The Vega Campaign

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The following entry continues the memoirs of Lt. Col. Carl T. LaFong as found in Wing Commander I and II: The Ultimate Strategy Guide.


Previous Memoir Entry: The Academy Years

Anticipation

Other than the six months spent in spacedock for repairs following Custer's Carnival, the Tiger's Claw had been in the Vega Sector for 10 years. Since 2650, enemy activity had been sporadic, and most of us felt the Kilrathi had simply probed the system to test our strength and resolve. Soon after, however, Intelligence scanners indicated an enormous buildup in Kilrathi strike forces. According to analysts, the Enyo System, which the Kilrathi abandoned following an engagement in 2639, was the first target. We jumped there three days later.

Everyone's nerves were on edge, but you could see that the change in battle status had affected the rookies, myself included, more than the veterans. The banter and horseplay had ended and each of us had withdrawn to try and find whatever it was we might need to survive.

I knew I was prepared. The year I spent on the Formidable as part of my academy training had given me confidence. While my only combat experience was launching a Dart at a retreating Dralthi during an escort mission, at least I'd seen the enemy and known the icy fear that came when a red blip appeared on the radar screen. I knew I wouldn't run.

I'd absorbed the knowledge of previous pilots who engaged the Kilrathi from the training manuals. I'd studied the history of the Galactic War, put in hundreds of hours dogfighting in the simulator at the academy, and, in my short time on the carrier, bugged Angel, Spirit, Bossman, and Iceman whenever I had the chance. I downed a few mugs of Goddard Special while listening to Shotglass tell tales of his harrowing missions against the Kilrathi. It all helped.

Colonel Halcyon had ordered every pilot to appear at mission briefings tomorrow morning at 0800 hours. I knew I wouldn't get any sleep that night, but oddly enough, I felt a sense of calm. That's not to say that I wasn't afraid, but it was strange that my fear was not of dying. What really scared me was that I might make a mistake that led to the death of others. Above all, I wanted to perform as a professional, to do the job I'd been trained for, and to support my fellow pilots. The next day was the first mission, and finally, the anticipation would end.


Next Section: Alpha Wing (Enyo System)