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Saga - OT Black Squadron

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Flyboy240, Feb 21, 2018.

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  1. Flyboy240

    Flyboy240 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 6, 2017
    -Updated 4/6 Chapter 6: Before the Storm

    Black Squadron is reformed with the addition of six new recruits. -

    Title: Black Squadron

    Author: Flyboy240

    Genre: Action/Drama


    A former TIE pilot joins the Rebel Alliance and is assigned to Black Squadron, a unit made of other defectors like her. The rest of the Alliance regards them with suspicion, so they must prove themselves to be true Rebels.


    Prologue:​

    Murkhana, 3BBY​


    “This is Gamma Leader, all systems operational.” Jaya Valion stared out the circular cockpit window of the Imperial TIE fighter. She took a deep breath and gripped the control yoke.

    “Copy that Gamma Leader you are clear for departure, Gamma Two and Three stand by.” The flight controller’s monotone voice came through Jaya’s helmet comlink clearly.

    The TIE lurched forward as the launch rack carried it over the hangar bay floor before dropping it and her two wingmen down to the void below. Jaya hit the accelerator and took off towards the battered unarmed transport that was a few dozen kilometers ahead. It started out as a dot that was almost indistinguishable from the star field beyond but as Jaya got closer she saw it was a Clone Wars-era CR-75 corvette with a faded maroon livery. She knew there were at least fifty refugees aboard. Jaya switched her comlink to a high-priority open frequency as she decelerated to stay on the ship's tail.

    “Transport Green Valley this is Lieutenant Jaya Valion of the Imperial Navy, return to port. There are individuals aboard who were not cleared for departure. Correct your course immediately.” Jaya put on her authoritative tone with a crisp core accent that she had picked up at the Imperial Academy on Eriadu.

    There was silence from the transport, which began picking up speed as it headed for a jump point. Come on you idiot, don’t make me have to shoot at you, Jaya thought. She’d performed well against pirates and smugglers in the past few months after her graduation, but shooting down an unarmed civilian transport was not something she wanted to add to her records.

    “Admiral Brymarr, the vessel has not changed course.” Jaya switched to the secure comlink and contacted the Star Destroyer, Knightfall.

    “There are subversive aliens aboard, Lieutenant Valion. You’re too far out for a boarding craft to catch up, use lethal force immediately.” The Admiral had an intensity to her voice that sent chills down Jaya’s spine.

    “It will be done, Admiral.” Jaya switched to her squadron’s private frequency, “Gamma Two, Gamma Three lethal force is authorized. I’m headed for the engines, stay on me.”

    “Copy that, Gamma Leader.” One of them replied.

    The TIE fighter’s targeting computer activated and within moments Jaya had a lock. She pulled the triggers and sent a twin stream of green-white bolts lancing through the void to the transport’s engines. The old ship’s limited shields were quickly overwhelmed, and the three ion engines went dark. But the transport continued to glide through the vacuum. Gamma Two and Three fired late and all their shots went wide. Jaya decided she’d deal with them later, or let Admiral Brymarr dress them down for her. She understood why they did it, but not following orders always led to problems.

    “Admiral, the ship is disabled.” Jaya contacted the Star Destroyer as she circled around for another pass.

    “Make an example of them, Valion. Destroy the transport.”

    “Yes Admiral.” Jaya took a deep breath before she fired again. That was not the order she was hoping to receive.

    After the second volley from Jaya’s TIE the transport’s reactor melted down and the ship broke in two, venting gasses and bodies out into the void. The way the system’s golden star illuminated the wreckage was burned into her memory forever. Jaya gritted her teeth and desperately tried to keep her lunch down. Vomiting in a sealed suit was not something she wanted to experience.

    I’m fine, I’m just following orders. This is the price we pay for order and security.
    Jaya repeated it over and over in her head until she believed it again.


    Chapter 1: Second Chances​

    18 Parsecs Rimward of Utapau, 2 ABY​


    A green and white R5 astromech droid led Jaya to the briefing room. She had just spent several weeks aboard a different cruiser going through orientation and training. Now she was about to meet the rest of the unit she had been assigned to as a last minute replacement. The door slid open and Jaya stepped inside, everyone else was wearing the same black and white flight suit she was, and they were all humans. Most of them had helmets with a variety of decorations, but a few had plain white ones.

    "Ah, nice of you to join us, I am Captain Dressec." He was a tall man with short graying blonde hair and a matching moustache. He had an accent similar to a Ryloth one and a deep gravelly voice.

    "Ensign Jaya Valion sir, I'm your new pilot." Jaya saluted crisply and stood at attention.

    "Take a seat, Black Seven," Captain Dressec put his hands behind his back, "Alright why don't the rest of you go ahead and introduce yourselves, eh?"

    Jaya sat down on one of the benches in the back row of the plain white room, feeling more comfortable than she expected to. It was just like being back aboard a Star Destroyer but the atmosphere seemed a little more relaxed. She still hadn't gotten used to how warm and humid the Mon Calamari ships were, though. She was grateful her flight suit had built in coolers. She waited patiently as the rest of the pilots introduced themselves.

    "And this here is Commander Korp, he’ll be overseeing this little experiment,” The Captain gestured to the grey-skinned Mon Calamari in a white uniform who entered the briefing room after the last pilot introduced himself.

    “Ensign Valion, do you mind telling us which unit you were in before you defected?" Korp made eye contact with Jaya.

    She stood up and took a deep breath. Depending on when the rest of them were in the Imperial Navy they definitely had heard of both of the Star Destroyers she had been assigned to. They were both known for leaving a trail of dead civilians, as their commanding officers believed that eliminating Rebels at any cost an making examples of their supporters was necessary. Jaya once shared those views, but the use of the Death Star made her rethink everything.

    "I was stationed aboard the Imperial Star Destroyer Knightfall under the command of Admiral Brymarr, sir, and then aboard the Chimera under the command of Admiral Thrawn" she gritted her teeth as a hushed murmur passed through the other pilots, "and yes, I participated in the Murkhana and Mykapo massacres. I joined the Rebel Alliance to atone for that."

    “Thank you for your honesty, Ensign Valion. Now, I have been assigned by Admiral Ackbar to oversee this unit. Defectors from the Imperial services have proven valuable to us, and some of you have already proven your loyalty to the Alliance. However, we have never formed a unit out of pilots who have all fought for the enemy. I hope you have forgotten whatever oaths you have made to the Emperor. If any have not, know that I am watching you. You will be monitored at all times, and none of you will be allowed to make transmissions off this ship. ” Korp paused and looked around the room. “This is not just any X-Wing squadron, this is an elite unit. The higher ups wanted to send a message to any who have seen the true face of the Empire and want to do something about it. To send a message that they have a new path they can take. So yes, this is a propaganda effort, that you will all do your part in making successful.” Korp stepped back and let Dressec have the floor again.

    "Thank you, Valion; Commander. We all have a lot to atone for," Captain Dressec bowed his head for a moment "or a lot to avenge."

    "Aye, Captain. Will we be flying patrols or will we be restricted to simulators for the time being?" Falae Karkosa, a tall woman with long blonde hair, asked.

    "We are being restricted to simulators until further notice." Captain Dressec leaned down to activate the holoprojector in the center of the circular chamber. "Rest assured that the restriction has nothing to do with any questions of where our loyalties lie, but we have several pilots for whom this is their first combat posting with the Alliance. With attrition rates being what they are, command wants to make sure everyone is adequately prepared."

    The Captain stepped back from the projector as an image of an Arquitens-class Imperial light cruiser and a quartet of Gozanti corvettes appeared. Each of the Gozanti-class ships had a quartet of standard TIE fighters attached to it. He pointed a stylus at the twin-pronged cruiser.

