Another FLEETEX, but this time the first that he would be present in the capacity of ship's commodore, also the first where there were only two active Imperial Star Destroyers present. Vice Admiral Prower wrinkled his black nose as he looked down at the fleet readiness report. It wasn't so long ago that he was Epsilon Squadron commander here after being transferred from Sin on their sister ship. Their opponent now.
His first major command as Wing Commander on the ISDII Subjugator was long ago too. The poor Subbie was still in drydock after being pasted exploring some strange wormhole opening near a planet they called Bajor. A small yet powerful ship had apparently done the damage and the Science Office was still scratching their heads as to what its full armament contained. Still, there was some fruits of their labor. A few sympathetic and undersexed officers were given passes to the Hammer cantina. And right before the FLEETEX was announced, the engineering section was slowly removing and replacing systems. The Warrior was in for a surprise, the alien fox thought.
His fingers drummed against the armrests of his command chair. That was another thing that was welcome, they had installed it in the center with the command pit sections all around him to see. So far nothing but the dark expanse of space. Prower reached down and removed a can of beer from a case sitting upright near his seat. Then he cracked the tab open and took a few loud slurps.
Suddenly the stretched-out image of the Warrior appeared at viewports. Sure enough the holoprojector lit up to reveal the smirking face of Rear Admiral Pete "Tex" Mitchell, the new kid on the block. It seemed he was drinking too and the fox's blood boiled even more at the sight of it. Light non-alcoholic beer? Prower rested his left fist under his chin and leaned forward.
"Did you get lost again, Tex?" he asked.
"We have an exercise to get on with, Tails," Mitchell replied, taking a sip. "Let's get this over with, I have the party already planned."
The blood vessels in his eyes threatened to bulge out as Prower raised himself up to his feet. "Who plans a party for his loss? I thought you humans called that a funeral wake."
"Oh c'mon, loss? The Warrior's been on a hot streak. Just sit back and watch the fireworks," Mitchell chided. "Training damage outputs are all set?"
"Of course. We are after all warships of the Empire. One never knows what might happen, even in exercise," the fox replied.
"Right. Good hunting." Mitchell turned and could be seen waving to his comm-tech to cut the connection. Miles sat down and waved towards his gunnery officer and to Major Task, the Wing Commander of Wing I. He reached down and produced two more cans of beer, tossing them at them. "Launch Alpha, Beta, Delta and Epsilon Squadrons. The squadron with the most kills gets free cantina services for the rest of the year. The pilot with the most kills overall gets free cantina services and a Twi'lek dancer. As far as you Guns, is our ace card ready?"
"Ready as it will ever be, Vice Admiral," the gunnery officer replied while Task struggled to open his beer.
"Right. Lock all batteries on the Warrior. Training damage output of course. Load torpedoes too," Prower ordered.
"Training torpedoes too?" Task asked curiously while TIEs from the Warrior could be seen streaking out. The fox nodded. After a few moments, the gunnery officer called out, "Ready!"
Prower got up and stalked over to the command pit for gunnery. He motioned for the gun coordinator to get up, the bright green flashes of turbolasers splashing against their shields. Looking over the retrofitted console, the fox muttered and then thrust his can out to the gun coordinator. "Hold my beer, watch this."
He stabbed at the firing key as bright orange beams on dark strips throughout the Hammer lanced out and converged. Their shields dimmed and buckled while he hammered the firing key for the torpedoes. Bright purple-white projectiles streaked out and when they made impact, the Warrior's running lights darkened abruptly and it began to drift.
"Damage report?" Prower asked.
"Superficial, no physical damage. Reactors are barely online. They have no offensive capability. Life support's OK," a sensor tech called out.
"Right. Which means the Warrior's TIE wings can't get fire support now." The fox snatched his beer away. "Start firing at their TIEs, give our boys a hand. As soon as we confirm they're all quote-unquote dead, we'll transfer a power crew over to get them back online. But make sure you confiscate their booze and junk food!"