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Star Trek/Star Wars – Galaxy at War: Part Fifty-Six A New Hope Part One
Star Wars Galaxy – September 0 BBY (2396 C.E)
Near the Scarif System in the Outer Rim
USS Titan rocked as she absorbed massive amounts of enemy crossfire fire from four Imperial Star Destroyers and a swarm of Tie Fighters. For now, Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin was content to hold back the Death Star. While less well-armed USS Titan was both more maneuverable and possessed a better targeting system than its opponents, save for the Tie Fighters who could only do limited damage. Nearly five minutes in USS Titan had disabled two of the four Star Destroyers. In retaliation, the Death Star unleashed a barrage of heavy turbo blaster fire.
"Shields at thirty-seven percent, shields at nineteen percent, shields are gone." Reported a female Talaxian from tactical.
"Mr. Paris get us out of here." Captain Riker ordered as the bridge sparked and shook around him.
"Yes, sir," Tom Paris said. Before he could execute either a hyperspace jump or warp away USS Titan was caught in a powerful tractor beam. "They've got us in a tractor beam of some sort, sir."
"Target that tractor beam!" Riker ordered.
The female Talaxian officer did as ordered but it took several tries before the phaser pulses penetrated the deflector shields of the Death Star. Immediately after which USS Titan was hit by fire from ion cannons from the Death Star which shorted out most essential systems. She was then caught in a second tractor beam. His ship effectively crippled Riker had no choice but to order an emergency evacuation.
"This is Captain William T. Riker. All personnel abandon ship. Proceed to escape pods as once. This is not a drill." Riker said while rising from his seat.
Multiple shimmers of purple-tinged light interrupted Riker before could he could issue his next order, for Commander Data to pull off the nearest panel and attempt a manual override of the damaged systems. "Great, they have transporter tech. Probably reverse endangered from that Sith Dominion warship Vader brought with him." Riker grumbled. Several dozen Stormtroopers phased into existence all around the bridge crew their blaster rifles at the ready. Riker, his bridge crew and the Jedi drew their weapons phaser pistols and lightsabers ready to meet this latest challenge.
"Lord Vader, I was unaware you would be paying us a visit," Tarkin said with a slight bow when Vader entered the control room. "If I had known we would have prepared an appropriate welcome."
The Dark Lord of the Sith was accompanied by six crimson-clad Royal Guards four of which broke off from the group. A pair of Royal Guards assumed sentry duty at each of the two main entrances. The remaining two stood on either side of Vader their pikes at the ready.
"Spare me your platitudes Grand Moff Tarkin this is not a ceremonial visit. I'm here on official state business." Darth Vader said with a dismissive wave of his gloved right hand. "Have you retrieved the stolen plans yet?"
"The same plans which recently evaded you on Scarif, Lord Vader? No, but I shall do so soon. I've apprehended the hostile alien vessel which attempted to shield these terrorists from Imperial justice." Tarkin said smugly.
Tarkin was one of the few beings who dared challenge Vader's authority. Even most Imperial officers were terrified of the Emperor's designated successor. Tarkin's more or less immunity from the wrath of Vader was due to his special relationship with Emperor Palatine. Palpatine viewed the ruthlessly analytical military genius as a "useful tool" one which must be protected from occasional outbursts of his wrathful second in command. Tarkin took full advantage of the situation whenever he could often for his amusement. No doubt one day, when Palpatine was gone, Tarkin would face his reckoning at the hands of Vader but not soon not today.
Inside Vader seethed. He wanted nothing more than to use the Force to choke the life out of Tarkin, or electrocute him, or burn him to a crisp but he knew he could not. He and Sidious needed Tarkin, for now.
"When these terrorists and aliens have been secured in our custody have them brought to me. I'll be in the royal quarters. Be certain the stolen plans are among them, Tarkin. The retrieval of the stolen plans is our top priority." Vader said. With a flourish of his black cape, he departed along with his entourage who fell in around him.
Inside Tarkin breathed a shuddering sigh of relief. While he knew he was safe from Vader he still hated dealing with the man. Although he would be loath to admit such he like every other Imperial officer was deeply afraid of the Dark Lord. Now to deal with the terrorists and their new alien allies.
"Neutralize the alien hostiles but try to capture the Jedi alive. The Inquisitors will want to interrogate these unknown Jedi personally. Use whatever degree of force necessary." Said a Stormtrooper with an oversized black pad over his right shoulder.
"That isn't happening," Ahsoka said igniting her dual emerald blades. She and Obi-wan placed themselves between Luke, Leia, Sabine and the invaders.
"Get to the shuttle bay," Obi-wan said igniting his azure blade.
"We can't leave you here dad," Sabine said. She drew her side-armed a modified repeater type phaser.
"Sabine is right," Luke said igniting his green blade. "Besides I know we can take these bucket heads."
"I'm with Luke and Sabine. We can beat these guys if we stick together." Leia said igniting her yellow lightsaber.
