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The Battle of Ansion
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Star Wars: Unity Forum Index » Mid Rim » The Battle of Ansion
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Daral Myrn
Cray


Joined: 12 Sep 2010
Posts: 5

 Post Posted: Tue, December 20th 2011 11:15pm    Post subject: The Battle of Ansion
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While the plains of Ansion rolled below, the True Empire picked at the bones of the traitor fleet. Gunboats shuttled between the Remnant ships—disabled flotsam drifting through space—and the victorious Imperial forces. The vessels guarding Ansion had been few in number, but the wreckage of the ships that had not survived spread like a layer of dust in the area.

Daral Myrn stared out at the various operations through the viewports of the Victory-class Shurtou. The battle had gone much more successfully than Selvaris, he thought bitterly with a jealous gaze at Commodore Biwar. That ill-fated battle had cost him his promotion and, very nearly, his life. The stakes had been far higher there, however; Ansion was a backwater world, and Myrn had, in honesty, not seen the logic in capturing it.

“It will serve as a base for the future offensive against the Rebels,” Biwar had said, speaking of the so-called Republic. It was true: Ansion straddled the border between Remnant and Republic space. Myrn had left it at that; he was anxious to take the war to the Republic, to have a victory like Muunilinst against them, if only to see that bitch Daast vaporized. He smiled faintly at the thought, his dark eyes drinking in the endless universe beyond the windows, ripe for conquest before him.

His eyes focused on a particular Dragoon that lay crippled in space. Like a handful of other defeated Remnant ships, its crew and complement were currently being detained and transported to the True Empire’s fleet. They were to be offered the same chance for amnesty the Grand Admiral offered all prisoners. The number of traitors who actually did renounce their allegiance to the False Emperor varied greatly from encounter to encounter—at least, that’s what word was around the fleet. Myrn imagined the greater the show of Zend’s power and the more decisive the victory, the more likely the captured were to defect. He was interested to see the percentage for this batch.

The battle had been short and small in scope, but had burnt brightly while its wick lasted. Both Myrn and Commodore Biwar had been surprised by the ferocity of the defense force guarding the unassuming Ansion. The True Empire had arrived with a small force composed of two Victory-class Star Destroyers, a handful of Galleons and Firebreaks, and Dragoons with full fighter complements. Most of their fighters and four Galleons had been destroyed, but in return, all that remained of the Remnant fleet were the metal corpses resting before Myrn’s eyes.

The ground operation had not even begun. Terrestrially, Ansion had few defenses, and Biwar had forgone the requisition for ERDU pods. There was no pressing need to occupy the ground—at least, not until reinforcements arrived—and would wait until all of the spaceborne traitors had been captured. The surface attack was, however, imminent and unavoidable.

“Sir, the last of the starships’ complements are enroute, and we’re almost through the Starhunters,” came a voice from the pit. The Grand Admiral’s order of amnesty compelled them to make the attempt to recover those among the enemy still living, down to the last blasted fighter. Myrn thought it was a waste of resources; just frag the bloody traitors and be done with it.

Nevertheless, Myrn nodded his acknowledgment and exchanged a glance with Biwar. Myrn couldn’t think of anything to add to the report, so Biwar turned away after a moment of awkward lull. Myrn despised that man, and he didn’t even know why. His prideful posture grated against Myrn, even though it was only minutes after the last shot was fired. Myrn did not look forward to the inevitable return to Muunilinst. His first command at Selvaris had ended in complete failure. All of his careful planning, his delicate consideration of High Command’s orders and desires, had been spoiled. The men that worked under him now did not fear him or even respect him. His career, bright just weeks ago, was plummeting before his eyes, and he was sure Biwar’s probably-negative performance evaluation of him would not help matters.

“Commodore!” Another voice in the pit yelled. Myrn’s neck bristled with annoyance: the man didn’t even bother to direct his report to him first, as if Myrn didn’t even exist on this bridge. He was about to scold him, damn the consequences, when the man continued unbeckoned. “New contacts just out of hyperspace!”

