Stories From a Distant Galaxy Volume 23
An Iron Winged Angel
Soaring through the void is the only part of life that keeps me going. I have nothing outside of this ship. I have seen many die and I have killed many. I’m not quite sure if I’m good or bad, but all I know is that I need to stay in the stars.
I’m good at what I do; in fact, I’m one of the best at what I do. I know I’m the best, but nobody acknowledges it. Have they seen my ship? Have they seen the 57 notches on my wings? Those notches are the birds I’ve dropped. It seems like any idiot with a ship and gun gets a medal for absolutely nothing, but not me.
All I do is follow orders, drop a few hawks, go home, drink, repeat. I sit there and watch other pilots get medals, and I just have to stand a smile. My name is Ariseia Keral, but I’m known by my callsign, Nova Splitter 331, or just Splitter. I am a Galasietan woman with crystal blue skin, ice-white hair, ocean blue eyes, and a thick accent.
I could have been a model like most Galasietans, but I wanted to fly. The space force loves enlisting female pilots because we have still hands and higher concentration. When I enlisted, I was given a lot of smiles and people would always try to talk to me.
Maybe that’s because I’m hot as fuck. Well, those smiles soon went away after a few months. When these pilot boys realized my ass wasn’t up for grabs, they actually focused on work for once. Most girls of my kind love playing with men. It’s amazing what smooth blue skin and tits can get you in this galaxy, but I’m not like that.
All I wanted to do was fly. I hate these little games, and I’m not trying to play them. I don’t need a man or a wife or a big family, I’m married to the stars. I’m not a legendary pilot, but I’m good.
The only reason I haven’t had a medal slapped on my chest is because I won’t play these games. My fleet officer had a crush on me, and I wouldn’t play games with him, so no medals for me. Whatever, I just want to fly, that’s all I want.
As I get lost in my thoughts, I look around my cockpit. Out the window is the sight of a beautiful yellow world. I think it’s called MP 7732 or some shit. It’s pretty but holds nothing but sulfur and a little bit of uranium. They put me on guard duty again. I’ve been very vocal about my resentment for guard duty, but they don’t care. I’ve fought in major conflicts, and I’m damn good at it too. Eh, the ORA have their agendas.
They put a valuable resource like me out here to guard ORA mining vessels from pirates. They just want to protect their goods. I hate politics, I really do. I’m just a tool used by these dipshits in shiny suits to protect and serve. I’m fine with that; just give me a goddamn medal!
Suddenly, my radio buzzes. “Nova Splitter, do you copy?” Calls out another pilot. I sigh and tap my bulky red helmet. “This is Splitter, what’s up Star Flame?” The radio buzzes again. “Yeah, we have some activity near one of the planet’s moons. I think you, me, and Dust Cutter should have a look.” He replies.
Finally, something to do! I’ve been sitting here for 9 hours pissing in a tube and eating mush through a hose in my helmet. It’s hard to look sexy in this horribly bulky pilot suit. “Sounds good Flame. I’ll meet you over there.” I call out.
After stretching out, I flip a few switches and power on my thrusters. I fly by the mining plants and watch as hundreds of ships transport products to the massive star freighters. Mining is a dirty business, but I guess it pays well. I get into position and pulse jump to the moon. After a millisecond, I arrive at the dusty blue rock they call a moon.
I get into formation and squeeze in between my two fleet-mates. “How’s it going Splitter?” Calls out Cutter over the radio. I scoff and drink from a hose in my helmet. “Almost fell asleep over there. I’m just glad we have something to do.” I reply.
Flame chuckles. “Hey, that’s what they give us the Frost for. Snort a hit of that shit and you won’t fall asleep for the next week.” He comments over the radio. “I try not to fuck with Fighters Frost, but my last battle changed that. It’s a killers drug, and we ain’t killing while on guard duty.” I bicker.
Cutter chuckles. “You’re always so bloodthirsty, Splitter. Can’t you just enjoy the cosmos?” I really like my two fleet-mates. I’m mostly with them on guard duty, but we have shared one battle together. Cutter is a fucking animal out there. I watched him almost take down a battlecruiser with a blown thruster.
I bet he’s a good lay. I’d fuck the shit out of him, to be honest. Something about good flying turns me on. Flame on the other hand is a shitty pilot but a good squad captain. He used to hit on me a lot, but after a long and stressful talk, he backed off. I respect that, unlike other COs who don’t know when to fuck off.
