Wing Commander Rebellion - Chapter One


The first of several (I hope) chapters of my Rebellion story, continuing where the Prologue left off...


Chapter One

For the Uniform

0900 CST

Daniel Wilford, formally a Vice Admiral in the Union of Border Worlds Militia contemplating retirement, now a Captain again and the first commanding officer of the Terran Confederations newest flagship the TCS Midway, sneezed violently.
"Blast..." Wilford pushed his hand into a nearly empty box of tissues. "Seven hundred and fifty years since the discovery of penicillin and they still haven't found a cure for a common cold."
Wilford blew his nose and tossed the used tissue into the overflowing waste bin next to his desk. He had been suffering from this cold for the past five days, effectively forcing him to stay in his quarters much to his chagrin.
It was especially annoying considering that for those five days the Midway had been taking part in a wargames simulation against her newly commissioned sister ship the TCS Coral Sea and he had been unable to do anything. On the Chief Medical Officers orders, he had handed over command of the ship to his first officer, Commander David Fiest.
The order had been given for the simple reason that on any ship, even relatively harmless viruses had a way of spreading like wildfire and the last thing Confed needed was the entire crew of their flagship sneezing over everything. That actual thought brought a smile to his face; he could just imagine Commander Drake sneezing over the podium during a mission briefing.
Sneezing again he sat down behind his desk and looked at the pile of flimsies and data pads that cluttered it. The one thing he always detested but could do nothing about was the fact that the higher your rank, the more the paperwork seemed to accumulate. Being a Captain in the Confederation was not quite as bad as when he had served in the Union of Border Worlds as a Vice Admiral but it was very close.
He picked up one of the data pads entitled Crew Evaluation: Engineering and Support Personnel, and scrolled down not really paying to much attention. He was interrupted after a few minutes by a beeping sound from the comm unit on his desk.
Reaching forward, he tapped the flashing display. "Wilford."
"Captain, I'm sorry to disturb you but we have just received a Priority Code-Seventeen message from Confed Headquarters."
Wilford immediately became alert, a Code-Seventeen message was for the Captain's eyes only and just getting one was enough to put any commanding officer on edge.
"Transfer it to my station Ensign." Wilford replied.
"Aye sir...sir, the message was sent three days ago" The communications ensign added the last bit nervously.
"What do you mean three days ago?" Wilford asked, almost shouting.
"I'm sorry sir but it appears that the communications relay station in the Polaris System has been having problems, all comm traffic for the past four days is backlogged."
"Damn, transfer it." Wilford snapped, shutting off the channel.
He looked at the computer screen on his desk and watched as the familiar spinning Confederation logo was replaced by a five lined text message.



Wilford reached forward and typed in his twelve-digit security access code, activating the decryption program. He thought back to the last two Code-Seventeen's he had received; both had been the result of Nephilim encounters. After a few minutes of patiently waiting, the screen flashed a second message.



He typed yes, sat back and began to read.



As of 2681.300, the Avalon System, Capital System of the Avalon Sector, seceded from the Confederation along with eight surrounding systems. There has been a total news and communications blackout enforced by these systems for the past three days and no vessels have been allowed access to the local Jump Points.
This has left the Confederation with a further, very serious problem. The Lexington Carrier Group, under the command of Rear Admiral Jason Mahavier, has declared its intention to defect from the Terran Confederation Navy to the self proclaimed Avalon Federation of Systems.
This action by Admiral Mahavier has already resulted in the loss of the destroyer TCS Horatio, which attempted to stop the cruisers TCS Jutland and TCS Repulse from blockading the Babel System Jump Point. Vessels belonging to the Lexington Carrier Group also fired upon the TCS Gettysburg in the Perseus System and are believed to have 'pirated' several freighters belonging to the Callisto Mining Company.
These actions have been declared mutinous under Article Fifteen of the Confederation Code of Naval Justice and the secession illegal under Terran Confederation Law.
Your orders are to proceed to the Jericho System in the Challenger Quadrant where the Midway will rendezvous with the Illustrious Assault Group before entering the Babel System.
You are to ensure the surrender and capture of Admiral Mahavier and all command staff in the Lexington Carrier Group.

Specific Orders and Information regarding this mission are attached.

Admiral Teresa Roan
TCN-HQ, Earth, Sol System.


Wilford stared dumbfounded at the computer screen.

