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
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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