| Neraida War is a Historical Event
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“Assimilation is now irrelevant. Prepare for annihilation. Your cities will burn. Your planets will be sundered. Your civilisation will be terminated. We are the Neraida. We are coming.”
- - Aedanius, Highdrone of the Gigamatrix
The Neraida War was a large scale conflict fought in the Cyrannus Galaxy between a Republic-led coalition against the invading hordes of the Neraida Gigamatrix. An attempt by the Neraida to wipe out the threat posed by the New Republic, the conflict began when the cybernetic juggernaut launched surprise attacks on five Republic outer colonies simultaneously, annihilating them completely. Under the decisive leadership of President Nexarón Valkistair, the Republic and their allies would rally against the cybernetic invaders in an attempt to destroy their menace once and for all.
Over the course of the Cyrannian year 09 NE, the Neraida launched many devastating attacks against Republic and allied worlds such as Coruanthor and Venetia, though a decisive victory utilising reverse engineered Neraida technology during the Defense of Angrenos and the subsequent Battle of Coruanthor led to the retreat of the Neraida armada from Republic space. In response, the Senate authorised a full-scale invasion of the distant sectors of Neraida space, seeking to locate and destroy the Neraida Core.
- Destruction of Ithirebor
The conflict began without warning. In the second month of 09 NE, a vast Neraida fleet appeared in the skies above the prosperous Republic world of Ithirebor, completely eradicating the planet's population of three billion. The Mou'Lhhei Star, a Aether-class corvette under the command of Commander N'vae Celeneos, was the sole vessel which returned to Republic space with the dire news of the planets destruction. The New Republic Senate was convened on the same day, with Senator Asharia Iessari lamenting the destruction of her world in a passionate speech, in which she called for the evacuation of worlds located close to Ithirebor in the event that the Neraida strike again. Just as Senator Apollo of Capricaerón was about to respond, an ominous message from the Neradia appeared on every screen in Republic space. It was a cybernetic replica of Apollo: Aedanius, Primary Highdrone of Core Matrix Twelve.
Thousands of light years away, the Triumvirate of One, the three Neraida overseeing their vast domain calculated their next move. When consensus was reached, the Neraida fleet had rallied. Under the leadership of the drone Aedanius and the Supercube, the Republic would fall. President Nexarón Valkistair quickly made an emergency address to the people of the Republic, promising that the Neraida would not succeed in their genocidal campaign. Rallying the Republic fleet, the President would claim that the Republic would not only endure the Neraida, but destroy them once and for all.
- The Day the Five Worlds Fell
Despite Nexarón Valkistair's declaration, the Republic would be wholly unprepared for what was to come. Five weeks after the destruction of Ithirebor, Republic Command lost contact with five Republic worlds in the Subrian Sector close to the Republic's core territories. The CRS Presidio under the command of Captain Dalkail was sent to investigate. To her horror, a vast Neraida Cube, the size of an average moon, was hovering over the shattered remains of the colony Barocamar, once a vibrant world but now the tomb of four billion. The Presidio managed to escape back to Republic space, bringing with it crucial information about what was dubbed the "Supercube". The Republic Military was at a loss to explain how the Neraida could attack secure worlds such as Barcocamar without leaving a trace as to the origin point of the attack.
Over the next five weeks, the Neraida would launch simultaneous attacks against multiple Republic colonies including Cernunnos, Xellunactos and Mou'Llhei. The timely intervention of the Republic's flagship, the Republica, under Fleet Admiral Willelmus Cretacea managed to repel the attack on Cernunnos, saving an estimated ten thousand citizens out of the colony's original population of five hundred million. Over Xellunactos, the Liberator-class Star Dreadnought Crucible sacrificed itself to save the Cognatus Order colony from a besieging Neraida dreadnought, while Mou'Llhei was saved only barely by the quick thinking strategies of Fleet Admiral Gialu Kaedar and the Star of Cyrannus.
While tracking the cube which attacked Cernunnos, Captain Helo Roslia of the Aeolus discovered that it had utilised a hidden wormhole located deep within the uncharted Concordian Nebula located close to Concordia. Though Roslia attempted to enter the Nebula, he was overruled by his superiors and told to report to Coruanthor for futher instructions.
On Mou'Cyran, Nexarón Valkistair attempted to improve the morale of the Republic's citizenry, announcing that Proconsul Athan Apostila had organised a summit of nearby allied powers which could rally to aid the Republic in their hour of need.
- Forging a Coalition
A week later, President Nexarón Valkistair had gathered political leaders from civilisations such as the Unified Order of Cognalorilos, the Allied Terran Republic, the Indoctrinate Collective and to the surprise of all, the Jenassian Regency and the Regellis Star Empire. Though Nexarón Valkistair was apprehensive to accept the aid of these former enemies of the Republic, the Proconsul convinced him that in the face of a mutual threat, even the once fiercest of enemies can come together. In the opulent halls of the Coruanthorian Capitol Building, the delegates from across known space gathered to discuss the existential threat of the Neraida. Though some questioned the lack of Imperial involvement, most attributed their absence from the gathering as a sign of President Nexarón Valkistair's staunchly anti-Imperial mindset. The truth would be quite different.
On Orbispira, the Imperial Senate met to discuss the Neraida attacks against the Republic. Senator Guolivian of Ancaoilion proposed that the Empire send a flotilla of Star Destroyers to help the Republic against their mutual foe. In his speech, Guolivian spoke of his belief that the Republic and the Empire should coexist and indeed work together to ensure future prosperity for the galaxy. Though his speech was well received in the Senate, it would be overuled by Grand Mandator Taev Vosaetiur, who privately confided in one of his aides that "the Republic will be destroyed, the Neraida damaged. When the dust settles, we will take full advantage."
By the end of the gathering on Coruanthor, the allied leaders of the Republic promised a vast contribution to the war effort against the Neraida. It was decided that the allied fleet would blockade the Concordian Nebula's wormhole.
