The Cerberus has been able to detect a number of strong alien signals from a nearby source. We’re to patrol the area to locate the source. There is only a reception of the light Moray fighters, so this part of the patrol should be simple. I destroy all four of the Morays at this point, and Sypder asks Zero to verify the fragment of a distress call detected on our long-range scanners. Zero is able to determine that a commercial craft is calling for help, but he can’t determine its location due to so many alien fleet transmissions. Sypder asks for us to keep scanning during our patrol to see if we can get any more information. There is heavier resistance at the second nav point from Mantas and Morays. I take out one Manta, and then Spyder and I combine with missiles to eliminate a Manta attacking Zero. I toast two of the Morays, and Spyder makes another splash against an alien. We head for the third nav point, and there are more of the Mantas and Morays. I make a mental note that there is also a Devil Ray to deal with after dispatching the first Manta. I use a missile and gun combination to make short work of another Manta, and go after the Devil Ray. It takes one missile and assistance from Spyder to destroy the Devil Ray. I take out one of the Moray fighters, and Zero lines up another to get a kill. When we return to the Cerberus, the Captain wants us to get quickly reloaded and refueled so that we can deal with the distress call.
Zero is in an SAR shuttle for this mission, and believes we will find the source of the distress call. Due to our previous sweep, there is no resistance at the first nav point. When we reach the second, my targeting computer identifies the battered and drifting ship we see as the Anna Maria Albergetti. There are Stingrays and Morays here, so there is a chance for survivors from the initial attack on the ship. I take care of one Stingray along with two Morays, and make an assisted kill on another Stingray. Taking out the last Moray is simple with my fighter and another blasting it to bits. Zero warns us to stay clear of the Albergetti’s jump drive since a breach of its core would destroy the ship as well as any ships too close to its destructive blast wave. Zero tells us that he can detect two life signs on the Albergetti, and has located a point on the ship stable enough to allow a landing. The Cerberus gives us new navigation data for a continued patrol that will prevent any more aliens from returning to the Albergetti. Maestro stays behind with Zero to make sure any potential stragglers are stopped. The next nav point has only more of the Stingrays to deal with. I get three of the Stingrays with my guns, and use a missile to get rid of a fourth. A fifth one is fried by the guns of my fighter, and we continue onwards. We spot a few Mantas, and make an attack. I’m able to get all four of the Mantas, but my Panther has taken some core and serious afterburner damage. I let the repair system work a bit, and we move on to the next nav point. There are more Mantas and Morays here, and I handle one Manta without troubles. I’m then forced to drop several decoys to ditch a missile sent my way. I return the present of a missile to a Manta in front of me, and use my guns to finish it off. Two more of the Mantas are destroyed, and I take out two of the Morays. The final Moray pilot just sits there to let Stiletto easily shoot him down. We return to the remains of the Albergetti, and Zero tells us that a doctor and a young man have been rescued. They are under the effects of a skin-thinning agent, and need quick medical assistance if they are to survive.
