2629 - An Officers Beginning - Redux


Rear Admiral
Gday folks
I was browsing my old fan fiction chapters and did a bit of thinking and found there was more stuff I should have added to my fan fiction and so I decided to redo my first fan fiction. After playing Standoff and re-reading some of the novels, I got my spark back into writing some good old fashion fan fiction
I hope you enjoy my fan fiction. Apologise for any grammatical errors you might come across, as English aint my strong point.


There was the Pilgrim conflict, the first Kilrathi War, then the Border Worlds and Black Lance Crisis, then the Second Kilrathi War and the war with the Nephilim.

I take you back before it all began, before it all happen just before the first war occurred. Five years before the Battle of McAuliffe there was an internal threat which threatens to destabilise the Confederation from within.
The Mari-ad, formerly known as the Mari-gosa Party was a political party comprise of citizens from throughout over the entire Confederation and were part of the Great General Assembly.
Since their inception, the Mari-gosa were describe as a political party with somewhat mix views and people often wondered if they were a left wing or a right wing political party. Some of their views and policy were consider bias towards certain systems in the known Confederation Space.

Some policies they tried into introduce was only allow certain citizens be allowed to enter military service or stand for public service. This was reminiscing the old caste system of the old Earth history in many countries, where people were

It was sometime in the early years of the 2600 when the entire Mari-gosa Party was put on trialwas held responsible for supplying arms and other munitions to criminal and terrorists organisations for endorsing some of the activites

A criminal syndicate known as the Mari-ad which has been causing much strife within the Confederation for many years.
This has force several officers within the military to take drastic action against the criminal organization and formed a secret unit known as Blue Reign.

This is the story about a young officer who is dragged into the conflict just prior to the first Kilrathi war. This is the story about Anthony Alan.


Star Date 2606.310
1145 Hours
Earth, Sol, Terran Quadrant
Confed High Command – New York
Chief of Confed Operations

“The Admiral will see you now sir” said the secretary
“Thank you” replied Francis as he stood up and adjusted his uniform. Francis never liked meeting with the brass. He would rather be out on assignment, charting new territories, quelling uprisings, monitoring pirate activities, not meeting with the brass, presenting reports, updates and what not.
“Lieutenant Commander Cheng reporting sir” saluted Francis as he entered into the office of the Chief of Confed Operations
“At ease” saluted Admiral Johnson “please Commander, take a seat. We are waiting for one other to arrive, but in the meantime, tell me how is your assignment aboard the TCS James Cook?”
“The Cook is a fine ship sir” replied Francis “we currently in dry dock, with repairs, refit and upgrade to the ships systems after our last tour”
“Yes I have been reading the reports on the Cook about the pirate attacks and transport hijacks” said the Admiral “I am impressed with your performance. Captain Brock has given me a very detail report regarding the recent ship’s actions and crew’s performance of the last six months”
“Thank you sir” said Francis, beginning to feel unsure about purpose of the meeting when he heard a knock on the door
“Ah our friend has arrived” said the Admiral, “I believe you may have met our visitor Commander?” Francis turned around and his jaw dropped to see who the visitor was
“I see our friend is a bit gob-smacked Jim” said the new visitor
“I think that would be expected, since you are bit of a celebrity Mike” said the Admiral “Commander I believe no introductions are needed?”
“No sir” said Francis “Admiral Tolwyn it is a pleasure to meet you sir”
“Indeed Commander” smiled Admiral Sir Michael Tolwyn, “but it is no longer Admiral Commander. I’ve resigned my commission five years ago if you remember. I must admit I am enjoying my freedom away from the service”
“Michael Tolwyn? Giving away his career for a life of peace and harmony” said Admiral Johnson “can’t see that happening my friend”
“Maybe true” replied Richard “besides I think it was getting close to my retirement, and it is nice to be back in Windward. I can finally get back to some reading I have been meaning to catch up on”
“Not for another ten years back then” said Admiral Johnson
“Pardon for me saying sir” said Francis, “but with all the scandals and conspiracy theories regarding that amendment to the military spending budget. There wasn’t any proof that you were involved in the cover up. It was all hearsay and rumours. I believe that Command shouldn’t have accepted your resignation from the Forces. There was no evidence to the political corruption linked between members of the Assembly and members of High Command”
“You’re very kind Commander” said Richard “but like all good things, all must come to an end. It was a decision I was willingly to take to save my honour and reputation. I was getting tired with all complaints, backstabbing and whining I get from all the other people and I thought that it was time. But enough of me, I believe we have other matters to attend to”
“Yes” said Admiral Johnson “sorry to cut short our trip to memory lane. But the reason I ask you here Commander was that Sir Tolwyn and I like to offer you a position within Confed-Intel”
“Intelligence?” said Francis “Sir, I don’t think I would cut it to be an Intelligence Officer. I am more of a Front-Line Command Officer and I believe that I served best with the Fleet”
“That’s an admirable quality Commander” said Admiral Johnson “however I have read your psycho-profile and noticed your assessment profile. Although your service record shows a remarkable performance, it was actually your IQ-rating from the Academy records that caught my attention. Although you score quite high in linguistics, cryptology and analysis, you showed no interest in the Intelligence or Covert Field”
“No sir, it hasn’t interest me”
“Fair enough” said Admiral Johnson “that is why I am offering you still a position with a Special Intelligence Unit”
“Would I have to step down as XO of the Cook sir?”
“Actually, no” said Admiral Johnson “your assignment is somewhat different to what you might expect”
“Are you familiar with the Mari-gosa party Commander?” asked Sir Tolwyn
“Familiar more like hate them sir” said Francis “To be frank Admirals, I find their political ideals to be somewhat distasteful. It reminds me of the radical ideals of Nazi Germany in the 20th Century along with many of the extremist governments back in that time”
“That is what many people believe” said Admiral Johnson “this assignment and position should you accept is quite simple Commander. You continue to serve onboard your assigned ship and monitor all transmissions and activities in any system you are in”
“May I ask why sir?” asked Francis
“As you may know Commander” said Sir Tolwyn “the Mari-gosa have change their political ideals over the last twenty to thirty years. Many members of the Great Assembly would believe that their views are somewhat cruel and unusual”
“Like having certain members be allow to enter military service and certain members to be allowed to join public service”
“Both of us have been doing a lot of investigations regarding the actions of the Mari-gosa party and their dealings with other political parties and private corporations around the known systems” said Admiral Johnson “we have been secretly investigating on them for the last five years”
“Five year since Admiral Tolwyn resigned?” said Francis
“Yes” said Admiral Johnson “with Sir Tolwyn resigning from the Forces. No one would expect him or I, be involved in secretly investigating the Mari-gosa. We want to know who has been dealing with Mari-gosa Party and have far has their influence reached. We need to know this Commander”
“Who else is involved in this Unit sir?” asked Francis
“Other than us, there is only a small group of twenty officers spread throughout Confed Space involved with this unit”
“Pretty stretched out isn’t it Admirals?”
“More chance of not being found out” said Admiral Johnson “so if you are willingly to accept this assignment we will provide you with all the necessary details you need. You must also know that you cannot reveal anything to anyone about this. No one knows of this Unit. Not the President, nor the General Assembly, Joint-Chiefs, or any Admirals or Generals in the Forces are aware that this unit exist. This is a unit that works alone with whatever resources is available”
“Very well sir I’ll accept”
“Welcome aboard to Blue Reign Commander” said Tolwyn “you’ll make a fine contribution to our unit”
“Blue Reign, sir?”
“Well it is actually quite appropriate” said Johnson “Confed Forces main recognition colour has been blue with like our uniforms and all. It is only appropriate that our Unit be named after our forces. We have a saying Commander, ‘We will reign down on your enemies’ ”
“Oh that is an interesting name to given”
“Yes it is, now since you have accepted this assignment, you will be promoted then” said Tolwyn
“Well we can’t have a Lieutenant Commander be restricted with his movements while working with us” said Admiral Johnson “I’m promoting you to the full rank of Commander and you will be the new commanding officer of the TCS Vatican, an escort frigate”
“Um thank you sir” said Francis as he shook hands with the two Admirals “I’m a bit speechless, I don’t know what to say”
“Well how about telling that lovely wife of yours, Susan” smiled Admiral Johnson “I’m sure you will have something good to celebrate now”

* * *

Star Date 2606.310
1730 Hours
Earth, Sol, Terran Quadrant
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

“Francis what you doing home early?” said Susan “I thought you wouldn’t be back for another two months. I was going to visit and stay with your parents in Hong Kong”
“Well we had to come back for repairs and I had to give a report to Command”
“Ah the usual repairs and what not?”
“Yeah something like that, debrief meeting with Captain Brock, gave a report to Command and Ops, got promoted, review my next assignment, saw the plans of the new ship, did some shopping”
“Wait a minute” interrupted Susan “you got promoted?”
“Yes, they promoted me to full Commander and assigned me command of a ship”
“Oh Francis that’s wonderful news” smiled Susan “I also got wonderful news as well. I’m pregnant!”
“Really?” asked Francis, Susan pulled out a small vial with a blue liquid
“It’s blue” giggled Susan “we’re having a baby”
“We having a baby” said Francis in awe “I think I need to sit down”
“You are sitting down Francis” said Susan, Francis looked down and found himself already sitting down on the couch
“Oh” said Francis as he stood up “now I need to sit down” as he moved to another chair “we are going to be parents!?”
“We are going to be great parents” smiled Susan “I thought I was going to tell your parents first before you came back. But since you’re back I think we should go and tell both our parents”
“Yes we should” smiled Francis as he stood up again and walked over and gave his wife a hug and kiss “oh this is a wonderful day. Could this day get any better?”

Star Date 2607.090
Vega Sector, Day Quadrant, Blackmane System
TCS Vatican in parking orbit of Blackmane station

“Are you sure the data you collect is accurate?” asked Admiral Johnson “Is there any definitive proof or evidence that members from the Mari-gosa party are responsible with the illegally weapons trading to the black market?”
“It appears so Admiral” said Francis “but there is no evidence that points the Mari-gosa, are supplying the weapons even with the images showing Senator Gough with the members of the Blackmane Underground, it is not enough to convict him”
“How are the Mari-gosa are able to gain access to military supplies?”
“It is possible that they bribed officers to gain access to weapons and other equipment”
“We have to review everyone who has access to weapons depots” said Admiral Johnson “if we have any members under the Mari-gosa payroll, then we are in a serious situation. Commander, continue with your investigations. In the meantime, you continue with your primary assignment in the sector, continue patrolling the assign quadrant and report to Sector Command”
“Understood Admiral”
“Before you leave, there is another thing” said Admiral Johnson “Admiral Tolwyn has been injured from an attempted assassination”
“What when sir!?” said Francis completely in shock “how sir?”
“Officially, TCN will make the announcement tomorrow that the attempted attack on his life was from a rupture internal tank explosion while he was travelling through the Gemini Sector on an inspection tour of the outlying colonies”
“Unofficially sir?”
“Unofficially, Admiral Tolwyn was in the Gemini Sector doing an inspection as he was meant to. He was also investigating strange activities of transports being raided possible pirates in the region and there were reports that the pirates were using military graded weapons possibly supplied by unknown source”
“Did people know that he was visiting the Gemini Sector?”
“Actually no” said Admiral Johnson “only the President, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the Chairman of the General Assembly knew of the Admiral’s trip to the sector and the route he would be travelling via. Someone has tipped the pirates off where Tolwyn would be and knew where to hit him”
“We have been compromised Admiral” said Francis “if only those people were the only ones who knew about Admiral Tolwyn’s whereabouts, then it must be one of them who tipped the pirates?”
“Yes it is both likely and unlikely that one of them might have tipped the pirates or whoever was responsible. But all three men have been cleared by Confed-Intel and by us”
“Should we inform Intelligence what we might know?” asked Francis
“No Commander, we cannot afford to alert Intelligence or even Internal Affairs should they hear about this. If we go out and start warning people, those responsible of the attack will change their tactics making it even longer to find out to the link between the Mari-gosa and the illegal trading”
“How is the Admiral sir?” asked Francis
“He is fine, the injuries he sustained were not severe, and he will make a quick recovery. He will head back to Sol, in the next few days. In the meantime Commander, continue with your assignment in the Sector. Continue with your patrol of the systems and monitor any transmissions and monitor for any pirate attacks. You will receive further orders at a later date”
“Understood sir”

* * *

At an undisclosed location

In a large room in what appears to be a bar, 12 men sat around the room at different spots. Some sat by the bar, a few on the couch while others are standing by the windows. Wherever they were sitting or standing the 12 men were all watching the vid-screen located in the middle of the room, all were watching the live newsfeed,
“....and just to recap the main news bulletin, retired naval officer, Admiral Michael Tolwyn was injured after a failed assassination attempt on his life while on an inspection tour on the outlying systems in the Gemini Sector. The Admiral was touring the establishing colonies at the request of the Confederation Council to assess the colonies development while...”
“Turn that off” said gentlemen 1 by the bar as he poured himself another drink, “well gentlemen, it seems that the good Admiral is much stronger than he appears to be”
“I assume we try again at a later date?” asked gentleman 2, who turned off the vid-screen “we need to find a more efficient assistant in our operations”
“No” said the gentleman 1 “we will leave the Admiral for now. We have more pressing needs to attend to. Have we removed our last member of the old party?”
“Unfortunately no” said gentleman 3 “it seems that the good Senator Wong has refused to take our offer”
“Senator Wong seems to prove to be a difficult person” said gentleman 1 “do we have any idea where he resides so we can speak to him directly?”
“No” said gentleman 4 “he is never alone. He has with him three Senate Guards at all times which makes physically removing him from the party even more difficult”
“Yes the Senate Guards are well known for their security. They would be difficult to break through” said gentleman 1
“We could always bomb his place of residence?” said gentleman 2
“No too obvious” said the gentleman 1 “No. I think we will have to hire some people and take the Senator while he is enroute back to his residence. Make it look like there was an accident in the ship he was travelling in”
“I will arrange some of my people to deal with the Senator” said gentleman 2
“Very well” said gentleman 1 “in the meantime. Do we have any idea how the good Admiral survived the assassination?”
“We don’t have anything on that” said gentleman 6 “but we assume that Confed-Intel might have been involved”
“Impossible” said gentleman 7 “we have listening devices and agents within Confed-Intel. They would have alerted to us should Confed knew what we were planning to do. No I think there must be a secret covert group involved in this. They must be monitoring our movements”
“I agree” said gentleman 1 “we need some divert some of our resources and find out who is this new player in this game”

* * *

Star Date 2607.272
The Day After

“Congratulations Commander” smiled Admiral Johnson as he watched Francis gently held his son for the first time, “he is the spitting image of his father” Francis smiled and nodded back at the Admiral
“How is she?” asked Carmen, Admiral Johnson’s wife.
“Still in intensive care” said Francis, “They do not know what happen after the birth. Something happen during the caesarean and the doctors could not figure out what happen. It was a clean operation”
“She is a tough woman Francis” said Johnson, “I am sure she will make a full recovery”
“I hope she will too” said Francis as he played with his son’s baby fingers, “My god, he is so small John”
“Yes he is. But then babies are, aren’t they” both men chuckled
“So are you going to take the offer Francis?” asked Elizabeth, Francis’ sister, “It is a great opportunity for you”
“I already have a good assignment thank you very much” smiled Francis “the Admiral has given a great opportunity over a year ago with the Vatican”
“True. But the TCS Gaza?” said Elizabeth, “it is one of those Ranger light carriers. How could you not want to command those ships?”
“Well if you like them so much why don’t you sis?” said Francis
“Well excuse me” huffed Elizabeth “but I am fine thank you being a flight instructor. I’m just watching out for my big brother”
“Yeah, I know” said Francis, “but after a year on the Vatican and I have been thinking of taking my chances of commanding one of those attack cruisers or one of those big battleships”
“That’s a big ask there” said Admiral Johnson “you are long way of getting there. But I am sure you will get there someday”
“I can wait” shrugged Francis, “it is actually quite invigorating to be in command even for a small ship like the Vatican. You wouldn’t normally get this opportunity at an early stage for command and I wouldn’t get another chance like this again. So I am happy to be on the Vatican”
“Excuse me Captain” interrupted nurse came in the room, “I have to take your son, he needs his rest” Francis passed the baby to the nurse and kissed his son.
“Be good boy and be good to your mother Anthony” said Francis as he kissed his son’s forehead, “I will see you soon”

* * *

Damn how could this happen thought James as he headed to the sitting room. Francis is not to get over this. First his mother and now his wife, he needs help big time.
He turned around the corner past the other nurses and doctors in the corridor until he reach the door entering inside he saw several people inside.

“Where is he?” asked James
“He is over by the balcony” said Elizabeth, “He is very quiet. I am worried about him Admiral”
“As am I” said James “I don’t think he will recover from this” James looked past Elizabeth and could see Francis sitting on the bench in the balcony, “Where is Anthony?” Elizabeth nodded to where Susan’s parents and Francis’s father were by the corner of the room looking over Anthony. Although James could see they were making faces at their grandchild, he could see in their eyes that they are in pain. The lost of Susan has been a terrible loss to both families.

“This is a sad day” said James to everyone in the room, “remember that as family and friends we have to help each other out. I hope everyone can help Francis as much as possible” a lot of nods showed throughout the room. James walked out towards the balcony where Francis was.

James could feel a slight breeze coming towards the balcony. James pulled his jacket tighter feeling a slight chill, yet Francis didn’t seem to notice the cold weather. James walked up and stood next to Francis on the balcony.
“It’s a bit cold don’t you think Francis?” asked James, Francis didn’t reply let alone make a sound. James turned to face Francis and notice why he wasn’t saying anything. He was crying, tears were coming down his face. The Admiral put his arm around him to comfort him.
“I remember the first time I met Susan Admiral” said Francis, “it was at the aqua dome on Mars with friends back during the Academy days” James smiled as he recalled how Francis told him how he first met Susan, “John was throwing the football far and long past the pool and I was running backwards and crashed into somebody and fell in the pool when I caught the ball. I remember hearing a cry before falling in”
“I remember you telling me” said James, “They all laughed when they saw you fall in. It was a sight to remember they said”
“Yeah, I remember trying to get out when some woman came up to me and gave me her hand. I looked up and saw this woman trying to help me up looking a little bit angry, ‘you should have been careful next time. I’m glad that my daughter is a good swimmer’ she said to me. I turned around and saw the most beautiful woman in the pool”
“Ah yes you told me” said James, “you just stood there with your jaw dropping to the ground”
“She just laughed at me and smiled” said Francis, “If there was anything I would miss. It would be her smile” softly Francis begins to sob, “her smile always make me happy” Francis begins to cry more as James wraps both arms around him comforting him, gradually Francis cried more, soon the people inside the room could hear Francis crying out on the balcony.

