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The Battle Commences
The twin suns of Mon Cala are high in the sky as the Imperial fleet streams towards the New Republic defence line. The flagship (an Assertor-Class Star Dreadnought) begins broadcasting:
“Attention members of the Rebel Alliance, this is Grand Moff Ravik of the Galactic Empire. Surrender peacefully, power down your shields and you will be spared”.
The Imperial fleet consists of the Assertor-Class, 11 Imperial-Class Star Destroyers, 1 Venator-Class Star Destroyer and assorted support ships.
Admiral Ackbar begins rallying the New Republic forces:
“All craft form up. Defence Formation Cresh! They may out-gun us, but you have all trained for this. If we hold our line, of our resolve is true, we will pull through this day. We’ve faced greater odds than this and survived. The New Republic will not fall today!”
The New Republic fleet begin repositioning its ships and the orbital defences around the shipyards begin powering up. More ships begin dropping out of hyperspace – smaller picket ships that are being recalled from patrols. Mostly Nebulon-B’s and CR-90’s.
On the surface of the ocean, Tobin spots a group of smaller Imperial craft breaking through the New Republic lines and getting into the atmosphere – A squadron of Alpha-Class Star Wing fighters escorting a pair of LAAT/I Gunships. The gunships sides begin opening and infantry begin their high-altitude drops down to the ocean surface. Tobin calls in a warning to the city below.
Down in the city, shrill alarms start sounding. Whisper organises an evacuation of the conference to a nearby bunker with Ambassador Pok (the Mon Cala diplomat chairing the events). They get a call from Oz (who is travelling with Lando to the underwater construction site) – he relays to them that General Rieekan wants them to find a way to evacuate the diplomats to the construction site so they can get them off planet. Oz is going to help secure the area.
At the bunker they find that two diplomats are missing – Senator Nudo from ORD Mantell (the Aqualish) and Senator Pato Set from Ithor (the irritable Ithorian). Ghost goes off in search of them whilst Gand, Kobfred and Whisper take some Mon Cala troops in search of some transport.
As they make their way towards the spaceport they see that the many New Republic ships are taking off to join the battle. They’re ambushed by a group of sea-troopers, one of which carries a torpedo launcher. They quickly scramble to take out the torpedo trooper, Gand shoots it out of his hands, it goes off and hits a nearby building showering the Imperials in debris. Unfortunately the shockwave causes parts of the coral structure in which Predator Squadron have taken cover to begin shattering into hundreds of razor-sharp knife-like shards.
Predator Squadron eventually gain the advantage but it is not without cost – both Gand and Kobfred are gravely injured. The battle culminates when a group of patrolling Mon Cala knights happens upon the battle and their Keelkana mounts feast on the Imperial commander.
One Sea-Trooper survives, Whisper and Kobfred interrogate him for his orders. He explains that the Empire’s mission on the surface is to disrupt the New Republic defences, targeting the power stations and shield generators in the cities.
They find some intelligence on what’s left of the Imperial commander indicating how the Empire found the conference:
Ravik’s son uncovered intelligence on Canto Bight that led him to tracking down a Rebel fleet group in the Lianna System. They attacked, and when the Rebels escaped to hyperspace they intercepted partial co-ordinates being broadcast. The Empire then plotted possible jump co-ordinates from there in the direction they escaped with the partial co-ordinates and the logical destination was Mon Cala.
After questioning the surviving Imperial soldier they pass him into Mon Calamari custody and the group continues to the spaceport. Gand collects the rocket launcher.
Ghost tracks down the missing Senators to the hotel bar, the Aqualish has turned it into a self-service establishment. Ghost threatens to shoot up the bar and succeeds in turning the Aqualish away from his self-destructive ways. She tries to also coax the Ithorian to rise up, but his despair is too strong. She eventually decides to simply tether the Ithorian to her with a grapple line and drags him to the bunker.
In the bunker Galish tries to raise the diplomat’s spirits by recruiting them into the League of Fancy Hats. This is unsuccessful as many of the diplomats are more concerned with their impending doom and many others have read the New Republic Intelligence report on potentially dangerous organisations – her cult is made up mostly of Imperial POWs, and is on a New Republic watchlist. Ghost returns and finds methods to motivate the group of diplomats.
