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Old 08-13-2011, 09:36 AM   #1
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Squadron Legacy

Commander Tyren K’Aldrin always got a tingling, giddy feeling of excitement walking towards a sleek Incom AX-18. The small fighter’s build was every pilot’s dream. Its compact but deadly form was elegant in a way. Just how curves of its body perfectly streamlined into the wings, how the cockpit blended without protruding, and how even the brutal laser cannons somehow added to the beauty.

But today was all business, no time for messing around. Tyren shook his head, seemingly shaking away the giddiness the way a Bantha shakes off water. As a combat pilot, he had no more time to admire the beauty of anything around him, especially something as expensive as the AX-18. Tyren’s thoughts instantly went to his procedures. Having already acquired the standard astrological briefing for his intended route of flight, the commander began running through the necessary pre-flight checks. Opening the transparent cockpit, Tyren seated himself in what he liked to call his “office.” Flipping a few switches, the avionics of the fighter hummed to life.

“Primary Flight Display, check, Multifunction Display, on. All instruments are operational. Fuel quantity, check, backup gauges, check. All electrical systems online, no warnings. Control lock, off, fire extinguisher, in place.”

Running smoothly through a few more checklists, Tyren remembered how overwhelming the procedures seemed to him as a fresh flight student. His instructor had always joked that if Tyren ever was deployed, the young pilot wouldn’t be done with his pre-flight inspections before the battle was over. Of course, that was before the start of the war a few months earlier, but seemingly ages ago.

Finishing up the necessary checks from inside the cockpit, Tyren deployed all of the fighters flaps and slats, for outside inspection. Climbing from the cockpit, the commander began to inspect the spacecraft’s exterior. “Landing struts, extended, no fluids leaking from the underside, plasma ports free of debris, flaps, good condition, no blockage, slats, deployed, no damage. Engines, clear.” Tyren opened the fueling port, readying it for the deck crew members, when he heard a shout from across the fighter bay.

“Hey, Tyren! I guess they must be really desperate, huh? Sending up a couple of screwballs like me and you, together none the less!”

Tyren let out a hearty laugh, as his wingman Kohath Carmi approached from the opposite entrance.

“Yeah, well whatever happens, I’m telling the Admiral that it was your fault, you big bantha!”

Kohath was always lightening the mood wherever he went. “You never know, we might even shoot something down, I guess you’ll have to tell the Admiral that was my fault, eh?”

Tyren replied, “I don’t think so, not today. We’re just going to be scouting deep space around the orbit of Fodor, no reports that the Mandalorians have advanced that far yet.”

“Still, keep your eyes open, okay buddy? I’d hate to have to take all the medals of valor and glory for myself if you get shot down.”

“Get to your fighter, hotshot. If we aren’t on schedule, the Admiral is going to ground you for the duration of your career!”

Despite the recent Mandalorian advances, Tyren didn’t think that there should be anything to worry about on their particular route of flight. Still, as Kohath pointed out, it did not hurt to be careful, a fact that he needed to remember as he faced the harsh reality of an all-out war. And, according to Mandalorian philosophy, any pilot that didn’t go down with his stricken craft was a coward, unfit to live. But, Tyren let these thoughts pass from his head and continued with his preparation. Just as he finished with the exterior inspection of his spacecraft, the armament crew began to file his direction, carting racks full of various munitions, ranging from proton torpedoes to Diamond-Boron missiles. Tyren checked the weapons bays on his craft as the coverall-clad servicemen began to swarm his and Kohath’s fighters. The armament officer approached, signaling Tyren.

“What will it be today, sir?”

“I’m going to have to go light today, because of the long hyperspace jump, so I think I’ll take a full charge on both of the laser cannons, one Streaker missile, and two proton torpedoes… Wait, scratch that. Let’s go three-quarter charge on the cannons, three Streakers and one proton torpedo.”

“Excellent choice, sir, we’ll have those all tucked in there,” the officer replied as he began filling out the requisition forms. The crewmen began to expertly activate and place the specified weapons in the fighter’s small weapons bays. Tyren glanced as two servicemen clicked the attachment bolts that secured the Streaker missiles inside. The craft had to be balanced carefully, especially for hyperspace, so no precautions were spared in mounting the weapons. After all three missiles and the one torpedo were in place, Tyren activated the switch to close the bays. Instantly, the deck crew stretched out the fueling hoses, and began connecting to the fueling receptacle. As the fuel was being pumped, Tyren began to suit up. After zipping up his flight suit top, he donned the ejection harness that wrapped around his waist and had straps for his legs. Ensuring that each buckle was secure, and that each strap was firm, the commander then brought out his survival vest. Kneeling, he checked to be sure that every component was in its place. Food capsules, water tablets, emergency locater, flare pistol, survival knife, camouflage face paint, aqua rebreather. He had also added a few extra items of his own, including the WKL-55 compact blaster pistol that he favored.

