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Exile: Alternate History

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Exile AH part 6

Christmas Day, 2367
EFD Hesperia

Spruance:  What’s our status, Commander Blaine?

Blaine:  Sir, our supplies are holding and we don’t detect any Shivans directly in our pathway ahead of us or immediately behind us.  Oh and by the way, thanks for the promotion to full commander.

Spruance:  Well, you deserve it.  Also, with no EFN Command to report to anymore, promotions tend to go through quicker.  Anyways, so no juggernauts are sneaking up on us huh?

Blaine:  No sir.  While we don’t know exactly how far ahead of us the Tyrant is, our analysts are confident none are right behind us.  Some of our stealth probes sent us data showing some of the Sathanas fleet is beginning to head out of Sol.  However, we are way ahead of them and they aren’t heading at full speed.  They may be leaving Sol, but I’ve seen no indication they’re directly trying to pursue us.  In other words, if we keep up a decent pace, we should be able to keep TF7 far ahead of any juggernauts.

Spruance:  Good.  While I think we can slow down for Christmas Day today and give TF7 some rest and relaxation, I want us to keep moving.  We’ll only slow down for the occasional refueling and resupply or if we need to tactically rearrange our formations should we encounter Shivan forces.  There isn’t any sense in letting the Shivans close the gap if necessary.  By the way, how is morale overall?  Would you say we’re doing okay?

Blaine:  Admittedly some people are worried and disappointed we had to leave Sol and will probably never see Earth again.  However, I think most have realized the necessity of all we’ve had to do.  We’ve survived, and right now that’s the most important thing.

Spruance:  Good.  I want to be able to give them some hope so hopefully we’ll manage to catch up with Exodus Fleet in the near future.  Thankfully we have some of these markers Tessandras left behind to follow.  Our modified Viscounts can also detect light ion readings from some of Exodus Fleet they its ships have left behind.  We’re not totally lost out here; even though at some times we may feel alone out here in space.

(Note:  I think I remember at some point in official Exile you said Tessandras left some markers or beacons behind for people to follow.  Mastermind did most of the work, but I think there was some other assistance out there.  I apologize if I remember wrong.)

Blaine:  If I may sir, may I ask a personal question?

Spruance:  Go ahead.

Blaine:  How’s Commander Asir doing?

Spruance:  Generally, he’s doing fairly well.  He does miss his family and friends, but he’s hardly unique in that.  He’s holding up well and if I ever need help with some clerical or analytical work, he’s more than willing to help out.  It gives him something to do.  Usually, he’s been a quiet person so while some like to play sports he tends to want to read or do artwork.  He’s very brave but not a big extrovert.  From what I have heard, the Hydras have allowed him to attend their squadron breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.  Since there’s usually at least a friendly rivalry between squadrons and squads tend to keep to themselves that’s very nice of them.  It gives him some friends too and makes him feel like I’m not the only person he knows on the Hesperia.  I’ve also heard that he’s acquired a taste for fried chicken…he calls it a ‘most acceptable Terran dish.’

Blaine:  Understood sir; that’s good to hear since he’s been of good help to us here on the Hesperia.  We’ve got to keep moving but not push too hard since we’re people not machines.  Permission to depart for Christmas service?

Spruance:  Permission granted.  Enjoy yourself.  I’ll say a little prayer myself but I don’t want to leave the bridge so I’ll stay up here.

(Approximately one hour passes)

(Blaine waits outside the room where one of the Christmas services is about to take place.  He makes some small talk with some of the people coming in.  A few minutes later he notices someone he doesn’t remember seeing much of before.)

Wellington:  Ah, the XO of the Hesperia…Lt. Commander Blaine.  Oh, forgive me…Commander Blaine.  It’s nice to finally get to meet you.

Blaine:  Uh, I must apologize.  I don’t remember seeing you around so I don’t have the pleasure of knowing your name unfortunately.

Wellington:  Don’t worry, sir.  Nothing to apologize for.  My name is David Wellington.  I’m not much of a social butterfly anyways so it’s not surprising I’m not seen around much.  I prefer to work in the shadows anyways instead of working right out in the open where everyone can see.  My official rank is Technician.  I do some occasional work in engineering but usually I work in communications here on the ORD…excuse me, EFD Hesperia.

Blaine:  May I presume by that ship address you used that you’re one of the ORS survivors of the Hesperia?

Wellington:  That is correct, Commander Blaine. 

Blaine:  Out of curiosity, how’d you manage to survive the radiation pulse or spike or whatever the technical term is for the event that wiped out most of the ORS people on the Hesperia?

Wellington:  To be honest, I was lucky.  During the Shivan attack I was helping to transfer some ammunition to one of the railguns.  I was in an ammo room when the pulse hit.  This was in a deep part of the ship with heavy armor so I escaped most of the damage and was only unconscious for a short time.  The doctors say my radiation levels are back to normal now.

Blaine:  I haven’t got the chance to ask one of you this, but how do you feel about serving on an EFN ship now?
Wellington:  Well, we’re all fighting Shivans so I don’t suppose it matters really.

Blaine:  One more thing if I may?

Wellington:  Of course, sir.

Blaine:  When you said…ah, never mind actually.

Wellington:  Please, go ahead.  If I’ve said something wrong, let me either explain myself or apologize.

Blaine:  You said you like to work in the shadows.  After hearing that, I think I may recognize you or at least have heard of you.  This may also just be a weird vibe I’m getting, but you wouldn’t happen to be…one of those…Zealots…would you?

Wellington:  Why lie?  Yes, I am a believer in Equilibrium and have done work for the BOD department before.

Blaine:  There are lots of rumors out there about things you people have done.

Wellington:  Rumors exist everywhere Commander Blaine.  You can’t believe everything you here…that just leads to paranoia.  Also, are you telling me that EFN intelligence or special forces have never done anything…unclean while infiltrating the ORS?  You’re not stupid, you can’t really believe that.

Blaine:  Can I trust you here on this ship on our journey?

Wellington:  I promise you, you can.  We did fight against each other but ever since the Shivans invaded we are on the same team.  Look at my service on this ship since the Hesperia changed sides.  I, along with other ORS officers and soldiers and personnel have followed General Spruance’s orders during moments of quiet and combat.  You can even ask the EFN officers supervising all the ORS personnel still on board if I’ve caused any trouble.  In short, if Fleetmaster Caliphtys can trust Leibniz and the other EFN people in Exodus Fleet, you can trust me.  I promise you my goal is to fight and survive the Shivans too.  Humanity is all in this together.  Oh, by the way, it looks like you have a friend approaching.

(Someone walks up to Commander Blaine.)

Blaine:  Pastor Davis, good to see you.

Davis:  And you as well, Commander Blaine.  My apologies for being a little late but I think we’re about to get today’s first service started.

Wellington:  First service?

Blaine:  Yes.  On Christmas Day today we decided to have two services.  The Protestant Christmas service is about to start now and the service later tonight will be a Catholic Mass.

Davis:  Would your friend here like to join us?

Wellington:  I’m not a Christian but that could prove interesting to observe.  Yes I would like to sit in if
you don’t mind.  Thank you for the invitation.

Davis:  You’re welcome.  I want to invite all to hear the story of Christ, that is not something I would want to exclude people, even other religions than Christianity, from.

Blaine:  Pastor, I should urge caution here.  It’s not that Mr. Wellington isn’t a Christian, it’s that he’s an Equilibrium Zealot.

