Theta Wing (Kurasawa System)
|Objectives||Destroy any Kilrathi convoys encountered|
|Previous||Epsilon Wing (Dakota System)|
|Next||Omicron Wing (Kurasawa System)|
The Memoirs of Lieutenant Colonel Carl T. LaFong
It was great to be assigned to the Black Lion Squadron and finally have the chance to take the helm of a Rapier-class heavy fighter. I'd heard all about their speed, maneuverability, and armaments when Spirit and Angel had checked out the prototypes in the Gimle System. I was psyched for this mission.
We were finally on the offensive in the war, and moving on Kilrathi bases after halting the enemy's advance in the Dakota System. According to Intelligence reports, the enemy was trying to ferry ships and supplies into the bases. They were preparing to make a defensive stand, but we weren't going to let them.
This was my first assignment with Bossman flying on my wing and I was grateful for his experience. Apparently he'd been real aggressive as a rookie, but later toned it down when young pilots were dying as they tried to emulate his tactics. Since last March, when his first daughter was born, the native Kaohsiung, Taiwan had become even more conservative.
I'd run into so many poor pilots flying the Dralthi, that I was a little complacent when we found a five-ship wing guarding a Dorkir at Nav 1A. But these guys were hardened vets, and they gave us fits with their darting maneuvers. I couldn't believe I'd taken damage from a light fighter, but my guard was down and they scored from long range with their laser cannons before I gathered my wits about me. I won't use the excuse that I was flying a new fighter, since the Rapiers responded to the slightest touch on the joystick.
After a slow start, we realized that with full guns and better maneuverability than in a Raptor, we didn't have to play the defensive game. I ripped through the hulls of three Dralthi, and Bossman took out two once we got our act together. Normally, I always went for the rear attack, but with 7-cm fore shields and 5-cm armor in the front, I just went in from the front and blasted away with my combined lasers and neutrons.
Once the protection was destroyed, we concentrated on the Dorkir. It was like a shooting range. Always attacking these large ships from the rear, the Rapier's quick response allowed us to wait until the last second before unloading our guns and turning off to avoid a collision. At such close ranges, as little as 750 meters, our full guns were incredibly effective.
Nav 2 found us trading fire with four Krant who were escorting another fully laden Dorkir sport. We broke right and attacked, taking full advantage of our afterburners, lasers, full guns, and missiles. At long range, I just kept sliding to one side or the other and cutting loose with the laser. When I was close, I hit them with full guns to weaken the shields and broke out the Spiculums to deliver the coup de grace. The Dorkir was a snap.
We were heading to Nav 1B, where we would await the jump of another Dorkir, when Bossman spoke up.
"These Rapiers could make you lazy, Prankster. Don't let it give you a false sense of security. They're quick and nimble, but we're still carrying only three centimeters of armor on our sides. Just think what a Jalthi could do to that."
His speech, a long one for Bossman, was prophetic. Two Jalthi were waiting to meet the transport when we arrived at Nav 1B and they weren't happy to see us. To be perfectly honest, I was caught daydreaming when Bossman noticed the two targets. I threw the throttles forward and searched my display for the telltale red blips. That's when the first shot ripped right into the right side and sent me spinning out of control.
I'd lost my hold on the joystick and it took a second to recover. My first move was to hit the afterburners. I didn't care which way I went, I just wanted to get away. Then I heard Bossman screaming. "Cut me loose, Lieutenant!" I'd forgotten to order him to attack and it almost cost us our lives.
"Help me out here!" I yelled. Bossman didn't waste a breath, and rolled right and turned left to protect me with his full guns and missiles. He launched a Dart and a Spiculum, just for effect, while I checked the left VDU for internal damage. It could have been worse. I saw a flash and knew the Dorkir had jumped, and I looped and rolled for position on the Jalthi that had sent me scampering through space. Bossman signaled a score just as I saw smoke begin to pour from my own target. Down he went.
We changed tactics on the Dorkir, using our Darts on the first two passes and switching to neutrons for the kill. What a day!
Talk to SHOTGLASS
- Maverick, , how's it going?
- So here we are, in Kurasawa. Kilrathi call it Warach Tha, they say.
- Empire's s'posed to have several bases on an' 'round the fourth planet...
- ...so I guess you boys'll be seein' some serious action soon.
- Still, we're not the first Terran ship here...
- I heard the Kilrathi in system are already half beat.
Talk to ANGEL
- Allo, Maverick. You have a moment, no?
- The Colonel has directed our crew chiefs to prepare our Rapiers for battle.
- I had hoped we would have flown them more before now. C'est la vie.
- Should you get the chance, let me know how they fly. It is tres important.
- Au revoir, Maverick.
Talk to MANIAC
- Maverick, am I glad to see you.
- I'm going insane listening to Angel talk about fuel-to-acceleration ratios.
- Heard that we're about to raid some fuzzball bases. That'd be great!
- I haven't shot at anything in a week...
- ...and I'm starting to get restless.
Mission Briefing.Kurasawa System, 06:00 hours, 2654.281.
- Peter Halcyon
- All right, boys and girls. Let's get to work.
- First, I want to congratulate you all for your efforts at Dakota.
- Our successes there were crucial to recent developments in the war effort.
- The Kilrathi advance has been halted...
- ...and now the Confederation is on the offensive.
- Now we're moving on the Kilrathi bases in the Kurasawa System.
- These bases are vital to Kilrathi command and communication in the sector.
- The Empire is currently trying to ferry troops and supplies to these bases...
- ...in a frantic attempt to defend them.
- I'm sending my best pilots,in my best fighters,to head off these supplies.
The commander assigns several wings, led by Iceman, Hunter, and other aces. Your assignment comes last...
- Peter Halcyon
- Theta is especially vital, so I'm sending you, Maverick, with Bossman as your wing.
- Computer, display Theta Wing...
- We've detected several Kilrathi fighters circling two nearby jump points.
- One Dorkir-class transport has already jumped in here, at Nav 1a.
- You'll intercept and destroy it, then move on to Nav 2...
- ...where another squadron of Kilrathi fighters awaits an incoming 'sport.
- When you've taken care of any 'sports that appear at Nav 2...
- ...return to the Tiger's Claw via Nav 1b, in case there are any late arrivals.
- Kien Chen
- Yes, Colonel. Do we have any intelligence regarding the contents of the 'sports?
- Peter Halcyon
- Nothing definite, Major...
- ...but that first Dorkir is especially well guarded.
- It must be something -- or someone -- the hairballs don't want to lose.
- If that's all the questions,then let's get into space.
- Squadron dismissed.
Mission Debriefing. 15:00 hours, 2654.281.
- Peter Halcyon
- Welcome back, Major. Let's have your report.
- Christopher Blair
- Yes sir. We nailed the Dorkir at Nav 1a.
- We got another 'sport at Nav 2.
- We took out one more at Nav 1b, on the way back in.
- Peter Halcyon
- We've determined that the first Dorkir was a command staff ship, Maverick...
- Blasting that one should cripple their chain of command. Good job.
- I've read the flight log of your engagements, Major.
- You took out 7 of the fuzzballs, Maverick...
- and Bossman got 7.
- I'll go over your report in detail later.
- You did well out there, Maverick.
- That's all. Dismissed.