He could hardly believe this was happening. His breaths became shallow in his chest, as if the news itself would suffocate him. Mou'Cyran, seat of the Republic. Attacked? Apollo stood in stunned silence, swaying slightly as the magnitude of the destruction washed over him. Standing alongside Senators Ramdard Ramthrace, Amirtae Buroa and Roth Caesenn, he began to pace, awaiting an update from Earion Aerellus—the Senate guard assigned to their protection. When Aerellus entered their chamber within the Aldárae Temple, he was still in communication with a surviving superior. Apollo immediately walked up to him.
Apollo: "Earion, please, we need information here."
Earion: "Mou'Cyran has been attacked, senator. All communications with the planet have cease- Wait..."
He held his holocom to his mouth, listening to someone on the other end. Apollo watched as his eyes began to widen.
Earion: "The entire planet... it's gone. They're all gone. President Valkistair, the Senate, High Command."
Apollo turned on the spot, beginning to pace once again, breathing in and out. Everyone was dead. His colleagues, his stepmother, the President. Everyone. Looking around the room, his gaze became fixed on his fellow senators. Ramthrace stood motionlessly, while Caesenn and Buroa appeared physically sick upon hearing the news. Completing his holocall, Aerellus approached them with a solemn expression etched on his face, holding out the communicator, he pressed a button, beginning a recorded message.
Message: "This is an official notification broadcast, per section 23, article 5 of the Continuity of Government Act. All cabinet secretaries and senators..."
Earion: "It's designed to be sent out in the event that the entire line of succession has been compromised. Senators, one of you is now President of the Republic."
The gravity of the statement hit everyone into silence, all of them struggling to absorb the very implication. Ramthrace was the first to speak, his voice cracking.
Ramthrace: "A-apollo, it can only be you."
Apollo, who had slumped down in a chair, merely raised his head, his mouth agape.
Apollo: "Ramdard, I-I..."
Ramthrace walked over and pulled him to his feet.
Ramthrace: "None of that. You're the senior senator, m'boy, and what's more, you are the New Republic. It wouldn't exist without you and I can't think of anyone more uniquely suited to leading it to victory."
Apollo's feelings threatened to overwhelm him, the thoughts of so many of his closest friends, gone forever. However, he put these feelings to one side, reasserted control and nodded.
Apollo: "We'll need Master Ryen."
Chapter II: The Oath
In the chamber of Ethelnór Aldárae, Apollo and Ryen were surrounded by members of the Order as well as a few members of the senatorial delegation sent to Aldár prior to the Battle of the Ecimaex Wall, including Apollo's Special Advisor, Naelys Valraenos, who was holding back tears.
Ryen: "Please raise your right hand and repeat after me."
Apollo raised his hand.
Ryen: "I, Aedanius Cretacea,"
Apollo: "I, Aedanius Cretacea,"
Ryen: "Do now avow and affirm,"
Apollo: "Do now avow and affirm,"
Ryen: "That I take the Office of the President of the New Galactic Republic of Cyrannus,"
Apollo's voice quivered slightly, but he continued to look Ryen resolutely in the eyes.
Apollo: "That I take the Office of the President... of the New Galactic Republic of Cyrannus,"
Ryen: "and that I will protect and defend the sovereignty of the Republic,"
Apollo: "and that I will protect and defend the sovereignty of the Republic,"
Ryen: "with every fibre of my being."
Apollo: "with every fibre of my being."
The room was still, there were no congratulations, only silence. Master Ryen bowed his head sadly.
Ryen: "May the light watch over us all, President Apollo."
Before it could all sink in, Earion Aerellus directed the new President out of the chamber and toward the entrance of the Temple. Naelys was quick to follow them, struggling to keep up as they made their way out of the temple and toward the landing pad.
Naelys: "Agent Aerellus, what's going on? Surely the President would be safer in the temple."
Aerellus: "The Republic fleet has arrived in orbit, we need to get him to the flagship immedia-"
Apollo interrupted him.
Apollo: "And coordinate a response with the military."
Aerellus: "Exactly, sir."
Before Apollo could embark, Ramdard approached him.
Ramdard: "Be careful, Mr. President, the atmosphere might be different amongst the fleet than you're used to. Take matters into hand quickly, and please think of setting of a cabinet so the war effort can get underway before we're overrun."
