https://twitter.com/ThunderheadQMArchive (First thread isn't there as it's on a different page. Find it by clicking "Pilot Quest" and scrolling down to July 2016. It's the first entry):http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Pilot%20Quest%201989,--------------------------------------------------------------------"Freelancer 2-1, you are cleared for landing. Be advised, we have a strong head-wind at the moment. Landing will be a bit rough." The slightly tired voice of the ATC officer tiredly reported to you as you brought your F-14 around for landing. Your jet's landing gear folding out from their bays perfectly."Understood tower. Freelancer 2-1, begining landing approach." You replied as your jet's wings rotated out to their straight position, flaps and slats extending to landing positions as you brought yourself nose-on to the runway. The good few miles of flat tarmac illuminated by hundreds of different coloured lights, making landing in the dead of night a doddle.You had arrived back in the airspace above Tokyo after the incident with the cargo ship to find that your patrol flight still continued for a good few hours more. The patrol hadn't been anything special, all of the action to investigate incoming flights had been passed onto other flights. The most exciting part had been listening over the radio as reports came in from a flight that was escorting a civilian airliner that had suffered a bird-strike, and had lost an engine. Thankfully however, the airliner managed to make it to Tokyo International Airport for an emergency landing. Aside from that however, the patrol had been rather boring.Thankfully however, the monotony of the patrol was finally broken when your wheels kissed the tarmac. The jolt of landing acting as your welcome back to solid ground. You landed first, with Svetlana following in behind you. You quickly made your way to your hanger, and came to a stop just outside of the hanger. Your ground crew waiting for you to shut down your engines before attaching a small aircraft tug to your jet to move it inside the armoured hanger that you had been assigned. As you began to climb out of your jet, your crew chief called up to you."Hey, your boss wants you at his office." He yelled up as his crews began to remove the AMRAAMs from your jet's pylons. The missile's fins being removed prior to the missile's body being removed from it's pylon."No idea, he said that it was important though." Your chief replied, before then going back to marshalling his men, leaving you to your own devices.>Head to Dredd's office, sounds important.>Head to the barracks first, while it may be important, you don't want to run the risk of meeting a VIP while smelling disgusting.>Head over to Svetlana's hanger first, you might as well gather the party before heading to the office.>Other (write in)
>>1040688>Head over to Svetlana's hanger first, you might as well gather the party before heading to the office.
>>1040688>>Head to Dredd's office, sounds important.
>>1040688>Head over to Svetlana's hanger first, you might as well gather the party before heading to the office."You must gather your party before venturing forth."
You decided to wait around for a few seconds for Zeus to climb down the ladder behind you, his helmet under his arm."Come on, we should grab Svetlana and head off to Dredd's office." You announced, before making your way out of the building. The trip over to Svetlana's hanger was pretty quick, it was only a few meters away. You arrived at the hanger to find Svetlana talking with her crew chief, a bottle of water in her hand. You and Zeus paused for a bit, giving her time to talk."So, what do you think caused that damage to that cargo ship." Zeus asked calmly as you leaned up against the wall."A sub." You replied sarcastically, you had already said it back on patrol."I know, I meant what weapons caused that kind of damage to the ship?" Zeus clarified with a huff."I don't know. I'm not a weapons tech for a reason Zeus." You replied as Svetlana made her way over, having apparently overheard Zeus's question."It was probably a Shkval." Svetlana replied, before offering both you and Zeus a bottle of water each. Both of you accepting the bottles eagerly, even if you did have to avoid the fact that she had just been drinking out of the bottle that she had handed you."What makes you say that?" Zeus asked curiously, an eyebrow raised."My brother is in the submarine corps. He told me about how his submarine could sink a US navy ship." Svetlana replied, before giving a small shrug.>Catch a jeep back to the command centre. You might be on a timer here.>Walk back to the command centre. You can spend the time talking to Svetlana.>Other (write in)
>>1041334>>Catch a jeep back to the command centre. You might be on a timer here.
>>1041334>Catch a jeep back to the command centre. You might be on a timer here.
>>1041334>Catch a jeep back to the command center
"But that doesn't explain why you think that the Soviets used that weapon against that cargo ship." You replied as you lead your impromptu group towards the main taxi-way, which was also used as an impromptu road for the trucks that were used to ferry pilots between the hangers and the rest of the base."The ship was broken apart in the middle. Most soviet torpedoes are designed to attack from the rear of a ship, homing in on the ship's wake. The Shkval however, it is apparently a super-fast torpedo. If the submarine commander had such a fast weapon onboard then he would probably attack from the side, to maximise the size of his target." Svetlana explained calmly as a jeep rounded the corner, two marines in the front and another pair of pilots in the back. You flagged the jeep down as it approached, and once it stopped you opened up the bed door and climbed in."And does ONI know about this? I'm pretty sure that they would want to know about those torpedoes." You replied as both Svetlana and Zeus climbed in. Zeus closing up the bed-door as Svetlana took up a seat next to you."They know, don't worry. I told them everything I knew about the Soviet Union and it's military after I defected." Svetlana assured you as Zeus slammed the door in place. As soon as he did so, one of the pilots near the front banged on the truck's cabin, giving the driver the cue to continue on.>Chat some more with Svetlana.>Chat with Zeus.>Chat the two pilots.>Take a nap.>Other (write in)
>>1041631>>Chat with Zeus.Tell him about lauren
>>1041631>Chat with Zeus.
