Wing Commander 3 Replay Week 4


Frog Blast the Vent Core!
Hello Pilots,

First off, Happy 10 years CIC! It seems like only yesterday we were crowded into the old #w-c talking about SO and what was to come. We couldn't have a better group of people keeping this site up and running.

This week we'll be doing five missions because of how the branching happens. Two missions (or three if you fail) in Caliban and three in Torgo. I thought about adding a few Loki missions, but dislike splitting systems as it can create some confusion. However, if people are going to take the "losing" path through Delius feel free to post your Torgo and Loki write ups as well.

Good luck and good hunting!
Caliban 3 was a bit tricky for me. I had to fly it three times, though in my opinion Arrow is a far better choice than Hellcat on this mission. You need the maneuverability of the Arrow and it has more missiles. Add to that its much better firepower capabilities, and the fact that most of the mission is against light fighters and I can't see a reason to pick Hellcat. I'm up to the final Torgo mission against the asteroid fighters, so since speed can kill me I'll go with the Hellcat on that one.

EDIT - Those rock fighters seemed easier than I recall in a previous play of the game. I still took damage in my Hellcat, but that was mostly due to being careless by trying to disable a tanker. I know the asteroid fighters can release mines, so other pilots should be more cautious than I was.

I'll be doing video encoding and picture capturing, so you'll see a reply for that later today.
Some damn good capship-capship combat in these few missions, something I always like to see. I still feel it was a shame they didn't do more of this, especially in Prophecy which lacked it altogether.

And plenty of strike bomber work. Nice.

Torpedoes away!


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I've taken the liberty of branching off to the WC3 losing path. Took me 4 hours to play, edit and encode the video, and 4 days to upload the damned thing to Youtube - having severe problems with my router and random disconnections :(

Anyway hope you enjoy these: 1 2

I shall post the Caliban + Torgo writeup soon... but probably not in video form, sorry.
Good work on your bad ending series! I guess you have to know exactly where to hit the dreadnought before the Victory kamikazes into it. I should have enough time to do the first half of this week's journals today and finish on Saturday at the latest.
Caliban 1
I hear Rollins on the ship’s intercom asking me to come to the bridge ASAP. As soon as I arrive, I ask what’s going on and Flint tells me that the communication system is being jammed by the Kilrathi. Eisen asks Rollins to do something about this, but he’s not had the experience of dealing with a video virus worm. Before Rollins can do much to try fixing the problem, Prince Thrakhath comes up on our video screens. He says our Bible’s predictions of Armageddon are about to come true. The Prince goes into a litany of threats on what the cats will do to us if they win. The crew’s not impressed, with Vaquero making a retort and Maniac making a mock imitation of Thrakhath. The Prince warns us to not be emboldened by my presence, and he’s given me the nickname of ‘Heart of the Tiger’. He also says that he’ll personally mete out his revenge upon me for all the kills I have inflicted. The last time we tangled in combat was in his attempted defense of K’Tithrak Mang with his Bloodwing fighter. I was able to take care of him then, but he has had plenty of time to get much better as a combat pilot. Prince Thrakhath breaks his transmission after saying that he’s giving us time to contemplate our bleak futures. Flint’s surprised that I’ve had a history with the Prince, and I explain that we’ve gone a few rounds. Eisen points out the nickname Thrakhath used, but I tell him that this is an ‘honor’ I could do without. Vagabond believes the Kilrathi are a bit scared about us winning this war, and Captain Eisen wonders if our movement into the Ariel system led to a change in the Kilrathi psyche. Eisen calls over Hobbes, who takes a few moments before giving us his viewpoint. Hobbes points out that the Kilrathi always believe that war is a psychological contest of wills. Vaquero pipes in with his belief that Thrakhath was talking trash, but Hobbes explains that the Kilrathi mindset has always been one of being superior to us. Hobbes does not think it’s one of the better Kilrathi social skills, and Cobra storms away in disgust in her belief that the Kilrathi are just a pack of animals. Rollins tells the Captain that a Kilrathi force is coming after us, and Eisen says that he’ll see me in the briefing room soon. I go into gunnery control, and I find Maniac despairing over the obstacles we’ve been running into lately. I decide to rag him and say that at least he has something to hide behind. I go to the lift and head down to the living level. I find Flash moping in the berths, and he’s not feeling positive after having been thru the closing of the jump point in Ariel. He thinks that it’s only a matter of time before the Kilrathi make their kill of our carrier. I tell him that we don’t know for sure that the jump point was closed, and that the current theory is that it was cloaked instead. Flash complains that the only reason he’s here is because he lost a bet, and I tell him he got what he deserved for shooting off his mouth. I go back to the lift, and go down to the flight level for my next briefing. Eisen wonders if I really believed all of Prince Thrakhath’s hot air, and I tell him that I was not fazed. Intel thinks that the reason the Ariel jump point was closed was due to a special capability of using the nebula gasses to put a curtain over the jump point. There is a strong belief that Ariel is the only system where the Kilrathi can use this capability, which Eisen thinks is why there is such heavy convoy traffic. In order to break the Kilrathi pursuit into manageable numbers, we’re breaking our battle group into two contingents. I’m to help out the destroyers of our group against a Kilrathi attack. I give the lowdown to the other pilots and pick Vaquero as my wingman. I pick the Thunderbolt as my ship due to expectations of some Kilrathi cap ship presence in their attack on the destroyers.

