This is the very first typed version of Eric Olafson's Story (from 1995) . I put it here out of reguest of my oldest and first fan and reader, who wanted to re-read the first Version that made him start reading "Galactic Chronicles".
I think it is also shows the progress of the story and is a neat way for me to keep the old stuff as a searchable reference.
Midshipmanduty was not just intensified learning but we also rotated to different duty stations on the ship. Security, Navigation, Science and so forth and worked alongside experienced officers who instructed us often by example. One morning Har Hi and I had to report to the Main fighter deck and a lean and tall Commander wearing a flight suit even in his office greeted us.” All Midshipmen get more flight training in their final year. You two have been picked because of your good scores and abilities to serve the next two weeks in my squadron. Each of you will get your own Wolfcraft Fighterfor this time and I want you to get to know your craft to the last bolt and everything it can or can’t do. If I think you have what it takes I might even recommend you for Fighter school.” Wolf-Craft fighter pilots where considered an elite among Navy Officers, and especially the pilots themselves believed that and had a collective arrogance and pride. He looked over our records and nodded.” Both of you are small craft qualified and have more simulator hours than most. I like that!” He then looked at Har-Hi.” I sure would like to hear your opinion comparing the Wolfcraft to the Karhi-Da Fighterof your people. Only fourteen other space faring cultures we know of developed small fighter craft and Dai are among the best.” “Sir, the Karhi was developed by Su-Hi a legendary designer among the Dai, he wanted to create a machine that is able to counter the Wolfcraft and I think he succeeded and made a superior fighter to the Wolfcraft IVseries. But it takes a space born society much longer to develop and built new ships. The new V series are superior and I heard the VI is soon ready for serial production.” “Well it will still be a few month before we see the first VI’s. But I don’t think there will be much improvement over the current V’s.” Har-Hi sighed.” The Karhi’s were faster, better maneuverable than the IV’s but nothing we have compares to the fire power the Wolfcrafts have. Especially the Transloactors!” ”I can see we have a lot to talk about Mr. Hi.” The Commander wasn’t paying much attention to me at all but that was fine with me. A Lt stuck his head into the commander’s office. “ Sir we have an escort request and Bill, Jim and Duncan just went to sick bay. Do you want me to call Eckbert, Zimmerman and Heidendown?” ”Why is three of my stand by pilots in sickbay? “ “They ate something and got the runs, Sir. I was on my way to tell you, but they where in a hurry.” The Commander checked his screen and then said .” No need to call off duty pilots down..” He pointed at us.” You two can go with me. It is a simple escort request, nothing spectacular, but it gets you behind the controls and out there!”
We where each assigned to fighter. Wolfcrafts looked like elongated discs with two huge Impulse thrusters looking like missiles on each side of the cockpit. The pilot seats where lowered and we climbed in, wearing flight suits who where halfway between Destroyer suits and minimal space protection garments. My seat rose into the cockpit and I began a system check. I never had flown a real Wolfcraft but spend many hours in the simulator and the controls where familiar to me. “This is Commander Cotton, but pilots do not call each other by rank or name but by a call sign. That is an ancient tradition and is also faster. My call sign is Wildcat. Mr. Olafsonyou are Viking and Mr. Hi you will use the call sign Pirate. If you don’t like them you can change them later. Perform a preflight test!” I acknowledged and Har-Hi did the same. “Our mission is to jump to Algeri System and escort a convoy of freighters to Nobane System. This is a routine mission and we don’t expect to see any Nul-Nul. But we are coming close to Nul-Nul space. We have a full wing of fighters and the Devastatoris only 12 Light years away in case we need her.” “Any questions?” “No Sir.” I said and slaved my Computronic to the Nav-system of the leader. “Alright then! T-5 for launch!” --‘’’— There where four fighters to a wing and 5 wings to a squadron and we had launched from the Devi and went super luminal towards the Algeri system. After we arrived we met six large Gulliver Class freighters and 2 Container Chain tugsalready on their way. The tugs accelerated very slowly and their super luminal speed was also minimal, but we would reach Nobane 12 hours. There was nothing to do at the moment. Our computronics where linked to the commanders fighter and we where kept automatically in formation. Har-Hi and the commander exchanged conversation regarding the pro and cons of Dai fighter tech so I called up what information GalNet had on Algeri and Nobane. “Algeriwas a seven planet system without a garden world. One planet was a pure mine colony and the other a Navy base. Nobane was a new system and only recently colonized. It was dangerously close to Nul-Nul space and since there was no officially determined border line between Union or the Nul-Nul empire it might already be in what the Nul-Nul considered their