version 2.6.5

Vega Sector Campaign: Gateway System

Gateway 1

Shotglass: That’s Iceman and Knight over there. Knight’s a darned reliable pilot, a solid shot, a steady flier. Not flashy at all. He’s sort of a craftsman. Gets the job done, though. Iceman, though, now he’s an artist. Best pilot on the Tiger’s Claw. Lives to fly and to fight. He’s totally ruthless, and completely deadly. Some of the pilots say he’s got freon for blood… at least, that’s where he got the call sign.
Knight: Maverick, right? I’m Knight. Welcome to the Killer Bees. You’re flying a Hornet right now, right? Ever flown a Scimitar? It isn’t quite as fast or nimble as a Hornet, but she’s got twice the armour, as well as heavier guns.
Iceman: And she handles like a Centaurian mud pig.
Knight: Iceman here’ll try to tell you speed and handling’ll save your butt, but I’ll take an extra three centimetres of durasteel plating any day!
Iceman: Maverick. They call me Iceman. Don’t let Knight fool you. The Scim’s a gun-heavy slug. Forget finesse, just head straight in, guns blaring. Give me a ship that takes skill. A Raptor, even a Hornet… or one of those new Rapiers. If half of what they say is true, the Rapier’s a true artist’s ship!
Briefing Room
Mission Briefing. Gateway System, 06:00 hours, 2654.133.
Halcyon: Welcome to the Gateway system, boys and girls. These are the assignments for preliminary patrols…
The commander quickly makes the assignments for Alpha, Beta, and Gamma wings.
Halcyon: Delta wing. That’ll be you flying lead, Maverick. Paladin, you’ll be flying wingman.
Paladin: An’ a pleasure it’ll be, Colonel.
Halcyon: Right. Computer, display Delta. You’ll follow a simple three-point route, gentlemen. Just fly to the Nav Points, and make sure they’re clear. We’re picking up some debris around Nav Point 1. Probably just asteroids, but it could be a Kilrathi minefield, so be especially careful in that area. Questions? All right, then. Epsilon wing is Iceman and Angel…
Maverick listens as the Colonel completes the mission assignments.
Halcyon: That’s everyone. Last questions?
No hands are raised.
Halcyon: Good. Let’s get to work. Squadron dismissed.
Hornet Launch
Fly Gateway 1
Mission Debriefing. 10:00 hours, 2654.133.
Halcyon: Good job out there, Maverick. You made it look like you’ve been at this for years.
Maverick: I wasn’t half as smooth as Paladin here, sir.
Paladin: Now laddie, don’t brag on me, or the Colonel’ll start expectin’ more from me!
Halcyon: I reviewed your mission report upstairs. You scragged 3 Kilrathi, Maverick, and Paladin did in 3 himself. That’s all, then. Dismissed.

Gateway 2

Shotglass: You met Maniac and Bossman over there yet? Maniac’s a real lunatic, a good pilot, but way too erratic. He was just comin’ up when the fleabags put me outta commission. Just between you and me, I’d rather fly alone than with Maniac on my wing. Bossman’s another story, though. He’s a real team leader. A crack pilot, with 17 years behind him. Flown ever’thin’ in the Terran fleet, and blown up at least one of every class the Kilrathi have.
Bossman: Sit down, Maverick. They call me Bossman. I’ve been watching you. You look good for a rookie. You handle yourself well in a dogfight, but we’ll be facing some bigger ships soon.
Maniac: All right! Some serious action!
Bossman: A lot of young pilots get excited when they see their first destroyer…
Maniac: Just what do you mean by that, Boss?
Bossman: …they lose their heads and go straight in for the battleship. Then a light fighter they forgot about blasts them from behind. Big ships move slow and turn like pigs. Thing to do is clean up the fighter cover first, then go in for the battleship.
Maniac: Hey, Maverick. I’m Maniac. Glad to meetcha. Bossman says we’re gonna see some action against some battleships soon. I can’t wait. Dodging flak and fighter cover to make a missile run at a destroyer… Man, that’ll be a rush! Get in there quick, waste the mama cat, then pick the kittens off one by one. That’s the way to do it!
Briefing Room
Emergency Briefing. Gateway System, 12:00 hours, 2654.133.
Halcyon: We’ve got a Code Red alert, people. At least half a dozen Kilrathi fighters, coming in fast. With Blue Devil and Star Slayer squadrons out on patrol, you Killer Bees will have to stop them yourselves. We’ve got two Hornets in space already, and we’ll scramble the remaining wings at double-time. Maverick, you and Paladin will be first out the launch tube. Iceman and Dragon will be next, followed by Bossman and Redbird. Remember, people, this is for all the marbles. Stop these fighters, or you’ll have no place to land! So let’s get to it! Squadron dismissed!
Hornet Launch
Fly Gateway 2
Mission Debriefing. 16:00 hours, 2654.133.
Halcyon: Excellent work, Maverick. You too, Paladin. Congratulations to the both of you.
Paladin: You might say I was inspired ta a great effort, Colonel.
Maverick: I just did what had to be done, sir.
Halcyon: You fought off the Dralthi before we could even launch the next wing. We’ve already got a mission report. It shows you took out 5, Maverick, and 3 for Paladin. That’s all. Dismissed.
Hangar Deck. 17:00 hours, 2654.133.
Halcyon: For meritorious conduct in confronting the Kilrathi enemy, in the Gateway system, on or about 2654.133, the Terran Confederation is proud to present the Silver Star to 1st Lieutenant Blair. Your courage is exemplary of the Confederation’s finest defenders. Good job, Maverick. Congratulations.
Maverick: Thank you, sir.
Award Ceremony
Filled with pride, Maverick meets the applause of his fellows.