* * *

“How are you feeling Francis?” asked Admiral Tolwyn “my sympathy to you and the family”
“Thank you Admiral” said Francis as he sat down
“I’m sorry to pull you away from the family Francis” said Admiral Johnson “I know you are still grieving about the loss of Susan. But what I am showing is strictly confidential and between us”
“What is it sir?”
“Just watch this video-feed” said Admiral Johnson as he turned on the vid-screen. Francis saw on the screen 12 people all wearing cloaks concealing their faces and any part of the body which might identify them.
“Hello Admiral Johnson” said the lead figure in front of the 11 other people. The person’s voice was distorted as well to mask their identity if they were male or female “if you receiving this message, then I would assume that Commander Francis Cheng’s wife would be dead” Francis turn to look at the two Admirals in shock
“Just listen” said James
“As you are wondering” continued the masked individual “you are probably wondering why and how we know that Susan Cheng is dead? Well we know of you and your so called group Blue Reign”
“They know about us?!” said Francis
“Apparently so” said James
“We have been searching as to how our plans against Admiral Michael Tolwyn were foiled. We were fortunate enough with the generosity of some officers within your Confederation Forces that certain members were involved of some covert op group” the screen faded and a new image appear showing five officers bounded by changes and rags in their mouth preventing them to speak
“Damn they found our operatives!” said Francis
“As you can see” said the lead figure “we were able to learn from these people about your group and able to trace everyone who is involved including your Commander Cheng. So we decided what better to get your attention by removing the Commander’s spouse” James turned to see Francis’s jaw and fists clenching in anger
“I only have one thing to say Admiral” continue the lead figure “interfere with us, and you will be receiving five body bags. Oh don’t worry about your officers here. We will send them back to you unharmed. As long you don’t interfere with us. Good day Admiral”
“This message was received almost 24 hours ago” said James
“Just after Susan died?” said Francis
“Did they find anything in the autopsy?” asked the Admiral
“No they didn’t” said Francis “full body analysis showed nothing”
“Commander” said James “I need you to stay focus. These people whoever they are, know we are involved in the investigation with the Mari-gosa party and it seems these people are somewhat connected. But we don’t know who they are. We have to re-evaluate our situation”
“What do you have in mind Admiral?”
“Admiral Tolwyn and I discussed the possibility that something like this might happen. We have to shrink our group to a smaller contingent” said James
“What? We have 20 people originally involved. How much smaller did you have in mind?”
“Down to a quarter” said Tolwyn
“Five people?!” said Francis “are you sure”
“It would make it difficult for them to identify who is involved in this operation. The good thing is that they don’t know about Admiral Tolwyn’s involvement with Blue Reign and I think we should keep it that way. But in the meantime, I’m relieving you of duty. Take some time off and sort out your family. You have a son and he needs his father now. We will discuss later what we might do”

* * *

“It is not looking good is it Jim?” asked Tolwyn
“No I guess not” said Admiral Johnson “we cannot afford to lose him. He is a good officer, but at the same time we have to be careful with our operations. It seems whoever this group is knows about us and our movements”
“But they don’t know about my involvement with Blue Reign” said Michael Tolwyn “that is indeed strange”
“Very, it might be an advantage we hold” nodded Admiral Johnson as he read through an intelligence report he received attached with the vid-feed “well Intel cannot trace the source of the video-feed and are using all their resources to identify who are these 12 people”
“Do they have any leads?”
“Unfortunately they have nothing on these 12 and who this group represents” said Admiral Johnson
“It is not much then” said Admiral Tolwyn, “In the meantime I think I should take a leave of absence, maybe go away on a holiday, hopefully somewhere I can’t be tracked or contacted” said Michael “it might be a while before things settle down or we find a lead”
“You taking a real holiday” smiled Admiral Johnson “Admiral Tolwyn going away on vacation with your wife?”
“Be nice Jim” said Tolwyn “what about you? The perpetual officer and bachelor, when are you ever going to settle down?”
“I am married to my job. You know that” said Admiral Johnson “Mick, I will contact you of any news. You be careful out there”
“You too Jim”

* * *

Stardate 2617.276
McAuliffe Base
McAuliffe System, Day Quadrant, Vega Sector

“Have you been good to your grandparents Anthony?” asked Francis
“Yes dad” replied Francis “when are you coming home?”
“Hopefully soon” said Francis “I am waiting for repairs to be completed before we can do anything. Hopefully, my boss will let me go home for a holiday”
“Can we go fishing when you come back?”
“Sure we can do that, when I get back. Now put your grandpa back on”
“Everything alright there?” asked Ta-ke, Francis’ father
“Yes, everything is fine. Anthony really misses me”
“He is doing fine, son” said the elder Cheng “what is the situation over there?”
“Just waiting repairs to be completed on the Gaza then we should be heading back to Sol by the end of the week”
“Command hasn’t issued any new orders or assignments?”
“Fortunately no” smiled Francis “the last eight months running the carrier has been hell. We have had almost everything that could happen to the ship, systems and program malfunction, faulty lines, fighter crafts damaged or simply not working, just literally everything I could think of, the Gaza is giving me shits”
“Well the Gaza has been through hell and back” said Ta-Ke “but you did decided to take the command of that ship two years ago”
“Yeah but didn’t expect to clean up this god damn mess” sighed Francis “well have this major refit and repairs, the Gaza should be working and running at full capacity”
“Well we hope to see you soon” said Ta-Ke “the families are all flying over to Adelaide”
“Is it that time already?”
“Well we agreed meeting with everyone every five years, we agreed to have both families that everyone will stick together”
“Yeah I almost forgot. I will contact you while I’m en-route back to Sol. Talk to you later dad”
Francis intercom beeped “Yes?”
“Sorry to interrupt you Captain” said the voice on the other line “there is a priority 1 message from Sol Command”
“Very well patch it through here”
“Am I interrupting you Captain?” asked Admiral Johnson
“Not at all sir” said Francis “what may I ask is the urgency of this communication?”
“I am going to get straight to the point, because I hate to beat around the bush. Admiral Michael Tolwyn is dead”
“What!? How? When?”
“He died at Enigma” said Admiral Johnson “he was visiting the colonies in that sector, where he suffered a major heart attack”
“Is that the official word or unofficial”
“Official Captain”
“What really happen to him sir?”
“He was poison” replied the Admiral “autopsy show small traces of Ola-min venom in his circulatory system”
“Ola-min venom?” said Francis “that is a very rare venom from the Ola-min snake in the Gemini Sector, they are very expensive to obtain, let alone find the snake”
“It is. From what we can gather, he was shot with a tranquiliser dart containing the venom. We were able to secure his body before Confed-Intelligence could investigate the matter”
“Was it them?”
“It appears to be so. But there is something else you need to see, standby” the Admiral’s image was shrank to allow another image to appear on screen. The next image was a vid-feed showing a familiar image he saw ten years ago, “Admiral Johnson, if you are watching this feed. Then we are to assume that Admiral Michael Tolwyn is dead” Francis looked on in anger
“Them!?” hissed Francis
“Just listen Francis” said Admiral Johnson
“The Confederation has been a thorn to our side interfering with our operations and future plans. Admiral Tolwyn knew way too much about us for the last twenty years and we believe that we must remove this pest. We have carefully planned and watch hopefully how and when we could strike next at the Admiral. We have waited this long for an opportunity to arise. Now we have the Admiral removed, we will reveal ourselves to you. For we are the Mari-ad, we the ones who will bring terror through space, we are the ones who will control all, for we shall regain our former glory where our predecessors failed. Be warn that the Mari-ad will eliminate any who stands in our way”
“The Mari-ad?”
“It appears from Intelligence have gathered” said Admiral Johnson “that the Mari-ad is loosely connected with the Mari-gosa party that was removed from the General Assembly five years ago. No one has heard what happen to them when they were removed. I guess after five years we know what happen to them. They have become a criminal or some kind terrorist group”
“This is not good sir” said Francis “even if they were removed from the General Assembly, they still would have information about the Confederation, not to mention resources they might have gathered during the early days of the Mari-gosa party. We have a problem”
“Yes we do” agreed Admiral Johnson “but there is not much we can do, but continue to gather intelligence and learn what the Mari-ad is planning to do. I fear they might try to infiltrate the General Assembly and put their agents in or even try to infiltrate Command. Either way we have to tread carefully now since they make it known to everyone”
“Everyone?” said Francis “you mean that told the General Assembly”
“More like to every known human system in this galaxy” said the Admiral “this feed came through about two hours ago” the first feed image was replaced with another which looked exactly the same.
“People of the Confederation, the Republic and the known systems, five years ago the Great General Assembly of the Confederation evicted the Mari-gosa party for crimes they didn’t committed and denies any involvement with any criminal organisation and terrorists networks. Now after five years, we have return stronger than ever and now we are claiming vengeance upon all who dares to oppose us. The Mari-gosa is no more for we are now are the Mari-ad and we shall conquer all”
“The transmission ends there” continued the Admiral “Intelligence from Confed and the Republic is trying to find who they are and where the source of the feed was and so far they have come up with nothing”
“This is not what I had hope sir” said Francis “where do we stand?”
“We will continue with our operations and carefully monitor all activities and see what we can do. There is little we can do, but I can assure you that Blue Reign has an official mandate which is the elimination of the Mari-ad any threats to the Confederation both foreign and domestic”
“Sounds good to me Admiral”
“In the meantime Captain, head back to Earth. I think you are due to spend some time with your son”

* * *

Seven years later

“Are you sure about this Anthony?” asked Francis, “Joining the Academy and all?”
“Yes dad” replied Anthony as their ride came near to their destination, “I have made up my mind and I know what I want to do. I want to serve the Confederation”
“I understand” said Francis, “I don’t want to see you getting into trouble or hurt at the Academy. I might speak to the Commandant about.... ”
“Dad I don’t want any help!” said Anthony, “I don’t want to your help in this and I don’t want any special privileges because I am your son!” Francis could see that Anthony was getting angry, “I’m getting sick and tired of being the son of a respected Naval Captain of some god damn ship, the son of a widower. Dad I am old enough to do what I want to do for my future and this is what I want!”
“Very well Anthony” said Francis as he looked out the window and saw that they have arrived.

* * *

“Welcome to the Academy Mr Cheng” greeted Commandant Lee, “Captain it is pleasure to see you again”
“Likewise Commandant” replied the Captain, “I’m sure that my son will receive all the education he needs to become a fine officer?”
“Don’t worry Captain, we make sure that all our cadets are well trained. I will give you a few moments before I take the cadet to his facilities” Lee moved away giving the father and son some moment alone.
“Well I guess this is it then?” said Anthony as he looked into the training ground of the Academy, “Doesn’t look too bad”
“No I suppose not. But don’t be fool by appearances” said Francis, “Remember that I too had to go through the Academy”
“Really I didn’t know. I thought the ‘flag pole’ incident with the freshmen was all made up?”
“Being a bit cheeky are we cadet?”
“No sir” mocked Anthony, “Just getting a feel for it sir” said Anthony as he saluted his father sheepishly, “Wish me luck sir” Francis smiled and returned the salute
“All the best cadet and to your future” Francis stepped forward and gave his son a hug, “I’m proud of you son and I’m sure that mum would be too”

* * *

TCS Academy
Houston, Earth, Sol
Star Date 2628.101

Fighter Simulator Testing Room

‘Just need to get the corvette’ thought Datangia ‘I just need to make this kill and it’s all over and I get a perfect score in the simulator”

“Breaking left!” Datangia pulled his flight stick hard left, swinging the fighter port side as the missile shot past under his wing. Datangia looked back seeing another fighter coming in fast behind him, shooting the missile down.
“Thanks Gem. I owe you one!”
“You can buy me a beer when we finish. You’re on my wing” said Gem, as Datangia looked over to his starboard side to his wingman flying by, “Flight 2 what’s your status?”
“All clear”
“Keeping’ those bandits busy”
“Check, Datangia and I are heading for the corvette. Just keep those bandits off our backs”
“You got it boss”

* * *

Gem and Datangia sped towards the lone ship that was trying to leave the fight.
“Looks like it is trying to reach the jump point” said Datangia
“Check” agreed Gem, “I’m reading power fluctuations”
“We have to disable the engines!”
“OK, you hit the engines, I’m hitting the weapons. We got to jam their transmission”
“I’m right with you Gem let’s go!” Datangia and Gem hit their afterburners reaching closer to the enemy corvette. Datangia switched on his missile weapon systems as he targeted the corvette’s engines, “I’m getting tone” as he reached closer to the corvette, suddenly the corvette open fired on them, “What the hell!? When did the corvette had rear gun ports”
“So did I” said Gem, “it’s too late, stay on target and hit those engines, we got to….” Gem never got to finish her sentence as her fighter exploded next to Datangia
“Fuck!” hissed Datangia as he swerved his fighter away from the blast, “Reddy, Flame! Gems gone! I need help fast!”
“Got our hands tied” said Reddy, “damn pirates are blocking us between us and you. You got to leave the corvette!”
“Can’t do that mate” said Datangia, “we leave it, reinforcements would come back. I can’t do that. I going to hit the engines and communications, I’m not letting them go” Datangia swung his fighter back targeting the corvette’s engines and preset the ship’s communications antenna as his secondary target. Swerving his fighter left and right Datangia avoiding the corvette’s weapon fire, steadily inching in closer. His targeting system begun to emit a ticking tone attempting to acquire a target lock on the corvette’s engines.

What was only a few seconds, seem to take a life time the targeting system reached a firing solution and locked on to corvette’s engines, “Launching missile now!” said Datangia as he fired his missile at the engines, Datangia pulled his fighter starboard as he fired his missile, “engines gone, engines gone!” said Datangia as he attempted to acquire the corvette’s communication systems, “Watch it Datangia you got bandit on your six” Datangia check his sensors and saw an enemy blip heading to his location very fast, “Damn, too close” said Datangia as he turn his fighter around, he checked his load out, only one dumb-fire missiles left, moving his fighter away from the corvette’s firing range he face his opponent. Before he could do anything his missile lock warning blared loudly through his helmet speakers, he looked through his cockpit and saw a flicker of light followed by a big flash of white light, “Second Flight got missile lock got…” Datangia never finished his sentence, as his fighter was completely surrounded by white light followed by blackness.

“What the!?” said Datangia as he turned his head around trying to see what was going on, “Damn it, I almost had that corvette”
“Well you should have checked that fighter that was coming up from behind” Datangia heard Gem’s voice as the cockpit simulator opened up and saw his wingman and the others climbing out of their cockpit simulators. Datangia pulled off his helmet and shaking his sweating hair, “Damn it we weren’t told about the corvette’s weapons”
“We were not told anything about the corvette” said Flame as she leaned over to Datangia’s cockpit, “you of all people who have thought of that” Datangia gave Flame an angry look, as he was always referred as the ‘by the book’ type of guy, “who said that I would have thought of it. You knew that I was under pressure there”
“OK folks quiet down” said a voice behind the cadets. The group turn to see their flight instructor Lieutenant Colonel Regan, walking up towards them. “You all did very good, given the circumstances, but Flame was right about something. We did not tell you all the information provided and you should have taken the initiative of assessing the situation.”
“Sir why did you not tell us that the corvette had any weapons online?” asked Datangia
“If you recall cadet” said Regan “in the briefing I said that the objective was to neutralise the enemy ship before jumping out. Assess the situation and follow the flight leader’s orders. I did not say anything else” Datangia looked over to his wingman and flight leader Gem who only shrugged her shoulders and shook her head.
“I wouldn’t worry too much Cadet Cheng” smiled Regan, “you did what you thought was best. Just remember don’t do anything heroics when you out there. Your wingman is the most value possession when you are in combat. You folks have three more weeks til graduation. We will go through one more simulation and see what happens, until then read up your squad tactics and manoeuvres text otherwise dismissed.”

* * *

“I can’t believe that we are almost graduating!” said Gem, “Soon we will be out of here and be posted to our first ship!”
“Or naval base” reminded Reddy, “you forget that we have planetary bases as well as carriers. The real action is onboard the battleships, cruisers and destroyers”
“Ah there is always room for fighters” replied Gem, “what do you think Anthony what do you think?” Anthony sat listening to the conversation between the two cadets about the which was better, “Personally I don’t really care” replied the Australian born Chinese cadet, “As long I get to fly and do my fair share of duty and fun I am happy”
“Ah you’re such a let down Anthony” said Gem, “you never take any sides do you?”
“Why should I? Should I be concerned about what is better? Carriers or Battleship? Just read the report about the Panama Games and make your decision then”
“Why read the report when you could turn up to Commander Turner’s lectures” said Flame, “I’m sure you could learn all the things you need from the Commander”
“Hell no” said Gem, “the Commander gives me the creeps every time I look at him. I rather read the article on the network”
“Suit yourself” replied Flame as she finished the rest of her drink.

