Before Silver Swarms of Ships - Journals of a Marine Fighter Pilot (Dear Diary 2012) Updated 3/12!

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Goodwood, Jan 6, 2012.

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  1. Goodwood Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2011
    star 4
    Title: Silver Swarms of Ships - Journals of a Marine Fighter Pilot
    Author: Goodwood
    Timeframe: Jedi Civil War (3,959-3,956 BBY)
    Characters: Chak Ravartin, Atton Juyode, Nal Ostagar, various OCs.
    Genre: Military action
    Summary: Recruited into the Republic Marines even as he began to build a reputation as an up-and-coming swoop racer, Ensign Chak Ravartin is thrust into the fires of war as he and his squadron must battle the armadas of Darth Revan and Darth Malak. After his baptism of fire during the fight to liberate Iridonia from the Sith, he must deal with the implications of so much death and destruction.
    Note: This is written for the 2012 Dear Diary Challenge, as a follow-on to Star Wars: Saber Battalion.




    Pilot Log: 1/6 Galactic Standard Date

    My flight leader told me yesterday that I'm supposed to start keeping a log of my thoughts and whatever happens. Can't see why, though, I'm just here to fly and fight.

    Anyway, here goes nothing. We got a new pilot in today to replace Jalahad, who went EV over Iridonia last week and was never heard from again. Commander Juyode put him in my flight, sending the Mon Calamari in Shabu Eight up to One Flight and the new designation of Shabu Two. The newbie seemed to work out well enough when we trained on the 2D sims, though there's definite room for improvement. We're due to go out in our Aureks tomorrow and face off against one of the Navy squadrons who also got a couple of new people, let's hope this guy can cut it as a Marine Corps flyer.

    What was his name? Oh yeah, that's right: Ostagar, Nal Ostagar.

    He's a Zabrak, though apparently he hasn't been home since the Mandos invaded his homeworld some years back. He seemed to be pretty disappointed that he missed out on the fight. I swear I could've heard him cursing the Marines for not letting him loose sooner. He's pretty aggressive, too, and doesn't seem to like having to maintain flight discipline. Well, he's gonna have to get rid of that attitude pretty damn quick or we'll all end up paying for it.

    Can't really think of anything else to say, really. Let's hope Ostagar doesn't embarrass us in front of the Navy tomorrow./>
  2. aalagartassle Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 11, 2011
    star 4
    A good start, I like the use of correct vessel terminology.
    Wonder if the Zabrak's got what it takes or is he going to seek revenge?
  3. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Hoo boy... a newbie with an attitude problem. I take it he came out of the academy or something, rather than go through boot camp. Had he been in Tuffass's platoon, he wouldn't have an attitude problem! But, I figure that by this point, Tuffass is either retired or definitely nearing retirement.

    Looking good so far and it should be an interesting viewpoint from another side of the Marines, one we don't see very often. The Marines I'm used to were dirt down more often than not.

    Though, this should help with adding more material to your Republic Marines article and make it even bigger! :p
  4. Commander-DWH Shiny Costuming & Props Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2003
    star 4
    This sounds quite interesting- if you have a PM list, please put me on it. :D
  5. Goodwood Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2011
    star 4
    Revenge for what? ;)

    The Republic Marines article already covers starfighter pilot training -- nearly all are recruited from the public at large and put through special pilot training which typically takes eighteen months. They're officers, but to go anywhere else in the Corps they have to go back to the Academy and/or War College.

    What's a PM list and how do I make one/add you to it? :)
  6. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    interesting start and love to see more of the KotOR
  7. LaForzaViva Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2008
    star 1
    A good start; us KotOR kids have to stick together and stay on target.

    A PM List is simply a group of posters who request for private messages to be sent when a new story is updated. That way when the inbox lights up on BTF.N, we know someone's updated a story and we don't have to troll the board to see if its happened. If you can do one, I'd be interested in joining it with DWH.
  8. Goodwood Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2011
    star 4
    Pilot Log: 1/7 Galactic Standard Date

    Still have to get used to the idea of recording stuff in a log. My inaugural entry yesterday forgot to mention the scrap over Rodia that the squadron was involved in. It was a huge fleet action, a serious attempt by the Sith to take the world. And when I say huge, I mean it made the space battle over the Zabrak homeworld look like a border skirmish. We were lucky not to have taken any casualties, but then we and a couple of other Marine squadrons were held back in reserve. We're not supposed to go up against big ships, which is part of the reason they call us "flying leathernecks."

    The other part has something to do with how the Navy regards our intelligence. Y'know, like we have the same brainpower as a nerf-leather jacket.

