Flight Combat Training

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Aquila Slyphs
Flight Commodore
Flight Commodore
Posts: 417
Joined: 2008-04-20 17:00
Custom Title: Fenrir 7, Lady Luck
Organizational Unit: TIE Defender Pilot of Fenrir Squadron
Location: Nemesis-class Star Dreadnaught Lusankya
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Flight Combat Training

Post by Aquila Slyphs » 2011-07-09 20:24

"Here they come. Fenrir Squadron, attack formation. Protect the shuttle!"

Twelve TIE Interceptor Mk I's had been escorting a single Lambda shuttle that had only minutes ago departed from a spaceport on the mining world of Kessel when a squadron of New Republic X-Wings appeared on their sensors, their objective, to destroy the shuttle before it could get into space and make the jump. In all, a fairly standard scenario but with a twist, a half-squadron of E-Wings would arrive at some point to back up the X-Wings while Fenrir squadron would get zero support. The odds were heavily against them but such was to be expected from the harsh standards expected from the officers aboard the NIF flagship Nemesis.

"I'll cover the shuttle," Aquila announced as two others also announced their intentions to do the same, creating a secondary barrier while the nine other Interceptors broke off to engage the incoming snubs. While this was only a simulator, it still felt very real and Aquila treated it as such, easily reaching that mindset where she believed it to be such as the red land below them started to disappear as the group went into a steep climb up to the vacuum of space.

"One of the crosses broke through!" Jillian announced. The "crosses" was the TIE pilot slang for the New Republic X-Wing for obvious reasons. Just as NR pilots would call TIE Fighters "eyeballs" and Interceptors "squints", NIF pilots had fancy nicknames for the NR snubs.

"On it!" Alath, who also opted to stay close with the shuttle, peeled away to intercept.

Glancing at her scope, Aquila watched the frenzy of snubs darting about. Her scope started to warn her that a targeting computer was starting to track her. Suppressing a yelp at the lack of warning, she quickly pulled herself away from the escort position, twisting her agile craft around in a tight turn to engage the X-Wing that had broken through.

"Another got through," Mayli pointed out, oddly late to have pointed it out.

"I'm on it," Aquila said softly as she buzzed past the snub, her wingtip lasers firing away in a quick strafing pass. The shields absorbed the worst of what she could dish out, but it was enough to also make the X-Wing break from his attack vector on the Lambda. Using the superior agility of the TIE to her advantage, Aquila turned again to match the X-Wing's vector, once again firing more lasers into its backside. It dove down suddenly and Aquila matched the maneuver easily, the slight inertial lift picking the small pilot up out of her seat an inch as the dampeners weren't able to fully compensate for the sudden change in pitch. The seat was padded so the landing wasn't very had as she glanced at the targeting computer, waiting for the red X-Wing image to line up in the center of the computer while she maintained her vector.

"Seven, don't get too far from Echo Three." Jack's voice was cautionary.

"Roger," Aquila replied as she checked the scanner to see how far she was being taken away. The targeting computer announced a lock and she fired her lasers again, the stream of powerful green beams slamming into the aft of the X-Wing, shredding its shields before punching holes into the engines and one of the S-Foils that suddenly broke off. Aquila pulled her TIE away, throttling up to climb back up to the height the shuttle was at. The repulsor strained at the sudden demand for speed, the ion engines not activating because they were still in planetary "atmospheric" limits. It was a breathable atmosphere, but one still had to wear a gas mask.

"Nice shooting Lady Luck," Alath cheered, "He's trailing smoke!"

Aquila glanced back through the tiny window behind her and saw the damaged X-Wing continue to flee, thick black billows of smoke pouring out of both its port engines, several deep blast marks in the rear of its main fuselage section. The astromech was probably working feverishly to repair it but Aquila wagered the snub was out of the fight, the pilot not wanting to take any further risks with his damaged snub. I remember when the AI was set to kill-us-no-matter-the-cost, she thought, glad the officers in charge of today's practice simulation had decided to put realism ahead of the need for the twelve TIE pilots to prove their dominance under do-or-die conditions.

