|Andromeda War is a Historical Event
"Andromeda War" is considered a historical event or a completed fiction within the SporeWiki Fiction Universe. You must ask its original creator if you wish to add any additional stories.
In the midst of Firestorm, a new enemy appeared before the allies - a dark force, the Andromedan Grox Empire. With dark allies behind it, the terrible Empire goes towards the destruction of all life. The newly formed Andromedan Galactic Commonwealth is up to challenge, indeed, for The Darkest Hour is upon it...
- 1 Battle for As Radan
- 2 The Federation Strikes Back
- 3 The Mechovirus' Wrath
- 4 Dark Forces Emerge
- 5 Second Impressions
- 6 The Outbreak
- 7 The Flight of Unity
- 8 Catharsis
- 9 First destination
- 10 Mecholife V/S Mecholife!
- 11 Desperate Times
- 12 Erix Burns
- 13 Clues from the past
- 14 A New Weapon
- 15 Undying Hatred
- 16 Crepusculan Disorder
- 17 Unlikely Aid
- 18 Finding A Cure
- 19 The Solarites
- 20 Investigation
- 21 Beyond the Archdemon Wall
- 22 Imprisoned
- 23 Time for answers
- 24 Kalenas Sates
- 25 A Late Entry
- 26 The Uprising Begins
- 27 Stand on Tharrus
- 28 The Behemoth
- 29 Corteus
- 30 Rising Tide
- 31 The Warrior and the Captain
- 32 Into the Eastern Fringe
- 33 Aboard the warship
- 34 The Crystal Night
- 35 Crepusculum's Last Stand
- 36 The Beginning of the End
Battle for As Radan
On Alcanti, the leaders of the Andromedan Galactic Commonwealth were watching upon the large holographic map of Andromeda. An ancient relic from the times of the Four, this holographic machine showed various magnetic disturbances, allowing the Highlords to observe the actions of empires all across the galaxy. Suddenly, a massive flash of light appeared on the map around Segmentum Draco, signaling that a large fleet has just appeared here.
Uriel - The Grox.
Iovera - Indeed. Who are they trying to attack? This is not our space.
Uriel - The Domain of As Radan, a small isolated civilisation on the edge of a Segmentum led by a species known as Kaelar. Their territories would provide the Grox a good foothold in the region.
Tyraz - Then we shall stop them here and now!
Iovera - Tyraz is right. The Black Fleet would dispatch immediately to the As Radan territory. I assume you would do the same, noble lords.
The cold wasteland of As Radan was originally a powerful, rich capital world full of many aliens and many cultures. Since the decline of the Domain due to the near destruction of Cinis cluster, however, its glory started to wane. Massive skyscrapers slowly rusted without anyone to live within them, and streets of massive cities were now nearly completely empty save for a few random visitors. Those Kaelar who remained here to witness the slow collapse of the Domain's glory were grumpy, despair-driven people, who were sure that nothing could get worse on their planet. However, it turned out things could get worse, with a huge Grox fleet descending on a planet.
Grochius - Don't devastate the planet. Just come and kill everyone here. I want for all these cities to remain intact... we need a base to be estabilished.
Millions of Grox battlesuits teleported on a planetary surface, marching towards the capital city of the world, blasting and mercilessly murdering any opposition. Suddenly, an unstoppable metal horde was stopped abruptly by a group of Kaelar soldiers with antimatter grenades. These Kaelar have immediately fired their weapons towards the Grox warriors, evaporating them into a blast of antimatter.
Kaelar - Commander Tarken, unknown enemy forces within the city!
Tarken - Who?
Kaelar - Strange mechanical beings, we have not encountered others like these before! I request inforcements immediately, commander!
Tarken - Request accepted.
Kaelar - Yes! Oh, wait, there are more of the-AAAAAAAAAH!
A transmission abruptly ended when a new squad of Grox appeared, brutally murdering the Kaelar resistance. Tarken and his reinforcements appeared too late to find themselves being surrounded from all sides. Preparing for a swift death, Kaelar commander took a deep breath as he noticed a huge flash of light in the sky, as blue, black and red ships swooped from the above destroying the humungous Grox spaceships. They fired intense volleys at the Grox ships, battering their shields and crushing them.
Yarik - All ships fire through the blockade! We must not let this scum claim victory!
Tarken froze in a mix of fear and awe, wondering who were these mysterious beings. In an instant, another flash blinded him as an image of a dragon-like creature appeared before him.
Tarken - Who are you?! Do you want... to help us?
Vanacarvum - I am Admiral Dolervim Vanacarvum. We have come because the Grox are an extreme threat. We will help you.
Tarken - I... accept your proposal.
Taleera - Good. Our forces will arrive immediately.
Yarik - I am Commander Yarik of the Brood of War. I will grant my forces to assist you.
Grox ships aimed at the Commonwealth fleets and fired a volley of railgun bolts, causing some of the spaceships to burst in a blast of fire.
Vanacarvum - ...paradise grant those lost crews peace.
With haste, the surviving AGC soldiers ejected from the burning ships in the carriers and landed on a planet right unto the Grox battlesuit warriors.
Draconis Sergeant - Alright hatchlings, board dropships and prepare for a rough landing!
Yarik - Battleguard, today you will fight for glory! Prepare to land!
Grochius - QUICKLY! BATTLESUIT SOLDIERS! DESTROY THESE DROPSHIPS!
Grox warriors have pointed their laser guns at the dropships in an attempt to stop their advance, but were stopped by the strike craft escorts that bombed them from the sky, blasting them into pieces. Soon, Tarken saw Draconis, Zazane and Radeons coming out of the dropships, firing at the Grox with the deadly weapons.
Draconis - Dominicus vinterva!
Yarrik - Raise hell!
Taleera - Make these bastards know justi- wait, why is it so cold in here?
Draconis Soldier - Cold? I've been to worse, commander.
Yarik - Ha! The cold shall not hinder us!
Taleera - Maybe cold wouldn't... but THEY will
Taleera has pointed at a new wave of Grox warriors, just teleported out of the Grox battleships. Staring at the organic beings with blood red glowing eyes of sheer malice, they have screeched in the incomprehensible machine tongue as they marched upon the Commonwealth's and Kaelar's force.
Tarken - They overwhelm us! Should I command civilians to evacuate, alien beings?
Draconis Sergent - Dropships are en-route, we should evacuate who we can.
Yarik - Meanwhile, us Zazane shall deal with these robotic freaks! We shall leave none alive!
Taleera - And I will simply blow as many these mechanical pests as possible...
Grox - Many words, little action. Battlesuits, attack!
Zazane - Incoming!
The Grox's tireless asssault was met with vengeful retailation of the Kaelar blasters, Zazane shidium guns, Radeon electrolasers and Draconis fusion guns. If one could see this bloodshed from afar, his or her ears would be busted by cacophony of mechanical screeches, thundering explosions and terrifying death screams.
Yarik - Ha! Battlesuits? Take this on!
Yarrik fired a barrage of shidium bullets at the maching Grox, who have answered with the wave of fire. Zazane commander's battlesuit's interior flashed red as he charged toward the Grox.
Yarik - Grr... THEY SHALL NOT STOP ME!
Vanacarvum - Their attacks are relentless...
Officer - Admiral, incomning dropships with refugees!
Vanacarvum - Have the carriers pick them up?
Officer - In process, admiral.
Atop the Grox armies, more Draconis bombers flew over, dropping their payloads unto them and melting them into plasma with fusions explosives. Meanwhile, in space, shields of Vanacarvum's flagship buckled under the Grox's Dominators' assault.
Vanacarvum - The Grox are hitting us hard! I've never seen such fire power outside... outside...
The voice of a Draconis captain quaked.
Officer - Commanders, can we get a SitRep down there?
Sergeant - Grox are completely devastating the planet and *coughs* Lifefather what is that smell. Soldiers, seal suits!
Suddenly, Kaelar soldiers felt cold as one of them fell on the ground, frozen and dead.
Tarken - What is that? The whole planet is freezing! The Grox must terraform the world!
Officer - Confirmed, we're reading atmospheric changes consistent to planets in the galactic core. I they're terraforming the planet...
Yarik - Grr! No! We will not fai-- *as he says this, his battlesuit begins to freeze slightly, and he becomes doubtful* No! This cannot be!
Taleera - Well, they are going to be DEAD and cold. Let these bastards taste the warp barrage.
Taleera put a warpcannon from her back and fired it on the Grox horde, creating a large rift that swallowed their troops into oblivion.
Sergeant - Gah! This planet suddenly feels like an ice world. What kind of void-blasted climate do they... need..
Taleera - Perhaps you have not seen the Grox yet? Oh, Spode, these things are twisted. They thrive everywhere where normal life cannot exist.
Vanacarvum - The fleets are taking noticeable damage. and-
Vanacarvum heard an explosion from below deck.
Vanacarvum - Wha now...
Meanwhile, Zazane commanders' battlesuit froze as its joints started to explode. Soldiers ran over to pull Yarik out while others stood guard.
Yarik - W-WHAT?! N-No no! No, not now!
Sergeant - Fleet command, we request extraction! Noticeable populations are already evacuated.
Yarik - Q-Quick! H-Help me out of this....
Suddenly, a large explosion occured and Yarik flew out of the battlesuit. Grox army advanced, closing the ring as more AGC warriors were falling on the ground killed by deadly frost or by the Grox lasers.
Grochius - Ahahaha! You cannot win!
Soldier - This cold is frezing my feathers off!
Sergeant - >C-Command where in the v-v-void is that extract-t!
Yarik - No...I-I will not die in vain!
In a bold attempt to find a glorious death, Yarik ran towards the gRox forces, and as was shot, his body turned tainted red and then exploded, sending blood and his innards into the sights of several Grox*
Soldier - Command, we have mandown!
AGC soldiers fought valiently, surrounding Yarik in a defensive circle. However, frost was slowly killing them. Yarik's body was already laying lifeless as his Shidium bones started to acidize, spitting Shidium acid out of his chest.
Sergeant - Rest in paradise, you died a warrior's death.
From the sanctity of his flagship, Grochius observed the carnage, laughing mad.
Grochius - Ixxan, I am tired of this charade. Send in the Marinox!
Ixxan - As you wish.
Taleera heard a massive explosion and a near-demonic screech when a massive sharklike monster dropped from the sky, its very arrival creating a massive blast causing most of the soldiers to fall on the ground. After the fall, the humungous Marinox's eyes locked on Taleera, who was just grabbing her electrolaser in order to deal with the remaining Grox armies. She was surrounded by mounds of electrocuted husks of Grox battlesuits, but this was not enough. A fearsome beast leaped at Taleera, who answered his rage with a single shot. Ice melted as dust covered the battlefield, but as it vanished, once could see a dead Radeon laying on the ground and the growling Marinox stomping her corpse.
Sergeant - NOOOO!
Mourning the death of two his superiors, sergeant unholstered his plasma pistol and fired desperately at the Marinox, who easily shrugged the damage and grabbed him, turning yet another enemy of the Grox into a bloody mess.
Vanacarvum - Fall back... All ships fall-
A Grox laser hit Vanacarvum's flagship, interrupting his speech. A Draconis captain hit the floor. Meanwhile, Tarken, among the only survivors of the onslaught, abruptly fled the battlefield on his spaceship, desperately warping to the closest system in an attempt to survive.
Vanacarvum - Lieutenant... how many Kaelar escaped?
Lieutenant - A thousand at most. Most of them were frozen.
Vanacarvum - Best guess as to how many were lost?
Lieutenant - Millions... Billions...
Then, the flagship fell on the ground as the massive explosion took the life of the last remnants of AGC forces sent on the planet. The battle was lost, and once again the terror of the Grox triumphed over the organic beings.
After the battle, the Highlords of the Commonwealth have arrived on a nearby Domain world, Kaelastena. Commander Tarken and Chancellor Arkanen now stood before them on a pinnacle of the governor palace.
Arkanen - So that's who saved the survivors of As Radan onslaught?
Tarken - Yes, Chancellor.
Arkanen - Name yourselves. I want to know who are our saviours... and our enemies as well.
Uriel bowed to his newly found allies regally.
Uriel - Greetings, lords. I am Uriel Ultanos of the Draconid Imperium.
Iovera - My name is Iovera Eolania of the Divinarium. We are the Highlords of the Andromedan Galactic Commonwealth. The dreaded Grox Empire has recently started its invasion towards the galaxy... It's a pity that you were on their way.
Arkanen - 'What do they want?!
Tyraz - We have lost a battle to the Grox today....We now know more about them though. This means we could gain victory tomorrow, or another day!
Arkanen - I am glad that you did what you could to save our people from these... Grox.
Iovera - We just did what we should do. The Commonwealth will always protect you.
Uriel - The Grox see all other forms of life as inferior, whcih could stem from their completely incompatible biology. Your courtesy is appreciated but there is something sinister about these Grox.
Iovera - Indeed. Ancient stories are told about how they slaughtered our ancestors during the time my species was young.
Uriel - Your honour, I have a proposal. The Draconid Imperium is a vast territory and we admire the Kaelar heritage. We would like to help you preserve I offer what my people call 'Pax Draconica'.
Arkanen - Pax Draconica?
Uriel - In exchange for becoming part of the Imperium we offer our technology and our military. We will help you rebuild the domain not as allies but as fellows.
Arkanen - I... I accept the proposal. After all, we have much to rebuild after our capital's fall.
Uriel - A wise decision, your honour.
Iovera - Excellent. May our alliance shine though the ages. Long live the Commonwealth!
Uriel - Yes. Long live the Commonwealth! Under our guidence the domain of As Radan will once again proper, it will shine as the beacon of sophistication it deserves to be. We will protect you from the Grox.
Fireworks were thrown on Kaelastena around the governor palace to celebrate the new alliance. Kaelar cheered their saviours, for at once, they had hope now.
The Federation Strikes Back
Since the battle for Dexia Prime, Admiral Basshu and several of the TIAF's officers had been imprisoned on a space station orbiting the gas giant Kovolanus V. Unknown to the Imperium the TIAF had dispatched 500 transport ships to rescue the prisoners, activating clak they silently approached the station. On board an ITN soldier entered Steiner's cell with a bowl of pasta. The guard coldly handed the bowl to Steiner who sighed deeply before accepting it.
Guard - Grub's up.
Steiner - What is it today, buddy?
Guard - *smirks* Command decided on gourmet today; pasta in sauce.
Steiner - *sarcastic smile* How generous.
Guard - It's better than what you deserve for your stupidity.
Steiner - You know, someday, I'm gonna be out of this cell. And I'll be able to eat well every day.
Guard - Don't worry, we informed your kind of your incarceration.
The guard left Steiner with his meal while Fegelein banged a cup against his cell door.
Fegelein - Oi. Get over here before I eat your arm to stay alive.
Groaning, the guard approached Fegelein's cell and thumped the door.
Guard - Shut it!
General Krebs was next to Fegelein's cell, playing a harmonica. Each of the cells was visited in turn and everyone is given their meal except for Basshu who was still in the VR suite.
Guard 2 - What of Basshu?
Guard - Still on life support.
Fegelein - Last I heard, you still had him high on that VR stuff.
Guard - He still is. But he's not gonig to die anytime soon.
Steiner - Word is he went insane from it. You put our admiral in a Spodedamn coma, damnit.
Lieutenant - Be glad we didn't hook you up as well.
Krebs - If you did that, the Federation would have all you court-martialed once the war was over.
Lieutenant - Like he's going to go insane from playing VR all day long.
Fegelein - You call it "playing". Like he was enjoying it.
Krebs - Cruel bastard, you.
Guard - Like I give a krann's arse what you think.
Krebs - That's why democracy is better, Draconis.
The guard was wrong. Basshu had been removed ealier that day. His body twitching and delusional.
Doctor - I told you he was in there too long, he's having adaptive difficulties.
Basshu reacts to a wild muscle spasm, smacking an observing soldier.
Soldier - Little-
As the soldier raised his arm in anger he felt the doctor grab it. Pulling him back.
Doctor - No! let him rest.
Basshu broke free of his restraints, launched himself at the soldier and attempted to choke him. Struggling to get the dreanged adiral off of him several other soldiers hit basshu with a stun baton. A surge of paralysing electricity subdues BAsshu, who makes an odd grunting noise before succuming.
Soldier - I'll have the git returned to his cell.
The soldiers carried Basshu to his cell. Gently resting him on the bed when they get there. He was tied to his bed with restraints to stop him injuring himself.
Fegelein - Watch out boys. Admiral's back. Brace yourselves when he wakes up.
Soldier - Restrain him, we don't want him to cause too much damage.
Outside, Tzena and Piett awaited deployment in one of the transport ships while Draccard was aboard another. They quietly sailed towards the station. Looking on sensors they noticed that the ITN had deployed the 412th fleet to protect the station.
Tzena - We have a vengeance to repay.
Piett - The 12th will be avenged, all right.
Lee - Crud. They brought friends today. We can't take all of their soldiers at once.
Tzena - We have to stay quiet. We have to make sure no one can sound the alarm.
STC - 412th you report 912th legion transfer? Understood.
Admiral Urevos - Roger control, A new batch for the station.
STC - Good to hear. We await transfer.
Draccard - We're picking up on their frequency. From what I can hear, they've got marine reinforcements. Something about a "912th".
Jodl - Crud. Those guys gave us hell back at Dexia.
Piett - The only thing we can do is try our hardest.
Several shuttles were dispatched to the station's hanger bays containing members of the 912th legion.
STC - 412th sensors read gravitational distortions, can you confirm?
Urevos - Wings report minor distortions in the gravity well, Estimated mass to cause each is several tonnes at least. Look sharp people.
Draccard - *over comms* Strike team to the 1st Regiment. Be prepared to support us if things get rocky.
Mermus - Aye, aye.
mermus motioned to an engineer to relay the command to the rest of the 1st
Urevos - Frigates engage detection protocol Dexia-one.
Jodl - This tactic again.
Captain - Understood command, repositioning now.
Lee - Slowly move up and around the station, they won't be able to get us there. We'll come back around the other side.
After some time the shuttles managed to reposition away from the fleet. Inside the station the corridors were lit with a blue hue. This is noticed by the guards inside.
Guard - Huh. Kep an eye on the prisoners, we may have company.
Fegelein - Oi. You, recruit. What does the blue light mean?
The prisoners stuck their heads out of the cell doors and looked at each other with enthusiasm - the cavalry was coming. Annoyed at Fegelein's mention of the word 'recruit, the guard thumped the cell door with his fist while other detention block guards pushed the other officers back inside.
Guard - Watch your tongue alien!
Lee - Steady. No sudden movements, just make them think its some heavy space junk.
Captain - Wings report nothing of significance, It must have been a close passing asteroid.
Urevos - Or a few, keep on blue alert.
Tzena - Strike team to 1st Regiment. We're in position. Send the decoy.
Vice Admiral Yates - On its way.
The TIAF had deployed a high-speed vessel piloted by a single soldier that rushed towards the space station while making it completely obvious it's from the TIAF.
STC - We have incoming confirm TIAF ident codes.
Urevos - Single ship, target and prepare to fire. Station is to be palced on red alert!
The single ship fired warning shots at the fleet. Urevos lust laughed confidently at the pilot's suicidal nature.
Urevos - Annihilate that braindead idiot.
The blue light switched to a red light and the guards grinned with exitment
Guard - It looks like your friends hav come looking to play.
Krebs - You seriously put the station on red alert for that?
Guard - Now, Where there's one there's more of you vermin.
Krebs - I'll admit that we probably have some very idiotic civilians who can get their hands on armed ships. He's probably one of those guys.
Guard - This deep in imperial space?
Fegelein - Galactic racers can stray a long ways away from the racecourses. The idiot probably came here from the Kraw racecourses.
Piett - Move in, boys.
The guards were not buying the stories. The cloaked transports quickly but silently made their way to the docking bays and unloaded their marine contingents. Tzena personally eagerly her armour and weapons. The pilot was proving himself a tricky target, weaving through fire.
Tzena - I'm going to enjoy this.
Yates - Fleet, move in silently, and stay cloaked. We'll stay just outside the area to make sure the radars don't pick up our gravity distortion.
A marine of the 912th legion guard noticed something about the docking arms, signalling four squadmates they move closer.
Draccard - Enemies incoming, guys. Stay low and take them out silently.
Vice Admiral Birch - With pleasure.
Birch took position next to the doorway along with ten other soldiers. The marine warned for vigilance. As they approached, Birch looked down to see a discarded stun bation, he picked it up with a smile.
Birch - Let's see how they like a taste of their own medicine.
Marine - Clearing pattern. Now *comm* Command be ready for hostile incursion.
Birch - Patience...
The marines prepared themselves around the doorway while the original marine took cover behind a console looking towards the door. Birch made a motion to his soldiers that meant "Attack when they cross into the room". Outside, each marine nodded once they were ready and the orignal pulled out a stun grenade. When he activates the terminal the door opens and he threw the greande in, ducking back behind the terminal. The grenade landed on the ground, rolling a short distance. When Birch noticed he cried out for his soldiers to take cover behind some crates, When the grenade detonated it emitted an intensely bright light along with a minor pressure wave and a disorienting buzzing sound*
Birch - Ready position for when they enter!
Marine - Clear
Birch - Ready! Go!
Birch and his soldiers rush the marines as they enter and most of them were taken by surprise and subdued. One marine punched one TIAF soldier in the chest, grabbed him by the collar and threw him towards another soldier. while Birch subdued two other ITN marines with his stun baton. The first marine pulled out his rifle and fired a fusion puls between Birch's legs. Birch dodged by rolling and the bolt impacted a hexane canister. Other soldiers move in to tackle the marine to the floor. The marine noticed the noise and moments later the hexane ignited, engulfing the room in a fireball.
Draccard - Crud!
Rear Admiral Arilla - Alright guys, we gotta move out before this place burns down or someone finds us, whichever comes first!
A few soldiers throw water grenades at the fire attempting to put it out but, not realising it was a chemical fire, created more firebursts.
Commander - One of the chemical containers jut ignited in docking bay 7.
Lieutanant - Understood, supressant sprays active.
The room is abruptly filled with a burst of carbon dioxide, which kills the fire.
Draccard - Hazard suits on!
As the gas cleared a single 912th marine was crouching, his armour heavily scarred from chemical burns but he was otherwise alive.
912th - It takes more than that to finsh... me.
The marien picked up his rifle but was interrupted when Tzena kicked it out from his arms and shot him in the head with a plasma rifle. Causing Draccard to flinch away.
Tzena - I think not.
Draccard - Was that really necessary?
Tzena - Draconis scum are all the same.
The plasma shot burns through the armour, revealing a lining of hard material around his skull.
Tzena - The hell? Just die already!
Tzena stomped on the skull, eventually breaking through the armour and smashing the soldier's his brain.
Piett - I will admit that you made that a little more bloody than it needed to be, my lady...
Tzena - You have five seconds to rephrase that.
Piett - I mean... I suppose I've seen worse.
The blood leaking from the body is a slightly darker shade of red form normal, tinted by the presence of carbon-based nanites.
Jodl - That's odd. His blood seems altered. Mind if I take some samples, Lady Tzena and Lady Draccard? Draccard - Knock yourself out.
The ensuing battle had caused a klaxon to blare thoughout the facility.
Lee - Oh great, now they know we're here!
Announcer - Confirmed incursions in docking bay 7. Priority alert
Draccard - Let's move quickly guys, don't give them anything to find in the docking bay.
The team quickly moved out into the hallway and headed in the direction of the station's command center. Urevos - Control what is going on.
STC - We have an incursion, confirmed TIAF presence, they detonated one of the hexane canisters in docking bay 7.
Urevos - Damnation, all ships on full alert!
Tzena - Divide and conquer. Piett and Arilla, you take soldiers to the prison bay and free the 12th.
Draccard - Birch and Lee, you control the station's defense center. *To Tzena* Well, are you ready?
Urevos - We're dispatching reinforcements to you now.
Tzena - *begrudgingly scoffs* Don't be silly, Ariana. I've always been ready.
912th marine - There they are, open fire!
Piett - Eat metal, b*tch!
Piett fires his gun at the marine only to see the bullets bounce off or otherwise embed themselves in the armour. Prompting the marines to fire back. The TIAF's soldiers use reinforced armor shields to block the bullets and fire back at the marines from under their shields. The single squad managed to cause a few casualties before being killed. Piett and Arilla's squad charged towards the prison bay, while Lee and Birch made their way to the station's defense control center.
Lee and his team forced their way into the defense control room with his gun armed.
Lee - All of you! Hands up!
The unarmed crewman turn around and raise their hands while the guards on duty aim ther rifles.
Birch - You guards best put your guns down. We will shoot with lethal force!
Commander Tavlos - Stand down marines.
Marine - Command-
Tavlos - that's an order!
Piett - *smirks* Thank you for your cooperation. You, commander, get down here, please.
The marines hesitated and one by one lower their weapons, keeping eye-contact. Tavlos left his podium in the middle of the room and walked towards Lee.
Tavlos - What.
Birch - Keep telling your commanders up in the central command center that everything's fine down here. Until we can get into your defense systems, that is. Your cooperation would be greatly appreciated.
Tavlos - Do you really think they would believe us on such short notice?
Birch - Then don't tell them anything. No news is good news.
Tavlos - You scatterbrained little-
A marine interrupts him by coughing.
Piett - The rest of you, engineers. Cooperate with us on this one. Get us access to the entire station's defenses, and none of you will have to be locked in the cells.
Tavlos - *sighs* You heard the man.
Marine - No.
Piett stepped into a way that makes it so that his shoulder pad blocked it, then faces the marine from over his shoulder.
Lee - Naughty boy. Someone subdue him.
Two soldiers rushed through the room and climb up the stairs to subdue the marine, who retaliated by firing at the approaching soldiers. Roaring and spreading his wings.
Birch - If you would be as so kind, commander, subdue your soldier. I don't want to have to shoot him.
Tavlos - Private I ORDER you to stand down!
Marine - *roars, turning to Tavlos* You are content to be bossed around by children!
Soldier - I am no child! I'm 75!
The soldier grasped the marine and tried to strangle him, the marine responded by grabbing the soldier's arm and squeezed, crushing it slightly.
Marine - I'm 102, and still young!
Tavlos let out a deep breath. he pulled out a stun gun and ired it at the marine who colvulsed to the floor. The soldier breaks free and looks at his arm.
Soldier - Damn, Social Security won't pay for this.
Birch - Thank you, commander.
Obirch patted him on the shoulder before proceeding to the defense computers with his team.
Tavlos - I took no plasure from doing that...
Soldier - Here, you can have it.
The soldier drops the marine's limp body at Tavlos' feet.
In the prison bay Piett and his team were wearing down the defence.
Marine - Security breach!
Piett - Eat this, motherfrakkers!
The assault team armed their bayonets and charged forward, intent on causing what damage they could. When the detention block guards responded with a stun grenade the TIAF's soldiers deoplyed shields and charged forward. The closer they got to Basshu's cell the more guards there were t odefend the detention block.
Arilla - Liberty!
Piett - Freedom!
Their cries coincided with forcing the cells open. When Fegelein was rescued he cried out "federation forever", a chant that echoed in the hallways. Within the chaos a guard threw a plasma grenade that detonated under a soldier's feet. The soldier was thrown across the halway and grabbed by a Draconis marine who choked him to death. The marine is quickly overtaken by a charging group of TIAF soldiers. Steiner is rescued from his cell and tackles a marine who sliced Steiner with a combat knife as he fell.
Steiner - You are all the same. Medic! The marine was trampled by the charging strike team. Rally cries continue to echo
Jodl - We are coming for you, Admiral!
Marine - For Drakon's sanity, SILENCE!
The TIAF soldiers bombarded the guards with grenades, causing significant damage to their ranks. As the smoke cleared a few of the 912th Legion were still standing but severely weakened. Piett - Go crying home for mama Drakon!
Piett ran his bayonet into one of the marines along with other soldiers who impaled the other marines. One of the impaled marines snarls and, grabbing the soldier's shoulder, tore the arm off, throwing the body to the ground.
Soldier - MY ARM! WHY IS IT ALWAYS THE ARM!
Arilla - Bloody brute!
Arilla beat the marine with the butt of her gun, then kicked him in the crotch for good measure. The kick does not cause him to collase in pain, smirking as though it did little.
Arilla - A cheeky one, eh?
Cybernetics in her leg boosted her next kick, which caused the marine pain.
Soldier - That... actualy went... through...
Marine 2 - Very... unsportsmanlike....
Arilla - Would you like me to kick you, too?
