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Sgt. Slaughter

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About Sgt. Slaughter

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  1. The voyage to Dark Sun was not easy. Located deep in the sectors previously controlled by the Corporate Sector Authority, the star charts that the Galactic Alliance possessed for this region had not been updated for some time. It was an already difficult transition through a region of space so dense with stars that some of the fleet’s older tenders could not even properly plot out routes through the quagmire of competing gravity wells. What made it an arduous journey, however, was the unnerving sensation that the fleet must have tripped a proximity sensor or a surveillance probe or some other early-warning system that Black Sun had left to alert them to unwanted visitors. With the crime syndicate having found themselves in possession of the single most valuable head in the galaxy, they must have anticipated a rescue attempt and laid a trap. But as the armada popped in and out of hyperspace to confirm their position and reroute around stellar hazards, no fleet was lying in ambush. No battery of orbital turbolasers opened fire upon the fleet. None of their re-entry points were even mined. “Andromina, you’re first out the hangar.” Slaughter had briefed the commando just prior to the last jump. The Admiral had considered leaving her TIE Defenders in reserve as a surprise for the Black Sunners, but the possibility that the fleet was about to revert into a free-fire zone could not be discounted. Finally, the jump to the rendezvous point. The veteran soldier remained on the bridge during this final hour, waiting for a barrage of turbolaser fire to greet their re-entry from hyperspace… but instead the formation found itself in the middle of a formation of allied vessels from the Jedi Order. About them was an unexceptional star orbited by unexceptional planets and unexceptional moons--many light-years from civilization, this system would have held little value to any but a mining corporation or a criminal gang. The moment fleet arrived out of hyperspace, its recon A-Wings were dispersed throughout the fleet in search of any emplacements that might await their approach on Dark Sun Station. Speedy little interceptors equipped with sensor jammers, they would be well-equipped to flee if any opposition was encountered. At the nucleus of this squadron was the Steadfast and Fidelity, two MC90 Star Cruisers that had so recently been battle-damaged by the disaster at Coruscant that the repair crews hadn’t even had the opportunity to paint over the repaired armor plating. The Phalanx, a worn Dreadnaught-class Heavy Cruiser held one flank, and the Kalidor, a more modern Majestic-class Heavy Cruiser at the other. Within this formation prowled and twisted a trio of corvettes, ready to break off to support a starfighter attack. On the bridge of the Steadfast, Slaughter regarded the incoming sensor data from the coalition’s scouts with apprehension. In a star system like this, there would be little opportunity for clever maneuvers or gambits--it was going to be a slugging match, each side dealing out tremendous blows and suffering tremendous casualties. He hailed the flagship of the Jedi formation in a text communique, confirming their position and transmitting planned maneuvers. They were not subtle. Jedi fleet, Steadfast Actual. Good to see you. Will focus efforts on enemy Star Destroyers and Golan. Surviving forces will blockade and demand release of target.
  2. A comlink on Slaughter’s desk chimed an urgent report. Holding up a hand to excuse himself, Slaughter listened closely, his wide face turning ruddy with ugly blotches as the communique continued. Finally, with great care, the Admiral punched in commands to summon Marshal Howlster back to his office. “We’ve had a change of plans. The Jedi have already begun their attack.” Slaughter close his eyes and pressed his fingers into them until stars appeared in his sight. He sighed. “Marshall, your infiltration will obviously now be impossible, but I’ll need you to lead any boarding actions. Templar, our goal will be to achieve domination of Dark Sun’s perimeter--knock out any defenses, rout any fleet that might be stationed. At that point we demand your Head of State back. We board and start breaking things if she isn’t immediately returned. I’ll have a surprise for the Sunners if they think that we’ll be delayed. Any questions?” A tremor ran under the floor at that very moment, indicating that the Steadfast had entered hyperspace, along with the rest of the armada. ((Ships leaving Anaxes: Steadfast, Fidelity, Phalanx, Kalidor, Surprise, Audacity, Incisor, Crescelle.))
