Gamma Wing (Dakota System)

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Gamma Wing
Date 2654.139.0620
Fighter Raptor
Wingmen Joseph Khumalo
Other Friendly Ships Drayman at Tiger's Claw Nav
Drayman at Nav 2
Medal Silver Star
Objectives Escort Drayman to Jump Point at Nav 1.

Defend Drayman as it prepares for jump.
Proceed to Nav 2.
Return with Drayman to Tiger's Claw.

Previous Tau Wing (Gimle System)
Next Lambda Wing (Dakota System)

Mission Layout


The Memoirs of Lieutenant Colonel Carl T. LaFong

I was looking forward to flying Raptors with Captain Khumalo. He didn't have a reputation as a leader, but Knight starred in the role of wingman. He was steady, always in position, and didn't make mental mistakes.

We were covering medical transports as they delivered a new Watson's Disease vaccine to the settlers in Fargo Colony. We'd escort one Drayman to its jump point, then cover another on the way back to rendezvous with the Tiger's Claw.

We'd fallen into escort position, set our speed at 100 KPS to stay on the Drayman, and just set the autopilot when Knight spotted them. It was four Jalthi. I felt the hair on the back of my neck bristle. I ordered Knight to hit my target and we immediately maxed out the throttles.

The wave came straight in and I rolled left to get ready to punch the burners and try to slide above them. As soon as I saw their lasers, I fired two quick shots with the mass driver and immediately switched the setting to neutrons. I fired the burners and yanked the stick left. I was sliding too much and couldn't get into position to fire when they swept right under me. I burned again, rolled, and turned right and started the chase.

Knight fired first, sending full guns right up a Jalthi's pipes. I followed with two good shots from the neutrons, then caught him with two more shots as he turned. It was all over for that one. Now it was really getting crazy.

I had a Jalthi on my tail and it looked like my shields were in trouble. I dropped a porcupine, rapped on the burner switch, and told Knight to break and attack. Then I pulled right just as hard as I could go and looked for the Drayman. It was under fire.

Knight was moving in from the right, so I broke left and started calling the cats whatever I could think of to really get under their skin. I could see Knight evading a missile and looping back on the sender.

They were still pretty far away, but I lined up and sent a Dart in just to keep them on their toes. "Even if it doesn't score, it'll definitely get their attention," I thought.

I was on full afterburners when I raced by the three Jalthi and almost splattered my fighter on the Drayman. It was close, but actually gave me an edge when I continued around the large ship and caught a Jalthi coming the other way. I switched to full guns and, at full blaster power, lit him up. He tried to run, but when the blaster was repowered, I was ready and he was down. The other two were already heading away when I turned. The Drayman was still on course.

The jump point was less than 7500 kilometers away when the Krant decided to ruin our day. They were close when we saw them, and we broke into an attack. I went to full guns and just concentrated on making every shot count. Sometimes it's tough to hold your fire until you're sure of a shot on target, but it's the only way to use full guns.

One cartwheeled before exploding when I caught it with four in a row to the side and followed with a Spiculum IR that barely got out of the tube before it hit him. Knight called for help and I raced over to help, shadowed by the third Krant.

I saw the one hitting Knight and altered course to come in from the rear. The Krant behind hit me with a burst, so I popped the afterburners and made a quarter-turn left for a little slide. I switched to neutrons and thumbed the fire button as I crossed behind the Krant on Knight. I hit him two or three times and noticed the damage in the right VDU. A quick turn and a Javelin and he was gone. I started to tell Knight to hit my target when I saw him already on the way. Two missiles and three hits from full guns, and the last Krant was toast. The Drayman jumped while we fought.

Four more Jalthi flared up just as we moved into position on Nav 2. We just stayed with the second Drayman, used our taunts and fought a smart fight. We were patient with the guns, waited until we had position, and made use of every weapon in our arsenal. I even finished one off with the mass drivers at almost 3000 meters. Just lucky, I guess.

I'd been real lucky. Until I hit the hangar, I didn't realize how many shots had hit me without taking out any major systems. Still, the mechs would be busy tonight.

