Novaya Kiev 1
I meet up again with Paladin, and explain about how I’m in this fight to keep the Kilrathi from defeating us. Paladin lets me know that he thinks it’s not important what Tolwyn or the others think of me, and that there is more than one way to fight this war if I get dismissed from the Concordia. I try to find out what Paladin means by this, but he wants my commitment to join up with his operations before he can let me know anything. Paladin expresses his unease at the Kilrathi retreat, and believes that they are preparing for another large offensive attack. I meet with Angel in the hangar, and she brings me up to speed on my mission here. Apparently, the Kilrathi left a depot behind. Angel wants me to take it out so that the Kilrathi won’t use it on another offensive. I learn that Doomsday will be my wonderful wingman. Angel gives me intel that the station should be undefended, and an easy target. As much as I dislike Doomsday’s attitude, I feel it’s more important for me to take this important strike mission. We both take off in Broadswords and proceed to the jump point. After jumping, I rendezvous with the Valdez to take much-needed fuel for my return trip. After leaving the Valdez, me and Doomsday meet up with a few Drakhri. I miss an opportunity to take a fighter down with my forward guns and switch to the rear turrets. After several harassment barrages to keep the Drakhri away, I score two kills with my rear guns. I switch back to my front guns and take down the remaining fighters. I get within range of two Dorkathi ships, and they unleash flak barrages at me. I easily take one down with my guns, and Doomsday gets the other one. At the next nav point, there are a few Jalkehi, a Dorkathi, and the depot. So much for being undefended! Doomsday is forced to eject on his attack of the depot. I hang back and wait for my shields to recharge. I get just within range, and go to zero speed while waiting for the torpedo to lock. I then go to full throttle, and let loose with my torpedo within 3000 meters. The torpedo hits home and destroys the depot. The remaining Dorkathi proves to be more of a challenge due to me stupidly going to zero speed once in range. My shields get knocked to zero, but I make the killing blow before any significant damage is taken. Next time, I won’t make that same mistake. I pick up Doomsday with my tractor beam and head back to the Concordia. Me and Doomsday get debriefed by Angel. She expresses her disappointment in my wingman’s performance, and states that Doomsday was luckier than Stingray’s wingmate. Angel tells us both to be more careful since she does not want to lose any more pilots.
Novaya Kiev 2
I meet up with Spirit, Hobbes, and Stingray in the Observation room. I express my condolences, and Stingray tells of his helpless horror in seeing his wingmate die. A substantial number of malfunctions afflicted Dallas’ ship before it was destroyed, and Stingray is convinced that it was sabotage. Hobbes is unswayed by this opinion, and states that the loss of Dallas is not a major blow to the Confederation. This makes Stingray very angry, and he firmly states his belief that Hobbes is the spy responsible for the death in the communications room. While Stingray’s accusations may be true, without the proof it only sows more chaos and paranoia. I hope the traitor is found soon. This poisonous situation can’t go on forever since pilots are supposed to trust each other. I meet up with Sparks in the hangar, and express my desire for some more exciting missions. Sparks reminds me of the current delicate tinderbox situation on the Concordia. She’s very nervous about the explanations to the explosion in the hangar, knowing that it could not have caused by the official explanation of it being a fuel line. Everyone whether in space or on the Concordia is more closely watching their six. Stingray was sent on a patrol to try and keep his mind off of what happened. After me and Doomsday launch, Concordia contacts me with a rescue mission for Stingray. He ran into heavy opposition, and was forced to eject. Our first fighter encounter is against Jalkehi. Again, my rear guns do the killing and we proceed onward. Concordia contacts us to warn about Drakhri and Kamekh closing in on Stingray’s position. I pretend that there is something wrong with the communications signal, and disobey a direct order to rescue Stingray. Doomsday surprisingly offers to help me out, and I tell him that I’ve already survived a court martial if it comes down to that again. The Drakhri make it very interesting to survive this encounter. They’re swarming all over me and Doomsday, but I know that my rear guns are the key to my survival. Between alternating from rear and forward guns, the Drakhri are eventually destroyed. Doomsday makes short work of the Kamekh, and I pick up Stingray without further issues. Upon arriving back at the Concordia, the Major asks me what I was thinking and I tell her that I considered it more important to save Stingray’s life. I meet up with Admiral Tolwyn on the bridge. I don’t deny my breach of protocol in disobeying the order to return, and I get a formal reprimand.
