Wing Commander 3 Replay Week 1

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
Good Morning Gentlemen,

So it's finally arrived. The end of our Kilrathi Saga. I'm jealous as hell that I can't immediately join in with all of you in the final stretch of the fight. Just have a few short weeks of work to do then I'll be back in the game.

This first week we'll only be doing the Orsini System (4 missions) so the number of missions stays manageable over the weeks. Next week will be Tamayo and Locanda which will bring us back up to six missions a week.

Fight the good fight, Hearts of the Tiger.
 

DaveO

Commodore
I figured that four missions would be a safe bet. The real key to mission four is to afterburn close to the corvette and target the skipper missile. I had to play that mission several times, and completed it once but had to go back since it did not record. I'll be checking out how my recorded videos turned out first, and then upload to YouTube for movies and photobucket for the pics.
 

DaveO

Commodore
As expected, it took me quite some time to compress and upload the videos. I don't have new pictures added to photobucket yet, but I'm adding the link since I expect to upload them in the next few hours. I've attached some hopefully nice screen shots to this post, and this will be added in the photobucket area.

I pretty much had to split cinematics and missions since both would run over the limit with the exception of mission 3. New videos are at: http://youtube.com/davecaspermeyer

New pictures will soon be added to: http://s204.photobucket.com/albums/bb15/DaveO-MM/Wing Commander/

EDIT: After some time, I added 31 screen shots to Photobucket. I think that's my highest count of any mission series so far. Check them out or go to the videos and get your own favorite!
 

Attachments

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
It's great to see that Darket debris. I remember when WC3 first came out and one thing I thought was really, really cool was the debris that Capships and fighters would leave when you destroyed them. It was very rewarding to see the hulk of ship just drifting through the void.
 

DaveO

Commodore
I think the fighter break-up is the most realistic element of the entire Wing Commander series. Tumbling around in space and exploding which are common for kills in Wing Commander 4 and Prophecy just does not do as much for me in comparison to the chunks you get from Wing Commander 1-3.

P.S. - I almost forgot to add that if you watch REAL close, you can see 'The Heart of the Tiger' give a thumbs up during the launch sequence of the missions.
 

DaveO

Commodore
I wanted to put a journal up for the first mission so that the admins have something to show for the replay. These journals are going to be LONG it looks like, so here is my synopsis of Orsini 1. All missions are being played under Ace difficulty since I've tried out mission 4 of Wing Commander 4 at Ace and am getting constantly creamed. Looks like Veteran for that game, but onward to the action!


Orsini 1
Hobbes is outside the briefing room waiting to greet me. He’s wondering how well this war agrees with me, and I tell him that it agrees like a pair of busted wing-flaps. I tell him how good it is to see him, and Hobbes wonders how Angel is faring. I tell him I don’t have a clue since Admiral Tolwyn, feels that Angel’s ‘need to know’ status on her covert op does not include me. I give Hobbes the good news that I’ve put him back on the flight roster. Hobbes tells me that there are many other pilots here on the Victory that I can fly with, but I tell him that I’d like a wingman I can trust. I enter the ship’s lift and run into Rollins. He asks me if I’ve had the pep talk from the Captain, and then says that it’s a load of lies to keep up morale. I explain my view that I think Eisen’s attitude is good for morale regardless of how Confed may be faring in the fight versus the Kilrathi. Rollins says the transmissions give the real scoop, and I ask him if he thinks Confed is hiding the truth. He can’t say for sure, but he feels that he is a beacon of truth in a sea of lies. I head for the living level and see Cobra frustrated at the sight of Hobbes. She storms off in anger, and Vagabond tries to tempt Hobbes into playing a hand with him. Hobbes does thank Vagabond, and I head over to his table. He tries the same tactic with me, and I wonder about his lack of protocol. Vagabond says that such formalities are often forgotten when most of his time was spent trying to survive against the Kilrathi. His little spare time is used on other things besides military formality. I explain my understanding that he’s just trying to adapt to his surroundings, and he says it’s an art. I tell him that I now understand why his callsign is Vagabond, and wonder about the big gaps in his combat bio. Having been on the covert op side myself, I tell him that I can understand why Confed would decide to blank a lot of his data. Vagabond wants me to give all of the pilots on the Victory a chance besides Hobbes. I head into the berths and look into my locker. I see a hologram of Angel hoping that the fight is going well for me and the Concordia. She tells me about her assignment to start a covert op for Admiral Tolwyn, and that those duties will keep us apart a while longer. She says to always remember that she loves me. I’m not sure how well she will take the loss of the Concordia once she hears about it. I head off for the lift and go to the bridge. I see Maniac there, and it looks like he’s none the worse for wear after his Morningstar marooning. He expresses his regrets at not coming to my welcoming reception, but apparently he had more pressing ‘manuevers’ to make in impressing the female bridge personnel. I express my surprise that he’s not been gunned down yet by friendly fire, and he tells me that his motto is to do whatever it takes to win. He asks if I’ve kept my by-the-book flying style, and I explain that I don’t take stupid risks. He certainly feels that I’ve made a stupid choice by adding Hobbes back to the flight roster. Maniac feels that I can’t afford to trust somebody who would willingly kill members of his own race. I tell him that who I fly with is MY choice, and my priviledge of rank. Maniac feels that he’s the better one in the cockpit, but I tell him that I know which one of us is better. Maniac can’t understand what I see in Hobbes, and I say that I need a wingman I can trust. Maniac continues his ‘manuevers’ with the bridge crew. I head to the gunnery control area on the bridge, and am about to introduce myself to Flint. I hear Eisen’s voice come over the intercom to report to the briefing room. Looks like duty calls!

