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Sgt. Slaughter

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  1. Rebel Alliance Fleet Status: End of Round Three (Shields/Hull) Royal Hapan Naval Precision Strike Carrier Group |Coldstream| Taskforce Experience Green (1xp) O/C-Battle dragon class Cruiser: Ri'Aldech |0/20| Royal Hapan Naval Assault Lance [Kinetic Ram] |Kitchener| Task Force Experience: Green (1xp) O/C-Battle dragon class Cruiser: Transvaal |25/25| Royal Hapan Naval Heavy Brawler Escort |Zeeland| Task Force Experience: Green (1xp) O/C-Battle dragon class Cruiser: Victoria |21/35| Rebel Alliance Destroyer Group [Missiles] |One| Taskforce Experience Green (1xp) KDY-Victory II-class Cruiser L'Ouverture |0/0| KDY-Victory II-class Cruiser Gerrera |9/9| Rebel Alliance Heavy Brawler Escort |Fidelity| Taskforce Experience Green (1xp) MCS-MC90-class Star Cruiser Fidelity |8/35| Rebel Alliance Precision Strike Carrier Group |Taffy-14| Taskforce Experience Green (1xp) KDY-Nebula-class Star Destroyer Benediction |15/20| Mandalorian Neo-Crusader Destroyer Group [Railguns] |Akalenedat| Task Force Experience: Green (1xp) IPM Neo-Kandosii-class Battleship: Xaakzaamheid |25/25| Mandalorian Neo-Crusader Destroyer Group [Missiles] |Bes'bev| Task Force Experience: Green (1xp) IPM Neo-Kandosii-class Battleship: Nat’ah |25/25| Mandalorian Neo-Crusader Light Defensive Escort: Suppressing Fire |Cabur| Withdrawn Task Force Experience: Green (1xp) IPM Fane-of-Swords-class Frigate Vlissingen |3/3| IPM Fane-of-Swords-class Frigate Leeuwarden |0/3| IPM Fane-of-Swords-class Frigate Nassau |0/0| IPM Fane-of-Swords-class Frigate Vrijheid |0/0| IPM Jehavey'ir-class Assault Corvette Stavoren |2/1| IPM Jehavey'ir-class Assault Corvette Oosterwijk |0/0| IPM Jehavey'ir-class Assault Corvette Jaarsveld |0/0| ________ “There. L’Ouverture and Gerrera into that hole. We’ll break that damned ship over our knee. Thank the Mandos for their help, tell their supports to get out of there before they’re all dead, and give that bastard our finest.” Admiral Slaughter stabbed at a void in the holographic pit, as though poking at polygonal representations of his ships could somehow drive his ships any faster. But L’Ouverture and Gerrera seemed to have overloaded their engines, for they surged into a gap in the starfighter screens and engaged one of the larger Sith Star Destroyers at closer range. Fidelity fell behind in its coverage of the two Victory II-class Star Destroyers momentarily leaving L’Ouverture without the protection of their flagship’s heavier guns. This time, the barrage was coordinated with exquisite precision. The time-on-target volley from the two missile destroyers arrived nearly at the same moment as a salvo from one of the Mandalorian ships--Slaughter couldn’t even begin to pronounce its name. Tearing his eyes from the command pit for only a moment, he thought he detected an azure glow emitting from overloaded shields… and then that was extinguished when a squadron of B-Wings broke through its fighter coverage and strafed along its flanks. “Herlov’s shields are--” “Sir! L’Ouverture’s badly hit!” Slaughter didn’t need sensors to see what had happened to the old VicStar--no more than a kilometer away, the entire bridge was filled with the lightshow that was produced by the dagger-like ship’s demise. A horrific gout of fire tore free from the ship’s bow--a magazine detonation--and was rippling through the ship from stem to stern, tossing armor plates and turrets into the vacuum like children’s toys. That firequake continued through its engines, blowing out two of the massive cowlings free from the hull. Lights immediately flickered and died across the ship. A few batteries continued to fire, but those were either a last-moment attempt to empty a missile launcher’s magazine or the hopeless attempts of a trapped gunner to share his misery with the enemy. Even without listening to the damage report, Slaughter knew that L’Ouverture was dead. The ship was drifting as a black hulk and fires were blowing through the hull, spreading from where she’d been hit. For the old Star Destroyer, all that could be done was to evacuate as many crew as possible. This was going to be a costly day.