0905 CST

Several lights flashed on Casey's heads up display indicating that the short Autopilot journey was at its end. Reaching forward he toggled the controls back to manual and then gripped the flight stick as he glanced over the displays in front of him making sure all the systems were online and that he had arrived at the correct co-ordinates.
Looking to his left he saw the outlines of the other fighters from his wing. With a flick of the wrist he activated the inter-ship comm.
"Alpha One to Alpha Wing, report in." He said, his own voice sounding tinny in the helmet pickup.
"Alpha Two, receiving you loud and clear." Maestro replied casually.
"Alpha Three, ready, willing and able." Zero answered.
"Copy Alpha Wing, assume standard formation...Bravo One, you out there Spyder?"
There was a moments static before the familiar voice of Karl Bowen spoke. "Course I'm here, coming up on your six o'clock low."
Casey grinned at the answer and switched on his Tactical Navigation Map. Immediately a red dot appeared in the centre. Selecting it he read the information scrolling down the HUD.
The two wings were flying in a relatively small system with half a dozen uninhabited planetoids and a number of nasty looking asteroid fields all orbiting a small white star. On the edge of the inner-system was their target, a small refueling and supply station belonging to the Nephilim that they had been ordered to destroy. The plan was simple, Spyders Bravo Wing consisting of three Devastator Torpedo Bombers would head in-system and destroy the base while his Alpha Wing provided cover and watched out for any reinforcements.
"Target acquired, forty-nine thousand klicks, on heading zero mark zero-zero-nine confirm."
"Confirmed Alpha One." Spyder replied. "I'm not picking up any fighter cover."
"Maybe they've gone on a lunch break!" Maestro commented.
"Maybe." Casey said, suddenly feeling a bit on edge. "Spyder, what do you think?"
"As far as I know the Bugs don't use cloaks so I'll assume Maestro's right. Watch our backs."
"Copy." Casey responded, still on edge. "Alpha Two, Alpha Three, combat spacing."
"Bravo Wing, go to full burn." Spyder ordered.
Casey watched as the three bombers moved towards the target that was only just visible at this distance. What seemed like hours passed though in reality it was only a few minutes as the bombers closed in. He watched his tactical display and noted the distances between them and the target lessen when the station suddenly started firing its defensive weapons.
"Watch for the turrets, move to attack pattern three-alpha." He heard Spyder over the comm. "Lock and load...Torpedo away."
Several bright lights from the torpedoes became visible as the bombers started to drop their payloads onto the station. Explosions flashed on the superstructure as the station was hit by several waves of torpedoes and within moments it lost stability, leaning to one side as hull breaches forced the stations atmosphere into the vacuum of space making mini thrusters when the actual ones failed.
"Bravo One to Bravo Wing break off attack, it's about to blow."
Casey watched with fascination as the station started to collapse in on itself, the long structures that sprouted from the base of the station twisting and breaking off. A massive explosion finally turned it into a ball of exploding energy and matter as the main reactor went critical.
"All right people, that was easy enough." Spyder said cheerfully "Set course three-zero-zero mark one-zero-seven and lets get back to the carrier."
At that point everything went bad.
"Alpha One from Three, I'm picking up a large target just coming through the Jump Point on our heading, confirm."
"Confirmed, I see it. Damn it's an Orca and they have company. I'm reading a full eight fighter wings." He replied as calmly as he could.
"How the hell did they know we were here?" asked Stiletto flying Bravo Two.
"I doubt they did, they were probably just about to use the station...Alpha Wing assume attack formation take out as many as you can...Bravo Wing increase to attack speed, follow us in."
As the Devastator Wing moved towards the incoming Bugs, Casey glanced at the displays in front of him and opened his own afterburners to full. The Bug fighters were composed of four Manta wings, three Moray wings and a wing of Stingrays. While individually they were no match for the Vampire he was flying, which had better speed and firepower, their numbers were much greater.
He switched his missile selector to the Artemis loadout and started to acquire a lock on the leading Manta, waiting until the targeting computer indicated ready. A high tone sounded as he released two missiles, which streaked away as he put the fighter into an evasive dive. He looked quickly at the missiles as they exploded dead on target, ripping through the Bugs armour and shields. The wrecked Manta spun off and collided with its own wingman causing a lot of confusion in the enemy fighter ranks.
Casey flipped over and charged towards the aliens, firing blindly on full guns before acquiring a new target, this time a Moray, and pulling in right on its tail.
Switching to Pilum missiles, he let two go and watched as they hit the tail end of the Moray stripping off both rear shields and armour. Pressing hard on the flight stick trigger he sent a controlled burst of Tachyons and Particle Beams into the undefended rear and watched as the Bug disintegrated.
Another Moray flew right past him and targeting that, he turned the Vampire to follow, squeezing of a couple of shots before hearing the dreaded tone indicating a missile was on its way.
"Picked up a tail, dead astern." Casey called.
"Hang on." Zero answered.
Casey dropped a pair of decoys, tucked his fighter down and to port, tipping the Vampire onto its side before pulling back hard on the stick. The frustrated Bug fighter started firing its maser cannons but the sudden manoeuvre caused all the shots to miss. The tailing Moray shot past as he brought the Vampire out of the loop, using the crafts better pitch rate to come out neatly onto its tail. Tachyon bolts splashed against its shields as it tried to evade with no success, in less than five seconds its shields collapsed and Casey fired another pair of Pilums destroying it.
"Never mi..." Casey started but never finished.
A streak of green flashed against the Vampires shields, the Moray he was tailing earlier had recovered and was trying to avenge his wingman's death. Breaking sharply to port he tried to shake the fighter as several more laser bolts connected with his shields.
He looked down at the sensor screen. "There's three on me."
"I see them. Quite popular today aren't you." Maestro replied.
"Cut the smart comments and help me out will you." Casey responded as he pulled back hard on the stick, putting the Vampires better climb rate to good use, but only succeeding in losing one of the three attackers. Tearing through a series of gut wrenching manoeuvres which had the inertial stabilisers screaming he managed to shake off a second, but the original Moray had somehow managed to keep up, continually firing shots that impacted with the aft shields.
"Case, break left." he heard over the comm and he happily obliged as a single Vampire shot past right him, erasing the attacker.
"Thanks Maestro..." Casey said.
"Three more coming in from above you." Came Stiletto's voice.
Green bolts impacted with his shields from above as he jerked hard on the stick plunging his fighter into an evasive spiral as Maestro pulled up hard heading in the opposite direction. The three fighters split with one going after the Maestro and the other two on him. Pulling back into a steep climb he forced the craft back upon its spiral course, letting loose a few wild shots as he flew in between the two attackers putting the third neatly into his sights. He switched back to the Artemis Image Recs and fired one that glanced the starboard side of the Manta, ripping off a huge chunk of armour and knocking it into an uncontrollable spin. He cut to port and let loose a stream of fire into the fighter, which blew up instantly.
Several hits jerked him back into his seat as the other two fighters had reacquired their locks forcing him into an evasive dive away from the attackers. Flipping over he pulled back on the stick trying to loop behind the tailing Mantas, who split left and right away from each other. Targeting the one on the left he fired another Artemis which was stopped by a decoy. Cursing he began firing his Tachyons, scoring only occasional hits.
"The other fighter's coming onto your tail Case."
"One second..."
He let loose another missile and dropped down below the expanding fireball just as the tracking tone of the enemy fighter went indicating a missile was on its way. Dropping two decoys he pulled back and to the left of the destroyed fighter almost colliding with another three, which shot past on his right side. Twisting the fighter into a spiral he evaded the fire of the fighter on his tail and brought one of the other three nimbly into his sights. He fired the last two Pilums in quick succession, destroying it. Suddenly a massive bolt struck his starboard engine nacelle knocking his Vampire into a dangerous spin.
"I've just lost shields...the destroyer." Casey cried out.
As he was trying to regain control the three bug fighters each fired a single missile, piercing his armour and ripping the fighter in two. Everything went black.

