The three ships landed at the secret base without incident. The troops were loaded and they were all briefed one last time.
Pep and Timtam would come out of light speed just inside the range of the Imperial base’s sensor range. They would ignore all calls from the base to ensure the patrol ship had to come out and check them out up close. Once the patrol ship started out they would slowly pull away luring the ship out farther and farther.
The second part of the plan was that once the patrol ship was far enough away the other two ships piloted by Ceecee and Granic would come out of hyper space and shut down all their systems. This would allow them to coast right up to the base without warning and fly into their hangar bay to begin the assault.
The ships left the base and they all jumped into hyper space to begin the assault. They were all very confident the plan would work.
The Captain of the Imperial Star Destroyer stood on the bridge waiting. Vult Vulla wanted to be on the bridge when they entered hyper space. In her vision that’s where she was when they began the attack. She had insisted on not changing anything in her vision.
The elevator door opened and Vult Vulla stepped out accompanied by her two attendants.
“I apologies Captain for my lateness. Is everything ready for us to begin?” she asked.
“Yes Vult, everything is ready.” she thought he would be angry with her but he just gave her a slight smile and gave the order to proceed with the jump too light speed.
There was the usual whine of the engines and the sudden thrust forward. The ship hurdled through space with the stars flying past like streaks of light against the pitch black of the void.
“It won’t be long before we have our prey Vult. It’s just a matter of time now.” the Captain said as he sat down.
“Were you able to warn the station of the Rebel assault?” she asked.
“I thought it best not to warn them. If the Rebels sense a trap they may try to make a run for it and this Jedi is too valuable to me to chance that.” he said calmly.
“There may be a substantial loss of life Captain before we get there.” Vult sounded concerned.
“The decision has been made. We all half to make sacrifices to win this conflict. One tiny base is reasonable price to pay for catching this Rebel group. They have been too much trouble to take chances. There are unconfirmed reports that they may have several Jedi in this group. We need to catch them or kill them, there is no other way to handle this.” he said.
“I suppose you’re right Captain, anyway it’s your call.” she said.
Vult Vulla stepped to the side by her attendants. She would let the Captain tend to his duties uninterrupted.
“Well here goes nothing.” Pep said. She eased the controls back on the Hyper drive causing the ship to emerge just out side of the Imperial bases sensors.
“So far so good.” Timtam breathed a sigh of relief.
Pep slowly started to move the ship closer so they would be picked up on the sensors. Sure enough as soon as they were in range the base hailed them. “Unidentified ship, this is Imperial tracking base four two seven, please identify yourself.” the voice on the speaker said.
Pep kept moving the ship closer.
“I repeat, identify yourself.” the voice asked again.
Pep brought the ship to a halt. “Now we just have to hope they’ll take the bait.” Pep said looking at Timtam. It was a simple mission they kept telling themselves. Nothing to worry about.
“What’s that blinking light?” Timtam asked Pep.
Pep looked at the control panel and then back at Timtam. “I have no idea.”
They both looked at the light, the ship was pieced together from what was left over from the ships they had captured. Ceecee said it would be able to fly anywhere with no problem but the light kept blinking. The words over the light had been worn down long ago so they had no idea what it meant.
“Ceecee said it was safe.” Pep said reassuring Timtam.
“Probably nothing.” Timtam replied.
The challenge from the Imperial base was repeating over and over. They saw the patrol ship come out from behind the base and start moving closer.
“Okay, time to go.” Timtam said.
“Not yet, I want them to get closer.” Pep said.
“Do you think you should?” Timtam asked uncertain.
“If they don’t follow us the whole mission will be scrubbed. We have to make sure they get close enough to become interested.” Pep said.
“Okay, if you think so.” Pep replied nervously.
“This is patrol craft One One Seven, power down and prepare to be boarded.” said the voice coming from the patrol ship.
“Okay, now it’s time to go.” Pep said. She pushed the controls and the ship quickly turned to port and sped off. They both smiled at each other. The ship was working fine and they were actually doing their part in the battle.
“ Okay gang here we go.” Ceecee said.
“Right behind you Ceecee.” Granic said confirming his position. Both ships dropped out of hyper space at the same time.
“Power off now.” Ceecee said into the comlink. There would be no more communications between the two ships as they coasted in without power. It would make it nearly impossible for the Imperial base’s sensors to pick them up as long as they didn’t have any systems on line. They had carefully calculated the trajectory so they would be in a direct line to the base.
