“The end of the New Cyrandia Wars is close at hand. Let us reach for a new future of peace and prosperity for the Empire, and for the galaxy!”
- - Grand Admiral Carandial
The Siege of Vasuband is the climatic battle of the New Cyrandia Wars between the forces of the Galactic Empire of Cyrannus, New Cyrannian Republic and Rambo Nation in opposition to the Cyrannian Imperial State led by the traitorous Imperator Tyermaillin. The battle is considered to be the most bloody and devastating battle of the conflict, pitting massive fleets against one another for the ultimate control of the Cyrannus Galaxy and the Cyrandia Cluster. Historians in later decades would regard the Siege of Vasuband as the final chapter in the epoch of Cyrannian history which began with the formation of the Empire in 01 NE, heralding a new era of uncertainty for the galaxy.
Prelude to BattleEdit
Looming over a gas giant in the Southern Outer Rim was the massive Imperial flagship Imperatore which was slowly but surely being surrounded by a joint fleet made up of vessels from the Empire, the New Republic and Rambo Nation as well as several other empires which sought to experience the end of the Imperial State's rebellion against the Galactic Empire. On the bridge of the Imperatore, Grand Admiral Carandial was eventually notified that the various leaders of the fleet were ready to congregate in the Imperatore for a meeting to plan the attack. While on his way to the conference room Carandial sighed deeply, believing that the invasion of Vasuband should be an Imperial affair without help from either the Republic or the Rambo. Nevertheless, the orders from the Emperor were clear. Entering the conference room, Carandial looked around at the various captains and admirals as well as their own personal guards.
On the Imperial side, he could see his fellow Grand Admiral Sarcophoneus as well as captains Kendar Bozzel, Tector Decimius, Gaius Prentus, Marquar Cuinn and Delin Lassiter. Standing in the corner of the room was the enigmatic Agent Caranye Valaeris.
On the Republic end of the table he could see several figures he recognised including the avian Fleet Admiral Tyandas, the Corthrinus commodore Thonaloc and two captains, one being a Libertus known as Aeralon Temer and another being an unknown Mon Nahdar wearing the uniform of a captain.
On the Rambo side of the table, "loyal" subjects of the Protectorate, he could only wonder why they were here at all. Their aid at Antemurale was welcome and in dire need, but their choice to aid the Empire against the Imperial State was an unexpected and a rare move by their standards, the Rambo weren't known to execute pre-emptive strikes. Present were captain Muunithar, captain Han'Ateeshe and captain Chianwe Apanoida, the latter being the striking commander of the USS Excelsior.
Taking position at the front of the table, Carandial was the first to speak.
- Carandial: "Welcome fellow Imperials and honourable representatives from both the Republic and Rambo Nation. I will be honest, I do not believe that we should have involved either of your civilisations in this battle but the decrees of the rightful Emperor of this galaxy are absolute."
Captain Apanoida crossed her arms at the obvious irritation of admiral Carandial. For one, she didn't want to be here either, her other two Rambo officers remained calm and didn't show any sign of reaction to the quiet insult. The Republic captains were similarly irritated. Acting with the Empire, viewed by many in the Republic as the greatest enemy in Cyrannian history, was a deeply unpopular move back in the Republic's core worlds while Carandial calling Tyrómairon the "rightful Emperor of this galaxy" also did not sit well with them.
- Temer: "Rightful Emperor? This is the same guy that ruined democracy and instated galactic tyranny? Don't speak such nonsens-"
Grand Admiral Tyandas shot a look at Temer, causing him to quiet down.
- Tyandas: "We are here as allies, Captain. Let us try to remain civil while we deal with this threat."
- Onon Vebbar: "I do not care for the Imperials either, Temer. But these Imperial State fools tried to respark the Great Cyrannus War. For that, they must be stopped. And I for one feel much better about this now that we fight alongside Rambo Nation once more."
- Muunithar: "We concur with the Republic on the threat of the Imperial State, another Great Cyrannus War must be prevented, even with the mutual respect or disrespect we have for one another. I suggest we move to the tactics and battle plan admiral, that is why we were summoned onboard the Imperatore right?"
- Carandial: "Correct. Captain Cuinn?"
The young, darkly feathered Libertus captain stood forward, interacting with a display system on the table creating a holographic representation of the planet Vasuband as well as known Imperial State fleet positions.
- Marquar Cuinn: "Thanks to information provided by Imperial Intelligence agent Caranye, this is as far as we know, a clear picture of the current situation on the planet. We will use shock and awe tactics to win. The Imperial ships will provide the heavy guns to the fight, the Rambo ships will provide the speed and the Republic, our defences along the flank."
Thonaloc scoffed under his breath.
- Thonaloc: "I would much prefer to take up the front of the fleet. These State types have not yet encountered the fury of a fully armed Phoebus-class!"
- Muuithar: "The Rambo will comply with the suggested strategy, our ships will provide the covering fire and speed our operation needs."
- Tyandas: "As will the Republic. We will help with ship repair and cover fire. What of the planet itself? How do you plan on capturing the stronghold of Tyermaillin?"
From the shadows, Agent Caranye stood forward.
- Caranye: "Leave that to me. Capturing rebels is always such fun."
- Carandial: "Now that is out of the way, is there any further questions?"
The Rambo officers present shook their heads in denial and rose from the chairs to prepare themselves and to inform their other captains. Nodding to them as they and the Republic officers left the room, Carandial turned back to the Imperial captains once they were alone.
- Carandial: "When we defeat the rebels, prepare for anything. Do not trust the Republic."
