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The future heralds a new dawn for Cyrannus. One in which the Empire and the Republic both vie for control...

- Zillum after his final duel with Khuenaten

Even the politically ignorant are aware of the unfolding reality in the Cyrannus Galaxy, one in which the Galactic Empire of Cyrannus and the New Cyrannian Republic both vie for control. Though both factions have kept the peace for the past two years, will this be enough to put out a spark capable of setting the galaxy alight with the flames of endless war?

Dramatis personæEdit

StoryEdit

PrologueEdit

In the command room of the Republic Space Station Aaenhr, New Republic captain Aeohotepan swivelled in his command chair communicating his orders to the various portions of the station. It was an average day for the Draken commander and as such, was certainly less exciting than his actions during the Great Cyrannus War, during which he fought in campaigns such as the Fourth Battle of Yadumarth and the Battle of Arnoario. Nevertheless, he knew that his position on the Aaenhr was just as important, as the station lay on the Republic side of the vast Imperial Neutral Zone created during the Treaty of 03 NE. Indeed, as the commander of the Aaenhr, Aeohotepan was a key figure in coordinating Republic activities throughout the sector. Still, a part of him longed for some action.

TwoOrders01

The station falls under attack.

Just as the captain was about to retire to his ready room, the distinctive ping indicating new arrivals in the system sounded throughout the bridge. His eyes widening, Aeohotepan turned on his heels and back toward the command chair.

  • Aeohotepan: "There are no scheduled arrivals today. Lieutenant, identify that signal!"
  • Lieutenant: "Aya captai-"

The lieutenant appeared lost for words.

  • Lieutenant: "It- it's the Empire, sir."
  • Aeohotepan: "What?! Battlestations! Condition one throughout the station! Send a transmission to the Imperials warning them to return to their own space or their presence on this side of the neutral zone will be seen as an act of war."

The lieutenant sent the transmission.

  • Lieutenant: "No response, captain."

From the viewscreen, the captain could see brilliant lances of green energy arc across the blackness of space, before impacting violently against the station's shields, exploding into flowers of energy which rocked the station and those on board.

  • Aeohotepan: "Send an emergency transmission to Republic Command! The Empire are invading, I repeat the Empire are invading!"

Chapter One: Government BreakdownEdit

Sitting on his desk on Mou'Cyran, President Apaltar looked over the after-action report from Station Aaenhr with a pained expression on his face. It appeared that the Empire had launched an unprovoked attack on the Republic, no doubt in retaliation for alleged Republic support for the Cyrandia Resistance. Sighing heavily, Apaltar slumped in the chair.

  • Apaltar: "I knew that rebellion would be more trouble than its worth."

Sitting upright, Apaltar interacted with a display unit on his desk, requesting an official audience with Potentate Tereyn Aeresius on the Imperial capital Orbispira. After several long moments, Aeresius appeared on Apaltar's screen, a somewhat irritated expression etched on his features.

TwoOrders02

Apaltar contacts Aeresius.

  • Aeresius: "How can I help you, President?"
  • Apaltar: "Why have you attacked us, Aeresius? I thought that after the Cataclysm in the Neutral Zone, your government would be more open to coexistence."

Aeresius raised an eyebrow.

  • Aeresius: "Surely after said incident, you would be less inclined to blame all your problems on the Empire."
  • Apaltar: "Don't play coy. This-"

Apaltar sent Aeresius footage of the battle over Aaenhr.

  • Apaltar: "-was not the work of demons. It was unmistakenly an Imperial attack on sovereign Republic territory."
  • Aeresius: "I don't know what you're talk-"

The Potentate stopped for a moment and turned away from the display unit, as if someone away from Apaltar's field of vision was communicating with him. After a few moments, Aeresius met Apaltar's gaze, his eyes more livid than ever.

