I meet Angel in the Observation room, and tell her about my upcoming Special Operations assignment with Paladin. Angel says that she’ll miss me, but that she knows I won’t be careful in my new assignment. She does want me to come back alive from this assignment. Hobbes and I meet Admiral Tolwyn in his office, and he relays new orders that my Special Operations transfer has been delayed due to the situation here in Rigel. Tolwyn says that the pirates in this system have captured or torpedoed the Free Trader ships entering Rigel, and may have also destroyed the supply depot. Hobbes will be coming along with me to Ghorah Khar once the threat in Rigel has been dealt with. Hobbes insists that his assignment to Ghorah Khar can’t wait. Millions of Kilrathi citizens are relying on Confederation assistance in their rebellion. Hobbes says that we owe these people a debt of honor just like over ten years ago when he defected to the Confederation. The Admiral acknowledges the responsibility, but the Gettysburg crew also deserves our assistance. I ask Tolwyn what we owe the Gettysburg since they are mutineers and pirates. The Admiral states that we don’t know the full picture with Gettysburg. Our most important goal is to recover the cruiser intact, and our most precious commodity is time. Once the pirates realize that another Confed ship is in the system, they will head off for another area. I meet Angel in her office to receive my mission briefing. She tells me that the Concordia has intercepted a distress call from a Kilrathi Kamekh. My mission will be to investigate this, and Angel warns that it is highly likely that this is a trap. Along the way, my long-range signaler will begin transmitting. This signal will be an encoded message for the Gettysburg crew. I tell Angel that I don’t understand this since I feel that the personnel are mutineers and traitors. I also express my feelings that talking to them seems a waste of time that would be better spent tracking down and eliminating the Gettysburg. Angel reiterates the Admiral’s statement that we don’t know the full situation with the Gettysburg. Until the full picture is revealed, Tolwyn has ordered no direct attack. Angel advises me to use my best judgment when approaching the Kamekh. The Kamekh may turn out to be the same situation as the Johann during the Goddard campaign. I am to return to the Concordia via an asteroid belt since this is the most likely area for any ambushes. I’ll also have two wingmates on this mission, and we will be using Epee fighters. On the first encounter are two pirate Ferrets, and our group makes short work of them although I take full port and aft damage from either friendly or enemy fire. I rendezvous with the Kamekh, and they establish communication with me saying that they are under attack. The Kamekh goes up and four enemy Epees are coming in. I don’t focus on any particular Epee and just shoot at targets as they present themselves. After a few passes of this, I then stick on one Epee and do enough damage where he tries to make a run for it. I pursue after him and shoot him down from behind. I look for my next target, and he was coming in close in an attempt to shoot me from behind. I manage to also damage him enough where he tries to run, but my guns take care of him too. Looks like there is one Epee left, so the other one must have already headed for home. I tag that Epee a bit with a forward barrage, and one of my wingmates finishes him off. I enter the asteroid field, and sure enough there are two more Epees here. I keep my sights on one, and lay down some fire. In an attempt to avoid those shots, the pilot runs right into an asteroid. One of my wingmates shoots a missile at that lone Epee while I’m busy dodging asteroids and the pilot does not use a decoy to avoid the hit. His ship is destroyed, and now it’s up to the asteroids to finish what those pirates tried to do. Fortunately, I pilot well enough to make the asteroids not a major obstacle. I land on the Concordia with no further issues, and Sparks is glad to see me come back alive from this mission. I report to Angel, and tell her about the encounters with the pirates and their attack on the Kamekh. I tell her that this was a difficult mission, and that none of the pirates survived. Looks like I can thank my wingmates for three kills, and the asteroid for one. I tell Angel about the ambush in the asteroid field, and that this patrol won’t be around to cause problems. Angel says that she will hand over the data from my mission to tactical so that they can plan the next stage. I am still on alert, so Angel tells me to be ready for another mission and to take advantage of any rest I can get.
