Klavs81

Rear Admiral
Right away, I could see these were no ordinary cats. They were aggressive, they worked together, and had the sun at their backs. Even with modern sensors, the age-old tactic still works, to a degree.

Against the sun, highly sensitive optical scanners calibrated for deep space still get fuzzed by the solar output and radar sees nothing but a giant energy spike across a half degree of sky. It took talent to run an intercept using that narrow blind spot, but it could be done. The other ships were down before I could even spot them; half a dozen giant bat wings, big as death, looming right out of the sun.

Thank god I had been busted to 'tail-end charlie' the day before. They hit the element leaders first. These, the cats reasoned, would have more combat experience and would therefore make more trouble. The initial pass was more successful than they'd imagined, downing 3 of 4 fighters. Now they had the lone survivor outnumbered and outgunned, and the kitties were going to play with their food.

I played back.

-Maniac
 

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Whistler

Commodore
Oh my God she's a beautiful sight...erm...let me rephrase that...tally ho!!

The first Dralthi that, imho, was the first of its kind to warrant concern when flying against an enemy flight. Damn good job recapturing his deadly look. Kudos again on the fiction. Hope you're saving all of these excerpts; I know I am. :D
 

Klavs81

Rear Admiral
Cheers Whistler! If I ever get the energy (or that second life I always wanted) I'll write the full 250 page biography and put it up for printing on Abebooks or something, with illustrations. :)
 

Klavs81

Rear Admiral
The Ferrets were great fun for joyriding, fast, light, and a kick in the ass to fly. Literally.

See, the designers saved every inch of space in that ship for power systems, engines and sensors. The pilot was nearly an afterthought, so there was less margin for the accelleration absorbers. The Ferret had more of what us pilot types called 'feel'. Especially when you went to afterburner.

-Maniac
 

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Klavs81

Rear Admiral
The Dralthi swings in low behind us.

Coasting without power, Agatha is dying. The Kilrathi pumps round after round into us. Mass drivers again penetrate the cabin. Harris and Burke are further distributed about the cockpit. Red orbs cloud my faceplate, but to wipe them away would blind me completely.

The Dralthi must have run down his gun charge, for presently he drifts alongside us to admire his handiwork. He is close, but still prudently above the firing arc of the poweless portside turret.

Soon, his guns have recharged and he slides aft to finish us off. Agatha staggers again and again. Tears of frustration and anger shut my eyes.

Agatha's little world tears to shreds around me. She is dying. I will not leave her to die alone.

I had no idea I could yell so loudly. The scream of white-hot rage reverberates inside my helmet, deafening.

It stops.

Again, the bat wings have appeared on our left side.

He is very close. I can see his eyes.

-Excerpt from 'Broadsword Agatha'
 

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Klavs81

Rear Admiral
Blair put the eight of us in line astern formation.

Single file, with one Sabre behind and slightly below the next, the carrier could only hit the leading ship, and the rest of us would be protected from the defensive fire while we went for torpedo lock.

The tactic would guarantee at that most of us would make it to torpedo launch. It was inspired, except that Blair forgot about his own skin, like always. The leader of the formation would be absorb the brunt of the Kilrathi point defense, sparing the other ships, but sacrificing himself.

Not to be out done in the suicidal bravery department, I firewalled the throttle and broke formation. Couldn't let him have all the glory, could I?

Cuhna squalled at me, but quickly shut up as I bored in on the carrier. Dry launching everything I had, I threw it into a 960° slew/spin, firing intermittently at the carrier while we corkscrewed along its length. I heard wretching over the ICS, but I also felt the 'whump' from the turret as Cuhna also fired at the carrier whenever it flashed into view.

Good girl.

My torpedoes didn't have a chance at penetrating the carrier's shields without a lock, but the Kilrathi were concentrating on us anyway, throwing up everything they had to take us out. Hopefully, it buying the others a smoother ride.

As I spun over the bow of the ship a flight of Jalkhei flashed past, launched forthwith to put an end to our monkeyshines. Blair would be close to launch now, but I had to keep the fighters off the strike team while they gained a lock.

I charged into the Jalkhei formation, fighting them for what seemed like hours. All the while Cuhna whumped away with her little turret. At some point, I noticed the whumping had stopped.

Then the sky lit up like a second sun.

-Maniac
 

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Deathsnake

Rear Admiral
Great work with the Sabre and special with the Broadsword ;)

Tell me whatever you want: I like the Broadsword more then the Longbow, Avenger or the Shrike.
I hope Scooby can make the Bengal and the Broadsword soon for me for LLoD ;)
 

Whistler

Commodore
Wonder what the Broadsword would fetch on Shapeways. Couldn't be too much worse for cost then a Raptor. Brilliant as always.
 

Klavs81

Rear Admiral
Epees tried to kill me every time I got close, man. Every time!

