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bogies, 2000/4000, the Bastard Wars, Em Taylor

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Old 12-28-2014, 09:44 AM
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Default bogies, 2000/4000, the Bastard Wars, Em Taylor

This write is in two post of about 2000 words.

You’ll need some back ground

This is the final battle sequence in the pilot episode of “The Bastard Wars.” All the pilots, save Em who is a resent transplant from earth, are Libertine. (a group of humans that have been separated from earth since the war of 82; three hundred years ago.)

The Libertine pilots all go by some kind of ‘nick name’ or “handle” that reflects their personality, i.e. “K” is a shortened form of “Crazy with a capital K.” Gear Head is an engineer, Hammer is ships maintenance. Bones is the doctor of course. They also captain Dragons. Also aboard the Blue Dragon with Em are six earth marines that she met on the way to mars, she trust them and that is why they are aboard – she spoke for them.

Because you have not read the previous 200 pages, the Admiral is an Earth Admiral and just along for the ride.

This is Em’s second mission, and she is forth officer, fire control officer, on the Blue Dragon. Doddle is a ‘canned’ field ration that is very nourishes and taste like crap.

Oh and Jack and Em are becoming romantically involved.

This prose scene is about 12-15 minutes of a four hour pilot of “The Bastard Wars”. I have not broken the dialogue out into current format. To tell the truth I like imbedded dialogue much better. But when I script this out I guess I’ll have to change it.

The mission is to intercept and destroy an approaching Bastard Spacetilla (you’d know the word if you had read the first part of this story, but it’s self-explanatory)

This chapter or excerpt, starts as the mission is underway and is called


We pulled four hour duty shifts as we ran at .8 light for the next twenty-six hours. The bleakness of the pilot house was starting to take its toll on my morale. But I noticed every light or warning indicator that blinked. To further depress me, the fresh food was going fast and I expected to have to eat the doodle very, very soon. I hate the taste of that crap.

It was about a half hour into my shift that Jack started to snore and I had to laugh softly. I guess after a while I might be able to sleep that soundly in my chair too.

I had eight minutes to go on my shift and it was getting boring. I was a little antsy and ready to be relieved from duty. The flash caught my eye. I wasn’t sure I saw them the first time but the second I was very sure and I woke Jack. I said it softly so no one but he would hear. I didn’t want to be seen as a fool on my first shift as pilot/watch; if I was wrong. “Jack, I think I got some hits at 0 by 90 relative, first it was just one and then two more appeared.” He stood up “Right above us?” I nodded, “Yeah, 180m miles out.” He looked at the screen; the blips appeared again and I learned a new word, bogeys. “This is the Captain, yellow alert please, yellow alert. Bogeys at 0 by 90 relative - 12 o’clock high;” he shut off the comm unit and added “Em, watch them and activate top autos if they come within 1.5 million feet.” I took that to mean the automatic firing guns on top of the ship. The detection range of the auto guns is 1.5 million feet. At our present speed that’s about 15 minutes away. He paused and then added, “I need a response in a situation like this, Em.” I blurted out “Yes sir.” I’ll have to work on my response time.

He ordered, “Fleet to clear mode, Red Dragon - I need eyes on those bogeys.” Q responded with a snicker, “Eye sir.” The Red Dragon’s wake shook our ship as it left in a hurry. The Admiral shook his head “Why didn’t we just let them pass?” I smiled, “I think I know, target of opportunity - we came out here to wage war and the target doesn’t really matter.” Jack looked at me and smiled, he said in that tone he uses that sounds like a pirate. “Aye Em you be getting a grip on her.” He laughed and ordered the Green and White Dragons back from point.

Five minutes later - it started. K was on the comm. “Bogeys are unfriendly preparing to engage.” Jack yelled “plot a course.” Brad yelled “4 by 97 relative.” I yelled without being asked, “Confirm.” Jack ordered “engage.” It was getting very confusing. Fred was yelling and it was coming through the speakers, “BATTLE STATIONS NOW - BATTLE STATIONS.” People were scrambling to their battle stations. Then a very annoying sound started to wail and the red lights started to flash. Don’t you think there is enough confusion in here without all this noise and the flashing lights? When I get my dragon; I’ll take those damn things out. In spite of all the noise I didn’t have any trouble distinguishing my orders.

As we got closer the screen showed the bogeys were two “A” class Bastards and one of the unknown ships. The comm told us that the Green and White Dragons were on their way as the Orange, Yellow and Blue, us, prepared to fire. The Red Dragon was already fully engaged.

