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Pursuit Over Xanadu

Gunships and fighters can't stand on the line of battle.  Get within a light-second of a real combatant and we're pretty much toast, pummeled by x-ray lasers.  But drop us into an atmosphere and the rules change.  Those fancy one nanometer lasers can't penetrate the soup and drone missiles start to break up past about fifty kps.  Thatís when guns and light missiles can start to matter again. 

The Martians took Phoebe and Janus on their sweep into Saturn, but those of us that got out had two places to break. For the inner bases, it was Saturn and its rings.  For us, with Phoebe under bombardment, Titan was our best hope to hide and fight back.

Five gunships made it into the sheltering smog.  The Red Marines came in after us, and then it became a game of cat and mouse: ambush and run, close terrain flying, bad visibility and gun battles over the fjords and valleys over northern Xanadu. 

Yes, it was terrible and terrifying.  Yes, we lost in the end, most of us killed, the rest captured or smuggled from one resistance cell to another for long cold years.  But I have to admit, I miss those days, the duels in the valleys under orange skies and the great ringed world. 

-Lt. Cmdr. Karla Vorno, Commander, VS106 Avenging Angels

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