“When the Draconis are considered, what is imagined are the star dragons of Andromeda. The truth of what we are is an enigmatic one. "Draconis" are not a species. We are a mantle, a diverse plethora of species that identify ourselves to be followers of Drakon's Path and the inheritors of Alcanti's ancient legacy. What Draconis are varies from group to group, and some set their own destiny. The destiny of my generation is about to unfold...”
- - Opening lines of Lineage Of Legacy: The True Nature of the Drak'Onisi by Illuminate Drake Senvinus
Arriving around the Deep Core of the Andromeda Galaxy, the royal starship the RASC Worldfather's Grace shunted out of hyperspace. Uriel Ultanos, the paragon of the Draconid Imperium and the master of the vessel that he stood within was on the observation deck, looking out at a window-screen that projected an alien construct. Whatever it was, it did not appear natural, a cluster of black holes wrapping them around six strands that extended out from the core of the structure. To call it a construct in the traditional sense may be misleading, as the structure was mostly devoid of struts, beams and pylons. This was a structure held together by magnetic and gravitational forces, an alien structure in many senses of the word.
Uriel was not alone; with him were numerous praetors, his viceroies also joined him as all of them stared at the construct in wonder. They talked among themselves, in awe of the anomaly. As they all spoke among themselves, Drake Senvinus - one of the Imeprium's most preeminent scientists - entered the room, followed by servants carrying bottles of wine on trays, with enough glasses for the entire council of praetors to be accommodated. He entered with confidence, holding out his arms. Seeing hi e nter, everyone turned their attention to him, curious at the sicentist's presence.
- Drake - Magnificent, is it not, my lords?
- Sorius Vex - I...suppose you could enlighten as as to what we are looking at?
Drake smiled at the nobleman's comment. He held up his arms and with a brief, gentlemanly clap, the sight on the screen changed to reveal a field enveloping the construct.
- Drake - You witness something that never happens in nature, praetors and viceroys. As we know, Hyperpspace is a region of compressed fourth-dimensional space, where hopping between two points in realspace by travelling though hyperspace allows for shortcuts. The basis of transwarp travel, the hyperlanes, and - more fascinatingly - the paranormal abilities of mentalists. - Drake walked though the crowd, his servants offering drinks - What this is however, is something we never see - where it is realspace, which is compressed. What you see, is a region of reality that is in fact denser than its hyperspatial counterpart.
This surprised the dignitaries, who muttered among themselves.
- Sorius Vex - How is this possible?
- Drake - That is what I have been funneling funding into, your grace. But more importantly this is a Draocnid construct; created ages ago by a past generation of our kind.
- Terevium Senvinus - How long ago are we talking?
- Drake - We estimate some tiem during the Era of Diamonds, during the reign of Ararel XI perhaps. So perhaps...62,000 years?
- Terevium Senvinus - Draconid? So...We can harness it?
- Taenella Soreavius - How could this device benefit our ecumene?
Drake let out a bellowing laugh.
- Drake - This is no energy source or factory. Its purpose is much, much greater. I'm sure you have all heard the stories of the ancients of Drakonmi Terevus, who left the universe for greater places after instructing the formation of the Civilisation. Researc has concluded that they are not the only ones who managed it, and this is the key.
Understanding what Drake was suggesting, Uriel stepped forward.
- Uriel - The Era of Diamonds ended with the decline of the Royal House Ultanos by Grand House Khaxvis. What does this construct offer that was nt given to my fallen ancestors?
- Drake - Easy. Have you ever wondered how such a small house were able to remove so many of your kin, my paragavatus? - Drake called for a servant to pour a few glasses of wine, which he took from the tray. He held one in his hand and held it to Uriel - They did not remove all of them. Your elders are out there, waiting, I'm sure of it. The ship currently sits within this region of expanded hyperspace, and we have come to understand the key to unlock what this anomoly offers
- Uriel - What you are suggesting, illuminate Senvinus, is that this anomaly is a portal to where ancient civilisations go?
- Drake - They never abandoned the Imperium my paragavatus. To put it poetically, they went on a journey.
- Uriel - Explain.
