Empire

by Warringer

Chapter 12

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"They have to be insane."

Kyle Katarn was thinking the same, the unnamed technician in the Command Center of Massassi Station had said out loud.

"Nice people you found there, Kyle," he said to himself, unable to pry his eyes away from the display.

It wasn't only that had they pulled a large fleet together in a very short amount of time, but also that they seemed to know what they should send. And a large number of the ships send were dedicated carriers and these arsenal ships, that had managed to pump out salvo after salvo of missiles for ten minutes straight.

And each of those salvos had enough yield to bring visible strain to a shield that had to be at planetary shield level.

It made him wonder why these people needed this much firepower.

"Far from being insane," a female voice said from the background of the Command Center." They are warriors. And they are ready to join the brave in Valhalla."

This was the only reason for him to pry his eyes away from the display to stare at the group of six, uhm, people that were standing in the back of the Command Center.

The chain mail and leather armor, the iron helmets, broad swords, lances and iron shields made them look very out of place in the modern setting of the Command Center. They seemed to belong more to a very primitive planet than into the Center of the Rebellion.

To make matters worse was the fact that all six were tall, blue eyed, blond women with bodies that made every male all but salivate, and got them the dirty looks from just about any female of the Rebellion. Well, safe for the too inhuman ones anyway.

They had arrived with a large ship named Sleipnir and with the six very massive mobile weapon platforms. The crew of the ship had called them Avatars of the 'Bolos' and they had been extremely humble while in the presence of the six women. But they also called them Valkyries.

Through if they were really women was a problem. When asked what an 'Avatar' was, one of Sleipnir's crew members had said they were the android bodies of the Bolos. And the term 'android' was very close to 'droid'. So most people wondered if those six weren't something of human-looking droids.

"The Death Star's shields are failing!" someone else called out and Kyle's eyes were back on the screen.

A direct video link to one of the fighters showed how the lightnings that were dancing across the shield of the Death Star disappeared, and made the surface visible.

There was more than one gasp in the Command Center as everyone stared at the screen.

The entire visible surface of the Death Star was visibly damaged. Considering the sheer size of the battle station, that was meaning something about the destructive capacity of the Commonwealths weapons.

"Surface damage," one of the Valkyries, Thrúd, said after a moment." The armor of the Death Star is about a kilometer thick. Even without shields it might have been able to survive the attack."

Kyle swallowed dry as he looked over to their guests. Thrúd had sounded like she was stating a mere fact.

"Unfortunate that the Bahamut is not here," said a second Valkyrie, Skuld.

Together with Thrúd, she seemed to be the leader of the Valkries.

"It is fate that Bahamut is not with us," the third, Mist, noted.

The comment got her a slap from Skuld and something that looked like a playful scrowl, while the others laughed very audible.

"Hey," was Mist's response as she reached up to keep her helmet from falling off her head.

Around them any Rebel was itching away from them.

Who the hell were these people?

Kyle was pretty sure that he was sharing this thought with many of the Rebels in the Command Center.

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Alfek stared at his console or at least what was left from it after one of the many missiles had hit about a kilometer distant, taking out one of the Secondary Lasers. The Overbridge was worse to wear and biting smoke was filling up the room from numerous fires that weren't kept under control by the numerous firefighter driods.

Around him most of the crewmen manning the Overbridge had been thrown around by the impact and the insuring shock wave as it traveled through the massive structure of the Death Star. They all had some sort of injury and some of the Stormtroopers and medical droids were trying to help. Alfek himself had a broken arm that was only temporarily dressed.

He looked up from his console at the main view port, where a long crack was very visible and even audible. He swallowed as looked back down.

He was looking at several ten thousands of fighter and similar craft coming towards the Death Star. And the shields had failed just a minute ago. He doubted that the TIEs would be winning much against this many fighters coming at them.

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Grant Moff Wilhuff Tarkin grit his teeth as he hurried down one of the many corridors of the Death Star. He was not quite running, but only just barely. There was a growing panic in the back of his head.