  • Aeresius: "Why, oh why, have you sent a flotilla into our space, President Apaltar?"
  • Apaltar: "W-wha-"
  • Aeresius: "So we come to it at last. Not two years since the Empire in its mercy allowed your petty Republic to form, you betray that trust and attack us. Know this then, as your cities crumble, you will know your place in the galactic order."

Before Apaltar could respond, Aeresius closed the transmission. Immediately, the President jumped to his feet and rushed through the Presidential Chateau until he reached the office of Republic Command's liaison to the President.

  • Apaltar: "The Empire are invading! Put all ships and colonies on high alert!"

Chapter Two: Shadows on VasubandEdit

Across the galaxy, morale was low on the Basileus homeworld of Vasuband. It had been many weeks since the last victory for the Cyrannian Imperial State, the citizenry of which watched in dismay as Imperial forces led by the traitor Carandial and Taev Vosaetiur brought destruction and havoc to State positions in both the southern and northern reaches of the Outer Rim. In his office however, Tyermaillin's attitude was significantly more positive than those of his charges. As he sat at his desk stroking his pet Dvottie, he watched as war spread throughout both Imperial and Republic space.

  • Tyermaillin: "Good chaps. Kill each other."

On the other end of the desk, Flovos Pretio watched the footage intently.

  • Flovos Pretio: "Some of my best work, if I do say so myself. So Tyranus-"
  • Tyermaillin: "Tyermaillin."
  • Flovos Pretio: "Hm?"
  • Tyermaillin: "My name is Tyermaillin."
  • Flovos Pretio: "Good for you. As I was saying, I expect a hefty sum in return for this geopolitical calamity I've concocted."

Tyermaillin rolled his eyes in annoyance.

  • Tyermaillin: "And you shall receive it when I am content that they have destroyed one another to a sufficient degree."
  • Flovos Pretio: "I also trust you have not forgotten about our friend here."
TwoOrders03

Tyermaillin, Rivergron and Flovos Pretio conspire.

Pretio motioned to a figure in the darkened corner, who stood into the light. The figure revealed himself to the Mataii mandator, Rivergron.

  • Rivergron: "Yes, were it not for me, none of this would be even happening."
  • Tyermaillin: "I'm aware of that gentlemen. When this is all over, you will both have a prominent place in my New Order."
  • Flovos Pretio: "Pah, I just want a fleet or two. And perhaps one or two of your councillors in my pocket. I've always wanted to own a politician..."
  • Rivergron: "Stealing the Empire's ship schematics all those years ago was worth the effort involved. Now neither them or that ridiculous Republic know they are dealing with our own disguised vessels. Even if they find out, it will be too late."

Tyermaillin smiled and rubbed his hands together, as if salivating over a particularly delicious meal.

  • Tyermaillin: "Excellent, excellent. This day couldn't possibly get any better."
  • Rivergron: "I have waited too long for this day. I grow sick of playing pretend on their government. All of my power at this point is merely for show as far as that Emperor of theirs is concerned. They're a difficult load to manipulate."
  • Tyermaillin: "And yet... here they are being manipulated to the extreme. Good... good..."
  • Rivergron: "They do have a saying, "Manipulating the manipulative is the most rewarding"."

Chapter Three: TyrannicEdit

On the bridge of his Executor-class Star Dreadnought, the Tyrannic, Thanatyrannus Grand Admiral Sarcophoneus scrutinised the viewscreen carefully. It had been a week since the beginning of the border skirmishes between the New Republic and the Galactic Empire. Though neither side had officially declared war yet, Sarcophoneus knew that it was only a matter of time. He also knew that it would be the Empire to deal the first - and ultimately killing - blow. Though the viewscreen was currently filled with the utter blackness of coronaspace, it wasn't long before the Tyrannic and its escort fleet dropped into normal space over the peaceful Republic/Osteola colony of Manannán.

  • Sarcophoneus: "All hands, action stations."

The planet before them was a green-blue paradise, though it was not the planet's beauty which caught the Grand Admiral's eye.