Uriel accepted the glass with suspicion.
- Drake - You recall the proposals of Chi Theory, yes?
- Uriel - That life, mentalism and and intelligence is the result of particles jumping between realspace and hyperspace. I admit it sounds a little beyond me.
- Drake - Well photons, but yes. That's the gist of it. And recent picotechnological developments have allowed us to tap into this quantum interaction. With the application of the right model of Morphis and training, an imbiber can tap into this talent, enticing control over this process.
- Uriel - You suggest that with Morphis we would better be able to manipulate this...mechanism.
- Drake - More: Recent developments have given us this prototype, a model which will allow for the nature of hyperspace to become more deeply entwined in how intelligence emerges. The anomaly is where the entwining process can be at its easiest. But that is but the surface of what it is capable of.
Uriel looked at the glass and the liquid inside, perking an eyebrow. Alensia, who had stood beside him all this time, held him close.
- Uriel - You offer me...machines.
- Drake - I know your thoughts on giving yourself such technology are not exactly of enthusiasm but it's perfectly safe; plenty of trial runs have been done and the proof is there. It is only fitting our paragon is the first to cross this threshold.
- Uriel - I wish for Alensia to accompany me. If this is a new step, I'd rather not step alone.
- Drake - Fair enough, exemplars of our kind and all that. A second glass for the paragon-consort!
Another glass was poured for Alensia and she was handed her own. She looked at Uriel and the two of the nuzzled before gently downing the glasses of wine. They held hands, and Alensia could feel Uriel's grip tightening as he grimaced. As she downed her glass she leaned on him as the two of them returned the glasses to the tray. Their actions were met with applause by the nobility around them and a smile from Drake.
- Drake - Standard procedure for the first take of Morphis is to sleep on it, allowing the machines to work as they are designed. But a celebration wouldn't hurt, no?
Uriel nodded and held Alenisa, a smile returning to his face. For the next few hours, the rest of the nobility joined them, music filled the observation deck and the nobles continued their courtly games that made up so much of their lives. Before the night ended however, the festivities concluded with Drake gathering the nobility to one of the halls in the vessel. All of them were urged to undergo some deep breathing exercises, it had become a trend as of recent months among these figures to undergo these exercises. They had been told it would help them focus in their roles in power, and would allow for a better sense of clarity as they worked. The procedure was attended to by one of Drake's colleagues, who spoke of the importance of mental focus.
Dreams of More
Uriel was enjoying the summer sun in the palace gardens, watching Alensia as she cradled their infant son Tyrus. Everything felt serene, the birds sang their songs and tiny insects nestled in the trees.
As Uriel absorbed himself in this tranquil and perfect afternoon, the chirping began to change, almost as if the birds were getting better on performing their songs. He saw as the gentle breeze swayed the flowers and grasses that lined the flagstone path under his feet. Alensia was comforting her son, saying sweet things to him as she coerced him to rest. It took a few minutes before Uriel realised that not only was she not moving her lips to speak, but looking at Tyrus he came to understand the child's reaction perfectly even though the child was saying nothing.
Alensia turned to look at him with curiosity.
- Alensia - DId you say something? - he heard her voice, but she was looking right at him and did not even open her mouth.
- Uriel - Not that I recall. What did I say?
- Alensia - Have you been practicing throwing your voice?
- Uriel - Come again?
- Alensia - You're...staring.
- Uriel - As are you.
Both of them become unsettled, Alensia cuddled Tyrus one last time and set him down, standing up. Uriel joined her, but there was a peculiar glow about her that he could not quite describe. A lustre that she had never demonstrated before.
- Uriel - You look very beautiful this afternoon.
- Alensia - As do you.
Their rounds of affection felt different this time. They felt more intense, Uriel had complete clarity over what his consort was thinking of, and as they got closer, birds began to perch on the surrounding trees, singing their songs while colourful insects danced around the two, revealing their iridescant wings that glittered in the afternoon sun. The two became closer still, pressing each other tightly, the feelings were indescribably intense.