Apollo nodded as he embarked on the shuttle, calling to Ramthrace as it took off.
Apollo: "Thank you, Mr. Vice President."
Apollo smiled slightly at Ramthrace's shocked reaction, before the hatch closed. The shuttle began to lift off the ground, careening upwards into the sky. After a few minutes of flight, the shuttle landed on the aft hangar deck of the Republica. Almost as soon as the boarding ramp was lowered, Apollo found himself surrounded by Republic soldiers led by Commander Corvexa.
Corvexa: "Mr. President, we need to escort you to the Emergency Combat Information Centre. The Admiral awaits your orders."
Chapter III: The Plan of Attack
Rushing through the corridors of the massive flagship, Apollo felt a distinctive sensation as the Republica made the jump to lightspeed just as he arrived at the CIC. Almost as soon as the doors opened, he was embraced by his daughter, Kara Inviá.
Kara Inviá: "I've been so worried! When we heard about Mou'Cyran, I-I thought..."
Apollo: "I'm alright, Kara, really, I am."
Apollo's gaze fell on his father, Admiral Cretacea, who seemed relieved to see his son, while masking deep sadness with the loss of his beloved wife. He was surrounded by the senior staff of the Republica, along with holograms of surviving Republic officers from across the Gigaquadrant. Standing beside Kara was Aoirtae Valaeris and the Nagith known as Vanikaimar—her allies in the Aldárae Order. He noticed their fellow knight, Janice Ross who seemed to have recovered from her bacta tank, though she still looked pale and frail. Their combined attention was fixed on Apollo, as he walked to the command table. After a moment of silence for those lost, he got straight down to business.
Apollo: "Before we consider anything, we must destroy that weapon before it can be used again. Do we have any intelligence on its present location?"
Tempaere: "The blast came from the Cyrannic Imperial Battlestation, of that there can be no doubt. The hyperlaser itself emerged from the outskirts of the Melanian Sector in the Outer Rim, approximately a light year spinward of Cadian."
Vanikaimar: "You seek to destroy the Empire's greatest superweapon as your first move. Your Republic is in shambles. You are throwing yourselves at your own deaths."
Apollo: "No. I won't allow any other world to share Mou'Cyran's fate."
With his hands crossed behind his back, Vanikaimar approached Apollo, eyeing the Libertus as he walked around him.
Vanikaimar: "Hm... I have researched the modern history of Cyrannus. There was another great war before the Empire was formed. You led the Republic then, correct?"
Apollo: "I did."
Vanikaimar: "... So it has to be you. The people will look at you for guidance, as you have the experience. They would not accept anyone else... The Republic has shown itself to be more persistent and resilient than it has any reason to."
The Nagith stepped back.
Vanikaimar: "But you are not one of the leaders I fought all those thousands of years ago. You lost the war the first time. Your decisions must be sound, for if you fail again, there will not be a third time."
Apollo: "I will not fail and I promise you all this..."
He looked around the room.
Apollo: "We're going to blow that monstrosity off the face of the galaxy with the fury of the gods."
Vanikaimar: "You proved me wrong once by dealing the killing blow against the Children. I would welcome you to prove me wrong again. How do you expect to fight this superweapon?"
Janice: "Indeed, Mr. President? Our resources are scattered. The bulk of the New Republic fleet is destroyed, including the Pax Infinitus Armada. How do you plan an assaulting this terrible weapon of mass destruction. If Mou'Cyran could not stand? What chance do we have?"
Apollo thought about it for a moment, before turning his gaze to Leonarrk Relgalll, the tactical officer of the Republica.
Apollo: "Lieutenant Leonarrk, surely such a weapon requires an inordinate reservoir of energy?"
Leonarrk: "Logically, but the question is where and how to get to it. Plus, surely it's defended by its own escort fleet."
Helo Roslia: "We've been receiving intel from a source within the Battlestation, apparently, the Empire has a traitor in their midst."
Aoirtae placed her hand on her hip.
Aoirtae: "I'm not sure how they could put a positive spin on an act of pure genocide, so I'm not exactly surprised."
Roslia interacted with the holotable and an image of the Battlestation appeared, with a red light indicating the presence of the primary hypermatter reactor.
Roslia: "According to our source, the reactor of the Battlestation is designed to contain both hypermatter and quintessence dark energy. If we can destroy it, the entire station goes supernova."