- Marquar Cuinn: "I emphatically agree, Grand Admiral. It is my recommendation that we destroy their fleet when Tyermaillin's forces are smashed."
Captain Decimius shook his head.
- Decimius: "No. That would not be in our best interests."
- Delinia Lassiter: "I agree with Captain Decimius. It would fulfill the desires of the rebels and damage our relations with the Rambo protectorate."
Sarcophoneus raised a hand.
- Sarcophoneus: "They speak the truth, Captain Cuinn. I know there are honourable Republic loyalists. If the Emperor wanted a war with the Republic, he would have made it clear."
- Carandial: "Indeed. That said, be vigilant and ready for treachery should it appear. For now, get to your ships and prepare for battle!"
Battle of VasubandEdit
Arrival in OrbitEdit
The space above Vasuband was swarming with the last remnants of the Cyrannian Imperial State's fleets, with hundreds of Vengeance-class Star Frigates and dozens of the larger Centurion-class Star Destroyers. Though many State fleets had abandoned the war effort to either surrender to the Empire, others still had remained loyal to the mysterious faction being formed by Zillum and Tyrant, with rumours pointing to the planet Yudumarth in Quadrant 82. Still, the forces under the command of Tyermaillin remained a strong and dangerous threat to all of the Cyrandia Cluster.
Suddenly on the edge of the system, a hyperspace disturbance was detected by State sensors. Dispatching a probe to the location, officials on Vasuband watched as a massive fleet arrived at the system including hundreds of Imperial Star Destroyers, Battlecruisers and the massive Nemesis-class Super Star Destroyer Imperatore, under the command of the dreaded Carandial. To their surprise however, the fleet was also made up of Rambo and Republic vessels. This was all the State could see before the probe was destroyed.
Under the command of the Basileus Admiral Chathanglas, the State fleet gathered and prepared to fight off the invaders. Streaming out of hyperspace, the joint Rambo-Republic-Imperial fleet began to approach the planet, where the State fleet was surrounding to defend the planet's cities from orbital bombardment. Though the Rambo ships were the fastest of the group, the strategy had them surrounding the Imperial ships until the battle truly began. Meanwhile the Republic held up the rear of the fleet preventing the State from flanking them. After several tense moments of approaching the planet, the first shots were fired.
To the State Fleet's surprise, the Rambo Dreadnought-Class approached the edges of the fleet and started opening fire, their full arsenal of phasers and photon torpedoes were fired upon the defending State vessels. After the dreadnoughts halted their assault, the various Star Destroyers began firing their forwards batteries as well, hammering at the State's fleet that seemed inable or unsure how to react. As the Dreadnought's continued their assault as well, it seemed the enemy fleet was trying to break the forward lines of the State's fleet before engaging in close ship-to-ship combat. During the assault, fighters were launched, realizing the first clash would be with them!
From the docking bays of the Star Destroyers, swarms of ASP fighters of various designs were launched, which soon took up position alongside the superiorly made Republic Nychus Starfighters as well as Rambo fighters, which soon clashed with State starfighters as deadly dogfights broke out between the two fleets. Meanwhile on the bridge of the Imperatore, Grand Admiral Carandial addressed the entire fleet.
- Carandial: "All ships, initiate pattern delta. Bring your ships directly against the State flotilla. We will broadside them into oblivion! Rambo vessels, use your speed to harass the larger ships while we provide cover fire!"
At the moment the transmission stopped, the entire Imperial/Republic and Rambo vessels went forwards, batteries, phasers and torpedoes launched at the desperate state vessels who tried to hold their lines. As the Rambo ships left the protection of the large vessels, they began concentrating their power to try to open lines in the defenses, their speed and agility allowed them to travel between the forward lines as the rest of the fleet of star destroyers come closer. Though the State's fleet was far beyond defenseles, and they defended their homeworld so their resolve was strong. At the flanks, the Republic Phoebus-class Star Destroyers, including Commodore Thonaloc and the Valour and Captain Vebbar of the Concord clashed with the defending fleet of the Imperial State as their star destroyers faced each other in ship-to-ship combat. Batteries were fired when their ships surrounded each other and space above Vasuband was soon filled with ships.
Flight of the FalconEdit
Moments before the Battle of Vasuband
Tironus Manition sat behind the flight controls of the Falcon, next to him sat Stench, their little stinky handy man, the girls were in the back, discussing things and listening to the stories of the Creckel Prince, Crecklorin about their kingdom at Ramalivua. Then suddenly Claire decided she wanted to visit Vasuband, something to his own astonishment, Corva agreed with! Unbelievable, why visit the capital of the Basileus? Stench pointed at a light at the control monitor, Tironus Manition smiled, within seconds they would exit hyperspace and arrive at Vasuband. Entering the cockpit, Corva watched as the ship lurched out of hyperspace into the midst of a massive battle between the Imperial State and the joint Imperial-Republic-Rambo fleet.
- Corva: "Wow nelly! A battle!"
Tironus Manition steered sharply to the right to evade an Arquitens-Class frigate, the Falcon's engines roared in protest as they narrowly escaped from collision. Entering the bridge was a furious Crecklorin, who often protested against stunts with the Falcon, wich apparently made him feel "space-sick".
- Crecklorin: "By my beard, what in blazes are you doing Lad! Are you drunk!"
- Tironus Manition: "Drunk on my desire to stay alive! Strap yourself in and don't vomit over the controls! Took me hours to calibrate them."
- Corva: "I swear, if we die I'm going to haunt you Tironus Manition!"
Crecklorin looked outside and witnessed the ships in combat.
- Crecklorin: "By the beards of my ancestors laddy, what did Claire get us into this time? First Virals at Koerband, than those blasted space Jelly-fishes at the nebula and now a space battle!"
