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Topic:  Raptor: Disaster!
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  Raptor: Disaster!
February 23, 2012 8:06:22 PM    View the profile of Hunter-Morrell 
The click-clack of heavy-soled shoes upon the stark white floors heralded the arrival of Warrant Officer Koate, the sound cutting through the low murmur of conversation in one of the training amphitheatres aboard Cappadocious Station. The gathered trainee pilots quieted and took their seats, having already heard of the reputation of the approaching man. None wanted to risk angering him.

Koate was not a cruel man, but he was strict and unyielding in his punishments. Academy lore was full of stories of trainees being forced into impossible and incredibly dangerous situations, both inside the simulators and out, and it was impossible to ignore the rumors and forget the "eyewitness accounts" when dealing with Koate. Even his fellow trainers were slightly intimidated by the man.

But as he swept around the corner and came to a stop before the assembled group, the trainees, most who had never seen Koate in person before, were slightly confused. The man who stood before them was small, more than a few inches under the average height for humans. A shock of lengthy red hair covered the top of his head, arranged haphazardly as if he had just gotten out of bed. A fiery glint in his eyes highlighted his dark red irises. He stood ramrod straight, stony-faced as he waited for the general movement and whispered jokes caused by his arrival to conclude.

Once they had, he began, his quiet voice definitely not what the trainees were expecting: “Hello. As many of you know, I am Warrant Officer Koate, and I am to be your training officer for this session. Today we will be running a simulated recreation of a relatively recent disaster for the Starfighter Corps, in which a few of our squadrons and a few enemy squadrons bumbled into a nebula and proceeded to dogfight. I used the word "disaster" deliberately: in the nebula, communications and sensor equipment malfunctioned, and as a consequence, our casualties during the engagement were incredibly high, including a horrific rate of friendly fire. You will be flying into the same conditions faced by those pilots today, in this sim run. You will do better than they did. Now, follow me.”

Without another word, nor even a glance, he turned and exited the room, leaving the confused recruits to scramble out of their seats to follow. Koate strode purposefully to the nearest simulation room and went over to one of the techs for a whispered conference, while the pilot trainees fanned out against one wall behind him. After a brief conversation, Koate turned to his class.

“Now that we’re all here, you can go ahead and choose a simulator. Strap in, and wait for the exercise to begin." The students broke ranks and chose simulators, donning flight helmets before entering the small box-like rooms.

While the trainees completed preflight checklists, Koate again turned to Technician Rast: "So, I want you to randomly assign the nuggets to one of the four squadrons, with an equal distribution among the friendly and enemy squadrons. But don't tell them they've been separated and are about to fly against each other... have the controller address them all as members of Raptor Squadron, flying with Predator Squadron against two full squadrons of enemy Interceptors,” he said quietly.

The technician nodded and began to input information into his terminal. Koate turned away, just in time to see the last green ready-light turn on above the simulator of the student who'd been slowest in completing his preflight tasks.

“Let's begin,” Koate said into the suddenly empty-looking room. He turned back to Rast. “You’ve gone over their files, correct?”

“We have.”

“Any predictions?”

“They'll do about the same as the historical figures, if not worse. Friendly fire rates should hold steady too; that soup plays havoc with instruments, and even veterans can't dogfight in deep space using only visual clues.”

Koate nodded, mostly to himself, “As expected. Well, let’s test our prediction.”

Okay, recruits.  Time to prove yourselves in the cockpit, so to speak.  Respond to this story prompt, and write a story post with a beginning, middle, and end, longer than 500 words.  At the end of the post, put your word count and a summary of the events of your post (which we call an After Action Report) in an OOC box, like this one.  Then post again to your training thread to let  your training officer know you completed Chapter 2 of Flight School!
ESN Hunter Morrell/VEN/VE

I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar.
[This message has been edited by Trick (edited July 5, 2012 2:17:13 AM)]
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  RE: Raptor: Disaster!
February 24, 2012 11:37:19 AM    View the profile of Christopher 
Christopher laid back as relaxed as he could against the simulator seat, watching the door hiss closed next to him out of the corner of his eye. Everything was solid black in the simulator, but the sound of a hum behind his head let him know that the FlightSim was about to begin. Different controls before him began to light up. Once the entire simulator was up and running, the only way Chris could tell he was not in a TIE was to actually touch the screen to his right or left. Imperial technology never ceased to amaze him. Expensive and outperforming where it needed not be, yet cheap and lacking where the Empire most needed it. He quickly shook the thought off as he heard a voice come over his Com.

[Tech 12-3-297] "Okay Trainees, you're all ID'd as Raptor for this operation, in which you shall be flying with Predator Squadron to face two full squadrons of T/I. Each of you should see a number above your cannon meter, this is your PIN for this exersize - all chatter shall be conducted using PIN not name, this is Standard Imperial Proceedure ladies and gents. You will all be coordinating with each other using only communications and your good eyesight. Nav, ID, and other instruments will be down. Further more due to disruptions your Shield and Cannons shall only charge to half power, so choose your moves and shots carefully as each one could be your last. Good luck Trainees. Report in and I'll begin the exercize"

Chris looked at his PIN and it was 7. He did not know if he liked this or not. 7 was typically a lucky number, but many spacetime disasters revolved around the number 7. Be it coordinates, time, number of ships involved. In space, 7 just was not that lucky. Regardless this was his number and he had no choice.

"This is Raptor 7, systems are a go green light green light ready for launch! Waiting on the church bells."

TRN/CRW C. Towers/A-2/S:137th Raptors/W:46 "Shield"/PLF Cappadocious/TF:TH/3rdFlt/SC/VEN/VE
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  RE: Raptor: Disaster!
February 26, 2012 8:55:50 PM    View the profile of Ryuno 
“ … Missing my point entirely, Atkins. If -,” Naomi broke off in the midst of an irritated statement to a fellow trainee, with whom she had been engaged in debate when the Warrant Officer took the front, to address the group. Naomi would then sit, waiting in patient silence for the Warrant Officer to speak.

When the Warrant Officer did speak, it was discipline that suppressed Naomi’s customary, quizzical lift of the left eyebrow. His tone certainly didn’t match his demeanour. This reflex had to travel to some end, however … So she crossed her left leg over her right, a less than subtle change of position but easy to overlook given the situation.

She hung in rapt attention onto every word the Warrant Officer explained the conditions and parameters of the mission ahead, wondering how her vision would affect a deep-space mission. She silenced herself, barely suppressing the question, with the thought that a nebula may be luminous enough to allow her sight. So had she been absorbed in her thoughts on the nebula, which would certainly disrupt the Interceptor’s systems to the point that she could rely on only her vision, that she registered neither that the Warrant Officer had stopped speaking, nor that he had started moving.

It took another twenty seconds, at least, for this to sink in, and by this time most people had scrambled and filed out to follow. Naomi sprang upward, almost falling over herself in the process of doing so and hastened to follow the group into the simulator bay, carrying in her left hand the helmet that accompanied her black, Imperial-issued flight suit. Although she was one of the last to strap into a simulator, she worked comparatively more quickly through the pre-flight procedure and neatly passed the slowest of the lot to get squared away.

Naomi had just settled into her seat following pre-flight procedures when the communicator inside her helmet activated with a wisp of static, broken by a male voice that she didn’t recognize as the Warrant Officer’s, nor of any trainee.

“In this scenario, you will be flying with Squadron ‘Raptor’, in position 5. Raptor is accompanied by Squadron ‘Predator’. Questions? No? Good. You begin in precisely fifteen seconds.”

So the voice left her in perfect silence and pitch-darkness in a sealed compartment, to wait for the simulator to switch on. The compartment finally hummed to life, first with the unmistakable sound of simulated Ion engines.

It wasn’t until the display flickered alive and Naomi felt resistance against her control surface that she began to reflect, truly, on the problem with pitting Interceptor against Interceptor in a no-instrument condition: Friendly fire. Of course, Warrant Officer Koate had said that this was a prominent issue with the fight that this mission was intended to simulate … But even then Naomi hadn’t really thought about it. But here she sat, in a closed compartment, half-blinded in the dim light emitted by the Nebula, as she’d predicted. She could switch on her cockpit lights, but that would do nothing but illuminate control and throttle surfaces that she already grasped, as not even the blasted Chronometer worked.

Naomi hadn’t finished assessing her situation- Flying in formation with Raptor, when both Raptor and Predator formations were broken as two squadrons of Interceptors streaked through the middle of them. She banked into a sharp snap-roll to the outside of the formation to avoid an oncoming Interceptor, which pitched just as sharply to give chase as she streaked downward and away from the engagement. Space lit around her as bright-green blaster cannon shots cut the vacuum, but all were relatively clean misses though they caused her inertial simulators to rock the machine in its cradle. It was obvious by the gunnery pattern that there was no targeting computer acting as a medium between pilot and cannon … Even if she didn’t know this for a fact.

Communications in the nebula were largely white noise and difficult to decipher, but remained intelligible, more or less, dim as they were. Naomi decided to focus on an objective of shaking her tail, and upon so doing she would decide what to do next … As she was likely too far from the engagement at this point to actually see what was going on. She throttled back her engines and pitched upward for a quick, albeit slight change of orientation, ignoring the queasy lurch that settled in her stomach as inertial simulators caught on and imitated the manoeuvre. Precisely four seconds and the Interceptor that was tailing her shot silently past. She elevated the throttle to pursue, fighting somewhat to regain control of the accelerating craft. This was nothing like her Ugly had been. Where she had to pull and fight for control of the latter, a twitch even in minor excess of the yoke would send the little Interceptor reeling.

By the time Naomi had throttled up and regained control to give chase to her quarry which was quickly fading from her visual range, it was already coming about to meet her head-on. Neither fired, however … The engagement would at this point come down to a pair of rookie pilots in a game of deep space ‘Chicken’, as both streaked at near-full throttle toward each other from distances that gave each pilot plenty of time even at such speed to actually think about such foolishness. Unfortunately, neither did.

“He will break,” Naomi told herself. Perhaps it was the fact that her microphone was active at the time, set so she didn’t have to divert her hand to communicate, or perhaps it was just someone that happened to catch on to what she was doing. The latter was the less likely, as it was near enough impossible to tell Interceptor from Interceptor with no instrumentation. But it was about the time that she had spoken … It can’t have been more than five seconds afterward, that a voice broke the static on her communicator.

She didn’t recognize the voice, but its query was rather pointed, “Twitch, what the brix?”  She ignored it, in favour of the more pressing concern of the rapidly approaching Interceptor.

The voice returned, more urgently. “Are you insane?!” The communication was becoming clearer as this particular pilot had broken off of the main group as well to assist her … Though he wasn’t quite sure which one was her. Nobody was. But one of them definitely was Naomi, and both of them were doing a very stupid thing, entirely out of character for what had been seen of her on the ground.

The static broke again, at this point to an outright shout. “Naomi!” A fraction of a second before collision between the two pilots would be made, both broke simultaneously. A hard pull of the opposing Interceptor’s yoke and an equally hard push of hers sent each Interceptor off of their respective courses and to pass one another so closely that each very nearly scraped the other.

Now, what the pilot that had been shouting at her was waiting for was one or the other to break approach, so that he could fire without fear of hitting his comrade, which is exactly what he did. On approach this pilot had been sighted in rather intently. Two pulses of twin-linked blaster cannons crossed the path of the Interceptor that had pitched downward from the broken engagement. Four clean hits. The nebula had disrupted shield systems to the point that the armour and hull were exposed to the full brunt of the assault.

Naomi’s inertial simulators kicked her so hard that she actually bumped the crown of her helmet, restraints notwithstanding, against the simulated cockpit ceiling as the screens were entirely washed white, as crystallized fuel, flash-frozen by the vacuum, vented into Space. One second further, and the screen went black, and scrolled personal statistics in red-lettered Aurebesh.

She removed her helmet with the hiss of disengaging seals. She had tied her hair before arrival into a tight bun to accommodate the helmet. She sat in the pitch-darkness of the simulator, not really reading the stats which yielded nothing but the fact that she had been killed. She merely sat back, listening to the beat of her heart throbbing in her ears and willing her elevated breathing to steady before the seal on the simulator disengaged and the apparatus opened.

Naomi was more or less composed by the time the door opened and flooded the machine with light that burned through the lids of her eyes. She slid her eyes open and glanced outside as they adjusted to the light. Now that adrenaline was wearing off, she felt considerably more fatigued than it seemed that she should, but she also felt thoroughly exhilarated at the same time. Piloting a TIE/In was definitely more fun than piloting her old Ugly. Upon being addressed, she unfastened herself to step out of the simulator and straightened herself to absolute rigidity to meet the speaker.

She was confronted by an irate technician wearing a Chief Petty Officer’s insignia. ”Crewman, what was that, exactly?” Naomi considered the question for a minute.

The pause hinted that it demanded an answer, and she had gone long enough without one. “Sir, what was what?”

The Chief Petty Officer spoke without a beat of pause between them. He wasn’t going to humour the question; Naomi knew exactly to what he referred. ”Was that some kind of a joke?”

He was considerably taller than she was, standing at five feet and eleven inches as opposed to five and three, but she didn’t look up to meet his face. She was staring straight ahead with her hands clasped behind her as her helmet was left in the simulator.

“No, Sir,” She replied. “I believe I was trying to suggest the need for intestinal fortitude in the cockpit of an Interceptor, that may make such otherwise stupid, dangerous stunts such as that seem entirely reasonable.”

Naomi stole a look immediately following her reply upward at the man’s face, just a quick glance that of course didn’t go unnoticed … But it was disregarded, as the man himself was trying to decide whether he felt like chewing her up and spitting her from here to Kessel. She would unnecessarily endanger herself and, potentially, allies for a joke?

The Chief Petty Officer only scowled for a moment, resolving that she didn’t look like someone that would have the stones to pull such a stunt outside of the simulators anyway … Which was true, and precisely why she had done what she did the way she did it. A moment longer he glared at Naomi before giving her a dismissive wave and going on about his business.

She returned to the simulator terminal to collect her helmet and proceeded unhindered (And more importantly in a single piece) to exit the simulator bay at a brisk, gliding walk.

WC: 1821
Let me know if there are any problems.
TRN/CRW Ryuno/S:137 "Raptor"/W:46 "Shield"/PLF Cappadocious/TF:TH/3Flt/VEN/VE
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  RE: Raptor: Disaster!
February 29, 2012 6:13:30 PM    View the profile of Scral 
Feeling the unknown contours of the seat behind him, he grunted sourly as he prepared to fly with pure cadets. Part of him knew this was for the best, he had been out of the cockpit for a long time and it might do him so good for a quick refresher course. The other part of him who had been a pilot since before most of these new nuggets were even born screamed obscenities in the dark recesses of his mind.

Going through the motions of readying the older model Interceptor by muscle memory alone he watched as the various screens began coming to life. He heard the sounds of the twin ion engines start up moments later, but noticed they sounded off. Fighting the urge to cancel the start-up sequence he had to remind himself this was not his fighter, but only a bad simulation of the true flying grace of his Interceptor.

"Raptor 3 standing by." He said as he felt the controls of the fighter begin to respond. Tapping the screen in front of him he frowned as he watched the other screens begin to flicker, or show what most of the older pilots call sensor ghosts. "Raptor squadron, sensor ghosts everywhere. Visual contact before firing, I repeat visual contact and confirmation."

Hearing nothing but static he flipped his craft over and dove away from the squadron of what looked like a few Y-wings mixed in with Interceptors. switching frequencies he heard more static and the garbled echoes of conversation, "Raptor squadron come in, I repeat Raptor squadron come in. Can anyone read me?" He said as he settled in slight behind and to the right of an Interceptor.

Looking down he frowned as his friend or foe computer began showing his wingman in green and red. Looking up again he saw the same Interceptor suddenly take evasive action to pull him off his tail. "This is why you put clear insignias on your fraking fighters!" Scral shouted to the cockpit window.

Punching the throttle he skipped away from the fleeing Interceptor only to be awarded by an A-wing taking pot shots at his rear shields. Adjusting shield strength, he kept his fighter jinking back and forth as the A-wing pilot kept trying to get a killing shot.

"Alright so, we are using TIEs as are they. During the battle I doubt we had A-wings or Y-wings with us, so they are the enemy. The other TIEs will just have to be dealt with later on." He said as he keyed his weapons on burst fire, cutting the throttle he flipped his Interceptor over and squeezed the trigger as the A-wing continued to come straight at him.

Feeling the simulator shake as the A-wing disintegrated around him, he cursed as he saw his wingman coming back around. Yanking the yoke to port, he felt his Interceptor decide to be sluggish at this speed. Feathering the throttle to try to get his fighter to move out of the path of the oncoming fighter he sighed and said, "This is going to hurt."

A moment later he felt the simulator shake as his starboard solar panel was ripped off its support. Letting go of the yoke he cut throttle as he watched space around him beginning to spin faster and faster. Ejecting the ion drives, he tried to bring the craft under control as the thrusters began overcompensating for the spin. Seeing the core readings beginning to red line he tightened his harness and leaned back into his seat.

"Mayday, mayday, mayday. Raptor three is going down. I repeat, Raptor three is going down." Scral said as he felt his fighter beginning to break apart from the g-forces.

WC-610. The Army Quickwrite has fubarred me big time.
Trimik Dyr'Jin
Callsign Scral, Petty Officer Second Class

XO|PO2 Trimik|B-2|S:153 Regents Reign|W:58 Javelin|ICF-II Fearless|TF:R|2FL|SFC|VEN|VE [MC1] [MC2] {=A=} (=^TG^=)
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."
[This message has been edited by Scral (edited February 29, 2012 6:34:17 PM)]
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  RE: Raptor: Disaster!
March 22, 2012 10:03:52 PM    View the profile of DarianRogue 
A sigh escaped Senior Crewman DarianRogue’s lips. It had been a while since he had been on Abrae. He had been stuck on his home planet of Bakura, sorting out family problems. His uncle had died, and apparently, being the queer man he was, he had his will given to a lawyer who would only supply the rest of the family with it after they went through a series of tasks and puzzles. Darian had been stuck helping them for months on end, disappointed to learn that the extent of his inheritance was a wish of luck in his career in the Vast Imperial Navy. His uncle’s widow was also old and would have died soon, by Darian’s predictions, so he stayed. Indeed, his aunt also died, and while the will-reading process wasn’t nearly as long or complicated, it was just as disappointing; all he got was one of those replicas of those old T3-series droids, which he had to pay the entire cost of to get fixed, seeing as it was in a bad state of disrepair.

Finally, though, Darian was able to escape the screwed-up group of people known as his family, escape Bakura, and come back to Abrae and active duty.
Little was he expecting to need to go through a refresher course in the academy due to there being massive naval reconfigurations and other changes while he was gone. He sighed again. I need to look at this positively, he thought. It could be worse. I could still be stuck on Bakura. I could have been outright refused a position back, what with all the vacations I’ve taken.

So here he was, taking a refresher course on Cappadocious Station, going through the same process new recruits go through, waiting to hear what the next task was. Probably some sort of sim run. Emphasizing flight maneuvers over teamwork. For now.
And that was when he heard the sound of the heavy-soled shoes clacking in to the room. Immediately, all the trainees started to shut up and take their seats. Warrant Officer Koate, was it? Darian didn’t know much about the guy, but from what he had heard, he thought it best to do the same.
Little was he expecting to see a man of the shorter variety. His demeanor, though; that fit his reputation. When all was settled, Darian learned his voice did not.

He stood up as the Warrant Officer finished his mission briefing. A nebulaic dogfight, huh? Let’s see… it will be terribly difficult to communicate with our squadron mates, and sensors are going to tell us the wrong thing. Even if we fight without using sensors, it won’t be enough, and… the Academy must have even another trick up its sleeve. I can feel it. But I’ll play along. If they do what I suspect they will… well, it’s actually rather ingenious, if you think about it. Certainly something I’d do. During his time away, Darian had developed a rather cynical outlook on life. He was still a friendly person, but he didn’t always trust what he saw; he knew there was more than meets the eye. That was a lesson that applies to everything and everyone.

He and the other students donned their flight helmets and climbed in to various simulators spread throughout the room the Warrant Officer led them to. After Darian strapped himself in and completed his pre-flight procedures, he waited in the darkness for a good five minutes before anything interesting happened.

Finally, the lights on the controls turned on, and the screen brightened.
Starting Imperial OS
Starting Imperial Flight Simulator v. 5.9
Loading TIE/In Interceptor Flight Module
Loading Map Nebula Dogfight

Before him was the image of a very realistic hangar bay. “Whoa,” he said out loud. The simulators have been vastly upgraded since the last time I was in one… They spent their money on something like that?

That was when Darian heard the voice of a man over the comm. “Trainees, for this mission, you are all members of Raptor Squadron, flying with Predator Squadron against two squadrons of enemy Interceptors.” Heh. What kind of Interceptors would those be, then? “Your exact placement in Raptor for this mission will be shown on the mission status display momentarily.” What appeared for Darian was a “2-4.” 2-4, huh. Reminds me of my Nazgul days. “The simulation will begin in 10 seconds,” the voice continued as the simulated sound of ion engines coming to life played over the simulator’s speakers and ask the simulated Interceptor lifted off out of the hangar into a nebula, along with many others. “5 seconds,” the voice carried on as the hangars, and whatever ships they were part of, disappeared behind him into thin air, not that there was any of that in the vastness of space. “3, 2, 1.”

Control of the vehicle was given over to Darian, and as he and the squadron started to charge the enemy, he tried to see whether the enemies were A-Wings or other ties, but soon, the whole situation was confusing, and he could no longer tell enemy from friend. There weren’t any A-Wings as far as he could see, but vision wasn’t exactly optimum either. Sensors, of course, were out of the question, despite his instincts screaming to use them. Darian decided to just fire upon whoever attacked him first.