You smiled at Svetlana, while you couldn't be sure that she had told ONI absolutly everything without talking to ONI, you trusted her enough to beleive her. "Thanks, I'll probably ask you a few questions later, but that will have to wait."Before Svetlana could respond, you turned to face Zeus. "In the mean time, I've got news.""And that is?" Zeus asked as the jeep came to a halt, Zeus pausing for only a few seconds to open up the bed-door to the pilot that was waiting to get in."I phoned up the Mercer house earlier, Lauran's place. Apparently she's decided to join the USN." You explained calmly as the new pilot climbed in and closed the closed the truck bed door. Once again, one of the pilots up at the front knocked on the cabin, before then going back to their quit conversation in Japanese as the truck began to move on."That... that's not good." Zeus replied slowly, his face going slightly pale. "Do you think that she's trying to get into VF-21?""Yeah, which is why I've decided to preempt it and have her assigned here as soon as she finishes her training. She'll be assigned as Svetlana's RIO." You replied coldly, you were not enthusiastic about bringing her in. But from the look Zeus gave you, he certainly didn't like it."...Bradly... are you trying to get everyone killed?" Zeus asked, before then adding. "What in the name of Christ actually makes you think that that's a goo idea?""She has the money and connections to either get herself assigned to us, or to have us pulled into her unit. As the latter would be fucking terrible, we might as well force the decision. This way I can keep constant tabs on her, she gets her wish to be close to me granted and the unit gets a great asset. She did after all work on the Echo-'Cat upgrades." You explained, your eyes locked with Zeus's. The pair of you trying to read each other as much as possible."You are aware that most of our unit consists of the hottest ass in the fleet, and almost half of the girls have already bunked with you for a night. If Lauren finds out about that, then she might decide to do what the reds cant..." Zeus replied, his flat tone of voice telling you that he wholly believed that Lauren would snap and try and kill your comrades. And you knew that he cared a lot about them, more so than he would openly say.If you where completely honest, part of you shared his belief. But than again, this was also the side of you that said that ONI would press the button to blow your jet out of the sky at a moment's notice."The Lauren Mercer... what did she do to get your comrade so worried about her?" Svetlana asked curiously, attempting to find out more about her planned RIO.>Tell Svetlana what Lauren has done.>Tell Svetlana a half-truth, that Lauren has attachment issues.>Don't tell Svetlana anything. At least, not yet.>Other (write in)
>>1042090>Tell Svetlana what Lauren has done.It needs to be out in the open.
>>1041631>>Chat with Zeus.Tell him about lauren >>1042090>>Tell Svetlana what Lauren has done.
>>1042090>Tell SvetlanaPhoneposters, tell me how you stay sane.
>>1042090>Tell Svetlana what Lauren has done.
"Lauren... she's my ex-girlfriend. The two main things about her is that she is stupidly rich and very protective. She used to pay a number of people to gather information on me and report it to her. It all came to a head around a year or so back when she stabbed my old RIO." You replied, summing up your past with Lauren in as few words as possible, Svetlana seemed to narrow her eyes at you, unamused with your explanation."I see, and what makes you think that she has changed?" Svetlana asked as the truck began to pull into the base proper. The jeep only stopping to let a cargo truck pass by."Simple, last time she actually talked to me like a normal person as opposed to either dive-hugging me or drug me. She was actually repentant, and that's a pretty good sign all things considered." You explained as the jeep came to a halt next to one of the barrack buildings. You and everybody else in the back took this as the cue to get out, with the pilot at the back opening the bed-door."Still, she could be lying..." Svetlana suggested as she dropped down onto the tarmac, you quickly followed her off the truck. As soon as your small group was out of the truck, you began to lead them towards the office building that Zeus was set up inside."Maybe, she's done everything well enough thus-far. Hell she's even covered the cost of the medical treatment for my old RIO." You shrugged as you continued on, before then sighing and coming to a stop."In spite of that, even I don't think that bringing her in is without it's risks. But it's the best choice that we have right now." You explained as you turned to your RIO and wing mate. Both of them being friends that you would lay down your life to protect. And you knew that they would do the same."I understand." Zeus stated suddenly, his expression still dour. "I don't like it. I think that it's the worst idea you've had since that bacon-pancake with brandy combo... or when you decided to go for a tangle with that nugget back when we were flying as aggressors.""Hey! I didn't know that the damn nugget would shoot down one of the guys were were dog-fighting with." You snapped, only to cause Zeus to chuckle to himself."If she does anything... to any of us... then I will kill her..." Svetlana hissed, her voice barely above a whisper."No, leave it to me." You ordered, all warmth sapped from your voice as the conversation took a more morbid tone. She looked up at you, the warmth in her beautiful eyes completely gone."Why? If she hurts anybody in the unit, she is damaging it's combat effectiveness. She deserves to die for it." Svetlana asked, her voice flat as she explained her decision.>"Because the punishment must always fit the crime. We won't execute her over nothing.">"Because to her, rejection is a fate worse than death. I can guarantee it.">"If anybody will deal with her, it will be me. It was my decision to bring her into the unit, if she harms anybody then I'll punish her.">Other (write in)
>>1042640>>"Because the punishment must always fit the crime. We won't execute her over nothing."
