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Saga Commencement -- Rebel pilot squadfic, OCs, OT era, completed 1/28

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Thumper09, Dec 4, 2008.

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  1. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Force Ghost star 4

    Dec 9, 2001
    Title: Commencement
    Author: Thumper09
    Timeframe: OT era, approximately two months after the Battle of Yavin
    Characters: OCs (Rebel fighter pilots)
    Genre: Drama
    Summary: A rookie X-wing pilot joins his first active-duty squadron and goes on his first combat mission.
    Notes: Many thanks to Peri for the beta, and many thanks to all those who have been my sounding boards and idea generators. I couldn't have done any of this without you.
    The story has been finished in advance. Updates will be made weekly on either Wednesdays or Thursdays. PM updates are available for anyone who wants them.
    Disclaimer: Thank you, Mr. Lucas, for the wonderful sandbox and toys! All original characters are mine, much to their displeasure.

    Constructive criticism is most welcome. Hit me with whatever you've got.


    Corona Squadron Roster

    Corona One / Lead - Commander Quentell "Mack" Mackin, human male from Treminal III
    Corona Two - Lt. Ikoa "Rancor" Fyndcap, human female from Rin
    Corona Three - Lt. Jayke "Chopper" Forsgren, human male from Brentaal
    Corona Four - FO. Kalre "Parsec" Unatel, Rodian male from Druckenwell
    Corona Five - FO. Maptoo "Admiral" Moog, Gran male from Malastare
    Corona Six - FO. Chryse "CC" Cerac, human female from Avalar
    Corona Seven - FO. Tictintco "Slurry" Tnis, Bilgana male from Bilgan
    Corona Eight / XO - Lt. Steen "Snubber" Weas, human male from Plonia V
    Corona Nine - FO. Darin Stanic, human male from Craci IV (just assigned)
    Corona Ten - FO. Hentil "Quiver" Yanilr, human male from Druzien
    Corona Eleven - xxxx
    Corona Twelve - xxxx



    Chapter One

    This wasn't the first time he had wondered what he had gotten himself into, and he had a feeling it wouldn't be the last.

    Darin Stanic stared with wide eyes at the scene before him. For more than twelve hours he had been a passenger in a cargo shuttle's hold, where the time had passed quietly and intolerably slowly despite taking a nap and making a distracted attempt to read a datapad he'd brought. Now they had arrived at their destination: the main hangar of a winged MC80 Mon Calamari Cruiser. From where Darin stood at the top of the shuttle's landing ramp, it was obvious that those quiet and slow hours were gone for good.

    The sheer number of sights and sounds that assaulted him made Darin long to retreat back into the shuttle. He wanted to go back home. He wanted to go back to the relative familiarity of his training squadron. He wanted to do anything except face this frightening new situation. Everywhere he looked, there were people and droids going about their tasks with a seriousness that underscored the fact that this was a warship, and with every action completed, every bolt fastened, every decision made, lives could and did hang in the balance. This was no game.

    Darin gripped the shoulder strap of his duffle bag harder, chewed on his bottom lip and scolded himself for his reaction; after all, this shouldn't be that different from what he'd gone through with his training squadron. He could do this. Besides, his new squadron wouldn't want a pilot who was intimidated by a little chaos.

    With a deep, shaky breath, Darin forced himself down the landing ramp and then did his best to move out of the way of people and droids coming to help unload the cargo from the shuttle. Pungent odors of lubricants and fuel saturated the cool air and smacked him in the face, and the noise created by voices, engines, equipment and repair tools was soon compressed by his brain into a general background din. Darin's gaze floundered around, searching for a particular uniform type to anchor him. All he'd been told was that someone from Corona Squadron would meet him there.

    After dodging another droid he finally spotted three men in the familiar beige general duty uniforms of starfighter pilots. They were standing together near the shuttle and were sear
  2. Jedi_Perigrine

    Jedi_Perigrine Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 22, 2008
    WOOT, I got the first post! Super writing, Thumps! You've made a wonderful character in Darin that's a pure joy to read about. I'm excited for you as you share him (and all his buddies) with folks. It's awesome awesome stuff! Don't forget to PM me with the updates!
  3. Trika_Kenobi

    Trika_Kenobi Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Nov 4, 1999
    Thumps! OMG. You posted this without letting me know! Haha! But I have found it, and I love it!

