For years prior to 2669, the Kilrathi Empire vied for control of the Locanda System, home to several human colonies of the Terran Confederation. Little is known about how the conflict broke out or Locanda's full strategic value, but it was apparently home to a fair amount of natural resources, perfect for the construction of Kilrathi vessels and weapons. Some prior to 2669, the Kilrathi Empire invaded Locanda and all of its native colonies, forcing Confed to pull out and wage war on the invaders. The Kilrathi then enslaved the human colonists and forced them to harvest the system's resources, leading to the deaths of many humans and a significant amount of damage to their homeworlds.
The Death SentenceEdit
During the year 2669, Crown Prince Thrakhath nar Kiranka and the Royal Fleet arrived at Locanda for an evaluation of its status. Thrakhath's retainer, Melek, informed the Crown Prince that the Locanda System had been effectively depleted of all natural resources and that the Terran slaves were of little use to the Kilrathi anymore. Thrakhath didn't care, stating that the Empire had plenty of slaves. He decided that the Locanda System was now strategically worthless to the war effort, and decided to "surrender" it and its remaining population to the Terran Confederation. In reality, Thrakhath sought to exterminate all life within the system and render the system worthless to the Terrans as well. With this decision came the initiation of Operation: Unseen Death.
Thrakhath's plans were to employ the use of the Kilrathi Empire's highly lethal yet often-denied biological weapons. A Kilrathi force would be sent to the largest Terran colony of Locanda, Locanda IV, and terminate the population with bio-tipped Skipper warheads. The warheads would be detonated high in the atmosphere for high air bursts that would allow for a Kilrathi-made virus to infect the entire planet within mere minutes. The virus was rumored to have a half-life of 500 years, so Locanda IV would be rendered unsuitable for human life for over nearly 1,000 years. The civilians would die slow, agonizing deaths and the virus would spread across the entire star system, infecting every unfortunate soul still within its perimeter, be they on a planet or a spacecraft. The Terran Confederation would then be forced to abandon and quarantine the system permanently.
Operation: Unseen DeathEdit
The Kilrathi set their plans in motion during the middle months of 2669 and began to pull out their raiding parties, who had spent years harassing the colonists. The Terran Confederation grew suspicious of these Kilrathi activities and sent the TCS Victory to investigate. Until they knew more about Thrakhath's intent, they focused their efforts on destroying the raiders so that the colonists would be free of their abuse. one of the Victory pilots, Lieutenant Robin Peters, was born on Locanda IV, so she took the mission in Locanda more personally than her wingmen. Some feared that her personal feelings might interfere with her battlefield performance. For the most part, the Victory strikes against Kilrathi raiding vessels were successful, but they still had little evidence of what was truly going on.
The Kilrathi pulled out most of their remaining ships and then sent a Bhantkara-class Heavy Carrier, the KIS Sar'hrai, to track down and destroy the Victory before the vessel could interfere with the attack. However, the Victory spotted the vessel and was able to avoid direct contact with it. After the Kilrathi pulled out all essential assets, a single Ralarrad-class Light Destroyer was sent to launch the biological attack on Locanda IV. By this point, the Victory crew realized that this was probably a biological attack, and they immediately raced to Locanda IV's defense. Colonel Christopher Blair and his wingmen intercepted the Destroyer, which was already launching biological warheads at the planet. Blair's strike team fought off attacking squadrons and ran for the missiles, but their efforts ultimately proved to be in vain. Five warheads struck Locanda IV high in the atmosphere, dooming the population and infecting the entire Locanda System. The Victory called back all patrolling pilots, aware that if they waited too long, they too would be infected.
Before retreating, the Victory reported to Colonel Blair that Lt. Peters had indeed lost it and was now engaging the Kilrathi strike force against Captain William Eisen's orders. The Victory requested that Blair set out to rescue her, and Blair complied. He found Peters engaging a Kilrathi Fralthi II-class Cruiser and moved quickly to pull her out. Despite some due hesitance from Lt. Peters and a fierce Kilrathi resistance, the two Terran pilots escaped and made it back on to the Victory. The Confed Fleet then fled the system, leaving millions of suffering colonists behind.
The success of Operation: Unseen Death had its intended effects. Confed now had no use for the Locanda System, and was forced to quarantine it. The citizens of Locanda IV very slowly but completely died off in the following weeks. Lieutenant Peters was forever disturbed by Confed's failure to save her homeworld. Along with Locanda, the Trafalgar and Delius Systems suffer similar attacks, resulting in major Confederation losses. To worsen the situation, the fall of Locanda also destabilized the balance of power in the sector. The Blackmane System, a Confed stronghold, had no means by which to hold back the Kilrathi onslaught, forcing Confed to shut down the Blackmane Base. All personnel and equipment were shipped to the friendly systems of Torgo and Vespus. The disaster at Locanda killed millions of Confederation citizens and badly crippled the Confederation's war efforts in that sector, further boosting the Kilrathi's advance into Terran space.
In the PC version of WC3, there is more than one possible outcome to the Locanda missions. If the player succeeds in destroying the Kilrathi warheads, Locanda IV will be saved and Operation: Unseen Death fails. This in turn allows Confed to preserve its vital position in the Blackmane System, forcing the Kilrathi to slow their advance and buying millions of Confed citizens more time to rally their forces.
Blair also has the choice of whether to rescue Lt. Peters or not. Even if you do not pursue her, Lt. Laurel Buckley will instead rescue her unscathed. Both decisions lead to the same outcome, with Peters returning home alive.