Deep space: Operation Copernicus manual
June 6, 2123 Dear Fellow Solarian, My associates have brought to my attention your lifelong record of courage, enthusiasm, and selfless attention to duty. No matter what the circumstances, you have never failed to rise to the occasion, to succeed in the face of adversity, or to meet new challenges with skill and willingness. Now a challenge of unprecedented magnitude faces all of the people of Solaria. Humanity must band together to bring this unwanted war with the evil empire of Andromeda to a rapid close, with victory our only acceptable goal. Make no mistake about it, should Andromeda accomplish its ends, civilization as we know it shall cease; our descendants will live their lives under the slavemaster's lash. For that is Andromeda's true intention, as shown by its history and our knowledge of the territories it has conquered. But Andromeda shall not succeed in this intention, no matter how superior their numbers and equipment may appear at this moment. For we have one asset which is as alien to the Andromedans, with their insect-like social order and community intelligence, as they are to us. They can never understand the nature or power of that asset--the free and unconquerable spirit of the individual human which has ended so many tyrannies in the past. We can state with confidence that although the enemy can breed hordes of vicious fighters and send them hurtling through space toward our heartlands, he can never breed anything to equal, let alone surpass, the individual intelligence and resourcefulness of our human citizens. In the face of this intelligence and resourcefulness, Andromeda's apparent superiority is as a child's sand-castle against a great ocean wave. It is therefore with total confidence that I appeal to those human qualities that shine with such brightness in you. I ask, in the certain knowledge that it will be forthcoming, for your cooperation in mankind's great effort to protect itself, to shield its children against tyranny from beyond the stars. I ask you once again to sacrifice your personal goals temporarily as you step into the cockpit of a Katana spacefighter to enter the fray against the great inhuman enemy, but I know that you will not consider this a sacrifice. Like me, you know that without effort, we will sacrifice all. You know that if we do not fight now, we doom all men to living like animals through uncounted eons. You know that nothing we may give or lose in such a struggle is truly a sacrifice. Therefore, let me thank you in advance for the contribution I am sure you will make, and let us both look forward to the day when all humanity can lay down arms with the contentment that comes from peace, and the satisfaction that comes from the triumph of justice. There is no question in my mind that you will cooperate to the fullest with the accompanying notice from the Selective Service Administration, and I would like to be the first to welcome you to the ranks of the United Planets Space Force. May you and all of us enjoy good fortune in the times to come. Sincerely, Giorgi L. Spelnikov President of the United Planets From: Terran Defense HQ, UPSF Date: 5 June 2123 0714 SMT Fellow Fighter of Solaria: Seventeen hours ago, forces of the Hegemony of Andromeda made an unprovoked attack on United Planets Territory, treacherously killing over 200 of our citizens in the Herculis Quadrant of the Trojan group. Therefore, a state of war now exists between the United Planets of Solaria and the Hegemony. The Andromedan fleet is known to be making its way toward the Copernicus Quadrant, the richest and most densely populated portion of the asteroid belt. It is doubtless the intent of the Andromedan commanders to wreak havoc among innocent civilians who want only to go about their peaceful and lawful pursuits. Moreover, Andromeda's continued presence in Copernicus Quadrant would interrupt, perhaps forever, the production and shipment of metals vital to the needs of Earth's teeming billions. Every freedom-loving human must now rally to the great task of thrusting this evil invader back into the depths of space from whence he came, ending his nefarious schemes forthwith. It is with a heavy heart that I must tell you that, although the resources and manpower of Earth are being mobilized, you must face the beginnings of this challenge to the sovereignty of mankind alone. It will be weeks before the forces necessary to assist you in this struggle can be assembled and sent to your side. During those weeks, you, and you alone, must delay the enemy from the heartless execution of his bloody task. You must form the wall of our defenses, harrying the enemy, letting him feel the shadow of our rightful wrath. You must give him a taste of the doom that will so inevitably