Part 10: Flight Log 9 - Lt. Lance Casey
[Flight Log 9 - Lt. Lance Casey]
They sure weren't wasting any time making me earn my paycheck as a member of the Black Widows. While everyone else was to be off diverting the enemy, Stilleto and I were going to patrol as part of Alpha wing looking for the jamming sensor. Meanwhile, Maniac's patrol would also be looking from the opposite direction. We'd cross up at Nav 2 and then double check each other's path.
As we arrived at Nav 1, the flyby camera showed us three Stingrays forming up into a giant ship. I had heard rumors of this from other patrols, but had never seen it myself. However, from what I'd heard from the other pilots, when they formed up like that, their centers combined to make a huge gun that could take down almost anything in a couple of shots. Thankfully, the Stingrays were fairly far away, so I decided to take out as many of the nearby bugs as I could before it got here.
Unfortunately, I was so focused on shooting down the Moray in front of me that I hadn't even noticed the missile lock siren until it was too late. One missile impact later, I was watching my side armor peeling off the side of my ship and floating off into the vacuum. Not a heartwarming sight, especially with two more Nav points to go.
As the Stingray cluster approached, I pulled as many evasive maneuvers as I could and tried to get a target lock on it. From what I had heard, once you destroyed one of them, they couldn't form back up, and at the first sign of trouble, they would break apart and evade. So I figured a missile coming straight at them might force them to break apart. Sure enough, it worked, and mopping up the rest of the enemies after that was no trouble.
At Nav 2, Maniac reported that he had some sort of odd reading back at Nav 3. Since we were headed over there anyway, we told him we'd take a look for it. Since Maniac had reported barely no opposition at Nav 3, and his wing had mopped up what few bugs were there, I expected the rest of the mission to be easy going.
Hadn't I learned by now that things are never that easy? As we got to Nav 3, there were seven or eight bug ships waiting there for us. Apparently the same thing had happened to Maniac, because he bitched at us for saying the area was clean when it wasn't. I was going to give him a smart ass answer back, but I was preoccupied with not getting my canopy blown off.
The bugs seemed to be ignoring Stiletto and going straight after me. I don't know why they keyed in my my fighter, but there must have been six missiles launched at me by the Mantas, and the Morays would constantly get behind me and blast at my rear shields. All I could do was drop FF missiles and decoys like there was no tomorrow to give me enough breathing room to try to get behind one of them.
Within a minute or two of arriving at the nav point, the eject alarm went on. But I was determined to finish this mission, because I knew I could pull it out. I hadn't had to be picked up by an SAR unit yet, and I wasn't about to start now. I dodged until my shields had regenerated some, and then got behind a stray Moray and took it down. I had radioed Stiletto for help, and she had gotten the bugs off of me just long enough to finish this one off.
It's amazing how much one or two kills can change the tide of a battle. It wasn't long after that that Stiletto and I managed to destroy the rest of the alien fighters. I hoped Maniac had gotten as lucky as I had at Nav 1, but then I realized who I was talking about. As much of a cocky asshole as he was, he was a better pilot than I was. If I could make it, there was no doubt he would.
I didn't waste any time after the last enemy was gone to start targetting the alien containers to try to beat Stiletto to the punch. I might have been almost destroyed, but I almost think it would have been a worse fate to let her win and have to hear her rub it in my face for the next month.
Well, while my luck had gone bad in dogfighting today, I had great luck when it came to identifying the containers. The jamming device ended up being the third container I targetted. Once I found it, I let the Midway know, and they told me to come back home. Trust me, I'd be more than happy to.
Sure enough, not did I have to come home with the flight crew (and especially Rachel) looking at my blackened husk of a ship with murder in their eyes, I also had to read the mission status report, which told me how bad I sucked. Already well aware of this, I barely glanced at it before heading to the bar for a much needed drink. If they wanted to pull my flight quals, they could, but they had the flight footage and saw what I was up against out there. I was pretty sure I'd be back in the cockpit soon.
T'lan Meth 1 ** (plotwise, not much worth watching. Proteus sucks-wise, totally worth watching)