirected to them. He knew what the ship was before the tactical officer reported.
"Sir, Star Frigate, Munificent-class."
The red and blue bolts flashed on the forward shields of Farragut as the lieutenant finished his report. The long range heavy weapons of a Munificent were legend. Many times a group of these ships could take down a destroyer before the ship could even close to weapons range. Now he faced just one but even that one ship was more than a match for Farragut.
"Tactical, slow to one third and redirect power to the forward shields. Com, Have Captain Nurt and Captain Lerin break formation. Tell them to move in behind us. Commander Teszi, Clear the assault transport from deck, We will need everything you got down there for this."
A plan was being born in Captain Kerstan's mind. He could not go toe to toe with the ship but if he used his support forces wisely, there was a chance he could win this. Down on the hanger deck flight crews frantically began moving the Bantha assault shuttles aside into docking coves and slowly working the attack craft out of the rear support hanger. The first out of were the X-wings of Swarm Squadron. The twelve fighters were lined up on either side of the massive hanger and fueled and prepped for launch.
Outside the ship the shielding of the Farragut had no problem holding against the long ranged weapons. The Liberator was advanced for its time and still state of the art even by modern scales. Built to take on the empire head to head the ships were stronger and more powerful than ships twicer their size. How ever once the ship moved into weapons range to return fire the other weapons of the star frigate would also come to bear. It was a chance Kerstan did not want to take.
Ten minutes had passed before the first of the X-wings launched. The Farragut had come to a stop just outside weapons range content to stay where she was and fend off the long range salvos of the Munificent. A squadron of A-wings fallowed the X-wing forming up and holding position. The the last group began to launch. Twelve K-wing assault fighters moved into four formations of three craft and began to move into formation with the other attack craft. Captain Kerstan had been busy working out his plan. He needed to time his attack just right and there was little room for error. He brought up a large halogram of the system and called his station chiefs over.
"Ok here is what were going to do."
On the planet below the bombardment had gone on for twenty minutes. Most of the camp had been destroyed leaving behind a sprawl of debris and charred bodies. Of the hundred and twenty men who landed less than seventeen hours ago now only sixty seven remain. Connors had called for an evacuation of the camp and he and his team had found the spotting team and seen to its demise. After that the bombardment did not stop but it was less effective and more bolts missed the camp than hit. The remaining men of First Company had moved to what had been a commerce tax collection services main building. The first group of scouts Connors sent out had found a series of caves under the city and mapped much of the system prior to the bombardment. Now he and his men regrouped took shelter in the building.
"Major, what do we have left in the way of explosives?"
Connors waited patently for the answer he knew he did not want to hear.
"Sir, most of what we had was take out with the weapons pod. I have a heavy charge and three grenades, and the others have about the same. Just personnel requisite stuff sir."
Connors thought about that for a moment. He knew armor was moving in from the west and that soon he would have to deal with it. The heavy charges would work but ment getting close. That he could do but knew in doing so he would lose more men. The one advantage he had for now is the enemy had no idea where he was hiding.
"Major, On me."
Connors and Lant ran out the front door of the office and down the street. Connors had sent out four patrols to watch for scouting parties and keep an eye out for other survivors. As of yet non had been found. The edge of the city was one kilometer from the office and Connors wanted to get there before the armor did. He knew the armor would be difficult to deal with in the open. Once it had reached the city it became much more vulnerable to attack from hidden locations. Which ment his men not being found and the mission not being a suicide run. Connors ran to the edge of a building facing the westward highway out of town. He and Lant took up position on a pile of rubble from some earlier battle. HE let his mind wonder for a moment and could not stop thinking about how strange it was for them to see no civilians at all. Something just was not right about that. But that was something to ponder another time. The distant thudding of walkers had his full attention now.
"Hand me your visor major."
