THE GREAT BATTLEZONE DUEL
5th Nov 2006
Record 55-1671: GNLF Falcon
Pilot: Herbert Cartilue Gerrous
Leiutenant Herbert Gerrous, one of the best fighter pilots in the entire Griffin Empire stood rigidly at attention. He didn't have a clue in merry hell why he'd been called to HQ; one moment, he was cheerfully blowing up Swarm fighters in the Terrias system and he had got an order to double-time it back here. Make no mistake, the young Leuitenant didn't mind a little shore-leave...but the brass rarely if ever alluded themselves with any rank short of Commander, and especially not pilot jockeys.
'What the hell's going on?', he wondered.
The answer walked through the door wearing an exasperated face...and two fairly large wings.
"Skylord Griffin, Sir!" He stood more rigidly, and with considerable effort kept his eyes forward.
"At ease Leuitenant, and sit down. We have a special mission for you." The softness in the famous Skylord's voice stunned Herb, but he got over it quickly and sat down.
The Skylord leaned against the wall, and started.
"According to your record, you're one of the best fighter aces in the Empire; an impressive feat. Hell, your last action in Herodotus Prime was one of legend; how many hits did your Falcon take getting through that gauntlet?"
The answer was obviously rhetorical, so the Leuitenant merely shook his head modestly.
"Sir, I must say that our fighters are the best in the galaxy; I've never seen any better fighter ships, and I've always got the speed to match."
Griffin grinned, and sat down opposite the Leuitenant.
"Leuitenant...in four days time, I and the other Skylords in the Galaxy have organised a fighter duel in the BZ...last man standing wins. The prize is half of the entire Orion Arm of the Galaxy, so you can understand why I want to win this." The Skylord smiled at that last one.
"I understand sir. Me and the Falcon are up to the job. Am I...um...getting any...uh...refits?" The Leuitenant's eyes were bright with boyish hope, and the ancient Skylord couldn't resist grinning.
"You bet. They're not doing anything radical, but you're getting double shielding, the new pulse phase weapons and even four Plutonic torpedoes to go with your missiles. She'll be better then new by the time the dockyard is done with her."
The fighter ace grinned, and nodded in gratitude...and it was only halfway to his apartment that he realised.
Over five hundred of the best fighters in the Galaxy...in one huge melee...
And he had to kill them all.
"Ah crap noodles."
FOUR DAYS LATER (and at least fifty pies to boot :D)
Leuitenant Herby felt himself falling in love all over again. The improved Falcon handled better then anything he had ever seen; her weapons were unlike anything he had ever known. The four plutonic surprise glistened on his pristine new cockpit, and the shielding was beyond believability...plus, he had eaten a perfect spam pie for breakfast.
Slowly but surely, the countdown timer headed to zero. Only 30 seconds now; 30 seconds till her exploded into a melee of unmitagated proportions. His hand shook slightly, but the Leuitenant focused on it and it became still.
The hyperspace filaments of the Battlezone started to whisper.
The drive of the Falcon began pushing the fighter craft gently forward...
The fighter ace drew breath...
And walked straight into hell.
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