I take off after my standard pre-launch adjustments, and we find a Kilrathi destroyer with Vaktoth fighter defense. I let Vaquero loose and I go after the closest Vaktoth. One of the Vaktoths launches a missile that hits my ship. I shake loose a second missile and take down my target. The Sheffield eliminates the Kilrathi destroyer, so there definitely won’t be another wing of fighters to come after us. I hit the other Vaktoth multiple times and finish him off after a frontal pass by his fighter. We head over to the next nav point, and again there is a destroyer with a wing of Vaktoths. This time, I go straight for the destroyer and launch a torpedo against it. I hear the destroyer blow to bits, and Vaquero has helped out by getting a kill. I go after the lone remaining Vaktoth and let him have it on a frontal pass. That fighter is fried, and we head back to the Victory. Rollins says this will teach Thrakhath to not taunt us again. I see Rachel after landing, and she gives me the standard congratulations.

Caliban 2
I find Flint on the flight level, and she says that her father believes that adverse conditions like the nebula here in Caliban can be used against enemy opposition. She tells me that she got a message from her father after Rollins fixed the communications issue after Thrakhath’s taunt. I ask her what her father is flying, and she says that it’s only a desk. I sympathize that it’s tough getting old, and that he likely still wants to be in combat action. I do express a wish to see him someday since people like him wrote the book on how to fight this war. She responds by saying that he would like to meet me and that he was impressed when Flint told her father that she was flying on my wing. I go into the briefing room since there are no other fellow pilots to talk to. Eisen tells me that some fighter groups may have found the jump point inside the nebula and are heading outside of the nebula to send a clear transmission to the Kilrathi. I’m to prevent that at all costs, and I explain the same setup to my fellow pilots. I pick Flint to fly on my wing and again choose the Thunderbolt in case of more cap ships.