    "The first scenario we'll be running is simple, but not easy. The light cruiser is our primary target, with destroying the support ships and fighters as secondary objectives." Captain Dressec paused for a moment and looked around the briefing room. "As we all know, Gozantis are lightly armed, and the guns on the Arquitens can have trouble tracking fast-moving targets. The sixteen TIEs will give us the most trouble. Black Seven through Black Twelve will provide cover as the rest of us make a run for the cruiser. Any questions?"

    None of the pilots raised their hands or spoke up, they were all well aware of the capabilities of the small capital ship and its escorts. Jaya was eager to fly alongside her new squadron mates, even if it was just on the simulators. She hadn't become very attached to anyone in her training unit, and she didn't really know if it was because she knew she would be separated from them soon or an old by-product of her Imperial training, where she was taught that everyone around her was expendable so there was no use getting sentimental.

    "Alright then, let's get to work, eh?" The captain picked up his helmet and held it at his side.

    Black Squadron formed into two neat lines of six pilots and marched through the Heart of Kyber's corridors in a synchronized manner not often found in Alliance units. Their black and white flight suits were non-standard as well. Groups of technicians and Alliance Marines patrolling the corridors often gave them odd looks.

    The simulator facility was a large open chamber with rows of simulator pods filling it. The pods were basically the cockpit sections of the ships fitted with special holoscreens and other equipment. The twelve of them headed for the X-wing simulators which were sandwiched between the Y-wing and A-Wing simulators. Jaya stood next to her pod and a white R2-series astromech with yellow accents and a short Gotal technician wearing a tan jumpsuit approached her.

    "Ensign Valion this is R2-E3, he's been assigned to you." The technician gestured towards the droid then moved on, leading a procession of other R2 and R5 units.

    "R2-E3, huh? How about I call you Easy, does that sound good?" Jaya squatted down to get her eyes level with the droid's large photoreceptor. -She named him after one of the bartender droids, EZ-211, that she worked on the same deck as when she was hiding out on a Hutt space station.-

    The droid beeped and whistled approvingly then moved into position for an automated crane to pick it up and place it in the simulator pod. Jaya climbed into her cockpit and strapped herself in before lowering the canopy and putting on her helmet. The canopy remained transparent for a moment then flashed into the image of the hangar bay of a MC80 cruiser. The other eleven fighters were there as well, along with droids and technicians. It was incredibly realistic. Jaya flicked the switch to start the engines and to activate the other systems, then she asked Easy to run the diagnostics.

    "Black Seven checking in, all systems operational," She gripped the control stick and waited for the clearance to take off before switching to the comm channel that linked her to the astromech, "Easy, adjust the compensators to zero-point-zero seven." She preferred feeling the physical effects of inertia when flying, and she felt numb when the compensators were set to full. She watched as other fighters began taking off.

    "Black Seven you are clear for takeoff, control out." An electronic voice came in over her comlink.

    Jaya raised the landing skids and adjusted the repulsorlifts as she glided to the shield that covered the entrance to the hangar bay. She passed through then cut the repulsorlift drive and engaged the main thrusters. Black Eight came up alongside her.

    "I'll be taking lead and you'll be my wingman, Black Seven." Falae had a Corellian accent.

    "Copy that, Black Eight." Jaya was disgruntled for a second, as she didn't like being the wingman. She had been a squadron leader during her service to the Empire and she was still getting used to her demotion. But she understood that Falae had flown in a Rebel combat unit before and she hadn't.

    Jaya waited as the other fighters checked in and Easy made the calculations for the jump to hyperspace. When she was given the all clear from Captain Dressec she activated the hyperdrive. The flight through hyperspace was shorter than it would have been on a real mission. They didn't need to spend half their day sitting and waiting. Jaya took a deep breath as she dropped out of hyperspace and the Imperial ships came into view.

    "Flight two, switch your shields to double front. Alright let's go in fast and hot. Lock S-foils in attack position, Flight one is going to hit the cruiser from the keel." Falae was clearly the second in command of Black Squadron.

    Jaya felt good that she was assigned to be Falae's wingman. She locked the S-foils and followed Falae as she put her fighter in a steep dive. TIE fighters began to launch and Jaya's targeting computer highlighted them with numbered red boxes on her heads-up display. The computer highlighted the capital ships in yellow and gave them aurebesh letter designations. As they got closer and their fighters began locking on to targets the comm chatter intensified. It was almost overwhelming but Jaya could filter out the information she didn’t need.

    "Black Eight firing on targets two and four."

    "This is Black Ten, I'm drawing heavy fire from the cruiser!"

    "Black Seven locked on target. Fire one… torpedo away." Jaya launched a proton torpedo and then pulled up to cover Falae.

    “I’ve got a lock on the ventral turret!”

    “Where are you going Black Eleven? Hang tight!”

    "This is Black Eight, I've got an eye on my tail!" Falae weaved and twisted to keep the TIE from acquiring a lock.

    "I got him, Black Seven out." Jaya pulled up hard and rolled her fighter as it arced back. The TIE ended up being right in line with her guns, which made short work of the unshielded craft. "Target nine down!"

    The rest of the simulation went well, Black squadron destroyed the cruiser and all but one of the twin-engine Gozantis. Only one TIE fighter escaped as well. Normally the simulated TIEs would have been flown by other Alliance pilots, but Captain Dressec felt the simulator mainframe was adequate at reproducing the capability of the cannon fodder the Imperial flight schools churned out. Jaya's cockpit screens once again became transparent and her canopy lifted after she made the jump to lightspeed in simspace. She unstrapped herself and climbed out of the cockpit.

    "Good work Jaya, two kills and you kept me alive." Falae approached with her helmet tucked under her left arm.

    "Thank you, Lieutenant Karkosa." Jaya stood at attention.

    "At ease, Jaya." Falae remained relaxed as Captain Dressec approached, and Jaya relaxed for a moment then snapped back into her parade-ground posture with her hands clasped at her lower back.

    "Excellent work Valion,” the Captain removed his helmet and ran a hand through his thick greying hair. “At ease, we've got bigger things to worry about here than decorum."

    "Thank you sir." Jaya relaxed again.

    "Alright, let's all head down to the galley before our next run, eh?" Captain Dressec moved on to the next pair of pilots.

    Jaya liked the galley food aboard the Rebel ships much better than the flavorless nutritive paste that she ate every day when she was stationed aboard the Star Destroyers. It was simple food, but at least there was variety. Jaya put a mottled green vegetable block and a ladle full of what looked like stewed meat and legumes on her tray. Then she grabbed a glass of water and made her way to where the rest of the pilots were sitting.

    Black Squadron were all seated together, and the other personnel in the galley gave them a wide berth. It seemed that while their captain trusted them, they would have to prove themselves to the rest of the Rebels. The pilots chatted and bragged about their performances in the simulation earlier as they ate. Jaya tried to not pay attention to the conversation and let it become background noise. She knew the statistics were against everyone’s long term survival.

    “So Valion…” Garret Fawkens, a short heavy-set man with messy black hair and a scraggly beard, took another bite of his food before continuing to speak, “Did you ever actually meet Thrawn?”

    “Once, he commended me on my squadron’s high survival rate before he berated me for our low kill count.” Jaya had been silently eating and avoiding the conversation, so she was a bit annoyed.

    “Yeah I heard he was difficult.” Garret had finished his ration and was eyeing everyone else’s trays like a hungry shriek-hawk. “I was stationed at Corulag, it was pretty quiet there. You gonna finish that?”
    Jaya just shrugged and took another bite. Despite knowing that she would spend all of her waking hours with the pilots sitting around her she didn’t want to get friendly yet. She expected they’d be losing at least one of them on their first mission, whenever that would be.

