Monthly Archives: October 2015

Star Wars: Echoes of the Sith Recap – Session 1

HurriconCampaignTitle.v1The following includes works of fan-fiction. It is not endorsed by Lucasfilm™, Disney™ or any of their affiliates. Star Wars is copyright and trademark Lucasfilm, Ltd.

For those just tuning in, our “Star Wars: Echoes of the Sith” campaign was conducted at Hurricon 2015 by The Just Dice League and The Lakeland Roleplaying Guild. It went extremely well and we got several requests for re-caps of the games, the story and to have the scenarios posted. The following write-up is for Session 1, the first miniatures game in the campaign.

Session1a

Rebel convoy leaves the station.

Lothal, Two Weeks After The Battle of Endor…

Captain Lo’Pu sipped her drink as she skimmed through her holo-newsfeed on the bridge of the Nebulan B Frigate, Justice. The beverage was from her home world, Ry’loth; one of the few comforts she allowed herself. She preferred an austere lifestyle, one of discipline and dedication to a singular goal. A goal that had not changed for years, but now seemed closer than ever – defeating the Galactic Empire. Even the one small treat she allowed herself served that goal. It was a reminder of what lay at the center of her resolve: her home and the suffering Ry’loth endured under the boot of the Empire. Each sip she took from the hand-crafted pottery kept the memories alive and honed her focus.

And focus was exactly what she needed. The mission she had been given was as routine as they come. Escort duty. Not just escort duty, but escort duty over junk and low-level prisoners plucked from the hulks around Endor, the remains of the Imperial ships unable to escape the death throes of the second Death Star that the Alliance had recently put down. In actuality the assignment was a mixed blessing. While it gave them a welcome respite from the intensity of the past few weeks it also tempted them to relax drop their guard, something that was dangerous in a galaxy thrown into chaos.

But it was worth the risk. The strain of the recovery operations in the battle’s aftermath broke some of her comrades and drove the rest to the brink, including herself. The destruction and loss of life was catastrophic to both sides of the battle and, to her, dealing with the screams of the wounded and disposing of the dead were even more traumatizing than the combat that caused the casualties. In the heat of battle she was in control and her actions saved lives. She could still summon the exhilaration from when her ship took the kill shot on an Imp-star deuce moving to intercept Home One. It was…

A warning alarm sounded. Incoming ships. Several and large.

Snapped from her reverie, Lo’Pu stood and stepped closer to the viewport. In a matter of seconds the space before her was filled with a massive Imperial fleet, a mix of star destroyers and dreadnaughts. Her hands went numb, allowing her cup to slip from her fingers and smash onto the deck, the hot, viscous liquid spreading out like the blood she knew would soon be spilt.

“Open a channel to all ships,” she commanded. Steeling her voice she issued her commands, “We don’t have a chance against those ships, but we need to do as much damage as possible. All warships form on the Justice. We will isolate and destroy one of those Victory Star Destroyers. Freighter captains, if you are boarded you are clear to abandon ship, the cargo is not worth the risk. I say again, abandon your cargo if necessary. May the Force be with us all!”

***********

Vice Admiral Emmett’s teeth ground together as his fleet dropped out of hyperspace. Their deployment was not at all what he had ordered. His subordinates had each taken it upon themselves to jockey for a closer position to the objective. Whether due to arrogance, over eagerness or desire to prove themselves was irrelevant, the result was the star destroyers far too close together and with virtually no room to maneuver. Luckily he expected this mission to have some rough patches. After all, his ships and their crews were pulled from all over the galaxy and thrown together, the only commonality being their devout loyalty to Lord Vader. He didn’t know them and they didn’t know him. It appeared he would need to forge them into a cohesive unit in the fire of combat. Not ideal, but doable.

The admiral first dispatched orders to his dreadnaughts. They were to give the destroyers some space and close on the rebel convoy that was strung out from the station like a string of pearls, their hulls glittering in the light of the system’s sun. They were also told to fire at will on the combat vessels pulling away from the unarmed freighters. The rebels’ abandonment of their cargo was a good sign because it indicated they had not discerned how important their cargo was.

Next he orchestrated the movements of the destroyers, at times having them pass close enough to have set off proximity warnings had he not ordered them disabled. The whole time his voice was calm, yet firm. In short order the ships had righted their courses and were bearing down on the insurgent vessels. Better still, the voices of his captains had transitioned from strained to confident. Clasping his hands behind his back, Admiral Emmett walked to the main viewport and issued a final, simple order, “To all captains,” he said. “No quarter to the enemy and secure all transports.”

