Phase 1 - The Arrival
Republic Task Force Argento
Position - High Orbit over JanFathal
(Ambient Music for Scene)
Republic Task Force Argento
Position - High Orbit over JanFathal
(Ambient Music for Scene)
Jedi Knight Kylar Thrane gazed out the Venator's viewport at the world before him. JanFathal, a minor terran world ringed with asteroids in high orbit, which made its wealth exporting various metal ores. In normal times, this peaceful world was just a minor trade stop on the route to Muunilist, but all that changed when new veins of durasteel and carbonite were advertised.
Then in swooped the CIS to lock in exclusive extraction rights with the Mining Unions, which the government swiftly sold-out to. Upset over the loss of the new mines to a foreign power, civil unrest swept thru the populace until it sparked into civil war. And now the Republic steps in to back the Traditionalists in their valiant struggle against the pro-CIS Unionists........and to gain the same valuable metal resources for starships fabrication that the CIS so greedily seeks. Politics at its finest.
His orders from High Command were simple: Land contingents of 104th on JanFathal, reinforce the Republic Commandos on the ground, and aide the Traditionalists in securing their world from CIS influence. Campaign duration estimated from two weeks to one month of hard fighting.
Kylar scoffed to himself, "A month to end a planetary civil war......Command had similar estimates for Mygeeto, and Master Mundi has been their for near three years!" And unfortunately for Task Force Argento, this operation had begun in a similar fashion to near every recent Republic campaign.......in disaster. He felt the shock wave of the explosions before hearing the comm chatter on the command bridge behind him.
"Troop Transport Odyssey hit! Multiple hull breaches across her decks from asteroid impacts!", reported a junior officer in the pit. Before Kylar could respond, the Task Force's Commodore Gorcuev Telani began barking complaints and orders in a panicked voice. "How could those pilots be so blind to fly straight into asteroids? Tell them to come about immediately, they are blocking the invasion corridor!" A nearby radar screen began to blink with red dots, but Kylar could see the small shapes in the distance well enough to know what they were.....jackals attempting to swarm a wounded beast. He swiftly turned about to the pit officers. "Belay that order!! We have enemy Vulture droids in-bound for the Odyssey. Deploy Viper squadron's V-wing flights 1 thru 4 immediately to defensive positions around the Acclamator. Move up two Arquitens for close-range support and instruct our reserve Pelta-class frigates to begin search and rescue missions for life-pods and any personnel trapped in damaged hull sections. Move it!"
A chorus of yes sir's followed Kylar as he quickly strode past Commodore Telani to the tactical holo-display at the back of the bridge, which showed Vulture droids emerging from out-croppings of nearby asteroids in attempted strafing runs on the listing Odyssey. Thankfully, most of their V-wing flights were already launched and quickly engaged the would-be ambushers. The reminder of the support ships moved following is commands to aid the poor souls of the on the Odyssey. Telani moved up beside, stiff at attention as if that somehow gave him the authority he lacked. "Commander Thrane, may I remind you that upon this mission I am the lead officer, and I will not have you questioning my authority in-front of the Clones........"
"Men", Kylar quipped. "........You mean in-front of the Men." He turned to face the young Commodore. Truly, Telani was about his age, but the difference was Kylar had been a GAR Commander at war for the last five years, while the Commodore had just recently graduated from the Anaxes Officers College. "Commodore Telani, I'll be brief. First off, the Odyssey did not fly into asteroids by accident, those were low-yield explosives creating improvised space mines. Ingenious really, by the locals, as our scanners would not be able to detect them and yet they can do enough damage with shattering an asteroid into a starship. Probably both sides of the war have strewn the asteroid field with make-shift mines, which means they will only activate by proximity for any ship passing by, regardless of allegiance.
Secondly, I specifically recommended against your text book maneuver to land massive assault ships on a world cloaked by asteroids as it would be miracle if they got thru unscathed. Now, we have a damaged Acclamator that can no longer participate in this operation and hundreds dead for no reason. That will be in your report back to GAR Command.
And thirdly......."Kylar stared Telani in the eyes, ".....thirdly your recent promotion to the head of this task force was not because of your outstanding grades or term papers at Anaxes, but rather because we've lost so many command staff in damn fleet battles over the last three years that the GAR is promoting anyone with an officer rank. So get your smug head out of your ass and do your job!! There are men out their that need saving, and get that Acclamator tugged back out of harms way! No more large scale invasion attempts. The CIS beat us to the ground, and I will follow my orders and take the 104th planetside to end this civil war. And the 58th Airborne will lead the way, how we always do!"
