• Published 14th Feb 2016
  • 3,554 Views, 256 Comments

The Imperial Ace - Navanastra

An Imperial Elite pilot gets send to an unknown planet after a horribly hyperdrive malfunction and is forced to make planet fall with his crippled ship, eventually getting in contact with the world inhabitant. What will Riggs Dantion's future hold?

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Chapter 2: Realization

Edited by Edited by: WrittenWord333

/Chapter 2: Realization/

“Riggs, you got an incoming fighter to your left.”

“I see him.” Riggs answered back as he got the fighter in question in his sights, immediately giving chase.

“Hedge be careful, one of these royal bastards has an eye for you.” Riggs called back over his intercom as he continued to give chase to the enemy TIE-Fighter, racing along the upper hull of a heavily damaged Star Destroyer, flying past the sections of the ship engulfed in flames, crippled turrets providing very little difficulty as he swept past them.

Riggs immediately began to open fire as soon as the reticle on his helmet’s display lined up with the target, ripping the unfortunate fighter and pilot inside to shreds with his laser barrage.

The moment his prey was killed he quickly turned his sights towards his next target which, according to his lock on systems, was one of the red Interceptors.

“Berren, break off, I’m going for this one, make sure the bombers don’t get too close to our ships. We need to buy them time to escape so that they can hyper jump to safety.” Riggs ordered as he dove towards his target, flying past the damaged Star Destroyer and emerging into the incoming fire of another one below him.

“Can do Riggs, these scrubs are as good as mine.” Berren replied with a hint of confidence before breaking contact.

Riggs nodded as he punched the acceleration throttle up to max to close the distance to him and his target as quickly as possible. The twin ion engines roared in response, the sudden energy spike launching his ship forward like a photon torpedo.

The fighting was intense, Star Destroyers, frigates, and fighters from both side engaging one another in brutal duels. Zaarin’s Star Destroyers were mostly acting as cover for the rest of his fleet as they made a hasty retreat.

Riggs and the rest of his squadron were part of that cover, trying to keep the enemy busy and away from their ships in order for them to escape safely.

Turbolaser fire was flying everywhere. Ships were on fire, explosions were going off from incoming flak. The entire space above Coruscant was completely illuminated by the battle that was raging above it.

Riggs continued to gun his ship down towards an enemy Interceptor as laser fire was zipping by him. A Carrack class cruiser exploded, ripping itself in half to his left, his vessel shaking uncontrollably from the shockwave's force.

Soon though he was on his target’s tail.The enemy Interceptor had fled between a pair of brawling battleships, the debris from their tussle filling the space between them. A torrent of laser-fire was pouring constantly from both ships, but neither of them seemed at all interested in the two fighters zipping between them.

Both him and his target momentarily flying through a massive fireball explosion before re-emerging from the other side unscathed, leaving the two previous ships behind as one of them began to lose control, its engines dying out.

Riggs was now getting closer and closer to his target, his targeting system trying to get a lock on as they both continued to race through space.

“Almost got you in my sights buddy.” Riggs thought to himself as the reticles on his helmets display began to line up.

“Just a few more seconds.” Riggs mentally stated as his reticles where almost aligned with his target, getting ready to fire. All of the sudden a violent tremor engulfed his entire craft. Alarms began to blare on almost every display around him.

“What the...? What the heck the was that?” Riggs thought out as his craft suddenly got hit again.

“Error, deflector shields have failed. Error.” The board computer stated as Riggs entire ship began to tremble and snapping him out from his concentrated state.

“What the HELL. What the…where did this other guy came from?” Riggs shouted in frustration as he tightened his grip around his controls, and quickly skimmed over his scanners.

To his annoyance and overall dread he spotted another Royal TIE Interceptor behind him, firing at him volley after volley of fire down upon him while his shields were still down.

“Bloody hell, this one guy in front of me was just acting as bait? I completely forgot that these guys always fly in pairs. Now I somehow managed to get myself outflanked…damn it” Riggs mentally kicked himself as he tried his best to avoid the incoming fire.

