|The following information refers to the Solaris universe and is therefore not canon for the FreeSpace continuity.|
Description: The Children of Renewal finally find their Blue Planet. The Combine secret is unveiled. Gadaria and Kakotchka's alliance begins to falter.
Created: January 1st, 2021
Released: October 9th, 2021
The Sulsians and Malikans fall back to consolidate their holdings. Admiral Bertini, unsuccessful in bringing the war to an end, awaits the arrival of Commonwealth reinforcements. The Malikans are reeling from their loss of Jotram Station but Gadaria's new flagship, the single most powerful warship in Sulsia, represents a step change in the Militia's military capability.
During all of this, Commander Cameron contacts Ross with news that the Children of Renewal congregation is moving out to the Veil. Lightowler plans to complete the pilgrimage to the Promised Land, and Commonwealth High Command wants to know if they present a threat to Cleghorn's ships. In return for her ongoing friendship and to reward her interest in the Renewal's mission, Katherine Lau is invited to accompany the Renewal convoy to their final destination. Commander Cameron intends to join them.
Recommended loadout: Vulture-class Striker, Gattler
The convoy exists hyperspace in orbit of an Earth-like planet near a black hole and small star. Nearby is a huge gateway structure similar to that encountered at Mira. Ross recognises it instantly.
It turns out the Renewal's Promised Land is real. The planet is alien and forbidding, covered with rivers of blue material easily visible from orbit. A palpable unease is felt by everyone in the convoy. Cameron reminds Ross of his duty by ordering him to collect information on a human-built station near the black hole. Ross gains access to the station's main systems, but finds the computer banks wiped of all data. Simple automated processes like emergency life support and auxiliary power is intact, but there are no life signs or signal traffic anywhere in the station.
A surveillance drone is launched from Aria and enters the station's hangar. In addition to the alien planet, the ghostly station is unsettling. Ross agrees with Lau: they shouldn't be here. Reports from Aria's drones report that the station is uninhabited, with biological residue suggesting human remains. Something has wiped out the station's inhabitants without leaving any trace of a fight or damage to the station itself.
The intelligence mission is interrupted by the arrival of Gadaria's carrier Tower of Dawn, the captured Renewal explorer ship Pillar of Fire and several Malikan logistics ships. This force significantly outguns Lau's flotilla. Gadaria orders the Renewal convoy to leave, claiming this alien planet for the Malikan people. A panicked Lau and Ross advise Lightowler to comply with Gadaria's demand, as they won't be able to counter any attack by the Malikan carrier. Lightowler is serene in the face of this new danger, stating that Gadaria will not be allowed to take any hostile action against them. The situation escalates further with the arrival of the Zaragoza, the arsenal cruisers Ariadne and Thresher, and the aviation cruiser Kerebin. Kakotchka chides Gadaria, saying this planet is not his to claim for the Malikan people and orders him to destroy the Renewal ships immediately. The planet is under quarantine. Gadaria is initially defiant but the Combine admiral reminds him of the power balance by threatening to open fire on his cruiser with the arsenal ships. Reminded of the leash around his neck, Gadaria complies with Kakotchka's orders and launches a squadron of nuclear bombers to attack Covenant. The Kerebin launches wings of Ka-15 fighters to escort.
Feroz on the Pillar of Fire angrily demands an explanation why Gadaria is still following Combine orders, despite promising his people they will be their own masters. Gadaria is forced to divulge the foundation behind working with the Combine: he was promised a new home for the Malikan people by Admiral Kakotchka. Everything he has done up until this moment has not been through hate of the Sulsians or a desire to meddle in Great Power politics: he only wanted what was best for his people.
As the nuclear bombers approach Covenant, the alien gateway activates. A huge power surge engulfs the area, and as it subsides the strike force is nowhere to be seen. A shocked Lau asks Lightowler if he was responsible. Lightowler is evasive, but advises the flotilla to leave. The Promised Land is not a welcoming place for those who aren't chosen by the Lord.
As the flotilla ships spool their impallers, the Angel Company ship Andalucia reports problems with the nav calculations. This is similar to the interdiction effect from the Malikan attack in the Veil, and Lau realises the source must be coming from an interdictor ships. The source is identified as a frigate-sized ship of unknown class. Ross and Meiks are given orders to take it down.
Once the interdictor ship is destroyed or driven off, the gravity fluctuations clear and the flotilla is able to make their escape. Ross and Meiks are ordered back to the Hopewell to dock before Kakotchka's arsenal ships get into missile range of the carrier. As Ross docks with the Hopewell, the flotilla escapes the Veil, and the mission is over.
Notable ships present
- Hoshikuzu - Hoshikuzu-class corvette refit
- Nassau - Horizon-class destroyer
- Hopewell - Argus-class carrier
- HMS Aria - Arrowhead-class corvette
- Covenant - Revelation-class explorer
- Remembering Gogoltha - Lugus-class freighter
- Frontier Ordinance - Lugus-class freighter
- Great Awakening - Lugus-class freighter
- St Guerin - Lugus-class freighter
- Andalucia - Magellan-class explorer
- Tower of Dawn - Polaris-class carrier
- Pillar of Fire - Moshe-class explorer
- Zaragoza - Astral-class battlecruiser
- Ariadne - Torrent-class cruiser
- Thresher - Torrent-class cruiser
- Kerebin - Praetor-class cruiser
- Unknown - Suppressor-class gravity ship
- Combine and Malikan victory
- The flotilla escape the Veil
- Covenant and the other Renewal ship's fate is unknown.
- Another significant Combine asset is revealed - the Suppressor gravity ship uses exotic technology to prevent ships from calculating a hyperspace jump