The Ecclessoth Convocation. One of the most secretive groups in the Cyrannus Galaxy. A year after the end of the New Cyrandia Wars, a deadly conspiracy at the heart of the Convocation would have lasting repercussions for the galaxy and the Republic starship drawn into the middle...
2 Ianuaria, 07 NE Admiral's Quarters, CRS Arbitrator, Ko'Vena Sector
The door slid open, revealing New Republic Admiral Laege Shavalera with a coffee mug in hand. Sniffing the brew as he walked to his desk, he sighed contently. It was a rare luxury to enjoy non-replicated Chuchilius Coffee this far into the Unknown Regions of Cyrannus, where Shavalera and the crew of the Battlecruiser Arbitrator had been assigned since the formation of the Republic nearly four years previously. Of course, it was a different galaxy now. Though far from Republic borders, the crew of the Arbitrator were kept in the loop about recent events in the galaxy. In the year since the fall of the Cyrannian Imperial State, the Empire's Reconquest of the Rim campaign continued to quell rebellion in the Outer Rim while the New Republic enjoyed a period of growth, peace and prosperity.
Sinking into his hover chair, Shavalera set down his coffee mug and gazed briefly at the splendour of the Ko'Vena Nebula in the distance before sinking his eyes to the holographic display unit in front of him. As he interacted with the display, the holographic avatar of the ship's primary artificial intelligence, Múren, appeared. Múren preferred the form of a male Osteola and so appeared as such to the crew of the Arbitrator, if only for their benefit rather than his own.
"We have entered the Ko'Vena Sector, Admiral. We believe this particular area to be unclaimed, though it is known that the Ecclessoth Convocation holds territory relatively close. Galactically, speaking," he said, his tone far more formal than the admiral had come to expect from him.
Shavalera placed his head in his hands for a moment. He was the individual responsible for first contact with the Ecclessoth back in 04 NE and though no shots were fired, tensions were palpable.
The admiral nodded solemnly.
"Understood, Múren. Any sign of Ecclessoth activity in the area?"
Múren shrugged. "None that I can detect. And I can detect a lot."
"Just to be safe, inform Commander Ramthor that I want the ship on high alert as we pass through the region," Shavalera said, his hands templing on his desk. In his experience, it was far more prudent to be cautious when the Convocation is involved.
Múren however frowned. "A misallocation of an AI's talents, but okey doke." Saluting theatrically, Múren's avatar disappeared from the desk.
Looking back at his console, Shavalera opened up a new menu from which he selected a file entitled FIRST CONTACT: ECCLESSOTH. Shavalera's log from the day he met with the Ecclessoth sounded, speaking of the disastrous incident in which the Arbitrator came out of hyperspace dangerously close to a passing Ecclessoth carrier. It was only through the efforts of diplomat Athan Apostila that the situation was resolved, though both parties left with much distrust. Sipping his coffee, Shavalera noticed something out of the corner of his eye. A small purple dot in the far distance outside the viewscreen. Slowly, his brow furrowed.
"... An Ecclessoth carrier," he murmured. "Fantastic."
2 Ianuaria, 07 NE Command Bridge, CRS Arbitrator, Ko'Vena Sector
"Status update, Commander Ramthor," Shavalera ordered as he strode onto the cavernous main bridge of the Arbitrator. Making his way to his command chair, Shavalera returned the salutes of his officers, his eyes fixed on the looming image of an Ecclessoth carrier.
"It's a fully armed carrier", the Rambo Serindia officer responded. "But neither the weapon systems or the shields are up. It has no sign of hostile intent."
As Shavalera sat, he scratched his chin in thought.
"Hailing frequencies open, Múren."
The disembodied voice of Múren quickly responded. "Mmhm. Putting him onscreen now."
Suddenly, the viewscreen's image changed from the carrier to the image of a male Ecclessoth garbed in what appeared to be the uniform of a state-sanctioned scientist.
"Greetings, I am Admiral Laege Shavalera of the New Republic Battlecruiser Arbitrator. Forgive us if we are intruding in your space, we are explorers you see."
With a gesture of his hand, the Ecclessoth dismissed Shavalera's remark. "Fear not, Admiral. As it happens, your arrival is most opportune. My name is Cormon. Chief Scientist of the Convocation and brother to the Holy Matriarch Mormande. I humbly request permission to board your ship. I have a matter of grave importance for the safety of all within this galaxy and I do not trust those in my government to do anything about it. Not even my sister."
Stepping forward, the ship's diplomat Athan Apostila had a look of concern etched on his young face. It was well known on the Arbitrator that Apostila was not only one of the most important assets on the battlecruiser, but also one of the Republic's finest peacemakers, serving alongside Proconsul Apollo since his days as President of the United Republic of Cyrannus. Clasping his hands behind his back, Apostila greeted Cormon with a bow.
"That is quite a claim, Cormon. Surely you can elaborate what you mean by "conspiracy"?"
Cormon frowned and folded his arms. "I fear not. Please, I will discuss everything with your Admiral when I arrive on your vessel."
Apostila turned his head to Shavalera, his expression tentative.
"Very well, Cormon. I await your arrival," the admiral said. With a short smile, Cormon's face disappeared from the viewscreen which once again displayed the Ecclessoth carrier in the distance. "Múren, please inform me when our... guest arrives."
2 Ianuaria, 07 NE
Conference Room, CRS Arbitrator, Ko'Vena Sector
As Shavalera sat in a chair at the head of the Arbitrator's primary conference room, a look of apprehension was etched on his face. Though this "Cormon" fellow seemed civil enough, it remained to be seen whether or not his intentions were as noble as he claimed.
"Our visitor has arrived, Admiral."
"Thank you, Múren. Please send him in."
The doors into the conference opened, revealing the same Ecclessoth that occupied the Arbitrator's viewscreen, as well as the ship's diplomat Athan Apostila. Shavalera stood to his feet and outstretched a hand. "Ah, Cormon. Welcome to the Arbitrator."
Cormon returned the gesture and bowed his head slightly. "Thank you, Admiral Shavalera. I will waste no time in formally asking for your help."
Shavalera gestured for both Cormon and Athan to sit. The young Libertus diplomat was the first to do so, followed by Cormon. As Shavalera sat, his brow furrowed.
"I presume that this relates to the conspiracy at the heart of your government that you mentioned earlier."
Cormon nodded solemnly. "Yes. Unknown beings have assumed control over the highest echelons of the Convocation's government in a bid to increase their power in this sector. I discovered this unsettling truth just last week upon my discovery of a dyson sphere on the borders of Ecclessoth space. It is imperative that the stranglehold these beings have over my people is removed. That, admiral, is what I require aid with."