Rebel Squadrons

Castor's PSG TIE Fighter Tour of Duty

By FA Tyrell "Spokes" Borran
Unit: Patriot Starfighter Group
Fleet NL, Apr 28, 2009
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Alrighty! Spokes has come to my rescue (in RL, setting all this stuff up) and shown me some errors I made, and fixed those that he could. I've got this submission numbered right.

This is a Fiction Only submission - we'll get a lot of those throughout this tour. I know that flying is good, but I can guarantee that, sooner or later, you'll prefer the fiction only parts. The submission after this one will have one of the exceedingly few easy missions.

Reports for this submission should carry on the setup from your point of view. I've already introduced a couple of characters (I'll be writing for Jack Stewart and a whole slew of others). Use any of my characters at any time. I've got the due date as 5/25 so you have the whole weekend for Last Minutes again.

Enjoy the story! It's going to get ...involved... in a little while.

Castor Efrata-Landis



Ste was sitting in his quarters aboard the McGrath when the call finally came. He'd been waiting for this, and he just hoped it was what he thought. He'd served in Grey-Alpha longer than anybody, and he still looked back on those days as some of the best times he'd had since joining the RS. It was one of his biggest regrets that he hadn't joined the rebellion properly until after the days of the original Grey Squadron were over. Word had come to him months ago that unusually large amounts of materials and supplies were being funneled into a secret operation, and that Castor was somehow involved. Ste had made the leap that this could be the long awaited reactivation of Grey so had made sure that when the list of candidates was supplied by High Command his name was on it.

Ste pressed his thumb to the reader, confirming his identity so the sealed orders would open. They still made no mention of Grey Squadron, but he was to report to Castor on a cruiser called Aragorn. Whatever this was, it was sure to be interesting.

Ste smiled and got up from his desk "Come on Trash" He called to his faithful astromech "Time to pack for an adventure."


Jack Stewart

Sweat dripped off my brow as I pushed farther into the high gee obstacle course in Shock's training arena. I jumped up to grab the next high bar, and missed... A solid thud reverberated through the chamber as my body crashed into the ground under the pull of double gravity. I looked up to see Audrey Syrest jog up behind me. She was one of Shock's lieutenants, and a longtime friend of mine.

"That look like that didn’t go the way you’d originally planned it," she said as she tried to catch her breath.

I sat up, quickly feeling dizzy and deciding that wasn't the best option at the moment. I mentally checked through my body for injuries past feeling a sharp pain coming from my left ankle. "Yah. Not quite," I replied through a grimace. "Help me up."

30 minutes later...

I muttered expletives under my breath as I tried to tie my boot on over the freakin huge bandage the medtechs put on. ::No flying for a day::, I thought to myself, ::that's what they think::. I finally managed to strap on the boot when the intercom sounded.

"Incoming traffic!! Senior Officers to the Bridge! This is not a drill."

"Well," I said to myself, "Either Castor and I are going to try and defend the Aragorn from a surprise enemy attack with two re conditioned Tie Fighters, or this is the first pilot to show." I stumbled out of the room and hurried to the bridge, trying to hide my limp as best as I could.


"This is the XO. Report." I said as I entered the bridge. I didn't see Castor, but then again, I didn't really expect to. He was probably already warming up the fighters, just in case.

"Shields are up, weapons are on standby." The Deck Officer reported. "Sensors indicate incoming is a friendly carrying a PSG Pilot."

"Code?" I asked, referring to the individual identification and verification codes each pilot was assigned.


I didn't bother asking who the code indicated was arriving. The Deck Officer probably had a flight number to go with the code, but not a name. Heck, I didn't even have all the names. Only Castor did. Ultra security was right.

"Has the Admiral been notified?"

"Soon as we confirmed the code." The Deck Officer was excellent at his job, but then again, so was everyone on board the craft. In fact, most were usually the best at two or three of them.

"Very well. Stand down from battle stations. I'll be with the Admiral. Pass all new arrival codes via Katie." I ordered, referring to Castor's K 2PO droid.

"Aye, aye, sir."

I left the bridge, heading to the Admiral's office, ostensibly to see what needed to be done. …as if Castor hadn't planned out the next several weeks down to the second already. I reached his hatch and put my hand up to knock when it whooshed open and Katie stood before me. "Hi, Katie. Off somewhere?"

