Night has fallen over the space port, a thick darkness that is heavy with fog. The field lights barely pierce the gloom and nothing seems to ward off the chill air. Anyone with a shred of sanity would be inside tonight, unless something of great importance drew them out.
Thoughts like these don't really occur to Zilvar as he drops into the planetary atmosphere on a heading for the landing field...probably because he is having too much fun testing the limits of heat shields on his fighter. To someone outside the ship, it must appear almost as if a ball of fire was on a direct course for the felitaur island.
WolfSinger looks up from where he was sitting in the forest as he hears the roar overhead. "that must be him... I hope he's okay!
WolfSinger runs out to the landing pad, panting heavily.
The fiery tail in the sky shortens as Zilvar slows his descent, making it more and more difficult to pinpoint the descending craft. A mile or so above ground, it finally slows enough to vanish into the blackness of the sky. The field lights around the landing field kick on to high intensity. Moments later, the fighter swoops into view and stops in midair, hovering for a moment before dropping to the ground very lightly.
WolfSinger's tail swishes as he watches, waiting for the door to open.
The fighter's canopy opens slowly, silently, and Zilvar removes his flight helmet. He looks down at you and chuckles, "I see you are better about being on time than I."
WolfSinger chuckles, tail wagging. "doncha think you came in a bit too steep?" He points at the heat waves rippling off the fighter's wings, a small trail of smoke in one spot. "I almost thought you were gonna burn up there for a while"
Zilvar halfsmiles, "I was testing out the atmospheric shields. According to the tech specs, you should be able to drop out of orbit at near light speeds...not necessarily safely, but...
WolfSinger yipes! "hit a patch of turbulence, and you could be toast!
Zilvar chuckles, "Probably. It would depend on how dense it was. But I'm not likely to try it. I'm not _THAT_ fast.
WolfSinger barks, "well, I guess it worked. You're here."
Zilvar reaches forward and presses a button, which prompts a ladder to extend from the rear seat of the cockpit. "It did indeed. The wings will be the hottest places. You should be ok to climb on up."
WolfSinger's tail swishes as he climbs up the ladder and then crawls into the cockpit.
Zilvar twists his head around and chuckles, "That did not take long...you must be looking forward to this.
WolfSinger barks, "of course I am!"
Zilvar seals up the cockpit and pulls on his flight helmet, "There's a helmet behind you. I don't expect any problems, but it'll keep you breathing if something does happen."
WolfSinger cranes his neck around, looking for the helmet. Upon finding it, he straps it on.
Zilvar looks over his shoulder again to make sure that you've strapped in and are ready for flight. As the fighter lifts into the air, he begins to explain several of the key features of the ship, from power to armament to shielding. By the time the fighter has reached orbital altitude, he's probably said "...be careful." a dozen times.
WolfSinger barks, "a bit more advanced then my old shuttle, but I'll figure it out in no time..."
Zilvar glances back and halfsmiles, "That is what I am afraid of. This is a true fighter. It'll fly circles around anything I found in the ship files, if you can handle it." He leans forward and activates the landing transponder...it's amazing how fast you can get to a moon when you aren't worried about pushing your way through an atmosphere.
WolfSinger barks, "oh... like that little fireball display back on the planet? ::chuckle::"
Zilvar slows the ship dramatically, G-forces pulling you uncomfortably against the seat straps. His chuckle fills the cockpit, "Something like that, yes."
The fighter glides into the huge landing bay and settles into a lit landing cradle. Two more fighters can be seen in the bay, a short distance from this landing cradle.
WolfSinger barks, "looks like you've got a lot done since I was here last."
Zilvar nods, "What I could with just automated systems. It's hard to do much like that. But I should be getting a full crew pretty soon."
WolfSinger barks, "they send any 'taurs up here yet?"
Zilvar shakes his head, "Be about another week before the first batch arrives from Tharhome."
WolfSinger barks, "ah.... never been there.... what's it like?"
