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Stealing the Avenger
- Main Article: Heist of the Avenger Prototype
In the final days of the Terran-Vasudan War, the Galactic Terran Alliance discovered that McCarthy had defected to the Vasudans along with several fighters and personnel. McCarthy had somehow obtained a copy of the plans for the new Avenger cannon, which he intended to sell to the Vasudans. The GTD Galatea was assigned to capture McCarthy and retrieve the stolen plans.
McCarthy was tracked down and captured while he was transfering the plans to his Vasudan contact aboard the PVT Rasputin. All of McCarthy's loyalist pilots were killed by the GTA, and McCarthy himself was captured and put on trial.
- See also: The McCarthy trials
At the time of his theft, the existence of the Shivans was not common knowledge among the Terran population. McCarthy apparently knew of the Shivans' existence and shared this information with his loyalist pilots—during the capture operation, McCarthy's pilots alluded to the events at Ross 128 and claimed that "the Vasudans are the least of our worries." It is possible that McCarthy hoped to strengthen the Vasudans so that they would be better able to face the Shivans.
Given his knowledge of the truth behind the Ross 128 attack, his knowledge of the existence of the Avenger prototype, and his ability to carry out his theft of the plans from the depot at just the right time, it is quite likely that McCarthy had connections with high-ranking military authorities, perhaps even in Terran Intelligence.
In FreeSpace 2, McCarthy was mentioned in the command briefing introducing the player to the 242nd Suicide Kings. It was stated that the capture of McCarthy was the Suicide Kings' first mission.