Skyward Flight

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Skyward Flight
Skyward Flight by Botanicaxu.jpeg
Leader Jorgen
Headquarters Alta Base
Type DDF flight
World Detritus
Universe Cytoverse
Featured In Skyward (series)
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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 Battle of Alta Second.[20] Mongrel, Spin, Amphi, Quirk, and Nedder also participated in the battle, although they did so outside of the DDF's authority.[21][22]

Reformation[edit]

After the Battle of Alta Second, Skyward Flight was reformed. Jorgen and FM were transferred back to Skyward Flight; Nedd, Arturo, Kimmalyn, and Spensa were recalled to active service; and the veteran pilots Catnip and T-Stall as well as the cadet Sadie were added to the flight to fill in some of the gaps in the flight's roster.[23][fn 1] Since the flight's reformation, its pilots have changed flight numbers several times.[27] In particular, around the time of Spensa's mission to Starsight, Sadie has the identification Skyward Nine[26] and FM has the designation Skyward Five.[27] During the flight's mission to ReDawn, Alanik flies with Skyward Flight and is given the designation Skyward Eight.[28]

Members[edit]

Cadet Flight[edit]

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
Magna Morningtide Skyward Seven Killed in action
Bim No callsign Skyward Eight Killed in action
Freyja Marten FM Skyward Nine Graduates; joins a scout flight (likely Ranger Flight)
Spensa Nightshade Spin Skyward Ten Dismissed and placed into reserve service after ejecting

Veteran Flight[edit]

Skyward Flight Members
Name Callsign Flight Number
Jorgen Weight Jerkface Skyward One[29]
Nedd Strong Nedder
Trey T-Stall
Corbin Catnip
Freyja Marten FM Skyward Five[27]
Kimmalyn Quirk
Arturo Mendez Amphisbaena ("Amphi")
Alanik[fn 2] Angel Skyward Eight[28]
Sadie Sentry Skyward Nine[26]
Spensa Nightshade Spin Skyward Ten[26]

Notes[edit]

Footnotes
  1. When Alanik arrives on Detritus, Spensa notes that there are nine members of Skyward Flight,[24] but during the tryout for the Superiority's Delver Resistance Project she notes that the flight usually had ten members.[25] Assuming both of these statements are accurate, the ship lost in the battle at Detritus right before the Superiority's capital ships arrived[26] may have been from Skyward Flight as well.
  2. Flies with the flight during its mission to ReDawn, during which she is given the designation Skyward Eight.[28] It is possible this designation was previously held by a DDF pilot.
References
  1. a b c d e f Skyward chapter 9#
  2. Skyward chapter 7#
  3. a b Skyward chapter 8#
  4. Skyward chapter 6#
  5. a b Skyward chapter 23#
  6. Skyward prologue#
  7. Skyward chapter 10#
  8. Skyward chapter 11#
  9. a b c Skyward chapter 13#
  10. a b c d Skyward chapter 46#
  11. Skyward chapter 19#
  12. Skyward chapter 26#
  13. a b Skyward chapter 27#
  14. Skyward chapter 21#
  15. Skyward chapter 28#
  16. a b Skyward chapter 41#
  17. a b Skyward chapter 32#
  18. Skyward chapter 33#
  19. Skyward chapter 47#
  20. Skyward chapter 48#
  21. Skyward chapter 51#
  22. Skyward chapter 52#
  23. Starsight chapter 3#
  24. Starsight chapter 8#
  25. Starsight chapter 14#
  26. a b c d Starsight chapter 2#
  27. a b c Sunreach chapter 1#
  28. a b c ReDawn chapter 7#
  29. Sunreach chapter 10#
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