Eisen wants to see if my reputation is as good as advertised. Confed Intel has given us info that the Kilrathi presence is increasing in this system. My mission is to do a three point patrol for any hostile activity. I give the debrief to the other pilots, and can only pick Hobbes for this mission. Apparently for the moment, none of the other pilots want to fly with me since I’m flying with a Kilrathi on my wing. Just before launch, I talk to Rachel and she gives me the lowdown on the fighter I’ll be flying. The fighter is a Hellcat V ready to kick some Kilrathi tail. For this mission, I can’t choose other ships or missiles but Rachel promises not to disappoint. I head off to board my fighter, and give a thumbs up to the techs. It’s time to see some action! Not wanting to die on my first excursion, I adjust additional power to shields with minimal power for damage control. After takeoff, I do a quick test of guns to make sure they function. At our first enemy encounter, there are two Darket fighters here. I tell Hobbes to break and attack, and go after my selected fighter target. Compensating for ITTS and the Darket manuevering, I systematically get multiple hits on the Darket. A few more successful hits, and I see that fighter go up in a ball of flame. Hobbes and I sandwich the other Darket between our fighter cannon fire, and Hobbes makes the kill. At the third nav point are two more Darkets. I don’t tell Hobbes to engage this time, and I want to see how well I can handle these fighters alone. The Darket makes a high speed pass, and I’m amazed he does not run into me. His port shields are thrashed, and his armor is in the red. A couple more leading shots shred that cat, so it’s now down to two fighters versus one. This cat is actually quite a decent pilot, but he can’t evade my guns continually and is blown to bits. I ask Hobbes for his status, and he’s sitting pretty without a scratch. At my approach to the Victory, I take an overhead pass and then ask for landing clearance. I get a nice external view of the Victory, and Eisen tells me that he can see that my reputation is well deserved. I don’t feel like this was a true test of my capabilities(or as in Wing Commander 2, a ‘consequential’ mission), but it is nice to get acquainted to new Kilrathi tactics and seeing firsthand how mobile those Darkets are. They remind me a bit of Salthi from my first campaign so long ago, but not as hardy in terms of taking damage. I land on the Victory, and Rachel thanks me for bringing back the Hellcat in pristine condition. I talk to Hobbes, and he congratulates me for my performance. I tell him that it did feel good and almost was like older times with him on my wing. Hobbes says that he liked the excursion, so it certain makes me feel good to return the favor he did for me during my assignment on the Concordia. I tell Hobbes to forget it, and that he’s back where he belongs: in the cockpit.

P.S. - If you have not seen the intro cinematic, please do so! It goes into the story setup quite well, and there's a lot of pretty good work there.
 

Flying Target

Swabbie
Banned
Once I get my doxbox set just right. Choppy video-good gameplay vs perfect video-choppy gameplay. Will find the balance eventually!

Going through the first bits of touring the Victory brought back some great memories, along with a lot of chuckling at the barely-concealed lust of the the female crewmembers.

