STF

Main Sim - Cloaked Ships Pursuit

Posted Sept. 2, 2022, 10:39 p.m. by Lieutenant Ael Khev (Pilot, Red Squadron Leader) (Sage Pennington)

Posted by Major Eleanor “Iron Lady” Carnegie (Pilot, Blue Squadron Leader) in Main Sim - Cloaked Ships Pursuit

Posted by Major Eleanor “Iron Lady” Carnegie (Pilot, Blue Squadron Leader) in Main Sim - Fighter Hangar

Posted by Lieutenant Colonel Malcolm “Astro” Dawkins (Commander Air Group (CAG)) in Main Sim - Fighter Hangar
Posted by… suppressed (1) by the Post Ghost! 👻
=A= Alert One… Alert One… I repeat… Alert One… Alert One… Ready Squadrons to your craft… the clock is running=A=

As the alert sounded and the lights over the hanger switched from white to blue, the shift in the Hangar Bay was noticeable. It was like a well oiled machine, or a choreography that had been practiced time and time again. First, it was the massive influx of people coming into the Bay, then the floor sprang to life as orders were given, crews prepared their craft, pilots did their pre-flight checks and finally, the first twenty-four Templar-class vessels were taken out onto the flight deck.

From the sidelines, the squadron crews of the vessels that were not set to launch with the first wave, readied their craft just in case.

Already on the deck before the alert sounded, Eleanor rushed to her craft, swallowing the last bite of her toast.

=/\= Carnegie to Sentinels. Get your flight crews ready. Let’s show the Tempies that we can be just as fast! Carnegie out. =/\= The soft playfulness of her tone went through, trying to defuse any sort of nervousness that came with the situation, especially from the newer pilots in the squadron.

She was half way through putting on her EVA flight suit when Price arrived in a nervous jog. “Morning Ma’am.”

“Morning Badger. Busy morning, it seems like!” She said with a smile, before taking her old Earth specs off, giving Chuck a thumbs up and climbing up the ladder and into the Lady of Steel’s cockpit. Price didn’t take long to follow and sit at his Sensor Ops console.

As Eleanor fired up her console, calls were starting to come in.

=/\= Sentinel 3, ready and on standby =/\=

=/\= Sentinel 2 to Lady of Steel. Ready to go. =/\=

=/\= Yarmin to Carnegie, Charlie Flight is ready and waiting for orders, Ma’am. =/\=

As she ticked off her pre-flight check list, Carnegie turned around to face her crew. “Where’s Sloan?” She asked Price who looked around, and seeing the Flight Engineer’s spot still vacant merely shrugged, muttering something about a date. Eleanor pressed her lips together in a mix of annoyance and worry. He was never late.

With everyone at the ready, Eleanor watched the Tempies wistfully through her cockpit’s viewscreen. The fighters were beautiful birds and the speed and clockwork precision with which they were readied was an incredible sight to behold.

“Still thinking about whether you should have yer eyes cloned?” The familiar voice came with a soft squeeze of her shoulder. Eleanor turned, relieved to see her Flight Engineer.

“What took you so long, Doc?” After the relief, the annoyance was visible. “The whole squadron is ready except for us! How do you think that’s going to look?” Especially with her recent promotion, Carnegie felt an added weight to her shoulders, and the last thing she wanted was for Command to think she couldn’t do her job.

“I’m sorry, Eleanor, I overslept.”

“I don’t care, Sloan. Make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

“Wow, this promotion really put a stick up yer ass. It was a 20 second delay!”

Eleanor, with her finger halfway to sending the green light to the CIC, turned in her seat.

“And clearly yours didn’t. I don’t know what the hell is wrong with you James, but you’re a Captain now and I need you to act like one! I don’t care how many women fell on your doorstep just because of your new bars. You’re here when you’re supposed to be. Is that clear?”

Sloan, clearly not used to being on the other side of Eleanor’s wrath, looked back to his console. “Aye Ma’am. You’re right. I’m sorry Ellie. It won’t happen again.”

Finally tapping her console, Eleanor sent the green light to the CIC. The Sentinels were ready to go.