Our medical capabilities are not enough for the two survivors, so we’ll have to get them to a facility in the next twelve hours. Confed intelligence believes the alien activity is indicating a blockade of the Luyten and Krieger systems. We’ll use continued sweeps to pull the plug on the blockade. We launch in Panthers for this patrol, and the first nav point has light resistance from Morays and a Ray. I go after a Moray since the only threat from the Ray is its mines. Stiletto takes out the Ray while I’m pursuing a Moray. I easily handle the Moray, and then destroy two of those small Remoras released from the dead Ray. I take down another Moray, and one of our fighters eliminates a Remora that was attacking me from behind. I deal deadly damage to two more of the Morays, and we move on to the next nav point. Another of the civilian luxury liners is under attack from the aliens. A mix of Mantas and Stingrays will have to be handled. I take care of one Manta with my guns, and then use a missile and guns to make short work of a second Manta. I pound two more of the Mantas with my Panther, and there are only the Stingrays to deal with. I shatter two of the Stingrays, and the Captain of the Twilight Purchase thanks us for our assistance. At the next nav point, the bugs are bringing multiple bombers to bear. I break apart a Skate bomber cluster, and blast one of the smaller segments into shards. Stiletto punches out, and I see another of the Skate bomber clusters taken care of. I break apart another of the bomber clusters, and use a few Friend or Foe missiles to handle the segments. As I do the same shattering work on a third Skate bomber cluster, both Spyder and Maestro have to eject. I’m all alone against the remaining bugs, and look for the most dangerous threats. I spot a Manta and give it two missiles to trash it, and then use my guns to take out another Manta. There are only the Skate segments left, and one quickly falls to a frontal pass. I shoot down four of the Skate segments, and let a missile handle the fifth one. One Skate is shot down by my guns, and another feels the force of a missile. Another Skate is scuttled from a frontal pass, and I let my Panther pounce on the last two Skate segments with its guns. I return to the Cerberus with the Twilight Purchase, and the SAR shuttle is going to have extra work in recovering the three pilots who ejected. The Captain of the Cerberus says that the Twilight Purchase will take the two survivors from the Albergetti to a remote medical lab in this system.
We’re to seek out and destroy an alien capital ship for this mission. We head for the first nav point, and see some Mantas lurking in a cluster of asteroids. I take care of two of the Mantas, and our group handles the other two. There is a Devil Ray along with Mantas and Skates at our next alien encounter. The Devil Ray takes three missile hits before Zero finishes it off, and I make two of the Mantas permanently missing in action. A few shots from my fighter finish off two of the Skates, and we head for the next nav point on our patrol. There is an even distribution of Morays, Mantas, and Devil Rays to duel with. I take out one Manta with my guns, and use a missile along with my guns to take care of the other Manta. It takes two of my missiles and some assistance from Spyder to destroy one of the Devil Rays. I only see a Moray left, so our group must have shot down the other Devil Ray. I engage and shoot down that final fighter, and we head back for the Cerberus. Due to no encounter with alien capital ships, the Captain concludes that they must have fallen back to the Luyten jump point. The concentration of alien forces in Proxima may be more than in both the Luyten and Krieger systems.
We quickly launch to attack any alien capital ships guarding the Luyten jump point. There are Devil Rays, Mantas, and Morays at the first nav point. I give the Devil Ray multiple Friend or Foe missiles and firepower to its rear to take it out. I then give three of the Mantas a taste of space, and do the same for the final Moray fighter. And the next nav point, there are Stingrays providing defense for a Hydra cruiser. I gun down one of the Stingrays, and notice that the Cerberus is at close range to the Hydra. There is no doubt that the plasma cannon of the Cerberus is chewing up chunks of the Hydra. I shoot down a second Stingray, and then break apart a clustered Stingray. I take out two more of the Stingrays with missiles and guns, and I only see Stingrays near to the Cerberus. Just as I engage my afterburners in pursuit, our bombers hammer the Hydra. The turrets and plasma cannon of the Cerberus are able to handle the remaining two Stingray ships.
Another week down. Cygnus system was almost a disappointment after the fun last week.
As the Cerberus makes it's way into the Cygnus system, I get a chance to sit down and check my messages. The hard combat in the Talos system didn't leave much time for anything other than flying, sleeping and drinking to those that didn't make it. The captain is proud of our performance so far, but we've got a hard task ahead of us. The aliens are believed to be massing for a strike on Sol and the Cerberus is going to be driving a wedge into their forces. The captain tells us to expect plenty of recon missions and to answer any distress calls that we receive. While saving those transports from the bugs felt good, burning down bugs massing for a strike on the Confederation's capital feels much better.
It certainly doesn't help that the Confederation's citizens seem bent on destroying themselves in the rush to cash in on the alien invasion. Zero's dad came through with some documents indicating that the private sector is hell bent on scavenging alien technology and selling it on the black market. Given what I've heard from the Marines on some of the stuff they saw, that can't be a good idea and it's only going to be a matter of time before someone gets hurt. The only good news so far is a new name that we can use to drive Zero batty, courtesy of his father.
