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ComNet > Imperial Navy > Archived Naval Academy > Raptor: Overwhelming Odds
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Topic:  Raptor: Overwhelming Odds
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  Raptor: Overwhelming Odds
November 24, 2010 2:45:52 PM    View the profile of DeepSix 
Platform Saratoga - an ever busy location filled with Navy instructors and wannabe pilots just itching for a chance to prove themselves. And what better way to do that if not by trying to ace the most realistic simulations thrown their way?

"Good evening everyone."

The voice belonged to petty officer DeepSix - a man that casually greeted the assembled cadets in what appeared to be a regular briefing room. As the Onderonian trainer made his way to the sole desk in front of everyone all whispering in the room ceased. Not that Seth actually minded the cadets relaxing and acting more like their regular selves in his presence. So long as they would turn out to be good enough pilots able to both complete their missions and support their assigned squadrons then that was pretty much all that he cared about.

"Your mission today will place you in the shoes, or rather the cockpit of a stranded pilot trying to return to his squadron."

Seth paused for a bit as his fingers pressed a few buttons on the datapad found on the desk. Moments later a holographic map would materialize a few feet away from him. For the moment the map was barren, showing nothing other than the terrain of what seemed to be a fairly lush and quite green world.

"The squadron's original mission was to enter the atmosphere here, rendezvous with a half a dozen dropships here and subsequently provide aerial cover whilst the troopers inside those dropships would be deployed here, near what intelligence believes to be a major supply base for the New Republic."

As he talked the Onderonian made sure to constantly update the holographic projection, adding the insertion point, the path to be followed towards the rendezvous point and finally the path towards the final mission objective.

"A set of unforeseen circumstances however made one member of that squadron find himself stranded all the way here."

The hologram was again updated with the new addition allowing the cadets to see quite a bit of distance between the sole fighter and the rest of his squadron. How that fighter managed to find itself that far away was a mystery, but one that was hardly relevant right now as far as this simulation was concerned however.

"This is the enemy base right here. Exact details regarding it however have only been supplied to the Army task force in charge of neutralizing it. What the Navy has been made aware is the ground-air defenses located here, here, here and here. These turrets are protected by shield generators located somewhere inside the perimeter and there is no way for our fighters to bring them down on their own. The good news is that these defenses have a fairly slow rate of fire and the pilots sent on this mission are piloting very maneuverable TIE Interceptors."

Four structure-like constructions appeared on the map, all of them placed around the base no doubt to be able to protect it from all sides.

"These however aren't the biggest issue. The real problem you see are the stationed X-wings found on site. These are what the Navy pilots will have to be most wary of."

Another pressed buttons and differently colored x-wing shaped starfighters appeared on the holographic map.

"As previously stated however your role will be to get from the location you will find yourselves at back to your squadron and once there follow the original mission objectives. Returning to your intended position however will in itself be a tricky thing. You will not be able to exit and re-enter the planet's atmosphere because in the meanwhile enemy reinforcements showed up and those are presently engaged with our own forces in orbit. Leaving the planet at this time would equal suicide. That leaves various other routes to reach your destination. The more direct your approach the more likely you are to face heavier opposition all by yourself. On the contrary, the more time you waste getting there the more you endanger the rest of your squadron. The decision will be yours and yours alone to take however..."

One final time Seth updated the map with a series of arrows, each showing various possible paths that would allow the stranded pilots to reunite with their allies.

"Any questions?"

Nobody answered. Given everyone's focused and slightly strained looks they weren't likely going to either.

"Alright, you have ten minutes to review your mission, afterward you are to report to the simulators and we'll see just how you fare. Good luck!"

And just like that the man exited the room in the same way he entered. The cadets might not know it but the mission presented was a slightly altered real one he had found in the archives. The real mission failed and chances were quite high this simulated mission would also fail too. But then again that was precisely the point as far as DeepSix was concerned. This particular simulation was not about winning. It was not about teamwork and it was even necessarily about skills even. Granted surviving longer and possibly taking down more enemies would count for something but what would matter even more would be the way in which the cadets would react. Would they stay cool and composed even as they would find themselves on their own, with their fake allies dying some distance away? Would they choose to endanger their safety in an attempt to get to their destination faster or would they be smart and/or ruthless and choose the longer but safer routes?

There were various things to consider in a possible new pilot, and understanding how his mind worked and how he was likely going to react in more dangerous situations was also a necessity for those in charge of shaping and checking up and them.

"Fiasco simulation about to start in a few minutes, sir."

The message was directed over a comm channel to Warrant Officer 1st Class Rocketman1167, just in case the fellow wanted to also observe how this new batch of recruits would fare.

Short version - each cadet will undertake the simulation on his own, meaning there won't be any other members inside the simulation. Should two or more new members join the story at the same time then they will each post their own version of events without including one another.

The mission presented during the above briefing will end up failing, so feel free to RP hearing simulated cries for back-up as well as "man down" confirmations.

Myself, Rocket or possibly some other as of yet to be announced trainer may contact you during your simulation to offer advice or otherwise just comment on how things are faring throughout the simulation.

The more direct route you'll choose the more fighters and turret fire you are to face, and that is more likely to kill you sooner. The safer a route you take the more allies you'll end up losing by the time you finally get there - if you ever get there at all by the time it's all over.

It is highly recommended to try and achieve posts with at least a 500+ word count.

For any other questions feel free to ask any of the VENA trainers - PMs or IRC.
FM/PO2 DeepSix/Γ-3/S:153 Rhegent's Reign/W:58 Javelin/VSD Dead Gun/TF:R/2Flt/SFC/VEN/VE [MC2] [IG]

FL/PO2 DeepSix/B-1/S:137 Raptor/W:46 Defiance/PLF Saratoga/TF:TH/3FL/SFC/VEN/VE [MC2] [IG]
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  RE: Raptor: Overwhelming Odds
January 24, 2011 10:07:40 AM    View the profile of Slasher 
Slasher sits back and listens to the briefing for the simulation he will face, he slightly zones out, years of experience allowing him to assimilate the information of the briefing as he mentally goes over the stats of the Interceptor again, considering how he is going to go through the mission. Pretty soon the time has come for him to engage in the simulation and he heads forward with eleven other cadets toward the group of simulators waiting for them, as they approach they are quickly getting assigned to their simulators, but when the Petty Officer assigning them calls out, “Gorma, Rorran, Chief Warrant Officer, Simulator 4.” everyone else present stops what they are doing and looks at him, while the cadets are slightly clueless as to who Slasher is, most of the personnel manning the station know who he is, and immediately after he seals the simulator they crowd around the various display screens in the center so that they can watch how he fares in the simulation.

====Inside the Simulator====

Slasher quickly secures himself into the seat as the computer begins to bring up the simulation for him, in the back of his mind he keeps track of the countdown taking place as he quickly goes over the mission again in his mind, he immediately decides to take the shortest route back to the Squadron he has been separated from.


Well this is gonna be fun, been a while since I had a good workout


“CWO Gorma, confirm readiness for simulation.”


“CWO Gorma, confirms, ready for simulation.”


“Good luck pilot”


And here... we.... go!

“Simulation Starting”


Slasher quickly looks around as his displays all light up and begin to flood his cockpit with information, he takes it all in with a glance, glad to see that he still remembers exactly where every display is and looking at his sensors he sets his course to take the most direct route to link back up with the squadron.

As he accelerates his fighter his threat receiver begins to beep informing him that someone's targeting sensors are beginning to zero in on his fighter, he quickly checks his sensors to find the source and sees the one thing that the briefer had failed to mention about taking the more direct paths, why there would be far heavier opposition, there were sensor stations littered throughout the area surrounding the approach to the base.

Probably wasn't aware of these, they knew pretty much as soon as we entered the atmosphere where we were coming from, probably the same thing was the case upstairs, where our forces are getting heavily engaged.

As if on cue he began to pick up the chatter from the rest of his squadron.

“Raptor Lead, Raptor 4, picking up bandits, looks like 2 squadrons of X's”

“Don't break formation 4, make them come to us, we need to protect these dropships.”

“Copy lead”

As Slasher watches the sensors he sees four of the fighters that were heading toward the rest of Raptor squadron break off and start heading his way.

Well not the best situation, but I think I can handle four fighters, and it lessens the odds against the rest of the squadron, well lets get this over with

Slasher accelerates his interceptor to the maximum velocity he can get out of it, closing the distance with the enemy fighters very quickly, as they pass they exchange fire, he manages to avoid those shots aimed at him, while landing glancing blows on the fighters as they pass, he does not slow down, giving them the opportunity to come around and get in behind him, although they have to go all out just to keep up with his fighter.

Let's give them an opening... and see if they are stupid enough to take it.

Slasher slows his fighter a bit, allowing the X-Wings to begin to close the distance on him as he quickly formulates a plan.

===Outside the simulator===

Among the personnel watching Slasher's run on the viewscreens there is a general murmur of surprise as he begins to slow his fighter,

“What, that makes no sense?”

“Is that pilot mad?”

“He's gonna get himself killed!”

“I expected much better from a pilot who has served with multiple elite squadrons”

They watch as the X-Wings close within firing range of the TIE Interceptor, which suddenly goes into a climb, accelerating again to full speed, the pursuing fighters matching his maneuver and the watchers see the telltale shimmer as the pilots of the X-Wings divert more of their power from their shields into their engines, once again beginning to close the gap.

“This is over... that pilot is dead, what a disappointing run.”


Slasher watching as the enemy fighters close on him, he reduces speed just enough for them to close within firing range as he enters the upper atmosphere, almost approaching the edge of space, and he can see the battle raging above, fire coming from every direction as each side attempts to gain the upper hand, he has a split second now in which to perform his maneuver, and he does so.


All of a sudden the Interceptor stops climbing going into a dive at full speed, and then cutting his engines dropping like a rock with momentum, the viewers watch in surprise as the X-Wings which were pursuing him can't match the maneuver and fly out into space, right into the middle of the orbiting firefight, where they are destroyed in seconds. Meanwhile the Interceptor continues to drop like a stone toward the planet's surface.


Slasher calmly watches his altitude as he falls without power, doing his best to imitate a craft who's pilot is unconscious and plummeting toward the earth, once he has gone as low as he dares, he pushes the engines to full power again, having allowed the angle of his dive to send him forward as well, bringing him to about the halfway point between where he started and the rest of the squadron. He closes again with the dogfight between the rest of the fighters. As he approaches the dogfight he sees that there are 8 Interceptors left, and 18 X-Wings, quickly checking the readout of squadron status he sees that the fighters that have been lost are from Flights 2 and 3, the flight leader of each flight, and then Raptor 12. the remaining fighters have formed into 2 flights, with the Squadron Commander leading one, and the Executive Officer leading the other. He sees one of the X-Wings pulling in behind the XO and quickly lines up and fires, hitting the fighter from above and behind, and managing to penetrate its shields on the second shot to take out its astromech.

“Raptor 7 to Raptor Lead, I'm back, sorry about the delay, I was a little busy.”

“Glad you could join us 7.”

The fight degenerated quickly into an all out brawl, with Raptor 8 and Raptor 3 falling to well placed shots from the enemy fighters, while the rest of the squadron is able to whittle down the enemy force to 15 fighters. While still outnumbered 2 to 1, Squadron leader of Raptor knows that he still has a mission to complete so he orders, “2, take 7 and 10, follow those dropships, make sure they get through, we'll hold them here for as long as we can.”

“Copy that”

As they break off from the fight and head after the dropships which were beginning to pull away into the distance. Of the remaining enemy fighters five of them pull off and pursue the group Slasher is with while the rest continue to engage the squadron.

“Looks like we have picked up some followers” Raptor 2 comments, “don't let them get a bead on us,”

Slasher checks again his heads-up display and sees that they are coming up on one of the AA units, which was giving the dropships a lot of fire,

“Sir, I have a suggestion,”

“what is it?”

Slasher quickly jinks his fighter to the right to avoid a volley of shots from one of the pursuing fighters.

“We're coming up on that Ack Ack unit, wanna see how stupid these guys really are?”

“Sounds good 7”

The three interceptors quickly head toward the Anti-Aircraft unit with the X-Wings in pursuit, dive toward the AA base, and the X-Wings following them, still trying to get a lock. Slasher and the Squadron XO carefully time it and pull out just as the next volley Anti Aircraft fire heads toward them, Raptor 10 and two of the X-Wings are not so lucky, 10 is incinerated and one of the X-Wings spins off and slams into the ground, but the second kept going straight forward and slammed into the shields protecting the AA site, the shields resisted for a moment, then failed, the fighter slamming into the tower and exploding, with a secondary explosion as the warheads in its torpedoes exploded.

Still got three back there... how to take care of these guys...

“7, I've ordered the dropships to head through here since we've knocked out that Ack Ack, we've got to keep the area clear for th- arrrrgggghhhhhh”

Raptor 2's fighter explodes as it is caught by a torpedo launched by one of the X-Wings, on instinct Slasher rolls his fighter to the right, and cuts his speed as a torpedo flashes by and he triggers a burst from his lasers by pure chance hitting the torpedo and causing it to explode.

How did those torpedoes manage to defeat my sensors... Slasher wonders as he continues to take evasive action.

“Raptor 7 to Raptor Lead, lost 2 and 10, they are jamming our sensors so we can't pick up their torpedoes.”

“7 this is *bzzzt* Lead, *bzzzt* aware of *bzzzt* long-ra *bzzzt* communications, about to join back up with you, just myself and 3 left now, we took out five of the bastards, but they've been throwing torpedoes at us too.”

“I'm not sure how much longer I'll be able to avoid these...”

The screen goes dark and the simulation ends and the hatch begins to open, Slasher turns around the word “torpedoes” on his lips, and sees everyone outside watching the various screens. Those screens now show replays of his run on the simulation.

The Petty Officer looks up from his padd and says, “Gorma, Rorran, Chief Warrant Officer, Time, 20 minutes 32 seconds. Simulation Failed, but new record achieved. Good work sir, and welcome back.”

“Thanks, it's good to be back.”

WordCount: 1828 words, it is good to be back and writing again
TRN/CWO Slasher/S:137 "Raptor"/PLT Cappadocious/VENA/VEN/VE
[This message has been edited by Slasher (edited January 24, 2011 10:18:27 AM)]
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  RE: Raptor: Overwhelming Odds
January 27, 2011 1:53:22 AM    View the profile of Raigen 
Casca Phennir was a decorated Commander in the GCW and, at the moment, very contemptuous of the fact that he would have to prove his skills to those half as skilled as he in a simulation....A SIMULATION...a computer, with no instincts, no feeling, and no match for Commander Casca Phennir, who had been instructed to return to Basic Training to "shake the rust off" after his debriefing on the Atrus. A debriefing that was less than receiving.

Casca sat across a large table from a uniformed naval intelligence officer...

"Let us get this strait, you want us to believe that Raigen kidnapped you then forced you at gunpoint to help him and this pirate league, the RDA, to invade some backwater planet just for some rubys.  Why did he need you, our intelligence tells us the planet is still using combustion vehicles and gravity trains."

"I fail to understand anything that lunatic does, but apparently he was working under someone, a pirate. They seemed to know each other for a while...Darren Bandaar, Twi-Lek, one head tentacle."

"We are well aware of Mr. Bandaar. We will get to the organization of the pirate group later. Right now all we want to know is the conditions of your departure and return. Now, why did Raigen need you?"

"He needed my experience with the Empire, The local militia was supplied with Imperial equipment."

"Why didn't the local Imperial Remnant send their own troops?"

"They knew about the attack beforehand, when i saw they had supplied imperial equipment to the natives, I was suspicious of an imperial ambush...Simple really, supply the natives, tire the invading force against them...then come in while they're celebrating."

"So they ambushed the Pirates, and you escaped."

"I tipped them off.  Sent him information on the formations, where the ships were, how many squadrons protecting each ship...the usual mole info. I got out right before the Imperial Fleet came out of hyperspace. Later I received a debriefing and a pat on the back.  No reward, just a thank you for being a "good Samaritan". I came back and that's when you all captured my ship and brought me here."

"What do you know about the whereabouts of Raigen Tei-Yehn."

"No clue, he was in the capital when the Empire starting bombarding the planet....But if you ask me....Everyone on that planet BUT him are dead..."

"We'll talk more later, in the mean time we want you to report to the Imperial Academy for basic training, just to shake the rust off while we work on re-inducting you into the service."


Casca strapped himself in the simulator and shut the entry hatch. From the outside, the machine looked like a large generator, but inside, it was the same cramped eye-ball cockpit of an imperial tie fighter.
[-=Nazgul Squadron=-]
FM/CPO Raigen/Nazgul Squadron 12/Phoenix Wing/mSSD Atrus/1FL/VEN/VE(=*A*=)[VC:B][SWC][BRC][NS-2]
Author/WS Raigen/Lotaith/VET/VE

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[This message has been edited by Raigen (edited January 27, 2011 8:02:15 PM)]
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  RE: Raptor: Overwhelming Odds
January 27, 2011 5:41:27 PM    View the profile of Raigen 
Casca strapped himself in the simulator and shut the entry hatch. From the outside, the machine looked like a large generator, but inside, it was the same cramped eye-ball cockpit of an imperial tie fighter. Facishish lights flickered on life support readouts that did not exist. Casca new very well if the simulated tie life support system were to go out, he would still be able to breath. To him, it was all just a big tauntaun show with little more reality than the idea that he would once again be a Commander with a Dreadnaught heavy cruiser and a squadron under his thumb. Now, at the bottom of the militaristic food chain, Casca could do little more than comfort himself by showing up the rest of this navy with his superior flying abilities.

Welcome to Imperial Naval Academy Simulation System>>>>

>>>>You have been briefed on your mission and are ready to fly your modified Imperial Tie Interceptor>>>>>

>>>>For the purpose of this simulation, your fuel will start at seventy-five percent and your hyperdrive will be disabled>>>>

>>>>Simulation will begin in 5...4...3...2...1...Begin

Casca sighed as the atmosphere of a lush, temperate planet appeared before him. Taking the cold, black flight controls in his hand, he increased the simulated throttle to ninety percent as simulated gravity pressed him to the flight seat. Casca pulled the controls toward him as the Interceptor gained altitude, there was smoke on the horizon where the battle on the ground ensued, but he was too far to see his imaginary squadron members. Circling the area as he gained altitude, Casca called the squadron commander over the short range transponder. "Raptor Eight to Raptor One, holding position, awaiting instructions."

"Raptor Eight....Where are you....We need you here now...." The recorded voice stream seemed less than responsive to what Casca was asking. Casca leveled off in the clouds and flipped the anti icing toggle above his head. He flew by the book, and even though the chance of icing was only sixty percent, and that ice would do little more
than hinder his visibility, it was his nature to take every precaution and preparation in everything he did.

"Raptor Eight to Raptor One, what's the situation?" he questioned the computer simulated warrant officer as he continued to make one klick circles and await further information on the situation.

"Raptor One to Raptor Eight, taking heavy damage, anti-air still functional. Enemy snub fighters have engaged us, Raptor two is down, proceed to the location and get on my wing. Raptor One out." Casca sighed and pushed down on the flight controls into a sixty degree decent. His body lifted out of the seat and the seat restraints cut into his shoulders. As the sim-grav pushed the skin back onto his face, he increased throttle to full power and sped down to the tree line. Fighting the g-forces being applied to his body he diverted his rear shields to the ion engines and fought to pull the controls toward him. The interceptor continued to increase speed as the starfighter began to level out just over the tree line. Even in the briefing room, Casca knew that a low high speed approach directly to the location would be the safest route without leaving his squadron on their own for too long.

Casca slowly decreased the distance between his craft and the tree line, banking and dodging various foliage as he closed in on the battle before him. The speed he had acquired during his descent began to bleed off and tiny silhouettes of his squadron appeared on the holographic canopy of the simulator. Anti-air cannons fired up at the tie interceptors of his allies, shooting slowly but accurately into the atmosphere.  Casca was still just above the trees, too low and too fast for the computer controled gunners to make any shots within a hundred feet of his posistion.  Realistically, being just above the treeline, the angle of the blast would more than likely hit a tree before it would come anywhere near his craft. "Raptor Eight to Raptor One, three klicks from the supply station.  I have a visual on both the anti air set-ups and Raptor Squadron, where is your location?"

"Glad to hear it Eight, I have rebel on my tail between the southern and western anti air turret. I have no visual on you." Casca jerked the controls upward while diverting power to his rear shields.  Multiple holoblasts whizzed behind him as he gained altitude.  A single Interceptor above him was closely trailed by a pair of enemy x-wings.  Casca, at full throttle, was closing in on the enemies directly before angling his craft to a spot just in front of his targets.  He pressed his thumbs firmly on two blaster buttons atop his flight stick.  Laser beams in groups of four fired continuously at both enemy snubs.  Holographic flashes and electrical discharges spurted from the shields.  The foremost x-wing rolled off to avoid fire while still trailing Raptor one, but the second bogey's shields had fluttered out.  The engines of the x-wing burst into a cinematic like flame, pylons ripping from the craft as it lost speed, altitude, and hope of survival.  The enemy craft death-rolled into the trees below Casca's craft as he passed over the firey explosion.

"Red One, Cut port and bleed off speed. Once he overshoots, I'll nail him."
[-=Nazgul Squadron=-]
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  RE: Raptor: Overwhelming Odds
January 27, 2011 7:14:14 PM    View the profile of Casca 
At twice the altitude of his approach, Casca was a much easier target for the anti-air batteries; shots from both directions began to come closer and closer to the simulated starfighter as he closed in on the bogey, still firing on his computer generated squadron commander.  The enemy flight took notice of Casca's kill as well as the dire situation of their now sandwiched friendly.  A pair of red dots appeared at five-o-clock on his short range radar as Casca opened fire on his target.  Turret fire began to pound on his shields, and the simulation cockpit began to shake.

Shields at twenty percent and dropping>>>

>>>Enemy has missile lock>>>

Casca cursed as more snub fighters came into his vicinity.  Prerecorded cries of death blared in his helmet as imaginary squadron members faded from his radar screen. "Raptor One, I'm disengaging." Casca slammed his palm on the large red flare button on his control panel.  Firework-like pods jettisoned around him, creating false heat signatures around him as he rolled into a downward immelman, missiles following him.  Three or four of the projectiles would explode into the flares around him, shaking his flight seat more.  Lighting in the simulator strobed and then cut out as a false missile ended his simulation.

Simulation failed...Completion percentage 88%...Targets destroyed...1.75...Friendlies lost...5.25...survival>>>>>

Casca cursed under his breath, knowing the simulation was impossible to complete.  Tucking his helmet under his arm, he climbed out of the simulator to find Deepsix waiting on him.  Casca frowned in disappointment.

"Don't feel bad, everyone fails, but most people just bail out for the survival bonus on their score.  Why did you try to out maneuver the missiles?"

"I've never bailed out...and I refuse to do it in any situation, simulator or live battle.  If my ship goes down, I go down." Casca said as he slid down the entry ladder and onto the sim-room floor.

"At any rate, we feel your methods were rather unorthodox, despite your execution the book.  Good call going in low and fast thow. You didn't leave your teammates out to dry or take on the risk of a head on approach.  We'll get you a progress report in an hour or two, in the mean time your welcome to head back to the briefing room with the rest of your squadron."

"With all do respect sir, I'd rather take on that simulation a few more times."

"Very well, report to the briefing room in forty five minutes."

Casca nodded and pulled his helmet back onto his military shaved head and climbed back into the simulator.
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  RE: Raptor: Overwhelming Odds
February 7, 2011 7:54:05 PM    View the profile of Trykon 
With a final, perfunctory, “Good luck,” the trainer – a Petty Officer, judging by the not-quite-memorized rank insignia he bore – brought his very brief briefing to an end, leaving newly-initiated Crewman Wyl Trykon and the other cadets and trainees alone.  Instantly, the briefing room was abuzz with the excited whispering of the others, any pretense of proper military decorum dropped with the Petty Officer’s exit, but from his seat near the holo-projector, Crewman Trykon held his silence, dispassionately considering the task at hand.

This would be Trykon’s first mission in the service of the Empire, and his first sortie piloting a starfighter.  It was only a simulator run, of course, so there was no real danger involved.  Still, this was a wide open opportunity to distinguish himself – one way or the other.

Maybe you’re not gonna die, today, Wyl, the new Crewman mused, but when you climb out of that simulated cockpit you’re comin’ out on the fast track to combat and command, or you’re comin’ out a loser.  His brows knit together as he frowned.  “Let’s try for the former, shall we?” he mumbled to himself.

Ignoring the other trainees, Trykon stood up and strode purposefully over to the desk at the front of the room, picked up the datapad the Petty Officer had left behind, and activated the holographic map again.

