Rebel Squadrons

The TIE Fighter Mission Briefing

By FA Tyrell "Spokes" Borran
Unit: Patriot Starfighter Group
Fleet NL, Dec 09, 2009
Back to Articles

Mission is available from the Killboard and is due midnight December 20, 2009.


PSG Battle 1, Mission 5: Arms Race

I waited while the four pilots and our support craft went to the remote site to pick up our supplies. I'd taken a map of the space convenient to our location, and I'd made a range limit. I'd picked one number, and Katie and Arnie supplied the other two. That had been how I chose the supply drop location. From there, Lieutenant Colonel Davit had taken the message to the Rebel Squadrons High Command, and they had taken care of the details.

The whole thing stinks. I know that the R.S. has been compromised. Somehow. Somewhere. It all feels wrong. And I hope I made the right choice assigning Tacomah to the Flight 1 Lead position.

That had been a risky decision. But Jack hadn't disagreed. He hadn't even questioned it. Tacomah had, though.


“Yes,” I'd said. “You've got the load.”

“But..” the boy had stuttered.

“Are you able to fly?”

“Yessir!” He'd said immediately.

“Are you able to make decisions?”

“Yessir!” He'd said again.

“Are you able to communicate effectively?”

The young pilot's answer wasn't as fast this time. “Yes, sir.”

“Then do so.” I lifted one eyebrow at him.

Tacomah had gotten a determined set to his face and nearly marched from the briefing room. Jack had looked at me without emotion. I nodded, and turned to leave for the bridge.


The boy had taken his charges out of the bay crisply, and concentrated on the pronunciation of his orders. They'd gone into hyperspace to meet the Dawn's Hope and the rest of our smaller craft at the supply drop.

And now all I can do is wait.


“I can't believe you're not jumping at the chance of flying a... how did you put it… 'real' fighter?”

“A Y Wing,” Shay scoffed, “I admit, it's about ten steps up from a tinfoil balloon with two cardboard sides tacked to it, but to describe it as a 'real' fighter... And what about the risk? All those microbes you are likely not to have flushed.”

“Just a few more for you to conquer.”

“But what's the use? That mission is done, over. Nothing happened, nobody died, no blood, no flying body parts.” Her hands, less animated than they normally would have been, showed her reluctance to expend much energy.

“We can't have you flying one of those missions as a first try, can we?” I tapped the window between us twice, and she brought her eyes back to me.

“So you have me flying circles around a stationary object?” She was not happy at all.

I smiled. “Let's just say that I want to see if there is some living tissue left in that brain of yours, or if the gift of observation and deduction and evaluation have been flushed out as well.”

Shay narrowed her eyes. “A trick? A trap? A pitfall? Just the old Castor Humor? Ewoks crawling up and down the Thistle, just so I think I'm hallucinating again?”

“My, my. How suspicious you are.” I said, raising one eyebrow. “Actually, some interesting tidbits happened during that mission, I just want to know if you pick up on it, and what you make of it.”

“Go ahead, bring it in.” She sighed resignedly. I gave the go ahead to pass through the equipment. A, personal virtual simulator, carefully laser scoured and disinfected. Castor remembered his master of the tunnels once saying: If you can't bring Muhammad to the mountain, then bring the mountain to Muhammad. A bucketful at a time will do.

I sat outside her isolation unit with my hands upon the widow that separated me from Shay. She put on the gear and sat back on her couch. Her feet twitched a little when she forgot that she wasn't really on the flight deck. I could feel when she entered the staging area of the simulation. And I felt her decisions as she made them. She made the initial choice that would have been very bad for the mission. …and the Dawn’s Hope. But she was definitely not at her best, and I couldn't fault her for that. Not at all.