  3. ((Sorry, should have clarified in last post that the NPC is yours to flesh out.)) Knowing of Black Sun’s retrograde attitudes towards nonhuman species (most notably its dabbling in the slave trade), most of the officers briefed on the attempt to rescue Head of State Zinthos were human. He would join the Shistavenan in the YT-2000 freighter that had been scrubbed for the mission. As for Slaughter, he limped towards the bridge to find that the breached canopy had been repaired and the tools that had been scattered by Anaxes’ repair crews had finally been cleaned up, just in time to receive Andromina and her squad of commandos. Uniformly human, still clad in their black TIE pilots uniforms, they were a stark contrast to the medley of species on the bridge of the Steadfast. “I assume that you’ve been briefed. We will have your Head of State back and I’m prepared to shoot our way through Dark Sun to take her back. We’ll begin by establishing a blockade around the station and give them one chance to hand her over. If not… you’ll be in the first wave. I imagine that the Sunners don’t expect we have the audacity for this kind of attack. They’ll be in for a surprise.” Feeling that his boast had probably fallen on unappreciative ears, Slaughter paused for a pair of awkward seconds and continued. “Sorry. You’ll be assigned to the Surprise as part of the first wave. She and Audacity will make a breach for your Templars and our marines to assault. We launch for the rendezvous point in…” At that point, one of the hangar deck crew spoke into her station and a Coruscanti voice boomed over the ship’s intercom. “Jump to hyperspace in five minutes. Secure all stations.”
  4. “You’re working with Aliastra Interstellar, an arms designer negotiating manufacturing contracts and conducting trials for a new carbine, codenamed ‘Borcatu.’” Slaughter’s stubby fingers activated a miniature holoprojector and passed it across the desk. The image was that of a boxy, inelegant blaster carbine--clearly a model that was optimized for ease of manufacture. “There are several arms manufacturers on Dark Sun and it will provide you with an excuse to carry a live weapon while on board.” His lips thinned. “Yes, it’s real. Please don’t let the prints fall into Black Sun’s hands. We’ve briefed several intel operatives on the mission and your weapons--all excellent men, you will have your pick. You’ll have a clean transport--no connection to the Galactic Alliance or Imperials. But work as quickly as practical. The fleet will be going in regardless of your success, and soon. “The Galactic Alliance needs the Imperials operational again, or… we’re looking at something like the old days of the Rebellion. Any questions?” ____ The Steadfast’s/ air traffic control responded within a few seconds of Andromina’s hail. “Permission to land granted, follow the beacons to hangar two. The Admiral will want to see you. Proceed as quickly as possible, we’re scheduled to push off in five.” Indeed, several ships of the Galactic Alliance fleet had completed their repairs and were vectored towards a hyperspace route, and the flashing lights drifting away from the MC90’s hull indicated the completion of repairs. ((Steadfast, Fidelity, Phalanx, Kalidor, Surprise, Audacity, and Incisor take off and prepare to leave.))
  5. Only minutes after the Jedi fleet signalled their intention to launch, a responding transmission was forwarded from one of the Alliance outposts on the planet surface. “Your briefing received and relayed. Diverting assets to assist.” Appended to the communication was a tactical package that included simulation data regarding the ships used by the Mandalorians in their conquest of Coruscant.
  6. “Like I said, delayed satisfaction.” Slaughter glanced at the fourth wall, and for a brief moment, felt as though he had been in his office, speaking to the same person--a wholly unsettling sense of deja vu. A Force-Sensitive--or even a more thoughtful character--might have experienced a mind-melting episode of existential terror and gone running off into the corridors of the Steadfast, but Bruce Slaughter was merely a grunt who had received a field promotion to a station perhaps beyond his talents. He merely glanced at the bacta patch on his leg and tossed back a glass of lukewarm water that had been lingering on his desk since Coruscant. “We’re going after the Imperial Head of State: Raven Zinthos. She was taken captive by Black Sun and their Sith allies after their conquest of Kuat.” A holoprojector in his desk flashed images of the IMperial Head of State: a surprisingly small woman for one wielding the awesome power of her office. With her enlarged eyes, she appeared almost as an overgrown child. Next, the image of a plinth-like space station. “Unfortunately, she’s being held in a space station that we know relatively little about: Dark Sun. Some significant fortifications, but nothing the fleet can’t handle--the problem is that it’s primarily civilian--headquarters for multiple megacorporations, arms manufacturers, banking syndicates, the like. “It’s obviously a trap. I’d prefer to get her out without committing the fleet, but even then I’d like to have someone on the inside, someone comfortable infiltrating a criminal organization. You have three critical objectives for this mission: we need information regarding the location of Zinthos within the station; we need to know if the Sith or Black Sun fleets are nearby; and if and only if opportune, to rescue Zinthos.” ____ The transmission from Borleias having been received from their facilities on that world, several of the better-repaired ships orbiting Anaxes broke orbit and vectored for a hyperspace route towards deep space.
