Immediately after returning to base from their successful mission to capture spy & saboteur Moldva Vanir, the recruits seek medical attention. A Gran named Setum-Setum is summoned from his post at the rec center to help provide first aid and arrange beds for the badly hurt Torgo and Torga, while Stavros receives masterful aid from Kero. Mysteriously, Keth slips away from the others and is not seen the rest of the night.
Upon hearing that Major Dei is interrogating Vanir, three of the recruits (Kero, Waric, and Stavros) decide to get drinks at the cantine. They speculate about whether Imperials are still going to attack, and Kero asks Waric about where he learned the fancy maneuvers he demonstrated in the sims. Waric replies that some things are just in your blood. Other recruits appear and praise the trio as heroes for capturing Vanir. While Waric and Kero head off for bed, Stavros talks the other recruits into playing cards while he feeds into their thirst for details on the "exciting adventure" he was just on. The young gambler walks away with a nice sum of credits for his effort.
Major Dei summons Kero, Waric, and Stavros to his office and seems surprised that Keth is nowhere to be found. He commends the three recruits on their actions in saving the base and promises that commendations will be forthcoming.
After the meeting, Kero checks on the fighters that will be used in the final exercise. She notices that Torgo and Torga are ambulatory, though moving slowly and in pain. Kero also runs into the Kel-Dor Szo-Dano, who is disheartened by her current position at the bottom of the leaderboard. Kero tries to brighten her spirits with a pep talk, and it seems to have some effect.
When the time for the final exercise has begun, Tuvolo instructs the recruits to follow him into orbit around Enoch IV while he explains the rules. Each recruit has been given a wingman, with the top recruit on the leaderboard matched with the bottom, and so on. Stavros thus ends up with Szo-Dano, while Waric is paired with the Cerean Tazo-Rhi and Kero with the always optimistic Slaprat. Tuvolo explains that the goal of the competition is to stay alive as long as possible, because if one half of the team is "destroyed" (through targeting lasers), the entire team is considered eliminated. As an added element of uncertainty, the hulk of an ancient Clone Wars destroyer has been towed into the area and outfitted with targeting lasers to simulate point defence turrets. Any team that delivers the killing blow to the destroyer automatically receives first place for the exercise.
When the contest begins, an extremely aggressive Torgo persuades his wingman, Dosh'Tu, to accelerate at top speed towards Stavros and Szo-Dano, firing lasers with wanton abandonment. However, Stavros and Szo-Dano evade the attack, and respond with a brace of missiles that (holographically) shred Torgo's A-Wing, knocking his team out of the competition just seconds after it began.
While Waric and Tazo-Rhi focus on launching missile after missile at the hulk, Stavros and Szo-Dano engage Kero and Slaprat. Slaprat is ordered to stay out of harm's way by Kero, but this leaves her without a wingman and a missile fired by Szo-Dano knocks her A-Wing to the brink of destruction. However, Stavros takes pity on Kero and offers her a deal to team up against the others. The alliance succeeds in eliminating Gatara and Torga, and also in knocking out Stahlog, whose planned teammate, Keth, never showed up!
Soon, only Kero, Waric, Stavros, and their respective teammates are still in the competition. Attention turns to finishing off the hulk for first place; the lucky missiles are fired by Stavros and Szo-Dano, guaranteeing the duo the stop spot. Waric and Tazo-Rhi have little difficulty "destroying" the "badly-damaged" A-Wing flown by Kero to earn second place.
With the exercise complete, the grueling series of competitions to determine the final six members of Mynock Squadron is complete. Who will make the cut?
Director's Commentary (January 15, 2016)
There wasn't a lot going on with this session, and I honestly don't remember it well. The idea with the final training competition being a starfighter mission was designed to help everyone learn/refresh recollections on the starship combat rules (after all, they were fighter pilots and hadn't really done any in the campaign) in a context where PC death wouldn't be the result of a mistake or misunderstanding. I think it was a good idea, but perhaps fell a little flat.
One of the things I liked about doing a military campaign was incorporating several optional rules sub-sets from my complete collection of Saga Edition books. One of those was the "Organizational Score" rules from the Galaxy at War book, which basically measures how well-regarded a character is within an organization (in this case, how well the PCs are fitting into the New Republic's Starfighter Command). Here were the scores after this first story arc:
A lot is factored into these scores, including class, feat, background details, and more. You can see right away that Kero is a model soldier, while Keth and Stavros are barely scraping by.
Below is the image I used for Major Dei (swiped from Sarigar in the Alien Legion comics).