Tapping her commbage she gave the final call. =/\= Blue 1 to CIC, Blue Squadron is green across the board. Standing by for orders. Blue 1 clear. =/\=

Maj. Carnegie, Blue Squadron Leader

The Launch Boss replied to Blue 1 almost instantly. =A= Welcome to the party Blue 1… you Sentinels don’t mess around, do ya?=A= Silvia said with a smile. =A= You all just knocked 14 seconds off the Big Bird Readiness Record and beat the last two of Red plus a straggler from Green… Well done Ma’am. CIC Clear =A=

=/\= Thank you CIC, we try our best. Sentinel 1 out. =/\= Eleanor replied. A soft proud smile on her features.

“Fourteen seconds off of the record!? How slow are people getting these things ready?” Surprise and joy were audible in Sloan’s voice.

“Maybe they all arrive late.” Eleanor said dryly without turning in her seat.

Swiveling in his chair, Price looked pleadingly to the Flight Engineer. “Just stop talking…” He whispered.

“I can hear you Badger.” Came Carnegie’s stern voice.

Wide eyed and going slightly pale, the Lady of Steel’s Sensor Ops Officer turned back, suddenly looking very interested in his console.

Tapping her commbadge, Eleanor relayed the news to the rest of the Squadron. =/\= Carnegie to Sentinels. Good job guys! Thanks to your hard word we just shaved fourteen seconds off of the Big Birds Readiness Record, and managed to make it before a few Tempies! Keep up the good work! Carnegie out. =/\=

About a minute later, the voice of the Olinski’s CAG echoed through the All-Craft channel, his voice bearing a smile Ellie would recognize immediately. =A= Good morning Aviators, this is your Captain speaking. I applaud you all on your outstanding performance thus far. As soon as we have more information on mission parameters, I will pass it along. As of right now, we will remain at Alert One until cleared by the Bridge or we launch. In the event of an un-briefed launch, Red and Green squadrons will establish a CQB perimeter around the Olinski at 10K meters fore & aft. Blue Squadron will move Recon units onto the launch lanes as soon as Red & Green are clear. Blue 1, you & Blue 2 will take point port & starboard respectively at 2,500 meters with Blue 3 & 4 mirroring you to the aft. Be as noisy and flashy as you want Carnegie… we’ll watch your back. Blue 5 through 12 will move into launch standby once you all are clear. Heads on swivels people… we don’t know what’s out there… but they’re going to know when we arrive on the scene. Squadron leaders, blast doors will stay sealed until launch authorization comes from the Bridge or here in CIC. You see the door drop, be ready to punch it. Good hunting. CAG Clear =A=

A couple moments later, Ellie received a short… one line text on her private data channel. Two minutes and forty-one seconds. Not bad Ellie… trying to impress the Old Man I see. ;)

Dawkins, CAG

Eleanor greeted the message with a smile on her lips, and typed a quick response. Just putting some fighter jocks in their place. <3

An uncharacteristic silence set on the crew of the Lady of Steel. Eleanor sighed. The three of them had worked together long enough for her to know what was going on in her crewmates’ minds. Badger was likely terrified at the mention of ‘CQB’ and Sloan was dying to have something to say but didn’t dare. Whatever it was that expected them out there, Carnegie didn’t want to go out with morale like that.

With another breath, Eleanor turned to her bird’s Flight Engineer. “Look… Sloan… I’m sorry for lashing out. You’re right. I’ve been under a lot of pressure… I’m used to Commanding five vessels, not twelve, and this is our first time in a real mission. I don’t want Command to think I’m not doing my job.”

Sloan smiled. “It’s okay. I needed to hear it. I… I let the new rank get to my head. It’s been a while…” His words trailed off in an uncharacteristic way.

Reaching for the Scotsman, Eleanor squeezed his arm reassuringly. “I know you had the chance two years ago after the Chimera and passed it up to stick around.” She smiled softly.

“Oh what!? Who told you that?”

Eleanor pointed to the viewscreen and to her Crew Chief currently laying against the bulkhead talking to some of the members of the Engineering team.

