Friday, August 16, 2013

Fiction - EV-R The Game: The First Mission

Fiction Friday! A while ago I did a blog post on how EV-R could be turned into a full game al la Wing Commander. Here is how I imagine the game starting.

If fiction is not your thing, escape pod here to some sad news or here to where the lovely Sindell Pellion needs some help moving shit for The Angel Project.

EV-R The Game. First Mission.

The space station slowly orbited the red planet below. The start blue-grey construct with its straight lines and sharp angles was in traditional Caldari style. Nearby several ships manoeuvred around, undocking and docking in the cavernous ship hanger.

A small shuttle left the main bay and swung around to head to a hulking carrier positioned off the station.

The design of the Chimera class carrier had not significantly changed since the first Caldari-Gallente war. Originally a bulk water freighter designed for moving large quantities of water to colonies on planets with scarce water supply, it had been retro-fitted to serve as a combat carrier. Rather than billions of litres of water in its hold, it now held racks of deadly attack fighter craft. Unlike the capsuleer equivalent, this Navy version had several different types of fighter ranging from scouts to heavy attack fighters to bombers. The top-of-the-line Dragonfly fighters were reserved for the best pilots. A one-man craft capable of unleashing massive fire-power at its enemies.

The shuttle slowly approached the carrier and entered through the pulsing forcefield into the main hanger bay. Seconds later it was touching down and its passenger doors opened.

Slowly the passengers started to disembark. They were dressed in identical Caldari Navy uniforms with a dufflebag slung over each shoulder.

Ensign Blair* started down the stairs whilst trying to take in all his surroundings. The hanger bay was full of fighter craft, ordinance, supplies and people. Techs were working hard repairing damaged ships and rearming others. It was clear the ship had seen action recently. He continued onto the deck and grouped with the others. Other smaller cargo crafter where unloading their goods and MTACs emerged from the holds carrying huge cargo crates. He received a sharp jab to the ribs.

"Hey dude! Look over there!" his friend through navy pilot training, Aki pointed to the far end of the hanger. A line of 12 Dragonfly fighters gleamed in the bright overhead lights.

"Can you imagine flying one of those. I hear they have been fitted with the new Lia Dai Mark 18 engines. Man, what I wouldn't do to get in one of them."

Blair just looked and nodded. He knew they'd never let a rookie like them near one of their top flight fighters. He glanced across to the battered row of Cobra fighters that he assumed would be their first ship. Slower, less manoeuvrable and packing much less of a punch then the Dragonfly, these fighters were in plentiful supply.

"OFFICER ON DECK!" one of the recruits shouted and the others span around to see a man in an officers uniform striding towards them. They quickly formed up in a line and stood to attention. The officer stood in front of them and slowly looked down the line.

"At ease! Welcome to the Shamaso. You are no longer trainees. You are rookies. You will be flying multi-million credit ships at an enemy who wants to kill you. And you volunteered for this. Which either makes your brave or mad. Which you are doesn't matter to me. The State needs both in this war. I am Wing Commander Chan. You have been assigned quarters and the details have been sent to your datapads. You do not have much time. Your first briefing is at 1900 ship time. Dismissed!"

With that the officer turned and strode away as quickly as he had arrived. Leaving the new recruits in a state of bewilderment.

"Come on! Lets see if the bunk rooms are any better than the academy!" Aki said dragging Blair by the arm as he continued to stare over at the fighters.


Two hours later the new pilots were sat in the briefing room staring at the huge starchart on the back wall. The room was full of pilots hhey hadn't met yet all in their flight-suits. Wing Commander Chen strode in and took the podium. The pilots stood to attention.

"At ease!" and the pilots sat back down.

"Right, we have some fresh meat from the Naval Academy and fresh supplies. Unfortunately this was just a pit stop, no time for RnR." a groan emanated from the pilots "We are jumping in sixty minutes back into the shit. The Gallente are still putting up considerable resistance and we are looking to secure the system of Hirri in the Black Rise region. Capsuleer forces are battling there currently but we intend to stay out of their way. Once we have jumped into the system we will launch six patrol wings of two fighters each. We'll be pairing a rookie up with one of our more seasoned pilots. Now this is for you rookies, you obey the orders of your wingman. We've lost far too many pilots who are fresh out of the academy and think they are the next big thing. Then on their first mission go do something stupid and I'm sending home their personal belongs with a letter about what a great citizen you were and how your sacrifice was for the good of the State. I HATE writing letters! Do not make me do that! Your patrol route and wingman assignments are now on your datapad. Get down the hanger, prep your ship and get ready. We are jumping into the shit, so stay frosty and come back in one piece. Dismissed!"

Blair watched the wing commander leave and looked back at the massive star chart. Suddenly his vision was blocked. He looked up to see a woman standing in front of him, he looked into her eyes a second too long. He shot upright to attention on seeing the Squadron Commander insignia.

"At ease Ensign." she smiled.

"I am Squadron Commander Mila and I am your wingman for the mission."

Blair nodded. The officer in front of him was stunning. Dark back hair and a hint of Intaki about her. She looked mid-20's which was young for a squadron commander.

"Shall we?" she asked.


