Progressive Darkness

lazarusryu

Spaceman
Prologue

------ “Lock it down and move it out. What’re ya waiting for, Private!”
------ The loading docks of the carrier are especially busy today, being its maiden voyage and all. On the of it’s launch; it was so appropriately dubbed the TCS Juggernaut. It was a massive 1000 meters long and held a crew of five hundred; ConFed’s finest achievement to date. Its first mission was below its capabilities; at least that’s what Captain Weiss thought anyway.
------ A waste of power He would constantly think. Captain Weiss often had daydreams about fighting back in the ancient times, the times of Hitler and the Reich. Bullets. Blood. Power. Captain Weiss smiles. Good times
------ “Sir,”
------ Weiss turns to face the Private. “Yes.”
------ “We’re picking up strange signals in various parts of the system but they could just be…”
------ At last, a chance to test this fantastic piece of equipment!
------ “Never assume anything. Head towards the closest signal.”
------ “Yes, Sir.”
------ The private salutes and walks away.
------ Power.

------ The ship starts moving into a different position, following its new coordinates. Three strange fighters fly towards the vessel. Their spike-like wings covered in red hieroglyphics. They fire their afterburners.

------ The communications officer’s bored but pleased. The end of the known universe has no people. And no people means no enemies. Like anyone would be stupid enough to attack this vessel. He glances at the radar and sees minor thermal readings. Thermal Readings? Out here? He sits up in his chair and looks at it further. It hits him.
------ “Attack!”

------ The fighters begin unloading their missiles into the top of the Juggernaut. They tear into the ship as easily as household aluminum foil.

------ Captain Weiss looks up. The loading dock’s ceiling shatters. Before he can run, he gets pulled off his feet and out the ceiling with the other fifty who are on the dock. It felt so slow to him. No problem, the heat and air coming out of the ship will keep me alive. Alive until the transports come. He’s almost to the giant hole. Maybe I can grab something…anything. Yeah, there’s enough air coming from the ship. They’ll get me in and I’ll be all right. He’s out the hole. It’s ok…they’ll get me. He sees the many bodies and the great ship now nothing.
------ I’m dead
 

Howard Day

Random art guy.
I'd assume he's trying to introduce a new enemy to the WC universe. Them ain't your grandfather's kilrathi fighters, son.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
You have set up some interesting situations. You seem to be visualizing the action well, yet you need to work on translating it into words some more. Your style is distracting and frankly almost impossible to read. It is also unclear who is speaking and to what some statements refer.

Here's an alternate version just for reference sake. It may not be what you intend or even very good but please note how a few edits can possibly improve your work.

Captain Weiss was pacing eager to get under way. The TCS Juggernaut was prepping for her maiden voyage - a milk run really - and a steady flow of supplies was being brought on board through the loading bay. It wasn't that the Captain's presence was ever needed in the loading bay but Wiess felt that it provided just the right amount of intimidation to keep the (whatever rank here) working at an efficient pace, and of course, loading the last of the supplies was the only thing holding up the ship from leaving port. Even the new contingent of fighter jocks had landed hours before and had even already been settled in their quarters.

“Lock it down and move it out. What’re ya waiting for, Private!” Weiss yelled at one particular worker who was lingering a little too long beside a rack of ordinance that had been ready for ten minutes already to be wheeled to the fighter loadout area of the flight deck.

Weiss wished he had been given a more substantial task for the first flight of the fleets finest ship. It hadn't been called the TCS Juggernaut for nothing. It was massive - 1000 meters long - and held a crew of five hundred. In fact Wiess actually resented the fact that, in his mind, this menial task could probably be carried out successfully by a garbage scow.

*****​

The TCS Juggernaut dropped out of jump space and drifted into the blackness of the (make up system name here) system. Its proximity to the galaxy’s edge meant that the stars were sparse. In fact, you could easily make out the spiral shape of the milky way, yet looking away meant the dim glow of distant galaxies pulsed into view.

Captain Weiss sat in his command chair on the Bridge and observed intently the new starfield on the other side of the viewports. They were larger than most elsewhere on the ship mostly because of tradition really. At one time, battles were fought using the eyes yet now, in space, the eyes were the sensor relays found scattered about the exterior of the ships hull. “Well? Anything to report Mr. Naegha,” he asked, turning to the Private manning the sensors station?