The highlighted details blinking on the map hadn’t changed, and neither had the mission itself; it was a straightforward training scenario, which offered a simple choice, if not necessarily an easy one.  He’d start the mission separated from his squadron in atmo, and would have to choose between two bad options: a direct approach through enemy forces (fighters and anti-air) to rejoin his flight, or a safer, more circuitous route, which would leave his squadron-mates outnumbered and vulnerable while they tried to complete the mission.  Trykon’s frown twisted into a rueful grin. It isn’t a test of piloting ability, he thought, shutting down the holo-map and leaving the pad and desk as he’d found them.  It’s a test of our priorities.  A test of character.

Wyl’s grey-green eyes flitted around the room, taking silent measure of the other trainees.  With an effort, he resisted the urge to make snap-judgments about his new comrades.  Tearing them down wouldn’t actually make him a better pilot, it wouldn’t help him complete the mission, and it wouldn’t help his chances of making friends here, either.  Focus on Self, he told himself, repeating the mantra of his school days.  They are testing you, and only you.  You know the challenge, so what will you do?

He glanced at the chronometer on the far wall, and with a sinking feeling realized that he was out of time to answer that question; he was due in the simulator, and the other trainees were already filing out of the briefing room.  Unbidden, the thoughtful frown returned to his face, as Trykon joined the others in the short walk to the sim room down the corridor.

The mission is the priority, Trykon kept repeating to himself, as he lowered himself into the cramped ball cockpit of the TIE simulator, closed the hatch, and strapped into the seat. The mission is the priority. He checked that the machine’s presets for a VE-standard Interceptor were keyed in, flicked the starter switches for the twin ion engines, and confirmed his comm systems were connected with the control personnel running the exercise: “Raptor Four has two starts and is go.”  The mission is the priority.

“Cleared for launch, Four,” came the reply.  The cockpit was suddenly filled with the familiar whine of the TIE in flight, and the various screens and indicator lights of the craft flickered to life.  A countdown appeared on the simulator’s main viewport: Simulation begins in 5, 4… The mission is the priority. …3, 2… But I can’t help them complete the mission if I’m dead.  …1…

With a flash, the viewport initialized, and Trykon was screaming through the sky of a verdant world, the distant coastline recognizable from the holo-map in the briefing room.  A quick look at the sensor displays confirmed his situation: Trykon’s fighter was several kilometers away from the rest of the squadron, and the New Republic’s anti-aircraft towers were directly between him and the nearest allied craft, which his sensors ID’ed as one of the dropships he was supposed to be covering.  “Great,” Wyl muttered into his helmet, and then he keyed his comm unit.  “Raptor One, this is Four.  I’m on my way back to the engagement area.”

“Raptor Four, One.  Mind the towers.”

Pulling back on the control yoke, Trykon felt the simulated gravity push him back into his seat as the bright blue sky filled the viewport.  “I copy, One.  I’m going for altitude.  Should make me a harder target for ‘em.”

“One, Two here,” an animated voice broke in.  “I have new targets!  Enemy fleet just hypered in, and ground-based fighters are scrambling.  So far, two full flights from the northwest corner of the base.”

“Raptors, we’ve got company,” the squadron leader said calmly.  “All fighters are to remain in-atmosphere until further notice.  Alpha flight, on me.  Beta, get ready to back us up if more X-wings launch.  Four, get back ASAP.  Everybody else, protect the dropships.  Go now!”

Trykon leveled out just as the closest anti-aircraft battery fired its first ranging shot in his general direction.  The blaster bolt went wide by almost a hundred meters, but before he could register his relief, Trykon noticed that four of the enemy signals had separated from the main group, and were heading his way.  A sparkling flash in the distance caught his eye: through the viewport, a glint of sunlight reflected off the canopy of the lead X-wing of the flight rising from their base to kill him.

“One, this is Four.  I may be detained a bit.”  Wyl twin-linked his blasters, shunted power to his forward shields, and adjusted his course to fly more or less due south, the enemy fighters rapidly closing the distance somewhere beyond his port wing.

“I see them, Four.  Good luck.”

The X-wings were almost in firing range when Trykon swung his Interceptor around to meet them head on.  The rebels’ sensors wouldn’t be affected by his southerly detour, but with the sun now directly behind him, Wyl hoped their visual scanning would be impaired.  He centered the lead X-wing in his sights, and fired.

The dual green bolts lanced out from his hungry-looking starfighter, and bit into the durasteel of the incoming X-wing.  Half a heartbeat later, an explosion in the snubfighter’s midsection marked where his shots had connected with the enemy’s arsenal of proton torpedoes, and suddenly he was soaring past a cloud of falling debris, the remainder of the enemy flight already circling around behind him.

Exhilaration was abruptly replaced by something close to panic when the TIE fighter was rocked by a direct hit.  His forward shield glowed a menacing blue as it absorbed the blaster fire, and Trykon tracked the shots back to their source: the now much-closer anti-air turret.  He jinked his Interceptor left to avoid the steady stream of bolts coming from the base, just as a second turret opened up on him, and silently thanked the Universe that his shields had been set to maximum front.

You set them to front to guard against the fighters! a voice screamed in his mind, and, as if in response, angry red fire sizzled past his starboard wing.  The X-wings were on his tail, and seemed a bit upset that Trykon had just disintegrated their friend.  Without pausing to think about it, Trykon rerouted power to his rear shield, rolled his Interceptor upside-down, and pulled back hard on the yoke, the ion engines wailing as the spacefighter struggled to dive in the very different medium of atmosphere.  As the green of the forest canopy far below filled the viewport, Trykon watched his rear sensor display.

Sure enough, the overeager enemy pilots flew right into the crossfire of their own ground-based defenses.  With a grim satisfaction, Trykon watched as at least two of the X-wings were buffeted by blaster bolts.  One of the craft leveled out, showing significantly reduced power, and broke formation, heading back to its base, but the other two began to mirror Trykon’s Split-S maneuver, just as an alarm brought his attention back to his rapidly falling altimeter, and the solid plane of vegetation rushing up to meet his viewport.

Cursing, Trykon clutched at the control yoke, pulling up with all his strength.  For tense moments the dive continued unabated, the Interceptor’s control surfaces straining against the immense g-forces, until at last the wingtips began to rise.  Wyl leveled out mere meters above the treetops, as red blaster bolts set fire to the trees on either side of his ship as his pursuers followed him through the dive and recovery.

In a flash, he was over the New Republic base, and then just as quickly he was beyond it, though the extra speed from his dive was steadily bleeding away.  The towers around the base had stopped shooting at him for the moment, but his X-wing followers were right behind him, blasting away with a total of eight laser cannons.  Warning klaxons sounded as a shot grazed his rear shield.

“Raptor Four has arrived,” Trykon bit out, starting a barrel roll.  “But so have two more X-wings.”  He spun through the maneuver, but the rebel pilots stuck with him.  “I can’t shake ‘em.”

“Four, One.  Break hard right on 3.  1, 2, 3!”

Trykon didn’t know what the squadron leader was planning, but he knew enough to do what he was told.  He snap-rolled the Interceptor onto its right wing and pulled up as hard as he could.  Before he could even check the displays, One’s voice came back.  “You’re clear, Four.  Welcome to the party.”

But before Trykon could send his thanks, his shields lit up blue again, and the fighter shuddered.  The ground guns were firing again.  Red lights blinked in time with a new alarm as the shields failed, and despite a desperate reverse roll, one final bolt burrowed into his fighter’s unprotected metal skin.

“Four is hit,” Trykon said, as calmly as he could.  The yoke was jumping in his hand, and he had to fight to maintain level flight.  Surprisingly, nothing had shot at him for some seconds.  “I think I’m out of range of the ack-ack, but I can barely maneuver,” he said.

Silence.  Seconds passed, as the damage report scrolled by inexorably on the main monitor.  Shields were gone, and so were sensors.  But communications weren’t damaged.  So why is nobody talking?

“I repeat: Four is hit, and can’t steer.  I’m also blind and naked.  Request instructions.”

Again, none of his squadron-mates answered, and again, the damage report showed no problem with communications.  A quick run-through of the possibilities left one obvious conclusion: Wyl was the last surviving pilot of the entire Imperial strike force.  And he was flying a damaged fighter with no hope in a dogfight.

“Glad it’s a simulation, anyway,” Wyl said to no one in particular.  Tentatively, he tried to ease the battered Interceptor into a turn to port.  The controls were heavy, but he found he could slowly change his heading.  “Okay, at least I have some options other than flying level until they shoot me down,” he mused.

He keyed for the overall Fleet channel: “This is Raptor Four.  I’m hit, and I think the rest of the squadron and the dropships are out of the fight.  Good luck.”

Checking the blaster pistol at his belt, he continued the wide turn back toward the New Republic base.  If he could just stay aloft for long enough…

But just as the nearest turret came into view, the viewport went dark, and the controller’s voice echoed in his helmet.

“Simulation ended, Crewman.  Petty Officer DeepSix will debrief you.”

“What do you mean, ‘Simulation ended’?  Don’t I get to finish?”

The sim’s hatch popped open, and a puzzled technician looked in on him.  “You are finished, pilot.  X-wing got ya.”

Trykon frowned.  “Oh.”  He unstrapped and left the tech to do his job.

In the corridor, Wyl went through the exercise in his mind – one clean kill, another enemy forced to disengage, and two more he’d led into the squadron leader’s ambush – not bad, all told, for his first simulator run.  Besides, he’d managed to rejoin the group in what felt like a timely manner, and he’d been the last man standing.  And if he’d had a few more seconds, his little kamikaze run might’ve upped his score even more, especially if the computer calculated he would’ve survived the last-minute, low-altitude ejection.

When he walked into the briefing room, only DeepSix was there.  The other trainees were either still in their sims, or long since done.  He idly wondered which.

“Crewman Trykon, reporting for debriefing, sir!” Wyl said, snapping to attention.  The Petty Officer’s expression was unreadable, and for all the pride he felt in his actions, Wyl realized that one fact remained: the mission itself had failed.  Resolutely – almost defiantly – he awaited his first debriefing as a pilot in Imperial service.


Word Count: 2,205, or thereabouts.
Is my flagship ready, Captain?

FM/CRW Trykon/A-4/S:137 Raptor/W:46 Defiance/PLF CAPPADOCIOUS/TF:TH/3FL/SFC/VEN/VE
[This message has been edited by Atrasin (edited February 7, 2011 8:44:58 PM)]
[This message has been edited by Rocketman (edited February 8, 2011 2:50:42 AM)]
[This message has been edited by Trick (edited February 11, 2011 2:18:17 AM)]
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  RE: Raptor: Overwhelming Odds
February 25, 2011 2:04:42 AM    View the profile of Athales 
"Survival and getting back to your squadron are the main objectives if possible," ponders Athales after the mission debriefing. Waiting his turn for the simulator Athales’s mind wonders to the mission. He would  begin in the position of a squadron member who somehow is no where near his squadron team and in enemy territory.

"Trainee Athales," a voice called. Athales snapped out of his thoughts and looked for the voice. A commander was telling him it is his turn to enter the simulator. Once inside the lighted simulator Athales got situated as the lights dimmed and went out.

Assessing his situation Athales finds himself in the cockpit of a Tie-fighter facing northeast. Athales looks around and spots a Probe Droid to the northeast and it is heading west. Athales looks at his scanner and discovers his squadron is in the direction the Probe is heading. Athales wonders “Did the droid see him?”  if so he is going to have some unwanted company soon. In any case whether the Probe Droid saw him or not he needs to get moving. Slowly so as to try not to attract the attention of the droid Athales decides to get above the probe so it hopefully will not see him if it already hadn’t. Nearing the place his squadron members should be Athales remembers from the briefing there is a base near by with missile turrets on each corner of the base. In addition to the turrets there are enemy fighters in the same territory. Athales sees the enemy base with missile turrets in front of him and his teammates on the other side of the turrets. “This is going to be difficult,” Athales says to himself. “I will have to maneuver quickly to get past those turrets,” Athales tells himself. Talking to himself Athales says “Ready here I go and into the line of fire.” Athales tries to quickly maneuver through the oncoming missile fire but he gets hit but only a scratch. “Ah finally through that dangerous situation. "Oh great'" Athales says as he sees enemy X-wings battling with his teammates. Now I have to help my squadron and face the enemy fighters that are engaged with them in battle. I most likely will not survive this and since that is the case I might as well try to do as much damage as possible to the enemy,” thinks Athales. He looks around for a close and easy target and finding one Athales maneuvers to get into firing range. Once in range and sights on target Athales pulls the trigger. He sees his target go down and then from somewhere he hears a blast and sees fire then his world goes dark. In total darkness Athales thinks to himself “Where am I am I dead.” Then he hears noises, and lights come on. Just as the simulation door starts opening Athales  remembers he had been in a simulation, not on a real mission. A simulation mechanic helps Athales out of the simulation machine and reminds him to go to the debriefing room.

In the debriefing room Athales was debriefed by a Navy Officer who gave him the lowdown on how he did.

TRN/CRW/Athales/B-2/137:Raptor/Platform Cappadocious/VENA/VEN/VE
[This message has been edited by Athales (edited February 28, 2011 3:16:31 AM)]
[This message has been edited by Athales (edited February 28, 2011 3:19:04 AM)]
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  RE: Raptor: Overwhelming Odds
March 3, 2011 9:30:42 AM    View the profile of TheStrangler 
“Discharged due to unstable psychology; flight risk to any squadron due to inability to cope with combat stress.” That was why it had ended, and why Enzadi Malko found himself adrift in the Galaxy, post-Naval service with the Vast Empire. And it was dismal to him, and not very good for his confidence. He couldn't think of any reason why he would be labeled as unable to cope. Maybe it was how he became brooding, silent and dark whenever his squadron was briefed for combat. Or his slight tendency toward recklessness and disregard for regulation during combat which had earned him his psychological evaluation. It didn't matter. He was judged, and found wanting, and given a discharge from the Navy and allowed to reenlist upon a successful follow-up examination of his psyche.

    Maybe he thought too much, and that was his problem. To be fair, it was his problem now as he listened to the training briefing. A bunch of wet-behind-the-ears crewmen were listening with rapt attention to the petty officer as he explained the details of the simulator, and Malko was not following suit. He was on automatic pilot at this point, lost to his memories and his mind, wandering through the depths of all that had transpired in the past few years. From shiftless, layabout heir to hardened naval fighter pilot, to shiftless, layabout heir. The return to his Corellian home was spent in shock. Upon his return to the planet of his birth, he couldn't just sit about, mentally recuperating...

    “Any questions?” the trainer asked. This shocked Malko out of his slight trance. He made his face expressionless, and tried to see if his nigh-eidetic memory would serve him: stranded from squadron, heavy enemy ground artillery, high risk of death if pursuing an expeditious course to rendezvous, high risk of squadron casualties if attempting to reconnoiter via a safer route. Cut and dry. The tall pilot stretched out in his newly-issued uniform, the rank insignia on the shoulder still that of the familiar petty officer, second class. The trainees milled about for a moment before moving en masse to the simulator.

    Bet half of 'em will get scrapped, Malko thought. He took quick around the ground, assessing them. As they walked, his right forefinger made its way to the side of his chin, stroking thoughtfully. Better make that two-thirds. The group continued to walk, the chatter at a minimum, when a little voice said in the back of his head, And what about you, Enzadi? Do you still have what it takes to maneuver a TIE Interceptor like you belong in the cockpit? Like you even belong in this man's Navy? He blinked hard, and shook his head once, trying to clear his mind of any undermining thoughts as to his ability. He had been a pilot for the Navy of the Vast Empire. He was again. And there was nothing anyone could do about it. Especially not his self-esteem.

    The simulation itself was held in a bay loaded with individual simulators, which were ingenious contraptions themselves, reacting to simulation physics normally, giving the trainees the illusion that they were piloting an actual Interceptor in a planet-bound confrontation. A very convincing illusion, at that. Malko made his way to his designated simulator and the technician who stood ready for him, who acknowledged him once he had reached his goal.

    “That's...uh, Petty Officer Malko, yes?” the portly man looking like it took about ten minutes to fit into his trainer's uniform.

    “Aye, that's me,” Enzadi replied, and was wordlessly treated to the man turning to the simulator and punching in some sort of input, the hatch lifting.

    “All yours,” the trainer said finally as Enzadi folded himself into the cockpit, just like old times, surveying the familiar controls, the LED inputs, and the control yoke. Tentatively, as if afraid of it, he wrapped both his hands around the control, treated to a small flashback of a dark alley, a dead woman, a dying man, and himself. The dying man was standing below him, his face rapidly turning a deep purple...
    He shook his head, clearing it once more, burying the fact that several times over since his discharge from the Navy he had earned his callsign. He wouldn't think about that. Not now, with the onscreen display counting down to simulation, before the simulated cockpit sprang to life, treating Malko to a panoply of information: the status of his fighter, oncoming ordinance, the status and location of the rest of Raptor Squadron, whom it was his mission to find. He edged the fighter forward: he was good enough of a pilot that he could make it through heavy fire and enemy fighter cover.

    “Raptor Lead, this is Raptor Seven, copy.” The response from the simulated squadron leader came over the communication channel swiftly, but there was a strain in its voice. “I've become separated, there seems to be an aerial killzone set up. Between me and the rest of the squadron.”

    “We're under heavy fire, Seven. Get here in one piece and with all possible speed.”

    “Copy that, One.”

    And now here came the choice: go around the area covered by the turrets and the majority of the fighters, or run into less fighters but risk having his fictitious squadron blown out of the sky and straight to hell. The Strangler smirked as he adjusted his speed to full, yawing right and changing course to the northwest, out of the range of laser turret fire and arousing less suspicion. Almost, immediately, a cry came up over the comm.

    “I'm hi-” That was it. Hi-. His fighter was scrapped. One imaginary ally eliminate as Malko swung his fighter around, skirting just out of the range of turrets. He was not alone though. In fighter proximity indicators showed that not two, but four enemy craft were tracking him and wanted an easy target. Inside his helmet, Malko's faced pulled into a grimmer smirk. He held his course, dipping his yoke up and down to give slight changes in altitude but no real change in his rendezvous vector, which, from what the trainer said, would loop around the area and come to his squadron from the rear. This would leave them man-down and therefore at a disadvantage from the overwhelming odds they were coming to face as more time passed. Cutting through saved time but was most likely impossible. Or at least, cutting through the diameter of the turrets' effective range. The plan came together as the four X-Wing fighters came into firing range.

    “Playtime,” he said, chuckling low to himself. As the fighters approached from his west, he adjusted course slightly more east, the enemy bandits changing to accommodate his new direction. As they closed, Malko maneuvered his fighter right and towards the planet, accelerating and forcing the fighters to chase him to keep up. They were in his hands now.

    As they pursued his new courses, another cry of a man down came over the channel. The tide was turning against Raptor, and so Malko had little-to-no time to waste. The bandits were on his tail now, and he pulled his fighter around at an even tighter angle, the bandits forced to shoot past him and adjust later. More space meant he was safer, for the moment. He planned to let the space close, as he increased his altitude even higher and set his speed at full through the killzone, cutting across a sector on a line. Less distance, meaning he could rendezvous faster, and lose these fighters in their own chaos.

    “Raptor Seven, where the hell are you?!” cried Raptor One.

    “Got some bandits on my six, One. Trying to give them a taste of their own medicine,” Malko replied calmly, maintaining his cool as turret fire streaked throw the sky toward him, He pulled into a roll and dropped his altitude further before pulling back up, forcing his pursuers into similar maneuvers, as the turret recharged and recalculated their firing solution. Malko felt the simulator rock slightly as he took a couple of shots to the back shield, its integrity down to around 70% of capacity.

    Gotta make my move soon, he thought. He reduced speed slightly, letting them close with him as he maintained course and altitude; an easy shot for the turrets, but that was exactly what he was hoping for. A quick look through his rear view port told him what he needed to know: the fighters were in a close formation, hoping to concentrate their fire on him and eliminate their enemy quickly.

    All too easy.

    The next turret round should have been primed, and Malko reduced his acceleration to zero, basically killing his engines as the ground-based turret fired. He dipped so his altitude would be lower, the bandits shooting past and over him. Malko was treated with a pleasing sight, and the aim of his whole foray into the range of the turrets: one of the fighters on the end was caught by the turret fire, taking a nearly direct hit that caused the X-Wing to be instantly reduced to charred spare parts. The S-foils of his wingman caught the explosion, causing the wingman's fighter to adjust to the momentum dangerously: it collided with one of the other fighters, allowing gravity and engine failure to do the rest of the work as they plummeted towards the planet's surface. Three down, one to go.

    Enzadi reengaged his engines, easily able to target the remaining bandit, still reacting from the friendly-fire destruction of the other three, pulling up. Enzadi closed on the fighter, firing a few bursts from his cannons towards the fighter, one finding a mark on the deflector shields and the others, at a skew angle, careening past. Cautiously, with all the intent of a predator, Malko's thumb found it's way to the button: missiles. He'd only have one shot, and it'd have to be perfect. The enemy fighter continued to pull up, hoping to be able to pull up and back around behind his pursuing TIE Interceptor where he was in the proper attack position, but The Strangler would have none of that. He overcorrected his angle, so that for a split-second his sights and the nose of the craft would be lined up, and took his shot, the missile moving with incredible speed from its small bay on his craft. It streaked through the sky and found a partial mark, detonating on the stern of the small craft. The force of the resultant explosion propelled the fighter into a chaotic freefall, unable to maneuver with the lack of workable engines on the craft. The way to the rest of Raptor Squadron was clear, for the moment.

    Pulling around, he adjusted speed and acceleration to maximum, less than a third of the effective range of these particular turrets remaining. Internally, he marveled at how in-depth the simulator was, forcing him to pull off maneuvers he actually needed to formulate, rather than stock simulations where the Vast Empire had overwhelming tactical advantage. It made him think back to his first assignment, so long ago...He snapped out of it quickly, as he saw in the approaching distance the familiar Interceptors. He had made it.

    “Raptor One, this is Seven, copy.” No response. “Raptor One, this is Raptor Seven, do you copy?”

    A near-screech came over the comm. “One is out of business, this is Raptor Three, what's your status Seven?”

    “I estimate one klick before I can re-enter squadron configuration,” he said. Or would have said, had it not been for the turret crossfire he found himself trying to dodge. What he said, more accurately, was “I estimate one klick before I can re-ent-ah!” As he dizzingly tried to roll and yaw his way out of the way of fire. The ordinance closer to  him, it seemed was a trap, and several shots penetrated his shields like cheesecloth, the deflector system yielding easily, before striking his fighter, blowing off the wing and causing the simulator to shake and jerk violently, and trying to steer resulted in the simulator spinning about its axis uncontrollably, as altitude dropped rapidly, still propelled by the force of his  engines.

    He wondered how long this would continue as he tried to regain control before the screen and controls went black, the simulator easing to an upright stop. Enzadi tried running one hand through his hair only to realize he couldn't reach it through the helmet. The cockpit hatch's hydraulics hissed and lift up to the portly trainer.

    “Nice work in there, Malko. Most people try to charge through.” Enzadi shrugged, dismantling himself from the seat and unfolding his long legs, sliding to the ground. “Simulator debriefing's in ten,” he was saying, but Enzadi didn't hear him, stretching out and smiling to himself.

    It felt good to be back in the saddle.

Word Count: 2164
FM/PO2 Enzadi Malko/A-4/S:137 Raptor/W:46 Defiance/PLF Cappadocious/TF:TH/3FL/SFC/VEN/VE(=*A*=)(=*SA*=)[SoA][BRC]


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  RE: Raptor: Overwhelming Odds
March 12, 2011 11:43:23 PM    View the profile of Avalar 
Vanity tossed her hair back behind her shoulders as the trainer, Seth formerly of Rhegent’s Reign, asked, “Any questions?” it was strange to be back here. When she looked around, she noticed that there weren’t just trainees around. Slasher was here too. Though her stay had been somewhat short, she wondered if he remembered her. Did any of them remember her? Cayden sure did, but that was Cayden. Their relationship was… different. She didn’t know what to call it anymore. Yes, she wanted to kill him. But at the same time, something held her back. What could be keeping her from her original goal? She had no idea.

    "Alright, you have ten minutes to review your mission, afterward you are to report to the simulators and we'll see just how you fare. Good luck!" and then DeepSix left the room. Not wanting to sit any longer and not wanting to get into any conversation with anyone else, Vanity stood and crossed to one side of the room. This time she would actually pay attention to what she was doing. Though she believed she could do better than the rest of the newbies, it didn’t matter if she ended up failing herself. I know what happens when I get caught up in killing people, though they deserve it. As much as I want to just go all out and work on my own, I think I can shoot my pride and scold myself enough to realize I cannot do this on my own. Besides, I’ll have my fun getting back to the main squad anyway. I’ll use my energy there.

