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On the wings of angels

PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:58 pm
by Jellyheadsdontsurf
Location: unknown
D day -24hrs
Ian rolled through the icy debris of a building in a city, lying dormant. Bringing up his service carbine to draw bead on the savages intent on killing him, and stealing his equipment. He squeezed the trigger, the weapon bucked spitting angry death at the feral's, caught mostly by surprise. The big one turned raising his own weapon to return fire as the chest and torso of his smaller lackeys erupted into an unpleasant memory. Two of the savages were down in the blink of an eye. Looking quickly for an escape Ian charged the window diving through the hailstorm of return fire spoiled by his surprise flanking maneuver. Free fall seemed endless as the canopy reached out to grab him. Blackness.
Void space over Olympus
D-day -1
There could be no rest for battle group four two. Fighting running battles with the scourge remainder fleets. The occasional ambush by the republic. Olympus was a mess. And sixth vanguard was in the middle of it. Rescue operations were an around the clock venture, contact with dead ships in degrading orbits around the planet was becoming less and less frequent as wrecks fell into atmosphere. A burning ring of fire the icy planet had become. Fleet admiral Hawkins surveyed the burning ring of enemy and UCM wrecks of ships tortured in a horrendous exchange of hell fire for the battle in the heavens. Broken hulls blazing silently in the void. Dawnsaber stood watch guard over sixth vanguards operations the old warhorse still mighty. Still every bit as formable as she ever was. The admiral was pleased for her to fly flag. "How long until landings can commence?" Hawkins inquired aloud. "Landing operations can commence in 24 hours admiral" Captain Jacobs replied, looking intently at the view screen. Olympus prime wasn't going to be easy and he knew it. But in the end, it was up to the ground teams to carry the day. Forward insertion groups deployed by daring landings by sixth's strike carriers had cleared major beach heads in and around the city. But lives were precious and their time was running out. Beacons lit up the tactical display of escape pods from the war in the heavens representing precious lives and experience, all of it hanging in the balance. The next twenty four hours would tell a tale. Admiral Hawkins watched as his fleets troopships moved closer into position. Closely guarded by their frigate escorts. Time was close at hand. It was soon to be the beginning of the end of the scourge occupation.

Sizzling bursts of plasma woke Ian out of his unconsciousness. He awoke into the snow covered overgrown courtyard as smoldering bits of stone and masonry work showered him. They had found him. Not knowing how long he had been out. But he was certain it wasn't long. The gunfire had brought them to him, again. Pushing his way onto the twisted debris, he pulled himself from the snows embrace. Ian stayed low, moving along the edge of the courtyard. He made his way across the near hundred meters to the alleyway that would separate him from the hellish pursuers. He had to find his way to the beach head the 6th vanguard had made. It was hard to tell how far he was, or where he was. The only thing keeping him moving was his desire to survive. He moved around the corner checking for ambushes and traps, moving as quietly as he could. All the while knowing that around the next corner could bring him face to face the horrors of the Scourge. Like another one of those things. He shuddered thinking of the multi limbed horror that had violently murdered the only friendly humans he had found in this city. They had saved him, pulling him out of his crashed fighter and brought him out of the elements. Her face. When he closed his eyes, Ian could still see her face. Moments before plasma had turned her to ash. A large plasma blast smashed through the building he'd just leaped from bringing it down. The savages shooting had been silenced with the hissing roar of the plasma cannon. Shots filled the space he had occupied moments before as a silent movement turned into a sprint. Run, running can't stop running. He thought as another wailing plasma bolt erupted into the building beside him. Scourge warriors weren't well known for their accuracy. However it wasn't a good idea to test them. The whine of anti grav engines told him that something large was closing on him. Ian back peddled a few steps to attempt to suppress the warriors chasing him, a two and a half meter wall with a narrow gate all that stood between him and escape. Ian saw the hunter come full width into the alleyway unopposed towards him gun leveling, many sets of red baleful eyes seeming to smile as the mbt prepared to fire. This was the end. Ian made for the gate with all he had in a futile attempt to escape. Rectangular boxes parallel to each other appeared at the top of the wall and with two bright flashes cracked deafening ears ringing as two mass accelerators fired supersonic slugs over the wall and into the scourge tank making ready to obliterate Ian into a cloud of smoldering ash. The air was pulled from Ian's lungs as the Gladius' slugs passed barely a meter above his head. The heat wave blast sweeping him of his feet. Once again blackness took him. Waking up being dragged clear of the immediate battle as UCM vanguard assault forces clashed bitterly with the scourge patrol, trading mass accelerator slugs with plasma fire. The commander calling over the comms net to withdraw, scourge drop ships moving in to drop reapers and hunters behind them to cut off their escape. Ian could hear "Vanguard assault to arc hammer, need fast mover support asap!" A few moments passed and a voice answered with a sense of urgency in her voice. “Vanguard assault fast movers in your AO, eta seconds "Echo flight to Vanguard assault, echo flight is coming your way hot, pull back and keep your people alive vanguard assault." A confidant voice came through. "I can walk soldier" Ian near yelled over the deafening sound of the war going on around them, to the lance corporal. The two men hefted him to his feet and signaled to Ian to follow, "lance corporal Martinez, stay tight on me!" He barked over his shoulder at Ian. Together the three rapidly closed the distance to the waiting raven. Scourge marauder drop ships began delivering holding elements to box them in and destroy them, the assault force was quickly loaded in their transports and lifted off heading towards the choke points. Supersonic fighters darted across the tortured sky in the foreground of the fiery wrecks of ships burning up in the atmosphere. The three archangels opened fire cutting a hole in the scourge anti air batteries, the fires of their ruin burned angrily against the snowy metro. The fighters made one last strafing run as Ian ran into the open gate of the raven drop ship. "Welcome to the ground war" The crew chief said, pointing him to an available seat. Ian and the marines strapped in as the transport lifted off quickly, and accelerated away with all due haste.

