Operations inside the Shivan Nebula
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WARNING: This article contains spoilers for the following storylines: FreeSpace 2
Upon arrival, the Aquitaine discovered that where they were sent to is a nebula, a vast ionized field that was interfering with sensors and caused a minimal field of sight. Fighter wings were deployed to further scout the vicinity more quickly. One wing suddenly disappeared from sensors and the others encountered Shivan fighters. Dogfights were fought all around the Aquitaine. Alpha wing discovered a Terran cruiser not far away from the Aquitaine, designated at the NTC Trinity. The Trinity had defected to the NTF and was considered hostile. The crew offered surrender and begged for assistance. Terran Command have agreed that the Trinity must be rescued. The rescue was a failure as Shivan Dragon-class fighters emerged from subspace who outnumbered and outgunned the Terran tas kforce. The Trinity was destroyed along with a number of Terran fighters.
The Aqiutaine continoued to scout the nebula and discovered two Shivan cruisers nearby. Two Deimos-class corvettes, the GTCv Lysander and the GTCv Actium, assisted by a wing of Hercules Mark II fighters hunted down these targets. The Lysander was then vaporized by a Ravana-class destroyer, which jumped in too late to defend her cruiser aides, but before the Terrans withdrew their forces.
A squadron of bombers were launched from the Aquitaine to hunt down the SD Ravana. At high cost, the mission succeeded. The destruction of the Ravana was "the most significant victory over the Shivans since the end of the Great War". After the mission the operations in the nebula were halted when word was received that Admiral Bosch had commenced his assault on Epsilon Pegasi.
After the Liberation of Epsilon Pegasi, Terran forces returned to the nebular theatre for weapon testing. The TAG-A warheads and the GTF Pegasus. The complement of TAG missiles came under attack by Shivan forces who were outnumbered and outgunned by a Deimos-class corvette. The cargo safely arrived. The testings were carried out by the 134th Barracudas, the squadron established specifically to test new technology. During testing the Pegasus fighter, the Shivans attacked the GTD Aquitaine. It was realized that withdrawal had to be made. While the assaults were tough and the Aquitaine came under heavy fire, the Terran destroyer managed to escape back to Gamma Draconis.
The permanent defeat of the Neo-Terra Front allowed the GTVA to continue their operations inside the nebula. A Vasudan squadron of fighters and a Sobek-class corvette were attacking Shivan sentry guns and gas miners when a Shivan juggernaut emerged and destroyed the Sobek corvette. The power of the Sathanas discouraged the alliance. Alpha 1 was tasked with inspecting and acquiring data about the SJ Sathanas. The decoy force won enough time for him to accomplish the task and the main characteristics were determined. Little known to Command was that while they were trying to lure the Sathanas away from her current position, she had already set course towards GTVA space. The chase continued outside the nebula. The operations inside the nebula continoued only after the destruction of the Sathanas.
Assuming the Shivans' flagship was destroyed, the operations continued to find Admiral Aken Bosch, who had escaped into the nebula when his rebellion was crushed. The Iceni was found and exclamated to transfer the ETAK device to Command. The crew would have been able to do that if it had not been for the heavy damage the Shivans inflicted. The Iceni's crew were rescued and the ship was self-destructed. The ETAK's specifications were in the hands of Command.
The transport that had been spotted taking away prisoners from the NTF Iceni was tracked down in a distant location, still within the nebula. The GVD Psamtik and her squadrons visited this site but found no trace of the Azrael transport that took Bosch away. After the area was removed from Shivan fighters, a Shivan juggernaut jumped in and destroyed the Psamtik.
The withdrawn fighters were sheltered on board the Aquitaine which was ordered to retreat from the nebula, for the second time. The combined Terran-Vasudan force prevented the Shivans from destroying the Aquitaine which successfully escaped the nebula. The war continued outside the nebula.