Between Missions (Brimstone-Dakota Systems)
The following entry continues the memoirs of Lt. Col. Carl T. LaFong as found in Wing Commander I and II: The Ultimate Strategy Guide.
It was our first real respite from almost constant sorties. While the Tiger's Claw took on supplies, most of the pilots played at their computers or on the Train-Sim, drank in the bar, or slept. Knowing that things would heat up soon enough, I opted for the latter most of the time.
In one of my rare conscious moments, I was heading for the carrier's library when Major Taggart stopped me.
"We need to talk, Prankster. I know you aren't really friends, but you know Maniac better than anyone in the fleet. You went to the academy together."
Paladin stopped and seemed to be searching for what to say next. I thought I knew what was coming.
"Nothing's happened yet, but we're all worried about flying with Maniac. He can wiggle a joystick well enough, but he just doesn't understand the role of a wingman ... or chooses to ignore it. We're considering an official report to Colonel Halcyon and asking for an evaluation. We thought you might try to talk to him first."
This was all I needed. After the last two missions I'd flown with the redhead, I thought he had straightened out. I guess it's all relative.
"I'll give it a try Major, but no guarantees. About all we've ever done is put up with each other," I explained.
I found Maniac in the bar, telling stories to a couple of techs from the comet room. He agreed to meet me later.
"There's only one way to say it, Maniac. The rest of the pilots want you grounded and they're ready to go to Halcyon. According to them, you're unsafe and unreliable. They asked me to talk to you. This discussion is your last chance," I noted.
"Damn, Prankster, you don't have to sugarcoat it. Just give it to me straight." Maniac was grinning. "I'm sorry, I was just trying to change the atmosphere a little bit. Seriously, they said that? I can’t believe it. I know I've taken off on my own a few times, but we've completed every mission and not one wingleader's been hurt."
"Tell 'em I'm okay, will ya? I can't stand the thought of staying on the carrier while everyone else flies. I'll change, buddy. You'll see. I'll be the best wingman in the fleet, everything right by the book. Just one more chance is all I ask."
I was almost embarrassed for him. I told Maniac I'd ask Iceman to give him another try and that it had better work out."
Gamma Wing (Dakota System)