Wing Commander 4 Replay Week 2


Frog Blast the Vent Core!
Here's a week that was a little odd setting up. I want people to stay roughly together so I've had to split Defectors and Confees just for this week so that we stay on track.

Defectors: 5 missions, 2 systems, Silenos and Orestes

Confees: 3 missions, 1 system, Silenos.

That way both groups end up in Pasqual at the same time and it doesn't become confusing.


Rear Admiral
I was not too sure where we'd end up. I just have the three Silenos missions to fly for not defecting. I'm also ahead of the curve with completing Pasqual, so I'm guessing that the plan is to do Pasqual/Peleus for next week. That would be five more missions, but only two I have to fly and record. That should make things much easier for me. The actual missions are still short up to Pasqual. I've not had one go up to ten minutes yet.


Frog Blast the Vent Core!
I've restarted my place in the replay. I've got a lot of catching up to do. Playing the missions shouldn't take too long, but all these write ups are going to keep me busy for a while.


Rear Admiral
Hey! Great to see you picking up things where you left off in WC1! The mission writeups were easy for me until WC3 and WC4. I tend to not leave out much detail on the cinematics. I'll have to get used to getting more detail on the combat part since I was cutting down significantly towards the end of WC3. Now since the WC4 missions are short, I have to get used to adding stuff again. I'll think of something for my flight action stuff. I'd be remiss if I did not say that 25 new screen shots have been added to the usual place: Commander/

I'm giving a bit more emphasis on flight action over cinematics for the five shots here.


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Rear Admiral
Documenting these multiple choices is going to take some time, and there's no way I'll have the other five mission journals done tonight or tomorrow. I've added in the Confed choice missions with the Masa defection and Silenos missions.

Masa 3 – Confed choice
I see Maniac outside the briefing room, and he’s getting the cold shoulder from a fellow pilot. I ask how things went with the scientist, but before Maniac can give an answer we both hear an announcement over the intercom to clear the flight deck. Maniac wonders if even more security crackdowns will be coming in the future, and asks if I know who is arriving. Maniac’s offer of a drink at the lounge is enough for me to not take matters in my own hand to find out what’s going on. Maniac says that he’ll meet me in the lounge after he talks to Eisen in his cabin. Apparently, the personal meeting between Maniac and Eisen is to bid Maniac a fond farewell. My meeting with Maniac at the bar is quite subdued. Maniac hands me a drink, and I wonder what I’ve done to have him be so charitable to me. Maniac mumbles like he’s lost in his thoughts, and then he says to return the favor the next time. I ask him how things went with the biochemist, and he tells me that he struck out. I remind him of his saying about other nuggets being in the asteroid belt, and he says he hopes that it’s true. Maniac asks me if I liked my times farming, and I admit that it had its moments. Maniac feels that he may actually make a similar choice in the future. Something must be REALLY bugging Maniac if he’s actually talking about retirement. Before I can try to press him for possible details, he tells me that he remembered about having to do something important. I a surprise in the briefing room when Captain Paulsen tells me that Eisen has stolen a shuttle and fled the Lexington. Vagabond wonders what Eisen’s motives were, and Paulsen explains that Confed thought that Eisen was giving the Border Worlds Confed intelligence. Paulsen uses that as the reason why Eisen was relieved of command, and his hopes were to resolve the situation silently. Since that failed, we are to stop Captain Eisen from reaching his rendezvous with Border Worlds forces by ‘any means necessary’. Paulsen tells us that Maniac is piloting the shuttle. Captain Paulsen feels that additional information from Eisen to the Border Worlds will cause serious damage that may lead to war. Catscratch and Miner are assigned as my wingmen, and we take off in pursuit.

Once we sight Eisen’s shuttle, Vagabond says that he’s going along with the Captain in defection. I tell Vagabond that I’m not turning my back on Confed, and he tells me that he regrets what he is about to do. That traitor is firing on me, and I have to quickly decoy a missile away before my Hellcat is hit. I attempt to end things quickly with a multiple missile launch at Vagabond, but he proves that he still has serious skills by evading them both. Vagabond gets an opening to send a second missile my way, but it also fails to hit. My return volley is successful in forcing him to eject. I receive a communication from Paulsen on the Lexington to return to base, and that he knows where Eisen is going. The hunt is on to stop Eisen from doing more damage by his defection.

After landing my Hellcat, I see Paulsen come to congratulate me for my actions. I’ve set aside my personal feelings, and have chosen to continue with Confed. Seether is there too, and he promises that Eisen will pay.

Silenos 1 – Confed choice
I see Catscratch in the Lexington’s lounge, and he wonders why a lot of people have defected to the Border Worlds. Catscratch tells me know Maniac was helping him to learn, Captain Eisen was a role model, and Vagabond was a bond that was broadening. I express my lack of knowledge about the reasons, and Catscratch wonders about that reply since I’ve known them much longer than he has. He wonders if we made the right choice by sticking with Confed, and I explain that his confusion is part of being a rookie. I state that our survival and freedom so far have been due to Confed, and that we’ll all fall if we don’t stand together. Catscratch comments that he won’t be the rookie forever, and thought that he would have an easier time as his experience grew. He recognizes that sometimes choices get much harder, and I let him know that once he has fully accepted that he won’t be a rookie any more. I check in at the briefing room, and I’m still having troubles adapting to Paulsen and Seether running the show. Paulsen says that nothing gets him more motivated than meting justice to traitors. Paulsen points out the obvious about Captain Eisen arranging his rendezvous with the Border Worlds. For the moment, Eisen is winning in this game of cat-and-mouse but Paulsen feels that we’ll catch up to Eisen soon. To ensure that Captain Eisen won’t leave this system, I’m to go on a search and destroy sweep. I notice that a number of pilot choices here have low courage for combat capabilities. It feels like many of these new arrivals have been either drafted or personally selected as expendable assets. I happen to see a Confed pilot that does not seem to be a bad choice, and select Steel to come along.

