Hell's Unicorns - The Vega Campaign: Alcor System

DJ Erik

Spaceman
sycho_warrior said:
Is there maybe a way to get this whole story in one doc?

Working on that, on my profile there should be a link to my website that has most of the story on it. I need to update it with the latest chapters though.
 

DJ Erik

Spaceman
Haha, I didn't even know that this silly little story would get hyped up on the main page, it's an honor...Ive been lazy but I'm finishing up typing Ch. 15 and writing Chapters 16 through 18. 18 ends the action in the Alcor system...And 19 brings it into a new system again. Not to give away any huge details for the next system but the confeds find out that they bit off a little bit more then they can chew... ;)

The website will get a big update soon once I get my Word processor reinstalled, much work has been delayed since of computer troubles, but it's still going. Thanks for the attention :)
 

DJ Erik

Spaceman
Chapter 15

It was a beautiful morning on the Broadsword, two Scimitars buzzing around to make sure it was safe. About a hundred miles away was another Exeter named the Amera, both on the lookout for the Kilrathi...Even though it seemed they had been beaten out of the system.

The Scimms were barely moving, other then the drift carrying them along the two pilots had cut off their engines, saving their fuel just in case. Other there wasn't anything else out around for miles...

"Ace, where are they?"

"I don't know King, there were some reported by the TCS Regal a few days ago along their trade line...Those guys beat the hell out of them. Other then that nothing, it's been pretty clean." He looked back around, trying to find out if he could see the Regal from where he was.

"Maegen, attente moi... je serai avec vous bientôt..."

"Ace, keep talking to me pal...You're going silent all of a sudden." Magis shook his head at King over the cam, not wanting to talk, rather he wanted to think...

He had a deep love for his cousin, he had grown up with her, being three years older he had watched her grown from a sweet girl to a beautiful woman, raising her when her family wasn't able to...Then at eighteen, he left to join the academy, kissing her goodbye and leaving her when she was just fifteen, left her alone to take care of herself...He still felt bad, the time they had been in the Enyo system had been the first time he had seen her since then, she wasn't mad at him though...She loved him...And he loved her...

And then suddenly his train of thought was broken by King's loud yelling and the loud chirping of a lockon warning.

"Ace! They've jumped in on us! Enemy Falthi, her entire loads out...Heading our way!" Magis snapped out of it, he had been so entranced with his thoughts that he hadn't even noticed that anything was wrong...The Salthi behind him launching a missile at him...

"Combattez-les! Nous devons nous tenir..." He watched on while dodging, seeing a wing of Dralthi joining the five Salthi that had engaged them...The odds five to one, not good...But the rest of the fleet need time to get their fighters up...Maegen included...

"Les avons laissés venir..."

While Magis and Cris found themselves outnumbered by the kats, the main part of the Kilrathi force came, the other two Falthis and two newly arrived Ralaris, sneaking right by the Confeds and jumping in right into their fleet.

"Baktov! I hope that this goes well...We only have around fifty fighters for this...We've lost seven Dorkir in this now, we can't stay here much longer if they stay...Bleed them from their heart!" A sense of meaning came into Baktov's mind, like he was meant to lead this charge...Even if the one giving the motivational speech was from the one he loathed.

"Yes, my lord...I shall do you proud." He looked at the video feed from his commander, feeling a rage against him that he couldn't show. How naive that house cant was, he thought...One of the two confed fighters that had stood up against them blew in a blaze in front of him.

"Don't forget Baktov, this might be suicide for you and your flight...But do whatever you can to hurt them..." He heard the commander's last words right before his wing flew off into the void...Knowing that the mother ships weren't going to wait very long if the fighting got bad...They'd just speed out and adandon them to die...But at least they'd always have plenty more to replace them...

The main Confederate fleet was in his view, looking over at his Dralthis with him...Wondering if they would do any damage...

The other confed fighter went out with a dimmed explosion.

On the Broadsword the results had become apparent quickly. The spots where Ace and King had been on long range sensors had disappeared, replaced with the numerous red dots of the Kilrathi...On the bridge looking out the viewport you could see them coming for you...Not such a great thing to see...

The warning came over the intercom on the Regal several minutes later.

"Attention pilots! Kilrathi fighters attacking! Report to Mission Room immediately! Repeat, Kilrathi fighters are attacking!" Rick and Pilgrim were in the rec room while the message was being played. While they got up Pilgrim frowned at him.

"I thought you said it was pretty safe here!" Rick didn't have anything to say for himself. They hoofed it, knowing any second a kat could jam themselves into the Exeter...

"Okay pilots, this is a code red alert! Enemy units engaged two pilots on a patrol from the Broadsword, contact with them has been lost!" Maegen shrank down in fear, afraid it was Magis...Rick put a hand on her shoulder, she looked over and acknowledged him.

"They're still engaged with the two Exeters in the area, the Broadsword and the Amera...So I'm sending you to go out there and intercept them!" Allison looked over to the right, noticing that the lighting had gone red...Everybody knowing what it meant...

"...They're in striking range now! Get out there and hold them off! They're after your carrier this time!" He pointed out to the flight deck, motioning everyone up.

"Go! Go! Make sure that we don't lose any of our capships! Go now!" The alarm started up, everyone running over to their fighters as fast as possible.

As soon as Rick got to his Scimitar Johnson got him ready, then launched him out the launch tube...Rick to see at least four Dralthi heading towards him.

"...Move it Delta! I'm going in! Follow me in Jack!" He looked behind him, Death and Jack's Hornets roaring out of the tubes right into the Dralthis...Allison flying close behind, Ballentine and Gray with her.

"I can take them...Get out of my way Wolfe!" She freaked out on him, as his fighter pulled up she opened up with lasers, the Pancakes swarmed around the Regal...Meg flying off with Stormy and Pawn...Rick swearing to himself.

"Delta, permission to break and attack fighters attacking the Broadsword?"

"Delta, this is Stormy, can I attack fighters on the Amera?"

"Delta, Pawn here, I'm with Stormy!"

"Delta, this is Joker...I want to engage to..."

"Forget those kitties, the ones on the other ship are the ones to hit!" Rick looked around at everything, Death scoring a kill and buzzing off...Meanwhile Rick getting bombarded with radio calls while whatever remained of his command disappeared with everyone leaving. He sighed.

"Affirmative...Just kill them." All of them run off, except Joker who remained flying behind like he was confused.

"Joker, need some help there?" Griggs nodded to him over the feed, Rick nodding back.

"Right, follow me." He watched as the other Scimm formed up with him, he was going to be teaching him the ropes...Even though he didn't know much about the ropes himself either.

In the meanwhile Regent and Ballentine were busy chasing the Drathis on the Regal, Gray joining them.

"Hey honey, keep your hands clean, I'll handle this one." She snorted at Valentine, locking onto the Flapjack he was tailing and firing her heat seeker at it...Cooking it.

"...That was my kill!" She scoffed at him, repeating what he said in a mocking voice.

"...You should of been faster then!" She shook her head while targeting another Dralthi, wondering how her wingmate was so sexist...

At least you have a reason to be so stupid...

As the Pancake flew up in front of her after making another run she started firing. The lasers made short work of the rear shield, taking out the engine block, parts of it falling off into the void. Soon the rest of the Dralthi followed suit...Seconds later her own engine block was being hit.

"Hey hot stuff! You have one on you, I bet you can take him too!" Valentine had no intent on helping out...Then noticed her struggling to get out of the way...Thinking he was taking his joke too far...

"Shit Jack! He's right on top of me, I'm breaking left!" Her shields were fading, Valentine not doing anything...Pilgrim did though.

"My lady! I'm coming!" He afterburned to her, the Dralthi trying to get a lock on more nimble Hornet...As soon as the cat was in range he fired his Mass Drivers until they ran out of power.

No...Don't you harm her!

He missed several shots, the cat going too fast to be hit easily...The back panel showed heavy damage and no shields on scanner, the kitty was still running Alli on the defensive...He only had one choice...He afterburned straight into it.

