The Insurgency S2E14: Air Quota (FB) . Freebuild for The Insurgency (Galactic Imperium) .
June 28, 2098
About six months had passed since the start of the Rerador Revolution. It had been going on much longer than anyone had anticipated or wanted. What started as a small insurgency by a group of radicals, going by the name of the Libertarians, had escalated into a large scale revolution. The death of a miner at the hands of an Imperial soldier had resulted in most miners on the planet joining the cause. Putting down the rebellion shouldn't have been too great a task for the Imperium with its mighty fleets of warships. However things became complicated after Aurelia decided to aid the planet's battle for independence from Qoter.
Outside of Rerador's domed cities, the Imperium's 317th Slag Trooper battalion was engaging the enemy. The men were equipped with special armor and breathing apparatus to survive the harsh and inhospitable environment. It was absolute turmoil on the battlefront with explosions and bodies everywhere. One General Lannis Marok was leading the charge. However things were not going well for him and his men.
Soldier 1: "What are we shooting at? I can't even see them!" grunted a soldier.
Soldier 2: "Just keep firing!"
A group of Slag Troopers ran across the battlefield when a mortar shell hit them. They were dead before their bodies were thrown in the air.
On top of a pile of rocks stood the General firing off his pistol in different directions. Their current state was not good. He had to make a tactical decision.
Gen. Marok: "Fall back! We've been overrun! Everybody fall back!"
The troops listened and retreated away from the enemy soldiers.
As General Marok brought up the rear he wondered why his men had stopped.
Gen. Marok: "What's wrong, why have they stopped?" he asked a soldier.
Soldier: "We can't go any further. We've reached the beach."
Lannis frowned coming to a realization.
Gen. Marok: "We're trapped."
A few soldiers slowly turned around when they heard a noise in the distance. It was the roar of a starfighter engine. But not a friendly one.
Soldier: "Bomber!" he shouted.
But there was nothing anyone could do. The Aurelian fighter dropped a bomb and took out a large cluster of Imperial soldiers.
Gen. Marok: "Get me Captain Gallius."
On the bridge of the INV Defender, Captain Tyden Gallius and Lieutenant Elias Zal stood next to the holotable.
Tyden: "I'm sorry General. We cannot provide air support. All of our pilots are currently engaged over Inferno Camp."
Gen. Marok: "We're trapped between a massive lava field and half the Aurelian army. Their bombers are picking us off. We have no where left to go!"
The Captain sighed.
Tyden: "I will see what I can do."
When the holotable shut off, Tyden looked to his Lieutenant.
Tyden: "Get whoever we can scrape up."
Elias nodded and went to speak with a crew member.
At Inferno Camp, many Aurelian and Imperial starfighters were engaged in air combat. Two particular Imperial CX-22 fighters stood out as they took down their enemies with ease and performed some cocky aerobatics.
Boomer: "Quit showing off."
Swordfish: "Hey, you started it."
Even in the heat of battle, the two pilots could not help but engage in some banter over their communicators.
Pilot: "I've got two on my tail. I can't shake them!" yelled another pilot over the comms.
Swordfish: "Take it easy, Radar, I got 'em."
Swordfish brought his fighter behind the two Aurelian crafts and fired a barrage of lasers at them. Both were blown out of the sky.
Radar: "Thanks Swordfish, I owe you one."
Swordfish: "Don't mention it, brother."
Gallius' voice then came over the comm.
Tyden: "Swordfish, Boomer, divert from the camp. General Marok needs some help over at Crimson Beach. Looks like they're in dire straits."
Boomer: "Roger that, Captain. You hear that, Fish?"
Swordfish: "I got it, Boomer. Shame. I was having fun here."
Swordfish and Boomer split away from the main action to head to the beach.
As they began approaching the beach, they could see the trapped soldiers below.
Swordfish: "Feel bad for those poor slag runners having to fight through fricken' lava rivers."
Boomer: "Yeah I'm glad I'm up here. Let's help 'em out."
Suddenly both pilots looked up when they heard an enemy craft fly overhead.
Boomer: "Looks like someone decided to join the party."
Swordfish: "I'm on him."
Swordfish guided his fighter behind the Aurelian ship. He concentrated on locking onto his target. Once he had him in his crosshairs, Swordfish pulled the trigger on his control stick and blasted the enemy fighter out of the sky.
Swordfish: "Is he down?"
When the fighter landed in the lava, the nearby soldiers cheered.
Boomer had been watching the Aurelian until he crashed down.
Boomer: "Yeah you got him."
Swordfish then jolted his head up once again when there was another roar of engines.
Swordfish: "There's another one."
Boomer: "I got him."
Boomer pursued the Aurelian around the skies.
Boomer: "He's slippery this one!"
Swordfish: "I got a clean shot from here, you want me to take it?"
Boomer: "Nah I got it, ten seconds."
Boomer grunted as he struggled to lock onto his target.
Boomer: "Agh, too far away. Switching to missiles."
He got a lock on and fired a missile at the ship.
Boomer: "Whoo! Direct hit!"
Swordfish: "Great shot, Boom."
On the ground the soldiers watched the display in the sky. But then they saw a new problem for the pilots.
The General looked with worry where the soldier was pointing.
Boomer: "Scrim! Three bogeys right behind us. Where'd they come from?"