    The next set of simulations was progressively more difficult, and the missions became longer. They even took a shot at the Death Star scenario. Most of them didn't last long but Captain Dressec got a shot at the reactor before he was shot down by a TIE, even though it was a miss the other pilots under his command were impressed. After spending a total of nine hours in the simulators Captain Dressec dismissed the squadron to their quarters after their evening meal.

    Jaya found that she would be sharing her cabin with Falae. The cabins were quite small, only three square meters. There was a bunk bed with thin mattresses and a pair of tall, narrow lockers, and there was also a desk. Everything was smooth and shiny gray or white. She found that her bag had already been dropped off by a steward droid. She began to unpack and put her things in her locker. A change of civilian clothes, a datachip with a few personal files and holos, and a pair of ornate hairpins were the only personal affects she kept. Falae had already claimed the bottom bunk by decorating it with a few mementos from her old squadron.

    Jaya wished she had a private cabin. She removed her flight suit and put on a short tan jacket and the matching pants. Then she headed out to the common room, where most of the other members of Black Squadron were as well as pilots from other units that were quartered in the same block. Jaya sat down in an empty chair on the far side of the room. She considered just going to her cabin and getting some extra sleep but she thought that’d make her look a little too cold.

    "Nice to see a fellow redhead," a pilot from another unit sat down across from Jaya and held out his hand, “Lieutenant Roy Karkosa, Aurek Squadron.” He had a short beard over his strong jawline.

    “Ensign Jaya Valion, Black Squadron.” she tentatively reached out and shook his hand, “Are you related to Falae?”

    "Yeah, she's my older sister." Roy set down his datapad.

    "I thought command didn't like putting close relatives together?" Jaya crossed her legs and leaned forward, resting her elbows on her knees.

    "Normally they don't, but we're a little short-staffed here, at least that's what they told me. Personally I think Falae might have recommended me to Aurek so she could keep an eye on me." Roy smirked a bit then leaned back in his chair.

    "Were you a bit of a troublemaker?" Jaya raised her eyebrows and cracked a half-smile. Roy seemed interesting, and he was pretty good looking. She decided she’d be fine getting to know him a bit, since he was in a different unit.

    "A little…when she went to the Imperial Academy I, uh, went off and joined some pirates. Ended up helping her defect eventually." He pulled a stick of mealbread out of a pocket on his dark green jacket and took a bite. Jaya watched his jaw flex as he chewed.

    "Pirates, huh? You ever heard of the Lucky Star station?" She tucked her short hair behind her ear.

    "I heard it was somehow worse than Nar Shaddaa, and that the Hutt that ran it liked to eat sentient beings. Why'd you ask?" He arched one of his thick eyebrows.

    "That sounds about right. After I defected I hid out there for a while, as a cabaret singer in the casino believe it or not." She looked into Roy's green eyes for a moment. Jaya was shocked at herself for just giving up information like that.

    "I bet that was an interesting career change." He took another bite of the mealbread.

    "Oh it was, and I hated it." Jaya reached forward and tore off a piece of Roy's snack.

    "Just wanted to get back in the cockpit, right?" he smiled slightly.

    "Every day." Jaya bit her lower lip. Am I really doing this? Flirting like a first-year academy cadet? Jaya thought.

    “So I was going to go down to the gym and getting some conditioning in, we can keep talking if you come with me.” Roy stood up.

    “I’ve had a long day, and a run could help me relax a bit. But Black Squadron is locked down, we’re confined to this area for the time being.” Jaya had an idea about what he was implying. Why not? He’s attractive and it’s been a while…

    “That’s too bad, well I suppose I’ll be seeing you around, Jaya.” He smiled before turning around and heading for the exit.

    Later that evening Jaya crawled into bed and laid on her back, just staring up at the ceiling. She decided that joining the Rebel Alliance was the right choice after all. At first she was afraid of being convicted of being a war criminal and getting locked up, or worse. Either they didn't have her complete records or someone had overlooked it.

    "Hey Jaya, where are you from?" Falae's voice came from the lower bunk.

    "Eriadu, and you're from Corellia, right?" Jaya just kept staring at the grey plasteel ceiling.

    "Did my brother tell you that? I've never been to Eriadu but I've heard it's pretty bleak outside of certain areas."

    "Your disregard for statistics in the simulators tipped me off. Eriadu's not too bad, there's definitely worse places." Jaya felt her face go red when Falae mentioned her brother.

    "Well, I suppose you can pay attention to the odds for me. See you at 0700."


    The next three weeks were more of the same. Simulator exercises all day, with breaks for meals, and a few hours to unwind in the evening. Jaya was getting much more confident behind the slicer stick, and it showed. The rest of the unit was improving as well. Everyone was getting to know how their squadron mates flew and how to best support them.

    On the last day of the fourth week they were informed they had been approved to do patrols in actual starfighters. Jaya was ecstatic as Black Squadron marched to the main hangar bay of the Heart of Kyber. There were a dozen X-Wings with black markings on their fuselages. Their astromech droids had been brought up as well. Commander Korp was standing off to the side, observing as he always was.

    Jaya had painted her helmet black, with white Alliance starbird insignia. She had also written “Murkhana” and “Mykapo” on it, to remind herself why she was there. They were finally a real combat unit, and Jaya could tell she wasn’t the only one who was eager to get out and start doing some damage to the Empire. Jaya smiled as she noticed the squadron’s motto, “For Alderaan” painted on the side of the long nose of her fighter.

    “This is our first patrol as a squadron, just a standard four hour flight. We’re too deep in space for the Empire to find us, but stay sharp, eh?” Captain Dressec addressed the other pilots. “There are trackers and remote ejection seats on all these fighters, the hyperdrives are also slaved to the cruiser so you can’t make a run for it. I know all that is unnecessary, but Commander Korp insisted on it.”

    “Will those systems be removed in the future?” Veros Namark asked as he ran a mechanical hand over his bald head.

    “Once we’ve proven ourselves, yes. Say what you will about Commander Korp for being a bit paranoid, but he’s giving us a chance.” Captain Dressec put his helmet on.

    The twelve pilots boarded their fighters and started their engines. Jaya tapped her foot as she waited for the clearance from flight control to take off. The simulators were good, but there was just something about flying in a real ship that she was aching to feel again. The beautiful black void of space and the freedom of flight were both calling to her.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2018
  2. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    Yay, you finally started! Excellent! Good to see the members of the squadron being introduced one at a time, and I loved the touch that the unit marched from place to place. It will be interesting to see if they eventually 'loosen up' or if they relax and become a bit...rebellious! :D Pacing seemed a little rushed; you don't need to fit everything at once. Relax, and let it unfold. Very good combat scenes, easy to follow and exciting (I find starfighter battles fiendishly hard to write).

    So now we've met Jaya, and I find her interesting. Falae with the Rebel brother we've only had a taste of, but I'm intrigued for more. Can't wait to meet the rest of the squadron!
     
  3. Flyboy240

    Flyboy240 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 6, 2017

    Thanks for the feedback, I'm glad you like it so far :)

    Pacing has always been a problem for me, I think I'm more impatient to get to the action than my characters are. :p

    I agree starfighter battles are a pain, it's hard to describe maneuvers in a way that makes it so readers don't have to take themselves out of the story to Google pilot slang.
     
  4. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    This was very good.

    Top marks.

    A bit long for a single post, but engaging enough for me to get to the end.

    I skipped out of the simulated dogfighting, though ultimately, you spent about the right amount of time on it.

    Very good characterisations, and progression.

