“And so ends decades of peace with the Empire and an end to neutrality, casting off the last remnants of our cruel vices. But I firmly believe we have chosen the good side this time, something the DCP was too afraid to do before.”
- - Emperor Lunarai-Khan
The Plazithian Front of the Second Great Cyrannus War is a major theatre of conflict fought throughout the Milky Way Galaxy between the Galactic Empire of Cyrannus and its allies, against a coalition of states led by the Delpha Coalition of Planets, the Defensive Systems Bloc, the Allied Terran Republic and Apalos, with support from the New Cyrannian Republic. Occuring simultaneously to the opening stages of the conflict in the Cyrandia Cluster, the Plazithian Front would be characterised by unprecendented destruction and ferocity, intensified exponentially upon Delphan intervention in the conflict.
During the opening of the front, the Empire, under the leadership of Grand Admiral Daeron Siruliulus, sought to capture the wormholes leading to the Cyrannus Galaxy, to prevent the New Republic's allies, united under the Mou'Cyran Accords, from coming to their aid. The campaign was widely successful, with Imperial forces capturing all major wormholes leading to Cyrannus, from civilisations such as the Systems Bloc and the Terran Republic. Upon the DCP's entry to the conflict under Emperor Lunarai-Khan at the pivotal Battle of Farochel, the Empire began preparing for lenghtly wars of attrition with their former allies, aiming to prevent them from turning the tide in Cyrannus toward a Republic victory. Simultaneously, the Phaedric Lord Moranonúngur began seeking out allies in the dark corners of the Milky Way, giving rise to threats to the allied forces, from both within and without.
Course of the WarEdit
Battle of Gravitas Edit
In the weeks following the declaration of hostilities with the Galactic Empire of Cyrannus, the armed forces of the Defensive Systems Bloc had been mobilised to prepare for the inevitable war with the Empire's Plazithian colonies. So far, the Imperial borders had been silent, and the running of business had gone on much as it had before the war. This changed on the jumpgate station Gravitas, shared with the Greater Zarni Empire. One workday, the Zarni crews failed to report to their posts, and we found to be boarding shuttles to their ships. The DSB hailed the Zarni fleet, asking for an explanation, but received none. The Zarni fleet warped out of the system back to their own space without a word.
The DSB suspected a prepared renewal of hostilities with the Zarni Empire, and calls went out to mobilise the neautral zone defenses. Preparations to shift Gravitas into DSB space where it would be safe began, but were never completed. In the wake of the Zarni withdrawal, a Cyrannian Imperial fleet dropped out of hyperspace. On the bridge of the Procurator-class battlecruiser Sovereign, Grand Admiral Daeron Siruliulus, ordered his armada to split into three separate waves, but not before sending a transmission to the DSB, demanding that they immediately surrender the station to the Empire, or be destroyed. The Gravitas security forces defied the Imperial ultimatum, send word back to the DSB informing them of the situation. The first wave, consisting of small Imperial frigates, corvettes and fighter escorts began their assault against the security forces, swarming the larger DSB cruisers in an effort to disable their shields in preparation for the second wave, consisting of several Harrower-class Star Destroyers, one Autokrator-class Destroyer and three Imperator-class Star Destroyers. The DSB shields held up well to the Imperial assault, better than the Empire has anticipated, but in the sudden panic the Imperial fleet managed to force the DSB security fleet to break formation, allowing the frigates and corvettes to weave between them and hit them in their flanks.
In a show of Imperial courtesy, Admiral Siruliulus opted not to deploy a system-wide interdiction field, instead concentrating on Gravitas itself, preventing the DSB from relocating the station firmly into their territory. Nevertheless, Siruliulus, content in the belief that the Plazithians would make peace with the Imperials upon the inevitable destruction of their Republic allies, gave yet another ultimatum to the DSB defenders, offering them the chance to escape to fight another day. The DSB once again defied the Empire, vowing to prevent Gravitas from falling into Imperial hands. His eyes narrowed upon his prize, Siruliulus ordered the third wave, including the Sovereign and its Dreadnought escort, to advance. Torrents of turbolaser bolts lanced across the battlefield, overwhelming the DSB defenders and crippling their chance for victory. After another hour of vicious fighting, Siruliulus came to admire the tenacity of the Empire's new foes.
Imperial boarding parties had been launched to the station, meeting moderate resistance from the Gravitas security teams. The Zarni had been so kind to provide the Empire with security codes allowing them access to the forcefields and blast doors across the station. They locked several security teams within their own quarters, and marched straight to the engine room unhindered carrying large antimatter charge. Outside, the DSB reinforcements finally arrived. Siruliulus knew that a prolonged battle would mean trouble, but he held the winning hand. He contacted the DSB command ship, and informed them of his boarding parties. He gave them one more chance to withdraw, or the station would be destroyed. The DSB fleet hang in space silently for a long moment, before turning and warping back to where they came from. The system was now firmly under Imperial control.
With the DSB retreating, the Empire could finally answer the Zarni hails that had been obstructing his communications officer for the last half hour. He informed them that the battle had been won, and that the Zarni could return to the station and continue using it in cooperation with the Empire, as promised.
Battle of TírnanógEdit
- Tírnanóg System, Plazith Rim Galaxy
With the Battle of Coruanthor dominating the war in the Cyrannus Galaxy, in the Milky Way, the Empire continued its Wormhole Campaign, seeking to prevent reinforcements from the Republic's many extragalactic allies from reaching their central territories. Having captured the Plazithian Wormhole during the invasion of the Allied Terran Republic's territories in Quadrant 82, the Imperial armada entered the Tírnanóg Sector of the Milky Way, where they sought to capture the Universal Trading Union wormhole node in the sector. This would grant them access to the space of every other member of the Union within the Milky Way, because the Union's wormhole network was structured in such a way that each wormhole mouth connected to every other mouth within the same galaxy. Access to UTU wormholes in other galaxies was provided by a single galactic hub; the Empire could take this later if it so desired.
