[Episode 1] In Gallant Defense

This archive contains the original story as it appeared on gaia, This is our main story, and what BHotR as a whole started from and builds off of. The setting has gone through many changes, and so the story has many inconsistencies. You can, in this forum, see the evolution of the story and its players as we went from a simple roleplay began in 2006.
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Straken
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Re: [Episode 1] In Gallant Defense

Post by Straken » Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:05 pm

“Aw hell, Green Lead, Green Five is KIA,” Fred reported to his CO as Green Five’s tracker ceased transmitting data.

“Damn,” Steven mumbled as he gritted his teeth. Losing pilots was always a very real and often inescapable fact about leading a squadron, and for Steven at least he always felt guilt and regret when one of his pilots died.
“Green Six,” Steven said as he spoke directly to Ibrahim. “Fall in with Greens Seven and Eight.”

As Steven had guessed, falling back had taken its toll on the group. Many of the fighters had taken varying amounts of damage, but the commanding officer hoped that the closer proximity to the support vessels would compensate for damage and make tackling the large number of incoming enemies easier on the squadron.
**
However, the Drathonians were bound and determined to drag every last member of Green Squadron down to the gates of hell; even if they had to escort them personally. Emboldened by the damage and destruction they had already caused the fighter squadron as well as the incoming wave of reinforcements; the scaled pilots pursued the Terrans like their own shadows.

The sheer fact that the amount of Drathonian Scourges outnumbered the Terran pilots’ superior fighters allowed the lizards to press the attack with everything they had.
“Don’t give them any room to rest,” hiss the Drathonian with the most seniority as he ordered the other pilots. “Hit them from all sides to keep them off balance. Our reinforcements shall soon arrive. We also have another branch of fighters moving in to flank. These Terrans will not know what hit them.”
**
The cloud of enemy fighters swarmed the Terran pilots like wasps coming in at all angles, and sooner than Steven would have liked the enemy reinforcements were within firing range. “Green Squadron, they are trying to keep us separated. Wingmen pairs stick together, but do not break away from the main group,” the squad leader ordered his pilots.

Switching comm channels, Steven then sent out a request for assistance from any squadron in the area to come lend a hand. As it stood right now, Green Squadron was already fighting along with three other squadrons, but in his gut he knew that if he wanted to hold this defense longer he would need help. Silently to himself he wished each member of his squadron good luck as the Drathonian fighters closed the distance and went in for the kill.

CadetNewb
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Re: [Episode 1] In Gallant Defense

Post by CadetNewb » Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:33 pm

She was safe - for now anyways. But the same couldn't be said for everyone. Sam was dead, and it stung her; yes, she knew him as a friend, but what stung her more was what it implied. Pearl was going to loose more friends today. She was a smart girl for her age, and she knew this loss was only the beginning. The monsters were relentless, unyielding and plenty in numbers. Terrans like herself burned brightly, charred the Drathonians in the process, but her people just didn't last as long - these things were tough, and they could afford to replace whatever scales were scourged by their flame. Even her own.

Pearl bit her lip in bitter thought. Was there something she could have done to save him? She already knew the answer to that - but what if he had a tougher fighter? It was something that always bugged her. Her people, the Terrans, were few in numbers, so why were they flying around in paper skinned craft that could outmaneuver god and all his angels? It was a spectacular sight - but spectacular didn't guarantee something oh so important in these hard times. What they needed was survival. The preservation of life. They needed to make it through this hell alive!

And then there was Ibriham. Something about him just didn't sparkle with the girl. Never did, really. The way he harshly handled Samuel as the poor guy died...Pearl's cheeks flushed in rage at the thought that came into her mind. 'Why couldn't it have been Ham instead?' she thought. No. She swatted her resentment at him away - now wasn't the time! The Drathonians were closing on them quickly. They were already surrounded! Pearl knew she'd have to make every move perfect if she was to survive holding her ground and defending this location. But Scimitars weren't made for that. Would perfect be enough to survive?

"Steven - we just have to keep them busy right? This is space; we don't have to actually stand around in one spot like a Knight fending off Dragonlings - we can break through, come back and keep pestering them!" she suggested. "As long as we're around, they can't do jack!"

