Freedom's Torch holds a special place in the history of the Independent Planet Protection Pact. It was here the Pact was founded, and it was here that blood was shed to protect that newfound independence. Originally constructed as a small orbital habitat, it has grown in the hundred and fifty years since its founding to a two kilometre spire clad in white stone. The entire station spins about its long axis to provide its inhabitants with roughly 0.8G of gravity. The station has no major hangar facilities, instead shuttles and cargo tugs move back and forth between the station and several outlying docking facilities. Additionally, the larger station complex includes a permanent naval garrison and at least four ships are stationed around the complex at any one time to deter would be assailants. Whilst the Pact is a generally secular state, Freedom's Torch represents a site of pilgrimage for many and its construction reflects this. Much of the public space has become a museum to the history of the IP3, chronicling the victories and sacrifices made in its name. Many thousands of those who died in its service are interred here, and there are chapels, temples and other places of worship for virtually all the faiths practised across human space including some who no longer have any living adherents. About two thousand people call Freedom's Torch their home, and they mostly comprise the people who work on the station. Many hundreds more commute from other orbiting stations or Altair Prime below. Some tens of thousands of visitors arrive at the station every day, and even during quiet periods there can be quarter of a million visitors on the station at any one time.
Currently stretching over two kilometres long, and with a diameter of over five hundred meters, Freedom's Torch resembles a giant squat cigar floating in a standard reference orbit above Altair Prime. The outer shell is clad in smooth white stone, and the interior continues with this material to produce something more akin to classical Earth architecture than the normal industrial look of most space stations. The interior is split into three major levels. The uppermost level is open air, which can disorient many new visitors as the floor curves upwards. This level is home to many parks and small buildings, which contain the station's museums and other cultural exhibits. It is also here that many embassies from other worlds within the IP3 are represented. A number of lakes and artificial rivers wind around the upper level of the station. The gleam of these waterways is renowned across human space, and they represent a massive technological marvel in their design. The second level comprises the station's primary habitation decks and this is where the station's permanent residents live. There are separate sections for visitors, but very few are allowed to stay more than a few days on the station itself. Whilst these decks are not open as the top level are, they still feature a higher than normal amount of greenery and the white stone common to the exterior and upper level is used as an accent in the architecture. The third and lowest level comprises the engineering decks where the machinery that keeps the station running is kept. A small number of individuals live here too, but it is not considered a glamorous posting. The carefully considered architecture is missing here, replaced with a brutal functional style that belies it's purpose. Nonetheless, this level does still get a fair number of visitors, but of a different type. These visitors are more interested in the engineering than the history, and the staff are more than happy to accommodate them in return for some help.