Novaya Kiev 3
I get to receive Stingray’s gratitude for rescuing him, but it seems to me that it might have been better if I stayed on Caernarvon if I have to go thru this effort to earn somebody’s respect. Stingray acknowledges that everyone is giving a hard time due to the Tiger’s Claw incident, but I tell him to save his sympathy for somebody who cares. I meet up with Spirit in the Observation room, and she expresses her romantic notions of rescuing her long-lost fiancé Phillip from the Kilrathi. I express my doubts that he would have survived this long. During the briefing Angel gives Jazz and Stingray garbage escort duty to cool off their tempers. She firmly states that she will take no more of the bickering between the crew and will continue to give garbage escort duty to anybody that gets out of line. Angel tells us that the Kilrathi have hit four of our sectors. Angel gives me the next assignment. We’re to escort the Hector to take out a Kilrathi Fraltha cruiser. At the cruiser’s nav point, there are several Jalkehis guarding the Fraltha. I make roughly even kills from the forward and rear guns. I sit back and wait for my shields to recharge. Somehow, Doomsday manages to score two torpedo hits on the Fraltha and it is toast! We both autopilot with the Hector to the next nav point. A few Grikaths are waiting for us, but I don’t need my rear guns to take them out. On the way back, the Hector runs into me twice and takes down my forward shields. Doomsday, gets hit at least once too. I’ll have bring this up at the next Capital Ship Driver’s School. I give a recount of the action and kill count to the Concordia, and I land without further ‘big rigs’ looking to play bumper ships with me.
Novaya Kiev 4
During a card game, Angel, Doomsday and Spirit discuss the upcoming action to try and retake our space station. Angel tells me about the Admiral’s lack of respect in regards to my combat performance. Doomsday is his optimistic self and predicts that the mission is suicidal. Spirit and Doomsday wonder what’s going to meet up with us at Heaven’s Gate, but Angel understandably can’t make a comment. I meet up again with Spirit, and she confesses that she received a mysterious email about her fiancé Phillip. Spirit has no idea who sent the message and I ask if she’s a part of something I’m not aware of. Spirit adamantly expresses her firm allegiance to the Confederation, and I urge her to bring it to Angel’s attention before I am forced to. Upon takeoff, I receive a communication from the Concordia. There is an emergency mission to the Talbot system with a ship carrying very important data. Two Drakhri fighters meet me on the way to the jump point. Upon reaching the courier ship, I find that it’s under attack by Sartha and a Ralathi cruiser. The courier is destroyed, but not before ejecting a data pod. I take care of the Sartha, though the Ralathi is probably helping a bit with its flak. Two torpedoes to the Ralathi destroy it, but I make a mental note to be very wary of its anti matter guns. A direct hit from one shot will take down my shields to half strength, and I can count on at least a few shots directed towards me. I fly back to the Concordia, and apparently the data from the pod concerns Spirit. Admiral Tolwyn requests Spirit to come to the bridge, and Angel wants to be there but Tolwyn wants to handle matters personally.
Heaven’s Gate 1
Me, Doomsday, Jazz, and Stingray discuss our opinions on why Spirit would be grounded. There are definite opinions that it’s likely that she could be the traitor. I vehemently deny that Spirit could ever betray the Confederation since they’ve likely killed her fiancé and that she has made more sacrifices and Kilrathi kills in comparison to Stingray. During the briefing, I find that Spirit is back on the roster and is to be my wingmate on this next mission. Stingray says that we’re both made for each other and Hobbes offers to settle the matter outside. Angel says that the Epees that we are to fly are faster and more powerful than Ferrets. Angel tells me and Spirit to head for the hangar to our ships and demands to see Stingray and Hobbes in her office. The first enemy encounter is against a wing of Drakhri protecting a Kamekh corvette. I notice fairly quickly how poor the Epee is in a dogfight. The Ferret easily has more gun firepower since it takes a dedicated effort to drain the power plant during a fight. The particle cannons are not much stronger than lasers in my opinion. The only advantage I see in the Epee is its speed and perhaps the few missiles it carries. Despite the limitations of the Epee, I take out the Drakhri and Spirit ices the Kamekh. My rear armor is completely gone though. On the next encounter, Sartha make an effort to make us a permanent part of space. One of the fighters runs into me, and now the front armor is gone too. Fortunately, I do well enough to rout the Sarthas but I bet Sparks is gonna be busy for a while on the repairs. Upon landing, Angel tells us that Hobbes and Stingray got into a fight. Apparently, her pep talks need a little polish.
Heaven’s Gate 2
I meet Angel in her office, and she tells me that the data is pointing to Spirit not being a traitor. The email communication indicated failure to turn Spirit, despite concerted efforts to force her to side with the Kilrathi. I wonder what sort of lure would be enough to make Spirit even consider switching sides. Angel reminds me to be careful while flying with her, and also for the moment that I’m the only one who wants to fly on her wing. During the briefing, the next mission is for me and Spirit to escort a convoy and to investigate an unknown nav area. We escort the convoy to the jump point without an enemy encounter. At the unknown nav point, a wing of Drakhri come after us. I get thru this wave with no damage. The next wave are Jalkehis, and Spirit is forced to withdraw. I managed to launch and hit a Jalkehi with a Dart dumbfire missile. This time, I emerge completely unscratched with some assistance from Jazz. We land on the Concordia, and I inform Angel of the action from the mission. She tells me that Jazz was not supposed to be patrolling the unknown nav area. I privately wonder what he was doing there, but it looks like I may not get an answer for a while.
P.S. - Screen shots tomorrow, and here is hoping that most of the others who have replied in previous weeks will be responding soon!
P.S.S. - Pilots, use your rear turrets when flying Broadswords!