I meet Major Edmond and Stingray in the Observation room. The Major is telling Stingray rumors about what is going on with the Gettysburg. The Major says the fighters explain why the pirates are flying Confed ships. Stingray is not sure that the Kilrathi would attempt something like the Johann(aka Guenhwyvar) again. Stingray is obviously distracted from his conversation with the Major since he finally notices me and says that he was just discussing rumors about the pirates. I tell Stingray that spreading these rumors won’t help the situation, and the Major feels that the Admiral won’t mind ‘harmless’ rumors. I rebuke the Major and tell her that the Concordia is not a rumor mill though I do hope that the crew can be told the full story once the situation is dealt with. I meet Angel in her office, and she says that there is another difficult assignment for me. Angel has been given a full briefing by the Admiral on why we are trying to contact the mutineers on the Gettysburg. This ship was present when N’Tanya joined the revolution against the Kilrathi. When Kilrathi sympathizers left the planet, the captain ordered to crew to fire on the unarmed ship. The refusal to obey this order led to the mutiny and a situation where the Gettysburg is now broken into two factions: one wants to continue their pirating activities, and the other wants to talk to Confed. I now understand that the crew took the correct action by not firing on the unarmed transports. I also understand that Tolwyn’s plan is to retrieve as much of the Gettysburg crew as possible. Confed High Command is taking action to court-martial the Commander who gave the order to fire. The Commander and officers taking his position were sent in a Crossbow bomber that the Confederation managed to retrieve. They’ve been sent to Olympus station for the court-martial proceedings two weeks ago. I ask what the Crossbow is, and Angel tells me that it is a brand new prototype intended to be an improvement on the Broadsword. I’m not thrilled that the Gettysburg has access to these new ships, but am grateful that I have not encountered any in combat so far. Angel hopes she won’t see one of them making an attack run on the Concordia. Angel tells me the good news that the Gettysburg received the encoded message I transmitted, and is willing to send a delegation of pilots to meet us. My mission is to make sure the pilots arrive back to the Concordia. Angel warns me that due to those separate factions among the Gettysburg crew, I should prepare for a fight. She wishes me good luck on this mission, and that she is looking forward to seeing me again. I take off in my Epee, and head off on my mission. At my first encounter, there are two Epees looking to stop me from making the rendezvous with the Gettysburg pilots. I wipe them both out without a scratch to my ship’s armor. I head for the next nav point, and two Ferrets are looking to do much better than the Epees. I take out the first wave without a hitch, but that second wave does full damage to almost all of my armor. At the rendezvous point, I meet up with Jason ‘Bear’ Bondarevsky(might be Russian, hence the callsign). I’m asked to transmit identification or be fired upon. I tell ‘Bear’ that I’m from the Concordia, and that I’ll escort him back to the carrier. ‘Bear’ does agree to follow, but not to attempt any fast moves or I’ll be fired upon. I insist that I’m not an enemy, and that I’m here to help the Gettysburg and its crew. ‘Bear’ says that my assistance has yet to be proven. On my way back with ‘Bear’ and one of his wingmates, I meet four Epees looking to take all of us out. In our damaged fighters, four versus three odds are not good. I pursue and stick on one of the Epees. During my attempt to shoot him down, two Epees collide and run into that Epee I was targeting. Three Epees down already, and I notice in my scope two enemy targets. That means the wingmate of ‘Bear’ died in the collision. I focus on the next enemy Epee, and he is quite difficult in taking down with my guns. I pursue the final Epee, and ‘Bear’ is not making it easy for me to target the enemy without shooting him. ‘Bear’ lets loose with a missile, and that fighter is blown to bits. I head back to and land on the Concordia without any other opposition. I meet the Admiral in his office to give my report. I tell Tolwyn of the loss of the wingmate of ‘Bear’. He acknowledges that this was unfortunate, and I tell him about the kill count against the pirates. I do express that I wish there was some other way to deal with this situation, but those pilots were doing their best to kill me and I had no other choice. Tolwyn agrees that this situation with the Gettysburg is costing the lives of many pilots, who simply disobeyed an illegal order. The Admiral informs me that he’ll have another mission shortly.