The skies above planet Tírnanóg, within the same system as the wormhole node, were soon darkened by the dagger-like silhouette of Imperial Battlecruisers. However, the planet, which had been attacked by the Neraida Gigamatrix during their brief invasion, was defended by a sizable Terran armada which had fortified the system in preparation for just such an assault. To their surprise, however, the armada bypassed the planetary defence fleet toward the outer region of the system, where the wormhole node was hidden. On the bridge of his flagship, the Procurator-class battlecruiser Sovereign, Grand Admiral Daeron Siruliulus coordinated the fleet, his eyes fixed on the viewscreen displaying a joint task force defending the wormhole, consisting of Terran and Apalos vessels. True to his nature, Siruliulus offered the armada the chance to surrender, pledging that the wormhole would be returned to the allied nations upon the collapse of the New Republic and the end of the war.
Apalos took advantage of Siruliulus's patience to plan a response with the Terran forces, led by Fleet Admiral Ellen van Rosenvelt. After previous experience, the Terrans had no inclination to trust the Empire, and assumed that Siruliulus or one of his fellow Grand Admirals would merely use the system to launch further attacks on the Terran Republic and their allies. Together, Apalos and the Terrans rejected the offer of surrender by sending a coordinated volley of assorted weapons fire against the Imperial fleet. The forward line of Imperial vessels took the brunt of the opening volley, with three Star Destroyers crippled. Swarms of Imperial ASP starfighters and bombers launched from Imperial destroyers and carriers, on an intercept course with the Apalos Imperium-class flagship, which appeared to function as the overall flagship of the enemy fleet. Upon approach they were met with small Temple Ships and Droner-class starfighters launched from the flagship's rear hangar bays, as the Imperium itself was occupied in engaging the larger Imperial vessels. Additional Temple Ships arrived from wormhole orbit, bolstering the Terran efforts by targeting Imperial frigates.
On the Sovereign, Siruliulus watched in dismay as more and more Imperial warships fell to the combined firepower of the Apalos and Terran forces. Interacting with a holographic display, depicting the system, he zoomed in on one of Tírnanóg's moons, designated as an Apalos Biosphere Preserve: a precious Sanctuary Moon, upon which dwelled a plethora of lifeforms in danger of vanishing. Steadying himself as the Sovereign rocked from an impact with a kamikaze Temple Ship, Siruliulus ordered three Battlecruisers and four Star Destroyers to break from the battlefleet and take up orbit over the Sanctuary Moon, predicting that the Apalos would view such a world as far more precious than a mere wormhole. He was correct: not only did the Imperium flagship and its accompanying Droners follow them, but reinforcements from the wormhole were diverted to the moon, leaving only a smaller fleet of Temple Ships as the Terrans' aid. However, outnumbered by the Imperial forces, the remaining fleet defending the wormhole were quickly defeated, with the Terran flagship A.T.S. Agincourt exploding under an intense broadside with the Sovereign, killing Fleet Admiral van Rosenvelt and throwing the Terran fleet into disarray.
Rather than to provoke the Apalos by bombarding the Sanctuary Moon, home to one of the largest populations of Paisti outside Cyrannus, the Imperial flotilla held position, waiting the overwhelming Apalos force approaching them. The Apalos flotilla—ten Imperium-class ships and uncounted Droners—rapidly moved to encircle the Imperials, knowing that the ships there would either be destroyed or rejoin the wormhole attackers. When the fighting began, the capital ships on each side were mostly evenly matched, with the Imperial vessels fielding dozens to hundreds of small weapons while the Apalos Star Destroyers made use of small numbers of larger guns. The Droners, although far smaller, were able to incur less damage for the amount that they dealt, as they were both tough and manoeuvrable, but being several times the size of the Imperial starfighters they were still large enough targets to be picked off fairly easily. Meanwhile, the Empire's ASP bombers were able to take out several of the Imperium-class ships' turrets, but faced a major obstacle in the form of intelligent cluster missiles, and soon found their efforts to be mere delaying tactics as the guns regenerated and resumed their fire.
Eventually, the Imperial forces over the Sanctuary Moon were destroyed, though in a transmission from the Sovereign, Grand Admiral Siruliulus declared that the wormhole node was now the property of the Empire and that any attempt to reclaim it would be met with overwhelming force. Accepting this, the remaining Apalos ships stayed in the lunar vicinity, and instead contacted the other nations of the Universal Trading Union to inform them that they would need to ensure that their own wormhole nodes were well-defended. The remaining Terran forces reinforced Tírnanóg, unwilling to allow the system to become a staging ground for future Imperial incursions into the core territory of the Terran Republic. Nevertheless, a fragile peace descended upon the system, with both sides licking their wounds in preparation for the inevitable rematch.
