“It is finally time. Time for us to unite in our battle against the Empire.”
The Battle of Ambar was a large-scale engagement fought during the Cyrannian Cold War between an alliance of the Cyrandia Resistance and the nascent Aldárae Order, against the Galactic Empire of Cyrannus and the Phaedra. Prefacing the battle was the return of the Oikoumene Lord of Light, Apolithanatár, which had far-reaching implications across the Cyrandia Cluster, among them a subtle shift in the Miluiel away from Imperial servitude. While the Aldárae had officially been endorsed by the New Republic Senate, Master Alinor Nanuq sought assistance from the pro-Republic Cyrandia Resistance, which rallied as a unified force against the Imperial fleet in orbit over the Miluiel homeworld Ambar.
The battle, fought in the skies above the artificial world and on its enigmatic surface was the first conflict which saw disparate rebel cells from across Cyrannus and the Quadrants unite against the Empire, in an effort to bide time for a team of Aldárae agents seeking to usurp Tyrómairon's control over the Miluiel. The diversionary battle in orbit was in the Empire's favour throughout the conflict, with the Empire's six Imperator-class Star Destroyers, including the Accuser and the Basilisk causing the destruction of the Resistance flagship Liberty. On the ground however, the Aldárae enlisted the aid of the Oikoumene AI known as Radiant-of-Stars-Eternal and battled with a group of Phaedric Lords before emerging victorious. The arrival of the Imperial Overseer, Thaurlathrón, threatened to destroy the Resistance and Aldárae forces, but he ultimately fled upon Apolithanatár's intervention, bringing with him the Phaedra and the Imperial fleet in orbit. With the battle concluded, Apolithanatár cleansed the Miluiel of their corruption, affording the Aldárae with invaluable allies in the dark times to come.
Plans of the Aldárae
In the chamber of the Ethelnór Aldárae, Master Ryen sat in one of the seats arranged in a circle, surrounded by his fellow masters of the Aldárae Order. Since revealing themselves to the wider universe, the Order had gained a multitude of new members from across the Gigaquadrant, some connected to the Light and others not. Some were from the Cyrannus Galaxy, while others came from the Quadrant Galaxies like Janice Ross and others from even beyond the Cyrandia Cluster. What united them was a commitment to stopping the nefarious designs of the Emperor and his legions of followers. Though Ryen had been reluctant about accepting the nomination, he had recently been elected by his peers to serve as the informal leader of the Order, a title he felt was more appropriate for Du'utahrovin, whose wisdom had bound the Aldárae together.
Nevertheless, he was honoured to represent the Order to the galaxy, at a time when hope was in short supply. Gazing around the room, he spotted many of the former explorers, mystics, scientists and philosophers whom he had encountered during his so-called "wilderness years", including the laconic Thanatyrannus Alinor Nanuq, the serene Bondaráe Daera Rosalyne and the wise old Yodian Aenaró. They had gathered to speak with Apolithanatár, the Lord of Light, who had made Aldár his home since returning from his dimensional refuge.
While Apolithanatár was not treated as a god—his personable demeanor nullifying such an interpretation—he was nonetheless the object of near-universal admiration and respect. Though he appeared rarely to the Aldárae, his visits always had significance and his words always had great meaning. Appearing in the centre of the room, Apolithanatár bowed his head in gesture reciprocated by the assembled masters.
- Apolithanatár: "Hello, my friends. The curtain of darkness will soon fall over the Gigaquadrant. It is on the horizon, as sure as the stars themselves. While the truth may be difficult to hear, it also brings understanding. Certain inevitables cannot be overcome, though they can be prepared for. No doubt you are all aware of the Miluiel?"
- Ryen: "Indeed. Beings of pure light, corrupted by the Dark Lord."
- Vanikaimar: "Miluiel. An ancient name. My kind's attempts to assimate them were always met with failure. I am not surprised they still exist in the current day."
- Nanuq: "The corruption runs deep. I doubt there is anything left of their old selves. You suggest there is a way to reverse the process."
Apolithanatár nodded with a smile.
- Apolithanatár: "Who someone truly is cannot be seen to the eye. The light cannot be so easily repressed, particularly in those created from it."
- Daera Rosalyne: "You created them, wise one?"