Aboard the Dawn of Tranquility
Lando and Oz arrive at the Dawn of Tranquility construction site. Oz initially focuses on getting Lando to the bridge safely, sending some soldiers to secure the shield generator. Once dropping Lando off at the bridge, Oz begins heading back down the ship.
Zarcus, still on the detention level, finds the lobby. There are 6 Mandalorians set up in there, one with a light-repeating blaster. Zarcus manages to avoid being spotted (with the assistance of Zar), and he calls Oz for assistance and advice.
Together they co-ordinate their strike on the Mandalorians. Oz climbs on top of the turbolift roof, and sets it for the detention level, the doors open and the nearest wave of Mandalorians open fire. Zarcus snags the light-repeating blaster operator with a found glop grenade, it begins blocking off that Mando’s air supply and gums up the heat vents of the light-repeater disabling it.
Oz drops down, lets forth several blasts from his rifle, sweeping fire across the area. He takes down one Mandalorian and causes the power systems of the light-repeater to overheat, causing the entire foam from Zarcus’s glop grenade to engulf that side of the room in flames.
Zarcus throws on Mandalorian across the room into the mouth of hell that Oz had opened up and repositions himself in cover. Unfortunately a Mando blasts a chemical suppresent system above Zarcus’s head, dousing the entire area in toxic chemicals.
The Mandalorian leader (taking cover behind the console) opens up on Oz with his ridiculously large rifle. This hit Oz feels, but more pertinent is that the Mando blasted the safeties of the elevator. Two Mandalorian reinforcements arrive, they’re dragging a figure with a black bag over their head.
With a speed of thought probably afforded to him by his droid systems, Oz decides that the bigger one is the harder they fall, and that Mandalorian was plenty big. Oz quickly secures himself with grappling hook as the elevator crumbles around him, he opens up on the Mandalorians, raining holy fires of vengeance upon them. As his gun falls silent, the Mandalorian leader keels over, his beskar’gam – supposedly impregnable armour – lay riddled with fist-sized blast holes. Oz swings his way into the room, stepping through the flames, like a spectre of death to the handful of battered Mandalorians that survived his onslaught.
Zarcus sends Zar in, who unleashes his blood howl. Each Mandalorian being severely injured from Oz’s blitz, being faced with this spectre that just killed their leader, and now this wolf, the Mandalorians feel fear. They make a break for it, running for the door, but Zarcus wrenches it from its motors and slams it shut in front of them. The Mandalorians, now trapped and apparently hopeless, exchange a solemn look between the three of them. They each draw daggers and take their own lives rather than be captured.
Oz attends to the Mandalorian’s prisoner, she introduces herself as Dignitary Chaaste. Oz recognises her from Alliance files – she’s Grand Moff Ravik’s former assistant. She explains that the Mandalorians were not breaking her out to save her, but to execute her for what she knows – she has agreed to defect to the New Republic and give them all that she knows about Moff Ravik’s citadel on Ryloth. Rieekan confirms her story to Oz and it seems as though they’ve wiped out the majority of the Mandalorians aboard the ship, so he and Zarcus head for the shield generator room to secure it against future incursions.
- Oz acquired the Mandalorian leader’s rifle (a heavily modified DH-X Heavy Blaster Rifle) and he and Zarcus each grabbed some frag grenades.
Escaping the City
Gand, Kobfred and Whisper have to cut through the city’s zoo on the way to the spaceport, they pass by the 50m long corpse of a whaladon (it appears as if someone had thrown a thermal detonator into it’s blowhole). As they swim around it, it gives them an uneasy feeling.
They come to the spaceport and find that all spaceworthy ships already seem to have blasted off, those that are left appear to have been salvaged for parts. Gand does spot a small submarine, but it’d require at least two trips to ferry all the diplomats with it. As they’re deciding what to do a shadow falls over them, high above them an adult whaladon swims by, blocking out the sun with it’s 130m long bulk. It swims over the zoo and begins circling the corpse of the smaller creature – they’re fairly sure the larger one is it’s parent.
They approach the whaladon, tentatively at first. Whisper begins talking to it, and it seems to react (although she may be imagining it). Kobfred and Gand attempt to connect with it too, they’re fairly sure the massive creature is intelligent. They ask for its help, the whaladon solemnly seems to understand.
They climb on the creature’s back where there are a series of ridges that make easy handholds. They grab on and the whale rockets upwards, heading straight towards the surface. The whale stretches out into the sky, flipping around – backflipping so it is now pointed straight down towards the water.
