Fall of Angels
|The following information refers to the Solaris universe and is therefore not canon for the FreeSpace continuity.|
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Solaris - Mission 6: Fall of Angels
Description: Apocalypse comes to Morik. The Combine score a decisive victory. Ross and McKearney are displaced.
Created: March 10th, 2018
Released: June 9th, 2019
The new Great War begins with fire. Fifth Fleet musters at Morik to meet the Combine armada, but the Combine instead send a single, unknown type of ship. A huge energy burst is released by the unknown ship, leaving Fifth Fleet HQ and one sixth of the entire Federation Navy in ruins.
In Durius, Artemis and Colossus are picking up the pieces from the Combine invasion. Ahab is in Durius medbay recovering from a near fatal dose of waste exhaust. Punchy is transferred to the Colossus to make up pilot numbers. Both say their goodbyes to Ross as he leaves with Artemis for another mission.
An understrength Artemis is deployed to Morik as a scout to ascertain what happened to Fifth Fleet. Bulwark is a tomb and Fifth Fleet HQ is nothing but rubble. Preliminary sensor readings suggest massive shear forces from a gravitational anomaly was the cause of the destruction. Ross and McKearney are sent out as Alpha wing to look for survivors along a pre-planned waypoint path.
Recommended Loadout: Viper-class Fighter, Maxim.
This is mostly an interactive cutscene. Ross and McKearney launch from Artemis into a graveyard. The earth-like planet Bulwark is nearby, with signs of devastation on the surface. Volcanic activity is visible from space. The two pilots fly to the first waypoint to confirm the destruction of Fifth Fleet HQ. Turbulence from residual gravitational anomalies rocks Alpha wing's fighters.
The second waypoint is located at the wreck of Admiral Mateljan's supercarrier Prometheus. No survivors or beacons are identified. McKearney reports that this doesn't look like the usual aftermath of a major battle, noting the lack of debris from the other side. It was as though the Combine fleet was never there to start with.
The third waypoint is located at a fleet carrier on the other side of the debris field. Enroute, McKearney picks up some anomalous sensor readings that vanish as soon as they are detected. Soon after, Alpha wing come under attack by a pair of advanced stealth fighters.
This is a potentially tough dogfight that is made easier by the Maxim's round velocity and the Viper's agility. However, the player could bypass most of the dogfighting by forcing the Hunter AI to collide with debris, sustaining lethal damage. This is a potential scenario where the Thunderbolt interceptor is used over the Viper.
Ross and McKearney are pushed to the limit of their skills and eventually destroy or drive the fighters off. McKearney suspects the stealth fighters had been waiting nearby, cloaked, reporting on the position of Federation ships as they arrive at the debris field. Ross's dawning realisation is confirmed by an ambush by the battlecruiser Veritas, crippling and then destroying the Artemis in a few salvos.
Forced to retreat, Ross sends out a distress call when clear of the debris. The carrier Longview responds, and on confirming Ross and McKearney's Federation IFF, the captain orders the two pilots to enter the hangar immediately before more Combine ships arrive.
Ross and McKearney leave Fifth Fleet's graveyard on board their new home.
Notable ships present
- FNS Artemis - Leander-class cruiser
- FNS Longview - Independence-class carrier
- CS Veritas - Archon-class battlecruiser
- CS Conqueror - Khopesh-class frigate
- CS Scimitar - Glory-class destroyer
- Decisive Combine victory.
- FNS Artemis is destroyed.
- There is a bonus objective for surviving the hunter fight at 95% hull or more. This requires the player to not take any hits.
- Though made to look like a debris hulk, the carrier at the centre of the field where the stealth fighter engagement is most likely to take place is actually a retextured ship. As such, collisions don't do as much damage as with debris. This ensured the carrier was oriented the same in every playthrough of the mission.