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Collective Story from 2014

PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:01 am
by SwordOfJustice
Below is a copy of a collective story that was written in 2014. I think it's quite good. Hawk must've archived old posts at some point, so I'm reposting it. Sadly, I only have a copy up to a certain point without the ending, but I find it to be a good read anyway.

Hawk's games need more story and description of the game world. Part of what helped Games Workshop to grow into a gaming giant is the rich imaginary world they created over many years, with iconic images. I firmly believe the enduring success of their games comes not from their rule system but the exciting imagery that provides an emotional investment into the faction and army models a player collects.

Player written stories can help to flesh the Hawk universe out and provide that excitement, richness of detail and character which drives ongoing interest in the game and its setting. Some of the stories posted on this forum are seriously well written!

Collective Story

As at 18/11/2014

Greetings Battle Vizier Darius, Please confirm your clearance.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Voice printcode confirmed+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Clearance level: Delta+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Primary mission: Prevent destruction of ODL in quadrant Pi 37- Gamma 15
Secondary mission: Find artifact Gamma 3-15 in quadrant Pi 37- Gamma 15 by other factions
Tertiary mission: Prevent capture of ODL in quadrant Pi 37- Gamma 15 by other factions
Mission overall goal: The conflict in this area must continue to buy time for our overall plan.

May the Sphere guide your actions.
==========================================Transmission end===========================================

Re: Collective Story from 2014

PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:02 am
by SwordOfJustice
Darius' mind meshed into the BattleNet, his consciousness became immersed in cyberspace. The battlefield was laid out in exquisite virtual detail, with all Republic forces represented in shining blue icons and intelligence on the enemy in sinister red ones. He could instantly change the view to show various tactical and strategic details with a thought. They had moved into position.

The Republic had launched a daring raid right into the heart of the Scourge fortified positions on this part of the continent on Elysium. The space battle had been won by the United Colonies of Mankind already, the wreckage of the Scourge space fleet was strewn across the void, but not all the orbital defenses planetside had been reduced yet. The UCM had taken heavy damage on their Battleships which were under furious repair on the other side of the planet. All attacks by their cruiser detachments had been driven back by the clusters of Orbital Defences in this region. The Scourge had set a vast grid of planet based missile silos and defence lasers with interlocking fields of fire in hardened structures linked by deep underground tunnels and mobile command posts. The UCM were unable to make any progress to gain space supremacy on this part of the planet yet and so had to ferry their ground armies across the panet's surface to attack here.

"Hello Angelica," he thought while in the Net.

"Hello Darius," came the sultry female voice of his battle walker's AI. "All systems are at peak efficiency."

All Post Human battle walkers had their own shielded Artificial Intelligences. The computing power to create an AI was simply staggering. It required a quantum level computer of individual electrons held in unimaginably vast matrices of atoms, controlled by complex embedded crystal nano circuitry. The AI core was held inside a ray shielded container in the center of his Zeus class walker, right next to the powerful power plant. With the White Sphere's help, the Post Human Republic had created scientific wonders undreamed of a hundred and seventy years ago when they fled Old Earth.

She took form next to him in the BattleNet, a human ghost made of light, beautiful but unattainable in any physical sense. Her perfect eyes showed him love and obedience, simulated by billions of digital neurones running on the AI core.

Darius remembered the first time he mind linked with a walker AI, back when he was a young and cocky pilot of a Janus. It was so personal, so intimate, even more so than the personal AIs many wealthy Republic citizens had. These military AIs had the latest iterations of Core hardware and software and were designed to build the ultimate bond between the organic Post Human and the machinery of the Battle Walker. After days of lying in the Prep Tanks being brain scanned, each AI moulded itself to the innermost personality of the assigned pilot. It was a bond like no other. Darius was in a very real sense married to this AI which existed inside this powerful war machine. She was a reflection of himself.

