(This story is in the POV of the holodeck character.)
The holodeck had been reserved quite frequently since the last two missions and Amanda had been wanting to continue her story she had been going through since the Academy. In fact no one knew about this program she had kept it quiet, but she knew eventually someone would learn of it. The Captain had made some off duty time for all the bridge officers and it was Amanda’s turn.
She had donned a big coat to cover the outfit she was wearing, not that it was a big deal, but she was still trying to keep it quiet as long as she could. She liked being alone in this program letting it run without any other actual people in the simulation. She made it to the deck and input the program before entering and taking the coat off.
((CAG’s Office, USS Eisenhower, Atlantic Ocean))
The program had started her as an Ensign in the USN, but she had worked her way through the ranks. She knew she was not a part of the time where the USN existed, but she always enjoyed reading about the USN and how it operated. After entering the Academy she had created this program and ran it in her spare time.
She went to flight school to fly Raptors and acquired her Golden wings. Her character was now Captain Allison Cerion. She was the CAG, which stood for Commander Air Group, but it was also the nickname for the Air Wing Commander, which she was on the Eisenhower. She had built a reputation on the ship and the crew liked her, which wasn’t always easy as the CAG her job was to make the tough decisions and that meant sometimes grounded pilots or pulling them from flying all together.
She had been working on her reports when the ship intercom blared “CAG to the bridge!”
She got up and quickly made her way through the intertwining passages. Over the time of being in the simulation she had learned the ship, but it had taken some time. She made it to the bridge rather quickly, saluting the Captain as she stood in front of him wondering why she had been called.
The Captain was a fair man and a good fit for the Eisenhower. He had been on the ship since Amanda had been placed on the ship as Cerion. Captain John Rabb has made sure she was welcomed on the ship though there had been some issues. The men didn’t exactly like the woman CAG, but she had proved herself and the respect she had earned was hers alone.
Cerian spoke “You asked for me, Sir?”
The Captain nodded and saluted back. “At ease CAG, we have orders from CENTCOM (United States Central Command) to launch fighters for support in an attack on Syria.”
”How many are they requesting?” Cerion inquired.
Rabb looked up and shook his head. ”All of them, CAG.” he replied.
Her eyes got wide; she had never heard of such an order. The ship usually had some fighters left for support. She couldn’t understand what CENTCOM thought to gain out of it.
“All due respect Captain, but what are they thinking? Depleting our entire complement could be catastrophic. Along with me as well.” Cerion stated out of pure concern and bluntness.
The Captain looked up from the plans and shook his head. “Sorry CAG, but you’re to stay here and monitor the squadron.”
Cerion thought to herself. “70 Aircraft and I’m to stay here. What is going on?”
”Yes Sir, if there is nothing else I will brief my pilots and see preparations are made for launch?” She said conceding defeat.
Rabb replied with a reply knowing how Cerion felt. “Very good and CAG I know how much you want to go up, but orders are orders; however keep one craft back and a WSO (Weapons Systems Officer) just in case you need to go up.”
Cerion nodded and departed the bridge, still unsure of what CENTCOM was thinking. It wasn’t normal to ground a CAG especially one with experience like hers and in the mission they were wanting to conduct. Air strikes were precision and quick without a proper recon of the area. Cerion didn’t feel comfortable with the decision but even she couldn’t fight CENTCOM.
She swung back around making her way back to the Captain.
”Sir, permission to fly a recon mission? The mission isn’t set till tomorrow.” She asked with excitement.
The Captain nodded “Granted, but Captain do things by the books please.”
Cerion nodded and left to find her WSO. She headed to the cafeteria and found her WSO Josiah Rodriguez who she had been with since being stationed on the Eisenhower. She had been saved by his quick thinking more than once.
Josiah was where she figured getting a cup of coffee. She motioned for him, as soon as he caught her eyes.
She smiled with a twinkle in her eye. “We have a recon mission to fly if you’re up for it Lieutenant?”
“Always up for some Airtime CAG. When do we go?” Rodriguez asked.
“Immediately as soon as we are dressed.” Cerion replied.
She smirked and headed to don her flight suit with Rodriguez on her heels. She donned the suit and headed to the flight deck. The roar of jets launching always spiked her adrenaline. She signaled the deck officer and proceeded into the Raptor for pre flight checks.
She had done it for so long it was like clockwork now. And with Rodriguez it went quicker. Within minutes they were prepped and ready. She put on the helmet and looked at the deck officer saluting. As the nod came the Raptor was shot off the carrier and Cerion was officially in control.
She pulled the throttle back and accelerated till she was above cloud cover. Once above she keyed her radio. ”Hammer this is Raptor 224 en route to objective Kilo. Are we clear to proceed?”
