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Published at 9th of January 2019 03:45:42 PM

Chapter 23

Takodana Orbit . Star Destroyer Dark Hammer .

Commander Sylus was receiving the information about the attack in Takodana every minute and he could not help but feel a great satisfaction to hear that the battle was tilting in their favor . He was trained to keep his calm at all times but he had to accept that Maz Kanata's words had made him angry so he felt a deep satisfaction at imagining the desperation that old hag should be feeling right now .

- "Commander . . . "- informed an officer to his right- "Takodana's headquarters sends a transmission . "

- "it was time already"- he said while smiling as only someone who knows that victory was assured- "allow it!"

Immediately the face of Maz Kanata appeared on the screen but Sylus did not detect any sign of defeat or worry . He had to accept that her poker face was at a very good level .

- "To what do I have the honor to talk to the Queen of Pirates again?"- said Sylus with a mocking tone- "I suppose it is not to deliver your unconditional surrender to the First Order . "

- "Hah! In your dreams!"- said Maz with a huge grin- "I just wanted to offer you a last chance to turn around and abandon my territory before you are annihilated!"

The face of the commander changed and he thought Maz was just trying to waste his time by presenting a tough attitude in face of defeat . He adopted a solemn expression and looked at the proud pirate with pity .

- "There is nothing wrong with accepting defeat to a better opponent, Captain"- said Sylus using a tone which a senior would use to lecture a junior- "just surrender and stop wasting our time . "

- "Humph! Looks like someone is getting cocky!"- said Maz acting as if she was talking with a poor child who did not understand his situation- "I was just trying to give you a chance but if you prefer to send yourself to death . . . so be it!"

- "We are winning!"- said Sylus whose patience had ran out already since the thing he hated the most were bad losers- "there's nothing you can do to change the situation . "

- "You are right! I can't!"- said Maz grinning and Sylus' instinct which had been forged by years of experience and batte screamed in warning- "but they do!"

- "Commander! Multiple signals appearing from sector 871, 580!"

- "What?!"

Immediately, various Mon Calamari Star Star Cruisers got out from Hyperspace and immediately started to shoot at the First Order fleet . At the same time many X-wing star fighters were deployed and while most of them attacked the fleet, another group of X-wing fighters and transport ships descended on Takodana .

- "More power to the lateral shields! Send the reserve TIE fighters to engage the enemy!"- said Sylus reacting decisively- "all Star destroyers target the Star Cruisers! Inform Lord Ren of the Resistance arrival!"

He then turned to see the ever grinning Maz Kanata who looked at him with naughty eyes . Sylus did not lose his temper .

- "This will not change anything!"- said the commander with great confidence .

- "Say that after you know who your opponent is, child"- said Maz and then the transmission was cut off .

Once again, Sylus felt that something was extremely wrong . Who was capable enough to give Maz Kanata such confidence?

- "Send a transmission to the enemy fleet!"- he ordered and immediately started talking- "this is Commander Sylus Wrot of the First order in charge of the flagship Dark Hammer . Your attack is an open declaration of war against the First Order . Retire now and there will be no consequences . "

After that, Commander Sylus waited for the response of the enemy and felt that every second was just too long . He hoped the enemy hurried up with his answer .

- "Here Admiral Gial Akbar of the Resistance in charge of the Flagship Galactic Voyager!"- said a deep and rough voice and Sylus felt his legs going weak when he saw the face of his enemy- "your attack on the Senate of the Republic had turned the First Order into a terrorist organization and was a declaration of war to all the systems that are part of the Republic . Surrender now or face annihilation!"

A lightning would not have had the same effect that Admiral Akbar's words on Sylus . He had faced many opponents during the last years but he knew that Admiral Akbar was just in another level . Akbar's response was filled with conviction and strength and had no trace of doubt or weakness . He could even detect a deep outrage . Sylus knew that Akbar was absolutely sure of his victory and for a moment Commander Sylus wondered if he was up to the challenge .

( . . . )

Takodana surface .

As soon as the Resistance fleet had arrived to the orbit of Takodana, a squadron of X-wing starfighters had descended at full speed on Takodana and were approaching the the battlefield after having enter the atmosphere successfully in order to clean the area in preparation for the ground forces to land . They flew down along the lake and their figures were like messengers of death coming to reap the lives of the First Order whose ground forces were already trying to take posiions against them . Some TIE fighters were also flying their way .

- "Ok, Rogue Squadron! Everyone in formation!"- ordered the leader of the group and if Finn cold see him, he would be absolutely shocked to recognize Poe Dameron who he believed had died in Jakku- "Go straight at them! Don't let these dogs scare you"

- "Copy that"- said a female voice who was Rogue 14 through the intercom .

