Rebel Squadrons

(44:2:27) Dragon Squadron Debriefing Narrative, VSG101 / Briefing Narrative, Dragon201

By COM David Vaughan
Unit: Vigilance Starfighter Group
Squadron NL, Dec 29, 2006
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The Battle of Blerthmore has ended with a pyrrhic victory for Task Force Republic Shield. The Imperial forces have been driven off, and about a quarter of their attack force destroyed, however it is a victory that has come with a blood-stained price for the New Republic task force stationed on the Triton Trade Route, far from civilised space. Many lives have been lost, along with infrastructure, munitions, supplies and a large amount of vessels, most of which were set alight while still sitting in the Eagle's Nest drydocks. The drydocks have by some small miracle mostly survived, however it will be some time before the task force is able to return to peak levels of maintenance and morale.

Dragon Squadron, along with the rest of Renegade forces, had remained as rear-guard for Intrepid forces, who were the primary line of reinforcements for the beleaguered capital. While Renegade forces prevented a complete massacre by holding the Imperial interdiction force where it lay, Intrepid forces were heavily hammered by the might of the Imperial armada assailing Blerthmore directly. The burned out hulks of once-proud and mighty vessels of the task force drift with inertia in orbit of the barren world of Blerthmore. Renegade and Intrepid forces will never be the same from this day forward, as both have sustained heavy losses in preventing the bastion of New Republic power in the Outer Rim from total ruin. A heavy price has been paid to repel the Imperial invaders.

Brigadier Vaughan winces as he walks through the cluttered hallways of the MC80 Star Cruiser Ad Astra, as he mulls over the preliminary damage estimates that have been 'guestimated', for lack of a better term, by the Logistics Office. And these figures are merely estimates drafted in the first minutes after the final shots had finished being fired at the conclusion of the battle --- the final count may be much, much worse. The Ad Astra and its surviving support ships --- unfortunately less than there were going into the battle --- have returned to Blerthmore after driving off the Exterminatus's forces, but arrived too late to participate in the orbital battle. The shattered remains of many historic Rebel Squadrons vessels and Imperial starships tell the tale of the battle well enough for those fortunate enough to have missed it.

An investigation will be launched in response before long, as well as the necessary counter-attack to prevent Imperial forces from believing they can strike at the task force and get away with it, but for the moment everyone is dealing with the aftermath of the disaster in their own ways, both professionally and personally. Intelligence is working with tactical, communications and sensor specialists, along with the best strategists the task force has to offer. The attack should not come as a surprise, as the New Republic's war has been raging against the remnants of the Empire for years beyond its acceptance as a legitimate government, but that Imperial forces are capable of striking deep into the heart of Rebel Squadrons's territory forever vanquishes the notion that the task force is immortal and untouchable --- the Empire has knocked on the door of the Rebel Squadrons, and left blood and destruction in its wake.

Brigadier Vaughan holds in his hands a number of pages of flimsiplast with exit vectors of various retreating Imperial elements, as well as long-range scans of forces not directly involved in the orbital battle at Blerthmore but who instead ravaged outlying regions of the Greeop system. He has summoned all available pilots of Dragon Squadron for an immediate mission, despite only being recovered from his disabled X-wing starfighter less than an hour before. He is heading for an impromptu briefing with the pilots in his squadron who are able to fly. His second in command, Major Kane Redron, responded to the summons and has organised the remaining pilots to assemble for immediate redeployment.

Kane is one of many pilots who were forced to eject from their craft in the previous battle, and yet has resumed normal duties, along with a number of other Dragon pilots also hit hard in the battle. Vaughan is under no illusions, and knows full well that a fair number of his pilots have discharged themselves from medical care before authorised, and while normally he would order them to report back to the med centre, right now is different. The Rebel Squadrons are currently reeling from the mighty blow dealt to them, and Vaughan has in his hands authorisation for an immediate reprisal operation. An opportunity for immediate vengeance that he would not deny anyone.

Vaughan is stopped mid-stride and snapped out of his thoughts by someone calling to him.


He turns to see a male human in a bright orange flight suit of the New Republic starfighter forces, and notes the rank badge indicating the man seems to be a major in the New Republic Defence Force. Vaughan does not recognise the man, but his appearance is vaguely familiar.

"Yes, Major, how can I help you?"

