version 2.6.5

Wing Commander IV: Telamon System


Hangar Bay, BWS Intrepid.
Pliers: What the heck is this? None of the others have one. Didn’t go bang: must have a separate detonator. <chuckles>
Hangar Bay, BWS Intrepid.
Pliers: Real beauties, ain’t they? Wouldn’t even have to fly, I’d keep ’em around just to look at ’em.
Maverick: <chuchkles> Well, I don’t think we want these to be museum pieces just yet.
Pliers: Nah, I suppose not.
Maverick: What’s this?
Pliers: I don’t know, yet. Hey, get a load of this. Finally, I can dig into something that’s state of the art. Oh don’t worry, I ain’t going to cannibalise these babies. See those intakes? It’s got a whole new power plant: matter/anti-matter, just like the ones running the cap ships. You know what that means? You don’t need fuel for an afterburn!
Maverick: The juice comes directly from the power plant.
Pliers: Exactly. Of course, that means that your guns and shields might take a little drain, but for short bursts of afterburners – ha! Imagine the speed. Just thinking about it gives me the willies. So kid, in your honour, I can have one of these prepped and ready in no time. Wanna take one up on your next op?
Maverick: Ever think the wrong side might try to shoot me down?
Pliers: Yeah! That’s a small price to pay for unparalleled speed and power.
[Let me at these babies.]
Maverick: What the heck, Pliers. Let’s give it a go.
Pliers: <laughs> You got it, kid.
[They could be death traps.]
Maverick: I don’t know, seems pretty risky. No one flies them till they’re fully checked out. Could be booby-trapped for all we know.
Combat Information Centre, BWS Intrepid.
Sosa: Colonel. Colonel, SOS message comm’s just come in.
Civilian: If you can hear this, it might not be too late. Unmarked ships are attacking and many people are dying! We know planet FT957 is far from any other colony, but, if you have any Humanity, please, send help immediately! Otherwise, our world is doomed – I don’t know if this thing is working!
Sosa: I have the Admiral.
Wilford: Something terrible has apparently happened in the Telamon system, but we don’t know what. Now, you’re the closest ship I have to a jump point that’ll take you out there.
Vice Admiral Wilford
Wilford: Telamon is such a frontier system that their planets have retained their original discovery numbers, but it’s still part of the Border Worlds Union. All systems are equal in our eyes. Now, if there’s a fire to put out there, let’s do it.
Maverick: Plot us for Telamon. Admiral, any news of Captain Eisen?
Wilford: None, I’m afraid, but I’ll keep you posted if I hear anything. Wilford out.
The Intrepid Jumps…
Jumping to the Telamon system.
Chart Room, BWS Intrepid.
Maverick: Lieutenant. Maniac, listen up. All right, we’re going into a black hole here, people. Not the jamming kind, like back on Peleus, but an informational one. Now, FT957 has sent out a distress signal, and we don’t know why. We’re to sweep the area of hostiles and try to suss out the situation if we can.
Dekker: So you want to put me and my boys down on the surface then?
Maverick: Yes. I want you there because I’ll be landing too.
Panther: What?
Maverick: You people didn’t see that woman’s face down there. Something awful’s happened and I want to find out first-hand. Now, I want two wingmen to escort Dekker’s shuttle and return here once we enter a landing pattern. All right? That’s it then. Now, let’s be careful out there.
Panther: You got it!
Hawk: Roger that!
Planet FT957 has sent out a distress signal. With the tactical situation still unknown, we are going to land and find out what has happened. Engage the enemy only when necessary.
Fly Telamon A | Telamon B
Planet FT957, Telamon system.
Flew Telamon A:
Civilian: I need two men… get your guns… the black ships are back… follow me… here we go! Hold it!
Maverick: Easy. We represent the Union of Border Worlds and Vice-Admiral Wilford. We’re here to respond to your SOS.
Civilian: That war-bird ain’t here for no SOS. The ones who did this to us, they were flying those.
Dekker: That is a commandeered craft, you idiots! Check out this insignia.
Civilian: Oh, well, it doesn’t matter anyway – you’re too late. There are only a few of us left.
Flew Telamon B:
Civilian: I think it’s the Border Patrol, but bring your guns just in case. Come on, let’s go! Hold it!
Maverick: We represent the Union of Border Worlds and Vice-Admiral Wilford. We’ve come to respond to your SOS.
Civilian: You’re too late. There’s only a few of us left.
Civilian: It didn’t take long after the bombs dropped.
Maverick: Bombs? Well, this place is still standing… the airstrip’s in one piece… It doesn’t look like you’ve been touched.
Doctor: The attackers didn’t blow up anything, Colonel – they used bio-weapons.
Dekker: So, no offence, doc, but why are you still breathing?
Doctor: I’ve been asking myself the same question. What’s the pattern here? This is not random. The autopsies have been showing commonalities. Things like: percentage of body fat, bone brittleness, eyesight, sperm and egg count. Everything… genetically determined. What do you know about nano-technology? And bio-convergence?
Maverick: Bio-convergence? Well, it’s fairly new. That about covers what I know.
Doctor: Well, I think the attackers dispersed replicating nanobots into the atmosphere – billions of ’em.
Maverick: Nanobots?
Doctor: Yeah, think of them as computers – small as atoms. They get into your body and start a genome comparison of your DNA helix. If they don’t like what they find, they start attacking your RNA. Your cells… your cells stop replicating and then begin killing each other. Let me show you. Your body becomes a battleground, and in a matter of hours…
Maverick: <groans> So why aren’t we like… this?
Doctor: Thank your parents. The nanobots have been programmed to look for certain genetic characteristics: low body fat, good eyesight, and so on. My guess is they can be EPROMd to do anything. Any trigger in the DNA strand will do. You want to, er… you want to weed out the skinny folks in the world? People with iron-poor blood? You just tweak the code.
Civilian: They came out of nowhere – in unmarked ships. They dropped canisters like this.
Maverick: How many of your people were affected?
Doctor: I’d say 90%.
Dekker: This is a ghost planet now, boss. I’ve seen this a couple of times during the War. If the rest of these people don’t clear out soon, they’ll all be committing suicide in a year or so.
Maverick: Admiral Wilford will get a full report: I’m sure he will act appropriately.
Dekker: Hard to work out what appropriate even means, after you see something like this. It’s a good thing the Kilrathi never worked out this stuff.
Doctor: Colonel, thank you.
Storage Hold, BWS Intrepid.
Sosa: I wish I could light a candle for everyone on that planet.
Maverick: It’d fill up a space a lot bigger than this, that’s for sure.
Sosa: It’d fill up a whole planet. You know, in all the years of the Kilrathi War, I don’t think I ever heard of anything so hideous. Pinpoint killing of the innocent – the wrong DNA strand becomes a death sentence.
Maverick: It’s evil. There’s no other word for it.
Sosa: If I’d gone down to that planet with you, would I be dead too? Would anybody be lighting a candle for me?
Landed on FT957: Axius System
Sosa: Mayday, Colonel! The Intrepid’s come under heavy attack. Confed ships are swarming all over us. Look, we’ve been hit hard – we’re going down!
Sosa: Mayday! Mayday! Situation critical! We require assistance! <static>
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.
Soldier: Blindfold?
Maverick: No.
Soldier: Ready. Aim. Fire!

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