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Subject: Looking for Writers! Compose your best Gunship Fiction rss

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Steve Wood
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Hi, Guys

I am planning to build a Gunship Fiction section on my website and I'd like you guys to compose some stuff. You'll get full credit as the writer for the ones that I pick. Probably some kind of promo or something as things get going. Maybe a little cash for something that I REALLY like or something that leads to something for the game. I'll be fair and I won't use anything until we have talked first.

I noticed that some of you wrote some stuff for Sam (Cogentesque) for his AtomPunk project and a lot of your stuff was really cool.

Let's go for some REALLY short stories (1-4 paragraphs)

Post 'em here and we'll take a look.

You can have a look at my website and find all kinds of stuff to inspire you. Look at the Rules, pictures etc.

Let your imaginations run wild! Can't wait to see what you guys come up with! And it doesn't have to be perfect - stuff will get edited a little bit anyway most likely.

Thanks!

Steve
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Kelly N.
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Is there a deadline for submissions?
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Nate K
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The Fathoms of Heaven
It was getting cold. The sort of cold only someone in space, far away from the warmth of a star, could feel. It seeped into the escape pod like a wraith. Even in space, one could not outrun the Reaper.

She'd had to siphon all available power to the distress beacon, including basic life support, in the hopes that the signal would be powerful enough to reach someone. Anyone.

Looking out the aft window, she could still see the derelict hulk of The Fathoms of Heaven, drifting lazily away. Pulling the blanket more tightly around herself, she gently pushed off the wall with her right food and drifted towards the galley.

The escape pod held enough food and fluid for ten people to live for three days. She would run out of oxygen before she ran out of things to eat and drink. The cold was likely to kill her before that.

She found a condiment tube that wasn't frozen and took it with her to the airlock. Hooking a limb through a handhold, she tried to control her shivering and hold herself in place. She opened the tube and started applying the condiment to the wall. When she finished, she still had a little bit of condiment left, so she added her initials and the star date.

When a ship came, responding to the distress signal, her rescuers found her drifting by the window. She had severe frostbite and would probably need cybernetic limbs and ears. One of the crew glanced at the message she had written as they rushed her to the medbay.

George. I'm sorry. Had to fight this war. Forgive me. KV 02242459

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Kelly N.
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"Become a pilot" they said. "See the galaxy" they said. That’s what I get for listening to "they". Its funny, "they" also say, "In space, no one can hear you scream". I may find out if this is true very soon. Don’t let anyone ever convince you that being a pilot during a Civil War is all about adventure.

I am about to go against the best fighter pilot of the Resistance. I know his tactics. I know his strategies. I know his thoughts. Despite all the other fighting that will be going on around us, it’s just him and me. Today, one of us is going down.

Many times I’ve looked around my cockpit realizing I am a bringer of death. It has been my duty. I just never imagined that one day it would need to either bring death to my only brother, or serve as my coffin. Either way, my parents lose.

Fighter Captain Thaddeus Shrike...out.
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Tony Gullotti
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Wrist snap, tilt head, grit teeth, slow whistle.

It burns going down, burns bad. The stuff is strong enough to strip paint off the hull, and heaven knows what is in it, but Cort doesn't care. If the "peaceful era" had been good for anything, it had given him the practice necessary to hold his liquor. The crowd assembled after-hours in this seldomly frequented cargo bay tells Cort he isn't the only one who practiced during the "time-off."

Not that you can blame 'em. A few weeks on a carrier is enough to make any fighter pilot go mad, let alone six-months. Somehow the Hyperspace coordinates had been incorrect, or navigation misread a number, maybe one of the Warship Guild sabotaged their information... who knows?

It was supposed to be a quick drop-off. Get the rock, drop-off the miners then get back to flying Gunship escort and strafing runs. But no, we're stuck chasing a hunk of black stone, spinning somewhere out here in the dark of space, pilots stuck playing policemen for a bunch of civilian laborers.

"Give me another."

Wrist snap, tilt head, grit teeth, slow whistle.

"Yer lucky I like you."

He slurs to the civilian pouring the drinks. Cort points at the man, making an "L" with his thumb and index finger. A weak attempt at the sound of a blaster escapes his lips.

"Pashhhhhhuuuu! Heh... heh. Cuz if I didn't mate..."



