Londo reclined on his balcony overlooking a gently sloping valley. At the southernmost edge of Illyria, his private residence had an excellent view of the forest below and the vast mountain ranges in the distance.
'An alpine paradise, indeed.' He thought.
The home had been bought when the humans were just finishing the construction of the city, and he had gotten an extraordinarily good deal for it through his connections at the Alliance Parliament. The district he was in was populated by wealthy and influential business owners from across the galaxy.
He reached over and clicked open a small wooden box sitting on the table. The container, a small refrigerator, lifted its lid and revealed the chilled contents. Londo smiled as he picked up the bottle and looked at its label.
"This drink is older than I am." He chuckled to himself. It would also taste extraordinary if his memory about human drinks was correct. He would need to thank Urza for sending a gift like this.
Londo pressed an automatic bottle opener to the cork and waited. With a tiny pop, the cork was removed and Londo set down the opener. He lifted the rim to his nose and let the scents waft to him.
He smile widely and lowered the bottle to the wine glass on the table. The phone rang the instant he finished pouring. He let loose a deep sigh and set the bottle down. He walked through the glass door towards the phone, muttering about interrupted vacations.
The balcony door closed itself behind him just in time for the glass wall to explode.
Glass and wood shattered around him as a pressure wave knocked him off his feet and further into the room. He landed several feet forward in a moaning sprawl.
Londo sucked in a deep breath once his lungs allowed it. The wind had been knocked right out of him. He could feel a trickle of blood run down his face and a sharp pain on across his forehead.
He groaned as he pushed himself onto his hands and knees. The world was moving in and out of focus. His hand landed on the edge of some broken glass and he yelped in pain.
The injury made his hazy mind focus.
The phone was still ringing from somewhere in broken bedroom. He ignored it. He rubbed the cut on his palm and looked at the glass that had injured him.
He picked up the piece of broken glass and turned it over. Even smeared with some of his own blood, the markings were clear.
Londo stared at the piece of glass and the label still attached to it. It slowly slid out of his numb fingers and clattered among the other wreckage on the floor.
He turned to look out at the valley. Nearly a dozen transport shuttles and a handful of fighters were roaming the sky, firing at random buildings and searching for landing areas.
He snarled. "Monsters."
The centauri forced his way onto his feet and looked around. The railing of balcony was barely hanging onto the main platform, the expansive windows were shattered, and most of his bedroom furniture had been knocked over. He made his way to his bed and reached underneath for the case holding his plasma pistol. When he retrieved it and several energy caps, he walked to the wall and pulled one of the coutari out of its ornamental coat of arms.
The battle had only begun, and he had no intention of losing it.
With a weapon in each hand he made his way down the stairs and into the foyer. As he reached for the door handle he heard muffled voices on the other side.
"-rich ones make bad slaves, just shoot 'em and loot."
"Good idea picking this district, Grodath. We're gonna be set for years after this."
Londo withdrew his hand as the footsteps grew louder. Thinking quickly, he pushed himself up against the wall right next to the door.
When the lead pirate kicked the door in, it slammed right onto him. Londo muffled his gasp as the heavy door pushed against him. Two batarians, a drazi, and a turian sauntered into his home. They didn't even care to look behind them as the stared at the paintings and furniture with greed.
Londo decided he didn't like them gawking at his belongings. 'At least', he thought, 'their last sight will be something nice.'
Let it never be said that Londo Mollari took no pride in his belongings.
He slipped out from behind the door and crept forwards. The drazi was looking upwards at the chandelier while the other three were arguing about which pieces of jewel encrusted furniture to carry off first.
Without warning or sound, Londo slid the coutari right into the back of the drazi's neck and up into his brain. From that angle, the drazi's thick skull was completely bypassed. The large alien slumped and Londo had to strain not to drop the still embedded weapon under the drazi's weight.
The centauri noble managed to hold up the drazi and positioned himself directly behind the taller and broader alien. Though his arm ached from the effort Londo managed to hold up the drazi as a shield, take careful aim, and shoot the lead batarian in the back.
With a fully charged shot, the powerful plasma bolt struck and overloaded the batarian's kinetic barriers. The superheated gas continued, incinerating his clothing and charring flesh and bone. The force of the shot blew the batarian forward over the ruby inlaid credenza he had been admiring.
