So there is no section for fluff, and I am running a campaign that follows a bunch of pilots in a near impossible mission. I also like writing so all of my battle reports will be done in story like fashion. I hope you enjoy it.
Chapter One – Sunbreak on the morn’
Vasilisa Dorn looked out of the plasteel window of her X-Wing fighter at the stars beyond. Pulling into a slow loop around the Nebulon B Frigate Elixir, she reviewed the orders that were passed down by her superiors on her small computer screen mounted to the firewall. She was worried that the Imperial forces would be too much for her six pilots to handle. She worried about the Nebulon B that had only a quarter of her turbo laser batteries working. She worried about the dangerously depleted munitions that the Nebulon had in her storage hanger for her ships. She worried about the new kid, fresh defecting from the Imperial Academy with more eagerness than sense sometimes. She worried about a lot of scary things about this upcoming battle, not to mention she might die.
“White Squadron, sound off.” Vasilisa scanned the space around her ship, confirming what she saw outside on her 3D holographic rotating display in front of her. She saw her wingman, Ric Dio, to her left, the blips of a pair of X-Wing fighters about six kilometers away flying protection on the other side of the frigate, and another pair approximately 50 kilometers away flying loose formation, hunting for enemy fighters.
“White Two checking in boss; it’s a dark and quiet in the hen house.” Lel Cormin could be heard chuckling over the scratchy and distorted alliance communication unit. His quirky mannerisms easily traveled the 50,000 meters right into Vasilisa’s headset.
“White Three, nothing either.” Vasilisa could see Jenica Orion mentally checking off the time before she could go to her rack and sleep. She was a hot stick and quick on the uptake, but impatient with long boring patrol duties.
“Four is bored ma’am. Any word on when we are going to start this caravan?” Keelu Starfall said through the com. Vasilisa could guess he was feeling a little tight in his cockpit, but she wasn’t concerned with his mechanical leg at the moment.
“Five is still kicking, running, and gunning!” Wrora Rehal screeched through the mike. Vasilisa never fully understood how an Ewok managed to fill an X-Wing cockpit, but she knew better than to ask about his personal modifications in his ship. He was slightly sensitive to his size since every other pilot that the Ewok met was three times his size. He joked that he could get all the males where it hurt though.
“Six here. Still trying to find out what the big red switch does,” Ric was so green he was blue. He somehow got a free education and flight training from the Imperial forces, hopped on the first transport he could find during leave and joined the Rebels. This was his first ‘real’ mission since his two familiarization flights before signing up with White Squadron.
“Don’t touch that,” Wrora screamed in the mike. “That is the self destruct switch!”
”Kid, don’t mistake Wrora’s sense of humor for his size. He just pulled a fast one on you,” Lel said over the com. Vasilisa could see the green kid turn red from 10 meters. Laughter could be heard through intermittent communication breaks as people were keying their mikes on and off.
“White Squadron, this is Elixir Actual. Prepare to jump in T minus five minutes. We are going to create a beach head when we jump into the system. Cover your sectors of fire, call out if you see anything on your screens. May the force be with you.”
“White Lead copies Actual. White squad, prepare for hyperspace in T minus four minutes, fifty seconds. Three and Five, I want you doing wide patrol. No heroics this time. Call ‘em if you see ‘em.”
“We know how to fly a CAP boss,” White Three said over the coms.
“I mean it Jen. Don’t think that I forgot that time you forced me to hold the pooch at Yavin,” Vasilisa said over the coms. She could hear her laughing over the radio as she relived distant memories. The other five White Squadron pilots all exchanged playful banter as they relieved their times together, fighting the Imperials. Some somber moments were relieved as they waited.
Vasilisa listened to the thrumming of her four engines as she waited for the countdown timer to tick to zero so she could have her R5 unit engage hyper drive and arrive in system thirty seven minutes and fourteen seconds later. Her counter ticked down from five seconds closer to zero, and Vasilisa suddenly got a cold chill through her flight suit. She had never felt this feeling before and tried to shake it off as the timer clicked from one to zero.