Aboard the Arc hammer captain Taylor looked at the after action reports coming in from across this part of the planet. The strike carrier was reasonably safe in atmosphere, at least from ships in orbit. But not from hunter killers, smaller ships designed to destroy strike carriers in atmosphere. Vanguard assault group sixteen from the outskirts of Olympus prime, reported the recovery of fleet personnel. Numbered amongst them was a fighter pilot. Wing commander Ian strom. Ten years of service. Invaluable experience that had made it possible for vanguard assault to make its planet fall in the first place. Fighter group seven was the first wave off of the Ticonderoga that was squadroned with the strike carriers that broke the scourge blockade. The fleet carrier launched against scourge fighters and bombers, the parasite held its fighters in the debris field until seventh had fully committed to the bombers and nearly slaughtered them. Captain Taylor was honored to have a hero aboard. Taylor finished his reports and headed over to the CIC put his fingers on the pulse of the vessel. If the heart of the ship was engineering, the cic was the brain in a war zone. And inside the clouds of Olympus was most definitely a war zone. Taylor made it just in time to hear vanguard assault returning from deployment. Vanguard assault returned with two thirds its departing strength. The heat map that showed UCM presence and control of the area of operations to be but small circles against the sharp contrast of parasite presence, the loss of the fleet in the heavens made their resolve to keep their holdings stiffen. The parasite was bleeding the landing forces for every inch of Olympus that they took. Sometimes even pushing them back. Taylor moved from the heat map to the tactical display showing the positions now occupied by his forces and the parasite. He had one more push to make to give the landers the best possible chance at bringing much needed relief to Olympus. Captain Taylor submitted his recovered fleet personnel list to admiral Hawkins. There was no leaving atmosphere at this time due to the risk of detection and the risk of damage in the debris field. Taylor had a ground war to win after all the Archammer was a warship dedicated to delivering the ground assets and dropships to the planets surface, not a fleet taxi. Captain Taylor's request to place the uninjured survivors into roles they could fill on Archammer was approved. Captain Taylor had lost a few personnel in the bombing run the parasite made moments before they made atmosphere. “Xo have commander Ian strom and commander Jen O’neal from report to my office as soon as medical clears Commander Strom.” Captain Taylor said as he was departing the CIC. “Aye captain.”

