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Stell Chevric

You Can Be My Wingman Anytime

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Peacekeeper Hangar A-3, Dantooine, Melona 3630 BBY...

 

Stell Chevric loved hangars. Something about the smell of fuel and oil, the eternal susurrus of the fitters hurrying about, and then of course the starfighters. Aurek strikefighters, thin darts resting upon their landing gear, bubble cockpits open, just awaiting their pilots. 

 

Her Aurek that she'd flown for the Republic was no more. Her last flight over Korriban had been a little hairy; she'd lost an S-foil to enemy fire, and been pretty torn up. They'd parted the poor girl out, and even if they hadn't, Stell's move to the Peacekeepers would have taken her away. Now she had a new one, if new meant a reconditioned fighter from the war, built fifty years back, cobbled together with parts cannibalized from other ships- the Peacekeepers took what they could get. But it had all the requisite parts. Two mean cannons, capacity for six torpedos, and a snug little seat. All anyone really needed.

 

Stell had named her Void Bitch. It suited her. 

 

The fitters were fueling her up, checking her out. Another Aurek sat next to the Bitch, but this one wasn't familiar. Probably because this one belonged to the cadet that was supposed to be her wingman today. The Commander had stuck her on instructor duty as punishment for crushing some upstart Jedi's nose at a party, which was probably reasonable, and a hell of a lot less than she'd been expecting, but it still meant she had to fly with new pilots. Luckily, the one today was supposed to be pretty decent. Apparently he'd left the Republic Navy with the same rank she had, lieutenant. Probably meant he could fly, at the very least. Yakko Paam, his name was.

 

They were supposed to be escorting a freighter to Ord Mantell. The situation there was still essentially a flaming pile of bantha poodoo, but it was improving slightly, and of course they were the Peacekeepers, so the freighter was full of basic aid things. Foodstuffs, medical supplies, a couple prefab buildings- she wasn't totally sure of the cargo manifest, but it was all supposed to be helpful stuff. Last freighter to go to Ord Mantell, though, had been damaged and reported a pirate attack. That was what she and Paam were there to protect from.

 

She checked over her suit idly, ensuring all the seals were properly locked, which they were. Had her Merr-Sonn's holster locked to her chest, emergency oxygen canisters clipped securely to her waist- all good. Her helmet was dangling from her left hand, the one thing she'd been allowed to keep from her Republic service. Well... not really allowed, but nobody had said anything when she'd taken it.  It was a beat-up thing, scratched and dented, a stylized Corellian sand-panther's silhouette painted on the sides, LT STELL CHEVRIC UJOPC stenciled in over the brow. 

 

Paam should have received a message the day before; he ought to be getting here any time now. Nothing to do until then but wait.

 

Stell didn't like waiting. She also didn't like being late, so she always arrived early. Kind of a quandary there. But hey, he'd be here soon and then they could get off the ground. 

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Yakko Paam    19

“Go to Hangar A3.”

 

“No I don't care if you washed out of fighter training. We need everyone we can get.”

 

So much for doing what he was good at, but given recent events, he wasn't surprised that things were not going as planned. The flight suit Yakko was wearing now had been 'rush-rush' issued, and thankfully he was of fairly average build, so getting one that fitted hadn't been much of a problem, and as he thanked any gods that might listen that he had washed out late enough in the program to be able to actually handle a snubfighter without crashing into the other people in the formation. Not that he was in practice. Or that he had been anything but the worst shot in his class. He'd washed out partly because he'd sometimes broken formation without orders and partly because he'd failed, not placed last in, outright failed every single marksmanship exercise and test. Between those two things....

 

His helmet, a re-conditioned war-surplus like most Peacekeeper equipment, had at least been given a fresh coat of white paint, though it lacked every other identifying mark. The hangar wasn't entirely full. Almost all of the fighters he could see were Aurek models. Good. If his recollection was right, it was a comparatively docile thing to fly. Not that it helped.