Then within an instant, afternoon turned to evening. Aldra set to an indigo corona, but still high enough in the sky to illuminate the gardens in a strong blue violent tint. Neither of them cared how quickly the sun had set, they were too invested in each other, with Uriel guiding both of them back to the bench he had first sat on. They settled down to each others' embrace, their breathing and heartbeats becoming a harmonious rhythm that accompanied the flapping of insect wings and the songs of birds.
Uriel's eyes opened themselves to take in the ceiling above him. He felt refreshed, turning to look at his consort and embrace her once more. At least he would have, had he not suddenly become preoccupied with the strange sensation he was getting as he looked at her. She stirred as well, what could best be described as a foggy light radiated form her skin while Uriel could feel the pounding of her heartbeat in the fabric underneath his hands. He saw it also, as he moved to see his hand; that same light radiating from his own body.
- Uriel - Alensia, did you dream?
She stirred and turned to him, her hazel eyes were like beacons as she moved her hand to comfort Uriel.
- Alensia - Yes...We were in the gardens, I had Tyrus in my hands and you were sitting opposite to me. You were bewildered at how I--
- Uriel - Spoke without moving my lips.
- Alensia - We embraced, you held me close and we embraced the songs and the dancing insects that courted around us
These last three words Uriel joined in and they spoke in unison. This momentarily shocked Alensia, but Uriel attempted to calm her with his hand on hers.
- Uriel - The machines have...entwined us.
- Alensia - Drake. I am sure he knows what has happened.
The two of them stood up and got themselves dressed, but both were taken aback when in reaching for their clothes the articles rose up, danced around them and adorned them in a peculiar manner not too distinct from stories of enchantment. With a single motion they had dressed themselves. And with a cradling, the two of them left the room to look for Drake. Instead, they came across an attendant who looked at them as if both were some furious terror.
- Servant - Master Senvinus-- He said you'd be awake and asked me to g-guide you to the main hall.
- Alensia - Where we conducted those exercises. Thank you.
- Servant - --I didn't say anything my lords.
- Uriel - Like in the dream.
Open Your Eyes To Wonder
Uriel and Alensia followed the attendant into the main hall of the Worldfather's Grace. Normally this foyer was reserved for high-profile meetings but today it was host to the Praetor's Council and the strange events of recent. Reaching top the stairs that led to the balcony that surrounded the edge of the hall, Uriel looked down to see the entire council had undergone the same process as himself, all luminous and looking at him in a way that was difficult to describe by traditional means. But their very gaze gave him enough understanding. Drake, smiling as he ascended the stairs to his paragon, welcomed him.
- Drake - I hope his majesty had an interesting rest.
- Uriel - By my dreams I have to guess you can tell.
- Drake - An incredible feeling isn't it? To know with a glance, to read past deception or mystery. What we have all been bestowed is marvelous, is it not?
- Alensia - I suppose it is
- Drake - Only fitting you mark this occasion with an address.
- Uriel - That can come to the public. But one tailored to the first awakened would do no harm...
Uriel stepped forward. He held out his hands, taking contemplative breaths as he composed himself. He could feel the excitement of the room, an energy of an intensity he had not felt before. With a surge coming from an exhalation, he projected his new voice echoed across the room.
- Uriel - Dearest dignitaries of our Imperium's highest offices. Today is the start of a new age for our kind. Millennia ago our ancestors made the same journey, a journey that saved them from the blades of traitors and detractors. We make the same journey; Eternity lies ahead of us and our departure will mark a new phase of existence. Close your loose ends, Bid farewell to those who held you up for so long, ensure your legacies do not crumble behind you. A new reality awaits us all, and one day our descendants will join us, just as we join our ancestors to spread among planes incomprehensible. The technology that awoke us has opened our eyes to understand these new planes. The gigaquadrant, this universe has felt our touch, and it is time we spread our touch beyond. Like Drakon's stellar wings we shall spread across the heavens, bringing our light to greater reaches of Reality. An infinite empire for a higher collective of an infinite reality. Steel yourselves, for a new age dawns.
Applause followed his announcement. Uriel felt confident at what was happening, and in his mind he constantly cycles a feeling of self-assurance. This was what he had spent decades building, a vision first conceived with the meeting of Maxios Telvenum and the Drallivians - the new Draconis, he thought.
