|The following information has not been confirmed by Volition |
and is therefore not canon for the FreeSpace universe.
The nature of the Vishnans is not fully understood, but they appear to be 'Great Preservers', counterparts to the Shivans in their role as the Great Destroyers.
Blue Planet Tech Room Descriptions
Vishnans and the 14th Battlegroup
The following information is classified level Omega, restricted to members of the GTVA Security Council.
We have a great deal of information on the Vishnans. It is, as a rule, completely unreliable. Two members of the 14th Battlegroup's officer corps appear to have engaged in Nagari Process communication with the Vishnans by means of quantum pulse transduction in specialized human neural structures. The Vishnans provided them with what we believe to be a selective, goal-based set of information about their species.
The Vishnans were encountered in a parallel reality accessed by an interaction between the 14th Battlegroup's meson reactors and the Sol Portal. We suspect that this transit was not accidental, and may even have been incited by Vishnan interference in order to achieve an objective.
The Vishnans subverted the crew of the GTC Duke by using quantum pulses to directly manipulate their neural strata. They used the Duke to draw the 14th Battlegroup into the N362 system, where the 14th retrieved the Terran sleeper ship Sanctuary. After moving through an Ancient-constructed Knossos device in N362, the 14th's scout wings encountered the as-yet-unnamed Vishnans. These wings were apparently destroyed.
When a Nagari-sensitive pilot approached the Vishnans in a Pegasus stealth fighter, the Vishnans seemed to recognize the pilot. Brain scans taken aboard the GTD Temeraire indicate remote activation of the pilot's memories by action potential manipulation. We do not fully understand what occurred during this mission, but GTVI analysts believe that the pilot may have been marked by Vishnan action since birth, leading the Vishnans to scan his memories and activate concealed goals. This suggests that the Vishnans are active in our own universe as well as this parallel reality.
After this encounter, the pilot in question displayed increasingly erratic behavior, culminating in his departure to join the Vishnans. During his time with them, he was informed that the Vishnans were psychic beings of pure thought that could move between universes, and that they served as Great Preservers to counteract and balance out the Shivans. We consider it likely that this information was greatly simplified.
The Vishnans assisted the 14th Battlegroup in defeating a Lucifer superdestroyer and returning to their home universe. During the final transit of the modified Sol node, the pilot reported a vision in which the Shivans and Vishnans communicated with each other. This vision included mention of a 'Great Creator' species and an apparent command structure between the Shivans and Vishnans.
We consider the accuracy of this information to be suspect. It was relayed directly to the pilot by the Vishnans, and there is no reason to believe it was anything but a highly simplified version of an utterly alien interaction. We have no way of knowing what the Vishnans want with the human species or how trustworthy they may be.
Vishnans — What We Know
What we do know is this:
The Vishnans were named by Samuel Bei. They do not refer to themselves as Vishnans, nor to the Shivans as Shivans. They have the ability to scan, subvert, and manipulate human minds via the Nagari process, learning rapidly and comprehensively. This makes them incredibly dangerous.
The presence of a Knossos in the parallel N362 suggests the Ancients had contact with the Vishnans, yet the Vishnans did not save them from the Shivans. This suggests that Vishnan motives are not purely benevolent, and certainly not simply helpful 'Great Preservers'. Scans of N362 in our universe indicate that an inactive Knossos portal is present in the system. Given the consequences of activation of the last Knossos portal, no attempts have yet been made to power up or activate the device. However, analysis of the artifact by Dr. Mina Hargrove's team suggests that it was last active just over fifty years ago, and that it could be activated again if an appropriate code was uploaded to its onboard control systems. GTVI believes that data transmitted from the GTC Duke during its sojourn to a parallel N362 contained the code, but the Duke defected to the Federation at the beginning of the recent war for the liberation of Sol. It is possible that a particular combat spacecraft from the 222nd Nightwolves contains the intact code, but an onboard accident aboard the GTD Temeraire shortly after the opening of the war somehow led to the destruction of this spacecraft's records. GTVI is investigating.
Our tentative simulations suggest that the Vishnan 'Great Psyche' is a subspace stack entity, a sophisticated construct that exploits energy gradients in subspace to perform computation and cognition. Because subspace surrounds and connects universes, this entity exists outside time and space, and is capable of observing the entire space-time bulk. This grants it complete knowledge of all events past and future, although this knowledge may be hampered by quantum uncertainty. The origin of this entity is unknown, but we believe it may be artificial in nature.
The Vishnan ships present in the physical universe are agents of this entity. They may be constructed in subspace and delivered to target universes, or built on the scene. In any case, these individual aspects of the Great Psyche appear to be fragmented instances of the overall Vishnan entity charged with specific tasks and possessed of limited knowledge and agency. Loss of contact with the Great Psyche leads to inactivation and effective death.
The Vishnans in the parallel reality accessed by the 14th Battle Group were unaware of the particulars of human existence or of specific local events until Samuel Bei provided them with this information. However, the Vishnan Great Psyche as a whole appears to have instigated the 14th Battle Group's transit in an effort to accomplish a goal related to the GTD Sanctuary.
A more alarming possibility is that the Vishnans were, in fact, attempting to manipulate the officers of the 14th Battle Group into a mindset where they would be unable to accomplish their original missions.
In line with the multiple findings produced by Project Nagari, the Security Council has agreed to proceed with contingency MORPHEUS.
- Vishnan Missionary
- Vishnan Preacher
- Vishnan Seeker
- Vishnan Inquisitor
- Vishnan Protector
- Vishnan Arbiter
- Vishnan Sacred Keeper
- Vishnan Preserver
Darius, the campaign creator, used reskinned and renamed Ancient ship models from Inferno Release 1 to represent the Vishnans. Subsequent releases used higher-detail versions of the same models created by the Ancient-Shivan War project.