 

Finding one particular pair of fighters wasn't all that easy with all the activity in the hangar, but the hastily scribbled orders he'd been given had made the location clear.

 

The two fighters were parked to the side of the hangar and he could see Lieutenant Chevric standing next to it, impatience radiating off her. Yakko checked his chrono, but luckily he wasn't actually late yet. The distance was easily crossed, but he slowed his steps somewhat to have a quick glance at the Aurek that was probably his. Like every other one he'd seen it looked like re-conditioned surplus, but what little experience he had told him that while a lot of the military equipment the Enclave used might be old, at least it was well maintained and cared for. There would be time for a proper walk-around later, but it wasn't like there was much in the way of damage outside the dents and scrapes that came with the use of spacecraft in, well, space. 'Oh gods, please don't let me screw this up.'

 

With that thought, he looked back at the woman. “Lieutenant Chevric? Yakko Paam.”

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Paam showed up, a pretty average-sized, average-looking barve. Nothing special, which is probably good. They hadn’t given her much information on the guy, other than that he was Corellian, like her, and drove bigger ships. Apparently he was qualified to pilot a fighter, though not in combat, and that was about all she needed here.

 

“Yeah, that’s me. We’re an escort today. Low pressure, maybe a couple pirates at most, no big deal.” She reached a thickly-gloved hand out to shake. “I’m Outrigger Leader this trip, you’re Two. I hear you’re not much of a fighter pilot. That’s fine. We’re just out there to scare the vultures away.”

 

And also they were pretty low on fighter pilots. Republic Navy wasn’t downsizing as much as the Army was. Didn’t need footsloggers if they weren’t fighting a proper war, but pilots were always pretty useful. Also, they’d spent a good amount schooling them, so they didn’t just toss ‘em out.

 

“We’re crosstraining everyone on fighters. Haven’t got many of us flyers in the Peacekeepers, so the Commander wants us all trained on whatever we got.” One of the fitters working on the Bitch looked up at her, giving her a wordless thumbs up. All filled up and ready to go. “Alright, hop in. Let’s get in the air.”

 

She turned away, climbing up the orange ladder into the Aurek’s cockpit, affectionately patting the name painted in yellow on its fuselage and its accompanying kill tallies beneath. Dropping into the little seat, she pulled the canopy down and locked it tight, starting through her preflight check routine. There was a bit of flimsi stuck in between the fuel gauge and the oxygen pressure gauge with the checklist upon it; even though she already knew what was there, she unclipped the stylus from her left sleeve and marked each item off.

 

It was all green; flipping the series of toggle switches at the bottom of the control panel, she warmed up the repulsorlifts and the sublight engines, giving the thumbs up with her other hand to one of the fitters, who nodded and pulled the ladder away from the vessel’s side. Pulling her helmet on and securing the breathmask across her nose and mouth, she sealed it to the neck of her suit and flipped on the comms. “You reading me, Two? We got a couple minutes ‘till the freighter we’re babysitting gets off the ground. Let’s get you some refresher time in a fighter on the way to the jump point.”

 

Engaging the repulsors, Stell brought the Bitch off the ground and out of the hangar, engaging sublights as soon as she cleared the building and shooting the vessel up into the sky. Like any proper fighter pilot, she’d dialed the inertial compensator back to 95 percent, and the acceleration pushed her helmeted head back into the headrest- which put a massive grin on her face. There was a reason she’d gone for piloting starfighters.

 

Figured I’d give Yakko this time to explore getting back in a starfighter. Do what you will, and you can end up on them coming to the jump point

:D

 

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Yakko Paam    19

Yakko quickly fell back into the routines that had been drummed into him in flight school and during his time with the Navy. Quick walkaround, no leaking fuel or any visible damage that wasn't cosmetic, inside the systems all powered up and the controlboard showed no issues.