I scoff over the radio. “I enjoy the cosmos every day, Cutter. I just want some action. You can’t blame a girl for wanting a little fire every now and then.” They both laugh over the radio. “You’re a mean pilot, Splitter. It’s good to know that you’ll have my ass in the shits.” Replies Flame.
Before I can make a remark, we fly out from behind the moon to see a dreadful sight. Floating on the dark side of the moon is a massive battlecruiser with a swarm of blacked-out fighters and a few bombers.
“Go dark, switch to a private channel, guns out! Protocol 14 Blackout, ready to fire! Regroup on moon’s surface!” Yells out Flame with shaking in his voice. Quickly we flip a bunch of switches and follow Protocol 14, blackout, guns out protocol. It’s where we hide but are prepared to fight.
Very swiftly, we land on the surface of the dark side of the moon. It is pitch black, so we turn on our night-vision. After landing, we jump out of our ships and walk up to each other while still wearing our bulky pilot suits. It’s very difficult to walk in these fucking things, even when the gravity is weak.
In normal gravity, they weigh about 300 pounds, but on this moon, they weigh about 120. We all walk up to each other and stand around. “What the fuck is that?” Asks Cutter in a panic. Flame pulls out a tablet and starts reading through files.
“If they were pirates, they’d come in guns blazing, and wouldn’t be near the moon. Pirates don’t have ships like that either. This looks like a very organized group, maybe an assembly, or a radical group. Whatever it is, it isn’t good.” He says while looking through files.
“Could it be ORCIO? They always do sketchy shit. Plus, those definitely look like ships ORCIO would use. No radio callsign, no numbers, blacked out and beefed up. Everyone knows we don’t want to dig into ORCIO’s shit.” I add on.
Flame shakes his head. “No, they’re not ORCIO. If there were an ORCIO mission in progress, they would have cleared the area of ORA space force. ORCIO doesn’t group up like that either; they’re very sneaky and unseen.
This is definitely a militia group. I’m checking the military mission and transport files to see if there are any convoys coming through. They’re staged for an attack.”
Cutter sits on the dusty ground. “I think we should call this in. We need backup!” He yells. I rub Cutter’s shoulders. “We’re on Protocol 14. Our radios are blacked. If we call backup now, they’ll track us and strafe us before we take off. We’ll call reinforcements when we engage.” I tell him.
Suddenly, Cutter jumps up. “Engage? Fucking engage? Are you crazy, Splitter? You saw what they had. I count a 40 cannon battle cruiser, 18 blacked-out Jekari Cenz fighter ships, and 9 Leguna bombers. Those fighters are fucking Jekari! That’s one of the best military-industrial companies in the galaxy. I guarantee you there packing seekers, scraper shells, and probably red beams-“ Cutter is interrupted mid-rant by Flame.
“Son of a bitch!” He yells. We both look at him as he kicks up some moon dust. “I know why they’re here. There is an ORA transport flying through the system. The transport is a political councilmen’s cruiser. They’re trying to take out a suit.” He utters.
Cutter looks at me, and then Flame. “So, we call it in and wait for the heavies. Our ships aren’t built for that kind of heat.” He blabbers. Flame sighs. “Reinforcements won’t make it in time. The transport is going to be here within the hour. A war party takes about an hour just to suit up and load, and then probably another hour to jump. I’m with Cutter on this one; we just call it in and leave. The cruiser is fucked either way. Some fights we can’t win.”
I scoff and trot back to my ship. “Okay, call it in. If you want to find me, I’ll be in the shits.” Cutter runs up to me and grabs my shoulder. “Splitter! I’m not letting you do this! You’re walking into a slaughter. It’s okay. We’ll win the next fight, I promise.”
I pat Cutter's helmet and continue to my ship. “It’s not about winning, Cutter. I’m a fighter pilot and I enlisted to fight. What will the next battle be, huh? They’re throwing us on guard duty all the time! All we do is guard fucking mining plants and that’s not what I signed up for. I don’t care if I win or lose; I’m going to fight. Remember our last few fights? It seems like it was forever ago. I want that thrill again. Listen, you guys go, that’s fine. I’m not asking you to fly into the shits with me.” I rant as I climb up my ship.
