|The following information refers to the Solaris universe and is therefore not canon for the FreeSpace continuity.|
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Description: The Sulsian refugees reach Covenant, but one final threat remains.
Created: July 13th, 2020
Released: October 9th, 2021
After a harrowing escape from Vicare and a Combine battlegroup, the Sulsian convoy finally completes the long journey to Covenant.
Ross receives a communique from ANI agent "Opal Cross", who thanks him and his associates for helping the convoy escape Sulsia. The Combine are hunting her for important information regarding the weapons supply to the Malikans, and the refugee convoy was caught up as collateral. She is unimpressed with Ross and Meik's announcement of their Commonwealth affiliation over an unsecured comms, as it will make deniability more difficult.
Loadout is locked to the Warden fighter with Maxim and Gattler primary cannons.
Weary and destitute, the convoy is greeted by Covenant's comms station. Reverend Lightowler tells Covenant to prepare their triage for casualties as the convoy moves to approach the habitat ship. Nearby, two pilots comment on the new arrivals disparagingly. Lau reacts dismissively when she identifies them as Angel Company, a security corporation relying on style over substance. She puts a lot more stock in her own pilots' abilities, having just taken on a Combine battlegroup successfully.
Meiks comments on the presence of a Commonwealth Crown Navy warship. This is HMS Aria, a state-of-the-art Arrowhead corvette. Ross wonders why it's deployed so far from Commonwealth space. Aria sends a comms to Ambassador Hayburn on the transport Golgotha, advising him to ensure Commonwealth citizens are ready for processing when they come on board the nearby logistics ship Rondeau. Lau asks why the Commonwealth can't take every refugee in the convoy. Meiks argues that it's a matter of border control to ensure Commonwealth resources are distributed fairly, but Lau is not impressed by this.
The conversation is interrupted by Kendra wanting to talk to Lau. The transmission is beamed over to Lau's fighter via a private channel. Ross and Meiks speculate on the topic of discussion, agreeing that it's probably a confession to gain Kendra some favour with the Commonwealth. Ross suspects Rear Admiral Kakotchka is linked to the Commonwealth embassy attack, and that ANI has probably uncovered some secret of hers.
Commander Cameron on Aria hails the Sulsian convoy, asking for assistance from Katherine Lau. When Lau asks Cameron to run it past the Children of Renewal, the commander had preempted this and advises she already has clearance from Covenant. Cameron advises on a tritium leak from one of the attending supply ships around Covenant and needs someone to determine whether the freighter needs assistance. Ross goes to investigate and performs a scan on the freighter's cargo container. The cargo manifest is indeterminate, but Ross does identify the container as the source of the leak. Curiously, it isn't coming from the freighter's reactor as was assumed. The freighter engages engines and plots a course to the Sulsian convoy, heading straight for the transport Golgotha.
Ross's scans of the cargo container reveal an antimatter-catalysed nuclear warhead, on a scale meant to devastate planetary surfaces. This translates to a damage radius in vacuum of at least five kilometres, enough to severely damage or destroy every ship around Covenant. The freighter's crew intends to detonate in range of the Sulsian refugee convoy in an attempt to dispatch the ANI agent.
Commander Cameron orders every ship around Covenant to scatter and put at least five kilometres between them and the freighter. Ross does the same for the Sulsian Convoy. Being faster, the freighter will end up catching the Golgotha, making escape impossible.
Cameron advises that her crew has found a way to neutralise the detonation trigger for the nuclear device, but requires scans of the freighter's subsystems. After Ross completes this task, Aria's bridge crew overrides the detonator's link to the freighter's computers. The freighter crew can no longer activate the warhead manually, but a direct impact into Golgotha will still set it off. Ross carefully targets and disables the freighter's engines, leaving it dead in space.
Cameron asks Lau to organise a boarding party to apprehend the crew for questioning, as Aria's helm officer keeps the corvette in tight formation to maintain the detonator override. The crisis is over.
Notable ships present
- Hoshikuzu - Hoshikuzu-class corvette refit
- Nassau - Horizon-class destroyer
- Hopewell - Argus-class carrier
- Remembering Golgotha - Lugus-class freighter
- HMS Aria - Arrowhead-class corvette
- JRS Rondeau - Fortitude-class auxiliary
- Andalucia - Magellan-class explorer
- Covenant - Revelation-class explorer
- Commonwealth/Sulsian victory.
- The nuclear attack on transport Remembering Golgotha is unsuccessful.
- Providing security for Covenant is a job that Angel Company relishes - a low-risk contract providing a sustained revenue stream. Maintaining such a visible security presence also appeases Federation investors for the Children of Renewal.
- The implication is that the Angel Company pilots refused Commander Cameron's request for assistance as it requires them to undertake actual security work.