4th Position, 1st Attack
An Autobiographical Experience from the Life of Tyrone Alenus Bordel
By: Will Hansen
UNS-Aurora Day 08 New Assignment
Standing on the flight Deck of the UNS Aurora I could see the stars threw the hanger doors, being among them made them seem farther then they had back on Earth. The comfort of home didn't exist in the military, especially in my life. This was my 4th post, the 1st being at the Marine Base in 29 Palms, then the Deep Space research facility onboard the Orion, and that month on Eden, now I was here, standing onboard the Aurora, with nothing to do but wait. I wasn't nervous, I was terrified.
Life onboard the 13th Macross Attack Fleet was different then any of the other positions I had held or have held since. Being in an Active attack fleet is a lot like walking threw a mine field, your asking to get attacked, and our Fleet Commander liked to hunt down mine fields.
Turning towards the row of VF-11s that sat in there quiet glory, I slowly made my way down the line of fighters noting the different variants of colors on their wings and tales: The Blue Lancers, missing 1 plane; The Blue Steels, 3 gone; The Jamming Birds, down 5 in the last 3 months; The Black Eagles, down to 11 pilots over the past 6 months; and then I came to the end of the row, where a short line of 11s sat with skulls painted on there tails, an eye patch crossing the left eye of the painted head, The Black Aces.
At the end of the line stood a larger Fighter, mine. The markings were different then any other on the vessel; I had just been transferred from Eden. My VF-19 looked so alien among all the older fighters, especially with the Dancing Skull symbols still on it. Running my hand over the nose of the well polished Excalibur, I slipped my fingers over the 'R' painted under the cockpit, then the large scorch mark that followed it.
My time on Eden had been busy, fighting off the rising Anti-UN presence that was there, I hadn't had much time to have my ship repaired, let alone painted. I'd only been onboard a week, but I was already dubbed bad luck. Some of the people believed that the deaths of the last few pilots had been my fault, I'm not superstitious but it is hard to prove people wrong when they won't talk to you.
Sliding my hand off the remainder of the words across the nose of my VF, I noticed something strange about the air in the room, it seemed calmer then it had before, like the few mechanics who had been fumbling around had left. When I turned to look, the air changed back to that of people rushing, and the sounds of mechanics clanking started again, but I managed to catch one or 2 of them watching me…I think they were waiting to see me in action, and this was the closest they had gotten to it…that or they wanted to play around under the hood of my State of the Art AVF instead of the older ones laying around.
I was about to turn back to my baby, when I noticed one of the Meltran pilots walking into the hanger, she only caught my eye for a moment before I went back to running my fingers back over the crisp blue of my 19.
After a few minutes of looking over my fighter I heard a knocking on top of the wing, and turned to see who it was…the pilot. I slipped out from under the wing of the ship; she asked if the Excalibur was mine. I explained to her how I had just arrived, and that it was my fighter. She seemed interested in the 19, though she admitted to being a Queadlunn Rau pilot. After a few moments of chatting about the differences between the Excalibur and the Queadlunn Rau, and a few laps around the 19. We paused at the cockpit again; she glanced over the scorch mark across my nameplate.
"This is from the blaster off a Renegade, isn't it?" She asked, looking back over her shoulder at me.
I nodded, sliding my hand over another mark a little farther back on the fuselage. "Right here it once showed how many I had shot down….but I never had them stamped back on."
"I've never flown against a Renegade, I heard there tough…" She said, looking over the length of the gash, it stretching form the nose of the plane, then back along the fuselage and ending at one wing.
"Nothing worth talking about, I've heard that Queadlunn Rau's are tougher." I said shrugging it off; I figured she was just playing with me.
"Queadlunn Rau's are little pieces of shit compared to a 19….you'll have no trouble here if you've taken on Renegades." She said, standing up and averting her attention to the scared 'R'…."What's the rest of this supposed to say?"
"Reverend….I used to be a Chaplin back on Earth; it's what they called me…" I said, looking at the flight deck, then back up to the AVF.