0931 CST

"Open them up..." a muffled voice could be heard after what seemed like an eternity but was in reality only ten minutes.
A crack of light at the bottom of the canopy widened as the simulator opened up revealing a large room with twenty other similar pods, five of them opening up to reveal some happy and some unhappy faces. Casey was one of the unhappy ones.
"Everybody out, into debriefing the lot of you." The stern voice of Lieutenant Colonel Kevin De'Cora did not sound overly happy.
Within minutes the six of them were assembled in a small debriefing room next to the sim room. De'Cora was sitting on the edge of the small cluttered desk at the front.
"Well that was a bloody mess."
It had been nine days since Colonel De'Cora had arrived, taking over as Senior Squadron Leader on the Midway. In that time he had ordered that all active pilots on the ship were to clock up no less than three hours sim duty per day, every day, plus whatever patrol time they were scheduled for, which due to the wargames was a standard six on and six off.
De'Cora, who went by the callsign of Buccaneer, was a veteran of the Kilrathi War, serving on the front lines for over twenty-five years. During that time he had received several commendations including the Confederation Flying Cross and two Medals of Valour, both with clusters. He also had a confirmed career total of eight hundred and seventy three kills.
Since the end of the war he had been moved from quadrant to quadrant, never staying more than a few months on any one ship. His job was to simply assess fighter pilots and where necessary whip them into shape before moving on to another carrier and doing the job again.
The Midway was his final assignment before he would retire.
Casey's and Spyders Wings had flown a total of twenty-four hours in the sims. During that time they had covered four bombing runs, two patrols, three carrier defences and three escort duties in which most of them had done fairly well. Nobody had been shot down on every mission but the losses on each mission had been bad, none of them could get the hang of the tough mission profiles that the Colonel had brought with him, which were a lot harder than those they were used to.
"Right, Alpha Two...Mr. Garret, what the hell was that. You never fly in a straight line for more than five seconds when you are in front of a Manta, their targeting systems will lock you up every time, always fly evasive to keep them from getting missile locks. They cannot handle a fighter doing that but if you fly straight you're dead." De'Cora paused as he looked around. "Bravo Two," He said as he looked at Stiletto. "You were warned about over-shooting your target, in your case you were unlucky enough to run right into a joined Stingray...If you're dead on their tails, even if you're in a Devastator, throttle down or you'll go into the back of 'em. Alpha One, Mr. in all that is holy did you not notice a bloody Destroyer, keep your eyes open in future."
"Yes sir." Came the sheepish reply.
De'Cora turned to the desk and picked up a data pad. "Okay, the most kills goes to the dearly departed Alpha One with six, very good just try to stay alive next time. Second is Major Bowen with five. The rest of you scored four each, however since Mr. Garrett was the last to gain a kill, he's buying."
The young Lieutenant groaned as he heard the news. That was two days in a row and De'Cora had the tradition that the lowest scoring pilot bought the drinks.
"Alright overall performance. You are beginning to show marked improvement and you still have a one hundred percent success rate on the actual bombing runs, plus the highest kill scores onboard. You also have the highest death score so you will all need to survive the next few missions or it'll cost you a lot of drinks. Secondly and this applies especially to you Majors; remember that you carry a hell of a lot more ordinance than the older ships from the war, use it, don't just rely on your guns especially when you are outnumbered like today. Our targeting computers and missiles have a better locking range than any of the Bugs so pick a couple of targets to vape before your get into their range. Okay you are dismissed, I expect all mission reports from this simulation on my desk before the next sim session, which is tomorrow at zero-eight hundred hours."