Riggs had to admit that these guys were good, really good in fact, as the pilot behind him managed to mirror every maneuver and turn he did to try and shake him off his tail.

More incoming fire was raining down his way as he began to maneuver in between friendly frigates and capital ships in hopes that their point defense systems would shoot him down and get him off his back. But the pilot behind him still managed to avoid every shot fired at him while still continuing to assault him mercilessly, every shot was getting closer and closer to his ship, very close to hitting him once again.

“Damn it…why are my shields still down? Right when I need them the most.” He mentally complained as one of his monitors was flashing “Shields offline”.

It is rare for Riggs to ever feel the sense of panic, in any situation, but at this current predicament he slowly began to feel it as the Interceptor behind him was still doing a remarkable job of keeping up with.

“Warning, damage detected, impact site close to the engine cores.” His board computer suddenly warned, another impact rattling the hull.

“BLAST IT…I just hope that the shot didn’t hit anything important. Well, I still got his buddy in front of me, might as well take him with me if I’m going to die today.” Riggs announced out loud to no one as he re-focused back to his targeting systems while keeping the enemy behind him at bay.

Cranking up his acceleration to max speed he quickly minimized the distance between himself and his original target as the ion engines gave another massive roar at the sudden energy spike.

Unsurprisingly, the fighter on his tail was not far off as he was still continuing to try and shoot Riggs ship down, but at this point it really didn’t matter to him that much as the adrenaline from the intense flying was now fully coursing through his body, making it much easier for him to multi task.

“Target almost in range, than I can get rid of him and focus my attention back at the bastard behind me.” Riggs thought to himself as he was only seconds away from finally relieving himself of his first burden.

His targeting system suddenly piped as it confirmed a solid lock on. Not wasting any more time than was necessary he immediately removed the cap on his second trigger and pushed it.

Immediately after that two concussion missiles came speeding out of his craft and rapidly pivoted towards the unfortunate starfighter in front of him. The Interceptor tried to evade the incoming missiles at the last possible moment but it was far too late. The missiles made contact with their target and the entire craft exploded in a sphere of smoke and fire, launching debris far off into space as the explosion subsided.

Riggs sighed in satisfaction when that problem was finally taken care off. But his moments of peace were quickly cut short as another hit began to rock the inside of his cockpit reminding him of the other more serious problem that was still present.

“Still got that Royal guard bastard behind me, and why are my shields still not up?” Riggs shouted in frustration as he tried his best to lose him.

Warning lights were going off all around his cockpit, lighting the reinforced steel in a crimson glow. His ship was tough, but not even a TIE Defender couldn’t survive the constant beating its advanced armour was taking for very long. Eventually something vital would be hit and Riggs would be just another debris field, another casualty in the chaos of war.

It was than when Riggs suddenly spotted something in the distance that could turn the tables. A destroyed, burning and smoking wreck of Victory class star destroyer off into the distance as he decided to approach from its starboard side.

“I could easily lose him in there while also getting the chance to get the drop on him and turn the tides.” Riggs thought to himself as he gunned his engines and speed off toward the still-burning wreck with the red TIE-Interceptor tailing him closely.

More shots came screaming past him as he made his way closer towards the floating, burning mess that used to be the midsection of the ship.

“Time for some fancy flying.” Riggs thought to himself as he quickly dove into the wreck through a large opening. The entire inside of the ship was filled with heavy smoke and fire as he flew through it, avoiding incoming obstacles and turns. The space inside was just wide enough for his ship to squeeze through as Riggs began to mostly operate on instinct due to the poor visibility as he continued his run.

Riggs eyes quickly looked over his scanners while avoiding flames and other hazardous things to see if his pursuer was even dumb enough to follow him inside the wreck, which to his satisfaction he was, seeing it as a small red triangle behind him on his monitor as he quickly approached an exit in front of him.

