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Special Operations 2: Canewdon System – Part 3


Canewdon A

Maverick: Have you had any luck tracking down Ayer’s Rock yet, Paladin?
Paladin: Not so far. Did you hear about the hijacked Terran freighters, laddie?
Maverick: That’s all I have been hearing about lately! Why must I take the blame for all of “Jazz” Colson’s crimes?
Paladin: “Jazz” Colson is more than just a traitor. He’s a skilled professional spy, as well as an ace fighter pilot. And now he’s a Mandarin hero. He’s caused us all a lot of anger and frustration. Just because some of it has been unfairly directed at you doesn’t mean it’s your fault.
Maverick: I had him in my targeting sights, James, and I let him live. If that was a mistake, all I want is the chance to put it right.
Paladin: I’d wager that you’ll cross paths with “Jazz” Colson again, Christopher.
Maverick: What makes you say that? Do you know something about these hijackings that I don’t?
Paladin: Nothing that you probably won’t know before long, laddie.
Colonel Devereaux’s Office.
Angel: The Mandarins have offered us a deal, Christopher. They want to trade the crews of the hijacked Terran freighters for three Mandarins currently in prison. We can only have a single fighter at the exchange point or the deal is off. The Admiral wants you to fly that fighter, Maverick.
Maverick: The Confederation can’t be serious about accepting these conditions! Has High Command really approved the release of those three Mandarins?
Angel: Maverick, we have all the information we need from them. They are of no further use to us.
Maverick: Is there any particular reason you want me to fly this mission, Angel?
Angel: Intelligence reports indicate a high probability that “Jazz” Colson will be at the exchange site.
Maverick: So I’m the bait to attract him.
Angel: The Admiral believes you are the only pilot on the Concordia with a good chance of defeating Jazz in single combat. They’re preparing a Broadsword for you on the Flight Deck, Colonel. Dismissed.
Broadsword Launch
Fly Canewdon A
Sparks: Welcome back, sir!
The Bridge, TCS Concordia.
Tolwyn: Congratulations on a successful exchange, Colonel.
Maverick: Thank you, sir. I wasn’t surprised that the Mandarins would renege on their deal. On the way back to Concordia, a Ralatha and an entire wing of Drakhri tried to destroy the unarmed ship carrying our freighter crews. I nailed 6 of them. And I brought the hostages home.
Tolwyn: The Kilrathi are working very closely with the Mandarins in this sector. One of the hostages learned something the Mandarins didn’t want us to know, hence the attack. The information was about a high-level Mandarin meeting. We’re hoping to intercept more information about this. Anything else to report, Colonel?
Maverick: Just one more thing. “Jazz” Colson stood us up for this dance, Admiral.

Canewdon B

Maniac: Talon, Crossbones, I want you to fly a standard diamond patrol. Report anything unusual. And make me proud of you.
Talon: Yes, sir.
Crossbones: Today the Kilrathi will learn to fear the name of the Wild Eagles, sir.
Five minutes later…
Repair Deck, TCS Concordia.
Sparks: Captain Burkheimer? Captain Colt? Why are you suited up for a flight? Isn’t Captain Grimaldi flying the test flight today?
Talon: What makes you think that, Chief McCullough?
Sparks: Because Captain Grimaldi’s fighter is on the ship elevator and she’s going to launch in another couple of minutes.
Talon: But she’s not scheduled to fly any missions until tomorrow…
Crossbones: That fighter is fully armed and loaded! Signal an alert! We have to stop her!
Explosives
The Bridge, TCS Concordia.
Tolwyn: Ten minutes ago, the Morningstar prototype was stolen from the Flight Deck. We have confirmation from Chief McCullough that the pilot was Captain Grimaldi. Grimaldi apparently set an explosive to cover her escape… Crossbones was killed, and Sparks and Talon are in Sick-Bay. It’ll be at least another fifteen minutes until the Flight Deck is operational again. As soon as we can launch fighters, you’ll go in pursuit of Captain Grimaldi. The Morningstar doesn’t have enough range to reach the nearest habitable system – and since the ship is still subject to random jump failure – Grimaldi must be headed for a rendezvous with a nearby Kilrathi ship. Your mission is to recapture or destroy Grimaldi and the Morningstar. Whatever happens, it must not fall into the hands of the enemy. Good hunting, gentlemen.
Morningstar Launch
Maniac: Hey, Maverick, remember when I told you that this baby had capabilities I couldn’t talk about? Well, this ship is equipped with a new type of missile called the Mace. It’s a tactical nuke!
Maverick: There’s a nuclear missile in my ship?!
Maniac: Yeah! Great, isn’t it? Listen, the best way to use it is to fire it at the enemy squadron when you first see ’em. I also use my particle cannons to set it off, once it’s out of range. Just don’t aim it at anything near you!
Maverick: I wish I thought you were kidding about this, Todd!
Fly Canewdon B
Confederation Morningstar Prototype
Confederation Morningstar Prototype
Concordia: Maverick, this is Concordia. The Admiral is asking if you had any success in finding Grimaldi?
Maverick: No such luck, Concordia. She’s vanished. She must have gambled on her jump drive functioning properly. Unfortunately for us, that gamble seems to have paid off. Her escape must have been timed with a co-ordinated enemy presence intended to discourage pursuit. We encountered a lot of Kilrathi out there. I took out 6, and Maniac got 6.
Concordia: Land immediately, Maverick. Edmond out.
Morningstar Landing

