Wing Commander 4 Replay Week 3

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
Another five mission week. Three is Pasqual and then two in Peleus. Then we have another split with the Circe/Speradon decision. This will again, keep everyone roughly together.

I'll be posting my updates starting either later today or tomorrow (depending on the weather, I've lost power several times over the last 2 days).
 

DaveO

Commodore
Sorry to hear about your power problems Dundradal, but I did anticipate Pasqual/Peleus. Now since I had three of the missions already done, my work was shorter AND I was able to get new videos already uploaded. In retrospect, you are much better off doing Peleus in a ship that can move around more than the Avenger. While it's a tempting choice for the player, you need better maneuvering capabibility and the Banshee or Vindicator are better choices so that you can adequately turn to pick up threats. I did Peleus 1 in the Avenger, but then learned the hard way that Peleus 2 needs a better approach. The Vindicator is probably the best choice for both missions since it's a cross between a bomber and fighter, has a smaller profile than the Banshee, and has the Stormfire if you'd like to use it.

Videos are in the standard place at: http://www.youtube.com/davecaspermeyer

I'm looking forward to new updates from Dundradal and Lorien. I may have some time to work on journaling the Border Worlds missions for week 2.
 

Lorien

Rear Admiral
I had a bit more luck with the scatter gun on the Avengers in Pasqual 2, but when those Razors flew past jinking in Pasqual 1, I knew I stood no chance of even scoring a hit with it.

I'm going to try to stay away from the stormfire during the playthrough, it feels a little like cheating.
 

Lorien

Rear Admiral
I had a weird bug in Peleus 2 where the was a Bearcat I couldn't damage. My shots were definitely hitting it but they weren't doing anything and I had to let Turbo slowly take care of it.

Pasqual 1:

I find Maniac playing with some cards in the Galley, obviously distraught over Vagabond's death and the events leading up to it. He's taken it in the usual Maniac twist, though, and decided that Vagabond lost the will to live because of a card rather than usual regret over last words that most people feel. I'm not quite sure how to deal with this approach from Maniac, so I take the blunt route and tell him he's an idiot for thinking Vagabond would get himself killed over that. Hopefully, Maniac works it out. After my discussion with Maniac, I go to check on Sosa and Eisen's progress. They've got a lot of data but it will take a lot of processing to sort out the important stuff from the Business As Usual traffic. Time that we pilots are going to have to buy.

As we're analyse the data, we receive a distress signal from a convoy signalling for Border Worlds ships. They've been jumping around a bit but Maniac and I will fly to their latest location to see what assistance we can offer. When we arrive at the convoy's location, howver, there's quite a suprise waiting for us. The convoy is composed of Kilrathi ships under attack by pirates. Even more amazingly, the leader of the Kilrathi, Melek, is on board one of the shuttles. He beseeches me to cast off the prejudices of a lifetime and, thinking back on Panther's words, order Maniac to break and attack. The pirate Arrows are just a distraction, the real target are two Razors making a beeline for the shuttles. The pilots on these planes are good and I only manage to take one out before the reach the shuttles and tear one apart. I tag the second, another ace, with a missile as he makes a run towards Melek. The next wave of pirates try the same thing with heavier ships. The Thunderbolts engage the Dralthi while the Arrows run towards Melek. One runs so eagerly towards his target that he slams into my port side and badly damages both our ships. I pop a missile into his wingman befopre turning to teach him the error of his ways. I try using a weapon called a scattergun to kill him but while it takes down his shields and armour with ease I found myself unable to deliver the killing blow and switch back to lasers. As the Dralthi and Maniac finish off the last Thunderbolt I begin to work out how to use this weapon properly.

Pasqual 2:

I report to the CIC after landing to find a crowd gathered around Melek and Sosa. Melek and his convoy are seeking safe passage back to the new Kilrathi homeworlds. They've been under attack for a while now and the video log that Melek brings with him closes up some holes in our information. The weapon being used to take out the Kilrathi transports looks to be acting on the same principle as the one that took the convoy out in Hellespont and the pilot using them is pulling a trick both Hawk and myself had seen before. Hawk identifies the pilot as Seether a young hotshot who served on the same ship as Hawk until he was transferred to a mystery Intelligence operation known only by the initials G.E. My thoughts of payback for the tranports are interrupted by Eisen grabbing a copy of the recording to take to the assembly, we only have a week until the vote to declare war happens.

