Wing Commander: Incursion


This is the rest of the story from my previous post "Some fanfic for ya" i'm still writing it. it's not complete yet

Chapter 1: The Beginning
Captain Patterson remembered when he would have killed for the inactivity he was now experiencing. Actually in his career as a fighter pilot he frequently did kill and never regretted it. He had flown on Admiral Tolwyn’s flagship the Vesuvius but had managed to avoid a court martial by testifying against his old friend. Now it seemed fate had returned the favour. The day he took command of the Protector was the highlight of his career. A brand new Vesuvius class mega-carrier. Of course now it was a mere escort carrier with the new Midway class super carriers steadily making their way into service. He had always dreamed of commanding the flagship of the fleet and making a name for himself but now he was in his fifties and this run down near-obsolete cap ship would probably be his last command. He envied his comrades on the front lines. Apparently this latest encounter with the aliens code named the “Nephilum” was turning out to be quite adventurous. Unfortunately the action was taking place in the McLean system. Almost outside of explored space so it would take him several months to see any action. He was ordered to maintain orbit around Jupiter as the leader of the outer-planetary defense force. Many would envy the power this gave him over the outer colonies but he would much rather be in the front lines. If he ever did see an alien in this command it would be a heavily diminished force trying to make a last ditch effort to inflict damage on Earth. He often had the feeling that many of his crew felt the same way. Crew efficiency was down 40% according to his security officer. He would usually be concerned about this but his duties only concerned some pirates and petty thieves.

The last time he had ordered fighters to be launched was when ships sensors mistakenly reported an alien dreadnought jumping into the system. It was in fact the newest addition to the fleet, the TCS Avalon. The Midway class ship had just been constructed in the Ella system and was still without crew. It was known for such a huge ship to go unused for up to a year while 7000 crew assignments were debated among Confed. He was still secretly praying to earn that command.

“Captain” his communications officer Rollins was almost as old as he was. Patterson wondered why he was not second in command by now. “Captain we’re receiving a communication from Confed Headquarters. It heavily encrypted... It’s for your eyes only sir.” Rollins was naturally suspicious of overly encrypted communiqués and for that matter he was suspicious of everything. Patterson suspected it was the reason he had not advanced much over the years. “Put it through to my quarters Rollins”. Patterson was unnecessarily harsh in that order but he was slightly depressed at the state of his career. Rollins did nothing but nod and let out a grunt while Patterson departed the bridge. The small comfort that kept Patterson slightly satisfied with his ship was the fact that the designer had known to keep the captains quarters close to the bridge. Patterson was grateful for that. As a captain they were the two most commonly visited venues. As he entered his quarters he tapped the small touch pad on the side of the door to turn on the light. The activity in the room automatically engaged a retina scan to confirm the person in the room was the captain. Once the scan had completed the holo-emitter lit up and projected an image of Senator Taggart. The hologram spoke in a thick Scottish accent with an urgent tone. “We’re getting unsettling readings from our outpost on Hephestus. Our station there stopped transmitting approximately three days ago but before we lost transmission we detected several large alien craft. Much larger than we’ve detected in the past. It is our belief that there is a large alien fleet massing there and constructing another wormhole directly to Sol. If they succeed we will undoubtedly fall. For this reason we are giving you command of the TCS Avalon, a Midway class mega-carrier. Due to the sensitivity of this assignment we have refitted the Avalon with a industrial cloaking device. Your assignment is to lake a small fleet of carriers and cruisers to Hephestus and determine the source of the readings, then destroy whatever you find. Here is a list of the spacecraft you will be commanding:” Beside Taggart a list of confederation spacecraft appeared accompanied by pictures. Patterson recognized the Hades class cruisers. There were twelve in total including the recently refitted TCS Cerberus. He recognized the three Midway class mega-carriers that appeared as well. The TCS Midway, TCS Avalon and the TCS Valerie. Along the other vessels were several powerful Plunkett class cruisers and a Murphy class destroyer. Then a new vessel flashed on the display of a class Patterson did not recognize. “The vessel you are seeing is a new prototype code named the Dragonfire Dreadnought. It is too big to cloak by ordinary means so it has three cloaking devices spread evenly inside the ship as to completely conceal the ship. These are you mission objectives. You will keep your current crew and they will be transferred to the Avalon at 1900 hours tomorrow. Good luck.” With that the hologram blinked out. Patterson couldn’t help but let out a sigh of relief. “Finally. Some action.”