space. The border was not shown as a clear line as it was between Union and GCbut a red dotted area. Nul-Nul where the fiercest warriors and even Terrans spoke of them with respect. Their technology was according to Intel behind Union Tech but not by much. The report I read indicated that the Nul-Nul however had nothing comparable to the translocator cannon or the Para Dim shields. The text however warned of their Gravitation bombs, that affected even a Para Dim shielded ship by trapping it in a gravitation well of incredible strength. Nul grav bombs had a very short duration but two well placed bombs could rip even a shielded ship apart. Terran arsenals included Grav bombs as well and we had trained to avoid them at least in the Simulator. “We had almost reached the system when the threat indicator went red and a Nul-Nul Carrier came from behind the sun releasing fighters to engage us! Commander Cotton’s voice was clear and calm.” Wildcat to Dev flight control. We encountered a Nul- Carrier and we are outnumbered 5 to one. Request immediate back up.” “Flight control to Wildcat. Protect the freighters and keep them busy. We can not send any additional forces we are currently under attack by a large Nul force!” “Damn! Alright everyone this is not a drill. This is the real thing. Bravo, Delta, Echo and Foxtrot wing stay with the freighters. Alpha wing and Golf wing break formation and engage at will. Keep them of their toes!” I was Alpha wing and so was Har-Hi. Wildcat called us.” Viking, Pirate. I wish I could have you hold back, but free attack is easier than coordinated defense. So get them and stay away from their grav guns!” “Aye Sir!” I broke formation and gunned the accelerator to max , arming all weapon systems. Wolfcraft fighters had a deadly array of weapons. Two Translocator gatlings, Faster than light Forced Energy cannons(FTL-FE’s) and 4 Loki II torpedoes. There, a quasi space signature and another Nul-Nul carrier dropped into Planck- Space. I couldn’t allow it to launch its fighters.” Viking here I am going for the second carrier!” “Alright! Try it, more fighters would be bad news for us but be careful!” Wildcat replied. I programmed a micro jump , the Computronic refused to execute so close to a star. I had to manually over write the lock out. My Wolfcraft came dangerously close to the local star, 200,000 klicks closer than I wanted to be and my fighters engines screamed to get out of the gravitational pull, my shields where bombarded with heat and radiation and the system warned.” Shields at 40%!” Instead of fighting the gravitation changed course slightly and used the gravitation to accelerate me further and I was so fast approaching the second carrier that its target systems recognized me to late. Its launch bay opened and it had to drop shields locally to launch its fighters . I released all four Loki torpedoes and pulled my fighter away. Again my engines went past red line and some of the gravos came through and pressed me deep into the seat and for a second I saw a narrow tunnel and tasted blood. The Auto doc of my suit reacted and injected stimu and pain drugs. The Carrier exploded behind me but two of his fighters made it and where hot on my tail. My shields where still recovering and could not handle several direct hits. One of them did manage to hit my aft shields almost collapsing it. the Translocator gatling actually six translocator transmitters mounted on a rotating base feed by a conveyor system. This had the effect that while one translocator was in transfer cycle another was loaded and a much higher firing speed could be obtained. Fighters did not have a choice of loads, all bombs where loaded with 5 grams of anti matter which yielded an explosive force of ten tons conventional explosives. While the Nul-Nul or any other known species had no direct defense against the Translocator weapon system, the Nul-Nul where able to jam the sensors of the target acquiring system somewhat. While this was not very problematic with large targets, Nul Fighters where nimble and fast enough to make the targeting process required very difficult. I had missed twice already, my shields would not be able to deflect more than two shots before I had to shut them down to be reset. Resetting shields took only 5 seconds, but five seconds in a fight fought at these speeds was a life time. I reversed course and decelerated so fast that my suit auto doc warned of organ damage. I didn’t feel any pain because of the drugs the Auto Doc pumped in me. This time they couldn’t evade or jam targeting enough, and I fired destroying one completely. The second Nul Fighter had moved enough so the explosion did not occur in its engines as I targeted but outside, still inside its shields rupturing them like a soap bubble. I didn’t wait to see if that was enough and send another load. The threat board showed there were no bandits in the immediate vicinity and I had time to check the squadron status. There where 18 Wolfcrafts left! One showed as complete loss and one was severely damaged. One of the freighters was also damaged and one side was burning with the greenish glow of atomic fire consuming higher alloys. Of the 100 Nul fighters I still counted 50. And the fight was intense. Translocator bombs exploding like mini stars and the faint bluish shimmer of Nul Grav bomb funnels flickering. Damage control of my