As he said there were loose ends to tie up, and one significant end deserved to be closed before leaving the universe behind.
The Weight Of A Galaxy
A few months passed, more and more Draconis made pilgrimage by invitation to the Deep Core. More and more were given the solution that awakened their minds and opened their eyes to new dimensions. During this time, Uriel had gone to visit Maxios in his apartment in Minos'Drakon. No one aside fro mthose i nthe know were aware of the transformations; Drake's methodologies had granted those who transformed the knowledge in how to hide their newfound luminosity. Only when the time was right, Uriel thought, would the truth be revealed.
The system wasn't perfect, some had let slip, but conspirators and others who knew made sure that at best, what had happened was a rumour. Uriel knew Maxios as a close friend, and since joining House Ultanos, Uriel considered Maxios as family, a son that suited what he had planned. Maxios had prepared a serving of tea for the two of them, steaming cups of Gaganro mint tea, just the way Uriel liked it. He sat with Maxios in the main room of the man's luxurious royal apartment.
- Uriel - Maxios, do you remember the events that occurred soon after I made my way back to Alcanti after our first meeting?
- Maxios - You told me your father visited you in a dream and praised your foresight in what you saw in my kind. You told a priest and he considered it prophecy. Yes
- Uriel - Yes. What I didn't quite say was it may have...started something
- Maxios - Started, paragon?
Uriel tutted as he set his tea down and smiled warmly at Maxios.
- Uriel - Maxios, we're family know. You can address me by my given name.
- Maxios - Yes, yes, forgot. - Maxios perked a brow out of curiosity - Started what, exactly?
- Uriel - Perhaps everything. - He took a deep breath in preparation for what he was going to say - When I took the throne after my brother, the Imperiu mwas secluded. fifty years on I have risen it from the ashes of mediocrity.
- Maxios - Into an Andromeda unsurpassed by all but the Four.
- Uriel - No. The Four, mighty as they were, lay divided. I have built a united Andromeda, with a reach that extends across known space. With diligence, my hand shaped a cluster where Dracid is the tongue of trade, where the young rise to stand side-by-side with ancients, an era like no other. This was all motivated by my dream, and you
- Maxios - Cut to the chase, Uriel. You wish something of me.
Uriel took a few moments to compose himself.
- Uriel - I seek to abdicate. There are events playing out where I must be more than Master King. Thus, I have come to tell you that you are to be the Imperium's next paragavatus.
Maxios sat back in shock, bewildered at what he was hearing. He stared at Uriel with this confoudned look, and with a gulp he spoke up.
- Maxios - ...You cannot be serious Uriel. You're-- - Maxios could not speak, he rubbed his snout with anguish and worry - You're elevating me to a position that makes me a high authority of seven galaxies...I can't be you Uriel I-- I can't! I wasn't raised like your sons and daughters were. What of them?
- Ureiel - Where I go, they will have a hand in shaping what is to come.
- Maxios - And Alessa? What of her!?
- Uriel - She's staying. She adores you Maxios, she knows I am here and has agreed to act as consort.
- Maxios - THen why not pass Drakon's eye to her!? Why not give her this power?
- Uriel - Alessa is a diplomat. She consoles and comforts, but she is no leader. You are.
- Maxios - But--
- Uriel - No matter the circumstances you held a connection to Cyrannus. You made sure that we were never in the dark. Guolivian trusts you, and that gives you a doorway. It demonstrates you have the courage to stand and act on your own initiative
- Maxios - And how do you know they would not use that against us?
Uriel removed his signet ring, placing it on the coffee table in front of them.
- Uriel - This is my secret Maxios. The key to the throne, a seat of power that grants worthy men the courage and power to stand up to even the gods that threaten our Imperium. The throne will strengthen you just as it strengthened me, as it strengthened my father. And Alessa will guide you, advise you.
- Maxios - You're sure of all of this.
- Uriel - I watched you for fifty years Maxios. I know you as much as you know yourself, perhaps more.