Preflight Conversations


Hey, Maverick. Glad to see you again.
We just jumped in to Dakota System, you know.
It's basically an agro colony, but they've had an outbreak of Watson's Disease.
The colonists here're a proud bunch, an' they waited to call for help.
That's bad news. Watson's can wipe out a whole city in just a few weeks.
There's no cure yet, but the Confederation's 'sportin' in a vaccine.

Talk to HUNTER

C'mere, mate. Maniac's teachin' me 'ow to fly. Can you believe it?
Todd Marshall
Someone better -- you're dangerous, and not just to the Kilrathi.
Ian St. John
I'm dangerous? I'm dangerous!
This from the guy who goes to afterburners the instant 'e smells a target!
Todd Marshall
Well, at least I go after 'em. Some of you old guys don't always do that.
Ian St. John
I 'ate to admit it, mate, but you're right about some of the 'old guys.'
Knight, Paladin, some others, they must be cat lovers...or pacifists.
But don't lump me with that lot, mate.
The more Kilrah blood I smell, the nastier I get.

Talk to MANIAC

Hey, Maverick? I feel like griping about wingmen. Care to join in?
Take Knight, for example. He flies like an old lady. No vision...
...and he couldn't find a target if his wingman's life depended on it.
Ian St. John
Which it usually does...
Todd Marshall
Yeah. And Angel...Always studying, planning. Just fly, I say.
Ian St. John
Anybody on the the Claw you don't mind flyin' with, squirt?
Todd Marshall
First off, let's watch the squirt cracks. And second...
Course there're a couple of pilots I don't mind flying with.
You're not too bad, Hunter -- almost as good as me. And there's Iceman...
Ice is scary, man. I mean, I'm in this for the flying...
He's in it for the killing, I think.

Mission Briefing

Mission Briefing. Dakota System, 06:20 hours, 2654.139. Twenty minutes into the briefing.

Peter Halcyon
As you may have heard, there's been an outbreak of Watson's Disease here.
It's spreading across the fourth planet, Fargo, like wildfire.
If we don't get a vaccine down there soon,that colony's history.
We've been ordered to provide primary cover for medical transports.
Your job will be to cover the Draymans as they come and go.
Gamma wing will consist of Maverick and Knight.
I'm counting on you two to come through...
...and so are the colonists down on Fargo.
Computer, display Gamma.
You will proceed first to Nav 1, escorting an outbound hospital ship.
Your objective is to protect her from the Kilrathi until she makes her jump out.
Once she's gone, go to Nav 2, where you'll rendezvous with another 'sport.
Bring this Drayman back to the Tiger's Claw in one piece...
...she's the one carrying the vaccine for Fargo.
Any questions?
Christopher Blair
No, sir.
Joseph Khumalo
None here, Colonel.
Peter Halcyon
Very good. That's all gentlemen.

Mission Debriefing

Mission Debriefing. 09:00 hours, 2654.139.

Peter Halcyon
Maverick, it's good to see you. Let's have your report.
Christopher Blair
Yes sir. We ran into bogies at Nav 1, but we took care of them.
The Drayman's on her way to her destination!
Peter Halcyon
I see, Maverick. What about the inbound Drayman?
Christopher Blair
She should be in formation now, sir.
Peter Halcyon
That's true. And that vaccine will save thousands down on Fargo.
Christopher Blair
That's what matters, Colonel.
Peter Halcyon
I've reviewed your flight recorder's report of your mission, Maverick.
You shot down 9, Maverick...
and Knight ripped 2.

Hangar Deck. 09:20 hours, 2654.139.

Peter Halcyon
For meritorious conduct in confronting the Kilrathi enemy, in the Dakota system, on or about 2654.139,
the Terran Confederation is proud to present the Silver Star to Captain Blair.
Your courage is exemplary of the Confederation’s finest defenders.
Good job, Maverick. Congratulations.
Christopher Blair
Thank you, sir.

Filled with pride, Maverick meets the applause of his fellows.