0939 CST

Wilford turned off the computer and sat back again. He had just spent the last thirty minutes reading over the full orders and attached files. Fifteen capital ships, including two Vesuvius Class Carriers had effectively mutinied. The last time that had happened was on the original TCS Gettysburg fourteen years earlier; even then it was only one ship and the result of an illegal order to attack civilians targets. Something like this was unheard of.
"Bridge." He stated into the comm unit.
"Bridge here." A voice replied a moment later.
"Commander Fiest, I want a meeting of all senior staff in the main briefing room in twenty minutes."
"Is something wrong sir?"
"I'd say so...I want you to recall all fighters and have helm plot a course for the Jericho System in the Challenger Quadrant, best speed. Also get me Captain Grant on the Coral Sea."
"Aye sir...Captain, what about the wargames?"
Wilford was quiet for a second before answering. "It's no longer a game..."

1000 CST

Captain Wilford stepped out of the lift just aft of the bridge and was met by Commander Fiest. David Fiest was a former Destroyer commander, who had requested this assignment following the death of the Midways original Executive Officer during the Battle of Sirius earlier that year. Technically it was a demotion, but in reality when Wilford actually did resign, Fiest would in all likelihood be given command of the Megacarrier.
Wilford did not hold that against him, in fact he actually liked his new first officer, especially considering that up to this point the Midway had been beating the Coral Sea during the wargames.
"Captain." Fiest said snapping off a salute.
Wilford returned it. "Is everybody here?"
"Yes sir."
Both officers turned the corner and walked into the briefing room where the senior officers and department heads were gathered.
"Captain on deck." Fiest stated as Wilford entered.
"As you were." Wilford said as he walked to front of the room.
The command briefing room on the Midway was located next to the captains' ready room on the bridge deck. The room was like most others on the ship, painted in mid-grey tones highlighted with Confed blue accents and several lights sunk into the ceiling corners. A large black table surrounded by ten high-backed chairs dominated the middle of the room, and on the table in front of each chair was a small computer display. On the far end wall was a larger display screen. Five, evenly spaced windows were located in the port side wall, which due to the position of the top deck showed an amazing view of space.
"I've just received a Priority Code-Seventeen message from Admiral Roan at command, detailing a serious situation that is developing in the Avalon Sector. Nine systems including Avalon have seceded and formed a new government, effectively closing off all ties to the Confederation. Normally this type of situation would be handled by the Diplomatic Corps, however this new Federation of Systems have managed to gain control of the entire Lexington Carrier Group and are using these ships to blockade Jump Points and stop civilian vessels attempting to leave the systems." He paused. "They have also fired upon, and destroyed a Confederation destroyer in the Babel System."
The last comment brought a definite response from those present.
"Sir, how did an entire Carrier Group just defect...I mean even if all the officers had agreed on it, the crewmen would not have allowed it, especially firing on another Confed ship." Commander Drake spoke up.
"Yes, well that is where the problem stems from." Wilford answered. "Out of the entire group, over ninety percent of the crews are from the Avalon System, including the entire crew of the Vesuvius Carrier TCS Confederation, which is known to have entered the Perseus System shortly before it broke away."
"Why would an entire Group be crewed by people from the same system?" Feist asked.
"An experiment...a psychologist back in seventy-four when the Lexington was launched managed to convince some admirals to test one of his theories. He suggested that if ships were staffed by crews from the same system or area of space, then combat effectiveness would be improved because of their similarity in behaviour, and that there would be less of a culture clash.
"The system chosen was Avalon due to the fact that it was virtually self sufficient with a large population. They transferred a high number of service men and women from their original posts to serve in this new Group."
"Did it work?" asked Lieutenant Commander Chris Russ, the Midways Chief Engineer.
"No. The experiment was proven to be a complete waste of time, which is why it isn't common knowledge and why it was shelved...they did however keep the Group together, which is why we are in this situation." Wilford ran his hand through his hair. "The actions of the Lexington Carrier Group have been declared mutinous and as such we have been given the task of locating these ships and rendering them inactive..."
"Sir, is that the politically correct way of saying that we are going to shoot down our own craft." The CAG spoke up.
"If there is no other way then yes, we have been authorised to destroy them. These vessels have acted against the Confederation; they have fired upon unarmed civilian ships and other capital ships attempting to stop them. My orders are clear. Ensure that this secession ends with the least number of casualties' as possible.
"The commanding officer of the Lexington, Rear Admiral Jason Mahavier, is to be captured and brought to trial if possible, as are all the command level officers in the Lexington Carrier Group.
"We are to rendezvous with the Illustrious Assault Group in the Jericho System and proceed from there into this Avalon Federation of Systems. Before we get there, I want all departments fully briefed on the coming situation. Now unless you have anymore questions, you are dismissed."
The room was silent for a minute and when nobody asked anything, they started to file out.
"Colonel De'Cora, can I have a word with you." Wilford asked. De'Cora nodded and remained seated. "Colonel, I haven't had time to go through your service record, but considering the nature of your assignments these past years..."
"You were wondering if I have been assigned to the Lexington at any time." De'Cora answered.
"Yes." Wilford responded sitting down.
"I was, just over a year ago...for about two months, give or take."
"Give or take."
"I've served on just about every carrier in the navy during the past eleven years, they kind of merge into one after a while."
Wilford smiled at the answer before becoming serious again. "Do you know anything that might be useful?"
"Not much I'm afraid. I only spoke to Admiral Mahavier once or twice; I got the impression that he was a competent officer...nothing special. Actually if I remember correctly I also served on the Confederation as well, I think it was seventy-seven or seventy-eight. Now the captain of that ship was more than competent...Morgan something..."
"McConnell, Captain Morgan McConnell. He commanded the Kasparov during the Hit and Fade attacks against the Kilrathi back in sixty-seven."
"That's him. If I were a betting man Captain, I'd say he would in all likelihood be the bigger threat of the two. Plus the Confederation is the ship that the Screaming Eagles fly off...probably one of the best squadrons around. Eat the Black Widows for breakfast."

