Chapter 1 - Fly By Mine

Fly By Mine is actually the first chapter left over from the complete revamp of the SK Chronicles Vol IV. Many enhancements have been made to this chapter. Most of the improvements made are due to the experience gained in writing SK Chronicles V ("Rebel Conversion"), and the short stories written after it ("ShipShape", "Dragon Dance", and others).

The original version had a number of fundamental problems with the style of writing. In particular, the use of very long, comma-separated sentences allowed many ideas to be put into a single paragraph, but this had sacrificed readability. There were also subject-verb agreement problems that simply had to be fixed. This is not to say that this revised version is problem-free, but I'd say it's an improvement, to say the least.

Okay, enough rambling about the revamp. Here are the actual notes on this chapter :

  • You might like to know that this chapter first introduced the concept of the StratoStar air-space, well, excuse-me, aerospace fighter (kudos for the recommendation of the word "aerospace" should go to Wadmaasi).

    Armed with a Heavy Laser (HLAS), and a Long-Range Autocannon (LATC), the StratoStar is positioned in the Starsiege Universe to be something like what the Excalibur, say, is to the Wing Commander Universe - a powerful, one-man fighter that is capable of combat in atmosphere and in space. As I have mentioned in my earlier author's notes, I am a WC fan at heart, too - do let me indulge in air/space, well, aerospace action. By now, you may already know a little more about my ideas and goals behind the introduction of this fighter class - it figures quite prominently in "ShipShape" and "Rebel Conversion".

  • Also, let it be known that this was the chapter that originally introduced the concept of the StormTrooper Powered Armor - along with its accompanying weaponry. Remember that the year is 2828 - a far cry from the Tribes Era. Therefore, there are no jump-jets, no energy power-packs, no heavy armor, and, no, you cannot carry three or four weapons all at once (miniature anti-gravity modules like those embedded into Tribes weaponry are not yet available - of course).

    The powered armor in the Starsiege Era can be envisioned to be a little simplistic compared to those you see in Tribes. They are a little bulky and awkward to move around in, and have limited energy resources (you do not have enough energy for weapons, hence the external ammo packs). And, no, the StormTrooper Powered Armor's main purpose in life is not to capture the flag... :)

  • The original story used [SK] Huh?'s handle as it was. However, this introduced a number of sticky punctuation problems, especially at the end of sentences, like "[SK] Huh?." or "[SK] Huh?!!" Furthermore, the question mark stands out like a sore thumb when used in the middle of a sentence. In this revised edition, for the sake of formatting, I've taken out the question mark. I hope nobody minds. In the future, we probably really ought to accept only regular alphanumerics in SK handles.

  • The COPIM orbital-drop module may not be exactly a new idea - but I'd like to think that its attached maglev platform is a cool accessory to have. Magnetic levitation should be pretty commonplace by 2828, so we could expect entire railways to be constructed with maglev technology.

  • SK matter - Ramrod and John have been described in the story as Tempestkeeper and Fire Rage, respectively. This is in line with their level ranking during the Starsiege ATR's - which is the time period in which this chapter originally appeared. Just to show some level of consistency in here.

Well, here's the first part of the revamped SK Chronicles Vol IV. Hope you like it. Please send any comments to

Low Ee Mien
[SK] Louie G3L
Thu 16 Dec 1999