I meet Admiral Tolwyn at the brig with ‘Bear’ explaining why the Gettysburg took control of the depot in Rigel. Supplies were badly needed, and they did try to take the depot without killing anyone. A prisoner under guard attempted to escape, and a bloodbath ensued. The squadron of ‘Bear’ told the person responsible for this needless bloodshed to go to hell and they left the depot in justifiable anger. ‘Bear’ thinks that perhaps the mutiny was wrong, but his group does not have murderers and traitors. The Admiral tells ‘Bear’ that nobody has accused him of wrongdoing, and he explains the tactical situation to me. Most of the mutineers are on the supply depot, with it being used as temporary headquarters by the pirate faction. Tolwyn thinks that we will need to retake the supply depot and the Gettysburg to resolve this situation. The faction wanting to return to Confed is on the Gettysburg. Any successful attack attempt on the depot will depend on the Gettysburg not providing defense. The Admiral knows that separating both forces is critical here, and ‘Bear’ volunteers to head back to convince the crew. The Admiral appreciates the offer by ‘Bear’, but regulations won’t allow him to leave the Concordia. Tolwyn would like to offer ‘Bear’ a medal and promotion for his actions instead of keeping him in the brig. The Admiral believes ‘Bear’ to be a fine officer, and is proud of his actions. Tolwyn knows that he’ll have to send somebody else to contact the Gettysburg crew, and I offer to go. ‘Bear’ insists that the Gettysburg pilots will kill me, but I’m willing to take that chance to resolve this situation. The Admiral thinks this is a good idea, and I head to the hangar to meet Angel. She tells me that the Admiral has decided to let me go on this dangerous assignment. ‘Bear’ has provided the coordinates of the Gettysburg, and along the way I’ll be transmitting a message from the Admiral pardoning the crew for their mutiny. I am to then land on the Gettysburg, and convince them to return to Confed. The pirate forces on the Rigel depot have been considered unsalvageable and that I can’t allow the depot or the Gettysburg to stay in possession by pirate forces. I am given orders to destroy both the depot and the Gettysburg if they stay in pirate hands. Angel reminds me that this is a dangerous mission, and I tell her that I can succeed. There is only ONE chance for success here, so if I fail nobody else will succeed. I take off in a Sabre, and proceed to my first nav point. There are two waves of two pirate Ferrets looking to stop my Sabre. I wipe them all out, though I do take some front armor damage. The next nav point is empty, and I autopilot onwards. I meet two waves of two pirate Epees. I wipe out the first one in wave one, and damage the second one enough where he tries to make a run for it. My guns take him out. Wave two goes pretty much like wave one did, and it’s off to the rendezvous with the Gettysburg! I reach the rendezvous point, and am able to establish communication. The Gettysburg recommends that I leave the area, or more fighters are going to be scrambled against my ship. I tell the Gettysburg that I’m staying where I am at until I can meet the cruiser. I’m asked to hold on this communications channel, and five minutes later I finally receive navigation coordinates to the Gettysburg. Upon my approach to the Gettysburg, I notice at least four fighters patrolling nearby it. I receive a communication from Gettysburg to identify myself. I inform the Gettysburg that ‘Bear’ is currently on the Concordia, and he gave the coordinates to allow this meeting to happen. The Gettysburg does not believe this and thinks it more likely that a chemical interrogation gave me the coordinates. I point out that I’ve taken the time to talk to the Gettysburg instead of taking hostile action by firing torpedoes at the cruiser. I ask the Gettysburg to trust me enough to allow my ship to land. The Gettysburg activates its ALCS system to prepare for my landing, and I’m told to be ready to hand over my sidearm upon landing. I make my landing approach to the landing bay of the Gettysburg, and get a brief chance to admire its design. I am met by the Gettysburg security forces and escorted to the brig.