“Uh. Hmm? We’re picking up strange signals in various parts of the system but they could just be…”

At last, a chance to test this fantastic piece of equipment! the Captain thought to himself. Interrupting Mr. Naegha, He said in an almost giddy tone “Never assume anything.” Turning to the Navigations officer, He continued “Head towards the closest signal.”

“Yes, Sir.” Came the reply. The navigations officer punched in the new coordinates. “Coordinates set.”

Captain Weiss often had daydreams about fighting the wars of the past - the time of Hitler and the Reich, of bullets, blood, and power. Captain Weiss smiled. Good times

“Engage engines full power!” Weiss demaded.
“Aye sir.” The manoevering thrusters kicked in and the ship rolled quickly at the course correction.

*****​

A trio of gold coloured eyes stared through the visor of its flight helmet. At least if it was human it would be a flight helmet. The eyes were fixed on an instrument panel. It was showing the outline of a ship, A kind it had never seen before. Rarely had any other ships ventured this close. Never had they made it close enough to uncover it’s secret. If they knew they would come on stronger, and it knew that was something that needed to be avoided. And now here its was, a ship bigger than any before it, and it was venturing closer that was comfortable. It sent a signal, a signal that would go undetected by the crew of the TCS Juggernaut, to two fighters flying together with it. Their spike-like wings were covered in red hieroglyphics. Punching their afterburners, the three ships shot across the stars towards the unsuspecting trespasser.

*****​

The communications officer was bored. Bored yet happily smug about the fact that the computer did most of his Job for him when there were no outgoing or incoming comm. Traffic. And that moment he happened to be proving his point by arguing the merits of eating breakfast with Mr. Naegha. An empty system at the edge of the known universe has no, or almost no people to make communications that would need monitoring. And no people means no enemies. He was thinking to himself. Like anyone would be stupid enough to attack this vessel

Mr. Naegha broke away just long enough to notice something on the sensor readout. Thermal Readings? Out here? he thought. He sat up abruptly in his chair and looks at it further. Then it hit him. “Attack!” he cried out!

*****​

The fighters began unloading their missiles into the top of the Juggernaut, tearing into the ship as easily as a knife through aluminum foil.

*****​

Captain Wiess shot to his feet and began ordering evasive manouevers and the forward batteries to target the heat signatures. But it was too late. The Bridge exploded in a ball of white light, yet not all the bridge was vaporized. Captain Wiess could smell the hot acrid smell of burnt flesh and metal. He had been blinded by the light from the blast but he could feel himself leave the deck. Was it the artificial gravity shutting down? He didn’t think so because he could feel himself rising and is was too fast at that to be a simple switch to zero G-force. Then he realized what was happening, He and all the others that survived the blast were victims of natures law. And, in fact, he was now abhorring the vacuum outside. It’s clutch felt so slow to him.

No problem, he thought, the heat and air coming out of the ship will keep me alive. Alive until the transports come. Maybe I can grab something…anything. Yeah, there’s enough air coming from the ship. They’ll get me in and I’ll be all right In a twist that would normally be fortuitous, but which was, under the circumstances, nothing more than rotten luck, Wiess could see again. He could now see everything. Bodies floating in the cold of space. As well he had just drifted out of reach of the remains of a once proud ship. But it wouldn’t have mattered as another salvo of missiles slammed into the drifting hull, obliterating it completely. I’m dead
 

lazarusryu

Spaceman
I know, I mainly write scripts and I just recently got back into writing in novel form. And to answer some things that some of you have wondered, the fighters are Kilrathi but they're not new. This is story is about how they were created and come into play in the war. The rader being distorted and the ship being destroyed so easyly is due to a device that the Kilrathi had made (I won't disclose the details just yet). Also, this takes place before the time of WC1 but a few years after the first Kilrathi strike.

But that's just a small fraction of the story. I'll be including a few familliar charachers but not many. And I plan to keep it true to the game series.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
lazarusryu said:
I mainly write scripts and I just recently got back into writing in novel form.
I had a feeling that it might be the case. :) It would have been easier to understand in actual script form actually. You write them for fun? As a Hobby? Or semi-professionaly?

