Ajay's Story 2.0: Big Game Hunting

Ajay's Story - Big Game Hunting.

I was having a rather pleasant (if lonely - though most of my afternoons are lonely) afternoon, laying on my bed and reading, when I got a call on my personal console. What surprised me was that it was Flyagin inviting me into a conference. It was surprising since conference mode is used when three or more people need to have a common chat. Most of the times Flyagin called me, it was usually a two-person conversation.
I pressed "Join" and activated the comlink.
Besides me and Canteen, there was one more conversation partner.
-Greetings, Comrade Second Rate Captain - I greeted the said partner, Natalia Kameneva, and then spoke to my CO. - Hi, Canteen.
I heard a chuckle from Flyagin and a formal greeting from Kameneva.
-Ajay, we've got a mission for you - my CO said.
-I have read your report of the Great Doms began using gunboats as a part of their fighter patrols - Kameneva continued. - Our interest in this class of the ship has been piqued. These escort ships seem to be very dangerous, and a theory stands that the losses inflicted on alien fighters by human groups venturing into IC are the reason for this.
You bet they are dangerous, I thought. Well, without bringing her big ass carrier with her big ass fighter battlegroup here to the Inner Core by herself, this pretty lady will not be able to learn firsthand.[1] I'm sure the Dom'Setek will wipe that smirk from her face.
-So we need you to make us a tiny favor - Flyagin said. - Destroy one or two.
I opened a private text chat with Flyagin on the background.

Message from Ajay; 12.04.3015; 17:51:36
Canteen, if you want to send me to my death, tell it in my face.

-From what I've seen, you are quite capable to fulfill this task all by yourself - Kameneva continued.
"Quite capable" Stranger's fat, unwieldy engine block. I am NOT a specialized fighter pilot! For flak's sake, I'm just a glorified dispatcher given a ship and a directive to fly somewhere and watch for something.
But then I have realized.
They both REALLY believe I can murderize a Great Doms Gunboat - or two - and get away with it.

Message From Canteen; 12.04.3015; 17:53:05
Oh, cease with your self-deprecation. You will tear them to ribbons and ask for more. While yelling "Panzerkampf" into the comlink.

-Species doesn't matter, so you can head to Ryssk and destroy a Dom'Razak or Warrior gunboat - Kameneva added. - If you will begin moving out right now, it would be nice if we could keep a live connection.
-A little problem, comrade Second Rate Captain. There's usually not a gunboat or two. Fighter patrol wing consists of four ships - I said. - In the optimal outcome, I'll have to deal with fighters afterwards if there's a single gunboat.
-I'm sure you'll be able to handle this - Flyagin said. Yeah, I'm not. I'm still thinking it's a blatant suicide mission. Or I have been reading Ciaphas Cain books one too many times.
But one good thing from these books, you can learn what course of actions to take.
-Let's roll - I said, getting up.

Okay, me being ready for this fight was a bluff. But what other choice did I have?
There still were chances, so when I took off and headed toward the Ryssk gates, I activated the player and filled the playlist, then poured myself a cup of tea.
-You are listening to this during the flight? - Kameneva asked, when the music filled the cockpit. Comlinks were tuned to transmit every sound from there, so of course, my conversation partners had to hear the might of the power metal.
-Wait until he gets into fight - Flyagin said calmly, and I laughed a little.

Soon after arriving in Ryssk, I turned north and headed to the asteroid field. But while entering it, I noticed the readings on my radar.
3.5K Dom'Razak - Gunboat
3.5K Dom'Razak - Gunboat
3.5K Dom'Razak - Gunboat
3.5K Dom'Razak - Light Fighter

