Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Brandon Barnes, Christopher Levy, Alexander Oliva, and Blase Villano.
Zero years before the Battle of Yavin (35:4:27) in the Brentaal system: Brentaal IV (Cormond: SallicheAg docking bay and Spaceport).
Sergeant Major Rake Carson, Trooper Zek Correson, and Agent Coda Sol.

The planet Brentaal IV sat at the intersection of two of the core's most vital hyperspace routes: the Hydian Way and the Perlemian Trade Route. Tens of thousands of ships ranging from massive Imperial warships to small freighters passed through the system daily and at the heart of it was the spaceport in the capital city of Cormond. The large circular structure had hundreds of spokes extending from it, each one able to accommodate the docking of up to a dozen vessels of different shapes and sizes. Operated by the Ringali Shell Security Force the mammoth structure handled hundreds of arrivals and departures each hour. The Galactic Empire attempted to scan what vessels it could, but a lack of resources ultimately led to a lackadaisical job being performed. Night had fallen on the city and civilian traffic had begun to grind to a halt and larger freighters had begun taking up turns in the docking queue. There were a number of RSSF agents and Imperial Stormtroopers patrolling the facility, but they were too few in number to effectively cover the entire facility.

Meanwhile in space, Coda Sol had been spending the last week or so since dropping off his stolen cargo of concussion missiles, outfitting the White Dwarf with as much in the way of explosives as he could scrounge and cram in to the bulk head. It turns out that the YT-2400 had quite a bit of space for such cargo, which Coda had gleefully found out. Of course, he had thought it imprudent to just leave all that ordinance lying around; besides, it did not take a week for a guy to wheel a hover loader full of explosives into a cargo bay. No, he had spent the week finding every smuggler hatch, nook, and cranny, and packing it full with whatever the rebel alliance could spare him and then cut a few corners by tearing out parts of the ship that were not necessary for flight or landing and stuffing those full of explosives too. It might not be hyperbole to say that he had found a way to cram a ton of explosives, that is to say, a metric ton, into various parts of the ship.

Would the ship be destroyed? Oh, you bet. Depending on where he decided to land the ship inside the docking bay, he might even destroy the entire platform if he was lucky. Just for safe measure he had fiddled about with the transponder signal as well, re-naming the ship something innocuous and mucking up the IFF signal, transmitting it incompletely.

He was preparing for his final descent, further engineering some com issues, making sure to give the new ship's call sign, the Busker, and giving a few static-charged transmissions of his intent and cargo. He was mostly just doing his best to frustrate the air traffic controller until he was allotted a berth, grinning as he turned out to be quite good at irritating those in authority.

Brentaal docking control acknowledged the signal, the IFF code having worked successfully and failed to allow them to identify the freighter as the vessel that blasted off Corulag some eleven days earlier. After a moment the traffic controller cleared the ship known as the 'Busker' for landing at Cormond's spaceport, assigning the vessel to docking arm D, position seven.

Carson had been watching the ritzy hotel for quite some time now, waiting for just the right person to come along. It had taken four hours, but they had finally appeared. Several hours before, he had purchased a rather standard looking, yet expensive, handbag. That, he thought cynically, would probably never be reimbursed by the Alliance paymasters. He had been looking for someone who carried the same bag, preferably very busy and talking on a comm. Business types were reliable about that kind of thing. But then, when you wanted to find somebody doing a certain thing, they never were there. Thus, his little four hour escapade in front of the hotel. As he watched his new target check in, he breathed an inward sigh of relief. Had he waited much longer, he would have been forced to go hit the facility without this little distraction, and that might have proved just a little more difficult than he wanted.

Finally, he saw the opening he needed. The target set his bag on the deck and motioned to the clerk behind the desk, then stepped off towards the bar. Perfect.

Moving towards the desk with a purpose, Carson made a point of looking perturbed. He approached the desk and stood next to the target's bag, setting his down immediately beside it, and then motioned to get the clerk's attention.

"Excuse me. My name is John Andrews, and I've got a suite reserved. I'd like to check in, if that's not too much of a problem."

The clerk looked at him, and then back to his datapad. Punching in a few numbers, he took on an almost convincing look of apology. "I'm sorry, Mr. Andrews, it appears that you don't have a room here, sir."

