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An Unggoy Life: Chapter 29: Good Old-fashioned Dogfight
Posted By: CrazyGrunt<thomas-hoskins@comcast.net>
Date: 12 October 2005, 3:36 am

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Aboard Cairo, Briefing Room

      "Admiral," Cortana said in calm tone, "I've just discovered an invasion force that arrived insystem two minutes ago. It's the Orks, sir. They're back, and they brought the Droid Army with them."
      "Get ODST 5th Platoon to the Longswords ASAP," Admiral Hood ordered, "And have any available pilots get to their ships. We don't want to be caught with our pants down when their fighters get here."

      Klaxons sounded, and 5th Platoon dashed to their Longsword singleships. Aboard the Defector fleet, Seraph Fighters were being launched.
      The Pillar of Autumn II, headed for the approaching Ork vessels.

      "All ODSTs, attack pattern Alpha," Thomas shouted into his helmet mic as his Longsword exited the Cairo, "Kick in the afterburners, everybody. We don't want to be late welcoming these bad boys!"
      The Longswords had been fitted with Plasma Cannons to replace the machineguns. This made even more deadly.

      The Over Fiend watched as the Humans sent the welcoming committee. Grievous' ruse had worked.
      "Launch the Fightas," he ordered an Ork, which sent the fleetwide order to every carrier in his fleet.

      "Ork Fighters dead ahead," Thomas said in satisfaction. He pulled the Longsword into a roll, and peeled off from the main formation.
      "Omega squad, follow me," he ordered, "Zeta squad, fall in behind us. Once we reach the Ork flight line, break formation and cause as much havoc as possible. Try to stay with a wingman so you don't get shot up. Contact in three…two…one…"
      5th Platoon broke formation, and started attacking any Fighta Bommas in range.
      Thomas twisted his ship into a barrel roll, Plasma cannons ablaze. A trio of Fighta Bombers decided to take him head on, which was a mistake on their part. They came in the classic wedge formation, Shootas blasting away. Thomas targeted the leader, and bisected the Fighta Bomma with his Plasma cannons. The two halves kept coming forward, but the Ork wingmen were moving faster, and collided with the wreckage, destroying them as well.
      Something hit his port wing, and Thomas tracked a quartet of Fighter Bombers on his radar.
      "5th Platoon, could use some help about now!" Thomas yelled into the mic, and pulled into a dive under a Ork carrier to evade the fire from the quartet.
      "Keep your pants on!" Krystal's melodic-but-annoyed voice came over the Comm, "I am enroute on your position with Zeta Two as backup."
      Thomas watched on the radar as Krystal and Zeta Two pull up behind the Orks and tear them apart their Plasma cannons.
      "Zeta One, Zeta Two," Thomas asked, do you have a firing solution for your Shiva missiles?"
      "Yes," Krystal replied, "Why?"
      "Fire the missiles at me," Thomas said, "That's an order!"
      Krystal fired her missiles, as did Zeta Two. Thomas did a sharp U-turn, but not sharp enough for the missiles to lose target lock. He hit the afterburners, and accelerated toward the 'mouth' of the Ork carrier. Ten Fighter Bombers were just leaving the hangar when Thomas cut them apart with his Plasma cannons. He fired his Shiva missiles at the Hangar wall, and continued firing his Plasma cannons, tearing through the superstructure of the carrier. A minute later, Thomas shot out the exhaust port for the engines, which were aflame. The tactic of trailing the missiles behind him had worked, because the carrier exploded twenty seconds later.
      "That was crazy," Krystal said disapprovingly, "Great job!"
      "5th Platoon," Thomas called over the Comm, "Regroup and lets tear these Orks apart!"

      "Admiral Keyes!" Cortana said in a panicked tone, "Slipspace rupture behind us! it's a larger invasion force of Orks accompanied by the Droid Army."
      "Recall the fighters," Keyes said, They won't get away this time."
      "Acknowledged," Cortana said, "Sending order now."
      Thomas listened to the message and swore out loud. They had the largest wave of Fighter Bombers that ever attacked a UWSC fleet on the run, and now they had let them get away?!? He calmed himself, and activated a Comm to the platoon, and said in resignation, "5th Platoon, return to the Pillar of Autumn II. The Orks got past us and are headed for Earth. I repeat, the Orks are now behind us and are headed for Earth. Return to the Pillar of Autumn II."

      Grievous stood on the command platform of the Almighty God, and stared in satisfaction when he saw Earth. He glanced at the tactical readout, and saw that the UWSC wasn't as stupid as he had thought.
      The UWSC Fleet was spread out in classic flanking formation, with the Human ships on one side, and Defector ships on the other.
      Grievous opened a Comm channel to Jango Fett aboard the Armageddon Flame, and said, "There is a UWSC task force behind us. deal with them."
      "It shall be done," Jango said in a cold tone.

      The Armageddon Flame reversed its course, and was followed by the battleships Judgement Day and supercarrier Bringer of Death. The trio of ships accelerated toward the task force being led by the Pillar of Autumn II. The Judgement Day turned to port, presenting it's starboard side to the opposing task force. Then it's Laser cannon batteries opened fire on the New Denver, pounding the heavy cruiser's bow with immense numbers of Laser blasts. After five minutes of the endless barrage, the New Denver's bow collapsed under the pressure, and it caused the ship's nuclear reactors to overload. The New Denver exploded in a blast of flame.

      " Sonuvabitch!" Thomas yelled as he swerved to avoid the debris, "Cortana, permission to engage?"
      "Affirmative,"Cortana replied.
      "All right 5th Platoon, We got the green light to engage!" Thomas shouted excitedly, "Lets not disappoint 'em!"
      The Longswords in 5th Platoon activated the afterburners, and shot toward the Judgement Day.
      Off we go, into the wild blue yonder, Thomas thought to himself, recalling the old USAF fight song for some odd reason.
      "5th Platoon, keep that capital ship from launching its fighters," he ordered, "Zeta One and Zeta Two will fly wingman with me. We will cripple that battleship's engines so it can't hit anymore of our ships without being repaired. Move it, ODSTs!"
      Thomas turned the Longsword away from the rest of his platoon and Zeta Two and Zeta One peeled off the foramtion and followed him. He twisted the joystick so that the fighter was parallel to the Droid Army battleship. He shot past it's engines about a kilometer, then did a U-turn and fired his Shivas at the battleship's exhaust ports. Six Shivas streaked toward the ship, its defense grid unable to destroy the missiles because the aft section was its blind spot. Thomas watched with glee as all six missiles flew in the largest exhaust port.
      Explosions ravaged the Judgement Day from the inside. A second barrage had just begun to open up, and the cannons exploded in mid-reload. The ship rolled over on its side like a wounded animal. Thomas hit the afterburners and flew away from the scene, 5th Platoon not far behind. The platoon was headed for the Pillar of Autumn II for their next orders.