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Snow Maiden
noodle
As I sit here, floating through space in the broken remains of what was once a fighter, I think about the things I've done, the choices I've made, that led me to be here. I don't really know why I'm bothering to record this, I doubt anyone will ever find it. But all the same, I feel I must do it.

My name is Miriel Manaan, and this is my story. This is how I died.


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Prologue

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This story doesn't actually start with me. It begins over a decade ago, with a young man named Thadius Nabaal. He was a fighter pilot. Well, to be more specific he was a test pilot. From everything I've been able to find out about him, he was arrogant, rude, impulsive, abrasive, and generally a rather difficult person to be around, let alone work with.

He was also very, very good at what he did. That alone was why he was still in the military, more than a few commanding officers had wanted to get rid of him, but he was to valuable an asset to simply discard. However, he wasn't the kind of person you'd want in a fighter wing either, where team work is key and where someone with his attitude would likely not only get himself killed, but others as well.

So it was decided to make him a test pilot, where he would generally be flying solo and where his exceptional skills as a pilot would be put to good use.

And so here there he was that cold winter morning, at the Green Lake Naval Base, some 250 km north of my childhood home. And he was being as uncooperative as usual.

"Nabaal. Hey, Nabaal!"

"What?"

"Are you paying attention to me?"

"Not really."

"Well, at least you're honest..."

"Only for you sweet cheeks."

"Heh. Would you kindly at least TRY to follow my instructions?"

"Yeah yeah, fine, calm down. Main drive reads normal."

"Thank you. Now for the secondary checklist..."

"Oh come on! We've already been through this twice already this morning."

"And we're going through it again. This is a valuable piece of hardware, we need to take appropriate measures to ensure its survival."

"Only 'its' survival? What about me?"

"Ha! No amount of safety checks or fail safes can help you if you decide to do something reckless."

"Baby, I am my own failsafe."

"Oh God, that's such a loa-"

"How are thing's going down here?"

"Oh, ah sir! Good morning sir!"

"At ease Lieutenant."

"Hello there Admiral."

"Lieutenant Nabaal. I trust you'll be more...gentle, with our prototype this time out?"

"Hey, wasn't my fault the eggheads don't know their ass fro-"

"Ah, I think what he means, sir, is that the the fault last time was with the main flight control software. The tech have assured me that the system has been completely reworked and there should be no problems this time."

"Should? Oh that's of GREAT comfort to the guy in the pilots seat!"

"Anyway, are you here to observe the test flight this morning, sir?"

"Indeed I am. When do you launch?"

"In about 10 minutes."

"Ah excellent. I'm sure it will be an...interesting show. Lieutenants, if you'll excuse me, I shall make my way to the observation room."

"Yes sir! I'm sure it will be worth seeing sir."

"Kiss ass..."

"You shut up. Now let's go through that final checklist."

"Yeah yeah..."

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I always did like the cold. Some people hate it, but I love it. Not that I would run around naked in the dead of winter or anything, but while others bundled up I preferred relatively light clothing. That morning was no different.

"Come on, Price! You're to slow!"

"I'm not slow, you're just to fast!"

"Sounds like an excuse."

"Whatever, just wait up."

"Oh fine."

It took him forever to finally reach me. Or at least it seemed that way at the time. Still, he eventually managed to trudge his way over to me. The snow wasn't THAT deep, was it?

"Hey, race you to the top of the hill!"

"Wha-? Miriel! Oh, come on!"

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"All personnel clear the launch area. Launch in 30 seconds."

"All systems are green."

"I hope you're right about the FCS being fixed. I didn't much like it when it crapped out on me."

"Everything will be fine."

"Easy for you to say, you're not the one who runs the risk of dropping like a fucking rock."

"Launch in 10 seconds."

"Engines are hot."

"Quit your whining, everything will be ok."

"Ramp clear, all systems go. HFX-001, you are clear to launch."

"Let's do this thing."

And with that, Heavy Fighter Experimental Model-001 rocketed out of the bay.

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Though intended primarily for space combat, the semi-traditional design of the Heavy Fighter prototype gave it a fair amount of, thus enabling it, if needed, to function as a heavy fighter/bomber for in-atmosphere operations. The purpose of today's test flight was to gather data for fine tuning of the design in terms of atmospheric performance.

"Altitude test complete. Looks like everything checks out, at least up to 35,000 feet."

"Finally. Boring just cruising straight and level for 45 minutes."

"Next up is th-"

"You know, it would seem that the eggheads actually did something right for a change. I FCS seems rock solid this time."

"That's good to hear. Now, if you'd be so kind as to descen-"

"In fact, I think it's time to put this thing to a real test."

"Hey, Nabaal, what are you doin-?"

"Calm down sweetheart, just gonna take a little detour."

"Nabaal, get back on course!"

"She may not be the fastest thing in space, but lets see what this baby can really do in atmo."

"What the-? What are you doing?!"

"Just going into a little dive, nothing to worry your pretty little head about."

"Little? You're at an 85 degree angle!"

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I got to the top of the hill first. Not that it was hard. Price came stumbling after. You'd think he was tired or something, the way he was huffing and puffing.

I always did like that hill. I provided a great view of the entire area, and at night you could see what seemed like every star in the galaxy from up there.

Not to mention it was great fun to slide down when it was covered in snow.

I was just about to do just that when it happened.

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The altitude warning blared in the cockpit. They hadn't bothered to install a cut off button. He was going to have to talk to them about that. Still, a good whack to the control panel and it promptly went silent.

What was it now? 10,000 feet?

Now, he could do better than that.

9,000...8,500,...8,000...7,500...

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"Hey, you hear that?"