0928 CST

Casey climbed out of the simulator and only just managed to restrain himself from throwing the simulator helmet across the bay. Spyder on the other hand allowed himself the pleasure of bouncing his off the glass separating the sim bay from the control room, causing several of the technicians to flinch.
"What the hell was that."
"That Major is what you are going to face when we run into the TCS Confederation." Stormed De'Cora from the doorway. "Into the debriefing room."
Again Casey found himself sat in the debriefing room facing the Colonels cluttered desk. Spyder, still looking like he was ready to punch a bulkhead, sat next to him.
"Alright. I'm not going to bother going over what you did wrong because as far as I could tell you did everything that you were trained to do." Casey could not tell if De'Cora was being sarcastic or not. "You already know that in approximately four days we will reach the Jericho System. From then on, we will be hunting down ships whose crews have disregarded law and their sworn oaths to Confed. What you are going up against are people who were trained by those who trained you, fly the same ships as you and know what you know." He paused, allowing that to sink in before continuing. "Out of the two carriers that you will face, there is only one squadron of note. The same ones who left your atoms scattered across the cosmos just now. This squadron is probably the best to have emerged from the academy since the war." De'Cora reached over and activated the display screen behind him. The usual Confed insignia was replaced by a squadron logo depicting an eagle spitting fire and clutching a sword in its talons. The motto Death Takes Flight was emblazoned in gold letters under the squadrons' name.
"The Screaming Eagles. A combined pilot total of three thousand, four hundred and seventy kills during their five year tour in the Gemini Sector. You can add another thousand onto that from their service in the Hawking Sector." De'Cora tapped another button and the picture changed. Replacing the insignia was the face of a man approaching his fifties. Scrolling down beside the picture was a continuous run of text.
"Brigadier General Robert Marin, callsign Nemesis. Born twenty-six thirty-three, on Avalon IV, he entered the Academy in fifty-one graduating top of his class four years later. He served during both Enigma Campaigns picking up five Distinguished Flying Crosses plus eleven other commendations including the Confederation Flying Cross. Given command of the Screaming Eagles in seventy-four. Marin has a career total of eight hundred and nine kills, with two thirds of those gained during the war. Currently he is listed as the twelfth best pilot in Confed, which is something he has earned. Do not underestimate him in any way."
De'Cora again changed the display. "This is the Screaming Eagles Executive Officer, Colonel Stephen Hobb, callsign Mage. Graduated the Academy in sixty-eight, he served during the end of the Kilrathi War with distinction gaining five commendations for bravery. He has a career total of four hundred and nine kills and is listed as fourteenth best pilot in Confed."
De'Cora spent the remaining hour going over the other eighteen pilots that made up the Screaming Eagles. Apart from the CO and XO of the squadron, none had served during the war with the Kilrathi, however their achievements up to this date were staggering.
"I expect you to get to know these pilots very well over the next few days. I have over twenty simulations recorded from my time on the Confederation detailing their flying styles and techniques. Learn them. Dismissed."

