version 2.6.5

Firekkan Crusade: Corsair System – Part 3

Corsair 5

Shotglass: Did you hear the good news, Maverick? Our marines crashed the Kilrathi ceremony on Firekka! And did you hear about Angel’s promotion to Major? Of course, we’re still stuck out here with all those blasted Kilrathi battle fleets… but this is something to celebrate!
Angel: Bonjour, Maverick. I hope you are well.
Maverick: I’m fine, Angel. But no one’s seen you at all for the last few days, except at the briefings.
Angel: I know. It was not that I was avoiding you and the others – but I needed some time alone. To make a decision. Colonel Zaritsky has asked me to take command of the Austin’s fighter squadron. I’ll be promoted to Major, and will transfer to the Austin at our next rendezvous.
Maverick: That’s great news, Angel. I’m really glad for you.
Angel: Merci, my friend. Thank you.
Spirit: Maverick. I was speaking with Hunter a few hours ago. He is still very distraught over his brother’s death. Many of us have suffered terrible losses. But I cannot stop thinking that what we are doing here, it is important. More important than any of us. I had begun to think that perhaps any war was wrong, that the cost of life is too high. But perhaps there are wars that must be fought, Maverick. And I think our own war against the Kilrathi is one of them.
Briefing Room
Mission Briefing, 06:00 hours, 2655.294. Corsair System, Antares Sector.
Halcyon: Pilots, we’ve received confirmation from the marines on Firekka. They succeeded in disrupting the Sivar ceremony, but took heavy casualties in their mission. And the Kilrathi are patrolling the area to make sure that they can’t escape from Firekka. Four marine ships have already been destroyed, trying to leave the planet. And we’ve received another communiqué from this Prince Thrakhath. Tactical’s very puzzled by this. To send a single-pulse vid message means that the Kilrathi know exactly where we are. But they’re talking, not shooting. And what this Prince Thrakhath says is even more interesting…
“Human warriors, hear me now. You have proven that you are brave, astonishingly brave, for mere apes. Because of this bravery, I shall grant you one quarter of a planetary rotation to leave this sector. But your land soldiers are ours. We shall run them to ground like the apes that they are. Thus speaks Prince Thrakhath, Firstborn of the Firstborn, Heir to Kilrah.”
Halcyon: Tactical’s conclusion from this is that because the ceremony was interrupted, Thrakhath may fear a mutiny among his troops if he orders a general attack. If his soldiers believe that they’re destined to die in combat, they won’t want to fight. Of course, Thrakhath will probably start using the Kilrathi tactic of shooting troops that disobey direct orders… But right now, we have time to act before all of his battle fleets converge on us. In case you’re wondering about that, pilots, Tactical suggests that we retreat immediately. And we will, after we rescue our Marine transports. Your job is to find and assist those ships. Wing assignments… Blair and Devereaux are Omicron Wing. The transports will be trying to shake their Kilrathi pursuers, so we don’t know exactly where you’ll find them. But we’ve drawn up several possible flight paths to different jump points. Maverick, you’ll fly to your Nav 1, destroying any enemy ships you encounter, and then return immediately to the Tiger’s Claw.
Maverick listens as the Colonel reads the other wing assignments.
Halcyon: We’re expecting a major Kilrathi attack as soon as Thrakhath rallies his troops. So get back here as fast as you can, and be ready to defend the Claw. Because if this carrier is destroyed, you’ll have a long walk back to the Vega sector. You’ll launch in five minutes, pilots. Dismissed.
Dralthi Launch
Fly Corsair 5
Mission Debriefing – 15:00 hours, 2655.294.
Halcyon: After you launched, we received a distress call from your Nav 1. One of our Marine transports was there, trying to evade a wing of Krants. They said that two other transports had left the planet with them, but hadn’t survived. At the jump point, they turned off all power and tried to drift past the Kilrathi patrols. They said that they’d vented the corridors near their airlocks, and left their own dead floating there so the Kilrathi boarding party would think there were no survivors. But the cats saw through the ruse. When we received their vid-link message, they were under attack.
Maverick: The Kilrathi were trying to destroy the ship, but I brought the Drayman back intact, sir.
Halcyon: I’m impressed with how you handled this situation, Maverick. Good work. For the record, you killed 6. Including a Ralari. Not bad, Colonel. Angel iced 6 Kilrathi. That’s all, Blair. Dismissed.

