Theta Wing (Brimstone System)

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Theta Wing
Theta-wing-brimstone.png
Date 2654.136.0600
Fighter Scimitar
Wingmen Todd Marshall
Other Friendly Ships Exeter-Class Destroyer at Nav 1.
Objectives Rendezvous with Exeter-Class Destroyer at Nav 1 and escort it back to the Tiger's Claw
Previous Alpha Wing (Brimstone System)
Next Rho Wing (Brimstone System)



Mission Layout

Images

The Memoirs of Lieutenant Colonel Carl T. LaFong

I waited near the rear of the briefing room, hoping to find Maniac before Colonel Halcyon entered. He found me instead.

"Hey, Prankster," he said, loud enough for everyone to hear. "Try to keep up today, will ya? I had to lead you to every enemy ship yesterday. I'm gettin' tired of carrying you." He wasn't looking at me, but grinning at the rest of the assembled pilots, who were now crowding around.

He was trying to get my goat...and succeeding. "You aren't fooling anybody, Maniac," I said. "You disobeyed a direct order yesterday and put the mission, and me, in jeopardy with your grandstanding. You can really fly, but there isn't a pilot in the Killer Bee squadron who wants you on their wing."

"Holy hairballs, Prankster! I was just kiddin' around," he wailed. "You don't have to make it personal."

Halcyon entered and cut the conversation short. "We're gearing up for a major assault on Kilrathi bases in the system," he said. "HQ is sending in extra warships and we're going to escort them back to the Tiger's Claw for rendezvous."

Maniac and I would fly Scimitars again and meet an Exeter-class destroyer at Nav 1. We would return via Nav 2 to avoid a dense asteroid field. I just hoped Maniac had learned a lesson.

We were cruising on autopilot about 38,000 kilometers from Nav 1, when the first asteroids appeared. I set velocity at 250 KPS and prepared for the slow, twisting ride. "Just another headache to make a bad day worse," I thought. It wasn't going to get any better.

Maniac spotted the Salthi while we were still dodging rocks. I ordered a break and attack, knowing I probably didn't have to, and turned my attention to the enemy. "Dogfighting in a rock pile had better be the same as in the sim," I muttered.

I fought the impulse to increase speed and worked my way to the right. I had set speed to 150 and rolled left, when I saw the first flash from the Salthi's guns. I tapped the afterburner and squirted to the right to avoid incoming fire. I hit all stop, rotated left until the lead fighter was targeted, and launched a dumb-fire. Setting speed back to 150, I burned again. It doesn't pay to stand still for long.

The missile missed, but broke up the Salthi formation. I throttled back to 250 KPS and targeted the closest Salthi. I didn't want to lose him in the debris or confusion, so I locked the target and fired a two-shot burst. The key to asteroid combat turned out to be patience. It was slow, but taking down their shields with guns and then using the heat-seekers brought two down. The others succumbed to our mass-drivers. We just pressed when we had full blaster power and shields, and played keep-away otherwise.

We were almost to Nav 1 when the Dralthi showed up, heading right for the Exeter. We went to full speed, but by the time we caught up they were already hitting the destroyer. Screaming to break and attack, I went after the target nearest the capital ship.

It was good to be in open space again, and I pushed my advantage with the mass drivers. When the Dralthi turned and ran, I just stayed on his tail with the afterburners and blasted away. He went down immediately.

I taunted each of the remaining ships and all but one turned to attack me. I went after the one that didn't, and told Maniac to attack my target. He was right there, and it worked just like I planned. While the others were trying to get to our rear, our combined guns took out the ship that was still attacking the Exeter. With the odds evened up a little, the rest of the Dralthi wing wouldn't last long. I told Maniac to break and attack.

We continued to Nav 1 on a short recon of the area, then fell in behind the destroyer and cut our throttles to match her 100 KPS cruising velocity. It was a slow, but uneventful, trip back to the Tiger's Claw. That's the best kind.

I was almost impressed with Maniac this time. He'd followed orders, protected my wing, and eliminated a couple of bad guys. I couldn't have asked for more. I mentioned it to him on the way to our debriefing with the Colonel. "Were you talking to me out there?" he asked. "I was just finding a target and headin' for it." I couldn't tell if he was kidding or not.

Preflight Conversations

Talk to SHOTGLASS

Hey there, Maverick. Get you something?
How'd you like flyin' with Maniac?
I wouldn't trust the kid myself ... too damn reckless.
He's lookin' to be famous, an' its gonna get him killed.
I just hope he don't take anybody with him when he goes...

Talk to BOSSMAN

Ah, Maverick. Sit down.
The colonel told me we'll fly escort for several incoming ships soon.
Since you are still new to the Tiger's Claw...
...let me give you a few pointers on escort missions.
First, it is better to strike a course parallel to the larger vessel...
...than to try to circle it as it moves toward the destination.
Maneuver a little behind and to one side of the larger ship...
James Taggart
...so you can see it as you fly alongside it.
Chen Kien
Then set your speed to match its pace--usually 100 or 150 klicks.
James Taggart
But speed back up to 200 or 250 if you meet Kilrathi, lad...
It's easy to forget to hit the juice when you first see the hairballs.


Talk to PALADIN

Chen here 'as got some clever things to say about flying escort, lad...
...but I've got a bit to add myself.
The most important thing is to keep your eye on your scanner.
Chen Kien
Major Taggart is correct, Captain. Pay special attention to your scanner.
James Taggart
When you're flyin' up close to a big ship like a transport...
...she can block out half the sky!
Your scanner'll show enemies on the other side of 'er.

Mission Briefing

Mission Briefing. Brimstone System, 06:00 hours, 2654.136.

Peter Halcyon
All right, boys and girls.
We're gearing up for a major assault on the Kilrathi bases on Brimstone II.
Headquarters has dispatched several more warships to this system...
...they'll be coming in over the next few hours.
Here are the assignments for rendezvous and escorts...
The colonel makes the assignments for the wings.Yours is the last...
Peter Halcyon
Maverick and Maniac will take the last run.
Here's the flight plan...
You'll meet an Exeter-class destroyer at Nav 1, right here.
You'll fly straight to Nav 1, to make the rendezvous on schedule...
...but you'll bring the destroyer back via Nav 2.
This will keep the Exeter clear of the asteroids between here and Nav 1.
Be sure and stay close to the destroyer.
If you run into enemy fighters, they'll try to draw you off...
...so their wingmen can get a clean shot at the Exeter.
Christopher Blair
How close do you want us to stay, Colonel?
Peter Halcyon
Within 5,000 klicks, in a dogfight. Closer when you're just cruising.
Christopher Blair
Understood, sir.
Peter Halcyon
Good.
That's it for today, then. Let's get to work.
Squadron dismissed.

Mission Debriefing

Mission Debriefing. 15:00 hours, 2654.136.

Peter Halcyon
Good job, men. The Exeter's pulled into formation with the Tiger's Claw.
Christopher Blair
I'm glad to hear it, sir. We ran into a little trouble out there.
Todd Marshall
Yeah, the fleabags were all over that jump point like a cheap suit...
Christopher Blair
Nothing we couldn't handle, though.
Peter Halcyon
You seem to have dealt with it adequately.
Enough of that, though. Let's review the mission...
You took out 5 of them, Maverick...
and Maniac wasted 3 of the hairballs.
Dismissed.