  7. “Probably there’s a ceremony for reactivating your commission, but we don't have time. Welcome back to the Alliance, Marshal. On me.” Without another word, the stocky human strode from the clatter and roar that had turned the customary order and routine of the command center into the organized mayhem of a construction site. He didn’t want some civilian contractors to overhear what needed to be said. His ready room was only ten seconds from the bridge. He slumped into his desk with an exhausted thud. “I need to be blunt, we’re hurting. We gave as good as we got when the Mandos hit Triple Zero, but everyone knows that we can’t survive a loss like that easily.” Slaughter thumbed a control on his desk and the atmosphere in the cabin grew stifling with the activation of the room’s privacy field generator. For the moment, the only communication devices that be of any use would be those hardwired into its circuitry, and even an outside eavesdropper would find it difficult to listen in on their muffled conversation. “We’re going to need to delay our satisfaction if we’re going to survive the next month. Your work with the marshals--you ever have to go undercover? Infiltrate a criminal organization to gather intel or get a source out?”
  8. The aerospace traffic controller of the Steadfast eventually responded; the ship was unknown to the Galactic Alliance, but the transponder codes were genuine for an officer several years ago. ”Land at Hangar Three and report to the bridge.” A teasing note entered the traffic controller’s voice. “You do still know your way around an MC90, right?” ____ Construction requisitions, panicky Senators, a thoroughly irritated loading foreman on the planet surface; these were all the mundane details that Slaughter would have preferred to leave to his executive officer or a staff officer, but the majority of the fleet’s bureaucracy had been forced to evacuate from Hesperidium and was still en route to the shipyards of Bilbringi. Some of these decisions were necessarily passed directly to the office of the Admiral. The hours continued and the drone of wheedling politicians was eventually replaced by the roar of plasma cutters and crash of micro-explosives; Slaughter’s vision began to cloud over and he found himself tempted to throw a datapad against the wall and smash it under his boot. ”Admiral to the bridge. Admiral to the bridge,” chirped a yeoman’s voice over a comlink, saving the report of abandoned munitions from its fate. When Mythos arrived to the bridge, he would find it in a state of organized mayhem; a miniature magcon field had been deployed over a quarter of its canopy and engineers floating in the void just beyond, removing a cracked panel of transparisteel. A Twi’lek approached the Admiral and muttered a word into the stocky human’s ear; the man looked up from his datapad and gazed intently at the Shistavanen. “Von Howlster. Admiral Slaughter.” The exiled Coruscanti had never met the Shistavanen, but he’d skimmed through his personnel file for a minute and gotten a measure of the paramilitary’s history. “I hope that the events of the last few days have brought you out of retirement.”
  9. Construction has begun on a MC90 Cruiser at Bilbringi AP Cost: 4 Scheduled completion: 4/11/2019
  10. Construction begins on an MC90 Cruiser AP Cost: 4 Completion date: April 11, 2019
  11. “I think that we’ve entertained our guests long enough. Cap, dispose of the trash.” The shipyards of Anaxes grew closer, and shuttles and barges were beginning to ferry supplies from the fortress world to the Alliance fleet. Chrysaetos was already in dry dock, a swarm of vacuum-suited techs and other craft working feverishly to restore the cruiser’s sublight engines. The Steadfast would be next in the repair yards and would require a full third of her turbolaser batteries to be repaired or replaced. From the entire Galactic Alliance fleet, a small armada of shuttles, gunships, and freighters landed around Anaxes’ military installations and her orbital shipyards. Having expected to serve as a rally point for both the Imperial Remnant and the Galactic Alliance, the world had built up a tremendous reserve of munitions and materiel. With the Mandalorians having taken Coruscant and bearing down on at least three other Core Worlds, it seemed a shame in Admiral Slaughter’s eyes to leave so much equipment to be taken by the invaders. Any equipment that was not secured was requisitioned by the Galactic Alliance. As for the rest, it was seized by Alliance marines and hauled away. No doubt that treating Anaxes like an enemy supply depot to plunder would cause a minor diplomatic uproar, but Slaughter had no intention to remain at the planet for any longer than necessary. ____ An obsolete model that was pinging away with active sensors, the probe droids that were dispatched to Anaxes were easy for the fleet to detect and the A-Wings of Hawkbat and Riposte Squadrons were diverted to intercept them. They fell upon the craft with aplomb, blazing away through empty space with laser fire. One of the A-Wing pilots, a Flight Lieutenant Adrianne Zinthos (no relation to the Imperial Head of State), plinking away at one of the little spacecraft with carefully aimed fire, was barked at by her squadron commander to “stop treating it like target practice and vape the blasted things.”
