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background log Braden MacCloud

Posted on Fri Jul 14th, 2017 @ 8:33pm by


It seemed unreal that he had pretty stable resources. His parents had left him a tidy sum and then he had recently inherited his brother's estate. He was worth quite a bit of money it seemed anyway. He could have retired on a luxury planet and lived out his entire life span and unlikely to have spent what he had been left. So he was traveling on a fast courier in a first class cabin with three duffel bags and a suitcase. He sought permission from the Captain the day he boarded to run the deck and what hours would be least intrusive. He mostly ate in his quarters and and remained away from the ship crew by choices of where he spent his time.

There was one incident about mid voyage when a crew-men was being a bit aggressive with a female passenger. Braden told the crew-men to leave her alone and there was something in his eyes that made the crew-men back off and scare the women away he had interceded for as well. Braden had gone to the Captain and explained. The Captain requested Braden not interfere with the ship's company again. He also warned his crew not to mess with Braden and assigned an officer to sort of keep tabs on the situation.

Braden accepted his semi-banishment politely and returned to his quarters. There he looked out the porthole and remembered...

He was flying a Razor, part of a two boat element flying from the *Comanche* on picket along the course the Romulan refugee ships. A Romulan warlord was trying to stop the escape of so many subjects, he needed the labor pool to maintain his power base. Today the bridge has spotted what might be a cloaked ship and had sent the pair of Razors to check the detection. They were one leg of a three legged search pattern and each leg was a pair of razors interceptors. The Romulans were using mainly Scorpion fighters, small two crew fighters known for nimbleness and weak shields. Deadly when flown well which the fleet pilots had been finding out recently. Which was also the reason why the marines were aboard. The ship's of the escort had first priority so picket duty ships got what they could get and in this case it was six recently assigned marine 2ndLieutenants from the replacement Squadron.

From what at first appeared a rather random spot in space nine Scorpions appeared in elements of three craft each they raced out to intercept the three marine elements of two razors each. Of course the Vreenak class Romulan destroyer appeared after the Scorpions were well on their way to attack the marines. Braden was his element lead and he raised shields ordering his wingman to do the same, the Scorpions were approaching with weapons hot after all so that was protocol. The other pilots listened as their Flight leader made the initial contact message of non-aggression. He never finished it as he had to go defensive to avoid being blown to bits. The call for weapons hot was an immediate response and the other Razors also went defensive.

Braden had earned call sign *Mustang* because of his rather wild and free style when flying. So unlike his quiet and serious nature outside the cockpit. His wingman was callsign *Toxic* and it was thought he was paired with Braden because he was the only one who could stand his negative attitude. =^=Toxic break low to port. i am going high we are defensive.=^= Braden barrel rolled high and to port then elevatored his Razor straight up avoiding the Reman disruptors aimed where he had been. He went into a tight 'J'turn and was returning in a head to head with the three Scorpions. Toxic was off to his starboard and closing in quickly with the Reman pyramid formation. One Scorpion brooke off and fired at Toxic making his evade and lose his attack angle. The other two closed in firing at Braden. Braden side-slipped to his starboard this time evading the inbound and used a cobra style maneuver keeping his nose and weapons on target as he flew over and past the pair of scorpions. His gunnery was near perfect and the Scorpion's weak shields never really mattered for his first kill. His pulse phaser canons bypassed the shields and cut right through the thin skinned Scorpion. Even as he snapped his nose back forward to chase the Scorpion on Toxic's tail Braden noted the explosion of the Scorpion. First blood to the marines!

Braden accelerated to gain on the Scorpion chasing Toxic and pulled away from the the other Scorpion that had faced him, the one still alive. As he raced to save Toxic he heard the others on the unit push. Their flight leader was an experienced pilot but it was all he could do to keep his green wingman alive. The other pair were in a panic and barely holding it together. Braden had his own problems and his own wingman to keep alive. The Scorpion he was closing on noticed him and turned toward him, Reman had a reputation for being aggressive like that. Braden fired a pair of micro torpedoes and then his pulse phasers. Wherever the Scorpion went he was dead meat. The Scorpion charged and ate all of the it, there was little left. It was his second kill but Braden had a hard time dodging the inbound debris just the same. Toxic was reforming with him and now they faced the lone remaining Scorpion of their element. He made a run for it.

