The Onderon Cell

Operation: Shadowpoint (Part III)

Part III, or, One Long Ass Battle

Exhausted from their trip to space to capture the as of yet unnamed agent of Moff Dardano, the group heads wearily to bed in anticipation of their meeting with the Beast Riders.
Gaav Fennro wakes everyone up.
“It’s time – you’ll have to leave now if you want to make your meeting.”
There’s some debate as to how to get there – abandon the speeders and walk in, walk the entire way, just take bikes? Eventually it’s decided that the possibility of not finding the speeders on the way back was too great a risk, and everyone takes a Speeder Bike.

The clearing proves easy to find, and absolutely full of Rupings – it looks like dozens of the Beast Riders have gathered to hear the group’s offer. They make their way inside, where they’re immediately greeted with horns of something fermented and roast meat on a stick. They seem a jovial sort – what better way to discuss alliances then half inebriated?
Eventually, Olko Baz calls for silence, and invites the group to make their plea. Nervously, Kharrus speaks.
“Well uh… we represent the Republic. The Empire sucks, you know that, but we’re totally cool and down with letting you do your own thing. Also… help us and you get to hunt the Empire like all day, every day for glory!”
Olko Baz and the other tribal leaders take their leave to discuss the possibility, while everyone else drinks and eats to their hearts content. Once nightfall rolls around, Olko and the other leaders return.
“We’ve considered what you said… and we agree. The Empire is not good for the Clazca, and we’re willing to see what you have to offer. We will come to your aid when you need us, as will you to us when the time comes.”
In agreement, the group lets their drink settle before stumbling back onto their speeders and taking off to return home to Whisper Base.

The morning starts abruptly with the base’s klaxon cutting through hungover stupors.
“All personnel, priority message intercepted. Report to the briefing room.”
Chalkkatta notices something odd – the message itself is barely encrypted, but great pains have been taken to obscure the identity of the sender.
“To the current possessors of Whisper Base, this is a warning. Moff Dardano’s forces have arrived in system, and they will be beginning their assault shortly. I highly suggest, for your own good, you repel them.”

The base explodes into activity – LE-03 starts engaging the base’s defenses, while Lucky tries to motivate the Onderon Villagers since his and their performance directly impacts his pay! Kharrus and Soryn start running checks on their AT-ST, and organizing the pilot minded villagers with their Skyhoppers and speeder bikes. Nima heads out on their stolen landspeeder to get support from the Clazca, and maybe more from Darrastead. Finally, Chalkkatta heads up with his macrobinoculars to scout the terrain.

Hours in, Gaav Fennro reports he’s intercepted another transmission – Moff Lasre Dardano was seen at Jyrenne Base boarding an AT-AT and leaving for the jungle for a “training exercise.” Weeeeeeell shit.

Soryn and Kharrus hop in their walker and head out, probably still drunk, for what everyone except Kharrus calls a ‘suicide mission’ and he refers to as ‘glory.’ The scouting trip does have positive outcomes though – they discover the AT-AT has been retrofitted as solely anti-air, though it does also have a landing platform for a TIE/SA bomber. The AT-ST’s weapons prove ineffective, as do the AT-AT’s crews’ missile tubes. Eventually, they decide to head back to base.

Chalkatta provides the earliest warning – he spots three drop shops landing near the AT-AT. He watches them unload their troops – three platoons – and fly off.

Kharrus, as the combat expert, springs into action. Leading Darrastead villagers on speeder bikes and in Skyhoppers, as well as Rupping-riding Clazca, he heads out to harass the force as it advances, trying to draw them away from the base. Very quickly he’s forced to retreat; despite his guerrilla tactics, there are just too many mercenaries too concentrated for his meager force to make an impact. Kharrus regroups at Whisper Base, preparing for the next wave. LEO boards a Skyhopper for this wave, while Soryn and Chalkkatta man the AT-ST. Lucky and Kharrus take up positions on the front line, grimly watching the wood-line.

The battle continues poorly, though this time at least they make their presence felt! The air support and AT-ST prove a turning point, tearing their way through infantry. Unfortunately, Moff Dardano sprung for some actual bounty hunters amidst the riff-raff. Despair spreads through Whisper Base as one hunter manages to take out the skyhoppers with a missile tube, while the other one throws a satchel of anti-vehicle mines at the AT-ST. Ultimately the mercenaries are forced to fall back, though they have left their mark – the Beast Riders have been nearly wiped out, all vehicle support is destroyed; the only thing between a full platoon of mercenaries and Whisper Base is a dozen poorly trained villagers with pistols, Kharrus, and Lucky.

This phase goes better – Lucky is clearly a higher class of hired gun, while Kharrus is a republic commando – mere mercenary minions never stood a chance! One bounty hunter does give Chalkatta pause however – the two become locked in a desperate brawl; Chalkatta desperately tries to find a chink in the hunter’s armor, while the Aqualish bounty hunter does his best to evade the wookiee’s rage and bring his disruptor rifle into play. Ultimately, the duel is ended with a savage slash, sending the hunter stumbling back and into LEO’s blaster sights.

The group breathes a sigh of relief – even though there’s thick smoke and corpses everywhere, Whisper Base is finally theirs. Except for that AT-AT lingering just out of range… A message comes over the base’s speakers.
“Oh you poor Rebel Scum… there’s nothing you can do now. As we speak I’m boarding my ship. I’m going to drop a proton bomb on you limp-dicked assholes, and there will be nothing left of you to remember.”
There’s a quick choice to make – run for it, or stay? LEO’s fairly confident he can overload the shield… eventually it’s decided they wouldn’t make it far enough on foot, and LEO quickly works on the shield. It won’t last long, and their shield and power generators won’t survive… but they might. Soryn mans the AA turret, lining up the quad turbolaser. His first salvo of shots nearly cripple the bomber, coming just shy – if only he’d remembered that he had it Dead to Rights! Alas, the bomber drops its payload, and the shield flashes bright white. When it clears, everything is oddly in focus and the smell of ozone hangs heavily. Soryn has time for one last shot, and the bomber explodes.

Now, for real – the base is a mess, most of their allies are dead, and they lost hundreds of thousands of credits worth of equipment… but the base is theirs, and the only Imperial who knows of its existence is dead. Hurray!

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Brian_McDaniel

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