Announcer - Warning, brig security compromised.
Piett - Enough, Arilla. We've humiliated them enough as it is, let them have some dignity left.
Commander - Commander Tavlos what is going on down there?
Birch glanced at Tavlos expectantly.
Tavlos - We're working to control the situation, commander. Have patience.
Birch - *smirks before going back to the computer* We're almost done, Tavlos. There should hopefully be no more need to lie to your superiors.
Back in the brig Jodl kicked down the door Basshu's cell.
Jodl - Admiral. We've come for you.
Basshu, still strapped to the bed, looked at Jodl with a primal look in his eyes. She realised the Draconis had done terrible things to him.
Meanwhile, near the command center Tzena and Draccard were stopped by soldiers of the 912th legion. Marine - Stop right there! Tzena - We stop for no one!
Tzena threw a few grenades which subdued the 912th soldiers.
Draccard - Continue forward. Subdue any resistance on the way.
the soldiers approach closer and closer to the door to the station's command center which was guarded by veterens of the 912th legion.
Marine - This. Ends. Here.
Tzena - Now, if you men would be so kind as to GTFO of our way.
Draccard - I suppose it does end here. For you.
The marines primed their rifles and fired twoards the TIAF. Draccard blocked the shots with her shoulder armor. Ordering the TIAF soldiers to fire back. This prompted the mariens to march forward, still firing.
Tzena - Crush that wall!
The soldiers race forward to either tackle or bayonet the marines who drew vibro-sabres in response, they parry or dodge the attacks, subduing several of the soldiers. Dracard, sick of the fighting pulls out a very large hammer while Tzena pulls out her other katana.
Draccard - Bah, screw it. Think you can take them, Alexa?
Tzena - Let's see them try to stop us.
Tzena and Draccard charged forward with their weapons. Draccard swings her hammer to stun the marines while Tzena attacks by slashing with her katanas. Using their numbers the marines try to flank the pair, but one-by-one the marines are subdued. Tzena wipes the blood from her katanas while a single marine lies dying on the floor.
Draccard - That will teach you not to mess with the might of the TIAF.
Tzena - Not even a challenge.
Marine - Congratulations admirals, *coughs* You have.. successfully carved a path of blood to the very heart of this bastion!
To be continued...
The Mechovirus' Wrath
Fiery fireworks were put into the air on As Radan as a massive Grox flagship landed on the planet, a magnificient fortress of terror. Grochius made his first step on the conquered world, savouring the dead, frozen air. The smell of victory, he thought. To his eyes, a glorious work was revealed. Despite the fact that some survivors escaped, the mission was still successful, and the whole planet was devastated. On the destroyed buildings of the lower species, new architecture was erected, and Dronox workers have already constructed huge spires in Grochius' glory. The Grox king smiled and walked a blood red carpet towards a huge plaza that has been just created from the ruins of the Capital Spire of the Kaelar capital. Grox warriors in battlesuit bowed to him in obedience, as did his best lieutenant, Dronox Commander Ixxan. However, Grochius noticed another person in the mass of soulless machines, one he did not know before. It was certainly not a Grox. This newcomer was far, far taller, dressed in black robes and having a twisted, fish-like head. Like everyone else, he bowed to Grochius, but he still retained his imperious look, even when he was a servant. The Grox ruler turned to the strange creature and spoke to him.
Grochius II - Name yourself, servant.
The creature stood from his knees, now fully revealing his magnificience.
HPoD - I am the High Prophet of Disdain. We, the Grox Followers have come to aid our masters in their conquest of our true home. We are strong and we are many. We shall bring the Apocalypse upon the Rades-spawn, the Draconis and the Zazane, all in one, deadly strike.
Grochius II - We? Where are your armi-
Grochius did not understand how that happened, but he realised he is now surrounded by the legion of large fish-like creatures similar to the Prophet he was talking to, clad in purple and gold armour.
Grochius II - Ah, I see. Quite a magnificient army. I see that you are powerful speaker to bring such legions under your sway. As such, you would have a fitting place for my plan.
HpoD - Your plan, master?
Grochius stomped his foot, commanding other Grox forces to listen. His soldiers surrounded him in circle, ready to bring his word into action.
Grochius - Brethren! Our new victory is nothing but a prelude - a prelude to the conquest of the whole galaxy! No rest shall await us until Andromeda will belong to the Grox. However, know that our enemy, while nothing compared to the might of the Grox, is powerful. We must never underestimate our foes. However, we would not be the mighty Grox if we would just bow our heads and succumb to the stronger? No, for it is the way of the Grox to cry out against fate and find a way to overcome the greatest odds with faith in our supremacy! Listen, Grox, for the veil of uncertainty of our is cleared now. In my mind, a location of the holy homeworld, Atzerry, was revealed. On its land, a weapon powerful beyond our comprehension is hidden. I shall now unleash this weapon from the ancient age, as was prophecied. With my absence, Ixxan and the Prophet would lead our forces. FOR THE GROX!
Grochius teleported from the plaza to his spaceship which has promptly left the planet and vanished deep to the core of Andromeda. To Ardenta.
The spaceship arrived to a rusted, old moon orbitting a cold grey gas giant, illuminated by a cold, dying star. It seemed to be a common world in the galaxy, seemed to be. Not for Grochius.
From his creation to this moment, Grochius was constantly haunted by dreams of grandeur. He saw this world in his dreams when he was young, and for years, these visions only magnified. He saw himself rising and conquering this world, conquering Andromeda... conquering the universe. It was so joyous for the dream to come true. All thanks to this voice, a spirit in his head. Grochius was glad for the voice's advices and help.
The Grox king stepped on the burned soil of Attzerry to find rusted but magnificient spires of the ancient Grox cities. Grochius froze in awe, his jaw dropping. He ran to the center of the city, guided by the voice in his mind. Soon, he found himself in a small dark room illuminated by a lone green light. A shining orb was floating in the center of the room. On the first glance of this sphere, Grochius once again heard a compelling whisper that made him dizzy...
??? - It is... the Cyber Rabies. The Mechovirus.
Grochius - A dreaded plague that once nearly destroyed our species...
??? - Yes. Now, it can be yours. Unleash it. Use it under your command. Make other suffer the same dark fate your kind suffered. Unleash it. Unleash it...
Succumbing to the dark will inside his mind, Grochius promptly touched the sphere. A horde of nanobots surrounded him, consuming and assimilating his mind. Yet instead of enslaving him, Grochius consumed the deadly infection, uniting with it, becoming more, far more than he once was...
Grochius - I... AM... UNSTOPPABLE!
Dark Forces Emerge
Since the battle of Avanti the founders of the Commonwealth - the Imperium, the Brood and the Divinarium had been searching diloigently for TIAF remnnants in Andromeda. While patrolling the outer rim a scout fotilla led by captain Drayl of the Fleet of Ruin had detected signs consistent with the TIAF. A few days after a signal for help the Imperium's 705th fleet under the command of admiral Tervus Aranderus arrived in the area.
Captain Drayl - Open communications, our allies wish to speak with us.
Tervus - Greetings captain. I was dispatched out here upon receiving your request. The message mentioned something about Federation activity?
Drayl - Indeed. We believe we would need a little assistance from our loyal allies upon discovering Federation activity in this area.
Tervus - Understandable. Is there any information you can give us about the discovered world?
Drayl - Well...We've been recieving strange signals which appear not to be of Federation origin. However, these are only minor, and probably some fauna.
Tervus - The faster we hit them the sooner they can be done with!
Drayl - Yes, the last thing we need is those vermin heading back into our territory!
Tervus - Provvide us with the coordinates and we will do what is asked of us.
Drayl - The world is not far from here, and that world is the only one with life signs on it in the system.
The flotilla had discovered the borders of the TIAF's Andromeda Command Zone and their approach towards the nearby planet of Vashkya was detected by the TIAF.
TIAF Space Traffic Officer - We are receiving reports of minor hyperspace disturbances and gravitational disturbances in the vicinity of the planet. Orders?
TIAF Space Traffic Officer 2 - If they approach the planet, proceed normally. Advise the defense fleet to take caution, just in case.
Officer 1 - Aye, aye.
Tervus looked at the planet from the bridge, predicting anther glorious battle. He ordered for the fleet to engage the TIAF in orbit alongside the scout fleet while several dragonfire-class cruisers approached the planet to bombard it.
DD Marshal John Gorgon - DD 4th Corps to Yashkya Space Traffic. We are detecting a major gravitational disturbance, we suspect it is a cloaked enemy fleet.
Space Traffic Officer - Roger. *to other space traffic officers* Put the planet into defense, relay a distress signal.
Tervus - All in position? Good... Give them nighmares!
Sirens blared in facilities across the planet, prompting the civillian population to evacuate major cities and had sent the garrison to alert status. Military installations were hit hard by orbital bombardment. Two Kaann warships approached the planet and joined in with bombarding it. The planet's DD hit the invaders with waht they could and within the firefight Tervus ordered for carriers to deploy their fighters to control the skies above Vashkya.
DD Commodore Arvuleta - DD 4th Corps, relaying to Boano Command. Requesting backup.
Captain Lorrelas - What's going on, over there, Commodore?
Arvuleta - We have a full-scale attack by the Imperial Talon Navy. The security of the Command Zone has been compromised, somehow.
Lorrelas - Damnit! Alright, Commodore. The 1st Regiment and Main Strike Fleet are en route, expect us within the hour.
Gogon remembered the notorious durability of ITN shields and ordered ion cannon barrages directed at the enemy fleet. Zazane attack ships flew close to several key buildings in an attempt to isolate the planet, encoutering AA batteries and interceptors. The ITN fighters joined the Zazane fighters to support them, picking off the TIAF one-by-one. Despite attempts to deploy more fighters the Kaann warships managed to bombard airfields, destroying any fighter either grounded or flying into the path of the shidium rounds.
Tervus - Say what you will, these Tybusen know how to fight.
Drayl - Indeed...Perhaps we underestimated them.
Ground-to-orbit weapons were deployed and fired upwards, tearing through the hulls of the smaller warships.
Drayl - Would it be wise to send in ground units?
Tervus - I think we've softened them up enough.. All cariers prepare for troop deployment; Let's get this over with before the fleet is reduced to scrap.
Before long both the Imperium and the Brood deployed troops on the ground. Several of the imperium's dropships and light transports had been hit by AA fire. The brood's fotilla had deployed squads of the Fire Spitters creed. As battle raged on the ground both fleets were suddenly hit with a massive barrage. This shocked Tervus, who staggered as the barrage rocked his ship. He then realised TIAF had sent reinforcements.
Khoffman - Who ordered a big can of ass-whooping?
Drayl - What the Shyrak is going on?!
Captain Vingir - Ground hostiles shall be dealt with, sir!
Khoffman was aboard a TIAF fighter that had just come out of FTL. As soon as his craft approached the battle he began chasing down TIN and Brood incerceptors. with the rest of the fleet folowed behind him.
Lorrelas - This will teach you not to mess with the Federation on it's own turf! McSmith - Ah, it feels good to be back in action. Tervus - They have reinforcements, all cpaital ships direct your central cannons on those reinforcements. Drayl - Fire at the new hostiles, show them the wrath of the Fire Spitters Creed!
Only the first regiment focused on the orbiting fleets while the main strike force headed straight for the planet, opening themselves up as targets for the ITN and Fleet of Ruin.
Tanyan - The planet's swarming with hostile marines. You guys up for the challenge?
Khoffman - You bet!
In a reckless act of flamboyancy, Khoffman landed his fighter in a battlefield near a now-evacuated town on the plains by plowing into enemy squads, McSmith simply facepalmed at the gutsy move of his peer. After landing, Khoffman jumped out, drew his weapons and charged through anyone in his way. An auxillary, keen to stop Khoffman, fired at his legs. As bullets flew towards him he jumped into a somersault and kicked down the auxullary. Fire Spitters fired missiles at the enemy and the soldiers fired at the missiles in self-defence. When the missiles exploded they rained Shidium shrapnel and energy everywhere. Auxillaries organised themselves and fired a volley at the MSF. The soldiers covered their faces and fired back, in retaliation the soldiers aimed for the areas of the body other than the face. The soldiers reponded with deflector shields and a Drallivian sergeant decided on a third tactic of a plasma grenade volley. As the ITN kept at range the Zazane were eager for close-combat and charged the MSF. Fire Spitters were tougher and more muscular than other Zazane. As the granades exploded the TIAF were decimated and the survivors drew close-combat weapons to engage the enemy.
What was a typical field firefight became a hellish melee as all sides were now fighting tooth-and-nail. Val'Kar and Sankana charged the TIAF with warcries. Several Sankana leaped at the TIAF soldiers to knock them down. Grey, a commander for the TIAF charged at the mwith a huge broadsword, cutting through the enemy. The aliens weaved past and around her and the rest of the MSF. Toughened by training the Fire Spitters shruigged off the plasma bolt impact, whicho nly made them angrier. One Sankana stabbed Grey in the foot, but was impaled on Lorrelas' trident.
As the battle raged an increasing number of soldiers noticed the sky turn a strange black-and-purple, even more then noticed when a huge thunderclap is heard. The Drallivian sergeant and VIngir, who were each in the middle of cutting down an MSF soldier looked up.
Sregeant - What is that...
Lorrelas - What in the name of...?
Vingir - Wait, what the....
Vice Admiral Yates - 1st Regiment to Main Strike Fleet, you guys okay down there? We're getting odd reports. Sergeant - Command can we get ident, what is it?
Tervus - Sergeant... I have no idea...
The skies continue to darken, a bright wwhite light emerges in the very middle of the battlefield, odd and violent noises could eb heard coming from it. Everyone backed away as the light grew larger. When the light stopped growing the sergeant ordered his soldiers to hold their ground whilist he very cautiously approched the light.
Khoffman - I don't know what the hell is going on, Yates, just wait.
Drayl - Vingir, what the Shyrak is going on down there!
Vingir - I....don't know, sir....
Tervus - Sergeant we don't know what that skraving light is, stay away from it!
Within a matter of seconds, there was a sudden rush of bizarre-looking Zazane-like creatures, all carrying long and sharp swords and shouting out violently.
Samenor - What the hell?!
Sregeant - Lifefather preserve me...
Lorrelas - I've never seen anything like this since... Oh crap.
The sergeant inhaled deeply, he grasped his longsword and stared down at the Zazane-like creatures. The creatures looked about before more charged from behind them towards all factions.
Tervus - 'It... it can't be...
Lorrelas - *breathes deeply before yelling* Retreat!
Sergeant - Skrave it! We're surrounded all units fire!
Tervus - Confirm, what in the lightless void are they!
Vingir - Agh!! Traitors! Show them the wrath of-
His words were cut when he spotted a large Zazane creature come out of the white light, larger than even a Draconis. The TIAF soldiers on the planet begin to scramble away, running for dear life while other soldiers stood warily.
Drayl - Admiral, they appear to be traitor Zazane of some form!
The sergeant loered his sword slightly, dreading what was to come. The leader walked toward the sergeant and growled at him.
Sergeant - Ahh.....shit....
The leader grabbed his horns and threw the drallivian a considerable distance away from him
Tervus - Understood. Lifefather they are hideous. Dropships evacuate as many soldiers as you can! It's a bloodbath!
Soldier - Emperor's arse... Did... did.. you see that throw!
Vingir - Purge this scum in the fires of loyalty! Fire Spitters, CHAAAAAARGE!!!
Vingir and his squad ran towards the Mali'Zane, swinging their weapons and firing their guns, taking down a few. However theones they supopsedly killed only seemed to get back up again. Lorrelas grabbed a draconis marine by the arm, pulling him to look at the Tybusen.
Lorrelas - You, Draconis. What the hell is that thing?
Soldier - I-i.. I have no idea. it Looks like a Zazane, but i've never seen them this mindless!
The Mali'Zane continued to pouring out of the light, swinging their large swords, dealing deep wounds and then throwing some of the incapacitated soldiers into the light. The soldiers that were thrown in just seemed to vanish.
Lorrelas - Grrr!
Tervus - It's going ot be a last resort.. Captain we may only have one option to wipe these things out... The Imperium's done it before, but these things are too similar to a necrotic virus that swept the Imperium a few years back - orbital saturation.
Lorelas turned around, seeing what the mali'Zane were doing and attacked them with his trident. Vinigir saw the Mali'Zane leader and charged towards him.
Vingir - That thing....I shall have his skull!
Tervus - Captain the only remaining option i can think of is to raze the site.
Lorrelas swung his trident at the Mali'Zane leader, rather than cutting the creature it grabbed the wepaon by the shaft and pulled it upwards with Lorrelas dangling from the middle
Mali'Zane Leader - Mali'Nar....
Yates - You, over there. Do you guys know what the hell is going on over there?
Tervus - We had nothing to do with this
Drayl - Hmph, are they not on your side?
Tervus - By the look of their commander, I don't think the two are friends...
Yates - We have no idea what these things are or why they're here! I've fought demons before, but I've never seen these guys before!
The mali'Zane leader growled in Lorrelas' face, throwing him far from the battlefield and hitting a wall in the nearby town.
Lorrelas - You...
Lorrelas called his trident back to him and ran back to the battlefield, as he closed in Vinigir grabbed the shaft fo the trident, yanking Lorrelas back. The Mali'Zane continued slaughtering and disabling soldiers, some of them dragged the fallen into the light.
Vingir - Are you an idiot as much as you are a Shyrak eater?! He's going to kill you!
Lorrelas - Well, what do you suggest we do, huh?
Vingir - How about you get your ass off this planet while you still have the chance?!
Aboard is flagship Tervus sat slumped in his chair, pondering what to do next.
Tervus - Only one option left: Annihilate the area.
Yates - You're seriously gonna blow this planet up? There are still innocents left on that planet!
Drayl - Would you rather have them suffer at the hands of those traitors down there?!
Tervus - Not the planet. Just the focal point. However if their operations spread then planetwide it will have to be...
Lorrelas - These demons are far more powerful than any I've had to fight before...
Vingir - Listen, scum. You seem like a warrior whose life shouldn't be wasted. Get away from here!
Yates - ...Fine. *over comms to the planet* Evacuate the planet immediately, as planet-scale purgation is possible.
Lorrelas - Fine. *pats Vingir on the shoulder* You take care of yourself.
Lorrelas ran for his fighter, leaving Vinigir and anyone else alive. Aboard the ITN flagship an officer calledo ut to Tervus.
Officer - Admiral, anyone at the focal point is either dead, subdued or unrecoverable. Orders?
Drayl - Vingir, get your men off the planet, now!
Vingir - Fire Spitters, get back to the ships! I'll stay here and distract these....traitors.
Tervus - ...Order the dragonfire capitals to prepare fusion cannons. Melt the bastards into plasma...
Officer - Aye sir.
Tervus - Don't be a fool Vingir! Get out while you still can!
Lorrelas - *over comms* Yates, status report.
Yates - I've communicated with the Draconis commander. We have no choice but to purge the site.
Lorrelas - *sighs deeply* So be it.
Drayl - Admiral, let him be! No Zazane dies in vain...
Officer - Vessels report ready.
Tervus - Fire.
On the ground, Vingir looked at the Mali'Zane leader and ran towards him.
Vingir - You shall be burned in the fires of wrath!
The Mali'Zane Leader grabbed Vingir and threw him into the light before the Mali'Zane started to go back in, dragging any innocents and disabled soldiers they could find with them. Meanwhile in orbit, a group of Dragonfire-class capital ships fired their payload. Upon each impact, canisters of fusion particles burst open discharging their devastating payload into the air. The initial imapct created a shockwave and a small crater but the pressure wave propelled the particles for over a kilometre. Anything caught in the blast corroded into quark-gluon plasma, annihilating everything in it's path. The vessels fired their paload to radiate out from the white light. Kolometre after kilometre becomes a flat fatureles plane and all that remains is a concentric series of craters. The TIAF watched from orbit, they reeled from the devastation and Lorrelas placed his hand to his heart.
Drayl - Such a waste....
Lorrelas - Rest in peace, fallen brothers...
Tervus - May the souls of the fallen find rest in paradise... They earned it.
Drayl - I doubt there is any paradise for those who were taken into the light....
Officer - Sir, reports state the creatures are retreating.
Tervus - Retreating? Hold fire!
The bombardment stopped, but the damage was done - several major cities had been melted into smotoh mounds while the field and town that had once been the focal point of the battle was now a large charred valley, visisble from orbit.
Tervus - We are sorry we had to do that to your world, Tybusen. I thought they planned on staying longer...
Lorrelas - *sighs deeply* It was for a noble cause, Draconis. Though the scars left from this battle will not heal immediately.
Drayl - Indeed, today was a prime example of how treachery poses a threat to the Brood's very existence.
Tervus - Conn, transfer the transmission to the briefing room. This is too important to bicker on the bridge.
Samenor - Something tells me that those are no ordinary Zazane traitors.
Drayl - Lord Tyraz will not be happy to hear about this...
Tervus - Their form indicates unstable mutation. One of the debriefed soldiers mentioned Lorrelas mentioned something, a reminder? Whatever was on the other side of that light.. I dread to think. Lorrelas, according to logs you may have seen this before. Can you shed light?
Lorrelas - These...creatures seem remniscient of the demons I fought during the Divine War, and they seem linked to a "Dark Purger" my mentor back then always talked about.
Tervus - Perhaps it would be wise to involve the Inquisition in all this.
Lorrelas - Perhaps you should talk to the Divinarium about it. I think they would know more about this than your Inquisition would.
Tervus - Why not ask for help from both?
Lorrelas - Indeed, more sources would be beneficial.
Drayl - We may need assistance from The Shield...
Tervus - Lorrelas, your invasion of the Imperium had severely damaged thee Federation's reputation within the Imperium. But they say "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" so perhaps the senate can consider overlooking past actions.
Lorrelas - I will say that we were perhaps mistaken when we attacked the Imperium. I assure you that in light of this battle, we will make an effort to improve relations.
Tervus - Experience has taught me this will be the first of many incursions, the risk of a darker threat forged the commonwealth so it stands to reason this threat requires undivided attention. These.. creatures don't seem picky on who they send back. Therefore, unless the senate considers otherwise, I am willing to put aside past transgressions.
Lorrelas - If your kind allows it, perhaps I shall open a channel with the Paragon later and establish stronger ties.
Tervus - That is not my business. Now, i must report in to high command. Dark as the news may be.
Not So Dead
As the Imperium evacuated their forces, a medical team headed to the site of where the Drallivian sergeant (who had been identified as Vureos Kalhalum) had landed. The Mali'Zane leader had thrown him at such an angle that he hit the ground rolling for a short while, causing his armour to scratch against the ground. His body was horribly bruisd and broken, his armour had been shredded from hitting the ground and his body glove has been torn. but he was not completely dead. As the team arrived he could barely see, he had suffered multiple traumas and was on the verge of death. A crew of medical droids carefully moved him to a hoversled. Aboard the dropship he was transferred to life-support and in muffled tones he could hear the paramedics talking and could only just make out the phrase "Morphis project". Moments later he succumbed to his injuries and fell into a coma with the paramedics sounding rather calm.
Lorrelas was a man of his word and when he could he organised a transport to take him to the Draconid Imperium. When approaching it's borders he opened a communication link to an Imperial exonet relay station.
Lorrelas - Greetings, I request a communications link to Paragon Uriel, please.
Officer - What is the nature of this transmission? Your kind are not exactly welcome in imperial space.
Lorrelas - Completely diplomatic in nature, I assure you. Admiral Tervus of the ITN can support my statement.
The officer was silent for a few minutes in order to confirm that Tervus did support Lorrelas' claim. After a few minutes he returned his attention to Lorrelas.
Officer - Admiral Tervus confirms your statement. Very well, I shall inform Alcanti Space Traffic ccontrol to expect you.
Lorrelas - Thank you.
Officer - Coordinates for Alcanti have been provided, safe journey...
Lorrelas - Thank you.
A TIAF cruiser escorted by fighters arrived within the Aldra system a few hours later. Lorrelas had successfully used the Imperium's wormhole network in order to speed up his journey to the core worlds. When he arrived close to Alcani he was contacted by an imperial commodore.
Commodore - TIAF vessel, this is Commdore- Wait... Transponder codes confirmed, it seems you were expected. Head to the spaceport adjacant to Minos'Drakon's Centis precinct where you will be met with an armed escort. Lady Alessa is keen to speak with you...
Lorrelas - Thank you, commodore. As am I.
The cruiser landed in the Centis precinct spaceport along with its fighter escorts. Lorrelas emerged from the cruiser escorted by two soldiers armed with stun weapons. He was greeted with a bow by Alessa who was wearing a very formal and escorted by four Blood Dragons. Lorrelas bowed back in return.
Alessa - You must be captain Lorrelas, You are fortunate you managed to catch father on a calm day.
Lorrelas - Indeed I am. You must be the Paragon's daughter. Alessa, is it?
Alessa - I am. It is a pleasure.
Alessa escorted them to a waiting transort from the plalace's garage. The craft was easily comfortable enough for all of them to fit. On its journeyhe transport passed down a broad avenue that lad directly to the gates to the Imperial palace grounds.
Lorrelas - I hope that these talks will be productive.
Alessa - Father is a man of peace. He has been frustrated lately that your federation were unwilling to negoiate anything other than a DMZ.
Lorrelas - Although I am perhaps the figurehead of our Federation, I am bound by the laws of the Grand Assembly. I was not terribly excited to be going to war with a nation that had done us no wrong.
Alessa - Sometiems it can take only one voice to make a difference.
Dense urban sprawl shifted to rolling hills and woodland as they passed through the gates to the the palace's grounds, which had taken up an area the size of a small urban district. One of the escorts looked out of the window and stared in awe at the view.
Lorrelas - The Councilmen are interested in their own goals, it seems...
Alessa - Most politicians focus on their own goals and not the goal of the Imperium. It took generations for radicals to convince the Senate that the long-terms has more far-reaching effects than short-term solutions.
Lorrelas - Change can be slow in this era, unfortunately.
Alessa - But my people live long, we have grown used to thinking ahead compared to other races.
Lorrelas - Indeed...
As they talked the palace itself comes into view; an ornate fortress-like structure built into the side of a dormant volcano.
Alessa - I don't know of how your calender works but it is believed this structure is almost as old as the city itself, over 250,000 of our years. Lorrelas - I must say, the palace has stood the test of time. Alessa - Like i said, we usually plan for the long-term. A structure like this had to be built to last. Lorrelas - In the TIAF, if we had wanted something to last a long time, we would just run long-term maintenance. Throughout all my years, I have never seen something last so long naturally. Alessa - It has been maintianed for most of that time.
They arrived at the front door with Alessa leading them into the foyer. When they entered Alessa coughed to call the attention of a passing servant.
Alessa - Where was father last?
Servant - Lord Uriel was in the eastern drawing room with the Crown-Prince, my lady.
Alessa - Again?
Servant - Yes.
Alessa motioned for Lorrelas to follow her. They passed through corridors that were adorned with paintings of various subjects: past rulers, landscapes, landmarks and exotic creatures.
Alessa - Father is an old friend of the Drallivian crown-Prince.
Lorrelas - Their relationship is known within the Federation.
Alessa - I see.
Lorrelas - The old Prefect Valocanus spoke of it. Although I probably should not speak more on that subject, I understand it is still a sensitive matter.
Alessa - Uriel isn't ashamed of his rlationship to the man. They get on quite well.
After travelling up a few floors they reach a door. Alessa asked Lorrelas to wait one moment while she knocked on the door.
Alessa - Father, you have a visitor.
??? - Who?
His name is lorrelas, father, I believe you have met...
??? - If he's here to talk, send him in.
Alessa - You might want to leave your guards outside. Other than that you are free to enter. Lorrelas - Alright.
Lorrelas motions to the two escorts, who nodded, saluted, and backced off as he entered the room. Inside the drawing room Uriel and Telvenum are talking cheerfully. The right-hand wall was dominated by a holographic screen that showed an outside view, acting as a window. Books and trinkets tastefully adorn the room. Lorrelas bowed as he closed the door behind him. Snoozing on a spare chair was Telvenum's pet Dvottie, which he usually kept close.
Lorrelas - Greetings, Uriel. It is an honor.
Uriel - *nods* Greetings. It is an honour to finally meet you in person.
Lorrelas - And it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Telvenum.
Maxios - *nods politely* Greetings.
Uriel - I've been told there are matters you wish to discuss with me. *sighs* It is about the war, isn't it?
Lorrelas - It was my sincere intention that we could resolve issues pertaining to that, yes.
