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I Icatus

Part Six - Into the Frey

Forced out of the launch tube, he fired the engines and took up patrol around the armada as the rest of his flotilla assembled outside the carrier. One after one the 10 different carriers in 107th armada spat out the many fighters and fighter bombers until the space was full of them. His second in command took point of 4th squadron while Nesh headed the 1st. “Nothing on tactical”, Nesh said over the communicator. “Clear here”, 2nd sqaudron said, “Nothing here”, 3rd added. “4th clear” his friend filled in.

“Tactical here, our three long range armadas are engaging the enemy in the front, missiles are incoming. Take point and head out towards the enemy armada and intercept the missiles at 200 by 60 by 30.” The coordinated appeared on his tactical display as tactical gave it to him and he immediately punched the accelerator forward feeling the four engines kick in forward. Taking a peek into the rear monitor he saw the pinpricks of hundreds fighters and fighter bombers dispersing as the armada braced for incoming missiles with the PD ships lining up in the front.

“Nothing yet, wait…” he increased the resolution on the scanner. “I see movement at 12 o’clock, face forward” he said and the three scout fighters flew up in front of the group. “Give me a pin point please.

Ignoring the awesome display of beam power in front of him, only 10000 km away, the first glitter of incoming missile fire showed up. He tried to stay calm and professional when the numbers came up. “50 torpedoes a head, 7000+ and closing. Spread out into a line, 3rd take up rear and 4th on starboard flank. Be ready. Eyes, any sign of birds in the area?”

“Unless their cloaked” and with that he felt the all familiar chill crawl down the spine, “there’s only missiles so far.”

He loaded the targeting computer with data. It could only take the closest 10 into the computer at a time, but that was quite enough. “We only get one chance on this, they’re faster than us. One sweep, two at least for every head.”

2000+ km and closing fast he saw the noses with the tail of bluish fire behind it. Big suckers, he thought as they grew into his field of fire. Who knew what kind of defenses these arrows had. He guided the cross air with his helmet and the ticking red retina slowly took on the color of orange, then yellow. A few pilots, probably the new ones, took a few pot shots as the glowing plasma sped ahead and streaked past as they missed. Their respective leaders asked them harshly to can it and he smiled when his second in command told a pilot in his squadron that he better hit the next time or he would guide one of the arrows up his tail.

At dark green, Nesh fired watching the plasma touch the side of one of the arrows, sparking up as the missile shield burned out, then his second hit punch straight through the arrow, evaporating it in a expanding nova, causing a slight chain reaction as arrows next to it collided. The whole flotilla opened up and Nesh blinked at the blinding display of plasma being launched, blowing up at least ten more torpedoes before they were almost upon them. Nesh fired again, knowing he would probably miss before he dived, seeing the torpedoes swoop by above him the looked in the back monitor as they reserve squadron took out another five breaking onto the flanks and dived out of it’s path.

“****, boogies!!!” he heard from one of the scouts before his ships tore into pieces from the incoming disruptor fire. 20 Antaran flew straight into the ranks of his flotilla, managing to destroy three more friendly fighters, one from his unit as the first row showed three red indicators and the second row one.

He banked hard to starboard as another Antaran fighter tried to run him down. Greenish fire glanced by, depleting the front shield by 20 percent.

“You damn slime”, Nesh muttered, looped around and felt the G-forces pulling at his harness before he came up on the antarans six and gave him a dose of dual plasma, ripping into his shields that collapsed before ripping the tail engine of. “Good shot chief”, he heard over the communicator as his two wing men met up, safeguarding his tail.

Chaos engulfed as the different fighters circled each others. No question that the Antaran interceptors were more agile and nimble, but as much as their maneuverability impressed him, their shields were weaker as they seem to rely on speed and form over fire power. But as they now were realizing, an Evon fighter could take many hits before it’s shield or hull collapsed, enough for their number and experience took over.

“Idiot”, an Antaran detachment broke up as one ship chased after the last remaining scout ship and the other joined a skirmish to the stern. It was obvious that even if the Antarans had the better technology, they didn’t have the experience and if there was anything the many cycles of warfare had taught him, you never leave your wing men on their own.

But for some reason, their situation awareness was astounding. As Nesh approached the chasing Antaran from above, he turned in the very last second causing Nesh to nib him in the side rather than destroy. It even seemed like the Antaran knew where to turn when Nesh took chase. “Look for a completely different fish”, he ordered his wing men, “ there must be some com vessel around.

Swearing he tried to pin point the Antaran, but with it’s better speed and agility it started to slip him. “Dive”, something yelled at him and he took it into a step dive as a battery of plasma rocked the enemy fighter until the whole cockpit tore of. He waived at his second in command as his squadron raced by.

“Chief, I have a strange looking bird 5 o’clock."


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