* * *

He sat on the bench looking over the lake watching the ducks gliding over the water. In three weeks he would be graduating. In three weeks he will no longer be a cadet. In three weeks he will be an officer in the Confederation military. In three weeks he would be following the footsteps as his father would be. In three weeks he will see where fate will lead him.
“Why the glum face cadet?” said someone from a distance, Anthony to face the voice and saw Colonel Regan coming with a small brown paper bag, “something on your mind Anthony?”
“I don’t know sir” sigh Anthony, “It’s just that in three weeks I’m graduating. I know that I should be happy, I am. But I got this feeling that I am not”
“Anything to do with the fire accident and the fact that your father pulled strings to keep you from being expelled from the Academy?”
Anthony tried to reply but couldn’t find the right words to respond with, “Sir I was with those other cadets when they lit the fire crackers. I was with them when the crackers blew up and lit the garbage refuse. I am accountable as much as they were”
Colonel Regan sat down next to the cadet and put his hand into the brown bag and pull out a handful of bread bits and fed them to the ducks that were nearby.
“That may be true Cadet, but you have to remember that being there is not being the same as being involved”
“No sir, but I still feel responsible for not doing anything”
“Are you worried that this might be on your permanent record?” Anthony nodded, “I thought you might feel that way” John wiped his hand on his pants and pulled out an envelop from inside his jacker, “you might want to take a look at this”
“What is it?”
“My permanent record”
“How did you get and why sir?”
“One of the perks of being a senior officer is that you can pull strings to get on hold on things you need. Something which I think your father would have done”
Anthony looked at his Academy instructor’s record until he came across a section mark as disciplinary record. The record show that his instructor had stolen exam papers, changed results, stolen instructors credit chip and received various different disciplinary action.
“You see cadet that not everyone leaves the Academy with a perfect record. Even Commander Turner has had problems during his younger days”
“Commander Turner!?”
“Don’t get too worked up Anthony” laughed John, “go and find your friends and enjoy your time left together. You have your whole life ahead of you”
“Yes sir and thank you sir” replied Anthony as he got up from the bench
“And Cadet”
“Yes Sir”
“When we are not on duty or teaching or anything call me John”
“Yes sir, John”
“And I like my record please” Anthony looked down and saw he was still holding on to his instructors record
“Sorry sir” smiled Anthony as he returned the paper.

* * *

One month later
Confederation Service Academy
Graduation Day 2628.131
Houston, Earth, Sol

“Congratulations Tony!” said Ta-ke, giving his grandson a big heart, “we are so proud of you!”
“Thanks gramps” smiled Anthony, “It means so much that everyone was able to come”
“Oh darling we could not missed this for all the tea in China” said Anthony’s grandmother Jennifer, “Your mother would be so proud of you I know she would have like this” Anthony nodded as he too wished his mother was here.
“I can’t believe I would see this day” said Anthony as he wiped a tear from his eye, “I went through so much trouble and I thought the Commandant would expelled me from the Academy”
“Well you may have to talk to your father” said Ta-ke “I have a hunch that he may have something to do with it”
“Not dad again” groaned Anthony, “he promised me not to help me. After helping me with from that fire accident I told him that I would face the consequences and not to get away from it!”
“I know” nodded Ta-ke, “But I think that your dad does not what to see you suffer as much as he did”
“Am I interrupting something here?” asked someone behind
“Not at all Skip” smiled Ta-ke, “we just congratulating my grandson. How is the motley crew?”
“They are all well Ta-ke, all well” smiled Admiral Banbridge as he shook Anthony’s hand “Congratulations Lieutenant and welcome to the service”
“Thank you sir” replied Anthony, “I am looking forward to my first assignment”
“Don’t worry Lieutenant” chuckled Wayne, “You will get your assignment in a few days, but in the meantime enjoy what you have now. If you excuse me I have some people I have to see. Ta-ke we have to catch up for some rice wine”
“Don’t worry I intend to” laughed Anthony’s grandfather
“I didn’t know you knew Admiral Banbridge Gramps”
“Well his father and I went to high school together and to the Academy. Ah it has been a long time”
“How old are you grandpa?”
“As if I would tell you that” chuckled Ta-Ke, “I think you have another visitor Tony” as he pointed to another officer coming towards them, Anthony turned to see John Regan coming towards them, “Colonel” saluted Anthony as his former instructor came up towards him and return the salute, “Congratulations Lieutenant” smiled John, “Well done it has been a long time coming”
“Yes sir it has been. Thank you sir for everything”
“Your welcome Lieutenant. If you ever want to talk to someone I’m here”
“Thank you sir I will keep that in mind” replied Anthony as former cadet and former instructor shook hands for the last time.
Few Days later

Anthony looked at the data pad again for the hundredth time,


From: Confed Operations and Command
Date: 2630.134
Pilot: #39585610
Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
Security: ********

Statement of Assignment:
Congratulations on your graduation and to your first assignment. You are part of a long proud history of serving men and women in the Confederation. I hope you do and others proud in the service.
Upon receiving these orders you are to report to McAuliffe Naval Base, McAuliffe System, Vega Sector for assignment in the Enigma-Epsilon Sector

Assignment: TCS Hibernia = Ranger Class Carrier [CV-79]
Commanding Officer: Captain Justin Lang
Executive Officer: Lieutenant Commander Jessica O'Hara
Wing Commander: Lieutenant Colonel David Parker
Executive: Major Joseph Lector

You will be assigned to the following squadron:

Squadron Assignment: Flying Tiger's Squadron
(28th Flight Group - Fighter Interceptor Squdron)
Squadron Leader: Major Amanda 'Silky' Mallamo
Executive: Captain Gregory 'Balls' Border

Pilots: Captain Samantha 'Jewel' Ibanez
1st Lieutenant Samuel 'Torps' Thorpe
1st Lieutenant Dark 'Drool' Simpson
1st Lieutenant Allison 'Shorts' Goodman
1st Lieutenant Carl 'Brains' Wallace
1st Lieutenant Jean-Luc 'Pasty' Rico
2nd Lieutenant Tyson 'Skinny' Edwards
2nd Lieutenant Kathryn 'Arrows' Ross
2nd Lieutenant Michelle 'Peck' Lee

Report to the Deck Officer once arriving to McAuliffe Naval Base for further instructions.
Good luck and all the best


“I guess this is it” said Anthony as he dropped his duffel bag on the flight deck as he looked around the station, “This place is huge!”
“Not as big back on Earth” smiled Francis
“Dad you didn’t have to take me to McAuliffe, I would have caught a transport here”
“Captain’s privilege” said Francis, “when you command a ship you can get away from some things”
“Like I don’t notice already” there was an awkward silence between father and son as they looked at each. Suddenly embarrassed with the silence, Francis cleared his throat, “Anthony you be careful when you are out there”
“Dad I will be alright” said Anthony, “don’t worry I will contact you once I’m aboard the Hibernia”
“OK” replied Francis as he offer his hand to him, Anthony smiled and stepped forward and hugged his father, “Thanks dad. Thank you very much”

* * *​
great fan fiction,
however i have a question...

"There was the Pilgrim conflict, the first Kilrathi War, then the Border Worlds and Black Lance Crisis, then the Second Kilrathi War and the war with the Nephilim"

Pilgrim conflict -movie
first Kilrathi War -WC,WCII and WCIII
Border Worlds and Black Lance Crisis -WC4
war with the Nephilim -WC Prophecy

Second Kilrathi War ???????
In Wing Commander Prophecy, Dallas mention of Kilrathi Feudal Wars....I referred it as the
2nd Kilrathi War, technically it is incorrect..however this fan fiction is loosely based on the information I have gather over the years.
It isnt accurate but it is something I wanted to write about since everything in the WC-verse is about the Kilrathi, Black Lance, Crisis and the Nephilim.
Glad to hear you like the intro.
Chapter 1
“New people”

Star Date 2628.196
TCS Hibernia
En route between the Vega and Blackmane System

“How’s the Hibernia?” asked Francis
“It is not bad dad” said Anthony “the ship is pretty good and the crew are great. I think that I am finally settling into the routine now”
“That’s good to hear. It would take you at least a month or so to settle in especially when you are travelling between Sectors or Systems quite frequently. How is the squadron? Are you getting along with the other pilots?”
“They are not a bad bunch dad” said Anthony “we have had a few escort runs, a couple of random pirates and a minor civil unrest. But everything looks pretty good and we all getting along alright”
“Are there any cute girls on the Hibernia?”
“Dad give me a break” groaned Anthony “two months on the Hibernia and you already asking me if there any chicks?”
“Can’t a father ask if his son is dating?”
“Bit early to ask?”
“No, should it?”
“Dad I know about the whole sex talk, didn’t expect you to start asking me about it. Are you a bit late to start talking about it?”
“No I was only asking if anyone has caught your attention yet and all, that’s all”
“Well no dad and there isn’t anyone. It will be world’s end before you see me with anyone”
“I bet you will meet someone on the Hibernia, if nothing then I am sure your grandparents might know a few nice ladies”
“Ah dad, give me a break”
“I know, I know. I’ll leave it” laughed Francis “I’ll talk again in a month or so”
“Sure thing dad”
“Oh one other thing” said Francis “have you started your journal?”
“I have” replied Anthony “I’ve started but I haven’t written much because I don’t know what I am suppose to write in this journal”
“Well the journal is supposed to help you reflect on your experiences during your tour. Your grandfather’s journal which I lend you six months ago would have given you some insights on how to write your journal and hopefully learn to become a better person”
“Well I hope so dad” said Anthony

* * *

After settling onboard the TCS Hibernia, Anthony is settling into a routine and adjusting his new life as an officer and a pilot. Sitting at the Observation deck, Anthony looks out the view port watching a transport flies past as it is escorted out by a flight of fighters from the Wild Aces Squadron. Anthony looks back at his laptop trying to figure how to start his journal. He promised himself and to his father that once he gets assigned to his first post he would start his journal and reflect on what he has done. The journal writing was recommended by his father as it would help Anthony become a better officer. Although reluctant to write some stupid journal, Anthony was given his grandfather’s journal by his father to help gain some insight to how a journal would help him be a better person.
But after reading a few of his grandfather’s journal entries, Anthony learn how his grandfather went through the good times, the bad and the difficult moments in his life especially during his time with the Confederation Marines. Anthony learned a little bit more about his grandfather’s relation with Admiral Wayne Bainbridge and wondered how and why these two men were so friendly with one another.
After reading a few more entries of his grandfather’s journal, Anthony finally figured out how to write his own journal, the only problem was that he didn’t expect it to be so difficult trying to figure out what to write in his journal. He could have written about every mission he did in the last couple of months since being assigned to the Hibernia but decided not to. He wondered why he would want to read his mission overview. Whereas he would rather read about his thoughts and memories about all the easy and dangerous missions he went on, close encounters with an alien species or receiving an award or something. This was going to be a journal looking at his life and how he would live his life.

He didn’t think he would want to read back on all the missions he did, whether it was a failed or successful mission. He looked at the blank screen in front of him pondering what he should write about until an idea came to his mind. He started to type in his laptop…..

Star Date 2628.199
Vega Sector, Day Quadrant, Enyo System
TCS Hibernia

Personal Log

Well it has been two months since being onboard the Hibernia. My first assignment, wow I never thought I would see myself standing onboard the deck of a carrier in the Confederation Fleet. I suppose dad was right when he said that the first time is always the most memorable moment in one’s careers. Sure there would be other experiences to come, but then being a fresh recruit standing on the flight deck looking at all those fighters, shuttles and transports all lined up, technicians fiddling them around, people moving supplies around, the smell of lubricants, grease, oil fumes and other offensive odours bring a certain quality being onboard a ship for the first time. Man this was going to be exciting!

My meeting with the Wing Commander was pleasant and unexpected. Lieutenant Colonel David Parker is one of most friendliest and open hearted officer I ever met. Sometimes when I go back to when I first met him I wonder if he ever really liked being in the military, he just seem too nice to be an officer let alone a Colonel. I remember when I reported to the Colonel’s office, the Colonel had a pot of hot tea waiting for me. He greeted me, shook my hand, offered me tea and generally asked a bit about myself. I was a bit speechless at first but quickly regain my composure after the first shock. At first I thought he was just sucking up to me because maybe he knew who my father was, but in fact I later learned from Donovan the Hibernia’s bartender, was that the Colonel has a habit of meeting every single crewmember, pilot and pilot who arrives on board the Hibernia especially new Academy graduates and ensure that they feel comfortable and not to feel out of place or nervous. Well I guess Donovan was right, the Colonel has a gentle and kind side, but does have his professionally side which everyone see when he is on duty, otherwise most people would see the Colonel as the happy go lucky person, who is just the same as everyone else onboard. The only difference between him and the next person is a matter of rank.

The welcome party at the Rec Room was damn fun and the party host, Donovan the bartender ensured that everyone was having a good time. Donovan played the MC during the night introducing me and all the new transfers who arrived on the Hibernia to the rest of the crew onboard the Hibernia. I was later introduced to my squadron commander, Major Amanda ‘Silky’ Mallamo and the squadron’s XO, Captain Gregory ‘Balls’ Border.

I was told by others not to call my XO Gregory as he hated it being call that. I think it is something to do with being raised all formal and proper. Must have been that upper English upraising thing? His parents were from London and have always live in a somewhat proper and dignified manner, damn pommie bastards. But then he would say otherwise about me being an Aussie and then he would go on about how England is going to take the Ashes back blah, blah and then Australia would win the Ashes series 3 to 1.

Captain Samantha Ibanez, also known as Jewel by others. Apparently there are rumours going on that she always wears some kind of jewellery whenever she goes on assignment and wears it when she goes to bed. Strange girl I think.

Lieutenant Samuel ‘Torps’ Thorpe, apparently he is a descendant of one of Australia’s swimming legends in the late 20th - early 21st century Ian Thorpe. At first I didn’t believe him but when he showed me his photos of his swimming trophies I retracted my statement. Not to challenge him at the pool.

Lieutenant Dark ‘Drool’ Simpson, now this guy I cannot forget. The first guy I met, who was given his callsign by his squadron. Apparently a group of guys went out partying after graduating from the Academy and apparently went to a strip club and Dark was literally drooling at every woman he saw. Even at the welcome party you could see a small drool at the corner of his mouth. Sometimes I shiver at the sight of him drooling over some pretty face. But then I am one who would fall for a pretty face.

Lieutenant Carl “Brains” Wallace recently transferred from Luna fighter garrison and arrived on the Hibernia with me. Not much I could say about him as he doesn’t talk much nor does he mingle with many people. He didn’t mingle much with anyone at the party. He pretty much stood at the far end of the room looking outside at the stars mellowing in his own thoughts.

Lieutenant Jean-Luc ‘Pasty’ Rico, some French dude from Paris France. Man I never have seen a paler person. I swear he could have been an albino, suppose why people call him Pasty.

Lieutenant Tyson ‘Skinny’ Edwards is a nice guy from Ireland. He drinks like there is no tomorrow, always the first with the drinks and the last to leave. He seems to have a new drinking game every 5 minutes. This guy is an absolute larrikin.

Lieutenant Kathryn ‘Arrows’ Ross is a new graduate like me is from Canada. Not much I could say about her but I heard a rumour that she brought along a bow and arrow with her. Must be to do with the callsign she has.

Lieutenant Michelle ‘Peck’ Lee is another new graduate from Korea who graduated the same year as me. Apparently if I remember during my time at the Academy she is always on dates with guys and don’t do kisses. She gives them pecks on the cheek. Who in the right mind does peck on the cheek!?

I also met pilots from the other three squadrons onboard the Hibernia and they were great people to hang out with. Apparently there is a pool going on amongst the four squadrons which has been happening for last six months. At the end of each week the squadron with the least amount of successful mission must buy rounds for the other three squadrons. Well as an Australian born individual, I can’t pass down a game where alcohol is involved but then as a Chinese I cannot turn down such a challenge. This would be interesting.

The day after arriving on the Hibernia and recovering from the excess amount of alcohol and with the help of anti-hang over patches and pills provided from Medical I received my first flight assignment.
I was fortunate that my first flight assignment was an easy one. I think that Colonel Parker might have known that I might have drunk a tad bit too much and might assign me a somewhat easier task but I should not be getting any special privileges for my past actions. I should start pulling my own weight around. Hopefully I don’t get into too much problems from any more future party nights.

My wingman, Pasty and I had to escort a cargo transport which has jumped in from the Enyo system carrying new parts and supplies for the Alexandria station which was undergoing a major upgrade on some of its secondary and defence systems.
Colonel Parker said it was standard escort mission; a simple nanny job is what some of the pilots call it these days or a milk run, however the Colonel did warned us of possible pirates, rogue officers or even Mari-ad terrorists who might try to hijack the transport, so we have to keep a sharp eye out for trouble.

Fortunately I was lucky enough not to encounter any bad guys just had to pass through an asteroid field which caused only a few minor dents to the ship.
Chief Petty Officer Oscar Mendez, who is the ships chief technician wasn’t harsh on me when I landed my fighter into the docking bay. He gave me a warning and some good advice when flying through asteroid fields which was pretty helpful. The shields can protect me from the asteroids for only so much before the ships starts taking damage to the hull and to parts of the fuselage. Damn I hate to arrive back on the ship in a banged up fighter. Mendez gave me a few good pointers about looking after my fighter when I came back from my first assignment. I hope that in my future flight assignments I don’t get into too much trouble in getting my ship damaged.

Colonel Parker was happy that we didn’t encounter any hostiles and that he was happy that my first flight assignment went off without a hitch. Scratch one successful mission for the Flying Tigers.

* * *

Anthony closes his laptop as he heard bridge communication officer making an announcement through the PA system.
“All Flying Tiger pilots please report to briefing room, all Flying Tiger pilots please report to the briefing room”
Standing up and having a big stretch, Anthony takes one last look out at the stars enjoying the view.
“Damn I got to stop daydreaming” Anthony said to himself as he walked to the lift. I wonder how dad is doing? He thought as he entered the lift and hit the barracks button. Leaning back on the lift wall, Anthony closed his eyes pondering on what his father would be doing, knowing him he would be wracking his brains trying not to worry about his son’s progress, trying not to worrying if his son might get hurt in an accident or worse yet died during a mission.
I better send a letter to him another vid-mail, he thought as the lift finally stopped at its destination.