Wrist snap, tilt head, grit teeth, slow whistle.
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Kelly N.
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The Blue Fighters were dropping like flies. Swarms of Red filled space like Zelloriam morabytes. The Resistance had the upper hand. However, the Blue High Command had one last resort; target the Resistance’s sole remaining Carrier support ship. With no queen, the workers would soon fall.

Captain Arroc docked his gunship, the Swift, in Alpha Carrier Z. Quick work was made of converting the gunship into a Carrier killing wing of destruction. Heavy armor and a payload of Thruster bombs would slow her down, but make her nearly unstoppable. The ship quickly embarked on what could be her final mission. Flanked by a few surviving fighters, she made way to meet her fate.

Shields held, armor resisted, comrades fell. From a distance of 3000 meters the Swift banked hard starboard while releasing a lethal group of Thruster bombs aimed at the strategic heart of the impressive Red Carrier. With a short burst of hyper-drive, the Swift moved in keeping with her name.

Whether because of the violent space percussion rocking the ship, or sensor reports, Captain Arroc and his crew new the Red "queen" was no more. Victory would belong to the Blue Command this day.
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Steve Wood
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sabbat00 wrote:
Is there a deadline for submissions?


Nope. This is very casual.
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Steve Wood
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Wow, these are really good so far! Please keep them going!



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David Kartzinel
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So, just put one together. I wouldn't mind continuing to actually describe the fight, but I stayed...close to the limit.

"Admiral, I make one capital ship marker contact at bearing 11938." The com officer announced nervously.

"Easy Lieutenant. We’ve done this before." Admittedly, not against our own people, the admiral thought to himself.

"Helm, bring the ship about to flanking mark 11947. We’ll catch them from behind. Main batteries, prepare for primary firing sequence. Contact Captain Novaro. Tell him to launch his gunship, all hands at battlestations, heavy assault formation."

"Aye sir. Umm, Admiral, I have ID on the ship...it’s the Thermopylae sir."

The admiral sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose and muttered to himself. "I suppose it had to happen eventually. Lieutenant, put me through on the loudspeaker."

"Attention crew. This is the admiral speaking. This is not a drill. We are about to engage the traitors in full assault. Remember why we are fighting. Remember what they did at Castille base. The ship we will be engaging with in an hour is responsible." The admiral paused and smiled. "Make me proud boys. Let’s show them how it’s done."
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Steve Wood
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dkartzinel wrote:
So, just put one together. I wouldn't mind continuing to actually describe the fight, but I stayed...close to the limit.

"Admiral, I make one capital ship marker contact at bearing 11938." The com officer announced nervously.

"Easy Lieutenant. We’ve done this before." Admittedly, not against our own people, the admiral thought to himself.

"Helm, bring the ship about to flanking mark 11947. We’ll catch them from behind. Main batteries, prepare for primary firing sequence. Contact Captain Novaro. Tell him to launch his gunship, all hands at battlestations, heavy assault formation."

"Aye sir. Umm, Admiral, I have ID on the ship...it’s the Thermopylae sir."

The admiral sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose and muttered to himself. "I suppose it had to happen eventually. Lieutenant, put me through on the loudspeaker."

"Attention crew. This is the admiral speaking. This is not a drill. We are about to engage the traitors in full assault. Remember why we are fighting. Remember what they did at Castille base. The ship we will be engaging with in an hour is responsible." The admiral paused and smiled. "Make me proud boys. Let’s show them how it’s done."


These have all been great and will be used but this one has set the bar. Excellent work, Ensign - please continue when ready.

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Brook Gentlestream
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It began on a remote frontier outpost -- a scientist driven by ambition, a soldier blinded by propoganda, and a terrible, dreadful weapon the likes of which our solar system has never seen.

In the end, it wasn't powerful starships or legions of troops that cost our victory at the battle at Castille Base, but the misguided determination of those 842 colonists that threw themselves at our guns so that Dr. Kaston and his test samples could be evacuated by enemy forces.

History may one day mark the unfortunate events at Castille Base as a pivotal turning point in the war. We lost more than the lives of 14 loyal soldiers that day. We lost our best chance of stopping one of the worst traitors humanity has ever known. We lost Cassamir, and Valhalla, and Titan IV because this madman was able to arm our enemies.