Hope you dont mind the libeties I took with your piece. I was bored and It was kind a fun really. A few minor changes to what I added and it's easily about the kilrathi. I tried to leave most of what you wrote intact in one form or another, but some of it isn't exactly the same order. I hope it helps you get back into the writing groove.
 

Kilrah

Spaceman
Well I’m glad it’s the Kilrathi. It seemed the general idea was that those unknown enemies were a new enemy race but I suspected it was the Kilrathi from the beginning. The reason why is because Iazarusryu wrote that Captain Weiss thought about old fighting times. Wars that were fought with bullets not lasers. So if this man had this kind of memories surely he would be from a time much closer to our own.

It seems to me that Iazarusryu has come up with a promising story; at least it has made me curious about what’s going to happen next.

While reading this thread, mainly Iazarusryu and AD’s posts, it occurred to me that with so much talent, Iazarusryu’s original story and AD’s capability of telling it, it would be great if one day it could be made some sort of Fan-Film like many Star Wars fans do. If you want to check out the site is,

http://www.theforce.net/fanfilms/shortfilms/

I haven’t watched all movies but so far I’ve seen bad, good and amazing things. Give it a try. Sometimes it seems to me that with a nice story, a few CGI artists and little good will (well maybe not just a little) it could be done. Who knows, maybe someday a group of you will have the will and the capabilities to do it with the Wing Commander universe.
Such a nice dream. :)
 

Dyret

Super Carrot!
Kilrah said:
Who knows, maybe someday a group of you will have the will and the capabilities to do it with the Wing Commander universe.

After seeing what Spiritplumber did to the WCU, it will be a long time before i can like a fan project again. :(
 

Kilrah

Spaceman
Dyret said:
After seeing what Spiritplumber did to the WCU, it will be a long time before i can like a fan project again. :(
I don’t know what happened to WCU but one thing I can assure you, people don’t work all in the same way. There will always be good and bad projects. (I’m not saying that WCU it’s a bad project. I don’t know it at all).
 

lazarusryu

Spaceman
Semi-professional (I haven't made it to Hollywood just yet) and as a hobby. If I ever "make it", one of my goals will be to make a WC2 (Minus the Pilgrim stuff and the original cast). I was kind of surprised to see that you took the effort to do that, if you wanna do that for the rest of the story you have my permission. It does help to see it more "written out". The first chapter is almost complete and will be up shortly.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
When you post more, I might give it a go. However, If I'm going to go through all the work, Please let me know in detail what needs fixing so I can re-post the prologue more in harmony with the rest of the story. (Or just email or PM me an outline/overview) I know theres a few things that need fixing. I didn't bother writing ranks for atleast one character who should have one, and I only added one name (by blindly typing letters randomly on the keyboard). If you have any other concers or changes that you think will bring it more in harmony with your vision let me know. (It really isnt much more than a rough draft really)
Also, how much have you researched the backgroud to this? I'm sure you can find lots of suggestions about ship types present in that era and such if you ask in the general WC forum.

Just out of curiosity, what kind of projects have you worked on? You say you havn't made it to hollywood, but do you have anthing "published" that would be interesting to take a look at?
 

lazarusryu

Spaceman
Chapter 1

Admiral Cartwright stares out his office window, smoking a cigar. Jupiter’s beauty fills the frame. It’s illumination amplified by the smoke filled office. He takes a long, slow drag and softly exhales the quaff of smoke.
“It is…unfortunate.”
“Our research team thinks it could’ve been by a new type of fighter or weapon.” Captain Robbins is one of the few women to have reached the rank of Captain, something she’s very proud of. She originally joined to see the universe for a couple of years but her family hated her enlistment. They felt that war itself was wrong and immoral no matter what you’re against.
So she never left…
This is not the first time she’s talked with the admiral but every time she wished it was the last.
“The Kilrathi are already a great enough threat as it is. Is there any proof to back-up their theories?” Asks the admiral.
“None at this moment.”
“Tas Mahran has always been a mystery. But its necessary to our efforts.”
“Yes sir.” Robbins’ eyes begin to water, she’s never been used to the admiral’s smoking.
“It’s pointless to jump to conclusions right now and moral hasn’t been great since this war began…” The admiral turns around. “I want you to keep this incident quiet, just until we can learn more.”
“Yes, sir”
“Also, I want you to take command of the Hoover for immediate departure to the Tas Mahran system.”
The captain smiles; the TCS Hoover is one of the Confederation’s most illustrious carriers. This was an honor.
“Thank you sir”
“And contact the Commodore, he’ll want to know of his brother’s demise. But no details.”
“Yes, sir” She salutes him.

