Captain Mallard stood quietly in the communications room, watching the movements of all the cadets and listening to the chatter. Each move was carefully cataloged in her memory for later evaluation.
“Ocelot One, reading confirmed. Four fighter craft with House Fennec markings.”
“Advising House Bobcat airbase of situation.”
“Prepare to modulate communication frequency to 3-4-1.”
Mallard was impressed, and though she tried to remain stoic as she watched, she couldn’t help but smile. After all, she was the faculty liaison for House Ocelot, and many of their training exercises were based her own designs that she modified from her own experiences.
“Ocelot Six is breaking off from formation.”
“Understood, Ocelot One through Five are moving formation to cover the opening.”
“Ocelot Six just took out two fighters.”
“She’s taken damage.”
There was a silence that filled the room with that announcement, then confirmation that Ocelot Six was hit and coming down.
“Have a team meet the pilots at the rendezvous point,” Mallard finally said as she broke her silence. “Bring them to the command center.”
With academy training programs, pilots were always expecting to be fired upon. They went through several drills regarding what to do in the event a craft was about to crash and even if a craft has been fired upon. In this situation, all training craft were outfit with holographic weaponry. The weapon units would target tracers on ‘enemy ships’ and if they hit, that ship would suddenly cease to operate at maximum capacity for the area it had been ‘hit’ in. Under normal situations, pilots could guide their craft into base without problem. However, if the pilot found a majority of the systems were destroyed, the air craft’s autopilot would kick in, and begin to steer the craft back to home base. This announced that the craft had been completely destroyed in the training simulation. In this case, pilot Corporal Vivian Mills and co-pilot Private Harry Pinkerton, had succeeded in destroying two enemy aircraft, but had sacrificed themselves to the four fighters.
Nevertheless, they would still get an evaluation of their actions before their time in the exercise ended. Captain Mallard felt they performed quite well. She turned her attention back to the room, once again listening to the chatter.
“House Bobcat has sent reinforcements.”
“The final enemy ships are retreating.”
“House Bobcat has given landing clearance.”
Mallard’s attention shifted as the doors to the command center opened and the two aforementioned pilots walked in. “Corporal Mills. Private Pinkerton. Excellent work. You may get out of your gear and wait in the house conference room,” she said with a nod to the two cadets. Both gave a nod and a salute, then rushed off to get out of their flight suits. Mallard stepped toward the communications console and punched in her codes, allowing her to speak directly to the pilots and those in the room at the same time. “Excellent work, all of you. Now, if you would, gather in the house conference room in thirty minutes. I’ll give your final evaluations.” She paused before cutting the communication, but decided to add one more thing. “I would also like Miss Hawkspur to be present for this.”