Ah yes... I still remember my girlfriend at the time (who was pushing 30 and really should have known better than to date someone barely out of being a freshman) shaking her head in disgust at my puerile amusement as Colonel Chrissie Blair followed in a proud line of paunchy middle-aged Sci-Fi studs: Captain "Corset" Kirk; Buck "Splitting Spandex Jumpsuit" Rogers; William "Big Hairy Monster" Riker. Throw in Magnum PI (with bushy moustache) and any woman in the vicinity would have simply evaporated.
 

DaveO

Commodore
For what it's worth, I set my DOSBox to 15000 cycles. Videos are a bit choppy, but gameplay is good. It still records without issues, so that's all I care about.
 

Flying Target

Swabbie
Banned
Cheers DaveO. I'll give that value a try. I fiddled about last night and decided slightly choppy video but flawless gameplay was the best of the two choices (no-brainer really!).

It did feel good to get back to the old school: "You pathetic descendant of monkeys!"
 

DaveO

Commodore
The only choppiness is the starting cinematic. Now if you want to see that unstuttered, then adjust DOSBox accordingly(or just watch my Intro videos to save the hassle). Past the intro, the in-game stuff works fine without issues. The Excalibur mini-cinematic at the end of mission 4 was fine with my settings, so I suspect the intro is on the CD-Rom and that's the primary reason for the stuttering. The only other area that might stutter is the final video, and I should be able to get it recorded IF I manage to make it that far.

Mission 4 does require the Thunderbolt due to the skipper missile in my opinion, but you can use the other fighters on the other two missions. I stuck with Thunderbolt on 2-4 since I kept getting intel in the briefings that there would be cap ships along the way.

P.S. - DOSBox can record stuff just using Ctrl+Alt+F5. You can use that along with VirtualDub to get screen shots to post. There is no performance hit in recording, so I feel that everyone playing thru this should be able to get screen shots at minimum to share. I don't mind posting pics and recording videos, but I'd like to see other shots too.
 

DaveO

Commodore
I might have been able to complete this journal yesterday, but my car broke down. Hopefully, it's nothing serious and I'll get the news of the repairs needed today. I've not seen Lorien post here, so I'm hoping he's getting his copy prepped or just a bit busy and not having technical issues. I'd hate to be flying solo on this session...

Orsini 2
I meet up with Vaquero on the living level, and he’s playing a lively tune on a guitar. He notices me sitting at his table, and salutes. I tell him to carry on, and he explains that he’s playing rockero from the Celeste system. He makes an interesting observation by saying that you can tell quite a lot about a system from its music. Some places are ‘minor chords’ that make you want to run out and do a suicide mission, and other places heat your blood with a desire to live a long life. I ask him if he’s a pilot or a musician, and he asks me to check the killboard if I have any doubts about him being a pilot. His family has made guitars for several generations and he even has a guitar that’s two hundred years old. He feels the age of that guitar makes its sound richer, and he tells me of his dream to open a cantina. He’ll recruit the best players for that old guitar, and have it open to everyone. He’ll just sit back, look at the pretty women, and listen to the music. I tell him that he has a nice dream, and that he should hang on to it. Vaquero observes that some are here for the kills, but he feels he’ll be able to walk away without looking back. He starts playing the same tune on the guitar, and I take a few moments to admire the music and admire his passion. I see Cobra in the berths, and she’s busy sharpening a hunter knife. I tell her that it’s time for us to have a talk. She says there is not much to talk about since both me and ‘it’(Hobbes) got the job done on our first mission. Cobra says that she can’t fly with Hobbes, but I tell her that she will have to sooner or later. She says that she won’t defend him if it comes down to it in combat, and I ask her why. She says that she’s hardwired with a hatred for the Kilrathi, and won’t go into further detail for the moment. In the interest of keeping peace aboard the Victory, I say that I’ll do my best to keep her and Hobbes on separate assignments. She insists that she needs no special favors. I tell her that we need every good pilot available, and that I’d trust Hobbes with my life. Cobra says that’s my choice and goes back to her work on the hunter knife. More memories of my hostile reception on the Concordia drift back to my mind. I hope I can be instrumental in turning the tide on the bad opinions for Hobbes. I head down in the elevator lift and enter the briefing room to receive my mission assignment. Eisen tells me that a tracking station has reported Kilrathi activity in the region. My job is to do a sweep of the area, and to be ready for a possible Kilrathi cap ship. I give the mission layout to the pilots, and pick Cobra in an attempt to get her mind on more important matters than her hatred. Before launch, I see Rachel and have the Hellcat, Arrow, and Thunderbolt available. Due to the cap ship possibility, I select Thunderbolt since it has a torpedo and the other ships don’t.