Castor made his way to the briefing room. He felt a little at odds. The remote missions had definitely been a double edged sword. They had been good in that they proved beyond any capacity to rationalize random acts, and that there was someone interested in the PSG's activities. That someone had tried to plant explosives, at a remote site picked at random, to sabotage the project showed a number of things. It let the Rebel Squadrons High Command know that they should tighten their security measures. And the interest and curiosity in this project by an outside group was unmistakable, as was the fact that this particular group still did not know who Thorn was.

But maybe Castor worried too much about that particular point. Maybe their underestimation was in Castor himself. Or maybe that underestimation was justified. Maybe Castor was overestimating the PSG's importance. …and his own. He shook his head. “Only time will tell. But it won't hurt to be prepared.”

However. Sending his pilots out on remote missions could also prove to be a large mistake, simply because it split his forces. If Castor's Worst Case Scenario played out, it wouldn't do at all to have part of his force elsewhere. Exposed.

Castor calmed himself and organized his thoughts. He called Katie to have the call for the briefing sounded.


Castor watched them file in. They were looking more like a unit every day, and he was becoming quite proud of them. So far no one had gotten themselves killed, but then, while the missions they'd flown hadn't been very demanding, for the most part, they had been at some risk. Far too many things could have gone wrong anything from a simple communications misunderstanding to an unexpected attack by a sizeable force. And thank the gods no one had tried to be any more of a hero then they had to be at this point. That meant they were thinking. “Which is good. …very good indeed.”

Castor paced back and forth in front of the holoprojector, his hands behind his back. “Well!” He began. “You've managed to do it again. You have the Dawn's Hope volunteering for every dangerous mission we've got that needs doing.”

“After analyzing the sensor recordings and your reports, it seems the heavy lifter you were able to record a small snatch of had just slightly less than enough time to drop that container of explosives and get out before you got there. Apparently they got sloppy and missed their schedule while having a fair idea of ours. It seems they had to drop their container without having the time to stabilize its position, and just managed to leave as you were arriving. The remote team chose to destroy the container due to the following circumstances: the container had drifted out of alignment within the group, suggesting a hurried placement. All the containers were in sets of two, with that one being the third group and only one of its group. But the biggest piece of information leading to the decision was its contents. We weren't scheduled to be picking up any kind of weaponry on this last run, and we knew that. It was supposed to be just supplies and equipment, since we're still in the process of reactivating.”

“As close as we can tell, from your sensor data, that container was set to explode if it was tampered with or opened, or shortly after Dawn's Hope would have been expected to enter hyperspace. Our carrier and friends would have been scattered into atoms and debris of various sizes. It all would have been traveling very fast, but still would have been debris nonetheless.

“However. It didn't. It wasn't. And recommendations for PSG personnel commendations have been forwarded by Lieutenant Colonel Davit and the Dawn's Hope Command.”

The pilots began to hoot and clap. Tacomah, Juho, Bigfoot and Ste all received congratulatory slaps on shoulders and backs. The pilots were insufferably pleased with themselves. That was fine. They'd earned the right, and Castor let it continue for a while. He noticed, however, that Juho was sitting quietly, seemingly not wanting to join in anything which had the slightest chance of embarrassing himself again. Castor would have to find Juho afterward and let him know it was okay to loosen up. Juho had improved a lot in the last week, as far as his particular problem went, but he still seemed to be setting himself aside, not communicating any more than he had to. Castor saw a lot of leadership potential there Juho just had to find a way to get at it without sacrificing anything else. In any event, being as eager and dedicated as Juho was, the full adjustment probably wouldn't take very long.

“Okay. The good news. We've got Dawn's Hope coming in shortly with a large load of torpedoes, missiles, laser and turbo laser parts, and other assorted weaponry appropriate for Shock Troop.”

Barely muffled statements of “YES!” could be heard throughout the pilots. They had been waiting for their missiles you can only do so much damage with lasers without taking some fairly large risks. And Shock was anxious to get their own batch of esoteric devices, as well.