  12. ”Where the hell is the fleet?” ”Why are we alone out here?” ”Oh Force, we’re all going to die!” ”What happened to the [/i]Montressor? She was there when we went into hyperspace!” ”Sweet mother of mercy, is that the Garibaldi?” Such was the state of the comms of the civilian ships that the Galactic Alliance fleet had been tasked to escort to Anaxes. Not quite up to the specifications of the advanced navigational computers of the military capital ships, two of the smaller ships had actually attempted to revert to realspace on top of each other. Their hulls complained at the violation of their personal space with predictable and catastrophic results for the passengers inside. No more than three minutes after the menagerie of freighters and passenger liners had reverted from hyperspace in a state of disarray, their escorts dropped into realspace in multiple positions in the system to form a perimeter around the seething school of refugees. The Steadfast’s starfighter patrol, already dispatched to police the squadron’s airspace, was forced to fire across the cockpits of three of the freighters to encourage their crews await orders from Anaxes’ airspace operators, rather than make a solitary dash for any traffic corridor that they could force their craft into. On the bridge of the MC90 Cruiser, Slaughter pinched his nose and scowled. His leg had been bandaged and constrained in a splint, but he was at least able to limp his way across the bridge with the assistance of a cane. “Dispatch rescue shuttles to the Montressor and Garibaldi,” he sighed, knowing what was going to be the result of a collision during reversion to realspace. “And have Jern-Cresh send repair crews for our ships. I’ll be in my office.” Tremors of pain jolting up his leg with every other step, he managed to limp his way to his office without assistance and activated the holocomm installed in his desk. The Admiral was going to do something that he had hoped would never be required of him. He was going to ask for the assistance of the Jedi Order. ((Jern-Cresh: Mangled acronym for Joint Military Command.))
  13. For the purpose of planning and figuring out what roles might need to be fulfilled in the Galactic Alliance, I'd like everyone involved in the faction to state the name of their character, rank in the faction, and the specializations that their character focuses on (in combat and any non-combat roles they might be able to fulfill). Also link your character sheet, please. Name: Bruce Slaughter Rank: Admiral Roles: Fleet Command, Ground Combat, "Diplomacy" Character sheet: http://jedirp.net/topic/2192-bruce-slaughters-character-sheet/?tab=comments#comment-209058
  14. With the RP changing settings to one in which the Sith Empire is the dominant power in the galaxy, I feel that it is appropriate to reboot the public topic for the Galactic Alliance detailing its new role in the RP for the foreseeable future. The old topic can be found here. In this post, I’ll be going over the following topics: The story thus far for the Galactic Alliance Overall mechanics concerning the political and military mechanics of the faction. Introduce Bruce Slaughter for new members of the faction The TL;DR is that the Galactic Alliance is going to operate primarily as a resistance faction on the main board. With few exceptions, the Galactic Alliance will not be able to maintain the overt military presence that it enjoyed in previous years. Covert actions, such as clandestine recruitment, sabotage, and small-scale player vs. player battles will be the primary focus of the main board, whereas fleet combat will be limited to the campaign subforum. Because the GA is going to be a somewhat ragtag operation, members of the faction are encouraged to engage in worldbuilding the units and ships that they command. The story thus far: This is a time of considerable uncertainty for the future of the republic. The advance of the Sith Empire and its minions has penetrated deep into the Galactic Core. Worse, the ravaging of Coruscant by Vladimir Faust and predation by the resurgent Mandalorian Crusaders has destroyed the Galactic Alliance's most productive shipyards, rendering its position in the core untenable. This and the murder of a sizeable portion of the Galactic Senate has driven most of the Alliance's member systems to secede and seek their futures elsewhere, either in trusting the mercy of the Sith Empire or as independent states. With the Galactic Alliance in shambles, desperate times are ahead for the survival of the republic. Nonetheless, all is not lost. A small number of the Alliance's core members have refused to bend the knee to the Sith Empire (though whether out of stubbornness, patriotic fervor, or ambition has yet to be demonstrated). Memories are long amongst the nonhuman species of the galaxy, and nothing--nothing--can erase the memory of decades of discrimination and predation by the Sith Order and its Imperial proxies. Even in worlds nominally aligned with the Sith Empire, Alliance agents are bound to find enclaves of support amongst the nonhuman populations of the Sith Order and veterans of the civil war. The reach of the Sith Empire may have extended far indeed, but its armies and spies cannot be present everywhere. Alliance agents should be able to mix freely with the population of its worlds as