Rebel Squadrons

Mission Narrative - TIE Fighter

By FA Tyrell "Spokes" Borran
Unit: The Rebel Squadrons
----------, Aug 16, 2012
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Begin Log: T5B3M4, Past Present

Rensal "Bigfoot" Darklighter: Flight 6.1 Main P.O.V.

"It looks like we are just about done with the Fighters and Interceptors but the rest of them will take a while longer. I ain't worried about the bomber, but it would be nice to get that T-wing operational for the next time we scramble." I was saying to Dave as we ate getting ready to get some sleep.

"I agree. The bomber will probably be the worst possible fighter to fix at this time. But that T-wing would be great!"

"The T-wing doesn't fly right. I hate it. I wish we could get a sturdy A-wing in here," came the grumpy sounds of Vender as he left on his way to get some sleep.

"You’re always against every fighter except the A-wing." Replied Dave.

"Of course, A-wing is the best fighter." Said Vender.

"He wont see it any other way sir. Anyways. We better go where he’s going ‘cause I got a feeling we won’t get the full shift in." I said.

"Is it that gut feeling again?"asked Dave.

"Yeah. It is." I replied.

"I’m going to inform everyone to be in their flight suits, that way no matter where they are, we can scramble on a moments notice." Dave said.

"See ya in a little bit."

"See ya, Biggy."

We left the mess. Dave went down to the pit, and then up to his room, as I went to mine. Three quarters of the way through the sleep cycle for my shift we were woken to the sound of:


The battle claxon blared.




I hurried down to the pit and jumped into the lead interceptor. As I popped my systems online I began yelling into the com. "Thorns check in when your ready!"

A chorus of “ready”s came back just leaving Dave’s interceptor beside me not checked in. I look over and got a thumbs up.

"Thorns Launch! Five's comm system is out. He can hear but cant talk!"

Here's the good news, Greys. This time it was the Admiral. Regardless of how he began, the Admiral’s news was all bad.

"Great just what we need a hundred fighters to our...."

"Shut up Fifteen!" I snapped.

"Five, on me. We’re going to tangle with those avengers." I looked over and saw Dave flash me an ok sign. "The rest of you take out everything else that’s flying."

"Watch out for those missiles Five." I warned Dave as I noticed Vender coming up in the third Interceptor. "Seventeen, while were keeping these avengers busy, make a run on the deuce. I don’t want any surprises coming from her."

"I copy lead" Taan replied as he shot towards the Duece.

"Good shot Five!" One Avenger down, two to go. I thought. "Your on my wing again, Five." I glanced back to where Dave had pulled back up on my wing to make sure he was ok. Then I pulled hard to starboard. I looped around port, and got in on the next avenger. After five minutes of pounding, I finally got it.

"Your turn again Five." I let Dave slide in front of me, and matched him move for move and protected his six.

Three minute warning Thorns! Get your fighters back on board!

"Five, break off! We have less than two minutes to get back." Punching the throttle to full, we rocketed towards the Saguaro. "Incoming missiles! Evasi..." I yelled when one of those missiles hit my doubled rear shields. I started spinning towards the Saguaro. I immediately killed the engines, because, luckily, when I got hit I was just outside the tractor beams range. A couple seconds after I cut the engines, I felt a massive jolt, and my head hit something very hard. I went unconscious.

Dave looked around at the even more scared fighters, mentally tallying them to make sure everyone made it. Only one wasn’t in site. The interceptor Biggy was flying. He turned around at the sound of the footsteps coming his way. He saw the Admiral and saluted.

Castor returned the salute. "Great flying out there, Dave."

"Thanks sir, but where’s Biggy? We’re in hyperspace, but his interceptor isn’t here," said a worried Dave.

"It was snagged by the tractors right before we entered hyperspace, and was pulled into the launch bay. But he should have been up here already. I wonder what’s keeping him," came Castors reply.

"Lets go check on him," said Dave and they started walking towards the launch room.

"Sirs!" A female voice came from behind.

