The four Sith peeled off from the fighter screen and turned to engage a group of six enemy fighters.
I’m going in. Evran did a quick corkscrew and shot blaster fire at the nearest fighter. He expected to get laser fire in return. Instead, he saw small meteor-like projectiles covered in something similar to fire, which was impossible. When it struck his shields it broke through. It skittered across his hull and then smashed into his port engine before bouncing off into space. Kriff!
Darth Teslief didn’t have time to warn Evran that the creatures used unconventional weaponry and to analyze the situation before striking hard and in unison. She felt the battle meditation drop. She fumbled with the comms for a moment, “Is everything okay, Acolyte Streelk?”
Evran’s voice crackled over the comms. “I’m fine. Uh, I’m just using a bit of my concentration to hold that engine in place so I can’t use battle meditation.” The strain was clearly audible in his voice. He was not only flying the ship and tracking his enemies, a difficult enough task by itself, he was also using the Force to keep his engine in alignment.
“Do you think you can still fight?” Seveth’s voice came across the comm, her concern just audible.
Teslief interrupted the conversation. Her voice like steel. “Turn your emotion against the enemy, don’t let it dull you.”
“I can.” Evran’s voice was steadier, his determination set.
Teslief shook her head to clear out the distractions. “Alright. Avoid their fire. Those projectiles go straight through our shields. Focus fire with your wingmates. Evran, with me.”
The three acolytes acknowledged and they formed up with their wingmates.
– – –
The enemy fighters split up, three on two. The fighter that had been shot by Evran was in the group facing Evran and Teslief.
“Engage when you see an opening, strike hard and fast with the might of the Dark Brotherhood!” Teslief shot off some laser fire and did a barrel roll. “Evran, subchannel 4b.”
There was some static on subchannel 4b, but not to the point of distraction. Evran’s specialized hud for miralukas was still warning him of the engine damage and he shut the alarm off, careful to allow future alerts through. “Ok, ready when you are.”
“You’ve engaged with one of these fighters, I haven’t. On your mark.”
“Okay.” Evran pushed the throb from focusing on the engine to the back of his mind. He still maintained the alignment, he just devoted his Force use to that and let the Force deal with the minutia. Turning his attention to the enemy ships he noticed a hole in their defense. He marked it on his console for Teslief. “Do you see that too?”
Teslief scanned the area marked on her hud. “I do. Is that a big enough opening?”
“I can make it if you distract them, or I can distract them.”
Grinning to herself Teslief dropped back to a position slightly behind Evran. “I have a distraction in mind. You take the opening and get them from behind.”
“Acknowledged.” Evran pulled to starboard slightly, watching the enemy ships maneuver with them, waiting for the distraction Teslief had in mind.
– – –
“Ok, I’ll charge in then pull off at an angle that sends me towards the Impaler. You drop behind them when they chase me.”
Greel shook his ship slightly in acknowledgment. “Let’s take these things down.”
Shooting through and behind the enemy fighters, using the same opening that Evran had spotted, Seveth broke up the enemy formation and caused two of the fighters to follow her, leaving Greel facing one alone. Their gamble hadn’t paid off and, with no rear-facing weaponry, Seveth knew she was going to pay for it. She quickly turned her ship around, momentarily exposing her fighter’s profile, in order to get weapons on her pursuers. She was too slow. A shot hit her, tearing the external comms array off of her fighter.
“Ah, kriff! Do I still have short-range comms, Greel?” Seveth hoped she would get an answer, but there was no response. “Either that’s a no, or I’m only sending and not receiving. Either way, I’m in trouble.”
Seveth trained her torpedos at the nearer of the two fighters. “Let’s hope this works.” The target lock chimed and she fired. The torpedo struck, tearing chunks of flesh off of the fighter. “Oh, of course, the ships are creatures too. That had to hurt.”
With great effort, Greel shot laser after laser into his target. They were both juking erratically and neither was getting good hits on the other.
“Kark it all,” Greel cursed as he shot forward, hoping to catch his opponent off-guard. Instead, his opponent turned his maneuver into a game of chicken. In order to win the game of chicken, Greel decided not to play by the rules and shot a missile off right before pulling off to the side. He had timed it to where the enemy ship should’ve had no hope of avoiding the attack.
After a moment the ship was marked as debris on Greel’s hud and he let out a sigh of relief. “Seveth, I’m clear here. How are you looking.” The only response he got was static. In a state of panic, he scanned his hud, searching for her ship’s callsign. There it was, being engaged by two enemy ships. One was moving sluggishly, like her, and the other seemed completely intact. “If you can hear me, Seveth, I’m coming to help.”
– – –
“Well, it seems that weakness was a feint. They knew we were going to try something.” Teslief cursed herself for falling for it. “Report.”
“One down. One’s coming up on your tail! Move!” Evran cursed under his breath. “Is your tactical display out?”
Teslief tapped her console. “I’m getting some static. We’ll have to deal with it later. I can monitor the areas empty of the Force for now. How are you holding up.”
“Thanks to your quick thinking I don’t have any more damage, but I’ve also got one on my tail.” Evran pulled up and corkscrewed to end up behind the fighter that was following him. The enemy fighter copied the maneuver, but too tightly. Evran pumped laser fire into the fighter, burning chunks of flesh off and frying the pilot. “I thought space fights were supposed to be cleaner than blaster fights.”
Teslief chuckled as she cut her forward momentum, causing her opponent to pass in front of her. She let off a torpedo, sending chunks of the spacecraft in all directions. “Maybe when your opponent’s ships are made out of metal it’s cleaner, but battles are never truly clean. How’re the others doing?”
“Looks like they have one kill, one also seems to be damaged severely. Seveth is fighting two and Greel is joining in. Should we go help?”
Shaking her head Teslief responded, “no, we need to keep fighting. Is there a group of two or three fighters nearby?”
“Yes. Do you need to follow me?”
“Read me the general coordinates and I’ll be fine.”
– – –
As Greel approached the fighters chasing Seveth around he noticed, too late, that they were using her as bait for him. The undamaged ship turned and shot three projectiles at him in short intervals. He could only avoid one of them.
Greel felt the impact in his core. The jarring loss of momentum and subsequent calm almost caused him to lose control of his stomach. Fighting back bile he used his last torpedo to lance the ship that caused fifteen different alarms to sound at once. Doing as much fire control as he could he began a slow, barely controlled, drift back to the Impaler. “This is Greel Dlas, I’m heading back to Impaler. This ship is out of the fight.” He made sure he was on Teslief and Evran’s channel. “Seveth doesn’t have comms so she’ll probably head back to the ship after she’s dealt with her opponent.”
The comm crackled, Teslief’s voice addressed Greel. “If you can get another ship get back out here. Tell Seveth the same. This fight’s going to be a long one.”