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“The universe has changed in the long years since the rise of the Empire. With the Oikoumene Emperor gone, the stewardship of his grand Imperatore fell into the hands of lesser beings. Nevertheless, we persevered and prospered. We joined the hands of friendship with our kin in the Republic. We grew stronger. We believed the comforting lie that no threat could harm us. As we soon found out, we were wrong. They came out of the darkness swallowing up our former enemies and allies alike. The Xeranbha showed no mercy or weakness. Yet they stopped. Are they watching us? Testing us? Irrelevant. All we can do now is wait. Wait for our end. Wait for our salvation.”
- - Unknown Imperial Historian, circa 1250 NE
Future's Beginning is set in an alternate future set in the year 1250 NE, a future in which large tracts of the universe have fallen to an unknown alien intelligence known as the Xeranbha. Almost half of the Cyrannus Galaxy has fallen victim to these unknown villains, with the other half being split between what remains of the Galactic Empire of Cyrannus and a future evolution of the Cyrandia Alliance known as the Cyrandian Republic.
The year is 03 NE. In the Quadrant Galaxies, Helo Roslia of the Republic in Exile sat in his quarters aboard his flagship, the “Avenger”. Republic Command gave the captain strict orders to remain at the eastern border of the Exiled Republic in order to ensure that Imperial probes didn’t discover the location of the few remaining democratic colonies. It was a tedious job. Roslia was far more interested in studying the spatial anomalies that were rumoured to exist to the Republic’s northern border. Alas, he thought, Admiral Shavalera would never approve of such a waste of military resources.
Roslia’s eyes began to close. Just as he began to succumb to his fatigue, his mysterious companion known only as Sonja suddenly appeared on his bed.
- Sonja – Funny, Helo. I never pictured you as someone who'd blindly follow orders.
Helo rose to his feet, startled by the sudden appearance of his messenger.
- Helo – Oh Gods. Sonja, I wish you wouldn’t do that.
- Sonja – We both know that you want to investigate those anomalies. It is important that you do so.
- Helo – How could you possibly know that?
- Sonja – All the long years I have been at your side. Have you not come to trust me?
Helo folded his arms.
- Helo – Implicitly.
- Sonja – Then do what I ask. Go to the place where the anomalies dwell. Leave a squadron of fighters here, just to put your mind at rest. I assure you, the Empire will not come.
Helo smiled and pressed a tab on his gauntlet.
- Helo – Commander Trebob, launch Col-Nem Squadron. Tell them to remain at this location, if they encounter any Imperial patrols, they have permission to destroy them. Plot a course to the NX-01 Sector. I’ll join you on the bridge in a few moments.
- Trebob – Yes captain.
Helo closed the communication and smiled at Sonja, who smiled back.
- Helo – Happy?
Chapter One - Future BoundEdit
When the Avenger dropped out of hyperspace, Captain Roslia observed the nearby space using his viewscreen. The rumours were correct, the area was full of unusual stellar activity, the likes of which no Republic captain has ever seen. Roslia pulled himself away from the viewscreen and motioned to his science officer.
- Helo - Commander, please search Cyrandia records for any documented voyages through this area of space.
Commander Sevine, a young Ortella, nodded and began to interact with her monitor. After a few seconds, she turned toward the captain.
- Sevine - No documented encounters with any of these anomolies, sir. We are the first to explore this area of Quadrant 82.
Helo couldn't stop smiling. It was his dream for many years to be an explorer, rather than a warrior.
- Helo - Interesting. Scan for any naturally occuring wormholes.
- Sevine - There are two captain. One off our starboard side, and another off our port.
Suddenly, Helo felt someone breathing down his neck. He didn't need to turn around to know who it was.
- Sonja - Use the one off the port side, Helo. The other one leads six light years from Orbispira.
Helo whispered as quietly as he could, after all, he was the only one who could see Sonja and it would be inappropriate for a captain to be seen talking to an invisible person on the bridge. Or for that matter, as Helo thought to himself, talking to an invisible person any place at all.
- Helo - Where does the other one lead?
- Sonja - Where would be the fun in telling? I assure you, travelling into that wormhole is very important to the Plan.
Helo contemplated Sonja's words.
- Helo - Lieutenant T'Ran, take us into the wormhole, full impulse.
- T'Ran - Yes, captain.
As the Avenger entered the wormhole, an array of colours flooded the bridge as it travelled through. Within a few seconds, the ship had emerged on the other side.
- Sevine - Sir, we have left the wormhole.
- Helo - Triangulate our position.
Sevine's eyes bulged as she calibrated her data.
- Sevine - ...Sir! According to my data, we are in the Odysseia Region of Cyrannus. In the year... 1250 NE!
- Helo - What?! Helm, take us back into the wormhol-
Suddenly, the tactical officer, Ateloz, rose from her seat in shock.
