2 ABY – 06 Echo – 28 Zheliday (Ktil). Unknown military assailants ambush the Green Phoenix (Intrepid Porg) as the party lands on Ktil to investigate the burning hulk of the missing Nu Shuttle.
As the Green Phoenix lands on the surface, what appeared initially as a single escape pod on the scanner transforms into a flight of four strange, fan-shaped light attack fighters. In no time, the fighters swarm over the landing zone and savage the grounded Phoenix. In a desperate move, Cheebs tries to lift the ship off the ground, but its landing gear collapses into a ravine and the ship becomes lodged in the crevice. Immobilized, the crew has no choice but to fight back to survive.
C4-BL3, Cheebs, and R3-M3 put up a valiant defense of the Phoenix and actively engage the fighters. Kantarra realizes that the tactics are very familiar — the attack pattern is an Imperial one designed to keep a ship grounded, but not necessarily kill the occupants. Seeing this, she drops into the cargo bay to make a distraction and buy the crew some time. Jumping on the Zephyr with some essential gear, she screams out of the Phoenix and into the clearing to draw fire. She successfully attracts the attention of one of the fighters, which peels off and tails her — firing into the ground, forcing the Zephyr to flip over, and tossing Kantarra into the trees. The shift in attention creates an opportunity for the Phoenix crew and they eliminate one fighter.
Cheebs quickly learns that the Phoenix is a tough, well-armored ship that can take a beating while their adversaries are not. While wielding formidable firepower, the fighters have shields but no armor. Eventually, persistence, luck, and R3-M3’s damage control pays off and the trio manages to down the entire flight while sustaining a significant amount of critical damage.
Recognizing this as textbook covert Imperial Bureau of Operations special op, Kantarra alerts the party that a ground team will likely arrive soon, and like clockwork a squad of Bureau ground troops arrives on speeder bikes and an Imperial Troop Transport. With ground forces in sight, the crew defends its position but realizes that it needs to make an escape. Cheebs discovers that the ravine that ensnared the Phoenix is actually one of a network of vegetation-covered gullies (trenches). Tossing nearly every loose item into the gully below the ship, Cheebs and C4-BL3 make their way into the trench and pile the stuff onto a makeshift sled. R3-M3 enters into her last stand mode, exchanges communications with C4-BL3, and signs off to her Captain (Cheebs) with “may the Force be with you.” Several minutes later, an explosion is heard and R3-M3 reports that the ship as been breached. It is the last communication Cheebs receives from the loyal droid.
Meanwhile, Kantarra, who has been navigating the network of gullies to find better angles of attack, makes her way back to the rendezvous point. She’s surprised to see the sled but no Cheebs or C4-BL3 — they’ve gone back to the ship! She drags the sled back to the ship under the cover of the gully, assembles her long blaster sniper rifle, pulls out a thermal detonator, and assesses the battlefield. One who is never afraid to take advantage of the element of surprise, Kantarra sees the commander and squad leader standing between the two ships along with another trooper. She activates the thermal detonator and tosses it their way. The detonator lands at the feet of the commander and boom — three fewer adversaries. The ground forces retreat as Kantarra starts picking them off one-by-one with deadly precision.
In the ensuing showdown, everyone has their chance to shine; C4-BL3 discovers he’s a decent ship’s gunner, and Kantarra puts her imposing long blaster to use snuffing out the enemy ground troops. Everyone shines except Cheebs, that is, who couldn’t pull the ship free and blames himself for its imminent destruction. In utter desperation, he goes on a one-Duro commando raid to destroy the enemy’s troop transport with the last of the ship’s explosives. Kantarra, seeing Cheebs make his way to the ITT, provides cover fire to buy Cheebs the time he needs to take out the threat. While no explosives expert, Cheebs manages to attach the explosive under the cab of the ITT, scrambles for cover, and detonates the package. The ITT drops to the ground with smoke pouring out of every opening.
When the dust settles, 12 Imperial Bureau operatives are dead, a flight of four fighters have been reduced to nothing more than strewn debris, R3-M3 has vanished without a trace, the party is stranded, and the Green Phoenix is in terrible shape.
Will more troops return? No one knows. Can the Intrepid Porg to rise from the ashes of the Green Phoenix? Maybe.