Darian’s wingman went down almost immediately. Just a few blaster bolts each from a few different fighters too him out. Damn, thought Darian. He too was being fired at from many angles, although these shooters weren’t as good shots as those who took out his poor wingman. Darian looked around and saw that his assailants were on a crash course with him. Why they would even do something so suicidal, he’d never know, but with any luck, his plan would work. He cut thrust and dived straight downward. Looking up, he disappointedly saw that the attackers all maneuvered out of the way of each other at the last second, although two of them scratched each other in the process.

Another interceptor came to above and behind him (from Darian’s perspective, that is) and started to fire. Shields won’t hold out that long, especially in this nebula. Better use the ol’ Barrel Roll.
The procedure for initiating a Barrel Roll was one Darian had long since memorized. He rolled to the right slightly and pitched up, forcing the TIE to start the spiral. He also slowed up just a tad so he would end up behind his attacker, but not so much that the enemy would catch on to his tactics and counter them. Oh, he’d catch on anyway, sure. Of that there was no doubt. But he’d be dead before he could do anything about it.

Obviously the enemy had been tricked by the start of the Barrel Roll, which had looked like a turn, and followed in suit. When in a few seconds he realized he was no longer following anyone, he started to flip over to look behind him… and was met with 7 sets of quad-linked lasers from Darian’s TIE to the view window, follow by a missile to the face.

One down, thought Darian. Who knows how many more to go?
With similar tactics, Darian managed to down another 4 or so opponents, when suddenly an onslaught of missiles utterly decimated his craft. Not even time for a “mayday.”
The screen went completely white, then blue.

This is the Blue Screen of Death.
Deal with it.

Darian ripped off his straps and flight helmet and stepped out of the simulator back into the room where another few trainees were dispersed, already having been killed previously.

When the simulation ended, each participant was sent a post-flight report on their data-reader by infrared transfer. His read:

Good performance for the first time in over a year.
Considering you managed to take down five interceptors before going down yourself, your skills seem intact. However, realize that 3 of those were friendlies. Admittedly, though, you were simply defending yourself. Nevertheless, it is suggested you try this simulation again against computer opponents when you have full access to simulators again. The trick is that, while we told you all that you were assigned to Raptor, that wasn’t necessarily the case. We don’t mean to anger you, but we have to prepare you for situations where telling enemy from friendly isn’t easy. Knowing this trick, however, won’t help you at all. It will still be hard to tell.

Heh. I knew it. With that, Darian headed back to his temporary living quarters.

1,438 words. I have been told of an after action report thing to summarize the post. I don’t know if it’s required for this, but I’ll do it anyway, just in case. Let’s see. First some character development (which I apologize for if this was neither the time nor place for that, I did it more for myself than anything), then Darian being cynical, then him destroying 5 hostiles in poor conditions, then three of those turning out to be friendlies.
FM/SCRW DarianRogue/?-?/S:137 "Raptor"/W:46 "Shield"/PLF Cappadocious/TF: TH/3 Flt/SC/VEN/VE (=*AE*=)
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  RE: Raptor: Disaster!
May 9, 2012 2:11:29 PM    View the profile of Caldaris 
Caldaris sat in the surreal darkness of the simpit, his soft breaths made loud by the utter silence surrounding him. His eyes were closed and his head was tilted back as he savored the calm, a calm that was so rare since he'd enlisted with the Navy. His life had been one of isolation before all of this. Now he could hardly find a moment to himself. Drawing a deep breath through his nose, he opened his eyes and sat upright in the seat, regaining focus.

He had completed his pre-flight checks and was waiting for the training exercise to begin. A nebula, huh? Should be fun, he mused to himself. Caldaris found his fingers working their way around the control sticks suspended before him. He hadn't flown in ages. He should have been nervous about this exercise but all he could feel was excitement. He missed the vastness of space; the freedom afforded him by taking control of a starship. Yes, this was the calm he missed. The serenity of true freedom.

A voice that Caldaris didn't recognize interrupted his reflection. It was probably the technician running the simulation. As Caldaris listened, the implications of the scenario finally weighed upon him. Blaster bolts, it's going to be a massacre out there. What do they expect to happen? Once again, the technician's voice cut into Caldaris's thoughts.

"Good luck, trainees. Report in and I'll begin the exercise."

Caldaris grinned, forgetting all thoughts of the difficult position he was about to be put into. He wasn't sure how a callsign would fly in an official training exercise like this but he couldn't help but coin the nickname that had been pinned on him by his fellow pilots.

"This is Raptor 6 'Wipeout' reporting in. All systems are reading green." It wasn't the most flattering nickname but he'd earned it. Back on Palanhir, before joining the Navy, he'd taken a fall in a swoop race and had almost lost his left arm. He was left with a massive scar that had started more conversations with his fellow trainees than he could recall. No, it wouldn't strike fear into the hearts of his enemies, but he'd earned it.

The cabin burst into life as the simulator's controls activated and the nebula appeared before him in a flash, bright colors dancing across the viewport. Caldaris was rocked back hard as the acceleration hit him at once, causing him to cough.

"By all of Alderaan's ghosts, these simulators are vaping intense!"

Caldaris re-oriented himself quickly and studied the situation, eyes darting back and forth. He could see the enemy line approaching, and fast. Instinctively, he hit his comms switch and tried to coordinate with his wing.

"This is 'Wipeout'! What's the plan here?" All he got were a few garbled transmissions enveloped in white noise. You dumb mynock-lover, you're in a nebula. Of course you can't communicate. Besides, if we were to... A laser cannon volley rebounded off of his shields and shook his ship violently.

"Mudlickers!" Caldaris pulled up on the throttle and tried to distance himself from the chaos that now dominated the area. He could already see TIE wreckage spinning through the void. Another hit on his rear shields. He swerved to the left. Another hit. He pulled into a steep climb. Two more direct hits.

"For Edge's sake, this is a few starships short of a fleet!" He couldn't shake his pursuers. No way am I going down like some green-as-goblin-moss rookie! Caldaris pulled into a tight turn and inverted his fighter, looping around behind the two that had been pursuing him.

A confident grin plastered Caldaris's face. "Right where I want you." He tightened his trigger finger's grip and... No. Wait. His grip loosened, eyes suddenly wide in worried contemplation. How do I know that this is the enemy? It looks exactly like a Raptor ship. He gritted his teeth in frustration and made a futile effort to locate some sign that the TIE in front of him was his adversary.

Caldaris had never flown in combat before, besides in the rudimentary training exercises for the Academy, and he wasn't going to have his first kill be a friendly, even if it was a simulation.

"Kark!" Caldaris yelled as another volley of laser cannon fire struck the side of his ship and his screen went red. A too-calm automated voice reported, "Starship destroyed. Simulation terminated." The lights in the simulator began to fade. Just as quickly as the exercise had begun, Caldaris found himself being sent back into that quiet darkness. He smiled grimly to himself, eyes troubled.

"Another wipeout, then."

WC: 771
TRN/CRW Caldaris "Wipeout" Vann/?-?/S:137 "Raptor"/W:46 "Shield"/PLF Cappadocious/TF:TH/3Flt/SC/VEN/VE
[This message has been edited by Caldaris (edited May 9, 2012 2:16:20 PM)]
[This message has been edited by Caldaris (edited May 9, 2012 2:17:30 PM)]
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  RE: Raptor: Disaster!
May 12, 2012 6:00:53 AM    View the profile of JexBarris 
"You will do better than they did."

The line stuck in Jex's mind. "Doubtful." he thought, examining the other trainees as they begin picking simulators, "If anyone here has flown into combat blind before today, I'll eat my helmet."

He lowered himself into the nearest open cockpit, and examined the panels. Identical to the pictures he'd viewed in class.
The Interceptor was a beautiful machine, superior in every detail to the TIE/In that it had replaced, and its deep instrumentation was evidence enough for him.

Jex was adjusting the position of his targeting computer when an instructor knocked on the side of the simulator and lowered his head to look in. "Are you prepared, trainee?"

Jex turned, and gave the man as crisp a salute as possible when one is jammed into a fighter. "I believe so, Sir."

The instructor was not amused. "You believe so, trainee? Let me remind you that we are attempting to form a military power here, and that unconfident whelps shall be tossed aside without regard, before they hesitate and get men killed. So I ask you again, trainee: Are you prepared?"

There was no hesitation in Jex's response. "Yes sir, I am prepared."

The instructor nodded, and pointed to the simulator's screen. "Demonstrate." He stepped back, and the simulator door closed.
Blackness. Worse than space. Jex went through a tense moment of claustrophobia where every nerve in his body screamed "OUT!" all at once. But when the cockpit began to hum, and the instrument panels lit up, the fear disappeared, and was replaced by anticipation and nerves. In preparation, he switched his firing linkage to twin bursts, alternate between the top and bottom cannons. Tightening his chinstrap, he waited for an image to appear.

When the screen lit up, he was shocked by how sudden it all happened. One second he was in a dark room, and the next he was in space, a group of Interceptors bearing down on his position. He immediately opened fire, noting the positions of his squadron and hoping to tag a few enemy before the groups coalesced. His first spray went wide, but his second got lucky, shearing through the center of one of the leading TIEs, the wings blowing away from the sphere at different angles.  He whooped aloud, excited to have picked up a kill, be it from luck or otherwise.

The groups came together and it was chaos. He tried keeping track of his allies, but it was like counting the stars, a lost cause. He broke from the mess and began circling outside, watching the movements, trying to discern patterns and discrepancies in ship detail.

A sudden jolt tore him from his thoughts and whipped his head against the viewport glass. Turning, he noticed one of the craft had fallen in on his left flank. He accelerated and turned into the battle, hoping to lose the tail  in the mass of ships currently busy battling each other.

As Jex's Interceptor entered the fray, he immediately took another blast, the craft shaking with the blow. "Shields must be down by now." He thought with a grimace. "Better make this quick." A number of green bolts passed over him from behind. The tail was still there. He dipped and weaved , not wanting to smash into another ship. He glanced behind him, and saw that the tailing fighter had vanished.

He smiled, and turned to face his viewport, just in time to see a loose Interceptor's wing tear through the front of his ship. "Ahh!" Jex recoiled instinctively, covering his face with his hands. When he lowered them, the screen was blank, save for the words

                              SIMULATION FAILED

The door lifted, and the same instructor he'd spoken with stood in front of the exit. He shook his head, almost mournfully. "I thought you said you were prepared?"

Jex stammered, trying to come up with words. The instructor only lifted one finger to his lips, silencing the young Chandrilan. "You know what you learned today, trainee? You learned that there is no ready. There is no prepared. There is only what happens, and how you react to it. Let me ask you, if you had a fully equipped ship, would you have failed that exercise?"

Jex considered. What little flying he'd seen from the other combatants was only fragments, small mental images. But what he remembered of their piloting skills, even in the bedlam they had just been through, was good. "No. I have no doubt that we would have completed it properly."

"Of course you would have. It would have been simple. An easy test, for anyone who knows even the basics of combat flight." Jex flushed slightly, and the instructor laughed at him. "Embarassed? You should be. But why do you think you are here, trainee? I'll tell you. Because when this academy has finished with you, you'll be one of two things:

You can be a washout, a quitter, and go back to whatever you did before joining us here, or you can be a starship pilot in the Imperial Navy. And if you choose the latter option, you'll be able to complete simulations like this with a blindfold on. Now, which are you going to be?"

Jex saluted professionally, back straight and heart set. No matter what the smuggler's life had held for him before, the feeling of the TIE, the feeling of battle, and his superior's words had enthralled him. He'd come to a decision.

"I will be a starfighter pilot, sir!"

WC = 920
TRN/CRW JexBarris/A-4/S:137 "Raptor"/W:46 "Shield/PLF CappadociousTF TH/3 flt/VENA/VEN/VE
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  RE: Raptor: Disaster!
May 13, 2012 6:36:37 PM    View the profile of Dusk 
Srry, computer put me on my army account.
Jacen "Dusk" Arture
"We're not retreating, we're advancing in a different direction."

Smile!!! Tomorrow will be worse.

[DT][RAWR][ECA][QW 12][CEC][AS-1]
[This message has been edited by Dusk (edited May 13, 2012 6:37:52 PM)]
[This message has been edited by Dusk (edited May 13, 2012 6:56:47 PM)]
[This message has been edited by Dusk (edited May 13, 2012 6:59:08 PM)]
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  RE: Raptor: Disaster!
May 13, 2012 7:01:20 PM    View the profile of Dawn 
Leaning against the white wall of the breifing room, Dawn looked apon the fresh batch of recruits. 'Hmpf, fresh meat. Most of them look like they've only seen holos of a cockpit. Hardly any training. They'll be the first to die.' Dawn thought bitterly. Ever since his complete failure at 'Overwhelming Odds' he had hit the books and clocked a couple hundred hours in the sims. He had done almost evey sim they had to offer and perfected strategies for each, all so he could ace his next sim exam.

When the instructor told them the op, Dawn smirked. Blind flying was what he hit the hardest; seeing it would be the most difficult to master. Once the breifing was over, he jumped in the nearest pod. Begining to do his pre-flight checks, Issac pluged his datapad into the console. Scrolling through the pre"-set control settings he had built himself for each situation. Selecting 'I'M BLIND!' from the later half of the list, Dawn finished his pre-flight checks.

The screen lit up with green text: "Operation: Disaster"
"Good Luck, Raptor One"
The screen flashed white then exploded into space. Knowing that he'd have moments before he entered the nebula, he opened coms. "Raptor Three, this is Raptor one. We're flying together, don't split from me. How copy?"
"Raptor One, That's a Good Copy. Not spli..." The com went dead as they entered the soup.

Knowing the enemy would be coming straight at them, Dawn signaled his wingmate to pull right with a quick pulse of his right engin. Quickly banking off the path he was expected to folow, he made an arch toward the fray of ships. Releaseing a fast quad blast he obliterated one of the enemy ships; at least he hoped it was enemy.

With a quick glance at his left he could see an other craft, but noticing it wasn't on a attack vector on him he ignored it. His wingman, did not. Seeing the stream of fire come from over Issac's shoulder made him jump. The vessle exploded darkening Dawn's veiwport. Once it was transparent once again, his wingmate was gone. He knew what happened when a Intercepter wing scraped agains his veiwport, marked "Raptor Three."

Quickly snapping out of it, he launched one of his sparce torpedos at a cluster of ships fighting, not knowing who was who didn't matter to him now; all that did was survival. The progectile missed the intended target but hit the ship directly past it. The cluster became flashes as each ship was caught in the blast of either the torpedo or the other ships.
There were about seven ships left including himself, and from the looks of it, only about two or three of them knew what they were doing.

Moving in on a distacted craft he thought he saw somthing to the left of him. When he looked a spiraling fireball was hurtling towards him. Dawn quickly threw himself into a nose dive to avoid the projectile, but he was caught in the shockwave of it exploding. The blast knockedout is upper right cannon. Knowing it would effect his fire power slightly he pulled out of the nebula quickly. Once out he pointed himself at the fighting and shut down his engins; he needed a breath to think.

Seeing the wreckage of two ships that had colided gave the Aargonian an idea. Moving behind the debries, Dawn slowly wedged his upper cannons into the wreck. Pulseing his engins as not to atract atention from the three remaining ships. Once in position he pushed his ion engins to their max. Hitting max speed, Issac reversed his drives snapping the wreckge and his two upper cannons of and toward the enemy.

The ball of metal colided with one of the vessles obliterating the cockpit and distracting the pilot's wingmate, long enough to get three double pulses from the two remaining cannons. The ship burst into flames and collided with an astroid, sending shrapnel in all directions. Now alone with the other ship, Dawn played it safe. Coming around a large astroid he was suprised to see the ship 15 meter ahead of him shut down. Pulling the trigger on his yoke, he was suprised to see his viewport go up in flames.

"You Have Failed"

"What?" Issac asked to no one. Cominging out of the sim he saw the holo-screen playing the last five minutes of the battle. The other ship had launched all it's torpedos without setting the propulsion systems off, effectivly making a small mine field. Then it showed hiself coming around the astroid and shooting one of the mines two meters away. It was a clever tactic that Dawn was most likely to use in the future given the chance. Most of the people were congradulating the other pilot, but some of the few older member gave Dawn the credit he was due.

WC: 821
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  RE: Raptor: Disaster!
May 13, 2012 7:24:37 PM    View the profile of Eli13778 
"You will do better than they did."

Yeah, fat chance about that, Eli thought grimly, as he lowered into his simulator.

Eli didn't have a great track record with low-visibility flying and extremely agile starfighters....

Eli closed the door to the simulator before the instructor right above him could say anything. Considering the smug smile on the twi'lek's face, that speech wasn't going to be encouraging. Eli could guess why, too. Almost everyone he had spoken to now knew the story of his accident. For it, they had added to his nickname, dubbing him "Lucky Bolts". 

As soon as the door closed everything went pitch black, and Eli was abruptly thrown into a flashback.

He was sitting in the cockpit of a prototype labeled the TIE Cyclone. He flew into a cosmic cloud outside the testing area and suddenly his sensors went nuts on him...

The flashback ended and Eli grasped the control yokes of his simulator for support. His breathing was labored, and sweat covered his face. He closed his first pair of eyelids, but his face still stung when the salty sweat slid across the scaleless and irritable burn marks across his face. Suddenly his flight suit was extremely stuffy.

Eli focused on setting the laser cannons of his TIE/Int Interceptor to fire in unison quad bursts. Then he set the inertia dampener to 100%.

All at once, the screen before him lit up, showing an enemy formation of TIE Interceptors. His targeting computer went fuzzy, eliminating the possibility of discerning friend from foe. 

Kriffing hell, Eli thought, when we converge it's going to be nothing but a cluster frak of friendly fire.

As soon as his train of thought completed, four shots struck Eli's forward deflectors. Then the two groups collided, and all hell commenced. 

Eli immediately opened fire, hitting one incoming Interceptor with two volleys of shots. Then he barrel rolled out of the way, as the fighter screamed past him. A few stray parts hit his cockpit, rocking it violently. Then, Eli found himself in the middle of the fray.

Within moments, Eli's Interceptor was trailing parts. He knew he wasn't going to last much longer in this fight.

We're kriffing rookies going through Flight School! If trained pilots couldn't survive this, how do they expect us to?!?

Then for a moment, Eli's self enforced motto ran through his spinning and confused brain; Do  not bruise or even bloody your opponent. Strike them so hard you take away their capacity to fight back.

At that second, a suicidally brilliant idea popped into Eli's mind.

He armed all the concussion missiles in his launchers, and aimed his Interceptor at the nearest craft. Then, he diverted all power to his engines. The opposing pilot didn't even see Eli coming. 

A split second before impact, a single red dot appeared on Eli's targeting computer. The other craft was an enemy!

Then, the simulator's screen went red and a single phrase began flashing in bright yellow letters upon it:


There goes the "Lucky" part of my nickname, Eli thought weakly, as he relaxed his grip on the control yokes. He set the cockpit panels back to their default settings. His hands shook from the adrenaline rushing through his bloodstream.

"Good start," Eli muttered to himself. 

It's always nice to fail your first simulator test, Eli chuckled dryly to himself.

Word Count: 561
TRN/CRW/Eli13778/B-3/S:137 "Raptor"/W:52"Javelin"/PLF Cappadocious/TF:TH/3Flt/SC/VEN/VE 

When you strike your opponent do not bruise or even bloody them. Hit them so hard you take away their capacity to fight back.
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  RE: Raptor: Disaster!
May 14, 2012 7:38:22 PM    View the profile of Eli13778 
Eli took deep breaths as he climbed into the simulator for a second time. This would be another run on the Disaster sim, and Eli was confident he'd do better. 

The instructor, a Mon Calamari this time, looked down through the hatch, into the cockpit.

"He-hey, lookie here, it's the famed kamikaze pilot. Let's see some real dogfightin' out there this time, 'k rookie?" the instructor chuckled.

"Be careful what you wish for," Eli drawled, "Cause you might just get it."

If it's a dogfight they want, I'll be sure not to disappoint them.

"Don't get cocky," the Mon Cal said sternly. 

"I'm not cocky, I'm just relaxed," Eli boasted.

And determined...

"'K, whatever you say, hotshot." And with that, the instructor raised his head out of the cockpit, and closed the hatch.

Eli was instantly plunged into the familiar darkness. He thanked whatever higher beings existed, when no flashback overtook him. He didn't think he'd be able to handle another one of those.

Eli focused on setting the cannons of his TIE Interceptor to fire in duets. 

Let's try speed over power, this time.

Ten seconds later, the screen lit up, and Eli was faced with a familiar sight. Instantly, Eli shut off his targeting computer; he wouldn't be needing it anyways. Instead, he diverted the excess power to the wing laser cannons.

Suddenly, two shots hit the Interceptor's rear shields. Eli snapped his head up to look out of the viewport. A stone dropped in his gut, from the sight before him. He'd taken too long to adjust the panel settings; he'd already entered the soup. Apparently, he'd also already picked up a tail.

Instinctively, Eli flipped end for end, soaring right over the tail, and coming back in behind the fighter. Four seconds, and seven volleys later, the enemy Interceptor was debris. Eli dipped and weaved out of the way of the wreckage.

Eli immediately rolled out of the way of an out of control starfighter, and fell in behind the Interceptor's wingmate. Eli soon knew he was going to overshoot the fighter. He closed his eyes, and tried to remember what to do in this situation.

Barrel roll, and keep your axis.