- Ateloz - Captain! A ship just appeared out of nowhere directly in front of us. Make that two! Three! Fourteen ships!
- T'Ran - We are being hailed, captain.
- Helo - Onscreen.
A young male Libertus appeared on the viewscreen. He looked vaguely familar to Helo. The Libertus scowled.
- Libertus - This is Captain Aquillius Cretacea of the CRS Phoebus! You have entered the space of the Cyrandian Republic without prior permission. State your name and intentions.
Helo muttered under his breath.
- Helo - Cretacea?
He spoke up.
- Helo - I am Captain Helo Roslia of the Republic Star Destroyer "Avenger". I originate in the year 03 NE. We travelled through a wormhole and emerged in your time. I assure you, we have no hostile intent.
Aquillius studied Helo's facial expressions and turned to one of his officers, giving her a command which Helo and his crew couldn't quite make out.
- Aquillius - I recognise your name from history, Captain Roslia. As I'm sure you recogise mine.
- Helo - Of course. And may I say, it's an honour to meet a member of the Creta-
He was interrupted by Aquillius.
- Aquillius - Captain Roslia, we will escort your ship to our capital on Mou'Cyran. If you would be so kind as to agree, this will be an entirely peaceful affair. Thank you.
Aquillius suddenly closed the channel. Helo turned to his officers.
- Helo - Do not worry. I'll get you home one way or another. But now, it would be best to do what we are told. Who knows? Perhaps these people need us for something.
Helo's guess was confirmed with a wry smile on Sonja's face.
Chapter Two - Mou'CyranEdit
Helo sat on the command chair of the Avenger, watching as the CRS Phoebus towed his mighty Star Destroyer. Suddenly, a beam of light shot from the bow of the Phoebus, which exploded into a bright flash in space. Helo recognised this technology as an artificial wormhole generator, leading to the capital of this "Cyrandian Republic", a planet Aquillius called "Mou'Cyran". The name of the planet didn't sit well with Helo. In the old Libertus tongue, it meant "New Cyrannus" and while Helo didn't jump to any conclusions, this was but one piece of evidence that supported his growing suspicions that this time period wasn't as rosy as one would initially believe.
Before Helo and his command crew knew it, they had come out the other side of the wormhole, the glistening blue world of Mou'Cyran shining below them. As Helo studied the planet, he saw vibrant green landmasses, clear seas and a healthy violet atmosphere. The planet was simply beautiful; a fitting throne world for a new Republic. Acting with infinite subtlety, Helo entered the planet's coordinates into the ship's database. It could become useful in the future. Without warning, the main viewscreen sprung into activity, and Aquillius Cretacea's face appeared once again.
- Aquillius - Captain Roslia. We have arrived at Mou'Cyran. If you would please join me at the Presidential Chateau. The President would like to meet you.
- Helo - Of course, just send me the coordina-
Suddenly, he is interrupted by his first officer, Commander Trebob, a male Apationagtus.
- Trebob - Captain Cretacea, in our time it is standard regulation for a member of his senior command to accompany the captain on a diplomatic mission. Would that be acceptable to you?
Aquillius raised his brow and pressed a button on his gauntlet.
- Aquillius - I'm afraid not.
Suddenly, Captain Roslia is transported from the bridge of the Avenger to the planet's surface. Helo looked around in shock. Beside him stood Aquillius and two security personnel from his ship. They had beamed to a large platform overlooking a beautiful city containing examples of architecture from both Cyrannus and the Quadrants. Despite the city's obvious beauty, it was clearly in a state of disrepair. Aquillius placed his hand on Helo's shoulder.
- Aquillius - If you would follow me, Captain.
- Helo - Hm? Oh, of course.
Aquillius nodded and began to walk toward the imposing doors of the Presidential Chateau. As Helo followed, he noticed artwork sketched unto the side of a nearby building. The image depicted what appeared to be a galaxy being consumed by darkness. Above it, the words "The End is near. The second storm is nigh. The Xeranbha shall return." were written. Helo called out to Aquillius.
- Helo - The Xeranbha? What are they, captain?
Aquillius stopped in his tracks for a moment, but quickly continued walking.
- Aquillius - I'll explain later.
When they reached the doors of the Chateau, twelve Rambo guards walked through it, followed by a young female figure. She was clearly a Rambo, but her appearance was more similar to that of an augmented individual such as Ramashe. In fact, as she approached Helo, the similarities between the two rulers became more and more apparent. The President stopped in front of Helo with a broad smile on her face. She bowed slightly, which Helo returned.
- President - Greetings Captain. I was expecting you. I am R'ianná Le Rambo, President of the Cyrandian Republic. If you would join myself and Captain Cretacea in my office, we have much to discuss.
