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Fighter squadron: 56 Squadron
Description: With the Shivans momentarily at bay, Iwakura and Tell lead Alpha Wing to the last survivors of Earth: the sleeper ship Sanctuary.
The GTD Temeraire and its escorts have secured their presence in N362. Consequently, no additional Shivans have been encountered ever since the SD Kyton was destroyed. The Temeraire's navigational computers have also mostly nullified the gravitational interference from the neutron star in the system, which was the primary reason why Alpha wing was scattered tens of kilometres from each other upon entry into the system during their pursuit of the GTC Duke. The crew of the cruiser in question have been transferred to the medical ward on the GTL Solace, and a temporary crew has been assigned to replace them.
An interview with Captain Iwakura and Commander Tell revealed the truth behind what happened at the end of the Great War: according to the both of them, the final attack on the SD Lucifer failed, and the Shivans consequently glassed Earth, as well as every colony in Sol. The GTA was unable to organise another assault and were eventually overwhelmed.
Upon losing contact with Earth and First Fleet, plans were drawn up to evacuate as many civilians as possible from all contested systems and convert an unfinished Orion-class destroyer into a sleeper ship. This ship is the Terran sleeper ship Sanctuary, which both Iwakura and Tell claim to be from. The Sanctuary was modified to support human hibernation. However, the urgency of the GTA's contingency plan meant that most of its systems were incomplete and vulnerable to Shivan attack. What's left of the GTA created a diversion while the Sanctuary fled to the N362 system, where it was hoped that the neutron star's influence would mask their presence in the system. The plan succeeded, and the Sanctuary has been hiding in there for the past half-century, waiting for the Shivans to leave. To the knowledge of both pilots, the Sanctuary houses the only remaining Terrans left in the galaxy.
The huge discrepancy between both pilots' accounts and the 14th Battlegroup's have led Rear-Admiral Carey, Commanding Officer of the Temeraire, to conclude that the Sol Expeditionary Force had somehow managed to achieve travel across dimensions. She theorises that the key to this lies in the transit of the battlegroup between Delta Serpentis and Sol, when they entered the subspace corridor through the Alliance Jump Gate. During the transit, both the GTD Orestes and Temeraire reported power fluctuations in their reactors. However, as the fluctuations did not affect either ship's power integrity, it was deemed a minor technical issue.
The vast distance between the Orestes—in Delta Serpentis—and the Temeraire—four star systems away in N362—means that even transmissions between both vessels take considerably lengthy periods to be received. The Temeraire has reported its findings to the Orestes, but it will take some time before the destroyer can respond.
In the meantime, the Temeraire and its battlegroup have decided to make a rendezvous with the Sanctuary itself, deep within the system's nebula. Sending any one of the battlegroup's large ships into the nebula-infested region of the system is asking for trouble, as the gravitational pull of the neutron star could severely damage ships with no shielding. Deploying the ambassadors in smaller ships—to wit, fighters—was a more feasible option due to the temporary protection they get from their shields. Captain Iwakura has specifically requested you to be an ambassador, and you have been given the option to bring additional wingmen that you can trust. No surprises as to who they might be, though.
You can only use the GTF Aurora for this mission.
Follow Iwakura and Tell as they lead you through the nebula and respond to a few questions raised by both Corey and Taylor. As the four of them become preoccupied with their conversation, you spot a lone ship, alien in design, suddenly appearing no more than fifty metres away from you and then disappearing as soon as it had come.
You alert the rest, but Iwakura shrugs it off, warning you that phantom ships exist in the nebula, and some on board the Sanctuary had gone mad from seeing them; these individuals were put into cryogenic sleep until they recovered. She adds, however, that she has not personally seen such ships herself, and some believed these to be the result of psychosis. Commander Tell, on the other hand, swept it aside as rumours and hallucinations, as he too had never seen them.
You know better.
All too soon, a second ship appears from out of nowhere and flies silently on your wing. It lingers for a little longer than the first one before vanishing without a trace.
As Iwakura and Tell begin their approach to the Sanctuary, they pick up a distress signal. The sleeper ship has come under attack from the Shivans.
When the Sanctuary appears on your escort list, engage your afterburners and close distance. Prioritise Shivan bombers attacking the sleeper ship. Your fighters should have adequate firepower to defend the Sanctuary without trouble. Watch out for the shockwaves from Shivan warheads; they can deplete your shields and hull very quickly.
When the Sanctuary gives you permission, enter its fighterbay to complete the mission.
- Many players do not recognize the significance of the hallucinations Sam experiences here. These hallucinations were perpetrated by an alien species making a very specific promise to Sam, offering a reunion with his mother and wife in exchange for his cooperation with them.
- The hallucinations appear very close to your ship. Although they are supposed to be hallucinations, they are still material and can accidentally ram your ship.
- Your weapons are locked until you are within visual range of the Sanctuary. This is to avoid your AI-controlled wingmen and Sanctuary fighters from doubling back to their previous waypoint whenever you open fire, consequently making them take a much longer time to reach the Sanctuary and allowing the Shivans to deal immense damage to the sleeper ship before your approach.
- The tech room description for the Sanctuary sheds extra light on the would-be destroyer, stating that it was retrofitted using parts salvaged from a second Orion destroyer also undergoing construction during the Shivan attack in Sol.
Total number of forces