- Maxios - You're being awfully cryptic tonight. Have you been speaking with Iovera? Kithworto?
- Uriel - I have not.
It took some time for Maxios to come to terms. He mulled over the thought, becoming paragavatus was an ambitious aspiration and a daunting prospect. He turned his head to Uriel and gave an answer.
- Maxios - Give me one week Uriel. It is an enormous proposition to ask.
- Uriel - Of course.
Uriel rose from his seat, but as he did, Maxios held up his hand.
- Maxios - Wait, Uriel. Before you set off: Perhaps you would enjoy a night at the theatre?
- Uriel - I don't see why not. What do you suggest.
- Maxios - The Kingsman's Bride. There's an extended performance downtown that I was prparing to see after we talked, if you enjoy that sort of performance.
- Uriel - Very well, we could do with something light and cheerful after the weight I delivered.
- Maxios - You don't need to say it. I'll let you know I promise.
Uriel nodded and the two of them moved to the coatroom to prepare themselves for the evening.
Long Live the King
Maxios gave considerable thought to Uriel's decision. After some deep thinking for some nights, he accepted what the paragon was offering, solidifying the coronation to come.
Uriel and his aides had spent considerable time organising for the coronation. He had a date considered, having the foresight Maxios would say yes, but it was only after Maxois agreed that the information went public. This was a rare time in Imperial history, as most often the succession occurred after the paragon's death. But while a rare time, protocols and traditions still existed. Maxios sat within an open-top luxury skycar alongside Alessa as they slowly traveled down the Paragon's Promenade, the great thoroughfare that ran like Minos'Drakon's great pulmonary artery.
Maxios was dressed in a finery he was not used to. The royal tailors had since sized him up for a grandiose uniform that would make many a fashion-conscious noble jealous; an ivory-white uniformed tunic with bold red sides, all trimmed in gold patterns depicting flowing vines that ciurled and entangled. This was all underneath a sleeveless overcoat that pronounced his shoulders with a reinforced inner component. While the tunic itself reached down to his knees, ending in three thick golden bands detailed with silver coiling. Towering above him were the great gold-and-marble statues of legends and paragons of old, and some more recent, as Maxios felt a heavy heart looking upon the statues dedicated to Larnus Vontarion and Tyraz Breek. Alessa sat beside him, she moved her hand to his thigh and rested it there to comfort him. He felt the sensation and turned to look at her, the woman he was bound to by marriage. He leaned into her, the thought of what were to come still strong in his mind. The skycar and its escort then traveled though the golden gates that divided the city from the Imperial palace. He had never considered it before but he looked upon the great doors to see the great historical events that were engraved into the great platinum-plated doors. The golden decoration was like reading an enormous etching on a giant's armour. Passing the gates he saw the palace gardens below. As the crowds thinned out over the bridge to the palace doors, Maxios turned to Alessa
- Maxios - Why is your father doing this, Alessa? He surely has centuries left.
- Alessa - I cannot really say. He's excited though, but--
- Maxios - I know I know, greater things call his attention, but what is so great that the entire court is leaving for I-don't-know-where.
- Alessa - I'm staying behind because I want to, Maxios. Not because I was asked to.
- Maxios - Uriel's been really cryptic as of late, have you not noticed?
- Alessa - A little. Enjoy the day Maxios!
- Maxios - All these years and only now he acts evasive.
- Alessa - Do you think he's slipped his mind?
- Maxios - No...not really. You're his daughter, surely you know.
- Alessa - It's hard to describe.
Maxios sighed with exasperation as the skycar neared the front doors to the palace. As he simmered he felt Alessa's hand again, now rubbing his thigh.
- Alessa - He believes in you Maxios, and so do I.
- Maxios - He talked about a new age, like I was some symbol for a new era. Am I that significant?
- Alessa - Maxios, the Drallivians are the closest to being invited as Draconis. Our marriage secured it. Imagine, the dreams of unity with your elder cousins, as you always dreamed now coming true. You have vision
- Maxios - And you're staying because--
- Alessa - Because I love you and I believe in you.
