[Tides of Change] Team 2
Starboard Docking Bay, BAC Shadow
Vicinity Sanctuary Station, Yhi System
5 Minutes into engagement
Flashing red lights and loud klaxons added to the already overwhelming cacophony of noise in the docking bay as the crew scurried about executing their general quarters drills. Flight crews and droids frantically moved between ships to prep them for launch. Troops formed up near their respective landing craft as the occasional flash of light near the mouth of the docking bay reminded everyone of the space battle raging outside the ship.
In the center of the chaotic bay a squad of Erinos Mandalorians stood in a loose formation near an MAAT landing craft, awaiting orders and checking their gear one last time. The graey-armored warriors went through their pre-mission checks with an almost serene deliberateness in contrast to the chaos around them. One raven haired young man in the squad, who couldn’t have been more than 20 years of age, kept expectantly looking toward a nearby turbolift, which did not escape the notice of the squad leader.
The squad leader, a gruff older man with graying hair, approached the younger Mandalorian. “You waiting on a hot date, brother?” The rest of the squad chuckled.
The younger warrior snapped his head forward to face his superior. “No ver’alor, I’ve just heard the she-wolf will be with us this time.” He spoke the nickname was a mixture of reverence and anxiety.
The squad leader cocked an eyebrow. “She’s a little old for you don’t you think?” More laughter erupted from the squad as they went about their tasks. The leader raised his hand for them to be silent. “We have accompanied Shadesworn into battle before, this will be no different. Some of our brothers are counted among their ranks.”
The raven-haired youth nodded as he remembered the various Erinos Shadesworn, including their revered patriarch. “That’s true, though it will still be nice to have one who is Mando’ad with us.”
Another member of the squad pointed toward the turbolift which was now opening. “Be careful what you wish for.”
The turbolift doors opened and a middle aged woman in distinct wolf pelt-adorned Mandalorian armor exited, flanked by a Togorian and a IG-100 droid. The trio moved through the hustle of the docking bay with deliberate speed, also unphased by what was going on around them. The Mandalorian woman had shoulder-length dark gray hair and olive skin that showed some signs of aging. Her Togorian companion had snow leopard-patterned fur and wore a chest plate with Erinos markings.
When they reached the MAAT, the woman set down a large medic backpack and walked up to the squad leader, trailed by the Togorian. The squad leader brought his right fist to his chest and lowered his head slightly in a gesture of salute. “The squad is formed and ready alor.”
The woman nodded with approval as she slowly scanned the squad. “Very good. The rest of the strike team will be along shortly and we’ll go over the mission.” She noticed the raven-haired Erinos staring at her just a little too intently. Her icy blue gaze narrowed on him for a moment. “Is something wrong vod?”
The young man looked as if he was about to jump out of his armor with surprise. “No ma’am!” He looked down and began to intensely focus on checking his rifle; trying in vain to play off getting caught staring.
The squad leader smiled. “Don’t mind him, he’s just excited to have the ‘she-wolf’ with us on this mission.”
The woman exchanged a sly look with her Togorian companion, her expression remaining neutral. “I see my reputation precedes me.” The raven-haired Mandalorian continued to fiddle with his rifle nervously, pretending to check it, afraid to look up. The woman moved closer to the younger warrior. “You’d best not anger me, or I’ll turn into a wolf and devour you.” She jumped at the youth with a fake growl. He flinched, much to the squad’s amusement.
The gray-haired female paused for a moment as a new set of klaxons went off in the bay. “I suppose introductions are in order. I am Luna Okami, sworn Templar of Clan Arcona, and I’m sure most of you know Tybalt Erinos.” The Togorian gave a toothy smile and waved as Luna continued. “I carry a lightsaber and touch the Force, but I am a Mando’ad in service to the Shadow Lady, just like you. We are one clan and we fight as one.” All assembled pounded their chest plates and raised their right fist in salute with a thunderous “AU!”
Luna nodded with approval and went to perform final checks on her own gear while Tybalt made the rounds, socializing with his fellow Erinos. The entire ship seemed to shake as it took a large hit near the docking bay. Everyone in the bay froze for a moment, poised to move if need be, but the ship resumed normal operations. The enemy battle group had apparently gotten in a lucky shot.
The turbolift opened once again to reveal a Sephi female. The female Sephi absently read a datapad as she traversed the docking bay, dodging the flow of traffic with a effortless grace and making her way toward the MAAT.
The female lowered her datapad as she approached Luna. “Is the squad ready?
“Yes, just waiting on the mission brief.”
