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Wing Commander III: Orsini System


Introduction

Imperial Throne Room, Kilrah.
Kilrathi Imperial Palace
Kilrathi Imperial Throne Room
Emperor: The enemy has struck at the heart of our Empire. A puny contingent of their soldiers has been captured here on Kilrah.
Thrakhath: This incursion was an act of desperation. The hairless apes now flail about, knowing that they are beaten. They have failed their race utterly. There will be no interrogation.
Emperor: Do what you will with them.
Thrakhath: Disintegration.
Kilrathi: <roars>
Thrakhath: Silence. My brethren, they are not warriors, but maggots.
Execution by disintegration…
Terrans: <screams>
Thrakhath: Only one among them is worthy of being treated as a warrior. The one they call “Angel”. Still defiant, Colonel Devereaux? If we were to offer co-existence with your kind, would you not accept it?
Angel: The Kilrathi do not co-exist.
Thrakhath: No. And now that the tide has turned in this war, your defiance is a pathetic and useless gesture.
Angel: You bore me, monsieur. Disintegrate me so I might join my comrades…
Thrakhath: Disintegration is not for you. Your fate will be different.
Angel: <spits>
Thrakhath: <growls> The Human cannot appreciate the honour that I am about to bestow her. She is not only a great warrior… but her lair-mate is The Heart of the Tiger!
Mistral Sea, Vespus.
TCS Concordia
Paladin: May they rest in peace.
Maverick: Peace… Have we ever known anything like that, Paladin?
Paladin: Not for a long time, laddie.
Maverick: First the Tiger’s Claw, now this.
Paladin: Enough! You were not to blame for either.
Maverick: Some would disagree. This is Colonel Christopher Blair. Report to Admiral Tolwyn. The wreckage of the Concordia has been located on Vespus off the Mistral coast. Evaluation… total loss.
Paladin: You can’t live your life for the approval of one man.
Maverick: Any word from Angel?
Paladin: None.
Maverick: Is that the ‘official’ line?
Paladin: I know how much she means to you, laddie.
Confederation HQ
Admiral Tolywn’s Office, Confederation Headquarters.
Maverick: Excuse me, sir. Did you say the Victory?
Tolwyn: Is there something wrong with your hearing, Colonel?
Maverick: No, sir. It’s just that I…
Tolwyn: The TCS Victory is a fine carrier with a long history of service to the Confederation.
Maverick: Yes, sir. A very long history, sir.
Tolwyn: Ship assignments aren’t open to debate, Colonel. Of course, I realise that the ‘accommodations’ may not be what you’re quite used to.
Maverick: No, sir, I didn’t mean to suggest that–
Tolwyn: The Victory will benefit greatly from having a wing commander of your stature and experience.
Maverick: Thank you, sir. But can’t we at least discuss the…
Tolwyn: Now that we have the Kilrathi on the run in both the Gardel and Morpheus systems, I can afford to shift you to the Victory in Orsini. What I’m trying to tell you, Colonel, is that things are looking up. The Confederation has been making some very positive strides. Dismissed!
Maverick: Sir, about my request–
Tolwyn: Yes, that came as a bit of a surprise to me. As you know, Colonel Devereaux’s status is on a need-to-know basis. Your shuttle is waiting.
Maverick: Yes, sir!
Confederation shuttle, en-route to the TCS Victory.
Miles: Despite recent losses in several densely populated sectors, Confederation spokesmen insist that Humanity maintains the upper hand in its galactic struggle with the Kilrathi. However, our sources document a consistent under-reporting of Kilrathi incursions, as well as civilian and industrial losses. There are even reports of Confed plans for a ‘doomsday’ evacuation of Earth, replanting the seeds of Humanity in a distant galaxy. The question is… who would go? Who would be left behind? And, most importantly, who is making these decisions?
Flight Deck, TCS Victory.
Welcoming Committee
Eisen: Welcome to the TCS Victory, Colonel.
Maverick: Thank you, Captain.
Eisen: Better known as “Tin Can Sally”.
Hobbes: It warms my heart to see you again, Colonel. But I must excuse myself now, as your duty here takes precedence over our catching up on old times.
Maverick: Thank you, Hobbes. We’ll talk later.
Eisen: Yes, I know what you’re thinking: She’s no Concordia.
Maverick: Neither is the Concordia any more.
Eisen: Yeah, terrible loss. My sympathies… However, you’re in my home now, and I’ll expect you to wipe your feet every time you come in. I’ve been with the Victory most of my career. I was communications officer during her maiden voyage.
Maverick: Well, sir, I’ll admit, I wasn’t looking forward to the assignment. But now that I see you have a pilot as fine as Ralgha nar Hhallas on your crew–
Eisen: Hobbes? Yes, he’s my second-in-command.
Maverick: He’s not flying?
Eisen: At his request… I know all about his exploits with you, Colonel. But here no one will fly with a Kilrathi on his wing.
Maverick: What about his exemplary record? That must stand for something.
Eisen: It was his request.
Maverick: Captain Eisen, I’m not going to tell you how to run your ship, but I am going to insist that Hobbes is reinstated to the flight roster immediately.
Eisen: Well, that’s admirable, Colonel, but who–
Maverick: I will sir, I’ll fly with him. He’s the best wingman I’ve ever had.
Eisen: Hmm…