I adjust power ratios, switch to full guns, and takeoff. At our first Kilrathi encounter, Cobra decides her hatred of the cats is more important than following orders. She breaks and attacks during my pursuit of a Darket fighter. She kills the Kilrathi pilot without much trouble, and I nail the other one before she can finish it off. That Darket makes an impressive debris field, and we head off for the next nav point. Here there are two more Darkets defending a Kilrathi transport. I afterburn closer to the transport, and my shields take a few minor hits. I let loose with my torpedo, and turn back to engage the fighters. Cobra makes my work easy by nailing one Darket before I can even see them thru my cockpit. I hear the communication scream from the Kilrathi transport as my torpedo hits it. I then spray full gun barrages at that last Darket and take him down. I ask Cobra how she’s doing, and her ship is in good condition. We head back for the Victory, and Rollins is impressed. Rachel gives me the standard ‘attaboy ‘ after landing.

Orsini 3
At the living area, Rachel is admiring a data pad with schematics for the Excalibur. She invites me to sit down and asks if the rumors are true about a test pilot for the Excalibur coming here to the Victory. I tell her that I don’t know, and she hopes the rumors are true. She can’t wait to get her hands dirty and I observe that she really likes her job. Rachel hopes that the test pilot won’t be too protective of his ship, and I admit that she has a knack getting straight to the point. She admits that she does not like gray areas, which is why she works on fighter maintenance. Either a part works or it does not, and I admit that machines don’t lie. Rachel observes that people lie quite often, and I ask her if she feels that she’s being too hard in her judgments of people. People have to pass her ‘inspection’ just like any fighter component, but she has certain hours for people. I ask if she has the ‘inspection’ schedule posted, and she kids that it’s only for a select few. I head down to the flight level and enter the briefing room to receive details about my mission. Eisen tells me that Confed has a cargo ship with medical supplies which requires an escort. News about this shipment somehow leaked out, and I will see some type of Kilrathi attack. I tell the other pilots about the details of the briefing and choose Vaquero to fly with me. Expecting another Kilrathi cap ship to deal with the transport, I pick Thunderbolt after talking to Rachel.

I do my standard pre-launch procedure of adjusting power and going to full guns. At our first Kilrathi encounter, there are two Darkets looking to intercept the transport. It takes me some effort to eliminate the first fighter, but the second is wiped out quickly due to a probable assist from the transport defending itself. Two Dralthi fighters come in, and they remind me a bit of the ‘flying pancakes’ from my first tour of duty. I launch a missile to get the Dralthi off his attack of the transport, and finish him off with my guns. The transport must have nailed the other fighter since my autopilot light comes on. At the next enemy encounter, there are Darkets along with a Corvette. I let Vaquero loose to deal with the fighters, and try taking down the Corvette with a torpedo. That cap ship captain manages somehow to defend against the torpedo, and I make a few passes to kill him with those six cannons of my Thunderbolt. Vaquero ices the entire Kilrathi wing AND the cap ship. I do feel a bit embarrassed at my lack of kills here, but I do appreciate the assist from my wingman. At the next nav point are more Darkets. I eliminate the first one with guns and make very short work of the second with a missile. Another wing of Darkets comes in and I take down one fighter on my first pass. I go after and shoot down the second with more full gun barrages. The transport makes its jump successfully, and Vaquero and I head back for the Victory. Rollins again is impressed with my actions, and Rachel likes how I’ve now managed to bring back three fighters in good condition.