All it took was Alessa's loving smile to swell Maxios' confidence. He straightened himself up and raised his head as the skycar landed and they both departed with a summoned regality to their step, something Maxios had been practicing now he was preparing for position of paragavatus. Wrapping around his middle finger was the Ultanos royal signet ring Uriel had given him, the loop reforged to fit his more lithe digits. IN the days after he was given it, Uriel had reminded him that the signet ring's purpose was supposed to be mostly a secret, that the real power to identify the paragonwas from Drakon's Eye. Everyone recognised the crest of House Ultanos but not everyone realised it was the ring that was tied to the throne, not the enormous gem.
Thinking back on what Uriel said, he did indeed feel better about himself, something that emerged over the coming days was a sense of "yes, I can do this", A line that circled his mind over and over. Each time the thought circled his mind he understood it better. Whether or not he was coming to believe a lie didn't matter because he did indeed feel confident in himself.
Before he fully knew it, the doors to the great hall opened with a booming creak, followed by a cheering crowd. The great hall was filled with people that cheered for Maxios as he glided with regal grace across the amber carpet towards the imeprial throne. Standing with imperious grace in front of the throne was Uriel, arms in front of him, hands clasped together, and dressed in bold reds accompanied by golden embroidery. The man waited patiently for Maxios to make his way carefully to the steps of the throne, ascending to Uriel's level with a straight back and a raised head. As Maxios approached, Uriel lifted Drakons's Eye, the great gem amulet from his own shoulders and turned it around.
- Uriel - Maxios, Telvenum Ultanos. On this day, by the authority of myself and with the blessings of our Imperium, you have been found worthy of this mighty position of paragavatus of the Draconid Imperium. Do you understand what this prestigious title asks of you, Maxios.
- Maxios - That I do, your majesty.
- Uriel - And do you understand the burden that you shall bear. And the weight that shall rest upon your shoulders.
- Maxios - I do, your majesty.
Uriel gently rested the article over Maxios' shoulders, straightening out the jewlwery so the article sat squarely over Maxios' torso.
- Uriel - Then may your rule be fair, your decisions just. May your rule be one of wisdom, discipline and fair judgement. Arise
Maxios stood up, it felt odd, the jewery on his shoulders. It felt heavy, not just by the the weight of the diamond, gemstones and golden component, but he did indeed feel the weight of an empire upon him. A long majestic history filled with trajedy, darkness and glory now sat upon his shoulders.
- Uriel - Great citizens of our sublime Imperium. I present to you, Maxios Ultanos III, patriarch of the Telvenum lineage, Grand-Duke of the United Drallivian Republics, royal companion to her majesty Alessa Vossus Ultanos. Your paragavatus.
With the sound of thunder, the audience lowered themselves to one knee in strict unison. Upon seeing their new leader, the entire chamber - nobles, dignitaries and Blood Dragons - all bowed out of respect. Uriel took a single step back, gesturing towards the throne itself. Maxios understood and moved towards the grand chair. He examined it briefly, and with great care he sat upon it, a rush flowing though his body as the throne's systems took recognition of him.
- Uriel - May you live long, and prosper with great success, Your esteemed majesty.
Maxios nodded, pride swelling up from inside, rising just as the audience was.
After the ceremony was over, there was a banquet ot be held. Uriel however, was nowhere ot be seen. He had gone into the corridors, searching for Drake who had gone ot the royal library. When Uriel saw him, he took note of how Drake was merely holding the book open as the pages moved on their own, something he did discreetly so as to hide the book's animation.
- Uriel - I thought you might be here, illuminate.
- Drake - Ah, your majesty. I take it his majesty Maxios III is settling in well?
- Uriel - It appears so.
- Drake - Then the exodus can proceed.
- Uriel - We're not quite ready just yet.
- Drake - ...we're not? Many of the accepted report they are, all loose ends tied up.
- Uriel - No. We're not. There's one rather vital amtter.
In the blink of an eye, Uriel began standing over Drake with an annoyed glint in his eye.
- Uriel - I wish to know how you plan to ensure stability considering that the first of this great plan happen to be the most ambitious and power-hungry individuals in Imperial society.
- Drake - We just need their trust.