- "We're with you, Poe . "- said Rogue 4 whose voice transmitted a confidence that could be only the result of years of battles .

- "Teams 1 and 2 will divide and attack with a Fan formation"- ordered Poe calculaing the time he still had before they clashed with the enemy- "teams 3 and 4, while we take their attention, clean the ground troops as much as you can . "

- "Roger that!!!!"- all the pilots in the rogue squadron responded .

- "Let's roll!"- said Poe aiming his lasers to the incoming enemies .

After some seconds they engaged the First Order fighters which seemed to outnumber them but the result was totally unexpected . In tyhe last second manny oif the X-wing fighters separated from the main group and started to flank the tght TIE fighters formation taking them by surprise . The Resistance fighters went in and out in waves while crossing each other which threw all the battlefield in chaos . After a while the TIE fighters could only separate to try and shoot down the seemingly wandering X-wing fighters .

- "It always works with these newbies!"- commented a pilot of the Rogue Squadron while shooting down another TIE fighter

Even though it seemed they were just fighting in disarray, the reality was that they were still following a patron and covering each other's backs in a way that would make any other person dizzy . The pilots of the First Order which had only been trined in basic and typical battle formations had no chance at all . Meanwhile the two teams in charge of the ground forces had already arrived to their objective and started to clean out all the enemies they saw at such breaking speed that many of the stormtroopers had only seen shadows covering them before going to sleep forever .

- "Here Maz Kanata!"- Poe received a transmission from headquarters- "it's been a while, kid"

- "I'm sure you had all under control"- replied Poe persuing his next prey- "they said you had unwelcome guests . "

- "Yes!"- said Maz with a sigh- "there must be one around your position in the ground and another two are flying directly to your position and they will be at your location shortly . "

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- "Copy that!"-said Poe while gunning down his 11th TIE fighter - "Team 3 and 4 eliminate a Shadow that must be lurking in the ground . . . Teams 1 and 2 prepare to engage two shadows on the sky . "

- "Roger that!!!"

Poe felt no nervousness at all but instead a sense of impatience and he hoped that those knights of Ren got here faster . It was not the first time he fought them, actually, none of the Rogue squadron was new at engaging Sith Lords . The Rogue Squadron had been created in the middle of the war against the Empire 30 years before and it had always been a symbol of hope and power for the Rebel Alliance . Many talented and skillful pilots had been part of such squadron including his own parents which made Rogue Squadron something extremely personal and important to Poe . After the end of the war, the Rogue Squadron had been disolved and its story was placed in the books of history to take its place among the legends of the universe .

- "Have you decided, Poe?"- Leia Organa had been the one introducing him to the Resistance and Poe had helped her but once he was there he noticed that the pilots and personnel were extremely limited and undertrained .

- "I have . . . but If I have to be honest"- said Poe with a worried expression- "even the cadets in the New Republic Academy would be in better conditions than here . No offense, General but I think we are not ready to fight the First Order"

- "Non taken"- said Leia smiling and Poe could detect a decisive fire in her eyes- "I know better than anyone that what yu say is true but . . . all things need time to grow and I'm certain that I'll be able to show you how this organization becomes a behemot . "

And she was truthful to her word, of course, as time passed and as General Organa continued to convince more people to help and General Solo negotiating with some big fishes for more resources, the situation started to change . However, Poe still believed that it was too slow if they were to face the First Order head on . When the First Order started to show its true colors, many people thought that the legendary Rogue Squadron should return but it was not until Rogue Leader, Luke Skywalker, decided to bring it back that it was a reality . It happened just after the destruction of the New Jedi Academy . Many thought that it would be a terrible blow for General Skywalker, one that would make him just go on depression and solitude . The reality, however, proved all these people wrong . Luke Skywalker was stronger than anyone had imagined and after some days of mourning, he took action by joining the Resistance with his sister at full time . Before this, General Skywalker had been busy with the Jedi academy and the dozens of students in it so he could not support his sister as much as he had wanted .

Now, however, he focused all his skills and talents at the service of the Resistance and the Republic and it seemed as if he had placed all his pain and anger as fuel in the fight against the First Order . One of the first things that he had done was to call for all the original members of the Rogue Squadron that were still alive and ready to once again defend the galaxy from the tyranny . Poe could still be considered a new member of the Resistance, but everyone had seen his talent and they all were in awe to see how he ascended rapidly in ranks until becoming the leader of the Rapier Squadron after accomplishing many important achievements . One day, he had been summoned to the main headquarters and his surprise had been enormous when he found Leia and Luke waiting for him .