Chapter Three - An Exposition Edit
Helo nodded toward the President, who ushered both captains into the massive doors of the Chateau, her eyes lingering on Cretacea for a few moments. Followed by the Presidential aides and guards, Helo, R'ianna and Aquillius made their way toward the President's office. As he passed, Helo noticed the paintings on the walls, both of historical figures and events, some of which he recognised, though many of which he didn't. Eventually, the group reached the ornate doors at the mouth of the Presidential office. As they walked in, R'ianna ordered the guards to remain outside. Helo was taken aback by the majesty of the room. It was beautifully ornated and opened up into a delightful view of the city of Mou'Cyran below. However, like the rest of the city below, it was clearly in a state of disrepair.
R'ianna removed her ornate headdress and beckoned the two men to sit. R'ianna sat at her desk and flexed her neck. In the sunlight, Helo noticed that while she was clearly a stunning woman, the stress of her position had taken a toll on her features.
- R'ianna - Please captains, sit.
Helo smiled graciously at R'ianna and sat on one of the ornate chairs positioned opposite of the President. Aquillius however, remained standing in a stiff position.
- Aquillius - No thank you, madam President. I prefer to stand. I find it makes these things run an awful lot more quickly.
Helo was shocked that Aquillius had the nerve to speak in such a tone toward R'ianna, but the President herself merely laughed, apparently finding Aquillius' behaviour charming. Sonja suddenly appeared on the chair beside Helo.
- Sonja - Aw, isn't it sweet! A Libertus and a Serindia. Who'd have thought?
Helo ignored Sonja's comment and concentrated on R'ianna.
- R'ianna - Let's cut to the chase, shall we? You are not doubt wondering why my officers have not returned you to your own time. History indicates that you are an intelligent man, I'm not going to insult your intelligence by claiming that we cannot. The fact of the matter is; we will not.
Sonja appeared behind R'ianna, resting her hands on the President's shoulders. A myschievous smile appearing on her face.
- Sonja - Blunt. Severe. As cold as Borealis. And a looker to boot. I can see what the toy soldier over there sees in her.
Unaware of Sonja's presence, both R'ianna and Aquillius continue to look intently toward Helo.
- Helo - I beg your pardon? Why the frak not?
- Aquillius - Because captain, we face extinction! We need all the able bodied individuals available. You, your ship and everyone on it are now under the sovereignty of the United Republic!
Helo stood to his feet and faced Aquillius. Snout to snout.
- Sonja - They certainly have a flair for the dramatic.
- Helo - You have no right. I do not belong here. Your problems in this time are your own. I have plenty of my own in my own time.
R'ianna rose to her feet.
- R'ianna - Captain Roslia, please sit down. I am not keeping you here out of spite. The truth is... a lot has happened since your time. I... I think it would be more comfortable for you to sit.
Helo sighed and sat on the chair. R'ianna smiled and did the same.
- R'ianna - Two hundred years ago, scout ships near the Bunsen Galaxy picked up unusual energy signatures without any known match in the known universe. At first, the governments of the universe dismissed them as harmless, natural remnants of the annihilation visited upon the universe during the most destructive Xhodocto incursion centuries before. This was not the case. It was a storm which consumed anyone and anything that it came across. Within a few years, what was once the prosperous Outer Gigaquadrant was steeped in shadow. No life existing within it. Nothing with the exception of the... Xeranbha. The alien menace that brought the universe to its knees.
R'ianna's eyes began to mist as she took a sip of Serindian wine that lay on the table. She offered some to Helo, who politely refused.
- R'ianna - By the time the storm reached Cyrannus, the Republic joined our Imperial allies in a final, desperate last defense. Our soldiers fought with bravery and valour. But there was to be no stopping the Xeranbha. Within a few weeks, Orbispira was consumed by the black flood, as was at least half of the Empire's planets and at least three quarters of ours. Quadrillions were consumed into the menace. All hope was lost in the eyes of the citizens. Suddenly however, they stopped. They simply stopped. The Xeranbha were days from victory and they stopped. Even now, we no not know why. However, this reprieve was not the end of our troubles. Oh no. In my home galaxies, the Hutters took advantage of the chaotic situation and conquered my people's home. In later years, our once strong alliance with the Empire fell into shambles. We are truly alone.
Helo contemplated R'ianna's words, a blank expression on his face.
- Aquillius - Now do you see why we need your help? Why we simply can't allow you to leave? We must stand firm in the face of the Xeranbha. Next time... and there will be a next time. Things will be different.
Helo shook his head and decided to accept R'ianna's alcoholic offer, pouring himself a glass of wine. Sonja was twiddling her fingers from behind R'ianna, apparently bored with her story.
- Sonja - You were meant to help these people, Helo. It's all part of God's plan for you.
R'ianna watched Helo anxiously.
- R'ianna - So, Captain Roslia. Will you help us?
Helo took a swig of his wine and placed it on the table.
- Helo - Let's get started.