- Uriel - Trust? You think trust is all we need to keep them behaving? I've seen these men and women act, and think, Illuminate. Power is what they crave, and power is what you gave them.
- Drake - I...
- Uriel - This is a slip-up. One I hope you will correct with my guidance.
- Drake - Once we find the ancients--
- Uriel - There is no guarantee we'll find them. And there is no telling what their egos will consider in the meantime
Uriel looked around, taking notice of the Blood Dragons standing guard.
- Uriel - The Dragons. In this new Draconis society they shall be our watchmen.
- Drake - Brilliant idea, your mejesty. The technology and the methodology was never designed to give preference based on breeding.
- Uriel - And for the Imperium itself, there is the Icrix Institute.
- Drake - Those Zazane, your majesty?
- Uriel - Yes, "those Zazane." The Institute was established ot protect myself and the heart of the Imperium from renegade godlike beings. They should be able to handle a few renegade deified aristocrats.
- Drake - Excellent thought sir...Alessa wasn't the only one to stay behind was she?
- Uriel - As if suggesting we would abandon everything we have built so far. We made the Imperium for what it is, we are handing it to a new generation of species to be its custodians, but that does not mean we turn our backs on it. And if those loyal to the grand plan do not do so, then renegades overconfident with their new-found talent will most certainly try to shape the Imperium - perhaps more than that - to their own ends.
- Drake - They are your institutions, your majesty.
- Uriel - That they are. Wait for me back at the deep core, I will return soon and the final phase can begin.
- Drake - Yes your majesty, as you request.
Uriel stepped back, taking his eyes off Maxios and leaving the illuminate to his literature. As Uriel left, Drake could have sworn one of the Blood Dragons scowled at him though their helmet as they left to join Uriel on other business. Finding an out-of-the-way corner of the library, Drake simply vanished, tome in tow.
Crossing the Threshold
Uriel entered the observation deck of his personal cruiser, stridign gracefully as he looked upon the great panoramic screen. Since Maxios' coronation, hundreds of vessels had gathered around the Deep Core device, their alloyed hulls glittering like perfectly-cut shards of iridescant ice. On each one, Uriel knew there were hundreds of Draconis, awaitign his word. They all waited to a siletn countdown as the last few stragglers arrived, the proud bearers of the title "Draconis" were preparing for a new journey into the unknown. Uriel could feel it in his gut, but more importantly he could also feel it in his heart.
he was continually mesmerised by the light he could see coming from his own skin, as he wafted his hand he noticed he was leaving a faint trail; a momentary ghost of where his hand was, made bare by the light he radiated. he clenched his fist, the ghost digits following hence. As he was focused, he felt something curl itself around his right arm; Alensia had come up behind him, wrapping her arm around his and behind her was Drake. Uriel had come to realise that while he was largely responsible for these past few weeks, this was but the final phase of a much grander plan.
- Alensia - I'm with you, darling. Drake tells us that once we make this step...nothing will be the same.
- Uriel - Everything changed the morning we awoke, touched by each others' dreams. People say that is a habit of gods; rather than visit you i nthe flesh, they visit your dreams; a planescape as abstract and as malleable to illusion they desire. At first I wondered if such tales were merely the gods trying to hide...until my father spoke to me that one night. Fresh from seeing Maxios for the first time, his mere presence was at first confusing.
- Alensia - You believe his appearance a sign?
- Uriel - I long disagreed that I had some destiny to play out. My legacy was mine to make. What we leave behind, dearest Alensia, and what events remain touched by our hands is our legacy.
- Alensia - Uniting a galaxy, ascending the Arda'onisi to greatness, entwining empires in commerce, quite a legacy we leave behind.
- Drake - Oh we can still touch this world, Uriel
Drake spoke, emerging from behind. Uriel and Alensia turned to him, studying what he was doing.
- Drake - They might think we abandoned them if we simply ignore that they go on without us.
- Uriel - Emperors come and go, Drake. Empires have their own phases, and for the same entity to exist in the same static position for too long harms the balance of things. As I'm sure you recall the Coalition being an example of how the old can unbalance and push down the new.
