Petra’s’ birds made fast shallow strafing runs on the Black NI battleship designated target Yankee. The ships shields prevented most of the
337s firepower from penetrating and causing any damage but the 36 small agile fighters kept the defensive batteries occupied and their attention away
from the dash tens.
Stilts team of 18 heavy attack craft made tight spirals around the black ships defensive shields. Their linked rail guns fired heavy bursts of
circular patterns into the surface of the defensive field. The disruptions in the field allowed well timed volleys through the shields that made slow
but steady progress in their efforts to disable the ships defenses.
Each run on the target area added damage to the armored nodes that created the field.
Badgers 337s followed a counter rotating pattern staying in tandem with Wally’s’ six heavy attack craft and their loads of bunker busting
Flight five flew an outer attack pattern keeping to the rear of the enemy ship and holding a covering position for the rest of the wing.
Badger heard a shrill scream on the open wing frequency that was cut off as a fighter to his left turned into a bright flash of plasma. The enemy
battleships’ close defensive batteries continued to claim victims as the heavy attack wings strafed and fired missiles into the ships defensive
“Badger to Stilts, sitrep.”
“Five down two out. “returned Stilts.
“Wally?” Badger said.
“One out.” said Wally.
“Keep working the shields, we’ve got to get to the big guns.” said Badger.
Across thousands of meters of vacuum the second enemy ship traded great bolts of energy, kinetic mass projectiles and missiles with the Penelope
sending bright flashes of light, plasma and shockwaves through space. The Penelope maneuvered in a circular motion putting the second battleship
between it and the third. This served to shield Penelope from the third ships fire and allowed the Penelope to fully engage the second ship. In an
effort to bring her guns to bear on Penelope the third ship maneuvered through the debris field of the first. This gave the fighters and attack ships
new obstacles but served as interference and cover for the fighters.
The attack craft continued penetrate the enemy ships defenses.
Badger checked the estimated shield status on the enemy ship after dodging a large piece of debris. The attack ships had destroyed three of the seven
shield arrays on the enemy ship and were progressing faster as the field was weakened.
“Enemy fighters!” Badger heard somebody declare over the open channel.
A flight of stealth fighters had uncloaked to the rear of the third enemy battleship. They had the drop on Badgers wing and had the advantage. They
attacked in formation firing on Stilts heavy attack craft. Badger searched his scope and found the new threat just in time to see four of his attack
ships go from green to yellow one went red.
“Petra, where are you?” Badger called on the open channel.
“We’re on it.” Petra returned. “There’s a lot of them.”
“Flight five, reinforce Alpha.” said Badger.
“Five, Rodger.” came a quick reply.
The 337s joined battle with the enemy stealth fighters and the area around the third enemy ship was turned into complete chaos.
Badger saw an Ishtar moving in on one of his heavies firing into the heavy armor.
Badger banked hard left, grunting as the g-forces forced him deep into his seat.
“Barb, hard right!” He said on the air.
The heavy fighter banked hard to the right taking a few light hits off of its armor as it crossed the enemy line of fire. The enemy ship banked right
to follow and allowed Badger a line for a cannon shot. The enemy ship turned into a ball of sparks and debris.
Badger took a second enemy ship head on and took a snap shot but missed. The two fighters passed each other within a few meters. Badger banked hard
left and rejoined covering position over the heavy group who was still working the enemy battleships shield generators by punching holes in the field
and firing at the field nodes. The enemy ship was down to three shield nodes.
Petra’s’ squadron was taking losses as was flight five. They had lost 12 of the 337 fighters already but were giving better than they were
getting. The surprise assault on the enemy formation by flight five had taken out four enemy fighters immediately. The ensuing moments had seen
another 13 enemy losses. Once they were uncloaked the enemy fighters were no better than 337s and it simply came down to skill and luck.
Badger saw another green fighter indicator on his command screen go red.
Petra’s’ wingman, Frog, was gone.
Badger wanted to get into the dogfight but his flight was covering the heavies and the battleship came first.
“How we doing Nora?”
“Two to go. We just took out number five.” returned stilts.
“Rodger. Keep on em.”