Panther and Catscratch are discussing Melek in the Galley as he stands in the background. Catscratch, raised on dreams of killing Kilrathi, can't quite understand if we're doing the right thing by helping the Kilrathi out. I decide to straighten him out on the difference between a warrior and a killer and know that he'll take the right path. To give him an example of what to do, I approach Melek and reassure him that we'll get him to his new homeworld. Melek is understandably upset at being attacked after the Kilrathi disarmed following the treaty but also realises that some humans at least are doing the right thing. I do ask for one piece of assistance, though, and arrange to have a Kilrathi technician with cloaking experience give Pliers a hand with his device.

Down in the Hold, though, there's an example of a different kind floating around. Hawk was pleasant enough to Melek earlier, but definitely isn't a fan of helping the Kilrathi out. Knowing how Hawk feels I decide to frame our situation a little differently. Sure, we're helping the Kilrathi, but we're also killing out enemies. That seems to settle Hawk down a bit. Following the discussion, Eisen calls me back to the bridge to announce that he'll be taking the information to the Assembly personally. He also introduces Admiral Wilford. His next introduction stuns me for a minute as Eisen introduces me as the captain of the Intrepid during his absence. Wilford manages to shake me out of it, but I'm still feeling a little strange at my new position and the conversation feels a little strange. Wilford informs us that some marines will be joining the Intrepid shortly. Eisen's goodbye is short and sweet, we both wish each other luck before he takes off in a shuttle with two Banshees escorting.

I start off my first briefing by asking that everybody be up front with me about their concerns. Nothing destroys morale faster then rumours and backstabbing. We've entered the Pasqual system where the Kilrathi planets are under attack by fighters with Border Worlds insignia. Obviously, they're not our fighters and I'm going to take Excell and Panther out in Banshees to clear them up. Top priority is in keeping the bombers away from the planets. Flight tactics for this mission have me gunning straight for the bombers while my wingmen hold back their escorts. This gets off to an interesting start when the lead Banshee rams straight into my fighter, causing severe damage to me. Fortunately, he'd taken a few hits on the way in and doesn't survive the collision. I continue closing with the Avengers as my shields recover and take the first out with a well-timed missile. I switch to the scatter gun for the second target and find myself having much better success against the larger target profile. Panther is forced to eject before we can finish off the first lot of Banshees, but the same tactics still apply at the second Nav Point, with much the same results. Excell is forced to eject early on leaving me to tackle three Banshees on my own. I don't take any damage, but I'm down to 4 decoys by the time I hit the final Nav Point, meaning that I have to rush to the Avengers quickly. I take the first out with a missile quickly enough but run out of decoys in the process. Dodging a missile on afterburners I manage to lock an IR onto the last Avenger from behind and deliver the final blow needed to save the Kilrathi. With that out of the way, I turn to finish off my tormentors. The first takes a missile to the face during a head on pass and explodes and the second suffers a similar fate to an ImRec from behind, leaving the last one to be slowly torn apart by my lasers. I drag my badly battered Banshee back to the Intrepid and land.

Pasqual 3:

Having heard that our marines have finally arrived, I head to the hold to check them out. They're just about what I expect from a bunch of marines, grizzled and sleeping through anything. Their leader Dekker has been through some bad experiences with the Kilrathi, including the bloodbath at Repleetah, but is level-headed enough to put it behind him and focus on the task at hand. I should send him to chat with Hawk. I order them to start prepping for a mission, we'll be dropping the cats back home real soon.

In contrast to the grizzled marines, Catscratch and Sosa are making a mighty cute couple up in the Galley, fetching food for each other and sitting to that they're always in contact. I'm not sure how Confed would take it but that's not a problem at the moment. Besides, Sosa's helped straighten Catscratch out on our current missions helping the Kilrathi. Sosa asks about the marines in the hold, but I'm not quite sure what to say until I've seen them in action and I decide to leave the two of them in peace.

With the marines on board and getting ready, it's time to deliver Melek back to his home, a starbase in the Pasqual system that's not responding to hails. The Intrepid will be kept safe behind an asteroid field while we take a circuit around it to deliver Dekker and Melek. We'll be flying Vindicators on this mission. The two Razors at NAv 1 barely lasted long enough to get a taunt out against 3 Vindicators and 2 Dralthi and so Maniac and I move on to the starbase. Things look clear initially, but I wait a little bit before giving Dekker the go ahead. As soon as the shuttle appear on my radar, however, 4 Arrows come out of nowhere to attack us with 2 of them right on top of Melek's shuttle. I ignore the Arrow chasing after me to put a missile into the first Arrow attacking Melek, destroying it, I try to get the second to lock but I can see that his shields are down, so I'm forced to ram into it to take it out in time. Turning to engage the Arrow dogging me, I launch a missile and discover how these Arrows managed to get the drop on us like that, they have cloaking devices. Switching to guns, I demolish my attack just as Dekker docks at the station. Melek personally thanks me after his shuttle has safely docked at the starbase and I return to the Intrepid.