“Here we go everybody.” Ceecee took her hands off the controls and let the ship drift right up to the docking bay of the base. The first ship slipped through the magnetic field of the opening and slammed down hard on the deck showering sparks and debris as it slid to a stop. Granic’s ship followed with the same results. The doors opened and the Rebel troops poured out and ran to the docking bay control room to seize control. Once they controlled this room they could lock out the patrol craft and it’s crew.
Matt’s squad piled out and headed to the emergency stairway. They didn’t want to risk being trapped in the elevator before they reached the top. Matt lead the way followed by the Rebel troops that Ragg had trained. It was a hell of a time to find out just how good they were.
A shot just missed him from above. It seemed the stairway wasn’t empty. Two troopers behind Matt returned fire. Neither one was able to get the Imperial soldier above from where they were.
“Cover me!” Matt yelled as he continued up the stairs. The Rebel troops kept up a continuous volley of fire long enough to allow Matt to reach the level just below the Imperial soldier. Matt leaned out over the rail and threw a grenade up to the next level just as the soldier leaned out. The grenade went off right in front of the soldier showering his remains down the stairway.
“Let’s go !” Matt yelled as he charged up the stairs to the top.
Mykala and Ragg ran side by side down the hall. They had already encountered several Imperial soldiers on the way down to the crew quarters and only expected to find more.
Three Imperial soldiers came out into the hall and began to fire their blasters at them. Mykala stopped and blocked the first shots with her light saber. Ragg dropped prone and fired several shots back hitting one. Two more Imperials popped out and began firing. Ragg’s troopers had caught up and began to fire back. Mykala slowly made her way forward deflecting a half dozen shots from the Imperial soldiers. She pulled her blaster and fired as she advanced. Mykala’s progress down the hall inspired the Rebel troops to press the attack home. One of the Rebels was able to throw a grenade far enough down the hall to explode behind the Imperial troops causing several to be killed. Mykala yelled and urged the troops forward as she concentrated on blocking as much of the Imperial fire as she could. Ragg was now in the lead just behind Mykala firing as he ran. He hit two more as they reached the end of the hall. It was a dead end that ran into another hallway.
“You go left and I’ll take the right.” Ragg said to Mykala. She nodded in response. It was the first time he had seen her in combat. Her face was twisted in anger. She was a warrior and had her fighting face on. He knew she had grown up on a war torn planet and fought in a gang. She had been killing longer than him and he gave her the respect of one that had more experience than he did.
Bronski had followed Tarin down the hall. They Imperial soldiers had heard the fighting and closed and locked the door. Bronski new Tarin could easily bypass just about any security lock in existence. Being an assassin she had to know how to get into places with ease. There was a key pad on a simple panel outside the door. Tarin crept quietly up to the panel and looked at it closely.
“Well, can you open it or not?” Bronski asked.
“Just give me a minute to check it out.” She replied.
All at once the door opened right in front of them. There were ten Imperial soldiers standing with their weapons drawn. Apparently they didn’t know that Bronski and Tarin were right there. They must have been trying to mount a counter attack. Bronski and Tarin just looked at the surprised soldiers for a second. Then Bronski started shooting with his scatter caster blowing big holes in five of the soldiers. His armored vest absorbed two of the rounds fired by the surviving soldiers. Not having time to reload he grabbed the barrel of his gun and started swinging it like a club smashing one of the soldiers in the face and striking another with a downward stroke in the neck with a loud cracking sound. A third soldier grabbed Bronski’s gun but before he could pull on it Tarin had shot him with the laser built into her wrist gauntlet. The soldier still had hold of the gun as he fell causing Bronski to loose his grip. The last soldier aimed at Tarin but Bronski had thrown his huge knife at the man striking him in the chest before he could fire.
“Well looks like the doors open.” Tarin said. She wasn’t a close combat fighter. She wore no armor and wasn’t really in her element in this situation.
“Yeah, guess you should fall back and send up the troops.” Bronski said as he pulled his gun from the dead soldiers hand.
“I think you’re right Buck. Don’t get yourself shot up too much old man.” Tarin smiled and started off down the hall.
“These pussies can’t fight. You go on, I’ll be fine.” Bronski said.
