Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Brandon Barnes, Andrew J. Fowler, Christopher Levy, and Kyle Sisk.
Zero years after the Battle of Yavin (35:4:28) in the Brentaal system: Brentaal IV (Cormond: Dagon Tong's safe house) and in the Ringali nebula: Gilded Thranta and Ringali Station.
Corporal Jason Athol, Commander Derek Atio, Sergeant Major Rake Carson, and General Akilist Volkov.

Commander Derek Atio was dressed in the dirty bantha hide jacket that freighter pilots were prone to wear in this sector, along with a pair of trousers that were stained with lubricating oil as he continued to work on the systems of the battered shuttle he was struggling to keep operational. It had taken him 45 minutes to drive the distance from the auxiliary landing platform where he had touched down, because there was no longer a spaceport available to him. He muttered under his breath as he came upon Dagon Tong's safe house, realizing that their recent attack had inconvenienced him as much as anyone. Once he was inside and confident he was out of the sight of any passersby he angrily commented on his predicament. "Do you have any idea how hard it is to find parking?" he asked, folding his arms in front of his chest, which caused his shirt to rise slightly and expose part of a bulging belly.

Carson was himself back to wearing normal attire, his fatigue trousers bloused carefully over his boots, his blouse laid out over a nearby chair. He was leaned back on a wooden chair, his feet resting on a crate that they used as a table. A bottle of rotgut liquor was set out in front of him, showing signs of heavy use. He wore his Annihilator pistol in his shoulder holster, and on the table was his DL-44, disassembled for cleaning. He looked up at Atio as he came in, obviously a little buzzed. It was not enough to affect his performance, more along the lines of the typical nightcap that men in hard jobs took from time to time than a real bender. He smirked a little at Atio's remark. "Yeah, next time I plan an operation, I'll be sure to make it clear to all operatives that nobody is to infringe upon your VIP status. In fact, the next safe house we select will include a covered parking lot, complete with speeder wash and valet, just for you. Would you like me to arrange a mission to 'commandeer' a plush luxury yacht for you, or maybe a fine mansion in the best part of town?"

Derek smirked at Caron's attempt at humor, but shook his head in rejection of the man's proposal. "You know just a couple years ago I was working as an engineer on a luxury liner," he explained to him, as he realized how far he had come in the years since he had joined the Alliance.

Carson saw Atio's nod, and then interjected. "Well, perhaps an Imperial Star Destroyer would do nicely enough for you, then?" He wondered if Atio would think that was humor or not. Certainly, he was smiling, but his eyes made it clear that he was telling the truth. He kept a straight face, despite the smile, when he said it, but Atio was prone to take everything as a joke. Carson thought it would be interesting to see his response.

"An Imperial Star Destroyer?" Derek replied, bringing his hand up to the side of his head, scratching it quizzically. "A little gaudy for my taste, don't you think? It's really just a big white ... triangle ... when you think about it," he said with a slight grin as his eyes scanned over the safe house. "You boys stock any alcohol here?" he asked, still trying to figure out what Carson is getting at. When he spotted the alcohol in front of Caron a strange look came over his face when he noticed the man's serious reaction. "You're bonkers," Derek replied as he reached for the moonshine that was placed in front of him. "Attacking an Imperial Star Destroyer is almost as dangerous as drinking this swill," he chastised him, pushing it aside as it did not meet with his delicate palette.

Carson's look changed from jovial to serious instantly. "No. I'm not crazy at all, if you excuse my taste in liquor." He leaned forward in the chair, the legs slamming hard against the durasteel deck as he removed his feet from the table. Punching up a holo in front of him, he motioned for Derek to have a seat. "This is the Brentaal system," he began, pointing at the holo. "You'll see the ISD Indefatigable here, above the planet, doing whatever it is that ISD's do besides blowing things up." He moved the holo's image around, zooming in on the edge of the nebula. "This is the rest of the 259th Pursuit Line." Another tap brought up the image of the small fleet of ships. "Now, as it stands, they're well out of range to assist the ISD instantaneously, which gives us a small window to disable the ISD. And before you protest, we're not doing it by force." He motioned to Jace, "Jace is hacking it. He can explain all the dirty details, but the gist of this is that we're purging the entire ship by hacking the environmental controls and the droids, blowing everybody out the airlocks and suffocating them. Anybody that survives, the droids will take out, and then they'll go into lockdown so that we can take over when it pleases us." He paused, waiting for a response from Atio to show that he understood so far, but it was clear that this was not the entire scope of the operation, and there was a major part for Atio to play.