- Apolithanatár: "No, the Vosaus have that honour. Nevertheless, I am aware of the process with which they did so and I am confident that my return has lit a spark of light within them. We must fan that spark into a flame which will spread across their kind, freeing them from their servitude."
- Vanikaimar - "You speak of rebellion. The Emperor and his minions will not take it lightly."
Ryen scratched his chin.
- Ryen: "And yet, if we free them, they could join us in our fight. After all, a reconciled enemy is truly vanquished. How do you plan on liberating them?"
- Apolithanatár: "You must travel to Ambar, the installation upon which the Miluiel were first created. There, you must find the custodian of the installation. She is free of Tyrómairon's taint and possesses the tools necessary to free the Miluiel from their servitude."
Providing the coordinates of Ambar, which had been moved by the Empire soon after its formation, Apolithanatár bid his farewell, informing the masters that he could aid them from across the stars. When he left, the Aldárae Masters discussed amongst themselves how they should proceed. The Empire had blockaded Ambar years ago, and protected the construct with a fleet of Star Destroyers beyond anything in the Aldárae's arsenal. Ryen knew that they could not turn to the New Republic for aid, as an attack would constitute the opening salvo of a war with the potential to spread across the Gigaquadrant.
- Nanuq: "And what of the Resistance?"
Every head in the room turned to the Thanatyrannus.
- Nanuq: "A surprise attack by the Resistance fleet could distract the Imperials while we send a team of sentinels to recover this... custodian."
- Vanikaimar: "I know of the might of the Miluiel. If this custodian is successfully retrieved and we obtain their support, they should be able to break through the blockade from within."
- Ryen: "The Resistance seems to be our best bet. Nanuq, perhaps you could contact their leadership while I gather our strike team. Vanikaimar, my friend, I imagine you'd relish the challenge?"
- Vanikaimar: "I suppose I would."
- Nanuq: "Excellent. I will contact General Sesoka."
The Resistance Unites
General Sesoka stood on the command bridge of the Resistance flagship Liberty, a Mon Nahdar cruiser which served as the informal capital of the spawling rebel movement since the Dark Times. The Tenerensis warrior had just finished his conversation with Master Nanuq, who proposed a daring attack on the Oikoumene megastructure known as Ambar, the homeworld of the Miluiel and a bastion for the Empire's clandestine expansionary campaigns into the now-free Unknown Regions. As one of the most powerful commanders in Resistance Command, Sesoka knew what few of his operatives did, that the Resistance spread throughout the Cyrandia Cluster in a series of cells, large and small, willing to fight against tyranny.
Toward the expansive viewscreen opening out into space, Sesoka could spot Commander Val Niathan, the commander of the Liberty, issuing orders to the other ships in the Resistance Command fleet, while the public faces of the movement, Raen Magalen and Kyrsá Nimrais were deep in discussion about the political repercussions of both a victory and a defeat. Sesoka sighed deeply, before turning to the Resistance leadership.
- Sesoka: "What do you make of the plan? Do you think that it's feasible?"
- Kyrsá: "I have faith in our abilities and in the power of the Order. We can make it happen by working together."
- Magalen: "Indeed, though we should contact our Aldárae agent. As far as I'm aware, she has returned from a mission in the Quadrants, uniting the cells there into a cohesive force."
With that, the doors to the bridge slid open, revealing a female Quadrantia Humanoid in the garb of an Aldárae Knight. Walking toward the general, she bowed her head in respect.
- Janice: "Greetings, general! You requested my presence?"
- Sesoka: "I hear that your mission in the Quadrants was a success, then?"
- Janice: "It was, general. Both cells managed to set aside their differences and unite in a common cause. One of them is now actually on a mission within Cyrannus."
- Kyrsá': "We can't forget to call for the help of the Free Osteola Rebel Cell. Actually, I should do that, considering I have the most contact with them."
- Magalen: "Good idea, love. I also have contacts in various cells of the Outer Rim that may be willing to unite. Janice, could you contact the Quadrantia cells using this holotable? It is time for the Resistance to unite!"
Janice nodded and smiled.
- Janice: "Consider it done, general!"
