Part 19: Flight Log 17 - Lt. Lance Casey
[Flight Log 17 - Lt. Lance Casey]
After what seemed like months of preparation, the Marines and the Midway brass were finally ready to storm Dula Seven and rescue any prisoners trapped inside. This is what I had been psyching myself up for, and I was going to make sure that the Marines got every chance they could to get everyone there out alive.
As we got to the base, the Marines wasted no time rocketing towards the base for a quick landing and extraction. They had told us time and time again that speed was of the essence if we wanted to take the bugs off-guard and have any chance of rescuing our people.
We targetted the Mantas as fast as we could, since they posed the largest threat to the Marines' landing craft. However, in doing so, we left the Morays alone, and that turned out to be a slight mistake, as my lack of front armor seemed to suggest. Nevertheless, we were having success clearing out the skies, and hopefully the Marines were having as much success inside the base.
Turns out that the bugs had figured out how to activate the Kilrathi self-destruct sequence. While this didn't really affect our job out in space, it added an extra bit of stress on the Marines. There was really nothing I could do to help except take out the alien fighters as fast as I could so they'd have a clear shot out of there when they were ready to go.
One of the Marines reported that he had found faint signs of life, and he was going to go check it out. I had no idea how much time was remaining before the station blew up, but I figured the Marines had it well in hand, and if they thought they could save the prisoner, then they could do it. These were some of the most highly trained guys I had ever seen before, and after their performance on the comm station, I knew never to judge what they could and couldn't do.
(I DON'T HAVE TIME FOR THIS! TELL ME WHERE THE PRISONER IS!)
Finley broke in from the Midway and told the Marines that they needed to make it fast if they wanted to get out of there before the reactor blew up. I didn't hear anything from them after that, so I could only assume that they were rushing back to their landing craft, and needed clear skies before they could get out of there. I afterburnered towards the nearest enemy ship and kept blasting away, hoping to finish them off before the Marines got undocked.
One of the last enemy fighters managed to get behind me and knock out my shields before launching a missile, prompting the ejection siren. I didn't pay it any attention, because I knew that I could be the difference between that prisoner making it home alive or all of us dying when the base blew.
We finished off the last of the bugs and autopiloted out of there just in time. The base blew up just as we got out of range, and we all stopped to take a look at it before heading back to the Midway.
Successful mission! I couldn't care less about the score on this mission, I was more concerned with the prisoner that got brought back to the Midway. Who was it? Were they going to make it? I briefly checked my stats, and then began to move down to sickbay, when I was stopped by Stiletto, who had some surprising news for me.
T'lan Meth 9 **** (the mission is pretty cool in and of itself, but the real meat is in cutscene 15)
Edit: I just wanted to let you guys see the only reference to the Nephilem/Mantu/bugs prior to this game. Again, from Fleet Action
Again, there's no official word that Mantu = Nephilem, but it's pretty widely assumed as far as the WC fanbase goes.
Qar'ka hesitated for a moment as if not willing to speak.
"We must finish it before the Mantu return," he said quietly, "and take us in the back while we still fight the Confederation."
The others looked over nervously at Qar'ka and then back to Jukaga.
Jukaga nodded and said nothing. Just after the defeat at Vukar, a report had come in from a deep space remote probe, far beyond the edge of Hari space, a probe so far removed that it had taken a year even to bring it in. There was an indication that the Mantu, who had once before invaded Kilrathi space, had completed their war against an unknown neighbor and might very well return. Seventy years past there had been a brief encounter with them, and though the fight had been a draw, it was suspected that the Mantu might in fact be far superior in their weapons technology. They had disappeared, drawing back to fight other foes, but it was always suspected that there would come a day when the Mantu might turn their full attention on the Empire, a concern that deeply troubled Jukaga as he watched their resources being spilled against the humans.