Part 11: The Die is Cast4.2: The Die is Cast
She's obviously crazy. We're going to complete our mission and save those diplomats.
I won't have the blood of civilians on my hands, Ava.
Noble of you. But know this captain: War between the Alliance and PACT will happen one way or another. All we would be doing would be hastening the process. Every second we wait, PACT will have conquered one more neutral world and grown that much stronger. The quicker the war between the Alliance and PACT begins, the more lives we can save in the end.
Duly noted. What's our next step?
Avas a good XO, and devils advocates whatever choice we make.
All right. Will we be bringing them aboard?
Actually, they've arranged to escape on the civilian liner Agamemnon. We'll be providing escort in case things get hairy.
A civilian liner? I'm not so sure ...
They tell me interstellar law prohibits them from coming aboard a foreign military vessel.
One challenge after another. Keep me posted, Ava.
Lets see how the rest of the crew feels about this.
Yes, this is the new uniform for non-Cera ryder pilots. Just just go with it.
I presume you've heard the rumors about the mercenary we've captured.
Well, we're still gonna rescue those diplomats, aren't we? And beat up the PACT fleet, of course!
I don't think we'll be able to destroy the whole invasion fleet by ourselves, Asaga ...
Don't worry, don't worry! Just leave it to me and mah Black Jack! We'll take care of the invasion fleet in no time!
What do you think about what the mercenary said?
You gotta stand for what's right! We're gonna win this fight the hard way, but the right way!
You're right. We're going to win this war with our principles intact.
Hell yeah, capt'n!
Thanks for the talk, Asaga.
I'll see you later!
What's your take on what's going on with the mercenary?
Ummm ... I'm not very good with making decisions, so I think you'd be much better suited to thinking about it than I am Eh-heh. Whatever the captain decides, I'm sure it'll be the right decision.
Thanks for the vote of confidence, Chigara. Hows the research station coming?
Ah, I've finished setting my equipment up. Even though it's still at the beginning stages, I'll be able to get started on some basic research projects.
Great, let's see what projects need funding ...
The R&D station lets you upgrade (or even downgrade) almost every aspect of your units.
Funds are limited this early but I upgrade the Libertys energy reactor. More energy per turn = more ways to mess up enemy defenses.
I should be focused on getting them out of here safe, but I can't get what the mercenary said out of my mind. Some part of me feels that she has some ulterior motive and she's tricking us all. Maybe she's a PACT spy leading us into a trap. Maybe the diplomats know something that PACT doesn't want getting out and she's just fooling us into silencing them. Or maybe she's really telling the truth.
Security to my quarters, now!
Of course, I've already disabled all communication out of this room as well.
What do you want, mercenary?
I never imagined that I'd find myself onboard a Cera vessel. It must be hard, being the only ship left.
I don't disagree, but we get by.
Tell me ... How many people died at Cera that day?
Your attempts at manipulating me won't work, mercenary.
Who's that in the picture album behind you?
That's none of your business.
She looks young. You don't seem like a father though, so I'm thinking... your sister?
You're walking on thin ice. I suggest you drop it.
What's the matter, captain? Did I hit a soft spot?
I know what it's like to lose family. Listen to me, captain. PACT killed my entire family years ago. I swore I'd get them back for what they did, and I'm finally so close. We can work together, you and I. Let's bring the Alliance into this war. I'll even work for you as a pilot if you're going after PACT.
What if I said I don't trust you?
Get with the program, captain. Everyone in the Alliance military knows that war is inevitable. You can save those diplomats now, and with each passing day PACT will conquer another planet. Millions more will lose their lives until PACT finally runs out of neutral planets to conquer and turns to Alliance space.
Then there will be an interstellar war of unimaginable proportions, with PACT bringing to bear the resources of every planet of the Neutral Rim against the Alliance.
While a few may have to be sacrificed, you will save the lives of millions. Admiral Grey understands this. Thats why he hired me to ensure those diplomats never make it out of Verstra space.
And why would Admiral Grey send us here to save the diplomats and then hire you to make sure they get captured by PACT?
Admiral Grey still has to obey President Alythe. The President has ordered that war with PACT is to be avoided at all costs. That's why the admiral used official channels to send the Sunrider here to protect the diplomats. Then unofficially he contacted me to ensure that the diplomats are captured. If the Solar Congress continues to be mired in politics while PACT swallows up the entire Neutral Rim, the Alliance military will act to protect its citizens, with or without the support of the civilian leaders.
So, what will it be captain? Will you stand by while PACT conquers one neutral planet after another, growing more powerful with each day, or will you make a stand and stop PACT once and for all?
This is where you can change your choice, but at this point I think the thread was pretty clear about how they felt, so
I hate PACT and everything they stand for. That includes killing innocents to accomplish your goals. Now get back to the brig where you belong.
You don't understand, captain. PACT is evil. They don't care about the lives of innocents. We have to act now to stop them, before it's too late!
We still have a duty to our humanity on board this ship. I will not condone abandoning innocents.
PACT must be stopped no matter what, and I won't let you interfere with my mission.
Are you alright?
I ran up here as soon as I realized the mercenary escaped. Looks like I was almost too late.
Find her and detain her!
All pilots, scramble your ryders and pursue!
O-oh! Press quick save, Chigara, it's go time!
What's going on down there!?
Oh nuthin', was just in the middle of a game, that's all!
They were off duty ....
Contact! PACT signatures detected!
All hands, battle stations, battle stations, battle stations. Set condition one throughout the ship! This is not a drill, repeat, this is not a drill.
It's the PACT invasion fleet. They arrived here early.
Just one thing after another. Asaga, come in.
Focus on defending the diplomats against the PACT fleet, and keep your eyes out for that mercenary ryder. I have the feeling she'll be back to interfere with our mission.
Bring us alongside the Agamemnon. A civilian transport won't last long against that PACT fleet without the Sunrider's cover fire.
Aye captain. We are being hailed by the Agamemnon.
Put her through.
Glad to be here. Stay close and let us do the fighting. Warp as soon as we leave Versta's gravity well with or without us.
Uh, Agamemnon, did we just hear that last transmission correctly?
(As if this couldn't get any worse! So that's why they were so against escaping with us!)
This mission just got even more complicated.
If you had agreed with Icari to let the diplomats get captured/killed (the game is a bit unclear on what exactly PACT is going to do to them), you have one last chance to change your mind here. I was going to let the thread vote again with this new information, but you all were pretty clear, so ...
All ryders: your orders are to defend the Agamemnon at all costs. Don't let a single PACT unit through.
Understood, captain! Don't worry, we'll keep those children safe!
All ryders, launch!