"I see, well then as a Reverend, you shouldn't have to worry about all this Bad Luck gibberish now will you?"
"I don't suppose I will…" and with that she walked off, I never got her name or what Squadron she was with, just that she was some Meltran pilot who flew a Queadlunn Rau…I suppose I would have had more time to think about it if a mechanic hadn't distracted me with a bunch of annoying question at that moment…but, tomorrow was another day, after all.
UNS-Aurora Day 09 New Assignment
Have you ever sat down one day and known it was going to get interesting? That's what it was like sitting down in the mess hall of the Aurora the next day; they had posted who had duty on the bulletin board, as always. Something I never checked, the ships captain never put my name up, I don't know why, but I guess it was just his way. The Black Aces had duty though, I knew that much…not that it mattered, whenever they had duty the 11's went out. The Black Aces were comprised of 4 Queadlunn Rau, 5 VF-11s and me, the only VF-19 in the fleet.
I was sitting down, eating the last of my toast and sipping down the last of my tea when a pilot walked, more like stumbled, over to me. (I assume the other pilots pushed him over) I didn't even bother looking up from my cup, I knew he didn't want to be standing there, so I waited for him to say something….which took longer then I expected.
"Y-y-your up…" I didn't find out till later that the man had a stutter, and it wasn't cause he was talking to me.
"I am?" I asked, startled and looking up to face him "You're sure?"
"You and one of the Queadlunn Rau Pilots from the California!" A voice came from the group behind him, I didn't bother to look to who it was.
I was shocked; the captain must have had a bit in faith in me after all, because within the hour I was walking down the same stretch of flight deck I had the day before, my 19 sat in the middle waiting to be launched. A young mechanic standing next to it, with a beaming smile…he had gotten to prep my Fighter for patrol, which was something everyone there wanted to do.
With my face mirroring that of the mechanic, I climbed the ladder into the cockpit of my fighter and slipped behind the controls…9 Days was far too long. I snapped my helmet into place and slipped my fingers around the controls of the powerful fighter, and waited. I watched the stars, waiting for the signal that would allow me to pulse out among them.
Glancing over the controls panel which told me to launch, I caught a glimpse of a shimmering object off to my right, it steadily grew brighter as it approached, I took a guess at what it was, though my Radar could have told me. I assumed it was the Queadlunn Rau I would be operating with that day, and without hesitation I punched my throttle foreword and felt that initial thrust of adrenaline as my Excalibur roared down the runway, the fake atmosphere causing slight resistance on the wings of my fighter.
Smirking lightly, I decided to do a trick that one of my friends on Eden taught me, he simply called it the "Top Gun Take Off". I know something of a similar name was used back in the days of Propeller driven planes, where the pilot would fly full throttle down the runway and pull up the landing gear just as the plane was caught by the wind.
But that's not how we do it, my friend taught me to push the throttle foreword and as the wind catches it, pull up on the stick then push the throttle to half, thus giving a straight up push threw the fake atmosphere of the career, and out into space. And that is exactly what I did, continuing up into a barrel role, and leaving everyone on the flight deck in the dust.
As I broke threw the fake atmospheric shield I glanced back to the shimmering object, which had turned into a classic Queadlunn Rau that had obviously seen many battles, it looked older then the base where I was trained, and probably was. I turned a tight left, away from the Rau and slowed down so it could catch up, as I headed out towards the edge of our fleet to begin the days sweep of the area. I knew that back on the Aurora all the pilots were gathered round a radio scanner to hear about everything I did, so I thought it would be a good idea to keep the chatter on the radio down.
My patrol was typical, and boring, even more so then my 1st flights back on Earth, but that's was alright, I didn't mind the constant boredom…gave me time to think about home, and wonder what everyone was up to. The pilot in the Rau didn't say a word, which made me nervous, but I didn't mind too much. I just kept my eyes open and let the A.I. combat computer do its job, which it did well.