Ver’alor - Mando’a for Lieutenant
Mando’ad - Mando’a for son/daughter of Mandalore
Alor - Mando’a for boss or commander
Vod - Mando’a for brother, sister, comrade
New Tython Orbit
Space Station Sanctuary
Seraphol’s X-wing approached the Sanctuary Space Station. The Quaestor had taken the place of Seridan as the leader of Paladin Squadron whilst he was aboard Sanctuary. The squadron had fought proudly and bravely under Seraphol’s command, with four of the pilots losing their lives in defense of New Tython. Conscious of the toll that could take on morale, the Jedi had decided to take a moment to rest the surviving squadron. As they drew nearer, the evidence of battle had been scarred all over the Space station, leaving many unflattering holes. Seraphol sighed to himself and scratched the scar on the left side of his face before radioing in to the other Paladins
In order to keep up their morale, he adopted a more chipper tone. “All right lads and lasses, we will be presently arriving at our destination. Looking at the state of it, I don’t think any of us should be expecting room service. Once aboard we may experience a brief period of relaxation and then explode.” His comms crackled in return with a few brief, laboured laughs.
Landing in the hanger, they were greeted by the uncomfortable, grinding sounds of on-going repairs. Observing the other squadrons in the hanger, it had become clear that Paladin Squadron had, in fact, performed significantly better than many of the others. Seridan Brehevik stood at the opposite end of the hangar, and the Miralukan made sure to share a handshake with each and every pilot he could before engaging in conversation with Seraphol.
“Glad to see you alive, Quaestor. Thank you for flying with them when I could not.”
“Ain’t really much to be thanking me for, Conciliator. I look after me and mine and that’s what I did. Looks like you’ve made a mess of the station, though.” Smirking directly after his jape, Seraphol studied the young Miraluka for any response.
“Ah, yes…the space station. We will be unable to perform full repairs before the next engagement - but we will, at the very least, be combat ready.” Seridan grew quieter as he spoke, as if he were unwilling to divulge this information to any other present party. He continued solemnly, “I think it would be a good idea for you to see the damage for yourself…”
Solari had barely arrived in time to be privy to the meeting, It wasn’t often that the Shard was surprised by the actions of A’lora, but this was one of those moments. A majority of the dignitaries, including Gideon Varos, had left the palace immediately after the culmination of the meeting. Solari had made some observations and wished to share them with his peers. “The average demeanour of many of those Humans, along with the highest occurring pupil contraction, leads me to conclude that a large proportion of them were…displeased with the outcome.”
The slender form of the Neti, V’yr Vorsa moved across the room with pure precision and intention, halting next to the Shard’s droid-host. “Very keen, Councillor. Once again you’ve provided us with some very important information.” The cheeks of her long face tightened as she locked into a smile. “I can imagine that there will be many more upset at the idea of the Shadow Clan’s fleet being here, no?”
“I can assume from the actions of Mar that there will be some Jedi displeased with this union,” the metallic form that represented the Shard began to tap a section of it’s arm repeatedly before stopping and throwing his hands in the air, almost perfectly emulating the human reaction of frustration - although somewhat over-acting it. “My communication with Seher is still nil. I wish to hear a report from Mar regarding his preparations in the City.”
General Vorsa’s smile faded, she held up one of her slender hands in order to interrupt Solari. “What do you mean, what is Mar preparing for?” she asked, concerned that Mar would be up to much more than tending to the safety of the great city.
Solari’s vocoder perked up, emulating Mar’s Serennoan voice. “I will prepare Seher for siege. Evil shall not breach these walls - even if I have to kill them all myself.” Without a pause, Solari returned to his usual mechanical voice. “You must understand, of course, at the time we were not aware of Arcona’s purpose. I trust him to defend the city without losing his way. He is no fool Councillor.”
“Nonetheless, a lone Jedi defending a city such as Seher could take it’s toll on our young human. I suggest that we take some minor reinforcements - we will find allies to bring with us.”
As both Councillors moved to leave the palace, they came across the last leaving dignitary Samson Krumb, an elderly, balding, short man who was rarely seen without a smile gracing his unusually round head. “Hello, Master Jedi,” he nodded at both of them. “Nasty business today, but as Gideon says we have faith in you to do what’s righ-” The end of his sentence was cut off by a loud sneeze that echoed throughout the immediate area. “I do apologise, it’s my hayfever. It only ever seems to perk up when we meet with the Jedi Council.” Samson sneezed once more before hurrying off.
Vorsa’s eyes trailed Samson as he scurried away, one eyebrow raised curiously, “An odd man…” she stated in a matter-of-fact tone before turning back to her fellow Councillor and gestured towards the exit of the palace. “Shall we?”