Flame walks up to us and leans on my ship. “You’ll be court-martialed, you know. Disobeying a CO is punishable by discharge and even prison time. Is it really worth it?” he asks. I scoff and climb down the ship.
I walk very close to Flame and stand right in front of him. “You won’t report it. We’ve been flying together for a long time, Flame. Besides, I’ll most likely be dead. Can’t discharge a dead woman. Just go, okay? I’ll be fine.” Cutter groans really loud and walks up to me. “FINE! I’ll come with you, you crazy bitch! I can’t let you do this alone. You’re stubborn, hot as fuck, and I can’t leave you alone! You Galasietan women really know how to fuck a guy’s head up!”
I smile under my helmet. “Well aren’t you just charming, Cutter. You really know how to talk to a girl.” I sarcastically remark. Cutter marches back to his ship. “Yeah, whatever. Tell me what your plan is when we’re lifted, you fucking psycho.” Flame just stands in front of me. I can’t see his face under his helmet, but I’m sure he’s glaring at me. “Are you really going to make me do this?” He asks in a defeated tone.
I pat his helmet. “You can do whatever you want, babe. Cutter and I will be in the shits having the time of our life.” Quickly, he grabs my helmet and pulls me close. “I hate you, you know that? You guys need a good CO with you if you plan on doing anything. Looks like I’m pulled into this one. Oh, and don’t call me babe. I’m not your man, or your husband, or anything. I’m not your babe, you nut job.” He angrily shouts.
I smirk under my helmet. That was really hot. I like a guy that’s rough. I know these boys love me, but they hate me at the same time. “Well Flame, what are you waiting for? Get in your ship.” I utter with a smile.
After jumping in our ships, we take off, regroup, and fly in formation. “What’s the plan, Flame?” asks Cutter. Flame sighs. “Well, we’re probably going to die, but I see you people don’t care. The best shot we have is to bomb the star cruisers docking ports. If the fighters can’t dock, it’ll freak them out and they’ll be more vulnerable-“ I cut in and interrupt him.
“How would that make them more vulnerable?” I ask. “Well Splitter, they won’t have a place to land. It gives those pilots a sense of hopelessness and dread. They’ll be too busy trying to think of where to land rather than killing us. It’s a far-out approach, but we have to play the brain game. After that, we focus on the bombers, pick off the fighters, and maybe if we’re feeling really crazy, we aim for the oxygen generators on the cruiser. The thrusters will be too shielded and guarded, but the oxygen generators are guarded by one cannon.” Flame replies.
I hear Cutter chuckle over the radio. “That’s not a bad plan, boss. It’d be better if we had an actual fleet fighting with us, but fuck it, right?” I buzz in. “Stop being a pussy, Cutter. We make it feel like we have the guns of a whole fleet, and scare the shit out of them! We have the advantage. If they knew we were around, they would’ve sent out scouts. We have the upper hand and they’re not expecting visitors. When we come around the corner, I’ll radio in the Calvary, and piss hell on these cunts.”
I can hear my boys laughing, but it is a hopeful and arrogant laugh. We need arrogance in a fight like this. The ability to be too prideful to die is the only thing keeping us alive.
Slowly, we creep up behind the moon. I finally have a good look at the shit show, and it is quite intimidating. I wonder who they are and why they want to take out a suit. I’m just lucky it’s not Umbraco. I knew a few pilots that survived a Umbraco fight and they’ll never be the same. You don’t know true evil until you’ve seen the dark army.
In formation, we fly under the swarm unnoticed. “Okay Splitter, call it in. Best of luck my crew. I hope we make it out and have a good laugh about it.” Flame calls out. I giggle. “Stop being so sentimental. We’ll be fine, babe.” I can just see Flame’s angry face from calling him that. I like toying with him. “Splitter, no babe shit! Just call in the damn heavies.” He orders. I hit my long-distance radio and tune the channel.
“Outpost 9941, do you copy?” I call out to the nearest military outpost. After a stressful silence, I hear a response. “Outpost 9941 reporting. What’s your status?” I take a breath of relief. “9941, this is Hurricane Pilot, Nova Splitter 331 with a crew of two others. We have encountered a blacked-out fleet of insurgents. They are awaiting a political escort. We have reason to believe this is an assassination attempt. We are posted at MS00431 outside of MP7732. We need immediate reinforcements.”
