Dec 05, 2021 12:57 PM
Vader and Luke are unsure who has kidnapped whom
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The Hutt that Luke and his squadron had been sent to take out was burrowed into the ground, as they tended to do, and was directly under the support settlement it needed to let it live it's life of disgusting greed.  Luke's orders had been clear- he and the other 3 TIE fighters in his squadron were to guard the 5 bombers, who were to bomb the entire settlement from above, heavily enough to take out the compound below, and some of the stormtroopers would come in after them and kill off any of the gangsters that had survived the initial bombing.

The settlement came into view as they rounded the planet, dropping lower as they approached.  Luke fired on the east guardtower, ordering the other TIE pilots to take out the others, and the bombers began to move into position above the settlement.  As he scanned the settlement again for further defenses, his eyes caught on the civilians fearfully running for cover- and the slaves, glancing around, uncertain.  These were no enemies of the Empire, no destroyers of peace and stability.  A rush of anger surged through him.  Did they really expect him to order his men to bomb innocent civilians? Slaves?  There had to be some way to do this with less casualties- sending stormtroopers into the base to flush the Hutt out would probably work!

He wasn't going to let this happen.  Almost without thinking, he surged into action, spinning his TIE fighter to face the bombers and beginning to fire.  He knew the ships his squadron flew, even if he didn't fly the bombers- he knew every weakness in the ships.  Taking them down was easy, the other TIEs taking a moment to move into action against him, two of the five bombers already falling to the ground below by the time the first of the other TIE pilots had moved into action.

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There is, a few settlements over - in the forces moving against the leader of the most recent Hutt clan to renege on a deal with the Empire - the distinct sound of a helmetted forehead hitting a gauntleted palm. 

Vader screws up communications between squads - and especially outgoing communications - with an idle wave of her hand, orders her own people to intensify their suppressing fire (this particular slug, actually expecting to be ever attacked, hasn't done anything nearly as stupid as putting his vital support structures unshielded over top of his underground base, and actually has a decent ability to resist attacks, especially with the fighters from other compounds in the clan providing back up).

She comms Luke's fighter. "First Lieutenant Miyer, what is the meaning of this?"

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Shit.  Luke did not at all expect Darth Vader herself to comm him over this.  How did she even know?  He continues to fire on the bombers as he replies.

"We're facing unexpected resistance from the Hutt compound, Sir."

He's not a good liar but it will have to do.

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"You were not a Hutt last I checked, Lieutenant Miyer."

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Shit shit shit shit- that's the last of the TIE fighters, falling to the ground now, Luke is barely even noticing the fighting now- he doesn't know how to fix this.  He needs to run.  He needs to stop this.  Are other squadrons doing this?  He needs to find the other settlements and stop this.

He needs to respond to Vader.

"Are you implying that I shot down my own squadron, Sir?"

This is why he doesn't lie, he's no good at it.

He doesn't notice that his course has changed to take him towards Vader instead of towards the next settlement.

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"Is that what's happened, Lieutenant?"

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Luke does not have even the slightest idea what is happening or what Vader knows.  He's doesn't have any idea what he's doing but- they were supposed to be taking out Hutts, not civilians. Not slaves.

"Uh, no, Sir?"

He didn't mean for it to sound like a question, but it seems like it did anyway.

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"I find I somehow doubt that, Lieutenant."

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Luke catches sight of another small compound on his left, with a squadron the size of his own beginning to circle it.  He turns away from his previous path, barely wondering why he hadn't been headed straight towards it, and flips his ships comm unit off, deciding that Vader has already seen through his limited ability to lie.

He flies in as though he's providing backup, at first, getting well within range before beginning to fire on the bombers.

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Teenagers.

There actually seems to be a lot of chaos blooming among the ranks of the Imperials, actually, an escalating clusterfuck (that still gets the central Hutt and anyone capable of seizing control of the clan killed, Vader is annoyed but not going to abandon this opportunity) - that culminates in Vader's own TIE whipping alongside Luke's, and the switch on Luke's comm unit moving itself back to 'on.'

"You will land, Lieutenant Miyer."

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Luke finally has to admit to himself that he can see no way out of this one.  He pulls away from the settlement and lands his TIE fighter.

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Vader lands nearby, the hatch of her own TIE hissing open.

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Very reluctantly, Luke opens his TIE fighter and climbs out, standing at attention to the side of it, as he would before or after a mission.

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Out comes Vader.

...And sweeps past him, toward an outlying part of the settlement. "Follow me."

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What.

Luke follows her, after a moment, still confused.

"Sir? Where are you taking me?"

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A moment, then - "That ship."

'That ship' appears to belong to the Hutts; a fast, small ship likely used for messengers - it has weapons, probably, but no one managed to get to it before the fighting got too hot.

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Luke nods uncertainly.  Is Vader not arresting him?  Maybe Vader just doesn't want to give him a chance to fly off, so she's putting him in a ship with her?
He follows Vader to the ship anyway.

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A lot of the other Imperial forces seem to be very mysteriously exploding, actually, just going by the chaos and explosions on the horizon - and their TIE fighters both rise into the air behind them, before suddenly sustaining damage and explosions very consistent with having been shot down - Vader's careening farther from the Hutt compound.

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Luke stares in confusion.  Probably he shouldn't question Lord Vader about what's happening.  He stops staying behind Vader and hurries to the indicated ship, half-hoping to get to the pilots seat before her.

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...He does!

Vader doesn't exactly walk very quickly in this suit.

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He quickly begins to familiarize himself with the ships controls, getting it started up and ready to take off.  He has no idea where he's going to take them, besides away from this planet and away from the Empire.

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Vader is fully willing to give him instructions about this!

She's... Ordering them towards a much larger settlement? Seems to have a spaceport. Though she wants him to take a route that'll make it non-obvious where they came from, and also to move quickly.

Well, if they're getting off planet - this ship doesn't exactly seem designed for hyperspace, though it should be able to operate even out of atmo.

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He'll co-operate with her orders for now, at least- he doesn't actually want to pick a fight with Lord Vader, even if he was about to run from the Empire in a stolen ship with her in it.  It seems like he might be doing that anyway?  He keeps wondering if she's defecting with him, even though that's absurd and impossible.

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She has him land on the outskirts. "Head towards the spaceport," she instructs. "We are looking for a fast hyperspace capable ship. Not Hutt owned, not clearly affiliated with any faction. I will instruct you further if needed."

And - she's suddenly much harder to see, a struggle to remember she's there or even ever was there. Luke can manage it, though, even if it gives him a headache.

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Luke pulls off his helmet, tucking it under his arm and doing his best to hide the details as he heads towards the spaceport, doing his best to hide that he's looking at all the ships while still taking the time to check them all over- at least, the ones that are small enough to be manned with a crew of two.

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(Nobody seems at all suspicious of him, weirdly.)

- And there's one. He has a good feeling about it. Looks old, worn, of a type favored by smugglers (there's a lot of smugglers' ships in this port).

Still, Vader seems to have the same good feeling, because she pauses, examining it.

Total: 68
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