- Corva: "Welcome to the Falcon!"
The Falcon plunged toward the atmosphere of Vasuband, narrowly avoiding the explosion of a Imperial Star Destroyer as it collided with a State vessel, rocking the ship and those inside it.
- Crecklorin; "I don't feel well!"
The Falcon might another sharp turn to the right to evade an evasion move by a Miranda-Class battlecruiser. Now between the the line of fire of state vessel and the Dreadnought-class, USS Sacred Promise Tironus Manition once again plunged towards the atmosphere. For Crecklorin, it was too much as he threw up into his motion-sickness bag. Meanwhile, Claire stumbled in the bridge, catching hold of Tironus Manition' chair to keep her balance. Corva noticed the bump on her forehead.
- Claire: "Whoa-ah, what in Artmyris name is going on here?"
- Corva: "Oh you know, the usual!"
- Tironus Manition: "Hold on! We are entering the atmosphere!"
Diving below the clouds of Vasuband, Corva noticed that the fight was expanding into the planet's atmosphere, with the crackling hull of a State Star Destroyer falling to the planet below while a massive Republic Praesator-class Star Destroyer sunk beneath the clouds like a ocean leviathan preparing to land troops. Suddenly, the ship was hit with a blast from an Imperial fighter which was chasing after the ship.
- Corva: "We have an Imperial fighter tailing us! We need someone on the aft turret!"
- Claire: "I am on it, Crecklorin! Take the portside turret!"
- 'Crecklorin: "Burp, y're right!"
Running to the back of the ship, Claire took control of the turret and began blasting at the Imperial fighter. The pilot of the fighter must have been quite capable, dodging the lances of energy before finally a look hit from Claire destroyed the fighter's wing, causing it to veer out of control and explode. With no further hostiles nearby, the Falcon prepared to touch down on the planet.
Onboard the USS Excelsior, Captain Apanoida looked stern. The battle turned into a massive chaos, remarking to herself that was the only result of working together with both Imperial and Republic officers who have something to prove for themselves.
- Apanoida: "Helm, evade that Star Destroyer, give covering fire for that frigate and slow down speed!"
Coming aside the USS Sacred Promise, a Rambo Dreadnought-Class under command of Han'Ateeshe, she noticed the warship took some severe damage at the starboard side but showed no sign of need. Suddenly the captain hailed the Excelsior.
- Han'Ateeshe: "Thank you for your covering fire captain Apanoida, I fear we are losing the formation here. These infidel state officers have more resolve than admiral Carandial predicted."
- Apanoida: "Indeed, we did our jobs right. Signal the Rambo vessels to slow down the advance, no need to risk to be hit by Vasuband's surface defenses."
- Han'Ateeshe: "Acknowledge captain, though I fear both the Republic and Imperials will frown upon it."
- Apanoida: I don't care what they think, Admiral Ramricus' orders were clear.
Cutting the transmissions, the rest of the Rambo fleet was signalled and slowed down their advance, providing aid to other ships of the task force in need while staying away from the orbital and surface defenses of Vasuband.
Chathanglas' Last StandEdit
Despite the small size of the IBS Martos, a Vengeance-class Star Frigate, it served as the flagship of Admiral Chathanglas. Holding position in the centre of the remaining State fleet, the Martos fired its heavy weapons at any size which came within range. From the bridge of the frigate, Chathanglas sat on his command chair with a focused and driven expression on his face. The Rambo assault managed to weaken the fringes of the State's fleet, with a Centurion-class Star Destroyer in the distance falling into a flower of fire and debris with a well timed torpedo from a Rambo vessel. In the far distance, he could spot a listing Phoebus-class Star Destroyer baring down on the edges of the fleet.
- Chathanglas: "Subcommander, identify that vessel immediately."
- Officer: "It is the Valour, the command ship of the Corthrinus commodore Thonaloc."
- Chathanglas: "A Republic-aligned Corthrinus? That would explain his ferocity. The Valour is harrassing our flanks while the Imperials deal with Tironuen on the other side of the planet. Take us alongside it and open fire."
- Officer: "Bu- but sir, our frigate will not be able to withstand a fully armed Republic Star Destroyer!"
Chathanglas spun to the officer, his faced filled with fury.
- Chathanglas: "You doubt me, subcommander?! You think a ship designed by a soft little Libertus and captained by a brute can withstand the might and majesty of the Basileus?!"
- Officer: "It is not tactically sound, sir! We must preserve our strength and flee this syste-"
Unholstering his pistol, Chathanglas shot the officer in the face, motioning to a nearby droid to clean up the mess.
- Chathanglas: "Anyone else feel like disobeying a direct order?"
The bridge crew murmered and got back to work. The Martos and its escort of Centurion Star Destroyers glided through space toward the Valour, which was the only enemy ship for quite a distance. On the bridge of the Republic Star Destroyer, Thonaloc exhaled deeply.
- Thonaloc: "As expected. Do not fire unless I give the word."
Thonaloc's first officer, a male Andormaru named Folu'ma nodded in reply.
- Folu'ma: "By your command, Commodore."
On the viewscreen of the Valour, Thonaloc and Folu'ma watched closely as the Martos and the State flotilla approached. When it had reached a sufficiently close distance, Thonaloc bared his teeth in a saurian expression similar to a smile.
- Thonaloc: "Signal the Sword of Peace, the Phoebus and the Concord now!"