>>1042640>"Because the punishment must always fit the crime. We won't execute her over nothing.">"If anybody will deal with her, it will be me. It was my decision to bring her into the unit, if she harms anybody then I'll punish her."I still think it was a stupid decision to bring Lauren in the first place. I'm sure we could've gotten her assigned as AWACS or something.
>>1042640>"If anybody will deal with her, it will be me. It was my decision to bring her into the unit, if she harms anybody then I'll punish her."
"Because the punishment must always fit the crime. We won't execute her over nothing, such punishment something that a dictatorship would do, not a fair democracy." You explained as you reached over and placed a calming hand on Svetlana's shoulder. She looked away from you for a few seconds, apparently processing what you were about to say. But before she could say anything more, you continued."Besides, If anybody has to deal with her, it'll be me. It was my decision to bring her into the unit, if she harms anybody then I'll punish her." You declared calmly, this managed to get you an approving nod from Zeus, but still nothing from Svetlana."Regardless of that, we're burning time here. Come on, we can go over this more with the rest of the unit at a later time. Right now, we have to get to the boss's office." Zeus stated, before then sighing and making his way past you. You stood there for a few more seconds, before turning and making to catch up with him. Svetlana following you after a few seconds.Eventually, you made your way back to the office building, the entire thing lit up by the inside lights as the assorted squadron leaders continued on with their work. You quickly made your way in and through security, before then arriving at Dredd's office. Just like before, you knocked three times and waited."Come in." Dredd called from the other side of the door, giving you the go-ahead to enter. You opened the door to find the room much the same as when you had left it earlier, except for the fact that instead of two chairs in front of Dredd's desk, there were now three."Razor, Zeus, Svetlana. Come in and dog that hatch." Dredd ordered, his voice slightly more gravely than usual, the strain of the paper work having taken it's toll on him. You and your compatriots quickly entered and took your seats, Zeus closing the door after he entered."Ok then, now before we go any further. I want to pass on thanks from both ONI and the IJN. Thanks to your efforts in identifying that there was a sub in the area, our P-3 Orions were able to track and sink a Soviet navy submarine. ONI teams are now coordinating the salvaging of any possible equipment from the wreck. Now that that is over, we can get down to the real reason why I brought you all here." Dredd began, out of the corner of your eye, you could have sworn that you saw Svetlana go pale at the mention of the submarine being sank. But your eyes were quickly brought back to the front as Dredd passed all of you a white letter, sealed with the chrysanthemum seal of the Imperial Japanese Royal Family.>CONT
>>1043026"Now, inside those letters are personal invitations from the Emperor of Japan to an upcoming ball at the Imperial Palace. Now, while the invitations say that our attendance is optional should we be required elsewhere, CINPAC has made sure to tell me that we are to attend no matter what. Now, all of the required attire has been listed on the invitation, but it brings up a few problems..." Dredd trailed off as he reached under his desk and pulled out a half-empty bottle of mead and two glasses."What kind of problems sir?" You asked as Dredd pulled out another pair of glasses and began to pour out a finger of mead into each glass. He then handed each glass to each of you."Well, the first problem is related to Svetlana's dress. Or lack there of. Now, while we have a dress uniform for her coming soon, it won't be here in time for the ball. So I'm going to need you to go off base and get a dress made for you in the upper market district. I have been allowed to give you a government pay-card for this one trip. Don't go and do something stupid with it or we're all in the shit." Dredd explained, holding up a finger as he counted off the problems. He paused for a few seconds, before then taking a healthy slug from his glass. "Now the second problem is related to-"Dredd got no further, as the base's alert sirens suddenly wailed into life, the tortured, electronic scream was one that would put fear into the hearts of younger pilots, and dread into the hearts of the older ones.You however, it just pissed you off. You had only just got back from patrol for fucks sake!
I'm going to call the thread here cause it's pretty damn late. We'll continue tomorrow, hopefully at an earlier time. But no promises.If you have any questions, then feel free to ask them.
>>1043068See you tomorrow!