Blair breathed slowly and deeply. He was sat in the cockpit of his Cobra class fighter. All systems were green and all he needed to do was to wait for the launch order. His heart was racing. Over the last few years he'd racked-up hundreds of hours in ships like this. But it had always been against other rookies or AI controlled drones. The missiles and gun fire had always been simulated. Now he was going to launch on a patrol where he could encounter enemy forces that would not fire simulated charges at him. This was the real deal.

"Ensign, calm down otherwise we'll have to give you the callsign of 'Rave' and you don't want that." Squadron Commander Mila spoke over the headset.

"Yes Ma'am. Sorry Ma'am. Rave?"

There was laughter in his helmet.

"Yes. As your heart is doing 160 beats per minute. I can see your heart-rate monitor and it looks like the base from a Matari dance track. And when we're in the cockpit you use my callsign, 'Siren'. You are 'Blair' until we senior officers have chosen a, shall we say 'suitable' callsign for you!"

"Yes marm, sorry, I mean Siren."

Red lights started to pulsate around the hanger and a klaxon sounded. It was the prepare for jump alarm. A few seconds later the Chimera carrier vanished in a flash of light as its jump drive created an artificial wormhole.

A few more seconds later Blair felt the acceleration as the fighter was launched from the hanger bay by tractor beams. As soon as the fighter cleared the forcefield that held the atmosphere in the bay the acceleration vanished as it was no longer within the artificial gravity field of the carrier.

His fighter shot out of the hanger and he was confronted by strange space. The Caldari nebula was distant and the green glow of the Gallente nebula was closer than he'd ever seen it.

"How you doing Blair?"

"I'm ready to roll Siren. Aligned to waypoint one and awaiting your call."

"Acknowledged. Squad warp in 3, 2, 1..."

Blair looked out of the side of the cockpit to see other pairs of fighters aligning in the distance. A loud hum brought his vision back to the front as his ships drive spun up and slipped into warp."


For the fourth time in the patrol Blair's Cobra class fighter dropped out of warp near to an asteroid field. He immediately activated his scanner.

"I've got something. Two signatures at 340 mark 270" Siren's voice broke the radio static.

"Confirmed. I see them too. I'm not sure what they are, too much interference from..... oh no." Blairs voice trailed off as the scanner suddenly got a positive lock as the craft broke through the asteroid field. Two Federation Firbolg fighters were in an intercept course. The Firbolg was similar to the Caldari Dragonfly, their top-of-the-line fighter craft.

"Align out, we need to get back to the carrier. Damn, they've got me. Get out! Warp away. Tell them it was a trap!"

Blair hovered over the warp command. The two fighters had locked onto Siren and had engaged. Wing Commander Chen's words from the briefing ran through his head, 'You obey the orders of your wingman'.

Decision made. Blair swung his ship around and locked the nearest fighter. His heads up display showed Siren's shields were dropping fast.

"Ensign! I gave you a direct order. Get the frack out of here! We cannot take two Firblog's. We'll both die."

Blair's targeting computer achieved lock and he fired two missiles at the first enemy ship.

"Sorry Siren, say again, the comms are all HISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS." Blair hissed down the microphone as he concentrated on the second ship. He knew his missiles would not be enough to destroy the first ship but they had achieved their goal. The first fighter had taken evasive manoeuvres and swerved out of the way. Blair swapped to the neutron blaster cannons and bared down on the second ship. The antimatter charges slammed into the Gallente ship and tore down the shields. Just before the two ships were about to collide Blair pulled up sharply whilst firing two missiles. At that close range the Firbolg didn't have time to react. The missile impacted against its hull and tore it apart.

His console showed Siren was in big trouble and her ship was not far from disabled. The remaining enemy ship had taken shield damage from Blairs first salvo but was closing back in on Siren for the kill. Two missiles streaked from its green hull towards the heavily damaged Cobra. Siren watched the missiles approach knowing she could not avoid them in her damaged ship. Her lateral thrusters were down and she was barely moving with her heavily damaged engines. She stared the missiles down refusing to close her eyes. Suddenly her field of vision was obscured by the belly of Blair's Cobra as he flew past her. The two missiles struck the top of his ships shields and exploded.

Blair struggled to keep control of the ship as the shock-wave pounded him. Alarms went off informing him his shields were down and armour damage had been detected. Blair didn't think twice, he launched his last two pre-locked missiles and spun his ship around. Seeing his two missiles, Siren launched her last two. The remaining Firbolg had nowhere to run as the first missile took down the little shield it had remaining and the other three tore it apart.


Wing Commander Chen was stood on the flight deck as the two Cobra fighters limped into the hanger and started landing procedures. He'd seen the battle, the flight recorder data had been transmitted ten minutes ago when the fighters were back in communications range.

The two Cobras were beat up. One was severely damaged, the other had less, but still significant damage. However the Wing Commander was impressed that they had taken down two Federation Firbolgs in the mass-produced low-grade fighters.

First job would be to tear a strip off that rookie for disobeying orders. Then he would need to consider how he was going to use that rookies tremendous skills in the coming campaign.

The End

* see what I did there ;)

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