Eli did so, and took brief pleasure in noting that it worked. Then, his moment of celebration ended, and he armed and fired two concussion missiles. They hit, dead on, and Eli peeled away. 

Out of the corner of his eye, Eli saw two concussion missiles homing in on him, from the port side. He turned away from them and accelerated to 100% thrust power.

If I spin, they'll follow a spinning pattern too and collide with each other.

Eli threw his interceptor into a frightening spin, while maintaining acceleration. The g's that packed on his chest almost made him heave. Four long seconds later, his Interceptor rocked slightly.

Well that worked pretty well.

Eli began banking right, when the  shock wave of the explosion hit his starboard side. He tumbled sideways right into another fighter.

Eli yelped, and instinctively threw up his arms, as the dagger of the other Interceptor's panel, bust through the viewport. Then the screen went red, and the familiar bright yellow letters began blinking upon it.


"Frak," muttered Eli crossly. 

Above him, the simulator's hatch popped open, and the Mon Cal's head lowered down.

"Not bad," the instructor said, in a genuinely impressed tone. "Not bad at all. So what went wrong?"

Eli shrugged, and in the process, banged his shoulders on the sides of the cramped cockpit.

Wincing, he said, "I'm just not experienced enough yet. I didn't know about the force of the shock wave, or how it would determine my trajectory."

The instructor nodded. "Exactly. And what do you plan to do to fix that?"

"Not give up. Keep logging hours. Study my flight patterns and procedures."

"Good kid," the instructor said assuringly, "I've got hope for you yet, Lucky Bolts." 

Then, with a wink, the Mon Cal was gone, leaving Eli alone, with himself and his thoughts.

Word Count: 674
TRN/CRW/Eli13778/B-3/S:137 "Raptor"/W:52"Javelin"/PLF Cappadocious/TF:TH/3Flt/SC/VEN/VE 

When you strike your opponent do not bruise or even bloody them. Hit them so hard you take away their capacity to fight back.
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  RE: Raptor: Disaster!
June 21, 2012 12:48:36 AM    View the profile of Jaz 
Jaz was leaning against a far wall, absentmindedly listening to the conversation of the three men around her when the Warrant Officer came in.  She immediately straightened up to her full height of 5'3”, her narrowing slightly as she took in the sight of him.  The others around her scrambled to sit but she stood still, being one of the last to sit while she assessed him.  His height gave her a boost in confidence.  He had a bad-ass reputation proving that in the cockpit, she didn't need to be taller or stronger to be good at piloting.  She was that much more determined to be someone to contend with in her craft. 

So when he issued their assignment, her grin faltered only a little. 

Uh...What the...

She rose from her chair when he left the room, quick on her feet, she was one of the first behind him as he gave the tech running the simulators instructions.  She rubbed the back of her neck before pulling her down over her head and ponytail.  She was at a loss.  She hadn't flown a real Interceptor yet, just the simulators.  How would she be able to tell friend from foe? 

She ran through the preflight checks carefully, delaying for time as her mind groped for an idea, a spark of an idea...something? 

“Raptor Four, you are clear for take off.”

She rambled off her confirmation and off the simulated spacecraft went.  If she hadn't entered the tiny room of her own accord, she would believe she was really in space, actually in the cockpit of the Interceptor flying the colorful nebula before her.  The Empire's equipment gave no clue that she wasn't in actuality facing this highly impossible mission. 

Her gloved index finger hit the visor of her helmet causing her head to jerk slightly as she unconsciously brought her hand up to rub her nose, a habit of her's when her mind was grappling something. Zot!  Really gotta stop doing that!

Within seconds her squadron broke formation as two squadrons sped past them.  Some of the ones with Raptor peeled off in pursuit along with some from Predator squadron.  They were told communications were going to malfunction but she had to try anyhow.

“Raptor 3, Raptor 3...I'm right behind you...”  She was his wingman, she figured if she could only keep track of one bird, it was going to be the one she was supposed to be backing up. 

Zot! She pulled back on her yoke hard as she made a break turn neatly avoiding the fire coming from behind her.  Keeping a close eye on the Interceptor in front of her, she willed him to make a similar maneuver as she couldn't communicate with him in any other way. 

He pulled up, avoiding the fire but pulling him out of close range from her.  She grumbled quietly but perked up as the Interceptor pursing pulled up to follow her comrade, giving her an opportunity to slide in right behind the opposing craft.  She felt the G's and whistled softly as she fired off her guns, taking out him out.  What a rush.  She whizzed by the disintegrating mass.

She glanced around in that brief moment and what she saw seriously messed up.  There were Interceptors everywhere, up down here and there, it was Interceptor soup and someone stuck in a huge spoon and stirred the pot.  She bit her bottom lip and focused her eyes on the one she knew was her companion.  She pulled up close to right flank just as he shot down an identical craft.  She wondered what his logic was for it, maybe she'd find out who is actually in that simulator at some point.  It felt like many minutes had passed but knew it probably was closer to one or two, everything was moving so incredibly fast.

She mimicked her earlier maneuver when she was pursued again.  Luckily no one had time to stop and watch so he was easily dispatched as the first.  Unfortunately, Raptor 3 was taken out with crossfire and she doesn't think she lasted much longer.  It happened so fast, she didn't even see who took her out, not a clue which direction it came from. 

SIMUATION FAILED flashed across the screen before her.

Yanking off her helmet, she sat for minute or two and finally rubbed the tip of her nose before coming to the conclusion that she honestly had not a flipping clue what she should have done differently.  Bail out completely of the nebula?  Who knows how big it was and she never left a friend behind. 

She exited the simulator and walked up to the Warrant Officer, her helmet perched on her hip.

“May I ask Sir..what would you have done?” 

Word Count: 798
[This message has been edited by Jaz (edited June 21, 2012 12:49:21 AM)]
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  RE: Raptor: Disaster!
July 2, 2012 1:31:59 AM    View the profile of Fyston 
The tall Zabrak seemed to tower over everyone in the room, even when sitting in the corner behind everyone. He was out of sight and out of mind, yet had the entire room in his view. He wore something he hadn't worn in some time, though he had long last track of the days. His flight suit reminded him of what he had lost in his time away, though it wasn't his fault.

As he slipped his helmet onto his head, maneuvering the helmet slightly to allow for his horns, Fyston's sleeves chafed against the scars on his wrist from the restraints he had worn every day since they had caught him.

It hadn't even been his fault. They'd come up with some trumped up charge regarding his father's murder and used his membership in the Vast Empire against him. The trial had been swift, though anyone with a living brain cell could tell that it was unfair and harsh. He'd been labeled a traitor, a murderer, an ungrateful schlutta, and any name in between.

Ever since Fyston had been publicly named a Vast Imperial starfighter pilot, everyone on Iridonia had slandered his name and his family's honor. New Republic pilots wanted a piece of him, as did the government of the New Republic.

They'd sent him to the same prison they sent a number of serial killers, rapists, and general other filth. Said filth wanted to instantly prove their worth by taking down the large, muscular Zabrak who stood at 6'8''. Every day one decided to press his luck, hoping to catch Fyston with his guard down. The fights were almost always one sided, as Fyston had been in more scraps and brawls than many in the prison, most of whom merely killed their victims outright.

Despite all the troubles, Fyston had stolen his freedom back from the same people who had stolen it from him. His first move? Return to Vast Imperial space. It was a mere two weeks later that Fyston was sitting in preparation for the simulation. It was cloudy to him, though a part of him knew that it would all come rushing back.

And come rushing back it did. As soon as Fyston sat down in the simulation cockpit, it was as if he had never left. He breezed through his pre-flight checklist, his mind reminding him exactly what switches to press and his instincts making up for the rest. His cockpit was a blaze of familiar lights and Fyston felt at home.

He knew many things. He was flying in a nebula. This meant no shields, communications, sensors, etc. These things meant that he would be flying blind, deaf, and naked. Rather than spend power on futile attempts to communicate or desperate attempts to raise his shields, Fyston sent all power to the engines and weapons, two things that were guaranteed to work even in a nebula.

Almost directly out of the gate, the tall Zabrak accelerated to full speed, outshooting the other Interceptors by a decent margin. He was able to milk every last drop of speed out of the simulation Interceptor despite having been out of the cockpit for nearly a year.

And then the fun started. Green flashes shot past his cockpit and Fyston immediately braked, pulling a snap turn to bring his weapons to bear on the offending fighter, who had turned to avoid an impact. The pilot used his memory to calculate the lead at such speeds and squeezed the trigger. The bolt of pure energy shot in front of his target, though a brief recalculation later and Fyston squeezed down the trigger again, this time causing the enemy cockpit to fill with green energy and destroying the craft.

Almost immediately after he was attacked from a high angle, his attacker coming in from above his rear port engine. His attacker got sloppy, however, and shot below Fyston, missing him but also avoiding the reaction of the pilot, who wasn't hit by any of the green plasma. The pilot had heard the distinct firing sounds, however, and had set into action, flying off into a random angle but away from the danger.

Well, until he came across a gaggle of damaged starfighters. Those he took out with well placed missiles, the shockwave from one destroying the other two even while two missiles flew past harmlessly.

As he turned away, however, he had just enough time to spot a pair of linked green plasma bolts fire from the cockpit-mounted guns of another Interceptor before the simulator flashed and ended, signaling his death. He sighed and leaned his head back on the seat, disappointed with himself. It was his best, though he didn't think it was good enough.

"Fierfek," he cursed as he exited the simulation, striding past the other recruits. He may have done horribly and, as a result, be assigned to some program to help him return to his abilities, but he wasn't going to worry about that. Now, however, was his time to cool off and think and he could do that from his bunk.

Fyston returns to the cockpit for the first time since he was locked up. He quickly settles back into his routine in the simulation Interceptor, and his combat experience helps him do better than he expected, though he is still slightly disappointed in himself. He kills a few (4-6) before dying.
SXO/CPO Fy/B-1/S:82 Nightshrike/W:245 Scimitar/mSSD Atrus/TF:A 1Flt/SFC/VEN/VE [SoA] [=^SUR^=] (CAR)
[This message has been edited by Fyston (edited July 2, 2012 5:15:02 PM)]
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  RE: Raptor: Disaster!
July 18, 2012 4:50:21 PM    View the profile of X10 
Xenon stood quiet and still as the room of recruits dispersed to the simulators scattered across the room. He felt that there was no need to delay the inevitable end of the simulation, which would mark everyone’s skills as a pilot. Xenon knew he would probably do all right with his years as a cargo ship pilot, but that also scared him. He was a delivery boy; the most maneuvering he had ever had to do was dogging asteroids on a special delivery. It was still a ship though, no matter the class.

Xenon was one of the last to enter his simulator. There was nothing but darkness around him. It was like a lock that didn’t allow him to think of reality. The helmet was all that separated Xenon from his test and the darkness around him. The helmet slid onto his head easily; it wasn’t to tight or to loss. The helmet was just right. Yet again Xenon was met with darkness but not for long. With in seconds of securing the helmet a stream of words flashed across space. They explained the same things told to him only minutes before, like he would forget. Then the screen went black and Xenon found himself speeding across space, straight at the swirling nebula, his fellow recruits and his wingman at his side.

Xenon found the yoke moments before full control was given to him. As he tried to steady himself, Xenon saw a wall of blaster fire flying straight at him. It was a sudden jerk of the yoke that saved him from early death, but not his wingman. As Xenon’s Interceptor veered to the left, his wingman, who was flying close behind him, didn’t have the time to maneuver past the wall of fire. Xenon saw the explosion out of the corner of his eye alerting him that he was alone now..

The enemy Interceptor came into view just as Xenon recovered from his sudden turn. The diagrams from training flashed through his mind as he tried to decide what to do. After what seemed like a quick break from the action, Xenon set his Interceptor straight down. The other pilot saw this and followed, expecting to gun down Xenon as he tried to pull back up towards him but was confused to not find him their. Instead he found the top of his ship being littered with gun fire from Xenon who had started to pull up away from the other ship almost as so as he started giving him a great view of the smoking enemy ship erupt into a large ball of fire and sparks. A sense of accomplishment quickly filled Xenon but was destroyed just as fast as two more enemy ships approached from his right.

Xenon unleashed a volley of shots before barrel rolling to avoid a torpedo. A few of his round hit the left fin on one of the two enemy Interceptor, sending it spiraling into an explosion behind Xenon’s. Now there was one. The second enemy Interceptor turned, following the barrel roll and sent a wave of hell to Xenon. The simulator shook violently as a few of the blasts hit Xenon’s wings. As the systems began to shut down and the cockpit turned red, Xenon fired on torpedo in the direction of his attacker and as the simulator shut down, the light of an explosion filled Xenon’s eyes. He’d made another kill. 

The helmet’s screen went black and the familiar darkness of the simulator engulfed Xenon. He sat there in silent as the sound of other recruits exiting their simulators filled the air outside. Groans could be heard from the recruits who had been shot down at the beginning of the simulation, but Xenon felt he had done well. He had managed to take down 3 enemy fighters with zero friendly fire and all without assistance. Xenon covered his eyes with his hand as he stepped out of the dark simulator into the blinding light of the simulator room. Then with out hesitation, he walked straight up to Koate and asked one thing.

“Sir, how did I do?”           

Word Count: 689
Action Report- Xenon enters his first battle in a simulator and after a  quick skirmish between three enemy fighters, Xenon is shot down.
[This message has been edited by X10 (edited July 21, 2012 12:49:28 AM)]
[This message has been edited by X10 (edited July 22, 2012 12:03:50 AM)]
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  RE: Raptor: Disaster!
November 26, 2012 3:34:27 PM    View the profile of Mox 
Wrong char
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"I have a rendezvous with death... I shall not fail that rendezvous." - Alan Seeger
[This message has been edited by Mox (edited November 26, 2012 3:34:46 PM)]
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  RE: Raptor: Disaster!
November 26, 2012 3:35:14 PM    View the profile of Xanin 
So… the first mission I receive is in a simulator. Serves me right, had a break of two years from any serious flying. Xanin thought as he strapped himself into the simulator and completed the pre-flight checks. He was certain that he messed something up, as he did not steer a fighter for a long time and forgot most of the tricks from the New Republic. He hoped that the recent classes and refreshment courses would be enough to boost his fading dog-fighting knowledge. Slowly, the trainees finished the preparations and were sitting idly, waiting for the technicians to start the simulation. Xanin closed his eyes, expecting that when he opens them he will be in a fighter cockpit.

A sudden vibration forced Xanin to open his eyes. As expected he was in fighter. Immediately he turned on his HUD, letting the feed of information roll before his eyes. Part of the Raptor Squadron, together with Predator Squadron sent to battle a squadron of hijacked Interceptor in the area. Xanin muttered to himself as he read the important details The chase forced you into a nebula field and you have no ComLink communication. Evade blaster fire and missiles and destroy as many ENEMY Interceptors as possible. Xanin shook his head and turned on the engine of his fighter, hence signalling that he’s ready. After a short period of waiting all of the recruits booted up their engines and the simulation began.

The Interceptor shot forwards. The HUD showed the location of enemy and friendly fighters for a brief moment before dying totally. He knew that he was on his own now. The simulator would not allow him to get out of the nebula and so he started to visually search for any movement. He knew there was no way to recognise the TIE Interceptors apart and so the only to decrease friendly casualties was to keep in wingman formations. If we were only told that during the pre-simulation talk. Xanin started cruising, getting used to the controls and soon enough he’s noticed blaster shots coming ahead of him. These must be the simulated Interceptors… Xanin thought, but did not return fire as that would give his location away. Unfortunately he saw two fighters from his side speed up and open fire on the silhouette.

“Idiots…” he said as the fighters exited his firing range. Suddenly a whole squadron of Interceptor appeared out of the abyss and immediately blaster fire from both sides shot out. Instead of following the herd Xanin sped up and pulled up, trying to relatively get out of the blaster fire field. As soon as he managed to do so he picked a target before the three squadrons melded together, dived and open fire. He stared at the fighter he chosen, so that he doesn’t accidentally lose sight of him and shoot his own. Unfortunately the moment he was to fire his Light Missiles, two fighters crashed and caused an explosion that made the tracking of the fighter impossible. The missile lock with its work unfinished had reset and now Xanin had to choose a different target. But the explosion marked the beginning of dog fights and Xanin foolishly entered the skirmish. Pulling up he picked a target, and started firing at it, while at the same time enabling the missile lock. As expected the Interceptor started to make a series of evading manoeuvres and began to do a barrel roll.

“Oh no, you don’t!” Xanin shouted as he pressed the missile button.

The Light Missile zoomed out of the cockpit and off towards the target. Xanin stopped firing in fear of destroying the missile and watched as the Interceptor turned into space rubble. At the exact same time the HUD started to flash red, showing the steady decrease in shield power. Damnation… Why did I just idly watch that guy die… Xanin cursed himself as he rolled and sharply dove, executing something he still remembered from his New Republican days. The fighter began to go downwards, but the enemy pilot was persistent. Xanin hoped he was able to turn sharply enough to get out of the firing range but only a moment later the cockpit started flashing red, signalling a missile lock.

“Get destroyed by my own tactic? That is NOT going to happen!” Xanin shouted through his clenched teeth, knowing that none of the other recruits could hear him, as he tried to pull more sharply, aware that the enemy is Lag Pursuiting him “Come on…. Come on!!!! COME OOOON!!!!!”

Suddenly Xanin felt a strong burning on his back and darkness fell upon his eyes. A second later he realised his eyes were closed and opened them. He was sitting in the simulation room, and the pain was gone. The young man looked around and saw that out of about 30 one fifth was already awake. Not bad Tohar… not bad… Xanin thought sarcastically

W: 791
Destroyed one fighter, and then got destroyed by the same tactic
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"I don't always desert my teammates. But when I do, they all die." - Xanin's Thoughts
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  RE: Raptor: Disaster!
December 15, 2012 3:38:28 AM    View the profile of Cabby 
Fletcher stood silently next to a couple of other trainees, half listening to their conversation. They weren’t overwhelmingly exciting but it was better than standing and staring off into space. It would have been a lie to say she wasn’t a tiny bit nervous about the simulation. But she was focusing on not letting her nerves get to her; flying was second nature, this was all performers’ jitters. Fletcher’s long tan finger’s twirled around a dreadlock as the noise of heavily soled shoes echoed into the room. The chatting trainees next to her hastily ended their conversation and took their seats, Fletcher following suit. Once the group was seated Warrant Officer Koate began his explanation of the simulation. Fletcher could see from the faces of the other trainees that they too were taken aback by the way Koate spoke. His voice certainly didn’t match his demeanor, nor the horror stories she had heard about him.

Soon everyone was up, jostling to get helmets and a simulator. Fletcher pulled her dreadlocks into a low bun which hung at the junction between her neck and skull. Once her hair was pulled from her face she held the black helmet between her hip and forearm. Fletcher quietly slipped by another trainee, her hand grazing his shoulder. “Excuse me,” she sang before taking the simulator for her own. As the door closed she heard his noise of indigence. ‘Too bad, so sad’ Fletcher thought to herself. Once inside and seated the helmet when on, causing a smile to slid over her lips. If there was something Fletcher loved more than anything in the world it was flying; even if this was just a simulation her nerves had turn into an excited jitter. Her eyes bounced around the cockpit. It was a splendid piece of machinery, she had to admit. Nothing at all like her taxi, or the crafts she used for racing: they were far simpler than this. Comparatively they looked like children’s toys next to this simulation, and if the sim looked this amazing, she couldn’t fathom what the real thing would be like. 

The ex-cabby went through her pre-flight checklist quickly. From her taxi days Fletcher was wired to the procedures in as little time as possible: time was money. In her mind she went over Officer Koate explanation of the situation: they would be flying blind, she’d have to pay extra attention to what was around her at all times. Her thought was interrupted by a voice was speaking into her ear: “You’ll be flying as Raptor Squadron, with Predator Squadron against two full squadrons of enemy Interceptors.” She nodded, though no one could see the motion. It was mostly for her own benefit, trying to calm the buzzing of excitement in her stomach. “The simulation with begin momentarily.”

“Raptor 6 here and ready to fly,” Fletcher announced, her fingers brushing over the controls before pressing her knuckles into her palms to crack them loudly. She didn’t have to wait long, and soon the simulation roared into life. Fletcher took the controls in her hand, and with her bottom lip firmly held between her teeth she flew out in formation towards predator. She held steady for as long as she could, taking in her surroundings. Fletcher made a concerted effort to never do anything before figuring out the end result: a left over from her gambling days. Her wingman flew tight along her side as they headed towards the enemy. From the corner of her eye she saw it tip towards her, trying to warn her, and then dip away suddenly. Fletcher was confused for a mere moment before she noticed the interceptor heading straight for her. With a jerky movement Fletcher forced her own ship downwards, flying under the other. Cursing under her breath, she checked to make sure her wingman was still there before swinging around to face the direction she had come in.

She made to follow the interceptor whom had nearly collided with her, but she couldn’t tell which one it was. Actually, she couldn’t tell who anyone was anymore. Friendly fire… so that was Officer Koate motive. Fletcher didn’t have time to make up her mind on her target before the ship was rocked with a blast from her left side. Cursing much louder this time, but also exceedingly thankful her shields had been spread over the either craft, she speed up and turned towards her attacker. This time she identified him, and narrowed her eyes. “You wanna play? Okay let’s play” Fletcher muttered and aimed her cannons before taking off after him. The other pilot was quite skilled, but Fletcher had complete lack of fear on her side. She dipped and twisted in the air, pursuing relentlessly trying to fool him as to which direction she was going to shoot from. He wouldn’t be able to use his shields if he didn’t know where she was. She wasn’t going to stop till she took him down.

