The Departure of Serenity [FT; Closed Attn: Huntaer & WIck]
Super Star Destroyer Olympus
Location: Elom System
After the Olympus arrived at the designated rendezvous point the rest of the Imperial forces that had been designated to Thrawn's command on Vader's order began arriving. Groups of Imperial Star Destroyers with escorts, such as Katana-class Dreadnoughts, Nebula frigates, Interdictor cruisers, Tector-class Star Destroyers, Carrack Cruiers, Escort Carriers, Imperial Fast Frigates, and other various Imperial ships that were designated as "support." It was an impressive armada.
Captain Brandei stood on the bridge of the Olympus, checking off ships as they reported in off his data pad. Grand Admiral Thrawn sat in his command chair, speaking with a few of the newly arrived commanders, making it clear to them their objectives in the coming campaign. A group of small 1/4th sized hologram figures stood on a display pad listening to the Grand Admiral.
"Those are your targets gentlemen. You also have your other orders. Follow them explicitly," said Thrawn, allowing a small cold tone to enter his voice as he stated the last part. "Admiral Oicunn. Admiral Kerman. I expect that each of you will carry your orders out to the best of your abilities."
"Yes sir, Grand Admiral," said Admiral Oicunn with panache.
"It will be as you order," added Admiral Kerman.
Thrawn nodded. "I chose each of you to handle these assignments because you have shown not only loyalty to the Empire, but also because each of you has shown, in the past, some variable skill at strategy and tactics. I will want to see that fervor and ability to show through by the time I read the AARs."
The two admirals both came to a sharp salute and their hologram figures disappeared. The other officers were either of Commander or Commodore-grade. They listened even more intently as Thrawn continued to explain further on their individual orders. After a few more exchanges they all saluted and the miniature figures disappeared. Only one last figured remained. Instead of an Imperial officer, the armoured helmet of an implacable Mandalorian.
"Rav Bralor, I trust you and your men are prepared?" asked the Grand Admiral.
"We're more than ready Thrawn," the female Mando said. Captain Brandei, who was within hearing distance, bristled. Grand Admiral Thrawn however simply ignored the discourtesy.
"Good. I paid good money to acquire your services. See to it you carry your mission out to the full extent of your abilities...as your reputation carries," said Thrawn. Without another word he cut the line. Captain Brandei stood nearby.
"That damned mercenary should learn her manners," Brandei said with scorn.
"That's enough Captain, she and her warriors have their uses. They are one of our vital pieces in this campaign," replied Thrawn. "Now see to it that our Huntarian allies are alerted and ask that they rally here with us."
Agile Class Destroyer
The Elom system was located north of the Perlemian Trade Route, not far from the Republic's Northern frontier. It was home to the Elom race long subjugated forcible by the empire. And like all bordering systems to the Free Worlds it was monitored for activity. An Agile Class Destroyer was 700 meters in length and massed over 88,000 tons but was one of the smallest and quickest vessels in the Free Worlds Navy, which made it an ideal scouting vessel.
Imperial Sensors were quite good, but space was quite vast and systems were large with an almost unfathomable volume to them. The destroyer was more then 12.5 light hours under and to the west of the systems primary. To put it into perspective the ship was more then 28 times the distance of the sun to Jupiter from Elom's primary.
As it was the Free Worlds had long practice at watching Imperial systems, the small destroyer was lying doggo, betraying no emissions that could reveal its location. It was moving .05c relative to the primary, a slow velocity but common enough for any meteor or comet one of hundreds that were on the fringes of any system. It was long know that only completely stationary objects in space were suspicious ones. It used only its passive sensors and those from deployed stealth recon drones to observe the system. All it could see at the moment was local traffic, but if something with a lot of mass like an invasion fleet appeared it would become quite clear to the ship.
+ + +
The alarm rang from the com-box in the wall near his bed. The first loud ring woke him from sleep, the second brought him to his senses, by the time the third ring occurred he managed to grab the phone the sleep finally leaving him.
"Go ahead." he mumbled.
"Sir, Officer of the Watch, Passives have detected an Imperial fleet entering the system. Your presence is request on the bridge." He heard the anxiousness in the voice of the young officer. His hand rubbed his eyes for a second before he responded.
