version 2.6.5

Operation Thor’s Hammer: Border Zone

Border Zone 1

Shotglass: Maverick, I’ve been hearin’ some bad rumours. The Search and Rescue teams are back from planetside. They were only on the ground for a few hours, and now they’re not talkin’. I can’t get any answers from the bridge… nothing except, “Pipe down and do your job.” And Colonel Halcyon looks like he wants to bite somebody’s head off. So if you get any news on what’s going on, pass it my way. See you later, Maverick.
Angel: Hello, Maverick. It was very active this morning, non? The other wings ran into a horde of Krants and Salthi. What a dogfight!
Maniac: I did so many snap-rolls, I’m still dizzy.
Angel: Blair, I understand that we will be wingmates today. I shall see you later at the flight deck, Maverick. We will give the cats a run for their money, oui?
Maniac: Maverick, it sure has been tense around here lately. All the higher-ups have got their shoulders and teeth clenched. More than usual, I mean. I’ve been a little tense, too. Having some trouble sleeping at night. I keep having this dream, over and over again. We’re in action against the furbags, and up ahead is the biggest Kilrathi ship I’ve ever seen. All my guns are gone, my missiles blown, shields at null, and my hands are shaking, shaking as I pull the throttle… ’cause all I’ve got left is a mine in my belly. So I go into a dive, straight at her side… the missiles are exploding like stars around me… I hit the Kilrathi ship straight on… and then I wake up. I know it’s weird, but I can’t stop thinking about that dream…
Angel: I think all of us are under a lot of stress right now, non? But we will survive this, mon ami.
Briefing Room
Mission Briefing, 16:00 hours, 2654.326: Goddard system.
The Commander is uncharacteristically silent. He studies the papers before him, then speaks quietly.
Halcyon: I’m sorry to report bad news. The Tiger’s Claw arrived too late. The Goddard colony has been completely destroyed. A quarter of a million Terran colonists have been killed.
The briefing room is completely silent.
Halcyon: We’re still hunting for survivors, but things don’t look good. My condolences to any of you with relatives on Goddard. We’ve tried to reconstruct what happened there. This is what we know. According to black-box recordings of radio chatter and comm-sat data, the Kilrathi arrived at the colony five hours ago. They brought only a small fleet… but they had some kind of new weapon. Our best guess is that this was the first use of a Kilrathi technology. Some kind of energy weapon, something that Goddard’s orbital emplacements couldn’t deflect. The Kilrathi weapon wiped out the entire colony. Nothing was left. According to Goddard’s comm-sats, a single energy weapon blast registered on their screens. That one blast destroyed the colony. And our current defence systems can’t counter it. We don’t know whether or not this weapon can be used against starships, but we can’t risk the Kilrathi destroying another colony. So we’ve been in jump-space communication with our High Command. And our orders have just come in. Listen closely. We are to proceed at all speed after the departed Kilrathi fleet. And we are to destroy their vessels and this new weapon. This means we’ll have to follow their fleet into Kilrathi space, keeping a low profile for as long as we can. Then we’ll attack their fleet, and wipe it out completely. And then get the heck out of there. Furthermore, you may encounter some technical problems as we enter Kilrathi space. Our lack of accurate star charts will play havoc with your on-board Nav systems. So don’t be surprised if Nav points, asteroids, or minefield information is not accurate on your Nav screen. You must fly your assignments diligently. Follow your flight paths to the letter. All right, these are the mission assignments. All wings will launch to escort Tiger’s Claw. Then you’ll fan out to clean enemy ships ahead of us. Individual wing assignments…
The Colonel gives specific orders to each wing, and then…
Halcyon: Epsilon Wing will be Maverick and Angel. Maverick is wingleader. These are your orders, Major… Once the area around Tiger’s Claw is clear, cruise to Nav One. And when that region is clean, return to the Tiger’s Claw. Good luck, pilots. Dismissed.
Raptor Launch
Fly Border Zone 1
Mission Debriefing – 19:00 hours, 2654.326.
Halcyon: Good. You’re both alive. Report, Major.
Maverick: We encountered a Fralthi at Nav 1. She won’t be back, sir.
Halcyon: All right. Maverick, you knocked down 8. Angel bagged 7. Okay. You’ve got some time to rest before your next mission. Dismissed.

