Haumea Colony

A Play-by-Nova roleplay game.

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Posted on Tue Mar 28th, 2023 @ 4:25pm by Lieutenant Colonel Shaun Bradley

Mission: Pressure
Location: Camp Nowhere, & 25 kilometers away from Haumea.
Timeline: MD-02
2028 words - 4.1 OF Standard Post Measure

With the trouble of the bubble behind them, there had been a period of settling. Abandoned to continue their work, a temporary Marine base had become a bit more of a permanent structure. Portable barracks were replaced with properly constructed ones, and old portable buildings were grouped together in the form of a singular office building. This served as the logistics centre for the Marines, complete with a small armory and everything. Now, it wasn't part of Haumea, and the outloud belief of everyone was that this was just a matter under the small customs base as built. Once that was complete and construction cleaned up, the Marines would leave with it.

Internally everyone knew they were there to stay.

A small area had been cleared, and paving completed to allow for craft to be stored there. Two Albatrosses sat, red "REMOVE BEFORE FLIGHT" tags danced slightly in the wind. Four Gryphon Fighter/Bombers sat near by, with a collection of crates piled near them. They were operation - no Marine would ever be allowed to leave equipment with an inoperable status - but they were not primary craft. One of them still had a probe core that had been modified for cargo storage strapped underneath. Three Eagle wheeled transports sat next to the office structure, loaded with construction and support equipment to help move things around the base. As it was, the Marines spent nearly as much time helping with chores around the colony as they did any real Marine training. This suited them just fine.

Notably missing from the collection of vehicles, were five of the nine regular Valkyrie MkII fighters that would normally be seen. Notably, four normal Valkyries, and the singular black painted one that had become an notable addition to the base as time had progressed. Standing in the early morning sun, Master Corporal Lynn Agarwal sipped on her coffee, lifted a PaDD, scrutinized it, and then turn to the mountains that lined the area around the colony proper. A sigh escaped her lips, and she turned back towards the offices.

Operating in two elements, the four primary fighters cruised along just above the mountain tops. Eight total Marine aviators made up the compliment, a pilot and their TacO. It was a pretty simple mission they'd been ordered on for basic training. They were to perform a scan of the mountains, look for anything out of the ordinary, and then return the base. They'd all swapped their ships to training mode, allowing them to engage in mock dogfights if needed. With all of the work the regular Marines had undergone, the fighter pilots were getting tired of patrols, let alone these training missions. It was their third under the Lieutenant Colonel, and as of yet, nothing had come of them.

The lead pilot, Captain "Stitched" C'Morr suppressed a yawn, trying to at least pretend for the other three pilots that he was liking this. They'd been talking - all the fighter pilots had - about how some of their colleagues got to fly combat training. Hell, when Lieutenant Colonel Bradley had been the head of 3rd Aerospace, he'd allowed for far more combat training than this. Colony patrol was the worst by far.

The comms flickered to life, as a voice came through from Second Lieutenant Cairne relaying his fifteen minute check in. The TacO was fresh, still glued to the regs, and dutifully liked to report in every single thing he saw. It had even ended up the poor kid's callsign, Callback. //Callback to all aircraft, I have detected an anomoly on sensors.\\ This caused a stir in the seats. Was this important or was it another particularly pretty rock that looked like it might be something. The damned mountains were littered with mineral outcroppings that often confused sensors.

"I don't know what Callback is seeing, nothing showing up looks like a ship, or anything," came the voice of C'Morr's own TacO, Lieutenant Yazi "Vampire" Kidis. C'Morr could hear her adjust the sensor parameters behind him. She'd accidentally bitten her roommate one night on Basic, and the poor name had stuck. "Wait, hold on Stitch, I think I see something? Looks like a rock outcropping again though, it's at a weird angle along a mountain. Want to go investigate?"

Reaching up to scratch as his mane threatened to push through his flight suit from an itched spot, the Caitain shrugged. "You think it's worth the time?" Pilot and TacO worked together a lot, and it was key they trusted one another.

"Nah, unless the Colonel has been sitting out in the snow for the last day and a half waiting for us, I doubt it's a fighter, it's cold." Stitches nodded. The others had been listening - he'd left the chatter open after all.

"Angle us to keep with the ridge then, sorry Callback." A defeated 'humph' was heard over the chatter channel, as the fighters adjusted their trajectory to keep along the mountain pass.

//"Well we could make things interesting. A got a slip of latinum for the the person who guesses what the next thing Callback calls out as a possible threat."\\ A couple a laughs were exchanged amongst the group, as the group's Ferengi pilot, Lieutenant "Charity" Droirot, carried on with his tradition of trying to get a slip from anyone he could. A starfleet officer might call out the move as a racist characture, but the truth was Charity lived up to his name, often using the money for little bits of moral boost.

//"Which rule of acquistition lets you scam me aga-"\\ the callout was cut short as alarms chimed in everyone's cockpit. Of the four fighters, the furthest left of the group switched from blue to grey on the readouts. The computer was marking them splashed.

