| Second War of Black Fog is a Historical Event
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“''We have been watching. We have been waiting. We are That Which Devours. It is here where your resistance will come to an end. It is here where your hopes and dreams will wither and die in our nightmarish claws. It is here where you shall witness our return to the mortal universe. We will return. We will consume all.''”
The Land of Nightmares is the final part of the Second War of Black Fog. It marked the revelation that Shu'rimrodir, the mastermind behind the Corruptus, was ready to invade the First Gigaquadrant, his first act being dragging the Plazith Allies into his realm to finish them off. Only through the combined power of these allies would the war finally come to a close.
The Wrath of Shu'rimrodirEdit
Once the fleet had regained their senses, they found themselves in a new land. They were no longer at the Onuris Universe, that was certain... for reality around them was unlike anything they had seen since the War of Ages. Space was made up of a black void, while what looked like bright nebulae coloured in purple decorated it, releasing bolts of red lightning on their surroundings. Debris, looking like asteroids or destroyed small planets littered the location, though they posed no danger to the fleets as proximity to their shields and barriers caused them to crumble into dust. There were no stars, yet this region of space was highly illuminated, as if a light shone directly above it, giving the entire realm a red and purple tint. However, what struck the fleet the most was what was watching them over the proverbial horizon.
It was large. Impossibly so. Larger than Shu'suvreca in terms of height, perhaps towering over five Earths tall. His body resembled that of a great black dragon, watching the army with two pairs of red eyes, with what looked like an empty eye socket positioned directly at the center of his forehead. Three pairs of curved horns decorated his head like a crown, though the most imposing feature was the massive red crystal growing directly out of his skull. A trail of red scales passed by his torso, which held his Corruptus Heart at the very center, protected by two pairs of bony plates. Each of his two arms were thick enough to fit a world in, as were his legs, decorated with bright shining spots which radiated energy. A massive tail was present behind him, made up of segmented plates of strange bone-like material and ending in a hook, while a massive pair of wings grew out of his back, their span large enough to cover the horizon from west to east. The sight of the entity caused many in the fleet to panic, especially their Thoi'olerthae allies as they realized what they were facing.
They were at the Nightmare Region. Before them was none other than Shu'rimrodir, the supreme god of the Corruptus. As he spoke, the very foundations of the region were shaken, further fueling the panic felt by the mortals of the fleet.
- Shu'rimrodir - We have been watching. We have been waiting. We are That Which Devours.
The massive entity took one step forward, his claws stretching forward as he opened his palms. It was clear that one swipe from his massive hands would turn any mortal construct into little more than dust.
- Shu'rimrodir - It is here where your resistance will come to an end. It is here where your hopes and dreams will wither and die in our nightmarish claws. It is here where you shall witness our return to the mortal universe. We will return. We will consume all.
Swarms of Shu'olerthae emerged into view and flew around Shu'rimrodir, orbiting around him like asteroid belts around a star as they let out chants. We will return, they said over and over and over, never stopping as the demon deity took another step forward. At the fleet of the Dracogonarious Empire, Jerkon was watching the entire event with a look of someone trying their best to hide their horror. In all of his career, he had never thought a day like this would come. A day where he would look at the face of death up-front, a day where he feared for his own life. Koluap had long fainted while Macin Xermilin smacked his head repeatedly to get him back on his feet, and Thea'Nhirara, who was also present, watched Shurimrodir before turning to Herquie. The Bonio mercenary was shivering, perhaps for the first time in his life. As she turned her eyes to Jerkon, she appeared visibly uneasy.
- Thea'Nhirara - ... Now you understand the magnitude of what we have been imprisoning in this realm.
- Jerkon - How are we to destroy Shu'rimrodir? Our battles against the other demons were something, but this... I have no faith that this entire fleet's weaponry will do more than mildly annoy him.
- Thea'Nhirara - There is one thing that can. As you should recall, when Laminoula'Fuerq sacrificed his essence to restore the Thoi'olerthae back to existence at Primogius, he left his heart behind.
- Jerkon - That stone?
- Thea'Nhirara - Yes, the stone. This fleet should be able to keep Shu'rimrodir distracted, perhaps even inflict minimal damage to his body in the process, while a group flies into him and plants Laminoula's heart within his own Corruptus Heart.
- Herquie - You... you want us to go inside that monstrosity?!