* * *
Enyo System, Day Quadrant, Vega Sector
TCS Hibernia
Briefing Room

Anthony arrived late to the briefing room, after a long night at the bar in the rec room after the Flying Tiger’s earned an another award for the most successful missions among the four squadrons onboard the Hibernia.
“Well somebody looks they have been to hell and back” smiled Torps as he saw Anthony walked in the briefing very slow, “You’re not much different yourself Torps” said Anthony, as he sat down slowly next to Torps and ran his hand through his hair, “Man what a night! I swear I got to lay off the beer”
“Hey that’s your fault for challenging Skinny. You knew he would outdrink you. He’s Irish, it is in his blood”
“Yeah and it’s in Anthony’s blood to never turn down a challenge” said someone behind them, Anthony and Samuel to see Ibanez and the rest of the remaining squadron pilots come in. Anthony could see that everyone is pretty much recovering from last night’s ordeal at the rec room.
“OK next time if we win the weekly comp, we take some pills prior to the drinks” said Torps, “We party too much”
“Well you should control the amount you drank mate?” said Dark, “you should have known better”
“You’re one for talk” said Allison, “for someone who drools all night long especially last night. Who was the chick you were goggling last night?”
“I wasn’t goggling!” snapped Dark, “I was having a nice chat with Sarah”
“Oh so it’s Sarah now” jeered Allison, “we on a first name basis now”
“Quit it!” said Dark as people begin to notice that he was slightly blushing
“Who’s Sarah?” asked Peck
“She’s the Chief Comm Officer on the ship” replied Allison, “Dark has been eyeing her ever since he arrived on the Hibernia”
“I remember” said Anthony as he became wide awake and remembering last nights event, “Dark was chatting to Sarah and if I remember from all the crap you both drank, you were getting close to getting some action”
“Oh fuck off would you!” snapped Dark, “Nothing happen alright, we just chatted and that was it” Allison was about to reply when their squadron commander arrived with Colonel Parker from the front of the briefing room
“Well ladies, I hope that you all enjoyed last night’s fun and games” said Parker as he walked up to the briefing platform, “giving last night events, looks like you all had plenty to drink”
“And plenty to talk about sir!” shouted Pasty down from the back, everyone else laughed and a few looked back to the front where Dark was sitting, slouching lower in his seat, trying to avoid being seen by the rest his squadron
“I’m sure that we have some stories to share” said Parker, “but right now we have a problem” Parker turn around to the map screen and activate it show a series of flight paths for 3 different flight groups, “For the last two months our orders was for the Hibernia to patrol and survey the Enigma and Epsilon Sectors with Confederation ships assigned between the two sectors. However, we have been ordered from Command that those orders have been cancelled and has order the Hibernia remain in the Vega Sector for an extended assignments” a groan could be heard amongst the squadron, “I know some of you expected to be heading to a different sector for something different, but we are now facing a new problem. Reports are coming in and Command concurs with what we found is that there is an increase in pirate and smugglers activities in this sector, a majority of these activities appeared to be concentrated in the Douglas and Day quadrant in the Vega Sector and we are not sure who is behind these activities. We hope that it is not the Mari-ad but Command wants to assess the situation and determine who is behind these acts” the entire squadron now shaken off their cobwebs and are suddenly alert when the Wing Commander informed them of the current situation
“Because of the severity of this situation in this system, the Tiger squadron will be deployed in 3 flights of 4 and are to patrol and scout the surrounding region” Parker indicated the flight path of the 3 assignment groups with the map wall behind him. “Alpha flight will be Silky, Torps, Skinny and Datangia. Your flight pattern will be this path following these four nav points” Parker indicated to the star map on the view screen behind him, “you are to rendezvous to each point scan the surrounding area and return back to base”
“Sir what are we to do if we encounter hostiles sir?” asked Skinny, Parker didn’t reply straight away as he ponder for a brief moment, “Personally Lieutenant I do not like shooting down people, but if they are appear hostile and attack without provocation you are to respond in kind”
“But sir” said Datangia, “but during peace time are we supposed to engage hostile forces only when we are ordered to if we encounter such?”
“Yes that is true. But given the circumstances we are dealing with these increase pirate and smugglers in this sector, Command has allow for the order ‘shoot on sight’, any questions? Good now Bravo Flight will be ……”

* * *

15 minutes later
Flight Deck
TCS Hibernia

“Are you feeling alright Tyson?” asked Datangia, earlier on he saw Skinny and Pasty were having a heated argument on the flight deck before heading into their fighters.
“No mate, I’m fine” replied the Irishman, “just a matter difference of opinions”
“About what?” said Datangia as they both walked to where their fighters were being prepped for launch, “what could you two be arguing about. I thought you guys were drinking buddies?”
“Well it is nothing to do with that” replied Skinny, “it’s just that we have different opinions about what we think about the Mari-ad”
“Well I don’t know much about them, except there are a criminal organisation and that is all I know” said Datangia
“Well what you know about the Mari-ad is probably just the skim of the surface. I might tell you about it when we come back from assignment”

* * *

Alpha Flight
Enroute to Nav Point 2
Enyo System, Vega Sector

“OK folks we approaching point 2” said Silky, “Alpha 4 you pick up anything?”
“Nothing here Lead” replied Datangia, “Quiet as a tomb”
“Too quiet” said Torps, “if what they saw is true about increase Mari-ad activities we should be seeing some Mari-ad fighters around?”
“We do not know if it is Mari-ad” said Skinny, “Like the Colonel said it could be pirates; smugglers or the Mari-ad. Command does not know what is happening out there we…”
“Cut the chatter” interrupted Silky, “I’m picking up four unidentified signals coming in at 045 mark 270”
“Confirmed” said Datangia, “I’m not picking up any ID signal from them. Could it be Bravo or Charlie flight?”
“Can’t be’ replied Silky, neither flights would come across to our flight path. To unidentified ships please identified yourself and state your business” the four ships didn’t respond but they changed their heading and move toward the flight group.
“I think that’s your response lead” said Skinny, “and me don’t like this”
“Unidentified ships approaching please identified and state your business” the ships continue not to respond. Silky switched her communication frequency as she contacts the Hibernia, “Home One this is Alpha flight, we picked four identified ships repeat 4 unknowns, all communications are ignored and are approaching us at attack speed we are preparing to engage, repeat we are preparing to engage”

* * *

About the same time
TCS Hibernia
Command Bridge
Enyo System, Vega Sector

“..all communications are ignored and are approaching us at attack speed we are preparing to engage, repeat we are preparing to engage”
“Confirmed Alpha flight” replied Lieutenant Jessica, “4 UFOs are on approach on attack vector. The two bosses give green light. Watch your six”
“Well Captain it seems that we may have our hands full” said Parker as he and Captain Lang, the Hibernia’s commanding officer look on at the tactical view screen in front of them as they watch the four blue blips represent Alpha flight heading towards to the 4 grey blips, “you think it is the Mari-ad?”
“Don’t know Colonel. Frankly I think we should just sweep through the entire sector and clean up this mess with these pirates and smuggler scum, they are such a pest to Confed. We have already enough problems with the political tensions with both the Pilgrim Alliance and the Landreich. We do not want another problem with these criminal activities.”
“True, but what can we do? We don’t have enough….”
“Captain” interrupted Jessica, “Alpha flight are engaging” Parker and Lang return their attention back to the view screen as they watch battle unfold,
“What’s the status on the other flights Lieutenant?” asked Parker
“Both flights report in nothing has been spotted yet and continuing on to their flight paths”
“Switch to Secured Flight Frequency Alpha 1 Gamma 9 7, let’s take a listen to how Alpha are doing” Parker and Lang listen in to the comm chatter as Alpha flight engage the unknowns

“….damn those are Mark 4 Strikers what are they doing here?”
“..don’t matter, they here and engaging, evasive manoeuvres”

“Strikers? Here?” said Lang looking from the view screen “Those fighters were supposed to be scrapped years ago, where the hell did those fighters come from?”
“I don’t like this at all” said Parker, “if they are Mark 4 Strikers then we are in big trouble. Lieutenant inform Bravo flight to standby to assist Alpha flight once they reach their next nav point, inform them of the situation”
“Yes Sir” Parker and Lang continue to listen to the transmission

“….careful 2 you got one on your tail!”
“Can’t shake him”
“…Hang on 2 I’m coming..” background could be heard from the speakers as Parker and Lang could hear screeching and thumping sounds coming from the interior of one of the fighters
“….thanks 4”
“Well done 4”
“leave the pleasantries later people, we got 3 more”
“Copy lead”
“Roger that”

“I don’t like this” said Lang, “this is too tense. Rapiers against M4 Strikers. They are lucky it is 4 to 3”
“Sir I am sure my pilots would pull through” said Parker, “I’m sure they know what they are doing. I’m sure they….”

“hit! Hit! 2 is down repeat 2 is down”
“..did 2 eject?..”
“yeah I’m picking up escape pod”

“Lieutenant, get a SAR team out there!” ordered Parker, “get Major Brady out with an element he is to escort that SAR shuttle and pick up that pod”
“Yes Sir”
“Well I guess you were right Captain” said Parker, “this is too tense”

* * *

Meanwhile at the same time back with…

Alpha Flight
Nav Point 2
Enyo System, Vega Sector

“SAR team on their way Alpha Lead, ETA 15 minutes”
“Roger that Home One” replied Silky, “we will hold on. Alpha flight, SAR 20 minutes we have to hold on til they get here”
“Copy that”

Datangia check his clock on his HUD, 20 minutes can mean forever. But 20 minutes for Torps could mean 20 seconds if he gets shot in his pod. He must protect his wing mate until help arrives. Down to only one dumb fire and his rear shields are nearly offline he needs to survive for another 20 minutes to protect Torps. Just 20 more minutes? There were three Strikers left and they would need to keep they occupied until search and rescue arrive.

“Watch it four! You got one on your tail coming in hot!” Anthony checked his radar seeing the red blip coming in to his position fast. Trying to look behind him he could see a glimpse of the old space superiority fighter honing in on to his position. Checking his radar, he saw Silky and Skinny were busy with a Striker each, with little time he had left, he quickly banked his fighter port side just in time to avoid the laser fire that was about to hit him.
Datangia pulled his stick back attempting to swing his fighter, a loop around the enemy. Feeling the G-force pressing against him, he hit the afterburners increasing his speed and getting behind the enemy fighter as quickly as possible.
What seem like forever was just about a few seconds Datangia swung his fighter right behind the enemy who was unaware of Datangia sudden change in position.
“You’re ass is mine now” growled Datangia as he pressed down his trigger laying a barrage of laser fire into the enemy fighter. Datangia could see the enemy shields shimmer against the laser fire before it strike through towards the ships hull and could see parts of the armour coming off
“Eat this!” Datangia flicked to his warhead system, targeting the enemy’s rear hull, “See you in hell punk!” as he fired his last dumb fire missile as it shot out from his missile port and jetted across the enemy fighter.
“Scratch one striker!” as Datangia saw the missile make impact on the enemy fighter exploding in a big fiery fireball.
“Good job 4” said Silky, “the other two Strikers are leaving”
“Are we going after them?” asked Skinny
“Negative on that 3” replied Silky, “I think we should hold back and wait for the SAR team”
“Copy that” said Skinny, Datangia could hear Tyson growling under his breathe. He would be annoyed as well if they let the two remaining fighters go.
“We are pretty beat up and we are in no condition to chase them”
“I hear you lead” said Skinny, “just a little bit annoyed”
“Don’t worry about it. We will get them next time” Silky switch frequency to the escape pod’s frequency hoping to see that Torps is alright. “Torps how are you holding up?” there was no response, “Torps do you read me? Torps!”
“Maybe his radio is shot?” said Datangia
“I don’t know” said Silky as she switched radio frequency, “Home One when is that SAR team coming?!”
“SAR team is on their way” replied Jessica, “just hold on”
“We don’t have much time. I can’t raise the escape pod and don’t know what is Alpha 3’s condition”
“Copy Alpha lead. We will let SAR team know”
“They better get here” said Skinny as he listens to the communication.

* * *

1.5 hours later
TCS Hibernia
Med Bay
Enyo System, Vega Sector

“How is he doc?” asked Silky
“He is a very lucky man” replied the Hibernia CMO, Lieutenant Shauna Tyson, “he suffered mild burns along his arms and legs. He received a laceration along his torso. He fell unconscious when he ejected and his escape pod transmitter was destroyed. Probably explains why you could not raise him”
“How long will he recover?” asked Datangia
“Oh about 4-5 days. We are going to keep him in for further observations and make sure that everything checks out. Until I’m satisfied he is staying here”
“Fair enough, thanks doc”

* * *

A short time later
TCS Hibernia
Rec Room
Enyo System, Vega Sector

“You been nursing that drink for a while mate” said Donovan as he watched Anthony turn his drink on the bar table
“I just don’t feel like drinking Donovan” Anthony sighed as he continues to gaze down on his drink.
“Bad mission huh?” Anthony didn’t replied and merely nodded at the question, “want to tell me about it?” asked Donovan
“I don’t know. I just don’t understand how we survived. We encounter a flight of unknowns and they ended up to be Strikers, how they could have almost taken us out. We almost lost one of our own. Some believe that they were the Mari-ad’s, but they didn’t identified themselves”
“How much do you know about the Mari-ad Anthony?” asked Donovan
“Not much, apart from that I know they are sort of criminal or terrorist organisation”
“Well that is partially incorrect. Did you know that the Mari-ad was originally known as the Mari-gosa Party, a political party that was once part of the Confederation Assembly which was considered of one of the largest political part of their time. They were in the Assembly for over 60 years until they were expelled from the Assembly and expelled from the Confederation.”
“Why were they expelled?”
“During their time in the General Assembly, the Mari-gosa was an extremist left wing or right wing political party depending on what people believe. The Mari-gosa believed certain changes should be imposed within Confederation. Such changes included the military budget spending/development where they believe only men should serve the Confed military and women should not serve on active front line duties”
“That’s bullshit, women fill a good proportion of the defence forces otherwise we would be undermanned”
“That is true but that is only one of the issues that the Mari-gosa party proposed” continued Donovan, “ In areas of economics, the Mari-gosa proposed all colonies pay an all purpose tax among the Confederation Colonies, in this case Earth put taxes on all transports of goods and services. They believe that the outer colonies outside Sol should be pay extra taxes for being outside Sol”
“But aren’t the colonies paying tariffs already?”
“Yes but the Mari-gosa wanted to impose more tax, which a majority of the Assembly refuse to accept the Mari-gosa proposal”
”God isn’t that a little bit extreme. Reminds me of some of the extremist views back in Earth 20th century during World War Two”
”It does a bit” said Donovan, “ and the lists goes on with the Mari-gosa extreme view and ridiculous ideas. It wasn’t until long that the Mari-gosa started making exchanges with criminal organisation in trades and other illegal business to the point that the Mari-gosa became a criminal organisation. On the outside the Mari-gosa appear to be an extremist political party through the eyes of the Confederation but to others they were seen as an criminal organisation”

“As a result the Confederation Assembly conducted an investigation and an inquiry to their dealings and found out about their illegal activities and was brough forward to the Assembly.
It was voted that the Party be stripped of their titles and privileges and to be expelled from the Assembly. It was about 10 years later after the expulsion did the Mari-gosa later change to the Mari-ad, no one knows why but it is believe that the former political party have formed an alliance with some of the old criminal organisations from Earth, the Triads, the Mob, the Russian Mafia and the Black American Hoodlum Gangs. We don’t know what happen but since the change the Mari-ad has led a campaign of terror destroying Confed facilites, hijacking cargo, abductions and other extremist activities.”

“One of the most serious act which compromised the security of Confed Military was that a cargo of Confed fighters were hijacked by Mari-ad terrorists and there whereabouts are unknown.”
“You mean the Striker fighters?” asked Datangia
”Maybe” said Donovan, “but that is another story I will tell you one day. You should get some rest. Get some sleep, forget about what happen today and start again fresh and you will better”
“Thanks Donovan. I appreciate it, good night”
“Good night mate, take it easy”
Chapter 3

Meanwhile somewhere else within Confederation space…..

Of all the times he has been summoned to the Council, he never knows where exactly he is. Every time he is called before to the Council, he follows a series of instructions to where the meeting of the Council is held. He flies to several different locations in an unmarked and unregistered craft. The ship he flies runs on some automated system which doesn’t give him much of an idea to where he is going. Sometimes he wishes where exactly he is.

* * *

His steps were long steady paces, each step were even spread, he carried himself with an upright posture, similar to the way a military officer would walk, almost like as if he was marching.
Down the long corridor, his footsteps could be heard from end to the other end of the passage way along the polish, shiny marble floor. The marble floor looked so buff and polished that he could see his own reflection. Marble pillars lined along the corridor reaching up to the roof could be seen from one end of the corridor to the other end. Each pillar had an engraving of particular individual. In this case, the engravings were members of the Mari-ad council, past and present leaders of the secret organisation, but the engravings were all identical. They were all images of hooded beings, with only one significant difference which separated them apart. Each pillar had a distinct colour to which Mari-ad Lord belong one. There were 12 significant colours, one colour per Lord of the Mari-ad Council. There were 12 Lords.

The Council consist of only 12 members at one time, no more, no less. No one knows who sits on the council but it is believed that at numerous times during the council’s session not all 12 members are ever present at one time.
There were also rumours that among the council, three of the council members have sat within the council for the last 20 years and are consider to the most powerful leaders of the Mari-ad and are referred as the Unholy Trinity. To cross any of the three would lead to disastrous consequences.

Jonas did not stop walking when he neared the end of the corridor where a large set of heavy large mahogany doors stood before him. As he reached closer, the doors open inwards to reveal another room completely dark, save but by a single white light shining down on the room from the ceiling above forming a perfect white circle. Jonas continues to walk through the doors towards the white light where he stood in the centre of the white light and awaited for the Mari-ad Lords to arrive.
As he waited for the council members to appear, the large entrance doors begins to close slowly making no sound whatsoever until he could not see the doors no more.

Without thinking about when the council would arrive, the circle of white light where he stood started to dimmer slightly and 12 smaller white lights appear around him forming a larger circle around the circle he stood within. Then one by one a hooded robe person stepped forward stood within one of the 12 circle, there was no distinguishable feature to determine if the person was a man or women. The only features about the people around him were the different colour robes each member wore.













