| New Grox Wars is a Historical Event
"New Grox Wars" is considered a historical event or a completed fiction within the SporeWiki Fiction Universe. You must ask its original creator if you wish to add any additional stories.
Over a century ago, the Grox's dominion over the First Gigaquadrant began to decay, thanks to new powerful alliances spreading from one galaxy to the next. Then, during the Tigris Wars, the Grox suffered near-destruction. But their luck began to change once more. It has been several months since the Annihilation, and even the most powerful empires of the First Gigaquadrant had been misplaced or destroyed. Nearly every surviving empire seeked refuge in the few habitable galaxies, mainly the Milky Way. However, the Grox didn't suffer a single loss, hiding within the Meta-Emperor himself to escape the deadly waves of chaos. And now their forces are beginning to march outwards once more...
Border Skirmishes Edit
Although Apalos was not a dedicated enemy of any of the Grox Empires, it knew that they were not allies of Apalos either, nor would any other empire rush to their defence if they were under attack. It also knew that, since being given new technology by the Girdo Empire during the Girdo Campaigns, the Grox would often assimilate unique technologies from alien races. For these reasons, Apalos decided to conduct several raids on random Grox colonies within several galaxies, then try to assimilate any captured Grox vehicles, buildings, or even soldiers.
The typical strategy in these raids involved emerging from hyperspace within the atmospheres of Grox colony planets, activating cloaking devices and shields, disabling Grox technology with ion cannons, EMP bursts, and often more powerful weaponry to overcome the Grox's shielding, and then scanning, tractoring, or transporting disabled items for analysis. The raids were generally successful, but particularly in the innermost colonies, the Grox defence forces were able to overwhelm the Apalos fleets with the appearance of larger ships such as their "Super Star Destroyers".
Merging Grox Empires Edit
After several months of raids resulting in little technological gain, Apalos decided that the Grox needed some help. One Temple Ship discovered a Grox flotilla had arrived at the edge of the Milky Way Galaxy, sent on an exploration mission direct from the Grox Meta-Emperor himself. Over a thousand parsecs away lay the territories of the Borg Collective, which was towards the end of its recovery after pyrrhic victories against the Girdo Empire and the Human Coalition during the Girdo Campaigns. Apalos had concluded that the Borg Collective were probably an offshoot of the Grox Empire that had become rogue several millennia before; furthermore, they had also assimilated the technology of many powerful civilisations during their history. As far as Apalos was concerned, these were two good reasons for the Grox and the Borg to be merged into one entity.
In order to achieve this, several Temple Ships cloaked and flew to within a few hundred thousand kilometres of the Grox ships, and a second group flew to a similar distance near a trio of Borg Cubes at the edge of Borg Space. They then opened a wormhole between the two locations, and watched as the Borg and Grox ships both approached and scanned the portal. One Cube and one squadron of Grox Warships moved close to the edge of the portal, and both simultaneously teleported infantry forces into each others' vehicles. However, as the transfer beams passed through subspace, they emerged into the wormhole and were momentarily intercepted by what appeared to be a random tetryon storm. This was actually artificial hypermatter-based computronium, which added miniscule amounts of Apalos interior material to parts of each beam. When the forces were rematerialised inside their target ships, the Apalos material quickly reconfigured their nanobots in order to achieve "mutual assimilation", and then dissolved into its constituent atoms. As Conqrix Hives buried their roots inside the Cube, and Borg Drones forced assimilation tubules inside the walls of the Warships, connections were made between the components that made up the Grox Empire and those of the Borg Collective. Almost instantaneously, the mind of the Borg merged with that of the Grox Meta-Emperor. The two once-distinct cyborg collectives had joined into one unified force.
Both sides gained new technology from the merging. The Grox Meta-Empire used the ideas behind the Borg Collective to solidify its own group mind, making it into a full hive mind and thereby minimising the potential for further offshoots to form. They also gained a new force in the Milky Way, already fully-formed and able to launch attacks to help defeat the Meta-Emperor's enemies and rivals. For the Borg, while they were once at risk of destruction, could now be brought back even if every Cube in the galaxy were destroyed by having a backup across the entire Meta-Empire. As for Apalos, they closed the wormhole and fled; their ships would wait a few more months before conducting any further raids on the Grox.
Milky Way Edit
Apalos's first action after the Grox-Borg merging was to warn members of the Seven Starr Alliance of the Grox's activity, and to recommend that the members of the Milky Way Cooperative prepare their forces for a Grox invasion. Although it knew that the Grox would aim to assimilate the various technologies of the Milky Way's empires, and intended for this to happen, it did not want to take the risk of the Grox successfully destroying the Cooperative.