"Hear what?"

"Listen..."

It was a sort of whining sound. And it was getting louder.

"Where's it coming from?"

"I dunno, sounds like right...above...us..."

My voice sort of just wandered off at that point. It was indeed above us. RIGHT above us. And coming down fast.

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3,500...3,000...2,500...2,000...1,500...

He knew he was cutting it close. But hey, it was fun.

1,000...750, ok now would be a good time to pull up.

At 500 feet he yanked back hard on the stick. At first he reversed direction 180 degrees, the fighters nose pointing straight up, the thrust of it's main engines slowing his rapid descent. Than he pushed forward, bringing the fighter level before rocketing away, at barely 200 feet above the ground. Not before giving the two people below a quick burst of back blast though.

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Price was knocked flat on his back. I somehow managed to stay standing. And as I watched the fighter fly away, it was at that moment that I knew what I wanted to do with my life.

Oh sure, I'd seen planes and hover vehicles lots of times before. But when you grow up with something, you stop noticing it after awhile. And I'd never seen any plane up close before, let alone a prototype fighter. Of course, I didn't know it was a prototype at the time.

As the craft flew away, it's pilot decided to throttle it to Mach 2, in the process shattering every window and mirror within a 2km radius. I knew from that point on that I wanted to be a pilot.

Thadius Nabaal and his rebellious antics gave me the goal, the desire. Two weeks later the Vaygr gave me the motivation. I won't relate what exactly happened, because even now I don't like to think about it. Suffice it to say that in the end I was the only survivor from my town; everyone I ever knew was dead. My Mother, my brother, my best friend Price, all gone.

I lived in an orphanage until I was 16, at which point I joined the Naval Academy, where I spent the next 3 years learning to be a pilot.

As for Lieutenant Nabaal, I don't know what happened to him. All I know for sure is that after he returned to base he was thoroughly chewed out, but no further action was taken because the information they had ended up getting from his "little detour" turned out to be quite valuable to the techs.

I can't find any further record of him after that. The chaos of the Vaygr siege, coupled with the amount of data and paperwork lost during those dark days, means the trail ended at a dead end. Most likely he's dead, probably transferred to a combat unit and killed in one dogfight or other.

It's a shame. I would have liked to meet him. To thank him...
 
TelQuessir
This is a really moving tale, with the two points of view perfectly intermeshing and providing a bigger picture to an otherwise basic scenario. Bravo!
 
TheSizzler
Lot's of good fictions going around lately *thumbs up*
Welcome to the internet
 
noodle
Just the prologue mind you, will write part 1 either today or tomorrow. Eventual plan is to use this as a way to tie v11 to v12, though obviously since that isn't out yet I'll have to wait awhile before getting very in depth from that angle. And now, back to CoD 4 killing.
Haruhi is my God(dess).
 
FinalSeraphim
For some odd reason, robotechs plotline is what I see in this, but it's good, so Seal of approval.
I am the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last... the beginning and your end.
 
noodle
lol...Robotech...you ever go back and watch that or Macross? terrible.
Haruhi is my God(dess).
 
noodle
Hey, quick request, can someone PM me a fact sheet on the Avenger? I'd like to have the basic stats for it for my story. Like it's total weapons load out and such. Nothing super complex, just the basics.
Haruhi is my God(dess).
 
noodle
Part 1

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"Miriel...psst..hey! Miriel, wake up!"

"Eh...wha?"

"You fell asleep again."

"Oh, did I?"

"Yes."

"Hey, I can't help it. This guy isn't exactly a fire cracker."

We were sitting in the massive auditorium of the HGN Fighter Training School. Us, and about 2500 other graduates. After three long years of classes, exams, drills, test flights and simulators we had finally made it. From this day forward we were officially part of the Hiigaran Navy.

Except we weren't quite finished. Because it's the Navy, there had to be a ceremony. Preferably a long, tedious ceremony. So here we were, sitting listening to some old guy drone on about "the youth of Hiigara" and "the pride of a nation". I wondered idly how long it'd been since this guy last had a solid bowel movement...

"...will be the first ones to make contact with the enemy in any engagement. It is your job to break up the enemy formation, to harry their frigates and distract their strike craft. Though it may not be as glamorous as serving on a Capital Ship, make no mistake. You're roles as fighter and bomber pilots are vital..."

Easy for him to say. Old geezer probably hadn't flow in 30 years. Maybe a decade ago what he said still held true, yeah, but these days...a modern fighter pilot was lucky to survive the first pass, assuming they even got that far, what with all the flak, area-effect nukes and swarms of anti-fighter missiles. Sure, they could take on frigates, maybe even destroyers if they had bombers with them, but anything bigger and they might as well be throwing rocks at the enemy.

By the time the big boats showed up the strike craft became next to worthless in a battle. Assuming any were left, and that was a pretty big assumption these days. Once the big guns opened up on each other, any fighters left had best haul ass away from the fight.

And yet, even knowing all this, I'd still signed up. I must be crazy. But hey, I loved to fly. And I wanted to fight. Besides, the HGN always needed new pilots. So off to the Fighter School I'd gone.

At long last, after what seemed like an eternity, the old guy finally concluded his speech. As he left the stage, the School Headmaster, Vice-Admiral LiirHra, stepped up the microphone.

"Thank you, Mister Nabaal. And now, as we bring this event to a close, I want you all to remember that you are the latest in a long line of Hiigaran pilots. Keep that in mind at all times, and do your best to uphold the tradition established by your predecessors. And that's it. Welcome to the Hiigaran Navy, graduating class of 135!"

----------------------------------------

"So we've both been assigned to 8th Fleet. Guess you'll have to put up with me for a while longer."

