Title: Madder Sky
Description: (Confederate mission, Walk All Over You)
Praes Redfern - August 18, 2009 08:34 PM (GMT)
“We will leave hyperspace in less than a minute, sir.”
Praes Redfern didn’t appear much like he usually did – gone were the flashy colours and the indulgent smile. The old Sephi was clad in rigid black, the crimson and yellow epaulettes on his shoulders marking his title as one of the two highest ranked naval commanders in the galaxy. All mirth had left his face, his features gone grim, and the limpid blue eyes that seemed so childish at times had gone deathly cold. The Old Wolf, for once, looked the part of the Grand Admiral. The old man might have sometimes indulged his more silly side- it was a frequent occurrence as he’d grown older – but the very instant he entered the battlefield he was the same ruthless prodigy he’d been in his youth. There was no place for pity and mercy on the field of battle, no matter how much he would have wanted to avoid the deaths of these foolish children. He was the envoy of the Confederation of Dolomar in this desolate corner of the Outer Rim, the last vanguard of civilization against the anarchy that would follow the designs of the Alliance of Free Planets.
The Anoat sector was a quiet territory in the Outer Rim, holding very little of importance besides the sky-city of Bespin and its lucrative infrastructure. Perhaps that was why the Rebels had thought the gathering of their convoy would go unnoticed by Dolomar. They’d thought wrong – the Confederate Navy’s eyes were everywhere. Having engineered the reforms that had led the Navy to such undeniable efficiency himself, Praes felt a grim sense of satisfaction as a small shudder went through the Last Argument, signalling the exit from hyperspace. The Alliance had been quite unwise this time, the old Admiral reflected unsympathetically. Their usual unpredictable guerrilla tactics had served them well so far, but they were now confronted to the problem all terrorist organizations eventually faced: it was impossible to grasp a lasting advantage without gathering greater forces. And those larger forces could effortlessly be found crushed by the Fleet, Grand Admiral Redfern would teach them once more.
The fluctuating flow of the Ison Trade Corridor could be seen through the Last Argument’s bay, the sight leaving him indifferent after all these years. There would be time to admire the beauty crafted by the Force when the butcher’s bill had been paid. The silhouette of the King’s Verdict, one of the three Star Destroyers he’d assigned to his armada for the battle, could be seen lurking at the edge of his sight. Praes’s crew calmly and efficiently prepared for battle, the machinery of war of the Admiral’s vessel having long been perfected and enforced by constant battle.
“Giles, send the tactical data directly to my terminal. All hands, ready for battle,” the old man commanded calmly.
((Is the enemy within detector range? How many are they, what class of ships and how do they react?))
Mac Cheydin - August 19, 2009 03:58 PM (GMT)
((The sensor alarms remain silent. Enemy ships aren't within range, and as far as the Old Wolf can see, nothing reveals itself visually. It seems they will have to track down the elusive Alliance convoy. If the Old Wolf investigates further, his crew will pick up traces of ion wash, indicating that a large concentration of ships have passed through the area. The event happened to long ago to be able to pinpoint which direction they went in accurately, but there a general area of search is outlined.))
Praes Redfern - August 26, 2009 02:19 AM (GMT)
The old Sephi’s fingers flitted quickly across the luminescent designs of his terminal, summoning and dismissing the data as quickly as it arrived. There was no immediate sign of the enemy, which in and of itself was not unusual: the Rebels rarely fought head on, preferring ambushes and surgical strikes. Many in the Confederation’s ranks called those tactics cowardice but Praes had never been able to agree. The Alliance of Free Planet’s tactics were sly, certainly, but on the battlefield such traits were nothing to frown upon – they were simply using their forces in the most potent manner at their disposal. There would be no immediate fire upon his men today, however. Grand Admiral Redfern had chosen a hyperspace exit zone that provided no cover for any potential ambusher and no nearby interference that could hinder his force’s sensors.
The coordinates had been plotted barely a minute before the jump was taken to ensure they could not be leaked, an old precaution he’d learned to take when leading the Coruscant Campaign. Most of his crew, the sons and daughters of the people who had served under him during that era, did not understand why he was so cautious: after all, it had been almost fifty years since there had been a traitor under the Old Wolf’s command. For good reason – the last spy to board the Last Argument had been tied to a turret and his cold, frozen corpse dragged through space for several months. He knew better than to get too relaxed, though: it took only one shot to end a streak of a thousand victories.
“Lieutenant Harris, start checking for tracers – a convoy of that size is bound to leave an ion wash,” he ordered calmly, still looking at the screen.
