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Old 10-18-2011, 10:20 AM   #1
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Squadron Legacy, Chapter 7

Chapter Seven: Curtains
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“Prepare to attack.” Mize ordered grimly over the comm. “We’re going to plow through their defenses, fire all ordinance, and get out. Angle deflector shields forwards, and lock foils for maximum speed.”

Tyren quickly did as he was ordered. His arm immediately grasped the wing sweepback control, and slid it back two notches. He glanced from side to side to ensure that the wings were in the right spot, and then moved to switch the deflector shields. There was quick hum as the power of the shields changed. A flashing indicator told him that the rear of the fighter was going to be vulnerable, but that couldn’t be helped. Switching over to the weapons display, Tyren selected his four proton torpedos, and checked the status of his laser cannons.

Seeing that all ships had done as ordered, Mize spoke again, “We’re going to keep a tight formation at first, aiming for the primary command ship. After that, we’re going to need to break formation; we’ll just be a bigger target if we stay together. I’ll go over the top, Le’kk, you take bottom. K’Aldrin, you’ll go starboard, and Toval is going to take port. After that, blaze through the fleet, and get out of there. We’ll meet back at the hyperspace jump point, and go from there.”

With that, Mize accelerated his Aurek, and banked sharply to the left, doing a turning dive. Toval followed suit, and the Le’kk. Tyren felt the unmistakable feeling of exhilaration as his fighter deftly banked and dove. Shoving the accelerator forward, a shiver ran down his spine. Here he was, just like he’d always dreamed. Defending the Republic, and all it stood for.

‘These Mando’s won’t know what hit them,’ He though. ‘I’m flying with the best of the best.’

Lining up with the others, Tyren sped toward the enemy fleet. The glow of the three engines in front of him combined with the lights from the Mandalorian fleet was dazzling. It was unlike anything he’d ever seen. Any fear or remorse was temporarily erased from Tyren’s mind. His sole purpose was to wreak havoc through the Mandalorian fleet, and he intended to do just that.

Tyren could see the ships in the distance beginning to fire their turbolasers. He watched as brilliant green bolts blazed toward the fighters, exploding as the approached. The deafening blasts shook the fighters, but not much else. The turbolasers were simply too cumbersome to target the fast moving ships.

A bleeping came from the panel. Enemy fighters were headed their way, targeting the small Aureks. Tyren could see the small grayish green fighters in the distance.

“Open fire, and then let them pass through,” Mize quickly ordered.

Tyren’s thumb went straight to the small, red button at the top of his control column. Hesitating slightly above it, Tyren held his fire until he had brought the targeting reticle just above the fighter directly in front of him. The Mandalorian fighters had begun to fire, but they were still slightly out of range, and the bolts passed by harmlessly. Tyren waited just one more second, and then loosed a quick burst of blaster fire. The first two bolts impacted on the wing of the approaching fighter, and then the next three tore right into the cockpit. The Mandalorian fighter spun wildly, and Tyren yanked his craft up and to the right. The Mandalorian ship whizzed by, missing him by only feet, and then exploded behind him.

“Heads up! More fighters up ahead!”

Turning his attention back forwards, Tyren was surprised to see even more fighters in their path. Swarms of the grayish fighters sped towards them at blistering speed. In a mad dance to avoid the approaching Mandalorians, the Republic fighters pressed forward toward the Mandalorian flagship.

A smaller Mandalorian frigate loomed ahead, and Mize dove toward it. Tyren followed suit, rolling upside down, then pulling back to drop more quickly. Rolling back to level, he targeted the ship’s main turbolaser battery. Looking straight down the nose of his Aurek, Tyren fired his laser cannons. The blaster bolts arced down through space, impacting the hull around the cannons, and then marching progressively upward as Tyren pitched up. Sparks and shrapnel flew from the turbolaser as Tyren’s fire ripped through its armor, piercing the ammunition magazine. Tyren pulled up rapidly as he approached the ship’s hull, screaming low over the dull grey surface. The turbolaser battery exploded with an initial flash, followed by several smaller explosions beside it, ripping a massive gash in the ship.