Curses and foul language exploded on the comms, pilots and TacO's wildly looking to see what had splashed their comrade. Charity let out a long line of curses himself, as he fired counter measures, which were holographically projected around him on everyone's cockpit. They didn't matter, as projected phaser fire slammed into his cockpit and the second fighter went grey on their readouts. "Vampire, get me an ID!" Stitches shouted, but he didn't need the response as the all black body of a Valkyrie fired through the fighter formation before pulling back sharply and dipping towards the valley of the mountains once more.

//"Not trusting a teammate gets you killed pilots,"\\ came the voice over the radio. It was cool, but under it was a layer of annoyance and smugness rolled together. Colonel Bradley had finally pounced.

"It was the Colonel," Vampired called from behind him sheepishly, confirming what they knew. The aged pilot had been waiting in the mountains for god knows how long to surprise them. The two remaining fighters firewalled their throttles, climbing away from the mountains to give themselves some space to work.

Looking at his own intruments, Stitches swapped to his microtorpedoes and began looking to see if he could find the Colonel. "Get me a firing solution Vamp, I needed to know where he is!" He looked over to his remaining other fighter, it was Lieutenant Itah "Confession" Druti and Callback were all that were left of their squadron. "Form an element and stay close," Stitches called, "he'd going to try and sneak up on us again. They don't call him Sprectre for-"

//"Got him!"\\ the call came from Callback. //"He's low, trying to confuse us in the terrain, but I can see him down there porting the firing solution to Vampire now."\\ C'Morr glanced down at this instruments. He could see overlayed on his HUD the Colonel's fighter as it skimmed close to the surface. He slammed the stick forward on his control column, and dove for the deck.

"Confession and Callback, keep watch, we're going to go give the Colonel some payback." A couple hoots and hollars came from the remaining fighter as the Captain pushed his own fighter lower and lower, swooping down on the silloutte that outlined his prey. That low to the ground, and swearving around the mountains, the torpedoes wouldn't be able to get a clear firing solution, no properly, but that didn't mean he was hopeless. Once he was close enough he could loose his phasers and gain the kill. Clean and easy - the old man's over confidence was to be his doom.

As the fighter closed in under the mountain range, the pair were glued to their instruments, trusting the computer to do its job and keep craft away from certain danger. All they needed to wait for was tone and to pull the trigger. Nine hundred meters, eight hundred, they were closing. Just needed to close to five hundred and they'd have him. Seven... Six... Five Fifty... A smile covered the Caitain's mouth before his heart was forced to stop. The silloutte disappeared.

"Where did-" the tone sounded and Stitches watched as his own marker went grey. He looked back, and saw the distinctive black fighter as it clawed it way up out of the mountains, jettisoning a grey pod from it's underside as it did. He'd been using a jamming pod, the location had never been accurate at all. Two-on-one the pair of remaining fighters could have cornered the Colonel, worn him down and gotten the kill, but solo there was no hope left for Confession and Callback as the sleek Valkyrie climbed to the heavens, unleased a short burst of fire and peeled away.

//"Tally four for Spectre. All craft, R-T-B."\\

The eight aviators stood and watched as the last craft returned to it's landing spot, the matte black finish standing out amongst the others. Lieutenant Colonel Shaun "Spectre" Bradley touched down gently. The paintjob was an homage to his old squadron acting as anti-piracy hunter fighter craft in a "stealth" squadron. All it's members had ghost callsigns, many of which maintained them afterwards. Spectre fit the Colonel, he was quiet on his feet, and more importantly was known for sneaking up on people when they were least looking. Today he'd showcased that tenfold.

"What did you learn?" Bradley called as he approached the group.

"To trust our wingmates, sir," came the call from Callback, quick as he could, stiffening.

"That's a good lesson, but not the right one."

Raising her hand, the first victim of the attack, Lieutenant Mary "Fallback" Sullivan waited to answer. When the Colonel nodded to her, she said, "To pay attention, sir." He shook his head and pointed to the Captain of the group, who was trying hard to look at his boots.

"Not to trust our instruments," he said, quietly. Again the Colonel shook his head.

"No. All of these are lessons you were taught in flight school, I expected you to know them before you came here. The real lesson is that every mission you go on can be your last if you're careless. Every single one of you was so unprepared for combat that a single pilot was able to splash all four of you without any of you getting so much as a shot off." His eyes jumped from pilot, to Tactical Officer, and so on.

"Sir, that's not fair, you tricked us!" came the call from Charity, who stopped immediately after saying the words. As a member of Camp Falkirk, Shaun Bradley had long since subsribed to the General MacTaryn philosphy of command. This was simple: Expect the best from everyone and if they say something stupid, tell them as much. The grey blue eyes landed on the Ferengi who visibly shrunk.

"I'm sorry Lieutenant. I forgot the enemy is playing fair." The words were cold, and lined with venom. "Do you have any more excuses for me?" When not response came, he looked back to the group as a whole. "It appears you're all bored of flying, so we'll be breaking up the monotony of your jobs. All your craft are being pulled for a maintenance cycle. I expect you to assist with it. Dismissed."


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