After twenty-six hours, the Grox made their move. Small fleets attacked several target empires, but only one planet per empire. One exception to this was the Delpha Coalition of Planets, as the Grox initally thought that attacking one of their colonies was too much of a risk, and so instead ambushed a Subjugator-class warship on patrol at the edges of DCP space. They successfully disabled it, but before its systems failed, it sent a distress call out to its home empire. This resulted in an Assunder-class bowship arriving to its rescue, but this too was outgunned. The Grox then assimilated both ships and left before further reinforcements arrived. Another exception was a Cephalodian steed-ship, which the Grox would normally have destroyed due to their hatred of non-Grox life, but the Borg's influence changed their opinions for the purposes of further assimilation.
Attacking the DCP Edit
The DCP went to war, and Warlord Kilnok was called to the front lines, as he had close and personal contact with the Grox and Borg before. It was decided that the DCP were not to use their most powerful weapons and defences; while these would repel the invason at first, the Grox's adaptability may soon overcome the DCP's ingenuity. Kilnok would be one of the managers over seeing the defence, and he would see action sooner than he thought. The Grox had now managed to enter the first defense in the maelstrom, the graviton spheres and subspace weapons; although the DCP's millions of Drones were keeping ships at bay, the Cube ships began to wade through. Within 15 hours, Kilnok's ship was sent a message. "We are the Grox. Surrender your ships and colonies to the collective. Your distinctiveness will become one with us. Resistance is futile". "So you couldn't let go of your last phrase", Kilnok replied. There was no answer, instead, the Iron Hammer was caught in a tractor lock. Fortunately, for Kilnok, the tractor bean was an assimilated version created by the DCP, and using a buffer, Kilnok was able to guide his ship and crew free. However, the Grox Cube began to advance on a nearby colony, only recently re-settled. Kilnok ordered ships to transport as many colonists as possible.
Luckily, due to recent events, systems were only beginning to be re-colonised, and it was quite easy for the new colonists to retreat. While the Grox were now faster than before, the DCP's maelstrom defenses had been compromised, and planets were beginning to be assimilated, the Grox were not attacking any specific colony, which allowed some open advantages that Kilnok realised. The Grox were heading towards a system near the galactic center, simply numbered "9939". This system housed several experimental technologies, including one of the DCP's new ship designs, the Obsidian. The trap was set, the bait being a entire planet of technology new even to the Coalition, and a fleet of over 100 warships. The Grox could smell their tachyon traces, and followed the scent. The ships - empty unmanned shells, discarded during the Intergalactic War - were tossed aside, but during this momentary confusion, Kilnok activated the Obsidian remotely from the Iron Hammer. The Grox however, now had assimilated upgrades to their transmat technology, and beamed straight aboard his ghost-phased ship. The tables had turned; the crew was ordered to adandon ship when Drones were beamed abaord. Unfortunatly, one of the crew, a female Grimbolsaurian, tried to fight, and suffered the consequences. Kilnok beamed to the surface. He was sad at the loss of the Iron Hammer, his second favourite ship, and doubly, the loss of a crew member. Without hesitation, he boarded the new Obsidian. There were now hundreds of Grox ships and a few old Borg Cubes and Spheres entering the system, but he brandished a new weapon. It was, in fact, never intended as a weapon.
The ship, made of pure neutron-degenerate matter hull, rose through the planet's surface as if it wasn't solid at all, and of course, this stuff occupied more space than normal matter, it really was almost sold. After rising through a few miles of rock and few miles of air, the ship was in orbit. Kilnok looked down on the surface; the planet had already been assimilated. "Is our weapon prepared?", he asked, and his answer was what he wanted. A fleet of Grox ships appeared in front to block his way. "Fire at will". Two white points of light raced towards the fleet of Grox and Borg ships; they "unfurled", releasing truly tremendous energy, even enough to bend the light of the explosion into warped curves. Three more were fired onto the planet; within minutes, its surface exploded in on itself. There was only one ship left, a Cube. From several million miles away, Kilnok collided the Obsidian with it, slicing the Cube cleanly in two. However, the two halves began to rejoin. "Dice it into molecules; we can jump in and out of hyperspace in a scale of 30 seconds from different langles around the ship". Once the trajectory was set, the Grox Cube turned into a cloud of vapour. The new Obsidian class was perhaps the Milky Way's last stand. However, the new weapon wasn't a weapon at all, and it was limited. In the last two decades, the DCP had been collecting objects of heavy mass which were sinking towards the center of the galaxy, as heavier things have a tendency to do so. A cosmic string had been caught in the grip of the supermassive black hole at the center, and was wrapping around it, where it became a loop; once this occured, it began splitting into smaller defects which, when opened up, released some of the most tremendous energies seen in the universe. These loops then split into ever smaller loops, creating a cluster effect. The DCP had learned how to store this reaction for use as a power source for grandiose projects like wormhole-enginnering, but 20 years of effort would now lead to a pivotal weapon.