Hearing the engines wind up and the stars streak past her as her Incom T-65 X-Wing as she entered hyper space, she had the roughly next half hour for her own private thoughts and the unease of the deep chill lingering in her cockpit.
Vasilisa watched as her hyper space counter reached zero and the uneasy prickling feeling of her skin releasing goose bumps returned as her ship exited hyper space. She quickly scanned her instruments, looking for the enemy. She knew from her briefings that there was an Imperial research and experimentation station in the region, but its exact location was unknown. Forces in the area were unknown, but were thought to be of normal garrison size. Over 100 Tie fighters, an elite prototype pilot squadron, Skipray Blast Boats, support frigates, assault and escort shuttles, storm troopers, and who knows what else the Imperial research facility managed to produce.
Banking slightly left and right to get her bearings and stretch her aching muscles, (white leader) spent equal time looking at her 3D holographic display and looking outside. White Six was at her four o’clock, keeping in a loose formation, but following her none the less.
“See anything Six?”
“Nada ma’am. Still quiet.” Ric banked right slightly to give them both some more maneuver room. He did a quick barrel roll and flew to her left and behind settling in at her eight o’clock.
“Elixir to White Leader, we have a bogey about two hundred kilometers. Unknown strength or disposition. It’s not moving in any hurry though. Intercept and assess.”
“Roger Elixir, Six you are on me, tighten up and punch it. Keep your screens maxed to see if we can identify it quicker. Two and Five, stay with the nest. Three and Four, wide patrol for now.” White Leader shunted energy from her weapons and shields to give her engines a bit more power as she turned towards the coordinates that her R5 unit received from the Elixir. She was slowly draining her cannons because she diverted power, but she had about five minutes to think as her X-Wing closed the distance quickly. White Six close behind her, but lagging a bit because he didn’t shunt energy from his cannons and shields to his engines.
“Six, manager your energy better son. That will get you killed one day,” Vasilisa said over the com.
“Uhh… right… sorry.” Ric stuttered as he recalibrated his energy systems and caught up to her. She could see him staring at his holographic display as they closed the distance from across the ten meter gap between them.
“You should also use your mark one scanning equipment more too,” she mused as he looked at her through his cockpit window.
“My what?” He still looked confused even though he looked between her and his screen.
“Your eye balls kid, your eyes!” Keelu, White Four, said over the com as she was trying not to snicker.
She could sense the stress building in her wingman’s voice as he once again acknowledged his inept combat skills.
“Enough jabbering everyone, clear the channel. Six, we have contact in less than three mikes. Reshuffle your energy and spread your wings. Lets swoop in and take a look at what is in front of us.” White Leader switched her high energy consumption engines back to normal and recharged her cannons to full as she looked at her shield display next to her front window. She verified that the weapons safety was still on as her craft closed with the unknown blip. Her pulse raced as her ship sensors started to detect the unknown blip at the edge of her screen. The blurry and fuzzy edge of her detection range caught the blip occasionally, but lost it as often as it found it. Her ship closed in on the unknown vessel; her throttle at the firewall with engines blazing behind her.
“Have anything R5 for me?” She checked her computer display next to her communications console as she saw the readout her R5 unit fed to her. She noticed that R5 had rerouted power because cannon two was losing power slowly. She thanked her maker for an attentive astrometric droid as she thought back to her last beat to hell and back droid.
“Lead to six, prepare to engage but keep your finger off the trigger. This could just be a pleasure craft out in the middle of nowhere trying to get away from the heavily traveled trading routes.”
“Got it Lead,” Six said as he pulled up next to her craft, his S-Foils spread like hers.
