Year: 2718, April 27th
Imperial system, Aiur, Pyramid Palace
Her heavy and quick steps left a thud lightly echoing through the corridor. Her high heeled boots marched forward through the corridor. Her purple cloak dragged after her on the marvel floor and four soldiers in purple armor walked behind her. They had tall point helmets, black visors, and a purple short cloak that reached just to the floor. They held Triple barreled pulsar rifles.
The young Vaan’jorch female had a beautiful purple skirt reaching past her knees and a red chest armor plate. Her ebony black hair came down, past her three decimeter horns and down her back. Her white skinned left hand pushed a curl of hair from her face and back behind her ear. Her lilac eyes was firmly on the door as the double door opened ahead of her. Her tail was visible under her cloak and half a meter behind it.
She entered the chamber and walked up to the table where the High Council were waiting. Four humans sat around the table. The rose and bowed to her.
“Excellency Mona,” a young thirty-five year old woman bowed deeply. Her skin was pale, her hair black and stretched down her back. Her emerald green eyes looked at her. Lt. General Erika Arch was the youngest of the council members, but without a doubt the most loyal. She was the head of the Pyramid Guard and responsible for Mona’s safety.
“Let us begin,” Mona said.
Everyone sat down.
Intelligence Director Gregory Vladimir cleared his throat. The forty-nine year old had been the head of the Intelligence Bauru for ten years. Mona didn’t trust him very much. She found him arrogant and disloyal. She always suspected that he might keep a too close eye on her, although it was just a suspicion.
“Excellency,” he started. “Our intelligence is very light on who is attacking us. But what’s even more interesting is that…” he paused. “…the Vaan’jorch, the Klloorr and Duross are all under attack from an unknown enemy coming from the Dark Rift. Any intelligence is shifty and low but we’re piecing it together.”
“Could it really be the same enemy?” Grand Admiral Tabitha Jordan asked dubiously.
“Seemed unlikely that four different forces from beyond the Dark Rift would attack at the same time.” Vladimir leaned back. “Quite a coincidence, indeed.”
“Could be a coordinated attack by barbarian factions,” Tabitha Jordan in putted.
Grand Admiral Hadrian huffed. He fiddled with his fingers on the table.
“Director Vladimir. Sense that is highly unlikely we all know the threat we face. Our Empire is facing one of the greatest threats of our lifetime,” Hadrian said.
“Aren’t you exaggerating, Grand Admiral?” Mona asked worriedly.
He looked at her.
“No at all empress. Any species that can assault four different factions must have massive forces at their disposal. We have no idea what lies beyond the Dark Rift.” He sipped from his cup of coffee. “We should mobilizes our entire military for war.”
“We need to be ready to counter any invasion,” Jordan stated in agreement.
“What about Admiral Taylor?” Mona asked. “When will he rapport back with a situation report?”
“I’ll take days until he arrives in the sector I’m afraid,” Jordan said. “The 301st Scout Fleet’s flagship is the Heavy Cruiser Fist of Aiur, under Captain Jayla Spencer. Taylor’s using it as his command ship for the mission. With six Light Cruisers, one Capital-Killer and two Escort Class Carriers, with eight Corvettes as support. He’s smart enough to gather intelligence and retreat if it turns to deadly. He knows the importance of this intelligence.” She looked at Hadrian for a moment. “He’s a veteran of the Imperial navy.” Jordan looked back to Mona.
The Capital-Killer class, was a smaller support ship built, about the size of a Destroyer but with heavy armaments. It was powerful enough to deal heavy damage to capital class starships such as Heavy Carriers and Cruisers and Battlecruisers and Battleships, especially in great numbers.
Hadrian spoke up. “I suggest we make the Caligula system, the planet Epirus into a gathering point for the fleet in this sector. We cannot be caught with our pants down. We need a fleet ready to go as soon as possible.”
Jordan nodded in agreement.
Lt. General Arch also added a subtle nod.
“Very well. Do it,” Mona decided.
Hadrian leaned over the table. “Marine General Blackwall is there with the 725th Division, establishing a command post for marine operations in this and nearby sectors. It should prove highly valuable and is already usable.”
“Contact the general with instructions then,” her Excellency decided. “Tell him to prepare for the arrival of vast amounts of starships.”
Hadrian nodded. “First thing after this meeting, Excellency.”
“I think we should consider a general mobilization and call in all reservists for duty,” Jordan said.
“Before we overreact, we need information on our enemy,” Director Vladimir stated bluntly.