"I'll live."

"Ha, I bet you will."

Katrina Paktu had been with me ever since I entered the Academy at 16. She was pretty much the only friend I had, so it was good to know we'd both been assigned to the same unit. I wonder if the dorm headmaster had anything to do with that...

"So M, know anything about our new ship?"

"HGN 'Caldera', Assault Carrier. Assigned to Recon Detachment, 8th Fleet. I can give you her whole class history and current weapons load out specs if you want."

"Of course you can..."

"What?"

"You read to much."

"No such thing as to much reading. Besides, I just like to know what I should be prepared for."

"Uh-huh. Well, little Miss Know-it-all, better get your stuff in order, troop boat arrives in 3 hours."

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A front line Recon Group. Not bad for a first assignment. Of course, few places weren't on the front lines these days. But this was the main one, the Eastern Front. Some people say it's a cold war, but that's a bit of a misnomer. It's a stalemate, certainly, but it's far from cold. And things were about to get much hotter.

Word had it Fleet was planning something. Something big. Really big. And we'd graduated just in time to be part of it. But it wasn't quite time for that yet; there was still lots of planning and information gathering to do before the big event.

And so here we were, on board the HGN Caldera on our way to some desolate region of space or other, to investigate reports of Vaygr activity. I guess we were either expected to eliminate any hostile forces or, if they were too heavily concentrated, to pull out and report their location for more powerful Task Forces to follow up on later.

I'm getting ahead of myself though. Let me go back to the Caldera. She wasn't anything special, a standard post-invasion Assault Carrier. She served as the flagship for our little detachment. Aside from her we had 4 Torpedo Boats, a trio of Bloodhounds, an EW Frigate, a pair of Ion Frigates (why those things are still around I'll never figure out), and a Support Frigate. We even had two of those unmanned Plasma artillery frigates. Our single most powerful asset though was the Light Cruiser 'Sierra'.

In addition to the big boats we had a squadron of old style Plasma Bombers, 2 squadrons of the outdated but fast moving Blade Interceptors (poor bastards...), two squads of older multi-gun Corvettes, and a single pair of the absurdly overarmed Lavi assault "Corvettes". Practically frigates is what they are. We also had a couple squads of LSF's for close in defense and a handful of heavy recon fighters.

Oh, and of course, there was my unit. Caldera carried no less than 3 squadrons of the newest model Avenger Heavy Fighter. I was number 4 in Blue squadron.

The Avenger was a direct descendant of the prototype I saw on that day, many years ago. Superficially they look much the same as that test type, but under the hood they are very different. Incorporating the latest in Hiigaran fighter technology, the Avenger is THE choice for pure space superiority strike-craft.

She may not be the fastest flyer in space, but she's certainly the toughest, and most powerful, craft to bear the fighter moniker. Her armor can shrug off most strike-craft grade weaponry, and there are even cases where Avengers have survived direct hits from Battlecruiser grade mounts. Not that I had any intention of testing that out myself...

Her weapons load out is equally impressive, with quad pulse cannons that can decimate anything lighter than a corvette in seconds. She even carries a pair of long-range (for a strike craft) missiles.

Katrina was assigned to Green wing. I would have liked her to be my wingman, but she'd still be close by at all times just the same. Our CAG was quiet guy, never raised his voice. He seemed nice enough I suppose. I found out from one of the Bomber pilots that the CAG had been at Solo, lost his entire squadron and had just barely escaped himself. Must have been tough, probably why he didn't talk much.

And now here we were, hypering out to who knows where. We'd already swept 2 other sectors and found nothing. Turns out third time was the charm.

"Look, all I'm saying is that when we found Sajuuk, he wasn't a god, he was a ship."

"That doesn't there isn't a God though."

"One named after a ship?"

"No, dumbass, the ship would be named after him."

"Riiiiiight. Hey, M, what do you think?"

"Huh?"

"About there being a God."

"Oh...heh. Don't really think about it much. I figure it doesn't really matter though."

"How so?"

"Whether there is a god or not, he or she clearly doesn't seem to give a crap about us, so what's the point giving a crap about them?"

"Well what about going to hell and all that?"

"Heh. Look around. We're on the Eastern Front. This IS hell."

"You can't really be serio-"

"Attention all hands, we will be exiting Hyperspace in 15 minutes. All personnel report to your duty stations."

"Here we go again."

"Hey, cheer up, we might find something this time."

"I hope so, boring as shit flying out there for hours all by yourself."

On my way to the pilots ready room I passed by a pair of techs humping it out in a utility closet. Guess some people just can't wait...

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"Alright, listen up. You all know the drill, we stay on standby until either the scouts RTB or they find something. Yes, I know it's boring, but no one ever said being a pilot was all fun and dogfights. Now get out of here, dismissed."

We all thought we had three hours of boredom ahead of us. How wrong we were.

----------------------------------------

Sector 431
Former Hiigaran Territories
Eastern Front
Heavy Recon 12

----------------------------------------

"Come on, I'm telling you, Nabaal was the better player."

"Like hell he was, Somtaaw was on a whole other level."

"That's a load of shit! Look, with Nabaal at their head, the Skaals won 3 championships."

"That was because of their coach, not because of one player."

"Their coach? Kaalel couldn't coach a stream of piss outta hi-"*beep* "Woah, hold on."

"What is it?"

"My passives just got something. TAC, be advised, I've got long range contacts at...115 by..247."

"Any idea what they are?"

"Negative. Going in for a closer loo-ah shit! Contacts closing in fast! How come I didn't see thes-"*PZZT*

"Recon 12 report...Heavy Recon 12 respond."