They both turned around and saw the female Deck Officer. "Yes, Lieutenant?"

"Admrial, sir. Bigfoot was unconscious when we got him on board because of the tractor beam. As we were trying to get him out, he woke up, and we transported him to medical."

"Thank you, Lieutenant." Castor told her. He turned around to Dave, but Dave was already halfway into the hallway heading towards sickbay.


I looked up from the bed I was lying on in the med bay as Dave entered. "Hey, Dave!"

"Hey Biggy! Glad to see you’re in pretty good shape!" Dave finally cracked the first smile he’d had since the mission started.

"I am 100% okay, as far as I am concerned, and Sheryl hasn’t found anything wrong. She’s currently waiting on a couple test results to make sure nothing is wrong."

"That’s great news, Bigfoot," came Castor’s voice from behind Dave.

"Thank you, Admiral. I should be flight ready again within an hour. All I have is a headache from the hit."

"Hello Admiral!" Said Sheryl as she walked into the room.

"Hello Miss Iagin." He replied.

"The test results show that there is no damage. I’m going to give him something for his headache that will keep him from being flight capable for about two hours, but he will be released for duty."

"Thank you. Bigfoot, the rotation schedule will be posted in five minutes." With that he turned and headed for the bridge.

"I'll catch ya when you get outta here and get back to work." Said Dave as he headed to his quarters to clean up.


Dave Trebonius-Astorius: Flight 6.2, alternate p.o.v.


"Scramble, damn it!"

Dave could sense the frustration oozing from every word. And he could sympathize, too. He was tired of running. He was tired of losing. And he was convinced that Grey would not be in this position right now if it had not been for General Greedo's incredibly short-sighted plan which resulted in the loss of most of the battle group's support vessels. Dave struggled to shut down the well of resentment and regret that threatened to bubble to the surface.

Pushing aside his thoughts, Dave scrambled for his fighter. He didn't see Tacomah, but he hoped that he had got to a fighter quickly. They needed him out there. He sighed. What was done was done. But there were always ways to ensure that it would not happen again...


The battle was fast and furious. Dave's interceptor twisted and turned, firing lasers and missiles with seemingly reckless abandon. His comm was out, so he couldn't speak to the other members of the squadron. The chatter, at times quite abrasive, that he heard was enough to remind him that he could still HEAR them, however. "Good shot, 5!" That would be Bigfoot, of course. Dave moved back from his successful shot and again covered Biggy's wing.

Not being able to talk had its disadvantages. Dave desperately wanted to point out that, although it was a challenging dogfight, they were not seriously outnumbered. There was also the fact that the Star Destroyer was only launching fighters, and neither making a determined effort to catch up to the Aragorn nor launching bombers to attack it. There seemed little logic to the attack, and that was worrisome in and of itself.

Unfortunately, he couldn't point these things out. So he kept fighting,covering Bigfoot when told, taking out a T/A or two when the moment was opportune. As soon as he received the warning from the Aragorn he put all energy to the engines and lead the Thorns in bugging out. Bigfoot's voice filled the comm, "Incoming missiles! Evasi-" It was promptly cut off in a burst of static, but Dave couldn't do anything about it. He was already settling onto the flight deck. Dave growled in frustration and slammed a fist against the dashboard.


The Aragorn had escaped, but Dave knew it still was not in great shape. Bigfoot fortunately turned out to be fine. After checking in with him, Dave raised an eyebrow at Castor, but decided not to press the issue of recent tactical and strategic decisions with him. The man had a shot-up ship beneath his feet, and he had enough things to worry about for now without the outrageous ramblings of an aging admiral...


Adam “Vender” Fene: Flight 6.3, alternate p.o.v.

Vender yelped in pain. "Ack!" He was on 3rd shift, rewiring a sad looking T-Wing.

Sucking on his finger to avoid a blister, he knew he was tired when he realized he wasn't wearing gloves as it was part of safety procedures. Though he used to be a mechanic before he joined the rebellion, sometimes things still slipped his mind. "Taan are you over there? Taan?" Vender listened for a moment. "Frag him anyway, he bruised my chest.."

