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Squadron Legacy, Chapter 5
Author's note: I have changed the AX-18 to the Aurek fighter. I wasn't aware of the name of it initially, so I made something up. But this should be more canonically correct. Also, I will move the location of the quarters closer to the flight deck, upon machievelli's suggestion, but that is irrelevant in this chapter.
Chapter Five: Initiation
Kohath and Tyren had just finished their pre-flight checks as Mize, Toval, and Le’kk appeared at the hangar entry. The trio strode steadily over the steel hangar floor, gaunt, tall and cold. Mize’s eves were slightly squinted, and his face gave a disapproving look to all. It seemed that almost everything in the hangar was below his attention.
The trio split upon reaching their row of fighters, each handing their flight bag to the crew chief for the particular fighter. With extreme efficiency, all three of the seasoned pilots breezed through their checklists. Through a series of recessed footholds, the green clad individuals slid into their cockpits. Crewmen scrambled to make the final adjustment to the Aurek fighters; removing covers, polishing the cannons, and cleaning the canopy for the umpteenth time.
Le’kk was completely at home in the cockpit. Her slender form fit perfectly, as she reached to receive her flight helmet from the crew chief. Slipping it on and tightening the strap, she gave the crewman a thumb up as he cleared the spacecraft.
Mize and Toval were already helmeted and strapped in, their fingers a blur. They rapidly were punching in coordinates, readying systems, and setting up displays. Tyren was glad that he and Kohath had been given a head start.
Signaling that his fighter was ready to go, Tyren closed the canopy. Kohath quickly followed suit.
Tyren looked over toward the other three fighters. Their shiny glass canopies lowered simultaneously.
With a few sharp gestures from Mize, the deck crew cleared the area, and a signal officer gave him a crisp salute.
“Okay, can you kids hear me?” Mize queried, obviously addressing Kohath and Tyren.
“Yes sir, loud and clear.” Tyren said quickly.
“Same here sir.” Kohath replied.
“At least they’re on the right frequency.” Mize said not-so-under-his-breath.
Continuing on, Mize deftly acquired the necessary clearances to take off. Then, he activated his thrusters and his Aurek rose off the ground. His fighter then scooted forward, and out of the hangar. Le’kk and Toval quickly followed suit. Tyren went out fourth, and Kohath brought up the rear.
Tyren was amazed at the trio’s flying ability. As soon as they had exited the hangar, Mize led the group in a steep, banked climb that brought them right to their jump off point. Leveling off, the group idled for a second.
Mize’s grating voice came through the mike once again. “Le’kk, you take Carmi. Toval, I want you to take K’Aldrin. Carmi, K’Aldrin, you better stick to them. I cannot stand loose formations. ”
Tyren would have much rather have Kohath as a wingman, but conformed to the orders by edging his fighter to an echelon on Toval. Kohath quickly did the same.
“All right, Halo squadron Chela-class fighters are still in orbit around Fondor. The plan is to rendezvous with them and assess the situation before they jump back. Then, we’re going to fly an alert patrol for a few hours. Go ahead and arm your cannons, I’m not taking any chances on this run.”
The orders were mostly for the benefit of Tyren and Kohath, as the others had already done this, out of experience.
Vectoring in the final hyperspace coordinates, Mize gave the order to jump into lightspeed.
One by one, the Aurek fighters abruptly became bright specks in the distance.
Arriving at the intended location, the flight lurched down to sub-light speed. Picking up the bombers in the distance, Mize gave a simple, “Follow me.”
Tyren kept his eyes glued to Toval’s ship. Tyren felt an unmistakable exhilaration as the flight banked and whirled upside-down, and gracefully rushed through space. The other fighter’s single engine cast a soft glow on his cockpit, and in a glorious moment, Tyren saw the system’s sun appear from behind the planet. The golden light gleamed off the shiny fighters, creating a beautiful effect.
“And this is why we fly,” Tyren thought to himself. In spite of the recent hardships, Tyren was encouraged by the beautiful scene.
As if that wasn’t enough, the fighters pulled a half roll, and passed above the strike-fighter squadron at a delirious pace. Tyren was once again captivated by the image of the gleaming spacecraft against the dark canopy of space.
Then, banking towards the sun, the fighters joined up with the strike fighter squadron. Tyren then remembered what he was a part of. A team. He, Kohath, Mize. All with a common goal in mind. To rid the galaxy of tyranny and oppression.