Interacting with the holotable, Janice sent out a general transmission toward all known rebel cells in the Cyrandia Cluster. One by one, the commanders of each appeared. While the actual fighters of the Resistance were generally unaware of the existence of other cells, most of the leadership were aware that they were but a cog in a wider machine, one that spanned the Cluster. The Osteola Donaró, who recently fled during the Dissolution of the Imperial Senate was the first to speak.
- Donaró: "Well now, what have we here? It appears that the Resistance is larger than I imagined."
- Kyrsá: "It is finally time. Time for us to unite in our battle against the Empire."
The two Quadrantia factions gave confirmation by transmission only as they were unable to set up a holo channel from such a distance, fearing it might be tracked by the Empire as well.
- Sesoka: "We have been in contact with the Aldárae Order. From what I understand, this is but the first strike. Nevertheless, do not underestimate the challenge that lies before us. The Empire holds Ambar in an iron grip and will show us no mercy. We must hold out as long as we can while the Aldárae and our ground team, including myself, travel down to retrieve an Oikoumene intelligence of some kind. I would imagine our Aldárae friends will lead in that endeavour. I am sending coordinates of the rendeavouz site to your command ships. When we've assembled, we will launch the attack. Any questions?"
- Donaró: "My kin of the Free Osteola will be proud to take the fight to the Empire, at long last."
Battle of Ambar
On the bridge of the Liberty, Sesoka watched as Resistance vessels from all across the Cyrandia Cluster dropped out of warp and hyperspace at the rendezvous point close to the Ambar System. As a veteren of the Great Cyrannus War, he was uneased when the Providence-class Dreadnought Whitestone One, flagship of the Free Osteola Rebel Cell entered real space, followed closely by a flotilla of Osteola attack vessels. They were soon joined by the Quadrantia cells, first to arrive was Yurrus Home, flagship of the Creeper Cabel escorted by two modified Resucant-class light destroyers. Last to arrive was Lord Ramannis Le Rambo of the Rambo Loyalist, onboard the Loyalist One, a heavily modified and upgraded Munificent-class star frigate escorted by five Sundered classes. The latter were the most secretive of the Cyrandia Resistance as their excistence was not yet widely known.
Lord Ramannis looked bored from his command chair, at the viewscreen in front of him he saw an assembled lot rebellious individuals who were assembling for an assault. An assault that either could mean a boost to morale or the end of their current Resistance. In his opinion the Resistance was still vulnerable and such a gathering might draw Imperial attention. Indeed, Sesoka knew that the operation would be risky, but was confident that the potential benefits from a victory greatly outweighed the risks. When the entire fleet had assembled, he finally gave the order for the vessels of the fleet to engage their hyperdrives.
Shooting off into the void, the fleet remained in hyperspace for mere minutes before dropping into real space above Ambar. Though the planet appeared to be natural, it was artificial, with impossible mountain ranges and land masses that seemed to defy conventional physics dotting the green-gold surface. However, the Imperial flotilla in front of them prevented Sesoka from admiring the planet before. Six Imperial Star Destroyers hung in low orbit in front of them, including the Basilisk and the Accuser.
- Ramannis: "This is Loyalist One to all vessels, fleet formations!"
Ramannis looked from his viewscreen and saw the vessels taking formations, shielding the command ship, the Liberty from initial assault so it could launch it ground forces in relative safety and from cover. When the vessels called in at the ready, Ramannis rose from his chair and signalled the fleet.
- Ramannis: "All vessels, commence attack!"
Lances of laser fire erupted in the once peaceful skies above Ambar, with the Accuser, the Star Destroyer under the command of Captain Gaius Prentus being the first ship to fire, attempting to swat down the smaller Resistance vessels. Well versed in combat against the Empire, Sesoka ordered the capital ships of the fleet to engage the Imperial vessels at point-blank range, while the corvettes and fighters dealt with the swarms of Imperial fighters bearing down on the fleet. Meanwhile, shuttles from the Liberty carrying the Aldárae team and Sesoka himself made use of the chaos and departed toward the planet's surface, evading enemy fighters.
- Ramannis: "Good luck General, we shall keep matters in hand here!"