 

As soon as the ladders had been pulled away and the fuel-lines disconnected, he fired up the repulsorlifts and carefully moved the fighter out of the hangar. He hadn't flown anything this small and fragile in a while, so by the time he was out and he fired up the sublight drive to follow Outrigger Leader, he dearly wanted to wipe the sweat off his face. Following her proved to be easy even for him, as they were going straight up into space. Once he saw the curvature of Dantooine recede below and behind him and change into the silver-dotted black of space, he once again remembered and understood the appeal of flying a glorified gnat. They took a fairly straigh-tline course, but it still gave him the opportunity to get used to flying an Aurek again. After receiving permission to do so, he slowly began to reacquaint himself with flying a fighter in space. Nothing overly extravagant, but just enough so that he had a feel for it again and to begin teaching his instincts that what he was flying now moved a whole lot faster than the Providence, a Valor-Class cruiser and his last assignment in the Navy.

He hesitated for a moment before activating the fire-control computer for another systems test. He really, really hoped that he wouldn't have to put his abysmal Starfighter marksmanship to the test, but if recent experience was any indication, he would certainly have to.

 

As the two fighters approached the jump point, he slowly began feeling at least somewhat comfortable.

 

“Outrigger Lead, this is Two. Request hyperspace co-ordinates.”

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“Transmitting, Two. We got three jumps, two little ones, one tiny one. Looking at about three hours travel time. Here to Garqi, Garqi to Borosk, Borosk to Ord Mantell. Hope you brought a holobook.” Stell hadn’t- but she did have snacks. Anyway, she preferred to nap in hyperspace. The star-streaks were a little nauseating.

 

The freighter they were escorting was just coming into view up ahead, a bright blip on her sensor screen. Transponder read it as a CEC medium freighter, the Obese Nek. That had to be some sort of joke, because those things weren’t that slow. Corellia didn't make slow ships.

 

“That you, Outrigger Squadron?” came the staticky voice of the Nek’s captain over the comms. “Ready to go when you are.”

 

“Yeah, that’s us.” Stell’s navicomp beeped- course calculated.  She locked it in, punching in the orders to calculate the next jump once they got out. Shutting down sublights, she began to warm up the hyperdrive. “Two, we’re going first. On my mark.” A quick retro burst arrested her forward travel, leaving the Aurek floating in the void. "Three... two... mark." 

 

Activating the hyperdrive, the stars elongated, and Stell yawned. She only had four or five packets of snacks with her- she'd have to husband her resources well.

 


 

The navicomputer pinged at Stell, jerking her awake with a start. Controls were locked while in hyperspace, which was a damn good thing, or her knee smacking into the stick would have thrown her into a gas giant or something else equally stupid and dangerous. They were almost at Ord Mantell- finally. The first two jumps had been uneventful, as had this last one, except she'd run out of salted tuber crisps. Aside from that tragedy, all was well in the galaxy. 

 

She tightened her crash webbing, loosened earlier when she'd decided to sleep. No use for it in hyperspace, after all- any accident there and best case scenario the Void Bitch was just a flattened disk of durasteel with some previously-human organic jam inside, spinning around in an asteroid field for the rest of time. The navicomp pinged again, and the stars turned back into dots, pushing her against the webbing; the controls came live again. Wrapping gloved hands around the stick, she activated the sublights again. The pirates had been reported as striking just after realspace transition, which was pretty standard pirate routine. Catch 'em unawares. Classy stuff. Taking that into account, she set her sensors to scan a bit wider than normal. Not picking up anything just yet. "Two, everything green? Picking up anything on sensors?" 

 

With her left hand she checked her cannons for power- everything there was good. Torpedo launchers showed loaded and ready. Stell had never been to Ord Mantell before, but she'd heard it was a rough place. 

 

The Nek blinked back into existence. At the same time, a contact popped up on her sensors. Two- no, three. Wonderful"Two, I'm reading three contacts approximately three hundred kilometers past you and closing. S-foils in attack position, protect the freighter. Nek, get those engines burning, let's get planetside." Stell opened the S-foils, scowling; rolling the Bitch over the freighter, she got ready for a fight.

