version 2.6.5

Vega Sector Campaign: McAuliffe System

McAuliffe 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 Blue Devils. Ever flown Scimitars before? I think you’re going to like them. A Scimitar 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. McAuliffe System, 06:15 hours, 2654.131. Fifteen minutes into the briefing…
Halcyon: All right, then. Beta wing will be led by Maverick. Paladin, you’ll be flying on his wing.
Paladin: An’ I canna tell you ’ow I’m lookin’ forward to it, Colonel.
Halcyon: Right. Since we jumped into the McAuliffe system just a few hours ago, we’re still running preliminary patrols. Maverick, you’ll be flying a four-point route, checking several potential jump points. Here’s your flight plan. Just fly to the Nav Points, and make sure they’re clear. Long-range scanners indicate some sort of debris near Nav 3. We have reason to believe this might be a Kilrathi minefield, so be especially careful in that area. Questions? All right, then. Delta 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.
Scimitar Launch
Fly McAuliffe 1
Mission Debriefing. 10:00 hours, 2654.131.
Halcyon: Well flown, Maverick. You handled those fleabags like an old pro.
Maverick: Thanks, sir. Having Paladin on my wing made it easy.
Paladin: Now laddie, don’t brag on me, or the Colonel’ll start expectin’ more from me!
Halcyon: So let’s go over the mission report. You scragged 3 Kilrathi, Maverick, and Paladin did in 3 himself. That’s all, then. Dismissed.

McAuliffe 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
Mission Briefing. McAuliffe System, 12:00 hours, 2654.131.
Halcyon: Well, boys and girls, things are getting ready to heat up. The Confederation is getting ready to mount a major offensive, so we’re expecting several supply ships within the next 48 hours. But scanners show increased Kilrathi activity in this system. We’ve got to clean up the enemy presence here at McAuliffe, before the tankers and ’sports start to arrive tomorrow. We’ve detected a large bogie about 90,000 klicks out. It jumped in about 20 minutes ago, and seems to be headed this way. It might be just a transport, but it’s probably a small warship. Maverick, you and Paladin are going to go out and get a look at it, and destroy it if you can.
Paladin: Faith, lad, but that’ll be a challenge…
Halcyon: Here’s your flight plan. If the bogie continues its present course and speed, you should meet it here, at Nav 1. We’ve detected a fighter escort in the area as well, so be on the lookout for additional bogies.
The Colonel quickly goes through the rest of the assignments, dispatching other wings to check out other bogies in the system.
Halcyon: Squadron dismissed.
Scimitar Launch
Fly McAuliffe 2
Mission Debriefing. 16:00 hours, 2654.131.
Halcyon: Nice job, Maverick. You too, Paladin. Congratulations to the both of you.
Paladin: The kid did all the work, sir. I was just along for the ride.
Maverick: Those Kilrathi destroyers really aren’t much to worry about, sir.
Halcyon: I don’t know, Maverick. They had you outgunned as well as outnumbered. Now, to review the mission. Recorder shows you killed 5, Maverick, and 2 killed by Paladin. By the way, we’ve identified the big bogie as a Ralari-class destroyer. Good job taking her out. That’s all. Dismissed.
Hangar Deck. 17:00 hours, 2654.131.
Halcyon: For meritorious conduct in confronting the Kilrathi enemy, in the McAuliffe system, on or about 2654.131, the Terran Confederation is proud to present the Bronze 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.

McAuliffe 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 McAuliffe 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. McAuliffe System, 06:00 hours, 2654.132.
Halcyon: We’ll be leaving McAuliffe late tomorrow, but first, we’ve got a half-dozen ’sports and tankers coming in. With at least one Kilrathi carrier in the system, we’re expecting the hairballs to make a play for most of the ’sports. 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. Computer, display Psi. You’ll rendezvous with a Drayman-class tanker here, at Nav 1. As soon as it arrives, the tanker 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 close, don’t let enemy fighters draw you away from the tanker. Now, one more thing, boys and girls. Intelligence indicates Bhurak Starkiller may be in the system.
Angel: Bhurak Starkiller, sir?
Halcyon: He’s one of Kilrah’s best, flies a Salthi light fighter. Our records credit him with 64 kills, counting fighters and battleships. So let’s all be extra careful out there, all right? Squadron dismissed.
Scimitar Launch
Fly McAuliffe 3
Mission Debriefing. 15:00 hours, 2654.132.
Halcyon: Well done, gentlemen. The tanker commander asked me to commend you both. And my personal congratulations for dispatching Bhurak Starkiller.
Maverick: I’m just glad to get that ’sport 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 7 Kilrathi, Maverick, and Paladin came up empty. 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, 2654.132.
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 McAuliffe soon, and I need to make some personnel changes. Effective immediately following the jump, you’ll be reassigned. I need you in Star Slayer Squadron, flying a Raptor-class heavy fighter.
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, 2654.132.
Halcyon: For meritorious conduct in confronting the Kilrathi enemy, in the McAuliffe system, on or about 2654.132, 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: Gimle 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: Brimstone System

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