Pollix suddenly spoke up. "I got a cross on my six."

"Hang tight Potsticker," Alath replied, "I've got him."

"WOO-WHEE!!!" Mayli cheered, "Bagged one!" Her TIE flew through the orange fireball, the debris of what remained of the TIE raining down onto the barren world below. Aquila glanced at some of the debris and noticed the hover train pillars. I wonder what it's like down there? Aquila had heard various stories, rumours and such about criminals and slaves working the spice mines of Kessel. Part of her wondered if that's where her family now toiled away before she remembered about what Alath told her.

"Nn-ungh..." Aquila moaned suddenly, her head splitting as she was unable to fully fathom fact from fiction.

"You okay there Seven?" Jack asked.

Stop thinking about it... Focus on the simulation...

"Y-Yeah," Aquila managed weakly as she looked back at the sensor and then the altimeter. They were nearing the bounds of space and only 2 X-Wings had been taken down. The E-Wings would arrive soon and then they'd be badly outnumbered. "I'm okay..." she lied, wishing she could understand what was wrong with her. Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed another X-Wing appear, but it wasn't going for the shuttle, instead it was targeting another TIE. "Ah, Eleven, I'm coming!"

"Huh?" Krom inquired, completely focused on downing the snub in his sights at the expense of being lured into a deadly crossfire.

Aquila's TIE engaged the trailing X-Wing and resumed pouring laser fire into its rear. It suddenly pulled away and Aquila came face to face with another X-Wing, this one heading straight at her, lasers blazing away. "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!!!" Aquila screamed in terror as reflex depressed the triggers of her own. The red and green shots from the respective snubs passed each other, some of them striking against its opposite. Knowing her snub wouldn't survive a head on impact, Aquila rolled her TIE out of the incoming path while the X-Wing, sure of his victory, turned to try and match her maneuver, lasers still firing away.

"You okay Seven?" Jack inquired.

"I'm not, my ears!" Corsair cursed. "You are worse than Five, you know that?"

"I... I'm sorry," Aquila managed. Her craft shook once as lasers started to find their way into her backside. Though she stifled another cry of fear, the whimper that came out still was picked up on the comm. Aquila suddenly slowed her craft down while also pulling back on the stick as if she was going to loop around. To her surprise, not only did the X-Wing both overtake her but it was also climbing, its momentum putting it right in her sights. Capitalizing on the opportunity, Aquila opened fire as she adjusted her speed to match the snub.

"Nice cobra maneuver!" Alath cheered as she had been rushing over to try and help her friend out.

Too busy to respond at the moment, Aquila assumed that was the name given to the fluke maneuver she had just pulled. As her lasers tore into the blue shields before hitting the hull, the X-Wing pulling away last moment as a small explosion of sparks and smoke announced the death of it's astromech unit, she finally responded, "Thanks..." Another X-Wing now limped away from the battle as a fourth and fifth were destroyed by Rogmi and Mel respectively. So far, Fenrir squadron was doing alright for themselves but a new voice, the voice of Echo Three, announced, "We've got six e-zees incoming, vector three-six-zero, ninety degrees."

"Double time it," Jack announced, "Seven through Twelve, engage the E's ahead of the shuttle. The rest of us will deal with the crosses."

"But that leaves you out numbered!" Rogmi pointed out in protest.

Aquila was already moving ahead of the shuttle, her sensors picking up the six new marks. The shuttle itself wasn't unarmed but it was hardly a combat capable vessel, especially against E-Wings. Marking the targets on her sensor, Aquila assigned the other five TIEs with her an E-Wing to target. She hated playing chicken but it was the only way to effectively force them to break before they could get within attack range of the shuttle. "I've sent you vectors," Aquila announced, her voice shaky as she didn't much like the idea of ordering people around but, as she was the lead number of the little group, it made her the defacto leader in this instance. "Let's try and force them to break..."