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*bzzt*

*bzzt*

"eh? wha...oh...ugh...yes?"

"Sorry to wake you, sir, but we just lost contact with one of our Recon Fighters."

"Which one?"

"Recon 12, sir."

"Damn, ok I'll be right there."

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"Officer on deck!"

"At ease, what have we got?"

"Not much sir, we lost him here. He reported he had long range contacts. Than we lost contact."

"Alright, prep a pair of long range probes, get them out there ASAP. And have all assets upgrade to Condition 2."

"Aye sir."

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"-ands to Condition 2. I say again, all hands to Condition 2. All personnel report to your standby stations."

"Hear that M? Sounds like somethings up."

"Indeed, you better report to your wing."

"Ok, yeah. See you on the flip side I guess."

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"Probes are nearing the coordinates."

"Picking up some scattered signals, nothing solid yet though."

"Probes will arrive in 10 secon-wait...somethings wrong."

"What is it?"

"I don't, the probes just stopped transmitting."

"Interference?"

"Maybe...doesn't seem very likely though."

"First the scout and now this. Seems like someone out there doesn't want to be found."

"Orders sir?"

"We'll send in the Sierra. Assign our EW boat and the two unmanned Frigates to accompany her. Wait...on second, better send one of the Bloodhounds as well."

"What about strike-craft?"

"One squadron of multi-guns and our two Blade wings should suffice. Assign one of our Avenger flights though, just to be safe."

"Yessir."

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"Alright, Blue flight, saddle up, looks like we're on baby sitting duty today."

"Sir?"

"Recon in force. We'll be flying escort for the Sierra and her consorts."

"All personnel clear the launch area. Beginning 30 second countdown."

"TAC says something is out there, took out one of our scouts and a pair of sniffers, so everyone be on your guard."

"Launch in 15 seconds."

"Final checks completed, all systems are green."

"10 seconds."

"This'll be a smooth launch, no need to adjust your compensator's."

"5...4...3...

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"2...1...flyers are away, Commodore."

"Good."

"The Sierra is moving out, consorts are forming up on her."

"ETA to objective?"

"Estimate 15 minutes."

"So I guess we just wait."

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"Hey, yellow flight, what's it like being in one of those fast moving coffins?"

That'd be Nathan Paktu. He was rather obnoxious. In fact, he was kind of an ass really.

"Hey, at least we can move fast enough to have a chance to get away, unlike you Heavies."

"Ohhhh, Blade jockey can move fast! That's about all you boys can do, not like the Vaygr would be afraid of your little peashooter guns."

"Why don't you say that to my face you basta-"

"That's enough! Quit clogging up the combat channels with your nonsense."

"All escort elements, this is Sierra CIC. We're coming up on the target point, standby while we try to refine our sensor readings."

"Roger Sierra control, assuming high-alert positions."

"Anyone actually think we're gonna find anything out here?"

"Something must have taken out that scout."

"I said stop filling the comm channels with chatter!"

"Sorry sir, I was jus-"

"Escort elements be advised, we're picking up contacts on our passives. Can't give you exact vectors, somethings making a soup of our screens."

"Shit, that means jamming, all pilots standby for immediate hostile contact."

"EW Frigate 'Truesight', can you try and clean some of this up for us?"

"Working on it, Control, hold on."

"...ok that's better, looks like we go-HOLY SHIT!"

"What have you got Sierra Control?"

"Fleet Command, come in, we have confirmed Crusader presence. It's a fucking Cityship!"

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"Goddamn! Get them out of there, NOW!"

"Sierra Control, you are to egress the area immediately."

"Way ahead of you Command, but they're coming in from all over, escort elements are taking up positions to dela-*PZZT*"

"Massive increase in EW activity, the Vaygr must be blocking the signal."

"Dammit! Alright, scramble everything we have, and give me flank speed."

"Yessir."

"Number 2, sound Condition 1 throughout the fleet."

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"All hands to battle stations, repeat all hands to battle stations, this is not a drill. Prepare for immediate enemy contact."

"Go go go, get those fighters onto the launch rails!"

"Bring up those ammo trolleys, hurry it up!"

"Missiles are loaded and safeties disengaged, you're good to go!"

"Move you asses, we need these Corvettes fully prepped in 90 seconds, move it!"

"Bomber Wing Alpha is away, Green Flight moving to launch rails."

"Standby for combat launch, setting compensator's to max."

"Launch in 10 seconds."

"Fuck, my board isn't all green! Launch control, my backup flight system is reading red."

"5 seconds."

"No time, you'll have to go on just the primary."

"Bu-"

"2...1...launch!"
 
noodle
Greetings fellow PDS nerds. I shall update this with the next chapter at some point in the near future. However, my glorious new Saitek x52 Joystick http://www.amazon.com/Saitek-X52-Flig...73&sr=1-18
arrived today, and I shall presently be delving into various space combat sims.

This will, in addition to amusing me in and of themselves, hopefully get me pumped up for a truly epic chapter, and give me some ideas for scenes and com chatter. This chapter shall be what everyone has been, no doubt, waiting for: uber dog fight!

In exchange for your patience, here is a teaser shot: i53.photobucket.com/albums/g73/BigBlue42/Snow%20Maiden/snow20.jpg
Haruhi is my God(dess).
 
TelQuessir
Nice shot, great story and yes the chatter kind of draws you in.
 
noodle
We interrupt this bit of fiction for a special feature:

noodle's Adventures in Random Space Sims

Today's Game: The Babylon Project Freespace 2 Mod

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Thirty of them. Thirty! Who woulda thought Raiders of all people would find a way to work together in such large numbers? And then actually dare to ATTACK a major Space Station? And not just any station, THE station. 5 miles of metal and guns, Babylon 5, not to mention it's substantial number of fighters.