1821 CST

" well as this, any unauthorised vessels trespassing on what is now sovereign territory will be considered as hostile and will be fired upon."
"This transmission was received by all networks earlier today. For those of you just joining us, it was revealed today that several systems in the Avalon Sector, including the Avalon System itself, seceded from the Confederation thirteen days ago. This news was kept from the public following a complete communications blackout by the self proclaimed Avalon Federation of Systems.
"Quickly responding to this, a spokesperson from the Senate said that this secession has been declared illegal under Confederation Law and that naval ships have already been dispatched to retake these systems. This network has confirmed that ships assigned to the Third Fleet, currently in the Gemini Sector, have already entered the Jericho System and are preparing to enter the first Federation System of Babel in the Challenger Quadrant. We have also received unconfirmed reports that the TCS Midway has been seen moving through the Gemini Sector, on route to the Challenger Quadrant..."
"Off." Spyder shouted toward the monitor on the far wall silencing the newsreader.
"Hey, I was watching that." Maestro called out.
"You should avoid watching the news, when they're not exaggerating everything, they're just plain wrong." Spyder said.
"He doesn't care, he just fancies that newsreader..." Casey started.
"He what?" Stiletto looked over.
Casey laughed. "He's been pining over her since the Academy, ain't that right Maestro?"
"What...she's good looking."
"And nearly twice your age."
"Nothing wrong with older women." Maestro answered lifting his eyebrows. "More experience."
"Give me a break, you're almost as bad as Maniac when it comes to women. I don't think there is a single female on board you haven't tried asking out." Casey replied glancing over at Stiletto as he did.
"Don't go there Casey." Stiletto responded.
"Yeah but my technique is much better than his." Maestro added. "For one, it works."
"Yeah, right. You call that a technique...I have heard better chat up lines at a marine bar." Stiletto laughed.
Everybody's attention was diverted when Zero rushed into the rec-room. "I thought you were watching the news."
"He turned it off." Maestro pointed at Spyder.
"Well put it back on, something's goin' down in Jericho..."
Spyder sighed and reached up over his head, knocking the standby off the monitor. The blank screen was replaced by a view of two Plunkett Class Cruisers facing off from each other. Below the picture was a single line of text saying Live from the Jericho System.
At first nothing happened and then suddenly one of the cruisers opened fire, its Triple-Plasma Cannons ripping through space into the others hull. Moments later and the second ship returned fire with its Heavy Particle Cannons, sending balls of red fire back towards its attacker.
Both ships began closing in on each other, as they did the lighter Tachyon and Laser turrets opened up. In less than a minute, explosions became visible on the two capital ships, as the massive broadsides began to take their tolls on the now weakened shields and armour.
Those in the rec-room watched mesmerised as suddenly the ship which opened fire first scored a direct hit on the others aft sections sending massive energy discharges across the darkened hull. Moments later a huge explosion tore through the cruisers engineering decks, chasing its way up the hull, blowing off meters thick hull armour as if it were paper. Flames sprouted from the gashed superstructure and the crippled cruiser began listing over to starboard as its engines finally gave up.
Instead of ending the attack, the clearly victorious warship carried on, raining increasingly destructive energy down onto the wrecked ship. More explosions became visible along the forward hull section until suddenly one of the broadsides penetrated to the main reactor core. The Plunkett convulsed violently as explosions erupted from the forward and aft sections, with the last pieces of hull plating being blown into the vacuum and columns of flame sprouting from the breaches. Until in an amazing flash of light the ship exploded.
Those in the rec-room were now stood in stunned silence as they watched the victorious cruiser turn and suddenly jump out of the system, leaving a blackened, burning hulk in its wake. After another moments silence the newsreader reappeared, looking stunned herself.
"What you have just witnessed was transmitted from the Navigational Buoy on the Jericho side of the Jericho-Babel Jump Point...our prayers go out to the families of that ship's valiant crew...the TCS Yamato..."
"Off." Spyder said quietly toward the monitor, silencing the newsreader.

Chapter Two can be found here
'For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky'.

Wing Commander - Secret Ops Missions

[This message has been edited by Primarch (edited April 11, 2000).]
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Well I don't have time right now to read the whole thing, skimming about a third of the way through, I think it looks good so far if that helps any.

I'll finish it tomorrow and give you a more detailed evaluation later. Have a nice day.
Finally read it...
<LI>&gt;Daniel Wilford, formally a Vice Admiral&lt; + &gt;now a Captain again&lt; - Quite a demotion.
<LI>&gt;Seven hundred years since the discovery of penicillin&lt; - Penicillin was discovered in 1981?

<LI>&gt;on any ship, even relatively harmless viruses had a way of spreading like wildfire&lt; - Thank heavens for air filters.
<LI>&gt;the higher your rank, the more the paperwork seemed to accumulate.&lt; - Unless you happen to be Thomas Harvey.

<LI>&gt;for the Captains eyes only&lt; - Missing apostrophe.
<LI>&gt;twelve-digit security access code,&lt; - Evil...
<LI>&gt;the destruction of the destroyer&lt; - Consider a synonym for destruction.
<LI>&gt;TCS Gettysberg&lt; - Is that name right?
<LI>&gt;illegal under Terran Confederation Law.&lt; - Heh. No wonder they rebelled.
<LI>&gt;What seemed like hours passed though in reality it were only a few minutes as the bombers closed in.&lt; - Needs some punctiation, and methinks it should be was not were as you are refering to a time interval, which is singular.
<LI>&gt;He kept an eye in his tactical display&lt; - And eye on his tactical display...unless Confed scientists have developed some new and cruel type of display.

