Chapter 14: The Council
A flash was seen over Alesia as the Angelan and her fleet escorts returned home. There were hundreds of warships in orbit, gathered there by command of Amann. Amann beamed down with Galadriel to the small High Council chamber. Demos, Taelira, and his wife Lucia awaited them. Amann sat in his seat. The council began with Amann speaking.
"Councilors, we have a problem. You have the reports. Anubis threatens Alesia. We must stop him at all costs. I want our fleet to invade his territory and destroy his shipyards. That way he won't have as many ships when we attack Tartarus on the other side of the galaxy."
"Amann, you do realize that we can only substain a large campaign for a limited time before we are forced to deploy forces home to make sure the System Lords don't take advantage of the situation. We will have to either defeat him quickly, or commit only a limited amount of forces. The thousand warships in orbit are gathered from all parts of the Empire, we only have 1000 more in the entire Empire to combat additional enemies. Then there is Pegasus Galaxy, where we just sent an expedition force to set up 4 colonies on the edge of that galaxy. The Wraith are numerous there, we have sent 100 of the reserve ships there to combat them, but they might require reinforcements. The 1000 warships you want to attack Anubis with is doable, but we will be strained in doing this. Between Pegasus and this war in the Milky Way, we might lose some territory and resources we need."
Amann slammed his fist down.
"The Wraith are numerous, but they cannot defeat our technological might. Even our peaceful Ancient bretheren were able to win most of the battles against them. We are much more capable than the Ancients were. But you are right, 100 ships cannot combat the might of an entire galaxy. We will have to keep additional ships at the Void station in the void between the galaxies. Demos, how many Legionnaires and militia are gathered to strike?"
"We have millions of soldiers, Councilor. We might not be able to occupy the entire galaxy, but we can kill off most of the ground forces. The problem is always the ships. The 1000 ship armada is half of our entire fleet. We estimate that all of the System Lords and Anubis combined have 10 times the ships, even if they are far inferior. Then there is the various other small empires in the galaxy. We all know of the Aschen. They are superior in technology to the Goa'uld, but they use biological weapons to target their victims DNA. They might attack us if they know we are weakened."
"The Aschen are backstabbers. It was our plan to deal with them eventually, but go ahead and remind the Aschen via subspace broadcast that any attack on the Alesian Empire will be met with the destruction of their homeworld plus all of their subject worlds. We estimate about 30 planets under their control?"
"Correct. We might have missed one or two, but in a galaxy with millions of worlds, it is hardly worth mentioning."
"Good, see to it once we adjorn. Any objections to the invasion of Anubis's territory?"
Everyone at the table shook their heads. Taelira spoke.
"I have gathered tens of thousands of Drow warriors. They will be efficient in spearheading our invasion. With your legions, Anubis will lose the ground war."
"That sounds good. Report to the Angelan and inform the High Command. Lucia and Demos will stay here and make sure everything goes well on the home front. The fleet goes now."
Amann, Galadriel, and Taelira beamed to the AES Angelan and the thousand warships in orbit began to move as millions of soldiers were beamed onboard. The ships flew for Anubis's territory. Amann stood on the bridge of the 8 km long destroyer as his soldiers began to sing a war song that he knew must be echoed among the entire fleet.
"We go among the stars. From the holy harbor. Alesia! Charging into battle! With plasma blade and blaster! For Alesia! Let the blood of our enemies flow! Call forth the legions and fleet. Cut them down! Blast them aside! Wade through them! For Alesia! Stand for the light. Stand against the night. For duty and honor. For the Empire!"
Anubis sat on his black throne while his fleet flew toward the next System Lord planet. The planet was Mark'kara under Bastet's control. The Alesians were not around this time, having withdrawn all of their forces within their borders. Anubis knew that the key to defeating them was getting the resources of the galaxy and using them to churn a fleet big enough to take them on. The System Lords had gathered nearly 300 Ha'taks this time, a sizable chunk of their overall fleet. Anubis only had 40 upgraded Ha'taks ready to fight the force, but he had his flagship, 3 of the 5 sections still functioning. The 2 sections that were disabled were detached since they would only slow the ship down. The ship exited hyperspace with its escorts.
"Hre'rak, have the fleet attack the planet. The System Lords will fall before me. Destroy them all in my name!"
"Yes, my Lord"
The battle was engaged as the Ha'taks fired at each other. The System Lords scored initial kills due to the heavy defenses of Mark'kara, but they were losing many Ha'taks. Already 35 of them had fallen with only 7 of Anubis's ships lost. The Alesian beam weapons were disabled since it required all 5 sections of the flagship to be working, but the Protoss weapons were deadly against the System Lord forces. Lines of blue bolts struck the 1 km wide ships and disabled, then destroyed them. Anubis chuckled as all of the might of the System Lords crumbled before him and his superior technology. 43 more System Lord Ha'taks fell within a few moments of the battle. Anubis turned to his First Prime.
"Hre'rak, destroy them all! I will have this galaxy."
"Of course my Lord."
Anubis hailed Osiris in one of the flagships near his.
"Osiris, I would like you to capture Ba'al. He will prove most valuable to me."
"Of course I will. He will kneel before you."
Ba'al's flagship, a Ha'tak stronger than normal Ha'taks, fired on one of the upgraded Ha'taks. With the combined firepower of 6 of his other Hata'ks, the ship fell after substained fire. One of the Jaffa at the control exclaimed in alarm.