Davis:  Why would that be a problem?

Blaine:  Are you familiar with the Equilibrium religion of the ORS?

Davis:  Not that much.  However, I understood it to be more of a philosophy rather than an actual religion.

Blaine:  Sometimes there’s not much of a distinction.  Also, they’ve done some rather nasty stuff during our previous wars here in Sol.  I don’t know if I would not trust someone like him who openly identifies like he does.

Davis:  Commander, politics are not my area of expertise.  However, in my limited estimation, no side is totally clean in war.  Are we not all the same team now?  Shouldn’t that be what’s important and not digging up old wounds?

Wellington:  Commander Blaine, Pastor Davis here gets it.  Yes, you and I were enemies not that long ago but that is not the case today.  I hope this new state of coexistence between the remnants of humanity in the EFN and ORS will continue.  Pastor Davis, I would like to add that despite previous EFN propaganda, the ORS is not a forceful brainwashing cult.  Christianity, along with other religions, is perfectly legal in the ORS.  All we ask is that those of differing faiths try to get along and work together for the goals of the ORS.  We, like the EFN, have freedom of religion.

Blaine:  Well, if it’s alright with you Pastor Davis, then he can come in.  Just be warned, he might be taking notes and make a report to Caliphtys when we rendezvous with Exodus Fleet someday.

Davis:  I can understand you have to be worried about this stuff as a military man, but I see no reason not to let him sit in on our service now.  Mr. Wellington, if it would reassure you, though I am a Christian and I do preach a Christian message and hope more people become Christian…I am not trying to create a Christian theocracy on this ship nor in the EFN as a whole.

Wellington:  Then we have nothing to worry about.

(The three of them head into the room where the Protestant Christmas service is going to be held.)

A couple hours later…

(After most of the people left the room, Pastor Davis, Wellington, and Blaine stop together to have another conversation)

Davis:  Well, Mr. Wellington, I hope that wasn’t troubling for you.

Wellington:  Not at all, Pastor.  Like I said before, people having their own beliefs is fine.  Equilibrium is not against a belief in God.  What we in Equilibrium don’t like is extremism.  Having your own personal beliefs about right and wrong is fine; what Equilibrium doesn’t like is when gets so dogmatic, so harsh about their own beliefs that they can’t work well with others.  I saw nothing here today that indicates that so I am confident we can continue to get along just fine. 

Davis:  If the two of you will excuse me, I must be heading off now.  Good day to you and Merry Christmas.

Wellington:  Good day to you as well.

Blaine:  Merry Christmas as well.

(Pastor Davis walks off)

Blaine:  You sound like you meant all that stuff you said to him.

Wellington:  Many things have been said about me, that I’m a killer, cultist, etc.  Something that has never been said is that I’m a liar.

(Blaine pauses and sighs a bit)

Blaine:  I…I may want to apologize.  I have grown up with hostility to your government and it can be hard to change so much so quickly.  However, if the Shivans have taught us anything, it’s that we must be adaptable.  Whatever my feelings about ORS politics and the past are…it’s almost irrelevant now I suppose. 

Wellington:  If I may add something?  Do you remember the rescue of pilot Reynolds a few days ago?  I was working in communications at the time and we heard that one Hesperia EFN pilot got temporarily lost on patrol.  The team that worked with comms signals to locate his rescue beacon and ship included myself.  I say this not to brag about my technical skills, but to show I can be of help to you and the EFN.  We can work together for the good of all.

Blaine:  I technically haven’t heard anything bad about you specifically since we got on the Hesperia so you are an asset to humanity’s cause.  The Shivans are our only enemy these days.  Do you think we can try to start over?

(Blaine holds out his hand)

Wellington:  I would like nothing better Commander Blaine.

(Wellington sticks out his own hand and the two shake hands)

Exile alternate history part 7

Command Briefing:

Page 1: Status of Task Force 7:

EFD Hesperia (flagship) (Galahad)
EFFg Lincoln (Vidar)
EFFg Wolf (Vidar)
ORFg Carrington (Tychichus)
ORFg Fafnir (Agneya)
EFFg Everest (Solomon)
EFFg Princeton (Solomon)
EFFg Luna (Solomon)
EFFg Huron (Solomon)
ORFg Lassel (Vitalius)
EFC Trailblazer (Evangelist)
ORC Griffin (Amalthea)
EFCs London (modified Viscount)
EFCs Borealis (modified Viscount)
ORFs Terbium (Hephaestus)
ORLs Mendel (Hestia)
ORGt Photon (Pluto)

Status:  All ships in working condition

Page 2:

To all personnel of TF7, we have made it into the Cor Caroli system.  Scouts show there isn’t much of a Shivan presence here.  Maybe that means Exodus Fleet cleared them out first.  In any case, we won’t be staying here long.  After we take some time to gather some resources here, we’re heading on to Delta Lacertae.

Mission Briefing:

Most of TF7 is moving closer to the Delta Lacertae node.  However, a couple of our frigates and the Hydras have an assignment here in Cor Caroli at the node we all came through not too long ago.

Page 2:
We’re moving our civilian/supply ships a little further from this node so they are less at risk.  We’re keeping the majority of our combat ships there to guard them further into Cor Caroli as well.

Page 3:
Hydras, your mission here is to intercept and destroy any Shivan scouts that come through here.

Page 4:
We haven’t detected any juggernauts so we anticipate their main fleet is still days behind us.  However, our probes we left behind have detected some smaller signatures incoming.  We don’t know where they came from; maybe they were some smaller ships hiding out somewhere.

Page 5:
Anyways, whether this is a scouting wave, part of their vanguard, or just some lost Shivans we managed to get ahead of…make sure they don’t get through.

Page 6:
Your squadron, along with the capital ships present, will be notified when it’s time to rejoin the rest of TF7.

Page 7:
Primary objective: 
-Prevent Shivan scouting/vanguard force from establishing presence in Cor Caroli.

(Mission begins)

Wolf:  Hydras, this is the Wolf.  We’re leading the defense against the anticipated Shivan scout wave.

Alpha 1:  Who else do we have with us here?

Wolf:  The Huron and Fafnir and the cruiser Trailblazer.  Our probes don’t detect a huge force of Shivans so General Spruance wanted to keep most of our heavy firepower to guard our supply ships.  He said though that reinforcements could be available if things get worse than expected.

Bravo 1:  Just to confirm what we heard in the briefing…we aren’t expecting any juggernauts to show up are we?

Wolf:  Thankfully no.  Hopefully we won’t even see a destroyer though that’s not out of the realm of possibility.  We shouldn’t see anything worse than a frigate.  Your primary mission here is to take out any fighters or bombers that attack our capital ships here.  If you can find the time though, taking out Shivan beam turrets is your secondary objective and would be really helpful in terms of us keeping our damage to a minimum.

(Two Cains and some fighters come in)

Wolf:  Hydras, here’s your first combat in this mission.  This should be a good warmup.

(The TF7 people should relatively easily dispatch this first Shivan force)

Alpha 3:  Do you think the Shivans know what they’re up against or are they just testing us?

Alpha 1:  With Shivans, it’s impossible to say since we don’t really know them or understand them or their tactics.  Our recon says we don’t have juggernauts behind us so maybe they’re stupid not to pursue us or maybe they just don’t care.

