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Wing Commander IV: Masa System


Masa 1

Flight Deck, TCS Lexington.
Maverick: What’s up?
Eisen: Company’s coming.
Paulsen: Captain Hugh Paulsen, attached to the Third Fleet, with orders from Regional Command.
Eisen: Welcome aboard, Captain. They must be important orders, indeed, for you to have personally carried them so far.
Paulsen: All Confederation orders are important, Captain. The Lexington is to head immediately to the Masa system, where we will rendezvous with the Third Fleet.
Eisen: I’ll inform my helm. You will be filling me in on Confed’s orders?
Paulsen: Oh, we have much to discuss. In private, Captain?
Eisen: Perhaps we’d better adjourn to my cabin.
The Lexington Jumps…
Jumping to the Masa system.
Flight Control, TCS Lexington.
Naismith: Colonel Blair, report to the briefing room. Message from HQ.
Briefing Room, TCS Lexington.
Computer: View communiqué?
Communiqué from Admiral Tolwyn
Tolwyn: Greetings, Colonel. Well, I imagine it feels good to be protecting Confed’s interests from the inside of a cockpit again. No doubt you’ve renewed some other old friendships as well. Camaraderie in the field: something I’d trade my rank for. It’s often a nest of vipers I must contend with here – especially now, without the Kilrathi to unite our disparate interests. Oh <coughs> which brings me to the subject at hand: What’s your appraisal of the situation on the frontier? Are we headed for an outright war? I look forward to your report. Thank you.
Computer: Record response?
Maverick: Yes. Admiral Tolwyn. The situation here remains quite… fluid. We find ourselves battling pirates, Border Worlds ships, even unmarked craft – it’s difficult to discern any pattern. <sigh> I’m afraid that’s all I have for now. But I would like to ask about a Captain Hugh Paulsen from Third Fleet. He’s come aboard with… ‘orders’ from Regional Command.
Computer: Transmission recorded and sent.
Officers’ Lounge, TCS Lexington.
Maniac: Hey, I just caught a peek at that bio-convergence chemist we sprung from Tyr VII.
Maverick: Bio-what?
Maniac: Bio-convergence. Try downloading a science update once in a while.
Maverick: Well, since when are you Mr Wizard?
Maniac: Hey, I don’t just rest on my laurels like some people I know. Anyway, now I know why they were turning the Border Worlds upside-down looking for this egg-head. We are talking <kiss> fine.
Vagabond: Thought you weren’t interested in any woman with an IQ higher than a wing-nut.
Maniac: Oh, au contraire, mon frère. Eh, didn’t think I knew that stuff, right? Hey, Maniac does what he has to do, okay. Tonight, I’m boning up on my periodic table of elements – if you know what I mean.
Maverick: So, what, you think her recent trauma makes her that desperate, huh?
Maniac: It’s not unheard of to show a little appreciation to your liberator.
Catscratch: This guy is good, Colonel.
Maverick: The best. You never show any mercy, do you?
Maniac: I–
Vagabond: I seek only to instruct. The youth seeks wisdom and experience.
Catscratch: So what do you think about the new brass that just came aboard?
Vagabond: Paulsen? Too many cooks in the kitchen – always trouble.
[New brass – pain in the rear.]
Maverick: Yeah, things get a little top heavy when there’s too many higher-ups around.
Maniac: He’s got a point, you know…
[Kid asks too many questions.]
Maverick: If I were you, I’d worry more about losing my shirt to Vagabond and less about who’s on board.
Maniac: Yeah, here’s a chip kid. Go and buy yourself a new butt. Drinks, anybody? Kidding!
Briefing Room, TCS Lexington.
Maverick: Will we be joined by the Captain, sir?
Paulsen: Captain Eisen has been assigned to other duties, Colonel – orders from Confed.
Maverick: But he’s still in command of the ship?
Paulsen: His new obligations will not allow him to continue his previous functions, I now command this vessel. Any problems with that?
Maverick: Has the captain been in any way derelict?
Paulsen: I’m not at liberty to discuss personnel decisions, Colonel. Time grows short, we have a mission ahead of us.
Briefing Room
Paulsen: The Border Worlds militia has brazenly hijacked a key military space-lab in this system. You’ll go in first to soften up the surrounding defences. A marine transport from our fleet will then move in and take control of the lab. Cover that transport until you receive an ‘all clear’. It is absolutely vital that we wrest that lab back from these marauders – we can accept nothing less than total success. I’m confident you will not let the Confederation down, Colonel. Dismissed.
Destroy the space-lab defences so the assault transport can dock with the space-lab. Once the assault force has been inserted, defend the transport until the space-lab has been captured.
Fly Masa 1
Marine: Thanks for clearing us a path, Colonel. We’re moving in.
Marine: This tin can’s all ours, Colonel. We’ll take it from here. (Success)
Encountered heavy resistance. We are aborting. (Failure)
Success:
Naismith: Captain Paulsen passes on his congratulations. You have clearance.
Space-lab captured: Masa 2
Failure:
Naismith: Tough luck out there, Colonel. You’re cleared to land – but I’m told some new orders will be waiting for you. Maybe it’ll be something you can handle.
Space-lab abandoned: Losing Endgame 1