Soon Fletcher was level with the other, and his icon on her targeting computer centered and blinked red. With an almost wicked grin she shot at him, and took him down. As soon as she made contact with him, Fletcher pulled up and steered back into the action. Fletcher met up with her wingman soon enough and they flew beside each other. But they were forced apart again when someone shot between them. Fletcher turned sideways momentarily before writing herself again, her wingman however seemed to have been hit, though no critically, and from what she could see his shields had fizzled out. Soon he would be within range, and a goner. “Raptor 5 you better get a move on!” Fletcher called into her mic, but was met with an infuriating hum of static. Fletcher turned sharply towards her wingman. “You saved my butt, time to return the favor,” Fletcher said, biting her bottom lip again, it was a gamble, but gambling was what she did best. With adrenaline pounding in her ears, she clutched her hand tight and accelerated. She came between the two at the perfect two, and took the shots meant for her counterpart. 

The screen shut off and Fletcher was left to sit in darkness as the door unsealed.  She pulled her helmet off and untied her hair. She shook her head as she pushed out of the simulator. As she stretched a chef petty officer came to a stop in front of her, arms crossed over his chest. “Well that was…” he started.

“Awe-inspiring?” Fletcher offered resting the helmet on her hip once more. “Stupendous? Stupefying? I could go on.”

“I was thinking more along the lines of surprising,” the officer countered. “Possibly interesting. You’re free to go Elizabeth,” with that he nodded and left Fletcher to call after him.

“For the last time, don’t call me Elizabeth!” but despite herself she grinned, quite pleased with her work.

wc: 1,154
Action Report- Fletcher gets into the simulation, shoots down another ship and then saves her wingman
TRN/CRW Cabby/??/ S:137 "Raptor"/ W:46 "Shield"/ PLF Cappadocious TF:TH/7Flt/SC/VEN/VE
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  RE: Raptor: Disaster!
December 17, 2012 7:59:40 PM    View the profile of Eventide 
The room was filled with the bustle of newbies like her. Many of them seemed to have latched onto friends or friendly-looking trainees. While in most situations Makenna would have sought out a friend or rival, she still felt like she was in unfamiliar territory. Her way of talking to pirates was different than addressing others, and she wasn’t sure if her sharp tongue would get her into trouble before she even began. After all, people here had ranks, though she found this ridiculous. Respect to her was earned by the individual and not granted by some rank. Of course, these ranks were earned not just for time here but also for deeds done in the field. Still, she felt that she needed to see a person in action before she would give the proper respect. For now, she would settle to one-word answers to anyone who was ranked above her, lest she make someone mad that she didn’t intend to be.

When Warrant Officer Koate walked into the room, ‘Kenna had already been sitting and waiting. She glanced up at him as he walked. Sure she knew the rumors like everyone else did, but she did not fear him nor did she judge his small appearance. If her life as a pirate had taught her anything, the deadliest of people could come in the strangest packages, and really how much did outside appearance matter in the end? If Koate wanted to knife someone in the room, he probably could. It didn’t matter that he was short or didn’t speak with some “high commanding voice”.

The newbies had all sat down by now, and WO Koate addressed them, detailing their simulation. Makenna listened intently, drinking in the situation. A blind mission. She remembered a situation once like that. One of her mates had flown them into a nebula to hide from attackers. While it had blinded the enemy, it had also blinded them. It was too bad that ‘Kenna hadn’t been allowed to fly at that point, but she knew it probably wouldn’t have made a difference. Escape was different than fighting blind, and a dogfight was no joke when blind. If pure navigation was hell, how much more so would finding TIEs in a muddle of white noise be?

Nevertheless her hunger for competition arose, and she glanced around at the trainees. They were all different. Some didn’t even look like trainees. In fact, she was sure they weren’t, so why they were there was unknown to her.

As WO Koate finished his explanation, he began to walk away. Makenna turned to attention and snapped up to a standing position, following him and the other trainees. She saw the familiar simulators and quickly made her way to one.

“Preflight procedures and all that jazz, “ she said to herself as she turned the simulator on. While she did this, she began to think to herself. I won’t be able to tell who is who, that is a given. And while I’d love to shoot down anyone I see, I can’t be that stupid. Not now. There’s gotta be some way I can tell who is who, but I’m sure that they’re going to purposefully program everything so that I can’t. We’re set up for failure before we’ve even started, and they frakkin’ know it too.

But ‘Kenna tugged at her uniform with her hand and made a sign for luck. She’d rely on skills and luck to drive her to a winning scenario, even if that didn’t exist.
Her thoughts had slowed down her preflight procedures, but she was still faster than a few. Her Raptor assignment was to be 2, and she grinned, beginning to feel the excitement of flying in a simulator. Sure it didn’t compare to anything real, but for her, it was real enough.

Simulation loading…

The colors of the nebula still made her drop her jaw a little bit though she had been expecting it. The simulator was so realistic, and everything had appeared so fast. Makenna made sure to grip the yoke tightly, and she shook away the look of the nebula before her. Instead she looked to her left and right, checking her position amidst the other TIEs. She stared ahead. There was Predator, but for all she knew, their positions could have been scrambled during simulation loading.

“Raptor 1,” she tried her comm to see how bad communications were, and sure enough, there was no reply except static. If she had to go it alone, so be it.

Suddenly there were green bolts flashing towards her. She cursed and rolled out of the way, breaking off from formation before most. One thing she didn’t want to do was be in the midst of the initial chaos. Instead she routed herself around, surveying the onslaught of TIEs. As they zoomed by, she checked for anything that could reveal their true identity since her computer screen wasn’t working.

“Even simulators have glitches!” she called out loud, getting a bit frustrated that everything seemed so perfect.

Makenna huffed and banked hard to the right, flying into the middle of everything. She caught up to a chase between two TIEs. As they were occupied with each other, she followed them, watching their movements. She didn’t want to kill a teammate! But what else could she do?


It made no sense to be offensive in a nebula. Of course! If she took the offensive, she would risk friendly fire, and even in defense she would too, but at least she couldn’t be blamed for seeking out a friend and killing them!

It was as if the TIE that decided to follow her was reading into her thoughts and playing to her ideas. She felt the simulator shake as a glancing blow hit her. ‘Kenna shoved the yoke up, allowing her to arc away from who she had been following. The TIE behind her continued to follow, waiting for the perfect time to fire. But she was ready to be daring, and she shoved herself out of the arc and rolled off to the side. The strange move had not entirely been anticipated, and it caused her to not only lose the TIE but also reorient herself behind him.

She checked her screen for anything. Anything at all. There had to be a blip in the nebula’s interference somewhere. She would follow the TIE into one.

The TIE tried to get her off his tail, but she stayed close, following his erratic movements. Though she had a sure shot, she didn’t want to risk friendly fire, but as she continued to follow him, she realized that time was running out. He was heading her into the midst of the fray, and she couldn’t afford to follow him any longer.

So she threw herself forward until she was closer to him than she knew was safe. Somewhere betwixt that time, a dot flashed on her screen.

It was red.

She slammed her brakes on and fired simultaneously. The distance created in that moment was small, but she hoped it was wide enough to avoid the explosion because she wouldn’t be able to maneuver in any direction right then. The bolts flashed forward and met the TIE with graceful death. Not only did she get a hit, but she also aimed well. Luck had allowed her to sever the wings of that TIE.

‘Kenna smiled as the forces from the explosion only pushed her back. Confidence caused her adrenaline to kick in, and she suddenly felt like a leaf on the wind, soaring with grace and just cause. This ecstasy would not last long though. As the explosion was clearing from view, she saw two TIEs were hiding right for her, and they were about to collide.

She thrust the yoke to the side and began to accelerate, looping around to avoid that bit of chaos. Then she looked for where the main dogfight had congregated. Once she had spotted it, she jumped into the fray, allowing another soul to nip at her tail. She pulled this one away too, but she had a much harder time with it. The skill of the pilot was above hers, and she couldn’t think of what to do.

Except maybe to force a collision…

As she rolled around, accelerating as she did so, she found a TIE flying off from the dogfight. This one seemed like it was already damaged and she knew all it would take would be one more hit. Makenna smiled and head straight into that TIE’s path. Because of their general blindness, the TIE behind her would have to rely on eyesight to see the collision she had planned. There was only one problem with this: she would need to get as close to a head-on collision as possible in order for her plan to work. The damage of the ship would allow her to be faster, but it was still a close call, and she wasn’t sure if she could pull it off properly.

She diverted all of her energy to accelerating. Accelerate. Closer. Just get closer.

The TIE behind her began to shoot. Makenna was caught off guard by this since the pilot had seemed to be saving power and diverting it to keeping pace with her. This was a problem. She was now losing power!

Makenna kept to her plan despite this. She needed to get closer. Closer. It would just take a little bit more time…

Another shot fired that she was unprepared for. Her TIE was beginning to break apart. She swore at the top of her lungs. She was losing focus and she knew it! She had gotten arrogant after her first kill, and now she wasn’t thinking properly. If she had left some power to maneuver around, she would have been fine!

So she stared helplessly as the TIE behind her fired one last time, destroying her.

Simulation failed.

Makenna sighed, leaning back and pressing her fingers against her temples. She hadn’t even been able to shoot down that many before she was out. Sure she wasn’t exactly a top-class pilot, but she had expected to do much better than that. She hit the wall of the simulator in frustration, making sure not to hit anything breakable.

She got out of the simulator and stalked over to where other newbies had gathered. There was a holo-screen showing all the events happening in simulation. She watched as her TIE not only exploded but also the collision that happened between the two TIEs she had set up.

“I guess I can at least get away with that one…” ‘Kenna sighed. She looked for her friendly fire count, and it was listed as only one with a total of three kills. It seemed as though they decided to count the collision though she hadn’t outright shot anyone or lived to see the aftermath of her actions.

“It’s too bad that you had that friendly fire,” someone said from behind her. She turned around. It was a trainee who seemed to have been watching longer than she had.

“Yeah. That collision was brutal.”

“Collision? No. I mean your first kill,” he said, one eyebrow lifted.

“Wait what? That was clearly an enemy. My computer blinked red. That’s why I did that!”

“Ooh. Sounds like your computer was malfunctioning just like everyone else’s,” he shrugged, “Regardless, it was entertaining to watch,” he waved his hand and walked off to go talk to someone else.

Makenna clenched her fists. She knew her computer was malfunctioning! That’s why she purposefully waited until her computer had given her a signal to shoot! How could her plan have failed so miserably? She sighed, shaking her head and eventually walked off with the rest of the newbies that had finished, not meeting eyes with the Warrant Officer or anyone else around her. She knew it was wrong to brood, but she couldn’t help it.

A good plan turned into disaster.

WC: 2,001
Action report: Makenna gets into the simulator and manages to destroy three TIEs before dying. One was friendly fire and the other two were enemies.
TRN/CRW Eventide/?/S:137 “Raptor”/W:46 “Shield”/PLF Cappadocious/TF:TH/3Flt/VEN/VE
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  RE: Raptor: Disaster!
December 18, 2012 7:58:07 AM    View the profile of Twitch 
Anita stood still against the back wall of the amphitheater, arms behind back in a lose at ease posture. Her eyes were closed, though she was not asleep. In fact, not sleeping was exactly why she was on this wall and not in one of the seats. She hadn’t slept for crap last night, to nervous, and she could only imagine what it would look like if she was caught sleeping during the briefing. “you’re missing my point..”  “that guy looked right at me..” “So what do you think, are the stories…”  and other conversations began to trail off. This prompted Anita to open her eyes and stand straighter. Sure enough, the trainer had entered the room.  She tried to stop the tapping of her foot as she glance around at the other recruits. She hid her nervousness well, compared to some of the others, the girl who had folded her leg over the other for example.

Her father had told her stories about cadets who had gotten on this guy’s bad side. Apparently he could be rather creative. She had no intention of becoming famous in such away. All she wanted to do was get through this academy, get her assignment, and start her career. She tried not to twitch impatiently, though she failed, feeling her right lid begin to spasm. Her head titled. Had dad even mentioned how short he was? She let lose a quite chuckle to herself before abruptly catching herself, shaking her head, and waiting for the others to quiet down. Nervousness over rid her exhaustion. 

The crowd would begin to file out, and she would follow, her neck craning to one side and then the other. She quietly accepted her helmet, choose a sim, and with the practice of someone, who grew up around these crafts, went through her pre-flight checklist, double checking it, just to make sure. She was half way through her third when she realized what she was doing. She took a deep breath, stopped and turned her com on. “Raptor 13. Systems are all Green. Ready to launch.” Lucky number 13. Her father would have chuckled, and her mother would have been horrified. She cracked her neck again. Alright, time to get her head in the game.

Raptor 13 you are clear for takeoff in 3…2…1…launch” She felt her heart racing as her adrenaline picked up.  The simulation began and she was momentarily frozen by the sight of the nebula. It truly was beautiful. She shook her head and glanced down to her sensors, frowning. The warrant officer had said this would happen. Blank, all blank. She growled in annoyance. A piece of her fiery red hair had come undone from her braided bun and tickled her nose, but the helmet impeded her attempts to move it. She gave another low growl, followed by a sigh as she reprimanded herself for letting her thoughts trail off.

Calm down, get your head out of the nebula and into the game. Concentrate on keeping your ass alive and staying out of the friendly fire. She took a calming breath as she followed the ion trails of the other interceptors.  “Son of a bald wookie” she yelled, banking hard as her sensor picked up and attempted targeting. She looked around and quickly gave a strategic retreat. “come on, follow me. that's it." Sure enough the interceptor gave chase. She growled angrily. If this was a friend, she was going to be angry. Suddenly, she would drop low, cutting power to her engines. The un expected move caused the other interceptor to speed past her. She brought the power back up, becoming the hunter. Without another thought she locked on and shot.  With a small muttered prayer for the deceased soul, she would once again try to assess the situation.  Her computers locked onto another enemy. She shot three quick sessions, hitting it on the backside twice and the crafts top as she flew over. She gave a giddy grin when it broke into pieces. A finale growl was given as she assessed the situation and entered the fray. She joined an interceptor, ready to act as its wing man.

Suddenly her screen flashed at her, everything going blank again. She slammed on the breaks and turned upwards, attempting to get out of the fray she had just entered. Before she could, she spotted an Interceptor coming straight at Her. She hesitated to fire, but only for a second.. She was engaged shortly after she fired.  She would bank, trying to get behind the fighter. Unless she could get her shields up, she was toast. That wasn’t likely going to happen though. The nebula was still causing her equipment to act funny. Her father would have called it Ghosts. Up ahead, she spotted two more going at each other. An Idea struck her. She would start flying towards the two, intending to use them to get this clown off of her. She picked up speed, heading towards the one her computer identified as an enemy. At the last second, she would steer down, flying below the two. She looked back, and sure enough the two identified craft blew up. The other craft flew towards her. It would be good to have a wing man.
She growled, and hit her thigh in anger and frustration. She should have done better. She shouldn’t have let her guard down. You can’t trust anyone and in the huge mess that was the scenario, maybe he thought she had been aiming for her? She sighed and climbed out of the simulation and made her way over to where the other recruits were watching. ” computer was malfunctioning just like everyone else’s." she caught the tail end of a comment. Her eyes closed. Of course the computer was malfunctioning, but just how bad was it? Had she taken out enemies or friends? Best to see the damage first before someone else told her. Four kills, all enemies, killed by friendly fire. Well, she couldn’t say she was surprised by the last bit of info.
WC: 1010

AAR: Anita enters the simulation, fully aware that the equipment is malfunctioning, due to the nebula, She plans to stay out of the dog fight, acting overly cautious The plan turns sour though and she is quickly brought further into the fray and closer to the nebula. After killing two others, She spots a dog fight. Her computer Identifies one as friendly. In order to get a craft off her ass, she leads it into crashing into the enemy. However, the friendly craft follows her. She lets her guard down for a second, under the misconception that it is acting as a wing man. However the pilot shots her down.
[This message has been edited by Twitch (edited December 18, 2012 8:28:24 AM)]
[This message has been edited by Twitch (edited December 18, 2012 9:39:54 AM)]
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  RE: Raptor: Disaster!
December 19, 2012 3:57:21 PM    View the profile of Rikky 
The simulator cockpit closed shut with a hollow thunk, cancelling the din outside and leaving  the situation of his clothes against the seat as the only sound in the pitch dark simulator. Better? he thought to himself as he buckled in. Hell, I'll kick this sim's programming in its teeth!

A white line ran across the viewport. "In this scenario, you will be flying with Squadron ‘Raptor’," A voice said through the speakers of his simulator. "Raptor is accompanied by Squadron ‘Predator’. You will be facing off against two squadrons of enemy ships."

"Good Luck."

The port opened up into chaos. Not starting in formation like a normal sim, he was instead faced with the immediate threat of crashing into a fellow TIE fighter. He pulled hard on the controls, pulling him up and over the friendly craft, and right on to a collision with an X-Wing. He went for the lock-on, but the computer was unresponsive. "Damn! computer's off, stupid!" He fired a few rounds at it before being forced to bank away by the ship's proximity.

"Gah, this is madness! Can't spot anyone until they're three frakking feet away-" The cockpit bounced, clamping his mouth shut for him. Faint beeps went off, and he knew he'd been hit from behind. Which he couldn't see because of the malfunctioning equipment. He did a barrel roll to avoid the fire, and pushed the controls down to get whatever it was off of his tail.

"And, pull up!" He pulled the yoke to level himself out, revelling in the rush of speed and using it to make a hard turn. The X-Wing behind him had already broken off and split, but another enemy craft ended up right in his sights He let loose with the guns, revelling in the streak of fire blowing through the enemy's hull. He pulled up to find another target, but then the cockpit shook again. Hard. Alarms began going off, and he hurriedly read the damage reports. He probably shouldn’t have.

In the red warning lights he tried to still the quaking sim pit. Another hit shook his world, and in a panic he fumbled for the ejection handle, and then remembered that it was a sim. Damned if he did lose, he wouldn’t die. Instead he ignored the hemorrhaging of his vessel and pulled it to the left as hard as he could, then down. He’d lose this bogey if it killed him. Streaks of blaster fire zoomed past in the port view, and he pulled up and to the right, barreling past another skirmish with hardly a hundred meters in between. Suddenly, the X-wing was in front of him instead of behind. He opened fire, and relished the feel of being the hunter. Despite the sirens and lights flashing warnings at him.

It was hard to follow the less damaged ship, but he got a bead and wiped its left wings out of existence along with half of the engine. He had to lurch up in time to avoid colliding with the wildly-spinning vehicle . There was a satisfying explosion that followed. Alas, he didn’t get much farther before he was again a target. A missile tore into the ship and rocked him hard, the viewport spinning counter clock-wise like a mad top, faster and faster before colliding with something else-

The rocking, blaring, beeping and undulating stopped, leaving Rikky in the black silence that he’d started in. “W-what…” A message popped onto the viewport, making him swear and slap his thigh. In the light, he sighed and punched the exit button. So much for kicking this thing in the teeth. Got my teeth kicked instead. Fluorescent lights flooded the inside of the sim and he got out. He didn’t even bother turning off the simulator; it didn’t matter right now anyway. It isn’t like his superiors didn’t know what was plastered on the inside of the cockpit.


Word Count: 656
Rikky gets into the simulator and enters. After getting his bearing with the malfunctioning equipment, he shoots an enemy down, then takes a hit himself. He gets behind the enemy and rains fire down on that one too, before getting hit by an errant missile and being booted out of the simulator.
TRN/CRW Rikky/?/S:137 “Raptor”/W:46 “Shield”/PLF Cappadocious/TF:TH/3Flt/VEN/VE
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  RE: Raptor: Disaster!
December 19, 2012 11:43:24 PM    View the profile of Scooter 
Kara steps into the cockpit and watches it close around her, shivering a bit as she feels the familiar closeness of the small space, then starts powering up several systems.

"Alright... remember what you read... engines here..." she mutters, flipping a switch.  "Check... weapons... over there..."  She reaches over and flips several switches.  "Also check... comms..."  She smirks, putting the helmet on and secures it, turning the headset on.  "Flight Control, this is Raptor 7.  I'm all set and ready for departure" she spoke into the headset, her hands gripping the yoke tight.

"Copy that Raptor 7.  You are cleared for launch" a voice said over the bandwith.

"Roger..."  She pushes the throttle forward, the fighter rocketting out of the hangar and out into space.  She quickly looked at her instruments, taking note of the blank sensors.  "Well... seeing as this is my first flight simulation ever... don't really need sensors anyway..." she sighs, looking around as she tries to keep an eye on her fellow squadron-mates.

Kara was about to flip on the squadron comm when several blaster bolts ripped past her cockpit.  Immediately, she reacted, sending her fighter flying to the right, nearly colliding with her wingman.

"Frak... sorry..." she muttered under her breath, slamming the throttle forward, racing through the nebula when an idea hits her.

She angles her fighter straight upwards, flying well above the combat below.  She then levels out and flips her fighter over, looking up at the battle below her.  "... alright... I want..." she said, tracing a finger across the top canopy of her fighter and stops on a single fighter.  "... you."

She sticks her tongue out the corner of her mouth, then quickly pushes the throttle down and pulls back on the yoke, racing down after the fighter she picked out.  Kara squints hard, focusing on the fighter she picked out, when something collides with the bottom of her fighter.

"What in the name of.."  She never got to finish her sentence.  The last thing she saw was the forward portions of another fighter - her wingman's fighter - pushing past her viewport, then a black nothingness as the screen in front of her went blank.

She blinked repeatedly as the simulator's hatch opened and she stepped out onto the flight deck, trying to hide her extremely red face from the other recruit who stepped out with her as she quickly made her way out of the room.

