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Freelancer Mission 3


Juni: Trent! This is Juni. I’m back from assignment and have a job for you. Meet me on Manhattan. I’ll fill you in on the details when you get here.
Planet Manhattan Landing Pad
Lonnigan: Don’t move. Just listen!
Trent: Lonnigan, where have you…?
Lonnigan: Stay still! I had to kill a man to escape today. What’s one more–? Why are you still here? Don’t you see what’s going on? Freeport 7? Zone 21?
Trent: Yeah, The Order.
Lonnigan: No! It’s not just them. It’s Liberty: the artefacts, they’re after something.
Trent: Look, let’s just talk about this.
Lonnigan: No more talking! I know what I’m doing now. I have a plan. I wanted to warn you, I felt I owed it to you. Don’t try to follow me, Trent. Get out of Liberty while you still can!
Trent: What the–
Planet Manhattan Bar
Bartender: Nice to see you again! How are things?
Trent: Interesting. I’m looking for Jun’ko Zane. Have you seen her lately?
Bartender: Yeah, she asked me to tell you to meet her on the terraforming station on California Minor.
Trent: Anything else?
Bartender: No. That was all. Drink, Mr Trent?
Trent: No, thanks, I’d better get going.
Planet Manhattan Orbit
Juni: Trent, I’m sorry I couldn’t meet you as planned. I’m on assignment in California. I can’t tell you specifics right now. Let’s just say Ashcroft provided us with the information we hoped for. Meet me on California Minor as soon as you can.
Trent: I’ll think about it.
Juni: I need you on this one, Trent. I’ll be waiting for you.
California System, Liberty
Rowlett: Mr Trent! We need to talk. I was with you on Freeport 7 – we met on the rescue ship. Something’s going on. I’m being followed. Other survivors from Freeport have been disappearing. Please meet me on Los Angeles. Damn it!
Navy: Brandon Rowlett, you are under arrest. Cut your engines and stand down! All units, fire missiles!
The Liberty Navy slaughters another Freeport 7 survivor
Rowlett: Ahhhhhhh!
Navy: Civilian ship, this was a classified Navy operation. Do yourself a favour and keep this quiet.
Juni: Trent, I have you on my scanners. Glad you’re here. You’re just in time. Just land and I’ll tell you everything you need to know. I’ll wait for you in the bar. Juni out.
Planet California Minor Bar
Trent: You know if you’d wanted to see me you could have picked a quieter place.
Juni: I’m trying to keep a low profile.
Trent: Well, this is low, I’ll give you that.
Juni: The reason I called you here, Trent, apart from your glittering social commentary, is to have you do a job. Ashcroft finally talked. You interested?
Trent: Well, I flew all the way out here, didn’t I?
Juni: Ashcroft’s interrogation has given us a whole new perspective on the inner workings of the artefact smuggling ring. Apparently, there’s someone working on the inside in Liberty. We don’t know who yet. We think in the Navy – maybe even an officer. My CO has ordered a priority operation to expose this traitor. And since I need a complete outsider for this, I thought of you.
Trent: Nice. So when do I leave?
Juni: When do we leave. We’re working together on this one. Hey!
Trent: Shhh!
Trent and Juni watch the news report on Sam Lonnigan
Reporter: …the LSF says it has now seriously crippled The Order by bringing down their top man. Again: The LSF reports that the actual leader of The Order, previously known only by his code-name, Orillion, was shot and killed while trying to escape from Liberty into Rheinland space. In addition, Liberty officials have also just released his real name…
Trent and Reporter: Sam Lonnigan.
Juni: How did you know that?
Trent: I met him on Freeport 7. He was a tradesman, or at least I thought he was.
Juni: He must have been doing recon before the attack.
Trent: It wasn’t before, it was during. He almost died. Doesn’t make sense. He wasn’t smart enough to be a terrorist, let alone lead them. He was trying to tell me something…
Reporter: For those just joining us: Sam Lonnigan, also known as Orillion, leader of the terrorist group, The Order, was apprehended today at the Liberty border. We are told by the LSF that there was every intention to take him alive, but Lonnigan rushed agents and engaged them in a bloody shoot-out. He died at the scene. His remains are in Liberty custody and under guard, pending autopsy.
Juni: Well, whoever he was, he’s dead now. C’mon, Trent, we’ve got another scumbag to ferret out.