The short Major has an aura of strangeness about him, a kind of dark and mysterious look, that stands in contrast to the glaring orange flight suit he is wearing.

"Yes, I'm hoping you might be able to direct me to a pilot called Jair Karredo."

Vaughan feels a vibroblade cut through his stomach at the name. Despite his denial of the facts, on some level Vaughan realises that the name is of a pilot under his command whom he has just lost in battle. And while the death of soldiers in a war is something any general should be well-adjusted to, Vaughan is still new to the concept, and has not had to suffer the losses of pilots under his direct command before . . . at least until now. Comrades and friends of the Brigadier have fallen in battle before, but the squadron has been spared up until now from serious casualties under his command. He has clearly not been a general for long, else he would be better adjusted to this and not go cold at the mere mention of a name.

Vaughan coughs, and then checks to confirm he has heard correctly. "You're looking for Major Jair Karredo?"

The shorter pilot frowns slightly and affirms. "Yes, do you know him? I was informed that he is assigned to this ship, under the command of a General Vaughan."

Vaughan eyes over the character for a moment before replying.

"Major Karredo participated in a battle that has just come to a close." he pauses, searching the stranger's face for any expressions that might reveal his intentions. "He was shot down . . . and has not been recovered yet, although search and rescue shuttles are still scanning the area."

An expression of surprise flickers over the newcomer's face quickly, before settling back into a neutral, unreadable expression.

"Oh, I see." the stranger's usually-coloured grey eyes seem to glitter eerily.

"Can I help you with anything? I am Brigadier Vaughan, Jair's commanding officer."

The person's demeanour suddenly changes, to one Vaughan guesses is meant to be more accommodating, yet Vaughan isn't any more at ease with it. In fact, he preferred the neutral expression. This pleasant expression seems a bit forced, as if the person is trying on an outfit and unsure how it is meant to be worn.

"Oh, yes, actually. Jair invited me to join him out here in the Rim, as part of your task force."

This makes sense with what Vaughan knows --- Karredo had been gone for some time, whereabouts unknown, possibly back to his homeworld of Kuat, as the world had been liberated from Imperial occupation by New Republic fairly recently, and only returned a week or two ago to active duty.

"Ah, I see. Are you a pilot?" Vaughan eyes the man's gaudy flight suit.

"Yes. Oh, wait. Where are my manners? Major Rixar Kovani, reporting for duty." the pilot, Major Kovani, salutes. "But anyone who knows me calls me Docks."

Vaughan nods and unconsciously salutes back.

As if having expected Vaughan to elaborate, Major Kovani prompts for more information.

"So you tell me my friend has fallen in battle?"

Vaughan looks uncomfortable.

"Fell? Yes. He may be recovered in time. As I said, rescue shuttles are still sweeping the combat zone for survivors . . . hmm, a pilot, you said?" the Brigadier looks as though he has an idea. "I am about to embark on a swift reprisal operation, and I'm seriously lacking in pilots as my squadron was hit hard, many of them should actually be in the med centre . . . would you be interested in standing in for Karredo in this mission?"

The Major ponders for a moment, as if weighing up options, and then seems to make up his mind. "Yes, General, I would be honoured to fill in for Jair."

"Excellent. Follow me. The squadron should be assembled by now." the two pilots continue along the passageway of the Calamari Cruiser and make it to the room where Major Redron has assembled the Dragon pilots.

The two humans walk into the room, where the bedraggled pilots of Dragon Squadron are sitting or lying about, listlessly. Morale is low, and Vaughan knows that much of it comes not only from the thrashing that the task force has received, but also that Karredo is still Missing in Action, and that many of the pilots are still requiring low-priority medical attention.

Brigadier Vaughan takes a deep breath to try and shake off his battle fatigue, before striding purposefully before the pilots, slapping the pile of flimsi pages onto the podium in the front of the room to get their attention. The pilots look up at the Brigadier without much enthusiasm.

"I don't have any inspirational speeches prepared for you guys, as I know that's a bunch of kark, and frankly you're worth more than that. That said, the Imperial forces that had the gall to strike at our capital will not be getting away with it, and I mean that in a very immediate sense."

As this type of rhetoric has been used by commanders for time beyond counting, it naturally does little to stir the combat-weary pilots from their listless state.

Vaughan picks up one of the flimsi sheets and brandishes it in front of the squadron.