-You asked for one or two? - I said. - Well, here are three.
I disengaged cruise engines and started to maneuver around, trying to get close.
Of course it didn't work so well due to the nature of the "Stranger". Soon enough my shield failed, but so did the shield of the lead gunboat. Defensive fire quickly wiped out almost half of the hull, and I reloaded, after which I sent "Stranger" into wild jinking - or would have if the ship wasn't as agile as a heavy truck on an icy road.
Avoiding shots, I started to sing along with the music.
-See? - Flyagin asked, but I ignored him.
After getting the targeted gunboat back into my crosshairs, I added a Nemesis missile to the total dakka of both Gatlings and W'ar-sys, and after steadying after it, engaged a Vulcan battery. A salvo of Que-Irtors vaporized my shield, I reloaded it and went into maneuvers again. eventually returning back to the gunboat. After another salvo from my main guns, it exploded, and I went to the next one.
Sometimes, in a messy fight with a yet unclear outcome, you can have a sudden realization that you can and will win. And while you had doubts before, you have them no longer. The moment when you say to yourself: "Our way is just. The enemy will be defeated. Victory will be ours". You still have to keep it up, but you know that if you do, you'll come out on top.
I had hints of this moment when the first gunboat went down, but when the second one followed it - after a Sunslayer hit, long salvo of my main combo and a few shots of Vulcan Battery - the moment had taken hold.
While drops of sweat were rolling down my spine and forehead, a smile formed on my face.
In the meantime I was following the light fighter I've had as a target. I didn't engage the last gunboat mainly because this little flakker was giving me a hard time in dogfights. The remaining gunboat still fired at me, but shots were stray and scratched my shield at best. I still had to resort to jinking after a full salvo, but after that I returned to taking the fighter out. And soon, it went down and I targeted the last gunboat.

-Sorry, Canteen, I'm gonna overdo the plan - I said with a chuckle, strafing the ship around to avoid the turret fire from the gunboat.
-If you're joking, you'll be alright - Flyagin said.
-Alright? - I sniped back. - I'm better than ever, Canteen. I feel so motherflakking alive...
-You won't be if you'll miss that! - he yelled and I've noticed that the gunboat was turning to face me and unleash a full frontal salvo. I sent "Stranger" into another maneuver, and when I was out of reach of its frontal guns, I returned to attacking.
And soon, it blew up.
-I'm done here. Gonna need a repair buoy, but otherwise I'm fine - I said, after catching my breath.
-All needed data has been collected, so yeah, you can return. If you're not sure whether you'll handle more, avoid any confrontations - Kameneva said. - We may need you yet.
I nodded - despite knowing that no one would see it - and headed to the repair buoy. I met another Dom'Razak fighter wing - Heavy and Medium fighters - but didn't attack it. After giving "Stranger" a Repair Buoy treatment, I headed back. At the Weth gates, a Dom'Razak Mothership with a cruiser escort was floating there.
-Seems like they've decided to intercept you here, or block you inside the system.
-Probably, comrade Second Rate Captain - I said. - But they are sometimes more centered on trying to destroy the gate. I'm gonna use it to my advantage.
I engaged docking, despite the proximity of hostile ships. Soon, a shot of a Que-Irtor turret hit my shield. Then another. And another. My finger was already ready to activate shield batteries when jump systems activated and my ship was dragged inside the gate.

"Stranger" jumped out from the Ryssk gates in Weth, and I wiped the sweat from my forehead. As I activated docking sequence to the trade lane, I took a sip from my teacup.
-Tea's still warm... - I said. - I drink for your health, comrades - I said and finished the cup.

Message From Canteen; 12.04.3015; 20:45:12
I told you.

Author's Note: I'm back after a while, and in all honesty, I'm not sure how this one came out.
And nope, today isn't my first fight with Great Dom gunboats while solo.

1) Totally not a foreshadowing.

"Across the savage skies and through the fissures in the fields,
The rumble of the engines and the trundle of the wheels,
Through hell and horror trudge and yet their spirits never yield.
Will they sing of these forsaken pawns of war?"
-Miracle Of Sound, "Pawns of War".

Comments 3

  • Those poor fools. They didn't have a chance.

    • They did, but they wasted it by not pinning me down/locking me in a "fork" from several spots.

    • good to have Stranger on your site. Great job m8. :)