Written by Tanith
As Tanith and Rune finally sent the all-clear signal to the fleet, those on the bridge released the pent up breaths that they had held throughout their hair-raising escape. As the main viewscreen adjusted to show more of their environment, everyone except Rune looked upon their temporary safe haven in awe.
It seemed to be a straight yellow-white roadway, marked by shimmering silver rectangles that stood at reglar intervals on the sides. The emty Void could be seen in the gaps between the doorways. In the distance, the throughfare seemed to vanish into the vast distance of infintiy.
"What is this place?" Drunkard Kid whispered in awe.
"The Universe Hall," replied Rune quietly, as if reciting some bit of arcane lore. "The Star Walk, the Gateway Path, or, most often..."
"...the Hall of Worlds," finished Tanith. "Each portal leads to a difference world. A different universe. If we had been normal sized, the road would be fit for a man to walk upon without harm. It's greatest defense: secrecy. None may find the Hall that do not apprehend it.
"Is it as infinite as it looks?" Asked Meta quietly.
"No one has been able to find out," replied Rune. "The road may appear straight, but if you walk a short distance away, you would vanish from your companion's sight. Distance and Time have little meaning here, in the folds between Worlds."
"Hence why we would have needed to stay together, even had the shrinking field had not necessitated a close cluster," explained Tanith. "But we have much to do to dawdle here. It's time we met up with those who were fortunate to get away from Khazan before the Overlord's forces hit."
As one, the fleet began to move forward. Slowly at first, then faster and faster as their engines proved to have no advese affects on the Hall. After an undeterminable time, for time had little meaning in the Hall, Rune indicated that they had reached the portal they sought.
Turning, the fleet glided into the silvery portal that stood next to the Hall. They emerged in what seemed to be the middle of a massive asteroid field. Then, as the shrinking field reversed itself, and the fleet began to enlarge once more, the asteroids were revealed to be large pieces of space debris. When the fleet regained normal size they found themselves in a very old and very material-sparse nebula.
Swooping out, the fleet followed the Andromeda as it went into a small warp jump. They all appeared on the outskirts of a star system with a dying red star. As they approached the only planet in the system, the Andromeda began sending out the proper ID codes. Soon, several Resistance vessels decloaked around the planet.
The comm panel beeped as an incoming message was received.
"Lord Benedict is asking how much time we will need for repairs. As well as requesting a meeting on board the GSV Dream Within a Dream to decide on where our next haven is going to be." Rommie reported the communique, then contacted the other vessels. "From the damage reports, I estimate that we will need quite a few hours spent in repairs."
"I'll start cranking out constructs," supplied Drunkard Kid. "They can help with the more delicate work. Hm... what should I use..." Still muttering to himself, he left the bridge.
"How many did we lose?" Tanith asked quietly.
Rommie paused for a moment. "About one-fifth of our forces were able to escape before the Overlord invaded. They should all be unharmed. When we left Khazan, we had perhaps one-fourth of our ships that had remained.... all together, around half of the ships at were originally at Khazan survived."
Slowly nodding, Tanith changed the subject again. "Tell Lord Benedict that I will be at the meeting in 20 minutes or so."
With that, she rose to her feet and headed for her room. In the aftermath of the battle, she had much to think about.
Written by Nobody
"T-Dot. How many of our ships... made it?"
"A liitle over half, sir..."
HALF?? You've GOT to be kidding me... That many?? I only saw a few go...
"50.23% Sir, to be exact... Would you like the civilian casulity rate as well??"
"No... No, T-Dot. Maintain course..." Nobody's voice was weary. "I'm going to grab a shower, then we're going to have a crew meeting..."
"Very well sir..."
Nobody slowly, sadly walked out the door. When would it end... When would there be peace?
Written by Chuckg
The Overlord was not pleased today.
Standing there with his hands clasped behind his back, Emperor Chuckg gazed at the far wall with a thousand-yard stare, totally heedless of the Watcher's burnt and unconscious body laying limply in the rack next to him. The second most frightening thing in the room was the waves of seething rage palpably radiating outward from him.
The most frightening thing was the total lack of expression upon his face.
Let's add up just how much has gone wrong today...
1) That massive ethereal disturbance came at just the wrong time, rendering Watcher comatose with his current task for me uncompleted.
Not important. The very immutability that he is so proud of is part of what makes him so useful to me. Were he not virtually unbreakable, he would never survive the usages I inflict upon him. And a day or two's worth of delay in recovering the Orb should not be too troublesome.
2) Our Royal Assassin has been injured.