Of course, most of those were away when the attack started...

And now, here we are, racing back towards the station at full burn. I don't think the techs are gonna be too happy with us when we get these fighters, and their engines, back on board...

"Crap they're all over the place!"

"Cut the chatter, Beta wing defend those freighters, Alpha with me, let's see if we can take some of the pressure off the station defenses.

"We'll show them not to mess with us!"

"Ok...break break break!"

And suddenly we're among them. Raiders and Starfuries are everywhere, PPD fire and missiles streaking past on all sides. And then I spot my target, a single Zephyr making a pass on the docking berth. Realign myself...push the throttle up...adjust for his momentum and...fire!

A stream of blue death hits him dead on, and those crappy raider fighters don't have much armor. Or any, really. Scratch one as the poor bastard disappears in a ball of fire. Shouldn't have chosen a life of crim-FUCK!

Another on my tail, where'd he come from?! No time to think, punch it punch it! Full afterburn, quickly emptying my fuel reserve. I'm moving away from the main battle now, skimming the very hull of the station. I'll have to watch where I'm going, lest I fly into the firing arc of one of the station arrays. Raider is still on me.

And then we're past the first section of the station, flying over the the fighter bays. Raider sure isn't worrying about accuracy, shots rain down all over the place. Luckily he isn't a very good sho-shit, direct hit. And another. Hull down to 67%. Another! Fuck, the bastard just took out my comms. Guess I won't be calling for help today. Not that anyone was close enough to help me out...

Just passed the last of the fighter tubes, not we're over the long, funnel like green zone section of the station. How do I get this guy off of me?

Wait...just past the green zone...that's it! I dive for the hull, pulling up mere meters above it. The raider follows, but doesn't seem to want to risk getting as close as I am. Another hit, I won't last much longer. Almost there...yes! Finally I've reached the large, massively thick "clamps" of the stations, that hover just above the hull and assist it's rotation. I move under one of them, the bandit doesn't follow.

Now it's my turn. I cut the throttle, activate glide mode, and do a full vertical spin.Glide mode off, punch it to 75% of max and back the way I came. Out from under the clamp, raider is in the middle of circling around, hping to catch me when I come out. To slow buddy. Up underneath him, and a full barrage of unguided rockets. Sadly for me, I was to close when the raider went up, I slam right into the exploding debris.

Engines go to hell and I spin out of control. Right into the hull of the station. Many light years away, on Earth, a young man stares at his aging CRT monitor in disbelief.

"Oh...come...ON! Son of a whore..."

He sighs and clicks restart.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled fiction. Whenever it gets around to being updated...
Haruhi is my God(dess).
 
noodle
Part 2

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Hundreds of thousands of kilometers away from ones main forces, surrounded by enemies that far outclass you is not where one would, generally speaking, want to be. Fortunately for the recon detachment, the Captain of the Sierra was a veteran, and didn't panic easily.

"TAC, where we at?"

"Doesn't look good sir, Vaygr EW is jamming everything, but I think the rest of the task force is moving toward us."

"Best guess at when we'll meet up?"

"At flank speed, make it...5 minutes."

"Alright, listen up, we don't have much time, so everyone pay attention. Tactical, transfer the remote frigates to local control and assign them rear guard. They're cheap and don't have crews, we can afford to lose them. Have the flak boat ride herd on the EW frigate, and tell them not to worry about ammo conservation. Weapons!"

"Sir?"

"Set the main ion turrets to lowest energy, maximum duration settings. I want a pair of massive surgical lasers at our disposable."

"Aye sir, on it."

"Lots of strike-craft incoming, long range missiles launching."

"Pull our Blades back, they don't have the endurance for a head on fight. Move the Corvettes and the Avenger squadron to the front, they'll have to take the brunt of the attack. Split the Interceptors up and have them take the flanks."

"Yessir."

"Truesight reports they can't punch through this jamming."

"Of course they can't, that's a cityship out there. Tell them to stop trying and just concentrate on counter-jamming, try and clean these screens up some and at least give us clear short range comms."

"Incoming!"

"Counter-missiles away."

"Impact in 5 seconds."

"Remote frigates are in position."

"Impact...minor damage to section 18, armor held everywhere else."

"Score one for BuShips..."

"Strikecraft are in position, contact in 20 seconds."

"It's up to them now, they have to hold."

----------------------------------------

"TAC, Blue squadron is in position."

"Roger, standby for immediate enemy contact. Flak frigate is going to full suppression fire."

"Copy. All pilots maintain formation."

"One flak boat isn't going to help much against that..."

"What the hell are they thinking? 12 against a hundred? This is insane!"

"Flak Frigate 'Celestia' beginning suppression."

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"I have lots of contacts! Missiles inbound!"

"Holy shit! We need to get out of here!"

"Negative, hold position."

"But those birds will shre-"

"Hold position! Do NOT fall back!"

"All pilots, you are weapons free, if you have a missile lock, take it now."

"Ah, negative, I can't get one, to much jamming."

"Same here, can't see a thing, lead."

"Three here, I've got one, lock confirmed. Missiles away."

"Fox 1, bird away."

i53.photobucket.com/albums/g73/BigBlue42/Snow%20Maiden/snow18.jpg

"ETA on enemy birds is 10 seconds."

"TAC, we could use some help here..."

"Roger, standby."

"5 seconds to contact."

"Stay in formation!"