    Anyway, we had our little skirmish with the 53rd Navy boys. The fight ended up being a draw, with about half of each squadron ranking among the simulated dead. I was one of them, but Ostagar was not. I'm not sure how to relate the action in a log such as this, so I won't try. If it's any consolation, I ended up getting vaped by their CO, though I did take the man's wingmate with me. Ostagar ended up with a kill and survived despite the "death" of his element leader; Commander Juyode ended up chewing him out for that. Something about how he had abandoned his partner to go hunting on his own. I also found out that Ostagar was also a former swooper like myself. I should try to relate to him on that level, so that if he does end up as my wingmate, we don't have to experience what happened today.

    Scuttlebutt says that the brass are talking about the desire for a sort of 3D simulator that would better reproduce the realities of combat. After all, it takes time and energy to keep our ships flying efficiently, and if we could somehow figure out a way to get our training in without having to burn fuel and wear down components, that would be a huge boon to the Republic's starfighter forces. We make do with a two-dimensional sim for our initial training, but it's not nearly the same as having actual stick time on a ship, never mind in a snubfighter. I had taken my first actual flights in a two-seater Aurek fighter, stretched out so that a second cockpit could be installed in tandem. It was an interesting experience, thankfully the instructor in the rear seat hadn't needed to yell at me too much.

    I'm wrapping this up for now. As I write, we're back aboard the Stalwart Defender as the warship and her escort leave Rodia, bound for parts unknown. Thank goodness Jedi Bastila is with us, at least for the time being.
  9. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    love how he writes about his exercises.
  10. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Ah, a nice nod to what type of technology they're actually dealing with, or lack thereof. That's one thing that I noticed about a lot of Old Republic stuff; the technology hasn't really progressed much since then. It seems to be in a stand still. The level is almost exactly the same as that during the Rebellion era, only a different style. It's good that you pointed out that the Marines actually lack something.
  11. Goodwood Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2011
    star 4
    Pilot Log: 1/10 Galactic Standard Date

    Not much to talk about these last few days, so I haven't been keeping up a daily log. My flight leader, Lieutenant DuPuis, says that this is perfectly normal. Not every day is going to be as exciting as when we battled the Sith over Iridonia, he said. I kind of agree?swooping is fun and all, but it usually doesn't involve other people shooting at you.

    I've been reflecting on the series of space battles that made me an ace, a pilot with five kills or more to their credit, and I've come to a realization: we fighter pilots have got to stick together if we want to survive and be effective. In swoop-racing, it's all about you and your machine, getting from point Aurek to point Besh in as fast a time as possible while making sure your competitors don't make it there ahead of you. It's loads of fun, if you've got the stuff for it.

    Piloting a starfighter is swoop racing cranked up to eleven. Your machine is more powerful, you are responsible for the safe and disciplined use of deadly weapons that could vaporize a swoop bike, and you've got swarms of these silver Sith interceptors just aching to make you into their next meal. Our instructors did their best to burn it into our brains how important it was to stay focused, to rely on the others in your squadron, and to trust in your leaders. They kicked us hard if we didn't measure up; two guys from my training class, both good pilots who were hot hands on swoops, were booted from the program because they wouldn't?or couldn't?understand that fact.

    Having lived through those promised few seconds of sheer, butt-clenching terror that they always warned us would interfere with the hours and hours of boredom, I am very grateful to have had that lesson.

    I'm gonna hang this up for now. Captain Reyolé, commander of the Marine battalion aboard, is going to be addressing the pilots tomorrow. I'm hoping Ostagar pays attention to what she has to say; her list of citations and decorations is longer than my arm.
  12. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Love how he is writing about being a pilot and the responsibilities
  13. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    And the title is revealed over the course of a diary entry...

    Yeah, sadly, every day isn't gonna have that "sheer butt-clenching terror" and even for a non-military diary, I find monotony difficult to write. Though, after Reyolé's presentation, I'm sure the pilot will have much more to say, even if it's about Ostagar not paying attention.
  14. aalagartassle Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 11, 2011
    star 4
    Good stuff. I bet in the Old republic cranking it up to 11 would leave your teeth rattling!good entries about disipline
  15. Goodwood Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2011
    star 4
    Pilot Log: 1/13 Galactic Standard Date

    Thirteenth day of the month, and this time at the end of the week. Never a good sign.

    Things have been quiet today, though. We're in the Mon Gazza system on routine patrol; my squadron, along with the fliers from the 52nd Navy "Dalus" squadron did a few maneuvers in orbit over Mon Gazza itself in what Commander Juyode referred to as "waving the flag." Apparently the idea was to reassure the populace that we're intent on protecting them from the Sith, so that if Darth Revan's people did decide to show up, they'd give us whatever support they could muster.

