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Rico orders all ships to fly through the enemy, engaging the closest group with lasers as they pass, except for Vrei, who is to engage with missiles. One of the Rebel Y-wings makes a firing pass against the fancy TIEs, forcing their formation to alter course directly into the fire of his wingmate's Y-wing, whose lasers rip into the lead fighter. The B-wing's torpedoes fly through the formation before their warheads arm. The weapons' seeker heads, solidly locked on to the Imperial fighters, guide the missiles in a a wide loop to slam into the rear of each of the TIE leader's wingmates, all three Hunters vaporized by the pair of brilliant explosions.
Rico sends his fighter into a complex evasion pattern, finger on the trigger of his fighter's four laser cannons as he patiently waits for one of the four remaining Imperial craft to drop into his sights.
attack w/DP: 2eP+1eA+2eD+1eS1 failure, 1 advantage, 1 Triumph correction: 1eB1 success, 1 advantage Activating Linked 1 with the advantages and Guided with the Triumph... attack: 2eA+1eD2 successes correction: 1eS1 failure Damage: 8+1=9 (Breach 6 blows through the armor) x2 = 18... plus the previous 6 yields a total of 24, which destroys all three TIE/HUs in the front group.
Maneuver to go evasive
holding action to fire at first target to enter range
Aboard the Bantha, Rob sits in the co-pilot's seat as Tasha, standing behind the two pilots, analyzes the opponents’ tactics and points out weaknesses. Rath, with the help of an astromech, begins calculating an alternate jump destination in case the battle goes poorly.
Leadership check: 1eP+3eA+3eD2 successes, 1 advantage First attack by the Bantha adds 1 Boost.
Dre fires the ventral light baster cannon at the lead TIE Hunter, punching through its shields and armor to severely weaken the structural integrity of the port S-foil. Rob follows up with shots from the outrigger's light blaster cannon, forcing the leader to jink closer to his wingmates.
Chasta rolls in with concentrated laser fire, his strafing run finishing off the TIE Hunter leader and ripping into one of the Imperial's wingmates. Draykon's follow-through fails to score any hits, but does force the Imperials directly into the Bantha's line of fire. Dre depresses the trigger of the ventral cannon and the remaining pair of TIE Hunters explode. Rob redirects fire towards the Imperial shuttle, but the weak blaster bolts are absorbed by the craft's forward shields.
Draykon's astromech aims his fighter's ion cannon turret at the shuttle, but is also unable to breach the Imperial's shields.
Rath, with the assistance of the astromech aboard the Bantha, completes an alternate jump plot to Nar Shaddaa in case they should need a different escape route.
Rico hails the Imperial shuttle: "Power down your weapons and engines immediately or be destroyed. You won't be asked twice."
Bottom of turn #1... Dre's attack in the G9 as pilot... attack: 1eP+2eA+2eD+1eS2 successes, 1 threat Boost from Tasha... correction: 1eB0 successes, 2 advantage Damage: 4+2-1=5. Passing boost to Rob.
Rob's attack in the G9 as co-pilot... aimed attack: 2eA+2eB+2eD+1eS1 failure, 3 advantage Passing 1 boost to each Y-wing.
Top of turn #2... single-seat Y-wing...
Action to attack
attack: 1eP+2eA+1eB+2eD+1eS2 successes, 1 advantage Damage: 6+2-1=7 (+5 from G9's attack last round = 12, which finishes off the leader and inflicts 6 on a wingmate) Passing boost to other Y-wing.
Action to attack
attack: 1eP+2eA+2eB+2eD+1eS1 failure, 2 advantage Passing boost to Dre in the G9.
attack: 1eP+2eA+1eB+2eD+1eS1 success, 1 threat, 1 Triumph Damage: 4+1-1=4 (+12 from previous attacks = 16, which finishes off one of the wingmates, for a total of two kills, and inflicts 4 HT on the remaining TIE/HU. The triumph inflicts a crit, which is an auto-kill, finishing off the group.)
Rob's attack in the G9 as co-pilot... aimed attack: 2eA+1eB+2eD+2eS2 failures, 2 advantage Using the advantages to invoke Evasive Maneuvers.
Chasta guides his damaged Y-wing on an attack run against the Imperial shuttle, targeting its laser cannon. His twin lasers lash out in revenge, both shots slamming into the shuttle and blowing apart its main weapons. Draykon's attack run fails to score any hits, nor does his astromech operating the ion cannon turret. Dre, piloting the Bantha likewise misses, but Rob manages a grazing blow. Rico misses on his own attack, but forces the shuttle into a position advantageous for the next attack by the Y-wing pilots.