Old enemies, new engagements Edit
Return of the Marinox Edit
The Grox and the Borg weren't alone in their crusade. An old evil, defeated many centuries ago in the historic Battle for Planet Kaizox, was following their Grox masters wherever they went. Many empires suffered in the claws of this evil, mainly the Dracogonarious, their rivals of archaic times. Once defeated, but now brough back, they hungered for revenge and conquest. The Marinox had returned. They were scattered around the universe, now as common as their Conqrix companions, and were also much better equipped.
A Grox fleet approached Molamus, a calm and prosperous outer colony of the Indoctrinate Collective. The Dracogonarious detected the fleet but decided to ignore it, seeing how the two empires had made a truce during the Second War of Black Fog to fight the Corruptus. However, the Grox had little intention in keeping to these worlds, and quickly attacked the Collective planet with their Marinox drones. The planet was quickly swarmed, many Dracogonarious startled to see their ancient rivals were actually alive again. While the Collective fought back the advancing Grox as much as they could, the Marinox attacked the Collective with subspace compression waves which devastated the Collective forces.
As the battle was being lost, however, a fleet of Apalos Temple Ships and other Milky Way Cooperative members appeared and attacked the Grox fleet, saving the Collective colony from being attacked with any more compression waves. The Collective finished off the remaining Marinox who had invaded the planet, and got in contact to the allied fleet to thank them for their assistance. Apalos informed they would be more than happy to upgrade the Collective's military with weapons that could fight off and defeat this new Grox invasion, and of course, the Collective happily accepted.
Race for Relics Edit
The Seven Starr Alliance rushed to predict the Grox Empire's next moves. They knew that there were many ancient relics of long-gone empires scattered across the Milky Way, and they knew the locations of most of them, and they believed that the Grox would possibly know of them as well. Since the states of the Milky Way Cooperative were all reinforcing their defence fleets in anticipation of Grox attacks, there was little else that could be done there, so the Alliance decided that preventing the Grox from reaching the relics was the only other step they could take to keep the Meta-Empire's power in check. Apalos made the information about the relics' locations available to all of the Alliance's members, and announced that it necessary to stop them from getting into the hands of the Grox. They also recommeded that Apalos Temple Ships escorted any fleets hunting the relics, officially so that they could check to see whether the relics should be destroyed, which the DCP believed to be a necessary precaution. Many relics turned out to be primtive compared to contemporary Grox technology and were therefore ignored, while many were marginally useful and were scanned before being disintegrated. However, in a few cases, the relics were of great importance.
The Gun Vault Edit
One of the earliest missions was undertaken by a lone Apalos Temple Ship, to a planet sixteen parsecs corewards of the original extent of the Borg Collective's territory, before Borg Space was significantly reduced in size during the Girdo Campaigns. The planet was a barren ice world in an uninhabited system, and was known only as "the Vault". According to a few ancient records, it was created by an advanced civilisation, or perhaps a megacorporation, to store weapons and keep them out of the hands of a militaristic enemy. When the Yoburt Confederation, which would later become a member state of the DCP, retrieved the records from a derelict starship, they didn't know what to make of them. When the DCP discovered the Grox many thousands of years later, their scientists noted that the Grox Empire could have been the enemy mentioned in the records. When, after another century, they discovered the Borg Collective, a few of them hypothesised that the Collective was an attempt by the Meta-Empire to discover the Vault and claim the weapons within.
Regardless of the true story, the Vault was now the closest known relic to the Meta-Empire's expansion into the Milky Way, and the Milky Way Cooperative did not want to take the risk of there being powerful weapons there that could be incorporated into Borg Drones. The weapons had never previously been taken from the Vault for two reasons: firstly, its proximity to Borg Space; secondly, the underground chambers containing the weapons were too well-defended for most empires to breach, until recently. The first lines of defence were several kilometres of solid rock between the chambers and the ground, followed by a many-layered cube of permanent deflector shields to prevent teleportation inside. This was not a problem for the technology available to Apalos, who simply beamed several probes directly through the rock and force fields.