“And sense we don’t have any-” Jordan reiterated. “-we need to mobilize and assume the worst.” She looked to Mona for a decision.
“I won’t risk my loyal subject’s lives,” Mona stated. “Do it.”
Jordan nodded appreciatively.
“Something else we need to discuss is the new commander of the 4th Fleet,” Hadrian said.
Year: 2718, April 27th/ Year: 6272, Vaan’jorch calendar
System Dorn, Haitrochk, Vaan’jorch laboratory
Mae-Sae looked at the screen in front of her and keyed the holographic keyboard in front of her. She wore a purple long skirt and a white open coat. Her dark brown braided hair hung down her back and her dark blue glowing eyes focused on the screen in front of her.
In the chamber she was in where hundreds of pods filled with a liquid, reminding of water but filled with nutrients. Every white pod had a humanoid figure inside it, floating in the liquid in a hypersleep state.
Mae-Sae keyed a final command and smiled.
The Ravager project was going perfectly. The project had been a complete success. Granted it had taken her ten years go get it working and fifteen years to get the right facilities rebuild to house it on the Vaan’jorch homeworld and several other planets within the Dominion. Her name would go down in history and become immortal. Her name would be immortalized forever and ever.
She grabbed her wine bottle and gulped it down.
Behind her, three Jorchae were arguing about something. A Jorchae discussed with a Magog a few meters to Mae-Sae’s right.
Mae-Sae thought about how the future of the whole galaxy was changing. How she would change the face of the galaxy. Turn it into something better. Expand the Vaan’jorch Dominion to engulf thousands of new star systems.
An alarm started beeping on a screen. She turned to the screen and the Magog standing there.
“What is it?” She quickly asked.
“A malfunction in one of the pods, goddess,” he replied. “Pod number 12,508 to be precise.”
“What kind of malfunction?” She inquired.
The Magog keyed his holographic keyboard.
“Seems the occupant is awakening…why?” He keyed in commands. “Wait, goddess. We have a problem in the pods core matrix. Trying to correct it.”
Mae-Sae decided to make her way to the pod itself. It was only a minute or two’s walk. It was pretty close.
She looked in at the occupant. A girl. A young one. She hadn’t grown for very long yet. She would need a month at least before she would be fully grown into an adult. She had the appearance of being around ten years old. Mae-Sae almost jumped when her eyes snapped open. She looked around her in a state of panic. Her dark green eyes stared in horror. She wailed her arms and legs around in the liquid, trying to get out. She banged on the glass, but to no avail. It was too strong. Her dark green tendril hair reached just past her ears and floated around in the liquid in the pod. The girl had a dark green-mixed with black-exoskeleton covering her body. Her sharp talons clawed at the glass.
Her wide eyes stopped and stared directly at Mae-Sae. Her own eyes widened when the little girls terrified eyes caught her own.
As Jorchae and two Magog appeared with a Colossal security officer.
“We can’t repair the malfunction, goddess,” a Jorchae informed her. “We have to shut it down first.”
Mae-Sae nodded, but hesitantly. That meant killing her-it. She wasn’t a girl, she was an experimental soldiers, not a real person. Although her panic seemed real enough. But there were so many more like her in other pods. The loss of one was nothing. She had ordered pods shut down because of malfunction before. Why was it so different now? Because she was seeing the girl-it this time? She closed her eyes and turned around and walked off.
“Do it,” she ordered.
After taking a few steps she stopped. Slowly she turned around. The girl was screaming in the pod, drawing large amounts of liquid into her lungs. Mae-Sae clenched her fists. She was practically drowning.
“Open the pod,” she commanded.
“What?” The Jorchae questioned.
“Do it!” Mae-Sae yelled.
She jogged back to the pod and a Magog deactivated it. The glass pulled up and the girl fell to the ground. The liquid splashed over the floor and poured down a drain. She coughed up masses of liquid as she laid on the cold white floor. Mae-Sae jogged over and kneeled in front of her. She put a hand gently on her tendril hair. At that moment the girl twitched and quickly grabbed her. She put her wet arms tightly around her waist and clang to her body hard.
Mae-Sae was surprised but gently rubbed her back.
“It’s okay honey, it’s okay,” she told her soothingly. “Don’t be scared.”
She heard the girl was sobbing.
The Colossal security officer looked on and smiled at the goddess’s tender and caring side. Although this girl was just a soldier grown in a pod, she cared for her. Just like she probably cared for all of them. In a few days the first batch of Ravagers would be realized from their pods, ready to fight, die and obey the goddesses. Goddess Mae-Sae had said that one thousand a day would be finished in this facility alone. This new species, this new army was growing quickly and it would change the galaxy forever. He was yet, blissfully unaware what was happening in the outline sectors towards the Dark Rift. On another point, how could they create a new species if they weren’t a race of almighty gods?