Zilvar pops open the canopy and climbs out, leaving his helmet on the flight chair before he drops to the floor. "The whole bay is pressurized now, as is about 90 percent of the base. There are a few places that are open to space, but those are sealed and you won't be able to get in."
Zilvar halfsmiles, "Nice place. Not quite what I expected.
WolfSinger barks, "good... I don't feel like wandering in a vacuum today..."
WolfSinger takes off his helmet, and plops down after you.
Zilvar chuckles, "You would not feel like it for very long...no." He starts walking toward the nearest of the other fighters. "This one is flight ready. Just ran it through testing earlier this week. I figured you'd like to have a fresh, new toy to break, rather than an old one."
WolfSinger barks, "oooo... neat." His tail wags excitedly. "gonna hafta get used to a fighter... a bit more powerful then a shuttle."
Zilvar nods, "Just a bit. Climb on up and get the helmet out, then join me."
Zilvar pads over to a nearby computer terminal and removes a small ident card from his side pouch.
WolfSinger climbs up into the fighter and searches for the helmet. He finds it, and plops back out, tail swishing excitedly.
Zilvar slips the card into one of several slots that could fit it, and pulls out a retractable cable. "Put that on, and connect this to the port on the right side..the one above the ear."
WolfSinger barks, "just don't blast my ears out. "
WolfSinger puts on the helmet, and connects the cable as instructed.
Zilvar chuckles, "Shouldn't. Hang onto the console, though, because you might get disoriented."
WolfSinger nods, and grabs a hold of the edge of the panel.
Zilvar presses a blue button on the console and it lights up. Almost immediately, a sense of nausea comes over WolfSinger..a feeling that gets stronger and weaker as Zilvar presses various buttons.
WolfSinger acks, and holds his stomach as you press a few of the buttons. "don't press that one again....
Zilvar glances over at you and halfsmiles, "Sorry. The helmet is recording certain patterns of your brain waves. It'll help you control the fighter... your reaction time isn't fast enough to fly it unaided...mine barely is."
WolfSinger barks, "ah... a neural link helmet.... has one of those...."
Zilvar nods, finally stopping..."Good, you'll be familiar with the concept."
WolfSinger barks, "yep... pretty nice... it's a lot easier thinking of something, then trying to remember where that little-used control knob is hidden..."
Zilvar reaches up and disconnects the cord, then pulls the id card from the console. "Here you go. The helmet is more than just that. This one helps by keeping a tactical representation of local scan in your head. You will always know where everything is at around you."
WolfSinger barks, "ooooo.... a built in HUD? :> Now, why can't *I* find a base like this?"
Zilvar halfsmiles, "I just lucky
WolfSinger barks, "wish I had some luck like that..."
Zilvar hands you the card and points at the fighter, "You just did, I'd say. Put the card in the slot. It's coded to you, now, so you'll be able to fly it...as if you've been doing it all your life."
WolfSinger takes the card over tho the fighter and climbs the ladder.
Zilvar steps back behind cover, so that he is not in the way of the takeoff
WolfSinger barks, looks over at you and chuckles as you duck for cover. "hey... I'm not THAT bad... ;D "
Zilvar chuckles as he replies over a nearby radio, "Don't want to ruffle my fur."
WolfSinger climbs into the cockpit, and slips in the card. Various lights flash as systems run self diagnostics. After a few moments, the main computer announces, "power up initiated, all systems nominal."
WolfSinger barks, "so, you want me to take it for a spin?"
Zilvar hops on an elevator, riding it up to the primary control room. Over the radio, he nods, "Sure...that's what you're here for, right?"
WolfSinger barks, "any place in particular you want me to take it?"
Zilvar steps out into the control room and pops up a local system map, "No..just stay away from the primary shipping lanes. If you want to see how good you are, take it through the asteroid field.
WolfSinger activates the reactionless drive. The ship hums softly, as starts to raise off the ground. When up high enough, the landing pads retract. The ship lurches forward a bit as he engages the impulse engages He chuckles, "I think I'd better get used to the power of this thing first before taking her through an asteroid field."