A4's run... aimed attack w/DP: 2eP+1eA+1eB+2eD+4eS1 success, 3 advantage 2 adds: Activate Linked 1 1 add: passing a boost to next attack. Damage: 6+1-4=3 x2 = 6 (of 25) points of hull damage directly into the twin light laser cannons, disabling them. 1 DP expended so far.
Chasta continues to pour laser fire into the partially crippled shuttle, systematically taking it apart, destroying its remaining forward-firing weapons. His wingmate follows up by blasting more holes through the shuttle's armor and into its rapidly deteriorating hull. Dre's shot scores a glancing strike on the shuttle, but splitting his attention between piloting and gunnery jostles the ship and throws Rob's aim off.
Rico continues to miss. He may be a great technician and competent with a blaster rifle, but combat in space doesn't seem to be one of his fortes.
Chasta's run... aimed attack w/DP (called shot): 2eP+1eA+2eB+2eD+4eS2 successes, 1 advantage Damage: 6+2-4=4, cumulative damage now 11/25. All forward-firing guns destroyed. Passing boost to Draykon.
The lambda shuttle banks away from the alliance ships bringing its aft blaster cannon to bear.
1 DP flip. and a boost from my last round. With two advantages I activate linked and the other passes a boost die. So that is 5- armor X 2 damage. attack btl a4: 1eC+1eD+2eA+1eP+1eS+1eB1 success, 3 advantage
Having forgotten about the Imperial's hidden aft-firing cannons, the surprise return fire causes the Rebel fighter pilots to take sudden countermeasure that throw off their aim. Tasha finds a weakness in the shuttle's attack pattern and Dre exploits it to score another grazing hit. Rob is confused by the shuttle's maneuvering and misses badly, sending fire towards Rico's X-wing which also complicates that vessel's attack run.
S3... aimed attack: 1eP+2eA+3eB+2eD+2eS1 failure 1 boost from aiming, 1 from A4, 1 from droid assist
Tasha's find weakness... Leadership check: 1eP+3eA+3eD3 successes, 3 advantage 1 boost to both Dre and Rob, all shipboard weapons inflict 1 system strain as well as regular damage until beginning of next turn.
Chasta's Y-wing pursues and fires at the fleeing Imperials, but his shots are deflected by the shuttle's aft shields. Draykon has better luck in his Y-wing, slamming a shot through the shuttle's aft shields and ripping a large gash in her hull. Dre, closing in with the Bantha, sends yet another glancing shot scorching across the enemy's hull. Rob follows up with a shot that while missing, forces the Imperials directly into the line of fire from Rico's X-wing. Rico takes advantage and scores a solid hit that, finally, disables the shuttle. The Imperial vessel floats dead in space, without power.
As the last enemy vessel is disabled, the group moves forward and fires, penetrating the Lambda's hull. They give the ship plenty of time for its oxygen reserves to dissipate and life signs to extinguish before attaching themselves. Rico boards their the ship taking advantage of his vacuum-sealed armor. He pilots the shuttle and he and the others return to the surface so that repairs can be made. Final preparations are once again made and the group once again departs the surface. This time making their way easily to the jump point and then through hyperspace to the rendezvous location.
The location in question is an uninhabited moon not too distant from sector headquarters. The pilots radio ahead an all-clear signal and then guide you into a concealed canyon. A large set of shielded doors open along the canyon's wall exposing a large central corridor with several landing bays to either side.
As you land, Lyman Martano, who is familiar to Rico, moves towards the group.
He is accompanied by another who introduces himself as Nax Simdabb the base quartermaster.
Lyman speaks to Rico with an excited and concerned tone in his voice. "Where did you get all of these starfighters?" He glances over at the B-wing before continuing, "Lieutenant, that fighter is highly classified. Not only should you not have been authorized to use it, but you return it a complete wreck! Who authorized you the use of this vessel!" Aggravation readily apparent in the commander's voice.
Rico snaps back, "Commander, would you have preferred that I left that valuable, and useful, piece of Alliance technology back at the Imperial research base? Which is where we found it, and the other Alliance fighters we retrieved. It appears that the Empire, somehow, managed to take possession of your highly-classified craft and was conducting in-depth analysis of its capabilities, and that of the X and Y-wings as well.
"As for its current condition, that's a result of our having to battle our way past a squadron of the Empire's new TIE Hunters. I assigned Miz Shen-jon to pilot that new Alliance fighter. She accounted for half that squadron with a pair of proton torpedoes, before the remaining TIEs returned the favor with their own torpedoes and nearly killed her. She managed to jury-rig repairs and bring the ship here. Respectfully, Commander, you should be thanking us, and Miz Shen-jon in particular, that we were able to bring it back in any condition at all. Had she been killed, or had she been unable to get the fighter's systems back online I'd have been left with no choice but to blast it to pieces to keep it from falling back into Imperial hands."
