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Messages - ShadowWolf_IH

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31
General Discussion / Mercenary....Fan fic
« on: March 29, 2005, 03:06:06 AM »
(16)

“Lancelot is hit, I repeat, Lancelot is hit!”  screamed the weapons master when he saw the hit.

Tabitha had just entered the CiC when she heard this.  Her face went slack, and the water she had been drinking dropped from her hand before she could notice, let alone stop it.  Although she couldn’t see Gawain at that moment, he had seen the effects of such a hit more than enough times to know what would be happening in the small craft.  First systems would die, and the craft would tumble end over end, usually twisting at the same time.  More often than not, she would be venting fluids; precious fuel and life support coolant would be lost.  Recovery craft should be on the way.

“Two new contacts, entering between the Destroyer and Bannockburn.  Friendly IFFs sir, getting readings now.  SIR THEY ARE OURS!!!!   OH MY GOD IT’S FIRE AND BRIMSTONE!!!”  The operations specialist yelled in excitement.

Tabitha moved across the CiC in a daze.  She was looking intently at the incoming bomb, and the spinning icon that she knew to be Phillip.  Phillip didn’t know it, but he had taken out one of the bombs.  

Before Lt. Colonel Geisendorff could utter an order, the twin corvettes opened up in a united double broadside on the now outgunned destroyer.  Both corvettes spewing fighters and bombers from the launch bays.  Lt. Colonel Geisendorff ordered the Fire to move to a position under the enemy vessel, and then roll for broadside.  Brimstone was to be the bait; she would go over the top and would then begin directing fire at the Turrets, forcing the enemy craft to fire on her.  Bombers were in coming from both ships as they attacked the turrets.  The enemy fighters were soon going to be overwhelmed by the friendlies.

Phillip was still spinning in space.


Two crewmembers gently eased the burden that they carried onto a bed in sick bay.  The doctor immediately came over to take a look.  The patient was, gracefully, asleep.  The entire left side of his face was smashed, He wasn’t asleep, he was out cold.  The doctor went straight about his work; all of the vitals were fine.  He ordered the patient moved to resonance.  Years ago, resonance, using minute sonic vibrations had replaced the x-ray and the CAT scan.  The irony of the development of this technology is that one of it’s first uses was as a sonic welder, using sonic vibrations to weld two pieces of plastic together, mostly in toys.  Now the children of this technology are used to safely examine not only bone structure, but also internal organs.  It would be ten minutes before he had the results of the resonance.  Some things could not be hurried.


Tabitha was still in concentration on the spinning icon in blue, and the in red denoting the inbound bomb.  The bomb icon winked out; it had been hit.  Two blue icons were moving very quickly toward Phillip, and two others were escorting yet a third ship to his area.  She reached out and touched one of the racers.  It was Dragon.  A touch to the other icon brought up its information; it was Pepper.  She turned to the Comm officer.

“Raise Pepper.”  Was all that she said.

No one would dare deny Tabitha a request, for fear of reprisals from the old man, or even from Phillip, but somewhere in that small frame was a powerhouse of will, and everyone knew better than to tell her no.  

“Pepper, please give status on Red 1.”

The two racing icons reached Phillip and formed up to either side of him.  

“Copy command, cockpit is untouched, scans indicate life support at 12%, engine is gone, weaps and nav are offline.  Comm is down as well.  He is venting fuel from the Starboard side, no flames.  He has also taken damage near life support, I suspect that automatic damage control could handle it, but he won’t last much longer.  He needs help.  He is spinning at about 1.5-rps port; velocity is stable at 38.  There is no movement in the cockpit.  Passing beneath I can see no damage.  All damage seems to be centered behind the cockpit.  Son of a bitch, the docking ring is a mess, recovery craft cannot dock, I repeat, recovery cannot dock.  Get that recovery Vehicle here asap, he just started venting life support.  He is not conscious and cannot go to internal support.  Dragon get above me.  Command I am going EV.  Send a second recovery vehicle for my ship.  Switching to internal life support.  Canopy open.”

Captain Bradley was on her feet, “Order him to close that canopy and await further instructions.”

The order was passed on by the Comm officer.

“Negative Command, “ came the voice of Dragon, “he has a hold of my stabilizer, and if he were to let go now, I am afraid that he would miss his ship.  We are moving over to Lancelot, he’s going to open the canopy from the outside and switch Lancelot to internal support, then get him out of there and await recovery craft.  I will stay on Pepper’s Thor after the drop off, it is moving steady at 12.  Should be an easy pick up.”

Tabitha’s eyes were glued to the display, and her ears were glued to the Comm officer.  

In his ship, Dragon had already picked Pepper up; knowing what he was thinking when he popped his canopy.  There was only enough life support for 15 minutes once a pilot went internal.  They had to be quick in order to get the C.A.G. out and still have support left in Pepper’s suit when the recovery craft arrived.  He couldn’t accelerate as quickly as he wanted to, for fear of what would happen to Pepper, but he couldn’t afford the time for a slow burn either.  He looked to his Starboard stabilizer and Pepper waved him forward, he accelerated, and watched Pepper nearly lose his grip when the ship gave her initial lurch.  Slowing down again would be a bit tricky.  But they had only a few minutes to make this happen.  Luckily, the fighting was going on elsewhere at the moment.


CiC on Bannockburn was a hive of activity, between the Vasudans now being range to fire on the destroyer, and the twins out there, controlled chaos was happening.  Such is the way of combat.  The enemy fighter cover was now all but non existent.  The destroyer was changing course, seeking an escape vector.  Fire and Brimstone were being true to their names and raining hell on the injured ship.  The battle was all but over.  


Dragon’s Voice came back over the Comm, “We are above the target, she has taken on a very slow spin on her x axis, as well as her more speedy flat spin, I am maneuvering to compensate.  Too late, Pepper is free, repeat Pepper is en route to the target.  Rolling for a canopy view and transmitting.”  

The secure line in CiC buzzed and Lt. Colonel Geisendorff picked it up.  Tabitha didn’t notice.