They brace themselves as the water rushes over them, barely shielded from the impact by the ridges on the whale’s back. The creature heads down at an angle – heading deeper, away from the city. It arcs around and heads for the rock wall – they’re approaching a cave. No hesitation the whale dives straight in at full speed.
After rocketing through a long tunnel, the whale comes out into a large cavern, huge crystals are embedded in the ceiling, reflecting light from somewhere high above. The entire place has an ethereal glow, it exits that cavern somewhere near the top, heading into a tunnel of coral.
It begins slowing as it approaches an underground wall, and it begins emitting a deep resonating pulse from it’s throat. After some time the rock begins pulsating, cracking – eroding down in waves of dust.
In the bunker it feels as though there’s a massive earthquake, some of the dignitaries fear they’re being bombarded from orbit. Ghost prepares the dignitaries to evacuate the bunker, when the floor collapses and they come face to face with the whaladon.
Whisper explains that they brought transport (Ghost told them not to complain!). The whale opens its mouth expectantly. After some hesitation the diplomats reluctantly get into the jaws of the giant beast. (The smell is horrendous, almost overwhelming, yet also sort of calming).
The whale takes off again and begins circling the massive cavern, it’s really picking up speed at this point, there’s almost a whirlpool effect at the centre. It dives off down another tunnel, rapidly twisting and turning for a beast of it’s size. they come out in an underwater canyon and it begins weaving it’s way along. It comes to a stop overlooking the Mon Calamari construction yard, spitting out its passengers.
Kobfred, Whisper and Gand say goodbye to their friend, telling it to stay safe. As it swims off into the blue depths they’re fairly sure it waves back with it’s tail. The next time they look back, the whaladon has completely disappeared.
The party from the city reunite with Tobin at the docks and board the Dawn of Tranquility. Tobin heads for the shield generator as the rest escort the diplomats to safe quarters. Galish takes this opportunity to make her case to Count Drakul about the liberation of Gand, together with Ghost, Gand and Whisper she eventually convinces him to change his position.
Galish stays with the diplomats whilst the rest head for the bridge.
Tobin meets Oz and Zarcus in the shield generator room, they assist him in retuning the experimental shield generator they acquired on Canto Bight. Through some crazy mechanics they rig the shield system through the MC-85’s projectors, doing it so efficiently that they were able to permanently increase it’s defence in 2 zones. Tobin signs this insanely-built masterpiece with his name.
The maintenance catwalks retract from the ship as alarms signalling all personnel to stand by are sounded. The engines power up, the craft slowly starts rising from it’s cradle. More thrusters ignite and it picks up speed. More engines power up as the MC-85 breaks the surface of the ocean with a great tidal wave. The main engines kick in and the craft accelerates up through the atmosphere, and enters the orbital battlefield.
On the bridge Ghost, Gand, Whisper, Oz and Kobfred have a good view of the command display Rieekan and Lando are looking over. Down with the diplomats Galish attempts to comfort the Ithorian, who has his head in his hands muttering about how they’re all going to die. At the shield generator Zarcus and Tobin have a display monitor they’re watching.
More Imperial ships begin dropping out of hyperspace, several Star Destroyers including an Executor-Class Star Dreadnought. They begin broadcasting:
“Rebels, your day is done. Prepare to be obliterated!” there’s a pause, “Ravik, what are you doing here?”.
“Putting down a Rebellion, Zsinj ", comes the curt reply.
“That’s Warlord Zsinj, you-”
“Zsinj, you’re a very good tactical commander, but politics has never been your forte”.
Ackbar cuts in: “If you two would like a moment…”
Ravik comes back: “Zsinj I give you this one chance: let’s put aside our differences and crush the Rebellion. We can decide the future of the Empire afterwards together,”.
Zsinj responds, “I am Warlord Zsinj, ruler from ORD Mantell to the Gordian Reach, and I declare myself independent from Grand Moff Ravik’s corrupt regime and declare myself the rightful ruler of the Galactic Empire. I will crush you both”.
On Ravik’s end things seem to go dead, but you’re almost certain you hear a muttered “that f-ing moron” before it shuts off.