    Jaya might be the sort of person, that if she liked raw frog, would take one from a Hutt's fat hand; but it did feel a bit rushed that she tore a piece off the Aurek pilot's meal stick, so soon after meeting him, especially as he is the first full Rebel that she has socialised with.

    Good insights, such as not being ecstactic about being someone's wingman.

    I enjoyed seeing evidence of our suggestions, and references to the Lucky Star station.

    Great work. :xwing:
     
  5. Flyboy240

    Flyboy240 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 6, 2017

    Thanks for the feedback! I was worried it was a bit too long for a single chapter as well, but I just couldn't find a good point to split it at.

    I like to think of Jaya as cold and calculating, but occasionally impulsive. It's a weird combination, but I think it works.
     
    Ewok Poet likes this.
  6. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    You know, this could be the amnesia talking, but I cannot remember someone tucking into someone else's meal like that in all of the GFFA.

    "Oh, you mean Jaya 'don't eat food in front of that greedy *****' Valion? Yeah, I know her."

    We could get a reputation going, and she could notice mealsticks being tucked away when she enters a lounge.

    What name did she use aboard the Lucky Star?
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018
    Mistress_Renata likes this.
  7. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    I'm here, I'm here! And I'm really liking Jaya. That's quite a backstory you built for her, going from faithful Imperial under the most ruthless commanders to cabaret singer to Rebel pilot. The Karkosa siblings have an interesting history too, I hope we get to learn more details in the future.

    Another aspect I really enjoyed is the elements of atmosphere on the Rebel ship. It's relaxed in some aspects (no need to stick to protocol, homey food) and very harsh and controlling on these ex-Imperials at the same time. I'm looking forward to seeing how things will evolve for them throughout the story.

    I'll be here for your next chapter, whenever you're ready to post it!
     
  8. Flyboy240

    Flyboy240 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 6, 2017
    You're right, the closest thing that I can think of is Jar Jar grabbing the fruit with his tongue in TPM, and he gets put in his place by Qui Gon pretty quickly. :p Jaya's lack of concern for others will definitely lead to some tension with the rest of Black Squadron. "Dia Cercen" was the alias she used when she was on the run from the Empire.

    Glad you like the characters so far :)

    Chapter 2 will probably be up on Tuesday
     
    Ewok Poet and Chyntuck like this.
  9. Flyboy240

    Flyboy240 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 6, 2017
    Chapter 2

    Black Squadron: Mercy Mission​


    The pilots of Black Squadron waited in the briefing room wearing their flight suits. They knew the Captain had a big announcement to make, but they had no idea what it would be. They whispered amongst themselves, speculating wildly. Their first combat mission as a squadron or a transfer to another base were the consensus so far. A hush fell over the briefing room as Captain Dressec and Commander Korp entered.


    “Comrades, today we strike back against the Empire.” The Captain smiled as the room erupted in cheers.


    Jaya’s heart raced. She’d been waiting for that moment since the day she left the Empire. Finally being able to try to balance out all the crimes she committed in the name of the Emperor was all she wanted. Besides, blasting TIEs in simspace and going on long patrols had gotten boring.


    “This mission will not be easy, and I don’t expect all of you to return.” The Mon Calamari commander stepped forward. “You will be breaking the blockade over Onderon. Due to civil unrest on the planet the Empire has cut off commerce. Onderon is not fully agriculturally self-sufficient, so starvation will be rampant within weeks. We do not have much to spare, but we will give what we have to save the lives of those living under the heel of the Emperor’s boots.”


    “Black Squadron will be the tip of the spear in this assault. We are being tasked with breaking a hole in the blockade and keeping it open. Our target is the Star Destroyer Lady of Sorrow, we’ll be blazing a trail so Aurek Squadron can disable it with ion torpedoes. After it is disabled we need to keep the Imperial starfighters and support ships away from the transports. Two Nebulon-B frigates from Admiral Harkenthane’s fleet will assist us.” The Captain looked around the room. “Are you ready to fight for the Alliance and the people of Onderon?”


    “Yes sir!” The other eleven pilots answered in unison.


    “Good. Now let’s get out there and prove ourselves, eh?” Captain Dressec was still smiling. He was proud of the unit he and Korp had built and was eager to see their performance on the front line.


    All the pilots were slightly nervous, because pathfinder duty was dangerous. Jaya took some solace in the fact that she would be flying a ship with shields and a hyperdrive. Also, remembering that she’d already survived multiple combat missions in a fragile TIE fighter calmed her slightly. She looked around at her fellow pilots as they marched down to the main hangar bay. She knew at least one of them wouldn’t return. Falae was the closest thing she had to a friend, but she was confident in her skills. She still hadn’t gotten close to the other pilots, she doubted that any of them even knew which planet she was from. Her boots felt like they were made of lead and her flightsuit felt restrictive as she approached her X-Wing. Easy was already in his socket, and he whistled cheerfully as Jaya approached. She climbed the ladder into her fighter and began her preflight routine. It seemed like hours until they were given clearance for take-off.


    When they came out of hyperspace and Jaya saw the dagger-shaped 1600 meter long capital ship through her cockpit’s transparisteel she took a deep breath. She had always been a survivor and she knew she’d go home, and if she didn’t she’d be content knowing she died trying to save innocent lives. Her mouth was bone dry and the rest of her was drenched in sweat, despite turning her flight suit’s cooling to maximum. Her scanners identified the Star Destroyer as Lady of Sorrow, which confirmed that at least some of their intel was good.


    “Alright Black Squadron stay tight on me. By the time Aurek hits them there won’t be a whole lot of fighters launched but watch out for the guns. Lock S-foils in attack position, and may the Force be with you.” Captain Dressec’s voice came over everyone’s comlinks loud and clear.


    Jaya fell into formation behind and to starboard of Black Six and focused on the Star Destroyer dead ahead. She adjusted her shields to double-front and activated her targeting computer. Yellow boxes highlighted the capital ships and the few fighters that were out on patrol were highlighted in red. It would take a minute for the capital ship to launch all its fighters, and Aurek Squadron’s ion torpedoes would hopefully cut that short. Jumping directly into battle instead of riding in a carrier gave the Rebels’ starfighters a huge advantage.


    “Ten seconds to target, disperse and skim the hull, keep the gunners focused on us!” Captain Dressec’s X-Wing went in a steep dive and wove through the green bolts that the Star Destroyer’s guns spat out.


    Jaya followed Falae as she took her fighter on a direct assault on the bridge tower. She wove and twisted as the Star Destroyer’s guns fired wildly into the void. Occasionally her fighter jerked as one of the point-defense lasers hit her shield. All sorts of warning alarms were flashing and beeping, but she did her best to ignore them and skim right over the Lady of Sorrow’s particle shields. Soon the flagship’s hull erupted with blue lightning-like discharges of energy, and the guns stopped firing. The Star Destroyer had to route all of its power into just staying in orbit. Unfortunately for Black Squadron, by the time it was hit the Lady of Sorrow had already launched nearly an entire wing of TIE fighters.


    “Shields and guns are down, but they got more fighters out than we thought. Eliminate those TIEs, Black Squadron, the transports are counting on us. Black Leader out.”


    “There’s just too many! I need he-“ Black Four’s transmission was cut short by a bone chilling scream and then static.


    “They got Garret! Eyes are coming at me from all angles!” Black Five’s voice was full of pure panic.


    “This is Black Eight, Seven and I have them Slathe.” Falae’s fighter broke hard to port and Jaya followed.