"I have here in my hands authorisation from General Corsair to mount an immediate reprisal operation. Nothing of depth, and nothing fancy. Just a chance to slaughter some of the retreating Imperial forces that have caused us grief this day. A chance at immediate revenge."

The sound of that causes the pilots to stir a bit, especially General Pasiechnyk, who stretches his weary muscles and voices his thoughts. "So Rekio's letting us kick them in the teeth before they can get away?"

Vaughan arches an eyebrow at the other General with humour. "Letting us? I thought with you as our commanding officer he couldn't deny us?"

General Pasiechnyk laughs a humourless laugh. "I'm not interested in command at the moment. Corsair's in charge until we know what we're doing next . . . I assume you've been invited to Dave's little meeting in a few hours?"

"Yes, I have . . . however I'm convinced we can hype out, give the running forces a black eye, and hype back in time for the emergency discussions . . . rumour has it he copped a support beam to the head." Vaughan winces. The Fleet Commander of the task force was reportedly receiving medical treatment at the present time.

Heavy continues on the previous topic. "Well, as I said, I'm not interested in command. I'm just after blood. The squadron's yours again, if you want it."

Vaughan inclines his head in acquiescence, aware of Heavy's exploits during the battle as Acting Dragon Leader, as Kane, Vaughan and Karredo were knocked out of the fight.

"Very well." Vaughan paces back and forth in front of the pilots, who find it unsettling. "To recap, the task force has been hit hard; Imperial forces completely overran our sector defences and ravaged the area around Blerthmore. This you all know. But fate, or the Force, or whatever you want to believe in, allowed us and Intrepid forces to be near enough to make a difference. Intrepid forces broke the Imperial lines while we kept the pursuing interdiction force chained down, and nailed the ImpStar."

A feeling of pride or satisfaction seems to ripple through the pilots at the mention of the Star Destroyer Exterminatus's demise, and their sizable contribution to it.

"Now it is time for us to crush the Imperial forces as they retreat from the sector. And yes," Vaughan affirms as the pilots seem to sit up and pay attention at his choice of words. "They are actually retreating. Although the Battle of Blerthmore has been a victory for us, a pricey one, they do not seem interested in sticking around and capitalising on our losses . . . this is highly unusual, and begs investigation. But for now, we are going to leave analysis to our strategists, and instead take advantage of their retreat, targeting one of the task elements led by the Victory Star Destroyer Oppressor, which was directly involved in the massacre here at Blerthmore."

The thought of having a second chance at drawing blood from the forces that assaulted the capital brightens --- or darkens, for those who don't see vengeance as a virtuous thing --- the moods of the pilots.

"Major Redron will brief you on the mission with more specific details. Kane, if you please."

Vaughan moves out Kane's way, as the Tactical Officer of the squadron moves to the podium, datapad in hand. He pushes some buttons on the console.

The lights in the small briefing theatre dim, and a hologram representation of a starfield floods the room.

The stage set, the Major begins his briefing.

"Alright. As the General said, we have found a small Imperial force retreating from Rebel Squadrons's space in the wake of their failed attack."

A series of Imperial capital ships are highlighted in the air, clustered around the holographic representation of a Victory-class Star Destroyer.

"Our mission is to destroy the Victory Star Destroyer Oppressor."

Various statistics about the Oppressor flash up in the air, including the fact that the vessel had clashed with Republic Shield forces at least once before, years ago, and had withdrawn from combat when its starfighter forces were crushed in that battle.

"They have just withdrawn from the battle here at Blerthmore, and will have lost most of their TIEs in the battle."

While roughly one-quarter of the Imperial armada had been destroyed, those were only capital ship statistics. The Imperial starfighter losses had been much higher, and many starships inexplicably withdrew from the battle without waiting to pick up their surviving fighters from the orbital engagement of Blerthmore.

"Once the Oppressor is destroyed, we will do as much damage as possible to the rest of the group before they can escape to hyperspace."

Statistics and estimations flash into existence, noting the estimated damage and weaknesses of the task element, and hypothesising that assault gunboats might be the main defences of the retreating force.

"It will only be us Dragons out there, but it's payback time for Blerthmore."

The Major reaches the climax of his briefing menacingly and all of the pilots, except perhaps Major Kovani, nod slowly in assent. The strike at the heart of the Rebel Squadrons was a bold and daring move, but it is one that will not go unpunished. And Dragon Squadron will soon be out there dispensing justice with torpedoes and lasers flashing.