Delta 1:  All we know is that any Shivans on our radar want us dead since they’ve never made any attempt to communicate with us.

Wolf:  Look alive ladies and gentlemen!  Our probes say we have a Lilith incoming with two wings of light bombers as escort.  Get that cruiser’s main beam turret first and then assist with the bombers.  Our capital ships should be able to hold them off until then

(This next wave is also defeated)

Alpha 1:  Wolf, do we have any more incoming?

Wolf:  Affirmative.  The next wave looks like two Moloch frigates and a bunch of transports.

(These forces come in.  The Molochs continue straight ahead toward the TF7 capital ships but the transports and freighters go in a different direction.)

Delta 1:  Orders Wolf?

Wolf:  I’m relaying our situation to Hesperia.  I’m…getting a communication from the Hesperia.  Pilots, destroy those transports!  Don’t let a single one escape! 

Alpha 1:  What about the Molochs?

Wolf:  Get each of their front primary beam cannons and then forget about them and go after the transports.  Our capships will take them out after you get their front cannons.  Those transports and freighters don’t need as long to recharge their jump drives, hurry up Hydras!

Alpha 1:  Uh, roger that Wolf.

(After that the Hydras help the TF7 capships to finish off the Molochs.)

Alpha 1:  Okay, Wolf…we got all the ships in this wave.  Would you mind telling us what was the big deal about a few Shivan supply ships?  You seemed more worried about them than the Moloch frigates we just wasted.

Wolf:  Command was worried those supply ships could have tried to set up a supply base in the system.  A warship can’t last on its own but if the Shivans had a cargo depot in this system they could more easily maintain their pursuit of us.  Since we destroyed those supply ships, the Shivan ships behind us will have to wait a little longer for supplies now.

Beta 3:  Surely an Azrael transport or two wouldn’t have made a huge difference?

Wolf:  Maybe, maybe not.  Let me ask you though, if you know you have a bunch of Sathanas juggernauts on your tail, would you rather be two days+13 hours or two days+14 hours ahead of them?

Beta 3:  Okay, I get it.  I guess you’re right.  Something’s better than nothing I suppose.

Wolf:  Pilots, it looks like we’ve got something big coming in now.  Probes detect two Rakshashas and a Ravana incoming.  Along with fighter escort wings!

Alpha 1:  That might be too much to handle for the forces we have here.

Wolf:  Agreed.  Hesperia, we have a Ravana incoming along with two Rakshashas.  To ensure completion of our mission, we could use some heavy firepower.  Can you spare any reinforcements?

Hesperia:  Affirmative.  We’re sending in the Carrington to assist along with a wing of Stalker heavy bombers.  Trailblazer, return to the main TF7 rally point since you’re not meant for heavy ship to ship combat.

(The EFC Trailblazer jumps out)

Wolf:  Hydras, our help will be here soon but I think until then…you know the drill.  Your primary objective is to take out the Ravana’s main forward cannons.  Do that, and our heavies should be able to finish her off.  After that, keep the fighters off our Stalker bombers.  You could probably take down the Rakshashas yourself, but the bombers’ help will make it a lot easier and quicker.

(The Ravana jumps in and a few seconds later so do the two Rakshashas)

Wolf:  Hydras, we should be able to take these ships down but we’ll need some help.  Get those primary cannons of the Ravana destroyed and with help from our reinforcements we’ll be able to take this force down easy.  Keep the enemy fighters and bombers occupied as well.

(The Carrington and a Stalker wing of bombers come in)

Carrington:  Carrington here along with Epsilon wing.  How can we help?

Alpha 1:  We’ve just taken out the main weaponry on the Ravana, Carrington.  All capships focus on the Ravana and take her out.  Epsilon wing, we’ll keep you covered as you take out the Rakshasha cruisers.

Alpha 4:  What about the Shivan bombers?

Wolf:  There aren’t that many left so our capships should be able to handle them with our defenses.  Though once the Rakshashas are destroyed we wouldn’t turn down assistance from you Hydras.  Capital ships, stay focused on the Ravana until she’s destroyed.

(With the help of the heavy bomber wing that recently came in, the player should be able to take care of the Shivan fighters and bombers that recently came in and then quickly destroy the two enemy cruisers as well.)

Wolf:  Good job Hydras and Epsilon wing.  Now just sit back behind us and watch the fireworks.

(With four frigates pounding on it, the Ravana should go down relatively quickly.)

Alpha 1:  We got them, Wolf!  Nothing else is coming through right now.  Permission to return to the Hesperia?

Wolf:  One moment, Alpha 1.  Hesperia, this is the Wolf.  We just took out a Ravana.    All enemies in our engagement zone have been destoyed and our stealth probes on the other side of the node report nothing in the area.  Permission to bring our group back to the main TF7 rally point? 

Hesperia:  Command here…permission granted, Wolf.  Bring the group home.

Wolf:  Roger that, Hesperia.  All TF7 frigates and Hydra squadron along with Epsilon wing, you’re clear to return to base.  Good work today everyone.  This should give us a little more breathing room while we’re in Cor Caroli.

(The player then jumps out and returns to base.  The mission ends.)

Mission debriefing:

Well done pilots.  Whether they were a vanguard or scout force for the Sathanas armada or just some lost Shivans who happened to wake up from a nap after we passed by…the Shivans you destroyed won’t be bothering us in the future.

Some of you may be wondering why it was so important that you destroyed the transports you encountered today.  Like we told you today, had those transports escaped into Cor Caroli, perhaps they could have set up resupply or repair depots that could have been used to help them hunt us in the future.  Now any Shivans pursuing us will take a little longer to catch up to us; in addition, now they won’t have recon on the Cor Caroli system and will have to do more exploring later.  By then we will have moved on.  Every hour we can stay ahead of them counts.

TF7 won’t be staying in the Cor Caroli system much longer.  I want us to move on to the Delta Lacertae system.  You’ll have one more mission here in Cor Caroli and then we begin our transit to Delta Lacertae.

Good work today everyone.  I was also proud to see our EFN and ORS people all working together well.  This bodes well for the journey of TF7 to rendezvous with Exodus Fleet…and I would say after that is accomplished it’s a good sign for the future of humanity as a whole as well.

Get some dinner and then some sleep.  The next mission will be in nine hours.

General Oliver Spruance
EFD Hesperia
EFN Task Force Seven

Exile alternate history part 8

Mission Briefing:

Page 1:  Hydras, TF7 has nearly completed its resupply in Cor Caroli and is almost ready to leave for the Delta Lacertae system.

Page 2:  Most of our force is nearing the Delta Lacertae jump node and is preparing to depart.  However, we have one last mission for you here in Cor Caroli.

Page 3:  Our supply ships Photon and Mendel are fully stocked.  However, we want to make sure the factory ship Terbium is full as well.  I can’t say for sure when we’ll encounter another system rich with resources like Cor Caroli again.  Better safe than sorry in other words.

Page 4:  Meet the Terbium at the coordinates we’ll give you after you launch from the Hesperia.  The location is an asteroid field that our scouts believe is rich with minerals and resources.  This mission will involve mining of said resources.

Page 5:  When you get to the Terbium’s area, begin scanning asteroids in the area to see if any of them have anything worthwhile.  If they do, mark them using your number pad.  The Terbium will send mining drones out to mine those asteroids and then return to the Terbium.