  2. Rebel Alliance Fleet Status: End of Round Two (Shields/Hull) Royal Hapan Naval Precision Strike Carrier Group |Coldstream| Taskforce Experience Green (1xp) O/C-Battle dragon class Cruiser: Ri'Aldech |19/22| Royal Hapan Naval Assault Lance [Kinetic Ram] |Kitchener| Task Force Experience: Green (1xp) O/C-Battle dragon class Cruiser: Transvaal |25/25| Royal Hapan Naval Heavy Brawler Escort |Zeeland| Task Force Experience: Green (1xp) O/C-Battle dragon class Cruiser: Victoria |25/35| Rebel Alliance Destroyer Group [Missiles] |One| Taskforce Experience Green (1xp) KDY-Victory II-class Cruiser L'Ouverture |0/6| KDY-Victory II-class Cruiser Gerrera |9/9| Rebel Alliance Heavy Brawler Escort |Fidelity| Taskforce Experience Green (1xp) MCS-MC90-class Star Cruiser Fidelity |8/35| Rebel Alliance Precision Strike Carrier Group |Taffy-14| Taskforce Experience Green (1xp) KDY-Nebula-class Star Destroyer Benediction |23/24| Mandalorian Neo-Crusader Destroyer Group [Railguns] |Akalenedat| Task Force Experience: Green (1xp) IPM Neo-Kandosii-class Battleship: Xaakzaamheid |25/25| Mandalorian Neo-Crusader Destroyer Group [Missiles] |Bes'bev| Task Force Experience: Green (1xp) IPM Neo-Kandosii-class Battleship: Nat’ah |25/25| Mandalorian Neo-Crusader Light Defensive Escort: Suppressing Fire |Cabur| Task Force Experience: Green (1xp) IPM Fane-of-Swords-class Frigate Vlissingen |3/3| IPM Fane-of-Swords-class Frigate Leeuwarden |0/3| IPM Fane-of-Swords-class Frigate Nassau |0/0| IPM Fane-of-Swords-class Frigate Vrijheid |0/0| IPM Jehavey'ir-class Assault Corvette Stavoren |2/1| IPM Jehavey'ir-class Assault Corvette Oosterwijk |0/0| IPM Jehavey'ir-class Assault Corvette Jaarsveld |0/0| ________ The merciless exchange of fire continued. A heavy blast shuddered under the deckplates of Fidelity’s bridge, causing the stocky Admiral Slaughter to pitch forward and catch himself with a fist on the edge of the holographic pit. That fist went straight through one of the orbital shipyards surrounding Fondor, an icon represented by a murky grey that ringed the world. He glanced towards the crew pit; a nervous glance and a band of red icons was his response, and he understood even as he tuned out the damage report. One of the Calamari cruiser’s shield projectors had been hit in that last salvo. Shields were still holding--but a heavy barrage would overload the remainder of the ship’s shield array and start burning into armor. Fidelity was a tough ship, built at the same shipyards as his old flagship. The Mandalorians, unfortunately, had come under horrific fire--Herlov and Goliath had managed to maneuver onto the flank of L’Ouverture and Gerrera, the two Victory-class Star Destroyers that they had inherited from Black Sun, and they were emptying their oversized batteries of turbolasers into their hull. Those two missile cruisers were fighting back with everything they had, proton torpedoes and concussion missiles blazing out of their racks in an assembly line of smoke, ion jets, and explosions, and the Mandalorians… were actually holding position to protect the exposed flank. Some of the ships were even deliberately occluding the fire arcs of the enemy batteries, making themselves sapient shields at terrible cost. Multiple corvettes and frigates exploded or fell dark under the barrage. He was going to need to meet the commander of those Mandalorians, Slaughter resolved. Shake his hand, thank him for holding position despite horrific fire… and quietly hope that the Rebel Alliance would never again have to fight the Crusaders in the future.
  3. Rebel Alliance (Shield/Hull) Royal Hapan Naval Precision Strike Carrier Group |Coldstream| Taskforce Experience Green (1xp) O/C-Battle dragon class Cruiser: Ri'Aldech |25/25| Royal Hapan Naval Assault Lance [Kinetic Ram] |Kitchener| Task Force Experience: Green (1xp) O/C-Battle dragon class Cruiser: Transvaal |25/25| Royal Hapan Naval Heavy Brawler Escort |Zeeland| Task Force Experience: Green (1xp) O/C-Battle dragon class Cruiser: Victoria |25/35| Rebel Alliance Destroyer Group [Missiles] |One| Taskforce Experience Green (1xp) KDY-Victory II-class Cruiser L'Ouverture |3/9| KDY-Victory II-class Cruiser Gerrera |9/9| Rebel Alliance Heavy Brawler Escort |Fidelity| Taskforce Experience Green (1xp) MCS-MC90-class Star Cruiser Fidelity |12/35| Rebel Alliance Precision Strike Carrier Group |Taffy-14| Taskforce Experience Green (1xp) KDY-Nebula-class Star Destroyer Benediction |25/25| Mandalorian Neo-Crusader Destroyer Group [Railguns] |Akalenedat| Task Force Experience: Green (1xp) IPM Neo-Kandosii-class Battleship: Xaakzaamheid |25/25| Mandalorian Neo-Crusader Destroyer Group [Missiles] |Bes'bev| Task Force Experience: Green (1xp) IPM Neo-Kandosii-class Battleship: Nat’ah |25/25| Mandalorian Neo-Crusader Light Defensive Escort: Suppressing Fire |Cabur| Task Force Experience: Green (1xp) IPM Fane-of-Swords-class Frigate Vlissingen |3/3| IPM Fane-of-Swords-class Frigate Leeuwarden |3/3| IPM Fane-of-Swords-class Frigate Nassau |3/3| IPM Fane-of-Swords-class Frigate Vrijheid |0/0| IPM Jehavey'ir-class Assault Corvette Stavoren |2/1| IPM Jehavey'ir-class Assault Corvette Oosterwijk |2/1| IPM Jehavey'ir-class Assault Corvette Jaarsveld |1/1| IPM Jehavey'ir-class Assault Corvette Boekenroode |0/0| ________ A number of fighters managed to make it through the interceptor screen thrown up by Benediction. Torpedoes hammered Fidelity's shields, lighting the bridge in fiery red but failing to penetrate the stubborn old cruiser's shields. Slaughter glanced away from the holographic pit just in time to catch the sublight glow of a flight of A-Wings, spitting laser fire in the wake of the TIEs. Two of the Mandalorian vessels were caught under the guns of Herlov and were disabled, likely to be total casualties unless a support tug managed to recover the vessels--an unlikely proposition in the middle of a battle.. The Admiral's reaction was to clear his throat and issue updated vectors for the fleet's maneuvers.