As the preparation for the mission was beginning to wind down, Tyren’s head shifted to the mission ahead. He had quickly discovered that when flying at the speed of light, it often helped to stay one step ahead. It seemed to be a straightforward mission, with a very similar objective to the ones that he had been flying during the course of the war so far. “Hyperspace to the outer quadrant around Fondor, scan for any unusual hyperspace or sublight activity, two orbits of the planet, low level reconnaissance if requested.” It all should take under three hours.

Most of the deck crew had moved on to other tasks, so Tyren’s fighter now stood almost alone in its little corner. Tyren pulled himself up on top of the wing, and stood over the cockpit. With his boots planted firmly on the spacecraft, he could see most of the fighter bay. Tyren’s concentration had allowed him to tune out most of the noise and activity that was going on in the rest of the hangar, but now he allowed himself to take it all in, and remember that he was part of something much bigger. Turning back to the task at hand, Tyren settled himself into the fighter’s seat, and began strapping in. The straps made a slight whir as he tightened them around his body. He plugged his oxygen cord into the slot, and pulled his fireproof gloves over his hands. Tyren lifted his helmet from the top of the center console, and slipped it on his head. Cocking his head to one side, the commander clipped the strap on, and adjusted the microphone. Looking over at his wingman, he saw that Kohath was doing the same. Tyren activated the canopy lever, and the glossy canopy smoothly closed down, and locked with a hiss. Switching on the comm system, Tyren checked in with Kohath.

“Viper Leader to Viper One, do you copy?”

Kohath was all business now.

“Roger Viper Lead. All systems go.”

His fingers busy fiddling with the avionics, Tyren activated the control frequency.

“Viper Lead to control, Viper flight is standing by, ready to go.”

The control station atop the cruiser reported back, “Copy Viper Leader, authorized for takeoff. Once clear of the ship, vector to 137 and standby.”

“Roger, control.”

Tyren switched his landing light on and off to signal that he was taking off. A soft alarm sounded routinely as the AX-18 began to rise. Applying power, the thrusters fired and cast a blue glow on the metal floor underneath. Tyren pushed the control column to the neutral position to hover the spacecraft, and then began to transition to forward flight. The small fighter edged its way forward to the blue force field that held the air inside the fighter bay. Breathing lightly in the pressurized atmosphere, Tyren glanced up as his fighter accelerated away from the hangar. As always, he was amazed at the beauty of space. Millions of stars from all parts of the universe shown down on him. Dense nebulae colored the distance, with an almost eerie hue. After taking a deep breath, Tyren felt the slight chill that seemed to always come while in flight. Remembering his orders, Tyren began to circle around to their jump site, Kohath forming up beside him. The twin fighters glided low over the cruiser, just skimming meters above the metallic hull. Engines thrumming, they banked hard to the left, and increased their pitch rapidly, reaching their jump point. Idling the power, Tyren contacted the control center once more.

“Liberty control, Viper flight is at hyperspace jump point, ready for light speed.”

“Viper flight, commence jump, maintain long-range communication.”

“Roger control, Viper flight jumping.”

Drawing up the hyperspace coordinates, Tyren eased the lever forward. He felt the unmistakable force of the intense acceleration as his back dug into the seat. His fighter’s glossy canopy shone with the appearance of the stars that were quickly becoming only streaks flashing by. The engines peaked at a dismal roar, and then subsided slightly.

With a flash, the two fighters disappeared into the distant stars.


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Last edited by Sithspecter; 08-23-2011 at 10:18 PM.
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Old 08-17-2011, 11:27 PM   #2
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Old 08-23-2011, 12:18 AM   #3
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Are you going to continue this story? Not only is it a compelling beginning, but you are a master at explaining what goes on when it comes to fighter craft and how they operate!
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:24 PM   #4
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Chapter Two: Too Easy

Tyren felt a smile come over his face as the fighters settled into hyperspace. How often he had dreamed as a boy of these moments, flying as fast as a particle of light, nothing able to catch him. But, thoughts of his childhood were quickly interrupted.

“Viper one to Viper lead, copy,” Kohath called to Tyren.

“Go ahead Viper one.”

“We’re picking up a small meteor shower in sector 2-0, so I’m going to vector us a little farther away. It’ll take us longer to get in orbit, but we’ll be able to check a larger area.”

“Sounds good, I’ll call it in.”

Switching to their long range frequency, Tyren keyed the mike.

“Liberty control, Viper flight would like to change destination from sector 2-1 to sector 3-3, due to a small meteor shower.”

“Roger, Viper. Destination change authorized, proceed as requested.”

Changing the necessary coordinates, the two fighters continued to blaze through hyperspace, closing in on their destination.

“Looks like we’re almost there. Viper one, once we are out of hyperspace, stick to me as tight as you can.”

“Roger, will do.”

