“The biggest fireworks may be in the Milky Way, but everyone knows Mirus is the theater that will decide the war.”
Scramble for Mirus
- Further Reading: Scramble for Mirus
During the Scramble for Mirus in 2800, both the Delpha Coalition of Planets and the Xonexi Allies realized the immense strategic importance of the former Dominatus Mirusian territories, which harbored abandoned industrial facilities which, at a time, had been capable of rivaling the Gigaquadrant in terms of production. The Allies initiated a massive landgrab, seizing territories and facilities as rapidly as they could. A couple days later, the DCP initiated its own landgrab, and succeeded in subverting France's rush for Demogorgon Prime and the TIAF's bid for Manticore.
|DCP GAINS||ALLIED GAINS|
|Nation||Asset captured||Strategic significance||Nation||Asset captured||Strategic significance|
|Demogorgon Prime||Dominatus capital||Borealum Black Hole Foundry||High industrial power|
|Dominatem Interuniversal Syphon||Extreme industrial power||Oblivion Black Hole Foundry||High industrial power|
|Manticore||Hypergate infrastructure||Desolation Black Hole Foundry||High industrial power|
|Dominatem Black Hole Foundry||High industrial power|
|Apocalypse Black Hole Foundry||High industrial power|
In the end, both sides had captured roughly equal shares of territory, but the DCP found itself in possession of more megastructures of value, notably the Interuniversal Syphon, with the capability to harness primitive universes as sources of power. The Allies called it a draw, but the DCP was firmly aware of its advantage. Counterintuitively, this led them to invest fewer resources in the defense and development of their Mirusian territories than the Allies, who were scrambling to make up for their initial loss. The result was engineering leaps in adapting Tyranny technology to Allied purposes while the DCP focused its resources elsewhere.
Both the Allies and the DCP had predetermined battle plans for the Mirusian front before the outbreak of war. The Xonexi Operation Rubicon had been drafted as a preemptive attack by Allied planners, seizing Manticore and Demogorgon Prime before the DCP would have any time to bring its forces to the fore. The Allies sought to avoid protracted sieges in taking these planets, as a great amount of momentum would be required to bridge the divide between the isolated French territory and the rest of the Allied holdings. Once the French and TIAF forces had made contact, a concentrated push down the central Dominatus-built hyperlane would ensue, hopefully shattering the DCP defending forces in the crossfire.
The Allied plan relied entirely on the speed with which it could be carried out, and on the overwhelming force which the Allies could bring to bear. Their reconnaissance and espionage efforts told them that the DCP was spread thinly in Mirus, and they sought to capitalize on that as much as possible while not taking away too much manpower from the precariously balanced Milky Way front. That meant that they did not have the sheer numbers to overwhelm DCP superships, leading to the development and launch of the French Lafayette star dreadnought. While small for a supership, the Lafayette was built around an enormous Riftfire cannon capable of taring through starships and installations many times its size, hopefully giving the Allies the edge they needed against any DCP superships that might make an appearance. However, the technology was imperfect and untested, and many were skeptical as to the role it would play in the coming battle.
The DCP's plan-of-battle was far less conventional. Drawn up in 2801 by Commander Visan Narrisai, a rising young Grimbulosian reputed for his sly tactics and a penchant for offensive warfare, the strategy was delay the attacking Allied forces for as long as possible in protracted ground wars, especially on Manticore and Demogorgon Prime, while he took the entire DCP Mirusian fleet on a brazen offensive into French territory, where he estimated that the Allies would be at their weakest. His goal was to keep the French and TIAF forces apart, and the perfect way to do that would be to place himself right between them. In order to carry out this plan, however, he needed a bigger fleet than he had at his disposal. The DCP order of battle had prioritized deployments to other sectors, to the detriment of the Mirusian garrison. As war drew closer, Narrisai personally wrote to Emperor Wormulus II, imploring him to assign more starships to his command. Wormulus' answer was negative: the DCP was stretched so precariously thin that it could not afford to reinforce Mirus. However, Wormulus wrote, he appreciated the young Grimbulosian's plight, and such initiative as he demonstrated would not go unrewarded. The next day, an Obsidian-class superdreadnought arrived in Mirus. Appropriately, it been named, The Emperor's Will, a clear message to Narrisai as to its use.
At the onset of the war on April 5, 2802, command of the Mirusian theater was handed over to French Marshal Adrianne Delacroix. At her disposal was the Mirusian Army Group which contained a fifth of the French Army, the 1st Colonial Group of the French Starfleet, and the TIAF AA Mirus Expeditionary Battlegroup under the command of Admiral Ariana Draccard. In short, Allied forces were sparse in the theater, but Delacroix's orders from Allied High Command were clear: Capture Mirus.