Jack ordered match speed and give me manual. Brad obeyed, “Yes sir, Battle mode.” Oh crap, the chills went up my back. I could fell the adrenalin high starting to build in my body. I wished I was setting one of the guns.

Jack ordered, “I want acid to all guns port – combo on starboard.” I told him that wasn’t the plan and he yelled “What was that.” I yelled “Aye, sir. All guns port side ammo feed H please – starboard guns feed B.” The first pass through we fired acid from the port side and starboard had no targets. I can’t count the number of times we were hit, the shields held, but not perfect. We took a hard hit to engineering. The reports were not good; there was a small breach. If a small, as in unimportant breach, is even possible in space. We lost more atmosphere than we could afford before it was closed. We also lost an engineer and another one was wounded. It occurred to me that we only had four.

Jack ordered Brad to engineering and me to the pilot’s station, it didn’t matter; he was flying the ship. He said I could control fire from that position as well as monitor conditions; which my console wouldn’t do. I moved and began to try to do work I had no idea how to do. The readouts were easy and I responded when asked about breaches and damage and the temperature of the hull.

He came around and put the starboard side to another of the “A” class. “Do it again, EM.” I ordered “All guns starboard feed H fire on orders; all guns port feed B fire on green.” He laughed, “You took that order a little further than I said.” I asked as we took another hard hit. “That’s what you wanted wasn’t it?” He laughed, “That’s not the point. You’re not the captain.” We took another hit and I told him to get back to business - I got the message.

The next hit caused sparks everywhere and Fred went down. I saw the piece of metal from the hull fly right for him and go through his head. Blood oozed as he lay on the floor and I couldn’t take my eyes off him. Jack yelled, “You’re first officer and have the comm. I have to go to engineering. We took another hit. I asked about Brad and he told me he didn’t make it. He told me to bring up one of my corner fire controls to take fire control. The only one I knew was Elsa. I got the comm “Elsa, this is Em come to the pilot house and hurry.”

The ship, The Blue Dragon, was taking fire from everywhere and it was a big freakin mess. I knew the bottom and top of this Dragon had stronger plating and I asked on our implanted comm “Jack, how can I rotate this thing 90 degrees?”I got the answer from K “Captain’s console maneuver option C 90 degrees and pick port or starboard.” I did just as she said and looked to the screen to see what had changed. The unknown ship had blocked my way and I had no way out. I changed course to 180 by 0 relative; time to back out of here. The twenty autos guns were wide open, sixty 75mm rounds per minute and combo fire filled the space between the Blue Dragon, the “A” class bastard ship and the unknown.

The sudden shift brought an immediate irate response from Jack, “Next time, a warning please, brace for impact will do nicely. NO, get a hold on that Frank!” He was off the comm and I’m sure the last part of the statement was not meant for me. I wonder why he was in engineering and I was playing Captain but I would have less idea of how to do something in engineering than I do here.

I was surrounded anyway and couldn’t move. Elsa arrived. The unknown and an “A” class were on me like the sides of a triangle. The second “A” class was now blocking my way. Although I don’t think it was planned, I was surrounded. It wasn’t my plan either. I didn’t even have enough room to go up or down. I ordered “Elsa, I want every acid round we got dumped on whatever you think we can hit.” “Yes sir” was her response and then she forwarded the order to the guns. I told her to change to mix when they were out. I ordered “bring us to a full stop.” Jack asked what was happening and I responded. We’re surrounded and I have nowhere to go. The other Dragons were pounding the ships from all sides but we were in the middle. We were trapped inside a defensive circle. We were really being pounded, I had to get out of here, NOW.

“Elsa, fire control panel at the bottom, do you see the door that just opened?” She yelled “Yes sir.” I yelled on the count of three push; one, two, three, push. The lights dimmed and the power started to build. I sent “This is the Blue Dragon and I am coming out behind a solar cannon blast on course, hell I think I’m pointed back the way we came. My console is just flashing. Watch your ass.”

The guns were still racking a constant chatter of round after round and I ordered the change to piercers. Elsa obeyed. I asked Jack if I had engines “my console is out” and he responded, “I damn sure hope so. I don’t want to die before I get you in bed.” I asked what the speed of the cannon was and he told me he had no idea. I told him I would send it manually. He agreed, “I’ll watch your manual commands and match them the best I can.”

We continued to take fire until the cannon fired. I began to move forward following the blast, there was a slight lag but it was being relayed manually. The blast cut right through the “A” class amidships just like I knew it would and the hole was big enough for me to get through. When I saw we were going to pass through the “A” class I ordered “incendiaries, feed C, please Elsa.” She took care of it and we went through, I lingered inside the ship as long as I dared just filling it with the incendiaries from both sides of the blue. We left the “A” class flaming in our wake. There was a slight explosion and it stopped moving.

if you're writing over your readers head - tum etiam, ut graece scribens --- the secret of success changes;the truth of failure remains constant; if you try to please everyone you will fail.