Battle of FarochelEdit
The Battle of Farochel was a massive naval clash during the Plazithian Wormhole Campaign of the Second Great Cyrannus War, pitting the allied fleets of the New Cyrannian Republic, the Allied Terran Republic, Apalos, the Defensive Systems Bloc and the Delpha Coalition of Planets against the Imperial Navy of the Galactic Empire of Cyrannus. The battle, fought over control over the New Republic Plazithian capital of Farochel and the system's wormhole to Cyrannus, marked the first engagement between the Empire and the DCP. Grand Admiral Siruliulus won a strategic victory, capturing the Republic capital in the Milky Way as well as the Cyrannian wormhole in one fell swoop. Fresh reinforcements from the Cyrannus-side of the wormhole came through the wormhole, reinforcing the Grand Admiral's armada in preparation for the titanic clashes to come. Indeed, while the DCP had robbed him of a total victory, he admitted to his first officer that they lived up to their fearsome reputation. As word from Imperial propaganda that Siruliulus had successfully engaged the DCP reached the Empire's populace, there was tremendous jubilee, and eyes turned to the DCP's colonies there.
Invasion of the Terran RepublicEdit
The Pleiadian Gambit Edit
In the months after the Battle of Farochel, a sense of eerie calm descended upon the Plazithian theatre of the Second Great War. However, all that was about to change. The Empire locked in a stalemate in the Tirnanóg system, Grand Admiral Daeron Siruliulus decided to invade the nearby world of Pleiades, in order to provide an alternate approach to breaking the Terran Republic's first line of defense before the bulk of their inhabited systems. Retaining much of his armada in the Tirnanóg system to throw off the Terrans and the Apalos, Siruliulus gathered his core fleet from his flagship, the Sovereign, and shot off into lightspeed. Within a few moments, the brilliant blue of hyperspace gave way to black, as the Imperial fleet entered the Pleiades system with their cannons blazing.
Admiral Masamba Ayotunde was sitting in his private desk, on board the Lagos, a Bestride class battlecruiser, one of a dozen such ships charting the outer reaches of the Allied Terran Republic bordering Tirnanóg. The torpedo shaped battleship which saw action during the New Grox Wars was being phased out, something the famed Masamba felt sad for; who took part in overcoming the invasion. However, on that fateful day, the worth of the Bestride class would be tested. Masamba Ayotunde of course did not think of this yet as word was patched in from the bridge that an entire fleet of Imperial star destroyers had come barrelling into the Pleiades system. The eerie calm within the cluster had been shattered.
Splitting his fleet into two groups, Siruliulus unleashed waves of starfighters to accompany the larger destroyers, before unleashing the full power of the fleet's weaponry on the Terrans. A Bestride class that was undergoing servicing by a Sentinel class-command ship became completely engulfed by white hot radiation. Masamba Ayotunde ordered the captain of the Sentinel class with withdraw to another system while they still could, as the ATR would need as many carriers as it could save. The other Bestride class ships were alerted to confront Siruliulus's fleet in order to slow it. Masamba thought to himself with a sigh that the ATR currently deemed them to be expendable enough, so that newer ships of the line would have time to arrive or bolster nearby systems.
The Grand Admiral, who was used to fighting against more advanced Terran vessels, found himself perplexed by the tactics of Masamba, who was inflicting disproportionate casualties on the Imperial forces. Nevertheless, armed with superior numbers and superior technology, the Empire slowly but surely whittled down the lines of Terran cruisers. Masamba winced with frustration at the technological and numerical constraints he had to work with. A gifted tactician, he could always think of moves, even if sub-optimal. However, the limits he had to work with were gaining on him, and he realised for his crew to survive and fight on another day, the Lagos and remaining cruisers must flee. The inhabitants of the Pleiades would be avenged...
And then it began to occur to Masamba about some secret documents he had been briefed only one week prior regarding the ancient Ashtar that once inhabited the cluster and their relics. Masamba ordered the Lagos to travel to the local Maia Nebula in order to draw Siruliulus's fleet to play hide and seek while he hashed a plan.
Battle of DanannEdit
A week after Admiral Ayotunde withdrew to the Maia Nebula, the Imperial battlefleet under Grand Admiral Siruliulus continued to carve a bloody swath through Terran space, toward the interior of their territory. To protect their core systems in the Plazith Rim from an allied counterattack, the Imperial Grand Mandator of the region, contacted PRION, the private military of the Black Sun Holding Corporation that was partially owned by, and had declared support for, the Empire. In order to free up much needed ships and fleets, the Empire came to an agreement with PRION that they would provide security for the Empire's worlds in the Milky Way.
Striking quickly, the Imperial fleet dropped out of lightspeed over Danann, the homeworld of the peaceful, elven Danann-Danu, who counted the current President Elethien among its kin. Rallying around Danann gathered a massive fleet of Terran vessels, including Admiral Ayotunde's reinforcements from the nearby Maia Nebula. The two fleets clashed, with the Terrans bravely defending their world against the Imperial conquerers. Previously inactive in this front, the Defensive Systems Bloc deployed an interventionist fleet, under the command of Admiral Eletjo, to fight alongside the Terran Republic against the Empire. The fleet had arrived at Terrae, and a significant portion was redirected by Terran Starfleet to Danaan. Not prepared to risk the loss of an important ally in the galaxy, the Delpha Coalition of Planets sent expeditionary force of supercarrier transports to setup base a few parsecs from ATR territory, with a complement of dreadnoughts to fortify the Terrans to replace the losses in capital ships that the Terrans were facing.
