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  Rho Squadron Commander report #36 (12/29/2020)
 
This report was submitted by CMDR/GN Hav Antiel/Rho/Wing II/ISDII Warrior


 
RHO WEEKLY SQUADRON REPORT #36

REPORTING OFFICER: General Hav Antiel, Squadron Commander
DATE SUBMITTED: 29 December 2020

SQUADRON COMMANDER'S FICTION

Part I: After the Promotion

General Hav Antiel finally sat down in the cantina of the Imperial II-class Star Destroyer Warrior. He was tired. Good tired. It had been a long and significant day: the promotion ceremony and its preparations, the reunions with old friends, the heavy conversations with the TIE Corps Command Staff about his future, the obligatory and uproarious celebration at the bar, which was waning, at last.

Hav appreciated how the TIE Corps celebrated promotions; one pilot’s success meant a party for everyone. Still, it felt good to sit down alone at the bar after this long day. A chance to reflect on the promotion, the conversations, everything.

“I’ll have a Zekks on the Beach, B-33R,” said a familiar voice. “And put it on the General’s tab.”

Colonel Zekk Terrik crashed into the stool next to Hav. They had talked earlier that day, and Hav had even thanked Zekk in his speech.

“You doing OK?” asked Zekk. Hav shook his head and exhaled, his version of a quiet chuckle.

“‘Course, I am. Just made General. That’s a life goal achieved. If I look tired or something, that’s probably because it’s been a long day.”

“Oh, good,” said Zekk. “I thought maybe you were doing that thing where you go sit by yourself looking depressed because you got the thing you wanted.”

Hav squinted at Zekk, shook his head and rolled his eyes, then laughed.

“Maybe it is something like that, I guess.”

Zekk clapped him on the back.

“You’re a General now, Hav. You can’t sit in the cantina looking like somebody kicked your mouse droid. People look up to you now, just like they’re going to look up to me when I’m your boss in three days.”

The droid bartender placed Zekk’s eponymous drink on the bar with a hearty thud and the Colonel gave the universal symbol for keep ‘em comin’ without looking up.

“There’s nothing wrong with a little introspection,” said Hav. “I gave my speech—killed it, by the way—and did my duty greeting so-and-sos and looking serious and important. I’m just the kind of General who prefers to end the night with a contemplative drink alone.”

Hav could tell Zekk was staring at his new rank bar as he listened, a row of four blue rectangles above four red rectangles, and Hav paused to admire it in the mirror behind the bar. It was beautiful in its symmetry, and very Imperial in that way. He’d drawn rank badges with crayons as a kid, made pretend versions out of toy bricks. Seeing it there, really there on his uniform was going to take some getting used to.

“OK, I’ll leave you be,” said Zekk. “But first, open this.”

Zekk grinned as he tossed a small, wrapped present. The paper had Imperial Cogs in various colors, and Hav noticed course, brown hairs stuck under the tape.

“Firebreaker wrapped it. Open it!”

Hav struggled with the tape before smirking and cutting it through with his Grand Order of the Emperor dagger.

“Showoff,” said Zekk as he gripped the lightsaber hilt at his side.

Inside the box was a desktop holodisk. Hav lifted it up and activated it. A small blue hologram appeared of a Zekk and his partner Elissa smiling and embracing, a loth-cat in their laps.

“This is really nice, Zekk. Thank you,” said Hav.

“We named the loth-kit ‘Hav.’”

“Of course you did,” Hav laughed. “I really appreciate this, Zekk, but why a holodisk? Why not a bottle of Corellian ale or Twi'lek liquor or, I don’t know, a punch in the arm or something?”

“Yeah, those would be great gifts for normal Generals, but I knew you’d like this. Plus I wanted to show you how hot Elissa looks pregnant. Have you seen how big her—”

“Noted, thanks Zekk,” Hav laughed. “This means a lot. You know me well.”

“Glad you like it, General. Just don't get too cozy in that flight member role. You might get voluntold for a new command at any moment. Or sent to Airlock 11.”

Zekk drained his second drink, stood, and straightened his dress uniform, giving Hav a mock salute in the bar mirror.

“Hold on, I'll head back with you,” said Hav.

“What happened to 'nothing wrong with a little introspection’?”

“Even I know that's a little pathetic. C'mon.”

“More than a little, if you ask me,” said Zekk as he snatched an unfinished drink from the bar on his way out.

