• Published 19th Jun 2012
  • 1,757 Views, 155 Comments

Cutting Ties - fic Write Off

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Disqualified Entrant: A Science-Fiction Story of Dramatic Space Fighting in the Future

This submission was disqualified for reason: Submitted after deadline.

Author: Argembarger

“Look out, Red!”

Red wrapped his hooves around the throttle and yanked as hard as he could. His ship jerked violently and his guts sunk to the floor. The infinite expanse of stars streaked across his vision, and Red strained his head up to see a white missile pass at alarming speeds within mere meters of his cockpit.

“That was too close, brother. Thanks a lot. Mind paying that one back for me?” Red said through his headset, the adrenaline rush evident in his speech.

“Sure thing! Watch this.”

At least his brother was enthusiastic.

A few moments later, Red saw his assailant explode. Watching the hot scrap scatter in the void, Red felt a measure of relief—and excitement.

“Nice one, Blue! You really got him. Let’s form up. We should head back to base before we attract any more attention.”

The Shifter Brothers glided through the silent expanse of space, their hard-won prize in tow.

“I still can’t believe they’re going to let us do this.”

The Admiral leaned over the cowering pony. He watched the poor thing’s eye swell up, grotesque red and purple replacing the usual blue.

“Don’t you ever bring me news like this again. Do you understand me? This is a disgrace.”

“I’m sorry, sir! I’m very sorry.”

“Don’t give me apologies,” Admiral Black spat, “give me satisfaction.”

He kicked his lackey a couple of times for good measure, laughing at the futile attempts to stand up.

“Is that how we’re treating our messengers, these days?” a voice rasped out.

Admiral Black shrugged, turning to face his only superior. “It will motivate the rest of the fleet, don’t you think?”

Starbucker shot Admiral Black a glare that froze him on the spot as the messenger pony galloped out of the room.

“No. I disagree. When our troops have nothing to look forward to but abject cruelty, what exactly are they fighting for? You still have some lessons to learn, my young Admiral.”

Black bowed, staring at the ground in respect. “I apologize, sir. However, we’ve received news that one of our spearhead scouting parties—comprised of some of our finest pilots—has been decimated.”

Starbucker smiled, turned to the wall, and placed his hoof on a panel. “Show me where,” he said.

“In this sector, here. Do you suppose the rebels could really be launching attacks from there? That’s a pretty barren area.” Black bit his lip.

“I don’t suppose anything. I can feel it. They’re there. Ready the fleet.” Starbucker’s smile grew into a grin.

“Yes sir.”

“And Admiral?”

“Yes, sir?”

“Try to be a little nicer. I have some employee training videos that could help.”

“Yes, sir…”

Red lounged in his cockpit, waiting for the inevitable order to move out. They never stayed at base for more than a couple of hours. Just long enough to refuel, catch a short nap or meal, perhaps do a little reading. Blue was still out telling the general about their plans. Once he heard what the brothers had in mind, they were sure to be out of here even more quickly than usual.

He yawned into his helmet, and watched the digital time display tick ever onward. What could be taking Blue so lo—

An alarm blared into his ears and bright flashing lights drilled into his unprotected eyes. “Red alert! Red alert! All hands to battle stations! We have a Code E5 emergency. This is not a drill. All pilots proceed immediately to hangars one, two, three, five, six, and eight.”

An E5?

Red threw his hooves up in delight. He and his brother wouldn’t have to go very far at all to test their new secret project.

He saw Blue gallop out of a side-hallway with his flight suit and two large metal tubes in tow. He stuck one on the side of his fighter , pressing a small button on it. The tube stayed attached, blinking softly as Blue ran to attach the other to Red’s own ship in a similar fashion.

Red flung open the cockpit hatch. “I take it we got approval, then?”

“Of course. General Cloudtrotter couldn’t resist.”

“Excellent. Are you ready to go, then? Looks like the party came to us this time.”

Blue smirked and slipped on his helmet.

“You were right, sir. There it is: the rebel’s planet. We should have this war wrapped up by suppertime,” Admiral Black laughed.

“We’ll see.”

A messenger with a conspicuous lack of a black eye entered the room. “Sirs! The rebel base has been located. The standard offer of parlay has been extended and summarily refused by their leaders.”

Starbucker shrugged. “I suppose we have no choice but to launch a full assault. Send in the fleet.”

Black nearly jumped for joy. “I always love this part,” he giggled.

“War is always a tragedy, Admiral,” Starbucker rattled, “We really need to work on your empathy skills.”

Red and Blue Shifter took flight. The two rogue aces separated from the rest of the rebel ships and headed off to the side of the battle, as usual. They operated most efficiently on their own.

Red looked over at Blue. “Are you ready?” his brother called out over the radio.

“I was born ready.”

“Alright,” Blue said, “hold as steady as you can.”

Red saw a thin silver wire fire out from Blue’s hull-tube. It landed squarely in his own, and Blue laughed. Red, caught up in the moment, laughed as well. “They really won’t have any idea what hit them,” Blue said.

Red and Blue spent a minute perfecting their formation to ensure optimal tautness in the line stretching between their ships, before turning their attention to the countless ships of the Empire’s fleet.

They soared in like birds of prey, their starmetal-alloy razor wire slicing through each enemy craft as if it were butter rather than steel.

“Gosh, I sure do hate TIE fighters,” Red remarked as they sliced through dozens more of them, crippling the Empire’s army and ensuring a swift Rebel victory.

And that’s the story of how they saved the whole Galaxy.

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