Lant handed Connors his visor then took up position beside him once again. Connors zoomed in on the column of armor moving in on the city. At the front a group of AT-ST's rocked and bobbled as they moved in unison slowly forward. Behind it was a odd collection of armored units. Most were light and scout walkers and hover tanks. Two TX-130T hover tanks moved side by side behind the group of walkers fallowed by an AAC-1. Behind it the real fun began. Another set of AT-ST walkers flanked a S-1 Firehawke. This was serious. The Firehawk was the beast of the group by far. What fallowed it was no less dangerous. A group of three AT-TE walkers thudded along fallowed by a rear guard of of AT-ST's. How these mercenaries and pirates got ahold of that kind of armor baffled him. Nothing here made sense. He had been lied to it was apearent. He would get to the bottom of this if he survived the battle to com. For now the armor was the issue.
"Major, send a runner back to the company. Have them take up position on the block this side of the tunnels. We will surprise then there."
Lant turned and ran over to a scout who had been covering their rear and sent him on his way. Connors watched the column move closer to the city. He ran through his mind the weaknesses of each. The scout walkers were the easiest. Trip them up blow their hatches and they were useless. The hover tanks on the other had would be more difficult. Getting under then was the best way. He took a note in his mind to set that up and went on to run through the weaknesses of the larger armor. His thought process was halted when something caught his eye. Lant had rejoined him at the pile of rubble. He handed him the visor.
"Major, Tell me what you see in the trees above the column?"
Lant zoomed the view in then took in what he saw. He laughed and handed the visor back to Connors.
Lant said with a jovial laugh. Connors joined him with a chuckle then went back to watching the armor column. The Wookiees were only visible for a split second then gone again as the moved and took cover in the trees. He saw the forward column move past them unaware of what would come next. He looked at Lant and smiled.
"Change of plans Major, Have the company move to this location. On the double. We would not want to miss out on the fun."
The marines of first company moved up into position each brandishing his or her favorite assortment of weapons. Many had not recovered their power armor before they had to abandon the camp. The few who did were at the rear of the group waiting for the order. The column was not less than a kilometer from the intersection Connors and his marines had fortified. He knew the wookiees would act soon. The last AT-TE had made it to their location and all that was left were the three scout walkers to make it to their location. Then they struck. It was hard to believe such a noisy race could be so silent. Connors saw a group drop down on the last of the AT-TE's and then from somewhere another group of wookiees landed on the rear scout group. Seconds later Connors jerked his eyes away from the visor as the body of the three AT-ST walkers exploded with a flash nearly blinding him for a second. His vision cleared in time to see the wookiees atop of the larger walked jumping down into the beast.
He held his hand up and waited for the AT-TE the wookiees had taken to make its move. He dropped his hand and the fifteen marines who had recovered their armor jumped from behind the building and moved towards the front group of walkers. The crew of the forward guard had been distracted when the three walkers at the rear exploded. Two had turned to move back toward were the wookiees had attacked only to be surprised again when the power armored marines slammed into them. The one walked who had not turned opened fire on the marines taking one down before the group could make it to the group. That was the last thing it did as three marines in power armor opened up with heavy blasters and thermal detonators. A marine in the larger assault armor landed on the road fifty meter away from the walkers and raise both of his arms. On each a single fire PTL missile launcher fired engulfing the walker collapsing its cockpit and bringing it to its knees. The marine jumped away as rapidly as it had landed leaving nothing for the other walked to find as the turned back around to engage this new enemy. The marines landed atop of one walker clasping onto it firmly. One twisted a device on his arm and lit a plasma torch and began to cut through the top of the body. From behind them one of the hover tanks let lose a volley of fire hitting one of the marines in the chest throwing him from the walker and to the ground. The second marine returned fire and shielded the man cutting through the walkers top. A bolt missed him by inches throwing his attention off the man no tossing a grenade down the hole he had cut. The two stood and began to jump off the walker when the hover tank fired another salvo catching one marine in the torso ripping his body in half and slamming the second to the ground beside the walked. The walker exploded with a thud and land on top of the marine who had just destroyed it.
Connors watched as his marines engaged the forward group of walkers. The wookiees were now working on the rear of the column. With the armor getting the worse of the engagement He motioned for his remain marines to ready themselves then gave the signal. The remainder of the company moved in and took up firing positions to assist in the attack. . Like the noble heroes of stories told to him by his father and the tales of warriors past he stood and charged forward with his men into glory.