The Invasion BeginsEdit
- Massacre at the Nebula
A week later, a vast fleet of ships gathered around one of the wormholes within the Concordian Nebula. Coordinated by Captain Helo Roslia, the fleet included ships from the New Republic, Rambo Nation, the Unified Order of Cognalorilos, the Jenassian Regency, the Regellis Star Empire and the Indoctrinate Collective. As they awaited word from the Aeolus to enter the portal, a sinister voice suddenly echoed throughout the fleet.
"Your cities will burn. Your planets will be sundered. Your civilisation will be terminated. We are the Neraida. We are here."
A vast Neraida fleet had emerged from the wormhole. The Undaunted, an Ares-class assualt frigate was the first to be destroyed, vaporised by a single shot from an advancing Neraida Cube. Responding quickly, Captain Roslia attempted to rally the fleet, though the order came too late to prevent the destruction of the Procurator-class Tyrena under the command of Captain Percles and the Legacy-class Bellerophon, which were both torn assunder by the cyborgs.
With a blast from a Neraida Dreadnought under the command of Aedanius himself, the Republic dreadnought Falcariae was disabled, prompting the CRS Celestes and the Cognatus battlecruiser Declaration of Triumph to rush to defend the flailing dreadnought. On the bridge of the Neraida flagship, Aedanius directed the Neraida fleet emotionlessly. His cybernetic eyes darted to the Celestes and the Declaration and with an telepathic command, ordered their destruction. The shiplord of the Declaration quickly pitched his migthy galleon to bare the brunt of the attack, saving Captain Achille and the Celestes at the cost of his own ship.
After Captain Roslia's last-ditch attempt to turn the tide of the battle, within minutes of the conflict's start, it was clear that the Allied fleet faced total defeat. Slamming his fist on his command chair, Roslia ordered the fleet to retreat. One by one, the surviving vessels retreated from the nebula–now the cold grave of over fifty thousand. Retreating back to the nearest Republic base, the allied fleet had lost over sixty percent of its fighting force to the Neraida, while many of the surviving vessels required extensive repairs.
On Mou'Cyran, President Nexarón Valkistair stood motionless watching battle reports streaming into his office. The Invasion had begun.
- Battle of Venetia
Venetia had not yet fully recovered from the Bisistar invasion it had suffered just five years prior. And now, perhaps as a sick irony, the nemesis of the Bisistar were now descending into the atmosphere of the planet. Venetia was the first victim of the Neraida invasion, the dreaded machines ambushing the planetary defenses and showing no mercy as they battled the fleet put there to defend the new home of the Ermitant. This time, it was clear the Neraida were attempting to approach the surface rather than simply destroying it from orbit, and the veterans of the Great War grew worried as they were reminded of these patterns.
It was all made clear when the Neraida Cubes begun deploying armored hives, launching them down at populated areas. These hives rooted themselves into the earth, opening themselves to reveal armies of robotic servants which immediately charged the population. Among them were the Conqrix, not seen under the Neraida since the end of the Great War, accompanied by the likes of Cyrannian Marinox and Caprigrox. The hive launched at the capital of Venetius City opened itself to reveal a tall Corthrinus whose body had been replaced by grotesque machinery from the waist down. Sakhmet.
"Your sin is not being Neraida. Your civilization will crumble. We do not forget."
The Republic Army deployed its heaviest gear to combat the horde of cybernetic terrors, flying vehicles being instructed to bombard the Conqrix hives in order to cease them from cloning further troops. The Republic had faced the Neraida on land before and knew leaving these machines standing would result in them being eventually overwhelmed. This came at the cost of the forced destruction of countless civilian homes, who were too close to the hives to not be caught in the fire's blast radius. Meanwhile, in orbit, the planetary defenses struggle to keep up with the invading Neraida until, like a miracle, reinforcements finally arrived and flanked the invaders, catching them by surprise. Even them, the Neraida were quick to retaliate, and continued to rip through the Republic fleets even when in a disadvantageous position.
Deinos-class Armored Transports marched into Venetius City alongside the armies of the Republic, the capital of Venetia turned into a detonating battlefield as they did their best to destroy the hive while Sakhmet and his forces cut through the capital's defenses, hoping to find whoever was identified as the planet's leader and dispose of them appropriately. Meanwhile, the soldiers of the army also noted how still-living inhabitants were being taken into the Conqrix hives, making it clear that the Neraida intended to not put all of the living beings in the planet to waste. The orders they received sent chills down the spines of lesser recruits: "Do not hesitate. They are being assimilated. Death will be mercy to them."
The battle lasted for around an hour until the Neraida fleet finally begun gaving in to the Republic's firepower, Cubes being shot down and coming to crash at Venetia's oceans, giving some captains a grim reminder of the Battle of Carindes. As the Conqrix hive was finally destroyed, artillery fire was shot at Sakhmet's direction, obliterating the Corthrinus and his drones before they could get to the government palace. This, of course, proved inconsequential as Sakhmet was recreated near instantly once again at Aedanius's Cube, merely leaving to prepare himself for the next attack.
At the end of the battle, Senator Milinitt of the Ermitant left the government palace to find a dead Dronox Commander's body blocking the doors. Looking beyond showed the battered capital was little more than ruins and piles of bodies of both soldiers and drones.
- Meeting on the Aeolus
“Fleet Admiral Cretacea wishes to inform you that a Neraida fleet approaches Angrenos. Naturally, I have formulated a defense strategy. I am sending your vessels schematics for matter turbocannons. Fire these concentrated streams of quark-gluon plasma at the Neraida and it should allow for a more efficient evacuation.”
- - Commander Selanius
Though the Battle of Venetia was won, it was a Pyrrhic victory. Many thousands of Republic lives were lost to defend the peaceful world from the nefarious Neraida advance. Nevertheless, victory ultimately came, and with it, a sigh of relief echoed throughout allied space. The Neraida could be defeated. Rallying to the Republic's struggle against the cyborgs, a coalition of allies met aboard the Aeolus in orbit over Angrenos, including Commandant Gavakar, Primarch Voro Acetenus and a large number of Republic commanders, representing many of the largest fleets in the Republic Navy. During the meeting, the former Caprigrox drone Selanius, who was rescued by Fleet Admiral Willelmus Cretacea many years previously. Selanius revealed that he had been developing a weapon system utilising recovered Neraida, Republic and Cognatus technology. Dubbed the matter turbocannon, it was agreed that the technology would be shared between the members of the Mou'Cyran Accords and used in preparation for the inevitable Neraida attack on Angrenos.