On April 6, the Mirusian Army Group under Delacroix's direct command crossed the border in Eastern Dominatem, making a bold move for the fortified former Dominatus capital, Demogorgon Prime. At the same time, the TIAF Expeditionary Battlegroup under Draccard descended from the North and headed straight for Manticore. However, unlike what their intelligence and reconnaissance had led them to believe, the planetary defenses of these planets were fully operational. After defeating token defense fleets in orbit, both Allied leaders found themselves facing high-powered planetary shields, extensive ground-to-hyperspace batteries, and DCP garrison armies. While the planets that surrounded Manticore and Demogorgon Prime had all but been abandoned, those two fortified planets possessed enough firepower to severely hamper Allied movements in their respective sectors. There was no choice; they needed to be seized, and the only way to do that was through lengthy and costly sieges.
Battle of Aurélien's Pass
To the Allies' surprise, Narrisai did not immediately send the DCP fleet to break the sieges of Manticore and Demogorgon Prime. Instead, he gathered his forces at Chimerna, also known as Armageddon Prime, right in the center of DCP Mirus. On April 8, he finally set out along the central Dominatus hyperlane towards Manticore, though he quickly veered off course towards French territory. His target was Station M-11, a fortified megastructure placed behind a large hyperspatial rift that ran along the Franco-DCP border. The hyperspatial rift denied passage to hyperspace-capable starships for several thousand lightyears in either direction, making it the perfect natural fortification.
There was one location, however, where the fissure was far weaker, creating a tunnel through which starships could pass. It was at the end of this tunnel that Station M-11 had been erected, and towards which Narrisai rushed his forces. He assumed that France had sent all of its forces to besiege Demogorgon Prime, which would have meant that the only thing standing between him and French Mirus was an undefended border station. Unbeknownst to him, the 1st Colonial Group, led by Marshal Aurélien Ortiz, had taken up position inside the hyperspatial fissure where the DCP could not detect them. Its purpose had been to hold the Allied center and reinforce Allied forces over Demogorgon Prime or Manticore as needed.
On April 10, Narrisai led the DCP fleet through the pass. His vanguard was composed of his heaviest ships––including The Emperor's Will––and made the crossing with very few casualties to the Nante-class' fire. Immediately upon arriving on the other side, the vanguard directly attacked the station which, as he had hoped, was only defended by a token fleet. Confident of his victory, he sent word to the other side of the fissure for the rest of the fleet to follow him.
It was then, as the main body of the DCP fleet attempted the crossing, that Ortiz struck. From all directions and at many tactically important spots along the pass, his forces descended and fired Angelfires at almost point-blank range into the sides of DCP starships. In the chaos that followed, the DCP lost almost all cohesion. The difficult hyperspatial conditions inside the pass made it difficult for effective communication to happen along the convoy, a fact that was exacerbated by French subspace jamming. It would be an hour before a DCP starship could escape pursuing French corvettes to warn Narrisai of the ambush, and over that time, half of the DCP's effective fighting force in Mirus was lost.
Commander Narrisai had just finished storming the Nante-class when word came. The young Grimbulosian was livid, and he frantically turned his vanguard around and dove back into the pass with the Emperor's Will leading the way. Ortiz had prepared a small force of his best divisions to face the oncoming vanguard, but he had woefully underestimated the strength of the Obsidian-class and Narrisai's fury. In a chaotic engagement in which he himself endured a head injury, Ortiz was decisively routed and forced to retreat from the pass in disarray. The French fleet withdrew further into the hyperspatial fissure to recover.
While there was no clear winner in the Battle of Aurélien's Pass, the Allies had won a significant strategic victory. Half of the DCP's effective naval force perished in Ortiz's ambush, a crippling blow to Narrisai's plan to fully invade and neutralize French Mirus. In the short run, however, the tactical victory belonged to the DCP. They had managed to force Ortiz to retreat from the pass and had destroyed his heaviest ships in the process. After the battle, the 1st Colonial Group––primarily composed of light colonial corvettes––lacked the firepower to engage The Emperor's Will and Narrisai's vanguard of heavy battlecruisers. However, Narrisai decided not to pursue the remnants of the French fleet deeper into the fissure while they were still in disarray, despite the obvious threat of another ambush, a decision that would prove to be a godsend for the 1st Colonial Group. With Ortiz out of action, the 1st Colonial Group had no effective leadership and would not have been able to sustain another engagement. Narrisai, unaware of the French situation, squandered his opportunity and pressed on as fast as he could along his planned invasion route.
Second Battle of Demogorgon Prime
- - Marshal Delacroix, beginning the Second Battle of Demogorgon Prime.