Tyren’s ship rattled from the explosion, and he checked to make sure that he was still with the others. Sure enough, he was still in line with the rest of the formation, blasting their way through the enemy defenses.

“Fighters, 3 o’clock, high!” Toval rasped over the comm, “I’m on them!”

Toval’s Aurek suddenly rose out of formation, and barreled to the right to engage the newly-appeared fighters. Tyren gave a quick glance, and saw Toval expertly dispatch several of the dozen fighters that had engaged them. The rest of the Mandalorian ships followed Toval as he accelerated away from the rest of the formation.

“Lock torpedoes,” Mize ordered, “We’re targeting the primary shield generator.”

Tyren punched a button on the targeting computer, feeding the information to the torpedoes.

The huge command ship loomed ahead. Tyren could barely see anything else in his windscreen besides the enormous gray ship. Anti-aircraft fire still burst all around them as the zoomed toward the flagship.

Approaching the hull of the ship, Tyren could make out the individual paneling that made up the large Mandalorian craft. Then, with a blast of the thrusters, Mize pulled up, parallel with the hull. Tyren and Le’kk did the same, whizzing only meters over the enemy ship.

Turrets on the ship’s top side blazed away at the Republic fighters, turning as the Aureks zoomed past. One suddenly exploded into flames, and Tyren saw a ship zip across the horizon.

Toval slipped his fighter sideways over the rest of the flight, settling into a position to the left of the rest of the fighters.

“Rejoining formation, sir.” Toval spoke over the com.

Mize was too busy to respond. The fighters were quickly approaching a communications relay, with towers and spires reaching up above the hull. Rolling swiftly to the right, he flashed past the towers. Le’kk banked her Aurek to the left, and passed between two of the smaller spires.

Tyren yanked back on the control column, flinging his craft up above the array. Then, he swung the stick hard to the right, causing the craft to invert. He pulled back once more, diving back toward the surface. Finally, with only meters to spare, Tyren righted the craft in one final, violent roll.

The bridge of the ship lay before them, looking down on the small formation. The shield generator stood just on top of it.

Mize led the formation in a steep climb, rising up above the hull. Anti-aircraft fire rang out all around them, illuminating the hull and the space nearby.

Barely within range, Mize gave the order.

“FIRE!”

Laser blasts from the four Republic fighters rocked the shield generator, causing the shield to flicker briefly.

Mize released his torpedoes first, followed by Le’kk and Toval. The explosions of the six torpedoes pitted the shield generator, causing further shield malfunction.

Tyren sped toward the shield generator, with guns blazing. Then, at the last second, he released his proton torpedoes at point blank range. His fighter was a blur as it flashed past the shield generator. The proton torpedoes tore into the greenish-gray shield generator, and detonated with a flash. Then, a fierce blast rang out, and the generator combusted in a ball of fire, sending metal fragments scattering throughout the dark of space.

The shield on the flagship immediately blinked out, leaving the Mandalorian craft vulnerable to Republic fire.

Mize was already headed up, as the Republic fighters split to divide the enemy fire. Toval sped to the left of the enemy fleet, drawing several Mandalorian fighters along behind him. Le’kk executed a quick roll, and dropped down through the fleet.

Tyren blazed to the right, and down. There seemed to be a small group of transport ships at the back edge of the fleet, a vulnerable target. The heavy, lumbering Mandalorian carriers seemed to be a perfect choice to inflict a little more damage on the Mandalorian fleet before returning to the Courageous.

Tyren remembered Toval’s advice earlier, and checked the rear of his Aurek. He immediately cursed under his breath. About a dozen Mandalorian fighters were diving to intercept him. Tyren punched what little throttle he had left, and zoomed down toward the transports.