Just as he was about to give the order to fire, Chathanglas' eyes bulged as he watched two more Phoebus-class Star Destroyers and a much larger Praesator-class Star Destroyer deactivated their phasing device and surrounded Thonaloc's vessel. A hail of blue energy erupted into space as turbolaser and hyperlaser lances arched from the Republic vessels and impacted against the Martos and its escort. Almost falling to the ground with the force of the explosion, Chathanglas struggled to right himself as he listened to faint cries from his officers.
- Officer: "Significant damage! T-they've bypassed our shields. Hyperdrive is offline!"
- Chathanglas: "Fire on the bridge of the closest destroyer and fire!"
Another blast rocked the bridge.
- Officer: "Weapon systems disabled!"
Chathanglas growled deeply.
- Chathanglas: "Thus at the end of Vasuband, I find my last breath. Helm, ramming speed!"
The engines of the Martos roared to life as the State frigate shot across the void of space toward its target. On the bridge of the Sword of Peace, Admiral Tyandas remained calm despite her clear surprise at the situation.
- Tyandas: "Fools, they would die for a hopeless cause? Full shields! Evasive manoeuvres!"
The massive Star Destroyer attempted to shift away from the path of the Martos, but it was too late. From the viewports of the bridge, what was once the blackness of space was replaced by a brilliant white heat as the Martos slammed into the shields of the Sword of Peace. The massive Praesator-class heaved under the pressure as the Martos violently exploded, killing all on board instantly. When the explosion had died down, Tyandas spread her wings and flew onto her feet.
- Tyandas: "Damage report!"
- Officer: "Injuries on multiple decks but no major causalities. Our shields absorbed most of the impact. The State fleet is collapsing under the firepower of the Republic vessels. It's all up to the Imperials now."
Nodding, Tyandas opened a connection to the Imperial fleet fighting on the far side of the planet.
- Tyandas: "Grand Admiral Carandial, Tyermaillin's fleet is smashed. What is your status?"
- Carandial: "The battle is far from over..."
The Final EffortEdit
In orbit over Vasuband, the State fleet had been all but smashed at the hands of the Republic, the Empire and the Rambo. But the battle for the planet was far from over. On the bridge of the Imperial flagship Imperatore, Grand Admiral Carandial surveyed a holographic representation of the planet, his eyes filled with a cold fury that his homeworld remained the first word those in the Empire would think of when they heard the word "rebellion". But no longer, the Basileus Admiral thought to himself. Approaching the Admiral from the front of the bridge were three figures, two of which were clad in the black armour of the Imperial Inquisition while the third was a face he recognised, the Imperial Agent Caranye. Inquisitor Akagêlth was the first to speak, the calm elven features of his face doing little to hide the disdain for the Grand Admiral in his voice.
- Akagêlth: "You have commanded the battle admirably thus far, Grand Admiral. Though myself and Inquisitor Morhioven can handle the battle from here."
The purple-faced Inquisitor motioned to his silent Mortalitas companion and back to the bridge of the vessel. Carandial knew quite well that Inquisitor Akagêlth found particular delight in assuming control over naval vessels during missions of vital importance, though the Admiral would not be so easily persuaded to give up command.
- Carandial: "You have been ordered by the Grand Inquisitor to lead the ground campaign, Inquisitor. If you are under the impression that you can assume control over the Imperatore, you are quite sadly mistaken."
A quick glance to Agent Caranye informed the Grand Admiral that she too had no love for the unwelcome presence of the Inquisitors. It was well known that Imperial Intelligence despiced the antics of the Inquisition, believing them to be far too crude and art-less when it came to routing out and destroying enemies to the Imperial Order.
- Akagêlth: "Don't be so sure, Grand Admiral. I intend to use this ship's destructive power to crack this cesspool of rebellion like an egg. It is quite clear that you lack the mettle to do so."
Just as Carandial was about to angrily retort, Caranye spoke up.
- Caranye: "Pipe down, ugly. The Grand Admiral was assigned to this mission by the Galactic Emperor himself. His orders specifically called for the capture of Tyermaillin. Alive. Blowing up the planet would be a violation of orders which come directly from His Imperial Eminence. You would risk provoking his wrath to satisfy your own psychopathic blood lust?"
- Akagêlth: "Mind your tongue, quim. You speak to an Imperial Inquisit-"
- Carandial: "Head down to the planet at once or I shall contact the Grand Mandator. Are you quite sure you'd risk your hide for the chance to captain the Imperatore?"
Akagêlth muttered a threat under his breath before he and his Mortalitas companion turned on their heels toward the hangar bay. Caranye placed a hand on her hip and scoffed.
- Caranye: "What a charmer. I miss him already."
- Carandial: "I do not find the situation amusing, Agent. You too are needed on the planet. The final phase of the war begins..."
The Mandator and the AgentEdit
An Imperial Shuttle shot through the crimson atmosphere of Vasuband, a voice filling the confined vessel with a triumphant monologue.
"The galaxy's most winningest Grand Mandator is back. Her name will be forever etched into the walls of history. Erissare is triumphant. My crowning achievement? Being singehandedly responsible for ending the Imperial State armed only with my staff, made from only the most cannibalistic of Dvotties."
Agent Caranye's brow furrowed.
- Caranye: "Madam Grand Mandator, that doesn't make any sens-"
- Erissare: "Yes indeed, young lady, whose name I will never care to know, the galaxy's prayers have been answered. Of course, I didn't get to this point by playing nice. After all, it was Erissare who set off the spark which led to the fall of that Imperatron person."
- Caranye: "I was under the impression he was deposed for conspiring against the Emperor?"