As soon as I reach the CIC, Sosa relays a high priority message from Admiral Wilford. They've been losing ships in the Peleus a strategic location that also supplies a lot of fuel. There's no word of any enemy presence, so he's sending the Intrepid in to investigate. I order the helmsman to set course, but as soon as the jump is completed the displays go haywire. Sosa reports all the major systems down and I order the ship to back up and hopefully get outside the range of whatever's happening. Maniac wants his money back for this tour, I'll be sure to give him every credit he's owed.

Peleus 1:

I call an emergency briefing for all the pilots. We've managed to pull out of the Dead Zone but we still don't know anything about what we're facing. That leaves us with only one choice, send a wing of fighters out to investigate. Instantly, there are protests about having to fly blind and only being able to take dumbfires. I remind the pilots that we have to find what's causing the jamming and take it out to give the Border Worlds a fighting chance in the conflict. On my way to the loadout screen, Pliers informs me that their taking the opportunity to beef up everyone's armour and that I'll have to transfer shield power over to compensate for the extra weight. Since I have no idea what we'll be facing, a Vindicator with Hawk on my wing seems like the best choice.

The patrol through the dead zone is a harrowing experience. The only time you know you're under attack is when you hear the sound of the enemy's guns opening up. The first ships we encounter are Excaliburs and the heavy guns on those birds give my rear armour a good pasting before we can finish them off. The next two encounters are with a new type of Confed fighter, tagged as a Bearcat by my targeting system. It's quick and well armed with Tachyon cannons but the designers made a serious mistake with the weapon placement. I'm able to roll my Vindicator so that the enemy's fire passes on either side of my ship as I destroy his wingman. Meanwhile, Hawk's taking out the guy tailing me. We paste two flights of Bearcats before Sosa gets a message through the jamming indicating that there are forces emerging from the dead zone and heading for the Intrepid. I transfer power back to my shields and set course to intercept them.

We managed to catch the two Excaliburs well before they reach the Intrepid with enough time for my shields to charge back to full strength. The first pilot dies rather quickly but his wingman manages to hold me back a little bit before a missile forces him to eject. Dekker thinks that I should tractor the pilot in and see what he knows and I have to agree with him. Hawk finishes his postflight briefing before I do and reaches the pilot before I can, launching into a stiff interrogation. I recognise the pilot from the bar in Nephele and know that a different approach is in order. Pulling Hawk and Panther away from him, he recognises me and looks a little calmer. I grab him a cup of coffee as he tells his tale. Confed have outfitted an old ship to act as the jammer, hiring desperate pilots to make random attacks inside the zone. He gives me it's movement schedule so that we can track it down and destroy it, saying that it has to decloak to move giving us the opportune time to strike. In gratitude for his assistance I offer him a place on the Intrepid, but he declines saying that the next time he flies will be in a coffin and he'd rather put that off for a while. With the information we needed gained, Hawk takes the pilot off to get cleaned up and fed.

Peleus 2:

We received a message from Admiral Wilford while I was out flying. He's had to halt all traffic through the Peleus system due to the enemy presence and it's seriously hurting Border Worlds efforts. Fortunately, we have the schedule for the jamming ship so all we have to do now is follow it's path and kill it. I take Turbo along with me in Banshees half loaded with Dumbfires and half loaded with ImRecs for when we take out the jamming.

The enemy are still running patrols inside the dead zone, so we have to be on our twos. The first ambush by two Bearcats is easily dealt with. Thanks to all the spare power not having shields provides, I get enough shots out of the Scatter Gun to make it very effective. The second ambush puts quite a few dents in my armour as two Bearcats and two Excaliburs jump us, one piloted by an ace. I take out the ace as a priority, using the same rolling tactic as I did in the Vindicator to avoid the fire coming in from behind. At the 3rd nav point we manage to catch the frigate by suprise with only a light screeen around it. I order Turbo to enage the fighters as I head straight to the frigate and pump 4 DFs into it in quick succession. As soon as the jamming field dies, I return my power balance to normal and jump the Excalibur ace that was tailing me. An IR from behind was the last he was expecting and the last thing he felt. With shields firming up and missiles available to us, Turbo make quick work of the remaining fighters and return to the Intrepid.I land to find a very agitated Maniac in Flight Ops. I try to find out what's happening but I only get told to head to the Hold.