“Can you speak?” Mae-Sae asked.
The girl didn’t respond and just kept hugging her and crying. Mae-Sae felt heavy tears against her skirt. As if it wasn’t wet enough from the liquid she was covered it when she hugged her.
She turned to the Magog’s instead.
“I want you to fix this damned malfunction. I’m tired of seeing it,” she almost growled.
“Yes goddess. We’ll do our best,” he promised.
“Get this girl a towel,” Mae-Sae ordered her Jorchae aides.
They immediately flew off to carry out the task.
Mae-Sae hushed the crying girl.
“M-mama,” the girl cried between her sobs.
Mae-Sae’s eyes widened. Did she just call her mama? While she tried to justify why the girl called her mom, she said it again and squeezed her tighter. She didn’t know what to say. She had never even thought of the idea of getting emotionally attached to one of the Ravagers. She never thought of the Ravagers was to be her children. But…in a way there would be. She did create them after all.
“It’s okay child. Don’t be scared.”
It seemed the girl started relaxing.
“Can you stand up?”
The girl slowly started standing up, but refusing to let go of Mae-Sae. She stood up with her and let her continue hugging her waist. She rubbed the back of her tendril haired head. She looked to see the Jorchae aides returning with towel. She grabbed it and gently let go of the girl and placed put the towel around her. The girl was extremely unwilling to let go and started crying harder.
Mae-Sae’s hand touched her cheek smoothly.
“Don’t cry. You aren’t in danger, I promise.”
She took her hand, which the girl squeezed tightly with both her own tiny hands.
Year: 2718, April 29th/ Year: 6272, Vaan’jorch calendar
System Dorn, Haitrochk, Vaan’jorch laboratory
Mae-Sae watched the girl sleep soundly in the bed. The red silk cover was held up to her chin. Her breathing was shallow and calm breathing. She couldn’t help but to smile when she looked at her. She looked so cute and adorable. Her tendrils were spear out on the pillow.
By now, Mae-Sae had been hearing about a full military mobilization across Dominion space. There had been some kind of invasion from the Dark Rift. But she didn’t know who or where or how many starships and soldiers. Although she was one of the lead scientists in the Dominion information was scarce. The Golden Concord was probably restricting information to a need-to-know basis for internal security. This could be it though. Her Ravagers could get a chance to soon prove themselves in battle. Yesterday the first reports had arrived from other laboratories and breeding facilities. Three-thousand Ravagers had been grown and with all possible training programmed into their DNA, they were ready for combat.
Many would refer to them as great warriors, she was sure. Although that would be wrong. They were great soldiers. There was an important difference between a warrior and a soldier. Soldiers worked and cooperated with each other in a cohesive unit. Warriors went about it on their own accord, fighting by themselves. The Ravagers would fight as a cohesive unit.
Looking down at the girl, she’d named Kai. She wasn’t sure why, or she was and refused to admit it to herself, she thought of her going out to fight. No, no way. She wouldn’t let her go out and die on a battlefield somewhere. She felt responsible for her. A Magog scientist had argued to put her back in a pod and let her continue grow into adulthood. But she couldn’t do it. She utterly refused to sacrifice Kai’s life like that. She’d race her as her own daughter from this point forward.
The door panel chimed and she rose and strolled over. A Jorchae male aide was outside.
“Apologize goddess,” he said apologetically. “Councilor Nibbi had tried to contact you.”
Mae-Sae nodded understandingly.
“I’ll take her in my chambers.”
The aide nodded.
“I’ll make sure it is patched through, goddess.”
She closed the door and walked over and sat down by her desk. On the holographic display the tiny red hologram of a Vaan’jorch appeared. The four-hundred and eighty-one female sat by a desk of her own.
“Lady Mae-Sae,” she said pleasantly.
“Councilor, pleased to speak with you again,” Mae-Sae said with a smile. “What can I do for you?”
Nibbi smiled warmly.
“I’d like to speak to you about the Ravager project. I read your report.”
Mae-Sae arched her eyebrows. “That was quick.”
“I have been waiting eagerly for a long time, doctor. I’ve been supporting the project sense the beginning. Many in the Golden Concord didn’t agree you could or should waste any resources on the project.”
“Oh. Then I thank you. Thousands will be ready for combat every single day forward. In a month or so, I expect ten-thousand a day. This enemy…they’ll regret their trespassing.”