Riggs immediately pulled up on his control to race high up and above the wreck the moment he exited the smoking hull doing a full 360* flip to align himself perfectly for what was going to happen next.

The moment the Interceptor emerged from the gaping tear in the hull, Riggs was all over him. The enemy vessel had slowed to allow for an easier navigation of the twisted and broken metal within the destroyed starship, which meant that it was moving at the perfect speed for his main weapons.

“Look how the tables have turned now you are mine you Royal bastard.” Riggs mentally stated with a sense of vengeance as he opened fire fire on the doomed vessel.

Riggs watched with a great sense of satisfaction as his six laser cannon mercilessly ripped the red Interceptor to pieces, sending debris everywhere as it began to spin out of control and exploded in a fiery mess, leaving nothing that even remotely resembled the TIE Interceptor that was there just a moment ago.

Riggs sighted in heavy relief that this was finally over as he leaned back against his seat, enjoying the momentary peace and silence.

“Riggs, Riggs are you there? Response!” Captain Palius suddenly crackled over his earpiece.

“So much for the momentary silence.” Riggs thought to himself as he straightened himself up and responded.

“This is Riggs. What going on captain?” He simply responded over the communicator.

“The mission is off Riggs, Reports just came in that the assault on the Imperial palace has failed and we have the clearance to get out of here. Most of our carriers and support frigates have already cleared the sector and are lining up to jump off.If you can hyper-jump to these co-ordinates then we'll meet you the other side. Palius out.” Captain Palius explained before transferring the coordinates over to him and breaking the link, the navigational software confirming the new data with a beep.

Riggs could see after turning his craft that the majority of the fleet were already lining up to hyper-jump out of the system. Being momentarily safe from any hostile units Riggs decided to take the captain's advice as he speed away from the gravity field of the planet in order to hyper-jump safely away from this sector.

On his way he was suddenly joined by Hedge and Berren, their Defenders got into formation beside him.

“Good show back there Riggs, saw everything, you really showed these Royal bastards who the better pilot is, huh.” Hedge commented as he flew alongside Riggs’ Defender.

“Well these guys were good, I have to admit that.” Riggs replied.

“Well we can hear more of it when we reach our rendezvous point in the outer rim. Safe travels Riggs.” Hedge replied as he quickly speeds off and eventually disappears into the void of space at breakneck speeds as his ship breaks the light barrier.

“That was one heck of a battle, I can’t even remember how many I have shot down. See you on the other end of the galaxy mate.” Berren announced over the comlink as his ship too suddenly disappears into the far distances of space.

Riggs sighted as he typed in and confirmed his own coordinates, his own hyper drive beginning to charge up with a low hum, a blue energy bar slowly filling up on one of his displays.

“I’m going to need to iron out the damage on my ship when I get there.” Riggs announced out loud. Pushing up the hyper jump throttle and waiting for the very familiar sensation of breaking the light barrier. The only problem…it never happened.

The hyper-jump drive only began to hum for a few more moments before it suddenly cut itself out as Riggs’ ship simply sat there.

“What the…okay, this isn’t normal at all. Come on you stupid thing, work, I got a whole fleet up my ass so work dammit.” Riggs demanded in frustration and urgency, a squad of TIE-fighters rapidly approaching on his scanners clearly heading his way. Even worse his shields were still down for some ungodly reason.

He was good, he was easily one of the best the Empire had to offer but even he had zero chance going against an entire fleet on his own with who knows how many TIE-Fighter cannon fodders as well.

He needed to hyper-jump away from here and quickly. But all the hyperspace computer was giving him was a red warning light that there might be an error in his system.

“For the love of…JUST WORK YOU DAMN BANTHA FODDER YOU!!!” Riggs shouted as he slammed his fist into the console.

It seemed to do the trick, the error indicator suddenly went green with his jump engine coming back to life as it was charging up.

The very familiar feeling of going into hyperspace suddenly made itself known as all of space in front of him began to stretch themselves towards him, and with one bright final flash he was gone, his ship now travelling faster than the speed of light.