Nov 7 2013 6:31pm
The Tactical Enforcer was a burning hulk by the time the battle was over, though some satisfaction could be had at the wreckage they had left in their wake. The T’doshok forces simply hadn’t been prepared for such a blitzkrieg from their unprotected rear, and by the time they had turned their firepower on the Rebel-manned tank it was all but too late.
Vryyr had lost one wookiee in the skirmish. The TE had caught a stray Firehawk heavy laser blast on its port, blowing out a laser cannon and sending the poor soul flying back into the bulkhead, dead before he even hit the ground. The soldier, Lownarr, had been a fierce warrrior and constant companion since Vryyr had joined the Rebel contingent on Randon.
The rest had managed to make it out, suffering minor to serious burns and lung damage from the fire and smoke as they leapt out of the blown top hatch one by one. The Corporal had no doubt that each one of them was expecting a glorious death as they evacuated their doomed craft, but to their surprise the column had, by that point, become otherwise occupied.
He had never seen anything quite like the metallic skin the Alliance warriors wore like a uniform. The sheer power of their capabilities was a sight to behold. Vryyr wasted no time in using the last of their charges to disable one of the TX-130Ts before receding into the wilderness.
They had taken several pot-shots at the light-armored scout walkers with their bowcasters, but the low powered infantry weapons served as little more than a distraction. A distraction, however, was all the Poast survivors needed, as the power armored marines made short work of the column’s vanguard.
Now the marines were wandering through the wreckage, the day won for the moment, searching for enemy survivors. Vryyr had ordered his remaining squad to set up at similar positions in the treetops, covering the frontline soldiers as they moved deeper into the rubble. From out of the Firehawk, a Bothan mercenary poked his head, taking aim with a vicious looking disruptor weapon at one of the marines.
The roar of the bowcaster sent birds scurrying from the trees as the shot took the Bothan square between the shoulder blades. Vryyr nodded, satisfied at the marksmanship, before heaving back on the bowstring to reload. As he double-checked his weapon, a call came out from down below, and the Corporal realized that one of the marines in power armor was scanning the trees for signs of his men.
He would not find them, unless they wanted to be found. They were wookiees.
Bracing himself for the leap, Vryyr swung from branch to branch, making a small circuit down to ground level, before calling out a common Alliance verbal passcode and emerging from the underbrush, bowcaster still drawn but aimed downward to present a non-threatening posture.
“Identify!” the challenge was issued, but there was little threat in it. There could be almost no doubt as to what side Vryyr was on.
“Corporal Vryyr, Blue Company,” he moaned, the translator doing the heavy-lifting for his incompatible vocal chords, “Alliance to Restore the Republic.”
“Alliance, out here?” the source of the initial contact replied, seemingly surprised. He was wearing power armor, like the others, and Vryyr could not get a good look at him, “Major Lant, 32nd.”
“Good to see at least some of your men made it out,” Vryyr responded, saluting and then shaking the man’s power-armored gauntlet, “My CO had written you off as a lost cause.”
“I’d have probably made the same call,” Lant admitted, surveying the still-burning ruins of what had once been their beachhead, “What made him change his mind?”
“He didn’t,” Vryyr admitted, “We were volunteers. I was not prepared to let comrades be slaughtered if my men could help.”
“Your men, Corporal?” Lant echoed, and Vryyr could sense the confusion behind the marine’s helm.
“Wookiees follow the chain of command,” Vryyr began to explain, “but we also have a command chain of our own. I am the elder warrior here, with that honor comes a certain responsibility.”
“Roger that, Corporal,” Lant replied, laughing. Turning back towards the other men, the wookiee suspected Lant was speaking into his comm unit, as one marine in particular turned to regard them and, at Lant’s wave, hurried over to where the two stood, “Corporal Vryyr, this is Colonel Marrius Connors, my commanding officer. Colonel, Vryyr here was the man behind the curtain of that little op we saw back there.”
“Corporal, eh?” Connors mused, returning the wookiee’s hasty salute, “Are you sure about that, Major? He looks an awful lot like a Sergeant to me.”
“That he does, sir,” Lant chimed in, “That he does.”