The closest Mandalorian fighters began to open fire, sending bright streaks of laser blast through the dead of space.

Tyren’s control column was performing a wild dance as he swung it left and right, front and back, flinging his fighter in a mad fury of rolls, zig-zags, and quick turns. The Aurek was agile, but there were simply too many of the Mandalorian fighters bearing down on him.

Glancing at the transport that he was about to pass under, Tyren took a deep breath, and then pulled back as hard as he could on the stick while extending all flaps and slots. The fighter immediately slowed, and pulled up around the other side of the transport, performing a tight loop.

The closest Mandalorian fighters had not anticipated this move, and the wiser pilots passed under the ship. One pilot however, was not so lucky. In an attempt to follow Tyren’s fighter, he pitched up far too early, and impacted the transport with his wing, tearing it off. The stricken Mandalorian craft went into a tight spiral toward the planet below.

But Tyren had no time to celebrate. Some of the fighters that were farther away had seen Tyren’s maneuver, and decided to go head on with him as he came over the top of the transport.

Tyren rolled back upright, and put his targeting reticle right over one of the approaching Mandalorians, releasing a spray of blaster fire.

The Mandalorian fighter bucked, and began to spin uncontrollably. It was headed directly towards Tyren’s Aurek.

This event caught Tyren off guard, his fighter headed directly for the stricken Mandalorian. He jerked the control column as hard as he could to the right in an attempt to avoid a collision.

Tyren heard a horrible crashing as his fighter suddenly jolted to the left. He winced as the straps holding him in dug into his shoulders. Everything had become a blur, stars and ships were whizzing around and around. Tyren focused on his instrument panel, which was now a brilliant display of flashing lights and warnings. A small siren rang from the panel, indicating catastrophic damage. He could hear his engine howling intermittently, as he was jostled about his cockpit. Tyren concentrated, and looked to see how bad the left wing was.

Except there was no left wing. Fuel was rapidly draining from the huge gash in the side of the Aurek, and hundreds of sparks flew from wires hanging out of the fighter.

‘Not good, not good, not good.’ Tyren though, trying to stave off panic.

He instinctively pulled the lever to bring his right foil back flush with the Aurek. The right wing slowly folded in, making the damaged Aurek slightly more symmetrical. The fighter stabilized slightly, still in a deep spiral to the left, but not so pronounced.

Tyren’s fingers danced across the panel as he did everything he could to correct the situation. Shutting fuel vents on the left side eliminated the fuel trailing from the fighter. Tyren tried shutting off the secondary electrical systems on the side to stop the flow of sparks, but it was to no avail.

The fighter’s communication systems were also damaged. All Tyren could hear through his receivers was intermittent static. He switched to the backup. It was dead also.

“Really not good.” Tyren spoke aloud, the pressure getting to him.

Tyren looked outside, and saw the planet Vanquo rapidly growing larger. It struck him right then. He was going down. Tyren was more frightened than he had ever been in his life.

Tyren’s worries were interrupted as a fresh barrage of blaster fire rained down on his damaged fighter. The Mandalorian squadron was circling the crippled Republic fighter like Firaxa sharks in anticipation of an easy meal. Tyren did the only thing that he could. Pushing the control column forward, he dove faster towards the planet. His grip on the stick was intensely tight as the Mandalorians continued to fire on him, whizzing overhead. More blaster fire peppered the fighter, but that did not matter to Tyren anymore. He knew that once he entered the atmosphere, the Mandalorians would give up the chase.

As Tyren approached the edge of the atmosphere, his hull began to glow with the heat of re-entry. Everything looked slightly pinkish outside his cockpit. Suddenly, the gash where the left wing was erupted into a gentle, smooth flame. The oxygen in the atmosphere was now causing the damaged electrical circuits to ignite.

Upon seeing this, the Mandalorians turned back toward their fleet, knowing that their prey was doomed.