Angelica's digital eyes shifted and swirled, almost hypnotic. "I find you biologicals to be a wonder also, Darius. You know that. The organic matrix of your brains still hold mysteries, even after centuries of study. What chemical reaction could give rise to a beautiful painting? There is something more there than neurones. Will you compose another poem for me when we return home, Darius?"

"I will. But we have work to do now. The Scourge are coming to retake these defences.

"I am always ready to serve, Darius."

The White Sphere was incredible. It had accurately predicted the status of the UCM invasion against the Scourge in this area. A PHR division had been transported by cloaked battlefleet to the system. They had spotted an opportunity caused by a sizable Shaltari raid which diverted and distracted the human battlefleet in orbit around Elysium Prime. The Sphere had immediately ordered multiple small operations against the Scourge to help the humans progress their war successfully.

Darius had guessed over the last year that there was higher purpose behind the Sphere's sometimes whimsical seeming orders. It almost as if no combatant in this massive invasion launched by their distant human brothers to retake the Core Worlds could be allowed to succeed too decisively. But why would the Sphere want a status quo in this brutal war?

"But you're not sure of that, Darius. The Sphere is wise beyond our comprehension. We do not even know where it came from or who made it. Yet it is benevolent to us."

He brought his consciousness out of the BattleNet and put it to his Zeus command walker's sensor suite. All the other ground units were stationed defensively and had their orders already.

His physical body was held in the pilot's cradle, linked to the machine through the neural interface helmet and sustained by an advanced life support system. He could see from every camera, and read every sensor if he chose. It was disorienting for new pilots but you learned how to filter and focus your attention.

The mighty Zeus was standing next a delapidated military warehouse on this base surrounding the Orbital Defence Laser. Agrila in her Odin Heavy Battle Walker was his bodyguard. Her Odin shifted it's torso a little. He could read her excitement in the movements.

Their multispectrum Stealth fields had allowed battalion sized detachments to inflitrate Scourge lines and seize the local orbital defences. They had allowed the UCM to become aware of this gap in the coverage. The UCM were expected to use orbital insertion to bolster their ground forces on this part of the continent in response. It was like a game to feed them intelligence and predict their responses.

"Shields up," he thought to Angelica. A blueish energy distortion sprang up around his Zeus, the Aegis Shield could deflect gauss AT projectiles, lasers and even scourge plasma rounds. He didn't care about the energy signature bloom. The Scourge knew they were here and he planned to lead from the front and take out the vanguard of their attack.

He had already despatched infantry in fast Triton assault dropships supported by Scout Drones to find the artifact.

The Scourge were coming. The PHR were ready.

Re: Collective Story from 2014

PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:02 am
by SwordOfJustice
Fleet admiral Tico was staring at the UCMF battle fleet in orbit above Elysium. Not that he could see it all. But what he saw was impressive even after the toll the battle had taken. The losses were expected, but still the human toll, the friends and comrades lost. It was something he hoped he would never get used to.
His mind went to his daughter Elra, an FAA Archangel pilot. She was inbound to the other side of the planet, providing air cover. A gap in the defenses had been spotted and several regiments had been dispatched to take advantage of it.
But it did not feel right. Something about the gap felt... to perfect. Tico could have reassigned her to another wing. Maybe even with one of his Dreadnaught wings. But he was an admiral first and her dad second. The Reconquest was to important an undertaking. And besides, accepting favorites was not something Elra did. She had made that clear to him the day she enlisted. She said: "Dad I want to make it on my own, I will make it one my own. Don't you dare call in favors." And she is proving it, he thought with some pride. At D+25 she was promoted to wing leader of her fighter wing at 22 years Earth standard. They did not celebrate trough, just as his own promotion, it was necessary because of combat losses.
"Admiral, there is an unusual energy reading from within the defense gap, most likely weapons fire." said captain Stern. And with that Tico was in his role as admiral once again.

Re: Collective Story from 2014

PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:03 am
by SwordOfJustice
Angels. Angels in the sky.

This was how she always felt after she had made her climb and was soaring high above the distant ground. It was still; and so beautiful with the sun shining above the giant white cloud banks. She was soaring above the world.