Confusion covered Vryyr’s features, until at last the promotion dawned on him for what it was. Saluting once more, Sergeant Vryyr let out a roar that momentarily startled the two marines standing in front of them, before six other wookiees emerged, as if from nowhere, from the forest.
“Men,” Vryyr called out, “Meet Major Lant and Colonel Connors.
Meet the saviors of Randon.”
Nov 9 2013 11:00pm
Western Edge of Poast
The Battle had ended but Colonel Connors knew another would soon be upon them. He had underestimated the situation on Randon. In part because he had been led to believe this was just a group of slavers and pirates, and but he knew it was his fault. He could have done more to prevent what had happened. He could have saved many of his people. But that was in the past. It was a mistake he would not revisit. He looked around at his marines and took pride in there skill and the job that had done. His marines were the best, he knew it, they knew it, and soon whoever was responsible for what was going on here on Randon would also. He turned to Lant and the wookiee who were now discussing the battle just won.
"Sergeant Vryyr, May I ask where your Commanding officer is at this time?"
The wookiee paused in his conversation with Lant and looked out to the west at a ridge line.
"He was there when we left him Colonel."
Connors looked up at the location Vryyr pointed out and knew if the Lieutanant had stayed there he now knew the armored coulmn was defeated and his wookiee team had done a job he had opted not to. Connors understood the Lieuteanant reasoning. He two would have weighed the odd of any force surviving an orbital bombardment. Then he realized the orbital bombardment had stopped sometime in the middle of the battle with the Armored column.
"Lieutenant Strazi, Get me a com link to the Farragut."
Avin Kerston was a man of many talents. Tactical planning was one of these. He had been trained on Anaxes Naval college, graduated top of his class and began service with the New Republic Navy. Now he served with the Alliance. In his mind they were the republic he once read about. The New Republic he once served, and the Alliance he would devote his life to. Now he stood looking out at the enemy. A foe more then equally matched and intent on his and everyone aboard his ships demise. That he could not stomach, slavery in general offended him. Pirates he understood but not slaving pirates. In another life he could see himself as a privateer, running around the galaxy free to do as he wish. In many ways that was exactly what he was doing now. He was just doing it for the Alliance.
His plan needed to be exact. The timing was important for it to go off like he planned. He had worked out a combination Anvil hammer and upper cut maneuver hoping to confuse the gunners of the Pirate crew. He watched the chrono hit its first mark.
"Tactical, start funneling the shield power into weapons at two percent a second. When weapons power hits one hundred and forty let me know."
Captain Kerston was enthralled, His body were charged with adrenalin and his mind sharp and focused. He knew if his people did as the told then that in just over a minute The Munificent would be swamped with fire.
"Helm, All ahead full!"
The Ship began to accelerate, slowly speeding up and moving into weapons range. It was apparent when the mass of the weapons on the munificent opened up on the Faragut. The shields wer now below nominal and the barrage from the enemy ship was now taking its toll, He only needed thirty more seconds. As one turbolaser bolt worked its way through the shielding and slammed into the armors hull he knew if this maneuver did not work he and his entire crew would be in trouble.
He had ordered his two escorts away from the battle. They had taken up positions on the northern and southern caps of the planet just over the horizon of the battle. The X-wings had moved into a position behind the Farragut and awaited orders while the Bombers and their escorting fighter squadron had moved off to circle the planet. Like clockwork the Bombers and Fighters emerged around the planet and moved to attack the Munificent from behind. Then on the display The two gunships moved around the curve of the planet to attack the ship from bellow and above. He smiled then gave the order.
Commander Teszi nodded a moment later the X-wings broke from behind the Farragut in two formations one right and one left of the ship and sped off to intercept the enemy ship. A second enemy ship then moved from below the Munificent. It had been hugging the ship unnoticed bu sensors or sight and was now moving away from the ship. It had waited to long The Ranger gunship approaching from below had noticed the ship and was now firing on it as it tried to free itself from the Munificent. The smaller troop ship had little chance as the Gunship let loose a volley of fire breaking the transports back and opening the ship to vacuum. From above the second gunship now licked the shields of the Munificent as it moved closer. From behind the K-wing bombers moved into position and let loose a barrage of plasma torpedo's them broke away to dodge the fire of the frigates flak cannons and lasers. One K-wing exploded as flak exploded below the ship spinning it out of control and into a the oncoming barrage of laser fire from the Munificent. Kerston closd his eyes and thought about the lives he would lose today. He knew that was just the first. The battle was far from over. Then his tactical offcer called to him.