The radio buzzes. “Nova Splitter, we are sending a war fleet your way. Do not engage the hostiles. Sit back and wait for backup. Repeat, do not engage!” I start turning the speaker volume up and down. “So-, I can’t- Repea- Don’t copy-“ The radio buzzes again. “Nova Splitter, I think you’re breaking up. Do not engage! If you can hear me, do not engage.” I smirk and just flip off the radio. “We’re clear to attack, boys,” I call out. Cutter chuckles. “Ah, the classic lost connection act. That’s rookie shit, Splitter.”
Without replying, I take a glance at the fleet and smile. “See you on the other side, boys.” I rocket my thrusters and hurl the ship forward. Flame and Splitter soon follow. “Locking rockets, targeting hangars. Here we go!” Calls out Cutter.
Before a moment's notice, rockets fire from our ships and bombard the fleet. 4 fighters, and a critical hit on a bomber. That’s the chaos we caused. In a flash, the fleet charges toward us guns blazing. I can hear the bullets bounce off my ship and a couple of alarms sound.
Directly in front of me is a blacked-out speeder charging full speed. With no time to lose, I swiftly dive low and strafe his ass with the turret. Direct fucking hit, he’s in a spin and lost control of his thrusters. I look around to see a true dogfight.
We made three ships feel like a hundred, as the tracer shells and explosions glisten off of my visor. This is it; this is everything I wanted. As time slows down in the moment of love, I glance at Cutter raining hell on these gutted beasts. The way he fights makes me crazy and feathered up.
That man fights like a winged animal. He is so smooth, yet sharp and ready to kill. Flame is on top of it too. The way they’re fighting makes me want to fuck them both. Okay, chill out, I got insurgents to slaughter.
I remember the plan and shoot for the hangars. I have two winged cunts on my tail, so I dump a little fuel and spark a flare. This is a guerrilla tactic, but I don’t fight like I just enlisted. The fuel splatters the ships, and the flare ignites it. Thruster fuel is highly explosive, so their ships fucking melt.
Two pilots just experienced the worst death because of me, and that gets me going. I arm the bombs and drop them on the support beams. Within an instant, beautiful flames are melted metal are filling my visor with a sight from God. The hangar collapses, killing a handful of workers and pilots. I am a devil from Nocutra’s realm, no; I am an iron-winged angel.
“Cutter, Flame, come in?” I call over the radio. “Splitter, that was some righteous shit, girl! Cutter and I are over the oxygen generators now, we’re about to suck the air out of them.” Calls out Cutter. I feel a little semimetal and want to be honest. “Hey, Gorgi?” You never use a pilot’s real name over the radio, but we’re breaking a lot of rules today. Cutter replies back. “Yes, Ariseia?”
I smirk under my helmet while tailing an enemy fighter. “If we make it out of this, I want you to be mine.” I hear Flame laughing over the radio. “Shut up Flame, if you could fly like you got something between your legs, maybe I’d give you a good time. But you don’t, so eat my ass!” I yell.
Still, I hear him giggle. Cutter comes in on the radio. “Let’s make it out of this alive first. After that, I might take you up on that.” I smile under my helmet while gunning a fighter down. “Sounds good, Cutter.” Before I can think about our future, I hear screaming over the radio. “Flame!” I yell.
I can hear the alarms blare throughout the radio and Flame grunting. “Splitter, Cutter, I’m fucked.” Cutter comes in. “Can you land on the moon? You need to get out of there!” Flame chuckles. “My oxygen reserves are shot, my fuel tanks are leaking, and I took a few rounds in the chest. I’m not making it out of this. Listen, get away from the generators, I got this.” He calls out with a weakened voice.
Cutter is trying to hold back tears. Those two go back, in fact, they enlisted together. Cutter told me the story, and Flame used to be addicted to dust. They enlisted to clean him up. They’re friends, actually, they’re like family. Cutter is weeping through the radio and I am silent.
Flame laughs over the radio. “An eye for an eye, no, a breath for a breath. It was a good time, guys. See ya.” Before we can respond, a show for the Gods is brought to our eyes. Flame dives his ship into the oxygen generator while arming all of his bombs and rockets. The explosion is beyond words. As I gaze off at the transient, monumentally magic sight, I hear weeping over the radio.
“Gorgi, it’s okay. He went out on his terms. You’re a pilot, love. These cunts killed one of our own, so we kill them all!” I tell him. After some sniffling, I hear him clear his throat. “Let’s kill every one of these shit-eating fucks.” Cutter and I arm all weapons and rain hell on the fleet.