Elra's Archangel was at low cruising speed as her interceptor wing swept ahead of the transport group which they were protecting. Their sleek, dagger shapes cut through the clouds, bright darts in the sunlight.

Three full regiments had been scrambled and were inbound on their targets, carried by dropship transports. The sky was filled with shapes to her distant rear, strung out for kilometers to either side. Ugly, functional Condors loaded with underslung battle tanks and APCs. Big, fat Albatross heavy dropships carrying full tank squadrons in their clamps. And the smaller Ravens mostly loaded with special forces and infantry but some carrying Longbow light artillery. It was a Drop Armada, nothing less.

Her wing was out front with the other advance wings. Their mission was to clear the skies ahead of the transport groups which were also protected by close escort wings. Every air base on this continent had been emptied and most of the space carriers too. Almost the entire Fleet Air Arm for this part of the planet had been committed. This Op was a big deal. After waiting for months to get some kind of space superiority here, Operation Northern Thunder was underway. Fleet assets had been assigned to provide space bombardment while a surprise attack was dropped from the sky.

Altitude 4000 meters. Radar showed everyone in their positions. She smiled. Her wing were good, and they knew it. Joker was on her left: he was her wingman. She feathered the stick and her Archangel banked left a moment before straightening, bringing her very close to him. Dangerously close the instructors on Aurum would've said, but she was laughing inside her helmet. She had the Touch. She knew what she could do and what her bird was and wasn't capable of.

Joker looked up, she could see his helmet turn to her through his canopy as she came aside. Their canopies were clear right now for maximum visibility, though they'd darken once the fight started. They were only a few meters apart. Conditions were great, the computer would correct any small turbulence. She flashed a casual salute to him.

He held up his hand, covered his fingers with his other hand then slowly lowered it. Revealing just one middle finger extended.

Prick. She'd get him back when they got back to base. She was his wing leader, she deserved some respect!

She laughed and pushed her throttle. Her Archangel shot forward, contrails flowing out from the sharp, forward swept wings. Leaving Joker to eat her trail. God, the Archangel's turbines were powerful! She never got over that. She could pull 10.3 gees if she really wanted to.

Anyone who could've seen inside that cockpit would've seen the huge smile on Elra's face. She was honestly happy. This was what she'd always wanted, ever since she saw those Air Arm vids when she was six years old. Being a fighter pilot, soaring high in the sky, higher than all the birds; it was all she'd ever wanted to be. And here she was, leading her wing in the skies over one of the Core Worlds as they finally launched the Reconquest. No drug could beat that, she felt like she was on the best high right now.

“You right, Boss-Girl?”, Haymaker said over the comm, his voice mock serious. “We've got work to do here.”

“Yeah, just teaching Joker how to fly again. Thought he was asleep at the stick... ”

“I was only resting my eyes,” came his cheeky reply. They all laughed over the comm.

Morale was great. She felt invincible.

Just then, a tone sounded in her cockpit. It was the radar contact warning signal. She looked down at the screen and saw an amber blob ahead and to the left of her wing. Enemy jamming. They had contacts.

“OK people, look sharp. Our birds are going to hunt today.”

She zoomed out for satellite link. There were multiple blobs ahead of the broad front of the drop wave. The Scourge weren't going to let them come without a fight. It was time for the lead fighter wings to clear the way in a head on fight. Ten wings in lead spread across many klicks, six hundred UCM fighters were ready for the Scourge.

The Scourge were all over her wing. The comm was filled with urgent calls. Where did they hide their damned airbases? Fleet Command had said that most of them should be knocked out by orbital strikes by now.

The sky was spinning wildly, shadows playing across her cockpit instruments, as her bird rotated through a short barrel roll. She was bleeding speed and changing her angle of attack to get the bogey trailing Nova.

They were all dropping altitude as they spun and wheeled through the sky but she'd counted for that. She knew she'd make the turn to get on the bogey's six but it would be tight.