Chapter Four - Back on the AvengerEdit
Two weeks after the meeting with President Le Rambo, Helo was finally given permission to return to the Avenger, where he was sure to find a crew of very curious and very concerned shipmates. To his surprise, he found neither. When his shuttle docked with the Avenger, he was met with Commander Trebob, his first officer, who greeted his captain with a warm smile.
- Helo - You seem unutterably cheery, Trebob. Are you that excited to see your captain?
- Trebob - No sir, it's not tha-
Helo shot Trebob a questionable look.
- Trebob - ... Well, it is good to see you sir. Yes, sir. I am... excited to see yo-
Helo laughed heartedly and patted Trebob on the shoulder as he past him by.
- Helo - Relax my old friend, I'm just joking with you. What's the situation on the ship?
Trebob ran up to keep his pace with Helo.
- Trebob - Well sir, since you decided to help these people, they have taken the liberty to retrofit the Avenger with the latest weaponry and armour. Luckily for now, they have stopped short of reassigning the crew to other ships, which is obviously a good thing if we ever intend on getting back.
He hesitated for a moment.
- Trebob - That... is our first priority. Yes, captain?
Helo stopped for a moment to consider Trebob's words.
- Helo - I want to help these people. But I'm not going to spend the rest of my life here and I have no intention of depriving the crew of the family and friends back home. Have Commander Sevine find a way to use their technology to get us home, but inform her that it is right now our second priority. I want to leave these people in a better position then the one I found them in.
He continued to walk down the corridor, saluting to passing crewmen and women. Trebob again attempted to catch up to the captain, much to Sonja's amusement.
- Sonja - Aw, he's like a little lost Dvottie trying to keep up with his mother!
Helo rolled his eyes and tried to conceal his laughter as he watched Sonja begin pinching Trebob's cheeks.
- Trebob - Is something wrong sir?
Helo gathered himself for a moment, putting on his best poker face.
- Helo - Nothing you need to worry about. Was there something else commander?
- Trebob - Yes captain. The commanding officer of the...
He looked down on his datapad for a moment before looking back up.
- Trebob - Ah, the captain of the CRS Phoebus wishes to speak to you. He's in the ready room.
Helo sighed deeply and rolled his eyes.
- Helo - Aquillius... Why am I not surprised. Tell him I'm on my way. That'll be all commander.
Trebob saluted to his captain and walked off toward the bridge. Helo quickly made his way toward the ready room, where Aquillius Cretacea was waiting for him. The captain was wearing a very advanced battle suit and as usual had a very stern expression as Helo walked into view.
- Sonja - God, does he ever smile?
Helo nodded toward Aquillius and made his way toward the replicator, where he received his daily cup of Tauronsan Coffee.
- Aquillius - Captain Roslia. If you would put your beverage down for a moment.
Helo smiled weakly and placed his coffee on an adjacent table.
- Helo - How can I help you.
- Aquillius - The Xeranbha are active again.
Chapter Five - Game Plan Edit
Helo bit his lip and swallowed hard. Aquillius regarded him for a moment and sighed.
- Aquillius - Look here, Roslia. I'm not sure what the President was thinking. If it was up to me, I would have thrown you back into that wormhole and let you drift off into whatever godsforsaken universe you came from.
Helo raised his brow.
- Helo - Oh, thanks. That makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
Aquillius narrowed his eyes.
- Aquillius - This is no time for jokes. As I was saying, I don't know what use a starship and a crew a thousand years behind the times will be against a threat like the Xeranbha. You'll be destroyed before you can even raise your shields and that will be on my conscience.
- Helo - Frankly, I don't give a frak. Let's just get back to the issue at hand. You say the Xeranbha are active again?
- Aquillius - We detected an energy signature in the Outer Rim.
- Helo - "We detected an energy signature in the Outer Rim?" It's a big place, how do you know that it wasn't pirates or something?
- Aquillius - Because captain, there is nothing else "in" the Outer Rim. Let's cut to the chase.
Aquillius interacted with a nearby display and a holographic image of a maroon saucer appeared.
- Aquillius - This vessel is a Xeranbha Saucer. It was the primary implement used by them in their invasion. They vary in size and have weaponry and shielding indicative of Ultraterrestrials. Know your enemy, Roslia.
Helo studied the hologram for a moment.
- Helo - What about their occupants? Do we know anything about them?
- Aquillius - The Xeranbha themselves are the manipulators of their force. We do not know what they look like. We do know however, that they use a Virus known as Purity. Testing on infected individuals show that the virus is... sentient and is capable of taking control of beings instantaneously. There is no cure, only sterilisation.
- Helo - Purity... purity... I know of it! A strain was released during the Trucinex War and the Great War during my time!
- Aquillius - That was a tiny spore. We have experianced oceans of the stuff. Be vigilent.
Helo folded his arms.
- Helo - What's the plan?
- Aquillius - We are going into their territory. We will find a saucer. We will board the saucer and we will find a Xeranbha manipulator. Once we do find it, we will bring it aboard our ship and negotiate their withdrawal from the galaxy.