Myrn looked out the viewports, unsure what to expect. He bit his lip. Oh frak, not again.

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Last edited by Kastor Antilles on Tue, December 20th 2011 11:19pm; edited 2 times in total
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Harrington Shepard
Moff


Joined: 03 Jul 2011
Posts: 5

 Post Posted: Wed, December 21st 2011 01:28am    Post subject:
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"To any ship that can hear this, this the Star Destroyer Bloodfin. We are under attack by forces loyal to Daara Zend at Ansion. We are requesting assistance from any Imperial or Union-aligned warship. Please respond..."

Shepard worked his jaw, blue eyes narrowed to slits at the viewport. His battlegroup was on border patrol, very close to Ansion. Indeed, that was the only reason they picked up the broadcast on the Holonet transceivers with the strength that they did.

"Admiral?"

Shepard looked back to Captain Killech, his Phindian flag captain. "What are your orders, sir?"

The vice admiral looked away for a moment, back into the infinite vista beyond the bridge viewports. His orders from Commander in Chief Daast were quite clear... though he personally found them naïve and foolish. But he hadn't been the one to tackle the Chief of State out of the path of a laser bolt or whatever the woman had done. And so, a commodore young enough to be his daughter now ran the show after Ulgo's assassination.

"Captain, set your course for Ansion. Ready an identification transmission, but do not broadcast until we have confirmation of attack. I'd rather not spring any unnecessary traps on our ships." The words were ash in his mouth.

Harrington Shepard had served the Empire, once. And he'd killed to escape it after Alderaan. He had no regrets about the Imperial lives he'd taken in trying to rid the Galaxy of Palpatine's regime, nor when he tried to rid the Galaxy of the various warlords, or Daala's reconstituted Remnant. The Republic could have ended it twenty years ago. The Empire's lines had been collapsing, and a good, hard push would've meant the Republic would be fully restored.

It wasn't meant to be. The politicians saw their chance and cut their deals, then sat upon the laurels of "ending the war" and "restoring peace." They just didn't understand that ultimately, the Empire was driven by a need to expand and consume everything in its path; Shepard's own Imperial Navy drill instructor had said those very words.

But the Remnant and the Republic were allies now. And Daast's directives were clear: provide assistance when it was requested. "Best speed, helm. Execute when ready.

"Tactical, I want the crew at battlestations five minutes before we translate out. Maximum shields and full power to weapons once the fleet is in real space. Don't want for the scans to come back first; let's make sure we can handle any surprises before we fool ourselves into thinking there are none."

"Fifteen minutes to Ansion, Admiral Shepard," the coxswain called.

Shepard ran a hand through his white hair, and gave a wolfish grin. "Well, hell. Tactical, sound battlestations." He glanced over at Killech. "The extra ten minutes won't hurt our readiness at all."

The Phindian gave a close approximation of a smile as the siren began to blare through the starship.



A burst of Cronau radiation lit up the sensors of the True Empire forces as they continued probing for survivors and stragglers. Four MC90 cruisers, girded for battle, dropped out at the planet's hyper limit. With them was a screening squadron of gunships and frigates, and a few corvettes for scouting.

"Scramble bombers, search scanning. Corvettes to sentry positions," husked Shepard.

"Full charge to turbolasers. Shield status?" called Killech.

"Shields at eighty percent and rising, Captain," the tactical officer replied crisply.

"Enemy contacts bearing two-niner-four-mark-three-five-five! VicStars not broadcasting Remnant codes! Screening ships in formatio—they're facing the wrong way!" That was Scanners.

"Torpedoes, fire! Hit them from side!" the vice admiral snarled. "All ships, weapons free; gunships on their screen, cruisers on the VicStars!"

The Republic gunners were accurate, but inexperienced against Zend's forces. True to doctrine, they fired the torpedoes and missiles at the screening Firebreaks first... only to have the projectiles sundered en masse by a hail of blaster fire. The turbolaser crews on the gunships and corvettes close enough to engage corrected that oversight with a hail of crimson death. Two of Zend's frigates dissolved into miniature novae as their hypermatter cores lost containment and blasted their surroundings to radiant energy. Another spiraled out of control, drifting toward the planet, back ablaze and gushing atmosphere.