fighter showed that my shields where still recovering and just barley above 40%, my left engine showed stress damage and my repair nanites where busy weaving structural bonds to fix that. I was almost 12 seconds away from the fight, so I shut down my shields to reset them, but could not fly very fast for 5 seconds because of the micro matter damage that would occur moving at high speeds without any shield protection. But I was able to take my time and aim the Transloactors and fire six times destroying six Nul fighters. Three of them abandoned their attack run on the burning freighter and turned to take care of me. I managed to damage one more and take it out of the equation, then my shields literally came on in the last micro second as two long range shots peppered my bow. Taking evasive maneuvers and now with full shields I could accelerate and maneuver at the peak of the fighter’s abilities. I just lined one up and fired, when my starboard engine, red lined and the Computronic shut it down before it could explode. Despite the Nanite efforts a containment coil had come loose, without containment the antimatter produced from the molecule gas I carried as fuel would make contact with matter of the drive and the resulting explosion completely destroy my fighter and me. The safety system shut it down just before that could have happened and ejected the faulty containment coil along with the AM into space, where it exploded only a few meters of my side. Luckily there where no shockwave effects in space and the explosion did no damage. A Wolfcraft was designed with two engines for exactly that reason instead of having one more powerful one, and it could operate with one engine just fine, however my speed and maneuverability was cut in half. I targeted the other fighter who saw its chance to finish me of and instead of relying on precision of automated targeting I aimed manually and fired in cycle mode. Since the other fighter was approaching me dead on, this was possible, no normal being could otherwise react fast enough to hit anything moving at these speeds. The Gatlings released 200 bombs per second and depleted my ammo reserves to almost empty but the barrage had the effect I hoped for. I expected most bombs to miss the target but one made it and detonated right in the cockpit area engulfing the Nul fighter in a blinding globe of pure energy. The doomed fighter fired one more time just before I destroyed it and its shot hammered into my shields pulling them down to 32 percent. The bluish glow of the dissipating Gravo bomb played over my entire ship . “Complete System failure warning, structural damage to base frame and armor due to gravitonics. Estimated Nanite repair time one hour.” The readout showed that I sustained damage despite the shields and that I could not go superluminal. Weapons where still fully operational, my other engine also showed micro fractures in the containment module. I had to shut it down or loose it. I was now a sitting duck. The maneuver thrusters where no help in evading enemy fire. The possibility that I had to eject was very real and the thought alone was more frightening to me than the possibility to die in an anti matter explosion. Commander Letsgo said I would never be afraid of space as I was, but somehow his shock treatment did not work. I was more afraid than ever! Somehow deep inside I wondered about my own panic and fear, it seemed almost unnatural and more intense than it should be. I saw a Nul fighter approach. The fear of space became even more intense and I was even considering suicide! Then there was pain as if a sharp object was pushed straight into my brain. Pain so sudden and so intense, I screamed at first and my sight failed. It was just like when I took Narth’s Huhgavh. Then it was gone! I felt numb almost paralyzed, barley heard the Auto Doc . The Nul-Nul used some sort of Psionic weapon on me, I was certain. I wondered how they could penetrate the Psionic shields every fighter space suit had ever since the war with the Piostla, especially since the Nul-Nul where reportedly psi inert and had no Psionic technology. From beyond that numb feeling that surrounded me like a padding of invisible foam padding I hear a voice and it became clearer.”..king come in. Wildcat for Viking!” I coughed blood and said.” Viking here!” “God heavens, he is alive! My master systems showed no life signs for almost a minute!” “I am sorry Sir. My systems are pretty messed up. I get you a status right away.” The thread board was clear and I saw a wonderful sight, the Devastator was there! “Pirate to Viking. You had me worried, very worried!” “Stay of the channel for a moment , Pirate!” Barked Wildcat. “Viking, my system master control shows you are inoperable. The Devi is launching Buffalos as we speak, hang in there. Your Auto doc transmits data I don’t like very much!” “I am fine, Sir. I am just a bid tired!” “Stay with me Olafson, you have a massive shock! Your Auto-Doc is damaged and only partially functioning. It can’t put you into cryo! Just stay with me!” I saw the Buffalo approaching and its claws taking hold of my ship. “I won’t fall asleep Sir.” The Buffalo is here now.” After the Buffalo had towed me back and I was save on the landing deck. I pushed the system shut down and lowered the seat. Met Bots and two Med techs rushed towards me and that’s when I passed out.