    Please put me on your PM list, madam. And, in addition, you and I need to discuss matters of your Corona Squadron. I've been to your site numerous times, and I'm finally going to make it a priority to read and catch up with the saga during the holiday break this year. I'd like to make the Coronas a Talon friend and be able to link to and/or host and/or work with you on the website and whatever else you need.

    Great start, Thumps! I'm looking forward to reading about Darin's adventures! [face_mischief]

  4. snowspeeder_gunner

    snowspeeder_gunner Jedi Padawan star 4

    Apr 10, 2007

    I am so excited to read this! I love love love Darin, and I can't wait to see what you've done with Commencement. And to answer your question, there are a couple new things I didn't notice before, so I don't think I've read the newer revision.

    Keep up the great work!!
  5. Alion_Sangre

    Alion_Sangre Jedi Padawan star 4

    Dec 9, 2001
    Nice to see you up to you and the Coronas up to the usual tricks, Thumper. ;)
  6. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Force Ghost star 4

    Dec 9, 2001
    Peri: Thanks for coming and commenting, and thanks again for your help! I hope you enjoy the piecemeal version of this story too, LOL. :p Maybe I should toss in a new twist or two to spice things up for ya. ;)

    Trikes: Sorry about that! I was running late with the PM updates, but you tracked it down, so it's all good. :) Thanks for reading even with having a lot of activities on your plate, and I hope you enjoy it. I keep forgetting to contact you about the Talon website stuff (have I mentioned how scatterbrained I've been lately? :p), so I'll do that now once I get this thing squared away.

    snowy: Aww, thanks! I'm glad you could make it, and thanks for reading and commenting! This newer revision is my attempt at smoothing out some areas and strengthening the characterizations of the Coronas since I've gotten a somewhat better handle on them than I had when I first wrote this story. So we'll see how that goes. :)

    Alion: Hey, good to see you! Thanks for stopping in! :)

    Here's the next post. I hope you all enjoy it. I had to stop in the middle of the scene due to length, and I apologize for that.


    It took nearly an hour for Darin to finish with Security, though he was glad for that in a way since it gave him a chance to clear his mind a bit and settle down. He was going to be spending a lot of time with his new squadmates, and he couldn't let himself be taken over by his shyness now, especially when he was making his first impressions on everyone. At least Darin wouldn't have any issues when flying with them, and that should help him fit in. His training squadron had been challenging, but he'd made it through and was ready to fly with the Coronas out here. If he could focus on that professional aspect, it should help carry him through until he overcame his shyness in the more personal areas, and then everything would be all right. Darin felt a little better after his mental pep talk.

    When he finally walked out of the Security office back into the corridor, Quiver was gone. Darin looked around and tried his best to examine his options calmly. Going farther down the corridor to look for Quiver would likely just result in Darin getting lost, so he turned toward the hangar to try there first. He wasn't ready to be alone in this overwhelming place just yet.

    Once inside the hangar, to Darin's relief it was pretty easy to find Quiver: he was sitting on a shipping crate nearby and talking to two people and a Gran who were all wearing uniforms identical to his. Quiver noticed Darin almost instantly, held up a hand to pause his conversation, jumped off the crate and came over to him. "Ah, you're done," he said to Darin. "So are you legit? Not a spy or anything, right?"

    Several possible comebacks came to Darin's mind, but he settled for the safe reply this time. "No, I'm all cleared. They gave me some of my access codes too."

    "Good. Come on, there are some squadmates here you should meet." Quiver draped an arm over Darin's shoulders and steered him toward the group he had just been talking to. Darin immediately tried to pull away from the contact but then caught himself and uncomfortably stayed with Quiver.

    As the pair walked up, Quiver said to the three others, "Here's the new guy I was telling you about. I found him wandering around earlier, and lucky for him I found him when I did, too: the poor rookie was trying to get into an airlock thinking it was the door to the mess hall."