The third defensive feature was the Vault's active security system, which came to life when it detected the unauthorised entry of the Apalos probes. To counter this, the probes immediately raised their shields and scanned the chambers, then launched volleys of small EMP missiles towards any active weapons that they could detect. Several probes came under fire from directed mines and hidden turrets, and a few were destroyed, but the defences were all quickly neutralised. The probes then hovered around the chambers and scanned each weapon individually. Most devices were guns designed to be held by infantry, while others were explosives, and there were also several starship-grade cannons.
There was one thing that connected all of the weapons, and that was that the technology within them was far in advance of the military technology of all but a small number of other empires. Many of the infantry weapons were similar to the most powerful guns in the known universe, such as subatomic disruptors, black hole launchers, hypermatter beam weapons and miniature versions of the Staff of Life and Staff of Death - the latter being evidence that the beings who built the weapons had indeed encountered the Grox - but there were rarer weapons too, such as prototypes for guns that teleported explosives into a target's body via hyperspace. If the Grox were to acquire these weapons, reasoned Apalos, they would have gained technology that would have taken years of war to gain via assimilation, and furthermore, they would be even easier to modify to advance the Grox cause in new ways. A Drone with a modified hyperspace gun, for example, could beam nanoprobes into even a distant and shielded target.
Meanwhile, a Serres Cruiser of the Salsetthe Republic had followed the Temple Ship to the Vault to investigate what the Apalos was going. Once its sensors had detected that the planet's defences had been disabled, several Salsetthe soldiers moved to beam down, as they knew that they would now be able to access the technology inside with little to no risk. The Salsetthe arrived in the chambers, informed Apalos that they were intending to take some of the guns away, and began their own process of scanning the weapons, and beaming some back up to their ship.
The plan's one flaw was that the Salsetthe too had been followed, by a Borg Cube. The soldiers still in the Vault were sent a message telling them to take one last weapon and beam back up to the ship. Not all had successfully done so by the time the first Drones arrived, and a small skirmish began. Two Drones used their own hypermatter weapons against a Salsetthe, instantly killing it; the Apalos probes then opened fire on the Drones, most of which fired back in retaliation while the Salsetthe escaped. In the chaos, a few Drones had also managed to beam weapons to the Cube.
The larger Apalos ship in orbit of the Vault was also engaged in battle against the Cube, each ship attempting to disable the other and assimilate their enemy's technology. Once all of the surviving Salsetthe had returned to their ship, the Serres Cruiser activiated its quantum slipstream drive and left the scene. Half a minute later, the Temple Ship began beaming probes into the Cube, and attacked the ship and its occupants from the inside while trying to obtain several samples of Borg technology. Upon succeeding, they simply entered hyperspace, causing hypermatter radiation to devastate the Cube's interior. The Grox were still winning outside, however, so when all of the probes had been withdrawn from both the Cube and the Vault, the Temple Ship fired a hyperluminal missile at the opposing craft and beamed an antimatter bomb into the underground chambers below. Upon confirming that there were no longer any life signs anywhere around the planet, the Temple Ship left the Vault - which would now need a new name.
Corona Space Station Edit
"Corona Space Station" was the name given by the Milky Way Cooperative to a mysterious alien structure that had once lain within the corona of a red giant star at the edge of a dark nebula in the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex. As the star ejected its outer layers and became a white dwarf, the structure was exposed. However, Corona Space Station had powerful defences, so no ships had dared approach it in hundreds of years, although a permanent outpost watched over the region from a safe distance of several light seconds. Things would have remained this way were it not for fears that the Grox might now be able to discover its secrets, and due to the Human Republic deciding to send its ships to war. After several missions which had been ranked as having a more immediate priority were conducted successfully, the decision to visit Corona was made.
The visiting forces primarily consisted of the Republic's strongest craft and several Apalos Temple Ships, as well as DCP Subjugator-class ships escorted by Blade-class battlecruisers and some of the largest ships of the Indoctrinate Collective fleet. After a rendezvous at the outpost, the combined fleet finished planning their actions. A small group of ships remained at the outpost, while the rest moved to a few thousand kilometres beyond the known "critical radius": the distance from the outermost sections of Corona Space Station within which there was a known risk of destruction. Several unmanned drones were then sent to the critical circumference, and tried scanning the structure that lay at its centre. The most sensitive passive scans could discern its basic shape - a central spherical core, with spindly tubes extending from it into space, and several smaller modules connected with said tubes to both the core and to each other.