But for Tyren, the battle was not over.

Thinking quickly, he let out a distress signal, hoping that his transmitter was still intact, even if his receiver was not.

“Mayday! Mayday! Mayday! This is Ghost 4…my spacecraft has taken heavy damage…I’m going down over Vanquo…”

Then, Tyren shut off all electrical systems in an attempt to subdue the fire. The reddish flame trailing on his left quickly blinked out. Tyren’s instrument panel was dark, and the only light inside the cockpit came from outside. Landing without instruments was a grim prospect, but Tyren had no choice.

The fighter slowly came to a more complete glow as Tyren descended, gleaming a bright yellow hue as it cut into the atmosphere. The turbulent air bucked and tossed the fighter, and Tyren’s arms wrestled the control column to keep the fighter upright. The sound of the re-entry was deafening. The engine howled, and the roar of the red-hot fighter was astounding. After a few more seconds, the glow subsided, and Tyren was inside the atmosphere. A thick cloud layer rested below, and the Aurek punched right into it. Tyren’s view of the outside world was simply a blank white stare. He could see absolutely nothing, and had no sensation of speed or pitch. Water droplets ran over the windscreen, trailing quickly to the rear of the fighter.

Suddenly, the Aurek exited the clouds, giving Tyren a view of Vanquo from several kilometers above. The sun was just rising over the horizon, casting a golden glow over the planet. Tall mountains rose to the north, capped with white snow, basking in the morning sunlight. Thick green forests lay below, and to the east was a beautiful shoreline that met a glimmering ocean.

It was one of the most beautiful scenes that Tyren had ever seen. Born and raised on Coruscant, Tyren had rarely even seen trees. Tyren exhaled sharply in amazement as the light streamed in his cockpit.

But Tyren had no time to enjoy the scenery. He needed to get his fighter as far from the advancing Mandalorian troops as possible.

The engine was becoming less and less reliable, sputtering on and off very frequently. Tyren advanced what little throttle he had left, sending the fighter jerking forward. Then the engine cut off again, throwing Tyren forward in the cockpit. Tyren had barely recovered when the engine came back on, sending him slamming into the back of his seat. The fighter also still wanted to roll sharply left, and Tyren was doing all that he could to combat this.

When it appeared that he could go no further, Tyren knew he was going to have to find a suitable place to land. There was a large lake to his left, and he decided that he would make a landing in it, or die trying.

As the engine finally sputtered out for the last time, Tyren pulled the fuel release lever, dumping the remaining fuel from the fighter. The thick blue liquid streamed out behind the fighter, creating an eerie effect.

Descending rapidly, Tyren tried to keep the craft steady. It rocked back and forth, being pushed to the limit without power. Screaming on the edge of completely stalling out, Tyren eased the crippled fighter into his final approach. Trees whizzed underneath him, uncomfortably close. Then, he came over the glistening lake, shining in the sunlight.

With some slight inputs from Tyren, the craft began to settle lower.

Without warning, the right side of the Aurek dropped into the water. An enormous splash covered the cockpit as the fighter spun about from the impact.

“AAAUUUGGHH!!” Tyren yelled as his fighter bounced across the lake, spinning wildly.

Tyren’s head slammed forward into the instrument panel, and then everything was dark.
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Old 10-18-2011, 03:05 PM   #2
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:0 The story can't be over yet. Tyren CAN'T die yet. He's the hero! Come on--more, more!

By the way, I believe this is your best installment yet, and the one where Crayx was lost comes in second. Magnificent descriptions you provide, says Yoda.
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Old 10-18-2011, 03:31 PM   #3
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Don't worry, Tyren is not dead. There is much, much more planned.