Bay of Seher
Mar scratched his beard thoughtfully as the Seherob locals gathered at the bay. The Human Jedi had called for an emergency Popular Assembly, using the gathering to explain the situation. The people of Seher were happy to ready themselves for war. They too were attacked by the Dark Jedi during the war for New Tython and were, like Mar, reluctant to believe Arcona were here for anything but battle.
The Harakoan host watched as many of the trading ships sailed far from Seher, attempting to flee the potentially imminent danger. The breakwaters of the bay embraced the port, protecting the main trading hub of the great city Two great chains ran alongside these defensive walls and sank into the sea at the otherwise empty gap in between the bulkheads - the chains were the reason for the gathering.
Mar etched his way out in front of the crowd, fixing the cloak on his robe as they stared at him. “We Jedi have not long been citizens of Seher, nonetheless this threat on our city is to be received like we would any other. War is upon us. These wretches have attacked us before. Many of you know this; some of you hold prisoners of their last attempt to defile this city. I am here to stand by you all as I hope you will all stand beside me.” Mar was no orator, but he understood morale and he knew what the people really needed. “Their last attempt to burn Seher resulted in failure and in doing so this great city was forged. What hope can they have to succeed against you - against us - now?”
The Serennoan spotted a child of Seher at the front of the crowd and the Jedi quickly beckoned him over. The child’s purple eyes widened as he ran over to the Human, almost unable to stop before running right into him. Mar knelt to the child and spoke softly. “This is your honour today child. Raise the Maw.”
No words were spoken beyond that, both simply nodding at one another as Mar rejoined the crowd. The Child looked at the large number of warriors holding the two chains before raising his arms high and giving the signal. The chains moaned as they grated along the stone that they were built into. The crowd cheered loudly and some even ran to help pull the links of the chain, each requiring multiple pairs of hands to move.
A colossal metallic claw slowly broke out of the sea, leaving its home below and taking up new residence in the gap at the end of the port, filling in the defenses of the breakwater. The great claw stood well above the surrounding constructs and looked akin to a predator’s jaw. The Maw of Seher was alleged to obliterate ships that attempted to enter from the outside. The truth of the matter was irrelevant to Mar, however. It was far more important that the locals believed the stories behind the Maw and were more willing to fight because of it.
The celebration would not be short-lived, so the Jedi once again called the child over to him. “I need your help again, young one.” The child made clear eye-contact with Mar, evidently willing to help any way he could. “Would you have the Sith Slaves brought to the City Center for me? Make sure they are well within sight of the walls. Oh and have someone bring me my greatsword. Thank you, child.”
Near Space Station Sanctuary
New Tython High Orbit
The space around the station was a debris field full of fighters, ships, and the remains of the rapidly cooling beings who piloted them. Every so often a reflection of light shown from light off of search and rescue ships, photons from the nearby star Yhi, or deadly energy from the ships still alive and fighting. Seraphol swore as his shields lit up from fire he was taking from the O’reen fighter on his tail.
He had left Sanctuary to help clean up the remaining enemy forces in orbit, but him and several Arconan and Odan Urr squads had bumbled into a trap. The debris field was so dense that most sensors only were going haywire. For the past 20 minutes the Sentinel had been weaving his X-Wing in and out of dogfights trying to help the pilots under him in Paladin Squadron.
“Paladin 2, Im going to swing portside. Fire on this bogey when he is in your sights.” he called over the squads Tactical channel.
“Roger, Paladin lead”
Seraph rotated his craft 90 degrees to the left and yanked back on the control stick. As he did Paladin 2 had a line of sight on the enemy craft. I quick quad burst of fire added it to the surrounding debris field.
“Good shooting Two, thanks for that save!”
Hearing the characteristic beep of a query from the R2 unit behind his cockpit Seraphol looked at the translation on one of the smaller HUD monitors.
“All nearby O’reen forces have fled back across the debris field.”
The R2 unit wasnt his, but one that usually worked on Sanctuary helping hanger techs move fighters. While Deek, or R2-D3K, was a performing well, he still missed D3. It also helped that he had installed a voice into R2-DDD. It scared others when the droid would speak, but became an asset when you didnt have the time to translate binary.
Quickly looking at his casualty listing he only saw 2 of his fellows out of the fight, both were green on life activity so he pinged their location for pick up by the rescue shuttles. Quickly changing the screen on his Heads Up Display back to sensor data he picked up another flight of fighters coming his way along with an O’reen Assault Carrier giving the Arconan forces a hell of a fight.