The patrol ship began to slow down. They had been chasing Pep and Timtam for about fifteen minutes.
“I think they know it’s a trick Timtam, they’re slowing down. I think they may start to go back and help. Those shuttles can’t match the fire power of that patrol ship.” Pep said.
“What should we do?” Timtam asked Pep.
“We need to keep them interested in us.” Pep said. “ When they turn to head back we’ll chase them and you can try to knock out an engine with the guns.”
Timtam suddenly smiled. “We’re doing it. We’re going to be helping them for a change.”
The patrol ship turned and started back towards the base. Pep swung the small ship around as well and began the chase. It was easy to keep up with the patrol ship since their ship had been built to out run it. Timtam began firing at the engines of the patrol ship as soon as they were in range. The turret guns on their ship didn’t pack as much of a punch as the ones on the Stella One but Timtam was making every shot count. Suddenly the patrol ship started to return fire with it’s two gun turrets.
“We have to turn back Timtam, this ship only has shielding on the rear.” Pep yelled.
“No, get closer, I can take them.” Timtam shouted back.
Pep sped the ship closer to the patrol ship as Timtam began to exchange fire with the patrol ships turrets.
“Swing under the bottom.” Timtam yelled.
Pep realized what Timtam wanted her to do. By swinging below the patrol ship only the turret there could get a shot at them thus neutralizing the fire from the top turret completely. It only took a few well placed shots before Timtam hit the mark blowing up the lower turret.
“Fall back and go high.” Timtam and Pep were working like a veteran team. Pep knew Timtam had been in dog fights before but never spoke of them because it might be seen as her taking the glory from Lionette. The kills made in the Blood Claw were tallied to Lionette and Lionette alone. Timtam would have been regarded as an extension of Lionette and nothing more.
Matt and his squad had cleared out most of the upper level by now. They had taken several casualties in the heavy fighting but now controlled everything but the sensor arrays in the very top level. His men had fought hard but the toughest part was about to begin. They had been fighting in a long hallway that lead to the sensors above. There wasn’t any cover and the Imperials had barricaded the far end of the hall.
“ I’m going down the hallway and try to get close enough to get some grenades behind that damned barricade. I want you to give me as much cover fire as you can.” Matt said to the Rebel Sargent.
“That’s a long way Matt. You sure about this?” the Sargent asked.
“You give me that cover fire and I’ll make it there I can guarantee it.” Matt said.
The Sargent nodded as Matt picked up the back pack full of grenades.
Matt waited for the Rebel troops to start firing before he started to run up the hall. As soon as he started he was hit in the leg and fell. He looked up at the Sargent. He was signaling Matt to come back. Matt got up and started down the hallway towards the barricade again. Both sides fired frantically back and forth taking casualties. Matt was half running half hopping down the hallway firing his blaster rifle as he went. A second shot hit him in the shoulder knocking him down again. He lay motionless looking up for a second before he realized he was close enough to try. Matt threw one of the grenades at the barricade timing it perfectly to go off at eye level. The explosion knocked back the majority of defenders giving Matt just enough time to pull the pin on a second grenade. This time he stuffed the live grenade back in the back pack and swinging it over his head let it fly towards the barricade. The explosion rocked the whole upper level. The resulting blast blew Matt back down the hall towards his team. As the smoke cleared two of Matt’s troops ran out and knelt down next to him to give him cover fire if they needed it. Matt pulled himself up on one elbow and shook his head. He looked at where he had thrown the pack. There was nothing left but smoke and fire. He sat up and smiled. His happiness didn’t last long. He noticed the smoke was being sucked into the next room, slowly at first and then a little faster.
“Help me up, we got to get out of here!” Matt yelled.
There was a hissing sound coming from the next room. The explosion had ruptured the hull causing the smoke to be sucked out into space.
“Hurry, run!” Matt didn’t have to say it again. The troopers could hear it by now and they all knew they had just seconds to get down to the next level and behind the blast doors.
Ragg and his troops had cut off the remaining Imperial soldiers from any chance of reaching any of the other levels. They were trapped in the bottom level below the reactor.
“All we need to do now is wait for Bronski to arrive so he can blow up the reactor.” Ragg said.
“I’m going to make a quick sweep of this level. I can’t shake the feeling something is not right.” Mykala said.
