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(Yellow patterns move about the screen, the Interplay logo appears before the colors turn more into blue with black spots. The Volition logo appears while the pattern goes more intense, before revealing it to be part of an engine of a lone heavily damaged GTF Apollo flying away)
Lt. Ash (The pilot): Oh God! They're following me. Mayday! This is Lieutenant Ash on Terran patrol, wing Gamma three-niner reporting. Taken heavy damage. Requesting immediate fighter cover and rescue. Come in, anybody! Mayday! Requesting immediate assistance! Anyone please?!
(The camera switches over a GTI Arcadia with the following subtitle)
(GTA Installation Riviera - Ross 128 System)
Riviera tech: Barely receiving you, Gamma three-niner, this is Terran outpost Riviera responding. What is your situation?
Lt. Ash: Oh thank God! My wing was ambushed. We didn't have a chance. I'm sure they're tracking me.
Riviera tech: Calm down, sir. Who attacked you? Was it the Vasudans?
Lt. Ash: Vasudans were killed, too. They slaughtered everyone.
(An Unknown Fighter from behind shoots at Ash. The pilot dodges the attack)
Riviera tech: Sir, you have to calm down. You were attacked by Vasudans, is that true?
Lt. Ash: No! No! We were in a skirmish with a Vasudan patrol and they just came out of nowhere and killed everyone.
Riviera tech: (raising hands in fustration) Who came out of nowhere, pilot?
Lt. Ash: I don't know. They weren't Vasudan and they weren't Terran. Oh God. They had these death black ships. (Riviera tech keeps trying to interrupt him). And they flew like... their weapons were too much. They wasted everyone.
(The same unknown fighter again shoots at Ash, hitting the Apollo's hull several times)
Riviera tech: Pilot, sit tight! We're sending recovery craft right now.
Lt. Ash: Send fighters! I... I know they're following me. Send everything you've have now!
Riviera tech: Sir, I don't have anyone else on scope. You're home free. It's going to be alright.
(The Apollo is within view of Riviera)
Lt Ash: No it isn't! You don't understand! You weren't there...
(Another hit impacts the hull, the Apollo begins to slow down)
Lt Ash: I can feel them following me.
(Jump points form from behind, a colossal jump point forms in front of him)
Lt. Ash: (Panicking) Oh my god. I'm dead! We're all dead!
Riviera tech: Picking up unknown jump signatures.
(An unknown destroyer begins to work its way into space, rapidly closing the distance from it and Ash)
Riviera tech: Scramble the fighters!
Lt. Ash: It's too late. Oh God!
Riviera tech: What the hell is that?
(A swarm of unknown fighters shoots at Ash, impacting numerous times)
Lt. Ash: (As his fighter explodes) Aaaaargghhhhhh!
(The front half of the Apollo blocks the screen, the Freespace name is shown, before going to the main menu)
Ours was a proud people, and always the strongest. For thousands of years our empire expanded. For so long we could imagine ourselves alone in the universe. For so long never did we encounter advanced life. And we travelled faster and further, spreading in our galaxy and before long we could see the day when our reachable systems would have been exploited. And then there would be nowhere else to go.
And we discovered subspace. It gave us our galaxy and it gave us the universe. And we saw other advanced life. And we subdued it or we crushed it. In months the extermination of billions of years of evolution on a similar but slower path. With subspace, our empire would surely know no boundaries.
Terran scientist: Ready?
Vasudan scientist: All set. Starting sequence fifty-two gamma. 5... 4... 3... (Power levels stead at 1.2 gigawatts.) 2... 1... Heat sinks are holding steady.
Terran scientists: And sequence 2 in 3... 2... 1... mark. That's it. It held. Reading 59 percent energy loss but it held!
Admiral Wolf: Good morning, pilots. I'm going to get right to it. The Shivan forces are sprouting up everywhere and it's no secret that our frontlines are taking a beating. As you probably know, no one has been able to communicate with them and Terran Intelligence has no leads on their origins or their motives. On the upside, their shielding technology seems to be working just fine for us. By this afternoon all fighters stationed on the Galatea will have been fitted with them. Try to keep them intact, alright?
The cruiser Taranis is suspected to be the source of command for the Shivans in this sector. It's here in the Ikeya system and we suspect it's low on fighters and supplies due to its recent attack runs. We have reason to believe it will soon jump to another system to resupply. We don't know where it will jump to, but there is only one subspace node out of Ikeya and we intend to blockade it.
In the interests of learning more about the slippery bastards we're going to attempt something bold. The capture of the Taranis. If this goes off it will give us the opportunity to examine Shivan technology up close, and bag a few live Shivans in the process. In order to do this, we will conduct a series of missions designed to take out the cruiser's escorts and defenses. Time to chip away at the boulder, people. That is all. Report to your flight leaders for your orders.
When the destroyers came for us, we attacked. Never had we been defeated. They are like the others. Strange, hideous, resisting, fighting. Only these were not like the others. They did not die.
We made our first retreat. We could forego one system. We left it to the destroyers and went elsewhere. But they followed, they hunted us. They followed us when we retreated, discovered where we lived.
For a long time, we did not know why they chased us. They were no ordinary enemy. They did not seek our territory, our technology, our resources.
Now we know our crime was sin.
(Captured Shivan freighter. Antares system.)
-Control, this is boarding party Bravo Two. Entering disabled freighter.
-Roger Bravo Two. Keep the chatter to a minimum.
-Bravo Two, your signal is getting weak.
-Copy that. Point go.
-No sign of anything.
-Squad two, go.
-Probably all dead, anyway.
-Cut the chatter, dammit.
-Contact 30 meters ahead.
-Report, Bravo Two.
-Form up, everyone.
-Negative. I don't...
-What the hell is that!
-Oh my God!
-Bravo Two, what's going on? Please respond.
-Oh my God! No. No!
And we retreated to our home system. Abandoned our empire. We believed at home we would be safe. For they are not a terrestrial species.
We know when we entered subspace we were trespassers. But our planet is our home. And yet still they came. And our world is gone.
There are a few of us left. We know we will soon be gone. And so we can see our fate as others will see it. There will be little legacy. No great expressions of what we once were. Our technology, our achievements if ever they are seen again will spawn none of the awe that filled our conquests.
We know our fate. We are being eliminated. When we traveled subspace, the cosmic destroyers took note.
When we conquered and colonized in galaxies where we had no place the destruction and the anguish and the loss were the clarion call of our doom. And so the destroyers came for us
There is little left for us. Little time. But much irony.
We did discover they are not invulnerable. The destroyers that darkened our skies like a plague can be harmed. But we have no way to deliver the hurt.
We have the knowledge but not the means. And so this is our legacy. In subspace, they cannot use their shields. And into subspace they can be tracked.
I know why the Ancient ones were destroyed and I know what they knew. I know that if not for the Shivans, they would have perished long before. Without the Shivans, someone would have discovered the Ancients in their infancy, and eliminated them, just surely as they eliminated countless billions of others.
I believe it is only the destroyers who are killed. The Shivans are the great destroyers but they are also the great preservers. That is why when we moved into space there was no one powerful enough to kill us. Long had we been the destroyer. Our turn had nearly come.
In the Vasudan war, we learned how to adapt, we learned how to study our enemy, we learned how to overcome, we learned how to survive. And so we did.
All the jump points from Earth are gone. But the Shivans can rebuild them. I'm told we can expect them again, but not in my lifetime. Such is liberation.