    She could see three fighters chasing Slathe’s X-Wing and the leader was closing in, it would be only a second until he got a target lock and shredded Slathe’s shields and engines. Jaya didn’t have a lock either, but she needed to get the TIEs to break off Slathe’s tail. She switched her targeting to the guns and adjusted her flight path before firing a barrage across the lead TIE’s field of view. The lead fighter pulled up hard and Falae took off after it. His two wingmen came around and shot straight at Jaya. She muttered a long string of expletives under her breath as she dove hard and rolled. The TIE fighters’ green bolts missed her, but now both of them were in perfect position to get on Jaya’s tail. She adjusted her shields to double power to the rear and then her fighter was shaken by a few stray bolts flaring off the shields.


    “Easy, on my mark reverse all the thrusters!” Jaya prepared herself to kill the main engines. “Now!”


    The main engines shut down, and all the landing and maneuvering thrusters engaged at once. The X-Wing slowed down significantly and went into a clockwise spin, sending Jaya forward in her seat until the straps holding her down locked up and she slammed back. She tried not to notice how twisted her stomach was as she reignited the engines and leveled out as the two TIE fighters rocketed past her. Jaya went full-throttle and took off in pursuit of them. She quickly got a target lock and vaporized the first with a proton torpedo before moving into gun range to take out the second.


    To the TIE pilot’s credit he was weaving and juking his fighter instead of flying like he was on rails, but Jaya suspected it was out of sheer panic rather than skill based on how erratic the maneuvers were. The TIE pilot started spinning in his attempt at evasion, and Jaya was able to match his rotaton as she pulled the triggers and flew through the fireball created by the TIE’s explosion. She balanced out her shields and noticed there were a lot of TIEs between her and the rest of Black squadron. Suddenly a pair of Nebulon-B frigates dropped out of hyperspace on either side of the helpless Lady of Sorrow. The frigates began firing blaster cannons at the TIE fighters that had been caught between them and ion cannons at the Star Destroyer to keep it out of the fight.


    “Thanks Seven, I owe you one!” Slathe’s voice came over Jaya’s comlink.


    “It’s not over yet Black Five.” A stream of green shots almost scorched her cockpit so Jaya dived.


    “Copy that Ice, watch your tail.”


    Jaya was confused for a moment after Slathe called her Ice, but she quickly went back to trying to shake off the fighter pursuing her. She broke hard to port to avoid a piece of metal debris, which gave the fighter chasing her a good shot at her tail. The shield was overwhelmed, but the only damage done was to Jaya’s starboard S-foil actuators, blaster power conduits, and repulsorlifts. Easy wailed and did his best to limit the damage.


    “Black Seven, are you alright?” Falae’s voice came in clearly.


    “I’m down half my guns and I’ll have a rough landing but I’m fine.” Jaya led the TIE around the stern of one of the Nebulon-B’s and through the blazing ion trail made by its engines. The X-Wings shields protected Jaya, but the unshielded TIE’s vertical panels burned up and the cockpit ball went spinning off into space.


    “This is Black Leader, all wings be advised they’re sending the transports through, we’re running out of time. The frigates are tied up with the support ships and Aurek is taking out ground defenses. Pull back and form up on the transports.”


    “Rodger, Black Leader.” Jaya pulled back and took position flying next to an egg-shaped GR-75 transport.


    Between the X-Wings and the blockade runners’ guns the remaining TIEs were dealt with swiftly. Black Squadron followed the transports down through the atmosphere of Onderon. The transports and their escorts flew low over the seemingly endless jungles, and the occasional smoking crater where an Imperial ground-to-air battery had been before Aurek Squadron’s Y-Wings took care of them. The freighters slowed down as they passed over a large walled city and dropped repulsorchute rigged cargo containers down to the city below. Jaya felt good knowing that their mission had been a success as the fleet of fighters and transports went up the planet’s gravity well and scattered into hyperspace just as the Imperial reinforcements arrived.


    Black Squadron’s X-Wings came out of hyperspace moments before their carrier did. Jaya contacted the Heart of Kyber and let the flight controllers know that she was in for a rough landing. Flight control instructed her to stand by until damage control and medical teams were ready, which didn’t exactly fill her with confidence. The last fighter entered the hangar and moments later Jaya received the all-clear to begin her landing. Landing with no repulsorlifts was something Jaya had only done in simulations, and she was rarely successful.


    “Alright Easy, you can eject now if you want, someone will come out and pick you up.” Jaya glanced at a screen and waited for the astromech’s response. The droid warbled and beeped and a response came up on the screen, he wanted to stay. “That’s your choice, just don’t get mad at me if you get scuffed up.”


    Jaya brought her fighter around and then headed for the hangar bay opening. She would have to adjust her speed so that her ship wouldn’t be so slow that it would immediately slam into the deck after the Mon Calamari cruiser’s artificial gravity got a hold of it. Going too fast was also a recipe for disaster. She considered aborting the first pass and coming around again, but she took a deep breath and decided to go for it. After her X-Wing passed through the magcon field the nose immediately took a steep dive to the deck. The fighter slammed down hard and skidded across the hangar bay, throwing sparks all the while, until it crashed head on into one of the barriers the damage control team had put up.


    The restraints on the ejection seat were still locked up from her maneuver during the battle so when the impact occurred Jaya was stopped quite suddenly and she gasped for breath after the wind was knocked out of her. Her entire chest hurt and it was impossible to take a deep breath. She tried to say something but all that came out was a pained groan. Easy wailed as he ejected himself and then began spraying down the ship with his extinguisher as damage control technicians wearing reflective suits and dome-shaped helmets approached. One of the technicians manually opened the canopy and the cockpit was flooded with flame-retardant fog. Jaya tried not to breathe any of the mildly toxic fog in, but holding her breath was somehow more painful than not doing so. A pair of medics lifted her out of the cockpit and put her on a stretcher to cart her off to the medical bay.


    Captain Dressec sat at his desk in the small office he shared with Commander Korp, still wearing his flight suit. The Mon Calamari sat at his desk silently going through data from Black Squadron’s computers. The Captain rested his elbows on the desktop and put his head in his hands. He knew that he should have been pleased with his squadron’s performance, a total of twenty-nine kills with only one pilot dead and one wounded was pretty good, but he just felt heavy.


    He’d made a vow to himself after he joined the Rebellion to never treat anyone around him as expendable, so he took every loss personally. Dressec stared at the blank screen of his datapad, trying to think of something to write about Garret. Sometimes he wished he’d never been put in charge of anyone else so he wouldn’t have to deal with writing the letters that would go to the dead pilot’s friends and family. In the seven different squadrons he’d been a part of as a Rebel he had lost dozens of good friends. He decided to deal with it later and called in Black Two, Hath Krev’Bar, for his debriefing. He sat up straight and tried to do his best at putting on a blank face. A short, stocky man with long braided black hair entered the room.


    “Lieutenant Krev’Bar, take a seat.” The Captain pointed at one of the empty chairs sitting against the wall of the small room.


    Hath moved the chair a half meter closer to the plain metal desk before sitting down.


    “Two kills today, no reportable damage to your fighter… and you saved my sorry rear. You’re a good wingman, Hath.”


    “Thank you sir, truthfully I had a pretty hard time keeping up with you.”


    “You did your job and that’s all that matters here. Do you have anything to add?” The captain cracked a smile for the first time since they left for Onderon.


    “No, I didn’t see anything unusual out there. My fighter’s data logs will tell you more than I can.”


    “You are correct, anyways we have the rest of today and the next two days off, because Commander Korp says we should get some time to decompress, right?” The Captain looked over at Korp who just nodded and continued to review the data. “And we’re authorized to use the Officer’s Lounge now, seems that command is a bit less suspicious of us.”


    “Well that’s good, I didn’t get why you, Falae, and me couldn’t go there, since we’d already fought for the Alliance.”


    “Everyone in the unit gets the same privileges and restrictions Hath, makes us more cohesive. Why don’t you go and relax now, eh?”


