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Price of Loyalty

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  • Jedi Ridder
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Så forsøger jeg mig med en historie. Det er faktisk en jeg startede på for over et år siden, men jeg har aldrig fået uploadet den. Det var planen den skulle være en del af en større historie med flere kapitler. Desværre er jeg gået lidt i stå med arbejdet, men det kan jo være jeg snart kan få taget mig sammen til at fortsætte på den. Det her er første kapitel i historien. Kendere finder hurtigt ud af hvornår historien foregår  :-D

Kommentarer er mere end velkomne 8-)

Price of Loyalty ch. 1

Looking out over the bridge of his Strike Cruiser Hallow captain Javal Boregard Lensin could see the straight backs and firm postures that marked the full concentration of his crew.
“Time to reversion?” Lensin called out across the bridge.
“4 minutes and 26 seconds, sir,” Lieutenant Clise replied instantly from navigations.
 Although Lensin could have gained this information just by looking at his own screens he liked to get the information directly from the bridge crew. That way he made sure his crew remained alert even while in transit through hyperspace.
“All right, when we pull out of hyperspace make sure you all remember our primary assignment,” Lensin directed. “Our primary objective is to guard the Fenris during this attack. Fenris is paramount to our success during this attack. If the Glory is present when we revert Fenris is the only ship able to match its firepower. Therefore we have to protect it from any harm. Remember, although we destroyed Ali Tarrak’s factory Zaarin still has up to a full wing of TIE Defenders, most of them stationed onboard the Glory. You’ve all seen the TIE Defenders in action and you know what kind of firepower they pack so make sure you keep them a long way from the Fenris.”
“Yes, sir,” a chorus rang out across the bridge.
“Good. Happer, make sure you relay that information to the squadron leaders. No TIE Defenders are to come within range of the Fenris.”
“Yes, sir, right away” Lieutenant Happer replied from the communications station as he bent over his console and started relaying the orders.
 Lensin felt a warmth of pride fill his body. For almost two years he had served with this crew onboard the Hallow. Lots of intense exercises and drills had honed his crew’s skills and focus. Over the past 6 months they had proved it over and over again in the campaign against former Grand Admiral Zaarin. Lensin still couldn’t imagine what could have provoked Zaarin to his failed coup against the Emperor. Apparently power was able to corrupt even the most powerful minds. In Lensin’s opinion Zaarin had one of the best positions in the whole Imperial Navy. A position as one of the Emperor’s original 12 Grand Admirals Zaarin answered only to the Emperor and Darth Vader themselves. Furthermore Zaarin headed one of the best Research & Development stations in the known Galaxy always securing him the best top of the line hardware the Imperial Navy had. Maybe that was the whole reason Zaarin thought he could pull a stunt like that. Fortunately Vader and Maarek Stele had arrived just in time to disable the shuttle carrying the abducted Emperor before it arrived at Zaarins flagship Glory. Zaarin had just barely escaped Thrawn’s grasp when Thrawn had arrived in the final minutes of the ensuing counterattack on the Glory. The hunt for Zaarin had now lasted for six months. Although the fighting had been tough especially in the first three months partly due to Zaarin’s advanced weaponry Lensin had a feeling the campaign was drawing to a conclusion. Grand Admiral Thrawn’s continuing assaults had started taking a toll on Zaarin’s forces. Although the Glory had evaded serious damage the rest of Zaarin’s was suffering losses and his ability to acquire reinforcements was nearly zero.
Lensin took a quick look at the timer on his console. Just about 2 minutes until the battle group arrived at their destination. Looking in hindsight Lensin couldn’t help but admire the way Grand Admiral Thrawn’s had dealt with Zaarin’s forces. Thrawn had been persistent in taking out Zaarin’s factories and raiding his research stations. Even in the few direct battle with Glory Thrawn hadn’t made any real effort in taking Zaarin’s flagship out. It seemed almost as if Thrawn had been toying with him. In the first few months of the campaign it had been frustrating to see Glory fleeing the battles without taking pursuit. Now Lensin had gotten used to it. In his meticulous rampage against Zaarin’s limited reinforcement capabilities Thrawn had forced Zaarin to take up the fight on Thrawn’s terms and on his arenas of choice. Lensin couldn’t help but notice how it had affected the morale of his crew positively every time Glory fled. The same must be true for the morale of Zaarin’s forces just in the opposite direction from being constantly on the run.
