Episode I.i (Airfight)

Geonosis. She had been given a fair amount of teaching in its history, the home of a once industrial powerhouse species of insectoids who had served under the Confederacy and then the Empire, before being eradicated by the ones they had been serving. Scans since then had shown the world little more than a husk, a great empty hive of catacombs and pre-Empire industrial facilities buried beneath the surface, with little to no life beyond the scavengers that weathered the intense heat and storms that battered the world's surface.

She’d been expecting little traffic, prepared for a decent amount perhaps or even a salvage crew in orbit without licenses. Veye had even considered a Jawa operated ship, since that would make her first test much easier.

A First Order Dissenter class cruiser blaring its location was not on the table.

Her hands took to the controls as she veered course away from the warship. It may have been small, but the cannons were still more than capable of disintegrating the little U-wing. As she banked below the cruiser, the comms pinged an incoming hail, which she promptly ignored, going into a hard dive towards the planet's surface. A massive storm was swirling across the surface, which her instruments said was all around atrocious to fly in. Perfect for ducking a warship.

The first interceptors were starting to deploy when she entered the upper atmosphere. The Dawn shuddered, and as she saw the red haze of reentry start to climb around the flight cabin, all of which failed to hide the incoming blaster fire. The ship rocked, and red emergency lights lit up across the controls. The atmospheric dive lasted a few more seconds, before she vanished into the dust storm and began to slow her descent, trading the red blaster traces for spidery lines of blue lightning. Even slowed, she continued to dive to the surface, watching her altimeter drop at alarming speed, with sporadic bumps and dips as she crossed catacomb entrances wide enough to swallow her dropship and jagged, windswept outcrops.

At eight hundred feet, she leveled out, following her radar through the storm as it tracked potential collisions. The ship rocked again, evoking several curses in mixed Mand'oa and Twi'leki. Once again, blaster fire started to streak past her. Veye swerved hard, winding herself back into a dive, racing towards the surface.

Six hundred feet, and she watched as the altimeter measured a particular large depression. She didn’t wait for her to think on it, cutting the engines for a hard reverse. The Dawn rocked violently with the maneuver, the U-wing never intended for such hard banks. Through the storm, she watched as the silhouette of a TIE fighter blew past her, no doubt still attempting to track and milliseconds behind her flight path.

Veye dove, waiting till she was just within a hundred feet before leveling and shooting back across the dip, watching the altimeter plunge another four hundred feet. Descending into the hole, she felt the ship shudder, the interior filled with awful screeching as she ran up against the catacomb walls. Against all possible odds, she managed to land lopsided on the surface, shutting down to hide from her almost as crazy hunter. Five seconds passed, then ten. She was clear.

Rocking back in her seat, she rubbed her face trying to relax the tensed muscles around her eyes. Her first airfight, and she managed to create even more of a problem for herself with the ship than she had before. Some choice she had made.

Regardless, the choice had led her here, and now she had an irate warship and its complement above her in orbit, and a dropship to fix. When the storm lifted, she would move to someplace safe, assess the damage, and get to work.

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