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SILENT THREAT: REBORN MISSION 18
Fighter squadron: 82nd Nighthawks
Description: It's big! It's an enemy! Blow it up!
The war has to end here and now. In order to defeat the GTI once and for all, a massive operation against the Hades is planned between the GTA and the PVE, to behead the rebel leadership. A first strike package will come in to disarm the Hades, then the rest of any available forces will come with the GTD Soyakaze and assist in destroying the Hades. Additional forces will come as provided.
Be prepared to take on a lot of Lokis and Zeuses for fifteen minutes. In fact, it's an endless stream of them. Thankfully, you'll have a lot of backup.
You'll have Alpha (Zeuses by default) and Beta wings (Ulysses by default) of your own choosing. As the mission goes on, Delta and Iota will consist of Ursas, Epsilon and Sigma will consist of Ulysses, Theta, Pi, and Rho will consist of Vasudan fighters.
As a bomber
Destroy the beams yourself. Destroy the fighters that attack you, but let your wingmen take care of the rest of the fighters until you torpedo the Hades. Rearm often. If you notice that your flight style attracts a lot of fighter attention, join the dogfight. It's better than keep hoping that you can sometimes unload some Harbingers while your bomber wingmen are falling like flies.
As an interceptor
Choose a fighter that you're most comfortable in. Assist Beta in taking down the Lokis and Zeus bombers that jump in. Order the bombers to disarm the Hades to give the Soyakaze and the rest of the allied task force a chance to survive. There are a lot of reinforcements in this mission, but you need to prioritize the fighters that are attacking the bombers. Don't underestimate the Hades's cluster missiles despite their inaccuracy: If they hit you, it'll hurt.
While you keep pummeling the Hades (as in, its hull integrity becomes lower than 45%), additional forces will come on their way. Even the Vasudans hand their support.
When the Hades goes below 10%, you get a message from the Soyakaze that the Hades is planning to escape. Assign any bombers still in the area to kill it once and for all.
And when the Hades blows up... get as far away as you can, the best distance is as far as the far side of the Soyakaze or on the far side of the Orff. In the case of your wingmen, tell all of them to depart, so they won't die by the explosion. (Or you can just jump out; this mission does not penalize you for jumping before the RTB order is given.) All remaining hostile fighters and bombers will be destroyed by the explosion, and after that, you can return to base and finish the campaign.
- Delta wing (consisting of GTB Ursas) will always be replaced with fresh ordnance, so don't worry about a lack of bombers unless there are too many Lokis in the area. Tell them to focus on the Hades. (You'll have five waves of four, so make sure they drop their payload!)
- If you're thinking that your wing of bombers is useless in the first few minutes, and you're playing as a fighter, a Disruptor and a set of Phoenix missiles can help you take down the beam turrets. Take a Prometheus or Avenger in the other slot to take on the enemy bombers.
- However, if you have access to the Stiletto, take at least one bank, as each missile does 10% turret damage.
- Speaking of beam turrets, prioritize the forward cannon and the tower cannon. They recharge the fastest, and will outright kill the Soyakaze if you don't kill them.
- If you need to evade a lot, sections of the Hades (such as the tower and the trench on its body) are good hiding spots.
- Let Sigma and Theta wing defend the Soyakaze against the Zeus bombers, and if you can, assist them in doing so. If you have a set of Phoenix missiles, one's enough to down a Zeus (which have Tsunami warheads).
- If Epsilon is still in the area but you lost all of the Delta bombers, let them defend the Soyakaze or Orff.
- The battle takes place around Deneb 3 to explain why wreckage from the Hades ended up on Deneb 3, as seen on the FreeSpace 2 intro movie.
- There's a friendly, incapacitated Orion in the distance. This is another reference to the FreeSpace 2 intro.
- Alpha 2, Beta 1, and Beta 4 have plot immunity as they have some mission-critical dialogue.