Sloan groaned. “I should have known Chuck would tell you!”

“Oh no, he didn’t mention it to me directly.” Eleanor shook her head. “He mentioned it to Malcolm right before we set out for the Aegis.”

“You’ve known it all this time?” Sloan asked in disbelief.

Carnegie nodded. “Now seemed like a good time to bring it up. Because I just hope you know that I am both incredibly grateful and incredibly honored that you wanted to stay. Not a lot of people tolerate flying with someone like me.” Colorblindness might be an asset as far as Recon was concerned, but it definitely was a disadvantage when it came to keeping crew. “Besides, you’re the best Flight Engineer I’ve ever had, and I mean that.” She quickly added before Sloan had time to reply. “Now, I’ll still expect you to be here on time, but I probably shouldn’t have bit your head off for it.” She smiled widely.

With a matching smile, Sloan nodded. “Aye Ma’am.”

“Thank you for sticking around, Doc. Now…” Eleanor turned to both members of her small crew. “… are we ready to…” She pondered her words for a moment. “… scan the heck out of whatever is outside?”

Maj. Carnegie, Blue Squadron Leader (and the Lady of Steel’s crew)

=A= This is Air Control… Red Squadron… Launch Launch Launch. Red 1 through 4 standby by after launch to Escort Recon… Red 5 through 8, CQB 10K off port, Red 9 through 12… same on starboard. Recon… When Red is clear, the floor is yours. Launch immediately. With Red Flight Alpha for cover, you are to intercept and delay unknown vessels at bearing…=A= There was a brief pause =A=… 245 mark 2 niner. You have the lead Blue 1.=A=

=A= This is the CAG… Weapons Free… Avoid use of force if possible. Good hunting. CAG Clear.=A=

Ael peeled out into the clear of space and watched half of Red Squad divert away. He held back for Blue’s launch.

(OOC: Crossposted the comms from the CIC above)

This was it. As Red Squadron launched, Eleanor finally placed on the helmet of her EVA suit and thrust The Lady of Steel into action, rolling the craft onto the main lane of the flight deck.

=/\= Attention Blue Squadron, Iron Lady here. Sentinels 5 through 12 you’re to remain on standby and at the ready for potential further instruction. Sentinels 2 through 4 you’re with me. You heard the orders, whatever is out there we’re to intercept and delay them. I want jamming systems on the moment we cross the hangar door. This is where we shine people! Let’s do this. Blue 1 out! =/\=

It took only moments for the the four ships of the Recon flight to clear the deck after the last of the Red Squadron was gone. Once outside, the true power of the sensor kitted bombers coming into play – its sensor suite gathering sensor data within a range of six light-years around them.

Checking her viewscreen and then her console, Carnegie was momentarily confused. As Badger kept giving readouts of their destination based on the data from the Olinski and their own sensor data, her eyes didn’t see any type of craft outside. Until she saw it – a slight change in the fabric of space, right where they were going. Cloaked ships. The thought crossed her mind. Still, she followed her much more reliable Sensor Ops officer’s directions, knowing that no one else in the Squadron would be able to see what she did. After all that had been why Recon had wanted her to begin with. Maybe that would prove to be an advantage later on, but right now they were fine just following their sensor data.

Carnegie kept flying in the direction of the ships, and with her, the other three Recon birds. The jamming systems on the Rangers able to jam 95% of all known targeting systems at a distance of 10 000 Km, and less from further away. Still, ‘as close as possible’ was Eleanor’s goal, which hopefully meant that, even though the two ships might be able to see their approach, they would not be able to get a lock on their exact location.

Closing in, Rangers’ sensors scanned the ships for any information they might be able to gather. No fire was exchanged… yet.

Carnegie, Blue Squadron Leader and The Sentinels Alpha Flight (Recon)

Ael signaled the four Red Squad birds to join along with Blue and switched on his own targeting jammers. The fighter wing had been in a few scrapes since he was assigned there, but this was the first run with the new crew. A lot of variables were in the air with them. He took a deep breath. Weapons hot.

-Apex, Red Leader


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