Once I enter the hold, I can understand Maniac's reaction. Sitting inside the rather dimly lit room is Admiral Tolwyn himself. He instantly gets on my case about defecting to the Border Worlds. I tell him that it's only a re-enlistment but the Admiral is no doubt still shaken by the Hobbes incident and basically compares my actions to his. I defend myself by expressing my feeling that this entire conflict is being driven by elements within Confed and the Admiral agrees with me, stating the some elements within Confed, he refers to them as dog soldiers are driving things without approval from HQ. I ask him about one of those soldiers, Seether, and the Admiral reveals that he's likely the product of a Genetic Enhanvement program that was run during the war against the Kilrathi. Tracking down Seether is why the Admiral is out here in what claims was an abandoned facility. He then proceeds to try to lure me back into the Confed fold, saying that I still have a place there, but I have to refuse. I can't return to Confed knowing that I can't trust the orders I'm being given, I have to stay with the people I trust. If there's a war I know which side I'm on. Tolwyn asks if that makes him a prisoner of war and I tell him that since we're not officially at war he'll be released. As Tolwyn's shuttle leaves the Intrepid I can only hope that I've made the right choice and gained an ally, not released an enemy.

Dekker gives voice to my concerns as I return from the flight deck. He's of the opinion that anyone confed is the enemy and it's mighty suspicious Tolwyn tried to make a run for it when we spotted him, though given the troubles I'm not too sure I blame Tolwyn for that. I don't think I can convince Dekker of that, so I try to make him back down by bringing up his lack of orders. When that fails I fall back to the obvious practical side. Holding a Confed Admiral prisoner hostage isn't going to do our side any favours. The convinces him to back down a little, though he ends with the prediction that we'll regret this. I hope I don't but have a dark feeling that I will.

I'm summoned to the CIC to find a small crowd around the comm station. Sosa plays a message we've received from Admiral Wilford. The Border Worlds are undertaking fleet actions in two systems. The first system is Circe where the legitimate government is under attack by confed sponsored mercenaries and civilians are getting caught in the crossfire. The second system is Speradon, which features a confed shipyard gearing up for war, giving us the perfect target to get some equipment. He leaving the decision as to which action to support up to me, as we can't be in both places at once. Panther instantly speaks up in favour of going to Circe, while Hawk thinks we need the weapons at Speradon. In the end, we want to avoid the war before we need the equipment in Speradon is needed and I can't stand by and let innocent civilians get killed. The Intrepid is going to Circe.
 

DaveO

Commodore
I think the better approach for me will be to break up the journals. It's taking me about an hour to get each one written up, so that's just too slow to make it in one session. I do work early, so I have to sleep early too. I would have had something yesterday, but I saw YouTube would be going down for maintenance and was not sure if I'd have access to the videos or not. So I spent some time playing the Action Role Playing Game Silverfall by Monte Cristo. With that tedious explanation out of the way, let's go on to the journals.


Pasqual 1
All of the pilots are in the hangar bay to give Vagabond respectful burial in space. I’m giving the eulogy, and express how lucky I was to have known him and been his friend. I hope Catscratch is not affected too badly since this will be a sight he will encounter again during his long career as a combat pilot. I offer my final wishes for Vagabond’s spirit to roam the stars, and Maniac and Eisen act to push his coffin into space. We all give a salute as Vagabond’s remains drift away, and I am given the hope that he is resting in peace when I see a star glimpse off the coffin before it passes out of view.

In Confed space, the new super carrier Vesuvius is christened for action. Paladin is there with Admiral Tolwyn, and the Admiral is sweet-talking Paladin by saying his presence will be an inspiration to the crew. Paladin admires the Vesuvius for a few moments, and then asks Tolwyn for any more news about the Border Worlds. The Admiral says that news of the worst kind has arrived about my defection to the Border Worlds. Paladin is shocked by this news, and wonders what happened for me to make my decision. Tolwyn says that he can’t rely on the intelligence he has to be accurate, and goes into a quotation from Yeats. Paladin presses Tolwyn if he has any details on who is behind the escalation of tensions. Tolwyn does not, but feels that the increase in aggression by the Border Worlds is a mistake that can’t be ignored. Paladin feels that my action was not rash, but Tolwyn says that my defection is a mystery. Paladin emphasizes that time is growing short before the Declaration of War is brought to a vote. There is only one week left before the vote, and Admiral Tolwyn’s report will help to influence the outcome. Tolwyn expresses his wishes that war is not the only option.