Irrelevant. She'll heal soon enough. And at least *she* accomplished her assigned task, albeit just barely.
3) Grand Vizier Locke's "techno-zombie" project has been a failure.
His project, not mine. And my indulgence in allowing him to keep those pets is at an end. The live-fire evolution of my Iron Guards is a proven way to gain experienced, battle-hardened commanders... why in Hades did he ever desire to sidestep that system in favor of the faded ghosts of defeated heroes?
4) The universe that Phase World was in has been destroyed.
The Phase World nexus had outlived its purpose anyway... such gambits only work the once. But it was not in the plan to lose that kind of real estate and that many potential work units, even if the Anvil Galaxy and environs held nothing uniquely remarkable save the Phase World nexus itself.
Still, while the loss of the Death's Head and its ancillary fleet is definitely noticeable, it's not catastrophic.
Despite having long since left all mortal frailty behind, the Overlord took a deep breath before continuing on in his thoughts.
5) The entire dimension of Khazan has been destroyed... along with 98% of the Fleet units that were originally dispatched to it.
Now *that* is catastrophic.
Almost sixty percent of the entire Fleet was detailed to one mission. Almost six out of ten of my Sphere-Ships. Total.
Incredibly ludicrous overkill for a one-planet assault, of course. Even if that planet was Khazan. 99% of the capital ships merely got in each other's way and blocked each other's lines of fire. One-hundredth as many vessels would have been able to deliver at least quadruple the actual output, simply because the ether would have been clearer to shoot in.
Well, we wished to see how our most excellent administrator would perform as a warleader, did we not? And we found out, did we not?
I am *extremely* reluctant to use the words "tragic farce" to describe the Battle of Khazan, but what other words are there?
Oh, I will have words with my Inner Circle when they return. I will Most. Definitely. Have. Words. With. Them.
The Overlord shook himself out of his deep thoughts and turned to go. With a final glance to make sure that Watcher's restraints were still fully secured, he walked to the exit. The meters-thick containment doors of the buried ultra-security vault that Watcher was confined in hissing open at his approach.
And revealed that the rooms and corridors outside were littered with the lifeless bodies of Servitor caste drones. In the fullness of his wrath, the Overlord's dark aura had surged outward and struck their delicate nervous systems dead where they stood. Even several Legion troopers posted nearby, despite their considerable durability, had suffered damage.
Hmmm. Been a while since the last time that's happened.
Without a second thought as to the unintentional carnage around him, the Overlord strode purposefully towards a nearby transit junction, the containment doors slamming shut behind him again and new guards and servitors taking up station where old ones had fallen. The Overlord paid no attention to these activities. He had a great deal to do, and time was growing shorter than he preferred.
No, the Overlord most definitely was *not* pleased today.
Written by Ramz
It didn't matter really; all that mattered now was saving one of his good friends, the Watcher, and killing the Overlord and all his minions. Clearing his thoughts, Ramz sent a message to the Andromedaís captain, Tanith.
"Tanith? This is Ramz, how you holding up?"
Tanith: "Iím fine Ramz, Thanks. What about you and you're ship? Did you sustain a lot of damage? Or is it in good shape?"
"It's good to go, there was some damage but there being repaired now as we speak..... You know me though, always impatient and wanting to fight. Thatís actually what I messaged you for, do you when the meeting will be taking place?"
Ramz waited for Tanith's reply.
Written by Tanith
Written by The Watcher
While waiting for the meeting that was to be held on the GSV Dream Within A Dream, the Meddler assessed what he had managed to gain that day. Both the Executor's sensors and his own upgraded tricorder had managed to get detailed readings of the destruction of Khazan and their method of escape. Even the magical aspect of event was recorded thanks to techno-magical sensors and PKE meters.
Thanks to their privellaged perspective from being in relatively close proxity to the incident when it occured, very accurate and comprehensive readings were obtained. When all the data gathered had been thorougly analyzed, he had a good chance learning exactly how it was accomplished. Such knowledge would be academic for most people, but as someone who could manipulate the dimensional fabric to create gates at will, he might actually be able to apply that knowledge, adding yet another potential weapon to his arsenal.
Pity about Khazan though. It was a lovely place. He would have loved to have gained it for himself. Before the rise of the Dominion he had been implementing a plan to very gradually and incrementally subvert its institutions to gain covert control over the nexus and its secrets. Oh well, at least he could be content with the fact that many of his deep cover agents probably managed to escape with the initial exodus before the Nexus had been cut off, riding along with the ships which took the items and lore of major importance.