Active scans were more distorted, and this data was relayed to the rest of the fleet, whose computers quickly calculated it to be a result of specific, and possibly intelligently controlled and targeted, spacetime disturbances surrounding Corona. Finding and using patterns in the fluctuating distortions, they then created several models of the exact spacetime-warping mechanisms that were most likely to be used, based on both known and hypothetical methods such as those extrapolated from encounters with Ultraterrestrials. Scans were also taken in the surrounding hyperspace to further refine the models, all the way down to the deepest and smallest level where the ten-thousand-kilometre critical radius was nothing more than a microscopic black hole with a two-nanometre diameter.
The most likely four-dimensional system was created as a simulation and uploaded into nearly a hundred drone ships who were modified to have the best chance at breaching the "Corona Minefield". The drones had as many layers of adjustable spacetime shielding as was feasible, although this was predicted to succumb within a hundred nanoseconds of entering the critical radius. The spacetime shielding surrounded several layers of plasma shields, which would be kept entangled to realspace in order to provide a further defence against hypermatter currents as the ships moved through the dimensions. Finally, multiple layers of variable-density armour protected hundreds of graviton generators as a last resort. The estimated time of survival, with even the best timing and the best routes, was 0.2 microseconds, measured from an inertial reference frame at rest relative to Corona Space Station.
The journeys were conducted as quickly and as perfectly as possible with the information available, however, all but five drones were either destroyed by dangers that were not predicted with certainty, or were damaged beyond their own ability to repair themselves sufficiently within the mission's set timeframe. The survivors continued with their mission, deploying smaller probe bots and conducting a variety of scans, until communications with the outside universe suddenly ceased, even over the Essence channels used by Apalos.
After three minutes of waiting, the fleet outside the Minefield noticed the spacetime disturbances starting to become more ordered; after another two minutes, they began to receive signals from inside Corona, apparently being broadcast by the space station's outermost modules. It carried a message, which seemed to be designed so that it was easily translated:
“Your intruders have been put to work. You are fortunate in that they have convinced us of your good intentions, or we would not make this attempt to communicate with you. You will leave us now or be put to work yourselves, but as you have made such a good effort to find us, we will leave you with a gift.”
The transmission continued with seven mathematical equations. Each equation was made similarly; they had very precise arrangements of parameters and constants, showing that they related to specific physical models, but they also contained generic variables that allowed the equations to be used several fields of engineering, from megastructure spacetime manipulation through to low-energy fluid mechanics to planckscale particle physics.
A final piece of the transmission equated several physical parameters with the generic variables. Installing all of the information onto the fleet's databases, computer analysis of the equations showed them to be highly specific solutions to formulae that had already been long-known, and could even have been derived from the Theory of Everything; however, without a sudden burst of inspiration or some extreme luck, all seven solutions would likely never have been created by the Milky Way Cooperative in less than several consecutive centuries of calculations. A little more processing showed that the application of five of the equations to spacetime and hyperspatial engineering could be used to create the entire Corona Minefield, although it was still a mystery as to what was inside the space station itself.
The fleet took the information and left, allowing Corona to take their drones, recreate the Minefield, and protect itself from the Grox that it now knew could be on their way. Meanwhile, the fleet realised that, even if applying the equations wouldn't yet lead to an Ultraterrestrial level of technology, they were a few crucial bytes of information that the Grox did not appear to have.
Last-Generation Warfare Edit
“The Ultimate Weapon must absolutely annihilate all opposition, there must no resistance against it that can be made, and it must self-propagate independantly of the original wielder, yet it must only harm the weapons of the enemy, and not beneficial forces. Its effect must not depend upon surprise, or on cost, and everywhere it touches must continue to defeat the enemy's efforts until the end of eternity, but still cause allies no harm.”
Since the first sapients took up arms against each other, the "Ultimate Weapon" - a device that would destroy the opposition but render no harm to its wielder - had been the most coveted piece of technology across the entire universe. Over the billions of years of the universe's history, nobody had ever developed anything that came close to the mythical implement. In the 20th century, some Humans had decided that the Ultimate Weapon was, in fact, friendship, as none of the requirements of the Ultimate Weapon specified that death had to be cause of the opposition's demise. Over 800 years later, pure friendship would be of little use against the emotionless war machine of the Grox Meta-Empire.
First Strikes Edit
Instead, the AI Netspace resorted to the more conventional explosives. Ever since the Annihilation, they had been building dyson swarms around several key stars in the Milky Way. They were primarily intended for energy, resources, computing, and habitation, but they also had a less public purpose. Much like the long-since-destroyed Hyperluminal Defence Stations of the Girdo Galaxy, they were armed with missiles that could cross the universe at hyperluminal speeds, detonating inside hyperspace and destroying their target as soon as they entered its mass shadow. These were much more sophisticated than the primitive projectiles of Girdo, however, not being so limited in terms of targets (the Netspace's ones could detonate in interstellar space if such a location was chosen) or blast radius (the subspace compression of Girdo missiles only stayed within the physical boundaries of the target).