"My lord, Osiris has arrived on the big Ha'tak! It is firing on us!"
"Destroy her. I am a god!"
Osiris and Ba'al began to trade fire, but eventually Osiris's ship won and Ba'al's shields went down. Ba'al left the bridge in a fury with 6 Jaffa escorts to the ring room. He had lost this battle, but he will survive. The Ring room activated and 4 Kull warriors were placed aboard. Ba'al saw them turn the corner as they approached.
The Jaffa fired their staff weapons, but the orange bolts did little damage. The Kull warriors simply fired back and killed the Jaffa in short order. They walked forward and grabbed Ba'al and in a second, they were gone from the ship. Osiris smiled as Ba'al was escorted in.
"Ba'al, it is good to see you again."
Ba'al's lips tightened.
"What is it you want?"
"What? No small talk? I have come to take you into custody. You will be taken to Lord Anubis. He has plans for you yet."
"Do you think me a fool? I will not surrender so easily."
"You have no choice. I will destroy you if you attempt to flee. You know the power of Anubis."
Ba'al lowered his eyes, then nodded.
They were ringed aboard Anubis's throne room. Four Jaffa and two Kull Warriors guarded Ba'al as he was taken to Anubis. Ba'al calmly smiled to himself as he noted that he was not bound or dragged. He was taken to the throne room inside the Ha'nutak. Anubis was sitting in his throne. Ba'al narrowed his eyes when he saw no face inside the robe. Ba'al bowed his head in respect. After all, Anubis had power that should be respected. Anubis waved away the Jaffa. The two Kull Warriors stood near the doors. Anubis spoke.
"Shel kek, Ba'al. Welcome to my ship."
"Kree ja harak, shel Anubis. Meta setek shel Anubis ko ja hok."
"Kree na, Ba'al. Meta setek Anubis, shol kree!"
Ba'al bowed his head, then spoke in firm tone.
"Am I a prisoner or a guest?"
"How could I mistreat you, Lord Ba'al? You are here as a guest... as long as I want it so."
"What is it that you want from me?"
"Only three things. Firstly, your loyalty and submission to me and my power. Secondly, your position as a senior among the System Lords. You will spy for me. Thirdly, the technology you managed to aquire. The shield that your new ships have on them."
"What would I get in return?"
"You want something other than your life?"
"If I get nothing, I would rather die than give you anything, and since everything you want can only be gained with me alive..."
"You are shrewd, Ba'al. That is why I like you... better than others. I offer you the seat beside mine. You will be my right-hand. You will be my wrath incarnated. I will give you Asgard beaming technology and several upgrades to your Ha'taks. You will maintain all the territory and domain that is currently yours and that of Amaterasu."
Ba'al thought for a moment then knelt down before Anubis, smiling widely.
"Shak kelshak, shel Anubis! I agree to your most generous offer, my lord Anubis. It will be my pleasure to... serve you, my lord."
"Kree nak, shel Ba'al. Go now."
Upon returning to his ship, Ba'al ordered his ship to return to his homeworld. Then waving away the Jaffa, he called a recently made friend. Ba'al smiled as Alesian architecture appeared behind him. He didn't know who it was, but the fact that he was an Alesian was proof of what he suspected, not all of the Alesians favored Amann or the High Council.
"You were quite correct, Sunaj. Anubis did offer me a seat of power... though I cannot guess how long it will last."
"I assure you that your position as a major power player in the galaxy will not diminish. Anubis will be defeated eventually. He has many enemies, my lord Ba'al."
"What are Anubis' next moves?"
"For a while, he will give you much. Then when the System Lords are weak and they know that you are not as trustworthy as you seem, Anubis will ask for the control of Dakara."
"He knows that I will never give up Dakara."
"By then you will have no choice. If you refuse, he will withdraw his support, and you will be destroyed by the System Lords. Even if you convince your innocence to the System Lords, Anubis will destroy you."
"Hmmm, what are my moves then?"
"Dakara has no significance other than its symbolism. Do not concern yourself over that one planet."
"If that is so, why does Anubis want it?"
"There are reasons... which I cannot reveal to you yet. If you act too rashly, he will destroy you."
"One other thing, Amann has launched an invasion of Anubis's territory some hours ago. I learned of it through my contacts. The forces invading are substantial and will take all of Anubis's power to stop."
"What have you to gain by telling me this information?"
"With Amann's death, I will be able to seize control of Alesia and the Empire. You do realize that eventually, Amann plans to destroy all of you. With me in charge, you won't have to worry about that."
"Very well. Contact me when you have more information. I will be waiting."
The transmission ended as Ba'al smiled. Most of his Jaffa onboard the ship were dead, but he was able to maneuver the ship away safely.
Anubis watched the battle as nearly half of the System Lord fleet was destroyed, but his fleet had taken substantial losses as well. Hre'rak spoke uncertainly.
"What is it?"
"Reports have been received from one of our outposts in the Cor'nu system. They report a large fleet attacking the system. Our shipyards there are destroyed. It appears that the Alesians have invaded with a large fleet."
Anubis was enraged.
"Break off the attack and gather my fleet over Tartarus. We will strike down these Alesians and make them pay for their insolence."
"Yes my Lord"