At Demogorgon Prime, things did not look good for the French Army under the direct command of Marshal Adrianne Delacroix. From April 7 to April 10, the French launched a series of probing attacks to determine the DCP's defenses; most ended in catastrophe. Demogorgon Prime had been the homeworld of the legendary Dominatus and the capital of their Gigaquadrant-spanning empire. During the Dominatus War, it had taken the Gigaquadrant months to breach the planet's defenses one by one before finally storming it in a massive, bloody, and costly battle. The planet was protected by fortresses which boasted their own shield generators and deadly killzones in the surrounding terrain, while a massive planetary shield generator, one of the most efficient in the Gigaquadrant, blocked any form of orbital bombardment. Ground-to-space and anti-air batteries made getting close to the planet difficult, and landing troops almost impossible. All of these defenses had been rebuilt by the DCP on Narrisai's orders, and a large DCP garrison, led by Warlord Emathil Sorrass, manned the walls. In short, Demogorgon Prime was impregnable to a force the size of the Mirusian Army Group.
However, the defenses had one weakness which Delacroix was eager to exploit: Demgorgon Prime had been built during the height of the Drakodominatus Tyranny in the 2780's and 2790's, before the effects of the Hyperspatial Revolution could be felt on the wider Gigaquadrant. At the time, such weapons as hyperspatial missiles and Riftfire had been considered theoretical and impractical.
As such, Demgorgon Prime's defenses were meant to rebuke conventional attacks, not hyperspatial weaponry, and Delacroix possessed one of the largest hyperspatial weapons in existence: the Yakuza cannon aboard the Lafayette. On April 10, after carefully laying out an invasion plan with her staff, Delacroix ordered the French star dreadnought into range of Demgorgon Prime and had it fire a single Riftfire shot from its enormous weapon. It was the first time the Yakuza cannon was actually going to be tested, and it worked: after nearly ten minutes of charging, the craft's energy signature could be have been detected from a galaxy away. At the ten minute mark, the Lafayette accelerated its deadly payload to unimaginable speeds before launching it into a hyperspatial rift. Moments later, the rift reopened on Demogorgon Prime, inside the central power nexus which provided energy for the whole planet, and decimated it within seconds.
In a matter of hours, Demgorgon Prime went from the being most fortified planet in the Gigaquadrant to nearly defenseless. Meager power reserves everywhere ran out, and the planetary shield was finally forced to shut down. Ground batteries went offline, and the Tyranny's mighty fortresses lost the protection of their shields. On April 11, Delacroix ordered the Mirusian Army Group to attack, beginning with a massive aerial bombardment campaign which further crippled the cohesion of the defending forces, leading the way for French ground troops. After ten days of desperate fighting inside Tyranny fortifications, the last of Warlord Sorrass' forces had been killed, captured, or routed into the planet's unforgiving wilderness. On April 21, Demgorgon Prime had been captured by France.
Battle of the Rift
Still besieging the Manticore system, the TIAF AA Mirus Expeditionary Battlegroup under the command of Admiral Draccard were in a deadlock with the defending DCP forces. While the TIAF's forces vastly outnumbered Manticore's defenders, to storm the system would have incurred a disproportionate amount of losses on Draccard's fleets. With the 1st Colonial Group's loss at the Battle of Aurélien's pass, the Allied chiefs of staff in Mirus communicated through the ACV Xonexi's Resolve's quantum entanglement systems that a new strategy was needed to deal with the Emperor's Will, whose power was disproportionate to its size.
Marshal Delacroix and many in the French staff were of the opinion that the Lafayette's gun would be enough to deal with the DCP supership, though Draccard's officers were far more skeptical of the experimental weapon. They advocated a more conventional approach, having the TIAF AA Mirus Expeditionary Battlegroup join forces with the 1st Colonial Group to corner and destroy the Emperor's Will in a conventional but costly engagement. Despite Draccard's stiff dissent, Delacroix greenlit the plan which relied primarily on the Lafayette, taking it north along with several divisions of the French Army while the of the French Army Group pushed westward under the command of Sous-Marshal Morgan Desrocher.
TIAF seizes Aurélien's Pass
However, at Draccard's insistance, Delacroix also ordered the TIAF AA Assault Armada to head towards Aurélien's pass, leaving behind at Manticore a skeleton force to maintain the siege. They arrived at the pass on April 26, and after a series of skirmishes with a token DCP defense force, could claim full control over it. Draccard then ordered an assault on the DCP-held Station M-11.
Though severely damaged, the Nante-class station put what Draccard termed in her report as, "a hell of a fight." The crew, left behind with ample supplies and a steadfast garrison to cover Narrisai's rear, had been ordered to fight until the bitter end to slow down the TIAF's advance. It worked, and TIAF infantry casualties were extremely high, but by the end of April 27, it was Admiral Draccard who stepped on to the bridge of the devastated Nante-class and claimed it as her command center.