THE GAME

System: Fantasy Flight Games’ Star Wars Armada.

Armada is part of FFG’s family of Star Wars miniatures games that delves into the area of capital ship battle. The game currently focuses on ships of the Galactic Empire and Rebel Alliance. Ships are modeled on stands that have dials and cards. The dials denote shields, which decrease as hit are taken, while cards on the stand give the firing arcs and dice the ship may fire. Like X-Wing, each ship has cards with more detailed information and two other decks of card with upgrades available (at a points cost) and damage as hits finally deplete the shields and hit the hull.

Following X-Wing and Imperial Assault’s examples, FFG will be offering successive waves that will enhance the game. The miniatures are made on a sliding scale, meaning that they are not truly in scale with each other as you may remember them in the movies. Fortunately for those interested in a constant scale, there are alternatives. More information on that will be at the end of the article.

While normally a two player game, Armada can easily be adjusted to allow for more. At Hurricon ’15, we had a total of eight players, each with two ships. The break down was as follows:

Galactic Empire

  • Four Victory Star Destroyers
  • Four Dreadnoughts (Using stats from FFG’s Gladiator)
  • Fighter Support
  • Two stands DX-9 trooper transports

Rebel Alliance

  • 2 Nebulan B Escort Frigates
  • 2 Bulk Cruisers (Using stats for Nebulan B Escort Frigates)
  • Four flights of Corellian Corvettes
  • Fighter Support

GM Controlled

  • Five stands of Rebel transports

Scenario

The Imperial fleet’s objective is to recue Admiral Montferrat who is aboard one of several transports. The admiral is vital to leading the Imperials in the rest of the “Echoes of the Sith” campaign. Meanwhile, the Rebels must simply make it out alive, after destroying as many Imperial ships as possible. Neither side knows the objective of the other.

Deployment

Rebel Deployment

Rebel Deployment

The Rebel fleet was set up at the narrow end of a 8×5 foot gaming table. The fleet was set up with the transports in the center and escorted by Nebulan Bs and Corellian Corvettes on the right and left. Each player had a Neb-B and Corellian Corvette flight stand.

Imperial Deployment

Imperial Deployment

The Imperial fleet was set up at the opposite end, with two players on each side. Each player had one Victory Destroyer and one Dreadnought. Both sides were also given modest fighter escorts, while the Imperials had special stands with custom fan made DX-9 Stormtrooper carriers.

Game Summary

The game played out pretty much as the fan fiction above outlined. The Victory Star Destroyers are slow and not very maneuverable. As they turned in to move towards the enemy fleet, chaos ensued with several near collisions. The Rebels, on the other hand, aside from the GM controlled transports, were fast and flew circles around most of the Imperial fleet. While they were generally weaker and more fragile, their maneuverability allowed them to damage several Imperial ships before being forced to leave the table. The Imperial were able to capture two sets of transports, recuing the Admiral and the winning the scenario.

Imperial ships overtake the convoy of freighters.

Imperial ships overtake the convoy of freighters.

GM Afterthoughts

First, the miniatures. By using custom made, as well as FFG, miniatures, the game was vey cinematic. Aside from the fighter stands, capital ships were in a nearly consistent 1/7000 scale. The custom ships included DX-9s and Nebulan-Bs from Mel Miniatures on Shapeways. Resin Dreadnoughts and transports were made by Utar of Task Force 4222. He also has a Shapeways store, Space Supply Depot, that offers Corellian corvettes and several corvette variations. And he offers stand adaptors, so that “flights” of three corvettes can be on one stand. If you want to make your table look more like the opening scene of A New Hop. Mel and Utar’s models are the way to go.

Secondly, game setup. Given the length of the table and how far each fleet was placed, the opposing fleets should probably start out closer than the 4 feet they began at. Also, with the Imperial fleet having two lines turning inward from the sides of the table, the game had a real chance of ending before it started. Had the Imperial fleet collided, severe damage could have taken out all four of the Empire’s heaviest ships. If the scenario were run again, we would deploy the Imperials across the table and two feet closer.