    Captain Dressec spent the next few hours debriefing the rest of Black Squadron, and waiting for Jaya to be released from the medical bay. Apparently she had a couple of broken ribs, a fractured collarbone, and a pair of fractured vertebrae in her neck, but she’d be clear to fly in less than a week thanks to bacta and crystal bone grafts. It would take a few days to get her fighter repaired anyways. After a long wait Jaya came hobbling into the room wearing a device that resembled an armored vest with a built in neck brace. Dressec did his best to keep himself from laughing at the ridiculous sight, and Jaya just scowled at him.


    “I’m sorry, it’s just that contraption they’ve got you in is ridiculous, how long do you have to wear it?”


    “The med droid said three days for the crystals to set, then they’ll take it off. Then a week of bacta patches, which won’t have any effect on my ability to fly.” Jaya slowly lowered herself into the chair.


    “A bit less time than I expected, I’ll see what I can do about expediting the repairs on your fighter, or I may just requisition a new one.”


    “Sorry about the rough landing, sir.”


    “Don’t worry about it, I’ve done worse myself. Besides, it’s my personal opinion that machines are expendable but people are not… don’t tell the droids I said that. Maybe if you didn’t have any kills I’d be a bit miffed, but three is pretty good for your first mission as a Rebel.”


    “Thank you, I’m just doing what I can to get all the blood off my hands.”


    “You do have a lot of it, don’t you? We all have our ways of motivating ourselves. By the way, that was pretty clever leading that fighter into the frigate’s exhaust, how did you know that would work?”


    “During a training flight when I was at the Imperial Academy one of the other cadets strayed a bit too close to the carrier’s engines.”


    “There was one of those in every class, eh? A politician’s laser-brained kid that didn’t pay attention. Do you have anything else to say about the mission?”



    “No sir.”


    “We’re allowed to use the Officer’s Lounge now, and we’ve got the next two days off. Why don’t you head down there and get a drink? Or just get some rest, since you don’t seem to be the social type.”
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2018
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  10. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    I loved the space battle over Onderon! Just enough description that I could follow the action without getting bogged down in details. Did you invent that manoeuvre with the frigate's exhaust trail, or is it from somewhere in canon?

    And new character! Hath Krev’Bar doesn't really come across as the talkative type. He and Jaya would probably get along well :p

    And why did Slathe call Jaya "Ice"? Is there something I missed, or did he just make up a nickname for her?
     
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  11. Flyboy240

    Flyboy240 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 6, 2017

    I think I invented that maneuver, but it wouldn't surprise me if it happened in a Legends book. :p

    Yeah he made up a nickname for her, it gets explained in the next chapter.
     
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  12. Mandalorian Riddler

    Mandalorian Riddler Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2018
    Nicely presented, I'm getting behind this at the moment :)
     
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  13. Flyboy240

    Flyboy240 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 6, 2017

    Glad you like it so far :)
     
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  14. Flyboy240

    Flyboy240 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 6, 2017
    Memory



    Eriadu, 12BBY


    Jaya stood in the dining room of her family’s cramped apartment, while her mother, Helri, sat on a chair, judging her. She’d been home from school for an hour and all she had done in that time was a music lesson with her mother. Her mother had been an acclaimed opera singer, and she wanted her daughter to follow in her footsteps. Jaya did seem to have inherited some of Helri’s talent, but what she really wanted to do was fly starships. Helri and her father pushed her towards the arts though, as was proper for an upper-class Eriaduan girl, despite not being upper-class. The Valion family name used to be worth much more before the rise of the Empire.


    Suddenly her father, Jarn, stormed through the door, wearing his black Imperial uniform, dragging one of her brothers by his upper arm. Jarn shoved him into the room the boys shared, and spent a while yelling at the ones that were home. He came back into the dining room red-faced, and took a deep breath before turning to Jaya.


    “Do you still want to be a pilot, Jaya?” He was a tall, heavily built man. He scared Jaya, she barely knew him since he was deployed all the time and hardly got leave. He was practically a stranger that barged into the apartment to yell at everyone for a week every now and then.


    “Yes father.” She tried to keep herself from smiling, she really wanted to but she felt it would be a bit inappropriate.


    “Your idiot brother failed the academy entrance exam, so you’ve got four years to study up. It’ll reflect badly on me if none of my children serve the Emperor, if you get accepted they might finally give me my commission back and a desk job. You understand how important this is to me, right?” Jarn looked down at his daughter.


    Jaya nodded her head and said yes. She didn’t really understand but she knew what her father wanted to hear.


    “Good,” Jarn turned to Helri, “From now on she only gets music lessons once a week, and tradition be damned. In the Republic the Valion name got me a commission as a captain straight out of training, but now it’s worthless. Because my sister had to go off and be a kriffing Jedi, and go off and hide for a year after their coup attempt. They thought I was helping her so they stripped my rank and I had to re-enlist as a private, and there’s a dirty Tarkin stinking up the old manor that should be mine…” Jarn continued to stand there and rant, at no individual in particular. He just seemed to be venting. Then Helri joined in and it turned into an argument so Jaya quietly went to her room.


    In the years before she entered the academy music went from something Jaya was forced to do every day and hated to becoming her only break from the constant studying. Though she loved practicing flying even more, and embarrassing her brothers by accomplishing what they couldn’t the most.


    =======================================================================


    The Officer’s Lounge was a leftover from when the Heart of Kyber was a luxury starliner, before it was converted into a warship by the Mon Calamari. While the rest of the ship was all plain plastoid and durasteel the lounge was covered in exotic wood, multi-colored coral, and red carpet. Ground and naval officers mingled, some were in civilian clothes but most were still in uniform. Most of the officers were humans but there were Mon Calamari, Twi’Leks, Duros, and members of other species. The lights were dim and there was music playing quietly in the background.


    Jaya got her one rationed drink and made her way to an empty table in the back. There wasn’t anyone else from Black Squadron or Aurek Squadron that she recognized there. She figured they had been there while she was in the medical bay. The music playing in the background was either one really long song or the same song on repeat.


    “Nice to see you out and about,” Roy Karkosa sat across from Jaya and slid his drink over to her.



    “Never heard of a Corellian giving a drink away.” Jaya smiled just a little bit.



    “I’ve got my own stash, a little something the techs in bay three brewed up. It’s better than the watered down swill they serve here.” Roy pulled a small flask out from an inner pocket in his jacket.


    “Never seen a Corellian without contraband either.” Jaya smirked.


    “And I’ve never heard of an Eriaduan who didn’t have a chip on their shoulder.” Roy opened the small plastoid container and took a sip.


    “Blame the culture.” She finished the remainder of her first drink and slid the empty glass over to Roy, who poured a little from his flask into it.


    “The upper class culture, but you don’t strike me as a member of that class.”


    “What makes you think that?” Jaya scowled.


    “You’ve got a thing about food.”


    “Fine. I had five older brothers and my father was a non-commissioned officer in the Imperial Navy, not exactly a high-salaried position. Everything left out was fair game and old habits die hard.” Jaya slammed back the second drink.


    “Well, you won’t be stealing any more snacks from me because they sent all of our extra food supplies to Onderon. Rationing is going to be pretty tight until our next resupply.”


    Jaya tried to shrug, but the contraption she was wearing prevented that. “I can’t wait to get this blasted thing off of me.”


    “Yeah that thing does look uncomfortable, what’s it even doing?”


    “Applying bacta, and something to do with the crystal grafts in my ribs and neck.”


    “I had a graft put in my collarbone when I was younger, I remember that I could feel it growing sometimes.”


    “I can hear the ones in my neck.”


    “That sounds absolutely horrifying.”