On the bridge of the Sovereign, Siruliulus sat on his command chair and ordered a full turbolaser barrage at the incoming enemy fleet. He scratched his chin as the green bolts of energy lanced away from the ships of his armada, his eyes darting from the display screen, to the bridge's viewports. He had always felt apprehensive about engaging the Coalition in battle, while the DSB were known for their zealotry in battle, never ones to back down. The allied fleet was taking their standard formation; DSB ships out front to soak up Imperial fire with their shields while the other allies fired from behind them. They had learned from the battle of Farochel, and they had layered their blockade to prevent imperial ships warping past them. The Delphan fleet of dreadnoughts fired barrages of subatomic disruptors in the characteristic firing pattern, while the Terrans unleashed streams of antimatter torpedoes released by orbital platforms imbetween dynamic openings of the DSB shield wall. Though the Imperial fleet was battlehardened, the forward lines began to collapse under the intense bombardment of the DCP fleet, while its starfighter wings were being swarmed by waves of Terran and DSB fighters. After three hours of battle, and with the DCP mere kilometres away from assaulting the Sovereign, Siruliulus gave the order to retreat.
The allies gave a sigh of relief, delighted by the boost in morale that the victory at Danann would give to the people of the Terran Republic. However, they soon received a distress transmission from Terrae itself. The planet was under attack!
Fall of TerraeEdit
“But freedom is more important than security, more important than order, for the unfree are incapable of pursuing that path to a real peace, one of our own making!”
- - Aidan Collins, in the aftermath of the Fall
The Fall of Terrae was an event during the Second Great Cyrannus War, during which the Galactic Empire of Cyrannus conquered Terrae, the capital world of the Allied Terran Republic. The Imperials had orchestrated the Battle of Danánn simultaneously, using it as a diversion while the majority of the Imperial battlefleet in the Milky Way besieged the capital, destroying the massive Ring of Gaia, and capturing the capital city of Arcadia. In the aftermath of the Fall, the Empire declared the Terran Republic dissolved, replaced by a new government known as Imperial Terrae, an Imperial puppet state ruled by human collaborators.
Battle of Two Nodes Edit
Beginning from the Empire's seizure of the wormhole at Tírnanóg, it was clear to the Apalos that they needed to put into practice their plans for the worst-case scenarios. Not only did future attacks on the Biosphere Preserves and the UTU's wormhole network need to more adequately defended against, but an ideal strategy would prevent the Empire from gaining access to any intergalactic wormhole hubs in the first place. The Plazithian hub was deep within the territory of the Milky Way Cooperative, and so would be safe as long as the Empire concentrated their forces in that galaxy against the Allied Terran Republic and the inevitable resistance movements that would spring up upon its fall. Apalos fleets could lie in wait, prepared to launch themselves through the wormhole to prevent an Imperial assault from getting through.
In Cyrannus, however, the UTU's intergalactic wormhole connections were brought together in the territory of the New Cyrannian Republic, and within the course of a few months the Empire would doubtless be bringing an armada against it. In preparation for the potential loss of this node, Apalos planned to reconnect the wormholes to elsewhere in Cyrannus, somewhere that would, at least temporarily, be safe from Imperial attack.
If the Republic fell, there would be only two free nations in the entire galaxy in possession of UTU wormhole nodes: the Confederacy of Free Planets and the Unified Order of Cognalorilos. Thus, negotiations began in order to facilitate the relocation of the hub. If either nation accepted the hub, it would provide the Empire with another reason to make them their next target, but it would also provide them with direct access to support from the allies in Plazith. To the considerable chagrin of Republic administrators, it was decided in secret negotiations that the primary Cyrannus node would be relocated to the distant system of Cúrongul, deep in the heart of Confederate territory.
Relocating the hub was a lengthy process, and a few days prior to completion on 20 Martex 17 NE, the eve of the Battle of the Twelve Worlds, an Imperial fleet commanded by Commodore Tethis Marrgrev attacked the Republic's node at Thraanthal, which in the aftermath of the Imperial conquest of Farochel functioned as the interim capital of the Republic's Plazithian colonies. Within moments, Apalos warships emerged through the wormhole to support the defending Republic fleet, although with far fewer numbers than had been hoped for, as they had meanwhile received a message from the Sanctuary Moon in orbit of Tírnanóg that the Imperial fleet stationed there was preparing to pass through the wormhole to capture the Plazithian hub, necessitating a rapid response flotilla to begin a preventative counterattack. As the planet had reached the point in its orbit where it was on the opposite side of its sun from the wormhole, the ability of the Moon's own defences to engage the distant Imperial ships was at its most limited.
The defence of Thraanthal was, from the viewpoint of Apalos, a game of holding back the Imperial advance until the reconnection was complete. If they and the Republic could survive for five days, the hub would be successfully relocated to Cúrongul and, if the Empire still continued their onslaught, the Republic's node could be temporarily disconnected until the threat was over. It was in the evening of 24 Martex that the Twelve Worlds fell to the Empire, and the Republic forces over Thraanthal received orders from their government to cease their resistance, and to turn on the Apalos ships if necessary to allow Imperial vessels access to the wormhole. In orbit, Republic Commodore Monoud immediately assumed that the new orders were a trick devised by the Empire, and refused to act on them. However, once verification arrived that the battle of the Twelve Worlds had ended with the unconditional surrender of the New Republic, the vast majority of the Republic fleet ceased fire on the Empire. On the bridge of the Republic flagship Tythóran, the senior staff looked to the Commodore for his orders. The loyal Cavaneu refused to accept defeat, and ordered his tactical officers to continue coordinating with Apalos against the Imperial invaders. However, when it became clear that the Tythóran would be alone in this fight, he ordered the ship to make an emergency jump to hyperspace, aiming to commit his vessel to the cause of the Plazithian allies.
