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Old 04-18-2006, 12:12 AM   #27
machievelli
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Las Vegas Nevada
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When in danger when in doubt...

“Shut off those damn alarms!” Captain Magtyar roared. He loosened the buttons of his uniform, then with a curse he ripped the tunic off. “Report!”

Janos Tor at the security panel started talking immediately. “Someone attempted to assassinate Vice President Corona and his nephew. They failed but they did kidnap Professor Shani.”

“I thought she was aboard the Frigate.”

“No sir, she came across on yesterday’s shuttle.” Tor lied smoothly. He was sweating. “Then we have reports that the automated defense system of the Company supply ship was accidentally activated without someone aboard to shut it down. We have seventeen dead and thirty wounded down there. We had a vague report from engineering about maniacs. Now structural sensors in sections 15 and 13 have reported extensive damage.” He paused, checking his console. “Correction. Section fifteen sensor report that all five decks have collapsed. Ship is no longer structurally sound for flight. Section 13... The same for thirteen. Both sections are total losses.”

“What are they using? Explosives?”

“No sir. The engineers reported that one of them was armed with a short beam cutter.”

“Maniacs are right!” Magtyar turned, pointing at his exec. “Pahner. Head toward the docking bay. I don’t care if you have to blow the hatches get that damn ship out of there.” Pahner nodded, running out. “Toki, lead an assault team. Take out those maniacs before they get to the Mall.” The third officer nodded, running out. “Brekor, take a team and find those assassins.” Magtyar turned toward communications. “Where are the security troops we brought?”

“They were staged to the surface, sir. VP Corona’s orders.”

“Fine time for that. Contact their shuttle...”

As his voice thumped out orders, the panic that had been building leveled off then faded.

*****

Daysah stared through the view ports in horror. She didn’t know how many times they had sent men in to try to stop the ship, but there were bodies and parts of bodies everywhere. She brought the engines on line, but stopped when she did. It wasn’t like she was in free space! The hull of the lighter ship would crumple into foil long before the behemoth’s hull even knew it had been kissed!

Suddenly lights began flashing. What the hell-

“Warning! Decompression in ten seconds. Nine, eight, seven-” she squeaked, grabbing the restraint harness, putting it on, the last buckle closing as the countdown reached zero. There was a thud and the loading hatches blew free, propelling the ship and several tons of cargo into space.

*****

“Keep together.” The security sergeant ordered. His team of five had debouched a deck below the Company quarters. The point man lifted his rifle, using his scanner.

“Sarge, according to this, the intruder is right here!”

“Piece of-” Breia dropped from where she had been waiting, arms and legs pinned against opposite bulkheads, her feet coming down to pile drive the sergeant into the deck. He finger tapped, and the metal sleeves covering the blades of her sword snapped back. She cut twice, once forward, then back. The man behind the sergeant stared at the pistol grip that was all that he still held of his rifle. Forward the point man clutched his wrist where the blade had cut him just deep enough to sever the muscles, rendering his hand useless. The other two backed, dropping their weapons frantically.

“Cuffs.” She snapped. The unwounded man pulled his cuffs off his belt, holding them out in mute offering. Breia took them, cuffing that man to the sergeant’s left arm, using the cuffs from the point man to cuff his uninjured hand to the Sergeant’s right. She motioned the other two over, took their cuffs, and threaded them so that all five men were jammed together and cuffed tight.

She tapped the button, the sleeves dropping to hide the blades again. Now let’s see, two levels up to the Bridge, with any luck she would reach it without too much trouble. She stepped onto the lift, shooting upward.

Ten meters from the bridge she stopped, head cocked. She pulled a tenth meter long dart from her boot, stepping around the corner to throw. Fifteen meters away, the gunner on the chain gun they were setting up on it’s tripod gaped as the dart punched into the feed tray, jamming it. She sighed. “The only kind of luck there is are dumb, blind and bad.” She commented. The sleeves popped back. “Shall we dance?“

As the gunner frantically tried to clear the jam the two men with him drew their swords, charging.

*****

“It’s my turn.” Anak said.

“In a minute. Sev was trying to puzzle out the schematic. They were down on the number 2 deck, second from the bottom. What kind of idiot numbers decks 01 02, then one two and three? He mused. The tank was marked with a brown sigil he had never seen before. Of course, he didn’t read Coruscanti that well.

Down the passageway, someone stuck his head around the corner low to the deck. The barrel of a rifle inched around the corner.

Anak thumbed the selector to flechette, and triggered a burst. There was a scream and some shouting. “Why should I wait?”

“All right, set your beamer, and give me a tick.” The two boys exchanged their weapons, Sev slinging his short beam and readying his Rage III. Anak doing the same thing in reverse. The younger boy set the beam for maximum extension, starting a cut left to right at knee level. A brown liquid spurted from the cut as he reversed to cut right to left.

“I said wait-” The wall exploded outward, a brown flood with a horrible stench filled the passageway, slamming them into the port side bulkhead.

Di’kut!" Sev shouted. He held out the pad. “Your Coruscanti is better. What does that say?”

“Sewage tank.” Anak read. "What is a sewer tank?” Sev wiped the mess from his legs, sticking it toward his compatriot. “Oh.”

“We had better hustle. Cut us a place to climb out, fast!.”

