“It is unfortunate that this is the only way...”
- - Tvrae Saeihr
The Rihanae Pact was formed in 03 NE to serve as a united front against incursions made by the New Cyrannian Republic in the previously unexplored reaches of the Cyrannus Galaxy. At the heart of this alliance was the feared Rihanae people, a once proud and noble people before their government's decision to join the Quadrantian Regellis Star Empire. Though many welcomed this change, others have begun to question the Pact's war against the New Republic and must use desperate measures to accomplish their goals of peace in the region...
Prologue: Trouble at the PalaceEdit
The Palace of Majesty rose high over the temperate plains of Rihanae, the Cyrannian capital of the Regellis Star Empire and the home of the Rihanae Pact, the alliance forged between it and the Jenassian Regency. Though perceived as a homogeneous people by outsiders, not all of the native Rihan accepted the presence of Rihanae Pact and even the Star Empire, which usurped power from the natives before the outbreak of the war. One such individual was Tvrae Saeihr, commander of the mighty starship Rei'karanha. A slender woman of long dark hair, Saeihr was adorned in a fashionable dress earning her glances from her fellow Rihan as well as nearby Vulrulans and Jenassians. Good, she thought. It was always the one least suspected.
Taking her seat at a long table in the Ballroom of the Palace, Saeihr watched as the Lord Lieutenant of the Pact rose to speak. As she watched with a raised eyebrow, the Jenassian woman spoke at great length about the imminent fall of the New Cyrannian Republic and thus would begin the ascendancy of the Jenassians and their allies to the seat of galactic power. The young Rihan commander rolled her eyes and nonchalantly interacted with her comlink, giving the signal to one of her subordinates. Across the room, she noticed one of her subordinates, a male Havran nod in agreement. Suddenly, the Lord Lieutenant stopped speaking and appeared to be gasping for air. Some of the delegates seated at the table rose to their feet in shock, though they too began fall to their knees, their lungs failing.
Rising to her feet, Saeihr sighed.
- Saeihr: "It's unfortunate that this was the only way. You may have named this Pact after my race, but it is not truly Rihanae. We were once a proud, independent people but now we are under the yoke of the Quadrantian Vulrulan and the detested Regency. No more, I say. I will free my people if it's the last thing I do!"
As guards beamed in to help the besieged delegates and apprehend the criminals responsible, Saeihr and her subordinate beamed up to the Rei'karanha, which promptly disappeared into hyperspace.
Chapter One: DefectionEdit
Tvrae Saeihr did not regret the deaths of the delegates of the Rihanae Pact. Though the oppression of her people was bad, to make matters worse, she heard rumours that the disgraced Rihan captain Tai'Rex was captured by the New Cyrannian Republic and that Empress Minerala had made an alliance with the dreaded Bisistar Domain. This was the final straw for the young Rihan captain, for she desired peaceful coexistence with other races rather than the rampant mistrust and paranoia throughout the Star Empire. However, speaking of paranoia. Almost as soon as the Rei'karanha entered Republic territory, a massive ship, the Republica dropped out of hyperspace, prepared to fight to the death to defend the people of the Republic. The angry face of Admiral Willelmus Cretacea appeared on T'rae's viewscreen.
- Willelmus Cretacea: "This is New Republic space, Rihanae. You are not welcome. Turn back or you'll be fired upon."
- Tvrae Saeihr: "Drop the attitude, admiral. I am here to help you."
- Willelmus Cretacea: "Help me? With what exactly?"
Saeihr interacted with a datapad, sending information directly to Cretacea's bridge.
- Willelmus Cretacea: "Well now isn't this unexpected? You wish to defect?"
- Tvrae Saeihr: "I seek an audience with your Proconsul. But yes, I wish to defect. I have committed no crimes against your people and I am willing to share intelligence on the Rihanae Pact's fleet movements. In short, I need your help to liberate my world."
Stepping forward, the chief diplomat of the Republica, Araya T'Lour made herself visible to the viewscreen of the Rei'karanha.
- Araya T'Lour: "May I ask your name?"
- Tvrae Saeihr: "Tvrae Saeihr, commander of the Rei'karanha."
- Araya T'Lour: "We can grant your request for an audience with Proconsul Apollo, though the New Republic desires a peaceful end to this conflict. Invading Rihanae will not help us in that goal."
- Tvrae Saeihr: "Oh please, the forces of the Pact have been hounding your borders for months, not to mention the fact my people are being oppressed. You need to act decisively or more Republic lives will be lost. Can you live with that, Fleet Admiral? In the knowledge that you can end this war in one fell swoop."
Admiral Cretacea grumbled under his breath.
- Admiral Cretacea: "Ugh, Apollo is not going to like this..."
