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Alice Bee, Geoff Elder, and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:6:28) in the Chandrila system.
Commander Dillon Hobbes, Major Elayne Passik, and Flight Captain Sienala Pavo.

The Imperial systems force in the Chandrila system had been thrown into disarray following engagements with the Rebel starfighter and naval forces in the Ringali Shell. With the loss of the command ship and Admiral Phelps, the Captain of a Victory-class Star Destroyer had taken his ship along with an escort of two Interdictor cruisers and two Dreadnaughts to the periphery of the Ringali Nebula in an attempt to prevent further Rebel reinforcements from traveling from the hidden Rebel base to the surface of the planet. These five ships, along with two squadrons of TIE fighters, were the only Imperial forces that could be mustered in such short order.

Commander Dillon Hobbes was in the cockpit of his A-wing, as he formed up with a squadron each of X-wings and Y-wings. "That's a pleasant sight," he told his wingmen, as for the first time in as long as he could remember they outnumbered the enemy. "Blackguards, break formation and open fire!" he ordered his wingmen, who were virtually salivating at the slower, less maneuverable standard TIE fighters. When they went up against an Imperial Star Destroyer and more modern TIE variants they would look back at today's battle against such relatively weak opposition.

Major Elayne Passik was feeling lucky today. Attacking the Imperials repeatedly was beginning to do real damage. Instead of a mess of TIE fighters awaiting them, Elayne's eyes first landed on the the two Dreadnaughts. "Oh thank shit." She grumbled, feeling relieved that she wouldn't be holding herself so tense inside of the cockpit. For once, they had the numbers advantage. "Alright Corsairs, you see 'em, take 'em down!" She spoke to her X-wings as they broke formation and zoomed through the sky. "Remember, watch everyone's back. We've got a numbers advantage, let's keep it that way, folks." She was determined to take home a clean win. Her X-wing shot off towards one of the Interdictor cruisers and instantly began firing at the communications array.

Sienala kept her flight back, a quiet chorus of feminine voices moving over the comms. The Dancers had moved slowly towards the Victory Star Destroyer. They were avoiding all engagements while moving in. Sienala's plan was simple, fly in slow, almost without a thought that this wa a battle. They had no targeting sensors operational, minimal life support, and barely enough power to keep themselves going as though the pilots had died on the way there. It wouldn't last long, someone would notice that they were still in formation, but hopefully that would be attributed to the astromechs in the fighters. But through it all, they were ready to engage as soon as they were targeted, but it hadn't happened just yet.

The TIE Fighters began to mix it up with the Rebel starfighters, which caused Dillon to slide his A-wing to port to dodge the oncoming fire from the TIE fighters. As he moved his craft swiftly out of position the laser blasts impacted with the fighter behind him. "Look out!" he yelled, before pulling back on the flight stick to send his ship into a swift ascent. He did not release the stick, however, and soon found himself in a reverse dive on the TIEs that had previously engaged him. He pulled back on the trigger, unleashing a pair of laser blasts at the leading TIE, which burst into debris spectacularly. "Blackguards Nine, take your flight and cover the bombers ... the rest of you ... on me," he ordered, as he began cycling through his targeting computer to find another TIE.

The X-wings had begun a focused effort on both Dreadnaughts but it would be the bombs of the Y-wings which provided the most damage. Elayne was forced to briefly derail from her strike. As the communications array blew up, a TIE came zooming by her closely. She did a barrel roll to avoid a head-on collision with the wild TIE. "Crazy mother fucker..." She grumbled, quickly turning around to catch the very same TIE within her crossfire. She shot it until it turned into a fireball. Another Imperial down, countless more to go. She went down for another bomb run, this time she had to derail from her object several times to shoot down pesky TIEs who wouldn't leave the X-wings alone. (D)

Closing in on the Victory, Sienala was focused, calm, and in motion. Her mind followed the dance and the music she and her flight had practiced so many times. The five of them together, weaving in and out of position with each other. They would fire only defensively focusing on incoming missiles targeting those within their flight. Belly to the center of their formation with the center fighter constantly spinning into it was woven out to be replaced by another. The entire flight seemed to be a constantly rotating ring, corkscrewing its way towards the Star Destroyer.

Occasionally, one of the Dancers would break away as though to chase down a fighter that fired upon them but would within moments return to her position, never taking the bait to be pulled away from their troupe. Finally, they were within range, and the notes of Sienala's humming changed. It was like a crescendo of a thundering storm through the comms. The Dancers broke open like a blossoming flower in an array of brilliant blaster fire. Ionizing petals darted over the Star Destroyer's shields and hull, weakening the shields. Shifting blaster fire causing minor explosions along the surface, not really doing damage but with the goal of appearing ineffectual. That is until the Dancers broke away from the Star Destroyer and circled back, attacking the shield generators and sensors that surrounded the bridge. All five drew in like a closing blossom, focused on the single goal of bringing down the bridge's shields of the Star Destroyer.