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Old 10-19-2011, 10:27 AM   #4
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'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

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Old 10-21-2011, 07:45 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by machievelli View Post
Squadron Legacy chapter 7
Sithspector

Continuation of the Squadron Legacy storyline: The first combat in the new war

Remember to sight edit before posting. Also, while space battles in the movies have deafening explosions, in space it would be silent; they only add the special effects sounds because most people do not realize it. Elizabeth Moon in her Familias Regnant series had the designers add sound effects for firing and hits, even going so far as using musical bridges on one ship mentioned in Winning Colors.

You went from one measurement system to another, having a fighter missed by feet, then having it fly meters above the hull of the target. Remember to stick with one system throughout.

Technical notes; You usually check weapons not long after you take off, not before actually going into battle. Adjusting the foils and modifying the shields at this point did make sense.

A spacecraft will not slow using flaps like an aircraft will; no drag. They would more likely use a vectored thrust system like a Harrier does.

Question, why did your character try for an emergency landing (Always risky, especially with a ship as damaged as you describe) instead of ejecting? It wouldn't have gotten him down any faster, but would have been safer.

I have to agree with the other reviewer; the best so far.

Pick of the Week
One thing that I have sort of assumed for the sake of my story is that Star Wars space contains some sizable amount of gases. However, upon doing a little research, I find that this is untrue. So, I will concede to your excellent observations, but I think that I would still like to include the sounds of space. Although it is not scientific (and yes, I know the reasons, no medium for the waves to travel across), I think that it still complements the actions that are occurring. However, I will still see how the story looks without these references, and see whether I like it or not.

I noticed the change from metric to customary at a later time, sorry about that, it will change.

The only part where I mentioned readying weapons was locking the proton torpedoes on the target, I think. In that part, I wasn't intending the pilots to be checking or arming the weapons, but instead choosing the target for the torpedoes, like a missile lock.

In my mind, a fighter would utilize uniform shields during a dogfight sort of combat, such as what occured with the gunship. However, now the situation has changed: a frontal attack on capital ships would warrant full shields to the forward position. Like in Episode 5, when Han angles the deflector shield forward when they are headed directly toward the Star Destroyer.

Also, I think that adjusting of the foils is warranted at this point, again the situation has changed for the fighters. They were involved in a relatively low-speed, high maneuvering situation in the events beforehand, and now are going on a high-speed pass through the fleet. The wings on the Aurek are much like those on the F-14, they swing back for high speed performance, and extend to almost horizontal for best maneuverability.

I was basing the flaps/spoilers on the gas theory earlier, that will be changed and duly noted.

About the landing, in the Star Wars universe, I imagine that an ejection seat for a single seat fighter is not effective or useful. In space combat, especially in deeper space away from any planet, an ejection seat would only catapult the pilot into certain death, floating around with no where to even fall to. An escape device in the Star Wars universe would have to warrant complete life support and a source of propulsion, as seen in escape pods. I have mainly only watched the movies, and have not delved into the comic world of Star Wars, so correct me if I am wrong, but I know of no instances where ejection seats are used in Star Wars. So, with no other alternatives, Tyren is forced to land.

Thank you very much for the review, and please let me know what you think of my explanations.



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Old 10-21-2011, 08:40 PM   #6
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All remarks are well thought out and acceptable. However, I don't know if you know abput the F 111 escape capsule.

Because of it's high speed envelope, it was decided early on in the design that typical ejection seats were suicidal. Therefore, the entire cockpit and both crewmen were to be jettisoned together allowing for what you mentioned. It would not be difficult to build such a system on any of the fighters I have seen so far. For more information go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escape_crew_capsule which covers similar systems for the B-58 Hustlere and the B-70 Valkyrie.


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

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Old 10-21-2011, 09:00 PM   #7
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I have read about the F-111 ejection pod, and I condsider it to be a smaller equivalent of say the escape pod in ANH. However, the F-111 is a considerably sized strike fighter, and carried two people side by side, which is an unusual configuration for a fighter. I would say that these conditions might warrant this quite different escape method.