The two fighters dropped out of hyperspace, and settled into real space with a slight bang. Nosing up, they swiftly moved toward the distant planet. Small particles of dust and debris swept occasionally over the fighters.

“Hmm… I’m getting some strange readings from the meteor shower up ahead, want to check it out?”

Tyren replied, “Right, I’m getting a few gargled blips on the scanners also, let’s navigate through sector 2 and take a look.”

The nimble starfighters smoothly banked to the left, and began a tight spiral toward their query. Easing out of the quick maneuver, the white and red spacecraft righted and started to enter the meteor shower. Small meteors and other space debris littered the area. Tyren felt several bumps buffet his starfighter as a few of the smaller rocks impacted on his hull. Scanning into the distance, he was able to make out a larger asteroid.

“Kohath, are you seeing that asteriod?”

“Yeah, I can’t understand that. It’s not on the charts, and we didn’t pick up anything on the short range scanner.”

“Keep your eyes out, I don’t like this.”

Something felt wrong to Tyren. An asteroid of this size should have been charted, especially given its proximity to the planet. And the scanner should have been able to pick it up.

“I’m going to call this in,” Tyren said grimly, keying the mic for long range comm. “Liberty, we’ve got visual on a--”

Tyren was cut short as a series of quick blasts shook his fighter.

“We’ve got bogeys, let’s split!”

Tyren activated the thrusters instantly, sending his fighter sharply right as he rolled upside-down. Despite the current danger, his body felt an incredible thrill as he preformed the maneuver. With a steady hand on the controls, Tyren’s head turned swiftly to catch a glimpse of their pursuer. He saw an older, but heavily modified Sullustian fighter scream overhead. “We’ve got him, no problem,” Tyren though to himself.

Then, the commander immediately cursed under his breath. Three more of the same type of craft whizzed by him, one coming so close that it rattled the small Incom fighter.

“Liberty Control, we’ve got pirates! Four fighter craft on scopes, bearing four-one-zero,” Tyren spoke sternly into the com, accelerating to attack speed.

Now, the first fighter that had passed the Republic pilots was turning back to attack again.

Tyren kept his eye on the enemy fighter as he swung hard right on the control column, flinging the spacecraft inverted, then pulling back forcefully to bring his AX-18 behind the other craft.

“Viper flight, we’re not picking up any readings from your sector, w-” The transmission quickly turned to gargled gibberish.

“What the--? Viper two, they’re blocking our com, we’ll just have to do what we can here.”

“You’ve got one on your tail, Viper Lead!” Kohath rasped into the com.

Tyren’s head instantly swiveled to the rear. One of the three fighters had broken off and was dangerously close to being in range. Laser blasts lit up the dark of space with bright red. Tyren instantly swung the craft down, the force of the maneuver pushing him up against the straps that held him in. He winced as the harness dug into his body, but had no time to feel the pain. Deploying all the slats and flaps, his fighter immediately slowed.

Not anticipating this, the other pilot shot right past the Republic fighter. Within an instant, the commander had already retracted the airfoils and was now the hunter.

But the pirate wasn’t going to give him an easy time. Weaving and ducking through the vast expanse around the planet, the enemy fighter proved to be a difficult target.

Tyren kept with the Sullustian fighter, twisting and rolling through the turns with even more agility. His targeting computer now had a lock on the other craft. Pressing a button on the control column, Tyren felt a slight jolt as the bay of his craft opened, and deployed one of his Streaker missiles. The missile deployed below the Republic fighter, gliding for a second, then igniting with a brilliant blue glow. The trademark blue streak formed behind the projectile as it sped toward its target with a whoosh.

The evading craft was simply not agile or well equipped to avoid the Streaker. Within seconds, the missile impacted the older ship, blossoming into a tremendous explosion that sent debris flying every direction.

“WOOHOO! Good kill Viper Lead!” Kohath congratulated Tyren over the com.

“C’mon, let’s get the rest of these pirates.”

While Tyren had been locked in combat with the previous pirate, Kohath had managed to split up the enemy formation, making it much easier for the well trained Republic pilots to pursue the bogeys.

“Right, I’ll go in first, stay on my wing and keep them off my six.” Kohath requested.

“Will do, you should be clear.”

The twin Republic fighters formed up in close proximity, and swept towards the pirates, now in disarray. The crimson striped spacecraft roared through the outer sector of the system, now both seeming to form one single unit, parts of the same being. As they passed perpendicular to the lower pirate ship, Kohath let out a burst of laser fire.

The green laser fire riddled the larger, older fighter. Without shields, it didn’t stand much of a chance. Turning slowly, and smoking heavily, the spacecraft began to accelerate towards the planet.

“Let him go, he can’t do much of anything in that scrap heap anymore.” Tyren suggested.

“Yes sir, he wouldn’t even be able to pay a Jawa to take that thing off his hands.” Kohath replied. “Now, let’s go get the other two.”