<LI>&gt;distances between them and the target lesson&lt; - Lessen.
<LI>&gt;bombers started to drop their payloads&lt; - That's fine - just be sure to stay this side of the gravity thing.
<LI>&gt;hull breaches forced the stations atmosphere into the vacuum of space making mini thrusters when the actual ones failed.&lt; - Missing apostrophe. A tad awkward, but it'll pass.

<LI>&gt;At that point everything went bad.&lt; - Simply bad?
<LI>&gt;As the Devastator Wing increased its speed towards the incoming Bugs,&lt; - Seems a little odd - especially since you've just used speed.
<LI>&gt;opened his own afterburners to full.&lt; - Hmm. I wonder if they have partial afterburn on WC ships like in real jet fighters?
<LI>&gt;The Bugs fighters&lt; - Either add an apostrophe or lose the (first) s.
<LI>&gt;There numbers were much greater.&lt; - Their numbers.
<LI>&gt;A high tone sounded as he released two missiles, which streaked away as he put the fighter into an evasive dive.&lt; - I would change one as to while or whilst.
<LI>&gt;a Moray,&lt; + &gt;Switching to Pilum missiles he let go two&lt; - What a waste. And I'd swap go with two and add a comma after missiles.
<LI>&gt;avenge his wingmans death.&lt; - Here...have some of those spare apostrophes that Quarto gave me.

<LI>&gt;putting the Vampires better climb rate but only succeeding in losing one&lt; - Putting it to good use perhaps?
<LI>&gt;a single Vampire shot past right him erasing the attacker.&lt; - Comma after him.
<LI>&gt;ripping off a half-meter chunk of armour&lt; - Careful there. I know the new armour ratings are into metres, but I seriously doubt a fighter could even move with more than just a few centimetres of armour plating.
<LI>&gt;“The other fighters coming onto your tail Case.”&lt; - Have another apostrophe.

<LI>&gt;Twisting the fighter into a spiral&lt; - Heh. Curve your guns.
<LI>&gt;three bug fighters each fired a single missile,&lt; - Nice cooperation there.
<LI>&gt;Everything went black.&lt; - Damn! That's the same idea I had. Look's like I might have to change things a bit. :/
<LI>&gt;whip them into shape&lt; - Heh. *thwack* Ouch!
<LI>&gt;Nobody had been shot down on every mission&lt; - Formal logic dictates every mission...common sense says any mission.
<LI>&gt;the Corel Sea.&lt; - Um, not the Coral Sea?
<LI>&gt;“It’s no longer a game…”&lt; - Mr. Roberts would be proud.

<LI>&gt;when Wilford actually did resign Fiest would&lt; - Comma after resign.
<LI>&gt;A large black table surrounded by ten high-backed chairs dominated the middle of the room and on the table in front of each chair was a small computer display.&lt; - Change of subject, thus comma before and.
<LI>&gt;I’ve just received a Priority Code-Seventeen message from Admiral Roan at command detailing a serious situation that is developing in the Avalon Sector.&lt; - Comma after command.
<LI>&gt;attempt one of his theories.&lt; - Hmm. Test one of his theories?
<LI>&gt;combat effectiveness would be improved because of their similarity in behaviour, and that there would be less of a culture clash.&lt; - HAH! The guy was a quack. Hadn't he heard of biodiversity?

<LI>&gt;The experiment was proven to be a complete waste of time which is why it isn’t common knowledge and why it was shelved…&lt; - Guess what? Comma before which.

<LI>&gt;least amount of casualties’ as possible.&lt; - It's usually "least number of casualties possible," but feel free to be unusual.
<LI>&gt;“Do you know anything that might be useful.”&lt; - Question mark instead of full-stop.
<LI>&gt;bouncing his of the glass&lt; - Off.
<LI>&gt;2681.31&lt; - Missing a digit.
<LI>&gt;will be considered as hostile and be fired upon.&lt; - In this case I think will be fired upon.
<LI>&gt;This news was kept from the public following a complete communications blackout by the self proclaimed Avalon Federation of Systems.&lt; - Possibly a comma after public...possibly.
<LI>&gt;I have heard better chat up lines&lt; - I tend toward pickup lines.
<LI>&gt;Tachyon&lt; - Plunkett's have tachyon cannons? I dunno about this stuff, I'm just asking.
<LI>&gt;chasing its way up the hull,&lt; - Nice.
<LI>&gt;blowing off meters thick hull armour&lt; - Hmm. There are those metres of armour again.
<LI>&gt;The Plunkett convulsed violently&lt; - Very nice...I'm taking notes.

<LI>&gt;transmitted from the Navigational Buoy&lt; - Hmm. Nah, forget it. It's fine.
<LI>&gt;that ships valiant crew&lt; - Another apostrophe for you.
Now that I've said all that, I'll say this: I like it. I like your writing style and your thought progression. In fact I envy you. The story glides smoothly making it difficult to nitpick.
Damn near professional because of the bunch of little mistakes. Speech flows beautifully, but don't skimp on punctuation - listen carefully for pauses as you read it out aloud.
One other thing that caught my attention. This De'Cora guy. It seems his speech shapes his character more than his thoughts and actions.