Not only was his chest bruised, but half of his body was also. Previously he had gone out in an Eyeball to help protect the ship, when the tractor beam gave up when he was docking, and ended up sliding in on the TIE's solar panel. The gravity that returned pushed his body against the side of the cockpit, leaving a warm but painful feeling.

The Avenger simulation two hours before hadn't made him feeling any better. He, of course, had been in a real one numerous times as he had led a fleet of them before. He wasn't one to argue with Castor though, and put up with the simulations. He needed the extra practice anyway, as he wasn't exactly an ace pilot.

"...GREY SQUADRON..." The battle claxon blared.

"Ahhh sithspit!" Vender jumped to his feet and ran across the hangar to an Interceptor. "Here I go.." He checked in with the D.O. as he fastened on the ugly greyish TIE helmet through the comm. "This is Vender, I'm going out!" Not more than a few seconds passed. "You're cleared Vender, the tractor beams will have you out in a few moments--"

Castors voice came in over the comm with important news. A deuce.. with possibly hundreds of Fighters.. were coming in on them. He knew what was coming. He could feel it. Avengers no less, he wouldn't expect anything less from that complementary of fighters. Vender grit his teeth as he cleared the Saguaro.


Heading straight towards the deuce's super structure, he quickly found enemy fighters emerging from it. Avengers, as he had predicted. There were also various other fighters that emerged, shields included, making things tougher. "This is going to take too much time.."

Thinking faster than the concussion missile that just flew past him, he dropped his shields. The conc raced around in a large arching loop as it tried to catch up to him, finding thin space where Vender had been before. In a premature explosion, Vender shot down the missiles and continued to head in towards the Avengers without shields. He lived for this.

Bring it..

Vender watched his speed increase to 125 MGLT as he closed in on an avenger. He had two buddies that dropped in on his tail. As he shot at the Avenger in front of him, it evaded sharply with Vender close behind. The Avenger was actually helping him, as he tried to keep up with it the two behind him couldn't get a decent shot in. Missile lock blared a warning, and he tried not to pay attention until it went red.

Don't you go gettin in my way..This is between me and him. Who's better.

Suddenly Vender's eyes went wide as he realized the Avenger was leading him on in the path the missile would be shot. Quickly dumping all his laser energy into his shields, he broke off to port and swung around to face the Avengers behind him. He was out-matched.. But he was keeping them occupied.

I'm the only one that is going to manipulate in this fight.

The missile hit his aft shield and sent him sprawling between two Avengers that broke in opposite directions. The fighter he had been chasing was now on his back, but not for long.

Not this time!!

Cutting the throttle he put on the breaks, while at the same time putting any energy he could to the aft shielding. The Avenger pilot expected him to go low and come behind, but was too late to realize Vender was playing Kamikazee. The shields buckled as the Avenger slammed into his upper aft shield. The Avengers shielding was cut nearly and half. It did some good, but it left Vender naked in the lone Interceptor.

Oh force, please guide me now. I'm no Skywalker, but I'll be yer friend if ya do.

Jostling the flight stick he kept the throttle at about one third power, and just did a three-sixty loop to come in right behind the Avenger as it had first suspected. The Avenger sped up before Vender got there, but it was close enough to pump the aft full of laser energy and cripple the fighter.

One down.

3 Minute Warning! Came over the comm.

Shoot! And just when I was making new friends. ... Wait a am I going to get back?

Vender was six klicks from the Saguaro, with two Avengers chasing him. There was no way he'd get back in time.

Unless I have a little help..

"This is Vender, I need reinforcements! I got two Avengers on me, and I'm pretty far out! I'm--"

Vender was cut off. What's your position? We'll send some out right away!

"I'm near the deuce!" Vender checked his scanners. He accidently had identified it in his skirmish. He wondered if that information would somehow be useful, but doubted it. Although, who knew.

"They're on their way! We see you, just throttle up and head in.. They're probably going to shoot off stray missiles to distract. Hurry!"