Jonas stood patiently as the 12 members stood around him watching him intently, abiding their time. Nine years ago he would have sweated and dreaded each time of coming and meeting before the council. But after nine years of seasoning, dangerous mission assignments and self motivation, Jonas has become one of the most feared Mari-ad operatives within the organisation many believe that he would one day become a leading member of the Mari-ad council.
What seems to be an eternity for Jonas was briefly no more than 3 minutes, when the leading council member, Black Robe spoke first to Jonas,
“Jonas you have been brought before the Council in regards to your oath and allegiance to the Mari-ad”
“Yes Lord Black” replied Jonas, “My allegiance is always to the Mari-ad. I will serve to benefit the Mari-ad”
“Yes I am sure you will” said Lord Black, “hence why we have ask you to come here for a special task”
“What does the Council wishes of me?” asked Jonas curiously
“We have reasons to believe that the Confederation have come very close to finding one of our hidden shipyard facilities in the Enyo system” said the White Robe member, “fortunately they have not found the facility yet”
“That is impossible Lord White!” said Jonas, “we paid the credits to the appropriate people in that system to stay away from that region of space and we were assured that the TCS Challenger would not patrol that region”
“We believe that as well Jonas” said Lord White, “apparently someone must have leaked this information to the Confederation and now we have a different ship assigned to that region of space” Jonas wasn’t very happy with the information provided by the council. He will have to find out who leaked out the information and ensure that it never happens again.
“This would lead to your new assignment” said another voice from behind. Jonas to face the speaker who was the Red Robe, “we will provide you details of all the ships assigned to that quadrant of space” a small white light shone down a meter from where Jonas was standing where a small pedestal stood with a data pad on top.
“This pad will provide you with all the necessary information you need about the ship assigned to that quadrant necessary contacts you may need in case of any complication” Jonas walked over to the table and picked up the data pad and walked back to the centre circle and read through the data pad scrolling through the officers and crew on board the ship
“The Hibernia? I never heard of that ship” said Jonas, “is it a newly commissioned ship?”
“No” said Lord Red, “the Hibernia was a ship that was in dry-dock for some time that under went a major refit. It has return to duty in the last four years we did not know much about it until recently”
“What is it you require me to do my Lords?”
“We want you to ensure that the Hibernia does not find any of our facilities in any systems, quadrant or sector it travels to” said Lord Red, “the Council has decided that we want to make use of this particular ship”
“May I ask what use does a light carrier be of any use to the Mari-ad?”
“We plan to steal for ourselves” said Lord Red. Jonas was shocked and almost dropped the data pad from his hand. To steal a ship especially a carrier was almost impossible to do. The Mari-ad have been able to steal transports, shuttle boats, old fighters and old corvettes to build up their personal fleet, they have even successfully stole a prototype and schematics of the defunct Striker fighters but to steal a capital ship such as a carrier let alone cruiser was almost impossible.
“My Lords, to attempt such a feat requires resources even we cannot muster. It is folly” a chuckle could be heard from Lord Black
“My dear Jonas” laughed Lord Black, “have faith with the Mari-ad. We will reveal to you in due time how we shall proceed with this operation. In the meantime you are to ensure that the Hibernia does not find any of our shipyard facility or the base located in the Enyo system at any costs.”
Still uncertain about the operation, Jonas was about to ask another question when he was interrupted by Blue Robe, “No more questions Jonas, you have your assignment. We will call you again when the time arises. You are dismissed” the doors which lead into the council chamber rooms open again but from the opposite side from where Jonas entered, “Yes Lord Blue” Jonas bowed and left the council room with questions running through his mind, confuse and uncertain.

* * *

Jonas continued to kick against the dummy drone, spun around with a turning kick followed by a reverse kick, causing the drone to stagger back. Sweat was beginning to drip profusely around Jonas face and down his t-shirt. Jonas shot forward again with another series of kicks and punches at the same time avoiding being hit by the drone’s limbs.
Jonas’ continue sparring with the drone for another five minutes until he decided to deactivate the program. Jonas walked off the sparring mat, where Brutus one of his lieutenants was leaning against the wall watching him sparring against the drone.
“Someone is a bit stress?” smiled Brutus
“The council has given us a new assignment” said Jonas as he wiped his face with his towel and taking a drink from his water bottle, “they planning for the impossible”
“Oh what could be impossible with Jonas leading the crew?”
“They want us to steal a carrier”
“You got to be joking?!”
“No” Jonas shook his head and pass Brutus the data pad he received from the Council, “all the details we need are on there” Brutus skimmed through the pad reading the details which the council provided.
“Looks like the Council went into great lengths to acquiring this information” said Brutus as he continue to read the data pad, “it could be something which they have been pondering about” scanning through the information provide Brutus eyes slow widen “mercenary gangs from most of the major underground cartels? They are really serious?
“Well I am beginning to see why” said Jonas as he sat down on the bench facing Brutus, “we have acquired the fighters, the transports, corvettes and shuttles. We have a sizable force and having a carrier would signal to the Confederation and those damn Pilgrims that we are a force to be reckon with” Jonas smiled at the thought of having a carrier, “besides it is not every day that an organisation such as ours get to fly a carrier throughout space”
“I could see that” smiled Brutus, “first a carrier what’s next a battleship” Jonas smiled more at the mere thought of having a battleship in their fleet, “who knows a fleet with a carrier and a battleship would be nice, hell the council might consider tried taking over the Confederation”
“Ah that would be interesting” said Brutus, “controlling both the Senate and the Assembly would be good” the Senate and the Assembly was a place of power and Jonas could see where the Council was heading with their plans. By placing operatives within the Senate and or the Assembly they could gain access to all the vital and necessary information they need and perhaps control the entire Confederation or maybe yet the entire known galaxy. Jonas grinned at Brutus as a planned was beginning to form in his mind, “Brutus, call our people together we have work to do”
Chapter Four

Enyo System, Day Quadrant, Vega Sector
TCS Hibernia
Rec Room

A day after Anthony’s near failed mission, things quieten down a little over the next two days with several missions were assigned to the Flying Tigers and the other 3 squadrons. With one short pilot and no new pilots coming in for another two to four months, everyone in the Tigers had to pull their weight around.

Anthony slumped down on one of couches by the view port looking outside at a transport being escorted by a pair of fighters from the Wild Aces squadron. Tired and feeling a bit grumpy Anthony arched his back against the couching and stretched trying to get rid of any stiffness in his body. Sitting in the cockpit for an extended period of time can be extremely tired and stressful with little or no break in-between.
Anthony was about to stand up and head to the barracks for nap when he saw someone placed a mug of a hot steaming drink in front of him.
“Sorry I don’t drink coffee” said Anthony
“Who said it was coffee?” replied the voice, Anthony looked up and saw it was Donovan, smiling who was holding another mug in his hand. From the scent he could smell from the mug Donovan was holding it was definitely not coffee. “You drink normal black tea or I should take that green tea back?”
“How do you know I prefer to drink green tea?” asked Anthony as he took the mug in front of him and took a sip of the hot tea. Taking a small sip from the hot beverage revitalised a little out of him
“I saw you the other day come in with a small pack of tea leaves or something and remember you asking for a mug and a pot of hot water” said the bartender, “I remember you taking out that small packet and pour something into it. When you left I took the mug and had a whiff of what you had and had a vague idea what you were drinking”
“I’m pretty impressed that you know what I drink with smelling from the cup” Donovan shrugged, “Eh something I picked up here and there” Donovan sat down next to him getting himself comfortable, “So me thinks that you had a long couple of days”
“You could say something like that” said Anthony as he run his hand through his hair, “Parker has been assigning us missions after missions even since we ran into those Striker fighters for two days straight”
“Those things have been bothering you a bit hey?” asked Donovan, Anthony nodded, “you know anything about the Strikers?”
“Well a little” replied Anthony, “I knew they were supposed to be the next superiority fighter, instead of the rapiers. I remember that there was a race to see which of the two would be the main fighters use in the military and the two companies who were vying to be the main supplier were putting out all the stops to try to get rights to produce the Confederation fighter complements in the military, but something went wrong”
Donovan nodded, “Yes I remember hearing something on the TCN news that there was a technical problem with the Strikers engine performance that made them unstable if the fighters were used excessively on missions without allowing the ship to going over a maintenance check after 24-48 hours or something. Apparently the engines will overheat and shut down leaving the pilot stranded”
“I didn’t hear about that bit”
“No one did” continue Donovan “the military prevented the media to broadcast that bit of information and were afraid that other political parties might take advantage of the situation believing that the military are resorting to desperate measures to keep fighters and pilots on line or on duty. As a result the Striker project was scrapped and the rapier project was activated and has become Confed’s main fighter supplier for the carriers. Although the Fleet rely on their cruisers, battleships and destroyers, the High Command admits that the use of fighters in their fleet have proven to be effective and possible productive in the long term operations”
“You seem to know quite a bit about the Striker” asked Anthony, “how did you pick up all these info?”
Donovan smiled “I hear things here and there” Anthony looked at the bartender, somehow in his gut feeling, there was something strange about Donovan about knowing a little bit extra about certain things. First Donovan knew a bit about the Mari-ad and now the Striker fighters. Was it just a coincidence or did he know more than he was willingly to show?
“You are a strange man Donovan” said Anthony as he finished his mug of tea, “thanks for tea. I’m going to get some rest before Parker calls up for our next assignment” Anthony got up and headed to the lift heading for the barracks.
Donovan watched him as Anthony headed to the lift. The bartender pulled out a small com-link inside his shirt pocket, “Blue Reign, this is Donovan. We encountered Mari-ad forces in the Enyo system, requesting data link on all available information and status in this sector” Donovan switched off his com-link and headed back to the bar where several people were waiting for drinks.

* * *

Enyo System, Day Quadrant, Vega Sector
TCS Hibernia
Briefing Room

It was a while since he saw two squadrons combine during a mission briefing. For to have a two squadrons must be an important mission, the only other time for multiple squadrons to be launch was a magnum launch and that was when the Hibernia is under attack from hostiles forces, but in peace time there has not been any for many years.
Anthony rarely see members from the Silver Arrows squadron and the last time he saw any of them was at welcome party where he met the Silver Arrows CO, Major Shauna O’Brian and several of the other pilots from the squadron. Anthony sat down at the second row of the briefing room next to Skinny who was reading a data pad, “Whatcha reading Skinny?” asked Anthony as he sat down
“Just an update on the Senate’s debate on the appropriation funds for the military”
“Let me guess Senator More is having another spill about excess credits again?”
“The same one”
“I wonder what Admiral Banbridge has to say” said Anthony
“Knowing him he would probably have some fit about the Senator’s comment and everything else”
“Those two are always at the heart of every debate regarding military funding”
Skinny was about to say something when Parker arrived with Major O’Brian and Major Mallamo to the briefing stand.
“Settle down folks, we have a lot of ground to cover” as Parker approached the map screen, “as you may have notice over the last couple or so days we have been patrolling and surveying heavily in the Enyo system because Intel believe that there is a Mari-ad presence here and Command wants us to clean out the garbage” several grumbles of approval could be heard throughout the room “thanks to the last reconnaissance from the Wild Aces squadron, we located an old carrier transport which has been stripped down and used as a fuel depot where we believe is where the Striker fighters originated from. Intel strongly believes that this is a base of operations for the Mari-ad fighters to come for refuel and repairs. Command wants us to capture the depot, apprehend any Mari-ad operatives, obtain any vital information and if not possible destroy the facility if necessary.”
“Sounds like a big job for us hey boss?” said Jewel who sat behind Skinny and Anthony
“Hence why both the Flying Tiger and the Silver Arrows are assigned to this assignment” said Parker as he turned to activate the map viewer on the wall behind him, “we do not know what defence systems they have so we are going to do this by the numbers. The Tigers will be separated into two wings Alpha and Beta; the Silver Arrows will be separated into Delta and Gamma wing. Alpha wing will head in first with Delta wing and they are to take out any fighters and any base defences they find. Beta wing will be escort the marine landing craft that will board the transport and capture it. Gamma wing will be on rear defence position where they will hold back in case any Mari-ad operatives do try to escape past us.
While this is in operation we will be sending along surveillance shuttle to monitor the situation and jam any outgoing transmission. We don’t want to take any chances of them sending out any distress calls. However if the situation becomes critical and if the marines find the transport too dangerous to hold, Gamma wing will come in and destroyed the transport, any questions?”
“Are we expecting heavy resistance sir?” asked Anthony
“Uncertain Lieutenant” replied the Colonel, “Intel didn’t give us much to work on and they are a bit sketchy on what we know about this system so we are flying blind at the moment. Hopefully if we play this through we should do this with minimal problems.”
“So pretty much we are clear to engage should we encounter anyone from the depot transport?” asked Drool
“That’s pretty much the sums it up” said Colonel Parker “Command wants to get rid of this problem and if possible apprehend any operatives”
“Sounds like fun” whispered Skinny to Anthony “shoot first ask questions later” Anthony smiled

* * *

About 20 minutes later
TCS Hibernia
Flight Deck

“Your birds primed and ready Tony!” said Mendez as he passed the helmet to Anthony as he slide into the cockpit “you are loaded with your standard load outs, you’re all set!”
“Nothing I need to be aware of Nuts?” asked Anthony
“None what so ever mate, you’re all clean” Mendez gave Anthony the thumbs up

* * *

“Rapier SF 2812, you’re cleared for launched” said the Deck Officer
“Roger that control” replied Anthony as he push the throttle control up, accelerating his fighter out of the hanger bay into the dark void where the rest of squadron were waiting in formation for him, “Beta Lead this is Beta 6, I’m out and joining formation”
“Copy that 6” replied Silky, “All wings report in” a series of confirmation and acknowledgement from the other pilots and from the Silver Arrows Squadron, “All wings set course 1998.03 prepare for autopilot run. Alright people lets squash some bad guys”

* * *
Chapter 5

Enyo System, Day Quadrant, Vega Sector
Beta Flight
En route to unknown Mari-ad location

“Sensors showing nothing in range Beta lead” reported Datangia, “You sure that Command and Intel got their info right?”
“Don’t know Beta 6” replied Balls, “whether or not that depot is there, we have to neutralise it and let the marines deal with the bad guys”
“You reckon there will be any more of those Strikers fighters Beta Lead?” asked Torps, “one experience is bad enough for me. Those fighters give us a great deal of problems”
“Know what you mean Beta 2” replied Balls, “after reading the report from that mission, I wouldn’t be taking any chances. Alpha flight would probably be thinking the same thing as well. OK enough chatter people, ETA to destination, ten minutes. Check weapon and other primary systems” Balls received acknowledgement from the other five pilots in his flight group.

Thinking back about his past experience, it has been a long time since Balls flew in a major operation with a squadron let alone two squadrons. He remembers the last major operation he flew was with the 150th squadron, the Daggerfalls. Three years ago, the Daggerfalls were part of the Vega planetary defence squadrons where they were called up to quell a violent protest and possible uprising with the planet’s populous over increase planetary tax rates, extra tariffs on import/export goods and other related tax increases, forcing many of the neighbouring systems and planets to argue the increased rates.

Back then there were two major political parties in a heated debate over the planetary taxes between the Industrial Workers Union Party and the Liberal Education Party.
There were debate about with the increase in taxes, government revenue would increase slightly and questions were raised to where the extra funds would be allocated at.
The government at that time announced that the increase in taxes, the extra revenue and financial support, there would be a fairer amount of government funds be distributed to all industries at the next annual planetary budget.
Unfortunately when the government budget was released, it was revealed a greater proportion of the planetary funds were distributed to the military budget which angered many of the other industries and political parties, especially the Liberal Education Party. The party representatives believed that at the next upcoming planetary budget review, the education industry would be allocated a fair percentage of government funds to help improve their failing education system. In the past two terms, the planetary government had vowed to allocate extra government funding to the Education Industry, but only a small portion were allocated to the Education Industry.
During those two terms, political observers have noticed an increase funds was allocated to military division and many believed that the Defence Department have been too much funds or have been influencing the government to how they should allocated their funds.

When the planetary budget was released it showed a larger proportion of the planetary funds were distributed to the military department, which angered the Liberal Education Party which led people to protests and violent riots.

With the increase in recent criminal activities and other extremist factions in the Vega System and neighbouring area, some observers believed it was understandable to why the military wanted to increase their funding and were not taking any chances with any group who poses a threat to their stability. Unfortunately not many groups were particular interested about the military reasoning about their increase in funding and the political parties involved demand immediate action be taken about the new budge and called on the government to make amendments to it.

With the continuing disputes about the planetary taxes continue to rise many of the citizens have become more aggressive with the protests and many have taken a more direct approach of trying to get the governments attention and forcing them to review the budget.
People have tried many things from sabotaging shipping facilities, preventing transport ships from making their cargo runs to their destination and teachers going on strikes causing major problems for the schools Unfortunately, the government refused to heed to the demands and protest of the public and warn to the public that should they continue to protest and make demands people would arrested and charged.
The citizens ignored the governments warning and continue with their protests and riots.

The Daggerfalls were called in to assist with removing any blockades that were created by the protesters and help with removing the protesters from government buildings if necessary. The Daggerfalls were also ordered to force any ships that were blocking any spacedocks or jump points to leave the area or be towed away by military personal.
If the protesters refuse to leave the premises where they were protesting, the squadron were to use tear gas or non-lethal means to force the people to leave any government facilities.

Balls had hoped that the protestors would respond and leave quietly but like many protestors in the past, many refuse to comply with the orders and continue with the protest and riots.

The end result was a disaster for Confederation Government in Vega. Officially from the TCN network several ships that were in the blockade were disable and towed aware with several of the workers arrested and charged.
The protestors on the planet surface were forcibly removed by Conf Security Forces with several people also arrested and charged. About 10 people were sent to prison for between two to five years for inciting a riot.

Unofficially, two transports were forced to be fired upon by the Daggerfalls after attempts to reason with the workers to leave the docks failed. Of the two transports, one was destroyed after it attempted to ram with one of the squadron fighters.
The protestors on the planet were forcibly removed by Security Forces but it was more violent as people refused to be moved, many people were injured some were killed in riots. No report was release regarding the loss of lives by the government as they fear a possible repercussion should anything happen again.

After the incident, Sector Command recovered all information regarding the Vega tax riot and prevented any information being leaked out to the media and to the public hoping they would not experience another protest or riot. The government had imposed a full media blackout preventing the people knowing the full extent of the riots.
Only a handful of people who were directly involved in the riots knew the whole truth. For Greg Border who was involved since the beginning, it was one of the hardest things he had to experience. Firing or restraining civilians was something he didn’t want to deal with.
After the incident, Greg requested a transfer off the planetary defence squadron and assigned to a carrier fighter squadron to escape the nightmare he experienced.