  4. So there was an active garrison present at Fondor, it quickly became apparent, including that damned Sith flagship Goliath. The muscles at Admiral’s jaws bunched up and gritted; undoubtedly that irritating Dreadnought had been redeployed to Fondor for repairs and refitting after the thrashing it had received at Corellia; the same was likely for the other veterans of that ruinous campaign. This was going to be a difficult battle--the two fleets were nearly equally matched, though Slaughter’s faith in his experienced crew of Galactic Alliance veterans was supreme. “Ahead flank, shields front. Track their targeting vectors, adjust course to intercept. Let’s see if we can draw some of their fire, buy time for our friends to pummel them into submission.” The canopy around Fidelity’s bridge gained a faint blue hue as the ship’s sublight engines burned with an extraordinary brightness that indicated that they were operating beyond safe limits. “Launch the alert bombers.” “Sir! Sensors--sublight emissions suggest stealth cruisers, not sure where they are.” His meaty hands balled into reddened fists. Something was out there that their sensors couldn’t quite detect--but the emissions of sublight engines never lied. Even the cleanest-burning drives with the purest isotopes left some trace of exhaust. Detecting the hull, however, was an entirely different matter… “Cloakers…” He harrumphed. “Now they're standard-issue. Wonderful. What a fascinating, modern age we live in. Alert gunnery crews; they may fire when ready.”
  5. Alone in his darkened stateroom, Slaughter breathed in and out in a measured cadence. He tried to not focus on the aching in his knees and legs from sitting on an unpadded floor for a few hours. His mind occasionally drifted to the usual anxieties; the knowledge that, no matter how well this day went, thousands of sapients would be sent to their deaths; the tenuous ties of the coalesced factions that comprised the Rebel Alliance; occasionally drifting towards the battle plan and the routes of attack to the orbital shipyards. That was fine. He knew the plan and the mathematics and the tonnage of fuel that each contingency would require; it was impossible to stop his mind from occasionally dwelling on that. What he did not know was how fiercely the Sith would fight to defend this system. The system’s garrison would likely be substantial; might even include some newly-built Golans. What he could not know was how motivated they would be to fight. Would they risk devastating their world’s economy by risking engagement near the shipyards? Would they attempt to scuttle them? His eyes closed and sitting on a thin mat, Admiral Slaughter continually wrestled his mind away from what he could not know and back to the simple cadence of his breath. In any minute, his Ugnaught yeoman would soon-- “Admiral. Fifteen minutes before reversion.” “Thank you, Gnugga.” In an instant, the middle-aged Admiral’s eyes snapped open and he rose to his feet with surprising alacrity for a man his age and weight. “Have caf and water waiting on the bridge. I’ll be there in five.” ____ Three minutes later, the Admiral strode onto the bridge of Fidelity, thoughtlessly returning a sentry’s salute. The proffered caf was guzzled in mere seconds, the Admiral ignoring the peculiar chemical taste that infested every mess hall in the Alliance. Liquid energy was what he needed, not a sad attempt at the blunt-force weapon flavor of proper navy-grade caf. The tactical pit in the center of the bridge was already displaying a hologram of their destination. Admiral Slaughter paced around the star and its smattering of planets, checking one last time for any detail he might have missed--an unusually large planetoid, a dense cluster of asteroids. It was nearly ten minutes before his reverie was interrupted. “It’s Fondor, sir. Chrystin’s from there,” his Twi’lek XO nodded towards the weapons terminals. That was one of the few shipyards in the galaxy capable of building Star Dreadnoughts. That certainly complicated matters. However, he had little chance to dwell on how critical this objective would be to the war effort, for the last thirty seconds of the hyperspace jump were counted down and the swirling blue of hyperspace were replaced by the inky starfield of realspace, marred only by the steely shapes of his ships and the glow of their sublights. “Signal jump complete. Launch alert fighters and prep the rest of the complement. Continue the approach, no signals to Fondor. Let’s see what they’re thinking.” ____ Rebel Alliance Destroyer Group [Missiles] |One| Taskforce Experience Green (1xp) KDY-Victory II-class Cruiser L'Ouverture |9/9| KDY-Victory II-class Cruiser Gerrera |9/9| Rebel Alliance Heavy Brawler Escort |Fidelity| Taskforce Experience Green (1xp) MCS-MC90-class Star Cruiser Fidelity |35/25| Rebel Alliance Precision Strike Carrier Group |Taffy-14| Taskforce Experience Green (1xp) KDY-Nebula-class Star Destroyer Benediction |25/25|
  6. Bureaucrats liked to comfort themselves by claiming that amateurs studied tactics and professionals studied logistics. Admiral Slaughter was never one to denigrate the invaluable services of the staff officers that shadowed his every step, nor the beancounters that somehow kept the Rebel Alliance supplied despite its increasingly heterogenous composition. Eventually, however, someone was going to need to trade turbolaser fire from the deck of a star cruiser or place their own body in front of an unfriendly blaster. For the final few minutes before Fidelity launched into hyperspace, the middle-aged Admiral was alone in his office. His hazel eyes stared into the holographic image of a star system that was next on the Rebel Alliance’s list of targets, fingers idly scratching at a few days of stubble. In astrometric terms, it was an unremarkable system: an unusually high number of asteroid belts, a gas giant and a pair of habitable planets and a terraformed moon. But it was that final planet in the fourth orbital position that concerned the Rebel Alliance and promised to complicate the