  • Sarcophoneus: "Zoom in on these coordinates."

Sarcophoneus entered some numbers into his pad, sending them to a nearby officer, who magnified the viewscreen on a particular area above the planet's surface.

TwoOrders04

The Tyrannic arrives.

  • Officer: "Those look like Imperial vessels, Admiral."
  • Sarcophoneus: "I do have eyes, lieutenant. Communicate with the lead ship with a priority command to fall in line behind the Tyrannic.
  • Officer: "How odd. No response."

Before his very eyes, Sarcophoneus watched as the main Imperial command ship in the distance destroyed a Republic frigate. After several seconds, the ship dropped its holographic disguise.

  • Sarcophoneus: "... Syndicate vessels? This cannot be right..."

To his surprise, the ship received an emergency transmission. Though he expected it to come from the Syndicate, it was actually the Republic Star Destroyer Endeavour.

  • Sarcophoneus: "On screen."

The face of Republic Admiral Vinchauk Il'Chahol appeared.

  • Vinchauk Il'Chahol: "Grand Admiral Sarcophoneus? I assume you were sent here to destroy this colony, but I implore you to listen. Several minutes ago, what seemed to be another Imperial fleet arrived over Manannán and engaged my fleet. However, as I'm sure you've seen, the lead ship's holographic disguise briefly dropped when the ship was damaged by debris from a Republic frigate. This whole conflict was orchestrated by the Syndicate."

Sarcophoneus considered what Admiral Vinchauk told him.

  • Sarcophoneus: "I knew there was something off about all of this. I suppose you should be thankful, Admiral, that I saw the Syndicate's farce first hand. Otherwise, I would not have been inclined to believe you."
  • Vinchauk Il'Chahol: "I propose a joint strike against the Syndicate fleet. We may not like one another, Grand Admiral, but that doesn't mean we should fight at the behest of petty criminals."
  • Sarcophoneus: "Agreed. Now, my little Republic friend, watch the might of the Empire!"

Chapter Four: IntrigueEdit

In the darkened ready room of the Tyrannic, Agent Caranye Valaeris of Imperial Intelligence watched with interest as the Republic and Imperial fleet mopped up the remnants of the Syndicate force which almost sparked war between the two superpowers. Turning away from the battle, Caranye activated a hologram, revealing the ghostly figure of the enigmatic leader of Imperial Intelligence, a figure she knew only as Phantom.

  • Phantom: "What is it, agent?"
  • Caranye: "An interesting development. It appears that the Syndicate are those responsible for the attacks on both the Empire and the Republic in an attempt to spark war between us. Not that I ever expected that the Republic truly had the gall to attack us directly."
  • Phantom: "Most appetizing, agent. I will be in contact with you shortly."

Light years away on Orbispira, Phantom - better known as Moranonúngur - dropped his cloak and made contact with the far more enigmatic Imperial Overseer. As a gesture of respect, Moranonúngur dropped to one knee.

  • Moranonúngur: "I come before you with an interesting development, Overseer."
  • Thaurlathrón: "Speak, acolyte."
  • Moranonúngur: "As I am sure you have predicted, the New Republic is not responsible for the ongoing calamity facing our outer colonies. Rather, it is the Syndicate manipulating events for a as-yet unknown purpose."
  • Thaurlathrón: "The criminal rabble have no reason to spark war on their own. They are being controlled by yet another party."
  • Moranonúngur: "I can think of but one possibility. The Vasubandian Rebellion?"
  • Thaurlathrón: "Have they reduced themselves to attempt a proxy war via mercenaries?... From what I have seen, it is not far-fetched. This must be confirmed."

Just as Moranonúngur was about to respond, he was contacted yet again by Agent Caranye.

  • Caranye: "Sir, I have received information from an anonymous source which claims to have information relevant to this mess."