A transport sores through the bleak emptiness, on it’s way to the TCS Hoover.
Wolf stares into the stars. Space always intrigued him. What intrigued him more was the Confederation. It represented an intricate force of both order and destruction. Something he’s proud to be a part of it.
“You listenin’ to me?”
Wolf faces his fellow passenger. An American that goes by Wild Thing; Wolf didn’t bother asking why. They had only known each other for a few hours but managed to tell their life stories; which wasn’t much considering neither of them liked to talk about their past. And Wolf didn’t feel like talking.
“Sorry, what were you saying?” kindly said Wolf.
“What’s with the transfer out here? I thought this was a derelict system.”
“Apparently it isn’t.” replied Wolf, again as kindly as he could but still managed to come out insulting. “It’s still behind enemy lines, that’s all that really matters”. Wolf turns back to the stars, forcing an end to their conversation.

The transport reaches the Hoover and quickly enters it.
As soon as the transport lands, Wolf and Wild Thing come out from it with their bags over their shoulders. No one comes to greet them. One of the mechanics walks up to them.
“You’re early.” Said the Mechanic. “Everyone’s having lunch. Make yourself at home.” He begins to walk away.
“Wait!” Shouts Wild. “Where do we go?”
The mechanic points to the only exit. “Down the hallway, three doors, and to the left.”
“Thanks.”
They leave the docking bay.

The cafeteria was full of different types of people, as well as different species; none of which are Kilrathi. But of the eight tables, one stuck out. Only the superior pilots sat at the table in the back. There are six of them: Cupid, a French woman who is very kind and gentle (Even in combat). She feels that it’s necessary to love the ones you kill (Love being a guided missile and kisses of laser). Shadow, never says much or do anything for that matter but he’s ruthless in combat. Player is a man who only joined the Confederation for the women and it hasn’t been successful yet. Beatnik is a musician that joined for the experience; he felt that it would help him put more soul into music. At the moment, he’s playing his rendition of “Take 5” on his clarinet. Peasant is very modest about his achievements but still very proud. He had taken hundreds of Kilrathis down as well as carrier class vessels. Jackknife looks as though he would make a better marine but he does just as well as a pilot.

Wolf and Wild Thing enter the room, no one seemed to notice (Or care). They set their bags against the wall right next to the entrance. They don’t bother getting anything to eat; they just sit at the table in the back.
“Ah! Fresh meat.” spouts Jackknife.
“Excuse me?” replies Wolf.
“You’re new, right? Fresh of the academy.”
“Do I look like a child…” Wolf looks at his rank “…Private?”
Jackknife suddenly realizes he’s talking to a Lieutenant. “No sir.”
“Yes we’re new. I’m Wolf, this is Wild Thing.”
Wild Thing offers a friendly wave, feeling more than a little uncomfortable.
“Well, its good to have you aboard.”
“I’m sure.”
“Take it easy, we’re all on the same side.” Says Beatnik. “The least we can do is get to know each other before we die.” And with that, he takes up were he left off in the song.
Wild Thing looks at Cupid. “What’s he mean?”
“We’ve had five attacks in only a three days and have lost many pilots in the process.” Says Cupid.
“It’s a damn good thing we’re leaving this system.” Said Jackknife. “I’m getting a little tired of being on defense.” Alarms go off. “Speak of the devil.”
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
Hmm... I'll see what I can do. I'm leaving tonight to go camping for the long weekend so I won't be able to post anything until at least monday (maybe sunday if it rains to much). I'll be thinking about how I want to aproach this material and will probably post it with an updated prologue.