Ships drop left and right as the glowing flames and tracer shells reflect off my visor. I may have been sitting in this ship for 14 hours, peeing in a tube, and eating gooey mush, but I think I look hot as hell right now. I can’t wait to give it all to that killer, Cutter. Just thinking about how he handles his ship makes me soaked. But for now, we have a job to finish.
After about 10 minutes of brutal combat, it finally happens. A massive, luxury star yacht jumps in. I see a squadron of bombers and fighters fly toward it. “Cutter! Big papa is here, and they’re going in for a strafe. We have a suit to save.” I call over.
Quickly, we make a sharp pull and swing our ships around. With full thrusters, and afterburners cranked up, we rocket to the squadron. The fighters try to pick us off, but their bullets might as well be made of poop.
Charging like a 100 man army, we flank them and start dropping motherfuckers like bricks. Side by side, me and Cutter shit fire from our ships and give them what we came here to give. I glance at Cutter and he glances at me. He looks damn good in his bulky suit. With 5 hoses connected from his helmet and a blue-tinted visor, he gives me a thumb up. I think I love that man.
The way he flies and fights, God I want him! The bombers approach the yacht; we need to hurry. “Cutter, you flank left, I’ll take the right! Hit the bomb bay, and try to ignite the shells.” I call out.
We fire on the bay, and the bombs ignite, causing a massive shockwave to rock our ships. Before I can rejoice, I’m hit with a seeker, and it fucks my ship up. I’m knocked out of my path and tailspin. This is what I trained for. The G-force is causing my skull to dent, as it feels like a giant is stepping on my head.
Calmly, I adjust my tail thrusters and bring myself out of a spin. I adjust myself and straighten out. Before I think I have it figured out, I feel dizzy and disoriented. Usually, it’s from the Gs, but this is different. I check my vitals only to find a haunting truth. The fumes from the thruster fuel leaked into my oxygen generator. I’m breathing in poison.
I don’t have enough time to land and adjust and my head is feeling really fucked up. “Splitter? You good? That was a nasty hit.” Calls out Cutter. I take a deep breath of poisonous fumes and smirk. “I’m sorry Gorgi, I’m fucked. Thrust fumes in the breathing tubes. I wish I could be with you babe, but it’s not looking like that. I know what I have to do.” I say as I peer at the last bomber approaching the yacht.
Suddenly, I feel the rumbles throughout my ship. The ORA war fleet has arrived. “Ariseia, the fleet is here! Go to the flagship now!” He screams. I check my weapons and I’m out. Cutter is out of ammo as well. “This is what I signed up for, Gorgi. I want to be a hero.”
I can hear Cutter scream through the radio as he breaks down. With a smile and sparkly eyes, I flip on all thrusters and afterburners. I look out the side to see a crowd of people inside the yacht. They’re smiling and waving at me. This is everything I wanted. I aim the ship toward the bomber and charge. Right as the bomber flies over the yacht, I brace for impact and slam directly into the bombing bay. Then, it all goes black.
Ariseia Keral immediately died on impact. The explosion from the bomber was monumental and lit up the night sky. The ORA war fleet, the people of the yacht, and the ORA politician all witnessed this brave sacrifice. They’ve seen nothing like it, and all stared in awe at the fireworks. Nova Splitter 331 was a household name for the next few years, as the transmissions were all over the story. A statue of Ariseia was erected at Unity Palace in the hall of military heroes. She is known as one of the bravest pilots in the galaxy and inspired many fighter pilots to go above and beyond. Her fleet-mate Gorgi Yeffa was pained by the sacrifice and immediately resigned the next day. He now lives in peace at the Rukari system making a living as a fisherman. After the sacrifice made by Nova Splitter 331, the ORA war fleet swarmed the area and gunned down the rest of the insurgent fleet. Upon entering the starship, they found all crewmembers dead from suffocation. The sacrifice made by Star Flame completely destroyed the oxygen system, killing the insurgents. Data discovered on the vessel revealed that the insurgents were hired guns. The mercenaries were paid by a rival ORA councilmen, and the entire sham was unveiled. 12 political figures were arrested and 7 were sentenced to death by airlock. Ariseia Keral will always be remembered as a hero, and she is still known as one of the best pilots in the galaxy. Rest easy Nova Splitter.