At this moment, a recorded message could be heard, speaking in a deep, robotic voice, likely to hide whoever was speaking.

  • Message: "Mandator Rivergron is an agent of the Syndicate. Three years ago, the Syndicate stole schematics of Imperial vessels to enhance their own fleets, and doing so, developed holographic disguises able to fool even Imperial and Republic radars."
  • Thaurlathrón: "... How convenient."
  • Caranye: "I will track down the traitor and interrogate him, if that is your will."
  • Thaurlathrón: "Do so. Capture Rivergron and ensure he is no longer a problem for the Empire, permanently. In addition, use him to track down the head of this conspiracy. War with the Republic is not within the Emperor's interests at this time."
  • Caranye: "Understood. Should I inform the Republic?"
  • Thaurlathrón: "No. I will do so myself."
  • Caranye: "It will be done."

Caranye's voice dissipated as she prepared for her new mission.

Chapter Five: The Treasonous MandatorEdit

Rising above the rolling hills of New Tega was the vast mansion of Mandator Rivergron. From her stealth dropship hovering over the grounds, Caranye could see fountains and statues all glorifying the Mandator's power and wealth. Nodding silently to her pilot, Caranye holstered her dual pistols and jumped from the ship. Free-falling to the surface, the Imperial Agent landed silently on the mansion's roof, where she remained for several seconds before locating the mansion's power supply. With a muffled shot of her pistol, the power to the entire mansion fell, allowing her to translocate into the mansion's interior. Looking around the lavishly decorated state room, the agent noticed a shadow of a Mortalitas guard glide past the nearby door. Silently, Caranye moved across the room and through the doorway before sneaking up on the guard, latching onto his back and stabbing him in the neck with her combat energy knife.

Activating her advanced motion tracker, Caranye soon caught sight of Rivergron's heat signature. Moving silently through the hallways of the Mandator's Palace, Caranye took care to avoid any other encounters with Rivergron's guards, who were almost entirely made up of large species such as Mortalitas and Tiranozark. However, after several minutes of navigating the mansion, Caranye arrived at the entrance to Rivergron's study, where she found the Mandator himself shouting angrily at his guards as he walked around the room.

  • Rivergron: "The energy couldn't die out like this all the sudden, I paid for the best systems this galaxy can buy! Find the source of the problem and eliminate it!

Caranye suddenly kicked down the door and dispatched the guards with three shots, mouthing a "pew" sound for each one. Rivergron watched the scene and let out a scream, taking a step back.

TwoOrders05

Caranye arrests Rivergron.

  • Caranye: "And thus, the source of the problem is found!"
  • Rivergron: "What in hell's name is going on?!

Caranye approached slowly, her pistols pointed directly at Rivergron's head.

  • Caranye: "You've been a naughty little Mandator."
  • Rivergron: "W-what? Who are you? Why are you here?"
  • Caranye: "Suffice it to say, I'm with Imperial Intelligence. The rest is unimportant. I have received intel that you've been aiding the rebels into formenting a conflict between the Empire and the Republic. Your thoughts on the matter?"
  • Rivergron: "...You'll never take me alive, you mockery of a bar stripper!"

Rivergron took a nearby desk and threw it at Caranye's direction before darting off to the exit. The agent turned on her heels and tried to shoot Rivergron's leg, but he was already out of the room. Caranye giggled to herself.

  • Caranye: "I love it when they run."

Taking chase, Caranye sprinted out of the room after the Mandator, who was desperately trying to escape her line of fire. Rivergron tapped into a device on his wrist, attempting to communicate with the other leaders of the Syndicate as he ran.

  • Rivergron: "Pretio! The Empire has found us out! Repeat: the Empire has found us out!... Where the hell are my guards!?"
  • Caranye: "They took a shuffle off the mortal coil. Your communications are being blocked by my ship in orbit. Now. Turn, traitor."
  • Rivergron: "...Damnation... I'm too rich and high class for this."