But something was quickly wrong, very wrong, as all of a sudden the alarms in his ship went crazy , the displays showing error messages all across the board.

Riggs could also feel his body feeling heavier and heavier, pressing firmly against his seat as his entire body and cockpit started to stretch themselves further and further in front of him as his vision began to go blurry out.

The beeping sounds of his alarms also stretching themselves out as there high pitched beep began to sound long and deep.
Riggs had absolutely no idea what was currently happening as everything was just blurring out for him, his entire craft shook and rocked violently as the universe around him began to stretch itself almost to infinity. There was only one thing he did knew, he needed to stop his ship or risk having him and his ship get ripped apart by whatever forces were at hand here.

“What…The…Bloody…Need…To…Stop…This…Thing…Argh.” Riggs shouted, his voice sounding stretched and deep as he struggled to move one of his arms towards the hyper-jump throttle on his left.

Riggs was breathing heavily as he tried with all of his might to reach the throttle in front of him, forcing not just his arm but also his entire body forward with all his strength to get a grab on the only thing that could stop this.

With a racing heart and gritted teeth he slowly inch himself closer and closer towards his goal, the tip of his finger practically touching the silver-like handle as he pushed himself even further in order to grab it.

With one final push his hand eventually gripped onto the handle of the throttle.

Riggs let himself fall backwards, the combination of his weight and the insane speed he was travelling at pulling the throttle down towards him, breaking off the hyperspace sequence.

A bright flash appeared as his ship abruptly exited hyperspace with a very loud bang though space as everything was quickly turned back to normal.

Well, mostly normal.

The moment his ship exited hyperspace it was evident that his problems were far from over. The entire craft was spinning wildly through space , his entire cockpit flashing red with alarms.

“Engines are down, navigations are offline, computer systems are frozen, the gyroscopes are going crazy and the hyperspace drive has been completely knocked out. IS THERE ANY F%^&ING ELSE THAT CAN GO WRONG???!!!” Riggs shouted in utter frustration as all that information blinked on his helmets display, the constant rotation pressing him to the side of his seat.

“Wait...why is there gravity reading along with…oh.” Riggs thought, until a planet’s curve came swiftly into view through his frontal viewport.

“Great…out of the frying pan and into the fire.” Riggs thought to himself in annoyance after realizing that his ship was now spinning uncontrollably towards a planet…very, very quickly.

“I need to bring all of the ship's systems back online and get this thing under control again while I’m still in space, or I am going to have to do it through re-entry. And that’s not gonna be pleasant.” Riggs mentally declared to himself as he quickly wasted no time in re-booting his systems and getting his engines working properly again.

First the computer, than navigation, than the gyroscopes to stop him from spinning, and then the engines to give him control over his flight trajectory and speed. The hyperspace drive wasn’t responding at all to any of his reboot attempts, but it didn’t matter since it was a system that he had no need for in the current situation.

“What the...OH NOW THE SHIELDS ARE BACK!!?? SON OF A...no” Riggs mentally in utter annoyance after a sudden message popped up on one of his displays indicating that his shields were finally back online.

But all of his annoyance and frustration quickly dissipated when he suddenly realized that he still had more important matters to focus on than his incompetent shields.

He quickly grabbed the controls wrestling with the stick to get his mad spinning under control and not a moment too soon as he suddenly felt the familiar rumbling motion of the ship entering the planet’s atmosphere.

The earlier warning light quickly died down the moment all of his systems were working properly, but a new one suddenly came up as it was displaying that his craft was descending into the planet atmosphere faster than recommended.

“Yeah, yeah I know…I’m slowing down, don’t worry.” Riggs thought to himself as he corrected his speed.

Soon though, his craft punched through the uppermost atmospheres and he eased himself into a steady and normal flight above the clouds as his scanners immediately went to work in judging the composition of the air around him.

“Atmosphere consisting of breathable substances, mostly nitrogen and oxygen. That’s good. One less problem to worry about.” Riggs mentally noted, reading the information on his main display.

