Rebel Squadrons

(44:3:13) Dragon Squadron Inter-narrative Dragon201/VSG102

By COM David Vaughan
Unit: Vigilance Starfighter Group
Squadron NL, Jan 21, 2007
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Just a preface here for anyone interested in the current story arc of the VSG/RID tour. The Battle of Blerthmore occurred on 44:2:27, and a memorial for the many casualties of that battle was held on 44:2:31. The date of this narrative, 44:3:13, is when the strike force bound for enemy territory to strike back is launched. Between the Battle of Blerthmore and the departure of the strike force, Intel and Tactical have been trying to piece together information on where the enemy forces had originated from, and what they might be up to currently. The reprisal operation abroad has taken most of the RS's forces, and what remains of the Eagle's Nest repair dock has been overworked trying to get all of the strike force's vessels battle-worthy. It will be several days --- eight, to be exact --- until the outbound strike force arrives in the enemy territories. Normally it would be quicker, however it is traversing hyperlanes that have not been thoroughly investigated, so what could take a few hours must take over a week to make sure there are no accidents, with ships being lost in unexpected gravity fields. The next VSG/RID missions will be out in a day or two, but until then, hopefully some of you will enjoy this interim narrative. If not, at least the next missions come out in a day or two. :P

Brigadier Vaughan walked with Major Hesto through the hallways of the Calamari Cruiser Ad Astra for what would be the last time in the foreseeable future, approaching the hangar bay where the newly requisitioned X-wings of Dragon Squadron were waiting for relocation, most of the pilots already onboard, preparing for launch.

Brigadier Vaughan had quickly briefed the squadron on their new assignment, and informed them that he would be remaining in the Greeop Sector for a while, with Major Hesto as Acting Dragon Leader in their campaign abroad. There had not been much time for in-depth discussion with all the pilots, so the Brigadier had taken some time out before the squadron's departure to brief his temporary replacement with more in-depth information.

"So tell me, what's the real reason you're not coming with us, General?" the Major probed.

Vaughan paused mid-stride and blinked in response. "Exactly what I said to the squadron. I didn't really want to bore them with extensive details . . . but basically I need to help the FC hold our territories and shipping together while you boys all get to play payback on your vengeance operation."

Olith frowned, unconvinced. "That sounds like a kind of lame reason, really . . ."

"Maybe. But understand . . . we've prioritised repairs and supplies for the outbound strike force, which means you've got the best equipment to spare, not to mention most of the fleet. All Dave's left to hold RS space together is a few clunky old vessels, some starfighters that belong in a museum, and a shipload of under-maintained equipment. Most of which was bumped to the back of the repair line, so that we could prioritise the preparations for the outbound strike force." Vaughan looked weary, as if crushed by the amount of work he'd been undergoing lately, with the promise of much more to come. "Plus we're probably going to have to beg, borrow or steal supplies just in order to stay afloat. Supplies, equipment and credits . . . what you guys aren't taking with you, we're going to need here to try and maintain operations in the home sector, where we're officially meant to be."

Olith frowned in response. "You make it sound like there's going to be trouble here . . . I thought we were going to be facing most of the trouble, actively chasing after the Imps?"

Vaughan nodded tiredly. "Well, yes, that's true. But while you're going after the main threat, it's going to take some ingenuity just to keep our base of operations and territory under RS control . . . you don't realise how many pirate and undesirable factions are out there on the fringes, just waiting for us to show signs of understrength and weakness . . ."

Olith hadn't really considered that --- up until now the Empire had been the main enemy as far as he was concerned. Especially after the attack on Blerthmore . . . all of the pilots and RS personnel were itching to take the fight back to the Imperial forces and make them suffer. Third-party threats hadn't really entered into his mind.

"Ugh. Yeah, I guess I don't envy you after all. I still don't understand why you didn't pick Kane as squadron leader."

Vaughan frowned, then raised his eyebrows, realising he hadn't explained much at all, as it was all self-evident to him. "Well, Commander Redron has enough on his plate --- Tactical are working a select group of officers including him through the ground to make sure the strike force doesn't suffer another ill-advised mission of stupidity like the one I led us into after Blerthmore was hit . . ."

'Mission of stupidity' was an understatement --- Vaughan's reprisal operation immediately after the Battle of Blerthmore was acted out with limited intel and battle-weary pilots, and had almost cost the pilots their lives . . . they were extremely fortunate that the Imperial forces were in such a hurry to leave RS territory that they didn't make more of an effort to capture them . . .

Vaughan wearily scratched at his beard, which he'd let grow since the debacle at Blerthmore several weeks ago. "So while he's being thrashed with Tactical work, I need someone with more time to dedicate to leading and looking after the squadron. With Heavy back as group commander, and Jotheb as training instructor of the new starfighter group . . . well, you fit the bill as far as interim leader goes."

Olith nodded solemnly. "I'll try my best, then. I hope you don't leave the squadron for too long. We'll miss you."

Vaughan nods. "I'll try and catch up with you all as soon as possible, but as far as I can tell right now I'm going to be stuck in the Greeop Sector for a while, at least until I get the logistics and supply situation here stabilised. So keep the squadron together while I'm gone, and I'll hopefully join you at some point."

"Definitely, General."

Vaughan handed the Major a hefty datapad. "Here are the more detailed orders that I helped devise. Most if it is top-level classified, and only a few of the commanders know all of the information. Use it wisely."

Vaughan sketched a salute at the Major, which was returned with humour.

"Don't you waste too much time here." the Major quipped, grinning. "We'll never let you live it down if you miss the whole campaign!"

Vaughan laughed. "Righto, then. Off you go. Have fun on the Resurrection."

"Will do. Until later, Blackbeard." Olith winked and waved, walking off towards his X-wing.

Vaughan chuckled briefly, scratching at his beard unconsciously, then sighed, watching the squadron preparing to embark on a major operation without him.

After standing still for a moment, he suddenly turned and walked through the hallways of the Ad Astra, to the auxiliary hangar bay where his office and quarters, the Lambda shuttle Mediator, was waiting.

Dragon Squadron was relocating from the Ad Astra to the Victory Star Destroyer Resurrection II, and Vaughan was relocating to the Victory Star Destroyer Peril, to help the FC hold the home territories together.

He wasn't sure where he wanted to be --- out waging war, throwing the might of the RS against the deadly Imperial fleet, or left behind in the Greeop Sector, with limited supplies and rundown equipment, trying to maintain the peace.

It was a thought that remained foremost in his mind as he launched the Mediator, and piloted it from the Ad Astra where it was stationed above the dead world of Blerthmore, through the void to the Victory Star Destroyer Peril.


Brig. David Vaughan
Dragon CO (On Leave)


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