Orsini 1

Flight Control, TCS Victory.
Hobbes: Welcome aboard, old friend. You’re looking fine and fit. Does this war agree with you?
Maverick: Yeah, like a pair of busted wing-flaps. But it’s great to see you, buddy.
Hobbes: And how is the fine pilot and comrade Angel?
Maverick: I don’t have a clue. Haven’t heard from her in a while. She’s on some blasted covert op for Tolwyn. But hey, I got good news for you. I put you back on the flight roster.
Hobbes: But I requested–
Maverick: Never mind that. I want you with me on my first mission.
Hobbes: Colonel… there are many brave and noble pilots here.
Maverick: Yeah, but when my life’s on the line, I want a wingman I can trust.
Hobbes: I shall try not to disappoint you, old friend.
Lift, TCS Victory.
Lieutenant Rollins
Rollins: Lieutenant Rollins, Comm Exec. Welcome aboard. You, uh, get the pep talk from the Captain yet?
Maverick: Something like that.
Rollins: Well, the good news is it won’t take too long to shower off the garbage around here.
Maverick: Captain Eisen seems to believe in his ship and his crew. That kind of attitude is good for morale.
Rollins: Yeah, well you haven’t been monitoring transmissions like I have. If you did, you’d jump sector in a nano.
[Play along with him…]
Maverick: Are you saying Command’s hiding something from us?
Rollins: Well, I can’t say for sure, Colonel. But if you want the straight dope around here, you check in with Radio Rollins. Might even save your life.
[This guy’s a loon…]
Maverick: It must be a lot of work carrying all that paranoia around. I suggest you stow it.
Rollins: Oh, you’ll be asking for another dose of paranoia from Radio Rollins really soon. You want the straight dope around here, you come to me. Might even save your life.
Rec Room, TCS Victory.
Vagabond: Hey, Hobbes, how ’bout goin’ a round with me? Bet you a week’s pay on one hand.
Hobbes: Thank you, no.
Vagabond: Welcome aboard, sir. Wanna play a hand? Since you’re the rookie on this boat, I’ll let you call the game.
Maverick: <sigh> Not much for protocol, are you?
Vagabond: Formalities tend to be forgotten when you spend most of your time just tryin’ to survive. What little spare time we do have… we fill up with other things besides practising our salutes.
Maverick: Well, I suppose you have to adapt to your surroundings.
Vagabond
Vagabond: Don’t I know that… it’s an art, really.
Maverick: No wonder they call you Vagabond.
Vagabond: Been doing your homework, I see… Yeah, I’ve knocked around some.
Maverick: Yet your combat file is surprisingly brief. Why the big gaps in your bio?
Vagabond: Can I help it if Confed decides to blank my data?
[He’s got a point…]
Maverick: Sometimes HQ is as big a mystery to me as the enemy.
Vagabond: We got a lot of good people here, Colonel. Even those of us with incomplete bios. Just give us a chance.
[What’s he hiding?]
Maverick: They must’ve had their reasons.
Vagabond: They don’t seem interested in sharing them, do they?
Berths, TCS Victory.
Angel: Hello, mon ami. I hope the fight goes well for you and all the others on the Concordia. I am about to set out for a covert operation with Admiral Tolwyn. So I’m afraid we might be apart a little longer. But always remember: je t’aime… I love you…
Bridge, TCS Victory.