Badger saw a bright blue flashing light on his comm. Channel. It was coded priority on the Marine designated frequency. Badger toggled the switch and
A voice that badger did not recognize spoke quickly but clearly. “Sir, urgent message from Colonel Studious. The Captain has lost his mind and
attacked friendly ships. He has committed treason and lied to the crew. You have to help stop it before it goes any further.”
Badger, continued flying and firing at the enemy. He didn’t respond.
The voice continued. “Sir, Commander Badger! Did you hear me Sir? We’re firing on friendlies! You have to stop it.”
Badger was slammed to the side as his ship lurched from a nearby explosion. He glanced back up in time to see a missile cross his field of view and
impact one of the engines on a dash ten. The engine disintegrated and left an empty pylon trailing sparks. The ship veered sharply to the side and
away from the main attack force. Badger lost sight of the wounded ship.
Badger toggled the switch again and said,” They don’t seem friendly to me.”
He closed the connection and focused on the job at hand.
As he made his latest of dozens of turns around the enemy ship, Badger could see the second enemy ship crippled and burning. Great explosions rocked
the hull. To the right of the ship he could see Penelope. The second crippled ships trajectory was clearing the space between the Penelope and the
“Where are we Nora?” Badger called.
“Two to go.” said Stilts.
“Too long.” said Badger.
“We’re running low on bricks and my birds are out of missiles.” returned Stilts.
Wally cut in, “We’ve got the gravediggers.”
“Not until we get the field down.” Said Badger. “Keep at it.”
Having cleared the wreckage of her sister ship and getting a clear line of sight on the Penelope the enemy battleship began to fire its main forward
batteries. Penelope returned fire as well.
Badger saw a dash ten in Nora’s group get vaporized by a shot from the Penelope. The ship was simply gone.
Great explosions rocked the nearby fighters, friend and foe alike. An even dozen ships were destroyed in the initial barrage.
“Clear and regroup!” called Badger.
He saw the enemy fighters do the same. They had no safe place between the big boys and headed away from the embattled warship to regroup.
As they tallied their losses and reformed the heavies, Petra’s squadron and flight five continued to battle the Ishtar fighters. They had lost quite
a few fighters but Badger was relieved to see that the enemy had suffered more than double the losses that his wing had.
The heavy attack craft had reformed and were on a long looping trajectory that would take them to within striking distance of the rear of the enemy
battleship but avoid any more stray shots from the Penelope. The two huge ships pounded away at each others shields with massive amounts of firepower.
Suddenly a luminal struck low on the battleships bow exploding on impact.
“Their shields are down.” said Badger.
“So are the Penelope’s.” Stilts called back.
“Wally.” said Badger, “Do something bad.”
Badger heard the normally talkative Wally double click his comms to acknowledge the order. His five remaining birds with their load of bunker busting
gravedigger missiles banked sharply and lined up on the rear of the enemy battleship. Badgers flight followed as well as Stilts heavies, providing
cover. Petra’s’ ships converged on the same area as the enemy fighters picked out Wally’s birds and flew to intercept.
The Penelope had stopped firing altogether. Her guns were silent and the remaining battleship was headed directly for her firing as it advanced.
“Make it quick Wally or we might not have a ride home.” said Badger.
Badger heard another double click of acknowledgement.
The remaining enemy fighters dove into Wally’s formation of attack aircraft as they lined up for the shots on the ships main drive engines. Stilts
attack craft pulled up and fired their rail guns on widest spread, expending their remaining ammunition in a last ditch effort to protect Wally and
his groups load of missiles. Badgers three remaining 377s engaged the enemy fighters head on as Petra’s’ squadron and flight Five attacked as
The ensuing clash was brutal and deadly.
A few seconds later two attack ships emerged from the melee undamaged. Wally and his wingman launched eight deep penetrating bunker buster missiles
towards the main drive engines of the battleship. They peeled off and headed away from the enemy ship.
Wally called over the open channel, “Eight on the way. Clear zone.”
Badger reiterated the order, “Clear zone! Clear zone!” the fighters all scattered like a starburst.
Badger checked his scopes and looked back at the battleship. She continued to advance and fire. Penelope was not moving.
[edit on 4-7-2009 by badgerprints]
[edit on 4-7-2009 by badgerprints]