Our first S&D encounter are multiple pirate Razor fighters, and I wonder how they managed to become targets again. Those fast light fighters are just way too fast for the lumbering Longbow I’m flying, so I feed a missile to it. The pirate dies, and I follow up with another missile to a targeted Razor. It falls to the missile too, and there are two pirate aces still around. I get in close range to one of the aces, and let him have a missile. Steel is trying to hold his own with the final pirate Razor, but he has to bail out. I’m alone with him, and let my guns go to work. Four or five hits from my Longbow pulverize the pirate. Another wave is incoming, and this time they are Arrows. I eliminate the first one with another of the Longbow’s missiles, and get behind a second. He is fried by my guns, although a friend tries to get on my tail and take me out. I shake that shadow loose, and use another missile to make it a two-on-one contest. I’ve taken some minor ship damage, but I need to make swift action on another Arrow. Another missile makes things even, and I get on the tail of the Arrow. Multiple blasts from my guns give him an everlasting encounter in the afterlife. The area is clear, so it’s time to see what I run up against next. Border Worlds Banshee fighters are here, but those lasers don’t do much against my shields. I take one Banshee down with a missile, and get behind the other one. The Banshees can certainly take a beating from guns, but it’s only a matter of time before the other Banshee is ‘ghost’. No more ships come to harass me here, so I head to the next nav point. Border Worlds Avenger bombers are around, so it’s an even contest in terms of maneuverability. I make sure that I’m quite close to one of the Avengers before using a missile. He’s dropped, and a second is trying his hardest to fill my Longbow with holes. I can’t afford to dally much due to the odds, so another missile makes short work of that bomber. I quickly get on the tail of third Avenger and even the odds with a missile hit. That last Avenger should be an easy target for my guns. The pilot tries using the turret to keep me off his tail, but I’m scooting around to not make myself an easy target. I do enough damage to destroy him, and Captain Paulsen comes on the communication channel to say that another squadron has engaged Captain Eisen’s contingent. We’ve got a fresh scent for where to concentrate our pursuit, and I’m asked to come back immediately.

Silenos 2 – Confed choice
In the lounge, I see Captain Paulsen and he tells me that there is good news. One of the Lexington’s squadrons killed a person who defected. Eisen’s not likely to have died, and Maniac is too good of a flyer to have been shot down so soon. Sounds like Vagabond did not survive very long after his defection. Paulsen invites me to join him, and he is certainly more active in making his presence felt. He tells me that he likes to hear what others are saying, and feels that isolation is what led Eisen to his actions. I admit my puzzlement over what has happened, and Paulsen pipes in that he also wonders why Eisen fell in with such a crowd of ‘sub-humans’. That kind of comment makes me wonder what he meant. Paulsen explains that the Border Worlds people are mostly barbarians, and even offer sanctuary to the Kilrathi. Last time I checked, the war with the cats was well over. Paulsen feels that Border Worlds people are mostly degenerates that are not from a pure stock. That sounds a lot like the attitude I remember reading about from Earth’s second World War for the Nazis. Many of the Nazis felt that the Aryans were superior, but the goals for a ‘master’ race as well as annihilation of all Jews were stopped. Paulsen backs off after seeing my shock and says that he meant that we’ve become a softer society after our victory over the Kilrathi. Paulsen points out that the ‘new breed’ of pilots I see at the bar are like Seether. Their attitudes are to be swift and merciless to any opposition. Paulsen feels that if a war is to happen again, people with those attitudes will be the best hope for success. I point out Paulsen’s lack of mentioning honor, and he recovers by saying it was an oversight. I’m not convinced at all after hearing those horrible opinions. I see Catscratch sitting alone at a table, and I give him some company. I remark over the significant change in personnel since Eisen’s defection, and Catscratch asks if I’ve ever flown with any of them or know their service records. I explain that they are all new to me, and Catscratch points out that none of them are from the Border Worlds. He then also tells me that Seether has taken over Eisen’s cabin. Catscratch lets me know that he feels that he thinks Seether is showing that he is ‘superior’ to all of us. This is not normal for a pilot to be using a Captain’s cabin, AND Paulsen is like an extension of Seether’s eyes and ears. I know deep down that Seether is really running the operations of the Lexington, but take the chance to learn more about him by visiting him. I see Seether quite busy, and make a little remark about him doing some spying as well. Seether explains that Eisen stole a lot of data to take to the Border Worlds, and that he is attempting to control the amount of damage from the defection. Seether explains that there is difficulty in knowing how much damage Eisen will cause with his Confed data, but I feel a need to go to Eisen’s defense by saying that Eisen had his reasons. Seether says that Eisen was weak, and that Confed is much better off without him for their long run plans. I emphasize my doubts over Seether’s choice of comments, and then point out that we’ve met before in the bar on Nephele. Seether acknowledges our encounter, and I express my distaste over his behavior. Seether says that he was dealing with this ‘riffraff’ in the only way they could understand. He feels that he should have made an example by killing the person I made my intervention on. I ask how he feels justified to be judge, jury, and executioner for every person he meets. Seether says that as pilots, we make the call every time on who lives or dies. Every creature’s place in the galaxy is weighed and measured by another entity. The strong and successful will always find themselves worthy. Every day is a test of our worthiness for survival in Seether’s opinion. I head out of the cabin in haste, and go into the briefing room. Paulsen feels that we’re closing in on the Border Worlds ship that Eisen went to. Apparently, Eisen is trying to give the Lexington the slip by using the nebula. The Border Worlds ship and its fighters are our targets, and Seether wants to see some action so he’ll be on my wing for this mission.

