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the Star Destroyer's central sublight drive nozzle where her Z-95's lasers were currently blasting away. Beneath the shielding at that point was a critical part of the lower-aft sensor package. If she could take it out, she and the others would have free run of the relatively undefended underside of the huge ship.

With a sudden puff of vaporized metal and plastic, the lasers punched through. "Got it," she told Aves. "Lower-aft-central sector is now blind."

"Good job," Aves said. "Everyone: move in."

Mara pulled the Z-95 away, glad to be leaving the heat and radiation of the drive emissions. The Wild Karrde and other freighters could handle the job of tearing into the Star Destroyer's outer hull now; her small starfighter would be better utilized in keeping the TIE fighters away from them.

But first, she had enough time to check in. "Jade calling Karrde," she said into the comm. "You there?"

"Right here, Mara, thank you," came a familiar voice; Mara felt a little of her tension drain away. Right here, thank you, meant everything was fine aboard the New Republic ship.

Or as fine as could be expected while facing an Imperial Star Destroyer. "What's the situation?" she asked.

"We've taken some damage, but we seem to be holding our own," he said. "There's a small tech team aboard the Katana and they have the turbolasers operational, which may account for the Star Destroyer's reluctance to move any closer. No doubt they'll overcome their shyness eventually."

"They've overcome it now," Mara said. "The ship was under power when we arrived. And we're not going to be able to distract them for long."

"Mara, this is Leia Organa Solo," a new voice came on the comm. "We've got a Star Cruiser on its way."

"The Imperials will have backup coming, too," Mara
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