invasion; it was host to an extensive series of orbital shipyards. He had not been told the true name of the system. That information, apparently, was so closely guarded that not even the commanders of the invasion would be allowed to know. What he had been told, under privacy field in his office, was that the shipyards were capable of constructing the larger models of Star Destroyers. That narrowed down the list of potential systems significantly. A buzz interrupted his train of thought. “Admiral, the Mandalorians have formed up. Everything is ready.” Mandalorians. Bruce had yet to be briefed on the cultural differences between the various cells of Mandalorians, but that was an unexpected addition to the Rebel Alliance. Whether their cooperation was secured through credits or diplomacy was not freely divulged, but if there was anything that he understood about the sons and daughters of Mandalore, it was that they relished a fight. For the moment, at least, their cooperation could be trusted. Whether they followed his orders… it would be intriguing whether they would do so, seeing how he has sent so many of their creed to a cold grave. He couldn’t afford to worry about that, however. The entire battle plan hinged on this coalition--and a coalition of former enemies at that--being able to fight alongside with some degree of coherence. He gave a long sigh. Around this time, Bryce would have jabbed him in the solar plexus to josh him out of his anxieties and teased him about getting old. Instead, the Talon had been deployed… elsewhere, with the Jedi to a station that he wasn’t allowed to know about. Such were the necessities of the service. “Thank you, Yeoman Gnugga. Have Tal’dira our departure. He may jump when ready. And… please make sure that I am not disturbed, life or death circumstances, that sort of thing.” “Aye, Admiral.” His eyes glanced towards a small mat in the middle of his stateroom. The quarters on a star cruiser were far from luxurious, but the square meterage in this tiny room at least allowed him a few small personal items...
  7. Fleet Asset Units Missile Destroyer Group One Experience Status: Green (1XP) L’Ouverture Ship Class: Victory-II class Star Destroyer Ship Length: 900 meters Gerrera Ship Class: Victory-II class Star Destroyer Ship Length: 900 meters Asset Denial Force Three Experience Status: Green (1XP) Kalidor Ship Class: Majestic-class Heavy Cruiser Ship Length: 700 meters Supporting ships: Task Force 82 (“Taffy 82”) Taffy 82 is composed of Hesperidium Ship Class: Nebulon-B Escort Frigate Ship Length: 300 meters DP20 Frigate Bloodhound DP20 Frigate Lancet Warrior-class Frigate Chir’daki Warrior-class Frigate Strill Marauder-class Frigate Racowie Marauder-class Frigate Sipahi The remainder of Taffy 82 is composed of a mixture of six DP20 Frigates (“Corellian Gunships”), Warrior-class Frigates, and Marauder-class Frigates. Element Fidelity (Heavy Brawler Escort): Experience Status: Green (1 XP) Fidelity Ship Class: MC90c Star Cruiser Ship Length: 1255 meters Precision Strike Carrier Group Seven (Taffy-14) Experience Status: Green (1 XP) Benediction Ship Class: Nebula-class Star Destroyer Ship Length: 1040 meters Supporting ships: Task Force 13 (“Taffy 13”) Taffy 82 is composed of Adun-Lilianna Ship Class: MC30c frigate Ship Length: 300 meters DP20 Frigate Elmo’s Fire DP20 Frigate Solo Warrior-class Frigate Incisor Warrior-class Frigate Constellation Marauder-class Frigate Equites Marauder-class Frigate Cataphract
  8. Model: Senth-class Picket Ship Class: Corvette Manufacturer: Naboo Royal Engineers Length: 34 meters Width: 120 meters (flying wing) Height: 8 meters Appearance: The ship is based on the J-class diplomatic barge, favored by Naboo politicians in the final days of the Republic. Armament: Quad Laser Turrets: 14 Turbolaser Cannons: 4 Concussion Missile Tubes: 4 Description/History: During the constant skirmishing and pitched battles that followed the fall of Coruscant, planets previously fortified by the Galactic Alliance in the Mid Rim and outer reaches of the galaxy became neglected as virtually the entire fleet was dispatched to flashpoints in multiple sectors. Piracy loomed perilously close to major shipping lanes, and worlds already off these routes were soon preyed upon and forced to fend for themselves, sometimes cobbling together fighter squadrons from spare parts and refitting civilian yachts and freighters to serve as patrol vessels. Out of this unfortunate state of affairs was born the Senth-class Picket Ship of Naboo, an attempt by the Naboo Royal Engineers to refit a passenger yacht into an antistarfighter platform. Originally crude, the design was revised over multiple iterations to include additional shielding, more weaponry, and more engines at the cost of crew comforts and armor. Resembling a chrome-plated flying wing, the Senth-class is studded with quadlaser turrets on the dorsal and ventral surfaces of its wings, under its bridge, and immediately above its engine cluster. Turbolaser emplacements are situated at the center of the hull and tips of the wings. The high gun depression of the turrets allows it to bring a surprising amount of firepower to bear on individual targets. Though designed for antipiracy duties, the Senth-class fares well as an antistarfighter screen in a larger fleet. Experienced crews of the corvettes have remarked that the handling of the vessel resembles that of an extremely heavy starfighter rather than a capital ship, and are prone to guiding their ship directly into the fray of a dogfight to support allied starfighter squadrons with its heavy array of quad laser turrets. In this task the Senth-class functions with aplomb, though its anemic turbolaser complement and poor armor prevent it from taking on larger ships or even some corvettes without support. An interesting side effect of its flying-wing design is that the Senth-class has a remarkably low sensor profile. Its heavy armaments preclude it from use as an infiltration vessel, but designs are in draft to strip it of much of its firepower to fulfill this role.