On the Intrepid, I see Sosa and Eisen working on the data that Vagabond died for. More pieces have fallen into place, but there is no ‘smoking gun’ yet to pinpoint the rogue element of Confed. There is data that Sosa is still working to decrypt, but it’s going to take time. Eisen places his hopes that the data will be enough to convince the Earth assembly to not vote for war, or more pilots like Vagabond will die. I find Maniac sitting morosely at a table in the galley, while I’m getting a fresh cup of coffee. He’s wondering how he got such a turn of luck while playing Vagabond. I point out that he’s an idiot if he thinks Vagabond lost the will to live over a simple card match. Maniac does point out that he never beat Vagabond before, and I walk away in exasperation. Maniac picks up the cup of coffee I left at his table, and I check in with Captain Eisen. We’re getting an SOS from a convoy broadcasting to any Border Worlds ship in the area. The convoy is moving around aggressively to avoid its attackers, and Eisen wants me to bring it back in one piece.

Apparently, the coffee ‘helped’ since Maniac is coming along on this mission. When we reach the convoy, we get a surprise on seeing a Kilrathi contingent. There is a shuttle and some fighter escorts, and I receive a communication from Melek on the shuttle. He begs us to not fire on them, and I’m more concerned about the pirate forces attacking the cats. Since the pirates are using Arrows, I let Maniac and my missiles do most of the talking. The first Arrow falls to a missile shot, and I let loose with a second against a Razor. That missile takes out the fighter, and I see a third go off the scope. The pirates bring in heavier ships with Thunderbolts, and I get behind one and let my scatter gun do its work. I get a few hits, and then nudge into the Thunderbolt causing its destruction. I let another pirate Arrow meet a missile, and get on the tail of an Arrow. A friendly missile makes short work of the pirate I was pursuing, I see a Thunderbolt in my sights. I let him have it with the scatter gun, and it chews him to chunks. I see an interesting sight when the last two pirate Arrows come in with cloaking capabilities. It’s not enough of an advantage to save one Arrow from getting gunned down while cloaking. Another Arrow shakes my missile by cloaking, and I have a VERY close encounter with one of the Kilrathi ships. The other Arrow comes out of cloaking, and I let a missile finish it off. Maniac and I are sitting undamaged, and we escort the Kilrathi back to the Intrepid.


Pasqual 2
I meet up with Melek in the CIC of the Intrepid. He never expected to meet me again, and I admit that it’s a small universe. Melek explains that he regrets the circumstances of our meeting. He and a group of Kilrathi have done their best to exist peacefully with humans. Melek and his group were heading back to their new homeworld of Pasqual 10 before getting under attack for the last 48 hours. A copy of Melek’s log has been given to Sosa, and we see the new prototype weapon in action. A disc comes from an attacking heavy fighter, and it attaches itself to a Kilrathi ship. The weapon incinerates from the ship within, and then I see something that is too familiar with the pilot’s exit maneuver. He drops a mine, and afterburns out of its blast radius. Hawk says that he also has seen that move from a pilot by the callsign of ‘Seether’. ‘Seether’ was a rookie pilot on the ship that Hawk was once on, but Hawk did not get much time to get details before the transfer of ‘Seether’ to Confed Intelligence Ops. Sosa offers to do a lookup in the Confed pilot registry, but Eisen points out that the data about ‘Seether’ no doubt got blanked after his transfer. Hawk says he heard about a ‘GE’ program before the transfer of ‘Seether’ but could not find anything about the program. I admit my desires to put myself to the test against ‘Seether’, but Hawk thinks it would end up with my demise. Eisen wants Melek to let him keep the recording, and thinks it will add more weight to the data that he hopes will prevent the brewing war between Confed and the Border Worlds. There is less than a week before the Declaration of War is put to a vote, and Eisen feels that it’s time to make a move. I see Catscratch and Panther in the galley discussing the current plight of the Kilrathi. Panther points out that she dedicated her career to knocking cats out of space, and I point out that we’re now on a mission to help them get home. Catscratch wonders if Eisen is making the right decision, and I point out that what separates warriors like us from killers like the pirates and the rogue Confed contingent is that we only fight when provoked. Our humanity is defined by helping those like Melek when they are in need. I find Hawk in the hold attempting to get some sleep. Hawk’s feeling that he does not need to provide much help with the Kilrathi, and feels that they should have all been killed after the conclusion of the war. I point out that they have the same enemies we do, and that a victory for Kilrathi will be one less fight for the Border Worlds to win. Hawk says that he will follow my orders in combat, and I let him relax and make a mental note to give him some time off before letting him come on the next few combat missions. I know that eventually I’ll need his capabilities in combat, but I’d rather have him when he’s well rested and more motivated. I find Melek contemplating things outside the hold, and I point out that we’ll be jumping to a point close to his new home world. Melek explains that the terms of surrender with Confed meant the dismantling of all warships, leaving little defense against aggression. Melek wonders what he has done to merit a new war against the cats, and I explain that most of us have been willing to let the Kilrathi find their new way in the universe. Melek asks for my forgiveness when he realizes that I’m not the enemy any more. He wonders how he can properly thank me for my assistance. I tell Melek to consider it payback, and he’s confused over the definition of the word. I explain that a few years ago, he had ample opportunity to kill me after the destruction of Kilrah but did not. Melek feels that it’s a decision he does not regret, and I mumble a ‘Me neither’ that I hope he did not manage to hear. I point out that the final two fighters that were attacking Melek came in under cloak, and I give the chance for Melek to give us a high tech payback by assisting Pliers with any cloaking expertise. It could come in handy later on. Maniac is acting like his usual obnoxious self around Sosa, and she tells him to knock it off since Captain Eisen is there too. Eisen puts Maniac in his place, and Sosa hands the Kilrathi data to the Captain. Eisen tells me that he’ll be leaving to make a personal delivery of all the data that he has. Eisen will use his network of friendly contacts in Confed to do his best to beat back the winds of war. Eisen feels that the data should be enough to convince others to follow his lead, and Maniac has his doubts. Eisen says that there is no choice except to trust that the cooler heads of Confed will prevail. Without the influence of other personnel within Confed, the Declaration of War will go thru with no opposition. Sosa receives a communication from Vice Admiral Wilford. Eisen points out that I’ll be the acting Captain after Eisen leaves. I’m a bit shocked at this news, and Wilford’s admiration at seeing me brings me back from my momentary surprise. I find out that the Vice Admiral was also with Confed for a long time before being convinced to come back and work with the Border Worlds. The Vice Admiral will be briefing me on mission assignments, and Captain Eisen points out that Wilford is constantly on the move. I find out from the interaction between Wilford and Eisen that a group of Marines are coming our way too. Maniac makes some little moves to impress the navigator of the Intrepid, and then causes some ship swaying with his boyish behavior. All of the pilots are in the hangar bay, and we salute Captain Eisen. I wish him luck as he embarks on his mission under escort from two Banshees, and he wishes the same luck to us all. Two small Border Worlds capital ships accompany us on the jump, and I give my first briefing. I explain that I’ll do my best to run things in the absence of the Captain, and ask that I get addressed if there are things to talk about. I make it clear that I’ll be the one responsible for the final decisions. Due to good communications between Melek and the Kilrathi on Pasqual 10, we’ve found out that ships are attacking the planet. Since the enemies are flying the same ships that we have, I point out for everyone to stay alert to avoid friendly fire casualties.