Another issue was the fact that, when the game was played, Wave 2 of Armada had not yet been released. At the time of writing, they are on the ship transiting the Pacific Ocean. That would have changed the composition of both fleets. Rather than four Victories and four Gladiator proxies, the Imperial would most likely have had one Imperial Star Destroyer, two Victory Destroyers and four Gladiator proxies (Dreadnoughts) and two Imperial Raiders (with proxy Lancer models supplied by Utar Ships). The Rebels would have remained the same, but gained one MC80. The Rebel players would have more investment being potentially able to engage and defeat one or more of the larger Imperial ships before escaping to hyperspace. However, the Imperials still need to be overwhelming in order to give the scenario the correct feel for the rest of the campaign.

Rebel Bulk Cruiser skirts the action on the way to hyperspace.

Rebel Bulk Cruiser skirts the action on the way to hyperspace.

Epilogue

Admiral Montferrat sat alone on the floor and leaned against the bulkhead with his eyes closed in hopes to dissuade conversation. The rebels had converted a Class-A cargo container into a field expedient prisoner conveyance and all around him junior officers from an array of branches filled the cavernous hold with the hum of conversation, coughing and snoring. Luckily none of the others had indicated they recognized him as anything other than the lieutenant his rank board proclaimed. While he had no way of knowing if a fellow captive had revealed him to the insurgents it seemed unlikely that, if his cover had been compromised, he would still be among the rabble and not undergoing strenuous interrogation. So he waited, knowing that his future was rescue or obscurity. Fifty-fifty chance at best.

It had been at least a couple days since he was herded into the container, though exactly how long he couldn’t be sure. He was working through estimates based on sleep and meals when a shutter passed through the ship that caused his eyes to snap open. It was a familiar sensation, but hours of doubt and tedium made him question his first instinct until it happened again and he was sure. The freighter was taking fire. And a lot of it. The admiral was willing to bet much of it was coming from turbolasers. All around him his fellow captives began to shuffle and chatter in nervous confusion. Those who were asleep were now waking up and looking about as if they could see through the metal hull and discern what was happening.

The admiral simply waited. He closed his eyes again and visualized the scene playing out just a short distance away.

The Imperial ships would use their larger guns to bring down the shields first. They would avoid using the full battery for fear of over-penetration. The DX-9’s will have already launched, the Storm troopers aboard doing a final equipment check and getting last minute intelligence from the sensor sweeps of their target. When they got the word the shields were down the DX’s would unleash a devastating salvo of ion cannon fire….

Almost on cue the dim lights inside the container failed and cast the prisoners into darkness, which elicited a few shouts from those with less fortitude. The lack of emergency lighting was yet another sign of the rebels’ lack of resources and their fragility even while basking in a great victory. It caused the admiral to grin for the first time in weeks.

With the ship disabled the assault craft would mag-lock onto the hull, most likely near the freighter’s central walkway. The troopers would set shape charges, blast a hole in the ceiling, then use the smoke for cover as they dropped in and spread through the ship to eliminate any crew that had failed to make it to an escape pod. Once the craft was secure the specialists would move to the cargo container access port knowing it would be locked and require forceful entry. This time they would forgo the shape charge and use a more delicate approach.

Admiral Montferrat stood up in the darkness, smoothed out his uniform and straightened his hat. After a few minutes the darkness was shattered by the bead of plasma torch beginning to slice through the center of the main cargo hatch. It casted odd shadows around the hold and across the huddled officers who inexplicably shied away from what was clearly the first indication of salvation. The admiral walked against the tide toward the ever growing hole to freedom and waited patiently until the uneven oval crashed inwards landing a meter in front of his boots that, while dulled somewhat from his captivity, still managed to shine in the brilliant light stabbing through the breach. On the other side a handful of soldiers in white armor snapped to attention and saluted, no doubt updating the fleet commander through their helmets that their target had been located.

Stepping carefully through the still smoldering opening the Admiral said “You have my gratitude gentlemen. Now, please get me off this hulk so that I may assume command.”

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“Fokker Scourge” Continues! – Recap of ACES Campaign for October 9th, 2015

20151009-Session1-RecapLast Friday at The Lakeland Roleplaying Guild’s game night we had the first full session of our ACES OVER LAKELAND campaign. It went extremely well and my thanks go out to all the players who participated. The “Mission Arc” (the air campaign’s version of a “Story Arc”) saw the two squadrons participate in their first two missions.