With no option but be shot down, Rivergron stopped on his tracks and turned himself, raising his hands in surrender. Striding forward, Caranye scowled and punched Rivergron in the face, knocking him unconscious. Communicating with her pilot in orbit, she placed a pair of cuffs on the Mandator.

  • Caranye: "We're going to have a little chat."

Chapter Six: Audience with the OverseerEdit

It was several days since Caranye's assault on Rivergron's mansion. On Mou'Cyran, Apaltar was enduring his fifth consecutive day without sleep, overlooking maps of the galactic region showing Republic fleet positions and those of the Empire. Though informed by Admiral Vinchauk that the Empire was not responsible for the attacks on Republic border worlds, the President decided not to become complacent. According to the Admiral, it was in fact the Cyrannian Syndicate responsible for provoking war between the two factions, though Apaltar was at a loss to explain how. Eventually, the president received a request for a transmission, with its origin tracing back from Orbispira. Perplexed, the President activated the transmission revealing the holographic figure of of a tall figure of obvious Capricyránae shape, though his form even in holographic form was shrouded in darkness, with the exception of a pair of glowing eyes. It was Thaurlathrón, though there was no way Apaltar was able to tell.

  • Thaurlathrón: "President of the New Republic. I am the Imperial Overseer. There are matters that need to be discussed."

Apaltar appeared taken aback by the mysterious figure, though kept his composure.

  • Apaltar: "Good evening, Overseer. I trust this has something to do with the current crisis?"
  • Thaurlathrón: "Correct. The Cyrannian Syndicate has used stolen Imperial technology to disguise their vessels so that they can pass for Imperial or Republic ships. Their intention is obviously to force us to wage war on one another."
  • Apaltar: "But what would a petty band of criminals stand to gain from a war between us?"
  • Thaurlathrón: "We have reasons to believe they are under the employment of the Imperial State, but this has yet to be confirmed. The State is currently under declared war with the Empire, but as far as I am aware, they have no involvement with you."
  • Apaltar: "That is correct. There has been no dialogue between our governments and nor will there be."
  • Thaurlathrón: "It is an example to you that neutrality towards the State is no longer a valid option. They would have you die to our fleets as a mean of obtaining more power."

Apaltar considered Thaurlathrón's remark.

  • Apaltar: "Of course, if we decide to help you in your conflict, it is only natural that we expect something in return."
  • Thaurlathrón: "That is not for me to decide. You can speak to the Potentate instead about such matters. I have contacted you for a different reason."

Next to Thaurlathrón's shadowy hologram appeared the image of Rivergron.

  • Thaurlathrón: "Recent developments led to our discovery that Mandator Rivergron Vito-Linus was in fact a disguised Syndicate spy. He has been captured and has been interrogated, but while he has not been cooperative regarding his connection to the Imperial State, we have tracked down the location of the Syndicate's topmost leader out of him. He hides at your side of the Neutral Zone."
  • Apaltar: "Rest assured in that case, we will capture him and share what he knows with the Empire."
  • Thaurlathrón: "I will send you the coordinates retrieved from Rivergron. The leader's name is Flovos Pretio. I encourage you to decapitate the Syndicate, President, and find out for yourself about the Imperial State's intentions. They are the enemy. They would rid the galaxy of you were it not for our current existence."
  • Apaltar: "Regardless, I would have to consult the Senate prior to agreeing to aid the Empire in its conflict."
  • Thaurlathrón: "That is for you to resolve. But I would discourage standing idle to the looming threat. We have never spoken, and this conversation has never happened."

With this, the hologram vanished almost immediately as the Overseer was done talking.