Vender did as ordered, and shot through space at blazing speed.

Two minutes left.

He was still four klicks out when he saw missiles fly by, but he seemed to be outrunning the Avengers.

Thirty four seconds left.

The tractors started pulling him in, and for thirty more seconds he felt relief. "Thanks control."

No problem, we'd hate to lose you. Standby for the hyperjump.

Vender was once again pulled into the hangar, seconds before jumping to hyperspace.

I'm really cutting it too close these days. I hope to force I don't lose my edge. Be a pity not being able to see that Med Doctor again. Maybe I can fake something to get out of Avenger sims.



Jila Cosa: Additional p.o.v

Jila wanted to drop her equipment and run to the docking bay as soon as she heard the reports of how rough the landing of Tacomah's fighter had been. She didn't know what the others thought but, By The Gods, he was just a kid! A very Smart kid, but a kid none the less. But she knew that leaving TacOps now, without permission, would Not be the best thing for her to do. She waited, wrote and signed her reports, until Finally she was released from duty.

Jila ran the whole way to the docking bay only to find that Tacomah had been taken to MedOps to be checked out by Sheryl Iagin. By Sheryl's own orders nobody but the patient could be in MedOps while an examination was underway.

Jila paced the hallway. The adrenalin rush that had started in TacOps when Riv had reported that hull integrity was at 50% hadn't stopped yet, and the more Jila paced the more the adrenaline seemed to pump into her system. Jila checked her datapad a dozen times while she paced. To her it seemed that time stood still or that the whole universe had gone into slow motion while she paced.

Her datapad beeped once and Jila hit the message button. "Report to Droid Maintenance" was all it read. Punching the message button again to shut the message and beeper off, Jila stuffed the datapad back into its pocket.

Can't work. Can't think. Jila's heart pounded in her chest as she resumed pacing. Ra's gonna be pissed. Can't be helped. Gotta find someway to clear my head. What do the Greys and Shock do? The gym? Can't go there, too crowded by now. Shock training area? Nobody's there right now, Shock's all helping with repairs. She made up her mind and took off for the Shock training room. With her concentration centered on what she was about to do Jila heard none of the greetings aimed at her as she walked quickly through the ship's corridors. Those people that Jila had begun to make friends with stared at her in surprise when she didn't return their greetings. This wasn't like Jila.

In a short time Jila was at the door of Shock's training area. She went straight in, walked over to the room controls, and stared at the panel for a few seconds. In her frustration she nearly cried. She had no idea how to set the room controls for what she wanted to do.

"DAMN!!" She yelled as she hit the wall next to the panel. What now? Just then an LE Repair Droid walked into the room. "You!" Jila called to the droid as she swiped a tear from her cheek. "You know about artificial gravities. Help me with this. I want you to set it so that I can run the walls, the floor, the ceiling, and use the equipment without totally killing myself."

"Yes Lt. Commander" The Repair Droid said as it studied the panel for a second and then touched a few buttons. "All gravity generators are set, all surfaces will function as floors."

"Thanks, your a pal." Jila said as she ran at full speed for the opposite wall. Just before Jila smashed into the wall she did a small jump step that landed one foot on the wall and then the other. Jila stumbled just a bit as her mind felt that It had been tipped over sideways. She got her balance back in a couple steps and kept right on running. The ceiling was the weird part but if she didn't think about it too much then it seemed okay.

After five complete trips around the room Jila threw herself at one of the obstacle courses she had seen on her trip around the room. This particular one looked easier than the rest though she knew that it would still take a Lot of work to get through it. Jila ran across thin walkways, through tunnels, up ladders, jumped across broken bridges, climbed walls, everything imaginable.

Finishing this course Jila was panting and her heart pounded harder than ever. She knew she wasn't ready to leave the room just yet, still too much adrenaline in her system. That was when she saw it. It was a tube shaped piece of climbing equipment.

Must be for practicing climbing lift tubes. Jila noticed that there was a climbing surface on the outside of the tube as well as the inside so up the outside she went. She climbed and climbed, her confidence level rose with every tier she passed.

