version 2.6.5

Special Operations 2: Ayer’s System

Ayer’s A

Ayer’s Rock
Ayer’s Rock: This is Ayer’s System Security, calling Kilrathi freighter Gamal Gan. H’as aiy’hra n’hakh ri’kahri krikajj, nai korekh sha’yi… Please respond with the countersign, Gamal Gan.
Paladin: Talon, do ye know what they’re talkin’ about, lad?
Talon: That’s the first part of a phrase from an old Kilrathi war story. It means: “Beyond the eyes of my enemy, I shall prepare for the day of his destruction.”
Paladin: She’s waiting for us to give the countersign.
Talon: Gamal Gan to Ayer’s System Security… responding with countersign… Kir’kha n’ikh rakh k’har, Sharhi nar Hhallas… I hope I’m remembering that story correctly! I think the next line is: “I, Sharhi of Hhallas, swear to avenge my honour.” I suppose we’ll find out if I’m wrong really soon now…
Ayer’s Rock: Countersign received and confirmed. You’re late, Gamal Gan! Where is Captain Hrakthrai?
Talon: We had engine problems. The Captain is supervising the efforts to repair them. Our approach will be delayed for at least an hour.
Ayer’s Rock: Understood. Keep us informed of your situation, Gamal Gan. Ayer’s Security out.
Talon: Well, we survived that! What now, Paladin?
Paladin: Now we do what we came here to do, lad. Collect intelligence, and then get out of here alive afterwards.
Maverick: It’s going well, James. No sign that the Mandarins know that we’re here.
Paladin: Talon is going to be monitoring the VDU for more burst transmissions from Scorpion. If we’re lucky, we’ll get the information we need quickly.
Talon: Paladin, this is Talon. You’d better come to the Bridge immediately, sir.
Five minutes later…
Talon: We’re picking up something right now, Major Taggart.
Scorpion: Paladin, this is Scorpion. The Mandarins are scrambling two wings of fighters.
Scorpion: They’ve detected some sort of electronic screen on your ship, and they want a closer look at you.
Paladin: The electronic masking of your two Morningstars won’t stand up at close range.
Maverick: If they’re already on to us, it doesn’t make any difference anyway. We’ll go out and deal with the first wing, then chase down the second wing before they can report in. Then we’d probably get out of here before they scramble any more fighters.
Maniac: That’s right. But first, we’ll give these guys a personal demonstration of what the Morningstar can do!
Fly Ayer’s A
Paladin: We’ve won another round, lads! Good work!
Maverick: We encountered five Gothri right outside the front door. They’re all history. At Nav 1 there were five more Sartha. None of those guys put up much of a fight. I took down 5 of them. Maniac nailed 5.
Paladin: You’d better dock immediately, lads. We’re leaving this neighbourhood now, before reinforcements can arrive.
Maverick: No arguments from us about that, James!
Morningstar Docking

Ayer’s B

Talon: We’re picking up another transmission from Scorpion, sir…
Scorpion: The entire base is under security alert. They’re searching for the source of these transmissions.
Scorpion: I don’t have much time, Paladin. Listen closely. Ayer’s Rock is the main base for all Mandarin operations throughout the Confederation. The activities of hundreds of pockets of resistance are controlled and co-ordinated from here. Because of the security risks, they’ve never called a meeting of all the Mandarin leaders until now. They’re all here, Paladin. This is your chance to–
Talon: They’re jamming Scorpion’s transmissions. He’s been cut off.
Paladin: Alert the Concordia of the situation. Scramble the transmission.
Talon: Special Operations Unit calling TCS starship Concordia. We have located the main Mandarin base.
TCS Concordia
TCS Concordia
Tolwyn: I’m afraid you’re on your own. We have our own situation here–
Talon: The Concordia reports that they are about to come under enemy attack. They just sealed off their flight deck for repairs. They won’t be able to scramble any fighters!
Paladin: They’re beyond our help. By the time we can get back, it’ll be over one way or another. We must concentrate on our own problems here. If the Mandarins traced the destination of Scorpion’s tight-beam communications, they will be here soon. Maverick, you and Maniac had better launch immediately.
Confederation Morningstar Prototype
Confederation Morningstar Prototype
Paladin: Maverick, this is Paladin, do you read? I’m setting course for the nearest jump point – you and Maniac had better make sure we’re not intercepted.
Maniac: Do the Mandarins have a fix on our location?
Paladin: I’m sure of it. Those Mandarin bastards are jamming our communications now. And I’m detecting ships approaching from two directions. Ye’d better move fast, lads, or this is going to be a very short mission. Paladin out.
Fly Ayer’s B
Paladin: Maverick, this is Paladin. Your report, lad?
Maverick: There were four Sartha at Nav 1. None of them survived. We knocked out two Fralthra cruisers at Nav 2, James. I got 5, Maniac took 4.
Paladin: There’ll be more of them. Blast, but I still can’t get through to the Concordia. We’re on our own now, lads. You are cleared to land.
Morningstar Docking