We take off after I do the usual configuration, and go on our patrol. At the first nav point are some Darkets and I decide to go after them solo without Flint’s help. The first one takes a bit of effort to eliminate, but I get him with my guns. The second fighter goes down pretty quickly, so there are only two left from the Kilrathi wing. I gun down the third one without too many troubles, and the final one takes a slightly extended period of time to eliminate. At the next nav point, there are some Dralthis here. I again engage the fighter wing without Flint as backup. That first Dralthi is destroyed with little difficulty. A second goes down quickly from a barrage of guns on a frontal attack. A third one goes up in a ball of flame after taking three hits to its rear, and a fourth is wiped out rapidly. The next two Dralthi don’t fare any better than their friends did. A wing of Vaktoth come in, so I let Flint loose to help me out against them. She must have been itching to prove herself to me, since she vaporizes two Vaktoths quite quickly. With just one left, I finish him off and we go on to the next nav point. There are multiple cap ships here, with two Corvettes, a Destroyer, and a Scout. I launch a torpedo against the Destroyer, and Flint takes down the Scout from a torpedo of her own. I concentrate on the Corvettes while Flint tries to take down the Destroyer. She’s forced to ask for assistance, so I bail out of my attempt to eliminate one of the Corvettes. I take a few passes on the Destroyer, and dish out some damage. I ask Flint to help out on this target and she gets the finishing blow. Now to turn my attention back to the Corvettes. I make multiple strafing attacks against one with Flint also attacking the same target. She also gets this cat, so there is only one cap ship left. After several passes, I get to finish off that ship. I do notice that my fuel is dangerously low, so I hope there are no further Kilrathi encounters. Flint and I head back to the Victory with no more Kilrathi opposition, and Rollins likes how we mowed down the multiple enemies. My Thunderbolt is unscathed, although Flint’s has definitely taken some hits. Rachel will certainly be happy to do light maintenance to my fighter, although I suspect Flint to get some flak in regards to her fighter.

Caliban 3
There’s no shipboard interaction here, so I find out about our next mission. We’re to head to the jump point for other Confed action, and Eisen feels that there will be an attempt at a noisy Kilrathi send-off. I choose Flash as my wingman and pick Arrow as my fighter. At the first area are Darkets along with a Corvette. I take on the fighters solo, and they’re no match against the speed and firepower of the Arrow. With the fighters out of the way, I let Flash go after the Corvette. I help him out, and systematic sweeps clobber the Corvette. At the next nav point, it looks like the exact same thing. Multiple Darkets with a Corvette are here. Two of the Darkets get real sloppy and crash together before I even make a kill. I get the third one the normal way with guns, and the fourth folds underneath multiple hits to the rear. Time to again let Flash go after the Corvette. This time he makes the final blow, and I know my Arrow took some hits to its armor during the attack. The next just has Dralthi fighters. I make short work of two of the fighters, and the next two don’t do any better. Another wing of Dralthis jumps in with a Corvette. There are only two Dralthi with the Corvette, so they are swatted like flies. Time to let Flash do his thing against the Corvette. Neither of us makes the kill on the cap ship since the Victory’s guns take it out before we can. Yet another group jumps in, but the jump is deadly for a Vaktoth in the group. One less cat to worry about, and Flash and I split the remaining fighter kills, but my Arrow took a missile hit. Another jump happens with more Vaktoths and a Darket or two. The Darket falls quickly to a missile, and Flash gets a fighter kill before I can ice a Vaktoth. Flash takes out the other Vaktoth, and another jump occurs. This time it looks like light Darket fighters, so this should not be too difficult. Flash and I both get a kill at almost the same time, and my guns destroy another Darket. Again, we both make separate Darket kills at almost the same time. There are no more jumps, so it’s clear for us to land.

Rollins says that we’re expecting some company to come, and he hopes it’s a young and pretty female for him to look at and possibly pursue. After our battle group jump, a shuttle is landing on the Victory. Due to the expectations of high brass, Eisen spots a possibly offending toolkit and orders Rollins to get it out of sight. Rollins complains about being made into a maid, and we get to see our visitor. It is Admiral Tolwyn, and Eisen welcomes him aboard. The Admiral looks over our group of pilots, and I am given an opportunity to score points. I instead select to point out that there are no special ‘legends’ here, and that we are all pilots doing our best to get the job done. Tolwyn thinks I’m being too modest and wants to add to my legend. The Admiral has also brought along his personal cook and will see to it that we get some decent food. I thought our feast at Blackmane was pretty darn good with steak and eggs, but a little extra spice to the menu should be good for everybody’s morale.