"Yes, sir. To meet the first arrival." She replied as she headed off to her assigned task.

I stepped through the now vacant door and looked at Castor. He was standing near the far wall looking at himself in the tiny 'fresher mirror, trying to wipe dust off his uniform.

"Looking pretty for the new kids, old man?" I said with a quick grin.

"Ha. Just trying to intimidate them." He said with a twinkle in his eye. "This is the beginning. There's no stopping the PSG now."

I looked at his face and recognized how the stress, lack of sleep and workload had affected him over the last year. Still, inside of him burned the desire to turn this unit into the finest fighting force in the galaxy. Judging on his past successes, it would happen, and fairly quickly. "Yes, sir. We're in for a heckuva ride..."


Battle 1: PSG Reformation PSG Indoctrination Holo

You've been personally welcomed aboard by Admiral Castor Efrata Landis. Yep, THAT Castor Efrata Landis! The same one that lead the former Grey Squadron (Yep, THAT Grey Squadron!) to its height of success. He gave you a small holograph projector which holds your initial indoctrination into the PSG, and directed you to your quarters to get settled in. On the way, you've seen precious little of your new mothership (a VERY modified old Calamari Cruiser), but what you HAVE seen doesn't look like any standard configuration that you recognize. Having met a few of the personnel on the way, you've found that they're friendly enough, and have been as free as possible with as much information as you've sought. Or, at least, what you thought to ask about.

Reaching your new quarters - a small closet type room that you'll be sharing with one other person - a squadron pilot on the other side of the clock from you in the rotation you pick one of the empty bunks and stow your gear. You've heard that any of the other PSG pilots, if they are on board at all yet, are most likely in the Bar and Grill. Where ever that might be. ::Shouldn't be real hard to find it though - unless they've got initiation jokes that they play on new pilots::, you think to yourself.

You've been put through so many tests to get here. But you're adaptable. Regardless of how strange everything is, you know you're going to be able to handle it. The hard part, according to the statistics you had access to, will be just staying alive. You've heard what kind of strategist Castor is, though (some of his missions are required study at the Academy), and you know that he does everything possible to keep everyone in his unit alive. But then you remember an old joke about his old Grey Squadron. "You'd be surprised at what you can live through."

After making sure your combat gear is easily accessible, you sit down at the room's single flip down desk. You draw a deep breath and push the button at the base of the little holoprojector, ready to learn everything you can from the information presented.

The air above the holoprojector plate flickers for a fraction of a second, and a miniature "Admiral Castor" pops into focus. He stands seriously, with his hands clasped behind his back. You adjust the plate so that Castor is looking in the general direction of your face as he begins to speak.

"You have been accepted into one of the most elite Fighting Units of the Alliance. You follow in the footsteps of the very formidable members of Retribution Fleet. I need not remind you of the size of those flight boots that you’re trying to fill. Grey's record alone, and its reputation are outstanding ones, and almost all of Grey's former members have moved on to hold command positions within the Rebel Squadrons. Some were even fortunate enough to advance into High Command at one point or another."

"It is because of this, and the enemies the PSG has made throughout its illustrious career, that we have undergone extreme security precautions. We have been code named 'Thorn', as well as the Aragorn, the Modified Calamari Cruiser which is our mothership here, being code named 'Saguaro'. We hope to avoid meeting 'old friends' by retaining a low profile, until we are prepared to deal with them, but, sooner or later, somewhere along the line, I'm sure that we WILL have to we've cost too many too dearly for the PSG to be allowed to reorganize without challenge. The challenge will come. Make no mistake. It's not a matter of 'if'. Just 'when'."

"As a PSG pilot YOU have the opportunity not only to become one of the most important units in the fight to keep the new Republic alive, and not only to become part of the legend that the PSG has been you have the singular opportunity and potential to surpass it." Castor's eyes hardened and his voice became a little sterner, as he crossed his arms over his chest. "As long as you don't screw up by letting the PSG name give you delusions of grandeur. THAT can get you killed just as quickly as anything else. It can also get you transferred out of the PSG if you're lucky enough to survive making that mistake. In any event, live or die, you or the next PSG pilot, that mistake will only be made once it's only a matter of whether or not you take the PSG and the Aragorn with you should we be unfortunate enough that someone, ANY one, make that mistake."