- Destruction at Narsul
The Republic was the sole target of the Neraida onslaught, and many wondered why they had not attacked the Empire. It was unlike the Neraida to go for such a direction, but these were facts that could not be ignored. At least, that was the case until a swarm of Neraida Cubes and Dreadnoughts descended upon Narsul, the Cyrannian capital of the Indoctrinate Collective, ripping through its planetary defenses with little impunity. The Gigamatrix was more advanced than the Collective in military terms, who struggled to defend themselves against the sudden appearance of the mechanical horde. There was no indication the Neraida planned to attack the planet, or the Collective at all, which took the defenses by surprise as they suddenly emerged over the atmosphere of the planet.
What followed was a massacre as Conqrix Hives were bombarded into the surface in high numbers. It was clear the Neraida intended to assimilate the planet rather than destroy it like they were doing with the Republic, and the Draka Fang quickly saw itself overwhelmed by swarms of Conqrix, Marinox and Caprigrox who showed no mercy to their enemies. Neither Aedanius nor Sakhmet led this invasion, as this was merely a branch of their fleet - an afterthought - led by many Dronox Commanders, who were already some of the most powerful warriors the First Gigaquadrant had ever witnessed. As the Hives root themselves to the capital of Narsul, the Commanders, typically silent, let out electronic hisses at the Collective soldiers around them.
"Do not interfere."
Now it was clear: the Neraida wanted the Collective out of their way in their march against the Republic. And to do so, they would consume it. The Collective stood no chance as Narsul was quickly destroyed, the population which did not manage to evacuate being kidnapped and processed at the Conqrix Hives to be assimilated. And once they were done, the Neraida abandoned the planet as quickly as they arrived, leaving no survivors on their wake. Reinforcements from the Borealis Galaxy were immediately called as the empire lost their galactic capital in a matter of hours.
Coru Secundus CampaignEdit
Defence of AngrenosEdit
“We must make our stand here, my friends. You all know the power and ferocity of our foe, but know this: We will never relent! The enemy will give no quarter, expect none. And give none. Prepare for battle and one day, this galaxy will be free from the scourge of these mechanical monstrocities. All ships, combat alert!”
- - Fleet Admiral Willelmus Cretacea
The Defence of Angrenos would prove to be a major turning point in the conflict, pitting the vast majority of the Neraida invasion fleet against the united armada of the Mou'Cyran Accords led by Fleet Admiral Cretacea. Led by the Neraida Supercube commanded by Aedanius of Neraida, the cyborgs launched a vicious attack, though they did not anticipate the various defences designed by Selanius, which utilised reverse-engineered Neraida technology against them. The Cognatus forces under the command of Primarch Voro Acetenus led the charge, being the first to fire the matter turbocannons shared amongst the largest vessels in the fleet. Initially, no damage was done, though upon a second volley from the entire forward line, the shields of the Neraida vessels ignited violently—sparking hundreds of what seemed to be microsupernovas. Ripping apart the hulls of over two hundred Neraida cubes, the central mass of the largest explosion suddenly began dragging nearby vessels into a sprawling mass of energy and debris. Even some undamaged vessels were torn off their course and into the hellish maw and once it had gained sufficient mass—it unleashed a vast wave of energy which incinerated a sizable portion of the surviving Neraida fleet. Before the allies could fire on the remnants of the fleet, Aedanius and his forces retreated, for they had one last move to play.
Turning Point at CoruanthorEdit
The ecumenopolis Coruanthor was the most heavily populated world in New Republic space, mirroring in many respects the galactic capital Orbispira. The skies over the planet are often filled with songs of prosperity and commerce, with trade vessels from across the Gigaquadrant arriving on a constant basis. A day after the Defence of Angrenos however, the city world was darkened by a very grave threat, the Supercube under the command of Aedanius II of Neraida. Without mercy, Neraida dispersal pods were launched toward the surface of the planet reflective of Aedanius' eagerness to annihilate every square metre of this hubworld of the Republic.
The remnants of the Neraida fleet quickly annihilated the defence fleet over the planet, which had not yet been upgraded by Selanius' upgrade. Debris rained down onto the planet's surface, annihilating entire city blocks, with the Neraida's orbital bombardment incinerating entire regions of the city world. The shattered remnants of the defence fleet attempted to open fire, but it was ultimately to minimal effect, with the entire planetary defensive perimeter soon collapsing into fire and debris. At the very centre of the moon-sized Cube, Aedanius ordered a slight course alternation, bringing the nefarious vessel on an unrelenting course toward the besieged planet. Just as the cube was about to fire its primary continent-smashing weapon, Fleet Admiral Willelmus Cretacea's joint armada dropped out of hyperspace, with ships from the Allied Terran Republic, the Indoctrinate Collective, the Cognatus Order, Apalos, the Delpha Coalition of Planets and the Talven Empire amongst the growing fleet.
Fighting valiantly against the Neraida, the allies ultimately gained the upper hand despite seemingly insurmountable odds, with the Supercube ultimately flailing under the intense allied bombardment, with the Republica dealing what seemed to be the killing bow. However, Aedanius had engaged the cube's self-destruct protocols just prior to downloading his consciousness to another body in Neraida space. The resulting explosion from the destruction of the cube showered the surface of Coruanthor with debris, utterly devastating large portions of the planet.