Torgo 1
I find Flint in gunnery control, and she says it must feel like an old time reunion with both the Admiral and Prince Thrakhath. Flint apologizes after seeing my reaction and realizes that she knows who I’m really thinking about after checking about my history. She correctly identifies Angel as my concern, and I ask her when she decided to look at pilot histories. She admits that this was her weapon when growing up, and that her research gave her an edge. She also knows about my frequent crossing of paths with the Admiral. I admit that it’s more of a confrontation where Tolwyn is concerned, and the Admiral makes it his goal to know the history of pilots he meets. Tolwyn has no quibbles about using rules and regulations, and Flint and I agree that he does not know the human heart as well as he could. I head down to the flight level, and see the Admiral in the briefing room along with Captain Eisen. The Admiral explains that we’re here to rendezvous with ‘destiny’, and I find that this destiny is with a massive ship called the Behemoth. It’s a super ship with one function: destruction of planets with Kilrah as the obvious target. The Behemoth has not had the time to get fully operational, so it has been pressed into service earlier than expected. This is due to the successful war effort the Kilrathi have been making, so there is little choice in the matter. Either deploy the weapon now or risk the cats conquering Earth in six months or less. The defenses of the Behemoth are thin in certain areas due to the accelerated deployment so it will need extra protection against attack. Tolwyn receives a communication message during the briefing, and he tells us that the Kilrathi are attempting to spoil any attempt to use the Behemoth. I’m given orders to scramble all fighters, so it’s a magnum launch in an Arrow. Flint is along as my wingman, and I do get enough time to make my standard launch adjustments.

At the first nav point are Paktahn bombers with some stealth fighter backup. Since the bombers are the more dangerous targets, I go after them and let Flint deal with whoever she wants. I match speed and get behind one of the bombers and multiple blasts to the bomber take it out of action. I get another bomber after some weaving in and out of its rear turret fire, and look for any uncloaked stealth fighters. I’m able to get on one long enough to eliminate him, and I get lucky attacking the second stealth fighter. My shots hit him while cloaked, and there are no more cats here. Time to go onward in our efforts to save the Behemoth from attack. At the next point are Paktahns along with Vaktoths. Flash is here along with Primate to deal with the Kilrathi. It’s four fighters against whatever surprises come our way. I head for one of the bombers, and blow it to bits. A Vaktoth launched a missile and hit my Arrow, so I keep my ear open for any more launches. Flint takes out one of the ships, and I soon follow with vaporization of a Vaktoth. Another wing comes in, and there are more Vaktoths to deal with. My Arrow takes another missile hit from a Vaktoth, but my ship is holding together pretty well. I get a Vaktoth with my guns after making several series of evasive maneuvers to evade enemy fire. I see a Paktahn bomber as a good target, but its turrets do some damage to my Arrow. I go after the Vaktoths instead, and Flint has splashed another cat. Flint gets the last Vaktoth in the wing, but another group comes in. I spend quite some time staying evasive, and Flint takes out a fighter. She guns down another Vaktoth, and I manage to make a kill myself. Another wing of Vaktoths jump in, and it takes me some time to take one down. Another fighter bites the dust, and I sight a bomber. I match speed and do some weaving in and out of his rear turret fire. I eliminate him, and yet another wing of Vaktoths jumps us. After persistent effort, I gun down one while another one is dealt with by my wingmates. There is a Paktahn left, and I get behind him and give him a taste of my guns. The way is now clear to go to the next nav point. Vagabond is here, and says he could use the help. There are some Paktahns and other ships here, so Flint and I get busy. I shred a bomber with the guns of my Arrow, and notice Strakhas trying to do their standard stealth tactics. I get one of them with my guns, and the other is taken down. At long last, the way is clear for us to go to the Behemoth. This ship lives up to its name, and it is far bigger than the Victory or the Concordia. I spend quite some time taking a look at it, and then we head back for the Victory. The Admiral comes on instead of Rollins, and says that he was correct in his choice to send me to defend the Behemoth. There is some maintenance to due on the Behemoth before we head out of this system, so I should have more opportunities to defend the ship and hopefully see it in action soon. Rachel congratulates me on smoking the opposition after my landing. I talk to her in the hangar bay, and she’s looking over schematics of the Behemoth on a pad. She admits that while the ship is quite large, the shields are thin and she thinks it is because of the power output for the primary lancing beam of the Behemoth. I tell her that Confed might make another model of the Behemoth with better improvements. By that time, the war will have ended one way or another so I expect this to be a one-of-a-kind design.