    Darin barely noticed what Quiver said. His full attention was instantly drawn to the lieutenant rank plates the two human pilots were wearing, and he snapped to attention and saluted.

    The Corona pilots seemed startled at his actions--especially Quiver, who jumped and pulled his arm away from Darin's shoulders--but they quickly recovered. One of the lieutenants, a small, slim woman with light brown hair that just barely reached her shoulders, smiled and returned Darin's salute. "Hi there." She rai
  7. Jedi_Perigrine

    Jedi_Perigrine Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 22, 2008
    Another great post, Thumps! The story's moving very nicely. Your action scenes are great, as your audience may or may not know, but where you truly shine, my friend, is portraying the humanity--the living, breathing, sweating, half-panicked stressballs of fighter pilots. You've taught me many things about lives of pilots outside of the cockpit. Keep up the fine instruction! :D
  8. Trika_Kenobi

    Trika_Kenobi Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Nov 4, 1999
    Awesome! Great update, Thumps! I really feel for Darin... poor kid, getting out into the world of the fighter jock and finding out how cold space can be. Quiver seems pretty chill, though. I hope the two of them can band together and prove to the rest of the squad that Darin can make it with the Coronas.

    Thanks! Wonderful story from you, as always!
  9. snowspeeder_gunner

    snowspeeder_gunner Jedi Padawan star 4

    Apr 10, 2007
    Chopper doesn't waste any time, does he? I really like the good cop/ bad cop thing going on with him and Ikoa- it definitely adds to the excitement.

    At least Darin's got Quiver to look out for him!

    Great update! I love this story. [face_love]

    Keep up the awesome work!
  10. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Force Ghost star 4

    Dec 9, 2001
    Peri: Aw, thanks. [face_blush] I have a total soft spot for the out-of-cockpit interactions and activities, which is probably why this first chapter is so darn long. ;) Thanks for reading and replying!

    Trikes: Thank you! Yeah, Quiver doesn't get riled up too easily. And Darin's hoping the exact same thing you are. :) Thanks for commenting and reading!

    snowy: Thanks for reading and replying! Heh, Chopper has a bit of a blunt streak in him, that's for sure.

    At least Darin's got Quiver to look out for him!

    Very true. But is this a good thing from Darin's standpoint? :p ;)


    Thanks again, everyone. :D I'm not sure if I'm going to update next week or not due to the holidays. If I do update, it'll be on Monday.



    Quiver held up his hands in surrender. "Okay, okay, if it makes you happy. And now if you'll excuse us, I'm cold, and my wingman and I have warmer places to be."

    The pair left, and Quiver again took Darin out of the hangar and started through the maze of corridors. Maybe it was all the turns or maybe it was his inability to stop thinking about what Chopper had said, but Darin soon realized he had no clue how to get back to the hangar. Luckily Quiver didn't seem to be attempting to ditch him and leave him stranded, lost and alone in the veins of the great ship; he actually seemed more interested in making conversation.

    Darin didn't even hear most of what Quiver was saying as they walked. At one point he noticed a lull in Quiver's talk and took advantage of the opportunity. "Quiver, what's that mission about? What will we have to do on it?"

    "Huh?" Quiver looked at him. "Oh, it's a hit-and-run against some Imps, like Ikoa said."

    "What's my duty schedule for the rest of today? Can I get a copy of it?"

    "Your duty schedule?" Quiver gave him a strange look. "It's your first day. It's called 'orientation.' Your regular duties will start tomorrow, and you'll get a copy then."

    "Will we have any time today when you can show me where the simulators are so I can start practicing that combat mission?" Darin pressed. "I'd really like to get some time on that as soon as I can."

    Quiver finally stopped and turned fully to Darin, who stopped as well. "Rookie, relax. It's your first day. You'll get time in the sims tomorrow when the rest of us do another practice run for that mission. Until then, enjoy the last easy day you'll get for a very long time, and let me enjoy it too."

    "You won't have to do anything; just point me in the right direction and tell me how to load the sim with the correct mission. I'd really rather not wait until tomorrow. You heard what Lieutenant Forsgren said. I have to get up to speed on this mission, and I'd rather not go in cold and blind tomorrow when all of you already know what you're doing."