Attack on the RepublicaEdit
Three days after the Bombardment and subsequent Battle of Coruanthor, the CRS Republica underwent a reconnaissance mission near the wormhole in the Concordian Nebula, the key point through which the Allies planned to soon invade Neraida space. There, it was ambushed by the sole Neraida dreadnought operating in Republic space. Though heavily outmatched by their foe, the crew of the Republica pulled together, with Admiral Cretacea ultimately making the difficult decision to "ram the frakkers", destroying the dreadnought and severely damaging the Republic's mighty flagship. Hurtling toward the surface of a nearby moon, the Republica was saved from destruction by the prompt arrival of the Endurance of the Hallowed Star, under the command of Fleetlord Morin Ehtar, who agreed to tow the ship back to the nearest starbase. Though most of Cretacea's crew had survived the encounter with the Neraida, many others, such as his own first officer were killed and the flagship itself, regardless of whether or not it could be repaired, would be incapable of participating in the push into Neraida space. Nevertheless, despite his injuries, Cretacea was resolved to personally partake in the final destruction of the Neraida—for his son, for the lives of the Neraida's victims and for the members of his crew who would not live to see the end of the cyborgs.
Push into Neraida SpaceEdit
Entering the WormholeEdit
The devastation of Coruanthor strengthened the resolve of the allied forces, who, under the command of Fleet Admiral Cretacea, pledged that no other world would share the same fate. Hurtling through hyperspace, the allied Armada dropped into realspace in the midst of the Concordian Nebula, where the destroyed husks from the previous battle still littered the stellar landscape. For the admiral, it was difficult to put the thought that they cruised in the midst of an open grave of tens of thousands of former comrades to the back of his mind, though in an effort to remain composed in front of his subordinates, he remained strong. With the Republica undergoing extensive repairs, he led the fleet from the Aeolus, the command of Captain Helo Roslia, who stood alongside the Admiral as they looked upon the gathered allied fleet.
Commandant Gavakar was at the head of the forces of the Indoctrinate Collective, eager to avenge Narsul and crush the Neraida under her talons. For destroying their capital, she demanded payback in blood. In contrast, the cold calculations of Apalos saw the previous defeats of their allies as a tactical advantage: if necessary, the scattered shipwrecks would provide cover and concealment from which their starfighters could strike out against the Neraida in ambush. The Rammo-Delphan commander looked upon the shipwrecks with a glint of glory in his eye. The coming battle he hoped would be just as fiercely intense. Poems and songs would be written of this great-great day and his name may be uttered for generations to come should he fall, so long as his fight was glorious for the Delpha Coalition of Planets. Meanwhile various Rambo Nation vessels joined the fleet as well, led by the venerable captain Garan Andarch.
On the bridge of the Herald of Retribution, Primarch Voro Acetenus stood with his hands clasped behind his back, his golden armour gleaming and his blade ready to piece the collective heart of the Neraida. Under his command was a large fleet of vessels loyal to him, including the Endurance of the Hallowed Star under the command of Morin Ehtar. Representing the Terran Republic was Admiral Juliana Reynolds of the A.T.S. Everest as well as a small, but powerful flotilla of Terran vessels assigned to the Cyrandia Cluster.
Captain Garan Andarch, on board his prized Excelsior-Class the USS Royal Oak, looked at the sensor readings lieutenant Codoberia gave. Reading over them he looked at his second in command, commander Mykera K'rell who raised an eyebrow, sceptical of the plan ahead. Rising from his chair he approached his helm officer, ensign Zule Grunzar who was trembling behind her console. Placing a hand on her shoulder he told her not to be afraid at the sight of battle and gave the order for red alert. At the signal Zule moved the Royal Oak closer to the wormhole, ready to follow the Aeolus. Flanked by the Talven Empire's Kraken-class carrier-ships, the Storm of Votum moved into a defensive formation with two Minotaur-class cruisers - the Sword of Obitus and the Indomitable - taking advantage of overlapping shields. Admiral Drusa Lucilius leaned forward in her command chair, staring forward with both eyes while grimly preparing herself for the battle to come.
Next came the Mendel Pact, led by Carchal Nal and his warriors. Ever hungry for battle and bloodshed, Carchal declared his arrival, and boasted that he would not leave this battle until every Neraida drone lay dead. The warriors with him declared similar oaths to the Republic and her allies. From the lumbering, spherical vessels of the Orgaat, to the sleek war ships of the Ugandalorians, Carchal had prepared a mighty force, and was ever eager to put their skills to the test, and gave a silent prayer that the warriors who fell here could find peace. After the Mendel Pact came a new nation on the galactic stage, the United Order of Tophos, led by the Meritocrat of War, Archon Apuhána Tititaru. While he and his warriors were new to wars of such scale, they were well experienced in fighting the Neraida. As the Archon, watching from the command center of the Thunder of Harna, felt a twang of anger and remembered all that he had lost to the soulless drones, he and his warriors made a solemn oath to not leave Cyrannus till the war had been won and the Neraida crushed. Arriving last, but certainly not least, were the Waptoria Alliance of Species. By now, their Biotics were well-adapted to their enemies in the Cyrannian sphere. The armor forming the hulls of their ships was thicker than normal -as was the bark plating the crew- and a heavy dose of adaptive immunity cells moved trough both, reducing the chance of assimilation. Though their ships would be more sluggish as a result, their long-ranged capacities were be unhindered.
Battle of the Viridescent NebulaEdit
Each and every officer from each civilisation knew that the odds were stacked against them. The wormhole which lay before them led directly to the heart of Neraida space, a region from which not a single soul had ever returned from. Nevertheless, the importance of the campaign was clear. If successful, one of the most dangerous threats to Gigaquadrantic stability would be destroyed, a thought which propelled the allies forward. Sighing deeply to himself, Cretacea gave the order and the fleet began to move slowly but surely toward the maw of the wormhole. The Aeolus was the first to enter and the first to emerge thousands of light years away, the hue of the alien nebula casting an ominous green glow over the allied vessels as they materialised in uncharted space.
Sensors quickly detected a small Neraida fleet stationed near the mouth of the wormhole. Given the size of the force, it was clear that the Neraida had not anticipated a move so audacious as an invasion into the heart of their space. The single Cube, in addition to a small escort of spheres, quickly reacted to the new arrivals, firing green lances of plasma toward the Allied fleet, which impacted against the shields of the larger vessels while causing minor hull damage to weaker corvettes and frigates.