Clearing his head from the nostalgia, Balls check his systems and sensors. He could see ID signals from the pilots of his flight and the marine transport they were escorting. Everyone was ready for the operation.
“Beta Lead to Marine LC-1. What’s your status?”
“All systems go Beta Lead” replied the marine transport pilot, “Captain says we have a go when you are ready”
“Roger that LC-1, standby, all right Beta Flight, standby we approaching the designated coordinates”
* * *

Roughly at the same time
Alpha Flight

Silky checked her tracking systems, she detected a large electromagnetic signature, it was large enough to be the depot they were looking for and from where they were located deep in the system, it was rare for ships travelling deep in any system.
Switching her ship sensors for visual reading she could see on her small screen a large derelict object which resemble to an old freight transport used to ferry large amounts of unprocessed metal ores.
This must be it thought Silky as she panned across and saw the small objects at the front of the transport which could be the Striker Fighters, but they are motionless.
They left them on docking ports thought Silky we take them out first before they can launch! switching to her comm-system she spoke to everyone “Alpha lead to all fighters, standby for attack pattern. Alpha flight take out the stationary fighters you see on your sensors, Delta take out any and all station defence turrets and defence systems, Beta standby to escort the marines in” a series from acknowledgement came through from the designated flight leaders.

Gradually Silky could see the old derelict transport floating in space without the use of the ships sensors. The transport looked more of an old fighter carrier wreck probably the size of the ranger carriers maybe smaller. She could barely see the dark exterior of the ship, the ship looked like it was painted black so it could blend in with the blackness of the space surrounding them. Her sensors showed a grey blip where the transport was located. She could also see the several Striker fighters lying stationary around the old transport carrier as if they didn’t know they were arriving.
“Damn I thought it would be smaller!” said Peck over the comm.
“They didn’t say anything about size” said Drool
“Pipe down folks” said Silky as she checked the ships computer, watching slowing as the targeting computer begins to register them as hostile and the red blips replacing the grey blips which represents the transport and the Strikers.
“All fighters, target confirmed. Engage, engage, engage!” Silky hit the afterburners, bursting forward towards the nearest Striker, switching to her missile loadout she selected her dumbfire missile and fire straight into the side of the fighter followed by a barrage of laser fire. The missile tore through the ships hull, exploding on impact causing the ship to break apart from the warhead and the laser fire. The explosion from the fighter caused a chain reaction, causing the docking clamp to rupture and explode.

They didn’t see it coming thought Silky as she saw the missile rip through the Striker armour as if it was paper. She would thought that the Mari-ad would be more prepared and would have their fighters on standby alter or something. But with no one in the fighters they have caught the Mari-ad with their pants down.

* * *

Ten minutes prior to the Confederation Attack
Aboard the Mari-ad supply depot
Command Bridge

Monty was finishing the last of his drink while watching a movie on his monitor. It was quiet on board the supply depot, half the time he was helping with the transfer of cargo from transports or watching some seedy adult movie from his bunk mate’s porn collection. Monty was about to pour himself another drink when the main hatch to the command bridge open and saw Scott come in and sat at one of the control consoles
“Having a nice peek are we Monty?” teased Scott as he took out a cup and pour himself a drink from Monty’s bottle, “Screw you Scott” snapped Monty as he continue to watch the movie, “Should you be watching the early warning systems?”
“What for?” asked Monty
“Well we both know that we can get any unexpected visitors. You know the rules?”
”Rules, schmules. Nothing happens here, besides we are so deep in this system there is no way anyone could find us apart from other Mari-ad ships. Besides we have those Strikers out there ready when something happens” Monty pointed to one of the fighters he could see outside through the large window, when suddenly the fighter he was pointing at exploded, “What the?” stunned by the sudden explosion Monty sat motionless looking dumb founded for a brief moment until he saw a fighter flew past the wreck.
“That’s a Confed fighter!” said Scott as he rushed to hit the emergency button, “it’s an attack!” a loud siren sound rang through the entire depot, and red lights started to flash throughout the depot, “all personal we are under attack by Confed forces repeat we are under attack by Confed forces, everyone to their stations” Scott activated the depots defence systems and checked his monitor and saw a large number of Confed fighters and a marine transport approaching towards them, “fuck it’s a raiding force. They are going to take over the depot. Monty send out the signal, Monty?” Scott turned out to see Monty and saw the guy still looking dumb founded, looking outside at the space fight, his lower jaw was open and his drink which he was holding was on the deck of the bridge spilt all over, “You fucking moron!” growled Scott as he walked over to Monty and pushed him off his seat forcing him land heavily on his side. It took him a few seconds to register what just happen, “wake up you idiot we are under attack!” Monty woke up from his stupor and focused on what was happening when a few more Mari-ad personnel arrived on the bridge and took their stations.
“Damn, why did I take this assignment” said Monty as he stood up and sat back at his station

* * *

Mari-ad Supply Depot

“We took out six Strikers on our first run Alpha Lead” reported in Jewel, “Delta has taken out most of the depots defence turrets, they didn’t see it coming”
“Copy that Alpha five” replied Silky, “Beta Flight you have a clear path send in the marines, watch out for any nasty surprises there might be more fighters around”
“Roger that Alpha Lead” replied Balls, “we’re going in”
“Delta Lead what’s your status?”
“We taken out some of the Strikers that launch out of the depot and taken out the outer perimeter defences” replied Major Shauna ‘Trek’ O’Brian, “we are clearing out any remnants. Alpha lead this was too easy. I don’t like it”
“Agreed, keep a heads up and let me know of anything”
“Roger that”

* * *

“Beta Flight that’s our cue. Beta 4 and 6 fly in point, the rest form up around the transport. Marine LC, follow us in”
“Roger that Beta Lead” Datangia flew ahead of the group with Arrows as they sweeping through the debris hitting any stray defence turrets that remain enroute to the depot while Balls and the remaining 3 fighters formed a tight diamond formation around the marine transport.

* * *
Mari-ad Supply Depot
Command Bridge

“They have taken out the Strikers and our perimeter defences” shouted a Mari-ad soldier by one of the control terminals, “we got a Confed marine transport is landing in the hanger deck!”
“Get some people down there and hold them off!” ordered Monty, “we need to hold them off”
“Damn we got a cargo ship plus escort on their way towards us” said Scott, “I could not get through to them! They must be jamming us!”
“Shit! That cargo ship is carrying ship parts for our new Striker shipyard. We are so screwed. Jonas is going to kill us. We got to warn them and get them out of here!”
“Too late” said one of the console operators as displayed his control console monitor on the main viewscreen.
The main viewscreen change images from the fight outside to a large cargo transport coming to them escort by a squadron of Striker fighters.
The viewscreen image changed again by the operator showing this time a tactical display, showing Confed fighters flying towards their position.
“This ain’t good” said Scott, on the intercom system the bridge personnel could hear gunshots and a crewmen voice was on the speaker, “Confed marines have landed we need help down here!”
“We are so dead right now” said the operator
“The hell they are” said Scott, “Monty get some men down to engineering secure it and lock it down. I rather have this base destroyed then letting them have this”
“Got it!” Monty left his station and headed out towards the exit grabbing an assault rifle on the way

* * *

At the same time
Outside Mari-ad Supply Depot

“Delta Lead you reading this?” asked Silky
“We got it too” replied Legs, “it’s another cargo transport. A large one with a squadron of Strikers, were they waiting for us?”
“Don’t know. We don’t have time. Delta Lead, take your group and delay those fighters. We can’t let them get to the depot!”
“Roger that”
“Beta Lead what’s your status?”
“Marine LC has landed, they meeting heavy resistance. Beta 4 and 6 took out some of the defences”
“OK leave Beta 4 and 6 with the Marines, they will need to escort them out when they leave. I want you and the rest of Beta to help Delta flight. We picked up a squadron of Strikers and cargo transport.”
“I saw it too” replied Balls, “I think our surprise attack just went down the gurgler”
“Eh it could be worse Beta Lead. Let’s get this show started”
“Copy that Alpha Lead”

TCS Hibernia
Command Bridge
Far away from the conflict

Colonel Parker and Captain Lang were listening to the battle through the communication channels at the same looking at the progress of the battle at the tactical map.


“We taken out some of the Strikers that launch out of the depot and taken out the outer perimeter defences. We are clearing out any remnants. Alpha lead this was too easy. I don’t like it”
“Agreed, keep a heads up and let me know of anything”
“Roger that”

“Beta Flight that’s our cue, Beta 4 and 6 fly in point the rest form up around the transport. Marine LC, follow us in”
“Roger that Beta Lead”

“Delta Lead you reading this?”
“We got it too, it’s another cargo transport with a squadron of Strikers. Were they waiting for us?”
“Don’t know. We don’t have time. Delta Lead, take your group and delay those fighters. We can’t let them get to the depot!”
“Roger that”
“Beta Lead what’s your status?”
“Marine LC has landed, they meeting heavy resistance. Beta 4 and 6 took out some of the bugs”
“OK leave Beta 4 and 6 with the Marines, they will need to escort the marines out when they leave. I want you and the rest of Beta to help Delta flight. We picked up a squadron of Strikers and cargo transport.”
“I saw it too. I think our surprise attack just went down the gurgler”
“Eh it could be worse Beta Lead. Let’s get this show started”
“Copy that Alpha Lead”


Looking intently at the tactical map, Parker was rubbing his chin with one hand, while the other was squeezing a stress ball.
“Not good” said Parker, “not damn good”
“Colonel, Gamma Lead asking if they could join the fight and assist?” asked Lieutenant Jessica. Parker and Lang looked at each other uncertain of releasing Gamma Flight.
“We can ready the Wild Aces Squadron?” said Lang
“This was not part of the plan” said Parker. Looking at the tactical map Parker squeezed his stress ball tighter and took a deep breathe “Lieutenant tell Gamma Lead they are free to engage and assist. The Aces are on yellow alert. Tell Major Brady I want one flight launched and second flight on standby status”
“Yes Sir”
“A tad bit nervous David?” asked Captain Lang
“Shouldn’t a wing commander be?”
“I’m sure your boys are will do well”
“That is what I’m afraid of”

Onboard the landing bay of the Mari-ad Depot
Outside the Engineering Control Room

“Corporal get those bastards out of that hell hole!” shouted Sergeant Collins as he pulled an injured marine away from the gun fire around the corner, Collins press his microphone in his helmet, “LT, Mari-ad are heavy here near Engineering, they got us pinned down”
“Copy that” replied the voice over the comm channel, “what’s your status?”
“We got two WIA and one KIA” replied Collins, “we might need some help over here LT?”
“Copy that, we are getting hit pretty hard here at their command bridge. Standby, putting through to the Captain”

Outside the Mari-ad Depot Command Bridge
Main Access Corridor

The fight to control the Command Bridge was heavy; Lieutenant Marcus Harris and his squad were pinned down by the heavy fire from the Mari-ad personnel who barricaded the main corridor leading to the Command Bridge. Ducking back around the corridor to avoid fun fire, Marcus received a transmission from a squad heading towards main engineering,
“LT, Mari-ad are heavy here near Engineering, they got us pinned down”
“Copy that, what’s your status?” replied Marcus
“We got two WIA and one KIA, we might need some help here LT?”
“Copy that, we are getting hit pretty hard here at their command bridge. Standby putting through to the Captain” Lieutenant Harris switched his radio to the command frequency so he could connect to his commanding officer. Marcus flinched when he heard a loud explosion from around the corner “Corporal what is going on down there!?” a marine came running up to him from a conceal position, his fatigues showed several singe marks, a graze was spotted across his left eyebrow and a cut across the right cheek, “it’s heavy LT, those damn bastards are giving us hell. We can’t break through we can’t risk any heavy stuff, we might destroy the command bridge”
“Yeah I know it ain’t pretty” replied Harris as he switched his communication radio to his CO’s frequency, “Captain this is Harris”
“Copy that, what’s the situation” replied the voice on the earpiece
“We are meeting heavy resistance both on the Command Bridge and Engineering. Sergeant Collins is at Engineering and has requested for assistance. Honestly sir we both need help to secure both positions”
“Negative we are press hard here as well” replied the CO, “we got Mari-ad coming back here and trying to block us off to you they are, hang on LT” Harris could hear loud gun shots and muffle shouts and explosion. Harris could hear the Captain talking to someone and was not sure what it was about, “Harris we got some help coming up towards you. Our escort pilots are volunteering to help you. I’m sending them to you first with a couple of my men”
“Copy that thanks Captain”

Mari-ad Dept
Main Hanger Bay

Anthony and Kathryn were listening in on the chatter on the marines channel when they heard Marine Captain Richard Grant nearby near their fighters

“We are meeting heavy resistance both on the Command Bridge and Engineering. Sergeant Collins is at Engineering and has requested for assistance. Honestly sir we both need help to secure both positions”

“Negative we are press hard as well” replied Grant, “we got Mari-ad coming back here and trying to block us off to you they are, hang on LT”

Captain Grant saw Anthony running towards him trying to gett his attention, “hang on LT. What is Lieutenant? We are bit pressed here”
“Sorry Captain” said Anthony, “but I couldn’t help but listen, that the Lieutenant wanted some help and I thought I might give you a hand” both Anthony and Grant ducked as they heard a loud explosion at the far end of the hanger bay, “Are you sure about this Lieutenant? Hate to lose you when we need you fly boys to escort us out of here?”
“Don’t worry Captain” replied Anthony, “I think we can help you” Anthony wave Kathryn over to where he was with Grant, “Arrows, we giving them a hand. They got some trouble”
“Sounds fine and dandy to me, as long we hurry up and get this over and done with”
“You sure you can do this?” asked Grant
“Sir we had ground assault training” said Anthony, “I don’t think that we are that incompetent” Grant smiled as he called over a marine over
“Jasper, grab Lee and Kinder and go with these two. Get to the Command Bridge and help Lieutenant Harris”
“Yes Sir” said Jasper, “Lee! Kinder! We are moving!” Anthony saw two marines behind a stack of metal containers firing at a group of Mari-ad behind a space-lifter wreckage
“OK Lieutenant get to the Command Bridge and help them secure it” said Grant, “tell Harris that once the Bridge is secure tell him to help Collins down at Engineering. We need to secure all the vital points before making any more moves”
“Check” replied Anthony as he ran down to one of the access corridors out of the hanger grabbing an assault rifle from Jasper
“Harris we got some help coming up towards you. Our escort pilots are volunteering to help you. I’m sending them to you first with a couple of my men”
“Copy that thanks Captain”

* * *

“How the turrets coming!?” asked Scott
“We are giving them hell Scott!” shouted one of the Mari-ad who was manning the gun placement
“Good we will give them a bloody fight alright” said Scott as he rushed back inside the Bridge
“Sir you got a communiqué from Jonas” said a man running from the communication console holding a comm-radio, “he ain’t sounding too happy”
“Shit” replied Scott as he received the radio, “This is Scott”
“Scott what is going on at the depot?” asked Jonas, “I thought you have everything under control? Where is Monty?”
“Don’t know sir” replied Scott, “Confed forces have attack the depot by surprise. We are holding them off sir, they are not getting through. Monty’s down at engineering securing the area”
“You disappoint me Scott. You performance is unacceptable”
“But sir we have not lost the depot! We are holding the Bridge and Monty is holding Engineering. We are fighting the Confed back”
“Not any more” replied, “your services at no longer needed with the Mari-ad”
“What do you mean?” asked Scott when he noticed one of the monitors on the bridge consoles flickered and a series of numbers and command codes started appearing on the screen, “Sir what is going on?”
“This depot is compromised as are the men on this station. The facility is now a liability. I have initiated the self destruct code”
“You can’t do that!” shouted Scott as he gripped the radio harder
“Oh yes I can” said Jonas, “The Mari-ad does not like failure of any kind. To do so is to face dire consequences. Good bye Scott” the radio went dead and the low sound of radio static could be heard
“Jonas you cannot do this! Jonas” Scott did not get a replied from Jonas “You fuck! You are not getting away with this!” as he ran back to the barricade with the rest of the Mari-ads.

* * *

“Lieutenant’s Cheng and Ross to help you” saluted Anthony as they arrived outside the command bridge where Harris and his marines are pinned down by gun shots from the Mari-ad protecting the entrance to the Command Bridge
“Welcome aboard Lieutenants” saluted Harris, “you just made it to happy hour. We need to break through that barricade!”
“Thanks Lieutenant!” said Anthony, “Alright, Captain wants us to secure the bridge and then help Collins once we secure asap”
“Then we are running out of time” said Harris, “get a fire team and blow that wall down” pointing to where the makeshift wall the Mari-ad made behind, “time to finish this”
“You got it. Jasper grab that launcher, Arrows lets go”

* * *

“Scott I think they got reinforcements!” shouted a Mari-ad, Scott came running back to the fight as he caught a glimpse of five people running across the other side of the corridor carrying something large and bulky, “Damn we are taking this too long”
“Shit they got a launcher!” shouted a Mari-ad fighter pointing where he could see five marines hiding, Scott followed where the man was pointing and could see a glimpse of a marine lifting a launcher onto his shoulders and taking aim towards them
“Shit! Take that bastard down!” shouted Scott

* * *

Anthony and the fire team ran across from Harris’ defensive position to another position where another marine was holding point while avoiding bullets and laser fire, “God damn it, I am not paid for this shit!” shouted Arrows as she slid up against the wall,
“Welcome to the marines’ sweet heart” said Jasper, “you’ll love it” Jasper turned to Anthony as he help him to hoist the rocket launcher onto his shoulders, “you ready Lieutenant?”
“Tell me when!” shouted Anthony trying to get his voice heard over the loud gun fire, Jasper pulled a rocket from his pack and inserted into the launcher behind Anthony and tapping him on the shoulders, “Lee, Kinder! Give him some covering fire!” the two marines ducked around the corner to shooting a barrage of bullets at the Mari-ad but the Mari-ad responded first with heavy barrage of weapons fire, “fuck!” Anthony ducked back around the corner to avoid the heavy fire, “I think they saw us with the launcher”
“Gee you think” mocked Arrows as she shot a few rounds towards the Mari-ad, “just hurry up and shoot that wall down”
“Love to see you try with all this gun fire” said Anthony as he lifted the launcher back on his shoulders, “OK on three, one, two, three” Anthony swung his body around the corner and without properly aiming the launcher, Anthony pointed the heavy weapon towards the wall and press the trigger, “fire in the hole!” Anthony quickly pulled back around the corner just in time to hear the large explosion detonating.