She ran back to the main stairway and stood motionless. Something wasn’t right, she could sense it. Something was about to happen, something big. The feeling was getting more intense. She looked around frustrated.
Mykala grabbed her comm link. “Ceecee, Granic, get ready to take off quick. I got a real bad feeling about this whole operation and we may have to make a run for it so be ready.”
“What is it?” Granic asked.
“I’m not sure but just be ready.” Mykala insisted.
Bronski’s men had fought their way to the main control room. The door was wedged open by the body of one of the Imperial soldiers.
“We need some of these guys so nobody shoot unless I say so.” Bronski said.
“Anybody in there want to surrender?” Bronski yelled.
“Let me handle this.” Tarin said.
Bronski bowed slightly and motioned for her to go ahead.
Tarin stepped into the hall and walked confidently up to the door.
The Rebel troops looked at each other and then at Bronski. They didn’t know who Tarin was.
Bronski saw the expression on their faces.
“Watch and learn boys.” he new Tarin would take care of this part.
Tarin stood with her back against the wall just outside of the doorway. She took the buckle off of her belt and gave it a twist. A set of tiny rotor blades came out and started to spin. She tossed the tiny craft into the room and flipped a switch on her gauntlet that opened a small view screen. Tarin watched the screen. It was picking up what the tiny craft was seeing in the infra red spectrum. As each Imperial soldier was detected she pushed a button on the gauntlet to mark him. Once the craft finished it flew back out and landed in her hand. Tarin closed the rotors back up and fastened it back on her belt. She then looked at Bronski and held up four fingers.
“There’s four of them inside.” he whispered to his troops.
Tarin pressed some buttons on the gauntlet and then spun around crossing in front of the open doorway. She fired four small darts into the room and continued spinning until she stopped on the other side of the door.
“That should do it. Follow me.” Bronski ordered as he charged into the room.
The Rebel troopers were surprised to see all four Imperial soldiers laying unconscious on the floor. As the went to secure the soldiers they noticed each one had a small dart stuck in their neck. The small craft had located each man and Tarin had programed each ones location into the homing darts locator.
Bronski turned to see Tarin standing in the doorway smiling with her arms crossed. “Anything else I can do for you Buck?”
Timtam opened fire on the upper turret of the patrol ship. They had increased the power to the shields on the rear of the ship after the bottom turret had been knocked out.
“It’s no good Pep, go back underneath them and I’ll try to get one of their engines.” Timtam yelled.
Pep’s heart was racing but in a good way. They were doing it. They were actually beating the patrol ship. They were winning. Matt would be so proud of her when they got back.
Suddenly an alarm started going off.
“What’s that?” Timtam asked.
Pep looked frantically at the control panel.
“I don’t know !” Pep yelled back.
Timtam recognized the sound now. “Check the sensors !” she yelled.
Pep looked down and saw a huge image suddenly appear. She looked up towards the base just in time to see a gigantic Imperial ship come out of hyper space behind the base.
“Oh no…” Pep said quietly.
Timtam saw the ship now. It dwarfed the base by comparison.
“Pep turn around! Pep!” Timtam yelled.
Matt and his men had made it to the stairway and were taking them two and three at a time down to the next floor and to safety. Just as the first trooper had made it through the door they heard the terrible sound of metal being twisted and torn apart. The walls of the upper floor were giving way. The air was being sucked up the stairway like a hurricane. The men were hanging on to the railing and pulling them selves down to the next floor through the torrent of wind rushing past them. Each one grabbed the next as they pulled each other through the door. Loose wall panels and debris flew upward past the men as they continued to help one another through the door. Matt was the last one in as they closed it with a resounding clang.
“Okay men we can’t stop now. We have to get to the hangar bay and back onto the shuttles. The others are probably waiting for us so let’s head out.” Matt said. The two men that had given him cover each grabbed one of his arms and helped Matt down to the next level.
He had been wounded but nothing life threatening. He couldn’t stop worrying about Pep and how she was making out.
Bronski and his team had made it to the lower levels and linked up with Ragg. Tarin had taken a few of Bronski’s men to help her get the Imperial soldiers that she had knocked out back onto the shuttles that Ceecee and Granic were piloting.
“What’s the situation here Ragg?” Bronski asked.
“The remaining Imperials are trapped below on the next level. We jammed the hatch so they can’t get out.” Ragg said.