There were a few blue strobing bolts outside her canopy as Scourge fighters fired their plasma cannons. She saw the bolts pass her but then quickly flash out. Short ranged, like her Gunfighter. That was the Archangel's nickname: the Last Gunfighter. In the era of modern war and the Missile Halo, it was often impossible to score a missile hit in aerial combat. So the Archangels had been built with pure kinetic auto-cannons, hence the nickname. The Scourge plasma rounds burnt out very quickly so they were even more short ranged than the Archangels.

So modern Air Combat was all about dog fighting, just like on ancient Earth in the prop days.

The Scourge rate of fire was slow but then again, one bolt was enough to completely wreck an Archangel; or even a UCM main battle tank. Scourge Corsairs with their powerful plasma cannon had a dual role: air intercept and ground attack.

“Nova, keep that bogey on your six. I'm coming round,” as she turned her interceptor into a sharp bank.

It was the classic UCM bait and strike. No Scourge Corsair could out-turn an Archangel at this altitude, even though Corsairs were nimble and had alien technology, but they often tried. This Scourge pilot was green. Last mistake it'd ever make, but it was going to be tight. The angle had started out all wrong and she was passing them by when she'd decided to chase.

Her turbines screamed and her bird strained as the dagger shape of her Archangel darted to the right, the ground now vertical and filling the right side of her cockpit view. The whole airframe was straining under her as she started to pull serious gees. The computer controlled the ailerons and flaps to keep her flight stable. The icons were moving across her HUD and the bogey's icon started to come around.

The flight suit had pressurised to keep the bloodflow to her brain. “Nnnngh... nnnnggh...” she grunted like she was trained to help keep the blood up. Her face was pulling very heavy now from the g-forces. So heavy, hard to move at all, her cheeks were pulling but she kept control of the stick. The HUD read 9.5G as she drove her bird towards its maximum envelope.

She was bleeding speed fast but she would get on her target's tail soon. She was Best in Class in dogfight energy management in Flight School. She'd already been tapped on the shoulder to join the Pathfinders soon.

She flicked her eyes up through the polarised canopy to the right and could see the bogey was banking too, trying to get on Nova's tail. She had the lead though and was turning inside it, thanks to the earlier roll. The angle of attack was looking good now, very good.

Her cannon crosshairs were straining towards her prey as it came into the HUD. “Come.... on... nngh” she said through clenched teeth as the Scourge Corsair came into view, its alien, organic lines always disturbing. Nova was also staying in her turn to keep the bogey chasing after her while Elra closed. Elra's crosshair reached the bogey, then started creeping past it towards the firing solution icon.

Almost had it, almost had it. “Come... on... nnnghh...” She was blacking out. Her body was so heavy in the G force, it was crushing her and she couldn't keep her head up. So heavy... her vision starting shrinking to a tunnel but the crosshair was almost at the firing point. She was fighting her own body now.

She had already pulled the trigger as the lock tone rang out. The Archangel shuddered violently as the cannons fired with that tearing sound, shells spewing out death at hundreds of rounds per minute.

The almost solid line of tracers sprayed ahead of the Scourge then intersected it. It disintegrated, the 40mm HEAT shells ripping it to shreds. Then it exploded in an incandescent fireball as its reactor shields went. Elra levelled out, the gees and weight suddenly lifting, blood returning to her head. She saw stars and spots in her eyes and she was light headed as she flew straight for a moment and eased the throttle back.

“Nice one, Boss-Girl,” came Nova over the comm.

Re: Collective Story from 2014

PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:03 am
by SwordOfJustice
Her wing was tearing through the Scourge fighters.

The Corsairs were pretty dangerous in some ways. No Archangel could match their climb even though the Corsair turbines were weaker. The labcoats had said it was their Gravity Compensator Unit. And nothing in the air could withstand a direct hit from Scourge plasma cannons. Those superheated bolts went through their armour like butter and would obliterate an Archangel. But the enemy birds were piloted without imagination. Time and again, the UCM interceptor wings had outfought their enemies.

