Mission 2 takes place on July 10, 2160 and is part of the Operation Shield campaign.
All right, settle down people and listen closely.
As you know, Neptune is the primary destination for the remnants of the Alliance fleet. Consequently, it's a hot zone for Coalition hunter-killer squadrons. Your mission is to sweep the surrounding quadrants for any incoming Alliance vessels and escort them to Fort Baxter.
You will not be alone on this one. Operations Command thinks it's a good idea if you link up with a veteran outfit, an American outfit called the Pumas. They want you to learn from professionals. The Pumas' squadron leader, Jake Tanner, will be in full command of this mission. What he says, goes. Everyone clear?
OK, time to lock and load, people.
- Predator is a decent choice, although you might want to opt for a heavier fighter with more firepower like the Crusader, due to the need to take out an Antonov and later the torpedoes targeting the convoy.
- After launching from the Reliant, you jump over to the ANS Washington, the new base carrier of the Pumas. General Briggs will leave onboard Prowler Beta-6 just as you arrive. Jake Tanner and his wingmen will launch and after some ribbing from the rest of his squadron, the Colonel will order his men to can it and you jump out together just as Briggs' Prowler broadcasts a distress signal. The Sabers responsible for the attack will jump out as Tanner calls for a Nanny ship after locating the General's escape pod.
- The Coalition has its own plans for Briggs. An Antonov search-and-rescue ship will jump in escorted by eight Saracen fighters. Ignore the fighters and focus on eliminating the Antonov to prevent Briggs' capture, then get to work on the Saracens. Tanner will request a long-range scan from Washington, which will reveal the presence of another Alliance convoy in the area, the likely target of the hunting pack.
- You jump out to the convoy. Assume escort positions, then watch as Tanner is called away to aid the Hornets in their desperate fight against the Black Guard. You're left alone in charge of the convoy's security. Of course, the Coalition jumps in with a Kamov and seven Sabers to its name. Ignore the Sabers and focus on the Kamov and the torpedoes, then clean up. The cargo convoy will then jump out to Fort Baxter as Tanner requests reinforcements.
- You arrive to find the Pumas engaged with no less than six Azan fighters and the CS Kirov. Lacking the firepower necessary to take down the capital ship, you need to focus on taking out the fighters first. Ignore the cruisers and steer clear of them.
- After you destroy the Azans, another Coalition cruiser jumps in. The CS Zakov immediately launches its eight Laggs, which enter the fray. Take them out - or survive long enough for the Pumas and the rest of the 45th to take them out - then Jake Tanner will report that he's detecting another large signature coming in. However, this time it's the ANS Yamato, which jumps in and immediately fires on the enemy. Two torpedo salvos later, both cruisers are scrap and you're clear out to the Reliant. Jump out and land.
- Success + Bonus: Both Mammoths and General Briggs are saved.
- Success: Both Mammoths survive.
- Partial success: One Mammoth survives (Briggs can also be saved).
- Fail: Both Mammoths are destroyed.
|Opening||Great job. Alliance Command has reported that the convoy has made it back into port intact. The materials that were on board will prove very useful to our efforts.||You have disgraced this unit and embarrassed the officers and crew of this ship. You were left to guard the convoy, but unfortunately you proved yourself completely incapable of doing so. You allowed both Mammoths to be destroyed. Many good men lost their lives, and you've deprived the Alliance war effort of irreplaceable raw materials.|
|Ships destroyed||Captain Foster is also extremely pleased with this first engagement with enemy capital ships. Fortunately for you the Yamato's unexpected arrival saved you the problem of taking them out.||Commander Jake Tanner has sent a scathing report to the Captain as well as Alliance command.|
|Briggs saved||Saving the life of General Briggs, one of our top generals, has raised the 45th's profile with Command and has given us some serious credibility at a time when we need to prove ourselves to the rest of the Fleet.||However, saving the life of General Briggs, one of our top generals, has at least given us some credibility at a time when we need to prove ourselves to the rest of the Fleet.|
|Ending||It looks like all the training you were put through may actually pay off. Jake Tanner seemed quite impressed. He sent through a positive report on the 45th's performance. Keep up the good work, but remember we've got a long way to go, and if we are going to win this war you need to keep your performance at this level. That was great work out there today.
|If you want to earn the respect of the rest of the fleet, then you'd better rethink your strategy. If this keeps up, you'll be transferred off this ship before you know it.