Ayer’s C

Paladin: Blast it, we’re still two hours from the jump point. I don’t think we’re going to make it, lads.
Talon: Paladin, I’m receiving a tight-beam comm from Ayer’s Rock…
Scorpion: Scorpion to Gamal Gan. Do you read me?
Talon: Loud and clear, Scorpion.
Scorpion: I don’t think they can find me now. I should be safe to transmit for a while. They’re starting an evacuation of Ayer’s Rock. Everyone’s certain that the Concordia is on her way here.
Talon: I wish that was true, Scorpion. But–
Paladin: Not over an unsecured channel, Talon! You could…
Rakh’rhi: Too late for caution, Taggart. You should hire better underlings.
Paladin: Admiral Rakh’rhi!
Rakh’rhi: Captain Schmidt, you may execute that Terran spy now. You can still surrender, Taggart. All of you are more valuable to us alive than dead.
Paladin: Forget it, Rakh’rhi! Cut the transmission, Talon.
Paladin: We have two choices before us, lads… We can run, or we can stand and fight. We have heard nothing from the Concordia since its last transmission. For all we know she has been destroyed.
Maverick: The way I see it, we have but one choice. To destroy the Mandarin movement once and for all!
Paladin: Destroying Ayer’s Rock won’t be easy, Christopher. I can’t order you to fly that mission.
Maniac: I’ll volunteer.
Maverick: If you want a reason why I want to go, I’ll give you one. “Jazz” Colson.
Five minutes later…
Confederation Morningstar Prototype
Maverick: I’m setting course for Ayer’s Rock, Paladin.
Paladin: Good luck, Maverick!
Fly Ayer’s C
Maverick: Paladin, this is Maverick. We succeeded in destroying Ayer’s Rock.
Paladin: We could see the fireworks from here, Maverick!
Maverick: They had five Sabres and two Kamekhs defending Ayer’s Rock. And Ayer’s Rock had some good defences of its own. I took out 4, and Maniac accounted for 4.
Paladin: Any sign of Minx, Jazz, or the captured Morningstar?
Maverick: No sign of them at all. I’m on final docking approach, Paladin.
Morningstar Docking