"Yeah, we really got to work on that confidence of yours there," Corsair sighed. "It's not doing anything to boost mine."

Alath snorted. "How about this, follow her orders and I won't thump you when this is over!"

"Hmm... I'm going to have to place my credits on the woman," Krom laughed, knowing how well a doctor could hold his own in a fight.

"Thanks Helium, remind me to flood your quarters with your nicknamesake when this is over."

"H-Hey..." Aquila began, knowing they were being observed and fearing that their banter would reflect poorly on her. Somehow they did follow their assignments as the six Interceptors fanned out to match the incoming E-Wing formation. Before they got within range, the first causality struck the squadron.

"Damnit!" Mayli cursed loudly, "They got Mouse!!! That bastard will pay!!!"

"They only got her because I had to break from trying to clear her six," Jillian said sadly as she worked on shaking off another X-Wing of her own, "But don't- gah! I have to break away." The extra X-Wings in the group were now working at systematically picking off the most endangered TIEs who were busy trying to focus on their own targets. Being outnumbered meant this fight was going to dissolve rapidly in the New Republic's favor if Fenrir squadron couldn't regain control and dominance of the situation.
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"If you believe in luck, wish for the good version." -Lando Calrissian, Shadows of the Empire

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Aquila Slyphs
Flight Commodore
Flight Commodore
Posts: 417
Joined: 2008-04-20 17:00
Custom Title: Fenrir 7, Lady Luck
Organizational Unit: TIE Defender Pilot of Fenrir Squadron
Location: Nemesis-class Star Dreadnaught Lusankya
Contact:

Re: Flight Combat Training

Post by Aquila Slyphs » 2011-07-11 02:50

Once again, Aquila found herself playing another game of chicken, this time against an E-Wing. Going through her mind was the question of which version this E-Wing was, more importantly, what weapons it was sporting. The torpedoes were the least of her concern as she would have ample warning to outmaneuver the slower warheads but the E-Wing did boast some powerful shields and, in a straight up fight, a TIE Interceptor would lose or break first, unless the E-Wing pilot was exceptionally uncertain of the suicidal tendencies of Interceptor pilots. Aquila would always break first, prematurely even, but she couldn't stand such head-on psychological tactics.

In the distance, she could just make out the incoming starfighter. As she lined up the crosshairs of her HUD, Windsly's voice crackled over the comm. "I'm hit! Bailing out!"

"They're getting shredded down there," Alath cried out. Indeed, the seven remaining X-Wings were doing a superb job at thinning out the number of TIEs, their attention now forcefully divided between the two different groups of snubs.

Steady... Steady, Aquila's grip on the control yoke tightened as she forced herself to continue on her current vector. Don't break, don't break... She repeated those words to herself over and over in her mind, hoping to keep her nerve and not cower in the face of the incoming enemy. It helped that this was only a simulation, but she also didn't want to be the cause for the squadron failing this practice run.

The distance counter between her and the E-Wing rapidly trickled down and just before she got within laser range, Aquila depressed the triggers, squeezing them to let loose a torrent of rapid, single cannon fire that crossed the distance. The other snub, surprisingly, didn't open fire against her she was within optimal targeting computer range. That could only mean the E-Wings were the old models armed with blasters. That made her feel slightly better about her chances as her lasers impacted against the E-Wing. The vessel broke away suddenly, as did many of the other E-Wings, scattering about in the thinning sky as they approached the limits of Kessel's atmosphere. As she moved to intercept its new heading, news that a trio of X-Wings were bearing down on Echo Three.

"Great, now what?" Taza inquired.

Aquila bit her lower lip, struggling to focus her attention between chasing down the E-Wing and reacting to this new problem. Could she send anyone with her after them? But that would leave her outnumbered by the snubs they were facing down. If she didn't though, the others would be torn to shreds. WhatdoIdo? WhatdoIdo!?!?

"Seven?" Taza inquired.

