|The following information refers to the Solaris universe and is therefore not canon for the FreeSpace continuity.|
||Campaign Walkthrough||Next Mission
Description: The Hoshikuzu joins up with Pollux Arrow, Hopewell and the recently seized Nassau to form a formidable mercenary group. Lau buys some heavy equipment to test out. Ross opens up to Lau for the first time.
Created: January 31st, 2021
Released: October 9th, 2021
The Malikan attack in the Veil highlighted the vulnerability of ships operating alone. Navo and Badami agree to join forces with Lau to create a well-rounded, powerful group capable of more than what each ship could do alone.
With access to the joint financial account, Lau takes the opportunity to refurbish the Hoshikuzu with an anti-ship missile launcher, replacing the support drone maintenance facilities. The gunships are moved to the Hopewell, which has finished her conversion to a fully fledged carrier capable of maintaining and launching multiple wings of strike craft.
Lau procures two Tor-class heavy bombers capable of launching anti-ship missiles to increase the anti-ship potency of the flotilla. Excited by her new purchases, she invites Ross and Meiks to a live-fire exercise to evaluate the equipment. Meiks is Alfa 1, Ross is Bravo 1 and Lau accompanies you as Charlie 1.
This is mostly an interactive cutscene to demonstrate how the new bomber and Stiletto missiles work. Your ship and loadout is locked to the Tor bomber with Limonkas and eight Stiletto unguided missiles. Meiks is in a Warden defender with a Maxim and Gattler loadout. Lau flies a Comet missile gunship with Gattlers and Sparrow AAMs.
On launch Lau remarks that she still remembers how to fly a Comet gunship despite not being in the cockpit for a while. Ross is surprised that she was qualified to fly, but Lau reminds him that she did initial test flights of their gunships when she salvaged them from Overton Orbital weeks ago. The reason she hired Ross and Meiks instead of flying herself is due to intolerance of the flight drugs. A worried Ross asks if they should terminate the weapons test, but Lau is happy to tolerate the occasional sortie as long as she prepares herself for the hangover afterwards.
Enroute to the test site, Lau and Ross discuss their respective families. Lau is caught between saving Kendra and leaving her cousin to her fate at the hands of the Commonwealth. Ross can't complain about his family members actively trying to kill him, but reveals he hasn't got any fond memories of home. His home environment was stifling, the relationship with his parents and sister bland and loveless. Lau realises after a while that she is the first person that Ross has opened up to, and tries to respect his vulnerability. We learn that Ross regrets his past interactions with Caitlyn McKearney and that he knows it's likely too late to do anything about it.
On reaching the site, Lau introduces the Sulsian destroyer Marchana, decommissioned and sent to Vicare for scrapping years ago. Apart from a couple of CIWS turrets and ammunition, her hull had been stripped of useful components, and Lau was able to purchase the destroyer at a significant discount. Lau activates the destroyer's integrated auxiliary reactor and tells Ross to move outside of 1500m from the destroyer, ostensibly to clear the area around the ship from live fire hazards.
Once at range, Ross is invited to launch Stilettos at the destroyer, which are easily intercepted by the CIWS if they pass through the turret fields of fire. Ross still feels the rockets are a waste of time but Lau tries to convince him of their damage potential. Not realising that Ross is an officer in the Commonwealth Fleet Air Arm, Lau teaches him how to cripple turret fire control by disabling the weapons subsystem. She then invites Ross to launch more Stilettos and observe how much damage the missiles do against turrets and subsystems. Ross starts to see the possibilities of strikecraft-launched missiles once CIWS defenses have been eliminated.
The return to Vicare station is interrupted by the arrival of the FNS Thanatos, a Liberty-class battlecruiser of the Second Fleet. She was deployed to counter an approaching Combine force. Lau, Ross and Meiks make straight for the Hopewell to prepare for the Combine's arrival.
Notable ships present
- Hoshikuzu - Hoshikuzu-class corvette refit
- Nassau - Horizon-class destroyer
- Hopewell - Argus-class carrier
- Marchana - Leonidas-class destroyer
- FNS Thanatos - Liberty-class battlecruiser
- Successful equipment test of the Tor bomber, Limonka launcher and Stiletto ASM.
- There is currently a bug where the Stiletto doesn't inherit the lateral velocity of the player's ship.
- This is the first appearance of the refit Hoshikuzu, though docked and not playing an active role in the mission.
- This is also the first in-mission appearance of the Hopewell, being mentioned twice before in mission dialogue.
- Ross's background which was hinted at in Blood and Ash is elaborated further.