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|Posted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 6:20 pm Post subject: For Hiigara!
|‘Squadron Three, you are clear for launch.’
‘Roger that, Command.’
I was flying a ‘Blade’ Mk V class Interceptor, part of a twelve fighter squadron. We had engaged a small Taiidani fleet, mainly frigates and fighters, but we’d heard rumors of heavier stuff, including a Carrier and possibly a Heavy Cruiser.
One, Two, and Three had left the bay already. I was Four. I left the bay and followed Three, doing a barrel roll just for the hell of it.
‘Squadron Three, you’re ordered to escort Ion Frigate Group One. Sphere formation, keep ‘em alive.’
‘Squadron Three acknowledges.’
We took positions over the center and foremost frigate in their delta formation. I took a position directly over the bridge. Squadrons One, Two, Four, and Five all took positions over the rest of them.
They started moving forward, ever so slowly compared to the speed I was capable of doing. Of course, they could also take multiple Ion Beams across the hull. Unlike us. But, oh well.. Tradeoffs, tradeoffs.
I looked around in the slightly crowded cockpit I was probably going to spend most of my life, however short it may be, inside.
I flipped a couple of overhead switches, shunting more power into the dual mass drivers beside and behind the cockpit and less to the engines.
Half an hour, by my watch, still on Kharak orbit time, went by, and some fighters attacked Squadron One’s frigate. Squadron One vaporized them before they could get in range. Seems that I wasn’t the only one who’d shunted power to weapons.
I gave them a thumbs up that the guys inside the Ion Beam Frigate we were escorting, a mere twenty meters away, probably couldn’t have seen if they’d known I did it.
Shortly afterwards, a formation of fighters attacked our frigate. I fired at the foremost fighter, painted a bright and ugly yellow and clashing red color, feeling slightly satisfied at the resulting explosion. The rest of the squad finished them off, each one getting a kill.
‘Tag.’ I smiled, humorlessly. Another kill, another mark on my hull.
Another, much larger formation of fighters followed them a minute later.
I sprayed at the foremost five, most slugs missing but a couple hitting one. It veered off course, turning around and fleeing the way it’d come. I fired at it, repeatedly, hitting it several times. It blew up.
I turned to the rest of the fighters, halved by my squad and the other surrounding squads.
I sprayed at the formation, not really expecting to do any major damage.
Some of the escorting fighters had taken damage. A Support Frigate hyperspaced in about a kilometer behind the formation. The badly damaged ones dropped out of formation and docked with the frigate, a squadron of defenders taking formation around it.
A couple of minelayers flew across the formation, dropping mines and fleeing full speed. An Ion Frigate fired its cannon and vaporized one of them as it flew past. The rest of the fighters got the other one, at least one round tagging a mine as it left the launcher, blowing itself up and vaporizing the minelayer.
I did a barrel roll and flew forward to cover the position of one of my squadmates over the hull as he docked for repairs.
Shortly afterwards, a large formation of Heavy Corvettes mixed with some sort of advanced fighter that can destroy bullets escorted a pair of Assault Frigates attacked us.
I heard some random Ion Beam Frigate crewman say over the radio ‘Finally, something to blast!’ as I sprayed at one of the Heavy Corvettes, most of my bullets not even getting close. As this happened, the damaged fighter had returned & taken his position, leaving me back over the bridge.
‘Alright, let’s kick some ass!’ At this moment, one of the Taiidani frigates blew up from concentrated Ion Beam fire.
Suddenly, a formation of Heavy Capital ships hyperspaced all around us.
’SHIT! IT’S AN AMBUSH!’
I darted forward, not quite sure what I was doing, maneuvering crazily, the trigger held down, spraying bullets everywhere, then suddenly, my Interceptor.. was out of my control, I was spinning, faster and faster.
My head smashed against the side of the cockpit beside me, and I blacked out.
I woke up, some time later. My radio was silent, the console showed everything as offline. I looked out the canopy and saw, to my amazement, one of those fighters that I’d hated so much, one of those yellow and red fighters that could destroy my bullets, protecting me.
As I watched, a guided missile flew towards me. The fighter fired at it, then rammed it.
I had a moment of silence for the one that had saved me.
Afterwards, I attempted to restart some systems.
I flipped all switches to ‘off’, then flipped the vital one, life support, on. I heard a comforting hum as it activated. Next, radio. It, too, activated, and I heard some staticy communications in Kushan. I smiled. Not really a smile, more of a smirk of satisfaction. Lights on the console in front of me started activating.
Next, engines. I flipped the switch marked ‘Engine Power’ to ‘on’. Sizzle, sizzle, spark.
I flipped the switch back off.
‘Well, now what?’ It was a rhetorical question, there was no one to reply.
‘Reroute power through power couplings three and four and reactivate the engine’, a voice in my head suddenly suggested. It sounded.. familiar.. but I didn’t know. And having nothing else to do, I did so.
Flip switch, low hum of engine activating.
I shut the engine off to conserve fuel.
‘Hmm.. sensors next?’ I asked myself, smirking.
I flipped the switch marked ‘Sensor Power’.
Spark, spark, whumm.
As that sequence ended, the sensor screen lit up, and lots of wreckage showed up, as well as a couple friendly and hostile dots.
I reactivated the engine and went forward, towards the largest piece of wreckage, hoping it wasn’t a section of the Mothership’s hull.
It wasn’t. In fact, it wasn’t even a Kushan craft. It was what appeared to be the mangled wreck of a Taiidani Heavy Cruiser.
That found, I explored the rest of the field, conserving fuel.
Drift forward, look around, drift forward, wipe hands on pants, repeat. It seems we’d won the battle, at a heavy price.
Kushan and Taiidani frigates lay destroyed, most in multiple pieces. A turret, a Kushan frigate, by the looks, whizzed past me. Corvettes and fighters.. were almost impossible to tell, in so many small chunks, simply recognizable by the color or shape of the chunk.
We’d won, certainly. A Taiidani Carrier hull drifted past, badly wrecked. It had been.. wasted.. by Kushan Ion Beam Frigates and Attack Bombers..
The battle won, I headed towards the Mothership’s last known location, hoping it hadn’t jumped to hyperspace yet.
It hadn’t. I docked with it, nearly out of fuel, tired, and slightly apprehensive, but exhilarated.
We’d met the Taiidan. We’d beaten them, in this region
They’d immolated Kharak. We’re coming for them.
For Vengeance. For our Homeworld. For Hiigara!