The fleet of Wyrpuuk Cha slowed as it entered the outer limits of the Pyria system. The system's distant sun was visible through the amber-colored shell that served the bridge as a viewport, but Wyrpuuk Cha paid it no attention, concentrating instead on the cloud of blaze bugs that hovered in the black hemispherical depression at the rear of the chamber.
The insects, capable of hovering in flight and glowing or growing dark at the mental of the fleet's yammosk, formed glowing patterns and shapes within that depression. A spherical cluster of them represented the system's sun. Others formed smaller balls representing the planets of the system. Numberless glowing mites of a related species, too small to see but for their bluish glow, arrayed themselves to represent the crisscrosses of ionic trails that decorated the solar system, indicating where the hated metal ships of the enemy had recently made runs.
Most of the other blaze hovered singly or formed into small, irregular patches. Those, Wyrpuuk Cha knew, represented groups of enemy ships. Wyrpuuk Cha frowned as he noticed that some of the blaze bugs had taken the approximate shape as one of the enemy's hated Imperial Star Destroyers but much larger. Wyrpuuk Cha wondered if the blaze bugs representation was actually to scale.
Knowledge of their whereabouts came from the villip transmissions from the remaining Yuuzhan Vong forces on Borleias and from the gravitic senses of the yammosk, but the information was incomplete; fleet elements too near gravity wells would not be detectable, nor would ship's situated at distant points in just beyond the Pyria system. The infidels could have hundreds of ships located here; it would take time and sacrifice to find and destroy them.
He had warriors in great number more than willing to sacrifice themselves and neither was he lacking the time needed to do it. The true challenge would be wiping the infidels out quickly and with the least use of resources in order to please Warmaster Tsavong Lah. He needed to present a tempting target and once they were engaged, he would spring his trap and annihilate them. The forces under his command allowed the use of that strategy at least twice. Though after the first use it would be incredibly risky to use it again.
"They have not reestablished shield platforms in orbit around the planet." Kadlah Cha a military analyst of Domain Ca informed him.
"So they will have situated a minefield around Borleias, and simulated a shield with their metal ships."
"No, Commander." She said as she walked to the blaze bug depression and using her hands began waving some of the bugs away and waving a spherical cluster representing Borleias toward her. The insects that had been dismissed added themselves to the sphere, increasing it's size and some taking the shape of vessels in orbit around the planet.
"See? They have capital ships in what looks like geosynchronous orbit above one point on the planet, not far from the Domain Kraal touchdown point, and other vessels in more typical orbit. Nothing else. And the Kraals report no buildup of ground-based shield generators except at this site."
Wyrpuuk Cha considered her words.
"The enemy must having something very valuable there to concentrate so many ships in orbit above it. Though that location doesn't seem to be the only location of importance to them."
Reaching one hand into the depression, he returned it to it's previous magnification.
"Here. Repeated travel of there ships to one of the moons of this system's sixth planet. Yet no ships are there now. Why travel there unless to establish a base. Though why leave it undefended if that's the case? We need to know what's on that moon and what that fleet of ships is protecting."
Wedge and Iella found themselves jolted out of their sleep by the base's alarm. It wasn't one expected of a military installation, rather one used for a biohazard incident. Wedge turned and reached for the comlink on the table by the bed, with comlink already beeping."Antilles here."
"A sizeable Yuuzhan Vong fleet has entered the system. As well the Lusankya somehow arrived early and is in orbit." The comm officer reported the first part with disinterest despite such a message usually warranting concern, while sounding confused and surprised by the Super Star Destroyer's early arrival.
"Dozens of capital ships are entering the system at its outer fringe. There bearing indicate they likely arrived here from Coruscant. No sign as of the moment of coralskipper being launched."
"Issue a systemwide alert condition. Give the CO of the Lusankya's his or her new orders. I'll be in the command room shortly." Wedge said as he clicked off the comlink.
Wedge rose from the bed and seeing Iella already finishing suiting up.
"So what are you planning for today?"
"Bad tactics. We'll beat back whatever they throw at Borleias but let them have the fourth moon of Pyria Six. I'll be coordinating from here on the ground, so in order to reinforce the impression that there's something important here as well." Wedge said as Iella helped him finishing suiting up followed by a quick kiss.
"I hate it that you're going to lose, even on purpose."
"Because you're such a such a bad loser."
He grinned as he spoke. "Ultimately I intend to be a very, very bad loser."
Twin Sun's Squadron, Rogue Squadron, and the Wild Knights blasted off from the surface of Borleias and rapidly ended up in orbit. The fuel used while not a large part of their total fuel, could be missed later in the battle. However the risk was considered worth it if the Vong detected and realized that three of the New Republic's most famous starfighter squadrons had launched from the planet, it would further cement the enemy's view of the importance of Borleias.