He didn't know any place that build such missiles, either in size, yield or quantity. Had the Rebels unearthed some sort of Separatist factory from the Clone War? Or had they managed to find allies somewhere in the Unknown Territories?

He tried to control the look on his face as he walked faster out of the turbolift and towards the hangar with his personal shuttle.

For a moment his mind registered that the shaking had stopped, but considering the massive bombardment of missiles for the last ten minutes, he had this bad feeling that there was something much large to come.

He slowed down his walk as he approached the hangar and even managed to shoot a glare at the guarding Stormtroopers. He was glad that Vader and his personal Stormtroopers had left prior to the Death Star entering Yavin.

He strode towards the shuttle, his mind falling into turmoil over the Rebel attack. The Death Star had proven that is was not as invincible as he would have liked. Who would have thought that they had been attacked with a large number of fast moving missiles that a Turbolaser had no chance to intercept? And in such a large number that they did overwhelm the shields and destroyed the Superlaser?

His goal from here was clear. He would travel to the Maw and order the design and construction of a much more powerful Death Star. One where any possibilities, such as a missile attack was accounted for. And he would have to keep away from the Emperor.

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"Lookie there," Aiko Harris noted as she took a sip from her ever present mug of coffee." What do we have here..."

Next to her her second in command, Commander Jethro Wells, chuckled a little.

"Looks like a Lambda class shuttle," he noted.

"Course projection," she ordered and a blue line appeared on the holographic display.

The line was curving a little towards the edge of the gravitic field of Yavin, as well as going away from Yavin IV and the approaching fleet of fighters and small craft.

Wells grinned evilly.

"It's moving towards us and will pass us in a hundred klicks distance," he said sounding eerily like a villain going 'I have a cunning plan'. All that was missing was him twirling a villain mustache or rubbing his hands.

"I wonder who is crapping his pants enough to leave?" Aiko wondered and sipped some more of her personal drug.

"Can't be Vader," Wells said." A hundred quid that its Tarkin who soild his pants."

Aiko grinned at Wells.

"You're on, Wells," she said with a grin and looked towards the helm." Get us on an intercept course with that shuttle and tell our Marines to prepare for boarding."

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Hikaru von Bismark raises an eyeridge as he looked at General Gunnarson.

"You work fast," he noted as he glanced back down on the PAD with the list of priority targets in the Galactic Empire.

"That is our job, sir," the large Marine noted with a wry grin and Hikaru noted that he would not be that much out of place on a Viking longboat or in charge of a Viking attack force, through it was not too much of a stretch to come from the Marines to the Viking warriors.

Hikaru nodded and looked back on the list. Two names of planetary systems were standing out on the absolute top of the list. Kuat and Corellia.

Since they had found out that they had been stranded in the Star Wars Universe, he had used whatever free time he had and didn't need to sleep, to catch up on everything they did know about the Empire. Considering the vast collection of various information in the so called Wookiepedia as well as other sources. Most names on the list were meaning at least something to him.

Kuat was the home of the Kuat Drive Yards and the premier production facility for the Imperial Fleet. Both Star Destroyers and TIE fighters were build there, but also a good number of civilian models. While the shipyards and production facilities for military and civilian vessels were separated from each other, both were situated on an orbital ring structure. Not unlike the growing structure around Earth.

And that was a problem. Outright destroying the Kuat Drive Yards was impossible without servely destroying a good part of the planet below, which meant civilian casualties.

Corellia on the other hand was known to work, covertly, with the Rebel Alliance. The large number of Corellians and the use of Corellian corvettes in the Alliance Fleet was showing this. But Corellian Engineering was still working for the Empire.

"Kuat and Corellia," he said after a moment." What is the plan for those systems?"

"That is a problem, sir," Gunnarson said and walked up to one of the large windows of The Office." I know that we need to minimize civilian casualties, be it people or installations. One because of the homefront and second to present a positive image to the Galaxy and the Rebel Alliance.