"Shit here they com-"

Suddenly, above and below us, two solid beams of light appeared. They began to sweep back and forth, wiping away virtually all of the incoming Vaygr missiles. They lasted a lot longer than any Ion beam I'd ever heard of. If only we had that power when the enemy fighters showed up...

"What the hell?"

"Sajuuk, what was that?"

"Whatever you guys just did, thanks TAC."

"Copy that. We do what we can."

"Could you repeat that trick again for the enemy strikecraft?"

"Negative, batteries are dry, will take us at least 90 seconds to recharge."

"Shit, enemy fighters on approach, contact in 10."

"This is it, all pilots hold formation and prepare to break on my mark."

"Corvettes are tracking...targets locked."

"5 seconds."

"This is gonna be tough..."

"Standby...standby...break break break!"

i53.photobucket.com/albums/g73/BigBlue42/Snow%20Maiden/snow9.jpg

At that point all organization was lost. I can't report on how the battle must have looked from the outside, all I can do is tell what it was like from my point of view. It was hell.

"Fuc-"

"Incoming!"

"Lock, wait, damn lost it."

"One on your six, break!"

"So many..."

"Can't shake him!"

"Scratch 1!"

"Fox 2!"

"Turrets locked."

i53.photobucket.com/albums/g73/BigBlue42/Snow%20Maiden/snow19.jpg

"Come on..."

"Could use some hel-"

"On it."

"Cover me, cover me!"

"Bird away."

"Got another!"

"Bombers at 213..."

"Missiles, missil-"

"Targeting corvette on vector 12."

"So fucking many, we can't keep this up!"

"TAC, status on backup?"

"ETA 2 minutes 30 seconds."

"All unit's be advised, Ion cannons will be ready to fire in 45 seconds."

It was about that time that I finally got my first kill. It was a Crusader interceptor, and it wasn't exactly being piloted well. Dumbass flew right into my sights.

"Scratch 1!"

"On your 6! Break!"

The Avenger isn't the fastest strikecraft around, but that doesn't mean it's slow. I slammed the the stick forward into a dive. Looking up I could see tracer fire stream past, followed by the Vaygr. Cut the throttle, pull the nose up, let him get ahead, and...

i53.photobucket.com/albums/g73/BigBlue42/Snow%20Maiden/snow21.jpg

"Scratch 2!"

"New contacts, heading 145."

"Roger lead. 4, you're with me, lets get 'em."

"Copy, on your wing."

"Missile lock, taking the shot."

"Fox 1...Fox 2, birds away."

"...negative, first is a miss."

"2nd missile hit, target is out of control."

"Contact! Here we go."

After that there was no more time to think, things happened so fast. Instincts and training kicked in. Break, roll, 180 degree vertical spin, full burst right into bogie's face, full throttle again, dive, new target, full burn, target lock, missile away. No time to check if it hit or not, bombers at 3 o' clock, realign on new vector, pull the trigger. Must have hit an ammo rack, both bombers disappear in a ball of fire.

And so on it went, for what seemed like an eternity, but couldn't have been more than a couple minutes.

"They just took out one of the remote frigates!"

"Shit, need corvette support over here."

"Corvettes are gone, we're on our own."

"TAC, we can't keep this up any longer, where's our backup?!"

"ETA 40 seconds, just hold on."

"We aren't going to last 40 seconds, fire those Ion mounts!"

"Negative, we cannot do that without risking hitting our own fighte-"

"Just do it! Do it now!"

"...acknowledged, standby."

"Everyone get clear of the Sierra!"

"Main mounts firing."

Even at their lowest settings, the Ion cannons of a light-cruiser are immensely powerful. They cut a huge swathe through the battle, wiping away dozens of strikecraft, mostly Vaygr, but several Hiigaran ships as well.

"Attention Sierra and consorts, this is the Caldera, we will be entering weapons range in 10 seconds, standby for additional allied strikecraft to enter the battle."

"It's about time!"

"Caldera, Sierra CIC, requesting new orders."

"Copy Sierra control, you are to provide cover for allied units as they dock and assume emergency jump formation."

"Copy Caldera. Be advised we are taking a heavy beating, and our reactor is showing signs of imminent loss of containment. We need to leave, and soon."

i53.photobucket.com/albums/g73/BigBlue42/Snow%20Maiden/snow4.jpg

"Truesight reports that they are linking with Fleet's EW systems. Standby...link established, beginning cyclical counter-jamming."

"That's it, my screens are clear!"

"Copy that, all fleet assets report solid locks, all ships fire!"

i53.photobucket.com/albums/g73/BigBlue42/Snow%20Maiden/snow12.jpg

A storm of missiles filled the nearby space then, most of them coming from the newly arrived Hiigaran strikecraft. Nearly all of them most have found their targets, because seconds later there were far less Vaygr on my screen...

"Frigates assume jump formations, LSF squadrons provide cover for
them."

i53.photobucket.com/albums/g73/BigBlue42/Snow%20Maiden/snow13.jpg

"Additional Vaygr forces are 15 seconds out."

"Lavi squadron Epsilon here. We'll slow them down."

i53.photobucket.com/albums/g73/BigBlue42/Snow%20Maiden/snow7.jpg

"Copy Epsilon, Bomber wing will assist you."

"All surviving Blades RTB."

"Avenger squadrons run interference for the Sierra."

"Copy TAC."

"What, they want us to keep fighting, there's hardly any of us left!"

"Shut it, we're still outnumbered here, even with the Caldera, we need every fighter we can get."

"Bomber group Alpha to Command. They have heavy frigates here, we won't be able to hold them off for long."

"EW and Flak boats are in formation."

"Remote frigate is badly damaged, consider her a write off."

"Confirmed, Torpedo boats are launching proximity heavy flak birds, all other assets go to full suppression fire."