You remember that the next time you hesitate to fire on enemy civilians - remember Castille Base! There are no non-combatants in this war.
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Steve Wood
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Nice. Were those colonists simply "misguided" as the official report states, or did Dr. Kaston's samples perhaps create a swarm of ZOMBIES? zombiezombiezombiezombiezombiezombiezombiezombiezombie

lol

Keep up the good work.
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Brook Gentlestream
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Rumor has it the Gunship Vibrant has one of the most decorated captains in the fleet. Captain Roth has been invited to several state dinners with important alliance dignitaries. He's been the subject of several news broadcasts and talk shows. He has been invited to all manner of classified tactical conferences, despite having very little prior combat experience. Rumor has it that his crew calls him Lucky Bastard.

His small gunship not only fought at the battles of New Haven and Titan IV, but it was the sole surviving ship in the 4th Lunar Conflict. It didn't just survive an encounter with the enemy flagship Thermopylae, but the enemy retreated rather than engage in battle.

The Vibrant is a tiny gunship with almost no weapons or armor, but it has survived almost every battle against the enemy nearly unscathed.

Sometimes its not about which ship has the best weapons or which captain has the most experience. Sometimes its not even about payload or tactics. Sometimes its just about whether or not you have the daughter of an enemy admiral piloting your ship.
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Timothy Marlorme
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"I wake up screaming again. A woman's hand touches my cheek. I reach for my gun and find nothing but the fabric of my sleeper suit. It was a dream. The alarms, the sounds of blasters, the cries of pain. It all fades. My heart pounds. My wife's hand is on my face. She tells me that I am just dreaming. She tells me that it is all in the past. She tells me to forget. Something I can't control rises inside of me and I strike her. My wife stares at me, a beaten animal. She speaks. Pain, fear, pity. In that moment, I hate her. She can't understand that the war is inside of me. She can't understand that the war will never end. All she wants is this peace. This peace is killing me."

"Thank you Caleb, I believe we have made some real progress today. We will contact you to schedule your next session within the week."

Excerpted from the psychiatric log for Sargent Caleb Marnell.
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James Dalley
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“Sir,” a petty officer said from his station. “I’m detecting a hyperspace window opening.”

“Were there any merchant ships coming through this sector today?” the Officer Of the Deck asked.

“No, sir.”

“Boatswain’s mate,” the OOD called out. “Sound general quarters!”

“General Quarters! General Quarters! All hands man your battle stations! General Quarters! General Quarters!” the klaxon rang out.

“Comm officer contact fleet command.”

“Wilco.”

“Sir,” a watchstander called out. “We have two enemy assault carriers bearing down on us.”

The OOD swore. “Get us out of here, Nav!”

“Plotting a course, sir,” the navigator responded.

“Sir, they’ve launched gunships!”

“Charge weapons, prepare to open fire!” the OOD said. “If were going down will take a few of them with us too.”

“Course locked in, opening hyperspace window,” the nav said.

“Faster Nav!”

“Incoming missiles and fighters!”

“All hands abandon ship!” the skipper said, as he entered the bridge.

“Aye, aye, sir,” the OOD said.

The boatswain’s mate of the watch was about to announce the order to abandon ship, when their gunship was hit by a hundred or so missiles.

From the Black Box Gunship 376 of the Free Rebel Faction.
Word Count 192
J.A. Dalley
Author of the Zochtil
http://www.almekmanning.com
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Steve Wood
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Wow. Awesome new stuff guys!

Keep em coming - I am subscribed of course. Give me until I get my Kickstarter up and running and hopefully there will be a lull in there where we can vote, etc. and figure out what to do with some of these.

Thanks!

Steve
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Kevin Shillinglaw
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They say that everyone gets the shakes just before combat. As I look around the main hanger all I see are dozens of cool, calm people. Pilots, ground crew, techies, weapon specialists. They all look fine to me.

I'm shaking right to my bones.

It had been a couple of hours since we got the word that enemy ships were detected in the system. Regardless of what the holovids show, space combat is slow. Traveling from system to system is fast, but the actual combat - the maneuvering, the posturing, the fighting is slow. Or, at least, it always feels like that.