Orsini 4
I find Flint in the Gunnery Control area on the bridge. She’s impressed that I looked at the flight roster, and I ask her if she is making a request to come along on my next mission. Flint explains that she comes from a long line of fighter pilots, and that she feels it’s in her blood to also be a pilot. Flint expected me to take a better look at the Victory’s record along with the pilot roster. She defends the Victory’s record and explains that all the pilots have pitched in with their kills. She wonders if I’m afraid that she’ll attempt to run away at the first Kilrathi encounter. I explain that flying in combat requires a pilot’s focus, and that lapses of fatigue or twitchy reflexes can lead to the result of getting killed. I say that I need guarantees for the wingmen I fly with, and Flint correctly states only flying with guarantees will lead to few sorties. I ask her if she has any recommendations, and she says that how I do my job is up to me and that she only works here. I go to the flight level for my mission briefing from Captain Eisen. I’m tasked to escort a Confed transport ship, and Eisen tells me to expect a new Kilrathi test of a new missile called the skipper. It phases in and out of cloak to maintain contact with its target and also to make interception much more difficult. Eisen emphasizes that there are a lot of lives at stake here, and I explain the situation to the other pilots. I pick Flint as my wingman to prove that I believe in her. I again choose Thunderbolt since the only thing that can launch this missile is likely to be a Kilrathi cap ship.

I do the standard pre-launch adjustments and we head for the transport. It’s under attack by four Darkets! I let Flint break and attack, and she immediately ices a fighter with a missile. I launch a missile, but the fighter evades it. I shoot him down with guns, and Flint takes down another Darket. That last one is quite good in dodging around, so I let loose with another missile. That missile eliminates the final fighter. Two Dralthis jump in, and Flint gets both kills although I do help by damaging one Dralthi significantly. At the next nav point are more fighters along with a Corvette. I get within several thousand kilometers of the Corvette, and see the skipper missile launch. It cloaks well outside of my gun range, so I’m desperately hoping I can pick it up again. I see it uncloak to my port and turn around to go after it. I get quite lucky with my gun shots and take out the skipper missile. Flint takes out a fighter, and I’m going after Corvette before it launches another skipper. I launch my torpedo, and the Corvette is hit and destroyed. Flint gets the final Kilrathi fighter here, but I again help out in its elimination. We head off for the next nav point, and yet more Darkets are looking to spoil our mission. I let loose with a missile right away, and let Flint go after the fighters. My missile takes down the targeted Darket. I pick a second Darket and use another missile. The fighter joins his friend in the Kilrathi afterlife. There’s a Darket at long range, so he also gets the missile treatment. With a successful hit, there’s just one fighter left. I let loose with full gun barrages and the Darket is pulverized on my first pass. The transport makes a successful jump, and Flint and I head back to the Victory. Rollins says that we’ll be heading off to the Tomayo system and assisting with the Excalibur test flights. I wonder how this new fighter will perform in comparison to the Rapier and Morningstar fighters I’ve flown in. After our battle group jumps to Tamayo, I get to see the Excalibur fighter land on the Victory. I meet the pilot, and he asks me for directions to the bridge. Before I give that answer, I ask how long he’s been using Flash as his callsign. He tells me that it has been with him since his first days at the Academy, and he feels he should not have to apologize for a little style. He asks if I can assist in keeping the crew from getting too curious about the Excalibur. Once he finds out who I am, this guy reminds me of Maniac especially with his tactless question about if it’s true pilots don’t get older they just get better. I decide to not yet pop this pilot’s ego and tell him that if he’s good perhaps young kids will read about him too. I then assist him in finding his way to the bridge.
 

wcnut

Rear Admiral
I have dosbox .72 set to 51781 cycles and dynamic core. I get very little/none choppiness and absolutely none in flight. Except a little when flying inside the victory but I think that's the engine.
 

Lorien

Rear Admiral
Sorry I'm late! I've had a horrible week at work and similar DosBox issues to Flying Target's. Not to mention the incredibly long into and try to journal it :)

Intro:
Damnit, it's happened again. First the Tiger's Claw and now the Concordia. I'll never get used to the feeling of knowing the ship you called home is no longer there. This time the feeling's even worse, as I get to stare at the Concordia's hulk. At least the Tiger's Claw exploded cleanly. Paladin is standing by my side, no doubt having his own memories of the Claw. He explains that I can't live for the approval of one man, but when that one man is your superior in the armed forces it's awfully hard to live with his disapproval. It doesn't help that Angel is off on a Secret Op and I don't know her status. I try to get some word from Paladin, but he deflects my questions. In secret operations, no news is rarely good news.

