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Freelancer Mission 7


Planet Leeds Orbit
Leaving Leeds
Juni: There you are! Trent, do you think Tobias will be all right? Maybe he should come with us.
Trent: Tobias is better off far away from us. As long as we have the artefact, none of us will be safe. We’ll be lucky to get out of here in one piece.
Juni: We should take the trade lane to Stokes, and from there we’ll jump to the Tau-31 System.
Quintaine: We don’t have any time to waste. Let’s go.
Juni: There! Rheinlanders!
Rheinland Agent: We told you we wouldn’t be far. Give up the artefact – all exits out of this system are blocked. You cannot get out!
Juni: We’ll see about that!
Rheinland Agent: As you wish!
Rheinland Agent: We’ll meet again. You’ll never make it out of Bretonia alive!
Sinclair: Damn it, he cloaked! We’ve got to get away from here.
Juni: Take the trade lane. Trent, you go first. I’ll cover the rear.
Quintaine: I cannot believe they continue to attack us in the middle of Bretonia territory.
Juni: Where have you been, Professor? The colonies are at the brink of war. Rheinland ships have been sighted in just about every system.
Sinclair: That Rheinlander said that all exits out of Leeds are blocked. What do we do?
Juni: We fight. We’re coming up on Stokes. Stay sharp!
Rheinland Agent: I told you we’d meet again. For the last time, surrender the artefact.
Juni: Come and take it! We’ve got incoming. Trent! Keep them away from Sinclair and Quintaine.
Stokes: This is Stokes Smelter. We are under attack by Rheinland warships and need assistance!
Juni: Got one!
Stokes: Repeat, this is Stokes Smelter. We are under attack and need assistance!
Juni: Two down!
Quintaine: The other two just cloaked!
Stokes: Unknown ships, this is Stokes Smelter. Large numbers of Rheinland ships have been reported throughout Leeds. We recommend you land and wait till the crisis is over.
Juni: Negative, Stokes! There’s no time. We have to get out of Leeds. Trent, take the trade lane!
Sinclair: Let’s hope the jump-gate is clear. It’s the only way out of Leeds.
Juni: Trent, Sinclair and Quintaine need enough time to get through the gate. No matter what awaits us there, we have to buy them as much time as we can and then jump to Tau-31.
Juni: Get ready!
Quintaine: Oh my! A Rheinlander cruiser is blocking the gate! We don’t stand a chance!
Rheinland Agent: This is the end. You have nowhere else to run. Give up, now!
Juni: Trent, engage the cruiser. Try to knock out their turrets!
Rheinland Agent: You fools! You will be destroyed…
Glasgow: This is Outpost Glasgow to all Bretonian ships. We’re under attack. Repeat: we are under attack. Damn! It seems that our transmissions are being blocked!
Tobias: Open fire, chaps. We have to take out that cruiser!
Juni: Tobias! You did it!
Tobias: Trent, a fleet of Rheinland ships is only minutes behind us. We have little time. Destroy the fighters and let’s get out of here!
Glasgow: This is Glasgow. Radar is clear, no more enemy contacts. You came just in time!
Tobias: Glasgow, we have to get these people out of here. The jump-gate needs to be locked after we jump through.
Glasgow: Affirmative! Good luck to you!
Tobias: The Bretonia military has been alerted. They will be here soon. Good luck, Glasgow. Go, Trent! Activate the jump-gate. I’ll see you on the other side.
Tau-31 System, Border Worlds
Quintaine: You have our gratitude, Mr Tobias!
Tobias: When I heard about the incident at Stokes, I knew you were in trouble. I called a few friends from my old flying days and we came as quickly as possible.
Sinclair: Thank you!
Tobias: Ah, enough already! We have to get out of here.
Juni: Trent, take point. We’ll follow you.
Tobias: We’re heading towards the IMG Outpost Holman, it’s the only base in this entire system. Where were you planning to go?
Quintaine: The night I met Kress, he told me that if I wanted to find him, I should talk to the bartender on Shinkaku. Is that a planet?