Chapter 2: The Avalon
For the first time Captain Patterson set foot in his new bridge. He was amazed at the size of it. It was split into two levels, one for navigation and one for defense systems. He had seem the blueprints but he had not been prepared for the overwhelming size of it. He took his seat towards the back of the bottom level. It was slightly elevated compared to the rest of the seats, presumably to show his authority. His bridge on the TCS Protector was more luxurious than most, mainly because it was designed to be commanded by an admiral. He looked around again at his luxurious bridge. The front screen took up the entire two level wall. He could imagine seeing the huge ship he was ordered to destroy in this viewscreen. With the illumination on the bridge turned off he would probably be able to imagine himself floating in space. He sat down in his command seat and looked towards his bridge officers. They were obviously feeling the same sense of awe. His chief navigation officer sat at her console. She was used to moving the ship with a stick. It would probably take some time to adapt to using the console. She would have the time. If they were not discovered before reaching Hephestus then the trip would take at least two weeks. He decided to end the sensation he and his crew were feeling by taking on an authoritative manner.
“Cloak the ship Colonel Bowen”. The young colonel complied “Yes sir”. Colonel Carl “Spyder” Bowen was the commander of the new elite squadron on the ship. Patterson couldn’t remember the name of it but he knew they were flying the most powerful fighters that Confed had to offer. He remembered reading the stats for the Devastator and Vampire fighters. The plasma gun on the Devastator was a scaled down version of the weapon his carrier carried. After reverse engineering the plasma gun the Midway had recovered, R&D had managed to create a more stable version that could be fired more than once and was compatible with Confed systems. The result had meant a lower destructive radius but it was still enough to wipe out one ship with a direct hit. “Lieutenant Dolby open a channel to the fleet”. A short beep indicated that he was in contact with the fleet. “All vessels. Retrieve any fighters that may be circling your ships and engage cloaking devices. We engage at full speed to Hephestus in thirty minutes. Patterson out”. All that was left to do now was wait. After the fleet had engaged course the crew would begin a four shift rotation. This meant less hours for all crew at the expense of needing more officers on board. This would allow the crew to avoid the boredom of working for twelve hours without event. It should also keep morale from dropping. “Sir, retrieving word from the fleet. All vessels are ready to proceed with mission”. This pleased Patterson. He could now retire to his quarters and endeavor to acquaint himself with this vessel. “Tell them to proceed”. With that he left the bridge.
His quarters were a little less incredible that the bridge. With a crew of seven thousand to support, which didn’t include the three hundred pilots, the living space was all occupied. The lower ranking crew members even had to share rooms. The lower class quarters were located near the engines and had six bunks to a room. To be fair, the conditions were luxurious compared to the earlier generations of ships. Patterson had briefly been a pilot on the TCS Tiger’s Claw. He had flown with Commodore Blair when he was a 2nd Lieutenant fresh out of the academy. He had flown with Paladin as well, who would have thought that Paladin would now be in the position to order a fleet halfway across the quadrant. He settled into his bed and let the sleep take him.

Chapter 3: Discovery
“Captain, jump complete. And I’m detecting alien ships all around us”. Rollins was not surprised at the report. He was convinced that there was more to this mission than met the eye. Patterson was terrified as he saw the fleet of alien fighters gathering around the fleet through his big viewscreen. “Have they detected us?” he said to no-one in particular. His question was answered pretty soon. “Sir, they’re firing at the dreadnought”. Through the screen Patterson could see green plasma firing at nothing and detonating to form a silhouette of the dreadnought. “Damn! Order the dreadnought to decloak and return through the jump. We can’t let them know that we’re coming”

The Dreadnought began to ripple into existence with all turrets firing at the alien ships. However it was too late to make a dent. The bombers had already punched several holes through the ship while its shields were down. The bridge of the Dreadnought lay in ruin. “Evasive maneuvers” cried the captain, already knowing the battle was lost. The enormous ship strained as its maneuvering thrusters were pushed beyond their designed limits. All the crew on the ship were thrown into the nearest bulkheads. Another explosion erupted out of one of the consoles sending the officer working on it sprawling to the deck in agony, his face burned beyond recognition. Another torpedo hit the bridge. This time it made no sound. While the captain was trying to figure out he suddenly noticed he couldn’t see. Then his eyes burst, which was when he realized he was in space. No doubt the bridge had been destroyed and he had been sucked out of the breach, he suspected the rest of the bridge crew had shared in his fate. He felt a light tremor followed by a wave of heat. Without vision his other senses had been notably improved. He could almost see his vessel exploding to create the tremor and the heat wave that he had experienced. Then his body was jarred by a sudden jolt of movement. A tractor beam had locked onto him. He realized his luck. He had survived at least a minute in space with no protection. His eyes could be replaced with artificial implants. Suddenly he could breathe again. He had passed through a forcefield that protected a flight deck from the vacuum of space. He had obviously been pulled in by one of the carriers. He took a deep breath and thanked god to be alive, then vomited. The air had a stench of dead biological organisms. Either the carrier had experienced heavy casualties over the last ten months or he was on board an alien ship. He suspected the latter.