Last edited by max crash; 04-14-2016 at 09:21 PM..
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Old 12-28-2014, 09:50 AM
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part two

The Blue Dragon was in bad shape but we were still moving. Jack must have been watching. He told me change course 0 by 170 relative. I snapped out of my shock and obeyed. We could still move and were, therefore, faster than the dying “A” class.

It was at that point when I felt the intense heat that comes with the cannon and realized I had neglected to turn the solar cannon off. I picked a shot, turning the ship because I knew I couldn’t stop the buildup now. The shot was a calculated risk it slammed through the bow of the damaged “A” class and hit the second in the aft area. Both ships were now in flames that were fed by the oxygen in the incendiaries.

My mind must be the biggest mess in history because it marveled at the sight of fire burning in space, it sort of flows with the available oxygen from the ship. It is beautiful.

The second “A” class I hit in the aft section was still moving but it was taking a beating from the other Dragons, as was the unknown. Jack was in my ear “Em, pick another target and turn that damn cannon off this time.” I got on the comm. “I got a charge and I’m going for the unknown so clear a way.” The Dragons made another pass as they opened a path and the cannon fired. I told Elsa to close the door. She did and then I looked to see what happened to the unknown. The side of it was opened but the blast had not gone through. It was still moving.

Jack told me to engage the dying ship that was still firing because I couldn’t take on the ones that were moving.

Engineering was on its last legs. We could be dead in space at any moment. I took us to a position so we could shoot the starboard side, ordered the last of the acid rounds loaded and “open fire.” We pounded it and it couldn’t move.

The Admiral was yelling that we should let them surrender. I told him when they stopped firing we would ask. They continued to fire with little effect. I ordered the loading of piercers and we continued to rip them apart. Finally they stopped firing and several minutes later we did. The ship was in flames so to speak now, fire doesn’t really burn in space without oxygen and they didn’t have any left. The things burning were more like smoldering embers of the things that carry their own oxygen. They usually don’t carry much and the ship soon became a charcoal bracket just like the ones K and Q attacked in my first battle. I knew it was done. I ordered us toward the battle but the engine gave out and we were really dead in space this time. Jack ordered, “Shut down all power we’re going to play dead or we will be.” Jack ordered us to repair what we could. He was still in engineering trying to get the engine going.

We worked at a fevered pitch to get the engines going so we could rejoin the battle as the other dragons took up the slack. We made some emergency repairs before we ran into the next problem. Jack ordered an inventory of our assets and ordered me to engineering. He needed a hand. I told him I had no idea what I was doing but he assured me I could hold things and not know what I was doing.

I told Elsa she had the comm. She was so shocked she didn’t answer. I told her to monitor repairs and kick the repair crews in the ass if necessary. As I headed toward engineering the Admiral crawled out of one of the guns I asked if he got anything. He smiled, “I got one or two good licks in. What now.” I told him I was sure medical could use some help. “No, see if you can help Elsa. She has the comm.” He nodded, “Yes sir.” I left for engineering in a run. I heard a blast just as I arrived in engineering and gave Jack a questioning look, “Was that a solar cannon?” He nodded, “I bet that’s K turning them to dust. She does that a lot. You know she has aggression issues.” He got on the comm and ordered the unknown ship to be left alone; he wanted a look at her before she was turned to dust. K didn’t like the idea.

The battle was ours but it lasted another twenty seven long minutes, in the end we had killed all the ships although it’s hard to say if anyone is alive in the dark reaches of the behemoths. It didn’t matter.

The Green Dragon was damaged almost as bad as we were so the Orange Dragon took up the patrols. Bones was on the Orange Dragon and directing her techs on the other ships. She could do just fine anywhere she was.

Time passed quickly and soon it was two hours later. The Blue Dragon was almost functional. We’re about to check out the unknown ship. The Green and Red Dragons were running cover patrol. The Orange and White Dragons, which means Gear Head and Hammer, were looking over the unknown when an explosion on the ship started a fire which means there is still oxygen on that ship. We have no choice but to investigate.

The side of the ship away from the solar blast was pretty much intact and there could be someone, something alive in there. It was something we couldn’t chance and we also wanted a look at the guts of this unknown. It bothers me that I can shoot right through a Bastard A-class ship with a solar cannon and I can’t one of the new ships. The new ones are a lot stronger.