She looked around. The dogfighting was all around her, high and low. She spotted a Scourge that was ripe for a kill and dove down onto it. She came in on its tail from six o'clock high and gave it a short burst, less than a second then flashed past. That Corsair had bled too much speed and was trying a straight climb to build its air combat energy profile again. She didn't need the short burst limiter, her reactions were good enough to control how many rounds she fired. Her aim was good and the tracer stream shot the Corsair's left fuselage off. It fell tumbling from the sky on fire. The Scourge never ejected. The labcoats had said that the parasites were merged with their machines inside nutrient tanks. What a disgusting, horrible life form they were! Elra hated them!

Her wing had won the day, only a few Scourge were left now. The enemy had fought poorly and none of them had tried to escape.

Just then, Elra got another contact warning tone on her radar. Two big amber blobs 20 klicks out were resolving into groups of dots. The dots were all shifting around, there was no clear lock; but it was a lot of them. It looked like two wings descending on them from 2 and 10 o'clock high. They must've been hiding in sub-orbit somehow.

So... three to one all told. A quick look at orbital layer showed her all the lead wings were the same. Her wing needed to finish this lot off quickly and meet the newcomers.

Re: Collective Story from 2014

PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:04 am
by SwordOfJustice
“That's a negative, Angel-139. We can't despatch any close air escort wings. There's too much at stake. We have three Regiments in the air and we can't risk an ambush. They've got a lot more air cover than Naval Intelligence expected.” The gravelly voice of Air Marshal Conroy had come onto the comm to respond personally to Elra's request for reinforcements over the Group wide channel.

“All transport wings ascend to the next ceiling band. We've detected a lot of ground based AA batteries. You'll have to go in high then drop in fast five clicks from the Zone. With the orbital defence gap, Admiral Tico's bringing in cruisers and the Battleship 'Earth's Vengeance' for bombardment support.”

Her heart was racing, the new bogies were coming in hot as her wing finished the last of the Scourge from the first attack. Stupid Scourge just wouldn't break off to save their miserable lives and link up with the fresh fighters.

She heard her dad's name. She thought of Dad. He was an Admiral now. She vowed to herself she would call him after this Op. They'd been so damned busy.

Air Marshal Conroy continued over the Group channel. “All lead Angel wings, you have to keep the Scourge fighters engaged while the transports get to the Zone. Drive them low if you can.”

“Roger that,” she responded with cool professionalism. The comm echoed the same from the other wing commanders in their Group.

“The Colonies salute you all, each and every one. Now give them Hell! Conroy out.”

At least it was down to two to one now. Actually, more with casualties, but she was fired up! No reinforcements. OK, it was their turn today to show what they really had. The Scourge would fall burning from the skies, no matter how many wings they threw up!

“13th Wing! Follow me, those who can!” She brought her bird vertical then lit afterburners, damn the fuel. Her Archangel shot straight up into the sky. All around her, her wing followed her. Forty six ArchAngels shot into the sky on columns of pale blue fire.

Re: Collective Story from 2014

PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:05 am
by SwordOfJustice
Badass shot across her nose diving, the bogey hot on its tail. She was too close to turn and help but she banked anyway and looked out of her canopy. She saw the plasma bolts cut through his bird. The Archangel lost control and fell, it's wing shot off. Then it exploded as the fuel caught fire. No chute; just one huge fireball and debris raining from the sky. “Good bye, Badass,” she thought to herself. Then her attention came quickly back to the swirling dogfight.

They'd lost a lot of good pilots. This was the bloodiest day her wing had ever seen. She saw some of her wing scissoring through the sky with their Scourge opponents, each trying to turn in on the other. It was a neutral air combat stance, she knew her pilots would find another maneuver to break the stalemate and engineer an offensive advantage. But the Scourge numbers were telling now. Her ammunition hoppers were getting low. She felt some fatigue so she pragmatically activated her burst limiter.