- Thea'Nhirara - It is our only hope. Laminoula'Fuerq's existence was entirely based on combating the Corruptus. I believe this will be a fitting conclusion.
- Macin - Teacher, you want to put the Elder Thing's heart there? But it is in the heart of the nightmare! As in, literally in the heart of the nightmare, where it will be the strongest of all existence!
- Thea'Nhirara - It may result in us getting annihilated in the process. But it is a sacrifice that I am willing to commit to put an end to Shu'rimrodir.
- Koluap - ... Aw man, I had a terrible nightmare! There was a monster as big as a star and... Oh for Kingus's sake, it's still there!
Jerkon's eyes shifted back to Shu'rimrodir, who menacingly approached the fleet in order to engage them in combat. The Dracogonarious commandant passed a hand through his head as he reflected on his options, realizing they were limited to say the least. Messages appeared on his communication screens, asking for instructions on what to do. He closed his eyes and breathed heavily as turned back to Thea'Nhirara.
- Jerkon - Take the heart and move to the shuttle. We shall venture into the core of the monster.
- Koluap - I'm not dying like this!
- Jerkon - You will not die. I will assure you of that.
- Herquie - Huh... So that's how it's gonna be, then. Considering I have nowhere to go once this is over, I suppose dying a hero to the universe would make me popular across the underground again.
- Jerkon - All ships. Open fire.
The Dracogonarious Empire's fleet immediately opened fire, unleashing all of their most powerful weapons at Shu'rimrodir, unloading all that remained of their demon-eating nanites and their Pseudothoi tech as they did what they could to, at the very least, slow the behemoth down. The Spinker Empire's fleet was right behind them, and while their ships were nowhere as powerful, they still made themselves useful in any way they could, and the remnants of the Bonio Republic's navy, shattered by the Marinoxidiz and numbered a few dozens at most, were more than eager to throw their lives away if it meant putting an end to the terror that destroyed their homes. The Zazane fleet, accompanied by reinforcements from other Zazane political factions, unleashed a barrage of heavy gunfire upon the nightmarish deity - a combination of ballistic and energy fire streaked across the black, empty void the God of Nightmares called its home in blinding white and red lights, and some assault craft had even taken to attempting to bomb the entity at close range at the cost of their own lives, detonating explosive cargo to create explosions which flittered into nothingness before Shu'rimrodir's mighty being.
The Republic Fleet under Sesoka's command followed the lead of the Dracogonarious, with Sesoka's mighty Star Destroyer Precipice firing heavy barrages of turbolaser fire, but to no effect against the demonic entity. The Tenerensis remained in constant contact with his allies in the fleet.
- Sesoka - Hold the line! Fire everything we've got!
The DCP fleet meanwhile were preparing their weapons to work best in the conditions of the new realm, but were eager to injure a god. Soon they were ready; thousands of volleys of relativistic missiles accelerated through the void, beaten to their target only by hyperspace bombs, detonating charges of antimatter and hypermatter, and unleashing miniature black holes that merely floated through Shu'rimrodir. The DCP then fired sweeps of particle beams and superlasers that faded before the entity. The DCP next fired a number of neutron effusion bombs, which continued to explode over and over. While these weapons did have some effect on previously encountered demons, the DCP commanders were surprised these weapons had no effect at all. Warlord Titanozor unsheaved his God-Hammer, but it was microscopic compared to Shu'rimrodir, and it was only a symbolic act at best. Though rational in their situation, the Kicath would have wished to have fled the battlefield - though there was now no alternative in which they considered survival. They too fired upon the colossal figure before them with their arrays of weaponry, unleashing blast after blast of their artillery, enough to have levelled an entire star system if it were to have been thrown upon one.
Firing alongside the DCP volleys were the continent-shaking batteries of fire from warships emblazoned with the insignias of the Aetheral Talon Body. Under the command of Executive Admiral Leondias, titanic battleships launched all of their available ordinance; a hailstorm of turbolasers, relativistic projectiles and antimatter warheads at the demonic titan before them. But to tittle avail, for despite the firepower they brought - enough to render entire star systems into pulverised, asteroid-riden graveyeards of selene rock - barely chipped at the demon god's form. Leondias looked at the damage feedback in horror, now fully understanding what kind of supernatural power the allied armada was dealing with. However he decided that the assailment was still worthwhile. Centuries of battle had taught him that even the shots that did not hit or hurt were still something to bring to an enemy's attention. He had his tactic, and maneuvered hi battleships and artillery vessels to achieve maximum effectiveness with the strategy and continued bombarding the target with enough firepower to fracture planets.
