|The following information refers to the Solaris universe and is therefore not canon for the FreeSpace continuity.|
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Solaris - Mission 9: Shadow War
Description: Opportunity is found in chaos, while Fifth Fleet escapes a trap.
Created: September 24th, 2018
Released: June 9th, 2019
Admiral Colvin's authorisation level is enough to decrypt the contents of the Mira data. McKearney downloads a copy and communicates the findings to ANI. The findings are explosive; Red Abbey immediately orders the two Commonwealth pilots to bring him copies of the Mira data. Ross and McKearney's Federation tour of duty is over.
On board Osiris, Admiral Colvin briefs the squadron pilots directly. She plans to bring the remnants of Fifth Fleet to Akkad to meet with Admiral Akrami's Task Force 55. However, the secrecy of Ariel Station's location has been compromised. Evacuation of the station is proceeding but will need cover for a few more minutes. Romanowska on Imperatrix has arrived and is blockading the station with more Combine ships on the way. The Osiris and a token force of warships must run the blockade to escape the system.
As well as Osiris, the Federation force comprises two marine transports, the Longview and the frigate Tribune. Longview's fighters have been transferred to Colvin's fleet carrier, with the smaller carrier acting as a large lifeboat for Ariel's personnel. Short-ranged shuttles and LACs will be scuttled or left behind, not being equipped with intersystem drives. The evacuation is in the final stages and needs another five minutes or so.
Ross and McKearney are the two most senior pilots on board Osiris and will fly the Phantom stealth fighters as Alpha wing.
Loadout is locked to the Phantom stealth fighter with Maxim and Gattler primary cannons.
The Imperatrix and the light cruiser Naga are nearby blocking the exit path of the Federation ships. Two wings of strikers with escorting fighters are launched to assault the transports. Liberal use of the cloaking device will offset the threat of the light fighters.
More Combine ships arrive - the light cruiser Immortal and two guided-missile destroyers arrive to add to Romanowska's firepower. A coordinated ASM launch from all five ships threatens to overwhelm Osiris's defenses - the player should intercpet as many as possible to minimise the damage to the carrier. The situation is further escalated by an Eos launch from Imperatrix, but the player should have enough time to deal with the Javelin missiles before intercepting the incoming nukes. Another wave of strikers is launched at the transports, and the player must balance their attention between the ASM salvos and the strike wings.
Rocinante announces the completion of the evacuation and unclamps from the station. Colvin orders all ships to move out. The rag tag remants of Fifth Fleet charge into mass driver fire.
Admiral Colvin authorises the use of nuclear weapons on Imperatrix. As the Combine carrier takes heavy damage, Romanowska retreats.
The convoy ships jump out one by one, until it's just Osiris left. Colvin gives the RTB order and all wings return to the carrier. Red Abbey sends a secure comms giving coordinates for a rendezvous. Ross and McKearney with their Federation stealth fighters cloak up and leave the battlefield. In the chaos of the retreat, they're expecting to be classed MIA/KIA.
At the rendezvous, a corvette-sized ship decloaks, designation HMS Merlin. Red Abbey congratulates McKearney on retrieving the data, calling her "agent". McKearney doesn't acknowledge the term, saying she did it for her own reasons. Red Abbey reminds her of her place. Ross is unnerved and asks McKearney what's going on. However, Ross suspects he already knows the answer.
Notable ships present
- FNS Osiris - Hyperion-class fleet carrier
- FNS Longview - Independence-class fleet carrier
- FNS Tribune - River-class frigate
- FNS Rocinante - Miranda-class transport
- FNS Estella Haversham - Miranda-class transport
- CS Imperatrix - Executrix-class carrier
- CS Naga - Halberd-class cruiser
- CS Immortal - Halberd-class cruiser
- CS Wyvern - Victory-class destroyer
- CS Avatar - Victory-class destroyer
- HMS Merlin - Defiant-class corvette
- Federation victory.
- Osiris and Longview escape Morik with remaining Fifth Fleet personnel
- Ross and McKearney transfer to HMS Merlin
- The Commonwealth gains possession of information about the Federation and Combine's secret weapons research
- There are three bonus objectives for keeping Tribune alive, destroying the Imperatrix's nuclear silo and destroying the missile silos of all five Combine warships.
- This is the first time a ship larger than a fighter is seen to deploy a cloaking device.
- Admiral Colvin choosing to regroup in the Elam Republic instead of a closer Federation system is due to learning about the Solaris project in Mira.