Torgo 2
I see Rollins in the lift, and he’s pointing out unusual coded transmissions from this ship. I tell him that this is to be expected due to Admiral Tolwyn’s presence, but he explains that this messaging is not standard Confed traffic for high-ranking personnel. I ask him if he’s sure, and he explains that he knows communications well enough to spot strange stuff. I ask him to keep me in the loop, and head up to the bridge level. I walk over to the Admiral, and he’s impressed so far at what I’ve done including my ability to keep my combat reflexes from getting bad. I reluctantly ask the Admiral what he is doing here. Tolwyn explains that he took the Behemoth project when it started 10 years ago, and he is looking to protect his investment. I ask if his real intention is to take over Eisen’s command, and he’s offended by this suggestion. He stiffly chastises me for thinking that he would usurp Eisen, and had believed that I had at last given him respect. He then points out that my assignment to the Victory was meant as a defense of the Behemoth once she was ready to join our battle group. Knowing that Kilrah is the biggest target for the Behemoth, I ask if we’re heading there. The Admiral leaves no doubt that Behemoth’s primary objective is to incinerate the planet. I head down to the flight level and the briefing room before I get myself into more trouble with the Admiral. Eisen explains that I am to mine four nav points, and the Longbow is the only ship available that can do this job. I choose Cobra to come along, and I takeoff with my standard settings.

At the first nav point are Paktahs and Vaktoths. I let Cobra loose and pursue the more dangerous Vaktoths. I get one with my guns, but due to the slow speed of the Longbow I have to wait for the Vaktoth to make direct frontal attacks. Cobra takes down a Kilrathi, along with a Paktahn I pursue. I deploy two mines here, and head for the next nav point. It looks like the same reception here of Paktahns and Vaktoths. I’m able to make fairly short work of two Vaktoths with the guns of my Longbow, and its capabilities go up a few notches for my opinion of it. A Paktahn is attempting to attack Cobra from her rear, but I have her six and prevent the bomber from scratching her. I’m able to gun down yet another bomber, so the Longbow is definitely effective versus bombers and heavy fighters. I use two more mines and move onwards. There are again Vaktoths and Paktahns at this area. It takes me some time to take down one of the Vaktoths, and another ship is destroyed during my pursuit. Cobra takes out a Kilrathi, and I make another systematic shattering of a Vaktoth. I again deploy more mines here, and it’s off to the fourth nav point. There is more of the same resistance here, although it only looks like Vaktoths this time. I get one of the Vaktoths after too many forward passes from it. Cobra scores a kill as well, and I get another of the Vaktoths. Cobra tells me that she needs to retreat, but there is no other opposition here so I don’t give her orders to return to base. Together, we head back to the Victory and Rollins expresses his frustrations in our missions to keep the Behemoth in pristine condition.

Torgo 3
There is again no shipboard interaction here, so I check in for my next briefing. Our task is to disable three Kilrathi tankers so that the Behemoth can fuel up. This seems simple enough, so I go with the Hellcat on this mission and pick Vagabond as my wingmate. The Kilrathi decide to spring a small surprise on us: Asteroid fighters! This is a clever move by the cats since the tankers are in an asteroid belt, and I go after one. I blow multiple pieces off the fighter before it explodes, and I make rubble out of another rock fighter before turning on the tankers. I make multiple passes on the tankers, but an asteroid fighter reminds me that this can be a deadly idea. Time to finish off the fighters before I’m blown to fragments. I get a third fighter, and Vagabond has disabled a tanker. I gun down two more of the flying rocks, and make a few minor attack runs on the other two tankers. Vagabond has disabled the second tanker, so there is only one left. I fill another asteroid fighter with multiple craters before he is eliminated. I then turn on the last transport and get within range. I use enough firepower to disable it myself, although Vagabond does help a bit. We return to the Victory, and Rollins wonders why our side never thought of anything as clever as the asteroid fighters. Our next goal is to put the Behemoth thru its paces and test its capabilities.