Vanikaimar: "It will be well protected. The Phaedra will surely be there to protect the superweapon."
Apollo: "It is fortunate, then, that we have the greatest warriors of the Aldárae with us. Our friend, Aoirtae here, has already proven that they are not invulnerable."
Vanikaimar: "Your optimism is charming, but it will take more than a handful of soldiers to win this fight."
Admiral Cretacea nodded gravely.
Admiral Cretacea: "I will commit the Grand Republic Fleet to the battle. As I have taken command of all surviving Naval assets in the Republic, I have ordered all other fleets on the defensive."
Janice: "Admiral, what of the adversaries of the New Republic besides the Empire? Do you have intel on them? If they make a move while the bulk of your fleet is assaulting the station, they might take advantage? Do you have a contingency plan in mind for that? The Order cannot protect all of New Republic space."
Admiral Cretacea: "We're on a total war footing, we'll ensure the Gigaquadrant knows that now is not the time to test us."
Vanikaimar: "I imagine the rest of the galaxy will see this as an opportunity to spread their own influence. Caution must be taken."
Admiral Cretacea: "If we use the interdiction technology on our Phoenix-class supercarriers to destabilise the station, the gravitation waves could cause it to misfire on itself."
Vanikaimar: "That should suffice."
Janice muttered desperately.
Janice: "May the Light be with us!"
Chapter IV: The Confrontation
After the meeting concluded, it was decided that President Apollo would travel to his homeworld of Capricaerón to oversee the war effort and to start the process of rebuilding a cabinet and the Senate. Before he boarded a shuttle however, he wished the special strike team the best of luck, before being approached by Commander Selanius, the executive officer of the Republica.
Selanius: "President Apollo, we have just received word from the Quadrants. A Rambo armada has blockaded the Lianna Wormhole, preventing our vessels from reinforcing vulnerable worlds in Cyrannus."
Apollo scratched his head.
Apollo: "Rambert's flexing his muscles, trying to gauge my reaction."
Across the Cluster, High King Rambert Ramveral looked at the galactic map in front of him. The recent Mou'Cyran Cataclysm shattered the peace between the New Cyrannian Republic and the Galactic Empire of Cyrannus. Even worse, the Rambo weren't informed about New Republic intervention against the Empire and were now caught in the middle of it. Orbispira placed tremendous pressure on the Rambo Government to open their space and allow the Empire to engage the New Republic on all fronts. Somehow, he managed to hold off. However, the massive fleets of the New Republic of the Quadrantia sector entering the Lianna wormhole did bother him, and attempting an action there might give the government of Orbispira something to think about and off his back.
Malagras: "All is in place your majesty, my battlegroup has blockaded the wormhole."
Rambert smiled, now he just had to wait to see what kind of ruler the Republic installed after the loss of so many of their friends and their seat of power. A brave being, one perhaps to stand aside or a weak and incompetent ruler whose faith had been shattered after recent disasters.
Apollo entered the ready room of the Republica, sat down cross-legged in front of the holocommunicator and awaited Rambert, who appeared with his arms folded in front of him and a smug smile on his beak, apparently unsurprised by Apollo's emergence as President.
Rambert: "Greetings Mr. President! I am not sure whether to congratulate or condole you after the terrible cataclysm leading to your inauguration."
Apollo: "In light of such a disaster, congratulations are hardly appropriate, High King."
Rambert nodded and replied in all courtesy.
Rambert: "My dear friend, what a position you are in now. I cannot imagine the hardship and burden of your current rule. How may I help you?"
Apollo: "Well, you can begin by pulling your forces away from Lianna and allowing the Republic fleet to enter the wormhole."
Rambert:"Mr. President, please understand my position in all of this. Your unwarranted attack against the Empire, and their severe retaliation places Rambo Nation in a dangerous position. Our increased security level demanded we closed the wormhole to prevent any disaster in the Quadrants. I will delay any possibility of conflict between the New Republic and the Empire within the Rambo sphere of influence."
Apollo continued to sit motionlessly, his expression calm, his eyes unblinking, though his voice icy cold. At the mention of "unwarranted attack", he gave a short huff.
Apollo: "Unwarranted attack... is that a fact? Believe me when I say that I am in no mood for political games and that I do not want my first order as President to be for the First Quadrantian Fleet of the New Republic Navy to seize control of the Lianna system."