    Vanity was not the kind of person to wander around aimlessly. She would take the direct path regardless of what she found there. Besides, she wanted to one-up whoever she could. With a simulator, dying wasn’t real, so if she made a mistake then at least it wouldn’t be the end of the world. That’s what made her go crazy though. Simulators were what tended to bring about her rage because she couldn’t die. Plus, she had an overwhelming desire to win.

    And boy would she do whatever she could to win.

    Her eyes caught movement. She turned her head to see that the trainees were making their way to the simulators. Not wanting to wait much longer herself, she followed the rest of them. Once she joined the crowd, she noticed some of them glance her way, as if wondering if she was good enough to be here; or maybe they were calculating how they thought she would do. Either way, Vanity didn’t care. She never had because people always stared at her, always hated her, and always whispered about her. Things were no different despite the fact that she could think more clearly now than she could before.

    With an air of arrogance about her, Vanity stepped towards the simulator that had been elected as hers. The technician verified her name, and then she carefully made her way into the “cockpit”. She strapped herself in and began running her fingers along the controls, careful not to press anything too hard.

    “I’ve missed you. I know we had a rough start, but let’s begin again. My name’s Vanity Orlaya Morukuv, and I’m here to redeem myself.” As she finished her last sentence the simulator began blinking to life as she switched the buttons on. The countdown to start began.

    “5… 4… 3… 2… 1… ” and with that the simulation roared to life. Vanity felt flustered as she took in all the information around her, forgetting exactly how confusing everything was in a cockpit. I haven’t flown in too damn long. But I will prevail over things that don’t exist! Her usual flight-rage was back in action.

    “Raptor 2 to Raptor 1, what’s going on over there? I’ve seem to become separated.”

    “Raptor 1 to Raptor 2, the situation is not good. The Rebel forces are all over us.”

    “2 to 1, understood. I’ll get there as quickly as possible.” And with that, Vanity began flying up in order to try to get some sort of sight on the battle at hand. Soon she was able to see the hints of battle, and she pushed the TIE Fighter straight towards it. Unfortunately, she was visible to everyone and everything else around her as well.

    Not even a minute had passed before she sighted an X-wing locking in on her position. It was behind her?! How did it get there without… but she couldn’t think about it now. Vanity moved into action.

    The X-wing was already shooting at her from behind. She switched the rear shields on. “Let’s go for a walk.” She began to turn hard to the left, the enemy craft following. Vanity thought hard, trying to calculate the best way to lose him. If only she could confuse him.

    That was it. Vanity began to perform a series of random and fast maneuvers that made little to no sense in the environment. In fact it was fairly insane. The X-wing behind her kept following, but it seemed to inch back a little more each time she did something strange though it rarely ceased to fire when it had the chance. It followed her vertically, horizontally, diagonally. Everywhere she went, the X-wing followed. In fact, it didn’t even cease to fore as she came upon the battle she was heading for in the first place.

    It hadn’t been the direct route she was planning on, but the distraction had worked to her advantage. As she entered the fray, one of the Raptor Squadron shot down the X-wing behind her.

    “Raptor 1 to Raptor 2, nice to have you back.”

    “I feel the same Raptor 1. Let’s get this show on the road.”

    It was amazing. Nothing bad had happened so far. She hadn’t snapped. Her mind was completely clear, completely sane. And she was, so far anyway, excelling. The distraction of the X-wing had taken her to the battleground without much else to worry about. Vanity could not have asked for more.

    Then another one came and shot down Raptor 3.

    “Raptor 3 is down!” came the computerized voice from Raptor 1. Vanity gritted her teeth. Losing anyone meant losing the simulation. She did not want to lose! The rage began to build inside her. Did she have to do everything herself? Were they incapable of such simple tasks as avoiding open fire?

    Vanity took her TIE Fighter and changed directions.
“Raptor 2 where—” but she cut the com off.

“I’m doing this my own way since no one else chooses to be smart about it! I will NOT lose!” she locked into place behind the X-wing and began to open fire. The ship began defensive maneuvers, trying to shake her off its tail, but she was too stubborn. Nothing would deter her from her new mission. Nothing would get in her way.

    She followed the X-wing, making glancing blows though nothing had struck home yet. Vanity persevered though. She followed the fighter wherever it went, not paying attention to where it was taking her.

    If only she was smart enough to not make the same mistake twice.

    The screen blinked repeatedly, telling her about the ship that had locked in behind her, but she was too focused on killing the X-wing who had killed Raptor 3 to even notice. Now, as her eyes slid down to the screen, she took in the situation before her all too late.

    The screen was black. Vanity’s hands were still on the controls. They gripped the yolk hard, her knuckles white as snow. Her teeth bit into her tongue causing blood to spill into her mouth. It had happened. The thing she didn’t want to have happen, had happened. All because of one incident that started a chain reaction.

    She sat back. So that was it then. She was still insane. Nothing about her had changed at all. Then again, why would anything change? People didn’t change. They were all evil. She had always known that, so why should she think any different? In the end, the facts were that she barely got anything accomplished. She shot down maybe four enemies alongside Raptor 1 before Raptor 3 was shot down. The mission had failed. She was a failure.

    Vanity stepped out of the simulator, her eyes were hard with anger and her face like a rock. She finally dared herself to look up, and, in doing that, caught DeepSix’s eyes. Not wanting to seem defeated, she stood up straight and met his gaze.

    “Well, Vanity, that was certainly… interesting.” She wondered if he recognized her. Did he know of her past simulator run where she had shot down her Flight Lead? Did he remember her from Asteroid 19? Or did he not remember at all and was simply looking at her that way because of the way she had performed?

    “I can deal with the harsh truths, sir. I know what I did.”

    “I don’t doubt that one bit. But you see my concern.”

    “Yes, I do. And let me be the first to admit, I share the same concerns.” And with that she headed with him to debriefing, one sentence running though her head, Welcome back to the Vast Empire.

Word Count: 1,553
FM/LCW Avalar/B-2/S:137 Raptor/W:46 Defiance/PLF Cappadocious/TF:TH/3Flt/VENA/VEN/VE
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  RE: Raptor: Overwhelming Odds
March 14, 2011 8:11:08 AM    View the profile of Kyrios 
Senior Crewman Kyrios sat in the briefing room reviewing the simulations data. It had been almost 2 years since he last piloted a starfighter, but he felt his skills where still above average. The Navy’s Commander and Chief suggested that Kyrios partake in this simulation before he was placed back into a line squadron.

“Sims about to start in 5 min.” one of the cadets said to the other as they hurried out of the briefing room.

Guess that mean I should head over there too. Kyrios thought to himself as he put down the datapad. The simulation room was filled with a handful of cadets crowed around view screens. As Kyrios made his way closer a Chief Warrant Officer by the name of Slasher exited a simulation. It was nice to see that he wasn’t the only “re-trainee” around here.

“....ailed, but new record achieved. Good work sir, and welcome back.” Kyrios caught a Petty Officer addressing the CWO. New record, guess I’ll have a challenge after all. Kyrios thought to himself as the cadets started to hop into their assigned simulators.

“Ah, Senior Crewman. Lets see Simulator Thirteen.”

“Aye Sir.” Kyrios acknowledged the Petty Officer, as he walked by him toward the simulator. These were a bit more advanced than the ones Kyrios used in his training couple of years back but either way Kyrios was determined to show up the rest of the cadets here. The Senior Crewman strapped himself into the replica TIE Cockpit. Good to be back in here, even if its a fake. Kyrios said to himself as the simulator’s door closed down on him. Naturally Kyrios began a pre-flight check, looking at the readouts for life-support, shielding....he noticed that the hyperdrive was shutoff and fuel was slightly about half. Kyrios was about to get angry that his fighter hadn’t been properly fueled but quickly realized there was no need. It was a simulation, if his engine lost fuel he wouldn't really fall to the ground.

Kyrios sat back and tried to get comfortable as the simulation came to life...

>>>>> Access Granted
>>>>> Welcome to the VENA Training Simulators
>>>>> Your mission has been briefed
>>>>> You will be flying a modified TIE Interceptor
>>>>> Simulation will begin in 5...4...3...2...Good Luck

The simulator’s screen when black then a bright flash of white brought him into the atmosphere of a temperate planet. As the fighter made it way closer to ground level Kyrios could see faint flashed of green and red in the horizon. He turned his attention back to the fighter and pulled back on the control stick in time to level his fighter out. Kyrios flicked on his comsystem and began to listen for anything. Thankfully the Senior Crewman had memorized the layout of the planet and began piloting towards the enemy base. Taking the long way would endanger his fellow pilots and after all he had no intention on fighting his was thru, he was gonna sneak thru. Intelligence reviled that the rebel base had sensors & motion-activated turrets throughout the canyon leading to their stronghold. However the sensors didn’t begin for at least 20 meters above the canyon floor, this meant that if Kyrios was still as skilled as he thought he was he would be able to fly his fighter directly below the sensor.

The face of the canyon was coming up quickly and the comm started to pick up some static. Kyrios adjusted for his altitude and any interference cause by the rock formation that lay in front of him.

“Repeat *static* Eight, this is Raptor *static* come in.” No doubt that was Lead trying to call him.

“Raptor One, this is Eight. En route, over?”

“Copy Eight *static* are taking *static* get here *static* out.”

Taking enemy fire, get here ASAP...Kyrios could alone assume that is what Lead was trying to say. Kyrios pushed the thrust of his TIE as hit disappeared between the canyon walls. “Now here comes the fun part,” Kyrios said out load has he brought the fighter only meters above the ground. “Now if I can rig the controls to give me some extra boost when I enter the clearing, I should be able to fly right over their base before they have time attack.” Kyrios said as he messed around with the controls.

Ten minutes later Kyrios could see the clearing where the rebel base sat come into view as he rounded a corner. I hope my thrust configuration worked, he thought as he broke free from the canyon wall and engaged the boost. Kyrios’s TIE rocketed over the rebel base, he could faintly hear the sound of alarms sounding but the batteries guarding the base had no time to target him. He entered the other side of the clearing and the comm chatter from his squad could be heard much clearer.

“Lead, this is four. I just lost Rick and *static*.”

“Four do you copy?”

“Negative Lead, this is seven. Four has been shot down.”

“Confirmed, man down. Keep pressing Raptors, protect those transports.”

Well, there was no need to fly slowly under the radar down since they knew he was there. Kyrios brought the altitude of his fighter up and pushed hard on the throttle. As Kyrios piloted his TIE in and out of the rock formation and pillars of the canyon cannon fire erupted from behind him. “Sh*t, enemy fighters!” Kyrios blurted out.

“Lead this is Eight, do you copy.”

“Good copy Eight, where are you?”

“ETA 2 mikes Lead, coming from the canyon wall to your three o’clock. I have contacts on my rear”

“Copy Eight. Make it out safely, two & three got your back once your out.”

Kyrios began some evasive maneuvers trying to shake the enemy fighter. He target a chunk of rock hanging over the canyon and fired at it causing it to fall to the canyon floor  seconds after he cleared from under it. That trick worked for one dumb pilot as his X-wing flew right into the falling debris. More comm chatter was coming in as Kyrios was nearing the open plain where his squadron was.

“Three you take the left, I got the right.”

“Understo *static*.”

A stray laser crashed right into Raptor Three’s fighter. Before Raptor Two could even inform lead, Kyrios’s fighter came shooting out of the canyon followed closely by 3 X-wings. Kyrios did a barrel roll  and noticed that Raptor Two was already in a firefight with  two of the Xs.

“Lead this is Eight, I’m back we lost three and two is taking fire.”

“Copy Eight, take them down and re-group we are out of the heat for the moment.”

As Kyrios completed his roll he came face to face with the third X and blasted it out of the sky as the smoke clear he saw the explosion from Raptor Two’s fighter. NO! Kyrios said mentally as he opened fire on the other two Xs. Clipping one of the Xs wing he sent it spiraling into the ground below. The last one fire at Kyrios scrapping one of his wings as it headed straight for him. Kyrios rolled at the last second to avoid collision. He rolled again coming behind the X who was heading back toward the canyon. Kyrios opened fire hitting its engines numerous times before it exploded into a million shards of metal. Kyrios circled around only to hear the worst.

“Raptor Squadron, this is Transport Zulu-93 4 enemy squadron at our 12 o’clock, please be advise *static*.”

“Sh*t, we lost Transport Zulu-93, remaining Transports abort mission.”

“Raptor Lead, we can’t abort you must push *static*.”

“Raptor’s engage, engage!!”

Kyrios pushed his engines to their limit to re-group and help his squadron but just as he could see the battle come into view the screen went black.
>>>>> Primary Object Failed
>>>>> Simulation eliminated
>>>>> High Score Achieved

Kyrios slammed his fist on the controls. Disappointed he wasn’t able to help his squad in time. The Simulations NCOIC came over to him. “Great Job Senior Crewman, I liked the idea of flying under the sensor, very smart. Keep this up and you’ll be an ace no problem.”

“Thank you Sir, what was my placing?”

“You made a high score, 3 place overall today.”

“Thank you again Sir.”

Kyrios said then made his way out of the simulation room. Time to notify the NCC so I can be placed back into a line Squadron, Kyrios thought to himself.

1,463 words, told to post by the NCC
Senior Crewman Kyrios, Nazgul Thirteen
FL/SCRW Kyrios/Nazgul 4-1/Phoenix Wing/mSSD Atrus/1Flt/VEN/VE

"Meiyo wo Motte - With Honor"
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  RE: Raptor: Overwhelming Odds
March 16, 2011 3:36:04 AM    View the profile of Tainted 
"Stow your personal gear in the locker and mount up" The intense looking tech pointed at a row of Steely grey lockers mounted on the far wall. Yrvron Alc followed the tech's arm and nodded. Thankfully the helmet, nicknamed 'Bucket' for obvious reasons hid the worry lines etched across his face. Back at school he had played around with simulators. Z-95 Headhunters mostly with just a solitary run as a Tie Fighter. Nothing ever this one sided though. Weeks of preparation and he still felt like he was going to crash and burn. Well not burn, not in a sim. He Hoped. His wingman, Raptor Lead nudged him. "Come on Tainted, get with it. Show time" he said with a grin. Alc tossed his a casual salute. "Stay on Target" he quipped. A joke within the squadron for one of their trainers favoured sayings. It was returned with a chuckle as they reached the lockers.

"All Pilots to your stations Launch in T- three minutes." Three minutes? Sithspit! Alc threw his bag into the Locker and ran up the ladder and gave the Crew Chief a thumbs up as he locked the hatch. System lights blinked across the board and Alc felt a little better. Familiarity flooded back to him. "Okay Recruits, Listen up. The Sim will commence in 30 seconds. You have your call signs; Treat this as your life depends on it. It probably does." The voice cut bought Alc back to focus. The cockpit window flickered and suddenly there he was, flying. Alright, time to go to work Checking his HUD, Alc noticed the turrets were already turning to face him, add in the 3 hostile red dots closing in the form of X-Wings and Alc's realisation of the situation hit home. Stay on Target, yea right. This is gonna be tough Alc knew he couldn’t fight the X-Wings, their shields gave them he edge, despite his extra manoeuvrability, it would be too dangerous and would take too much time. "Raptor 2, Lead here, we could use your help if you have finished the tour" Alc keyed his Com, "Roger Lead, Mind if i bring some friends to the party?" Leads voice was strained as he replied. "It’s open house, just get here fast" Alc drained power from his lasers and shunted them to the engines.

Observation room

"What is 2 doing?" The analyst called over his supervisor. "sir, Raptor 2 has put all power to the engines, he’s basically unarmed." The supervisor grinned. "Cocky isn’t he. Nice idea, get out of range of the Turrets and try to keep enough distance between the X-Wings and him. Tell Tym and Garv in the X-Wings what he is doing. Let’s see if he’s any good" The Analyst nodded and passed on the message.


Alc’s speed was good and the he was past the first turrets, Laser bolts spat past him and one was so close he was sure in a real fighter he would be needing a new paint job. Suddenly his proximity alarm started to howl. Great, Torpedo lock. Just what I need.

Throwing his stick into a random pattern he was just about keeping the lock broken enough and with his additional speed, the X-Wings would only have about 30 seconds before he was out of range. The turrets continued their continuous barrage and suddenly without warning his world span, wrestling with the yoke he tried to right himself, but something was damaged. "Lead, this is two. I’m hit, still airborne but that’s not a long term prognosis"
There was a brief buzz of static and that was all. Wondering if Lead was okay was the least of Alc's concerns. As the spin began to ease out, Alc realised that he had dropped and was now below the clouds. The turret operators, no longer having to rely on Radar to calculate their shots went into overdrive, and worse one of the X-Wings had decided to come and play. With this much atmosphere, too much speed was bad, sharp turns or sudden stops could rip a TIE apart, so Alc shunted his power back to Lasers. It would take a few seconds for them to heat up but he put them into a dual fire mode ready for when they had heat.


Obs Room

The Supervisor and the analyst looked at the screen. "So Raptor 2 survived did he?" The analyst nodded. "He’s alive but the torpedo that exploded did cause some damage, half of his Port elctroconductor and cooling system is shot to hell, and he has limited communications." The supervisor looked over the rest of the battle grid. "Where is Garv?" suppressing a grin, the analyst pointed towards the KIA list. "His X-Wing was flying blind through the clouds, caught some of the debris from Raptor 2, caused a feedback loop in his Capacitor, when he tried to fire as Raptor 2 was out of control, the circuit tripped, Boom." The supervisor saw the funny side of it. "Give the kill to the rook. Might be the only one he gets."


Alc's com unit was fried. Obviously, all he could get was static, and what’s more his evading actions had taken him further from the rest of his squadron. Still, he appeared to be out of the line of fire from those turrets. For Now. Dropping into a ravine and hovering on repulsors was not good for the mechanics of his ship but it meant he was still alive. Right now he was pulling up a list of components that would be standard on a TIE Interceptor, in some way, if he could repair the damage to his Comm system. Asking the computer if he stripped the heat shielding from two of the laser cannons would he have enough wire along with that from the life support system to jury rig an antenna. Whilst he waited for an answer he watched the HUD, his team were alive. Just. They were starting to lose the numbers game but he had faith. Lead would get them through this.


Obs Room

"Okay, tell him that the there is enough wire and restore minimal line of sight comms" The analyst nodded. Looked like the rook had caught a break. Lucky they were in atmosphere, because for this to work, he would have to spend a good 10 minutes outside the cockpit wrapping the wire around the fried antenna. He sent word though to Alc's cockpit.


Thank the maker. Just gotta wait 10 minutes. Alc sat and watched as the X-Wing flew over the ravine, but the dark shadows the high wall made made him virtually invisible. Eventually the red dot moved away and he sat and counted down the minutes until finally, the light for comms, flashed. He hit the button, "Lead, this is 2 did you miss me?"... Sithspit. Must be Line of sight only. Still... I wonder... Easing his craft up over the ravine he spotted the nearest Turret. "Turret Control this is X-Wing Alpha 5. Confirm friendly heading inbound?" It was a long shot but if he could get past the last turret he could make a bee line for the squadron and maybe actually score some points on this exercise.

Obs room

"He has some nerve! What did the computer respond with?" The analyst tapped some keys, "Looks like the program was never set up to handle that scenario, the turret has re-evaluated IFF signature and is transmitting all data to the Pilots." the supervisor rubbed his face. That meant that as of now, Raptor would be listed on everyone’s IFF as an X-Wing. Those in simulators would still see an Interceptor but it was a bug that needed to be addressed before the next lot of trainees took Fiasco. "Okay, we are going to let him slide. Its Innovative and one helluva move. Don’t pass the details on to the X-Wings, but same goes for his team mates. Don’t pass it on. Let’s see what he does with the window he opened." Just then a tall man dressed in standard Black Tie pilots uniform, minus the helmet wandered over. "Is the kid still flying?" he asked. The analyst nodded. "Indeed, in fact he might just have cleared a road for himself" As he explained, the pilot shook his head. "Well, he flew pretty well, got lucky that my torp ran out fuel, still he has a long way to go."


That’s a turn up! It worked! As the Computer scrolled the affirmative that they had confirmation of his vector he knew that in the real world this would never have worked. And because he was not operating on the standard Imperial frequency the Turret simulator assumed he was a rebel. He said a quiet thank you to his friends at school for teaching him that little trick and goosed the thrusters and headed off towards the combat zone.

The numbers ticked by until he was able to get a visual on a TIE Interceptor, keeping the craft in his crosshairs, he hit his makeshift comm system. "Raptors, this is 2, I’m about 2 minutes out, what’s the status?" The reply was crackly and filled with static. ", we c...., repeat, we are.... copy?" Too far away...blast. Alc tried again. "Say again?" "I said, Raptor 2, Lead here, we could use some help."

Alc grinned and started to gain on the nearest X-Wing, coming in from behind, the X-Wing would be told that a friendly was on his six by the computer, he waited and waited, finally he got the red box he was waiting for. The X-Wing never knew what hit him and his bolts chewed through the rear of the ship, the pilot having shunted his shields to full front as he prepared to engage the fighters ahead. A flash of white and Alc was away, hoping to pull the same trick again. Suddenly his cockpit went dark and then the hatch opened.

"I get hit or something?" he asked the tech who helped him out as he removed his helmet to reveal his sweat soaked head. Shaking his head, the tech took his helmet as Alc climbed out the ladder. "Nope, you were still active, all the mission critical craft were lost, plenty of use in another TIE v X-Wing engagement but that wasn’t the point of this exercise. The Supervisor appeared and walked over to Alc. "So you’re Tainted huh? You did well, not as good as you needed to be, the mission was a failure but you did okay. 2 kills confirmed still alive. Any Mission you walk away from is a good one. Carry On." Alc couldn’t hide his smile. "Sir, yes sir" as he flapped a salute. Maybe this wasn’t such a bad day after all.

Number of words: 1824
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  RE: Raptor: Overwhelming Odds
March 16, 2011 6:44:45 PM    View the profile of Tibby 
As Tiberius looked around the Simulator room, he noticed all the young faces. Most of them looked like they had never even seen a Tie Interceptor, but this didn’t matter to him. All he had to do was to focus on the mission. Even if this was just a simulation, he had to prove that he knew how to pilot a warship.

Tiberius scanned the hologram deck again for a tactical view of the battlefield. The dropships were north of the base and the raptors were primarily attacking the east side of the base. The lone fighter was about 7 clicks to the south of the other fighters, and the jungle looked deuce along the path between the stray fighter and the squadron, but there was a much less dense area west of its location. Tiberius decided that he would go this way. Who knew what was in that jungle!

Then an officer walked into the room. He looked over the mission and got into a simulator. Everyone immediately crowded around his simulator’s viewing monitor to watch. Tiberius decided to study the map longer. Why would anyone waste time watching someone else when they had a mission? He decided to just forget about the other pilots. Work had to be done before he started his mission.

Then the buzzer sounded for the first round of simulations. I quickly claimed the simulator closest to me. It was simulator #6, so that meant I would be Raptor 6 for this mission. The controls looked overly complicated, but this was not the first time I had encountered Tie Interceptors. I had fought a squad of them back on Nar Shaddaa, so I knew what this baby could do.

Then the petty officer came over to me. “I have high hopes for you smuggler. Don’t disappoint me.”

Such a response meant nothing to me. I could care less what a petty officer thought of me. All that mattered was the simulation. I stepped into the simulator and started up the program. The lights and sounds of a fighter comforted me as it felt good to be flying a ship again. Then the simulator screen lit up.

>>Get ready
>>All systems online
>>Weapon systems fully functional
>>Starting velocity 255 kilometers/ hour


Raptor 6 where the hell are you!? This is Raptor leader! Get your ass back in the fight!

Raptor leader this is Raptor 6. I’m on my way!

Following his plan, Tiberius headed for the clearing in the forest. He knew that the forest had to be crawling with sensors. As he made his way to the clearing the com was going crazy with the other Raptors fighting the X-wings

There are so many of them!

Raptor 7 you have one on your six!

I see him! Thank you Raptor 12!

Can we do anything against that tower!?

Then Tiberius noticed that his fighter had picked up 4 enemy X-wings closing in fast. He quickly accelerated to the quickest his Tie Fighter could go, but the fighters never lost his trail. He then tried to lose them with evasive maneuvers, but not even the superior mobility of a Tie fighter could lose an X-wing.

Oh shit. This is Raptor 6. I’m going to be a little late. I just picked up 4 enemy fighters. I will take care of them.

Thinking quickly on his feet, Tiberius remembered his encounter with Tie Fighters back on Nar Shaddaa. One of them had stopped and landed so quickly that he had flown right over it before he had time to react. Tiberius decided to try the same thing. Slowing down to allow the X-wings to close in on him, Tiberius quickly found a small landing coming up, and using perfect timing, landed quickly in it. The entire landing strategy took about 2 seconds, and after the X-wings had soared right over him, Tiberius quickly fired up his engines and chased after them.