Meanwhile, somebody on the Victory is sending a coded transmission about the Behemoth. Prince Thrakhath receives the message and laughs due to his plans to sabotage us working. After our jump, I get to see Rachel all spruced up. I explain about me hearing about her getting criticized by Tolwyn for her ‘sloppy’ appearance. Rachel makes a threat to loosen the screws to every part belonging to people like Tolwyn, and I ask her to save me a screwdriver.
Whoops. I can't believe I forgot to post my journal. Journal for the next week should be up on Thursday.

I'd also like to thank the person who wrote the alternate joystick routines for WC3. The controls were starting to hold me back too much until I remembered the existence of this handy little file.

Caliban 1:

I break up an argument between Cobra and Hobbes on the flight deck. She seems to think that Hobbes should have known about the trick that the Kilrathi pulled with the jump points. I jump in to defend him as it's patently ridiculous that Hobbes could know the technological developments of the Kilrathi more than 10 years after he defected. After breaking the fight up, I'm called to the bridge where I see an unfortunately familiar face on the screens. Prince Thrakhath has gotten a virus or worm into our computer systems and wants to deliver a message. I wonder if it was waiting for me to arrive on the bridge. Thrakhath's message is suitably melodramatic, with a lot of grave predictions for the human race. It's gratifying to see many of our crew take their own shots at him during the speech. The blow we delivered in the Ariel system has really raised the crew morale. There is a small suprise, though, when Thrakhath refers to me by a nickname "Heart of the Tiger" before saying that I'll be reduced to a pile of entrails. It didn't go to well for him last him he tried to do that.

After the message finishes playing out, Eisen quizzes me about the new nickname but I have no answers. Hobbes is called over, but he seems a little distracted. Probably thinking about our last run in with the Prince on the Bonnie Heather. He explains that the Kilrathi consider war to be as psychological as it is physical. A battle for supremacy of will. Cobra takes the chance to make a shot at the Kilrathi but I let it slide for now as we receive word of Kilrathi forces chasing us. Maniac retreated from our conversation on the bridge. I catch up with him on the Gunnery deck to find him complaining about the asteroid field right after we leave the nebula. I remind him of Iceman's old plan to use the terrain against the Kilrathi but he doesn't seem convinced. I drop by the barracks on the way to the briefing room and find Flash freaking out. I remind him that the theory currently says that they just cloaked the point. He complains about being stuck on the front lines because of a bet, but I have little sympathy for him as he got himself where he is.

Given the size of the Kilrathi fleet bearing down on us, Captain Eisen has decided on a slightly different strategy. Rather than use the Victory's bombers to clear the road we'll fly our lighter ships and protect the Victory's escorts as they punch us a hole to escape through. That way the bombers will be ready for any emergencies. I stick with Rachel recommendation of a Hellcat and select Cobra as my wingman. We arrive at the Sheffield just as it's engagement is starting. Scraping the Vaktoths away from her seems to allow her to take the upper hand and defeat the Kilrathi destroyer with little damage. Our arrival at the Ajax's zone occurs much earlier and after taking the Kilrathi fighters, Cobra and I use the heavy guns on the destroyer's rear to finish it off. Rollins seems happy at the payback we've scored as I land back on the Victory.

Caliban 2:

I meet Flint in flight control and we talk about her father. She tells me how he believes that you should take these conditions we're in and turn them around on the enemy. Her old man seems to be a thinker just like Iceman was. I tell her that I'd like to meet him someday and she replies that he was very impressed that she was flying with me. We both turn back to the display before my ego can get any bigger.