- Erissare: "That's what they want you to think. I broke into that incompetent moron's office and planted incriminating evidence of every possible variety. Human-face aphrodisiacs. A receipt confirming subscription to the "I Hate Cyrannus" monthly magazine. An autographed copy of Angazhar's autobiography. It needed to be done for the good of Basileus and it needed to be done for the good every other species in the galaxy. You know, the ones nobody cares about."
Caranye was incredibly confused. She had heard rumours about Erissare's questionable behaviour and nonsensical rants.
- Erissare: "Do I feel an overwhelming amount of guilt every time I picture the faces of his family? Not at all. Apollo said it best: "the ends justify the means"."
- Caranye: "Please, Grand Mandator. I'm reasonably confident that you made that up. Or at least... I certainly hope you did."
- Erissare: "Please try and stay quiet. We're in the middle of a battle, you know. By the way..."
The Grand Mandator pointed to Caranye's torso.
- Erissare: "I assume you're the first one to exit the shuttle. That way, your chest shields will protect myself and the others from injury."
Caranye's eyes narrowed dangerously.
- Caranye: "You know, I don't know what the Emperor was on when he decided to make you Grand Mandator, but I'm a thousand percent sure that your little clown act was a key factor which led to these sad little rebels from breaking off from the Empire. And for the record, I know that you outrank me and everything, but I have blades hidden in my hair and I'm not afraid to cause an incident."
Erissare smiled and placed a hand on Caranye's head.
- Erissare: "I try and make a point of not touching you mammal folks but for you... I like you, little agent. When this war is finished, you'll go far."
From the front of the shuttle, the pilot called back to the troops as well as Erissare and Caranye.
- Pilot: "We'll be touching down near the rally point outside the capital of Basilban. The battle is the most intense there, so prepare yourselves."
Attack on BasilbanEdit
Fighters darted through the skies above Vasuband's capital city of Basilban as massive Imperial and Republic walkers touched down in sight of the regal mountain-top city. On the command bridge of the Empire's lead Armoured Assualt Walker, Inquisitor Morhioven stood with his hands clasped behind his back, two of the walker's pilots sitting in front of him operating the controls. As they prepared their march on the city, the holographic image of Inquisitor Akagêlth appeared.
- Akagêlth: "Inquisitor Morhioven, you are to march directly up to the main gate of the city and blast it to bits. Scans of the area report that the State has nothing in their arsenal that can oppose the firepower of our armed forces."
Morhioven held out his hand dismissively.
- Morhioven: "They are Basileus, Akagêlth. Do not underestimate them."
- Akagêlth: "The word is given, Morhioven. You will act on it."
The image faded and the two pilots turned to the Mortalitas Inquisitor expectently.
- Pilot: "Your orders, Inquisitor? Shall we march on the city."
- Morhioven: "I think not, pilot. I will not endanger our men and women when it can be avoided. We will aim for the city's main power generator. Relay these orders to our Republic... friends. If any Rambo have joined the ground battle, make sure to inform them too."
- Pilot: "Yes, sir. But what of Inquisitor Akagêlth?"
- Morhioven: "My fellow Inquisitor is cunning though prefers the use of brute firepower in spite of a more deft approach presenting itself. Now. Let us begin."
Ground around the rally sight behind to rumble as though an earthquake hit, as the walkers began their trek to the city. Below, smaller vehicles including Republic Recon Walkers and Imperial Light Assualt Walkers followed quickly while a massive army made up of Rambo clonetroopers, Republic soldiers and Imperial Stormtroopers braced themselves for the onslaught. When the task force finally exited the forest surrounding the city, it was met with a roar of turbolaser fire as the entrenched State forces fire bravely on the invaders. Lancing out from the city, a turbolaser bolt struck the Heavy Walker beside Morhioven's directly in the bridge, catching it with its shields down and sending it collapsing onto a portion of the army below. Commander Corvexa of Republic Special Forces watched as the walker crushed a squad of Republic troops before she turned to her elite squad.
- Corvexa: "Come on! You can rest when you're dead!"
The members of her squad loaded their weapons.
- Corvexa: "Onwords! For the Republic!"
Corvexa, her squad and a large bulk of the Republic task force primed their weapons and let out a battle cry as they ran into the inferno of battle, energy wizzing around them as explosions ripped through the air and smoke darkened the sky. With her dual pistols, Corvexa fired at the incoming State troops and wardroids as they desperately attempted to defend their city. In the skies above the battle, the ominous shape of the Imperial Star Destroyer Basilisk appeared, providing cover fire for the ground army by bombarding the city's turret defences and isolated troop movements. With the approach of the heavy thud of Morhioven's walker, the State began to grow all the more desperate. Suddenly, the unmistakable sound of a heavy walker's primary cannon rang out across the battlefield, two brilliant lances of green turbolaser flame erupting from the walker, shooting across the sky before impacting against the city's primary power generator.
A massive mushroom cloud lit up the sky and the city's energy shield dissipated. The Basilisk began bombarding key military installations across the city as bombers from all three coalition factions turned in the direction of the city to deliever their deadly payloads.
As Commander Corvexa watched, the Imperial Bombers dropped firebombs onto the streets of the city below, consuming large portions of the area with flame while a stray turbolaser bolt collided with a towering skyscraper, sending it plummeting onto the streets below. The Imperial State was on the verge of collapse.
Search for the ScionEdit
Despite the chaos in many areas of the planet, both on the surface and in the skies above, other continents on Vasuband remained tranquil and serene. On the largest southern continent, the sun slowly set over a lush tropical rainforest, casting the ground below in a crimson hue. As the Falcon touched down in one of the forest's clearings, a herd of mammalian Galoskera ran for the safety of the trees as the alien craft landed. Corva was the first to exit the ship, with her pistol primed in case any of the native predators - or worse, the combatants of the battle - were nearby. As she stepped foot onto the grass, she turned to the others and nodded.