Derek sat stone faced as he listened to Carson's plan, not wanting to believe such a thing was possible. "I think I need that drink now," he said as he reached for the bottle and poured the liquor into the closest thing that could resemble a clean glass. He closed his eyes and took a drink of the swill, nearly gagging as it first brushed against his mouth. "You realize of course if we pull this off the entire focus of the core will be on Brentaal. It will exponentially complicate things..." he theorized, taking another drink of the swill. It was a bold plan, and it seemed logical, but it would require a number of complex elements to work in unison if they were going to pull this off. "And who were you planning to get to pull this off?" he asked, feeling as if he already knew the unfortunate answer.

Carson responded immediately. "We'll take care of the Indefatigable. No need for you to worry there. As for the 259th Pursuit Line, I imagine that our Roving Line can handle them. They'll need to keep them from getting to the Indefatigable in order to allow you to pull off the most important part of the job." He paused here, letting that sink in. Atio had to know the import of this, the significance of his role in this operation. "You will be leading an assault on a Victory Star Destroyer and its two Nebulon-B escorts. It shouldn't be that difficult, I think." He took the time to light a smoke, taking a long hard drag before chasing it with the rotgut, savoring the tasteless burn as it went down. He reached across the table and poured another shot into Atio's glass. "I'm sure you have something to say or ask."

Derek quickly downed the shot, as he damn well needed another! "Let me get this straight. You want me to take on a Victory Star Destroyer with a twenty year old corvette that I can barely get to enter hyperspace?" he said, as he shook his empty glass at Carson menacingly, indicating he would need another. "Is this some plan to get me killed?" he asked, half serious, wondering if this was all some sort of elaborate joke on his part. "Unless we can find a way to disable that ship I'll be scrambled atoms floating through the Hydian Way!" he exclaimed, noting his glass was still empty.

Standing up from his chair, he would slip a pencil file into the reader for the display and access it. "I'm not sure how much starship electronics you know, so I will make this as simple as I can. All space going ships have life support equipment that is capable of flushing the atmosphere of a ship into space, to clear it from misuse and gassing attempts. This includes Imperial ships of all sizes. What I will do, is using a terminal connected to the Imperial network here on the surface, is transmit a virus that is disguised as a standard maintenance communication to the ISD in system. Once inside, it will replicate until it reaches the droids and the automated controls. At a predetermined point, the virus will activate the test cycle of the life support system, and then lock it out from access for several hours. This will have the effect of literally flushing anything not bolted down into space, to suffocate at various time intervals. The droids still on board will be activated once the virus releases the lock and allows the secondary atmosphere to be vented into the ship, with orders to kill anything moving for a couple of hours. This will reduce any opposition to manageable size." Jace would stop there, and give them a moment to ask further questions.

Once they were sure of the plan regarding the ISD, Jace would insert another pencil file and pull up the information. Several schematics were displayed in sequence, the first was of a mine field. "This is how we will begin the assault. The Victory class and it's escorts will have to exit hyperspace at this point, which we will have mined sufficiently to cause considerable damage. You and the formation will be placed here, just behind the entry point so that when they emerge from hyperspace, their main shields will be offline for a few moments This should be long enough for you all to inflict sufficient damage to prevent them from ever coming online fully. As for your concern of being blown to atoms, I already have you a solution." A pause was taken as the second set of schematics came up on the display, showing a formation of the purchased ships with the corvette at the outer edge. "I have been modifying the ships depicted here to run in a overlapping matrix. The center ship here, will provide the power to the shields for the formation, augmented slightly by each ships individual generators at a reduced level. This formation allows for more energy to be diverted to other systems as needed. Additional turbolaser cannons have been installed on all the ships, increasing their firepower. I have also added a cutoff switch, that once engaged, will transfer the energy back to the engines to augment your speed to escape." With the details explained, Jace would turn to face the two and see if this had gone over their heads, or if understanding had been achieved.