Swordfish: "Things just got interesting."
The Imperials made evasive maneuvers when the Aurelians opened fire.
Swordfish: "I'm hit!"
Boomer: "You alright?"
Swordfish: "Just a scratch. But I can't shake this guy!"
Boomer lined his fighter behind the one chasing Swordfish.
Boomer: "I'm locked on. Break right on my mark. Three... Two... One... Mark!"
Swordfish banked to the right and Boomer took out his tail.
Boomer: "He's down."
Swordfish: "You see the other two?"
Boomer: "No, I lost them."
Swordfish then looked down at his gauges and frowned when he saw a flashing red light.
Swordfish: "Got another problem. My fuel tank was hit. I'm leaking."
Boomer: "How much you got left?"
Swordfish: "I'm losing it fast. Still got the reserve though."
Boomer: "Maybe you should land."
Swordfish: "Not a chance. Besides, someone's gotta watch your back."
Boomer smiled until he saw one of the Aurelians return.
Swordfish: "I see him. He's mine."
Swordfish pursued the craft. He locked onto him with his targeting computer. Once he was in his crosshairs, he took his shot.
Swordfish: "He's gone."
Boomer: "Where's that third one?"
Both of them looked worriedly down at the beach. Then they heard a loud explosion.
The third fighter had dropped a bomb.
Swordfish: "Damn it! He hit the beach. We let him get through."
General Marok scrambled over to some crates for cover from the falling bombs. He grabbed a communicator and started barking into it.
Gen. Marok: "We're sitting ducks out here, Gallius! And your pilots are getting overwhelmed."
Tyden: "I'm rerouting a cruiser to the beach. Just hold out until it arrives."
Gen. Marok: "I'm not sure if we can," he said just as another bomb dropped a short distance away.
Swordfish: "I'm going after him."
Boomer: "Wait, he's coming around."
The Aurelian zoomed between the both of them while doing some rolls.
Boomer: "Oh no... Did you see those markings?"
Swordfish: "Who is it?"
Boomer: "Aurelia's best guy... Well, girl."
Swordfish: "The Duchess? She's here?"
As if to answer, the Duchess did a flyby past the Imperials, taunting them. Her fighter seemed to be considerably faster.
Boomer: "She's got over two hundred confirmed kills, man. Oh, we're screwed."
Swordfish: "Keep it together and stay on me," said Swordfish as they both went after her.
But then suddenly the Duchess hit the brakes, letting the Imperials fly past her.
She targeted Boomer and fired a missile.
Boomer: "I'm hit!"
Boomer looked at his computers and desperately flipped some switches.
Boomer: "I lost my engine! I'm going down."
Swordfish: "Sorry, brother. Good luck."
Boomer: "You too," said Boomer preparing himself to eject.
Swordfish: "Alright, Duchess, just you and me," he muttered to himself.
They went head to head and flew straight towards one another. Both just avoided hitting the other. Swordfish was able to get behind her and pursued her for a while without getting a clear shot.
After Duchess got tired of the Imperial, she performed some maneuvers to get behind him. Then she opened fire.
A bullet from one of Duchess' cannons went through Swordfish's fuselage and actually struck him in the bicep.
Swordfish let out a painful yell and clutched his arm. Distracted, he allowed his fighter to take a few more blasts from the Duchess. He attempted to use his still working arm to maintain balance but he was now spinning out of control.
The Duchess flew past him and went back to the beach.
The General and the soldiers surrounding him watched in silent horror as the bomber approached them. They all thought the same thing: this was the end.
But out of nowhere, Swordfish came back and blasted the Duchess. She spiraled out of control before crashing down somewhere.
The Slag Troopers all cheered with joy as Swordfish flew over them. Their relief increased when they saw the cruiser in the distance. They began running towards their rescue ship.
General Marok did not immediately follow. He looked up at the sky. Though Swordfish couldn't see him, the General saluted him from below.
Swordfish checked his fuel reserve on the computer. It was empty. He was drifting. As he glided through the air, he contacted the Defender.
Swordfish: "The beach is clear."
Tyden: "Good work, son. You saved many lives today."
Tyden: "You may return to base. We'll get you patched up."
Swordfish: "Can't make it, Captain. Tank's empty."
Tyden: "Then do what you can. We'll send someone to pick you and Boomer up."
Tyden shut off the holotable and saw Officer Jalpa approaching him.
Jalpa: "General Marok and his men have been rescued."
Tyden: "That's good," he nodded. "But the fight continues, gentlemen."
This one was really annoying to edit... But I think it turned out decent. This is actually the second draft of the episode. The original version was drastically different. It was going to focus on three different stories, going on simultaneously, involving the Defender crew, the pilots, and the infantry. The Defender was grounded and was on the brink of destruction as Aurelian bombers continued to bomb it. Air support was sent to keep the bombers at bay while ground forces battled to protect the cruiser. In the end I thought it was going to be another long episode and the infantry part was not as interesting so I kind of cut it all down to focus just on the dog fighting.
The movies Top Gun and Dunkirk inspired some of the stuff in here.
Anyways William's finally coming back in the next one. If I had infinite time and more motivation, I probably would've made another "spin off" sort of episode after this one focusing on the smuggler, Dak Raider, but nah...