- Corva: "It's all clear, guys."
Claire walked out of the ramp as well, shielding her eyes against the sun she drew her blasters as well. The sight made Corva giggle, a frowning Claire made it even worse. Claire was outfitted with her new bounty hunter/mercenary outfit, with a large head she made an odd impression. Behind her Tironus Manition exited the Falcon as well.
- Tironus Manition: "Hmph. Why don't we visit somewhere nice for a change..."
- Corva: "Look on the bright side, big guy, at least there are no Virals! So Claire, why are we all the way out here anyway?"
- Claire: "I am here to get my next Scion! I hear rumores of Scion-based creature found within the Cyrannus Galaxy right here!"
- Corva: "Any idea what it looks like? I think I saw some animals running into the forest as we landed."
Tironus Manition leaned forward towards Claire and whispered in her ear.
- Tironus Manition: "You do know it right?"
- Claire: "Euh, not exactly but how difficult can it be!"
Crecklorin dropped his axe in sheer surprise.
- Corva: "Great. How do we know what's a scion and what isn't? Do they carry around name tags or something?"
Suddenly behind them Apatomo's yelled in agony, trapped in vines they were hanging in the air, captured and immobalized.
- Corva: "Poor thing! Should we rescue it?"
Crecklorin agreed and launched himself at the vines, before he could swing his axe he tossed away by another vine when a sudden low, but booming roar was heard.
- Corva: "Ahh! The tree is evil! Kill it with fire!"
Suddenly from the bushes a large and very angry Benavylsaur emerged, using it vines it captured Corva and smashed away the weapons from Claire's hands.
- Corva: "Help! All my nightmares are happening at once! Shoot the vine!"
While Claire and Crecklorin tried to regain their footing, Tironus Manition stood alone against the now angry Scion. Aiming his trusty rifle, Tironus Manition fired a bolt which impacted against the vine holding Corva, sending the Alavar crashing to the ground. As they ran for cover, the angry Scion searched for them. Suddenly the air and forest around them seemed to come alive and turned against the four warriors when leaves, branches were launched again them.
- Tironus Manition: "Seven hells, Claire this is a Scion right? Then use your own bloody ones!"
Claire readied herself and made the summoning ritual, brining forth her Pidarrow and Charzargon!
- Claire: "Pidarrow! Call upon the winds to send these branches and leaves back while Charzargon shall lit them with fire!"
Both Scions nodded and executed Claire's command. Taken by surprise, as the Benavylsaur of Vasuband never encountered other Scions before was hit dead on. Stunned, Tironus Manition followed up with another stunn blast from his rifle while Pidarrow and Charzargon both tackled the unfortunate giant.
- Claire: "Charzargon! Finish it with a flame thrower, Pidarrow use your winds to make a tornado of fire around the creature! Bring it down!"
The attack was to much for the grass-scion who bend through his knees and left paralyzed and wounded. Claire placed her hands in her sides while her Pidarrow landed on her shoulders and the Charzargon stood in front of her. Crecklorin and Corva looked from a distance in suprise. Claire had actually done it, more troubles for the crew with this Scion madness and their merc status. Tironus Manition padded Claire's shoulders and beckoned her to claim it. Approaching the defeated Benavylsaur she placed a hand at its forehead and asked if she was worthy for it, the large creature simply roared and made a slight bow and dissolved into an elemental sign that hit Claire, now she had three creatures she was able to Scion. She had to tell it to her Yodian professor, Kjac. As Claire and Tironus Manition were in conversation while returning to the Falcon, Crecklorin looked at his Alavar partner in crime.
- Crecklorin: "So Corva, whadda say? Isn't that Scion thingy not something for ye'r as well?"
- Corva: "After the weird vine thing it pulled, I'm keeping as far away as possible!"
Fall of the Imperial StateEdit
The Citadel of the Imperator is the tallest building on Vasuband, a vast and ornate palace adorned with statues of every Imperator since the formation of the Basileus Imperium countless generations beforehand. Tyermaillin stood on the highest balcony of the citadel, overlooking the battle below which had begun to settle down with the surrender of many of the State's remaining officials. It had been one hour since the Republic and Rambo forces on the planet left, as per the agreement prior to the battle, leaving the planet firmly in the mercy of the Empire. Looking into the crimson sky of his homeworld, Tyermaillin could see the vast Imperatore clearly, despite the massive ship being in orbit while smaller Imperial Star Destroyers such as the Accuser, the Basilisk and the Devastator hung silently above the ruins of Basilban, the distinct dins of battle instead filling the Imperator's ears.
Turning his head toward the recently constructed statue of the late Imperator Tyranus, Tyermaillin wondered to himself if he was truly going to be the last Imperator of the Basileus, the true and worthy rulers of the Cyrannus Galaxy and all the stars and planets within. While deep in thought, he failed to notice one of his aides enter the room. The young female Cyrannian Radeon had a deeply concerned expression etched on her face.
- Arelia: "My Lord Imperator, I strongly recommend that you escape while you have the chance. The Empire will be merciless and the State... the State is finished."
- Tyermaillin: "What of the Lords of the State Council?"
- Arelia: "Lords Palivan and Flexxis have defected to the Empire, Lord Sherelle to the Republic, Lords Firverior and Kiheh are missing and Lord Mortgerro was last seen on a shuttle to Yudumarth. It is suspected that he's joining with Zillum there. The Citadel is the last refuge for the Imperial State."
Tyermaillin sighed deeply and clasped his hands behind his back.
