Sins of a Solar Empire: Domination
Summary: The Vasari have fled their destruction for 10,000 years. But a powerful being has come to send the remnants of their empire to a new Universe. One where their conquest shall begin anew…
Chapter 1: The Offer
Inside the safety and comfort of his throne room aboard the Kortul Devastator that served as the flag-ship of the Exodus fleet, Emperor Kor'Sul of the Vasari glumly looked at a holo-projection in his hand.
For 10,000 years the Vasari people have fled their destruction from an unknown force powerful enough to destroy their once vast empire and its largest and most powerful fleet save for a single-ship whose crew had gone mad facing off with whoever the attackers were; for they quickly realized that to remain static and fight was to suffer the same fate as their "Dark Fleet," the Vasari decided that becoming aloof was preferential than annihilation. And so the empire became a gargantuan band of refugees, stopping their flight only to gather resources to maintain it and drop beacons to monitor the distance their unknown foe was behind them. And to occasionally wrest these resources from other, lesser races.
But their pace had slackened. Unexpectedly, they had stumbled upon a race that had spanned a territory whose size would have made a nice little addition to their empire ten millennia earlier. At first, the emperor's people had little trouble sweeping aside the ships of these "humans" and their "Trade Order." For despite their immense economic and industrial capabilities, they had no defenses (and if they did, they couldn't possibly stand against the tide that was the Vasari).
After a few months of major losses however, and with defeat seeming like a real possibility, the human's government wisened up and sanctioned the creation of the Trader Emergency Coalition in an attempt to save themselves. To the Emperor's, his commanders, and even to the surprise of this newly assembled TEC, the humans quickly learned to marshal the vast industrial resources of Trader Worlds towards military production and used their new war engine to keep the Vasari at bay. For ten years, the Exodus and TEC fleets battled against each other with nary an end in sight. And all the while, an uncomfortable number of beacons were going dark.
To make matters worse for Kor'Sul and his people, a group of humans referring to themselves as "The Advent" then entered into the conflict, creating a two front war against them and the Order. From what he could gather, during the formation of the Trade Order, emissaries found a world orbiting a red-giant on the edge f what was to become Trader Space. The people of that desert planet were eventually found to be engaging in practices the Order found to be undesirable, and were banished out of the order's domain for over a thousand years.
That was, until they came back with a vengeance. A vengeance fueled by a Psionic Gestalt so powerful that they had managed to weaponize it on their ships and have used it many times to their advantage against both Kor'Sul's empire and the TEC.
And so the war carried on for another few decades. The TEC, Advent, and even the Vasari suffered fracturing and splinterization. Alliances were made quickly and broken just as speedily. And all the while, the beacons planted by the Vasari grey ever more silent.
Now, there was serious talk of the largest fleet of his people, HIS fleet allying itself with the TEC, Advent, and even rouge Vasari elements. Not to mention talk of fleeing the current sector of space. HIS fleet aligning itself with "lesser races" and traitors! His fleet running away like scarred little whelps after having invested so much time and effort into their current war! He'd be damned and take every man, woman, and child he lorded over under alongside him! And with the last of their beacons slowly dimming if the holo-projection in front of him was true, such an event was fast approaching indeed.
Kor'Sul looked around his throne room, trying to find the underling who would dare intrude upon him during his contemplation.
"Hehehehehe." The voice laughed again, this time much closer.
Kor'Sul tried to contact the guards on the other side of the 100 foot long throne room via his holo-pad, but found the device to be unresponsive. He tried shouting at them, but soon realized that the blast doors were sound proof. He should know, for he was the one who ordered his engineers to make it so.
"Hehehehe." That infernal voice laughed again, this time so close he swore he could feel its owner breathing down his neck.
The Emperor twisted around quickly and saw a human in what they called a "business suit" sitting on his throne.
"You know…I enjoy people with your personality type quite well."
The Emperor reached for the energy pistol at his side but found that no matter how hard he tried, the gun would not leave his holster.
"Which is to say, I enjoy people who were raised from birth to rule, to conquer, to dominate…"
Kor'Sul tried to pull out the energy pistol hidden in his cloak, but found that this gun also wouldn't budge a centimeter.
