Part 4: Flight Log 4 - Lt. Lance Casey
[Flight Log 4 - Lt. Lance Casey]
This was easily the longest mission of my short career so far on the TCS Midway. We had to save a convoy at Nav 4, and then escort them back to the Midway, all the while avoiding the enemy fleet that was closing in on our carrier. Time was of the essence here if we had any hope of saving both the convoy and the Midway.
At Nav 1, we ran into a few Moray light fighters. While they were no match for our forces, it was obvious that they were merely meant as a decoy to stall our arrival to the convoy. Sure enough, when the Midway patched us through to the convoy's communications, we could hear that they were losing their fighter cover and about to be destroyed.
Indeed, the Midway confirmed my fears when they told me that we weren't going to have a chance of saving the convoy. Our only hope was to get there as soon as possible and save whatever we could. I was determined to get there, and quickly dispatched the rest of the Morays at Nav 1.
At Nav 3, we ran into another group of Morays. The comms kept coming in from the convoy, and it was obvious that they were not getting out of there alive unless we got there soon. Additionally, it appeared that the aliens were scooping up ejected pilots for God knows what reason. Out of all of the disturbing things I had seen so far since I got to the Midway, this was by far the worst. The pilots being scooped up could just as easily be me. I became even more determined to hone my skills, if for no other reason than to save myself.
We got to Nav 4 just in time to see the TCS Porter's hull collapse and the ship to begin breaking apart. The TCS Barkley was not in much better shape, so we began taking out the fighters as soon as possible. The TCS Redeemer, a refueling ship, seemed to escape the worst of it, for now. Apparently the bugs knew enough about our forces to realize what the threats were, and that they needed to take them out first. A refueling ship was a sitting duck that could be taken out at their leisure.
We were unable to save the Barkley, which depressed both Maestro and I, until the Redeemer told us that the bugs were just toying with them and waiting for us. How could the aliens possibly know how our psychology so well? How did they know that we would come to rescue the convoy? The Kilrathi would have just left it for dead, but apparently they understood about the concept of "humanity" and knew we'd come for it. How long have these aliens known about us? Anyway, we docked with the Redeemer, refilled our weapons, and then began to escort it home.
At Nav 7, we ran into another small group of fighters. We didn't think twice about taking them out until the Midway called and told us that they were under attack. Again, the aliens sent this force as a stalling tactic to delay our return to the carrier. Determined not to lose the Midway the same way we lost the convoy, Maestro, Jumpstart and I ripped through the alien fighters as fast as we could.
Jumpstart and I converged on the last Moray fighter, who fell easily between our two ships. With that done, we hauled ass back to the Midway to do our part to save them.
Arriving back at the Midway, I had no idea how dire the situation was until I saw them say that they were uncapable of launching any more fighters. It was up to us, and my ship was already damaged. All I could hope for was to use every bit of my training to hang in there and save my carrier.
We were being swarmed by all sorts of alien ships, both ones that I recognized and ones that were brand new. I had no idea what to do against these new forces, and a couple of them surprised me from behind, causing my ship to give me the Eject alarm. However, I knew I could hang on and keep from losing my ship. While Rachel would be pissed, I'd rather bring her back a damaged ship and a live pilot than no ship and no pilot.
Sure enough, despite my damaged ship, my wingmen and I managed to drive off the rest of the forces. The Midway realized their mistake in sending their only active fighter wing so far away from the carrier, and vowed not to repeat that mistake again. I doubted that was true, but it was good to hear them at least admit that they recognized the mistake. A rare admission from the government.
A poor performance by the computer's standards. However, I realized there were intangibles that the computer wasn't able to recognize. Personally, I was just happy to be home in one piece. Even Rachel threatening to pull me off of the flight roster wasn't enough to shake my sense of relief that I was still alive. Carrying my wobbley knees down the hall, I headed to the rec room for a drink before I got some well-deserved sleep.
G'wriss 1 *** (basically the same as last time. Nothing really plot-heavy, but some pretty cool scenes in it, plus I almost die)