Planet California Minor Orbit
Juni: There you are! I’m switching to a secure channel. Time to find out if there really is a traitor behind the artefact smuggling. We’ll take the trade lane to San Diego. You first, Trent. Let’s go.
Juni: The LSF took out a criminal hideout in Magellan based on information I got out of Ashcroft. We found hundreds of artefacts. The convoy we’re escorting is bringing them to the LSF Research Lab here in California. The existence of the convoy has been kept secret and only a selected few know about its cargo and destination. If Ashcroft is telling the truth and there really is a traitor working inside the Liberty Military or the LSF, this will lure him out. It’s simply too good to pass up.
San Diego: This is Liberty Border Station San Diego. Please identify yourself.
Juni: LSF Commander Jun’ko Zane. We’re here on special assignment to escort a convoy to Research Station Willard.
San Diego: Acknowledged, Commander. The convoy has already left and is waiting at the Barrera passage. Hold on, we’re uploading a waypoint to your Neural Net.
Juni: Got it! Thank you, San Diego. Trent, we’ve got to hurry. Let’s go.
Juni:Transport HX-17. This is Commander Zane. Sorry we’re late. What’s your status?
Transport: All systems are green. We’re ready to enter the passage.
Juni: Acknowledged. Let’s go.
Transport: We’ve reached the entrance to the pathway, Commander.
Juni: Transport Leader, proceed to the first buoy.
Transport: Acknowledged. Proceeding to first buoy.
Juni: Everybody stay alert.
Transport: Commander, we’ve reached the first buoy.
Juni: Continue to the next buoy and keep your eyes open.
Transport: We’re at the second buoy.
Juni: Proceed to the third. There’s an opening in the passage and an abandoned supply depot coming up. Keep your eyes open.
Transport: Proximity alert! Scanner is picking up something!
Juni: Where? What is it?
Transport: A mine!
Juni: Damn it!
Transport: Alert! I have multiple inbound contacts coming in from all around us. They’re everywhere!
Juni: I read them, Transport Leader. San Diego, we are under attack. Repeat, we are under attack and need assistance. Over.
Gamma 1: Commander Zane, this is Gamma 1 from San Diego.
Juni: Gamma 1! We need your help! Engage the enemies.
Gamma 1: Acknowledged! Engaging!
Transport: This is HX-17! We’re taking heavy damage! Transport 2 is in trouble! Keep the fighters away from the transport!
Juni: All of the hostiles are destroyed. We’ve got to get out of here. Transport Leader, proceed to the next buoy on the other side of this zone. Gamma Wing: take flanking positions! We’re not too far away from Willard.
Gamma 1: Acknowledged!
Juni: This is the last section of the Barrera Passage. Willard Station is very close.
Juni: I’m glad you showed up, Gamma 1. It was starting to look grim.
Gamma 1: We got here as soon as we could.
Transport: Yes! We made it!
Willard: Incoming ships, this is Willard Station. Identify yourself.
Juni: This is LSF Commander Zane, we’re escorting a supply of classified materials to Willard Station.
Willard: Understood! We’ve been expecting you. Proceed to the station. Docking ports are currently off-line. We’ll have it fixed in a moment.
Juni: Thanks again. Trent, I have to land on the station and contact a few people. It’s pretty obvious now that there’s a mole in the Navy. I’ll see you soon.
Willard: Commander Zane, you are now cleared to land. Docking ports 2 and 3 are ready for you.
Juni: Oh, I recommend you land and get yourself some equipment. We’ll meet back in space in a few minutes.
Willard Research Station Orbit
Juni: Trent, we have to fly back to California Minor, we’ll take a short-cut this time. I’m uploading the co-ordinates. Let’s go! Switching to a secure channel… Something’s terribly wrong. I wanted to brief my CO on what happened with the convoy, but he’s been ordered to Manhattan. My contacts tell me that he’s actually been placed under arrest – for treason. I tried to find out more, but all my friends at LSF Headquarters seemed to have disappeared. The only person I was able to contact was King, who’s still on Pittsburgh.
Rhineland Valkyries in Liberty space
Juni: Hold on. Radar shows several ships on an intercept course. Wow! What are Rheinland Valkyries doing here? Attention Rheinland vessels. This is Commander Zane of the Liberty Security Force. Please identify yourselves. Over. Rheinland vessels, please respond. Trent, stay alert, something’s wrong here. They’re opening fire! Engage!
