The following story mission is: 'Back to Mizar'
This is an enjoyable mission. Different from your usual objectives, challenging and justified by some tech gobbledy-gook that would sit nicely in an episode of Start Trek:TNG or Doctor Who.
Your first task is to rendezvous again with Layla Hornblower at the Carl Sagan lab. This is a royal pain in the backside, flying from one corner of the planet to the other. Not dangerous, just tedious. Still you may come across an Antares level pilot in need of help, so if you do, be nice and help them out.
At the Carl Sagan, Layla has a modified aggro beacon which you need to collect. Inside the beacon is your new Mantis-tech fusion core. It's cased in a material that 'leaches properties from one medium to another'. Once Mantis start to fire upon it then it will copy the energy signature to the core. If this works for any longer than 60 seconds then the atmospherics will contaminate the core. To try and increase the chance of you capturing the correct energy signature it needs to be attacked by three classes of Mantis to three different levels of intensity. You see? I can picture Geordi La Forge reciting this to Picard, or Amy Pond scowling as the 11th Doctor rattles it off, waving his sonic screwdriver around.
The outcome of all this techno-babble is that you have to take the aggro-beacon to three locations, and allow the mantis that appear there to deliver certain amounts of damage to the beacon within a 60 second window. Brilliant.
Once you reach the first location the beacon is automatically deposited. Layla then tells you that the beacon must receive at least 50% damage but no more than 65%. A few seconds later a group of level 20 Avengers arrive and start to fire on the aggro-beacon. The mission panel (activated by the CTRL key) shows the 60 second timer running down and if you select the beacon you can see the damage it's taking accumulate. You have to judge how long to let the Avengers fire before you blow them up to stop the damage. I was in my tank so I let them have a taste of my aggro-bomb which damaged them all but left them firing. Then when I saw the damage was approaching 50% I started to cull the Avengers.
After this you collect the beacon and go to the second and third locations where Rocketeers and then Marauders attack. The amount of damage required changes but the tolerances are quite wide. After you calibrate yourself you'll soon be through the mission. The first time I took this I failed on the Avengers, the second time on the Rocketeers. Third time was the charm and I completed.