The contact behind her disappeared on Alli's radar...As she looked back she was relieved to see the Dralthi gone up in flames...But then she saw Pilgrim's Scimm in the explosion.

Off and about the other pilots were getting buzzed by the amount of contacts appearing on their radars, blue and red marks filling them up to the point that it was nearly impossible to distingish them except by actually looking out the canopy frame...

"Delta! There's five flaps trying a run on the Broadsword...I'll hold them off, don't need any backup since there's another five for you to take!" With this Wolfe flew off, Rick giving him an odd look from his canopy.

"Hang on, I'll send Joker with you...They'll take you easy in a Hornet!"

"Don't worry Delta...I am Death." The Hornet disappeared into the void, right after the cats...

"This is Joker, I can see enemy units bearing down on the TCS Amera...Two Krants, three Gratha! It looks like they shot up the front end pretty bad, doubt they can launch their own fighters out..." As the Exeter came into view, Rick cursed his worthy adversaries...

"Joker, have you fought in anything like this before?"

"No...Just took out a couple Salthi on a search and destroy..."

"Right then Griggs...I haven't seen anything like this either, let's make it enjoyable alright?"

"Whatever you say, Delta." The two Scimms flew up in formation, flying over the unsuspecting kitties...

"Focus on the Grathas! They're the most loaded!" Rick speed up to engage, Joker following...Rick noticing Maegen was nowhere in sight...

She was off by the Broadsword, seeing two Scimitars by themselves...

"Magis! Are you there?" Three other fighters were flying off, the Scimms drifting.

"This is King...Ace is with me, our fighters are in pretty bad shape..." She let out a deep sigh of relief.

"How bad?" She could see that the fighters leaving were Salthis, one lagging behind..She started trying to get a lock on.

"Magis had his comm and his Ion Drive busted, shields down...My Scimm's cockpit has been breached, electronics are damaged..." Meg looked back over to Maagis, feeling relieved they were safe.

"Alright...Head for Broadsword, our fighters will handle them..." She nodded them off, taking a long star at Magis's Scimm...Looking back to see the Salthi coming back at her...Maegen freaking out and firing her missile, a big fireball errupting.
 

DJ Erik

Spaceman
Meanwhile Rick had just delievered the death blow to a Gratha, a missile up it's tailpipe. Joker followed followed suit and took out his first kat while on the Regal.

"Got him!" Rick nodded idly, noticing a Hornet getting shot up...One of the attacking Krants getting destroyed, the Hornet falling...Rick worried who it was.

"Hornet pilot, identify..." Two Scimms flew over and took out the other Krant, the Hornet smoking, parts flying off.

"This is Honeybee! I'm pulling out!" Rick sighed while watching the fighter limp away, lucky it wasn't who he thought it was.

"Affirmative Honeybee. Pawn, Stormy, reform and guard the Amera." He watched a Gratha flying away out to the Broadsword.

"Follow the hostile Joker...He's ten thousand meters away from the Broad..." Five thousand meters away Rick saw three Dralthis running, a lone Hornet chasing them...Four thousand meters away and the laser bolts had cut the kats down to two.

"Death?" The gruff Elia had a twisted grin on his face.

"Yeah, it's me sir...Killed three and going for five." As he spoke he lit off a dumbfire as he closed the gap between a Dralthi, the kitty burning up.

"...Affirmative." Rick afterburned after the Gratha while Death took out the last Dralthi...Rick amazed by the spectical, never seeing so much destruction by one pilot...Amazed enough to let Joker take his kill, ther fresher pilot sliding in several Mass Driver shots.

In the meantime, Alli thanked her lifesaver and her lucky stars that he was still alive, his Scimitar missing both of it's cannons.

"Pilgrim, thank you..." Evan watched her feed with the same relish that Rick did.

"You're welcome. Stay safe Allison." She nodded at him over the cam while she picked up several contacts coming towards the Regal, estimating them to be around another ten thousand meters away.

"You too friend, thought you bought it there." Pilgrim blushed while she smiled at him. She looked around and frowned when she saw Valentine flying out of formation.

I don't care if you buy it though, asshole...

"Valentine, get into formation! Get ready to engage..."

"What ever you want...Honey." Alli groaned and made a pissy face at Jack over the cam while she went back to looking at her scanner. At max speed they seemed to get close very quick...

"Permision to engage Artimis?" She nodded to Pilgrim.

"Go ahead, unload your missiles and go home Pilgrim." Ballentine let a sigh out, seeing the enemy Dralthis getting closer...

Time for combat.

"What about me honey?" She shook her head at him.

"No, I'd rather take them myself then have you help me." Jack let out his own groan, Alli snickering at him. Meanwhile the fighters closed the gap.

Soon she found the blood rushing back into her veins, her heart pumping as a Dralthi's image appeared on the scanner. Within several seconds he was only two thousand meters away, and locked...Alli was ready to fight again...

She took him head on, her laser bolts firing on him, she didn't even realize it, it came natural. It couldn't avoid her, the kat's shots had gone wildly out of aim, missing her by a wide margin...Alli's shots were perfectly aimed...The rage inside her breast gave way to joy as the shots hit...

As the Dralthi went down, she had already gracefully moved after another. He never even noticed her until she had closed the distance between them, blasting him nearly point blank from two hundred meters away. The flapjack buckled inward on itself, the rear suddenly not existing anymore. Soon the rest followed suit...Alli feeling the blood rushing quicker, her heart pumping faster...

"I got one. Returning home." She looked over to her right, watcing a Dralthi falling out of range before blowing up, Pilgrim going home. Not that it mattered now...A lost kat getting in her way...

It had seen her and fired, a pair of shots finding their way into the Hornet's left wing, damaging the stablization cables, Alli feeling like she had been shifted to the left, the Hornet pointing upward. She felt shocked, she looked back to make sure nothing was destroyed and she went back after the kat, catching him at the side. She was angry...She fired off a missile, seeing it rip off the left wing of the Dralthi while it impacted. While it slowed down and turned to face her she let off a slavo of lasers...Frowning at the kitty as he was burned alive by a bolt that went thru his cockpit, wishing that he would of been a better oponet...

Meg wished she had easier ones while a Salthi flew around behind her while she tried to get a lock. She swore at him, then hoped the shields would hold as she locked on...Several shots hit, Meg feeling them, the targetor beeping loudly as it moved into position on the Salthi's engine block...The shields fading...

The targetor let out a loud chirp, the crosshairs flashing red as the lock on was aquiered, she fired her Javlin...Pulling out as the Salthi behind her scored some more shots...Looking over to her damage readout she could see that the ion drive was damaged, the Salthi still on her...

"Valentine, still there?" Alli looked back around, her pissed wingman still unengaged.

"Yeah, what do you want?" She scoffed at him, thing about if she was going to regret what she was going to do.

"...Attack my targets...If I don't steal them from you..."

"Oh! You got it...Honey." He added in one last barb before he went after a Dralthi she had been trailing...Noticing she was heading away from them...

"Artimis, where are you going?"

"Intuition tells me to go elsewhere. Clean up here." He tried to figure out what she meant while she flew off...

The Salthi blew up in a small flame while Meg slumped into her seat, exhasted. Amazed she was still alive, the rear shields gone, ion drive heavily damaged...A stupid risk she took, letting him get behind her like that, it had taken her lots of sweat and energy to kill him, he was a tought bastard...No, it was her own fault either way, she shouldn't of gone without backup, she thought. At any rate she shut the engine down to make suere it didn't blow, then fell down into her seat, trying to catch her breath.

A calm before the storm for Meg, not for the others as several Krants and Gratha showed up at the Broadsword. Death looked around at the other two confeds flying around him...He didn't need them...

"Delta, are you gonna to try to beat me?" Rick didn't know wether to take it as a challenge or a insult.

"No Death..." He shook his head at Elia over the cam, the scarred man shooting back a evil eye at him.

"Heh. You should." With that Elia flew off again, Rick looking back to Griggs behind him.