The Collective fleet responded by firing all they had at the enemy, focusing their attack on the larger Cube as they employed their shipeaters. Gavakar would see the Neraida devoured and reduced to nothing. The Republic starships, led by the Aeolus, unleashed volleys of turbolasers, while the Cognatus vessels lined up to fire their devastating deconfinement disruptors. As they had done at Coruanthor, the Apalos probes took up a supporting role, providing additional firepower where it was most needed and taking some of the hits that had been intended for allied corvettes. Their Imperium-class ships, meanwhile, had joined the Republic's flotillas of Star Destroyers. Their largest vessel, the mothership Apalos, held back, as if saving herself for a tougher fight. Until that fight came, her presence was in a purely noncombatant role, acting as a hospital ship and mobile repair base for the allies.
The Delphan's Desolation class maneuvered into action. Normally a ship used for planetary bombardment, it was planned to be of use against the Neraida nexus of superstructures believed to lay in their space. The Desolator unleashed a single bolt of hypermatter that immediately decayed into a violent burst of matter, electromagnetic and gravitational radiation that was itself twisted into a lance by a hypermatter-powered warp field straight into the bulk of the Neraida cube.
As the other ships moved into the fray, the Royal Oak began its assault as well, using its phasers and photon torpedoes to fire on critical points at the Neraida vessels, trying to weaken shields and weapon systems. However the Royal Oak took damage as well, one beam of energy cut through the saucer and caused heavy damage and the death of 15 crewmembers. The energy surge caused damage on the bridge as well, even lightly injuring Garan Andarch when a metal plate fell upon him. Though damaged and hurt, the Rambo vessel and crew were far from crippled and after a turn they began their assault anew.
The Talven warships headed straight for the Cube, trying to draw its fire. While they approached, a wave of fighters spread out among the allied fleets nearby, assisting a few of the ships that endured concentrated barrages from the Neraida. In response, a beam from the cube's Antiproton Hyperbeam Array shot past the Talven ships, annihilating several corvettes and crippling one of the two Kraken-class carrier ships. As the ship began to launch its remaining fighters, Lucilius redirected the Talven assault towards a Neraida sphere, disabling its weapons on one side. The Talven ships turned back to the Cube, and the second Kraken-class carrier ship took hold of the sphere with its tractor beams, moving it between the Cube and the crippled warship. Aiming the Storm of Votum and several other cruisers at a weak spot in the Neraida's shields, Lucilius charged at the Cube once more, before turning sharply out and away. As the Cube's point defense systems followed the Talven ships, the Sword of Obitus and the Indomitable rammed into its hull, disrupting the power supply to a large section of the ship.
At the start of the battle, the Waptoria hung back, the adaptive camouflage of their ships blending them in with the the dense cloud of interstellar dust as they took position. They seemed content to simply give fire support to whatever ally needed it most, though their fleet split up and kept moving to the sides of the nebula as the battle advanced. Finally, they reason why was revealed as they joined the battle in full via a pincer movement.
Carchal ordered his forces forward, ordering them to prepare their forces for battle. The slower, more armored Orgaat War-spheres moved forward, as the Mendel vessels opened fire with their longer ranged weaponry, giving them cover so the Orgaat could bring their shorter ranged, ballistic and laser weaponry to bear. Carchal's flagship, the Blade of the Void, rocked as it was hit repeatedly by Neriada fire, but ordered his troops to maintain formation and keep up their attack. Nothing would distract them from victory now, not even the little patter of rain from the Soulless Ones' ships. The spear formation moved foward, bearing down on the core of the enemy fleet.
The warships of the Order of Tophos charged at the Cube, wanting to attack it head on. Archon Tititaru ordered the Serpent-class starfighters to be released and fight the Cube. Despite having much experience with Neraida, the Archon was surprised and he slammed his fist as he saw the Cube firing at the Tophosian fighters and the nearby Durga-class assault frigates, annhilating most, if not all of the star fighters and crippling three of the four Durga-class assault frigates, while the other one managed to escape with only minor damage. As the fighters from the remaining fleet were being launched, Tititaru sent the order to attack with more intensity, as well as attacking nearby Spheres. They began to gain ground, though the Archon's Thunder of Harna was racked by Neraida fire, yet the Tititaru managed to evade the worst of it. As the fleet began to disable the power on some of the Spheres, the Archon positioned his three main cruisers, the Thunder of Harna, the Arrow of the One and the Invincible, at the Neraida Cube, ready to charge. They then fired several successful shots, disrupting the weapons on a considerable section of the Cube.
Under the intense allied bombardment, the Cube finally exploded, the ensuing explosion consuming its escorts. The Allies had won a victory, though the campaign had only just begun.
Establishing a FootholdEdit
The Allied fleet had successfully branched out from the wormhole and into unexplored space, dominated totally by the Neraida. Individual vessels from the multitude of civilisations contributing to the invasion began to conduct survey missions into nearby systems, many of which hid secrets dating back from before the rise of the Neraida tens of thousands of years ago. One such vessel, the Cognatus cruiser Glorious Pinnacle, vanished mysterious near the wormhole arrival point. Leading a personal mission to recover the crew of the Pinnacle, Primarch Acetenus' shuttle was shot down by the Neraida over a desolate ice planet. There, he faced down his foe, a Dronox Commander, with a vicious duel erupting between the two warriors. Though injured in the bout, Voro ultimately struck down his foe, severing its head and upper torso with a swing from his energy blade. In the warrior culture of the Cogsangui, such a glorious victory echoed back to Cognatus space, where tales of Voro's heroism and skill in battle inspired the warriors fighting in the Sundering of the Cognatus.
Mystery of the NagithEdit
“"New" Republic? That implies the Republic I once fought is no more. During my time of service, I would react to such news with some joy. But now, I have no reason to feel anything but apathy. You fight a lost war, for the Children cannot be defeated. They have surpassed the Nagith.”