She got the reply from the Eisenhower. “You are clear to proceed 224.”
Cerion accelerated and headed for the shore. When on a mission no real names were given and everyone was referred to by the call sign they had been assigned.
Cerion spoke to Rodriguez. “Stinger maintain radio silence.”
The reply came back. “Copy that CAG.”
Cerion switched her radar on and plotted the course coming around to 240 arcing the Raptor to the left quickly and accelerating. Within minutes they reached the coast and prepped for the recon flight.
“Switch to long range radar and scan Stinger.” She ordered as she took the plane into a small dive.
“Already on it CAG.” Silence for a minute before Rodriguez replied. “CAG we have a problem. I am reading multiple bogeys inbound.”
Cerion looked at her radar seeing MiGs ahead.
“What are MiGs doing here, Stinger?” She inquired in slight confusion.
“I am unsure, but we need to go quickly or we will be outnumbered.” Rodriguez said with a slight hint of concern.
Cerion chuckled “Don’t forget your with the CAG.”
She pulled the Raptor into a dive and accelerated pushing through cloud cover pulling up to skim the ocean. She accelerated pulling her oxygen mask tight and taking a deep breath. She pulled the throttle up and saw two MiGs above her closing in fast and beginning their own dives towards the Raptor.
“Stinger, acquire targets trajectory” she ordered.
“Acquiring the trajectory now CAG!” Rodriguez replied back.
Cerion saw the MiGs flight path appear on her radar and she unlocked her weapons control keying the Eisenhower for authorization.
“Hammer we have unconfirmed number of bogeys. Permission to engage.” She asked as she continued to watch the MiGs on approach.
“224 this is Hammer Authorization granted!” The Eisenhower replied.
Cerion accelerated back up to the level of the Migs and leveled out. Acquiring a lock on one she fired. The next thing she saw was a ball of flames. She heard a shrill beep notifying her the other Mig had locked on. She pulled the Raptor into a climb trying to evade the Mig, but was notified by Rodriguez that the MiG had fired.
Cerion deployed flares and banked hard to the left. The missile fell for the flares and detonated into them. Cerion pulled back and acquired a lock on the MiG firing, but the pilot was smart and evaded the missile. Cerion banked and reacquired the target. She locked on, but this time making sure the pilot would not be able to avoid the missile. As the MiG exploded she accelerated back towards the carrier.
“CAG we have multiple bogeys. And Sir it’s not something we can fight.” Rodriguez stated with a hint of worry in his voice.
“Understood. Hammer this is 224 we have multiple bogeys inbound. We need support.” Cerion reported.
“CAG this is Striker inbound with support.”
Cerion smiled it would have to be Striker. The one person she would want in a fight. He must have been on a flight when hearing Cerion’s call on the radio.
“Good to hear your nearby Striker! Let’s get back to Hammer without tails.” She ordered to the other flyer.
She accelerated and got above cloud cover heading towards the carrier. The bogeys were behind too far, but she knew she needed to cut her losses and get back before something bad happens.
She saw ahead two blips coming towards them.
“Striker we have some uninvited guest. Let’s make sure they don’t join the party.” Cerion ordered.
She did not want the enemy to find the Carrier Group. She accelerated and banked the Raptor in a simple flanking maneuver. Striker followed the same pattern and both Raptors were now behind the MiGs. She made sure Striker had locked into the target before she followed the same pattern.
Moments later two balls of fire were seen and the MiGs had disappeared from the radar. Cerion looked to see how far the other MiGs were behind. When she was confident they could not follow she opened communications.
”Striker let’s head back. You’ll be landing first so take the lead.”she ordered.
”Aye Aye CAG!” Striker replied as he took the lead.
After a decent flight back the deck of the Eisenhower was visible. After Striker had landed successfully Cerion got the go ahead from the Deck Officer.
“You have the ball CAG bring her home.” the officer stated.
Cerion gracefully led the Raptor to the deck of the carrier hooking to the deck and stopping for yet another successful landing. The sun was setting as she touched down the sun glinting off her glasses.
Amanda realized she had been in the holodeck for awhile and she should probably end her session for now.
“Great job Rodriguez we will brief at 08:00 get some rest.” Cerion smiled as they climbed out of the Raptor.
“Aye aye CAG. I will do that after a paint the successful elimination on the jet. We are running out of room.” Rodriguez laughed.
Cerion smiled and saluted him before departing from the flight deck and heading for her office after taking off her flight suit.
She got back to her office and spoke to the ships computer.
”Computer end simulation.”
The ship disappeared and the holodeck appeared in front of her. She smiled, it was always an adrenaline rush for this simulation. She exited the holodeck and headed back to her quarters happy with the results of the session.