His remaining two companions spun in shock. The turian was the faster of the two, nearly managing to lift his rifle before Londo shifted his pistol and fired again. The turian met the same fate as his leader. The final batarian dropped his rifle, instead choosing to rush Londo.
With a heave, Londo pushed the drazi's corpse forward and forced the batarian to dodge the massive body. He slid the superfine edge of the blade out of the drazi's neck and performed a rapid sidestep followed by a lunge.
He closed distance with the last batarian, who had activated his omni-blade, and struck out.
Astonishingly the batarian parried the attack and returned with one of his own. Londo narrowed his eyes as he deflected and weaved his blade. The batarian's omni-blade was longer than normal, thicker and it wasn't wearing down the way most omni-blades did after a few uses.
This raider had modified his omni-tool to make a superior blade and he knew how to use it.
A quick glance at his pistol confirmed Mollari's fears about using it. The energy cap was well over half empty, enough for only two more shots. Setting it near its highest power output had drained its power rapidly. In addition, at such short range he feared the backwash of heat from such a close target.
With a grimace Londo made his move. He maneuvered his coutari to slide along the batarian's blade as they clashed once more. The slaver's four eyes widened as Londo suddenly closed the distance and the sharp edge of each blades came close to the opponent.
Londo seized the moment of surprise and slackened his wrist. His loosened stance and the forwards momentum of his body allowed his blade to effortlessly swerve around the omni-blade. Once past, his wrist tightened and his arm lashed outward.
Right across the batarian's throat.
He watched the pirate collapse, clutching his slashed throat in vain. Only once the batarian had fallen still did Londo allow himself to turn his back on the alien.
A feral grin was etched across his face. He hadn't had a fight like this since the raid of Frallis in his youth. His blood was boiling and the call for glory was sounding loudly in his ears.
As he walked out of the house he truly realized that the fight was just beginning. Smoke was billowing and distant explosions could be heard throughout the city. He grimaced, swapped out his pistol's energy cap, and started moving.
Eventually, after three more raiders and another rapid combination of his pistol and sword, the centauri made it to one of the garden plazas for the district. A human and a pair of salarians were advancing on a large fountain in the center with their weapons raised. Their backs were to him.
Silently he ran toward the trio. Whatever they were focused on was giving him the chance he needed to-
One of the salarians tripped. Despite their being little debris in the area and the grass being dry, the salarian had tripped. His stumble was seized upon. A rifle smoothly slid out from over the fountain's edge and put a new hole through the green skinned head.
Londo reached the other salarian a moment later. He swung his blade low; the razor sharp metal neatly severed the salarian's legs. As the alien screamed and dropped to the floor Mollari lashed out with a kick aimed at its bulbous eyes.
The human turned at the sound of his comrade's shout and hefted his shotgun at Londo. A group of slugs buzzed past him, but the distance was far enough that the scattered pellets didn't connect.
A uniformed human woman with red hair raised herself up from inside the large fountain wall and loosed a volley of rounds at the pirate's torso. The slugs hit his kinetic barrier, which flicked and shut down with a visible flash of blue light. With the raider's shields down, Londo threw the coutari towards the man as the woman ejected a thermal clip and dropped back behind cover. His blade spun swiftly through the air before impaling the pirate through the chest.
A shout of rage from a nearby building kept Londo from posturing over his good throw. The grass around him was thrown up as mass accelerator rounds whistled.
Londo ran across the plaza towards the fountain and the human soldier. As he passed the downed raider he smoothly pulled the sword out of its latest victim without slowing. He stepped onto a small stone bench and leapt into the safety of the stone fountain. With a splash of water Londo landed and lay down behind the thick stone hedge.
A handful of shots struck the fountain's spout above them, shattering sections of the carved marble. Realizing the shots weren't doing anything to the hidden pair, the gunfire soon ceased.
"You're a soldier, yes? What is happening? Aside from the obvious please." Londo asked once he was certain he was still in one piece.
The woman looked over his expensive, now soaked, clothes and the sword gripped in his hand. She raised an eyebrow. "Seriously?"
"I killed nine people to get here! You will tell me the situation." He proclaimed.
"These guys aren't that good." The redhead riposted.
