The planet Edara was an icy, storm-tossed rock orbiting a dim star on the frontier of Commonwealth space. Once it had been an unremarkable planet, home to an automated mining station.
Under Imperial rule, it had taken on a new guise; mining still it's main export, but now through convict labour. Edara was a penal colony, a final destination for anyone the Empire found guilty of dissension, trafficking secrets, or anything else that was cause for 'punishment'.
Hanging in orbit of the planet, an Imperial Yeoman-class transport and its' escort of Lancer-class frigates lingered as the transport prepared to offload the latest cargo of prisoners and take on the latest shipments of ore from the world below.
Between the orbit of Edara and its' moon, at the gravitationally stable LaGrange point, space twisted and ruptured as a hyperdrive exit point formed, and the Wandering Star catapulted into real space along with a marine assault carrier. Aboard the Star, klaxons sounded to signal the launch of Onyx squadron into action, along with the ships' marine assault teams. Their mission was clear; Onyx squadron was to shield the assault team as they made planetfall, engaging the fighters from the planet, and taking out the defence systems. The Wandering Star and the assault transport would tackle the frigates head on with their heavy weaponry, and shoot to disable the transport.
The goal of the operation was to liberate the prison - based on intelligence received from resistance agents, a high-ranking imperial defector had been exiled to the prison, and was in posession of information that was high value.
Strapped into her Excalibur's cockpit with her suit sealed, Asora hit her comm channel to the squadron as her fighters' engines spooled up to launch speed. "Listen in, Onyx. We've got to cover those marine dropships and gunships as they make their attack. Fighters will be scrambling from the garrison planetside, which is also armed with defence weapons. Here's the play; Cataract and Monarch you stick with me. We'll be engaging the fighters and giving top cover to the transports while Hatchet and Tusk, you take out the ground defences. Jade, you provide them with electronic jamming cover. They'll be searching the skies with all defences for targets; we'll need you in the SEAD role for certain. Tusk, in particular; you use that railgun to target the heavy cannons and any anti-capship weapons that pop up. The marine gunships will engage in close air-support for the troopers, but be alert for any sudden changes". She hesitated, beak half open, words half-formed in her throat, wanting to say something motivating, something to spur them on. Good luck sounded insincere, like it didn't trust their skills as pilots. Good Hunting too jaunty and irreverent. "Let's do this. See you all back on the ship," she finally said, her voice firm and even.
With the words said, the voice of flight control sounded in the ears of all the pilots. "Onyx squadron, launch".
The pressure of the electromagnetic launch tube accelerating the fighters so rapidly shoved the avian back into her pilots' seat like a massive pair of hands shoving back on her shoulders, the thundrous rumble dying away into the vibrations of the Excaliburs' engines and systems moving through her seat and body as the fighter moved into the vacuum. Gleaming points of light dispersed all around them as decoys and long-range missiles launched from the Wandering Star and the escort ship, others resolved into the shapes of angular gunships and transport dropships, drives flaring bright as they burned at high speed for the cold blue ball of Edara.
"Stay in formation, Onyx and maintain speed. Let's get these grunts on the ground!"