The Lieutenant Commander's face shows absolute shock at hearing Rico's words. A quick glance at the two pilots under his command confirms the story. Taking a deep breath, with aggravation still evident though redirected, he continues, Yes, indeed, we do owe you thanks. The quartermaster will see to your group's needs. You are to report to sector headquarters for debriefing."
Arrangements are made with the quartermaster to unload all of the acquired equipment and to have the necessary exchanges an upgrades made. As the group boards the Bantha they are stopped by Captain Dre. "My instructions are to only take Rico to sector headquarters. Its location is kept limited to as few individuals as possible."
Rico hunts down Commander Martano. "Sir, I'd like for the rest of my team to be present with you when I'm debriefed. They can provide details that I can't about what happened at particular locations and times, as we split up during our attack on the Imperial base to cover more targets. I also think that can can provide useful insights that may differ from my own observations and opinions."
Rico walks into the conference room Captain Dre Ka'taramas following in after him. The room is empty at first.
but soon Lieutenant Sunfel, Colonel Taske, and Vrei walk in behind the group.
Please make a vigilance check. 2eD
The commander moves to the head of the table while Lt. Sunfell moves to a console and connects to Sector Fleet Operations HQ and verifies that Commander Martano can hear everything. "Everyone, please take your seats," Colonel Taske says to the group. "Lieutenant Solari, please brief us on your recent mission."
Rico does so, going into detail on how he chose to attack the base, and what they discovered within it. He regrets that he was unable to retrieve more data from the command bunker due to his unwillingness to risk himself or his teammates by having them step into another Imperial trap. In hindsight, had he rushed into the command bunker he might have saved more data from being erased. He admits that he should have expected the Imperials to initiate a data purge, especially when he gave them ample time to do so.
In regards to the second lab, had he had more ground personnel he would have been able to reach that lab sooner and they might have been able to prevent one of the researchers from destroying most of the lab and its contents. But he made the decision to take as many prisoners as possible, and that tied up some of his people to guard them. Again, in hindsight, had he just killed all of the uniformed Imperials he might have been able to salvage more from the labs. It was a trade-off, one that he's not so sure was the correct decision militarily, even if it was the right call morally.
He pauses for questions, before mentioning that Dr. Demarcus wishes to speak to someone further up the chain of command than Rico. That he says that he can be 'useful'.
Colonel Taske speaks up, "You did the right thing. It would have been unwise to enter the command bunker knowing it to be trapped as you described. Killing prisoners is not the Alliance way and you acted in accordance with the values we demand of our officers." After Rico informs them about Dr. Demarcus' request she continues, "What is your assessment of this Dr. Demarcus?"
Rico replies, "He's obviously holding back. In his shoes, I would do the same. Given my own prior affiliation with the Empire, I perhaps understand all too well what he may be thinking. He wants to negotiate for something. The question is what he wants and what he's prepared to trade for it."
Rath speaks up at this point, "During my time with him I got the sense that he is sincere, and he believes that what he has to offer is something that the Alliance would find valuable. And he was very much concerned that his fellow researchers not be privy to his cooperation with us. Why he should be so concerned about them learning about his collaboration is puzzling, unless he fears that his companions might somehow leak word of his behavior to the ISB. I do have a suggestion in regards to the other two researchers, and that is that they be questioned under the effects of resistance-breaking drugs. Dr. Demarcus wasn't the senior researcher in his lab, Dr. Grelai was, and neither Grelai nor Tobia showed any willingness to be cooperative or even a hint of being concerned about the fact that they were prisoners of the Alliance. They are either naturally true believers or heavily indoctrinated by the New Order, or both."
"Commander, please have this Dr. Demarcus brought into your room. We would like to hear what he has to say. Lieutenant Sunfell, disconnect visual transmission, audio only from our end until the prisoner departs." As the commander sends for the prisoner he gives an update on his investigation into the B-wing located at the Imperial base. So far he has tracked the model as one of the older prototypes of that craft. Several improvements have been made and that craft was supposedly scrapped several months ago. A team is looking into the individual who signed for the craft's destruction.
Rico looks puzzled, and his puzzlement is reflected in his voice when he asks, "Commander, why would the Alliance scrap a functioning prototype fighter, given the ever-increasing demand for fighters? Even an imperfect weapon is better than none at all. Was this particular fighter defective in some way? A very subtle flaw perhaps, because I would have expected Miz Shen-jon to have mentioned any issues when she did her preflight checks?"