Concentrated Plasma roared by, cooking the paint off his armor leaving it hot blue. The archangel rolled on its x axis in a barrel roll smoothly avoiding the worst of the raging bolt of plasma. The corsair nearly had him dead to rights but Ian's reflexes were second to none. He came smoothly out of the barrel roll and dove hard for Olympus prime. Jinking and weaving out of the bolts of hell fire. Altitude alarms chimed and the fighters calm feminine AI's voice scolding him about the nose dive into the surfaces anti aircraft bubble. Ian corkscrewed under a sky bridge and over the top of an office building, snow coalescing in his jet wash. The corsair pushed in for another shot. Ian feigned left, then pushed the archangel hard into another corkscrew around another block. And through an over grown sky bridge. He decelerated sharply causing his assailant to lose it's target acquisition as it howled past. Now accelerating, Ian had him now. Pushing the archangels nose down into the trajectory of the corsair. Ian squeezed the firing peg unleashing his forty milimeter cannons. The corsair realizing too late jinked left as the armor on the right side deformed and buckled spewing black mist. The enemy lost all propulsion and smashed sidelong into the mile high megalith, cascading burning debris and broken masonry to the planet’s icy surface. "Archammer control to sigma flight" Ian corrected his fighter, the arc angel was much like her void borne cousin the void blade in her handling, just without the three other crewman. "Sigma flight acknowledged", Ian returned contact. " sigma flight, rally with echo flight and make best possible speed to corridor nine nine zulu, enemy air assets present in overwhelming force." Ian knew what this meant, and rolled pushing the archangels engines into the red. "Sigma flight acknowledged. ETA to rally point, one hundred twenty seconds." The AI chimed in situation reports from the operational area. Infantry were pinned down by enemies with air cover. Infantry holed up in buildings. They needed close air support and couldn't get it. Due to the thick fighter cover, dropships could not penetrate. Echo met up with Ian at the rally point and they formed up a delta and the five fighters screamed towards ninety nine zee. En route Ian got the quick summery that echo leader had been lost to ground fire. No ejection. And echo seven had no wingman. “Echo flight I am commander strom, I will assume wing commander in place of commander Ridley.”

