Star Wars: Beyond the War
It is a time of great strife and victory for the NEW REPUBLIC.
Following the defeat of GRAND ADMIRAL THRAWN, the intrepid pilots of ROGUE SQUADRON have made a name for themselves amidst further crises. Having survived the attack at Corvis Minor orchestrated by YSANNE ISARD, they have since hunted down the rogue Imperial tactician and have freed the CURIC HEGEMONY, in the New Republic's name.
With the IMPERIAL REMNANTS in full retreat, General WEDGE ANTILLES, leader of the Rogues, leads an attack on a warlord bent on utilizing scorched-earth tactics, with the Super Star Destroyer LUSANKYA as their base of operations.
What Antilles doesn't know is that destiny and fate are about to converge and send him millions of lightyears away from all he has known, into a galaxy facing an implacable foe...
A endless expanse of stars and planets.
A silent expanse of emptiness.
And yet, there was something in the emptiness.
Objects that were not naturally occurring.
Brilliant bolts of energy filled the void, some careening off into the void, others stopped bluntly, and others bore brilliant stars that lived for a short-lived second.
In this battle, a lone metal object spun, spitting energy of its own, its pilot desperately fighting to stay alive.
"Watch it, Lead, you've got one on your tail!"
Making to look like I was banking to the right, I slid my throttle back and stepped on the starboard etheric rudder pedal, bringing my X-wing around in a slide to bring the targeting reticule over the TIE Interceptor that was going into the turn I faked.
The reticule flashed green, and I fired a quad-linked burst into the cockpit, in-between the twin ion engines and killing the pilot, leaving the fighter to scream off on a ballistic course.
"One flight, form on me if you're able. We need to break that Deuce's shields."
"Copy that, Rogue Lead." Tycho Chelu's voice came back, and three Incom T-65B Space Superiority Fighters formed up behind me.
"Transmitting targeting data." I ordered, using the long used tactic of one person locking on to a target and supplying that data to others in order to fire for maximum effect.
Switching to proton torpedoes and linking two, I brought my targeting reticule over the Imperial-II Director that was bombarding the MC-80 Riptide.
We were assaulting a system owned by a rogue Imperial warlord that had enough ships to pose a noticeable threat to the New Republic. Owning a dozen planets, like Krennel, this man had been harassing New Republic systems, utilizing hit-and-run scorched-earth tactics, going in with Star Destroyers, destroying anything and everything he could, and getting out.
Another reason we were assaulting this warlord was because he had the ability to produce Victory-II Star Destroyers. While old, a Vicstar Deuce was enough to take on two MC-40 frigates, and its concussion missiles could tear down a MC-80's shields in one volley. Add to the fact that he had three ISDs and various other ships supporting him, this warlord was getting to the point that the Republic didn't want another Zinji.
We were pushing in with an assault led by the Super Star Destroyer Lusankya, which was currently spearing deep into the system, taking and exchanging fire with a trio of VSDs. Rogue Squadron went to assist the Riptide when she reported engaging the Director.
She also encountered mines.
That's right, we were dogfighting in a kriffing minefield, filled with anti-shipping mines. Spotting a pair of mines in our path, I groaned. "Tycho, take care of those mines while I get a targeting lock."
Tycho responded by stitching both mines with single-linked bursts of fire, detonating both and clearing our path.
My targeting reticule started green, then went yellow as the targeting computer found a lock, and Gate started beeping.
The box went red and Gate's tone became constant.
"Fire two!" I ordered, and eight streaks of blue lanced out from our X-wings.
The proton torpedoes crossed the intervening distance in seconds, colliding with the Director's shields and exploding into a fireball. Fired a second earlier than the others, Tycho's torpedoes disappeared into the cloud and impacted against the hull.
The port side's lights started flickering, and a few less turbolaser blasts came out.
I flicked my comm channel over to fleet frequency. "Riptide, Rogue Lead. The Star Destroyer's port shields are weakened, and I'm seeing power fluctuations along that side as well; advise you concentrate your fire there."
"Thanks for the tip, Lead."
"One Flight, we're putting the pressure on. One strafing run, then we'll engage the TIEs harassing Riptide."
Switching back to lasers and making sure that they were quad-linked, I dove towards the Star Destroyer's surface and started juking, moving in unpredictable patterns to throw off the gunners.
Crossing into range, I held down the firing stud, pouring terawatts of energy into the energy barrier before pulling up.
Gate squealed as the tone of a enemy targeting lock screamed through the cockpit. Quickly finding the concussion missile that was targeting me, I snaprolled to my right and watched as the missile screamed by.
"Rogue Two, break off!" I ordered as I watched the missile pull a tight turn and retarget me. I grunted, before my eyes widened as the target lock alarm increased in tone twice. Sparing microsecond to glance at my sensor board, I saw two mines three hundred and fifty meters away and angling towards me.
I swore a nasty Correlian curse, before a plan formulated in my mind. Turning towards the mines, I slammed the throttle forward. "Gate, I want weapons power in the engines."
The astromech droid tootled apprehensively as the distance between my X-wing, the mines, and the concussion missile closed. Reaching up, I flipped the S-foil actuator, closing the wings and allowing my engines to push the fighter faster.
As Wedge Antilles made to dive between the two mines, a opportunistic gunner on the Director spotted the X-wing.
Bringing the turret around, the gunner made sure he had the proper lead on the fighter, and pulled the trigger twice.
The massive cannon rumbled once, twice, and green bolts of energy lanced out.
As Wedge was about to pass between the mines, the turbolaser bolt grazed the little fighter, causing it to shake and Gate to squeal in alarm.
This blast also served to slow the fighter.
Then, by the Force or some cosmic entity, the concussion missile hit the shieldless fighter, the two mines impacted, and the follow-up turbolaser shot hit, all at the same time.
A brilliant star was born that drew the attention of all on the battlefield, and the battle paused for a second, as if they all knew who had just died, and took a moment to respect the final resting place of the man.
Then, the star died, the only things left behind was three wings, and an astromech droid.
And General Wedge Antilles was gone.
Or so it would seem...