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Previously
A deadly virus affecting both organics and robotics swept the northern sectors of the Galaxy, sparking a war between the afflicted and the remaining factions. After nearly a year of defensive battles and co-ordinated operations, the war finally ended at the Battle of Ruin. The end of the war saw increased relations between the GSU, Imperium and Santori as they all agreed on a two year ceasefire to mend the damages caused by the crisis.

After these two years the factions signed the Santori Accords, an agreement proclaiming their united efforts to uphold Celestial law, including the protection of innocent life in case of another galactic threat. Following this meeting the Highrock Clans decided to join the Santori Protectorate, expanding their territory by almost double.

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2571

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Current Events
The Reich, a returning faction of magic-haters, resurface and initiate a purge of the planet Ordriey, destroying it entirely in the process. This event has made all of the Major Factions uneasy, even though each of them has bigger concerns of their own. Not only are there issues for these powers to deal with, but more factions are rising from the ashes of the Helix War, populating the galaxy once again.

Meanwhile, the Celestial Architect Sam'anar has discovered a way to reverse large parts of the Convergence, sending back many of the planets it had brought into the galaxy. Whilst this move has saved many from unwanted threats, it has also shifted the layout of the galaxy drastically. Because of this, new star-charts have been drawn out with Hyperlanes, allowing them to show the quickest and safest routes between planets.

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 Where Shadows Meet The Unknown, The Reich finds something unexpected...
Infested
 Posted: Jun 12 2018, 10:52 AM
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The fleet burst into the cold vacuum of space, their black hulls making them invisible as they slid through the void. Grand Inquisitor Mordeci stood at the bridge of the fleet’s flagship, the ISS Phantom. Aboard the Dagger Class Frigate, Mordeci and his retinue awaited word from one of the fleet’s corvettes, the ISS Anubis, and in extension, his partner-in-leadership, Krieg. He had gone off to enact a special assignment, and had ordered Mordeci to remove the rest of the fleet from Imperial space after the destruction of the shipyards and academy of Xu’la. The region of space Krieg had chosen for the Fleet of Retribution, as Mordeci had recently christened it, was uncharted by Reich forces and thought to be uncharted by the Imperium as well.

While he knew that Krieg’s task was to be long and arduous, Mordeci soon grew impatient for the Grand Inquisitor. The Reich was ready to show itself once more, and we now wait? The Witchhunter silently berated himself for having such a restless mind. While he was a great fighter and leader of his fleet, Krieg was the strategist of the two, the one who had mainly planned out the expansion of the Old Reich, and had planned for the continuation of the Reich inside his bunker in Catugus. He needed to respect that while also keeping in mind that he had as much rein in the Reich as Krieg, as he was head of the Witchhunters, and the acting authority of the fleet which he currently stood at the helm of.

“Admiral Flannagan,” Mordeci began, “Give me a status update.”

The Admiral, seen as many as the right hand of Mordeci, replied in short suite, “All ships, save for the Anubis, are nominal, sir. Though, there is something that may be alarming.” He continued, “An unknown signal is being broadcast from a nearby system. We are unsure if it is Imperial, Immortal, GSU, or an unknown party.”

Mordeci took this in with great contemplation. “Bring us closer,” he finally decided, “Keep is out of sensory range, but close enough to determine the origin, and allegiance, of the signal.” While he may have been disobeying Krieg’s exact orders, the fleet would still remain generally close to the designated rendezvous point, and could possibly lend further damage to the Imperium, or even weaken the Immortals with a preliminary assault. In any case, Grand Inquisitor Mordeci saw fit that this was the best course of action, and was not about to simply cow-tow to Krieg entirely.