Oh and while I'm thinking about it - for anyone who might be worried or put off by it - While it is a *New* weapon, it actually isnt a "super weapon" by any means.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
Alright, Here goes nothing. Hope you like it. Im starting out with a slightly revamped prologue:

PROGRESSIVE DARKNESS
Story By Lazarusryu, Adapted By AD

PROLOGUE

Captain Weiss was pacing, eager to get under way. The TCS Juggernaut was prepping for her maiden voyage - a milk run really - and a steady flow of supplies was being brought on board through the loading bay. It wasn't that the Captain's presence was ever needed in the loading bay, but Weiss felt that it provided just the right amount of intimidation to keep the privates responsible for stowing the cargo working at an efficient pace. Of course, loading the last of the supplies was the only thing holding up the ship from leaving port. Even the new contingent of fighter jocks had landed hours before and had even already been settled in their quarters.

“Lock it down and move it out. What’re ya waiting for, Private!” Weiss yelled at one particular worker who was lingering a little too long beside a rack of ordinance that had already been ready for ten minutes to be wheeled to the fighter load-out area of the flight deck.

Weiss wished he had been given a more substantial task for the first flight of the fleet’s finest ship. It hadn't been called the TCS Juggernaut for nothing. It was massive - 1000 meters long - and held a crew of five hundred. In fact Wiess actually resented the fact that, in his mind, this menial task could probably be carried out successfully by a garbage scow.

*****​

The TCS Juggernaut dropped out of jump space and drifted into the blackness of the Tas Mahran system. Its proximity to the galaxy’s edge meant that the stars were sparse. In fact, you could easily make out the spiral shape of the Milky Way, yet looking away meant the dim glow of distant galaxies pulsed into view.

Captain Weiss sat in his command chair on the Bridge and observed intently the new star field on the other side of the view-ports. They were larger than most elsewhere on the ship mostly because of tradition really. At one time, battles were fought using the eyes yet now, in space, the eyes were the sensor relays found scattered about the exterior of the ships hull. “Well? Anything to report Mr. Naegha,” he asked, turning to the Private manning the sensors station?

“Uh. Hmm? We’re picking up strange signals in various parts of the system but they could just be…”

At last, a chance to test this fantastic piece of equipment! The Captain thought to himself. Interrupting Mr. Naegha, He said in an almost giddy tone “Never assume anything.” Turning to the Navigations officer, He continued, “Head towards the closest signal.”

“Yes, Sir.” Came the reply. The navigations officer punched in the new coordinates. “Coordinates set.”

Captain Weiss often had daydreams about being able to fight the wars of the past - the time of Hitler and the Reich, of bullets, blood, and power. Captain Weiss smiled. Good times…

“Engage engines full power!” Weiss demanded.

“Aye sir.” The maneuvering thrusters kicked in and the ship rolled quickly at the course correction.

*****​

A trio of gold coloured eyes stared through their flight helmet visors. The eyes were fixed on the massive ship that was the TCS Juggernaut. The ship had yet to notice the three alien fighters. Their spike-like wings were covered in red hieroglyphics. Punching their afterburners, the three ships shot across the stars towards the unsuspecting trespasser.

*****​

The communications officer was bored. Bored yet happily smug about the fact that the computer did most of his Job for him when there was no outgoing or incoming comm. Traffic. And that moment he happened to be proving his point by arguing the merits of eating breakfast with Mr. Naegha. An empty system at the edge of the known universe has no, or almost no people to make communications that would need monitoring. And no people means no enemies. He was thinking to himself. Like anyone would be stupid enough to attack this vessel.

Mr. Naegha broke away just long enough to notice something on the sensor readout. Thermal Readings? Out here? he thought. He sat up abruptly in his chair and looks at it further. Then it hit him. “Attack!” he cried out!

*****​

The fighters began unloading their missiles into the top of the Juggernaut, tearing into the ship as easily as a knife through aluminum foil.

