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Firekkan Crusade: Firekka System – Part 1


Firekka 1

Shotglass
Shotglass: Hey, Maverick! Any news from downside? I’d heard that the Firekka leaders will sign the treaty in another couple days. Can you believe it? A new planet is joining the Confederation – and here we are, watching ’em create history right in front of us.
Maverick: I’m scheduled for shore leave in a couple days… I should be on the planet for the treaty signing.
Shotglass: Now that’s luck for you. I’ll be up here, pouring drinks and watching it on the vid-link. I have to say, though, those Firekka do look really weird. Kinda remind me of a parakeet I had a few years back. Except my parakeet wasn’t very smart, an’ he wasn’t six feet tall, either.
Hunter
Hunter: Maverick! Join us for a drink, mate! It’s great to have a real break, ’specially after that Operation Thor’s Hammer.
Iceman: I was certain that we wouldn’t survive that mission. I’m glad I was wrong, at least this time.
Hunter: And now we’ll spend a month as Honour Guard for the Confederation Diplomatic Corps. Yeah, this’ll be an easy assignment… playing nursemaid to a bunch of diplomats and aliens.
Maverick: I’m looking forward to seeing the Firekka. I’ve never met a non-Human before.
Hunter: Well, you will soon, mate. They seem like good people… intelligent an’ honest, very friendly to strangers. They’re just lucky their planet is so far off the trade routes, or the Kilrathi would’ve enslaved ’em for sure. But there’s so few jump points into this sector, we were the first to find them. Which was really lucky for our new feathered mates, hey?
Iceman
Iceman: I challenge you to a game of Eight-Ball!
Hunter: No way, I’m not playing with you. You cheat.
Iceman: Oh, come on! I’ll spot you three balls.
Hunter: But all I have is five dollars!
Iceman: Your five bucks will get you twenty. Rack ’em!
Briefing Room
Mission Briefing, 06:00 hours, 2655.238. Firekka System, Antares Sector.
Halcyon: I hope everyone’s been enjoying this trip so far because you’ll have to do some real work again. We’ve received reports of a Kilrathi convoy moving through a nearby star system. We can’t risk anything that could disrupt the treaty conference on the planet, so you’ll patrol and watch for that convoy. And I’ll also need some of you to escort the Diplomatic Corps ships to Firekka, where they’re needed for the conference.
Iceman: What about our downside leave, sir?
Halcyon: We’ll schedule you in shifts for shore leave, so you’ll still get your downtime. These are your assignments. Maverick, you’ll be Alpha Wing, with Iceman as your wingman. You’ll fly a Hornet – a fast, manoeuvrable ship. Escort the TCS Perez de Cuellar from the Claw to Nav 2. From there, the Diplomatic Corps ship will mini-jump to Firekka. We’ve detected traces of high energy on the direct route to Nav 2. After the Perez de Cuellar jumps to Firekka, investigate the unknown bogey between Nav 2 and the Tiger’s Claw.
Colonel Halcyon assigns the other pilots to their duties.
Halcyon: Remember, if you run into one or two stray Kilrathi, you should engage the enemy. But if you see any sign that the convoy has diverted to this system, return to the Claw immediately. And HQ has reported encounters with the Dralthi Mark IIs in the Vega sector – Dralthi with mass drivers and better shields. HQ could use some good vid-camera data on these new ships. So if you sight any of these new Dralthi, get close and your vid-camera will get that data for us. And something else I wanted to mention. Hunter did a bolter yesterday, a two-point ‘touch and go’ landing. He managed to snap off one of his ship’s laser cannons, break three aerials, and terrify the flight deck crew. Pilots, we use the ACLS – our auto landing system – for very good reasons. The next hot-shot pilot who tries a manual control landing will be scrubbing decks for a week. Is that understood? All right, pilots. Prepare for launch. Dismissed.
Hornet Launch
Fly Firekka 1
Mission Debriefing 15:00 hours, 2655.238. Firekka System, Antares Sector.
Halcyon: I hope you’ll have some good information for us, Maverick, because we need some solid vid camera data to track down and ice that convoy. I don’t know why an enemy convoy is in this system, but we’ll get rid of it, that’s for certain. Your report, Colonel?
Maverick: We escorted the Perez de Cuellar to their jump. They’re on their way to Firekka now. We destroyed a Ralari between Nav 2 and the Claw. That convoy is definitely cruising through this system, sir.
Halcyon: Maverick, your recorder shows you took out 9. Iceman took out 7 himself. All right. I’m sending your flight recorder disks up to the Bridge – with any luck, we’ll learn more about that convoy from your information. Dismissed.
Hangar Deck. 18:00 hours, 2655.238.
Halcyon: For excellence in combat with the Kilrathi enemy on or about 2655.238, the Terran Confederation presents the Bronze 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.