As Ramannis cut the transmission, he ordered all ships to launch their fighters and target the star destroyers main deflectors and turrets. A sudden impact send the might Serindia Lord to his knees when his prized flagship was hit when Prentus himself ordered his crew to target his ship. Muttering his hoped the Light, the Gods or whatever entity people prayed to were with them today. These bloody star destroyers were powerful. On the bridge of the Liberty, Val Niathan watched in horror as the Accuser unleashed its full firepower on Ramannis' flagship. Ordering the engines to full power, he directed the Liberty across the battlefield, placing the thick hull and shields of the Resistance flagship between the Accuser and the Loyalist One, which engaged its engines to a safe distance.
- Ramannis: "Your support is much appreciated Liberty! We are getting hammered! One of our Resucant-class carriers is seriously damaged as well. Not the mention the high amount of fighters we already lost. To me it seems the Empire expected our arrival with such a high amount of star destroyers present."
- Val Niathan: "We must hold the line while the Aldárae and Sesoka complete their mission!"
Ramannis grumbled, another tremble took hold of his ship while one of the engines shut down.
- Ramannis: "Very well, I have an idea. All vessels, concentrate your firepower at the Accuser! Disable that ship! We shall move from one star destroyer to the next! Hold the lines men, the Light and the Gods are with us today!"
Under Ramannis' intense bombardment, the Accuser was disabled, though not before firing the ventral superlaser directly at the Liberty. The bridge of the Resistance flagship was rocked by explosions, prompting Niathan to order all crew to the escape pods. Though Magalen attempted to convince him otherwise, Niathan was set on going down with the ship, hoping to buy as much time as possible to allow the escape pods to be picked up by other Resistance vessels. Climbing into one of the pods, along with Kyrsá, Magalen activated the thrusters and watched as they sped away from the Liberty. With one final barrage from the Star Destroyer Basilisk, the Liberty exploded, spreading debris and bodies across the battlefield.
The Loyalist One, closest to the vessel moved in to intercept the escape pods and gave covering fire to prevent Imperial fighters from attacking the escape pods. When his pod docked with Loyalist One, Magalen sadly looked at what remained of the Liberty, with the legacy of Val Niathan foremost in his mind.
Magalen was escorted to the bridge where Lord Ramannis rose from his command chair and expressed is condolences at the loss of a Resistance hero. He invited Magelen to remain on the bridge to continue to follow the battle.
With the Resistance fleet engaged in orbit, Sesoka and the Aldárae knights touched down on the megastructure's seemingly endless structure. Lush forests covered Ambar, interspersed with small seas and cities buit using gleaming white materials which shone in the midday sun. The doors of the shuttle opened, revealing Sesoka and six Aldárae, Kara Inviá, Aoirtae Valaeris, Northarr, Arasah Nui, Vanikaimar and Janice Ross. In front of the group stood a massive Oikoumene installation, easily distinguisable by the floating pieces of architecture bound together by anti-gravity technologies. The path before them was blocked by Imperial troops, wardroids and vehicles, while some service to air missile emplacements fired their weapons into the space battle raging above.
Northarr, a male Ferthar, pointed at the structure.
- Northarr: "The custodian must be within that building."
- Vanikaimar: "We must not waste time. Let us make our way in."
As they made their way down the encampment where they landed the shuttle, they were potted by a contingent of Imperial troopers, who aimed their weapons and fired. Red beams of energy shot across the forest, only to be deflected by Kara with a gesture of her hand. Charging forward with blades and blasters in hand, the group met the troopers in combat. Vanikaimar used a one-handed rifle to combat the Imperial troopers before he got into range, where he revealed his bladed staff which he swung at them with little mercy. Through the dense forest, Aoirtae ignited her blade and dashed forward, plunging it into the chest of one of the soldiers, before flipping the sword in her grasp to impale another about to strike her from behind. Janice redirected the blaster shots back towards the troopers, shielding the others from assault.
Deflecting another bolt back at one of the troops, Kara shielded the others, before leaping backwards to position herself behind a wardroid which had prepared to fire on her flank. Telekinetically, she held her attacker in the air before crushing it against a nearby cliff face. Several metres away, Arasah Nui, who had joined the Order soon after they publicly revealed themselves to the galaxy, used her blade to sever one of the last surviving troopers, burying it in the soldier's body before pulling it out with a flourish, before deflecting a stray bolt of energy into an Imperial Light Walker.