  9. The next three minutes were a case study in how not to deploy a Star Dreadnaught. The prodigious size of the vessels may have rendered the Medusa-class nearly impossible to destroy outright, but it was also the cause of its downfall--the steel behemoth required support and local air superiority to be effective. Its turbolasers and point-defense turrets were simply insufficient to cover the entire bulk of the multikilometer-long capital ship from a combined assault of starfighters and corvettes. Racing along the superstructure surrounding the bridge, Slaughter’s corvettes and starfighters blasted away at sensor arrays, fire control towers, and the weapons themselves. The overwhelming bulk of the Star Dreadnaught’s firepower gradually fell silent… or inaccurate and outright ineffective, no longer capable of unleashing the crashing volleys that had mauled Misericordia and Stalwart Guidance. “That’ll do, XO. Time to cripple this monster. Signal Strill--” “Strill is disabled, sir. Took a hit to the sublights.” “Damn. Uh, Bloodhound and Chir’daki. We’ll hit the primary hangar and bridge at the same time. On my mark, we’ll pop out of their engines and draw fire from their ventral guns.” “Aye. Standing by.” For the next fifteen seconds, Kalidor continued to hammer away at the engines of the Star Dreadnaught. Sublight clusters blew apart under the turbolaser fire and azure lightning arced between maneuvering thrusters, effectively kneecapping the steel behemoth and stripping what little maneuverability a ship of her class enjoyed. At this same moment, however, Hesperidium took a volley to her ventral sublight clusters and the Nebulon-B Escort Frigate began to veer towards the dorsal surface of the Mandalorian ship. Escape pods began to jettison from the sides of the crippled ship, but it was too late--the bottom of its command pod began to scrap along the hull of the Mandalorian capital ship, cleaving apart everything in its path. Completely out of control, Hesperidium crashed into the ship and exploded violently, the debris from the cataclysm pulverizing several square kilometers of the Star Dreadnaught. “Mark.” At that moment, the floor dropped from under Slaughter’s boots as Kalidor popped out from the engine cluster. More than a hundred turbolaser batteries and several missile launchers immediately engaged the Heavy Cruiser--the antimissile octets vaporized most of the missiles, but nothing could stop the turbolasers from plowing through the birdlike cruiser’s shields and rending away most of her bow weaponry. Slaughter winced as he felt the rumble of turbolaser magazines erupting in flame just forward of the bridge--but tempting the aft-facing weaponry of the Star Dreadnought had allowed one of his DP20 Frigates to slip through the barrage penetrate its primary ventral hangar. Bloodhound fired at will from within the ship, and a terrible garland of explosions began to blow apart exterior armor plates from within. A similar scene transpired at the dorsal surface of the Star Dreadnaught. Chir’daki, one of the speedy little Warrior-class Corvettes that was attached to Slaughter’s squadron, raced through the ravine that had been bulldozed by the ruin of the Hesperidium. She and a squadron of X-Wing escorts managed to penetrate the fearsome necklace of turbolaser and laser cannons that ringed the command bridge… and they laid waste to it with a combination of proton torpedoes, and vermillion laser fire. Within seconds, the few armor-clad individuals who were not vented into space had been rendered to a sort of pulpy ash by the combined energy of hundreds of laser blasts. Slaughter nodded in appreciation as the external running lights and turbolasers over vast sectors of the ship were extinguished. Sensors read that local power planets all over the ship were beginning to overload or were shut down seemingly at random. At this point, several sectors had even lost life-support. “Bloodhound, solid hit. Secondary explosions all over the ship. She’s beginning to go dark. Now, comms, can you please find someone alive who can surrender this monster to us, or am I going to need to take ‘er apart piece by piece?” _____ Hours later, the surrender was complete. The Rebel Alliance would take command of the Star Dreadnaught Medusa. Slaughter had no idea how the Alliance could possibly restore the steel behemoth to fighting condition, and he suspected that the ship would never fight again. It would probably be hauled by tugboats to the breaking yards to be stripped for scrap and spare parts. A fitting end to this piratical band of murderers, he decided. The old soldier was exhausted from the casualty numbers, however--Hesperidium was lost outright, and Strill and Incisor likely would not be combat-worthy for weeks. Hundreds of casualties aboard Misericordia and Stalwart Guidance--the crew of that Imperial Star Destroyer seemed to relish the hard knocks of war. Kalidor would need to spend at least a week in drydock from that single unaimed volley at point-blank range. And Bloodhound would need to be completely repainted. There was not a square centimeter of hull that had not been dented or scratched by debris or scorched by the fireballed that ensued from her rampage within the guts of Medusa. “Yeoman, when Bloodhound and Chir’daki are refitted, please inform their crews that they are authorized to paint half a Medusa Star Dreadnaught on their hulls. XO, you have the bridge." Slaughter badly wanted to just sit down, read casualty reports, and try to figure out how the Rebel Alliance was going to absorb the costs of this victory--a pyrrhic victory, at best. “Uh, sir--we’ve a signal from Hanna City. Local mayor--or magistrate--survivors of the planetside government would like to meet with you. They specifically asked for senior-most command, and--” “And I have a couple years on Alekseyev…” “Aye, sir. Priorities are aid distribution, repairing local infrastructure, and sounds like a state dinner tomorrow night.” Slaughter just nodded. Making his way to his private shuttle bay, the stocky old soldier braced himself to face the horrors of war....