long as they keep a low bearing. And despite the loss of Coruscant and the bulk of its industrial base, the cream of the Galactic Alliance's military has survived. What remains of its fleet is arguably the most elite fighting force in the galaxy--very few forces can boast to have endured as much battle as the fleet of the Galactic Alliance. However, its elements are deliberately scattered across the galaxy, as they lack a permanent base and a logistical foundation to lick its wounds and return to full effectiveness. Until these objectives can be achieved, Admiral Bruce Slaughter has proposed that they operate as a "ghost fleet": always on the move and able to exert influence on the galaxy just by virtue of the fact that its composition, location, and mission are not known. Its primary objectives will be to gather resources for a return to open warfare against the Sith and to secure a permanent base of operations. The former can be achieved through developing diplomatic contacts with disparate resistance factions in the galaxy and potential member systems with grudges against the Sith. Close cooperation with the Imperial Remnant and even hiring mercenaries is not out of the question. In addition, while the Bothan government has been hesitant to openly support the remnants of the Galactic Alliance, the characteristically underhanded Bothans have been known to occasionally “misplace” a cache of supplies or accidentally permit the theft of valuable intelligence. The Bothan Spynet has located an uninhabited star system in the uncharted depths of the Outer Rim and allowed its data to slip into the hands of the Galactic Alliance. Flush with unexploited resources and obscured by a radiation storm that renders remote probing nearly impossible, this represents the perfect opportunity for the Galactic Alliance to jump-start its war machine. As for securing a permanent base of operations… at the moment, few systems are willing to tolerate even the presence of the Alliance fleet for short periods of time. This may change as the Galactic Alliance re-establishes itself as a potent fighting force that can openly challenge the Sith Empire. Mechanics: Politics: The Galactic Alliance is in a state of disintegration. Its planets in the Galactic Core should be considered to be untenable for overt fleet activity, as they are within close striking distance of Onderon and the military of the Sith Empire. Planets in the Outer Rim, especially those that have primarily nonhuman species (Sullust, Mon Calamari, and Ryloth come to mind) should be considered ripe areas for recruitment and overt operations. Fleet Operations: The Galactic Alliance fleet will deliberately be kept scattered and will not engage in overt combat on the main board. While it may occasionally appear above planets in the Outer Rim that are sympathetic to the Alliance, the bulk of its operations will be limited to the Crucible in the Campaign sub-forum. Because of the multi-species, somewhat ragtag organization of the Galactic Alliance, ships in its service will range in origins and age; from converted passenger liners to renovated hulks to fully modern ships of the line. The Galactic Alliance is not going to be picky in terms of the weapons and technology that it deploys--it needs all the help it can get. In OOC terms, this means that I am entirely in favor of developing homebrew ships to fit the unusual demands of the faction. Please PM me or contact me on Discord if you have any ideas you would like to develop. Ground Operations: Although the Sith Empire is in a dominant position in the galaxy, its forces are stretched thin within the Galactic Core and the Rim has always been difficult to police. In addition, numerous planets have always been on friendly terms with enemies of the Sith due to long memories of persecution and exploitation by the Sith Order. Alliance agents should be able to move freely as long as they conceal the identities of their vehicles and their personnel. Outright conquest of occupied planets should not be a goal of Alliance units, but raids on supply dumps and sabotage of garrisons and other installations will be pursued. Because of the multi-species, covert nature of the Galactic Alliance's resistance to the Sith Empire, this area is ripe for customization in terms of the specialties and the equipment used by PC-led units. The Galactic Alliance has recently adopted the AC-18m “Borcatu” Modular Weapons Platform, a blaster carbine that is simple to maintain and build, but Alliance units should use any weapons that they are able to get their hands on. Some units may be fully-equipped veterans of the Galactic Alliance with military-spec equipment, but many resistance cells are just going to be using any weapons that are available. In OOC terms, this means that I encourage members of the faction to provide some worldbuilding to the units that they command, including any unusual weapons they might use, specialties in combat, and species that may be especially prominent in their ranks. Who is Bruce Slaughter? Slaughter’s a bit of a young-ish character in terms of post count so I think it would probably be a good idea to introduce him and some of what he has done in the RP. Bruce Slaughter hails from Coruscant and joined the Rebellion some time after his home planet fell back into the hands of the