Carson acted as though he was infuriated, and after several minutes exchange, the security guards at the door approached him from the sides. Feigning fear and indignation, Carson grabbed the businessman's bag, leaving his there in its place. After being escorted out by security, he made his way back towards his speeder.

He checked his chronometer. He had a good half hour to get to the facility, which was pushing it a bit, but he thought that with luck and a lack of checkpoints, he might make it. Jumping into the passenger seat, he tapped Zek on the shoulder, indicating that it was done and they were ready to move. As soon as they were around the corner, Carson began changing into a different outfit, tossing the business clothes into the back of the speeder. He would need to look like a bum for this next run.

Aside from everything else occurring, Zek was outside keeping his eyes peeled checking things out. He would observe the exterior inside the speeder. He awaited for his partner to finish setting off the job. In the meantime, he continued scanning the area for any suspicious activity. Anything that would get the duo caught. Then when he saw Carson, he nodded and waited for a second. Upon Carson entering the aerial craft, he began kicking up the speeder's engines and drove down the roads. Making a turn, he would drive behind the building in which the Rebels had planned to bomb. Meanwhile, he parked the vehicle blocks away. Shutting down the vehicle, he made preparations to set off a charge incase Stormtroopers tried searching for evidence afterwards. The detonation was in hand, but not turned on just yet. Leading away, he glanced over to Carson. "Let's act like spicers. They'll never know what hit'em." Emptying the vehicle, Zek had adjusted the SSK-7 blaster underneath his jacket. Approaching a corner from the back entrance, he nodded over to Carson. Stumbling off foolishly, he produced a goofy expression. "Hey, did you see that dumb Hutt the other day?" He laughed pretty loud. "What a bantha fodder!"

The entrance of the auxiliary docking port was guarded by two members of the local security force. The two RSSF agents were equipped with a minimal defensive blast vest and helmet, which were more ornamental than functional. There was a DH-17 in each of their holsters, set to the stun setting, which had been newly issued to them by the Empire following the disaster at the Horizon training facility. They could see Carson and Correson approaching, but neither of them looked particular like a threat to the men. "These two look pretty loaded," one of them said to the other, snickering against the strap of his helmet.

The Busker had landed smoothly, though perhaps not in it's allotted berth. When he had been allowed into the facility he had scanned the area to see where his large improvised explosive would do the most structural damage and parked his freighter near there. Coda had come to this place very lightly armed, again wearing only a vibroblade that would be easily concealed inside of his uniform. When the ship had docked he had walked through the ship, making sure all the transceivers for the explosives were still functional and in place. He passed a mirror and pulled aside the collar of his uniform, verifying that the dock worker uniform he had under the courier company's uniform was covered and inconspicuous, he was looking to make a clean escape again without being noticed.
The cargo ramp had opened on the ship and Coda had done his best to casually stroll out, disappearing from sight before an authority figure could approach him about his vessel. Naturally, as any good captain would do, he closed and sealed the cargo ramp before he ran off, making sure it was secure against trespassers, ships like this were being stolen all the time after all.

Coda was busy getting lost in the crowd, jostling shoulders and basically doing everything in his power to make it difficult for anyone who saw him to maintain a good bead on him. It more than likely would not look like he was trying to say, lose a tail, just taking the fastest path to an unknown destination. At his earliest opportunity he got out of the main dock and ducked in to the first available abandoned room, making sure it was somewhere that likely would not be visited in the short time it took him to disrobe. When he felt secure he began undressing, removing the spare courier uniform and revealing the greasy maintenance worker uniform. When his transition was complete he stuffed the spare clothes behind some boxes, just something that would protect against a cursory inspection was all he needed and he made his way back down the hall, pulling a cap out of his cargo pocket and pulling it over his head to obscure his face.

While he walked down the corridor he checked his chronometer, verifying that he was still on time with his project. One of the buttons in his chronometer would send a low frequency transmission to the explosives on a certain frequency, so he still had to be relatively close to set the thing off. It was likely to get loud and he was hoping he could get far off before things got too hairy.

