Skyward Flight

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Skyward Flight
Skyward Flight by Botanicaxu.jpeg
by botanicaxu
Leader Jorgen
Members Arturo, Nedd, FM, Hurl, Morningtide, Rig, Kimmalyn, Spensa, Bim
Headquarters Alta Base
Type DDF flight
World Detritus
Universe Skyward Universe
Featured In Skyward
This page or section contains spoilers for Skyward!
This information has the ability to potentially ruin elements of the plot for the reader. Proceed with caution if you have not read this book.

Skyward Flight was a squadron of ten cadet pilots of Poco-class starfighters in the Defiant Defense Force on Detritus.[1] Original members of the group notably include Spensa Nightshade, daughter of Chaser, Jorgen Weight, son of a First Citizen and a National Assembly Leader, and Rodge McCaffrey, the highest scoring cadet on that year's pilot test.[1]

History[edit]

Origin[edit]

Skyward Flight originated as Cadet Flight B, one of three training flights organized from around twenty-five students who pass the DDF pilot's test when Spensa is seventeen years old.[2] The training flight includes students from various backgrounds, none of whom initially seem to recognize Spensa as the daughter of a disgraced DDF pilot, with the exception of her friend Rodge (Rig).[3] The instructor of their class is Cobb, a former pilot who acted as a wingmate for Spensa's father.[4] Spensa learns that Cobb had effectively circumvented the leader of the DDF, Admiral Ironsides, to get her into flight school.[3] Spensa immediately dislikes Jorgen, a fellow cadet who comes from a wealthy and influential family; due to their divergent social backgrounds and opposing attitudes regarding DDF policies and hierarchy, she nicknames him "Jerkface".[1] She also nicknames their squadron "Skyward Flight",[1] a reference to her father's tendency to focus on the sky and the stars beyond.[5][6]

Training[edit]

The members of the team begin training on holographic simulators colloquially known as "mockpits".[1] Most of the cadets have no background as pilots.[1] After one day of training, Ironsides deploys the squad as decoys due to a shortage of available starfighters,[7] and they are unexpectedly attacked by a Krell ship.[8] The brief dogfight causes Rig to quit flight school, telling Spensa that it was not really his dream and that he is not suited for flight.[9] Meanwhile, Ironsides has made it clear that she is opposed to Spensa's presence in flight school and does not allow her access to any of the facilities, forcing Spensa to sleep in a cave every night and scavenge for her own food.[9]

Cobb delays practice with weapons to focus on ship control,[9] and the cadets steadily gain skill through both simulations and actual flights in their Pocos.[5] Cobb's methods are unusual among flight instructors, but the members of Skyward Flight later realize that he has made them more skilled than some pilots in other more experienced flights.[10]

Losses[edit]

In one of the Flight's first true fights since their first day of training, Morningtide is shot down by three Krell ships trailing her. In the same battle, Bim is killed trying to go after a lifebuster when its escort peels away and destroys his ship.[11] During what was supposed to be a mission surveying falling debris, Nedd recklessly follows two members of Nightstorm Flight into a falling C-137-KJM orbital shipyard, trailed by Spensa. Nedd and Spensa barely escape the massive shipyard before it crashes to the ground, but the two Nightstorm pilots were killed.[12] The pilots were actually both Nedd's brothers, which caused him to stop showing up to class due to emotional trauma, until he is officially removed from flight school.[13]

The relationships between the members of the flight continue to evolve as they experience hardships and gain each other's trust. Although Hurl reacts negatively when Jorgen reveals that Spensa is Chaser's daughter,[14] she later realizes that it was unfair to judge Spensa on her family, and the two become friends.[15] Spensa is brought to tears when the other girls secretly procure some real food for her and offer her a place to sleep in their dormitory.[13] She also begins to understand that other cadets such as Jorgen have baggage that comes with their privilege.[16]

During another battle, Hurl's shield is brought down in a dogfight. Kimmalyn tries to shoot down one of Hurl's tails, but her usually perfect aim fails her in the heat of the moment. Hurl is hit by a Krell fighter and goes into an uncontrolled descent.[17] Jorgen tells Hurl to eject, but she refuses, attempting to be brave and safely land the ship. Although she nearly succeeds, she is killed in the crash.[17] The next day, Kimmalyn tells the flight that she is holding them back, and quits.[18] Later, the flight accompanies Blaze on a scouting mission, and when they report back to Cobb to debrief, Arturo's mother is there waiting for him, and pulls him out of flight school.[16]

Final Battle and Disbanding[edit]

Shortly before graduation, the remaining members of Skyward Flight are assigned to fly with Nightmare Flight, an established group of full pilots.[10] After some friendly back-and-forth that includes Spin and FM showing off their maneuvering skills, the group sees the other half of the C-137-KJM orbital shipyard falling through the debris field.[10] They are spotted and engaged by the Krell who are patrolling it.[10] Bog, a member of Nightmare Flight, has his shield brought down, and Spensa, Jorgen, and FM fly to his rescue. Spensa picked up a tail, had her shield brought down, and was hit; she ejected, losing her ship, and was later formally dismissed from flight school.[19]

The two remaining members of Skyward Flight, Jorgen and FM, graduated and became full pilots. The flight was then disbanded, as Jorgen and FM were forced to immediately join full DDF Flights to fight in the Second Battle of Alta.[20]

Members[edit]

Jorgen and FM are the only pilots of the original ten members of Skyward Flight who graduate from flight school.[20] Mongrel, Spin, Amphi, Quirk, and Nedder participate in the Second Battle of Alta, although they do so outside of the DDF's authority.[21][22]

Skyward Flight Members
Name Callsign Flight Number Outcome
Matthew Cobb Mongrel Instructor
Jorgen Weight Jerkface Skyward One Graduates; joins Riptide Flight
Nedd Strong Nedder Skyward Two Expelled due to truancy after his brothers' deaths
Hudiya Hurl Skyward Three Killed in action
Rodge McCaffrey Rigmarole ("Rig") Skyward Four Quits
Arturo Mendez Amphisbaena ("Amphi") Skyward Five Honorably retired from service
Kimmalyn Quirk Skyward Six Quits
Unknown Morningtide Skyward Seven Killed in action
Bim No callsign Skyward Eight Killed in action
Freyja FM Skyward Nine Graduates; joins a scout flight (likely Ranger Flight)
Spensa Nightshade Spin Skyward Ten Dismissed and placed into reserve service after ejecting

Notes[edit]

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