Chapter Two: Diplomatic TalksEdit
Deep in the belly of the CRS Republica, Tvrae Saeihr waited patiently in a large, opulent conference room. Two Republic soldiers guarded the door while a large real-time map of the border between the New Republic and the civilisations of the Rihanae Pact adorned the wall. Suddenly, three individuals entered the room, Diplomat Araya T'Lour, Admiral Cretacea and the newly arrived Proconsul Apollo. Admiral Saeihr bowed her head slightly, greeting the new arrivals. The Proconsul returned the gesture and offered Tvrae a seat as he made his way to the large desk at the head of the room.
- Apollo: "It's a pleasure to meet you, Admiral Saeihr. You wanted to speak with me about a matter of great importance, I'm told."
Saeihr nodded as she took her seat.
- Tvrae Saeihr: "Yes, as your father has no doubt informed you, I wish to defect to the New Republic."
- Admiral Cretacea: "Getting informal will not help your case, you will address me as Fleet Admiral."
However, Apollo simply waved the comment away.
- Apollo: "It's alright, dad. A lack of decorum is not the most serious item we need to address here. This matter about invading your world on the other hand..."
- Tvrae Saeihr: "It would win this war and liberate an oppressed people. Surely you support both outcomes?"
- Apollo: "There are other ways of accomplishing both things without firing a shot."
- Tvrae Saeihr: "The eternal optimist."
Apollo folded his arms and furrowed his brow.
- Apollo: "A realist. And one that knows that the Rihanae Pact is not limited to your world, or even this region of space."
- Tvrae Saeihr: "No, but I believe you underestimate the amount of fear your starfleet brings. Both the Regellis Star Empire and the Jenassian Regency are no match for your might. A colossal victory over Rihan would compel both Empress Minerala and Regent Wels to vie for peace. And I am willing to provide the tools to ensure that victory."
- Admiral Cretacea: "She does have a point son."
- Apollo: "I know she does. That doesn't mean I have to like it."
Tvrae stood up from her chair.
- Tvrae Saeihr: "I believe you also underestimate yourself. Did you not lead the Old Republic quite valiantly during both the Intergalactic War and the Great War?' Not to mention against the Xhodocto, the Corruptus, the Nanohorde, the Imperial Allian-"
Apollo suddenly interjected.
- Apollo: "Yes, yes. I did my duty to the Republic, but I assure you there is nothing "valiant" about leading people to their deaths while you sit comfortably on Orbispira or Mou'Cyran. This decision is not mine to make. It is for the President and Republic Command to decide if your proposal will be acted upon. As for your request for asylum, that is accepted provided your information is up to snuff. Kalos mercu."
Chapter Three: The Battle BeginsEdit
Over the next week, President Apaltar's inner circle of military commanders and senators debated endlessly whether or not the covert attack on Rihanae should go ahead. Indeed, even Apollo begrudgingly admitted that it may be the best oppurtuinity to deceisively end the war against the Rihanae Pact. The decision ultimately came down to an agreement between Admiral Cretacea and Commodore Thonaloc to lead a flotilla against the planet along with various elements of a rebel fleet gathered by Admiral Saeihr. Beyond the orbit of one of Mou'Cyran's moons, the fleet gathered under the leadership of the Republica, the flagship of the Republic. The fleet was also made up of a newly constructed Presidio-class Star Cruiser under the command of Gavakar of the Indoctrinate Collective.
To Admiral Cretacea's surprise, Admiral Saeihr agreed to place herself and her ship under the New Republic's command structure rather than as an independent combatant. Turning to the Admiral, Leonarrk Relgalll, the tactical officer of the Republica spoke up.
- Leonarrk Relgalll: "The fleet has gathered, Admiral. Your orders?"
- Admiral Cretacea: "Excellent, lieutenant. Attention all ships, we have a war to win. Engage!"
One by one, the vessels of the fleet shot off into the void. On the bridge of the Rei'karanha, Tvrae smiled.
- Tvrae Saeihr: "Now, lackies of the Pact. Your time has come!"
In orbit over the lush green world of Rihanae, a joint fleet of Regellis and Jenassian vessels hung silently in space, protecting the hub of the Rihanae Pact. However, despite the might of the fleet it was woefully unprepared of what came next. Darting out of the void of hyperspace, hundreds of New Republic vessels backed up by some Allied forces arrived at the scene. On the bridge of the Republica, Admiral Cretacea furrowed his brow.
- Admiral Cretacea: "All ships, let your cannons roar!"
While the Rihanae fleet struggled to gain cohesion, distracted by the arrival of the Republic Armada, many failed to raise their shields in time to prevent Republic hyperspatial torpedoes launched from outposts across the Republic border from materialising inside their very hulls, annihilating ten percent of the Rihanae fleet almost instantly. Commanding the Regellis Dreadnought P'terasauria near the flank of the Rihanae fleet, Supreme Admiral D'Vul of the Regellis Star Empire gasped in shock behind his mask, before quickly regaining his composure in time to rally the fleet against Cretacea's onslaught.
- D'Vul: "This world will not fall so easily, reptiles!"
