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The Black Lance is a Special Forces organization that appears as the antagonistic faction of Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom. It originated within the Terran Confederation.

OriginEdit

The Black Lance Special Forces was a military organization proposed by Confed High Command as one of many plans to bring about a swift defeat of the Kilrathi Empire during the Kilrathi War. Twenty years prior to the War's end in 2669, Confed made their first plans to create this Special Forces group out of their top secret Black Projects Division. The Black Projects were initiated in 2653 with the goal to design and commission superweapons for the sole purpose of exterminating the threat posed by the Kilrathi. The Black Lance was among their most daring experiments, as Confed scientists had hoped to use the creation of the Black Lance as an opportunity to commission a new breed of supersoldiers. These supersoldiers would be genetically-enhanced humans whose entry into the group would be predetermined and then processed through the Genetic Enhancement Program. This program was designed to genetically engineer humans so that they would have superhuman strengths, reflexes, senses, and above all, combat abilities. It was hoped that these soldiers, be they marines, officers, or pilots, would prove to be far more efficient in killing the Kilrathi than natural humans. With these hopes and plans laid out, the Black Projects Division began the development of the Black Lance in the years following the year 2653. These soldiers would be equipped only with the best ships and guns Confed had to offer, and would conduct their own research on weaponry in order to increase their potential.

First DemiseEdit

Despite the great potential of the Black Lance, the vast majority of the Terran Confederation and its leaders adamantly opposed the genetic engineering of humans. The project also employed the use of bio-convergence, another field of genetic manipulation and a field in which biological processes could be studied so that they may be used as weapons against other races. Such practices disgusted the citizens of Confed, so upon discovery the Confed High Command attempted to shut down the project and withdrew all technological and financial support. The Black Lance's development had seemingly been stopped dead in its tracks, especially after the Terran Confederation won the War in 2669, rendering the Black Lance's original intentions moot. However, few realized that a handful of scientists and wealthy backers were secretly continuing the creation of the Black Lance, and with it the Genetic Enhancement Program.

InitiationEdit

By the year 2673, the Black Lance was fully functional and supplied with several thousand freshly-engineered soldiers. They also came into the possession of a vast array of advanced weaponry, weapons even Confed were unaware existed. The Black Lance were by this point commanded by the Strategic Readiness Strategy, or the SRA. Admiral Geoffrey Tolwyn was the head of the Agency at the time, and he immediately seized the opportunity to deploy the force. He was still fuming from his failure to launch the ill-fated TCS Behemoth to destroy Kilrah in 2669, instead being beaten by his rival Colonel Christopher Blair with the advanced Temblor Bomb. Tolwyn was also convinced that there were many other alien races more powerful than the Kilrathi who would eventually emerge from the galactic core and destroy humanity. Determined to stop this threat before it ever emerged, Tolwyn enacted a daring plan that would force humanity to keep on fighting so that they would have the weapons and the soldiers to defeat these future enemies. The Black Lance would be the ones to bring this plan into fulfillment.

Tolwyn's Three-Step PlanEdit

Admiral Tolwyn's plan to keep humanity in a state of prolonged war took form in three steps that would eventually make the Terran Confederation supposedly more powerful than any other race in the galaxy:

1) Instigate a series of conflicts that would keep the Confederation Fleet on high alert by harassing ships from each faction with unmarked ships in order to create political tension and confusion among these groups.

2) Create a new generation of genetically-enhanced soldiers to start a bloodline of genetically-superior superhuman warriors who would fight future wars.

3) The final step of the plan was to exterminate those humans deemed genetically "undesirable" to the human race. Those who did not live up to the Black Lance's standards would be killed through the means of a galactic genocide against the human race. Using highly-advanced bio-convergence technology, genetically inferior humans would die while the genetically superior would be spared.

Tolwyn's plan would last over the course of several years, but the final result was hoped to be a stronger humanity that would easily conquer its foes in combat. Tolwyn and the Black Lance used the soldiers of the Kilrathi War, including Colonel Blair, as genetic templates for the first fully-engineered generation of Black Lance soldiers. Their offspring would be even more advanced genetically, and it was believed that the fifteenth generation of superhumans would be virtual gods. Tolwyn made plans after the Kilrathi War to instigate yet another major conflict among the human factions. Setting his plan in motion in 2673, Tolwyn selected the Union of Border Worlds as the next faction to threaten humanity.