"Weapons charged to one hundred forty percent sir."
Kerston opened his eyes and smiled once again.
"Weapons, Target the munificent, Stagger fire all ion batteries, Fire for effect."
The bridge weapons officer relayed the order to their gunners and Blue streams of ion energy lapped out at the ship slamming into it shielding causing ripples of blue white electricity to encircle the ship like a net. The energy dissipated just as a second barrage of Ion energy hit the shielding once again. It was then the Bright flash of plasma Torpedo's exploding darkened the forward viewport. The plasma washed over the shields of the ship rippling energy. The third barrage of Ion Barry fire from Farragut found its way through the shields and slammed into the ship rippling and aching along its hull looking tor electronics and non shielded systems to destroy. The X-wings were now in close enough to send a barrage of torpedoes which slammed into the hull just before the Munificent managed to get her shields up once again. Three X-wings paid the price as they were dismantles by flack and laser fire from the Munificent. The others broke from the approach and moved back towards Farragut. From under the enemy ship the Gunship now parked offering a broadside to the Munificent was steadily handing out punishment in the form of Turbolaser fire. They were getting as good as they were giving though and Kerston knew they could not last long. The second Gunship had taken a beating coming in from the top. It had moved away from the Munificent and was now circling back to make another run at the ship. The Main thing the attack did manage to do was stop the planetary bombardment. It did much more than that. The troop ship exploding below the ship had splashed fire and debris into is softer belly added to by the Ranger Gunship now giving the weak underside everything it had was doing damage to the massive ship. The plasma barrage of the bombers had most certainty taken out the ships thrusters and blue white arch's of electricity still flashed and rippled over the ship. The ship however still sent the fury of its weapons at Farragut. The Liberators shielding was strong for a ship her size. Strong for a ship twice her size but against the constant onslaught of the Munificent's fire they were slowly draining the capacitors. The ion batteries had taken most of the charge the Farragut had built up in preparation for the attack and now sent a stead yet slower stream of fire at the enemy ship.
"Weapons, Fire all turbolaser, concentrate on the Long range weapons on her prow."
Red streams replaced the blue as the heavy turbolaser batteries began to pound the prow of the Munificent. The ships shields held for less than three seconds under the massive heavy turbolaser barrage. As they failed bolt after bolt of red heavy turbolaser fire slammed into the prow scorching hull and breaking through armor. An explosion rocked the Munificent as sparks and fire shot out from under her nose. Debris few out in all directions as the forward heavy weapons succumb to the heavy fire of Farragut. Then a flash of white darkened the viewport again as the K-wing squadron made its second run on the ship. The plasma found the hull this time melting through opening deck after deck to vacuum and causing systems and capacitors and any other object in its path to incinerate under the heat and kinetic energy. The shields of the ship flashed under Ionic charge then were gone leaving the Munificent open and unprotected. This did not stop it from fighting back. The crew of the slaver ship were not cowards, they fought on even when it was more then apparent they had lost. Turbolaser fire now struck Faragut's hull scorching the armor and buckling the joints opening the ship up to the inner hull. The shielding was now at thirty six percent and dropping ans hull breaches had been opened up on the forward section of the ship. An explosion rocked the ship Farragut as one of her Heavy Turbolasers took a direct hit igniting the gas used to cool the gun and puncturing the capacitor releasing its fluid to the inferno now raging on the forward section of the ship.
"Weapons, take out those guns!"
Captian Kerston grabbed the arm of his chair in anger. He was exhilarated and enraged and many other thing but in this second he was happy. He love the fight, even if it made him sick to think of the crew he was losing. The munificent shuddered and the small specks of light which were the lights through the viewports flashed on and off several times. The Ship was losing power and every second that went by fewer and fewer of the Munificent's weapons struck out at the Farragut.