 

You got some latitude here- you can describe our pirates, all that stuff. Sorry for the time skip, but I didn't think three hours of hyperspace travel would be very fun to write.

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Yakko Paam    19

“Acknowledged, Lead.”

 

Yakko cursed every god in existence as he frantically tried to remember how to raise the shields. He sighed with relief as he found the switch and the shield generator hummed at maximum capacity. The pirates were coming at them from directly head-on, so he maximized his frontal shields. Next he fired up the targeting computer and thanked the same gods that it was a relatively new model, so it was more capable of compensating for the quick moves that were sure to come. S-Foils were locked and he readjusted his position in his seat and followed Lead as they bore in towards the enemy. At this point he could see what they were, and to his surprise, all three were Mk.VI Supremacy-Class starfighters. In one of those strange instances he had time to remember that while the Empire had always been less diligent about where their surplus equipment ended up as long as it was aimed at someone else, the Imps had pulled literally everything that could fly off the salvage yards during the final Republic attack.

 

He checked his scanners and could see that the profiles weren't quite the same as those in the warbook, they were all a bit slower, either not in very good repair or somewhat modified. With that in mind, he set his lasers to rapid fire, a mode in which they'd be shorter ranged, less accurate and each bolt was lower powered but where each cannon fired a lot more of them. He was under no illusion that anything but spray and pray was the order of the day for him.

 

The problem was, those things generally weren't equipped with hyperdrive, so there had to be either a base or a carrier nearby.

 

“Lead, this is Two, I show our targets as three Imp interceptors, Variant Mk.VI type. Can you see anything else?”

 

Spoiler

Okay, Wookiepedia wasn't entirely helpful here, saying nothing either way, but if we go by Star Wars bad guy standards, those Mk.VI shouldn't have hyperdrive.

 

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Supremacy-class starfighters. Well, not too bad. Those things were essentially toys. Barely any shields... but they did have power. "Copy that, Two. Don't let them get behind you, and we'll be fine." Of course, there were three of them. "Nothing in sensor range so far. Maybe they're based planetside." 

 

She opened up the throttle, coming up a few kilometers from Yakko's Aurek. Yup, they were Imp fighters, all right. "Nek, we're engaging enemy fighters. Keep me posted, will you?" she commed, once more diverting some power from guns to sensors, trying to get some more range out of them. "Copy, Outrigger Lead." came the freighter's response; at the same time, Stell picked up another contact on the sensors.

 

"Reading something else- shows up as a SoroSuub bulk freighter." That would be the carrier Yakko had been looking for. Pirates generally didn't have proper carriers, so they modded up whatever they could get. Bulk freighters were cheap, and they could fit a hell of a lot within them, and were thus ideal for ad hoc carrier duty. And that meant strategy had to change- if they killed the fighters, they killed some fighters, but whoever was in charge of these pirates would be in the freighter. That'd cripple their operation, at least for a little bit. 

 

Well, first things first. The fighters were still approaching. Fingers fluttering over the console, she recorded a message. "Jedi Peacekeepers. Break off now." Short but sweet; Stell set that to cycle across the general short-range comms frequencies. And yet still, the fighters came on. It wasn't like they weren't here to attack, they were Imp fighters- they had literally no possible utility aside from shooting things. But she had to try. Peacekeepers, it was in the name.

 

Switching back to the Peacekeeper channel, she sighed. "If they close to torpedo range, hit 'em. Don't take any chances." These Imps didn't have missiles, so they'd be easy prey until they closed to cannon range. She activated the targeting computer, toggling from cannon to torpedoes. They were closing rapidly, very rapidly. Warning hadn't helped at all. "Then we take out the freighter."

