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Calim VI: Slingshot by Vince-T Calim VI: Slingshot by Vince-T
This is part 8 of the Calim VI series. accompanying the WHC Revan in its death defying escape.

The triumph over the imperial Interdictor is only a tiny one and went as soon as it came. With the recent arrival of the Imperial Battlecruiser Proditus the tide quickly turned and the ESS find themselves in a loosing battle. Surviving at all costs becomes the ultimative directive.

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"Sir ...." The sensor's officer's voice was pressed and his face turned worryingly pale. "We've lost the Wrath, the Furíous and the Venaru. The Magus' shields are failing."
"What?" Connor's eyes widened in shock. How could that be? Two Predators and an Inferno II destroyed in such a short time? "How?"
"That ship that came out of hyperspace used some sort of mass driver technology. Sensors recognize it as the Proditus." Connor's eyes narrowed. He knew that ship. He had met the imperial Battlecruiser once, at Mon Calamari. While they had been slightly neutral at that point, they obviously weren't on such terms now.

"We have a problem, Sir!" a tense voice came from the helm's station. "That planet is quite tenacious."
Connor grimaced. Right, gravity and its nuisances. "What's our status?"
"We're stabilized again. But it'll take a lot of power to get us out of the atmosphere again."
This was bad. Trying to move into space now would greatly slow them down and make them an easy target for their enemies. And fighting them was pointless. They had to get out of range to bail out. Taking a deep breath he leaned back. This was going to be risky, but it was worth a try.
"Direct as much power as you can to shields and engines!" He ordered. "Bring us into a flat descent."
"Sir?" The man once again frowned.
"We'll use the planet's gravity to speed us up and catapult us away from the imperials. Once we're out of their range, we'll make the jump."
"I hope this is going to work!" the man said, as he made the course correction and boosted the engines. Beyond the viewports a tiny bit more of the planet came into view as the Revan's bow slightly nodded towards it.
"It will work." Connor assured him. Closing his eyes he tried to suppress the voice in the back of his head that kept screaming Liar! Liar!

The Revan quickly gained speed, as it surfed across the upper edge of the Calim VI's atmosphere. Using the planet's gravity as a booster to its thrusters it soon went at twice its usual top-speed, slowly increasing the edge on the imperial fleet. It might work. Were these other circumstances Connor would have smiled. The loss of his battlegroup still lasted heavily on his shoulders - and certainly investigations and questionings regarding this incident would follow. Why he hadn't called for reinforcements, why he had fled like a coward. But what was he to say? The Proditus had destroyed half his fleet with a hand ful of blasts. There had been nothing he could have done about it - save fore destroying that interdictor just a bit sooner.
"Noone has ever done anything like this." the sensors officer commented with slight awe. "at least not with a ship this big."
"Don't celebrate just yet, Lieutenant." Connor said. "We're not through, yet."
"Sir, I read increasing fluctuation in our kinetic shields." Another officer said. "The g-forces are tearring on us like mad. And at this speed the friction is like flying through a meteor shower."
He sighed. "Direct power from rear to front shields. How long until we pass the col?"
"About thirty seconds, Sir."
Connor crossed his hands, as he gazed outside. The bow of the Revan was glowing like a blade coming right out of the fumace.
"Then our heat shields will have to hold for another thirty more seconds."

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"This is so insane!" Somebody cried.
"We won't make it!" Another officer yiped. By now the Revan had passed the col and at 400 percent of its normal top-speed was now pulling up again. now with the gravity pulling at them even more the ship shook harder every second.
"We made it this far." Connor encouraged his crew. "We'll make it! Transfer energy from heat shield to kinetic buffers! Helm, calculate the jump coordinates. We jump, once we're out of the atmosphere."
At that point a hard shock went throught the ship and threw him back into his seat. Something had broken off.
"Sir, we lost one of our deflector domes. The gravity is pulling us apart bit by bit."
"She'll hold together!" Connor remained convinced. Or at least, tried to appear so. He knew this was a bad idead, but risky as it was, it was also their best chance to get away from the imperials. Massive and sturdy as the Warhammer class was built, it had a good chance to survive such a slingshot maneuver, compared with other ships of similar size.
His condidence slowly wore off, when another tremor rocked the ship. The second shield dome had been torn off, quickly followed by the set of communication antennas. It was the 'loose' parts that fell victim to the extreme g-forces they were experiencing. Such parts could be replaced, as long as the ship itself remained integer.
"Kinetic buffers at maximum, Sir. We can't take much more!"
Just a bit more!

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Credits:
- Star Destroyer model by Matt Hodges, design and concept by Lucasfilm Ltd.
- Vengeance battlecruiser model by MJT, design and concept by Lucasarts
- Victory II Star Destroyer model by me, design and concept by Lucasfilm Ltd.
- Predator Carrier and Warhammer Heavy Cruiser: Models and design by me, inspired by design traits from Star Wars
- Planet background captured with Google Earth (Mars, actually)

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Preview: [link]
Part I: Bold Maneuvers: [link]
Part II: Pursuit: [link]
Part III: Close Combat: [link]
Part IV: Impact: [link]
Part V: From Hell's Heart: [link]
Part VI: Enemy Reinforcements: [link]
Part VII: Gravity Sniper: [link]
Part VIII: Slingshot: [link]
Part IX: Leap of Faith: [link]
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