"All strikecraft return to base, repeat everyone back to the barn."

"Command, Sierra control, we're having some problems with our reactor, engineers are trying to stabilize now."

"This is Epsilon 1 to control, we just took a hit to our maneuvering thrusters, we can't realign for docking."

"Copy Epsilon lead, we'll dispatch a salvage cre-"

"Negative, too late! We can't hold it, coming in hard, evac the strike bay, repeat, eva-"

I was about 700 meters away from the Caldera at that time, and had a clear view of what happened. The Lavi came in at the wrong angle and slammed right into the front edge of the upper strike bay. Momentum kept it going and it spun straight into the bay. A massive fireball erupted from the carrier. The com channels were suddenly full of panicked voices.

"Holy shit!"

"Ah hell!"

"What happened?"

"Must have wiped out the whole bay!"

"Can we still land? Is the lower bay intact?

"Caldera CIC to damage control, status."

"Not good sir, HEAVY casualties, the whole upper bay is trashed."

"Can we still land ships?"

"Negative, not up here, heavy damaged to the docked strikecraft as well."

"Lavi's ammo racks went up, massive hull damage and scorching."

"Confirmed, all strikecraft are to use the lower bay."

"Can we all fit in there?"

"Gonna be a tight squeeze, but I think we can handle it."

"Blue squadron, you're up next. Proceed on vector 14-"

"Caldera Control! This is Sierra, our reactor is going critical, we can't shut it down!"

"Fuck! All ships clear the area, repeat, clear the ar-"

I don't fully remember what happened next. I bright flash to my right, then I was spinning out of control and my cockpit was full of blaring warning sirens and alarms. Then I blacked out.

When I came to, I was drifting. A quick systems check told a sad story; engines were gone, weapons trashed, comm's a wreck, life support was barely operational. Sensors were semi-functional though, and allowed me to see with reasonable clarity out to about 5km. It wasn't a pretty sight.

Wreckage was everywhere. The shattered remains of the Sierra floated about 500 meters away. I couldn't see any sigh of the Caldera. Maybe she got away? No way to know for sure though.

My sensors were intact enough to tell me that about 2 hours after I came to the Vaygr hypered out. I guess some of our ships must have gotten away and the Vaygr were worried they return with backup.

It's been 14 hours now since I regained consciousness. I've activated the ships beacon. At least I think I have, that systems trashed as well, so there's no way to know if it's transmitting or not. Life support is almost gone. It's getting cold in here...I feel so tired...still...I always liked the cold...so...this isn't...so bad...

...

...

...*recording ends*

----------------------------------------

Afterward

----------------------------------------

<<<<<<<< Casualty Report, Caldera Recon Detachment, 8th Fleet >>>>>>>>

----------------------------------------

*scroll up*

Name ---------------- Status

LiirHra, B ---------- KIA

LiirHra, D ---------- MIA

LiirHra, D ---------- Active

LiirHra, E ---------- KIA

LiirHra, G ---------- MIA

Manaan, A --------- KIA

Manaan, C --------- Active

*scroll down*

----------------------------------------

*scroll up*

Name ---------------- Status

Manaan, E ---------- KIA

Manaan, F ---------- KIA

Manaan, G ---------- MIA

Manaan, L ---------- Active

[Manaan, M MIA]

>>>[ Name: Manaan, Miriel

Gender: Female

Age: 19

Assigned: HGN Caldera, Recon Detachment, 8th Fleet

Status: Unknown, Missing In Action, Presumed Dead ]<<<

Manaan, T ---------- MIA

Nabaal, C ---------- Active

*scroll down*

----------------------------------------

"Exiting Hyperspace now, sir."

"Sensors report all clear. No sign of the Vaygr."

"Alright, begin scanning for beacons. Dispatch the recovery boats, but make sure to give them heavy escorts. Never know who might be lurking around in all that wreckage."

"Aye aye, sir."

----------------------------------------

"Warning: severe radiation present, possible capital class reactor overload. Radiation dense up to a range of: 15 kilometers..."

"S&R Team 3, anything to report?"

"Negative, still nothing. Any of the other boats found anyone?"

"Roger, Team 7 just found two survivors a few minutes ago, keep at it, there must be more out there somewhere."

"Copy control, Team 3 out."

"Recommend all vessels egress from contaminated region. Warning: severe radia-"

"For fucks sake, will you turn that damn thing off?"

"Uh, right, sorry Chief."

"Anything yet?"

"No, nothing but dust and echoes...wait...hold on."

"What is it?"

"Picking up a faint signal...looks like an emergency beacon."

"Got a location?"

"Trying to get a fix, hang on...ok got it, uploading coordinates to your screen."

"Alright, plotting in new course, lets see what we got..."

----------------------------------------

"-rep the de-con room stat!"

"-iriel! Miriel! Wake up! Wake up!"

Katrina? What the...where am I? Am I dead? Wait...de-con room? The afterlife has a de-con room? That doesn't seem right...

"Wake up, M, come on, open your eyes."

"Kat, that you?"

"Finally! You had me worried for a while there."

"Where am I?"

"On board the Supercarrier 'Saitek'. Bet you never thought you'd get to be on one of these monsters did you?"

"What's going on?"

"You're alive, that's whats going on! They're taking you in for radiation treatment, but the doctors don't think it's to bad, just a precaution."

"What happened to the Caldera?"

"She made it out ok, along with the rest of the Detachment. We reported the Cityship to HQ soon as we got back, and they dispatched a heavy Carrier group."

"They had a Supercarrier just standing by, ready to go like that?"

"Of course. Ours was one of the last recon missions. It's on now M, Operation Sledgehammer is underway."

