First engagements against the Shivans
- Main article: Heist of the Avenger Prototype
The incident of the GTSC Plato
The Avenger Prototype was being transferred to the Ribos system by the GTSC Plato, a Faustus-class science vessel. The jump node was barely defended by Vasudans, only a number of fighters and the PVC Taurus holding it down. A squadron of PVF Anubis fighters was ordered to attack the Plato, but the captain of the Taurus underestimated the escort of the Plato. The PVC Taurus jumped in with her fighter escort to block the way of the Plato, which was moving towards the jump node. Before the sides could engage each other in combat, unknown aliens appeared and attacked both sides. The Vasudan fighters quickly fell and the Taurus was destroyed. Alpha 1 was ordered to approach the Vasudan forces and get visual data. While doing so, the aliens attacked the Plato with bombers and fighters. The crew of the Plato managed to elude death by using a GTEP Hermes escape pod and took the prototype to safety. The pilots were shocked to realize that their ML-16 weapons were ineffective at penetrating the Shielding systems of the aliens. They managed to destroy a single attacking fighter by focusing their fire on it.
Other encounters with the unknown aliens, soon designated the Shivans, occurred throughout the systems. The Shivans destroyed both the GTA and PVN forces. The two former enemies then agreed to a cease-fire and non-aggression pact. Following a diplomatic agreement, the 14-Year War between the Galactic Terran Alliance and Parliamentary Vasudan Empire officially ended, and the Great War began.
Acquisition of shielding technology
Terran Command was forced to launch reconnaissance missions to acquire Shivan shields without weaponry on the fighters which could penetrate Shivan shielding systems. Scorpion fighters ambushed the Terran fighters. The fighters had to quickly scan the remaining containers. Using the scan data acquired, the GTA acquired sensor data for targeting the Shivans and their shielding technology.
By the time the Shields were ready to use, the Avenger cannon had been optimized for use against shields. The first notable victory for the Alliance came while transferring the Shield prototypes to Beta Cygni. Using the Avenger cannon, the attacking Shivans, no longer invincible, were destroyed and the cargo was successfully delivered.