Part 35: Flight Log 29 - Lt. Lance Casey
[Flight Log 29 - Lt. Lance Casey]
I was woken from my nap by the loudspeaker announcing for us to report to the flight deck immediately. I threw on my jumpsuit and headed down as fast as I could. The CAG was in the middle of briefing some other officers, but as she saw me, she pointed over to a Wasp and motioned for me to get in. I have to say, I was pretty curious why she put me in a Wasp and not a Vampire like I had been flying, but who am I to argue with the brass? I hopped in and got in line to launch.
While in the launch tube, the CAG came on my screen and told me what was going on. Apparently the bugs had learned a lesson from the Kilrathi and launched long-range Cap Ship Missiles at the Midway. We had all read about Blair's exploits with the Skipper missiles in the academy, but thankfully, I had seen no sign of cloaking technology from the bugs, so I didn't expect their missiles to be cloaking like the Skippers were.
As soon as I launched, I hit my boosters to intercept the missiles. While originally pissed to be in a Wasp, I realized now that the CAG had picked me for the most important role in this mission: initial contact. Maestro and I headed for the cap missiles and readied our long range IR missiles to take them down before they had a chance of getting close to the Midway.
Taking down the Cap Ship Missiles was not a problem. There were only four of them, and an IR took each one out. What made it slightly more challenging was the fact that a group of Stingrays was escorting the missiles. Or maybe I should say, one Stingray cluster. The Wasp was not built with the armor to deal with Stingray Clusters, but thankfully, Maestro saw that I was going after the missiles, and he broke apart the Stingrays before they could hit either of us.
As we were mopping up the last of the Morays, the Midway told us that they had detected another group of bombers incoming. Thankfully, by this point, the Vampires had managed to launch and were coming to our aid. In fact, I checked on my display and saw that they were only 40000 klicks out and closing fast on our position.
Now that I felt secure in having some backup, I afterburnered out towards the Skates and readied the last of my IRs to break up as many clusters as I could. Skates on their own were relatively harmless, but each Skate was designed with the ability to cluster up with Skates of the same kind, forming such groups as Skate Class B, Skate Class T, and probably more other Skate Classes that we hadn't seen yet. The only "nice" thing about Skates is that, unlike Stingrays, once you blew up the main cluster, they would not reform.
Armed with this knowledge, I targetted each Skate Class T and shot them until they broke apart, and then moved onto the next one. While this saved the Midway's ass, it had the unfortunate side-effect of littering my radar with about 20 enemies. As I said, Skates weren't dangerous, but you put twenty of anything out there, and they can take you down fast.
In the middle of taking down the Skates and their Moray escort, I managed to catch a glimpse of Kilrah for the first time since coming to this system. It had been years since Blair delivered the Tremlor Bomb that blew the Kilrathi homeworld apart, but on a cosmic timescale, that was less than five minutes ago. I don't know what was more disturbing, the fact that millions of lives were lost there (even if they were cats), or the fact that mankind had the ability to do something like that. All I know is that the planet was an awesome sight, and something that can't be captured in pictures and holovids.
Focusing back on the mission, I was starting to get annoyed with the Skates and how fast they moved around. So I called for my wingmen to come in and focus fire on the rest of the Skates to take them out quickly. It was a pretty smart move, and the enemies were finished pretty quickly. And I even had 4 swarmers left in my reserves in case anything else showed up! Rachel loved when I'd bring missiles back, because the Midway was in short supply of pretty much everything at this point.
The comm officer made a comment about how the bugs were starting to get scared of me. I laughed it off at first, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that he might be right. I had noticed the bugs seemingly coming after me more and more in recent missions, almost as if they recognized me as a threat. For a brief moment, I wondered if the bugs had a special name for me the same way that the Kilrathi had called Blair "The Heart of the Tiger", but then I realized I was being stupid. I was fresh out of the academy, and while I was flying damn good, to even compare myself to Blair was ridiculous.
A completely successful mission! All objectives completed, the Midway safe for now, and minimal damage to the ship. It didn't get much better than this. I headed up to the bar to see if I could find Maestro to grab a drink and see if that cute Asian pilot was possibly hanging around.
As I arrived in Pilot Country, some of the other pilots saw me walk in and started giving me shit, as usual. Seems that the pilots were fond of calling me "First to 300", which I recognized as a good-natured name, although not without a hint of jealousy. I decided to check the killboard, since I hadn't in a while, and I realized that not only was I the first to 300, but Goblin (who I'd gotten to know recently) was over 50 kills behind me. I couldn't help but take a little pride in this, even if I knew that it meant the other pilots were going to make my life hell.
Kilrah Mission 2 ** (Slightly more interesting than the last mission. Slightly. The video starts out as if it's going to be really cool, and then swiftly deteriorates into the same shit you've seen over and over. It still is a change of pace, though.)
Edit: Also, I have an idea for the final video, and it's going to be epic. Trust me on this. It's probably going to take me a while to do, though.