As the war quickly descended upon the species of the Milky Way the Response Team used this opportunity to recruit and organize their forces. Ru convinced the Unival Collective to join forces with the Drakath and Alliance to halt PRAXIS’ advance while Cinnabar recruited the Triwikan Princedoms, and the Red Howls.
Ru even managed to convince Aromia for The Order to reveal their existence to the united governments of the galaxy in order for them to use their resources to assist in the cause.
Across every communication channel a message went out from PRAXIS’ general Mareth. He called for the civilized of the Milky Way to lay down their arms, and accept their “rebirth” in exchange their families would not be slaughtered by the oncoming forces.
As panic crept through the civilian masses, Ru Zil addressed the people and convinced them that they would defeat PRAXIS, as they were prepared. His speech brought order back to the panicked worlds.
The attack begun, a three pronged attack in the Unival, Alliance and Drakath sectors. Dark Energy Beasts with their Live Ships and telekinetics assailed the Veratoss planets. The Verox controlled by PRAXIS attacked the Drakath, and The Built creations of The Factory assailed the Unival.
The Dark Suns began shedding massive purple waves of dark energy, like they were pulled by deep ocean currents they began moving towards the Baetylus. The Research Division set up in Keelik began putting every effort forth to devise a way to track the direction of the dark energy, and find the location of the Baetylus.
As the armadas held the line, Cinnabar commanded the fleets in the Alliance, Ru in the Drakath, and Chen in the Unival, SIRE led the efforts in the research project. Ru authorizedUro-HERALD to be installed in the Conclave housing system giving it supreme control of the Alliance’s systems to assist in the research endeavours.
SIRE and his team tracked the location of the Baetylus, and so the combined military forces of every civilized government in the galaxy attacked the location in hopes of capturing the Baetylus.
Ru convinced Keelik to join the fight as he was the only one capable of slip space travel telling him that when there is no other choice you have to fight, even if that means death. Keelik agreed to do it, with SIRE at the helm assisting Keelik fly, Ru manned the gunnery pod.
As they entered the system PRAXIS’ armada surrounded the Baetylus that hailed wave upon wave a fire and plasma upon the ships of the species of the Milky Way. Keelik skirted around the fire, deftly dodging the fire, as Ru fired upon ships in pursuit. They ordered the Howls to watch their backs and saw as the Devil of the Seventh burst into shards from fire from a Live Ship.They managed to reach the Baetylus as it opened a slip space tunnel to escape. Keelik pursued and as they came out of the other side they came upon a familiar sight, Ika-tra.
The Baetylus in orbit above Ika-tra as a great hurricane looms above the eastern continent of the planet. An energy beam permeates from the eye of the storm and rised all the way to the ship.
SIRE knowing that the beam was from the tethering device, and knowing that the device always had a slip space connection with the ship suggested that they go down to the planet to use it.
They flew down on a shuttle through the hurricane SIRE’s ship keeping them afloat until they approached the eye. There an ivory tower ascended from the massive crevices that were created by the Ploth mining operations. Mareth and his dark energy beasts stand among them acting as warden to the orb shaped tethering device.
Flying in, Mareth grabbed on to the ship with his telekinesis almost crashing ship into the crevice. SIRE barely managed to recover it as the Response Team had to leap off the ship before it fell into the crevice.
They confronted Mareth, the creature spoke of its rebirth and the inevitability of PRAXIS’ victory, that no matter what they do PRAXIS has planned a counter move to it. That Mareth was the counter move to the Response Team, he was the reborn version of Jabraxal recovered from Installation 343, and reborn in the crysallis in Keelik he was designed to serve PRAXIS and kill the Team.
He revealed that Cinnabar’s whole existence was of PRAXIS’ design. He had created the Ikaite to be PRAXIS’ killing tools to fulfill his plan. Grown to be fiercely loyal and respectful of strength and power, this was only stopped when Cinnabar killed his father and interrupted their plans.
Ika-tra itself was PRAXIS’ creation an artificial planet chock full of flubotnium to entice Alliance intervention, and where the tethering device could be hidden. The mining operations of the Ploth discovered the tethering device and that’s why Ika-tra was to be attacked along with the plan to kill SIRE.
As the Response Team attacked Mareth, their PRAXIS devices gained a mind of their own and betrayed their former masters. Ru’s nanite healer released a horde of nanites to eat away at them, and Cinnabar’s arms transformed into a scorpion that released vicious pulses of energy.