“One solo coming in high, Boss-Girl,” said Joker, urgency in his voice. “Taking him out.” She checked all around visually to see where they were. Joker had gone to four o'clock high to meet a dark shape hurtling from the clouds towards her. He was a good wing man. She immediately banked opposite to him in a defensive Split. The Scourge could only choose one of them now.

This was the Scourge's favourite attack: dive down using the high energy altitude advantage, spray plasma fire then zoom back up using their amazing climb ability. Classic 'boom and zoom' strafing attacks.

The air brawl had dropped below the main cloud layer now. The sky overhead was grey and some raindrops were striking her canopy. Radar was a mess. She heard Whiplash call urgently, “Bogies on my nine, on my nine! Help!” before he screamed and then cut out. There were too many desperate fights; she didn't even know where to help next. Fuel was getting low, she'd have to go easy on after burner.

Then she heard Joker say, “OK, Scourge, I got.... what the frack?” A short pause, then, “Need help, Boss-Girl. This one just got under me and he's coming in.”

“Roger, Joker. Break its position, I'll take it out.” She banked to start a climb. She'd have to spend fuel on the burners again.

“Boss...” Joker never got to finish his sentence. There was bright orange flash above her. She saw plasma bolts shooting through the fireball where Joker had been a heartbeat ago. Then a Scourge Corsair shot through afterwards, straight through the ballooning fire and smoke like some angry demon, leaving coils of smoke in its wake. This one was different; it was a coloured a dark, dark violet, almost black, but with iridescent highlights catching the organic looking ribbing on its skin. Sinister.

Joker was dead. Her wing's best pilot, apart from herself.

“You're mine now, Scourge. You are going to die,” she thought angrily. Her mind became focussed, flight calculations racing through it. She had her next target now.

She punched her bird on afterburners to climb fast. She would catch the Scourge when it was beneath her. It wasn't zooming as they usually did after a strafe. Instead, it did a weird, diving barrel roll then took out another ArchAngel with precise plasma fire.

Re: Collective Story from 2014

PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:05 am
by SwordOfJustice
This was it. She'd been tracking that dark Corsair and was above and behind it now. She'd spent precious fuel on the fast climb, her bird's endurance was getting low, but she had her position. She pushed her nose down into a dive to make the attack run.

The bogey detected her and made a hard break left but she banked with it and came in fast. The dive helped her stay on her target.

The Scourge pilot foolishly straightened out. “All too easy,” Elra thought, revenge in her heart as she lined up for cannons.

Then the most incredible thing happened. The Scourge brought it's Corsair's nose up, straight up, but stayed in forward flight, with its own afterburners shooting thrust downwards to maintain altitude. “What? A Cobra?!” Elra thought in surprised alarm. She'd never seen a Scourge Corsair do that before. The sudden loss of speed meant Elra shot straight past it.

This was the first time ever that she'd been Reversed by a Scourge. She'd had some hairy situations but she'd never been outflown like that before.

She banked hard immediately, one way then another in a classic defensive Scissor, and pushed her bird down into a dive. The dark Corsair was right on her, turn for turn then matched her dive.

“This is Boss-Girl. I've got an enemy Ace on my six. Appreciate an assist,” she said coolly into the mike. The horizon ball was spinning one way then the next as she put her bird through defensive manouevers to shake her attacker, the ground rolling over her canopy. No luck on that, the enemy was stuck on her like glue.

Battle chatter but no one answered at first. Everyone was fighting for their lives. They'd lost half the wing in this one battle. The Scourge were making suicide runs now, running in head to head without dodging to get their plasma to hit while getting shot down.

Only Candygirl responded, “I see you, Boss, but I've got two coming in and Snake had to break for home.” He must've been winged. They disengaged when their birds were damaged in a fight. Snake was lucky, plasma hits usually meant death. “Save yourself,” she responded without hesitation. “I'll shake it.”