- - Vanikaimar
Thousands of light years away from the frontlines of the Neraida War, the mysterious Master Ryen, on the planet Aldár detected a mysterious Oikoumene signal emerging close to the advancing allied fleet. Successfully using his connections to Senator Apollo, Ryen was granted permission by the Republic to join the crew of the Aeolus on a mission to uncover the origin of the signal. Travelling with Captain Helo Roslia, Ryen and the captain barely survived an ambush from the Neraida drone such as Sakhmet, though they both managed to defeat the assimilated Corthrinus and uncover the direct coordinates to the site. Following the coordinates, the Aeolus arrived in orbit over what was soon dubbed the Girithion Sphere, a massive dyson sphere unlike any previously discovered. It was clear from the architecture that the sphere had been created by the Oikoumene and subsequently inhabited by the ancient Nagith Empire, the enigmatic creators of the Neraida. Both Ryen and Captain Roslia travelled deep within the sphere, where they discovered a facility, within which housed a single stasis pod. Activating the pod, Ryen and Roslia awoke the ancient Nagith warrior known as Vanikaimar, who agreed to join the allies in their fight against his "children".
Battle of the Temporal GatewayEdit
“Fascinating. The Neraida are attempting to open a temporal portal, captain! Who knows what kind of damage they could inflict if they manage to successfully open one. It's imperative that this gateway be destroyed.”
- - Doctor Dané Elenya
In the month since the armada arrived in Neraida space, dozens of engagements had erupted in the region surrounding the nebula, not least of all at the Girithian Oikoumene Sphere, where the Aeolus had recently discovered the last surviving Nagith. Patrolling in orbit around the allied-controlled sphere, the Republic Star Destroyer Concord and the Collective starship Liberty were assigned to look out for any nearby Neraida forces, the bulk of which appeared to be engaged with the primary fleet over twenty light years away. During the patrol, Doctor Dané Elenya detected high concentrations of chroniton particles indicative of an attempt to disrupt the timeline.
Commanding a small fleet of Republic and Collective starships, Captain Onon Vebbar and Commandant Gavakar discovered a Neraida gateway which the cyborgs were preparing to use to travel through time and limit the threat posed by the allied forces. Nevertheless, apparently under the impression that their gateway was hidden, the Neraida presence in the system was minimal, thus allowing the Republic and the Collective to quickly destroy their fleet and after three minutes of continuous fire, the gateway. By the time the flotilla returned to the allied staging area, Captain Vebbar was informed that contact had been made with a species of alien known as the Aevarin, which controlled an empire on the fringes of Neraida territory. With the temporal portal destroyed, the Neraida would be forced to fight conventionally and should the Aevarin be believed, they may hold a key to their ultimate defeat.
A Gathering DarknessEdit
“You are weak. We are strong. We are superior.”
- - Bisistar transmission during the Fall of Aevarin Prime
Located on the borders of Neraida space, the Aevarin Imperium made first contact with the Terran dreadnought Everest during a patrol operation several parsecs away from the Nebula. The reptilian Aevarin people were protected from Neraida fleets by an unusually high concentration of hypermatter fog surrounding much of their star system, preventing the cyborgs from invading Aevarin Prime in the past. Nevertheless, according to the Aevarin Grand Exarch, their fleets often came into conflict with Neraida vessel outside their home system, eventually developing an unusually high level of resistive technologies capable of successfully defending their ships against Neraida technology. As such, when the Everest returned to the Allied base in the Nebula, Fleet Admiral Cretacea was keen to ally with the powerful alien civilisation, in the hopes of utilising their technology in the fight to come. Travelling to Aevarin Prime via the Star Destroyer Aeolus, Fleet Admiral Cretacea was horrified to see that much of the planet had been assimilated, likely in a Neraida sneak attack which somehow managed to breach the fog which had for so long defended their system against such an attack.
Just as the Aeolus was about to retreat, it was joined by two Aevarin cruisers, which had cloaked to defend themselves against the Neraida invasion. According to the Aevarin commander, the Neraida were desperate to attack Aevarin Prime when they learned that their researchers had developed a virus capable of infecting the entire Neraida Gigamatrix. Unwilling to let such a virus disappear from their reach, Admiral Cretacea dispatched a team of Republic marines led by Commander Selanius to the research base on the southern coast of one of Aevarin Prime's southern continent.
While Selanius successfully retrieved the research team and their virus, the planet suddenly came under attack by the Bisistar Domain, which began annihilating the Neraida ground forces utilising gigantic tripodal walkers. Managing to escape in the chaos, Selanius, the Republic marines and the Aevarin scientists arrived on the Aeolus just in time to witness the Bisistar unleash their firepower on the planet, destroying it and every living thing on the surface. While the allies had successfully retrieved the virus, the loss of the vast majority of the Aevarin race, not to mention the entry of the Bisistar into the conflict overshadowed the mission's success, regardless of its significance in the future of the conflict.
Battle of the Neraida CoreEdit
Over the course of the next two weeks after the Battle of Aevarin Prime, the surviving Aevarin scientists, in close cooperation with Selanius and the best minds of the Indoctrinate Collective began to work toward the perfection of the anti-Neraida virus. While Allied Central Command was initially fearful that the Bisistar would attack both the allies and the Neraida, they breathed a collective sigh of relief when reports came in that the nefarious shapeshifters were concentrating their efforts on their ancient cybernetic foes. Indeed, some of the more bold commanders even recommended approaching the Bisistar with a non-aggression pact in order to rally against the Neraida for a final, joint push against the Neraida Core—the central intelligence hub of their collective. With the precise location of the Neraida Core installation confirmed by a scouting mission by the ancient Nagith warrior Vanikaimar, the allied leaders gathered on board the Star Destroyer Aeolus for one final meeting.