Firekka 2

Shotglass
Shotglass: Have a drink, Maverick! We’ve got something to celebrate! I just heard the news from Major Chapman on the Austin – the Confed fleet chased the Kilrathi strike force from Vega Prime! It was kinda weird, actually, there wasn’t a major battle or anything like that… the cats just closed up shop and left.
Maverick: It sounds like they had somewhere else they wanted to go, Sam.
Shotglass: Makes you wonder, doesn’t it? But still, they ran away. That’s a victory for our side, isn’t it?
Angel
Angel: Maverick! Did you hear what happened on this last patrol? Nearly all the pilots encountered enemy warships. And one of the Tactical officers said that there might be more Kilrathi in this area. Fortunately, we are not alone in this sector. If we need more combat pilots, they will transfer personnel from the TCS Austin. I truly hope that we will not need those other pilots. But this could be an excellent chance to compare tactics with them, non?
Spirit
Spirit: Maverick! We were just talking about you, Angel and I. She says you are going downside to the planet for shore leave, after our next mission. That will be very exciting… I wish I could go with you.
Maverick: Any chance you can get some shore leave, Spirit?
Spirit: Not in the next few days, my friend. But I hope you will tell us about your trip when you return.
Briefing Room
Mission Briefing, 06:00 hours, 2655.239. Firekka System, Antares Sector.
Halcyon: All right, pilots, let’s get started. The first news is that the Scimitar has been officially retired as a Confederation combat fighter.
Iceman: Good. I’ve always hated that tugboat. Slow, unmanoeuvrable, a lousy piece of–
Halcyon: Other news: Most of you didn’t run into any trouble on your last patrol, but some of you encountered ships from that Kilrathi convoy… including some very tough Kilrathi pilots. Tactical thinks these might be the Drakhai, the Kilrathi Imperial Guards… the elite of enemy fighters. But what we don’t understand is why they’re here, or why a convoy is in this unimportant sector. And after reviewing your flight data, Tactical’s not certain that we bagged the entire convoy. Your assignment today is to patrol the system and track down that convoy. If you encounter the convoy, do not engage. Get vid camera data on them and return to the Claw. If you’re close enough to target, your cameras will automatically switch on and get the data we need. You’ll fly Hornets again, so if you run into trouble, you’ll be in a fast ship to return here and report. Wing assignments… Kappa wing will be Maverick and Iceman. You’ll patrol through the asteroid fields to Nav 1. Continue through Nav point 2, then return here.
The Colonel briefs the other wings.
Halcyon: Get ready for immediate launch, pilots. Dismissed.
Hornet Launch
Fly Firekka 2
Mission Debriefing – 16:00 hours, 2655.239.
Halcyon: Anything to report, Maverick?
Maverick: Ran into several Krant at Nav 1. A real surprise was waiting at Nav 2. Three Fralthi, sir, and more Kilrathi fighters than I could count. I was able to target the Fralthi. Their exact location should be in my flight recorder. Then I engaged the Fralthi, sir, and–
Halcyon: You did what, pilot? You were ordered to return if you sighted the convoy! Do you realise that you risked the lives of everyone on this ship? If you’d been killed, attacking those ships, those three Fralthi could’ve launched a surprise attack on the Claw, and probably destroyed her. You’re brave, Maverick, and I’m very impressed with your flying skills. But next time, I’ll expect you to obey orders. Understood?
Maverick: Understood, sir.
Halcyon: From your flight recorder, I see that you took out 10 and Iceman took care of 10 Kilrathi. Take it easy for a while, Blair. You’re off-duty for a few hours. But I will need to talk to you in my office later. Dismissed.
Colonel Halcyon’s Office
Colonel Halcyon’s Office. 17:50 hours, 2655.239.
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 want you in one of the Rapiers, in Black Lion Squadron.
Maverick: I see, sir. I’ll do my best.
Halcyon: I’m glad to hear it, pilot. That’s all, Colonel. Dismissed.
Hangar Deck. 18:00 hours, 2655.239.
Halcyon: For excellence in combat with the Kilrathi enemy, on or about 2655.239, the Terran Confederation is proud to present the Gold Star to Major 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.
Meanwhile…
Fnchirr Settlement
Fnchirr Settlement, Northern Continent, Firekka.
Terra-Firekka Treaty signing
After escorting the diplomats to the planet, Maverick watches as the alien leader and Human ambassador sign the Terran-Firekka treaty. This is a moment of joy and hope for Firekka and Human alike in the midst of the desperate war against the Kilrathi.
Next: Firekka System (Part 2)

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