"Understood, ill be there in five minutes." He rather ungently replaced the phone into its box. As he rolled out of his small bed he stood and groaned before he walked over to the small sink and poured himself a small drink thirsty as he was he begain to dress himself in his uniform.
Another voice spoke this one female from under the covers of his bed. "What’s going on Skipper?" he was buttoning his tunic as he looked at the naked brunette petty officer in his bed.
"Ah, you better get dressed Alice, Imperials have entered the system." She swore softly as she stood up out of the bed and got dressed to. He was lacing up his boots now. "I got to get to the bridge. Remember, don't tell anyone about this, and ill talk to Chief Al'kref about your evals for this month." He told her as he left for the bridge.
It did not talk him long to get to the bridge, the destroyer’s bridge was perhaps fifteen meters in area, and was cramped with displays and stations, along with the small holo-tank in its center.
"Captain on Deck!" ordered one of the first warrants to notice his arrival as the bridge crew came to attention.
"As you were. XO what’s the situation?" He asked as he noticed Lt. senior-grade Fortunado as standing near the holo-tank.
"Skipper, twenty minutes ago large elements of the Imperial Battle Fleet exited hyperspace near the system's center almost twelve light hours from our current position. We can not get an accurate count on their numbers from this distance using only passive sensors but it appears to be a dozen capital ships with a command ship acting as Flag accompanied by a score of smaller screening units."
If those numbers were accurate it was a large enough task force that it could establish dominance over many of the systems of the Republic. Only the largest of systems could hope to withstand an assault and only the Northern Force itself could defeat such an enemy in detail. But if this was one of the Empire's main invasion forces and it had to be due to its proximity to the Republic in the Elom system, inhabited by a race known for their hatred of the Empire. Yet, the force was not as large as it should be, leading Commander Henry to believe that it was awaiting yet more reinforcements. If that was the case they had an opportunity here to defeat an enemy force before they had the chance to unify their commands.
“Ensign Sha’tre, I want you to send a message to Quermia via the ansible make them aware of the enemy’s presence in this system and that the units of my division will attempt to refine our data on the enemy force with updates to follow.” The young Bothan acknowledged her commanders orders as she sent the contact report to Quermia Fleet Base, home of the Northern Command.
Up to this point in the war most of the fleets objectives in Operation Long Hammer were directed at the known Imperial Fleet Bases in Kessel and the Maw. The overriding objective of that operation and the Fleet’s mission was to destroy the enemy forces before they could invade the Republic itself. The Northern Border had been quiet after the battle of Ishtar, but now the enemy had been sighted in very close proximity to the Perlemian Trade Route. Commander Henry had no doubt that High Command would move against this Imperial Fleet in force, to remove it as a threat.
OOC: Alrighty ill get mor up later im off to work now.
After the events in Twilight...
Grand Admiral Heromath, one of the oldest and most experienced Admirals in the Huntarian Empire walked the slow long walk towards Emperor Vorman's quarters, where the Phantom Lord had his back to him. He stood at attention, his face stern as he looked at the back of the ghostly figure. ::I can see why the former Emperor liked this position.::
Heromath raised an eyebrow, "Sir?"
Vorman continued to stare outwards at the window, ::it's the sunset Admiral. It's iconic to how our great Empire was formed.::
Heromath was puzzled by the Emperor's comment, "with all due respect my Lord, is there a point to all this?"
Vorman stared out at the sunset forming before him, ::he formed the Empire on war, while the strength of the Huntarian Republic collapsed inwardly as he struck before he launched his full invasion. The Empire then remained in a form of a sunset, the light battled the dark and it stayed that way for as long as it could. Before my predecessor died, I happen to know that the sunset had set for him one last time. Unlike his Empire, mine was formed through silent acts of betrayal, formed in the darkness which came after the sunset. The question is... How will you preform your role in history?::
Heromath narrowed his eyes, "if it's my loyalty to the previous Empire you're talking about sir, it matters not to me. I follow whomever is in charge of the Throne. I aim to serve my masters."