Chapter Seven: Apprehending the CrimelordEdit

The Fernei's Hand hurtled through hyperspace on route to the shady ecumenopolis of Tar Kuuraen in the Outer Rim. Before the war, the route between Vasuband and Tar Kuuraen would have been a relatively short trip along the Perliama Trade Route, though with Imperial forces nearly doubled in the Southern Outer Rim in recent months, Flovos Pretio decided instead to bypass the bulk of Imperial forces by utilising the relatively unexplored B'ealach Route taking him to Station Halcyon and Cianbur before finally re-entering the Rim on route to Tar Kuuraen. On the half-way point of the journey, the Fernei's Hand dropped out of hyperspace over the former Confederate planet of Cianbur, best remembered for the brutal Neraida assault on the system during the Great Cyrannus War.

Docking with an orbiting space station, the crew of the Fernei's Hand soon disembarked for some rest and relaxation. Flovos however, remained in his quarters on the Hand, coordinating his vast criminal enterprise. Sighing heavily to himself as he completed a deal to exchange Paisti slaves to the Panthrea Slaver Guild, Pretio's attention was soon diverted to a flashing red icon on his holographic display unit, indicating the arrival of a military ship. Jumping to his feet, the Fernei-Tuu ordered all crewmembers back to the ship as he rushed to the bridge. Just as he arrived, the voice of a male D'annaói sounded.

  • Admiral Vinchauk: "This is Admiral Vinchauk of the Endeavour. Power down your engines and your weapons and prepare to be boarded. Failure to comply will result in your immediate obliteration at my hands."
  • Flovos Pretio: "The Republic has no jurisdiction here, Admiral. I can make it worth your while if you let us go."
  • Admiral Vinchauk: "I repeat: Power down your ship, criminal. Your days of exploiting this galaxy's unfortunate are over."
TwoOrders06

The Endeavour chases the Fernei's Hand through an asteroid field.

Growling over the comm, Pretio closed the transmission and took hold of the ship's controls. Abandoning half of his crew on the station, Pretio undocked and shot off into the blackness of space with the Endeavour in close pursuit. After several moments, the massive Star Destroyer fired three warning shots across the ship's prow, though this did little to deter the crafty crimelord, who attempted to no avail to activate the ship's hyperdrive. Running out of options, Flovos took the ship into the heart of a dense asteroid field orbiting the planet, winding between the space rocks with a surprising amount of skill for one with no training as a pilot. Suddenly however, the ship ground to a halt and began floating upwards.

  • Flovos Pretio: "What the- a tractor beam!"

Eventually, the Fernei's Hand was brought into the ventral hangar bay aboard the Endeavour, the crew of which managed to open the hatch onto the criminal vessel, where they were greeted with a hailfire of blaster bolts. Two Republic troopers immediately fell to their wounds, while the others managed to incapacitate the crew by stunning them. After several minutes scanning the ship for any other criminals, Admiral Vinchauk and three escorting troopers entered Pretio's sanctum, where Pretio was waiting for them with his hands outstretched.

  • Flovos Pretio: "How lovely to see you admiral. I humbly surrender myself and my ship to your good graces."

Motioning to one of his escorts to arrest the crime lord, Vinchauk crossed his arms.

  • Vinchauk: "Bring him to the interrogation room. We're going to have a little chat about this mess."

Over the next week, the Admiral attempted to interrogate Pretio. Though initially reluctant to give any information regarding his role in fomenting war between the Empire and the Republic, over time he eventually admitted to orchestrating the entire event alongside Rivergron and the Imperator of the Basileus, Tyermaillin.

  • Vinchauk: "How do I know that you're not lying."
  • Flovos Pretio: "You don't. But I have very little to lose at this point, Admiral. So why would I lie, hm?"
  • Vinchauk: "And what would you gain from war?"
  • Flovos Pretio: "I believe I have given you enough information. But rest assured, Admiral. My time in your... care will be short. The Syndicate is more powerful than you could ever realise."