Helo tilted his head and raised his brow.
- Helo - I'm sorry, what?
- Aquillius - You heard me. We leave in half an hour.
Chapter Six - Contact Edit
On the bridge of the Avenger, Captain Roslia looked out into the blackness of space. Sighing, he turned on his heels and sat on his command chair. He could sense that it was a tense time for his crew and indeed himself. Suddenly, he felt hands against his back, rubbing it relaxingly.
- Sonja - Relax Helo. Trust in the One's plan for you.
Helo exhaled deeply, closed his eyes and flexed his neck.
- Trebob - ...Captain?
Helo's eyes opened and he sighed.
- Helo - Yes Commander?
- Trebob - We have reached the coordinates Captain Cretacea supplied. What are your orders?
- Helo - We wait here until Cretacea decides to arrive. There's nothing else we can do.
Trebob nodded and continued about his duties. Suddenly, a bright blue flash flooded the bridge, followed by a massive tremor, throwing Helo off his seat. He quickly jumped up.
- Helo - Report! What hit us?!
Commander Sevine was fazed by the explosion, but managed to pull herself together.
- Sevine - Ugh... No damage to the hull. Our shields took a beating though...
Her eyes widen as she looks at a nearby display.
- Sevine - Captain, there is a massive vessel directly above us!
- Helo - Battlestations! Get our shields back online!
- Ateloz - Yes captain!
Helo shook his head and looked out into space. A massive vessel, easily ten times the size of the Avenger was above the Star Destroyer, slowly moving ahead.
- Trebob - We are being hailed!
- Helo - On screen!
A male Corthrinus appeared on the main viewscreen, adorned in heavy, ceremonial armour indicative of a high rank. Helo's heart sank when he noticed the Imperial insignia behind him.
- Brythona - This is Supreme Admiral Brythona of the Imperial Cyrannian Ship "Imperatore". You are dangerously close to Xeranbha territory. State your intentions or you will be fired upon!
Helo raised his hands in a gesture of peace.
- Helo - I assure you Supreme Admiral, I have no hostile intent against the Empire. I am on a mission ordered directly from President le Rambo of the Cyrandian Republic.
Brythona narrowed his eyes.
- Brythona - A Mou'Cyrannian, eh? What are you doing in command of such a primitive ship? Is the Republic "that" desperate? What is this so-called mission?
Just as Helo was about to speak, another bright blue flash filled the bridge. This time it was the CRS Phoebus, which positioned itself between the Avenger and the Imperatore. Alongside the image of Brythona, an image of Aquillius appeared.
- Aquillius - Admiral Brythona. It has been a while.
Brythona hissed, baring his intimidating set of teeth.
- Brythona - Cretacea... What do you want? Who are these primitives?
- Aquillius - I would be happy to explain if you joined myself and Captain Roslia on the Phoebus. According to President Le Rambo, Empress Mizio sent you here to aid in our mission.
Brythona was clearly disgruntled.
- Brythona - Ugh! Fine!
He interacted with a display on his wrist and translocated, appearing instantly on the bridge of the Phoebus.
- Aquillius - Roslia?
- Helo - Trebob. You're in command.
Helo dematerialised from the Avenger and appeared suddenly on the Phoebus.
- Aquillius - Welcome aboard, Captain. Shall we get starte-
Suddenly, a great lance of red flame seemingly shot out of nowhere, impacting the ICS Imperatore. The Imperatore's shields flashed brilliantly before the mighty ship itself faded from existence in a massive explosion.
Aquillius' tactical officer, a female Quadrantia Human named D'anna, yelled out to the captain.
- D'anna - Captain! The Avenger isn't capable of surviving a hit like that!
Helo ran over to D'anna.
- Helo - What are you waiting for?! Beam the crew out!
D'anna looked over to Aquillius, who was coordinating defensive measures before looking back at Helo, nodding.
- D'anna - Yes sir! All crewmembers are accounted for. They are in the hanger bay!
Aquillius ran over to D'anna.
- Aquillius - Subcommander, engage ghost phase.
- D'anna - Aye captain!
As the Phoebus cloaked into nothingness, Helo watched with a single tear rolling down his face as another lance of flame shot across space, impacting the Avenger, destroying his beloved flagship. Sonja placed a hand on Helo's shoulder.
- Sonja - I'm sorry Helo.
Helo cleared his throat.
- Helo - Why? It's just a ship. It's the crew that matters and they're all safe.
- Aquillius - Did you say something, Helo?
Helo turned to face Aquillius.
- Helo - I take it I've been introduced to the Xeranbha?
- Aquillius - That's right. But our plan hasn't even begun yet.
Chapter Seven - The Mission Begins Edit
Helo, Aquillius and Brythona made their way to the transporter room of the still ghost-phased CRS Phoebus. Both the Imperial Admiral of the Empire and the time-travelling captain from the past were noticeably sullen about the destruction of both of their flagships, though Aquillius hoped both would use this anger against the Xeranbha. When they reached the transporter room, Brythona pressed a button on his wrist and a group of six mechanical Imperial warriors suddenly appeared.
