version 2.6.5

Vega Sector Campaign: Hell’s Kitchen System

Hell’s Kitchen 1

Shotglass: So, Maverick. Here we are defending Hell’s Kitchen, and its third planet, Toadstool, the most miserable world in the sector. It’s hot and muggy, with nothing but overgrown fungus for trees, and no way to dry anything out. Only reason anyone lives here is to harvest the moulds and funguses that go into the best antibiotics and vaccines. Still, Toadstool’s only got facilities for a few thousand folks, and refugees from the big colonies we’ve lost will be arriving soon. There’s more than 100 000 people coming in from Gateway alone. It’s gonna get ugly down there on the planet, Maverick. Mark my words.
Knight: Back in a Scimitar again, eh, Maverick? Just be sure to remember her limitations, and you’ll be all right. She’s slower than anything in the Confederate fighter fleet, but she’s still a match for most of the Kilrathi fighters. Try to get in close, where your mass driver guns are most effective, and don’t forget that two of those missiles are dumbfires. They just fly straight out ahead of you, with no guidance system.
Paladin: Och, laddie, I ran into that Khajja bloke, not long ago. ’e’s the coldest furball I’ve ever seen! I was flyin’ with Dragon, out of Yellowjacket squadron. We ran into Khajja the Fang while we were flyin’ watchdog on a tanker. We shot ’is wingmen to bits, and put ’is own shields and lasers out, but still ’e keeps comin’! We’re tight on is tail, but ’e holds ’is course and fires off a missile. One shot, right up the tanker’s tailpipe, and she blows, big as day! An’ while Dragon an’ me are dodgin’ ’er debris, the hairy bastard makes ’is escape!
Briefing Room
Mission Briefing. Hell’s Kitchen System, 06:00 hours, 2654.284.
Halcyon: I don’t have to tell you that our backs are against the wall here. Of all the systems the Confederation held in Vega sector, only Hell’s Kitchen, Planck’s Star and Alliance are still ours. We’ve got refugee ships coming in from all over the sector. For the next few days, we’ll be busy making sure they arrive safely. Maverick and Hunter will take the first run. Here’s your flight plan. You’ll fly to Nav 1 to meet a Drayman jumping in from Chengdu. Bring her straight back here to the Claw. She’ll be heavy with passengers, so she’ll be moving slow. That ’sport will be carrying hundreds of civilian refugees, Maverick. I’m talking about children and old people, not trained soldiers or mercenaries. So I want you to be very careful on this one.
The Colonel quickly runs over the remaining assignments.
Halcyon: One more thing, people. We know there is at least one Kilrathi cruiser already in this system. We expect the enemy patrols near jump points to be heavy. We believe several Kilrathi aces are on board, including Khajja the Fang, whom some of you have already met.
Paladin: Bloody glad to hear it! I’ll be glad to ’ave another go at ’im!
Halcyon: So everyone look alert out there. Squadron dismissed.
Scimitar Launch
Fly Hell’s Kitchen 1
Mission Debriefing. 16:00 hours, 2654.284.
Halcyon: That was quite a feat, bringing a ’sport in through all those fighters. Especially with Khajja leading one of the enemy squadrons!
Maverick: Just did what had to be done, sir.
Hunter: Was bloody good, Colonel, gettin’ the chance to do the Fang for all ’e’s done to our mates!
Halcyon: Let’s run over the mission report. You racked up 6 of the hairballs, Maverick, and Hunter got 6 of them. And you took out Khajja the Fang. Fine flying, taking that hairball down! Dismissed.

