Athena is a large centipede like creature that leads the massive hordes of Infested that were breeding in the Bio-Domes. She is nearly impervious to damage, but relatively slow. Athena was captured alive before the events of the Apollo Security Team Campaign, but HAL releases her on the Security Team. Athena's genetic form is highly unstable, and she must create Cellular Structures to help maintain her current state.
Before tackling Athena, you will be instructed to activate the Devastators in the Airlock, along with a bonus objective of activating generators across Apollo. The Devastators will add some much needed firepower, though if Athena attacks them, they won't last long. Attempting to activate the Power Generators at this point is ill advised as time is limited.
HAL will unleash Athena from the Containment Pen, and the battle will begin. Any preparations for the battle should ideally have been done before activating the Ivax, but any last minute ones should be done now. She will move toward the team along with hordes of infested.
The main strategy for dealing with Athena involves keeping Athena and her hordes at bay while waiting for her to lay Cellular Structures. Athena is invulnerable until a Cellular Structure is destroyed.
Teams typically choose to hold the high ground in the Airlock commonly referred to as "EC Muta." players then use a mix of stuns to immobilize Athena and push her back. Classes like the Psi-Ops and Technician are particularly useful. The L3 Grenade Launcher is also great for keeping her occupied. Use a mix of Force Push, Mad Spark, and Nanosteel Net to keep her back.
Athena will occasionally lay a Cellular Structure. These bright gold organs should be easy to spot. They can not be targeted directly, but can be killed with splash damage. Weapons like the Stinger MK-3 and L3 Grenade Launcher work well. Also, AOE skills can be used.
Once a Cellular Structure has been killed, a message will appear saying Athena is vulnerable. She will be bleeding profusely, and now is the time to attack. Pummel her with everything. Inception does not help here, as it slows down game speeds, but not game time. Athena is weakened for 10 game seconds - the reduced fire rate of allied weapons means you will deal out less damage with inception being activated. Any damage inflicted during this period is permanent, and Athena cannot heal it. If she does not become vulnerable, concentrate on stalling her and her mobs until she lays another Cellular Structure. Then, try again.
Cellular Structures are bright gold in color. Their type classification is Biological, but they have no other armor type. Cellular Structures are Detectors.
Athena is completely invulnerable to direct damage unless one of her Cellular Structures is destroyed. Note that Athena will still take damage from Open Wounds and Venom inflicted by the Technician's Exhaust. She will periodically lay a bright gold organ like structure. This must be killed in order to make Athena vulnerable to damage. Athena's Cellular Structures will only weaken Athena if they are killed within approximately 2 range of her. If they are killed out of range, nothing will happen. They are not directly targetable, and high splash damage weapons and skills must be used to hit them. Once destroyed, Athena has a 50% chance to become vulnerable to damage for 10 seconds. If visible, a Cellular Structure will be displayed on the Mini-Map with an Infestation Symbol.