This is my first entry in the Talian Chronicles; a story about perseverance against all odds, which I find to be critical in this game. I hope you enjoy it, and I appreciate any and all feedback. Thank you, Jimmy.
My name is Darren Thatcher. I am a Base Commander for the Talian Empire, in charge of Logistics mainly, in charge of helping our fleets move faster. Or rather, what’s left of our fleets. I should have mentioned that the Talian Empire, once proudly in control of 20 Planets and one of the most prosperous economies in the Universe, has been under siege for little over 8 months now. It came as a complete shock. Our neighbours, the Sevterians, a serpentine race of brutes, decided that it was the time to take us over. We had been wary of each other for about a century, our strength being well matched, but had always seemed to coexist since it had been better to trade then fight. However, times change, and without warning, their Dreadnaughts had destroyed three of our Perimeter planets. We struggled to ready ourselves for war, but the enemy was just too fast. One by one, our planets fell as our Empire grew weaker.
Every Commander was executed upon capture; the Sevterians showed no mercy to their prisoners. Eventually, our Emperor Marcus Nixt and I were the only authority left. We were faring badly; all but one of our bases was in the Enemy’s hands. The Emperor was staging a last-ditch effort at Jaspen, a formidable fortress with rocky terrain, and defenses that were able to take down Super-Caps such as Leviathans or Titans. I was stationed at an asteroid outpost, AP-0174, with the remaining 4 Cruiser Divisions. I also had with me the Empire’s last 3 Outpost Ships; if Jaspen should fall, then it was up to me to relocate and restart the Talian Empire, and regain what was lost.
The last cable from Jaspen had arrived a day before; the Sevterians had been picked up on the scanners and were 14 hours out. So the battle was already in progress, and could even be over. If we had won, then they would have messaged before, so I was worried. Either they had lost and communications were cut, or the Sevterians were sending wave after wave and keeping the defenders busy. I had ordered the construction of an emergency jumpgate three days ago, in case the enemy tried a sneak attack on us. We would disband the asteroid as soon as the fleets were in the air and through the Jumpgate. It would be finished in 5 hours.
I sighed as I thought of what was happening to the Empire. So many innocents slaughtered, lives lost, ships destroyed, resources stolen from us. And for what? Greed, that’s what. The Sevterians had become greedy; Trade Routes were no longer be sufficient for them apparently, they wanted our metal, crystals, gasses, our people! As I sat in my command centre, a page came running in.
“Commander Tatcher, Commander Tatcher! Message from Jaspen! It has fallen. The Sevterians have broken through the Planetary Rings and destroyed the Turrets!”
I stared in complete shock, although I knew that this would most likely be the result. I finally managed to say “And Emperor Nixt?”
“He’s dead, sir, all dead. Every Man, Woman, and Child on Jaspen is dead.” The entire room fell silent. We guessed that they might kill the Emperor, but every single inhabitant on the Planet? This wasn’t war, it was murder! Yes, innocents had been killed in earlier assaults, but once the planet fell, the survivors were sent to prison camps! Many of the men present wept openly for the loss of the Talian Empire, for the loss of our people, our families, and our comrades; everyone who was affected by the monsters.
Jacob Harvey, my second in command, couldn’t control his rage. “Those brutes are scum! They gave us no warning! They declared war for no reason but to line their pockets! And what’s worse, they systematically slaughter millions upon millions of people like common criminals! But their only crime was being proud Talians!”
I stood up. I knew that I was the only one in charge. I must rebuild our Empire, one planet at a time, and drive the Sevterians to destruction, make them pay for their crimes. I spoke “Gentlemen, listen to me. We have suffered much at the hands of those snakes. They have taken everything from us. They have destroyed our homes, and our families. They have murdered our Emperor! Our leader! The Talian Empire has fallen to the Sevterians. Do we retreat? For now, we have no choice. But do we give up? Never! I swear to you, upon the grave of Emperor Nixt, our brave leader who’s legacy the enemy has desecrated, that this is not the end! Not by a long shot! We have a small fleet and three Colonizing units. We can go away; far away from their reach! We can rebuild! We will rebuild! And once we are ready, we will come back, and return the Talian Empire to its former glory!” I looked to Harvey “Jacob, how long until the Jumpgate is ready?”
“It will be ready in less than an hour, Darren. So we are leaving?” He asked, still shaking from my speech, as was everyone else.
“Yes, as soon as it is operational.” I looked out of my Command Center, and gazed at the stars. Somewhere out there was to be our new home, and our destiny. As long as there is a sliver of hope, a fragment of the former Talian Empire, we will strive night and day to rebuild; even if it takes to the end of time.
“Gentlemen,” I looked around at them with determination, “Long live Talian!”
“Long live Talian!” The room shook with their cheers! “Long live Talian! Long live Talian!”
And we left for the launching bays, ready to meet our destiny.
End of Part One
Story sent by James “Jimmy” Morris for the AE Stories event.