  10. No luck on the support from planetside: taking down the Star Dreadnaught was going to need to be carried out by the fleet. Between the heavy support from the flanking corvettes and a fighter complement that had learned to compensate for the unusual tactics deployed by the Mandalorians, their Basilisk fighters were being whittled away at an alarming pace. The new tactics, though lacking in subtlety, were effective: each attack was led by a flight of A-Wings that scattered as many concussion missiles as possible in a few seconds. The warhead were dodged easily enough by the juking Mandalorians, but that forced them to expend valuable engine power and rendered them vulnerable to the flurry of X-Wings and E-Wings that pounced on their opponents. Distracting and flanking the Mandalorian fighters with multiple waves of threats, rather than a single crashing below of numerous weapons systems, was more effective. Though exceptionally deadly in one-on-one fights, the Bes’uliik fighters fared poorly when beset upon from multiple angles. But it was the surviving Neo-Kandosii-class and Star Dreadnaught that made Slaughter worry. Misericordia and Stalwart Guidance were in the process of mauling the smaller vessel and portions of the Mandalorian capital ship were falling dark when struck by ion fire, but the second barrage from the Mandalorian fleet ravaged the armor of the Mon Calamari cruiser. Turbolaser cannons were blasted free of their mounts when lucky shots struck magazines, and fires began to blaze as dozens of pinpricks before the external compartments were sealed or expended their supply of oxygen. As with at Dark Sun Station, Misericordia offered herself as a shield to protect the other ships in the fleet. Before the next salvo was disgorged from the Mandalorian command ship, the Imperial II-class Star Destroyer placed herself between the brutalized Mon Calamari cruiser and her tormentors, causing the fire to land on a set of fresh shields. Her return barrage was no less fierce, and between the pounding from her turbolasers and the starfighters that were beginning to break through the Mandalorian screen, the surviving Neo-Kandosii-class was overwhelmed and took an ion barrage that dimmed her engines. Slaughter’s element, fortunately, had only taken token fire from the Star Dreadnaught--a Medusa-class, as the IFF transponders were calling it. The vast majority of her batteries were focused on the more imminent threat of a Mon Calamari cruiser and an Imperial Star Destroyer, but the Mandalorians had forgotten that even these smaller corvettes and frigates that he commanded could bite--and unlike those mighty capital ships, they could maneuver akin to a heavy starfighter. At full flank, diverting all power to engines, the DP20 Corvettes and Warrior-class Frigates blasted forward: two kilometers, fifteen hundred meters, one thousand, seven hundred, five hundred… and they still held fire. It was only at two hundred meters from the surface of the gargantuan warship that the ships broke their loose formation and scattered, racing all over the ship’s hull in an enormous approximation of Trench Run Disease. Much of the Star Dreadnaught’s fire was ineffective--the corvettes were nearly as fast as a heavy starfighter, and they packed many times more firepower. Kalidor, for her part, was able to slip to the rear of the vessel and hounded its engine compartments with ion fire. More importantly, the airspace above the Medusa-class Star Dreadnaught was now dominated by six corvettes, It was effectively an arena devoid of enemy starfighter activity, and the Taffy 82’s starfighters riddled the formerly pristine surface of the command ship with missiles and torpedos. But these ships were infamously hardy--nearly impossible to outright destroy. Even hounded by a half-dozen corvettes from point-blank range, hundreds of starfighters, and a stubborn Heavy Cruiser that seemed to believe that a steady stream of ion fire could disable the many-kilometer-long command ship, it still boasted enough firepower to defeat the entire Rebel fleet on its own. Unless, of course, it could be decapitated.
