Part 24: Flight Log 19 - Lt. Lance Casey
[Flight Log 19 - Lt. Lance Casey]
This mission was one of my most complicated yet. I was going to lead a squadron of Shrikes on a bombing run against the alien comm tower. However, the main purpose of this mission was not to destroy the comm tower, but rather to lure the aliens into an ambush by the TCS Midway and the incoming TCS Eisen at the T'lan Meth jump point. Taking out the comm station would be a nice bonus, though, so I was determined to do my best to destroy the station and keep any signals from being transferred back to the aliens, who seemed to be congregating in the Kilrah system.
As soon as we arrived at the comm station, I saw three Stingrays forming into their super ship. From previous experience, I knew that this meant almost instant death for any unlucky ship that was in their sights, so I focused my few IR missiles onto the Stingray cluster, hoping to break them up.
Unfortunately, I broke them up a little too late. They had already honed in on Maestro, along with a couple of Mantas, and ripped his ship apart within seconds. I saw his eject pod and knew my friend was safe, but I kept after the Stingrays so they couldn't reform and do the same thing to anyone else.
After picking apart the Stingrays and helping the Vampires clear a few more fighters out, I figured it was relatively safe to go after the comm station. There were seven comm antennas, but each one was lightly armored, and a light torpedo was enough to take out each one.
While I was attacking the comm station, the Midway radioed the group and told them that reinforcements were coming and that we were to retreat. I had no intentions of going against orders, but the comm station was almost down, and I knew that it would be a major blow to the bugs if we knocked that sucker down, so I kept targetting the antennas and blowing them away one by one.
My persistance paid off when aliens in the comm station gave off one last unintelligable cry before their station was rendered completely useless. With that done, I began turning my attention back on the wave of fighters that the comm station released just before they went down for the count.
The Midway was ordering us to fall back to the ambush point immediately, but there wasn't much of a chance of that with all of the bugs chasing us around. So the best thing I could do was to finish these guys off as soon as possible and then autopilot back to the Midway.
We got another message a few minutes later from the Midway, ordering us to protect them. I wanted to yell back that that was exactly what we were doing by taking these bugs back, but the last thing I felt like doing was getting an earfull from the CAG when I landed, so I kept my mouth shut and concentrated on the enemy.
Finally clearing that group back, the remaining Shrikes, our Vampire escort, and I booked it back to the Midway. I wanted to get back in case they were in trouble, but I could only go as fast as the autopilot would take me. They would have to deal with that when I got there.
Which, sadly, was later than I planned on it being. On our way home, we got ambushed by some bugs jumping into the system. I had no idea that they had jump-capable fighters, and even more disturbing, we weren't even at a jump point. This would have to be analyzed by Finley and her crew of eggheads, but we were dealing with technology that we'd never seen before. In retrospect, I guess I had seen it before when they took Blair, but that was the last thing on my mind when that happened.
The bugs had done some decent damage to my ship, but it was nothing I couldn't handle. For once, I was actually happy to be in a bomber, because I would have never survived this in a Panther. These things were built to be shot at, and even though I knew Rachel was going to have my ass, I'd rather deal with her than be floating in space praying that an SAR got me before the bugs did.
Almost immediately after the last alien was blown up, the Midway announced that the Lone Wolf squadron (the guys flying the Vampires) were being transferred over to us immediately. I guess they figured we could use their expertise, or maybe Confed was going to try a new strategy with the Eisen that didn't need those ships. Whatever the reason, I couldn't say I was unhappy to be able to get my hands on one of those Vampires or possibly one of the Devastators that I heard the Eisen was toting. It'd be one nice step up from the Panthers and Shrikes that I had been flying.
As we arrived back at the Midway, Rachel messaged me, excited about the new simulator update. I was wondering if she'd still be that excited when she saw the half-gutted hull I was about to land. I was guessing not. But either way, it'd be nice to be able to get some practice against the bugs in the simulator. It certainly couldn't hurt.
When I landed, after taking the beating that I knew was coming from Rachel, I checked my mission stats. Not one of my better scores, but the comm station was down, and that was what really counted. I thought the score was a bit lower than it should be, and wondered if maybe the computer was on the fritz again, but it didn't matter. The CAG seemed happy, and if she wasn't yelling at me, that was a victory in itself.
G'mar Mission 1 ** (Interesting mission in theory. In practice, not so much. However, I had some fun with this video)
G'mar 1 Outtake (this rarely happens when I'm recording )