- Mac - Hide behind your thick shell. You won't escape the inevitable: your retribution is coming. I will get revenge after what you did to me. You messed with the wrong Taldar!
- Tuolog - All the destruction you caused...all the destruction you will cause in timelines which you still wreak havoc...we must put end to you today. Mac, I help!
Mac and Tuolog, sitting inside the Kralgon Emperor's huge UNO Warship, sent out gold and green beams towards every ship, boosting its rate of fire in time. The two of them together, having been inspired by the sacrifice Laminoula'Fuerq had made, poured in all the energy they had, irrespective of whether they would be able to hold it. UNO's fleet poured in by the numbers. The Emperor grew more and more frustrated as his antimatter shells, his coilgun blasts, his turbolasers, his particle cannons, even the relativistic missiles that could destroy entire worlds failed to penetrate it. Slamming down on every button he had, the Emperor exhausted his own energy, just as Tuolog and Mac began to exhaust theirs. He signalled to them to stop: their efforts here were futile.
- Shu'rimrodir - You have NO power in OUR universe.
Into the Heart of NightmareEdit
As Jerkon's shuttle was swallowed by the heart of Shu'rimrodir, the only thing protecting the group from being instantaneously erased from existence was Laminoula'Fuerq's heart and Thea'Nhirara focusing her essence to overload it, creating an aura around the shuttle that shielded them from the dark energies of Shu'rimrodir's body. It would eventually land and open its door to reveal the interior of the demon god's heart - it was a strange landscape, made up of great walls of nearly pitch-black flesh, blood-like bodily fluids and gaseous entropic energy which made up all of the space not occupied by the former two. Thea'Nhirara carried the heart outside, followed by the others, and she struggled to walk as the overwhelming power of Shu'rimrodir's essence hit her barrier like a furious hurricane. Macin Xermilin gave her teacher all the help she could muster by using her own essence to enhance her abilities, but even then, the group walked at a crawl's pace.
Jerkon's teeth barred in pain as even in the barrier, he felt the energies of the heart burn through his skin, causing faint scratches and burn marks to cover his armor. Koluap held on his shotgun in rage, sometimes aiming down to the soft and squishy floor just to shoot at it in hopes that Shu'rimrodir would feel it, and Herquie walked between them and the Dream Energy masters, panting as he felt himself slowly but surely drained of his own essence. The heart of Laminoula'Fuerq, which took the shape of a very large crystal, had to be placed at the very center of Shu'rimrodir's heart in order to maximize the damage - should any of the demon god's body survive the attack, he would quickly regenerate himself and negate all of their efforts.
- Jerkon - Just... a little more...
- Macin - The nightmare will... will die! We must... succeed!
- ??? - You are not going anywhere!
Thea'Nhirara's eyes widened in fear as she heard that much familiar voice, indicating they were not alone. In front of them, another entity manifested from a purple flame, teleporting inside the heart and glaring at the team in visible fury as his mandibles clicked together - Arrtkar Crowart, the vanguard of Shu'wokerama was still alive.
- Arrtkar - This ends now, mortals! You have brought too much problem for my masters! You even murdered my lord! I will make sure that your souls are trapped in Master Shu'rimrodir's body to be tortured for all eternity!
- Koluap - Get... g-get out of our path, you ugly bastard!
- Thea'Nhirara - Arrtkar... do you truly feel no regrets... a Vida'Rra, standing at the heart of the Vida'Rra's destroyer?
- Arrtkar - I feel nothing but disdain, angel. Disdain for you. Disdain for your pathetic friends and your filthy universe, who over and over again threaten my lord's wishes. No more talk, I'm going to make you wish you would die today.
- Herquie - Hmpf... so you're the traitor geezer... I am Rhigeo Fuerq's newest kid. I'm more Vida'Rra than you'll ever be.
- Arrtkar - ... What?! How dare you?!
A monstrous roar came out of Arrtkar as he manifested his four blades and charged at the team, tackling through their barrier as he attempted to attack them. Herquie immediately took out his blades and, with all the strength he could muster, begun engaging the traitorous demon in battle, using his smaller body and agility to spin around him and deliver slashes at his vulnerable spots. Koluap stopped on his tracks and aimed his shotgun at the demon's head, taking shots at him while Thea'Nhirara watched the event. She turned her head to Jerkon as she suddenly handed the heart to the Dracogonarious, who stumbled on his feet due to its weight.