Now on the tail of the fighters, Tiberius decided to use his Tie Fighter’s repeating blasters to fire at the rebels. Tiberius quickly took out three of the fighters. Two of them by shooting them down and the thirds by having one of the fighters crash into it. Now there was only one to go. Tiberius quickly locked on to the X-wing and shot two sets of twin torpedoes at the fighter. Before the enemy’s sensors could detect the torpedo, Tiberius turned around and headed to the base. Soon after turning, a huge explosion was registered on the Tie Interceptors rear sensor.

Raptor 6 to Raptor leader:  Enemy fighters destroyed. What’s the situation?

Raptor leader to Raptor fucking 6: About time! We are getting our asses handed to us out here! Raptors 2, 3, 5, 8, and 11 are gone. Raptors 4, 7, 9, 10, 11, and 12 are still out here. The north tower was disabled and the base west tower has lost its shields.

Thank you Raptor leader! On my way!

Tiberius quickly reached the base and began to help out in the fight. He and Raptor 4 took out a fighter when Raptor leader came on the comm.

This is Raptor leader! Raptors 4, 6, and 10 go help the dropships! We need to get infantry on those towers now!

Roger. On our way!

Tiberius then took the lead had the squadron fly around the towers fire and start heading toward the dropships. Even from where he was Tiberius could tell that the dropship was being swarmed by at least 20 or more X-wings. This just turned into a suicide mission, or at least until Tiberius noticed something on his sensors.

Raptors 4 and 10 evasive maneuvers! 7 enemy fighters on our tails!


Raptor 4 is down! I repeat Raptor 4 is down!

Break off break off!

Tiberius then broke formation and banked right toward a plain. Looking at his sensors he noticed that only two of the fighters had decided to chase him. Tiberius then decided to a maneuver that he had invented during a smuggling operation he had done several years ago.

Tiberius, in a flurry of switches and buttons, cut the engines and started to turn around, so that he would spin around instead of bank. Then, by quickly starting the engines, fired blindly as many torpedoes as he could. He then fired his repeating blasters in all directions while he launched more torpedoes. The X-wings could barley react in time, and only used their heavy blasters trying to hit anything.

The screen went black. The engine turned off. The lights blinked out. The simulator doors opened.

===Observation Room===

“What the hell happened!? Was I hit!?”

Tiberius stared at the blank faces of the pilots watching him. He noticed that all the pilots were looking at him in amazement. All the other simulators were empty. He had lasted the longest of all the pilots here. He smiled for a brief second, but then stormed off to the petty officer’s desk.

“Sir! What happened!? How did my fighter get hit? The blaster fire from those fighters could not have destroyed a Tie Interceptor.”

“Calm down crewman! Let me just pull up your file. What fighter were you.”

“Raptor 6”

“Raptor 6? You set that record just now?”

“What record? I didn’t beat the all time record.”

“You beat the record for best first time simulation. 19 minutes and 10 seconds. Pretty damn good for someone like you. Ah here is your file.”

Everyone then crowded the holodeck to see the presentation. The video paused in the moment Tiberius had just started the spin. Then the fighters started to move in slow motion, zoomed in on my fighter. Then everyone saw what happened. When I was launching torpedoes, one of the X-wings had shot a perfect shot at a torpedo that was 3 feet away from my Tie Interceptor. It had to be the luckiest shot I had ever seen.

“Tough luck,” replied the petty officer, “You should be less cocky next time.”

Tiberius then walked out of the observation deck, his head down. He had failed. He knew he would fail, but he still failed. Then again, everyone fails the Onderon Siege that happened 2 years ago. No wonder the petty officer picked this particular simulation.

1,388 words
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  RE: Raptor: Overwhelming Odds
March 20, 2011 9:40:46 PM    View the profile of Ellesmere 
Ellesmere had been quietly studying everything she could about the environment she would be faced with in mere minutes, wondering what the hell she had gotten herself into. She had been debating whether or not to enrol in the Army as opposed to the Navy but the Navy had seemed like such a natural choice to her – she had worked in repair shops when she had been younger and most recently had spent some time working in a shipyard so the Navy seemed like a good fit, right? Now she wasn’t so sure her choice had been the right one. Too late to turn back now so let’s see where this takes us

Not letting her inner dilemma show, she made her way to the simulator and strapped herself in. She kept going over the briefing as well as all the manoeuvres she had made sure to engrain in her mind but was all that memorising going to help her out now…

Stop doubting yourself and focus on the task at hand will you! she scolded herself as she made sure she was securely strapped and waited for the screens to come to life.
Moments later, the simulated cockpit lit up and she was faced with various control panels, displays and sounds. She was vaguely familiar with some of them but as for the rest, she had just learnt about them mere days prior to this simulation. As she made sure all systems were ready to go, the screens in front of her flickered and she was faced with the landscape she had seen minutes earlier during the briefing. She had decided to go it the short route to join her squadronmates, having weighed the pros and cons of both the long and short routes, not wanting to go back on that decision she took hold of the flight controls and was soon on her way.

A mere minute after the start of the sim she received an alert that someone was on her tail and by the looks of things it was foe, thinking quickly she decided to  perform break turn in the hopes of shaking off her pursuer. As she was about to perform the turn she heard a steady beeping tone which got steadily quicker as the fighter trailing her locked onto her position. With seconds o spare she performed the break turn, banking to her right. As she got out of it she scanned her readouts once more and was satisfied with the result, she had managed to throw off her pursuer…But she knew it wasn’t going to be for long if she kept up her current course.

Deciding to spice things up a bit and in hopes f making it harder for any future pursuers, she played a bit with the flight controls making sure that she remained at her current altitude but wasn’t flying in a straight or predictable pattern. As she was debating what to do, there was radio chatter.

“Raptor 2, keep a lookout on those turrets! One coming up at three o’clock!”

As she heard this and scanned the viewscreen, she saw bolts start to fly from the three o’clock position as indicated which required her to perform a barrel roll as well as a short, steep dive to avoid all bolts from the offending turret.

Whew! That was a close one she thought as she thanked the friendly intervenor.
TRN/CRW Ellesmere/.Squadron/.Wing/.FLT/VEN/VE
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  RE: Raptor: Overwhelming Odds
March 22, 2011 10:29:38 PM    View the profile of Ellesmere 
As her breathing became regular once again and her heartbeat slowed to its normal rate, she made sure to take special care to watch for further intrusion into her immediate surroundings. “Raptor Lead to Raptor 4, I have you in range. Good to see you here” she heard a deep, male voice crackle over the comm.. As she registered that this was her Squadron Leader talking, she saw several Interceptors some distance away on her viewscreen.

“Good to see you guys, what’s the situation like?” She asked quickly scanning the surrounding area.

“Not good…” she heard her Squadron Leader start off before communications were abruptly cut off and she saw a plume of smoke and a ball of fire off to her far right.


As she looked about for the culprit, she spotted a few X-Wings from the corner of her eye, quickly manoeuvring so that they were away from her tail end; she managed to peel off a few shots before having to roll sharply left in attempts of avoiding a volley of her own. It appears as though they intend o return the favour

“Let’s dance!”she snarled as she got into formation with the remainder of her squadron. At this point they were clearly suffering, their numbers were dwindling steadily; they were losing this battle but she was damned if she was going to fall back now. If she was going down, she would do it guns with guns blazing!
In the battle which ensued, she saw a few of her comrades perish but she also noted with some satisfaction that they were picking off their own fair share of opponents, she herself managed to shoot down a few fighters. I think I’m starting to get the hang of this she noted with some satisfaction. A few minutes later however, after a few minutes of particularly difficult fighting, her screens went dark, the lights blinked out and the simulator doors hissed open.

“What happened!” she exclaimed to the trainer as she unstrapped herself and hopped out. Everyone seemed to be looking at her with looks of astonishment of varying degrees in their faces.

“You were shot down; you put up a great fight though.”

“But how? I was right there! I almost had them…”

“Relax Crewman, here I’ll playback the holoprojecion for you if it’ll make you feel any better..”

With a few presses of a button, he recording of the simulation was forwarded to her last moments. It was evident that in her final seconds she had been very much alone and, as she had told herself she would; went down with guns ablaze. Even though she didn’t notice it at the time they had been greatly outnumbered, soon the number of X-Wings greatly outnumbered the number of Interceptors until she had been the last person in the sim. She was shot down a few seconds after the last of her comrades had been picked off.

“You all put in a good day’s work, you should all be proud of all the effort you put in today. Dismissed!”
TRN/CRW Ellesmere/.Squadron/.Wing/.FLT/VEN/VE
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  RE: Raptor: Overwhelming Odds
April 18, 2011 1:16:58 PM    View the profile of Baldr 
Baldr enters the room specified by his Training Officer, only to find it empty. "Musta missed the verbal briefing" he mutters to himself. As he scans the room he sees on a desk a folder with his name on the cover. Baldr walks over to the desk and picks up the folder.

Reading through it he realizes this is his mission briefing. After getting his assignment Baldr walks over to one of the empty Pods. As Climbs into the replica of the TIE cockpit, the hatch behind him closes. He buckles in and starts to perform his preflight check. "Flight control this is Raptor 9 Performing preflight check."

"Raptor 9 this is flight control we roger that....5.......4.......3......2......1."

With the final number the cockpit roared to life. Computers stated up. Baldr could hear the quiet hum of the engine as it powered up. As he grabbed the yoke, the visual screen came on. He was soaring through a valley at the moment but ahead was a Forest. The crackle from his radio seemed to snap him out of his trance or the life like simulation.

"Raptor 9 this squadron leader, where the hell did you go? You know what it doesn't matter. Get back here on the double. We ran into heavier resistance than we were supposed to. over and out."

With that Baldr checked his radar for his allies signature, plotted his route for the fastest course and took off. This course took him dangerously close to the base, but his allies were in need of his assistance. As he flew over the forest, the missile lock alarm came on. Glancing at his radar a new blip appeared and followed him.

An enemy X-Wing rose from the trees below and and fired 2 Photon torpedoes. Baldr Had seconds to react or be shot down and fail his test. He used a maneuver taught to him early in his flight training called the barrel roll. As he rolled sideways the 2 torpedoes sped past him. as he leveled off he pulled hard on the yoke to perform a small loop and hopefully get behind his enemy.

The X-wing, having a superiorly expert pilot, stuck with him throughout the maneuver. "Damn!" he cursed loudly as he zigzagged to stop his enemy from locking again. As he took in his surroundings Baldr flew very close to the tree tops to see if the enemy would follow. It worked the X-wing was following and gaining.

Baldr feinted down and pulled hard back on the yoke. His ploy worked the X-Wing started to follow down and before it realized it the superior handling of TIE allowed Baldr to miss the trees. He heard a slight boom as the X-Wing collided with the forest he had previously hid in. As he flew on, The warning lights came on.

During his chase, he had gotten close to the enemy base without realizing it. he was now taking fire from a defense cannon. Having caught him off guard, the cannon tore through his hull, exploding his cockpit.

The lights went out and the hatch of his simulator opened. Baldr climbed out to see a ranking Officer. Upon stepping out he stood at attention and saluted. "Crewman Baldr, Sir, Reporting."

"At ease Crewman. I am Petty Officer Deepsix. I monitored your progress. I must say i didn't Expect you to get past that X-Wing. You got lucky Crewman. Let me ask you, Why did you take the most direct path back to the Squadron?"

Standing at ease, "Well Sir, I was told to get back on the double so by going the most direct route, I was following my orders."

"I see. Head back to your quarters and when we have reviewed your test we will contact you. Dismissed."

They saluted each other and Baldr went back to his room to sleep.
643 words
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  RE: Raptor: Overwhelming Odds
May 8, 2011 12:32:40 AM    View the profile of Fyston 
When it was his turn, Fyston stood up and made his way over to the machine he'd be spending the next few minutes in. He thought he saw a few nervous trainees as he walked up the three stairs to the simulator. Stopping at the last step, he raised his hand to his brow in a proud show of confidence. His helmet under his arm, he stepped into the simulator and strapped himself in. He ran through a mental checklist and repeated it out loud as he checked everything, running through his basic checks and ensuring everything would work. He listened to the briefing again and began running through scenarios in his head.

They want to see how I handle this. Most people would save their own skins, dooming the mission. They want to know if we'd sacrifice it all for the Empire.

Simulation beginning in:

Fyston's cockpit immediately lit up brighter than before, signalling an active use of the simulator. He glanced at his readout menus before looking out of the small viewport. He accelerated and flexed the yoke to ensure all systems were in check. He knew he'd have to get back to the battle in one piece, and he didn't see anyone yet.

Before the notion of an easy mission had even formed in the back of his mind, Fyston heard the beeps signalling he was being locked on to. He glanced down at his radar, noticing an X-Wing behind him. He decided it was time to check in with lead, though he was beaten to the punch.

Raptor Eight, this is Raptor One. We need you back here in this battle, and if you don't get over here I'll personally deal with you myself.

"Raptor One, copy that. En route to the location assigned, I just hope you don't miss me."

The beeps soon became a single long, high pitched whine as the missile was logged on. He drew power from the weapons and communications evenly and sent them to his engines, providing him with a boost of speed.

======Observation Room======
"What is he doing? That missile would eventually catch up to him. This is insane, why would any sensible pilot cut their communications to try to outrun a torp?"
"This is a mistake, even letting him take this test. I highly doubt he'd make it past even a simple patrol using tactics like those.
"Who's in that X?"
"Uhh, I believe Dakari is."
"Tell him to give him hell.

Fyston quickly found himself closer to the enemy base, where he noticed a flight of X-Wings just taking off. His initial burst of speed had caught the torp off guard, though it soon adjusted and began closing in on the Interceptor. Unaware to the approaching enemy, Fyston took care to skim across the hull of the lead X-Wing, and the missile finished his job. The explosion from the proton torpedo hitting the X-Wing also activated the torpedoes on the destroyed fighter, destroying two others and crippling the last.

======Observation Room======
"Hmm, he got lucky. He still has to make it past the enemy base, unless he wants to fiddlefart around and save his own skin."
"Let's just fail him, he's almost too big to fit in a fighter anyway."

Fyston remained calm despite the additional three X-wings moving up to support the original. He dove from his additional altitude to within a few feet of the thick trees. He noticed the blue glow of a shield ahead a smiled to himself.

Can't make it through the shields, but I have an idea.

Fyston glanced back to notice two of the X-wings had failed to pull up in time, and he slowed down slightly. He was still within range of proton torpedoes, and remained just outside of laser cannon range. The Interceptor arrived to the blue orb in a few seconds and Fyston pulled up on the yoke at the last minute, skimming the shields within two feet. A pursuing fighter exploded as they impacted the shields at the last moment, and Fyston was alone with a single fighter.

======Observation Room======
"He's EXTREMELY careless. He's got no skill, and uses cocky moves to compensate."
"He's taken down three fighters with no damage. I don't care if he does it in a Z-95, but you have to admit he knows what he's doing.

Fyston had already formed a plan on how to take down the last fighter, and shifted power back to communications. He was past the Rebel base, and had blown through the range of the weapons so fast that they barely had time to get a shot off that went way behind the Interceptor. Fyston brought himself up to a higher altitude and noticed the rendezvous point, and saw the battle that would be had when he arrived. He cut the engines, dropping like a rock until the X-wing overshot him. He reactivated the still-hot engines and increased the power to his weapons, drawing some from the engines to prevent from overtaking the Rebel fighter. He let loose with the dual blasts of energy, which impacted the Rebel fighter's shields. After only a few hits, fired in small bursts from the Interceptor, one got through, impacting the engine.

Unfortunately, the rear deflector shields had been reinforced as the X-wing pilot took power from the weapons that he had no use for. The shot did only a fraction of the damage, and the X-wing got away with only a smoking engine. Fyston knew that the fighter would take power from weapons and his auxiliary systems to the rear shields, reinforcing them as if they hadn't been damaged. Fyston pushed the yoke forward, sending his fighter into a slight dive. He waited a few seconds before bringing the yoke back into his lap, forcing the Interceptor into a steep climb. He opened fire with his laser cannons and watched as the bolts impacted directly under the unprotected cockpit and proton torpedo launcher, causing an instant explosion. Fyston swirled the Interceptor as he flew through the debris field in celebration, and made his way to the rendezvous point.

"Raptor One, this is Eight. Almost there. Would have been there sooner, but there was a bug in my way."

"Raptor eight, we've lost six and seven due to the enemy ace. He's got a differently painted X-wing, and he's much more difficult compared to the normal riff-raff. I'll patch you through to the AHHHH."

Fyston heard the dying screams of Raptor One and noticed the mentioned Ace flying towards him head on. The missile lock screamed in his ear and Fyston knew it was impossible to dodge, as doing so would leave him open to the laser cannons of other X-wings nearby.

Simulation doesn't end until I'm dead.

Fyston slipped his helmet onto his head slowly, a sign of solemn defeat. He slammed his hand on the eject button and felt himself flying into open air. He guided himself into the path of the Ace by kicking off of the fighter and waited for the Ace. The X-wing was going too fast, and it collided with Fyston, causing the screen to go black and the sounds of an explosion to be heard just a millisecond before.

======Observation Room======
"Well, he sacrificed himself to take down that ace instead of reforming with any remaining fighters."
"He did take down five, one of which was an ace. He would have died anyway. I'm just surprised Beller was taken down, he never dies when he's the ace."

Fyston unhooked himself and took off his helmet. He waited for the door to open and walked out. He was proud of his performance, especially since it was the first time he had run the scenario. He walked down the stairs with a slight smile on his face. He walked over to an empty chair and sat down, ready for debriefing.

Word count: 1,324
TRN / CRW Fy / PLF Cappadocious / TF:TH / 3Flt / VENA / VEN/ VE
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  RE: Raptor: Overwhelming Odds
May 17, 2011 9:50:40 AM    View the profile of Finbar 
"Finbar," said a man as he pointed to a simulator. Finbar got out of his seat, and proceeded toward a large oval shape object. As he approached it, the top half opened up showing a seat and the mock cockpit of a TIE Interceptor. He put on his special simulator pilot helmet and climbed in. The top closed, and he noticed that the seat was suprisingly comfortable.

I guess I'm used to my uncomfortable taxi seat.

Finbar was a taxi driver in Coruscant for a couple of years. He practiced piloting in his beatup speeder, and he hoped he would soon be piloting a TIE Fighter.

He also hoped he could show the officers here what he knew about flying. It would give him good reputation in the Navy, and it might just put him in a good squad.

He recalled the briefing and tried to decide what he would do. If he went a direct route, he had a higher chance of being blow to bits, but if he took the more "scenic" and longer route, his squad had a higher chance of being blown to bits.

The simulator started to count down.


Time to decide!


What should I do?


Grrr! I have to decide!


I'll just...


...take the direct route!

All of the controls of his cockpit were illuminated with light, and it took him awhile to take it all in. He looked out to see a green planet beneath him, and in the distance there was a rebel base swarming with little dots that he decided were X-Wings. He accelerated at medium speed toward his squad's position.

He turned on his communications and said, "Raptor 8 to Raptor 1. I'm coming to your position. Hopefully I can make it past these Rebs."

A partially static voice responded, "We need you over here, but try and not get killed."

"Roger that. Over."

He began to accelerate more as he approached the base. Suddenly a red light began to flash as an anti-air defense turret began to fire at him. Fortunately the blasts would never catch up with him because of the low rate of fire, but Finbar pulled his yoke up anyway. Suddenly another alarm went off warning that 10 X-Wings were coming towards him from the east.

Time for some flying!

He put his throttle to maximum velocity, and he pulled the yoke down. He continued this way until he was 100 meters above the trees below him. Then suddenly an alarm went off saying there were two missiles on his tail.

Damn! I'm only a couple of minutes in and there are missiles on my tail!

Below him a vast field came into view. He swooped down and flew along side the treeline only 5 meters above the ground and a couple of meters away from the sides of the large trees. A sensor told him that the X-Wings were on his tail. Then he had an idea. He pulled diagonally on the yoke, and he flew over the trees. The missiles, trying to follow him, rammed into the tops of the trees which then fell on five of the X-Wings causing them to burst into flames.

Five down, five to go.

He then began a steep ascent into the clouds. He turned his ship around, and he saw the remaining X-Wings coming straight at him. As he charged the rebel scum, he fired a missile at them and it clipped the wing of the lead causing it to explode and take down two others. The two other fighters fired their lasers at Finbar. He had a couple of seconds to react to the deadly blasts. He swerved downward and made a loop to avoided the bolts.

The X-Wings continued foward, and he finished his loop behind them. From there he had a clear shot to destroy the fighters, and with two clicks of a button they were all but charred metal.

He then radioed, "Raptor 8 to Raptor 1. I'm done with the X's. I'm now coming to your position."

"You've waited to long! We've lost 2, 4, 5, and 7! We can't hold out much longer...ahh! Torpedo!"

Then silence.

Damn! They're dead!

The screen went black, and the lights of the cockpit went out as well. The cockpit opened up, revealing a smiling officer. He stepped out and took off his helmet.

"How did I do?" he asked.

"You did about as well as everybody else, but since you had only flown a TIE Fighter a couple of times, I would say that you did exceptionally well. You use the environment to your advantage. Good work."

"Thank you sir." Finbar then walked over to the observation room to watch the other more expeirienced pilots.

790 words. I don't think it is that bad for my first post on this site.
TRN/CRW Finbar/Not known/S:82 "Nightshrike"/W:245 "Scimitar"/ISD Iron Duke/TF:A/3Flt/VENA/VEN/VE
[This message has been edited by Echelon (edited May 17, 2011 10:41:59 AM)]
[This message has been edited by Echelon (edited May 17, 2011 4:34:51 PM)]
[This message has been edited by Echelon (edited May 17, 2011 4:37:55 PM)]
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  RE: Raptor: Overwhelming Odds
May 24, 2011 8:00:42 PM    View the profile of Caeus 
Nicholas Caeus took in everything at the briefing. This was the moment he had been preparing for, and with the support of his friends who escaped with him from Corulag several months ago, he was determined to succeed. In his gut though, he felt as if it would not be a success, as he wanted it to be.

Caeus entered the simulator, wearing his flight gear, to get used to the feel of the uniform he would wear for probably the rest of his young life. In his pocket, he had a picture of his two friends that came with him from Corulag, who were also determined to eventually join the Vast Empire when they were ready to join. He considered the photo a good luck charm. Underneath his gloves, he wore his good luck rings, and under his uniform, a necklace which he has worn for many years.

"This will be just like the transport." Caeus said to himself, referencing to his escape from Corulag, the first time he fully piloted a vessel in his entire life. "This will be just like the transport."

Welcome to the Simulation:
The simulation will begin in 10 Seconds,

Caeus closed his eyes briefly, and soon opened them to see himself fully inside the simulation, moving in the atmosphere of the planet. He looked out of the view port and looked towards the planet below. He checked all of his systems to make sure they were online.

He then thought that since he knew this was a simulation, he could take risks he ordinarily wouldn't take in the real battles he would fight against the rebel scum.

"Raptor 12! Raptor 12!" yelled the voice of his Flight Leader. "Where the hell are you!"

"Um, I'm not sure Raptor 1, seems like we've been separated." Caeus replied, stuttering a bit. He knew it was only a computer, and he was afraid to say anything to confusing for it. "What are your orders?"

"Try to get back with us, Raptor 12. Raptor 1 out." the voice said, as it was starting to get fuzzy.

Caeus' fighter shook heavily as a red laser passed in front of him. It was an enemy X-Wing. Caeus immediately pulled up to let the X-Wing pass under him, so that he could eventually get behind it and blow it up.

"Come on you little sucker, I almost got you!" Caeus yelled to himself as he did a barrel roll, and brought himself behind the X-Wing. He fired his weapons at the X-Wing, his first shot striking the X-Wing's left wing. He fired a second shot, destroying the Astro Droid on the top of the X-Wing. The X-Wing tried to pull back up as Caeus fired one final shot at the enemy Cockpit, killing the pilot. The X-Wing spun out of control, barely missing Caeus' TIE.

After the X-Wing was destroyed, Caeus began to make his way to the Rebel base. As he came closer to it, he slowly regained communications with his Squadron, which had since been in a sort of stalemate with the Rebels. While the Vast Empire ships were holding their own, the lack of Raptor 12 had made it more difficult for the Squadron.

"Caeus, get down here!" yelled one of the pilots as he screamed in horror as his fighter was destroyed. Two X-Wings immediately pulled behind Caeus and fired their weapons at his TIE, forcing it to shake violently. He had once again lost communications, and sparks started to fly all around the cockpit.

