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302nd Tactical Fighter Wing - New Assignment


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((SSC Deimos Station, orbiting Deimos, Sol system - stardate 239303.11))

::It was 0758 hours and Lieutenant Commander Jonathan "Bullseye" Rusk walked down the corridor of Starfleet Starfighter Command’s primary orbital facility in the Sol system, Deimos Station. The huge space station orbited the smaller moon of Mars, and housed the majority of the pilots and fighters in the system. It was not only used for defense, but for training of pilots, and R&D and maintenance of fighters.::

::He had walked this corridor everyday for the last two and a half years, so now the spectacular view of Mars out of the transparent aluminum hull wall to his left didn’t even register in his brain. He reached his destination, the Pilots' Briefing room, and the doors swished open and closed around him. The lighting was a little darker in here, and the noise level was certainly higher. The assembled pilots were chatting amongst themselves while they waited for Rusk to arrive. He strode to the front dais and set his assignment PADD down on the podium in front of him. He looked up at the assembled group. Nova Burn, the best fighter pilots in the quadrant.::

::He waited patiently at the podium for the room full of Starfleet pilots to settle down a bit before he started his briefing. This briefing was going to be a little different from what they were used to. Normally these TRBs (Tactical Readiness Briefings) were light and full of joking around while still covering relatively serious topics. Teasing each other about their flying capabilities while discussing a CAP (Combat Air Patrol) was very routine, and not even discouraged by the pilots' senior officers.::

::Today's briefing was going to be a little different, though. Today was going to hold a momentous announcement...at least for the pilots in the briefing room, including himself. He cleared his throat. The thirty-two pilots assembled in front of him slowly stopped goofing around and turned to face him.::

Bullseye: Thank you. We have a couple of items on the agenda today. First off, once again the Mars Defence Perimeter has officially requested that our pilots refrain from high speed manoeuvres within their airspace without prior authorization. I believe, Streak, that is directed towards you.

::There was a general outburst of laughter and agreement. A twenty-something human male with a blonde buzz-cut had a huge smile on his face.::

Streak: Sorry, boss. It won't happen again.

::Rusk waited for the laughter to die down before continuing. He knew the next piece of news was also going to elicit an outburst from the pilots assembled in front of him. However, it was not going to be a jovial one, but one of resentment and discontent.::

Bullseye: If I may continue? Next up is a reassignment.

::The collective groan.::

Juno: For whom, commander?

Bullseye: (pausing) For all of us.

PILOTS: “What?”  “To Where?”  “Whose bright idea...”

Bullseye: If I May?! ::waiting for the clammer to subside:: Starfleet has a new outpost that’s going to need our protection.

Kaali: Where this time?

Bullseye: Pouiyeog Region. ::pause:: Delta Quadrant.

::There were more groans from the pilots. The Delta Quadrant was far from everyone’s home. Many of the pilots were human, and from Earth. Being in the Sol system allowed them the comfort of seeing their families. And even those not from Earth were usually close enough to their home systems.

Bullseye: We’ll be ferried there by a Cutlass class, the USS Avalon. We have been chosen to serve as the senior fighter squadron on the outpost, and to mentor and train other Starfleet and non-Starfleet personnel, to whip them into an elite fighter wing.

::One of the pilots from the back of the briefing room piped up.::

Geech: Or at least to keep them from getting themselves killed, right CAG?

::The raucous laughter returned to the assembly. Even Rusk had to smile. Geech was considered the joker of the wing, a role he thought he excelled at. Often he did, but sometimes he tried the humor angle at inappropriate times. He’d almost been written up for insubordination on more than one occasion that Rusk had needed to smooth over.::

Frosty: What’s the mission profile, sir?

::Finally. The serious question. And leave it to one of the most naturally gifted pilots Rusk had ever seen. Francis “Frosty” Hilton was able to do things with a fighter that most pilots could only dream of. His kill ratio was currently the highest in Starfleet fighter pilot history, and he had made full Lieutenant by the tender age of 21. Frosty liked to have fun as much as the next guy. Just inquire about his bar tabs and one-night stands. But when it came to his job, he could have tunnel vision. His focus was incredible. Which was why Rusk had singled him out to be in charge of the flight training. Frosty just didn’t know that yet.::

Bullseye: It’s not a unique situation, but you’ll all find the details interesting. Outpost Unity is built on the surface of a Dyson Sphere.

Goldrush: A what-now?

Sparkle: A Dyson Sphere. A massive, usually hollow sphere whose diameter is the size of a planetary orbit. Takes huge resources to build and a very advanced technology.

Ballista: At least someone was paying attention in astronomy class.

::More laughter from the group.::

Bullseye: Quiet down please. ::pause:: Thank you. The Outpost has two primary goals. The first is to study the alien culture and tech that built the sphere. The second is to establish a forward base in the Delta Quadrant to further political relations with the friendlies there. As such, the outpost is jointly run and occupied by Federation and friendlies. The pilots that will be filling out the rest of the wing will be some Starfleet, and some friendlies.

Frosty: Will they, at least, be pilots?

Bullseye: With the friendlies? We’ve requested that. But they’ll still need some flight time in our birds to get acclimated. From Starfleet? Probably not...

::Another collective groan from the assembled.::

Bullseye: ...with a notable exception.

::The group quieted to hear the news. This had been a major score, in Rusk’s opinion.::

Bullseye: Starfleet has pulled Lieutenant “Buck” Rogers out of retirement.

Turnstyle: He retired?

Gopher: Again?

Geech: Third time’s the charm, right?

Bullseye: Seeing as how there are known unfriendlies in the region, I’ve decided to split us up. We’ve been given three squadrons of Crossbows, two squadrons of Lancers, and our squadron of Hawkeyes. Our pilots and TSOs will fill half the Hawkeyes, and you’ll train to fill the other half. We’ll also fill the first squadron of Crossbows, take the principles of the second and train wingmen, and Lieutenant Rogers and trainees will fill the third. Sparkle, you’ll take a squadron of trainees to fill one Lancer group, with Amazon as your wing, and Sweetheart, you’ll take trainees to fill the other Lancer group. Pharaoh will be your wing. Questions?

Trigger: Who are the unfriendlies?

Bullseye: The Numiri. You’ll get a full briefing on board the Avalon. She should arrive at the outpost in about a month, so there’ll be lots of time to prep. We ship out in 72 hours. Pack it up and kiss your mommies goodbye. Dismissed.

as presented by

Lt. Cmdr. Varaan
Chief Engineering Officer
USS Darwin-A, NCC-99312-A
Serial: V237810V10
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