The Scourge Ace and her were swooping through the sky, up and down, classic rolling Scissors. She was only buying time though. Some blue plasma bolts shot past her canopy as she manouevered hard. “What are you playing at?” she thought. “No chance of a hit.” She wondered if maybe the Scourge was trying to rattle her, test out if she was green and force her into a mistake.

“Not this Archangel, Scourge.” She stayed completely cool and kept the enemy from being able to lock onto her with its devastating plasma cannon. It was pretty defensive, just random yaws, skids and slips, but it worked to keep the enemy gunsights off her.

The Scourge's angle wasn't so good and they were close. It suddenly did a high Yo-Yo, rolling away slightly then changing it's pitch during the bank to bring its nose up, then changing pitch and pointing down for a tighter turn. She looked visually through her canopy to watch where it was going.

“OK bitch, watch this”, she said to herself in the cockpit.

She just eased back on the stick gently, widening her turn and increasing her speed by reducing the degree of bank. It was hard to spot by an attacker and it could change the situation.

It worked and the Scourge might've overshot, but Elra saw it quickly slow and it didn't overshoot. It must've used some reverse vector thrust. The Scourge fighters didn't have wings, they used anti-grav and advanced vectored thrust engines. They could do crazy shit like that.

As the bogey lost airspeed, Elra instantly punched the throttle with burners and did a snap roll then came out randomly into a sharp, diving bank. Did she lose it? She couldn't see. She was desperately looking everywhere through the cockpit to find where the Scourge had gone. She needed to Reverse the Scourge and bring her guns onto her target.

She flipped off the burst limiter. She'd empty the hopper on this one!

Re: Collective Story from 2014

PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:05 am
by SwordOfJustice
It was no good. They'd been fighting for who knows how long now. They had separated from the main pack. The transport wings had moved past, up very high, but the lead wings were in very bad shape now. But all that mattered was the next few seconds. She focussed on her fuel, airspeed and combat energy.

She was in trouble. Too much airspeed lost. The Scourge Corsair had pulled some manoeuvers that shouldn't have been possible, even with anti-grav. It looked a bit bigger than usual she thought. “It must be a prototype,” she realised as she took the last defensive option she had. She went into a defensive spiral dive, short on combat energy and airspeed. She had to dive to get away and also bank to keep the plasma cannon off her. She'd get close to the ground then force an overshoot with sudden airbrakes and pull out.

Blue plasma shot past her canopy and enemy lock tone warning sounded! Her hand immediately jinked her bird and more plasma shot by. “What the frack!” She was exhausted from the strain of the fight.

Her heart fluttered and her stomach knotted up. It wasn't possible. She'd been outflown. She realised with horror she was about to be killed.

Somewhere deep inside, she refused to die like this. “Frack you, you mother fracking Scourge. OK, follow this!!!”

She pushed into a deep dive. The altimeter numbers were a blur as she plummeted like a stone from the sky.

Then she closed her eyes. And completely let go of the stick.

Her ArchAngel started to spin. Then it started to tumble randomly. The computer lost all control and her cockpit was filled with alarms. Urgent red icons were flashing on her HUD, reflecting in her helmet visor; but she couldn't see them. All she could see was Dad's face. She remembered the small tears twinkling in the creases of his eyes when she'd graduated Flight School. She'd never felt so loved and proud in all her life.

Her bird fell out of the sky tumbling as tears slid down her cheeks. “Remember me, Dad. I did my best: for you.”

Re: Collective Story from 2014

PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:06 am
by SwordOfJustice
Fleet Admiral Horatio Tico was studying the tactical display in his flag bridge on the United Colonies Dreadnought “Ticonderoga”, the green holo light shining on his face and showing the bags under his eyes. He was alone though. He hadn't had much sleep, despite his adjutant's urging and reminders. He knew all the planning had been done and done well, but he needed to watch and check. He didn't micro manage, this Op was across various service branches anyway, not just his battlefleet, but he had stayed across all the details at every step. And that nagging feeling that something was wrong just wouldn't go away. Why would the Scourge have a maintenance system that meant they had to bring one entire section of orbital defenses down at a time? The schematics on the encrypted computer core retrieved by Praetorian Legion were detailed and extensive. After much debate in senior circles, the intelligence had been accepted and the Operation launched. Scourge had a track record of unusual behaviour, at least to human eyes. They were an utterly alien species after all.