- Tyermaillin: "Go Arelia, you have a family. Escape while you can and... do not look back. Take my personal shuttle."
- Arelia: "B-but, my lord..."
- Tyermaillin: "Heed my last command, child."
A tear fell from Arelia's eye. She squeezed Tyermaillin's arm for a moment before running out of the room, leaving Tyermaillin alone with his thoughts. The Imperator sat at his desk, absent mindedly petting his Dvottie Mr. Bigglesworth.
Suddenly, a voice emerged from the darkness.
- Caranye: "So you do have honour. I can respect that."
Stepping forth from the shadows, the Imperial Agent had her pistol drawn, though her expression did not appear aggressive.
- Tyermaillin: "We come to it at last. Please, let my aide go..."
- Caranye: "The Empire is not without mercy. I will ensure her safe passage. I'll even ensure that your Dvottie is well looked after. But you on the other hand... you instigated war and caused the deaths of billions. Why?"
- Tyermaillin: "Every species has a right to rule themselves. Your Empire blatantly tramples on that fundamental right in the name of safety and security. Even if I die today, that ideal will live on."
Caranye continued to approach.
- Caranye: "You fooled nobody with that. A galaxy under your rule would have the Basileus at the top and every other species toiling in the dirt below. That day will never come. Now, get to your feet."
Sighing deeply to himself again, Tyermaillin placed his dvottie on the desk and he stood.
- Caranye: "In the name of the Galactic Empire of Cyrannus, you're under arrest."
- Tyermaillin: "So be it. I trust I'll be afforded the proper respect of a prisoner of war?"
- Caranye: "Of cours-"
Suddenly both Tyermaillin and Caranye heard the sound of approaching footsteps of several individuals marching down the corridor outside the office. Storming into the room came several Imperial troopers joined by two Basileus, one male and the other female. Growling, the female Basileus charged forward upon seeing Tyermaillin, whose eyes became filled with fear. Her eyes filled with fury, the Basileus punched Tyermaillin directly in the face, knocking the Imperator out cold. Caranye sank her face into her hands.
- Caranye: "... He had surrendered, Mandator Erissare..."
Erissare simply ignored the agent and twirled. Her companion Cenrond appeared quite worse for ware, being in Tyermaillin's custody ever since he conquered Vasuband two years earlier.
- Erissare: "Hah! I'm engorged, agent! Engorged with pure victory!"
- Caranye: "It's a banner day for the Empire, alright. We'll need to take him to Orbispira to stand trial."
Suddenly, Grand Admiral Carandial entered the room followed by the other Imperial captains involved in the assault, as well as the two Inquisitors.
- Carandial: "No. Grand Mandator Vosaetiur has informed me that the trial will take place on the Battlestation."
- Marquar Cuinn: "Surely he's too dangerous to be left alive..."
- Loupál: "I agree. Such a trial would result in the same outcome as an execution right now."
- Delin Lassiter: "An execution would turn him into the martyr that Tyranus became upon his death. We should not repeat the mistakes of the past."
Erissare sighed and picked up the Dvottie sitting on the desk. Walking over to Carandial, she held it out in her arms.
- Erissare: "Here, take it. Don't worry, unfortunately it's not going to explode."
Carandial nodded absentmindedly and took hold of the Dvottie, holding it close to his chest.
- Carandial: "Vosaetiur claims his orders come from the Emperor himself. Agent, please transport him to the flagship."
Caranye nodded and beamed up with Tyermaillin's unconscious body. The other Imperials saluted Carandial and Erissare before returning to their ships. Taking a seat in Tyermaillin's chair, Erissare smiled contently.
"You know, I have been here before. Not on this monstrosity specifically, but in this situation. On the very verge of death. Ten years ago, I was sentenced to death by Imperator Tyranus. You didn't know that, did you? I failed to prevent the Neraida from conquering one of our outlying sectors and since I was the praetor in command of that sector, I was chosen to sate his rage. He sent me to the centre of the assimilated zone with a light cruiser and two picket frigates. Those under my command believed that it was a recon mission, but I knew the reality of the situation. I was sent to the zone to die. As soon as we came out of hyperspace, a trio of cubes awaited us."
Tyermaillin continued to speak, his eyes fixed firmly on Taev Vosaetiur, the Grand Mandator tasked with judging the Imperator.
"Understandably, the crew expected us to run. But I had my orders. And so I ordered the fleet to engage. I had to repeat myself to my tactical officer. He wanted to know why. As we all do when our time comes to shuffle off the coil of existence. As if it provides comfort. But it doesn't. And so the fleet engaged the Neraida. Our fighters lasted a minute, swatted down like flies by the cyborgs. The brilliant green lances of the Neraida's weaponry shot out into the void, searching in the darkness for their prey. After five minutes, we were the last survivors. The frigates were gutted instantly and I watched as the atmospheres generated within boiled out into space, condemning those within to agonising deaths while they otherwise would have been blessed with mere pointless ones."
Vosaetiur listened intently as Tyermaillin continued.
"Next thing I knew, I was floating in a protective suit in space, all that remained of my ship being a disfigured mass of metal and bodies. I figured that I must have instinctively put it on as the bridge of my ship exploded around me, but it did not matter. I could feel my body grow numb as the hours progressed. And just as I began to fade, I had... a vision."
Vosaetiur's brow furrowed as he leaned his head toward Tyermaillin. "A vision?", he asked.