- Brythona - Cretacea and Roslia, you will obviously need to wear protective gear however these droids do not. No doubt they will prove most useful. I will go over the details of your mission. We are currently tracing that vile Xeranbha Saucer. So far there has been no indication that they have detected us. Lieutenant D'anna will accompany Captain Aquillius, Captain Roslia and my Imperial Warriors on an infiltration mission into the Saucer itself with the aim of capturing one of their leaders and negotiating with them to get the frak out of our galaxy. Clear?
Helo and Aquillius nodded. D'anna looked at her commanding officer with concern.
- D'anna - I wish you stayed on the ship. You are the least expendable person on the Phoebus, captain.
- Aquillius - I wouldn't miss this for world, Lieutenant.
- Brythona - Are you ready to transport?
Just as the team fitted on their protective gear, they all nodded.
- Helo - Ready.
- Aquillius - Ready.
- D'anna - Ready.
- Imperial Warriors - Affirmative. Ready to transport by your command.
In tandem with each other, the group transported to the inside of a Saucer. It appeared to be biomechanical and was completely alien to the Cyrannian visitors.
- D'anna - Massive lifeform readings. Most are faint, though there appears to be a central nexus of activity along this corridor.
- Helo - So far so good.
As the group made their way to the central nexus, the eyes of the Imperial Warriors began to glow bright red.
- Helo - Woah, woah, woah! What's happening here?!
Aquillius' eyes widened and with a cock of his arm, a large hypermatter cannon materialised.
- Aquillius - They detect multiple lifeforms approaching us...
- D'anna - On all sides!
Helo un-sheathed his weapon and backed up against Aquillius while the Imperial Warriors formed a defensive perimeter around the organics. Out of the darkness, Helo noticed a dark silhouette. As it stepped into the light, more details came to surface. It was a biped with massive claws on each hand. Its massive eyes were pure black and soulless. With a snarl, it lurched at the group, only to be shot down by an Imperial Warrior. D'anna's eyes widened as she saw dozens of other aliens approach from all directions. Every time one was destroyed, another took its place. While he was shooting, Helo noticed something moving around on the ground, as he looked down, he noticed a tar-like black liquid convulsing beneath their feet.
- Aquillius - It's the Purity Virus! Hopefully our suits will protect us against-
Suddenly, D'anna began to scream. As she looked down, she saw black streams of the virus begin to seep through her suit.
- Helo - Lieutenant!
To the horror of Helo and Aquillius, the Virus began to flood into D'anna's mouth, eyes and nose. Her eyes turned completely black and the screaming stopped. The lieutenant began to move off into the shadows. When Aquillius attempted to chase after her, Helo managed to hold him back.
- Helo - Captain! She's gone!
Aquillius pulled himself together.
- Aquillius - Ugh! The mission is a failure! We need to regroup on the Phoebus.
- Helo - For once, I agree.
Aquillius pressed a button on his armour and translocated back to the Phoebus. Helo however, was having difficulty.
- Imperial Warrior - Libertus, you must return. We will complete this mission. You are vulnerable to the virus.
- Helo - I can't! The transporter is broken!
Suddenly, Helo began to feel a strange sensation as the Purity Virus began to enter his body...
Chapter Eight - The Xeranbha Edit
Helo fell to the floor of the Saucer, immobilised by pain. He could feel the Purity Virus writhing around him and within him before everything went dark. When he awoke, he could feel a soothing presence stroking his face.
- Sonja - Get up Helo. Now!
Sonja physically grabbed and forced him to his feet, before vanishing. Helo frantically looked around.
- Helo - Huh? Sonja?
Suddenly, he could sense a presence coming toward him, wading through the pools of Purity. As the figure came into the light, Helo recognised it as Lieutenant D'anna.
- Helo - Lieutenant! I can't tell you how glad I am to se-
- D'anna - Curious... You speak to those you cannot see. You resist Purity.
Her voice was echoed and distorted. Helo's heart sank when he saw her eyes. They were completely black, indicative of the Purity Virus.
- D'anna - Hello Helo. "He" wants to speak with you.
- Helo - Who?
Suddenly, a massive alien came into the light. It was tall, slim and featureless, with no visible mouth and pitch black eyes.
- D'anna - He shall speak through me.
The being looked at D'anna and her eyes lit up. The being began to speak through her.
- Purity Being - You resist Purity. Curious. Unexpected.
- Helo - Who are you? What do you want with the universe?
- Purity Being - I am Xeranbha. Catharsis will be achieved.
- Helo - Why was I not infected with Purity?
- Xeranbha - Unknown. You unnerve us.
The Xeranbha tilted its head as if to study the mysterious Libertus. After a few moments, it spoke through D'anna yet again.
