8AEC (After Extragalactic Contact)
Manda-Roon Merchant Route
The Manda-Roon Merchant Route was one of many smaller hyperlanes within the Corusca galaxy, a small lane between the outer-rim worlds of Manda and Roon. It was a lane stepped in history, most of which was dark. The region, with the ancient name Cloak of the Sith was where the last great Sith Empire was situated before its fall to the Old Galactic Republic. Even though the empire was long dead the route still had its dangers. For one it was difficult to navigate, the reason was unclear as even the navigators themselves found no traces of any warp tears. Another was that it was riff with pirates and failed revolutionaries. There were even rumours that a fleet of star destroyers from the remnant who had turned traitor during the Chaos Wars were currently hiding in the depths.
Joshua Sandria knew the history of this lane well. He had studied every detail while traversing the Terra-Denon wormhole and again as he began travelling from Denon down the eastern Hydian way. He considered himself well versed in the history of the sectors, he and his taskforce of trading ships were going to be here for a while.
Sighing he placed the datapad down on his mahogany desk and withdrew a cigar and match from his jacket pocket, as he lit it he thought of how he had gained this little patch in the middle of nowhere. There were a lot of families within the Imperium who had become rogue traders, some commanded but a single ship, sometimes a freighter or a heavily modified yacht. Others had whole fleets of modified freighters, transports and a few decommissioned warships.
The Sandria house had been rogue traders for a hundred years, started by his great grandfather, emperor rest his soul in a small rickety old freighter he dubbed the Price of Success. Now four generations later the family had a small taskforce of three brand new freighters and an ancient Obsidian-class Grand Cruiser, the Legacy of Success. He lit his cigar, blew out the match and took a long drag, sitting back on his leather chair and putting his feet on the table. He hadn't slept since he got to this galaxy, it would be nice to close his eyes for a few hours.
Here the warp was not as dangerous as in his galaxy, even with the second eye of terror sniffing around. Many scientists noticed that it was slowly falling in on itself, the warp here must be too pure for the taint to gain much of a foothold. Looking outside was safe and it was a beautiful sight, it reminded him of the aurora borealis on most liveable worlds, except it surrounded his taskforce, a flowing stream of beautiful and enticing colours, and the best part was not a single demonic entity in sight.
With that thought in mind he fell asleep only to be rudely awakened a few moments later by a sudden series of concussions, he fell out of his chair as an explosion rippled across the superstructure of his vessel, the superstructure began to grown from the pressure, several mahogany drawers and cases fell forward, some shattering against the royal red carpeted floor. Joshua dragged himself to his feet and looked outside of the view-screen. The warp seemed to dissipate around him, like his craft was being ripped from its fabric. Quickly he grabbed his long midnight blue trenchcoat and stormed out of his chambers. Running down the wide corridors of the officer's quarters and nearly diving into the newly installed turbolift.
The lift took him straight up to the command deck, where he exited in time to see that they had exited the Corusca warp and returned to real-space, he straightened out his clothes, which were a pair of black pants, a white buttoned shirt and an ankle length longcoat and stalked up towards his command throne "Report Mister Batista!" he yelled at his second in command, a tall, ex-Imperial Guardsmen with as many scars as an Ork.
"We are being dragged from the warp sir" Batista reported as Sandia took his seat "Serious damage to the sublight and warp engines, small explosions have knocked out three of the nine power conduits, and we've lost four of the twenty coolant systems!"
"What caused this?"
"It seems we were pulled out of the warp by some kind of intense gravity field sir" Batista explained "Scans show it was a strong as a planets"
"Impossible" Sandia growled "We're nowhere near a star system and there are no reports of stray bodies!"
"Contact" Mister Daverone, the ships auspex officer reported "Three unidentified marks, bearing one, three, nine, seven"
"Put it on screen" Joshua ordered and watched as another installed item, a holographic imager came to life in the centre of the command deck, showing the area of space where the unknown contacts were situated. He saw the long sleek form of an Executer-class Star Dreadnought, a nineteen kilometre long behemoth and the main flagship of the GFFA. Its long, sword like form was painted black instead of the pure white that most Alliance vessels were coloured and there were no markings of any kind on her, no insignias of what nation owned it, all he saw was the name of the starship located on its portside in large stark white letters.
The Phoenix Shadow
The others were a squadron of at least six much smaller vessels, in fact it was difficult to see them with the massive silhouette of their command ship, they were strange vessels too, at only around six hundred meters long they didn't look very formidable, and it featured a strange type of design with the hull split into two halves like the claw of a crab with a slopped command tower on its dorsal axis.
"Hail them" he ordered sharply.