Chapter Eight: ReconciliationEdit

On Mou'Cyran, Apaltar sat in the President's Office, discussing the calamity with his Proconsul, Apollo who appeared via viewscreen from his abode on the Rambo Capital. In the corner of his eye, Apaltar could see a mysterious creature playing with a Dvottie in the background. Apollo himself appeared far more solemn than his usual perky self, which Apaltar could guess was due both to the idea of working with the Empire in a military capacity or his disgust that the State would dare act against the Republic unprovoked.

  • Apollo: "Mr. President, if we are to go down this path, I have an idea."

Apaltar scratched his chin.

  • Apaltar: "And what is that?"
  • Apollo: "In your conversation with that Overseer chap, you mentioned that the Republic would expect something in return for aiding the Empire in the conflict against the Imperial State. I propose that this condition is Capricaerón and its system."
  • Apaltar: "Hm, that would surely lead to suspicions that we are funding the Resistance and that we are capitalising on the Empire's misfortune."

Apollo templed his claws together.

  • Apollo: "I predict that they will allow it regardless. The system has been a thorn in the Emperor's side for five years now. We'll be taking it off their hands in exchange for every single inch of State space that we capture during our invasion."

Apaltar was impressed. For all his anti-war idealism, it was quite easy to forget that Apollo excelled as a war-time commander-in-chief, leading the United Republic of Cyrannus during conflicts from the War of Ages, to the Second War of Black Fog and finally the Great Cyrannus War.

  • Apaltar: "I will mention your proposal to Aeresius. Kalos mercu, Proconsul."

Apollo nodded in reply, as his image on the holographic screen was replaced with that of Potenate Aeresius.

  • Aeresius: "Mr. President. Well... isn't this awkward? I recall I threatened your entire civilisation during our last conversation. Terribly sorry."

From the tone of his voice, Apaltar could tell Aeresius meant quite the opposite.

  • Apaltar: "The Senate has voted in favour of helping your military against the Imperial State, Potentate. However, on one condition."
  • Aeresius: "I'm on the edge of my seat."
  • Apaltar: "We would very much appreciate it if you ceded control over the Calithilaen System to the New Republic authorities."

If Aeresius was surprised, Apaltar couldn't tell. The Potentate's face retained its earlier mixture of annoyance and distrust. With a rather irritating amount of self-importance which Apaltar felt was all too common with these Imperial types.

  • Aeresius: "Oh. Sure. Why not? Would you like the keys to Orbispira too?"
  • Apaltar: "Sarcasm is unbefitting a figure of your station, Potenate. I believe it is a fair exchange for all the territory that the Republic will cede to the Empire after our invasion of the State's territory is underway."
  • Aeresius: "If it was up to me, I would tell you to shove your plan up your cloaca, but as ever, the Emperor has predicted that your Proconsul would suggest his beloved homeworld as a suitable price. Very well, but if you continue to fund these rebels against the Empire, we will not be so accomodating. Clear?"
  • Apaltar: "I am not a hatchling, Aeresius and you shall not address me as such. My government does not support the Resistance though unlike the Empire, our citizens are free to do what they wish. Be grateful that we are going to help you and let us leave it at that."
  • Aeresius: "Very well. Until our next meeting."

The Potentate's face disappeared from the screen, leaving Apaltar to slump heavily in his chair. Had he made the right choice? Would he remembered as the President who teamed up with the greatest threat to Cyrannian democracy? These were the questions flooding his mind as he finally fell asleep.

Epilogue: BetrayalEdit

In the ready room of the Benevolent, Zillum and Tyrant watched footage of the first successful joint Imperial-Republic attack on the Imperial State. Not one for sitting, Zillum simply stood with his talon-like hands folded behind his back. Without turning his head away from the report, the Mortalitas addressed the Tiranozark.

  • Zillum: "Your analysis?"
  • Tyrant: "You have seen what our agents reported. He trusted mercenaries to do our job."

Zillum remained silent for several long moments.

