Episode VI – Capture Refueling Station
There was little time for Brown Squadron to rest and refit. With the capture of their officer, Imperial activity had gone into a flurry and Brown Squadron was stretched to its limits. Brown 6 still hadn’t recovered from his injuries, and half the squadron had been send on a long range patrol when the rebel spies reported that the local Imperial refueling station’s garrison had been partially rotated out for a retaliation mission elsewhere in the Cluster. The decision was made that, despite their limited resources, the strike had to be made while the opportunity presented itself.
Rebel commandos were assembled, and loaded up in a sturdy transport , the Aluminum Falcon. This daring team would be tasked with storming the refueling station and overwhelming its crew. Brown Squadron’s fighters would cover the Aluminum Falcon until the station’s shields could be taken down and the transport could land in its docking bay. It would be up to Brown Squadron to suppress any Imperial fighters until that attack could be made. With no time to lose, the commandos boarded the Aluminum Falcon, and Brown Squadron’s pilots manned their fighters.
Brown Squadron Flight Roster – Mission: Capture Refueling Station.
- X- Wing Brown 4 – Lieutenant Hesh (will see you, in Hell) – The Veteran Sergeant – Veteran Imperial pilot turned Rebel.
X- Wing Brown 5 – “Little” Crassus – Daredevil young pilot known for his affinity for Koiogran turns.
Y-Wing Brown 8 – Unnamed Pilot – Twin Laser Turret, Proton Bomb
YT-1300 Aluminum Falcon – Unnamed Pilot, Rebel Commandos
Brown Squadron carefully approached the refueling station. The Imperials scrambled their fighters, and Brown Squadron pounced.
The first TIE Fighters had no chance. Brown 5 pushed forward, blasting right through the lead fighter.
Brown 4 clipped the other fighter, and, losing control, it careened into an asteroid.
The refueling stations’ turbolaser batteries burst to live, pumping cannon fire across the void, trying desperately to track the swift rebel fighters.
“There are at least a half dozen guns. Some on the superstructure, some on those external pods!”
A pair of direct hits dropped Brown 4’s shields in the crossfire, but Brown 8 and Brown 4 quickly destroyed the first emplacement, silencing its batteries. The shield generators were still up, and the Aluminum Falcon was forced to make another pass. A second flight of TIE Fighters screamed out of the nearest docking bay, catching the Rebels by surprise as the two groups of ships dodged one another at point blank range.
“Three of them coming, twenty degrees.”
Predictably undaunted, Brown 5 flipped his craft around to engage the new fighters. Brown 8 had shaken off the TIE Interceptor as Brown 4 swung around trying to take out the station’s shield generators.
Plunging headlong into the Fighter formation, Crassus destroyed the lead ship as the TIE Fighters zeroed in on him in return.
A pair of TIE Bombers emerged from the far hangar bay, and the Aluminum Falcon had still not been able to land. Things were getting desperate for the Rebels. Brown 8 dropped a bomb which lit up one of the fuel pods on the station, its contents erupting in a brilliant flash that shook the station, damaging several nearby pods. The Rebels would have to be careful, but their situation was getting desperate. The chain reaction explosion had been larger than expected, and damaged Brown 8’s Y-Wing as well.
But the blast, combined with fire from the Rebel transport, had sundered the final shield generator, and the Aluminum Falcon touched down, and the rebel commandos went to work.
But an Imperial Ace screamed in, another of the feared TIE Avengers. Brown 5, fleeing from the TIE Fighters, and an Interceptor, struck an asteroid, severely damaging his craft. As warning klaxons bleated out in his cockpit, and the R2 unit behind him shrieking, Brown 8’s Y-Wing shuddered as it was struck by a missile from the pursuing TIE Bombers. However, a stray missile detonated yet another fuel pod.
Dialed in on the crippled X-Wing, the Imperial Ace mashed his firing studs, and the TIE Avenger’s lasers blasted Brown 5, who ejected as his craft came apart. Things were little better for Brown 8, as one the returning TIE Fighters scored a direct hit, and his ship exploded.
Lieutenant Hesh was now alone, surrounded by Imperials. He grimaced, but one shining bit of hope came across the squadron channel. The Commandos had pushed into the command center. They only needed a little more time.
There was little time to grieve, or celebrate. Having finished off Brown 5, the TIE Avenger was looping back around.and he was pinched in between the TIE Fighters and the TIE Bombers. With the Imperials now circling in to trap him, Brown 4 pushed his craft directly into the middle of their formations. Caught by surprise, the lead TIE Fighter flew by, leaving his wingman facing down the guns of Brown 4’s X-Wing. At point blank range, lasers flashed, and the TIE Fighter came apart.
The Imperials had seemingly been thrown into disarray by the near-suicidal move by the X-Wing. The Imperial Ace couldn’t slow down in time and overshot, and the Bombers and Fighter were still trying to wheel back around. Brown 4 slipped in behind the Interceptor, outmaneuvering him and blasting the Imperial craft with his lasers. The Interceptor came apart, but Brown 4 was already rolling over and turning hard into the Bombers.
The slower, ponderous TIE Bombers could not swing around fast enough, and Brown 4 pushed past them. As he did, the team leader for the commandos radioed that the station’s command module had been secured, and the Rebels had gained control of the remaining turbolasers.
Brown 4 had somehow managed to survive, and the turbolaser fire from their own station drove off the last of the Imperials. Against all odds, the Rebels had captured the refueling station, and its wealth of valuable fuel and munitions. The Grand Moff would not be pleased.
However, the cost had been high. The Aluminum Falcon had been damaged, and two more fighters were lost.
Lieutenant Hesh met with Brown 5’s “Koiogran” Crassus shortly after he was rescued.
The Veteran Sergeant’s After Action Report:
Another mission we probably got a little lucky winning. Which was good because the price of losing this one would have been an Imperial Victory Point (or a total loss if all of our ships were destroyed). It was tempting to abandon ship and jump to hyperspace when Brown 8 and Brown 5 went down in the same turn (Brown 8 taking three hits in one shot and blanking on three green dice didn’t help). I got lucky in that killing Brown 5 had put the Avenger (Elite Interceptor) in a bad position where it had to turn around, and the regular Interceptor had been flying uncharacteristically bad, with the worst possible roll for its maneuver almost every time it seemed. Plus, a loss here would force Brown 5 and 8 to roll 3 red dice for their Ejects in Hostile Territory, which is almost always bad news. So I went for broke, and turned into the TIEs instead of trying to run from them. Fortunately, it worked. Only the Bomber which had already fired its missiles could get a shot on me with its weaker lasers, and I blew up the Fighter in front of me before it could fire. Then I turned right into the Elite Interceptor (Avenger model) and gambled that it would fly past me and not flip. Fortunately, it did. The Outmaneuver skill came up big, and my 4 hits at Range 1 doomed the Interceptor, which now only had 2 defense dice and an Evade token, but only a single Hull Point left. After that, I just had to push clear of the Bombers, and the boost took me out of their arc, and sealed the win with 1 turn to go and no Imperials that were in a position to fire on me. Though the Imperial Ace was hot on my tail. We’re going to have to be careful. Obviously that guy is still out there, plotting his revenge.
The live action stills are test footage from Return of the Jedi that was never used and copyright of Lucasfilm or Disney or somebody else who isn’t me.