Longbows are the only ship choice for this mission, and apparently Seether is shunning Hellcats. Maybe he knows something I don’t about that ship. I head off to our first enemy encounter, and there are more Banshees to start things off. I quickly make my missile eliminate him, and Seether’s first missile shot is decoyed away. Seether’s second missile shot hits its mark, and that Banshee never knew what hit him. I’m going after a third Banshee, and notice that it’s taken enough damage for a missile to be overkill. It looked like Seether scored another hit with a missile, and then he adds insult to injury by finishing off the Banshee with his Longbow’s rear turret. Damn, that’s good since I never could do more than discourage fighters with the Longbow’s turret. I get on the fourth Banshee’s tail, and am doing him damage. Seether assists in finishing him off, and we head along to the next nav point. Multiple Avenger bombers are here, and I get one with my guns after Seether successfully hits it with a missile. I follow up with a missile of my own for the second Avenger, and do the same missile launch against the third. There’s just the solo Avenger left, and I ask Seether if he’s ok since my Longbow took a missile hit and other damage. Seether is without a scratch, so we go onwards while I hope I can get thru this mission in one piece. More Banshees are blocking us at the next nav point. Seether does some serious gun work against a Banshee, and it’s blown to bits. I use a missile to shoot down a second Banshee. I then gun down a Banshee as well after using a missile to soften it up, but my Longbow is almost at 100% damage. Seether is again using his guns to great effect, and I use mine to assist in taking down the Banshee.

Seether and I return to the Lexington, and I get a shock when I witness his interrogation techniques. He shoots the Border Worlds pilot, and I tell him that I’ve not seen something like that since the Kilrathi war. He tells me to notice that we are at war with the Border Worlds, and that it’s his side versus the enemy side. Seether feels that we have something to learn from the Kilrathi by not letting sentiment get in the way of winning a war at any cost. Apparently, he missed the part where the Kilrathi paid the price of their actions by losing their home world and that they were able to recant their ways. Seether says that he may have overreacted by killing the pilot, but I can’t undo what has happened. I threaten to tell Paulsen about this, but Seether lets me know that he’s the real person in charge on this ship. I leave this sight as quickly as I can, and hear Seether telling others to clean up his mess.

Silenos 3 – Confed choice
There is no interaction on the Lexington, so I head into the briefing room. Paulsen has the Border Worlds ship cornered, and wants me to help with the final blow. We’re blocking the only way out, so Eisen has been forced to bring the fight directly to us. Before I leave the briefing room, I ask Paulsen is Seether will be along for this mission also. Fortunately, Paulsen needs Seether’s talents to help him coordinate efforts in eliminating Eisen once and for all.

Catscratch is coming along to help out on this mission. Upon takeoff, I get a personal communication from Captain Eisen telling me that he has information about the recent course Confed has undertaken. He offers an invitation for me to join the Border Worlds, and explains that the Confed we fought for in the war against the Kilrathi is not the same as the Confed in control now. I agree to Eisen’s invitation since Confed is out of control, and I won’t get answers about who is controlling Confed by staying with them. Catscratch follows me in my actions, and Captain Eisen explains that I’m to help out by preventing the Lexington from keeping the Border Worlds Intrepid from jumping out of this system. There are multiple Longbows to take down, and Avenger bombers from the Intrepid are going in for torpedo runs on the Lexington. I get in range of one of the attacking Confed Longbows and make short work of it. A second Longbow falls to the fury of my Hellcat’s guns. I can see all sorts of shooting off in the distance, so I afterburn in that direction to lend a hand. There is an ace Hellcat pilot, but he’s taken serious damage by the time I finish him off. I can see that the Lexington has taken a serious torpedo hit on its forward portion, and I choose to go after another of the Longbow bombers. Before I can get in gun range, the Lexington sends a distress signal and it is destroyed. I take down my targeted Longbow with a missile and gun barrage. I see another Longbow go quickly off my scope, but I have no idea who got it. I spend a few moments trying to figure out where all of the action went, and notice some more fire towards the Intrepid’s position. I afterburn towards the ship, and notice the defense get a Longbow before I can get in range. Another Longbow falls, and I search for other targets. I accidently run into an Avenger, and come to a full stop before I die a needless and careless death. Eisen comes over the communication channel, and tells me that I’m a sight for sore eyes. I do notice on my landing approach that the Intrepid took a torpedo hit on its starboard side. Catscratch and I are given landing clearance, and we make it on the Intrepid without further issues.

After our jump out of the system, a shuttle from the shattered shell of the Lexington slips away into space. Paulsen is lamenting on how disastrous things turned out, and Seether says that his first mistake was not killing him right away. Paulsen wonders if Seether is referring to me or Captain Eisen, and Seether replies to take his pick. Paulsen wonders what’s going to happen, and Seether decides to ‘reassign’ Paulsen. He slashes the Captain’s throat in a swift stroke, and Paulsen perishes after a few lingering moments. Seether promises to carry on Confed’s plans to cause war with the Border Worlds, and adds me as a personal target for his ‘pleasures’. Seether admonishes the pilot of the shuttle, who no doubt wishes he was as far away as possible from a cold-blooded killer like Seether.