Maniac: Pfft, no, I don’t have anything better to do, okay? So I pulled into a tight loop, locked on to that cat’s tail, fired off a heat seeker, BOOM! Turned him into kitty litter. It was a… All right… Well, well, if it isn’t the ‘Colonel’. Uh huh, I’m sorry I couldn’t make your welcoming party.
Maverick: Well, I suppose you had more pressing manoeuvres to undertake, Maniac.
Maniac: When duty calls… I’m there. <whispers> Women like the smell of success.
Maverick: Uh huh. You know, I’m surprised you haven’t been blown out of the sky by now, Maniac… by friendly fire.
Maniac: Some people appreciate my flying style. I do what’s necessary to win, okay? I suppose you still fly with one eye on the regs manual?
Maverick: I don’t take stupid risks.
Maniac: Yeah, speaking of stupid, I also heard you put Hobbes back on the flight roster.
Maverick: My, my… word travels fast on this tub.
Maniac: Never understood what you saw in that cat.
Maverick: Simple. I need a wingman I can count on.
Maniac: You can’t trust someone who’ll kill their own kind.
Maverick: Who I choose as my wingman is my prerogative. It’s a… privilege of rank.
Maniac: I’ll bet you stay up late nights just polishing it, huh?
Maverick: No, as a matter of fact, I have ‘majors’ who do that for me.
Maniac: The difference in our rank is a formality. We both know who’s better in the cockpit.
Maverick: Yeah. We do.
Maniac: Let me tell you that story again. So…
Gunnery Control, TCS Victory.
Eisen: [loudspeaker] Colonel Blair. Report to the Briefing Room immediately. Colonel Blair. Report to the Briefing Room immediately.
Briefing Room, TCS Victory.
Eisen: Ah. Come in, Colonel. Time to put that reputation of yours to the test. Confed Intelligence tells us that the Kilrathi presence is growing here in the Orsini system. You and your wingman are to fly a routine patrol of these three zones – sweep the area of any hostiles you may encounter. Understood?
Maverick: Completely, sir.
Colonel Blair briefs the squadron…
Maverick: …so these are the mission objectives. Oh, and one last thing… Hobbes, you’re on my wing for this one. Dismissed… and good luck.
Flight Control, TCS Victory.
Coriolis: Chief Tech Rachel Coriolis. Welcome to the Victory, Colonel. Heard you’re flying with Hobbes on this one.
Maverick: You got a problem with that, Chief?
Coriolis: No, sir, not at all. I think it’s about time. That cat’s one heck of a pilot. Here she is: one Hellcat V. She’s prepped, primed, loaded, locked, and ready to kick some butt.
Maverick: Thanks. What about ordnance?
Coriolis: It’s all taken care of. The Captain downloads mission specs to me – I dope out the weapons requirements. So you’re set to go.
Maverick: Uh… oh yeah?
Coriolis: In the future, sir, you’ll have the option of choosing your own weapons… or you can trust my judgement and fly with my default load-out. I promise, Colonel, never to disappoint.
Fly Orsini 1
Rollins: You’re cleared to take off, Colonel.
Success:
Eisen: <chuckles> Ah. Excellent work, Colonel. I can see now that your reputation is well deserved.
Rollins: You’re cleared for landing, Colonel.
Flight Deck, TCS Victory.
Coriolis: Pretty slick flying, sir.
Maverick: Thanks, Chief.
Failure:
Eisen: Colonel, if that was any indication of your abilities, I must say I wonder how you got your reputation.
Rollins: You’re cleared to land, Colonel.
Flight Deck, TCS Victory.
Coriolis: You’re lucky you made it back in one piece.