Ackbar quickly sets out their situation – if they run they’ll lose this sector of space, the New Republic’s main shipyard and it’ll mean the loss of a large amount of momentum built up since Endor. The time to draw a line in the sand is now. He orders Rieekan to put together a unit to strategically target key Imperial assets during the battle.
Ackbar hopes that Ravik and Zsinj will be so involved in fighting each other that it’ll give the New Republic an opening to do significant damage. Whichever of the two wins will hopefully be so battered that they’re forced to retreat.
Rieekan has Predator Squadron assemble on the hanger deck (including Kobfred and Zarcus, somehow Lando has managed to acquire their signatures confirming they’ve signed up to Predator Squadron, even though neither of them remember signing anything). There are dozens of ships in the hanger – A-Wings, B-Wings, X-Wings, Y-Wings, even a U-Wing and two experimental M-100 StarFortress Bomber SF-15s.
Epilogue – A Brief Discussion on Tactics
Tobin: Though a diversionary hit is useful. finesse is only so useful in deception. I am being entirely serious, one bomber isn’t going to blow up a Super Star Destroyer. Not one anyway.
Galish: No, it bloody well isn’t, not when Mon Cala is in trouble, as is all the diplomats.
Tobin: But what one bomber can do is, with the support network, open up the formation of one or the other.
Galish: And frankly. I’d like to get back to Skye alive.
Tobin: I mean, make diversionary raids to make them think we are hitting somewhere else, but ultimately we gain nothing by holding anything back. The alliance is already fully committed to this fight; half arsed measures is exactly why a diplomat can never understand war.
Tobin: That has been made abundantly clear by the motivations of many going into this conference.
Galish: Tobin, I never said hold back, I am simply pointing out that it is a bad idea to go immediately in with the bombers. You claim that you must need to win the war – I put it to you that your mission is ultimately futile. Win something tangible, something that really matters to you. Liberate Gand, save your family, something like that. I am fighting in this to keep my wife and my adopted homeworld alive, free from the tyranny of the Empire. So when I say that I warrant some caution in rushing in, I mean it. Much as I would love for the napalm of bombing runs to light up the sensor grids, rash decisions could ultimately cost us.
Galish: I simply mean this – press the big red button when you know it is time, not because you want to.
“Oh? So that’s why you are a supporter of privatisation then? So you and your bloody royal bimbo can adopt some Iradorian children and watch the sun rise over your freshly tilled land that you vacated your own people off? You’re the same as that blue bitch, you go away from the war a few months, go back to your family and everything is sunshine and rainbows isn’t it? Long as you keep living you get to live the good life? I don’t even need to peak inside your mind to know exactly what you are thinking.”
“Fuck this, I don’t need to explain how I operate because I have been fighting this war continuously for four solid years years, even in my period of rest I’ve always had one eye over my shoulder because of those cursed red blades, or looking for my old friends that probably died two years ago! I don’t have any place I can go back to Galish! Scum like me don’t! The very best I can hope for is to use my particular set of talents to carve my path through those triangles to make the Grand Moff’s heart quake! And Force willing I will survive like I always have.
“I swear to the Force, the only reason you got your shit together was because of Ghost’s patience, that takes a seriously good quality to do just that. But in my eyes, you aren’t one of us. You never were.”
Tobin storms off to prepare for take off.
Galish: “You are damn right I got my shit together because of Ghost – something she’ll be repaid for I can assure you!”
Galish runs over to Tobin to stop him storming off.
bq. _"However, don’t you ever call my wife a bimbo! How dare you, prancing around with your magical, wishy-washy stuff going on. You’ve been fighting for so long, you can’t see the bigger picture! I didn’t go back to Skye with Khylira, she chose to go back herself. I was making myself useful working towards the one thing, the one thing that has any stability in my life, the liberation of Skye! You do have somewhere to go back to, where your family is, just like where mine is."
She jabs him in the chest with a finger.
bq. “What war mongers like you don’t get is sometimes, you have to take the long way around to get what you want. Want to see Gand liberated? Fine, go and do a direct assault, I am sure that’ll work. Shit like that worked fine for me for years – so much so I killed my own parents and the crew of the Midnight Star! Why do you think I drink so much, huh?!”
“Take it from me Tobin, rushing in will be the death of you.”