Her wingman followed her out into the hall, grabbed her by the arm, and slammed her up against the wall, his face mere inches from her's.

"You had ONE job!!  ONE JOB!!!" he yelled at her, hands squeezing her wrists tight.

Kara squrims against the larger man's grip, trying to push him off.  "It... it's not my fault, I swear!  I... I just don't know how to fly!!" she cried, trying to fight back tears.

"Don't know how to fly?!?  Why in the name of creation are you joining the NAVY for, recruit???  HUH?!?" he yells louder, squeezing her wrists harder.

She cries out again, then slams her forehead into the recruit holding her against the wall.  He goes reeling backwards, holding his head.

"You... Schutta!!!" he bellows at her, lunging forward.

Kara immediately looks up at her former wingman, then kicks up, slamming the sole of her boot into his chest.  She watches him fall backwards and fall onto the ground, catching a glimpse at his nametag before turning to her left and runs down the hall quickly, fighting back tears as she tries to avoid colliding into anyone else.

WC: 599

AAR: Kara joins into the simulation and tries to fly up above the battle to pick a target.  She goes down to intercept, but is impacted and destroyed by her wingman.

After the simulation, Kara's wingman yells at her in the hall.  Kara headbutts him, then he attempts to retaliate, but she knocks him down with a swift kick to the chest.  After he is down, she runs off to God knows where... probably the medical wing, to check on those wrists of her's and see if they're broken.
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  RE: Raptor: Disaster!
December 29, 2012 2:08:25 PM    View the profile of Honeydew 
Okay … lights.  At the toggle of an overhead switch, the simulator's control surface illuminated.  The Twi'lek settled back, examining the simulated cockpit of the TIE/In starfighter.  Mapping in her head according to diagrams that she had been studying for nearly two years, she went on about the first step of preflight checks: deciding what was what and what was where.  A toggle here … a button there … engines, weapon systems, sensors, communications … well, it was a sim: all green, of course.

The Twi'lek sighed, secured her helmet, and keyed the communication switch.  “Command, Raptor 12 reporting: all preflight checks are complete.  Everything looks perfect.”

As if on cue, the simulator's viewscreen lit up and the simulated sounds of ion engines was close behind.  She recalled something being said, that the squadron was flying a dogfight in a nebula? There was something else … electronic malfunctions and friendly fire … no surprise at all.  It was worrying, though.  The Twi'lek hadn't much time to contemplate, and there was resistance in the control yoke.  So, to recap: no comms, no sensors, and the simulator was now, officially, hers.

It was like everything broke at once: communications lit up with warbling, jumbled voices in broken snippets, needless to mention completely unintelligible; sensors yielding a whole lot of nothing; and Space outside her cockpit catching fire.  All Arali could think, as she ducked her Interceptor through the cloud of flash-frozen fuel and rapidly separating fighter bits that may or may not have been a dying comrade, was of how she hoped that her first real mission wouldn't be so hectic.

“Right...” Arali told herself, addressing the inside of her helmet in a calming breath, “one mishap at-...” She was cut off when green lightning passed so closely that she almost felt it burn her, simulation or not.

Immediately, Arali threw into a hasty evasive: pushing her throttle to its maximum and inverted, so the climb became a dive.  The sim-pilot kept effortlessly on the Twi'lek's tail, and a flurry of shots swept her rear deflector screen.  Arali's insides twisted as she pulled into a quick roll out of the path of fire and gave her shields a bit more power, pulling from the systems for which she had no use.  The Twi'lek leveled out of the roll, amplifying her Interceptor's rear deflector just in time to catch the next shots: all of which landed beautifully.

Inertia simulators smashed the Twi'lek against her restraints, and an alarm warbled: to be promptly silenced.  The Twi'lek clenched her jaw, pitching again into an evasive and leveling out.  Staying on the evasive, Arali pulled hard on the Interceptor's control yoke, to angle the fighter back toward the fight away from which she had been steadily leading her predator.

The simulated pilot kept right up with the Twi'lek, glancing her Interceptor again with laser fire.  The simulator's shield status indicator winked out, inertial simulators threw the pilot again.  Alarms started again; not to be right away muted, this time, by the increasingly rattled pilot whose only focus was now on evading with shields shorted out.  The Twi'lek rolled rightwards into another dive and, in that very same instant, the simulated cockpit lurched, crackled, rang, and became engulfed in fire.  For just an instant, Arali was thrown forward in her restraints.

Then, all was silent, and black.  The simulator's viewscreen had gone completely dark, as had control surfaces and the manually-activated cockpit lights.  As the Twi'lek slowly removed her helmet, the screen in front of her proceeded to display red-lettered Aurabesh.  Everything from gunnery accuracy to radio protocol, it seemed, was covered … and the statistics made her want to simply shrink into her seat and stay there.  She took a moment to scrutinize the readout, scanning the lettering in perfect silence before sighing, releasing her restraints, disconnecting completely, gathering her helmet, and exiting the simulator.

WC: 649.
Quick Summary: Being forced onto the defensive in early game, poor Arali duels a single TIE/In and doesn't even get a shot off. Still, lasted longer than it might have. Thank God for scrambled missile sensors?
Side note: Okay, so I'm not proud of this post at all.  But it was long enough forthcoming: I promised that it would be up last night >_>.
TRN/CRW Honeydew/S:137 "Raptor"/W:46 "Shield"/PLF Cappadocious/TF:TH/3Flt/SC/VEN/VE
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  RE: Raptor: Disaster!
January 6, 2013 12:33:17 AM    View the profile of Cervidae 
          As the eyes of others casually glanced over the other trainees, they would fall on one chair to where there was a young woman sitting painfully straight in her seat. Her shoulders were rolled back to reveal the seriousness she took in being in this huge room. The posture wasn’t exactly eye-catching, sadly, because it was hard to pick up anything terribly impressive about this woman at first glance, especially since she seemed to do a great job of blending in with the rest of the new cadets. In reality, aside from the rigid posture that most trainees didn’t exactly attempt to use, there wasn’t anything “striking” or “exotic” about the lady. Long, dark brown hair that seemed too curly for its own good was thrown together in a very messy bun and tucked up behind the nape of her neck, which was perhaps only a shade or two lighter than the rest of the girl’s pigment. The woman was pale, her skin shining very close to a light ivory in the lights of the room. It was not uncommon to find fair skinned women in this part of the universe, but the majority of them didn’t sit around and wait to be recruited into the Emperial Navy.

          But, fair-skinned or not, she looked very serious about being in that room. Her posture showed strict discipline, which if accompanied by some type of impressive physique, might have really caught the attention of higher ups but there was truly not very much to see. In the Academy flying suit she was wearing, which at first glance looked untouched until this very day, whatever physique she had went quietly masked. Her sleeves were rolled down and hands were covered in gloves – Black, standard issue. That was the thing about this girl: everything covering her frame was standard issue. The boots, the suit, the gloves -- she literally couldn’t have blended in any better. There wasn’t a better fly on-the-wall or another-face-in-the-crowd than this young lady. Even the long, thin, pink scar that slowly snaked up the young women’s defined abdomen was covered without hesitation behind the suit. The young woman, right there in the front row of the silver folding chairs, looked like every other girl. Until, of course, you looked into her eyes.

          Any other new cadet, if they weren’t too intimidated by their surroundings, had the same naïve and excited gleam in their eyes; they all felt like they were going to be the very best right there the moment they began their simulator. The problem was, however, that they truly believed it. None of them would ever begin to doubt their own “greatness," as they called it. You could tell they believed it — it was right in their eyes. However, the young woman’s eyes told a different story. She wasn’t like the other youths in the room, not by a long shot. Her eyes were trained forward with an intensity that rivaled trained soldiers with a gray that could pierce. They shone like polished metal from the way the lighting was hitting them, causing her to come off as unapproachable towards some of the trainees a few years younger than Cerv. Yet, it wasn’t because she was some sort of hard-ass woman trying to prove a point towards the younger recruits: it was merely a trait developed over many months of intense boredom.

          Only twenty-three years old, the young woman had no intentions of trying to intimidate anyone. Despite the fact that everything about her either painted her as a hard-ass or a regular conformist, the only reason she was use to staring at one thing with unwavering attention was because it was second nature to her now. After nearly two years of laying on her back on a hospital bed, staring at things became a little hobby that refused to drop. It wasn’t exactly a bad habit, but it wasn't the most polite of things to do anywhere outside of a hospital bed or a military recruitment center. On countless occasions, Cervidae Sandor had caught herself practically glaring at passersby. Even worse, however, is when she couldn’t catch herself fast enough and the recipient of the glare spoke up about it. Cervidae wasn’t a bad person, nor did she intend to be, but there was almost nothing to her eyes besides that intensity. She had to pick very early on in her days in the hospital if she was either going to allow them to glass-over with apathy or sharpen with focus.

          She decided that Naval recruiters would have appreciated the sharp eyes a little bit more.

          Cervidae had managed to relax long enough to sink into her seat next to all the other new trainees despite the fact that her hands couldn’t stop a nervous twitch of clenching and unclenching. There was no actual reason to be incredibly wound up before the debriefing of whatever mission was to be achieved, but she couldn’t help it. From what she had determined from her quick glances over to the others, not all of them were new. The very idea of returning pilots left the strangest taste of content in her mouth as the shadow of heros past began to gnaw at her religiously. Those who came back showed dedication and strength in their features, reminding the girl that there was truly no such thing as turning back the moment she joined. Cervidae seemed to only tighten her posture as her heart rate began to rise. There had to be something -- anything -- to take her mind off of the pressure she felt.

          The human was tempted, for a moment, to start up a conversation with another newbie next to her, but the sound of boots coming towards them sent her back into her slight feeling of anxiety. Not because the rumors of Warrant Officer Koate could intimidate even the most apathetic of cadets, but because it brought to realization once again that she was about to dive back into the recruiting process of the Navy. The last time she had attempted to do this, as her scar would remind her, she had been thrown into an accident that took her precious years and time away from serving the Empire. But, she survived. The girl was here and well, nearly six years later than she would have liked. But, the world is not a wish-granting factory, now is it, Cerv?

          A man with fiery red hair finally turned the corner and sent a chill of discipline through the crowd of cadets, mostly out of the way he carried himself. Appearance wise, nothing jumped out at the crowd to point out who the man with bed hair was, which seemed to confuse the crowd of trainees who had no idea who this man was… But, Cerv knew exactly who he was before he introduced himself. They had met years ago when she was first familiarizing herself with the Navy program. She couldn’t have been more than seventeen at the time, but the memory of the determined Warrant Officer Koate had left a very permanent mark on her impressions. Those around her seemed surprised by how his reputation didn’t quite seem to fit his physique, but the girl had grown up putting the rumors to the face. The only thing surprising about him at that moment was the fact that he was there. And even though one might suspect that a familiar face would be reassuring to the girl, it couldn’t have been more unsettling if he even tried.

          Deep breaths. Deep breaths.

          If she didn’t maintain her calm, there would have been no reason for the rehabilitation in the first place. What did she benefit from having a panic attack? Cervidae settled herself down, gripping slightly onto the side of her chair to keep a level head.

          "Today we will be running a simulated recreation of a relatively recent disaster for the Starfighter Corps, in which a few of our squadrons and a few enemy squadrons bumbled into a nebula and proceeded to dogfight. I used the word 'disaster' deliberately: in the nebula, communications and sensor equipment malfunctioned, and as a consequence, our casualties during the engagement were incredibly high, including a horrific rate of friendly fire. You will be flying into the same conditions faced by those pilots today, in this sim run. You will do better than they did."

          Cervidae maintained the outward appearance of a cool and collected cadet, but her mind was racing and wrapping itself around the mission for the simulator. There was so much to be taken away from the briefing and yet not enough time in the world to truly digest it all. A shortened, more detailed synopsis had to be created in record time as the girl pulled back mentally from the conversation. Disaster. Flying deaf and blind. Friendly fire will be probable C.O.D. Yet, as distracted as she was with trying to figure out a survival method, the moment Koate turned on his heel to start walking away, Cerv had hopped up onto her feet like a spring had released and she was quick to follow him into a simulator room. Her heart-rate was already beginning to rise and they hadn't even entered the sim yet. If it weren't for the fact she was practically at the Warrant Officer's heels, she would have laughed at herself.

          The room filled up with maybe fifteen other cadets before Koate decided to add on to his earlier speech. Although the majority of the time they spent in that room with him was taken up with the officer having a private conversation with a tech, he did eventually turn around back to the crowd with the same hard look in his eyes. "Now that we’re all here, you can go ahead and choose a simulator. Strap in, and wait for the exercise to begin."

          The young woman could feel her eyebrow rise as her shoulders squared off in the second make-shift row of trainees. That's it? Tell us we're all going to die in one room and then not even humor us with a 'Good Luck'? You expect us to all die within the first few minutes, don't 'cha? The Warrant Officer wouldn't be humored to try to lighten the moods of the cadets, but the girl wasn't phased. Having already met him before, she was much more inspired by his realism than discouraged by it. She was going to find a way to impress him by surviving or die trying. It's all she could ask of herself. Cerv, placing her helmet on before reaching the door, quickly dove in and began to settle into her simulator. She strapped herself in and exhaled slowly, calming her nerves before her simulated flight. It was going to be a massacre, but that was all the more reason for the girl to keep her wits about her.

          The sim started to warm itself up the moment Cerv strapped in, flashing the situation once again along with “Raptor: Disaster!” before the screen and controls brightened for pre-flight prep. The image that flashed before her was a hangar bay -- one that was incredibly realistic for a simulator. They were going to make the trainees feel like this was as real as possible, weren’t they?

          Raptor Squadron flashed on the display of Cervidae’s cockpit as she began to wrap gloved hands around the yoke of the Raptor Four. A timer flashing “0:15” seconds appeared in front of her and the girl went quickly to plotting a game plan. As she chewed thoughtfully on her lower lip, Cerv was determining a few pre-known facts: they were going to be dogfighting in a nebula; communications and sensors would be useless; enemies and friendlies looked similar; C.O.D will most likely be friendly fire. Ten-seconds flashed on the screen. All right… So, how will we do this? Keep my wingman from meeting a quick death, eh? Guess that’s all I can do, in a situation like this... I'll just readjust the moment I get a taste of the fight. Until then, just fly.





          Darkness quickly took over the simulator before a green light and the sudden appearance of a void brought Cervidae to her senses. She took control of her Raptor and didn’t waste a breath on panicking. There was too much going on for her to waste anytime on petty fear. With a sharp screech echoing in her ear as Communications failed and her screen flashing “Sensor Malfunction” in red block letters amongst the static, the situation was far too busy for anything that wasn't self-preservation. There was no time to allow to anything that would distract her as she flipped off her sensors, lowered the volume in her helmet, and raised her shields, giving herself some stability as to not crash her ship into her wingman.

          That wouldn’t have been a very pretty way to start off this mission, now would it? The enemies would have liked the "two birds, one stone" method, but Cervidae wasn't exactly in the mood to make their lives easier. A roar of guns being fired had the lady ready to yell a warning to her partner, but she caught herself from making a newbie mistake quickly. She already knew that communicating with her wingman was officially out of the question, but thankfully they managed to fly steady beside her before something possessed them to take the lead with guns blazing. Her partner’s confidence was cute, Cerv had to admit, but it was probably uncalled for. Especially since -- from as far as she could see -- there was very little to determine who was who out here as waves of blind shooting mixed enemy with ally. Whatever visual markers that would tell them apart was blurred in smoke and flashing lights.

          Right off, the woman knew exactly what her partner was planning. He wanted to get to the fighting as fast as possible and just burry himself in the dogfight, but that wasn't exactly her style of fighting. Rather than risk dying within the first few minutes of the battle (as a few of the ships had just suffered), Cervidae decided that her trigger-happy wingman had two options: continue flying and probably end up getting himself torn to pieces by crossfire or follow her lead and save himself a couple extra minutes of flying around. Cerv pushed forward on her yoke, quickly coming up from behind her wingman’s six and taking point. She held her breath, looking forward at the scenario bleeding out in exploding ships before she settled her decision. After a quick glance behind to make sure that he knew what her plan was, Cervidae took no hesitation in taking her TIE into a nose dive to avoid the hellfire of on-coming attacks.

          Her breath held itself for what felt like forever in the brief seconds it took her to stabilize herself, waiting to hear the sound of another exploding TIE Interceptor to come from behind her, but no such noise came. After what felt like a moment of forever, the reassuring presence of her wingman came up at her side. Despite herself, a smile grew behind the protection of her helmet. As long as he could keep up and stay with her, they could at least be certain that they wouldn’t be dead within the first five minutes of this massacre. He trusted her to make the right decisions just as she trusted him to follow her lead. Strangers or not, everyone else in this nebula couldn't be trusted.

          Recalculation: All right, I know what side I fight for. I know what side my man here fights for. As far as the rest? I have no idea where their loyalties lay. And vice versa me for them… They just want to take me down, to avoid having to risk the chance that maybe I'm not with them. And how am I going to know if I'm with them if they're shooting at me? Game plan: the kid stays alive and together we take down as many others as possible. Us against the world.

          A ship flew in front of the girl’s TIE long enough for Cervidae to move her hands absentmindedly towards a shiny little button that locked missiles on targets. It wouldn’t need very long, just a moment so that the system could get a solid lock on it before missiles could be sent out and take down whatever was in front of her. In theory, that would have been the best and smoothest plan, but she stopped herself. Fast. Her hand pulled to the yoke and sharply sent the Interceptor in the opposite direction of whomever was in front of her. Enemy or not, she wasn’t going to risk her partner’s life for an easy kill. No, if she had to avoid using missiles, so be it. They were too risky for this early in the fight, especially since they weren't going to be locking for her anytime soon.

          Cervidae turned her head for a quick second, looking over at her wingman still faithfully next to her before she could let out a sigh of relief and return back to focusing. In a nebula where you couldn’t determine enemy from ally outside the comforts of your wingman, what did it matter who you shot at? If you didn’t get the upper hand and fire first, the other in front of you was going to beat you to the punch. In a place like this, the term “friendly” didn’t exist. There was only one person on your team out here and that was your wingman. Only, the issue with only having your wingman on your team was that without communication, you had to pray to whatever higher power you believed in just the slight possibility that they could just follow your lead. She knew all this, deep down, but it didn't sink in fast enough for her. The idea of being completely isolated in a suicide mission felt unsettling and far too familiar.

          With the ship that was once in front of her still in her sights, Cerv decided that the only thing that could truly benefit anyone was to take it down. Her eyes set focus to the aircraft, moving her thumbs to the triggers. A steady stream of fire took it down within a matter of moments as her own wingman managed to pick off another TIE before nearly gunning it to fly by his curly haired partner. He had already managed to be well ahead of her before realization hit her with a sudden jolt of her fighter. Without sensors, of course it would be easy for others to be able to sneak up on her; it would have been easier for them to open fire without a second thought. It seemed as if someone's wingman wasn't too happy about the loss of their partner. Or, even more likely, someone else wanted that ship to be taken down by their own hands.

          Cerv followed her wingman towards the open abyss of space. Her screen flashed a delayed "Under attack" message, causing the girl to let out a laugh as she caught up to her partner's six. What? You mean someone sees me as the enemy? Cervidae dove under him, speeding up her fighter and pulling up in front before leaning left to make a turn to about-face. Sharp turns and constant movement would keep them alive, she noted as she evened herself out and returned fire on the attacking ship. The ship in front of her looked nearly identical to hers, especially as they continued firing. Cerv's TIE flew side to side, patiently moving herself out of the line of fire before she was close enough to cause serious damage. If her sensors could have locked onto targets and reported the percent of hit possibility, it would have easily been an eighty percent chance. And today, she was happily in the eighty. A flash of light shone in the dark as the enemy went down in flames and the two continued onwards.

          Beads of sweat travelled down the nape of the girl's neck as a grin began to pull at her lips. The rush of taking down an enemy, the vibrations of the triggers in her hands, the way that the inside of her fighter, and the way her controls lit up in the light of her enemy’s explosion… All of it called out for her to get more. The type of control it gave her was amazing, especially as it felt incredibly realistic. Even she, the one girl no one expected to get back into any sort of Aircraft after all the agony it put her through, found herself falling in love all over again.

          Another ship and their partner flew within firing range of them, nearing dangerously close. A thirst for blood was not her style, despite the fact that she was already finding a true enjoyment in taking down other Interceptors, so she hesitated them a moment to get closer but her wingman took right back to his trigger-happy ways quickly. He was faster to grip onto her “everyone-but-us-is-an-enemy” mindset faster than she was, it seemed like it. Well, damn… All right, all right. Embrace the thought, Cerv… It’s your only alternative. The only thing you’ve got to stay alive. With a deep breath, filling her lungs with as much air as they would take, she pressed hard on her yoke and went into a skirmish with a clear head and guns blazing.

          The woman could have sworn she heard herself laughing as she and her partner took to tearing down unsuspecting Interceptors.

          It wasn't hard to see that everyone was flying blind; the scene was truly the ideal image of chaos as supposed allied forces turned on each other and took down every ship they could get to. The only ones who had any chance of surviving total oblivion were the trigger happy ones with level-headed wingmen or the level-headed ones with trigger happy wingmen. That chemistry seemed to work just beautifully in a war zone that was decaying faster than anyone new could have ever imagined. It was no wonder that such a scenario could tear apart even the most seasoned of Fighters: a flyer had to solely trust their wingman the entire time and never stray too far from their side. If not, as a lone flyer just learned with a surprisingly well-executed missile shot from Cervidae’s wingman, it was an absolute slaughter.