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Kai
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Re: [Episode 1] In Gallant Defense

Post by Kai » Mon Dec 26, 2011 12:42 am

"We can't just do whatever, though- We're supposed to be a defensive line for the Hymn" Sasha responded to her Wingmate, before opening a channel to Ibrahim.

"Stick behind us for now- next time we take a pass at something I need you to switch with Pearl, got that?" she ordered the joining pilot, trying her best to focus on the battle than the death of another Squadronmate. She had seen several in her lifetime, and it certainly wasn't anything new, but each time was jarring- that could easily be any of them, and those who survived were simply that much closer to running out of luck.

For Now, Sasha turned her fighter to face the oncoming enemies, shuffling around her shielding grid so that the stronger panels were faced toward the enemies, and readying all her systems for an intense fight. She purged the heat from her Lasers, the surface of her fighter's body temporarily glowing as it was used to radiate away waste heat, so that her guns wouldn't overheat and melt during the combat. "I've got a lock on several targets, Will engage at your word, requesting Fire At Will clearance."

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Mr. Blackbird Lore
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Re: [Episode 1] In Gallant Defense

Post by Mr. Blackbird Lore » Sat Jan 07, 2012 3:44 am

Ibrahim was as curt as ever- and sounding more demure than usual. "As you say, Green Seven." He fell in line, following orders verbatim. If nothing else, his devotion to order was admirable.

"Targets recognized. Just say the word."

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Straken
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Re: [Episode 1] In Gallant Defense

Post by Straken » Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:24 pm

Steven mulled over his command panels, reinforcements were still being scrambled and it didn’t look like they would make it before the clash. As he looked back at the incoming wave of Drathonians he bit his lip. Against a group that large, most of his tactics fell short of where they needed to be.

The Squadron leader finished locking targets around the time the rest of Green was ready. With a stern look in his eyes he steeled himself for the long dogfight ahead.
“Green Squadron, fire at will,” Steven announced to the pilots. With a press of his thumbs the lead scimitar opened up with a hail of laser fire and launched a cluster of micro-missiles. After his initial salvo he pulled his scimitar into a left bank as he got ready for close engagement. Fred and Green Three and Four followed suit.

***
The Drathonian fighter groups were closing the distance quickly. When the Terran counter-fire arrived the ships tried to scatter as missiles and laser fire began peppering the shields and dropping a few comrades. The swarm adjusted itself and ignored the fallen as many of the Drathonians were focused on strong-arming the Terrans, and were intent on severely punishing any mistake or miscalculation they might make.

***
The attack on the Terran squadrons present was intense and harsh as the volume of incoming fire made it difficult, if not impossible, for any one fighter to get through completely unscathed. Already several fighters from other squadrons were succumbing to the brutality, and Green Squadron was not without its share of damage. All of the fighters had in some way taken varying amounts of damage. Steven’s fighter had almost had his shields completely drained and his scimitar pockmarked with shrapnel. Fred had taken an unfortunate hit from a concentrated volley of laser fire and an indirect hit from a missile that left a sizable hole in his right wing.

Things for Ibrahim, Sasha, and Pearl were going much the same way as they were for the remainder of Green Squadron, as they too had received a good amount of the incoming fire. Their fighters and shields were left in varying levels of disrepair, but they still maintained most of their functionality. Further down the line however Green Eleven had taken a nasty hit to his engines that left him immobile, and he was quickly set upon by the converging swarm of Drathonians.
Steven winced as another squadmate icon faded from his HUD.

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Re: [Episode 1] In Gallant Defense

Post by CadetNewb » Tue Jan 31, 2012 12:04 am

Pearl was a clever girl.

It was where her strength as a pilot came from. It wasn't like she was gifted with unimaginable reflexes, impossible situational awareness or a killer instinct. Rather, her prowess as a near-ace came from simply understanding the things around her to an impeccable degree. Not only strategy and tactics, but also the very machines, people and monsters involved as well. Right now, Pearl knew that the Drathonian fighters were more or less flying armored tubs - tough and slow. She also understood that her own fighter was best referred to as an "A-Wing", a name harking back to an ancient, iconic set of movies. It was fast, nimble, and could out-fly God and all his Angels. What it couldn't do was take too many hits.