As the three squadrons reached high orbit, their astromechs and onboard computers received detailed orders which the pilots began reviewing. Twin Suns would stay in geosynchronous orbit above the biotics facility and to vape anything that tried to attack it. Rogue Squadron would take up station above Borleias's moon and make quick strikes against any promising target of opportunity. The Wild Knights would protect Pyria VI lunar station. "Twin Suns on station." Luke announced. "Rogues, Knights, good hunting."
"Good hunting." Saba Sebatyne raspy voice replied as her squadron split off and headed for Pyria VI.
Gavin Darklighter responded with a comlink click before Rogue Squadron looped away for the short run to Borleias's moon. Luke glanced to port, starboard and behind him. To port, Corran Horn waited with a calm he lacked as a X-Wing pilot, but had attained when he became a Jedi Knight. However to his starboard, where Mara would normally be, was Zindra Daine. A Corellian pilot barely out of her teens, green as grass and not a Jedi.
Mara not being present would affect this engagement and subsequent engagements. Though he understood her desire to stay with Ben, to protect him against all possible threats, he personally viewed her desire as irrational and a goal that was impossible and that her absence from the battlefield could possibly result in the loss of good people.
Wedge stood at the center of the command room with the tactical holo in front of him. The room had once been attended as a blast shelter, but now it was filled with consoles and their operators. The duracrete walls not particularly well designed, rang with various noises. Voices military doing their duties could be heard as computers beeped and chirped with updates for their operators. Live sounds feeds from units in orbit could be heard as well. Wedge ignored them and kept his focus on the continuously updating tactical holo.
Pyria was showed at one edge, Borleias close to it, Pyria VI farther out, and the fringes of the solar system at the far edge. At the far edge of the holo, clustered red blips representing the Yuuzhan Vong fleet moved ever closer to the New Republic forces.
"Rogues are on station. The starfighters on the target moon are standing by. Vong intrusion anticipated in two minutes." Tycho Celchu announced.
"Have those fighters launch. Make it look erratic and seem like they were caught off guard. Then form up in time." Wedge ordered.
"Yes, sir." Tycho replied as turned back to his screen.
Wedge looked across the hologram. Some of his ships sat motionless, well away from the fighting, monitoring the situation with their sensors and ready to join the battle at a moment's notice. Capital ships, cruisers and frigates were situated above Borleias. Various starfighter units maneuvered themselves to head off the approaching Yuuzhan Vong forces. A sizeable Vong force kept its position and was located not too far from where they had first enter the system. The units advancing toward his forces were mere probes. Meant to test the strength of the Fleet Group Three. This engagement wasn't about winning or losing; it was about gathering information on enemy capabilities.
"Pyria Six reports contact," Tycho reported.
Captain Yakown Reth at the moment was a very unhappy man. It was bad enough that he had been assigned the duty of guarding the construction of a pointless facility on this moon. Now he was being micromanaged by Colonel Celchu as Vong coralskippers were rapidly approaching. The Colonel had required that each wing pair after being ready to launch, go through a second checklist before finally launching. Instead of his squadron entering space like a well disciplined unit, instead looked like an undisciplined mob.
Reth watched as incoming blips on the sensor screens reached the outer limits of his E-Wings range of fire. As the blips got ever closer, the last two starfighters finally got into formation and announced their readiness.
"Everyone remember. No individual heroics. We need to overwhelm their defenses and overlap our own. Break by wing quads on my command, three, two, one...now."
Reth had his fighter go down several hundred meters towards the moon, with Green Two through Green Four following him in loose and imprecise formation. It wasn't a surprise. Green Squadron had been formed from units that had been nearly wiped out at Coruscant. Coralskippers not yet visible, opened fire and red plasma projectiles rapidly approached Green Squadron. Reth moved closer to Green Two, and saw that Green Three and Green Four had done the same, allowing their shields to allow overlap.
"Accelerate to full. We'll punch through and come back. Set lasers to stutterfire. I'll designate a target and we'll all hit it. Ready... mark."
Reth put his targeting reticle on an fastly approaching coralskipper, not the first in the group coming toward him but the third, and fired a lasers cannons on his E-wing's nose and wingtips, an irregular drizzle rather than a hard-hitting burst of concentrated energy. Bursts from his wingmates followed his in, drench his target. Reth truly hated the new stutterfire configuration. He knew that it did damage around the coralskippers damn void defenses, but it prevented the lasers from hitting with any sort of satisfying power.
An incoming stream of plasma balls flew across his group for the most part. Three or four hit the overlapping shields of the E-wings, and the audible sensor interpreters of his vehicle noted the impacts with sharp bangs. His diagnostics didn't note any damage, and his sensors showed his target followed by a comet like tail consisting of pieces of yorik coral chewed away by their laserfire.