The vice admiral surveyed the carnage. "Hold the fighters back until we've cleared those screening ships; they'll never get though a barrage like that."

"Vector shift on the VicStars, Admiral; it looks like they're bailing out!"

"Light 'em up!" Shepard roared. The bridge was electric with tension and adrenaline. And now that he had some suitable targets, Vice Admiral Harrington Shepard had no intentions of letting them go.

A lethal hurricane of energy tore through the two Victory-class Star Destroyers. A few Firebreak and Galleons stood in the path of the storm of energy; they did not stand long.

"Fire again! Close to ion range if you have to, but I want those ships stopped here and now!" Shepard barked.

The second barrage from the MC90s was the first met by return fire. The CR90 Braveheart fell out of formation when a heavy bolt shredded its forward shields, ventral turbolaser turret, and mauled over half of its engines. The Corellian gunship Throner entered a gun duel with one of the remaining Firebreaks: eight twin light turbolaser turrets against a single, spinal medium turbolaser. The two surviving Galleon-class light cruisers, swiveled their heavy turrets toward the oncoming Republic fleet as the two Victorys tried to flee. One scored the blow to Braveheart; the captain of the other cruiser was more ambitious.

The deck rocked under Shepard as the quartet of heavy turbolaser bolts blasted into the shields of his flagship. "Guns, take down those cruisers; the rest of the battlegroup is to interdict the VicStars. And see if you can spare a battery to drop that last frigate of theirs so our fighter jocks can have some fun, too."

More searing lances of emerald and crimson marred the cold dark around Ansion. One Galleon broke in half, each twisting away from the other. The other, wracked with enormous explosions and set ablaze began to disgorge escape pods. The trailing VSD took the brunt of the punishment from the three MC90s assailing her and her sister ship. The aft shield failed, and turbolaser clawed at her engines. Explosions and jets of flame tore through her engineering space as the ion drives went critical and detonated; power spikes and surges blew out lines and breakers. Reactor failsafes shut down, malfunctioned, or misfired. The ship seemed to skid on its tail sternpost through space for a moment, the internal chaos and death not apparent beyond the sparking, vapor-spewing wreck of its engine suite. Then a final power spike took its toll, and the entire vessel vanished in a boiling cauldron of plasma.

In the exultation of destroying the large enemy vessel, it nearly escaped notice that Throner had gone dark after a turbolaser bolt finally pierced its shields and tore through its bridge and crew spaces. The two surviving gunnery crews, with only batteries available, reset their cannons and continued to fire as their ship drifted away into the darkness. The Firebreak's shields collapsed, and turbolaser fire tore into its banks of blaster cannons and flak batteries. Eventually, its reactor let go, and another short-lived star blossomed in the Ansion sky. The gunners looked at their final accomplishment as life support gave out. The recovery crew would find their asphyxiated bodies, and the short holos they recorded for loved ones with their last few minutes of air.

"Tactical, do we still have a lock on the remaining VicStar?" Shepard's gravelly voice carried over the din of status reports.

"Yes sir, but we might not have it for long."

"All ships in range are to fire everything they've got. We stopped one; we'll stop the other."

Though distance blunted much of the fusillade directed at the Shurtou, there was simply no way a Victory-class Star Destroyer's defenses could withstand an assault by the heavy guns of four MC90 cruisers. The aft shields faltered and collapsed. Alarms wailed through the Star Destroyer as they neared the hyper limit. They had almost made it.

Then a preternaturally-accurate burst of turbolaser fire struck the port side of the bridge tower, and blew away much of its bulk. A few other bolts dug into the hull, though gun batteries and armor, boiling away metals and crew alike. On the ichor-spattered bridge, one Captain Daral Myrn staggered to the navigation console as its indicator lights showed the ship was clear to jump. He pushed away the pile of wet, lumpy goo that was once the navigator, and slammed his hand down on the button. Miraculously, the ship jumped away.