“BREAKBREAKBREAK!!! Ties incoming! Weapons hot!” White Leader screamed as she banked hard to the left while avoiding incoming shots from the pair of Tie fighters turned towards them and started to fire. The two Tie fighters, with the distinctive solar panels gleaming in the star light, quickly started shooting again as she flicked the safety switch off her guns.
White Two could hear the com traffic of the skirmish happening too far away for him to see.
“White Five, stick with me. We have to keep an eye open for more Imps. If they didn’t know we were here already, they will in a few minutes. Stay loose… Three and four, stay with the frig and fly a close CAP.”
White Two could hear the confirmation that his orders were understood and watched the pairs of ships trading places within the small fleet. He still listened to the com traffic of the battle one hundred and seventy five kilometers away as he took up outer perimeter duty.
“Six bank left! I am going to get the bastard on your tail! Go now!” White Lead maneuvered to get behind the Tie on her wingman’s tail, switching her guns to quad fire. She let loose two sets of four bolts towards the Tie, only partially hitting the Tie in the solar panel. She could see some kind of liquid streaming out of the damaged section of the ship, but its relentless attack continued unabated. She let loose one more hail of fire towards the ship that tore it to pieces. A streaming ball of fire ended in a spectacular explosion that could have been part of a fireworks display in Coruscant on New Years.
Whooping into the radio, she turned towards the remaining Tie. Her R5 unit, monitoring the radio traffic in the area picked up a coded Imperial transmission, but he couldn’t decipher the difficult Imperial code during the battle.
“R5, my power is draining out of cannon two again! I need that thing working please.” White Lead could hear the beeps and blips of her R5 unit as he diligently rerouted power around the damaged components. The energy levels of her ship returned to normal in a few seconds as it creeked and groaned as she pulled a 6G turn to come back towards the remaining Tie. She glanced out of her window and saw that the rookie was doing a head to head on charge against the remaining Tie Fighter. Before she could say anything to the kid, the Tie burst into a giant ball of flame and White Six was rushing out the tail end of the fireball, screaming into the mike in happiness.
“Settle down Six! Congrats on your first kill, but we have bigger things to worry about. We know the Imps are here now, but we don’t know where exactly. Let’s high tail it back to the frigate before we meet the friends of dumbo one and two. Punch it!” White Lead did a quick scan of her sensors and equipment before dumping energy into her engines. She closed her S-foils and headed back to the safety of the rest of her squadron.
She looked at White Six and saw that he was all smiles from his cockpit. She noticed that he didn’t forget to divert power from his cannons to his engines this time and he also closed his S-Foils. She settled back into her cockpit to make the trip back to the frigate, mentally rehearsing the dogfight she just participated in.
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Love the story!
I think you should list more clearly what the forces involved are to help flesh it out more. Stats before story is a standard method.
Looking forward to more
Chapter 2 – Infiltrators
A gentle knock sounded on the metal bulkhead of the pre-fabricated space station office as Admiral Hawthorn sat at his desk reading a daily briefing.
“Hmm… yes. Come in.” Admiral Hawthorn set the data pad down on the desk and idly watched the dancing flying fish of the Calmari on his newly installed high resolution holographic display in the corner of his office. He despised the overgrown walking squids as much as any righteous human should, but did respect their ability to wage war. He made it his duty as administrator of the Imperial Research Station in the Skri’La system to develop the weapons and war machines to destroy the likes of aliens like the Mon Calimari.
A svelte blond woman, wearing white clothing that left little to the imagination, walked into the office and handed him another data pad. “You asked me a year ago to inform you if we ever had any intruders in the proximity of the system Admiral. We had a small flight of X-Wings engage a pair of fighters this morning.”
“Survivors?” Admiral Hawthorn looked away from his flying fish at his personal body guard, secretary, and secret lover while digesting this information.
“We lost both pilots Admiral,” she replied.
“No, not our losses! I don’t care about them! I mean did we capture any of the people that attacked us?” The Admiral looked a little cross from having to rephrase his question.