*****​

Captain Wiess shot to his feet and began ordering evasive maneuvers and the forward batteries to target the heat signatures. But it was too late. The Bridge exploded in a ball of white light, yet not all the bridge was vaporized. Captain Wiess could smell the hot acrid smell of burnt flesh and metal. The light from the blast had blinded him but he could feel himself leave the deck. Was it the artificial gravity shutting down? He didn’t think so because he could feel himself rising and it was happening too fast for it to have been a simple switch to zero G-force. Then, he realized what was happening. He and all the others that survived the blast were victims of nature's law. And, in fact, he now abhorred the vacuum outside. He could feel its clutch grasping at him, tearing at his flesh, trying to pry the breath from his lungs.

No problem, he thought, the heat and air coming out of the ship will keep me alive. Alive until the transports come. Maybe I can grab something…anything. Yeah, there’s enough air coming from the ship. They’ll get me in and I’ll be all right. In a twist that would normally be fortuitous, but which was, under the circumstances, nothing more than rotten luck, Weiss could see again. He could now see everything. Bodies were floating in the cold of space. As well he had just drifted out of reach of the remains of a once proud ship. But it wouldn’t have mattered as another salvo of missiles slammed into the drifting hull, obliterating it completely. All hope was completely vaporized when the last missile impacted the burning hulk. Oh shit, I’m dead, he realized…
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
And here's my adaption of chapter one:

CHAPTER ONE

Admiral Cartwright stared out of his office window, contemplating the beauty of Jupiter below. It’s swirling, ever changing gas clouds reminded him of the need to remain ever on alert. Just like them, the universe waited for no man, and the Kilrathi certainly didn’t. With the illumination turned down low, he lit a cigar. He took a long, slow drag and softly exhaled. Something about seeing the planet swirl through the smoke had an odd, calming effect.

“It is…” The admiral hesitated for a moment. Then, because no description could adequately describe the situation, simply continued with “unfortunate” in a mournful tone.

Captain Robbins, having just informed him of the unfortunate loss of the TCS Juggernaut, was standing in front of his desk. “Our research team thinks it might’ve been by a new kind of fighter or weapon,” she said, watching as the Admiral gazed down to the planet from his perch within Confed HQ.

Captain Robbins, one of the few women to have reached the rank of Captain, was very proud of that fact. Originally she had joined Confed to see the universe. She dreamed of exotic worlds and distant star fields and nebulae. Her family loathed the fact that she had enlisted. They felt that war itself was wrong and immoral, that no matter who –or what – you were fighting, they were all God’s creation. She had intended to go on tour for a few years before returning, but she found it difficult to face her family. So she had never left the service.

Robbins hated the way the admiral wouldn’t look at her when she spoke. This had not been the first time she’d spoken with the admiral, yet as always she wished it would be the last.

The Admiral sighed. “The Kilrathi are already a big enough threat. And now we have to add this variable to the mix?” He was obviously not very happy about the implications. Yet finally he turned towards the Captain. “Is there any proof to back-up their theories?”

“None at this moment, Sir,” Robbins replied. She hated smoking. She hated the smell. She hated the way it ate at her lungs and the way the smoke burned her eyes. She let out a slight cough.

“Tas Mahran has always been a mystery. But it’s necessary to our efforts,” he said, tapping the desk with an outstretched index finger. It’s pointless to jump to conclusions right now. And morale has been steadily declining since this war began…” The admiral turned around. “I want you to keep this incident quiet, at least until we have more reliable intel.”

“Yes, sir. I understand,” she said even though she really didn’t. Wouldn’t it make more sense to put the fleet on higher alert? Wouldn’t it increase their chances if everyone were on the lookout for anomalous sensor readings and other abnormal circumstances, She thought?

“And contact the Commodore, he’ll want to know of his brother’s demise. But go easy on the details, captain. The last thing we need is this incident leaking to the news wire and causing panic in the border systems.” With snide contempt he added: ”somehow they’re managing to access our personal comm. logs.”

“Yes sir.“

“And one more thing before you leave Captain.” I want you to take command of the Hoover. She’s being prepped for immediate departure to the Tas Mahran system as we speak.”

The captain smiled. The TCS Hoover was one of the Confederation’s most illustrious carriers. Robbins had been expecting an assignment this posting took her aback. To command such an esteemed vessel would be an utmost honor. Trying not to sound like a blithering idiot from the excitement she said “Thank you sir,” while saluting the admiral.

