Upsilon-class Shuttle Harbinger
A lot had changed in the last year for General Zentru’la – once a Scholae war hero, now a hired gun for Taldryan. From supporting his daughter, to avenging her death. From commanding imperial legions, to a private military company. The Harbinger’s engines screeched over the cacophony of the erupting battle outside: the staccato rhythm of dogfights and the base tones of capital ships bringing their main guns to bear. Everything had changed, but war? War never changed. The one constant in Zentru’la’s life – the one thing he truly understood.
The colossal mountain of a twi’lek fastened and secured his armour, Beskar plate with an Imperial aesthetic that covered him head to toe, as the ship swayed and tumbled like a leaf in a hurricane. Zentru’la locked and loaded his weapons, a powerful heavy repeating cannon and a grenade launcher. The plan was relatively simple. Board the dreadnaught Durga, blast everyone in sight, get Aylin Sajark to engineering so she can take over the ship’s controls and turn it against The Collective.
“One minute ‘til boarding!” shouted a slurred, female voice from the cockpit as the Harbinger lurched into a sharp banked turn, avoiding a volley of turbolaser fire from an enemy Dreadnaught and towards the Durga.
“How much has she been drinking this time?” questioned another heavily armoured figure, Ankira, wearing Manadalorian armour with that iconic T shaped visor and carrying a pair of blaster pistols.
“I’m only on my fourth!” shouted Rohla.
“Hah, those are rookie numbers,” Meleu Karthdo was unfamiliar to Zentru’la, a human Sith Battlemaster carrying a lightsaber and a sword. Zentru’la had spent long enough fighting alongside Force-users to appreciate the value of a lightsaber on the battlefield.
“Major Trugaim is currently consuming her sixth beverage,” said a synthetic voice within the walls as the ship suddenly launched into a full loop, avoiding more fire and shooting a warhead back at the Dreadnaught.
“That’s less than last time she gave me a lift,” laughed Aylin with her infectious smile as the ship exited its loop and carried on back towards the Durga. One of Zentru’la’s few real friends, he once considered the young Nautolan slicer simply insane until he learned the value of her boundless creativity.
For as terrifying as the drunken pilot could be for unfamiliar passengers, she generally got to where she needed to be without too many near-death experiences. “Get ready for combat,” Zentru’la growled as the Harbinger entered the hangar bay of the Durga. Zentru’la got to his feet and raised his rifle while the ship spun 180-degrees to land facing the hangar exit. The spin gave everyone a view of the Collective troops assembled to intercept the Taldryan boarding party.
To his left, Ankira stood ready with a pistol in each hand. To his right, Meleu’s crimson lightsaber exploded into life with the characteristic snap-hiss. He could feel the rage emanating from the Sith behind him, Aylin loaded her anti-armour rifle. No plan the General could possibly have come up with would have survived first contact without degrading into chaos. “CHARGE!” he simply roared as the boarding ramp lowered.
Meleu all but flew out of the ship with inhuman athleticism. The hangar bay erupted into violence. His aggressive approach landed him right in the thick of the action in mere seconds. “Lightsaber!” shouted one of the defenders. There was a moment of panic. The Collective forces immediately turned towards the Sith. It was rare Zentru’la missed a shot at the best of times. With the attention divided between the Harbinger and Meleu, it was even easier. A series of precise shots from Zentru’la’s heavy repeater and Ankira’s pistols thinned the numbers of the Collective troops, preventing Meleu from becoming overwhelmed.
Alarms blared out across the Durga. “Boarders in the hangar bay!” shouted a voice from every corner. “All hands to the hangar bay!”
Reinforcements arrived as Meleu dispatched the last of the first wave. The bipedal scout walker barely even fit through the blast door as it shambled into the hangar, firing continuously at the team. Zentru’la executed a roll to evade a powerful blast from the mech, raising his weapon to return fire… but there was no need. An explosion from underneath the walker sent its legs flying in opposite directions, and the cockpit unceremoniously crumpling to the ground. Aylin smiled. Time bombs were fun when you got the timing right.
Zentru’la raised a hand signal towards his ship. The Harbinger rejoined the battle in space as the team advanced into the ship, towards engineering.