Carson had seen enough spicers to know how they acted. He curled his left arm up tight against his chest as he made his way towards the guards, twitching slightly. He stared at a fixed point in front of him, as he knew that blindness was one of the results of prolonged use of the substance. He dragged his right foot at an awkward angle, like the victim of a recent stroke. He must have looked a sight. Hunched slightly to hide his size, he was sure that he did not look threatening at all, and he jerkingly made his way up to the guards. As he reached where they were, he bumped into one of them, seemingly accidentally, but rather firmly nonetheless. "What the hell?!" he exclaimed, violently panicking and freaking out, and he made a sharp left, staggering for the door. He slammed into it before he managed to get it open, taking the guard with him. To an onlooker, and hopefully to the guards, he just looked like a panicked spicer, lashing out at a threat he could not see, paranoid for no particular reason. As the door opened, he slammed his way inward, still pushing the guard.

The guard groaned as Carson slammed into him, and he was forced inside of the docking facility. He fell to the ground as he was not expecting the spice addict to collide with him. The other guard turned his back to Zek and looked towards Carson, his hand going for his holster to pull out the DH-17. "Get out of here!" he yelled towards Carson as he raised the barrel of the blaster and leveled it with the man's torso.

Once both guards were in the doorway, Carson struck. Like a spring releasing its tension, he uncoiled his body, slamming backwards into the guard behind him to force him back towards Zek, and then recoiling back forwards. He slammed his right foot down on the throat of the guard that was prostrate on the floor, and just to ensure that he had done the job right, he dropped it back again, shifting all of his weight down onto the man's larynx. He heard several pops as the cartilage gave way, which he knew would buy him enough time. Reaching underneath his jacket he withdrew the silenced Adjudicator pistol and put it against the right eye of the guard on the floor before squeezing the trigger.

Correson acted quickly producing a viroblade from underneath his jacket. His jacket was zipped up to avoid any blood spraying on his clothes underneath. Grabbing the man's mouth, he squeezed his nose to prevent him from screaming, he thrust his hand forward stabbing his kidney. Then pulled out, only to slice through his throat, left and right of his arteries, cutting his air tubes and throat.

Both of the guards were dispatched in quick fashion, the slug entering the man's eye and ending his life in an instant. Before the other guard could react the vibroblade was upon him, the blade cutting at his throat which forced him to drop his blaster and grab for his throat. With the two guards out of the way, there was no meaningful security between the entrance and the main docking bay where the bulk freighter was being unloaded of produce from Salliche.

Coda on the other hand, was circling around the dock to the farthest side he could while keeping the Busker / White Dwarf in sight, his eyes locked on the ship, though making sure to scan for any security that might be suspicious. He had stopped at a vending machine, sipping on a drink to make himself seem a bit more nonchalant and casual while he looked out for anyone catching on to him. It seemed Coda had some time to kill, biding his time until he was ready to blow the ship.

A series of binary load lifting droids were in the cargo bay, offloading a never-ending series of crates from the Action VI transport. Each of the containers contained crates of valuable produce that helped sustain the population of Cormond. As a population of 65 billion, foodstuffs were a necessary import. There were four RSSF agents assigned to guard the shipment, but they were situated at a table at the left corner playing an intense game of Sabacc. Thus was the state of affairs among the local security who viewed the Rebellion's influence as minor based on reports provided by the Empire.

Rake motioned for Zek to shut the door and drag the guard the rest of the way inside, and then began moving down the hallway. As he reached the entrance to the docking bay proper, he took a good look. Standing about a foot away from the wall and peeking around the corner, he could see the droids at work, and he began to search for the guards. He was crouched slightly, so as to keep his profile lower, but he knew that would not do him any good. A head poking around a corner is visible no matter what it does to hide itself. Realistically, he could probably have strode right in, but that was not a chance he was willing to take, as realistically, if the probably was not a correct assumption, he could probably end up dead, and that did not sit too well with him. Eventually he spotted to the guards, sitting in their corner completely engrossed with their game. There did not seem to be any other people around, not even docking controllers or maintenance personnel. Guess that's what happens on an off day. Night shifts were usually smaller anyway. Rake brought his E-11b up from its single point sling, where it had been hanging, stock folded, under his armpit and concealed beneath his jacket. He flipped the stock out and sighted in on the guards. He settled to a stable firing position, assuming a decent kneeling, and using his non-firing hand, he grasped the edge of the door frame for support.