    "Wait, is all this because of what Chopper was shooting his mouth off about?" Quiver shook his head and continued walking. Darin followed. "Ignore him."

    "Ignore him?" His new wingman was either insane or a whole lot braver than Darin was. "I can't do that, Quiver! He's a lieutenant!"

    Quiver rolled his eyes. "Trust me. Ignore him. If you can do that, you'll like it here much more."

    "How will blatantly disrespecting a superior officer I just met help me like it here more?"

    "You're giving Chopper too much credit. Besides, like I told you, it's pretty relaxed around here. Despite what you may think after Chopper's little rant, we actually have a really good time with each other. Well, mostly. Sometimes I think Snubber's incapable of having fun, but that's his loss. His big loss. And don't you dare tell him I said that." Quiver stopped at a turbolift and pressed the call button.

    "Wait, 'Snubber'?" Darin asked. He couldn't keep all these names straight, and every moment spent with Quiver seemed to create more confusion. "Who's that?"

    "Oh, right. That
  11. Jedi_Perigrine

    Jedi_Perigrine Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 22, 2008
    The droid processed that for a long moment before replying, Greetings. My designation is R5-D4, Serial 198YJ437TN, Identifier 62690857. Organics call me Botch.

    "It's nice to meet you, Botch."

    I love the droid's name, it's one of my favorite SW names ever. I love the waxing philisophical as he caresses his fighter. Darin's life is going to change irrevocably, and soon! Great stuff, Thumps, I'm privelidged to be able to pre-read your piloty goodness! Keep it coming! :D
  12. Trika_Kenobi

    Trika_Kenobi Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Nov 4, 1999
    I heart your writing so much, Thumps. And Botch! OMG. What a great name! :D

    Quiver still seems like a pretty cool dude to me, helping Darin along even through the mass of rookie quirks. I find I'm becoming comfortable with the pairing just as Darin is throughout the scenes. Great update! You're awesome!
  13. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Force Ghost star 4

    Dec 9, 2001
    Peri: Thanks! If you ask me, there was not enough waxing philosophical about X-wings in the Classic Trilogy. But there's probably a reason no one's asked me. :p Thanks again!

    Trikes: Aww, thank you! [face_blush] Yeah, Quiver is all about the relaxing and being comfortable as much as possible, and whatever can rub off on Darin now will be a good thing. ;) Thanks for reading!

    Little tidbit: Botch's name came from my uncanny knack of "botching" important dice rolls during a particular tabletop SW roleplaying campaign. I can't remember how many times I accidentally almost killed the party or my own character as a result. :p It seemed to fit the droid since R5's are supposed to have a reputation for having more problems than R2 units. ;)

    This update will finish the Longest Chapter One in the History of Forever, and it completes all of the introductions to the rest of the Coronas. Chapter Two (which is a bit more reasonable in length) will start on the story's regular update day next week, which is to say New Year's Eve. Thanks for bearing with me through this long chapter.

    Happy holidays, everyone. :)



    Quiver smirked and then checked his chrono. "Well, we'd better head to the briefing; I'll never hear the end of it if I get you there late. You and Botch can chitchat later if you want. Let's go." Darin said a silent goodbye to his ship and an audible one to Botch before the two pilots left.

    They soon walked into a small briefing room near the locker room. A table with a holoprojector was situated at the front, and the chairs were arranged theater-style. Three people already occupied the room, but Darin only recognized two: Commander Mackin and Lt. Weas. He reiterated their names to himself to ensure he wouldn't forget them.

    Quiver led him to a middle row and sat down, putting Darin in a seat directly behind the unknown pilot. The rookie jumped a bit when the charcoal-skinned pilot in front of him turned his head almost completely around to look at him. Darin hadn't really had a chance to notice before that the pilot in front of him wasn't human.

    "Ah, you must be the pilot new. I'm happy to meet you," the slim alien said with a thick accent. At least, those were the words Darin thought the alien said.