"Can anyone respond to it?" Aquila replied, her concentration breaking. The E-Wing she was after dove down, disappearing from sight and she tried to match it, but it was already two steps ahead of her and Aquila was forced to regain her bearings and track another starfighter. Her shields started to flash, another one having gotten behind her. "AH!" she cried out suddenly, reflex kicking in as her arms yanked on the controls to try and shake her tail. Either she didn't maneuver hard enough or another one took over, Aquila was dismayed to see that her shields were still being plastered with blaster bolts. Her shields were starting to fail now. No, no, no, no, no! Dumping excess laser energy into the shields, now Aquila was without weapons as her TIE worked to recharge the capacitors. The temporary stopgap measure only seemed to delay the inevitable as the E-Wing didn't let up. On the bright side, it meant one less enemy to harass Echo Three but Aquila was suddenly wishing the simulated person would leave her alone.

A buzzer sounded the instant her shields failed, the blaster bolts hitting against the fragile hull of her snub. "AYIEEE!!" she cried, feeling the TIE shake with each successful hit. She continued to twist and turn, the odd shot still hitting her while many others flew straight past her on either side, above or beneath. "Anyone able to help?"

Alath was the first to respond and not with the usual positive answer Aquila would have expected from her. "Sorry Lady Luck, I've got problems of my own here..."

A flurry of negative responses returned and Aquila was left fending for herself as more shots tore into the hull of her TIE. Her hand, feeling no other way out, reached for the eject handle and firmly grasped the red lever. A bright orange flash behind her and the sudden ceasing of the deadly rain of fire allowed Aquila to relax her grip on the handle. Thank the Stars! The E-Wing, in his effort at finishing her unshielded TIE off, neglected to keep track of how badly he was overheating his guns which had reached the overload point, causing them to explode. Aquila had always thought they just shut down, but she was glad another NR starfighter was gone as she kicked her TIE around to try and assist her other squadmates, her laser cannons halfway to optimum charge again.
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"If you believe in luck, wish for the good version." -Lando Calrissian, Shadows of the Empire

User avatar
Aquila Slyphs
Flight Commodore
Flight Commodore
Posts: 417
Joined: 2008-04-20 17:00
Custom Title: Fenrir 7, Lady Luck
Organizational Unit: TIE Defender Pilot of Fenrir Squadron
Location: Nemesis-class Star Dreadnaught Lusankya
Contact:

Re: Flight Combat Training

Post by Aquila Slyphs » 2011-07-12 22:44

The lights and display in the cockpit suddenly went dark and Aquila cowered as the last thing she remembered seeing was the approaching E-Wing that had been pumping the shuttle full of blaster fire. Her heart pounded against her chest faster than the laser cannons of her TIE fired as she slowly remembered it was only a simulator. A voice crackled in her ear. "Fenrir Seven, you have been destroyed. Please leave the cockpit."

That was a familiar phrase though she used to be Fenrir Ten back in the academy. She liked that number, ten, but seven wasn't so bad either. Popping the hatch above her, she pulled herself up and out of the simulation pod which was little more than the central ball of a TIE mounted on a series of servos and motors to help simulate the occasional g-forces that the inertial dampeners weren't able to fully block out.

"Just like old times eh?" Alath asked as she too climbed out of her own cockpit.

Nodding, Aquila jumped down onto the metal floor. The other "shot down" pilots were watching the rest of the simulation play out on a holoprojector near by and Aquila could see there were only five TIEs left and the NR still had seven snubs, two E-Wings and five X-Wings.

"Hey Seven, you're little suicide charge saved the shuttle," Windsly chuckled as she approached. "Might have helped if you didn't crash into him though."

Aquila smiled sheepishly, a shy nod expressing her embarrassment that she wasn't able to pull away in time before her snub smashed into the unshielded form of the E-Wing. She had no idea what had happened, one moment she was shooting the E-Wing, the next she was literally on top of it, twisting the controls in an effort to pull away before her mind registered it was too late and she threw her hands up to shield her face for the fat lot of good it would do. Guess I'm no where near as good...