Though that coralskipper was still sound, Reth switched targets, pouring his damage and that of his wing mates on another skip. This coralskipper, angling straight into the path of his lasers, was very much visible, and Reth saw his group's lasers chewing at it, at its edges, across its canopy; though its void flashed in front of much of the laser fire, swallowing it, still enough curved around the singularity's edges and penetrated the skip's surface. The coralskipper suddenly became as bright as the system's sun and then was gone.
Reth managed a tight smile. So far, so good.
"Sensors show a formation looping around the moon toward us." Corran said in a quiet and controlled voice as it came across Luke's private comlink, not the one built into his X-wing. Corran was several hundred kilometers behind the rest of the Twin Suns Squadron formation in lunar orbit, trailing it and acting as rear guard.
Luke nodded. The main sensor relay from the ground stations showed a column of coralskippers and frigate analogs on a straight approach toward Borleias, but the Yuuzhan Vong had obviously detected Twin Suns and sent a detachment around the moon hoping to trap them between two forces.
"Get back up here." he told Corran. "Prepare a shadow bomb to drop."
The other pilots of Twin Suns weren't Jedi and so weren't able to utilizing the shadow bomb weapons - proton torpedoes with their propulsion units removed, shoved across space by only the powers of the Jedi mind - so he didn't have to transmit these orders to them. He activated his snubfighter's comlink on squadron frequency.
"Prepare to follow me in." He switched back to the scrambled frequency he shared with Corran and Zindra. "Thirty seconds before our pursuit gets into firing range, we accelerate straight toward the enemy column. But Corran and I leave the shadow bombs behind."
Zindra and Corran responded with comlink clicks. Sensors showed Yuuzhan Vong vessels far ahead, crossing the plane of lunar orbit on their approach toward Borleias. Luke could distantly see the running lights, or whatever the organic equivalents were, on the Yuuzhan Vong frigate analogs. Corran was much closer, approaching fast from the rear, and now Luke could detect the first blips indicating the detachment coming up behind Corran.
"Drop shadow bombs," he said, and kicked his accelerator on as he dropped his own shadow bomb.
Twin Suns Squadron rapidly rushed out from lunar orbit on a straight approach toward the main Yuuzhan Vong column. Their course had to be absolutely straight if the trick was to work.
His Force perceptions irrelevant, Luke kept his eye on the sensors. They showed the distant blip of Yuuzhan Vong pursuers growing less faraway; they showed the tiny, coded comlink transmission from the shadow bombs left behind; they showed the Vong column ahead, also getting closer and closer.
"They're firing," Zindra said with excitement in her voice, and Luke saw flashes of distant enemy miss them in his peripheral vision.
Luke began to dodge, his attention divided between controlling his X-wing and and the shadow bomb he had launched. The enemy force of coralskippers numbered approximately thirty at this distance, it was hard to tell. They were approaching the point where the Jedi had dropped the shadow bombs and were in a narrow approach formation. Luke pushed the shadow bombs into a line, each a few kilometers from the next, and watched their blips on his sensors separate and line up in anticipation of the incoming skips.
He didn't feel the coralskippers pass the rearmost shadow bomb; his Force perceptions as always couldn't detect them. But the sensors showed the line of skips reach and begin to superimpose itself on the line of shadow bombs. He waited until the foremost skip reached the leading bomb, then reached out and squeezed with a small measure of his Force powers.
The formation of coralskippers which only seconds ago had been a clear line on the sensors, were now a large mass, then began to fade. Where before there had been perhaps thirty skips in pursuit, half that number now looped away from the point of detonation, in search of whatever mystery ship must have attacked them.
Luke brought his attention and focus back to the here and now. Zindra was directly above him, her X-Wing blocking his direct view of the fight, but he could tell that they were in the midst of the main coralskipper column, had maneuvered into the midst of the enemy while most of his attention was locked up with the shadow bombs.
Corran was still located near his port, his shields overlapping Luke's and providing additional support, patiently waiting for Luke to snap back to full attention so they could deal with the enemies ahead.
Zindra's excited voice could be heard from the comlink: "Great shooting! So we going to do something about that frigate ahead?"
Luke found himself having to suppress the urge to grind his teeth.
"Yes, we are. I'll take lead." He boosted his thrusters as he and Corran maneuvered ahead of Zindra. "Follow me in."
Luke peeled off on a strafing run against the frigate analog with Corran and Zindra following.
Saba fired and a pulse from the blastboat ion cannons hit a formation of coralskippers, causing them to spin out of control and veer away from the fight. The Skipray Blastboat shuddered. Saba checked her diagnostics screen for any damage. No damage was done and she glanced to Danni, who was monitoring the main sensors. Danni shook her head no.
"No damage. But...it would be a good excuse."
Saba hissed in annoyance but nodded. Danni pressed a button on her console board. A very unhappy Saba, made the blastboat wobble as it looped toward another group of coralskippers.