Hell’s Kitchen 2

Shotglass: Hey, Maverick. I hear you ran into Khajja the Fang out there yesterday. Colonel said you did him in! Man, that hairball’s needed killin’ since I was a rookie. One of the pilots from Killer Bee squadron was in earlier, said that both Dakhath and Bhurak Starkiller may be here soon. Thought you might like to know, so you could keep an eye out.
Bossman: Maverick, have a seat. Lieutenant Marshall and I were just discussing tactics. We’re likely to be coming up against an increasing number of big ships. It is important to know how to approach them. When attempting to destroy a large ship, such as a Fralthi, I prefer to attack from the rear. A large vessel’s armour is always weakest around the engines.
Maniac: I hear the Kilrathi build ’em that way on purpose, Boss, to make the captains keep their noses pointed towards the enemy!
Bossman: I have heard that as well, Lieutenant, though I see no reason to believe Kilrathi captains are so cowardly.
Maniac: The Bossman here might like to come at a big ship from behind, but I like to approach the big ones from the side. They’ve got all their missiles to the front, and most of their guns to the front and the back.
Bossman: True enough.
Maniac: If you come in from the side, you’ll have time to get in close, then you can really let the sucker have it!
Briefing Room
Mission Briefing. Hell’s Kitchen System, 06:00 hours, 2654.285.
Halcyon: The situation is getting worse, people. The Confederation’s lost Planck’s Star, and the Kilrathi forces there will be headed for us next. Since we’re expecting an increased hostile presence, we’ll send wings to recon every bogie in the system. Maverick, we’ve got a half-dozen bogies circling about 85,000 klicks out. I want you and Hunter to go check them out. Computer, display Theta. They’re circling a point here, at Nav 1. It looks like they’re waiting for something to jump in. It could be just a tanker or a ’sport, but it might be the first of the Kilrathi warships from Planck’s.
Hunter: Do we make a play for ’er, Colonel, or is this just a look-see?
Halcyon: You’ll have to make the call, Maverick, but I’d say engage. Even if it turns out to be a Fralthi, she’ll never be as vulnerable as when she first jumps in. Anything else? All right, then, let’s get out into space. Squadron dismissed.
Scimitar Launch
Fly Hell’s Kitchen 2
Mission Debriefing. 16:00 hours, 2654.285.
Halcyon: I haven’t seen the mission report, Maverick. What did you find out there?
Hunter: One of the big cruisers, Colonel…
Maverick: It was a Fralthi, sir, with Gratha flying escort.
Halcyon: A Fralthi, eh? Did you destroy it?
Hunter: Yes, sir! We took the monster out!
Halcyon: Really? Excellent work! That’s just the sort of initiative Mankind needs to survive.
Maverick: Bhurak Starkiller was leading a wing of Salthi to intercept us.
Halcyon: I see. Well, Major, why don’t you give me the numbers for the mission?
Maverick: Hunter struck out.
Hunter: Everyone has an off day, mate!
Maverick: I managed to take out 10 myself. Bhurak Starkiller is out… permanently. And the Fralthi was destroyed.
Halcyon: Dismissed.
Hangar Deck. 17:00 hours, 2654.285.
Halcyon: For meritorious conduct in confronting the Kilrathi enemy, in the Hell’s Kitchen system, on or about 2654.285, the Terran Confederation is proud to present the Gold Star to Major 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.

Hell’s Kitchen 3

Shotglass: Seen the news on the trid lately? Looks like the Kilrathi are startin’ to land marines on Toadstool. That’s the only habitable world in the Hell’s Kitchen system, you know. If the Kilrathi can push our people off, we’re finished here! They ran some footage of the fightin’ on the planet, and it wasn’t pretty. I don’t think our boys can keep the Kilrathi off the civilians much longer.
Hunter: I was thinkin’, mate. There’s somethin’ we might want to try… Iceman, ’ere, tells me tha’ the furballs ’ave been plantin’ mines around… I was thinkin’ we might try to use those mines to our advantage! If we’re dogfightin’ near a minefield, why not try to lead ’em into it? There’ll be more of them than there are of us, an’ if we concentrate on the avoidin’ the mines, while they’re thinkin’ of shootin’ us, they might just run into a few mines by accident!
Iceman: Ah, Maverick, hello. Things are looking bad, aren’t they? I’ve heard they’ve begun to plan for the evacuation of this system. The Kilrathi seem to be everywhere lately, and where they’re not, they’ve left their mines behind them!
Hunter: Not to worry, mate! Their mines’ll blow up their ships as soon as ours.
Iceman: I say you can’t be too careful when you’re flying through a minefield!
Briefing Room
Mission Briefing. Hell’s Kitchen System, 06:00 hours, 2654.286.
Halcyon: I know everyone’s giving all they’ve got, but the Kilrathi keep throwing more at us. Sector Command has ordered the evacuation of civilians from Hell’s Kitchen.
Maverick: I thought they were evacuating people to Hell’s Kitchen, sir, not from it…
Halcyon: They were, Maverick. But the Kitchen turned out to be just a stopover. So it’s our job to hold the system as best we can, to cover the Confederate retreat. Right now, several of our vessels are under attack around the system. We’ll be sending wings out to help in their defence. Maverick, you’ll fly Mu Wing to assist an Exeter-class Destroyer. Hunter will fly on your wing again.
Hunter: Once more into the breach, mate!
Halcyon: Here’s the situation. The Exeter is currently at Nav 1. You’ll head straight for her, and help in her defence. She’s under attack by at least four Dralthi, apparently led by the Deathstroke, Dakhath. So I want you to get over to that Exeter as fast as you can. If you’re intercepted, simply evade and proceed to Nav 1. You are not to engage any enemy vessels en route, understand?
Hunter: Aw, Colonel, that takes the fun out of it!
Maverick: I understand, sir. No distractions, no delays.
Halcyon: Good. Any last questions? All right, then. Let’s get out there. Squadron dismissed.
Scimitar Launch
Fly Hell’s Kitchen 3
Mission Debriefing. 16:00 hours, 2654.286.
Halcyon: I just spoke to the commander of the destroyer, Maverick. Excellent job. He was very impressed.
Maverick: Did the best we could, sir. The gunners on the destroyer get some credit, too.
Halcyon: Did you run into that furry bastard, Dakhath?
Hunter: Bloody right, we did. Gave ’im what for, as well.
Maverick: Yes, sir! Took him out, too.
Halcyon: Good work, Maverick.
Maverick: Thank you, sir.
Halcyon: Well, let’s review the mission report. You took out 7 of the Kilrathi fighters, Maverick, while Hunter got 6. That’s all, then. Dismissed.