    There were four reflective eyes on the alien's face, and only a slit marking his nose a few centimeters above his lipless but otherwise "normal"-looking mouth. He turned his head back to the front again, stood up and turned around to face Darin, and that was when Darin noticed the extra two arms. One pair was situated at his shoulders like a human's, and another pair protruded from his sides where the lower part of a human's ribcage would be. He stood barely a meter and a half tall.

    Darin suddenly realized he was staring and tried to cover it up by blinking and offering an embarrassed smile. Quiver gave him a little push to get him to his feet.

    "I'm Tictintco Tnis," the alien said, "but everyone here finds it easier to call me Slurry."

    Darin shook the three-fingered hand Slurry offered and introduced himself.

    "Quiver, are you scaring away the new guy already?" asked a voice from behind. "At least let him get through his first day."

    Darin turned and saw Lt. Fyndcap approaching with a black-haired woman pilot, who was a flight officer like Slurry was. The woman he hadn't met, and who Darin guessed had just spoken, smiled at him. "Hi, I'm CC, Corona Six."

    The nametag on her uniform proclaimed her last name to be "Cerac," so Darin figured CC was probably her nickname. "I'm Darin."

    "I feel sorry for you, being paired with Quiver," CC said. "I know a good place to go scream if you ever need it."

    "And she's good at screaming, too," Quiver remarked as he stood up.

    CC set her jaw. "Only when I see you."

    "Oh, curse this handsome face which causes ladies to scream and squeal when their gaze alights upon it!" Quiver said
  14. Jedi_Perigrine

    Jedi_Perigrine Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 22, 2008
    Woot! First post again! I love the banter between all the squadron mates. I can totally relate to Darin and his sensation of not fitting in. He's getting in over his head...temporarily, anyway. I have little doubt that Darin will begin to fit in soon, but things are likely to get more intense before they get easier.

    Great post! I love the way you're creating tension between all the highly realistic characters. Super stuff!
  15. Trika_Kenobi

    Trika_Kenobi Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Nov 4, 1999
    Bring your favorite initiation rite for our rookie.

    Oh noes. Poor Darin. Will he survive the night without taking in too much alcohol? Or without returning to his bunk colored purple, or smelling like engine lubricant, or worse?

    Here's to hoping the el-oh-el of the night is rather tame... for the rookie's sake. :p

    Great update! Thanks for the read!

  16. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Force Ghost star 4

    Dec 9, 2001
    Peri: I have little doubt that Darin will begin to fit in soon, but things are likely to get more intense before they get easier.

    Wait, we're supposed to make things easier for our characters? Where was I when that memo was sent out? [face_thinking]
    I'm glad you enjoyed the banter--that's my favorite part of this squadron. :p Thanks for reading!

    Trikes: I wish I would've thought of turning him purple, LOL! That'd've been fun. :D If I ever expand or redo this section I'll need to come to you for some ideas. [face_mischief] Thanks for reading!

    Happy New Year, everyone. :) Here's a party post in honor of the occasion.


    Chapter Two

    Darin fiddled with his uniform's waistline as he sat at their table. The Bacta Tank was the main downtime establishment in this section of Crescent Star, and it had as sterile a feel to it as most medical bays did. Now they were almost an hour into his Squadron-Warming Party, during which time his new squadmates had quizzed him about himself and his flying experience, and Darin was beginning to feel somewhat buzzed from the round exchange rite. However, he wasn't yet out of it enough to not be annoyed at having to wear his uniform inside-out.

    Throughout the night and between the quizzes and various initiation rites, the other Coronas would often get into rambunctious, tangential discussions with each other, and during those times Darin felt himself turning invisible and forgotten as the alcohol and his quiet shyness took hold more and more. In some ways he was glad to have the attention taken off of himself, especially since he was dead tired now from all the social interaction, the events of the day and the travel lag, but in other ways he felt like an uninvited guest in the midst of it all. Even though most of the pilots had been friendly so far, there was just too much within that tight-knit group that Darin didn't understand, didn't know and couldn't relate to.

    It was during one of those tangential discussion times when Darin was poking at his uniform's waistline and looking around the Bacta Tank. He again noticed a woman who was sitting at the bar across the room and discreetly looking at him. When she caught his eye, she grinned bashfully and quickly turned away to whisper to her friend. Darin had noticed her doing this a few times since he and Quiver had arrived, and if he wasn't so burnt out from already meeting so many new people that day he figured he probably would have gone over to talk to her.