"Current planning calls for the complete destruction of any military shipyard we encounter to hinder the Imperial military buildup. While its rather easily done at Corellia as the Imperial shipyards are very outside of the civilian counterparts, Kuat is a harder nut to crack because of the Orbital Ring.

"According to Nathan even lightly damaging the main structure of the Orbital Ring will destabilize it and send it spiraling down on the surface, making it unhabitable."

Hikaru nodded and looked back at the list.

"Is there any way around it?"

"There might, the spooks of the TIT are currently looking into the use of the Ferron N-Space generator of their Alcubierre System to create a sufficiently dense gravitic field to cover an entire system and prevent any ship leaving and entering Hyperspace. Currently they think of a generator that can shut about ten lightseconds from Hyperspace. That would give us enough time to find and surgically destroy the military shipyards and salvage any material we can."

Hikaru blinked.

"Salvage?"

Gunnarson grinned for a moment at he looked at the President of the Interstellar Commonwealth.

"Salvage. We think about getting salvage ships to the Drive Yards and simply steal as many Star Destroyers as possible, before destroying the rest. Giving some of them to the Alliance might get us in good favor with them."

Hikaru chuckled for a moment and looked back down on the PAD.

"Maw?" he asked after another moment.

"We want to take it and keep it. The position is perfect for a secret base, just like the Empire found out. They got some of their best scientific head on the Maw Installation. If we can take it, we have those heads and a very easily defendable station we just need to build up as military installation. Not to mention damage the Hutts."

Hikaru nodded again.

"Of course there would be a number of diversion attacks throughout the Empire to draw the attention away from the actual attacks."

"Do we have enough ships for this plan?"

Gunnarson closes his eyes for a moment.

"Not really. Only half of our ships are in any shape for a fight and I'd rather wait for the final analysis for of the shields, armor and weapons the Star Destroyer was using."

They were silent for a few moment.

"There is however the possibility to divert the attacks by letting each fleet attack a group of targets one after the other, best would be targets in vicinity to each other."

Hikaru nodded and turned his seat around to look out at the Atlantic Ocean surrounding the massive floating city.

"Continue your planning. I want those plans before the Joint Chiefs and the Parliament ASAP."

Gunnarson saluted.

"Of course, sir."

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Hunter breathed in deep as he looked forward and towards the now horizon filling metal sphere that was visibly dented and leaking atmosphere where missiles had hit and ripped huge chunks out of the armor and parts of the superstructure.

"Okay people, here they come," he said after a moment, and narrowed his eyes as he looked at his HUD.

The HUD was showing a large number of smaller contacts breaking off from the Death Star and coming towards them.

It could only be TIE Fighters. And if the data relayed to them from the Nadesicos was correct there were just about four thousand of them. If there used to be any more, their hangars had been hit by the sustained missile barrage.

It would be like shooting fish in a barrel.

"Attack Force, you are go for AA missile use," he heard The Lady say. "On my mark."

He smirked a little and with a thought activated one of his AA missiles. With more than four times the number of fighters and even more small craft, the TIEs had no chance.

"AA missiles?" he heard the voice of Luke Skywalker of all things ask.

"Anti-fighter missiles," someone else simply responded.

"Mark," the voice of The Lady came again and Rick pressed his thumb on the trigger.

It was a sight to behold, like the sight from an anime as more than a hundred thousand high velocity highly maneuverable missiles lept from their under wing positions and towards the poor TIE Fighters.

Rick was close to feeling pitty towards the poor souls of the TIE pilots as he watched how a huge ball of low yield nuclear fire simply came into being, obliterating the TIE defense force.

"That was that," the voice of The Lady came again and Hunter warily looked out towards his wingmen and the X-Wing squadron that would be known as Rouge Squadron, between them.

It was his squadrons job to keep an eye on them and clean the way for the Trench Run. Like the rest of the Attack force the ordinance was mostly made up of Hight-speed Anti Artillery Missiles, short HAAM, through the Artillery was meant to describe just about any shipborne weapon, meant to knock out the Turbolasers along the Trench or the surface.

"Now we pop the balloon."