"ALL PILOTS, MAN YOUR AIRCRAFT! BRIEFING WILL BE PROVIDED BY AWACS GLEIPNIR!" The hurried announcement was broadcast across the base, the announcement briefly silencing the base's alert siren as you and your small group burst from the office building that housed Dredd's office. You lead the charge out, having managed to make your way out of the office first.You looked over in time to see a pair of heavily laidened HUMVEEs rush along the road past you. You looked past it to see a Deuce and a Half headed along the same path, you quickly raised your arm and flagged the vehicle down. The surprised driver coming to a halt long enough for your and your comrades to climb into the back of the vehicle, the back of the vehicle being packed with fellow pilots."Any idea what's going on?" One of the pilots asked over the drone of the siren. You simply shrugged, even though the question was not directed at you."No idea nugget. Just keep your head down and follow us." One of the other pilots, a gruff looking Texan replied. His helmet tucked under his shoulder."By bet's on bombers." Zeus suggested quietly as the truck raced directly over the runway. "Maybe bears launched cruise missiles?""Makes sense, they would have the range to loop around to the east and attack from out in the Pacific." Svetlana agreed, her voice even quieter than Zeus. Apparently she was still shy to speak in front of other Americans."It could be that we're being mobilised as reinforcements. Maybe the reds are making a push?" One of the other pilots suggested, gaining a few murmurs from around the vehicle."But from where? Last I heard we were holding the line pretty well near Seoul, the Koreans are holding the line pretty well." One of the pilots asked, causing a few places to be suggested. Korea, Hokkaido, the Pacific. You had your own idea on why you were being scrambled...>Maybe the Reds are trying to throw a hay-maker with some bombers from the Pacific...>Maybe the Reds are making a push in Korea, the Straight of Korea is little more than a stream in a stratigic sense.>Maybe the Reds are trying to push from Kamchatka into Hokkaido, a direct beachhead in the north is a great stratigic boon.>Maybe the Reds are bringing their Pacific fleet into play for a direct assault somewhere on the eastern coast, it's still a wildcard in play.>You have no real clue, you don't know exactly what is going on...>Other (write in)
>>1050547>>You have no real clue, you don't know exactly what is going on...
>>1050547>Maybe the Reds are trying to push from Kamchatka into Hokkaido, a direct beachhead in the north is a great stratigic boon.
>>1050547>Maybe the Reds are bringing their Pacific fleet into play for a direct assault somewhere on the eastern coast, it's still a wildcard in play.
>>1050547>Maybe the Reds are trying to push from Kamchatka into Hokkaido, a direct beachhead in the north is a great stratigic boon.They need to secure a strong foundation after all
Your personal opinion was that the Reds were trying to push from Kamchatka into Hokkaido, a direct beachhead in the north would be a great strategic boon. It would open up a second front that would drag men and resources away from Korea. And with so few units to spare, men and divisions would have to be pulled from bases elsewhere in the pacific and Indonesia in order to protect the Japanese home islands.Then again, the supply lines would probably be far too vulnerable to attack, maybe Korea would be a better target?You were quickly ripped from your pondering by the guttural roar of a phalanx battery roaring in the distance, only to be joined less than a second later as many more batteries began to spew hot lead into the night sky. You snapped your head up and watched as the batteries roared like dragons, breathing streams of orange tracers at whatever had been detected. A few seconds later, a pair of bright explosions erupted in the sky, indicating that the incoming targets had been destroyed.Almost as soon as the batteries had died down, the deuce stopped around a few hundred meters away from the hangers. All of the pilots in the back with you immediately jumped out, sprinting towards the hangers that housed their aircraft. You followed suit, bringing up the rear as Zeus raced out in front of you. Svetlana and Dredd following the same path forwards towards the hangers."SIR! WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG?" Your crew chief yelled out as soon as you entered the hanger, Zeus already disappearing into his seat as you arrived."HAD TO CATCH A DEUCE OVER. ANY IDEA WHAT WE'RE FACING?" You yelled back over the sirens, one of which was placed rich outside of your armoured hanger. You really hoped that a stray CIWS burst would kill it for you."NO CLUE, YOU WANT US TO LOAD YOU UP NOW, OR DO YOU WANT US TO WAIT UNTIL YOU CAN FIND OUT WHAT'S HAPPENING?" Your chief shouted back as one of the ordnance elevators in the back rose up from the floor, carrying a cart full of 20mm vulcan rounds for your gun.>Get in your jet and find out what's going on over the radio before you choose your load.>Take the long range load (x6 AIM-54 Phoenixs, x2 AIM-95 Agiles)>Take the long-mid range load (x4 AIM-54 Phoenixs, x2 AIM-120 AMRAAMs, x2 AIM-95 Agiles)>Take the medium range load (x6 AIM-120 AMRAAMs, x2 AIM-95 Agiles)>Take the mid-short range load (x4 AIM-120 AMRAAMs, x4 AIM-95 Agiles)>Other (you have 8 hardpoints, 4 on the centerline and 2 under each wing glove. You can carry AIM-9 sidewinders, AIM-7 sparrows, AIM-54 Phoenixs, AIM-120 AMRAAMs and AIM-95 Agiles)
>>1054801>Get in your jet and find out what's going on over the radio before you choose your load.