Vorman nodded, ::I expected nothing less from you Admiral. You and Admiral Khal shall be the harbingers of darkness which my Empire will bring. Khal has done his part, for now and is on shore leave for scientific researches, back to his usual hobbies. Can I rely on you to continue what he has begun?:: Vorman picked up a datapad, and handed them to Admiral Heromath.
Heromath saluted his master, "you can rely upon me sir. I will carry out my orders to it's fullest."
Vorman approved, ::good! You are ordered to organize a fleet composed of ships specified for this mission. With your help, the galaxy will have seen it's last sunset. It shall see an age of darkness it hasn't experienced in Milena. You are dismissed Admiral.::
Special Task Fleet: Vorman's Fist.
Commander: Grand Admiral Heromath.
Location: Elom System
Fleet Composition: Tie Class Carrier Mk II, Tyrant Class Towerless Super Star Destroyer, Tenebrous Class TSD's, Eradicator Class TSD Mk II's Eradicator Class TSD Mk I's, Iron Warrior Class Battleships, World Eater Class Battleships, Siege Class Cruisers, Plutir Class Corvettes, Agave class Corvettes, Shield Class Stations, FTLi Platforms, Torpedo Platforms
The Huntarians had received the Thrashian message a long time ago. As ordered, Grand Admiral Heromath composed a fleet of 200 ships designed specifically around planetary assaults. The fleet jumped from the Necrominus, the Tyrant jumped in front of the Thrashian fleet, near the center of the system. The Admiral looked out at the view screen and noticed the rather primitive fleet of ships. He snorted to himself and reminded that he shouldn't say anything about the fleet. "Open up communications with the Super Star Destroyer Olympus. Inform them that we have arrived as scheduled."
Super Star Destroyer Olympus
Admiral Thrawn was discussing some specifics with Captain Brandei when the port-side crew pit's communications officer perked up, moments after the sensor crew alerted the Fleet that Huntarian vessels had arrived. "Admiral, we're receiving a message from the Huntarian flagship Tyrant. Grand Admiral Heromath sends his regards and requests an update on the situation."
"Very well," replied Thrawn. "See to it that we account for their fleet assets and request that Admiral Heromath either come aboard the Olympus for a meeting or if he would prefer, a holo-transmission."
Victory Star Destroyer Praetor
Ensign Jona Darbin sat at his station working over the different messages that were being transmitted between the ships of the fleet. It was a harrying time for nearly all the communications officers and crewmen, seeing as with so many ships together it was important to have coordination. And if what rumors said was true, Grand Admiral Thrawn did not appreciate sloppiness.
Darbin was about to shut off the last search algorithms of his Comscan station when a small beep sounded. He traced it and looked it over. At first he thought it was just another Huntarian communication blip, but upon closer investigation he realized something was wrong. It didn't match any Imperial codes or regular transmission tell-tail signs.
"Lieutenant, I think you should see this," Darbin called over his shoulder. His immediate superior, Lieutenant Brand, stood over his shoulder and looked down. He too began frowning.
"Did you run a search through our data banks for any matches?" Lieutenant Brand asked.
"I am right now sir, but it's not done yet."
"Any ideas as to what it is?" Brand asked.
"Definitely not Imperial," remarked Darbin.
Lieutenant Brand nodded and walked over to Captain Wessel who sat in the cramped command chair looking over the details for the Praetor. He came to attention and snapped his boots together as if on parade ground.
"Sir, we've detected an unknown communication transmission going out of system," Brand reported.
"Is it one of ours?"
"No sir," said Brand. "It's not any kind of known Imperial coding or type. We're looking for a match in our data banks, but that could take time."
"Very well," sighed Captain Wessel. "I'll report this on up."
"Captain Brandei," the communications officer called again. "We're receiving a report from Victory Star Destroyer Praetor, they're reporting that they've detected a faint transmission communique that was detected heading out of system. It matches no Imperial coding or transmission type."
"It's probably nothing more than-," Brandei began, but was quickly cut off by Admiral Thrawn.
"Have they checked the data files?" asked Thrawn.
"Yes sir, and it appears to be an analogue of communication technology used by Parlim some years ago, when we still had communication with them. However it hasn't been in Imperial use for some time," reported the communications officer.