- Xeranbha - Unacceptable. This shall be overcome.
The alien continued to watch Helo intently, while D'anna's eyes became pitch black once again, indicating the Xeranbha was no longer speaking through her.
- D'anna - Purity will evolve Helo. Do not think this universe is safe. Do not think your universe is safe either. I'll see you around.
In a blinding flash of light, Helo reappeared on the bridge of the CRS Phoebus. In shock, Aquillius aimed his matter cannon at the new arrival, fearing that the Xeranbha had infected him with the virus...
Chapter Nine - Turn of Events Edit
Helo's casually placed his arms in the air.
- Helo - Relax Aquillius. I'm not infected!
Aquillius looked suspicious and pulled out a medical device.
- Aquillius - I'll be the judge of that!
Aquillius scanned Helo with the device, which showed that he was not infected, causing Aquillius to smile for a moment before his face returned to its usual stern state. Supreme Admiral Brythona approached the two, a look of concern appearing on his face.
- Brythona - Roslia. What happened to my droids?
- Helo - Destroyed.
Brythona growled quite loudly, unnerving many of Aquillius' bridge crew.
- Brythona - The Xeranbha will pay for this outrage!
- Helo - Oh, I'm fine. Thank you for the concern. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
Brythona patted Helo on the back.
- Brythona - Hahaha! I knew you would survive, boy!
- Aquillius - But the question remains. How? Nobody has ever survived an encounter with the Purity Virus.
- Helo - The Xeranbha I encountered seemed to be unnerved. It didn't know why I wasn't infected. It claimed I was immune.
Brythona smiled broadly.
- Helo - ...What?
- Brythona - You may be the key to this entire conflict, my lad.
- Aquillius - A sample of your blood could go a long way to develop a cure.
Helo thought about it for a moment.
- Helo - Fine. On one condition. Return my crew and I to our own time.
Aquillius narrowed his eyes.
- Aquillius - Very well. I don't like you very much anyway. Hold out your hand please.
Helo held out his hand and a Serindia doctor approached him, taking a sample of Helo's blood.
- Brythona - The Empire had better receive a sample as well Cretacea!
- Aquillius - Of course, of course. Now, Captain Roslia. Our end of the bargain. Since I'm not willing to supply you with one of our modern ships, you will receive the last Venator-class in existence, the Caelus. If my history serves, it was a key component in the Second Cyrannus Wa-
Brythona interrupted him.
- Brythona - Bah! Enough talk! I must return to the Empress. Good day, gentlemen.
Brythona pressed a display on his wrist and dematerialised.
- Aquillius - Before you and your crew return, the President would like to see you on Mou'Cyran.
Chapter Ten - FinaleEdit
Over Mou'Cyran, the CRS Phoebus dropped out of hyperspace in a bright blue flash. Before the crew could be permitted to land on the planet's surface, a squadren of drones scanned the vessel just in case the Purity Virus managed to latch onto it. After the intensive search was completed, Helo and Aquillius beamed down to Mou'Cyran city, a bustling, yet peaceful metropolis housing the Presidential Chateau. To Helo's surprise, they received a hero's welcome. When they arrived at the Chateau, President Le Rambo accompanied by her Presidential guards approached the two captains.
- Helo - Isn't this a bit over the top? We didn't actually accomplish anything...
- Rianna - Don't be so sure, Captain Roslia. Preliminary reports indicate that the Xeranbha have withdrawn from at least two thousand light years of their former territory. Your immunity to their virus has clearly unnerved them, and now that we have a sample of your blood, it will go a long way to developing a possible immunity.
- Aquillius - I informed Captain Roslia that he could return to his own time on the CRS Caelus.
Rianna turned her attention to Captain Cretacea, raising her brow in the process.
- Rianna - You do realise that you had no authority to do so?
- Aquillius - Oh come now, Madam President. It is the least we can do given all the help that Roslia has given us.
- Rianna - There is also the issue of disrupting the timeline.
- Helo - The timeline has been disrupted enough by my arrival. Plus if I returned, I could warn the Gigaquadrant about the Xeranbha.
- Aquillius - Exactly! By the way, your crew is already on the Caelus. I have them permission to get settled in.
- Rianna - What?! I haven't even agreed yet!
- Helo - Madam President, I beg you. My crew have family to return to! We don't belong here!
Rianna sighed and placed her hands on her hips.
- Rianna - Alright. Fine. I suppose it is the least we can do.
She extended her hand in gratitude. Helo shook it and smiled.
- Helo - Thank you, Madam President.
- Aquillius - We will never forget your contributions, Captain Roslia. We wish you the very best in your timeline. Hopefully it proves better than ours ever was.
Helo smiled and saluted Aquillius before beaming up to the Caelus.