“According to the plan, the Dawn’s Hope left under escort by the Odin and Grey Alpha Squadron. Its entire route is unknown to ANYone but Davit and the escort carrier command, but its time of arrival has been scheduled. In the time it has taken from its scheduled launch, the carrier could have taken any of a half a dozen paths to get here, so we're pretty sure that it's been safe en route. However, since it is going to be here at a previously specified time, it would behoove us to be ready for trouble, just in case, because a number of people in the R.S. know about it as well.

“So you're saying that you suspect someone on High Command of being a traitor?” The question came from Tacomah.

“Absolutely not.” Castor corrected him. “The officers on High Command are beyond question as to their loyalties. I do, however, question their security. While it wouldn't be easy, it would not be impossible to hack their com frequencies, invade their data storage, or corrupt an aide. Any of which could give an enormous amount of data away. I do NOT, however, question their judgment. Since we haven't been attacked outright, I believe that our enemy still does not know who we are. Therefore, what ever information leak there may be, it's very small, and our enemy is relying more on deduction and the compilation of that tiny bit of data and other facts.”

A number of heads nodded within the group.

“Now the bad news. Since this IS a load of weaponry, it's very likely that there IS going to be trouble. Dawn's Hope is a pretty big ship, and it's going to be full; we've got a lot of space on the Aragorn which has been dedicated to weapon storage, since we're going to have to rely on ourselves to replenish it. That makes this load, while vital to us, a veritable treasure trove to ANY one who either a) needs weapons themselves, or b) doesn't want us to have them. I feel that the security breach back at the Squadrons pretty well guarantees that some one is going make a bid for it. And I just hope that the price isn't our lives.”

“So, we can expect any one of a number of things. They may attack us outright, just to stop us from becoming a potentially grave danger. If they've got any clue who we are, that's exactly what they'll do. Our only hope, in that event and I do mean our ONLY hope is that they underestimate our starfighter combat abilities once again. I'm not optimistic that we will be shortchanged for much longer, though. On the other hand, that will become academic shortly. Your simulator scores have mostly come into the range I was looking for before I wanted to activate the PSG officially. Once we have our weaponry and any clue as to where to find them, WE'll be the hunters.”

Various growls and hoots and other noises which could, more or less, be attributed to semi sentient and other more highly developed predatory species were heard for a few short seconds.

“Or,” Castor continued, “they could try to disable the carrier, and try to take it for themselves. We have planned for this contingency in that Commander Garant of Shock Troop will have a team already on board the Dawn's Hope. Worst Case Scenario… it will be their job to defend the carrier internally should the enemy get past you. We don't expect this because it would be very risky for them to try. They would need a force big enough to delay or destroy you, and then another sufficient to disable the carrier. All in all, it would end up being a venture that could cost them heavily. We still don't know who we're dealing with here, but I am fairly confident that they don't have the resources to make the attempt.”

“Another choice they have is detente. In other words, destroy the carrier; they won't have it, but neither will we. This is the option I'm expecting. It lets them concentrate their entire force on getting rid of the carrier, and once that's done they will have the option of turning on you or high tailing it out as quickly as possible.”

“Just so that you fully understand the situation, detente is an option that we have, as well. W.C.S. if the attacking force gets through you, and prevails against Garant and her commandos, and if it seems as if the Dawn's Hope will inevitably fall into enemy hands, as a last resort its personnel have additional orders to scuttle the carrier and take out as many of the opposing forces as possible in the process.”

“Shock and the Dawn's Hope crew are reasonably confident that the worst case scenario will be avoided. However, it is very much up to you.”

“Thorn Flights one, two and three will have Eyeballs, Flight four leader has an X. The rest of the fighters will be on standby and ready to launch if it looks serious. All craft will be prepped and ready to launch in... Twenty three minutes.

“Your Flight assignments are on your datapads. Nest high.”


Admiral Tyrell "Spokes" Borran
Commanding Officer
Patriot Starfighter Group


There are no comments for this news post yet.