- "It's a pleasure to see you, Poe"- greeted Leia when he entered to the room- "I heard about your last mission . . . congratulations!"

- "It was teamwork"- said Poe a little nervous- "my team is always supporting me . "

- "I want you to meet my brother, Luke Skywalker . "- said Leia and Luke advance with steady and decisive steps .

Poe felt even more nervous since he was in front of a living legend . General Skywalker, however, did not show any arrogant front and smiled warmly while extending his hand .

- It's nice to meet you, Poe"- he said and his voice sounded very charming and soothing but you could also feel power and decision- "I've heard great things abut you . "

- "The pleasure is mine, General"- said Poe who was absolutely shocked by the man in front of him .

Poe could not stop looking at those deep blue eyes which were extremely hypnotic and Poe felt he could lose himself inside them . They were so clear and transmitted a deepness impossible to describe . It was like watching a sky full of stars and Poe had the impression that his eyes had the faculty of reading him completely . He felt he could simply not hide anything from Luke Skywalker but he did not feel any threat coming from him . Poe felt a very strange emotion when he saw Luke so close . He transmitted a very peaceful and comforting aura but at the same time Poe felt that he was extremely distant and unreachable with some tints of loneliness . Poe felt as if he was in front of a deep and vast ocean which he could never explore even in a thousand years .

- "You are good, Poe . . . "- had told him Luke Skywalker, one of the most illustrious members of the Rogue Squadron which made Poe feel extremely honored- "and you can be even better . . . I need talented young people like you to continue the fight . . . so if you are interested, I'd like you to be part of the Rogue Squadron . "

Poe felt extremely moved and accepted instantly . He felt that he was finally honoring his parents . After that, he started training with the Rogue Squadron and what he found there blew his mind . He considered himself a decent pilot and even better than most members of the Resistance, but then he discovered that he had been too naive .

- "Your angle is too wide . . . close it by 4° and you'll see the difference in your speed"- had said General Skywalker during a training session where he had owned Poe with an astounding 17 kills against zero . General Skywalker was simply too good and Poe knew that he was not even being serious- "Also, you should consider switch some parts of your X-wing to make it more personal to your flying style . I feel the starfighter is limiting your maneuvering and speed . "

Under the tutelage of Luke Skywalker himself and many other veteran pilots inclusing Han Solo and Wedge Antilles, his skill soared to a level where he could have never imagined before . After years of constant battle and training he had finally ascended to be Rogue 3 as a wingman under General Skywalker and Commander Antilles . He had gained the respect of the squadron and now that the General was dissapeared and Commander Antilles was out of commision due to illness, he had assumed the position of temporary leader by default until they returned . This had put a lot of pressure on his shoulders, but it had not stopped him from doing duty asbest as he could .

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- "Reinforcements from the East!"- alerted a pilot from the team 4 taking out Poe from his reverie- "I see the two Shadows leading the squadron . "

- "Ok, guys . . . you know the drill . . . "- said Poe changing directions to meet the reinforcements- "Team One will engage the Shadows while Team Two get rid of the extras!"

The teams flew in coordination with such speed that if you were to see them from the ground you could believe you were seeing an air acrobatics show . Soon however, you would hide wherever you could to not be hit by the lasers flying around for the battle .

( . . . )

Han was still looking for an opportunity to escape . The attack of the Resistance had been very swift and accurate and many of the stormtroopers around them had been taken down but the Knight of Ren in front of them had managed to survive by deflecting the turbo lasers of the starfighters with his lightsaber and now was leading his troops to take cover while dragging them along .

- "Hurry up!"- shouted the Knight of Ren while being on guard against any X-wing that could be in the area- "all forces retreat to the hangar ruins!"

- "Resistance fighters returning, Sir!"- informed a stormtrooper- "also, many Resistance transporters are landing on the West of our location and are preparing for a counter attack!"

- "Take cover!"- said the knight of Ren while preparing to deflect another round- "they won't use their torpedoes while we have the prisoners here!"

Han knew that he was right and just prepared to receive the attack and use any opportunity that appeared . The X-wing starfighters passed at incredible speed once again and started to shoot but for some reason it seemed as if they were all aiming at the Knight of Ren . Suddenly, Finn freed himself from the stortrooper who was holding him and managed to disarm his captor . He immediately used the blaster rifle and shot at the Knight of Ren who was too worried with the Resistance fighters to notice him . Even so, he still tried to react but he had already been shot on the leg which distabilized him and made him tumble . This short opening in his defense was all that was needed for the Resistance pilots who shot many rounds at him .