Page 6:  The Terbium’s captain tells me that after a certain amount of resources have been mined, they’ll be able to make more drones to speed up the process…up to 10 is what I’ve heard.  You can also use some of the resources you’ve mined to make light laser turrets or heavier rapid-fire laser turrets to help you defend the mining operation and/or the Terbium.

Page 7:  If you do make defense turrets, keep in mind that will mean the operation could last a little longer since we need to take the Terbium away from here with 5,000 resource units.

Page 8:  We don’t want to attract too much attention so we’re only sending the light cruisers Griffin and Trailblazer to be your ‘heavy’ escort for this mission.

Page 9:

Primary objective:

Defend Terbium mining operation until sufficient resources have been gathered [ ]

(The mission now begins)

Alpha 1:  Terbium, the Hydras have arrived next to you at the designated part of the asteroid field.  We also see the cruisers Griffin and Trailblazer.  Do we have permission to begin the operation?

Terbium:  Permission granted, Hydras.  Begin scanning and marking asteroids so our mining drones can get out there and do their work.

Alpha 2:  What kind of Shivan opposition could we be looking at here Terbium?

Terbium:  When it comes to the Shivans, who knows pilot?  They seem to have a talent for showing up unexpectedly.  However, in this particular mission I don’t think we’ll be seeing a lot.  You all stopped a number of them from staying in Cor Caroli recently, and TF7 reconnaissance hasn’t seen much else in the system.  We shouldn’t see much more than some fighter wings and maybe some bombers.  I’d be surprised if we saw any capital ships.  The cruisers sent to escort us here might actually be overkill for this particular operation.

Alpha 1:  That’s good to hear.

Terbium:  Yes, but stay focused just in case.  You know the drill.  I’ll repeat the instructions you received in your mission briefing just to be safe…

Terbium:  Scan the asteroids in this area to see if any have resources we could use.  After you scan them, the amount of resources they hold should be displayed next to the target icon in the lower left corner of your hud.

Terbium:  After you’ve found asteroids with resources, mark them using your number pad.  This will be the signal for our operational mining drones to come and take what they can carry and then return to the Terbium to drop off their haul.  The process will then repeat itself.  However, after an asteroid has been drained of usable resources, be sure to unmark said asteroid so time isn’t wasted by having a drone go to an empty asteroid.  You can have several asteroids marked if you want but watch their levels by targeting them in your hud.

Terbium:  We need five thousand resource units to fully stock the Terbium and have mission success.  However, if you want to, you can use resources you’ve gathered so far to build some assisting units if you want.  For 200 units, you can build a new drone to assist in mining efforts; you can have up to 10 total drones in this operation.  You can just use the two drones you have now if you really want, but I would strongly recommend building drones as quickly as you can to make this mission go faster.

Terbium:  There’s also some other units you can build with resource units.  For 100 units you can deploy a sentry gun at a designated space.  For 175 units you can deploy a heavier rapid fire multi-turret sentry gun.  They might be able to help you defend the drones against Shivan raiders.  On the other hand, keep in mind using resource units to make turrets will mean it takes longer to gather our required number of resource units.  So if you think you can handle any potential Shivans that could show up without making sentries, the mission could be completed that much quicker.

Terbium:  Okay, I think that just about covers things Hydras.  Good luck.  We’ll be here if you have any questions.

Alpha 1:  Affirmative, Terbium.  We’re beginning our scan of nearby asteroids now.

(Note:  This ‘mission’ in Exile AH would play out a lot like the mining mission in official Exile.  Like in the official mission, the recommended strategy would be to build the max number of mining drones as
quickly as possible.)

Bravo 3:  Alpha 1, I noticed something kind of weird about some of the asteroids here.

Alpha 1:  What is it Beta 3?

Bravo 3:  Some of them look like they’ve been mined already.

Alpha 2:  Someone’s been here already you say?  Are you sure that it’s not just an asteroid with no minable materials in it?

Bravo 3:  That’s what it looks like to me anyways and what the scanner reads.  It can tell the difference between an asteroid that has nothing worthwhile in it and an asteroid that has been mined.  Terbium, what do you make of it?

Terbium:  It’s possible Exodus Fleet has been along this route…it’s one of the routes we suspected Caliphtys could take.  Plus, we have detected beacons in Cor Caroli that we suspect Exodus Fleet left behind for any stragglers to follow. This could mean we’re on the right track to meet up with what’s left of humanity.  Anyways, continue the mission.  We’re detecting lots of general mineral signatures in the area so we should still have more than enough for our needs in this mission even if Exodus Fleet mined here before us.

(The player continues scanning asteroids)

Alpha 1:  Terbium, I’ve located a number of mineral-rich asteroids and have marked them for drone mining.

Terbium:  Roger that, Alpha 1.  We’re sending the drones out.  Remember to unmark asteroids once they’ve been fully mined.  I would also recommend again to user your resource points to make more drones as soon as possible to speed up the operation.  Defense turrets are more optional in my opinion, however it’s your call.

(A wing of Shivan Manticores jump in)

Alpha 1:  Okay, it looks like we got some opposition now, take them out!

(The first wave should be easily defeated).

Terbium:  Good work on that first wave pilots.  It probably won’t be the last so stay prepared until we have the required amount of resources.  By the way, we’ve unloaded the first batch of resources from the drones just now and you have enough resource points to build another drone.  I recommend doing so, though it’s your decision.

(The player should probably build another mining drone.  Like in the version of this mission in official Exile, getting the max number of mining drones built as soon as possible is the optimum strategy.  Like I
said earlier, it should be possible to beat this mission without building any defense turrets on lower difficulties.)

(After a while, a wing of Shivan Dragons come in.)

Alpha 1:  Hydras, we have more work to do!  Fortunately, it looks like these Dragons are coming after us rather than any of our mining ships.  Take them out before they change their minds!

(The pilots take out these new Shivan ships.)

Terbium:  Good work pilots.  We’re halfway to our resource quota.

(The rest of the mission proceeds relatively simply.  A few more wings of Shivan fighters jump in now and then but the player should be able to handle them quickly.  Once the player has the max number of drones built the mission should be able to be finished smoothly.)

Terbium:  That’s it!  Great work, Hydras.  We have all the resources we can carry.  This should keep TF7 going for a long while now.

Alpha 1:  Terbium, permission to return to the Hesperia?

Terbium:  Not quite yet, Alpha 1.  We need about two minutes to charge up our jump drive.  Stay with us until then.

Trailblazer:  Terbium, we may have a problem.  I’m detecting two capital size subspace signatures incoming…along with a number of smaller ones.  It looks like we’re going to have some trouble before we all get to go home.

(In the distance, a Cain and Moloch jump in along with a number of fighter and bomber wings.)

Terbium:  Hydras, those capital ships will be on us soon.  Take out their heavy beams and then our cruisers should be able to handle them.  After that, focus on defending us from the bombers that came in with them.

Alpha 1:  You heard the Terbium pilots!  Get the heavy beams and then swing back to defend the Terbium.

(Note:  The Shivan fighters and bombers should jump in far enough away from the Terbium so that the player can take out the heavy Shivan beams and still have time to get back to the Terbium before the Shivan fighters and bombers do a lot of damage.)

Griffin:  Thank you pilots.  With their heavy weapons out of action, we two cruisers should be able to finish off these Shivan capships.

(Your allied capital ships then finish off the two Shivan ships and it shouldn’t be too hard for the player to take out the enemy bombers and fighters.)