Empire. His background is rather ignominious: he will proudly admit that he was essentially street trash, a stupid kid with no education, no money, and no future before he joined the Rebellion. Bruce’s father died when he was still young, and his mother was mostly absent from his childhood. As such, the story of his life probably would have been a very short one if his sister hadn’t kept him from falling into the pointless violence of the street gangs of the Lower Levels. He is of the opinion that the Republic gave him everything that he has today: purpose, education, respectability, and a future. It’s only right that he gives it back everything he can. Admiral Slaughter is a no-nonsense, professional soldier, known for placing a high importance on drilling his command to a high degree of combat readiness. He served at a number of the largest battles in the RP: he was at Centerpoint Station during the conclusion of the Arach’tar War, and was also at the battle of the third Death Star at the conclusion of the Galactic Civil War. However, his reputation is darkened by a number of incidents in the Galactic Civil War for which he was never investigated. During the retaking of Sullust, the Imperial garrison attempted to stall the liberation of the planet by threatening hostages. Not only was Slaughter not deterred, he personally executed several officers who had taken the Sullustans as sapient shields. The second incident was during the attempt at retaking Coruscant. During this battle, Slaughter seized an unexpected opportunity to cripple the Imperial flagship while it was maneuvering at the edge of Coruscanti airspace, causing it to drop out of orbit and crash. The civilian death toll in the planet-wide city was enormous. The latter incident is regarded as a freak accident caused by an incompetent Imperial commander; the former is not well-known and only spoken of in unconfirmable rumors. The Admiral is known to have something of a prejudice against Force Users, a mild disdain of Jedi and an almost pathological hatred of Sith. That said, this prejudice contributed significantly to misjudgments that he made just prior to the fall of Coruscant, which may have been prevented if he had only just gotten the Jedi Order involved more quickly. With the Galactic Alliance in a state of disintegration and the future of the republic in doubt, however, he’s prepared to do whatever it takes to see it restored--it doesn’t matter who he needs to ally with, or what he needs to sacrifice, or who he needs to kill, he will see the republic reborn or die trying.
  15. “I won’t forget it,” the admiral muttered under his breath in the wake of the Mandalorian warrior’s departure. Even as the sublight engines kicked up debris from the melee and blasted it against the rear wall of the hangar, he refused to look away from the departing form of the Basilisk war droid. Already cleaved nearly in half by the Mandalorian, his carbine snagged against a fuel outlet and snapped in two. He sank onto one knee and sighed, more out of irritation than pain. A hoarse alarm klaxon barked out a warning that the Steadfast would to enter hyperspace in five minutes. Slaughter raised his comlink and muttered a confirmation to the bridge. “By the way, what happened in the shuttle bay?” The voice of his executive officer queried after reporting on the completion of the retrieval of the squadron's starfighter pilots. “Attempted boarding action by the Mandalorians. Nothing that Bryce and I couldn’t handle.” He glanced at his knee. Blood was still oozing down the plastoid greaves. He removed the greave with one hand and winced when he laid eyes on the wound. Pieces of metal and fabric were embedded into the raw flesh. “I'll be on the bridge in ten--motherkriffer!” He growled as his marine captain knelt beside him and tightened a field dressing around the rent flesh. “Everything’s alright, just… summon a medic to the bridge. No, nothing urgent, save the bacta tanks for someone else.” ____ Five minutes later, the evacuation shuttles assigned to the Steadfast retrieved the final remaining pilots who had ejected from their starfighters and boarded their mothership. By this point, a menagerie of freighters, cargo barges, and passenger lines had formed a cloud of evacuees around the ship, huddling against the hulls of the MC90 Cruiser and her escorts in hope of protection. Several of the ships, notably an Alliance munitions barge from Hesperidium and a passenger liner from one of Triple Zero's landing strips, dwarfed even the kilometer-long capital ship. This close formation in search of protection from the fleet was in defiance of orders from Steadfast Actual. Fires of varying severity continued to burn over the hull of the Alliance flagship, but the pinpricks of light that scarred its surface gradually disappeared as the conflagrations were either extinguished by damage control teams or consumed all available fuel in the afflicted compartments. After several minutes of ineffectual herding by the squadron's starfighters and shouting fits directed towards the more egregious offenders of Steadfast's exclusion radius. Finally, the entire squadron jumped into hyperspace… though the Galactic Alliance ships took a subtly different route from the civilians it escorted.
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