Langley Station

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The long flight to a new home

Posted on Sun Mar 8, 2020 @ 10:20pm by 2nd Lieutenant Ranulf MacCloud & Lieutenant JG John Warren

Mission: First Unity
Location: Space
Timeline: Mission Day 55 at 0900


Ranulf walked into the billet shared with the three other pilots. "Time to pack up and launch. Captain says he will drop from warp for a few minutes to give us a launch window. We have a six hour flight to Langley base so pack up tight." Ranulf turned to pack his own gear what there was of it. "Oh and keep in mind we won't pass this way again anytime in the near future so make sure you leave nothing behind you want." Ranulf had two dufflebags as he packed light. It was part of the marine background.

First to stand was callsign*Nighthawk*. Duffy MacBain was the tallest of the flight at 6'3". He was an athletic solid 203lbs and he was the only on who had given Ranulf a challenge when they ran at the Academy. His callsign was based on the fact he seemed to need little sleep as he was always up late into the night. He was a fine pilot and his gunnery was not far off from Ranulf's own. That made him second in their graduating class. He had gone straight to the Academy from school. He only had two dufflebags as well. he had only unpacked what he needed and had kept his bags squared away at all times. He was ready to go when Ranulf left the room.

Callsign *Voiceman* was not nearly as tidy but he moved quickly to pack up as he did not want to be last. He began singing as he tossed his few belongings into his bags. He had the standard two dufflebags plus a guitar case and a suitcase.

Ranulf grabbed the guitar case as he left as he knew Scott could not carry all his stuff.

"Thanks *Frosty*. Scott Darby used Ranulf's callsign out of habit, it was his way of trying to fit in with the military atmosphere. He was only a few steps behind as he rushed to catch up. He was singing as he moved along, something the others knew he did whenever he was nervous, or in a good mood, or just in the mood to sing! He had few filters when it came to singing. it calmed him.

"Hey wait for me!" Callsign *Jestor* called as he tried to gather his stuff. "Hey can one of you guys grab a luggage cart?" He frantically with no real co-ordination of purpose tried to load his bags. Now Chang WangXi was of the Flight the least organized and it showed. He had joined StarFleet to get away from the family business more or less. He thought of himself as a comedian first and a fighter pilot second. Not that he was not a good pilot, he was. In fact he was an excellent pilot. He was though the worst at gunnery in the successful fighter pilot graduates.

Now Jestor had the two standard dufflebags but he also had four suitcases and half his stuff was scattered about. He was stuffing his bags as fast as he could as the others left him behind. There was speculation he could not get all those bags in the cargo space of his fighter. He thought of himself as a performer, a comedian in fact. Problem was mostly he knew he just annoyed people. So now he was scrambling to pack as he was left behind!

Ranulf and the others waited around a corner, it was a little payback for the off color jokes and pranks. Once he was packed they returned to help him carry his bags. On the flight deck they split his extra bags between them so it all would fit.

Ranulf and Darby launched first followed by MacBain and WangXi they formed up at the designated rally point. *Frosty* notified the transport they were clear. "We are all clear to proceed *Carson Long* thanks for the lift." Ranulf checked his course against his flight plan and lead the formation toward Langley base.

*Jestor* of course had to speak "Say anyone know what to expect on this base? I heard there was a colony on one of the planets? Pretty frontier sort of place?"

*Frosty* replied the annoyance in his voice notable. "Watch your sensor displays we don't want to get ambushed out here. "*Jestor* you had several days to check out our destination but I don't want you making us all look like idiots. So.. The base is in Lyshan system. It is a trinary star system with 3 planets, of which only one is habitable. That is Lyshan Prime and there is a colony on that planet.
All three planets orbit the smallest star of the three, Lyshan C."

*Frosty* knew it was senseless to say it but he did anyway. "*Jestor*, everyone else stay off the comms till we do the next quarter hour check-in." *Frosty* was in his element here, deep space, nothing but the black around him. He loved this sort of isolation. The stars and himself all alone in the verse.

*Jestor* broke in on Ranulf's thoughts "say *Frosty* have you heard this joke?"

"No, even if I had stay off the comms." Ranulf was annoyed as much with himself as he was with Chang. The fellow really could not help himself. He had a need for company. Ranulf could not understand why the guy chose being a fighter pilot out of all the career fields possible.

The quarterly check in's came and went. No problems, course corrections were few as well. They were nearing the base and had seen nothing out of place along the way. Ranulf saw the base friend/foe alert signal. It was time to report.

"Langley base this is *Frosty* of the 109th Gunfighter's Squadron. We are replacements fighters enroute to report." He followed up with designation numbers and order numbers. he named each one of them in turn "Ranulf MacCloud, Duffy MacBain, Scott Darby, and Chang WangXi. Requesting permission to close to the station and come aboard."