Derek remained sober enough to understand the briefing, but it still required a lot to go off at the same time to be successful. "If the mines are off by even a few meters or we are out of position we will be caught in the middle of a tremendous Imperial force..." he said, rising firm his seated position to look over the data more carefully. "It's an ambitious plan for certain..." he continued, bringing his left hand up to the side of the hand and running it across his forehead. "I will have to brief General Volkov about this plan, but if we pull this off it will dramatically change the course of the war effort in this sector," he said, nodding his head in affirmation as he looked over the man's improvements for the YZ-775 freighters. "I still think we'll be waking up a sleeping Krayt," he said as his attention shifted back to Carson.

Now it was Carson's turn. "You've got the five YZ-775's we bought the other day, and those with extra turbolasers and a heavier load of torpedoes. As well, you'll have 12 X-wings and 12 Y-wings to assist you. If you can hit these guys with their shields down, you can do some damage. I'd say your biggest problem is figuring out how the Roving Line can hit the 259th without getting their asses handed to them. As far as the actual tactics and strategies go, you're in charge of all operations regarding the Victory Star Destroyer and its escorts. But we're gonna have to figure something out here and now for you to take to the general if we want assistance from the Roving Line. Let's face it," he paused, pointing again to the holographic map of the system. "If that 259th Pursuit Line can catch up to you, you won't be ambushing that VSD. You'll be fighting the 259th, and the VSD will just roll in and finish you off. So let's hear it, Derek. Now's the time to pony up and take charge. You're a Naval Officer, damn it, and I expect more out of you than a bunch of whining and complaining."

Derek nodded to Carson, realizing he was right and the time for punch lines and beverages were over. "Alliance Intelligence has recently acquired a supply of concussion missiles from Corulag..." he explained, revealing information that was thus far classified. "Right now they're being fitted onto our freighters so they'll be able to offer a great deal of assistance in the Roving Line's part of the engagement..." he continued, as he moved over towards the makeshift tactical display. "If you can program the 5 YZ-775s to operate their shields in unison you may ... may ... be able to boost the total output of their shields enough to keep them in the fight should we fail to disable any of the Imperial ships emerging from hyperspace," he stated, agreeing with Athol's assessment. "However, if even one part of this attack fails the entire force will be placed in jeopardy," he again reiterated, wanting to stress the significance of this to Carson. "The 39th Roving Line is very much a match for the 259th Pursuit Line. Our gunships are superior to anything the Empire can field in that part of the engagement," he concluded, as he nodded his head one more time to Carson.

Carson returned Atio's nod, taking in the information. "The concussion missiles will be quite useful, I'm sure. Right now, though, we're out of my field of expertise. I can tell you that we can provide boarding capabilities to attempt a takeover of the Nebulon-B's escorting the VSD, assuming you can knock their systems offline long enough to allow us to get there. Likewise, we'll handle the troops on the ground, but that's a discussion for later. Right now, the important part of this planning is in the space aspect, something that I am quite incapable of discussing in great detail, as my IN records clearly state. There's a reason a promising Academy graduate like myself ended up on SpecNav Force and not in a pilot role. I think that right now you'd be best off hearing what Jace has to say, as he's the technical genius." With that, he motioned to Jace, who appeared to have something he wanted to say.

"I do have one question for you though. Has anyone reconfigured the targeting computer algorithms for fighters instead of the usual broad spectrum? It wouldn't produce a huge difference, but it would definitely increase the response time of the system enough to pick off a few more per ship when you consider how much time is lost to identification and memory swapping." For a few moments, Jace had that blank, intense look of a programmer running through code in his head.

"Corsair Squadron has been reprogrammed for just that," Derek replied to the technician as he continued to study his plans intently. "Do you think we should do them to the freighters as well?" he asked, as he finally moved back to his chair and seated himself once again. This was definitely the most intense briefing he had ever been a part of. He wondered what the General and the rest of the staff would think about this. He sure had his doubts that the entire plan could be pulled off simultaneously.

Jace would think about that for a few moments before responding. "Well, definitely not all of them. I wouldn't recommend more than ten percent of the freighters incase they have to be used against something larger. Definitely do not want to make yourself more vulnerable."