    Darin sighed and swirled his drink around in his glass. Then again, maybe he wouldn't have tried to talk to her. Every social activity had gotten so much harder since he'd lost his best friend, and the motivation to be more sociable than required just wasn't there anymore. He remembered how even the Horizons had written him off as a loner, although Darin believed that he'd been misdiagnosed.

    "What do you think of her?" asked a quiet voice.

    Looking up from his drink, Darin saw Quiver conspiratorially leaning over to him. Darin raised an eyebrow and asked, "Who?"

    Quiver kept his voice soft so it wouldn't carry. "That girl over there who keeps stealing glances at you."

    Darin hoped he hadn't been so obvious in looking at her that Quiver had noticed. His gaze returned to her. "She's cute."

    "Glad you think so." Quiver's mischievous grin reappeared and his voice strengthened as he straightened up and rapped three times on the table, the indication of an initiation rite. "Go sing her a song. A love song. And make sure we can hear it from here."

    The other Coronas laughed and settled down for the show as Darin stared at Quiver in horror. "You're not serious."

    Quiver knocked on the table three more times. "You bet I am. Don't worry, nothing will happen to you. And no talking to her before you start, either."

    Darin opened his mouth to protest again, but CC cut him off. "Come on, rookie. The soo
  17. Trika_Kenobi

    Trika_Kenobi Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Nov 4, 1999
    Chopper piped up with, "Besides, you're not scared, are you?"

    Damn right he was. "No, sir, I'm not."

    Haha! Hilarious! As soon as Quiver asked Darin about the girl, I knew something was set up. He knocked three times and I just started laughing. Perfectly placed! And as for this new development about getting down to the hangar quickly, I'm wondering how Darin got so far away in the first place. :oops: LOL.

    Great work! Thanks!
  18. Jedi_Perigrine

    Jedi_Perigrine Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 22, 2008
    Damn! The in-laws slowed me down and made me have second post...and to lose first post to her... ;)

    Great update, Thumper! We've all had that party happen where we end up waking up in a really weird location. (Wait, it's not just me, right?) It's hard enough just being disoriented, but to be in a completely unfamiliar location too...that's rough. You wrote both scenes perfectly. After a great party, the poor rookie loses his way. Hopefully he'll stop screwing around soon, before he really gets in trouble. hehe

    Keep it up, you're doing awesome!

  19. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Force Ghost star 4

    Dec 9, 2001
    Trikes: Heh heh, Trika: 1, Prank: 0. :p We'll learn a little more about the reasons for Darin's little unexpected journey now. Thanks for reading!

    Peri: It was a good, long streak while it lasted. ;)
    Darin definitely got a bit in over his head, and adding alcohol and an unfamiliar location to the mix sure didn't help. We'll see if he gets his act together soon. ;) Thanks for reading!


    This is a somewhat shorter update to offset the length of last week's. The action begins next week!


    Six minutes later, Darin skidded to a breathless stop outside his quarters. Quiver was there waiting for him after providing turn-by-turn directions once Darin had gotten in the hangar vicinity.

    "About time, rookie," Quiver grumbled. "It's been keeping me awake and away from my hangover-reduction sleep. It's way too early for this." Darin secretly agreed: he'd checked his chrono on the run over, and it was only a little past 0630. Quiver continued, "Now, Mack's office is that way." He pointed down the corridor to the left. "Turn left at the first corridor, three doors down on your right. And--what did you sleep in? Come here." Quiver took Darin by the collar and began rubbing something off Darin's face with a sleeve.

    "Quiver! Stop it!" Darin blushed and squirmed out of his wingman's grip. "Thanks for the directions." He took off again at a run.

    It only took a few more seconds for him to reach Commander Mackin's office. Darin pulled up outside of it and stood there for an instant trying to compose himself, catch his breath and brace himself. Berating himself for letting this happen, he quickly ran his fingers through his dark blond bangs to smooth them, pressed the door chime and immediately heard Mackin call from inside, "Come in."