It seems the cats have worked out that we're heading for a jump point and a making a beeline to outside the nebula to warn their comrades about it. Hobbes and I are to take our Thunderbolts out and make sure none of them survive. This mission is very target rich, with large numbers of Darkets, Dralthi and even two Vaktoths trying to make an escape from the Nebula. None of them make it that far, though. The final target is a big one, though, a Destroyer with two corvettes and a scout as escort. I order Hobbes to enage the closest Corvette while I lock my torpedo onto the Destroyer. I was hoping he would use his torpedo to take it down so that we could concentrate on the other corvette after the Destroyer goes up. Unfortunately, Hobbes doesn't agree with my plan and goes in guns blazing. As soon as I see the flash from the Destroyer going up, I engage my afterburners to assist him against the corvette. Our heavy guns make quick work of it's light armour and shields but that rear particle gun takes it's toll on my front armour before the Corvette blows up. Hobbes moves on to make sure the scout doesn't escape while I engage the other corvette head on, using the bulk of the ship to protect me from the heavy turret at the rear. It takes several passes but the Corvette finally detonates. Hobbes takes out the scout just as I'm arriving to assist. I tuck Hobbes back into formation and return to the Victory.

Caliban 3:

All that remains now is to escort the Victory to the jump point. Vaquero and I will be in Arrows to achieve that. It seems the Kilrathi have a lot of corvettes to spare in this system, as we encounter them continuously. Fortunately, the Arrow's high speed and maneueverability let you stay out of the way of their guns long enough for the weaker cannons to take them out. The rest of the fighters we encounter are a mixed bag of Darkets, Dralthi and Vaktoths. Once we reach the jump point, however, the Kilrathi make a rookie mistake. Their forces keep jumping in piecemeal, allowing Vaquero and I to defeat them in detail. If all the fighters had arrived at once, I don't think we could have stopped them scoring hits on the Victory. As it was, they barely managed to score hits on our Arrows and the Victory was, as Rollins puts it, sitting pretty. Rollins informs me before we jump that we're expecting some visitors. For some reason I doubt that his wish for something young, female and pretty will come true.

How right I was. I don't think Admiral Tolwyn counts as any of those in anyone's book. Eisen and some of the ship's company greet him as he arrives on the flight deck. The Admiral regards me as legendary in front of the crew, but I don't want anyone to gain any special credit, especially not me. The admiral still manages to deflect my point a little, but I'm sure I gained a few more points with the crew. The Admiral sets off to make some decent food, ignoring his implicit insult to the Victory's catering staff.

Torgo 1:

The Victory is remarkably quiet with the Admiral on board. The only person stalking the decks besides myself is Flint staring out from the Gunnery Deck. She opens the rather fresh wound about Angel by referring to this as old home week for me. She sees the expression on my face, though, and retreats to the safer topic of Tolwyn after explaining that she uses her knowledge of history as an edge. We get to discussing my rather turbulent history with the Admiral and I open up a bit more on this topic. The Admiral's a good leader but we've definitely bumped heads at times. Most notably after the destruction of the Tiger's Claw and then during the Enigma campaign. She manages to cheer me up a little before the conversation ends.

The good doesn't last too long into my briefing from Admiral Tolwyn, unfortunately. We're heading to the Torgo system to pick up humanity's latest weapon, the Behemoth. The Behemoth is a gigantic cannon the Confederation has been building with the ability to destroy a planet. It sounds good so far, but the Behemoth is being pressed into service early. Despite the successes that the Victory has achieved, the Confederation has been losing the war for the past year. At the rate things are going the Kilrathi will be on Earth in 6 months. The Behemoth is being deployed with several weak spots were construction isn't complete yet in a last ditch effort to save the human race for destruction and the Victory will be responsible for protecting it. A duty that starts as soon as we arrive in the Torgo system. The Kilrathi have beaten us here and the Admiral orders a full launch to protect the Behemoth.