Patterson stared in horror as the Alien dreadnought tractored in escape pods and dead bodies from the Dragonfire Dreadnought. They had at least forty separate tractor beams pulling in prisoners at one time. If they interrogated every prisoner they would easily find out everything that Confed knew and their plans to stop it. Patterson had only one choice. “Release bombers to destroy that dreadnought then pull us away to evade detection. Release five fighters to every bomber and I want every bomber we have out there!”. The red alert siren pierced through the silence. Patterson was taking a big risk. If they couldn’t take out every ship in the area then all of Confed’s plans would be jeopardized. In total a Midway class ship had fifty bombers aboard. He had called on the fighters of the other two Midway carriers as well. This was a full scramble.

Chapter 4: The First Encounter
“You there Casey man?” Maestro’s voice echoed through Casey who was in a very irritable mood. A pilot needed shore leave after a stressful mission but no. Casey (and Maestro for that matter) had fought fight after fight for Confed against the aliens but he had not received shore leave since his time at the academy. In fact every mission he had ever flown in Confed had been at least partially classified meaning he could only have limited communication with his family. His job was steadily taking over his life. He couldn’t even remember what his mother looked like. “Maestro, I thought we were supposed to observe radio silence” he said with a tone of annoyance.

“It’s boring that way” Maestro could be so damn childish!

“I guess you’re right but shut up anyway. And take out the shield emitter on that bastard! I hear they’ve got hundreds of hostages. Let’s end their suffering”

“Gotcha Case”

Casey shook his head. Maestro was a damn good wingman. And Casey now had the privilege of choosing his wingman. He made Major after only two missions. That was nearly unheard of. He didn’t doubt he’d make Colonel before thirty. He’d probably be a colonel before his next assignment. He had come to expect promotion after the wild ride he’d been on. He felt good about the fact that he couldn’t credit his father for his successful career. Maestro had also just made Major for his participation in their last mission, as had Spyder. Spyder now had his own squadron on the Avalon whereas Casey had been transferred back to the Midway after his tour of duty on the Cerberus, little did he know that he would be assigned to yet another damn covert op.

Maestro aimed and fired. On his first shot he had taken out the shield generator. Maestro was an expert with his fighters guns. That was one of the reasons Casey kept him as his wingman. The other reason was that he was his best friend and he could always rely on him to follow orders. With the shields down the alien bridge flashed in green instead of blue indicating that Casey’s torpedoes had a high chance of getting through. Casey however had different plans. He was flying a devastator for this mission. His favourite heavy fighter. He had been charging his guns for a while and letting his fighter escort take out any fighters. He had also diverted all of his shield energy to his forward shields. He used his afterburners to approach the bridge and let loose with a shot from his plasma gun and a Lancer light torpedo simultaneously. He quickly diverted all power to his aft shields and let the explosion propel his craft away from the ship. Through his rear VDU he could see Maestro let loose a Pike heavy torpedo which detonated on the engine and afterburn the hell away from the explosion. The dreadnought was no longer any concern. Casey let out a sigh of relief. They had managed to destroy the capship in this area while at the same time the rest of the bombers had managed to rid themselves of an alien carrier.

“Maestro. Return to the Midway and trade these Devastators for a couple of Vampires. We’ll pick off these extra fighters the dreadnought let loose.” Casey’s blood was filling his veins and heightening his awareness. He was experiencing the thrill of combat.

“OK, meet you back at the midway”

Maestro formed up on Casey’s wing while they engaged autopilot to rendezvous with the cloaked Midway. A quick trade on the filght deck and they were flying Vampire heavy fighters. The extra maneuverability paid off while chasing down the dozens of Devil Rays. They were top priority since they could easily jump out and blow the cover on the secret Confed fleet.

