*This is a little story I am going to develop. If you want to be included leave a comment and I will add you in happily. You will never be the point of view character. That role is reserved for "YOU", or all of us if you catch my drift. If you have a piece of music you think will compliment a scene as it plays out, please suggest it. If you think it's great, I need the encouragement. If you think it's garbage say so. I'll definitely write you into an Alien Tentacles scene.
The idea here is that you read along until you come to a youtube link of music, click it, listen for about a minute and contemplate the scene. Then continue reading. If the music is still playing when you reach the next song (It will be with the first one certainly) Go up and stop the music and start the next one.
It's 0230 and you're on patrol of a jump point. Command hasn't told you what exactly is going on but you're pretty sure you overheard the word Valkyr being mentioned. The data link for your mobiglas isn't working, but even if it was working you wouldn't want to use it while sitting in the cockpit of a stealth fighter. That would be just stupid....right? You've been on patrol for two boring hours and the temptation to research what Valkyr means is building, but something in the back of your mind tells you it's something big.
You are excited to have been asked to do this mission. Even as new as you are, sometimes being in the right place at the right time pays off, and this is the chance to prove yourself to the Org. Still, you can't get over how lonely it is out here in space in a fighter. So far you have only trained and qualified in fighters. This is your first real patrol. Until now you've been bouncing from turret to turret on different ships. And while that's fun, it's time for you to move up in the org.
Training went well, and you proved fairly quickly that you could handle yourself in a fight. That said Hornets were alot different from Mustangs and Gladiators. You almost prefer the light fighter to the medium ones. You felt safer in the smaller faster ships. That seems counter intuitive but for you, speed wins. This old jalopy that you are piloting now? It's for dinosaurs.
You were told by Ichi to take one of the Hornet Ghosts from the Organization Motorpool. This one had an odor that you couldn't quite place. Every 30 minutes or so your mind would snap back to trying to pin down exactly what the smell reminded you of. More importantly, but irrationally ignored, one of the thrusters on this old Hornet was sluggish and was clearly in need of maintenance. Still, you knew in a fight it would barely be a hinderance to you and you returned to the attempts to identify the pungent odor that somehow seemed to permeate metal. You even imagined that the smell was likely transferring from the joystick to your hand and would never come out of your glove again. THAT thought might screw you over in a fight.
You lift your hand off the throttle controls to wipe away some dirt and examine it. This Hornet was on Daymar, and was likely one of the first Hornets the Org owned. Back in the early days one of the first mass conflicts Tactical Advance got into was on Daymar over some silly business. As I recall our leader, Tactical Advance himself was one of the first explorers in a rover on Daymar. Some scumbag in a fighter ambushed him and was trying to blast him off the planet. Luckily Tac brilliantly outmaneuvered the lousy pilot and saved the day. But once word got out that someone took a shot at the leader of the largest Org in the Universe....well....let's just say things got out of hand quickly. This fighter....this Ghost....suddenly it all comes together and you remember. The smell, the ship....Gigowatt....That guy has a tendency to live in his cockpit, and he eats...pickles...the vinegar smell swirled in your nostrils, and now that it was identified you could taste pickles. All you could envision was Gigowatt standing on the flight deck of his Hammerhead two weeks ago offering you a pickle out of a jar he had sitting next to the Captains chair. When you rejected it he gave you a sour look and told you that if you rejected his pickle it might be seen as treasonous. Luckily one of the female crewman gave him a disapproving glance and he digressed, albeit with a giant grin.
This old bird belonged to Gigowatt? You aren't sure whether you appreciate it more or want to pull the eject handle and are mildy amusing yourself with the thought.
The patrol arc ran from the jump point to a nearby asteroid field that is dense enough to hide a medium to large size ship. Unless something was hiding in there ahead of time it would never be able to sneak in, but you follow orders anyways and try to refocus so you don't miss anything. Whatever this mission is, it was unexpected. Another pilot, CeruleanEmpyrean is running the opposite end of the same arc. "He should be getting close to the Jump Point by now" you think to yourself.
As the hours drone on you continue to rotate between your HUD, and the various bits of dust and the occasional axis correction, probably due to the sticking thruster. You again entertain the ejection notion when the radio comes blaring to life, nearly startling you so bad that your fingers just touching the ejection handle are now precariously too close to danger. Your hand snaps back to the throttle control as you listen to controlled but emphatic voice.
"Wing Commander, this is Echo 1, I repeat Echo 1, please COME IN!" Cerulean announced. "A massive fleet is jumping into the system even as we speak!"
"ALL ELEMENTS, Break silence......We have an unknown number of bogeys inbound".
You recognize the voice as Akanoes.
That's damned odd, what the hell is he doing all the way out here? Ichi's voice calmly came across the radio next.
"A little premature to break silence but it's ok. I have just been notified that she's under her own power and we have two Squadrons of medium fighters on location. Why don't you tell us what you see out there Echo 1?"
A moment passed, then another and you are starting to think about turning your ship for the Jump Point and kicking the after burner when Cerulean replys.
"Sir, we have two Capital Ships, Idris class, 4 Polaris Corvettes, and what looks like at least 10 other large craft, Hammerheads, Connies, Retaliators and more. I don't have an accurate count of fighters yet Sir, and I don't think that they've launched all they got." Ceruleans report sent shivers down your spine. You don't know where Ichi, Akanoes and the others are, you know that the only way in or out of this system is blocked by a fleet you won't be sneaking past, and the only other person you KNOW is in the system, Cerulean is in worse shape than you.
Ichi's voice came across calmly, "Echo 1, have you been detected yet?"
"Absolutely Sir, they started jumping in damn near on top of me and there is no cover out here!" Cerulean exclaimed.
"Echo 1, you are to make for the asteroid belt. I want you to try and lure them after you, make it look like your running" Ichi ordered.
"I AM RUNNING!" Cerulean said loudly, but not shouting. He was definitely in control of his faculties. It was a stressful situation that you were honestly glad you hadn't encountered on your arc. But what now?
Ichi continued "You will lure them to the asteroid belt, where you and your wingman, Echo 2, will play hide and seek until otherwise notifed, or until you are unable to do so any longer. You are not to go to the rendezvous under any circumstances".
You decided to risk asking the question, "What about fuel Sir?"
Somberly Ichi replied "You run until your dry. Shut down and conserve your oxygen in the asteroid belt for as long as you can. Play hide and seek. I promise you that we will be coming for you, but for right now we need a little more time to evacuate personnel."
"What personnel need evacuating?" you think to yourself.
Ichi continued "Trust me when I say that this is a turning point in the Universe, and Tactical Advance will come out victorious."he said, with a mild hint of pride as if from an old Hollywood Movie. "One last question Cerulean, do you know what Org it is?"
"It's the Russians....РОДНОЙ КАНАЛ (Rodnoy Kanal) is here". Ceruleans voice broke.
You imagined their Red ships coming through the Jump Point. Just then you realized that Cerulean was speeding towards you. s**t...in all this you had made it nearly half way back to the midpoint of the mission arc.
"Get your ass in gear rookie! Lets get our tails to the asteroid field before those Russkies turn you into a hood ornament for one of those Idris'".
You crank the stick to the left and throw the switch to the afterburners. The chase is on now.....and you're the bait!
Just then over the civilian radio you hear a thick Russian accent in a maniacal laugh.
"Hornet, Hornet, little Hornet, why you run from me? I want to make diplomatic relations...."
You realize he's tracking Cerulean, and hasn't spotted your Ghost yet. Without question you identified your first kill, and you are confident he will die without ever knowing you were there.
End of Week 1