Mize sounded not quite as stern as he addressed the commander of Halo squadron.
“Good afternoon, you little wampa.”
“Well, well, if it isn’t old Praetum Mize. Last time we flew together, I was keeping Sith fighters off you tail at the Battle of Tanab.”
Tyren was very surprised to hear Mize give a harsh, soft chuckle.
“Depends on who you ask. I seem to remember a different story.” Mize reminisced. “Anyway, we’re here to relieve you. Did you pick up anything out of the ordinary?”
“Negative, nothing all morning. Most boring patrol I’ve been this war.”
“Right, we’ll still keep our eyes peeled. You never know when some of those dirty little pirate corvettes will pop up.”
“Roger, we’re on our way out now.”
The strike-fighters lit their engines, and roared away, rattling the smaller fighters just a bit.
Mize lit his engines, and the rest of the fighters did the same. Baking toward the planet, Mize barked out orders.
“Toval, you take K’Aldrin and take a look at that asteroid again. Le’kk, you and Carmi follow me.”
Toval replied with a deep voice, “Wilco Captain.”
Tyren rolled his fighter to follow Toval as he accelerated towards the current position of the strange asteroid. They continued without further conversation.
About halfway there, Toval broke the silence, “Fresh out of flight school, K’Aldrin?”
“Yes sir, class 209-41A. Been with the fleet for about 4 months.”
“We’re getting more and more guys like you lately. Not bad pilots, just not experienced.”
Toval appeared to be mid-thirties to Tyren, and was very fit, mentally and physically. He somehow seemed to have wisdom beyond his age. Tyren didn’t even know his first name.
Toval continued, “I’ve been in the fleet for the past 14 years, and I’ve been with Ghost squadron for about 8 of those, even before Mize was the commanding officer.”
Toval’s voice trailed for a moment.
“And don’t worry about Mize. You guys are all right, you’re decent pilots. He’s…he’s been through a lot. We all have. And Crayx…well, he was the center of this squadron in a lot of ways.”
Tyren was surprised. The Crayx he had remembered hadn’t been the center of anything, especially attention.
A few moments of silence passed.
“Alright, on the way to the asteroid, let’s set up for a practice strafe. If you’re going to survive in this squadron, you’ve got to know your stuff. What do you need to set up?”
Tyren quickly adjusted to this challenge.
“Right, first we’re going to have to get a vector map of the terrain.”
Flicking a few buttons, he pulled up the map, and also uploaded it to Toval’s ship.
“Okay, then we would lock in the target on the fire control panel.” Tyren targeted a small outcropping on the asteroid’s surface.
“Stop.” Toval’s voice sounded, “What did you forget?”
Tyren groaned. A rookie mistake.
“Always check my surroundings. I should have checked for enemy ships.”
“Right,” Toval said. “And believe me, in a combat situation, this will save your life and maybe others as well. Continue.”
Scanning outside for enemy craft, Tyren continued.
“Set relative altitude, and lock in the terrain following computer.”
“Let’s do it manually.” Toval ordered.
“Okay, override the terrain computer, switch to manual control, and ready weapons.”
“Good. We won’t blast that asteroid, since that Army officer thinks that it’s so important. But I’d still like to do that pass.”
Pulling his fighter into the lead, Tyren led Toval on a screaming pass over the asteroid’s surface. Dust trailed in their wake, as the gases flowing around their ships created vortexes.
Pulling up in a sharp bank turn, Toval took the lead once again.
“Let’s get down to business.”
“Ghost leader, this is Ghost flight two. No life forms detected on asteroid, sensor readings remain stable.”
“Roger Ghost two. We’re completing our second orbit. Plan to join up along the north axis of the planet in two minutes.”
“Wilco Ghost leader, we’re on our way.”
Diving and rolling out on the correct heading, Toval and Tyren whizzed through space toward Fondor.
Suddenly, Tyren began to see small bursts of light beginning to appear around the planet.
Instantly Toval knew what was happening.
“Anti-aircraft guns.” He stated grimly, and then keyed the mike.
“Ghost leader, we see the enemy fire, support is on the way.”
Pushing their throttles to the maximum, Tyren and Toval accelerated to investigate.
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Last edited by Sithspecter; 10-02-2011 at 12:49 AM.