Don't know why your mission crashes. Does it have a briefing? If it does, did you name the mission in the correct format?
As for the DS firing, well, you didn't name it correctly.
Just as you do with backdrops, you name it in code.
Like in Battle 7 Mission 2. The DS is named 3.0 599.0 This tells the game to fire the DS laser within the first few seconds of mission start, and then again in about 20 minutes or so, which is well after the time limit of the mission itself, so you'd never see it again.
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[This message has been edited by Sheldon (edited May 23, 2000).]