Since I have two wingmen to take along on this mission, I go with Excell and Tex to tag along. The first nav point has two Banshees and two Avengers, but Excell quickly evens the odds with a missile. I get rid of a Banshee as well with a missile, and go to assist Tex. He’s shooting widely, but manages to make a kill and almost sounds surprised. Excell is trying to rally both Tex and me with her prowess by making another missile kill. While I’m busy going after an Avenger and getting him with my guns, Tex his scored another kill. I finish off the Avenger, but need to watch my damage level. More Banshees and Avengers are at the second nav point, and I take a Banshee down with a missile. Tex gets another kill, and I notice a badly damaged Banshee. I gun it down easily with my Avenger, and pursue the closest enemy Avenger in range. I see a missile make a hit on it, and I finish that ship off with my guns. Excell has taken down another enemy, and the way is clear to move on. The same old story of Banshees and Avengers are at the next nav point, and Excell gets the first kill. She has to retreat due to damage, and I take out a Banshee with a missile. Seeing how dangerously close I am to 100% damage, I use another missile to quickly eliminate a Banshee. The final two Avengers are going full throttle towards Pasqual 10 in an attempt to do as much damage as possible. I get one with a missile, and follow up on the other with a furious gun barrage. Tex admires the quick kill, and it’s time to bring in my battered Avenger for repairs. Sosa congratulates me on my approach, and says that some of the Kilrathi are considering me a hero. I’m sure that there will be paybacks both ways for future interactions.