Seeing Telani bristle red with a combination of embarrassment and ego, Kylar smirked and turned back to the holo-display to resume orders. He inserted one of his command cylinders into the counsel which granted him a fleet wide broad-cast. "This Jedi Commander Thrane. Our Venators, remaining Acclamators, and Arquitens will remain in high orbit under Commodore Telani's command, to assist the Odyssey and to send supplies to us planetside. In order to get down to the planet, contingents of the 104th will disembark their respective ships and load unto the CR-70 Chargers, the heavy CR-90, and any LAAT gunship in condition to keep up. Also, the 58th's squadrons of ARC-170s and Y-wings will lead the way and remain planetside for the duration of this campaign. Gear-up men and be ready to disembark."
Telani attempt to recover some face, in lieu of the circumstances. "The 58th's fighter wing would be greatly beneficial to support the fleet......", but a cold stare from Kylar silenced him. "You have two Venators' worth of star fighters at your command, and if you cannot protect this task force with that, then I don't know what to say. However, the 58th are my men, and they stay with me. I'll need their firepower planetside. I trust you'll manage without our few dozen ships." Kylar brushed past him to the turbolift.
"But.....how will you get the 58th and 104th planetside without the Acclamators?", Telani asked with pure curiosity. Kylar flashed a grin as the lift doors began to close, "Simple, my good Commodore.....we're going to run the gauntlet".
A few minutes later Kylar was in the hanger bay of the Venator, linking up with his men of the 104th. His leading officer, Cpt Jori, strode up flanked by members of the 58th Airborne. His wolf-emblazoned ARC trooper helmet under one arm, Jori saluted Kylar swiftly, "58th's Squadrons are fueling up and we are loading supplies onto two docked CR-70s, sir. Thre rest of the fleet is following suite with the remaining CR-70s as instructed, and Cpt Rook-Ti's CR-90 corvette is already loaded down with personnel. Though, there isn't much room on-board these Chargers. If you want the 104th at decent strength, we'll need to pack the men into any hallway or engineering space we can find." Kylar returned his saluate and smiled, "Prompt action Jori, you never cease to amaze. This run won't be easy, but the men will have to hunker down in any space available aboard the CR-70s. If there are any LAAT pilots you trust to keep pace with us on this ship, reassign them to the 58th and start loading men and supplies." Kylar handed him two rank code cylinders to ensure no logistics stood in his captain's way.
"Easy? Its going to be a tight one, Commander. So.....are we pulling a run the gauntlet maneuver, or so I'd guess by your comm broadcast." Kylar clapped an hand on the captain's shoulder with a grin, "It worked over Ringo Vinda, didn't it? Pass the word, we're going in hot planetside. We're on a time table. How long till men, gear, and ships can be ready to move out?"
Jori looked down the vast hanger of garages, "Give us one to two hours, Commander, and we'll be ready to go." Also watching men scramble all over in preparation for the coming attack, Kylar nodded in approval, "So be it. That will also give Commodore Telani enough time to rescue the Odyssey and have it tractored-beamed to safety. I'll be taking a handful of our elite guard down in the Ancestral Blade, and lead the front of our formation." Kylar paused for a moment, calculating their odds at getting enough men planetside with this manuever. Turning again to Cpt. Jori, "In the dorsal hanger alongside my ship, there is a reserve CR-70. Its now your command, Jori. The second code cylinder will give you access, and pack it to the brim with your commandos and all the heavy ordnance they can carry." Jori beamed from ear to ear, "Thank you sir! Alright boys, you heard the commander! Grab all the muntions, rations, and rifles you can and start stowing them on our new ride. We move out in under two hours, at the Commander's call!" Jori saluated and then moved out with his men.
Kylar turned back to the various divisions across the Venator's hanger bay. He itched to get down to the Ancestral Blade, to start the pre-flight checks himself before soaring off into combat. But first, he wanted to check if any other squads or Jedi wanted to tag along on this venture.
OOC - hey guys, please use the Venator hanger or nearby ships as a staging area for our characters to meet, talk, and get ready to ship out to JanFathal. This is going to be wild flight, if you want to ride with the 58th!