Tobias: That’s a Samura station. It was built right next to the large methane field in Tau-29. A bit remote, but not too far from here. We’re coming up on Holman. Keep your eyes open. If there are Rheinlanders, we won’t have the element of surprise this time.
Juni: Radar is clear! Looks like we managed to shake them!
Tobias: The next trade lane takes us to the Tau-29 gate. From there, it’s just a short flight to Shinkaku.
Juni: It’s strange that there are no ships around here. Outpost Holman? Please come in… Something is very wrong here!
Tobias: It’s a trap! We only have one chance – quick, after me!
Tobias: This is the trade lane to the new Tau-23 gate. It’s under construction on this end, but we should be able to use it.
Tobias: The lane should be usable from here on. Everybody, into the trade lane, quick!
Juni: What’s our plan?
Tobias: Hmm. The Tau-23 gate is not functional yet. Our best option is Planet Harris, but it’s pretty far from here.
Quintaine: Not functional? You mean this is a dead end?
Juni: They’ve disrupted the trade lane!
Sinclair: There! More Rheinland gunships!
Tobias: We cannot make it to Planet Harris from here, but there’s an intermittent jump-hole nearby. It might not work, but it’s our only option. I’m uploading the co-ordinates! We need to buy them some time! Trent, you and I will stay here and fight the gunships. Everybody else: get to that jump-hole and wait for us there.
Quintaine: Understood! Good luck!
Tobias: All right, Trent! It’s you and I against two gunships! Let’s see how much you’ve learned since you left Leeds! Target their engines! That’s their weakest spot!
Tobias: Ha ha ha ha! We’re not such easy prey after all, eh!
Tobias: Trent, that’s enough. The others should be at the jump-hole. Let’s get out of here!
Tobias: They’re not following us! Hopefully, the jump-hole will be phase-aligned. If not, we’re in big trouble. You did well back there, boy! I’m proud of you.
Juni: There you are! We were about to turn around and look for you. Are you being followed?
Tobias: No! We have to leave the system. What‘s the status of the jump-hole?
Juni: I’ve taken some readings. It seems to be phase-aligned. We should be able to use it.
Tobias: Good! What are we waiting for? Let’s go! Trent, you go first. I will make sure that no Rheinlanders are following us.
Tau-29 System, Border Worlds
Tobias: Hmm, there’s no sign of them, but I’m sure they’ll be back. We need to keep moving.
Juni: We’re just near Shinkaku station, Trent. I’ve uploaded the co-ordinates. Take the lead.
Quintaine: Once again, we are in your debt, Mr Tobias.
Tobias: If Rheinland keeps openly attacking targets in Bretonia, it could easily lead to a full-scale war.
Sinclair: I don’t understand. Do you think all of this is happening because of the artefact?
Quintaine: It could be. We need to find a safe haven and perform a thorough analysis of the object.
Juni: Hard to believe it all hinges on a message to some bartender. I hope this Kress wasn’t playing games… or setting a trap.
Tobias: We’re almost at Shinkaku.
Quintaine: I will land and talk to the bartender.
Juni: We should all land to make repairs and re-arm ourselves. Trent, you go first.
Shinkaku Station Orbit
Juni: Guess what? There actually was a message for Quintaine.
Quintaine: Apparently, the Kress base is not far – it’s in a secret location on the far side of this system. The bartender gave me a set of co-ordinates. I’m uploading them now.
Tobias: My friends, I will take my leave from you now. If there is indeed a war coming between Rheinland and Bretonia, I am needed at home.
Juni: I understand. Thank you for everything, Tobias.
Tobias: We will meet again, I promise. Trent, get these people to safety and find out what this artefact of yours is all about. Good luck to all of you!
Juni: All right everybody, let’s get moving.
Quintaine: We have to be careful. The bartender warned me that Rheinland ships have been sighted in the area. He suggested that we fly through the methane field – it should mask our engine signatures.
Sinclair: What did the bartender say about Kress?
Quintaine: Not much. He told me that Kress frequently operates in this area and then he gave me these co-ordinates. That’s all. Unfortunately, the field will only provide us with cover for half of the way – after that, we’ll have to fly through open space.