"Joker, follow my lead." Rick waited for a Krant to get close, then fired a Dart as soon as it closed in to fire a salvo...The missile hit and while the pilot was distracted he let off his own slave and blew the cockpit clean off. After that he didn't want to face any more of the bastards.

Meanwhile Elia had been mixing it up with two Gratha, cursing his weak guns while he held off one from blowing his side, noting that the lasers barely dented the fighter. He though he didn't want to...He lit off his load of missiles and destroyed the one he was trailing without a fuss.

Now to take care of the other guy...But I'm out of missiles...Shit this is gonna be hard...

"I got another Delta!" Rick would of been more cheerful for Griggs if the other Krant wasn't stalking him. Just seconds after killing one and deciding he didn't want to fight anymore, there was one on his tail. With a yell of "Damn it!" he pulled up, bracing himself for the shots that were sure to follow...

In a blaze of blue flare several lazers nailed the Krant from behind, shaking it off Rick's tail, a Hornet following.

"Rick, are you okay?" He looked back behind him, surprised at who it was.

"Allison? Why are you here?" She didn't have any answer for him.

"I just had a guess to come over here..." Soon the Krant was making a death dive, Alli sealing it's fate by chasing it down...Rick stunned to the point he couldn't even say thanks before she quickly blasted off again, over to where a kat was...

"Artimis..." Elia watched her use the same technique, unloading her missiles before draining her capacitors into him...Afterburning away as he blew...He was jealous of her ease at fighting...Since now the void was empty except for them. She had wiped them out.

No one normal could be that good...
 

DJ Erik

Spaceman
Chapter 16

"Pilots! That was a hell of a job! You all held off at least thirty fighters at the cost of two thrashed fighters on the Broadsword. Good work..." Meg wiped her brow, still tired. But glad Magis was still alive.

"Two outstanding pilots, First Lietenuants Regent and Wolfe. Regent with six kills, Wolfe with seven...Wolfe defending the TCS Broadsword by himself while the launch tubes were disabled." Death smiled...Then saw Artimis, holding her helmet tightly, not a single movement...Like she was ready to go right back out again...

"Second Lietenant Covan achieved three kills." She looked over, shaking her head at Mollo.

"Pretty tough ones to kill." He looked to her and brushed the comment off, he din't want to hear it.

"...First Lietenuant Eyven, and Second Lietenuants Ballentine, Gray, and Griggs all killed two ships apiece. Second Lietenuants Bayer and Rokain both got one." The younger pilots and Ballentine cheered, Rick and Gray looked at each other; Evan with a "I knew you were wrong" expression on his face. Rick shook off giving his wingmate false hopes and looked over to Honeybee. He didn't have any expression on his face at all, he was blank.

"Good job today everyone, I think we have them on the run now..." The young pilots cheered again, Rick seeing Allison with a small smirk on her face, Ballentine letting out a whoop. Evan staring off the other way...

"Dismissed...But one other matter. We've recovered what's left of Bluebird's remains, the funeral is tonight at 1900 hours. Anyone may attend." Rick froze in place while got up and left. He was the wingleader for the dead man...Was he going to be there for the funeral?

It was 1400 hours at exactly the time he rose up. Looking over to the exit he could see Meg slowly trodding off, he wandered over and touched her on the shoulder, whne she turned around he could see the fear she was hiding behind her eyes...

"Mae, are you okay? Do you need anything?" She looked at his hand on her shoulder, brushing it off while turning away.

"No...At least not from you, Rick. Sorry, I just need some alone time..." He stepped back, somewhat by shock, she wasn't herself.

"Oh, ok...Do what you need, I won't bother you then..." She looked back and nodded at him, then walked off...Rick feeling hurt by what had just happened. It had never happened before...

He tried to shake it off, tried to forget about it but he couldn't help it. He shook his head and walked off, seeing Allison staring at her fighter one last time before leaving...Like she still wanted to fly...He hid the dull feelings he had just recieved and walked up to her.

"Hi Rick..." She looked at him, sensing that something was wrong when he took his time to reply.

"Something wrong?" She carefully nudged herself closer to him, afraid he'd lash back at her.

"No...Just surprised by Meg."

"Oh, I see..." He nodded at her, trying to get closer to her himself...Wondering what her reaction would be.

"Yea, anyways...Thanks Alli for saving me, those Krants are hard to shake..." He was nervous, paranoid about would happen if his other found out...Even though she was millions of miles away...

"It's okay Rick, I did what I had to do to help out. But I do enjoy your partnership, you're the best wingmate I've flown with...Yeah...I like it when you're around..." He smiled, trying to get as close as he could without touching her.

"You too Alli, you're one of the best teammates I've flown with..." He wanted to say something else but he couldn't, not while he knew she was spying on him, watching him from the cockpit of his Scimitar.

"You know Rick, you're the only person who's ever said that to me. I've tried so hard to get people to respect me as a pilot..." She cut herself off, looking back to see her fighter undergoing repairs. Not that it really needed any, in her opinion...

"But thanks Rick, you're the only one who has." She closed in, timidly...Wrapping her arm around his shoulder...Worried he wouldn't like it...Rick torn between wanting to feel her touch more or to shrug her off and stay loyal...

"You're welcome Alli. I trust you alot...Buddy." She looked up, surprised and estatic at what he said, hugging him. He hugged her back, as a friend, feeling something more for her...

"Oh, thank you." He grinned at her, the same kind of fanticism that she was showing to him.

"No problem...So...Would you wanna go to the bar with me?" She smiled...But something bit her back, making her nervous.

"Uh...Later maybe? I got to go do some stuff..." Rick let go, looking hurt again. He nodded in reply.

"Alright then...Take to you later..." He walked off, Alli feeling like she did something wrong.

"Ok...Bye Rick..." It was like a stab at her heart, she knew she did something wrong...He wouldn't of walked off like that, she didn't want him too...She knew he had a lover, but...

She walked off, defeated, knowing she was close, but couldn't win. Ballentine noticed, waiting for her.

"Oh, hey Allison..." She looked over, showing off the huge frown on her face.

Oh no, the last person I want to see right now...

"Sorry about what happened out there eariler...I mean, I sincerely apologize about it..." Her ears perked up, she looked at him half way attentively, still concerned with Rick.

"Ok, I admit it, I'm an asshole, I didn't mean to let him get on your tail like that. I thought you could handle him since obviously you could take out all the other ones...I'm so sorry about that..." She started smiling wryly, hiding her pain...Noticing she had her most annoying wingmate where she wanted him.

...You mean you're sorry you've been a ass to me all this time since we met? Or just this once?

"Aw, no problem Jack...I didn't think it'd be that hard either...It's ok." He nodded, feeling like a jerk.

"Thank you...I guess I've been a real asshole to you ever since we met..."

Haha! I knew it.

"Sorrry, I don't want to make enemies..." She nodded at him.

"Yea, I know what you mean...Hell, even you've seen the only person that would even talk to me is Rick, I don't know why though...Oh well, I'll call it good if you follow orders more seriously and don't make fun of me anymore...I won't steal any more kills from you if you do." He nodded at her, smiling.

"You got yourself a deal...Honey." She smiled for a moment, cringing at the sound of him calling her "Honey" once again, but then realized that she had at least made a friend and it was better then having no one but Rick...Since even though Rick was the nicest person she ever knew, it got really lonely whenever he wasn't around...Which was becoming a lot of the time.

"Yeah, you too..." He patted her on the shoulder and started walking off to the rec room.

"Well, see you soon I suppose, I'd talk more but I'd rather do it over a beer..." She nodded, watching him go.

"I'll see you too, I'd rather talk over the vid comm myself." As he got out of talking distance she shouted out:

"Oh yeah, don't call me Honey anymore too! You got Honeybee for that if you have to say that!" He turned around, Alli able to see that he had a suprised look on his face.

"But...Honeybee's a dude!" She grinned, winking at him even though he couldn't see it.

"True...But it's better then calling me Honey." Ballentine shrugged and walked off, Alli starting to laugh at him. Once he was gone she regained composure, thinking about Rick and what he was doing.