    Captain Reyolé's address a couple of days ago was really interesting. She talked to all the pilots aboard, not just the 23rd Marines, our own starfighter contingent. She started off by thanking us for our service during the recent battles?the diversionary raid on the Roche asteroids that we and the 52nd conducted just prior to the Iridonia strike as well as the fight with the Sith reinforcements. Her words made me feel odd, as though they made me seem more important than I had been. While it was true that I had made ace, many of the other Marine pilots scored much higher; Jalahad, who Ostagar replaced, had in fact gotten his eleventh career kill not long before a Sith interceptor blew him from his ship and this dimension. It was an odd, queasy sensation in my gut that made me feel shy, yet relieved that someone else had brought up the subject.

    The captain then went on to talk about who it was we were facing, about how the core of the Sith forces once served the Republic, and how many of them were volunteers from Republic worlds that the Sith had conquered. Ostagar, who had been sitting in front of me in the auditorium, had gotten visibly angry at the notion that many of his fellow Zabraks had embraced the Sith. I found myself thanking whatever power was out there that he hadn't been with the squadron at Iridonia.

    This guy needs a serious dose of reality, hopefully one that doesn't kill him?or any of the rest of us.

    Captain Reyolé ended her address with a brief summation of how she saw our role in future engagements. According to her, everyone in the infantry was always grateful to see us, as we conduct their landing craft to the surface of planets and keep the skies clear during ground assaults. She stressed how important it was to remain vigilant, to always protect the transports, the capital ships, and never to leave them unprotected while in pursuit of other targets. Since I knew that she was an infantry officer, these words had struck a chord within me. I had resolved then and there that I would do whatever it took to protect the big ships, keeping those silver swarms at bay.

    I'm going to end this log for now, as we've got a squadron briefing early tomorrow. Something about an upcoming push, but that was just scuttlebutt.
  16. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Nice update and with the captain and her speech.
  17. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Never trust anything that came from a scuttle's butt. :p

    Ostagar sounds like he's gonna become an increasing thorn in Chak's side. I foresee some conflict between them in the future, since Ostagar has this stick up his butt.
  18. Goodwood Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2011
    star 4
    Pilot Log: 1/14 Galactic Standard Date

    Short entry today.

    We had the briefing as planned. Captain Tyr, the Stalwart Defender's starfighter wing commander, told us we're going out on more raids against Sith targets. Can't say more at the moment, though, operational security is paramount.

    There's also been a few rumblings about dissatisfaction among some of the crew. I overheard a couple of chiefs muttering about Admiral Hetton, and their tone didn't seem to be at all kind. Should probably report this to someone, though I don't know who to tell.
  19. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    I must backtrack to the previous entry, particularly to what Chak felt about how Reyolé made him seem like more of a hero than he felt he was. I can relate to that embarrassment. He was essentially doing his job, how is that any different? Why should such a thing be lauded with such high regard? It's understandable that one would feel as if such praise were undeserved, or even that they were somehow deceptive, that their role was so small that to accept such praise would be wrong, like lying about one's importance. Though, those words may also be coming from something of a civilian standpoint, as the average citizen holds those in civil and military service in high regard, while to a number of those who serve see it as a simply doing their job.

    So, what does it take to be a true hero, in the truest sense of the word? For the average citizen, it may simply be the right place at the right time. And even then, to that person, that's simply what it is; being in the right place at the right time. So, what is a hero, what truly makes a hero? Perhaps that is something that Chak may find the answer to throughout the course of his service.
  20. Goodwood Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2011
    star 4
    Pilot Log: 1/26 Galactic Standard Date

    Ten raids! Ten! In less than two weeks!

    I'm exhausted, just flat-out exhausted. They had to siphon me out of my starfighter when we got back from the most recent one, when we hit the Sith outpost at [REDACTED] [REDACTED]. Fortunately we're due a break, and I've spent the last twelve hours sleeping like a log. It's just as well I'm so drained, as prior to our last attack I overheard a couple of flyers from the 54th grumbling about the fact that they weren't seeing any action at all while we were out there pounding on the enemy like a faulty swoop accelerator.

    They can take that attitude straight down the Maw.

    Nothing in flight training could have possibly prepared me?or anyone else, for that matter?for this kind of operational tempo. My instructors made it clear that the Corps likes to be at the heart of the action, but this is just plain nuts! If the Sith ever find us and force us into battle, I can only hope I've rested up enough to do my job.

    The rest of the squadron seems to be holding up well enough, though we did lose Shabu Three over [REDACTED REDACTED]. She went EV and made it to the surface, near as we could tell, but it's likely she'll be captured or else...no, I don't want to think about it. I do know that a couple of the more seasoned pilots, including Lieutenant DuPuis and Commander Juyode, have taken SERE training, maybe that's an option I can look into.