“One minute to reversion!” Lieutenant Clise reported drawing Lensin back to the present.
“Great, all stations report,” Lensin barked. Hearing the stations reporting in as ready for combat Lensin felt an excitement spread on the bridge. As soon as the reports ended he ordered the TIE squadrons to stand by for launch.
Clise called in. “Reversion in five…four…three…two…one.” On time the starlines resolved in to pricks in the viewport. Soon after, Major Julian’s dark voice filled the speakers requesting status reports from the ships in the task force.
 “Navigations, what’s our position?” Lensin asked while surveying the men operating the various stations.
“We’re right on target,” Clise called in. “We’re 20 degrees below and 65 degrees port of the Fenris at a range of 800 meters.”
“Perfect. Maintain position and launch TIEs on preassigned screening pattern, with the Fighters as close perimeter  and the Interceptors as outer perimeter.”
Hallow report in,” the speakers sounded.
Opening the comlink Lensin called in. “Hallow ready and in position.” While the Major continued down the list of his ships Lensin continued with his orders. “Barkow, threat analysis.”
“It seems like the Glory’s not present, sir,” Barkow responded from the sensors station. “Defending the supply depot there are one Nebulon-B-class frigate, two Lianna-class corvettes and four Assasin-class corvettes. I’ve also noted the launch of four fighter squadrons. Apparently Zaarin has left one Defender squadron; the other three are one Bomber squadron and two Fighter squadrons. Also it seems we’ve arrived just in the middle of a cargo transfer. I’m reading four Muurian-class transports currently docking with the depot.” As Lensin heard Barkow’s report he saw a flight of TIE Interceptors fly by the viewport as they flew from the starboard hangar to their port positions. Lensin could feel a slight disappointment that the Glory wasn’t present.
“Keep monitoring those Defenders. I want immediate notice as soon as you can ascertain what their target is,” Lensin said as a gazed out at the supply depot ahead of them silently wondering. “Do we have a reading on what those transports are carrying?”
“Not yet, sir.”
“Keep trying to get a scan in place. I’d like to know.” Those transports rang a bell in the back of Lensin’s mind.
“Yes, sir,” Barkow responded as he began carrying out his orders.
 As the task force progressed in a steady pace towards the supply depot Lensin mentally prepared himself for the intense chaos during combat. “Estimated time to contact?” he asked.
“We should be in firing range in…” Clise started to say as he was interrupted by the speakers.
“Captain Lensin,” Major Julians voice rang out. “Captain Solnus has just crosschecked the transponder codes of those Muurian transports. Apparently it’s the same ones that escaped the raid on Ali Tarrak’s factory. It’s possible they are still carrying TIE Defender parts. I’m assigning you the two Lancer frigates Grinder and Prowess plus two Bomber squadrons and two Interceptor squadrons from Fenris. I want you to take out those transports. We can’t let Zaarin have any chance to reinforce his TIE Defender squadrons.”
“What about our escort duty of Fenris, sir?” Lensin responded while silently berating himself for not having made the connection about the transports sooner.
“Since Glory’s not in the system I think we should be more then capable of handling ourselves. A single frigate shouldn’t pose any real threat against the might of an Imperial Star Destroyer and its escorts, don’t you agree?”
“Yes, sir, moving out.” Lensin ended the transmission and turned towards the communications station. “Lieutenant Happer, signal Grinder and Prowess. Have them take up flanking positions. Have the squadrons from Fenris take up point guard while our own squadrons maintain their screening pattern. Navigation, let’s make it seem like we’re just providing a flank support for the main attack. I want you to turn 30 degrees port. That should take us on an intercept course to the jump point.”
Both officers set upon their separate tasks, while Lensin studied the tactical screen. So far Zaarin’s forces still kept defensive positions surrounding the supply depot and the frigate which was to be expected since the defenders were grossly outgunned. By keeping formation the defenders hoped to provide cover for each other. On the downside it provided the Imperial fleet an opportunity to concentrate their fire from different angles. The Imperial Forces seemed to be almost within firing range of the defenders. “Happer, as soon the battle starts, the Bombers are to move against those transports. Fenris’s Interceptors are to provide close cover for the Bombers while Prowess will head out to provide rear defence from any fighters from the main group.”