Hell’s Kitchen 4

Shotglass: The Kilrathi scum have taken Toadstool. Just heard the news. They’ve got complete control of the planet. Since Planck’s Star and Alliance fell, that was our last world in the sector. The order to pull out will have to come soon. Darn shame, too. Millions of people dead, dozens of worlds lost, just ’cause the Empire of Kilrah can’t stand havin’ neighbours.
Angel: Ah, Major Blair. Bonjour. I have heard that the Kilrathi have sent all of their best against us now. Only our presence in this system prevents their control of the sector, so we will be facing only their finest pilots from now on. I have been reading the records of their leading aces. The Baron Bakhtosh Redclaw has 75 kills to his credit.
Paladin: Och, lad, I reckon this fight’s just about over. What a bloody disappointment it is, too. I spent me entire bloody life fightin’ the Kilrathi, and now they chase us ’ome, with our tails between our legs! Bloody shame, ’at’s what it is…
Briefing Room
Mission Briefing. Hell’s Kitchen System, 06:00 hours, 2654.287.
Halcyon: Well, ladies and gentlemen, it’s all over. The last refugee transport has left Hell’s Kitchen for the Homeworlds, and we’ve been ordered to pull out of the Vega sector. The entire Confederate fleet is falling back to Proxima Centauri, to prepare for the defence of Deneb sector. I need a volunteer wing to fly a mission that may well be suicide. I won’t ask for volunteers until I’ve briefed you all on the mission. Computer, display Psi. The Tiger’s Claw is currently here. There’s a Kilrathi destroyer – a Ralari – near Nav 1, here, and closing. The Tiger’s Claw is headed for her jump point here, at Nav 2. There are dozens of enemy fighters in the area. I need someone to head off the Ralari, and detain or destroy her, while the Claw prepares for her jump. I want to point out that there are no guarantees on this one. The Tiger’s Claw won’t be able to wait for you once she’s ready to jump. Whoever volunteers stands a good chance of being left behind…
Maverick: I’ll do it, sir. I’ll take that chance.
Hunter: ’at’s the spirit, mate! Colonel, I want to fly ’is wing.
Halcyon: All right, then. It’s decided. This is a very brave gesture. Good luck out there, gentlemen. Squadron dismissed.
Scimitar Launch
Fly Hell’s Kitchen 4
Mission Debriefing. 15:00 hours, 2654.287.
Halcyon: Maverick! Glad to have you back on board! We were able to follow most of your engagements on long-range sensors. Brilliant flying, absolutely brilliant. If we’d all flown that well throughout the campaign, we might not have been chased out of the sector like this.
Maverick: Thank you, sir. Are we ready for the jump?
Halcyon: Yes, Major, we should be making the jump any second now. We’ll go over your numbers while we wait for it. You took out 10 of the Kilrathi fighters, Maverick, while Hunter got 9. That’s all, then. It’s all on the bridge crew from here…
Vega Sector Defeat
Fleeing from the overwhelming Kilrathi forces in the sector, the Tiger’s Claw manages to jump out. Barely. There’ll be other sectors, other battles…
TCS Tiger’s Claw Kilrathi Krant Fighter Kilrathi Krant Fighter

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