Captain Garan Andarch of Rambo Nation had called for fresh reinforcements from the Quadrant Galaxies and his pleas were heard. Among them were Delphator-Class and at least five Constitution-Class heavy battle cruisers. Rambo Command wished to conduct it's forces to participate in battle what they do best, using the agility of their vessels to charge and provide covering fire for the larger and slower vessels. At the bridge of her ship, Commandant Gavakar was eager to give the order to attack, wanting nothing more than the complete decimation of the Neraida, while the ancient Vanikaimar watched it all unfold in silence, his arms crossed behind his back - it was him who revealed to them the location of the Neraida Core, though he remained pessimistic. This victory, should it happen, would be temporary at best.
Carchal Nal cracked his armored knuckles in excitement. The air inside his ship, and, indeed, all of those under his command, where filled with a certain energy that seemed to empower all of them. The Mendel prepared their blades and rifles, as Orgaat sharpened their knives and cleaned their teeth and claws for the battle to come. The coming battle would be hard, but such was welcomed. After all, easy battles where not remembered in the grand sagas by the Clan elders! Better to sweat a little here, and be remembered forever, as the Mendel thought. Carchal was eager, promising to personally take the head of one hundred Neraida Caprigrox himself in the coming battle, his warriors laughing and jostling each other before the fight began.
Group Commander of the Fifth Group of the Leigon Beta Wing, also known as the Blood Fire Irregulars, Forterra Noxis Tuzum and her Djinn Lineage Precore Dragon mount and bond Blood Fire couldn't have been more excited. It was battles like this she lived for. In a distance land against a foe she had never encountered before. It was so gloriously unpredictable, down right electrifying, and she felt ecstatic. Almost high on the promise of the glorious combat to come.
Amongst the Republic commanders present was Captain Roslia himself, joined by Admirals Cretacea, Kuestantine and Vinchauk, who brought with them the combined force of the Grand Republic Fleet, the Nineteenth Fleet and the Thirty Second Fleet into one large armada. Other officers included N'vae Celeneos of the Mou'Llhei Star and Commodore Thonaloc of the Valour, who was eager to witness the destruction of the Neraida. The sentiment was echoed by Primarch Voro Acetenus, who was joined by a trio of his most trusted commanders. Acetenus, who had a long history of conflict with the Neraida, was sceptical that they could win the day, but did not voice such fears, instead rallying his troops and his ships in one final push to victory.
Battle in the ConstructEdit
With the meeting concluded on the battleplan established, the fleet made the collective jump into hyperspace, soon arriving in orbit over the vast Neraida megastructure, only to realise that it was already under siege by a vast Bisistar fleet. Nevertheless, the Neraida had pulled their entire military might into the defense of their home, led directly by the will of the Triumvirate of One, the sole surviving original Neraida created eons ago by the Nagith. Leading the charge, the temporary flagship of the fleet, the massive Cognatus Assualt Carrier Herald of Retribution led the charge, taking aim at the nearest Neraida dreadnought and unleashing the full power of its plasma beams.
Mendel Koridalbe-class Battleships lumbered forth from the void to engage, plasma and Mass Driver canons lining up their shots against the Neraida, as Star-Serpent Fighters zipped about, unloading their weapons at the massive, monolithic vessels of the Soulless Beasts. Orgaat War-Spheres got as clsoe as they could, unloading blast after blast from their ballistic canons, as the Orgaat's own fanged jaws dripped with saliva, thirsty for blood. The Warriors within the Mendel ships, from the short Togunda to the powerful Mendel, all gave fierce battle cries, the excitement having built to a fevered pitch.
An explosion of crimson fire roared forth as the Persan spacecraft, lead by the Bahamut-class Dreadnaught Hard Drive Divine, exited from a Accel Space for a surprise strike the red bolts of Anti-Ion Plasma Lasers burning through hull as cracker railguns shattered through their targets and spacial missiles tracked and annihilated large chunks of Neraida ship. Persan nanoswarms that proceeded to infect the enemy craft and begin a battle with Nerida's own nanobots, a micro scale war was afoot. Any enemy ships that got too close were met with the Persan craft's ramming end, though most of the time the fast and agile Persan ships simply weaved in between the foes, gracefully dancing around the enemy.
The Republic vessels began unleashing their turbolaser batteries, while on the Aeolus, Selanius gathered a ground team to infiltrate the Core and plant the virus. The group, consisting of the mysterious Master Ryen, the Cogsangui fleetlord Morin Ehtar, his young student Ankhnes Nar Monomai, Vanikaimar and lieutenant Codoberia of the USS Royal Oak. Embarking on a shuttle as space lit up around them, the occupants of the shuttle were shocked to see that the Bisistar vessels began lining up with the allied lines against the Neraida, with the sinister voice of the Tabornok Serecaractaes echoing across the allied communication net, informing them that for the time being, an uneasy truce was in effect.
Carchal shifted uneasily at the voice of the Bisistar, but said nothing, only preparing his sword, and motioning for a squadron of his best Super-Commandos to follow him to the boarding craft, as the Orgaat began selecting their own warriors to assist, lead by Shifter O'Cari. Meanwhile on a Cheshire-class Medium Carrier Forterra grinned in savage excitment. It has to long since she had felt an enemy being torn to shreds by her claws, okay so it had been a week or so ago, but as far as Forterra was concerned that was too long. The Extradimensional Boarding Chains were ready and she and her group where just waiting to be teleported aboard. Primarch Voro Acetenus, eager to fight alongside his new allies, rallied his warriors in the dropship as it approached one of the largest Neraida Cubes. Their mission was simply—cause as much damage as possible and distract the Neradia away from Selanius in his attempt to deploy the virus.
When all of the warriors touched down, they brandished their blades, relishing the chance to combat the Caprigrox, the Marinox and their vile ilk. Boarding Chain blades buried themselves in the Cube's hull and teleported Forterra and Blood Fire wreathed it flames with their plasma cannons and lances ready and soilders armed to the teeth behind them. Carchal and 8 Super-Commandos arrived, his red and blue armor standing out from his warrior's own Blackened armor, weapons primed and ready, as Carchal prepared his Claymore for battle, as they where further joined by a large company of Orgaat Warriors, their agile forms pock-marked with scars and cuts, their bladed rifles loaded and ready.