Letting his breathing steady, he ensured the stock was nestled tightly into his high shoulder pocket and that his grip on the weapon was high and firm. He stared at the front sight post, letting the image of the guard that looked the most dangerous grow blurry and grayed out. Centering the clear front sight tip on this blob, he began to take out the trigger slack, letting his breathing settle into its natural three second pause. The bolt came as a shock to him, the weapon kicking his shoulder violently, the blaster gas igniting and propelling downrange towards the first guard.

As he recovered his natural point of aim, he shifted targets, letting the sight post rest in front of the second target. He knew he had to work fast before they realized what was happening, and as such he had not released the trigger fully after his follow through, merely waiting for the tell-tale "clunk" that indicated that the trigger had reset. This meant there was no trigger slack. His weapon was now a hair trigger, and as soon as his sights were settled, he let another bolt go.

Following behind Carson, Zek kept a low in crouch position, meanwhile his hand drew out his SSK-7 weapon. The heavy packed a punch when fully blasted. He secured the weapon within his gloved hands, following Carson's lead. He checked sights of guards whom patrolled the area. He had no time to check his surroundings as Carson ultimately began firing upon the patrolling men. The firing was no surprise. He expected this. Upon seeing Carson's targets, he waited till things cleared out. From there he'll move out and proceed with their original plan.

The first guard was dead before he knew what him and the other three began to leap from their chairs when additional blaster bolts began to hit them. Two of the guards were hit with the blaster fire, leaving one who was still alive. He reached for his security alarm and pressed the button, before a kill bolt slammed into him as well. A silent alarm was triggered alerting nearby Ringali Shell and Imperial forces, all the while the droids continuing their work of unloading the cargo.

Carson hit the detonator for the suitcase bomb in the hotel. Hopefully, that would tie up the local authorities for a while. He had watched in horror as the guard had managed to trigger the alarm, but he did not believe it would be too big a deal. He ran over to the dead guards and rifled through their pockets. Finding what he was looking for, he pulled loose the man's identification and security code. He tore into the pocket of the squad leader, his orange tab marking him clearly, and checked for a set of orders. Finding it, he scanned down until he found the "Command and Signal" section of the order. After reading through about four paragraphs of useless bullshit, he found what he needed. Call signs. Matching the identification to the orders took some effort, but he eventually figured out which squad these bozos belonged to. "Zek! Go get a new speeder! I'll take care of this place in here!"

Carson then picked up the comm one of the guys had, and dialing in the frequency for his superior, he pressed the PTT key.

"Bravo Six, Bravo-One-One, message over." He waited a minute for the response. Finally, it came.

"One-One- go ahead."

"Six, disregard that last alarm."

"One-One, Six. Copy, out."

That done, Carson began his business of rigging this place to blow. He moved over to the freighter that the droids were unloading and opened the access panels to the fuel tanks and weapons stores. In each, he placed enough photon grenades to send the ship to the nearest moon. Once he completed that, he moved to the fuel dump for the docking station and repeated the process. And then he ran like a little girl out the back door, hoping that Zek would have that speeder ready quick.

Guards dead. Mission success. Zek knew they are closer to finishing the job. He followed Carson like a rat. Practically being the designated driver more than anything else. The man just had carried his blaster, using as back-up incase of situations. Seeing him call off the authorities, he continued and pressed on watching Carson momentarily. Meanwhile, he equipped his detonator which had already switched on. Single push and the speeder just outside blocks away exploded. Destroying evidence. Then, he nodded and sprinted out the doors while Carson tended the access panels. Relocated near several lots, seeing multitudes of parked vehicles. Running towards a specific speeder, he leaped and landed inside, getting situated until he began hotwiring a speeder. Once the thing got going, he drove the speeder towards the back entrance waiting for Carson.