Having run out of information to impart, the Major wraps up his briefing.

"I don't know what else the General has to say, but we should really get out of here as soon as possible before they escape from our territory and evade our ass-kicking."

At the pressing of a button, the holographic battle map vanishes and the lights return to their previous luminosity. Vaughan slowly walks before the pilots again.

"I am going to be straight with you now. This is an entirely voluntary mission. Nobody is forcing anyone to climb into any cockpits if they do not want to. Anyone who does not feel up to combat should remain behind. I will understand completely, especially since under normal circumstances I would be sending a number of you directly back to the medical facilities . . ." the Brigadier pointedly glances at Major Fairbright, her long black hair tangled with dried blood, and Major Redron, who is himself not without injury.

"That said, anyone who wishes to fight and draw blood for all that the Imperial forces have done, follow me. I have personally located and pressed into service a mobile medivac team to follow us in a Lambda shuttle and stay clear of the combat zone, to pick any of us up if we are forced to eject. I am determined for this to not be a suicidal mission. And I don't want anybody taking unnecessary risks." Vaughan looks at each of the pilots meaningfully.

The Brigadier suddenly remembers something. "Oh, and . . ." he points towards the stranger that followed him into the room, "Major Kovani will be standing in for Karredo, until he is located. Rixar, you're on my wing."

"Uh, sir," Captain Redfren interrupts. "What are we flying?"

Vaughan nods his head at the question. Most of the Ad Astra's starfighter complement had been destroyed in the previous battle, the only remaining components in most cases the sturdy ejection seats.

"That's a good question. I have put in a direct request as Logistics Officer to prioritise working starfighters for this mission. Hopefully there will be enough for all of us, but I cannot guarantee anything. Make no mistakes about it: we sorely got our asses handed to us today. But it could have been worse. Much worse. Thank the stars we were stationed nearby. And we did help save the capital from falling, don't forget that." Vaughan drifts off for the moment, the dark reality of the situation encumbering him for a few moments before he snaps back out of it.

"Unless anyone has any other business to attend to," Vaughan smiles mirthlessly "let's head to the hangar bay and see what ships they have ready for us to use. The time for payback is now."

As the pilots head to the hangar bay of the battered star cruiser Ad Astra, it is with more fire in their steps than before the briefing --- the chance to strike back is at hand.


Greetings, and welcome to the first mission of the new Dragon Squadron ITOD, with missions created by the squadron's own XO, Major Kane Redron.

This is in actual fact the second squadron ITOD for Dragon over the years, however the first tour was back in the bygone days when squadron ITODs were plentiful and more of the norm. ;)

Now, after an extended absence from the RS, Squadron ITODs are making a resurgence, starting with Gold Squadron in the PBF, and Dragon Squadron here in the VSG (we've been planning and designing ours for months, but Gold beat us by a few weeks, releasing theirs first).

Some basic information about this mission:

1) It takes place immediately after the debacle that is the Battle of Blerthmore in VSG/RID101 --- less than an hour afterward.

2) The mission is versatile, being both a single-player and multiplayer mission. The multiplayer version increases in difficulty exponentially with each extra non-AI player than joins. The maximum number of players is four.

3) The mission is to be run on Medium difficulty setting, with Collisions On, Randomise Off, and Unlimited Weapons Off (or anything else that could be construed as an unfair advantage).

4) Every pilot who flies the mission is expected to report their first run through the mission, whether pass or fail, including a brief summary of what happened (Did you win? Did you lose? Which ships blew up?). If you want to write a full-fledged narrative, then all the better.

5) This mission is intended for Dragon Squadron, however it is open to other pilots to participate in.

6) All reports are to be sent to me at . Screenshots of the debriefing screen and details are to be sent, also.

7) The mission and accompanying files are located here ---

8) The due date for this mission is the Tenth of January, 2007. But don't wait until then; fly as soon as possible. Multiplayer runs are encouraged more than single-player runs, if possible.

9) I have various criteria for awards, beyond the obvious categories, so be sure to report as quickly as possible, kill as much as possible, and try to get as many people to fly with you as possible.

That said, best of luck blasting the scourge of the galaxy, and I hope you enjoy the mission.


Brig. David Vaughan
Dragon CO


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