- Drake - I thought you didn't beleive in fate, your majesty.
Uriel scowled at Drake, caressing Alensia's arm.
- Uriel - I believe we all habe our ow nhistories to write. This is not fate, illuminate, but logic. You of all people must know that.
- Drake - "We come from Drakon and we become Drakon", were these not the words of one interpretation of Drakon's Path?
- Uriel - ...Yes. And perhaps our tiem to take up his mantle has come.
- Drake - Then by all means your majesty, it is time we took a leap of faith. Infinity awaits!
Uriel nodded. These past few weeks he had been attempting to understand his body, what transformation he was undergoing both physically and mentally. As he strode up to the centre of the chamer, millinos of eyes were upon him; Drake had been preparing him fro the tiem to cross over. A challenging and arduous series of lessons that made full use of what his brain could now accomplish.
- Uriel - With the grace of our ancestors, our precursors and with the love of those who carry us to new paths, we open our minds to infinity. Worlds beyond the boundaries of the old await us, and it is here we take our first step into a new kind of existence.
With a single fierce clap, the ocnstruct began to shift. The black holes that held the structure in palce began to contort, shift about. They moved their positions, spacetime bending and fluctuating in their wake. To everyoen on board it was like a great warm torrent swept though the ships. When everyoen looked around, what they saw of each other was difficult to describe, as they currently existed withi nthe boundary between realspace and hyperspace. Another wave swept though the ships as Uriel continued to work the device, readjusting the vortices to stabilise the space within. As he did so, his body became so luminous that his features could no longer be seen, in its place was a bright, technicolour light vaguely in the shape of a Draconis. But then that began to change, the wings fanning out into a kaliedascopic rainbow membrane of iridescent colour. His body coaliesced with white and golden light as the two prongs that twisted to make his horns extended and twisted into a baroque pattern, as though soem invisible will was shaping them into a cast iron decoration.
Alensia felt it as well, looking bout herself, her wings had doubled, glistenign with a rainbow of colours, the main hall was intensely bright as it was illuminated by these two luminous figures. Alensia, in awe and amazement of what was happening strode up to Uriel, the light fro mtheir bodies dancing like wisps of white smoke from the famle that was theri bodies, twisting and dancing.
With a jerk of the paragon's head, there was a blast from the core. As the shockwave swept though, the ships that were hit became scattered, as if instantly turned into fine sand to be scattered to the winds. But there was no debris, no embers that scatterd into space. Instead the ship dust descended in vortices into the core of the singularity, disappearing as they passed the event horizon that each black hole had to hide its contants.
Maxios ws in his study, looking over various documents. he had been working late, the last few milimetres of the cup of tea he used ot keep himself alert was growing cold. Despite the caffeine hwoever, Maxios struggled to keep awake. He blinked as he felt a warm surge down his body, but he could not explain it.
Alessa entered the room, a cheerful smile as she strode over to Maxios, caressing her finger up his arm and to his shoulder, with her other hand following to rest upon his shoulders. He turned slightly to aknowledge her.
- Maxios - Any word from the core?
- Alessa - What Uriel set out to do is done. He and his followers have left us to continue as he wished.
- Maxios - So he's really gone. He never even said where he was going.
- Alessa - I'm sure it'll coem ot light, in time. You seem tense.
Maxios rolled his eyes and sat back, allowing Alessa to massage his shoulders.
- Maxios - Quite the understatement. uriel sorted his affairs, certainly. But these are some large shoes to fill.
- Alessa - I have faith, dear. As does he.
- Maxios - Fifty years....You think he would have told me at least once what his great plan was.
- Alessa - he laid the foundations, set up the pieces, now it's time to carry on with what he started. Come, you're no good to the Imperium on the brink of exhaustion.
- Maxios - May as well. I'm sure these particular matters can wait.
Maxios leaned back, with care and passion he demonstrated his affection to Alessa, holding her close and nuzlled her gently. With that gesture, he stood up and joined her out of the office, taking one last look at the sword rack that adorned the wall. With a sigh, he turned away and opened the door, closing it gently behind him as he left the roon.