Alpha 1:  Terbium, my sensors look clear.  Are you ready to leave yet?

Terbium:  Roger that Alpha.  Our drives are charged.  Helm…wait Alpha, just a second…

Alpha 1:  What is it Terbium?

Terbium:  I’m detecting a minor sensor blip in a section of the asteroid field that you didn’t scan…a few clicks out.  We can’t get a full lock on it but it should register as a purple dot on your sensors once you get closer to it.

Alpha 1:  Okay, I’ll go and scan it.

(Alpha 1 goes and scans the object.  It looks like some kind of turret.)

Alpha 1:  Terbium, here are the readings.  Can you make anything of it?

Terbium:  Let’s see…well well, this is very interesting.

Alpha 2:  What is it?

Terbium:  If our readings are correct, it’s the kind of heavy rapid fire multi-turret sentry gun we were going to let you build in this mission.  However, it’s not from our ship.  The readings indicate it’s from the Ida Lewis.

Bravo 1:  The Ida Lewis…isn’t that one of the factory ships from Exodus Fleet?

Terbium:  Correct.  Some of their pilots must have built in when they were on a resource gathering operation in this general vicinity.

Alpha 1:  Can you tell how old it is?

Terbium:  Not right now, unfortunately.  We’re sending out a transport to bring it in for further research.  Perhaps we’ll discover more then.  At least this is a good sign we’re on the right track in trying to catch up with Exodus Fleet.

(A transport leaves the Terbium and goes to pick this sentry up.  The Hydras escort it on its mission and defeat a couple wings of Shivan fighters.)

Alpha 1:  Transport is secure Terbium.  Permission to return to base now?

Terbium:  Permission granted, Hydras.  We’re powering up jump drives now…see you back at the Hesperia.

(After the Terbium and escort cruisers jump out, the player does the same.)

Mission debriefing:

Good work pilots.  Resource gathering isn’t as exciting as charging a Shivan destroyer, but it can be just as important.  With the Terbium fully stocked, we should be good for a long while now.
This turret was an interesting find.  While we haven’t determined its exact age yet, it is relatively recent and from the ORFs Ida Lewis.  They must have been resource hunting here too.  At least this means we’re going in the right direction.

Get ready for another system jump soon.  We’ll be heading to Delta Lacertae next.

General Oliver Spruance
EFD Hesperia
EFN Task Force Seven

Exile alternate history part 9

Command Briefing:

Page 1:  Status of TF7

EFD Hesperia (Flagship) (Galahad)
EFFg Lincoln (Vidar)
EFFg Wolf (Vidar)
ORFg Carrington (Tychicus)
ORFg Fafnir (Agneya)
EFFg Everest (Solomon)
EFFg Princeton (Solomon)
EFFg Luna (Solomon)
EFFg Huron (Solomon)
ORFg Lassel (Vitalius)
EFC Trailblazer (Evangelist)
ORC Griffin (Amalthea)
EFCs London (modified Viscount)
EFCs Borealis (modified Viscount)
ORFs Terbium (Hephaestus)
ORLs Mendel (Hestia)
ORGt Photon (Pluto)

All ships active

Page 2:
Our fleet has recently made the jump into the Delta Lacertae system.  Scouts and various squadrons are scouting the system for Shivan forces. 

Page 3:
Our destination is both the Terminus and Mi Arae nodes.  After we clear out the Delta Lacertae system, we will then scout both of these systems ahead of us and then TF7 strategists will determine which system we should go into next.

Mission Briefing:

Page 1:
Welcome to the Delta Lacertae system pilots.

We will be continuing our previous tactics upon entering a new system.  We will send wings to scout ahead and find any Shivans in the system and then destroy them.

Page 3:
Hydras, your squad will take out a Shivan depot we found in this part of Delta Lacertae.  It consists of some cargo containers, transports and freighters, a couple cruisers, and a frigate.

Page 4:
They don’t seem to be aware of our presence quite yet.  Actually, intelligence believes that this depot isn’t for defense of this system but rather to keep a progressing force supplied.  It seems like they are chasing something instead of trying to keep something out of Delta Lacertae.

Page 5:
Don’t get too excited yet pilots.  We can’t say for sure that this means we are going to soon find Exodus Fleet.  Whatever the case may be, Hydras, destroy this depot.  We’ll be sending the frigate Luna and a bomber wing to help you with the heavier stuff.

Page 6:
After you’ve destroyed the depot and Shivan forces present there, wait for further orders from the Hesperia.  They may send reinforcements.  If Shivan reinforcements are light, we can take them out and take pressure off of whatever or whoever they’re pursuing.  Even if we’re wrong and the Shivans aren’t chasing something, it will at least mean less Shivans that TF7 will have to worry about while we’re in Delta Lacertae.  If Command judges the reinforcements to be too heavy for you, we’ll either send more of our reinforcements to you or have you come back to the Hesperia.

Page 7:
Primary objectives:
Destroy Shivan supplies and supply ships [ ]
Destroy Shivan fighters and warships at supply depot [ ]

(Mission begins)

Alpha 1:  Hesperia, this is Alpha 1…we have the depot in sight just a few clicks in front of us.  The Luna and our bomber support haven’t got here yet.  Should we engage or wait for the rest of our support to get here?

Hesperia:  Hydras, you are clear to fire at will.  The bombers and Luna should be at your engagement zone within a minute and a half.  Go for the cargo and supply ships first so that they don’t escape and resupply their fleet wherever it is.  If you can take out the warships’ primary beams as well before the Luna gets here that would be very helpful as well.

Alpha 1:  Roger, Command.  Alpha, let’s take on the enemy fighter wings present.  Bravo, attack the enemy supply ships before they can leave and Delta will cover Bravo.  If anyone completes their objective then move on to target and take out the primary beams on the warships.  We’ll leave the cargo for last since it isn’t going anywhere.

(Note:  That’s not the required way to go about the objectives if this was actually made into an actual mission but I figured I should say something like this.)

(There are only two wings of fighters.  They are lighter ships compared to the elite Echelons and Vindicators the player can pick from so the fighters get destroyed relatively quickly).

Alpha 3:  Alpha 1, fighters are destroyed.

Alpha 1:  Good work.  The Luna should be getting here soon so let’s give it a hand by taking out the main beams on that frigate.

(The Hydras disable the heavy beams on the Moloch frigate)

Alpha 2:  That’s it, we got the beams.

Alpha 1:  Good work Alpha.  Let’s go and help the rest of the squad with the cargo containers and the supply ships before they can get away.

(About now is the time that the frigate Luna comes in with a bomber wing.)

Luna:  This is the EFFg Luna now on station.  We’re engaging the enemy capital ships.  Hydras, help out the bombers in engaging the enemy cruisers.  Once you’ve destroyed them, the bombers are to help finish off the Shivan frigate.  Though since you Hydras already took out the frigate’s main beam weapons, we shouldn’t have too much difficulty in destroying this particular target.  Then we’ll all take out any remaining cargo containers and await further orders from Command.

Delta 2:  Just a thought, should we try to scan and capture the Shivan cargo?

Luna:  Thanks for the offer pilot, but not this time.  Command wants their military supplies destroyed.  General readings seem to indicate they’re just regular military supplies for the Shivans.

(The light cruisers should go down fairly quickly with the bombers and fighters attacking them.  It shouldn’t take too much longer for the bombers to help the Luna destroy the frigate…especially since the frigate has largely been disarmed by now probably.)

