Heaven's Gate System - Series 5 - Mission 4
|Heaven's Gate System - Series 5 - Mission 4|
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- Nav 1
- Nav 2
- 2 Sartha led by Rakti Blood Drinker
- Enemy Base
The Memoirs of Lieutenant Colonel Carl T. LaFong
It was successful, but the mission against the Heaven's Gate Starbase was one of the saddest experiences of my life. The traitor had tipped the Kilrathi off to our upcoming attack. A strike fleet was moving to intercept our attack force.
Angel sent three wings to meet the strike fleet, while ordering Spirit and me to make an end run and attack the starbase. We passed through Nav 1 without incident, and were just 8025 kilometers from Nav 2 when a wing of Sartha surprised us.
As soon as Rakti challenged us, I ordered Spirit to attack the Kilrathi ace. I wanted to blow the wingleader away before worrying about the other three Sartha. As we jockeyed around trying to follow the excellent pilot through his maneuvers, I let our rear turret gunners keep the other ships off our tail. We must have made 50 passes at the enemy pilot, with little success. Finally, just as I found a position right on his tail, Spirit cut right in front of me and blasted the ace. She launched a single IR missile, waited for impact, then rocked his engine compartment with the Sabre's combined particle cannon and mass driver.
We were just too strong for the other Sartha. My rear neutrons destroyed two, and Spirit waded right in against the third even though she'd taken heavy damage in the attack. This wasn't the cautious wingman I was used to flying with.
Nav 2 was clear, and as we approached the starbase, Spirit radioed that she was losing air pressure. I told her to eject, but I saw her afterburners fire and she rolled and turned on a path that took her right at the starbase. I watched in horror as she just plowed straight into the center of the base. The impact of her ship evolved into a fireball as the starbase, the Sabre's fuel tanks, and all her missiles exploded. At least it was quick, and she had died with her fiancee, a prisoner held on the starbase.
The rest of the mission was a blur, and I hardly remember the dogfights.