* * *

“Not too bad for a first time” said Harris as he patted Anthony as they survey the damaged they made through the corridor towards the bridge, “we’ll make a marine out of you yet”
“No thanks Harris” smiled Anthony, “I am happy to stick with flying” several marines were fanning out across the bridge, some moving the Mari-ad bodies, while others retrieve the wounded, others began access the command bridge consoles hoping to find any valuable information.
“LT we got a problem here” a marine waved the Harris to a console he was working on “What’s the problem?”
“This console has been active and there is some kind of self-destruct system running and I can’t deactivate it”
“Damn” hissed Harris, “they must have known they we were coming and thought that they were not going to win so they rigged the depot. Is there anyway to deactivate the system?”
“Negative LT” replied the marine, “it is some what connected to the Engineering section system”
“This used to be a ship” said Anthony “detonating the ships main power core would act like a bomb”
“Shit that is not good, we need to get to Sergeant Collins and warn him” said Arrows; Harris putted on his helmet and tune in to the marine frequency to find Collins, “Sergeant, do you read me?”
“I hear you LT” replied Collins, “We almost got the bastards flushed out”
“Hold your position. The depot is rigged to a self destruct system, it is connected to the ship’s power core and we cannot deactivate it”
“Shit, we got marines spread out throughout the depot clearing the area. How much time do we have LT?”
“Private?” asked Harris, the marine quickly analyse the information on the console and tapped a few commands into the system
“We got 15 minutes” replied the private
“Sergeant you have 10 minutes to get in and out”
“Copy that LT”
“Damn that is cutting it close” said Harris as he switch channel to Captain Grant, “Captain we have a bomb here and can’t deactivate it we have 15 minutes to evacuate!”
“Roger that Lieutenant, quickly download all data and information from the Command bridge and get back to the hanger bay ASAP!”
“So much for an easy mission” said Anthony as he looked around the damage bridge and the wrecked corridor
“At least we didn’t have to do deal with any Strikers” said Arrows
“I rather take on those Strikers any day Arrows. They are much easier to deal with” said Anthony as they headed out corridor and towards the hanger bay.
“Right Anthony, sure they are” teased Arrows as they ran down out of the bridge and down the corridor while as they could hear in the background Lieutenant Harris barking orders to clear the bridge”
Chapter 6

Somewhere Deep in the Enyo System, Vega Sector
During the same time on the attack on the Mari-ad Depot

Unmarked Transport

Brutus listened to the exchange between Jonas and the operatives at the Mari-ad depot
“Scott what is going on at the depot?” asked Jonas, “I thought you have everything under control? Where is Monty?”
“Don’t know sir” replied Scott, “Confed forces have attack the depot by surprise. We are holding them off sir, they are not getting through. Monty’s down at engineering securing the area”
“You disappoint me Scott. You performance is unacceptable”
“But sir we have not lost the depot! We are holding the Bridge and Monty is holding Engineering. We are fighting the Confed back”
“Not any more” replied, “your services at no longer needed with the Mari-ad”
“What do you mean?” asked Scott, Brutus could hear some distant shouting on the speaker, “Sir what is going on?”
Jonas entered a series of commands on the console, “This depot is compromised as are the men on this station. The facility is now a liability. I have initiated the self destruct code”
“You can’t do that!” shouted Scott
“Oh yes I can” said Jonas, “The Mari-ad does not like failure of any kind. To do so is to face dire consequences. Good bye Scott” the radio went dead and the low sound of radio static could be heard
“Jonas you cannot do this! Jonas” shouted Scott. Brutus turn to see Jonas smile as he entered the final command code into the console “You fuck! You are not getting away with this!”

“You sure you wanted to destroy the depot Jonas?” asked Brutus as he watched Jonas activated a series of controls on the console in front of him, “the Council would not approve of this”
“The Council does not need to approve any of my actions” replied Jonas, “I always deliver results to them with acceptable loses”
“But the supply depot deep in Enyo?”
“That depot is in this system is a midpoint fuel station which allows all our ships and transport to refuel. Especially for our new forming fleet”
“We can build another one. We have the all the financial and industrial resources at our disposal. I think we can afford a replacement”
“But Jonas”
“Enough!” Jonas slammed his fist against the bulkhead next to him stunning the other people on the bridge “I am in charge of this team and this operation. What I say goes. If you don’t like it, I am sure one our crew here will be happy to show you to their airlock”
“No Jonas, that won’t be necessary” replied Brutus as he walked to where a crewman was operating one of the operation consoles, “Damn that man” he said under his breathe.

Beta Flight and Delta Flight
Mari-ad Depot
En route to intercept the Mari-ad transport and escort
Prior to Depot detonation

“I confirm 14 targets Delta Lead” said Balls as he checked his sensors “two transports and one squadron of Strikers, repeat two transports and 12 fighters”
“Copy that Beta Lead” replied Legs, “I read 14 targets. All fighters prepared to engage. Gamma Wing how soon can you get here”
“ETA five minutes”
“Well you better get here quick” said Balls, “we are two fighters short and we don’t like to go in half cocked”
“Hang on mate; just don’t start the party without us”

* * *

“Careful Beta 2 you got one on your tail!” warned Balls as he saw a Striker falling in behind Torps
“Damn it! I can’t shake ‘im!” Torps banked his fighter left to right avoid fighter fire from the Striker behind him, “this guy is trying to chew me up real good”
“Hang on Beta 2, I’m a coming” Balls pushed the afterburners, getting in closer to the pursuing Striker; Balls switch his missile guidance system on and armed the heat seekers.
“Hurry up Beta Lead I don’t have all day!” Torps sounded desperate as Balls notice that Torps’ shields were getting eaten away by the Mari-ad fighter. Balls watched as the MGS (missile guidance system) slowly acquired the heat signature lock from the Striker, “Say good night asshole, missile away!” Balls fired the missile when he heard the final lock tone on the fighter. The missile shot through the Striker’s shield and impacted on its engine causing an explosion and a small shockwave. Balls swerve his fighter port side avoid the fighter debris.
“Thanks Beta Lead I owe you one!” replied Torps as he moved his fighter along side Balls
“No worries. Now let’s help the others shall we”

* * *

“Shit those transports got turrets rigged to them!” said 2nd Lieutenant Michelle ‘Leet’ Llane as she banked her fighter hard right avoiding the transport fire, “watch it folks, these transports got teeth!”
“You hit Delta 5?!” asked Major ‘Legs’ Brady
“Negative Delta Lead, just a grazing on the shields. I’m all good” said Leet moving her fighter away from the transport forming up behind Legs in attack position
“Alright form up Delta 5, we going to take those turrets out first”
“Copy that”

* * *

“Damn turret fire is pretty intense” said Leet, as she swung her fighter out of the turret’s line of sight before almost colliding into another gunnery turret fire, “they must be hoarding something big to be heavily armed”
“Don’t know, don’t care either busy here” said Legs as he moved his fighter away from the heavy turret fire, Brady switched over to his missile banks and armed the dumb fires, “I’m going for that transport’s rear turret, cover me Delta 5”
“Copy that, got your back, going in with you” Leet was about to finish her sentence when she was interrupted by a barrage of enemy fire came in from behind, “Shit! Delta Lead, taking evasive manoeuvre!” both fighters broke their attack run on the transport evading from the Strikers that suddenly appeared from behind attacking them, “Where the hell did they come from!” asked Leet
“I don’t know and I don’t want to stay to find out. I did not pick them up on sensors!” said Legs “Are you alright Delta 5?”
“Damn no” replied Leet, “rear shields are gone and engine’s a bit shot, my rear hull ain’t good. I got to pull out”
“Shit not good” said Legs, “Delta 5, go pull out. Delta Wing what’s your status?”
“I’m good”
“Just a few scratches”
“Got a bump here but good”
“Clean as a whistle”
“Gamma Lead how’s your boys?”
“Not too bad boss” replied Captain Colin ‘Cowboy’ Forbes, “we are holding our own here against these Strikers. Beta Wing are doing OK but they might need some help.”
“We got our hands full. You got to hold them of a little bit longer. Home One this is Delta Lead, we got two transports here, can’t scan them. Want do they want us to do with them?”
“Delta Lead, the bosses wants both transports disable” said Lieutenant Jessica, “Take out those turrets and engines”
“Copy that Home One. Delta 6 form up on me we taking on the transports, Delta 2, 3, 4 get rid of those Strikers” Legs received acknowledgments from the rest of his wing group.

* * *

“Scratch one bad boy” laughed Silky as she shot through the Striker she destroyed. Silky pulled her stick back, pulling her fighter 180 degrees, scanning for a new target
“Nice shooting Beta Lead” commented Torps, “they are down to six Strikers. Pasty pulling out”
“Is he alright?”
“His fighter is pretty banged up, it didn’t look pretty. He is forming up with Delta 5 who is also pretty banged up. They holding back”
“Alright let’s quickly finish this and get the hell out of here” both Silky and Torps moved their fighters and headed back to the fight where Gamma wing is engaging with the remaining Striker fighters.
“Damn those Striker fighters are good” said Torps, “don’t understand why Confed didn’t decide to use them as the primary fighters”
“Don’t know either, something which the brass thought something wrong. We can discuss finer details of technical of fighter capabilities. We got Mari-ad to deal with”

* * *

Deep in the Enyo System, Day Quadrant, Vega Sector
Mari-ad Supply Depot
Main Hanger Bay - 15 minutes before station self-destruct

“You got to be shitting me!” said Grant as he sat down on a crate after receiving word from Lieutenant Harris of the station’s self destruct, “What’s the situation with Sergeant Collins?”
“Good and bad sir” replied Harris over the comm-channel, “the good news is that the remaining Mari-ad in Engineering Control surrendered when one of their people were shot. I think it was one of the station commanders. The bad new is that Collins was able to find the rigged explosives and the detonator link but cannot access it because it is cleverly hidden away behind the depots main reactor chamber and no one can squeeze in to deactivate it”
“Damn half our luck!” Grant took off his helmet and gave his hair a shake, “Harris download everything you can from the station’s database and haul your ass back to the hanger you got ten minutes”
“Aye Sir”
“How did our two fly boys go?”
“Not bad for a first time, they are on their way back to the hanger now”

Shaking his head in disapproval, Grant look around the hanger bay where several of his marines were rounding up the surviving Mari-ad people and collecting the dead and injured that lay around the area. Grant walked up to a marine sergeant who was delegating duties to several marines who was with him, “Sergeant we are running short on time, this base is going to blow in 15. We have ten minutes to clear out, people and all!”
“Yes sir!” replied the marine sergeant as he turned back to the other marines, “you heard the Captain, clear the area out, 10 minutes, double time!”
In the next few minutes, Grant saw what could have been the fastest clean up and recovery operation he had ever seen.

* * *

Mari-ad Supply Depot
Engineering Section
At the same time

“Fucking bomb!’ growled the marine specialist as he tried to reach the detonator console panel, “who is the jackass who put this here?” Sergeant Collins watched on while the rest of his marine squad were holding the Mari-ad personnel from the engineering section under guard.
“You think they put that bomb before or after placing their depot so deep in this system?”
“Heck if I know” said the specialist “right now, if we can slow down the timer or even deactivate the bomb, I’m all happy”
“Is there any way to reach the console?” asked Collins as he looked on with a great deal of nervousness
“No unless you have time to chop down those pylons” replied the specialists, pointing to the large pillars that surrounded the main reactor of the depot “whoever planted the bomb was a genius to placing it or really was some dumb asshole who didn’t know where to put it in the first place”
“Don’t blame me then” replied Collins, “you got five minutes. If you cannot reach the consoles, we have to leave”
“I hear you”

* * *

Meanwhile back onboard
TCS Hibernia
Command Bridge

“Say what!” both Lang and Parker turn to face Lieutenant Jessica, as their communications officer provided them an update on the Mari-ad outpost
“Captain Grant says that a self destruct system has been activated when they attempted to secure the facility. They have about 15 minutes before the depot explodes”
“Damn this is not good” said Parker as he looked back on the tactical map, “for a brief moment I thought we might have had a near flawless victory”
“Nothing is flawless Colonel” said Captain Lang, “helm set course for the depot maximum speed”
“Aye Sir”
“What do you have in mind?” asked Parker
“We don’t have much time and I don’t think we would get to the depot in time either. We are going to get as close to the depot and recover all the fighters as quickly as possible. We don’t know what kind of damage that depot might if it detonates. I do not like to see what it might cause” Parker nodded in agreement as he looked at the tactical map, squeezing his stress ball, “we’re going to get a few injured people out there. We better inform medical team of the possible situation”
“Lieutenant what is the status on the attack wings and Gamma Wing attack on those transports?”
“Beta Lead confirmed both transports have been diable. Several of their fighters are damage during the fight. They said that the transports are heavily armed with turrets”
“Damn that was not good. Navigator show me the location of those transports” the navigation officer display a navigational readout on the main viewscreen replacing the tactical battle map to a navigational map where Parker and Lang were viewing showing the location of where the Hibernia was currently position, the location of the Mari-ad depot and the two transports en-route to the depot station, “they are quite a fair distance from the depot and I don’t think the blast shockwave may not reach them so it should be alright” tapping the map with his pointer Lang ponder about his next move, “Colonel, is Major O’Brian squadron ready?”
“He is with the first flight already deployed around the Hibernia. Second flight is on standby”
“Damn we almost have a full magnum launch of fighters. Now we know we have not done this for a long time. I do not remember having to launch nearly all our fighters, especially in peace time”
“What do you want with O’Brian’s flight group Captain?” asked Parker
“Tell O’Brian he is to assist escorting our marines back to ship, send out SAR teams to recover any escaped pods from the Striker fighters or our fighters. O’Brian is to send a flight group to cover the retreat should we receive any unwarranted attacks. Contact all flight groups to return back to the Hibernia. Gamma wing should be alright with them and O’Brian’s squadron as support wing”
“Yes Sir”
“Tell Captain Grant to retrieve those Mari-ad personal from the depot back. I think we might be able to gain some information from them”

* * *

Back at the Mari-ad outpost
Main Hanger Bay
Approximately 10 minutes before detonation

“Report Lieutenant?” asked Grant as he saw Lieutenant Harris arrived back to the main hanger bay with his marines, “did you get everything?”
“Yes sir. We download everything from the depot’s computer and database. We did not have a look at what was in it. But we know we got everything in their computers”
“Good work. Now let’s clear this place out” Grant switched his radio to Collins frequency, “Sergeant what is your status?”
“Not good sir” replied Collins, “we found the bomb, but can deactivate it. The detonator is out of our reach and we cannot reach in close enough to disable the bomb”
“Sergeant you have five minutes. If you cannot disable the bomb, evacuate and bring the Mari-ad prisoners with us”
“Copy that sir, out”
“It ain’t looking good” said Grant as he saw the marines began loading up and boarding the marine transport, “we don’t have much time. Lieutenant, get everything in on the double, we will leave very soon. Tell our two flyboys to warm up their fighters we will be getting’ ready”
“Yes sir” replied Harris

* * *

Mari-ad Outpost/Depot
Engineering Room
Approximately 8 minutes before detonation

“That’s it. We cannot wait any further” said the specialist, “there is no way I can reach the bomb. It is placed too well in. I cannot do anything about it!”
“Fine then” said Collins, “we are leaving. Corporal, get those prisoners back to the hanger bay now and load onboard the transport, everyone clear the area!”

* * *
Mari-ad Outpost/Depot
Main Hanger Bay
Roughly the same time

“Well play time is over Arrows” said Datangia, “let’s get our birds ready”
“Right with you, running quick check system. Everything looks fine and dandy” said Arrows
“All systems are green over here. Captain Grant, we are ready to escort you back to the Hibernia”
“Very good Lieutenant” replied Grant, “we are waiting one more group to return then” Grant was about to finish his sentence when several explosions occurred around the hanger, “What the hell just happen!” Anthony peer out through his cockpit and saw several fires and burning wreckages on the outer area of the hanger bays, Anthony keyed to Grant’s radio frequency “Captain Grant what just happen?”
“Explosion hit all main access corridors throughout the depot. Sergeant Collins can’t reach to us. He is trapped!”
“Shit! Not good!”

“Lieutenant how much time do we have?”
“About five minutes, six tops” replied Harris
“Get some people and blow that access corridor open for Collins, we got to clear it out in time”
“Yes sir!” Harris grabbed several marines and heading towards the blocked corridor that lead to the engineering section

* * *

“What the bleep is going on!” said a marine as Collins’ marine squad round the corner to where the corridor would lead them to the main hanger bay, but was blocked with wreckage
“Pipe down Watts” said Collins, as the sergeant walk up to smouldering wreckage in front of him. The entire corridor in front of them was blocked from the collapse ceiling above. Smoke could be seeing coming out of the wreck from the explosion that caused the damage, “Watts can you scan how far we are from the hanger bay?” the marine took out a small scanning device and scan the wreck in front of him attempting to measure the distance between them and the hanger, “we got about 30 metres of wreckage between us and the hanger. We might not be able to use any explosives”
“Why not?”
“I am not sure if we have enough to blow through and even if we do, we probably cause more debris or wrecks to fall through”
“Is there any other access out of here?” Watts access his device search for any other access; grimly he shook his head, “Not sure sir, searching” as he panned his scanner around the corridor
“We cannot die here!” screamed one of the captured Mari-ad, “we cannot die!” Collins walked up to man and backhanded the Mari-ad across the mouth, “shut up you!” Collins looked at the block corridor and look back at his marines. He saw in their eyes what he was going to do, “Captain this is Collins, we scan the wreck blocking our way to the hanger bay and all other possible access. There might not be any way out”
“Are you sure Sergeant?”
“We don’t have much choice”
“Like hell we are sergeant” snapped Grant, “we don’t leave our people behind. You know the rules!”
“Sergeant I found an access tube!” interrupted Watts “we need to move through the tube now”
“Captain we found a way out. Standby”
“Move quick Collins we running out time!” said Grant
“Watts, what you got?” asked Collins
“There is an access tube about one metre into the wreckage. We can blow it with some grenades to clear the wreck”
“Do it” said Collins. Watts and another marine grabbed some grenades from their packs and lodge them into the wreck.
“Standby, fire the hole!” the marines and Mari-ad prisoners pulled back to allow Watts detonate the grenades.