In unison, the two fighters swept upward, and streaked to where the remaining pirates were.

“Looks like they’re hiding on the other side of that asteroid we saw earlier.” Tyren noted. “We’ll sweep low over the surface to keep us off of their sensors.”

Changing course, Tyren mashed the pedal, and swung the control column downward and to the left. Pulling up his status on the multifunction display, Tyren did a quick run-through of the damage to his fighter. “Engines at 94%, hull at 87%, all systems good.” His shields had protected him from most of the damage, but not all. Still, not a bad turnout for destroying one bogey, and disabling another.

The asteroid loomed ahead. It had seemed so much smaller further away, but now the craggy brown rock dominated Tyren’s field of vision. He could make out massive craters and jagged edges of the giant thing. Pulling level in relation to the asteroid’s surface, the two Republic craft sped, racing just meters above the surface.

“Time to have some fun!” Kohath enthused as they approached the other side.

“Keep your eyes out,” Tyren warned. “They could have something unexpected for us.”

The two remaining pirate fighters came into view, seemingly idling.

“They’re preparing to jump, we scared them away!” Tyren rejoiced.

The Republic fighters slowed their pace, and banked slowly to get a better view. With an incredible bang, the two pirate ships accelerated and disappeared from the system.

It was over. The two Republic officers’ first space combat. Tyren reviewed the battle in his head. Pirates outside of normal hyperspace routes, the strange uncharted asteroid, and a transmission blockage. Still many questions to be answered, and the Republic would probably send a few more ships to investigate.

Still, they pair had not completed their primary reconnaissance mission, and needed to do so.

“Viper flight to Liberty Control, do you copy?” Tyren checked to see if the transmission was still blocked.

“Viper flight, what just happened? We lost all contact.” Came the reply.

“I’m not sure, Control. We ran into a few pirate fighters, but they didn’t prove to be a problem. We’ve also come across an uncharted asteroid in orbit.”

“Roger Viper flight, continue with your original mission. We’ll discuss details post-flight. If you encounter anything else out of the ordinary, report it at once.”

“Will do, Control.” Tyren replied. “Okay, you heard the boss, let’s finish checking out this sector.”

Three orbits and two atmospheric passes later, the Republic pilots were ready to head home.

“Sure had a time this flight, huh?” Kohath inquired.

“Yeah, we did real well today.”

“Naw, it wasn’t bad at all, it was almost too easy.”

Once again, lined up and poised to jump into hyperspace, the two sleek Republic craft thrummed with activity. Engines blazing, they sped off into the distance, back to the Liberty.

Last edited by Sithspecter; 08-24-2011 at 03:20 PM.
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Old 08-24-2011, 03:14 PM   #5
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I'm definitely suspecting more trouble ahead--meaning more than pirates are on the uncharted asteroid! By the way, the construction of this sentence part is awkward:

"...sending his fighter sharply right as he rolled inverted."

I myself would say "rolled to an inverted position" or "rolled upside-down", but otherwise, this tale is intriguing me more and more! Keep it coming, because it's a welcome addition to the CEC.
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Old 09-04-2011, 10:31 PM   #6
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Chapter Three: Rest and Relaxation

“…And after we had completed our intended mission, we returned to the Liberty,” Tyren stated, finishing his debriefing.

Standing at the front of the small cabin on the Liberty, the pilot created a strange contrast with his audience. Tyren was still in flight dress, jumpsuit, harness, and survival gear. His face was dirty from the battle, and his hair was a mess. Opposite him sat several officers, including one army intelligence officer, all in their standard issue dress uniforms, brass buckles shining brightly under the harsh glowlights.

“So, did these fighters have any distinguishing markings?” One particular Navy captain inquired.

“No sir, not that we could detect. They were all older models, and looked like they had been modified. From what we have gathered, they were a derivative of the S-471 starfighter, possibly stolen.”

“Well, we haven’t had any reports of pirates anywhere near that system. Plus, it’s been a long time since we’ve had any trouble with them. Usually at the first sign of a Republic ship, they surrender. I don’t like this, maybe the Mandalorian advances are making them restless,” the Captain observed.

The army intelligence officer spoke up, “Actually, part of our spy network reported about a month ago that the pirates were scouting for new locations to start smuggling operations in the Mid-Rim. We’ve been expecting some activity in the quadrant, we just haven’t been sure where.”

The army officer continued, “As for the asteroid, we’ve encountered several such in the past few years. Right now, the subject is under investigation. All that I can tell you is that there is something old in there, and we’re not exactly sure what it is. It is also made of a seemingly alien composite, which explains why you weren’t able to detect it.”

Turning to an admiral, the intelligence officer spoke again, “Sir, I am going to request that you send a contingent of escorts to that location. I know that you are desperate for ships, especially closer to the Outer Rim, and that you have few to spare. But, this is of great importance. We need to attain some way of tracking that asteroid before we can set up a full scale investigation.”