"Then it is safe to say that the Rebels know we're here," declared Thrawn.
Captain Brandei frowned. "Sir, we can't be sure that-."
"Have the Interdictor Star Destroyers Harbinger, Allegiance, and Dominator activate their FLTi fields in the direction from which the communication was detected. Have the Praetor move forward to the last know location of the transmission point. Have the Escort Carrier Argenta support it," ordered Thrawn. "I want communication jamming established also, switch to direct-laser-communications."
"Yes sir," the communications officer replied, snapping to attention.
"They could already be gone sir," said Brandei, quietly.
"Not likely captain," said Thrawn, steepling his fingers. "It is more likely that this Rebel ship out there sent an alert to our presence here."
"But we can't see anything out there, they must be cloaked."
"Possible, but not likely. Intelligence reports say that most regular reconnaissance ships used by the Rebels aren't fitted out with competent cloaking devices. No, it is far more likely that they are running silent."
"It's a smooth trick used by smugglers," replied Thrawn. "Where one powers down a ships engines and transponder, as well as all telemetry signals and the like. You could pass within 20,000 kilometers of a sensor array and be mistaken for nothing more than a piece of debris or a derelict."
"Tricky buggers, aren't they," commented Captain Brandei.
The Victory-class Star Destroyer Praetor, the Escort Carrier Argenta, and the three Interdictor-class Star Destroyers Harbinger, Allegiance, and Dominator all made a micro-hyperspace jump to the area where the original transmission had been detected. Commodore Erickson, aboard Harbinger, had all three Interdictors activate their FTLi fields. Commander Rayleigh aboard the Argenta launched six TIE squadrons out in a search pattern formation alongside a few other squadrons from Captain Wessel's Praetor. Seeing as regular sensors weren't going to work, the Imperial forces were forced to depend upon opticals, and thus began their search.
Agile Class Destroyer
"Not a bad jump for a bunch of Imperials." noted the XO, "Managed to get within two light seconds of the ansible but its a little bit over kill for a sat."
"To the Imperial Navy there is no thing called 'Overkill'." Commander Henry said as he watched the TIE's begin their search, undoubtedly they would find the ansible sat soon enough. "Whoever is in command over there made a mistake though. He jumped on the sources of the transmission before confirming its identity, he revealed his hand.
"COMS, transmit the self-destruct for the Ansible." Henry ordered. The COMS officer's hands flickered across her console for a moment imputing the command code to cause the self-destruct to initiate, the signal was sent by tight-beam to the sat. The Imperial vessels would have detected a brief surge in the Ansible Sat before its power plant went critical.
"I think we overspent our welcome here. Navigation activate withdrawal plan Golf-Three" As with every Free Worlds mission, preservation of command and crew were of the utmost importance, and his mission was compromised here. They had some good hard data on the Imperial fleets gather here now. It was time to get out of dodge. Four power sources light up rapidly each matching the power signature of a Agile class Destroyer as it powered up its alpha nodes for the jump into hyperspace. The four signatures were independent from one another and separated by a long distance from each other and the imperial quick reaction force. The Imperial commander would have to make a choice quickly and choice which of the contacts to intercept, it would not take long for the destroyer to jump into hyperspace, it was specifically designed have an emergency activation ability that would have pushed unmodified vessels past safety limits.
Victory Star Destroyer Praetor
"Sir," Ensign Darbin called, "We're tracking four signals, each roughly 3 million kilometers out, all in different directions and currently under power."
"Comscan?" requested Lieutenant Brand.
"Each appears to be activating their engines in preparation for a jump to hyperspace sir," the sensor chief reported. "Classification matches that of a Rebel Agile-class Destroyer."
"Well we can't readily follow all four by ourselves-," began Lieutenant Brand. His sentence was cut off as alarms blared to life and out of the corner of his eye the Lieutenant and Captain Wessel caught sight of an explosion near the Interdictor-class Star Destroyer Harbinger.
"Ansible signal lost sir," called the sensor chief. "Most likely self-destructed."
"Harbinger reports loss of one of their gravity wells power couplings," communications ensign reported. "The two main are still online, but Captain van Flyte reports that the Harbinger cannot readily establish a full FTLi field."