The meeting with Tolwyn afterwards also brings back some harsh memories of the Tiger's Claw. The war is too intense now after both homeworlds have been struck for him to ship me off to Insys, but I feel punished anyway, having been transferred to one of the oldest carriers in the fleet, the Victory. I try to get another ship or some word about Angel, but Tolwyn just ignores me, telling me that things are looking up. I board the shuttle for Orsini.

My first impression of the Victory isn't much better than the opinions I'd formed on the flight over, listening to news casters debating an evacuation of Earth. She's a very old ship, without the smooth lines of grace of the Concordia. The flight deck contains a pleasant suprise, though, as I see my old friend Hobbes waiting to greet me. We arrange to catch up before I get down to business with the Captain. This Captain Eisen has been with the Victory a long time, all of his career, so I have to keep my opinions to myself to avoid offending him. I'm shocked to hear that Hobbes isn't on the flight roster because the other pilots won't fly with him. My opinion of the Victory drops a little lower and I determine to get him back on the flight roster and show these guys that you can't waste a skilled pilot like that.

Orsini 1:

I decide to do a tour and acquaint myself with my new ship. First stop is Flight Control and a reunion with Hobbes. He seems to be doing well, I guess the war suits his Kilrathi genes just fine. He seems a little worried about being back on the flight roster, but I remind him that I need someone I can trust and right now, he's that guy. Inside the lift is a "Radio" Rollins, communications officer. He immediately starts regaling me with his inside knowledge on how the war is actually proceeding. I play along with him for now, I can't stop him from spreading rumours, but I can at least do something if I know what rumours he's spreading. On the Rec Deck, my opinion of the Victory drops lower as one of the pilots slams her glass on to the bar and storms off at the sight of Hobbes. Once pilot seems decent and willing to interact with Hobbes and I head over to introduce myself.

He's the pilot known as Vagabond and he's the ship's card shark. There's one on every ship, though I wager I can hold my own thanks to the games on the Concordia. We get into a light discussion on fitting into your surroundings and I ask him about his light bio. He gets a little defensive about that, so I back off. After all, there are no doubt some big gaps in my own file. My belongings have already been placed in my locker, and I check to make sure the one I consider most valuable is still there. I watch the last message I got from Angel and hope she's okay. There's another familiar hand on the bridge, but it's a less welcome familiarity. Maniac chose to skip my arrival so that he can hit on the bridge staff. The conversation with Maniac is very tense, though I'm not too sure why he's ticked off with me. The last time we worked together I was getting the Wild Eagles out of a very serious hole. I walk away knowing that both sides think they won the conversation and wondering if anybody really did. I'm about to introduce myself to another of my pilots, Flint, on the gunnery deck when Captain Eisen calls me to the briefing room.

The briefing is of a similar vintage to that on the Tiger's Claw. I just hope I can do as good a job up there as Colonel Halcyon did. Eisen briefs me on the situation: Intelligence believes Kilrathi presence in the Orsini system is on the increase and I'm to fly a standard patrol of the area to determine the accuracy of the report. Picking Hobbes as my wingman, I head to the flight deck. The deck officer on this boat is named Rachel Coriolis. She seems competent enough, though she chose a Hellcat with basic loadout for this mission. It's going to be a cakewalk but I'd still prefer a different ship. My predictions for a cakewalk are soon borne out by the mission. The only opposition being a few Darkets scattered around the place. A missile to take out the first and then close in to use guns is the strategy of choice here. Captain Eisen seems truly suprised at our success in this mission and I wonder if I'm not the only one with bad impressions. I'm sure I'll be able to prove myself more thoroughly in the future.

Orsini 2:

I have a short conversation with Hobbes following our landing. He seems very happy to get back out into space and no longer have to deal with the crew here who forced him away from it in the first place. I let him know that there will be plenty more where that came from. In the Recreation Deck is another pilot I haven't been able to introduce myself to yet, though I did see him on the flight deck when I arrived. Vaquero almost seems like more of a musician at heart than a pilot and he regales with his plan to open a cantina after the war is open. We all need a reason to right and I see no reason to deprive Vaquero of his. There's a less pleasant encounter with Cobra in the barracks. I bring her to task for the way she treats Hobbes, but she doesn't seem at all concerned and just continues to sharpen her knife. I'll try to keep those two apart for now but I need to get at the heart of her motivations here. There's got to be more to it than her file says.