I am told that my gunner is being held in a separate cell, and what happens to him depends on my action. I tell Colonel Poelma that Admiral Tolwyn sent me on this mission to inform them of their pardon. I state that the order given by the Commander was illegal, and that the crew was right to not obey it. The court-martial of the Commander is underway by Confed High Command, and I tell Poelma that my orders are to escort the Gettysburg back to the Concordia. I also state that time is short since if the mutineers don’t return, but I’m given the news that a Confed convoy is heading straight for the depot. I express my frustration at Confed not knowing that the depot is in the hands of the forces that want to return to Confed, and that another bloodbath will happen without this information. There is no choice now but to make a direct attack against the depot before the Confed forces arrive. I leave the choice of staying on the side of the pirates or rejoining Confed up to Colonel Poelma. The crew does not want to attack the depot since all senior officers and wingleaders left. I tell them that I’ll personally lead them into this battle as soon as my ship is resupplied and my gunner is released. Colonel Poelma tells me that the Crossbow prototype bomber is a better ship for this mission. I take the offer of the new ship and re-emphasize that speed is of the essence here. The Gettysburg declares battle stations, and I launch in the Crossbow bomber. I then give orders to the Crossbow wingmates to get into attack formation and arm torpedoes. I receive acknowledgement of these orders, and it’s off to the depot! Along the way I see two Cyldesdale ships and warn them of the situation. If their ships don’t change course, they will be likely attacked by the forces holding the Rigel depot. Upon escorting these Clydesdales to the nearest jump point, there are pirate Epees looking to wipe us out. Fortunately, there are only two of them and they fall to forward mass drivers of the Crossbow. I then make it to the jump point, and both Clydesdales get out of there without harassment. I notice during my approach to the pirate depot base that there are six Epees guarding it. I take down three with few problems, but those last three decide to take advantage of the maneuverability of the Epees and attempt to take me out from behind. I lay down a barrage of aft fire to discourage this attack. One of my Crossbow wingmates takes down an Epee, and there is just two left. I also eliminate those ships with my forward guns. I hear the depot base shooting off flak defense, and I make a full stop since my rear shields need to be replenished. Colonel Poelma goes gunning for that depot, and it looks like the other wingmate toasts that depot with guns. I’m not sure if the Colonel made it since I don’t see the other Crossbow, and I head back to the Concordia. Upon landing on the Concordia, I am told that the Admiral wants to see me on the bridge. I tell Tolwyn that the pirates were going to attack that Confed convoy I met up with. I explain that I managed to convince the Gettysburg crew in attacking the pirate depot base. I had no choice but to take out the attacking fighters against the convoy as well at the depot. I tell Tolwyn that the depot was successfully taken out, and that I wish there could have been some other way to resolve this situation. The Admiral says that we could not take the risk of letting the pirates stay in control of the depot. By my actions I did save the lives of the Gettysburg crew, so Poelma must have returned or been rescued by the Gettysburg S&R. I accomplished more than the Admiral thought could be done. I’ll be off-duty for the next 24 hours to wait for the arrival of Paladin so that I can start my Special Operations assignment in Ghorah Khar. Once in Ghorah Khar, our impossible Special Operations missions will begin!
P.S. - Thanks so much for the positive replies as well as the patience in waiting for my journal. I'm not sure how long WC3 journals will take, but it will depend on the mission and how many personnel I interact with. I think the best approach will be to separate the videos into two areas: the cinematics and the flight action. Now since I'll be relying on DOSBox to record and not Fraps, the recordings should go pretty well but I'll make a test run to see how they come out. Six more weeks, and the Wing Commander 3 replay will likely start unless there is a break for a week to let everyone get their configurations all set up.