"Damn," muttered Captain Wessel. He turned to the helmsman. "Track the nearest target and bring us to full intercept speed."
The other two Interdictor Star Destroyers, the Allegiance and Dominator, each chose one of the signals to go after, splitting up. The Escort Carrier Argenta took up a matching course alongside the Harbinger. It's numerous fighter wings now headed at high speed towards each of the different targets in hope of catching the Rebel scum. Captain Wessel angled the Praetor to go after the nearest, still just outside of optical sensors to pick up a clear picture, but close enough that its sublight engines could quickly close the gap.
TIE Interceptor Iron Squadron
"Iron Leader, this is Iron 3," the TIE Interceptor pilot reported. "I've got a visual on target 4. Sensors are reading it as a destroyer but it's nothing at all like any destroyer that I've ever seen."
"Clarify that Iron 3," the TIE squadron leader asked, perplexed.
"I mean there's a floating piece of metal out here blaring out telemetry and sensory signals that classify as an Agile-class Destroyer sir," the pilot said, a note of regret and worry in his voice. "Sir...I think we've been had."
TIE Interceptor Viper Squadron
"Viper Leader, this is Viper 7, confirmed target! Rebel destroyer at mark 2, vector 23-4-7," the pilot eagerly reported. The twelve Interceptors swung through space as fast as their twin-ion engines would take them. The squadron leader looked out his view port and saw the lights of the destroyer's engines heating up. They were about to get away. And the three Interdictor cruisers were no where near enough to get an FLTi field up in time to stop them.
"Viper Leader to all fighters, come around for another pass and make a strafing run. Aim for the engines. We're only going to get one pass, so make it count," the squadron leader ordered. Several comm clicks came in reply. The squadron leader sent a quick alert to the Praetor, and then brought his fighter around in formation.
The Interceptor squadron swung around as quickly as their new inertia-canceling drives could take them, peddling back on their ion trails at an angle that most pilot jocks would consider insane. However they'd never met Baron Soontir Fel in fighter combat before. And his clones lived up to the name of their progenitor. Though designed to be, as the name implied, used mainly against fighters; the Interceptor cannons were bound to do some damage against a ship whose shields would inevitably be down, due to their imminent jump to hyperspace.
The pilots of the Interceptor Squadron made two mistakes. The first was that they closed within visual range of the Free Worlds Destroyer, and Free Worlds energy weapons traveled at the speed of light the pilots would not know the destroyer had fired upon them until they were hit. The second mistake the pilots made was that the Free World's Destroyer weapons were offline. Preparing the ship for hyperspace took numerous safety checks on the destroyer's Alpha Nodes and on the reactor. Preparing the Destroyer's point defense clusters required only for the outer hatches to be opened and the cluster opened to space.
As the Interceptors came around for a strafing pass at the destroyers aft where they assumed the engines to be they were greeted by the active sensors of the destoryer, Lidar, Radar and Gravitic sensors this would be the only warning the Imperial pilots would have that they were in danger. They could take drastic evasive action and maybe avoid the point defense or they could continue on their attack run, inflict some damage perhaps but in the process sacrifice themselves. At such close range twelve targets would be easy meat for a destroyer designed to intercept missile waves. The six point defense clusters in the destroyers aft hammer head tracked an interceptor each, a PD laser cluster designed to track and destroy missile could do awful things to a small fighter craft.
"Why are they targeting the Aft Hammerhead?" the XO pondered as the Interceptors made their turn.
"These are Huntaerans XO, our previous encounters with the Empire have been with its core, these fellows come from a different region altogether, they maintain separate navies, separate chain of command, I guess they never were brief on what an impeller ring is. Or that you never want to close within a 100,000 kilometers of a destroyer with only a squadron of fighters." Commander Henry stated.
As he spoke point defense clusters fired six laser a second at the incoming TIEs and at this close distance they would have very little time to react before they were hit. Just as the destroyer fired in its defense the laser from the TIEs who decided to run the gauntlet struck home.
OOC: Well there you go my 20 minute reply before i have to run off to work. Thrashia if you want reply to the TIE pilots reactions to being targeted and taking fire id like to read that. My next post will be about damage sustained and bugging out.