“No sir. We did get some preliminary sensor data from the initial engagement though and it appears that a large ship also hyper spaced into the outskirts of the system along with the fighters that destroyed our craft. I have taken the liberty of increasing patrols along our sensor network and adding additional picket ships as a second layer of defense. Is there anything else you would like me to do before I leave?”
“No… wait. Yes, Marge, will you get me a glass of Corellian Brandy? I know we must have a case of that around here somewhere.” The Admiral looked intently at Marge as she nodded her head, back out of the room, and closed the door behind her.
Gregory Hawthorn pulled the computer uplink device closer to him as he picked up the interface tool. He pulled figures, charts, and defense analysis in front of him as it hovered over his desk. He pressed a button on his desk and Marge spoke on the other end.
“Marge… will you please send me the latest reports on Project Star Ray? And where is my brandy?”
Commander Ashone sat behind his desk as Vasilisa stood in front of the desk. Her after action report was in his hands as he read over it. Vasilisa was sitting in the chair across from the Commander as she noted the rich mahogany that the desk was covered in, the rich leather chair that the commander sat on, and the small creature comforts that adorned the room.
“So you think he should be given more responsibilities?” Ashone was referring to Ric Dio as he glanced over the top of the data pad.
“I do sir. He has shown a remarkable ability to adapt to new situations and remain cool under stress. I would have him fly my wing any day.” Vasilisa stared at the point sixteen inches in front of her face as she gave the Commander her recommendation.
“Very well; don’t let him get killed out there though. Now… As to your next mission… We have an Imperial sensor network that has a patch work of long range sensors inside of an asteroid field about seven hundred thousand kilometers from our current position. These sensor buoys can detect large ships much easier than small attack craft so we want you to go in and destroy the buoys if necessary, or upload a virus that will turn control of part of the network over to us. We need at least two buoys to create a network that will eventually hack into the sensor network. The more buoys we get, the faster it will be. To help you we brought out an old R5 unit, designated R5-K12, from storage and reprogrammed it for this specific mission.”
Vasilisa stopped him short in the middle of his briefing. “Is the R5 unit programmed to assist in any other way?”
“You will have to stretch it’s capabilities to see what it can do, but it was just programmed with read only memory to upload virus program. Now, we suggest that you try and reprogram the buoys because we can then tap into the network and gather information. Destroying them will obviously be easier but the prerogative is yours, obviously. You have your orders.”
“Sir, any word on what exactly we are going to be doing out here once we get… where ever we are going?”
The Commander set the data pad down on his desk and leaned back in his chair. “Well, I know your initial briefing was somewhat… Spartan.”
“That is one way of putting it Commander.” Vasilisa readjusted her attention to the commander’s eyes as she waited for him to continue.
“We were sent here after we scattered our forces after the Death Star was destroyed as you know. This system was one of the key facilities in researching the base components of the Death Star, specifically the power management systems in the primary weapon system, the Super Laser. Even though the technology has already been created, we want to capture any new technology if possible, destroy if necessary. We cannot allow another Death Star type weapon to be produced unabated.”
“Is there any specific thing that we are looking for? I don’t know what one frigate and a bunch of snub fighters can do against a fully armed research facility.” Vasilisa leaned back in her chair slightly as she regarded the reaction from the Commander.
“We are in a war of attrition Captain. You know this and I know this. Small quick engagements with few losses will win the day eventually. I know our mission is going to be difficult, but I believe in our mission. We need to win at all costs, or at least die trying. We are paper thin on almost all fronts, but that doesn’t mean we can’t fight. Take it one mission at a time Captain. Get the senor network under our control or at least make a hole so we can fly into and out of the system without being detected.”
“Yes sir.” Vasilisa stood up from her chair, made a sharp salute, and walked out of the room without another word.
Vasilisa just started the mission briefing with the other five pilots in the room with her.