Pasqual 3
In the galley, Catscratch is giving Sosa a dish of vegetables. She thanks him for his kindness, and Catscratch offers me a seat when he sees me walk up to the table. Catscratch has told me that he has thought about what I said earlier about helping those in need, and agrees that helping the Kilrathi was the right thing to do. Sosa points out that she helped nudge Catscratch towards his new thoughts, and asks if I’ve checked out the new guests in the hold. Sounds like the Marines have arrived, and I tell them both to carry on while I check them out. I see a bunch of beaten-up personnel in the hold catching some sleep before a new assignment. I wake one of them, and he tells me that he is Colonel Decker. Once I introduce myself, he recognizes my name. I point out that they are late in arriving, and Decker says that things got hairy in Lennox. He then says that he heard that I’m helping out the Kilrathi. I ask if there are problems with that and he points out that he’s a war veteran with action in Repleetah and time in a Kilrathi POW camp. I hope I don’t have another Cobra on my hands, and am quickly relieved when he replies that the war with the cats is over and he considers the matter a part of the past. Decker points out his crew as experts at hand to hand combat, and I tell him to get them prepped for our next mission. I enter CIC and explain the mission briefing. We’ll be taking Melek to a starbase where he was stationed. We’ll be using the Marines to take control of the starbase, and then let Melek take over. We’ll do a sweep of the area and provide cover for the Marine landing craft. Sounds like escort duty, so I pick the Vindicator and choose Catscratch and Panther to come along. Time for both of them to actively assist the Kilrathi. Melek says that he’ll share this new insight about me to his hrai. Sounds like the ‘Heart of the Tiger’ has found his way to beat a new way in the hearts of the Kilrathi.

More pirates in those flimsy Razor fighters are looking to attack an entire contingent of three Vindicators and several Kilrathi. The lead Razor takes a few barrages from my guns and tries running away. I let a missile take him out, and quickly follow with another missile against the second. No more pirates decide to become bait here, and we move towards the station. There are no fighters I can see in the area and Catscratch asks if I should call in the Marines. I agree to do so, and as soon as I do pirate Arrow fighters attack. Catscratch quickly makes his mark against a pirate fighter, and I see three more go off the scope before I get in range. Seems like the cats wanted some blood in retribution, so they definitely have lost little of their abilities to swarm and attack in groups. Panther catches an Arrow after it uncloaks, and she scores one for our side. It takes about a minute for Decker to assist Melek in taking the starbase. We all head back to the Intrepid, and Sosa thanks us for our great work.

P.S. - I'm including one picture from Silverfall and Sacred(my current games in session that I've mentioned), as well as a Scatter Gun shot from the Banshee.
 

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DaveO

Commodore
Not many new screen shots from the five missions. Pretty much everything except a shot or two is included in this reply. I may have had more, but many of the cinematics were captured using HCl's utility, and I want any cinematic captures to be special. I'll scan thru the cinematics again, and I'm sure I'll add more shots.

P.S. - Thanks for trying the scatter gun, Lorien! I do admit that it's easier to use against slower targets like bombers or heavy fighters.
 

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DaveO

Commodore
Caught up on this week at least. I still have the other five missions to document for the Border Worlds missions of Silenos and Orestes.


Peleus 1
Three Border Worlds Banshees are flying in the Peleus system on patrol when their ship systems get disrupted. A pair of Excaliburs comes from behind the Banshees, and one Banshee is quickly eliminated. A Banshee pilot manages to get a missile lock on an enemy Excalibur, but the missile takes out a fellow pilot’s Banshee. One of the Excaliburs swoops in and finishes off the final Banshee.

On the Intrepid, Sosa relays a communication from Wilford to me. The Vice Admiral tells me that there are ships being lost in Peleus without evidence of an enemy behind it. Due to the importance of Peleus to provide fuel for our forces as well as its strategic location, we are to investigate the area. I tell the navigator to jump to Peleus, and we get a surprise. All of our ship systems go offline, and even emergency systems are useless. The Intrepid just got a big bull’s eye painted on it since we’re sitting ducks. Maniac points out the obvious about having to fly blind without way of knowing what is waiting for us. I point out that we’re not entirely blind, but we’ve already found out why ships are being lost in this area. Something is interfering with ship systems including our fighters, so we need to find the cause of this disruption quickly or risk an attack we’ll have little chances to fend off. Maniac wants a refund for this little tour of Peleus, and I’m sure there will be opportunities for paybacks on both sides. We manage to pull to the edge of this jamming ‘black hole’, but it does not help matters much. The only choice left is to do a search and destroy. Due to the missile guidance issues, dumb fire missiles will be the only options. I talk to Pliers before I take off, and he recommends increased power to engines since the armor for the fighters has been increased. I go with his recommendation, and pick an Avenger due to its durability.