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SirParzival
 Posted: Jun 12 2018, 11:28 AM
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The Lux Republic had utilized the Imperium's kind gifts, using the new warp drives to make astronomical jumps across entire light years. This had brought upon them an age of exploration, driving pioneers, traders, and scientists to explore this new frontier while the Lux prepared to expand their reach. They were incredibly grateful to bear such powerful machinery and wished to view the Imperium's impressive empire. But, the drives took some getting used to and had resulted in some fleets becoming slightly off course. This had happened to the 3rd Beta Strike Fleet which had an end destination of Polsim but had gotten lost in the intricate hyper-space lanes. They weren't too upset to have gotten lost as they stumbled upon a beautiful tri-star system which hosted some of the most beautiful views they had ever seen.

The three stars were slowly orbiting each other, destined to crash into one another in the next million years. There were two red dwarfs which were slowly being drawn in by the immense gravitational pull of their larger brother, a newborn yellow sun. They were quite close together leaving plenty of room for habitable planets and gas giants. Unfortunately, something had happened in the recent past leaving the two habitable planets devasted. The gas giants had also suffered, the largest one being thrown off its orbit, crashing into a smaller ice world. Even with the drastic difference in the mass of the two colliding planets and the major difference in gravity, it had left quite the spectacle. As per usual, when two celestial objects crash into one another it created chaos with the gas giant's gases escaping into the void, leaving behind a massive cloud. Even with the gases obscuring a full view of what had or was happening, the constant impacts were shining through the cloud and were burning hotter than the sun. Still, this wasn't the most fantastic thing in the system. This was focused around the furthest planet from the suns.

The furthest gas giant had something fantastic near the equator of the planet. This was a constant plasma reaction bleeding deep from the core, spewing out into the void. The plasma was estimated to burn 3x hotter than a white dwarf, and bright enough to blind someone if they were to look close enough. They were mistaken as stars in a neighboring system when first viewed but were only discovered when these 'stars' evaporated into the cold.

The 3rd Beta Strike Fleet was stationed around one of the old habitable planets where they were testing out a new weapon. It wasn't obvious when they first jumped into the system but the Lux were constantly pinging everything in the system just in case. While the Imperium had trouble viewing this ships, they were not aware that they were even in the system. Nothing changed as the ships continued to drift, unaware.
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Infested
 Posted: Jun 29 2018, 03:14 PM
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As the pilots and specialists relayed the layout of the marvelous system, the crashing planets and plasma reactions were interesting to Mordeci, but he was not interested in astrological formations unless they were the cause for the unknown signal. "We grow closer to the unidentified vessels, Mordeci. We are within two AU and closing. What are your orders, sir?"

The Witchhunter thought for a short moment, before calmly replying, "Attempt to hail their ships. Let them understand that our vessels mean no harm to them, unless they attempt any sort of hostilities." he continued, "If they wish for further communications, I will take up the mantle of contact."

The Admiral Flanagan nodded, and his vessel began to attempt to relay the Reich's message to the alien vessels. They were unsure whether it would go through to their ships, or if they would even understand it, but for the Inquisitorial Reich, a problem of this caliber was an easy obstacle to overcome.

The message was quite simple:

"Greetings, unidentified vessels. This is Admiral Flanagan of the ISS Phantom, a vessel of the Inquisitorial Reich. We greet you with peace, given that you show no hostility to our communications and respond in a timely manner. This message will repeat."

And thus, the first words spoken between the Lux Republic and the Reich had been sent, and repeated several times aboard their vessels. It was in the Reich's best intentions that the Lux understood the message, for the rest of the galaxy had already painted them as villains and monsters in their defense of the dark arts. Hopefully, these vessels would be of a group understanding of the Reich's intentions.

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SirParzival
 Posted: Jun 30 2018, 12:53 PM
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The Lux Republic had been sitting a few hundred kilometers above the dead world when the transmission was finally relayed to the Reinhardt-Class Carrier christened the Brilliance. While the transmission was being decoded and translated, a Hailstorm-Class Cruiser moved further down into the thin atmosphere, warning klaxons sounding as the rest of the fleet began to move upward.

