Truth from the Black Box|
A month ago at the time of this writing, Captain Skinner and Lt. Dibbles went out as part of a strike team assigned to destroy the Ralari-class destroyer Rathtak. They launched from Tiger's Claw at ship's 2300 hours. At 2321 hours, the carrier bridge received transmissions from Skinner to Dibbles, ordering him back into position. This was the last transmission from either man. Ever.
Follow-up crews were eventually able to find the remains of Skinner's Scimitar and its "black box" flight recorder, and were able to reconstruct what happened from its record of radar images.
The real scenario unfolded exactly like above. Mule-Skinner and Tooner ran across the scene described. Tooner decided for a quick kill, and spun out to engage the damaged, but still active, Jalthi-Class fighter. Mule-Skinner ordered him back into position and, either presuming that Tooner would immediately turn back, or just unwilling to abandon or delay his mission because of a some-
|what flaky wingman, pressed on towards the objective. Tooner did not immediately turn back, probably plannig to make just one strafing run before turning back to rejoin his wingleader.
Unfortunately, the painful truth was that neither Jalthi-class fighter was damaged.
When Lt. Dibbles came within a reasonable assault distance of his target, that target abruptly rolled out in controlled flight and engaged him. Simultaneously, the "dead" Kilrathi fighter powered up, stopped spinning, and moved into position behind Captain Skinner.
To Lt. Dibbles' credit, he was able to hold off his opponent for quite a while. But while he was in a dogfight with one Kilrathi, the other was destroying his wingleader. Skinner's flight recorder blacks out - owing to the destruction of his fighter-craft - with the radar showing Dibbles still in desperate combat with his opponent.
Even without the benefit of Dibbles' unrecovered flight recorder, it doesn't take too much creativity to reconstruct what hap-