*****​

Wolf stared out of the transports portal watching the stars steak by. The transport crossed the bleak emptiness of space on its way to the TCS Hoover.

Space had always intrigued Wolf. Compared to the number of liveable moons and planets in the known galaxy, there was and infinite amount of nothing… Just emptiness. It extended as far in front and behind one as it did below and above him. How could any one group of individuals hope to maintain control over so much nothing? Yet even the movement of the planets and stars were subject to uncertainties. How could humanity ever hope to protect themselves from all the threats that would invariably follow the wake of the kilrathi?

What intrigued Wolf more, though, was the Confederation. It represented an intricate force of both order and destruction, something he was proud to be a part of.

“Wild Thing,” an American passenger on his way to the same place Wolf was, had been conversing with Wolf before Wolf had allowed his thoughts to drift out the window. “You listenin’ to me,” he asked?

Wolf turned to face “the Thing.” He had already decided that abbreviating his call sign was going to be a great way to antagonize Lieutenant Roman Stotch, AKA Wild Thing. They had only known each other for a few hours, having both met for the first time at the airlock, waiting to board the shuttle to their assignment. Yet somehow they had managed to tell each other their life stories; which wasn’t much considering neither of them liked to talk about their past. Wolf didn’t actually feel like talking so he had to work a little extra to say focussed on the conversation at hand. “Sorry, what were you saying,” Wolf kindly asked?

Roman asked again “What’s with the transfer out here? I thought this was a derelict system.”

“Apparently it isn’t.” replied Wolf. His manner never much went over well with others. He always looked stern when he was merely thoughtful so even though he had put in extra effort to be kind, he still managed to come out sounding insulting. “Or at least were headed there to make sure it’s derelict. It’s still behind enemy lines though, so we’re almost certain to see some action. That’s all that really matters”.

Wolf turned back to the stars, forcing an end to their conversation. They rode the rest of the journey in relative silence. It wasn’t really all that long anyway until the transport reached the Hoover. The shuttle pilot radioed the appropriate identification and the Communications Officer on the Hoover, Mr. Terry McCormick quickly responded. A wing of fighters had just returned from a patrol and they would have to wait a moment until the deck was clear.

Seeing the Hoover through the portal strangely affected Wolf. He wasn’t expecting the sight of her lines, her flight deck, of her gun batteries, to be so reassuring. She was indeed an impressive ship, no matter how aesthetically ugly she was.

It was only a matter of moments before the shuttle began its landing approach. After clearing the landing bays outer force field, the shuttle touched down. The pilot taxied the shuttle into the designated slot at began the power-down cycle that would quickly eliminate any harmful exhaust from being expelled near the exit. The door then opened and Wolf and Wild Thing were ready. Slinging their bags over their shoulders they left the shuttlecraft and stepped out eagerly onto the deck of the TCS Hoover.

Roman looked around the flight deck and let out a whistle. “Impressive,” he said. Taking a few steps forward, he noticed that one of the mechanics working on a badly damaged hornet had left his task and was approaching the shuttle pilot. “I guess only top brass get a proper welcoming party around here.” He and wolf both new that it wasn’t really customary to anyone other than brass on the flight deck. Yet it was “the things” big grin that gave away the joke to both Wolf and the approaching mechanic.

“Well,” the mechanic said half smiling in disapproval, “You are early.” We weren’t expecting you guys for another hour and a half. Plus we try and maintain a day/ night schedule. The day shift just ended so we have fewer officers on duty. The rest are probably hitting the mess for something to eat. Anyway, try and make yourself at home.”

“We intend to,” Wild Thing said. But Wolf grabbed his arm to lead him away before he said anything else to offend the man.

“I’ve got a lot to do though boys so I can’t give you guys the grand tour myself. Now if you would excuse me…” He said turning towards the shuttle pilot

“No problem,” Wolf answered. “Lets go, Thing.”

“Hey, Hold on a second!” Stotch shouted. “Which way is the mess?” The mechanic simply threw back a grin.

*****​
 
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