She was the only one to do so.
_________________
Vice Admiral Harrington Shepard

"What doesn't kill you usually succeeds the second time around."


Last edited by Ams Jendob on Fri, December 23rd 2011 03:09am; edited 2 times in total
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Kris Jendob
Cray


Joined: 17 Jul 2009
Posts: 28

 Post Posted: Wed, December 21st 2011 01:58pm    Post subject:
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Moments earlier...

Kris's hands could not be wrenched from the controls. The subtle movements that he had been trained to perform had now become subconscious, automatic, like reflex, acquired by his motor faculties in a way that bypassed voluntary thought. He didn't think about how hard to turn or how much to pitch, leaving his mind free to focus on tracking down the swarms of fighters zooming at him.

He wasn't sure how long he'd been in the Starhunter's cockpit. He distantly heard the comm crackling in his ear, the chatter mostly background noise, but he kept just enough attention on it to understand if he was being addressed. He knew he had to keep some deliberateness about himself; fully relying on reflex over mind would get him killed, but he found balancing the two realities to be a struggle.

Behind the high of flight, the expertise with which he piloted and attacked, the trance necessary to each continued precious second out here, he knew that he was terrified. Zend's fighters were not a problem: they reacted too slowly, used tactics too predictable to escape the sights of trained Remnant pilots. Aside from the issue if experience, the Remnant flat-out had better technology. Starhunters trumped Interceptors, and they were certainly thinning the number of fighters in the field.

But Kris could see that the larger battle was not faring nearly as well. It was easy to revel in the fact that he was destroying Interceptors, but it was harder to accept the more important trend that their ultimate goal—to clear a path for bombers—was severely set back by Zend's screening ships. The blasted vessels could obliterate the fighters in moments. Kris and the other Starhunters were bound close to the Remnant fleet, dogfighting, avoiding the threat, and waiting for the moment when the rest of the fleet would destroy the screening ships and allow a safer approach. No one had made much progress.

A voice caught Kris's attention on the comm. "... off my tail!" It was Carom.

Kris disengaged the target in his reticules and swung his ship around in an extended arc to survey the area, glancing at his sensors to identify Carom's Starhunter. He saw him: right in the middle of the swarm, two Interceptors tracking his movements from behind with plasma, narrowing his corridor.

"I'm on you," Kris called out and accelerated into the densest of the battle. He weaved through the battle, evading the stray bolts and speeding fighters. He approached the fighters tailing Carom and was about to fire when the one of the Interceptors exploded, careening into its partner. Both disintegrated in a colorful sphere, and Kris pulled up to avoid the spot. He saw Zhun's Starhunter fly past his viewport, and heard her laugh through the comm. He smiled and yelled into the comm, "Nice, Zhun!" Carom similarly added his thanks. Zhun had come a long way, that was for sure.

A static chirp of magnetic disruption went through the comm and a flare of light from somewhere behind lit up Zend's fleet before them. What was that? Kris was about to say, but before he could finish, a yell came into his ear. "The Bloodfin!" Kris felt a pit in his stomach as he turned his craft about. His eyes confirmed it: the Turbulent-class Star Destroyer floated sundered, the most powerful ship in Ansion's defense crippled. The Victory Star Destroyers of Zend's forces had overcame it, and now her fleet was narrowing the gap between the two forces. The Firebreaks, now unimpeded by significant turbolaser fire, were moving forward into the plane of battle. Kris swallowed as he was forced to accept the fact that most of the Ansion defense force lay disabled or torn apart.

"Fall back!" Kris barked, seeing death approach them in the form of screener ship. "Get the frak back!" He pulled his fighter around, moving back towards the few ships that remained, including the Maelstrom. His flight followed, but they didn't have to be told: entire squadrons was moving away en masse as if driven by an unseen force. Now not only did the Starhunters have to contend with the Interceptors, they had to worry about straying too close to the Firebreaks, which were growing ever closer. Even now laser blasts were beginning to poke into the field.