>>1054801>>Get in your jet and find out what's going on over the radio before you choose your load.
"I'M GONNA GET ON THE HORN, SEE IF I CAN'T FIND OUT WHAT'S HAPPENING!" You yelled back as you rushed past your chief, quickly making your way up the ladder and into your cockpit, you quickly connected the bare power and communication cables into your helmet and put it on."Just got the briefing. The Reds have brought in a massive force of bombers form the North-East. As of right now we don't know if they have escort fighters." Zeus announced over the internal comms link. You nodded as you began to boot up the jet's electrical systems, leaving the engines off until after your ground crew had finished loading your weapons choice."How many jets are getting scrambled?" You asked as you watched the long, cleaver-like form of an F-12 Vulture rumbled past, the Mach 3 interceptor likely armed with a payload of AIM-54s."Everything that can fly. The Japs aren't taking any chances that those bombers should be allowed to enter launch range. The Tone just took a hit and the crew is pulling damage control. If more missiles are in the air then the fleet won't make it." Zeus replied coldly, his voice telling you that he was personally worried. Not that you blamed him, even you understood that loosing so many ships would be a massive blow."HEY, BOSS! YOU MADE A CHOICE YET?" Your chief yelled up at you, prompting you to make a decision.>Take the long range load (x6 AIM-54 Phoenixs, x2 AIM-95 Agiles)>Take the long-mid range load (x4 AIM-54 Phoenixs, x2 AIM-120 AMRAAMs, x2 AIM-95 Agiles)>Take the medium range load (x6 AIM-120 AMRAAMs, x2 AIM-95 Agiles)>Take the mid-short range load (x4 AIM-120 AMRAAMs, x4 AIM-95 Agiles)>Other (you have 8 hardpoints, 4 on the centerline and 2 under each wing glove. You can carry AIM-9 sidewinders, AIM-7 sparrows, AIM-54 Phoenixs, AIM-120 AMRAAMs and AIM-95 Agiles)
>>1058411>Take the long-mid range load (x4 AIM-54 Phoenixs, x2 AIM-120 AMRAAMs, x2 AIM-95 Agiles)Those bombers are getting fucked up.
>>1058411>Take the long-mid range load (x4 AIM-54 Phoenixs, x2 AIM-120 AMRAAMs, x2 AIM-95 Agiles)
>>1058411>>Take the long-mid range load (x4 AIM-54 Phoenixs, x2 AIM-120 AMRAAMs, x2 AIM-95 Agiles)
"YEAH, FOUR PHOENIXES, A PAIR OF AMRAAMS AND ANOTHER PAIR OF AGILES!" You barked out as you began to finish up securing yourself in. You looked down, out of your aircraft in time to see your chief begin marshalling his men around. A pair of Phoenixes were quickly carted over from the munitions elevator in the hanger as a trio of techs hefted the fin-less body of an AMRAAM onto your port-side pylon. As soon as the missile was in place, they quickly moved on to other tasks as another pair of techs ran over and began attaching the missile's fins in preparation for firing."Hang on, something's happening..." Zeus began, only to trail off as he paid more attention to the radio."What's happening Zeus?" You asked as you kept your eyes on the ground crew, waiting for them to finish up the loading of your jet."... from the sounds of it, the F-12s are getting re-directed to Kamchatka. The Soviets and Chinese seem to me massing up there, so the F-12s are going to head up there to assist the aircraft based at Chitose." Zeus reported back, before simply sighing and continuing on with his pre-flights. Less than a couple of seconds later, your crew chief gave you the thumbs-up. Telling you that you were cleared to start up your engines. It only really took you a few seconds, your bird's new powerplant had a much quicker startup time when compared to the older 'cats. But in situations like these, seconds seemed to last forever.As your jet's powerful turbofans began to spool up with a scream, you reached up and pulled down the cockpit canopy. The sounds of the outside world being muted as you did this. You quickly selected the unit frequency and found yourself in the middle of an argument."-know that if we don't intercept that formation, then the fleet is dead. We can't suffer that kind of loss!" Ahab stated, his voice level and calm in spite of the incoming danger."But if the Soviets make a push in from the north then they will have a high chance of getting a beachhead. We can't let that happen, it would be a disaster!" Janice spoke up, your younger sister's voice surprising you."Loosing the AA coverage of the fleet would be even worse. Hell, the only thing worse would be loosing the Musashi. And that's because of the Aegis upgrades she's been fitted with." Ahab replied as Dredd's jet taxied past your hanger, you waited for a couple of seconds, before then watching as Ahab's jet taxied past you. Ishmael, Ahab's RIO, gestured at you from his jet for you to start taxing. You brought your throttle up to 10% thrust, moving your jet forwards and out of the hanger."If the Reds get a beachhead up north then the Diet will stop at nothing to dislodge it and drive them back into the sea. A second front with such little man-power on hand at the moment would be too much for the IJN to handle!" Janice shot back, obviously placing little faith in the ground-troops.>CONT
>>1060400"And what are you proposing? That we simply abandon the mission to go and provide unnecessary support?" Dredd asked rhetorically, his voice ice-cold as you turned onto the taxi-way. "The air force F-12s and the Chitose squadrons are more than enough."Your sister was silent after this, but you didn't chalk this up to her agreeing with Dredd and Ahab. You knew too well that she could be as stubborn as a bull on certain topics. If you had to guess then maybe she was talking with someone from her original flight. Maybe her RIO, or maybe the princess.>Talk with a squadmate (who?)>Keep quiet until your in range to engage.>Other (write in)
>>1060401>Talk with a squadmate (who?)Weiss. May as well see what her take on this situation is.