"What about these mines?" Derek asked, as his attention remained focused on the well versed technician. "How do we plan on acquiring them? How many are we going to deploy? And most importantly ... how we are going to deploying them?" he asked, as he studied that aspect of the plan in greater detail.

Now Jace would laugh for a moment before responding, eyes and face lighting up in an unholy glee. "Acquisition is easy, we're already about done building them. The plan is set to put approximately one hundred and twenty five mines, deployed by two unmanned freighters. This will occur after the ISD is disabled, but before the the arrival of the Victory class. The mines will position themselves, so there is no worries of the positioning being off." Jace would chuckle evilly.

Derek hardly thought there was anything funny about the deployment of a mine field, but each person had their own sense of humor and war brought out the eccentric types. "Well 125 mines will sure surprise the heck out of that Victory..." he said, sounding generally impressed with the plan thus far. "Of course I'll need to run this by command," he said, turning his attention back to Carson who had remained quiet while the technician had unveiled their rather nefarious plan.

Carson looked a little uncomfortable, his famous bearing fading slightly. "I can't really tell you too much about this, as it's really Jace's baby, but I'll certainly do my best. To the best of my understanding, the mines are Ion mines, homemade and powered up. They're hefty little bastards, several times larger than your run of the mill mines. Beyond that, I'm not too sure how they work, but that should shut down all the systems that are hooked up and online in the target vessels. As for clearing them out afterwards, we can command detonate them once we're clear of the area, so we won't be blocking up the trade routes." Carson stopped, having reached the extent of his knowledge on the mines. He made a motion to Jace. "Anything technical that I missed, or does that pretty well cover it? I'm sure there's something you could add."

"Each mine, with the parts added, will produce an EMP field at a nearly a .75KM radius, hence the need for 125 mines to make sure the entire lane is covered, and to cover for the occasional blown up mine. Other than that, the details are correct enough for this discussion." Retrieving the files from the display, Jace would place them in front of Derek and sit down. "All yours."

Derek grabbed the files from Corporal Athol and slipped it firmly into the secret compartment on the underside of his belt buckle. Even the most cunning of ISB agents would not dare be bold enough to undo the man's belt. "Thank you ... well, gentleman isn't exactly the right word is it?" he said as he rose from the chair and gave them one last nod. "Damn," he muttered as he arrived outside in front of the speeder realizing he had a 45 minute drive back to the Gilded Thranta.

Commander Derek Atio had managed yet again to navigate through the Imperial picket ships and enter the friendly confines of the Ringali Nebula. After landing the Gilded Thranta safely in the hangar bay, he made his way though the corridors towards General Volkov's office. By now the Tetan male was exhausted, having traveled to and from Brentaal twice now. He reached into his belt and pulled out the data disk now that he felt he was safe. Unfortunately, the disk now smelled like his belly, having been tucked there for several hours. He was still wearing his smuggler attire rather than his uniform to avoid attracting too much attention. "General Volkov," he said, as he stood outside the General's office, waiting for permission to enter to give his report on his meeting with the commandos.

The general was seated at his desk, his face illuminated in a hue of blue from the computer display stationed before him as he went of various discourses surrounding the recent operations in the system. He allowed his eyes to remain fixed on the computer screen without even daring to make glance with Atio. He spoke in a cool and modulated tone of voice upon the commander's arrival, "By all means. Come in commander. Have yourself a seat. You know your way to the brew cabinet." It had been another long day in the fight against repression in Brentaal, as he continued pouring over stacks of data tapes nestled neatly in an orderly fashion upon his desk. "Please, by all means, relax my friend." Volkov knew that the commander had been busier than usual and had, had very little time to rest. He continued by leaning his posture forwards upon his desktop, his arms lacing around his shoulders from elbow to elbow; his face staring contently towards the officer. Before finishing his gesture, he ask mildly, "What is it commander?"

Commander Atio walked into the general's office, looking quite tired and beleaguered as he took up his usual seat across from General Volkov. He took out the data disk that Corporal Athol had given him and placed it on his desk. "Very ambitious plan you need to review, sir," he said as he leaned back in the chair. "The commando unit believes they can disable the ISD from the ground allowing us a chance to get a boarding party aboard. That is if you wish to deploy the the 39th Roving Line to engage the supporting capital ships in the system..." he explained, still believing it was a very risky operation. "However, with the destruction of Alderaan ... we do need a victory..." he said, with a firm nod of his head. His eye looked towards the well stocked bar, however it did not seem appropriate for him to drink during such a serious meeting.

