I recently revisit an old fanfiction I started years ago as a semi-follow up to Exile’s Return set 5 years after Landfall. Today I formatted it more as a campaign mod idea where a lone carrier fleet departs to the Nebula in order to return Kadeshi captives wishing to return home, and also bring their long lost brothers news of their achievements and offer a non-aggression pact. You play as either a larger kiith, the Nabaal, or possibly even the Soban depending if I want to have it that the Kadesh paid to hire them as escorts, knowing they would take the job with how dangerous it is. Mercs forever, man. Anyway, here’s the basics I came up with.
You start up above hiigara as a lone Imperator class carrier and two resource collectors. Your job is to harvest nearby resources from the original battle’s debris ring to build up an initial escort.
Your carrier makes it halfway to the nebula on its short-jump core but is pulled out of hyperspace by imperial remnants you must overtake. Their fleet is a single carrier with an escort of frigates and below. After the battle you harvest resources and rebuild even further, seeing now the danger the mission may bring, and remembering all too well the aggression the Kadeshi posed the first time around. You want to be prepared, and so dronehost frigates and multi-gun corvettes will be essential.
You arrive at the nebula in the same place you last fought, with the prison ship and old Hiigaran empire carrier. You await first contact, and must order your resource collectors to retire, otherwise they will see your intentions as hostile. Luckily, the Needleship that engages you is one from the separatist colonies wishing to venture beyond the nebula and discard their old ways. They explain what has happened since the Mothership left the nebula. At the end of the mission they ask you to jump to the coordinates of the nearest Citadel (custom ship design, space colony 3km tall, hosting a traditional Kadeshi design).
The carrier sends a transport to dock with the station to deliver the Kadeshi wishing to return to civilian life, but the enemy faction hears of your arrival and comes in to attack the Citadel Khaadera, which you must now help in defending until reinforcements arrive along with the one needleship that guided you there. The needleship captain says that with the news your arrival brings, the Requiem may be possible. The Requiem being explained as the new generations of Kadesh laying their old beliefs to rest regarding Sajuuk and the protector goddess of the nebula and reconnect with civilized society. They ask for your aid in rallying the other colonies and you accept. In return for your help, the Citadel’s High Priest gives you a multi-beam cruiser as a gift until your departure to use. It’s destroyer-class and very helpful.
The next Citadel is that which guards the prison station and is guarded by two needleships and their escorts. You fight with your new allies to free the prisoners who have wandered into the nebula and agreed to “join” the new society but could not assimilate to their culture. You defeat the first one, and the second flees, likely to bring word to other Citadels who lean more toward the side of conservation. The Jiira Citadel’s High Priestess surrenders the prison’s control to the Requiem’s side. Your allies call in backup and two needleships jump in to guard. The prisoners will be freed based on the severity of their crimes and offered the chance to fight alongside the Requiem. They give you coordinates to a Requiem controlled Citadel while they will head to another currently sitting on the fence about what side to take. They give you a research package to bypass needleship hyperspace inhibitors to allow you to move freely throughout the Garden.
You jump to the Firskaar Citadel and they inform you that a major conflict is about to erupt that may decide the fate of the Garden’s society. Before they can explain further, three taiidan heavy cruisers and a larger, newer taiidan vessel of unknown class (Vanaar-Jet from Ent-E maybe, if he allows it) and escorts, as well as cloak generators, jump in on your location. The cruiser’s captain opens a channel to inform them that they had been tracked from their previous encounter and would suffer as a result. The cruiser aims its main cannons on the citadel while the others focus fire against you and the Firskaar’s local defences of MBFs and swarmers. Your mission objectives are to disable the main cannons, which like the HW2 battlecruisers, can be targeted. Though once the cannons are disabled, all taiidan ships will focus fire on the citadel, so be sure to balance out your forces to deal with the other enemy ships before disabling both cannons. The weapons also regenerate. Once defeating them, you inform the High Priest that they are the great evil that has been feared for so long, and they are an unorganized mess after your people reclaimed Hiigara and killed the Emperor. The citadel had been broadcasting the siege to all others in the nebula, and inform you that a major conflict is about to start where the fate of the Garden’s future will rest. You are tasked with escorting an infiltration team to the First Holy See of Kadesh. The first Citadel colony ever established in the garden, which has blocked all communications from entering and which the other colonies are planning to mount an offensive against. Their enemies will be prepared, however.
Final mission. You jump in at a safe distance from the battlefield, but there are dozens of needleships and their escorts battling it out all around you. Your job is to weave your way through the nebula’s resource veins where you can’t be detected, using cloak generators to assist in this. The five or so Kadesh infiltrator frigates must dock with the Holy See to complete the mission. You can’t ignore your carrier though, because swarmers and frigates will regularly patrol the resource veins acting as your cover, and you must defend. Using cloaked fighters to engage them before they spot you will be a useful strategy. Once the infiltrators dock, a progress bar or countdown appears to let you know when it will be taken. Once the enemy knows you’re invading the colony, they will start acting more aggressive. You will need to send reinforcements to various key positions around needleship fleets on your side to help in the fight and help repair damaged ones. Think: support frigates and repair corvettes (vettes more likely as they’re fast enough to avoid the MBFs that will be patrolling. The mission ends, and a final cutscene leads you out.
The Requiem of Kadesh is a success and you are honoured for your bravery in the fight. An envoy will be sent back to Hiigara with you to formally establish a political relationship, though it will take decades before most of Kadesh is ready to accept their new direction and let go of their zealotry. Trade routes will remain closed, however, they will no longer attack those who enter the Garden, rather give them legal repercussions. The exception being that should Hiigara ever require their aid, they have a new Kiithid to call on. And so, Kiith Kadesh is given to them, and they have an honorary position within the new Daiiamid should they ever choose to venture beyond their Garden someday.