Towards the end of our seemingly eventless patrol, my Radar glitched for a moment, and showed to Queadlunn Rau's in the same place as the one I had been flying with the entire flight, I shrugged it of as an echo, and decided I would realign the censor when I got back to the carrier. Then it did it again, but the 2nd Rau was farther out, and then again as it looped back towards us. I was slightly puzzled, until a feminine voice came over my headset with a simple warning.
"Keep your eyes open, there playing with us." She said, I didn't know what she meant, I didn't know where the voice had come from, but I assumed it was from the Queadlunn Rau from the California and not this ghost that was toying with us.
I watched the radar, and kept my eyes open to the black skies of space, the other Rau was out there somewhere, and I didn't like the idea that my Radar was treating it like a Ghost. Just when I thought it was gone, I saw it. Dead ahead, not a Rau…something I was a little bit more familiar with…a Renegade. My thoughts flashed back to the Meltran pilot the day before, who has said she'd never fought a Renegade, I kinda wished it was her in my place. I gripped the control in my hand, as I slowed the 19 down to a stop, the Rau next to me following my lead and doing so also…I grinned.
Glancing to my radar, I reached for the radio control…I would take on this enemy if my colleague would allow me to. My heart sank for a moment, my eyes resting on the red blip behind us on my Radar screen; I pulled a hard left and thrust the throttle foreword the laser blast scrapping the engine nasals of my 19. As the Excalibur turned to face the enemy, I smiled as I caught a glimpse of the Rau in front of me…Finally.
Gripping the controls in my hand until my knuckles turned white, I thrust the throttle lever foreword again, speeding up as I ran headlong at the Rau in front of me, the lack of UN Spacy markings helping me to make sure I wasn't attack my comrade. As I charged foreword the Rau pull upwards in an attempt to gain a little bit of difference from my much faster Mech. My grin contorted into an all out smile, as I shot past the enemy, and pulled back on the lever to the left of the throttle, the small light next to it switching from "Fighter" to "Soldier" as the gears around my cockpit began to whir.
As the Variable Fighter began its transformation process, I pulled hard left on the controls and spun around in the flourish made famous by so many pilots before me. The sliding metal parts of the Excalibur locking into place as it stood in its humanoid glory. The Rau continued to charge upwards, now on an obvious attack run. Once again my left hand went back to the throttle of the fighter, as I pushed foreword on it again, the engines purring to life, the Gun Pod in my Mechs hand almost itching to fire as though it were in mine. If this was to be a typical bout, it would be a let down…I wanted a challenge, and thus far this enemy wasn't offering me one.
I took a moment to glance down at my Radar as 2 other small blips danced around, one red, and one green. Neither of which I worried about at the moment, the one I had to concentrate on was not quiet in the place I wanted him yet. Which was fine with me.
Finally my thoughts slipped as the Rau positioned itself below me in an attempt to shoot up my engines and into the nuclear reactor held just beyond the turbines. I smiled as I pushed the joystick in my hands foreword, sliding the controls attached to my feet backwards to imitate a flipping motion, the scorching beam flying from the arm of the Rau as it sliced upwards towards the space my units back now occupied.
The entire craft seemed to shutter as I watched the blue number on my Heads-up-display slip down form 100 to 86...my Pin-Point-Barrier system had caught the blast, but probably count take to many more. I now stood, if you could call it that, face to face with my opponent, I could see into the cockpit of his Queadlunn Rau, and I could see the olive green complexion of his skin…he was a Zentran.
Grinning, and knowing I now had his attention, I opened an all frequency communication and said the only thing that came to mind….BOMBER! With that, I pushed foreword on my throttle and barreled towards my enemy, the GU-11 Gun Pod in the hands of my Excalibur rattling as the bullets fired from the weapon. If my attack missed, I would slam head long into the Rau, if the bullets found its mark I would probably die in the explosion. But as Sharron Apple once said "I seek to give him the ultimate emotion, that moment between life and death…" and that is the moment I live for….