"Raptor Squadron! I may be a little late!" Caeus yelled, even though his Communications were down. He made a quick turn around and began to move straight ahead towards the X-Wings, firing his weapons violently at them. Caeus' fighter continued to shake violently, signals flashing, and strange noises coming from the engines.

"Die Rebel scum!" he yelled as he fired his lasers at one of the X-Wing's wings, slicing it clean off. The X-Wing was still moving though, firing one last shot at Caeus before its pilot ejected to safety, as well as its droid.

Caeus was hit on his left wing by the X-Wing fighter as it passed by him. Caeus' fighter spun out of control briefly before he regained control of it. His sensors came briefly back online as he pulled his fighter up towards the enemy X-Wing. He fired at the Rebel, his fighter shaking every time he fired now due to the damage.

The X-Wing was hit near the cockpit. The pilot of the X-Wing turned his fighter around, launching 2 Proton Torpedoes at Caeus, who promptly dodged one of them, the other one however being only meters away from Caeus' fighter.

"Shit!" Caeus yelled to himself as he turned back around, firing his lasers at the X-Wing, taking out one of the wings. Caeus then fired one last shot at the X-Wing's engines, which ignited the entire Rebel fighter in a large explosion.

"Yes! Got the bastard!" Caeus yelled triumphantly. Before he stopped celebrating, he heard screaming from his Comrades in the battle, his communications returning fully. "Raptor 1, are you there?"

"Raptor 1 is dead! This is Raptor 2! Caeus, get your ass down here now! I don't care if I'll have to haul you here myself!"

Soon, Caeus' sensors went haywire, displaying over a dozen Rebel fighters moving towards the battle. Caeus knew he had to make it before them to help win the battle. As Caeus moved closer and closer to the fight, he heard the cries for help from his fellow fighter pilots. He started to feel like he was going to lose the battle, but he still had the will to go on, for the Empire, for his family.

As he sped closer and closer to the Rebel base, he saw explosions of his comrades' fighters exploding, and as he got nearer, he saw X-Wings outnumbering his Squadron's remaining forces 3 to 1. He immediately started to consider pulling back from the battle, even though it was a computer simulation, but now he had completely forgot it. He realized it was a lost cause in this battle.

As Caeus got closer, the Base's defenses fired on Caeus' TIE Interceptor, destroying the tips of the wings of the fighter. Caeus started to spin out of control towards the ground, flames erupting from the engines. Within a few seconds, Caeus ejected from the fighter, realizing he had lost the battle himself.

1,089 Words
[This message has been edited by Caeus (edited May 24, 2011 8:27:12 PM)]
[This message has been edited by Caeus (edited May 24, 2011 9:11:02 PM)]
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  RE: Raptor: Overwhelming Odds
May 25, 2011 10:26:45 AM    View the profile of Dunny 
The young man sitting at the back of the briefing room didn’t much look like the heroic figure that you saw on the recruitment posters that dotted Imperial space. He wasn’t short, but he wasn’t heroically tall either, and his build was gaunt and wiry. The sleeves on his Imperial Navy uniform were rolled up, revealing a tattoo on each shoulder. The right one was instantly recognizable as a convict’s barcode and number, marking him out forevermore as a criminal. On the left, the Imperial Emblem was proudly emblazoned, the ink in his flesh making clear his allegiance for all to see, though it was nicked and dented by the scar tissue on which it had been imprinted.

His arms were bound in wiry muscle, and covered in hundreds of tiny nicks and scars, which didn’t seem to form any discernable pattern at all – this was no ritual scarring, but battle scars. His tanned skin gave away a life toiling under a harsh sun. His shirt was unbuttoned, revealing the pale grey undershirt that lay beneath it, as well as a pair of gleaming Imperial identity tags. His jackboots were dulled, any and all polish or shine completely removed from them – something seen more amongst infantry veterans than naval cadets, who generally weren’t worried about camouflage and concealment.

His face, though scarred like the rest of his body, still held the shape of youth, even if any baby fat had long since been worn away. His nose, small and slightly upturned at the tip, seemed to almost imperceptibly twitch occasionally – it was clear that he was using more senses than just sight and hearing. Storm-grey eyes flicked around the room, taking in everything they could, only resting on a single place for precious moments. However, his face was relaxed into a small, content smile, something which matched his relaxed position on the chair and stood as stark contrast to his twitchy eyes and nose.

His brown hair was slightly longer than the rest of the recruits, and his face was slightly textured, making it plain that a bit of stubble was just starting to form. The man in the Imperial uniform looked for all the worlds like a smuggler, or perhaps a fighter jock from the Rebellion of old – not anything like a member of the Empire’s elite Starfighter corps. However, his appearance had nothing to do with what was going on inside his head. He let the conversation amongst the cadets wash over him like a waterfall, replying whenever a question was asked of him and interjecting with a few well-timed jokes that helped to eliminate some of the nervous tension in the air.

When the instructor opened the door and walked into the briefing room, the young, scruffy-looking trainee continued chuckling silently at a comment a young woman had made, surprised by the sarcastic wit, before letting it peter out along with the rest of the conversation in the room. Though he turned his head to face the uniformed man that stood before them, his gaze continued its paranoid ballet, a hold-over from darker, more desperate times.

“Your mission today will place you in the shoes, or rather the cockpit of a stranded pilot trying to return to his squadron.”

He heard the man’s voice ring through the room, strong and confident as only one of the Empire’s best could be, and let his faint, soft smile only widen. It was clear that the thought of operating alone appealed to him – he certainly appeared to be very self-reliant. He seemed to be more intent on daydreaming than listening to the lecture, as his gaze finally fixed itself on a point just to the left of the holographic map. Invisible to the others, however, a keen, survivalist mind was ticking away, coming at the problem from as many angles as possible. Inside his mind, a lightning-fast monologue was running: Forming, analysing and then rejecting each idea as it came, and re-evaluating each as more information became available to him.

Operating in a flight of four MK-VE Interceptors, other three heading from insertion to rendevous point. I’m all the way over here. Space is closed off, no chance of a quick leapfrog. Fuel reserves will have already taken a hit from atmospheric entry, so fuel consumption is an issue, as is the weather given the TIE’s reliance on solar energy. Appears to be clear skies, but landing craft and fleet action may cause energy dispersal, which will make solar energy unreliable. Time even more critical. Wingman tactics ineffective with an odd number of craft, so linking up with the team will be vital for both me and them. Trying to wait for rescue or go solo also foolhardy – if flight is defeated, enemy air assets will converge on me.

"As previously stated however your role will be to get from the location you will find yourselves at back to your squadron and once there follow the original mission objectives. Returning to your intended position however will in itself be a tricky thing. You will not be able to exit and re-enter the planet's atmosphere because in the meanwhile enemy reinforcements showed up and those are presently engaged with our own forces in orbit. Leaving the planet at this time would equal suicide. That leaves various other routes to reach your destination. The more direct your approach the more likely you are to face heavier opposition all by yourself. On the contrary, the more time you waste getting there the more you endanger the rest of your squadron. The decision will be yours and yours alone to take however..."

The young pilot still appeared to be miles away, though in reality he was absorbing every single word and every update on the screen that came his way. He loved challenges and puzzles, and in his mind he was deconstructing the pieces and fitting them together exactly like one would a puzzle, matching them on the fly and building up towards a greater picture in his mind. The only indication of this was the way that his index finger was imperceptibly making a writing motion on the armrest of his chair, jotting down invisible specifications, maps and ideas. Though it could have possibly been him tapping out an imaginary drumbeat. At a glance, it was hard to tell.

The VE variant of the TIE Interceptor is slower and heavier than the original, but packs better armament and protection. Still, it’s faster than those X-Wings by a considerable degree .Weight is an issue in atmospheric flight, so good thing it’s lighter, too. Missiles will only slow me down, though – wisest to expend them on targets of opportunity at first availability. AA Turrets and enemy ground armour or installations will be priority targets – even if I don’t make it, the ground pounders will get their support. Atmospheric flight is dangerous – I’ll have to switch between speed or agility, but never use both at the same time or I’ll probably black out. Speed will serve me best against AA – move faster than they can track and I’m set. Flying low will help with that, and the foliage will help bounce the sound of the noisy engine too, that’ll throw them off.

As the briefing ended, he moved off towards the preparation area and talked with the other recruits, getting feedback and supplying a few of his own insights – few seemed to have considered the affect of the orbital battle on the solar supply, whilst just about everyone had considered the problems of atmospheric flight and someone had even plinked onto something he hadn’t – the communications issue. Should they comm ahead to try and contact the rest of the squad and link-up en-route to the RV, and risk the possibility of their transmissions being intercepted, and though decryption wasn’t possible thanks to advanced Imperial comms, traced and used to track the squad? Or should silence be maintained to maximize stealth, surprise and the hopeful possibility of not being detected before making some distance to the RV?

He was still talking with some of the others about the utility of saving the missiles until reaching mission start to cause maximum damage to the base as opposed to firing them at first opportunity to lighten the ship so it fared better against the X-wings in high-speed dog fighting when his name was called over the comm.

“Sam Dunn, report to the Simulator. Sam Dunn, report to the Simulator.”

All too soon, he was strapped into his armoured flight-suit and the pilot’s seat of the simulated TIE cockpit. The young man was no stranger to flying starfighters that emphasized agility over protection, having used old V-wings before joining the Navy, and quickly set about personalizing the control responsiveness and targeting computer to a format that he felt more comfortable with, before familiarizing himself once again with the ball-cockpit of the Vast Empire’s signature starfighter. He adjusted the control yoke’s sensitivity to the highest setting, closer to that of a swoop bike than an actual starfighter, and after a few more personalizations, he was ready.


With that, the viewport on the cockpit crackled to life, revealing a lush, verdant forest far below him, and the multicoloured flashes of a battle far above. He synchronized his watch and map to the mission current, and waited for the simulation to start proper. He was glad that they’d given him a few moments to familiarize himself with his ‘current location’, as he didn’t want too much disorientation and vertigo. He made sure to use the time wisely, an expert eye scanning everything he could and matching what he saw with his map. So, about five possible paths to take, with the shorter ones becoming progressively more dangerous. He let his hand settle on the steering yoke, his other one resting on the accelerator. A nice, gentle grip – he didn’t want to choke the damn thing.


That gave him just enough time. One of his favourite features of the TIE series of fighters was the very intuitive power management system. It allowed him to divert power from the fighter’s powerful reactor from one of the ship’s systems to another on the fly. It was one thing he was determined to master, something he planned to make into an action that he could perform without thinking about it, second nature. It had already become that. He dumped every bit of juice from his shield generators and all weapons systems to his ship’s scanning suite, and zoomed out his radar map so he’d be able to get all the feedback that he could on the path of least resistance. Whilst he did that, he listened to the comm chatter that had started pouring through, letting it wash over him like he had in the briefing room.

“Raptor Three, this is Raptor Four. Come in, over.”
“Give it a rest, Four. Three’s gone.”
“Like hell he is, Two! We don’t leave anyone behind, remember?”

No. They weren’t. He wasn’t going to make them.

“Raptor Squadron, this is Raptor Three. I’ve been knocked off course and it looks like I’m gonna ’ave ta run tha gauntlet to link back up. I’ll see ya at the RV point. ETA – bloody soon.”


His tactical brain processed the information the scanner was giving back to him at breakneck speed as his TIE accelerated and started to whip through the sky, the signature scream of the powerful Twin Ion Engine sounding for all the worlds like a battle-cry, a roar filled with blood-lust and iron determination. He allowed it to galvanize him, to give him focus. As the acceleration of the hyper-fast interceptor forced him back against his seat, he allowed a small smile to appear, unseen behind his full-face helmet. This was what he lived for. He felt the spike of adrenaline send a cold shiver down his spine as it flooded his body, ramping up his reflexes and preparing him for the struggle ahead. He’d already disregarded the fact that this was nothing but a test, choosing to live completely in the here and now.

Here, he was inside a TIE Interceptor, and now, his team-mates needed him to be at his very best. As the results of his overpowered scan began to return to him, his smile grew grim. He’d already chosen the swiftest path, trusting in his Interceptor’s speed and his own reflexes to get him through, but he hadn’t realized just how choked up that path was. His flight route took him through the thick of the fighting between an armoured company of the Imperial Army, and the New Republic Ground forces that were defending the area. Though the bulky shape of the AT-ATS – and their escorting AT-AA’s – were very comforting to him, he knew that the enemy were going to have anti-air assets of their own in the area.

He was going to have to run the gauntlet and hope for the best. He dumped every bit of power that the fighter had into the engines and dove low, skimming just over the treeline. Shields, weapons, everything but the scanners and comm-systems went offline as he accelerated well past what the fighter was meant to be capable of, his pre-flight tuning paying off. The acceleration pushed him against the back of his chair hard, and the trees whipped below him at breakneck pace. He knew that at speed, not even his shields would save him from a direct impact, and so he’d shut them off too. One wrong move, and it would all be over. The adrenaline kicked up another notch, and what was once a green blur seemed to slow down to something that, if he squeezed out every bit of skill and experience he had, he might just survive.

For the moment, nothing else mattered but the area directly in front of him, and he tuned out everything else in the breakneck race towards the RV point. At this speed, there was no way that any ground forces would be able to target him before he had shot on past, and the trees went some way to dampen the deafening shriek that his Twin Ion Engine, running at something over maximum capacity, was putting out. He handled the control yoke with a light, expert touch, his eyes for once fixed firmly in front of him. It was clear that he was used to running gauntlets, and his fighter moved with agility and grace, performing last second adjustments that sent him hurtling just past overgrown trees and ruined buildings that would have killed him with but a glancing impact.

His heart racing, the young pilot grinned inside his helmet, the wide smile unseen by everyone. This was what he lived for. The thrill of the chase, time ticking away as he danced, with the grim reaper his partner. His life was in his hands alone, and he was determined to prove that he was capable of surviving. All strategy had already been worked out for this point, and he concentrated on simply making it through the next moment. He felt like a god, enemy flak and missiles streaking uselessly out behind him – he was long gone before anything came even close. The mission almost ended right then and there, however, as the forest gave way to a clearing and the gigantic form of an All Terrain Armoured Transport loomed up in front of him. Acting on pure instinct, he reversed thrust, diverted power to his shields and dived to the left, hoping to zip behind the massive walker instead of becoming a fireball that would probably destroy them both.

It was a damn close thing, but he barely made it through. He reset the power systems to their normal settings, and swung around the transport, snaking up beside it and almost colliding with an enemy airspeeder that seemed intent on wrapping a two-cable around its legs. He immediately grabbed a targeting lock, and let loose with his four laser cannons, blowing the airspeeder out of the sky – it blew past his own fighter in fragments. It was clear from the wrecked AT-AA that he passed that the enemy had air superiority here.
“This is Lieutenant Jagresh Kell, of Rolling Thunder Three. Thank you for the assistance, over.”
“Kell, this is Raptor Three. Pleasure’s all mine – but I can’t stay, need to link up with the rest of my squad. I can give you a single strafing run, but then I’ll need to duck out. What do ya want to die? Over.”

A quick glance told him that the enemy line were too tough for him to break – he saw anti-air turrets just behind the front line, which was dominated by massive hovertanks, which were exchanging fire with the AT-AT’s, and apparently had make short work of one of the AA walkers, a gap that in the air defences that he had, completely by accident, slipped into.

As he communicated with them, he found a pair of enemy airspeeders that seemed intent on avenging their comrade, and swore under his breath. It seemed that the destroyed AT-AA had left a gap in the Imperial air defences, and now the enemy was trying to push on through. They hadn’t figured on Sam Dunn being there to plug the gap. He diverted power back from his shields to his engines, intent on using his advantage of speed and agility to destroy them. He bracketed one in his sights, and was about to blow it away when the second speeder slid in behind him. His target lock alarm sounded as the enemy tried to ping him. Sam had a deliciously horrible idea, and decided not to take evasive action. Instead, he made sure he was directly in between himself and the speeder in the front. It tried to shake him, but he was having none of it. Eventually, however, the warning siren reached its climax…

He decelerated and jinked to the left just as a pair of brilliant red blaster bolts erupted from the twin heavy cannons bolted onto the speeder behind him, barely avoiding a direct hit from the shot. The bolts streaked past his fighter, and he watched with vicious satisfaction as they impacted solidly on the engine block of the speeder that he had been pursuing, sending it screaming to its doom. As his fighter slowed to a near-stop, the speeder that had just been duped into killing its own comrade shot past him, and right into his sights. No hesitation here, he jammed his finger on the trigger and sent a flurry of bright green streaking towards the target. The first few shot off past the speeder’s port side, but then Sam found his angle…and scored his second mission kill, blasting out the cockpit and leaving another wrecked hulk in his wake.

“Raptor Three, those speeders have been giving us hell – thanks for taking them out. We’ve got some breathing room, if ya can take out one of those tanks for us, we’ll punch a hole and give you some covering fire to get back to your unit, over.”

Sam smiled to himself. Making friends wherever he went, it seemed. He would have to hunt down this Lieutnant Kell and buy him an ale after all of this was over. He checked his missile compliment, and was pleased to see that he still had all four remaining. He fired up the targeting computer, waited a few split-seconds for confirmation…and let out four concussion missiles, the deadly warheads streaking from the firing port on the bottom of the interceptor, before streaking towards two of the New Republic’s heavy hover tanks, the ones that seemed to be doing the most damage. As the first two missiles impacted, the heavy shields on the tanks that had so far stood up to the AT-AT’s heavy fire, though barely, were finally overloaded, giving out the last of their power in protecting the tanks from the heavy munitions.

The next two hit, and there was nothing but metal plating in between the tank’s vitals and the missiles. Designed to penetrate armour, the missiles tore through the armour like butter, and ignited the generators inside the tanks. A pair of massive fireballs reached out towards the skies as the heavy tanks blew apart in a series of detonations, flattening the infantry troopers that had been using them for cover with a spray of shrapnel and a surge of flame. It was clear that the left flank had taken a serious hit.

Capitalizing on the opportunity, the two AT-AT’s began to relentlessly advance. RT-3 and its twin, which was marching to the right of it were the two main units sharing the left flank with Dunn, and they immediately targeted the left-most hover tank that was still alive - which was showing some shield damage from its proximity to the explosions. Their initiative served them well, and a third fireball reached up towards the clouds. Rolling Thunder continued its forward march, now able to target the remaining rebel forces on the left piecemeal. The Anti-Air tanks that had previously been safe behind the heavy front-line units were not exposed, and died swiftly under the might of the heavy chin guns. With the battle swinging back in their favour, Rolling Thunder were able to roll up the rebel’s left flank, making short work of their air defences, as promised. Airspeeders raced from the fighting on the right flank to try and plug the hole, but it was too little, too late, as the AT-AA’s, now able to march to commanding positions, casually blew them out of the sky. The same would easily have happened to Sam, if he had tried to charge with the enemy AA still in place…and without air cover to hinder them, ground forces in charge of the Right Flank appeared to be making steady progress as well.

“Raptor Three, this is Rolling Thunder Three. That’ll show these cowards who’s really in charge of this galaxy! Path’s clear – go find your squad, we’ll be along shortly. Over.”

“Rolling Thunder, this is Raptor Three – it’s been a pleasure fighting by your side. We’ll make sure the base is ready for your grand entrance, over and out.”
The voice of the AT-AT commander had sounded young – another trainee, like himself, perhaps? He’d have to check the army rosters after this was over and find out. Still, for now, his only problem was reaching the RV point. His scanners indicated that the RV point was just ahead…but where was the rest of Raptor Team? He realized with a sigh that he’d been /too/ fast for his own good, and had reached the area ahead of the rest of his squad. Now, it seemed, he was going to have to deal with whatever was waiting for him there. He was dismayed to see that a flight of four X-wing starfighters were streaking towards him – probably to try and turn the tables on Rolling Thunder!

No way in hell was he going to allow that to happen.

“Raptor Flight, this is Three. I’m at the RV point – got a flight of X-wings trying to crash the Army’s party. I’ll try and lead them back to you guys so we can take ‘em out. Over.”

“Three, this is Raptor Lead. We’re about a minute out – don’t die on us now! Hold on till we get there, out.”

The X-wing flight were at high altitude and had their S-foils locked shut. They were well behind the front line, within friendly territory, and were probably savouring a few more seconds of peace and quiet before leaping into the fray to turn the tide on their enemy. Sam’s TIE Interceptor, on the other hand, was running low and quiet, he’d slowed the engines down to a crawl the moment he’d reached the rendevous point, and had diverted power to scanners. Now, that power would go to the lasers. He had the drop on them, but no time with which to plan his ambush. Gently, he angled his interceptor until it was facing his targets, and then flared the engines, starting his climb. The moment he had range, he jammed his finger down on the trigger, and filled the air between himself and the X-wing flight with green, deadly laserfire. Like a Sando Aqua Monster from Naboo, he struck his enemies from below, targeting their vulnerable underbelly.

He hadn’t even bothered to use the targeting computer – he was firing by eye, using the shots as tracer rounds. This gave him an advantage – the enemy had literally no warning. No ping from the targeting system. Nothing. Just a sudden, withering barrage of fire. The lead X-Wing was caught flat-footed, and flew right into the line of fire before it had time to change course, and had its underside raked with vicious fire. The shields gave out after a second, and then so did the armour. A flaming wreck, it plummeted towards the ground, far below. The rest, S-foils still locked into flight position, had trouble dodging out of the way in time – the second took enough hits along its left wing to lose shields, and one of its engines. The third only lost its shields, and the fourth managed to evade the shots entirely. One down in the first barrage, one wounded, and the rest seriously spooked. He switched power to engines, and roared up through the broken formation at top speed, gone before they could even react.

He’d positioned himself perfectly for the ambush, and now, as he looped around to come back down at them, he was flying with the sun at his back, enough that anyone who tried to look directly at him would either get blinded, or enjoy the wonders of an automatically darkened helmet lens – either way, they weren’t going to be able to react. Targeting the undamaged fighter, the one that would put up the most trouble, he screamed down from above, firing every meter of the way. Even balancing power between the targeting computer, engines and lasers, he had plenty to go around – he hadn’t even raised his shields! His target lost its shields under the withering fire, then the R2 unit. Then, a lucky shot penetrated the cockpit and blew the pilot clear away, dead before he could even scream. He grinned as he shot past the falling wreckage, and pulled up in time to avoid the trees below. That was when his targeting computer’s alarm warned him the enemy were trying to get a lock.

He jinked to the right just in time, as a quad-linked burst of bright red laserfire shot straight past his cockpit, where his nimble interceptor had just been. Knowing that his shields wouldn’t last under firepower like that, he kept them switched off. Better to rely on superior speed and agility, and keep them just at arm’s reach until help arrived. He performed a quick snap-roll, then bled off some speed by climbing back up towards the altitude the enemy were stalking him from. Another shot flared past his right, and on instinct, he didn’t make a single dodge, keeping up his climb. His odd decision saved his life, as a shot flared just below him, where he would have been had he tried to drop. The two X-wings had excellent co-ordination, he noted with a grimace. He was forced to jink to the left to evade another shot, then immediately used the opportunity to turn right, towards the direction the shot had come from. Completing the turn, he found himself heading on an impact course to one of the X-wings, it’s engine still trailing smoke!

A missile lock alarm sounded inside the cockpit, and suddenly his sweat grew cold. These bastards packed Proton Torpedoes. He jammed his finger on the trigger and threw every bit of power he could into the guns, hoping to either take down the fighter before it could launch the torp, or at least the torp before it hit him. At this speed, flying towards the enemy, dodging was not an option. He was lucky that the fighter before him was wounded, perhaps, because it seemed slightly slower on the uptake than he was – by the time it had launched the torpedo, he had holed its other three engines and shot clean over the enemy. As the now crippled fighter began to spiral to the ground, making its terminal descent, the Torpedo proved far more persistent. The insistent whine of his targeting computer told him that it was closing, and he frantically put everything into his engines, using the most complex ducks, weaves and loops he knew in order to try and throw it off, or at least bleed some fuel out of the damn thing. It didn’t help that the surviving X-wing had him well and truly bracketed now, firing shots in quick succession to try and box him in, keep him from avoiding a fiery death at the hands of the ever-persistent Torpedo.

Gritting his teeth as black spots appeared at the edge of his vision, Sam Jack Dunn executed a dive that was definitely more than the TIE Interceptor was rated to handle, and the groan of metal told him that if he deepened the angle be even a little, the wings would shear clear off. He made straight for the treeline, keeping low to the ground and searching for an opportunity. Finally, after what felt like a lifetime, the alarm faded and a loud explosion sounded right behind him. He diverted all power, from everything except just enough to keep the engines ticking over, to the aft shields, and roared aloud as he felt the shock wave and shrapnel wash over his fighter, threatening to pitch him onto the dirt below. He gripped the control yoke and yanked it back, sending the TIE Interceptor into a steep climb. The shields, unable to take the strain, fizzled out and died, overloaded beyond repair. It didn’t matter. They’d saved his life.