"Paladin Flight 2 & 3, take your guys and assist the Arconan forces with that enemy Assault Carrier. Flight 1, on me, we are going to make sure our shuttles can reach our stranded guys out here.
“Roger, sir” came the reply across the voice scrambled comms.
Leveling his fighter back out Seraph re entered the debris field. Switching his shields to an even coverage around the craft he diverted more energy to the shield generators to help bolster them in the event a large piece of space trash couldnt be avoided. Reminding the Paladins to do the same he brought the Shuttle up on his HUD and set course for it, and hopefully Jedi that were still among the living.
Starboard Docking Bay, BAC Shadow
Rhiann ordered the assembled strike team to gather around her for a quick mission briefing. A handful of Jedi and a squad of Mandalorians is all the Sephi had to work with. Once the team had formed a semicircle around her, the Obelisk set a holoprojector on the deck of the bay. A holoprojection of an assault carrier came into view. “Our objective is to board the main enemy assault carrier, hack their command and control network and disable as many fighters and ship systems as possible. Upon completion of the primary objective of hacking the enemy command net we will exfiltrate the vessel by any means available.”
Luna stared at the holoprojection for a moment. “Where is our point of entry?”
The Sephi tapped her datapad and the holoimage shifted to show the two Arconan BACs, the Shadow and Last Light making an attack run on the carrier. “The enemy currently holds a significant fighter advantage, hence the need for this particular mission, the Shadow and Last Light will conduct a brief attack run to get us close enough to launch without facing too much fighter resistance. The Shadow will focus fire on enemy fighters while the Last Light concentrates fire on this hangar bay.” The holoprojection highlighted one of the carrier’s hangar bays. “The battery fire from the Last Light should knock down the protective shields around the hanger long enough for us to get a landing craft through.”
The Mandalorian squad leader spoke up, “What if they don’t?”
Rhiann tapped her datapad again. “We will have two squadrons escorting our landing craft, they will be equipped with ion torpedoes. Should the battery fire fail to bring the hangar’s shields down the fighters will hit it with their torpedoes.”
Tybalt Erinos rubbed his furry chin, deep in thought. “Assuming we land successfully, we will have to move up three decks and go several hundred meters into the ship to reach the communication hub. It’s likely to be heavily guarded.”
“We will have the element of surprise at first, it will take the enemy time to assemble any sort of significant response force to stop us. We could also split off a small group to create a diversion, make them think we are going for the main reactor.” Luna commented with no noticeable inflection.
Rhiann nodded in approval. “Luna, I will need you to use your battle meditation to help the escort fighters while we are on approach to the carrier.”
“Not much else I can do in transit.”
The Mandalorian squad leader grinned. “I’ll make sure we have plenty of explosive charges handy, on the off chance some of us actually do make it to the main reactor. Taking out an enemy capital ship would strike a huge blow.”
“It would, but only after we gain access to the enemy communication network, if the ship goes down too soon we will miss our opportunity to sew confusion and disarray in their fighter formations.” The squad leader nodded at the Sephi’s wisdom.
Rhiann exhaled deeply, she didn’t normally like talking this much at one time, especially to such a large group. She was also smart enough to know that sometimes one had to step outside their comfort zone to do what needed to be done.
“If there are no further questions suit up and get onto the landing craft, we depart in five.”
New Tython High Orbit, Debris Field
With a burst of static the squadron comm activated “Paladin Lead, looks like we’ve got two Arconan BAC’s strafing that Assault Carrier?” asked the second Flight Leader.
“Assist if needed, however 2 BAC’s are going to be hard pressed to do anything significant to that AC, especially with its fighter cover. Keep back and see if they drop anything near it, if they do make sure it gets to the Carrier.” Seraphol replied as he spun his X-Wing over a large piece of hull resembling the thrust nacelle of a Corvette.
“Looks like they’ve dropped an armored shuttle and what seems to be two squadrons of fighters. We are heading in to assist.” the second Flight Lead chimed in again.
Quickly scanning his sensors to verify, Seraphol evaluated the situation. The fighters were probably there to ensure they shuttle arrived safely and would either hyper out of range, or would stay and assist their mother BAC’s in flanking the Carrier. With the zeal that Arconan forces attacked their enemies, Seraph was betting on the latter.
“Keep your heads on a swivel, you’re going to be surrounded by forces who may take more than a few pot shots at you.” he said confirming the leads decision to head in.