Londo gaped momentarily. "Aren't that-"
A burst of gunfire shattered a plant vase resting on the fountain's wall. Londo raised himself out of cover and took careful aim. His plasma pistol fired three times. The first shot missed. A window superheated in a spray of molten glass as a section of wall next to the batarian shooter exploded from the plasma impact. The second shot struck true, the pirate's armor flared as the kinetic barriers dropped from the potent weapon. The third round followed suit, vaporizing the outer armor and penetrating into the torso. The batarian dropped to the ground with a solid thump.
Mollari fell back behind the low wall as his previous position was peppered with kinetic slugs and plasma bolts. He winced as the heat washed over his skin.
The redhead's lips quirked. "Like I said, they aren't that good."
Upon seeing the centauri's face scowl fiercely, she decided to stop joking and answered his earlier question. "Raiders bypassed our patrols. They're hitting most of the city. All military units are scrambling and militias are mobilizing to defend civilians."
"What of reinforcements?" Londo prodded.
"There's half a dozen picket fleets inbound. At least a few hours out. They were patrolling the region." She informed him.
"I'm so reassured they're coming to the rescue." Londo's voice was thick with sarcasm. "Just how did they manage to miss a fleet of pirates in the first place!?"
She grunted. "Dunno. I doubt these guys just got lucky. Not with this many of them. But there aren't a lot who have access to our patrol patterns. Least it'll make ferreting out a leak that much easier."
The woman tilted her rifle around the corner and fired several rounds without looking. A scream could be heard from across the open plaza.
Londo narrowed his eyes at her. He looked the human female up and down. A nice figure even through the damp, heavy uniform. It was blue and black and small handful of medals was spread across the chest. On the collar were two trapezoids, one gold and one silver. The rank of a First Lieutenant. The most important part he noticed was the emblem on the shoulder: a bronze diamond surrounding a white symbol.
He knew that symbol.
"You're a psychic." He declared.
In response she held her rifle up again and, once again without looking or leaving cover, fired off another burst. A very close gasp and gurgle followed. Someone had been trying to advance quietly on them, and had nearly reached the wall they were hiding behind.
"That's cheating!" Londo declared.
"Hmm?" She answered smugly. Her green eyes flickered with humor.
"Cheating, I say! You can tell where they are without seeing them!"
"Yeah. What're you gonna do about it?"
Londo gawked at the woman for a long moment.
He was Londo Mollari. He was Paso Leati. He would not be challenged by this- this girl.
The centauri gritted his teeth even as a predatory smile crossed his face. His sword and pistol were gripped tightly in his hands.
Londo did a crouching leap out of cover and began to sprint to a nearby building, firing whenever a target presented itself. Their enemies took cover from the barrage of plasma rounds, but one shot managed to clip the top of a crouched raider's head. The batarian dropped limply.
"Eleven!" With his count shouted he rushed into the door of the nearest building.
The human woman stayed sitting where she was for several moments. She shook her head and smiled. She hadn't quite been expecting that but…
Then she plucked a grenade off her belt, waited a few seconds… and tossed it into a window on the second story of the building Londo had just entered.
An explosion blew out a section of the upper wall along with a handful of shredded body parts.
When the smoke cleared nearly a minute later, Londo Mollari stepped forward towards the edge of the blasted wall.
"Fourteen." She called up to him.
Londo pointed at his chest and shouted back. "I'm at twelve. Also…" He took a deep breath. "CHEATING!"
A smatter of gunfire cut off anything else he might have said. Londo and Shepard didn't hesitate at shooting back.
The pair was resting amidst the rubble of a statue. It had been some piece of modern art. Probably. There wasn't much left of it in one piece. But from the look of the fragments scattered about the courtyard, Londo couldn't imagine that it had been an accurate portrayal of anyone.
Or maybe the metal had just warped from the heat of plasma weapons or a thermal grenade. That was just as likely now that he thought about it.
The sun was starting to set on the horizon, giving the thick smoke in the sky a reddish hue. Idly, Londo thought it looked like the sky was burning.
He shook his head at the thought. They had won today. Despite losses and pain, the people of Elysium had beaten back the raiders.
But it wasn't a full victory. Reports had already come in that some of the League and centauri colonies were now under attack. The very colonies that the Alliance patrols had left to come to Elysium's aid.
Though the battle had been won, the war was still being fought elsewhere.
Londo gritted his teeth. Those were centauri colonies. Centauri people. And the Centaurum, in all its idiocy, hadn't put more than a few token ships in the region, choosing instead to pay the Alliance Navy for protecting the fledgling colonies. Even the other House Fleets seemed content to let the humans do the work and get the glory.