    Darin entered the converted crew quarters and came to attention before Mackin, who was seated at his desk. He saluted as he said between short gasps for air, "Flight Officer Darin Stanic reporting as ordered, sir."

    "We're informal right now, Darin. Have a seat." Mackin studied him as he did so. "I'd expected you a little sooner than this."

    "Yes, sir. I apologize. It won't happen again, sir."

    "I'm guessing that your panting and sweating have something to do with your tardiness. What happened?" Mackin asked.

    "Well, sir," Darin faltered, "I... uh..." He wished he could do anything but tell the truth, but he had no choice; lying to a CO or XO was another unforgivable sin. "I woke up on a different deck, and I ran down here as soon as I heard from Flight Officer Yanilr that you wanted to see me."

    "A different deck?" Mackin didn't look like he'd expected that answer. "What were you doing there?"

    "I really wish I knew, sir."

    "You weren't in someone's room, were you?"

    "No, sir!" Darin immediately replied, his eyes wide. "I wasn't in anyone's room, sir. I was in some kind of maintenance accessway. Sometime after the party last night. I... really don't remember any more than that, sir."

    Mackin gave a small sigh. "Well. It looks like I'll need to have a chat with your new wingman about this. As for you, roaming the ship while intoxicated is not something I'm going to tolerate. If you're off doing something juvenile or insulting to another crewmember while you're drunk, you're not the only one who's going to get in trouble and pay for it. Do I have to worry about this behavior from you in the future?"

    Darin was so humiliated that he wondered if the color of his face had moved into the infrared region. "No, sir, you don't. I swear it won't happen again."

    "Good." Since it hadn't happened yet, Darin was certain the yelling and chewing out were still coming until Mackin leaned back in his chair and continued in a mild voice, "I imagine the parties Quiver throws are a little more intense than what you would have been used to in a training squadron anyway. Now you'll know what to expect. So how was the party
  20. snowspeeder_gunner

    snowspeeder_gunner Jedi Padawan star 4

    Apr 10, 2007
    Haha, that was great! Poor Darin, his head must feel awful. But drinking crazy random things you have never seen before is never a good plan. (Not that I have any idea what that would be like- this is strictly conjecture, of course [face_whistling])

    And I loved Mackin's test! That was so funny- and he is a smart guy.

    Can't wait to read more, this is really great!!!

    Keep up the awesome work!
  21. Atarumaster88

    Atarumaster88 Jedi Youngling star 1

    Jan 7, 2009
    Good story so far. I'm enjoying the dynamics of the Coronas. Now I'm waiting for Darin to get into the X-wing, where hopefully he'll be a little more at ease.
  22. Trika_Kenobi

    Trika_Kenobi Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Nov 4, 1999
    Eh, Peri loses to not only me, but two others. Heh! Take that! :p

    Chopper had been right.
    Oh noes. I hope this isn't going to drag him down too badly... so he hadn't found the dern hangar? Try to keep your chin up, kid! :p

    Great update, Thumps! Stellar writing, as always!

  23. Jedi_Perigrine

    Jedi_Perigrine Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 22, 2008
    Hey, Trikes, it's not my fault. You assigned me homework. And then I volunteered to do some writing of my own. And then I had to kriffin' work. I liked it better when I was unemployed. ;)

    But the real reason I'm here... AWESOME post Thumper! Though I've never woken up and wondered where I was, you covered the intoxication beautifully.

    [face_laugh] Freakin funny. Great stuff, amiga, I'm definitely looking forward to more! =D=
  24. The_Face

    The_Face Ex-Manager star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 22, 2003
    I finally had the chance to read through the first few posts of this over break.

    Now, as you'll find will be the case many times, I'm going to leave you in Quiver's--" Mackin coughed slightly, "--capable hands.

    Well that?s a good sign as you?re just starting out. :p

    She turned back to Darin and said, "He's not normally this mean, only when he forgets that he was a rookie once, too."

    The other lieutenant, a solidly-built man with dark hair that was cut very short, shot her an indignant look. "I was not," he muttered under his breath to her before he grudgingly returned the salute.