In Epees, I had three engine failures, a sneaky O2 system failure that gave me hypoxia before I figured it out, a reentry burnthrough, a missile propellant detonation, and finally, a total reactor breach that resulted in an ejection and loss of the spacecraft.

Epees hated me. I hated them back. I never wanted to fly one again!

The final straw happened as I was walking across the tarmac after one of the Morningstar test hops.

One of the Epees on the flight line had an 'accidental' weapon discharge. The whole damn world went pink and I was knocked square on my butt. A huge smoldering chunk of the tarmac was missing about a meter from where my left foot had been. I was pissed off, peppered with chunks of concrete, but otherwise okay.

The tech came running over, white as a sheet. She swore and swore and swore all the systems had been on 'safe'. Eventually, I believed her. Telemetry later confirmed that the Epee had shorted its own safety circuits in its bid to kill me.

I gave those suckers a wide berth after that. An Epee could look like it was innocently sitting out on the tarmac. Like it didn't have a care in the world!

But man, I knew better!

-Maniac

With apologies to Scooby, whose Epee I cribbed shamelessly from. You made me fall in love with this goofy bird! :)

Tried to figure out how the heck this little ship could mount a torpedo and I decided it could carry a light torpedo to handle things like corvettes and light destroyers. Not a giant ship killer like the Broadsword carries.

Speaking of which, I know this is going to be Divisive, but my Broadsword is smaller than the original's whopping 36 meters. Still sufficiently gigantic, I feel. More than enough room for 3-4 guys in there. (2-3 in the crew area, sat like in an EA-6B Prowler controling the weapon systems [left and right turrets are remotely operated from the cockpit and more like the laser emiters on the Boeing YAL-1] and the tail gunner/tractor operator in the rear turret.) My other fighters are smaller as well, because, well, they're mine and I can make them any darn size I want! :)
 

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Klavs81

Rear Admiral
The F-54s, much reviled by their human maintainers and pilots, found new life in the feathered hands of the FDF. Re-engineered for avian biometrics through the Firekkan semi-neural interface, The 'Ten-fin' as they became known, were thus transformed from a Confed disappointment into the legendary and iconic mounts of the Firekkan Defense Force.

-Hyperion Middlebrook, 'Wings Over Firekka'
 

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Klavs81

Rear Admiral
Now,

Our bomber's a very fine spacecraft,
constructed of paper and wood.
It's perfect for lugging cheap whiskey,
but for combat it just ain't no good!

So...

Don't give me an A-17,
She's heavy and fat and she's mean.
She'll never be done,
moving you to Nav One!
Don't give me an A-17!

Hey!

-Traditional bomber songs.

Ah, the Broadsword. The crate the Sabre came packed in.

-Maniac.

I kid I kid! I love this old girl. She really grew on me during the build process. Hope you guys like her.
 

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Sylvester

Vice Admiral
That Broadsword is a true thing of beauty. Nice and meaty like it was in WC2, ready to absorb hit after hit of Kilrathi flak and still ruin their day with a nice quartet of torpedoes. I actually find your song ironic, as aside from an unfortunate collision between myself and Angel's torpedo on that Ralatha mission, I've never been shot down in a Broadsword.

The Epee on the other hand; let me count the ways.....
 

Deathsnake

Rear Admiral
Beautiful :) My favorite bomber of all WC Games. And the Star Citizen Retalitor looks from the stats as the bigger, better one (5 turrets, 8 man crew).
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
I kid I kid! I love this old girl. She really grew on me during the build process. Hope you guys like her.
Very pretty. I don't quite love the way you flattened the ship (in the original, the cockpit was probably a metre or more below the main hull), but given the number of different interpretations the Broadsword had over the years, it's fair game. And actually, there's one thing I really appreciate about the change you've made - it makes the Shrike look like a direct descendant!
 

Klavs81

Rear Admiral
Even in the harsh glare of the desert sun, the torches cast stark blue-white light as they bit into the last of the Morningstars. It hurt your eyes to look at it, even from a distance. But I don't think any of us looked away.

Once the fighters were cut into manageable pieces, the ship-breakers rolled across the tarmac and went to work, effectively shredding the assemblies and reducing the blood, sweat and tears of the last three years of our lives to unrecognizable heaps of scrap.

The Ki'ra observer watched impassively as the sound of rending durasteel screamed at us from across the tarmac. When it was done, he bowed ever so slightly to Colonel Anderson and strode off. His human entourage scurried along behind him, struggling to keep up.

Elsewhere, the remaining seventy three operational Morningstars, along with their spare parts, tooling, test fixtures and design data were being quietly erased from existence.

What the Kilrathi had failed to do by espionage and force of arms, they had accomplished through our own politicians.

I stood there a long time, feeling the sweat trickle down my back as the sun went down.

-Maniac
 

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