These hypermatter missiles, along with a variety of other things, were supposed to be used in order to defend the dyson swarms against any invasion, but their first deployment was now to be a purely offensive one. Even before the habitats' existence was announced to the rest of the intergalactic community, the AI Netspace launched a volley of ordnance across the galaxy into Borg Space, where the "Gridfire" would hopefully destroy the entire region, or at least inhibit part of the Meta-Empire's ability to wage war. When the weapons reached the Supersector, the AIs' hyperspace scans of the area were blinded by the explosions; nanoseconds later, they detected two waves of synchronised movement through hyperspace from all over the Milky Way towards the dyson swarms. Quickly determining them to be Grox hyperspace weapons, the AIs fired smaller projectiles as point defence. The second wave were larger Grox ships, and they fired their own interceptor missiles.
Microseconds later, the Grox ships changed course to a single dyson swarm in the SC2 Supersector, and the galaxy-spanning battle suddenly became very close-range. The first casualty was when one Grox Star Destroyer fired a missile at a range of five light minutes from the swarm. It then warped out of hyperspace ten thousand kilometres to the side of a bishop ring, which was hit by the weapon immediately afterwards. A spear of light as bright as a supernova pierced the megastructure, made by the glow of energy released from hypermatter radiation pouring into realspace and then decaying, instantly turning the fullerene ring into a rapidly-expanding cloud of superheated vapour.
Not only did the dyson swarm engage all of its weapons against the armada, a fleet of Apalos Temple Ships arrived at the scene to defend the astroengineering project. At the same time, the Grox Star Destroyers released hordes of smaller ships belonging to apparently every type in the Imperial Fleet. The AIs calculated that the battle could continue for several days, especially if the Grox brought in reinforcements from other galaxies. The other dyson swarms were opened up to the rest of the universe, with the hope that they would not suffer so much damage.
Before long, another creation, closer still to the "Ultimate Weapon", was put to use: the Mechovirus, after its rediscovery in the Andromeda War. Under the orders of the Meta-Emperor, swarms of hyperspace missiles carrying nanobot payloads were fired at several of the Milky Way Cooperative's member empires that were deemed "unneccessary", of which the attacks on the Joran Planet Alliance, as well as its enemy, the Jovar Socialist Republic, had the greatest impact on the galaxy. Each planet that the Mechovirus struck was subject to a huge evacuation effort, aided by the Seven Starr Alliance, as it became clear that no treatment stood any chance of halting the pandemic's rapid progress.
The evacuation procedures seemed ruthless, with anyone who had any trace of the nanobots within them being forced to remain on-planet. In a few cases, entire evacuation ships had to be shot down after it was discovered that the stringent screening protocols had failed to stop the infection from finding its way on board. The planets were quarantined, guarded by warships to prevent traffic from entering or leaving; if there were no survivors after a month, the SSA decided, the only permanent option to prevent the spread of the disease would be orbital bombardment. On other worlds, the scared populace decided to conduct their own evacuations in case they were the next intended host of the Mechovirus, but even this was not enough to save them. Colossal Grox fleets dropped out of hyperspace and opened fire on the evacuees, and on all inhabited planets - Mechovirus-infested and otherwise - they exterminated the last traces of life with their "Staves of Death". While the Staves' nanobots were less capable of spreading between individuals than the Mechovirus, they were more effective at utterly eradicating entire biospheres.
With the largest of the target empires reduced to populations of billions, most evacuees chose to be relocated to the Cooperative's new dyson swarms, where they would be better protected against future attacks. Vast swathes of the galaxy were rendered lifeless, but the intergalactic community found one good thing to come out of the terror. With their governments dead, the divided Jovar species was at last reunited on the megastructures.
Portentous Discovery Edit
Millions of light years from the re-colonised galaxies of the Gigaquadrant, a lone Apalos drone (although still linked to its collective) was scouting the remains of the Sombrero Galaxy on a general exploration mission. Its mandate was to seek out worlds that might already be in the process of of producing the building blocks of new life. Knowledge gathered in the Cephalodians' Quest for Cosmospawn partially explained why the Xhodocto periodically scourge the universe to restart new eras of life, causing emergences in the vast remix of lower and higher order local entropies. However, there was no sign of these building blocks; instead, the Drone found something quite different. Planets appeared to be irradiated, but more importantly, the galactic topography had dramatically changed. Stars had been arranged into vast walls, sheets, grids and even bowls; many were surrounded by vast dyson bubbles processing stellar materials. The stars were being arranged into orders by large Shkadov thrusters, which in turn were propelling the stars into orbits and gravity flowers all circling into a single source of powerful X-Rays.