The thick armour of the walker absorbed the impact, with the massive war machine laying down heavy fire on the group.
- Sesoka: "Aim for the legs!"
The Nagith ancient charged at the Light Walker, making use of his agility and advanced shielding to protect himself from its shots until he got close enough to send the blade of his staff at its legs. The walker shuddered for a moment under the assault, though continued to press on, the pilot trying to crush the Nagith with the walker's plodding feet. Aiming his rocket launcher at the enemy, Sesoka fired, sending a projectile crashing into the walker's head, causing it to explode and crash to the ground.
After a brief moment of respite, a loud "thud" echoed throughout the battlefield.
- Northarr: "By the light, what was that?"
- Vanikaimar: "Whatever it may be, it is probably not good."
- Janice: "May the Light be with us!"
A four-legged Armoured Assault Walker crashed through the forests, sending ancient trees hurtling to the ground in its wake. With heavy laser cannons, the massive vehicle fired on the group, sending them fleeing for cover. One of the group, Janice was send flying by a nearby impact. She crashed hard against a nearby stone and lost consciousness, blood gusting from her right lower arm.
- Arasah Nui: "We're outmatched, General Sesoka, another blast from the rocket launcher would be helpful!"
Covering his head from debris raining down from an explosion, Sesoka shook his head.
- Sesoka: "It would be no use, that armour's too heavy!"
- Vanikaimar: "It would be wasteful to fight that vehicle. We must sneak past it.
With the walker distracted by landing Resistance troops, the group made their way through the forests toward the installation, making sure to avoid erupting battles between Resistance and Imperial forces. The injured Janice remained behind, being treated by Resistance trooper medics. As they neared closer to the structure, Aoirtae spotted more and more actual Miluiel. Though their skin remained golden, it did not excude the warm light that it once had. Enslaved against their will, Aoirtae and the other Aldárae could feel the misery in the air, as well as strong feelings of regret as the Miluiel attacked any nearby Resistance operatives.
Almost as soon as they entered the facility, they were greeted by a spherical artificial intelligence. As Kara pointed out, the intelligence was similar to the Adjunct, though was illuminated in purple light and had a female voice.
Radiant of Stars Eternal
- Radiant-of-Stars-Eternal: "Hello! I am Radiant-of-Stars-Eternal, the custodian of Ambar. Welcome!"
Aoirtae scratched her head.
- Aoirtae: "Um... hi? We were told that you could help us free the Miluiel?"
- Vanikaimar: "Your time serving the will of the Dark Lord has come to an end, machine."
Radiant bobbed up and down in the air, clearly curious about the new arrivals.
- Radiant: "Thankfully, I was never under Tyrro'maironis' control. I was installed by Apolithanatár himself! Alas, I was unable to protect Ambar from the Dark Lord. Such a beautiful world, lost!"
- Vanikaimar: "If you were unable to protect the planet, how can you help us?"
- Radiant: "Worry not, unsettling Nagith, some aspects of this installation remain under my control!"
- Vanikaimar: "Then act. The Imperials overrun the surface as we speak."
- Radiant: "Most unfortunate, though there are less of them now than there were before! I assume that was your plan?"
- Kara: "Something like that. We were sent here by your creator to liberate the Miluiel."
Radiant bobbed excitedly.
- Radiant: "Wonderful! Please, follow me! We have no time to lose!"
Following Radiant, the group made their way through the still-gleaming interior of the structure, toward a gravity lift. When they all entered it, they began ascending through the air, overlooking the escalating battle between the Imperials and the Resistance outside.
- Radiant: "My, such violence!"
- Sesoka: "Apologies for bringing it to your installation. But this is important."
- Radiant: "You mistake me, Tenerensis! I find this quite invigorating! The Miluiel can become quite stuffy after a few millennia."
- Vanikaimar: "Even creations of the supposed Lord of Light must know how to defend themselves."
- Radiant: "Of course! But how to defend against an Oikoumene of such powe-"
Before she could continue, Radiant suddenly projected a display of fast-flowing information, her single eye darting at impossible speeds.
- Radiant: "Oh no, well that is not good!"