Quintaine: We’re at the edge of the field. From now on, we’re without cover.
Sinclair: So far, radar is clear.
Quintaine: Oh my!
Juni: Looks like the whole damn Rheinland fleet!
Schiller: This is the Rheinland Battleship Schiller. Cut your engines and deactivate your weapons system. Prepare to be boarded.
Juni: We can’t win this! Trent?
Trent: I’m picking up new contacts coming in very fast!
Razor 1: Professor Quintaine, Colonel Kress sent us to help you…
Quintaine: Kress? How did you know…?
Razor 1: No time to explain – we’re uploading co-ordinates. Professor, you and the freighter have to fly there as quickly as you can, we’ll try to hold off the Rheinland fleet.
The Battleship Schiller and its escorts
Schiller: To all ships: we have unidentified targets on an intercept course. All fighter wings: break and attack!
Rhinelander: Moving to intercept!
Razor 1: This is Razor Leader: concentrate your fire on the heavy cruiser.
Razor 2: Roger that!
Razor 3: We’re locked on!
Rhinelander: Incoming!
Nestor: Red Alert! The Schiller is hit! Man all turrets! All other fighters: engage enemy ships!
The Battleship Schiller under fire from an Outcast assault
Schiller: All hands to emergency stations!
Razor 1: Quintaine escorts, we could use your help. Engage the Rheinland ships. We have to buy the Professor time to get away! Bull’s eye! All units engage! Hit them fast and hit them hard!
Razor 2: Razor 2, engaging!
Razor 3: Razor 3, we’re going in!
Nestor: We’ve been hit! The hull is buckling and giving way… we’re losing integrity– Ahhhh!
Schiller: Our reactor is hit! We’re losing containment! Ahhhhhhh!
Quintaine: This is Quintaine, we made it! We’re at the co-ordinates.
Razor 1: Excellent! All fighters: disengage and return home.
Juni: I thought it was over. How did you find us?
Razor 1: The bartender on Shinkaku contacted us. Kress immediately sent us to find you. Rheinland ships have been spotted in this system for several days now. When we heard that Quintaine was on Shinkaku, we knew he would likely run into trouble.
Quintaine: We were getting worried!
Razor 1: We should be safe now, but we need to keep moving. The jump-hole to Tau-23 is near.
Juni: Trent, I’ve uploaded the co-ordinates. Let’s go! Be careful in the methane field. Certain pockets are explosive and could damage our ships.
Quintaine: Are you taking us to Kress?
Razor 1: Yes. Colonel Kress is currently a guest of the Outcasts. He’ll be pleased to see you, Professor. There’s the jump-hole.
Tau-23 System, Border Worlds
Razor 1: It’s not far from here to the base. I’m uploading the co-ordinates.
Juni: Where are we?
Razor 1: We’re in Tau-23. Not too many people know about this system. It’s fully within the Barrier. Both BMM and IMG are maintaining bases here since rich deposits of Beryllium and Niobium have been found.
Cali: Approaching ships: Identify yourselves.
Razor 1: This is Razor 1. We’re bringing a visitor to Colonel Kress. We’re expected.
Cali: Razor 1, your party is cleared to land.
Razor 1: Professor, land on the base. Kress is awaiting your arrival.
Cali Base Landing Deck
Trent: Juni, maybe you and Sinclair should stay with the ships.
Quintaine: Quiet! We just need to find Kress.
Guard: State your business.
Quintaine: My name is Quintaine. I’m here to see Kress.
Guard: Colonel Kress sees no-one.
Quintaine: He’ll see me.
Guard: He sees no-one!
Trent: Don’t go and do that.
Juni: Trent, what are you doing?
Trent: Now that I got your attention, take us to see the Colonel.
Guard: I think, my friend, you misunderstand your position. I’m expendable.
Stand-off
Kress: Doctor Quintaine.
Quintaine: Kress.
Kress: I’m pleased to see that you’re all right after all. And you brought protection. Very wise. Please tell him to stand down.
