Possente Ftha, Immenso Ftha

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The following information has not been confirmed by Volition
and is therefore not canon for the FreeSpace universe. Also, it may contain spoilers regarding Series Resurrecta campaigns.


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Shadows of the Great War - The Spirit of Ptah Mission 3

Player squadron: 223rd Moonbears

System: Vasuda

Description: The 223rd has been temporarily transferred to the PVD Hedetet, and their first mission will involve the destruction of a Hammer of Light depot. The fanatics, however, have a counterattack in their plans...

Created: March 19th, 2007

Released: October 16th, 2020


Background

After the considerable victory over Senwosre outpost, the Alliance moves in to eradicate the Hammer of Light logistics in the system. The 223rd Moonbears have been temporarily transferred to the PVD Hedetet, in an effort to further strengthen the ties between the two species. An assault on a cargo depot is planned, but an emergency distress call is received from the GTD Ixion: the destroyer has come under heavy attack and required immediate assistance. The Moonbears now have to go back where they've come from, and provide much needed cover to their previous homebase.

Walkthrough

The intro cutscene will show one foe we'll get to be familiar with: the Sekhmet-class bomber, as well as the debris of the GTC Gryphon, lost to the first wave of the Hammer of Light attack. As Eta 1, leading Theta and Iota wings, we'll have to approach the GTD Ixion immediately and eliminate these bombers, because they have the potential of taking down the disabled Orion outright. The GTC Walton will come in to assist, but will be attacked as well and it's vital to make sure that it survives, even though it may seem a secondary objective. Once the area is clear, we'll receive a message from the Hedetet stating that a repair transport is on its way, then the communication is suddenly interrupted and two transports jump in instead. Due to the inconsistency, despite said transports claiming to be equally legitimate, we area asked to scan either of them and gain information on what they carry. Due to the distances involved, it's a good idea to get at least one wing to guard you in the process: the transports turn out to be fanatics carrying explosives and attempting a kamikaze run on the destroyer, and enemy fighters will come in to defend them. If either transport manages to land on the Ixion, the explosives would induce a chain reaction and cause the entire warship to blow up. They're not difficult to bring down, however.

Contact with the Hedetet is reestablished and the need to find a new workaround for the Ixion repairs arises. The Walton will sacrifice its own engines to provide the components needed to bring engines on the Ixion on a partially working status, and two transports, the Southern Cross and Gleipnir, will take care of the components and non essential personnel, respectively. No HoL attacks will be carried out during this stage. The status of the transfers can be checked by taking a look at the transports' declared cargo, which will vary as the transfers progress. Everything goes smoothly, but we receive a new warning from the Hedetet, stationed near Senwosre outpost: the PVC Neserkhauhor has left the outpost and is headed, without explicit authorization, towards the Ixion. The Mekhet cruiser jumps in and, without any warning, begins to open fire - railguns can take care of it, but it'd be a good idea to reduce the damage sustained by the Ixion and destroy, at least, the cruiser's neutron cannons. The reasons that lead this unit to perform such an action are unknown, but there's no time to lose - now we have to deal with the HLD Pramessu, which jumps in several clicks away and moves to bombard the Orion with its frontal Nehen heavy cannon, repaired since the previous engagement. We have to go after this turret immediately, and take it out before it does the same with the Ixion. The Atum would also deploy fighters and bombers, but the main threat to the Ixion is the Neheh cannon. Wings from the Hedetet will come in and perform a clean bombing run on the HoL destroyer, taking it out; Gamma wing comprised of Seth fighters will remain with us and provide escort.

The good news at this point is that the Ixion finally manages to get the engines to work. The extremely bad news is that a massive warship designated HLD Hikuptah jumps in and moves to attack, deploying Seshat fighters in the process. The Alliance finds a quick workaround to save the Walton: the Qanun and the Khenut will attempt to tow the cruiser away and perform a safe jump. All efforts to save these ships fail, as the Hikuptah fires powerful beams that eliminate the cruiser and its towers in a single shot. The Ixion makes one last attempt to flee, but ends up caught by the second salvo, which brings the destroyer down. At this point, we can't do anything but pull back to the Hedetet for debriefing.

Notable ships present

Outcome

Not only has the battle for Vasuda overturned, but the fate of all Terran and Vasudan space may be a risk now that a powerful destroyer employing Shivan-derivative technologies, the HLD Hikuptah, has appeared. It becomes clear that it was this new flagship that drove Hammer of Light fanatism once again, and resulted into a new surge of defections to the HoL cause. The Alliance expects the destroyer to come forward and assault critical assets, yet it follows a different route, perhaps heading towards the peripheral systems. PVI Senwosre will be improved with more defenses, and its non essential personnel will be transferred, in order to minimize the odds of a direct onslaught of the Hikuptah against it, which ultimately doesn't happen. The new opponent has the power to change the balance of warfare an politics, so a plan to counter it must be found and employed. The attention shifts to Alpha Centauri, where the HoL is serious threat to political stability.

Notes

The title of the mission cites two verses from the summoning of Ptah as described in the first Act of Giuseppe Verdi's Aida, and literally means "O mighty Phtha, o Phtha the most high". Verses from that act are shown, in their English version, as preload texts ahead of each TSoP mission.

In the original version of the mission, the HLD Hikuptah and the HLD Pramessu were meant to be on the battlefield at the same time, engaging the GTD Ixion from two sides.