The silver-haired admiral stroked his short beard in thought before speaking.
“Officer Longstar, you and your department have not given the fleet any indication of what you knew about this system, and its activity. What do you think would have happened to our pilots had we sent them unknowingly to scout a dense pirate base?”

The gaunt intelligence officer lowered his head slightly, and said nothing.

The admiral spoke again, “I will grant you a contingent of five ships at your disposal for one week. After that period, they will return to the Liberty, understood?”

“Yes sir, we’ll have our support ready by then, thank you sir.”

Turning to the pilots, the admiral spoke once more, “K’Aldrin and Carmi, good work. You gentlemen were outnumbered, and in unfamiliar territory. Yet still you managed to outgun the enemy. I’ll be sure that you both get commended.”

“Thank you, sir.” The men said in unison, standing to attention and giving a crisp salute.

“At ease,” The admiral said, returning the gesture. “Get some rest, you’ve earned it.”

The pilots wearily trudged out of the cabin, eager to get some down time. Turning into the hall, they heard the door shut behind them with a hiss. But that didn’t completely conceal the raised voices that they could perceive behind it.

“Whew, I thought we had bought it for sure, all that brass in there, I’m surprised that we got away.” Kohath broke the silence.

“Definitely,” Tyren replied with a slight smile. “It’ll be a sad day if I ever get promoted up out of flight duty, I’ll be the grumpiest senior officer you ever saw.”

“I don’t know, at the Academy, there were a plenty of angry officers. Especially the time that I got the trainer stuck outside the cantina.”

Kohath and Tyren both broke into laughter, remembering the incident.

“Oh yes, that’s right, I had almost forgotten,” Tyren recalled “You wanted to impress that Twi-lek dancer, and parked that ship right in the speeder parking. And then when you went to leave, the engines wouldn’t start!”

Kohath chimed in, “Yeah, then I got chewed out by the alien who couldn’t speak a word of Basic, he couldn’t back his speeder out!”

Tyren was glad to think back to old times at the Academy. He and Kohath had been so full of pride and ambition, accepted to one of the Republic’s most prestigious institutions, next to the Jedi Order, of course. They had been a dashing duo, especially in their dress uniforms that they had always used to impress the ladies. It all seemed so long ago, a part of him wanted it back. But at the time, the Academy was just a stepping stone to becoming a fleet pilot. How wrong Tyren was, the Academy was where he made so many friends, and where he became a man. Tyren felt a slight regret, wishing he had made more of it, and enjoyed it more while he was there.

The pair continued down the long hallway, passing several crewmen, and a few pesky little droids that constantly swarmed the ship.

“Good times, right Kohath?”

“Oh, don’t get all sentimental on me Tyren, I’m planning on having plenty more, as long as you don’t spoil my fun.”

Tyren chuckled again. He was lucky to have Kohath as a wingman.

“Right, as long as I get to do the laughing, and you are the one being laughed at.”

“Sounds doable to me.”

Reaching the elevator, Tyren pressed the access code for the level. A distant humming sounded, signifying that the elevator was on the way.

“Okay, Kohath, I’m going to my quarters, checking duties for tomorrow and hitting the sack.”

Kohath’s cabin was in a different part of the ship, slightly closer to the main hangar.

“Alright, Tyren. Hey, we did good today, thanks for watching my back.”

“Yeah, Kohath, I’ve always got your back, and I know you’ve got mine. There aren’t any Mandalorians in the galaxy that stand a chance against us.”

The elevator door opened, and a senior officer and a lieutenant exited. Tyren stepped in, joining a few others that were already standing in the small compartment. Kohath gave a quick salute as he turned down the hallway, and Tyren did the same.

As the elevator began its trip upwards, Tyren checked his chrono and groaned. He’d been awake almost 20 hours. That and the stress of what he’d been through today had exhausted the commander. He suddenly felt extremely drained, and his eyes began to droop. An early breakfast tomorrow would probably be skipped in favor of a few minutes of extra sleep.

The elevator door opened on his level, and Tyren stepped out. Carrying his flight bag and gear, all he could think about was lying down and going to sleep. Reaching his cabin, he waved his ID at the sensor. The small door slid open, giving Tyren access to his room. His cabin was small, but adequate. It had a small desk, a bunk, and a tiny closet for his wardrobe. It was sparsely decorated, with only a few flight related items dotted across the room.

Tyren closed the door, and dropped his flight gear to the floor. It could wait until tomorrow. Removing his flight suit, he swiftly but wearily undressed. Tyren sat down on his bunk, and removed his fire-retardant socks. Then, he swung his legs up onto the bed, and fell back.

“Ahh, finally!” He said, relief in his voice.

He closed his eyes.

And opened them again.