The Stormtrooper Commander tapped the right side of his helmet. He used its internal HUD display to bring up information on known Jedi who had evaded Order 66 or had since not been captured. He quickly cross-referenced the individuals he saw before him with biometric data from the Republic Era. "These two are Jedi Master Obi-wan Kenobi and Jedi Padawan Ahsoka Tano. New priority, we must detain Kenobi and Tano for questioning if they cannot be detained termination is authorized by Imperial decree." He ordered.
The Stormtroopers open fired. The Starfleet officers returned fire. While the Starfleet officers were by far the better shots, aided by the blaster deflection of their Jedi allies, the Stormtroopers just kept coming. The Stormtrooper Commander would signal for reinforcements each time their numbers dwindled which would be quickly beamed over. This was a war of attrition one our heroes could not win. As their fatalities piled up Riker lead a retreat from the bridge which he surrendered to the enemy with great reluctance. His sole consultation was that USS Titan was in no condition to be salvaged due to the ion attack which had likely fired its computer core.
Once they reached the first hallway the survivors split up and headed in different directions on Riker's recommendation. Obi-wan & Ashoka lead one group, which contained the wounded, to Sick Bay while Data and Paris lead another group to Engineering while Riker & Troi lead the third group directly to the nearest Shuttle Bay (USS Titan had four). Riker felt this was the wisest course of action because USS Titan was by this time crawling with hundreds of Stormtroopers who were gunning down anything that moved, nice guys.
"We've run out of beds, Dr. Bashir." The young female Ferengi Ensign said in a worried voice. "We aren't equipped to deal with this many injured."
"Maybe not but we'll have to make due, Ensign Ishka." Doctor Julian Bashir said racing from one patient to another.
"Maybe my father Quark was right. I should have taken over the bar on Deep Space Nine. But no, I told him I have a talent for medicine. My mother Pel said to let her, that's me, do what she wants females can be whatever they choose these days." Ishka said having a minor panic attack as Sick Bay rattled around her.
"Ishka, get a hold of yourself," Bashir said taking a moment to calm his assistant. "I need you in the here and now. Get me another hypospray stat."
"Got it," Ishka said grabbing a hypospray she was about to hand it to Bashir when a group of Stormtroopers muscled their way into Sick Bay.
"Keep your hands where we can see them!" One of the Stormtroopers ordered. Bashir kept treating his current patient who was badly burned from blaster fire. "Stop what you're doing!" The Stormtrooper barked.
"I can't, this man needs immediate treatment or he could die," Bashir said. "We are medical personnel. You have no right to prevent us from treating those in need of help."
"Drop the weapon this is your last warning!" The Stormtrooper said. He and his comrades pointed their blasters squarely at Bashir.
"It isn't a weapon. It's a medical tool." Ishka tried to explain. She took a few steps forward.
"Stay where you are or we'll fire!" The Stormtrooper warned. He turned his attention back on Bashir. "Drop it or die!"
Bashir ignored him. The Stormtrooper was about to pull the trigger of his rifle when he and his squad were wiped out by phaser fire accompanied by the more muted buzz of lightsabers. Ishka yelped in fear until she saw what had happened. The male Cardassian from the Bridge ran in and swept her up in his arms.
"Are you alright?" He asked. "If anything happened to you I don't know what I'd do."
"I'm fine Sakal," Ishka said. "Boy, your stepmother Kira would be proud you took those creeps out easily." She added glancing down at the Stormtroopers.
"You arrived not a moment too soon," Bashir said finishing what he was doing.
"We must leave here at once, doctor," Obi-wan said.
"I can't what about my patients?" Bashir protested.
"There will be more soon. We might not be so lucky next time." Ahsoka said eyeing the exit.
"Please," A Rebel who was in bad shape said to Leia and Sabine who happened to be standing by his bio-bed, "take it." He handed Leia a data disk of a configuration neither she nor Sabine had seen before.
"What is this?" Leia asked curiously.
"Plans to the Battle Station which attacked us. There is a structural flaw in its design, a weakness built-in by a patriot named Galen Erso. A lot of good people gave their lives for this information. Make sure it gets to the Rebel base on Yavin IV, please." He said weakly. Before they could ask him to elaborate he closed his eyes for the last time.
"More are coming," Luke warned after peeking down the hallway.
"I'm sorry, doctor but we have to move now," Obi-wan said grabbing Bashir by his arm.
The group fought their way to the nearest Shuttle Bay which was occupied by Stormtroopers. C-3PO and R2-D2 who had disappeared in the chaos were waiting for them there. R2-D2 managed to lock most of the Stormtroopers out of the area but a some still got inside by chasing our heroes. Only Obi-wan, Ahsoka, Luke, Leia, Sabine, Ishka, and Sakal managed to escape on the shuttle. Bashir gave himself up distracting the Stormtroopers so they could make their getaway everyone else was cut down by blaster fire before they reached their destination.
"I wonder what happened to Captain Riker and the other two groups?" Sabine wondered while Ashoka and Obi-wan piloted the shuttle dodging incoming Tie Fighters.
"Captain Riker is a skilled officer he'll find a way to survive," Sakal said.
"Poor Doctor Bashir," Ishka said.
"What are we going to do?" Luke asked.
"One of the people we rescued gave me this before he died," Leia said showing everyone the data disk. "He said it contained plans for the Battle Station that attacked us."