    It was. Jaya wished that she was put in a bacta tank instead, but the supplies they brought to Onderon included a good portion of the cruiser’s bacta supply. It was being rationed more heavily than the food supplies, and the plasteel vest-and-brace contraption was more efficient for the type of injuries Jaya had incurred.


    “It is, but it’s not as bad as the music, what even is this? Is it just one song on a loop?”


    “Background Noise Number Three, by the Modal Nodes. It’s three hours long and apparently designed to create feelings of relaxation in mammalians. Leave it to Bith to turn music into math and science.”


    “It’s not working.”


    “I can tell, want to head back to the cabins?”


    “Might as well.”


    Roy helped Jaya stand up and then the two of them slowly made their way to the turbolift that carried them to the barracks block. The empty common rooms and halls reflected the somber mood the squadrons were in. Their mission had been a success from a tactical and propaganda standpoint, but the first loss of a squadron mate would be harder than the rest. The reality of it all had finally hit everyone. They paused outside of the door to Jaya’s cabin.


    “Well, I’ll see you around, yeah?” Roy put his hands in his jacket pockets.


    “Yeah, it’s not that big of a ship.” Jaya entered her cabin and saw that Falae had cleared the lower bunk for her to use. She had been wondering how she would climb up to her bunk but she didn’t need to worry about that now.


    The next day the pilots of Black Squadron and Aurek Squadron gathered in the main hangar bay to have a funeral of sorts for the pilots they lost during the mission to Onderon. Black Squadron had lost one pilot and Aurek had lost three. Black Squadron lined up neatly into two rows of three and one of four pilots with Captain Dressec standing alone in front of them. Aurek’s nine remaining pilots stood in a loose group.


    Pilots from both squadrons stood at a makeshift podium consisting of two empty ordnance crates stacked together to give eulogies for their fallen comrades. There were no bodies so there were just four projected holoimages of the deceased. As she was listening to the other pilots pouring their hearts out Jaya realized the Empire would never do anything like this. Captain Dressec was right, to the Rebellion machines were expendable but people were not. At that moment Jaya decided to stop fighting for her own past and start fighting for everyone’s future.


    After they got back to the common room Jaya found a chair across from Slathe and sat down. She’d been meaning to ask him why she of all people had been given a nickname. Slathe was minding his own business, examining what appeared to be a part from a droid and prodding it with some tools. He was wearing a pair of magnifier goggles.


    “What’s that?” Jaya asked, she couldn’t think of a better way to start a conversation.


    “My astromech’s optical unit, he’s been complaining about some artifacting and other glitches coming up.” He poked at some wiring with a tool and swore under his breath.


    “Ah, so anyways, what’s with the nicknames? Am I the only one?” She asked.


    Jaya wasn’t interested in a technical conversation, as far as she was concerned the tech in droids and starships may as well be kriffing magic. Sure she could do basic repairs, but the physics behind everything were mind boggling. She left that to the technicians and astromechs.



    “So far yeah, I was thinking of calling Captain Dressec ‘Old Ironstache’ but I don’t think he’s quite old enough, and his ‘stache isn’t grey enough yet.” Slathe jabbed the tool deeper into the optical unit and there was an audible pop and a small puff of smoke.


    “Alright, so why am I ‘Ice’?” Jaya raised an eyebrow.


    “You keep that same monotone all the time in the cockpit, whether we’re in simulators, patrols, or an actual battle. You didn’t even seem to be bothered by having a TIE on your tail. You don’t exactly go out and make friends either.” He set down the part and wiped his hands off on his grease stained tan pants and took of the magnifier goggles.


    Jaya decided to take the explanation as a compliment, except for the part about not making friends. Though he had a point there, she had still been treating everyone around her like rookies who’d be gone before their first five missions. Old habits could be hard to break, but maybe she needed to be a bit friendlier. She hardly knew Garret before he was gone so she had nothing to say at the funeral, and she hardly knew anyone else still. She didn’t want there to be nothing said about her if she died.


    “That makes sense, I guess. I’ll leave you to your work.” Jaya got up and went to her cabin to lay down and rest.


    Making friends could wait until after she had healed. Jaya laid in her bed, staring at the bottom of the top bunk, reflecting on the long and bizarre journey that had landed her where she was now.
     
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  15. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Jaya says making friends can wait, but I think she's already beginning to make friends with her roommate's brother.
     
  16. Flyboy240

    Flyboy240 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 6, 2017
    True haha
     
  17. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    I am enjoying this a great deal. Jaya seems to be a very multilayered character. She comes across as cold and calculating but you always feel it is more of a self-protection than anything else. I enjoyed the descriptions of the sims and the actual mission at Onderon. I can totally understand that the first casualty would put a damper on morale. I like Roy ;) ... he's easygoing without becoming obnoxious [face_laugh] And his sister is considerate as a roommate. :)
     
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  18. Flyboy240

    Flyboy240 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 6, 2017
    Chapter 4: Ambush/The Survivors


    A week had passed since the mission to Onderon and Black Squadron was almost back in fighting shape, although they were still down a pilot and a ship. The eleven pilots were three hours and fifty-five minutes into a four hour patrol. Most of them were getting a bit hungry and antsy. Jaya tapped her foot impatiently against the X-Wing’s heavy rudder pedal.


    Suddenly a small fleet of Imperial warships dropped out of hyperspace directly ahead of them. There was a pair of old Venator-class cruisers, numerous light cruisers and other support ships, and a trio of Interdictor cruisers. The large hangar doors of the Venators opened to launch swarms of TIE fighters and bombers.


    “Are you kriffing kidding me right now…” Jaya mumbled to herself. She had really been looking forward to lunch.


    “We’ve got company, hold back and protect the cruiser until we get orders from Admiral Haddar.” Captain Dressec addressed his squadron.


    “How did they find us? There’s nothing out here!” Black Three, Ciara Satursus, said.


    “A really good telescope?” Black Nine, Veros Namark, chimed in.


    “Spies most likely.” Falae said.


    “Cut the chatter Black Squadron, we need to intercept those bombers.” The Captain locked his S-foils in attack position and headed towards a large group of TIE fighters and his squadron followed him.


    Practically all of the alarms in Jaya’s cockpit were flashing or making noise, which made it difficult to concentrate on flying. The twin-pod TIE bombers let loose a barrage of missiles which Jaya dove hard to avoid. Luckily the missiles were locked onto the cruiser instead of the fighters protecting it. Jaya pulled up and got behind Falae’s X-wing. The two of them chased down a pair of TIEs that were headed towards the cruiser’s engines. Jaya lined up behind the leader, a bomber, and let loose a pair of proton torpedoes while Falae went after his wingman with her cannons.


    “Nice shot Falae, there’s three more headed for the bridge.” Jaya followed Falae’s fighter as she turned hard to avoid a turret as they skimmed over the top of the cruiser’s hull.


    “Two headed for the shield nodes, we’ve definitely got a target rich environment.” Falae said.


    “Copy that.” Jaya answered.


    They fought hard, but the Imperial fighters vastly outnumbered them. Rebel fighters were being shot down all around as a wave of fast, deadly TIE interceptors joined the fight. The Heart of Kyber and several of the support ships were badly damaged, and the Interdictors had been untouched so far. The Rebels could see that the battle was certainly not going to end well for them.


    “This is Admiral Haddar,” A voice with a strong Mon Calamari accent came over the comlinks, “all Alliance craft move out of range of the Interdictors and scatter to rendezvous point three-two. Our hyperdrive has been damaged, we’ll hold them off for you. May the Force be with you.”


    “You heard him, let’s g-“ Captain Dressec’s transmission was cut off.


    “Did they get the captain?” Slathe asked.