The 2673 Black Lance ConspiracyEdit

In 2673, the Union of Border Worlds, a human alliance consisting of dozens of planets on the Terran Confederation and Kilrathi Empire's frontiers, sought for independence from Confed so that they would not suffer the abuses brought on to them by both Confed and the Kilrathi during the War. Billions of Confed citizens opposed this proposal, as the Border Worlds consisted of former Confed colonies and many felt that they should remain that way. Others supported the idea since the Union never signed the Articles of Confederation, which established the legitimacy of the Terran government and its outlying allies. The Union started taking drastic steps to claim its independence regardless of the opinions of the Terran government, providing Tolwyn with the perfect opportunity to instigate a full-scale war among the two factions as part of his first plan. Tolwyn established Black Lance agents and personnel into the whole of the Terran Space Navy, and commissioned top-secret space stations hidden away in deep space. Tolwyn then deployed his Black Lance squadrons, armed with the greatest human weaponry and unmarked Dragon Heavy Fighters, to attack and destroy cargo vessels from both Confed and the Border Worlds, therefore instigating further tensions between the two groups as each one blamed each other of war crimes. These squadrons were led by Seether, a rookie pilot whose superhuman genetics made him one of the most dangerous foes in the human race, easily matching the famed Colonel Blair. Seether was responsible for personally leading many of the attacks on these cargo ships, all of which left no survivors.

Tolwyn's attacks on Confed and the Union were having their intended effect. Confed accused the Union of resorting to warfare in their attempts to gain independence, and the Union accused Confed of oppressive attacks aimed at rendering their militias and significantly weaker navy helpless to resist. Both navies put their forces on high alert and the Confederation Senate chose to discuss a possible declaration of war on the Border Worlds. They commissioned the conspiracy's leader, Admiral Tolwyn, to investigate the frontier dispute, totally unaware of his involvement. Tolwyn was to send a report on the matter in two weeks, on which the Senate would determine the likelihood of war.

Tolwyn's forces continued their relentless attacks on the harmless cargo vessels, killing thousands on both sides. While this happened, more supersoldiers were produced and the Black Lance developed new technologies to carry out their intent. They produced the Flash-Pak, an explosive device that when deployed on the surface of a starship instantaneously incinerated the vessel's interiors, burning the occupants alive and leaving only the vessel's burned out hulk to float in space still relatively intact. The Dragon Heavy Fighters, the signature fighter of the Black Lance, was developed under supreme secrecy and possibly more dangerous than the famed F-103 Excalibur Heavy Fighter. It included stealth as a mainstay capability, cloaking, a full arsenal of illegal warheads, and a fear-inducing set of bright red bussards that contrasted the vessel's unmarked black design. These fighters carried out most of the Black Lance attacks. The Black Lance employed their own specially-built carriers and transports and employed both Confed and Union fighters to further their deception. The Black Lance were as a result technologically superior to both armies, cementing their domineering position in the near future.

Tolwyn's plans went nearly flawlessly until Confed High Command recommissioned Colonel Blair, the Savior of the Confederation, back to active service. Blair was initially assigned to fight the Border Worlders alongside his old comrade Captain William Eisen, whom he served with on the TCS Victory. However, Captain Eisen suspected that Confed was responsible for more of the trouble than anyone else had realized, so he defected to the Border Worlds alongside Blair, Major Todd "Maniac" Marshall, and several other top pilots. The group took command of the BWS Intrepid, the Flagship of the Border Worlds Navy that had recently lost its original command crew. Eisen returned to Confed incognito to investigate the true extent of its activities while Blair took command of the Intrepid. Alongside both Confed and Border Worlds pilots, Blair led a successful campaign that wreaked havoc on the Black Lance's war efforts, capturing high-value starships, interfering with planetary invasions, and exterminating many top Black Lance pilots. Seether, who previously met Blair on his(Blair's) homeworld of Nephele II, made it his personal goal to defeat the illustrious Colonel in combat and to establish himself as Confed's top pilot. Blair was eventually successful in procuring a handful of Dragon Heavy Fighters from a Black Lance freighter, and the Border Worlds put them to their own usage. Tolwyn was not deterred from his original intent, and continued forward despite Blair's interference.

The Telamon GenocideEdit

Tolwyn began the final step of his plan during a daring test in the Telamon System. Telamon was a remote Border Worlds colony with a minimal population but at least one vital airbase. Its remote location made it the ideal location for the first test of the Gen-Select Bioweapon, a device created to separate the genetically inferior from the genetically superior by means of examining one's DNA. The device was a series of canisters deployed into the atmosphere which released billions of nanobots into the bodies of any planet's full human population. The nanobots possessed a predetermined code that stated which DNA traits were desirable or not. If the victim did not live up to the Black Lance's standards, such as having weak bones or bad body fat, the nanobots destroyed the victim's RNA, ceasing cell production and reducing the human to a slow and gruesome death. Those with the right DNA were automatically spared. Seether led the attack in a squad of Dragons who successfully deployed the weapon into Telamon's atmosphere. The planet requested assistance from Colonel Blair, but his forces arrived to discover that 90% of the population had been massacred. Telamon was subsequently abandoned, and Blair proceeded to hunt down the perpetrators by tracking the unmarked Dragons to a remote star system called Axius.