Onboard the Brilliance, Admiral Julia Keeyes listened to the transmission her brow furrowing into concern. These ships that had sent the transmission had managed to sneak past all sensors, even while all were actively pinging the system. She cursed to herself before commanding the Sacrilege, a Sirius-Class, to turn 180 degrees to provide covering fire in case it came to that. Meanwhile, all ships of the Strike Fleet were alerted to the presence of an alien faction that was invisible to all sensors.

While the majority of the fleet was now on red alert and had begun to transition away from the planet, the Hailstorm-Class released it's payload on the dead planet beneath. From launching bay H-16, a missile was released. This missile, if scanned, was twenty-five meters by seven meters. Along with the dimensions, one could easily scan the weight which would be somewhere around 98 metric tons. This missile would rip through the thin atmosphere as if it were nothing. It only took three-point-eight-seconds for the missile to crash into the dead planet. Even with the most advanced sensors it would still take a full minute to process all data received from the explosion. The mushroom cloud expanded seventy-two kilometers into the air in the first thirty seconds and billowed out to a radius of eighty-two kilometers, in the same time frame. The force of the blast would have put the missile somewhere around the scale of two-hundred-seventy-five to three-hundred megatonnes of force. Almost immediately afterward, the effect on the planet would be obvious as most sensors could feel the planet shift off it's dying orbit, launching it out into the cold nothingness of deep space. If that show of force wasn't enough, it ripped through the tectonic plates shattering a portion of the planet and launching it toward the closest star.

While the missile did create quite the show, it did not take away from the delicate process of inter-planetary diplomacy, which had currently occupied the Admiral. She had been building a message to send back when the explosion went off. The window in the board room exploded with such a powerful light that those who viewed it with the naked eye would have lost vision for a few moments. Shaking off the effect of such a powerful weapon, she sent the draft to the bridge to get ironed out by the translation bot and sent back along the same line in which it had arrived.

Greetings, Admiral Flanagan of the Inquisitorial Reich, before we speak further we wish to explain that the weapon that was detonated, was not meant to inspire hostilities. Rather, we had been sent on a mission to explore more of the known galaxy and happened to be led astray, with such an empty system we thought it would be the best place to test a weapon and were unaware that it was occupied. If we angered you or destroyed something that was sacred to your people, we apologize. Now, if this was just another system that you happened to stumble in...we hope you enjoyed the light show. I am Admiral Keeyes, acting commander of Beta-IV Strike Fleet and representative of the Lux Republic. And I digress, but, we find it quite impressive that our strongest sensors were not capable of finding your ships and we are still not able to pinpoint a location. On the behalf of the Lux Republic, we are humbled by your stealth capability.
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Infested
 Posted: Jun 30 2018, 01:12 PM
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The Reich's finest stared in awe, watching the explosion from afar, and the effect was further mortifying to most. But Mordeci, instead of the terror he saw in many of the eyes of his constituents and underlings, was filled with intrigue. As the Lux Republic's message had finished its relay, he began to reply to the Admiral of the Beta-IV Strike Fleet, taking up a position at the relay, before slowly taking off his mask to ensure the clarity of his voice, revealing his burnt face. He cleared his throat, before activating the transmitter.

"Greetings, Admiral Keeyes. I am Grand Inquisitor Mordeci, current representative of the Inquisitorial Reich. On the Reich's behalf, we ensure that your presence in this system, or your amazing feat, has not harmed us or our ways. We, in fact, fight for our home. As we speak, my constituent is in a far-off system, ensuring that our people have a place to continue our way of life. It is why we are here, waiting for him to return and proclaim that we are victorious against those that wish us gone.

"I thank you for your compliments on our stealth capabilities,"
Mordeci added, "Created with the notes of the late Director of Sciences, if it were not for him, we would not continue to subsist to this day. His creations allowed us to survive the Helix Invasions, and ensure that we would be able to return to power.

"But, I drag on. Let it be known that, on behalf of the Inquisitorial Reich, there is no hostilities between our people. I... have never heard of the Lux Republic, if I may be honest. Have you heard of the Serpentum Imperium?"
The Grand Inquisitor asked, wanting to assure that the Republic was not muddying up its existence by entangling itself with a soon-to-fall empire.