'Disgraceful. Where did our strength go? Where is our will?'
The woman was lying down next to him. The high powered mass accelerator rested at her side. Her face was smeared with dirt and ash and an empty bandoleer sat between her feet. Her uniform's jacket had been removed and a large patch of dried blood stained her shirt. Her breathing was labored and occasionally disrupted by hacking coughs. She had inhaled a mouthful of gas given off by a salarian's grenade. She seemed fine, but she needed to get better treatment than medi-gel to heal the damage.
Londo himself looked little better. His expensive coat was ruined from the smoke and ash. Its left sleeve had caught fire from being too close to a plasma bolt and the coattails had numerous bullet holes from near-misses. His right arm and leg still tingled from the medi-gel doing its work where there hadn't been misses.
He let loose a shaky breath. But they had won. The raiders were in a rout, trying to escape the planet only for most to be shot down by Alliance vessels. 'Soon we will be taking the fight to them.'
"I doubt it." The lieutenant retorted. She didn't seem very pleased. Just resigned.
Londo took a gulp from the canteen and looked towards her. "You doubt what?"
"The Alliance making them pay for this. More than we have already, at least." She gestured towards the plaza around them. A score of bodies from nearly a dozen different species were scattered around them. It was a macabre testament to the skill and ferocity of the pair.
"What makes you say that? This scum attacked us. Their allies are still out there. Of course they need to be dealt with." Mollari questioned.
The woman, named Shepard as Londo had learned, shrugged helplessly. "It just wouldn't work. For a lot of reasons. Navy drive cores are piles of crap and hyperspace isn't mapped in most of the Verge. Pulling ships out of the Orion Arm is asking for an attack from the dilgar. Political pressure from the Citadel and League to stop 'turian-human warmongering'." She finger quoted. "Like I said, lots of reasons."
"So your government will do nothing?" Londo asked, unbelieving of her words. The humans had fought the dilgar to a standstill, bled across dozens of worlds and had never given in. Despite humanity's technological inferiority to many of its contemporaries they were considered a military powerhouse for a reason.
But now they wouldn't put in the effort to fight pirates and brigands? Now they would do nothing? As a human city burned and other worlds, centauri worlds, were still under attack?
"We'll probably expand our patrols in the area. Send a few N7 teams to take out the warlords who organized the attack. So not nothing." Shepard responded. Londo gritted his teeth at the continued blasé attitude.
"Not nothing? Keeping your fleets back while my people are at risk of further attacks isn't nothing? I thought you humans were supposed to be soldiers." He was goading her, but he didn't care. He had seen more than a few centauri corpses in the battle today. Some were victims and most had been offenders, but he felt angered at their deaths all the same.
"The Centauri aren't part of the League. The Navy will protect your colonies per the defense agreement. We'll clear out the Verge eventually. We just can't do it right away. Parliament won't open another front when we're dealing with just as many raiders back in Orion."
Londo stared down at her. Her green eyes were unwavering at his accusing look. After several long moments she responded.
"The Alliance will push them back and figure out how they got the jump on us. We'll keep it from happening again."
Her next words angered him in a way he hadn't felt in years.
"If you're so worked up, get the Centaurum off its ass and help out a little." She leaned her head back, sighed, and muttered. "Ugh. Is this how the turians feel protecting all the whiny Citadel people?"
He held back a tirade. He hated to admit it, but she was right. She was right.
How often had he said something similar? That the Centaurum's failings would be the death knell of the Republic? That they shied away instead of facing their problems? Even the few centauri colonies in the region were more protected by League ships than the Republic Navy.
Londo turned away from Shepard with his thoughts racing. A speech to the Centaurum would be pointless. A proposal to the Emperor would be disregarded. The Republic Navy would not act without Imperial mandate. But he was still the Lord of House Mollari… and he still had a House Fleet. It wasn't much of one compared to some other Houses, but it was there. Waiting.
He would have a few calls to make when he got back.
Behind him, Lieutenant Shepard smiled faintly. It didn't last as her lungs spasmed in pain and she started coughing violently. Londo turned back and knelt to help her, but there was little he could do. Medi-gel had proven ineffective against whatever Shepard had inhaled.