As she gunned her fighter, Pearl was pushed back into the seat as she sent it into a tight turn, the flesh on her face being briefly pulled back by the powerful g forces that leaked through the dampers. Hit and run. Outmaneuver. Hit and run. That was how they were supposed to be used, Scimitars that is. Only, they were outnumbered and couldn't run - it was rapidly turning into a bar room brawl where their numbers would begin to overwhelm their own advantages. The guns on her fighter flickered and flashed as they ran down their marks before pulling away as several more pursuers behind them sought revenge. "Ibrahim, you're up!" she called out, moving to the rear of their formation as heat was shed off her own craft.

There were so many of them, and deep down, Pearl knew the Scimitar wasn't cut out for this job. Standing and fighting. It was inadequate, even though it was was produced after the war started! Deep down, Pearl feared the worst. "Lets get them!" she cheered over the comms happily as the first tears starting to slowly bud about her eyes. No need to tell the others how she felt about this. Because they likely already understood.

And Pearl didn't want to die.

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Straken
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Re: [Episode 1] In Gallant Defense

Post by Straken » Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:32 pm

“Aw hell, Green Lead, Green Five is KIA,” Fred reported to his CO as Green Five’s tracker ceased transmitting data.
“Damn,” Steven mumbled as he gritted his teeth. Losing pilots was always a very real and often inescapable fact about leading a squadron, and for Steven at least he always felt guilt and regret when one of his pilots died.
“Green Six,” Steven said as he spoke directly to Ibrahim. “Fall in with Greens Seven and Eight.”
As Steven had guessed, falling back had taken its toll on the group. Many of the fighters had taken varying amounts of damage, but the commanding officer hoped that the closer proximity to the support vessels would compensate for damage and make tackling the large number of incoming enemies easier on the squadron.

***

Despite how hard the pilots of Green Squadron fought they had already passed the beginning of the end for them. Steven’s gamble on receiving enough support from larger vessels in the area proved to have gone bust as the larger ships in the fleet were already inundated with their own priorities, and all around the squadron commander his support crumbled away like a wall of sand facing a wave of water.

The situation was rapidly becoming a worst case scenario in that the Drathonian advance had created a cascade effect of destruction, and everywhere Steven looked he saw allies either dying or routing. His flanks were collapsing faster than the pilot could drum up a counter-offense, and it was becoming clear that he soon would have no choice but to order his own squadron to withdraw as well. After all, it was only through stubborn determination and sheer force of skill and will that his pilots had held their defense as long as they had, but now was the time for him to throw in the towel if he wanted to gives his subordinates a chance to live through this.

Biting his lower lip, Steven had seen enough. Almost all of his support has since withered away and now Green Squadron was left to face the onslaught. The brutal push by the Drathonians had devastated the defensive line, and even with advanced fighters Green Squadron was rapidly approaching its breaking point.

“Green Squadron, retreat at once to designated zone Echo-Vic…” Steven said as he began to issue the retreat order, but he stopped short as that escape vector filled with Drathonian fighters. The same could be said for every other escape vector that had been planned. Green Squadron was cut off, and for the first time since he can remember he was petrified.
”I judged wrong, oh god, we are cut off. What’ll we do what’ll we do what’ll I do?” Steven thought as he began to panic. He slammed his eyes shut for either a moment or an hour, he couldn’t tell. It wasn’t out of fear of death that he was scared, but by the fear that he and his squadron would die due to his miscalculation. No blaze of glory, just a mistake.

“Vector Tango-Foxtrot appears ta be openin’ up,” a strong Irish voice said over the comms, snapping Steven out of his fear. It was Fred, as always, giving him support, and sure enough the route Fred suggested looked to have less enemies blocking them off. It was still incredibly risky, and even if they made it through the line of enemies Tango-Foxtrot was a ways away from safe space; meaning Green Squadron would have to maintain evasive maneuvers for a while longer.