MISSION A: Patrol No Man’s Land

BRIEFING: “Welcome to the front, volunteers! In order get you familiar with the area of operations we have assigned you to a quiet part of the line. Today you will fly your first mission, a patrol of no man’s land. If you happen upon enemy aircraft you are clear to engage. Good luck, we’ll see you when you get back.”

Primary Objective: Eliminate enemy aircraft.

Secondary Objective: 1/2 of the squadron must survive.

Survival Checks: Downed pilots in No Man’s Land that survive (WIA or Safe) return to friendly lines and must convalesce if applicable.

ROSTERS:

Central: 2x Aviatik D.I, 2x Fokker Dr.I

Entente: 2x Sopwith Camel, 2x Sopwith Triplane

SUMMARY: All players did a fantastic job tackling the Standard+ rules, which included Special Damage and Altitude. As a campaign rule we pulled the explosion cards (a.k.a. “silver bullet”) to eliminate the possibility of a random pilot dying each mission, we wanted to leave their fate up to the Survival Roll instead. Over the course of the game we had several collisions and the damage was spread around quite a bit (had to reshuffle the A damage deck). And after incurring that much damage several pilots decided discretion was the better part of valor and withdrew to friendly lines.

CASUALTIES: “404” WIA, Gordon KIA

AWARDS: “Lucky” Mentioned in Dispatches, “404” Wound Stripe

VICTORIES: Heinz Schlepper, Karl and Sergeant Schultz

MISSION B: Reconnaissance

BRIEFINGS:

ATTACKER:Congratulations on fighting back the enemy patrol, but there is no time to rest on our laurels. The unexpected presence of aircraft can only mean that something is brewing over on the enemy’s side of the lines. Take your squadron and find out what’s going on.

Primary Objective: Photograph all objectives, reconnaissance planes must survive

DEFENDER: “Our loss to the enemy patrol was most unfortunate, but there is no time to waste. The enemy will attempt to capitalize on their success. Take your squadron and protect the front lines. Some anti-air batteries have been dispatched to hlep you in your mission, coordinate with Colonel Shaker for their placement.

Primary Objective: Eliminate enemy aircraft.

Survival Checks: Downed pilots in No Man’s Land that survive (WIA or Safe) return to friendly lines and must convelesce if applicable. Attacking pilots downed in the Allied Control Area that survive (WIA or Safe) are MIA.

ROSTERS:

Central: 2x UFAG C.1 (Obervers), 2x Fokker Dr.I

Entente: 2x Sopwith Camel, 2x Sopwith Triplane

SUMMARY: Prior to deployment the Entente placed six objectives: 1x Trench, 1x Command Post, 1x AA Gun, 1x MG and 2x Open Fields each concealed as objectives A-F. As the game commenced objectives were replaced with their respective game cards when the Central Powers photographed the location OR the Entente fired one of the weapons. The mission went very well for the Germans and they were able to photograph all objectives and exit the battlefield safely. A couple unlucky draws by the Entente players saw two planes erupt in flames within a couple phases of each other, dramatically reducing their combat effectiveness. Emerging as a dominating force in the skies was “Capital” Sergeant “The Berserker” Schultz who scored two more victories and is the closest to achieving the coveted “ACE” award.

CASUALTIES: Jon Strange KIA, Gordon KIA

AWARDS: German Army Observer’s Badge (Karl and Schlepper)

VICTORIES: Heinz Schlepper, Sergeant Schultz x2 and Ernst S. Blomfeld

Afterthoughts

As a GM this game session was an absolute blast. All players stayed engaged in the action and, most importantly, embraced the idea of continuity from mission to mission by withdrawing when necessary and staying focused on the mission. I’m excited to see what happens in the next installment, which should be happening just after the 1st of the year.

Game Well!

Mr. Cupcake

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Star Wars: Echoes of the Sith Recap – PROLOGUE

HurriconCampaignTitle.v1

The following is a work of fan-fiction. It is not endorsed by Lucasfilm™, Disney™ or any of their affiliates. Star Wars is copyright and trademark Lucasfilm, Ltd.

For those just tuning in, our “Star Wars: Echoes of the Sith” campaign was conducted at Hurricon 2015 by The Just Dice League and The Lakeland Roleplaying Guild. It went extremely well and we got several requests for re-caps of the games, the story and to have the scenarios posted. So, to kick off that effort, here we wanted to offer a prologue to setup the story. We hope you enjoy!!!