While she was wondering that Rick was outside his room, recently recovering from a encounter with Meg; her get slightly angry and staring him down until he left the room after getting his things. He wondered why she was in such a bad mood...

But then he looked down at what he was holding, a letter with his scribbled writting over it.

Dear Ms. Biehn,
Hello, my name is Rick Eyven, I was the wingleader on the mission where your son was killed. I'm sorry that this has happened, I don't know what happened exactly...Zack was flying my side and we flew in to attack enemy Kilrathi fighters, one fired off a missile and when I got a transmission from him that was the last I saw of him, his fighter exploded right after. I know this doesn't sound like a lot


He held his pencil in his hand, reading over what he had just wrote. He didn't know what to write, it was customary to say how great a pilot's heroics were when you were writing a letter to their family, but...Bluebird didn't do anything heroic. He just got killed by a kat, there wasn't a lot that could be said. Rick tried anyways:

Dear Ms. Biehn,
Hello, my name is Rick Eyven, I was the wingleader on the mission where your son was killed. I'm sorry that this has happened, I don't know what happened exactly...Zack was flying my side and we flew in to attack enemy Kilrathi fighters, he went in ahead of me and took out a fighter, then when one came after me he fought it off, his fighter taking extensive damage from the fight. He told me over the intercomm that he was going after another when I lost contact, I didn't hear from him again until I saw his fighter explode


He erased it again, he couldn't lie. Bluebird didn't do anything like that, to say he did would be a disgrace to his memory...But if his parents didn't know about it, then Zack would be a hero to them...What could be more heroic then taking out three fighters and dying for you wingman?

Actually doing it...

He frowned, then put the letter in his pocket, walking off to the rec room since he obiviously wasn't wanted in his own room...
 

DJ Erik

Spaceman
Rick found himself in the rec room, Pawn and Stormy at the first table talking to each other, Ballentine and most of the others off at the other end talking it up and cheering over beating the Kilrathi for the day. Meanwhile he had found himself alone...

"Hey Delta! You barely got any kills today." He looked over, Joker looking at him.

"Apparently you're the top hand here, other then that girl..." Rick stared for a second, then shook his head while sitting down at a table.

"No...I just got alot kills quick in Enyo. Nothing to be proud of...Allison I assume you're talking about, she has some talent." Joker looked at him unconvinced.

"Well, you lead me around pretty well...I had Ballentine over there for a wingleader a few days ago and I have to say I was scared shitless since we started going after these kitties even though we didn't get permission to leave the Regal..." Rick took a peek at Jack, he was getting wasted while talking to Death and the pilot with the same callsign as Ballentine's first name.

"Heh. I don't have any control really over what my teammates do, I'm a bad leader. I just let Maegen and Death go do their own thing even though they didn't have any support..." He thought about her, still upset about how she was treating him...He drowned the thought with a bottle of scotch.

"Well, at least you lead me around good, I didn't feel like I was any trouble at all flying your wing, with Ballentine I thought we were going to get killed off when he made us run off like that...I'm going to request to fly your wing some more, you're good." Rick nodded, letting out a sigh.

"Thank you. Actually, you're not a bad follower yourself. Usually I'd like to have Swordblade or Artimis fly my wing since they're both pretty good at obeying...Not today though, oh well." He considered what he just said, for the first time it finally hit him - Somehow they managed to beat off a offensive and nobody knew where the hell anyone else was. Amazingly they managed to avoid getting overrun...A stupid error on part of the squadron leaders...Which would mean it'd be him and Allison to blame.

"But I guess it's what the teammates want to do." Rick finished off his scotch, wondering what would of happened if he was responsible for getting the whole wing killed off.

"Yep. Well, thanks Delta. I'll see you around." Griggs got up and wandered off, once again Rick found himself alone...Until a distraught Rokain found him.

"Hey man, Eyven..." Rick looked up, wondering about getting a second scotch.

"Rokain, hi. What's up?" Rokain sat down, obviously he was nervous over something...Sweating bullets.

"About today, I wanna thank your wingmate that shot down the Krant out there, Pawn isn't it? Yeah, tell him I said thanks...My Hornet got it's rear and side shields worn out and another shot would of nailed me." Rick nodded silently, wondering about his own experiances like that...Wondering since he'd almost been killed off before by a Gratha mine and Meg saved him; did that mean she was expecting a favor back? Maybe she ran into something he didn't know about...

"Alright, I'll tell him that. Are you ok though?" Rokain thought about it for a second, then shook his head.

"Hell no man, I just keep getting shot up. Don't know why but the cats like aiming at me." Rick stayed silent.

"Last time in Enyo I got shot up on patrol, now I got shot up trying to engage. Maybe I should just keep on the defensive?"

"I don't know...Usually I find it best just to stay out of trouble...Don't go out of your way to stay out of trouble though."

"Heh." While Rokain wiped his brow Ballentine started up a party tune. Most of the other people around joined in, Death and Pilgrim not interested.

"Well...Whatever I guess. I'll see you later Rick." He walked off before Rick could say goodbye.

For a while Rick just sat by himself, thinking of writing some more in the letter but decided against it, leaving it in his pocket. Five more hours to go to the funeral, two to get rid of the scotch he just drank. To think about something else, he picked his own girl. Back at Port...Months since they last talked, did she care anymore? She hadn't sent him anything since he left. What of their promise to stay together? Alli really threw a monkeywrence into that plan...Oh well, what the hell he thought, he was only thinking since he was drunk.

"...Hi Rick. Sorry I left so abrutly the last time..." He looked up, and there she was again. She sat down next to him, suddenly he noticed no one else was around but the two of them.

"Hi...It's ok. Where is everyone?" She looked over to him, putting her arm around his shoulder.

"They all left about an hour ago..." He shook his head, obviously somehow he had killed an hour without even knowing it. He hadn't really ever drank before, it must of been the shock of drinking so much.

"Oh well...How are you doing then?" She nodded in a positive manner, feeling better just by being next to him.

"I'm fine...You?" She paused, Rick wrapping his arm around her...Most of the time it was her doing it to him, worried that'd he'd react badly. Why was he doing it this time?

"I'm...Fine, yea...Fine." He couldn't think of much to say, his thoughts were wasted as soon as he'd drank the third scotch...Or fourth?

"Hehe...Drunk I see. Heh..." She was shocked to see him that way, before he had always been sober and a thoughtful person... It wasn't very flattering to see him drunk.

"Sorry..." Rick knew what to say, even though he didn't know what was happening...It didn't matter to Alli in the slightest. In fact, she found it very...Attractive...

"It's ok...You don't have to talk to me anyways, I don't mind..." He tried to figure out what she had just said...While she took her chances and snug herself as close as possible to him, her arms violently wrapping around him at the first possible moment. As long as he didn't know, she thought...

"Uhh...I want to?" She noticed that he wasn't going to notice if she did, so while he looked the other way...

"Yes, of course you want to. Thanks Rick." Soon she pulled away as she had done her deed, the slight print of her lips still visible on his cheek. She took stock of her situation, Rick hadn't noticed in the slightest.

"Ok, that's fine...I think, yea. Anything you want to talk about? I think I had to be somewhere soon..." She slowly sunk back as the thought start to hit her - She had taken advantage of him...Suddenly she let go of him, looking around quickly to make sure no one had seen, no one who would know...Rick had never even noticed that she had been hanging onto him at all.

"...Yeah, we had to be at Bluebird's funeral in three hours..." Rick looked over to her, noddingly slowly in reply as soon as he figured out where she was.

"Thanks for telling me..." He looked down at himself, shaking his head while barely seeing a scotch bottle in front of him.

"Sorry I'm so drunk Alli." She shook her head at him, frowning.

"No, I should be the one that's sorry..." He didn't understand again.

"What?" He looked over, Alli suddenly shrinking down into herself.

"Nevermind, it's ok..." Rick nodded again and looked off in the other direction.