"Yeah, he also mentioned there is a flaw in the design one which could be used to destroy it," Sabine said.
"I feel we should help them, these rebels," Leia said.
"It's the right thing to do," Sabine said with a nod.
"I think we should go home and get help first," Luke said.
"We should help them first." Leia insisted. "He told me to take this disk somewhere called Yavin IV."
"Did you or Sabine promise him you would take the disk there?" Luke inquired.
"Well, no, he died before we could," Leia admitted.
"It isn't our problem then," Sakal said.
"He's right," Luke said.
"How can you two said that?" Leia asked. "You saw what those monsters did to us for no reason."
The shuttle was rocked by a blast from a Tie Fighter which got to close before Ahsoka could destroy it. "Our propulsion system has taken a hit," Ashoka reported. Ahsoka added after she swore using her native language. "I don't think we can safely make it back to the Barzan Wormhole."
"R2 scan for the nearest inhabited system we can likely reach," Obi-wan said.
"Oh dear," C-3PO fretted.
R2-D2 interfaced with the onboard computer. A few moments later he beeped. "Inputting coordinates for the Tatoo System," Obi-wan said after a pause.
"Obi-wan we can't take these kids there, not to Tatooine," Ashoka said. The names Tatoo and Tatooine meant nothing to the younger members of the makeshift crew but to Ahsoka, Obi-wan and the droids they carried a sinister connotation.
"I wish there was another option Ahsoka, believe me, I do," Obi-wan said.
"What's wrong with Tatooine?" Luke asked. "Our dad lived there when he was a kid I think, right sis?"
"Right bro," Leia said sarcastically. She hated when Luke called her "sis". "Father's stepbrother Owen Lars and his wife Beru still live there unless they've moved away, it has been twenty years so they might have relocated." Unlike their mother's ex-home world of Naboo, their parents never told the twins much about Tatooine only that it was an environmentally inhospitable place one enormous hot desert.
"Maybe," Luke said. "So, what aren't you telling us about Tatooine?"
"It's a long story," Obi-wan said.
"Good thing we have time, eh?" Sabine said with a grin elbowing Luke who elbowed her back with a grin of his own.
"We better tell them all about the place," Ahsoka said. R2-D2 beeped in the affirmative while C-3PO continued to fretted.
"Alright, my involvement with Tatooine began about thirty-two years ago during the Trade Federation blockade of Naboo," Obi-wan said after a deep sigh.
Death Star, several hours later
"Where are the stolen plans?" Vader asked a haggard Riker after releasing his Force Choke. Riker was strapped into an interrogation chair and flanked by a pair of Stormtroopers.
"For the last time, I don't know anything about the plans you claim were stolen by the people we assisted," Riker said defiantly. "I demanded to be told the whereabouts and condition of my surviving crew. Furthermore, I demand you release us at once. By holding us here you are committing an attack of war against the Milkway Alliance."
"You aided and abetted terrorists who attacked an Imperial facility, Captain Riker. You then by your admission attacked this space station and our fleet." Vader accused.
"We were only defending ourselves after your forces attack us," Riker pointed out.
A male Imperial Security Bureau or ISB Agent entered the interrogation chamber. Following a quick bow, he whispered something Riker could not hear to Vader. Vader asked the man if he was "certain" to which he replied "yes". Vader dismissed the man then said to Riker.
"Captain Riker you and your crew will be classified as unlawful alien combatants. As terrorists, you will be afforded no special privileges under the code of galactic military conduct. You will be transferred to a maximum-security Imperial detention facility at our earliest convenience. Your advanced droid Data will be transferred to an Imperial research facility which specializes in droid development where it will be dismantled for full spectrum analysis." Vader pronounced.
"You can't do this!" Riker said struggling against his bonds.
"I can and I will. I am in control here, not you." Vader said before turning on his heels and walking away with his ever-present Royal Guards in tow.
A few minutes later Vader stood in the Royal Suite. "Leave me," Vader said to his Royal Guards which complied. Vader activated a hologram emitter. A flickering life-sized hologram of hooded Imperial Hand Mara Jade appeared.
"What is your bidding, my master?" Mara's hologram asked falling on one knee her head held respectfully low.
"An alien shuttle containing the stolen plans has escaped Grand Moff Tarkin's clutches. One of our Tie Fighters reportedly damaged the shuttle. It cannot get far in its present condition. I am sending you the latest telemetry. Find the shuttle and the Jedi who are onboard. Retrieve the stolen plans and capture or kill the Jedi." Vader commanded.
"It shall be done, my master." Mara Jade said.
"See that it is. Don't fail me as you have before, Jedi foundling. I will no longer tolerate your shortcomings." Vader said with disdain.
Mara stiffened at Vader's comment. She hated when he brought up her shameful origins something he frequently did whenever she disappointed him or he was angry in general (which was most of the time). "I am no Jedi, master. I hate the Jedi. I am loyal to the Empire and the Sith Order." Mara Jade insisted.
"If you say so," Vader said breaking the connection.
To Be Continued
Next Up – A Hive of Scum and Villainy aka Tatooine.