The Battle of Endor

Admiral Montferrat was stoic as he watched the battle devolving from the Admiral’s Bridge aboard the Imperial Star Destroyer Devastator. And it had started out so promising. The greatest concentration of space craft the galaxy had known since the Clone Wars brought together to bring a swift end to the rebellion. The brutal strikes from the Death Star’s laser lingered in his vision for several minutes after they wreaked their devastation, which he had been sure would crush the enemy’s will. Not only did they weather the fusillade, they did the unthinkable and closed to point blank range with ships that had them overwhelmingly outgunned.

Only it turned out to be a stroke of genius. The chaos the maneuver sowed impacted the ordered ranks of the Imperial ships to a far greater degree than it did the agile craft of the insurgents. Ships that had only minutes before been firing with impunity were being forced to check their fire for fear of hitting friendly vessels and maneuvering to avoid collisions with the same. Meanwhile the rebels merely fired in every direction, bore sighting their weapons to target the massive slabs of armor protecting the Empire’s ships. And buzzing among all of this were the enemy fighters chewing away at shields and targeting critical systems with deadly accuracy. But the status of the battle as a whole was not what held the bulk his attention. He was focused on how he could possibly protect as many of his ships as possible and do what he would once have considered the unthinkable.

He had to abandon his post.

It had all begun shortly before the battle when he received a transmission from Lord Vader, one that he never suspected he would receive and certainly not on the cusp of a galaxy altering battle. Its brevity belied the significance of its content. It was a simple set of coordinates and the encoded message “Here lies the hope of the True Empire.” The words had a physical impact on him as he read them. It took three times scrutinizing the letters before they had been completely comprehended. It was a call to action, to fulfill a promise, to chart a course years in the calculation by one of the most brilliant strategists he’d ever known.

At least it would be if Lord Vader failed to contact him soon, the lack of communication being the final trigger. And assuming Montferrat survived the disaster unfolding, which was seeming less of a guarantee with every passing second. His squadron had completely lost cohesion and he wasn’t able to exercise any real control beyond his flagship, much to the irritation of Captain Tiege. His primary concern was reorganizing his formation, but his immediate concerns were a squadron of B-wing fighters punishing Devastator’s shields and the mass of small ships now streaking toward the Death Star, whose own shield had inexplicably come crashing down. He passed orders to Captain Tiege to re-position at the fringe of the battle, ostensibly as a countermeasure against taking fire from all sides, and then forced his attention back to the rest of his squadron. After a few, highly frustrating minutes dispatching orders to captains who’s mental state ranged from agitated to apoplectic, the Devastator was suddenly wracked with a series of explosions and warning klaxons blared across the command bridge.

“Sir, Devastator has taken a crippling strike and is losing…”

“Blasted!” he shouted at the engineering officer in a rare moment of anger. “Notify Captain Tiege that I am transferring the flag and contact Commander Gradd that I will require his Interceptors to escort my shuttle.

“Sir, Commander Gradd is dead,” responded the flight control officer, “along with his squadron.”

The admiral gritted his teeth and shouted over the klaxons as he staggered into the turbo lift with the deck shuttering beneath him, “then get me someone, anyone, and patch them into my communication channel”. On his heels was his adjutant, who he immediately challenged saying “Where are you going, Captain Drell?”

“With respect, Admiral Piett was quite clear that all squadron commanders and adjutants were to remain together for the duration of the engagement to ensure compliance with the plan.”

“Captain, the plan has turned to…” Montferrat began, but cut himself short. He despised this man. He was the most overt spy ever dispatched by one of his superior officers, which, in and of itself, was merely an annoyance. As an Imperial officer you grew accustomed to distrust, especially from your seniors, but this man was an unabashed sycophant and inept combat commander. However, in an instant, Montferrat realized that he could serve one last purpose, so slammed the button to close the lift’s doors. As they slid shut his last view was of a fire erupting across the bridge and he knew that his staff would be immolated in the conflagration. They had done their duty to the last and had his respect.