The plan was little more than another gamble with the odd stacked against them, but it was their best hope for walking away from this. “Green Squadron, new escape vector is Tango-Foxtrot. Follow me and maintain evasive maneuvers until cleared. Green Lead, out,” Steven announced the new orders as he pitched the nose of his fighter into a sharp decline. Fred and the remainder of Green Squadron followed suit.

The fighters banked and rolled in their valiant shot at freedom, but the stakes were high and the ante was high as the pilots had to blitz their way through the numerous enemy fighters that sought to block the way. Green Squadron was all in as they did what they could to blast their way through without slowing down, for losing speed would surely spell the end. Steven once again found himself becoming aware of the utter silence that surrounded he fighter, even as he speared his way through the enemy line his mind felt disturbed by how the silence could remain so constant even amidst all of this death and ruin; or how the silence could remain even as Green Squadron’s luck ran out.

Even before the grand escape, Green Squadron was being overwhelmed by the enemy force. Two pilots had been taken out while Steven sought a new route; another one was lost at the beginning of the descent. Four pilots had now been lost. The worst came when Green Squadron was making its push through the opening. The last hope for the pilots shut with freedom just beyond their reach. For the pilots who lasted long enough it felt as though they were caught in a tsunami, for on every side they were punished by an unrelenting force that sought to suffocate and utterly destroy them.

Some of the pilots would go out with silent resignation; others with tears of sadness, or perhaps anger or even regret; but Steven found himself shouting at the silence that forced itself upon him through his helmet, and in the back of his mind he heard some of the pilots who remained shouting as well. Then as the nose of Steven’s fighter erupted into flames he knew one thing was for sure; Green Squadron did not go quietly.

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Re: [Episode 1] In Gallant Defense

Post by CadetNewb » Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:55 am

Missiles streaked by while lasers flickered and flashed. Plasma burned.

Explosions dotted the starry space, becoming brief lights themselves. From the distance, it was beautiful. Serene. For Pearl however, it was utter chaos. Pilots screamed over their comms as autocannon fire tore through the shields the Scimitars had before peppering the hulls. Reactors were breached and exploded as their friends screamed for revenge, but were cut down themselves, briefly becoming stars in the night. The alien ships outnumbered them by a large margin, and people were already screaming for escape.

Pearl herself sniffed back tears - her fighter rocketed out from a field of wreckage, both Drathonian and Terran alike in the process of making an escape from the carnage, dodging fire as she did so. Even inside her cockpit, things were chaotic. As she gunned the controls and sped off to the escape route Steven called out, smoke slowly curled up as plastic melted, bubbled and crackled; more came from behind metal access panels to the guts of the craft itself. The girl could barely see, but she knew she couldn't even so much as reach for the manual extinguisher - the automatic ones kept on working for as long as they could before running out. Despite all this and more, she ignored the heat and flames licking at her supposedly fireproof piloting suit, just as she ignored the small, hissing crack in her helmet's visor as air leaked out ever so slightly.

The outside of her fighter was just as messy as the interior - paint had bubbled, boiled and simply became vaporized as the glare of passing energy weapons' fire passed by. The occasional hole dotted the hull here and there as well, puncturing or melting through the metal skin and damaging the vitals inside - of course, this wasn't what caused most of the damage to her fighter. The blackened skin was peppered by many much smaller holes as fragments from exploding missiles had peppered her craft. She couldn't avoid those as well as fighters - after all, those were made very specifically to kill craft such as her own, and she knew, absolutely knew, how bad her odds against those were, and it showed.

"Pearl here, I - " a raking cough could be briefly heard over her transmission, " - exiting now. The others, I, I don't know," she spoke breathlessly. "I'm fine though, I'm fine," the girl went over the comms as reassuringly as her shaken voice could muster. "Reactor's stable, but it's getting hot. And there's smoke. I...I think I smell..." her voice trailed off as she sniffed back the incessant tears, continuing on with her voice, despair clouding her words. "I don't like it," Pearl nearly cried.

Last time she smelled this smell was when a fire broke out aboard a carrier. People...didn't make it out alive.

The smell was unmistakable, unforgettable.

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