Lambda Wing (Dakota System)

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Lambda Wing
Date 2654.139.0950
Fighter Raptor
Wingmen Joseph Khumalo
Medal Silver Star
Objectives Proceed to Nav 1.

Proceed to Nav 2.
Proceed to Nav 3.

Previous Gamma Wing (Dakota System)
Next Epsilon Wing (Dakota System)

Mission Layout


The Memoirs of Lieutenant Colonel Carl T. LaFong

This was a mission I could enjoy. Just fly a three-point patrol and report back to the Tiger's Claw. Halcyon didn't say not to engage, but he didn't order it either. I wasn't looking for trouble, and almost wished we were flying the quick Hornets instead of the heavy Raptors.

Knight and I weren't far from Nav 1 when we hit the asteroid belt and immediately set speed to 250 KPS.

"Looks like it's going to be a long day, Captain. Keep formation," I called.

We were sneaking through the rocks when Khumalo noticed two Gratha on the radar display. They were heading our way. Knight wanted to attack, but I was hoping we could avoid a confrontation. We couldn't.

The first Gratha launched a missile and came straight at us. I told Knight to break and attack, since I wanted to give him some flexibility as we worked around the asteroids. I switched to the powerful neutron gun and broke left to avoid a looming asteroid.

The Gratha were moving faster than we were and trying to use their speed to gain position. While I often blast asteroids with my guns instead of dodging them, during combat I wanted to make sure my blaster power stayed near the max level.

"Patience is the key to this battle," I said to myself.

I couldn't use my afterburners effectively in the dense field, but I did employ occasional bursts of speed during the dogfight. I always returned to 250 KPS, however. Knight was holding his own with one of the Kilrathi ships, but I had already taken heavy damage from my opponent's lasers and mass drivers.

I got a break when the Gratha crossed in front of me and turned toward Knight. He must have thought I was out of commission, but I chased him with my neutrons and finally locked on with a Javelin HS. Somehow, the missile avoided all the asteroids and rocked the rear of the Gratha. It was almost enough to take him out. One more neutron and he was done. Meanwhile, I watched as Knight chased his quarry into the asteroids and managed a kill without firing a shot. In his panic, the Gratha pilot had hit a large asteroid head-on. We escaped from the asteroid belt and made it to Nav 1 without any more problems.

We saw the Krant when we were about 18,000 kilometers from Nav 2. Telling Knight to keep radio silence, I hit the afterburners and headed to the right of the targets. It was no use. That easy mission had become a dream. The Krant pilots weren't the most seasoned in the Kilrathi force, because they just headed straight in. We broke and attacked, coming in from the right and left with our neutron guns blazing. Sliding with our afterburners, we took out two, quickly hitting their weak side shields. I told Knight to attack my target, and worked until I was behind and to the left of the third Krant. I hit him three times with full guns and launched a Pilum Friend-or-Foe missile, when my blaster power was down. The Krant turned into shards of metal.

The last Krant was on my tail by now, so I hit the afterburners. He increased speed to follow. Then I remembered the dogfight my roommate fought with Maniac in my plebe year. I turned slightly to the right and hit the backspace key to come to a full stop. The Krant rushed by, and I just rotated and hit him with full guns. Then I burned again to follow and took him down with continued gunfire.

By this time, new enemy targets had appeared on radar. A fighter escort and capital ship. This time I didn't want to avoid a fight, I wanted that destroyer. The fighter escort didn't last long. Knight and I kept to the guns so we could save missiles for the Ralari. It was a good strategy.

With both of us attacking, I turned at full speed to approach the Ralari from the rear. At 3000 meters I launched a dumb-fire, then waited for it to hit before hitting hard with full guns. At 1000 meters, I broke left and circled to hit the Ralari again, but I was too quick and almost collided with the large ship. I'd learned a lesson, and next time I hit the afterburners to give me some distance before turning back and attacking from the rear again. Without a fighter escort for protection, the Ralari exploded.

Now the mission turned into what I had expected. We didn't hit any enemies at Nav 2 or Nav 3, although we were slowed by asteroids on the way back to the Claw. Mission accomplished.

Preflight Conversations


Maverick! You're big news lately.
Heard you had to take out some Krants last time out.
Glad to see you made it back in one piece. Those babies can be tough...
...but I hear the Jalthi's even tougher.
One of those six-shooters on your tail, you can kiss it goodbye.
But I'll bet if you get low an' behind a Jalthi, you'd toast it.
She's got no rear visibility, and big ol' bullseye exhausts.
Bad design no matter how many guns she's got up front.
Just jam a missile up those rear pipes and -- BOOM No more kitty.

Talk to KNIGHT

Hey, Maverick. Have a seat.
I've heard some talk lately that burns me up.
Someone's saying I'm unsafe to fly with...and that I'm a cat-lover.
Well, I won't stand for that kind of slander. It's not true.
I may not be as high-flying as Hunter, but I get the job one piece.
But hey, you're not the guy to complain to...after all, we've flown together now.
You know you can count on me. It's just a matter of trust.
Thanks for the shoulder, Maverick.

Talk to SPIRIT

Join me, Maverick. Knight is poor company and I feel the need to talk...
I have been studying the history and progress of the war...
...and I see that things are going fairly well for us.
To maintain our position, we must be ever diligent, ever alert...
We must fight as if there were no tomorrow, for in truth...
...that is the case.Every day, the Kilrathi bring up more troops.
They challenge us harder each time we fly.
The very future of humanity rests with us. A heavy burden...
...but one we must bear. For if we don't, who will?

Mission Briefing

Mission Briefing. Dakota System, 09:50 hours, 2654.139. Ten minutes into the briefing…

Peter Halcyon
...which brings us to our patrol wings.
Lambda wing will fly a three point patrol.
Things have been quiet lately...too quiet.
The Kilrathi are definitely out there. Problem is, we don't know where.
Your job will be to locate the enemy and report back to the Claw.
Maverick, you and Knight will investigate. Maverick will lead the mission.
Christopher Blair
Understood, Colonel.
Peter Halcyon
Your patrol will be as follows...
Computer, display Lambda.
As you can see, there's not much to go on...
There's some debris near Nav 1. Could be rocks, could be mines...stay alert.
The jumppoint at Nav 2 seems to be clear...
As does Nav 3. Make the rounds and return with your report.
Unless you have questions, that's all.
Christopher Blair
Are we cleared to engage any targets we sight, Colonel?
Peter Halcyon
Definitely. Use your judgement, though. I don't want to lose any more pilots.
Squadron dismissed.

Mission Debriefing

Mission Debriefing. 12:40 hours, 2654.139.

Peter Halcyon
Welcome back, gentlemen. What is the situation?
Christopher Blair
There was a welcoming commitee among the rocks at Nav 1, but they aren't going home.
We spotted a Ralari-class destroyer at Nav 2.
She and her escorts gave us some trouble, but we took her out in the end.
Excellent, Captain. That's the kind of report I like to hear.
Let's go over your flight recorder data.
You got 8, Maverick.
and Knight scragged 1.
Again, good job on destroying that Ralari.

Hangar Deck. 13:00 hours, 2654.139.

Peter Halcyon
For meritorious conduct in confronting the Kilrathi enemy, in the Dakota system, on or about 2654.139,
the Terran Confederation is proud to present the Silver Star to Captain Blair.
Your courage is exemplary of the Confederation’s finest defenders.
Good job, Maverick. Congratulations.
Christopher Blair
Thank you, sir.

Filled with pride, Maverick meets the applause of his fellows.