On a small viewscreen Tabitha watched as Gawain came into view.  A figure falling toward it as the tail came up and she was spinning.  It looked as if Pepper may miss the ship altogether and just float off into space, until he got one hand inside an exhaust port.  Anywhere but the cold of space and the exhaust port would still have been hot enough to burn through gloved hand, and through the flesh beneath.  


Pepper knew only two things; the foremost in his mind was that his C.A.G was in serious trouble, and the second, that he was an idiot for trying this fool stunt.  He was free falling through space and was watching the exhaust port come to him, he managed to grab a hold and pull himself up.  Once atop the fighter, he made his way to the cockpit, agonizingly slow.  He knew that time was running out for the Boss, and he was the only one who could do anything about it.  The pressure actually meant nothing to him, he was calm and at ease with what he was doing, hurried, but not harried by the thought of his commander’s life support giving out any second.  He couldn’t feel the end over end spin, but the flat spin was enough to offer him some gravity by way of centrifugal force.  He could feel himself being pulled to the outside edges of the fighter.  He finally made his way to the cockpit.


Tabitha watched as the canopy opened with a slowness that could not have been natural, and saw as the figure reached in and unhooked Phillip.  Phillip was now on the life support from his own suit.  Once he was clear of the cockpit, the figure turned to wave, and silent tears rolled down her cheeks.  They weren’t out of this yet, but it was a good sign.  The readouts on the suit said that Phillip was alive.

“Recovery you have 6 minutes to get here and get these two pilots, get over here, lock onto me, I’ll be the fighter dragging to pilots with me.”

That said, Dragon didn’t wait for a reply, he inched his craft closer to Gawain, and, mindful of her tail section coming upward to meet him, had to break off.  It was then that Pepper leapt into open space once more, with Phillip thrown over his shoulder.  Dragon set about to intercept them, but was told to back away by the pilot of the recovery craft.  Both pilots would make it through the day.

Lt. Colonel Geisendorff hung up the secure line.  “Captain Bradley, you have command of this fleet, Tabitha we need to get to sick bay.”

Tabitha turned around with an almost puzzled look, then realized that they would be taking Phillip there directly upon his arrival.  “We need to get to the docking hatch, that’s where he will have to come through.”

“Tab, it’s your father.”


“His brain is swelling from the bleeding.  I can relieve some of the pressure, but I can’t stop the bleeding inside.  I’m sorry Tabitha, there is nothing that I can do.”  The doctor calmly explained.

32
General Discussion / fs3?
« on: March 28, 2005, 12:33:47 AM »
but more often than not i have seen people flamed over asking about fs3.  Flamed as if we are above answering questions about a game that won't exist.  The ones who come in and inquire about us writing FS3, hell i had even thought about it at one time, but i decided that the people at HLP weren't the ones to do it, so i didn't bring it up.

33
General Discussion / fs3?
« on: March 27, 2005, 03:50:19 PM »
i think it sucks that we have gotten so bad about it that they are now publishing warnings against mentioning fs3 in any of our forums.  The idea is ato attract new people to our forums, not to be so elitist that we drive new people away for asking about fs3.

34
General Freespace / On Mission Design
« on: March 22, 2005, 10:09:47 PM »
maybe a link to the SCP FRED explanations? Maybe a section on Tricks and Tips.  Things like the obscur rule that Sapphire found, or the ë stuff.

35
General Freespace / On Mission Design
« on: March 22, 2005, 03:16:34 AM »
Matt i have to disagree with that.  When i learned Lotus 123...on DOS, no laughing at my age :), i was told that some people have amn inate gift for grasping the logic that a programmer learned to write a program, and once you have grasped how he thinks, you have the program beaten.  There are also alot of tricks that a new fredder doesn't know, things that can be taught to anyone.

36
General Freespace / On Mission Design
« on: March 22, 2005, 12:22:04 AM »
So maybe some advice and some sample variables is in order?

37
General Freespace / What might FS ship designs be based on?
« on: March 20, 2005, 05:20:05 PM »
I have always thought that the Apollo beared more than a passing resemblence to the original Galactica.

38
General Freespace / On Mission Design
« on: March 20, 2005, 05:18:27 PM »
I agree that we don't have as many new guys asking those questions.  Maybe the F/A is a cause for that decline?  We have some talent coming out of there.

39
General Freespace / On Mission Design
« on: March 20, 2005, 05:01:01 AM »
For you guys out there who fred, what are your thoughts/advice/questions for mission building?

40
I will be testing it in about 3 missions from now...so sometime over the weekend ;)

41
General Discussion / Post your Ride
« on: March 17, 2005, 03:49:55 AM »
Gran Sport.

She has a sleek little 401 nailhead pushing 445 footpounds of tork...of course that was before the big drop happened...that would be an Olds Rocket 455 powerplant, complete with twin holley 435's atop a low rise edelbrock.  hooker headers through thrush turbo mufflers...oh yeah...regular gasoline only...none of that unleaded crap.  I keep thinking that she needs a magna charger....a blower that with 227 degree seal timing (as oposed to Jimmy's 180 on a 6-71) and fits under the hood of a stock L-88 hood

42
Do i have to say it, i love all of Raa's work

43
General Discussion / Mercenary....Fan fic
« on: March 13, 2005, 07:11:18 AM »
(15)

Macaullay was already sprinting for damage control when the ship began to shudder, and the telltale whine of her beams sounded.  One by one the beam cannon lit off, sending brightly colored death back toward the destroyer that had attacked her.  With decompression on 3 decks, he knew that he was taking casualties, and he had to see how things were going for himself.  

The Kenaz cruiser was by far the most powerful cruiser ever built.  Iron Horde modifications had enhanced the Bannockburn even beyond what her designers had done.  With 4 anti cap ship beams on each side, she could decimate a ship as large as a destroyer, and for anti fighter defense, each side held 3 aaaf beams, and 4 magnesium flak turrets.  A Velfire turret covered the front, her rapid-fire bursts spelling death for fighters attacking from that direction.  Twin Velfire turrets top and bottom covered the rear.  The side broadside beams covered most of the top and bottom of Bannockburn.  What wasn’t covered by the beams was easily covered by her fighter compliment.  Heavy modification had allowed her to field a full squadron of fighters.  

