[[Good battle music for the introduction of the last part of the Black Mask & Pale Rider/Rocket Fox crossover, War of the Worlds. When last we left the story, Shani, Pania, Jora and Yenlia had gone to Earth…]]
While Shani, Pania, Jora and Yenlia are bringing back a squadron of elves from Earth to Terra-Kal, the distress beacon launched as the space station was attacked has reached Pantheran space. As the World War II era Spitfires and B-52 Bomber liberates the city of Arcanum Bridge, the beacon is brought into one of the IPF Tiger’s Pride shuttle bays and it’s message played. The Tiger’s Pride is commanded by Admiral Felan Tal, a stripped Pantheran with white, orange and black markings. He was a junior officer when the Lupine Sector of Space first encountered the Raptory. He made no hesitation in making the decision to contact an old friend in the Royal Vulpine Armada; Admiral Tor Clarendale.
Tor: Not that I don’t mind these visits Felan, but this is rather sudden.
Felan: I wish it were under better circumstances, Tor. We managed to intercept a Vulpine distress beacon. It’s origin is from the science guild’s orbital research facility in Sector Beta Two. You’re familiar with that facility?
Tor: Yes, scientists have been studying the planet and the populace for some time now. Twenty years, the last I heard. Why, is something wrong?
Felan: They were attacked by the Raptory. According to the station distress beacon, a message was recorded that the station was lost, all scientists boarded the Dorgatha and were being escorted to the planet’s surface by a squadron of fighters under command of Left-tenant Commander Aria Sharpspear. The RVA Thunderchild was in the process of engaging the Raptory vessels.
Tor (clearly upset by this news): Do you know how many vessels were attacking the station?
Felan: Sensor logs only detected ten, but who knows if that is accurate. Tor, I no doubt believe that the Royal Vulpine Armada will wish to advance to protect your citizens and liberate the planet the Raptory most likely have tried to conquer. But the Pantheran Council will not look favourably upon a fleet of Vulpine ships crossing Pantheran space.
Tor: We’ll have to circumvent, most likely. It will take us a little longer…
Felan: No need. I’ve already discussed the matter with the Council. I’ll be leading a Pantheran group to join the Vulpine Fleet. I already have the assurance that the Osprey and the Kestrel will be joining me.
Word spread fast throughout the sector. Vulpine ships quickly volunteered to help with the battle, but Tor only invited six; aside from the Tritan, there was the RVA Vulpine and the RVA Felanus, both attack class vessels, there was the RVA Stillwater, a carrier ship complete with a compliment of three hundred Nighthawk Mark III fighter craft. The RVA Huntsman, while being a science vessel, still had her compliment of weapons. The RVA Ocelot and the RVA White Fox, both of which were escort class vessels, fitted with the most powerful weapons in the Vulpine fleet. And on board the Tritan, the latest Nighthawk Mark III was ready with her crew; Commander Senia Felix, and Left-tenants Clarfax Billings and Hardy Maynard. Simply dubbed, the Nighthawk, this new ship was similar in power to an escort vessel, but had the capability of the original Nighthawk in that she could separate into three individual fighters. With more power, they needed more crew, so they had their co-pilots, all Felanus and all graduates of the Royal Vulpine Academy in Chattingham; Private Wilfred Sharpclaw, and Corporals Matilda Longtail and Eva Littlefang.
The Vulpine and Pantherans weren’t the only ones to send vessels; the still young Lupine Star Alliance dispatched four vessels to assist, arguing that Red Streak and the other Jackai crew were citizens of Lupinia. Even the Critainians dispatched three war ships, stating that the Raptory were their problem to begin with, and they felt a great deal of responsibility for their incursions into this sector of space.
And lastly, they were joined by the Barrow’s Revenge and the Lionid’s Pride. Both Urial and Crena argued that the fleet would need supplies and those two ships would be invaluable in that effort. For Crena’s part, she also knew that Left-tenant Colonel Artemis Dawkins and his Midnight Squadron were prepared should they be called upon to fight.
- Black Mask & Pale Rider: Primo Victoria and more on War of the Worlds (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
- Rocket Fox: War of the Worlds the idea (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
- Rocket Fox: War of the Worlds (taholtorf.wordpress.com)