Unfortunately, in her over-confidence Jila missed a hand and a foot hold at the same time but thinking quick (or so she thought) she pushed herself out toward the nearest wall hoping that the artificial gravity that helped her stay on the wall while running would grab her and keep her from falling. It worked, but better than she'd expected. Instead of being held in place when she hit the artificial gravity like she thought Jila fell sideways just as if she was falling down. She hit the wall.


Jila stayed where she landed for some time trying to get back the breath that had been knocked out of her. Her right arm, from her collarbone to her finger tips, tingled like an electric shock.

"Brilliant" Jila gasped as she massaged her forearm. "Just brilliant. Stupid droid. Too damn literal." As her breathing came easier she sat up, waited for the dizziness to abate.

"Hey, are you okay?" The male walking up the wall toward her asked. "Looked like you hit pretty hard there."

"Yeah, I'm okay." Jila answered. "Just a minor miscalculation" Then she stood up and walked down off the wall. She walked out of the room without waiting for the person, who she supposed must have been a Shock member, to finish chuckling at the newbie's performance.

With the adrenaline finally out of her system, Jila knew it was time to face Captain Ra's wrath.

The first thing Jila saw when she walked into Droid Maintenance was the look on Captain Ra's face and she could see that she was in for a Full dressing down. Without a second thought Jila did the only thing that she could. She walked straight over to Captain Ra, tried for a proper salute even though she wasn't exactly military, and stood properly at attention. To Jila's surprise and relief, after a good thirty minutes of sweating, Captain Ra growled about urgent repairs and to "get to it!".

"Yes Sir!" Jila said and tried for another salute. This one wasn't nearly as good as the first as she felt her shoulder try to lock when she brought her arm up. Jila walked to her locker, opened it, and tried to take her tool box out. With a loud crash and clatter the tool box fell to the floor as Jila jumped and howled with pain. Something was desperately wrong but she didn't know what.

"MedOps, Cosa. Now!" Captain Ra barked as he came up behind her.

"But my tools Sir." Jila tried hard not to cry but her shoulder and upper arm were killing her.

"I'll get them, Jila." One of the other techs said as he slid in beside her.

"Now, Cosa." The Captain said in a gentler tone.

"Yes Sir." Jila swallowed hard, and left the Maintenace bay holding her right arm tight with her left hand. Tears streaked Jila's face as she walked though the MedOps door.

"There you are." Sheryl Iagin greeted her as she administered a hypo for the pain. "Captain Ra told me he'd sent you up. So tell me what you did."

Jila sighed and told her everything. There was no getting around it, Sheryl would know it wasn't just a matter of picking up a toolbox wrong. After a couple of scans Jila was out like a light after an MD2 slid up beside her and anesthetized her......

"We've repaired you shoulder Jila." Sheryl said as Jila woke. "From now on stick to the crew's gym please. You'll find that your body won't take so much punishment there."

"Yes, ma'am." Jila replied moving her shoulder around in wider and wider circles.
"The Admiral says to tell you..." Sheryl began and watched Jila's face fall. ".... that he needs you in TacOps as soon as possible."

Jila sighed, the Admiral wouldn't be as forgiving as Captain Ra. She hurried down the corridors and up the lift not wanting to look like she was stalling to get to TacOps. Jila slipped through the door while it opened, walked over to her station and grabbed her equipment.

"We'll talk later." Was the only thing the Admiral said to her as she slipped on her headset because......


The battle claxon blared.




"Clear them for launch Cosa." The Admiral ordered.

"Yes Sir." Jila cleared them all one flight at a time, then the Admiral spoke into his comm...

"Here's the good news, Greys." Jila got the news as the Greys did. And none of it was good.

