[FWC 16] Fighter

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[FWC 16] Fighter

#1 Post by Welsh halfwit » Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:58 pm

FIGHTER

I live in a world of metal ten months out of twelve. It’s not a perfect thing as my apartment is about the size of a living room, my neighbours are all sorts of smelling due to their fur, the chefs can’t cook worth a spit and the toilet’s had to be refitted due to my lack of a tail.


At least the view’s impressive and changes slightly every day. It’s all stars but, when you live on a battleship, they're in different spots in the window every night. Sometimes you come in close to a planet and, despite what they say, none of them is ever truly alike. Coastlines alter and mountain ranges plunge. We’ve encountered a world that fell in on itself almost as soon as we set foot on it, its’ shell so fragile it splintered under a surface probe. Another time we saw the shattered and jagged shape of a planet that never really formed correctly, leaving mountains the size of moons spiking out to the very edge of the asteroid field. Professor Ren, an old Cat like guy who leads the science division, spoke of the chance to mine that world for its’ minerals and Commander Postain, the Canine who Captain’s this ship, sent the request back to Talbary Communal Station, the Space station that acts as Command for the area following the destruction of Cabbary station during the war.


Oh yeah, that’s the other thing about this place. Six days out of ten, someone’s trying to kill us. The patch - as we call it – is a sector of space consisting of over fifty new colonies from the regional governments with their own colony navies and overseen by the Unified Security Council, a union of all the races. A... federal division, if you like. We maintain the peace between planets and protect transports against privateers. We’re pushed out here. With no major worlds and no major trade lanes, the protection is limited. Four frigates and this ship, the Battleship Rodomont.


Sirens sound for a few seconds, pulling booted feet off tables and dropping hand-held consoles to the fake leather seats before Commander Maxim, the ships’ executive officer, comes on the comm. Around me people are already clipping on their two piece helmets. One piece attaches low, under their jawline and the headpiece attaches to that. It’s a sophisticated bit of kit, air sealed and with a recycling system that prevents their breathing fogging up their own display. I don’t need any of that, of course, so I’m first in the launch queue again.


The Starlancer 4 is a long nosed, swept-wing affair capable of what you might term Mach 9 in an atmosphere and, in the expanse of space, we could do Earth to the moon in a half hour on full burn. The technicians check my helmet’s correctly attached as the computer runs through its’ check list. I look at the displays and place my old teddy bear – Mr Frizzle - in my jackets’ top pocket as the computer reports that the thunderbolt 6 pulse cannons are fully charged and the energy shields are, likewise, at maximum charge. My visor lights up with information on my fellow pilots, telling me Wing Commander Farra is talking. I turn my speakers on to hear the green lit names’ voice.


Coffee. This one was about Coffee. It’s one of the sectors’ main exports and people here have gotten quite rich off the bean. Every colony loves the real thing, it seems, and it’s come to the privateers attention. Guess they like it too. But they’re not planning to buy it at the local shop. Of all the things... There were lives at risk, though. This gang has a tactic of never leaving anyone alive to testify against them. This was the first time we’d caught them during an attack. We have to make it count.


The deck crews finish loading the fighters into the launch bays and, as soon as the ceiling lights turned green, I push down on the accelerator and the ship obeys thundering down the launch track after the ship in front of me towards an electronic membrane field that keeps the atmosphere in. I fizz though the field and out into space.


Even with the noises in my ship, the beeps and rumbling and rocking and talking in my helmet, it’s like I can hear the silence for a moment. It’s breath-taking in a way. Then it gets much worse. To turn away from the Rodomont and head for the freighter involves a tight turn at 8g’s for ten seconds and thrusters slammed on full for three minutes.