Uriel - When we last spoke you made it rather clear that war was inevitable.
Maxios - Not exactly a good start.
Lorrelas - The Grand Assembly had its mind set on going to war. *sighs* I was merely relaying the message.
Uriel - In that case I bear no had feelings to you. A messenger is not responsible for the nature of the news he brings.
Lorrelas - I harbor no ill will towards you, as well. Might I say, you are respected as a fair ruler by the Federation's populace.
Uriel - is that so? I am touched. I did hear of what happened on Vashkya and I assure you neither the Brood or the Imperium knew anything of these 'Mali'Zane' that attacked.
Lorrelas - It is in the past now. We can rebuild, as we always have.
Uriel - Agreed. The senate has been debating about extending this ceasefire into a proper peace-treaty.
Uriel stood up up and walked over to the screen. Staring out in contemplation.
Uriel - These artifacts... It is as though everyone wants them for themselves. No-one knows what they do, but the Commonwealth has unanamously agreed that they are too dangerous to be used by anyone.
Lorrelas - The Grand Assembly believed that as well. That is why they were so keen on war, since they believed the Artifacts were in the wrong hands, considering the politics involving Wental at the time.
Uriel - I see... Since the beginning of this war the Imperium has been trying to work out what the artifacts do or what they are, we only have a vague idea.
Lorrelas - I doubt anyone knows what their potential is. Even us.
Maxios - Nice to see some know their limits.
Maxios' snide comment was picked up by Lorrelas who turned ot him defensively.
Lorrelas - I'm sorry?
Uriel - Forgive Maxios. He was simply pointing out that you are one of a rare few who are not overly confident about themselves. He did not mean to offend you.
Lorrelas - Ah, I see.
Uriel - How are you finding the Imperium now that you've had a chance to see its heart and soul firsthand?
Lorrelas - I am quite impressed.
Maxios stood up to stretch his legs. He walked over to the sleeping Dvottie and began stroking its side gently with his finger. uriel turned from staringo ut of the window and approached Lorrelas.
Maxios - Is it really true your comedians claim we live in huts?
Lorrelas - *smirks gently* Yes. Though the public opinion shifts as the politics do, so those jabs should likely become artifacts of a past time soon.
Maxios - Hm. May as well let the people have their fun.
Uriel - *smiles* I suppose you need to be there to undertand.
Lorrelas - Satire relies on both the information and misinformation of the people, it has been said.
Uriel - I realise things have not started well for both of us.
Lorrelas - Now that the dust has settled, I have been hoping for more positive relations with your kind and the AGC as a whole.
Uriel - If knowledge serves, we are both defenders and prefer not to engage offensively unless we have to.
Lorrelas - We do share some core ideological values.
Uriel - I must say I am rather impressed with how advanced the federation is, given it's age.
Lorrelas - The cooperation of many races works wonders. It still amazes me to this day.
Uriel - So I've noticed, I sometimes wonder if the Imperium has actually been slow compred to others. Then again; despite the appeal, long-life has its disadvantages. You begin to enjoy stability, watching as things run smoothly over hundreds of years.
Lorrelas - Well, living in the shadow of the Vartekians certainly does not help anyone...
Uriel - It doesn't. SOmetimes I wonder, if we had been a little more ambitious, would the Draconis be the inheritors of Andromeda?
Lorrelas - The way I see it now, the Draconis are fit to fill the vacuum left by the Vartekians. I am in fact quite confident that the Draconis are the new powers of Andromeda.
Uriel - You think so? Perhaps the Imperium should shift expansion efforts closer to home.
Lorrelas - It is said that it is better to secure matters at home before dealing with those abroad.
Maxios - You do have a point. Although it is somewhat fortunate the gateway network allows us to travel between galaxies in the blink of an eye.
Lorrelas - You are quite lucky to have technology like that. Even by the hyperspace network, it took me a day to get to Andromeda from Bunsen.
Uriel - Both of you have a point. The navy has certainly grown exponentially from when I was a young soldier.
Lorrelas - *smirks* When I was a young soldier, our "military" was a bunch of ragtag militia who really did not cooperate.
Uriel - I wouldn't say the wormholes were luck exactly...
Maxios lifted his finger from the Dvottie with a smile while Uriel walked over to a wine cabinet.
Uriel - It is more like... well fortune I suppose. How do you feel about wine, captain?
Lorrelas - Ah, yes, wine. I am always curious to see how the wine tastes from different planets. What do you have to offer?
Uriel - Several varieties, hmm I have a 50-year-old vintage; brewed from one of my House's vinyards in the colonies.
Lorrelas - Interesting... That will do just fine.
Uriel poured out a deep orange liquid into three tall glasses.
Uriel - Draconis wine is a little stronger than what you might be used to.
Lorrelas - Believe me, Uriel, I can hold my liquor.
Uriel handed one glass to Maxios, one to Lorrelas and picked up the last one for himself. Holding the glass at arm's length. All three of them raised their glasses.
Uriel - To what the future holds.
Lorrelas - To a future of peace and cooperation!
Maxios - To a new and brighter era.
The three men downed their glasses, the wine was 3x stronger in comparison to any human beverage.
Uriel - A good kick, and aged well. It was a pleasure meting you captain.
Lorrelas - It was definitely a pleasure. Could I perhaps get another bottle of that wine to take home? Perhaps I can pull it out at a party some time.
Uriel - I will have a second bottle delivered to your ship.
Maxios - As enjoyable as this has been, I shall retire to my chanbers.
Maxios headed towards the door, picking up the Dvottie along the way. Lorrelas bowed to him out of courtesy.
Lorrelas - Excellent. It has been an honor. I hope that this meeting has been productive.
Uriel - I hope so as well.
Lorrelas - Farewell, and long life to you, Paragon.
Uriel - Good health to you.
Uriel bowed to him as Lorrelas followed Telvenum and opened the door out to the passageway, he motions for his escorts to folllow him, who salute and accompanied him on the journey back to his ship. Lorrelas left the planet in confidence that it had been a very productive meeting.
Deep within the galactic core, a small fleet of Zazane ships warped through the Grox space. They have not encountered any resistance, as a special order from King Grochius. They sent a message. They were about to propose a deal. Rising from the throne erected in the fortress built on the recently conquered world, Grochius walked to meet a spaceship that has just landed, revealing a group of Kordalu. Their commander, a Kordalu named 'undenyable weapon' stepped forward.
Undenyable Weapon - I am Commander Undenyable Weapon of the Kordalian Connection.
Grochius - Good, good. My name is King Grochius the Second, the true ruler of Andromeda! I hope you really have something good in exchange for our technology.
Undenyable Weapon - We think you may find value in knowing the locations of all known allied races in the galaxy at this current moment, including the capital of the Brood of War.
Grochius - Hm. This could be a good test of our weaponry. I would like to know the location of the capital of Brood of War...
Undenyable Weapon - They are located in Segmentum Crepusculum, within the Haar-tol System.
Grochius - The pact would be struck. I would give you a fraction of our technology. Now, leave! I do not like your non-Grox presence here.
The Kordalu group left the Grox world quickly, leaving Grochius alone with his only advisor Ixxan to laugh maniacally.
Grochius - THIS... IS THE BEGINNING OF THE END! MY NEW REIGN STARTS! THE MECHOVIRUS SHALL BE UNLEASHED! I SHALL DESTROY THE LOWER LIFE'S VERY COURAGE, BURN THEIR BODIES AN-
Grochius was quickly interrupted by the slap of his Dronox advisor.
Ixxan - More actions, my lord. You should start your journey right now. Even with this new technology, reaching Haar-tol will be difficult.
Grochius - Of course, Ixxan. OF COURSE!
Grochius entered his Dominator flagship along with a small squad in battlesuits and promptly left the Grox space. He had the very power of Mechovirus flowing within him - what could stop him now?
The Grox were not the only party interested with the Haar-Tol system. An escort from the Draconid Imperium approached the central planet. Requesting for a shuttle landing, a delegation from the imperium had arrived onthe planet's surface. Emerging from the shuttle was an elderly Terratrix with teal fethers. Stapped to his head was a set of eyepieces that could be positioned over his eye. He was supported by two assistants and an ITN bodygaurd of 2 draconid marines. Tyraz stood to welcome the delegates to the Brood capital.
Tyraz - Welcome to the Andromedan capital of the Brood, Draconis!
Tyraz's proud expression dropped when he realised the Imperium had sent a group of avians rather than the all-familiar Draconis. He wasn't entirely sure what to make of his guests.
Tyraz - Or....bird creature.
Araliv - Greetings. Tyraz breek I am Preofessor Araliv, senior exosociologist of the Alpenix University.
Tyraz - It is a pleasure to meet you, Professor, I hope that the city doesn't disturb you. We have...markings of war all over.
Araliv held his hands over his stomach and nodded politely.
Araliv - I am very keen to learn more about your people. And don't worry, I have studied worse. I always find new cultures fascinating. It intrigues me that your culture has taken such a determined look to conflict.
Tyraz - Right this way. Ask me what you want to know, I'll see if I can get my guards to find some refreshments.
Tyraz led the group through the city. Markings of war were indeed everywhere, blood and bones littered the ground.
Tyraz - Well, you need to eliminate the threat before it gets out of hand. Otherwise, your empire and future generations are going to face the consequences.
Araliv - An interesting stance.
Assistant - Sir... there is blood everywhere.
Araliv - I noticed, *to Tyraz* Is your planet encountering some form of unrest?
Tyraz - Unrest? Well, in Brood territory, murder is legal so long as there is a logical reason behind it. It is probably from where husbands have killed the men toying with their wives or vice versa.
Assistant - Oh my...
Araliv - Does the hygene concern of leaving fresh blood bother people?
Tyraz - My people have seen blood before. Disease in Zazane is rare, so we do not have to worry about illnesses and infections through blood,
Assistant 2 - Professor, perhaps this was not a good idea.
Araliv flicked his wrist, prompting the assistant to stop talking.
Araliv - Forgive my assistants. I am here to affirm Paragon Uriel's belief that despite signs of barbasism the Brood has a sense of honour. You impressed the Paragon, we respect that. The senate however are not as easily convinced. ANd then there was that execution...
Tyraz - When you insult a Zazane's physical appearance, do not expect to be let off lightly. My people are a good race, the leaders are not...
Araliv - And I am here to reassure the Imperium's senate theat you are not savage barbarians. Some ight consider your code of law somewhat extreme.
Tyraz - You do not have to worry. Senseless murder is forbidden. We have strict code of honour. Araliv - I am glad to hear of this.
Assistant - Lord Tyraz, I am Erekka. Some of the university's scientists have wondered about the meta-material you call Shidium. Can you tell us more?
Araliv - Now I do not think such a question is relevant.
Erekka - But... It is clear they are dependant on it, I was just curious.
Tyraz - Ah yes, Shidium. It is our main resource. At intense heat, it can be turned into liquid and gas. Energy is produced when you liquify it. Pure Shidium takes on a form like antimatter.
Araliv - I see.
Intrigued, Araliv pulled out a tablet pc and began writing out notes with his bony finger. Tyraz looked at him and blinked with concern. The assistants appeared nervous while Araliv became engrossed in his notes.
Tyraz - Why does the Imperium wish to know of Shidium?
Araliv - Understanding. We have never seen a substance quite like it until recently.
Assistant - Wh- we discovered what we could from traces left over from battles.
Tyraz - And what were your "traces"?
Araliv - Latent energy signatures, lodged shidium rounds, shrapnel, your soldiers tend to leave a fair bit of it around during battle.
Assistant 2 - We learned that it is highly toxic to most lifeforms except Zazane. So there is little we could do with it without considerable protection.
Tyraz - Ah yes, my soldiers need a talking to. Is there anything else you wish to my about us?
Araliv - Well, I suppose-
Araliv was interrupted when a marine held up his hand to call attention. Moments before he had been listening to a communication.
Marine - Professor something just destroyed our escort.
Tyraz - What? Destroyed your escort?
Araliv - What?
Marine - Something in orbit apparently. If what i could hear was correct the ship was scrapped before they could escape.
A small squad of cybernetic Zazane entered the city, passing through the guards who most likely thought they were Kordalu. They proceeded to the center of the planetary capital, unseen and hidden, until Grochius commanded them to kill. All in a sudden, cyborg Zazane revealed their true identities and stroke at other Zazane on the huge city plaza with their claws, forcing them to flee or fight. All of them were wounded, and all of them were infected. The screams echoed through the streets. Only recently recovering from the news of the destruction of the orbiting cruiser the sounds reached a cautious group. Aravil was startled by the noise, they then noticed a Zazane running towards them from the direction of the plaza.
Tyraz - What the bloody hell is going on?!
Grontol Wamit - Lord Tyraz, Kordalu Zazane seem to be rebelling against us! More and more just keep appearing!
Aravil - Lord Breek?...
The Mechanical monstrosities were silent, slowly advancing to infect more. They swept through the city with little resistance. Outside, Grochius observed the situation through his minions' eyes, seeking the leader of the Zazane, Tyraz Breek. Upon hearing the news the ITN marines escorting Aravil and his assistants primed their weapons.
Marine - Wepup, def HVT! Tyraz - Kordalu? But they wouldn't have the nerve or sense to betray the Brood...Hmph. Very well. Prepare the Scars of Strife, Fire Spitters, and the Hammers of Glory. Call in for reinforcements from the Wrathborne and Spiritis. Grontol Wamit - Yes, Lord Tyraz.
Grontol ran to alert the other creeds of the assault. Aravil approached Tyraz now that he had calmed down slightly.
Aravil - Rebels do not always carry sense, Lord Breek.
Tyraz - No...To attack the Brood capital without us knowing though....They must've found a way around security.
Marine - Permission for KoS on all Kordalu?
Tyraz - Permission granted. The Kordalu here are now our enemy.
The marine nodded, signalling the other to stand on alert status. In a very short space of time the streets were flocked as three Creeds, the Scars of Strife, Fire Spitters, and Hammers of Glory, rushed into battle, weapons blazing and vehicles ready to fire at their new foe. Now heavily expanding in numbers, the twisted horde of cybernetic monstrosities marched across the city leaving buildings and citizens in flames, left to die or, worse - turn into new mecha-Zazane. Two armies now clashed; ready to fight. Grontol returned ot the group after alerting the other greeds to mobilise.
Marine - Lord Breek, we need to get the professor to safety!
Tyraz - Zazane, show no mercy! They deserve pain and defeat!
Tyraz - Grontol, take the professor to a safe point! I cannot afford to lose the life of an alien within my territory!
Grontol - Yes lord Breek! *walks to the professor* Come with me, now!
Aravil - Understood.
Aravil nodded to his new escort. Grontol and several warriors lead Aravil and his assistants towards a safe house, running from the battlefield which was once a massive city.
Aravil - ...A shame such a proud city had to descend into this...
Grontol - It is not an uncommon occurence. Battles like this happen nearly every week, and usually the Brood win. Assistant - Surely this is counter-productive?
Grontol - Not really. If we do win, we know that we need better defenses, so we build them afterwards.
Aravil - So you improve until you have a city that is perfectly defended. An interesting system.
Grontol - Zazane live by the saying, "there is always room for more improvement".
Aravil - A philosophy the Draconis like to share.
Back on the frontlines the first ranks of Mecha-Zazane leaped at the Scars of Strife's forces, caring little for defense.
Zazane Warrior - Apparently, these monsters aren't so smart. Kill them quickly, before they would slaughter our whole battleforce!
Scars Field Commander - Agreed. They throw themselves at us!
The commander slammed one of the mecha-Zazane with the butt of his sword. The mecha-Zazane quickly fell down to the Scars' blades and cannons, and their steel corpses fell down on the ground. Zazane warriors shouted a victorious battlecry. The streets
Zazane - This was easy!
Hammers Field Commander - Do not underestimate them...They look different to Kordalu...
The commander's suspicion was right. Dead Mechazazane bodies slowly melted, their mechanical forms turning into liquid nanobot mass. To their horror, Zazane troopers have realised that the wounds on their bodies had the same marks, the same liquid metal. Slowly, this metal mass expanded...
Hammers Field Commander - Shyrak! If you are wounded, isolate yourselves! Or we shall kill you!
Scars Field Commander - Show no mercy! The wounded must either isolate or die!
Zazane forces quickly started to evacuate the wounded, but they have not realised the sheer speed of the transformation. As the commanders started to move the wounded to isolate them, they grew metallic claws and turned on the other Zazane with fearsome metallic screech. The field commanders were soon outnumbered by the wounded, terrified by the thought of such a fast transformation, similar to those undergone by the servants of Moxix some time ago. However, they continued to fight, careful not to get injured.
Marine - Grontol we need to send a message to the commonwealth, if we're lucky it could only be a few hours before reinforcements arrive.
Grontol - Agreed. We're close to a communications console.
Marine - Lead the way
the team reach the relay with the marines guarding the door as the others went inside. Grontol reaches the communications console, and he starts to establish a link with the nearest Imperium colony, hoping that they accept his plea.
Grontol - This had better work!
DI Relay AI - Relay station Arlavus I-88, what is your request.
Grontol - This is Grontol of the Brood of War! We need assistance here! There has been an uprising of sorts and we cannot control it!
Relay - Understood. Fleets four-one-five, two-three-one and one-seven-five have been contacted.... Response: fleet 231 en route. ETA - 5 hours.
Marine - *looks out of the door* That 5 hours had better be brief!
Outside, more Mecha-Zazane ran amok the city, bringing chaos and devastation across the city. One of the buildings besieged was the Divinarium embassy, a white metallic tower protected by electrolaser turrets. Lightning strikes burned many mecha-Zazane to their death, but others remained, climbing at the tower to shut down its defenses. A Telzoc legate, fighting the climbing monstrosities with his handgun, has desperately sent two warnings - to the Conclave to send Divinarium forces to the planet and to the Zazane command to save him. To his relief, a group of Fire Spitters Zazane set up a defence near the embassy and fired heavy weapons at the creatures, ripping through their metallic flesh. Finally escaping from the tower, a Telzoc diplomat nodded to his saviours.
Legate - Erm, thank you. I have sent a message to the Divinarium, and I hope that their fleet would be here in a few minutes. Unless something serious would happen to them...
Fire Spitters Field Commander - The Imperium should be here as well. I just hope that they come to our assistance soon...
Abck at the relay everyone was becomnig nervous.
Marine - Grontol I think we should keep moving, the Imperium is on its way so the best we can do is survive until they arrive.
Aravil - A good plan, what is the city like outside?
Grontol - Not good...Kordalu overrun the streets, our forces are dwindling.
Aravil - Any word from Tyraz...?
One of the marines approached Aravil, looking down his snout at the scientist.
Marine - We can worry about him -after- we get you and the others to safety.
Grontol - Hmph. Without Tyraz, you cannot get off this planet. He commands the fleets here.
Aravil - I was only curious, If his reputation is to be believed he will be able to survive better than me.
Grontol - Indeed, but let's just hope he isn't too involved in this losing battle.
The frontlines continued to turn into a massacre, everyone dead or injured was infected with the mechanovirus, turning them into rabid machines.
Zazane - My lord, I fear that the whole city is overrun by Kordalu, we are one of the only forces left there. And what's even worse, there are some of them running at us now...
Tyraz - Get out of here, then! There is no point in fighting a losing battle, especially to these...traitors!
Zazane - Remember that for every Zazane lost, a new enemy is born! We should evacuate our citizen elsewhere!
Tyraz - I know...evacuate everybody you can, get them onto escape ships! I'll try and fend these guys off.
Back at the relay a Zazane warrior cried out for a group of citizens to outrun a grou pf mecha-Zazane. The marines assisted the Zazane warriors at firing at the creatures to cover the citzens.
Zazane - Get here, before these monsters will infect more citizens!
Assistant - ...Infect? You mean they're not all aligned with the Kordalu?
Grontol - I don't know...they seem to be of a biomechanical nature.
Zazane - Shyrak, it is a virus or something! They are like zombies!
Assistant - Z-zombies...
Grontol - *slaps the Zazane* Shush your mouth! You may not speak of such a cursed concept here! Aravil - I think I know what you refer to..
rontol - With all due respect, professor, I doubt that....the cursed one is here.
Assistant - Cursed o-
Aravil raised his arm to his side to obscure the assistant's vision and impply for her to stop talking.
Aravil - I don't think this is a question we should ask.
Assistant - I understand professor. The Imperium was hit by an undead plague as well, the whole gigaquadrant according to research.
Grontol - What did I say?!
Aravil sqawked in frustration at the Zazane. The crisis situation and the building fear was getting to the usually-calm Terratrix.
Aravil - Alright! We won't bring it up again.
Grontol - Good...Evacuation ships will be here shortly.
Marine - Then we had best reach the LZ.
Grontol nodded towards a blast a hole through the nearby wall. meanwhile as the Mecha-Zazane poured from the ruins, a few Zazane warriors noticed some of them leaving on Kordalu and Grox spaceship and warped into space. This made them curious, watching as the creatures entered.
Marine - If the imperium finds out... *ahem*, they will request permission to glass the planet.
Grontol - Only if we do not win this battle.
Marine - If this virus is an indication, it won't matter.
Grontol - Follow me!
Grontol leaped out of the hole in the wall and landed a few stories below on the ground outside. The marines followed suit, using their wings to glide down from the hole, helping Aravil and his assistants reach the ground by holding them as they flew down. Grontol ran ahead shooting at newly infected Zazane that stood as an obstacle. The marines assisted with the killing, setting their rifles to a level in order to disintergrate the infected. In other parts of the planet, Zazane warriors turned to see huge spaceships warping behind them, sending deadly infection to corrupt the land. Soon, Zazane soldiers realised that they are surrounded. Bac in the city an escape ship had landed in a clearing in the ruins, Grontol saw this and alerted the others. As they ran, one of the assistants tripped in the rubble. Grontol ran over to help but was too slow, mecha Zazane, seeing weakness, snarled and jumped to catch the assistant, clawing his corpse. Silver liquid poured into the man's veins as a malevolent flame flashed in his eyes. The marines opened fire on any moving infected. the loss of one of his assistance screamed out in a traumatised panic.
Aravil - NO!
Zazane - Protect the ship!
Aravil was restrained by his escorts, who reminded him that it was no use jumping out.As he jostled about Tyraz materialised in front of the ship, killing several infected. The sight was enough to calm him down part-way. Aboard the escape ship was the Telzoc legate.
Zazane - Lord Breek! We are saved.
Araliv - Ancent spirits be praised... one of my assistants was... converted...
Tyraz - Get out of here, now! The Imperium and Divinarium should be arriving soon!
Telzoc Legate - I have just recieved information that Draconis and Divinarium fleets will come soon. Then, we would be able to stop the Grox blockade and save this world
A marine banged on the ship's bulkhead with his fist to indicate for them to take off. Aravil looked down at the battlefield, he barely caught sight of his former assistant amongs the mazz of Zazane. The escape ship quickly launched its engines and flew into space, its small size protecting it from Grox lasers.
In orbit, it was left alone. The Captain of the ship prepared to make a last stand but suddenly a flash of light blinded him as a purple portal opened, revealing a fleet of black spaceships, led by another, white one. The Divinarium has arrived, as did the Draconid Imperium. The Imperial ships imediately opened communication.
Admiral - Admiral Luvius, commanding officer of the 232st fleet reporting in, can you give us a sitrep?
Zazane - Apparently, things are grim. The planet is devastated.
Jahric - This is Predictor Advisor Jahric of the Ecclesial Navy. A fleet of several dozens of Grox ships are coming. This is not much, but these ships are humungous!
Marine - Sergeant Orvonus of the 715th here, we have a suspected nano-attack, similar to the recent mechanisation of an imperial colony.
Admiral - Understood sergeant, EMP salvo will be prepared, any word on this fro mthe Zazane governemnt? Jahric - My fleet will take down the ships.
Tyraz - *over comms* I need assistance down here! There's hardly anybody left!
The Divinarium armada flew at maximum speed to the Grox ships, using their electrolasers to create havoc in the ship systems.
Admiral - Lord Breek we will provide support. from current sitrep analysis our best action would be to saturate the planet with an electromagnetic pulse. It will kill all infected and potentially all cybernetically-inhanced occupants on the planet's surface. At the very least, the enhanced are going to feel uncomfortable until they recieve new or repaired implants.
Jahric - Do your best, I will distract their forces!
Tyraz - Do it! Permission granted! There's nothing but infected here!
Admiral - Understood. The imperium will be on-hand to clean up the mess.
The Imperium's bombardment-capable warships approached the planet and aimed launchers at the surfac,e firing containers rigged with impact-sensetive RMPs. While the Draconid forces purged the planet, Jahric's fleet distracted the remaining Grox ships that burned their enemies with lasers, decimating the Divinarium force. While the powerful, mighty fortresses of the Grox were outnumbered by their foes greatly, the siege seemed to be nearly over now. However, what they did not realise is that the largest, most powerful Grox spaceship still remained: Grochius' personal flagship. Jahric shriveled when he saw the size of the ship, but commanded to strike anyway. Grochius has responded. Without warning, Radeon spaceships were enveloped in wild, destructive blue flame, turning them into nothingness. Jahric nearly screamed, as he was left alone.
Jahric - THIS... SPACESHIP! TO ALL SHIPS ON THE ORBIT, CONCENTRATE FIRE ON IT!
Admiral - Predictor Advisor? *the ship appears on screen* Lifefather protect all of us... ALL SHIPS OPEN FIRE!
In fear, Jahric had not noticed another spaceship coming out of the portal, a small white craft protected by a purple swirling forcefield. All forces in the orbit have once again heard a familiar female voice from the vox channels.
Iovera - When I became aware of this invasion, I... could not just stay in the temple doing nothing. I knew I should help you in any way I can. This... this is not due to Tyraz or anyone else, just- AAAAH!
Iovera screamed in fear, strange disturbances of negative energies tormenting her greatly
Iovera - This ship... It shines with darkness... We must stop it. We must stop the darkness now.
Admiral - I could not agree more, Highlord. The 231st is doing all it can.
Iovera - I'll remove the protection of shadows for a second, for a moment, and this ship would be vulnerable. Do what you have to do, I will support you... any way I can.
Iovera concentrated her energy in a massive discharge of its power. A blue barrier surrounding the Grox ship vanished and it was now vunerable. Grochinus panicked, unsure what was going on.
Admiral - All ships open up with everything you have! Thear that void-forsaken ship apart!!!
Suddenly, a ship materialized in front of the Grox ship...Tyraz's own flagship, the Ghost of the Warrior. Within his command room Tyraz was growling ferociously, charging towards the Grox ship firing all weapons.
Tyraz - I will kill you for this!
Iovera - Tyraz, please... you must win. I saw the future, and I see darkness in there. Yet I also see hope. Do what you can and let you succeed
The 231st fleet opens fire on Grochinus' flagship with every weapon at its disposal. The Ghost of the Warrior followed suit, firing Shidium energy weapons at the flagship before heading on a direct collision course with it. Iovera, recovering from the shock, commanded Jahric to attack as well. Now concentrating all of her power she turned it into a massive lightning bolt. Piercing the void. The bolt Reached Grochius' flagship and made it burst in pieces, leaving its owner's fate vague. The Draconid admiral slumped in his commad chair now relieved the battle was over.
Admiral - All forces report in...
Jahric - Casualties are heavy.
Crewman - Saturation complete, preliminary reports suggest the planet is applicable for recolonisation.
Tyraz - *panting heavily and growling* Good...I would...like to improve defences.....Thank you, Iovera....
Iovera - Thank you as well. We could not do that without you.
Admiral - Perhaps this will be a lesson for the Grox - The Andromedan Galactic Commonwealth will not go quietly into oblivion.
Iovera - But this showed us the new power of the Grox. I'm afraid... we cannot defeat them alone.
Aravil, Now aboard the admiral's ship approached the conversation. He was still shaken from his ordeal on thep lanet below.
Aravil - My lords if there is any Grox tech we can salvage I have a suggestion.
Tyraz - Speak, professor, speak music to our ears.
Iovera - Speak.
Aravil - We need every advantage we can find, perhaps we can reverse-engineer some of their technology and use it within the commonwealth's militaries?
Tyraz - Sounds like a good idea to me.
Iovera - I do not see anything wrong with that. But we need something else.
Admiral - I am not so certain, we all saw what their technology was capable of. Do we really want to spread it around the galaxy?
Iovera - When I saw that Grox ship, when I gazed into Grochius' mind... I saw something. It was darkness. It was something worse than all Grox.
Tyraz - I am trusting you not to pass any of this technology to any Kordalu colonies. They are traitors.