They had to take this chance, they'd built up the forces secretly for Northern Thunder for months after the initial orbital bombardment attacks had been driven off. But now there were energy signatures of weapons fire around some of the defense lasers. What on Earth was going on down there? Shaltari playing their accursed games again? Traitor Post Humans interfering? Human Resistance?

There was no way they were going to abort three Regiments in the air after what just happened.

Anyway, he studied the map. The transport wings were on target and unmolested. He didn't want to look at the other icons.

There was a chime at the door, then his adjutant came in and respectfully saluted. Mombasa was a good man. Tico had hand picked him before the Reconquest was launched and had never regretted it since. He'd brought Mobasa with him as he'd been promoted through several ranks.

Tico saluted him then turned back to the display.

“Sir, I know you know, but the transport armada is through.” Mombasa had a sad look on his face. Tico didn't look up, he already knew why his adjutant was here. He felt tight in his chest. He tried to focus on the next stage of the assault.

The Fleet detachment was swinging into position over the northern continent to support the drop with ground bombardment while significant segments of the 4th Legion would launch a ground assault. Their aim was to make a surprise attack on the orbital defenses, hold them and then push a salient into Scourge lines to hold this section of the northern continent and link up with the drop Regiments. This would be enough to change the momentum in this part of the campaign on this planet. They could then bring the Fleet in strength and launch further ground attacks to get rid of the remaining ground defense positions.


Tico looked up from the holo map.

“The lead wings... flight control estimates the Scourge threw up more than two thousand fighters.” Mombasa paused and then continued. “The lead wings gave excellent account of themselves, sir. Only a quarter of the Scourge fighter contingent is still operational. They are now regrouping behind the transport flotilla but the close escort wings are completely untouched.”

“Very good,” responded Tico. They both knew what was coming.

“Eighty three ArchAngels broke off and are heading back.” Mombasa continued. He'd known Elra for the last eight years, since she was a teenager. In many ways, he'd become like an uncle to her. “She wasn't amongst them, sir.”

Mombasa cleared his throat. “There were multiple ejections. It's possible she bailed out.”

Tico's stomach was knotted up. He was remembering so many happy moments with his daughter. He felt a huge lump in his throat but he couldn't grieve, not right now.

Many pilots refused to eject. The Fleet Air Arm had issued a “conscience directive” which left it entirely up to the pilot. The trouble was that if you ejected and were caught by Scourge ground patrols, then they would try to take you alive and implant a Scourge host into you. They had electro weapons that could knock you out before you could bite down on the suicide pill. Some lucky ones made it back to friendly lines, of course, but many of those who ejected were never heard of again.

As a Wing Commander, Elra knew the overall plan and that the Legion would launch a ground assault to take this area. But everything is uncertain in war. Tico knew in his gut that she hadn't bailed. “My brave Elra. Ever since you were so little,” he thought. In his mind's eye, he saw a feisty four year old fighting that wild dog off with a stick. Your Mom never got to see you grow up.

The feeling nearly overwhelmed him; he could feel tears starting. He pushed the feeling away and swallowed hard. He was still an Admiral and had to lead.

A wave of anger came over him then. He knew he should've transferred his flag to the 'Earth's Vengeance'. He should be directing his fleet contingent from there, personally. Why did he listen to everyone who told him he should stay and that as a Fleet Admiral, he was too valuable to lead a detachment? He wanted to see the Scourge getting pounded by Armageddon Cannons from orbit.

“Thanks, Jon. I wish I were on the Earth's Vengeance right now to watch those Scourge burn,” Tico said in a steady voice.

“I know. We all loved her, Horace.” Mombasa didn't now what else to say but he stayed with the Admiral anyway.