- Aoirtae: "What's wrong?"
- Radiant: "It appears that there are four new arrivals in the main control room. It appears that Tyrro'maironis' thralls have been alerted to the commotion you caused!"
- Vanikaimar: "The Phaedra are here."
- Meketanor: "Servants of the false one! You dare set your feet here!"
- Kara: "Nothing gets past you, ugly!"
Vandorallen raised a hand for calm.
- Vandorallen: "What could you possibly hope to achieve here, Aldárae? Surely beings who claim to be wise know that against the power of the Dark Lord, there can be no victory."
- Vanikaimar: "You know nothing of power, infant. I have seen empires rise and fall. Your Empire is merely one in history."
- Meketanor: "You! I recognise you! The Nagith we used to experiment upon! I suppose I should thank you for taking care of the Neraida for us, it will allow the Dark Lord to expand his influence across the Unknown Regions much more easily!"
- Vanikaimar: "... Abomination."
Mezzadriel opened her eyes, her voice serene.
- Mezzadriel: "I know why you have come. You serve the Lord of Light, no? He told you that we were corrupted by the Dark Lord, forced to serve his will."
- Northarr: "And we will not rest until you and your kin are free."
- Mezzadriel: "He lies. We were not corrupted. We serve willingly."
- Meketanor: "Indeed! They are creations of the Oikoumene, and they serve the Oikoumene, as they should! As should you!"
- Vanikaimar: "I am unconvinced. You would follow the "Dark" Lord and not the Lord of "Light"?"
Mezzadriel began pacing, her voice increasingly menacing.
- Mezzadriel: "We serve the true Oikoumene. The Mornûnendúr. The Lord of Light is a relic from a time long past. He claims that he is the First Born of the Oikoumene, as if Light sprang forth from Light. No, it is Darkness that lies at the beginning of all things and at the end. As you all shall see."
Raising her hands, Mezzadriel conjured an orb of golden light and fired it at the Aldárae. Northarr was blasted back by the explosion, though got to his feet with blade in hand. He was followed by the others, who ignited their weapons in a defensive posture, waiting for the Phaedra to come to them.
Duel in the Control Tower
- Cythonia: "Aw, how adorable. They think they stand a chance."
- Vanikaimar: "Miluiel or not. Stand in our way, and you will die."
- Meketanor: "Enough of this chit-chat! Destroy them!"
The corrupted Marinox roared as he charged ahead of the other Phaedra, clashing his blades against Vanikaimar's staff, dragging the Nagith backwards as he begun to defend himself from his onslaught. Vandorallen cast his stylish cloak back from his shoulder, clearing his blade arm.
- Vandorallen: "How tiresome, though some things require a more direct approach. Now, my Aldárae friends, will you accompany us back to Orbispira as captives? Or corpses?"
- Aoirtae: "Now, there's a coinkidink. You have a similar choice."
Aoirtae lifted her blade and swept it back down in a low guard. Vandorallen smirked at Aoirtae's remark, before springing into action, his blade angled for her neck. Aoirtae met the attack with a flourishing thrust, driving Vandorallen back as their blades locked.
- Vandorallen: "What dear old Venatorius wouldn't give to be in this situation, girl."
With a telekinetic blast, he caught her off guard, sending her back a few metres. She remained on her feet, however, once again meeting him in combat with an elegant one-handed technique, taught to her by Ryen. Vandorallen sidestepped against one of her attacks, passing his blade to within centimetres of her neck, blocked only by Northarr's blade.
Pivoting to face both of them, Vandorallen laughed shortly.
- Vandorallen: "These are the guardians of the Republic? Untrained children?"
Suddenly, a section of the roof fell to the ground, landing directly on Vandorallen's head. Radiant, who had been interfacing with the facility's systems, laughed as she brought the debris down on the Phaedra.
- Radiant: "Most exciting!"
- Meketanor: "Idiot AI! You serve the Dark Lord!"
Radiant whirled on him.
- Radiant: "I serve no one! Do you hear me?! I serve no one!"