A few hours later, the final Apalos reinforcements came through the wormhole shortly before it was, at last, cut off from the rest of the network. Stranded in enemy territory, they were unable to leave the system, and continued to fight until the morning of 25 Martex when the last three squadrons of Droner-class starfighters were destroyed. Although a sizeable Imperial flotilla remained at Tírnanóg, it was no longer sufficient to begin an invasion into Cooperative space, so the Apalos ships there abandoned their attack to take new positions at Cúrongul, in preparation for the oncoming Imperial offensive that was soon to target the Confederacy. Though the Confederate government, led by High Chancellor Taros Cassynder, reacted with surprise at the sudden arrival of the Apalos fleet, he was persuaded to redirect a considerable force of vessels from the armada located in the Void of Arathamaii to reinforce the now vitally important Cúrongul system.
Battle of the Hypercyclone Edit
In the months since the Fall of Terrae, the Plazithian Front of the war entered an uneasy period of relative calm. In the place of the once peaceful Allied Terran Republic, a new regime—Imperial Terrae—under the leadership of Grand Mandator Césaire Capellani rose, opposed by a small insurgency determined to restore freedom to a besieged humanity. With one obstacle dealt with, the Empire's baleful eye turned to the Delpha Coalition of Planets. Though the two powers had fought earlier in the conflict, they had yet to unleash their full strength upon the other. On the Plazithian Imperial capital world of Nua Morbis, Sola Valoratine, the newly appointed Grand Mandator over the Empire's holdings in the Milky Way, prepared her forces for the inevitable conflict.
Prior to the Battle of Farochel, when the Coalition first joined the war effort against the Empire, the Phaedric Lord Moranonúngur was tasked with locating the Heralds of Mosivam who had mysteriously gone unseen since the Great Xonexian Schism. He wanted to negociate an offer for the Heralds so they could strike their mutual enemy. After acquiring tentative knowledge of the Herald's location in Sector Ossuarium, a sector that was devastated in the Dominatus Wars, leaving behind spatial anomalies; Moranonúngur carefully navigated the region using his mental abilities to find the base of the Heralds. When Moranonúngur arrived, he found a delapidated army incapable of fighting due to the deteriorating overseer technology that kept the men alive. But Moranonúngur saw opportunity rather than disappointment upon learning that some of the anomalies could act as portals that cut deep into Delphan space. The Phaedric Lord struck an offer the Heralds could not afford to deny: technology to maintain their ailing bodies after hiding away in the damaged space in return for acts of sabotage and other special operations in service of the Empire.
Once Moranonúngur returned to Nua Morbis with news of his efforts in Sector Ossaurium, the Empire began to put their plan into motion. Referred to as the Titans of Plazithaen, the Coalition of Planets represented the greatest obstacle to the Empire's aspirations for the Milky Way, and thus, Grand Mandator Valoratine and Lord Moranonúngur watched in satisfaction as the Heralds began their vicious attacks across Delphan space.
For the Delphans, the initial attacks apparently came out of nowhere, from inside locked chambers of starships to government residences. The assassinations were aimed at individuals with moderate ranks, and were always successful. The victims were eviscerated and sometimes left in ornamental disfigurement. The DCP covered up the killings to curb panic, but quietly increased the security of high profile leaders ten fold, including the Emperor's Palace vessel. And then the attacks became more chancy, with the Heralds launching acts of terrorism in public quarters by slaughtering civilians, disappearing as quickly as they came but appearing vaguely Grimbolsaurian. To the DCP high command it was obvious that the perpetrators were taking more risk and testing their abilities by appearing briefly in public massacres.
The attacks continued for months, and seemed to intensify when the Coalition aided the allies by deploying their forces against the Empire at Farochel, and during the campaign to conquer the Terran Republic. Upon the Fall of the Twelve Worlds, which resulted in the collapse of the New Cyrannian Republic, Emperor Lunarai roused the Coalition to a state of total war, proclaiming that "we shall fight tooth and claw for our allies and our colonies in Cyrandia. We shall fight in the stars of Orion! We shall fight in hyperlanes and hyperstorms. Our strength is growing relentlessly. We shall defend our galaxy, be it whatever the cost"—and thus one of the most destructive confrontations in the war commenced.
A vast Delphan fleet under the command of Admiral Jazzaroth, the bulk of which consisted of "Gargantuan"-class superdreadnoughts; flanked by Obsidians and Star-dreadnoughts; and lead by "Assiduity"-class supercarriers, departed from Coalition-held space on a vector toward the pivotal wormhole located at the former Republic capital of Farochel, now firmly under the Empire's cruel control. In response, Grand Admiral Siruliulus deployed the large bulk of his armada, including several Executor-class Star Dreadnoughts and three Nemesis-class Star Dreadnoughts, as well as a sizable armada of smaller, though more advanced, Judicator-class Battlecruisers, and infamous Imperator-class vessels, to defend the wormhole, and thus prevent the DCP from providing aid to its colonies in Cyrannus, as well as the newly emergent New Republic Remnant under President Apollo.
From the Assiduity, Admiral Jazzaroth instructed a flotilla of Star-dreadnoughts to attack repair installations in orbit of Farochel in order to distract some of Siruliulus's fleet. The star dreadnoughts used their ventral glasma-beam weapons to slice through the facilities while transporting aboard as many annexed civilians as they could save. Jazzaroth knew Siruliulus was too clever to send more than a flotilla himself, but loss of the installations could damage his amada's ability to repair quickly or retreat, so he had to act by sending some Imperators to challenge the Star Dreadnoughts. Farochelian colonists looked up to flashes and green and violet as the star destroyers caught up with a flurry of turbolaser fire. Jazzaroth noted the impressive frontal assault displayed by the Imperators and called the Dreadnoughts to retreat as their job had been done. But Jazzaroth wanted to distract more than a few ships, so he hatched a bluff: the DCP would appear to have the intention of liberating Farochel and ordered three teams of superdreadnoughts to jump over major cities.