I was unaware of a similar system on the B-58, I think that I vaguely knew about the B-70 ejection capsule, which are both very effective concepts for large bombers such as those.

My reasons for maintaining no ejection are once again, the size of the fighter, and its construction. Here is a bit of info about it: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Aurek..._strikefighter
It was designed to be cheap, and simple, therefore I would imagine that the complexities of an ejection pod may have been scrapped altogether in the design and production.

One more thought that I might add is that such a pod would surely still be vulnerable to enemy fire, and Mandalorians would almost certainly continue to fire on it, had it been deployed.

But, you do bring some good points to the table. I'm not really sure how a re-work of the scene with an ejection would go. I really like the crash-landing, maybe I could explain that some sort of the ejection system was damaged with the collision.

Thank you very much for the input, I really enjoy talking with others who have lots of knowledge about aircraft.



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Old 10-22-2011, 08:03 PM   #8
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I have read about the F-111 ejection pod, and I condsider it to be a smaller equivalent of say the escape pod in ANH. However, the F-111 is a considerably sized strike fighter, and carried two people side by side, which is an unusual configuration for a fighter. I would say that these conditions might warrant this quite different escape method.

I was unaware of a similar system on the B-58, I think that I vaguely knew about the B-70 ejection capsule, which are both very effective concepts for large bombers such as those.

My reasons for maintaining no ejection are once again, the size of the fighter, and its construction. Here is a bit of info about it: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Aurek..._strikefighter
It was designed to be cheap, and simple, therefore I would imagine that the complexities of an ejection pod may have been scrapped altogether in the design and production.

One more thought that I might add is that such a pod would surely still be vulnerable to enemy fire, and Mandalorians would almost certainly continue to fire on it, had it been deployed.

But, you do bring some good points to the table. I'm not really sure how a re-work of the scene with an ejection would go. I really like the crash-landing, maybe I could explain that some sort of the ejection system was damaged with the collision.

Thank you very much for the input, I really enjoy talking with others who have lots of knowledge about aircraft.
Let's look at your points in order;

In the Wiki article I earmarked, the B58 and B70 ejection pods were single man ejection systems where the seat you were in was part of it like a standard fighter ejector seat. Pull the cord, and a cover locked into place, and shot out of the aircraft.From the look of it, it would be small enough to fit in the fighter.

The reason I mentioned the FB 111 was because you could just as easily use the entire cockpit as an ejection system.

You are correct that the pod would be vulnerable to enemy fire, however if you have read my own works where the Mando'a are concerned most warrior societies do not kill coward unless they are your own cowards. Everyone remembers the treatment of the prisoners by the Japanese during WWII, but you have two different codes where one cannot accept that any warrior would surrender while the other allows surrender as a matter of course.

As much as people state blandly that the Japanese were not signatories of the Geneva Convention, that is not correct; The Imperial General Staff issued orders to 'set the conventions aside' rather than have to deal with the prisoners captured. One reason I abhor the War Crimes trials of that war was that two officers, both Japanese were tried for violations carried out by subordinates.

General Homma who was in command when the Phillipines Fell tried to do the humanitarian thing, ordering that the prisoners be marched to where the supplies were, as he didn't have enough supplies for his own army in hand. However this meant the guards were carrying food for themselves and their prisoners if they only had one meal a day, which bothered the guards, and they took it out on the troops unable to strike back.

This is what happened on the Bataan 'death march'.

The other, general (Last name has a word banned on the site for 'excrement as part of it) Yama****a was in command when the US forces approached Manila. Like MacArthur before him, he declared Manila a free city, meaning troops could not be stationed there. This was to avoid unnecessary civilian casualties. However 1600 Japanese Marines (Naval troops) refused to accept that order and fought the liberators house by house.

Now the question is; would the Mando'a have the Japanese mentality? Or the German (Another warrior race) who accept that everyone is not as tough as they are?

As for mechanical failure, that is perfectly acceptable, because it happens.


'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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