Aravil - You can trust the Imperium's and Divinarium's universities with the research.
Iovera - We cannot defeat Grochius alone. We need to rally the whole galaxy: Solarites, The Coalition, The Solonese Union, Zarni, perhaps even the mighty Shka'tun. Only by unity can we win. Do you agree with me, grand lords?
Admiral - I can see your logic highlord. But how exactly could we convince the Shka'Tun?
Admiral - That or they might not care.
Tyraz - It should seem so...But the Shka'Tun....they may kill us as well as Grox.
Iovera - Either way, united we can fight.
Admiral - It is settled then. The trusted research institutes will work to reverse-engineer Grox technology while we work to unite the galaxy.
The Flight of Unity
Generally silent streets of the Celestial City of the planet Crepusculum were now unusually noisy, filled with preparations for what could be the most important mission for the victory over the Grox Empire. Draconis nobles and Zazane warriors have come to the city, wanting to see the delegation. Finally, the diplomats themselves arrived from various parts of Andromeda. There were three of them.
First was a young, elegant Radeon female in light, simple golden clothing, accompanied by a larger figure - the Draconis princess in a finely decorated and elaborate dress, smiling friendly towards the nobles accompanying her as well as Divinarian citizen. The third was a gruff Zazane in black clothing; unlike the other two ambassadors, he showed little interest neither in the mission nor in the people around him.
The trio walked on the black bridges built between the huge pyramids of the Celestial City, pyramids that pierced the clouds. Reaching the largest platform on the highest levels of the city, they were met by the Predictor Advisor Jahric, who was going to be the captain of the diplomatic ship. Jahric reluctantly bowed to the esteemed ambassadors. Next to him was his favourite spaceship, Silvermoon, cleaned for the new mission and shining on the cold sun of Crepusculum.
Selytorah - It is the second time I meet you, Predictor Advisor. I am glad that you are alright, after all these battles.
Jahric - Ah, yes. Battles. It always made me wonder. As I grew up, whenever I came, I saw war. People dying. Could this ever stop? Are we so bloodthirsty we have to murder all the time?
Jahric sighed. He was not a violent person and he could not do anything with that. Selytorah has attempted to calm him down:
Selytorah - Do not worry. We fight to live and there is nothing you can do with that. We have a mission to do.
Jahric - Ah... ah... yes. Welcome to Silvermoon, there are rooms for you over there - Jahric has opened the hatches of the spaceship and pointed at the end of the corridor - You have everything you want, sit there and wait until we will be at the point of our destination.
Diplomats entered the spaceship and came to their rooms while Jahric lazily activated the driving systems of his spaceship. Silvermoon quaked as it left the atmosphere of Crepusculum to find new worlds and new allies to win against a terrible, indestructible foe...
In the aftermath of the Andromedan Grox's attack on the great powers of the galaxy and the formation of the Andromedan Galactic Commonwealth, the triumvirate of Tyraz, Iovera and Uriel decided to expand upon it's exploration fleet by constructing a highly advanced ship capable of travelling into other universes using reversed engineered Radeon technology used to escape the Xhodocto during the Tigris War's conclusion. With the ship, named the Peanoeur, the triumvirate of the AGC hoped to find new allies for use aginst the Grox threat. On its maiden voyage, the Peanoeur opened it's first intra-universal wormhole, travelling through it with much enthusiasm.
Dropping out of the wormhole, at first all appeared normal to the crew of the Peanoeur, with no ships appearing on sensors. However, all was about to change for the worst as a massive saucer shaped vessel with a maroon colouration materialised directly in front of the new AGC vessel. The alien vessel appeared to be charging a primary weapon; and in an almighty flash of light, the very physiology of the entire crew of the Peanoeur, turning them into the slaves of this terrifying new civilization, the Catharsis. Having no further need for the Peanoeur, the Saucer obliterated it in a single blast.
The Saucer, with a new compliment of individuals turned its attention to the wormhole, and traveled through it, accompanied by hundreds of other Saucers, both small and large. The Catharsis had arrived in the First Gigaquadrant.
- First visit
As the Catharsis force emerged from its home dimension, Silvermoon continued its journey, now heading to Segmentum Umbra. Chaotic and scattered, it was home to many nations and species that could help the AGC in its crusade against the Grox. Meanwhile, a discussion took place aboard the ship.
Jahric - So, what planet, Selytorah?
Selytorah - Here, on a screen. That large dot. I think it is called Quori or something. I have a friend from this planet.
Jahric - A friend?
Selytorah - His name was Cron. He was an Imperix trader, I met him during my diplomatic mission in Umbra. I think he could help us to contact his species, Imperix are fairly known in Segmentum Umbra.
Jahric - Eh, sure.
Silvermoon has launched its drives again and vanished in a flash of purple light, emerging around a large jungle planet. The world was filled with forests, and Jahric was forced to land on the only possible place - a small glade filled with variety of life. Jahric, the diplomatic mission and the ship's crew walked out of Silvermoon. Everyone was calmed down and soothed by the nature's beauty here. Small birds perched from tree to tree, grass rustled without sound underneath the team's feet. There was nothing to disturb the serenity of the natural environment - no noise, no sound. Even the lake in the glade was still. Jahric, however, was scared. This eerily silence was definitely unnerving, he thought. It was horrifying.
Selytorah - His home must be somewhere here. I remember that place... WATCH OUT!
Jahric's fears, unfortunately, turned out to be true. Water of the lake started to tremble and a grotesque crystalline monstrosity emerged from it, roaring at the interlopers. Looking like it was made out of the pieces of an ancient black mountain, it brought terror. Opening its huge mouth, the demonic animal swooped at the team, grabbing Selytorah intending to devour. Jahric, Balkor Khadan and the ship's crew opened fire at the beast, but with little result; it seemed impossible, but the animal shrugged all the fire, even the plasma bolts were useless against its rocky skin. However, an unexpected event happened. Grabbing her handgun, Selytorah has made a single shot, right in the monster's mouth. Screaming in pain, it collapsed and fell on the ground, finally breaking the utmost silence of the glade. The ground trembled as a lone Imperix appeared from the forest.
Cron - Who's there?
- The Journey
Selytorah - That's me, Selytorah Al'theless. These people around me are my comrades; they bring no harm.
Cron - Ah, good. I assume you want to rest here, right? Well, let's go to my home then.
Cron has led the delegation of AGC through the deep forests, passing through safe roads and wild creatures. Alessa stepped carefully through the forest dirt; she certainly did not expect the diplomatic mission to turn out like that. Selytorah was more prepared and followed Cron's steps; everyone else did not care and just walked where everyone else was going.
Balkor - Who is that Cron, lady Selytorah? I have not seen creatures like that before.
Selytorah - He's an Imperix. A species of plasma clouds encased in life support suits. I met Cron when I first met his species; he was one of the famous captains of his empire, but then he was exiled. I never really understood why couldn't he just come back into his homestar Erix, but I think he has his own reasons.
As they were talking, Cron led the delegation to his home, a simple metal building filled with machinery and weapons.
Jahric - Now, Cron, we have to talk. The matter is of great importance, we must travel to your species' home system, Erix. We know that its location is secret, but there is no choice. We must go there.
Cron - Selytorah is my friend indeed, but we Imperix keep our secrets. I won't tell you.
Balkor - You... do you understand what is going on?! Talk or I will tear you in half! The Grox Empire is conquering this galaxy! If we won't stop them, they will find YOUR home as well!
Cron - Grox? Conquering this galaxy? Oh no, I was right. I knew that, these signatures I found... It would have happened, sooner or later. Come with me, on my spaceship. I will bring you to Erix.
Cron pushed a large button in his house and a large Imperix spaceship appeared from the underground hangar, ready to leave the planet to the mysterious Erix.
Jahric - And what of my ship?
Cron - Ah. My servant will take care of it until our return.
Selytorah - Trust him, Jahric. Cron is a good person.
to be continued
Mecholife V/S Mecholife!
The Grox are the ultimate form of mechanical life in the known universe. Or at least, they were, until the Mechanization caused the natives of the Wental Galaxy to become machine life as well. Now, both forms of machine life are in the Andromeda Galaxy. And both are on opposite sides of a conflict. They have yet to meet in battle, and both have powerful weapons built to destroy. The Wentals have angered the Grox by taking into themselves an enemy of the Grox, the Starmaster Alliance, and becoming the Union of Mecholife. Therefor the Grox have determined that the only option is to exterminate all non-Grox Mecholife in the universe...
Mecholife V/S Mecholife! - the story unfolds!
A Draconis Commander looked out at the empty void of space from the command room of his flagship. He was unusually tense, despite years of experience at the helm of his current command. Orders from the Talon Navy had him sitting in wait to intercept a Grox fleet of comparable size to the one he had at his disposal- a consideration he didn't like at all. Worse still, he had been informed to take deep-space transit routes, and to expect reinforcements from outside of the AGC. He knew he was going straight through pirate space, and worse still, he was supposed to be reinforced by none other than Admiral Kaios, the alien responsible for cobbling together the galaxy's pirates into something of a fleet capable of threatening much of the galaxy.
And so here he was, his proud fleet floating side-by-side with a ramshackle mix of pirate cruisers, carriers and battleships. To his eyes it seemed that the only vessel that had any sort of practical design was the gleaming Reaver, Kaios' personal ship. The commander trusted him about as far as he could throw him, but orders were orders.
On the other ship's bridge, Kaios was silently throwing a mental mardi-gras from his chair in the command nucleus. He'd managed to get the AGC off his back for the duration of the war, quiet down some annoying neighbours, and eradicate two dozen of his closest rivals with a single deal. Furthermore, he was doing what he loved most: getting paid a ludicrous amount of money to do something that would most likely get him killed. Taking on the Grox was something he never considered before, until he heard reports of Grox fleets smashing lesser empires into the dust, almost as an afterthought.
Kaios was fairly sure the galaxy had the situation under control, but he didn't want to miss out on all the fun. So, he struck a couple of deals here and there to give him an opportunity to test the Grox while still having a decent fleet behind him. Kaios could care less about the horde of pirates that followed him out on the hope of riches and fame, but it would give him a headache to try. He was just in it for the thrills. And his heart was pumping a lot faster than usual today. Partially because of the scantily-clad female holograms dancing on the tactical display, but also because of a callout from his defensive systems officer: new contacts were reported on the edge of the Reaver's scanner. Lazily flipping comms channels, Kaios notified his Draconis allies about the reading, and had the readings confirmed by the other ship.
The Draconis fleet was starting to take up a battle formation, and so Kaios took his cue and gunned the Reaver's engines, bringing it about and off behind a star cluster, his escort fleet following suit. As soon as the deep-space scanners detected cannon fire, Kaios ordered all ships to launch torpedoes and then go dark. To the infuriated Draconis he left behind, it appeared that the wily pirate had abandoned them, put their engines to all ahead full and disappeared.
Back on the Talon Navy flagship, the Draconis commander was glaring coldly at the point in space his 'allies' had once occupied. His plans remained unchanged, as he still had hundreds of cruisers under his command, as well as frigates and escorts. He knew as much as anyone what the Grox were capable of, but he was confident that he had enough to match whatever the Grox could throw at them. Turning his gaze to the front, he ordered all weapons primed. A few long-range Grox weapons began to fire, chipping at the Draconis shields. Waiting a moment to give his gunners a few seconds more to aim, the commander ordered all weapons fired.
The two fleets squared off, Grox Warships and Motherships trading fire with Firelance and Starfury cruisers. Long-range turbolasers and weapons batteries ate away at shields on both sides, but for the large part both fleets suffered few losses. As the ships came in closer, Gloryhunter cruisers added their weapons batteries to the firefight while Clustermaster carriers released swarms of attack craft. Grox fighters duelled with Draconis strike craft in their thousands while the larger ships continued to trade blows.
Eventually, shields started to collapse. One of the Dragonfire ships on the Draconis flagships' broadside's shields dropped right as it was charging its main bombardment cannons. Most of the shots were ineffectual, denting the armour but doing little else. A few shots struck harder, knocking the vessel's primary weapon systems temporarily offline. Damage control crews flocked to fix the problem, and the ship was forced to disengage.
The battle seemed to be progressing well until the flagship's long-range scanners picked up numerous faint energy signals. While untrained eyes might have dismissed them for a cloud of space debris, the experienced Draconis crewman quickly picked out that they were moving under their own propulsion, while utilising a nearby star's gravity well to turn. The commander knew a pirate torpedo strike when he saw one coming.
Kaios and his fleet had aimed their torpedoes well: nearly a third of the rockets had been lost, either shot too close to the sun and exploding, or overshooting the target and spinning off into space. Those that did strike home did so with an immediate effect. Autoturrets turned to intercept the missiles, but there were so many that the limited number of guns and strike craft present could not hope to catch them all. Many missiles smashed into the already stricken shields of Grox Warships, helping to bring them down. Slower, guided torpedoes targeted engines, control rooms and weapon nodes, slowly crippling the larger ships.
With the enemy at a decided disadvantage, the Star Reavers gunned their engines, slingshotting around the star they had sheltered behind and straight into the Grox fleet. The Draconis and Grox were already hard pressed fighting each other, with losses on both sides beginning to stack up. As it was, the Grox were poorly disposed to deal with the new threat. Multiple ships were forced to turn to shield their more critical systems, taking fire off the Draconis. At the same time, Kaios' ships opened fire. Massed volleys of missiles now replaced torpedoes as the pirates tried all they could to bring down the enemy's shields. When the Grox returned fire, it was with much more noticeable effect. Dozens of pirate ships, too poor to afford superior shielding systems, were lost in the initial exchange. In return, the pirates launched another wave of ordnance: This time a salvo of boarding torpedoes.
Several Grox ships were caught unawares, and the crew were unable to distribute weapons in time to meet the onslaught of the pirate boarders. Though many of the boarding attempts were successfully put down, some ships found their engines and power cores damaged, while others had their bridges overrun and detonated spectacularly. Meanwhile, the close-range pounding the Draconis delivered further strained the Grox line, steadily crippling and wrecking ships.
Seeing one last opportunity, Kaios launched the Reaver into a burst of speed, sending the custom-built ship speeding into the Grox line. Weapon batteries blazed on all sides, while the shields steadily bore the brunt of the Grox fleet's firepower. The damage was largely superficial, but nonetheless gave Kaios one hell of a rush. That was until the shields collapsed, and Kaios found himself with a quarter of the enemy fleet to pass and no shields to protect him.
Gunning the Reaver's engines, Kaios drove the ship into a full-throttle race for the other side of the fleet. Grox ships whirled past him as the bridge crew updated him with damage reports. For the most part, the hull held, but fires were starting in non-essential areas. Worse still, the ship had taken a solid hit to the engine room, and communications couldn't reach them. The Reaver kept up its speed all the same, so Kaios focussed more on what was in front of him than the damage his beloved ship was taking.
Clearing the Grox lines, Kaios came about. The Reaver's shields came back online just in time to intercept a high-energy laser blast, while the comms room gave up on its attempts to contact engineering for long enough to receive a transmission from the Draconis: The Grox were in retreat, having taken nearly 60% casualties from the exchange.
As the Draconis commander sat back in his chair, he breathed a sigh of relief that he had just survived the encounter. About 40% of his fleet was crippled, with dozens of ships left as little more than blazing hulls, but the Draconis, and their grudging allies, had carried the day. Gangplank vessels began to board those Grox ships with engines cut, attempting to secure as much valuable technology as possible before they began to self-destruct. The commander hailed Kaios, and, somewhat grudgingly, thanked him for his aid and commended his tactical acumen. Kaios returned the favour, the grin on his face nearly stretching from one ear to the other, prompting the Draconis to wonder if the Admiral was making use of any substances at the time.
The two commanders said their final words and went their separate ways: The Draconis back to Imperium space to repair, rearm and turn over what they had salvaged, and Kaios to Confederate space to spend the trillions he had just made. The fact that he only had to share it with about 10% of the fleet he had brought with him only sweetened the deal. Flicking his display back to the dancing women, Kaios began to ponder future upgrades to the Reaver as he dozed off.
Jahric's crew has been sitting in a large deck within the Imperix ship, which Cron has called Netherstorm, chattering and telling stories together with the diplomatic mission, Jahric, however, stood near the captain's bridge, watching warped space and Cron working on machinery together with a small crew of Millenis servants. While Cron has taken a little rest from working, Jahric approached him intending to start a discussion.
Jahric - So, Cron, I wonder... Why were you so shocked when we told you about the Grox?
Cron - Oh, let me tell you. Most of my kin are careless, frolicing on these planets knowing they might flee to the safety of their homestar. I am different. I was once a scientist. Once, I has noted strange tachyonic disturbances here and there, around our home. I sent Millenis agents here, and what they have found was... terrible! Dead stars and formerly lush planets reduced to ashes! And everywhere, we found signs of strange spaceships...
Jahric - The Grox.
Cron - Yes! Whatever you call them! Everyone thought I was a madman, and so I left Erix III, to continue my studies alone. Fools! I want to help them, not to bring doom upon them. If only I could study that big black metal chunk on our planet-
Jahric - W...wait! Black metal chunk?
Cron - Yes. Big black metal chunk, with some scriptures. I guess it is artificial. Oh, and it also glows green.
Jahric's eyes opened wide and he stopped breathing. While Cron and Jahric were talking, the ship has reached its destination. Jahric has nearly screamed while Cron simply froze, his biology having no concept of showing fear.
Massive metal structures have been surrounding Erix, growing rapidly, becoming what seemed to be a building Dyson sphere. Star was rapidly losing energy, changing its colour to malevolent orange. Meanwhile, Erix III was under siege. Huge Imperix skyscrapers bursted into flames, Grox spaceships swooping in the sky, while battlesuits and Dronox fought defenseless Imperix on the ground, making them explode in a blast of fiery plasma. Jahric has called his crew and the diplomatic team to the bridge to see the scene. Everyone froze in terror.
They were too late...
- The Grox Pursuit
Jahric - Damnation! The Grox are here, and we are stuck on this spaceship with no way to counter their huge destroyers! Do we have a cloaking device or anything like that on this ship?
Cron - Nothing like that. But I have a better plan.
Jahric - Erm... what kind of plan? Scream like little girls and flee this star system?
Cron - No. Something better.
Cron has activated all Netherstorm's engines and pushed it at maximum speed, breaching the Grox blockade. A small Grox taskforce has turned into streams of light, pursuing the Imperix ship with great speed.
Jahric - You underestimate the Grox, Imperix. You may be advanced, but not even our ships are a match for their vessels. They are larger. They are faster. They are more advanced than yours.
Without saying a word, Cron has pushed his spaceship into a huge glass dome, broken due to intense Grox siege, and found his way into it from one of the holes into its glass surface, entering the Imperix Acropolis. Grox ships have followed.
Cron - Now, prepare yourselves. This is going to be... shaky.
He did not lie, the trip was indeed shaky. Jahric fell on the ship's floor while his comrades have barely managed to keep balance. Cron was spinning Netherstorm's rudder, carefully maneuvring between skyscrapers at extreme speed. Grox pilots were quickly lost in city jungles and crashed into buildings or narrow gateways too large for their ships but not for Netherstorm.
Jahric - How... how did you do that? You are not even a captain and yet you did it so...
Cron - This city was my home, boy. I know it better than any other. Now that these Grox are finished, we can land safely into our underground hideout.
Jahric and Cron have left Netherstorm together with ship's crew and diplomatic team, to meet with important Imperix citizen and Consule S'nar himself. Jahric, Alessa, Selytorah and S'nar have been talking for minutes, discussing ways of saving the planet and forging an alliance between AGC and Imperix.
Selytorah - So, what are we supposed to do now, honoured Consule?
Consule S'Nar - I am afraid we can't do anything. Our only option is to flee the planet to Erix star or elsewhere, they won't get us on the stars.
Balkor - Ahem... Consule, you do not understand what is going on. The Grox are merciless, a mere scout fleet is able to destroy star systems - like one we are fighting now - and their technology is powerful enough to destroy suns. There is nowhere to flee, only to fight. If there is any way to survive, it comes from FIGHTING! Do you have any weapon suitable for defending against the Grox? Without war, we cannot win there.
S'Nar let a long moment of silence before finally forcing himself to speak.
S'Nar - I think we have... one solution. The dyson ring on Erix. Its massive energy is used for peaceful purposes, but we could turn it... into a weapon. But only for the last resort.
Alessa - Why so, noble consule? Why is it so dangerous?
S'Nar - If the dyson ring will be used as a weapon, then... the star will be engulfed in energy that could kill thousands, if not millions of our kind on Erix. I... I can't let that happen.
Jahric and Cron, who were silent until this time, entered the discussion abruptly, making S'Nar step back.
Jahric - While I... I understand you, we have only two choices now. Either will we use that weapon or your kind will face death. I am sorry to say that, but we have to kill millions to save billions. I won't... I won't let myself be the cause of death of countless innocents... not- again.
Cron - This alien is right, my consule! I have seen the results of Grox invasions. They left nothing alive, not a single bacteria! We... must!
S'Nar sighed and opened the large window behind him, revealing a large, 1 km long silver spaceship.
S'Nar - The Deliverance. The Queen of Starships. Our last weapon. Our last hope. If you are going to activate the dyson ring, then you will need the best weapons. Now, go...
Jahric let Imperix crew take care of the vessel as Deliverance launched itself into space, emerging from Acropolis and swiftly leaving Erix III.
- Battle around the star
Deliverance was flying at maximum speed, breaking air like a bullet to the orbit. Jahric was full aware of what will happen if Grox will get more artifacts and has commanded his crew to activate all possible engines. Jahric's plan succeeded, and the vessel was unharmed by Grox missiles, being too fast to be targeted. Deliverance reached the Imperix stellar station and prepared to land. However, in a moment the ship stood still, Grox fighters fired at the large vessel with turbolasers, hitting right into the fuel tanks. Jahric commanded both his soldiers to evacuate.
Without time for preparations, grey and green Imperix drop pods rocked from the burning, decomposing ship. Jahric was watching from the glass illuminators of the pod as his comrades fell into the solar oblivion, and only a handful was able to land on the stellar station - thankfully, Cron was among them and the battle was not lost yet. Jahric shed a small, barely noticeable tear as his pod dropped on the station's landing platform, shaking it noticeably. Breaking the door, the Radeon captain prepared his oxygen tanks and reloaded his pistols. Seeing Dei'ar naval troopers and Imperix soldiers around, he sighed in relief.
Jahric - Now, we have to go. Cron, reroute the station's energy to destroy the largest Grox ships. Everyone else-
The Radeon captain cowered as with a thunderous stomp, a huge Grox battlesuit appeared in front of him, readying its gun. It certainly did not want for Jahric's team to reach the station itself.
Jahric - What... In the name of Spode, what is this? Quickly, we do not have much time, blow this... thing- AAAAAAAAAH!
The Grox machine raised its hand, and in a sudden, Jahric and his soldiers shrieked in pain, falling on the ground. Only the captain himself was able to overcome the psychic torture.
Jahric - Grox... Essence? But... how... is... this... Cron, I will distract it!
??? - The Grox: superior. Essence control: achieved. Victory: achieved.
Jahric's face turned white when he heard the Grox machine's mechanical, cold voice. It was familliar.
Jahric - Taleera?!
??? - Predictor Advisor Taleera: dead. Predictor Advisor's body: under Grox control. Predictor Advisor's mind: under Grox control. Only Project I does exist now.
Jahric - Grox... you... monsters...
Project I - Irrelevant. Your life ends now.
Both Jahric and Project I leaped into the sky starting a brutal and intense duel. The captain realised that within the Grox battlesuit was a mortally wounded comrade of his, but he harnessed his courage, at least, attempted to. Grochius knew full well the sheer potential of psychological damage and his campaign of fear succeeded now. Jahric's movements were slow and uncertain, while his opponent knew no remorse, crushing its former comrade with ease. Project I unleashed terrible psychic attacks at the Radeon captain, throwing him off balance and burning his mind. For a moment, Jahric's fear made him stop for just a second, enough for Project I to grab him in its metallic palm intending to end his life once and for all. However, at this same moment, the Grox warrior saw an awe-inspiring picture. Solar energy previously powering Erix with energy turned into massive beams of energy, crushing Grox spaceships like paper. Cron did succeed.
Project I - ...Victory: postponed. Escaping the system.
Project I released Jahric from its grasp and rapidly flied to the closest Grox fighter, swearing revenge while fleeing back to the core. The battle was won. In the aftermath, Jahric has talked with Imperix consule to propose an alliance between AGC and Imperix. The Imperix agreed to lend some ships to the AGC fleet in the future if the need will be evident, but did not join the commonwealth themselves, deciding to wait until they will know more about it. Jahric promptly agreed and gathered his crew, leaving with Cron on Netherstorm intending to get his spaceship he left on the jungle planet back.
Clues from the past
How long is this eternal and meaningless war? I have lost count of how long I have heard news of Mechovirus outbreaks. We cannot find a way to cure it... but we should. Or else our Empire is doomed. There is no third path. I do not know who you are and why do you watch that, but my name is Raxus Norraver, and I serve the powerful Grox Empire. The Emperor protects.
As the war was going on, AGC continued the search for the ancient artifacts, the very reason the Andromeda War began. A lone archeological vessel has dropped on the surface of a barren planet, trying to find one of these ancient relics. Instead, they found something else... but this something may in fact be as important to the galaxy's salvation.
In the name of Grochius the First, how... is... that... possible? We have encountered traces of some strange liquid in space, which is... unnatural!. After long searches, we found only a handful of it - just enough to fill a glass. Upon its contact to the Mechovirus victims, it.. it was gone! Praise the Emperor, we have finally found what we wanted for millenia. The end of war is nigh, not by cannons but by science. This is what always made us superior, our intelligence and wit.
The planet turned out to hide ruins of the ancient civilisation as old as stars themselves. Tarsus Senvinus, leader of the archeologists, was walking on the bones of small creatures, turned into stone many years ago. It was certainly an ancient civilisation. Upon short observation, Tarsus noticed a certain pattern in ruins, realising it was the Grox city! It turns out that their species, and their empire, is older than was thought.
Blood of Grochius! We have found out there is so little liquid it can't be used, and all our attempts to replicate it resulted in failure. Our glorious engineers have already found a way to spread the cure across the galaxy, but we have to find enough of this liquid - I guess I can name it after myself, Norravite - first.
Searching for clues, Tarsus found himself in a huge Grox library filled with massive holographic archives. One of these archives had an intriguing name. It was written in some archaic tongue, but Tarsus could find out it was some form of Grox language. It said: Ardenta Historical Archive: War of the Machine Infestation. Checking it through carbon dating and seeing the ancient name of the galaxy written, Tarsus realised it was not a hoax. It turned out the Mechovirus is also older than was believed, and the Grox were its victims, too.
There is... still hope. Our scientists have found a huge amount of Norravite on a rogue planet that has recently entered Ardenta's orbit. We are already gathering an expedition to this world. The world that will be our salvation... or our death.
Grabbing the holoarchive gently, Tarsus quickly ran to his starship, fearing that the ancient Grox defense systems might still be here, alive, present to destroy any hope for Andromeda to be saved. He was right. As he was boarding Aethus'Meitan, golden archaic ships similar to modern Grox fighters but far more ancient emerged from pipes and tunnels, firing its eldritch weaponry at the AGC ship.
This may be my last entry... This planet... it defies all laws of physics! How can there be life, let alone FLOURISHING life on a planet without any sunlight? There are monsters here. They do not hunger. They do not need anything. They defy death. But they do not want us to be here. They want to protect Norravite source from us.
It seems like the entire planet has turned against us, as there is some kind of eldritch will behind the every creature, every tree, every lifeform. Nevertheless, I must find the liquid. I must find the cure. For the Empire. For Ardenta.
Fleeing from the Grox spaceships, Aethus'Meitan activated emergency wormhole drives, being safe from security drones now. Tarsus' thoughts echoed those of the ancient Grox scientist now. He needed to find this cure, for the Imperium, for the Commonwealth, for Andromeda.
A New Weapon
Grochius was still recovering from his wounds from the Battle for Haar-tol on Attzerry, which the Grox conquered recently. Even though he managed to escape his burning flagship on a shuttle, he still was scarred from the encounter with Iovera. Normally, this pain would only strengthen his resolve, but this time, it was worse. He was defeated. It was a lethal strike to the Grox king's honour, who usually considered his people and himself to be unbeatable and inherently superior. Being forced to swallow his pride for some time, Grochius' spite grew even stronger, and his desire to ignite the war with the new force grew too. But first, he needed a symbol of power, something to rally his subjects.
