<USS Banshee> "Bad Omens"

  • From: "Brad Ruder" <GroundZero@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ussbanshee@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 2 Jul 2003 14:44:01 -0700

?Bad Omens?
by Lieutenant Joshua Asper

The fighters were all aligned in their respective positions. The lights from the holo-shuttlebay glistened and reflected off the newly polished hulls of the small crafts and the bobbing helmets of the pilots within bobbed as the engines ignited behind them. Josh stepped softly back into the bay and surveyed his readying crews. Josh was thoroughly impressed with their performances and their ability to do what they all wanted to do.

Ensign Thomas Lark made his way between the ships towards the Lieutenant. His eyes perused the surfaces of the ships and the underbellies to make sure that all was well. After making his final calculations and examinations he handed his PADD to Josh. ?I think you?re all ready to go, Lieutenant.?

Quickly glancing at the PADD and the plethora of information engrossed in it, Josh handed it back. ?I assume that all the phasers have been tinted with blue as requested? And the torpedoes have been modified with the specific explosion ratios and desired colors??

?Yes, Lieutenant, all the specifications to all crafts have been carried out. Shogun Nine had some problems reintegrating the phaser matrix after the conversions were complete, but we?ve solved that problem.? He smiled and headed for the doors, ?They?re all yours, Lieutenant, be careful. Remember that this is the holodeck and you can?t die, but out in real space it?s a whole different ball game.?

?Preaching to the choir, Lark.? Josh smiled and put his helmet on, clasping it underneath his chin, ?I?ll see you tonight at the poker game??

Lark called out over his shoulder, ?Yes, sir, looking forward to it.? With that he disappeared out of the holodeck and into the corridor beyond.

Josh just shook his head and headed towards his crew. He assumed the lead fighter, being he was the squadron leader, and clasped his helmet onto his head as he slide himself around the joysticks and tapped his own engines into activation. His eyes scanned his instruments and checked the varying levels of engine status, environmental controls, and the weapons systems.

?Lieutenant Asper to the Shogun Squadron, commence readying procedures and call out readiness in order.? He tapped his engines and the docking clamps disengaged with a hiss and he raised off the ground. It was the best feeling in the world. To be released from the solid surface of the ship and to be complete at the controls of the loose cannon was like nothing other Josh had ever encountered ? it was total bliss.

?Shogun 2 ready. Shogun 3 confirmed and ready to go. Shogun 4 prepped. Shogun 5 couldn?t be more ready. Shogun 6, we?re good to go. Shogun 7 ready at your order, sir. Shogun 8 ready. Shogun 9 all go here, Lieutenant. Shogun 10 waiting on you. Shogun 11 finishing procedures. Shogun 12 is waiting in the back for the rest of you to move!? The constant jabbering echoed through his head set as he heard the docking clamps disengage from their crafts.

Josh chuckled, ?Understood, commencing departing procedures out to coordinates section twelve of the exercise sector. Rendezvous and start the constant moving figure with glowing nacelles in the figure eight pattern.? His fighter hummed to life and the engines engaged and he was rocketed out into the blackness of the holographic space.

Trailing behind him the fighters emerged identically and followed him out to the point in space where they would begin their maneuvers. The ships entered their positions perfectly and without incident. Josh gazed out his viewport and looked at his troops circling their figure eight patterns as instructed.

?Prepare for split into groups of six.? He paused and looked at his escape trajectory, ?Now.?

Splitting into two separate groups, but maintain the flight pattern, the group of twelve dwindled into two groups of six. The fighters maintained their poise and determination in handling their flyers. Round and round the ships went, never faltering. ?Shogun 2 maintain group of six.?

Shogun 2, the leader of the second group, pulled his group out a bit further. ?Prepare for separation for the Bloodwine maneuver.? Josh?s eyes darted to the readout displays for the status on all of his ships. They were all functioning within normal parameters and he didn?t see anything out of the ordinary. ?Split into three circles, two of five and one of two. Go now.?

The fighters once again separated with sheer perfection and entered the final stage. He tapped the console and his weapon systems activated; several others lit up and before long the entire pack had their weapons charged with the fireworks of awe and wonder.

?Shogun 2 reporting good to go on weapons.?

?Shogun 11 reporting Bloodwine segment prepped and ready for execution, Lieutenant.?

He nodded internally, ?Understood. Prepare to discharge 12 torpedoes, one from each fight in all different directions. I?ve sent the trajectories for your respective launchings. Launch now.?

All twelve fires launched the sparking and shimmering torpedoes out into open space. Their array of colors and wild movements were a spectacle to Josh as well. His stare was cut short by panic on the communications systems.

?Holy Shit! I?m hit! Shogun 7 blasted me with his torpedo!?

Josh?s eyes dived to his status display and, needless to say, Shogun 7 wasn?t in good shape. Shields were down, weapons were off-line, and his engine core was near breaching. ?Stay in formation, Shogun 9, use escape velocity and travel to safe haven alpha!?

The shogun started to pull away and in a couple of seconds was clear of the shoguns and where the Banshee would?ve been had it been the actual show. Josh received the communications from the Shogun at fault, ?Lieutenant Asper, this is Ensign Micknin, I swapped the last two numbers of the trajectory when I was processing it into my targeting computer.?

?Understood, Ensign. Computer, reset Shogun 9?s computer systems to full readiness and move him back into formation before the dispersal of the first barrage of torpedoes.? The computer complied quickly and there it was back in formation. ?Prepare for discharge again.?

?Understood, Lieutenant.?

?Fire.? This time it went off without a hitch. They sparkled and scattered and vaporized into nothingness and the effect was gone. Josh smiled to himself and looked at his tactical read out. ?Shoguns 11 and 12 begin Bloodwine effect and the rest of you fly out one million kilometers and assume the circular formation for the Starburst.?

They acknowledged and the Bloodwine move began. Red sparkled with white and a red mist formed around the two moving fighters who had entered a never-ending circle. Phaser fire, tinted with a deeper red emanated from the center and the nacelles glowed with bright neon scarlet that lit up the surrounding space. The phaser sparked out and the effect went to full effect.

Starburst teams reached the destination and turned, forming up into the circle. ?Prepare for the Starburst. Start the crossover at nine hundred thousand kilometers from here. All teams open up right ventral plasma ports to increase length of plasma trails. Close to ten meters on every surface and prepare for the most astounding effect ever attempted.?

Agreement came and the speed increased and the distance between them decreased. Josh was the lead in his team and took the vertical road. The Bloodwine show was still in progress when Josh?s team went up.

The proximity alert klaxons sounded. Josh?s eyes darted hastily to his proximity grid and found nothing. ?Status report Shogun 2.?

?Four?s drifting, four?s drifting! Pull out!? All five fighters pulled across as were their orders, but the back fighter was to slow and slammed into the nearest one. A chain reaction occurred and all five fighters were reduced to dust.

Josh?s head dropped as the program ended and all twelve pilots were deposited once again on the baron floor of the holodeck. ?What the hell just happened??

?The thrusters on the number four fighter became sluggish and couldn?t keep with the rest. It drifted too far over and when we pulled out it couldn?t do it as fast and collided with number five. Cascade effect and we?re all dead.? The man ran a hand through his hair. ?Shall we break, sir??

?No.? Josh stood poised. ?I won?t allow this excellent chance to show our abilities be burdened by technical problems. We?re doing this until we get it right.?


Josh recited the famous line, ?When at first you don?t succeed, try, try again.?

They all sighed and the computer was rebooted.

Failing on their first try wasn?t anything to worry about, was it?

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