Castor's expression softened a little and his hands dropped to their prior position behind his back.

"We're all here because the Rebel Squadrons, and the Alliance itself, needs us. When the call went out to reorganize the Patriot’s Starfighter Group, you went through a battery of tests psychological, aptitude, physical, intelligence, intuitive, and, of course, combat flight ability. I went through the results of these tests myself, and I am personally responsible for you being here along with every single member of the Aragorn's crew. I am also personally responsible for every one of those who are NOT here, as well. It was my sole decision who made the cut and who didn't. It will also be my sole personal responsibility if you die in the service of the PSG."

"That being the case, I will be doing my best at all times to put as much information as I can get to use in completing our goals and keeping every person under my command safe while doing so. To that end, we have the best EV flight suits that can be had with modifications designed specifically because of PSG missions. The Pit along with our general repairs and maintenance personnel are prepared to deal with an extremely large number of mechanical and structural problems which might plague any piece of equipment in our possession. Our medical facilities capabilities are of the highest caliber available, and our entire MedOps team is well versed in the pathology of every currently known species."

"High Command has given me complete autonomy in our activities, and, as such, has pretty much cut us loose as far as everything else goes, as well. This basically means that we are responsible for seeing to all of our own needs, and all of those of the Aragorn. This is because our needs will be extremely immediate, more often than not, and we will not be able to wait for High Command to supply us. So, one of your standard operating orders is to be watchful for anything and everything that we will be able to make use of."

"As you may have noticed in exploring your new home for the foreseeable future, referring to our Calamari Cruiser as "modified" is a rather large understatement. This ship exists only to support us, and our Shock Commandos. It has no other purpose. Therefore its turbo laser batteries have been boosted, and guns have been added. All crew not essential to our primary or secondary goals have been removed as best we have been able, and all available space has been converted to starfighter storage, Repairs & Maintenance Ops, and training areas for both the Combat Pilots and the Shock team.

"You will have noticed that Medical Operations has been expanded, but the galley has been reduced in size. This is because we have replaced as much of the personnel as we can with single purpose droids, and while we expect our personnel loss rate to be low, we also expect our injury and casualty rate to be very high simply because we are who we are. So, we now have one of the most complete and advanced mobile MedOps centers in the Alliance. While we don't imagine that we will be making use of MedOps unnecessarily, we fully expect that it will be one of the busiest sections of the ship over the full time of our commission.

"You may have found already that the Bar and Grill has been expanded, as well,"

::Nope, haven't had the chance to get there yet:: you think to yourself.

"...which is to be made use of judiciously, and only at the proper times.

"Another area of the ship that has been expanded is the Simulation Training Operations area. Because we only have a few squadrons aboard, I've organized the PSG into a rotational duty roster based on a thirty hour day. You will be on duty for a maximum of ten hours, and on call for an additional ten hours, followed by ten hours off. I expect everyone to log a significant number of hours of flight time each day, whether in your starfighters or in SimOps. By the time we go active, you should be able to fly combat missions in your sleep. In fact, flying training missions in your sleep ranked very high on the projected 'eventual probabilities' list."

::Oh, man::, you think to yourself, ::that's probably why they were looking at extended flight time capability and situational awareness more than number of kills::.

"You've also likely noticed that the Aragorn has only one large Briefing Room. This is because there are only two active squadrons on board at any given moment. The Shock Commandoes will be present for briefing on any missions which involve them, as opposed to the separate briefings commando teams normally receive, and that they will get for any other situations.

"You will find in your indoctrination packet the layout specs of the Aragorn. Learn the areas that you need to be most concerned with for now. When you have time, you can learn the rest. Due to the sometimes exceedingly perilous missions we sometimes find ourselves in, you'll be required to know every cubic centimeter of the interior and exterior of the Aragorn. Not only might it save your life, knowing the specific details of our mothership may save the lives of many of our personnel, as well. This requirement, while it may sound extreme, addresses a situation with which Grey had to deal, in what the Academy now refers to as the 'Sabaac Mission'.