Finally getting enough strength to walk out of his chamber to the Empire's headquarters, he was met by cold eyes of his constant advisor, Ixxan. Despite all his help, Grochius never liked him. He was too self-reliant and too arrogant for his liking. He never lost that feeling that the Dronox commander was plotting against him, manipulating his movements to his demise. Usually Grochius was too fixed with his conquests to ever take this into account, but now, this lingering feeling gnawed him like a snake.
Grochius - After our... - Grochius took a long pause after that word, its very structure searing his tongue and tearing his ears - defeat on the Brood capital... Were there any other important battles?
Ixxan, always polite, responded in cold, machinal tone, common for Dronox but somehow insulting for Grochius, for it was a tone without remorse and empathy.
Ixxan - One. In Segmentum Umbra. Our scouting mission sent to recover the artifact, led by one of our projects, faced destruction and was forced to escape back to the Core.
Grochius was literally boiling from the inside.
Grochius - Who? Who was able to destroy our fleet? WHO, I ASK?!
Ixxan - A tier 4 empire. Small Commonwealth presence was detected as well.
Grochius' voice turned hysterical, tones of madness appearing in his speech. His body started to twitch as a spark of malevolent ice blue flame appeared in his eyes.
Grochius - WHAT? WHAT? What have you said?!
Ixxan - Should I repeat that, my lord"?
Grochius - No, no... No need to. - Grochius sighed. - We should do something to make us feared again... something terrifying... I know. Ixxan, prepare the last battlesuit prototype. Project Infinity.
Ixxan - It is untested, how can we use it? Its bionic nature is unstable, it could destroy our own troops...
Grochius - Does not matter. BRING IT, NOW!
Ixxan reluctantly obeyed his master and pressed a few buttons, opening a large hatch. Inside was a huge black battlesuit burning with sheer energy, a very essence of destruction.
Ixxan - Who will use this prototype? Should we summon one of our battlesuit pilots now?
Grochius - I want to do it myself, up close and personal...
Grochiu climbed the titanical machine and opened the tank with life-supporting liquid within, swimming into it. Tubes sprang into motion entering the mechovirus-corrupted body of the Grox king. The atlant shuddered. Project Infinity walked out of the Andromeda Grox's Headquarters, breaking through the walls to meet the cheering Grochius. With his new, metallic voice of the technological monster, he spoke.
Brothers and sisters... To arms!
On a ocean world controlled by the Divinarium, a mere post with only a few millions of living inhabitants, shadow loomed. As the sun was rising on the planet, its skies shattered and horrible noise awakened the citizen of its small cities. As the planetary governor came to take a look on the sun to enjoy its soothing light, he screamed in horror. Something.
In particular, the fleet of dark, spiked spaceships in the orbit, falling on the helpless planet like brutal birds of prey.
In panic, the governor immediately contacted the sector's autarch and asked for a fleet of spaceships to protect the planet from the invaders and commanded to summon the planet's own defense forces. Unfortunately, it did not help. While the invaders' weaponry was seemingly primitive, their sheer number and destructive power destroyed everything on its path. A small fleet of Deathwing-class vessels was crushed in minutes. Their lasers taking many enemy ships, but for each one destroyed ten more came from the void, while the governor did not have such resources or numbers. There was no end to the relentless assault. The governor's shock was not from the bombs creating horrible tsunamis wreaking havoc across the oceanic cities, nor from the number of vessels invading the planet. He wondered who could be so mad to send thousands of ships to death to invade a single planet...
In a last attempt to make peace, the governor contacted the largest ship, untouched by any Divinarium weaponry, and in despair, begged for mercy. He recieved but one answer.
No mercy. Only revenge.
Governor observed the final moments of his home. He saw faceless warriors clad in red armour tearing down the last defenders of the planet with simple vibroblades, caring not for anything they faced. He saw the golden warrior with a horned helm facing ten Dei'ar warriors, only to roar at them, the sheer power of his voice combined with sound amplifying technology making their bones break. The governor shuddered as this warrior took a look from his helmet to the government palace, preparing himself. This was too much for the Radeon's eyes. He knew what to do now.
As the golden warrior leaped with awe-inspiring energy, the governor grabbed a small plasma pistol in his pocket, and aimed it... at himself. A horrible scream pierced the invader's ears, but he did not care for it. Grabbing the governor's body now turned into evaporated mess, he threw it on the wall and laughed through his helmet.
Suicide. Cowardly and dishonourable. And the Divinarium believes these to be worthy of leadership? Ahahahaha! Well, let them know...
The invaders returned to their ships and left the oceans, now made of blood rather than water and vanished to continue their crusade...
Let them know that the Coalition has returned.
As the Coalition attacked the frontier Divinarium colonies in Aestri Region, other regions of Divinarium space felt the growing chaos as well. Rumours of bladed, spiked spaceships roaming in space circulated all over the Divinarium, even in areas normally unacessible by the Coalition, such as Imperatrix region, a cluster of stars around the keystone of Divinarian spaceship production, Station Imperatrix. Finally, these rumours became so widespread that the governor of Imperatrix region decided to send a Dei'Ar fleet to investigate, led by commander Quendor.
Opening a wormhole gateway into the edge of Imperatrix region, Quendor scanned the region for any spaceships in nearby. Before he could get any results of the scans, however, his spaceship shook from rocking explosions. Too late he realised that he was in a trap. Hundreds, if not thousands, of spiked spaceships warped from hyperspace, the same design encountered during the Coalition's attacks. Taking a close look on the ships, however, Quendor realised that this time it wasn't Coalition but Ferromash, another powerful species in Segmentum Crepusculum. Making a silent prayer, Quendor prepared to flee from a hopeless fight. But as he commanded his ships to retreat, a flash of light blinded the Divinarium captain, for an expected turn of events happened...
Looking towards the flash, Quendor saw a bright blue arrow; sensor's aboard Quendor's ship read it as cherenkov radiation, enlarging the visual screen, he saw 8 warships in a double image, one copy moving forwards, another retreating in the opposite direction. "Why are there two formations, one reversing?" he asked, one of his science officers replied, saying it appeared to be an optical illusion, there were only four ships, it was in fact the signature sign of tachyonic motion... The spectacle stopped, now there was only one formation.
Ferromash ships continued to stream out of space, he could see by the telltale sign of lights blinking on off distantly, ship's made invisible by the glare. "Enhance the picture...", his science officer complied, he saw that many of the warships were now diverting their course and firing on the formation with railguns, missiles and lasers as well as more powerful beam weapons here and there. The shots appeared to be dancing as pretty lights on the hulls of the formation. With interest more ships appeared to join in the fray. "Sir, I don't understand it, they are not our vessels, thats for sure". Could the Shka'Tun have finally taken an active role?
Suddenly one of the ships in the formation started moving forwards, and several hundred miles in front there was a massive explosion destroying dozens of marauding ships at once. Other ships diverted off course to escape the explosion, all of them now concentrating their fire on the active vessel. The formation ship now raised it's shields firing it's own weapons, many of them single-shot kills. The three others followed suite. "Sensors indicate their weapons are not aiming at us, sir, if we move into attack with the formation, the Ferromash attackers may think twice, and it would show The Coalition we have supporters too". The Dei'Ar fleet now moved in to attack, to show the Formation they were on their side, Quendor ordered them to begin by targetting missiles aimed at the Formation. In response, the Formation raised their shields to encompass the Dei'Ar craft. Side by side they smited all oncoming forces for 20 minuites. "We are being hailed, by the Delpha Coalition of Planets!"
Uriel Tyraz and Iovera walked though the entrance of a resort hotel in the depts of neutral space. All three were wearing casual garnaments so as not to be so easily recognised. A few days ago Admiral Kaios had contacted the ITN officer and asked him to inform the Commonwealth's leaders he had a rather interesting proposition. They had come to asnwer his request. uriel approached and cleared hsi throat to Emirillia who was disgused as a desk clerk.
Uriel - Is a Mr. "Kaios" curently in the hotel?
Emirilia indicateed towards a secluded booth on the other side of the hotel restaurant. Iovera nodded quietly and the three of them headed over to the booth. Inside it was a young Cohan wearing an oversized tricorner hat who gestured for them to sit down. A waiter brought over a few drinks. Uriel and Tyraz accepted their drinks while Iovera quietly gestured to say no. Tyraz looked at the waiter and then at Kaios, a rather large and fake smile spread on his face.
Uriel - Admiral Kaios I take it?
Kaios - That'd be right. Draconis, Zazane and Radeon walk into a place like this, and I'd bet you three would be the High Lords of the Commonwealth. Believe it or not, it's a pleasure.
Tyraz - Hmph, why are we dealing with you, pirate? Remind me why we're here.
Iovera - You mentioned something about wanting an alliance?
Kaios - Call me crazy, wait, you've probably done that at least fifty times by now. But you're right.
Tyraz - This is some tactical advantage for you, to get closer access to our colonies.
Kaios - On any other day, I'd agree with you myself. But, you forget one thing: most of us don't occupy planets anymore. I'll just cut to the chase.
Kaios - Let's face it, the Grox have us all on the back foot, and us more than you.
Uriel scooped up the glass in hi hand and took a sip. Tyraz picked up hsi glass and sniffed the liquid cautiously.
Tyraz - And so, you expect us to harbour pirates?
Kaios - Harbour us? Do you really think we're stupid enough to trust our protection to the very gunners trained to kill us? Let me lay out a simple equation. Something a five-year-old could solve.
Uriel - Hrmph, fine.
Kaios leaned forward and looked up at the three of them.
Kaios - We both have a Grox problem. You have the ships and manpower to hold them back, barely, but that's it. Kaios - Tell me, Uriel, what is the best estimate the Imperium has of our numbers?
Uriel - I would have estimate a a few dozen trillion.
Kaios - Not bad, not bad. You're about halfway there. And that's before you get out of the Great Fleets. Now, I'm obviously not suggesting that this is some sort of Talon Navy, because it's not. What I am saying is that there are more ships out there than your intelligence agencies can possibly count, and they, mostly, care more about this galaxy than they do about you.
Uriel - I see. And I take it you have the influence to rally them against the Grox?
Kaios - You say that like I need to try. To answer you honestly, no. I don't have that kind of influence. But, I do have influence with the people who do.
Uriel - And what do you want out of this alliance?
Kaios - Same thing every pirate, mercenary and trader wants in wild space.
Iovera - Would that be to leave you alone?
Kaios - Survival.
Kaios - I know perfectly well I'm on the low chair today. I also know that if I wasn't useful to you, the demon sitting across from me would be throttling me. Hell, you wouldn't have turned up if you had nothing to gain from this.
Tyraz - Hmph, choose your words carefully.
Kaios - I'm fairly sure I already have. Look, the cards are on the table. It's your hand to play now.
Tyraz - Hmph. I am leaving this to Uriel and my...partner. I hate dealing with pirates and rebels.
Uriel stared at Kaios for a moment, he and Iovera exchanged looks with both each other and Tyraz. After a few minutes they turned back to Kaios who was leaning back inside the booth with a smile on his face.
Uriel - Admiral, we... accept your offer.
Kaios - ... Can I just say I'm glad I'm walking out of this room alive?
Tyraz - Why? Your life is pretty much worthless anyway.
Tyraz stood and turned away. He, Uriel and Iovera headed away but as they did Uriel turned his head to look back at Kaios.
Uriel - And what happens when the Grox threat ends. I take it we all go back to the old ways?
Kaios - Business as usual, Draconis. Business as usual.
Uriel smirked, turned his head back and headed off with the others, he paced up to Tyraz.
Kaios - Good luck, by the way.
Tyraz - Shyrak eater.
Uriel - Do not worry Tyraz, this is only temporary.
Tyraz - It had better be! I smell Zazane here too...or at least, former Zazane...
Kaios elaned back in the booth. While he was happy that a deal had been made, to say he would not be apprehensive over Tyraz would be a lie. He pulled out a communicator and contacted Emirillia, he kept his eye on the trio as they left the resturaunt
Kaios - Get me a line to.. oh crap. Forgot about that. Hold off until Tyraz is out of the building.
Finding A Cure
For the first time since the last major Onuris engagement with the Deathmarch years before, the DCP and Radeon forces were once again united. However, with DCP forces stretched for fighting the more pressing problem of the Grox, the attack of The Coalition has yet to end so easily. Eager to share his findings, Tarsus called everyone he could to to Alcanti to discuss the Grox situation and the recent revelations. The various factions who had come to gather were guided to a tactical chamber deep inside the imeprial palace. There, Uriel, Larnus and Tarsus were waiting. The three of them were looking at a tactical holographic map of Andromeda, the room was guarded by Blood Dragons standing at the walls. Tyraz materialized within the chamber in his usual fashion, with black energy manifesting in some corner of the room and forming into his own body. He stepped out from the darkness and nodded at the Draconis. The Divinarium's delegation emerged from a shimmering gateway; Iovera, Ma'fest, Andorrus and Matheoward had arrived after Tyraz. General Kamska of the Mercuris Federation walked through the door and looked around the room. Impressed, he approached the holo-map. Arriving last, Several DCP officials and Kilnok teleported in from the subatomic level and up.
Tyraz - I hope I am not late, my lords.
Uriel - You are not late.
Iovera - Greetings, allies and ...friends.
Tyraz - Greetings, miss Iovera. It is...nice to see you...again.
Larnus - Uriel, while you and the other highlords were relaxing, we have been encountering bigger problems.
Matheoward looked at Tyraz and smirked while Kamaska stared intently at the map.
Kilnok - Tyraz, Iovera. It's been some time.
Tyraz - Ah Kilnok, indeed it has. I am honoured you remember me.
Tarsus - These Grox. Their void-damned plague is spreading beyond our control...
Tyraz - I know. I was there when I lost a planet to them.
Matheoward - General and warlord of the DCP, it is an honour to meet you. I believe my mentor knew you in person. General Kamaska - *Looks up.* Indeed. The plague is spreading rather quickly.
Kilnok - Indeed, we fought together.
Iovera - The plague is deadly. I was present during one of the battles...
Kilnok - If his training was as good as his skills, I'm sure you are too.
Uriel - *nods* Kilnok. While I am honoured that a man of your reputation graces my halls, we have a deteriorating problem.
Matheoward - *looks at his hammer* I have inherited my teacher's weapon. *swings it* And may our enemies beware!
DCP Official - You may or may not be aware. But the Mechovirus is also in the Milky Way, it almost wiped out the Jovar and seems to be capable of assimilating individuals without injection.
Kamaska - I'm sorry to interrupt your introductions, but we have much more pressing matters to attend to.
Matheoward - Problem? Problem? There is no problem that can't be solved with our guns. *laughs*
Ma'fest - Heretic barbarian brute...
Tarsus cleared his throat rather audiably to grab everyone's attention.
Tarsus - If the academny's predictions are correct, Andromeda could fall completely to the plague wtihin two years as it spreads exponentially. So far there is no effective way to coutner it.
Tyraz - The virus has claimed many Zazane lives, and it has meant that my own Kordalu have betrayed me. So long as the Grox remain active, we have traitors here in Andromeda as well as a virus.
Andorrus - And, professor? Are we here to make amends and await our death?
Tarsus - You are all lucky we may have found a potential answer.
Tyraz - Potential answer? What do you mean, lord Tarsus?
Kamaska - It may be necessary to- *Looks up with surprise* poential answer?
Andorrus - Hm... yes, yes. Tell me more. I am intrigued...
Tarsus worked the console and several translated records appear, the words float in the middle of the room.
Tarsus - Apaprently there is an artificial material that could solve our problems. The problem is, we cannot find a way to synthesise it.
Kamaska - What is it, exactly?
Tyraz - Perhaps DCP science could help with the science effort.
Uriel - According to the records, not even the Four could create large enough samples.
Kamaska - Quantity is sometimes a luxury we cannot afford. We must do the best that we can.
DCP - We are anaylising the samples now. We have our ways.
Kamaska - *Downloads to small handheld device.* I'm sure this will be useful in the future.
Iovera - I'm sorry, I am not exactly adept at Andromedan history. Does it mean the Mechovirus is as old as the ancient Andromedans?..
Tarsus nodded begrudgeingly. His face had dropped with concern. kamaska looked up at the mention of ancients.
Tyraz - What about the Grox? They created it?
Kamaska - The Grox are billions of years old. It is quite a possibility.
Tarsus - If these records are correct, there might be a solution: A specific rogue planet could be the answer to what we need.
Kamaska - I'm glad to have come, but I must report this information to Federation High Command.
Kamaska teleported away to a ship orbiting Alcanti with information he had downloaded from the holographic terminal, leaving other leaders to discuss the matter.
Tyraz - Rogue planet? How would that provide any answers? Surely no life exists on them.
Tarsus - Not true, lord breek. I have seen evidence that life can flourish, just in a different way.
Andorrus - Do we have any information about this planet? Geographic data or anything else? Ah, I am sorry for not introducing myself. My name is Andorrus Anarath, Supreme Autarch of the Divinarium, Her Holiness' first advisor.
Iovera - Are you talking about... the natural laws being broken? My people know full well about such things.
Tarsus - Deeper study into ancient archives have given us some idea of where to look. There are indicators of what this planet is like, but I am sceptical of the truth.
Tyraz - If it is truth, it should be easy enough. We have many fleets and soldiers. Finding the potential cure would be easy.
Tarsus - *sighs* Forgive me for sounding highly doubtful. But we are pinning our hopes on records made millions of years ago.
Andorrus - Do we have any samples of a cure?
Tyraz - My people are many millions of years old. Have we failed you yet, Uriel?
Uriel - We're not even sure if this planet still exists.
Tarsus - Then there is this.
Tarsus activated the console's voice play option revealing a voice record.
??? - It seems like the entire planet has turned against us, as there is some kind of eldritch will behind the every creature, every tree, every lifeform. Nevertheless, I must find the liquid. I must find the cure.
Tyraz - What? Whose voice is that?
Tarsus - Their name is lost to history, but whoever they were, they were on the same goal as us.
Tyraz - Its only a few million years. A planet wouldn't have disappeared since then.
Iovera - There must be essence present on this world. If it is alive, then who knows how old it might be.
Tarsus - I never like uncertainties. We were able to recover a potential location from the records. For all we know the planet could have diverted course, plunged into a star, bathed itself in a gamma ray burst, wandered into the great barrier or swallowed by a singularity.
DCP - Analysis of the substance has been inconclusive. It may not be ordinary atomic matter, but how it targets the Mechovirus and doesn't affect the body we cannot determine. It may well be, essence in solid form.
Andorrus - ...Location? Tell us more please.
Iovera - Essence in solid form?...
DCP - If the substance is essence, or essence-influenced, then a whole world of it could be sensed by a powerful psionic.
Hearing this suggestion, Iovera stepped forth.
Iovera - I... I could try.
Tyraz - Are you serious, Iovera? I could try myself, but...
Tarsus - It may be our only chance.
DCP - We should use multiple people to increase accuracy.
Iovera - Give me the sample, please...
Tyraz - I can be of some use with psychic powers. Zazane, after all, use psychic power to control their bleeding from wounds and how fast they regenerate.
DCP - We can devote several psychic soldiers.
Tarsus nodded and handed Iovera a reinforced canister containing a small sample of the liquid substance.
Kilnok - I do not have essence powers, but I know someone who is powerful enough to help... The Emperor himself. Tyraz - Wait, you mean Lord Wormulus II? Kilnok - Aye Iovera - Will he come here, to us? Kilnok - He is coming as I speak, he should be here within hours. Tyraz - The Emperor himself is coming? Since when was he interested with the AGC? Tarsus - Our joint expedition has probably peeked his interest. Kilnok - Such is our technology that I was telling the Emperor as I proposed his help. And of course, tachyon drives are very fast. DCP - The Mechovirus is in our galaxy too. We want it eradicated. Tyraz - It seems we have a common goal. DCP - Only 20% of the Jovar remain. Like the Nanohorde crisis, this mechovirus is spreading by itself, assimilating some, destroying others.
Uriel leaned on the table, a low growl emerged from his lips as he spoke. He drew his claws in slightly, scratching the table, the back of his lips curled upwards and his eyes narrowed
Uriel - I hate swarms...
Iovera - Lord Ultanos?
Tyraz - The Brood has fleets dedicated to keeping planetary control and assault. Would it be wise to send some if the planet does still exist?
DCP official - I think it would be wiser if we send minimal forces. We cannot risk detection.
Iovera - I understand. The Grox are in your home, too.
Matheoward - Having forces to strike is required, but first we should know where should we strike.
Uriel - *mutters* I never had a chance... he died and I did nothing...
Tyraz - Uriel, something you want to share?
Kilnok - The Locust swarm?
Uriel - I watched people, cities, planets, all of it devoured by swarms of nanites. My own brother died because of them...
Larnus - Forgive Uriel, a war we suffered many years ago is still strong in his mind. *sighs* I don't think he will ever forget...
Tyraz - I cannot say I share your sadness, I never liked my family. But if you don't man up Uriel and stop dwelling on the past, you will lose your children, your wife, comrades, and perhaps your race!
Uriel - If it means an end to this plague than I will join the expedition. Personally!
Matheoward - I understand you, lord Ultanos. I witnessed wars too. My darkest experience was during the Holy Shadow War...
Tyraz - Do not bring up that war!
In anger, Tyraz drew his Firesword and pointed it at Matheoward. Matheoward drew his hammer and met eye to eye to Tyraz.
Kilnok - We will not end this crisis recollecting the past.
Iovera - 'Indeed...
Ma'fest - You, two! I won't allow violence in this room, brutes.
Uriel - *pants* KIlnok is right. How long before the emperor arrives?
Tyraz growled, but he withdraws his sword and looked away.
Tyraz - It is Zazane way to be brutal. Better than being cowardly.
Kilnok - 5 minuites. He is within range to send a virtual representation.
Larnus - Good.
The Emperor Arrives
Five minutes passed and on Kilnok's prediction Emperor Wormulus II materialised inside the room. Uriel nodded out of respect while Tyraz turned and kneeled. he lowered his head as a sign of respect. Iovera, meanwhile, froze upon sensing the Emperor's psychic might.
Uriel - Your majesty, I welcome you to Alcanti.
Tyraz - Lord Wormulus II, it is an honour to meet you in the flesh.
Emperor - Nice to meet you all. However, you do not need to bow.
Tyraz - Please, you deserve such respect from me and my race, especially after the events of the DCP Civil War.
Emperor - The DCP acknowldges it. For now, we must all look forward to an ordered future.
Iovera - I am Glad to see you. Clericarch Iovera Eolania. I have given all my efforts for giving my species a new life, Emperor. Radeons are no longer a dying race.
The emperor and Kilnok are surprisingly humbled and reserved like Shaolin monks
Uriel - We all know what is at stake. Shall we proceed?
Emperor - *telepathically to Iovera* you have done well. *To Uriel vocally* Indeed.
Still holding it, Iovera opened the container and pulled out a vial of the mechovirus cure. Using her powers she willed it to float in the center of the room, gazing upon it in deep thoughts. Tyraz, Iovera and Wormulus stood in a triangle around the floating vial. Wormulus Began to chant a mantra and observed it objectively, Tyraz leaned his head down and wrapped his wings around himself. Black energy manifested from his body. Since they were not psionically sensetive, Kilnok and the Draconsi stood at a distance. Kilnok closed his eyes out of respect and the three Draconis stook clear to watch. Wormulus channneled his sense of the now and attuned with the universe. The DCP's psychic soldiers joined the circle and after a few minutes of chanting the group began to levitate and a psychic apparition appeared in the room.
As though he was catching the overflow, Kilnok Felt a trickle of cool energy go down his spine and meet in his heated center, forming crackling energy to be released, never feeling essence inside before he was surprised. A cyan orb appears, orbitting the galaxy then vanishing in space slowly.
After some time, the image began to crack and shake a cyan orb reemerges, taking its old place. Suddenly, the orb was gone, replaced by pictures of huge mountains and dark forests filled with strange creatures. Uriel
Uriel - ...Can you see anything?
Kilnok - Yes... And feel it too. I've felt essence hit me before, but not my own. That looks like it's near the Archedemon wall...But where.
Uriel - Arsac, an inquistor, told me how anyone can become like them with time and patience.
Andorrus - Wha...
Larnus - The barrier. This might make things much more difficult.
Andorrus - Archdemon's wall?
Kilnok - Trouble is, the wall stretches across the local group.
Tyraz - Arragh! Why must everything be so damned difficult?
Larnus - We're talking a perimeter many millions of light years across! Can you narrow it down?
Iovera - Wait... wait! The world... it moves.
DCP official - Our ships, have the longest range in the shortest time. If we create a tachyon bubble extended to everyone's spacecraft, we can follow "the scent"
Tarsus - A good idea.
Andorrus - One should wonder, however. What will await us there? The Grox may attempt to prevent our attempts to take over this area.
Iovera - If this is the Archdemon's wall, then we shall face something more than the Grox.
Emperor - They will detect us as well. But it is a risk warriors like ourselves have no problem taking.
Uriel - Whatever we face, we shall all stand vigilantly. I may be two centuries old, emperor, but I will gladly march into hell if it means an end to this plague.
Iovera - Indeed.
Tyraz - I will not sit by while traitors and infected ravage my race! I will join, and I will see to that this plague is finished!
Larnus - It is settled then. We shall embark on this expedition. I hope you will all understand if I don't join you; my place is on the Grox front.
Iovera - We are about to go into the Deathmarch's realm. Do you understand what does that mean? I believe I will go with you.
Uriel - I believe so. I only hope our search proves uneventful...
Tyraz - I doubt it will be a peaceful trip. Mistress Iovera, if you require aid at any time...just say or think of my name. I will be there.
Kilnok - We'll bring some well-armed spacecraft.
DCP - Yes, Cult fleets have yet to have an effective shield against multi-zettatone ultrarelativistic neutron-degenerate matter projectiles.
Larnus - Sounds effective.
Iovera - I will bring Matheoward with me. I hope he won't cause many problems for you, lor- Tyraz.
Matheoward - You do consider a Zazane your friend, mistress?
DCP - Our ships are already poised for operation. I suggest everyone does the same.
Tyraz - Don't worry Iovera, it will take more than some overconfident idiot to cause me much stress.
Ma'fest - We shall bring our new designs. Luna shall bring fear to our foes, that's for sure!
Tyraz - I shall need only my Firesword, but if you wish, I could dedicate a force of Brood ships.
Kilnok - Do as you feel is best.
Everyone agreed to the plan and returned to prepare for the upcomnig expedition. Tarsus nodded farewell to Uriel and Larnus who remained in the briefing room. Word of the Coalition's attack had reached the senate and many of them had been crying out for retribution. The coalition was the largest of the inner-rim empires and as other fronts calmed Larnus admitted there was one reason he wanted to stay behind - He had agreed to the senate's wishes and planned to retaliate alongside the Divinarium against the Coalition in the name of both order and the Imperium.
As events in inner Andromeda unfolded, in Segmentum Umbra, diplomatic mission continued. Cron led Netherstorm returning to his original home, bringing Jahric and his team for ship they had left in here. Jahric slept in his chambers while his diplomats talked to Cron regarding recent events.
Selytorah - Now that we have saved your world, can you tell us more about this Segmentum? Our people never were there before, and we need everyone for the great war. I want to know this.
Cron took a long pause, gazing at Selytorah thoroughly. He would have probably breathed if he could.
Cron - Hm... I can tell you, but you know, this all sounds too... strange. Our cluster has been peaceful for countless years... generally. And now there is a huge empire destroying everything, our homeworld has been nearly destroyed... What is happening?! It is like a dream, like in Millenis fiction novels. Can you please explain me what is going on here?
Selytorah - The War is going on.
Cron - What war? Between you and these... creatures?
Selytorah - It is more complicate than that. There are artifacts spread over the galaxy - it is much, much bigger than you believe. Artifacts that could be used as weapons of peace or war. We - - Selytorah pointed at other ambassadors - were fighting among themselves before for them. But now we did face a new threat. Well, you have just seen what can they do with planets.
Cron - The artifacts. I do not really understand why do you cling to material so much? Anyway, I can tell you about our space now. You are in the "western reaches", we Imperix are in charge there together with Millenis pirates. You can earn their favour for the right price. In the center are the Solarite Nations. Stupid warlike hairless apes. They do fight each other like vermin.
Selytorah - Wait, wait... hairless apes?
Cron - Yes. They're kinda like you, except with less hair.
