Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Bob Halula and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (35:1:15) in the Chandrila system: Singularity.
Captain Rhobert Dartanyn.

In a flicker of pseudo-motion, a portion of space was suddenly filled with the stark grey hulls of starship. Three of them were sleek and trim, lancing ahead of the other two as the power systems began to toggle on upon their reversion to realspace. On board one of the trailing ships, 700 meters of irregular structure and hull plates that almost seemed as an afterthought, Rhobert Dartanyn stood slowly from his command chair as he felt the transition complete. "As planned, let's get those systems up to optimal. Let me know what's out there." A younger officer spun around from displays at the front of the bridge section. "Systems nominal sir, we're running scans now."

The Chandrila system was one of the lesser defended systems in the Ringali Shell, with the Imperial forces in the system built around an escort force that contained no Imperial Star Destroyers. Their sensors began to detect the presence of a cruiser and escorts, which began an alert that caused the ships nearest the nebula, in the form of a light squadron to ready their defenses. The TIE fighter squadrons that were on patrol began to receive orders to intercept, despite the fact that they did not possess any missile weapons capable of inflicting heavy damage. Their mission was one of sacrifice to delay the forward progress of the Rebel ships until the heavier vessels could be drawn into range.

The lead vessels of the Rebel line formed a dagger in front of the larger vessels and increased their speed to give some separation from the main line ships. Their job was to break the formation of the TIEs and keep them from being organized behind the skirmish line. Waiting between the skirmish ships and the main line were a set of 12 Incom T-65 X-wings ready to engage the TIEs as they would struggle to replace coordinate after moving around the lead ships. "Remember fleet, we're just here to bloody their nose and jump into safe space."

Two squadrons of TIE/LN starfighters that were based around the light squadron's skirmish line were the first to arrive on the scene. The 24 snubfighters began breaking off into flights of four starfighters, and began firing their twin laser cannons at the engines of each capital ship that was moving to the nebula. The Imperials knew that once they reached the swirling blue and red gas cloud they would lose perhaps their only chance at destroying the Rebels. For now, they were ignoring the X-wings, as their orders were simply to target the enemy's engines. In the distance the ships of the skirmish line, two Nebulon-B frigates and two CR90 corvettes, were in hot pursuit. Further back, and decidedly out of range and unlikely to catch up, was a pursuit line built around five Carrack-class cruisers and three Lancer-class frigates. If the TIEs did not manage to slow the ships, the Imperial capital ships likely would not be a factor.

The defensive weapons of the skirmish line lances out at the TIEs as they swarmed around them like a plague of locusts, the X-wings were lined up to try to engage them once they cleared the hulls of the support ships, engaging once run before swinging away from the formation to give the capital ships clear lanes to travel back to hyperspace once they hit the jump point. "Section 1, perform evasive action Charlie." Rhobert spoke with calmness and authority, a long career in the Alderaan Civil Defense Fleet had trained him well for smaller engagements like these. As he finished speaking the lead ships began crossing in front of the others in an alternating pattern to force chasing ships to make the decision to keep on their target or cross in front of two other skirmish ships to press their attack.

All around the Rebel line TIE fighters were exploding in rapid succession, as their numbers began to dwindle. Some of the pilots began to ignore their orders, which they considered foolhardy, and chose to engage the X-wings instead. Unfortunately, this limited the possibility of inflicting damage on any of the capital ship's engines to slow them until the heavies arrived. From max range and beyond the two frigates and two corvettes from the skirmish line began firing their turbolasers at the nearest Rebel craft. They were unlikely to inflict any damage at that range, however, but there was always the chance of a lucky strike.

The light display was a spectacle to see as the capital ships began to trade long range fire across the vast space between them. "Sir, jump position reached", an officer seated at the navigation station piped up with a little nervous pitch toward the end. Captain Dartanyn nodded and glanced back at the tactical display. "Have the ships spread back out and engage their jump together on my mark." He watched as the ships slowly spread out away from each other and oriented to the new jump path, the X-wings doing so put them in danger but they complied. Two of the X-wings never received the order to jump, as they imploded from a determined volume of emerald lasers tracking their newly predictable pathing. "Jump", proclaimed Dartanyn. The ships streaked away for a brief second before the space they occupied was suddenly returned to the black emptiness of space.

The Imperial commanders were confounded when the Rebel ships executed their maneuver, seemingly escaping the wrath of the Imperial naval forces for the time being. The remnants of the TIE fighters scattered haphazardly back towards the frigates, after suffering more than 50-percent casualties on the futile attack on the Rebel ships. The Oversector command would be greatly displeased with another failure to disrupt Rebel military forces in the space lanes.

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