Braden left him run and went to help the other pair of green pilots. The Flight leader had scored a kill but his wingman had bailed out. The pilot was still alive even if the Razor was lost. The Flight leader was holding his own against two Scorpions at least for now. Braden and Toxic rushed in firing at the pair of Scorpions chasing one of their fellow pilots. Braden used just pulse phasers but the almost nonexistent protection on the backside of the scorpion meant it did not take more then that to destroy the Scorpion. Toxic poured in pulse phaser canon fire and four micro torpedoes. It was excessive overkill but a huge bang. The pilot they rescued join them to run off the Scorpion chasing the wingman. All four Razors turned to help the Flight leader.

One of the two lone Scorpions charged the formation and even as they split defensively one of the razors exploded. The element leader though used four micro torpedoes and avenged his wingman. Now it was four to three in the marines favor. The flight leader saw his pilots on the way and turned toward them. The three remaining Scorpions regrouped as a pyramid formation as they came in. Braden called for his three Razors to split low and go into a high YoYo turn and let them passby. The move worked as the their flight leader climbed above and the scorpions fired into empty space. The marines turned as one their training taking over and they each locked on a Scorpion and fired. Toxic missed but the Scorpion turned into the marine Flight leaders phasers and exploded. The other green element leader missed as well but the Comanche had dealt with the Vreenak ship and had come to support her fighters. So she had arrived and wasted the Scorpion as it tried to flee.

Braden had waited and had the center Scorpion, He waited for it to make an escape move then sent two micro torpedoes before firing his pulse phaser canons. Braden had an uncanny gunners eye and he had a sort of precognition of how events could play out. he figured right once more and scored his fourth kill.

A shuttle picked up their pilot and the remaining Razors formed a CAP as the Comanche picked up the survivors of the Vreenak's destruction. Braden's trip down memory lane ended. Then like now he had won the battle but lost the war. His fellow marines could not understand how come he was not elated by his own personal success. The lost of the pilot after he had joined formation with Braden had turned the victory to dust in his mouth. He had actually managed to draw more apart and even his wingman toxic gained more friends then he had. he had explained to his flight leader. The marine Captain had understood but he had not sent in a recommendation for promotion after. He felt Braden need more experience with leadership before piling on more responsibility.

The rest of the trip the crew had avoided him and the other passengers seemed to fear him. He did not mind too much he had his activities to keep busy and he seldom sought company anyway. Still as in most of his life he stood up for the weak and was disliked by all for doing so.

He also realized he needed to work on his social skills once more. Three years of almost isolation in the ship junkyard had not helped his personality at all. He had enjoyed the job just the same. Only recently feeling the need to have living company. He had lived in a shuttle those years, meeting once every three months with a supply ship to turn over his data and receive supplies. He had learned a lot over the course of those searches. Decryption on the alien ship records had been a challenge but one he enjoyed and he had learned a sort of method over time that decreased the frustration of the decipher.

He had also found some interesting family heirlooms that he had cataloged and much to the dismay of the company he worked for he had reported those items. They received only a finders fee for items claimed by the families. There were still many items of historical significance that were recovered. His engineering skills had improved substantially as well. Removing a Romulan scout ship cloak device had taken him nearly three months. He had succeeded though in the end removing and crating it without damaging the equipment. That had been a big payday for him when they picked that up. Not that he needed money but it was nice to know he had funds if needed.

The majority of his time though was spent recovering the information from the flight recorders. The work he did was sited as impressive by several different historical societies. He was noted for being unbiased and factual in his interpretations. In the three year period he was out there he was only bothered by pirates once. The ones who survived he turned over to the supply ship crew. The scout class Bird of prey had a crew of sixteen when it sought Braden out. Chasing him through and around the derelict ships. Seven were turned over to the supply ship crew. The other nine were no longer among the living. They had made the mistake of attacking Braden. The company had turned over the Bird of Prey and the prisoners but never mentioned how they had obtained either.

Braden could have spent several more years there. He had been offered a large bonus to continue his work. He had simply refused. That one morning he had woken up and realized he had been alone far too long. It was also the day he realized the memory of his brother's death did not bring such pain to his heart. He had come to grips and it was time to end his mourning and rejoin the races of sentient beings.



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