After getting out of the cockpit, I see two personnel coming to greet Catscratch and me. They identify themselves as Hawk and Panther from the Astoria system. I’ve heard of those names before during our war with the cats, and Hawk points out that Confed has been kicking their butts since Eisen arrived. I offer to assist them in their efforts, and Catscratch notices that the condition of the Intrepid has been cleaned up. He notices some areas of the stairway leading to the upper decks are scorched, and I notice it as well. I meet up with Maniac and Captain Eisen and offer my apologies for not trusting him earlier. I’m still sorry after my attempt to kill both the Captain and Vagabond, and Maniac tells me that Vagabond was lost before my arrival. Captain Eisen states that what happened to Vagabond is part of the past, but I get a remark from Maniac that he feels that if I had defected earlier it may have prevented Vagabond’s death. Eisen attempts to offer me an explanation, but I tell him that I’ve made my choice by joining the Border Worlds. Eisen hopes to stop a full war with the Border Worlds, and explains that he was also bothered by the mission assignments and sketchy info we were getting from Confed. I confirm that the Captain was playing detective and NOT being a spy by collecting mission data, coded transmissions and fleet movements. I ask the Captain if he has enough information, and he tells me that he’s missing some important pieces of the puzzle. He does have enough evidence to prove that the Border Worlds clashes with Confed are being provoked by specific elements of Confed. Since Paulsen was part of the plot, I’m forced to wonder how high this conspiracy is going and who it involves. I ask Captain Eisen why he did not tell me before he defected, and he says that he was sorry that he did not. In his defense, he tells me that he believed that his defection had a high probability of being a suicide run and he could not bring himself to ask me to also come along. He felt that I had to make the right choice when the opportunity came again. I express that I’ve made my choice, and have no regrets. Eisen is glad to hear that I’ll be helping out since if Confed approves the war with the Border Worlds, it may turn out to be much bloodier than the war with the Kilrathi.


Rear Admiral
Phew! Finally caught up with Week 2.

Silenos 1:

I don't get much time to make myself at home as the loud speaker declares an emergency scramble. The Lexington has followed us through the jump point and is making an attack. I launch from the deck in my Hellcat and move to engage, supported by the Intrepid's CAP. The first wave of Hellcats were obviously intended to punch through the fighter screen and allow the bombers free reign, but instead fall to my guns and the Bearcat's missiles. The second wave shows some smarts by attacking from two different directions. The Intrepid's CAP moves to engage one, so I decide to attack the other. I gain a new appreciation of the protection and firepower that the Longbow offers, but manage to take them both down in time for the third wave. The lead Longbow pilot in the third wave attacks me directly as his wingmen make a run for the Intrepid. I'm forced to dodge fire all over the place but take out two of the bombers with a missile from the rear as the CAP takes out the last, freeing me to kick the butt of the Longbow harassing me. The final wave consists of three Thunderbolts that try to take out the screen now that we're running low on ammunition. There's still plenty of charge left in our guns, though, and they share the fate of the previous waves. The communications officer of the Intrepid introduces herself as Velina Sosa as I bring my Hellcat back in to land.

Silenos 2:

After landing, I decide to introduce myself to the maintenance chief. He's certainly not up to Rachel or Sparks in the looks department and I'm beginning to have my doubts as he starts ragging on me for being the "New Confed flyboy" but it seems he was just messing with me as he cracks a grin and offers a handshake. His name's Pliers and he's been in the business a long time. He hasn't seen a Hellcat in a while but has some ideas on what he can do with her and I decide to leave my ship in his experienced hands.

Wandering through the Intrepid, I spot a familiar face in the Galley. Sosa looks to be trying to crack codes using nothing more than paper and a pen. We start talking a little and she reveals that she has a bit of a talent for decoding. She hasn't had much of chance to get into what Eisen brought with him, but she can tell that Confed has some skeletons in it's closet. The other familiar face in the galley is Maniac, staring into a hole left in the ceiling by the attack. He's thinking about all the people who lost their lives. We've got a long fight ahead of us but at least we can face it in the cockpit. I decide to bring the old chipper Maniac back by telling him that his promotion for Confed came through and he reacts predictably.

Back in the control bay, Panther and Hawk are arguing about the course the Intrepid should set. Panther's in favour of pulling back while Hawk wants to launch a full-on assault. Eisen informs me that they've been at it for too long before interrupting and telling them they both have half the solution. We need to pull back but Panther's route is too obvious and we're best off pulling out through a Nebula, one of Eisen's favourite tactics. We're definitely going to face the Lexington again and I wonder how Eisen feels about taking on his old ship.

It's good to see Captain Eisen back in charge of the briefing. He fills me in on today's mission. We're to clear the nebula to allow the Intrepid to sneak through and avoid attention. My Hellcat's being worked on by Pliers, so I have to take up a Border Worlds fighter. I settle on the Banshee as I'm not expecting to need the torpedoes on the heavier fighters. It seems that Paulsen has predicted Eisen's move through the nebula and sent a strong fighter presence in there to hunt us down. The first test comes in the form of three Thunderbolts. This dogfight gives me a good feel for the Banshee. The speed and manueverability let you get in behind the enemy with ease but once you're there it takes forever to score a kill with the 4 lasers, which can be dangerous when there's a tailgun firing back at you. The Banshee proves it's maneuverability even better at the second Nav point, pulling behind Arrows with ease. The lasers work much better against the light fighters than the heavy ships. The final nav point gets me blood boiling when we're attacked by 3 Excaliburs. Where were these fighters back when I was onboard and piloting? The unfortunately Excalibur pilots don't last long against the missiles I have left and I soon return home to find that the Intrepid's going to make it's way through a back door jump point instead.

Silenos 3:

After landing I decide to check the status of my ship with Pliers. Unfortunately, the news isn't good, he just got done stripping it down for parts. That wasn't exactly the approach I was expecting but I can only hope that he puts the parts to good use. Vagabond and Catscratch are discussing our new situation in the hold. Vagabon repeats Maniac's statement that the conflict will get real ugly if it decides to blow up, with us on the receiving end. Catscratch is very thrown off by all the changes lately and doesn't know what's right. In the end, I tell him that have to stick with the people we can trust and that Eisen is one of those people.