Soon the ship went dark. Fire burned over most of the port side of the ship and large chunks of the ship had broken away and were now slowly drifting into the gravity of Randon. Farragut was alive but had suffered damage also Many of her decks now open to vacuum on the forward section and half of her forward weapons batteries had been destroyed. She was hurt and would need repairs but she would live to fight another day. On the hanger deck the Crews readied to receive the remaining fights and bombers as they returned from their missions. In the aft hanger section the remaining companies of the 1st marines prepared to go down and look for survivors of the slavers orbital bombardment. The Bantha Assault Transports were being moved into place so that as soon as the attack wing was recovered they could deploy. Kerston relaxed after what was a stressful yet exciting hour. Reports were coming in of an assault on an armor column outside Poast. This meant at least some of Connors 1st company survived.
Western Edge of Poast
2 hours later.
The makeshift command unit had ben sent down from Farragut and Connors had sent his orders to his regimental commanders aboard Farragut. The survivors of the original company now rested and were seen to by medical staff who accompanied the back-up command unit down. Connors had a broken rib and bruising along his left side but other than that he was fine. He let a corpsman reset his rib and apply a numbing agent for pain then wrap him up so he could move on. Now he wanted answers. The battle with the armored column had returned eleven hostages who were now being interrogated by Lant. Major Vurisk Irys'vys had landed just moments ago and had taken over the interrogation. The bothan was gifted when it came to questioning a enemy operative. He had served both the bothan and New Republic well as a counter espionage and interrogation specialist. Now he chose a less stressful position as 1st marines Infiltration and Information Specialist, in that position he more than excelled. Connors had seen the wookiee sergeant Vryyr leave the makeshift camp and return twenty minutes later with his commanding officer. The man was a real piece of work but he was loyal and Connors knew He was only doing hi job. But he did not like the fact the man did not raise a hand to assist him and his men or even investigate if they had survived or not. The meeting with the two was short and he could tell the Lieutenant did not like the fact that the wookkie was promoted and transferred out of his command. His job on Randon had just become much simpler. Connors would see that the planet was left with nothing but domestic squabbles for him and the defensive force of Randon to deal with before he left. That is after he and his men helped Connors get to the bottom of what was going on. For now it was time to get the answers he wanted from the prisoners. No mater the method.
Nov 11 2013 5:28am
Planet fall plus 24 hours.
The prisoners had been less than useful in working out the details of what was really going on on Randon. The Transdoshans would die before they would give up any information. The Bothans were as determined as the Transdoshans and gave little detail of the happenings on the world. The humans however were far less resistant to Major Irys'vys' questioning. They were mercenaries hired buy a a syndicate off world and were sent to Randon from other worlds through out the mid rim. Many even lived on Randon before the attacks on Poast. As for where the people of Poast were that was no secret it seemed. The outer districts had been evacuated seven days before the Randoni Council contacted the alliance. That would have been information they needed upon landing which like so much more they did not get. Now Connors had a better Idea what was going on. The Provisional Council had crossed a local syndicate group and in return the syndicate hired this group of pirates and slavers to enforce their will upon Randon in retribution for the slight they had committed. That part Connors understood, he had talked with the Council inbound and knew the man seemed shifty then. That was not the part that bothered him. Something still did not fit. The slavers and mercenaries sent in to rough up the world was something that happened alot in the mid rim, more than one would think, but when they do they do not come packing a capital ship and armor. The mercenaries were far to well equipped to just be some rag tag group they had funding and connections. Connors knew there was more to the story and he knew just where to get the answers.
Planet Fall plus 30 hours.
Veandin City was a contrast to Poast. Thousands of people lined the markets and bizarres along the streets. The Influx of people from the outer cities made a normal crowded day almost impossible to traverse. Major Lant and his team had been in the city for over an hour now and they could still see the city walls behind them where they had entered. The city seemed as if it had no idea what was going on in the outside the city. Humans and Bothans did business on the district they were now moving through. Vryyr had told them of elitism among the humans and Bothans of Randon. Lannik, Wookiees, and other beings were looked down upon and treated as second class citizens. It was certainty apparent once one got in and around the Randoni. The deal the Randoni Council had With the syndicate gave them certain freedoms in the rural areas of Randon which once it become a problem for the Provisional Council was revoked and the Syndicate personnel ejected from the planet forcefully. Here the people seemed to not have a care in the world. Like everything was normal and there was not a group of pirates attacking their world. Lants temper flared but he contained his rage. These people were not to blame. Elitism happens on every world in the galaxy. Maybe not to this degree but these people are just living as they had for hundreds of years. It is the council and the regional governors who were to answer for what was going on.