Akilist chuckled beneath his belly after witnessing the silent rejection of the liquor cabinet before him. Good boy he thought to himself. For in such a crucial operation that could determine the outcome of future successes in the system, this would need to go just according to plan. Volkov was usually relaxed in his demeanor and the presentation of an assault on Imperial warships proved mostly exciting amongst all things. He allowd one of his resting hands to unhinge itself from his resting elbows before collecting the data card that had been placed before him. With one smooth motion, the data disc was placed neatly into the housing compartment of the console embedded before him. Upon entering the data disc, a series of data sensitive materials surrounding the operation began to display across the screen while the software loaded the mission critical information directly into the primary viewing screen before him. He would allow himself to pour over the data very closely, making sure to miss as little detail as possible while at the same time acting in an efficient enough manner to redirect the conversation back towards its intended route. "So, our boys down on the surface seem to be cooking up something for the missions after our little strike at the docks huh," he said almost seemingly arrogant in his presentation. "Well, perhaps we could make something work from this. I think with the proper communications being established all the way down from high command to the lowliest accomplice; we should be successful in this endeavor ... despite the odds." Volkov would then collect himself upon a relieving sigh of uncertainty before adding, "I do not expect this to be easy, but despite the hands involved and the magnitude of the mission, I do expect it to be done." Volkov looked downwards and to his right momentarily upon delivering his orders before adding, "You are to report to central command at once. Prepare the 39th roving line. They will need our help more so than they ever thought imaginable." Volkov knew the details of the mission where indeed vital to the overall conflict engulfing the Brentaal system and that this was indeed a turning point in the way to where the rebellion, for once, could speak their own voice for a change. "Prepare my ship," Volkov grumbled beneath his breath. Every man on station is to report to their battle ready alertness. I expect all stations to be assembled and ready to depart upon a moment's notice from our commando's signal." Volkov knew that there were many variables outlining the success of the mission, especially considering the heavy presence of imperial pickets patrolling the outskirts of their launch points. He knew that this would indeed be a most significant blow to the empire if in some miraculous way, they could make this dream, in itself, a reality.

Derek was actually surprised at how quickly the General embraced the bold plan, but then again Volkov always carried a reputation for dash. Receiving his orders he rose from his seat and gave the man a firm nod. "General, I will pass on your orders at once," he said, bowing slightly in respect. "Let us hope this is the beginning of a great victory for the Rebel Alliance in the Ringali Shell," the Tetan engineer replied as he began to walk out of the General's office. He had a bad feeling about this, but he believed the Alliance had superior resources and personnel and stood a good chance at pulling this off. He wondered if he could use the excuse that he might die to endear himself to the lovely Parka Pepper. After all, war made for many a rushed romantic pairing.

Volkov had become familiar with the sound of the pressurized gas releasing from the hydraulics nestled safely within the motorized blast doors outside his office. Another report coming in and once again, another report going out. The job was no joke to speak of in the least but in the end it was well worth it. The general straightened himself up onto both feet from his lounging chair before stretching his limbs in an attempt to regain his active drive to put sense into the whole matter. The details in which he had read where vague at most but still provided a promising outcome if the assault was to be conducted properly. Volkov knew that the mission would be extremely time sensitive and it had been a while since he had been back out onto the frontier of space. "Aahhhh," Volkov let out a collective pleasure of remembrance as memories of his battles from long ago played across his mental viewing screen. The navy had been an intricate piece of success for the advancement of his home world, Corulag, which he was raised and brought up amongst some of the finest warriors that the galaxy had to offer. Indeed, he thought to himself, once again the Solace and I embark on another journey of opportunistic uncertainty. With that said, he paced gingerly towards the liquor cabinet that decorated the side wall of his office. With one swift motion of his right hand, the predetermined flameout that he had designated much earlier had made contact with his hand. However only two large swigs would be taken before resting the beverage back into its spot within the cubby. A victory drink, he thought to himself ... and with one simultaneous decisive motion, he ended the program being display before him surrounding the secretive assault that had been issued.

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