The amount of force and firepower that she could produce came a cost, the most significant of the sacrifices that she had to make were in speed and maneuverability.  

Again the ship was rocked by a blast, and Macaullay was taken off his feet.  On the way down, his head was smashed into the bulkhead and he was rendered unconscious.


“Dragon get out of there!”  Phillip screamed as Dragon flew into the path of another wing of fighters.  They were slow to react as his guns opened on them, and one went down under his onslaught before he was past them, guns and missiles blazing.  

“I’m alright Boss, but I have a whole mess of free targets in here, get clear of the bay while I take em out, nothing is gunna launch now, trust me on that.”  Dragon replied, the sounds of firing and explosions echoing through the com link.  

“Got it Dragon, stay in here and wreak some havoc, hit fuel and ammo if you can find any.  Pepper, stay with him and fly cover, keep your eyes on your sensors in case anyone comes in to take him out.  Once you guys have damaged enough of this place, get out, we still need help out there.”

2 double clicks of the com link were all that Phillip in reply from Dragon and Pepper as he turned his fighter back to the battle at hand.  In his view, he could clearly see Bannockburn; she was venting fire in more than one place, which meant that she was losing air.  Tabitha was quickly pushed from his mind as he flew straight into the three fighters that Pepper had engaged in the fighter bay.  They weren’t breaking for the battle; instead they were heading for Bannockburn.  That could only mean one thing.  These weren’t fighters, these were bombers.  

“Bannockburn be advised, you have bombers inbound your position.  Lancelot is tracking and engaging.”  

“Acknowledged Lancelot, do what you can out there, we’re in quite a mess here.”  Came the voice of the Comm Officer.  

Phillip opened up with his 8 Brittae as soon as the missiles had positive lock.  He pushed the firing stud and felt the gentle shimmy of Gawain as his missiles leapt forth, tracking the purple light of his Brittae as all of them slammed into the rear shield of the enemy craft.  His scanner showed that the shields were gone, yet he continued to fire on her even she turned to evade.  His shots were scoring hits on the craft even as the missiles struck home, not destroying the craft, but certainly taking her out of the fight as she spun completely out of control, and had no thruster operating to correct with.  He’d obviously destroyed something vital.  His attention shifted immediately to the next bomber.

“2nd Lead Red, you have a tail, repeat, you’ve been picked up and they are coming up fast.”  Phillip heard over his com link even as he poured fire into the second bomber.  While this one was faster to react, the end result was the same, it was destroyed.  As it went into a fireball, so did Gawain’s aft shield.  Phillip slammed the port rudder pedal even as he pulled hard on the flight yoke. Then he threw the port bow thrusters to full reverse, sending his assault fighter into an end for end flip, once again showing that in capable hands, any fighter can be as nimble as a superiority fighter.  Gawain protested this kind of abuse, but gave in and allowed it to happen.

The enemy craft had her guns blazing but broke off at the site of Gawain suddenly flipping to become the hunter.  A quick check of Tactical showed that his entire squadron was down to half strength, but the Vasudans had joined the battle as well, the odds were now favoring his forces.  If he could get rid of this fighter, he could still intercept the bomber.  

“All ships, the Bannockburn can’t take much more of this pounding, scan for the weapons subsystem on that destroyer, and take it out.”  Phillip ordered as he tracked the fighter with his Brittae on stutterfire, letting loose 4 pairs of 2 bolts at a time.  The fighter charged him, with her own guns blazing, which a mistake.  For all her maneuverability and speed, she was under powered against Gawain.  She fell and Phillip quickly reversed his heading to again track the bomber.

“Sir I’ve scanned the vessel 3 times, and I do not find a weapons subsystem.  To me it feels like each gun is independent of the others, we’ll have to take the turrets out.”  Came the voicing from Blue 3.  

“Understood, any forces not engaged, go after those turrets.”


 Lt. Colonel Geisendorff saw the new contact on his tactical display and knew what was bearing down on his ship but before he could say anything, Captain Bradley was shouting.  “Incoming bomb, track and destroy, Brace for impact!”

With two of her port guns down, she wanted to roll and present the four starboard guns to her target.  At the same time, tactical showed that there was a weakness of coverage underneath the destroyer, so ideally she wanted to get under it and broadside with her fresh starboard batteries. Bannockburn was slower than any other Kenaz cruiser, but was still by far more mobile than the destroyer that she was fighting.  Currently she could nothing until that bomb was either destroyed or her ship was struck by it.

She didn’t bother to glance out the main view port at the raging battle, but instead kept her eyes glued to tactical.  “I want all flak and aaaf on port side tracking and firing on the bomb, top Vels as well as foc’sle Vels tracking the bomber, I want it taken out as soon as it is in range.”

“Aye sir, weapons firing and tracking as ordered.  One of our fighters is inbound after the bomb and bomber.  It’s Lancelot.”

There was a chance, a good chance actually, that Lancelot would be caught in the blasts of the magnesium flak.  It couldn’t be helped.  Hopefully he wouldn’t be hit.  


Phillip saw the aaaf beams and the flak tracking the bomb, and the Velfire Turrets tracking the bomber, he opted for going after the bomber and hoping that the bomb wouldn’t make it all the way in.  Kicking in his full afterburner, he poured on the speed and opened fire, the bomber didn’t flinch as it launched two more bombs at Bannockburn, then sluggishly veered off.  It has just begun its evasion when the Crossbows hit.  The explosion was huge, the bombs obviously going critical instead of coming apart.

My God, they were armed in the bay.  Phillip thought as the shock waves of multiple warheads raced toward him.  Deciding that the best way to minimize his target profile was to hit them straight on hard and fast, he gently pressed the starboard rudder pedal and threw all power to the engines as he again lit off with his afterburners.  The shock waves hit and he was slammed about in his cockpit, his finger pulling the trigger more than once and firing the main guns.  Then he was through and chasing after the bombs.  The first of the bombs was hit by flak and blew apart at close to 500 meters from Bannockburn.  The second and third were passing the 600 meter mark, and Phillip was firing in chain mode, one at gun at a time in rapid fire, attempting to put up a wall of energy bolts that the bombs would have to fly through.  He connected with the bomb nearest him and was hard on the last one when an errant aaaf beam from Bannockburn lanced through his shields and into Gawain.

