|The following information has not been confirmed by Volition |
and is therefore not canon for the FreeSpace universe.
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ACT 3, MISSION 04
Fighter squadron: Falcata Wing, Fedayeen
Description: Laporte must take an experimental cruiser on a mission to save Earth from the Kostadin Cell's final act of desperation.
The countdown to Steele's invasion is 15 days, plus or minus 4; however, that may as well be one day. The Gaian Effort has been systematically fractured; SOC units have launched attacks on Kostadin Cell in reprisal for their "complicity" in the Bellwether incident. Between more moderate cells breaking ties and SOC's extermination campaign, Kostadin Cell and its leader, Reverend Iain MacDuff, have their backs against the wall.
As such, MacDuff has activated his cell's final mission, a way to force humanity to become Cometary Man. He has set the Kostadin Cell's asteroid habitat on a collision course with Earth; within hours, it will jump to a prearranged location in Earth orbit and smash into the planet, causing an extinction-level event.
While a fleet action to stop this menace would be ideal, the asteroid's distance from any large gravity wells makes plotting safe subspace routes difficult and time-consuming, and the Gefs have activated gravity generators to confound attempts to do so. Instead, Laporte will take a modified Custos-class cruiser, the UEC Vindicator, to the asteroid to clear the way for the UET Andex to board the habitat and abort the jump sequence. If that way proves too difficult, flying into the asteroid may reveal an alternative way of stopping the jump, but no intelligence exists on the habitat's interior.
Either way, when she arrives, she has 10 minutes to stop the jump from happening, or Earth will be transformed into a cinder.
The controls for the Vindicator are much the same as the controls for the Katana in The Blade Itself. There are a few differences, however.
First, the missile launchers on Vindicator can fire either Warhammer torpedoes for anti-capital work or Dart missiles for anti-fighter cover. Pressing Alt/Option-X will switch what kind of missile is loaded in the tubes.
Second, you can designate targets for the Point Defense Turrets, which works like designating targets for the missiles.
Third, you have direct control over the spinal mount gauss cannon and the other weapon you mounted (either the UX Accelerator or the Gattler). Using these weapons is exactly like using the primary weapons on a fighter.
Finally, your special abilites are somewhat different:
- The Shield Booster will provide a large boost to shields every second for a short period of time.
- Damage Control works much like on the Katana, except the charge time is 30 seconds and the healing time is 15 seconds.
- The CM Swarm will launch a barrage of countermeasures to distract enemy torpedoes and missiles. This lasts for 10 seconds.
- The MHD Overdrive will maxmize your afterburner ("MHD") meter once per second for 20 seconds. After this, there will be a cooldown of 5 seconds.
First, you will need to pick your crew:
- Selecting Falcata Wing will increase your turrets' rate of fire.
- Selecting the Vindicator crew will increase the recharge rate of your weapons, shields, and afterburners.
- The other two options don't really do anything.
After some dialogue, you will jump to the asteroid. There you will find the Reverend's destroyer, the Morena MacDuff, and several sentry guns on the approaches to the habitat. If you saved the Gef pilots in Nothing Is True, there will also be 2 Ancamna-class cruisers waiting for you.
There are two options for completing the mission successfully:
- Clear the way for the Andex to board the habitat by destroying all of the Gef ships and turrets orbiting the asteroid, or
- Enter and destroy the asteroid.
The clock is ticking, so start moving toward your targets; an MHD boost right at the start should get you close enough to start sniping at the destroyer's weapons with your gauss cannon. Eventually, the destroyer will open up with her Ouster torpedoes; wait for them to close to about 2000m, then deploy flares. If you have a rapid-fire secondary equipped like the Gattler or Firestorm, you can also take out the torpedoes yourself; try to hit them before they close to 250 meters so their warheads don't arm.
After the destroyer's first salvo, a wing of Scimitar fighters (Aquarius), led by Ivan Gwilym, will converge on you. Let your Point Defense Turrets do the work and switch to Darts in the missile launcher. When the fighters are destroyed, switch back to your Warhammers and concentrate fire on the destroyer and the two cruisers. Try not to get too close to the cruisers, if they're around; their turrets will eat you for breakfast.
The destroyer is heavily armored, and will not take much damage; after you hit it enough, your tactical officer finds that the overworked Orion reactor at the heart of the destroyer has a quick-release system that has much less armor on it. Target the reactor casings with your subsystem targeting and start pounding away. When the reactor is sufficiently exposed, hit it with your gauss cannon a few times and watch MacDuff go boom (from a safe distance). You may have to reposition in order to hit it effectively.
At some point after you kill Aquarius wing, Sergei Gwilym will show up in his Ulysses with a wing of Medusa bombers (Leo). Do what you did before; switch the missile launcher to Darts, get some distance, and launch countermeasures. Eventually, Sergei will die, sputtering and flaming as his ship blows up. Ah, fun times.
The ideal conditions for deploying the Andex are when you have destroyed all of the Gef capships and fighters, with at least two minutes remaining on the clock; they take at least that long to land and breach the colony. While they're on approach, take out the sentry guns surrounding the colony towers. As they get closer, safe your missile launchers and PDTs so you don't accidentally engage the Andex and destroy her.
After the sentry guns are down, stand by and let your Marines dock and they will do the rest of the work. If you managed to capture the station without killing all of the Gef leaders (Morena MacDuff, Aquarius 1 and Sergei Gwilym's Ulysses), SOC stealth fighters will arrive to clean house. Thankfully, they're not there for you, so you can go about your business.
Not long after you enter the asteroid system, a nav buoy will be added to your escort list marking the entry point into the asteroid. Aim for it and pour on the speed; don't worry about engaging the capital ships. When you get inside, you find a subspace gate built right into the asteroid, the reactor for the subspace gate, and an Oculus-class AWACS as lookout (and boy, one can wonder how they got their hands on one of those).
Your target is the reactor. Use your missile and gauss cannons to destroy it while your PDTs handle the Spacesuits that will get launched at you in a desperate move to stop you. Eventually you will get an exit point nav buoy added to your escort list; start moving toward that while you attack the reactor.
Once you kill the reactor -- which starts happening around 10% or less -- run. You need to get at least 5000 meters away from the asteroid before it detonates completely. Use your MHD Overdrive and put the hammer down on the afterburner key to clear the area. Once you do so, you can watch the fireworks. Be aware of the Morena MacDuff, however; she will stay behind to kill you while the cruisers jump out (if they were around). You can take her out (see the capture option for how) or jump out, your call. Either way, the asteroid is now a mass grave, full of the charred and irradiated corpses of women and children. Congratulations, you saved humanity!
- This plan probably explains why Kostadin Cell attacked the UEFr Nauticus, as she was carrying n-space oscillators needed to make subspace drives.
- If you don't kill the Morena MacDuff in the course of a successful mission, the debrief reveals that the SOC killed the Reverend 30 minutes after you left.
- If you don't end up killing Sergei Gwilym, and your mission is a success, the debrief reveals that he will probably never have a power base again because of his extremist views.
- It can be speculated that the reactor inside the Morena MacDuff was taken from one of the (presumably sold-off) Orion-class destroyers of the GTA 1st Fleet, possibly the GTD Washington.
Total number of forces
(*) Appears only if you let the Gef pilots go free in Nothing Is True
(&) Appearance dependent on mission conditions
(#) May be killed off screen