Before Rambert could respond, Apollo interrupted him and continued.
Apollo: "Therefore, unless the commander of the U.S.S. Galathynia withdraws his fleet within one standard hour, in one standard hour and one minute, I will give the order for Fleet Admiral Anuatolian's armada to take Lianna and raise our flag. High King, I value deeply the alliance between the Rambo and the Republic, so let's not get on the wrong foot."
Rambert leaned back, folding his arms again he raised an eyebrow and smiled.
Rambert: "Very well Mr. President. I will give you the benefit of the doubt. Though I wish to remind you of my wishes, lest we find each other on opposite sides... hrm?"
With that the transmission ended, leaving Rambert to ponded his next move. He knew the Rambo Senate would be all over him after his Royal Order to blockade the wormhole. It seemed Apollo hadn't lost his touch, yet.
Chapter V: The Battle of Cadian
With the shuttle carrying Apollo departing for Capricaerón, the Republica and the other vessels of the Grand Republic Fleet made an immediate jump to hyperspace. On the bridge of his flagship, Cretacea hoped that the Empire would not expect an attack so bold on their most beloved weapon, but as they say, fortune favours the bold. In the hangar bay, Vanikaimar, Aoirtae, Kara Inviá and Janice Ross stood ready to board the Aeuthnen Raptor once more, despite Munalur's protestations that the mission was suicidal.
Kara Inviá: "Come on, Munie, we pull this off? We'll be heroes."
Munalur: "The chances of pulling this off are infinitely slim."
Vanikaimar: "At least someone sees it like I do."
Aoirtae: "How 'bout a little optimism, here?"
Vanikaimar: "I would rather be pessimistic and then pleasantly surprised if we succeed."
After a few minutes of transit, the fleet dropped out of lightspeed, the vast specter of the Battlestation stretched out before them.
Admiral Cretacea: "All hands to their stations, all pilots to your ships, all vessels, fire at will!"
The full force of the Grand Fleet fired their weapons, which lanced across space before impacting against the shields of the Battlestation. Bearing down on the assembled Imperial fleet, Admiral Cretacea fired the Republica's dual superlasers, which impacted against an Imperator-class Star Destroyer, bisecting it and causing the remnants to crash into an adjacent Destroyer, which exploded violently. On the flanks of the fleet, a trio of Phoenix-class supercarriers, including the Spirit of Freedom, prepared to activate their interdiction fields. The plan was to rapidly raise and lower the power to the fields, and as this caused huge amounts of mass to slosh and shiver backwards and forwards in the upper levels of hyperspace, gravitational waves would radiate outwards from the ships to meet in the centre of the Battlestation. There, as the geometry of the interior was slightly stretched and squashed hundreds of times every second, any component subject to friction would be slowly displaced over time - a laser would become misaligned, or a superconductor strained - and over such a large and intricate machine, these problems add up.
With the battle in full swing and the Battlestation vulnerable, the Auethnen Raptor undocked from the Republica and navigated the chaos toward one of the cavernous, and fortunately empty, maintenance hangar bays of the Battlestation. As they approached, Aoirtae gazed in awe at the sheer size of the station.
Aoirtae: "How did they build this thing?"
Vanikaimar: "If the Empire is anything like the Nagith, with a great number of robotic servitors. A shame we have to destroy it; it would have been useful under my command."
Kara Inviá: "It's positively tiny compared to your ego."
Vanikaimar: "This has nothing to do with ego. My people used great weapons like this once."
With the cloaking device engaged, the Raptor continued to approach the station, with Munalur growing increasingly nervous as they began passing the periphery, with massive turbolasers capable of gutting a Star Destroyer in a single volley dominating his field of vision. However, distracted by the Republic fleet and the increasing power of the interdiction gravitational waves, the Raptor remained quite invisible to their scanners. After five minutes of the most tense flight of his life, Munalur set the Raptor down in a maintenance bay, where, as the docking ramp dropped, he embraced both Kara and Aoirtae.
Munalur: "Make sure you come back in one piece. My life would be so boring without you."
Aoirtae: "Don't worry, we always do."