Grand Admiral Siruliulus eyed his screens with suspicion, because the large Delphan fleet should be attacking his fleet by now, and instead the first wave seemed to have an aim of liberating Farochel. Siriulius knew that even if the DCP were successful, the operation could cost them dearly because they were caught between his long-range weapons and the Farochel's defenses. Meanwhile, the Gargantuan fleet's firepower forced the planet's forcefield to fragment in seconds, and ships started to take fire from surface to space artillery, which barely penetrated the first layer of non-phasic shielding. Although a single Gargantuan could destroy an entire star system, Jazzaroth's fleet was limited to precision strikes in order not to harm their ally. Waves of black arrow bombers and quad starfighters descended on surface targets, which would come to duel ASP interceptors over the cities of Farochel.
Siruliulus let the standoff go on for long enough. As time went on, the DCP's liberation started to look convincing as civilians were being transported back to the Gargantuans. If Siruliulus allowed the DCP to snatch one of their most populated conquests, it would bode badly for him. Furthermore his subordinates were growing impatient, eager to project power not only on the battlefield, but in competition for rank. Fortunately, the DCP's second wave was easily within range of his weapons and Siruliulus had nothing to lose in using them.
All of a sudden, one of the Gargantuans exploded with a brilliant glare. Then another. Then one more. Jazzaroth's crew scrambled to monitor the situation as he bitterly realised one of them was carrying refugees. Apparently Siruliulus was focusing most of his superlasers and matter cannons from his commanding dreadnoughts onto single targets. Jazzaroth ordered an immediate stop to the operation - to survive the Gargantuans would have to activate their metric shields or ghost phase, preventing further evacuation of civilians. Angered, Jazzeroth decided to initiate the third wave. Grand Admiral Siruliulus felt pleasure as he saw the Gargantians activate their ghost phase. This cowardly act meant his barrage would hit the wretched scum on the planet below. Then the readings of vast fleet appeared within his proximity, and Siruliulus realised the weakness he had opened - he redirected most of power to his fleet's frontal assault on the Gargantuans.
The battle that followed was superdreadnought upon superdreadnought, each drawing upon their hypermatter reservoirs or wormhole grids to power shields and weapons. Both the DCP and Empire used hyperspace to dump energy and momentum that would have otherwise been showstoppers. Executors and Gargantuans exchanged fire with turbolasers, ion cannons, kinetic beams, concussion missiles, antimatter warheads, and glasma disruptors. But they also exchanged more exotic weaponry such as matter cannons, soliton cannons, superlasers, hyperspatial missiles and subspace compression waves, causing untold damage. The ships that got the hottest or could summon the least power were the losers; this meant the battle was one of attrition. Only some of the superdreadnoughts on both sides were becoming heavily damaged because they had the deepest reserves, however the older Imperators and Stars from Siruliulus' and Jazzaroth's fleets were taking the worst toll, amounting to heavy losses. The Judicators and Obsidians had a smaller volume which allowed them to cool off in hyperspace more quickly, taking momentary breaks. With both sides sustaining heavy losses to their supporting cruisers and with the capital ships straining under their peak performance, the two fleets began their retreat into hyperspace with haste.
The people of Farochel looked up to witness a now silenced heavens. The Imperials had been weakened on the surface by the orbital assault, and now there was a chance for revolt. But the silence of the night was an illusion and the battle was far from over. In hyperspace, new battlelines were drawn. Siruliulus' orders were to defend the wormhole at all costs until reinforcements arrive, and there was no doubt in his mind that the Delphans would bring their own. Siruliulus had surveyed the "weather" of hyperspace around the Farochel system and knew what expect. The star system was a notoriously foggy in hyperspace, the mass of star and the wormhole had attracted four dimensional clumps of hyperspace fog along with frequent hyperspace storms. These were in motion and so must his ships, which would have to navigate this extra dimension carefully so as to remain unexposed. And yet these regions provided terrain for entrenchment, for hiding one's artillery. For now on both sides, the wormhole and hyperlanes around the system were no-man's-space.
For Jazzaroth, the Assiduity and his life had nearly been claimed by a single BAM during the desperate scramble for strategic hideouts. BAMs (Breaching Antimetric Missiles) had recently become prolific new hyperspatial missiles, designed to destroy the pocket of 3D brane that kept a starship safely confined from higher dimensional space, weakening the fundamental forces that stabilises normal matter in a bound state. A single successful BAM would mean the silent disintegration of a proud superdreadnought. The bulk of the Assiduity made it especially visible to gravitational sensors; indeed the ship had been designed for engagements in realspace in preparation for compromised hypertravel. Jazzaroth mused that hyperspace was a contrasting place for naval engagements. Positions could remain held for long periods of time, and yet ships were rendered much more vulnerable by the physics of hyperspace. Neither Jazzaroth nor Siruliulus had entered hyperspace to buy time or retreat. Both sides had failed to breakout in realspace. The reality was, both admirals needed to whittle down their fleets for the chance to gain an advantage in realspace, when the time came to fight openly again.
The first week had been marked by a vicious rain of BAMs from the Delphan positions. Most of the BAMs had been lost or scattered by the dense hyperfog, or were intercepted by counter-missiles. Siruliulus knew that destruction in this kill zone was not a matter of if but when. As did his crews, but he knew their unwavering loyalty to Emperor Tyrómairon would keep them in line into oblivion. He thought Saps, blind service is the folly of the weak. Competing for power was all that mattered. As Siruliulus finished his contemplation, the comms squawked. A BAM had been intercepted too close his bridge for comfort.