In the midst of the conflict while Mareth slip space traveled around them ambushing them at every turn, Slash Punch stabbed CInnabar in the back. He was the cyborg spy within the Ikaite ranks who had been hidden among them to cause chaos and discord.
The battle ended when Cinnabar impaled Slash Punch through the throat with his own amputated arm while SIRE knee capped Mareth and blew his head apart with three rounds of sniper fire.
Knowing that if they destroy the tethering device it would cause a cataclysmic meltdown of the Baetylus’ system causing an explosion that destroy the Ikaite, Ravarsi, Veratoss, and Neutral Zone killing trillions of people. Instead they used the slip space connection to board the bridge of the Baetylus.
On the bridge, PRAXIS’ avatar looked down upon the twisting hurricane on Ika-tra as he congratulated the Response Team on their tenaciousness but it was time to give in. The Baetylus was already full of dark energy the equivalent of a quadrillion megaton bombs was contained within it, and it had to be dispensed or the Baetylus would blow.
PRAXIS offered to take them to the Precursors, he would tell his sires about what they had done, and perhaps if they were impressed enough they would be raised to a higher level of consciousness. The team did not believe him knowing PRAXIS’ to be a creature of pride and deceit he would never share his victory, or permit them to survive this encounter.
They instead deciding to begin purging the system, to lock PRAXIS inside the network unable to influence it or get out. With the system reboot it endangered the dark energy hitting cataclysmic meltdown so Ru went down to the dark energy containment to keep it sealed. Cinnabar went with him, as dark energy beasts and others PRAXIS’ servants began assaulting them to help their master.
SIRE and Chen stayed on the bridge of the ship to keep the purge going, while Chen watched his back. As beasts flooded at both teams, Chen died protecting his comrade he was flung to the side by a wave of dark energy and snapping his neck on a metal beam.
Cinnabar covered the entrance to the containment facility while Ru went inside the radiation doors to manually contain the leakage. Cinnabar broke his arm as he tossed down beast after beast, until the purge was complete.
Ru meanwhile keeping the dark energy containment secure had taken so much radiation that he felt his mind slipping as he drew closer and closer to blacking out. He injected himself with a lethal amount of morphine before he peacefully passed from this world.
The dark energy beasts howled out in pain as PRAXIS was no longer able to control them through dream space.
Cinnabar and SIRE met on the bridge where they had to decide what to do with the Baetylus before the containment units bursted. They decided the best course of action was to use the slip space tunnel to the Precursors once there Cinnabar would unleash the waves where when interacting with the door to their pocket universe would cause a cataclysmic explosion destroying the surrounding galaxy.
SIRE said farewell, and took an escape pod down to Ika-tra where Keelik arrived to pick him up.
Cinnabar took the ship through slip space travelling for what felt like months. Upon arrival the ship was before a glass window into an other world, the entrance to the Precursors pocket universe. Before Cinnabar could release the dark energy he was confronted by an wispy light that begged him not to do this.
The Precursor promised to give him ascendance, god-like knowledge and power in exchange for their lives. Cinnabar wanted none of these things, he wanted to be free from control, and to be the most glorious warrior the Ikaite had ever birthed.
“I will be the first Ikaite to kill a God.”
He released the wave of energy and as it collided with the gateway, time seemed to stop right before an explosion errupted and the very vacuum surrounding it seemed to quake. Cinnabar and all the Precursors were atomized and the surrounding galaxy was consumed in the apocalyptic explosion.
SIRE returned to Alliance Space informing the united peoples of their victory and the rest of the Response Team’s heroic sacrifice.
In the next few years the galaxy stayed largely united, borders had been drawn up, and trade continued between the four factions of the galaxy. The Drakath began expanding into the Unknown Territories to create their hive worlds. The Unival ended their quarantine having ended the threat of the Ichythus once and for all.
SIRE and Uro-HERALD continued to guide the Alliance along their way in a more advisory role. SIRE soon built himself a host of immortal synthetic bodies to inhabit and Octavian was given to the Red Wards to make a funeral for him.
The heroes that were lost in the fight, Dr. Ru Zil who was posthumously given the rank of Admiral, Cinnabar who was commerated by the Ikaite as the Emperor of Life and savior of their people, and Chenzhenivikay the first proteriat to be given his own house, Dynasty Chen to be eternal advisors and friends to the Emperor of the Rock.
Life continues on because of their sacrifice, and their unrelenting pursuit for the liberty of sentient species.
“Every time I look out a view port screen and see a sun dangle in the vacuum I am reminded that each breath I take is a gift from them and for that their legacy will never be forgotten.” – Admiral Sachar