Alpha 1:  Hesperia, this is Hydras Alpha 1.  The depot engagement zone has been completely cleaned.  All Shivan fighters, cargo, supply ships, and warships have been destroyed.  Do we return to base or stay in the area?

Hesperia:  Hydras, we’re detecting some more lighter stuff heading your way.  It shouldn’t be anything our forces already present in the area can’t handle.  Take out the incoming Shivan reinforcements when they get there.

Alpha 1:  Roger, Hesperia.

(About a minute passes)

Luna:  Stay alert everyone.  We’re detecting incoming subspace signatures…likely hostile configuration.

Alpha 2:  What kind of Shivans should we be expecting?

Luna:  Give us a second.  Okay, it doesn’t look like anything too heavy.  They’re coming out of subspace now.  We have a Cain and a couple transports.  Go to it.

(These light scouting reinforcements should be able to be dispatched relatively quickly by the player and accompanying allied forces.)

Alpha 1:  Hesperia, we dispatched a wave of Shivan reinforcements.  Permission to come back to base?

Hesperia:  Wait until the Luna gives you the clear pilot.  Luna, do you detect anymore incoming subspace activity?

Luna:  Unfortunately, yes Hesperia.  We have a heavy frigate incoming with fighter escort.  Pilots, take out the main beams of this ship and then help destroy enemy fighters.

Hesperia:  Good work pilots.  I don’t think the Shivans will want to waste too many more resources just to try and reclaim the space of a former supply depot…especially since they seem to be moving on from this system.  If the Luna doesn’t detect anything else, all TF7 ships are clear to return to the designated rendezvous point.

Alpha 1:  How about it Luna?  Do we have the all clear?

Luna:  It looks like it Hydras.  We’ll need about a minute more to fully charge our jump drives and then we’ll all head back to the Hesperia together.  We’re in the clear…wait…

Alpha 3:  What is it?

Luna:  Something’s coming in along this vector.  It’s big.  Oh no…

Alpha 1:  What?  What’s going on?

(A big subspace vortex opens up ahead of the depot and a Sathanas juggernaut comes out.)

Luna:  Hesperia!  Code red!  We have a Shivan juggernaut that just jumped in!  Designation is Tyrant!  I repeat, Tyrant is in system!

Hesperia:  No!  We hadn’t planned on encountering Tyrant yet!

Luna:  Well, it’s here!

Alpha 1:  Luna, jump out now!  Sathanas ships can turn quicker than you think.  She might be able to get you if you wait for a full charge!

Luna:  That’s a negative pilot.  If we jump out this close to it, Tyrant might be able to track us back to the main TF7 rally point and wipe all of us out.  You have to write us off.  Alpha 1, take the rest of the Hydras and the bomber wing and get at least 20 km away from the Tyrant and then jump back to the Hesperia.  Our techs estimate they shouldn’t be able to track your jump vector at that range.

(Note:  I’m not sure if ships can get accurate jump readings or not at that range but I felt that was plausible enough to write.)

Alpha 1:  Luna, we can’t just leave you here!  Bombers and fighters are coming out of the Tyrant’s fighter bay!

Luna:  We don’t have the time to take out its forward cannons.  That’s what’s probably going to get us.  Just remember us in the future pilots.  That’s all we ask.  It’s more important that the main forces of TF7 survive than we try to get out and lead Tyrant back to them.

Hesperia:  We’ll be sure to remember you Luna.  Thank you for your sacrifice.

Bravo 1:  Alpha 1!  Look!

Alpha 1:  What?

Bravo 1:  The Tyrant is continuing in a straight line away from us, it’s not turning to engage the Luna!

Delta 2:  They have us, why would they walk away from a win like that?

Luna:  Whatever the case, it looks like we may have a second chance at life here.  Maybe the Tyrant thinks a regular frigate isn’t worth it’s time and it can let its fighters and bombers try to clean up the scraps so to speak.  Hold on, we’re detecting some extra energy in its engines.  It might be trying to head out of system, either toward the Terminus or Mir Arae jump node.

Alpha 1:  Orders Luna?

Luna:  Hydras, I may just be guessing here but my guess is the Tyrant will be heading to one of the jump points out of this system ahead of us.  Alpha 1, get to the Tyrant and get scans of its sensors, navigation, and communication subsystems.  That might tell us where it’s headed.  Hurry up before it jumps out.  The rest of you fighters and bombers hold off the enemy craft incoming towards us!

(The player would then race to get scans of the requested Tyrant subsystems.  While this is happening , the rest of the Hydras, the accompanying bomber wing, and the Luna should be able to hold off the fighters and bombers launched from the Tyrant.)

(After a while, the Tyrant jumps out.)

Luna:  Did you get the scans, Alpha 1?

Alpha 1:  Affirmative, Luna.  Heading back to help in your defense now.

(Soon after this, there are no Shivans left in the mission zone.)

Alpha 1:  It looks like that’s it.  That’s all of them.  Luna, can we go home now?

Luna:  Yes, our jump drives are fully charged and all Shivans present have either retreated or have been destroyed.  We’ll decode your scans when you get back to the Hesperia.  All craft are clear to return to
base now.  See you back home.

(All craft, including the player, jump out now and the mission ends.)

Mission Debriefing:

That was a close one pilots.  The crew of the EFFg Luna sends you its thanks.  They were staring death in the face, but thankfully Tyrant chose not to stay and engage us.  However, the Luna might still have gone down if you all weren’t there to de-beam enemy capital ships and keep the Luna safe from Shivan fighters and bombers.

We’ll be careful in the days ahead.  Hopefully we won’t run into Tyrant again.  We’ll try not to rush if we don’t have to. 

Your scans were very helpful, Alpha 1.  With the data you got, our techs and analysts estimate that the Tyrant jumped in the direction of the Terminus jump node.  That means we’ll be heading to the Mi Arae system for the time being.

Get some sleep.  Obviously, the Shivans haven’t totally left Delta Lacertae yet.  Thankfully for us, they’re not blockading the system.  Like I said earlier, it looks like they’re chasing something instead of trying to keep their enemies out of the system.  We’ll begin to move TF7 toward the Mi Arae jump node tomorrow and clear out any  Shivan resistance along the way.

General Oliver Spruance
CO EFD Hesperia
EFN Task Force Seven

Exile alternate history part 10

Mission Briefing:

Page 1: 
Pilots, we have a serious situation incoming in regards to our supply ships.

Page 2:
The Terbium and Mendel were sent on a special mission.  They were sent to a part of Delta Lacertae we thought was secure.  We found a special mineral that could help accelerate development of the heavy Frost cannon.  When completed, the Frost would be the most powerful primary cannon in the EFN fighter arsenal, so we thought it worth the risk to send our main supply ships mostly unguarded to gather these resources quickly.

Page 3:
We sent most of our warships slightly ahead of them, with the exception of the cruiser Trailblazer, to scout the area between us and the Mi Arae jump node.  One of our scout wings detected two Shivan destroyers:  a Ravana designated Phiron and a Demon designated Ashtar.

Page 4:
However, the scout detected that the destroyers were beginning to power up.    Our tacticians believe they’re heading toward the area where the Terbium and Mendel are at.