Half a week later Jazzaroth was receiving some of the first welcoming news for the DCP's war effort from his strategic officer, "The smaller Imperial destroyers are in trouble. It appears they had only a finite supply of BAMs. One of the BAMs got lucky with an Executor. If we keep this, hyperspatial superiority could come in a matter of days." Jazzaroth chopped his mandibles, and thought could the DCP claim the first setback to the Empire in months?
It would not be until the beginning of the second week when Siruliulus answered his question. The officer returned to Jazzaroth with bad news, "There's been an Imperial breakout near the wormhole, our Gargantuan fleet group there is in disarray. Siruliulus has occupied our closest positions using beam weapons to evaporate the hyperfog." Jazzaroth replied "Then he has captured it to safely gain reinforcements from Cyrannus". The admiral cursed Siruliulus for taking advantage right out his hands. Jazzaroth didn't ask, but he reasoned that Siruliulus had obviously used POWs, or Proximity Optimisation Wormholes to fire superlasers directly at the fog clouds protecting Delphan positions. Like any unguided weapon, beams were notoriously poor weapons in hyperspace because they were bent out of alignment. A POW minimised this risk by directing superlasers through missile delivered wormholes to correct for the altered topology. Jazzaroth ordered for the rest of the battlegroups to redirect most of their fire towards the wormhole.
Siruliulus' command group experienced dwindling numbers of BAMs as the DCP switched their fire to the wormhole, prompting the admiral to open a vintage gin from Corunnia in celebration. This 'Jazzaroth' must have grown complacent with his bombardment strategy. The Empire was now victorious in the Cyrandia cluster and could invade Plazith with its full might. He had personally requested the first reinforcements should carry interdiction weapons to drag the damn Assiduity into realspace and reduce it radiation.
Underfire from the DCP's shelling, the space around the wormhole appeared to threaten its demise as the edge of the gate started to whip up a storm of decaying hypermatter and micro-wormholes. Siruliulus moved his own superdreadnoughts as close as he dared to the hyperstorm to block the DCP's POWS and BAMs with unlimited counterfire. One more Executor was lost to a single Arrow-class starfighter in this maneuver, but once the ships were in line, their own complements of missiles and fighters were able to intercept most of the DCP's. Siruliulus waited no time in requesting Cyrandian reinforcements.
Choice of Annihilation Edit
Jazzaroth was dismayed as a large fleet of reinforcements began streaming through the wormhole. He could in theory eliminate the wormhole with superweapons, but this would fail is Emperor's goal of sending aid to Cyrannus and even threaten Farochel. So he would fight on and buy time for a response. The first wave of reinforcements were interceptor vessels armed with interdiction technology, and immediately these vessels knocked his BAMs out of hyperspace and even some of his dreadnoughts, where they were vulnerable to attack. Fortunately for Jazzaroth, the Assiduity had experimental technology designed to stabilise hyperspace, creating a final standoff between the two fleets. It was at this point Jazzaroth received a transmission from Siruliulus.
"Admiral Jazzaroth, you are outflanked. Do not think this standoff can continue."
"I bet you have better things to do than gloat." Jazzaroth remarked.
"As you can see, you are now outnumbered in this sector. However, I will be so kind as to let you leave." politely replied Siruliulus.
Jazzaroth laughed in Grimbolsaurian. "And why should I believe you won't destroy us the second we let our guard down? No, we will stay put and inflict as much casualties as we can." Jazzaroth remarked
Siruliulus frowned, angrily rasping this time "I never undestood your Coalition's unreasonable traditions. So be it then, martyr Jazzaroth. Witness your fleet slowly die." With that, the transmission was cut.
Although Jazzaroth was defiant for the sake of his crew, in truth Siruliulus had humiliated him by outflanking his fleet with a smaller fleet to gain control of the hyperlanes outside the gate. As Jazzaroth prepared for a last stand, a miracle happened.
"Admiral Jazzaroth, pardon me, but why haven't we used the WHACK on them already?", Jazzaroth turn to see a Yoburt cadet of all people, punching outside of his rank.
"A WHACK? What is that? And you are?" Kids these days Jazzaroth thought, annoyed by the boldness of post-schism youth.
"Cadet Jiraates, sir, from the military tech department. I'm suggesting we use a 'Worldline Hyperaccretor and Asymmetric Causality Killer' to inflict 'as much casualties as we can'."
"I've never heard of a WHACK. I know my ship top to bottom, you are mistaken boy."
The cadet projected a visual of the WHACK and the specification necessary to create one. Jazzaroth noticed that the WHACK had a mark 1058 security censor. Surprised, Jazzaroth exclaimed "This! Not even I have clearence to know about this top secret research. How did you break access to it?"
"Break? Sir, it is visible to all crew. If I am to be court marshalled, so will you."
This took Jazzaroth aback, he could be in trouble if he returned from this battle. Boom, another missiles intercepted - but he was certainly in trouble now. He had to consider the WHACK.
Jazzaroth returned to his quarters to look over the specifications. Indeed the weapon had the recipe to change the outcome of the battle. The 'Worldline Hyperaccretor' part ensnared ships with a spatial loop anomaly by wrapping wordlines inside out. The 'Asymmetric Causality Killer' took advantage of closed timelike curves created as a result of hyperspatial warfare to retroactively target fleets while the spatial anomaly prevented their own CTC forewarning.