Meanwhile Alli started staring out the viewport, silently dreading what she had done...Was the girl from the picture watching her from far away? She wasn't even that far off anyways, as close as the picture in the cockpit of Rick's Scimitar...She was watching her.

...Several hours later saw Rick completely sober again, the effects of drinking worn off. He couldn't remember what happened when he was talking to Alli in the bar though. Not that it mattered...Soon the both of them were standing in file for the funeral, both wearing spacesuits as the launch tube was opened.

"Today, we say goodbye to one of our youngest pilots, Second Lietenant Zack Biehn...Who most of you knew as Bluebird." Rick stared down at the casket, feeling guilty...He had been the wingleader on the mission and didn't even know the last name of the teammate he got killed.

Meanwhile Maegen was standing off by herself elsewhere in the crowd, sliently shedding a tear for the fallen...

"It's always sad to lose such a young pilot, espically when they didn't get a chance to prove themselves in combat...We must fight on though." Mollo stopped himself, wondering about his own age. Thirty years old and still flying a desk instead of a real fighter...What did it take to do his job that any of the other pilots couldn't do themselves? He hadn't proved anything.

"But, now we must say goodbye. Company, raise arms..." The casket was loaded, Rick and Alli watching it slowly loaded up...

"Fire!" The first shots went off into space, the casket slowly starting to drift...

"Fire!" The second set, the casket clearing the tube and flying out into space...Maegen feeling something in her chest drop, she figured it was her heart.

Au revoir...

"Fire!" The casket flew out of sight while the shots disappeared into the void...Everyone feeling bad for Bluebird and even worse for themselves.
 

DJ Erik

Spaceman
Chapter 17

The few days afterwards were rather quiet in terms of combat, the only thing that was worth noting was that the Broadsword had it's launch tubes repaired after the beating it recieved. Other then that, nothing...Not a kitty to be seen.

Personally, though...That was a different matter.

Maegen stared over at her companion for several seconds, then turned her head when he gave her a puppy dog look. She had been giving him the treatment ever since the battle, she didn't know why though. She just was, whatever was driving her to do so; in the end it just made Rick a upset wreck.

I'm not meaning to do this, nothing against you...

She looked over again and saw him frowning, then turned over, aware that he was about ready cry over her, she hadn't even talked to him at all except for the occasional "Go away", all the signs were pointing to that she hated him. But she didn't...

Mollo took up the stand in the mission room, the pilots rather quiet and waiting for what he was going to say...Eleven pilots for one mission was not normal, something big was going on.

"Good morning everyone...We have rather pressing matters to attend to." Mollo quickly wiped the sweat from his brow, ruffled up the bangs of his blonde hair a bit, and continued.

"As of 0400 hours this morning, we have discovered another Kilrathi transport line in the area with long range scanners...But what we've found is not any single transport. It's either a large group of transports...Or even worse, a group of capital ships heading our way, unfortunately we can't pinpoint how large any of the enemy units are. Either way we have to take care of what's out there...All of the fighters from the TCS Regal, TCS Broadsword, and TCS Amera are being sent out to find the targets and identify, if possible destroy them..." Maegen felt a small bead of sweat fall down her cheek, maybe a tear, she couldn't tell.

Vous m'envoyez dehors là à découvrez ce que vous ne savez pas que... assez dangereux n'est pas il?

"...Just head out to the way point as recorded onto your nav computers and see what's out there. If at all possible engage the enemy, your squadron leaders will make the call. Personally, I don't know what the hell is out there so it could be anything: a large group of fighters, transports, carriers, you name it and it could be out there. Make sure you come back alive everyone..." Maegen stared down at herself, at her boots where she could imagine her scars underneath them. She'd been killed...Almost, would she be lucky again if it happened again?

"And, if no one has any questions I'll dismiss you...Any questions at all?" Mollo looked like he wanted to distract them from whatever was going to happen, at least that's what Pilgrim thought...

Maybe you do know and you're just cocky and are willing to waste us to see if you're right.

"Yes sir...If we do run into something as large as a carrier, what would you recommend me to do?" Rick spoke up, everyone surpised...The leader of the Hell's Unicorns, and he didn't know how to take on a capship.

"Well...Damn, just do what you can to take it out. Get some fighters and swarm the back side, shoot until it's netrualized." Rick nodded.

"Sure, will do." Rick shook his head, anyone knew that...Even he did. He just needed to know how to take care of the rest of them.

Meanwhile Alli was already prepped, no amount of talk from Mollo was going to get her to scale down her efforts...She was ready to go take a capship for herself. If only her fighter was a bit bigger...

She looked over to Rick and turned away just like Maegen, but for a different reason...Alli really liked him, but as long as that girl was in the way...It'd never work. Even a kiss on the cheek was taboo...Something she had just done, even though Rick couldn't remember due to the fact he couldn't hold liquior. Still...She knew as soon as he found out he'd probabbley would think of her as a slut, even worse...

But the thought of her lips against his cheek made her slightly happier, like a forbidden fruit...Never before had she really felt feelings towards another person. Nobody knew why but she'd always been a loner, she was friendly enough but in appearance it would suggest otherwise, nobody would approach her, even less talk to her. Even back in her high school, the prom was spent completely alone, never been asked to a dance, never even having a friend to cheer her up...She bought her own dinner. Rick, however...He saw past whatever it was that made people go away and he wanted to be friends with her. Something she admired about him, something she really liked...The first time she had ever touched by a man other then her dad, was when Rick held her in his arms, letting her rest against his shoulder...

Her dad had been long dead though, and Rick...He had his own woman. He didn't have any use for her unless if it was to comfort himself while he was away from the girl in the picture...Either way Allison felt unloved.

"...Dismissed. Good luck out there." The rest of the pilots stood up, Alli in such a train of thought she didn't notice until she found herself in the embarrasing situation of being the only person still sitting. Once she had that corrected she was off with the rest of them.

Seconds later found Maegen strapped into her Scimitar, right in front of her's was Rick's. Her leader, dearest friend...Why was she mad at him?

Rick...Don't let either of us die out there...Ok? Or is that too much to ask of you?

She watched the flare of the engines start up, then watched on as he went flying out the tube...Followed by Valentine and Pilgrim...Then Pawn and Stormy...Then Joker and her too. She'd be Delta's wingmate but Bluebird just passed so she was stuck with Joker...Anyways she wanted to distance herself from him...She had to prove herself...

Her own engines kicked in and then she found herself greeted by the stars...So lovely, yet lonely...Just the way she liked it.

Alli found the sight too while she was launched with Honeybee, instead of sharing Maegen's opinion she found it a bit too lonely...But it didn't matter once she was fighting. The other two Hornet pilots joined in and soon all of them were off.

"Artimis to Delta, respond please..." Rick wasted no time in answering the call.

"Yes Alli?"

"You need to know to how to attack a capship? Just watch me..." Rick nodded politely over the cam, then felt some concern.

"Isn't a Hornet a tad small to take on a capship? I mean, you are a good pilot but a Hornet has a tough time even taking out a Dorkir..." Alli smiled, winking at him.

"Nonsense, the only reason the Hornet has a tough time taking on ships is because the pilot is not good enough...Me, on the other hand..." Rick laughed, somewhat relieved by hearing her but he still worried...

Within ten minutes they had collected the other two squadrons and then all of them started off to the second nav point. Soon the radiowaves were full with the sounds of the other pilots checking in. Rick himself got two more messages.

"Ace from TCS Broadsword to Delta or Artimis of the TCS Regal, respond please."

"This is God from TCS Amera, requesting to talk to squadron leaders from the TCS Regal." Rick responded to Ace, knowing him.

"Hello Magis, this is Delta..."

"Bonjour Eyven. All of our fighters are ready and we're making sure that you are too."

"Yes, all of the fighters from the TCS Regal are ready..."

"Alright, merci. One more thing, Where is Maegen?"

"She's behind me, second Scimitar to the left..."

"Merci. Bonne chance dehors là." He got off the channel, and then Rick watched as a Scimitar from the Broadsword group get closer to Maegen's ship...He figured it was him.