Corsair 6

Shotglass: Good to see you, Colonel Blair. I’ll get one of your usual. I heard that Maniac was on active duty again. Let me tell you, Maverick, I can’t believe they’re letting him out of Sick-Bay. I suppose the Colonel thinks we need all hands on deck right now.
Maverick: They’d better not assign him as my wingman.
Shotglass: Me, I’m just hopin’ we’re leavin’ this sector soon – ’cause the odds of our flying out of here alive are gettin’ real unfriendly.
Hunter: Sit down, mate, have a drink! Don’t know whether you heard or not, but I’m on restricted duty again. And it’s all because they assigned that loony Maniac as my wingman…
Maverick: What did you do, Hunter?
Hunter: It was nothin’, really. Just a little practical joke… I reprogrammed his ship sensors so he thought he was bein’ attacked by a thousand Kilrathi. Fortunately, the Colonel had disabled the self-destructs on Maniac’s ship, or the kid might’ve gone up in a burst of glory right then and there.
Maverick: I can’t believe they’re letting him fly again. He’s insane.
Hunter: I think we’re all a little crazy, mate. Maybe you have to be a little nuts to keep from going completely bonkers in a war like this.
Iceman: Confed HiCom sent me a vid-link message two hours ago, Blair. The TCS Jerusalem intercepted a slave ship, and one of my daughters was aboard. Julia’s not… herself right now – she can’t talk or take care of herself – but I’ll see her as soon as we’re back in Vega. It’s been six long years, Maverick – but I’m going to see my little girl again.
Briefing Room
Mission Briefing, 06:00 hours, 2655.295. Leaving the Corsair System, Antares Sector.
Halcyon: Listen closely, everyone, because we don’t have much time. As you’ve probably guessed, we’re leaving this area as fast as we can. The Kilrathi battle fleets are manoeuvring towards our last position in the Corsair system. The Kilrathi can’t remain in this area much longer, even to pursue the Tiger’s Claw, because the Confederation is advancing through the abandoned Kilrathi positions in other sectors. So they’ll have to withdraw their forces from this sector, and soon. But in the meantime, they’re probably going to retaliate against the Firekka for disrupting their religious ceremony. Which could include genocide. At a minimum, the Firekka will be transported out-system as slaves. And we’re going to try a very dangerous tactic to prevent that. Our goal is to inflict as much damage as possible on the Kilrathi on our way out-system. If we can kill enough of their ships, they won’t have enough troops to remain near Firekka and defend their borders. Our plan: the Tiger’s Claw will make several mini-jumps to lure individual Kilrathi capital ships into ambush points. Your assignment is to destroy as many of them as you can. Pilots, I can’t order you to go out on a suicide mission, but when you’re flying out there, keep this in mind: There are several million lives at stake on Firekka. They may not look like us, but they’re just as human. Measure your own lives against that, pilots, and make your own decision. Maverick! You’re teamed with Angel again, as Omega Wing. Follow your programmed Nav course. You’ll rejoin the Claw at the rendezvous point.
The Colonel quickly completes the wing assignments.
Halcyon: You’ll launch in five minutes, pilots. Dismissed.
Rapier Launch
Fly Corsair 6
Debriefing – 09:00 hours, 2655.295.
Halcyon: Your report, Maverick?
Maverick: The Dorkir is history. The Fralthi wasn’t much trouble. It’s slagged, sir.
Halcyon: Excellent, Maverick! I knew you wouldn’t let us down. The recorder shows you with killing 15, Maverick. Angel took down 14 Kilrathi ships. Blair… I don’t believe in lying to my pilots. So I’m going to tell you the truth… We’re outnumbered and outgunned here. If we stay, the only way this scenario can end is with the total destruction of the Tiger’s Claw. So we’re going to retreat immediately. There’s nothing else we can do for the Firekka except inflict as much damage on the Kilrathi as much as we can, on our way out-system. But Maverick, you and the other pilots… what you’ve accomplished is far above the call of duty. You’ve flown better than you ever have before, and against impossible odds. If we survive the next few days and return to Confed HQ, I’ll make sure you’re rewarded for this. I’m sure you’ve heard that I’m transferring to Tactical Command. When that happens, I want you, Maverick, to take command of the Tiger’s Claw fighter squadron. You’ve shown resourcefulness, and skill, and almost superhuman talent in these campaigns, and I think you’ll be an outstanding squadron commander. But we’re not out of this yet, not by a long shot. You’re still on Active Duty. Get some rest, then report to Briefing. And drop by my office later, Maverick. Dismissed.
Colonel Halcyon’s Office
Colonel Halcyon’s Office. 09:50 hours, 2655.295.
Halcyon: Blair. Come in. I need to speak with you.
Maverick: Yes, sir?
Halcyon: We’re having to change some pilot assignments. Effective immediately, you’ll be reassigned. I need you in Star Slayer Squadron, flying a Raptor-class heavy fighter.
Maverick: I see, sir. I’ll do my best.
Halcyon: I’m glad to hear it, pilot. That’s all, Colonel. Dismissed.
Hangar Deck. 10:00 hours, 2655.295.
Halcyon: For excellence in combat with the Kilrathi enemy on or about 2655.295, the Terran Confederation presents the Gold Star to Lieutenant Colonel Blair. Your courage is an example to the Confederation’s finest defenders. Well done, Maverick. Congratulations.
Maverick: Thank you, sir.
Award Ceremony
Filled with pride, Maverick meets the applause of his fellows.
Next: Charon System

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