Ayer’s D

The Bridge, TCS Concordia.
Angel: The Fralthra is making its attack approach now.
Tolwyn: Prepare to fire the main gun.
Angel: But Admiral, we’re only at 60 per cent power. Our power plant could blow.
Tolwyn: You heard the order, Colonel. Fire the main gun!
TCS Concordia Attack Run
Ayer’s Rock destroyed:
Talon: Paladin, I’m receiving a transmission from Ayer’s Rock!
Minx: Maverick, this is Minx.
Maverick: Minx, can you hear me? Your signal is weak.
Minx: I’m in an escape pod. We took too much radiation damage from the explosion – all systems failing – Jazz has the Morningstar, Maverick. He’s escaped. That bastard left me here to die. Kill him for me, Christopher! Kill him–
Talon: We’ve lost transmission.
Maverick: So… “Jazz” Colson is still alive. Ready to fly another mission, Maniac?
Maniac: Against “Jazz” Colson? Any time, Maverick.
Ayer’s Rock active:
Paladin: I think we still have a chance to jump out of here alive, but–
Talon: Paladin, I’m receiving a transmission from Ayer’s Rock!
Minx: Maverick, this is Minx. I knew you would be here! Your mission wasn’t a total failure – we’ll have to abandon Ayer’s Rock before the Concordia arrives. But you probably won’t live that long. Jazz has sworn to kill you, Maverick. And this time, I think he’s going to succeed. Better start running, Maverick. You don’t have much time left.
Confederation Morningstar Prototype
Maverick: Paladin, this is Maverick. Have you tracked Jazz’s ship yet?
Paladin: No sign of him yet, Maverick. But I know how much he wants to kill you. I’d wager he won’t escape until he’s made sure you’re dead. So he’s probably somewhere between us and the jump point. I’m transmitting a Nav course to you now. If you don’t encounter Jazz, jump back to the Concordia. They’ve signalled us that they’ve taken care of their trouble and have repaired the flight deck. I’ll follow you there.
Maniac: Providing our jump drive works.
Fly Ayer’s D
Maniac Stranded
Confederation Morningstar Prototype
Paladin: Maniac, get a move on lad!
Maniac: I’m going, I’m going! Blast!
Morningstar Landing
Jazz terminated:
The Bridge, TCS Concordia.
Tolwyn: Good work, Colonel! I knew “Jazz” Colson wouldn’t escape you again.
Maverick: And Ayer’s Rock has been destroyed, Admiral.
Tolwyn: I’m sending a commendation to Confed High Command for your work in this sector, Maverick. Once again, you’ve proved yourself to be a true hero!
Two days later…
Kabla Meth
Kabla Meth, Kilrathi HQ, Deneb Sector.
Emperor: My… heir. Is it true that you failed to capture a prototype of the Morningstar, and you also allowed the main base of the Mandarins to be destroyed?
Thrakhath: The Mandarins were about to outlive their usefulness to us. And while we did not get the Morningstar, we did keep the attentions of the Concordia well occupied. By doing so, we were able to destroy the 6th Battle Fleet, and drive out the Confederation entirely. Even as we speak, the Concordia is receiving its orders to retreat from the sector.
Emperor: Grandson – I am pleased! Now nothing can stop us from conquering Earth itself!
Maniac: Guys? Maverick? Anybody there? Where’s S&R when you need ’em?
Jazz alive:
The Bridge, TCS Concordia.
Tolwyn: I heard from Paladin that “Jazz” Colson has escaped us again, Maverick. He’s probably en route to the Kilrathi even as we speak. We won’t have a chance to apprehend him again. I know you did your best, Maverick… but this time, that wasn’t enough. Dismissed.

Ayer’s (Losing Track)

Admiral Tolwyn’s Office, TCS Concordia.
Tolwyn: It’s good to have you serving aboard the Concordia again, Colonel Blair.
Maverick: Thank you, Admiral. Has there been any more news from the rest of the fleet?
Tolwyn: Unfortunately, yes. Since the victory in the Enigma Sector, we have been losing ground. The Kilrathi have made steady advances against our forces. The Sixth Battle Fleet has engaged overwhelming enemy forces near the sector border. I requested that Confed High Command send us to help them, but we haven’t received a reply transmission from them yet. So for now, we must remain here in the Deneb Sector. If we lose the Sixth Fleet, there’s nothing between the Kilrathi armadas and our homeworlds…
Maverick: This war is far from over, sir. I won’t give up hope yet.
Colonel Devereaux’s Office, TCS Concordia.
Angel: I am glad you are safe, mon amour.
Maverick: I feel I let you down, Angel. By now, Jazz has taken the Morningstar across the Kilrathi border.
Angel: Apart from that, Maverick, your mission was a success. Now that the Mandarins have lost their secret base, their threat to us has been greatly reduced. And we’ve received our new orders from Confed High Command. The Concordia has been ordered to retreat from the Deneb Sector.
Maverick: What! That can’t be true, Angel!
Angel: I’m sending out patrols to clear our way to the jump point, and then we will return to Confed HQ with all possible speed. You’ve flown very difficult missions these last few days, Christopher. I’ll assign another pilot to fly the patrol.
Maverick: No. I want to fly the last patrol. I want to take one last look before we abandon this place to the Kilrathi.
Morningstar Launch
Fly Ayer’s (Losing Track)
The Bridge, TCS Concordia.
Tolwyn: Your report, Colonel?
Maverick: All Nav points cleared, Admiral.
Tolwyn: Good work, Maverick. Major Edmond, signal Jump Alert throughout the ship. We must retreat from this sector now, Maverick, but I know we’ll return. And next time, the Kilrathi won’t win.

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