Zilvar grins to himself. "Probably a good idea, WolfSinger. Probably a good idea. Just don't run into anything. The fighter would probably survive, but I'm not sure you would."
WolfSinger aims the ship towards the landing bay doors.
WolfSinger barks, "did you give her a name yet?"
It is not difficult to aim for the doors, as they are nearly a mile in length. Zilvar's voice comes over the radio, "No..I did not name any of the fighters."
WolfSinger barks, "oh, so do I get to name her? ::grin::"
Zilvar chuckles, "If you like. She is yours."
WolfSinger's tail wags happily, though you can't see it. "WarWolf One requesting launching clearance."
Zilvar mouths softly 'WarWolf 1?', then halfsmiles, "'Wolf, you are clear to launch.
WolfSinger chuckles! "well, that's a lot better then a registration number!"
WolfSinger flies the ship towards the center of the bay doors, and waits for them to open.
Zilvar nods, "It is indeed." The bay doors open quickly. The atmospheric containment field is active. "I'll leave the door open for you. Go have some fun."
As soon ass the doors are open far enough, WolfSinger kicks up the throttle. The ship ZOOMS! right out. "ooooo!! this thing's fast!"
Zilvar comms, "WolfSinger, be careful with that throttle until I can get you fitted to a suit of armor...I'd hate to have to clean up the mess you'd make.
WolfSinger radios back, "don't worry.... I'll behave. Armor, huh? Just remind me to take it off before going to Haven... I'd probably look like one of the invaders"
Zilvar comms, "No..you'll be ok. I'll make sure to tailor it different than invader armor. There are several dozen suits to choose from in the files."
WolfSinger is a bit rusty at first, but quickly gets the feel for the ship. Before you know it, he's doing a barrel roll as he flies by the control tower.
Zilvar halfsmiles. "Quit buzzing the external gun turrets, WarWolf 1. You might make 'em mad.
WolfSinger barks, "this thing DOES have an IFF transponder, right? ;D"
Zilvar chuckles, "IFF is always a bit iffy..
WolfSinger barks, "what does this thing have for weapons?" He zooms by a few more times, acting like a kid with a new toy. "
Zilvar comms, "Well...various things, really. The wings have shielded hard points for conversion and laser-warhead missiles. There is an awesome electronics warfare system installed for protection. And finally, there are a pair of high-power pulse lasers under the nose, with an additional hard point for an accessory ion or particle cannon. Right this second..just the pulse lasers.
WolfSinger barks, "oooo... gonna hafta get some target practice in. How about armor and shields?"
Zilvar says, "The fighter is armored pretty well, but it relies on ECM and maneuver to avoid hit rather than armor to avoid damage...on a platform that small, you couldn't really armor it effectively anyway. Especially since that fighter is designed to attack capships. It does have shielding...the atmospheric are very good, and the battle shields effectively quadruple the armor coverage."
WolfSinger makes a tight turn, and acks! as he feels the blood rush from his head. "oooofff.... how long before you can make that suit for me?"
Zilvar punches a few buttons on his console, "It should be ready by midday tomorrow, if you come back now so that you can be scanned for fitting. We will, unfortunately, have to reprogram a helmet for you.
WolfSinger does a few more rolls before heading back toward the landing bay. "WarWolf 1 requesting land clearance!"
Zilvar nods, lighting up your landing cradle and flashing the landing path to your HUD, "Clearance granted. Bring her home."
WolfSinger swiftly flies to the landing spot. He shuts down the impulse engines as the landing pads extend from the bottom of the ship.
The bay doors slide closed behind you. "Good first flight, WolfSinger. If you follow the lit blue arrows, they'll lead you to where you can be scanned for fitting. I'll meet you there."
WolfSinger lands the ship, a little rough for a firt landing in several years, but pretty good anyway. The cockpit opens, and he jumps out, tail wagging excitedly. He eppppss!! and runs back to grab the access card. :>
WolfSinger runs off down the corridor. "Last one there is a rotten egg!"