With a loud sight, he slowly stood up out of the bed, and grabbed his datapad. Tyren had forgotten to check the roster for tomorrow. Jumping back into his bunk, Tyren turned on the datapad. Opening the duty roster, Tyren saw his and Kohath’s names on the duty roster for the escort flight the next day. Rolling over, Tyren reached and grabbed his comlink from his flight bag.

“Ensign Carmi!” He barked.

“Yeah, boss?”

“You better be ready to fly tomorrow, we’ve got escort duty back to Fondor.”

“Actually, the CO just pulled us from escort duty. We’re not on the roster tomorrow, check the latest revision.” Kohath explained.

“Oh, you are right.” Tyren confirmed, spotting the newer report. “Sorry to bother you, good night!”

“Technically, it’s morning…” Kohath started.

“I don’t want to hear it,” Tyren replied groggily as he turned off the comlink.

Hitting the glowlights, Tyren settled back into his bunk, relieved that they would not have to fly the next day, or rather later in the current day.

Tyren was quickly asleep, gently snoring, and getting some well deserved rest.

However, before he knew it, morning had come, and it was time to rise again. Swinging out of bed, Tyren felt very refreshed. Gathering up his gear off the floor, he put his things back in his locker where they belonged. Throwing up his arms in a stretch, Tyren yawned involuntarily. Then, he pulled on a shirt and a pair of shorts, and headed for the showers on his level.

Stepping inside the sterile, white shower, Tyren turned on the hot, clean water. The flow soothed his skin, and he relished in it for a few minutes. Then, he brought out his razor, and began to shave. Once his face was smooth, he continued bathing. After he had finished, Tyren reluctantly stepped out of the steamy shower, and returned to his cabin. Looking down at his chrono, he determined that he did have enough time to make it to breakfast.

Tyren opened his locker, and pulled out a fresh flight suit. Although he was not scheduled to fly that day, pilots were encouraged to be prepared to fly their ships at a moment’s notice.

Flipping his comlink on, Tyren called Kohath to see if the two could eat together.

“Kohath, ready for some breakfast?”

“Way ahead of you Tyren, I’m on my way there now.”

Even though the food on the Liberty was not the best, Tyren was hungry, and his body needed the energy. He wasted no time in making his way to the mess hall. Kohath met him at the elevator.

“C’mon, Tyren. You’re slacking now, used to you were the one always getting me out of bed.”

“Save it Kohath, let’s get some food before it’s all gone.”

The two pilots strode over to the serving line, both grabbing a small tray. Most of the men on the ship had either already eaten or decided not to, so the line was relatively short.

“Kohath, we should update our astrogation charts on our fighters today. The old charts should still be valid for about a week, but--”

Tyren was cut short as a piercing alarm sounded. The whole level was cast in an amber hue as red lights flashed on and off.

“ALL HANDS TO THE FLIGHT DECK!!” a voice shouted sternly over the intercom.

Two grey trays clattered to the floor as Kohath and Tyren sped toward the hangar.


Last edited by Sithspecter; 09-05-2011 at 02:49 PM.
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Old 09-05-2011, 03:09 PM   #7
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Poor Tyren! "If it ain't one thing, it's another..." Please keep it up, because I haven't been this addicted to a story in a LONG time.
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Old 09-05-2011, 07:45 PM   #8
Big things are coming...
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I'm glad that somebody enjoys this, I'm having lots of fun writing this, it's a kind of a new perspective on the Mandalorian Wars, just about everything else is from the point of view of the Jedi or the Mandalorians.

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Old 09-06-2011, 09:47 PM   #9
Big things are coming...
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Chapter Four: Regret

Tyren’s adrenaline pumped as he sprinted down the long hallway. His mouth gulped the sterile air as he pushed his body. Kohath was slightly ahead of him, he’d always been in better shape than Tyren. But they weren’t the only ones running. Hundreds of crew members had appeared at the sound of the alarm. The hallway was flooded with men, some half-naked, others pulling on clothes as they ran.

Right now, Tyren wasn’t even concerned with what was happening, his only mission was to get to the hangar as fast as he could. The massive flow of men in the hallway made a tremendous noise, like a herd of Iriaz on the run. The noise was only dwarfed by the constant scream of the alarm, as the red lights continued to flash.

The frenzy continued forward, and came to an intersection in the hallway. Most of the crew members continued to the right, which led to the closest entrance to the hangar. Kohath, Tyren, and several others turned to the left.

‘A longer distance,’ Tyren thought, ‘But more quickly traversed without the crowd.’

A shockwave and an ear shattering explosion erupted from the direction of the hangar, flinging men against the walls and the floor. Tyren felt his breath disappear as his body slammed into the floor. Struggling to breathe, Tyren swung himself back upright. Kohath was in the process of getting up as well. Tyren extended his hand to Kohath, who grasped it firmly and pulled himself up. They both continued running without a word.

