VCX-100 Light Freighter “The Damsels’ Distress”
Temnos Excavations Co. Mining Facility
“Damsels, we’re under fire. Need access to the facil-” the static-mixed voice of Len Iode once again demanded over the comms. Resisting the urge to deafen the Damsels’ inbound communications, Kasula adjusted the boom of her headset in-between a set of maneuvers. Without looking at the freighter’s starboard viewport, she could feel the pressurized waves of an exploding quadrijet bomber caught in the Damsels’ staccato laserfire.
“Listen, ‘mister commander, sir,’ we’re here running around some diplomat without the slightest idea on how a laser cannon works, let alone a sense of humor. Once we—”
“Veering left!” Ysera seized the Damsels’ controls from her console with practiced ease, gliding it around a durasteel structure rising from the moon’s surface. Although the VCX-100 managed to avoid a direct collision with the unfinished armature, she grimaced as its antennae scratched the paint off the hull.
“—once we’re at the hangar, we’ll blow the doors. Until then, bye-bye. Send kisses to Cel, I’m sure he would like—”
“Not to be the one to point it out, but I don’t think he’s listening,” Creshkin indicated as he wobbled into the cockpit, his stomach still cursing the lack of inertial compensation on the Daegella’s vessel.
Checking the comms against his observation, Kasula noted that Len had closed off his end of the connection and held her mouth agape in frustration. “That blue karking womp-rat!”
“Now, Kasula. We’ll have a lot of time to deal with ‘mister commander’ once we do what he wants.” Ysera consoled, lowering the frigate markedly close to Thillion’s surface, but on a direct course for the hangar—or more accurately, the hangar’s wall once she realized the main entrance had been sealed behind sheets of durasteel.
“Aim-for-brains, now might be a good time to suit up!” Ysera yelled back at Creshkin Vos, who was still holding onto whatever he could find to remain stable amid the Damsels’ twists and turns along Thillion’s surface.
“Damsels!” That’s a wall, you’ll depressurize the hangar!” a flickering image of the Chiss forewarned, with the silent promise of a military reprimand.
“We know that! It’s a moonbase, there’s more than one airlock.” Kasula argued back, getting quizzical looks from the Jedi behind her as he began fitting his pressurized suit.
“Well, that moonbase on Kessel didn’t.” Ysera teased after the image of Len faded.
Kasula looked over her shoulder, “All right, almost all moonbases have more than one airlock.”
Creshkin had just finished with checking the seal of his helmet before the Daegellas had sent him with Ysera to the Damsels’ cargo ramp, which was now lowering despite the vessel hovering airborne near the hangar’s wall. Ysera appeared beside him, her own flightsuit much less bulky than his own and coupled with a matching blue helmet with a yellow tinted visor.
In the Twi’lek’s hand, he noticed a small device, capped at one end with a red button that began to flash as she armed the seismic charge and handed it to him. “Know what this is?” she asked mockingly as she tossed it in his direction. Grabbing hold of it on reflex, Creshkin took a moment to feel the object’s weight before the panic of realization set in.
“Well don’t stare at it! Throw the karking thing!” Ysera hollered at him. Using the Force to hurl the object as fast, and as far as he could manage in near-zero gravity, Kreshkin braced himself to guard the Twi’lek from debris, if need be. He swore he could feel his ears pop when the seismic charge detonated against the hangar wall, sending duracrete scattering in most directions as the hangar depressurized. Kasula, at the Damsels’ helm shot the forward laser cannon into the explosion, vaporizing any debris that might damage the freighter into mere particles of dust and superheated gas.
“Bringing us in!” Kasula notified over comms while Creshkin ignited the blade of his lightsaber and charged off the Damsels’ loading ramp, using some of the hangar’s now-floating contents as a bridge into the mining facility. Scraps of metal, tools and assorted cargo transportation containers scraped alongside the Damsels’ Distress’ hull as it found a floor to land on. Outside the viewport, Kasula noted the insignia of a Brotherhood pilot’s uniform cartwheeling out of the hangar with the rest of its contents.
“‘Mister commander, sir,’” Kasula mumbled the chosen name through the comms channel, “Who did this moonbase belong to again? Don’t say Brotherhood, because otherwise Morgan is going to have us grounded for a week.”
Len Iode rubbed his temples. For the last time, it’s not a ‘moonbase.’ “Report?”
“Brotherhood uniforms, insignia—you get the gist, red-eyes.”
“Hmm,” Len mused. He had seen the reports of the supposed Brotherhood terrorist attacks, was it possible this was also a staging site? “We’ll evaluate the situation later. Do we have a door into the facility?”
“Define, ‘door.” Ysera snickered over the comms, “Still, we’re in, and it looks like the entire moonbase hasn’t depressurized, so we’ll be waiting inside. Hope you packed a spacesuit.”
“See?” Kasula remarked as she lowered the Damsels’ landing gear, “airlocks.”