Chapter Four: Wrath of the RepublicEdit
One by one, the command ships of the Rihanae Pact fell under the intense firepower of the besieging Republic fleet, with the Rei'karanha dealing out the most vicious barrages of cannon fire while the Republic vessels themselves, such as the Republica and the Sword of Peace relying heavily on ion weaponry to disable the Pact's fleet rather than outright destroying them. On the bridge of his flagship, D'Vul scowled as the forward line of Regellis ships began to fall apart. Suddenly on the main viewscreen, the image of Empress Minerala suddenly appeared, startling the busy bridge officers as the coordinated the defense of the planet.
- Minerala: "Supreme Admiral! What in blazes is going on over there?! First the attack on the Pact leaders and now this?!"
- D'Vul: "Please, my Lady Empress, I am in the middle of a battle and I do not have time for this!"
- Minerala: "I knew this Pact was a mistake! These Cyrannians cannot be trusted, Jenassians and Rihan alike. If you cannot defend the planet, raze it and return to the Quadrants immediately, I will not have Vulrulan blood spilled over this petty war!"
Busy dealing out orders to his bridge officers, D'Vul could manage only a grunt in response before closing the transmission. As he watched the Republic fleet advance inexorably forward toward the planet, he cursed the name of Tai'Rex, the admiral responsible for initiating the war with the Republic. As the final Jenassian Cruiser exploded into nothingness, D'Vul sighed and opened a transmission to the Republic fleet. On his viewscreen, one half depicted the traitor Tvrae Saeihr while the other half featured Admiral Cretacea, both of whom appeared distinctly pleased with their performance in the battle thus far.
- D'Vul: "Cease your attack immediately!"
- Admiral Cretacea: "Ah, you surrender?"
D'Vul laughed heartily.
- D'Vul: "Hardly! If your ships move another inch toward the planet, I will unleash fire until there is nought but ash on that pathetic Rihanae heap."
- Tvrae Saeihr: "You wouldn't dare! That planet is home to billions of innocent people!"
- D'Vul: "Your people never did believe in the benefits our glorious Star Empire could bring. Now, be a dear and return to Mou'Cyran before I do something drast-"
Interjecting, Cretacea wagged his finger disapprovingly.
- Admiral Cretacea: "You really should have surrendered."
Erupting from the primary forward cannon of the Republica, a vast blue hyperlaser shot through space before impacting against D'Vul's dreadnought, utterly eviscerating it and a large portion of the remaining Pact fleet. When the explosion finally dissipated, the skies above Rihanae were under complete Republic control.
Chapter Five: Fall of the PactEdit
Over the next several weeks, Republic forces led by both Admiral Cretacea and Tvrae Saeihr secured the Pact's key military installations throughout the planet. Though he long heard rumours of the Rihan people's blind devotion to the Regellis Star Empire, Cretacea soon realised that while many individuals did indeed swear fealty to Empress Minarela, that most were actually against their subjugation by an extragalactic force. Indeed, thanks to Saeihr's impassioned speeches in major population centres, large portions of the population were now taking up arms against the remaining forces of the Pact, the commanders of which surrendered one-by-one until the planet fell under complete Republic control.
Soon after the planet fell, Cretacea made contact with Empress Minarela in the capital building, her humanoid face appearing on a large screen in one of the many conference rooms.
- Minarela: "Admiral Cretacea, is it? My, my. What have you been doing to my empire?"
- Admiral Cretacea: "Your empire attacked us. Unprovoked. Unwarranted. This..."
He pointed out the window at the city below
- Admiral Cretacea: "This is what happens when you choose your opponent poorly. You lose. Now, unless you'd like the New Republic to further this campaign into Quadrant 89, I advise you to sign a peace treaty with my government."
- Minarela: "As if I would step foot anywhere near you reptilian slime. I will sign this treaty via subspace and send it to your homeworld. Clearly the Pact was a failure and the Jenassians cannot be trusted to win a war. I will admit that much."
- Admiral Cretacea: "You should know that the people of this planet will now decide their own fate. A referendum will be held to decide whether or not the Rihan will be an independent people or if they will join the Republic. I trust you will respect the outcome of this?"
The Empress merely scowled and closed the transmission, prompting Cretacea to growl in annoyance. From the corner of the room, Saeihr stepped forward.
- Admiral Cretacea: "Do you think she'll try anything?"
- Tvrae Saeihr: "She has no power to. I think she's glad to have my people out of her hair to be honest. First Tai'Rex, then me, now this."
- Admiral Cretacea: "That's understandable."
- Tvrae Saeihr: "This war may be over sir, but the Regellis Star Empire is not one to accept defeat. They may no longer attack openly, but we shouldn't let our guard down."
- Admiral Cretacea: "We?"
- Tvrae Saeihr: "Yeah, I've decided to remain with the New Republic Navy. Regardless of the outcome of the referendum, it will be my honour to protect and serve the Republic."
- Admiral Cretacea: "I'm glad to hear it, lass. For now at least, I hope that protecting and serving the Republic will be less... eventful than before."
- This is the first story to directly deal with the Rihanae Pact.