The young man from Commenor snapped a salute and hurriedly started to change the scanning frequencies, drawing an indulgent smile out of the white-haired commander. Harris was a good boy and he’d make a fine commander in a few years, he just needed to get a bit of experience under his belt – most of Redfern’s crew was tried and true, but he left a trickle of younger blood flow in and out every year. The Last Argument had always formed the elite of the elite in the Dolomarian Navy, he could trust in his men not to disappoint him. Now it was simply a matter of deploying his forces in the most efficient way. Limpid blue eyes focused on the starmap with otherwordly clarity, the old commander’s mind whirling at a pace few in the galaxy could match. Praes Redfern could count the people who could outmaneuver him on one hand, and he’d killed most of them.
“Ensign Asher, establish a encrypted communication channel with the captains of the Swift Tidings and the Bitter Steel.”
The other two Star Destroyers would be the key of deployment – in sheer speed they could not hope to match the rebels, but with Interdictor fields and superior firepower they would trap and crush them like insects. Calmly ordering the other two commanders to take the flanks with an escort of frigates, the Old Wolf positioned his own lead of smaller vessels in a half-circle open in the Last Argument’s direction. It was a flexible deployment, easy to adapt and quick to react – he’d used it often enough in the beginning of his career when he was waging war against ever-elusive pirates.
“Sir, we’ve found the wash – it’s cold but we can still use it to narrow down the search area,” Harris called out.
“Transmit the data to all our forces,” Praes replied quietly. “And signal all hands to be ready for a microjump.”
((Is the enemy found, or at least is their presence narrowed down to a specific sector?))
Garth Norghar - September 16, 2009 12:22 AM (GMT)
((The ion trail seems to be faintly more concentrated towards a specific sector, but just barely. After a bit more scanning, the search is narrowed down to two possible adjacent sectors. Praes had better hope he picks the right sector, or the Alliance ships could be alerted to the Confederate presence. He has a 50/50 chance. Good luck.))
Praes Redfern - October 4, 2009 08:11 PM (GMT)
Praes had never indulged in gambling, unlike most of the officers he’d commanded or been commanded by during his century of service for Dolomar. He actually held a certain dislike for the act, though he’d never publicly explained his reasons for such a distaste – most assumed it was because he’d been raised in an era where gambling like a common street rat was unbecoming of an officer and a gentleman. The truth, however, was much less glamorous: Praes Redfern’s interest could not be held by gambling with something as mundane as cards or dice. It was mind-numbingly dull and he could not understand why anyone would waste their time on such idiocy, waving silly pieces of papers and rolling trinkets. There was, however, one thing that after all these years still made his blood boil and widened his lips in a gleeful grin.
War was the graceful ballet of assault and defence, as the mammoth artillery of capital ships grumbled the voice of a thousands Gods and dexterous starfighters dealt their quick, merciless strike to the beleaguered enemy. War was the feel of his fingers flitting across the screens that moved a thousand vessels according to his will, making the most deadly armada of the galaxy dance to his tune of durasteel and death. War was the parry and thrust of two greater minds seeking to crush the other and seize victory from the loser’s ashes. Praes wagered the deaths of his men on every order, holding the existence of thousands in the palm of his hand – let the fools bicker about sabbac and pazaak, these games were nothing but washed out paintings trying to emulate the true masterpiece. Grand Admiral was too old to feel any shame about it anymore, there was only the savage joy born of seeing the arrow shot by his mind scattering the Rebels to all corners of the galaxy.
But now was not the time to dwell on his imperfections, the Sephi reminded himself –there was a battle awaiting him somewhere in the depths of the Ison Trade Corridor, if he could only find it. The Old Wolf’s piercing eyes scrutinized the data sent to his console by Lieutenant Harris, his face so unmoved it might as well have been carved out of stone. The trail went two ways, damn the crafty little Rebels: he’d have to take a chance and risk revealing his forces first. He doubted the confusing track was intentional, but it was still bothersome to craft a strategy when such unknowns came into play.
''Fine, you little bastards – if you insist on playing hide-and-seek, who is this old man to refuse you?'' he muttered to himself.
Bringing the starmap of both locations on the main screen of his console, the Grand Admiral carefully selected two coordinates that would allow an entering vessel to conduct of full sweep of the sectors.
''Ensign Asher, transmit the first coordinate I will send you to the Bitter Steel and the second to the Swift Tidings – they are to microjump there at my command,'' Praes ordered calmly.
This would do for now: both Star Destroyers, with their escort of lesser vessels, would appear on the flanks and flush out the Rebels. The center of his formation, formed around the Last Argument, would stand ready to appear at the enemy’s weak point as soon as the disposition of the adversary forces was revealed.
''Ensign Asher, give them the green light,'' he ordered after an instant, watching both capital ships and their satellite vessels disappear. ''Captain Giles, ready the hyperdrive for an imminent microjump.''
((How many Rebel ships are there, how are they disposed, what is their reaction?))