44
General Discussion / Mercenary....Fan fic
« on: March 12, 2005, 07:10:28 AM »
(13)

“You sent me back here because you didn’t think I would survive in the engagement instead of letting me stay and fight.  Now two other people are dead because of it.”  Ensign Santos Levario nearly shouted.

His words had a visible effect on Philip, in the debriefing.  The knowledge that he had lost a lot of pilots today weighed heavily on him.  The knowledge that some good friends were gone weighed even more heavily.  The worst of it was, he was the one who would send the news home.  The Colonel usually took that responsibility on himself, but when it came to the fighter pilots, Philip felt that it was his duty as the C.A.G.  He wanted to throttle the young pilot right then and there for his insolence.  Yet his anger was understandable, if misplaced.

“No, I sent you home because you were the only Thor that we had left.  That meant that you were by far the fastest one we had, and I wasn’t sure that any of us would survive.  You were the only one that had a prayer of disengaging and making it back so that your battle roms could be reviewed, and the old man could see exactly what we were fighting out there.  They weren’t anything that we have seen before.  Your safety was not an issue, the safety of the people that we were trying to protect was the issue.  Am I clear, Pepper?”

Pepper looked as if he was as stupid as he felt, which at that moment was quite stupid.  “Perfectly Sir.  I stand corrected.”

Phillip looked at the man, not much older than a boy really, standing before him at parade rest.  “Sit down, you and I need to have a talk.”

Ensign Santos “Pepper” Levario sat in the chair opposite the desk that belonged to Philip, who was already seated.  “Sir I owe you an apology for the remark.”

Philip had to suppress a smile before he could continue.  He had been right, and Pepper knew it.  Pepper’s passion would serve him well as a pilot, provided that his ego didn’t get him killed first.  He was a tough kid, grew up in foster home after foster home before coming to the Horde a year ago to learn how to fly.  In actuality, he had come to the Horde to simply get away from his past, which he seldom discussed, but his aptitude was high enough for fighter training.  His reflexes were better, and his sim time was fantastic.  He was a natural pilot.  Philip had once overheard him giving advice to a pilot who was struggling, the cockiness was gone from his voice, and he didn’t taunt the other student, it was the first time that Philip had glimpsed the man that Santos would become.  He was explaining to the younger student how he saw everything in three dimensions, tracking each member of the immediate battle, and could visualize this in his head.  He talked about how he kept of him aware of the battle, and didn’t focus simply on the fighter that he was shooting at, or being shot at by.

Santos could not know that this was a gift that few possessed, and those few became the best pilots in the business.  While his “pupil” would go on to fly fighters, he would always fly by the numbers, not really feeling the joy that others would feel when flying.  For him it was a chess match and he would think his way through.  While an adequate pilot, he would never be one of the best.

“Pepper, in half an hour I have to meet with the Colonel.  It will be my recommendation at that time that you be placed in a tighter training regimen.  The fact is, you are a great pilot, you can see the battle easily, and have almost a bird’s eye view of it.  I know what that is like, I do the same thing.”

Pepper looked as if he were waiting for more bad news, and when none was forthcoming he spoke up instead, “Sir, permission to speak freely?”

“Of course.” Was all that Philip would say in reply.

“You said that I am one of the best, yet you are wanting me to train more heavily.  Why?”

Philip again had to repress a smile, at Santos.  His file was a thick one, always in trouble, which means that he was seeing this as disciplinary action, or that he wasn’t good enough in the eyes of his C.A.G.  “Let’s get this straight, I said that you are a great pilot, I never said one of the best. You can become one of the best, but you aren’t.  The bottom line is, Blue 1 can’t handle it.  He can’t see the battle from outside it.  He’s a good commander, but he has no heart for it, I think that you do.  In eight months time I plan to review your performance and training level and put you up for a command position.  Your battle sense will serve you well there, but more important, it will serve this command well.”

Santos was visibly shocked at this.  He quite literally could think of nothing to say.  His jaw was simply hanging open, and his eyes were wide, as if he had just seen the fabled chupacabra of his ancestor’s legends.

Philip finally did smile.  “Close your mouth Pepper, we aren’t finished yet.  The Pilot and command training doesn’t bother me, I know that you will do just fine in those, the thing that scares me is what happened in this office.  You cannot think for a moment that anything is personal, because it isn’t.  This is business.  If I fail, people die, that’s all there is to it.  If you fail in a command position people die.  Sometimes, the hardest part of command is knowing whether or not you’ve failed, the constant second guessing.  You think you’re up to it?”

Santos could finally speak, “Yes Sir, and thank you Sir.”

“Don’t thank me yet, you may not be so thankful once the training kicks in.  Dismissed.”

Santos stood, and before he was completely upright, the intercom sounded, “Commander O’shea, you are needed in the Captain’s ready room, asap.”

“Good luck Pepper”  and with that Philip shook his hand and ran out the door.

Once in the corridor he kept running, asap was a word not often spoken in the Horde, so when it was, it meant “get your ass here now.”  Philip had no idea what was going on.  The Colonel would be upset at the losses incurred today, and while not cold, he was a professional who understood that death is the nature of combat.  Philip had no clue what this could be, but to move the Command Staff debrief up half an hour wasn’t unheard of, but it was still a bit unsettling.

It took him 5 minutes to get from his office near the flight deck to the Colonel’s ready room, which was off of the bridge.  When he entered, the Colonel, Lieutenant Colonel Geisendorff, Mr. Michaels, and a Vasudan were in there waiting.  There was also a contigent of Vasudan Guards and Iron Horde Guards.  The IH Guards were not actually on the Horde Payroll, they were some of the special forces Marines.  Philip scanned the room quickly, and decided that for all the guards, things were fairly civil.  He moved quickly to the Colonel’s side.  