          The duo's K/D was steadily becoming something impressive as Cerv and her wingman continued to take down anyone in their way. “This is how the world works, isn’t it?” Cerv mused out loud, taking her fighter out of the way of oncoming fire before quickly turning her direction and sending the challenger into a fiery end. The explosion danced in the girl’s eyes as a toothy grin exposed itself behind the safety of the helmet. Even as she went back to her wingman’s side, the grin just as obvious. Where were they now? Eight kills? “Well, nine now… But this is the world. Right?” She called into the emptiness of her ship, feeling the burning of an intense rush course through her veins. “You can fly and fly, take out as many others as you can before ammo runs out, avoid death for as long as you wish… But in the end?” Her thumb rubbed over the trigger, allowing her wingman the time to gun down his target before she took out the remaining pilot that was now watching their own wingman go down. “Eleven… In the end, you become nothing more than ash.”

          Cervidae knew very well her words only served herself with only static as her response. But, then again, how use to speaking to herself had she become? Days of being locked within a recovery ward where her only company for days was a nurse or two who came to check on her status. Although, to call them anything other than mere observers was a stretch since even they doubted her recovery. They (the ones who were supposed to act as her support) didn’t even bother to give her a conversation that meant anything. But, when did she ever expect those who were supposed to take of her to do just that? Cerv had enough years of fending for herself that it didn’t even phase her as she laid in a hospital bed, clinging onto whatever life she had within her system. It was just a surprise to her that every so often someone cared enough to ask her how she was feeling in between surgeries and consciousness...

          A year.

          That’s how long she was forced to deal with doctors tearing her apart and stitching her back together to make sure that shards of metal and glass didn’t pulse through her body and turn her heart into a shredded mess. And, on top of the shrapmetal that threatened to end her life with the pulse of her heart, the actual chunks of metal that managed to dig themselves deeper into her body than was permutable for comfort lodged themselves so close to vital organs that no doctor at the clinic was comfortable with attempting while avoiding the use of actually taking her apart piece by piece and replacing it with robotics. The fact that all she had as a physical reminder was the pink scar on her abdomen was impressive enough, but not surprising. She was young; only twenty by the time the surgery was deemed completed. Her body had managed to heal up the majority of the other scars. Now, as to why the doctors decided that the slow and painful method of surgery was deemed logical, Cerv had no idea. Apparently, according to one of the nurses that would respond to her questions, her mother had managed to crawl out of her hole of a bedroom long enough to permit the doctors to use Cervidae as a test subject to a method of surgery that could save someone in critical status without the need of bionic enhancements.

          The idea to this very day blew the girl’s mind. She knew damn well that if the doctors had just gone in and replaced everything broken with a cybernetic skeleton, she would have been back on her feet and in recovery much faster. But, no. Her mother, for whatever reason, decided to take the lengthy process in trying to keep her daughter alive. However, despite the fact that Cervidae was literally in the hospital for two years, eight months, and thirteen days, Anneria Fay Valore Sandor never managed to come see her bed-ridden child. That fact by itself, totally ignoring the fact that the two had lived in the same house for eighteen years and didn’t speak for the final nine, left Cerv to just believe that her mother accepted some crazy doctors idea and then expected the girl to die.

          It would not've been a very difficult idea to believe in, especially since there were enough vivid memories to entertain the girl’s fancy about the almost constant death wishes her mother would throw at her as she was growing up. Yet, even that, it seems, was too much interaction for the “victim” of the century. So, on Cervidae Sandor’s ninth birthday, the woman merely gave the girl what seemed like a kurt nod and then proceeded to never speak to her daughter again. And it was only during rare encounters when both women would find themselves in the same room and Anneria would glance in Cervidae’s direction…

          The sound of a ship's engines roaring dangerously close to her TIE shook Cervidae back to her senses. No, dammit, this isn’t the time to day-dream… Her pulse was pounding in her ears as the most unsettling cold sweat to crawl over her skin underneath her flight suit. This was a battle; dwelling on the past only served as a death wish. None of the other flyers would give her time to reminisce on painful things without setting their guns on her and taking her down; such a death was most certainly not her goal. It was time for here and now. Her here was inside of a TIE; her now was keeping her wingman alive. Anything -- absolutely anything -- else was just a waste of her time and energy.

          Cervidae could feel the rush of adrenaline pumping through her veins as the Twin Ion Engines of her Interceptor drove out the past. There was nothing that the young woman wasn’t ready for and she knew that better than any simulated enemy could. She sunk into her chair, pushing her ship forward and setting an unlocked missile onto a ship.


          A sound that had become all too familiar at that point for the girl, but the sensation growing inside of her was new. As the roar of the engines mixed with the destruction of another ship, Cerv could have sworn that the feeling felt too much like lust than basic adrenaline or satisfaction. Although she would not admit it to herself just yet, the sneaking feeling that perhaps she was allowing herself to fall into a cycle of blood lust was as unsettling as it was exciting for the young human. For so long, it had only been money that gave her the same rush. The cold harshness of currency spoke right to her soul, digging in and festering to the point where she had deemed it her own personal hamariata when dealing with the real world. But, now, here, in the cockpit of her TIE Interceptor, the girl found herself falling in love all over again… But with destroying the enemy.

          Yet, even fun like taking down the bad guy had to end at some point. Realistically, she noted coldly, the steady stream of bullets that continuously poured out of her guns would only last another fifteen minutes maximum before the last of them left in her ship as she was stuck out of munitions. Her wingman was probably worse off than she was, especially since he was still using his guns as if ammo was as unlimited as the nebula. Cerv knew she could still rely on speed and her remaining missiles if it came down to the worst of it, but then it was certain that whatever she had left was to be used to defend the only partner that she had in the slaughter. If all ended in her own death, which was currently the predicted future, her wingman would still have a chance and the twelve kills they had managed to collect made his life a little easier; twelve kills now was the same as twelve other Interceptors that he wouldn’t have to worry about later.

          “No need to thank me, Three, I’m sure you’ll make it up to me somehow. I’m not sure how, but  -- hey -- you seem to be very creative. You’ll find a way.“ A laugh filled the cockpit as silence echoed back from the still-shot communications.

          With a steady hand, the woman decided that playing around was officially over. She had nothing better to do with her remaining ammo than to use it on anything that flew by in front of her. Be it actual ships or just the remains of them, they all felt the wrath of steady ammunitions. She did countless things; from a kill assist to an actual takedown, she made sure she had a part in it. 

          The ghost of a smile remained on Cervidae's face as her Interceptor turned back towards her wingman's. There was absolutely nothing left for her to do here; especially since everything within her cockpit flashed warnings about failures and critical needs. Her shields, which had manage to survive the majority of the battle, were annihilated in the last attack and left the TIE open to be shredded by well-shot bullets. Cerv turned her head, cringing at the whiplash in her neck as she looked to locate her wingman. And, sure as the sun powering the Interceptors, his ship pulled up to return him to her side. The woman nodded to herself, turning her attention back to in front of her. Her plan had worked to take most of the damage, but she was sure that even he knew he wouldn't last very much longer out here without her as backup.  Those who still remained in the fight were turning on each-other, attempting to keep themselves alive but expecting their wingmen to act like disposable shields. The sight, in it's purest Form, was appalling...  But, survival was just instinct. They couldn't be blamed for that...

          Her Interceptor jolted, shaking the whole ship as the engines began to malfunction from the barrage of constant attacking. Cervidae's hands merely moved to flip off all the warnings with the flick of a few buttons. She wasn't going to survive, that she already knew, but at least she had managed to make her partner's life a little easier by assisting in the taking down of roughly fifteen ships. And, on top of the fewer enemies, the boy was fast. If just maybe he could survive a little longer then perhaps he would find an opening to escape and take his chance-
          There was no point in continuing that thought. It was nothing more than a little wishful thinking on her part since she already knew her partner better than that. He wasn't going to fail this mission by turning and running; he would fight this battle until he accomplished some form of heroic action to avenge her. He'll go out in flames, guns blazing. Now, that sounds more his speed... Her smile was back, readjusting as she took a protective stance by her wingman's side.

          Deep breath.

          The roar of the engines, the boom of fellow TIEs exploding, and the pounding of her own heart did nothing to distract her at this point. One of her hands gently stroked the dashboard of the cockpit as if it was petting a small animal as her other hand eased its grip on the yoke. A murmur of thanks was given along with other reassuring words to the battered TIE before Cerv's gray eyes caught sight of a threat setting their guns on the duo. "All right, partner... It's been a blast flying with you. You had better avenge me in some sort of badass manner, you here me?" Empty calling once again, but she could have sworn she heard someone laughing on the other end of her comm.

          Cervidae brought both hands to her yoke as she turned off and charged her ship towards her mirror image. It seemed to pick up on what she was doing, but perhaps a little too late. By the time that it had turned it's gun off of the woman's wingman and onto her, the collision was certain. Even if her sensor equipment would have reported that the hit only had a ninety-five percent chance of hitting, the reality was one hundred. To make sure of that, Cerv's hands never left the yoke. There wasn't a chance that she would allow herself the liberty of ejecting herself out of an aircraft when she had discovered so long ago how very good she was at crashing them. Had she not already accepted the reality of her own suicide, she probably would have laughed at her own sick joke. Instead, she pushed herself into top speed and rammed herself directly head-on with the Interceptor. Her eyes remained open, too stunned at the fact that she actually went through with the plan, as the world around her seemed to freeze.


          Right before her eyes, the shrapmetal that was threatening to impale her in her seat was gone. Vanished. Along with the rest of the nebula scene. Cervidae, very much alive, was sitting strapped into her seat with her hands clenched around the simulator's yoke. She was no longer flying around in space; she was not the fried corpse of a suicide flyer. No, she was just a trainee who took a sim a little too seriously. Her heart-rate was too strong for it's own good, giving strength to bitter flashbacks that just didn't seem to go away the longer she sat still. Cerv wanted nothing more to just take off her helmet and take in a fresh breath, but her hands didn't seem to function. Nothing seemed to function at that moment. Her lungs didn't want breath and her eyes didn't want to close. The fact that she had actually gone along with her own suicide idea was too traumatic for the moment. The human was going to pay for that tonight with nightmares.

          She sat in silence, her body rigid, for another minute as the screen in front of her flashed "Simulator Failed" mockingly. 'You're not dead,' it seemed to say. 'Why are you so weak that you can't hurry up and get over yourself?' Cerv was just about to retaliate some form of witty comeback to the silent screen, but her body reacted faster than her mind did as all of a sudden her hands were on her helmet. They threw it off in one, clean grab as the woman's whole body collapsed on itself. The dry heaving that seemed to burn the back of her throat was so intense that shaky hands only barely got her restraints off before she slid pathetically to the floor. Her entire body was shaking violently, going into well-deserved shock as punishment for it's brain's stupidity. She was expecting trauma, but even this felt like overkill. Her chest hitched, catching another dry wretch in her throat as a sob tried to escape. Even closing her eyes couldn't stop tears from falling down her face and her body from recoiling into a fetal position.

          Pathetic at best, but she couldn't help it. There was still so much pain locked away in the folds of her memories... Cervidae uncurled herself painfully slowly, cringing as she rolled off her side and onto her back. But, once again, her body was faster to react that her mind was and Cerv found herself scrambling off the floor like it was about to give up on her. Her breath, like so many other things, hitched in her throat as she knelt next to her seat, clinging to it like it was her life line. "No!" No! Not on my back! Not again! Two years on my back! Not again! The human's chest hitched once again as her empty stomach tried to throw up it's contents, only to pull a bit a bile and spit that quickly covered the seat Cerv had been in minutes ago. She needed to get out of that simulator to recover... If only her body understood that.

          The young woman continued to hold on to the chair as she eased herself up to standing. Her legs seemed to be strong enough to support her weight, but actual motor functions were going to take some time. One hand bravely ventured to move to her chest, gripping it to hold onto her heart to remind her that she was, in fact, alive. She merely failed a simulator by attempting to send herself into cardiac arrest, no big deal. A deep breath finally managed to fill her lungs as her mind forced the rest of her body to calm down. There was absolutely no need for so much stress over something that officially could not be changed. Her nightmares would absolutely kill her when she finally attempted to sleep that night, but it would be worth it. She had accepted the consequences of her "suicide" while still inside of the simulator.

          Cervidae rolled her shoulders slowly, breathing patiently as tears continued to spill down her face. As long as her body allowed her to function as she grieved, there wouldn't be much she could complain about. The hand unclenched itself from her chest as it moved up to her face, rubbing away the self-pity with the back of her hand dragged over her eyes. Crying right then in there seemed a little too pointless, especially since she still needed to report to whomever was still in the room by the time she managed to collect her wits. There was time to cry when she reached the privacy of her own room, locked the door, and allowed her mind to rip her to shreds as punishment for putting it through such a painful experience. Her nose sniffed back the pain, adding to the sting in her throat as she finally sunk into an emotionless state. Although it was a bit of a reflex to serious trauma, Cervidae figured a training officer would have preferred apathy over hysteria. Her legs slowly carried her out of the room, making sure she grabbed her helmet from off the ground before she got out of the room.
          Any nurse would have probably rushed to make sure that the woman was okay after such a display of stress. Any sane, rational, uncorrupted human being would have, actually. But, rather than find any of those, Cervidae merely faced a room with no Warrant Officer Koate and where a trainee was walking out of the room and a chief petty officer turned his attention to the emerging woman. A chief petty officer whose face looked completely unamused with her. The woman silently took a clamming deep breath as she slowly left the simulator room and made her way to stand in front of the officer. As Cervidae tucked her helmet under her arm and pressed it against her hip while her free hand set her curls loose with the pull of her hair tie, the man gave her one minute before jumping in to correct the woman's near-reckless behavior in space. "Should I even begin to tell you how many Friendlies you so happened to take down?" Adding to the authoritarian tone in his voice, the sarcasm was bitter. Yet, Cerv's face remained apathetic as she maintained eye contact. "None, sir, my wingman remained flying by the time I was taken out." Her voice sounded absolutely foreign to her after finally managing to escape her throat with ease, but she didn't give herself any time to dwell on that. Very much to the woman's surprise, the officer looked as if he didn't understand what she was going on about. It appeared as if he wasn't going to give up his "disappointed" act until he got her to explain herself better... "Sir, even at the very start of the scenario, the only person on my team was my wingman. I knew exactly whose team he served on and to whom he swore his loyalty. As for the rest of those flying around in the vast nebula? For all I knew, Sir, without my sensors, was that they fought to kill me. And vice versa, Sir, since how were they supposed to know which side I was allied to? I established very early on that I only could rely on one ship out there, and that was my wingman, Sir. I am very well aware that, yes, the possibility that many of the Interceptors that were taken down by my partner and I were probably fellow Empire members... But, Sir, not one of them are to be considered 'Friendly'. They certainly didn't attempt to give me the benefit of the doubt."

          The officer's eyes looked as if he held his breath, pensively thinking over what she said as he broke eye contact to search the woman's face. It was still red from the amount of trauma-induced panic attack she had had, slowly starting to puff up under the eyes and on the cheeks. In the light, it looked pretty awful. To Cervidae, however, she saw more than sympathy. There was a hint of acceptance to her answer which had the corners of her cheeks threatening to smile. But, the officer wasn't about to allow her to be dismissed without satisfying his own curiosity. "Answer me this, then. You physically rammed yourself into the other Interceptor... Why?" Cervidae responded with an actual smile on her face, tears pooling in her eyes again.

          "You see, Sir, I had to make sure that the Interceptor didn't have a chance to take out my wingman."

          "You're aware that there's a "Pilot Eject" button, correct?"

          "Absolutely, Sir. But, please understand, I had deemed it unavoidable to remain within my ship. The most important reason being that my Interceptor had to take down the challenger without fail; only way to maintain that without sensors is to follow through. Besides," her head hitched back once to indicate back to her simulator, "dying in an explosion is much faster than dying in space. I picked the better of two suicides."

          The officer was now, in fact, a little impressed with her thoughts. "Very well, you're dismissed. Go get some rest; you look like you need it."

          "If it's alright with you, Sir, I'm going to stay here and wait to see how my wingman avenges my death."

          Her smile held, shining through her salute. It even stayed as she moved and took a seat in front of the remaining simulators, patiently waiting for her partner to join her. 


WC: 7572
AAR: Cervidae Sandor seems to take well to flying Interceptors, especially with the wingman she had. Eventually though, all things must come to and end. And, with a final hurrah as a suicide, the young woman learns that even simulated ship crashes lead to a vicious attack of PTSD. Now, she currently awaits the "death" of her wingman so she can praise him for his reckless shooting.
Final Friendly/Enemy ratio: 7/9. 
TRN/CRW Cervidae/??/S:137 "Raptor"/W:46 "Shield"/PLF Cappadocious/TF:TH/3Flt/SC/VEN/VE

"The world is not a wish-granting factory; you must earn what you deserve."
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Post Number:  6
Total Posts:  25
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  RE: Raptor: Disaster!
January 7, 2013 4:43:02 PM    View the profile of Sturmwind 
Niklas Friedmann lightly tugged at the neck of his recruit uniform as the warrant officer addressed the group of trainees. The battle that would be simulated for them sounded like a pure deathtrap. No indicators to differentiate between friend and foe, no communication, nothing to alert a pilot to anything aside from their five senses. Sighing, Niklas walked over to a simulator and strapped in. The cockpit was quite cramped, being used to piloting the old trader ship. Still, it looked like most of the controls were the same. Taking a deep breath, and recollecting the flight manual to the best of his ability, he began his pre-flight checks. Engines… Check. Weapons… Seem fine. Comms? Hmm….. Ah there they are. Niklas pulled on his helmet and tightened it until it was secure, the headset within switching on.

“Jawohl, Zis is Raptor 4, ready for take-off Flight Control.” The trainee spoke, his hands grabbing the yoke and preparing for whatever might happen.

“Roger that Raptor 4, you are cleared for take-off.” Came the reply.


He gently nibbled his bottom lip before opening up the throttle, shooting out of the hanger and into the fray. The first few seconds were in complete disarray, as he fumbled to get control of the fighter. It was much more sensitive than what he was used to, which might give him an upper hand or end up derailing him. He finally managed to level out when several bolts shot passed his cockpit. Instinctively, he pulled up and turned to face the aggressor only to just dodge a fighter screaming right by him. “Scheisse!” He grunted as he turned around again to focus on whoever shot at him. The cocky fighter was now engaged in a very disjointed dogfight. He trained his aiming reticule over both targets to make sure he shot the right one. As it turned out, the computer told him that they were both enemies, as well as the pilot who did the buzz by. In fact, every fighter seemed to have a red indicator on them whenever he aimed at them. This mildly annoyed him. Instead of a chaotic fray where it would be easy to at least know where your friends were, an organized mess, it was as if they had blindfolded and gagged everyone, put them on teams, and told them to try and fight against each other.

He sighed. Well, at least he will be able to see how well his shooting would be, and see if he could get the hang of flying a fighter. His target, the original agitator, had finally shot down his man, and now was trying to now evade Niklas. Grinning, the Kuat managed to jockey his fighter into position and let off a quick burst, hitting the enemy right in the engine, scoring a hit. “Haha! Take that, schlampe!” It felt good. His first kill, though in a simulator, made him feel more comfortable in the TIE fighter. He got to feel how it handled, and was impressed. Of course, his little victory distracted him long enough for another fighter to begin to pepper his ship. He managed to turn to face the ship and fire into the cockpit, effectively scoring another kill, but the debris caused more damage. His ship was more or less toast, but he didn’t intend to go out quietly. He found another dogfighting group rather easily, and sighed as he lined up the shot. As soon as one of the fighters stopped for a moment, he opened up his thrusters, ramming his ship into the unsuspecting fighter and killing them both. The screen went black, and then turned a bright blue, as information spilled on in white text. He didn’t really shoot a lot, and didn’t really have to; some of the recruits seemed to not know even the basics of piloting, and the two that he managed to shoot didn’t pose any real challenge. But, then again, they were all just trainees, trying to get the hang of things. The kills showed that the first one he shot was a friendly, but the other two were enemy pilots. When he had finished reading the stats, he pulled the helmet off and exited the simulator, feeling pretty pleased with himself. Although…

“Ok, who is the Miststück who buzzed me in the beginning? I swear, if I find you…”

Oh well. Nothing a stiff drink later at the bar wouldn’t cure.

WC: 744
AAR: Niklas manages to score two confirmed kills in the simulator while managing to get somewhat of a hang of piloting a TIE.
TRN/CRW/Sturmwind/S:137 Raptor/W:46 "Shield"/PLF Cappadocious/TF:TH/3Flt/VENA/VEN/VE
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  RE: Raptor: Disaster!
January 30, 2013 10:04:38 PM    View the profile of Kilroy 
You know, now that I’m here, I get this feeling I’m forgetting something. John casually thought as he strapped himself into the flight simulators chair.  Adjusting himself to fit in the cramped space, of the cockpit, the former ground pounder casually listened into the Warrant Officers briefing as he went about changing various pieces of equipment in the simulator.  Once he was finally situated and able to reach everything easily enough, the eccentric Rhyzan soldier did his best to shake off the feeling of uneasiness he had as the simulator door was closed shut by a friendly technician.  Humming a jaunty tune to himself, John nonchalantly radioed in that he was ready to begin; a feeling that most of his body was rebelling against for some odd reason.

“Beta 65 is green across the boards. I’m ready to begin the operation.”