However, his engine was critically damaged. The distinctive whine had become a cough, and he realized he wasn’t going to make it to the enemy base. His fighter was already starting to slow, and he knew that it was only a matter of time before it would peter out eventually and send him crashing into the undergrowth below.

“Raptor Three, this is Lead. You’re giving off a lot of smoke there, what’s the damage report?”
“Lead, this is Three. Engine’s fried, afraid I won’t be able to join yas on the main assault. Sorry sir.”

Sam Dunn fought to keep the control yoke level and the engines from dying entirely, the cockpit starting to fill up with smoke. He coughed, and realized his suit’s life support systems were compromised, too. He couldn’t stay inside the fighter much longer – it would kill him at this rate long before it crashed.

“You did good, kid. We can take it from here. Bail out, I don’t want you dying on me. Try and link up with our front line – and stay alive. That’s an order.”
[b]“Yes sir. Ejecting from Raptor Three now – Dunny out.”

With that, he reached for the ejection release lever on the side of the cockpit’s control panel, and pulled it. The moment that he did, the cockpit went dark.


He removed his flight helmet, and noticed with a raised eyebrow that one of the intake nozzles had a slash through it. He was damn sure that hadn’t been there when he’d donned the suit. Had someone tried to get him to fail, or was it a part of the simulation? The cockpit was still filled with smoke, and he coughed a bit before the top-hatch doors opened, and a pair of mechanics lifted him up from the simulator cockpit. He coughed the last of the smoke out of his lungs and removed his helmet, a small smile visible on his now red and sweat-stained face. He knew he had failed the mission – but he had no regrets. He had done everything that he could to the best of his ability, and made his units victory much more likely, even if he would not be there to see it. He thought back to everything – from the chosen path to the battle with Rolling Thunder, to the ambush on the X-wings. Yes, his fighter had been destroyed, but he’d secured the ground forces safety, and cleared the RV for Raptor Flight to get there safely.

A training instructor stood before him, an eyebrow raised. Exhausted from the simulation, Sam managed to shakily raise his hand in a salute, before letting it fall. The salute was returned. The trainer crossed his arms, as if unimpressed, and gave the young cadet a long, hard stare. Sam’s smile didn’t waver, though his heart hammered in his chest. He’d done the right thing, he knew that…but would command see it that way? He allowed his heavy, post-combat breathing to slowly calm down, as he waited for the instructor to speak. Instead, the man led him away from the preparation room, and back to the briefing room. Made sense, you wouldn’t want to debrief a man in front of the people who were about to share the same experience he just had.

“So, Trainee Sam Dunn. Your choice of overloading the engines and taking the shortest path forced you to take on an entire X-wing flight on your own, and it cost you the mission. Do you have anything to say for yourself?”

Sam’s response was immediate, and perfectly clear. He kept eye contact as he spoke, not backing down for a moment. It was clear that he was expected to justify the decisions he had made, even if only so they knew why he had done what he’d done. Having given it some thought himself, he was able to answer easily.

“Sir, I coulda easily gone north-west, skirted the battle and taken tha long way around. It woulda been safe, but I wouldn’t’a gotten to tha RV in time to help me team. Either late or dead, I was useless to me mates. One option ‘ad the certainty of life, but the inevitability of being late. The other ‘ad no certainties. I took a risk, sir, and it paid off.”

The officer nodded, as if privately agreeing, before resuming his cold stare, obviously moving onto the next matter. Sam readied himself for another question, and made sure he listened to every word that came from the uniformed man’s mouth. He heard the roar of a fan behind him, and reckoned that the tech crew were getting rid of the smoke that had filled the cockpit. Putting a smoke machine in there had been a very nice touch.

“Had you not been there in time, there’s no doubt the flight would have been destroyed. Your thinking is sound…but why did you stop to help those AT-AT’s? You risked a lot more than you would have if you’d let them distract the enemy and try to slip past.”

Sam Dunn looked almost offended as he replied, his first sentence more of an outburst than an actual answer, indignation apparent on his face…but it quickly gave way to a warm smile – even during the debrief, he was still playing his little games. Ho! The nerve! Suggesting he was anything other than a pure paragon of Imperial ideals!

“That thought didn’t even cross me mind, sir! Those blokes needed help – you saw how those speeders were all over ‘em. I’ve done me ‘omework – those walkers cost as much as two flights’a interceptors, and each one ‘olds 40 troops, in addition to its own crew. I wasn’t about to sit and watch ‘em die, sir. I ‘ad a duty to help them – if I was afraid of a little risk, I woulda gone for a noncombat role. Plus, they were only speeders.”

“So, you would say you were willing to die for them?”

“One life in exchange for…what? Fourty five if we’re talking about just RT-3, but if that gap ‘adn’t been plugged, they’d ‘ave been able to pick off the other AT-AT as well. Ninety lives, then. Against one? No contest – if it was them or me, better it be me. Not only that, but without those walkers, even if our fighters ‘it that base damn ‘ard…there’d ‘ave been no-one left to actually take it. We need the army, sir, just as much as they need us.”

The officer was starting to lose his neutral expression, and Sam was immensely relieved to see the beginnings of a smile on the instructor’s face. Of course, it could have been a smile of approval…or the smile of a sadist who was about to lay a world of hurt on someone. Sam wasn’t quite sure, but it was better than disapproval, either way.

“So you would say that not only were you willing to die for them, but you also made the tactical decision that their chances of success were higher than your own, and did what you could to aid them in light of this?”

“Exactly sir. Same reason I took on those X-wings. I knew I had no chance of taking them all…but those suckers were packing Proton Torpedoes. That kinda ordnance would have allowed them to destroy Rolling Thunder long before they were within range of the AT-AA’s. I reckoned that if I could keep them distracted, maybe take down two, then Raptor would be able to finish them off.”

“Those X-wings were waiting to ambush Raptor if you didn’t get there in time – but with the New Republic’s front line unravelling, something that was in large part due to your efforts, they were diverted, and yes, they would have destroyed Rolling Thunder had you not engaged them. Yet they destroyed your fighter and left you stranded behind enemy lines. Do you consider this a success?”

“Considering the matter strategically, if what you say is true, I directly saved Raptor Flight once, and Rolling Thunder Three twice. Indirectly, I stopped those Rebels from walking all over both of those walkers on two occasions. Without Rolling Thunder, the assault on that base would have failed, fact. I gave my fighter for ‘em. It was my choice, and I stand by it. Plus, if that was a real mission, I woulda eventually linked up with Rolling Thunder, and helped with the assault on foot. If I survived that, I’d have walked away a fighter ace, and with a lot of people wanting to buy me drinks. I’d say that was a success sir, yes.”

The officer’s hard expression finally broke into a warm, genuine smile. He checked something on the datapad he had brought with him, and wrote a short note.

“I agree, Sam, and so do the rest of the instructors. I’ll let you in on a secret – you weren’t meant to succeed. It’s a no-win scenario, you get shot down no matter what. This is a test of your ability to operate under pressure and hopeless odds, to see where your loyalty lies. Your loyalty proved to be unswerving, and your resolve was inspiring. You didn’t panic or think of yourself, but kept your mind on the bigger picture. That’s a leadership trait – and it saw you turn what would have been a staggering defeat into a possible victory. We will be watching you with great interest – go and get something to eat, son. You’ve earned it.”

“Thank you sir…but first, I have a question. The names, the callsigns, the situation – it all seemed too believable. Did it really happen, sir? Was this simulation based off a real battle?”

“It was. A pilot was separated from his flight in the middle of an assault on a New Republic base, and he took the long route. His flight was destroyed en-route by the X-wings, which then turned on him.”

“And…Rolling Thunder?”

“Rolling Thunder Three was destroyed. Lieutenant Jagresh Kell, Gunner Hal Wietmann and Driver Bridget Ironside lost their lives. All were posthumously promoted two ranks for holding off the Rebel counterattack long enough for the rest of Rolling Thunder Platoon, including their own walker’s infantry complement, to escape. Evidently, Major Kell thought the same as you did. It is a shame that the pilot of Raptor Three did not. I’m sorry.”

That was hard to take. Sam felt dizzy for some reason, and found he had to lean on the wall to keep himself steady. It was a shock, to say the least. Kell had sounded like a good man – and it had turned out that he was. Sam felt a twinge of survivor’s guilt, and even though he knew there was nothing that he could possibly have done to save the man…if only he’d been in that cockpit, instead of the pilot who’d gotten everyone killed…he could have. He took a few moment, concentrating on his breathing. When he eventually spoke, his voice was soft and subdued, but there was a small smile on his face.

“I’m glad the Empire chose to make a simulation out of this, sir. It’s an excellent test of courage and loyalty, and it shows that the Empire has the same – that it is determined to ensure a waste of life like this is never repeated.”

“With people like you in our navy, son, it won’t. Go and get some rest. Take some time to clear your head.”

Sam saluted the man, then shook his hand. It wasn’t until after he was out of the room and no-one could see him that he allowed a single tear to roll down his cheek. A silent memorial for the people who’s lives he had almost saved. Next time, he promised himself. Next time he’d give someone the chance that Kell had deserved. 

Imperial Network Star Wars Image
TRN/CRW Sam Jack "Dunny" Dunn/A-2(?)/
S:137 "Raptor"/W:46 "Defiance"/PLT Cappadocious
Anden Beliam
ComNet Member
Anden Beliam
[VE-NAVY] Master Chief Petty Officer (MCPO)
Post Number:  356
Total Posts:  362
Joined:  Dec 2007
Status:  Offline
  RE: Raptor: Overwhelming Odds
June 5, 2011 3:37:42 PM    View the profile of Anden Beliam 
An older pilot seated in the back of the room, his arms crossed over his chest, allowed himself a small smile, both during and after the brief.  Standing after the room had emptied he thought about all the others he had observed while listening to the instructions given. Some were making notes quickly on their datapads. A handful still had the wide eyed womp rat look like they weren't sure how they had gotten there, while a good number of the next wave of potential VEN pilots looked confident and sure of themselves. Then there were the ones who looked like they had been born Chiss, pale as ghosts.

His smile grew. They'll be alright, he thought to himself.

Coming out into the corridor he side stepped out of the way of the door way and leaned against the wall. Closing his eyes he took in a slow, deep breath or the clean, sterile and filtered air. It was as familiar to him as the air of the dense air found only in the the deepest parts of jungle hidden beneath    an enormous emerald canopy, which he had become so used to for the past months. The smell of this air, the feel and smell of the clean flight suit he wore were the smell of home. He was home once more.

Voices filled his ears. Excitement, fear, and unsure feelings emanated from all around him. Slowly he let out his breath and smoothly opened his eyes. He fell in with the flow of cadets, the Master Petty Officer melting in with the rest of the unsuspecting new pilots. That is until one of them noticed his rank and like a dam being closed the flow and speech of those he was walking with halted.

Calmly he continued heading for his designated simulation room. Whispers followed him and a few others followed him into the room. He nodded to a young pilot who gawked at him with his helmet frozen in his hands. Anden took his own helmet in hand and made the motion of putting it on as if guiding the cadet what to do. The cadet smiled and followed suit catching on to the harmless jibe at his frozen position. 

Sliding into the sim pod his hands slid over the controls he knew so well. Of course the last time he had been in a real TIE-I was what had eventually led him to the most arduous time of his life. And he was getting back into the seat again. He had heard once that the definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Perhaps that’s why he knew he wasn't. No one new better than he the odds against you when you strapped yourself into a seat like this.

The pod's cockpit closed and the display lit up. Anden could almost feel the energy from the controls like a living thing ready to test what he was made of. He relished the challenge. His breathing was steady and controlled as if he was doing nothing more than still walking down the hallway as he had been doing only moments earlier.

“Simulation commencing.” A female voice came across the comm system.

The view port became full of the view of traveling through Hyperspace and the sound the simulator pushed back to sub-light engines.

Immediately he heard a pilot cry out over the comm, “I can't...there's too many of them!”

Anden didn't waste anytime in directing his fighter on the most direct path to rejoin his squadron, and in the very far distance he saw a quick and silent explosion of reds. He fed as much energy in his engine, keeping minimal energy reserved for his laser cannons and directing all power from his shields to his engines. The wail of his fighter filled his ears but the distance between him and his designated squadron, Beta, disappeared with increasing speed.

“Beta three! Where the frak are you?! REPORT IN!” A snarling voice came over the com, and two more ships vanished from the readouts on his instruments.

Anden grinned at how much the artificial intelligence had changed in the training simulations, “Beta One this is Beta Three. En route to your position.”

He keyed in his coordinates and current speed and eta and sent the course projection to Beta One. He waited for what the prescribed script for his course would spit out, if there was one. As he waited he saw three x-wings, a few out of a mass, and began a course to intercept him.

He could hear a click and a few blimps as the computer seemed to skip, “Beta Three, there are three enemy craft coming to intercept.”

Anden smiled and clicked over an affirmative reply, his hand light on the controls and firm enough to have complete control of the sim interceptor. He counted to himself when his ships indicator notified him he was being fired upon and then began a complex weave as streams of red began to dance around him. The flashes of fire intensified as the other two x-wings also opened fire.

“...just a little more.” Anden spoke in a quiet whisper. 

Just like that the cannon fire disappeared and the three x-wings flew past him. He came dangerously close as one of them changed course at the last moment. He kept his cool and stayed on course. With his current speed and the time it would take them to come about they he was safe from these three. For the time being.

In moments he was coming up on an ensuing chase. Beta four's shields had been whittled away and the  X-wing was stuck on him like glued. Anden rolled his fighter as he directed more power to his shields and adjusted his throttle to match his target. He didn't wait for his heads up display to give him a green light for fire. He rarely had before now. Leading a target had become as natural to him as reading. He transferred some of the power from his recharging shield to his laser cannons to give him maximum fire power. With out locking on he fired a missile and watched as it battered his targets shields.

Unfortunately the x-wing had already locked on to Four as Anden fired off a volley of bright green. Just as the foils of the x-wing blew apart from the middle so did Beta Four.

“And then there were three.” Anden said to himself.

He glanced quickly at his readout. Three against ten. Not the best odds.

The ten x-wings had formed into two groups of five and were locking onto the him and the other two from separate directions. Anden took the lead with the other two Tie's forming up on his right. He sent commands to both and at his command the three of them barrel rolled and came onto an intercept course with the five x-wings closest to them. Checking flight map he noted which of the enemy craft was locked onto him as well as his squadron. He keyed in the commands without looking for them to target the crafts who were targeting them.

“Lock on and fire.” He said coolly. Sweat had finally began to trickle down the nape of his neck as well as inside of his flight gloves.

In tandem the three Tie's fired their missiles. Luck of the sim was on their side as the x-wings fired later than they had. Two of their misses made connection with the x-wings proton's. In a burst of blue and red Anden watched as one the ships shields disappeared and the ship exploded gloriously while the other two's shield were cut in half from both the blast of the exploding and a direct hit from Aden’s missile.

“Great shooting!” Anden encouraged over the com. He knew that his words didn't truly matter here in this sim. He just couldn't help it. It was engrained in him.

They were able to take out another of the x-wings together before the other five x-wings had effectively joined in again. It wasn't long before three became two.

“Stay together. We have to work with each other or it's all over.” Anden ordered.

Even as he said it he knew it was going to be over, as far as the mission went. But as he was living proof although it might be over in the sim... that didn't mean that it would be so on the other side. And just as it had happened before the object of this mission wasn't about the winning. It was about sticking to your guns and with your Squadron. No matter what the costs. A warning light went off that a missile had been fired at him. There was no room for him to move. Two x-wings were too close to take effective evasive maneuvers and dodge the warheads heading his way. So he did what he could. He let volley after volley of laser fire and took out the x-wing in his sights even as he pulled the ejection moments before the Tie would have been blown out from under him.

There was a lurch in the sim, but none in his heart.

“End of Simulation.” The female voice spoke once more.

Anden slid the helmet off as the simulation pod opened, and smiled tucking the helmet under his arm and looked at the Cadet who was once more staring wide eyed at him.

“No....not even close to the end.” said Anden, nodding to the cadet and left the room heading for the hangar where his personal shuttle awaited to take him to his next destination.
FM/SCPO Anden Beliam/A-3/S:172 "Viper"/Wing:1 "Phoenix"/mSSD Atrus/TF:A/1Flt/SFC/VEN/VE
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  RE: Raptor: Overwhelming Odds
June 14, 2011 1:26:35 AM    View the profile of Sciuridae 
Cayla stepped into the room as the other pilots began filing out onto the simulator deck.  She readjusted her flight suit and walked with a sense of urgency into the next room.  I never did like the Imperial-style flight suits... I prefer the ones I wore on Bimmiel... or better... some good old-fashioned combat armor.  For some reason, I think I'll regret taking my boots off solid ground... she thought, stepping onto the simulator deck.

She looked around and noticed one more unmanned simulator, so she started half-running towards it.  She opened the hatch and climbed in, checking her suit again.  This thing is too tight... my skin needs to breathe...

Cayla closed the hatch above her and began pre-flight check.  She smiled when all indicators lit up green, put her flight helmet on, and secured her safety straps.  I'm not going to be like Cayden... I'm not going to crash into anything... she thought, starting the simulation up.

The simulation materialized in front of her, and immediately, a proximity alert went off.  She banked hard to the right, nearly missing a pair of X-Wings.  She looked over her shoulder and saw that one of them broke formation and started tailing her.  My first stalker in the Navy... and it's in a simulation she thought, smiling as she began executing a hard dive to the planet surface.  Cayla's fighter began sounding warning alarms as it went past recommended safe speeds.  She smirked slightly as she watched her altimeter get closer and closer to zero.  She started to notice the details on the planet now.  Cayla could identify specific mountains and lakes on the surface... as well as fires and ruined combat zones.

She noticed her altimeter hit 500 meters, and she began to level off without decreasing her speed.  Her fighter shook violently as she quickly cut her speed drastically, flipping her fighter into a rapid 180.  Now facing up, she hit the accelerator hard, and began racing towards the rapidly-approaching pair of X-Wings , the second one now having joined his wingman in his chase.  Cayla smiled as she pressed down on the trigger, releasing dozens of laser blasts into the air in front of her.  Many of the bolts missed the fighters, some hit the shields, but the action alone forced the two fighters to level out prematurely, giving Cayla a choice of which target to follow.

She picked the one that initiated the chase, and began accelerating towards it when a voice erupted over her comm.

[[Raptor 11, this is Raptor 12.  It looks like you have a pest problem.  I'm on my way over now.]]

"Raptor 12, this is Raptor 11.  One of my targets has begun to come around behind me.  Care to remove him from my six?" she asked, trying to get a lock on the fighter in front of her.

[[Sure thing, 11.  On my way now.  12, out.]]

Cayla smiled and whispered to herself "Just gotta hold out for a few seconds... then you're all mine..."  She pushed her Interceptor harder, finally getting the target lock before the fighter behind her began firing on her fighter.  Several laser blasts flew past her cockpit and she almost instinctively threw the fighter into a barrel-roll, but managed to stop herself before she executed the maneuver.  Stay on target... as long as I do that, 12 will cover me... she thought, trying to require her target.

She fought with the controls for a few seconds more, laser blasts flying all around her from behind, until she got a target lock a second time.  This time, though... she let loose a few squirts from her laser cannons, before she just held the trigger down, spraying the enemy with low-powered laser blasts.  Many of the blasts, due to the lack of distance between the two fighters, impacted the shields.  Finally, the shields dropped and her blasts began hitting the fighter, and moment later, engulfed the X-Wing in a fiery explosion.  She almost cheered into the comm when several laser blasts flew by her cockpit again, and this time her fighter shook from several hits.

"12, I can really use that assistance right about now..." she said into the comm, banking hard to port as a proton torpedo raced past her.

Cayla's warning system went off as another torpedo tore through the air right past her, barely missing her starboard assembly.  I could REALLY use some help... she thought, gritting her teeth as she threw her fighter into a straight ascent to the atmospheric barrier.

Her warning system went off again, but instead of a torpedo flying past her, it was another TIE Interceptor.

[[Raptor 11, this is Raptor 12.  I told you I was on my way.]]

Cayla smiled and said "I know... I was just a little nervous you got lost or something back there..."

[[I didn't get lost... just had to shake a pair of X-Wings... speaking of which... here they come now!]]

Cayla and Raptor 12 broke off from each other and flew in opposite directions, allowing the 2 X-Wings to fly in-between them.  Together, the two Interceptors turned towards the two X-Wings and began accelerating after them.

"Raptor 12, prepare to fire laser cannons on my command," she said, powering her laser cannons to maximum.  She set her rate of fire to 'quad-linked' instead of 'flurry'.

[[Roger that.  Cannons are armed and ready to fire.]]

"Acknowledged."  Cayla smiled and acquired a lock on her X-Wing.  She got a confirmation on a lock from her wingman and she said "Open fire!"

Together, the two Interceptors fired onto the X-Wings.  12's laser blasts splashed across his target's shield and all around it, bringing it down little by little, until it fell completely, engulfing the fighter in a ball of fire.

Cayla's blasts, however, impacted the shields with more accuracy, draining the shields faster.  Her laser blasts broke through and tore a nice-sized hole in the aft-section of the fighter, throwing it in an uncontrolled spin.  She fired one more linked blast, and the X-Wing exploded in a brilliant blast of fire and debris.

Both Interceptors flew through the debris cloud and began heading towards the remainder of the squadron.  Cayla was about to say something over the comm when an energy blast came out of nowhere and hit her fighter square on the cockpit.

Cayla's screen whited out, and the simulation shut down.  She sat in her pod for a while before finally removing her safety straps.  She opened the hatch and climbed out to see most of the trainees outside already, going over their sim videos and comparing kill-counts.  Cayla sighed and walked over to the group of young pilots, not realizing what she was getting herself into.

Welcome to the Navy... where things go "boom!" and the action lasts 8 times as less than it should... she thought, sitting herself in a chair to await her training instructor.

WC: 1155

Not bad for an Army girl, huh?
FM : SCRW Cayla Sciuridae Tavers : 153rd Regents Squadron : 58th Javelin Wing : ICF-II Fearless : TF Besh : 2nd Fleet : VEN : VE

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  RE: Raptor: Overwhelming Odds
June 15, 2011 10:11:44 PM    View the profile of Norsedragoon 
As Einarr followed the rest of the cadets into the briefing room, he looked around, his Deep green and grey hide contrasting drastically with the others taking seats around him. Using his right eye he examined the room while his left stayed locked on the podium as the speaker went through the briefing As the CO finished the briefing he stood, adjusting the DL-44 on his belt and checking his suit as the others filed out before turning to follow at the end of the line heading for the simulator deck. Upon reaching the simulator deck He sat back watching as the pilots took their runs, examining their successes and failures in an effort to improve and refine his own tactics. As his turn approached he heads for the ready line and with a crisp snap to attention he salutes the CO "Crewman Einarr Ghylthir reporting ready sir" he says in a bubbling rumble like a river cascading over rocks, he waits for the CO to return the salute and release him to station before heading for one of the bulky simulator pods.

Climbing up the access ladder he grips the handle in a gloved hand and wrenches it open before turning to slide in feet first, his mon cal eyes darting around as he takes in the controls, the main steering yoke, the rudder control pedals and the seat as he drops into it and buckles in, sliding the life support umbilical into his suit feed. He double checks the seals on the umbilical lines as well as the fit of his helmet making sure his offset eyes have good range to monitor his surroundings before starting the power on sequence. His finger flicking the warm up switches and checking the gauges as the simulator starts its warm up.

Simulation Star>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

As the forward screen of the simulator cockpit blazed to life with the surrounding scene his eyes flashed over sensors as well as the view, actively scanning for targets as he begins to bring his Interceptor down to Nape of earth while fighting the slight drag his fighter gains while in atmo. Turning on guidance as he opens a com line.

"This is Raptor 2 to Raptor flight, I am coming in on a rendezvous course. Making best speed."

the com channel returns with a blaze of static followed by "Raptor 4 to Raptor 2 where are you, we are getting torn up here. Hur!" the com cuts out with a scream followed by a flare of static.