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SirParzival
 Posted: Jun 30 2018, 01:35 PM
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The Admiral had moved out of her quarters by the time the Reich relayed yet another message. She had managed to sneak in a shower and some relaxation before the message was received and translated. She was a tall woman with reddish blond hair that fell down to her hips, accented by her curves which drew attention from most sailors when she wore the form-fitting regulation clothes. With a body-type that could not only humble most sailors, she was also in perfect health, graduating the academy on Eden-II with two records for running and combat. Having a background and degrees in naval combat and aeronautical mechanics, she had been chosen from her graduating class at the academy to begin the next leg of her career by pioneering the first expedition fleet out of the Eden System. Being relatively new to the diplomatic page, she had spent most of her free time researching old Lux customs and preparing herself for the day when she was forced into a situation like she was in now, or was selected by the king to serve on the High Council.

This training served her well as she strode onto the bridge, her tall figure commanding respect as she passed. When her Commander realized the Admiral had arrived on bridge he called everyone to attention.

"Bridge, attention!"

Julia smiled before allowing everyone to finish their tasks. The onboard ship A.I. connected with her neural comm-link allowing her access to all ship functions. As she read over the incoming transmissions, her face transformed into a mask of confusion at some of the points the Grand Inquisitor had made.

What were the Helix Invasions? Who was the late director? and what kind of level was this civilization on that they could create such amazing devices?

Her questions were put on hold as the commander approached her, reading off of a hologram.

"Ma'am, the High Council requests that you return to common hyper-space lanes immediately. They are worried that something might go awry and we'll be stuck here."

"Have they not been informed of what is happening?"

"We sent out the transmission that was sent to us, but I believe they are occupied with other matters."

"Such as?.."

"The invasion on Cre'sarak began six hours ago, Eden-II time."

"Ah, well, that gives us time to send more transmissions. Ready the translator."

"Yes, ma'am."

As the commander walked over to one of the smaller tables, Julia began speaking while the translator ensured that everything was smooth and without room for miscommunication.

"A pleasure, Grand Inquisitor Mordeci. We are pleased to hear that we have not caused you any harm, but we are slightly concerned with the nature of your mission. I assume that you have just exited from some form of combat with another space-faring faction, and while we are intrigued by the nature of your...proceedings. We- I am concerned that we might be brought into this feud."

She paused, thinking before she spoke.

"However, we are curious as to what the Helix Invasions were, or are, and we would wish to speak further with such a powerful faction. As well as being naturally curious, we are also quite naive to the current sways in galactic politics and remain quite...unaware. But you have spoke of a name that we have heard before as the faster-than-light drives we are using were gifts from the Serpentum Imperium. Although, I will say that our communication with them as of late has been...minimal."
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Infested
 Posted: Jun 30 2018, 02:08 PM
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As the translated message reached Mordeci and his ships, he was caught off-guard by both the fact that these people, seemingly living in the region that had been most infested by their plague, had not heard of the Helix Virus, as well as the idea that they were speaking to individuals somewhat uplifted by the Serpentum Imperium.

To quickly calm the Admiral and to assure her that the Republic would not be dragged into unneeded conflict (though he was unsure if the Imperium would also leave them to their devices and not force them into combat), Mordeci hastily sent his reply.

"Our mission will not involve your people, I can assure you. You see... eight years ago, the Inquisitorial Reich stood at the pinnacle of the 'northern' factions. The Serpentum, the Seraphim, even the Nypherians of fabled myth had come together with us, and created a great alliance. But, at the climax of our power, the Helix Virus, a mechanical plague created by a foul mage of the Galactic Systems Union, swept through the North. We held for as we could, but in the end, the Reich collapsed, its remnants scattered. Enraged, I led my witchhunters to find and kill the plague's heart, but, in my anger, I lead them into death." Mordeci silenced himself for a moment, remembering the agony of losing his greatest 3,000 men, and how it continued to sit upon his shoulders to the very present.