In orbit over Mou'Cyran, Helo took the helm of the CRS Aeolus, the last Venator-class Star Destroyer in existence. Though it still possessed numerous technologies beyond his contemporaries, the Aeolus was stripped of most of its more advanced technologies under the direct orders of President Le Rambo. As Helo got comfortable on his new captain's seat, he felt a presence behind him.
- Sonja - See Helo? Wasn't that worth it?
- Helo - It was the most terrifying experience of my life.
- Sonja - Yes, but think of what you gained. The satisfaction of aiding a civilisation on the brink, a shiny new ship, the location of a suitable new homeworld back in the present, the list goes on.
- Helo - Wouldn't that disrupt the timeline even more than it already has?
- Sonja - Don't worry about it.
Helo scoffed, gaining the attention of Commander Trebob.
- Trebob - Sorry sir, did you say something?
- Helo - Nothing. Commander, please travel through the wormhole on my command.
Suddenly, the CRS Phoebus launched a beam from its prow, which shot through space before exploding into a singularity in front of the Aeolus.
- Trebob - The wormhole is stable, sir.
- Helo - Take us home Commander.
The engines of the Aeolus activated, and the Star Destroyer was soon enveloped by the wormhole, appearing almost instantly in the NX Region of Quadrant 82.
- Helo - Commander Sevine, what is the current date?
- Sevine - The fortieth day of Augustia 3 NE. It has been two months since we left.
- Helo - Understood. Lieutenant T'Ran, plot a course to Apatalore.
Suddenly, Lieutenant Ateloz jumped to attention.
- Ateloz - Sir, there is a ship approaching at high warp!
- Helo - Battlestations! Shields up!
Suddenly, a Rambo vessel dropped out of warp near the Aeolus.
- Ateloz - It's a Rambo Constitution-class, designated USS Enterprise.
- Helo - Hail them. Perhaps they are a rescue party.
Instead of hearing a male voice on the other end, it was a smooth female voice.
- Tania Lefler - Hello? This is Lieutenant Tania Lefler of the USS Enterprise-A. Is that you, Captain Roslia?
- Helo - Yes. It's me. We have quite a story to tell.
- Official Name - Imperatore Cyrannica
- Head of State - Empress Naya Mizio
- Capital - New Orbispira
Essentially the same Cyrannian Empire that exists in the era of the Dark Times, the Empire remains one of the only surviving civilisations that weathered the Xeranbha Storm. Unlike the modern Empire, this new Empire isn't ruled by Tyrómairon, who mysteriously left many centuries ago in this timeline. In his stead, mortal rulers took to the throne, the current Empress being Naya Mizio, an honourable woman descended from the Mizios of Cyroenia.
In the intervening time since the Dark Times, the Empire has advanced exponentially in terms of technological development, but its power in the outer galaxies was completely decimated by the Xeranbha, leaving only ten million planets remaining in the Imperatore region of Cyrannus.
- Official Name - Republica Cyrandia
- Head of State - President R'ianná Le Rambo
- Capital - Mou'Cyran
Formed from the remnants of the New Cyrannian Republic and Rambo Nation, the Cyrandia Republic is a beacon of hope and prosperity in the increasingly dark universe in the aftermath of the Xeranbha Storm. Formed within the first five months of the Storm, the alliance was eventually solidified as a single political entity in the hopes of weathering the Xeranbha invasion. Despite a history of hostile engagement with the Empire, the two rivals put aside their differences to fight this mutual enemy at the cost of trillions of lives. Since the Xeranbha stopped their advance, tensions between the Republic and the Empire have begun to resurface.
The Republic is a democratic government with executive power in the hands of a President, currently R'ianná Le Rambo, a descendent of the famous Empress Ramashe of Rambo Nation. The Republic Starfleet, once an entirely peaceful organ of exploration is now almost exclusively a militarised navy, with orders to shoot down any unidentified ship, in fear of it being infected with the Xeranbha's Purity virus.
Crew of the AvengerEdit
The RSD Avenger is a Venator-class Star Destroyer currently under the command of Captain Helo Roslia. The crew of the Avenger refused to accept the legitimacy of the Galactic Empire of Cyrannus when it was formed and as such remained loyal to democracy, eventually coming to serve the Republic in Exile.
The Avenger made a name for itself during the Voyages of the Avenger alongside Rambo Nation and the Delpha Coalition of Planets, during which they made first contact with species and empires such as the Bisistar Domain.
The Avenger found itself in the future, where it gained a substantial upgrade in weaponry and shielding thanks to President Le Rambo. However, this wasn't enough to protect the ship from a Xeranbha attack, which completely obliterated the venerable starship. Luckily however, the crew managed to escape and now found themselves on the CRS Phoebus.
- Captain and the Messenger
- The Xeranbha were mentioned in a January 2010 edit of the Libertus page, and were forgotten about until now. They may or may not exist in the current Fiction Universe.
- Future's Beginning may kickstart more stories set in the same time-period if it is deemed successful.