  11. Every time that Slaughter had come to blows with the Mandalorians, his forces had been on the defensive. They were buying time--buying lives--and sometimes the bargain that they struck was scarcely even worth the expenditure of men and materiel. The Mandalorians had become accustomed to watching the Galactic Alliance flee before their forces--had come to expect their foes to make the pragmatic choice and withdraw. They had yet to meet with the pitiless face of the Republic’s wrath. Seemingly expecting the same tactical choices, the advance screen of Bes’uliik charged into an equal force of X-Wings. As with Coruscant, the Basilisk fighters dispersed into a throng of fireteams that strafed and juked with their maneuvering thrusters, whereas the Rebel fighters favored their traditional wing-pairs. While those unpredictable lateral movements made the Mandalorian fighters exceptionally deadly in a dogfight, they diverted power from their primary thrusters and rendered them vulnerable to flanking fire. While the Mon Calamari Cruiser and Imperial counterpart had been approaching the Mandalorians from the front and enveloping the Fane of Storms-class Frigate in turbolaser and ion fire, the corvettes in Slaughter’s task force had skirted around the engagement and poured fire from the side. As steady platforms that bristled with laser cannons and missile launchers, the supporting fire from the corvettes rapidly whittled away at the numbers of the Mandalorian fighters. “Comms, hail Misericordia and ask them to limit their fire to ion--nevermind.” Even staring through the tiny slits that passed for a canopy on a Majestic-class Cruiser, the glaring flash of secondary explosions aboard the beleaguered frigate forced the veteran soldier to turn away. That was just in time to miss the effects of a long-range barrage from the remaining Neo-Kandosii-class Destroyer and the Mandalorian flagship. Hundreds of turbolasers opened up on Stalwart Guidance, stripping away its shields and peeling away armor plating. But Calamari engineering was built to withstand a mauling with dignity, and its backup generators restored its shields just in time to a barrage from the Neo-Kandosii-class that arrived seconds later. Still, even Slaughter, in spite of years of personal experience of the fortitude of Calamari ships, had to wonder how long Stalwart Guidance could withstand the attention of a Star Dreadnought. “That will have to be enough, conn. Take us in to engage that Star Dreadnought, flanking speed.” The view of starfield swung about and a dull, bassy rumble teased at the bottom range of the stout man’s hearing as the heavy cruiser’s sublights approached their engineering limits. Kalidor would be in close range within minutes. With any luck, the Mandalorian forces planetside would force their gunners to at least hesitate before opening fire with Chandrila in the vector. A transmission from the Alliance’s marines, however, quashed those plans. “Hannah City is free, Chandrila is free.” Slaughter gesticulated madly to have his communications officers respond to Marshall Howlster’s transmission. “Marshall, Slaughter. What is the status of the Mandalorian resistance? Mopping up, or have they surrendered? Can your squad’s presence be spared?”
  12. ((Ship estimations are based on the WBS archives. If the force estimate is too much I can downgrade it.)) “This is going to be a rough one,” Slaughter muttered to himself, staring over the shoulders of a bridge officer at sensor readouts. One Fane of Storms-class Frigate, one of those damned Neo Kandosii-class Star Destroyers… and something new. Something… big. The fleet’s visual scanners had yet to map the hull of the ship, but its mass and power output were comparable to the Star Dreadnoughts that the Empire favored as its command ships. Undoubtedly this design bristled with just as many weapons as those monsters, and would be just as difficult to defeat. And was just as much of a waste of resources. "No ground fires reported, sir," his executive officer, a giant Twi'lek, shouted across the bridge. "Carry on the descent to Chandrila, see if we can draw off some of those Basilisks." Kalidor's supporting corvettes began trying for missile locks on the encroaching starfighters. At the extreme range of their concussion missile batteries, the threat would be minimal, but it would at least distract those heavy fighters from the more immediately threat of Misericordia.