>>1060401>Talk with a squadmate (who?)Weiss.
As you continued on your way, you switched onto the channel between you and your original wing-mate. The pair that occupied the Tomcat behind you, and had watched your back since they had been assigned to the position."Scorpion, Vampire. You still awake?" You asked as your conga-line of jets halted, stopping in place to allow a pair of F-12s to pass before you."Still here!" Weiss replied enthusiastically. "How was your private time with our new friend~""I can hear you you know. And it wasn't as good as last time, it was slow and boring. I left feeling... unsatisfied..." Svetlana spoke up, her normally jagged voice, a staple of someone who doesn't practice the language very often, was more fluid and smooth. As if she had been practising the phrase over and over in her mind."You know who he didn't leave unsatisfied last night?" Weiss asked rhetorically, but held off for a few seconds as she continued to tease your new Russian comrade."W-Wait, what... who?" Svetlana asked, the warmth in her voice gone, leaving only a cold edge. One that had made even the notorious Russian winter seem like a summer heatwave."She's pulling your leg, I haven't done anything lewd with any of my squadmates, not now or ever. It's just bad form." You replied calmly, you had heard that tone of voice before, and it set you on edge."Well what happened?" Svetlana asked as you stopped again, this time just before the runway. You sat at the front of the freelancer conga line, Dredd and Ahab having joined Princess Sakamoto and Janice on the runway. Shirotori flight's jets being distinguishable by their mis-matched paint scheme and the large chrysanthemum seal on the tail. Shirotori flight's lone pair sat at the front, with Dredd and Ahab sat slightly back and to the right of them."Remember the party the night before? Well I got smashed and went up to my room. Apparently Slider got lost on the way to her room and decided to bunk with me." You explained calmly, inferring as much as you could even though you knew very little about what had happened. Svetlana was quiet for a few seconds as the Tomcats in front of you took off on full afterburners. As they rocketed away into neon-lit night, illuminated by the Tokyo night-life. As you lead your trio of jets onto the runway, Svetlana spoke again."Yeah, that's sort-of like what I had thought had happened. Well aside from you sharing a bed with Miss Halsey, but I hadn't anticipated that." Svetlana replied, her voice sounding noticeably less cold, relief flooded through you as the situation began to calm down."So, what do you all think is going on? In the grand scheme of things." You asked as you witched the afterburners on and pushed up throttle forwards, your jet stayed in position for a few seconds before lurching forwards as you released the brakes.>CONT
>>1061959"I think it's a bluff attack. Your sister is right, we should be defending Hokkaido." Svetlana replied calmly, the calm assurance in her voice telling you that she believed that she was right."What makes you so sure that this is going to be a bluff attack?" Weiss asked as your flight began to climb to altitude, some mist beginning to form around the edges of the canopy pane."Simple, the range is simply too great. If the Soviet Air Force was to do such an attack then it would require TU-95s, they are some of the few jets that have the range and capability. Though I doubt it as the eastern command has been stuck with old TU-4s for a long time. I wouldn't be surprised if they were being brought in to act as radio-controlled decoys, or as flying jammers." Svetlana explained, the small click preceding her telling you that she had shifted her announcement over to the squadron frequency. You quickly followed suit, in time to hear Dredd's input."If they have jammer aircraft then they are staying offline for now. We haven't detected any signs of active jammers. It shouldn't really effect the Phoenix-C's. They have a deadly seeker, and are meant to kill bombers." Dredd replied, before passing the jammers off as something that didn't require much attention for now.If anything, the jammers meant even less to you. Your AMRAAMs used a similar seeker to the Phoenix-C, in fact, the Phoenix-C's seeker was an enlarged version of the AMRAAM seeker.>Keep talking to your wingmates, has Weiss upgraded to the E-cat yet?>Talk with a squadmate (who?)>Keep quiet until your in range to engage.>Other (write in)
>>1061966>>Keep talking to your wingmates, has Weiss upgraded to the E-cat yet?
>>1061966>Keep talking to your wingmates, has Weiss upgraded to the E-cat yet?