For several minutes the communications serfs and servitors tried to hail the unknown force but no reply came and as the small taskforce closed in on the rogue traders fleet Joshua saw something that gave him cause for fear. The main turbolaser batteries on the star dreadnought were primed and aimed for his small force of freighters, before he could even order the main lance batteries brought online the Phoenix Shadow opened fire. A devastating barrage of emerald beams impacted off the lead freighter, the Fortune Hunter. Her void shields held for but a few moments before the overwhelming firepower pierced through, it took a few shots before a series of explosions hit the warp engines, causing a detonation which destroyed a full half of the kilometre long trader.
Looking at the remains of one of his ships with rapidly approaching dread the trader snapped back to reality and ordered the main batteries to be brought online against the enemy. But it was too late. The star dreadnought brought her full broadside to bear on the obsolete Grand Cruiser. Over two hundred turbolaser batteries and five hundred smaller guns opened fire before his could get into position. His crew were no strangers to violence but they had fought nothing more than the occasional band of Dark Eldar raiders. They weren't Imperial navy calibre.
Three Weeks Later
Two years had passed since the Chaos Wars, a year passed since the battle of Sol between the warriors of the Imperium of Man and the Necron menace of the Void-Dragon. After a year the capital of the Imperium began to look something like what she once was. The mountains of rubble had been cleared and skeletal superstructure dominated the skyline as new skyscrapers were being erected to replace the old. Architects and builders from across the galaxy had been brought in to help with the rebuilding effort, plans for incredible new cathedrals, towers and residential areas had been signed and approved, massive demolition and clearing vehicles covered the landscape and thousands of builders and labourers worked with vigour to repair and rebuild the sectors of the planet which had been subjugated to the Necron bombardment.
The Imperial palace herself had never been so alive in nearly ten millennia, three months after the battles end the Emperor declared it reopened as the centre of power, representatives from every branch of the Imperial hierarchy were present, from the ecclestriarchy to the Inquisition, from the space marines to the Imperial Guard. In the halls and corridors drenched with banners and tapestries hundreds of men and women worked for the betterment of the Imperium.
Robyn Vallace, Inquisitor, walked serenely down the now well lit corridors, admiring the ancient tapestries representing every important moment in the history of the Imperium of Man, from her rise to the Great Crusade, to the Horus heresy and the dark ages that followed. Along with these works of art were banners and flags representing every major world, every Space Marine chapter and every regiment of the Imperial Guard who had distinguished themselves in the dark ages past.
There were few places in the two galaxies that soothed Robyn's heart every time she walked through their hallowed walls. Only a handful was worth mentioning and they had nothing on this place. She inhaled the sweet scent of incense that the priests daily released into the conditioning systems and sighed, completely relaxed even though the atmosphere around her was hectic. Finally she reached her destination, a huge set of oak doors with the Imperial double eagle carved exquisitely into the wooden surface. Taking a deep breath she nodded thanks to the two golden armoured Custodian Guards as they pushed the doors open for her and allowed her to enter.
The chamber she entered had just been made the new Terran headquarters for the Inquisition in the Segmentum Solar. It was in fact not a chamber at all but a collection of offices and waiting rooms. The black forms of Inquisitors walked down the corridors and passages, carapace armoured forms of at least thirty Storm Troopers guarded every entrance alongside warriors who comprised of Inquisitor retinues. She walked through the main lobby, looking down to see the Inquisition emblem cut into the grey tiled floor, she stood there for a moment, admiring the stone walls adorned with portraits of the finest Inquisitors in history, from Gidean Ravenor to his mentor Gregor Eisenhorn. Glass cases held weapons used by the Inquisition throughout history, from the power-swords to bolt pistols.
With a sigh she snapped her focus back to reality and walked through the lobby to the main corridor leading to the offices of the Master Inquisitor and his Lords. She didn't know why the former high lord needed her presence. She was just the chosen Inquisitor to be the envoy between the Inquisition and the Jedi order. In fact she was on her way to a meeting with the newly formed Grand Masters Council to discuss their findings on the second eye of terror when she received the call. She quickly told the high council that she could not attend, hastily apologising before ordering her ship to change course to the Terra-Denon wormhole.
She stalked up to the main double doors of the Master Inquisitor and rapped on the engraved wood. The door opened with a creek and the Inquisitor straightened, checking her suit one last time before entering. The chambers of the Master were well furnished, a carpet of royal red covered the floor, portraits of ancient battles and former Master Inquisitors adorned the walls alongside weapon cases, filing cabinets and a drinks cabinet. The Master sat behind a well made oak desk, the legs taking the form of space marines on a knee, holding up the wood like it weighed several tons. Beside the Master Inquisitor was a handful of Lords, bedecked in formal black robes and glimmering armoured suits. One of those present was her mental, William Silvermaine, the old man grinned when she entered and moved to meet her.