Today's mission is another patrol. There's been a sketchy report of an enemy presence in this system, which may include a capital ship. Deciding to take one of the Victory's pilots out to see how they go, I select Vagabond as my wingman. Given the capital ship that we may encounter, I decide to take a thunderbolt instead of Rachel's suggestion of a Hellcat. To be honest, though, I didn't need to. The enemy presence is still fairly light in this system and all we encountered were some Darkets and a transport. It almost seemed like a waste to take the transport down with a torpedo, but a torpedo's better than a repair bill it some turret gunner gets lucky.

Orsini 3:

I meet with Rachel on the recreation deck for a drink. She seems quite eager to get her hands on the new Excalibur that's been promised to win the war for Confed. I'm not entirely convinced, remembering the Morningstar and Wraith fighters, though I do hear the Morningstar is making a name for itself. Somehow everything Rachel says has another connotation to it, I wonder if it's just her nature or if there's some deeper reason for this.

I finally get a break from the patrol routine with an escort mission. A transport carrying supplies has had it's course leaked to the Kilrathi and we're to make sure that it makes it to the other side. I select Vaquero as my wingman and an Arrow as my ship so that we can respond quickly to threats. This mission is much tougher than the previous two. We still haven't seen any Kilrathi fighters heavier than a Darket, but the Kilrathi brought a Corvette to the party this time. Once the Corvette's fighter escort was taken out, though, Vaquero and I danced rings around it, taking particular attention to removing the nasty rear turret on the thing. With the turret gone, the Corvette falls quickly and the transport makes a safe escape outsystem.

Orsini 4:

I finally manage to catch Flint on the gunnery deck. The conversation doesn't exactly go the best. I feel a little attacked for not flying with the Victory's pilots but, since I've flown with Vagabond and Vaquero already, I think she may be more miffed that I haven't flown with her. She has a nice, easygoing style that I don't want to disrupt by getting all official on her, so I play along with her. For now, anyway.

Today's mission is to be another escort, but this time with a twist. The Kilrathi are reported to be testing a new cloaked missile called the Skipper. Their target of choice is likely to be a Confed transport moving through the system. We are, of course, to head out and make sure the test fails. Choosing my usual Arrow for ship defense, I select Flint as my pilot to keep her happy. This mission sees the return of an old friend, the Dralthi. They're not tougher now than they used to be and Flint and I tear them to pieces in quick order at the first Nav point. We later encounter a Corvette escorted by more Dralthi. Reasoning that the Corvette will the launching platform, I direct Flint to engage the Dralthi while I head towards the Corvette, scanning for a missile launch. My hunch pays off and I'm treated to my first sight of a Skipper missile, followed by it shortly disappearing. I steer myself onto it's track and keep scanning for it to show up again. When it does, I'm almost right on top of it but some quick reflexes get my guns aimed and firing before it can cloak. The Skipper missile detonates well short of it's target.

With the main threat taken care of, Flint and I turn our attention to the Dralthi and the Corvette. This lot don't last too long and neither do the last Dralthi at the jump point. The transport jumps to safety and I return to the Victory to find that we're jumping to the Tamayo system to assist in the testing of the Excalibur. Rollins thinks it will be an easy mission, but none of my test flight have been anywhere near easy.

My confidence isn't raised much by the pilot of the Excalibur, either. He shows off plenty as he approaches the flight deck and a callsign of Flash is just inviting trouble. I try to deflect his young and cocky comments about his age by reminding him that he'll want to be my age sometime, but I don't think it worked.
 

DaveO

Commodore
Welcome back Lorien! I'm glad to see I won't be solo on this one, and am happy that you've gotten your copy to work. I figured that you might have had challenges, but better late than never. :D

I skipped journaling the intro since my journals are taking even longer now. I have to break them up, and it takes quite some time to do them. Nice to know that you'll be mixing up the fighter choice more than I've done so far. I do plan on taking out the Hellcat and Arrow soon though. I'm looking forward to your report on the other missions!
 

Lorien

Rear Admiral
I've made a few tweaks last night that should get me across the line for the next week's worth of missions, which I should be able to get through tonight.

To be honest, you won't see the Hellcat much, but I'll make a point to take it out every now and then.

I should also point out that, as chief tech, Rachel's more than capable of maintaining herself.
 
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