“Alright… the time is now plus forty two minutes on my mark… Mark. Our mission is an infiltration/data upload mission. We are going to be flying a five ship sortie into enemy controlled sensor range and upload the virus. Two ships will be flying cover for a Y-Wing with a two ship reserve acting as cover for the operation.
“Jenica, you are flying the wishbone on this mission with the R5. We want to get the virus uploaded as quickly as possible and get out just as fast. As soon as we start blowing up the eyeballs, we should expect more to be incoming. Ric, you and I are going to be flying cover for Jenica. Keep close and try not to get separated. We need to make a hole at least so we should aim to get at least two buoys, all four in the sector if possible. Jenica, you have to get close to the buoys so R5 can upload the virus.”
Jenica scrunched up her face as she thought about getting close to anything in a Y-Wing. “Wouldn’t the Imps detect the virus as soon as we uploaded it?”
“Maybe. Maybe not. If they don’t, it gives up a backdoor into the inside of the system and an uplink to the rest of the sensor network. If it doesn’t work, oh well. The virus is designed to short the insides of the buoys if it is being deleted and has a redundant self-replicating preservation software algorithm. Don’t ask me what all of that means, it just means it is hard to kill. Any other questions?” Jenica looked between the two of them as they looked at each other and then turned their eyes up to the front of the room.
“Lel, you and Keelu are going to be waiting just outside of the engagement to help us with any stragglers that we drag with us. Wrora, you are going to be flying CAP by yourself, but we have deployed some automated defense buoys around the Frigate to assist you if you get in contact with anything. Now, as you may know, Ric got his first kill the other day.”
Vasilisa waited for the cheering and back slapping to stop as Ric’s face turned from pale white to laser red in about three seconds. “As our newest squadron killing machine, he will be flying my wing as we complete the mission, hopefully trying to get kill number two. Get to your ships and do what you need to do. Good hunting and may the force be with you.”
Vasilisa was cruising closer and closer to the engagement area and the loose packed asteroid field that housed the sensor network. Looking at the holographic display in front of her, Vasilisa saw that her entire board was a show of green lights as she went through her cruise checklist once again.
“Heads up people, we are going in. White Leader to Elixir, we are entering the outskirts of the engagement area. We are going weapons hot and scanning for contacts.”
“We have you on the screen White Leader. We have two contacts cruising at a slow pace through the outskirts of the sensor network. No other contacts in range.”
“White Lead copies Elixir. Three and six, spread out a little and get into the field. Three, head for the first buoy. Six and I will keep them off of you as long as possible. Let’s do it.”
She saw the S-Foils on White Six spread and Ric looking at the power management screen in his cockpit. Vasilisa was proud at how her newest pilot was taking to the rigors of his new career. She followed suit and did likewise as she looked to her left and saw the big Y-Wing and the R5 just rear of the cockpit.
“Lead this is Three. First sensor buoy is coming up. Hey boss, our sensor range has been severely reduced.” Vasilisa looked at the cockpit of the Y-Wing as she shrugged her shoulders. “I think there might be some kind of jamming field near the proximity of the buoys that we didn’t know about. No problems though, I can still do it. I will just need to get closer than I thought.”
“I got it Three. Six you got that right? Fly a little closer.” Vasilisa saw the thumbs up that Ric gave her from 20 meters away.
“Lead this is Three. I have the contacts on my screen. It looks like two eyeballs at six hundred meters and a slow clip. We should be in visual range in about thirty seconds.”
“Alright. Lets see how much we can do before they get reinforcements to us. Six, you keep the ships off of her as I go in and break up the formation. You come in right behind me and get one in the ass if you can.”
“Six here, I will follow you in.” She could see Ric messing with his power levels again as his ship slowed down to give her more space.
“White Lead to Elixir, we are engaging. Two Tie’s at three hundred meters turning towards us.” Vasilisa upped her throttle to max as she made a head on attack at the two Tie Fighters. Their green lasers sparked from the bottom of the cockpits, but the bolts dissipated harmlessly in space as they bounced off her shields. Her power levels barely registered the shots.