I have never been in a space suit and I don’t think they are a good thing to be wearing in a gun and knife fight. But there is a first time for everything.

The first of the casualty reports were trickling in; don’t get this wrong I know there are 30 dead and 18 wounded, but I don’t know who. My mind was wondering about my marines but I had other fish to fry.

Jack made a call for volunteers to board and we got 31. Four of the walking wounded thought they were able to go in addition to the rest of the unwounded crew. We couldn’t leave the ship unmanned so they, along with five others, were left behind. We donned our space suits and looked for a way in. We found a chamber with air and set the Dragon down and locked to it, then we cut a hole in the unknown ship and entered.

It was lit with emergency lights and littered with the dead, they were not Bastards. They were another race and we wondered if this war had just become more than we could handle. We would have dies if we attack those 30 “A” class ships we were expecting. It was about that time that the ship began to break up.

We were lucky to get back to the Blue Dragon and away before the unknown was blown to pieces. Yeti said it looked like a set explosion; she believed it and so did I. Whomever was left on that ship gave their lives to protect its secrets.

I have to admit I felt a spark of respect for them; just a spark. At this point we have to assume the Bastards have a new ally. I guess that means we need Earth more than we thought. We, when did I become one with the Libertines? I don’t know but I am.

Hammer and Gear Head told us there wasn’t enough of the ship left to learn anything other than what it was made of and maybe some of its armament. It was a lousy turn of events. It would have been nice to know more about the ship.

We repaired the Dragons as best we could and limped back to The Keep at half light. I asked if the Bastards would follow and was assured they would but they had very slow ships and it would take then two months to get here. We planned many raids to shrink their numbers before they arrived.

I think we need more Dragons and so does everyone else. Jack told me he knows where there may be a storage site that will have Dragons left over from the War of 82. As soon as Blue is repaired completely he’s going to show us. He said we might even take them home, my home if I wanted it, the Black Bird.

It surprised me; can the Black Bird still exist? Maybe, it was the most feared ship in the War of 82. It is pictured in some school books and has historical notation of its kills. It is discussed that it may have had a solar cannon. I bet it does; maybe two.

I checked my crew as soon as the time allowed, Elsa told me she had lost the same foot again and was looking forward to a new prosthetic so she wouldn’t have to jump around. I had to smile – It was funny. The next realizations were not funny.

I guess the adrenalin is wearing off. I can now smell the blood and see the mess all over the ship. I went to look for my marines, I think I knew they couldn’t have all made it but I didn’t want to know.

I found Jacob in the hospital area waiting his turn with the “stable wounded”. His stable wound was a missing left forearm. It was a tourniqueted up stub. He seemed to be in pain and I offered him a drink from my flask. He took it and yelped, “Damn, Em, I was expecting whisky not shine.” I smiled, “You saw this shit, whisky just isn’t enough any more.” He smiled. “I think I understand.” I asked if he knew where the others were and he nodded. “Dean and Alvin are gone.” He pointed to a corner “Allen may as well be. I don’t think he’ll ever be the same.” I started to move and he asked “give me another shot of that shine.” I did and went to see Allen.

I offered him a drink but he just rocked back and forth humming. Jacob is right. Allen may be alive but he is no longer with us.

I wanted to cry for my friends but I just couldn’t.

The arrival at The Keep, four days of doodle later, was mixed. We left with 450 live breathing people and we came back with 306, 123 of which were wounded with anything from a bad cut to missing appendages. I didn’t consider this a successful mission. The Admiral seems to think we did very well, we can only guess at the enemy losses but it’s somewhere between eight and twelve thousand. It cost us 144 dead and 123 wounded. I don’t think the price was worth the product we got. I did much worse I had a 40 percent casualty rate, thirty dead out of seventy-five man crew. I was Captain of the Blue for a while and I do count the dead as my fault.

Some things however are blindingly clear, the war is on and we are short of people. We have to ally with the Earthers. Maybe the Admiral can help now that he knows what we’re up against. Maybe they will just try to take advantage.

The talk among the consortium is of more allies among the non committed Libertines. We can only hope for the best and raise our glass to the honored dead, who may be much better off than we are.

End pilot.

are all the cords and numbers confusing or did you just read over them????
if you're writing over your readers head - tum etiam, ut graece scribens --- the secret of success changes;the truth of failure remains constant; if you try to please everyone you will fail.

Last edited by max crash; 04-15-2015 at 07:16 AM..
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Old 12-28-2014, 11:36 AM
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Like I said you should make this into a book I think. I'm not to good with science fiction, but I think it would make a good story.
I'm just bored. Slinging the first thought that comes to mind, which is often poor advise.

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