After their so called rest, Lt Cooper “Jack of Spades” Hawkes and Lt Nathan “King of Hearts” West board their SA-43 Hammerhead fighters. Launched from their base ship the USS Saratoga, the pair – the remainder of the “Wildcards” Squadron join forces with the rest of the fleet.
Since 2063, Mankind has been engaged in a war with an extra-terrestrial threat christened “the Chigs” – a term based on the Chigoe Flea. It started with the attack on Vespa and Tellus colonies, on which survivors were taken as hostages; then the race carried on into warfare against humanity; initially mankind lost, but now after numerous clever tactics, brute force, and covert operations, man is here to take vengeance.
As the pair joins formation, they reflect on what had happened twenty-four hours ago; a Chig ambassador had arrived, with promise to release the hostages, among them Nathan’s girlfriend in exchange for peace; from what he had heard, the plan went awry; the Chig ambassador had accused the CEO Allen Wayne of Aerotech, Earth’s main starship and arms manufacture, of violating a sacred world of their with probes. There was an argument, then an explosion which saw the ambassador, Wayne and top human ranking officers being killed; his commander T.C. McQueen was there as part of the liaison group and lost his leg in the process.
On top of that, the Wildcards has warned the Chigs (not with malice) that mankind was on its way – something that did not go down well with the entire human fleet. They were suspended but then the hostage situation became critical, and in defiance, the commander of the Saratoga, one Commodore Ross ordered them to the rescue; a mission that turned into another disaster; the other members of their squadron did not make it; Lt. Vanessa “Ace of Hearts” Damphousse and Capt. Shane “Ace of Diamonds” Vansen were last seen heading planetside in the flightdeck module of one of the downed transports after a Chig fighter took out their ship; Lt Paul “Joker” Wang helped rescue the hostages at the cost of his life. In a way, their losses sort of compensated for their actions.
Now came the day for payback.
The human ships steered themselves into planetary bombardment positions as hundreds of Hammerheads and transports swarmed towards the Chig homeworld. However as the order was given to fire, sensor officers detect mass jump signatures.
Out of nowhere, hundreds of Chig warships arrive, some of which appear to be new models. From them, hundreds of fighters are released, and not the standard chunky Chig units, but the sleek and fierce variants Chiggy Von Richthofen machine.
Mankind had been set up.
A fierce battle is engaged; despite human courage and determination, the Chigs had lured them into a successful ambush combined with fighting on home soil. Hammerhead pulse cannons have no effect on the new Chig fighters, only their missiles. The Chigs have no limitations and down numerous human fightercrsaft. From the planet, missiles zoom up to hit human warships. They smash into the hulls of the carriers. Then the Chig warships engage.
It is carnage.
Humanity hit these vessels hard with their pulse laser cannons, particle weapons, and missiles but the Chig ships are made of tougher armour and can take the punishment more; this combined with numeral superiority, gives the Chigs a great advantage.
To the pair’s horror, the Chigs make a direct target for the Saratoga. Despite fighting with ultimate ferocity, the firepower from the enemy is overwhelming.
Aboard, the bridge splinters under the barrage; despite his gruffness, Ross knows he is lost; he barks and demands a fight on, but his crew are killed. He realised he is doomed and screams in defiance as hundreds of red plasma weapons zero in.
Seconds later, the Saratoga explodes. This is followed by numerous other carriers shattering into splintering pyrotechnics over the alien world. The pair and humanity fight on, but casualties are mounting at a frightening pace…
This is my depiction of the fight over the Chig homeworld from the finale of the TV series Space: Above and Beyond.
To those not familiar with it, it was a series made in the 1990s, and is about humanity fighting an alien threat; think new Battlestar Galactica, Stargate SG-1, Aliens (minus the critters), Stargate Universe, Starship Troopers, and Babylon Five, but was its own beast. It had heavy traits of Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War though.
This is just a swift synopsis – please check out the show to make your judgement.
The show was planned to have five series but due to failings in the rating, poor time slots, bad production values, and other elements, the thing was reduced to one, with the possibility (but never achieved) of a second instalment.
I never liked the series – I just could not care about the characters, the situation, and that it was very predictable. Plus it featured a lot of assholes that made me root for the Chigs!!
However, I feel the show had potential – it just was not well delivered; the revelation of Aerotech, the fact that they supplied all the weapons used by the USMC (the rest of humanity is not shown except for the sole Brit who was believed to be a traitor (Cheers!)) for this war appears convenient, and the ending was close to Blake’s Seven heroe’s demise (although I OBJECT that the women pilots survive only to end up as hookers!). I think it deserves a second series – but it should be braver.
The above battle was planned for the “second series” as humanity’s initial victories were overturned, which in the end results in a truce, again very similar to The Forever War.
Like to hear your thoughts peeps!