“Too early rookies,” Vasilisa mumbled as she flipped her guns to fire and let off a quad burst that caught the first Tie fighter in the solar panel. The Tie started to trail a white smoke as it turned around to attack again. “Now is a good time Ric!” Vasilisa swung her ship into a hard turn to the right as she tried to break the two Tie’s off her tail. She managed to shake the first Tie off, but the second was proving to be very difficult.
“First buoy uploaded!” Jenica said as she turned towards the second. She could see the red lasers coming from the front of the Y-Wing at the Tie fighter that broke off. One bolt hit, but the Tie continued its sharp turn out of her firing arc.
“Good work Three! Let me know when you get the second one!” Vasilisa had to grunt with effort as the six G turn caused her to fall into her seat even more than she already was.
Vasilisa finished her turn and saw with good luck that she managed to end up on the tail of the damaged Tie fighter. It didn’t appear to see her as it was firing at the Y-Wing heading for the second buoy. She said a small prayer as she pressed the firing stud on her stick. Where the Tie fighter used to be, there was not a pair of solar panels feeling off a growing fireball. Vasilisa wooped into the radio and quickly cursed her luck as another pair of Tie fighters appeared out of no where, firing on her ship.
“Second buoy down! Heading to their one! I can’t take much more punishment though Lead. My shields are down and green is turning to red in my cockpit!”
“Three and Six, start heading back! We are getting more fire than we can handle! Three, get that last buoy on the way out and kick it into high gear. Six, you head out on her wing. Try to keep fire from her as best as you can, but make it back in one piece!”
Laser bolts hit the nose of her X-Wing and red lights in her HUD and holographic display started turning red. Her R5 unit brought up a 3D display of her ship on the holographic display, identifying blinking red and parts of her ship. She apparently had taken a direct hit to the auxiliary fire control systems and maneuver thrusters. There was more blinking red on her ship than green or yellow.
“I can’t… Boss?” Ric screamed into the radio; Vasilisa could hear the fear in his voice.
“What is it kid?” Vasilisa pushed every ounce of power from her cannons into her shields and engines.
“I don’t know if I-“
“Six? Where are you?” Vasilisa looked behind her, still scanning for the Tie behind her. She could see intermittent green laser bolts going past her ship, but her maneuvering has kept most of the fire away from her. She saw an expanding fireball off her wing as she headed back towards the two waiting X-Wings only two kilometers away.
Her R5 unit pushed aside the 3D rotating ship in front of her and brought up a map of the surrounding space. She saw the four Tie Fighters and a flashing blue and white blip that was the Universal signal of an emergency locator signal.
“White Lead this Elixir. We just picked up the emergency locator beacon from White Six. We are dispatching a pair of rescue birds to pick him up, but with the Tie fighters still in the area, it is unlikely that we are going to pick him up.”
“You have to get him!” Vasilisas transmission was cut short as the last ounce of energy in her shields was destroyed as the Tie fighter behind her kept firing.
“This is Three, Lead. I can’t stick around here much longer. I am bugging out. There are three Tie’s on my ass and this boat is moving like a Hutt in winter.”
“Get out Three. Two and Four, can you get to him?” Vasilisa already knew that their hands were going to be full just trying to get the Tie’s off of her and Jenica.
“This is Two, we are trying to fight the other Ties off right now and we can’t break free! It is everything we can do to keep ourselves alive!”
Vasilisa looked at her moving map, the Tie fighter behind her, and the small rotating ship that was more red than green.
“We will come get you kid,” Vasilisa keyed into her mic as she pushed her throttles as far forward as she dared while trying to avoid the incoming fire from the Tie fighter behind her.
omg, that was awesome. I like the campaign idea. Great batrep…cant wait for more.
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