Chapter VI: The Reactor
Their mission sounded simple, make use of the chaos caused by the interdiction to locate and destroy the station's hypermatter reactor. However, Kara had no idea that it would be "this" simple. Munalur had managed to land in the maintenance hangar closest to the reactor controlling the massive exalaser utilised to fire phantom dark energy from across the galaxy. Facing minimal resistance, they soon arrived at the entrance to the reactor, which showed all indication that it was already damaged by the Republic's gravitational wave attack. As they approached it, however, all of them were suddenly gripped by a grotesque sensation, as if a swarm of maggots had appeared from nowhere to feast on their skin.
Aoirtae: "Ugh, what the hell is happening..."
Vanikaimar: "Dark energies envelop us. I warned you to prepare for the Phaedra would be here."
???: "You arrive at last."
A figure appeared from a dark shroud of energy. With dark robes and an armoured helm, the seemingly rogue Phaedric Lord Ruuvitharn stepped forth.
Vanikaimar: "Yet again, we are confronted by Basileus filth. I preferred the Libertus one."
Ruuvitharn held out a hand and all three found themselves in an invisible stranglehold.
Ruuvitharn: "The ancient is contemptible..."
Vanikaimar: "Urk. This is the part where you use your own energies, children."
Though they tried, they could not break his hold. Lowering his hand, Ruuvitharn let them drop to the floor.
Ruuvitharn: "You stand upon the weapon of your Order's undoing. Hatred and fright incarnate. Herald of a new epoch of the Empire, one of sempiternal terror."
Aoirtae: "You won't win, Basileus freak, our will to be free will end you and your Empire..."
Ruuvitharn: "Your bravery is admirable. Though it is based on ignorance."
Three rapid-fire shots suddenly rang out, impacting against Ruuvitharn in the chest. However, instead of buckling to the floor, the Basileus merely dissolved into the same mass of energy that he arrived from. Turning their heads, they were surprised to see an Imperial Intelligence Agent standing before them, her rifle pointed at the spot where Ruuvitharn stood. As he rose to his feet, Vanikaimar immediately took his bladed staff and pointed it at the Agent in a battle stance.
Vanikaimar: "What is the meaning of this?"
Before the agent could answer, a sickly and ghostly cackle echoed throughout the reactor chamber—the laugh of Ruuvitharn.
Her eyes fell on the group. She narrowed them at the sight of Vanikaimar's staff, before becoming fixed on Aoirtae. She looked shocked for a moment, before rushing forward toward her and embracing her tightly.
Aoirtae: "Err... guys, why is there an Imperial hugging me?"
Vanikaimar: "Let go of the girl this instant! You will not make her a hostage."
Caranye let her go and holstered her rifle.
Caranye: "She's... my little sister."
Vanikaimar: "... You never mentioned this, Aoirtae."
Aoirtae's voice began to tremble.
Aoirtae: "I-I d-didn't know. I thought my family was killed by Panthrea slavers..."
Caranye: "You were only a toddler when it happened. I don't expect you to remember me... but I am Caranye..."
She stopped, as if summoning the courage to say her family name, forbidden amongst officers of Imperial Intelligence.
Caranye: "... Valaeris, your older sister. But what are you doing here? Are you a Republic agent?"
Aoirtae: "I'm an Aldárae sentinel. You're an Imperial agent."
Vanikaimar: "This seems almost too convenient to be true. But you attacked the Phaedra confronting us. Explain yourself."
Suddenly, a refined, though strangely mechanical voice was heard.
???: "I have decided to defect, along with my biological counterpart. Smashing to meet you all."
Aoirtae: "W-who's that?"
Caranye: "Eternal Enigma, my A.I. companion. We were the ones who sent the Republic the information they needed for this attack."
Vanikaimar: "If that is so, then you may accompany us, but I will keep my eyes on you. We must proceed with haste, for now the Phaedra knows of us and you. He may warn the entire Battlestation."
Kara pondered the situation.
Kara Inviá: "But how do we disable the reactor? Randomly press buttons until it explodes?"
Caranye: "I wouldn't recommend it, no. Surely you came here with some sort of explosive device?"
Aoirtae rummaged around in her pack, before pulling out a thermal imploder and handing it to Kara.
Eternal Enigma: "You may like to set it just below the primary lithium ion oscillator, unless you want this place to explode while you're still in it."
Vanikaimar: "Be swift."
Kara set the charge at the instructed location, before turning to the others.
Kara: "Right. We should hightail it outta here."