 

The computer pinged. They were in range. Plenty of time for a nice solid lock. The lead of the three was a good target; selecting that one, she watched on the sensors as he suddenly went crazy trying to avoid it. The other two broke off as well, spreading out in all three dimensions. Could see them now, just barely within visual range. Pulling the Bitch up, she kept on the fighter, until she got a solid lock tone, and then she sent a torpedo on its way. It streaked away, and he'd be occupied with that for a few seconds; accelerating, she chose one of the other fighters. A bit close for torpedoes now, at least in her mind, so she switched to cannons. Simple stuff. 

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Yakko Paam    19

He saw the explosion of the torpedo out of the corner of his eye, but barely acknowledged it. He was too busy trying to line up a shot of his own. The computer locked in and he fired almost by reflex. He'd done so at roughly the same range as Chevric, but a few seconds later. That gave the pirate a bit more time to try and evade, but in the end the torpedo smashed into the fighter's hull roughly where the starboard wing met the cockpit section. Yakko felt the high of his first kill. As much as he liked flying the big stuff, he realized that moment that the fighter pilots had a point when they described this part of combat to him. Usually shortly before the whole scene degenerated into a barfight.

 

On his scanners Yakko could see that the one remaining fighter had turned around and was trying to go back to his carrier ship. Clearly they hadn't expected the freighter to be escorted. The third pirate was just barely within range of his cannons, so Yakko pushed the throttle just that tiny bit further forward to close the distance, praying that the computer could give him a lock.

 

Eventually the targeting recitcle turned green and he fired a five-second burst of laser bolts. Much to no one's surprise, none of them even came close. That moment he envied those guys who could supposedly hit a target no more than two metres wide without a computer. Yakko decided not to let this worry him and instead he fired again. And again. And again.

 

Only with his last burst did he hit, but it was not a kill shot. Instead one of the bolts damaged one of the engines, because he could see the fighter swerving to the left and 'down' from it's plane of flight before the pilot could compensate for the change in thrust.

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Whoever these barves were, they sure as hell weren't the Empire's finest in those fighters. Probably because said finest had died screaming in fire over Kaas and Korriban and Bastion, with an Aurek on their tail. They'd been hard bastards, and these pirates... well, they weren't. 

 

Not like they weren't good, though. This guy Stell was chasing was pushing his little fighter to the limit, and he was doing a decent job of it, but instead of trying to get himself to the superior position, he was just keeping away from her. That was how a lot of people thought, evade and then attack, and it was a lot of what they'd beat out of her on Prefsbelt. And while he could evade for a while, he couldn't do it forever.

 

He rolled hard and then pulled planetward- but just a little bit too wide. Stell cut him off, cannons blazing, and the fighter sort of just came apart, a perfunctory detonation wiping its portside wing from existence. It tumbled away, detonating a couple seconds later, her visor auto-dimming to protect her eyes. A good, quick kill. None of that messy stuff. She pretended like that just meant she was skilled, but if she was honest, you could never really tell what was gonna happen, and sometimes you messed up.

 

And then , as she shot past the wreckage, she saw another blip appear on her sensors. Distress beacon. 

 

Ahh, stang.

 

Barve had ejected. Which, cool, she hadn't killed another person, just a fighter- but honestly she hadn't been broken up about it. Pirates were scum. And now she had a pirate floating in space, helpless, and no longer a combatant, which meant she had to get him picked up. Which was a headache. 

 

She'd deal with that later. "Good kill, Two. You got that last barve handled?" Stell had seen him get a hit in, but he was out of sight now. That was generally enough to get the upper hand in a void fight like this, but it'd be real bad if it wasn't, and Yakko bought it on this mission. "Nek, I hate to do this to you, but one of these bastards ejected. Gonna need you to come back and pick him up."

 

"Acknowledged, Outrigger Lead." That didn't sound very happy, but of course it wouldn't. Nobody wanted a pirate on board their vessel, even bound up real tight. And that meant they were going to have to figure out what to do with the barve once they got to Mantell. Wonderful. 

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Yakko Paam    19

 

“I got him, Lead. Juuuust where I want him.”

