Part 217: Duty & EpilogueDuty & Epilogue (56:34)
I tacked on the Epilogue here mostly because I figured it wouldn't be long and I just wanted to see the finish. I'm glad I did so, but for completely different and definitely worse reasons.
Even from this vantage point it's easy to see the map divided into good and bad halves. What stuck out most to me though was the fact that we have a 'Custom' objective. It's not destroy everything.
'Numerous Abraxian ruins'. You could knock me over with a feather.
'We need to get out of here now'. Everyone sits there and does nothing.
That which we now know, because of the Codex, to have been destroyed by this point in the timeline has decohered. My brain hurts.
The commander of the fleet can't see it on his screen, which only presently covers the middle of the map. But you know, everyone who doesn't actually need to know where it is can see it on their non-existent screens. So at least we have that going for us.
I don't even want to know how that supposedly works.
*Thud*. There aren't enough Picard double-facepalm memes on the whole of the internet to cover this. In the very first part of this campaign, the Prologue, Varro Hale led Hale Corporation to an Info Cache, sending the info back at the cost of the entire corporation. I've been assuming that Ticon Corporation received that message and therefore ventured out into Redacted Space. But no, it's the other way around. The message we want to send is to lure Hale out here for that.
The Prologue hasn't even happened yet. The purpose of the Ticon's mission, in terms of progressing events, is to set up the Prologue.
We're using a very flexible, non-standard definition of 'prologue' here, since the term usually denotes something which precedes the other events to be described later. But also, this means there's no way - although to be fair, the die was already pretty well cast on this - that the Story can be resolved in any comprehensive way. Ticon and crew are doomed, and they'll send back a message bringing Hale Corp. out to their doom, and ...
If you haven't played CW3, you don't even know that this entire GalCorp generation is doomed. But even if you have, nothing's going to happen here which explains how that happens. So we have a campaign which describes the struggle of two corporations against the Seloi-invented and deployed Particulate, their discovery of various history relating to the corrupt GalCorp, which will end with no resolution whatsoever of the events before or after Ticon's mission. I.e., how this particularly civilization met it's demise, what happened when GalCorp got Hale's message, etc.
What the actual ...
Here's where we need to get, what Ana was talking about. This is the far right of the map. Well, let's just try setting down there ...
Destroyed, by the struc it turns out not the other strange devices, the instant it sets down. Interestingly the HQ doesn't even has time to materialize, but Ana still gets almost five words out of her mouth.
Just in case you didn't get the point from the briefing, in this map only losing the HQ is fatal.
Let's get down to business. Amp Gems at the bottom, a nice defensive plasma web, a ton of pods for energy, some land ... and lots of bad stuff further out.
Having done this level a bit before noting the old PC was having speed issues, I had an idea of how to handle it. Basically get everything going as quickly as possible is vital. The starting tech investments here aim to keep the economy afloat when storage runs out, get the free firepower from Omnis, and add the vital Benign Emergent into the fray.
It takes about a minute and a half for the hostilities to start crashing through the plasma barrier. The lighter warships are almost ready to start fighting, with a Wolf on the way.
I'm trying to spread out Omnis here as much as I can, but their Berthas start making their presence known. With a trio of Reactors powering each of three emplacements on nearby islands, they are well-positioned to slaughter us in our cramped starting position.
This island was the first big battlefield. I kept building omnis and throwing them at the thing, while in between waves of that particulate accumulated at the right of it in opposition. Badly losing the emergent battle at this stage didn't help matters either.
That last wave above was big enough to turn the tide though, and our effort expanded to the first bertha placement. Crucially, I'd bought enough time to get much of the fleet operational. Emitter Control was used to get a stream of friendly particulate to help out.
I expected the reactors to be destroyed like the ore deposits on the moon in the last mission, but instead it appears that we captured them. This is no small boost to our economy.
One less cannon blasting away at the fleet doesn't hurt any either.
Grabbing the group of additional amp gems helped, and we gradually took down the other two berthas. Each of the other two have an additional gun around to defend, which didn't help us out any, but eventually we got it done. At this point, the battle is really strategically won, though there is much left to do.
At over 100 energy income, we had no trouble reaching full mobilization as we cleared out a trio of emitters just this side of the central struct/plasma defensive barrier. On the other hand, the far side isn't friendly either.
Plowing through the struc was no issue. Once on the other side things get interesting though. The main reason is that those space stations - there's one on the bottom as well - are a lot more powerful than I initially thought. They definitely seem to be stronger than the one by the origin world moon, perhaps enhanced firing rate or something? Anyway, they easily tore up most ships while doppels and particulate joined in the fun.
That's a LOT of missile spam. You can see the stub remains of my wolf there on the left. I think just about every ship died at least once.
Ultimately I ended up just parking the Hammer almost on top of it, then pounding it from range with everything else. Not subtle, but it worked.
It wasn't without even more casualties, but I knocked out the entire top flank so that the rest of the defensnes this way couldn't interfere, then started pushing in closer to the goal.
Rather that mess with the second space station and all its escorts, I cleared a path and moved in with the HQ. After all, just sending the message is all we're after.
The green things move over the ship from right to left, doing ... something? Then, with a flash of light, the Info Cache vanishes.
You don't say.
Of course it did. The same Rift Space which is simultaneously previously destroyed and decohered. Nothing could be more sensible.
Rift space has ruptured. Yet Hale Corp is going to jump through it to get here anyway on their suicide mission.
*Slams face into desk repeatedly until a slimy ooze emanates from random orifices*
Arrogant much? Also, wouldn't this take at least 10 seconds just to say?
Particulate attacks increase the resistance in the system from about 300 to almost 700, but we're fine for now.
Figures that Ogun would get the last word. I'm going to assume he doesn't really mean that the particulate is inbound to Valhalla. I think that would be bad.
Things very soon start blowing up all over the map. Bad things are happening. I've read that technically it is possible to withstand this forever ... I assume by hunkering down on the left side and clearing everything out first, etc. But I mostly just watch Ticon Corporation burn.
Once everything's been destroyed - which doesn't take long - the familiar fade from the prologue commences.
Overwhelmed by particulate everywhere, we have achieved 'victory'. By dying. Not by sending the message ... you have to be destroyed to trigger the win.
And now begins the big finish of the Epilogue.
Lakshmi. We hardly knew ye.
He's not even surprised Ticon is in Redacted Space. An act punishable by various terrible things including corporate forfeiture etc. according to the early missions.
And that's all folks. The Epilogue is a big fat nothingburger. Aside from that this version of Varro Hale is either insane or an idiot, it tells us nothing we didn't already know.
Why did they bother even putting it in? I think we'd have been better off without the epilogue.
Anyway, I hope you all enjoyed the Story ... or at least tolerated it. Bonus content is up next, though it turns out there's one stock ship that we haven't seen yet so the Ship Editor stuff is on hold until we run into that (which I assume will happen at some point in the official missions).
I think there's one lesson to be learned from this: never trust an Abraxis. Even if they don't call themselves that.