“Collins, what is going on down there!?” asked Grant
“We blew a small section of the wreckage and found an access tube and right now we are crawling through the tube and heading your way”
“Crawl faster, we running out of time!”
“Copy that!”

* * *

“Lieutenant, can you find out which access tube they are coming through?”
“Searching Captain” said Harris as he was accessing a console “I think I know where the wreck is blocking them”
“We running out of time Captain” said a marine “we can’t stay any longer otherwise we will perish in the depot”
“I know”
“Captain, can’t seem to find which Collins is coming through” Grant was about to say something, when a loud explosion rocked through the entire depot followed by another explosion
“Hell we can’t stay longer” said Grant “Lieutenant!?”
“Give me a moment!”
“We don’t have a moment!” another explosion ripped through the dept “Collins can you read me” Grant could only hear static on his earpiece “marines we are leaving!”
The marines all started running to the transport shuttle when a bulkhead exploded near one of the main consoles where Grant and a couple of marines were running past
“Captain!!” Lieutenant Harris and another marine rushed to Grant and the others who were hit by the explosion “Are you alright Captain?”
Coughing, Grant tried to stand up but collapsed. Harris looked down and saw a piece of shrapnel stuck into the side of the chest.
“Shit, not good” said Harris “Medic!!” a combat marine medic rushed over to Harris and Grant and looked at the shrapnel stuck into Grant’s side
“It does not look good” said the medic “it is stuck into the lungs”
“Get him to the transport now, we are leaving” said Harris

* * *

“What the hell is going on?!” asked Datangia as he did a final check, “Captain Grant what is happening?”
“Captain Grant is injured” said Lieutenant Harris on the communication system “we are leaving, we are heading into the transport”
“Copy that”

* * *

TCS Hibernia
At the same time

“Time?” asked Lang
“Approximately three minutes and counting Captain” replied Lieutenant Jessica
“Status on our transports?”
“Beta 6 reported, Captain Grant is injured and Lieutenant Harris is in command, they are about to leave the depot. O’Brian’s squadron have retrieved all escape pods and a flight group is holding rear defence position”
“Do they report any injuries from the marines?” asked Colonel Parker
“No sir”
“Running out of time” said Lang “and going to lose people if we don’t move fast”

* * *

Mari-ad Depot
Flight Deck
At the same time

The explosions continue to get louder and more dangerous as marines rushed in the transport, helping others in “Move it! Get them all in!” shouted Harris “Move, move!”

* * *

TCS Hibernia
Main Bridge
Approximately two before detonation

“Captain, Flight Deck Officer, reports that all ships have returned, except for Zeta Wing, they covering rear defence, Beta 4 and 6 and the marine transport” said Lieutenant Jessica
“What the hell is going on with the rest of them!” said Parker

* * *

“Shit the transport is not starting up!” said the transport pilot “systems is not starting up”
“You got to be kidding me” said Harris, the Lieutenant headed to the back of the transport where the medic was tending to Captain Grant “how is he?”
“Bad LT” said the medic “we need to get back to Hibernia’s med-bay. He is bleeding internally and we need to get out quick”
“We got engines online!” shouted the pilot from the cockpit “standby!”
“Wait I see something!” said a marine who was looking through the viewport. Harries looked through one of the viewport out on the depot flight deck
“Fuck, its Collins and the others!” said Harris “they bloody made it! Open the hatch!”
“You can’t be serious?!” said the pilot
“Open the hatch! We are not leaving marines behind!”

TCS Hibernia

“One minute til detonation” said Lieutenant Jessica

* * *

Mari-ad Depot
Flight Deck

“One minute!” said Arrows
“That’s it we can’t wait any longer” said Datangia “we heading out. Arrows, clear the route! Harris we are clearing the path you better be moving now!”
“We can’t, we can see Collins and his detachment, they are coming!”

* * *

TCS Hibernia

“30 seconds” said Jessica
“Commander what is the ships shields status?” asked Lang
“Shields are operating at 100 percent Captain” replied the Hibernia’s executive officer, Lieutenant Commander Jessica O’Hara
“Lieutenant Jessica, is the flight deck clear?” asked Parker,
“FDO reports all clear Colonel” replied the communications officer
“All crew, this is the Captain. Standby for impact, repeat standby for impact”
“All crew are secure Captain” said O’Hara from her station
“Very good”
“15 seconds”
“Okay this is it” said Parker
“10 seconds”
“Any last minute changes before we brace ourselves?”
“I don’t think there would be”

Lang and Parker looked at the main viewer where they could see the Mari-ad outpost. At first nothing happen, then they saw small explosions started to appear at one end of the depot slowly spreading across the entire depot, followed by a large explosion, followed by a series of large explosions. Bit and pieces of the depot were beginning to fall off the depot, followed by large pieces of the depot.
Finally a massive explosion could be seen from the centre of the depot breaking it half.

“Shockwave detected Captain” said O’Hara “heading towards us”
“Will it head to our other ships?”
“No they are out of range”
“What level is the shockwave?”
“Level 4 Sir”
“We would feel that” the ship began to shudder violently as the shockwave passed through the ship, the loud sound of the ships hull being pushed against the massive energy wave deafens all over the bridge with many people barely able to hear each other talk. The crew people around the bridge and around the ship held onto something secure bracing themselves against the shockwave.
“You sure that this is a level 4 Commander?” shouted Parker trying to get his voice heard over the loud creaking sound, “feels like a level 6 or 7”
“Sensors read a level 4” shouted back O’Hara, “this isn’t right”
“Hold on!” called out Lang, “we wait or the wave to pas through” What seem like forever was merely 10 seconds when the Hibernia was knocked by a large shockwave caused by the massive explosion caused by the depot’s self destruct bomb.
“Report Commander?’ asked Lang when the ship started shuddering. O’Hara moved over to the command console and looked over the console screen, “Shields are intact sir. I guess we were lucky” O’Hara scroll through the ships internal sensors and assessing the ships status, “so far no damage to the ship and no injuries reported in”
“Beta 4 and 6 and the marine transport?” said Colonel Parker
“I can’t reached them due to the explosion sir” said Lieutenant Jessica “there is too much interference”
“Too much radiation from the explosion” said Parker “it would make sensors and communication difficult for us and them to make contact”
“Colonel, I’m picking up a faint signal” said Lieutenant Jessica, “Its Beta 4 and 6! They made it!” bridge personnel cheer and applauded when they heard the good news “Colonel I have Beta 6 on comm. Channel”
“Put it through” said Parker
“Beta 6 to Home One do you read us?”
“We read you Beta 6” said Colonel Parker “what happen?”
“Beta 4 and 6 held back as long as possible. We were attempting to leave the depot when Captain Grant could retrieve Sergeant Collins and his squad down at the Engineering Bay”
“Were were able to retrieve Sergeant Collin’s squad?” asked Captain Lang
“Yes sir” said Datangia “we barely made it out of the depot. The transport is severely damaged by the blast of the depot explosion. Their engines are shot and rely on manoeuvring thrusting and life support is failing”
“Many of the marines are injured and we have several Mari-ad, Sergeant Collins’ squad have apprehended them as prisoners”
“How is the transport faring?” asked Colonel Parker
“Not good, we need help”
“Standby” said Captain Lang “Lieutenant Jessica, send a SAR rescue team and a marine transport to come and assist with them. Inform Major Brady to take a flight group to escort the rescue team”
“Beta 6, we are sending a rescue team to your coordinates standby”

“That was too close” said Parker “I fear that we might have lost those people”
“Indeed” said Lang “it has been a long day for us, Lieutenant, inform medical of incoming injured people”
Hello Readers/Wing nuts
I hope some of you have enjoyed my fan fiction
It has been donkey's years since I post my next fan fiction...but like everyone else
reality (work, study, taekwondo) has taken over. But great news for me is that I have more time now and I will hopefully post the next Redux Chapters soon
Chapter Seven
“Every generation has a maniac”

At the remnants of the Mari-ad Depot
Enyo System, Day Quadrant, Vega Sector

TCS Hibernia
Command Briefing Room

Captain Lang looked on at the tactical map table, observing shuttles travelling back and forth amongst the remains of the Mari-ad station and tugs moving the disable Mari-ad transport to dock with the Hibernia. As he watch the tactical screen, Parker, Grant and Harris were updating him with the latest reports from the operation.

“Intelligence is still deciphering the code from the Mari-ad Depot” reported Captain Grant, “otherwise we sustained about 15 injured marines and lost Sergeant Collins’ squad in the Engineering Section of the base”
“And the transports?” asked Captain Lang
“We have techs going through the fighters and are trying to access the transports data core” said Parker
“The Mari-ad?”
“We have captured a few Mari-ad soldiers from the station” said Harris “but it seems that most of them are just soldiers. I don’t think any of were major key operatives”
“The transports were empty when security board them” said Parker “but we found escape pods and shuttles were launched from the ship. I’m guessing they all escaped”
“Inform me once we have access the Stations Data Log and the Transports Systems. I think that will be all gentlemen”
“Before we leave sir” said Grant “I would like to recommend a commendation to 2nd Lieutenants Ross and Cheng”
“Datangia and Arrows?” asked Parker
“Those were the two pilots who landed in the Mari-ad station and assisted the marines with assault?” said Lang
“Yes sir” said Grant “they went out of their way to aid the marines in the assault. They assisted with Lieutenant Harris attempts to take over the bridge even though the section was severely damaged”
“Colonel Parker?” asked Captain Lang
“I will review the report from Captain Grant and Lieutenant Harris, Captain” said Parker “but from what I heard, both pilots actions were commendable and should be acknowledge”
“Very well” said Captain Lang “we will finalise all details and reports before we inform Command of our operation

Enyo System, Day Quadrant, Vega Sector

TCS Hibernia
Captain’s Office


“Lieutenant’s Cheng and Ross reporting Sir” reported Anthony as he and Kathryn saluted
“At ease Lieutenants” said Captain Lang “please take a seat while I quickly finished this report”
Anthony sat down feeling a little bit nervous. Normally he would expect to see the Wing Commander office should he have done something bad or even something good. But to see the Captain was the least he expected especially after almost three months.
“Sorry to keep you waiting Lieutenants” said Captain Lang “I have been reading the reports from the depot operation from Colonel Parker, Captain Grant and Lieutenant Harris. I have also spoken to both Majors Mallamo and Brady. You both are to received letters of Commendation for your actions on board the station congratulations Lieutenants”
Kathryn smiled while Anthony’s jaw dropped at the revelation
“Commendation Sir? Wow” said Datangia “I’m speechless”
“Thank You Captain” said Kathryn
“Now you are both dismissed and if I recall there is a party happening in the recreation room”

* * *

TCS Hibernia
Flight Wing Recreation Room
Approximately four hours after the destruction of the depot.


Captain Grant invited both Anthony and Kathryn Ross to join him and the marines for a private moment when they arrived
“Thank you for the invitation Captain” said Datangia
“Not at all Lieutenant” said Grant “you both contribute greatly in the operation. If it wasn’t for you two, the situation could have been worse and we might have lost more lives”
It wasn’t long before the entire marine detachment of the Hibernia arrived. Anthony and Kathryn mingle with the marines while the Marines Commander, Major Donald Lee arrived.
“Major, may I introduce Lieutenants Cheng and Ross from the 28th Flight Group Squadron”
“Ah our two pilots from the Mari-ad operation” smiled Major Lee shaking hands with both Anthony and Kathryn “you have done our marines a great service”
“It was nothing sir” said Anthony “we did what any pilot or soldier would do”
“Ah too modest too” smiled Lee “no Lieutenant, everyone should be recognise for any good deed or service they have performed”

* * *

“Marines, we are here to salute the men and women who serve the Confederation with duty and honour” said Major Lee as he raised his glass “to our fallen comrades!”
“Ho!” saluted the marines with the glasses and drinks in memory of Sergeant Collins and the marines that died on the station.

After the formality ended, Major Lee moved around among the marines talking to them and shaking hands before leaving. It wasn’t long before the main party was about to start. Major Mallamo had organise a party to celebrate the success of their operation and invited all the marines and pilots involved in the operation

It wasn’t long before the party got into full swing when the other pilots from their squadron and from the Silver Arrows arrived along, some of the bridge personnel also arrived for the party.
Anthony was enjoy a drink by the bar when he could hear one of the pilots getting loud, “Ah it was beautiful” said the loud pilot, “that fighter was behind me and then I pulled on the burners and did a tight 180 loop around the fighter. The guy didn’t see it coming, next minute I was behind that Striker shooting all guns at its rear and lobbing a dumb fire behind it. Man it was a beautiful sight”
Datangia looked over at the group and from the look of the pilot who was bragging, he knew that there was going to be trouble. The group the pilot was with continue to talk and laugh as they reached to the bar when the lead pilot ordered a round of drinks for the group.
“A toast to our beloved Major Brady and to the Silver Arrows!” the rest of the people in the group raised their mugs in salute to the lead pilot. The lead pilot drained his mug completely and slamming a mug back on the counter and grinned at the bartender. “Donovan another round for us”
“Better hold your liquor Ferrari” replied the bartender, “you might be up for another flight assignment”
“Nope not until tomorrow Donovan” said Ferrari, “Colonel says that after today’s mission. We are on hold until they collected all the data and reports from all the units that were involved. Besides this is worth drinking for any way” Ferrari turned around leaning back against the counter smiling at his friends, when he notice a small group of marines near the bar.
The next couple of hours, Ferrari and his group of fellow pilots drank probably more beer and other alcohol than any other group or individual present in the rec-room. The group grew louder and rowdier and some of the people who were in the rec-room decided to leave as they were causing a disruption.
During their copious amount of excessive drinking, Ferrari watched the small group of marines sitting by the bar talking among themselves. Ferrari got up from his table, taking his drink along with him, he stumble across to the marines and grabbed a chair nearby and sat down next to them.
“So what are you marines doing onboard?” slurred Ferrari as he tried to remain sitting upright
“We were assigned here” said on the marines sitting closer to him, “we were part of the detachment that were sent to that Mari-ad depot and to secure it”
“Bah Marines!” spat Ferrari, “we don’t need no stinking marines. The way I see it, we don’t the marines and we fighter pilots could have secure the depot without you guys meddling around with it”
“What did you say!” said the marines closer to him stood up. One of the marines tried to pull him back to his chair, “Easy Chad, the guy had too much too drink”
“Yeah but he insulted us” replied Chad as he turned back to Ferrari, “Look mate I do care about who you are and which unit you are from. But we marines have our responsibilities as much as you do and there is no reason to bad mouth about us”
“Like as if I care” smirked Ferrari, “you marines are nothing more than a waste of deck space. Out here the people who are in charge are the Navy and the Fighter pilots. You are nothing more but cannon fodder. This is for us navy and fly boys. Not sweaty grunts”
“Who do you think you are” said the second marine who tried to pull Chad, “what gives you the right to judge us” the rest of the marines at their table stood up all with an angry look. On the other side Ferrari’s friends on the other table notice where their friend was and notice the marines standing up facing him. As one the pilots stood up and march over to where their comrade pilot was.
“You wanting to pick on me” grinned Ferrari as he noticed his friends were coming to back him up, “you think that you grunts could take us out?” some of Ferrari’s friends were snicking at the marines and some of them were flexing their arms expecting a brawl to erupt.
“This is not going to be good” said Datangia as he looked on from where he was sitting with the others “I better stop this before it gets out of hand” Datangia stood up with Jasper as they headed towards the two angry looking group who were now badgering each other into a fight. Datangia stood in front of Ferrari’s groups while Jasper stood in front of Chad’s group
“Guys cool it before we might get thrown into the brig” said Datangia as he tried to calm the angry pilots, “I think that we had too much to drink”
“Hey Cheng you are one of us” said Ferrari, “pilots stick together. If one goes we all go right?”
“No I don’t think so mate” replied Datangia, “you over step your boundary and you should have shut that trap of yours”
“What did you say?”
“I said that you should watch what you are saying. You are going to get yourself into trouble. You do know that you are being a real jerk”
“No you are being a real asshole” snapped Ferrari as he pulled back his right arm back and threw a punch at Datangia. What happen next caught everyone by surprise. Everyone thought that Datangia would be knocked out and be sent falling on the deck instead what seem like almost impossible was Datangia was deflecting the punch with his left arm, his right hand came across, grabbing Ferrari’s jumpsuit by the collar, lifted him up and slammed him down across the table, knocking the glass and mugs onto to the floor.
“What the fuck!?” said Jasper as he saw Datangia’s quick action response
“Now I am going to say this one more time” said Datangia as he draw his face closer to Ferrari, “I won’t you to leave the marines alone and you and your friends are going to leave the rec-room and get yourself clean up otherwise I will report you to the Colonel about this”
“Like as if who would believe you” sneered Ferrari
“Well for starters I would” said a voice in the background. Everyone turn around and saw Colonel Parker sitting by a table in the far corner of the rec-room where no one had really noticed that the Wing Commander was sitting there with his drink.
“Colonel!” Datangia quickly pulled Ferrari up from the table and adjust his uniform, “I can explain this”

“No need Lieutenant. I have seen enough and I know what to do” said Parker as he stood up from his table and walked over to the now large group of people, “Lieutenant Cheng I am very impressed and surprised at the course of action you took. Although I would have taken a different approach. I would like to see you in my office at tomorrow in my office at 0600 hours. We have some matters to discuss”
“Yes Sir” said Datangia as he stood back with his group allowing Colonel Parker to walk up towards the drunken Ferrari.

“Now for Lieutenant Prost” said Parker as he walked up to the drunken pilot, “your actions and performance are out of order and you are a disgrace to that uniform. Lieutenant as from this point onwards you are relieved of duty until further notice. You will not take part of any assignments assigned to your squadron and will spend the next seven days in the brig. Your pay will also be cut to a third for next month”
“You can’t do that Colonel!” said Ferrari
“Oh yes I can. Watch me” replied Parker, “Corporal Jasper, please take a couple of your marines and escort our pilot to the brig and inform the Master of Arms that the Lieutenant Prost is to remained in the brig for seven days and only to be release on my orders”
“With pleasure Colonel” smiled Jasper and two other sober marines came and took the drunken pilot out of the rec-room” once Jasper and the marines led a struggling pilot out of the rec-room, Parker turned to face the rest of the group who were still standing and smiled “I believe that we were trying to a party gentlemen? Donovan turn up the music again, its too quiet here”