As they dropped to the belly of the star destroyer the two officers were rocked by another explosion. Drell was visibly shaking and sweat was cascading down his face in a sheets. He was so enthralled with the slow, agonizing death of The Devastator that he failed to see the admiral slip a vibro knife from his sleeve. It even took him a perceptible amount of time before he realized it was embedded deep into his chest. A look of bewilderment and confusion melded into one of terror and then agony as the pain finally registered with his nervous system. Montferrat locked eyes with the man as he eased him onto the floor of the lift. “You were never part of the plan, but your sacrifice will serve the plan well.”

The captain merely gurgled, the content of his response dying with the man. The admiral withdrew his blade and then removed Drell’s rank board and code cylinders, replacing them with his own. From a pocket in his coat he pulled a lieutenant’s rank board and placed it on his own uniform. As the lift settled at its destination the doors opened to reveal the hangar deck and a Lambda shuttle guarded by a squad of Stormtroopers, the ramp down and the engines already humming with life. He stood up and programmed the lift to return to the admiral’s bridge then sprinted toward the craft knowing the lift would climb its way back into the superstructure, his victim’s body would burn with the rest and, should a recovery operation occur, his identity would be discovered attached to a charred and unrecognizable corpse. Then, according to official records he would be dead.

It was a fitting transition into his new life.

Boarding the ship the admiral climbed directly into the pilot’s seat and moments later had the craft lifting from the deck and making its way past the containment field into space awash with frenetic combat. Montferrat didn’t bother trying to contact his escort as he knew instinctively that it would make no difference. The battle lacked any semblance of centralized control from either side. It was undiluted pandemonium. That was when he truly accepted the rebels had won the battle. It was their type of fight. They thrived on disorder and his Imperial brethren operated under a command that was too rigid to adapt to the rapidly evolving battle. His conclusion was immediately confirmed when the sensors registered a massive power fluctuation coming from the Death Star.

“Hold on!” he shouted back to his Stormtrooper escort as he poured power into the thrusters and set a course away from the battle and, more specifically, the Death Star.

“Sir, I believe you are moving away from your duty…” came the voice of the sergeant who led his escort detail. He was officially part of a regular line legion, but was originally a member of the 501st and fiercely loyal to Lord Vader, which was why he commanded the admiral’s personal protection detail. Montferrat knew that a blaster carbine was pointed directly at his skull as he ran his hands over the controls trying to leach every bit of energy from tertiary systems and feed it into the engines.

“Sergeant, your loyalty is without reproach and will be rewarded in time, but right now I need you to lower your weapon, shut up and look at the sensors. We are about to have a front row seat to an event that has only happened one other time in history and I am doing my absolute best to maximize our chances of being able lament the experience over a series of highly intoxicating beverages. In short I am saving our lives,” he snapped as he steered around a CR-90. The larger ship was also turning in the same direction as the shuttle, likely having come to the same conclusion on the status of the Imperial station. Sensors showed that it was also mimicking the smaller ship in that it was diverting power to rear deflector shields and engines, explaining the silence from its turbolasers.

Then it happened. It started with relatively small eruptions of flame and gas from the many orifices on the Death Star’s surface chasing close behind small ships that raced towards safety. In that instant the battle ceased and the Galactic Empire found common cause with the Rebel Alliance: a desire for self-preservation. The explosion that followed a few breaths later sent a shockwave that ripped through the combined fleets. The ships closest to the detonation simply disintegrated. The ones that had pulled away had their hulls ravaged as they had been forced to turn their weakest section towards the danger in a struggle to flee. In this the Imperial ships fared somewhat better, their bulkier hulls able to absorb much of the power emitted from the stations death rattle. In addition their sheer weight and size made them harder to displace.

The lighter craft were not as fortunate in this regard.

Montferrat’s shuttle was spun out of control as the wave of energy washed over them, the thrusters unable to compensate for the buffeting they were forced to endure. The admiral watched helplessly as he spiraled toward the Rebel blockade runner, its light grey hull dominating more and more of his view as it grew closer by the second. Warning klaxons filled the cockpit, their shrill cry loudly proclaiming the painfully obvious. He was sure that he was living out his final seconds when there was a sudden shock to the ship, most likely a collision of some sort, forcing their trajectory away from the rebel corvette and turning their spin into a tumble. Smoke began to leach from the control panel and a new set of klaxons sounded off, highly discordant with those already presaging their fate. His stomach lurched as the artificial gravity system simultaneously began to fail and attempted to grapple with the erratic movements of the shuttle. Then a reverberating boom heralded a third collision.

Everything went black.

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