Selytorah shook her head. It seemed to be nearly impossible. Humans in Andromeda? In a sector unknown before?
Selytorah - Ah... strange.
Cron - Nevermind. Slightly out of the center there are numerous minor factions; A'sh'ovan, Freedee, Daarkshaard, Crom. And on the east... well, we never really studied it. It is far too dangerous. We have heard of a strange empire there though.
Selytorah - Strange empire?
Cron - Yes, indeed. Quadrapedal mammals with beaks. They're red. We have been trading before, but contact between our people was sporadic before and we have not heard of them recently. All contact with them resulted in some... EEEEE sound.
Selytorah's eyes opened wide. She knew Segmentum Umbra was strange but hearing about the remains of an ancient empire was something that she did not expect. Apparently they now have to encounter something alien and something new. Her thoughts were distracted, however, by a loud noise, indicating that the ship had reached its destination.
Jahric's crew left the ship to see charred, rotten woods, destroyed by some strange weaponry. His ship was strangely absent from its place, its Millenis protectors reduced to ashes. He took a look at the area when he realised... it was an ambush!
??? - Here they are! The aliens. Get'em quickly, boys, general Argus' orders were clear.
Suddenly soldiers in grey all-enclosing armour surrounded Jahric and his team, pointing their guns at them. All who had weapons dropped them on the ground while Selytorah, shocked, asked Cron quietly.
Selytorah - Who they are?
Cron - Solarites...
One of the soldier did fire a shining bullet which exploded with a flash of light, sound and electricity, rendering the whole team unconcious...
After a short battle with the Delpha Coalition of Planets, Quendor was waiting with his small squadron, sitting in his chair and looking at the surrounding space. At last, the moment is now! Memories filled the young Radeon as he came back into the past, when he was a teen, merely a few years ago.
He remembers it. His father just found a place for him to continue his studies, a large university recently built on Crepusculum. He was proud for his parents. Who else was a son of two famed officers of the Masaari Crusade and now, the reborn Divinarium? He was always boasting this, but in his heart, he did not really want to become a captain. In his dreams he imagined himself to be a scientist, or an artist, not a warrior.
But all things change, and his life did change as well.
He remembers Artharon legions descending upon the Divinarium capital, tearing its defenders apart with massive swords, its paved streets drenched in blood. Quendor could see it from behind a forcefield; as a civilian, he was going to be evacuated, but before a ship could arrive, the only thing left for Quendor was to watch the carnage... Geroniel was on the battlefield, relaying orders to the Dei'Ar soldiers from one of the city platforms, when the Coalition ambushed her. She grabbed her handgun and attempted to protect herself, but it was too late. There was nothing she could do against an entire squad of Artharon warriors, fully armed and thirsty for blood. A furious roar, a sound of sword slashing flesh, a scream of herror... Enraged, Quendor shouted too... but what could he do now? His mother was dead.
From this time, his life changed. Quendor now waited until he could avenge. In military academies, he studied all day for years. These long nights... He did regret nothing. Now, his revenge began. He was a captain. He hoped that from the veil of afterlife, his mother could see him... perhaps her soul could be soothed.
Quendor recieved a holographic call from his ship's infotable. An image of an Imperion appeared.
Quendor - ...Supreme Autarch Andorrus?
Andorrus - I am grateful that you know me, Executor. Now, listen to me. We have to face a matter of grave importance.
Quendor - Yes, I know, Supreme Autarch. The war with the Coalition has begun. I will come and destroy all who will oppose me! They will all die! All of them!
Andorrus - Ah... you're still a kid, Quendor. I must have expected you to be like your father. First of all, you are wrong. So far, the war with the Coalition has not been officially declared yet. Murder a single Artharon and you will be branded as a criminal by both states, and you will end up within a termination booth or, worse, in the Coalition prisons. I guess dying meaninglessly is not what do you want to do?
Quendor - Yes, lord Anarath. I understand.
Andorrus - You are talking to the second only to the Clericarch herself, captain. Do remember that. The only reason one with such authority is talking to you is your father, Jahric. Now, continue to listen. We only had two battles with what is supposed to be the Coalition. First, the Artharon attack on Sentorma IV - they could easily be pirates or members of another organisation altogether. Second, the battle you were in. These weren't Artharons at all. The only reason we do suspect the Coalition behind all of this is that Artharon designs were used in both of these battles. Your mission is not to kill, understand? You are sent to Ferromash homeworld, Siranor, to investigate the reason behind both events. We may find out the Coalition's malefic plan... or perhaps a criminal cartel. Do not engage in any hostile actions for the good of all. You must comply to Divinarium political directives, remember that.
Quendor nodded and turned down the holographic projector, taking a look at the void of space again.
Quendor - Hah, hostile actions! Sorry, "Supreme Autarch", I have my own rules.
Beyond the Archdemon Wall
Grochius was getting used to his new humungous body well. He traded power and strength for grace and he believed that the exchange was useful, in body of Project Infinity he was far more powerful. Inside of his new spaceship, the Kalenas Sates, made according to his own needs, Grochius was checking through various holographic messages. As he pressed buttons, a pulsing singularity appeared behind eyes, the Meta-Emperor. His voice boomed through the room as Grochius recieved his orders.
Meta-Emperor - Good work... King. You have conquered many worlds in such a small period of time... a matter which impresses me greatly.
Grochius - As you command, my lord. My Mechovirus is working greatly. Countless worlds have already been taken over by it. However, my lord, I hate to admit but I have a potential threat. Meta-Emperor - Indeed. The Mechovirus is spreading in other galaxies too. And what is that threat?
Grochius - Problem is... these inferior creatures have recovered information about the potential cure to our virus! It is on some planet within the Archdemon's Wall...
Meta-Emperor - What? Never! Never should we allow our enemies to take away our grandest weaponry in history. Set your ships to the Archdemon's Wall. We shall face our enemies right here...
Grochius - But... this is madn- I understand. All we need is enough Grox soldiers and ships so we could crush them under our boot heels and destroy them with our blasters.
Meta-Emperor - Good... Worry not about the Legion. The might of the Grox is present even there...
Grochius left, puzzled about what did the Emperor mean about the might of the Grox, setting course to the Nexus. The Kalenas Sates' hyperadvanced engines pushed Grochius into undiscovered void until he found himself in the very core of the dreaded Legion of the Deathmarch's lands, the Nexus itself. Strangely, he did not notice any demonic forces, but merely a huge fortress of white metal that attracted his ship.
Grochius - The Nexus Grox...
As he teleported into the station, a strange being emerged next to Grochius, a powerful mechanical monstrosity. Lord Korizakh.
Grochius - Who... what are you?!
Korizakh - What are you doing on my ship?
Grochius - I am king Grochius II, lord of the Andromedan Grox Empire.
Korizakh - You know full well who I am, Grox.
Grochius - ...Nexus Grox. Yes.
Korizakh - *Slumps in his throne* Unless you have something productive to say, get off this ship before I blast you into Hell.
Grochius sighed to regain his courage.
Korizakh - ...Well?
Grochius - The Grox Meta-Empire is attacking the universe with our weapon of mass destruction... the Mechovirus. Problem is, there is a cure to that weapon.
Korizakh - A problem? If you haven't noticed the Meta-Empire is an inferior world just BEGGING to be destroyed. Why is there a problem?
Grochius - A liquid on some planet right in your space. And there is an Onuris fleet attacking this planet, a planet in YOUR realm.
Korizakh - My realm? My realm is not even close to you!
Grochius - Should I show the holographic pictures? There is a huge armada of DCP, Radeon, Zazane and Draconis ships heading right into the Archdemon's Wall's border.
Korizakh - ...and how does that concern me?
Grochius - You do realise that if the Grox Empire will be defeated, YOU will be the next?!
Korizakh - I severely doubt it. What do you ask of me...Grox?
Grochius - Hmph. Prove your superiority. Show your might. You consider yourself to be the master race of the Grox, don't you?
Korizakh - If we fight....you will not leave this room.
Grochius - Huh. No need to. You are inferior if you can't destroy a mortal fleet next to your realm.
Korizakh - *Stands up, with his new wings* Excuse me?
Grochius - Well, if you insist... *turns into shadows* Then I will fight...
Korizakh - Do you know not of the Nexus Grox? Do you know not of the powers I possess? If you value your position as Grox King, stand down.
Grochius - If you insist.
Korizakh - *Sits back down in his throne* I ask again. What do you ask of me?
Grochius - I want your fleets to prove their worth, be exterminating our common foe, who is coming right at the doors of your realms, begging to be extreminated. Let us share in glory of inferiors' purge.
Korizakh - Hmph. What's in it for you?
Grochius - The Grox shall reign over the universe.
Korizakh - ...We do not want domination of the universe...why should we help you for your benefit?
Grochius - You do realise that the other Grox are SHIELDING you from mortals? Should the Empire fall and Onuris will pour seeking its remnants. Your arrogance is blinding you, Korizakh.
Korizakh - The empire is weak. The Meta-Emperor was a useless conduit of power. *Slams the throne* We predate all of you inferior Grox scum! If you are shielding us then you are doing nothing!
Grochius - Yes. You're ancient. You do realise that what you conquered over millenia I did in months!
Korizakh - *Puts Grochius under a grasp with his energy* And all this time, you are speaking to me through a suit. Tell me. What you are, what you will become is nothing. We never conquered. We never sought for domination. Do you know why? *Clenches his grasp so the suit crushes* Because what we wish is the DESTRUCTION for all of you. You may seem powerful, Andromedan Grox, but what you encounter now has toyed with Chaos since time began. You talk big but your use is limited. *Releases his grasp and throws him to the ground* Why should we? There is no benefit for us. What do you know of this planet, anyway?
Grochius - I heard it was called Nocturnia. The living world.
Korizakh - And then what? A goal on that planet? What?
Grochius - A cure. An anathema to all infections. Even your demon allies can be affected.
Korizakh - Perhaps they can...perhaps they cannot. And to us Grox? What use is it for us?
Grochius - First of all, it will allow us to conquer the universe. If it won't, then mortals will surely be weakened, allowing your... MASTERS... to prey on their despair and fear. And regarding their masters... I heard they are quite interested in that material.
Korizakh - Hmph. I suspect we could be of some use.
Grochius - Good. Good. Excellent! Let them tremble before our might...'
Korizakh - Before you leave...NEVER set foot on my ship again.
Leaving Korizakh's flagship with a mix of disgust, anger and fear, Grochius returned to Kalenas Sates. Now with new allies, he is going to be even more powerful...
Jahric and Selytorah regained conciousness, they found themselves stuck on a huge flying station stuck in the poisoned skies. Jahric tried to move his head to one of the windows to see a picture both gruesome and awe-inspiring. Breaking through green, polluted clouds were jagged skyscrapers made of rusting metal, blocky but huge planes and spaceships vanishing in this choking smog. Selytorah looked inside of the room they were in instead, seeing a humanoid figure in black clothings, his flesh replaced by cybernetic implants.
Soldier - General Argus, here they are! Alive and conscious.
Argus - Ah... I see. Good work, private, you will be rewarded and promoted in time. Now, let's take a look...
General clenched his mechanical claw and probed each prisoner with it, first taking a look at Cron.
Argus - Hmph... One of the prisoners is an Imperix. At least these aliens seem to be at least slightly aware of our space's politics to bring one of these traders. Test them! Bring my diplomats. Let's see if they can speak Imperix.
A cloaked figure appeared behind Argus' back, her mechanical eyes shining bright in a dark macabre of the Solarite space station.
Diplomat - *in Imperix language* We are friends. We wonder if we could make a beneficial relationship, for our people want your technologies for the common good and prosperity. Could you help us with your ship?
Argus - *in Solarite language* No time for diplomacy! We need to persuade them now, quickly! The damned terrorists won't be stopped without this ship we discovered!
Diplomat - They won't give us anything as corpses. Pray they don't know our language. *in Imperix language* So, honoured... guests. Do you accept our request? We shall give you our finest creations as a reward, although your glorious kind probably won't be interested in such lowly things...
Selytorah was the only one here who knew Imperix, but she was not going to give humans all their secrets so easily.
Selytorah - Yes, guests. Capturing us and stealing our ship. Very hospitable.
Diplomat - We will give your ship and your freedom back when our accord will be completed, I swear.
Selytorah - Give us, erm, free access to our ship and we guess we'll make a deal.
Diplomat - Trying to decieve us?
Argus - Enough of this talk. If they don't submit, throw them into the orbital rison. I'll make them talk without all these fancy words.
Without saying a word, Jahric's team was shot with stun guns again, their conciousness restored in a series of cold, force field-protected cameras. The Solarite prison was their new home...
Time for answers
Quendor's new starship, the Apocalypse, was drifting through space while its captain spent his time thinking about his future. What is going to begin now? The new war with the Coalition? Oh, how he wished this, he wanted to avenge at last, to make an entire nation cringe, to pay for their crimes. But what of innocents, civilians? Flame of justice and voice of reason conflicted inside his head, making him wonder what was the right decision. And what if the suspicions will turn out to be false? What will happen then? For how long will the damned murderers live then?
Ferromash - Vessel detected. Identify yourself.
Quendor - Commander Quendor Telnhao, the official ambassador the Divinarium. I carry no ill will and I am here to form a peace agreement.
- Quendor showed a Ferromash ambassador the holographic data confirming his status. Ferromash - Accepted. Bring no weapons to the Imperial Chairman's chambers or leave our space immediately.
Quendor - Agreed.
Quendor opened the wormhole portal and prepared his gas mask. As he appeared within the borders of Siranor City, he clenched his teeth in disgust. Slave workers laboured in poisoned water in shadows of large arcologies and mighty palaces, sweating toxic waste from their hunched, broken bodies. Quendor already knew such beasts could have easily allied with the Coalition. Accompanied by Ferromash warriors in black armour, he entered the black chambers met by the Imperial Chairman, a short and wiry Ferromash dressed in what appeared to be a grey suit or something similar.
Chairman - Greeting, esteemed ambassador. What made you come here? Are you asking for our services, noble Radeon?
Quendor spit. The leader of these barbarians was cowardly and sycophantic. Hiding behind flattering and benevolence, he could not hide his lies from Quendor. He demanded truth from him and this chairman will either die or comply.
Quendor - I demand truth. Now! Did you attack the Divinarium during the latest battle?! Are you allied with the Coalition?! How much did their emperor pay you?! How much territory did he promise you after the Divinarium's downfall?!
The chairman cowered and swallowed his saliva.
Chairman - Well, eh... please... Well, what do you mean by, erm, alliance, yes, right? It must be terrorists, or bandits, or... eh... someone else who attacked you, and we will compensate for moral and physical damage our ships have caused to your interests, yes... eh, perhaps a trillion of relict-credits?
Quendor - Don't run in circles, chairman. Speak or face the consequences! I ask you again... ARE YOU ALLIED WITH THE COALITION?!
Chairman - Ah... well... we did form a trade route of some sort... yes... we sold spaceships and weaponry... but I swear we did not know for what purpose was this for! I swear!
Quendor - Perfect. Now I know what you have done, pests. Prepare to meet your punishment.
Quendor moved his arm and clenched his fist in a choking matter, breaking the Ferromash chairman's neck in a second. He knew full well that he was a powerful psychic for his own species - but Ferromash did not. The chairman's lifeless body fell on the floor. His guardians raised their weapons but before they could offer any true retaliation Quendor teleported back on his ship, escaping Ferromash space swiftly. Opening a hologram communication, he reported back to Andorrus.
Quendor - Supreme Autarch, the investigation was successful. The Imperial Chairman told me the Ferromash are supplying the Coalition with weapons, and I doubt they will stop.
Andorrus - Ah. Sadly, this means that open conflict is inevitable. Now that we are fighting with the Grox, every ship counts, but I hope we shall end this war as quick as possible. With other officers on the Grox front, you will then be assigned to lead our efforts against the Coalition.
Quendor - At last, my lord. I. Will. Not. Fail!
Laughing victoriously, Quendor teleported his ship to Station Imperatrix, where his quest for vengeance will begin...
The fate of Andromeda is now, brothers and sisters! If we will fail, then Grox dominion shall be ensured! If we won't, the galaxy will know peace... at last. The Delpha Coalition! The Divinarium! Draconid Imperium! Brood of War! Onward! Our destiny awaits!
Aboard the TNSS Amaritel, Uriel observed the gathering armada slowly drinking a glass of wine, thinking on the future. What nightmares, what threats shall await him and his soldiers on the final frontier, where space turns into nothingness and madness rules?
On Luna, the newest flagship of the Dei'Ar Order, Matheoward wandered the past instead. His spirit crawled through memories of the Holy Shadow War. He encountered something as horrible now... but was it truly the same? Screams of anguish filled his mind, and he felt as two voices struggled within his head, shouting promises and insults.
A soothing light was shining in Iovera's chambers aboard the Voice of the Messengers, her personal starship. Ever since this war began, her Isio'Nar brethren could no longer help her. Meditating, she tried desperately to hear their voice. She couldn't. Only echoes of their words were left, wandering the infinity.
Tyraz was barking orders to Zazane captains and Cyrodi servants on the Ghost of the Warrrior, stomping his foot to make them listen. His fury, however, was only external. In reality, vastly different feelings visited him. Uncertainty, confusion, doubt and... love?
Unlike the AGC leaders, Kilnok did not doubt. He was fighting the Grox for centuries and fear has long left him, or so it seemed at least. He faced death and returned twice, so what could he fear now? Nothing...
Kilnok - All right, men, let's do this. Activate the tachyon fields and brace yourself? Oblivion awaits! The Grox may try to stop, but remember that one they fear is our might!
A DCP fleet led its allies through spacetime, a huge tachyon field engulfing the whole fleet. Matheoward's jaw dropped as he saw the reality twisting through the Coalition's mighty technology. He tried to hold on, but strangely he did not feel any motion. In a second, a tachyonic drive activated and brought the AGC fleet into the rim of the Gigaquadrant. Everbody was in awe and tried to look around, eventually noticing a huge pulsing blood-red rift, a scar on the universe's skin. The Archdemon's Wall. They were here, at last.
Kilnok - Yes, we are here. There is a signal of life there outside of a star system and we are almost sure this is what do we seek. All prepare for a huge bat- wait, what is happening?! Something is interrupting our signals!
??? - Hahahaha...
Matheoward - Who are you?! Show yourself!
Grochius - Here I am, King Grochius the Second! Did you believe that you defeated me? DID YOU? NO! I cannot be denied and I cannot be destroyed by you inferiors! And never shall you interfere with my plans! Now, cower before Kalenas Sates!
A Draconis warship was shot with a superlaser, harming it severely. AGC officers were trying to find the source of Grochius' attack, but eventually realised that it was not an ordinary Grox ship but a massive dreadnaught, nearly 600 km long!
Matheoward - Brace yourselves... It is time for war.
A Late Entry
The Kicath Empire - in the midst of the war, almost 140,000 systems in their grasp and there was apathy all over their empire about the war. The Kicath did not have much time for a war in Andromeda - They were concerned with the Kraw Galaxy and Borealis. It remained ominously quiet in the Andromeda territory as the Draconid Imperium and Diviniarium shielded them side to side.
Larnus and a team of two diplomats landed on planet Khéyaruzi-2 - one of the countless ecumenopolis planets in the empire. Larnus noticed the strange abundance of rain on the planet and tugged his cap and his ceremonial clothing he was clad in as he walked into the bustling metropolis. Larnus began to notice that the architecture of the Kicathian buildings were a metallic grey and some signs of a cyan pulsing light down the side. The buildings pierced through the clouds, reaching thousands of feet tall and not even a three-and-a-half-metre tall Kicath could look up and note where the building hits the clouds.
Larnus walked down the street. He noticed there was no vehicles on the ground and that all of the vehicles, public and private were floating between the buildings thousands of feet in the air. The streets stretched nearly two-hundred feet apart and thousands upon thousands of Kicath and protectorate species were all adorned in gunmetal-grey fabrics and kept together with belts - almost like a uniform. Some Kicath walked together - male and female, most walked in groups and a majority of them were armed with large pistols enough to blast a Kicath's head into small fragments. Some Kicath wore more casual clothing - namely something similar to a hood. They walked furiously through the streets, making contact with Larnus and the diplomats with luminous orange eyes. Larnus began to notice that all the Kicath's eyes glow in the shade. Larnus kept his cap straight and walked on.
Larnus was closing in on his destination. He walked some six miles down a road which stretched from horizon to horizon. He was abruptly stopped in his tracks near a large cross road by a large hovering drone. The drone turned towards the Draconis team and then walked on down the road with a large precision rifle posing as an arm. Larnus took a left turn down the road and found his destination - a bar. The name of the bar was in a glyph font down the side of the doorway which reached well over a Kicath's head. The building stood two and a half thousand feet tall, somewhat small for a Kicathian ecumenopolis. He stepped inside, noticing the overpowering smell of Kicathian-style beverages and cigars. He was completely drenched from the outside, save for his head. Larnus did not take that into any consideration as all of the Kicath were slightly damp.
The Kicath did not care to notice Larnus, which to Larnus made his job easier. A diplomat bumped into a large Kicathian individual, with a Kicath replying in a profane manner. Larnus and the diplomats took no attention and carried on as he walked up a staircase, about twenty steps. He stood aside for eleven Kicathian females walking down the stairs and then outside. He reached the top and his eyes began to squint as he looked for his mission. He found him, and walked over to his table and noticed him playing a card game with another Kicath with seven other large Kicathian males surrounding the table, with a small opening for Larnus to maneuver through. The game played for quite sometime before the Kicath shifted his eyes to find Larnus and the diplomats at his right. He called off his game, much to the discontent of the other Kicath. The other Kicath attempted to punch him - only to be sent flying to the wall opposite and cracking the wall. The other Kicath had swerved out of the way - before the Kicath took the credit chips on the table and then speaking Kicathian with a distorted voice. The Kicath then picked up the metallic cards and then reshuffled them. Larnus sat down with the two diplomats where other the Kicath was sitting - now embedded in the wall, with two Kicathian guards attempting to pull him out of the position.
Larnus cleared his throat to gather the Kicath's attention. The Kicath's head raised.
"Captain Kithworto?" Larnus asked.
Kithworto nodded as he pulled out a large reddish cigar and set it alight with his essence, and then inhaled the smoke before breathing slowly to his left - over the balcony he was sitting on.
"What do you want, Draconis?"
"The Galactic Commonwealth needs the Kicath Empire's assistance."
The bar went silent as the entire topic of the building turned to war. Kithworto looked out at the Kicath looking up to Larnus, Larnus standing slightly confused in the crowd. Kithworto shouting something in Kicathian at them, and then they continued to have their fun. Kithworto stood up, towering over Larnus with his skin gleaning black and red.
"Come with me."
Larnus and the diplomats followed Kithworto into an elevator, as Kithworto entered a code, and then the elevator rose. Kithworto said nothing and neither did Larnus as they both looked out to the cityscape - a street ran perpendicular to the elevator. Larnus could see the small lights of the Kicathian eyes in the distance as the road spanned to the horizon. The elevator rose continuously and the road still did not stop. Larnus began to notice a large tower in the distance, easily eight thousand feet tall.
As the elevator stopped, Kithworto and Larnus walked out into a lavish Kicathian apartment. The room was flanked with stairs and a central window looked out on to the same street. The furniture was sleek and unscathed - white lights ran down the pillars and a central table was present. Larnus knew to sit down on a metal couch with blue cushions. Kithworto went into a kitchen and got a large Kicathian glass and poured some Amber Dawn into it - a common Draconid drink. Kithworto offered it to Larnus as Kithworto sat down slowly, his tail curling around his leg whilst holding an equally large glass of a Kicathian drink - a glossy liquid. The diplomats stood close to the door. Kithworto took out his cigar and stubbed it on a small plate and left it there.
"As much as I appreciate the hospitality, I have little time for this."
Kithworto understood the Draconis mindframe and did not take offence. Kithworto put down his drink.
"You said the Commonwealth needs me...the war. Has it got to the point where the Commenwealth needs cannon fodder?"
"Not cannon fodder. We need all the power we can."
Kithworto's long claws squirmed in his lap. He stood up and paced the area.
"What does this entail, Draconis?"
Larnus began to elaborate.
"The Mechovirus is spreading across the Andromeda Galaxy like a plague. It is a plague - it has begun to spread to the Kicath Empire and the Kicath Empire is not acting upon it. There is a confirmation that there is a way to reverse all of this. There are two halves - one we have claimed. The other...it is not easy to attain. All odds in the universe will be against us once we arrive at the destination. Records call this place 'Nocturnia' - a planet of eternal darkness. Rumors are that the planet stirs with life that does not die by normal weapons."
Kithworto paced around the room quietly, as he entered a deep state of contemplation. It lasted some minutes before he looked out of the window on to the street again.
"And you, a strategist, a friend of the Paragon, a believer in a god...what do you say?"
Kithworto turned, revealing his eyes fully - glowing a dark red instead of orange.
"Why fight? If all odds are against us?"
Larnus gave no answer as they exchanged a wordless conversation. Kithworto smirked and walked towards Larnus.
"So Tyraz Breek, Iovera, Kilnok, among others are joining?"
Larnus was slightly disconcerted that Kithworto could assess his mind. Larnus shook it off emotionlessly and nodded.
"As much as I dislike that Zazane, that Radeon...I can see the gravity of the situation. The Grox are against us, soon Nocturnia will be all that we can comprehend..."
Larnus stood up.
"Very well. Call the Commonwealth that I will accompany a small fleet of our ships to Nocturnia. Oh...and one last thing."
Larnus hanged on the sentence.
"If such a dispute goes beteween myself and the Zazane...and the Radeon..."
Kithworto stared at Larnus, as Larnus walked back and exited out of the elevator with the diplomats, and back to the bar. Larnus breathed a sigh of relief as he looked at the crack in the wall where the Kicath was, and walked out of the bar and back to his ship. He had the word of the Kicath Empire.
The Uprising Begins
Jahric was walking in circles in his choking prison, the very air being poisoned with tyranny and corruption from within. Taking a look at its wall, he spent his time in reflection, thinking about what was going to happen with his friends, with the Divinarium, with Andromeda. Will the Grox conquer the galaxy, or will they be cast aside? Will the Divinarium's demise be for good or for bad? Has he failed his country or was it inevitable?
After half of an hour of thinking, Jahric's thoughts shifted. Instead of thinking about his past he concentrated on how could he flee now. Searching for anything his captors have not stolen from him he found an old, broken teleportation device, its generator carefully removed.
??? - Hey! Who or... what are you?!
Jahric turned his head to notice his neighbour in the prison, a withered human with cybernetics all over his body, dressed in ragged remains of battle armour. He barely breathed, and his very look was repulsive, more of a machine than a living being, but in his eyes Jahric saw something he didn't in other prisoners or in any Solarite he met before... cause. He saw that he knew he was right and was fighting for a cause. Jahric was weakened from all he came through, but he still had energy to speak.
Jahric - I am from the outer space.
??? - Wha! So these rumours are true, and there is something beyond our starcluster. But... how can you understand me?
Jahric - Psychic translators. It's a mix of telepathy and technology.
??? - Ah. You must be really advanced then - the Solarite had taken a look at Jahric's teleporter - , surely you know how to get out of this hellhole! In the name of whatever gods you follow, I hate this prison.
Jahric - If I did, I wouldn't have been there. - Jahric smirked - There is a teleporter, but it is useless without energy. ??? - Energy? Well... I am not sure will this work or not but I have a nuclear power battery, - the Solarite tossed a blocky, used chunk of metal into the Jahric's cell - 'you should try.
Jahric looked at the battery and the generator and attempted to put them together. He expected them to just explode or not work at all, but something unexpected happened. The generator quickly activated and flashed into a burst of light, engulfing Jahric in its swirling gateway. Jahric disappeared for a moment and emerged right outside his cell. The generator turned into broken metal but at least he was free now. Jahric was relieved but shortly afterwards, his triumph turned into terrible pain. He looked at his left arm and realised that he lost his hand during the teleportation.
??? - Wha, that must be painful. Does it always work like that?
Jahric - Generally it is harmless.
??? - Now you should free me! I helped you and I do not want to stay in this hole forever.
Jahric - Do I look like I know how? I will try to find out.
Jahric stalked in shadows like he did before during the Trucinex War, without making a sound to remain invisible. Fortunately for him, Radeons were naturally good at hiding, and Solarite solders were not able to catch him, especially during the night. Sneaking behind a Solarite prison guard, he launched a swift and heavy blow with his remaining hand, knocking him over. Jahric promptly stole his laspistol and blew the generator powering the prison system, deactivating the complex' shielding systems.