    Something really tickles me about denying that you were ever younger than you are.

    There was nothing different about this one. And yet, the fact that it was his, that the ship would be like a partner and would play a large part in deciding if he lived or died in any given encounter, made all the difference in the world.

    This is a really good statement on the bond between a pilot and his ship.

    "Oh, curse this handsome face which causes ladies to scream and squeal when their gaze alights upon it!" Quiver said melodramatically while covering his face with his hands.

    That?s true; it can be a real hassle. :p

    However, he wasn't yet out of it enough to not be annoyed at having to wear his uniform inside-out.

    I love how you mention this so off-handedly at the end of the paragraph.

    I'll have to come back to read the latest post.

    Great start! =D= I?m definitely interested in update PMs, if you?d be so kind. :D
  25. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Force Ghost star 4

    Dec 9, 2001
    snowy: Darin sure learned his lesson the hard way about drinking unknown things the other pilots put in front of him. ;) Thanks a bunch for reading!

    Atarumaster88: Thanks for stopping in! This new post starts with Darin in his X-wing at last (after what is admittedly a really long setup), so we'll get to see a bit of how he feels in the cockpit. Thanks for reading and replying!

    Trikes: Darin will have a few other things on his mind now to distract him from worrying about Chopper, thankfully. ;) Thanks for reading! Heh, when Peri's streak broke, it broke hard, didn't it? :p j/k

    Peri: I'm glad the intoxication effects seemed to work well in this scene. Thanks for replying, and you should prank Trika if she gives you a hard time again. ;)

    Face: Thanks for making it over here. :) Update PMs will be coming your way. I think the ship bonding scene is one of my favorites, so I'm glad to hear it came out all right. Thanks muchly for reading and replying!


    I'm not sure if anyone wants it, but I'll be editing a squadron roster into the beginning of the first post.


    Chapter Three

    "So has this been a typical patrol?" asked Darin. He was flying off Quiver's wing while they scouted the area ahead of the fleet.

    "Pretty much," Quiver answered, "except for the part where I put you through your paces."

    "Well, it's good for us to know how the other flies," Darin said. "If there's one thing I learned with the Horizons, it's that wingmen have to be able to work together."

    "True, very true. Though the way you said that makes me think you had a bad wingman experience," said Quiver.

    Darin wondered if his chronic frustration with his former wingman had leaked through in his voice without his realizing it. "Kind of. My Horizon wingman always just bumped his shields up and tried to outrun everything during sim battles."

    "Really? I hope you didn't learn that habit."

    "No," Darin said. "In fact, I think I got killed in sims more often than him because I tried to protect him when he did that. I hated it when that happened, but he wouldn't change."

    "Fighter pilots who won't change don't last long, unfortunately," Quiver replied. "You ready for another run?"


    "Okay. Let's switch this time: you catch me." Quiver immediately banked his X-wing to port and began a relative-downward spiral.

    Darin yanked his stick to port and followed. He increased his throttle slightly to try to catch Quiver, but had to slow down again as Quiver pulled out of the spiral only to start another spiral turning in the opposite direction.

    Darin didn't follow Quiver's path this time, but instead rolled over to starboard and dove straight for him. Quiver leveled out and started an inverted loop back toward their starting point.

    Shying away from the head-to-head, Darin banked to starboard as Quiver passed him, cut out his throttle to make a much tighter turn, then ran his engines all the way up and was promptly on Quiver's tail again. Quiver feinted a turn to port then turned slightly to starboard.

    Darin fell for the feint and cursed softly as he saw Quiver pull away from him. He looped around nose-over-tail and increased his speed.

    He'd almost reached Quiver again when his scope started flashing and Botch beeped at him. He immediately put the game out of his mind and entered straight-and-level flight. "Ten, you see that?"

    Quiver had also stopped dodging and pulled up alongside him. "Yeah. Working on getting a reading now."

    Botch displayed the long-range sensor data on Darin's scope, and Quiver confirmed Botch's report. "A Nebulon-B. Looks like there may be some smaller ships around her, but it's hard to tell. Come on, we're out of here. They could have detected us farther out than we can detect them. Keep your eyes open while we head ba
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