Gateway 3

Shotglass: Hey there, Maverick. Get you somethin’? I’m glad to see you and Paladin gettin’ along so well. He’ll be retirin’ soon, you know? Been flyin’ fighters for twenty-odd years, and now they’re puttin’ him out to pasture. He and I used to fly together back before the war started. Darn good man, the old Claw’ll miss him.
Bossman: Maverick, sit down. I want to compare notes with you. I’ve been watching the way Dralthi manoeuvre, and I think I’ve noticed something. Seems to me that when you’re hot on a Dralthi’s tail, and he pulls a loop to shake you, he always goes up or down, never to the side. Ever notice that?
Maverick shrugs in tentative agreement.
Bossman: Well, they do… always up or down, never left or right.
Paladin: Y’know, lad, I believe you’re right.
Bossman: I think it’s because those big wings block their vision to the sides, but above and below – between the wings – their vision is clear.
Paladin: I’d like ta tell ya, laddie, s’been good flyin’ with you. We’ll be pullin’ outta Gateway soon, an’ the Colonel likes to shake up the wings every now an’ then. So let me give you one last piece of advice, a young wingman ain’t goin’ ta stick by you the way I have, lad. That’s no criticism of ’em, lad, just a fact. A youngster’s got a name to make and a career to think on, ’e’ll be lookin’ to make a hero of ’imself. An old man like meself, on the other hand… well, I’m just wantin’ to make it back so I can retire in one piece.
Briefing Room
Mission Briefing. Gateway System, 06:00 hours, 2654.134.
Halcyon: All right, folks, we’ll be pulling out from Gateway tomorrow, but before we do, we’ve got a few tankers and ’sports coming in. Since yesterday’s attack on the Tiger’s Claw, it’s clear we need to be especially vigilant in escorting these ships. Now, here are the assignments for transport escorts…
The Colonel makes the assignments for the wings. You draw the final run…
Halcyon: Maverick and Paladin will take the last detail. Here’s the flight plan. You’ll meet a Drayman-class transport here, at Nav 1. As soon as it arrives, the ’sport will head for the Tiger’s Claw. It’ll be moving at top speed, and won’t deviate from its shortest course. So you’ll have to protect it from any attackers. Stay with her, don’t let enemy fighters draw you away from the tanker. I’ve got one more bit of intelligence to pass along to everyone. We believe Bhurak Starkiller may be in the system.
Angel: Bhurak Starkiller, sir?
Halcyon: He’s Kilrah’s hottest pilot in the Salthi light fighter. We don’t know where he’s likely to turn up, but one wing or another is bound to run into him. So look alert out there, all right? Squadron dismissed.
Hornet Launch
Fly Gateway 3
Mission Debriefing. 15:00 hours, 2654.134.
Halcyon: Well done, gentlemen. The ’sport’s skipper asked me to thank you both. And my personal congratulations for dispatching Bhurak Starkiller.
Maverick: I’m just glad to get that fuel back to the Claw, sir.
Paladin: Now, don’t go discountin’ the fun in givin’ the hairballs a black eye, lad.
Halcyon: Enough of that, though. Let’s review the mission. You racked up 3 Kilrathi, Maverick, and Paladin got 3 of the hairballs. And you shot down Bhurak Starkiller. Everything else aside, Maverick, that was excellent work. And I want to see you in my office later, Maverick. Dismissed.
Colonel Halcyon’s Office
Colonel Halcyon’s Office. 16:50 hours, 2654.134.
Halcyon: Blair. Come in. I need to speak with you.
Maverick: Yes, sir?
Halcyon: I’ve been speaking with sector command. The brass have been reviewing your record, and I have good news. The order came in this morning, I’ve been authorised to promote you. Congratulations, Captain Blair. Keep up the good work.
Maverick: Thank you, sir. I’ll do my best.
Halcyon: Glad to hear it. We’ll be leaving Gateway soon, and I need to make some personnel changes. Effective immediately following the jump, you’ll be reassigned. I want you in a Scimitar-class medium fighter, with Blue Devil Squadron.
Maverick: Yes, sir. You won’t be sorry.
Halcyon: Good. I’m glad to hear it. That’s all, then, Captain. Dismissed.
Hangar Deck. 17:00 hours, 2654.134.
Halcyon: For meritorious conduct in confronting the Kilrathi enemy, in the Gateway system, on or about 2654.134, the Terran Confederation is proud to present the Silver Star to Captain Blair. Your courage is exemplary of the Confederation’s finest defenders. Good job, Maverick. Congratulations.
Maverick: Thank you, sir.
Award Ceremony
Filled with pride, Maverick meets the applause of his fellows.
McAuliffe scientists
Terran Research Colony, McAuliffe VI.
Kilrathi marines invading McAuliffe’s civilian research installation, met desperate and resourceful Human scientists. Armed with improvised weapons and remarkable courage, the researchers manage to kill or capture the entire Kilrathi platoon.
Win: Brimstone System
McAuliffe scientists
Terran Research Colony, McAuliffe VI.
As the Tiger’s Claw and other Terran warships meet defeat in space, Kilrathi marines invade the scientific colony on McAuliffe VI. Dozens of humanity’s most brilliant scientists are murdered as the ruthless Kilrathi storm the peaceful, harmless installation.
Lose: Chengdu System

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