Canewdon C

Paladin: I have more news for you, laddie. Scorpion, one of my Special Operations agents, infiltrated the Mandarins sixteen months ago. I hadn’t heard anything from him for a year, and thought he might be dead, but he sent us a transmission from Ayer’s Rock. From Scorpion’s transmission, we’ve been able to track that Mandarin base. I’m takin’ you wi’ me to recon Ayer’s Rock. Welcome back to the Special Operations Division, laddie. Now we’ll need two other officers for this mission…
Twenty minutes later…
Maniac: Maverick, my Wild Eagle Squadron has been destroyed. Minx is a traitor, Crossbones is dead. And Talon will never fly a fighter again. And now the Kilrathi have the Morningstar. My career is over.
Maverick: Believe me, Todd, I know how you feel right now. But the battle isn’t over yet. You’ve been transferred to Paladin’s Special Operations Division. They’ve discovered a Mandarin base called Ayer’s Rock. It may be where Minx took the Morningstar. And that’s where we’re headed next.
Colonel Devereaux’s Office.
Angel: Maniac, Maverick, your orders have arrived from Confed High Command. You will rendezvous with Paladin at the co-ordinates programmed into your Nav computers. You will receive further orders from Paladin. Good luck, Christopher. And to you, Todd.
Maniac: Thanks, Angel. Come on, Maverick, let’s get moving!
Morningstar Launch
Fly Canewdon C
Paladin: Maverick, this is Paladin. Good to see ye again, laddie! Welcome to the newly rechristened Grimalkin. Formerly called the Gamal Gan. I’m sure you’ll recognise it, Maverick. We’ll take this ship to Ayer’s Rock, since the Bonnie Heather has been attracting a little too much attention lately. I don’t think they’ll suspect a visit from us in this ship. She’s got fuel, munitions, repair capabilities, a complete Confed interior refitting, and electronic screening for masking two Morningstar fighters.
Maverick: Sounds good, James. We’re coming in to dock now.
Morningstar Docking

Canewdon D

Paladin: Now that you’re here, we can start for Ayer’s Rock. Talon will be manning the commo room during your missions.
Talon: I just want to contribute somehow to recovering the Morningstar. And get even for what happened to Crossbones. Poor guy. I suppose it was just time to get his ticket punched.
Paladin: There will be time to remember absent friends later, lad. Right now, we’ve work to do. Maverick, as soon as we’ve refuelled your Morningstar, you’ll launch again.
Maverick: Paladin, this is Maverick. All systems green.
Paladin: I’ve programmed the Nav course into the computers. Maverick and Maniac, you’ll fly escort for the Grimalkin to the jump point.
Maniac: Paladin, I don’t think it’d be a good idea to jump out separately. The Morningstar is still having problems with that random jump failure.
Paladin: You’ll re-dock with the Grimalkin at the jump point, Todd. That way, we can make sure we’ll all get to Ayer’s Rock.
Maverick: Let’s go. I want to see to Ayer’s Rock. I’m just hoping Colson is out there, somewhere…
Paladin: We’ll AutoNav on your mark, Maverick!
Fly Canewdon D
Maverick: Paladin, this is Maverick. The jump point is secure. We only had to get past eight fighters to get here. Two Strakha, four Jalkehi, and two Gothri. I nailed 4 of them, and Maniac got…
Paladin: You can update the scoreboard later, lad. Land an’ we’ll jump out-system.
Morningstar Docking
All Dorkathi destroyed (Canewdon C): Ayer’s System
One or more Dorkathi active (Canewdon C): Canewdon (Losing Track)

Canewdon (Losing Track)

Ayer’s Rock
Jazz: You’ve done well, Minx. And now that my plan has succeeded – and you’ve brought the Morningstar prototype to the Mandarins – I’m guaranteed a high-ranking position in the post-war Kilrathi regime.
Minx: But I was the one who stole the Morningstar and brought it here! You had absolutely nothing to do with it, Major! Why should you get all the reward?!
Jazz: Please– Call me “Jazz”. I’m afraid you’re only hired help, Captain. Not a sworn Mandarin. I’ve loyally served the Kilrathi for over ten years. Prince Thrakhath himself awarded me with a Kilrathi medal. If you became more involved in our cause, there could be a place for you as well, Captain.
Minx: “Captain” and “Major” sounds so formal, Jazz… you can call me Maria.
Jazz: Anytime, sweetheart…
Minx: I think this is going to be the start of a beautiful friendship, Jazz.
Talon: I have Ayer’s Rock on my sensors. It has just activated all defence systems. And I’m picking up chatter from at least six other craft on an intercept course with us.
Paladin: If they spot us, our whole mission is blown. I can jump the Grimalkin further out-system to throw them of our trail. But we can’t trust the jump drives of those Morningstars…
Maverick: Maniac and I will run their gauntlet and rejoin you after you jump.
Talon: You’d better hurry!
Five minutes later…
Confederation Morningstar Prototype
Maverick: James, this is Maverick, do you read?
Paladin: We’ll meet at Nav 3, laddie!
Fly Canewdon (Losing Track)
Maverick: Paladin, this is Maverick, do you read?
Paladin: I don’t think they like visitors in Ayer’s system, lad! I picked up communications from a Mandarin squadron in this area.
Maverick: That was probably the wing of five Sabres at Nav 1. We took all of them out. None of them survived to report on our presence here. And we ran into two Broadswords at Nav 2. They’re both history.
Paladin: You took care of all of those ships, so it’s probably safe to continue our mission. With luck, they’ll send out reinforcements to scout our old location, which’ll give us enough time to go in close for a fly-by. And I’ll scan them for all the data I can. After we get enough information, we’ll jump out again.
Maverick: Affirmative, Paladin.
Morningstar Docking
All Mandarin fighters destroyed: Ayer’s System
One or more Mandarin fighters active: Failure

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