"The Imperium, however, subsisted barely. And through their Viscount, who had replaced an Emperor who disappeared into thin air, took advantage of the fall of the Reich and subsequently, the fall of Helix Prime, the heart I sought to kill. They expanded their reach further than any period before. They took our homes, turned into their puppets, and when we sought to return, they branded us pirates and terrorists.

"While I may thank the Imperium for granting us this conversation, it is the only thing left good in its rotting body,"
Mordeci stated sharply. "Let it be known, however, that our hostilities are pointed towards the Imperium, and not your people. For you are innocent, but they have crossed us, vexed us, too many times to count. And for that, their punishment comes with my constituent's work. He strikes at their heart, as I sought to strike at Helix's. And that is why we wait here, Admiral. We await our return to a free home."

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SirParzival
 Posted: Jul 12 2018, 09:42 AM
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The transmission had come in shortly after the bridge crew transitioned. This meant that a new crew had come in just in time to receive the message, and be left pondering what it could possibly mean. While they were aware that another fleet had capabilities to not be detected, they were naive in understanding what any of the factions, that were mentioned, actually were.

Julia sat up in her seat, her two fingers extending as she pulled the message out of her holo-pad. She expanded the image before beginning to read. Her eyes scanned over all of the information presented, stunned that a faction as powerful as the Imperium would ever be threatened. Her mind reasoned that if there were factions as powerful as the Imperium, there would likely be enemies that were equally as powerful. However, as she went over the factions mentioned, she recognized one. It was the Galactic Systems Union.

She had heard about this faction during discussions with the Imperium many months prior, and had wondered what role it played in regard to the rest of the galaxy. Now, she was given information that led her to believe the G.S.U had manufactured this plague and had dispatched on the rest of the galaxy. Regardless of how this message was intended, the Lux Republic now viewed the G.S.U as a warring faction that was willing to commit mass genocide.

However, her view on the Imperium had slowly changed during the duration of the message to something similar to...distaste? She recognized that the Imperium was incredibly powerful and had managed to survive a plague that the Reich could not, but it also put a sour taste in her mouth to think of how the Reich was used. Even with the Grand Inquisitor speaking of how they were mistreated, there are always to sides to the story and in order for her to get an accurate and unbiased view, she would need to speak with someone from the Imperium's side.

Her response was hard to craft, as she was attempting to weave the intricate patterns of intergalactic politics without stepping on any toes.

"Incredible. There is nothing else to say. Your faction has now impressed us twice within hours of first contact. First, you are able to craft technology far beyond our comprehension, and second, you have given us insight on our...allies that supplied us. We require some time to discuss the information and we formally invite you to dine with my crew. It would be much easier to go over this information in person, if that's okay with you. We also understand that you have places to be and if this time does not work with your schedule, we will give you the galactic coordinates of our faction and offer your refuge, should you ever need it."

The message ended with coordinates detailing the Eden System along with it's galactic coordinates relative to the 'galactic center'. The ships that were now hovering precariously on the edge of the destroyed planets gravitational pull, slowly began to form up on the Reinhardt Carrier, allowing all ships to be viewed by Reich sensors.
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Infested
 Posted: Jul 16 2018, 04:10 PM
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While the offer seemed fine to Mordeci, the intricacies of dining and discussing politics and such, along with the planned processes following Krieg’s triumphant return, the Grand Inquisitor would have to deny the Admiral his presence upon their ship.

“I would love to dine with your crew,” Mordeci began, “but our fleet has plans that require immediate action upon my accomplice’s return. Perhaps we may have this another time?” He suggested, the fleet uncloaking to assure the Lux fleet they were in no harm. If the time ever came for this proposed meeting, the witchhunter thought, he’d have Krieg go. He would be much more interested with such trivialities as going over a long tirade of galactic politics.

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