  13. “Damn these tiny viewports, how are you supposed to see?” Slaughter scowled through the field of hyperspace streaks in the last thirty seconds of their transit to Chandrila. His flag had been transferred to Kalidor. The Majestic-class Heavy Cruiser was a comparatively smaller warship than Fidelity, but of a more modern and hardened construction than the older MC90 chassis. Which was to say that the corridors were cramped and reinforced girders protruded through the decks; it boasted nothing in the way of creature comforts more extravagant than life support; the canopy of the bridge was flush with the super structure and afforded almost no visibility to the command crew. “....that’s what sensors are for--” came a muttering from the crew pits, interrupted by a shout of “Fifteen seconds!” from the navigation station. Slaughter took his position just as the streaks faded, to be replaced by the azure glow of Chandrila and the grey specks of the Mandalorian fleet. Not that the Rebel Admiral saw any of those--his eyes were flickering over a cloud of data from the armada’s sensors and the few surveillance satellites that were still transmitting to Rebel ships. There were a lot of Mandalorian ships in orbit. And a lot of fires planetside. A faint growling began to issue from his throat. His hands went to the comlink and the cheap plastic crackled in complaint under his grip. “Will flank planetside,” Slaughter responded to the Imperial Head of State. “Once we have orbital superiority, corvettes’ll provide support for our men on the ground. Let’s go.” He replaced the wired comlink and missed its housing. As Slaughter began to issue his orders and Kalidor’s sublight engines flared up, the forgotten comlink began to swing back and forth. His squadron fanned out towards the flank and would place themselves between the Rebel fleet and Chandrila. The Heavy Cruiser’s complement of corvettes fanned out above and below the task force’s flag, only a short distance ahead of the bird-like Kalidor so its heavier guns could provide support. They would be needed for the liberation of Chandrila and couldn’t be lost to the Mandalorians. And as usual, the task force’s A-Wings were only happy to race ahead of the formation, seemingly intent on engaging the basilisk droids all by themselves. Taffy 82 (Asset Denial Task Force)
  14. The final minutes before launching a major operation were always a frenzy of activity. Ships bearing munitions and fuel raced to and from Fidelity and her escorts, making last-minute deliveries before the operation's timetable forced the MC90 Cruiser into hyperspace. Troops on shore leave were summoned back to their stations, and the starfighter patrols were doubled and then doubled again in preparation of the pandemonium that would erupt once the fleet reappeared out of hyperspace. The airspace surrounding Fidelity was alight with sublight engines. Crammed into standing room with forty Alliance marines into a shuttle intended to ferry twenty, Admiral Slaughter listened to the comm chatter and swayed instinctively with every turn of the shuttle as it returned to Fidelity. Perhaps it was just the rush of adrenaline after having been killed in simulated combat with a simulated Sith, but he thought he detected a certain unprofessional excitement leaking into the chatter from his bridge crew. He grinned; after months of merely trying to survive, it felt good to finally go on the offensive again. A few minutes later, he was at his familiar station in the tactical pits of Fidelity's bridge, trying to reach the Imperial Head of State on a comm channel.
  15. One of the dilapidated warehouse districts adjacent to The Red and Black had been converted to a vast training complex for the marines of the Rebel Alliance. What had been condemned structures occupied by vermin and vagrants were ground up, pulverized, and reassembled into barracks, rifle ranges, and an array of combat arenas that mimicked the layouts of common ships in the Rebel and Sith fleets. The Marine Proving Grounds, or MARPROG as some of the veterans of the Galactic Alliance were trying to and failing to convince their less experienced peers to call it, were an arena for transforming green recruits into fighting sapients prepared to confront any threat, whether it was smugglers or Mandalorians or Sith troopers or the lords of darkness themselves. There was an surprise scenario planned for the first batch of graduating recruits. Forty recruits of all manner of species assembled in an armory. They were to stage a defense of an MC90’s hangars from a Sith incursion--but their loadout was completely different from the standard carbines and grenades that comprised their weaponry from two months of basic training. They had been issued with an older, bulkier, heavier carbine with an underslung warhead launcher. The customary assortment of fragmentation and smoke grenades was replaced by canisters of buckshot and flame. Their vibroknives were replaced by a heavy blade that resembled the machetes used by the Korunnai militia of Haruun Kal. “Change of plans, Talons!” Admiral Bruce Slaughter, fully kitted up in the same armor and weapons and wearing them as comfortably as a second skin, strutted up and down the lane of trainees as they examined the unfamiliar gear with a degree of skepticism. “There’s a Sith in that boarding party and every single marine in that hangar is KIA. We have thirteen minutes until the bridge is overrun and half the ship’s gunnery crews are killed. Now, move! Move! Every second you waste is three of your buddies dead.” The short, stocky man an AC-15m into the arms of a Twi’lek who had been so surprised by the presence of the Admiral that she had paused in the process of tucking her lekku into the confines of her helmet. “No point in going all sneaky-beaky against a Sith. They already know you’re there. Grenades--specially frags--are a liability. It’s all about massed fire and coverage! You go fast, you go loud, you use every bit of firepower at your disposal--and you do not ever let go of ‘em!” This next part always made Slaughter smile. “Fact is, in thirty minutes, half of us are going to be dead! We deploy in thirty seconds! Twenty-nine!” As Slaughter counted down the seconds before the platoon of ersatz Talons deployed, a company of ersatz Sith troopers was racing through the corridors of the ersatz cruiser under the direction of an ersatz Sith Lord--in reality an Ithorian Jedi Knight who had enthusiastically volunteered for the exercise after months of helping with the Coruscanti refugees. In forty-five minutes, twenty-eight of them were simulated dead and seven more simulated wounded. Slaughter was among them, having been run through by an Ithorian who may have been enjoying the simulated carnage a bit too much. It was always a bit difficult for him to read that species’ facial expressions. But the Ithorian had also been killed--first stunned, then shot in the head. _____ All in all, it had been a successful operation considering the green troops and Slaughter walked away from it with a bounce in his step, a surprising result considering his demise. He even indulged in a few minutes to tour the concourse of the headquarters structure. The reinforcements to the vaulted ceiling had been completed and the engineering crews had started to disassemble their scaffolding. Dust and metal shavings littered the floors, but was merely the debris of hundreds of engineers transforming a dilapidated ruin into a fortress that could withstand orbital bombardment. There was no time to tour the briefing rooms; while climbing down from the scaffolding in the ceiling, sirens began to wail and his comlink began to blare. That was the signal for the launch of a major operation that had been in the works since Coruscant. The spring in his post-mortem step was replaced by an urgent jog to catch one of the final shuttles to Fidelity. As it so happened, it was filled with the marines that he had just led to their deaths.
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