“Good work, take the rest of your men and head back to the shuttles. Find Mykala and make sure she gets on board. I’m going to blow up the cooling relays to the reactor. That should give us about five minutes to get clear.” Bronski said.
“Okay Bronski, just make sure you hurry up. I don’t want you blowing up with the station.” Ragg said. He turned and motioned to his men to follow. They all ran out of the hall and towards the hangar.
Once Bronski was sure they were gone he made his way down the hall to the reactor. He opened his pack and quickly attached the explosives to the cooling relays. After arming the devises he started out of the room.
Suddenly he was struck by a crushing pain in his chest. He fell to his knees and screamed in pain. He looked around to see who had shot him but there wasn’t anyone there. Then he realized it was his heart. The pain was coming from inside his chest.
“Not now, not like this.” he thought. He lay there for a minute as the pain subsided. He slowly got up on his knees. He saw his hands shaking. It was his heart,years of stress and bad living were catching up with him. He forced himself to stand and take a step.
“Not like this, I ain’t dying this way.” he said to himself again. The pain was passing now. Bronski pushed through the pain and headed for the hangar.
Ragg and his troops had found Mykala and were entering the hangar. They saw Matt’s men filing into the first shuttle that was piloted by Ceecee. It looked like Matt had been hurt but he was being taken care of by two of his men. Ragg directed his men and the rest of Bronski’s troops to board the second shuttle. Tarin was standing next to the shuttle.
“Where’s Bronski ?” she asked.
“He should be right behind us.” Mykala said to Tarin. They both stopped and looked at the hangar entrance for him.
“He should have been here by now.” Ragg said.
“I’m going after him.” Tarin said as she ran towards the entrance.
Just then Bronski walked out and into the hangar.
“What the hell are you doing?” Bronski yelled at Tarin as she saw him enter.
“I was just seeing if you needed any help.” she said relieved.
“Get back in the shuttle ! You need to learn how to follow orders !” Bronski yelled angrily.
“Okay Buck, you don’t have to get mad asshole !” Tarin yelled back.
“Everybody on board, now !” He yelled.
They all climbed aboard and shut the hatches.
“Let’s go, let’s go !” Bronski yelled slamming his hand on the shuttles walls.
Pep saw the huge Imperial ship move into position behind the base. From where it was sitting the shuttles wouldn’t be able to see it before it was too late. Suddenly the first shuttle came out followed by the second. They had only gone a short distance before the Imperial ship opened fire.
“They don’t have a chance ! They’re going to kill them all !” Timtam screamed in horror. All of the people that had befriended her and Pep were about to die right before her eyes.
“Perfect placement Lieutenant, we came out of hyper space in the exactly right spot for an ambush.” The Captain said to his second in command.
“Just make sure the gunners target the engines only, I want prisoners.”
“I’m glad everything worked out for you Captain.” Vult said congratulating him.
“Thank you Vult, soon we will have…what’s that?” he suddenly noticed a small ship headed straight for the bridge of his ship. The base’s patrol ship was firing at the small ship but it seemed that the rear of the ship was well shielded.
“Where the hell did that ship come from ! They’re going to knock out our engines!” Ceecee yelled. They had been taken by complete surprise. Both Ceecee’s and Granic’s shuttles were taking heavy damage.
“They got us now.” Tarin said.
“Damn those Imperial bastards !” Mykala said.
Matt looked out of the view port just in time to see Pep and Timtam’s ship slam into the bridge of the Imperial ship that was about to destroy them.
“NOOOO !” Matt screamed.
The Imperial ship stopped firing as the explosion ripped through the superstructure. Flames could be seen erupting inside. The damage was well placed.
“ Go, go, go !!!” Ceecee screamed into the comm link. Both shuttles flashed out of sight as they engaged their hyper drives. The shuttles had disappeared and were safe.
The Star Destroyer was badly damaged and began to lean to one side as they lost control due to the heavy damage to the bridge. The Captain looked around the burning room to assess the damage. He smiled as he saw Vult Vulla getting to her knees. Most of the damage had been done to the decks just above them. They had gotten lucky, or so they had thought. The last thing the Captain saw before his ship and himself were destroyed was the flash of the base’s reactor exploding.
Last Updated (Wednesday, 22 September 2010 00:08)