 

 Even he couldn't miss this time. Two bolts slammed into the engine and his opponent was turned into a cloud of gas. Yakko checked his scopes and saw that the only contact still marked as hostile was the freighter.

 

Going by the flight profile, he was legging it, and probably already calculating the jump to lightspeed. Chevric was too far away, so he pushed the throttle to the stops and went in pursuit. “One, this is two. Their carrier is making a break for it, attempting an intercept.”

 

He knew that he had one more torpedo, so he set it to proximity blast and tried to get a lock on the engine compartment of he fleeing pirate freighter.

 

“Unknown freighter, heave to and prepare to be boarded, or I will blow up everything aft of your main power core.”

 

Spoiler

Short, but RL is really biting this week.

 

Edited by Yakko Paam

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Another one down- well done on the new barve's part. Shame they had him driving the big stuff, but they needed good people there, too, she supposed. He was going after the freighter at something close to full speed, as far as Stell could see. She looped back around to do the same, although she was a bit far. "Two, we can't board that thing. There's... stang, only seven of us." she said over the Peacekeeper frequency- couldn't let the pirates know that they only had five crew on the Nek"Gonna have to disable it and leave it for Republic authorities, or vape it if they keep fighting. If there's any question, shoot to kill."

 

And that sounded real weird to say, as a so-called Peacekeeper, but that was how it had to be. Couldn't have Paam get himself killed trying to take some pirate schutta alive, that wouldn't be any good, and less pirates meant more peace. They couldn't all be Jedi, after all. 

 

"Outrigger Lead, we're about to pick this guy up. Any more we need to worry about? I only got two sets of binders on this whole damn ship." crackled the captain of the Nek. Another good point- shit, what if the freighter barves bailed out? That was gonna be a mess. Just everything. Everything was a mess. Motto of the Peacekeepers should be "undermanned and underpowered", or some poodoo like that. After that party fiasco, and now this, and everything else she'd heard... had she signed up for a maglev wreck? 

 

At least it's a well intentioned maglev wreck. And you're still flying.

 

"Not yet, Nek." Stell clicked the switch on her dash over to torpedoes, activating the targeting computer and bringing the sight humming over her shoulder to drop in front of her visor. Freighter was too damn far, but maybe she'd be able to get a shot in, depending on how they reacted to Paam and how fast their navicomp was. 

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Yakko Paam    19

Yakko was too busy with catching up to the freighter to beat himself for falling back into old habits. Instead he decided that he at least wanted to stop the freighter. “Old habits die hard, Lead.”

 

He was, barely, close enough for his lasers to reach the aft portion of the freighter. Given the situation, he couldn't risk them getting away. So he fired his lasers even though he was under no illusion of hitting anything at this range and sure enough, nine out of ten of his shots went wide, but it at least distracted them and made them try to evade his fire, and then he had a bit of luck when they swerved around to starboard, showing him their aft end and allow him a near perfect shot. Even a blind bantha couldn't miss now.

 

As soon as the computer had locked the shot, he fired. The projectile crossed the distance in seconds and sure enough, it detonated hard against the weak shields of the freighter. As it was still set to proximity blast, most of the damage was deflected by the shields, but they were slowing down a bit, so it had to have taken a bite out of their drive. He closed, firing his lasers as he went. What few came even close added more damage. And then.... “Two. Lead. Am I seeing things or are they really heading to the planet?” He was too professional to hope that he'd taken piece of their hyperdrive, but still, he would take what he could get. Maybe they'd find out what was going on after all.

 

 

 

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Yeah, that freighter appeared to be going towards the planet, which was also just absolutely wonderful. There was still something of a civil war down there, and if they weren't the sort of barves that just popped out of space and took a ship at the system jump point and ran with it, then they were probably at least loosely affiliated with the separatist movement down there. 