The contact klaxon goes off. I grab my helmet and hustle to my fighter. I climb into the cockpit and a crewman makes sure my helmet seals to my flight suit. I seal the cockpit and I get the "thumbs up".

I fire up my engines and taxi around. Other fighters are already launching, shooting off into space. I get the green light and I gun the engines. I shoot off too, joining my comrades.

I'm no longer shaking.
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Steve Wood
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Great!
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Nate K
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Deathstroke wrote:
They say that everyone gets the shakes just before combat. As I look around the main hanger all I see are dozens of cool, calm people. Pilots, ground crew, techies, weapon specialists. They all look fine to me.

I'm shaking right to my bones.

It had been a couple of hours since we got the word that enemy ships were detected in the system. Regardless of what the holovids show, space combat is slow. Traveling from system to system is fast, but the actual combat - the maneuvering, the posturing, the fighting is slow. Or, at least, it always feels like that.

The contact klaxon goes off. I grab my helmet and hustle to my fighter. I climb into the cockpit and a crewman makes sure my helmet seals to my flight suit. I seal the cockpit and I get the "thumbs up".

I fire up my engines and taxi around. Other fighters are already launching, shooting off into space. I get the green light and I gun the engines. I shoot off too, joining my comrades.

I'm no longer shaking.


I like this one, Kevin! Maybe cut down on the number of sentences that start with "I" though?
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Nate K
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sabbat00 wrote:
"Become a pilot" they said. "See the galaxy" they said. That’s what I get for listening to "they". Its funny, "they" also say, "In space, no one can hear you scream". I may find out if this is true very soon. Don’t let anyone ever convince you that being a pilot during a Civil War is all about adventure.

I am about to go against the best fighter pilot of the Resistance. I know his tactics. I know his strategies. I know his thoughts. Despite all the other fighting that will be going on around us, it’s just him and me. Today, one of us is going down.

Many times I’ve looked around my cockpit realizing I am a bringer of death. It has been my duty. I just never imagined that one day it would need to either bring death to my only brother, or serve as my coffin. Either way, my parents lose.

Fighter Captain Thaddeus Shrike...out.


I like how you demonstrate the awfulness that is civil war--fighting against loved ones. It's a lot harder to dehumanize one's enemies when they are your brothers and sisters, fathers and cousins, sons and daughters, friends.
 
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James Dalley
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You haven't happened to have read Starship Troopers have you?

Deathstroke wrote:
They say that everyone gets the shakes just before combat. As I look around the main hanger all I see are dozens of cool, calm people. Pilots, ground crew, techies, weapon specialists. They all look fine to me.

I'm shaking right to my bones.

It had been a couple of hours since we got the word that enemy ships were detected in the system. Regardless of what the holovids show, space combat is slow. Traveling from system to system is fast, but the actual combat - the maneuvering, the posturing, the fighting is slow. Or, at least, it always feels like that.

The contact klaxon goes off. I grab my helmet and hustle to my fighter. I climb into the cockpit and a crewman makes sure my helmet seals to my flight suit. I seal the cockpit and I get the "thumbs up".

I fire up my engines and taxi around. Other fighters are already launching, shooting off into space. I get the green light and I gun the engines. I shoot off too, joining my comrades.

I'm no longer shaking.
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Kevin Shillinglaw
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Nate, thanks very much! I agree, too many "I"s. Whenever I write fiction, it's pretty much always in the first person.

James, I have, and it's one of my favourite books. I was probably subconsciously channeling Heinlein. However, it's easy to change.

For the record, I don't care what people say, I love the movie Starship Troopers. It's one of my guilty pleasures. And it's so quotable!

"The enemy can not push a button if you disable his hand! MEDIC!"
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Kevin Shillinglaw
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It all started with a few skirmishes in a newly explored sector. The news mentioned it a few times, especially when it was a spectacular battle.

A few months later, war was officially declared. In the beginning, everyone wanted to join up. Word had spread that the enemy, while space faring, was technologically behind. Any battles they won were due more to luck than anything else.

That was twenty years ago. Now, it's a total war. Both sides have invested too much to lose. One side will survive while the other will be extinct. Eradicated like an infestation.