"Hey Scorpion, did your ground crew manage to finish the overhaul on your bird?" You asked as the rest of the unit began to join you at altitude. The arrow-head formation of the merged squadrons floating lazily above the airbase until it was complete."No. The techs had just finished installing the new sensors when the attack began. I'm hauling sidewinders and AMRAAMs." Scorpion replied, prompting you to take a glance over at her jet. But in the darkness you couldn't make out the specifics of her load."Are you sure that's a good idea? The Phoenixs would have been a better choice for smoking bombers." You asked curiously, you knew that the experimental D-'cats you had been given back at Davis–Monthan could mount missiles under the nacelles, but it had been canned for operational use as the missile exhaust could cause a flame out. You were pretty sure that you could still carry sensor packs and bombs on those hardpoints though."Maybe, but with six sidewinders I'm more prepared for a close-range fight." Weiss acquiesced to her worse BVR capabilities than most of the other people in the unit."Six? Isn't that a bit excessive?" You asked with no lack of surprise. Yes, you were a bit hesitant to carrying so many jamable missiles against bombers -which were generally fitted with jammers as a rule of thumb- when you could have simply gone for as many Agiles as you could carry, or maybe a gun-pod. But even to you that seemed a bit excessive."You know, something about that math doesn't add up. Unless you ditched the nacelle tanks?" Kay asked as her jet came into the formation, making up the last jet needed before you were to move out."I've got double-adaptors for the under-wing pylons. The techs were able to get them working with the helmet mounted locking system." Weiss explained as the formation turned as one towards the box of bombers, the small ripple coursing through the group as everybody hit their afterburners and went supersonic. Your squadron's top speed being heavily impacted by the carriage of the AIM-54s."It makes sense I suppose. You can jam a radar-guided missile, but an IR missile is not as easily fooled." Svetlana agreed, probably because she was carrying a number of sidewinders herself. A downside of not being able to carry the navy toys anymore.>Talk with a squadmate (who?)>Keep quiet until your in range to engage.>Other (write in)
>>1065062>Talk with a squadmate (who?)Kenji and Tatsuko. We haven't heard from them in a while anyway.
>>1065101Oh good call, seconding, didn't we lose some Japanese pilots a little while back?
Your check-up with your wingmate complete, you decided to check in on a pair that you hadn't talked to in a while. Kenji and Tatsuko. You didn't know how they felt about the war thus-far and the new assignment. Then again, you didn't know how you would react if the US was invaded and you were posted in Washington flying escort for the President's daughter.Frankly, you would probably be pissed at the babysitting job. But considering the small size of Japan, Tokyo was pretty close to the front line."Freelancer 2-1 to 4-1. How copy?" You asked after setting up a line to Kenji's bird. You could guess that he was looking forwards to the E-'cat upgrade as he had always complained about the unmanoeuvrability of the other Tomcat models."Solid copy 2-1, is there anything that you need?" Kenji asked, his voice clipped and sharp. The aggression in his voice barely contained."Just checking in on you, is everything good over there?" You answered Kenji's question with your own question as your radar-picture began to get slightly fuzzy at it's furthest edges, the tell-tail sign of electronic jamming. You didn't have long until your merged squadron was in weapons range, there were other flights ahead of you, but they were air force F-15s and IJN F-4s, none of them could carry anything as long ranged as the AIM-54.The line was dead for a few second, before Tatsuko spoke. "We are fine Razor, there will be no problems with us.""Sounds good. Though if you need to talk to me then just ask. You know where to find me." You replied in a calm and measured tone, you knew that there was something there that they weren't telling you. And while you completely understood that it wasn't your place to push them to find out what was wrong, you didn't want to see another one of your squadmates suffer in silence.During your first tour of duty, one of your squadmates began to suffer severe depression as problems at home began to mount up. You had tried your best to be there for him, but it all ended when he blew his head off in the back of his Tomcat. You didn't know what happened to his pilot, but you were sure that he had quit. You'd do the exact same if either Zeus or Aries had decided to take the 9mm retirement plan in the middle of a flight. Pilots and their RIOs are meant to stick together."Thank you Razor... I might take you up on that offer upon our return to base." Kenji finally spoke up, before then cutting the connection. Leaving you to listen to static as your flight edged closer to the incoming bomber force."Heads up ladies, the reds are almost in range. If you have Phoenixes then arm them, fire on my mark." Dredd's voice announced over the radio, prompting you to switch to your AIM-54s. A small weapons list on one of the MFD's, showing a status and analysis of your aircraft and it's weapons. Your longest ranged weapons now highlighted in red.>CONT
>>1065488>Engage the bombers with the rest of the unit.>Engage the bombers after the rest of the unit fires. Let them open up a gap for you.>Save your missiles for closer range.>Other (write in)
>>1065495>>Engage the bombers with the rest of the unit.