Today's certainly a straight forward briefing from Eisen, detection by the Confederation is imminent and we need to get out of here. The Lexington's likely to be on route already so Eisen recommends that I fly one of the Border World's bombers, the Avenger, on this mission. The Lexington meets us at the jump point and Eisen orders my not to get sentimental about taking out his old carrier. The battle that erupts afterwards is very strage, with both carriers only launching bombers at each other. Eisen's decision I can understand, we don't want to have fighters get stranged on the wrong side of the jump point but I'll never understand why Paulsen launches nothing but Longbows at us. Maniac, Vagabond, Catscatch and I have no problem taking out the Longbows in our bombers and soon we're making an attack run on the carrier. Maniac's assult takes the shields down and I order the other two to break off and continue to engage with the Leech guns Pliers talked about pre-mission. Destroying a carrier is too much in the current climate, much better to disable it and not kill thousands of crewmen.

We leave the Lexington disabled near the jump point and jump into the Orestes system.

Orestes 1:

The Intrepid's CIC is home to Sosa and Eisen's hunt for the information to stop the Confederation from launching their attack. Unfortunately, there's an 18 hour gap in the information the Eisen gathered from the Lexington that could prove vital to our efforts. We're going to have to raid a Confederation Comm Relay at the edge of the system to get the missing data.

As we head to the other reaches of the system, I find Panther deep in thought in the Galley. She's wondering if all the fighting is ever going to end. I try to distract her with memories of how we got into flying. Her story's a little rougher than mine, falling in with some privateers when she was a teenager before signing up with Confed when the Kilrathi moved in on her home system. She reckons that as smart people we could find something to do other than all this killing and I reassure her that there's plenty of time, this conflict isn't going to last forever.

We also get the chance to do a lot of good, such as on today's mission. A Border Worlds convoy has come under attack from the Confederation edict and has been pursued into our space by Confederation capital ships. The Intrepid's going to help them out. Given the need to balance dogfights and capital ship attacks, I decide to try out the final Border Worlds fighter, the Vindicator. I take Panther on my wing to show her the good we can do, but she's forced to eject early on into the dogfight, leaving me to not only take out the Capship missiles launched by the frigate and keep the Hellcats away from the freighters but I have to do it while dodging the fire of two Hellcats. Fortunately, the Vindicator seems up the task, it's shields are just thick enough to keep me protected while I engage straight flying missiles and the speed is good enough to take down any Hellcats that sneak past. 7 kills later and it's time for me to move on to the capital ships, which have expended their missile loads and are moving in with guns. Again, the Vindicator shows it's worth, the Torpedoes loaded onto it letting me take the frigate and destroyer out without worrying too much about damage. I think I've found my new favourite.

Orestes 2:

I head to CIC to check how our approach to the Comm Relay is going and find Hawk asleep at his station. I tap him awake and see how he's doing. He hasn't had much chance to sleep lately and I suggest he tries the hold next time. He then asks how it feels to be back in the cockpit. When I reply that it makes everything clear he says that he almost missed blasting cats. I've got to admit that I don't regret a single missile I fired at them, and I tell Hawk to hang in there. I head to the Galley to see a sight that I never thought I'd see, Vagabond losing a hand of cards. To Maniac of all people! Vagabond is clearly shaken by his loss and quickly moves on, as does most of the crowd as Maniac takes his boasting just that little bit too far.

Still shaking my head at what happened, I go for a wander on the flight deck to clear my head. There, I find the strangest thing I've ever seen. It looks like a flying portable toilet but Pliers calls it a Manned Insertion Pod. They're designed to let you slip a person or to into tight spots where you can't use a shuttle. I don't think I'd ever want to ride one but I'm sure they could come in handy. As could his next invention, a home made cloaking device. Apparently, Pliers came up with it in his spare time, but I'm sure he's had some parts assistance from the odd Excalibur or Strakha around the place. Unfortunately, he's only got the one and it can't be used much but I tell him to keep it ready, it could come in useful.

It seems that Eisen has been echoing the plan forming in my head. A full-frontal assault will draw too much attention, but if I can sneak in and take out the warning bouy before getting Vagabond and Sosa into the station we might be able to get the data we need without attracting too much attention. A cloaked Avenger is the bext way to do this. I take off from the Intrepid and engage my cloak shortly before kicking in the autopilot. The approach to the station has me worrying about Pliers' ability but the mines ignore me completely and let me get close to the radar bouy. I quickly decloak and take out the bouy. I'm moving to engage the mines when Pliers comes on with some bad news. There's an incoming patrol and the cloak was a one-shot deal, so I have to take them out.

I destroy the nearest mine and move to engage the Hellcats. The leader of the flight is supposed to be an ace but he doesn't seem like one as he makes a rookie mistake allowing me to put a missile up his tailpipe. His wingman soon disintegrates under my guns and I'm free to clear out the minefield and drop Vagabond and Sosa off in their MIPs. Vagabond is confident going in, but that confidence is soon gone when he reports that the couple of comm techs he was expecting turn out to be some well-armed guards. The comm cuts off and the next words I hear drive a dagger into my heart. Vagabond's dead. I pick up Sosa's pod and beat feet back to the Intrepid.

I've given too many eulogies in my career and Vagabond's seems like it may just be the start of a new set. As I bid farewall to an old friend, I hope that it's the last for a long time.


Rear Admiral
Lorien, next time try the 'secret weapon' of the Banshee: its scatter cannon. I never used the lasers again once I found out how good and effective this weapon is. Nice to see that you've enjoyed using the Vindicator. It's definitely a well rounded ship with bomber capabilities. The guns are a bit light for a bomber, but it's certainly better in maneuverability than the Avenger. If you need mobility, speed, torpedoes, and the smaller ship profile the Vindicator is an excellent choice.

I'll have to remember that I still have the ten missions to journal: Five for the Border Worlds missions and five for Pasqual/Peleus.


gh0d (Administrator)
Lorien, next time try the 'secret weapon' of the Banshee: its scatter cannon.


(Quoted For Great Truth)

With the Banshee's speed and handling, it's not that difficult to get close enough (Pliers hated repainting my ship all the time from getting too close... :D ) that the blast doesn't spread enough to make any of the beams miss, essentially making it like 5 ion cannons for the price of one.