 

"That they are, Two. If they land in separatist-held territory, we can't do anything." she sent tersely, cutting her shields to minimum and rerouting the power to her sublight engines to try and catch up. "Nek, far as I can see, you're clear, so get planetside quick once you got the barve." The Bitch, bless her fusion-powered heart, was catching up. Paam had hit the pirate vessel, so it was slowing down real quick. Almost in range...

 

Back to general frequency. "Unidentified SoroSuub freighter, heave to immediately." The threat was implied, and as the targeting computer began to scream at her, they'd be hearing about the same on board. Sensors were reading it better too- looked heavily modified, cargo bays opened wide up to accommodate fighters, as of course it would be. Paam had definitely hit her, tearing up one of her engines. "Two, I've got a lock, stay clear." she said, back to Peacekeeper frequency. 

 

She still gave them a couple seconds to comply, but they didn't. And so she loosed a proton torpedo, streaking off into the void; a second later, she saw a brief flash. Sensors said a hit, but no speed decrease. Another one, another streak, another flash. No speed decrease again, but something came over general comms from the freighter, a high-pitched male voice. "Stang, okay! Okay! We surrender!"

 

Stell felt the clunk under her of the torpedo autoloader cycling, and the targeting computer was still shrieking its lock tone. "Cut your damn engines then or I'll take them off." She had three more torpedoes, and sensors were telling her that the freighter had no shields anymore, so that would be easily enough to tear it to little tiny shreds. 

 

"Okay!" shrieked the voice, and then Stell saw the glow of the vessel's engines blink out. So that was progress.

 

Damn pirates. Haven't even got the balls to keep fighting. 

 

She put her shields back up, just in case of surprise attack, and maneuvered over to the vessel. "Two, go back and take the Nek down. Fort Garnik is expecting us. I'll take this sack of poodoo down." Yeah, her torpedoes had done a good amount of damage to the the freighter. And now she had to escort it down, because they'd decided to surrender before being totally disabled. But hey, it worked, didn't it? "Unidentified SoroSuub, we're going to Fort Garnik spaceport. Proceed at forty-five percent sublight power, and if I detect your weapons powering up, I will shoot to kill."

 

"Understood." came back the response. Their engines fired up again, coming down towards the planet. It was pretty close now, and Garnik was on the side of Ord Mantell currently rotating towards them, so it would be a short journey. And it was- a short, uneventful journey, Stell just slightly behind the freighter. As the were about to enter atmosphere, a new voice crackled over the general frequency. "This is Fort Garnik control. Void Bitch, you're cleared for landing. Freighter, identify yourself."

 

"Fort Garnik, this is Void Bitch, bringing in a pirate carrier." The Aurek shook as they made the transition into atmosphere- another problem with a little fighter like this. By civilian standards, it was a rough entry, and you wouldn't get anything else in a fighter. "They-"

 

"Oh, stang-" interrupted the freighter, and suddenly there was a detonation and a streak of smoke spiraling to the ground. It had exploded.

 

Yeah, stang is right.

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Yakko Paam    19

He was too far away to see exactly what had happened, but by the time he handed the Nek off to the spaceport and had watched her land, the pirates had already crashed. They were too far away from seppie territory for the crash to have been caused by a MANPAD weapon, so the decrepid piece of junk had given out from battle damage. No great loss to the galaxy there. Still, no one deserved to die like that.

 

“Lead, this is two. I've handed the Nek over and they got down fine. I'm coming over to the crashsite to joined you.”

 

He quickly checked his instruments. “Scopes are clear. Right now we are the only things flying. My threat receiver is quiet, all I get are Republic-make sensors.”

 

Using a snubfighter the distance between the base itself and the crash was covered quickly and soon he circled around the funeral pyre of the pirate carrier. From four-hundred metres in the air it looked like any number of crashed ships

he'd seen in the war. A short distance away he could see the Bitch, and he decided to form up.

 

As he did so, he couldn't help but wonder. 'Where does that leave us?'

 

He ran a few scans of the Wreckage, and soon he was glad he did. "Huh, that's odd...."

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