Commander Hobbes looked out of the viewport of his fighter as he could spot the Y-wings making their attack run on the Victory-class Star Destroyer. "Almost got 'im," he announced over the comm, before cycling after another target. The TIE fighters were not making easy targets, and the remaining craft seemed to be retreating. The damaged command ship and her escorts were slowly turning, activating their sublight engines and attempting to make a run from it. "I don't think I've ever seen the Empire turn tail like that," he broadcast to Major Passik, before accelerating his craft to its top speed to attempt to chase down a TIE. "Press the attack," he ordered his flight headers, as he cycled over towards his concussion missiles. As the TIEs crept back into range he pulled back on the trigger, unleashing his missiles, and sending them towards the target. In the distance there was a brilliant explosion indicating he had scored a hit. "Blackguard leader to Knave leader. Don't let that big bastard get away!" he shouted, in a bit of encouragement, as his wingmen made piecemeal of the TIE squadron they were engaged with.

Ah, there were those crazy bastards. Elayne had a spare pair of pants in the cockpit. She was prepared for whatever antics the Dancers brought on. They got the job done, she had to admit that much. She saw them center their attack around the Star Destroyer. Good. The little mess of Imperial ships would be taken care of in no time. She noticed that the ships were making a withdrawal. "Oh, no, no, no. I didn't say you could do that." Elayne laughed into her helmet, broadcasting right back to Commander Hobbes. "Me either. They look better from the backside, don't they?" With a final bombing run, the X-wing successfully sent one of the dreadnaughts up in flames. "Corsair, I want half of you covering the Dancers. The other half, take out this secondary dreadnaught immediately. I don't want these assholes getting away from us." She broadcasted to her Squadron.

The Dancers didn't pull away from the bridge but rather flew over it before arcing back and rolling over to do another pass. They fired over and over, unleashing a barrage of red stems of destruction. The bombs were armed, the firing was focused. They started to take fire from the TIEs that had yet to be shown there was a retreat option. But the twisting, writhing motions of the Dancer's had been conveyed to the ships in the way they piloted so that it appeared as though the TIEs were their partners in a performance that was to bring defeat to the Empire. Finally, the bombs were released. This was no mere firing of missiles. This was an inertially guided bombing run. Once set on course, the only way to flee was to enter hyperspace. But the positions of the fighters as they made their final run guaranteed at least one bomb would strike the bridge pylon of the Star Destroyer no matter what happened. Unfortunately for the Empire, such a feat would not be possible in this tactical situation and so five heavy bombs collided into the bridge section of the Star Destroyer. Five Y-Wings spiraled away as the bridge exploded looking like the stamen of a flower growing out of a blossoming flower of fire.

Sienala's voice was chorused, as always, but the five former slaves who changed the music to a savage, tribal exchange of threats and primal beats guaranteed to aggravate the listener into a fury of aerial carnage. Breaking away to their own targets, they would manage to herd small groups together so that their fire would cause the exploding TIEs to damage their compatriots into further fireballs.

As the Victory Star Destroyer exploded his cockpit briefly lit up from the extent of his explosion, which caused him to give a mighty cheer. "Well command should be able to insert their personnel with this hole punched in the blockade," he transmitted to Major Passik, before ordering his wingmen to regroup on him. "Blackguards, form up, and prepare for the recall order," he said, as he noticed the X-wings were still engaged with the remaining Dreadnaught. "Come on, Elayne," he muttered underneath his breath, but did not transmit in the open. When everything seemed to be going well was usually when things started to go wrong.

The Destroyer was gone. In her cockpit, Elayne was grinning. "Corsair leader to Knaves leader... Damn good job out there!" She complimented before having the X-wings focus their efforts on the last remaining dreadnaught. It took more time than she wanted it to, but, eventually, the Corsair Squadron took it out. She tended to agree with Commander Hobbes...when things went well, they went bad. Elayne saw that it was time to leave. The job was done. She transmitted to only Commander Hobbes. "It's over. Let's go home. I got a shitty lil' bunk to share with you." And to the all the Squadrons, she spoke out. "It was a damn fine day for us, damn fine. Now it's time to get going. Retreat! Head back to the base!" She ordered. Like always, she was the shepherd of her Squadron. She kept a watchful eye on the X-wings, A-wings, and Y-wings while everyone retreated.

The Dancer's rejoined the Knaves. There was something different about the way they flew. It was as though they had some sense of their own momentum. They broke apart as a flight and each member flew with another flight. There was still a hum from Sienala that each heard, but they were under orders from her to assist the other flights as needed, running support, interference or anything that might be needed to assist in the rest of the Knaves getting home safely. After all, the best way to stay alive was to make sure someone else was glad you were around.

"You don't have to tell me twice," Dillon replied over the comm, before redirecting his craft towards the nearby nebula. Behind them were the smoldering hulks of three Imperial warships and countless fighters. They had lost so little, yet gained so much, as he began counting his remaining A-wings. "Blackguards, return to base," he ordered, as they began accelerating back into the nebula and the hidden Rebel base that lay within. As the red and purple gases enveloped his craft he leaned back in his seat, content that he had survived another engagement .. and that Elayne had too. He was beginning to think after engagements like this that they could actually win this war.

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