A Time for Heroes

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MISSION 21

Fighter squadron: 222nd Nightwolves

Description: Samuel Bei leads a strike against the pursuing Sathanas juggernaut.


Background

You wake up to find yourself in the medical ward of the GTD Orestes. As soon as you have recuperated enough, your squadron leader, Asmar Al'faddil, sends you a transmission regarding what happened to the Orestes during your tenure with the GTD Temeraire and after the Sathanas juggernaut destroyed the Vishnan Sacred Keeper.

Shortly after you, Corey and Taylor were sent to pursue the GTC Duke, the Orestes attempted to get the entire fleet back together. However, the Erebus-class lacks the speed and mobility of the Titan-class, and the Orestes ultimately failed in doing so. While in Ross 128, a Shivan ambush split the Orestes and her attending ships apart from the Temeraire's battlegroup, and the Orestes was forced back into Delta Serpentis, where she encountered the Lucifer. The Orestes's weaponry allowed the Terran destroyer to breach the shields of the Shivan warship for the first time in recorded history, but the Lucifer still had the upper hand.

That was when you and the Vishnan fleet intervened. Your timely entry saved the Orestes and her half of the 14th Battlegroup from certain doom.

As soon as the Sathanas destroyed the Sacred Keeper, all surviving Vishnan vessels, including yours, stopped functioning. With the Sathanas approaching, the Orestes had no choice but to jump out and leave the Vishnan ships behind. It is concluded that they were probably destroyed by the Sathanas and its fighter complement. At the Delta Serpentis-Ross 128 jump node, the Orestes found you in a spacesuit, barely alive and running out of air. They do not know how you ended up there.

Admiral Bei has taken the Orestes through to Ross 128 again and decided to split his half of the fleet up into smaller groups in order to whittle down the Sathanas's fighter complement. The plan has worked so far, as defensive measures employed by the GTCv Boreas, GTL Fortune and the other attending ships of the Orestes have succeeded in not only fending off Shivan strikes, but greatly diminishing the number of fighters the Sathanas has available. Until now, none of these ships have been engaged directly by the juggernaut; the Orestes appears to be its primary target.

The Orestes has been employing hit-and-run attacks on the Sathanas, but these skirmishes have not been very successful, and the Sathanas's greatest threat—its four frontal anti-fleet beam cannons—are still working. The Orestes is also incapable of recharging its jump drives as quickly as the Sathanas, leaving the destroyer with only one option—the most dangerous of them all.

The Orestes is left with no choice but to engage the Sathanas directly. Flying heavy bomber escort, you and the 222nd Nightwolves must fly ahead of the Orestes the moment the Sathanas arrives and destroy all four of its main beam cannons before it enters firing range.

Al'faddil adds on a final note that, if the Orestes survives, he will personally recommend your promotion.

Walkthrough

A recommended loadout is the GTB Boanerges, armed with a GTW UD-8 Kayser or GTW Maxim and at least two banks of Helios torpedoes. While the Boanerges is not as sturdy as the GTB Ursa, the increased missile capacity of the Boanerges means that two full banks of Helios torpedoes (5 per bank; 10 total) will be more than sufficient to destroy all four of the Sathanas's main guns in one pass, leaving your third and last missile bank for offence or self-defence once you are done. The increased speed of the Boanerges will also mean that your warheads will travel at a slightly faster speed, reducing exposure time to the flak cannons of the Sathanas, and take less time to hit, potentially allowing you to disarm the juggernaut slightly faster and eliminating the need to call in a support ship entirely.

You start off inside the Orestes's hangarbay, just as the destroyer receives a transmission from the Fortune. Fly out and listen to the dialogue for now.

The logistics ship reports that she and her escorting warships have just driven off another wave of Shivan ships with no casualties and requests a status update. The Orestes replies that it has just deployed all its fighter wings and will need another ten minutes in order to jump out again. The Fortune asks if the Orestes requires additional support, adding that the two corvettes, Boreas and Miranda, can assist the destroyer if it needs to. The Orestes denies any assistance, stating that the Fortune needs the two corvettes more, and that the Orestes was the only ship in the fleet that can confront the Sathanas.

Zeta 1—Al'faddil—hails you, asking if you are ready.

You so are.

