Black Dawn is the first cutscene of the game and the first part of the story. It takes place on January 27th, 2012. If you join Entry Point for the first time, then pressing "New Game" will start this cutscene.
On January 27th, 2012 at 22:45 an assault is carried out by 3 Halcyon operatives (Rose, Updraft and Pathfinder with Wren as the mission coordinator) at the Dawn Valley Defense Lab in Phoenix, Arizona, to destroy the lab and also get Project Onyx files, hiding it from the organization's client, who only ordered the destruction of the facility. The assailants breach into the laboratory and take the scientists inside the laboratory hostage. One of the operatives, Rose, proceeds to torch open a locked door. She hacks a computer, gets the intel they came for and the operatives make their escape blowing the lab up in the process, killing the scientists.
At 23:52, a mysterious man who later turned out to be Jackdaw attacks the escape van in Tonto National Forest, shooting it with a Thumper. Halcyon loses contact with its operatives, meanwhile, Jackdaw kills Updraft and Pathfinder with S97, shooting them both three times. Jackdaw then shoots Rose twice, steals the Project Onyx files, and escapes. Police come and find Rose half dead and arrest her, only to later give her to Steel Cove.
The cutscene ends with the sound and the light of police sirens.
More detailed information can be found in The Freelancer lock file.
- The original version of this cutscene featured a dead operative lying in a pool of blood after the escape van was blown up. The pool of blood was later removed to comply with Xbox‘s stricter Inappropriate Content Guidelines, allowing Entry Point to be compliant with these guidelines and be playable by users on Xbox.
- The original version of this cutscene featured the song The Hand That Feeds by Nine Inch Nails, but it was changed to Competitive Action due to copyright issues. It was then changed to Break Free as we know it today.