Turning the corner, Tyren could now see inside the hangar. It was a scene of pure chaos. He could make out the remains of a pitted AX-18 in the center, and one beside it violently burning, orange flames spurting from several locations. The firefighters were already there, trying to keep the blaze from spreading to other fighters. Mechanics and other crew members dashed about, attempting to wheel the other spacecraft away from the blaze.

Tyren paused involuntarily, taken aback by the disastrous scene. Gathering his senses, he rushed over to a group of men struggling to push an AX-18 away from the fire. Taking a position under the right stabilizer, he prepared to push with all his might. Several other men also joined in.

“1...2...3...LIFT!” Came the command.

Tyren strained under the weight of the heavy fighter. He felt it move slightly, then lift onto the hover stands used for moving the fighters around the flight deck.

“CLEAR!” yelled a maintenance officer, then activated the controls to move the spacecraft to another location.
Looking around, Tyren saw Kohath helping some firefighters control their high pressure hose. Immediately, Tyren sprinted over to them, and maintained a fast grip on the bucking hose.

After about an hour of battling the blazes, things were finally beginning to return to normal in the hangar. The remains of the exploded AX-18 had been removed, and the other burned out fighter had been moved to be inspected and repaired. Still, the flight deck was a snarl of activity. Mechanics were checking spacecraft near the incident to ensure they were airworthy, multiple clean-up crews were scrubbing the affected areas to remove the char from the surfaces, and many fighters were being repositioned to be deployed. Also, several investigators were present, probing anything and everything that was involved with the incident.

Tyren and Kohath collapsed in a corner of the hangar, exhausted. Their flight suits were heavily stained with ash, fuel, and fire retardant, and their faces were streaked with black. The men had endured more than their share of excitement within the past 24 hours. And it didn’t help that they had missed breakfast.

“I don’t even know what to say Tyren,” Kohath said somberly. “I can’t believe that Crayx is gone.”

The words stung Tyren’s core. Crayx Fleir had graduated from the Academy just a year earlier than he and Kohath. They had never really been friends with Crayx, just acquaintances. Crayx had always seemed really quiet, and all business. Tyren’s mind initially rejected the thought.

“What? Crayx wasn’t…” Tyren started, and paused.

“Tyren, Crayx was in that cratered fighter today. The other ship that burned was from Squadron II. A proton torpedo was somehow activated and, well, Crayx didn’t have time to get out of his ship.” Kohath said with pain in his voice.

‘Not Crayx. Not tall, quiet Crayx. The guy who was always so responsible,’ Tyren thought silently. A deep wave of regret hit Tyren. Crayx had always seemed to have trouble making friends. Images of Crayx flashed through Tyren’s mind.

Tyren and Kohath sat, looking at the floor for several minutes, reflecting.

“You know, Kohath,” Tyren said, breaking the silence. “We should have gotten to know that guy better.”

“Yeah,” Kohath replied, deep in thought.

Their meditation was interrupted by a dispatch officer who approached quietly.

“K’Aldrin and Carmi?” He asked.
The pair stood up slowly.

“Yes sir?” Tyren and Kohath replied.

“You men have been bumped back up on to the flight roster for today. I hate to tell you on such short notice, and with the events today, but orders are orders.”

The officer paused, and took a deep breath. “You are to be ready to fly with Ghost squadron at 1400 hours.”

Looking down at the roster on a data pad, the officer pointed to Tyren. “Commander, you will be flying 1835, and Ensign Carmi, you will be in 1798.”

“Yes sir, we’ll be ready. What is the mission?” Tyren inquired.

“It’ll be the escort to Fondor that you got pulled from last night. We’ve had…well…two pilots who aren’t going to be able to fly mission anymore.” The officer changed the subject. “I know you men must be exhausted from yesterday and today, go get some chow. I’ll get the crew to do the pre-flight and update your charts.”

“Thank you, Sir.” Tyren said. “We really appreciate it.”

All three saluted, and went their separate ways.

Tyren and Kohath headed to the nearest exit. Now, many of the crewmembers went back to their previous tasks, or if they were of duty, went to the mess hall or to sleep.

Shuffling down the hallway to the mess hall, Kohath spoke up.

“I don’t think that I’ve flown a ship two days in a row since flight school.”

“I know. But then again, we haven’t been in a sector with much activity either. I guess that’s changing.”

Tyren continued, a new resolve in his voice.

“All right, we’re going to get something to eat, clean up some, grab our flight gear, and head to the map room. We need to get as much information as we can about the flight today. I’d also like you to go ahead and coordinate with Captain Mize, he’s going to be our flight leader today.”

“Sounds like a plan.” Kohath replied. “We should also plan our weapons load out, and calculate our fuel burn.”