John Warren sat at his control panel in the operations center of the station. He hated everything about this new assignment. Why would a pilot want to be sat behind a desk all day directing traffic? But For some strange reason it had been where he was placed. Maybe he had done something wrong. “This is Langley Station, please set a course baring 259.64 and prepare to break formation.” He said with the boredom obvious in his voice.

Ranulf checked his course as he replied "Roger that making course corrections to new heading of 259.64. So how many of us can you handle landing at a time? You want us all at once, two by two, or should we do it one at a time and make it easy on your deck receiving crew?" Ranulf noted the bored attitude and felt for anybody stuck in the job of traffic director.

The other three pilots shifted course so they were staggered in a line facing the base. All easily in position to shift for landing in any sequence as ordered.

"We can handle up to three craft in a staggered wing formation," John replied. "I would however like to land you one at a time on this occasion. The hanger deck is currently in use." John took a quick look around the operations center to check that no one was in ear shot, and continued in a less professional tone and manner. "I guess you guys have callsigns right?"

"Yes sir we do. I will be sending in Lt MacBain first his callsign is *Nighthawk*. Once you are ready for the next will be callsign *Jestor*. That would be Lt WangXi. Third is Lt Barby, callsign *Voiceman*. I will be last and my callsign is *Frosty*.

As he replied he lead the Flight into a holding pattern at a safe distance considering traffic. "*Nighthawk is ready on your deck bosses call." I have a question as well Sir. have the deck crew arrived, we need an after flight maintenance check. This was a six hour flight from the transport. Do you have Techs available Sir."

While he waited for the answer he switched to the flight only channel "Listen up, make sure your weapon systems are on lock down. Any of you land with weapons on stand by and I will take you the gym for a two hour CQC training session."

*Nighthawk* got the green light and angled in toward the bay.

“I’m sure those call signs have their stories behind them,” Johns voice cut in through the open channel. “You will all have to tell me them over a drink later on. Deck crews are on hand ready to receive. The automated system should be able to take you from here.”

*Nighthawk* groaned as he heard they were using the automated retrieval system. They had trained on carriers where landings were scored and it was a sort of competition to have the highest score. he had been a top score maker on landings so this was a slam to his ego. "Copy that base. Weapons secured and locked down ready to have you take control when you are ready."

Hanson was the deck boss on duty and he acknowledged "Tractor beam activated on the count 3-2-1 we have you. Shut down engines *Nighthawk*. Hanson heard the disappointment in the pilot's voice but he could care less. His deck was more important than any pilot's ego.

*Nighthawk* shut down the engines and become merely a passenger as his fighter was retrieved and placed in a bay.

Neither *Jestor* or *Voiceman* was in anyway inconvenienced by this procedure. *Jestor always found recovery tedious and nerve wracking himself. Voiceman enjoyed the challenge but would not miss making the effort it took. They were recovered without a hitch.

While flying the holding pattern Ranulf contacted the tower "Sounds like a plan Tower. I take it your a pilot as well." The sympathy in his next comment was heartfelt "so who did you piss off to get stuck in the tower." Ranulf watched his own instruments s he spoke. He also kept track of the other pilots as he still felt responsible for them at least till this mission was complete.

"I am indeed, but I have no idea who I upset," John replied, " whoever it is has a box of chocolates waiting for them." He checked over his console displaying the movements of the local craft movements. "The receiving bay is reading green," he stated, "whose next?"

"That would be me, since they made me the flight leader for this mission I figured I should make sure all the chicks were in the roost before I came aboard." As Ranulf made the necessary moves, contacts, and position he asked the tower "So tower, where do we meet you later on and who do we ask for when we arrive?"

“We can meet at kindness place,” the flight controller replied. “And the names Warren, John Warren. Just don’t ask for John, you have no idea how many Johns there are in the galaxy.”

Ranulf laughed at that before replying "Okay Warren, we need a couple hours to get our boats cared for before leaving the deck and checking in. Maybe three hours and we will be there to get the low down on the base. Thanks for the welcome. Catch ya later. *Frosty* out." Ranulf switched to the deck boss channel and took his fighter smoothly to the tractor beam lock coordinates. Once the tractor beam seized his fighter he shut down and let them land his fighter. he could not help but frown at the unintended slight.


Lieutenant (JG) John Warren (PNPC Ronald Hawk)
Chief Flight Control Officer
Langley Station

2nd Lieutenant Ranulf *Frosty* MacCloud
2nd Lieutenant Duffy *Nighthawk* MacBain (PNPC MacCloud)
2nd Lieutenant Scott *Voiceman* Darby (PNPC MacCloud)
2nd Lieutenant Chang *Jestor* WangXi (PNPC MacCloud)
Fighter pilots


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