Vanikaimar: "This was too easy. Expect complications as we return to the ship."
Caranye: "I dealt with any surveillance equipment on the way here, so long as we don't stray from the path, we should be fin-"
She was suddenly interrupted by a loud klaxon, followed by "Intruder alert! All personnel to the reactor room."
Vanikaimar: "As expected."
Chapter VII: The Escape
Moving into the hallway leading to the hangar, they began to move deftly, working their way around the steadily increasing numbers of Imperial troops and wardroids sent to investigate the disturbance. As they round a corner toward the bay, however, they walked right into a squad of soldiers, taking both groups by surprise.
Imperial Troop: "It's them! Open fire!"
Vanikaimar: "Contact. Defend yourselves."
Before thinking, Caranye drew her dual pistols and charged at the troops, knocking one to the ground with her elbow and shooting another square in the chest. Kara and Aoirtae both ignited their blades, cutting down any soldier foolish enough to get within reach. When a stray laser bolt came within centimeters of her face, however, Kara decided to rethink the strategy.
Kara: "We can't keep this up, we need to get back to the ship now!"
Vanikaimar: "Agreed, we wll be overwhelmed if we attempt to fight."
Disengaging from the fight, the group began to race in the opposite direction, with Caranye managing to run and shoot at the same time, blasting down any pursuing Imperials. When they finally reached the bay where the cloaked Raptor was docked, they were faced by another platoon of troops, blocking their escape both to the ship and from the way they came, their weapons raised. Suddenly, the Raptor's cloak disappeared and two bolts of energy fired from it, killing both groups of Imperials just as the boarding ramp began to lower. Rushing to it, the group met with Munalur, who smiled smugly as they boarded the ship.
Munalur: "You're welcome."
Kara placed a hand on Munalur's shoulder.
Kara: "I never doubted you for a minute."
He looked at Caranye with suspicion.
Munalur: "Who's the Imperial? A prisoner?"
Caranye: "A defector. There'll be time to explain once we're free."
Vanikaimar: "Get us out of where before something terrible happens."
Rushing to the cockpit, Munalur and Kara sat and pulled back on the controls, causing the ship to move. The thud of laser blasts impacting against the Raptor's hull became duller and duller until finally, the sound was replaced by the total silence of space as the Raptor powered away from the hangar bay, engaged the cloaking device and disappeared—shooting off toward the space battle.
Chapter VIII: The Misfire
In the Battlestation's bridge, Grand Mandator Taev Vosaetiur stood with his hands clasped behind his back as he gazed at the viewscreen showing the battle. While he had expected retribution from the remnants of the New Republic military, he did not believe it possible for them to launch an attack on the Battlestation itself. A traitor was clearly in their midst and one with the operational authority to know of the station's exact movements. Nevertheless, intelligence gathered from agents on the Rambo Capital had confirmed that the new leader of the Republic was none other than Apollo, the former President of the United Republic of Cyrannus and whose leadership had precipitated the formation of the Empire nearly fifteen years ago. His reascesion to the office, however, provided an opportunity to strike at Capricaerón itself, before it could play host to a restored government that could challenge the Empire's rule over the Core Worlds. Giving the order, Vosaetiur watched as the technicians and officers of the bridge made preparations for another attack. As they did so, he approached a holographic projection of Grand Mandator Deoclet Caesarius.
Deoclet Caesarius: "I hear that you're having a spot of bother, Taev. As I predicted, the Republic would outwit your meagre security."
Taev Vosaetiur: "So sure, are we? I stand ready to destroy Capricaerón and in so doing, rid the Republic of their soul as I already did their heart. There can be no escape from that which we will unleash."
Caesarius' grave face flashed briefly with shock, which Vosaetiur took satisfaction from. He knew that Caesarius, an Imperial high culturalist, would balk at the idea of destroying one of his precious Core Worlds, regardless of the Republic claim over it.
Caesarius: "You... what!? By destroying Capricaerón, you destroy whatever sympathy our citizens may yet have for our cause. Sate your bloodlust in the Unknown Regions, if you must, but the Emperor, nor the Overseer, would-"
Taev Vosaetiur: "Do not speak for your betters, my dear Deoclet. My actions this day will live on in the annals of the Empire for all eternity. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a civilisation to destroy."
Vosaetiur ended the tranmission, before turning to the officers monitoring the ignition of the primary weapon.
