Niven System - Series 2 - Mission 4
|Niven System - Series 2 - Mission 4|
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The Memoirs of Lieutenant Colonel Carl T. LaFong
I finally heard the full story the following day. Communications Specialist McGuffin had been killed by a spy who, apparently, had used our system to transmit a message to the enemy. There was reason to believe that the spy was a fighter pilot.
I wanted to stay aboard the Concordia and help the investigation in some way, but we still had missions to fly. Angel ordered me to complete a scout pattern through the Niven System, searching for traces of a strike fleet headed toward Ghorah Khar.
I couldn't believe it when three ships showed up on the radar just 19,691 kilometers from Nav 1. The right VDU couldn't identify them, but they looked familiar when I finally cruised close enough for a visual ID. "Good grief," I muttered. "These are the same type of ships I saw ten years ago near K'tithrak Mang." When they disappeared I knew I was right. They were Kilrathi Stealth fighters, and I wasn't going to let them get away this time.
I started a semi-circling pattern, altering my speed and rolling so they couldn't get a fix on my flight path. Suddenly, shots crossed my bow, another scored, and I hit the afterburners and turned hard to the right to slide into position for a shot at the ship. I couldn't believe that the fighter exploded after just two shots from my mass drivers. I never saw the other two fighters again.
"This proves it," I thought. "I'll just take in my flight recor ... " Then I checked damage and noted that the recorder had taken a direct hit from the Stealth's guns. I headed for Nav 2. Nav 2 was clear, but three more Stealth fighters showed up when I was 64,800 kilometers from Nav 3. They were there for just a split second, and then disappeared. I hung around for a while, but they never came back, never fired a shot, and never showed up again on radar.
"I won't be the only pilot to see them," I thought. I knew then that I was finally going to lift that 10-year-old yoke from around my neck.