encompass him when the vast and mighty fleets of humanity arrive to put him to the sword. You, and you alone, must soar the trackless wastes of space in your tiny ship, searching out this affront to decency, and destroying it wherever you may find it. We do not doubt that you will find it, nor that you will destroy it. The trust and hopes of all humanity fly with you. Good Luck, Wilbur Tark, Gen., UPSF -ST Industries SF181 ("Katana") Transport/Interceptor Technical Specifications and Procedures The Katana is controlled through its on-board computer, using joystick and keyboard. Certain details of ship operation and information display vary, depending on the particular make and model of the computer installed in your vessel. These instructions are generic in nature: where an asterisk (*) appears, see the doc file which matches your computer for details. PRE-FLIGHT PREPARATION: When the cockpit of the Katana appears, you will be presented with a display message allowing entry of mission (mission descriptions follow) and your personal skill level. Use the joystick and joystick button(*) to move the highlight between mission and skill level choices, and to confirm your choices, respectively. Beginning pilots are advised to choose NOVICE level, then move up. The mission will begin right after you choose a skill level: the next thing you will see will be a view of deep space from the cockpit of the Katana. FLIGHT MODE: The Katana is steered by joystick with all computers. Weapons are fired by joystick button. Thrust selection depends on the computer used. Cockpit features are standard with all computers: Console: The console includes the radar screen and system monitors. Individual console features are-- Radar Screen (center of console): Shows the Katana and surrounding space. Sector boundaries are displayed as straight lines: vertical for EAST-WEST, horizontal for NORTH-SOUTH. Missile system Monitor (upper left): A small screen shows missiles remaining on board. A rectangle below this screen shows missile system status. Laser System Monitor (upper right): The vertical bar-gauge (marked by "L") shows laser charge remaining. The rectangle below the bar-gauge indicates syste status. Shield System Monitor (upper right, inside): Vertical bar-gauge shows hull integrity. (The Katana disintegrates when hull integrity reaches zero.) The rectangle below the gauge shows the status of the shield system. The "S" below the rectangle changes color(*) when the energy shield is activated. COMMAND MODE: Pressing the space bar on your on-board computer will switch screen display to a menu of commands. In this mode, the joystick will move a highlight between commands, and a command may be selected by joystick button. Available commands are: Enable Missiles/Enable Lasers: switches between weapon systems. Raise shield / Drop shield: Raises or lowers energy shield. The shield consumes fuel while active. Hyperdrive: Accelerates the Katana to warp speed. Destination will be the target sector chosen with the Tokimara locator using the quadrant map. The existing speed and direction of the ship does not affect arriving at the chosen sector. Hyperdrive uses a great deal of fuel, and a warp storm can knock the ship off course. Magnify/De-magnify: Magnify causes 2X magnification of objects seen from cockpit (as if they are half as far away). "Demagnify" returns to normal vision. Scan to 10M/Scan to 1KM: Switches scale of radar screen. 10M (ten meter) scale shows an enlarged view of Katana centered on the screen: useful for orienting ship. 1 KM (one kilometer) scale shows objects out to one kilometer range from the Katana's position: useful in combat. (The Katana is centered on the screen but is not visible in 1 KM scale.) Look left: Switches view to left side of cockpit. Look right: Switches view to right side of cockpit. Quadrant Map: Displays map of the sectors surrounding Katana. A joystick button will erase map from the screen. Map features are listed later. Docking and Landing: There are 2 types of manned installations in the Trojan Group to which you may bring your Katana--outposts and bases. Outposts are "space-station" type objects floating in space; bases are "ground" installations located on large planetoids. You DOCK at outposts, and you LAND on bases. Docking: To dock with an outpost, fly your ship slowly toward the outpost. As you approach, you will see a triangular docking port in one of the outpost's exterior walls. Bring your ship toward this port until the docking port is centered in your viewpoint at close range. At this point, the outpost's tractor beam will take control of your ship, rotate it to align with the docking port, and pull it in. Once docking is successful, your Katana will be immediately repaired, if damaged. The