Campaign For Armaggeddon
As TIAF forces engaged the DCP at Aurélien's Pass, the Draconid Imperium capitalised the initiative by pressing forward towards the Apocalypse Black Hole foundry close to Armaggeddon Prime. Since the beginning of Operation Rubicon the Imperium had been making gradual progress engaging the DCP thoughout the Apocalypse sector, slowly gaining ground thougha rapid strikes. Executive Admiral Katrana Alesra, the commander of Draconid forces in the Mirus Galaxy knew that a war of attrition with the DCP was still unquestionable.
Since April 7, 2802, the Imperium had relied on mercenary forces and auxillary legions to engage in swift hit-and-run and sabotage operations to reduce the effectiveness of the DCP's power in the region, sending her fleets to engage the weakened DCP forces in order to claim victory. But this tactic was beginning to prove more and more costly as the DCP's Mirus teritories became increasingly heated between the four superpowers and Katrana knew it. Hoping to cripple the DCP's industrial base, she had requested increaed numbers in preparation for an inevitable all-out assault which Arala Voxis, the Imperium's egalavatus pressured on the territory's Galactic Senate.
Battle for the Apocalypse Foundry
At the conclusion of the Battle for Aurelian's Pass in April 27, 2802, the Imperium set it's plans in motion. Under command of Commodore Alasea Tanaleus and operated largely by larger android compliments, the 171st, 173rd and 174th fleets launched an ambitious assault on the Apocalypse Black Hole Foundry. In the wake of their recent defeats thoughout the territories, DCP forces had reinforced it with newly made ships. Confident that the forge could be fully restored, Alasea opned the assault with a riftfire barrage on the facility's key components and the larger warships in order to cause damage to the fleet and station before they energised their shields. For most of the battle the majority of carriers and dragonlance-class vessels, along with Alasea's own Worldravager class - the TAV Infernus, kept several AUs from the station itself, deploying it's fighters and smaller ships from afar. While the reinforcements concern was primarily from the foundry itself, Alasea had ordered for a metric bubble to surround the foundry prior to engagement in order to cut the station off from further outside help. The near vicinity of the foundry quickly became an intense furnace as the fabric of space itself was strained by weaponfire that bordered the speed of light and impacts reduced even the toughest steel and alloys ot molten slag. For hours the two sides kept firing, the Imperium's wolfpack cruiser and frigate fotillas exchanging fire spacetime-straining firepower with the vessels of the DCP, all the while projectiles on par with cosmic impacts battered the station's protective shielding and the ships that buzzed around it like gnats to an icon of cruelty.
Two hours in and hyperspatial fire began to stray close to the Imperial battleships, with further impacts tearing though shielding and crippling the larger warships. Under Alasea's command however the battlefleets did not waver despite their decreasing numbers and she mentally thanked the strategic decision to crew her ships with larger compliments of androids who could work in conditions that her organic crew could not. Her desire for a hit-and-run battle was shattered, each thump of the riftfire cannon built within the TAV Infernus slowly and gradually became more like a hammer in her heart as the battle dragged on and more and more ships were lost. She kept a steely resolve and kept her crew fighting. With crippled DCP ships she ordered for boarding crews to capture what they could, sending entire batallions of soldiers piloting remote-operated drone marines into the heart of several disabled, yet still functional wrecks while a number of forces, along with vehicles and drone aircraft were propelled into the foundry itself.
Despite tactics honed over centuries, he boarding teams faced a nightmarish resistance as not just the crew itself but the fabric of the ships (sometimes what was left of them) turned on the marines. The boaring asults were waged not just on the nanoscale, but also on the nanoscale as Imperial nanotech clouds released into the ships and station battled with the DCP nanotechnology that tried to kill the boarders and render all technology unrecoverable. Some places the invisible fighting became so intense that consoles were fried and some of the walls became searing hot from the war nanoscale war that raged on their surfaces. Four hours later and despite heavy casualties, word came over transmitters with a strong degree of exitement exitement - success. Despite all odds and facing some of the best the DCP had to offer, the Imperium pulled though, taking thousands of DCP soldiers and starship crewmen hostage and some of the components, some of which unfortunately had been warped and degraded to be difficult to analyse within the fleet. Worried that reinfrcements were waiting beyond the bubble and waited for confirmation from a reinforcing battlefleet before dispelling the metric bubble. Further nanites were dispersed thoughout the foundry to restore it and the DCP technology and prisoners of war the fleets had captured were returned to Imperial space for processing as quickly as logistics would allow. But Alasea felt she was not done, and set her sights on star maps of the greater Apocalypse sector.