The debris field was getting quite crowded as Flight One began to escort the rescue shuttle to the still living bodies of their squadmates. If there was time, they would reclaim the remains of others for proper burial as well. GLancing out the starboard side of his cockpit he saw something go by that was a bit out of the norm. His Astromech speakers sounded with a terrifying scream and Seraph turned and looked over his shoulder in time to see Deek’s domed head fly off into space and was replaced by a glaring red mechanical eye of a Buzz droid.
“Flight One, get out of the field. The O’reens left buzz droids as they left.” The flight scattered as did the rescue shuttle. His cockpit began to sound alarms as it seemed more droids were burrowing into the engines on the starboard side.
“Im going to the planet and bailing ship. Paladin Two, you’re in charge of the Flight and Squadron!”
Putting as much thrust into the ship as possible he pushed the stick forward towards the blue green gem of New Tython, and out of the debris field. If the ship could hold it together through the upper atmosphere the droids would burn up and Seraph could either land the ship, or eject over a landmass.
As he entered the upper atmosphere the damage became too much for the craft as the pressure created blew the starboard s-foils off the craft, destroying the droids and sending the X-wing into a flat spin. With alarms screaming out to him, Seraph hit the control button to extend the air brakes built into the remaining portside S-Foil. This slowed the spin enough to give Seraphol an idea of where he was going to bail over.
Reaching between his legs he grabbed the ejection pin. With a deafening bang the explosive bolts built into the cockpit blew the canopy away and rocketed the pilot and command chair out of the dying craft. As the chair sensed atmosphere it opened the escape chute instead of the mag field. With a jolt Seraphol was separated from the chair. As he floated down through the air he could see the home city of House Satele in the distance.
Landing on the hard packed earth, he stood up and disengaged himself from the chute. As he took his flight helm off he could see a plume of smoke in the distance signifying the remains of the destroyed X-Wing. He turned to look for Sehir and found its gleaming pillars south of him a few kilometers. Marching off towards the city of the Jedi, he couldn’t get his mind off the lives of those who were in orbit.
The Harakoan crowd thinned significantly at the City center, many were still at the Bay celebration. Mar paced in front of four identically clothed individuals, all of which also shared a gruesome brand across the left half of their face - these were some of the Sith captured by the Seherob during the invasion of New Tython. Each slave had been forced into a kneeling position by tightly wrapped chains, none of which could speak due to their mouths being sewn shut with crudely made wooden implements. The human stopped pacing to address them.
“It may be your lucky day. The Shadow Clan are in space, whether or not they even know or care
if you’re here I don’t know. Of course that is not why you are lucky, that stems from the fact that should they come anywhere near this City, I shall end your miserable lives.” He locked eyes with the nameless slaves one by one, detecting no fear in any of them. All had been through so much under Seher’s care that they were all willing to die. Good, Mar thought to himself, they cannot use their fear because they have none.
Mumu, a scarily tall and muscular Harakoan with deep blue skin, gasped and pointed to the sky as Mar was given his greatsword by the young child from the Bay. Soon after, everyone found themselves watching the skies as flaming starfighters fell from the on-going space battle and began to burn up. Close by the remains of an X-wing plummeted nearby, close enough for everyone to observe the pilot eject himself, Mar immediately pointed at one of the nearby soldiers.
“Send scouts to go toward the crash - we may have injured Jedi. If you find any allies, bring them here immediately.” the soldier nodded and rushed away. Mar unsheathed his greatsword and stepped toward the closest slave. He was ready.
Ordain Vonoro Spaceport District
V’yr and Solari stood within the almost entirely empty docking circle of the spaceport, V’yr stood as still as a tree whilst Solari fiddled with his datapad swiftly ingesting the information given by it’s screen. Solari’s mechanical voice box broke the silence.
“General Vorsa. Question. Who did you call to return with us to Seher?” by now V’yr was used to the Councillors inquisitive nature, she smiled faintly before answering the question. “I looked at the list of available Jedi that you provided and selected Droveth. He, like you, is familiar with Seher and it’s surroundings and is well known for his devotion to his House.”
“I know him well, Mar’s apprentice. A good knight and a definite asset.” Solari whirred as he paused before further asking another question “And the other Jedi?”
“Ah, Yes. I also chose - Him.” The Neti beckoned the newcomer over. He was a chocolate-brown fur covered wookie standing just as tall as Solari’s droid-host, the wookie wore a traditional robe and had many knives strapped to his belt alongside two identical lightsaber hilts. “Are you familiar with Lambow, Solari?”
The droid’s head nodded slowly, “but I do not speak Shyriwook.” The Wookie bore his teeth in what Solari assumed to be a smile as the vocater implant on Lambows throat perked up.
“Do not worry. I speak Basic.”