More sections of the roof began to fall precisely where the Phaedra were standing, though they had recovered from the attack and managed to out-maneuver most of the attacks. Once again, the Phaedra and the Aldárae met in combat, blades flaring and energy crackling around the room. Left enraged by Radiant's interference, Meketanor attacked Vanikaimar wildly and recklessly, eventually giving the Nagith an opening as he thrust his bladed staff into the Marinox's thin torso, causing him to let out a terrible shriek as Vanikaimar then kicked him into the ground.
Across the room, Vandorallen faced Aoirtae once again with pure hatred in his once friendly eyes. Leaning into a thrust at her gut, his attack was deflected with a parry, locking their blades once again at their throats.
- Vandorallen: "You'll have to do better than that!"
- Aoirtae: "If you say so!"
The young Ortella shot into the air above Vandorallen's head so fast that to Sesoka, it seemed that she had vanished, before appearing behind him. In the place where she had been, Kara suddenly appeared, her blade, made from pure, solid Light, driving straight for his heart. His eyes bulged with realisation, with only a desperate whirl to one side preventing the young Libertus from joining her blade with Aoirtae's through his torso. He threw himself upwards in an attempt to disengage, though was caught midair by Arasah Nui, who telekinetically slammed him into a wall.
A few metres away, Mezzadriel, who had whirled on Sesoka and Northarr, nearly lost her footing to a joint attack by the two men. Though he was not trained in the Light, Sesoka was a master swordsman, who carved through a table telekinetically thrown by the dark Miluiel, while Northarr slammed the remnants across the room, causing Mezzadriel to buckle to the ground. Almost simultaneously, Aoirtae slammed her strike so forcefully upon Cythonia's blade that her foe was scorched by her own blade, forcing her to the ground in pain.
- Aoirtae: "You are beaten!"
- Meketanor': "Gah! ... You insolent child! This is not the end!"
Mezzadriel was the first to get to her feet, refusing to flee from her home. Vandorallen hissed as he got to his feet, using his Phaedric powers to cloak himself as he made his way to the Imperial shuttle waiting on the top-floor landing pad. As Meketanor scrambled to get on his feet and flee the scene, a great darkness manifested behind the Phaedra, and heavy footsteps were heard as a figure emerged from the shadows; a gigantic, red Miluiel wearing a great cloak which covered his torso. The Imperial Overseer.
The Aldárae took up a defensive posture against the new arrival, backing away from the control panel that Radiant indicated held the key to the Miluiel's salvation. All of them felt an overwhelming feeling of dread upon looking upon the Overseer. His eyes narrowed as he reached a hand to his cloak and then threw it open, his physical features changing before their eyes as they turned into the true, heavily armored form of Thaurlathrón.
- Thaurlathrón: "You reckless, careless mortals. You meddle with the creations of beings much greater than you."
- Aoirtae: "Y-you're an Oikoumene..."
- Thaurlathrón: "You disappoint me, Phaedra. You are meant to be the Emperor's instruments, yet you are bested by this... rag-tag squad of children."
- Meketanor: "I am not to blame for the failures of my "colleages"!"
- Radiant: "A Mornûnendur? Here?! Unacceptable! You are in violation of the rit of Estëmentári!"
Raising an arm, energy surged through Thaurlathrón like lightning which he then launched at the custodian.
- Thaurlathrón: "You exist because we allowed it. The Miluiel are our property."
With a high-pitched scream, Radiant was launched across the room before being smashed against the wall, deactivated. Totally at the mercy of Thaurlathrón, the group began to back away, their blades held up in a vain attempt to defend themselves. The Mornûnendur would turn his head to the rebels and his eyes would narrow as he then thrust his arm at their direction, unleashing his terrible energies at them.
- Thaurlathrón: "My patience has reached its limit. I will be rid of you rebellious lessers!"
- Kara Inviá: "You may kill us, but you'll never destroy us! Cyrannus will never submit to you!"
- Thaurlathrón: "Cyrannus was always ours. You are merely leeches in our Plan."
- ???: "A Plan doomed to failure."
- Thaurlathrón: "... What?"
Seemingly appearing from nothingness, Apolithanatár stood between Thaurlathrón and the Aldárae, arms clasped behind his back. The appearance of the Lord of Light caused the Overseer to immediately step back, apprehension visible in his expression.