Alli had already taken care of the other call and every fighter had been accounted for. Eighteen from the Amera, eighteen from the Broadsword...The Regal had twelve. As far as Rick knew the ship had a full compliment a while before he had been transferred...But it had been reduced to completely replacements by the time he had got there. Regent and Rokain had been there the longest but they had only been on three months beforehand. As for the original pilots Rick had no idea as to what happened to any of them...He just knew that the ship had been in drydock for repairs and then was sent back out to serve on the quiet planets, refilling the ranks...Somehow in six months the original flight line had disappeared.

Not that it mattered at the moment...70,000 meters away from the targets and he couldn't see anything. He kept a eye on the fuel gauge while speeding up a little bit faster to 200 KPS to see what he could see...

50,000 meters, he could barely make out a large metallic object, something far out in front of him...

30,000 meters and he could make out three objects instead of just one...The first one he saw being rather large compared to the others...

Allison had no trouble deciding she wanted to fight the big one.

"...Holy shit! What the hell is that thing?" One of the Amera pilots made Rick's thoughts out loud as soon as it was in range...There were two Fralthi, two Rarali, four Dorkir...And in the middle of them was a carrier Rick had never seen before. It looked like it was the length of two Fralthis put together, it was a beast...And with them...

"Are they sending fighters out?" The Amera pilot made it clear that something was coming out of the big carrier. Rick looked over to the Scimitar, number 32 in his group.

Thank you mister Scimitar Thirty-Two for stating the obvious.[/b]

Rick looked out the canopy window as far as he could see...Making out around forty fighters that were going to greet them...

"This is Delta to all flights! Enemy fighter screen coming in, looks like it consists of Salthi and Dralthi fighters...Do not waste your missiles on the fighters unless you're completely defensive, save them for the enemy carriers! It looks like we're going to need them..." He looked around at his command, seven Scimitars. The Broadsword had twelve, the Amera six...And instead of Hornets the Amera had Raptors for their twelve-ship squadron. Badly needed in a time like this...

"Hell's Unicorns are going to fly cover!" Alli popped onto the videoscreen as soon as Rick announced his squadron's duty.

"Honshu Hornets are flying defense with Hell's Unicorns!" Her Hornet got close to Rick's Scimm, Rick feeling more comfortable.

"This is Royal Club and Dark Knight squadrons, we're covering the Amera flights." Magis flew quickly over in front of the Raptors, the others in the Broadsword squadrons joining him.

"This is White Angel squadron, our Raptors are going straight in for this as soon as you guys clear the way!" God quickly settled down in his Raptor, switching from his neutron guns to mass drivers...This one had the chance to get bloody...

"Lil' Gremlin squadron will fly cover..." Rick didn't listen for the response from the other squadron when he realized he didn't have a wingmate. He channeled a link to Maegen...

"Swordblade, will you fly my wing?"

"Negative Delta...Sorry." He felt ready to yell at her to find out what her problem was but he calmed down. Suddenly Alli opened up a link to him.

"Delta, your wing is open, can I close it?" He thought for a second...

"Please, thank you." As she and Honeybee came over he relaxed, a little less tense about the fighters that were heading towards them...
 

DJ Erik

Spaceman
The furballs were closing the gap very fast, soon the area in front of them was covered by ten Salthi...Each of them filled up with a fresh Kilrathi pilot biting at the bit to get revenge for the failed offensive.

Alli didn't wait a second to start attacking, hitting the afterburner to speed ahead of the rest of the group, a Salthi right in front of her locked...Death wasn't getting any kills sooner then she was...

She let off with her lasers, the blue blasts reaching out for the Salthi and roasting it's front shield, the several shots that made past the shield turning it's nose into a twisted mess. It fell out of formation as she targeted another...

"Honeybee get over here and cover me!" Rokain felt a little shaken, enough to the point he'd rather not go and help. Rick filled in for him.

"I'm right behind you Artimis..." She smiled, happy that he was there for her...

"Thanks Delta...I'm engaging another, watch me." She moved in, watching a Salthi trying to fly around her while she targeted to the one she was trailing.

"Take that one for me!" Rick didn't even need to have her point it out to him, he was getting ready to greet it...Soon the Salthi had noticed him while Rick was reaching for the trigger...

It exploded into a small cloud while Alli splashed the other one. Surely there was going to be a pin for this one...

"Delta, I got two of them! Going for a third, where's the others?" Rick looked behind him, noticing that none of the other fighters had even engaged yet...The two were alone...Then several shots splashed the front of his cockpit while he was turned away.

Maegen had noticed that he had been hit...Making sure she was ready to fight she radioed to Joker.

"...You have to cover me! I'm speeding up and engaging now!" She fired her afterburner, speeding ahead of Pilgrim and Valentine...Griggs falling behind.

"Is it safe though?" She felt a sudden rage built up.

"Dommage! Just follow me in!" She didn't have time for it...She went in alone...

To be swarmed by two Salthi. Rick had pulled out and was being tailed...Now she had bitten off more then she could chew while another Salthi joined in to fight her...

Shit! There's too many...

She found her first target in the form of the one that was trying to get around her, she slowed down and started firing her Mass Drivers, finding that two shots impacting on his side...The shields already worn down, the panel was yellow on her screen...A weak point...

Then her own right shield started to fade as a trigger-happy kitty found her side to be unguarded. She cursed herself again...She was repeating what she had done the last time...

At the same time the main group had moved in to help out the few that were brave enough to take on the kitties without help. Valentine and Pilgrim moved in, followed by Joker and two of the Amera Scimitars...Finding out that the few Salthis that had been destroyed were a useless victory as the Dralthis came in to fill in the broken line.

"Valentine to Joker...Why didn't you go in with her?" Griggs had nothing to say, he had been watching while her fighter was being attacked, not doing anything to help...In fact, trying to speed down to avoid having to go in...

"I don't know, I'm sorry..." Valentine cut him off as he speed up to help out a wingmate, a friend.

"Well, fucking tell that to her!" He afterburned in right after to help out...Finding himself to be swarmed just like the others. Pilgrim pledged his help and in return also found a overwhelming number of fighters to meet him...Joker was next...And he didn't want to be here anymore...

Rick shook the light fighter off of him and speed over to Maegen...Seeing that Alli had nothing to worry about as she happily took out another Salthi. Soon he was with his closest friend, her fighter showing the wear from the abuse it was taking...Two Salthi still chasing her...

"Swordblade, I'm coming!" He locked onto the one right behind her and let loose with his Mass Drivers, not stopping until he had flew through the fighter's remains...Maegen facing the other fighter and pelting it with all of her remaining shots before the capacitors recharged...It blew while she turned around to join him.

"You asshole...Don't get hit like that! Please Rick..." There was a worried tone in her voice...Even though the swear word had hit him hard he knew she was worried for him...

"I'm sorry Mae...I won't anymore..." She felt slightly better...Finding Rokain over by Artimis, Alli's need for a wingman fufilled...Rick's wing though, was still empty...

"It's ok, Rick...I'll fly your wing now..." He nodded in reply. Somehow it made her feel better inside...

In the meantime Ballentine had found himself under attack from two Salthis and a reinforcing Dralthi, his Scimm straining to avoid getting hit, the Brit feeling that he should be on the winning side...One of the attacking Salthis fell apart after another Scimitar rammed it, the confed fighter falling out of range while several explosions covered it's frame. But it had given him time though...He spun about face and started pumping Mass Driver shots right into the front of the Dralthi, incinerating it.

"Lil' Gremlin squadron just lost a Scimitar..." The message came over while Valentine set himself up for another kill. At least it wasn't him...He could watch the destroyed Scimm fall apart out of the corner of his eye...He couldn't see any ejection seat. He thanked the pilot for helping him out while he started to aim on the Salthi's engine block...

Thank you. Here's payback.

He fired up several shots into the Salthi's tailpipes and effectively turned it into a flying junkheap. While he had flown off he saw that Pilgrim was still swarmed and taking hits himself...He flew over.