Carson jumped in the speeder almost before it came to a stop. "Get this baby the hell out of here, Zek. Back roads, take it slow and normal once we're a few blocks away." He settled in and waited as Correson put distance between them and the docking area. Once they were clear enough, he hit the switch, which set a one minute timer in the hangar area. He had been forced to do that since they were not sure they would have transport on the way out, and the range of the device was not enough to put enough distance between them and the explosion itself. As they sped away, Carson felt it before he heard it. The sudden change of pressure, like diving too deep or riding an elevator too high, and then the slap in the chest that you could feel to your bones. Explosions were not like the movies, just fire and sound, but instead were forceful, violent, and moved the air itself. People could be killed merely by the shock of the blast, without ever getting touched by the flames, fragments, or sound. Internal bleeding, organs literally dislodged. All of that could occur in the blink of an eye. And so, almost visibly, the shock wave rolled outward from the docking facility, literally lifting the speeder as it hit them. It was not fiery, though. It was as though a sphere of air had literally been charged, becoming translucent, whitish, hazy, and then coming back in to burst into flames. And then the sound hit. Instead of the deep, impressive boom that the holos showed, it was the sharp, ear splitting thud-crack of a truly devastating explosion. Even knowing it was coming, Carson was not exactly prepared for it, the sound forcing his head to spin, leaving his ears ringing and his balance messed up from the sudden shift in pressure. They would know they were hear now. As Carson stared through the rear view, he watched the building literally disappear, the structure collapsing and then vanishing, its remains either utterly disintegrated, melting, or sent out at just under the speed of sound as fragments themselves. The explosion had not just damaged the docking facility, it had pulverized it. Buildings around the facility collapsed when, on the closer ones, the pressure from the shock wave actually pulverized the concrete supports. For those more distance, the pieces of the freighter and the dock itself slammed into integral parts of the construction, like ad-hoc wrecking balls. The destruction was remarkable. Carson whistled softly, or at least he thought he did. He could not quite hear himself. He had not done it for any particular reason, mind you, just felt that he had to express some sort of reaction to the utter devastation they had left in their wake.

Coda had just finished his beverage when he felt the entire building rumble accompanied by that low, deep, rumble. He had actually jumped when he felt it, though he composed himself quickly and gotten up. People around the building began to stop what they were doing and there was some panicked chatter. Coda could recognize a sign when he saw one and began making his way closer to one of the exits, acting just as agitated as any other civilian in the area and justifiably so. The scariest part of the whole operation was he really was probably far too close to the explosion, so he put as much solid surface between him and the explosion as possible when he detonated the ship.

He pressed a button on his chronometer to set off the timer, giving himself about 4 minutes before he would set off some kind of mini-holocaust. He was eager to get into some kind of transport, finding the nearest open-top conveyance with a driver, leaping inside the vehicle and suddenly slamming the driver's forehead into the dashboard until the unfortunate civilian slumped.

He beat the man's head against the dash once more for good measure before rolling the man out of the door and climbing into the driver seat. At a glance at his chronometer he had about two minutes to get to some kind of minimum safe distance. As such, he was certainly flouting a few laws and was not terribly concerned about being seen just now. He was speeding through the lanes, occasionally glancing at the chronometer before the shock wave struck.

The largest explosion to ever hit Cormond, and indeed the largest explosion of the war in this sector, erupted from the YT-2400 docked at the spaceport. As the explosion expanded outward the nearby fuel storage containers were hit and the explosion began to amplify in intensity. The entire docking arm was launched into the air and all of the occupants were immediately incinerated. A massive plume of fire and smoke began to extend towards the heavens, visible even in space. Next, the surrounding transports began to explode and the collateral damage began to spread to the facility itself.

Most of the spaceport was now in flames and the *cracks* and *pops* of secondary explosions began to echo through the night sky, which now appeared to be dawn based on the intensity of the flames. Suddenly the two neighboring docking arms began to explode as the fires spread, sending their docked transports into oblivion as well. Hundreds ... if not thousands. ... had perished in the initial shock of the explosion. That section of the spaceport that was attached to those docking arms began to collapse, trapping additional victims beneath the rubble.

Panicked screams began to fill the night air as what transports were left began to frantically depart the scene. The control tower suddenly lost its moorings and slowly tilted over to the left side, slamming into the spaceport and exploding in a secondary heap of flame and heat. Sirens began to echo as all available Imperials and RSSF agents began to head for the area. In the midst of it all was an ISB agent in plainclothes, who took no hostile action, simply observing the chaos for what it was.

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