If you were hoping to jump right into some swashbuckling action, then I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that this mission just serves as a sort of introduction to the Crimson Fleet; you’ll get a tour of their base and some nice exposition on their origins. The good news is you will eventually get a taste of the pirate life — if you’re not being a goody two shoes for SysDef.
You’ll start this mission exactly where Deep Cover ended, leaving Adler Kemp on Cydonia with the coordinates for a meeting. The first half of this mission has you hanging around the Sol system. For those of you that might be unaware, Europa is in Sol, in orbit around Jupiter. Go to it on the star map and travel there (Image 1).
Hail the Astraea
When you arrive in orbit, the Astraea will hail you, and you’ll have to accept the communication (Image 2). The captain will clarify for you that you’re about to join the Crimson Fleet — but they want you to take out a traitor first. You can ask them about the details, then you’re off to find the ship with the traitor.
Find the Ragana Near Enceladus
Just like going to the Astraea, follow your quest marker, and it should lead you to a location near the rings of Saturn in the Sol System (Image 3). As soon as you arrive, you’ll be hailed by the ship’s pilot.
The player has some agency in dealing with the traitor, Austin Rake, aboard the Regina. While there are plenty of options for pirating it up, you really only have one option when it comes to adhering to UC SysDef’s ethics. Let’s look at our courses of action and their consequences (Image 4):
Spare Austin Rake — Board the ship, explain you’re with UC SysDef and spare the traitor (UC SysDef happy).
Have Ragana’s Crew kill Austin Rake — Can be done while hailing the ship, or can be done after boarding the ship. Player must successfully persuade the ship’s pilot. (UC Sys Def mad or furious,Ddepending on how many crew die).
Kill Everyone — You could either blow up the ship, or board and takeout Austin and all the witnesses (UC SysDef furious).
If you choose any options other than ‘Spare Austin Rake’, then you will receive a warning and first strike from Commander Ikande. He’ll say that if it happens again, then you’ll be locked up. The only reason that you might want to board the ship and be bad (if you’re playing on the side of UC SysDef) is for the Ship Captain’s Uniform. The ship’s pilot is wearing it, and this is the only mission where you’ll find it.
Return to the Astraea and Fend off the Ecliptic Fighters
When you return to report to Naeva, you and the Astraea will set upon by Ecliptic mercenaries (Image 5). It shouldn’t be too hard of a dog fight. However, if you find it challenging, then try to boost around the fight while the Astraea takes out the enemies.
Hail the Astraea
Unlike the other hails, you will have to initiate this one yourself. Fly towards the other ship and select it; you’ll have to hold down the button that says ‘Hail’ (Image 6). Upon reporting your deeds to Naeva, you’ll be given an invitation to the base of the Crimson Fleet, The Key.
Report to the Vigilance and Speak to Commander Ikande
The Vigilance is still in the same spot it was before, the orbit of Phobos in the Sol System. Go to the ship, dock it, and board, then take the elevator up to the command center. Commander Ikande will be waiting for you. He will already have a pretty good idea about what happened, and he will either give you his praise or condemnation depending on how Austin Rake and the Ragana were handled.
You will also be handed profiles on three of the Crimson Fleet members (Image 7):
Adler Kemp — The contact in Cydonia
Naeva Mora — Second in command of the Crimson Fleet
Delgado — Leader of the Crimson fleet
You can read these from your inventory if you want more background on whom you’ll be working with / infiltrating. You can also take this opportunity to turn in your first piece of evidence that you should’ve collected during Deep Cover, for the mission, Burden of Proof.
Travel to The Key and Dock
It’s very annoying, but you can’t fast travel from the Vigilance; you must undock your ship, then go to the star map. You will find the Kryx System in the upper right quadrant of the star map (Image 8). Simply traveling to the system will put you right at The Key, then all you have to do is dock.
Speak to Naeva and Follow Her
Okay, it’s time for the tour! When you arrive at the Key, Naeva will be waiting to greet you and show you around (Image 9). What’s more, she will also give you a brief historical debrief about the space station, the Crimson Fleet, and its operations. She’ll walk you through each of the main parts of the Key and give some info at every one:
Ship Technician — Jazz is the Fleet’s ship tech. She’ll be working on a door during the tour. You can visit her for unique ship upgrades like shielded cargo to help you smuggle goods.
The Depot — This is basically the traders’ corner of the Key. There are several merchants here and a Trade Authority that’ll buy illegal loot from you.
The Clinic — You have to pay to get healed.
The Last Nova — Rowdy pirate bar.
The Reckoner’s Core — Here, you’ll meet Shinya Voss who is basically the fixer for the Crimson Fleet (Image 10). He handles the money, and next to the core are the computer consoles where you can find extra (generic) pirating missions.
Speak to Delgado
After you’re done talking with Shinya, you can go meet the boss. He’s probably one of the most interesting characters in Starfield. To reach the center of operations, you’ll need to take the elevator by the Reckoner’s Core. You’ll have a mission marker, but if you get lost, just pull out your scanner and it should lead you (Image 11).
When you meet the boss, he’ll give you a quick run down of the Fleet and tell you about your initiation (Image 12). Respond to the dialogue anyway you like. You will also meet another Crimson Fleet recruit, Mathis, who’ll be tagging along on the next mission.
After the conversation is over, the mission is finished and you’ll receive your rewards.
Kelson is a spud head from out west. He is most happy when holding a milky tea with too much honey and playing a sprawling role playing game or reading a fantasy novel. His video game tastes vary but his main genres are looter shooters, RPGs, and real time strategy games.