|Busy, busy, busy|
The following story mission is: 'Saving Tobias Planck'
After the disappointing 'Traitor Eradication' this is a good one. Bill Darius is sure that Jake Rattenbury will deliver the intel to the Mantis ASAP so you need to stop him. However to take on him and the remaining smugglers you need more fire power. He invites you to rendezvous with him and someone who wants to help.
On arrival at the rendezvous you discover that this someone is Major Ivanova in her repaired ship. Miss Bossy Boots then says that you and Bill are now conscripts in the Colonial forces. She's still miffed that you blew up her ship but she might forgive you in time. Now you and Bill need to follow her and some of her Guards to the smuggler HQ. The plan is to arrest Jake and the smugglers.
At this point the Major gives you four new Blueprints (BPS) for Colonial military ships. Namely the AnIn-2000 War Hawk (Storm), AnIn-2000 Space Tank (Tank), AnIn-2000 Light Engineer (Engineer) and the AnIn-2000 Speed Stun (Shock). Now I suppose you could go to orbit to buy and equip one of these before you continue with the mission but I just went ahead in my AnIn-1300 and completed first time.
As you approach the HQ you will see a honking big ship hanging over the building with lots of Mantis swarming about attacking the smugglers. You get the order to attack the mothership so dive in and have fun. Now things get hairy and you might struggle to keep up with what's going on while keeping yourself in one piece.
The Mantis start to fire on the smugglers' escape pods (Jake Rattenbury is amongst them) in order to kill the occupants. You have to collect the pods, both to save their lives and allow some healthy interrogation afterwards. Once you've got a few Ivanaova will tell you to scan her ship to initate the prisoner transfer. The mothership will have done a runner by now, and once the prisoners are transferred the major heads for orbit, then Axiom, to start the interrogation. Bill encourages you to follow him to orbit, but I stayed behind to collect all of the cryonite lying around and help the Colonial Guards against the local Sentinels who strayed into the fight.
This is a testing mission and might pod you due to all the ships flying about and constant instructions that need to be read. Good fun and significant in both story and your future as a pilot. Now you have to decide which AnIn-2000 ship to go for.