>>1065495>Engage the bombers with the rest of the unit.Solid volley, if Dredd had wanted staggered release he probably would have called for itIt's good to see you around Thunderhead
With practised ease, you selected your 4 targets and broadcast the data to your unit. While the older D-'cats were only able to perform a one-way link between each other normally, information could be shared through out every aircraft in the unit by them simply data-linking to your jet. Kinda like how other jets would data-link to an AWACs. Everybody's targets were highlighted with different coloured boxes. Your ones were specifically highlighted black, which showed up pretty well on the green background of the radar display."Everybody ready?" Dredd asked sarcastically, he knew damn well that everybody who could fire was ready, you had made sure that he had the updated radar picture with target markers sent to him. "Fire in: three, two, one. FIRE!"You pressed the missile release button as soon as he said fire. The jet seemed to lurch as the four bulky missiles dropped away cleanly, but unfortunately only three of them screamed away as their rocket boosters ignited, one of the missiles must have had a dud motor. Not the best start to the engagements...Either way, it seemed that your comrades had better luck as the night sky was illuminated for a few scant seconds as the dozens of missiles lit up the sky as they raced towards their targets. Your eyes darted down to the radar screen as you watched the bulky missiles race out towards the enemy. In spite of the bulk of the weapon, each AIM-54 was deceptively fast. Able to reach a cruising speed of mach 3 just after launch, though the exact time depended on your speed at the time you decided to sentence someone to death by the deadly weapon.As the missiles approached however, the Soviets saw them coming and brought their jammers on in force. Behind you, Zeus uttered one of the worst expletives you had heard him ever say. And after a few seconds of grumbling from your annoyed RIO, the radar picture cleared enough for him to be able to send the Phoenixes a set of mid-course updates as the bombers began to enter evasive manuvers.However, this act had not gown unnoticed by the Soviets, who's response came in the form of screaming RWRs, Missile Approach warnings and a number of radar signatures appearing on the radar. All of them alone being the tell-tail signs of an enemy missile launch."Incoming! Get the jammers up and go evasive!" Dredd barked over the radio, before the squadron began to scatter.>Go evasive and try to shake the missiles.>Have Zeus blast 'em with the radar. It'll burn it out but it should work.>Try to shoot down some of the incoming missiles with the AMRAAMs that you and Weiss are carrying.>Other (write in)
>>1065853>>Go evasive and try to shake the missiles.
>>1065853>Go evasive and try to shake the missiles.I have internet again!
As soon as the call was made, you pulled up into a power-climb on full afterburners. You rolled belly up as you did so, allowing you to watch as your unit began to scatter. Well most of the unit, you noticed that a pair of Freelancer fighters formed up with the Shirotori pair. If you had to guess, they were going to rely on jammer pods to see them through. Quickly however, your eyes darted back to the radar display as you watched the missiles get closer and closer. Your timing had to be perfect if you were to have any chance of success.As the missile reached 15 miles away from you pulled your stick into your gut, reversing your jet into a dive as the missile was only around 5 seconds out from reaching you. You counted down, and after 3 seconds you pulled up again, bringing you into another climb. You closed your eyes as you did this, hoping that if you did get hit then you would at leas survive it.The thunder-clap of an exploding missile told you that no, you hadn't escaped. Your jet's internal sirens began to scream into your ears as you opened your eyes and looked out over the displays. You let out a held breath as you levelled off and turned off the alarms, the hit was a grazing one. Some of the fuel tanks were highlighted in yellow as they were marked as under intense strain. The worst one however was the left conformal fuel tank, the one that sat over the wing-glove. It was highlighted in orange as it was listed as having suffered minor damage."Freelancer 1-1 to all aircraft, I've suffered a major hit and I have to RTB. Ahab, this is your show now." Dredd announced, the sound of screaming alarms in the background telling you that he wasn't lying."It 'aint me boss. I took a major hit too, engine two is dead and one is orange. This is Razor's show now." Ahab replied, the same sirens in Dredd's background were mirrored in Ahab's message."Understood, you get that Razor? It's your show now. I'm ordering you to bring everybody back home in one piece." Dredd stated as you pinged your IFF on everyone's radars, giving them a location."Understood sir. I'll bring them back." You replied as the jammer group formed up with you. The Freelancer aircraft resting off your left while Shirotori flight took your right."Good. What's everybody's status?" Dredd asked, getting a full line of responses from everyone. And it didn't look good, Not only had Dredd and Ahab been hit, so had Svetlana, Kenji and Slider. Of the 11 aircraft you had taken off with, 5 were too damaged to continue. Leaving you with only 6 jets for the coming fight. It included you, Weiss, Durendal, Kay, Sakamoto, Janice and all of your RIOs.As your damaged comrades limped away, and the forward elements began to make contact with the bomber box, you began to feel something you had never felt before. Something that you had never felt before going into a fight at least.Dread, you knew that something was going to go wrong. You just didn't know what...
>>1066130=====================================I'm going to call tonight's run here. Now I could continue this on, but the next fight may take an entire thread. We'll restart the thread tomorrow.If you have any questions, then feel free to ask them. I'll answer them as soon as I can, and as well as I can.
>>1066143Looking forward to it.