The admiral put the best minds of his crew both AI and baseline to prepare the necessary calculations based on the WHACK, including necessary corrections to the original. It took another day cycle to modify the Assiduity's shift drives and other hyperspatial technology to create the anomaly. Finally the time came, and with the growing Imperial fleet bearing down on Jazzaroth's, the admiral was all too eager for its use. The entire ship rumbled as if it was about to jump into hyperspace, only Jazzaroth could feel a sense of falling as the Assiduity created the anomaly at a safe distance in front of the vessel, even so, the engines were straining to keep aloft. And then there was a tremendous crash that shook the entire bridge. Jazzaroth collapsed to the floor and the lights went dark, his crew scrambling for control.
He heard a hideous laugh that was vaguely Grimbolsaurian, and yet something more sadistic that reminded him of the past... And then the darkness was pierced with dazzling flashes of bluish-white and the screams of his men. The lights returned and Jazzaroth beheld a figure almost twice his stature. It was a creature that had now been consigned to his most buried memories. It was an Overseer.
"You are a pathetic creature Jazzaroth, as I have been watching you lose from the beginning. It was I who infiltrated Delphan techs and implanted the secret into the Assiduity database. First you were complacent, and now you are desperate enough to not question the impossible."
Jazzaroth was now back on his feet, drawing his sword and pistol. They looked unworthy compared to the armaments of the Overseer.
"Do not bother calling reinforcements. I have melted the entrances shut." sneered the Overseer.
"So what are you going to do?" asked Jazzaroth.
"Overloading the anomaly. You shall fall by your own hand." And with that, the Overseer grabbed Jazzaroth's hand and pulled it to the controls, making him feel his enhanced bones fracture from the Overseer's enormous strength.
Jazzaroth knew he couldn't win a conventional fight, but perhaps what the Overseer had not counted on was Jazzaroth's ghost phase modification, once outfitted for a mission decades before. Activating it, he hoped the proximity of the field would capture the Overseer as well. It did. For a moment even the Overseer was confused as Jazzaroth's hands fell through the controls. Then Jazzaroth activated his internal drives and pushed himself with Overseer out through the Assiduity's walls towards the anomaly. The ghost phase ran out of power. The Overseer looked out in silent rage as the ship's engines pulled it away as the crew regained control. The two men, if they could be called mere men, felt a sudden lurch as the spatial anomaly's gravitational field increased dramatically. The Overseer fell away as Jazzaroth tried to return to his ship, but it was now a shrinking away to a point.
He awoke with the sense of freefall. Opening his eyes, he could see distorted images of hyperspace, stretching into a bright band. Orientating himself to this horizon and peering through, Jazzaroth could make out a long army of figures facing away with their backs turned, seemingly stretching to infinity. He moved towards them, and they marched in unison. He then realised the figures were himself.
Siruliulus was awoken by his first hand. "Hurry, we need you on the bridge! Half the reinforcements we amassed have just gone." Siruliulus roared "What do you mean, gone?" his officer replied "All I know is that the entire advancing battlegroup vanished and the DCP are rolling over our remaining positions. Gargantuans are dragging our dreadnoughts into realspace for one-on-one encounters. We are losing ground everywhere, what are your orders?"
Regaining a calm composure, the grand admiral replied "We must call our forces to retreat."
Departing the Farochel system, the Imperial armada abandoned their valuable prize and escaped back to their more securely occupied territories. Across the Gigaquadrant, news of the Battle of the Hypercyclone, as it became known, spread like wildfire, telling of the titanic clash between armadas of dreadnoughts both in realspace and hyperspace. However, the jubilation which spread as a result of the Delphan victory would become sullied by the emergence of the Occupied Republic under President Zare'Anne, which refused to treat with the allies, and even pronounced that it was the DCP, not the Empire, who incinerated the Mou'Cyran system in an effort to prepare Cyrannus for an eventual invasion. In the Farochel system, the devastation caused by the battle forced the Delphan commanders to ignore such propaganda, and they set about evacuating the inhabitants of Farochel, both to protect them against the hyperspatial anomalies now ravaging the system, and the inevitable Imperial reprisal.
The DCP wasted no time in establishing communication links with the Cyrandian colonies that had been cut off for months. It was not even known if they had persisted in the long months of siege by the Imperials. Despite being pushed to the brink of collapse, the DCP would learn of a powerful winged entity who bathed all in rays violet, indigo and gold, invigorating for the DCP and blinding for the invaders. The entity had become known as 'The Luminary' among the colonists and would appear fleetingly at first to embolden the front lines. Then as the situation worsened, he would appear with a battalion of winged warriors who could knock starfighters out of the skies. When word of the Luminary reached Idol Wormulus II, who had long resided to a quiet life on the palace, he immediately rose to his feet in hope. One great hero was lost in the Battle of Hypercyclone, but had his son Bo Ramik returned from the Xol'Etran neverworld?
In Imperial Space in Cyrannus, Grand Mandator Deoclet Caesarius consulted with his subordinates. With the demise of the Republic, and the supplication of its vestiges, it was imperative to stamp out any and all instances which could embolden the Empire's enemies. This 'Luminary', particularly now that he could be reinforced with the might of the Delphan armada from the Plazith Rim, now represented the single greatest threat to the Empire's plans for expansion. Wormulus met with Lunarai to discuss his hopes. Though sceptical at first, Lunarai agreed to dispatch a small relief force to the Cyrannus galaxy to resupply the colonists in the race to identify this 'Luminary'. However he was more concerned with strengthening the DCP's positions in Plazith. Unknown to Lunarai, Wormulus had snuck aboard the fleet, desperate to find his favourite son who had long abandoned the DCP.