Now, in one of hundreds of battles taking place, a pilot, one of thousands, prepares to join the fray. He looks at a hard copy picture of his family. It's all he has now - he will likely never see them again. At first, he joined to protect them. Now, he fights for his civilization. He's seen what the enemy is capable of. He has only one thing on his mind as he hurls through space.

The enemy, these Humans, cannot win. They cannot.
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David Kartzinel
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Glad you liked it! Here's the complete draft.


"Admiral, I make one capital ship marker contact at bearing 11938." The com officer announced nervously.

"Easy Lieutenant. We’ve done this before." Admittedly, not against our own people, the admiral thought to himself.

"Helm, bring the ship about to flanking mark 11947. We’ll catch them from behind. Main batteries, prepare for primary firing sequence. Contact Captain Novaro. Tell him to launch his gunship, all hands at battlestations, heavy assault formation."

"Aye sir. Umm, Admiral, I have ID on the ship...it’s the Thermopylae sir."

The admiral sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose and muttered to himself. "I suppose it had to happen eventually. Lieutenant, put me through on the loudspeaker."

"Attention crew. This is the admiral speaking. This is not a drill. We are about to engage the traitors in full assault. Remember why we are fighting. Remember what they did at Castille base. The ship we will be engaging within an hour is responsible." The admiral paused and smiled. "Make me proud boys. Let’s show them how it’s done."

The admiral, Mikael Dernov, nodded at the com lieutenant and he ended the transmission. Everyone on the bridge was staring at him in silence. He raised one eyebrow. “Well?”

The room jumped back into action, preparing the carrier Hephaestus for battle. The admiral sat relaxed in his chair, portraying the perfect relaxation that only commanders with decades of experience have. Inside his mind was whirling. The commander of the Thermopylae, one Admiral John Gustav, was a veteran with no small number of victories behind him. He pulled up the Thermopylae’s recent history on his chair’s private tactical screen and scanned through her actions under the commander, knowing full well Admiral Gustav was likely doing the same.

He pursed his lips. Gustav was used to operating on his own resources, mainly doing limited hit and runs assaults on isolated targets, but before Castille had led a series of devastating large scale fleet engagements, preferring daring strikes and aggressive weaponry over defensive placements.

“Gunnery, began charging our ion cannons.” Their last upgrade before they left home had been the new ion cannon modules for his carrier. Those should give Gustav’s carrier some trouble. It looked like Gustav’s carrier hadn’t been in space dock for some time, which would give them a good edge in weapons.

The ensign manning the tac console interrupted his reverie. “Sir? We’re fifteen minutes from entering long range. Fighter squadrons are ready to launch, shields are up, and Captain Novaro’s gunship lifted off five minutes ago.”

“Thank you ensign.” He replied smoothly. “Please give the fighter pilots the green light for launch. Tell them Godspeed.”
“Aye sir. The fighters have the green light.”

The fighters roared out from the carrier into the silent abyss of space. Shortly after they reached their escort position for Novaro’s gunship, the carriers’ guns began the engagement, for now splashing uselessly on each other’s shields, but later on, every hit would count as the gunships closed for their attack runs.

The fighters quickly engaged in a lethal dance of brilliant lights, weapons firing faster than the eye could see. Several explosions bloomed in the dark. Dernov frowned, his fighters were taking heavier casualties than expected. “Lieutenant, get me Captain Novaro on the com.”

Captain Novaro’s face blinked into existence on his tac screen, pushing his map of the ongoing squadron’s conflict to the side. “Orders admiral?”

“Yes, give our fighters some support, hold your fire on their gunship. We’re taking more casualties than I like. After that, go ahead and give their gunship a broadside.”

“Aye sir.” Even as Novaro blinked back out of existence, Dernov could see his ship’s main guns flashing and saw one of the enemy fighters spiral out of control. The casualty seemed to hearten his fighter squadron and the other fighter squadron started to take damages.

The enemy gunship completely ignored the plight of its fighters and blazed away at Novaro’s ship. Multiple hits bloomed on Novaro’s shields and Dernov stifled a curse. Novaro’s shielding was down.

Captain Novaro didn’t bother to muffle his curse when his shields went down. “Call engineering and tell them to get those shields back up now! We need to be ready to hit that carrier as soon as Dernov’s ion cannon hits it, and we can’t do that if we let them keep hitting us. Give them a taste of what loyal gunners can do!”

