Reaching the Zenith
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ACT 3 MISSION 4
- State of the Alliance
- We have now lost vital ground to the Shivans in the Antares system and Sirius. The number of systems between the Shivans and Earth are dwindling fast. Fortunately, we were able to save the Beta Aquilae communications terminal. Aside from that single post, we have lost communications with every outer colony.
- Transmission from Altair
- The following transmission was picked up by the Terran listening outpost in the Beta Aquilae system.
- " are a group of Vasudan refugees seeking the assistance of any Terran ships. We were on board a Vasudan science outpost when it was destroyed by the Shivans. We managed to land on this uncharted planet when our escape pod lost power. It's uninhabited, but we uncovered the remains of an ancient civilization. They were neither Terran nor Vasudan nor Shivan.
- Transmission Continued
- Our scanning equipment was able to locate a storage device of some sort. It was heavily protected, which suggests it stores something quite valuable, possibly information or technology. We are attempting to decipher the language of the device, but are fearful of Shivan attacks.
- Transmission Continued
- I say this because it is immediately apparent that this planet was also destroyed by Shivan weapons. This is difficult to believe, considering the age of the remains, but the evidence is conclusive. What we ask is for rescue and an escort away from this planet. Our scientists are not normally a superstitious group, but having one's homeworld destroyed tends to shake your beliefs. Please send an armed rescue as soon as possible to these coordinates."
- Our Orders
- Your next series of missions will require both massive firepower and intelligence. For this reason, I am assigning Alpha 1 to lead these missions. We will be attempting to rescue the Vasudan refugees from Altair.
- New Technology: Jump Drives
- This mission will be facilitated by the new subspace drive we have received. For years the GTA has tried to give a fighter the ability to do intersystem jumps. After monitoring the Beta Aquilae engagements, the GTA science colony at Sol has finally been able to solve the puzzle. All GTA fighters are currently being equipped with intersystem subspace drives.
- New Technology: Project Ursa
- Reasearch and Development have nearly completed project Ursa, which should be our best bet at defeating the Shivan Lucifer Destroyer. For those of you that haven't been keeping up, Project Ursa is an attempt to make a new type of Heavy Bomber capable of carrying the Harbinger bomb. We expect that a wing of Ursas will be available to you on your return trip from Altair.
- New Technology: Harbinger Bomb
- The Harbinger will assist us greatly in any attacks against capital ships. Until recently, Harbingers were reserved for planetary attacks only. With this project nearing completion, we may be able to finally defeat the Lucifer.
- New Technology: Disruptor Missile
- You may or may not want to use the new Disruptor missile to assist you in the next few missions. It is the only missile in our arsenal which allows us to completely shut down a cruiser for a short amount of time. It's definitely worth a look, details are in the Tech Room.
- As you already know, the Shivans have begun a massive offensive. They have completely cut us off from all of the outer colonies, and have our forces confined to nine systems that form the heart of Terran space.
- However, in what used to be Vasudan space at Altair, a group of Vasudan refugees has apparently unearthed records from a long dead civilization. Terran Command believes the information in these records to be of great importance.
- We have located one potential weak point in the Shivan barrier encircling us. The Deneb jump node to the Altair system is being guarded by only one cruiser, the Zenith.
- The Zenith is currently on patrol with just two wings of Shivan fighters, the Arjuna interceptors, and the Rama superiority fighters. However, we believe they are able to call in reinforcements.
- Your primary objective will be to destroy the Zenith. Take out the Zenith's communications system first to prevent it from calling in reinforcements. If you're unable to do that, go after all weapons systems, including turrets and missile launchers.
- Alpha wing will provide cover for the bombers. Gamma wing will assist Alpha and will attempt to take out the communications system on Zenith. Beta will be equipped with Tsunami bombs, and will be targeting suspected weak points on the Zenith's hull.
- After you have completed these tasks, stand by for further orders. Good luck, Alpha 1.
This mission involves three wings out of four, almost a whole squadron. By default Alpha wing consists of Ulysses-class space superiority fighters, armed with Prometheus and Avenger cannons and 40 Hornets. Beta consists of Medusa bombers, armed with Avenger cannons, 5 Stilletos, 5 Synaptic anti-fighter bombs and 5 Tsunamis. Gamma consists of Hercules-class heavy assault fighters, outfitted with Banshee lasers, Disruptor cannons, 15 GTM Interceptor secondary missiles and 5 Phoenix anti-bomber missiles.
As a space superiority fighter, your job in this mission is to engage the Shivan interceptors before they threaten Beta wing's bombers or Gamma wing's heavy fighters. Initially the Dragons are your primary concern. If you can, hit them at long range with your secondaries. After the initial clash is over, locate Gamma wing and fly escort. Gamma will attempt to destroy the SC Zenith's communications subsystem, although you can accomplish this easily yourself if they fail. You have several minutes to destroy it before some Scorpions begin to arrive. Oddly enough, if you destroy the comms after they've already arrived, the Scorpions will warp out.
Eventually a Hammer of Light cruiser, the PVC Aten-class Benedict will jump in some distance from your position, along with a wing of Thoth-class space superiority fighters. Abandon your position and focus taking out as many of the Thoths as possible before they reach your squadron. Keep in mind the Thoth has twice the firepower of your Ulysses, so use caution on your approach.
When the Zenith finally goes down, order Beta wing to attack the PVC Benedict. If Beta wing is eliminated, order Gamma to do it. If Gamma wing is eliminated at this point, the mission is forfeit. Before the Benedict goes down, rearm. The next mission is a Red Alert.
As this mission ends with a red-alert—meaning no debriefing—it also means good news if you want to cheat. Non-debriefing missions have no cheat check at mission post mortem, so this means all cheats are "allowed". If you feel like having Shivan Super Lasers in this one, go right ahead.
You get a Legion of Merit for destroying the Zenith. However, since this is a red-alert, no debriefing takes place and you never actually get the medal. Also, if you fail to destroy the Zenith after about 10 minutes, the mission red-alert out normally as if you did.
Notable ships present
- SC Zenith
- PVC Benedict (Hammer of Light)