Jahric was relieved for a second before he heard blood red sirens activating, running away in panic. Quickly getting another laspistol in his pockets, he ran away back to the prison complex, chased by Solarite soldiers dressed in dull gray uniforms.
Solarite Soldier - The alien specimen must not escape. General Argus commanded him to be questioned and dissected first!
Jahric was running away from the soldiers, using his natural agility and speed characteristic to Radeons in order to escape back to the prison cells to free his comrades. Appearing before his friends, he aimed his laspistol and in a couple of swift shots, broke the prison walls, allowing his Solarite ally to escape.
??? - Oh, thank you, erm... what is your name?
Jahric - Call me Jahric. ??? - Excellent. Now, let's move! The Solarites will throw their forces here soon so we'd better get to the base quickly.
The duo quickly ran out of the prison block, shooting down Solarite guard with pistols. Jahric felt the feeling of fighting himself for once, his aim being his own, unaided by complex machinery, while his newfound ally was just blasting the soldiers with fervor and enthusiasm. Finally, the Solarite prisoner showed him several jets stationed in the prisons, guarded by a small contingent of troopers.
Preparing their guns, the duo striked using the element of surprise. Jumping at them from above, they made a few headshots breaking the helmets of the Solarite troopers. Targeting sergeants and officers, they rendered the guard in chaos, making them flee or rendering them confused. The Solarite prisoner hijacked one of the jets and, bringing Jahric with him, quickly escaped from the complex which turned out to be the entire flying fortress.
??? - Yes! Victory! Now, time to get into the base and let my friends meet me again.
Jahric - The base?
??? - Ah, sorry, erm, partner, I forgot to name myself. I should remember that aliens do not know much about us Solarites, yes. I am no one else than commander Aurenon Craften, the leader of the resistance, fighting the oppression of so-called republic and its junta rulers for years.
Jahric - Junta? Resistance? Republic?
Aurenon - That's a long story...
Stand on Tharrus
Quendor prepared himself for the future battle. He knew that war was everywhere now. Somewhere else, his comrades were fighting against the Coalition, and he won't fail now. His actions will change the war, he knew it! He will fight, he will kill, he will die for this war, it was all that he was thinking about now, his thoughts locked on a single purpose.
Quendor heard the command of his superior, High Ordinator Kanesh, from the holographic communication as the Dei'Ar force was teleporting on Tharrus, the ancient cradle of Artharon power and the capital of the Rades, supported by light fighter ships.
Kanesh - Listen to my commands, Executor. The war with the Coalition has begun. But currently, all conflict is concentrated in the neutral zone', a small area of the Twilight Sector with minor Divinarium and Coalition colonies as well as other species. You have been chosen to lead our charge on the world Tharrus. I think you know that both Coalition and Divinarium settlements are present there.
Quendor - Ah, yes, I do understand.
Kanesh - There is one thing you have to remember, Executor. Due to the high presence of civilians on this world, you must be extremely careful. We cannot allow collateral damage; victory at all costs is not our goal.
Quendor - I understand why do you want to spare the Divinarium citizen... but what of the Coalition?
Kanesh - Ah... - Kanesh sighed - You are still a kid. You do not understand what does life mean.
Quendor - But why should I spare them, the Artharons? After all, they hate us, they work against us, their children will grow and become warriors like their fathers before them...
Kanesh - Perhaps you have not heard a tale of my family then. Ever wondered why me, a Tyrekian, is here in the Divinarium?
Quendor remained silent.
Kanesh - It was on the ancient planet where my ancestors defected from their hypocrital empire. We were conquerors. Murderers. Then one of my ancestors stood AGAINST this tyranny, this bloodshed.... and you know why? It was during the colonisation of one of alien worlds. Our task was clear - to exterminate all native sentient life and start mass colonisation afterwards. Then HE came into the natives' town, and at last, we saw our victims in a different light.
He saw not animals, primitive brutes whose death would be a gift. He saw creatures like Tyrekians themselves, with families, children, a culture and art of their own. He saw equals. You should remember the same, young captain. Artharons may be brutal, but ultimately all life is sacred.
Kanesh's hologram vanished in a spark of light and Quendor returned to his post, teleporting to the battlefield, an underground Rades scientific complex filled with arcane technologies and ancient machines. Artharons and their allies poured from their base into the complex, breaking apart the machinery, while sneaky Eisenar hid in the labyrinths shooting Dei'Ar soldiers lost in the ancient halls. Quendor found himself in a losing battle.
Light was slowly growing dim as Artharons blocked the entrances to the complex. From the hologram mesages he heard screaming starship commanders, and it seemed that in orbit the Divinarium was failing as well, cutting off any possible reinforcements. Quendor was planning to either teleport back or to die with honour, but as he was looking around he noticed a strange laboratory inside with complex, filled with frozen Rades genetical projects. Pulling the trigger, the machine returned to activity after millions of years.
Terrifying monstrosities poured from the laboratory, gnawing and consuming Artharons sowing fear among their ranks. Seeing Quendor, a Radeon, as a master, they did not harm the Divinarium, but to their enemies they were brutal. Quendor escaped the complex and returned back to his spaceship as he saw the complex creating more and more of these creatures devouring everything, a wave of black consuming the very ecosystem. The Divinarium had a chance to evacuate. The Coalition didn't.
The battle was won, but what was the cost?
Grochius' warship continued firing at the fleet. His superlasers were able to penetrate even the shields of the Amaritel. Uriel was in the ship's war room looking over the battle. The vessel's scale was massive, dwarfing everything on the field.
The allied ships attempted to flank the enormous ship, flying around it and keeping their broadsides in view. In firing volleys, all the AGC and DCP could do was pick at it. as their guns could only scratch the enormous bulwark that flew between them. Hours passed and one-by-one allied ships were bing decimated. Inside his ship Grochius laughed as the allied forces fell to his vessel's might. Within the war room Uriel sighed as the holographic situation map showed ships being picked off one-by-one. Feeling desparate to survive he opened hails to all allied ships.
Uriel - All ships reinforce shields and prepare for a tactical withdrawl.
Tyraz - What? We're running?
Uriel - If we stay here the only thing we can do is--
Officer - My lords, we have something on sensors. We cannot identify though.
Uriel - They had better not be allies.
Emerging from twisting portals were strange ships. Twisted, slick and black, writing tentacles emerged from their hulls, their very appearence was something distubing. As they glow at the Grox they fired bolts of an alien energy that ruptured on the hull, tearing it apart. Some of the smaller ships were grabbed and torn apart as they passed, they were completely ignoring the allied forces.
Admiral - All ships hold fire unless they attack us.
Uriel - We need to know who these ships belong to. Any ideas?
Iovera was silent aboard the Luna. While the ships' prescence somehow felt distressing, Iovera could feel the unnatural taint the ships were containing. Looking at one of the ships on a viewscreen was like looking into pure abyssal blackness for her. She did not say a word as the strange ships tore the Grox Fleet apart. On board the Grox Dreadnought Grochius screamed in anger. As the bulkhead was being torn open he called for a widespread retreat. Activating transwarp drive the ship jumped away. With not argets the odd ships returned throughthe portals like the ones they emerged from.
The allied leaders relaxed. Grochius had retreated from the area and they could continue with the mission. All of the factions did what they could to support the repairs of the ships that had survived the Grox onslaught. Nanites were fabricated and spread out across the fleets. Stitching together bulkheads, rebuilding hull panels and repairing systems that had been shaken or disabled from the attack. As repairs were beng finished the ships turned and headed in the direction towards Nocturnia. Wormulus, Tyraz, Iovera and several DCP psychic soldiers attuned their energies in meditation and communed telepathically to more accurately locate the planet. Time was short and they did not know if the Grox would return.
As the fleet trailed after Nocturnia, Uriel was walking down the hallways of the lower decks. His thoughts returned of home and he wondered to himself could this be the answer or was it a hopeful shot-in-the-dark. As he passed the officer's quarters he heard a thumping from one of the rooms. His curiosity got the better of him as he decided to approach the door. he activated the buzzer and the thumping stopped instantly.
A minute later the doro opened to a dark-scaled Drallivian. uriel's attention was drawn to the black cord-like material over his arms that joined to his torso at the shoulders. A ceramic plate covered one eye and an eyepiece over the other. He looked own to Uriel and cracked a slight smile.
Drallivian - Lord Uriel, I was not expecting you. Is something wrong?
Uriel - No. I was passing your wuarters and I thought I heard something.
Drallivian - Ahh, yes, sorry abotut that. Still getting used to these.
The drallivian flexed his arms before turning his attention back to Uriel. He stepped aside wondering if Uriel was curious to enter.
Uriel - I cannot say we have met.
Corteus - 'Formally I am Vureus Kalhalum, but I prefer Corteus now.
Uriel - I think I rememebr the report. You fought against one of those 'Mali'Zane' on Vashkya. Correct?
Corteus - I was, then the mosnter threw me halfway across the field. I spent the next pair of months in intensive care where they had these... pieces grafted to me. Apparently a fellow named 'Vidius' authorised it.
Uriel - How does it feel?
Corteus turned away and walked towards a screen showing an outside view. He leaned on the edge of it with his arm resting against the wall.
Corteus - Like this is not my body. My mid and several otherp ieces are the same. They even perserved my heart; msot of it anyway. No, I became a gunea pig for Vidius and his experiments. he replaced my own flesh with synthetic muscle, I can see several different forms of light and--
He thows a punch at a hanging punchpag causing it to sever form its bindings and fly across the room. uriel became wary ofwhat he saw. Corteus pumped his chest and rolled his shoulders before he turned to Uriel. sharp grin spread across his face.
Corteus - By Drakon's blood does it feel empowering!
Uriel - Are you not worried about waht you have become?
Corteus - My original sense of 'what I am' died when that beast picked me up like a toy. I felt weaker than I had ever been. Vidius said he could make me stronger than he could with Morphis. I was broken, crippled, it would ahve taken months for stem cells to recover the damage.
Uriel - You saw nothing wrong improving yourself?
Corteus - Of course.
Cortesu headed over to thep unchbag an dlifted it up with one hand. HOlding it under his arm he rested it against a wall.
Corteus - I read your history; distingushed service in the Mecha-Wasp war, explorer, you were the one who re-introduced us to the Imperium. I can understand why Morhis or cybernetics might scare you. But I beleive it is your own book that states "He who is in control is the master. Control can be lost from both the acts of self and society."
Uriel - "He who has no control over their own destiny is a machine..."
Corteus - The way I see it those bugs lost ontrol over themselves. They became addicted to aumentation. Synthetic life is no 'better' than organic life. Each has their strengths and drawbacks. These "superiority complexes" that machines gain is a delusion.
Uriel - Do you think so?
Corteus - I do not think I'm superior to you. yes, I have the power to lift one of your kind off their feet and throw them liek a ragdoll but I do not think I could do what you do, my lord.
Uriel - What I do?
Corteus - I could not be an emperor. I was a sergeant before the incident. I was responsible for a group of men. I never thought I could handle running an empire even with all the advisors you get. I could not rally an army. In fact my idea of boosting morale is purchasing a round of drinks for the men. No, I do not think I am superior to you.
Uriel - I see...
Uriel was speechless. For a long time he had figured to himself that synthetic or augmented life believed itself superior. Could he be wrong al lthis time. He left silently but as he approached the door Corteus called out to him. Uriel turned around.
Corteus - That fellow Vidius, He told me that he was not concerned with what he was doing with Morphis. Thee man was pretty adamant that cybernetic augmentation was what the Lifeafather wanted.
Uriel - *mutters under his breath* Just as he was happy for your peoples' creation...
Corteus - Pardon, my lord?
Uriel - Nothing. I have to prepare for the expedition.
Corteus nodded and Uriel left the room closing the door behind him. He did hear what Uriel had said under his breath and he was now curious. had Drakon really spoken to him?
Jahric was sitting in a rebel hideout in his chambers, admiring his new hand implant made by Solarites, missing his crew and the diplomats... Selytorah. He was away from the Divinarium, away from sanity, in the world where war dominated. The civilisation was gone here. From the hidden windows and cameras of the rebel hideout, he saw piles of corpses being burned, crowds rising to be shot by chainguns in thousands... Crime, poverty, hatred. For once he wanted to return to the ivory towers of Crepusculum, safety under tyranny. He wanted freedom, and here it was. For the sake of survival he had to join the strange and unsuspected ally. What awaited next, he wondered? Nightmare or salvation? An honourable death, perhaps?
Aurenon - Now that we are here, I will tell you all about the rebellion and how it started. Centuries ago, this place wasn't a dump it is now. It was glorious, I swear! You aliens must be advanced, don't you? Well, we were once like you. Great. Glorious. Our buildings were shining and silver, not brown and rusting like now. And the sky wasn't toxic green either. And we had a democracy! True freedom! Business and market thrived and all this stuff... I was only a child at this time, but I still remember this world's original beauty. I will do what my father longed for, and now that I am free... THE REVOLUTION BEGINS NOW!
Jahric listened to his new friend without much enthusiasm. He heard zeal in his words, the same zeal as one of Divinarium chaplains.
Jahric - Look... you do understand that I have to save my friends? I had left my entire crew on that prison complex.
Aurenon - Then... why can't you come with us? I'll make sure that you will have a Solarite squad to command. Once I'll be in charge, I will ensure that you will have your ship back, too.
The Revolution has begun!
And Jahric was amidst it, alien to it, fighting not for a cause but out of circumstances. He wanted his ship and his friends back. Furious crowds led by rebel soldiers were marching, shouting slogans on the Solarite language. Hypnotised by their sheer fury, Jahric was shouting as well. He despised himself for that - how could he, a Radeon from the Divinarium, be blinded by simple unadvanced species? Aurenon was now at the head of the rebellion, his battlecries breaking the air, his head standing proud, a very nexus of revolution.
He saw the rebel rockets flying and breaking the massive citadel floating atop the mighty skyscrapers. He saw crowds clashing, destroying any remnants of the old regime, killing innocents. Normally he would be disgusted by such violence, but he was inside the crowd and he could do nothing. The war was war. As the citadel fell, Jahric and his soldiers crawled into the prison complex, ready to free his comrades. Coming through a labyrinth of broken glass, encountering little resistance. At the very end of the complex, he found his crew - in particular, Selytorah.
When the Solarites, she was hurt severely, and time in prison did hurt her even more. Her fur was dirty and wet, hair messed and body scarred, her baroque clothing tattered. Apparently she did break a leg, too.
Jahric - What happened to her?!
Alessa - When this... ship fell, she was struck by an explosion. She lost balance and... well... you see.
Jahric grabbed Selytorah and tried to bring her body out of the prison complex, his crew following him. Getting through piles of bodies and metal, the Radeon captain had to escape quickly now - the complex was self-destructing now. Barely managing to flee, Jahric turned his head to see a huge ship exploding in a gory manner, tearing everything apart.
On the ruined city plaza atop corpses and ruins, Aurenon and his closest advisors stood amidst the cheering crowd, his words booming inside the stone jungles.
Aurenon - The revolution is over, my friends and comrades! At last, the freedom is ours! The tyrant fled but now as the capital does belong to us, we shall convert the Solarite Republic to the rule of democracy, equality and prosperity. The rule of RIGHTEOUS cause! Our alien allies did help us and for that they shall be rewarded. But first, we have to deal with... traitors.
Aurenon's face changed impression to that of cold fury.
Aurenon - Many of you have been conspiring with the old regime, seeking to reinstate tyranny, brainwashed beyond recovery. The punishment IS DEATH! There is a grand list of traitors, and all of them shall be found and crushed, IN THE NAME OF DEMOCRACY, IN THE NAME OF PEACE, JUSTICE AND FREEDOM!
Jahric sighed. His expectations turned out to be true. One tyranny replaced another. Leaving the plaza to see the same picture, rows of people being shot, being hanged, being killed like cattle, he met a Solarite with his old ship, Silvermoon as well as Cron's Netherstorm. Taking a seat in his ship again, Jahric set course out of the system. Surprisingly, Cron was following him. His hologram appeared onboard as he started to speak.
Cron - This was, uh, so strange. But I guess I will help you now. After all, you did save my planet and me, too...
Selytorah - Indeed. That was quite an adventure.
The Radeon diplomat was still recovering from her wounds, although Solarite cybernetics did help her too.
Alessa - These creatures are warlike indeed. What if we could later convince them to help us?
Jahric - I would rather not do it.
The Warrior and the Captain
Quendor knelt before the holographic image of High Ordinator Kanesh aboard Lilith, listening to her commands after the battle on Tharrus. Quendor was pretty scared to see the normally serene Tyrekian's face turning into a grimace of cold fury and anger. She was like a demon, no, a death angel now. A figure of punishment and judgement.
Quendor - But, commander! The battle was won! The Artharon forces have retreated, and the victory is ours now.
Kanesh - And at what cost, I ask you?! You've slaughtered MILLIONS with the Rades superweapon you have unleashed. Your reckless actions did cost countless lives, and they overweight the lives of those Coalition forces you have killed.
Quendor - You still cannot deny that the planet does belong to us, and I saved the day. And I'm still in charge of the offensive.
Kanesh - No longer, commander Quendor Telnhao. You are demoted now. The Dei'Ar command has contacted me recently and answered my plea to remove you from your post to end your slaughter. Now you shall comply to me personally. Your mission is to join the fleet heading to the Coalition space itself, while other commanders will work in neutral space. Adherence to the Andromedan Warfare conventions is mandatory. I shall give you the coordinates now.
Quendor - WHAT?! Well... good, I guess. I shall lead our armada and return with the head of Fela'thoran himself, I swear!
Kanesh - Not lead. You are a mere captain now.
Kanesh simply nodded as her hologram vanished, leaving Quendor alone. He pressed a few buttons on his ship openning a wormhole portal to the eastern Twilight sector. He found himself in combat with millions of Coalition ships clashing thousands of Divinarium warships, all looking different to each other. He was in the heart of the Coalition space!
Quendor's joy did end quickly when his ship was rocked by the Artharon missiles. He turned his head to see a huge benemoth covered with spikes and blades, the largest ship he saw in his life. The primary Divinarium flagship was already down, meaning that the fleet lost its leader.
Radeon lieutainant - Sir, we are being hailed now!
Quendor - The Coalition?
Lieutainant - Yes.
An image of a huge Artharon in golden armour appeared to Quendor, threatening him with a huge sword. The Warrior.
The Warrior - Surrender now, usurpers. You invaded the ancestral lands of our empire and for this, you shall be punished. According to our code of honour, we are giving you the chance for a fair fight. We have blockaded the area and you cannot escape anymore. Flee and die like rats or fight with honour.
Quendor shuddered. He had to face the greatest living Artharon warlord and win. But he cared not. After all, dying for veangeance would be as good as achieving vengeance. If he will die today, he will slaughter as many Coalition dogs as possible. The time for words was over! It was time for war!
Quendor - Alright, brothers and sisters... Yes, I know I am the same rank as you, but I do not care. Today, we shall either die or win, there is no other choice... DEATH OR GLORY!
Rallied by his words, the Divinarium battlefleet rushed to the Warrior's huge warship, tearing its armour, preparing to face the Artharons at their own territory...
Into the Eastern Fringe
A sound of rearranging wormhole generators ringed on Silvermoon as Jahric was calibrating the navigation systems on his ship. A long time has come since he left Crepusculum with a team of diplomats. He thought it would be a short trip, but it turned... not to be. Jahric had taken a look at his hand - or what remained of it after it was torn during the Solarite incident - and sighed. Grox attacks, revolutions, constant pirate raids... It was far dirtier than he expected. He only wondered how did Alessa, a refined Draconis noble, did react on what younger would call an adventure and the likes of Jahric would call a slaughter.
A door on the captain's bridge opened and Selytorah came, her legs still scarred. The primitive Solarite cybernetics did hurt, but she tried to maintain a friendly face despite the pain.
Selytorah - I guess we are finished there, captain. Imperix, Solarites, some Millenis bandits, A'sh'ovan, Oriito and a few other species have agreed to lend their ships. We are ready to depart now.
Jahric - Ah, good. You see, I am trying to fix some problems there.
Jahric pointed at a broken wormhole navigator and a group of machines, both small nanobots and large Metallo, trying to repair and calibrate it.
Jahric - It'll take some time.
Selytorah - I see then.
Selytorah put a small green orb from her pockets, shining and glistening in light.
Selytorah - At least I have some... erm, souvenirs. This one's from Erix.
Selytorah laughed half-heartedly before looking at her leg and sighing.
Selytorah - I wonder, why have you saved me back then, on the Solarite homeworld? You could die while picking up me out of the debris, and I was only one of three diplomats, after all.
Jahric stood silent for a few seconds.
Jahric - Well, ermy... I am a soldier, esteemed legate, just, uh, trying to do my job, saving you was my top priority for the Divinarium and And-
Selytorah stopped Jahric's pompous but completely false speech.
Selytorah - That's not you, capt- Jahric. You aren't like that. Don't try to act like an average Radeon captain, you are different. I know full well why did save me.
Selytorah did cuddle Jahric slightly - for a Radeon, it was like a kiss in a cheek.
Selytorah - And I want to say thanks.
Jahric was stunned in confusion. He had a beloved one already, after all - yes, she was dead, but still.
Jahric - Erm, and I guess... I want to say thanks too.
Distracted by Seyltorah, Jahric took a look at Silvermoon's navigating systems. It was working for now. Pressing a few buttons on the ship's silver panel, the whole crew heard the roar of wormhole generators as they left the realspace to return back home... except something did not work right.
Science officer - Captain, we have a problem! Some kind of slipstream disturbance is affecting our wormhole drive!
Jahric - What is this?
Science officer - I don't know... but it's something like I encountered in Borealis before. The quantum foam structure is disrupted, but we can at least try to teleport to the source of disturbances... the eye of the storm.
Jahric - Then do it, quickly! I do not want to end up stuck in a wormhole forever.
After a short but unpleasant trip through a wormhole, Silvermoon appeared in orbit of a strange blue world dotted with white structures. A shining starship flew out of space and hit Jahric's vessel with a bolt of alien energy, making it fall slowly on the ground. His nightmare wasn't over yet...
Recovering slowly, Jahric had realised that his ship was'nt falling - instead, it was slowly descending on the ground, kept in a magnetic field. Looking out of a window, he saw shining white city. It was ancient beyond measure, but also preserved, as if somebody was keeping it alive. When he landed, he found himself surrounded by centauri warriors in white armour, guarding a... Jahric could not believe his own eyes.
Jahric - TERTAMIANS?!
A creature that looked like an Andromedan ancient stood silent, immerssed in deep thoughts.
??? - No. Not the precursors, we are. Our name is Terta'n'ai, the children of Tertamians.
Jahric - But that's... impossible!
??? - We know little about the ancients too. Legends tell they brought us to save from the enemy through time and space. To keep their legacy, the Alliance... I find this dubious too.
Selytorah - Like... ourselves?!
??? - Indeed, Rade'n'ai.
Jahric and Selytorah sighed.
Jahric - Eh, okay, good... can we go now?
The Tertamian leader said a Tertamian word and made a threatening gesture. Immediately, his warriors pointed their guns at Jahric and Selytorah.
Selytorah - But... but... what have we done to you?
The Terta'n'ai did not respond and simply led Silvermoon's crew into the largest white spire dotting the strange world's landscape. Jahric felt a strange sense of purity inside this building. It was far more refined than Solarite fortresses and Imperix skyscrapers, that's for sure, elaborate tables all over the place. It seemed to be a cabinet of some sort. The Tert'a'nai activated a holoprojector of some sort and a picture of Tertamians, Jahric and some strange creatures appeared.
??? - My name is Archon Reminocles, the ruler of Terta'n'ai Ascendancy. For millenia, we have been growing and reclaiming the legacy of our ancestors. UNTIL THE WAR!
Reminocles slammed the table.
Reminocles - We do not know where did that menace come from, but it just DID. Crystalline monsters overruning entire worlds and tainting with their presence. Only a handful of our worlds did survive. We now hope that if we will keep our contact sporadic, they won't notice us. but now you have come and THEY KNOW WHERE ARE WE NOW! For that, you deserve a just punishment. Let the will of people choose.
Jahric - But we would be more useful against these creatures if alive. Can you leave us? I am a skilled commander and perhaps-
Jahric noticed skies turning blue and crystalline hives falling on the ground.
Reminocles - Hm... indeed.
Aboard the warship
In the Coalition space, Quendor and other Divinarium captains continued their attack on the Warrior's dreadnaught. While normally their weaponry would have destroyed an Artharon ship with ease, this one was much, much more resilent. It resisted Quendor's plasma cannons without leaving even a dent, clearly protected by powerful energy fields.
Quendor - Dammit, this ship is invincible! We have to do something! Is there any chance we can blow it from the inside?
Tactical officer - I think there is. If we will open the portal right inside the ship, then we might still have a chance to destroy it.
Quendor - Then do it! Send a demolition force or something... I don't care!
Multiple wormhole opened and Divinarium troopers boarded the Artharon dreadnought. Slowly passing through the jagged blocky passways guarded by Szyarthwa and Eisenar watchmen, Quendor sent a group of hunters to deploy explosives into the ship's main reactor while his fireteam will distract the main Coalition forces on the captain's bridge.
Quendor - Let's go!
Quendor and his team leaped through the Artharon armies. Determination clashed determination, fury met fury. Blades and machine gun fire was countered by devouring plasma. Vengeance was close! War was nearing its final end!
Fueled by anger and hatred, Quendor activated the "flamer" mode of his plasma gun, unleashing a wave of pure energy on Artharon hordes. Lost in fury, he did not care about anything. In furious delirium, he concentrated on destruction, dancing to the symphony of vengence.
As Quendor returned to his senses, he found himself in a burning hell, surrounded by his fallen enemies and his comrades who were defeated in battle. His gun's ammunition was expended and he was only left with his sword. Remaining in battle alone, he faced none but the Warrior himself.
Quendor - I REMEMBER YOU, MONSTER! DIE!
Quendor grabbed his vibroblade and leaped at the Artharon general, intending to use the Radeon psychic powers to crush him. However, as the Warrior turned on him, Quendor found his assault stopped easily. In a single strike of unnatural strength, his blade was broken, and his anger and fear stopped him from concentrating enough for even minor telekinesis. Gazing at the defeated Radeon captain, the Warrior smirked behind his helmet and saw his enemy fleeing from the ship.
Thinking about the future, the Artharon stood silent for a few seconds and then left the detonating ship in a small shuttle. He remained a strange enigma, silent and mysterious.
Quendor returned to his ship with mixed thoughts. Even though the ship was destroyed and the Divinarium won, his honour was crushed. He intended to avenge. His hatred grew stronger...
The Crystal Night
- The Beginning
Jahric watched the night sky being shadowed by thousands of living crystal spaceships, screeching as they fell from the sky. The very sound brought fear and despair into the heart of Tertanai soldiers, who covered their ears and fell to the ground, unable to withstand this high-pitched tone. Falling down on the ground, they saw small crystalline scarabs gnawing their bodies, while their larger Warrior comrades were cutting down those Tertanai who survived the sonic onslaught. Larger, monstruous Crystalline strains were breaking through baroque Tertamian buildings, ancient as stars themselves, which smoldering ruins were slowly covered in sapphire formations, courtesy of smaller Crystallines who were assimilating the very landscape.
Reminocles - Quickly! We should not let the swarm touch the ancient ground of the Acropolis! The Alliance protected their cities with energy fields, the Crystallines won't be able to get in there!
Jahric - And what of us?
Reminocles - Your punishment will wait. Those who cannot fight will be put into the Acropolis; those who can will protect those who cannot. You're a captain so your skills would be of great use.
Jahric - And why I am going to work for you? You were going to shoot me.
Reminocles pointed at the Crystallines attacking and then at his own soldiers.
Reminocles - That's why. With Crystallines on the planet, there is little choice left. Here, disembark on a transport vehicle - Reminocles pointed at a large hovering machine that resembled transports Jahric saw in the Divinarium but much larger - and protect it.
Jahric - Nnngh.
Jahric and his crew landed on a Tertanai transport and saw long convoys of similar vehicles flying to the Acropolis. It was growing darker - not because of the weather but because of the swarms of Skyrabs in the sky. They were moving to the convoy. Jahric manned a blaster cannon that was lying on the window and fired, sparks of deadly flame burning the Crystallines. Yet Jahric felt that there were, ultimately, more flying fiends coming than there was ammunition in the cannon...
