Sera had never thought that getting to the damned battle was going to be the hard part.
Their objective, as laid out by Lucine, was painfully simple. Move in, assist station security, protect the administrators, and prevent the Nesolat’s administration and observation facility from falling into enemy hands. Her team was incredibly well suited to the task. Spectre Cell was the pride of the AAF, or so Sera liked to think. Properly placed, she was sure that they would prevail over the Collective. They’d done it before, right?
Sera clenched her jaw tight as The Lady’s Flower rattled around her, rocked by some unseen impact against the vessel’s deflector shields. Strapped into her seat, bundled with her armaments and shining bronzed armor, there wasn’t much that she could do but sit in trust in Diy’s skill… which she did implicitly. Taking a deep breath, her blue-eyed gaze swivelled around to check up on those under her command. Three others joined her, strapped into their own seats. Dax and Zodac were jawing along without a care in the world. Imperial veterans, this wasn’t their first hot drop, and obviously neither of them thought it would be their last. Then, there was Luka. The human was slightly green in the face, though they seemed mostly occupied by scritching at the Nexu head currently sprawled, purring, in their lap. Bico, as she’d been introduced, seemed like it could care less about the battle raging outside the hull. In fact, it seemed to enjoy how the rumble of the deck underneath its grey-furred belly.
That left…the droids.
“I can’t wait to be scrapped when your veggie-headed bimbo crashes us, 4R,” spat Motraka, the B1’s modulated whine cutting through the silence near the back of the vessel. Even as the ancient battledroid was surrounded on all sides by KX droids double its size and half its age, it didn’t seem to care.
“Lady Diyrian is not a bimbo,” one responded indignantly, its shining gold and silver frame seeming to shake with irritation. “She is a fantastic pilot, more than you deserve. Besides…”
”You already look like a scrap-heap,” interjected the other two droids in unison, before high-fiving each other with robotic gusto. That spurred another reply from Motraka -something about their female creators and his ferrofluid injector- before all four fell into argument, eventually devolving into a storm of binary.
Another explosion rocked the vessel. Sera just sighed, pushing the restraint bar from her shoulders and moving -unsteadily- to her feet, the crisp white cloth of her cloak swaying behind her. “I’m gonna check on Diy,” she offered to the others. “If anyone needs something…”
“You wanna drink, lass?” Zodac piped up, his sagging, scarred skin warping into a grin. Furtively, he revealed a flask that had been hidden under the dun cloth of his poncho, the grin widening. “Don’t tell. S’good, old Imperial stuff. Dax is a fan.”
“‘Course I’m a fan!” interjected the other old soldier, pulling the flask from Zodac’s hand and swilling it back. “Ginger isn’t payin’ me enough to try and do this job sober. Besides, a drink helps dull the edge of a hot landing like nothin’ else,” he finished with a half-smile, offering the flask to Sera. The Zabrak gave a huffing laugh, folding her face into her gauntleted hands.
“…you know how much trouble you’d be in if I brought this up later? I’m supposed to be leading you guys,” she stated, a toothy smile creeping across her features. Zodac just laughed.
“Think we care?”
“Nope. Probably not. Gimme,” she stated, holding her hand out.
He never managed to give it to her. Before she could close her grasp over the flask, something slammed into the hull, and the terrible screech of rending metal filled their ears. A moment later, the red flash of warning lights filled the Flower’s interior, accompanied by a warbling siren.
“…Sithspit!” Sera breathed, eyes going wide. Then, without another moment of hesitation, she turned on her heel and sprinted for the cockpit, her cloak flaring out behind her.