EV/EVO Chronicles: UFC Preamble

This is a preamble to the upcoming Nova TC, (url="http://"http://www.ev-nova.net/news/upcoming.html#theageofexploration")The Age of Exploration(/url). I am one of the programmers for this plug-in. This preamble was written by spacecowboy, our story writer, and systems coder.


Former Senior Flight Officer Peter Grant, Executive Officer of the 108th U.F.C. Marine Flight Squadron, known as 'Tracer' to his fellow pilots for his marksmanship, sat alone in his escape pod, reading the data logs of his defunct Hellcat-Class Space Superiority Starfighter, designation MFS-108-2. The Marines obviously hadn't been thoughtful enough to have programmed a book or two into their ships' computers. What was officially called an 'escape pod' was actually just the ship's nosecone and cockpit separated from the (now nonexistent) hull of the fighter. Thank God for Martin-Baker: just push the eject button. The bolts will blow and the powerful fusion engine behind the cockpit will ignite, taking you far away from the scene of the battle. In this case, that battle was an ambush. A bad one.

They had been on escort duty for a merchant convoy going through Raider space, but there shouldn't have been any large ships in the area, much less what they encountered... The twelve Hellcats would have been enough to scare off any Raiders that had happened to come across them: even a lone Wolf, though to be feared, was no match for the fury of an organized attack by a squadron of Hellcat Fighters. But they hadn't been attacked by a lone Wolf. Not even two or three Coyotes, which they still might have been able to fight off.

No, they were ambushed by eight U.T.L.C. ships and eleven Raider vessels: one Kraken-Class Dreadnought, three Hydra Battlecruisers, four Basilisk Gunships, six Fox Heavy Fighters, three Coyote Frigates, and two Wolf Light Cruisers.

Officially, the United Terran-Lunar Confederacy and the loose coalition of ruthless pirates known collectively as the Raiders were at war with each other, just as the United Free Colonies was at war with both the U.T.L.C. and the Raiders — almost everybody was.

So when the two groups of warships suddenly jumped into the UIS-1875 system where the U.F.C. convoy was at, Squadron Leader James Preston, callsign 'Papy', told his squadron to ignore them, as they should have immediately fallen to fighting each other.

But they didn't: the Raider and U.T.L.C. forces seemed to act together in pursuing the U.F.C. convoy. The Hellcat pilots put up an incredible fight, but they didn't stand a chance.

Peter was the only one to punch out before his fighter was destroyed, somehow the auto-eject systems had failed on all the fighters. Peter had never trusted them, and so he had always practiced ejecting manually. That practice had just saved his life.

Now, drifting alone along the edges of the UIS-1875 system, Peter had more than enough time to go over his ship's sensor logs, and to absorb the information therein. He went over the last thirty seconds yet again, and came up with the exact same data that he had gotten the past five times: nothing.

Somehow, their attackers had been able to disable the Hellcats' sensors, even the ones that told the pilot his own ship's status: hull and shield integrity, speed, life support, and the like. Because of this, he had no way to tell which ship it was that was doing the jamming, unless...

There it was! The Coyotes were the ECM ships. Each Coyote would have two Foxes flying with it: the Coyote would single out a lone Hellcat, take out its sensors, and send the Foxes in for the kill. Peter could pinpoint when the sensors were disabled because the victim Hellcat would suddenly stop maneuvering: the ship's computer simply did not allow it. The bigger ships would take out the freighters, which, regardless of their slow speed, were very well-armed for civilian vessels: they were used for blockade running.

As he mentally relived the battle with the help of his sensor logs, Peter slowly came to the realization that the U.T.L.C. and Raider ships had been acting in concert when they attacked the convoy. The reason why they didn't attack each other was because they were ordered not to.

That could mean only one thing... The U.T.L.C. High Command had employed the Raiders to attack the U.F.C. ships. But where had the Coyotes gotten those jammers? The energy signature for the jammers was familiar, he recognized it from somewhere. He ran an analysis of the signature, and it came up as the U.F.C. Standard Issue Sensor Jammer. His jaw nearly fell into his lap. They were the most classified of U.F.C. devices: only a few select U.F.C. ships were permitted to carry those.

As he finally came to comprehend the depth of what had just happened, the warning klaxon in Peter's escape pod went off, telling him that a hostile ship had just targeted him and was powering up weapons. He identified his enemies. It was a pair of Foxes. Doubtless, the captain of the Kraken had compiled his fleet's sensor information and found out about Peter's ejection. Those fighters had no intention of disabling the escape pod and taking Peter back to their commander. They were there to destroy him.

He had had too much time to think, S.F.O. Peter Grant of MFS-108 realized, as the first impacts of blaster fire battered his Godforsaken escape pod. There could be no survivors.

(This message has been edited by moderator (edited 08-18-2002).)

Grr... a thousand apologies for this being a day late. I knew I wasn't going to be able to edit the story on my lunch break yesterday, so I edited it sunday (hence the 8-18 date as opposed to 8-19), but completely forgot about moving it. sigh

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Why are all the names of the ships animals? That makes it sound a bit silly. Besides that, cool story, although those 10 million acronyms grate on the nerves a bit.

The answer to life, the universe, and everything is...42.


Originally posted by llegolas:
**Why are all the names of the ships animals? That makes it sound a bit silly. Besides that, cool story, although those 10 million acronyms grate on the nerves a bit.


The ships are named after different breeds of wild dogs: Fox, Coyote, Wolf. They are traditionally the enemies of man, attacking herds of cattle and other domestic animals. The Hellcat is the name of a U.S. Navy fighter from WWII, one of the best in the war. The acronyms, well, they're kind of necessary. It's much easier to write (and read) 'U.T.L.C.' than 'United Terran-Lunar Confederacy', or 'U.F.C.' than 'United Free Colonies'. Thanks for the feedback.

“You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.”
-- Robin Williams