“Gentlemen, this is Commander O’Shea, Commander of my fighter squadrons.  Commander this is Subcommander Ak’lah, of the Vasudan Commonwealth Naval Forces.  He is here inquiring as to our presence.  Perhaps you could fill him in on this morning’s events.”  The colonel said without moving his eyes from the Vasudan.

“That will not be necessary”, the Vasudan countered, we were en route to assist you when our probes picked you up.  Your signals were forwarded to my ship, and you we have heard all.  Commander O’Shea, I am sorry for your losses today.”

“Thank you, Sir” Philip replied.  He didn’t trust the Vasudan for some reason.  Maybe it was the overly polite manner, but Philip knew that there was more to this than a simple apology.

“The Vasudan Commonwealth requires that your ship disarm while in our space.  This gestures and laws apply to all privately owned warships.  You must comply.”
Subcommander Ak’lah ordered.

Colonel Macaullay didn’t bat an eye.  “I mean no disrespect, but I cannot comply with that order.  You are facing an enemy that you do not know.  One that you cannot protect yourself against.  Disarming my ship would be to place my people at greater risk than they are by simply being here at all.”

“You must understand, these are the laws which govern all in the Commonwealth.  Order must be kept.”  The Vasudan began to shift nervously.
It was then that Jayme Michaels, Assistant Sovereign Defense Advisor spoke up, “Colonel, if I may?”

A glance at Mr. Michaels told the Colonel all he wanted to know at that moment, “Go ahead.”

“Subcommander Ak’lah, forgive me for not giving you the full rank that I hold in My government.  I am the assistant to the Soveriegn Defense Advisor of the Terran Coalition.  I speak for our government.”

While not quick to anger, the Vasudan was beginning to.  “You would dare bring an armed vessel into VAC Space?  You risk war with our people.”

“Actually, I risk nothing.   While the TEC may not conduct military operations within all space that belongs to you, according to the non aggression pact that we have with your government, either of us may use mercenaries to bolster the strength of the other.  Further, we may use Mercenaries to conduct non military operations within one another’s realms, so long as the actions taken in strength are from a defensive point only.  These gentlemen are being paid by the TEC, and we are here to find our lost diplomat.  Should you wish to press this into a military matter, this ship will defend herself, and you will have violated our treaty with your government, and would probably be the cause for a war between our two peoples.  Think about it Ak’lah, neither of us wants that.  You are being attacked by an unknown force, it is my belief that this unknown force has either captured or killed our ambassador to your government, the TEC has paid these mercenaries to come here and find out.  We have a common enemy, let us not fight amongst ourselves.”

“We will be watching you, in fact we require your flight plans so that we may escort you.”  The Vasudan said.

“An hour before we move, we’ll transmit our intentions.” Lt. Colonel Geisendorff said.

“That is acceptable, but know this, should you in any way harm the Vasudan People, I will not hesitate to destroy you.”

With that, Subcommander Ak’lah turned and left the ready room.  Followed by his contingent and that of the Marines who were escorting him.  

“Well, I think they heard of me, there’s a Vasudan Commonwealth Flotilla out there making sure that I don’t attack.  I didn’t know I rated so high.” The Colonel finally said.



(14)


The Vasudan flotilla consisted of a Zhong-kui Corvette and 3 Peng Lai Cruisers.  The sleek lines of the Vasudan ships following in stark contrast to the hard edge leading Kenaz Cruiser of Terran Coalition origin.  

“Captain, if you would notify Subcommander Ak’lah that we are leaving for the Antlia system in an hour, I would apreciate it.”  Colonel Macaullay said, as he watched his crew from his accustomed place on the bridge.

“Aye Sir, Comm, open a channel to the Flagship of our friends.”

“Channel open sir, at your leisure.”

Macaullay stared out at the nebula in the distance.  Wondering if he had ever felt this alone.  He still knew nothing about the enemy that his man had faced, and the Vasudans weren’t talking.  He knew that he would strike a nerve by going to Antlia, it was the last place that hid quarry was known to have been.  If Antlia has indeed fallen, he would know soon enough.

“Colonel, the Vasudans recommend against that course of action.  In fact, they are asking for you to come aboard so that they may discuss the matter.”  Lt. Colonel Geisendorff told him.

He was right, Antlia had fallen to this enemy.  If so, then it would stand to reason that more of the outlying systems had fallen as well.  “Tell Ak’lah that I cannot leave the ship at this time, but that if he would like to come aboard, I would happy to discuss this him.”

While Lt. Colonel Geisendorff was relaying the message, the doors behind Colonel Macaullay slid open and Tabitha walked onto the bridge.  For a moment, all activity ceased as all eyes turned toward her, they just quickly were averted as the crew went back to work.  It had occurred to Macaullay, as it was occurring now, that his daughter possessed a kind of presence, people felt her when she was near, she would have been a great commander, and Macaullay was glad that she had chosen a different course.

“Daddy?  What are we doing?”  her voice was so calm, and yet so forceful that her father had to smile a bit.  A great Commander indeed.

“We are forcing the Vasudans to tell us what the hell is going on.”  He turned to look at his daughter. “They’ve been rather tight lipped about everything, and by wanting to go to Antlia, they will have to give us an explanation as to why they don'’ want us to.  I know the real reason already though, Antlia has fallen.  We are about to turn around and go the other way, to Rotenev.”
Tabitha looked thoughtful for a second.  Then asked matter of factly, “What intel do we have on Antlia, and what assets will we be using to gain more?  It occurs to me, that if we are heading for Rotenev, you are afraid of this enemy, what did you see in the Battle Roms?”

“Whoever this is, they are flying the standard of the GTVA.” He said loud enough for only his daughter to hear.

“Ak’lah is on his way, Colonel.”

“Good.”  Macaullay suddenly felt a great relief at not having to see it through.  “Mike meet me in my ready room with him as soon as he gets aboard, have Michaels meet us there as well.  In fact, have Michaels meet me there now.”

“You got it Jim.”

“Tabitha, you’d better go wake Philip and have him join me there now as well.”