Orsini 2

Flight Control, TCS Victory.
Orsini 1 success:
Hobbes: Congratulations, old friend.
Maverick: Yeah, just like old times, huh?
Orsini 1 failure:
Hobbes: I’m very sorry, old friend. I let you down.
Maverick: It sure wasn’t all your fault.
Hobbes: I must say, it certainly felt good to be back out there again. My gratitude for your trust in me is endless.
Maverick: Forget it, Hobbes. You’re back where you belong now.
Rec Room, TCS Victory.
Vaquero: Uh, good day, sir.
Maverick: At ease, Lieutenant. Carry on.
Vaquero: Sorry, sir. Rockero from the Celeste system. You can tell a lot about a system from its music, you know? Some places, it’s all minor chords. Makes you just wanna run out and do a suicide mission. But this is bright, it heats your blood, makes you want to live a long life.
Maverick: You a pilot, Lieutenant? Or a musician?
Vaquero: Oh, I’m a pilot, sir. Pretty good one, too. Check my kill scores. But my family, they made guitars for many generations. I’ve got one that’s almost two hundred years old. The sound just keeps getting richer… Someday I’m going to open a cantina and bring in the best to play that guitar. A place for old fighter jocks like you and me.
Maverick: Well, you better line up some other customers. Might not be many of us left.
Vaquero: Oh, yeah, it’ll be open to one and all. And me, I’ll just sit back, gaze at the beautiful women, and listen to the music…
[Sounds good to me…]
Maverick: It’s a nice dream, Vaquero. Hang on to it.
Vaquero: You bet, sir. Some of these guys, they actually like the killing. Me? I just walk away when this is all over.
[He’s not focused…]
Maverick: Are you sure your heart’s in this, Vaquero?
Vaquero: Don’t get me wrong. I like my job. But some of these guys… they actually like the killing. Me? I’ll just walk away when this is over.
Berths, TCS Victory.
Maverick: It’s time we talk, Lieutenant.
Cobra
Cobra: Ain’t much to talk about, sir. You’ve flown with ‘it’ and you both got the job done. (Orsini 1 success)
Ain’t much to talk about, sir. You should’ve known better than to fly with ‘it’. (Orsini 1 failure)
Maverick: If you’re referring to Hobbes–
Cobra: I can’t fly with him, sir.
Maverick: If you stay on this ship, you’ll have to sooner or later.
Cobra: Don’t put me in the position of having to defend him. I won’t do it.
Maverick: Why?
Cobra: Let’s just say I’m hard-wired that way and nothing you do is gonna change that.
Maverick: Look, I’ll try to keep you two separate on offensive assignments.
Cobra: I’m not asking for special favours.
Maverick: We need every good pilot we’ve got. And just so you know: I’d trust Hobbes with my life.
Cobra: That’s your choice.
Briefing Room, TCS Victory.
Briefing Room
Eisen: Let’s get started, Colonel.
Maverick: Yes, sir.
Eisen: One of our tracking stations reports Kilrathi activity in these regions. I’d like you to run a patrol through there and sweep the area. The station’s report is sketchy. You might encounter some sort of Kilrathi cap ship. Go to it, Colonel.
Fly Orsini 2
Rollins: Hey! Score one for our side, Colonel! You’re clear to land. (Success)
Tough break, Colonel. You’re clear for landing. (Failure)