- Thea'Nhirara - Seven more steps forward... put the heart on the ground... and open it with your combat knife.
- Jerkon - W-what?
- Thea'Nhirara - I must aid them... in warding off Arrtkar... They are no match for his power. Macin... come with me.
- Macin - Yes, teacher!
- Thea'Nhirara - Jerkon... I trust you will get this done... the most efficient way possible.
- Jerkon - ... Hm. Of course.
A smile grew on Thea'Nhirara's face as her and Macin turned to Arrtkar, who had struck Herquie down into the ground, and the duo quickly attacked the demon with their Dream Energy. Jerkon continued as instructed, but the combined weight of the heart and the looming energies of the heart burned away at the barrier around him. He gasped as he felt a sharp pain grow across his body, his armor beginning to fail as his skin begun to fleet, though he pressed on, eventually taking the seventh step and throwing the heart into the floor as he was told to.
Jerkon breathed heavily as the aura protecting him was quickly being eradicated, and he turned back to see Herquie, Koluap and Macin all on the floor, no indication that they were still alive on his view as Arrtkar held Thea'Nhirara against the ground with a pair of arms while another carved into her form, causing the angel to scream in agony. He felt his strength leave his body as he tried to raise his combat knife out of his belt, with him digging his claws into the heart as he struggled to not lose his consciousness.
- Jerkon - ... I expected to die in a battle against the Grox... life my father did so long ago... but this... this is better...
- Arrtkar - ... What are you doing? NO!
With what remained of his strength, Jerkon stabbed the heart of Laminoula'Fuerq, carving through its crystalline crust and dragging his knife across its surface in order to create a larger wound. Arrtkar's eyes widened in terror as radiant, golden light was emitted from the heart, and moments after, Jerkon's sight went blank. Shu'rimrodir growled and stumbled in place as a great pain befell him, and suddenly, before the fleet's eyes, a ray of golden energy erupted out of the demon god's heart, exploding it and causing him to roar out in pain. A shockwave was felt across the realm as sphere of Dream Energy expanded from within Shu'rimrodir, consuming the demon's body and rending it into dust as he continued to scream and roar.
Like a nuclear warhead being thrown into a city, or an antimatter bomb being detonated into a planet, the fleet watched as the heart of Laminoula'Fuerq consumed Shu'rimrodir, reducing the God of Nightmares to nothingness as it continued to expand faster and faster, eventually engulfing the entirely of the Nightmare Region. As light blinded them, all that could be heard was the nightmarish god's final words.
- Shu'rimrodir - WE. WILL. NEVER. END.
As Jerkon opened his eyes, he realized a small, butterfly-like insect rested on the tip of his snout, causing the Dracogonarious commander to shake his head to ward it off. As he rose from the ground, he realized he was standing upon an immense patch of grass, a blue sky over his head as golden mountains decorated the horizon. Looking around, he soon found Koluap, Herquie and Macin, all scattered across the place as they too just woke up. In a further distance, he could also spot the spaceships from the fleet landed upon the surface of the place, some of them leaving the vessels in order to give a better look to this strange land that had suddenly replaced the Nightmare Region.
The Dracogonarious commander's eyes shifted to the sky again as he watched immense, serpentine beings fly across it, their scales coloured like the rainbow. Immediately after, a blinding golden light appeared before him and the rest of the group, and before their eyes formed the figure of a tall entity with two pairs of arms and a long, serpentine tail which grew from where they would expect legs to be present. Feathered wings grew out of his back, more than Jerkon could count, and a crown of golden crystals and horns decorated the entity's head as he slithered at their direction, his expression serene and calm. A few moments later, Jerkon noted Thea'Nhirara arriving and standing at the side of this new large entity, who looked down at the team with a faint smile on his face.
- ??? - Commendable. You have succeeded in what angels have failed to achieve for nine eons.
- Jerkon - ... Who are you? Miss Nhirara?
- Thea'Nhirara - Jerkon, everyone, I would like you to meet my father. You may refer to him as Sonhadromerith.
- Sonhadromerith - It is I who serves as the consciousness of this realm. You stand at the Realm of Dreams. It is here where the energy of dreams is dispensed through reality.
