“A fond memory of my time with the talons, eh?” The dark-complexioned man closed his eyes in contemplation, leaning back against a wall.
“It’s an older one, happened about two months after I met Miss Blackjayne and joined the org. Went out on what was supposed to be an easy cargo run from Daymar to a drop point near Yela, wasn’t even an important cargo, at least not to us or most pirates, but someone wanted it. Wanted it real bad.”
Ezequiel shook his head, reaching over to pick up his glass and take a drink from the amber liquid within.
“It was a smooth op up until we hit the edge of the Yela asteroid belt. Was me in my Hornet flying overwatch to Huntress and a few others manning one of the Connies. Blackjayne had been with us in her Sabre, but had needed to stay behind a bit at Olisar to take care of some other Talons business. We were bantering over open comms, having our usual good fun when the jamming started and the enemy ships starting pouring out from their hiding spots.”
He chuckled ruefully, “They weren’t even in great ships, the most dangerous thing they had was one civilian model Hornet, the rest were Mustangs and Auroras, but they had surprise and numbers on their side. My days as a fighter pilot for the UEE served us all well that day, my instincts kicking the SH up and over, throwing myself between the and slightly below the swarm and the Connie, both drawing fire away from them and opening up the fire lanes for the turrets which roared to life even as I was letting loose the first rounds from my triple Panthers, keeping the Combine in reserve for clearer shots.”
“It didn’t take more than few moments for Huntress to have us all back in communication, our patchwork org comms punching through the jamming at short range, allowing us to focus fire and coordinate, making our superior tactics and firepower compensate for our lack of numbers. That woman really is a damned savant to have when the fire gets too hot.”
Another drink, a sigh, “Things were going well, three quarters of the enemies were down, our damage taken was pretty minimal. I was out of missiles and down a Panther repeater and almost out of countermeasures, the Connie had lost use of one turret and a couple of the big lasers. For a hodgepodge group, the enemy Hornet and the three Mustangs that were left were pretty good. At some point, we had taken out the ship with the jamming equipment and a call had been placed to any available Talons to come with all haste, not that i had noticed at the time.”
“Once I get in the zone, all else tends to fade from my mind unless it’s related to the mission at hand. I don’t let things distract me when i can help it. The last four ships had gotten smart, trying to keep my Hornet between them and the Connie, rendering her guns useless for now, but that didn’t really matter much. Two of the three Mustangs went down fast, making the mistake of sitting still just long enough to eat a Combine ballistic round at point blank range. The Hornet, too, was taken out of commission, or so I thought, leaving the last Mustang that was trying to make a suicide run at the Connie. While I was focused on him, the guy in the Hornet stopped ‘playing dead’, turning around and trying to come in on me from behind. I had no idea he was there until it was too late to make any course changes without risking the Mustang succeeding in his suicide run and I knew they couldn’t hit either ship given their current position.”
The tall man finished his drink, “I thought I was a goner there, sacrificing myself to make sure the others could survive. But Huntress and Blackjayne apparently had other ideas. That bloody Sabre popped out of quantum so close above the Connie that I about shit myself, her quad gatlings spooling up and breathing fire, turning that other Hornet into so much space debris even as the Mustang suffered a similar fate from my hands.”
“I still don’t know how she managed to coordinate that jump, but that’s the thing with Huntress. With her at the helm, she turns a ragtag group of individuals, each an expert in their own area, into an almost living and breathing entity. Makes it clear why our logo is a dragon.”
“Though if I was a dragon of eld, I wouldn’t want to face off against the Talons. Whatever obstacle steps in front of this org gets sent packing with a bloody nose, that’s for damned sure.”