“Hmmm…this planet doesn’t seem to be on an records, plus my navigation systems can’t pick up any signs in what part of the galaxy I am now. Could be some interference, or did my navigation got somehow damaged during my crazy trip through hyperspace?” Riggs wondered to himself as he checked for more date while slowly descending further.

“I guess I can worry about this for another time, let’s first focus on finding any form of civilization on this damn rock…if there are any that is. I still need to land and assess the damage on my ship before I can possibly blast off again.” He mumbled, breaking through the first cloud layer. The ground beyond it was already visible as he continued his steady flight through this uncharted world letting his scanners do most of the work.

Somewhere down below the planet.

“Spitfire, wake up…”A faint voice called within the void.

“Spitfire, Spitfire wake up…”It called out again, this time louder and closer.

“Mo…mom…mom is that you? Mom?”

“Spitfire…spitfire. wake up…SPITFIRE!!!!”

Spitfire suddenly awoke with a loud gasp as her eyes snapped open. Bright sunlight suddenly invaded her vision which forced her to shut her eyes again as the sudden brightness was both unbearable and painful to her pupils.

Pain was the very first sensation she could feel. Her entire body felt as if it got crushed and stepped on by an Ursa Major.

Spitfire groaned. “Ohhhhh…buuuuuuck. I am never going to fly through a storm…EVER…wait…THE STORM? FLEEFOOT, SOARIN!!!” Spitfire shouted in panic

She quickly started to move her body but all she got in response was even more pain, especially around her back and chest area. She was forced to lay still and bite her tongue to not scream out.

“Ugh…should have known…I think my wings are both broken and maybe a few ribs too.” Spitfire spoke with gritted teeth as the pain around those areas continued to burn.

The pain slowly subsided, thankfully, giving her a momentary respite as she slowed down her breathing.

“Ok…I now know that my wings and ribs are broken…which means that I at least now know how NOT to move when getting up.” She grumbled to herself , slowly re-opening her eyes again.

The first thing she could see were leaves, lots and lots of leaves above her indicating that she was either on or below a tree.

“More like on a tree as far as I can tell.” Spitfire groaned as she started to feel the familiar sensation of leaves and tiny branches under her body.

She noticed a trail of torn and broken off branches above her, indicating a destructive and painful descent.

Spitfire had no idea how long she lay there, her body feeling sore and stiff as she tried to think of a way how to get down without causing any more injuries to herself.

“I…I just hope Soarin and Fleetfoot made it out ok…I…I would never forgive myself if…if they didn’t” Spitfire whispered to herself in both worry and sadness.

She carefully shook her head to drown down these thoughts, quickly dispelling any pessimistic thoughts and returned to trying to think of a way how to get back down on solid ground.

The first thing Spitfire noted was that she luckily had enough space for her to roll over and not just fall down over the edge. Secondly, there were a lot more branches down below her where she could easily support herself while climbing down, using them like a natural ladder.

She immediately rolled over, her body crying it’s displeasure. Spitfire hissed in pain as she finally landed on her stomach. Her wings might be free but now her weight was pressing down onto her injured chest which was not a good trade-off

“Ok…how do I get down now?” She lifted herself with her front hooves to take some of the weight off her injured chest, the rough bark providing reasonable traction.

She looked down along the trunk to see if could maybe hold onto that with all fours since she realized that her legs were somehow completely unscathed. Sure, they felt sore just like the rest of her body but at least it means she could stand and walk on all fours just fine even though it might be a bit uncomfortable at first.

“Alright…nice and steady Spits…don’t stress your chest too much or…you’re going to make it worse.” She gave a resigned sigh as she slowly began to lower her body back onto the thick branch that lay right under her.

Her back hooves made contact with it as her front hooves firmly gripped onto the trunk.

“So far so good…Oh dear Celestia why did I have to land in the tallest tree in the forest?” Spitfire thought to herself as she slowly continued her uncomfortable and painful descent.

