Psi Wing (Bifrost System)
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Theta Wing (Bifrost System)
Iota Wing (Retreating from Kilrathi Territory)
The Memoirs of Lieutenant Colonel Carl T. LaFong
We were pretty sure the ship carrying the new Kilrathi weapon was in the area. In fact, a large ship of unknown type had been identified in this section of open space. In addition, Intel thought that Kilrathi capital ships were running low on fuel and that a fuel depot was located here.
Paladin and I would scout three navigation points, searching for the Kilrathi fuel depot. We were ordered to engage and destroy any enemy ships encountered during our patrol.
1. Three Jalthi raced straight toward us when we were 14,697 kilometers from Nav 1.
2. A Ralari with two Krant as escorts was discovered 14,861 kilometers from Nav 2.
3. Two wings with three Jalthi in each were protecting a Kilrathi capital ship near Nav 3, 55,957 kilometers from the carrier.
Since we engaged nine of the heavy Jalthi fighters on this mission, our success depended upon avoiding their tremendous firepower. I signaled break and attack every time we hit a wing, and either performed a roll and turn followed by an afterburner kick, or an afterburner slide using my full guns to score some early hits.
The Jalthi were so tough that I always locked my target. In a confusing dog-fight, I didn't want to lose sight of an enemy fighter that I'd damaged and give them time to make repairs or regenerate shields. We used speed to get behind the fighters and attack their weakest 10-cm rear armor, and kept our Porcupine ready in case a six-shooter dropped in behind us during the fight.
Talk to SHOTGLASS
- Major Good to see you.
- I heard about the Gwenhyvar. I never believed that old story, either.
- Anyhow, you heard the latest news? Grapevine says we lost sight of the enemy ships.
- They're out there somewhere, and we can't find them.
- We fly all this way into Kilrathi space, and lose so many people...
- ...and for what? There's no way we can afford to turn back now.
- We'd better find those cats, kill them and get out of here fast---
- ---or we'll be as dead as my cousin, and the rest of the colonists on Goddard.
Talk to HUNTER
- ello, mate. Seen enough action yet?
- I was telling the Old Man here that Zeta Wing lost a couple pilots today.
- One of them just went bonkers, flew right at a Fralthi---
- And went up in an explosion that didn't even dent the side of that catbox lorry.
- If we keep losing pilots, there won't be enough of us to fly...
- ...and then it'll be over.
- James Taggart
- And I was just tellin' this haggis-brained lad...
- That there are a few pilots in our OWN squadron that need new pilots' suits.
- Good white ones, with extra-long sleeves.
Talk to PALADIN
- Good to see ye again, lad.
- Listen, do us all a favor, would ye?
- A lot of the pilots have been hearin' that we lost the Kilrathi fleet.
- They're expectin' us to turn tail and run back for Terran space.
- Some of 'em are tickled pink about it.
- Some of 'em are thinking about proppin' a gun 'gainst their chin an' pulling the trigger.
- You tell 'em it's all damned foolishness.
- Colonel Halcyon is a very canny man, the best in the space navy.
- If anyone can find the Kilrathi, he can.
- So if anyone asks you, this is what you should tell them
- This operation isn't over, and we haven't lost it yet.
- Pilots, we have trailed our target to this system.
- We're not sure of the location of the Kilrathi fleet with the secret weapon, but we know they're in the area.
- The fleet is probably going to call for reinforcements. Probably Fralthi, with destroyer escorts.
- Two Fralthi with additional heavy ships, if they know where to catch us...
- ... will reduce Tiger's Claw to molten slag.
- Personally, I'd prefer not to command a slagged ship.
- So we're going to have to launch an attack on them very, very soon.
- We don't know exactly where they are. But we do have some good data....
- The ships in this strike fleet were designed to be fast and maneuverable. Which means they aren't carrying much fuel.
- This means that they're probably headed towards...any guesses, pilots?
- A supply depot, sir?
- Tactical agrees with you on that guess, Maverick. That's where we think their fleet is headed.
- We're going to get to the supply depot first and take it out.
- You're going to fly scouting missions. With the information you'll bring back...
- ...we should be able to locate the supply depot.
- Here's the setup. Make sure you scout each of these Nav points.
- Just follow your mission flight plans; engage the enemy if you find him.
- But back down from overwhelming opposition. We need the information more than we need a few dead heroes.
- We also have unconfirmed reports of a large ship of an unknown Kilrathi design type.
- This ship will register as a blue target, until we can update your targeting computers.
- But it's definitely one of theirs. Get camera information on it, if you can.
You listen as the commander explains mission assignments.
- Psi Wing will be Maverick and Paladin, with Maverick as wingleader.
Mission Debriefing -- $T, $D.
- Peter Halcyon
- All right, Maverick. Your report, please.
- Christopher Blair
- We had a rough fight at Nav 2, sir, but we took out a Ralari.
- At Nav 3, we found another Kilrathi capital ship She's huge, sir, bristling with weaponry.
- We tried to destroy her, but were forced to break off and return.
- Peter Halcyon
- This should help us track down that supply depot. Good work.
- And your numbers show that you bagged $K. Good shooting, son.
- And Paladin bagged $L. Good work.
- Now we'll get the information from your cameras, and see what we can learn from that.