Tabitha suddenly looked cold, “He need sleep dad.”

“I know, but I need him there for this meeting, I promise, he will go right back to bed afterwards.”


“Tell Ak’lah to turn back Immeidately!!”  Macaullay shouted on the bridge as his ship rocked beneath his feet from a second hit.  

“Helm come about to Starboard, down 10 degrees on the foc’sle, and begin roll for broadside!”  Lt. Colonel Geisendorff called out.

He heard the echos as they acknowledged his orders, and through the viewscreen, he watched as his fighters screamed overhead and then away form the ship.  A glance at tactical told him that the Vasudans had also launched fighters and were moving in to a support position.  The enemy destroyer also beginning her turn and preparing to broadside the Iron Horde vessel.

Macaullay watched as the blue beam danced toward his ship, her light brilliant as only mega-joules can be.  He felt his ship shudder again beneath him.

“Sir, we have dempression on decks 7-9, frames 13-16, sections 1 through 4.  Engineering reports burst coolant leads, we are loosing speed, and losing power to guns and life support.” Damage control reported.

“How long to repair?”  Lt. Colonel Geisendorff asked.

“Sir, they can’t.  We haven’t got the parts for the repairs.  There are too many to make.  Life support will fail in 2 hours.”


Philip saw the destroyer begin to make her turn and ordered all squadrons to take out the turrets on the side facing Tabitha.  At least he could by them some time.  Enemy fighters were launching, and coming in waves from the fighterbay.  

“Dragon, Pepper, let’s go see if we can’t wreck the fighter bay a bit, all other flights, continue to disarm this vessel, the Vasudans are on the way as well, so just hang tight and stay alive, ETA is two minutes.

45
General Discussion / Mercenary....Fan fic
« on: March 12, 2005, 07:09:45 AM »
(10)

His afterburners screamed as they lit and he poured more available speed on by pumping all energy into his engines. The Paladin wasn’t built for this kind of speed, and she was starting to shudder. For all the speed that Phillip was giving her, Macaullay’s Azrael blew past him as if he were not there. The two of them raced toward the freighter that had become a bomb. Macaullay was pulling away when he started flinging the craft wildly and popping countermeasures, obviously he had picked up a tail. Once, twice, and yet a third time he crossed the path of the charging Paladin, the missile closer each time. Phillip held his stick steady even as he zeroed all of his thoughts in on the missile. Big bastard of a missile, usually used against bombers.

Then all 8 of his guns began to speak, rapid succession shots filled space as the Colonel crossed his path yet again, the missile in tow. Using his rudders to slew the Paladin while maintaining his speed toward the freighter, Phillip brought his nose slightly up and to the left, all 8 guns barking wildly at the racing missile. The missile in question could not detect and therefore could not avoid the brilliant bolts of light that formed a near impenetrable wall before it. It flew directly into three bolts from the Brita HS-9’s. The missile destroyed, Phillip again straightened the craft and poured on all available speed.

“thanks, O’Shea.” from the Colonel

The freighter was looming larger and larger, and his missiles began to track it. It wasn’t close enough for guns yet. Philip switched to subsystem targetting and targetted the engine. Luckily it had only one. His missile gave the warbling tone of a good lock, and he immediately fired. Then his primary reticle lit up and he pulled his trigger, releasing the pent fury of all 8 guns at once. Quickly switching power to guns and shields, he killed his speed. Again and again missiles leapt from the tubes and impacted solidly on the engine. Again and again the Britae roared their anger at the freighter who dare attack Tabitha. The Engine winked out, but forward momentum was maintained. Phillip kept firing even through the threat tones. Someone was trying to lock on to him with a missile. He ignored the threat and kept firing. Knowing he had only one chance to avoid getting himself and getting Tabitha killed.

He could see that the Freighter was all but dead, and he kept firing, even as the tone changed to let him know that the missile of his death had been launched. He shifted slightly in his seat, feet on the rudders, right hand on the stick, and his left hand began to manipulate the controls for the reaction control valves in his wings. The tone became more insistent as the missile drew closer to him. Barely a glance at the threat warning indicator, and he kicked his burners into a burst that sent the paladin 90 degrees up onto it’s port stabilizer. The missile leapt past, but was obviously not befuddled. It began it’s turn to come back for another shot, when it slammed directly into the bridge of a beat and battered freighter. With no engine and the freighter already a drift, it did nothing to change he trajectory. Phillip was already lighting off with his Britae, missiles depleted long ago. He felt before he saw the freighter shudder as all life left her, and she began to come apart. His rear shields were being crushed under the onslaught of Branwen. Even as he slammed his right rudder to the floor and let his left one up he was pulling the stick to the right and picking up his speed. Afterburners at full. The Branwen hesitated a second too long and was destroyed by a burst from Macaullay’s Azrael.

“I’ve got tails, I could use some help here.”

“on my way Colonel.” Was all he would say in reply.

With the Branwen out of commission the Colonel had picked up a pair of Claymore MK4x’s. Philip knew them well. He sent the Paladin into a spiral toward the one who was high and left of the Colonel, knowing that the Colonel usually preferred high and left as an escape vector. The Claymore was taken completely by surprise. It never registered that someone was about to fire on him. Phillip was still targetting his partner, who began to fly erratic immediately, attempting to throw off his pursuer. The Claymore under Philips guns flew straight and true until it’s shields were destroyed by a single bite from all 8 guns. It attempted to dodge left, but a light touch to the stick kept him lined up and again the brittae sent deadly light lancing forth. The Claymore had nothing left. There was nothing left but the fireball that Phillip flew straight through as he brought the paladin around to take out the Claymore. Who had already found an escape vector and was using it. The Blue white of a jump acting as a tattletale for where he went.

“Thanks Phillip.”

“Thank you, sir.”

“let’s head home, I am sure that Tab is as worried about you as you are about her.”

“yes Sir.”