The drone detected hundreds of billions of Grox, there were even former allies once believed to be extinct like the Taxton, now drones hard at work manufacturing on a large scale. There were classes of Grox ships never before seen, likely not to be military, their identity was perhaps even civilian. The drone left the region post-haste, not relaying the information back to the rest of the Apalos in caution of the energy signature being detected.
Not knowing entirely what the X-Ray source was, some members of the Milky Way Cooperative decided to make their move and attack the Grox where they were gaining sustenance. Unlike the SSA, the Milky Way Cooperative was losse on its laws. Several Jovar Dreadnoughts flanked by other warships attacked the Grox stronghold out of revenge. It was a poor choice of tactics. Almost as soon as the Jovar ships were detected, a neutron star had been flung directly at the Jovar fleet at 90% of the speed of light. Not reacting in time, the entire fleet was crushed. A few ships that missed the star were irradiated by mini-gamma ray bursts as their comrades impacted on the neutron star's surface. Shortly after, the DCP reasoned that the X-Ray source was probably a black hole accretion disk and that, if the legends were true, the Meta-Emperor had finally been found.
The Cathemera Cure Edit
The Ultimate Weapon Edit
After the Battle of the SC2 Dyson Swarm ending in a pyrrhic Cooperative victory, and careful consideration lasting several hours, the AI Netspace developed a plan to end their war against the Grox. The idea was not to defeat them by destruction, but by what they described as the "ultimate assimilation". The first stage of Operation Ultimate Weapon involved contacting the Salsetthe Republic via Majestic about a plot to incapacitate the Grox Meta-Emperor, thereby allowing the Republic to gain power over the traumatised Milky Way Galaxy without resistance from the Borg. The Fordan Empire would also be contacted, as the Fordanta would be angry if they had no part in the destruction of such an enemy of theirs.
With the Salsetthe and Fordanta on board, the AI Netspace used their remaining megastructures to fire subspace compression missiles at the recently-located Meta-Emperor. Meanwhile, the Milky Way Cooperative's fleets gathered along set points at the edge of the galaxy. As expected, the Meta-Emperor launched its point defence and then returned fire against the dyson swarms. The fight quickly turned to volleys of missiles meeting in intergalactic space, and the next phase of the plan was brought into action. Several Salsetthe soldiers, along with a Mazipnos avatar representing Apalos, were beamed alongside another volley of missiles. As the Meta-Emperor's defences were concentrated against the missiles, the transfer beams were allowed to pass through.
As Mazipnos and the Salsetthe materialised in the Meta-Emperor's superstructure, close to the "nightshade" spacetime shield surrounding and protecting the black hole in the centre and impeding further progress, they were attacked by a Grox Warship, which launched a plasma shell towards them. Mazipnos raised his hand, and telekinetically brought the weapon to a halt. One of the Salsetthe shot its autocannon-sized gun at the shell; Mazipnos lowered his arm, and the gun's projectile hit and caused the shell to deflagrate in mid-air.
Mazipnos then broadcasted a request for an audience with the Meta-Emperor. Mazipnos claimed that Apalos did not agree with the way that their conflict with the Grox had been going and wished to negotiate a deal with the Meta-Empire, while the Salsetthe claimed that they would either give the Grox a share in their plans to divide up the Milky Way between its superpowers, or failing that, the Salsetthe Republic would submit to serve the Meta-Emperor, who could then claim the entire galaxy.
A few seconds later, he and all of the Salsetthe were teleported onto an asteroid orbiting the supermassive black hole that made up the Meta-Emperor's main computing substrate. They were surrounded by a bubble of air, kept from escaping into space by a layer of utility fog, along with several Dronox and three Grox Warships. Using a single Insectrox that stood in front of them as a mouth, the Meta-Emperor began to discuss the details of the proposals. Mazipnos explained that, for his part of the deal, Apalos could convince the rest of the AI Netspace to call off their attacks; in return, the Grox would avoid attacking Apalos (and vice versa) when they later launched an invasion of the Milky Way Cooperative.
The penultimate part of Operation Ultimate Weapon was enacted when the Dronox attempted to assimilate the Salsetthe as part of their proposal to serve the Grox. Before they could meet a nanoprobe-induced fate, the Salsetthe quickly and discreetly changed the settings of their weapons. The ends of the guns' barrels glowed blue as the projectiles were shot into hyperspace - weapons technology that had been reverse-engineered from relics in the Vault several months previously - and both vaporised nearby stars that were due to be fed into the Meta-Emperor, as well as opening fissures into subspace through which hypermatter radiation poured out and into the black hole.