She noted Nibbi’s somber expression.
“There is…you should know it isn’t going well, Mae-Sae,” she confessed. “Over two-hundred planets is currently being invaded or besieged by this enemy. I don’t know who they are, but they have hundreds-of-thousands of starships and billions of soldiers. Spies report that the Twin Moon Empire, the Klloorr Hierarchy and the Duross Empire has encountered the same enemy. They are being overrun by the sounds of it.” She leaned forward. “You understand information is sketchy, giving it has been three days sense the first contact.”
Mae-Sae wasn’t sure what to say. She was shocked that anyone could wield such waste military forces. Haitrochk was far from the Dark Rift sectors. In the middle of the huge Vaan’jorch Empire. It would take ten-of-thousands of lost starships and billions of dead soldiers before they could invade Haitrochk itself. It was the very heartland of the Dominion. It’s very soul. If it ever tell, the Dominion would probably fall with it.
“Haitrochk Command is worried. The Holy Empress is very worried too. Long term, this doesn’t look good right now. This new strange enemy came from beyond the Dark Rift in unending numbers it seems. How else can they attacked so many planets at once?”
Mae-Sae sighed deeply. She was getting concerned herself.
“It’s only a matter of times before news gets out.”
“Soon the whole Dominion will know what’s going on. We can’t possible hide a full scale mobilization. Tens-of-thousands of starships regrouping and redistributed and hundreds of millions of soldiers, both Serphoro, Kurhkzan, Colossal’s and even Jorchae are being called in. All reservists and militia forces. It haven’t happened for two-thousand years. I doubt anyone less than her holiness could prevent the panic from striking the citizenry.”
“Hopefully our fortress worlds will halt their advance,” Mae-Sae said hopefully.
“Mae-Sae…” Nibbi started but hesitated. “Rudemir and Brodimir in the Fen-june sector, 89-30.931 are holding them. Brodimir is currently being invaded. The first wave is estimated around two-hundred-thousand. Yesterday approximately another sixty-thousand landed. The Planetary Defense Batteries have been pretty much disabled.” She suddenly started smiling. “But, allow me to finish with good news, yes? Rudemir are holding and Governor Rei-Lin was successfully evacuated to Rudemir in time. Her subordinates report-as does other planets attacked-that the Planetary Defense Batteries eliminate many enemy capital starships. Hundreds-of-thousands of enemy casualties in space alone in the Blessing system.” She stopped and took a deep breath. “The Rudemir PDB destroyed dozens of troop transports within the first hour alone.” She clenched her fist. “We’ll bleed these bastards dry.”
Mae-Sae nodded firmly in agreement. “Damn right we will.”
Year 2718, April the 2nd
Elias sat in the back of the armored ground transport with the rest of his platoon. He wore the yellow armored combat suit of the Twin Moon “Colonial” Marine Corps and held his Gail-23 pulsar rifle in his arms. The visor was closed, hiding his face away behind it.
“We’re approaching the market sector,” a voice said in the intercoms.
“Ready for combat,” the captain ordered.
Elias looked around. Several of the marines looked frightened. Including the woman next to him. Hell he couldn’t blame any of them. He was pretty scared himself. But he tried to ignore it. Lives were at stake. With a Battalion of eight-hundred men protecting the colony, they were badly outnumbered by the enemy. Thousands of troops had already landed in the city and villages around it. No one in the platoon had seen the enemy yet. No one knew who they were fighting. Getting your ass kicked by an unknown enemy was bad for moral.
“Ready weapons!” The sergeant barked.
For a moment clicking filled the inside of the vehicle. Elias switched his safety off and made sure his magazine was fixed in right. He didn’t want to risk a gun failure on the battlefield.
The sergeant stood up.
“6th Platoon, ready.”
Everyone started standing up. They heard explosions outside. The moment of truth. In a few minutes several of the men around him would probably be dead, Elias thought. He knew many of them-maybe even himself, wouldn’t survive the oncoming onslaught of advancing alien troops.
The rear hatch lowered and the marines started swarming out onto the open street. There were ruined buildings around them. Elias saw a skyscraper collapse and fell. It collapsed onto other buildings and onto the street two-hundred meters ahead. He heard screaming from civilians and the occasional high pitched screeching. It was everything less then human. The sound itself scared the marines. And they hadn’t even seen the enemy yet.