Rear Admiral
Lorien, next time try the 'secret weapon' of the Banshee: its scatter cannon. I never used the lasers again once I found out how good and effective this weapon is. Nice to see that you've enjoyed using the Vindicator. It's definitely a well rounded ship with bomber capabilities. The guns are a bit light for a bomber, but it's certainly better in maneuverability than the Avenger. If you need mobility, speed, torpedoes, and the smaller ship profile the Vindicator is an excellent choice.

I'll have to remember that I still have the ten missions to journal: Five for the Border Worlds missions and five for Pasqual/Peleus.

I never got the hang of the Scatter Gun, actually. I'm a terrible shot so I can never land the beams at the same target without being at white of their eyes range and risking collision and that damned crack over the aiming circle.


Rear Admiral
Yay! I got the Silenos missions down for the Border Worlds side. Just two to document, and then those thirteen missions for both paths on last week. Yikes! But it's been interesting doing all of the missions including the very early variant of mission 3.

Silenos 1
It’s an emergency scramble for this mission, since forces from the Lexington are heading straight for us. I see four Hellcats coming in, and I break off to pursue one. I’m giving the Hellcat I’m chasing some damage, but it does take some good aiming and judicious shooting to make my Hellcat’s firepower down that enemy fighter. During my pursuit, a missile is launched in my direction and I’m able to decoy it away. My Hellcat took a hit with its rear and right sides showing red for damage. The overall damage scale is not over 25%, so most of the fixing needed will be on the ship frame. The other enemy Hellcats were taken care of by all the fighters launched by the Intrepid. I see some Longbows looking to launch torpedoes. Knowing the needed range and lock time from personal experience, I use missiles in quick succession to destroy two of the Longbows. I see two other Longbows at long range, and head towards them using afterburners. I’m able to pitch in and get another kill in finishing off a Longbow with guns instead of missiles. The final one is taken care of by other fighters defending the Intrepid. A second wave of Longbows comes in to see if they can do better. I take out the first one with a missile, but the second chews up my shields and forward armor a bit with its rear turret. I’m able to deal damage quickly to the Longbow by blasting it. Again our defenders take out the other two Longbows, although I contribute to a kill. Some Thunderbolts come in, but there are only two so they should be history soon. I get the first one with a missile, and try another missile on the remaining one. He decoys it away, so I stick to my guns to attack him. Since there are other people pursuing him besides me, it’s pretty simple for me to score the last kill. I get landing clearance from the Intrepid, and bring in my battered fighter into the hangar bay.

Silenos 2
I see what appears to be a surly figure in the hangar. He’s giving me all sorts of grief about being the new flyboy, and how ‘impressed’ he is that we may have a chance against Confed now. I’m relieved when I find out that it’s all an act, and he drops the fake attitude. He introduces himself as ‘Pliers’, and admits that it has been a while since he has seen Confed Hellcats. He does have a lot of familiarity with how to maintain the Hellcat since he admits to pulling Kilrathi whiskers out of Hellcat intakes. He presents himself as a bit of a miracle maker, and I can see how he needs to be inventive due to the lack of spare material at his disposal. He promises that he can improve the Hellcats beyond the engineering specs. I’m enthused at hearing this, since I can use any help to improve the odds in missions. I leave the hangar bay, and enter the galley where I see Lieutenant Sosa. She is the ship’s communication officer, and is busy working on a large pile of paper. She tells me that she’s been forced to decrypt the data from Captain Eisen using primitive methods. I ask her if there is any useful data there, and she says that it will take time to get all of the details. She has enough to see that Confed has a large collection of skeletons lurking from its misdeeds. I let Sosa continue her work, and see Maniac staring at a large hole in the ceiling of the galley. Maniac points out that the bridge and sleeping quarters were once above where he is looking. I lament the loss of life, and Maniac feels that at least he’ll see death in a cockpit. I tell him that the odds are for friendly fire to kill him first, and Maniac thinks that our future path has a long and hard road ahead. I try to get him in good spirits by saying that at least he won’t have to deal with his Confed promotion that came thru. Maniac falls for this ploy, and then realizes that we’ve sided with the Border Worlds. As I leave the galley, I see Captain Eisen quietly watching bickering between Hawk and Panther. They both have strong opinions on what should be done next, and I ask the Captain how long this arguing has been going on. Eisen admits that it’s too long, and decides to intervene. He points out that both of them are right and wrong in their arguments. Eisen points out that a direct attack on the Lexington now would be a waste of resources, and that using the jump point would be the most obvious exit route from this system. There will likely be opportunities for either Confed or the Border Worlds to do more damage from future skirmishes. Panther asks what I think, and I tell her that I feel a Captain is what the Intrepid needs the most. Eisen accepts this role, and says that he’ll do the best he can. I check in with the Captain in the CIC, and he gives me a mission to sweep some nav areas for enemy presence.