  • Zillum: "The moment has arrived, Tyrant. Our time with the State has come to an end."
  • Tyrant: "I was about to say. I will not tolerate Tyermaillin's failures any longer."
  • Zillum: "Fortunately, I have formulated our next move. We shall voyage to Yudumarth. The planet upon which our power will rise."
  • Tyrant: "It is time for us to say farewell to the Imperator."
  • Zillum: "Speaking of which..."

Zillum motioned for the door to open, revealing a Basileus crewman.

  • Basileus: "You summoned me, my lord?"

Zillum wordlessly prompted the Basileus to stand to one side as he contacted Vasuband. After several seconds, Imperator Tyermaillin appeared.

  • Zillum: "Imperator. How goes the war effort?"
  • Tyermaillin: "You aren't living under a rock are you? The Republic has joined with the Empire against us!"
  • Zillum: "Yes. Shame, that. You have failed for the last time, Basileus."

Raising his right hand, Zillum telekinetically grabbed the Basileus officer by the throat. Holding him in a stranglehold while addressing the Imperator.

  • Zillum: "One of your spies, no?"

Before Tyermaillin could respond, his train of thought was interupted by the painfully audible crushing sound as the throat of the Basileus was smashed by the Mortalitas king. With another gesture of his hand, Zillum tossed the dead crewmember at the viewscreen, splattering blood over the image of Tyermaillin.

  • Tyrant: "You have reduced yourself to using lousy criminals and mercenaries to fight your wars for you. You have turned the Republic's eyes to the State. More and more is it evident that your empire is but a failed dream. We do not take lightly of harsh decisions such as these being made without consulting us first, "Imperator"."
  • Tyermaillin: "Vile brute! You will regret spilling the blood of a superiorly bred Basile-"

The transmission was terminated.

Epilogue: Change in LeadershipEdit

On the ecumenopolis of Tar Kuuraen in the Outer Rim, news had spread that Flovos Pretio and much of the Syndicate's leadership had been apprehended by either the Republic or the Empire in a massive crackdown of those responsible for nearly sparking a new galactic war. On Tar Kuuraen however, the Syndicate was far too entrenched to be threatened. On the landing pad of one of the planet's largest tower blocks, a single ship set down. After several moments, the landing ramp of the ship opened, revealing infamous bounty hunter Éaltar Gauisa. As the hunter strode into the building, the various attendants and residents gave him a wide berth until he finally reached the epicentre of the Syndicate's galactic influence. Though this was once the main base of operations for Pretio, it was now under new management. As he reached a large podium, he was surprised to find himself surrounded by several armed guards pointing their weapons at him.

  • Unknown: "That's quite close enough, bounty hunter."
  • Éaltar: "Flovos Pretio and Rivergron are gone. I am here for my payment."

One of the guards scanned the bounty hunter for any weapons before nodding toward the form of a female humanoid in the shadows. Stepping into the light, the figure revealed herself to be an Ausare.

  • Aiora Xaeymea: "Excellent work, Éaltar. You've completed the mission to the letter."

She motioned for the guards to back off.

  • Aiora Xaeymea: "Thanks in no small part to you, the Syndicate is mine."
  • Éaltar: "I have done merely what I was paid to. By informing the Empire of Rivergron's involvement, it was a matter of time until Flovos Pretio also fell."

Aiora nodded and sat down on Pretio's former throne.

  • Aiora Xaeymea: "So, since you haven't done this out of the goodness of your heart, what's your price?"
  • Éaltar: "You will allow me free reign to pick whatever target I see fit, without your agents getting in my way."
  • Aiora Xaeymea: "That's it? I'd be happy to oblidge. Would you still be willing to work for me when called?"
  • Éaltar: "If the pay is good enough."
  • Aiora Xaeymea: "Good. Though a word of warning: you may want to lay low for a while."
  • Éaltar: "I will do so."
  • Aiora Xaeymea: "A new day has begun for the Syndicate. Our dominance of the underworld is assured!"

TriviaEdit

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