- Koluap - We are literally in my nightmares!
- Macin - By all that is holy... the God of Dreams! I am before the God of Dreams!
- Herquie - Keep your legs crossed, old lady.
- Jerkon - What of Shu'rimrodir? And how are we here? I was about to... die.
- Sonhadromerith - That Which Devours has been reduced to nothing. Through your actions, he has been removed from the face of existence. Destroyed. Annihilated. As for your presence here, it would be unwise to allow the slayers of That Which Devours to stop existing as of this moment.
- Koluap - So you saved us? Thanks, you freak!
Jerkon walked over to the others and allowed them to get back on their feet, and the team looked at each other's expressions before all of them begun chuckling to each other. Most notably, they watched Jerkon laugh for the first time since they had met him.
- Herquie - So, about that god, eh? Not so godly now.
- Thea'Nhirara - Some lingering energy can still be felt, but it's nothing that the Realm will not dispose of itself.
- Jerkon - So... it has come to an end, then. The war is over.
- Koluap - Thank Kingus, I was getting sick of it already.
- Herquie - ... Hm. Guess I'll be going to prison then?
- Koluap - Now why would that be the case?
- Herquie - Because I'm a wanted criminal and I'm here because you made me prisoner?
- Koluap - Wow! I had totally forgotten about that!
- Jerkon - Normally, criminals are to be shot on sight. However... I believe your skills would be thrown to waste that way. I believe I can give you a better option... as well as a chance to start your life anew.
- Herquie - That so? Hell, I got nothing to lose, so I might as well.
- Macin - The rest of the tribe will never believe me when I tell them I met the God of Dreams!
Sonhadromerith waved one of his many arms, and in the skies of the Realm of Dreams manifested many portals, each taking to a different galaxy - portals for the fleet to return home.
- Sonhadromerith - You have earned your rest. Leave this place, and remember what you have learned through this event. Demons will not stop being a problem to your home, and you must be prepared.
- Koluap - Let them come! I'll kill them all with my bare shotgun!
- Herquie - Don't you mean bare hands?
- Koluap - No? That'd be stupid.
- Thea'Nhirara - I believe I shall be taking residence at New Draka for now on. There are still things for me to do in your universe.
- Jerkon - So be it. Come, you all, let us return home.
Crowds united in front of the Imperial Palace of New Draka as news of the war's end spread across the First Gigaquadrant like wild life. The advisors of the Dracogonarious, as well as Empress Windey of the Spinkers watched as Tarygan Tersly gave her honours to the heroes of the war, giving each of its greater participants medals made out of valuable diamond - Jerkon, Koluap, Herquie, Macin, Keldar, Kithworto, Agent Psi, Agent Mu, Titanozor, General Sesoka, Lupercal, Leondias, Larnus, Kelsos, Zr'Ahgloth and Mac all received one, with those who were not able to attend to the ceremony being sent their items through diplomats. As she was done, the Dracogonarious scientist turned to her people as she spoke.
- Tarygan - Before you are the slayers of gods! The Marinoxidiz, the Corruptus, the threat of the demons is over! The war has come to an end, and we are victorious!
The crowd roared, cheering as the conflict had finally come to an end. Tarygan quickly begun making gestures for them to calm down, though she found it difficult to, as expected. Once there was finally silence, she spoke again.
- Tarygan - I believe you all remember our statements of one government. One path for us to follow. How we created young princess Maryah to be a symbol of our new future. Today I would like to announce the official founding of this new future. A new government, where Dracogonarious, Spinker and Bonio are one people, who shall peacefully indoctrinate the universe with their knowledge, gathering more and more like-minded individuals in the process. It shall be our Indoctrinate Collective. An empire of wisdom and knowledge, dedicated to dissecting the universe of all of its mysteries.
A new beginning was set to the Dracogonarious people and whoever chose to align themselves to their goals, starting with the Spinker and Bonio. It was the rise of a new power in the Milky Way Galaxy,and while it would take decades, perhaps even centuries to revert the damage caused by the Corruptus, they were ready to face forward and go on with their lives.
Decades would not be enough, though. Centuries, not enough either. At the depths of the Realm of Dreams, the hands of Chaos retrieved what remained of Shu'rimrodir and took it away. For what purpose, Sonhadromerith would not know, nor did he realize the event until it was too late.
The universe was not yet free of Shu'rimrodir's influence. We will return. We will return. We will return.