All he could do was hold her shoulders as she hacked specks of blood. She was starting to cough so hard that she wasn't taking in enough air. All of a sudden she went very still. Her eyes widened as her back arched and her face turned upwards. Londo took a step backwards at the sudden movement.
Then Londo caught sight of something in his periphery. He turned and his breath caught.
It was a vorlon. Ambassador Kosh, whom he had seen only twice in his several years as a liaison to the Alliance.
But Kosh was focused on Shepard and Londo turned back to look at her. A fine mist of green particles was being drawn up and out of her throat. The mist gathered into a small ball of sludge barely larger than a pinhead, suspended over Shepard's open mouth. Eventually the mist stopped coming out and Shepard was released from her position. She dropped limply on the street taking deep gasps of air. The ball of poison levitated over to the vorlon's large encounter suit and entered one of the many ports on the chest. The encounter suit chimed softly.
It was only then Kosh put his attention towards Mollari. His green eye rested on Londo for several long moments. Gripped by indecision about what to say, he simply nodded his thanks. From her spot on the ground Shepard nodded as she massaged her throat.
Eventually the ambassador spoke. "The future is changed..." Kosh changed his view from Londo to Shepard. "And it is the same."
With that, Kosh strolled smoothly away. Neither tried to stop him.
It was only a minute later when a small squad of Alliance soldiers found the pair silently staring down the street the vorlon had gone.
Sorinthia System, 2181
The Sentri fighter swerved through the debris field chasing its prey. With only the planet nearby, and it too was under attack by centauri forces, there was nowhere for the inferior craft to run.
A pair of pirate craft tried to maneuver through the wrecked hull of one of their capital ships, only for one to scrape its starboard wing. The fighter began to spin out of control and forced his comrade to dodge and distance himself. It was unfortunate, but the other pilot had clearly written off his fellow.
As the damaged craft spiraled without control the Sentri fired its pair of particle guns. The bolts streaked across the open blackness and struck directly in the main fuselage. The pirate craft was gutted as molten metal and debris was flung from the wreckage.
With surprising ease the large Sentri swerved and accelerated, chasing down the other pirate. The fighter tried to weave and reach somewhere safe but its support ship had been destroyed. Neither was it FTL capable. It was trapped and being hunted.
The Sentri closed in the opposing fighter briskly. The raider had some skill and was managing to avoid falling under the particle guns' firing arc. Eventually though, a mistake was made.
A turn had been completed too wide and too slow, the subpar craft finally straining past its limits after the long battle. Moments later it too was an expanding field of metal and circuitry.
Londo Mollari relaxed in the pilot's seat. Even with the joy that came from flying and fighting, shooting down hordes of ships was difficult and exhausting. He wasn't young anymore and at times he needed to remind himself of that.
'I'll stay on the Primus next time, I suppose.' He thought. He didn't mind commanding from a distance but there just wasn't the same feeling as being out among the fighters.
Londo veered his Sentri around and began a course back towards the main battle group. A pair of Vorchan's was heading in his direction, making a sweep with their sensors for any incoming ships and moving into position if a second group of pirates and mercenaries were to arrive. The massive Primus warship, the Audax, was trailing behind them at a distance.
Without warning his communicator chirped and a messaged began to play across dozens of radio and tachyon frequencies.
The voice was grating and smug. The slight echo gave its owner away as a turian and Londo recognized the voice instantly.
Elanos Haliat. The very turian who had orchestrated the Skyllian Blitz.
"Hope you like my gift Mollari." The flanged voice cut off.
Londo's mind raced. The few remaining raiders were in disarray. Their warships were shattered hulks and the bases on the planet were falling one by one to centauri soldiers.
It could be a trick but…
Londo's eyes narrowed. It had been neither luck nor fate that had allowed Haliat to escape so many times. The turian was cunning and ruthless. If he said there was a trap, it was most likely bait for the real one.
He switched on his transmitter. "Mollari to all ships. Be on the lookout for any unusual activity. Report it immediately and do not investigate. I'll say it again: do not investigate. I'll strangle anyone who wastes lives out of foolishness."
His lips pursed as he turned his fighter to head back to the Audax.
Mollari landed the Sentri and waited for it to be safe to open the hatch. When he finally managed to get out of the fighter, he saw one of the last things he wanted to.
Vir, omnipresent as ever, was waiting for him with a young centauri with a crisp, fresh uniform. As Londo approached Vir gestured to the Juros to speak.