- "Damn you!"- managed to say the Knight of Ren before receving all the lasers directly at full potency .

The knight of Ren's body was blasted into pieces which flew on the air . The other stormtroopers were too shocked to react which gave Han the opportunity he needed . He and Chewee disarmed them and started to shoot all the enemies around them . This created a chain reaction and many other captives started to fight against the surprised troops of the First Order .

- "Let's go"- said Han while grabbing another blaster rifle and recovering his pistol while Chewee did the same . He then noticed the face Finn was doing and he could clearly saw the guilt he was feeling seeing the stormtroopers in the ground . He got close and slapped his back making him jump in surprise- "We are in the middle of battle, kid . They won't show mercy so don't make their job easier . "

Finn nodded and recovered the lightsaber from the stormtrooper who had taken it from him . He placed it in his belt and ran after Han who had ignited a flare to attract the attention of the reinforcements to the area . Han, Chewee and Finn found a good hiding spot from where they could shoot safely . Han smiled seeing that Finn was already shooting and covering his back . He detected many stormtroopers hiding in a wreckage that was a bunker like space from where the enemy had a vantage point . He saw the weapon of Chewee .

- "Let me that for a second"- said Han and received the bow and changed the settings to max power and shot making the enemy position explode with all the enemies inside- "As usual I love this thing"

The the only reason he did not have one permanently was the weight and size which would make it impractical for his physique and honestly he would look ridiculous . In that moment, they saw a squadron of TIE approaching his position .

- "Aerial attack!"- shouted Han remembering what had happened the last time the enemy had bombed the area- "take cover!"

However, before the TIE fighter squadron could reach their position, a group of X-wing starfighters passed above the area at an incredible speed and engaged the enemy . The leader of the group was even more impressive and downed TIE fighter after TIE fighter with incredible maneuvers . The pilot techniques were extremely effective and after just moments he shot down like ten enemies in succession . It was as if he had already predetermined the way his opponent would move . This scene reminded Han of Luke in his best days .

- "Woooo! That's one hell of a pilot!"- shouted Finn in admiration and Han had an idea of who that pilot may be .

- I'll introduce you later- said Han- now it's time to counterattack .

He looked at the South and saw many Resistance transports landing and letting troops out to support the Takodana forces . For what Han could hear, they were pushing back the enemy lines and the First Order forces were retreating to the forest . Han took one of the helmets of the stormtroopers .

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- "Damn! Did they use encrypeted codes to access communications now?"- Han said with a very annoyed voice .

- "What do you want to do?"- asked Finn very confused about Han's actions .

- "I want to know their pick up point, genius!"- said Han with exasperation- "Rey may have been taken captive so if we find their pick up point , we may be able to find her, too . "

- "Give it to me"- said Finn finally understanding and he put on the helmet- "E . C . L . system enabled . . . code 504"

The communication system of the First Order was encrypted and every squad had a unique and non-transferible code to access it . This meant that not even other members of a different squad would know the code . He knew that his old code would not work since the code changed every week and also every mission, so he used the emergency line that was used in case the stormtrooper had his normal communication systems damaged and could not access his squad signal .

- "FOEC here"- said a female voice which sounded extremely exhausted and Finn could ony imagine the quantity of emergency calls she was receiving- "state your problem!"

- "I'm injured and can't find my squad . . . "- said Finn using a pained voice- "I need the pick up coordinates!"

- "State identification protocol"- asked the female officer and Finn started to look for the batlle tag of the stormtrooper, after a while he found a small plaque with some numbers .

- "LR-8967 . . . Takodana Mission . . . "- he started to gasp as if he was running- "Damn! Enemy troops . . . please the coordinates!"

- "You know we need to follow the . . . "

- "Hurry up damn it! They are on me now!"

Han took a blaster and started to shoot around . Finn scremed in pain and he could feel the worry on the other side of the line . Finn could imagine her face and how she may be deciding what to do now .

- "The coordinates are 345, 987 NW"- she finally said with a soft voice .

- "Thanks . . . "- said Finn and cut the communication .

- "You surely are a ladiesman, kid"- said Han with a grin- "I'm impressed . "

Finn smiled with sarcasm and told Han the coordinates who also passed it to Maz .

- "You heard that Maz?"- asked Han on the radio he had .

- "Loud and clear!"- replied Maz who seemed like a predator smelling her prey- "I'm sending my forces there . Wanna join?"

- "Of course!"- said Han and cut down the communication- "lets go . . . and cross fingers Rey is fine!"

They started to run in direction of the coordinates and Finn prayed for the safety of that girl who believed in him .Please download our sponsor's game to support us!