Jila looked at the holotank quickly to see who and what was out there. She saw the Aragorn, Flights 1,2, and 6 taking position around the Aragorn, and an Imperial Class Star Destroyer. As she watched the Star Destroyer seemed to spray out fighters from every direction. The TacTeam studied the holotank. “Find out what's here and decide what's next” seemed to be the only plan at the moment. Jila watched as Shielded Bombers and Shielded Interceptors flew straight for the Greys. It was strange but she noticed that no matter how many times they got past the Rebel fighters not one shot was taken at the Aragorn. Then a group of Interceptors started to target Flight 6. Were they playing with us? Or just trying to swat the Greys like a bunch of annoying insects.

"Remember, Thorns," Jila relayed to the Greys "18 minutes is the limit. We'll give you a three minute warning, but that's all you'll have. Don't worry about the Widow. It can't catch us."

The Greys and the Imperials flew around and around, in and out of each other's range, it was an amazing site. Jila now knew why they spent so much time in the sims. Second guessing your opponents flight plan wasn't something you could do without practice.

Flight Six, we could use a little cover if you're able. 1.1 said

"There's nothing here Admiral." The human Tac member shook his head.

"Possibly only a defensive barrier point." The mon calamari added

As Jila listened to the TacTeam, Lessa called to her on a separate comm channel.

Damn, Jila! Lessa voice sounded full of angry energy When are you going to send us out! They know we're sitting here all but out the door.

"They're not." Jila whispered into the comm. "They find no reason to send you out right now, and without a plan, even with your combat training, you'd be taken out fast."

Can't they find Some way for me to be useful out there? Jila heard a noise that sounded a lot like Lessa slamming the Brier's bulkhead.

"We have calculated the next jump point." The Verpine stated.

"Three minute warning, Cosa." The Admiral ordered

"Three minute warning, Thorns." Jila said loud and clear. "All chicks return to the nest now."

Let's head for home! Full rear shields. 1.1 ordered.

The Greys abandoned their individual battles as fast as they could to dock within the allotted time. Jila shook her head. Even after Tacomah's incident there were still Greys who insisted on staying out until the last possible second.

When would they ever learn.


End log: T5B3M4

Battle 3, Mission 5: Present Palindrome
by R.C.Miller (
A Grey Squadron, of the Rebel Squadrons, Additional Text Briefing
for Grey Squadron’s add-on Mission 5, Battle 3, Tour 5
for the Star Wars TIE Fighter Combat Simulator game.

The MedTech, Iagin, gave them the rundown on Bigfoot. The news was much brighter than any Castor had lately. The ship was limping through space. Spinel, whom Castor the Greys had faced a lifetime ago, wasn’t in any hurry to catch them this time. Spinel knew that the Saguaro wasn’t going anywhere. All he had to do was wait.

While the lesser ship, the Scorpion, had a limited complement of starfighters, the Black Widow could, potentially, hold a few hundred. The Strategy of Combat was such that Spinel could launch them all, targeting the Aragorn, and they would win. Oh, yes, they would win. But their supply lines were limited, and starfighters ran on depletable fuel, so conservation of resources dictated that if the goal was not necessarily to destroy the Aragorn, then the Republic Ship’s starfighters must be depleted first. Even then, the Widow couldn’t launch too many fighters because of the risk of crashing into, or otherwise destroying, one of your own people. So you send out the minimum amount of power and people you think can take care of the task.

He still can’t know it’s Grey. We beat him once. He’d risk the mayhem if he knew it was us.

Strategy of Combat was like a large game of chess in some people’s minds. Sacrifice a pawn, or position, to gain a bigger advantage in the long run. Castor didn’t necessarily subscribe to that point of view. He felt that the best way to solve a problem was not to let it become a problem in the first place. Far fewer lives were lost that way. But most people could rarely see those particular impending disasters approaching. So Castor’s strategies tended toward “decision trees” and taking steps to prune those trees, limiting the choices of the enemy and making the chart look like a web with a point at each end. The first point being getting into the conflict, and the other being the winning that conflict, all possibilities leading to outcomes of other than winning the conflict and keeping as many of his personnel and pilots alive as possible being negated, neutralized, or otherwise circumvented.