Waiting for the simulation to start, the experienced engineer amused himself with banter to other trainees, trading off various insults or accepting friendly bets of competition with some other veterans as well.  Before anything could get too heated however, the entire cockpit went dark, alerting the Rhyzan that the actual training session was about to start.  As he looked at the timer, counting down the seconds before ‘launch’ the twenty five year old Rhyzan chuckled uneasily to himself; the feeling that he was forgetting something important just would go away.

Simulation start

Within mili-seconds, the darkened cockpit transformed itself, surrounding the inexperienced pilot with a vast multitude of scenery.  Gasping in shock, John quickly recovered from his momentary stupor and banked softly to his nine o’clock so fill out the number two position; just behind the flight lead as they were relentlessly instructed.  After the rest of the four-man flight positioned accordingly, the four interceptors commenced with their pre-determined combat air patrol path, something that the group came up with the prior night. 

“So Pops, what’s the plan of attack?”

“Well instruments are shot to shit, and since any of you have prior experience flying anything, I doubt you’d be able to use your mark I optics to the best of their abilities.  So what we’re going to do is a loose formation, Vivi and Shrike will hang back while the two of us –Shit incoming fighters! 2 O ‘clock high!”

Responding quickly to his flight leader’s alert, Varl rolled hard into the approaching hostiles and lined up his firing vector with the closest one.  As the distance between the two flights rapidly decreased, the former Rhyzan ground pounder released a pair of medium ranged anti-fighter missiles once the incoming hostiles had entered the max firing range.  It was then, between the confused sensor data, the gaseous debris coming from the nebula, and the ensuing dogfight, did Varl finally realize what he forgot.  As he could no longer ignore the nauseous feeling coming from his gut, the former ground pounder cursed his momentary lapse of judgement.

Oh shit. I think I’m gonna hurl.

As the two flights passed each other, John did his best to hold his lunch in, yoking the joystick and throttle system at the same time.  Putting himself into a Herbst maneuver, John rapidly reversed his direction, acquiring his target within moments of the maneuvers completion.  Since the two were still in gun range, the pale Rhyzan lined up the enemy fighter and pressed the trigger firmly when he had the shot.

“Guns, guns, guns.”

Releasing a torrential downpour of laser fire from his blaster cannons, Johns efforts were rewarded with a fireball as he scored several hits on the fleeing craft.

“Beta 65, splash one…..and I need a new bucket.”


Crawling out of the flight sim, John Varl was not having a good day.  Although his flight had lasted longer than the other trainee squads, he could never forgive himself for upchucking into his helmet.  It was, in layman’s terms, odd.

“Crewman Varl, do you know what exactly happened there?”

“I threw up….”

“Threw up?”

“At least, three times.”

Looking at the senior naval officer, John could feel the hatred and utter confusion coming from the dumbstruck officer.  Although it wasn’t his fault that he got space sick, like most people from back home did, the Rhyzan engineer probably didn’t think things through enough when it came to transferring over to the Starfighter Corps.  Oh boy, am I going to regret this.

“Right, clean out both your bucket and if need be the simulation chamber.  After that, get yourself some motion sickness pills, Dismissed.”

751 words total
One confirmed kill, and one bucket in need of a good washing
TRP/LCpl Kilroy/3SQD/1PLT/1COM/1BAT/1RGT/VEA/VE/[5.1]/[5.2]/[6.1]/[PT]/[EW1]
[TRN]/[CRW] [Kilroy]/[B-65]/[S:137] "[Raptor]" /W:[46] "[Shield]"/[PLF Cappadocious]/TF:[TH]/[3Flt]Flt/VENA/VEN/VE
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  RE: Raptor: Disaster!
February 10, 2013 2:13:25 PM    View the profile of Gurlanin 
Grent sat near the back during the brief. It was standard, nothing too major. Nothing he wouldn't be able to handle.

As he got up to find a sim, one of the other cadets came up to him.

"Hey ... Gurlanin, isn't it? Heard you outflew one of the instructors the other day. Any tips for us newbies?"
"Stay alive?"
The other man laugh nervously, and glanced around. There was a small crowd gathering to listen in on the words of wisdom from the cadet who'd been a cadet far far too long, "Ha ha. But seriously ... do they," the cadet indicated the instructor's office, "Really mean that we have no instruments?"
"Yes. Computers lie. If you can fly without them, you're going to do much better with them."

Before he could be berated with more questions, Gurlanin walked over to a sim pod and climbed in, strapping his helmet on. He closed his eyes, and took some deep breaths whilst he waited for the sim to boot up. He then ran over his pre-sortie checks, adjusting where needed, and confirmed he was ready. Time to begin.

"Roger that, control. Engaging tangos. 5 out."

Gurlanin was above the enemy fighters, as far as he could tell. He hoped the last comm had gotten through. He'd been luck so far: interference had been minimal. But he was about to head further into the nebula.

"Raptor 5. This is Raptor 1. I want you to take 2 and 4, and flank them. We'll hit them dead on. Over."
"Roger wilco, 1. 2, 4? Stick close to my six."
"Good luck, 5."
"You can buy me a drink afterwards."

It was their way of refusing to say goodbye. They weren't going to die. Not today.

Gurlanin led his wingmen behind the enemy fighters. If their on-board computers were nearly as screwed as his, they were going to be invisible.

As he came up behind them, laser fire lit up his view port: they'd been spotted! He quickly returned fire, and did a barrel roll, firing a torpedo into the mass of fighters, several of them exploding.

These guys were relentless, Gurlanin would give them that. They were using VEN tacics against them, right down to the last maneuver. But Gurlanin knew how to counter it. He knew the capabilities of the craft they were flying, and it's weaknesses, which he exploited on the tangos.

His tally quickly went up. 4,5,6. He let loose with the laser fire. 12,13,14.

As instinct, Gurlanin adjusted the flaps, making the T/I incredible unstable, but highly maneuverable. It gave him an edge in tailchases such as these. He locked onto one fighter, and was preparing to fire, as the enemy craft did an unorthodox move that he recognised as something one of his friends did all too often. What had the instructor said? "Friendly-fire"? Oh crap ....

"Raptor 5 to all, fall back, I repeat fall back! Does anyone copy?"


This wasn't good. Without FoF tags, friendlies were targeting each other. The only upside was that foes must also be doing it. Even so, he would have to be careful who he was firing at.

Grent knew what the instructors had done and was silently impressed. Though, he would still be intrigued to see what the final results were. How many of his wingmen had he shot? How many of the other cadets had been playing as the tangos and not knowing?


Word count: 563
Whether it be in space, or in the skies, I fight for the lives of my wingmen, and the security of the Empire. When they are safe, then I can save myself.

TRN/CRW/Gurlanin/S:137 "Raptor"/W:46 "Defiance"/PLF Cappadocious/TF:AU/3Flt/VENA/VEN/VE
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  RE: Raptor: Disaster!
May 1, 2013 12:06:46 AM    View the profile of Taltos 
Taltos pulled his helmet on as he climbed into the simulator pod, sighing in relief as the flight suit's internal environmental controls nestled him in moist, cool air. He cherished the suit's sealed environment most after long briefings in the dry, artificial air of Cappadocious Station, comfortable enough for humans, but harsh and drying to a Duros.
Concealed within the black flight suit he looked nearly identical to the trainees in the neighboring pods - with the exception of his fingers, far too long for a human - the helmet showed no external sign of his large ribbon-pupiled mahogany-red eyes, its internal display was projected directly into the eye from the helmet's own processors, similar to a stormtrooper's, overlaid with telemetry from his fighter's systems, and could easily be configured for different species. Only a pinhole aperture in the center of each projector allowed natural vision in the event of HUD failure.
As he breezed through his pre-flight - as natural and automatic to a Duros Traveler as bathing in the morning. even if he hadn't memorized the flight manuals during his insomniac nights in training - he reflected that said telemetry would do him very little good in the upcoming trial.
Quote:"I used the word "disaster" deliberately: in the nebula, communications and sensor equipment malfunctioned, and as a consequence, our casualties during the engagement were incredibly high, including a horrific rate of friendly fire. You will be flying into the same conditions faced by those pilots today, in this sim run."

Hmmph. The beat up old Wayfarer Taltos had once called home could barely tell a loading dock from an asteroid on a good day, and there wasn't a self-respecting pirate crew in the galaxy that didn't run at least a halfway functional sensor jammer in any case. Duros made their wage as spacers across the galaxy because of their instincts in space, they could fly sensor-blind and calculate hyperspace jumps in their heads - if not half as fast as Givin were capable of.

But pulling away from a half-squadron of uglies was hardly the same as a TIE fighter furball, and fighting for your life with friends at your back was very different from fighting a blind engagement alongside a roomful of near-strangers.

He finished his checklist and called all lights green, felt the inertial dampeners power up - automatically dialing them down to g-force tolerances that would be dangerous for a human - and a brilliant starfield sprang to life beyond the simulator's transparisteel viewscreen.
Within moments the directional markers and navigational data on his helmet's HUD began to dance and distort, all targeting displays blackened with Aurebesh error messages. Taltos braced himself and tightened his fingers around the control yoke, easing the accelerator forwards and reveling in the simulated TIE Interceptor's response and acceleration.

The Flight Controller's voice came through the comms, harsh and filtered,
"All units show green lights. Exercise is a go. Your ID will be Raptor Squadron, flying alongside Predator Squadron. Hostiles are two squadrons of TIE Interceptors. Fly well."

Stang. So much for visual friend/foe protocol. The thought barely registered before the opposing squadrons reached visual range, on a head-on course.
T pulled in towards his wing, angled his deflector shields double-front, and started squeezing off shots toward the incoming fighters, hoping push enemy fighters out of jousting position, as neighboring fighters did the same. Green blaster bolts speared across the rapidly-diminishing space between squadrons, some shots turning to brilliant energy cascades as they hit shields, some flying past their targets into the distance. T felt his interceptor shake as a few stray shots dissipated against  his forward shielding, and twisted the yoke gently, following his wing.

The two groups punched through one another, streaming through gaps barely wide enough for an Interceptor as pure adrenalin kicked in. A reddish flash in the left corner of Taltos' vision bore witness to a collision, and then they were past.
Taltos pulled the agile fighter around and assessed. All semblance of unit cohesion was gone. With friend identical to foe the nebula was one giant furball, and soon he was part of it, no time to appreciate the chaos. He banked into a loose flurry of shots coming in from 4 o'clock high, and saw the other fighter blur past his upper hatch viewports.

Good thing he's a kriffing terrible shot, or this would've been over before I knew he was there. No good being sloppy. Only get myself killed.

He ruddered his fighter hard right, dropping the throttle to half reverse and pulling the yoke around to spin his fighter 90 degrees right, and pulled up into what would be a perfect drop onto the tail of his attacker – If the attacker pulled up for another attack run rather than down, but most beings would pull up instinctively rather than down, and sure enough the enemy interceptor overshot him, shrieking up into his field of view 40 degrees vertical off-axis.
He grinned and dropped in towards his opponent's flight patch, lining him up in the center of the viewport. With a squeeze of the control yoke, shots stitched across the squint's rear shields – still weakened in favor of forwards strength for the joust he'd been expecting.
In a moment, the shields failed, and the hostile fighter burst apart, sending out twisted shrapnel that Taltos had to sideslip hard to avoid.

One kill. Not good enough. He had me, but I got lucky.

No time to think. There was already another Interceptor on his tail. T banked hard into his new foe's approach, but felt shots slam against his shields. He angled the shields double rear and banked again and again, trying to force the relentless attacker to overshoot, each time feeling a few shots pelt his slowly-diminishing shields.
He returned shields to full coverage and twisted out of the turning war, pulling around in a loop to bleed off speed, and the brought his nose down, but the enemy wasn't there. Taltos swore gently and repeatedly in Durese while spinning out of his prior flight path, just as green blasterfire ripped past.

So he saw my yo-yo coming. By-the-book but with creepy-good instincts. I'm frelled.

If he couldn't shake him, there was still one way to keep fighting, to prove himself. T continued the futile turning war, but angled their course into the deepest center of the maelstrom. He banked a spun, making himself as unpredictable a target as possible, while snapshots and misses flurried past them, some grazing, a lucky few impacting. His hunter, however, was worrying about offense, not defense alone. T saw the other Interceptor crack open and vent burning atmosphere after a chance broadside took its shields down, only to see the last of his own shields drain away under the strain.

He pulled away from the chaos at maximum acceleration, hoping he hadn't picked up new pursuit. He banked around to see a lone TIE incoming, straight ahead only 200 meters distant. He jinked past the few early shots, but soon they were too close for avoidance. Neither pilot was willing to break, so each opened fire, full quad sequential fire screaming into one another.
The screen went black.


Word count: 1204.
We are introduced to Taltos as he climbs into the sim pod, he defeats one opponent through a risky maneuver and some defensive luck, pulls a dirty trick on a skilled rival, and is finally destroyed in a reckless head-on pass.
TRN/CRW Taltos/S:137 "Raptor"/W:46 "Shield"/PLF Cappadocious/TF:TH/3Flt/VENA/VEN/VE
[This message has been edited by Taltos (edited May 1, 2013 12:08:54 AM)]
[This message has been edited by Taltos (edited May 1, 2013 12:09:23 AM)]
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  RE: Raptor: Disaster!
June 26, 2013 1:11:45 PM    View the profile of Xanatos 
Twenty Imperial Academy Cadets stood, sat or otherwise occupied a room designed to accommodate five times that number. Almost exactly one year ago, at the beginning of the course, one hundred promising young recruits had filled the briefing room for the first time to listen to the opening speech from the former head of the Vast Empire Academy. In a year, much had changed. Inside the academy, the position of Chief of Academy had changed hands twice, and each time the training regime had altered slightly in reflection of the changing of the guard. In the outside galaxy, the Vast Empire had almost doubled its borders, facing off against pirates, the New Republic, and utterly crushing the Imperial Dominion that had once threatened it.

Inside the floating naval platform that housed the academy, the PLT Cappadocious, the Cadets had been kept too busy to really ponder about the political landscape – TIE Pilot training was famed as some of the most gruelling in the Empire, and though the Vast Empire toned it down a little, the cadets collapsed into their bunks each night mentally and physically exhausted. Over the course of that year, a hundred recruits had been whittled down to the twenty survivors remaining – the rest had been re-assigned to other parts of the Navy, or gone on to join up with the feared Stormtrooper Corps. Only the best of the best became TIE Pilots.

For one of the twenty recruits, however, life aboard the PLT Cappadocious was nothing new. Seated in one of the chairs on the front row was a human male. His pale complexion appeared even paler in contrast to the grey flight suit that he wore, and although he was not particularly short, he was dwarfed by the two other cadets seated on either side of him. With his left fist sitting under his chin, as if to hold up the weight of whatever thoughts weighed down his mind, he was the silent calm amidst the storm of nervous chatter that was the hallmark of any class waiting for an exam. He barely paid attention to the conversation that his two friends were having, lost in his own private world of memories.

It wasn’t until the tall Duros that was seated to his left called his name that his train of thought was broken, and he turned his head to look up at the grey face and red eyes of Cadet Crewman Pendar Zhug, meeting the fellow trainee’s gaze with his own storm-blue eyes from under a mop of messy brown hair. He raised a slim brown eyebrow in an unspoken question, and Pendar, knowing that his shorter comrade had drifted off again, repeated his question, the Duros accent deep and rich, his enunciation perfect and precise.
“You went through the Fleet Command final exam, Xanatos? What challenge did they raise against you there?”

The expression on his friend’s grey face was expectant, and he was not able to hide the nerves that he was feeling. To Xanatos’s eyes, the twitchy Duros appeared to always be on the edge of panic, but his constant fear seemed to serve him extremely well in the combat simulators. Pendar seemed to have a sixth sense when it came to danger and reflexes that were simply off the charts. They were an odd pair: Xanatos was seemingly completely unflappable, and Pendar was always apparently on the verge of a panic attack. Their drastically contrasting attitudes and flying styles had made them a formidable duo.

“They gave us every advantage…then dared us to use it against civilians. It was as much a test of our judgement as it was of our ability to wage war.”

He spoke quietly, his eyes still staring down and somewhere off to the side. It was not common knowledge, but what had been a promising career in the Imperial Gunnery Corps had ended in failure based on the terrible judgement call he had made during that examination, and it was only on the back of his mechanical expertise with starfighters and his outstanding marksmanship with ship-based weaponry that the second chance he had requested in the Imperial Starfighter Corps was accepted…but Pendar Zhug and Van Mundi were two potential pilots whom Xanatos had eventually confided in.

“Yea, that makes sense if you’re angling for Command – you need to be able to make the big decisions. In the cockpit, the only thing you need to be able to do is win. I bet we’re going to face a tactical conundrum rather than a moral one.” Van’s response was as immediate as it was dismissive. The burly Corellian was typical of his people – cocky, confident and astoundingly talented at anything to do with spacecraft. With the instincts of a gambler and the skill to bluff, he was the better of the three pilots, if prone to risktaking.

“They will probably stack the odds against us. Superior numbers, a hostile environment, possibly even sabotage as well. I would be surprised if we are even expected to win – they will probably just grade us on how long we last.” Pendar chattered nervously, stacking the odds against himself higher and higher in his mind. His eyes were starting to look back and forth nervously, and it was clear that he was not coping with the pressure. Though remarkably talented, Pendar had what was in the pilot slang known as ‘Drift Factor’ – he was emotionally unstable.

“And you’re LTS longer than most of this lot – you might not’ve noticed, but you’ve got the lowest death count of the entire group in the sims.” Van’s statement was true – Pendar was an astounding defensive pilot, even if he lacked the patience or nerves to properly line up his shots. LTS, the acronym that he used, stood for ‘Likely to Survive’, and it was a glowing assessment. The Corellian was the opposite of Pendar – he seemed eager for the challenge, his eyes shining with the prospect of a show worth dancing in. He had his fangs out, without a doubt.

“Let’s wait until after the brief before we panic, Pendar.” Xanatos added, placing a gloved hand on his friend’s shoulder to calm him down. As usual, he spoke softly, no louder than necessary, and his Mandalorian accent did much to take the edge off his words – it was surprising that a people famed for their violent, mercenary ways had such a lyrical accent. The shorter of the three pilots fixed Pendar’s eyes with a cold, steely gaze until he was sure that the anxiety had faded back to their normal, manageable level.

“Won’t have long to wait – here comes the hangman now.”
Van’s warning came just in time, and the three cadets fell into silence as the feared ‘hangman’ of the Vast Empire’s Naval Academy stepped into the classroom. Short, with frizzy red hair and freckles, he didn’t look particularly intimidating – until you looked him in the eye. Warrant Officer Koate had carved himself a reputation as a disciplinarian, and the cadets all had a healthy bit of fear for the red-eyed human.

Predictably, the rest of the cadets also quickly fell silent as the diminutive instructor walked to the front of the class, his boots announcing every single step. Much like Xanatos, his voice was quiet, and the cadets had to give him their complete and undivided attention order hear what he had to say. Needless to say, they all did exactly that.
“Hello. As many of you know, I am Warrant Officer Koate, and I am to be your training officer for this session. Today, we will be running a simulated recreation of a relatively recent disaster for the Starfighter Corps, in which a few of our squadrons and a few enemy squadrons bumbled into a nebula and proceeded to dogfight.”

There was a short pause, as the information was allowed to seep through the ears (or other auditory organs) of the remaining cadets and sink into their brains. A nebula! One of the worst environments for space combat, a nebula played havoc with the advanced sensors and systems that modern spacecraft needed in order to properly navigate, let alone fight. They even dropped normal, eye-based visibility by a considerable degree. It would be fitting that the final test these 20 cadets undertook as part of the training would be in such a hostile environment. The tension was almost visible.

“I used the word “disaster” deliberately: in the nebula, communications and sensor equipment malfunctioned, and as a consequence, our casualties during the engagement were incredibly high, including a horrific rate of friendly fire. You will be flying into the same conditions faced by those pilots today, in this sim run. You will do better than they did. Now, follow me.”
Warrant Officer Koate did not give the cadets time to assimilate this information, as he started to walk back through the aisle in between the lecturer’s podium and the classmates, and out the door.

*    *    *

The cadets scrambled to follow him, but Xanatos, Pendar and Van deliberately made sure they were the last ones to leave the room, giving them a few more precious seconds to come up with a plan on the short walk towards the simulator chambers. They spoke in hushed whispers, so as not to catch Koate’s attention.
“No communications or sensors? How will we tell friend from foe?”
That was the million-credit question, and the three tackled it in exactly the same way they had tackled every other obstacle in their path: as a team.

Ever since Van had provided encouragement for an almost-panicking Pendar on the first day of training, and ever since Xanatos had covered for the two cadets after they had gotten lost aboard the station, the three had made an unspoken pledge to do what they could to get each other through the gruelling training – no Imperial pilot could succeed alone. It turned out that the twitchy Duros, the cocky Corellian and the calm Mandalorian made one hell of a team, and as they faced (and passed) test after test together, their unofficial alliance had evolved into a deep respect for each other, and even friendship.

“That ain’t our only problem. No sensors mean we’re relying on the front viewport to see.” Van added, his face crunching into a frown as he tackled both problems at once. For a craft like an X-Wing, visibility wasn’t a problem – the cockpit was at the top of the craft, giving you a good view of your surroundings. The smaller and more technologically advanced TIE Interceptor, however, had the cockpit right in the middle of the fuselage, and only allowed the pilot to see directly forward and a little to the sides. As members of the Vast Empire Naval Academy, they would be expected to fly the TIE Interceptor, or other TIE models that shared the same problem.

Without any way to warn each other of danger and without the ability to see each other effectively, the teamwork that had gotten the trio so far seemed to be utterly useless to them now. Even if they were flying together, each would be alone inside the prison of his own craft. Pendar and Van bounced ideas back and forth, but it was Xanatos, who’s father served as a naval engineer aboard the VSD Brilliant, who came up with at least a partial solution to their problem. Typical of the quiet young man, he didn’t speak a word until he had something worth saying.