“Okay…one hoof at a time, dear Celestia my chest stings…I just hope that I…” Spitfire broke off with a yelp as one of the branches suddenly broke underneath her dumping her down a few good meters before hitting the ground hard on her back.

She immediately gave away a cry of pain as her wings began to protest, the pain almost causing her to lose consciousness as she lay there flat, breathing heavily and hoping that the pain would die down soon.

“Buck, buck, BUCK!!!M-my…wings…BUUUUUCK…this has to be the worst wing injury I’ve ever had.” Spitfire cursed through gritted teeth as a bead of sweat rolled down her muzzle..

After a few minutes though the pain finally began to die down as she rolled over with great difficulty yet again and shakily got herself back on all fours , inhaling and exhaling rapidly.

“Ok…just…just ignore the pain Spits…come one you can do this you can…oh. My. GOSH!!!” She whimpered in utter horror as she finally laid eye on the injury.

Her wings were bent and twisted in such a way that she never thought were possible, half her feathers were missing and the surviving feathers were also wrecked, sticking out from her flesh at uncomfortably odd angles. Wounds and large gashes striped her back, her once beautiful yellow coat now completely stained crimson with the color of her own dried up blood.

The biggest concerns she had though were her wings. The very wings that she had been born with, the wings that made her famous and Captain of the Wonderbolts, the wings that had become a part of her personality and public image, were now nothing more than a bloody, mangled, unrecognizable mess of skin, bones and feathers.

She would be surprised if her wings would ever look the same again, let alone fly with them. As far as she knew her life as a pegasus was over , with wings as broken as these, it would be a miracle if they would ever recover…even with magic.

Tears started to form on the corner of her eyes as the realization kicked in. A burning rage settled within her breast and a howl of pure terror and anger burst from her lips. She would likely never fly again and a life pathetically living on the ground, bound to the earth she had striven to escape all her life, was a life she didn’t, no, couldn’t live.

“No no no no NO NO NO NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” She shouted angrily into the heavens as tears of rage began pouring down her face.

“Stupid…bucking…EVERYTHING!!!” Her uninjured hooves were now pummelling the tree-trunk, exorcising the terrible rage and terror into pure, mindless violence.. She completely ignored the pain in her chest and back as her anger burned, sapping her of the strength she needed to lift her tired hooves one last time..

Slumping to the ground, tears streaming down her bloody cheeks, she reached for the nearest thing to express her tumultuous emotions on. Her hooves scraped stone, and she pried the rock from the ground and lobbed it, as far as her tired muscles would allow.

“For the love of BUCKING Celestia, my entire existence is gone…BUCKING gone…I…I…can this possibly get any worse…”A loud and menacing growl startled her.

Shivers began to travel up her spine as her entire body tensed up, her heart rate in fear rather than rage as a cold sweat started to form on her forehead. She slowly and shakily turned herself around before freezing in utter horror at the sight that was waiting for her.

Behind her was a large cave that she had somehow missed since she woke up, but it was what was inside the cave that really turned her yellow face pale. A pair of huge green serpentine eyes were staring down at her, eyes filled with rage and anger and hatred as it slowly moved forward, revealing a massive red scaly head with jagged horns adorning it. It had what looked like a small rock stuck in one of its nostrils. It looked suspiciously like the same rock Spitfire just threw a few moments ago.

“Me and my big bucking mouth.” Spitfire whimpered, her legs trembling at the gigantic lizard she had just so rudely woken up from its slumber.

The dragon roared in anger, flaring up its massive red wings and charging for her, knocking down trees and bushes that were between her and the enraged lizard.

Spitfire at that moment did what every normal, healthy minded pony would do, which was to turn tail and run for her life. The adrenaline she had worked up through her outrage was now a god-send, giving her the energy she needed to gallop away and ignoring the stinging pain.

The beast lumbered behind her in hot pursuit, wanting nothing more to end this pony’s life for disturbing its hibernating nap.