"So, to reiterate, the good news... You're going to be spending much time in SimOps and taking personal responsibility for your starfighters. This means that sleep will be fairly scarce that's why your quarters aren't very big. You won't be there much, and you won't be doing much other than sleeping very heavily when you do get the opportunity to be there. That's also why the Cadets quarters allow them only about half the space that you actually have their training is going to be much harder than yours.

"Getting inebriated at a crucial time - and all times are to be considered crucial unless specifically announced otherwise by myself - is, from this point forward, a court martial offense. The lives of everyone aboard may depend on your reaction time, and I intend to see that your reaction time is honed to its sheerest minimum."

::Sheesh! And this is the GOOD news?::

"The bad news... You will report to MedOps to have a small tracking device inserted into your chest. It will be placed close to your heart, and will broadcast your location at all times. The frequencies are information which is of a "need to know" basis. You don't need to know, so you're not going to be told. This precaution is being taken so that we might find you more quickly in the event you are ejected from your starfighter. It is our experience that, often, some time can pass before we are able to send a recovery team. In those cases, locating you more quickly betters your chance of survival. Being positioned close to your heart, your tracker is powered by it, and should remain intact as long as you do.

"If you have any problem with this whatsoever, contact Personnel for immediate transfer, and then schedule a mind wipe of the last few days at MedOps. Those are the only choices you have in the matter!"

::Yah! I'd call that the bad news ...comparatively::.

"Your mission parameters are always the LEAST that is required. You are expected to think past those parameters, find and take advantage of any opportunities that may arise. Consider the advantages of any craft you may happen to have available, and expect that we will, if at the scene, come up with the same advantageous conclusions, even though we must, very often, proceed with a communications blackout. If we haven't come to the same conclusion as you did, we shortly will.

"Your standing orders are, first, to gather as much information as possible. Second, to make judgments based on that information. Keep in mind that even the best of planning doesn't always ensure that missions unfold the way we expect them to. The greatest opportunities are often unexpected. Also keep in mind that we are responsible for supplying ourselves with everything we need.

"That all having been said... Welcome to the Patriot’s Starfighter Group!"

Castor bowed slightly toward the viewer.

"I sincerely hope you live long enough to enjoy it properly. You have my word that I will do my best to see that you do."

With that, Castor bent slightly at the waist and brought his chin down slightly closer to his chest. He raised his hands; palms flat and toward his own face, touched the ends of his fingers together so his forearms were at a 90 degree angle to each other, and brought them to the center of his forehead in a strange kind of a salute that you'd never seen before.

"Nest high, and soar with the gods!"

After Castor's closing, his shape fuzzed, flickered once, and vanished the recording was over. Castor had told you that the projector was yours to keep. A small souvenir, he had said with a grin. So you find a place for it amongst your things, and sit back in the slab chair thinking for a minute or two.

::I can do this. As a wise man once said, "Just like Beggar's Canyon back home.":: You think to yourself, and peruse the Aragorn layout searching for MedOps, which is your next stop. You also take a quick look to locate the Bar and Grill and the Pit - it would be a good thing to go meet and greet the people who would be mainly responsible for repairing the starfighters that you would be flying - and probably wrecking.


A very short time later, as you enter MedOps, the MedTech turns and sees you. "Aha! You must be one of the new pilots, here for your implant."

You nod uncertainly as the tech picks up a long needle.

"Yep! That would be me! Are there any of the other pilots on board that you know of?"

"Step over here to the table, remove your shirt, and lay down, please. Actually, you're the first one to come on board," the MedTech said with a smile.

You step to the table and remove your shirt, and the MedTech returns with a long thin needle which he only partially holds out of your full view.

"Uh... Not that I want to question your abilities, but... how many of these implants have you done?" ::If I'm the first, and pilots don't normally get these things, then am I the first at this too?:: The question and the following uncertainty rise unbidden.

"Actually, everyone on board is carrying one of these. The Admiral wants every precaution taken for all the crew concerning unscheduled extra vehicular activities. His reasoning is: stuff happens!" The Tech smiles. "So I've done this, quite literally, thousands of times. The device itself is AI driven to be self guiding. Now, please bear with me, and try not to move. This may pinch just a little..."

The MedTech lowers a scope over your chest and raises the long needle.

::Oh, man!!::


Castor Efrata-Landis


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