Katana can now return to space. Landing: From space, fly toward a planetoid containing a base (the base planetoids will be marked with a white square if you have targeted the sector with the Tokimara locator). When you are close enough, the view will switch to the surface of the planetoid as seen from the control tower of the base. Your ship will be visible in the distance. You must then guide your Katana to the landing pad seen in the foreground, touching down on the red target center of the platform. Ship controls work as usual, but remember that they may appear reversed due to the direction from which you see the ship. The radar screen below the outside view will show the altitude of the ship AS SEEN FROM THE CONTROL TOWER: this screen is invaluable in lining up your ship for the landing approach. Once your Katana lands on a base, it will be instantly re-fueled, repaired, and re-armed. If the landing ends a mission, you will be given a message and a pilot rating. If your mission is not over, return to space (point your ship so it won't hit the planetoid, then thrust.) MISSIONS: Outpost. Fly to outposts to collect uranium, then return safely to base with your quota. Quotas are: NOVICE, 10 tons; MEDIAL, 20 tons; EXPERT, 30 tons. Remember that Andromedans are in the area! Escort. Guide the green and white orionese envoy ship to the neutral base planetoid northwest of the colored (*) borderline. The diplomatic vessel is unarmed and slower than the Katana, and is NOT equipped with hyperdrive. You must protect Orion's ambassador from Andromedan marauders. Plague. Canisters of the deadly Biotek-M micro-organisms must be destroyed. Sectors containing canisters are marked by a dotted "X" on the computer quadrant map. Novices must clear one sector of canisters, medial pilots two, and experts three. You must successfully return to base to complete a Plague mission. Invasion. Andromedans are attacking Herculis base. Regular enemy fighters have with them one or more planet-busting sword cruisers. The cruisers will reach the base and destroy it in approximately ten minutes if you can't stop them! Novices face one cruiser, medial pilots battle two cruisers, and experts must, of course take three! ANY collision with a cruiser is fatal. SCORING: Pilots will be ranked from Class 8 (marginal) to Class 1 (extraordinarily efficient) based on an evaluation of all aspects of performance. Truly superior performance brings increased rewards. RESTARTING: If a mission should end in ship destruction, your screen will display a message. Nothing further will happen until you press any key on your keyboard, at which time you will be returned to the Preflight Preparation area to choose another mission. COCKPIT FEATURES Engine System Monitor (lower left) The round dial is a speedometer. The rectangle below the speedometer indicates engine status. Fuel Gauge (bottom center) The length of the bar indicates amount of fuel remaining. Note that when the main fuel supply is exhausted, the lasers will recharge, the shield cannot be used, and maximum engine thrust will be reduced to 25% of normal. Mission Clock (lower right) Digital readout. Indicates elapsed time from start of mission. NOTE: The system status rectangles change color according to whether the system is usable. If a system is not completely destroyed, it will repair itself in time, but will remain unusable until repaired. Also note that urgent messages from Fighter Command are displayed directly on the viewport of your Katana. REFERENCE CARD *Preflight Choices. -The joystick moves the highlight from choice to choice. -Button 0 confirms a choice of mission or difficulty level. *Joystick Use. -The joystick steers the ship. -Press button 0 to accelerate. Ship accelerates as long as button 0 is held down. -Press button 1 for retrothrusters (the "brakes") -press Button 0 and button 1 simultaneously to fire buttons. *Shield Activation Indicator Color -the "S" below the shield status rectangle will be orange when the shield is up, Green when it is down. *Status Rectangle Color. P-The status rectangles in all systems monitors (laser, missile, engine, and shield) use the same color code. Green indicates "system ok", orange indicates SYSTEM NEEDS REPAIR. *Joystick in Command Mode. -The joystick moves the highlight in the Command mode menu. (SPACE BAR) selects Command mode from cockpit. -Button 0 chooses command mode menu item. *Using joystick with Map. -move target cursor with joystick. -Confirm target, erase map from screen with Button 0. SPECIAL FEATURE: Pressing the ESCape key will cause events in the space-time continuum to halt temporarily to provide respite from the rigors of combat. (In other words, press ESC to pause the game.) -Good Luck!
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