"Ah my child" he greeted happily, embracing his former student tightly "I hope the Jedi haven't been pampering you to much"
"They have taken good care of me master" Robyn replied with a grin of her own, returning the embrace, it had been so long since she saw him.
"Prepare yourself, Robyn" Silvermaine whispered into her ear "Something is happening in the Corusca galaxy"
Her blood ran cold then "Why? What's wrong?"
"Robyn Vallace" the Master Inquisitor's voice boomed through the chamber, making her flinch involuntarily, her mentor looked worried, but gave her arm a reassuring squeeze before letting go and taking his place by his students side "We are gaining reports from Corusca that aren't very welcoming"
"What do you mean my lord?"
"Several Rogue Trader vessels and fleets have begun vanishing on the Alliances borders. These vessels are too many in number and too well armoured for this too be the work of the galaxies pirates. A few of my advisors have expressed belief that it is the work of Alliance corsairs"
"It is not my lord" Robyn replied "The Alliance does not use such tactics, especially when trading with our rogues would do nothing but benefit them as much as us, plus the Alliance does not employ such things as corsairs"
"That is what I thought" he replied with a nod "Others think it could be a pirate fleet of Chaos who have hid themselves in the sector, or one of the Imperial traitor fleets who escaped their failed coup of the Imperial Remnant…it could even be a corsair fleet from Saim-Han"
"Imperial revolutionaries possibly, a Chaos pirate force almost definitely" Robyn thought out loud. But the chances of it being Saim-Han were unlikely, the Alliance had recently given them amnesty and they wouldn't break the treaty and betray the GFFA, last she heard they were in Bothan Space "Tell me my lord, are these attacks taking place near or in the Bothan sector?"
"No, they are further east, in a small trade route…through a region called The Cloak of the Sith" the Master replied "Robyn Vallace, I have called you here because I want you to carry out an investigation into this set of disappearances, use whatever means you need to but find out who is ambushing our traders!"
Manda-Roon Merchant Route
Three Weeks Earlier
Blood covered the floor, a long trail which started outside the corridor, through the main chamber and ended just before the table. Above the desk was a three meter wide symbol of the Imperial double eagle. And on this insignia, his hands bolted to the silver emblem and his feet hanging free was the crucified form of Joshua Sandia, thin trickles of blood ran down from his hands, his dead eyes as wide as dinner plates and a burnt hole through his chest. All around the ship was a similar story. His crew and family were all dead on the floor, limb's severed and blood pooling
Sitting on his leather chair, rocking backwards and forwards was the slender form of a young woman, a beautiful woman with pale ashen skin and long blonde hair with white highlights. Her body was clad in a type of body covering leather, showing her curves and cleavage quite prominently, her arms and hands were covered by long baggy sleeves which stretched down a few inches past her fingers, on a loose black belt was a curved black hilt with silver markings decorating its surface.
"My, my" she cooed, rocking back and forth on the leather chair like it was a cradle, examining a cigar in one hand and a bottle of bourbon in the other. In one smooth motion she pulled herself from the chair and took a handful of delicate steps, stretching out her long legs as she walked "Expensive cigars" she muttered as she put it between her teeth and lit a match, she took a deep drag before blowing it out again "A hundred year old whiskey" she added again as she examined the bottle before throwing it nonchalantly over her shoulder, waiting only for the bottle to break against the floor and the contents to pool out "These traders really live high and mighty don't they?"
"This was not necessary" the other figure said severely, he wore but a long black pair of robes, the hood up over his head, hiding the top half of his face in shadow.
"Sure it was" she replied, slowly twirling around, her long flowing hair following her like the coil of a snake "If we were ever stopped then we had to make this ship look like it was attacked by someone other than us…hmm say Chaos for instance. Maybe we should decorate the hull with the bodies"
"Enough Freya" he scowled, a pair of sickly yellow eyes shining from the shadows for but a moment "Sometimes I wonder if you are a servant of Chaos"
"Don't insult me" she said threateningly "Peace is a lie, there is only passion" she slowly stalked forward, her green orbs turning a feral yellow "Through passion I gain strength. Through strength I gain power. Through power my chains are broken"
"The force shall free me" the hooded figure finished.
"When you become a servant of Chaos you are forever placed in chains" she growled "Through the force, I am free"
"The force has its own chains Freya" the man replied as he turned towards a wall and touched it "They're just far more slack" with that he phased through the wall, leaving the woman alone.
While I was listening to some Naruto music I downloaded I gained a great idea. This is not the sequel to the Two Galaxy's Saga. This is but an interim, a story set between them. Oh and through an idea the epilogue of my last story may be changed or another epilogue added on showing a different future, it all depends on how this story pans out.
To all those who read and enjoyed my Two Galaxy's Saga, I hope you enjoy this!