Masa 2

Officers’ Lounge, TCS Lexington.
Maniac crashes…
Maniac: <laughs> How would you like to…
Miles: Good evening. Welcome to the TCN Nightly News, I’m Barbara Miles. In our lead story, we’ll be talking to Admiral Tolwyn of the SRA regarding the escalating tensions between the frontier worlds and the Confederation. The Union of Border Worlds, as they now call themselves, indicate they remain at peace with the Confederation, but that Confed by-laws and constitution no longer govern them. In response, the Great Assembly has decreed that Border World vessels can no longer operate within Confed territory, unless under military escort. We go now, live, to Admiral Geoffrey Tolwyn at Confed HQ. Admiral.
Tolwyn: Hello, Barbara. Good evening, everyone. For weeks now, we’ve been experiencing an increasing harassment of legitimate Confed space operations. I’m afraid innocent people are being murdered and chaos is the result. Until we bring these perpetrators to justice, I’m afraid we must monitor all traffic flying under a different flag.
Miles: Admiral, can the Union of Border Worlds and the Confederation come to terms?
Tolwyn: Well, Barbara, what other choice do we have?
Miles: Thank you, Admiral.
Tolwyn: Thank you.
Miles: Next up, the scores for the Galactic Cricket Cup.
Officers’ Lounge, TCS Lexington.
Maniac: Tolwyn’s right: Confed has to do whatever it takes to maintain order. Otherwise, you got everybody goin’ off half-cocked.
Vagabond: The Border Worlds have been dumped on ever since the war ended. This ‘required chaperoning’ is just gonna turn up the heat.
Maniac: They ought to thank their lucky stars it ain’t the Kilrathi bossing ’em around.
Vagabond: A lot of people think it was the Border Worlds who kept us in the war long enough for the Colonel here to lower the boom. Your farm’s in Nephele, really close to the Border Worlds. You think they should be forced to fly under escort?
Maverick, Vagabond and Maniac
[Confed’s abusing their authority.]
Maverick: It’s a big galaxy – people are bound to have different goals. Look, Confed had to maintain control for 40 years. They’re having a hard time letting go.
Vagabond: You seen Captain Eisen?
Maverick: <shakes head>
Vagabond: Laying low – I don’t blame him.
[Confed needs to clamp down.]
Maverick: We’ve done pretty well with Confed in charge. You’ve got to think about the victims of this terrorism.
Maniac: What do you think’ll happen to the Captain?
Maverick: <shrugs>
Maniac: He’s been holed up in his cabin since this whole Paulsen thing started. I mean, I’m sick of the whole thing.
Eisen’s Cabin, TCS Lexington.
Eisen’s Cabin
Eisen: Enter. Ah, Colonel, good to see you.
Maverick: Well, I suppose now you’ll have more time to answer your mail. Captain Paulsen said something about new orders.
Eisen: I’m awaiting a transfer, that’s the extent of my orders.
Maverick: Oh, come on, sir. Someone’s going to wake up and rescind this decision.
Eisen: Confed’s a different place today – running a space ship is a different job than it used to be. Who knows, maybe they’re doing me a huge favour. Now, I appreciate your concern, Colonel. Tell the crew… the old man is looking forward to new challenges.
Maverick: Yes, sir.
Briefing Room, TCS Lexington.
Paulsen: Exemplary work on the space-lab, Colonel.
Maverick: Thank you, sir.
Paulsen: Rescuing it and the bio-chemist will be of tremendous benefit to Confed’s plans. But now to the business at hand.
Briefing Room
Paulsen: Predictably, the Border Worlds Union brazenly defies Confed’s airspace edict. We approach one such outlaw convoy now. Military ships that have invaded Confed’s territory and manoeuvre with no Confed escort. They have ignored orders to turn back and have even taken pot shots at Confed’s forces. They are a grave threat, and their presence can no longer be tolerated. We shall issue one more warning. If they refuse to co-operate, you are to enforce the interdiction, Colonel – by any means necessary. Dismissed.
Intercept a Border Worlds convoy at NAV 1. If the convoy does not accept the Confed edict for an escort, then you are to forcefully remove it from this system.
Fly Masa 2
Naismith: Attention Border Worlds contingent. You are in violation of Confed Edict 4992. This is your final warning: Turn back and leave Confed airspace or heave to for proper escort.
Cruiser: You have illegally apprehended a Border Worlds space lab. We have no intention of heeding orders from thieves.
Cruiser: Attention all Confed fighters: We hereby surrender and are setting our course for immediate exit of the Masa system.
Naismith: Captain Paulsen is pleased with your performance, Colonel. Congratulations. You have clearance.