Colonel James Macaullay hated himself for what he was now doing, and knew where Phillip’s head was. It was in the battle, at that moment in time, Phillip O’shea may have been the most dangerous man that Macaullay had ever met. He was certainly the best fighter pilot he had ever seen. He knew that if he could see into the cockpit, Phillip would be staring straight ahead, seeing everything, and yet registering nothing. He was riding on the combat high. His senses were hyper alert, his reactions faster than ever. James knew at that moment, that Phillip was not only back, but that he was more dangerous than ever. Now he had a reason to live, and to fight. That reason was with him, and James knew first hand, that there is nothing more powerful than a man fighting to protect his family.


James Macaullay climber from the Simpod even as Lt. Colonel Geisendorff and tabitha were pulling Phillip from his.

“That was incredible, a Paladin isn’t supposed to move like that.” Mike said to his C.O.

“I know it, what were his reaction times in there?”

The Lt. Colonel glanced at the monitor, then back at the Colonel. “Jim he was 22% faster than you out there. He’s a machine.”

A sharp glance at Tab silenced Lt. Colonel Mike Geisendorff. He couldn’t believe he went there in front of Tabitha. His eyes closed for a second and a half and when he looked up, the Colonel was laying Phillip down onto the command couch.

“How long til the drugs wear off?” James asked

“I can bring him to reality anytime, he won’t be susceptible to our suggestions any longer when I do.” The doctor said.

“Phillip, you are the best. There is no need to be afraid anymore, you are past it.” James whispered into Phillip’s ear.

James looked at Mike and saw the same wonder in his eyes. How had the kid gotten this good? Both of them were thinking about the future, and the things that Phillip could do, and the places he could go. James then made the fatal mistake that all fathers make. He looked at his daughter, and saw the worry on her face as she sat on the bed staring into Phillip’s face.

“bring him out of it. Now.” James ordered.

The Doctor prepared the hypo and set it against Phillip’s neck, then he left.

Phillip’s eyes opened.

“Tab. Colonel? What happened?” He asked while looking back and forth between the faces peering down at him.

“It’s a long story son, how do you feel?” James asked.

“Never better. I feel like I could take anything right now.” Phillip answered, not sure why he felt as good as he did. He suddenly wasn’t afraid anymore.

“Ok, listen, in two hours I want you down here in the Simpod.”

“yes sir.” Phillip replied to the Colonel.

“Come on Phil, let’s go to my room for a bit, I need to talk to you.”

With that, tabitha pulled Phillip from the table and walked him from the room. The two Colonels sat in silence for several minutes, until Mike broke it.

“Sorry about that”

“no sweat, I’m just glad she didn’t hear. We’ll know in a few hours whether this worked or not. I just wish we could let him remember what he did in there. He thought it was real and he came through it better than I ever thought he could.”

Lt. Colonel Geisendorff looked at the Colonel, “It was insane sitting out here watching. I couldn’t believe it.”

James turned to the readouts and began to study them, “We’ll know in a bit.”




(11)

Tab watched from the view port as the fighters roared past.  She knew that only one of them could have been Phillip.  He wasn’t the only one in the command who flew a Paladin, but he always knew where she was watching from, and would make sure that he wagged the stabilizers for her so that she saw him waving.   The forward sweeping semi circular stabilizers would provide almost no lift in atmospheric conditions, and served to be little more than outriggers in space, but she had seen him more than one time stand his fighter on one while slewing it around.  Her hand reflexively moved to her stomach and the baby she carried, although she didn’t notice, lost in thought.

They had drugged him.  Phillip was scared because of her, and that fear would have killed him.  They had drugged him and thrown him to the wolves.  He would either fight his own demons in there or he would die in there.  Die on the inside.  She was afraid that he wouldn’t make it back and become the fighter pilot that he was born to be.  The pilot who didn’t control the craft, but let the craft be simply guided by his steady hand.  She knew better than to think that he was invincible, but to think that he would become the hollow shell of the man that he is now, a creature set to live in his past, a past that is too painful to face, that she could not bear.  No matter her own fears as to what may happen to him, he was who she had chosen to be with, and what he did in a fighter wasn’t simply something that he did, it was who he was.

She knew well his fears about the child.  That the child would grow up and not know his father, or worse, grow up knowing that in the end, his father was a coward.  Phillip was no coward though.  He had made it through and was again in command of Gawain, as he had named his Paladin.  He was the best at what he did, and everyone knew it.  He was the only one who didn’t know exactly how good he was.

Again Gawain came screaming by and the stabilizers wagged for her.  Long after it retreated away from her was the wistful smile on her face as she peered through the hazy trail left by the afterburner.  Even the blue white light of subspace could do nothing to dampen her spirits as they patrolled above her, around her.  That was her man out there, following her father’s orders.  She could never have been more protected than she was at that moment.


“2nd flight, Red squadron, form back up on me.  Let’s keep the pattern tight, we are dropping from subspace soon and I don’t want any surprises.”  Phillip spoke even as he turned Gawain into a gentle bank to the right.  He’d always loved flying in subspace.  Subspace was where the Lucifer had been taken down.  How many years had it been?  Hundreds of years before his time.  The swirling blue, black, and white of subspace could be spell binding and beautiful to look at, it was also one of the most powerful places he had ever been.  He knew that a terrible power could be unleashed if someone could ever fully tap the potential of subspace.

“Forming on you Lancelot.” Came the response from his second in command of the flight.  As soon as he had named his Paladin “Gawain”, the old man had dubbed him Lancelot as his call sign.

3 pairs of microphone clicks also told Phillip that the remainder of his 5 man wing had also gotten the order and were complying.  He switched to broadcast on the command net.

“2nd flight Red Squadron reformed and keeping the pattern tight.”

“Got it 2nd red, 2nd blue is out there hanging at the markers, and we have 1st Red and Blue on standby.  Should be dropping from subspace in less than a minute.”

Phillip switched back to the flight net, “Ok boys look alive, we are dropping in less than a minute.  Check in as soon as you are out.”

Four pairs of Microphone clicks answered him.  Damn these guys were pros.  A last glance through his readout showed his flight in earnest.  2 summoners, 2 Thors, and his Paladin comprised his flight.  Currently the only unknown quantity was “Pepper” in 5, flying a Thor.  The sleek interceptor was fast enough, and punched hard enough, but she wasn’t as maneuverable as a superiority fighter.  Certainly not the equal of a Summoner.  The fact remained though that if you had to get there in a hurry, the Thor was your machine.