Part II: Passing the Torch

Back at Rho Squadron’s barracks, Hav was surprised to see the holomap active in the ready room. The squadron was enjoying some rare off time to celebrate their CMDR’s promotion, so there was no need for mission prep, much less late-night mission prep. Inside, Hav saw Commander acetiepilot—“Tommy” to everyone in Rho Squadron—reviewing mission plans and objectives, the Mandalorian looking completely natural at the CMDR’s lectern.

“General!” said Tommy, snapping to a salute, a smile escaping his crisp military bearing.

“As you were, Tommy,” said Hav, returning the salute. “Speaking of which, what are you up to reviewing missions at this hour?”

“I couldn’t sleep, sir. I am super nervous about making sure I do things right as CMDR. You’re a tough act to follow, if I may say so.”

Hav shook his head, blushing. He knew Tommy was up to the task of leading Rho Squadron. He’d served as an outstanding XO and been a model pilot. More than that, Tommy had become the touchstone for the squadron’s morale. Hav had opened up to him about things beyond life on the Warrior, things he’d rarely shared with his TIE Corps peers. Hav knew other pilots in the squadron looked to Tommy for support, as someone who would listen. It was funny to Hav that Tommy was nervous about leading the squadron, but it was further proof that he was the right officer for the job.

“You’ll be fine,” said Hav. “I make mistakes sometimes, but that’s why there are 12 pilots in a squadron. I know my flight leaders will catch anything I miss, and if they do miss something, I trust the flight members will spot it. And lucky for you, your newest flight member happens to be a sith-hot pilot.”

“Thanks, boss,” Tommy laughed.

“Of course, Tommy. Rho looks after Rho.”

Hav smiled, proud that he’d instilled wisdom and confidence in his successor and started walking toward his bunk. After a step, Hav turned on his heel and saw that Tommy was still at the control panel reviewing maps and mission data.

“Tommy,” said Hav.

“Sorry boss. I’ll call it a night.”

“You can keep reviewing, if you like. I just wanted to say…”

Hav scratched his head, unsure of what to say next. Tommy was much more prepared for his first command than Hav had been. He’d lasted less than two months of his first tour of duty for Epsilon and was busted down to Lieutenant Commander and flight member. Tommy, on the other hand, was a successful XO with former command experience outside of the TIE Corps. He’d helped shape Rho into the powerhouse that won Raise the Flag.

There was nothing Hav could say to calm Tommy’s nerves. Those feelings came from a desire to succeed, a belief in the squadron and not wanting to let it down. These were good signs, and Hav knew that experience was the only thing that would make Tommy feel comfortable.

“Sir?” said Tommy.

“I just wanted to say thank you again for your kind words at the promotion ceremony. And for the gift from you and the other pilots. It really means a lot to me.”

“Rho looks after Rho,” Tommy said, extending his hand for a fist bump.

Hav returned the gesture and retired to his bunk, clutching his General rank badge as he fell asleep to the thrum of the Warrior’s ion engines.

SQUADRON COMMANDER'S CORNER

Welcome to my last report as your CMDR, pilots. Rho Squadron pilots are already aware that I will be stepping down to a Flight Member role in Rho on 1 January. Rho Squadron's own CM acetiepilot will take over as the new CMDR. I'm thrilled, excited, proud, and relieved that Tommy will take over for me. He's an outstanding officer and a true friend, and we're all happy to see him step up. Congrats, CMDR!

Leading Rho Squadron has been the highlight of my TIE Corps career. I've had the pleasure of three successful commands (Sin Squadron, the Warrior, and Rho), and I don't mean to diminish the successes of the pilots I worked with in those positions. However, Rho has been something special. We started from scratch with just three pilots and a really cool patch. The squadron grew as random pilots were assigned to our roster. But these random pilots have become a community. We've helped each other through career changes, moves, tough times, and big changes. Rho has been everything I love about the TIE Corps pushed to a deeper level.

I had personal and squadron-level goals for Rho when I took the role as CMDR. These were statistical, activity-based goals that I'm proud that we have met and exceeded. Winning Raise the Flag still feels like an unbelievable dream. It was an accomplishment that hasn't been seen in the TIE Corps. For ten of us, it was our first-ever RtF. To perform at that level with brand-new pilots is unheard of. Those memories of checking the scoreboard minute-by-minute, chatting on Telegram about our strategies, and realizing that we were going to win will stay with me. What a remarkable thing.

You've helped me meet those goals, yes, but what I find most impressive—and most surprising—is the bond we've formed. Getting to know you as pilots and people, recognizing your voices on Discord during our weekly MP events, sharing pictures of our pets when the world felt a little too tense... these feel like moments I shared with friends.