“Sir,” lieutenant Barkow interrupted. “It seems the transports have finished their tasks. The first transport just left docking!”
“Damn. Happer, release the bombers! Make sure they close in before those transports pick up speed. Those Muurian transports are able to outrun our bombers if they get a chance. Keep one interceptor squadron as defense for the bomber while the others head out to harass the first transport to hold it back.” On the tactical screen Lensin could see the main group had just begun trading shots with the Zaarin’s forces. Apparently the TIE Defenders were still kept close to the depot. Meanwhile the TIE Bombers and TIE Fighters had started an attack run on Fenris while the Corvettes and Frigate concentrated their fire on the remaining two Lancer frigates of Major Julian’s battle group. So far the battle was going almost as could be expected. Five TIE Bombers had already been destroyed even before they had started their first run and Fenris had managed to almost cripple one of the Assassin Corvettes.
“Sir, the TIE Defenders are moving,” Lieutenant Barlow reported, immediately drawing Lensin’s eyes back to the supply depot on the screen. “It seems they are moving to intercept our Bombers.”
“Indeed it does,” Lensin responded “Let’s make it hard on them. Send all the Interceptors ahead. Make sure the Defenders will have to run a gauntlet. Signal Prowess and have her join the skirmish ahead. Have Grinder and our fighter squadron maintain position to defend against any surprises. Gunnery control, fire our concussion missiles at the Defenders as soon as you get a lock.” Through the viewport Lensin could see the blue glows of the engines of the TIE Interceptors throttling up to meet the TIE Defenders head on. In the distance the bright green streaks of light marked the first contact with the TIE Defenders. Suddenly the orange glare from a couple of concussion missiles lanced out from the prow of the Hallow, while the green streaks in the distance where being coupled with some explosions. On the tactical screen Lensin could see the result of the TIE Defenders first run on the TIE Bombers. Apparently Lensin’s forces had managed to destroy 3 of the 12 TIE Defenders although the cost had been severe. 6 TIE Bombers were out and only 21 of the original 36 TIE Interceptors remained. 
“Tell those Interceptors to keep the pressure on the Defenders. We need to keep them away from the Bombers until they reach firing range,” Lensin ordered as he watched another TIE Defender wink out as a concussion missile found its mark.
As Lensin saw another pair of concussion missiles leave Hallow out of the corner of his eyes he watched the tactical screens as the TIE Interceptors moved in to obstruct the Tie Defenders as they came around for another pass. Within a couple of seconds the outcome of that pass was painfully present. 4 more TIE Bombers were destroyed and only 14 TIE Interceptors were left. The TIE Interceptors had only managed to take one more Defender out of the fight. Thankfully Prowess had managed to catch up and its 12 turbolasers joined the fight evening the odds a little. As the TIE Defenders came around for another pass the TIE Bombers came within range of the closest Muurian Transport. In the middle of the criss-cross of blazing lasers a salvo of proton torpedoes lanced out at the transport. The transport was instantly destroyed under the barrage and the Bombers continued the pursuit despite the heavy fire from the Defenders. Only 11 TIE Bombers were left from the latest pass and their cover was down to 8 TIE Interceptors. Thankfully Prowess’s turbolasers had made an impact as only a single flight of TIE Defenders were left. Lensin gritted his teeth as he summed up the status. As the TIE Bombers’ cover was almost out of the fight, the TIE Defenders’ way was almost completely open for an attack run despite their low numbers. Those TIE Bombers were imperative if they were to succeed in taking out the transports. “Release the Fighters to join the Interceptors,” Lensin ordered as he saw the TIE Bombers fire another salvo as the next transport came within range. “It doesn’t look like Zaarin’s forces are interested in taking a punch at us. Have Grinder maintain close support as a precaution.” The transport dissolved into a ball of flame as the torpedoes found their mark. The TIE Bombers were now down to six but it seemed like Prowess had succeeded in knocking out the TIE Defenders teeth; at least they weren’t quite as aggressive in their attacks on the TIE Bombers since they now had to divert some attention to dodging the Lancer frigate’s turbolasers. Lensin took a quick look at the main battle on the tactical screen. The fight was nearly over. All the fighters and bombers had been destroyed and Zaarin’s frigate had broken in half and was venting atmosphere. Only one Assassin Corvette seemed to be able to put up some resistance. Major Julian had now turned his attention on the supply depot. Several troop transports were on their way in an attempt to board and capture the depot. Looking at the main task force Lensin was puzzled over seeing that Zaarin’s forces had succeeded in destroying one of Julian’s Corvettes and one of the Lancer Frigate’s were drifting apparently without power. Also it seemed like Major Julian was holding his Star Destroyer back from joining the barrage against the Supply Depot contrary to his usual headstrong approach.