Anak raised his short beam, and sliced quickly. Since he had not reset the beam length, they ducked as not one but two sheets of sliced out decking fell spraying waste everywhere. “what’s the hurry?”

“That tank?” Sev jerked a thumb at the flood as he leaped upward. “It goes up three more decks!”

*****

“Shuttle 821. Emergency. Come alongside the ship at the starboard entry way. Prepare for boarding action aboard ship.”

Sanji clicked the microphone instead of answering, turning to approach the Tokara vessel. Morant at the second console turned in shock. “Are you out of your mind?” He screamed.

“That ship has five chain guns, one aft and two on either broadside, and two missile tubes, one on each broadside. It also has a heavy projectile gun forward. If we try to break past them they will blow us to hell. There is only one way to make sure they don’t kill us.”

“How is that?” Coor asked from the communications panel. Sanji answered by flipping a pair of switches. The weapons panel in front of Morant came alive.

“Are you insane?” Morant gasped.

“Insane is trying to outrun the bullets.” Sanji replied in a reasonable tone. “There is a targeting caret. Place it on the target, press this button-”

“This button?” Morant tapped it. The cannon fired, shells exploding against the other ship’s flanks. Air gushed from the breached compartments.

Sanji rolled the ship. “Now if you target their weapons instead of just pushing buttons...”

Morant hastily found the diamond shape, moving it onto a red spot on the hull. “That’s-”

“A chain gun. Tap the lock and fire!”

Morant tapped the buttons, and the small chain gun in the nose tracked as it fired almost 100 rounds into the ship. There was a puff of air, then a blast of flame.

“Hit! Now switch forward to the missile!”

A few moments later, the missile tube and the other gun had been destroyed. Sanji hit the retro thrusters bringing them to a stop. There was a flash, and something went past the view port. One of the hull sections ahead of them exploded outward. A mass of crates spewed out, followed by-

“Millennium Falcon, this is shuttle 821. Who is aboard?”

“This is Professor Shani. Who is this?”

“Sanji Gretu of the Jedi order, professor. Give me a minute, I need to clear our way out of here."

He turned to the weapons console. “Now since you warned them, this is tricky. We have four missiles, and this is how we need to use them...”

Tokara, like every company that made weapons, built them with specific missions in mind. As an example the chain guns were quite sufficient for destroying assault shuttles out to half a light second. They could spike a flying insect at half that range.

However the guns did have a drawback. They were direct fire weapons. They had to have a target in line of sight to aim at.

Missiles such as the large model 4s that were in the Requiem’s magazine had a range of over a light minute. They could track and home onto a target and follow it as long as they had fuel. The model 9s aboard the shuttle had an additional capability since the designer had forseen that you could be this close to an enemy vessel...

Already warned, and knowing they had an enemy close to their hull, the gunners immediately slewed their guns to cover the least time approach from it’s last reported location.

With five targets, Sanji had to take a big chance. The missiles were launched at approaches off that optimum least time, and still within the seeker envelopes, a difference of about 30 degrees off target.

All four missiles leaped out simultaneously. The missile tube exploded in a gout of fire, followed by the heavy projectile weapon, then the forward surviving cannon. The gunners on the other two guns immediately worked out what was happening, and set their guns for self defense, the aft firing chain gun blowing the missile fifty meters away. But as they did the Shuttle raced around the least time curve, gun slamming into the emplaced weapon.

“Professor, head directly toward their stern! “Sanji ordered, leaping up. “Take over!” He shouted at Morant as he charged aft. “Put us between the Falcon and that damn gun!”

There were half a dozen pallets locked down on the magnetic rollers. Enough supplies to keep the security force they had decimated in action for a week or more. Sanji checked the pallets.

As he had anticipated, the shuttle was designed for what is called parachute low level delivery. With a touch of a button the rear clamshell doors would snap open, and a parachutes would be deployed, dragging the pallets out and onto the ground as the shuttle raced by at about 200 KPH.

He unlocked the magnetic bearings. Then cut all of the bindings with his sword. He caught a stanchion, whispered a prayer, and slammed his hand down on the emergency release.

The gun started tracking on the Falcon, but immediately chose the shuttle because it was an offensive vehicle. But before it could open fire, the targeting system was overloaded as hundreds of boxes poured from the stern of the shuttle.

The gun immediately opted for a subroutine, targeting by distance, closest outward. It immediately began destroying the boxes one per shot. It was fifteen seconds and 200 boxes before the gunners could disengage, then retarget the ships. By then they had ducked behind the frigate.

*****

Sev sliced open the bulkhead, and stepped into wonder. The mall stretched up four decks from where they were. Anak looked up, then at his war-brother. “Together?”

“Oh definitely.” They both unslung their short beams.

*****

Magtyar turned, ready to shout, then gaped as Breia stepped onto the bridge. “You’re dead! We killed you!”

“You blew up a ship, but it wasn’t mine. Corona has my ship down on deck five-”

“Had.” Magtyar broke in. “We jettisoned it when the security system activated.”

“I only hope Professor Shani is up to flying her. The ship tends to pull right on docking thrusters.” She walked toward him, then paused, looking toward Tor at the security console. “Since your man has already called him, I think we should wait for Mr. Corona.”


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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