"Hey Evan, you getting shot up? Hang in there..." Pilgrim felt rather flustered, stranded by himself while several Kilrathi flew around...

"Yeah, I'm in trouble..." He shook off the enemies while joining up with Valentine, still plenty more to go around...

God looked up from the sights, watching a Dralthi being downed by the massive concussion from the neutron guns mounted on his Raptor. Another one flew right in front of him...The Raptor fighters under his command were ordered to keep pressing forward unless they were engaged, since that was the duty of the other squadrons...Where the hell where they?

"God to any other squadron leader, where is our backup? Our Raptors are under attack..." Out of the call two of the Lil' Gremlin Scimitars came to help out. He cursed himself.

The Dralthi that had flown in front of God had made it's way around and was taking on one of the Raptors...The Raptor pilot making the mistake of trying to use full guns when he aim was shaky...Only two of eight shots hit, the Dralthi making a run around him while his capacitors were recharging. Suddenly his entire back end was shot up...Another Raptor got the kat but the first had been heavily damaged, smoke billowing out of it's engines. It started to fall out of formation...The canopy busting open and the pilot punching out, the Raptor exploding several seconds afterward, the pilot drifting about.

"Damn it this is God again, where the hell are our escort fighters? We lost a Raptor back there!" He looked up, just in time to serve out of the way of one of the two Scimitars blew up in front of him...They were going to get plastered.

"This is Ace...Help is on the way..." God looked around, there didn't seem to be any help coming, at least from what he could see...Just more Dralthis and Salthis.

The carriers were getting closer but still they seemed far off while they had fighters swarming all around you...

Come on damnit...We're going to get cut off at this rate...

Suddenly they came, flying in from above. Two Scimitars and a Hornet, lasers and mass drivers blasting, the lead Scimitar taking out a Dralthi.

"Did we arrive quick enough?"

"Good enough...Cover us, we're going in for a run!" The Raptors blazed right through the crowds of fighters, heading straight towards the enemy carrier group...The massive carrier still dwarfing the Ralaris and Falthis nearby it even up close...
 

DJ Erik

Spaceman
God met the incoming blasts from the carrier first, his Raptor letting off everything he had while he fell out of formation, a direct hit...

Alli watched around while the Raptors made their run, watching the smoke clouds of two of them while they fell out of the bombing run...Obviously casulties. She got on the radio while trailing a wounded Dralthi.

"Artimis to God...Status on your flight?" There was no answer, the line was filled with static.

"Artimis to God, come in please..." The allied effort seemed to have stalled...As far as she could see around her there were about ten confed fighters around...Up against double that amount in Kilrathi fighters. Whatever was left of the Raptors were making a hasty retreat...

"Damnit, God where are you?" She got inpatient while working her laser cannons, the blue bolts knocking the Dralthi into submission...Honeybee following timidly behind, just waiting for her to kill everything in sight so he didn't have to.

"This is Ace to Artimis, God seems to have been hit..." She stared in shock at the videofeed, the leader of the Raptor squadron being knocked out meant that they were running blind...

"They're going to get killed out there without a leader!" He was already making a reply while she expressed her concern.

"I know Arti...I've commanded them to regroup, my squadron and Lil' Gremlin squadron are over here too, we can't take on that huge carrier...That whole bombing run by the Raptor pilots and we didn't even make a dent on it's shield..." Allison didn't know what to say...Even she was slightly scared by what they had come across...

"Affirmative...I've lost track of Hell's Unis...I'm going to get my squadron regrouped and we'll head on over..." She could see a few Scimitars still flying around but she didn't know who they were...

"Right Artimis...Have you seen my cousin's ship around?" Alli looked over at the feed, knowing what he was trying to get at...

"No...Have you seen Delta's ship?" The answer came back as he shook his head.

"Alright...Ace, there's several more capships...Take out whatever you can...I'll find everyone else..." He nodded over the video feed while he closed the com link...Alli letting out a sigh...

Meanwhile Delta and Swordblade were finding themselves swarmed with Salthis.

"Rick, damage minimal?" During the bombing run the kittens outside had been getting rowdier, Rick finding himself at the attention of a Salthi, his side being hit a few times.

"I'm ok Maegen...My armor got some damage but I'm still fighting..." He looked over to his side, the painted unicorn missing as the armor had melted around a laser hit...He turned back to his wingmate, several more lasers finding their mark on her tail.

"Mae...We're going to get killed out here if we don't go...I lost contact with Ballentine and Evan back there, I'm getting some faint transmissions back from Stormy and Pawn..." She felt the fear in his voice...She didn't want to see him die, she didn't want to die either...

"Faites une course pour elle alors?" Rick knew what she meant.

"Yea...We're going to make a run for it...You first..." He looked after her, seeing the Salthi that had been shooting her up...He locked on a missile and fired it off, watching the Salthi break off and try to avoid it...As soon as Rick had caught up to her the kitten had just been turned to dust. He watched behind them, four Salthis still behind them...

"Mae I'm going to hold them off...You just get going..." She felt a pain jab at her heart, exactly why she was mad at him...

"Non! Vous mourrez!" He shook his head at her...He turned his fighter around straight at the persuers...Letting fly with his mass drivers at one that had been tailing him...

"Maegen I won't leave you yet..." He watched as it burnt up in front of him...Another flying towards Swordblade, he let off another heat seeker at him...

"Just go for me...Please." She didn't know what to do...Her dearest friend telling her to abandon him and her own mind telling her not to...The Salthis found their replacements and still charged the two...

"Ne mourez pas mon ami..." She did what he instructed, hitting afterburner...Watching his fighter getting smaller behind her, several more chasing him around...

Joker found her, several smoke streams billowing out of her Scimitar's damaged engines...She had been in trouble.

"Swordblade, are you ok?" She looked back...Her friend in trouble...She let him down...

"Pas tandis qu'il est hors de là..." Joker didn't know what she meant but he took it as a bad sign...He started to fly up her wing. She didn't want him there though...
 

DJ Erik

Spaceman
The main flight group had started to press on the attack...Alli's squadron and what she could could find of the Unicorns followed: Stormy, Pawn. The others were missing...

"Ace to Artimis, we're going to attack the enemy Fralthis...Raptors are going in first...We're going to fly cover, for some reason there aren't any more fighters flying about so we're in the clear, if you see any more targets that can be taken easy then please do so..." She nodded politely while the Raptors started flying at one of three Fralthis...The massive carrier making a steady pace while the rest of it's group followed...

As she looked down she could see one of the Dorkir trying to catch up to the convoy. She radioed over to Death and Honeybee.

"Think we can take out those transports there?" The other two radioed back positive...She led them down, deciding to take him on from above. As soon as the turrets started to fire back she let off her lasers...As a shot splashed her front shield her desired effect was achieved on the enemie's...

"Fire missiles now!" She pulled out after giving the order, one of her dumbfires flying straight into the dome of the Dorkir, punching a hole into it...Death closing in and firing his lasers and a dumbfire also...The lasers making the wound even more open for the Dart to enter...The dumbfire finishing it off altogether.

In the meantime the Raptors had all completed their run, all of the remaining fighters enjoying the sight of a Kilrathi capship going down in flames. The other two still kept following tightly next to their mothership...and the mothership had proven too deadly to attack. However, the Ralaris were slowly trudging along...Magis noticed this and decided to take one on.

"White Angels, regroup and prepare for another run...Royal Clubs get ready to defend them..." He looked around for another friendly ship but couldn't find hers...

"J'espère que vous êtes bien hors de là..." The allies started to rally up with him, the captain for the time being...His thoughts weren't for them though, someone else was occupying his...

Soon he found himself leading them at the crusier...A much smaller target then the last one, but still deadly...The laser turrets training in on them...