Masa 3

Flight Control, TCS Lexington.
Naismith: Colonel Blair, report to the briefing room. Message from HQ.
Briefing Room, TCS Lexington.
Computer: View communiqué?
Communiqué from Admiral Tolwyn
Tolwyn: Colonel. Situations described as, uh, “fluid” rarely bode well. This lack of any pattern is indeed annoying. However, I have the utmost faith in your judgement, and can only ask that you keep your eyes and ears open at all times. Oh, er, yes. As to your enquiry regarding Captain Paulsen. Well, day-to-day personnel movement is not my really my domain. But, from what I can see in his bio-file, he’s… well, nothing more than a professional bureaucrat. I wouldn’t attach too much importance to his presence anywhere in the galaxy. No. You’d do better to keep your attention tuned outwards – to the frontier. Good luck.
Computer: Record response?
Maverick: No.
Officers’ Lounge, TCS Lexington.
Catscratch: Can I ask you something, Colonel?
Maverick: What’s up, partner?
Catscratch: Attacking that convoy. Is… is this the way wars start?
Maverick: Let me tell you something. Wars are like bombs – the fuse gets lit before you actually hear the bang. Sometimes the fuse is pretty long.
Catscratch: Did you know I was from the Border Worlds, sir?
Maverick: Thought you were Terran-born, if anything.
Catscratch: Terran-educated. But my parents were third generation Border Worlders. I suppose I’m just having some problems with these missions. On whether they’re right.
[The kid’s got a point…]
Maverick: Yeah. Can’t say I like being kept in the dark, either. It’s hard to make a decision without all the data. Captain Paulsen’s not going to help. Maybe Eisen’s holding out on me. You know, I think maybe I’ll talk to him again.
[Who’s he to question Confed?]
Maverick: If you start second-guessing every mission you fly, you’re not going to last long out there. You signed on to fly for Confed. I think an oath of loyalty should still count for something.
Eisen’s Cabin, TCS Lexington.
Eisen’s Cabin
Eisen: Enter. Ah, Colonel. I’ll be shipping out soon: I just wanted to make sure that no big deal was made of it.
Maverick: Yes, sir. Lately, some of the men haven’t been so sure about the missions they’ve been flying for Confed.
Eisen: Oh? Well… during the war with the Kilrathi, it was easy – loyalty to Confed required little commitment. After all, what was the alternative? Now the war is over – second-guessing is easy.
Maverick: I never thought I’d see the day when I’d be shooting down my own kind.
Eisen: Humans will always vie for power, Colonel. The Confederation may be far less than perfect, but, remember, it was the driving force behind our victory. It succeeded in uniting Humanity in a way that no other institution had.
Maverick: That’s our ultimate duty, isn’t it?
Eisen: Yes. The difficulty is… how best to execute it.
Maverick: Well…
Eisen: Colonel, I sincerely wish you a long and happy life. It has been an honour and a pleasure serving with you.
Maverick: Thank you, sir.
Eisen: <salutes>
Flight Control, TCS Lexington.
Maniac: Hey! Maniac. Hi… Same to you, buddy! Some of these guys, not exactly friendly.
Maverick: Ah, forget it. Hey, how about that bio-convergence chemist? Was she friendly or, uh, friendly fire?
Maniac: Well… um…
Naismith: Attention: All personnel without Level 5 security clearance leave the flight deck immediately. There will be no unauthorised access to the flight deck until further notice.
Maniac: Pretty soon we’re gonna need a pass just to use the toilet. Wonder who’s coming aboard.
Maverick: Beats me.
Maniac: Well, I’m not feeling very welcome around here… I’m gonna get myself a libation up at the lounge. Coming?
[I need to see what’s going on.]
Maverick: I’ll stick around.
Maniac: Paulsen doesn’t look like he gives guys much slack – I’ll be sure to visit you in the brig.
Maverick: Well, you never know. You know, I might get lucky – they might send another bio-chemist my way.
Maniac: Suit yourself.
Flight Deck, TCS Lexington.
Paulsen: This is certainly unexpected.
Seether: Things haven’t been progressing as anticipated, Captain.
[I don’t feel like spending time in the brig.]
Maverick: Sure.