I hope you'll pardon your old CMDR getting a bit sentimental. Rho Squadron grew from nothing to win RtF, to become the most formidable group in the TIE Corps by some measures, and I suppose that's the ultimate goal of a squadron, but the friendships we formed are what make me want to stay in this squadron.

Thank you, pilots, for your activity, your contributions, and your friendship. You've made your old CMDR look pretty good. I couldn't have done it without you.

SQUADRON NEWS
  • LCM Frenchie6 promoted to Commander
  • Your humble CMDR promoted to General
  • GN Hav Antiel stepping down as Rho CMDR
  • CM acetiepilot to assume command 1 January
  • COL Zekk Terrik named as next Warrior Commodore
  • CPT Jarion Renald's Rho's Wiki Expansion comp continues
COMPETITIONS

A full list of active competitions is available in the Competitions Center.

PROJECT 660

FINAL STANDINGS

PILOT

BSFs

1st

>80%

HS

POINTS

LCM Lo Mar

8

2

2

2

14

LCM JetMech

9

4

13

CM Frenchie6

9

3

12

CM acetiepilot

7

5

12

LT Epicedion

1

1

ROSTER
Rho Squadron - Strike
Skid Rho - "Shields won't save you."
Wing II - ISDII Warrior

Flight I - TIE Interceptor
Antiel's Aces || "Show 'em who the bad guys are."
[1-1] GN Hav Antiel
[1-2] LCM Lo Mar
[1-3] LT Chatter
[1-4] LCM Epicedion

Flight II - TIE Interceptor
Parjai Flight || "We are born to die. We live to be remembered."
[2-1] CPT Jarion Renalds
[2-2] LT Pedz
[2-3] LT Martello
[2-4] TBA

Flight III - TIE Interceptor
Emperor's Will || "Speed Kills"
[3-1] CM acetiepilot
[3-2] LCM Griggs D'Arc
[3-3] LCM JetMech
[3-4] CM Frenchie6
ACTIVITY

Flight I

[1-1] GN Hav Antiel

  • Flying: none
  • Non-flying: Trivia Grand Tour
  • Communication: email, Discord, Telegram

[1-2] LCM Lo Mar November Ace of the Month

  • Flying: none
  • Non-flying: none
  • Communication: Discord

[1-3] LT Chatter

  • Flying: none
  • Non-flying: none
  • Communication: Discord

[1-4] LCM Epicedion

  • Flying: none
  • Non-flying: none
  • Communication: Telegram

Flight II

[2-1] CPT Jarion Renalds

  • Flying: 12 LoSs
  • Non-flying: trivia, flight report
  • Communication: email, Telegram

[2-2] LT Pedz

  • Flying: 12 LoCs
  • Non-flying: none
  • Communication: Discord

[2-3] LT Martello

  • Flying: none
  • Non-flying: none
  • Communication: none

Flight III

[3-1] CM acetiepilot October Ace of the Month

  • Flying: none
  • Non-flying: flight report
  • Communication: email, Discord, Telegram

[3-2] LCM Griggs D'Arc

  • Flying: none
  • Non-flying: none
  • Communication: Discord, Telegram

[3-3] LCM JetMech

  • Flying: none
  • Non-flying: none
  • Communication: Telegram

[3-4] CM Frenchie6

  • Flying: none
  • Non-flying: none
  • Communication: Telegram
CLOSING COMMENTS

Thanks for hanging in there with me on this sentimental and long report. I'll miss being your CMDR, but I'll still be here. Expect some roster adjustments as Tommy finds a new FL for Flight III and I find an open seat.

GN Hav Antiel
CMDR/GN Hav Antiel/Rho/Wing II/ISDII Warrior
CA:LO/AD Hav Antiel/CA-7/ISDII Colossus
GOE/GSx3/SSx8/BSx13/PCx10/ISMx18/IS-1PW-14GW-27SW-54BW-9GR-16SR-64BR/MoI/LoC-CSx4-Rx1/LoS-RS-CSx2-Rx4/MoC-5doc-5poc-5goc-5soc-41boc/CoLx4/CoB/LoAx20/OV-6E [Archon] [Certified] [Gunner's Mate 3rd] {TCCORE-COE-MCBS-MP/2-SM/4-TM/3-WIKI}

CMDR of the TCCOM's Escort Squadron
Ace of the TIE Corps 2018