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Dyson: The Shallan Offensive


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Shall'na Border lands - Shallan Protectorate

Febuary 11th, TY 4040

3rd Dark War



"Releasing docking clamps..."


Leda Sundar felt the magnetized clamps holding her fighter in place release. There was a moment of freefall as the starfighter dropped from the bay, propelled away both by launch repulsors and the momentum imparted by the spinning ship. Looking around she could see nearly half of the two hundred fighters that had just launched from the cylindrical carrier. All of them were the sturdy Republic built RF-350 design, what the rest of the Alliance called the Type-6.


"All fighters are clear. Throttle up and good hunting."


Pinpricks of light appeared as the lead fighters did as ordered and throttled up. Each group sped away grouping into formations slightly farther appart to prevent friendly fire. When all of the fighters were far enough away the Republic built Carrier reversed direction and headed back to the safer recovery zones.


"Stay sharp people, we have enemy units inbound. Cruisers at fifty plus and climbing across a one lightyear choke point."


Leda shook her head. That was three times the size of the forces that the local Alliance fleets had been skirmishing against for the last four months. Several fighter groups belonging to the Republic Fourth fighter Corps had already been chewered up, along with several entire fleet elements.


"Any read on fighters yet Captain?" asked one of the senior lieutenants.


"Too soon to tell but you can count on it." Replied Captain Leigh. This was his eigth combat tour so far in the war when two would let somone go home. He'd been offered a promotion to an elite Corvette unit but couldn't get the hang of the larger ships, or so people said.


Minutes clicked past on the mission timer as the fighters continued on into the void.


The Captain's voice crackled over the unit frequency.

"Ok, we've got some local Shallan Covettes joining us from astern. They're rigged up with anti-starfighter gear but even so they're going to turn into fire magnets fast out here. Remember your training, these Gamma boys can sweep away enemy Corvettes pretty easily but they'll need our help for anything bigger or smaller."


A single red blip lit up on Leda's heads up display which soon resolved into an entire enemy battle group. Before she could more carefully examine the makeup of the enemy force the Captain called out. "All pilots disengage safeties and go weapons hot."


Reaching over with her left hand she lifted the safety covers of each analog switch and flicked all four on.


All six beam cannon ran up to max power in turn and the missile and torpedo displays all read active. The majority of the fighters in their combat element were equipped with a pair of Shield Piercing Torpedoes, ten Medium Range Missiles, and the pilots choice of either eight Long or twenty Short Range Missiles.


Long range combat wouldn’t last long and would only give enemies more time to lock onto the missiles and shoot them down. Only fighters acting in a dedicated interceptor role bothered with the bulkier weapons these days.


"Heavy screen of fighters followed by a mixed wave of fighters and corvettes." reported the unit XO.


"Okay, the 382nd is angling to assist us. All fighters reduce speed until they've matched our distance to target."

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RF-350 / Type-6 Attack Bomber


“Five minutes out.” said the captain. He counted down each remaining minute. An old habit that he’d picked up in his first campaign and taught the rest of them.


“It’s ok to be a little nervous.” he told them, either in their first briefing or at some other point. “That’s normal, happens to everyone. So I count down. Let myself be a little nervous for a minute or two, then when I hit that one minute mark it’s go time. You have to clear your mind of anything like that and concentrate on the task at hand.”


“One minute out.”


Leda glanced around, noting the position of wingmen then scanned the sensors and status displays. All systems were green. Selecting missiles her finger hovered over the trigger.


"Entering weapons range."


Almost at once, eight hundred missiles streaked away towards the oncoming enemies. Orange beams lit the darkness trying to shoot down the weapons before they reached their targets. A few ball explosions blossomed here and there where beams struck missiles, then a whole wave of them went off. Some two hundred enemy contact blinked out.


Locking onto another target Leda fired off another pair of missiles before switching to beam weapons. By the time her hand tightened on the trigger again they were already into beam weapon rage. Each friendly fighter had to act on their own now, jinking and juking to make themselves harder to hit. Without shields starfighters that stayed in formation for head to heads didn’t stand a chance against evading opponents. This war had gone on long enough that both sides knew it.


A beam shot grazed the port topside wing burning away some of the semi-ablative armour. Using the thruster pedals she thrusted her fighter relative up before executing a barrel roll. A dozen shots went wide.

A wing mate wasn’t so fortunate, as six beam shots struck near the cockpit and portside engine. The hits tore the fighter in two and secondary explosions eventually consumed it.


A small enemy fighter shaped like a three sided spear drifted into her fire and exploded. By the time she had swung around past it's debris they were into the cloud of enemy fighters. The leading edges of the enemy fighter screen were most likely looping around to attack the Republic fighters from behind. Instead of stopping to fight though, Leda and the other pilots continued on through the enemy formations causing as much chaos as possible. The RF-350 was an attack bomber by design but when armed with missiles instead they could be devastating to fighters. The short range missiles most of the fighters was carrying were perfect for confused close in fighting like this.


SRM's streaked away from the fighters as fast as the pilots could lock onto new enemies with their helmet targeting displays. The handful of bombers with an Electronic Countermeasure Officer aboard could illuminate enemies approaching from behind and broadcast to other friendlies. Enemy fighters approaching from behind just made themselves bigger targets for missiles.

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"Don't slow the attack!" yelled Captain Leigh over the unit frequency. "Keep it moving we have to reach those c-" The com popped then filled with static.

At the same moment the Captain's IFF transponder dropped off of sensors.


A high powered transmission relayed by one of the Corvettes focused on Leda's fighter. "Lieutenant Sundar this is Colonel Ralthan. You are now in command of the 380th!"


"Acknowledged sir!" She instantly replied then switched to the unit frequency. "This is Sundar, all fighters continue on as planned. If you want out of here today then you'd better make sure those enemy Corvettes are dead!"


Wrenching the flight stick to the side, Leda heeled her fighter over narrowly dodging a burst of beam cannon fire. Increasing throttle she angled toward the nearest of the enemies' oncoming spherical corvettes.

Ignoring a hit to her fighters' aft she switched to Torpedoes and fired both at the two hundred meter starship.


The torpedo pair crossed the distance in five seconds, piercing through the protective energy shields and then punching through the outer armour before exploding. Half of the ship seemed to expand outward like a balloon before bursting open into a fireball. Following fast behind the torpedoes Leda had just enough time to make a hard turn around the expanding debris cloud.


Dozens of other corvettes making up the enemy attack formation exploded from weapon hits as the Republic starfighters tore through their ranks. The Corvettes responded by firing the single oversized beam weapons in arcs, trying to swat the tiny fighters out of space. Starfighters from both sides dodged furiously to avoid the deadly weapons fire.


Leda rolled in toward an undamaged corvette firing cannon and missiles into it's shields in an attempt to draw it's attention. A second fighter was able to get in behind the distracted Corvette and fire a torpedo into it's main sublight drive. It's engine died and secondary explosions slowly began to rip through the ship as it began to drift out of control.


With more than half of the corvette opposition cleared away the two flights of Shallan Assault Corvettes came rocketing into the engagement. Particle beam turrets targeted enemy starfighter that came too close while their heavy rapid-fire pulse cannons blew away any corvettes in their way. The Republic starfighter squadrons were down by nearly one third of their strength by now and the remaining enemy fighters were showing no signs of fleeing. A few more minutes of fighting brought down the last of the enemy Corvette force.


"All hostile Corvettes... have been neutralized Colonel." reported Sundar breathing hard. "Get us the hell out of here!"

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