- Edmund Duke's distress call(src)
With the fringe world colony of Antiga Prime in open revolt against the Terran Confederacy after joining the Sons of Korhal, General Edmund Duke and Alpha Squadron were tasked to quell the uprising.
During the revolt, the Zerg Swarm moved against Antiga Prime and engaged Alpha Squadron is orbit around the planet. Duke's command ship, the battlecruiser Norad II, took heavy damage in the attack and crash landed on Antiga Prime in the midst of a zerg hive cluster.
Arcturus Mengsk ordered Captain Jim Raynor to save Duke from the zerg. Though Raynor and Lieutenant Sarah Kerrigan protested, Mengsk believed Duke could be a valuable ally if he was convinced to join their cause.
Raynor and the Sons of Korhal pushed the zerg back and brought dropships to the wreck of the Norad II to evacuate survivors. Mengsk addressed Duke, telling him the Confederacy was falling apart, their colonies either in open revolt of being destroyed by the zerg and protoss. Mengsk offered Duke a choice; remain with the Confederacy and lose the war, or help the Sons of Korhal save the sector from invasion. Duke swallowed his pride and accepted, and he and Alpha Squadron joined the Sons of Korhal.
The player can quickly move to the nearby Alpha Squadron base and take control of it. The player also gains control of the Norad II at this time, in a crater in the midst of the zerg. A pair of bunkers with a handful of marines, SCVs, and goliaths, defend the Norad II. Throughout the mission, small numbers of zerg will attack this position. If the defenders fall and the Norad II is destroyed, the mission is lost. As long as the player keeps their forces repaired after each attack, they can hold the zerg at bay easy enough. Though the physical distance between the Norad II and the player's base is short, the cliff contains a massive number of zerg that will obliterate any air units the player attempts to send over them.
The larger numbers of zerg scourge makes wraiths of little use, so the player should focus on ground forces for this mission. An expansion north of their base should be taken soon, and the player can build up a force of marines, firebats, and goliaths, and upgrade them. The armory is unlocked in this mission, allowing the player to upgrade their mechanical forces in addition to their infantry. The immediate entrance to the Surtur Brood base is a tight choke point and a poor option for an attack. Instead, the player can move their forces to the far north-west corner of the map, and attack to the south-east from high ground, where the zerg defenses are weaker. This high ground is also close to the Garm Brood base, but the player does not need to attack them to reach the Norad II.
With the Surtur Brood destroyed, the player can move their forces to the eastern edge of the map and up to the high ground around the Norad II, clearing out the zerg so the player's dropships can reach the ship. When the dropships and Raynor reach the beacon, the mission is won.
A simpler way to win the mission is to build a number of marines and move them to the eastern cliffs separating the base from the Norad II. With a comsat station or an air unit, the player can gain vision to the high ground and destroy the spore colonies there. The player can then use dropships to ferry their marines onto the cliff and clear the way for the dropships to fly Raynor to the beacon. Alternatively, by carefully navigating 4 starships, it is possible to reach NOMAD II in a hard way. Enemy AA will automatically target the nearest air target, so use it as bait and be sure to put Raynor in the safest position in the formation. Correct route is as follows: (1) first rally point should be the expansion base to the north (2) fly along the cliff, head east, at the 2nd ramp (1st one will be the 'backdoor' of Surtur), turn south to reach the plateau full of Zerg defensive towers (but no scourges), north of NOMAD (3) Rush to the beacon at full speed and remember to put Raynor's ship as the last. This way the beacon can be reached at the expense of only 1-2 ships.
When the mission is extracted and viewed in a map editor, the mission's name is "New Year's Day," referring to the approximate date of the mission being the end of the year 2499. With the next mission occuring in early January 2500, this mission may take place on December 31st or January 1st, but this has not been confirmed.