    Aside from our lost pilot, a couple other starfighters got banged up pretty good. Ostagar nearly had to go EV when we hit [REDACTED REDACTED] and were ambushed by a squadron of Sith interceptors. After we made our initial pass, the silver buggers swarmed out of nowhere and chased us right into a storm cell. Now, I've seen my share of powerful thunderstorms, it comes with living on Coruscant and especially as a swooper, but this one was just...there aren't any words. [REDACTED REDACTED] is a tumultuous planet at the best of times, particularly in the region where our target was located. Tropical storms are one thing, but for a squall to produce green lightning amidst freezing temperatures that also produced hailstones that seemed to glow...

    What followed was the damndest sight I've ever seen. The Sith fighters, not having shields, seemed to disintegrate before our eyes as they rather unwisely pursued us. That's how Ostagar's Aurek got damaged; as we left the area his shields went down and a hailstone nailed his portside laser cannon. We lit out of there and didn't look back.

    That's it for now. My stomach is growling like a rancor monster, and there's only one thing to do about it.
  21. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Exciting action and someone is reading his diary;) to delete things
  22. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Glowing radioactive hailstones? If only we knew what planet that was, but of course, such information had to be kept secret. Don't want that diary falling into the wrong hands, so it's best to just cover things up.
  23. Goodwood Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2011
    star 4
    Pilot Log: 1/30 Galactic Standard Date

    Despite the promised downtime, we were sent on another raid, this time against a space station in the [REDACTED] system that had recently fallen to the Sith. Commander Juyode told us going in that they were going to use it as a staging area for warships tasked with interdicting Republic supply lines. Coordinating with the Endar Spire, we approached the target from an oblique angle; the plan was to begin our run on the base as soon as our support vessel began its frontal assault. Bastila was with us again, and I got to feel her use of battle meditation once more along with the rest of the squadron.

    It was a heady feeling, like being dosed up on stims or spice but without the drawbacks and side effects. Bolstered by her efforts, we caught the Sith napping, and the station is now free-floating atoms along with their fighter screen. Ostagar got his first kills during the engagement, a pair of Sith interceptors; hell, everyone bagged at least one bandit! The fact that we were outnumbered three to one didn't hurt any, and it got me a pair of victories as well, so I'm happy.

    As we departed the system, I wondered if this success would go to Ostagar's head. Ever since he took that hailstone hit over [REDACTED] [REDACTED], however, he's ratcheted back on the bravado. Right now, we've only just gotten back aboard Stalwart Defender; after we clean ourselves up, we're going to hit the pilots' mess for a little victory party. I'll try to gauge his attitude during the celebration, maybe even crack that shell of his a bit.

    May the Force be with us.
  24. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    And may the Force be with Chak for dealing with Ostagar. Ostagar does know that his increase in skill and accuracy was most likely from the battle meditation, or is he going to just assume that he's the hottest piece of bantha poodoo there is?

    I'll be honest, battle meditation kinda struck me as cheating. But, if you ain't cheating, you ain't trying.
  25. Goodwood Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2011
    star 4
    Pilot Log: 2/12 Galactic Standard Date

    Going EV is not fun.

    They warned me during training that it would be a very real eventuality; it was in fact perhaps one of the most grueling phases, learning how to keep your cool and do what you had to do to punch out of a burning starfighter. They took us through the motions so much and so often that when the statistics did catch up to me over [REDACTED], I was well-prepared. Unlike Jalahad, though, a rescue shuttle was not long in coming and they pulled me from the void, apparently just moments after I had lost consciousness.

    It's been six days since we got bushwhacked, and they only took me out of the tank a few hours ago.

    It was my first time being dunked in kolto. It isn't as unpleasant as it sounds, though; the closest thing I can think of is taking a long, long bath in warm, carbonated mineral water. They kept me sedated throughout the treatment, but I came 'round a couple of times, enough to get the general sensation and get a small glimpse of the medbay from inside the tank. The doc tells me that the rest of the squadron stopped in on occasion while I was floating, which struck me as a bit odd. We lost another pilot during that battle, but they all seemed to have clustered around me as the most fortunate survivor.

    I'm still not quite sure what to make of it all. This war was never going to be pretty, but it just seems to grind on to no discernible end. Are we just throwing ourselves to the slaughter needlessly, for a Republic that may not even survive? Or are we actually making some headway, or at the very least helping to keep the invaders at bay? Captain Reyolé's speech seems to be more and more relevant as the conflict drags on, but at the same time I am starting to understand why some of the malcontents in the fleet feel as they do.

    Apparently Ostagar wants to see me, so I'm closing this entry.
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