Maniac: All right! Oh, wait, wait, wait… I better meet you up there. I just remembered I was supposed to drop by Eisen’s cabin. Suppose the old man wants to tell his best pilot “au revoir”.
Maverick: All right, but any bio-chemists on their own are mine.
Officers’ Lounge, TCS Lexington.
Maverick: Hey, there you are! Well!
Maniac: Compliments of the Maniac.
Maverick: What did I do, win the lottery?
Maniac: Hmm? Oh, get one for me… next time.
Maverick: So, how did it go with that bio-chemist?
Maniac: I struck out, Colonel. Big time.
Maverick: Well, it’s like you always say… there are other nuggets in the asteroid belt.
Maniac: Oh yeah, yeah. Hope so. Hey Colonel, did you like… being on the farm?
Maverick: It had its moments.
Maniac: Yeah, someday, huh? I… I just remembered something I got to do.
Maverick: See you around.
Flight Control, TCS Lexington.
Naismith: Colonel Blair, report to briefing immediately. This is an emergency.
Briefing Room, TCS Lexington.
Paulsen: Gentlemen, we have a critical situation: Captain Eisen has stolen a shuttle and fled the Lexington.
Vagabond: There has to be some explanation.
Paulsen: We have reason to believe he’s been feeding information to Border Worlds Intelligence these past weeks. That’s why he was relieved of command – but we had hoped to bring him in quietly and simply pull the plug on his indiscretions. My guess is he knew we were on to him.
Maverick: Is Captain Eisen piloting the shuttle?
Paulsen: Unfortunately, the captain seems to have enlisted the aid of Major Todd Marshall.
Vagabond: Maniac?
Paulsen: Gentlemen, I know this is difficult, since you are old comrades. But this is a deadly breach of security. If the current tensions erupt into war, the information Captain Eisen might have could do us serious damage. The Confederation has never needed you more.
Maverick: Do we have a heading?
Briefing Room
Paulsen: Unfortunately, his destination is still undetermined. These are your wingmen – your ships have been prepped and ordnance has already been committed. You must bring William Eisen back.
Maverick: Sir, if Captain Eisen has already taken these steps, I doubt he’ll come back willingly.
Paulsen: Use any means necessary, Colonel: Captain Eisen must not be allowed to leave this system. He must not be allowed to rendezvous with Border Worlds forces. Dismissed!
Eisen has stolen a Confederation shuttle and has enlisted Maniac’s help in defecting to the Border Worlds. You must stop him from leaving this system.
Fly Masa 3
Vagabond: I’m not firing on the captain. I’m going with him. You with me?
Vagabond: How ’bout it, Colonel? You gonna make a decision? I’m going with Eisen. Are you with me?
Join the Union of Border Worlds:
Maverick: I knew something was up, Vagabond. Let’s go.
Vagabond: Fight the good fight, Heart of the Tiger.
Catscratch: I’m with you too, sir.
Eisen: Colonel, you better follow us. Otherwise you’ll ‘miss the boat’.
Vagabond: <groan> Guess Paulsen ain’t gonna let us just waltz away.
Success:
Eisen: You don’t have any idea what it means to me that you boys came along for this ride. Well. <cough> We’re landing on the BWS Intrepid. Now, I don’t think you’ll get clearance going in the other direction. Make it quick, too. We’re jumping out as soon as you land. And thanks.
Reached Intrepid: Silenos System
Failure:
Naismith: That was the shortest defection in history, Colonel… C’mon in.
Flight Deck, TCS Lexington.
Paulsen: Well, Colonel, you’re about to find out how Confed deals with traitors. We didn’t have many in the war with the Kilrathi. Take him away.
Prison Cell
Miles: The famous hero of the Kilrathi War, also known as “The Heart of the Tiger”, was convicted of treason against the Confederation. No appeal will be allowed.
Prison
Soldier: Blindfold?
Maverick: No.
Soldier: Ready. Aim. Fire!
Remain with the Confederation:
Maverick: I’m not a traitor. You’re on your own, Vagabond.
Vagabond: I deeply regret what I’m about to do, Colonel.
I’ve ejected!
Paulsen: Colonel, report back to the Lexington immediately. We know where he is now and Eisen hasn’t heard the last from us.
Success:
Naismith: Affirmative, Colonel.
The Lexington Jumps…
Jumping to the Silenos system.

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