Orsini 3

Rec Room, TCS Victory.
Coriolis: Hey, Colonel.
Maverick: Hey!
Coriolis: Pull up a chair.
Maverick: Thanks, Chief.
Coriolis: Let me know if I’m out of line here, but the word is there’s a test pilot flying in on one of the new Excaliburs. Is that true?
Maverick: Oh, Command doesn’t tell me everything.
Coriolis: I hope it’s true. I can’t wait to get my hands dirty with one of those pups.
Maverick: You really like your job, don’t you?
Coriolis: I just hope the test pilot’s not some priss who won’t let me touch his equipment.
Maverick: I gotta give it to you, you really get to the point.
Coriolis: Well, I never really cared much for grey area. That’s why I do what I do. Either an engine part works or it doesn’t.
Maverick: Machines don’t lie.
Coriolis: Not as much as people do, anyway.
Maverick: Aren’t you being a little hard on people?
Coriolis: They gotta pass inspection. Same as anything else. ’course, I got certain hours for that.
Maverick: And do we keep this schedule posted, Chief?
Coriolis: Only for a select few, sir.
Briefing Room, TCS Victory.
Maverick has flown with someone other than Hobbes or Maniac:
Eisen: Ready to get down to business?
Maverick has only flown with Hobbes or Maniac:
Eisen: Colonel, I’d like to discuss your attitude. Seems you’re under the impression you’re too good for my crew. Now, I suggest you get to know them and start flying with them. Is that clear?
Maverick: As a bell, sir.
Eisen: Fine. Let’s get down to business, shall we?
Maverick: Yes, sir.
Eisen: Confed has a cargo ship loaded with med supplies that must be escorted to this jump point. Unfortunately, news of this shipment somehow leaked out and you will undoubtedly come under Kilrathi attack. Good Luck, Colonel.
Fly Orsini 3
Computer: Confederate ID confirmed. Autopilot linked.
Transport: Thanks for the escort, Colonel. Initiating jump sequence.
Rollins: Well, I suppose the Colonel’s on a roll. You’re clear to bring it on home. (Success)
Everywhere you turn, seems like the Kilrathi are there. You’re clear to land, Colonel. (Failure)

Orsini 4

Gunnery Control, TCS Victory.
Flint: Sir.
Maverick: They call you Flint, right?
Flint: So you have looked at the flight roster…
Maverick has flown with someone other than Hobbes or Maniac:
Maverick: Are you making a request, Lieutenant?
Maverick has only flown with Hobbes or Maniac:
Maverick: I’ve given it a glance.
Flint: Then you know there are other pilots here aside from those you’ve flown with on other missions.
Maverick: Wingman assignments were still my prerogative, last time I checked.
Flint
Flint: Sir, I come from a long line of fighter pilots. My brother, my father, his father before him… I suppose you could say it’s in my blood.
Maverick: Your point being?
Flint: I know your record. I would’ve at least expected you to take a look at the Victory’s. We’ve racked up our share of kills. We’re not scrubs out here.
Maverick: Nobody said you were.
Flint: Suppose you’re afraid I’ll peel off the first time we engage?
Maverick: What about the 20th time? Or the 30th? Will you fatigue even a split second, or get a twitchy finger? The wingmen I fly with… I need guarantees.
Flint: Respectfully, sir, if you only fly when there are guarantees, you won’t be flying much…
[She has a point…]
Maverick: Do you have any recommendations?
Flint: Oh, I wouldn’t presume to do your job for you, sir. I just work here.
[Tough luck – I’m the boss here…]
Maverick: I’m sorry you feel that way, Lieutenant. But I gotta go with my gut.
Briefing Room, TCS Victory.
Briefing Room
Eisen: Let’s get down to business, shall we?
Maverick: I’m ready, sir.
Eisen: A Confed civilian transport ship is moving through the Orsini area. She’s going to need escort. Especially since Intel reports that the Kilrathi are testing a new ‘cloaked’ missile. Confed has code-named these new weapons “Skippers” because they apparently skip in and out of cloak every few seconds to maintain contact with their target. Now, you can see them one second, then… they’re gone the next. There are a lot of civilian lives at stake here, Colonel.
Maverick: I’ll do my best, Captain.
Eisen: I’m sure you will.
Fly Orsini 4
Computer: Confederate ID confirmed. Autopilot linked.
Transport: Thanks for the escort, Colonel. Initiating jump sequence.
Rollins: Good news, Colonel. Soon as you land, we’re jumping to the Tamayo system, which is reported to be kitty free! And we got the cush job of assisting with the Excalibur test flights. (Success)
Man, those Skippers suck, don’t they, sir? Well, as soon as you’re down, we’re jumping to the supposedly peaceful Tamayo system, if you believe what HQ says. And all we gotta do is baby-sit this pilot and his new test rig. (Failure)
Victory Group Jump Sequence
Jumping to the Tamayo system.

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