I choose the Banshee fighter with a Blade as my wingman. Blade seems impressive with a quick kill of an enemy Thunderbolt at the first nav point. Unfortunately, all prowess is immediately evaporated when Blade has to eject shortly after I get a Thunderbolt with one of the Banshee’s alternate weapons called a scatter gun. This weapon packs much more of a punch than the four lasers of the Banshee, but it’s a more appropriate weapon against slower fighters. I stay around the tail of the final Thunderbolt, and scatter his ship into the void. The next nav point is a test in speed and agility with multiple Arrows. Since there are four here, and I have no backup I use two missiles against two Arrows. Now the odds are a bit better with two versus one. I try using the scatter gun against one of the Arrows, but his buddy is staying on my rear a bit too much for my comfort. I let another missile handle the Arrow I was pursuing, and get on the final fighter’s rear. Even with the speed and agility of the Banshee, it does take me some effort to hit that elusive Arrow with the scatter gun. I shoot down the Arrow though, but a second wave of four more Arrows arrives. Again, the first two Arrows meet my missiles and I accidentally run into the side of a third. I take some damage, but his fighter was nearly destroyed. It only takes a few scatter shots to finish that Arrow. I pull behind that last Arrow, and the chained hits of those five ion blasts chew that last Arrow to pieces. At the next nav point, I get a bit of a surprise by encountering enemy Confed Excaliburs. I guess Paulsen does not want to use kid gloves any more. I have enough missiles left for each Excalibur. I get a successful hit on the first one, but the second Excalibur decoys a missile away. I attempt to get after it with my guns, but his buddy uses a missile to try and take me out. I decoy it away, and use my last missile on the Excalibur I was pursuing. He does not use decoys again, so it’s my ship versus those auto-tracking guns of the Excalibur. I have to break off my pursuit due to closing to dangerous distance to the Excalibur. I get behind the fighter again after decoying another missile it sent my way. I unsuccessfully attempt to pull away from another fighter impact. This time I’ve taken significant damage, but the Excalibur was destroyed. I let the repair system do its work to fix ship system damage, and I see the overall damage drop from 50 to 33%. Still, I’d prefer less damage so that Pliers is not as peeved. I head back to the Intrepid, and Sosa tells me that we’ll be heading to a ‘back door’ jump point. I’m hoping that the Lexington does not have intel about this as well since another encounter with Confed could be catastrophic.

Silenos 3
I see Pliers in the hangar bay, and he’s got a look on his face like a cat that has eaten a canary. He admits that the Hellcat fighters that we brought in were a fine meal for him to use for spare parts. I express my hopes that the pieces will be put to good use, and head up to the hold next to the galley. Due to lack of alternate areas, the hold has been converted to a berth for sleeping. I make an attempt at a joke by saying I did not promise first class quarters at our destination. Catscratch wonders how I can make jokes when only a very short time ago, we were working with Confed. Now that we’ve turned our backs on them, we’ve been forced to shoot down fellow flyers. I explain to Catscratch that this is our opportunity to make things right. Catscratch laments that things have not turned out as predictable or patterned as he would like. Vagabond expresses his hopes that we’ve made the right choice since if Confed approves the Declaration of War, the situation will become ugly quickly. I defend our decision by saying that our trust of each other can be more important than our loyalty to Confed. I’m reminded of Bear’s situation with the Gettysburg. The rules certainly weren’t normal in that episode, and we have to stick with people that we know that we can trust. I see Captain Eisen in the CIC, and he tells us that our attempts to evade the Lexington have not succeeded. The Lexington is coming to cut us off and carve us up like a Thanksgiving turkey. Eisen highly recommends the Avengers on this outing, and I’ll have three wingmen to assist on the attack.

Panther, Hawk, and Yaeger are along in other Avengers. When we reach the ‘back door’ jump point, Eisen’s prediction that Paulsen would be here is confirmed. I let the entire wing break and attack while I focus on the Lexington. Yeager certainly is not impeded by the sluggishness of the Avenger. He makes two quick kills while I’m getting closer to torpedo range. Hawk gets a Longbow launched by the Lexington. I have to wonder why Paulsen is just relying on the bombers since they need fighter cover to work well. My thoughts are quickly interrupted when Panther makes her mark as well. Yaeger and Panther both score a kill, and I launch my first torpedo. That torpedo strikes true, and I wait for the second one to lock on. Yaeger gets yet another kill, and I let the Lexington have it with a second torpedo. My Avenger takes serious armor damage from the multiple turrets of the Lexington. The torpedo hits the same area, and the ship is critically breached. Captain Paulsen communicates a mayday message, and the Lexington is left as a listless wreck. With the Lexington out of the way, it’s time for me to help in cleaning out any leftover Longbows. Yaeger, Panther, and Hawk all get kills before I can get in weapons range. Yaeger gets the last Longbow, so I’ll have to thank all my wingmates for making my torpedo runs work well. Sosa’s happy that I’m working with the Border Worlds, and she’s certainly in a hurry to leave this system.

After our jump out of the system, a shuttle from the shattered shell of the Lexington slips away into space. Paulsen is lamenting on how disastrous things turned out, and Seether says that his first mistake was not killing him right away. Paulsen wonders if Seether is referring to me or Captain Eisen, and Seether replies to take his pick. Paulsen wonders what’s going to happen, and Seether decides to ‘reassign’ Paulsen. He slashes the Captain’s throat in a swift stroke, and Paulsen perishes after a few lingering moments. Seether promises to carry on Confed’s plans to cause war with the Border Worlds, and adds me as a personal target for his ‘pleasures’. Seether admonishes the pilot of the shuttle, who no doubt wishes he was as far away as possible from a cold-blooded killer like Seether.


Rear Admiral
At last! All caught up for week 2. I'll document the four missions I took for the Speardon missions which were: Steal fighters, attack carrier, save Catscratch, and collect fighters along with Telamon 1. I thought that the last mission would bring in more pilot choices, but it did not.

Orestes 1
In the CIC, Lt. Sosa points out to Captain Eisen that there are holes in the data he brought. There is a specific 18 hour ‘black hole’ that seems to relate to our rescue of the scientist. Without the data, we won’t be able to make a complete connection. As we ponder the missing pieces of the puzzle, Lt. Sosa comes up with the smart idea to raid the communications station in this system. Most of Confed’s communications would relay thru that point, and Eisen ponders his choice for a few moments before giving the order to head for Orestes 9. Looks like we’ll undertake a scavenger hunt soon. I see Panther in the galley looking outside into deep space. She wonders if this brewing situation between Confed and the Border Worlds will end any time soon. She spent seven years fighting the cats, and wonders how long it will be before she has to stop shooting at fellow pilots. I ask how she became a combat pilot, and she tells me that she ran away from home during her teens and joined a group of privateers. The experience did teach her how to fight and survive in combat. She joined Confed when the Kilrathi moved in on her home system. She asks about my situation, and I explain that I thought I could stay away but that being a combat pilot seems to be the only thing I know how to do well. Panther points out that there must be a smarter way to solve this situation without too many casualties on both sides. I state my belief that the tensions won’t last forever, and I have to believe that a good resolution will happen. I enter the CIC, and Eisen says that our raid of the communications station will have to wait. A Border Worlds convoy has run afoul of Confed’s interdiction edict, and is being pursued by a frigate and destroyer. I am to save the convoy from certain destruction by Confed.