Re: On the wings of angels

PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 2:06 am
by Jellyheadsdontsurf
ETA 1:00 corridor 99Z
"Archammer, this is new designation squadron echo prime, commander strom has command. Requesting standing orders." Ian kept his tone neutral and professional as ever. He didn't have to wait long for details to come over his heads up and the ever present voice of archammer controller. "New designation echo prime, your squadron reorganization request is approved, stand by for orders." The briefing began in earnest detailing a plan to bring in seraphim bombers to smash the hardened defenses the parasite has had weeks to prepare. Ground forces had smashed against the prepared hard points the parasite had. Ian decided to split his squadron by three and two keeping a wing man and leaving the three other echos to come across the corridor in another area to spread fighter cover for the best advantage. Echo one two and three made full burn for a flank insertion keeping tight and searching for targets echo lead and seven continued on presenting the main show of force while the other interceptors made it around to the other side. "Commander I show represented thirty hostiles" his AI announced. Ian breathed deeply gently exhaling. He dropped his visor and gave a salute to his wingman. Warning chimes filled his awareness as the two fighters streaked in fast to join the fight. "Let's get their attention" "copy that echo leader" Ian rolled the archangel into position coming clear of the cloud cover. And rushing up to meet them were four scourge corsairs the two archangels let loose their retribution's rolling evasively out of the plasma streams two of the four corsairs evaporating into a cloud of plasma fire and debris, Ian walked his cannons into the next corsairs nose knocking chunks off the fighter as it began to rudder away moments to late to avoid the fatal hits to its inner structure. The mortally damaged craft tumbling away. Echo seven pushing hard on the rudder peddle rolled hard parking her cannons 40mm slugs into the center left blasting the craft apart, bits and pieces chipping paint of her cream and gold fuselage as she rocketed past. "Back in formation they know we're here." "Copy that commander." Saleen said, raw adrenaline in her voice. Echo seven wasn't a rookie by any of Ian's judgement. But neither was any of the men and women that had died at his side over the past six months. The two sliced into the city, weaving through the megalithic sky rises, another dozen bandits in pursuit. "Echo seven stay on mission, ill cover your six. We can't out run them. The rest of echo will meet you at AO cover those bombers echo seven." "Commander we can fight them together." Saleen said a hint of concern betrayed in her tone. "We have our orders Lt. make best speed to the operational area." Ian was firm in his delivery, but confident he could protect her long enough to get clear of their pursuers. "Acknowledged commander." Following orders, she engaged the super cruise and broke away.
Ian quickly dove around an office block and acquired the enemies pursuing the two humans. Ian inhaled sharply blazing away with his cannons into the unsuspecting corsairs 1 o'clock perforations deforming and buckling his armor savagely ripping the bio organic craft asunder. The dogfight had begun.
His AI notified him that all eleven bogies were engaging, plasma bolts roared by his cockpit as he spun his archangel into a roll, putting his craft into full evasive maneuvering. Ian focused less on offense and more on survival, one of them would get loose and be a target soon enough. Gee force pinned him to his seat as he pulsed his cannons catching one of his assailants in the aft punching two ugly holes in the crafts armor, black fluid spraying away in cone as the wretched thing began to fall away from the engagement. But Ian didn't have time to watch it die, the next bolt burned another hot blue bare metal scorch mark across the length of his fuselage, the which he swore he felt though the cockpit. It was only a matter of time now, seconds took days to pass. Another close call and then an explosion in his starboard wing marked a plasma cannon impact, warning lights and his AI squawking warnings of loss of power to the starboard control surfaces. Ian fought hard to bring the embattled fighter clear of the enemies crosshairs. But there were too many. Fatigue suddenly set in, he was less focused on fighting. Ian started to let go rolling clear and lining up a perfect shot on the seventh bandit. Smoke and blue flame marked its passing. Searching for another attacker randomly jerking his stricken fighter to avoid the next imminent shot Ian saw the tortured sky, ships burning up as streaks of flame tailed by black smoke falling out of the heavens. There was the fire storm. The pieces of parasite and human ships breaking up and falling. Gravity taking them into the atmosphere. Suddenly sucked back to his cockpit and soundly into reality breaking his stupor. "Echo leader break hard right!!" Ian jerked the stick and stood on the rudder, the force was incredible. Canon tracers streaked all around him from all sides punching jagged holes through his oppressors, he calmly lined up a momentarily stunned corsair. And plucked him from the sky. Three archangels engaged and swept the airspace clear of the parasite. "Vanguard assault requesting fire mission, on grid A-six." The air controllers request coming on their heads up display. "Echo on mission, echo two and three you are clear for fire mission at A-six" Ian ordered. "The two immediately broke away and dove clear picking up their engagement velocity. "Echo seven with me, cover them from above" Ian calmly ordered. "I'm with you commander. Glad you made it back" Saleen returned. The two followed the path up high scanning he skies "three contacts moving to intercept fire mission" Ian's AI informed. "I see them" she said. "Intercept them" Ian swept his archangel into a banking dive, the two fighters contrails streaking out behind them. In what seemed like hours the archangels made contact and began to fight it out with the small nimble corsairs. Forty millimeter shells shattered the hull breaking the front of the craft in a sickly twist against the wind force, the mutilated bio organic craft tumbled into a scourge occupied building the shattered craft breaking the central support bringing the building down on it's ask in a cloud of snow powder, the third was stitched down the middle by cannon shells and exploded. As the three archangels came out of their strafing run Echo three was caught by ground based AA, she was wreathed in lightning punching dozens of burning holes in the wings and fuselage she screamed out in horror but was cut short as she slammed into the ground. The archangel exploded and echo three was gone. An ace several times today, many times in the reconquest.

13:45 Olympus d day +4

Four archangels from echo prime and two seraphim from bravo made their way back to arc hammer fuel low and munitions depleted. Hearts heavy from the days fighting. Everyone from the colony's were conditioned to know this war would be filled with loss. This was not sufficient to prepare for the utter lethality of scourge weapons. Weapons that had a ninety nine percent kill rate. There were very few wounded. The flight back to the strike carrier was one quite uneventful. Ian began this day with a wing of five good men and women, some had become his friends since he had been transferred from space fleet to the strike carriers atmospheric wing. He'd wanted to go back to his fleet carrier fighter group, but it would have been weeks or months before he could have been moved. A hero title was given to him and a ceremony to honor his acceptance into the arc-hammer fighter wing designation echo. The captain was pleased, and Ian was honored to be given command and the chance to fly another fighter.