Al'faddil then announces that he is taking command over the operation. He orders Alpha wing to attack on his signal, and Delta and Epsilon wings to escort Alpha. Delta 1 acknowledges the orders.

As soon as you see the warp hole of Sathanas appearing, hit your afterburners and head straight for it. The Sathanas will start to deploy whatever fighters it has left just as additional Shivan fighters emerge from subspace around it.

On the Orestes's side, there are four bombers and nine escort fighters. On the Shivans' end, they have seventeen fighters, with an additional twenty-one in reserve. Upon your approach to the juggernaut, one of your wingmen comments on how large and frightening the juggernaut is, him having only seen it on video. You steady his nerves, assuring him that while it is big, it can be defeated, and go on to add that, even if you die, you will be happy to do so fighting the odds for a worthy cause.

Delta, Epsilon and Zeta wings will automatically engage any enemy that acquires a lock on you once you begin your attack run. Ignore the furball and keep going. Disarm the forward beams and then assist in the destruction of the Sathanas. If a fighter is giving you trouble, order Zeta to attack it.

Be sure to stand clear of flak fields and avoid the firing arcs of AAA beams.

Once you destroy all four main guns, the Orestes gets the all-clear from Al'Faddil to begin her attack run. The destroyer will then approach and start grinding through the Sathanas's hull with its frontal beam.

All of a sudden, Al'Faddil reports something big jumping in. A subspace portal opens up nearby, and from it emerges the Temeraire.

The Temeraire hails the Orestes just as its escorting corvette, the Labouchere, jumps in. The Temeraire deploys its fighter and bomber wings to assist in the attack while both she and the Labouchere begin to bombard the juggernaut in unison with their frontal beams. Temeraire Alpha 1 immediately hails you. It is your old wingman, Corey. He and Taylor, flying as Temeraire Alphas 1 and 2 respectively, have been promoted since your absence, and are grateful to see you again.

Two additional subspace portals open up on the opposite side of the Sathanas, and the Boreas and Miranda emerge from them. The Boreas sends her apologies to the Orestes, but while the two corvettes were with the Fortune, they reached a decision to assist the Orestes instead.

The mission becomes automatic from here. With the Sathanas boxed in by all five Allied warships, and its fighter complement reduced to nothing by the fighters from both the Orestes and Temeraire combined, you can throttle back to the Orestes and watch the fireworks from there.

When the Sathanas goes down, you are given the order to return to base. Return to the Orestes's fighterbay to complete the mission.

Notes

  • The eventual location of Samuel Bei's body may be explained by the fact that it has been stored inside the Vishnan Sacred Keeper ever since he merged with the Great Preservers; it may have either been jettisoned from the Keeper just moments prior to its destruction at the hands of the Sathanas, or the Keeper stored his body inside itself even when it was being destroyed, and it somehow managed to escape the Keeper's destruction. Regardless, it can be said that for Samuel Bei's conscience to return to his own body, untarnished and whole, is a great miracle.
  • Zeta 1 becomes invulnerable once his hull integrity reaches 33%, 30% or 27%; this prevents Al'Faddil from being killed off during the mission.
  • The Sathanas in this mission has a slightly different weapons loadout from a normal Sathanas, sporting additional LRSReds and more potent anti-fighter defences.
  • If you succeed this mission, Samuel Bei is promoted to Captain in debriefing by none other than Admiral Bei Wen Jian, Commanding Officer of the Orestes, in person. The Admiral also formally re-recognises Bei as his own son. It can be assumed that success in this mission is the final key needed for the two Beis to fully and finally reconcile with each other.
  • Despite the post-mission promotion, this is not reflected in your medal tally, as the position of Captain from the game's perspective is based on points obtained, not well-intentioned sacrifices or heroic deeds.

Tips

  • The Sathanas jumps in a good distance away from the Orestes. Consider dumping all power to engines while you cover the distance from both warships. Unlike most bombing runs, you actually have competent fighter escorts (and one invulnerable squadron leader among them), so defending yourself is not really an issue here.
  • Use your target subsystem in reticle key (V by default) to select the forward beams more quickly. The Sathanas has 53 turrets, making it quite a hassle to cycle through all of them with the normal target subsystem key.

Total number of forces

Forces involved
Belligerents
Ships
Strikecraft


Casualties



(*) May be replaced with the GTB Zeus or GTB Ursa

Videos

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