“Mayday, Mayday this is the TCS Cerberus. We’re under attack. Decloaking”. The powerful quick strike assault cruiser rippled into visual contact and Casey scanned for damage. “Damn. Maestro follow me. The Cerberus’ starboard engine has been destroyed and so has its hangar bay”. Maestro followed obediently and picked off a fighter with his rear turret.

“Damn, what the hell is that?” Maestro shrieked when an large corvette suddenly decloaked just off the Cerberus’ starboard bow. It didn’t appear with the same ripple that usually characterized a cloaking device, it appeared instantly. It started off as a pinhead of light then expanded instantly into a large ship. It wasn’t quite large enough to lock onto with a torpedo so Maestro let off every Mosquito missile he was carrying and let them home in on this new ship. Twenty one missiles turned the ship to dust before it could let release any weapons of the Cerberus. Casey was very curious about this vessel. Having seen it from a different angle to Maestro he could see that it hadn’t decloaked but rather it had moved in very fast from a position outside of this system. The Nephilum had created a method of interstellar travel other than jump technology. The thought was terrifying. With the speed he had witnessed it would be possible to enter Confed space in a matter of months from the edge of uncharted space. Casey cleaned off the last fighter in the area with his chain ion gun clearing the area of any alien presence. He returned to the Midway with the thrill of battle completely removed. He was now terrified of what he had seen. It seemed the only way to hold this enemy at bay would be to utterly destroy them. And he knew the person to do this would have to be him...

Chapter 5: The Frightening Truth
This holographic conference was a daily occurrence between the captains of the ships in the incursion fleet. There was a notable absence of the Captain of the Dragonfire. The loss of the most powerful ship in the fleet was a great blow to morals in the entire fleet. The information being exposed in this conference was an even worse blow to morale. The science officer on the Midway was speaking. Lieutenant Commander Finley was a very passionate military scientist. “According to information gathered by the sensors, what jumped into this system was a lightly armored scout ship, equipped with an interstellar engine.” One of the captains interrupted “You mean a jump drive?” Finley looked frustrated as if the obvious comment was personally offensive. “No I mean an interstellar engine. Like thrusters but so incredibly fast that it can traverse the void between solar systems in mere seconds. It’s not as fast as the speed we go attain inside jump space but... there is no need to go very slowly through a solar system. You can go directly from point A to point B without the inconvenience of traveling through a solar system. With this engine they can probably zoom straight past any blockade we might form. We have to find some way to stop them from using this engine, or we have to capture one for ourselves.” Patterson interrupted. “Our objective is clear. Scans indicate that the ship originated at Hephestus. It traveled here in twelve seconds. The large alien vessel is probably a shipyard. We must capture it at all costs.

The mission objectives had changed now. Capturing a huge alien station required a lot of brains and a hell of a lot of marines. Fortunately, the three Midway class carriers each had a contingent of Marines. Unfortunately they would not be enough. The fleet was out of contact with Confed now and the new discovery made their mission far too urgent to turn back for additional marines. They would have to supplement their marines with volunteers. “Rollins, open a channel to the crew of every ship in the fleet for me.” A beep across the intercom told Patterson that the channel was open. He began to speak. “The objectives of this mission have changed. We need every person we have to board an alien space station and commandeer it. If you feel that you have what it takes to be a marine then please report to your duty officer and you will be enrolled in training. Patterson out.” To show his crew the importance of this mission he would have to enroll himself. After all the crew would follow the example set by their captain. Patterson feared he would not survive this encounter but if he did he would become an Admiral.

[This message has been edited by Bellend (edited July 27, 2000).]

1) Give names to your characters, especially those commanding cap ships.
2) Chapters are too short, introduce the others - delay the jump until you have the major players in [you can have many chapters doing this as if it's happening at the same time] (maybe these are just summaries)

3) Cap ship officers use Naval rankings, attached units like Air Force and Marines have their own - specify.
4) You can't have a squadron commander (Col. Bowen) moonlighting in the bridge. Give it to someone else.

Think like a fleet commander, it's very foolish to send a cap ship thru a jump without a standard patrol moving ahead of it! Come on, man! Ask the CIC gurus on these things. <sigh>

I know it's your story, but ...

Turn me loose, Colonel.
This is what I live for!
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Huh? Like a dying wilderbeest for bugs to feed on!

You could always send in the much cheaper stealth fighters to check out the other side of the wormhole.

Turn me loose, Colonel.
This is what I live for!
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