Turbo and I take off, and instantly the Avenger is a life saver. An enemy fighter runs right into my rear while I’m trying to shake him off at the first nav point. The second nav point is clear, so we head on to the third. There are multiple enemy fighters here, but it’s hard to sight them and keep them in view with the sluggish Avenger. I manage to get lucky after doing evasive maneuvers and see an enemy Bearcat heavy fighter. I get on its tail, and destroy it with several direct hit blasts. I don’t see any other fighters, so we go onwards to the fourth nav point. This area is also empty, so we head to a fifth nav point area. More Bearcats are here, and I sight one and engage it. It’s destroyed by multiple shots, but my Avenger is critically damaged. I can’t afford to take many more hits. I’m doing some evasive swerving in an attempt to see the other Bearcat, but Turbo pitches in and destroys the fighter. At the next nav point, Sosa manages to make communication to tell me about enemy forces approaching the Intrepid’s position. Turbo and I head for that area, and there are two Excaliburs here. I decide to try my luck, and I get one of the enemy fighters with a dumb fire missile. I get behind the other one, and finish him off with my guns. The pilot ejects, and Decker comes on the communication line thinking the pilot may know something to help us find the source of our ship system troubles. I pull the ejection pod of the pilot into my ship with the tractor beam, and head back to the Intrepid. Sosa tells me that we’ll be questioning the pilot as soon as I land.

I see Hawk and Panther trying to get the pilot to talk. He’s refusing to cooperate, and Hawk’s about to ‘turn up the heat’ to this interrogation but I’m able to intervene. I recognize the pilot as the person I helped in the bar on Nephele. He decides to pay me back for my kindness. He explains that he was only flying for those forces because they paid for his services. I tell him that people are dying who don’t deserve to because of the disruption in Peleus. He tells me about the source of our troubles after I promise to return him home. There is a re-outfitted capital ship doing the jamming of our systems. The pilot plots the movement of this ship on our nav map, and he tells us it also has cloaking capabilities. It has to uncloak to move, so that should be enough for us to sight it. The pilot has no clue why this ship was sent here, and admits that there is no honor in killing practically defenseless targets. I offer the pilot a position on the Intrepid, but he feels that his flying days are over. He thinks his next outing would result in his death, and he prefers to postpone that as long as he can. Hawk and Panther do offer the pilot a meal and a chance to clean up which he accepts.


Peleus 2
All of the pilots enter the CIC, and Sosa shows everybody the last communication from Wilford. All traffic thru Peleus has been halted due to the jamming, and Border Worlds efforts are seriously impacted. The Intrepid is the last hope for the Border Worlds to reclaim the system. The jamming ship must be destroyed for normal shipping operations to resume, and the dumb fires are the only missiles that can be used on it. Maniac points out that the aim will have to be perfect to hit any enemies, but I did score a kill against an Excalibur with a dumb fire so it CAN be done. I choose the Vindicator and Yaeger for this mission since I need a more maneuverable ship that can still do cap ship killing.

There are Bearcats here, but they are like slugs against our more agile Vindicators. I get a pretty easy kill with my guns, and Yaeger helps out on a combined fighter kill. We head on to the next nav point, and Yaeger gets both Bearcat kills here although I got an assist on the second ship. At the third nav point, I spot the jammer ship along with its fighter defense. Yaeger and I combine on a Bearcat kill, and I see an Excalibur in my sights. I’m forced to pull out of my attack when I see the Excalibur slowly being overtaken by my Vindicator. I get him in my sights again, and finish him off with my guns. Yeager and I again combine on a fighter kill, and only the jammer ship is left. I get in a good barrage that causes damage, but pull out after I see the jammer ship cloak. I see it uncloak and finish it off, and my cockpit takes a few cracks. Yeager and I head back to the Intrepid, and everything on the ship is back to fully operational status.

The navigator on the Intrepid points out two targets uncloaking directly ahead of it. Decker quickly snaps alert and watches what’s going on. He sees a shuttle leaving the uncloaked space station in a big hurry. Sosa offers to get me on the communication line so that I can make a decision about what to do. Decker decides to take matters in his own hands and pursues the shuttle at the top speed of his Marine craft.
 

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
I have to put my replay on hold AGAIN! But don't worry it's for a very good reason. I'll still be in the cockpit, but I'll be flying on someone else's dime :)
 

DaveO

Commodore
I know it's early, but could you provide a clue for the missions for tomorrow? I'm pretty much done with the Speradon sequence and wanted to know if the Circe/Speradon choices were going to be the only missions. The other systems are very short for mission selections, so I don't want to overdo things.

By your reply, does that mean you're using somebody else's computer for the replay? I'm just wondering what happened to cause the delay.

P.S. - I might as well give a small spoiler that I'll be trying the Mace, Bearcat, and Stormfire weapon since I'm going to Speradon. I'll do Circe too, but it won't be my official choice.
 

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
By your reply, does that mean you're using somebody else's computer for the replay? I'm just wondering what happened to cause the delay.
Nope, I've been reassigned to special operations in order to complete a very difficult mission. It will be on the vids soon.
 
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