"Lord Mollari, we're receiving a transmission from Centauri Prime. Per your orders we have not responded but Lord Vintari seemed urgent." The Juros informed him.
"Ah. A shame our communications are down." Londo brushed off the request.
The Juros blinked in confusion. "Sir? The communication equipment is working fine."
Londo stared flatly at the young centauri. He shook his head. The boy must be new. There was no other explanation.
"No, it isn't. If I have to go up there and shoot the equipment myself, to prove it's not working, then I will. Understand?"
"I-" The boy was cut off.
"Are you really going to make me do that? Are you going to make me go up to the bridge and shoot that poor console? That, that witless panel of buttons and knobs? Do you really want to me to put it out of its misery when it can be fixed?" Londo stared expectantly at the new recruit.
The Juros himself seemed flabbergasted. He quickly glanced at Vir, still standing behind Londo, for help. The portly man shook his head and silently mouthed 'just go with it.'
"The- um, the battle… disrupted our transmitters. We, um, can receive… but not broadcast?" The soldier questioned.
The Lord of House Mollari smiled. Barely. "That is a shame to hear. How long are they expected to be offline?"
The young centauri stammered. "Roughly ten…" Londo shook his head minutely. "Twenty…" Another shake. "Thirty…"Londo's lips quirked upwards.
"Roughly thirty hours, Lord Mollari." The Juros finally managed to piece together.
"Thank you. If there are any updates inform me immediately."
The pair watched the young recruit walked away uncertainly.
Vir stepped forward. "Is it wise to ignore House Vintari like this? I've heard Cartagia is not pleasant when he's ignored. Not to mention he has sold us additional ships and supplies. He'll take this as an insult if he knows you're ignoring him."
"Fah! Cartagia is not pleasant to anyone at any time. The man's a moron. Why Refa keeps him around I have no idea." Londo shot back. He began walking towards the hangar exit.
Vir had no choice but to follow after him.
They continued like that for several minutes. Londo marching his way through the large warship while Vir followed behind, trying to get the older man to listen. He had as much success as he ever did.
That was, very little.
Finally they arrived at one of the lounges for the ship's officers. At the starboard side of the vessel, it had an excellent view of the planet they had just conquered.
Londo smiled widely to himself.
Conquered. It may have been taken from pirates and a local warlord, but the scum were most definitely fighting hard for it.
"I know what Vintari wants to talk about. It's the same thing Refa wanted to talk about a week ago. The same thing Urza wanted to talk about the week before that."
Vir looked at him in suspicion. He hadn't been aware of anyone else contacting his superior. "What is it? Why didn't you tell me? I'm supposed to be your assistant. How can I assist if you're doing things without telling me?"
Londo chuckled as he picked out a bottle from the drinking bar. Vir sighed even as he brought two glasses over to one of the window tables.
"They all want the same thing. Me." Londo declared smugly as they sat down.
Vir gave him a look of longsuffering.
Londo smiled cheerfully at the sight. "Well… us, I suppose." He swirled his glass and took a sip. "If you want to get more specific they want to take the reins on all of this." He gestured at the ship around them, the tiny shapes of starships in the distance, and the planet itself.
"You and I are heroes, Vir." Londo looked over at his friend and gave a quick nod. "And they know it."
"'Heroes' is such a-" Vir tried to begin, but was cut off.
"Of course we are! We started this campaign with what? Four Vorchans? Now we have ten times that many and a handful of Primus'. A dozen new worlds waiting to be settled, the Centauri Republic stretching its hands across the stars… and House Mollari paving the way." Londo sighed deeply in contentment.
Vir didn't reply immediately. He didn't like slavers and he didn't like the batarian government that was sponsoring them. But the Hegemony was getting bolder in their support of the criminals and warlords in this part of the galaxy. The raiders themselves were getting more desperate as their losses continued to mount. The Citadel was growing more uneasy as the Hegemony's proxies and the House Fleets escalated their battles. More and more of the Terminus put their focus on the Centauri Republic's expansion and what it might mean for them.
The Republic had sat out of the last few major wars. Vir feared that they might be sparking a wholly new one. With the Terminus. With the batarians. With Aria.
'And unlike the Citadel or the League, we don't have allies to call on.' Vir mulled.