The Rodian’s body tensed as Galish spun him around; for a moment his entire slight frame seemed to reverberate with barely contained fury, yet against expectations the Rodian contained it behind his cold golden stare. His gaze turned away from her as her triade contained as he reached out, his mind drifted towards the matters of what had yet to be. Isolating the future was difficult when the canvas of time was shattered like hammered glass, endless shards seemed to stretch out in every which direction, yet as he grabbed the path of greatest abundance he saw events that rippled out from the origin of this shatterpoint, a most likely turn of events.
Tobin: “I, apologise.”
The Rodian’s first words seemed distant as he continued to look beyond her, before he abruptly snapped out with a flicker of his eyes.
bq. _"But family? You presume too much. She already has hers in a place I can never follow because I just kill people and create instruments to kill more people, in addition I could give less of a shit about being honourable since most honourable people die from not considering their options, she didn’t like that and thus disowned me." _
“Besides, if I don’t end this war as soon as possible one of their filthy order will have their hand’s around my son’s throat like they almost did one year ago, dictating his future like everything else within their crumbling foundations. Because of your ignorance to the force, you will never have to know what that feels like, a fate to be eternally hunted like I have. The dead won’t rise to haunt you after all.”
“Besides. I have foreseen see a victory paved in slabs of durasteel, the wall of steel parting before us as our formation dives into their heart, forcing their great leader to flee with terror in his heart. My vision has never been better. Besides-”
The Rodian gestured past her towards Kobfred.
Tobin: “It seems one of the raw recruits wants your attention. I must prepare for our victory.”
The Rodian turned away sharply and continued, though he didn’t make his way to the M-100, instead he began checking over one of the B-wings.
_By the time Galish and Kobfred had managed to discuss his idea, an idea she agreed with, she took stock of what the Rodian had said to her. Leaning by the M-100, a ship that looked singularly impressive, if the spec sheet suggested a thinly armoured one at that, Galish pondered over just how broken Tobin was. _
Perhaps Tobin has missed the point – it didn’t really matter about the Force. What mattered was his actions. He chose to kill people and make instruments to do so. If he wasn’t honourable, was he to be trusted? Was she to be trusted?
She knew that her hijinks in her time with the group has been a cause of concern – Ghost in particular. Before reuniting with Khylira, Galish has really just been a wanderer, a gunner for hire, feeling immensely guilty about what she had admitted out of frustration to the Rodian. Certainly nothing before had really brought her to focus before but now… with a family and a whole planet to defend… perhaps it was time to settle. If only Tobin could see what Galish saw…
As Tobin prepared the B-wing, Galish’s intuition was correct; he didn’t see the life she imagined. All he saw was his mission, to eradicate every inch of the sith legacy that had dominated his entire life up to this point, to kill each and every inquisitor a task of such enormity that the Rodian couldn’t imagine what a life beyond this even looked like. They simply didn’t understand his reality! Most of them couldn’t! If he backed away tomorrow the Hands would find him when he was least prepared, as long as any one of them lived he would never have peace.
Peace is a lie, there is only the force.
The Rodian clambered into the cockpit and settled his hands on the controllers, fixing his visor down to bring up the display. The Rodian took one deep breath as he pushed the internal darkness down, a primal urge that had become his companion for the last four years and pushed aside the irrelevant information, the politicians, the recruits, his frueds, recommendations of rehab and petty grudges, instead turned his mind to one task. The battle.
But if I didn’t have the force, would I have peace? I wonder what that life would have looked like.
The Rodian sighed as that rogue thought was put to one side, Tobin’s concentration extended to the control panel to sharpen his focus, then he reached even further into the machine, the complex circuitry and the nuts and bolts that gave this craft form and he gave it further substance.
But how do I avoid what I saw? Do I even try and avoid it? Or do I just let it happen?
This entire ship was his territory now, others may enter it but now Tobin was intergrated into the ship not a single bolt could fall out of place without his knowing; it would hold firm.
What, losses, would I consider necessary?
Rewards and Experience
- Oz gains 5 Duty for clearing out the Mandalorian raiders aboard the Dawn of Tranquility.
- Whisper gained 3 Ground Superiority Duty for the elimination of the Sea-Trooper squad.
- This brings total group Duty to 88.
- Gand gained 1 conflict, but rolled 4.
- Kobfred gained 1 conflict, but rolled 9, going up by 8 to 62.
- Zarcus’s Morality was triggered today, he gained 8 conflict, rolling 7, going down by 2 to 53.