Never again he tells himself as he diverts power from the laser to engines, the suits pressure bladders inflating to keep the circulation flowing to his extremities as the G forces intensify, the Nape of earth guidance system allowing him to weave thru the taller trees with mere moments to spare before impact. Nearing the midway point he picks up the radar signatures and IFF's of a flight of 4 x-wings nearing his position and begins pulling his interceptor into a climb rerouting power back to his lasers and switching them to quad burst mode as his ship fights for altitude. Vectoring in from below the oncoming rebel pilots he lines the cross-hair up with the lead fighter and releases 2 bursts from his lasers followed by a burst from the matched set of blasters mounted on the cockpit, the lasers flaring the opposing ships shields to the point of collapse as the blaster bolts following slam into the nose of the fuselage causing a chain reaction in the opposing ships torpedo stores. Knowing the element of surprise is over he switches on the repulsor field while cutting power to the ion engines and uses it to swiftly rotate his ship as he flashes thru the debris field falling to ground from the now destroyed fighter riding the momentum to bring his cross-hair towards the now alert rebel X-wings. The former leads wing man splits hard to his left as the remaining 2 break right, and his target lock broken Einarr turns to pursue the wing man of his first fallen foe, striving to keep the other 2 enemy vessels in sight. Cutting power down on his engines and using his repulsor field to once again rotate into a break turn he cuts into the wing mans turn and switches the lasers to dual fire letting off a burst in front of the fighter to try to shake him. The rebel indulges and try's to climb allowing Einarr to slip in behind him and gain a target lock. As he releases a missile followed by a pair of laser bursts the warning in his cockpit goes off for a target lock on his own vessel. He immediately cuts  the repulsorfield and slams to full power rolling the fighter by jamming on the rudder controls followed by cutting power to his engines and reactivating the repulosrfield the G-'s accumulating in the maneuvers pure torture but seeming to pay off as he watches his previous volley obliterate the enemy fighter and his 2 cohorts overcompensate and streak past. He immediately turns for the tree's diving back down to try to lose the last 2 so as not to press his luck and limited maneuvers learned from watching his former masters piloting. He reaches Nape level once more as the enemy X-wings finally get turned around and immediately changes course moving away from the bases coords to throw off pursuit

"Raptor 2 to Raptor flight, dropped 2 hostiles, 2 more in pursuit. continuing to make best speed allowable by circumstances." He calls over the com channel his voice cold as the memories of the Imperial pilot who took him in when the race he came from rejected him begin flooding back. He forces them down thru sheer will as the reply comes back.

"Raptor 2 this is Raptor lead, divert to the following coordinates and try to draw some of these rebels off of us. Every rat in the system must be in these fighters"

Einarr checked the coords uploaded to his navcomp. They lead close to the rebel base and its air cover. He nods and thinks to himself 'so its a pawns gambit is it. So be it.' As he reaches the rendevous point he makes a single strafing run along the border of the fur ball scoring a clean hit on an X-wings cockpit and flaring the shields on another one before breaking off and kicking energy from his lasers to the aft shields and engines as he heads for the Coords. A group of 6 of the 19 fighters breaking contact to pursue. 'Hmmm I must have made them angry' he thinks as he makes his run, the remaining 8 interceptors of Raptor squadron beginning to turn the tide on the remaining enemy fighters as their numbers come closer to equal. Einarrs fighter shakes as a flurry of lasers rupture his aft shields to score a line across the solar panels on his right side tearing out one of the mounts for his lasers. Einarr dives again jinking to either side to evade close shots that were getting closer as the rebels either began seeing thru his pattern or began getting overwhelming fire in place. In one last ditch maneuver he hits the repulsor field to full bouncing his craft into the air as he cuts engine power and begins turning his damaged craft towards its tormentors, a few of the panels on his right side wing splitting off and streaking into the distance from the force. He once again slides the throttle forward blazing with abandon when the crosshair lines up on his first target, the energy and blaster bolts slashing thru the shields to split the enemy craft before secondary explosions reach out and overload the 2 crafts on either sides shields who had wandered to close in their desire to bring him down. He quickly turns the ship on its repulsorfield, and lights up the next in line even as its unshielded comrade slams into his craft reducing them both to debris on the wind. Immediately the screens go dark and a large data field flashes up:

<<<<<<  Pilot Terminated: Mission Failed  >>>>>>>>>>>

Einarr hangs his head in shame as he pops the egress hatch and slides out. A few of the other cadets staring at him in a seeming combination of wonder and horror. He doesn't understand why but continues to the CO and salutes once more

"Crewman Einarr Ghylthir reporting sir, Mission Failed... I apologize for my inexperience and lack of skill." The Co returns the salute with a confused expression before dismissing Einarr to review. The Mon cal wanders to the Observation deck to review his ill fated run.

((OOC: 1449 word count, I hope that both my details and tactics are sufficient))
TRN/ CRW/ Einarr "Norsedragoon" Ghylthir/ G-2/ S:137 Raptor/ W:46 Defiance/  TF: TH/ 3Flt./ SC/ VEN/ VE
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  RE: Raptor: Overwhelming Odds
June 15, 2011 10:30:20 PM    View the profile of Furthing 
Virgil's head throbbed with a dull pain as he seated himself in the briefing room. He slid down his seat and threw back his head, resting it against the back of his seat. Thankfully the seat was padded and wasn't too uncomfortable. At the very least not as uncomfortable as the hangover that was flooding his brain now. It felt like he'd been clubbed by an angry rancor.

He squeezed his eyes shut as the overhead lights nearly blinded him.  Slowly the pounding in his head subsided and he relaxed a little as the lights dimmed. He couldn't remember for the life of him how he had managed to down an entire bottle of Corelian ale, let alone why he did on the night before his training. Distracted, he focused on the night before. He vaguely recalled sitting at a bar staring at a stunning Twi'lek woman, unaware he was doing so as he watching her lips move while she flirted with him.

He shook his head and winced slightly as his head reminded him what a bad idea that was. He slowly raised his head and focused on the holomap being projected at the front of the room.

The instructor's words washed over him as he idly studied the map. There were small dots covering the map and the holo shimmered as different paths emerged, coinciding with the instructor's directions. Virgil squinted at the holomap. It seemed to be a lot brighter than it was supposed to be.

"...As previously stated, your role will be to get from the location you will find yourselves at back to your squadron and once there, follow the original mission objectives." Officer Deepsix's sharp eyes scanned the room once before looking down again and updating the map before concluding his briefing. "Any questions?"

Virgil rubbed his tired eyes and looked up just as the lights flashed back on. He groaned and stood up as they were all dismissed. Working to drag the heavy weight in his skull up as he stood, he stretched and started to file out of the room with the rest of the recruits. He made a quick stop to down some cold water from a fountain before proceeding to the simulation room.

An instructor swiftly guided him to his sim and he stepped inside the small cockpit. The door slid closed and he was immediately sealed in darkness. The interior screen flicked on and once again Virgil winced at the light.

Blinking a few times, he looked around inside the sim. Bathed in blue light, it looked pretty much like a cockpit should. He'd never been in a TIE before and he admired the layout of the controls. He pressed a button and in the corner of the screen he saw some stats for the simulation roll up. His callsign was Raptor Six. A countdown initiated in the view port screen and he wrapped his hand around the yoke, preparing for the mission.

The countdown reached zero the scene rendered before him. Virgil saw the green surface of a planet. Hills rolled around him but otherwise there was nothing else in view. Virgil sat there and blinked, slightly confused. He glanced down at his controls and flipped on his scanner. He saw small ships represented as dots pop up on the screen northwest of his position.

Virgil shifted his yoke to the left and fed his thrusters, angling to regroup with the rest of his squadron. As he approached he flicked on his shields and linked his lasers to twin-linked. His squadron was still far off. He could make out some of the X-wings harassing them. Checking his scanner again, he spotted four of the X-wings breaking off of the main conflict to engage him.

Sighing, he pressed his com on. "This is Raptor Six. Raptor Leader, what's the situation look like? Um, status report?" He wasn't sure how exactly these simulations responded, or if he they were linked to other recruits.

The com cracked in response. "Raptor Six, we're taking heavy fire, we need your assistance. We've already lost a dropship."

Virgil nodded. "Alright, I'm on my way. I've got enemies cutting me off, over."

Sucking in a deep breath, Virgil twisted his yoke, rolling away from the fighters. Four X-wings turned to pursue him. I need to break them up if I want a chance to take them out. Even still, the odds of four to one made him a little nervous.

His screen flashed red and his shields fell a notch as lasers flew around him. Virgil hissed and pitched his nose down towards the ground. He kept the yoke pressed forward until as the plains below him rolled past his view. The sky broke out on his screen as he came out from the roll upside down now.

Spinning his ship around so he was right side up, he found that one of the X-wings had tried to follow him but it's rotation had been too slow and it didn't clear it's path before it hit the ground. A black smear on the green grass below was all that was left of it. The other three had peeled away and two were now coming at him from the front and the last one had bled enough speed to still be angling at him from above.

A voice came across on the com. "Mayday! Mayday! Raptor Five, I'm hit! I repeat I'm hit!" Virgil ignored the voice.

Grimacing, he charged at the oncoming X-wing. He squeezed the trigger and fired a furious volley at the fighter. The two ships traded laser fire and the X-wing caught most of the shots. Red lasers racked his TIE fighter as he tried to roll out of the way at the last minute. A red light blinked within the cockpit and he checked his shields. They were nearly depleted.

"This is Raptor Leader, we've lost another dropship. I repeat, dropship Aurek is lost. Regroup hold tight."

Virgil tried to ignore the casualty reports that seemed to be constantly rolling in. He quickly diverted power to his shields just as another round of shots pounded against them.

With most of his power holding up his shields, he couldn't hope to out maneuver the X-wings. He tried pulling out of their pursuit to follow the damaged X-wing, but the other fighters held on. He snarled in frustration. "I can't seem to shake these fighters!"

He quickly checked his scanner again. Pulling up a bigger map of the area, he saw that he was closer to the supply base now than he was to his squadron.

Virgil called out, "Raptor Leader, this is Raptor Six. I'm need loose my tail! I'm coming, over!"

"Do it fast, Six, we need to get the dropships out of here!" the voice replied.

"Copy that. Six out."

The ship shuddered as it was hit again. Cursing, Virgil pointed his fighter towards the city. Throwing the throttle full forward, he sped away from the X-wings.

The base was well defended and he knew that he'd have to deal with the turrets there, but at present he thought it'd be better to deal with turrets than out in the open against three X-wings.

He watched as the first set of turrets turned to look up at his fighter. They started firing their lasers, tracking his movement as he rolled and weaved around them. The X-wings caught up with him but held their distance as the turret fire buzzed angrily around him. Normally each individual turret wouldn't prove so difficult, but Virgil was being tracked by at least three or four that he could see.

Virgil pulled the fighter up into an Immelman and then twisted to aim at the X-wings. The three fighters quickly broke off and dodged his fire. Locking onto the damaged X-wing, he pitched off to the right to follow his prey. As he did so, a line of turret fire slammed across his view port, knocking his shields down even further.

"Sithspawn!" Virgil spat. His shields now blinked urgently red. He followed the X-wing until their trajectory leveled out. The X-wing weaved around directly ahead of him. Fire from the one of the other X-wings hit him, but he ignored it. Finally, he got a lock-on on the X-wing and he fired off a missile. The missile flew straight and nailed the fighter between it's engines, erupting into a ball of fire.

"Yes!" Virgil exclaimed. He turned away as the wreckage of the X-wing flew towards the base below. More laser fire hit him and this time he couldn't tell if it was the turrets or the other X-wings. Another alarm sounded inside the cockpit and he saw that his shields were gone now.

"Frak!" he swore. "Time to end this."

Virgil twisted the yoke and threw himself into a barrel roll. Laser fire flew around the screen and he came out of his roll with one of the last X-wings to the left. A quick glance to his scanner showed that the other fighter was now up and behind him. He hoped that the turret fire trailing him would keep it at bay long enough for him to deal with his current foe.

Squeezing the trigger, Virgil held down and watch as his laser fire streaked ahead of him. He angled off and tried to hit the X-wing that was in front of him.

The fighter tried to spin off but it only succeeded in catching a few of Virgil's shots. He tracked it down relentlessly, never releasing the trigger the whole way.

His fighter shook violently as he was hit by turret fire. "Hull integrity at sixty one percent." the computer informed him.

"No, come on." he pleaded.

Straightening out his course, he took aim at the X-wing. After a second, he had a lock-on confirmed. Virgil fired off his remaining missiles.

There was barely any time for him to see the X-wing destroyed as his view was flashed with multiple hits.

"Hull integrity at forty-- thirty-- sixteen--." The computer rattled on as the numbers continued to drop.

"Frak, frak, frak..." Virgil frantically scanned the cockpit interior. He found a small lever between his legs and he quickly seized it. Bracing himself, yanked on the lever.

Everything fell silent.

Virgil waited motionless before finally opening his eyes. The screen flashed a small pop up. It read in bold letters, SIMULATION COMPLETE.

Sighing, Virgil released the lever and it snapped back into place. He leaned his head back and tried to steady his breathing.

A few moments later, the door to the sim slid open and the instructor that showed led him in here earlier appeared. Virgil squinted as the cockpit was flooded with light again.

"Good job, crewman, you finished the sim." the instructor said dully. "Report back to the briefing room, Furthing."

The instructor waited for him as he sat in his seat still. Sighing once more, Virgil finally pulled himself out of the sim. Walking past the instructor, he muttered, "That sucked."

Word Count: 1872
TRN|CRW Virgil Furthing|B-3|S:137 "Raptor"|W:46 "Defiance"|PLF Cappadocious|TF:TH|3Flt|VENA|VEN|VE
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  RE: Raptor: Overwhelming Odds
July 10, 2011 8:14:00 PM    View the profile of Primarch 
Ceradan Jade sat in briefing room. It was like being right back in the Imperial naval academy. This was not Ceradan's first mission.  However, it was part of the training so he treated it as seriously as any assignment he flew for the remnant. The chief petty officer was outlining the simulation parameters and objectives. It seemed a pretty standard run by all accounts. Something designed to remind overconfident trainees that they are flesh and blood, and any mistakes will probably cost them their lives. Once Ceradan was satisfied that he knew the mission specifications blindfolded, he  made his way to the simulator.

Ceradan Strapped in and instinctively began running through pre flight checks before stopping  himself. Beneath the all too familiar black flight helmet, the pilot allowed himself a Waning smile, Shaking off his memories.”Now is not the time to get all misty eyed the past is past, it is now time to start a new”.

All of this took no more 30 seconds. A display on one of the consoles indicated that the simulation was about to begin.

Mission start

As the black star-scape flooded Ceradan Jade's senses, the pilot  was already assessing the tactical display with drilled ease. First things first he needed to make sure that communications were secure.

Primarch keyed in Raptor squadron's encrypted communication channel, as a mass of tallies flooded the heads up display.  Opening up the throttle Primarch set a course to rendezvous with the nearest friendly.  The priority here was to try and stop the bleeding.
Judging by the Communications chatter most of the squadron were disorganised and on the defensive.  Primarch was still 30,000 kilometres away. Ceradan Jade briefly considered diverting energy from the shield system to the engines but dismissed this just as quickly. 
So, far this looked like a typical Rebel raiding force/capture operation.

The rest of Raptor squadron(according to the radio communications), had been engaged by x-wing fighters.  Raptor had split into constituent flight groups. The squadron  deployed in a defensive formation to engage the oncoming x-wings. The rebels,or should that be new Republic?)  Primarch was still adjusting to the reality of the new geopolitical situation.

In any event, the labels used were  irrelevant to the situation at hand. The X-wings had the troop transports on their nose.  They would be in torpedo range in a matter of minutes.  Ironically, Raptor was outnumbered.

At this rate it would be at least 10 minutes  before Primarch was in advanced missile range.
The cynical disillusioned veteran of the emperors new order quickly jabbed at the ordinance selection switch.  He had eight advanced concussion missiles in all (4 in each launcher.)  With any luck,inthe enemy would not be expecting an attack from this vector.  Hopefully the rest of Raptor would keep the new Republic scum distracted so Primarch could get the drop on them.

The radio chatter became more disjointed and desperate,Primarch had to acknowledge that was a nice touch, if a little melodramatic, particularly the high-pitched screaming.  Was this simulation or an imperial girl scouts jamboree?
Primarch was almost in missile range of one of the rearguard X-wings at that moment panicked communications assaulted Ceradan  Jades ears.
“This is Troop transport group Indigo to Raptor squadron.  We are detecting multiple warhead launches. What the hell are you  rookies doing out there! Countermeasures deployed. Hold on to your underwear ladies this is going to be rough.”

Raptor lead to transport group Indigo.  If you glorified ferry pilots think you can do a better job, why don't you grab a blaster cannon and a flight suit and join the party?
if that is not appealing to you then I suggest you be quiet and let us do our job.  Raptor lead out.”

the sarcasm was palpable, but as amusing as that was it wasn't helpful to the situation. The new Republic fighters where swarming all over the imperial line.  The squadron commander was having a slapfest with the transport communications officer.

“Well, you have to adapt to your surroundings.”Ceradan mused.

He briefly considered turning off communications.  However that would leave him at a distinct tactical disadvantage.
Primarch had lined up on one of the rearguard xwings, the familiar tone sounded as the targeting computer searched for a solid firing solution. two more seconds untill  target lock was acquired.  Primarch lightly pressed the firing stud.

The missile streaked towards its prey, Primarch switched to the next target and fired another.  In response, the rearguard scattered precisely as the Imperial veteran had planned.  Unfortunately, this had the side effect of drawing the enemies attention to him.  The rest of the enemy would have to decide whether to press the attack or deal with the threat that Primarch represented.

Either way there was a small window of opportunity.  Volleys of incandescent time fire lanced toward the solitary interceptor.
“Well, at least that woke them up.”
of the two targets Primarch had engaged so far one pilot was meeting a hutt virgin in the sky right about now.  The archetypical rebel/new Republic fighter frantically tried to evade the pilot despairingly  threw the craft in a series of increasingly erratic manoeuvre’s. All was in vain as the craft exploded in fiery death.

The second fighter managed to deploy countermeasures.  It was this fighter that was engaging Primarch at the moment.  There was no time to worry about the  wider situation. Ceradan would require all his concentration.

The engagement had rapidly degenerated into a 'turn war.' Both pilots were searching for any advantage.  Primarch had configured his lasers to duel fire pattern. His side shields had taken a few hits, strength was down 2 percent.  Primarch clenched his teeth as his hard right turn slammed him against his harness, his ribs would be sore in the morning.  The ex Imperial was successful in repositioning he lined up a shot on his target   
and fired.
At that moment- this is transport indigo2 to  captor Squadron. We have lost our missile launcher! .  I repeat our missile launcher is gone! Requesting support now!

Only one cannon hit the target.  The rest of the shot was evaded.  Primarch did a quick snap role to reacquire a firing position as the transports alarmed cries filled his helmet.
Green avatars of death lanced toward the new Republic ship, this time striking the back quarter.  Primarch must have hit something critical because his foes response was sluggish.  By the emperors will I am your doom scum Primarch stated matter-of-factly as he pressed the firing stud for the last time. The x-wing flailed and convulsed before it to joined that massive hutt virgin in the sky.
The rest of the enemy squadron began to regroup and press the attack.  Ceradan was sill 2 km from the rest of the squadron. the transports were bloodied but mostly intact.

Ceradan knew the pivotal moment of the battle approached.  Would the enemy go all-out and tried to finish off the transports or focus on the defenders or call in reinforcements?

At that moment six salvoes torpedoes (three salvoes per transport hurtled toward the already harassed transports.

Raptor squadron was still tied up in dog fights.  Things were looking grim.

Primarch rendezvoused with Raptor soon after.  He got on the com: “Raptor eight to Raptor lead.  Sorry I'm late for the dance.”
Primarch then proceeded to target the enemy torpedoes.  He emptied his entire supply of remaining missiles.  It was a long shot not to mention a big gamble.  Primarch held his breath as his missiles.  Some of them at least found their targets.

The rest of the enemy assault slammed into the transport.  Their condition was now critical. But at least there were no other fighters in firing position.  Just as it looked like the tide of battle was turning in Raptors favour.  Two modified corvettes jumped into the system right on top of them.  Ceradan and the rest of Raptor squadron tried to regroup but the corvettes began firing as soon as they exited hyperspace.  Primarch sighed heavily.  The outcome was predictable.  First, the corvettes converge on the transport .  Seconds later , the squadron gets annihilated.  Or so he thought, actually things unfolded rather differently.  One of the corvettes struck Ceradan a glancing blow.  Primarch struggled to get out of the line of fire.  He was partially successful.  However, he was accosted by a pair of x-wings.  Without support the battle was unwinnable.
Primarch called upon all his skill.  He held on for another 15 minutes before the inevitable simulation death claimed him.

Once he had recovered from the shock of being tossed around as the simulated ejection system initiated.

He realised the simulator room was dark.
There was a message on the console however. It read “ well cadet you failed  .  Please report to debriefing or insert your credit chit to try again.  PS just kidding about that last part, have a nice day!

If Ceradan had a blaster pistol at that moment he would have fried the console.  Whoever programmed the simulator had a very warped sense of humour.

* Simulation end*

(OOC Word count 1522)
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  RE: Raptor: Overwhelming Odds
July 11, 2011 2:45:07 AM    View the profile of Flensor 
Flensor leaned back on his padded seat as he listened. He looked around the room, examining the cadets, knowing some of them will be flying along side with him. Flensor looked around the room, inspecting every object in it. He was uninterested in the briefing and he had shown his disinterest through his actions.  After what seemed to be a eternity for Flensor, the cadets started to rise from their seats and he followed, rising from his own seat. He followed the rest of the group and while walking through the hallways, he continued to look around. This time, he couldn't see anything but another being besides him. He grumbled incomprehensible words as he continued down the hallway. Flensor found a unoccupied simulation room after two minutes of traveling the corridors of the area. Before he entered the sim room, he caught a glimpse of a fellow cadet drinking from a water fountain.

He walked into the room, examining his surroundings. The room was very dark except for the cockpit, it was lit up by two ceiling lights directly above it. Flensor entered the cockpit and strapped himself in, he checked all the systems of the virtual TIE Interceptor, and then donned the infamous black bucket shaped helmet. Flensor waited in the cockpit, thinking that the simulation would be activated a non existent being observing the room. After minutes of waiting, Flensor looked around and saw a green button labeled: "START". He shrugged and then placed his elongated right index finger on the button, he pushed it and then returned his hand back to it's original position. The screen flashed a white light for just seconds and then turned black. It then showed text saying: "Simulation Begins in.."
"Good Luck"

The screen quickly changed into a jungle like setting, the cockpit shook as the scenery changed. Flensor looked at the panels presented before him, his radar indicated that four X-Wings have engaged in a intercept course towards Flensor. How ironic.. X-Wings sent to intercept a TIE Interceptor. The display that contained the map showed several arrows pointing in different directions and four red blocks that represented the ground-to-air turrets. He assesed the situation that was presented, he had to first regroup with the squadron and then head towards the Dropships. Flensor switched the Comms switch on and said, "This is uhhh.." He looked around to see the display showing his callsign.

"This is Raptor Three, what's your current situation, Raptor One?"
"Raptor Three, this is Raptor One, we're trying to ward off these damned X-Wings while we wait for you to regroup. What's your ETA?"
"Uhh.. ETA... about.. four minutes?"
"You better make it two minutes! Raptor One out!"

Flensor decided it'd be best to fly the route that was the fastest to the rendezvous point. Oblivious to the Instructor's warning about choosing the more direct path, he set the thrusters to full and flew the path. Only seconds after he flew off, the cockpit shook. The on board computer said, "Hull Integrity at 85%", Flensor looked around, confused. "How come they.. d'oh!" He slapped his helmet and set the shields on, he looked at the tatical display panel. Two X-Wings were behind him, the other two that was detected is no where in sight. The cockpit shook again, "Shield Durability at 75%", Flensor tilted the starfighter to the right and then pitched above, causing it to turn a sharp right turn. The two X-Wings followed him with much ease, the X-Wing who was further up than the other X-Wing let loose another volley of laser bolts, almost all of the bolts found their target, the Interceptor. The cockpit shook once more, "Shield Durability at 45%". Flensor pitched the starfighter up towards the sky, he then started to preform a barrel roll. When the starfighter was upside down, he dove the nose towards the ground while still preforming the barrel roll. The starfighter rolled towards the left and then made a quick turn to the right, Flensor had preformed a canopy roll. The X-Wing that had fired upon Flensor's craft was confused by the maneuver and accidentally forgot to turn with Flensor, causing the starfighter to crash nose first into the ground. His wingman however, had ample time to see what Flensor had done and pursued him without any problems. Flensor looked at the tatical display and grinned as he saw one of the X-Wing icons disappear. He grinned and dove the TIE Interceptor toward the lush forest ground. As he neared the planet floor he turned off the thrusters and yawed upward to face the many trees within the forest, he then set the thrusters back on, causing the starfighter to fly into the forest. The X-Wing preformed the same maneuver, however, it's right wing had clipped a tree in the process, causing it to spin out of control and crash into the planet floor.