Discovery of the Black LanceEdit

Colonel Blair and the Intrepid arrived in the Axius System while pursuing the fighters responsible for the genocide on Telamon. The system was uninhabited except for a secret space station located deep within the system. Blair decided to investigate and infiltrated the base with a captured Dragon. Blair then stole an outfit from a Black Lance officer on the facility. There he discovered Flash-Paks and the Gen-Select Bioweapons stored in the hangar bay. He then witnessed the largest vessel in the Terran Space Navy, the mammoth TCS Vesuvius, arrive at the base with a full load of Dragons. Blair saw the carrier being constructed near Mars, but was shocked to see that this enemy force had commandeered it. Blair then arrived in the station's assembly hall, where his rival Seether was congratulating his pilots for their success at Telamon. However, nothing shocked Blair more than to see that his old rival, Admiral Tolwyn, was the leader of this enemy faction. Tolwyn spoke of his master plan against humanity and identified the mysterious attackers as the Black Lance. Tolwyn declared that the Black Lance would exterminate all undesirable humans and that the Black Lance would emerge as the defenders of humanity when the right time came. Filled with horror, Blair fled the station and back to the Intrepid, but not before Seether spotted him in the crowd and pursued him. Before departing, Dr. Tuesday Brody, a prominent Confed scientist who was forced to design the Gen-Select Bioweapon, gave Blair vital information regarding the Black Lance's plans and technologies before being executed by station security. Blair made it back to the Intrepid and the Border Worlders sped towards Earth to stop the declaration of war.

Declaration of WarEdit

The Intrepid fled Axius and passed through the enemy-controlled Talos and Ella Systems, but was relentlessly pursued by Tolwyn on the Vesuvius. The Intrepid was no match for the massive carrier and was almost destroyed when Captain Eisen arrived on the TCS Mount St. Helens to save the vessel. Eisen's diversion left the Vesuvius badly damaged but was forced to retreat when the St. Helens took too much damage. Once in the Sol System, Tolwyn raced for Earth and Blair gave pursuit on a fully-armed Dragon. Before reaching Earth, he destroyed the Vesuvius with a captured Flash-Pak and engaged Seether in combat. Despite Seether's enhanced skills and ruthlessness, not even his genetic advancement could stop Blair, and he was killed in combat. Blair then sped to Washington, D.C. where the Senate voted on war.

Blair arrived in the Senate Hall just as Admiral Tolwyn received a promotion to Space Marshal, the highest rank in the Navy. Tolwyn was ready to witness Confed vote for war when Blair interrupted the Assembly. Fortunately, Senator James Taggart, one of Blair's wartime comrades, allowed him to speak and Blair revealed the full extent of Tolwyn's activities to the Senate. He also revealed the illegal continuation of the Genetic Enhancement Program, which had been canceled years before. In an attempt to defend himself, Tolwyn explained his intent to defend humanity in the future through his activities, but in doing so expressed his blood lust and lost the support of the Senate. A decisive 90% of the Assembly rejected war with the Union of Border Worlds, saving the two nations and ruining Tolwyn's plans.

Final DemiseEdit

After the Terran Confederation rejected war with the Border Worlds, Blair, Eisen, and dozens of witnesses came forth to reveal the full extent of the Black Lance's activities. Space Marshal Tolwyn was arrested and subjected to a war crimes tribunal. The overwhelming evidence of his illegal and genocidal activities, along with the disgusting attack on Telamon, sealed Tolwyn's fate. He was convicted of crimes against humanity and of fifteen lesser crimes. He was sentenced to death and and his appeals rejected. Confed then proceeded to destroy the last of the Black Lance forces and permanently shut down the Genetic Enhancement Program. Fortunately, Blair and the Border Worlds had already destroyed most of their forces. The Gen-Select Bioweapon, the Flash-Paks, and the Dragon Heavy Fighters were banned from further usage, and on the day before his execution, Tolwyn committed suicide in his cell by hanging himself. He realized that his plans would have doomed humanity in his efforts to defend it. With his death and the failure of the GE Program, the Black Lance were effectively destroyed. However, Tolwyn believed that somewhere out there, several Black Projects were still active, outside of Confed's interference.

For their efforts to stop the Black Lance Conspiracy, the Union of Border Worlds were granted full independence from the Terran Confederation within a year after the incident.

Notable MembersEdit

Technologies and VesselsEdit

External LinksEdit

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