"Wild Knights One, this is Green Leader. You're venting atmosphere, repeat, venting atmosphere. Can you hear me? Over."
Saba glowered at her controls. Of course the blastboat was venting atmosphere. The rear of the blastboat had several new valves added to them. They had been rigged to eject a compressed oxygen and nitrogen mix to make it seem like they were venting atmosphere. Danni activated her comlink.
"Green Leader...this is Wild One. We've been hit by some major grutchin hits. Were venting. Several are...chewing through toward the engines..." Danni made herself sound as panicked as she could and added some coughing to her performance.
"Wild One, get out of here. Get to ground, now. We'll hold here."
"Thanks, Green One out."
Danni clicked the comlink off and looked toward Saba, the guilt plainly clear to see on her face.
Saba hissed again and banked around back toward Borleias.
Over the next few minutes, there fellow members of the Wild Knights would follow suit. Whenever one suffered a minor bit of damage, he or she'd behave as though the craft had sustained a major hit and turn toward home. Eventually the remaining units defending the moon over Pyria VI would find their situation untenable and have to abandon their post.
That was the plan. But it felt like losing to Saba. It felt like abandoning comrades to the enemy.
And that was something Saba Sebatyne did not do. Had she been a human, the pressure she exerted on the controls would have turned her knuckles white.
Captain Reth couldn't help but grin as Wild One departed the fight. Sure, the departure of the gunboat would weaken their position. That said, there was a certain satisfaction in the fact that the almighty Jedi leader of the famous Wild Knights was fleeing the battle zone, her tail between her legs, and he, commander of the motley hodgepodge Green Squadron, was still in the fight. He returned his focus to the raging battle around him. He very much wanted to receive his medals in person, and not posthumously.
Kadlah Cha joined him again before speaking. "Their outpost was caught off guard by our attack." Kadlah said as she gestured to the moon where the aforementioned outpost is located.
"They have insufficient numbers stationed there to protect it. We can move units from the reserve fleet to there faster they can, and crush whatever they throw at us."
"Good. What else?"
She gestured to where the main engagement was being fought, over Borleias. "Unfortunately our forces there are not enjoying such success. Were suffering considerable losses, coralskippers especially and faster than the enemy is losing warriors."
"Any new weapons or tactics used by the enemy?"
Kadlah shook her head.
"They do not lack spirit, but they do not it seems to have any surprises for us. We will in time break that spirit. After the outpost falls, we'll end the assault on Borleias for now. The outpost on the moon will be our base. Any prisoners we take are to be broken, and have all information and memory organized and sent to the warmaster."
"It shall be done."
"Wild Knights are out of the engagement zone," Tycho said.
He reached into the hologram representing the various areas of conflict in Pyrian space and gestured at one bright cluster of colorful, swirling blips. "The Yuuzhan Vong are concentrating their efforts on taking Pyria Six's moon. They're cautious, not trying anything particularly bold, just a standard attritional assault."
"Very well," Wedge said.
He stood beside his chair, his voice was carrying little expression, that his features must look blank at the moment - that was the way it always was when he was calculating things on a strategic scale. Focusing like this seemed to make him distant, inhuman.
"Have our forces at Pyria Six's moon begin a fighting retreat back to Borleias. The Vong should end their assault for now, after they take that moon."
Tycho nodded and began relaying the orders as Wedge continued to monitor the battle. A short time later, as Wedge had predicted, the Yuuzhan Vong had ended their attack after they had taken the moon.
"Well the first part of your plan worked. Now we just need to stretch this battle out long enough to hopefully buy the New Republic some time."
Wedge privately wondered if any time they bought, would actually make a difference considering the current leadership of the New Republic. Or lack of it, as has been the case for the last few years.
"We'll do everything we can. Now we should go meet Han and Leia. They've been waiting a while and we need to get them caught up with current events."
"I volunteer you to give the bad news." Tycho said with a smirk.
Wedge just smiled as they left the command room.
So in the book Rebel Dream, Wedge had planned to drag out a battle with a Yuuzhan Vong commander of average skills, with an average fleet. At first he got what he wanted. Then a New Republic SuperStar Destroyer appeared in the middle of the Vong fleet, wrecking said fleet and Wedge's plan. Here that doesn't happen because of ASB(An author device on used to make pretty much anything possible) intervention. That's the POD. Also here's the funny as hell(In my opinion) conversation between Wedge and Tycho had as Cha's Vong fleet got wrecked.
Wedge: "Tycho, we're about to achieve a tremendous victory we don't want."
Tycho: "We'll put that in your biography. General Antilles was so good he couldn't fail when he tried to."
Also if you're confused and don't understand what the hell is going on, check out the Star Wars Wiki. wiki/Yuuzhan_Vong_War
Oh yeah. This fan fic takes place 27 years after the Battle of Yavin in the Star Wars Legend continuity.