Fortunately, the Kilrathi assault on Torgo makes the same mistake they were making during the assault on the Victory in Caliban. The cats are jumping in piecemeal. After Flint and I take care of some bombers that manage to slip past the cordon we join Primate and Flash at the jump point and engage several waves of Paktahns escorted by Vaktoths. Because of thei arrival patters, however, several Kilrathi ships are blown up before their pilots can even react and a Paktahn deprived of it's escort is easy fodder for a light fighter like the Arrow. The Kilrathi eventually either run out of ships or get wiser as the waves of ships eventually stop. The Kilrathi plan is soon revealed as we encounter two Paktahns escorted by Strakha on the way to the Behemoth. They must have snuck in while we engaged the jump point forces. The Strakha leave their charges to engage Flint and I, leaving the Paktahns as easy bait for Vagabond and the Styg. I take a long pass by the Behemoth to make sure that she's untouched before returning to the Victory. Boy, she's a big one but I also know that a torpedo or two to the right location will blow all of that size apart. At the very least Tolwyn is pleased at our performance as I land.

Torgo 2:

Rachel is on the Flight Deck echoing my thoughts after I land. She has the same concern about the defenses as I do but somehow the conversation ends up sounding a little strange as I replay it back in my head as I'm walking away. She seems to talk about sex a lot. Fortunately, Rollins is in the lift to take all thoughts of sex from my mind. He's discovered a lot of coded transmission being sent and the pattern doesn't match the other times high ranking staff have been on board. I'm fearfull of yet another spy scandal in my career but I ask him to keep an eye on things just in case. Admiral Tolwyn is stalking the bridge and I go up to ask him a private question after he again congratulates me on my performance. I don't get quite the answer on the Admiral's position in the Task Force's chain of command but rather a grammatical correction which doesn't reassure me in the least. It seems the Admiral has been playing a very long term game after taking the Behemoth project over 10 years ago. Part of that game includes assigning me to the Victory to be part of it's protection, a measure of respect I wasn't expecting from the Admiral. He seems very confident that we'll be able to get that giant gun into orbit of Kilrah.

Captain Eisen is back in the briefing room this morning, which is a good sign to me. He remarks that it takes a certain type to be an Admiral. He prefers to just guide the one ship or task force as it may be. Since we're stuck by the Behemoth defending her, today's mission is to mine the jump points in the system to prevent the Kilrathi from getting a force into range. To that end, Flash and I will be flying Longbows. This is my first time in one of the Victory's Longbows and I'm glad that we didn't encounter any light fighters, finding nothing but Vaktoths and Paktahns. The afterburner on a bomber is a nice touch but I really miss the feeling of invulnerability that the Broadsword's three turrets provided. Still, despite the lack of Broadswords, Flash and I pull off our mission without a hitch. I leave double the allotted mines per nav point just to be sure that the Kilrathi don't bull their way through.

Torgo 3:

With the jump points secured and the Behemoth repaired it's time to fuel up and move on. Rather than provide our own fuel we've decided to ambush a Kilrathi supply convoy and steal some of theirs. Vaquero and I will be flying Hellcats for this mission. It's a big suprise to see asteroids suddenly start moving and a bigger suprise to see them open fire with an impressive number of guns. Fortunately, all that rock around these new Kilrathi ships makes them handle like bombers without the turrets. It does provide good armour, though, and the first lot of rock fighters take a long time to destroy. I'm not quite sure at the Kilrathi logic installing a jump drive in these ships, though, as asteroids are even less likely to jump around the place. Once you get the hang of avoiding the mines these rock fighters drop, they pose very little threat and the several waves that come through the jump point are dispatched quickly. With the fighters out of the way I order Varquero back onto my wing and proceed to take out the transport's engines. I don't want a stray shot short changing the Behemoth. Some very careful gun salvos later and the Behemoth is ready to move to the Loki system.
We all have technical issues, Lorien. You have the minor ones that can be worked around, and I have more of a mystery I'm trying to assist with for the Standoff scoreboard.