Quintaine: Mr Trent!
Kress: Come, Doctor Quintaine. We have much to talk about.
Cali Base Bar
Kress: Let me offer you the sanctuary of my base.
Quintaine: Thank you. We’ll need a place to continue our research.
Kress: We have facilities at your disposal, of course. You see, we’ve had our eye on Doctor Quintaine and his research for quite sometime. When Doctor Sinclair made her discovery it caused quite a stir among our enemies.
Trent: What enemies? The Rheinlanders?
Kress: Let’s just say that your enemies are our enemies.
Trent: Give me a straight answer. Who do you work for, Colonel?
Kress: The Order.
Trent: You work for Orillion?
Kress: Despite what you may have heard, we are only interested in freedom and peace.
Colonel Kress, Trent and Juni
Juni: If that’s so, then why all of the attacks?
Kress: Hmph! I understand your suspicion, but we are not guilty of nearly as much as your media would suggest. For now, please accept my hospitality in the spirit in which it is offered. Tell me, what else do you require of me?
Quintaine: Well, if I’m right, there’s something we’ve overlooked. We need the Proteus Tome.
Trent: What’s that?
Sinclair: It’s a peace of parchment that rests in the Natural History Museum in Kusari.
Quintaine: It’s kept in a sealed titanium cylinder in the archives. I think it holds the answer to the artefact.
Kress: Very well. That shouldn’t be difficult, we have an agent in Kusari who may be useful for this: Lord Hakkera. He’s a local potentate. He can arrange for its… liberation.
Trent: No dice, Kress. I’m going myself.
Kress: You don’t really trust me, do you, Mr Trent?
Trent: No. But if, as you say, your enemies are our enemies, you won’t deny me this.
Juni: Or me! If you’re going, I’m going.
Cali Base Orbit
Razor 1: Colonel Kress asked me to escort you out of this system. What’s your destination?
Juni: We need to get to Kusari space.
Razor 1: You’re lucky, there’s a jump-hole nearby that will get you there in no time.
Quintaine: This is Quintaine. Kress managed to contact his agent, Lord Hakkera. He is waiting for you on planet Kyushu. Please contact me when you have the Proteus Tome. In the meantime, Sinclair and I will continue to study the artefact. Good luck.
Juni: We’ll talk to you soon, Professor.
Razor 1: This is where we part ways. This jump-hole leads directly to Kyushu. Best of luck to ya!
Juni: Thank you. All right, Trent, go ahead.
Kyushu System, Kusari
Juni: We’re in the Ohka Dust Field. We’ll head to planet Aso and take the trade lane from there to Kyushu.
Juni: It’s funny – I used to fly around this asteroid field when I was younger. My grandmother lives on Tsushima station above Aso. I haven’t been back here in over a decade.
Juni: We’re almost there. Take the trade lane to Kyushu.
Juni: Trent, land and I’ll follow you in. Lord Hakkera will be waiting for us in the bar.
Planet Kyushu Bar
Hakkera: Mr Trent, Miss Zane? I was told you would be coming. I’m Lord Hakkera, I am the Prefect of Honshu. Is there a problem?
Trent: I’m sorry, you’re just not what I expected.
Hakkera: You expected a terrorist, then? I serve The Order to help my people, Mr Trent. I understand that you are here for the Proteus Tome. Unfortunately, that will not be easy. The artefacts in the museum have come under renewed scrutiny. I will need to secure special permission for us to be allowed access.
Trent, Juni and Lord Hakkera
Assistant: Lord Hakkera.
Hakkera: Please excuse me. I’ve recently lost contact with one of my operatives in Rheinland. This may be news. I will be in touch once I get access to the Proteus Tome.
Trent: That’s it? What are we supposed to do now? Wait?
Juni: Like hell we will. I have contacts here, too. But to get to them, we’ll have to split up for a while.
Trent: What am I supposed to do around here while you’re gone?
Juni: You should try to fit in a little, maybe get some work. By the sound of things, this may take a while. Don’t worry, I won’t be far.

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