Trail of the Past

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Trail of the Past
Wings of Honor episode

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Episode no. Episode 9
Date 1998
Game Master Carl Cramér
Characters Diana Dale
Madeleine Hazard
Rex Reason
Hendrick van der Decken
Episode chronology
← Previous Next →
"Black Dragons" "Escaping the Natives"
Wings of Honor episode list

Hunters and hunted.

Synopsis

While rescuing survivors with the ships boat, the flying Dutchman hovered close to the surface. Rex, Double Down and Rebel circled looking for signs of the submarine and checking the skies for the aeroplanes spotted earlier. "Four incoming bogeys, starboard side." they heard from the signalist aboard the zeppelin. They all headed that way, Rex aft of the zeppelin and Double Down and Rebel fore of it. "They split. Two coming in midships and two on starboard bow." "It's Devastators." "Anybody know of a gang with all black Devastators?" "We're about to..." As Rex and Double Down flew out to meet the two of the Devastators on approach to attack the zeppelin, Rebel started to make a roundabout move aiming at drawing the attention of the other two away from their target. She was therefore closer to it when suddenly two more Devastators appeared out of the fog to the port of it. Being within range of the zeppelin they fired their heavy AP rockets as they appeared. One of the aeroplanes was all red with a coiling Chinese dragon along the fuselage.

Rex took a long shot at the Devastator closer to Double Down hitting it with a few magnesium rounds. Both black planes fired two rockets each. The slow rockets left a trail of smoke as they approached the hull of the zeppelin. Rex turned port, closing in on the tail of the other Devastator. Doubling down with two 60:s and six 30:s, the magnesium of the 30:s ignited the pirate's wing tank. The engagements first kill went down in flames. "You set the trend, Rex!" Double Down said as she turned straight at her opponent head on and fired all her four AP rockets. His nose took heavy damage from the three rockets that hit. He still fired a second salvo flack rockets at the zeppelin. Double Down, hot in pursuit, poured 50 caliber APs into his fuselage. His engine seemed to have caught a bullet since it went silent pouring out smoke. Loosing speed and being shocked by flack from the zeppelin he pulled hard right to get a shot at Double Down, but foreseeing his move, she decided to fly into the flack laid out by The Flying Dutchman's gunners instead. The blast hit the nose of the Bloodhawk but did no significant damage. The Devastator's move only made him show his damaged nose to Double Down. She didn't miss the opportunity but downed him with a long burst from her two guns.

The helmsman of the Flying Dutchman, Oswald Bastable, ordered full speed and the crew pushed the engines to their limits. The zeppelin had been hit hard from both sides and was loosing the integrity of the hull, loosing lift. The midship cell was almost destroyed. Rebel turned to face the red aeroplane guessing it to be their leader. As he turned to meet his opponent Rebel surprised him by barrel rolling to starboard, closing in on his port. Doubling down with her four 50 caliber machine guns her bullets ripped the wing open. The wing folded and the unlucky pilot had to leave the craft. At the low altitude the silk just barely had time to open. The pilot seemed to be on fire as he splashed into the water.

After her kill Double Down found another Devastator lined up straight in front of her firing rockets at the Flying Dutchman. Their flack rockets had so far succeeded in totally destroying the middle gas cell. The fore cell looked severely damaged. If the zeppelin lost it too it would plunge into the sea. "No, you don't!" She said as she squeezed the trigger and her two guns sang their song. The Devastator turned hard to avoid her deadly bursts but took the time to fire a short machine gun salvo at his target. "Can you take it from here, Rex?" Double Down asked knowing Rebel would need help against the two pirates who vengefully attacked her without further thought of their real target, the Flying Dutchman. "No problems. Make sure Rebel don't get all the fun." Double Down choose to maintain her airspeed and left the pirate to Rex. He didn't disappoint her. In a long burst his deadly guns spat their death. The pilot never left the cockpit.

The zeppelin slowly dipped it's nose. Giving full 'up' rudder Oswald Bastable managed to keep her flying, but one more strafing run could end it. The two Devastators left tried to get their revenge on Rebel but her fancy flying made sure that they took the most beating. Double Down arrived just in time when Rebel had to choose to protect the Flying Dutchman instead of herself. "Where have you been? I almost thought you left me." As Rex and Rebel made sure that the one maneuvering for a firing position at the zeppelin wouldn't be able to fire, anymore... ever, the last Devastator gliding, after loosing his engine power, lined up on Rebels tail. When he was about to fire, his plane shook from bullet hits. Finally his port wing couldn't hold the aeroplane airborne anymore. Tumbling down he managed to clear the spinning aeroplane as he bailed. The other pilot wasn't as fortunate when Rex bullets tore the Devastator apart.

Surveying the damage taken by the zeppelin they were amazed that it still flew. But it was just barely. It had been a close call. After surveying the surroundings looking for more bandits they hooked up under the zeppelin and waited for the small boat to pick up all distressed including some shot down pilots. When they were assembled they looked for their leader. After some squabble, a young woman pointed out a man as Bai Huang, the infamous Red Dragon. She had been held captive aboard to submarine. Her name was Jin Caipin. Rex comforted her.

After positioning the zeppelin in a protected cove they headed out circling the islands again. This time they all spotted some animals, human shaped, moving just above the jungle on the mountain side. They decided to launch a land expedition. The ships boat set out again, this time carrying some camping equipment. When the boat was almost ashore they landed with water splashing around the pontoons. They tied their aeroplanes to some palm trees near the water in the lagoon they landed in. Waiting for the boat they decided for a good base camp site not far from the planes. The rest of the expedition arrived and four crew members erected the camp.

The others went into the jungle searching for tracks of the big apes. After taking a look at the surroundings it was obvious that there where two persons knowing their way in the jungle; Patch Maupierre and Diana Dale. When deciding where to go their opinion differed. Patch wanted to head deeper into the jungle on the flatter parts of the little island but Diana wanted to head up toward the volcano. The expedition split up into two groups. Patch, Jocko, Simmington and 2 crew went into the jungle while Rex, Rebel, the priest, the slave girl, Van Der Decken and 2 crew followed Diana towards the volcano.

Rex handled the machete working their way steadily forward, following Diana's directions. After a long hard walk the jungle became thinner. When most vegetation was down to grass and small bushes they saw caves higher up on the slope. They hadn't spotted them from the air. They seemed to be natural caves bettered by hand. "Look. They have built entrances to the caves. We can't take this ape if it is intelligent." "Birds build nests but that don't make them intelligent." Looking around they found a red headed ape by a small stream and prepared to sedate it. Diana noticed that it appeared to be washing something in the water. Then it was shot with the tranquilizer dart. It looked up, started to move and then fell. Slowly falling asleep. They approached it slowly. Diana found it was two clay lumps it had been washing. These looked a little like some very simple clay shapes the priest had showed earlier as proof of an earlier civilization. Diana kept them.

"What was that?" "Relax Rebel. You just don't like the jungle" Rex said comforting. "No. That sound. It sounds like... drums." Suddenly they all heard the faint sound. It was slowly growing louder, reaching a crescendo. It was the sound of native drums and cheers. They tried to look around and found out that it was echoing from the other island. Relived they proceeded at making a stretcher to carry the 400 lb ape in. Diana noticed another ape looking down at them from uphill behind a cliff. Then they noticed activity at the coast of the other island. The head hunters were getting into their canoes heading this way!