Rushing forward came a horde of mindless Neraida drones from a wide variety of races across the Gigaquadrant. Voro let out a roar and charged forth, blade in hand, cutting down any drone within his reach. Forterra and Blood Fire simultaneously roared and unleashed a blast of flame that vaporised several enemies at once before fallowing up with several rounds of plasma for Blood Fire's gatling guns. Forterra jumped down and began slashing a stabing through Nerida as she danced through her Dragon bond's flames, a vicious grin plastered across her face as a twisted laungh issued fourth. The Super-Commandos took up firing positions, opening fire with their pulse weaponry and gunning down Drone after Drone, as Carchal threw himself at the strongest foes, his two-handed blade whirling about and cutting down Drone after drone that got in his way. The Orgaat packs lept into battle, brutally ripping their foes apart with rifle roads, blades, and their own claws as they fought.
After hours of tireless battle, the allies were pushed back to the shuttle, with a seemingly endless horde of drones appearing from where the others fell. Voro and his warriors began singing a battle song, planning to bring as many drones with them as possible. Just when all hope seemed lost, however, the Cube was rocked by explosions, while all around them, drones began to collapse to the floor, their circuits and biological implants malfunctioning. The virus had them in its grasp. Forterra ground ones head into the floor with mild disappointment, it had just been getting good as far as she was concerned. Grumbling to herself she got back on Blood Fire with a slight sigh. It would do for now though, she was due to head back to east of Mirus anyway. More scelus to stomp out, there was always more. Though this had been fun, she supposed and they had won, that was what really mattered. Carchal, covered in the blood and circulation fluid of many a fallen drones, gave a great shout to the gods, as his Super-Commandos joined him, the Orgaat hissing and shrieking in delight from the great battle, before ritually eating their fallen kinsmen to return their genetics back into the tribe. When Carchal was finished, he promised that he would name his children after his brave comrades who had given their lives here, and prepared to return home, to make sure everything was well back in the colonies.
With the Neraida distracted by the vast spacebattle, the ground team landed the shuttle and began making their way toward the central hub of the Core. The Neraida had deployed vast legions of cybernetic troops, including the assimilated drones of countless disparate species, augmented Caprigrox, Dronox and Marinox, capable of laying waste to entire armies. Utilising stealth however, the team swiftly navigated the seemingly endless corridors of the Core, dispatching enemies in utterly silence before moving on. However, Aedanius II of Neraida detected their arrival and had been tracking them as they moved toward him, ensared in his trap. When they reached the primary hub, Selanius prepared to deploy the virus, only to be blasted back by a blow from Aedanius. With blades in hand, Ryen, Ehtar, Ankhnes and Vanikaimar faced down their foe, with Ryen's attempts to telekinetically toss Aedanius to the ground hampered by the drone's countermeasures. At that moment, the ancient Nagith rose a hand in front of the others, as if telling them to back away, as he stepped forward.
From his hand, Vanikaimar revealed a highly advanced staff, from which a long blade emerged at its tip. He looked at Aedanius with an expression of utter disgust - he represented all of the most vile properties of the "Children" who had destroyed his people. The drone opened fire only for the Nagith warrior to charge through his shots fearlessly, swinging his staff over his head in a powerful blow which left a wide cut across Aedanius' chest, causing the drone to stagger - at which point, the Nagith ordered the others to strike. Left distracted by Vanikaimar, the Cogsangui warriors proceeded to strike at Aedanius with their energy blades while Ryen forced him against the ground with his telekinesis, until the ancient Nagith swung his staff once again, his blade severing the drone's head from its shoulders. The insidious clone of Apollo had been defeated.
With the virus in hand, Selanius looked up to see the Triumvirate of One. The original Neraida did not resemble their original creators, having advanced through thousands of years to an almost completely mechanical form. Nevertheless, they appeared powerless to act against the instrument of their destruction. With determination in his eye, Selanius injected the virus into the nearest console, causing the facility's lights to flicker and dim. All around, the drones which had rushed to the defense of their central hive fell to the ground, deactivated. All around them, explosions began rocking the Core, blasting massive chunks of debris into space. The Triumvirate remained where they stood, experiencing a fleeting moment of individuality for the first time in millennia.
The central Neraida watched emotionlessly as the two by its side disintegrated into nothingness. Falling to its knees, it gazed at Vanikaimar in a manner that Ryen found piteous. When it spoke, its voice was soft, though unmistakably mechanical.
"But... Father... perfection was in our grasp... Parents have to die, it is the only way children can come into their own. We f-failed you."
The lights in the Neraida's eyes went out and the last Neraida fell to the ground, dead. Vanikaimar looked down upon the Neraida, somewhat astonished by the fact the virus appeared to have worked. He put his staff aside and turned away, not wanting to look upon the pitiful form of the Neraida any longer.
"Today, the Fathers have outlived the Children."
The destruction of the Neraida had an indelible impact on the civilisations of the Cyrandia Cluster, shifting the power structure of Cyranai and the Unknown Regions of Cyrannus irrevocably. In the Quadrant Galaxies, the Quadrantia Grox, due to their separate origins from the original Nagith-created Neraida, were only silently impacted by the destruction of their brethren, while in Cyranai, the loss of the hivemind separated some individual Cubes, forging independent factions of Marinox and Caprigrox drones. However, these factions became easy prey for the resurgent Bisistar Domain, which quickly launched a campaign to conquer the space previously occupied by the Neraida, an ambition mirrored by the United Order of Tophos and its Sublime Territories, a rising power in the Cyrandia Cluster.
In Cyrannus, the Republic, invigorated by the final defeat of the Neraida began renewed colonisation efforts into the Unknown Regions, under the aegis of the joint Pathfinder Fleet Project with Rambo Nation. The two allies sought to discover more Oikoumene constructs in the depths of space, only to encounter aggressive factions such as the Ecclessoth Convocation, which sought to expand their dominion into the now-empty Neraida domain. While millions were killed in the conflict, the Republic emerged from the Neraida War as a considerably more powerful civilisation, armed with reverse-engineered Neraida technology capable of challenging the Galactic Empire of Cyrannus.