Londo continued, unaware of his assistant's hesitance. "Urza wants me to stop the campaign. Cartagia wants to join the fray as a commander, the hell with that. Refa wants me back at Centauri Prime so he can manipulate us. But here is where we need to be!"
It was easy to get caught up in his superior's surety and charisma. It was why more and more centauri followed Londo's lead and his speeches to reclaim their people's rightful place as the Lion of the Galaxy.
But Vir had been Londo's assistant for four years. Since the very beginning of this. He knew Londo enough not to be swayed by words alone.
Vir Cotto had been sent to the Verge by his family to either die or at least be out of the way of House politics. His family could never have guessed the success he and Londo would have in the Verge. They hadn't realized Vir's newfound influence until the moment he gave a speech live on the interstellar channels commemorating the sacrifices of the centauri under his command.
"This is where we belong, Vir. Out here. Even with the fighting and the death… this is where we need to be to give the centauri a future."
But there were times where Vir didn't really have a response to boss's speeches.
Ahead of the Audax one of the Vorchans was passing by the still smoldering hull of a pirate warship. Barely a frigate by even generous estimates, the ship had stood no chance against the powerful centauri vessels.
Within the shattered innards of the ship, a light flickered on. A single sensor pulse was sent out and detected the bypassing Vorchan. A large cargo container activated a cluster of maneuvering thrusters. The freight container reoriented itself rapidly. The metal cargo bin quickly maneuvered so its access door faced the nearby centauri warship.
On the bridge of the Vorchan, commands and warnings were being shouted. The radiological alarm had triggered just seconds ago at nearly pointblank range. The point defenses were moving to target the battered wreckage, but they weren't moving fast enough and the debris was getting in the way of the firing solutions.
Eight fission and three times as many standard missiles streaked outwards from their tubes and directly towards the Vorchan. The point defense plasma weapons tracked and fired as best they could, shooting down one after another.
But the range was simply too close and the missiles were simply too many.
From the lounge of the Audax Londo watched as the Vorchan disappeared in a ball of fire.
Codex: Events: The Skyllian Blitz
The Skyllian Blitz was a series of assaults on several colonies in the Skyllian Verge. Beginning with a massive attack on Elysium, nearly a dozen smaller raids followed across centauri and League colonies. The pirate vessels somehow evaded the Alliance warships in the region before the raids, while the rapid pace and sheer number of attacks kept the human military in a running battle.
Despite the damage inflicted the Blitz was ultimately a failure for the pirate bands. Fierce ground fighting and dedicated pursuit and defense in space decimated the assaulting ships. The remaining slavers and mercenaries were eventually forced to flee or be completely destroyed.
The Centauri Republic, initially blaming the Alliance for not preventing the Blitz, began their own anti-piracy campaign. Surging into the Skyllian Verge, the Centauri House Fleets have destroyed many pirate holdings in the region and laid claim to the worlds in the name of the Republic.
Codex: Events: The Human Civil War
Humanity fell into civil war in 2224 following a prolonged narn-border conflict and renewed Mars riots. But these were simply the most recent issues that pushed the Earth Alliance past the tipping point. The causes of the civil war were many: telepath activism, a cry for self-governance on the colonies, a growing anti-alien movement following the most recent 'invasion', corruption in the Senate, increasing use of EarthForce to quell dissent, and continuing restrictions on civil freedoms all contributed. When President McGurk declared martial law and began issuing illegal orders fighting broke out across human space as ideologies and armies clashed.
The Earth Alliance, born to keep humanity united in the aftermath of World War 3, had failed.
As the civil war continued many began to protest against the devastation mankind was inflicting upon itself. A widespread unification movement picked up as nearby star-nations increased their aggression, sensing weakness in the fractured humans.
The war ended not with a bang but a whimper. As more and more armed humans flocked to the idea of a 'true alliance', the remaining warring factions were slowed to a crawl and forced to surrender. Mass tribunals, sweeping political reforms, government reconstruction, and new elections brought an end to over three years of strife. The Human Civil War ended with the Psi-Corps restructured as the Psionic Monitoring Commission, the Earth Alliance reformed as the Systems Alliance, and EarthForce into the Alliance Military.
AN: This is just something I work on in my spare time... which has been very sparse lately. Updates will be sporadic and random. I have a lot of worldbuilding done and lots of codex entries, but actually writing something as large as this would be difficult. I'll see how it goes.