The generators at the heart of the Battlestation roared to life, as Vosaetiur turned from the main viewscreen to the monitor screens, showing energy readings building in the battlestation's core. Suddenly, the bridge was rocked by a small explosion. Vosaetiur turned to one of the technicians.
Vosaetiur: "What was that? More gravitational waves from the Republic ships?"
Technician: "No, sir. The blast came from one of the hypermatter reactors. It's sustained damage, but we should be able to redirect power to it from one of the emergency generators."
Vosaetiur: "Do it."
With the station still rocked by the interdiction fields, Vosaetiur began to lose patience. The egress line that he set, however, would not only eventually impact against Capricaerón, it would utterly annihilate the invading Republic battlefleet long before. Caesarius would almost certainly not approve. Such an act would kill countless Imperials in the defense fleet, though he banished such considerations from his mind. They die in service to the Empire, as all must. When the preparations were complete, he moved to the main viewscreen, gazing in awe as a vortex of crimson fire coalesced above the focusing dish. The sheer radiance of the conflagration almost blinded him, though he stared on, his smile appearing on his face.
Vosaetiur: "And with one fell swoop, the Republic crumbles to dust."
For a moment, the energy hung motionlessly in the blackness of space, before it erupted inward. It happened in an instant, Vosaetiur unable to react. For but an instant, the shields of the station, developed utilising Oikoumene technology provided by the Emperor flashed, though failed to contain the sheer power generated. As the first of the Republic ships made the jump to lightspeed, Kara watched as the Battlestation was consumed, destroyed in an explosion which burned like a supernova. Mou'Cyran was avenged.
Epilogue: The Capricaerón Address
Apollo's shuttle landed on the Presidential Pyramid in Capricaépolis, where he was escorted to his senatorial office. Looking around, he was comforted by familar faces such as his son, Laoi Cretacea, Gorf and Dané Elenya. However, the office was tense. The Battle of Cadian was still ongoing, with Imperial disruption preventing any communication with the Republic fleet. As they gathered around the communicator, however, the holoimage of Admiral Cretacea flickered to life, a broad smile on his smile.
Admiral Cretacea: "We've done it, I repeat, we've done it! The Battlestation has been completely destroyed!"
The room erupted into cheers, the realisation coming fast that even the Empire's most terrible weapon could be defeated. With a short kiss from Dané, Apollo settled into his desk, preparing for his address to the Gigaquadrant, but more particularly, the people of the shattered Republic. When the holocamera lit up, he gazed directly at it, before beginning.
"Beings of the Gigaquadrant, within the last two days, Cyrannus has been forever changed. Striking from the depths of space, the Empire, monstrous and irredeemable, launched an unprovoked attack against Mou'Cyran, the capital of the Republic and a beacon of peace, liberty and freedom. There are those who say that hope died on that dark day, but they're wrong. I have just received word that the Cyrannic Imperial Battlestation, the Empire's malice incarnate, has been destroyed by the brave men and women of our military and our resolute Guardians. The Empire can be defeated and I promise you all this, it shall be defeated."
"Yes, the Republic, as we knew it, has forever changed. Many of our most cherished institutions have fallen, while billions of our intergalactic family have been lost forever. But we will not falter. We will not live in fear. To the Emperor, I say this: the history of your government is of oppression and usurpation, in which you have made your designs clear for the subjugation of all those born free under the natural rights of sentient beings. You have instituted a policy of genocide and xenocide and have worked to oppress all those who fall under your dark reign of tyranny. As the President of the New Galactic Republic of Cyrannus, I pledge to fight this tyranny. I pledge to fight your rule of atrocity and I pledge with every fibre of my honour, my life and my very being, that I will fight to bring about your destruction and the abolition of the Empire. To this end, we, the people of the New Republic, do hereby declare that, by the authority of the people of Cyrannus, we will make forever free all beings, in the name of liberty and in the memory of those we have lost."
"The Republic, its ideals and hopes cannot be destroyed. Our light might flicker, but it will never be extinguished and we will never give in to aggression. Together, we shall endure, together we shall resist the waves of darkness the Empire throws at our feet. And together we shall be triumphant! For we are the Republic, and we will never be defeated."
When the holocamera flickered off, Apollo rose from the desk and turned to the others assembled in the office.