Page 5: 
We shouldn’t have left them alone pilots even for a short time but what’s done is done, we have to deal with it.  Hydras, you’re all we can send back to help at the moment.  Most of our other craft are off attacking some other Shivan staging areas we’ve located or are the immediate CAP of our warships.

Page 6:
We’re giving you the best craft we can.  Hydras Alpha, you’ll be piloting Lyre heavy bombers and Bravo and Delta wing will be flying Echelon superfighters as escort.

Page 7: 
Alpha wing, we’re also giving you the choice of loadout.  You can take Maelstrom medium torpedoes or Broadsword heavy torpedoes.  Make your loadout choice quick though. 

Page 8:
I just got some good news.  The Lassel has finished its engagement and we’re rerouting it to what will be your engagement zone.  We’ll try to send you further reinforcements if they become available after finishing their scouting zones or engagements.

Page 9:
Hopefully I don’t have to tell you how important this mission is.  Saving our two primary supply ships is vital to TF7 and humanity as a whole.  Without them we’d run out of food and water and supplies for
our ships and people and we’d lack ammunition as well.  Good luck out there.

Page 9:
Primary objectives:
Save the supply ship Mendel [ ]
Save the factory ship Terbium [ ]

Secondary objective:
Protect allied frigates [ ]

(Mission begins)

Alpha 1:  Hesperia, this is Alpha 1 of the Hydras.  We’ve reached the designated engagement zone.  The Terbium and Mendel are several clicks away. 

Hesperia:  Hopefully that means the Shivans won’t get to them immediately when they show up.  Any sign of the Shivans yet?

Alpha 1:  Negative.  Neither the Shivans nor the Lassel have appeared yet.

(Three capital ship size subspace nodes open up)

Alpha 1:  Command, the first wave of Shivans are here!  The Ravana Phiron and two Cains have just jumped in!

Bravo 1:  At least they haven’t launched fighters or bombers yet.

Hesperia:  That probably won’t last long pilots.  Hurry up and destroy them before they get within range of our supply ships.  Go for the beams on the Phiron first and then for general destruction of the Shivan capital ships.

Alpha 1:  Since there aren’t any enemy fighters present I’m going to slightly divide us up for this mission.  I’m going to go in and take out that Ravana’s main beams fast.  The rest of Alpha, bomb those cruisers out of space…you can snipe their main beams first if you want.  Bravo and Delta, you attack the cruisers as well.  The Cains should fall quickly under that attack.  Alpha, when the cruisers are destroyed, begin a general attack on the Phiron. 

Alpha 4:  Out of curiosity, Alpha 1, why’d you take Broadswords for your torpedoes?  A bomber can carry more Maelstroms.

Alpha 1:  Personal preference.  I knew we were going against a destroyer so I wanted something heavier.  Broadswords are overkill against cruisers but are excellent against heavy targets like destroyers.  If we were just going against a swarm of smaller ships I would have taken Maelstroms in my craft like you all chose to.  Maelstroms don’t do as much damage against destroyers.  They’ll do the job eventually, but a wing might have to rearm a couple times.  It’s kind of like how Great War pilots had to choose between Tsunamis or Harbingers. 

(The primary beams of the Phiron are disabled shortly after)

(A subspace vortex opens)

Lassel:  ORFg Lassel now in the battle area.  General Spruance thought you could use some help.  We’re on the flank of the Phiron and will engage it while you finish off the cruisers.

Alpha 1:  Thank you, Lassel.  Pilots, follow those instructions.  I’ll use my heavy torpedoes to help finish off this Ravana.

(After the rest of the Hydras finish off the two Cains that jumped in, they join Alpha 1 and the Lassel in attacking the Phiron.)

Alpha 2:  Alpha lead, we finished off the escort cruisers.  Permission to use our medium torpedoes against the Phiron?

Alpha 1:  Granted, let’s finish her off.  Bravo and Delta, you can help by taking out anti-fighter and bomber turrets.

(A Ravana is not a heavily armored ship.  This unescorted Ravana goes down soon after to the bombers and Lassel.)

Alpha 4:  Phiron is down!  Command, I repeat:  Phiron is down!

Hesperia:  Excellent work, everyone!  All forces present, get closer to the Mendel and Terbium and help the Trailblazer defend the ships.  We don’t know when the Ashtar will get there but I doubt you’ll have long to wait.

(The Lassel and Hydras move closer to the ships they are to defend.)

Delta 2:  Alpha 1:  What kind of bright idea was it to leave our two main supply ships undefended?  We couldn’t eat or drink or fight for long without them. 

Delta 3:  Terbium, Mendel…why’d you guys come out alone? 

Terbium:  Can we tell them Hesperia?

Hesperia:  We covered most of it in the briefing, but go ahead.

Terbium:  It’s agreed that it’s a bad idea to leave supply ships largely undefended.  However, we weren’t
just lost in space.  There was a good reason for us to be out here.

Alpha 2:  I sure hope it was a good reason to risk the lifeblood of TF7.

Mendel:  As we were about to move towards the Mi Arae jump node, right at the last minute some of our scouts detected some rich mineral deposits in a small asteroid field.  Our scientists believe these minerals could be of great use in weapons development…particularly on project Frost. 

Alpha 1:  To be fair they see it was a poor idea to send a low escort now.  I guess they wanted to scout the Mi Arae system quickly and didn’t want to take the Terbium and Mendel with them to what could potentially be a hot engagement zone. 

Terbium:  We had enough resources to produce the Frost cannon eventually.  However, these resources would allow us to produce it much quicker and enough for all EFN fighters.  Maybe eventually for ORS fighters too but since the Frost was an EFN design, it would be easiest to fit them on EFN fighters first.

Alpha 1:  With all the hype this is getting, I hope the Frost is worth it.

Mendel:  If our simulations are correct, it will be.  It may have an average range, but its hull and shield damage will be greater than any other EFN primary fighter weapon.  Overall it will be the best primary weapon in the fleet.

Alpha 4:  Okay, I get why this mission was necessary, but why weren’t there more escorts for the supply ships on this mission?

Hesperia:  We were doing various scouting missions and we had a window where they would be relatively alone.  To be fair, they were only going to be alone, except for the Trailblazer, for a short time.  We had scouted the immediate area and didn’t detect any incoming Shivans.  It was only recently we found the Phiron and Ashtar.

Terbium:  After we got the necessary resources, we were beginning to prepare to head for a TF7 rally point.  We almost made it clear.  Plus, it was decided too large a military escort might have attracted more Shivan attention.

Delta 3:  Maybe we should get hazard pay for this.

Hesperia:  Focus on the mission for now and you can vent later.  Tell you what, if you don’t lose any allied capital ships in this mission, the Hydras get an extra hour of sleep during your next break.  Deal?

Delta 2:  Fair enough, Command.

Hesperia:  We realize we made a mistake and it almost cost us big, but we’ll do our best to not repeat it again. 

Lassel:  Attention, everyone:  We don’t see the Ashtar yet but I’m detecting incoming Shivan fighter and bomber squadrons.  They’re likely forces from the Ashtar trying to soften us up.

Alpha 1:  Bravo and Delta wings, protect the Terbium and Mendel.  Alpha, try to protect those ships too.  However, we’re in less maneuverable bombers so it might be helpful to stay within the Lassel’s anti-fighter screen.  Command, any chance we could get some more reinforcements?

Hesperia:  The Everest has reported its scouting mission is complete so we’re rerouting it to you.  It should be there in a couple minutes or so.