Juni: That was the last one! What’s going on? Rheinland military ships in the middle of Liberty? Why did they attack us? Do you think this had anything had to do with the artefacts? I just don’t get it… Rheinland? Even if there’s a traitor in the Liberty Military, what do Rheinlanders have to do with anything? We have to get to California Minor and talk to Walker. He’s the captain of a Liberty Navy cruiser stationed here in California. He and I worked together on several operations in the past. I know we can trust him.
Juni: All right, Trent. I’m going to find Walker. Meet me in the bar in a few minutes.
Planet California Minor Bar
Juni: Hey, Trent, over here!
Trent: This place is starting to feel like home…
Walker: Don’t get too comfortable, we still have lots to do.
Juni introduces Trent to Walker
Juni: Trent, meet Marcus Walker. He’s the captain of a Liberty cruiser. He’s just agreed to help us.
Walker: Always happy to help out the LSF! I’ve known Jun’ko for years. Sorry to hear about your luck on Freeport 7. You were fortunate to get out alive.
Trent: So I’ve been told.
Walker: Seems nowadays, if it isn’t smugglers, it’s The Order or some other scum trying to take advantage of us. Piracy is running rampant. Ah, you know, Trent… the Liberty military is always looking for good pilots to join them full-time. It’s a worthy cause.
Trent: Thanks, but no thanks. Causes come and go. I think I’d rather just keep freelancing, if it’s all the same to you.
Walker: Suit yourself. Uh, now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to make preparations. Nice, meeting you, Trent. I’ll see you at the rendezvous.
Trent: Thanks for the assist, Walker.
Juni: See you in space, Trent.
Planet California Minor Orbit
Juni: Walker and his cruisers are standing by on the far side of the planet. Let’s go.
King: Jun’ko, this is King.
Juni: King? What’s going on?
King: After you called me from Willard, I started to ask around a bit. I confirmed that your CO is in prison. There’s been a major shake-up in the higher ranks of the LSF…
Juni: That’s only the tip of the iceberg. We were just attacked by Rheinland Valkyries…
King: What? Rheinlanders?
Juni: King, we’re almost at our rendezvous point. I’ll contact you once we’re on Willard Station.
King: Okay, I’ll try to find out what’s going on. Talk to you soon.
Walker: There you are. I’m switching to a private channel. Juni, I just received new orders from High Command. My group has been ordered back to space dock for an inspection. We’re supposed to depart in half an hour.
Juni: Did they give any reasons?
Walker: They claim that there are inconsistencies in our maintenance records. Not sure why: we had complete work-up only two months ago.
Willard: This is Research Station Willard. We’re under attack and are taking heavy damage! We won’t be able to hold out much longer. Repeat: This is Station Willard – we’re under attack!
Walker: Forget about space dock. All ships go to battle stations! Set course for Station Willard. Station Willard, this is Liberty Cruiser Attack Group South, Captain Walker speaking. We’re en route to your location and will be in range within a few minutes. What is your status, over?
Willard: We’re being attacked by Rheinland gunboats and a wing of attack fighters. Several torpedoes have hit the Harmony and the station is on fire – automatic defences are failing and our fighters are being shot down like flies.
Walker: Understood Willard! Try to hold them back until we get there.
Walker: Willard, this is Attack Group South. We’re entering the asteroid field and will be at your location shortly.
Willard: Acknowledged! Two more torpedoes have hit the station! We’ve got plasma leaks in multiple sections! Hurry!
Juni: What a sight!
Walker: All fighter wings: engage the enemy. Cruisers! Break formation and protect Willard Station.
Juni: Acknowledged! Trent, watch yourself! This is going to get rough.
Walker: These gunboats are too fast for our turrets. Fighters, concentrate your fire on them!
Juni: Yes! That’s one down.
Walker: I’m reading several Rheinland bombers! All fighters, intercept the bombers before they can launch their torpedoes.
Juni: Acknowledged. Trent, get on it!
Juni: Got ’em!
Walker: We did it! All the gunboats are out of it! Jun’ko, I will have to stay here and deploy repair teams. Why don’t you join me in the station and we can discuss what’s going on with the LSF and the Navy.
Juni: Okay. Trent, this will take some time and you’ve gone beyond the call of duty already. I’m transferring your payment now. I recommend that you take on a few jobs in the meantime. Once I know more, I’ll contact you again. Right now, I need to find out what’s going on.

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