Pilots, gunners, and deck hands fill docking bay zero, addressed by some of the Eye’s most powerful personnel standing up on a platform. The finer details are revealed, an Imperial class Star Destroyer is inbound – and the plan is to evacuate the whole platform to a new location. Deals are made between the Eye and the crews – terms and promises in exchange for defence of the platform.
Friend Vrinko reveals he will be leaving the Gambit crew. While it is indeed big news, I am not really surprised – perhaps because of the impending war, or the fact that he moved out of the crew’s quarters some time ago. Besides, I also feel my time has come to move on – but for now, we must focus on the incoming attack.
The crew allows me to choose a replacement starship gunner for the Gambit given friend Vrinko’s departure – I do so from a line of very eager individuals at the docking bay – our ship has quite the reputation here. A human named Derek stands out from the rest – he meets the crew and is told to meet us at the ship once we are called on.
I convince pilot Tyr to meet with Madame Karash who needs a matter handled, she fears for the well being of a group of Twileks under her employ. Perhaps out of respect to me, he agrees to find them a new home should the Eye come under Imperial command. A show of compassion from both parties. As Madame Karash departs to send her Twilek crew to our ship, we get ready to patrol the station on foot.
A message arrives from a distressed Jgata, who seems to be stuck on one of the docking bays. Friend Vrinko comes along to help. We arrive at the docking bay to find that the residents of the Hive are not being let on the evacuating transports. I try to reason with the officer in charge, but nothing I say gets through to him. It is rather frustrating, but luckily friend Vrinko manages to persuade him otherwise. Saying goodbye to Jgata as he finally boards the transport, we go to join the others in patrolling the streets.
After six hours of walking about, we run into a gang of thugs trying to take control of the station – luckily we are able to take them down rather quickly. Interestingly they were using the station pipe system to travel around, we inform Eye security. It does not end there though, a call comes through about something happening in one of the docking bays – a lot of forces are being sent there.
Upon our arrival we see what all the commotion was about – a large ZG-AT- Zero Gravity Armoured Transport is blasting apart Eye security. It is quite a fight, a lot of loud metal clanking – I do my part to add to the clutter by throwing a spanner at one of the bandits. In the end our crew is victorious, as the ZGAT is brought down by our very own PLX rocket launcher.
No time to celebrate just yet however, all ship crews are being called in to prepare for space combat – the final evacuation procedures are at hand. Everyone but friend Vrinko head back to the Gambit – with a nod and a smile, he heads off to another docking bay. It has been an honour my friend. We board our ship to find gunner Derek waiting for us, as well as a large group of female Twileks.
In the distance we can make out the Imperial Star Destroyer “Endgame”, it blocks the path of the Eye, which moves towards it. Various transport ships are flying out, attempting to get to the hyperspace markers – but there are Imperial star-fighters everywhere. The space battle seems to go on for quite some time, wave after wave of TIE fighters and interceptors. Gunner Derek proves to be an excellent shot – perhaps motivated and driven a little more after seeing the transport ship his wife is being evacuated on come under attack.
A familiar starship enters the battle field, it is the “Leviathan”, commanded by no other than friend Vrinko! He jumps out of hyperspace right behind the “Endgame”, drawing a lot of the Star Destroyer’s fire away from the transports and the Eye. This gives the transports enough time to jump out to safety, but the Eye is not as mobile, and still has the “Endgame” in its path. Through the turret dome I can see friend Vrinko’s ship taking heavy fire from the Star Destroyer – which is able to fend off the “Leviathan” while still keeping an offensive firing line at the Eye.
The comms are busy with chatter, friend Vrinko saying that he cannot hold out much longer – while the Eye claiming that it only needs a few more moments before it can safely jump. We continue to combat the Imperial star-fighters as they now try and target the platform – and as successful as we are on that front, it also puts us in range of the Star Destroyer. The “Leviathan” does indeed look like it is about to burn up – the stream of laser fire it is attracting is too much. And then…
…The Eye disappears. Pilot Tyr confirms that the Eye has successfully hyper-spaced out. Almost immediately the “Leviathan” jumps away as well. The battle field suddenly becomes much emptier. But the Star Destroyer still remains, and we are flying straight towards it. Rather than pull around, pilot Tyr takes us up close to do a pass on the capital ship. The laser fire from the Star Destroyer that lit up the area only moments before has momentarily stopped – but it is only a matter of time before it re-adjusts the fire all at us. We are good to go, only moments from jumping away ourselves, when suddenly a torpedo shows up on radar…
…it is moving away from us, and heading towards the Star Destroyer. We must have launched it. Technician Manco must have launched it. As the Gambit pulls away from the capital ship, we see something incredible. The torpedo we launched hits the Star Destroyer directly at its bridge. A rather unexpected large explosion flares up the top of the ship, which then spreads outwards slowly engulfing it in flames. I cannot believe my eyes, or my ears – as gunner Derek cheers loudly into the comms. The “Endgame” is in flames, and there is no way the Captain of the ship survived that shot in the bridge.
We hyperspace out to rendezvous with the Eye.
The mood on the Eye is incredible, people celebrating anywhere and everywhere on the station. What a battle. As I exit down the ramp to stretch my legs, the Twilek girls run past to join in the open celebrations. I am glad that their home was not taken from them. The rest of the crew join me down the ramp, we all congratulate each other. Pilot Tyr has already plotted the next course it appears, to join up with the rebel cause, and fight back at the Empire. Watching the Twilek girls disappear into the crowd to find their way back to the Octagon however, makes me realise that it is time I did that very same thing.
I turn to the Gambit crew and like friend Vrinko, bid my farewell. This ship and its crew I will miss – I have no doubt. But I am also excited for them and the new adventures they are about to embark on. I make my way through the crowds towards the Octagon – on the way I am sure I even see familiar faces from the Hive celebrating on these upper levels. As if expected, I get into the Octagon without any hassles – and am escorted to the central tower by a friendly Twilek.
The doors open and there sits Madame Korash, if only for a moment – as soon as I step into the room she is already standing – warmly smiling. She greets me and thanks me for playing my part in all of this – nodding to the Twilek behind me who closes the doors as she leaves. Madame Korash’s voice seems rather excited as she begins to tell me about my new quarters I will have here, and how great a chef she has ready just for me. With every sentence she steps closer towards me, until she stands right before me. Taking my hand she says she is glad I decided to stay. I smile and do a slow, short bow. She pulls me down just a little lower, and stretches her neck up to give me a welcoming kiss.