Lant motioned for his team to spread out and move along the city street. They wee taking in everything and noting the fortified areas as the worked their way into the center of the city and the Council Chambers. The Council building was more than visible over most of the other tall financial buildings. The rich of this world seemed intent on staying that way and the sky line of the city showed they held the power. A reminder to the population that they own Randon and everyone on it. An hour later they had reached the spice shop they were told their contact would be hiding. The four men made their way into the shop each not seeming to be together. Lant looked over an arrangement of spices meant to be used as sexual aids. Funny they were in the bin next to STD treatment spices. He looked around the shop taking in the scene. Three men he knew, they were his team. A woman seemed to be unaware they were even in the building. The Shop keeper watched the patrons and dealt with the few who purchased spice from him. A skinny Bothan frantically looked over a section of herbs meant to cure forest fleas. Then in a back corner Lant saw a man who seemed intent on not being noticed. The man made eye contact then darted into a back room. Lant nodded to one of his men then walked across the shop and into the room.
"Are you Lant?"
The voice seemed fragile and soft. He looked around and the man stood behind a stack of crates. Peeking around the edge holding a blaster out of sight. Lant noticed the blaster but said nothing. He knew the man wanted that to be a surprise.
"Yes, I am Major Lant. I was told you could get us into the Council Building unnoticed."
The man slowly moved from behind the creates. He brought up the blaster and pointed it at Lants head.
"How do I know you are who you say you are?"
Lant stood still and caught one of his men moving around the back side of another pile of creates flanking the man. Connors made eye contact and turned his attention back to the man now pointing a gun at him.
"If I was anything other than what I am I would have killed you already. The people who are working against us here are not the take alive type it seems. So lets just put away the guns and get to business. We have three hours before all hell literally rains down on your little city here."
The man thought about Lants words for a moment then dropped his blaster and sat on a create next to him.
"Things are getting crazy here. My friend was killed yesterday and I feared you were here for me. I can do what you want but I need your word you will protect me from them."
Lant walked over and took the blaster from his hand and placed his hand on the mans shoulder.
"After were done no one will be left on this planet who would dare harm you. Now how do we get into the council building?"
Three kilometers outside Veandin city
Connors looked through his battle armors enhanced visor at a magnified image of the front gates of the capital city. The planetary Defense Force had closed the city and fortified every entrance. The city had one main gate which seemed to be the only way in or out of the city. His scouting team had gone in five hours ago and he now waited the last hour till it was time to strike. His plan would only work if Lant and his men found their way into the council chambers.
"Lieutenant, make sure Farragut is ready. I need this to go off as planned if we hope to keep thousands from dying."
The man nodded and contacted the Farragut now moving into synchronized orbit over the capital. His men now readied for a battle he hoped would not come. If he had to take the city by force many innocent people would pay for the mistakes the ruling elite of this world. The planets rebel cell now joined the ranks of the surviving marines. The wookiee Vryyr and his wookiees seemed content to stay off to themselves away from his men and even the planetary cell they once belonged to. He had been impressed with the wookiees. He had served with them before but never seen a full platoon of wookiees work. They were magnificent creatures, large and strong yet agile and graceful. They were fierce and faithful. He knew the leader Vryyr was grateful for him pulling him and his entire wookiee group away from Lieutenant Kowalsky. The Man was not a bad commander, Connors knew any commanding officer would have trouble dealing with a large group of wookiees. His plan was to just point them at something and let them do what they do. He looked back at the city in the distance. A lone speeder circled the city on patrol. Connors wondered how much more armor the Randoni had secreted away in the city. That would be something he hoped would not be an issue. If his plan worked in four hours the world would be free of a corrupt government and he would not have to fire a single shot.