A fireball in the distance drew Lensin’s attention back to his own fight. Apparently the remaining four TIE Bombers had managed in destroying the third transport and were now slowly gaining on the remaining transport. Lensin’s TIE Fighters were just now catching with the skirmish against the TIE Defenders. Despite the relatively small firepower the TIE Fighters possessed, they managed to sow confusion among the remaining three TIE Defenders. The Tie Defenders had split up in separate fights with their harassers and Lensin’s Bombers had managed to gain some distance from the furball. On the tactical screen Lensin saw the symbols of 8 torpedoes streak away the TIE Bombers as they reached firing range. Out of the corner of his eyes Lensin saw a small explosion in the distance through the viewport as the last transport winked out on the tactical screen. With a small sigh Lensin eased the tension out of his rigid muscles in his back and neck. The destruction of those transports would have a great negative impact on Zaarin’s abilities to reinforce his dreaded TIE Defender squadrons. This campaign might be over within the month, Lensin quietly hoped. With the destruction of the transports the remaining two TIE Defenders were making their run with the remaining TIE Fighters and TIE Interceptors in hot pursuit.
Lensin opened the comlink with Fenris. “Major Julian, we have successfully intercepted and destroyed all four transports.”
“Good work captain,” Julian responded. “Although I do have another task for your group. We’ve just received a distress signal from Grey Wolf. Apparently Zaarin is making another attempt at stealing the Vorknkx. We can’t have Zaarin gaining control of that cloaking technology. I need you and your escorts to travel to To-Phalion base and assist in the defense. You are in command of the group. Unfortunately I need to stay behind and oversee repairs. “
“What happened?”
“Apparently Zaarin has acquired some of the new Mag Pulse warheads. The bombers were able to hit us with a salvo. The sublight engines overloaded and took out the hyperdrive with them. Furthermore our weapons systems are showing erratic power fluctuations, so I need to keep the rest of the group as close support.”
“All right sir. I’ll head out to To-Phalion as soon the fighters have returned.” Lensin closed the channel and turned to Lieutenant Happer. “Happer, signal the starfighters and have them dock with us as soon as possible.” Meanwhile Lensin opened the comlink to Prowess and Grinder and calmly explained the situation to their captains.
As the remaining starfighters returned to Hallow Lensin couldn’t help but feeling a little tension creep back into his neck. How were they going to stop Zaarin? One Strike cruiser with a complement of 4 bombers, 5 interceptors and 9 fighters along with 2 Lancers against an Imperial-class Star Destroyer and up to 6 squadrons of TIE Defenders. Lensin didn’t like those odds. Nevertheless he was determined to stall Zaarin for as long it took for other reinforcements to arrive no matter the cost. His duty for the Empire demanded it and Lensin was ready to accept that burden.
Lensin turned to Clise. “As soon as the coordinates are loaded, prepare to jump to hyperspace. Let’s end this fight with Zaarin one way or another.”
As the stars in the distance turned into lines in the viewport, Lensin couldn’t help but feel a little fear grow as his thoughts drifted back to his family on Eriadu. Hopefully they knew how much he loved them and how his service demanded him to risk his life and that of his crew.
"This threshold," he announced through a happy grin, "is mine. I claim it for my own. Bring on your thousands, one at a time or all in a rush. I don't give a damn." His flourish ended with the blade slanted before his chest, and his teeth flashed in the gloom. "None shall pass."
- Ganner's Last Stand, Traitor