Stellar Pathways, Part 7
By Michael J. Pfeffer

5:00 PM relative time
Imperial-class Star Destroyer Intimidator
Flag Bridge

"Admiral, sir! Sensors report multiple small starships dropping out of hyperspace, type
and previous vectors unknown," a controller called out as a number of purple insignias
flashed onto his screen.

Imperial Admiral Karian turned around from the long-range tactical display to see what
the sensor controller had to report. Twenty... no, twenty-two small starships had just
jumped out. One of them had an Imperial identity beacon...

"Attention, incoming craft on my three-hundred-degree radial, and incoming Imperial
craft, this is the Star Destroyer Intimidator. Identify yourselves and state your

A bored-sounding voice came on the comm channel. "Karian, this is the New Republic
Official Greeting Squadron. We have a candygram loaded with explosives to deliver,
with our swift service determined to introduce you to the afterlife." There was a click,
and the channel went silent.

The sensor operator paled as the incoming starships separated countless smaller,
high-speed objects. "Admiral! Incoming torpedoes, threat axis three-zero-nine!
Approaching... impact in five seconds!"

The first officer blanched. "Admiral, we've been had."

The first wave of proton torpedoes was a controlled barrage to lessen the Star
Destroyer's offensive capability. Two torpedoes each were paired onto turbolaser/ion
cannon turrets on the top and bottom of the Destroyer. Within a scope of thirty seconds
from first torpedo launch to last impact, the once-mighty Imperial Star Destroyer had no
offensive capabilities whatsoever. That is, until the TIE squadrons were launched.

The MJP-911
Approximately ten miles away from the Intimidator
That same time.

So far, Daria was tracking twenty small targets, all closing very fast and tracking the
New Republic X-wing and A-wing fighters, and five were tracking the MJP-911.

"Hey Michael... uh... we're going to need some help up here," Daria called down into
the lounge. Michael was able to walk over with the help of crutches in a few seconds.

"What's up?"

"We've got a bunch of baddies, getting here quick. The other fighters are stuck
defending themselves... oh shit..." Twelve more contacts had begun an attack run from
the Star Destroyer, and there were twenty-four slower contacts coming in.

"This isn't right. This _really_ isn't right."

"Hmm..." Daria said, scratching her chin, as green flashes began to fly towards the

"Hmm..." Michael said, scratching his chin as the flashes began to get more and more

"Hmm..." Mara Jacobs said, scratching her chin as the shields sat there and took the
laser fire.

"I've got it!" Michael said, snapping his fingers all of a sudden. "Here's all that you need
to do, everything you need to beat those Imps. You need to... HOLY SHIT!"

A TIE interceptor grazed the shields of the MJP-911 and promptly exploded, but the
911's shields still held. However, the jostle knocked Michael off his feet, his head hitting
the back of a seat, before he could finish the sentence.

"Shit!" said Daria.

"Shit!" said Mara.

"Shit!" said Eddie.

"Wait a second! Eddie! Bring up a weapons control panel!"

"You got it," Eddie said. "The panels are a tad complex though..."

"I don't care!" Daria shouted. "Bring 'em up!"

Several sliding sections opened up, and a confusing array of buttons and switches
came up. It appeared to be less complicated then the control rooms at NASA.

"Okay... let's see..." Daria began to punch buttons at random. Speakers inside and out
blasted The Clash's "Rock the Casbah," as well as over radio.

The Imperial pilots said "Huh?" at the same time and switched their radios in to
HOMING. However, Daria accidentally pressed the FREQUENCY LINK button at that
same time. This synchronized the Imperial pilots' radios to one position mark.

The position mark was the last waypoint in Eddie's targeting computer- the flag bridge
of the Star Destroyer.

Following their repeated-drilled orders, the TIE pilots unquestioningly followed their
navigation radios. One by one, they smashed into the shields of the Destroyer, which
were now depleting.

Intimidator Flag Bridge

"They're doing WHAT?"

"Admiral, our TIEs are diving straight into the bridge! We've tried to warn them off, but
the fighters that are lucky enough to have broken radios are still fighting off the Rebels!"

"Admiral! Forward bridge shields are out!"

"Intensify forward firepower, I don't want anything to get through!"

A lone Republic A-wing, making a firing run, was struck by an errant turbolaser bolt and
disabled, while its escorting X-wing was utterly destroyed. The A-wing started to spin
out of control.

"Too late!"

It crashed through the forward part of the bridge, still spinning. The sudden loss of
control and pressure echoed throughout the Star Destroyer. Each section exploded in a
ball of fire before a massive reaction consumed the triangular bulk.

The Imperial threat was over.