In the confusion Covan and Griggs had afterburned to the confed ground, and found themselves right in front of the oncoming crusier...And right into it's turret fire...The warning lights coming on as soon as Maegen found that she had wandered too close, then a loud explosion...Maegen ducking and looking up seconds later to see that the lights had been blown out, along with the target track...The only thing telling her of the crusier above her was her own eyes now...Her own heart beating very quickly, she took a quick look down to make sure that everything below was ok, at her legs...She had already gone through the loss of one ship, at the expense of everyone else and her beauty she lived...But she didn't want to go through it again...The shots were making more impacts against her Scimitar's body, the stick slowly becoming unresponsive...She was going straight through and was going to die if she didn't get out...She reached for the ejection switch...

The canopy didn't blow open...She cursed, looking over to see the computer display reading "Ejection System Destroyed" right before that screen was blown out also by another hit. Everything was failing and she was trapped in a flying coffin...She felt like screaming and crying at the same time but she couldn't, her voice couldn't flow out of her throat...

Joker had managed to get out of the way and watched as her fighter fell out of the way...Smoke coming out of it like it had mortally wounded and was bleeding to death on it's way down.

...Rick found himself facing a refreshing number of Salthis, what had just been two of them when he told Maegen to run had turned into four...He had managed to take out another one with mass drivers but still he was outgunned...They were following and quickly gaining.

"Damnit...Somebody out there? Help please!" He looked behind just to see a small laser splash the back of his shield. No one...

"This is Delta requesting help, I've gotten myself into a mess here!" He looked back to check himself, sure they were the little Salthis...But even one was still deadly. And now it was three against one...

"Delta...You bastard. Help is coming! Thank god there's several of us around..." Rick couldn't believe it but Ballentine, the teammate that he had written off eariler as "He's going to get himself killed", was suddenly flying behind him and taking on the Salthis head on...Pilgrim flying past him too but with more care.

With the fresh help Rick turned around and found Ballentine following around a Salthi and putting a missile up his tailpipe. While he turned around to take another one Rick watched as Pilgrim shot up the remaining fighter. As that one fell apart Valentine had cleaned up with his second, the Salthi splashing itself into the stardust.

"Did we get here quick enough for you Delta? Where's Swordblade?" Rick slowed down his fighter as he had been going on afterburner the entire encounter...He saluted his two companions.

"I'm fine, just a little damage...Maegen went to join up with Pawn and Stormy...Where are they now? My navagation computer is damaged and I can't tell." Evan got on the comm.

"We got split up from the main group...We're way far off from the nav point, should we head for home or back to our group?" Rick thought about it for a split second, not even having to do that knowing that Maegen was out and alone...

"Follow me back to the group...Hurry or we might get left out here..." Rick went at the maxium 360 KPS while the other two followed.

For a small fight we sure did get ourselves lost out here...

Magis looked over as all his missiles hit, he was tapped out...The five Raptors following him had done the same and soon the Ralari had taken it's last flight...But there were still the others to take care about...

One of them blew in a fireball as Allison loaded her missiles into a Dorkir...Death chasing after another tanker, Honeybee following him.

"Enemy tankers in sight, two in front of me..." While he flew after it, the Dorkir just disappeared...The other one joining it.

"Death to all fighters...Enemy units are jumping out of system!" He cursed himself watching the Dorkirs making their escape...The capships preparing to do the same...

"Ace to all available fighters, attack that other Ralari! Stop before it gets away!" He watched on as the remaining Raptors started another bombing run...And watched as a lone Scimitar started struggling to get out of the way...

He knew who it was, he afterburned to her, scared that she was hurt...

"Maegen, êtes-vous bien?" He waited for a long time and listened to a very garbled "oui" as a response. He moved over quickly to her as the remaining Ralari took it's damage...The jump opening up and closing on the crusier as it's engines were destroyed by the confeds...taking out half the ship as it closed, the rear end that didn't get caught in the jump slowly falling and detonating...
 

DJ Erik

Spaceman
Chapter 18
Maegen soon found herself in Magis's arms as she waited for a shuttle from her own carrier to pick her up, her Scimitar far too damaged for the trip home. As she laid down and let her cousin hold her she grew curious of what had happened.

"Magis, qu'est arrivé à nos combattants?" He looked down, stroking her hair, feeling lucky that she was still with him...

"Deux du Scimitars ont été détruits, leurs pilotes ne lui ont pas fait... deux que Raptors ont été également détruits, seulement un des pilotes est parvenu à éjecter..." She perked up, suddenly a sense of dread came and froze her heart, thinking that it could of been the only person willing to fight off the overwhelming odds for her to escape...

"était Rick un des pilotes tués?" Magis stared at her, and shook his head.

"Non... ils étaient tous deux de l'Amera. Rick m'a rendu lui à la maison croient. En outre Dieu est parvenu à survivre de façon ou d'autre, je davantage serait inquiété de lui puis Delta... " She shook her head, shocked that he'd say that.

"Rick est mon meilleur ami Magis. En outre il est fait tellement pour moi... ce qui a que l'autre type fait pour moi?"

"Je suis désolé pour cela... que je ne devrais pas de dit cela." Maegen thought it over for a while, then once again shook her head.

"Il est bien, je ne parlerait plutôt pas de lui..." She set her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes as he held her tighter, she was in the only place she wanted to be at...

Meanwhile Rick found himself once again alone in the rec room, waiting to see if anyone would join him. He had heard of what happened to Maegen and he anxiously awaited her return. In the meantime he was completely alone and bored.

After a while Allison came in alone. Rick noticed and waved for her to come over but she saw him and visibly freaked out and ran away. As she did Rick felt like had done something wrong...it took a long time before he was able to get over the fact she ran away from him.

Eventually Evan came in, followed by Pawn and Stormy. The other two seemed like a happy couple, Stormy obviously pleased with her wingmate. Evan of course was depressed.

"Hello, Eyven..."

"Hi Pilgrim...what's wrong now?" Pilgrim sat down while thinking about the question.

"Well, I ran into Alli out in the hall...she ran away from me though before I could talk to her."

"Hmm...you know, she just did that to me too." Evan laughed for a bit before lighting up a smoke.

"Heh, well I guess that means she hates us." Rick got defensive, that barb hurt for whatever reason.

"What do you mean by that?" Evan shook his head.

"Damnit Rick...obviously, if someone just runs away from you then that means that something's wrong with you." While Rick was left to ponder that Evan let the rest of his thoughts come out.

"...That offensive today was very bad Delta...do you even know what the hell you're doing out there?" Rick froze once again, everything he had been happy with for the past weeks was coming under attack by his partner.

"I could take care of myself...the rest of the squadron...I didn't even know where they were." Evan laughed and laughed, puffing on the cigarette and nearly choking on the smoke.

"Yeah, that's when they all get killed. Maybe you should think stepping down..." Evan stopped in his own sentence when he saw the look on Rick's face.

"...However, the entire Confederation attack today was screwed up. They sent all those fighters out today and had no clue what we were up against...nobody knows what that huge carrier we found was. We're lucky we just lost four fighters out of it, could of been alot more..." Rick subconciously stopped listening to him while paying attention physically, he didn't want to hear anything else negative.

Once again he checked the scoreboard to see what the current rankings were.

TCS Regal Scoreboard
Hell's Unicorns
Delta: 20 Sorties ; 25 Kills
Swordblade: 20 Sorties ; 17 Kills
Valentine: 16 Sorties ; 9 Kills
Pilgrim: 17 Sorties ; 9 Kills
Joker: 7 Sorties ; 5 Kills
Pawn: 7 Sorties ; 2 Kills
Stormy: 5 Sorties ; 0 Kills
Bluebird: KIA

Honshu Hornets
Artimis: 23 Sorties ; 25 Kills
Death: 29 Sorties ; 20 Kills
Honeybee: 17 Sorties ; 4 Kills
Jack: 15 Sorties ; 8 Kills

Another five missions in the hole, with one friend killed...and who knew how many more systems they were going to be transferred to.

The end of the second act...could we hold for a third?
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This is the end of the second part. Soon our pilots find themselves in Gimle...hope you're all enjoying this story. I promise I'll update the story webpage too, it's long been overdue. :)
 
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