The entire action of the dogfight carried on, but was compressed even further. It was a constant battle just to avoid slamming accidentally into friend or foe. The involuntary piloting reflex was useless now; they couldn't concentrate on actually destroying the enemy.

Zoyd's voice cried over the comm. "Carom!" Kris had to suddenly pull down, avoiding the twisting pellets of broken metal expanding outward from the point where Carom's fighter used to be. Kris breathed inward, forced himself to remain cognizant. Distraction meant death.

A moment passed before Kris realized Zoyd, as well, had been vaporized in the wake of Carom's explosion.

Kris could feel panic gnawing at the back of his eyes, at his wrists and fingers, threatening to permanently break his control with chaos. He knew if his mind was broken, he was dead. He resisted and looked around. The Maelstrom was not leaving. None of the other Dragoons or Galleons—what few remained—were leaving. They were standing their ground. He couldn't believe it.

They intended to die here.

The battle was obviously lost, and yet the force wouldn't retreat, wouldn't live to fight another day. Kris felt something else overtake the barely-restrained panic: anger. Anger at the commanders. His eyes jumped to his sensors, searching for a particular ship. "Zhun, position," he called into his comm, his voice sounding far more confident than he felt inside. He had to be a leader now, and would be frightened later.

Only sounds of exertion and determination returned through his earpiece for several moments. "Don't—forget it," eventually came through. Kris frowned and checked his sensors again—Zhun was pinned down at the very edge of the field, just out of range of the rapidly-advancing Firebreaks. Kris gritted his teeth and pulled out of the scramble, accelerating towards Zhun's position, blasting any Interceptor that came across his sights to make a path. He could just barely see her: tied down between three Interceptors, the imposing shape of the Firebreak growing larger and larger.

"What do you think you're doing?!" Came a yell through the comm. It was Aran, and in moments he saw the man's Starhunter beside him, matching his speed. Kris glanced at his sensors to see Damor's position: only a few scattered groups of fighters remained, and Aran was likely the last of his squadron. He couldn't even see the Maelstrom; it wasn't transmitting anymore.

"Getting Zhun!"

"No!" Came a high-pitched yell, interspersed with the sound of whining engines and the rumble of lasers. "Agh! Lieutenant—Kris, stay away!" She said, breaking protocol. Zhun, the shy, fastidious Zhun, never broke protocol. Her unfamiliarity reinforced the strength behind her order. "Just save yourself! Don't be a hero!"

There's nothing else left to be, was Kris's macabre thought.

Aran remained beside him, following his movements. A moment of hesitation, then, "I'm with you."

Kris glanced to his side, wishing he could see the man's face. "Thanks," he said, feeling that they were going to survive this encounter. The two Starhunters finally came upon Zhun's attackers. Kris picked off one easily before the enemy became aware of the pair. The moment of distraction provided time for Zhun to swing around and blast one herself. Aran had fallen into a dogfight with the remaining Interceptor, spinning around and around, practically orbiting Zhun and Kris.

"Lieutenant," Zhun began, her voice filled with such gratitude that she couldn't continue to speak.

"We're getting out of this, Lena," he replied, reciprocating the familiarity. The Firebreaks were on them, and their screens were just beginning to fire. They were out of time. Kris spun around, Zhun at his flank, looking for Aran's Starhunter. Instead, he found the Interceptor pursuing Aran. He got it in his sights and fired, and the Interceptor lit up, skewing off to the side—straight into the approaching Aran's already-damaged fighter. Kris's eyes went wide, seeing Aran's wing ripped off, tumbling towards the Firebreaks. The pattern of the salvos were full now, and bolts ripped through the Starhunter.

Kris yelled as he saw Aran explode. His horror only yielded to the instinct to protect Zhun, who was now ahead of him. He looked up just in time to see the bolts slam into her side, her Starhunter driving out of control away from the field. Kris was pursuing when he felt his own craft move on its own, some outside force pushing it beyond his control, and he realized he had been hit. Things suddenly became very hot, very hard, and then, suddenly, very dark.

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Kris Jendob
Starhunter pilot, Lieutenant, Dragoon Maelstrom

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