Reaching the mess hall once more, the two pilots filed into the growing line of sweaty, dirty crewmen. They waited their turn with minimal conversation, and ate in silence. Upon finishing, they returned their trays to the designated area, and began their walk back to their quarters.

Tyren stopped at the elevator, scanning his pass.

“Okay, Kohath. I’ll see you in 30 minutes.”

“Right, don’t be late.” Kohath said with a forced smile before turning to continue down the hall.

The elevator opened and Tyren stepped in. To his surprise, it was empty. He entered his level in the entry pad, and the elevator whisked upwards. It began to decelerate, then stopped. The door opened with a hiss, and Tyren exited. He briskly walked to his cabin, and removed his flight suit, picked up his shower bag, and headed back to the showers.

‘At least I’ll get to enjoy another shower today,’ he thought to himself, turning on the warm water. Tyren thought back to the community showers at the Academy, and smiled. What a strange way to bond with the other guys. The upper classmen had always given the freshman a rough initiation in the large shower. Tyren had endured it for his first two years, and then learned to enjoy it as an upper classman himself. Kohath had relished it from the start. Tyren rememberd Crayx had never seemed comfortable on the rare occasion that Tyren had seen him in the group shower room.

Crayx… Why couldn’t Tyren take his mind off the guy? A sinking feeling came over Tyren once again. Tyren began to realize the transition and sacrifice that had taken place at the Academy. Boys became men. Men who had to be ready to give their lives for the Republic.

Tyren sighed, and shook his head, flinging water inside the confined shower. He stepped out, dried off, and continued back to his quarters. Pulling on yet another earth green flight suit, he gathered his flight gear, and headed back to the elevator.

Kohath was waiting at the bottom. He was twirling his flamboyantly decorated flight helmed in his hands.

“Captain Mize just informed me that we’re moving the timetable up two hours. We’re to report to the briefing at once.” Kohath informed Tyren.

“The deck crew should have our fighters just about prepared. We’re not going to be able to check the astrogation charts today, but as long as one of the other guys has made sure its flyable, we should be okay.” Looking at his chrono, Tyren continued. “Get the deck officer on the comlink and let him know that we’ll both take standard payload, and the same fuel as the rest of Ghost squadron.”

Kohath did as the pair quickly strode down the hallway. Nearing the briefing room, Tyren checked to be sure all his gear was in order. Captain Mize had a reputation for being a stickler about almost everything.

Entering the small, dark room, Tyren could see the three other pilots gathered around a holo-map of the quadrant around Fondor. Captain Mize, a gaunt, steely twi-lek, was bent forward in thought. As Kohath and Tyren approached, he straightened, crossing his arms.

“I’m glad you gentlemen could make it. I know this was short notice, but let’s try to be on time, alright?”

“Yes, sir!” The pair returned.

The twi-lek continued, “I supposed you’ve been given the basic mission overview. You won’t need to know much more than that, just stick close to us, and don’t do anything stupid. This whole operation has been thrown together very quickly, that idiot intelligence officer won’t hardly tell us anything about the whole thing. Are your fighters ready to go?”

“Yes sir, they are. We’ve had the deck crew get them prepped and fueled, we’ll just have to do the last pre-flight checks before takeoff.” Tyren said.

“Good, at least we know you can do something right.”

The captain was a seasoned veteran, with 17 air to air kills. Ghost squadron, one of the Republic’s foremost forces in recent pirate interdiction, had collectively downed or deactivated over 200 ships. Tyren and Kohath’s escapade the day before did not impress them.

Pointing to the male human pilot, Mize continued. “This is Commander Rand Toval, and that is Gaina Le’kk.”

Tyren hadn’t noticed that the other pilot was a female. Her steely blue eyes stared through the newcomers with complete indifference.

“Now that Crayx is gone, looks like you’ll be part of the squadron. Not that I want you, Crayx was one ace pilot, I’d rather have him than both of you punks any day.”

Mize, who was still frowning, spoke again, “Okay, K’Alrdin and Carmi, go ahead and get to your fighters, and get those last checks done. I want both of you to be ready by the time we get to the hanger. We‘ll get the astrogation charts and general reports for the sector.”

“Yes, sir!”

The pair stood at attention, and saluted.

Mize returned their salute with an impatient grunt.

The pair briskly walked out, and headed toward the hangar.

Tyren was too busy to be angry with the Commander’s attitude towards them. He brooded over it for a few seconds, then let it go. Mize was probably plenty upset over Crayx’s death, and this was the way he was expressing it.

Tyren looked over at Kohath, with a weak smile.

“Ready to go, boss?” Kohath queried.

“You bet, Kohath,” Tyren’s voice calm, “Let’s do this thing.”


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Old 09-07-2011, 12:34 AM   #10
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This is not only sad, but frustrating. If I were Tyren and Kohath, I'd work extra hard to show them what I'd got! As for Crayx? I get the feeling there's something more than just simple regret at a comrade's death. More, please!
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