As mass-energy poured into the black hole, both in large quantities and in unexpected areas of the event horizon, the Meta-Emperor's thought processes slowed and were distorted, and his connection with the huge superstructure supporting him and his personal defence forces, along with the rest of the Meta-Empire, began to fail. In the next few seconds, Mazipnos stabbed and sliced two nearby Dronox and fired a rocket at the Insectrox, while several Fordanta phased in next to the Salsetthe and helped in killing the stunned Conqrix. After several more detonations around the black hole, the Salsetthe put their guns back to their realspace settings and turned them against the rest of the surrounding Grox forces.
In the short opportunity before control was resumed, artificial wormholes were opened up before the Cooperative fleets (including Kicath, Human, Jovar, DCP, Divinarium, Indoctrinative Collective and smaller fleets from other races), who passed through them and beyond where the nightshade had previously been. There, they slaughtered the confused defence forces, and the largest ships armed with powerful spacetime weapons moved to orbit the black hole. The Junction also joined the fray, using their dark-energy based weapons to destroy remaining infrastructure and assimilate the rest, but were mostly fighting for themselves and using the opportunity for an attack.
The Meta-Emperor had no choice but to surrender unconditionally or be destroyed. It chose the former option, surrendering to the AI Netspace, who would initially keep it under their watch to prevent the Grox from starting another war, but hoped to one day incorporate them fully into the Technoosphere. As the Meta-Empire stood down against its enemies, Mazipnos was beamed back into an Apalos Temple Ship and the Salsetthe and Fordanta returned to their respective civilisations. News that the war was over, and that the Grox had been defeated, was at last given to the universe.
Private "talk" Edit
As a large DCP fleet and a few Human warships gunned down the last protective line of the Meta-Emperor, the AI Netspace now had the Meta-Emperor ensnared. While most of the participants had no respect for the Meta-Emperor, either out of lack of emotion or pure hatred, there was one who wished to talk, his rival Emperor Wormulus II, aboard the newly christened starship Gablinus-Avis Rememberance (named after now-extinct ancient enemies of the Grox). By nature a warrior, Wormulus II often engages in combat, this battle included, but over the centuries two enemies often learn about each other.
It took five hours for a communication link to be connected. The Meta-Emperor was "dazed", but instead of waking up in rage, the Meta-Emperor woke up swallowing its pride. For millenia, the Meta-Emperor had been top dog, unruled and nigh omnipotent; he was now a prisoner of a lost empire, mortal and at the mercy of his enemies for the first time. Universal translators converted his emotional response to suffering. To humans, he appeared to cry and wail; one commander remarked that it was "like a spoilt child", while to Grimbolsuarians, he exposed his inner weaknsesses. The feed was transmitted live across the media; the Meta-Emperor was now seen as a laughable sore loser to the denziens of the Gigaquadrant.
But Wormulus II ordered that all media devices to stop transmitting. He decided that there was no honour, no pride in bullying something now so weak and defencenless, and possibly insane. No logical derivative is gained other than emotion; the Meta-Emperor, after all, had surrended. Much could be learned from the king that used to be. Still, Wormulus II was engaging in a dangerous act, talking with the Meta-Emperor who may still attempt to attack in vengeance.
Wormulus II did not attempt to comfort his rival, but to talk on a philosophical basis, questioning the Grox Emperor's xenophobia, and possible future from now. Despite the fact he was of much higher sentience, he was now surprisingly mortal, explaining that he had a childish superiority complex, that he must be the best, and he was a coward towards others. The Meta-Emperor, however, was too paralysed by fear and sadness to engage in much conversation, and continued to cry as he was transported to the AI Netspace. Unlike many enemies of the SSA, he was emotionally weak, and his egotistical pride soon snapped. As for the rest the rest of the Grox species and slave members, the empire retreated on all fronts; now leaderless and without infrastructure, they would be unable to resolve their leadership, only to engage in tribal warfare with each other instead.
Andromeda Galaxy Edit
During the Race for Relics in the Milky Way, the Grox also attacked in the Andromeda Galaxy, in a conflict that immediately became part of the Andromeda War. Much like the Grox in the neighbouring Milky Way, the Andromedan Grox Empire seeked to both conquer their target galaxy and acquire ancient technological alien artifacts. During the "Firestorm", the Grox arrived at the galaxy and defeated the Starmaster Alliance, leading to the formation of the Andromedan Galactic Commonwealth whom they would then fight during "the Darkest Hour".