Putting her arm around Aquila's shoulder, Alath said, "Let's just hope her sacrifice wasn't in vein then. C'mon Kid, blast them out of orbit!"

"I... I don't think he can hear you," Aquila glanced back at the simulator Rogmi was in. Turning back to the holo, she could see how close the shuttle was to reaching the exit vector but already an X-Wing was coming up behind it, firing it's lasers set to quad-fire. The powerful bolts tore into the vessel's shields as the aft laser cannons fired back, providing the New Republic AI pilot something to be concerned about.

"Blast, I could shoot better than that gunner... He couldn't hit the dorsal side of the Nemesis if he was standing on it!" Aquila giggled a little at the comment as a couple others also found some humour in it. "Yay Kid!" A lone interceptor broke off from an E-Wing and made a headlong charge at the X-Wing harassing Echo Three, green lasers firing wildly. The shots found their mark but just as the shields were stripped away, a pair of proton torpedoes were let loose. Moments after the deadly warheads were beyond the shield of the X-Wing, the snubfighter exploded in spectacular fashion. A collective gasp of horror went up as the deadly warheads tracked their target. The TIE Interceptor tracked the tiny missiles but was unable to fire least he risk blowing the aft section of the shuttle into pieces. The shuttle, on the other hand, didn't hesitate to open fire on the incoming warheads. "You fool!" Alath winced as she watched the scene unfold.

Aquila's eyes went wide as the AI gunner demonstrated a complete disregard for the TIE and its pilot, the laser cannons firing wildly at the ordinance. "Rogmi, get out of there!" Aquila yelped, again, unable to remember this wasn't real.

Behind the group, another one of the simulators stopped and began lowering itself to the floor. The hatch popped open and Rogmi groaned. "I can't believe I forgot the cardinal rule when it came to those shuttles..."

"Don't come up on their afterburners?" Jillian smirked.

"That too, but also they will have a complete disregard for any assistance we try to provide." He laughed, glancing up at the glass window two stories above them where a group of officers were no doubt watching and monitoring their performance.

Aquila looked back at the screen and managed to just catch the shuttle reach its exit vector, accelerating to light speed with hardly a second to spare as the two proton torpedoes passed through the space the shuttle had only moments ago occupied. A collective cheer went up in the group assembled as the remaining simulators were lowered to the floor, allowing the surviving pilots of Fenrir squadron to get out.

Before their celebrations could really get started, a door slid open and a high ranking officer strode in, a scowl on his face. "That was the worst performance I've seen all year!" he bellowed as he immediately sought out Jack. "You all made so many mistakes, it's amazing that shuttle got away at all!"

"Yeah, well, that's all that matters in the end right?" Alath shot back with a sneer on her face, "So long as the objective is accomplished, it doesn't matter how many of us are sacrificed to make it happen. That's the Im-" She stopped as Aquila desperately tugged on Alath's arm, fear in her wide blue eyes.

"Miss Links," the officer glared in her direction, "Maybe achieving the objective was good enough for you back on the Eris, but this is the Nemesis and completion of the objective is not good enough if it costs us eight pilots to protect one shuttle."

"Hey, we were outnumbered," Rogmi pointed out quickly. Normally, it would have been a very valid defense, but not today.

"Against a foe who was both slower and less agile. You've all been flying Interceptors long enough to know that they can fly circles around Rebel X-Wings and yet, what I saw today, I don't think a single one of you could pull that off..."

"Wanna bet?" Alath crossed her arms together, challenging the man, insubordination be damned.

"A-Alath," Aquila whispered, still very much fearful, doubly so now as she had never successfully flown a circle around an X-Wing on purpose. There was that one instance when she managed to pull it off by sheer fluke but that was more scared reflex in the heat of battle.

"Very well," the officer began, "To those of you who can successfully navigate the circle course, you can leave, but those of you who are unable, you will have the honour of further training..." he paused to regard each and every pilot standing before him before finishing, "With the army in a sparring match."
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"If you believe in luck, wish for the good version." -Lando Calrissian, Shadows of the Empire

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