"Look for what you cannot see."
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1. And was it worth it, he asks himself
. Actually, I'm not one hundred percent sure of his current rank. He was addressed as Captain in WCP, however even an Admiral can be 'captain' of a ship...

2. It was first used in 1941 so I just rounded the number up...probably should have put 750...ho hum.



5. One of many, I assure you.


7. I think I'll change that one to 'loss', it might fit better.

8. The name is right, the spelling is wrong...should have been Gettyburg.




12. Typo..honestly

13. Figure of speech only.


15. Simply bad

16. The Devastator Wing was following Casey's orders. However I'll change 'increased its speed' to 'moved'...will still read okay

17. They do makes for easier combat in my opinion.

18. Will loose the first 's'

19. Damn, and I'm usually so good with there and their...


21. From a gameplay perspective, I always found Pilum's to be too weak in general. One would knock out the shields while the second would take out the armour. I only ever use them when I really need too, and usually end even hard missions with at least half left.

23. Thanks, I need them

24. Doesn't matter how many times I proof read something, I always miss stuff.


26. I think I'll change 'half-meter' to 'huge'. Thanks for reminding me.

27. Ta!!


29. It would have been more challenging if the bugs had tried to co-ordiate their attacks.

30. Never mind



33. Typo...

34. I hope so




38. Drat...I've just realised, that 'he' turned into a 'she' in Chapter 3...and test would be better.

39. Which is why the experiment failed.


41. I like being unusual


43. Typo...

44. I noticed.


46. Possibly.

47. It's chat up where I come from.

48. They have both Tachyon and Laser turrets.


50. This one is allowed...were talking about a cap ship here.



I'm still working the De'Cora character out. And while I know what I'm doing with him, I haven't quite worked out how to get there...but I will.

'Do what thou wilt. So mete it be'.

Wing Commander - Secret Ops Missions
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1. Hmm, in my story I was going to use captain of the ship, but it turned out just the right rank anyway.

2. Well I agree with the ho-hum. Nobody estimates in 50's.

7. Yes, much better.

8. Um...Gettysburg.

12. Well that's what I'm here for...typos.

19. Don't worry. It happens to the best of us.

21. I always took the Moray's on with guns.

23. Have some more.

24. Ditto. That's why we post and have somebody else proof-read too.

38. It is clinically possible...though undesirable.

50. Well, if you say so.

Looking forward to seeing Chapter 3 and De'Cora's character getting more depth.
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&lt;Sigh&gt; I have a major problem, Primarch. I really like this story - it's well-written, descriptive, interesting; it flows very well, and it's very much WC-ish.
Your site with the missions also looks great, and the on-line fiction is a very good idea.

But... this is all based on a totally wrong concept. This is the Confederation we're talking about, not the Kilrathi Empire. They do not go to war over a defecting battle group. They certainly do not go to war because a few systems decided to leave - remember Firekka? K'arakh, Ghorah Khar, Natanya, Shariha? The Border Worlds? Landreich? They all left the Confederation - without war. Now, it is possible that war would have nonetheless erupted - but only after months of negotiations. There is no way that Confed would launch the attack after a mere seven days, without any attempt at negotiation. Hell, it took them four years to declare war on the Kilrathi. And certainly, negotiations this delicate aren't done at gunpoint.

I mean, you could say that Avalon gunned down all the diplomats dispatched there - but are the people of Avalon really insane enough to want to fight the whole Confederation? They know they can't win; and even if they were to hold their own, it would be a pyrrhic (sp) victory at best, because Confed wouldn't deal with them. As you know from the SO fiction, Avalon isn't the most developed place in the universe. Without the ability to trade with Confed - they die.

If you can come up with a credible explanation, then great. Otherwise, it will still be an excellent story, but totally unrealistic.
Since I'm a little hung over (and my brain isn't in gear) I'll make this brief:

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Arial">quote:</font><HR>As you know from the SO fiction, Avalon isn't the most developed place in the universe. Without the ability to trade with Confed - they die.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Way, way, way back in September I was looking for a setting for Rebellion. I dug out my WC-Universe map and spotted Avalon, I then asked in the other forum if Avalon had ever been mentioned at all in any of the Wing Commander Games/Novels etc. I received a pretty unanimous NO.
So now you tell me that not only has it appeared in the SO fiction (which I've not fully read), it is underdeveloped.
This kind of really screws up the story. Unfortunately it is way too late to change the setting (since I've nearly completed the missions and this story is based on those).

Well...I'll get to the rest tomorrow...

'Do what thou wilt. So mete it be'.

Wing Commander - Secret Ops Missions
Well, you know what? I've been thinking... just forget what I said. I mean hell, fanfic is supposed to be a little crazy, right
? And in the end, as long as the story is great (which this certainly is) we can endure a bit of craziness.
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That's the spirit! So who's going to be the first to put a prop engine craft in space?
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