Skyrabs continued their assault on the convoy, throwing themselves obedient to Uff'Wuj while Jahric fended them off. Yet it did not always help - he could shoot tens, even hundreds, but thousands more came and rammed the transport's hull, which was covered in dents and Crystallines' blood from the cruel warfare. Finally, the moment had arrived. The transport shook and started falling down.
Jahric - This damned moment. AGAIN. Ever since I came on this diplomatic mission - which turned out to be worse than fighting Grox - THIS. ALWAYS. HAPPENS! If I board something that flies, it will break and fall. Oh, Spode! Are you joking at me!
Jahric's ranting could not help, and when he awakened from the rubble and found himself in the Acropolis borders, alone and with Selytorah or other comrades of his nowhere to be found he found out a terrible picture...
- Crystal Nightmare
R17 dam u
- Salvation and Damnation
Jahric - Okay. That's right. Others must be somewhere nearby. I should find out. hm...
Jahric grabbed his belongings and ran out of the rubble, finding mostly ruins and corpses. He looked around. While the area was mostly devoid of Crystallines, the results of the attack were seen neverthless. Huge trees devoid of leaves, like massive fallen titans, were lying on the ground, grey from the explosion. Broken pieces of blue crystal dotted the land, signs of Crystalline influence. Fearing that there will be more of them, Jahric ran, using his good sense of hearing to orient, searching for sounds. Suddenly, out of high-pitched cawwing of Tertanai, he heard a Radeon woman scream.
Jahric - SELYTORAH!
Jahric ran in the direction of the scream, grabbing his two pistols in his hands - the organic one and the metallic one. He heard bones cracking under his feet and saw skeletons picked clean to the bone - now Jahric understood that Crystallines were around the capital too. Finally he found his comrades... and they weren't in the best condition ever.
Naval Trooper - Dammit, she's dying! Medic, what's her condition?
Medic - This crystalline infection cannot be fought, not even by our nanomachines!
Jahric - What's going on?
Alessa - Ah, captain, it's you again. We fell right next to the Crystalline swarm. Your crewmates fought well, but... there are casualties.
Alessa pointed at a batch of troopers' corpses next to dying Selytorah. Jahric came to one who was meant to be an ambassador and looked into her eyes. He only started to know her well and then she was leaving the world.
Jahric - Selytorah, please... don't die... I need you!
Selytorah - Don't worry, captain. We even did now each other well before... I am just... one person.
Selytorah turned and stopped breathing.
Jahric - Dammit... dammit... dammit... dammit! Why? Why do those who I love have to die! My comrades, my crew, my beloved Geroniel... and, now Selytorah!.. This is my fault. I should have just left the planet... dammit, I should have never been on this world anyway! The bloodshed on the Solarite homeworld. The casualties on Erix. It was all my fault. If I'll die, then so be it! If those around me suffer because of me than I deserve not to live.
Cron - Erm... I think that your wish might become reality soon.
Jahric turned his head to saw Crystallines approaching, roaring and screaming as they crawled to him.
Jahric - Dammit... go! The Acropolis these Tertanai were going to hide you in is near! - Jahric pointed at the towers - I will stay and distract these monsters... My life ends there.
Trooper - We won't live without our captain!
Jahric - You will. It is an order.
Being forced to comply, soldiers and diplomats fled. Jahric reloaded his pistols and smirked.
Jahric - If I am going to die... Then let my death be glorious.
Alessa and other diplomats, as well as those few of Jahric's crew who survived, stood before Archon Reminocles in the Ecclesia of the Acropolis. The situation was truly dire.
Reminocles - Ah. The loss of your captain was definitely a tragic loss. If we will recover the body, then we shall give him a proper funeral using his species' standards.
Alessa - I see...
Reminocles - However, the problem is far, FAR more deeper than that. The shield, no matter how powerful, cannot stay forever. And we won't last for long given we won't have a way to repel the intruders... unless... No, that's impossible.
Alessa - What's impossible? Reminocles - ...ah, nothing. We have a strange artifact on our planet but we do not know how to use it. Come to me, I will show you.
Reminocles brought the Silvermoon's crew to a large archaeological dig inside the city, guarded by carefully built power fields. The Tertanai leader removed the field and the crew saw a huge horseshoe-like structure made of strange metal. It seemed like it was freezing the environment. A Radeon science officers, noted for his blue fur indicating his heritage, froze in surprise.
Science officer - That's... that's a Cold Relay! A small one, but a Cold Relay nonetheless. A FTL travel device, we use things like that in Borealis. I know how to activate it, if that thing is still functional...
The blue Radeon pressed a button on the ancient device and it sprang back to activity, shihing with blue light.
Science officer - I relayed a SOS signal to the other Cold Relays - in the Borealis Galaxy. I don't know who... but somebody is going to accept it.
Reminocles looked at the barrier around the city. It started flickering.
Reminocles - This somebody is better to arrive quickly.
Science officer - Patience, it will be... wait, I recieve the signal! Our aid is coming!
The Cold Relay flashed with the spark of light, and a long-expected aid has finally arrived. The Unified Nation of Ottzello has come.
- The Final Battle
Reminocles could not believe his own eyes. Before the Crystallines, he had never ever seen an alien sentient species, and now, in a day, he has already met a dozen. The aid that was coming out of a cold relay made him shudder. A massive furious beast with golden skin, supported by a bizzare being with a large cannon and a group of mechanical beings and barbaric giants. It was strange indeed.
Reminocles - Good, great, it is... excellent! Not only did you aliens attract Crystallines with you, but also some huge freaks?! We're doomed.
Dei'Ar Trooper - They are friends. Don't worry... right?
Vailisa - Crush puny alien bugs!
Without saying a word, the UNO armada left the city with thunderous noise, engaging the Hive in a vicious melee. Vailisa crushed several of the Crystalline Scarabs with his arms and feet, while Vaktyl's subatomic disruptor chain gun obliterated them quickly. The Scarabs had to retreat, and the Warriors began to fall.
Reminocles observed the battle from his poist - observed while shivering from fear. He turned to Alessa.
Reminocles - Who... or what are they?!
Alessa - Some of them I recognise but....
The massive swarms, who were overrunning the Tertanai forces at first, began to fall back, as the two UNOC members slaughtered them.
Vaktyl - Hell yeah! Little bug things hurtin' out friends ain't gon' get closed to this cannon, baby!
Vaktyl continued to blast his subatomic disruptor chain gun, which killed many Scarabs before they could even get close.
Alessa - *smiles* It is good to know they are on our side.
Reminocles - Our side or not, I fear they will kill as much of our own as of the Crystallines.
A few Crystalline Conquerors, many of which were a similar size to Vailisa, arrived.
Reminocles - Oh, here it begins. The larger ones. Usually our policy when we encountered them is to flee as fast as we can.
Vailisa - Big bugs on their way...the Fist SMASH!
Vaktyl - Well, big or not, they ain't gon' get to us!
Conquerors growled and fired at the UNOC troops, overpowering them for a second, with smaller ones like Tralkiks being crushed completely. Vaktyl continued firing his chain gun at the smaller Crystalline, while preparing his plasma cannon against the Conquerors. Vailisa, meanwhile, engaged the Conquerors in hand-to-hand combat, as well as with his mid-ranged weapons.
Vaktyl - Man, these boys are tough!
Vailisa - They are. We will need to focus on them. But keep picking off little bugs too.
Alessa watched and moved her hand towards her mouth unsettled by the carnage.
Reminocles - Monsters fighting monsters. Ugh.
Vailisa threw punches at several Conquerors, and Vaktyl fired his plasma cannon at several of their heads. The Conquerors slowly began to fall, as the UNOC troops overpowered them quicker than expected.
Vailisa - SMASH!!!
Vailisa ripped one of the final Conquerors in half, while the last was destroyed by Vaktyl's plasma cannon rifle. The Crystalline forces were either destroyed completely, or had backed down. Vailisa and Vaktyl approached Reminocles and Alessa.
Vaktyl - Well, boys, looks like we take care of your little problem.
Reminocles - Not yet. Look into the sky!
Alessa - I feel nauseated...
Vaktyl - Huh?
Vaktyl saw a sky shadowed by Crystalline hives falling and breaking apart; more Crystallines were coming.
Alessa - Forgive me, I am not used to battle. Especially fighting of that calibre.
Reminocles - It is the same for me.
Vailisa - Not many people are. But the Fist handle fighting easy!
Vaktyl - Damn, man, you check this out...more of 'em.
Thousands of voices ringed into the UNOC and Reminocles' minds, the voice of the Crystalline hive mind.
Hivemind - Uff'Wuj encounters outsiders... more outsiders... Emptying of outsiders ensues.
Reminocles - Not... again... Like on Tirar, again...
Alessa - What is happening?
Vaktyl - Well, it looks like we got more of 'em to clean up.
Reminocles - There are so much Crystallines there that people hear their thoughts... their will...
Vaktyl - So what we dealin' with here? Crystal bugs comin' from the air?
Dei'Ar Trooper - Wait! Our commander might still be here! If you will encounter another Radeon, bring him to the city! We could save him. or at least perform a proper funeral rite...
Vaktyl - No prob', buddy.
Vailisa - Vaktyl, you and I will take point. Wait for them to attack, so we can evaluate what we're dealing with.
Reminocles - W-w-w-ait! Crystallines tend to trap their victims in crystal. I heard they assimilate them or something.
Alessa - Wait, trap?
Vaktyl - So? We got nanomachines that get us outta that.
Reminocles - That's related to this command of yours. Crystallines might have trapped him.
UNOC left the city and engaged a new threat. Crystalline Skyrabs surrounded Valisa and started to gnaw on their metallic skin while larger Warriors attacked in a more convenient manner.
Vailisa - The Fist being eaten by bugs...
Vaktyl - Damn, man!
Vaktyl began firing his chaingun at the Warriors, which drove most off. As for the Skyrabs, his plasma cannon rifle scored hits on each Skyrab, although its fairly slow rate of fire meant it wasn't that effective. Vailisa tried to grab and crush several Skyrabs, but was slow.
Vaktyl - Damnit, any of you boys got some anti-air weapons and stuff?
Reminocles - We will bring our fighters now. The Ascendancy aircraft, go!
Smaller Tertanai gunships were released from the Acropolis, armed with lasguns, burning the Skyrabs with limited success.
Vaktyl - They'll buy us some time. Where is your commander?
Dei'Ar Troopers - We don't know.
Vaktyl - Right. Any ideas on his whereabouts?
Dei'Ar Troopers - If he is anywhere, he must be near the Acropolis...
Vaktyl - Got it.
Vaktyl and Vailisa fired missiles at the Skyrabs to defend themselves. They then searched around the city, destroying the Scarabs attacking it. While searcing, Vaktyl and Vailisa were smashed by a giant explosion, revealing a huge Conqueror growling fiercely at the UNOC.
Vaktyl - Damn!!
Vaktyl fired his plasma cannon, and Vailisa threw punches at it, beginning to cause it damage. Vaktyl fired his chaingun on the Conqueror. Eventually, the beast was defeated by their combined efforts.
Vaktyl - Damn, man, keep searchin'!
Vailisa - No...the commander is gone.
Vaktyl nodded, and they returned to the city.
Vaktyl - Sorry boys...we searched everywhere. The commander just ain't there. We slaughted thousands of them bugs lookin' for him...
The beast screeched and finally exploded in a shower of blue crystalline blood. Meanwhile, other Crystallines fled, either simply exploding or turning feal, while Crystalline ships left the orbit.
Reminocles - Wait... the ships are... retreating!
Vaktyl - Yeah, it looks like it...
Dei'Ar Trooper - Wait, we recieve a message!
A voice of a dying, broken Radeon was recieved, warped and flanged, but recognisable.
Dei'Ar Trooper - Commander Jahric, you're alive!
Jahric - Ugh... barely. I was kept in a main hive, and now the Crystallines left, their mental control over me is... fading. I guess my thoughts are my own again.
Vaktyl - The commander's alive?! Damn...
Vaktyl saluted, and told Jahric what had happened.
Reminocles - We recieve your coordinates now. I'll send a rescue ship.
Jahric recovered. His wounds were severe and he was partially covered in Crystalline material, but he survived.
Jahric - To enter the world beyond life and death was a... jarring experience.
The two guys from UNOC went over to him, and projected holograms of UNOL.
Yogtam - We recieved the distress call sent through the Cold Relay. I trust Vaktyl and Vailisa helped you solve your problem?
Jahric - UNO? What... happened?
Dei'Ar Trooper - We have found a Cold Relay there... Yeah, long story. Now we have beaten the Crystallines.
Vaktyl explained everything to Jahric.
Vaktyl - So yeah, we got them bugs retreating. I suppose we better go defeat 'em.
Jahric - The reason they are leaving is different. They are not leaving because they are beaten. They are leaving because there is... another foe.
Jahric - I was inside the Crystalline mind. I was inside... Uff'Wuj. I heard its thoughts. It probed my mind and interrogated me. It now knows about the Grox.
Vaktyl - I see. So, what do you want us for?
Jahric - You know, I do not know myself. I am supposed to bring what forces I have brought, who we have allied with, to the Core to fight the common Grox threat...
Vaktyl - Well, through this Cold Relay, we can potentially send all that UNO has available. We're kinda busy dealing with the new Vague Fate, but we have to help our allies out.
Jahric - Indeed. You know, when I was in this state between life and death, I was thinking. Of how much bloodshed did I cause.
Tuolog - It not good idea to think about what you have done it times. Sometimes it better to focus on what you will do.
Jahric - It was, more or less, my fault for many deaths. Countless innocents. My comrades. Battle brothers. And now, Selytorah... It was a moment of despair... And then I met her. I don't know why did she came to me but she did; a guardian angel. Geroniel visisted me. My old beloved one.
Tuolog - You sure there was anything you could do? And as I said, you have to not worry about past. Past only make you stronger when you overcome it.
Jahric - She said the same. She wanted me not to lose myself in despair but to save Andromeda from further horror. She told me I have to stop the Grox.
Tuolog - And you have to do that. Don't let emotions drag you down. Let them empower you.
Jahric - Probably.
Jahric took a deep breath.
Jahric - Then, let's go! There are Grox to be beaten.
Yogtam - We'll send support.
Reminocles - As shall the Tertanai... as long as you provide us technology and weaponry. It is a fair game, you know. We don't just send our already limited forces into the fray for no price.
Reminocles - And don't worry, commander. We on Il'larion have a saying. Remember the past, aim for the future, but above all, live in the present.
Jahric left the Acropolis to his ship, preparing a trip to the core, while Alessa contacted other allies in Umbra. The grand fleet was about to embark.
Jahric - Onward, for Andromeda!
Crepusculum's Last Stand
Quendor was cheered by other Divinarium captains now. The Coaltion battlefleet inside the Artharon space was severely crippled, opening way for continuing offensive. Several comrades of Quendor beamed to his ship now, preparing to celebrate the grand victory and to prepare for the upcoming attack on the planet Anthanor, the Coalition's very seat of power.
Quendor's thoughts were conflicted now. Despite his humiliation, the battle was won and his efforts were great. Still, he wanted to avenge that strange armoured Artharon, and he wondered where was he now. He was thinking in circles, too agitated to ever concentrate on whereabouts of the Warrior. But his next move was clear - to defeat one who humiliated him and killed his mother and to avenge the Artharons at last. He imagined himself killing Artharon people on their capital world, savouring vengeance.
Finally, the preparations for a celebration were made and Quendor met his battle brothers for a small feast. The food was fairly common for the Divinarium - artificial blocks of protein and vitamins, except they were spiced now in a way different that usually. Quendor chewed his food with great pleasure, as did the other captains of the Divinarium battleforce.
The feast was interrupted by a young Imperion officer, agitated out of fear and sweating heavily - even for an amphibian, he was rather wet. He carried a small holocommunicator in his shaking hands.
Rionath - Communication Officer Rionath, captains! There is a message of great urgency! Executor Quendor, I wanted to show it to you before the battle, but you left and did not listen to me. Quickly, quickly!
Quendor - Hey, I am eating- wait, wait. What is this?
Rionath played the holographic message.
Rionath - I intercepted this message during the battle, sir.
Two Artharons emerged from a hologram's light. One was wiry and skinny, every gesture subtle but filled with an aura of power. It was the Emperor of the Coalition himself, Fela'thoran. The other was... the WARRIOR! Quendor was filled with fury.
The Warrior - This move is dishonourable, my lord. We cannot allow even the Divinarium dogs to be decieved like this.
Fela'thoran - This is not dishonour, my dear friend. This is war. When the swords clash and the cannons fire, there is no law anymore. To win, we must use every single capability of our forces. We face a stronger foe and for victory, deception is necessary. For we are the Artharons, aren't we, my dear friend?
The Warrior - I disagree. Deception is deception. I won't do it.
Fela'thoran - Oh, do not be so sentimental. Eventually we will have to do this, and I have the ways to... persuade you, my friend. You know it. Send a small battlefleet to protect Anthanor to fool the Divinarium attackers, while our army - our real army - shall procceed to the very Crepusculum and destroy it completely. Yes, yes. I am talking about orbital bombardment.
The image vanished.
Rionath - And now, sir, we recieve distress calls from the capital!
Everyone was shocked, but most of all, Quendor. He was ruined. Either he would achieve his vengeance and continue his attack of Anthanor or return to Crepusculum to protect it. In his mind, his childhood's flashbacks raced. Like scales, his thoughts were shifting.
Finally, sweating from fear, his teeth clenched, he stood before his comrades, he made a choice between achieving his vengeance and doing his duty.
Quendor - Okay, friends, return to your ships. We are returning to Crepusculum.
Captain - But our mission...
Quendor - Yes, I know. But we can't just let our homeworld unprotected.
Captain - Hey, who gave you the authority anyway?! You are a Executor like us, the commander is dead.
Quendor - Yes, I know. But that's what every single good Divinarium captain should do. That's what my parents would do. Yes, I made errors before. It was my rash actions that has allowed the Coalition to start this invasion. The second invasion. I have... to right the wrongs of the past now.
All Divinarium captains returned to their ships, affected by Quendor's speech. Crepusculum awaited.
- The Final Battle
The capital world of the Divinarium burned. The Coalition fleet used secret technologies and hyperspace maneuvers to arrive unnoticed to Crepusculum while the majority of the Dei'Ar fleet was fighting the Grox elsewhere. Presiding over the invasion, Fela'thoran, the Emperor of the Artharon realm, looked at the bombardment from his flagship, the Undying Hatred.
Fela'thoran - Excellent. Isn't it magnificient, the Warrior? The bombardment is quite a show.
The Warrior - No, it isn't. The civilians do not have to die. Neither do those who fought with dignity and determination.
Fela'thoran - It matters not, my friend. You know my command.
The Warrrior - ...to have no honour is to have no soul.
Meanwhile, Quendor's fleet returned to the capital to see it in flames with the Coalition attacking. The apocalypse had begun, and he only came to witness its coming.
Quendor - No... no... NO! We are too late! The bombing has already begun...
Rionath - Sir, we have to do something. End the siege, or contact the Dei'Ar comamnd? They might come to fix the mess.
Quendor - No, no. The rest of the fleet is combating the Grox threat, and they aren't able to help. And neither can I save Crepusculum alone...
Quendor - I was a fool.
Rionath - No you aren't, sir!
Quendor - Yes I am. After all, it was all my fault. I should have listened to your messages first rather than throwing myself into the fray to avenge. After all, I guess... my mother would not have liked what have I done. At least I can redeem myself.
Quendor pushed his ships to one of the cities currently being bombarded.
Quendor - Thelestis City. One of many Divinarium metropoli on Crepusculum. My mother died there...
Dying screams flashed through Quendor's mind.
Quendor - Rionath, we are landing now. I am going to bring as many people out of this dying world as I can. After all, my parents would have done the same.
Quendor jumped out of a descending spaceship with his jetpack. Grabbing trapped civilians - men, women and children - from the burning hell. His ship was small and could only house a handful of survivors, but there were other ships and their captains could help him too. Horrified beyond imagination, civilians boarded Quendor's ship as fast as they could, and the Radeon captain was watching as driven by despair, the refugees were pushing each other to be saved, some of them falling on the ground to be stomped into the ground.
The bombing continued without end, and Quendor's ears hurt from the constant noise, the howling scream of war. Neverthless, his job wasn't over. Quendor fized his at the highest building in the ruined city, the Conclave building itself. It was burning, and the noises coming from it made Quendor cringe. Leaping to the Conclave building's pinnacle, he broke the stained glass and saw a terrifying pictures. Some Exarchs and government officials like Q'Rali were lying lifeless and bloodied on the floor, while others, like Ma'fest and Andorrus, were simply absent - Quendor presumed they escaped the planet. Inside the building he saw the Warrior yet again.
Quendor - So we meet again. DIE!
The Warrior stood silent and attacked Quendor, charging with ludicrous speed and shouting furious Khastai battlecries. In return, the Radeon captain grabbed his plasma pistol and dodged the attack. Combat continued for minutes. Sometimes, the Artharon had an upper hand and Quendor's shots missed, while sometimes, his aim was true and the Warrior's force field cracked absorbing the sheer energy of the superheated plasma. Finally, the Artharon's protection was gone and Quendor slashed the Warrior in the face. His helmet fell off to reveal... a female Artharon?
Quendor - Oh, I see your face. You're a girl?!
The Warrior coughed blood, her face being scarred and disfigured. The sight of her own face in the broken mirrors of the Conclave chamber did bring something back to her...
The Warrior - Not just a girl, Radeon. My name is Abal'nyan, the daughter of the warchief Thar'nyan. Oh, for how long I did not call myself with that name. My identity was stripped from me.
Quendor - By whom?
The Warrior/Abal'nyan - This monster on a throne. Fela'thoran. It was he, who, in battle, did murder my father - he wanted to take the throne for himself! And it was his soldiers that killed your mother... I wanted to save her. She fought with determination and honour...
Quendor - Eh... I do not know what to say...
The Warrior/Abal'nyan - And then Fela'thoran started hunting all surviving relatives of Thar'nyan. I remember... uh... dammit, it hurts...
Quendor - I brought some medicaments for the refugees, I could help you.
Quendor put a small tank of a green nanobot liquid and gave it to Abal'nyan, who felt relieved from the pain.
Abal'nyan - I am better now, yes... I hid my brother, the true heir to the throne, on some world in the Segmentum Crepusculum... Stakhan, yes. And me... he drugged me or something, made something to make me... forget... forget who I am and who I was. I became the Warrior. Seeing my own face made me remember.
Quendor - Dammit, if this Fela'thoran was really involved in my mother's death, then I'll turn him into dust! Bring me to him...
Abal'nyan and Quendor approached the largest Artharon ship on the orbit, the former donning her helmet of the Warrior to hide her identity. The end of the war was now. Smashing into Fela'thoran's flagship, the duo was destructive and deadly. While Abal'nyan crushed her enemies with her vibroblade, Quendor was clering his way with his plasma gun. Finally they came out of a maze of pathways and doors, reaching a huge hall. Fela'thoran stood together with hundreds of his loyal servants.
Abal'nyan - At last I am here, free of your rule. I remember what you did with my family and vengeance shall be mine.
Fela'thoran - Oh, I doubt it. You are outnumbered...
Fela'thoran pointed at his warriors.
Fela'thoran - You will either submit or die horribly.
Suddenly, a group of seven TIAF fighters and a couple of frigates jump out of hyperspace next to Fela'thoran's ship over Crepusculum.
Fela'thoran - Who... MORE ALLIES?! Abal'nyan, you treasonous bitch...
Lorrelas - *over comms* Margrave, I order you to end this pointless slaughter immediately!
Fela'thoran - Ah, the TIAF. I see. Well, that's politics for you. I am afraid that our agreement is over. Warriors, kill these aliens.
Artharon guardians turned at Lorellas, their guns pointed at him.
Lorrelas - If you're voiding our treaty, then I suppose we have no reason *not* to dispose of you now.
Fela'thoran - Dispose?! What do you mean?
Lorrelas - I suppose you could say we "have you by the balls" now. We hold all the cards, and if you don't fold I will play them.
While stating this Lorrelas effortlessly dispatched a couple of the Artharon guards with his trident.
Fela'thoran - Good, good. But you are in my territory. The rules are mine.
Lorrelas - Ah, but you see, Margrave, we have rooted ourselves so deeply in your empire's inner workings that you could very well say we could occupy the majority of your empire with little problems. *smirks*
Fela'thoran - What?!
Lorrelas - At this very moment, with a simple press of a button we can engulf yourentire fleet in explosions. You are shocked, are you not?
Fela'thoran - Wait.. how did you...
Lorrelas - It was actually quite simple, Margrave, so simple that only a desperate fool like you would have never thought of it.
Abal'nyan - You have no choice, traitor. Surrender.
Fela'thoran - Ah, the weapons. You can destroy them, can't you?
Lorrelas - Ah, very good, Margrave, you figured it out. But don't even try to dismantle them. It is too late for that. If you try to weasel out of this in any way, as I said, one press of a button and your empire will quite literally explode.
Fela'thoran - You... you... TREASONOUS DOGS!
Abal'nyan - Commander Lorellas, can I personally execute him?
Lorrelas - We will see if he surrenders. Otherwise, he should be executed for having allowed a great amount of deaths to his people when given a choice between their deaths and his punishment.
Fela'thoran twitched in terror, his normally calm mind being shattered. Finally, out of rage, he grabbed his guns and started firing aimlessly at his own troops and his enemies alike.
Lorrelas - *protecting his head with his shoulder armor* He's gone mad!
Fela'thoran - If I can't win... THEN NOONE WILL!
Lorrelas - Miss Abal'nyan, I assure you we mean no hard feelings towards your people with what we are about to do.
Abal'nyan - Fine then. Allow me to murder this bastard first.
Lorrelas - As you please. *briefly lowers his armor so that he can grab his rifle, then shoots Fela'thoran in the leg to disable him* He's all yours.
Abal'nyan neared her former master and prepared her blow. With her strike, Fela'thoran screamed and met his final demise.
Abal'nyan - Fitting for him. He does not even deserve a warrior's death.
Lorrelas - The massacre of many does not mean honor. You've done the universe a great service by killing him. And now for the finale... *speaks into his comms headset* Commander to Boano Command, Operation Shadow Blade is go.
Moments later, explosions began to light up the battlefield.
Lorrelas - Miss Abal'nyan, I think it would be best if we evacuated the ship now. *begins to walk in the direction of his boarding ship*
Abal'nyan - Good.
As Lorrelas' ship and his company fled the scene, Coalition warships were erupting in massive explosions. The Coalition left the Andromeda War.
The Beginning of the End
From the AGC headquarters on Alcanti, Iovera saw the huge fleet being assembed. Huge ships of the Draconid Imperium were surrounded by dark and sleek shapes of Divinarium vessels, while technologically advanced DCP starships that defied the laws of space and time bolstered the armadas of Kicath Empire and the Brood of War, their sheer might fitting their creators well. Delpha Coalition's scientists prepared the fleet to march into the new, strange world. The liquid from Nocturnia was a cure, but it needed the ancient technology to be used. And as they learned on the living planet, this technology was on planet Cathemera. Destiny awaited.
Jahric contacted allies he got during his journey: Tertanai, Imperix, Solarites and many other species gathered their forces to prepare for war. The Unified Nation of Ottzello sent more of their ships through the Andromedan Cold Relay, they were going to be the spearhead of the fleet. Even though Jahric's resources were limited, he was proud of his efforts none the less. He managed to unite enemies and create an unlikely alliance to save the galaxy.
On the ruins of Crepusculum, Abal'nyan, Lorellas and Quendor contacted the AGC leadership. The bladed ships of the Coalition and the legions of TIAF were fighting against the Grox too now. The Artharon warlord personally thanked Quendor for killing the usurper, and for that, he will recieve a unique gift; he will be accepted as an honourary member of her clan. That is, if he will survive.
On Attzerry, High Prophet of Disdain intercepted a message from the AGC: now, Grox knew about the AGC's plans. From his flagship, Grochius was leading a brand new Grox legion to Cathemera, shouting rousing speeches to his fellow Grox with his distorted mechanical voice. Ixxan stood alongside him, silent as always. Was he planning something? Nobody knew.
Meanwhile, a lone but large red vessel approached the planet, too. Its captain was neither with the Grox nor with the AGC; he was a ruler of his own fate, and this fate was on Cathemera. The ancient planet's technology was not only the last key to cure the Mechovirus, but also the key to uncover the powers of the artifacts... and now that both AGC and the Grox came there, the final stage of Andromeda War had begun.