He could hear the timer counting down.  At zero, a brilliant white light flared before him, then the cold darkness of space.

“check in.”  he spoke on the flight net.  This not only reaffirmed the order that he had given, but also let his flight know that he was out of subspace.

“Dragon.”

“Silver.”

“Badger.”

“Pepper.”

Everyone was accounted for, he switched to the Command Net.  “2nd red is out and intact.”

“Bannockburn is out.  All forces accounted for.”

It was then that Phillip’s threat receivers went crazy.


(12)


   Commander O’Shea literally smashed the firing stud on his control stick releasing two Crossbow Missiles.  “Fish in the water.”
   He quickly switched back to guns and leveled his crosshairs on the enemy ship, firing his eight britta’s in stutterfire, 4 bursts of two each.  He was watching the exhaust plumes of the crossbows in his peripheral while keeping the britta’s online, when the ship slipped sideways faster than he could have thought possible.  It didn’t just bank and turn, it slid to the side, causing the missiles to by pass it and explode harmlessly off her starboard fuselage.  Worse yet, it cuased Phillip to miss with his guns.
   “No joy, repeat, no joy. This bastard’s good.”  He switched to the command net.  “Bannockburn we need reinforcements, we need them now.”  To punctuate this statement, 2nd flight, red 3 exploded ahead and above Phillip’s charging Paladin.  
   He pulled to Starboard to try and catch the enemy craft as she came about.  She was gone, and Phillip was npow the hunted, whether by his former prey or another ship he couldn’t tell, but his shields were multicolored from the hits as the green lances began to puncture them.  He quickly his landing jets and kicked his reaction control rudders to port while pulling his stick back.  Gawain flipped end for end in a barrel roll and ended the manuver facing the opponent and firing all 8 of her britta’s into it.  He saw the craft buckle under the onslaught before he fired again, and scored a second alpha strike.  Still she came on, threatening his front shields, he had to arrest his rearward momentum and fast before the craft blew him apart.  He punched his afterburners and was immediately planted in his seat as his engines kicked into added thrust and he shot forward like a bullet blasting away with his Brittas, and firing off a missile salvo even without lock. The Crossbows hit and the craft exploded just as he flew through it, debris raining around him, and pinging off of the transparesteel canopy.  
   “All fighters, disengage and return to Bannockburn.  We are tracking a large vessel incoming and need to get out of here now.  Disengage and return.”  Came the voice from Bannockburn.  The problem of course was how to disengage with this foe without being destroyed in the process.  They were far more manoverable and faster than his force.  The Summoners seemed to be holding their own, but just barely.  The Thors couldn’t outrun them, and the Paladins would be sitting ducks.  
   “Red and Blue, reverse double cross on my mark, all scissors.  Blue for home first.  Go Go GO!”  Phillip ordered.  A look at his tactical display showed him to have three ships in Red flight and four in Blue flight.  Blue flight shot immediately toward Bannockburn.  All of them scissoring like mad and crossing each other’s paths to keep the enemy ships from getting a clear lock on them.  Red flight shot away from Bannockburn also scissoring, forcing the superior enemy force to divide between the flights and pursue.
   Crisscrossing with Dragon in 2 and Pepper in 5 did nothing to disuade the enemy force.  His shields were being eaten by superior firepower.  A glance at tactical showed four ships chasing his flight, and 5 chasing Blue flight.
   “Getting hammered on boss” Dragon called from Red 2.  
   It was a bit early, but so be it.  If they didn’t pull it now they would all be dead before they could get it done.
   “GO GO GO!!!” Phillip screamed and immediately turned his craft around. The enemy ships were still in straight line as Red flight went between them in full afterburner, Gawain groaning in protest as she was manouvered in such a way that she was never meant to, the forces of the manouver stressing her hull almost to the breaking point.  He saw Blue Flight coming toward him when Pepper shot out in front, his Thor easily the fastest of the three.  Dragon’s Summoner was pulling ahead low and port.  The pursuers of both Red and Blue had already made the turn and were again gaining.
   “It’s gunna be close gang.  Choose targets.  Mark em.  I am on Gemini 4.”
   “Dragon has Gemini 2.  Slow down a bit Pepper.”
   “Negative Pepper, mark your target and punch through, then head straight for home, combat landing.”
   “Roger lead, Pepper has Gemini 1.”  
   They opened fire as one on the enemy force, with Blue wing shooting between them to hit the pursuing force.  Covering each other in a desperate attempt to even up the odds.  The force pursuing Red flight was the first to react and return fire.  Blue two went out in a fireball.  Red flight faired better, destroying all three targets, and with 5 heading for home,  Phillip, with Dragon on his wing turned and went after the final pursuers of Blue wing, they had already manouvered away and were coming about.
   “Switch targets, go after Virgo while they are looking at Blue.”
   “Got it. I’m on 3.”
   “2.”
   Phillip again glanced at his tac display, and noted that only two of Blue flight remained to try and take out the two ships remaining in Gemini.  He immediately switched to the command net, “Blue on my mark break off and go Virgo.  We have Gemini.  Blue 1 break to low port on my signal.  Break now!”
   Blue 1 followed as ordered and broke to the left and down, the enemy ship trailing him.  Enemy fighter designated Gemini 2 found himself being hammered on by 8 Britta hs-9’s his aft shield being eaten away even as two Crossbows arced their deadly way toward it.  It went up in a fireball.
   Dragon was all over his target, but had problems of his own. The two fighters left of Virgo wing were attempting to line him up and take him down.  “Get some cover on Red 2.”
   “Blue 1 is on him.”  
   Before Blue 1 could line up a shot, all three of the remaining enemies broke off and headed out at max speed.  They reformed a few Kilometers out and kept going.  
   “Head home at best speed, we have to get out of here before the heavy arrives.” Phillip ordered.  3 double clicks of microphones were his answer.

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