Sometimes, though, one did have to take a great risk, of personnel and self, to win.

And this was looking to be one of those times. Too many things had gone wrong. Too many times had Castor been on the short end of the strategy stick. In reviewing the steps taken so far, he still couldn’t see that they’d made any particularly bad choices. In retrospect, yes, a few. But none before the fact. He’d been given too many surprises, though, by this enemy. Too many from an enemy he’d beaten before.

Almost as if they know who we are and what we’re going to do. Except that they can’t know we’re Grey. Their steps were too costly to them to have known. For all their knowing what we were going to do, they’ve been underestimating us.

So how do they know what we’ll do if they don’t know who we are?

That last sobering thought came to Castor as he saw Dave lift an eyebrow, giving him a very pointed look. Castor and Dave had known each other for a long time, and served together on a number of occasions. Dave tended toward diplomacy much more than Castor. Dave had something to say, but wouldn’t. And in not saying anything, said much before he nodded, turned and left.

Greedo is being blamed for our losses. And my wisdom, if not my leadership ability is beginning to be questioned.

So what does Spinel know? And how do they know it? Their knowledge is limited. That I’m sure of. So are their resources this far out. But they know where we’re going. And they know how to get there before we do. A different set of formula for the navigational calculations. Shortcuts. Not tracking devices. No, they’d have to wait till we get to where we’re going.

So how do they know where we’re going? I cherry picked this Grey and everyone aboard. Teke has been monitoring everything that even might be considered remote communication, and Greedo has been taking us along routes that have more than one possibility of destination. Lucky guesses? Do they have each destination covered and are standing ready for us? Possible. That the Black Widow with Spinel found us, tracked us, and has seemingly beaten us, negates the “lucky guesses” thing.

Spies from within are not a possibility unless it’s a mind altered mole. Possible. Not probable.

Spies from without? Greedo? Flame? Wyeth or Moriah? Hmm...

No. Maybe not superior planning, but certainly well prepared. Very well prepared, indeed.

But I wasn’t instructed to reform Grey just to get us out here to die. This is a task that we’re capable of. I know it. I can feel it in my bones. Something only Grey can and will do.


Castor stood on the flight deck with the Greys.

“You’ve done a great job on the fighters, and Katie tells me that your Avenger sim scores say that two of you are ready to take them out. This is most excellent; particularly because our hyperdrives are fried to the point where it’s going to take close to a week to repair them.”

Gasps sounded among the pilots. They didn’t have a week. They didn’t even have days. It would take nothing less than a miracle to keep the Aragorn alive now. And the Greys knew it.

“You may have noticed the planet that we’ve come to. It seems to be a recently formed free floater, but the evidence points to it having been placed here. Internally, it’s hot enough to support a rudimentary bryophyte that’s hardy enough to survive and plentiful enough to sustain a thin, but breathable, atmosphere.”

Juho spoke up. “That’s all well and good, Admiral, sir, but what’s that got to do with anything?” The lad was still dour. The short weeks he’d been on board hadn’t been enough to change that.

“Considering our current circumstances, this is the operative decision tree of possibilities... First is... that we die. All of us. Personally, I find that option fairly objectionable, therefore unacceptable, and not an option. I’m sure that all of you agree.”

Various agreements were heard ranging from serious to sarcastic.

“Or we might be taken as prisoners of Malachite. This I find objectionable as well, and since I don’t see a significant difference between this possibility and the first one, I feel that this is also unacceptable.”

Dave stood close by, looking as if he had suggestions, but also not moving to give voice to them. The way the corners of his eyes stiffened whenever Greedo’s name was mentioned was all the clue Castor needed to know what his primary suggestion would be.

“There is a chance that we might be able to escape, but with our hyperdrives being in the condition that they’re in, the only place that we might escape to is the aforementioned planet. This is why I’ve given you the initial geological scan information. It’s the only place we have to go if we lose this battle.”

“Three bad choices,” Jack said. “Now that you’ve terminally depressed us all, are there any possibilities that actually leave us where we’re both alive and so we don’t have to eat moss until we kill each other out of sheer boredom?” After a slight pause, he added. “Sir”.