    “This is Black Two, I’ve got two on my tail!”


    “Help me they’re everywhere!”


    The comm chatter was pure chaos so Jaya blocked incoming transmissions as she followed Falae away from the cruiser. Eventually they made it out of the range of the Interdictors, and Jaya jumped into hyperspace just as a squadron of TIE interceptors showed up behind her. Jaya knew that Falae got out too, but she had no idea who else had.


    After dropping out of hyperspace and changing course a couple of times Jaya came out of hyperspace a couple hundred-thousand kilometers away from a dead-looking brown and white planet with just a few wispy clouds and no visible oceans or other water. A few other Rebel ships dropped out of the hyperlane around her. There weren’t many, just a pair of GR-75 transports, a CR-90 corvette, three U-wings, and a small assortment of starfigters. The small, battered fleet hung in space as they waited for more to arrive, but none did. They were all that was left from their fleet.


    “This is Black Eight, all wings report in.” Falae took charge in Captain Dressec’s absence.


    “Black Seven standing by.”


    “Blue Three checking in.”


    “Green nine.”


    “This is Aurek Four.”


    “Green Five.”


    The check-in’s continued, and Jaya breathed a sigh of relief when she heard Roy check in. There were six survivors from Black Squadron. The five that didn’t make it, including Captain Dressec, were presumed dead. There was a small outpost set up in an abandoned mine on the surface of the planet, which was called Crait. The surviving starfighters and transports landed on a seemingly endless salt flat, in front of a large rocky hill with a giant corroded metal door.


    The first thing Jaya noticed when she opened her cockpit’s canopy was the brutal heat and the bone-dry air. Jaya left her helmet on, because the lenses cut down on the harsh glare from the system’s sun on the white salt. She turned up her flight suit’s cooling and made her way over to Falae, who was hugging her brother. After they separated, Roy embraced Jaya for but a moment before the pilots trudged over to the shield door, which had opened enough for them to walk through.


    “Welcome to Crait, survivors of the 588th fighter wing and Sixteenth Fleet, I am Commander Dakku, 342nd Communications.” A blue skinned Twi’Lek wearing a faded green and tan uniform was waiting inside, with a dozen others wearing similar mismatched uniforms.


    After the officers discussed the situation everyone got to work unloading the transports. Crait was to be their base until High Command had somewhere else to put them. It took several hours to unload the supplies, and by the time they were done night had fallen and the air had become freezing cold, even inside the base.


    Jaya was sitting with the remnants of Black Squadron and the other Starfighter units, eating a bland dry ration of polystarch bread and veg-meat strips. It was terrible, but filling enough. The pilots were all huddled around a heater lantern.


    “If the Empire could find us way out there we’re kriffed. The Rebellion is done for.” An A-wing pilot wearing a green flight suit said.


    “May as well just run, scatter and hide. The Empire’s got the numbers and firepower to crush us.” A Y-Wing pilot added.


    “I want to go back home to Coruscant, I’m done fighting.” Another pilot said.


    It was silent for a minute. Jaya looked around at the other pilots, most of whom had their heads hung in despair. They had all lost friends in the ambush. Some of them weren’t even eating, just prodding at their food in a disinterested fashion.


    "Anybody else have anything to say?" Jaya looked around the room, and the other Rebels avoided looking into her eyes, "Will you really be fine with living under Imperial rule? What does the Empire say they stand for, order? Peace? Security? Well what use is order when you have no freedom? What use is security when people are dragged from their homes for speaking up? What use is peace when a Star Destroyer orbits your world, and a pair of Stormtroopers stand on every street corner? Our Rebellion may fail, but another will rise, and another, and so on until there is an army standing at the gates of the Imperial Palace, with the people of the Galaxy behind them. The Empire's days are numbered.”



    “I don’t think it’s gonna fall in our lifetimes. Imperial scandocs are pretty easy to fake, we could all be out of here with new identities by tomorrow.” Slathe mumbled as he dropped his bread and just stared at it as it sat on the dusty floor.


    “So we just run away? No. I’ve seen the Empire do too many terrible things, and I did some of those things myself. We can’t just look away and move on with our lives, we joined the Rebellion for a reason and it sure wasn’t for the blasted money. If we run everyone that died today will have died for nothing.” Jaya was furious now. She decided to walk away before she hit someone.


    She walked out into the main chamber and sat down on top of a small metal water tank. The chamber was silent except for the occasional bleeps and whistles of astromech droids as they worked on damage that one of the U-Wings had sustained. The floodlights illuminating the droids’ work cast a soft white glow, almost like moonlight, through the rest of the cavern.


    “Hey, don’t worry about it. People are still messed up from losing everything today, they’ll come around.” Roy came up and sat next to her.


    “I hope so.” She leaned over and rested her head on his shoulder. It had been a long, difficult day, to say the least. Just the small bit of comfort of having someone next to her helped.
     
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  19. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Superb action and devastating losses! :( Very understandable reactions -- if the Empire found them "way out there" [face_worried] and could take out so many :eek: it's no wonder so many want to just cut and run. Jaya's speech was rousing and wonderfully motivating @};- =D= ... I hope things can turn around and go up from the low point.
     
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  20. Flyboy240

    Flyboy240 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 6, 2017

    Glad you're enjoying it :)
     
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  21. Thorn058

    Thorn058 Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Jul 28, 2008
    Are you following the original canon? Your description didn’t say and I’m curious about your timeline. After reading the first chapter your writing and set up are great, the details add just enough to get a real fleet feel for the pilots. Don’t worry about your pacing it is good so far and as someone with a pilot squad fic I’d say don’t worry to much about the slang, readers adapt quickly. How much concrit are you looking for? I like where you are taking me so far.
     
  22. Flyboy240

    Flyboy240 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 6, 2017
    It's sort of a mix of old and new canon, so AU-lite I guess. Mild concrit would be good.
     
  23. Thorn058

    Thorn058 Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Jul 28, 2008
    The writer in me loves what you are doing, the Star Wars nerd in me is the one with some questions and hence where you were at canon-wise. So that being said your setting clashes a bit for me because of the timeframe that the MonCals joined the Alliance and brought their fleet into the war. If you are going AU-lite this doesn’t pose a problem. One suggestion I would make is to be careful with how good you make Black Squadron and your rebel forces versus how bad you make the Imperials seem. You have a lot of great detail but some of it clashes with the story you want to tell. Again just my inner nerd talking.
     
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  24. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Sorry I missed an update!

    And phew! Jaya isn't having it easy here. First she gets smashed up, then she has to adjust to the idea of losing a squadron mate about whom she knows very little – and it does come across as if she feels a bit guilty for not having got to know him at all – and then as soon as she's healed, her little chunk of the fleet falls to an Imperial ambush? It's understandable that many people would be tempted to give up after such a massive loss, but Jaya clearly isn't a quitter and she may end up making friends because she spoke up when it was necessary.

    I love how you're building up her relationship with Falae (who is a very thoughtful roommate indeed; it was a nice touch to show that little act of thoughtfulness to tell us what sort of person she is) and even more so with Roy. There's something very sweet going on there.

    (Oh, and I squeed when I recognised Crait. I love that place.)

    And now... was the fleet betrayed by a spy, as is suggested at one point? And if so, who could be the spy? [face_thinking]
     
  25. Flyboy240

    Flyboy240 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 6, 2017
    In the new canon it's implied that some Mon Calamari joined the Rebellion earlier than they did in Legends. I do write my starfighter battles to be pretty one sided most of the time, but I feel that is supported by canon. Fleet engagements will usually have the Empire coming out on top most of the time though.



    Crait is my favorite location in the sequel trilogy so far, it's like opposite Hoth.