(A squadron of Shivan fighters and a squadron of Shivan bombers jump in.)

Alpha 1:  Make sure they don’t get the Mendel or Terbium!

(This first wave is destroyed with hopefully minimal damage to the TF7 supply ships.)

Lassel:  We have another incoming Shivan wave!

Alpha 2:  Is it the Ashtar?

Lassel:  Negative.  It looks like two Shivan heavy frigates with fighter escort.  No sign of the Ashtar yet, however. 

(A subspace vortex opens on the other side of the Mendel and Terbium.)

Everest:  It looks like we got here just in time.  We’ll help defend the supply ships from fighter and bomber attacks and the Shivan frigates when they get in range.  Alpha bombers, if you can take out the forward beams of those heavy frigates, it should give us the edge in this engagement.

(Multiple waves of Shivan fighters and bombers come in, but the player and allied capital ships are able to protect the Mendel and Terbium.)

Bravo 1:  Mendel and Terbium:  What’s your status?

Terbium:  All systems are green.  We’ll be ready to go soon.  Continue keeping the Shivans off of us.

Alpha 1:  That looks like all for this wave, Hesperia.  Do you have anything else coming in at the moment?

Lassel:  Wait, pilots!  We’re detecting a large incoming subspace signature!  It’s the Ashtar!  It should be here in a minute or less.  Rearm if you need to, this should be the last phase of combat for the mission and then you can come home.

Alpha 4:  Something else is coming in and it’s not the Ashtar!

Lassel:  Roger that.  It looks like the Ashtar is sending its two escort light Moloch frigates ahead of it along with fighters and bombers.

Bravo 2:  How much longer until…

Lassel:  There you go Hydras, the Ashtar has just come in.

Alpha 1:  Hydras, begin your attack on the Molochs’ primary beams.  They’ll be in range of our craft before the Ashtar.  After that, begin a general attack on them to finish them off.

Lassel:  Alpha 1, we have a special task for you.

Alpha 1:  I’m kind of busy right now, I’m working on getting those frigates blasted out of space.  The Ashtar won’t be in range for a few minutes so we have to focus on the more immediate threat.

Lassel:  The rest of the Hydras can destroy the frigates and the Shivan fighters and bombers.  There’s something you have to do right now!

Alpha 1:  Okay, okay…what is it?

Lassel:  Burn immediately toward the Ashtar and destroy its starboard side main beam.

Alpha 1:  Why so specific?

Lassel:  No time to explain right now, just do it!

Alpha 1:  As you wish.  Hydras, finish off the Molochs’ main beams and then the frigates themselves.  I’ve just been assigned another task.

(The player has to dodge fighters and corvette fire to get to the designated turret of the Ashtar and then destroy it.)

Alpha 1:  This is Alpha 1 reporting in, Lassel.  The starboard heavy beam turret of the Ashtar has been destroyed.  Now what?

Lassel:  Get back over here and help us and the rest of the Hydras with the frigates and fighters and bombers.

Alpha 1:  Shouldn’t I help destroy the Ashtar?  I have heavy Broadsword torpedoes after all.

Lassel:  Something else has been planned, Alpha 1.  I suggest you get back over here soon.  You’ll want to get out of the way.

Alpha 1:  Uh, okay.

(Alpha 1 flies back to the other area of the engagement.)

Alpha 1:  The Shivan frigates are down, along with their fighters and bombers.  Would you mind telling me what’s going on?

Lassel:  Take a look at the Ashtar and watch the fireworks.

(A large subspace vortex opens on the starboard side of the Ashtar.)

Hesperia:  EFD Hesperia here.  Sorry we’re a little late pilots.  Thanks for getting rid of that beam for us; it should make this a little bit easier.  All available heavy railguns and torpedo launchers, target the Ashtar for general effect.  Finish her off!

(The Hesperia begins to use its heavy weaponry on the Ashtar.  It soon is disabled.)

Lassel:  Alpha 1, aren’t you glad you weren’t in the way of that barrage?

Alpha 1:  Certainly.  Okay Hydras, there aren’t any more small capships or fighters or bombers present.  Hesperia, permission to help finish the Ashtar off?

Hesperia:  Why not?  You’re free to join the party if you want to Alpha wing.  TF7 capital ships, stay close to our supply ships just in case.

(Being disabled and having no further support, the Ashtar should go down in about a minute or so.)

Bravo 1:  Scratch one more Shivan destroyer.

Alpha 1:  Hesperia, the area is clear.

Hesperia:  Mission complete.  Good work, everyone.  Hydras, you are clear to land.  Make it quick, we’ll be moving out soon.  Terbium and Mendel, was your mission successful?

Terbium:  Roger that, Hesperia.  We have all the resources we need and project Frost can be expedited.  Both are ships took minimal damage and we’re good to go.

Mendel:  Wait a minute, we’re detecting a unique signature near one of these asteroids.  There are also some things that look like sentries.

Hesperia:  Can you identify it?

Mendel:  I’m marking the asteroid on sensors, Hesperia.  Go in for a closer scan, Alpha 1.

Alpha 1:  I was just scanned by these sentry looking things!  However…they’re not firing on me.

(The player moves in and scans this object.)

Alpha 1:  Command, I see some kind of purple-ish alien craft here now!  It’s not EFN, ORS, Shivan, or Vasudan.

Hesperia:  Terbium, send a support drone and bring that ship aboard so we can study it.  Bring one of the sentries too.

(Suupport drones dock with this ship and sentry and brings them back to the Terbium.)

Hesperia:  All capital ships in the engagement zone may return to the rally point.  Hydras, land quickly so we can jump out too.

(The player lands on the Hesperia and the mission ends.)

Mission debriefing:

We’ve learned to be more careful next time.  It was thought we could leave our supply ships mostly unguarded for a short time and it almost cost us dearly.  From now on we’ll leave at least one frigate with the supply ships.

However, thanks to your efforts, the mission was successful and worth it.  Project Frost will now be completed much sooner and will be able to be given to more of our craft now.  This weapon will greatly improve our fighters’ odds in engagements with the Shivans.

As for this new ship we discovered, I’m afraid I can’t tell you a lot about it.  Preliminary findings indicate it has similar properties to the ancient species that gave us the data to defeat the Lucifer about three decades ago.  It looks like they may have been in this part of space at some point.  We’re guessing this was a small transport.  We’re in the process of studying the artifacts on board.

The sentry was interesting.  Our scientists believe that this thing was programmed to fire on Shivans and that’s why the sentry field didn’t fire on you.

I will tell you something that will affect our mission.  From what we know of the Ancient language, we were able to decode part of this really old flight log that indicates this ship was headed for Terminus.  It looks like there’s something important there.  For now though, all other findings are classified.

Anyways, good work to all of you.  Your work has basically cleared out the Delta Lacertae system today.  Scouts report nothing between us and the Mi Arae node now.  We’re heading that way now and should be making the jump relatively shortly.  I don’t know what exactly we’ll find in Mi Arae, but with the Tyrant heading towards Terminus…hopefully we won’t encounter any juggernauts.

Hydras, by the way, I’m keeping the deal I made with you earlier since none of our ships were destroyed during this engagement.  You get an extra hour off patrol duty tomorrow.  Use it for extra sleep, eating, reading a book, showering, or whatever. 

General Oliver Spruance
EFD Hesperia
EFN Task Force Seven


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