“As a matter of fact, Jack, there is,” Castor replied.

“And that would be, Sir?” Tag asked.

Castor replied, seriously and simply. “We win”.

Some of the Greys looked at Castor as if he’d lost his mind. Most just looked confused.

“Oh. Okay. Simple! No problem,” Jack said, obviously still as uninformed as he was five minutes ago. Someone gave him a slap to the back of his head, apparently for sounding disrespectful. It might have been Ray.

“Actually, Jack has a valid point. At this particular moment we don’t have a plan. All we know is that we don’t have the luxury of failure. And considering the nature of the Star Hammer, the universe doesn’t leave us that option, either.

Castor watched the nods of agreement, and watched the expressions on their faces as they all became lost in their own thoughts, facing their own personal demons and wondering if their actions in the near future would redeem them of any of the transgressions of their pasts. He could see them come to terms with their own senses of mortality, and watched as each made up their mind about their chances of surviving the next hours.

“Although it is very easy to say, but very hard to believe, we have not lost yet. And we won’t as long as you don’t lose hope. And, of course, if we can come up with a workable plan. But we do know a number of things.”

Eyebrows went up among the group, and Castor answered their unvoiced questions.

“We know that they’re tracking us. We don’t know how, but we know that it’s happening. It’s not by device, or we’d have a lot more time between our arrival and theirs. There’s little chance that they could have shown up where we went once, and the possibility of them finding us this last time was infinitesimally small. I have no doubt that they will show up here, as well. Given the amount of time it took them to catch up with us the last two times, I calculate that we’re going to have about four hours before they show up again. For that reason, I want all of you to get some sleep. Three hours. Get out of your flightsuits and get cleaned up. I want you all to have a decent meal.”

“Excuse me, Admiral,” Tacomah apologized. “No disrespect, sir, but you’ve got to be kidding!”

“No, Tacomah, I’m not,” Castor answered. “You’ve been working just as hard as any of us, but your stress has been greater. If you’re not performing at your peak, then it will likely negate any plan we can possibly come up with.”

“Understood, Sir,” Tacomah relented.

“With all due respect, Admiral,” Ace spoke up, though, where it seemed Tacomah might have left off. “I think that I might speak for all of Grey when I suggest that you follow your own orders, in this case, too.”

Castor gave the old Grey a serious, but tired, look. Some of the younger Greys took a half a step back, as if to distance themselves from Ace.

“It’s not that I don’t know what you’re going through up there,” Ace continued. “You’re the one that has to come up with the strategy that keeps us alive so we can accomplish the goals and protect the rest of the ship. But you need to be at your peak too, sir, if I may say so.”

“Oh, thank you Master Ace,” Katie blurted from behind Castor, somewhere in the shadows. “The Admiral hasn’t listened to any of my pleas, but he might lis...”

Castor turned to glare at the droid, at which time the prissy protocol droid turned suddenly, and said as if she’d just thought of something quite important. “I wonder if R9 has gotten himself into trouble again. I think I should go check.” The droid beat a hasty retreat to the nearest exit from the docking bay. And Castor returned to face Ace.

“You are right, of course,” Castor said gravely. “One mistake on my part, and the outcome would be far worse than any mistake on yours.”

The Greys voiced their general agreement.

“Ok. I promise that I’ll get as much sleep as I possibly can, considering that we’ll still have to come up with a plan, and I’ll have to listen to Greedo harp about me being such a wuss that I can’t go a few days without food, water and sleep.”

“Fair enough,” Ace grinned and held his hand out to Castor, who shook it briefly but firmly.


When the call to combat came, the Greys were fairly rested, in their fighters and ready to fly. When they were cleared for launch, they swarmed from the Aragorn’s launch bay like bees. Castor and the General still didn’t have a plan that they had let any one know about, but it didn’t matter anyway. The Greys weren’t here to lose. And they’d had just about enough of Malachite, Spinel, and their organization.



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