Dernov was not happy, their forces were too evenly matched. Military engagements were always best if you outnumbered the opposing force two to one. His carrier and Gustav’s continued to batter at each other at range. He hadn’t wanted to use it this early in the battle, but there was no choice. “Gunnery, fire the ion cannon!”

Novaro laughed as he saw the ion blast take the enemy carrier full on, wreaking havoc on the delicate electronic systems of the enemy carrier. “That’s our chance, Helm, begin the attack run now. Coms, tell the fighters to follow us in, I don’t want their fighters getting any cheap shots in on me. And tell engineering they’d better get those shields back up!”

His gunship dove past the opposing gunship, drove their fighters aside like startled birds, and roared across the temporarily stunned carrier. “Bombs away!” Explosions bloomed across the carrier and Novaro’s crew cheered. Suddenly their ship was rocked with multiple explosions. “Helm, get us out of here!” His ship beat a quick retreat heading back towards his carrier when still another explosion resounded, accompanied by a terrible groaning as his ship’s wing bent and tore away from the hull.
Dernov watched the status reports blink across his tac screen almost faster than he could read. “Com, order the fighters to cover Novaro’s retreat. Gunnery, maintain fire on the enemy carrier, we’ve almost got them.”

Novaro had taken personal control of his gunship’s helm. He juked, barrel rolled, and used every other flying trick he knew as the enemy gunship followed his hasty retreat. He cringed at a near miss from a torpedo. His console blinked indicating an indicating call. “Now’s not a good time!” He shouted as he pulled up and to the right. “Sir, it’s engineering, we’ve got the shields back up!” “About bleeding time! Good work!” Novaro grinned. “Tell the fighters to stay close! Let’s finish this.” He wheeled the ship around and headed back toward the enemy carrier.

Dernov leaned towards his tac screen watched as Novaro’s tactical retreat turned into a full charge. He knew what the captain was about to do. It was too late to stop him now. Besides, he had other things to worry about as the enemy gunship turned its pursuit of Novaro into a full strafing run of his carrier.

Novaro gave a wordless should as his gunship bulled towards the enemy carrier. He wheeled around one shot from the defensive batteries, took another hit straight on his shields, and lost another blaster cannon to the next hit, but his bombs were still there. “Gunnery, bombs away on my mark.” He rolled the ship delicately to avoid the last defensive battery’s lethal blast. “Mark!” His gunnery crew’s drills paid off as the bombs dropped directly onto the carrier and caused a series of explosions too bright to watch directly. “Direct hit on their reactor!”

Dernov breathed a sigh of relief, his shields were down and his hull was a patchwork of scars and melted steel, but his carrier was still intact. The enemy gunship had ceased their attack run and signaled their surrender shortly after their cruiser had exploded. He wiped his brow on his sleeve and watched Novaro’s gunship limp back to the carrier. It was going to be months to repair all of that damage, but they had won, and gotten an extra gunship out of it for the loyalists.

He knew they would need it.
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One Armed Bandit
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"He did WHAT?" screamed the Captain.

The flight deck officer replied, "As stated, sir. Lieutenant Reynolds threatened the crew of the flight deck with a thermite grenade if they did not launch his gunship immediately."

"Why in tarnation wouldn't they launch it? We're in the middle of a war here."

"With all due respect sir, the gunship was missing a wing..."

"So why didn't they fix it?"

"Lieutenant Reynolds refused to stay docked long enough for repairs to be made."

"That man is a lunatic."

"Also, sir, he launched missing his left leg."

"Missing his WHAT?"

"A blaster bolt burned off his left leg above the knee in the last sortie. Doctor Kardas tried to evacuate him to the infirmary, but he refused. That's when the grenade came out. The Doctor says the wound shouldn't be immediately life threatening, that the blaster would have cauterized the stump."

"So what you're telling me is that my best pilot is out there missing a leg, flying a gunship with only one wing, and..."

An alert started to sound. As they both turned their gaze to the sensor readout, they saw the blip of the enemy assault carrier wink out, as the crew broke out in cheers.

"Well I'll be..." the captain whispered softly.

(This likely works fine with just the last 3 paragraphs)
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