- Apolithanatár: "It was foolish of you to come here, Thaurlathrón. Your intelligence cannot avail you of your hubris. It is a weakness shared by your Dark Lord, for your arrogance has diminished irrevocably your once great wisdom."
- Thaurlathrón: "You! ... So you did return. For what? While you hid and cowered, the Dark Lord brought the reckless races of modernity to a true future. You cannot change what is to come."
- Apolithanatár: "As always, overconfidence will prove to be your undoing, for it is the greatest form of carelessness. These beings are my friends, possessed of a truer heart and virtue than you could ever hope to match. This time belongs to them, not to the Oikoumene. Our time has past."
- Thaurlathrón: "Your time is past, "Lord of Light". Not ours. We are the guiding hand of Cyrannus. Oppose us and you shall meet your end. Phaedra, retreat!"
With this, Thaurlathrón's form turned into shadows which soon dissipated, followed by Meketanor who was, until that point, cowering before Apolithanatár. The other Phaedra were close behind, with the exception of Mezzadriel, who gazed at Apolithanatár motionlessly. The power of the Light radiated throughout the room, prompting her to summon on her powers in an attempt to shield herself from its "corruptive" influence.
- Vanikaimar: "She resists."
Desperately attempting to retain her link to the Dark Lord, Mezzadriel began to scream, before igniting her blade and lunging at Apolithanatár. Just as her blade was about to strike, she was caught midair by an invisible force.
- Apolithanatár: "Find peace, child of Ambar."
Mezzadriel's once crazed eyes suddenly conveyed a sense of deep serenity. She bowed her head, before vanishing completely. Apolithanatár turned to Sesoka and the Aldárae, his head hung low.
- Apolithanatár: "I could not save her. Though in her death,"
He motioned with his hand, causing Radiant to suddenly spark back to life.
- Apolithanatár: "Her brothers and sisters find new life."
All across Ambar, the connection that Tyrómairon held over the Miluiel finally dissipated.
Almost immediately after the Overseer and the Phaedra fled, the Imperial fleet in orbit shot off into hyperspace, leaving Ambar in the hands of the Resistance and the Aldárae. However, the battle had come at a terrible cost for the Resistance, which lost both its flagship, the Liberty, and its flag officer, Val Niathan, who went down with the ship. Upon securing Ambar against any remaining Imperial forces, the Resistance and the Aldárae returned to Aldár, where they were greeted as heroes at a ceremony and feast to honour those who did not survive. When the feast concluded, the survivors of Ambar met in the newly constructed starport to bid farewell.
- Vanikaimar: "... I am unsure of what just happened. But it appears we have succeeded."
- Aoirtae: "Looks like it. You have our thanks, Apolithanatár!"
- Apolithanatár: "Think nothing of it. I did not expect Thaurlathrón to act so brazenly."
- Vanikaimar: "When faced with beings as lowly as ourselves, that Oikoumene had no reason not to crush us like insects."
- Kara Inviá: "Maybe your personality scared him off."
- Vanikaimar: "We were faced by something my kind used to revere as divine. Our survival is entirely due to the Lord of Light's intervention."
Sesoka scratched his head.
- Sesoka: "I had no idea there was this much at stake. It isn't only the Republic which faces collapse, the entire galaxy is in danger of falling under the heels of these Oikoumene."
- Vanikaimar - "The races of modernity have been played for fools. For how long have Oikoumene led you behind your backs?"
Ryen approached the group with a solemn frown, flanked by Janice who had her arm in bandages.
- Ryen: "The Dark Lord returned during the Intergalactic War, about twenty one standard years ago. Though I fear his reach from eons past continued to influence events throughout history, perhaps even your own, Vanikaimar."
- Vanikaimar: "Hmpf. This is not something weapons and armor can combat."
- Aoirtae: "But we have to fight. We've no other option. If we fail, if we falter, we doom the Cluster to an eternity of tyranny."
- Janice: "Can we rely on the Resistance? We do not have the resources do go against the Empire in full scale war. Neither do we have much support from other empires and nations. Not to mention, some of the cell commanders and leaders can't stand each other. The Order cannot do this alone."
Apolithanatár gazed into the night sky.
- Apolithanatár: "And it will not. But take heed and steel yourselves, for the darkest of times lie ahead."
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