I take off in a Vindicator since I figure that I need a ship that can deal well with both fighters and cap ships. I let Primate deal with the fighters once we reach the pursuit force. The cap ships have launched a missile that take out the convoy ships in one hit. I get in range and bring down the cap ship missile within close range of the convoy. Primate has taken down a fighter, and the Confed cap ships have lobbed another missile in the direction of the convoy. I’m more concerned about the second missile than any fighter opposition. Primate scores another fighter kill, and the missile passes quite close to my Vindicator. I get behind the missile and get it gunned down with more space to spare between the missile and the convoy. A third missile launch comes from the Confed cap ships, and this time I quickly take it down shortly after its launch. I decide to use my torpedoes to attack the Confed cap ships. I lock on and shoot a torpedo at close range to a Confed frigate. The frigate is out of action, so there is only the destroyer left. I give Primate a hand with the Hellcat fighters harassing the convoy. I get behind one, and give him multiple barrages of gun fire that takes down the fighter. I use a missile to quickly eliminate a second, and turn back to torpedo the destroyer. Primate pulverizes the final Hellcat fighter, and heads in to draw the fire of the destroyer. His distraction is successful, and my torpedo tags the destroyer. One less Confed cap ship in space. I head back to the Intrepid and make my landing, although I can see that I took a small amount of damage with sparks coming from the rear of my ship.

Orestes 2
I see a very strange sight with what looks to be like a glorified glass torpedo, and Pliers explains that it’s a Manned Insertion Pod that he took from a Confed testing site. I tell him that I’ve never heard of this before, and he says that he’s not surprised since there is a lot of Confed safety red tape to clear before things like the MIPs are released. The MIPs are a good stealth insertion of personnel that a shuttle is not capable of. The MIPs attach themselves to their targets with a rubber seal, and a laser on the MIP cuts a hole for the passenger to crawl thru. The MIPs can be launched just like ImRec missiles, but they only have enough steering capability to dock to the target. Once they release from the target they are docked to, they will need to be tractored back onto the launching ship. Pliers then shows me a nifty cloaking device that he cobbled together in his spare time. It won’t give a complete cloaking capability like the Excalibur had on that final mission I flew to defeat the Kilrathi. The downsides to the cloaking include the short life of the crystal and that there is only one cloaking device available. Despite these disadvantages, I tell Pliers to get it ready since it should come in handy for the communications station raid. As I enter the galley, I see a bunch of people watching a card match between Vagabond and Maniac. Vagabond makes his bet with all of his chips, and Maniac matches the bet. Vagabond turns in a full house hand of aces and eights, and Maniac reveals that his hand has four queens. I’m shocked that Vagabond could lose, and Maniac thinks that it’s his turn to have a large dose of luck and also thinks that his ‘moves’ made the win possible too. Maniac gloats over his victory, and taunts other people to see if they want a shot to take him down in a card match. Nobody takes Maniac up on his challenge, and he wonders what he did to become an outcast so quickly. I head into the CIC to see what information Eisen has about our upcoming raid on the station. The Border Worlds have sent a group of Marines to assist, but they won’t arrive for another 16 hours. Eisen feels that we can’t afford to wait, and that any further delays will risk our ability to make our move on the station. There is a radar buoy that will raise an alarm if I don’t take it out quickly, so it’s a good thing that I have Pliers’ cloaking device. After eliminating the buoy, I’m to make a delivery using the MIPs. Eisen tells me that Vagabond and Lt. Sosa are coming along to confiscate the communication station’s data. This data is absolutely vital for us to retrieve, so failure is not an option.

I launch in an Avenger since it’s the only ship that can handle the MIPs. I cloak and head for the station. I get to very close range of the radar buoy, and uncloak to take it out with the Avenger’s guns. Pliers comes on the communications line to tell me some bad news. The crystal burned out, so I won’t be able to cloak any more and there are incoming fighters trying to stop my MIP insertion. I concentrate on the Hellcat fighters since the turret mines are a static defense. I get behind a Hellcat ace pilot and give him a missile up his tailpipe. The other Hellcat taunts me, but he has nothing to back up his trash talk. The guns of my Avenger silence the pilot for good, and all six of the turret mines are easily eliminated. I launch Vagabond and Sosa in the MIPs and Vagabond says that our intel said that there are only a few communications technicians manning the station. When they enter the station, Vagabond sends a message that things aren’t as simple as intel thought it would be. There are several guards seeking to stop Sosa and Vagabond from completing their covert op. Vagabond is keeping the guards busy, and Sosa is able to complete her download of the data. They still have to get out alive, and Vagabond offers himself as a distraction to let Sosa get away. Vagabond’s actions are successful, but it costs him his life. Sosa barely recovers from the shock in time to avoid the same fate. I spot Sosa launch in her MIP, and she tells me the sad news of the loss of Vagabond. I tractor in her MIP and hope this data was worth the self-sacrifice by Vagabond.


Petty Officer
Ah, the DVD version. Sometimes it shows you things your probably shouldn't see (Casper Van Diem, for example). When Maniac beats Vagabond at cards, he's holding 5 queens, which is a lot of queens. Love it