"Yes. Ordinarily I would not believe such things either, but it happened as real as I stand before you. I didn't lose consciousness, and I could continue to think and see, though images began flashing before my eyes. I was shown everything at once. Everything that was and everything that will be. I saw beings made from light, who could be nowhere and everywhere at once and bestowed with the power to rearrange and assemble entire galaxies like children's toys. I could see the spires of Orbispira rising and falling and I could see ships of all shapes and sizes battling in the endless voids of the galaxy. I knew that all of these ships were filled with those who had given their entire life to the art of conducting war. Phaedra, Nagith, Libertus, Basileus, it didn't matter. I came to the realisation that war and conflict will always be with us, just as a nearby Basileus Cruiser rescued me from a near certain death - evidentally Tyranus decided I was worthy of a second chance."
Vosaetiur's voice was venonmous. "The Imperial State is dead. Did you... foresee that?"
"There are many possible futures, Libertus, but shall I tell you what I did see? I might as well, you will not believe me either way. I saw planets being severed by lasers which can put your Battlestation's weapon to shame, I saw the towers of Orbispira burning, the skies of Mou'Cyran boiling and a coming purification your Empire will be powerless to stop. A storm of unspeakable ferocity. A being of light. A schism of faith and a great clash of ideals. I saw other things too... things I take to my grave."
Tyermaillin's voice became loud and defiant.
"So go ahead, Imperial. Turn the great traitor Tyermaillin to ash. You will receive no plea for mercy. However... take heed of what I said, for you too will be ash sooner or later. For each of these little conflicts is but one tiny piece of a larger whole, a war endless and inestimably larger. And your little Empire's crusade to rule the galaxy has not ended with the fall of Vasuband. In truth, it has barely begun."
Grand Mandator Vosaetiur turned his head slightly to speak with Inquisitor Morhioven for a moment before turning to face the prisoner. "Well... prisoner. I believe I have heard enough. Please stand."
His eyes filled with a cold fury, Tyermaillin stood to his feet as Vosaetiur made his decision.
"It is by my authority as Grand Mandator of the Empire's Outer Rim territories that I lawfully announce your sentence."
Standing to his feet, Vosaetiur looked down on the former Imperator as he continued.
"I do not intend to make you a martyr, Tyermaillin, as your predecessor became. No... you will rot for the rest of your days in the brig of this Battlestation. You will be alive to witness the renewal of the Empire as it becomes a vision of strength and unity without your insignificant rebellion sullying our galaxy. Inquisitor, take him away."
Nodding, Inquisitor Morhioven stepped down from the platform and walked over to Tyermaillin, who appeared somewhat disappointed that he would not be executed. Nevertheless, his voice remained defiant. "Again, take heed of my words, Grand Mandator. Your doom approaches and no amount of ships or even your Oikoumene Emperor will be able to prevent it!"
As Tyermaillin was led away, Vosaetiur couldn't help but be troubled. Oikoumene Emperor? How could the Empire's public enemy number one know of a secret that only a select few knew?
Declaration of VictoryEdit
Crowds had begun to gather along the Avenue of the Empire on Orbispira, the gleaming fascade of the Imperial Palace casting a shadow over much of the surrounding city scape, adorned with the red and black regalia of the Galactic Empire. Within the hour, the Avenue was packed full of the citizens of the Empire while starfighters streamed overhead and massive Star Destroyers hovered in the skies. Throughout the city, the anthem of the Empire was played helping to embue in the citizenry a sense of triumph and resolve. However, they had gathered more a specific reason, a rare occurance on the capital in which the Emperor himself would address his Imperial subjects.
As the crowd watched in awe, the Emperor appeared on a floating platform in front of the Imperial Palace. Raising his arms in triumph, the Emperor began to speak.
- Tyrómairon: "Citizens of the Empire, hear my words. Two years ago, an enemy arose within our very Empire seeking to spread the flames of rebellion and chaos across the civilised galaxy. They hoped to use their military might to smash the foundations of our Empire and in its place erect a corrupt regime ruled by a single race. But no more. The aims of these would-be despots have been torn assunder by the valour and strength of our great Empire."
The crowd below the Emperor cheered with all their might.
- Tyrómairon: "With the fall of the planet Vasuband, the will of the rebels has been smashed, but we shall not grow lax. Those who remain to challenge the Empire's inviolable rule will be vanquished. Take heed, enemies of the Empire, you will receive no quarter. Those who challenge Imperial resolve will be annihilated."
Raising his arms again, the Emperor rallied the crowd.
- Tyrómairon: "We have been tested but have emerged victorious! Never again will we be divided by petty divisions. Never again will world turn against world and family turn against family! The Empire will restore security, order and peace, an indivisible force unlike any seen before! For the Empire is whole once more, it will grow and strengthen as we march to retake the galaxy!"
As the crowd roared their approval, chanting "Empire Eternal!", the Emperor's platform returned to the confines of the Imperial Palace. Upon entering, the Oikoumene Emperor translocated to his hidden lair in the planet's core, where he was met with the Lords of the Mornûnendur. They however, remained silent as the Dark Lord moved forward.
- Tyrómairon: "Do not mistake my words as constituting the singular truth of our reality, my friends. The Primercer lies scattered and powerless and the rebels have been crushed. And yet, we still have countless enemies, both seen and unseen."
- Thaurlathrón: "There are still hostile Cogsangui forces loyal to the Primercer to be eliminated. We have also ignored the children of the Nagith for too long. It is only a matter of time until they attack again."
The Dark Lord considered the Imperial Overseer's words.
- Tyrómairon: "Irrelevant. Something is rising... Something that even the vision I have wrought by the fall of the Primercer fails to see. Prepare, my Mornûnendur, for our future has never been threatened as it is now. The Empire may be at peace... but it will not last. The final battle approaches... and whomever is victorious will shape the destiny of these stars."