He chuckled as he saw the second X-Wing icon disappear, Flensor looked at the map display and saw that he was only a few degrees off from his route. He adjusted the starfighter's heading, and then said to himself, "Was that it?". As he said those words a gray structure started to form up ahead, Flensor squinted, trying to make out what the structure was. He then saw the structure rotating, as if it was trying to track something. "Warning! Warning! Anti-Air turrets has locked onto you, evasive maneuvers recommended!" Flensor's eyes widened, he yawed the fighter upwards and out of the jungle. A large black cloud engulfed the cockpit screen and the cockpit shook. "Warning! Shield Durability at 10%" Flensor adjusted the fighter's heading towards the route path, ignoring the fatal shot fired by the Anti-Air turret. He looked down and saw the turret rotating, it's guns focused on his fighter, it then let out a giant firey mass out of it's barrel. Flensor saw no warhead, but he knew there was one heading towards him. The starfighter preformed a barrel roll, the missile flew past the cockpit and exploded near the starfighter. A loud beeping sound started to emit from the tactical display monitor. Six X-Wings have been detected and are headed towards him.

Flensor face palmed his helmet and tried to asses the situation. He has no way of escaping the X-Wings unless he is reinforced by a Squadron, and if he were to try to change course, the Anti-Air turret would probably blow him to smithereens. Flensor turned the Interceptor around and adjusted it's heading towards the X-Wings. He figured the only way out is to fight them, even if it means he'll die in the process. Flensor saw the peach colored fighters heading towards him, he lined the cross-hairs of his fighter towards the middle of the squadron.  Flensor looked at the tactical display, waiting for it to inform him when he is within firing range. His palms started to sweat as he gripped onto the flight controls, his index finger only centimeters away from the firing button. He swallowed, waiting in anxiety for the tactical display to inform him. The display showed a small green text saying, "FIRING RANGE", Flensor wrapped his index finger around the firing button while rolling the starfighter. The TIE Interceptor rolled as it fired volleys of lasers into the X-Wing. The targeted X-Wing exploded into a fiery mass as it was pummeled by the lasers. It's allies fired their weapons at Flesnor, most of them missing due to the rolling. But the ones that made contact had caused the Interceptor to combust into a fiery mess. A white mist shot out from one of the simulation valves, hitting Flensor's helmet. He looked at the displays, they all had a distorted image of the information that they showed. Flensor knew he had lost the engagement, he placed his right hand over the seat's eject lever and pulled it, causing the entire cockpit to go black. His seat rumbled and shaked, and then stopped as soon as it started. The cockpit screen showed the text: "Simulation Failed, please step out of the cockpit and allow the next vict- sorry for the typo, the next cadet into the cockpit. Enjoy your day."

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  RE: Raptor: Overwhelming Odds
July 11, 2011 2:52:07 AM    View the profile of Keedra 
>>She had been standing silently among the pack of trainees as Petty Officer 'DeepSix' entered and began to speak and as the room bristled to attention. She half-smiled as she, herself, wrapped the left, purple-shaded tendril protruding from her head around her neck, tucking it behind its right-handed counterpart, and stiffening again to a more attentive position as he triggered the map-display.

Unforeseen circumstances?

She saw no excuse for a pilot to be that far separated from his squadron, and wished that the Petty Officer would elaborate on the reason, but she said nothing. He had moved on. She frowned, continuing to listen to the briefing, as the holographic image of the Republic base's Anti-starfighter defenses appeared.

Anti-aircraft. Trouble for dropships, if we're going that way?

She nodded to herself, and bristled as the images of the multicoloured T-64 Starfighters appeared. She recognized the X-Wing design instantly. The manuals said that they were versatile craft. She would have to think of some way to outmaneuver them, but now wasn't the time for formulation. The Petty Officer was still talking.

"....That leaves various other routes to reach your destination...."

She had zoned out for a moment and had not caught part of the briefing, but she was focused again as the possible paths lit up on the map, and was already considering her movements as the Petty officer asked if there were questions. She, like the others, said nothing, and her eyes remained fixed on the map as he departed. She stretched, thinking.

A direct assault is what will be expected of me, I'm sure, but if I hold back for too long, I run the risk of losing most, if not all of my allies.

With that, she sighed, rocked backwards and forwards on her feet for a moment, and turned to depart for the simulator.

>>She approached the large machine and circled it once, staring curiously at the smooth outside. It did not look very much at all like a cockpit from her perspective- The cockpit itself was mounted in gyroscopic brackets inside of the machine that she presently examined. Still, it was a curious sight up close. She only dimly heard the middle-aged technician behind her speak.

"Simulation's about to begin, kid. Stop fooling around."

She turned, and addressed him cooly and with a nod of the head.

"Of course. I was simply acquainting myself with the outward workings of your machine, while contemplating the mission at hand."

"Uh-huh," Came the reply, "Well, you're running tight for time as it is. Go ahead and get strapped in."

She nodded and without further word, climbed atop the machine, and dropped into the mounted cockpit inside as the hatch sprung, which she promptly closed over her head.

"Five seconds to start," A cool, Coruscanti-accented female voice lit up the in-sim speakers.

She was familiarizing herself already with the flight panels, her long, thin fingers taking hold of the control yoke and the other resting on throttle control.


With that announcement, sound filled the simulated cockpit.  The eerie, high-pitched whine of the fighter's ion engines that sent a shiver down the Twi'lek's spine. All the same, she loved it. Her first time hearing the Interceptor's engines, and she was instantly in love with the little craft.


The viewscreen lit up. As her eyes had already adjusted to the cockpit's darkness, it was blinding, but she quickly shook it off, and took in the scene at a glance, stopping only briefly to admire the detail given to the planet's landscape, and, more importantly, to the atmospheric battle ahead, which her Interceptor quickly sped towards. Her eyes shifted from the cockpit window to, first, her flight computer's readout; As a warning of the launch of at least three T-64 fighters in addition to those that had already joined, written in Galactic Basic scrawled across the panel in bright, red letters. She addressed the computer calmly, speaking as if it were a person.

"Alright, alright. No need to panic, love. Listen, just keep me posted on the status of the squadron, and try to establish communications. Please?"

A confirmation scrawled across the screen. She pulled the fighter into a light turn, to branch off from the battle that she wasn't quite ready to join. Rather, she was turning to face the three newly launched X-Wings. Two of them, taking the hint, broke formation to begin speeding towards her as well, as the other went to join its allies in the battle. She cringed, having only expected one. About that time, her communications crackled to life, and Lead's voice came over the speaker. He sounded, to say the least, distressed.

"Raptor Six; Lead. Where are you, and what's keeping you back?"

She let a half-smile cross her face, before triggering her communications unit, throttling the now-screaming engines to meet the coming X-Wings, and pass directly between them, bucking her Interceptor to the side so that her wings were vertical as she did so. The wings of the fighters nearly scraped her ship on the belly and roof. She spoke, not seeming at all disturbed by the sudden change of pace which, in reality, caused her stomach to lurch.

"Uhh, Lead, I've got a couple of cross-shaped problems of my own. I'll be there before you know it, though."

By this point, the X-Wings were snapping into recovery and dropping onto her tail. She pushed her throttle to maximum, grinning as the twin-engines of her craft screamed. God, she loved that sound. She snapped herself into a roll, pulling simultaneously upwards as the left fighter's turbolasers strobed once, and all four of them firing at once. The bolts missed her craft by the breadth of a hair. She pitched her craft to drop back onto the tail of the one that had fired at her, as the other broke off. She linked to each other Cannons one and four, and Cannons two and three. Each of the four strobed respectively, and the fighter on which she was locked evaporated in a blossom of flame. There was no time, however, to admire and fall in love with the responsiveness of her Interceptor, however, as the other fighter's squadmate was coming at her from the left as she climbed. She pulled the throttle back, almost to cutting fuel completely to the engines, and she fell away from the fighter's path as its cannons strobed.

"Come on, try to keep up," She laughed to herself.

The communicator crackled to life again. She had left the mic open. It was Raptor Two. "What was that, Six? I didn't copy."

"Nothing, nothing," She replied. "Just having a little fun with this Rebel."

She didn't catch the reply and didn't ask for confirmation as she opened the engines again, to overshoot the X-Wing, and snap-roll onto his tail. Her cannons strobed green, but she missed, as the fighter was now in plummet towards the planet's surface. She didn't follow, rather she brought her craft around to race towards the ongoing battle, speaking into the microphone again.

"Raptors, I've made visual contact with your position and am quickly en route. Wanna fill me in?"

Suddenly, her speaker was abuzz with situation reports. Apparently, Raptor Lead had been killed, Four had ejected, Five was missing, and two out of six dropships had been eliminated. At this point, she had been so focused on listening to what she was being told and on the viewscreen, trying to decypher the battle that she was joining that she did not notice the sensor that lit up with a warning that her abandoned X-Wing was dropping onto her tail. Turbolasers strobed red, and the screen blazed orange and went black.

>>Distressed teammates' cries still in her ears, she sprung the hatch. She was not at all happy with her lack of situational awareness. Had this been a real mission, she would have been killed. Thankfully, it was only a simulator, and there was room for improvement. She climbed out, wiping her brow and turning to address the technician that waited for her, having watched the whole thing on an external monitor.

"I'd like to try that again, sometime soon."

He didn't respond, but he gestured for her to move away from the machine, and to debriefing. She complied, sliding from the cylindrical equipment onto the floor, and proceeding in silence along her way, down the corridor.

Oooh, on that last preview, I thought I'd lost it. That would definitely have annoyed me. Anyway.. Approximate word count: 1366
TRN/CRW Keedra Xaex/S:137 "Raptor"/W:46 "Shield"/PLF Cappadocious/TF:TH/3Flt/VENA/VEN/VE
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  RE: Raptor: Overwhelming Odds
July 25, 2011 5:04:43 PM    View the profile of Aelin 
She was cheerless.

She was heartless.

She was ruthless.

In short, she was an Imperial.

Aelin Traxona sat in the back of the briefing room, her back completely straight, her mind focused completely on the proper procedures for the scenario. While she'd read and memorized the regulations completely beforehand, it helped to go over them again.  The cadet next to her tried to introduce himself, but she glared at him. He withdrew both his hand and his gaze.

She decided there was no point in attempting to regroup with the squadron. Regulations dictated that, should a fighter be separated from its squadron, the safety of the pilot and fighter supersedes any orders to regroup. She'd take a long route, maintaining comm silence until she reached whatever was left of them. She was sure the mission was rigged to fail no matter what she did, so she had no reason to do anything but the proper procedure.

When the instructor signaled for the trainees to follow him to the sim room, Aelin stood up and walked through the crowd of swarming cadets. Almost everyone but her seemed to have forgotten proper regulations in the presence of a superior officer.

By the time she reached the room, everyone had pushed ahead of her and grabbed a simulator. She climbed into one of the few empty simulators and powered it up. The 'viewport' screens lit up, revealing a bright sky filled with birds and the distant blurs of starships doing combat.

[[Raptor One, this is Seven. I can't shake this guy!]]

[[Hold on Seven, I'll be right- cancel that. Seven's gone.]]

[[Lead, I think I've picked up Raptor Three. She's quite a bit off course. Should we attempt a rescue?]]

[[Negative, Four. She knows what to do.]]

"Well, at least the simulated pilots know what to do..." She muttered under her breath.

As per regulation, despite the urgent situation, she double and triple-checked every piece of equipment. Everything looked fine. Whatever sent me off-course, looks like it never did any real damage. She shut down her sensors, decreased engine output, and disabled the targeting computer, ensuring nothing short of close-range active scanning or line-of-sight would reveal her position. She set out, taking a long arcing path back to her squadron that avoided the large bulk of enemy spacecraft.

[[Where's Three, dammit! I can't take much more of- aarrgh!]]

[[No! Four!]]

Aelin just kept flying, not even blinking in acknowledgement of her wingman's death. Idiot probably got too close to the anti-air emplacements. One less TIE for the Empire.

She flew in towards a hill and noticed two X-Wings patrolling the area around it. If she didn't do something, she'd be spotted.

She powered her weapons back up, channeling all unused power from the sensors and engines into them. She remained low until the last possible moment when the X-Wing noticed her. She took a second to line up the shot and then fired several quad bursts. At increased power, that was enough to take out the shields of the first fighter. Before she could finish it off they broke formation and began circling around towards her.

"Two against one... They're clearly outnumbered."

She dove down towards the ground, dropping out of the X-Wings' sights. They began to follow right before she snapped back into a quick Immelmann, bringing her head-to-head with the shieldless fighter. One good shot and it disappeared in a cloud of fire and shrapnel, severely damaging her shields and hull. It took his partner's shields down as well. She shot past the deceased pilot's wingman, who swung around determined to win the next confrontation.

It never came. She throttled over the hill, continuing along her original flight plan. A shot from an approaching TIE flight vaporized him.

She turned her comm unit back on. "Raptor Three reporting in."

[[You're a bit late, Three. We've lost almost the entire squadron. The mission is aborted.]]

The simulator went black and shut down. She climbed out and was confronted with one of the mission evaluation team.

"Traxona. A word?"

"Yes, sir."

"You made no attempt to save your comrades. Why?"

"It would have been futile, sir. The mission was going to fail."

He shook his head. "Part of the test was to determine your loyalty to a squadron. You followed protocols admirably, Traxona, but you took no initiative. You pass, but I guarantee you won't last much longer. Dismissed."

She saluted and began walking away.

"And, Traxona..."

She turned around. "Yes, sir?"

"You're supposed to fly the ship, not operate it."

She almost smiled for a second, then turned around and left.

769 words. Her personality will improve, I promise.
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  RE: Raptor: Overwhelming Odds
October 10, 2011 12:29:50 AM    View the profile of Shriken 
Staring at the holographic projection of the simulation, Shriken began running his future actions through his mind like a math calculation. "Ten minutes to review....good." The rest of the cadets were showing off their bravado before even stepping foot into the simulator, while Shriken just sat there. *All Cadets To Their Respective Simulator Pods. All Cadets To Their Respective Simulator Pods*

Shriken sprang to his feet and gently moved through the crowd of cadets to his pod. Gently lowering himself down into the seat of the simulator, Shriken engaged all the systems that were almost second-nature from his constant reviewing of the TIE-Interceptor schematics. "Let's see...sensors....weaponry....communications..." waving his hand over each respective section. He felt the jerking of the "cockpit" as the simulator started up.


"Pilot, you have been separated from your squadron. You are to regroup immediately!" 

The words reverberated through the cockpit and into Shriken's head. He realized how serious the situation was, even as a simulation. He remembered how he was going to deal with the situation.

Pushing down on the yoke, he dove down towards the ground and pulled up before he reached the minimum safe altitude. The ship moved so gracefully as he evened back out and checked his instruments. Over the horizon he could see the compound as well as the large structures that he was warned about.

"We're taking heavy fire from the enemy. Units 4, 6 and 7 break off from the main group and draw fire." The rest of the squadron seem to be having a rough fighter won't help now. But I'm going to at least take some of the heat off them. Shriken knew that while the Interceptor was fast, the X-Wing wasn't far behind it. He pressed his course and before he knew it the enemies encampment was directly ahead of him. He had pushed off from his course even farther than he had been five minutes ago, but he had a plan.

The X-Wings had already begun an interception run on the main group, it was too late to try and catch them off guard and lure them away. So Shriken took drastic action, he launched two missiles into the enemy base. Not intending to hit anything in particular, he was amazing when, as he flew past, an immense fireball erupted behind him. "Platoon Leader, fuel reserves within the enemy base have been hit. Be advised, incursions into the base must be handled with utmost care. We need those supplies intact." The plan hadn't been to destroy soon-to-be Imperial supplies, rather to draw fighters back to defend their base from a "Second" fighter group. The plan worked though. It worked too well for Shrikens abilities.

Shriken switched his plan to immediate regrouping. His plan had already gone to hell, why not try and fix it? "Units 2, 3, 8 and 9, regroup on me. We're all that's left. We are going to push into the base and try to use the buildings to turn the tide. BFM procedures only." Nine.....that was Shriken. The squadron had taken a beating and he wasn't even there to help. But that's going to change.

Seeing the four TIE-Interceptors come screaming towards him, Shriken saw the grim situation they were facing. 7 X-Wing fighters hot on their tails with all guns firing. Shriken responded in turn and fired all his ship had at them. Not expecting a ship coming at them, he hit two X-Wings right off the bat. Not destroying them, but enough to have the pilots eject. He maneuvered his way between the two groups of fighters and executed a break-turn to bring himself immediately behind the X-Wing flight group. He brought the closest fighter into his sights and put his finger on the trigger.

His ship shook. "Unit 2 and 9, stay on me. We need to clear the air space one way or another." A rearguard....flak! He knew that seemed small for an entire supply depots air support. They were going to get him. No doubt about it. But Shriken wasn't going to go down without a few more notches on his helmet.

He pushed the trigger long enough to obliterate the ship ahead of him, only to see the four ones still leftover fire on the two remaining Interceptors. He was the last one left. He pulled up on the yoke and the ship responded in kind. The fighter accelerated and he braced for the change he was going to feel. Blaster bolts flew past him as he watched out his cockpit window. Letting go, the ship turned on its back and he could see the dire situation he was facing.

12 X-Wings staring him down is what he was facing. "All Imperial Units, maneuver back to the assembly area." They were retreating. The mission was a failure. But due to his actions, those damned supplies wouldn't be used against him or anyone else for a long long time. The last thing he saw through the simulations view port was those X-Wings darting up at him, all firing in unison.

Simulation End

Shriken pulled himself out of the simulation pod and saw the instructors looking on their data-pads at the results from each individual test. He didn't know how he did compared to the rest of the cadets. He knew he had done alright, but that didn't cut it around here. It sure didn't cut it out there in the real world.

907 Words
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  RE: Raptor: Overwhelming Odds
October 24, 2011 12:03:13 AM    View the profile of Blades 
Grade: Pass
Grader: CNT Slasher

Econd began to walk down the hall to his briefing room when he received a  page from his handler.  You need to report to the simulators to prepare yourself for your next mission.  You are to blend in with the new recruits, and they are can not find out your Naval Intelligence.  A uniform has been sent to your room, and good luck.  Ali.

Econd walked into the room and quickly looked around to see if anyone could identify him as a spook.  When he was sure that he hasn’t worked with anyone in the room he walked over to a group of new recruits and joined in on their conversation till DeepSix walked in and began the briefing.

During the briefing Econd began to look over the schematics for the TIE Interceptors.  He was trying to mesmerize the locations of every thing he might possibly need.  He watched a group of the pilots go first.  When it was his time to go he slowly walked over to the simulator and strapped in.

He quickly began to look over the instrument panel to see how updated the system was.  The sim started to count down as he finished looking over everything.  The schematics for the Interceptor was not up to date.  Well here comes a crash course in flying I hope I don’t ball this up too bad.

The simulator screen began to show the planets surface, and it was officially started.  Econd choose to get to the Squad in a less than direct route as he tried to get a feel for the craft.  He dropped the TIE to be just above the treetops to see if that was low enough to drop off the radar.  Blades checks  his altitude and sees he is still too high to disappear, and that he would need to drop below the trees to completely vanish from the radar.  Econd decided to look over his panel a little longer till he made first contact.

The Squad Econd was flying with soon made contact with the X-Wings stationed at the base.  Econd began to make his path a more direct route and was soon spotted by one of the bases AA towers.  Blades began to dodge the bolts, but was grazed by many of them.  He saw that his shields were down to 45% and his long range sensors were fried.  He was surprised to see his coms were still operational.

“Raptor Lead this is Raptor Seven. I lost long range sensors, but found the first AA tower.”  Econd said.

“Roger that Seven, link back up with us as soon as you can.  We are getting hammered by these X-Wings, and need all the help we can get.”  Raptor Lead said.

Blades throws the throttle to full speed and began to race towards the squad to try and help.  When he got within 500 meter from the squad he see two X-Wings leave the battle to deal with the new target "him".  Econd began to spin and release a furry of laser fire, most of which completes misses his targets, but did just what he wanted by making them split off in different directions.

Stess pulled out of his spin and banked towards the closest X-Wing.  The pilot was batting Econd with perfect shots and he fell for it.  The lock was green and Blades fired his first missile it moved towards its target which dropped a series of counter-measures which destroyed the missile.  Suddenly Econd got a feeling that he was being followed but was unable to know for sure without his sensors.

“Get out of there Seven!”  Raptor Lead ordered.

Econd quickly reacted to the sudden screaming of his commanding officer.  He banked right and saw a photon torpedo scream past his previous location.  Econd was about to offer the pilot a drink when he remembered it was a simulated voice controlled by one of the instructors.

Econd began to try to gain the upper hand and get at least one kill under his belt before the sim would kill him.  He banked right into the path of one of the X-Wings and fired a steady burst which slammed into the engines of the craft quickly depleting the shields, and causing the craft to spin towards its death.  The pilot was seen ejecting from the fireball shortly before its death.  No official kill for me I guess, but then again that was a very lucky shot.

Econd began to move to deal with the next X-Wing but was having a hard time trying to get behind it long enough to make the shots he took count.  Econd began to wonder how high the simulator was set for the pilot.  Then Econd realized it could be set to any low level and he would still have a hard time trying to get the kill as this is the first time he had to use one of these things.

825 words post 1 of 2
[This message has been edited by Slasher (edited October 25, 2011 7:56:50 AM)]
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  RE: Raptor: Overwhelming Odds
November 1, 2011 1:44:29 PM    View the profile of Blades 
Econd quickly banked right and pulled up trying to get rid of his attacker.  The X-Wing pilot continued to follow him.  Blades could not get rid the X-Wing no matter what move he pulled.  I am so glad this is just a simulation, but I will need to work on flying these things quickly.

Econd quickly pulled off a barrel roll and was surprised to find out that it worked.  Now he just had to keep the X-Wing in front of him long enough to get a lock.  Stess continued to fire his quad lasers in short burst trying to center the X-Wing in his screen.  The sound of a successful lock began to ring in Econds’ ears and he quickly fired two missiles before he lost the lock.

The X-Wing took a direct hit and began to spin out of control.  Econd started to continue to the rest of the squad not realizing he entered into the range of the AA tower.  The bolts slammed into his shields dropping them down to 50%.  Then out of no where a second group of X-Wings appeared behind him and began to chase him.

A few seconds pass when Econd suddenly feels a shock-wave jolt his craft.  I guess their missile was detonated  really close by.  Econd tried to see if he could spot what caused it to detonate before it reached.  He continued to try to evade the X-Wings he though was still there.

“Raptor Seven what is going on over there?” Raptor Four asked.

“What do you mean Four?” Econd asked.

“Your still trying evasive moves against nothing.”  Four said.

“Oh was the X-Wing was killed, because I can’t tell my sensors are fried and I am flying blind.”  Econd replied

“Yes the X-Wing was taken out, so I guess I’ll be your eyes for now Seven.” Raptor four responded.

Econd began to follow Raptor Four back towards the rest of the squad.  Econd began to wonder how many of them were left.  He tried to count but was quickly confused by the fast moving crafts. Econd gave up trying to find out how many Raptors were left, when three X-Wings broke off their formation and began to engage them.

Econd banked right with Raptor Four and was able to dodge the salvo from the trio of X-Wings.  Econd just began to sway left and right trying to stay out of the cross-hair.  He saw the bolts pass his craft, suddenly his craft started to shake as a few bolts slammed against his shields.  He started to look for the screen that showed their integrity.

He looked at each screen at least twice until he found the screen with the shields strength and hull integrity on it.  The shields were down to 33% and falling at a steady pace.  Econd flipped a few toggles and switches and found the problem was a power leak that.  Econd was able to stop easily.  The shields stopped falling at 30% until a third burst slammed into the rear of Econds’ craft.

He found that the shields were down to 25%, and he didn’t have time to try to transfer power to them.  As another salvo flew passed the view screen and he heard Four mumble something, but before he could ask what was going on he saw Four get behind one of the X-wings and destroyed it.

Raptor Lead came over the com systems. “We are the last four out here.  I need everyone form up on me.”

“Roger that Lead we‘re moving towards you now.” Raptor Nine, Raptor Four and Econd replied.

Econd followed Raptor four towards Raptor Lead, and Raptor Nine.  They were still trying to shake off their pursuers but were finding it impossible to lose them.  They made their way to the remaining Raptors.  They quickly fell in line behind Raptor Lead, and they quickly began to attack the remaining squad of X-Wings.

Raptor squad was greatly out numbered, and one by one the rest of the Raptor Squad was turned into space dust.  Econds screen went black as a missile impacted the Interceptor going right threw the view screen.  A few moments later the Simulator began to open up.

I have got to get more time in that simulator before my next mission starts.  Econd stood up and got out of the Sim and went to get his gear and he walked over to one of the Trainers, and asked if he could reserve a simulator for a month.

751 words post #2
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