Border Zone 2

Shotglass: Hey, Maverick. Glad you made it back in. You might want to go and talk to Paladin and Knight. I think they’re both a little on the edge. Let me know if you hear anything else about Goddard, okay?
Knight: Good morning, Maverick. I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to get worried about this affair. You realise we’re heading blind as a bat into uncharted enemy space? Going after a Kilrathi super-weapon we know nothing about?
Paladin: That’s right, Major. Joe here is going to be our morale officer from now on.
Knight: No, thanks, I’d rather fight the Kilrathi! Let me tell you some of my own dark thoughts, kid. I’ve been watching Maniac. He says he’s been having nightmares, and I’ve seen his hands shaking every time he climbs into the cockpit. I think Todd’s losing it. He’s always been on the edge, but this looks really bad. I’d keep a close eye on him, if he was my wingman. Otherwise, that crazy laugh of his might be the last thing you hear.
Paladin: Sit yourself down, lad, an’ have a drink. There’s a question that’s been troublin’ me… The cats hae shown nae mercy to our people. But if we win this war, wha’ will we do to them?
Knight: What do you mean, James?
Paladin: Genocide, lad. If we dinna destroy them completely, this war may never end. An’ if we do kill them all, how are we different from them? If we lose this war, I dinna care what happens, ’cause I won’t be alive to see it… but what if we win?
Briefing Room
Mission Briefing, 06:00 hours, 2654.328. Heading into Kilrathi Space.
Halcyon: At the moment, we’re cruising deeper into Kilrathi space. And we just received a coded, tight-beam message from the High Command. They’re sending a convoy to rendezvous with us. But these ships will appear back at the border, right where we had our last scrap with the furballs. So I’m sending wings to retrieve it. You’ll return to that jump-point, destroying any Kilrathi that you encounter. At designated jump-points, you’ll rendezvous with the Sleipnir convoy, Drayman-class ’sports carrying a company of marines each. As some of you may know, the Sleipnir carries the Reavers, a division of elite marine units from the Scandinavian nations of Earth. We need all the help we can get out here, people. Don’t screw up. Each wing will escort their convoy to a jump point in Kilrathi territory. After the Reavers jump, then return to Tiger’s Claw. If we’re lucky, this mission will bring us an additional benefit. The Kilrathi might think that this is only an extensive border attack and not realise that we’re heading deep into their space. Okay, individual wing assignments.
He gives the orders for each wing, then…
Halcyon: Epsilon Wing is Maverick and Angel. You’ll fly a straight course to the rendezvous point. If you’re jumped by any Kilrathi, don’t hesitate to destroy them. Rendezvous with your convoy at Nav One. Escort them back to Nav 2, just this side of the hot zone. When they jump clear, break off and return home. The Reavers have their own orders. They’re on a ‘secret mission’ as well. If they’re successful, we’ll rendezvous with them later. Dismissed.
Raptor Launch
Fly Border Zone 2
Mission Debriefing – 14:55 hours, 2654.328.
Halcyon: Glad to see you back, both of you. Listen, quite a few fighters were damaged in this last mission. So don’t be surprised if you find yourself flying a Scimitar on short notice. Let’s review the mission. Your report, Maverick.
Maverick: We headed out to meet the Reaver convoy at the rendezvous point.
Angel: It was quite a fight, mon colonel.
Maverick: The entire convoy survived, sir.
Halcyon: Good work, Maverick. For the record, Maverick, you killed 5. Angel tagged 5. And I’ll need to see you in my office immediately. That’s all. Dismissed.
Colonel Halcyon’s Office
Colonel Halcyon’s Office. 15:00 hours, 2654.328.
Halcyon: Blair. Come in. I need to speak with you.
Maverick: Yes, sir?
Halcyon: We’re having to change some pilot assignments. You’ll be in a Scimitar-class medium fighter, with Blue Devil Squadron.
Maverick: I’m curious, sir… why?
Halcyon: We’ve lost pilots, Maverick, and a lot of fighters. Until we have more fighters repaired and combat-ready, I have to shift personnel to keep the maximum number of ships active.
Maverick: I understand, sir. I’ll do the best I can, no matter what ship I’m assigned to.
Halcyon: Good, pilot. I’m glad to hear it. That’s all, Major. Dismissed.
Win: Midgard System | Lose: Retreat

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