We can see her from here. A lumbering grey thing, jaggedly oblong in shape, is trying its’ best to get into our range as flying wing fighters, old XK-97’s, wither her hind quarters with fire. They’ve seen us and half the fighters sweep over their target towards us. I pick one out and fix eyes on it before my systems can even pick it up. I imagine my fellows are doing the same, nervously twitching the hand held fire stub as I close on them. They outnumber us but we’ve got the better ships and... The reverie is interrupted as the first of them comes into long range weapons of Bravo Six and he hammers the stud, lighting space with a flurry of blue energy that perforates the distance to the enemy and hits nothing. It’s the match, though, that starts space burning. I veer to port as my chosen target wheels that way, trying to flank us, and it’s no real match as my cannons flare, the effect shuddering the whole ship slightly and raising the temperature before the coolant system charms the fluid links back down to normal temperatures. I pull back into a steep rise as my shields feel the impact of an XK-97’s guns. By the time I’ve pulled out of his sights and past the incoming fire of... hell, someone else, my shield display says seventy percent charge. I hit the reverse thrusters to stop sharply and, after hitting just the port thrusters to turn sharply, I fight to stay conscious as I whip around the programmed one hundred and eighty degrees and fire on my incoming assailant as I head back into the fight. I catch him a glancing blow and his underside fizzled as he whistles silently past, almost taking my wing with him as he scrapes against my shields. I don’t have time to get after him, Bravo 4, a Raitchian male I owe thirty credits to, is in trouble, two raiders bearing down on him and boxing him in. I come in from high, firing down to where I know they’d be in a second or s...


I’m thrown around like a rag doll as a shot scratchs through a weakness in my shielding and bites a chunk out of my shieldless wing. An alarm blares as I corkscrew through the combat, unable to get a bearing on anyone or anything as my vision takes a tumble cycle until I get out the other side, nauseous and feeling white, Slick sweat rains down my face and my arms are shaking with cold as the ship finally responds to my imploring and straightens out. Bravo 4’s light goes out in my visor. Ship down. I swallow back down the vomit that would have killed me had it got loose and grit my teeth as I get back into the fight.


Behind the fight, space warped and something huge drops into view. A sheer, black, monolith exited hyperspace. A Raitchian destroyer, captured or bought from a corrupt officer with the tricks of the trade. At least sixteen side mounted battle cannons and four forward mounted heavy plasma cannons with stealth armour and shields. The mothership. New orders from Farra. Ignore the elephant in the room, concentrate on her kids and leave courting her to the Rhino we call home.


The freighter’s not doing so well. She’s still under fire, despite my best attempts. I’m staying out of the main fight with my damage so I’m picking on the three fighters targeting her. Something’s not making sense here. These fighters should have broken off into the main fight but they... My scanners ping and I see it. Those damn... Space lights yellow as the Rodomont fires and my screen lights blue as my sensors pick up nuclear material aboard the freighter. The Council keeps a tight leash on this stuff for exactly this reason but still governments try to sneak it through for their reactors. And their weapons. But why are they..? It’s travelling away from them. It’s travelling toward the Rodomont. The Rodomont is the only ship the council have in the sector that can stop that mothership and the effects of a radioactive. I fire, my port side weapons still responding, and one of the three dies. Something’s beeping as I sweep in low behind the other two and watch their shots pierce the freighter’s aft shields again. I wondered how many times the chief engineer had rerouted power to the rear shields now as their engine lights began to dim and I fired again, the three single pulses of energy catching the wing up the engine pipe and it staggered away before exploding, showering my ship with debris that pockmark the hull, shredding fuselage and... ah, hell, my suit... as the pieces fly. I can seal that if I get a moment. But not yet. There’s still a last raider to... I fire and nothing happens. My guns are dead. I blink into my helmet. The readouts have gone. The comm’s down. I watch as the Rodomont closes, unknowingly, on the danger beneath her as the fighter keeps on firing. She's gonna go soon...


I put Mr Frizzle on the dashboard and sigh. I hit the thrusters and push to starboard to come pass the fighter, then I achingly flip to port, bringing me towards the enemy as I hit the thrusters and accelerate towards his cockpit.


I wonder what he thinks in the instant before I hit him.


Probably his mother. Same as me.
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Re: [FWC 16] Fighter

#2 Post by Welsh halfwit » Fri Nov 18, 2016 11:44 pm

Any thought on this one?
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Re: [FWC 16] Fighter

#3 Post by Jarlath » Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:35 pm

Welsh halfwit wrote:Any thought on this one?
Nope, I enjoyed the lost cause fighter story.

Only one thing that I suggest.
Probably his mother. Same as me.
Probably about his mother. Same as me.

Just my personal opinion, take it for what it is worth.

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