Love the Treason...

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SOC LOOP 1, MISSION 2

Fighter squadron: 185th fighter squadron

Description: Snipes and Alpha 1 must hijack the NTT Sunder.


Background

With the destruction of the NTD Cyrene, the flagship of the Neo-Terran Front's Sirius Fleet, Alpha, Beta, Delta, Epsilon, Gamma, Theta and Zeta wings of the 185th have been assigned to guard the NTT Sunder, carrying classified cargo, as it makes its way to the Sirius-Regulus jump node.

Walkthrough

The mission briefing will make this sound like a simple mission. Then again, the last mission sounded simple too.

You start off a short distance behind the Sunder, an Argo-class transport. About 10 seconds into the mission, almost all of the Sunder's escort will self-destruct, leaving you and Beta 1 unscathed and only a handful of the rest at critical hull integrity. With the exception of Beta 1, who is Lieutenant-Commander Snipes himself, and the Sunder, the remaining ships will all be marked hostile, and as the remaining pilots realize that you and Beta 1 are traitors to the NTF, they attack. Quickly eliminate the ships, and remember to help Snipes out as well. Once the ships are destroyed, Snipes will tell you that he rigged the other ships with jamming devices and core detonators, and reveals that the crew chief of the 185th, as well as the pilot of the Sunder, are allied operatives, the former having helped him out with the ship-rigging. He also informs you that since the detonators did not work perfectly, some communications may have gotten through. Your objective is still to protect the Sunder, but so that Special Operations Command (SOC) can capture the transport, bring in a decoy and detonate that to make it seem as if the Sunder really was destroyed. Snipes estimates that the decoy should arrive in a few minutes.

Shortly after this transmission, two wings of NTF fighters and a Hygeia-class support ship will jump in to assist. Both wings have friendly IFF status, so if the NTF knows about the Allied heist, they're not letting on. The wings mention that they received a partial transmission regarding a core reactor breach, but do not mention anything about you and Snipes. Snipes handles the communications, but alerts you on the secure channel that he has some friends who would be arriving shortly. Once his friends, two wings of unknown fighters and an unknown large ship, arrive, both NTF wings will turn hostile. Snipes' reinforcements will make short work of all NTF fighters, although you should help them out and try to get some kills for yourself. Once both NTF wings and the support ship are wiped out, Snipes introduces you to the 99th Skulls, as well as the ships that they are flying, the GTF Erinyes. He also tells you about the new AWACS ship, the Charybdis-class GTA Hamako, which is jamming communications to and from Rebel Command, and that as long as it is operational, the Rebels will still think that you and Snipes are loyal to their cause.

Your new objective will be to guard both the Sunder and the Hamako. Although Snipes mentions that it is essential that the Hamako survives, the Sunder will be the main target of the NTF fighters, and once that is lost, the mission is over. Therefore, it is essential to protect the Sunder. An Aeolus-class cruiser, the NTC Mylae, and several fighters will arrive. The rebel cruiser's armaments are toned down, so it should not be a major threat. You can either take it out yourself or engage the NTF fighters and wait for the SOC fighters to take it down for you.

Soon, a second Aeolus cruiser, the NTC Hellespont, will emerge near the Regulus jump node, and more fighters will arrive, but you don't need to worry about the cruiser. The GTCv Naxos, a Deimos-class corvette, will jump in shortly after with the Sunder Decoy, an Argo-class transport, and two more wings of SOC fighters. The Naxos will start bombarding the Hellespont with its frontal beam cannons and destroy it eventually, so all you have to do is keep the Sunder and Hamako going. The SOC fighters will engage nearby enemy fighters on their own.

Once the Sunder has departed, the Sunder Decoy will self-destruct, and the Naxos will jump out with the Hamako and all SOC fighters. Snipes tells you to wait for a bit. The NTCv Sevrin and fighter escort will jump in moments later, and Snipes cleverly blames the Sevrin for the loss of a full squadron of fighters, two cruisers, and the NTT Sunder in a battle with the Vasudans.

The Sevrin tells Snipes to stand down and return to base before it jumps out with its fighter escort. You will then be authorized to return to base.

Tips

  • You can order Snipes' friends around. They show up with the prefix "Skull" in your Communications list, such as "Skull Alpha" or "Skull Beta 4". Use this to your advantage.

Notes

  • Oddly enough, the Hygeia that jumps in during this mission is designated NTF Centaur. It may be possible that Volition had intended for the NTF to use the GTS Centaur from Descent: FreeSpace as their support ship, but dropped the idea because the player never gets to rearm during any of the SOC Loop missions during the campaign, and this designation inconsistency was subsequently overlooked.
  • Shortly before the Sunder Decoy is blown up, a Hermes escape pod will appear on your radar, near the Argo, and departs just as the transport self-destructs.
  • In Stage 3 of 4 of the mission briefing, "Regulus" is misspelled as "Regulas".
  • You can only advance to the next SOC mission if both the Sunder and the Hamako survive. Should the Hamako be destroyed, the mission would still be considered a success but the loop will end instantly.
  • If the Hamako is destroyed, the mission debrief will misspell "Hamako" as "Hamaka".
  • Beta 1 becomes invulnerable after taking a certain amount of damage - that prevents Snipes from being killed during the mission. Keep in mind that if Beta 1 is hit by a large amount of damage at once, such as a direct missile hit, he can still be killed, which results in the CO of the Sevrin talking to himself at the end of the mission.

Name Origin

"Love the treason, but hate the traitor" is a maxim by Julius Caesar. The mission that follows "Love the Treason..." is called, in fact, "...But Hate the Traitor".

Total number of forces

Forces involved
Belligerents
Ships
Strikecraft
  • 16 GTF Erinyes
    • Skull Alpha (4)
    • Skull Beta (4)
    • Skull Delta (4)
    • Skull Gamma (4)
  • 41 GTF Hercules Mark II
    • Alpha (4) (*)
    • Beta (4)
    • Delta (4)
    • Epsilon (4)
    • Gamma (4)
    • Theta (4)
    • Zeta (4)
    • Aquarius (4)
    • Pisces (3)
    • Lambda (6)
  • 19 GTF Hercules
    • Iota (3)
    • Kappa (3)
    • Leo (3)
    • Gemini (4)
    • Aries (3)
    • Taurus (3)
Casualties


  • 0-16 GTF Erinyes
    • Skull Alpha (4)
    • Skull Beta (4)
    • Skull Delta (4)
    • Skull Gamma (4)


  • 33 GTF Hercules Mark II
    • Alpha (3) (*)
    • Beta (3)
    • Delta (4)
    • Epsilon (4)
    • Gamma (4)
    • Theta (4)
    • Zeta (4)
    • Aquarius (4)
    • Pisces (3)
  • 19 GTF Hercules
    • Iota (3)
    • Kappa (3)
    • Leo (3)
    • Gemini (4)
    • Aries (3)
    • Taurus (3)

(*) May be replaced with the GTF Ulysses, GTF Hercules and/or GTF Loki

Technical information

Love the Treason...
File name: loop1-2.fs2
File size: 111 KB1
Author: Jim Boone
Total number of objects: 85 (+2 waypoints)
Total number of wings: 20
Number of mission events: 1062
Number of messages: 28
Event music: 7: Revelation
Briefing music: None


Notes

1 This is the biggest official mission in terms of file size.
2 This mission and Mystery of the Trinity have the most number of mission events in the main FreeSpace 2 campaign.

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