“Landing lights. We can use the landing lights to identify each other…and military flash-code to signal each other.”
The other two pilots quickly latched onto the idea, and the beginnings of a plan began to form, with Van grabbing the thread Xanatos had started to pick at with both hands, taking the lead as was his way.
“Well, once we’ve found each other, we’ll be able to hold our own – we know our formation and we’ve flown together dozens of times in sim. So long as we stick together…”

That was true enough – the trio had taken every opportunity to fly as a team in simulations, and the three had fallen into a simple, effective strategy that played to each of their strengths. Pendar, with his infamous twitchiness and his astounding ability to fly through a storm of laser-fire unscathed, had a penchant for drawing fire and served as excellent bait to draw in their targets. Xanatos, with his patience and frighteningly good marksmanship was the hammer to Pendar’s anvil, picking off anyone that tried to target his unpredictable wingmate.

Van, meanwhile, had proven himself to be a natural leader. With advice, warnings and his keen tactical insights he was able to find a balance between Pendar’s tendency to react rather than act with Xanatos’s dogged concentration on the target at hand. More often than not, he flew top cover, where his observation skills allowed him to see threats that the twitchy Pendar or the single-minded Xanatos might miss, and direct their trap to the right target. Forced to rely on landing lights and flash-code, he would have his work cut out for him.

It was typical of the Corellian that he didn’t show any sign of worry at all, and Xanatos knew from the dangerous gleam in his friend’s eye that the man whom had become their trio’s leader would exalt at the thrill of such a challenging task. The man seemed to simply thrive in adversity. Before he or Pendar could say anything, they stepped through the doorway and into the simulator room, suddenly going silent. Like most clever students throughout the galaxy, they instinctively knew that though talking in class was excusable, getting caught doing so was not.

Instead, as they lined up against the wall to the far end from the simulator cockpits and awaited the ‘go’ signal, they simple nodded to each other, watching as Koate stalked up towards the techs in the room and gathered them for a sudden, secret pep-talk. Every cadet in the room strained his or her ears (or other auditory organs) in order to try and pick up a hint or a secret, but every one of the cadets failed. After about a minute, he turned back to face them, speaking in his usual quiet tones.

“Now that we’re all here, you can go ahead and choose a simulator. Strap in, and wait for the exercise to begin.” The moment the last word left his mouth, the cadets started forward, moving towards the simulators. Three of the cadets, fast friends, shook hands one final time before they each moved away and climbed into the large-box-like contraption that would take the role of a TIE Interceptor for their final test, and decide once and for all if, when they finally exited the contraptions and stepped back onto the deck of the PLT Cappadocious, they would do so as failures…or as members of the Starfighter Corps.

*    *    *

Taking the flight helmet offered to him by the tech that would be monitoring his simulator, cadet-trainee Xanatos 677 Bombassa plugged the air hoses into the life support box that was strapped to his chest, and his world shrunk as he slipped the jet-black helmet over his face, restricting his vision to that which he could see through two small lenses. He waited a second, and his world suddenly grew large again as the photoreceptors built into the lenses flared to life, and the room around him was relayed in holographic detail. The helmet’s holo-display allowed him to see through smoke, fog and snow, and the face-concealing visor gave him a grim anonymity that he secretly liked.

He would never admit it to anyone other than himself or his two friends, however. The Mandalorian side of his family would take it as encouragement to force him to undergo the coming-of-age ritual that he had put off for the past eight years. Checking the holographic display at the bottom-right corner of his vision that his life support was working and the vacuum seal was good, he nodded to himself in satisfaction and gave the tech a thumbs-up gesture to inform him that everything was good, before grasping the ladder at the front of the simulator pod with both hands and quickly ascending to the top of the box.

Before him, on the ‘roof’ of the simulator, was an open hatch and a second ladder that would take him down into the depths of the simulated cockpit. Remembering the failure aboard the simulated Star Destroyer bridge last year, he had a sudden surge of anxiety and for a split-second was tempted to back out, to avoid what might be another crushing failure. It was the face of his uncle, Captain Jonus 647, that came to mind, assuaging his fears and giving him the strength to descend down into the simulator that would, with his help, decide his fate. As he descended, the world grew a little darker, his world changing colour slightly as his helmet adjusted the holographic display to compensate.

He lowered himself into the pilot’s seat, placing his booted feet into their restraints and sitting himself down, staring at the blank glass of the front viewport. Looking up, he saw the same tech waiting for his signal. TIE Pilots relied entirely on support, and when he gave the thumbs up, the tech quickly pulled the ladder up and out of the simulator, then closed the hatch. His world descended into darkness. Unworried, the would-be fighter pilot calmly began the start-up procedure that would bring his ‘virtual’ starfighter online, powering up and checking the systems one by one. Reactor was operational, twin ion engine was operational, shields were operational…

…even the communications and sensors screens were online and apparently working at full capacity. He knew that the situation would not last. Xanatos had been given the opportunity during his first year of training with Fleet Command to take apart and upgrade a captured TIE Interceptor to the VE’s newer, more improved version, and he was quite comfortable inside the claustrophobic confines of the tiny cockpit. Without any drama, he finished the startup checks, and then awaited his orders in the silence of a perfect replica of a TIE Interceptor cockpit.

After a minute, a message flashed on the communications screen at the top of the fighter’s front viewport. In a highly visible yellow text, the words gave him precise and clear orders.
It was a standard ‘Judy’ call – a message informing a pilot that he is on an intercept course with hostiles, and an order to engage. Xanatos did not hesitate as he spoke into the microphone installed inside his helmet, his voice resonating with a confidence he was not entirely sure he felt.

“Raptor 4 confirms. Ready to engage.”

As soon as he spoke, a count-down appeared on the communications console of his fighter’s dashboard, starting from five and ticking away into oblivion. The moment that the countdown reached ‘zero’ his viewscreen flashed to life, showing a hauntingly beautiful vista of purple, rolling clouds ahead of him and, apparently, all around him. He ran a quick check, and found that his visibility had dropped by fully 45%. At the same moment, his sensor screen started to flicker and show static, and no blips at all appeared. Likewise, his communications console went dark.

Resigning himself to the fact that both systems were useless to him, he diverted power from the multi-range sensor and dumped it directly into his shield generator, before re-assigning power from his communications systems into his four wingtip laser cannons. He was not going to let a single watt of power go to waste. Reaching over the dashboard to a small, inconspicuous button, he pressed it and smiled as the four wingtips ahead of him, visible through the viewport, began to flash with yellow light. Now, Pendar and Van would know whom he was.

He spotted the glint of light off of armour that revealed the rear end of a TIE Interceptor above and to the front of him, and a closer inspection showed that another two Interceptors were also in front of him. None of them, however, had their landing lights on. Apparently, even though they had picked simulators right next to each other, the three pilots had been placed in different flights. Xanatos pulled back on the throttle a little, slowing down so that the other flights of Raptor Squadron would become visible.

As the fourth fighter in his flight, his starting position was in the back, and no-one noticed him slip nearly out of formation with his assigned flight. He had a nasty feeling that something was going on, as he started to see some pilots break formation, either dropping back or moving forward, whilst the rest maintained a steady course. Something was definitely going on, allright. His confusion turned into a grim smile as one of the fighters in the flight to his port-side started to flash with visible landing lights! That had to be Pendar or Van!

Without hesitation or regret, he abandoned his Flight, which had apparently decided to maintain in perfect formation, and started to roll to port, pulling out of formation and streaking towards the Interceptor that had identified it as a friend. As he neared it, he was able to watch the pattern of the blinking lights. Every cadet had been forced to memorize military flash code, and his lips moved soundlessly as he mouthed out the letters that were flashing from the landing lights. V…A…N…

VAN! Pushing down on the throttle, the mist (apparently something his holo-visor couldn’t penetrate) appeared to flash by faster as he picked up speed, pulling back on the control yoke to send him from flying to port towards the direction he had previously been heading in, rolling back to starboard until he was again level – and right behind Van’s Interceptor. Streaking ahead, he pulled back on the throttle as soon as he was in front of and above Van’s craft, allowing the pattern of landing lights he had programmed in during the start-up procedure to identify him. After a few seconds, he dropped back on the throttle further, and Van’s Interceptor appeared once more as he slipped into place behind his new wingmate.

Xanatos, with his patient gunnery but lack of skill with defensive flying, did far better in the wingman position than up front in the lead spot – from back here, he could calmly shoot anything that engaged Van and simply follow his more adept comrade’s lead. Understanding that one of their number had joined him and he had a guardian angel at his back, Van’s fighter dove down quickly, and Xanatos pushed his control yoke down forwards to follow the manoeuvre. In a 3D environment like space, it made sense to drop below the visibility of the other pilots. Especially if the enemy were as determined to stay on course as his own previous flight had been.

No-one ever seemed to expect an attack from below.

Xanatos spotted the exhaust trail of a Twin Ion Engine at the very top edge of his viewscreen, and pulled back a little on the control yoke, tipping his fighter’s nose up so he could get a clear view. Apparently, one pilot /had/ been expecting exactly that, and was screaming in on an attack vector, right towards an area in front of and below Van’s craft. It was standard procedure – never aim for where a fighter is. Aim for where it will be when you get there. Xanatos did the opposite, doing what he could to conceal his tiny Interceptor behind Van’s and switching off his landing lights.

With any luck, and without sensors to work from, the TIE would think there was just one fighter he was moving towards. In front of him, Van’s craft picked up speed in what he knew was going to be a reckless counter-attack. Matching speed, Xanatos followed in his comrade’s wake. There was only one enemy moving in, apparently, and Van had taken up the challenge in a way that was unmistakeably him. Xanatos, however, knew better, and matched speed, staying in his friend’s shadow and linking his laser cannons for a quad-burst. He threw all the power from his forward shields into the cannons to boost their range and power for good measure.

After that, it was a waiting game, but one that Xanatos knew how to play all too well. Without any communications between him and Van, however, he was going to have to be even more focused than usual – he’d have no warning at all. As the distance between them and the hostile fighter closed, Van’s Interceptor suddenly performed a sharp break-turn to starboard. The Interceptor, moving to match the attempted evasion, had his cannons pointing entirely the wrong way. Xanatos, flying in without lights from the vector Van had only just left, let fly with a quad-burst of overcharged laser cannons.

The targeting computer was only of limited help, little more than a scope to help him calculate where his shots would hit when fired without the assistance of the scanner to show him his opponent’s direction and heading. But it wasn’t for nothing that Xanatos had made it to the final test in Command School’s gunnery corps, and he was rewarded with an explosion as two of the bolts penetrated the hostile fighter’s deflector shield…and impacted solidly with the ball-cockpit, right where it met the starboard wing. One down – and even if it wasn’t one of the enemy, it had attacked his wingmate.

He switched his landing lights back on before Van decided he was a hostile and took him out, and was rewarded with a flash of metal from the bottom of his cockpit as his wingmate flew out from behind and underneath him and settled back in a position that was approximately in front of him. Xanatos eased his control yoke to port in order to correct. Once he was back in formation, Van’s fighter rocketed ahead again, apparently intent on finding either Pendar or something else to destroy, and Xanatos accelerated as he mentally noted his first kill of the exam. So far, it was an excellent start.

*    *    *

“Sir, I think you need to see this.” Warrant Officer Koate turned to face the source of the sound, and noted that it was a pair of simulator techs, both standing in front of a viewscreen that showed a part of the simulated battle from above. Grunting in irritation, the man pocketed his datapad and stalked over, his officer’s boots clicking against the durasteel floor with every single step. He stepped in behind the two techs, both of whom were taller than he, and looked up at them. They appeared to be unable to meet his gaze.

“What seems to be the problem?” He asked quietly, irritated that something had interrupted the important paperwork he had been trying to get out of the way. One of the techs, a scruffy-looking human male, gulped visibly, whilst the other, a Gran, indicated the screen with his hand, bidding the Warrant Officer to look at the scene that was unfolding in the mock battle.
“Two members of the second squadron have activated their landing lights and are now flying in element formation – both have abandoned their original flights to do so, sir.”

“So I see,” was the sardonic reply from Koate as he crossed his arms and watched the two fighters dive down below the battle that was only just starting, before a member of one of the other flights – registered as a member of ‘Predator’ to the two deviant pilots – followed them on an attack vector. Koate had a hunch, and he reached over to tap a pair of buttons on the console as the two fighters angled up to intercept their attacker, the rear-most one switching off his landing lights.

“Van Mundi and Xanatos Bombassa…you sly dogs.” Despite himself, Koate found a small smile forming on his face as he zoomed out and searched for the third member of their little trio. Predictably, his own landing lights were also switched on. So the trio had managed to work out a system in the walk from the briefing room to the simulators, unless they had managed to smuggle portable comms into the simulators. One was clever, but the other was a clear violation of the rules of any VENA exam.

“We’ll isolate them and search them after the examination is over. Just in case they smuggled in comm-links.” He mused to himself, as he watched the unfolding battle with great interest. The two trainees were flying straight into the heaviest part of the fighting, and they had absolutely no idea. His most promising pupil was tearing friend and foe apart, and he was intrigued by the possibility of this impromptu team taking on his protégé…

WC: 4,835
AAR: Introduction for Xanatos and his two bestest friends ever, who through the power of TEAMWORK are able to team up to fight crime (actually, just some fellow cadets), and get lucky in turning the tables on an ambush against themselves. The mission is just beginning, however, and as our intrepid heroes are about to fly into the thick of the fighting, Officer Koate begins to take a personal interest in their plight…

PS: This is Part 1 of the ‘Exam’ story, and my submission for Phase 2 of academy training. I’ll continue the story in a CD thread – this is getting too long for any instructor to be expected to slog through.
TRN|CRW Xanatos 677 "Xanatos" Bombassa
Raptor 3|S:137 "Raptor" W:46 "Defiance"
(PLT) Cappadocious|TF:A|3FL|SC|VEN|VE
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  RE: Raptor: Disaster!
August 28, 2013 5:24:33 PM    View the profile of Tzism 
Meanwhile on Coruscant, Tzism was busy studying his materials before heading to the prestigious military naval academy for the Imperial Navy. Before making the decision to go and serve the Galactic Empire, Tzism had a few choices to make, either live the life of a civilian working jobs in either customer service, selling vehicles, doing medial work or taking up civilian service in either police work or taking on the medical industry. Choosing his fate, Tzism ultimately loved outer space and meeting new kinds of people, what a better opportunity than it was to fly a ship or star fighter and go through open space and even become an experienced pilot. After studying the materials that were passed onto him, Tzism made his way to speak with both his loved ones – Mother and Father to tell them of his choosing to enter military service. Both of them looked at him for a moment to ponder the decision after wards understood that life outside of his norm or comfort zone would help Tzism discover new paths and make interesting decisions that would change him. They nodded in agreement and both of them gave there goodbyes to Tzism before he left on his journey.

After receiving some details from his recruiter, they had passed on to him a data card, some important materials for the training in the academy as well as cadet uniform during his tenure. As Tzism had nodded to the recruiter, he waved to them and passed through the processing station and carried with him his passport and credentials to meet with the travel center. Arriving there he grabbed his bags and made his way on board the shuttle craft, finding other cadets and the officers that were training them sitting side by side. Taking a seat, Tzism took a deep breath for some time, then clenched his bags and put them by his seat. Over the comm channel, the pilot then began to speak “This is your flight officer speaking, we will be leaving Coruscant shortly to head to PLT Cappadocious. Make sure all your belongings are secure, in the meantime enjoy the departure, we will signal the comm when we arrive” The comm channel went silent as Tzism heard the ship begin to engage its turbo lift then impulse drive, hovering them heading into outer space.

It wouldn’t take long before the ship had come out of impulse and engaged hyper drive, the stars drew by the view ports as the shuttle proceeded to its destination. Tzism would wait patiently before awaking from his sleep to hear the comm channel again “This is your flight officer speaking, we have arrived out of hyperspace, and are nearing PLT Cappadocious, have your gear and materials ready for processing. Over and out” The shuttle made its way through space at impulse then made a slow decent through the hangar bay. Tzism watched as the shuttle touched down, the bulkhead shifted only slightly before all the students and teachers could recall there presence on the station. Watching the platform open from the shuttle, Tzism got out from his seat and grabbed his bags making his way toward the training officers. One of them spoke to Tzism “Cadet, it is time for you to begin your imperial star fighter training with the navy. I am your teacher, take your bags with you as well as your study materials. We have much to discuss before you are ready to enter service for the Galactic Empire.” Understanding what the instructor had told him Tzism walked with the instructor through the hallway and to his cadet barracks. The instructor waved there hand and gave him his bunk as well as assignments during the tenure of academy training.

During that time, Tzism was enjoying his stay at the station, finding both new friends and potential skills for his career. He would enter into flight simulations and train in various aircraft. One was a simulated event with the Raptor Squadron. Going to this event, Tzism was sitting inside his training module, the area was kept dark while wearing both the flight suit and helmet, he could see many blips appear before him on the screen, the simulation had started. Moments later he could recall there were other star fighters with him in the squadron. The firefight had already taken place, a couple other squadrons were badly damaged and needing assistance. Moving in the simulator, Tzism flanked with his squadron in space toward the damaged fighters as well as seeing for any hostilities on his scanner unit interface. There had been a few red blips, the ones that were green were friendlies. Hearing over the comm channel the squadron leader gave the call to the rest of the squad to help engage the enemy fighters. At this point, Tzism followed with the squad units, making sure not to split from the group, more fighters was key and eliminating hostilities was key to success in the mission. His star fighter flew through space aiming at the enemy targets, as well as watching his squad mates provide secondary fire. The fighters were becoming like space rock, many were being shot down or badly damaged. During this time Tzism was watching the scanner interface to make accurate listing of units and understand the mission details. It was not until later, his star fighter had come under attack. Moving quickly Tzism flanked with the squad, tailing the enemy fighter. Moments later Tzism along with the squad took shots and destroyed some fighters that were targets.

At that moment, the flight simulator had been turned off, the tie fighter hatch had been open and the training officer spoke “Good work on helping eliminate some of the hostiles, however you were targeted and later destroyed as well as some of your squad mates, was a good show of teamwork and skill at the helm” Tzism nodded, taking a deep breath, taking with him some valuable knowledge and heading to his barracks, went to get some sleep and practice for the next adventure.

Word Count: 1013

AAR: Introduction of Tzism into the imperial navy as well as his departure from civlian life and the training that consisted through flight simulation

PS: This is phase 2 of academy training, as defined in the imperial academy guide
TRN / CRW Tzism / PLF Cappadocious / TF:TH / 3Flt / FC / VEN / VE
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  RE: Raptor: Disaster!
November 2, 2013 2:28:16 PM    View the profile of Ghastly 
Ghastly sat near the back, ignoring the curious glances that some of the recruits shot him. Not because he was skilled or anything like that, but because of the mass of scars covering his head. HE was used to the looks others gave him, and paid it no heed.
When the Warrant Officer walked in Ghastly turned towards him, and listened patiently. When the warrant officer mentioned fly without sensors, Ghastly was slightly perturbed, but nothing more. He believed he could fly by eye alone. When the warrant officer motioned for the group to follow, Ghastly waited until most of the group was gone, until following.
Upon entering the sim booth, Ghastly relaxed. He could have some quiet now, but then it was over with the simulation booting up. He blinked twice, trying to adjust to the dim half light of the nebular. With the hum of the ion engines starting up, he gripped the control surfaces and tried the com. Nothing, only static interspersed with odd fragments of speech. After completing the checks, he followed the rest of his squadron. He started mapping out a plan of attack. Then the opponents Interceptors tore through the squadrons lines, and chaos reigned.
He dived sharply, twisting in a half corkscrew. Silhouetted above him was one of the enemy interceptors, wheeling around for another run. Ghastly grinned and opened fire, bolts tearing of half of a wing. He shot past and was wheeling round to attack again when he saw laser bolts race past one of his wings. Spinning around, he fired off a burst of bolts and saw them crash into one of the wing tips, yet the opponent still managed to keep control. Diving down, he tried to move into the area behind his opponent. His opponent spun on its thrusters, keeping him in its sights, and launched another volley of fire, ripping off a panel on the top of my cockpit. Thankfully it made no difference to the unpressurised interior of the cockpit. Finally scoring a bead on it he blasted one of the wing joints and sent them hurtling into the abyss. Flying back to the main fight he saw his squadron regrouping for a pass a ways away. Turning around slowly so as not to get pulled out of the hole by the G forces, Ghastly powered up the engines and started to fly to the remnants of the squadron. As he approached one of the members of the group turned and started shooting volleys at him. Weaving and trying to dodge the ever increasing fire power mounted against him, Ghastly soon had one of his wings blasted off, followed by a volley to the cockpit.
The screen went black, with lines of red text scrolling across listing Ghastly's performance. It turned out that He had killed someone on friendly fire. He sighed heavily willing for his heart to calm. He closed his eyes and stepped out of the booth, wandering over to the already dead. Looking over to count the still active booths, He made it out to be about half. Glad he hadn’t died early; He sat back and opened up a book on his data pad.

Word Count: 532.
After the breifing Ghastly is thrust into the engagement where he quickly kills one opponent. After being fired upon he engages and destroys a friendly. Seeing the remants of his squadron joining up he flyi in and is killed by friendlies.
TRN|CRW Ghastly|PLF "Cappadocious"|VENA|VEN|VE
[This message has been edited by Ghastly (edited November 2, 2013 5:23:53 PM)]
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