"Excuse me ma'am, but you're going to have to stay out here for now, we'll tell you when you can see her."

"Ok. Hey M! It's been busy, but tactical found time to correlate the various combat records. You got 7 kills, you made Ace on your first mission!"
Edited by noodle on 17-02-2008 23:13
Haruhi is my God(dess).
 
yasotay
Very nice tempo. I enjoyed that.
I am ancient
 
noodle
I'm not dead! Honest!

Ok, major update. No, not a new chapter, not yet anyway, major status update.

Let us begin:

As is my right as an author (look at me getting all full of myself), I have decided that my first two stories, Death Charge and Battle of Solo, I'm not really to happy with. They have some nice ideas in them, but as a whole I just don't feel they work well with the vision of the PDSverse I'm, trying to create, so from this point on I consider them invalid. They do not have any place in my own personal story canon. However, the general events covered in those stories; ie the Hiigaran defeat at the Battle of the Solo Main Fleet Base, and the ambush and destruction of the 78th SOG do happen, just the specifics do not play out as I have previously written.

I may someday retell them, who knows? Note that I am not above recycling stories elements so certain things previously done in those stories may or may not return. Example: the prototype ship the Beretta WILL be making a return, because I just love the concept of what is essentially a massive cannon with an engine at one end.

Now, on to what this thread is about, which is of course the adventures of everyone's (and by everyone I of course mean me) favorite apathetic female fighter pilot. I will be concentrating on this story for the foreseeable future. However any updates will be further delayed, as I go back and do some tweaking and expanding of the first two chapters in preparation for posting them on the official Relic forums. Who knows, maybe I'll be able to scare up some more interest in this presently languishing mod?
Haruhi is my God(dess).
 
noodle
i53.photobucket.com/albums/g73/BigBlue42/Snow%20Maiden/Homeworld22008-03-2313-14-15-89.png

i53.photobucket.com/albums/g73/BigBlue42/Snow%20Maiden/Homeworld22008-03-2313-14-36-28.png

----------------------------------------

Technical Specifications

----------------------------------------

F-36 'Avenger' Heavy Fighter

Manufacturer: Fal'Cho Aeronautics/Somtaaw Heavy Industries Joint Venture

Role: Heavy Assault/Space Superiority

Weight: 45 Tons

Width: 12 meters

Length: 18 meters

Hull: Depleted Uranium Re-enforced Advanced Mono-bonded Armor, rated at CV (combat value) of 81. Designed by Fal'Cho Aeronautics.

Primary Powerplant: SE-17 'Starburst III', 8th Generation Reactionless Drive Unit, Somtaaw Heavy Industries.

Secondary Powerplant: Limited Endurance Chemical Generator, Ita Plants Inc.

Maximum Velocity: 2100 kph.

Control and Guidance: Specially designed 11th Generation FCS (flight control system), Manaan Flight Systems Inc.

Targeting and Navigation: Standard Issue Type 2 Military Grade Sensor Suite, limited EW capabilities. Fleet produced.

Life Support: Standard Issue Type 5 LS Design - variant with minor modifications. Equipped with Vacuum-sealed Type 4 Combat Ejection Capsule. Meets all minimum standards for radiation shielding. Original design fleet produced, modification work done by Fal'Cho Aeronautics.

Maximum Life Support Endurance: 10 days.

Armament: Quad wing-mounted 50mm Pulse Cannon, manufactured by Nabaal Fleet Weapons Ltd.
Rated at 30 rounds per second, 1200 round maximum capacity.

Dual under-wing mounts provide space for a wide range of light and medium missile munitions. Standard outfit is two AS-10 Aspect Seeking Missiles, Hilko Munitions Manufacturing.

Counter-measures: Standard issue flare and chaff package. Maximum capacity of 15.

Mission Adaptability: Semi-modular design allows for limited modification to meet various mission parameters.

List of authorized variants:

HFX-001: Original prototype. Lost during Vaygr Invasion.

HFX-002 & 003: Second and third prototypes. 003 destroyed in test flight accident, 002 decommissioned after completion of test trials.

HEFX-001: Prototype variant, featured stripped down armor and reduced output powerplant, primary armament changed to tri-mounted 30mm kinetic cannon. Designed for fleet escort and mobile point defense. Design was abandoned by Navy in favor of F-38 LSF design. Prototype decommissioned.

F-36 Type A1: First production model, discontinued. Supplanted by Type A2.

F-36 Type A2: Current production model, incorporates numerous improvements over original production design.

F-36 Type B1a: Single seat Heavy Recon. Equipped with modified powerplant and advanced sensor suite. Improved EW capabilities.

F-36 Type B1b: Dual seat Heavy Recon. Same as above but features vastly improved EW and sensor capabilities.

F-36 'Elite': Limited production run variant. Intended for elite fighter squadrons, design includes custom produced powerplant and improved armor protection. FCS optimized to meet intended pilot's request. Entire assembly done by hand.

F-40 'Warpig' Type A: Ultra Heavy Assault variant. Reconfigured design features much improved armor protection and uprated powerplant. Speed and maneuverability severely reduced due to added mass of armor and 190mm smooth bore under-mounted cannon. Designed for anti-frigate and anti-light-capital duties.
Edited by noodle on 29-03-2008 18:42
Haruhi is my God(dess).
 
noodle
I'm not dead yet! Update coming soon(ish). Busy with other stuff, chief of which is shotgunning everything BSG in preparation of the season 4 premiere.
Haruhi is my God(dess).
 
noodle
Update will arrive soon, will go back to writing soon as this is posted.
Haruhi is my God(dess).
 
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