Gaius never fancied himself a logistics pilot; he was much more at home behind the stick of a combat ship than that of a plodding support vessel, without even a single gun to its name. Normally flying fast frigates or large, self-sustaining battleships, he had heard about how Logistics support was able to turn the tide of battle, but never saw any benefits first-hand.
He thought Logistics was about scouting out nearby systems, identifying possible threats, keeping lines of retreat open for the main fleet, and that idea appealed to him, even if it weren’t nearly as glorious as shooting down the enemy. What he walked away with however was a head filled with knowledge about shield capacitors and remote armour repairers, how to focus energy on targets to boost their capacitor power, and absolutely nothing about solo exploration or surveillance.
When the call went out for Logistics pilots to mount up, he ruefully obeyed, questioning his recent life choices, and found himself captaining a drab-looking Augoror-class support cruiser. The Amarr never build for comfort, do they? He muttered to himself as he settled into the helm clearly designed for function above all else. It would be a sturdy ship no doubt, but it wouldn’t be winning him any awards for combat prowess.
Glumly following behind the fleet, alongside the other pilots relegated to flying support, Gaius wondered if they were shaking their heads with every passing AU like he was. Maybe they couldn’t cut it in combat fleets, he considered. Maybe all they’re good for is cleaning up after a battle. His mood soured to new lows even as the fleet commander announced that hostiles were inbound.
Right on cue the vast enemy fleet appeared from behind a nearby planet, both sides convinced of their superiority. After a soundless pause which seemed to stretch into the vastness of space, the battle erupted with unchecked savagery.
Wing Commanders were issuing orders from every direction, demanding their pilots strike this target or that, executing complicated maneuvers and daring raids into the heart of the enemy. Pilots were screaming in his ear for ammunition, new targets, extra boosters, or defense. Gaius had never heard such a cacophony before, normally flying in a small fighter fleet, and was almost stunned by the intensity of field-wide communications.
Cutting through the wild din was a calm and collected voice, that of the head of Logistics. With a relaxed and comfortable tone he began to give directions, no more harried than if he were reading an in-flight magazine. Energy transfers, armour-repairing nanobots, and signal boosters were spread as he commanded, keeping pilots in the fight when they were on the edge of destruction. Managing to turn his academic knowledge into real-world application, Gaius did his best to keep up with the orders, slowly understanding how different ships or pilots were prioritized and how to recognize distress even before a pilot called for help, his monitors filled with diagnostic data streamed from each ship in the fleet.
Suddenly his wingman took a heavy barrage of artillery fire; a small wing of enemy ships had delayed their engagement until the fight was well under way, striking at the largely defenseless support fleet. Gaius turned all of his attention and repair units to his fellow Logistics pilot, hoping it wasn’t too late to save him.
Almost immediately long-range missiles began striking the assaulting cruisers, two full squadrons of fighters rushing to destroy the newly-arrived threat. Within seconds the space around the support craft was filled with friendly ships, large and small alike, defending their Logistics team. Only when each of the enemy pilots had been blown up did the defensive fleets return to join the main assault.
Gaius’ eyes widened in wonder as he moved his repair units off his wingman and back onto the primary battlefield. Not only were Logistics pilots responsible for keeping ships flying amid the chaotic violence, they were important enough to divert two full squadrons of fighter pilots to aid in their defense when threatened. And all the while his commander gave directions, unfazed and level-headed throughout.
Maybe there really is glory in “just” being support, Gaius thought, smiling as he kept a close eye on the health of each offensive ship under his care.