Our first mission in the Cygnus system is a simple one. We've detected a number of strong alien signals somwhere nearby. Spyder, Zero and I are to patrol the area and attempt to find the source of the transmission. The alien presence along our course is fairly light, consisting of only a few Mantas and Morays, backed up by a single Devil Ray at the last Nav Point. We don't manage to find the source of the alien transmissions, but we do detect a trace of a confed distress signal amongst all the traffic. We land on the Cerberus, ready to take another crack at locating the distress beacon.
Our fighters are quickly refueled and rearmed and we launch again to find the source of that distress beacon. Nav 1 is empty, but we strike paydirt at Nav 2, locating the hulk of a luxury liner that was called the Albergetti. Zero's detected some life signs aboard, so I order my wing to clear out the alien forces and allow the SAR shuttle to land and pick them up. The 3 Morays and Stingray present little challenge. Maestro docks his Shrike in with Zero's shuttle as the captain orders the rest of our wing to secure the area.
The captain's decision turns out to be wise one as we encounter heavy enemy presence along our patrol route to provide cover. Nothing heavier than a Manta or a Stingray cluster but the swarm of forces are enough to cause Spyder and Stiletto to eject before our route is complete. Another SAR will need to be dispatched to pick them up. When I return to the Albergetti, Zero reports that he's recovered two survivors in bad condition. We need to get them to medical attention as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately, the Cerberus' medical facilities aren't up to the task of looking after our survivors. We need to find a suitable place for them but the aliens are blockading the jumps into the Luyten and Krieger systems. Our fighters are going to sweep the system and tear the back out of the blockade so that we can get our passengers to a suitable location. The first Nav point is mostly empty, except for a Ray and a few Morays. The wingmen decide to take out the Ray first for some stupid reason, leaving us to dodge the Remoray fire as we hunt down the Morays.
The second nav point contains a suprise. Another liner called the Twilight purchase, under attack by some Red Mantas and Stingray clusters. I order my wingmen to break and attack and use my Nav computer to hunt down the bombers targetting the Twilight Purchase, making sure to use an ELRIR to take out the Stingray clusters that form. The cheer from the crew aboard the Twilight Purchase is definitely heartening and we set course to escort them back to the Cerberus. A small force of Skate T's and Mantas try to block us, but are easily taken care of. Unlike the Ray clusters, taking out the Skate T's first is vitally important to succeeding. As we arrive back at the Cerberus, the captain gives us the good news. The Twilight Purchase can take our passengers to a Med-Lab here in the Cygnus system while we continue to attack the blockade forces.
Intel believes that there's an alien capital ship guarding their forces in the Cygnus and the Cerberus' fighters are being dispatched to take care of it. The intensity of the alien presence is definitely picking up in this system, with a number of Devil Rays attempting to stop or progress, accompanied by various lighter fighters. None of them can stand up to the firepower of 3 Panthers and 3 Shrikes, though, and all are taken care of with ease. There's no sign of intel's capital ship on our patrol, though, but the captain provies an explanation for that, the aliens must have fallen back to Luyten jump point, so we're going to go knocking on that particular door.
With our fighters re-armed and the light armour scratches patched over, we take off to escort the Cerberus to the Luyten jump point, fully expecting to find an alien cap ship in our way. Nav point 1 is a bit of a disappointment, with only a few fighters but the two Devil Rays will wreck havoc on our bombers if they're left unchecked, making them a top priority. None of them get enough time to seriously engage the bombers.
The jump point comes with our expected reward, an alien cruiser sitting there on guard, escorted by a lot of Stingrays. I order a break and attack and start to engage the Stingrays paying particular attention to any clusters that are about to form. In between Stingray clusters I take out a couple of cruiser turrets but there's not too much time before our Shrikes have taken the entire thing out. We mop up the remaining fighters and head back in to land, our thoughts on the Captain's warning about the alien concentrations in the Luyten system.