Xenonautical Adventures – Part 33: A New Roundness
1st of January, 1980, 12:56
Major Merrywhiskers seems quite indifferent about us being in a new year. I managed to procure a new ball of yarn for her. It’s been a few rounds around the apartment already.
I find myself looking back the design documents for the new interceptor. It does give me some idea of what it will be like, but I am still highly curious to see what one will look like when it’s finished.
1st of January, 1980, 16:27
Actually had a bit of bird today. Not exactly a turkey dinner, but still nice. I didn’t bother asking what kind of bird it was. Tasted pretty much like chicken.
2nd of January, 1980, 07:19
I am virtually drowning in progress reports. I almost regret starting so many projects at once. Still, it’s going to be nice once everything is done in about a week and a half.
Lt Valeer asked to take Major Merrywhiskers for the day. I agreed, thinking it would be nice having the place to myself, if only for a few hours, but I miss her a bit already.
2nd of January, 1980, 17:37
When I got Major Merrywhiskers back, her fur coat was practically shining. It seems Lt Valeer knows a thing or two about grooming, or maybe they just have more patience than me.
I ended up doing a bit of a “surprise inspection” of the base today. Not a proper inspection really, just wandering around the base and checking up on things, or just having a look. Nothing out of order that I could find, but the new Foxtrot is close to finished. The new workshop is not. They’re still just setting up the walls, basically.
3rd of January, 1980, 07:21
All three new Foxtrots are complete and ready to go. Let’s hope the new pilots do well.
Otherwise I am still flooded with progress reports. Surely there’s a way to cut down on this and save some trees?
3rd of January, 1980, 14:09
Had to break up a fight down in the barracks. Cpt Beargal accused Maj Cuftbert of stealing some of the cookies she had been sent from home for new year’s. I couldn’t get a clear answer as to whether she had actually taken them or not, but I got them to calm down. Those two have had a bit of a rivalry going for a while now.
4th of January, 1980, 07:42
While I am grateful about getting time to complete our various projects, I must admit a bit of unease at how long they’ve left us alone. Granted it’s not unprecedented, but I can’t shake the feeling that the aliens have something big planned for the new year.
If nothing else, it feels like we’re long overdue a new UFO type. I remember that early scan all those months ago. They had much bigger things up there than Corvettes and Bombers. Heck, that scan is the whole reason why we classify those two as medium size. So what are we getting next?
4th of January, 1980, 11:17
The Chief seems to be making good progress with the dropship design, but I did also notice his wastepaper basket was full of crumpled sheets. I was inspired to sneak a couple away with me and tie them to bits of string to entertain Major Merrywhiskers. This will likely result in a lot of shredded paper on my floor, but that’s what we have hoovers for.
4th of January, 1980, 19:30
The hangars are nearing completion. Around midnight tomorrow, I’m being told. I have told the engineers they can start working on our first Corsair once it is ready. Unfortunately we don’t have the funds to get one started for every base. So for now it’s one for here, and one for North America. We have the most issues with reach, anyway.
5th of January, 1980, 07:28
Beyond more progress reports, there’s really nothing new. I already felt it was strange that they gave us Christmas off, but now I’m worried about what they’re waiting for.
If it’s something new, I hope it shows up in range, so we can properly assess it. Sending a single interceptor out to investigate an out-of-range blip, and then running into something too big for it to handle, that’s something I’d rather not have to deal with.
6th of January, 1980, 00:45
All hangars and the new living quarters are complete. I stayed up to oversee and make sure the Corsairs got started. I’ll get a report on when they expect to be done in the morning, so for now I am going to bed.
6th of January, 1980, 03:24
So much for sleep. It seems another wave is starting. Medium-sized UFO detected over Mexico. Condor-3 has been launched to intercept.
Where else are you going to appear, I wonder?
6th of January, 1980, 03:27
“Contact, sir! Confirmed extraterrestrial contact!”
Well, that was quick. A medium with two escorts. Not too far out, but heading away from us. This might be risky, but…
“Understood. Launch Condors 1 and 2, intercept course.”
6th of January, 1980, 03:37
Another medium, far into the northern reaches of Canada. Commander Dosjevsky has launched Foxtrot-5 to intercept, clearly wanting to see how they handle their first mission.
6th of January, 1980, 03:42
A small UFO, by the Red Sea. Commander Marabello has launched Foxtrot-6 to intercept. An easier first mission for them.
6th of January, 1980, 04:42
Condor-3 has intercepted its target, and it’s something completely new. It sent back an image, but attacking it was fruitless, and they had to disengage and retreat. Foxtrot-2 and Condor-4 are being prepared in concert to finish the job.
6th of January, 1980, 04:48
Another medium UFO over Saudi-Arabia. Let’s hope it’s not another of those things, as Foxtrot-3 has been launched on their own to intercept.
6th of January, 1980, 04:55
The small UFO was shot down, and Foxtrot-6 are heading back home. There’s still a lot left to do here before this night is over, and there’s another UFO too close for me to authorise launching Charlie-3 yet.
6th of January, 1980, 05:01
Condors 1 and 2 have shot down a Corvette with two fighters, and are also heading back home. The area seems clear.
“Launch Charlie-1, set course for the crash site!”
6th of January, 1980, 05:17
Foxtrot-5 also report contact with one of the new ships, and their torpedoes weren’t enough either. Vexing. That far out, I’d have to send both Foxtrots, but that’s not happening for a while.
It seems they’ve outpaced us.
6th of January, 1980, 05:59
Foxtrot-3 have shot down a Corvette over Sudan. It’s safe to launch Charlie-3, so I give the clearance. They will see about stopping by both crash sites, depending on how the first one goes, so they’re starting with the small.
6th of January, 1980, 07:17
Foxtrot-2 and Condor-4 finally managed to chase down the first of the new ships and shoot it down, though it went down over the Atlantic. They were barely keeping up, so it was their only chance. I don’t begrudge them that. They are heading back home.
I hope we get the interceptors ready in time to handle the other one as well, though. And maybe even get it to crash over land. I want to see what we’re dealing with.
6th of January, 1980, 09:15
Charlie-1 has reached their crash site, and it’s still daytime over there, so let’s hope they do well.
“Tell them to set down and engage.”
Charlie-1 Response Team on the ground. Day-time mission. Weapons at the ready. Dropship doors opening.
We roll off the ramp and immediately take down our first blue-jersey that seemed to have shown up to welcome us.
We split up, quickly securing the locals and hunting down a further four blue-jerseys and a single hover-drone before meeting up at the UFO.
As standard, we chuck one gas grenade inside, wait a minute, and then breach the ship. Officer had died in the crash, and all that was left to deal with was a single red-jersey.
Minimal structural damage to surrounding area, no civilian casualties, UFO in good shape. Charlie-1 head home.
6th of January, 1980, 09:42
Charlie-1 are in the air again, and from what I gather, it was a flawless operation. Feels like it’s been a while.
Not that it’s over. Charlie-3 are close to their first crash site, and we still have that thing harassing Canada and Alaska, but at least I can take a moment to breathe.
During the night the research report for the alien sniper rifle came in. I’ve been looking it over during breaks in the action throughout the morning, though it’s been hard to concentrate on it. A sniper rifle that can pierce any armour, but potentially won’t do much damage to the subject underneath… could we benefit from making something similar?
Regardless, I sent the word earlier to have the scientists in North America get started on seeing if they can design some combat armour incorporating the alien materials. The Jackal suits have served us well in the past months, but I fear they will be insufficient soon.