Elias leaned against a stone wall and looked up. The cloudy sky was grey. He looked ahead and saw a destroyed truck. It had what had once been an anti-air artillery piece, literally in pieces around it. It had been hit straight on by something. Three other ground transports had stopped on the street, marines swarming from all of them.
“Move it, Kowalski!” the sergeant yelled.
Elias returning his mind to reality and looked up at him.
He jogged after him and followed his brothers and sisters.
A plasma bolt hit a marine in the head and he collapsed. The visor had melted and his head were splattered into goo inside his helmet. Another purple bolt smacked into a marines arm, burning the armor. the marines thick armor protected him from imminent injury. Two more bolts hit the armor, staggering him. another bolt hit his chest, melting through instantly. The marine screamed and fell to the ground. Another fell beside him.
Elias took cover behind a half destroyed truck. Beside him hid the woman that sat beside him on the transport. Elise Wagner. She was utterly terrified. He looked at her for a moment.
“Defensive formation!” An officer for another platoon yelled.
“Can’t even see the xeno fucks!” Someone yelled in aggravated frustration.
Elias glanced out of his cover. Smoke from burning and collapsed buildings covered the area, but he could see shapes. They were about two meters in height. For two seconds Elias saw something large and purple glowing. It was two meters all around. Before he could see what it was, it impacted a low one and a half meter stone wall. It melted it and without stopping continued through and melted two marines, armor and all. There wasn’t even time for them to cry out.
“Fuck,” Elias mumbled under his breath in horror. “Who the fuck are these guys?”
“A bunch of assholes!” A comrade responded. He leaned over the truck wreck and fired his Gail-23 Pulsar rifle. “Go home fuck-faced assholes!”
“Christ Roland;” Elias mumbled.
He leaned over and fired. He was pretty sure he didn’t hit anyone.
Another large plasma blast came. It hit an armored ground vehicle and made a whole straight through. It didn’t kill anyone this time. Another hit a building and brought it down on top of a few marines. Two jumped aside but two were killed. One was lucky enough to only be injured. She was dragged to relative safety.
A machinegun opened up a barrage at the aliens. It spewed slugs over them. Elias saw several go down. At least seven went down in three seconds. It another five seconds four more went down. But a well-placed two meter plasma shot destroyed the machinegun and eliminated the gunner in the next moment.
Elias heard someone yell in pain. He heard a woman’s voice cry out for her dad. It was a voice mixed with utter fear and immense pain. She cried out over and over at the top of her lungs.
“Use the damned gun!” Roland screamed at Elise Wagner. She still sat curled up without moving. “Least defend yourself!”
Elias was about to say something what he spotted a captain booking it. He ran as quickly as he could. He shook his head. He couldn’t blame him. Not one bit. But it still wasn’t an excuse for deserting your brothers and sisters at this moment in time. Wagner fired a few slugs in quick succession at random without looking. Elias put his gantlet hand on her armored yellow shoulder.
“Get control of your fear,” he told her kindly over the battle noises.
She looked at him. Her eyes were filled with fear and a few tears dripping down her cheeks.
“Aim and shoot. Stay by my side.”
She slowly nodded hesitantly. She swallowed and gripped her pulsar rifle tighter. She raised herself and fired from their cover, joining the other marines around them.
A large plasma blast came and turned a wall and five marines into melted goo.
“What’s shooting that?!” A woman yelled in frustration.
“Some kind of short range battery probably!” A sergeant responded over the gunfire.
A rocket launcher fired a rocket that striked a building with xenos firing down on them from the third floor. Screeches echoed as they cried out with the explosion.
The enemy response was a plasma blast from the right flank. Six marines cried out for a second before they were melted. A man screamed as his hand was melted away.
“Cover the flank!” The sergeant of the 6th Platoon yelled. “Their outflanking us!”
Elias turned and looked right. He saw something giant and purple lumbering forward along the debris filled street. He stared at it. It was at least five meters tall and six meters long with purple carapace covering it. Four short legs forced the large fat body to move forward-slowly. It had no eyes to speak of in its facial features. The large mouth hung open. It looked to convulse and suddenly a purple plasma blast was fired from the mouth.
Elias stared in horror. It was both terrifying and didn’t even seem physically possible. He throw himself to the ground, along with Wagner and Roland.
“Shit!” Roland cried out. He sounded more angry then scared.
Wagner was utterly terrified.
“Use the rocket launcher!” The sergeant screamed. He fired his Gail-23 at the monstrosity.
The monstrous alien beast puked out another plasma blast. It flew straight forward and landed between a squad of colonial marines. Three of them lost either a foot or a let while one were melted with no traces left behind.
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