"…and I especially LOVE IT when the worlds of such people come crumbling down…"
The Emperor tried running for the door, but not two seconds after his initial movement, he ran face-first into a force-field of some kind, ricocheted off, and landed on his back-side.
"…when circumstance dictates that in order to attain the greatest chance of survival, such people have to turn to the very enemies they've spent so much time trying to defeat in order to combat an even greater foe."
Kor'Sul suddenly found himself levitated off of the ground, his body positioned so that he could see face to face with the "human."
"Now personally Mr. Sul, I'd very much like to see you go down and take your people with you because I'm typically a strong supporter of letting Karma do its thing with people like you…however it chooses to do so. However…my new "boss" so to speak hasn't sent me here for such a thing."
For several moments, the room remained deathly silent, with only the hum of the ship's operation reaching the ear-drums of either of the beings. The human made hand gestures urging the Emperor to speak, but began rubbing his temples when it became obvious that the ruler of the Vasari didn't understand what he was trying to get across.
"You know Mr. Sul, you're supposed to continue this conversation with a question. It only seems proper after all."
The Emperor remained silent.
"You know…something along the lines of "So what HAS he sent you here for" or "why have you come then." The suit said, the questions spoken in such a way as to mimic the Emperor's voice.
"I have nothing to say to your Vermin." Kor'Sul said in as even a tone as he could muster.
The man sighed, looking to the ground as he shook his head.
"Alright then. You've forced my hand. Or rather a single finger ON my hand."
With an upward movement of his pinky, the many telekinetically flung the Emperor's back against the ceiling with a decent force of 500 newtons. With a downward motion of the same digit, he flung the Emperor's back against the ground with an equal force. As 'Sul began to groan from the pain, the man got up from the throne, walked over to him, and kneeled down so that his face was mere inches away with the alien ruler's own.
"Now are you going to be a good little Vasari and speak when spoken to, or am I gonna have to fling you around like one of those Advent ships?"
The Emperor groaned some more before replying gruffly.
The man swiveled around, sat back in the throne, and telekinetically realigned the Emperor with his previous position.
"Now, where were we again?" The suit asked rhetorically.
After a long sigh and with great reluctance, Kor'Sul responded.
"Why are you here?"
"See? Was that so hard." The man spoke like an adult does to a dog when it performs an act of obedience. "To answer your question, I'm here because my "boss" has taken a…keen interest in your race and its present…predicament."
"What are you saying?" The Emperor asked through a gritted air flap.
"I'm saying that he has sent me to give you an offer. An offer you can't refuse."
"An offer, I assume, I'm going to have to listen to INTENTLY whether I wish to or otherwise?"
The man snickered.
"Pretty much, yeah."
The Emperor closed his eyes, sighed deeply once more, and reopened them.
"Very well then. Continue."
The man placed one of his legs over the other.
"The offer in question is that, in exchange for doing what you Vasari are best known for, my boss will lend you sanctuary in a place that is…well…let's just say very, very, very, very far away from any and all space you and your people have traveled through. Somewhere where the mysterious enemy of your race cannot hope to find you all and subsequently slaughter you all."
The Emperor made a sound that was a fusion of scoffing and snorting.
"I know not which faction of "The Advent" you hail from human, but know this: I shall annihilate every single one of them just to be sure yours lies dead among them."
The man chuckled uproariously. Tears of joy fell from his eyes and were quickly wiped away by his hands. As though he were out of breathe, he responded by saying:
Ohhhohohohohhh…that…that was rich."
After letting out a long, drawn out sigh, the man continued.
"My apologies for that. It just never ceases to amuse me just…how much the beings I have these little chats with underestimate both me personally and the particular "group" I represent by even SUGGESTING that either or was associated with one or more of the organizations you possess a petty rivalry with."
With a thought, the man floated off of the throne and moved towards Kor'Sul, his face mere centimeters from the Emperor's face.
"So let me set the record straight Mr. Sul. I, nor he-who-is-my-employer has ANY prior engagements with the TEC, Advent, or Vasari. In fact, this is the first time he's ever offered ANY of the factions in this stretch of space ANYTHINGO' Emperor."
Slowly, he floated back onto the throne.
"So Mr. Sul, I suggest you do the intelligent thing and take the offer. I guarantee you that our…competitors will not give you a better deal and that if you DON'T accept, all of the ships in that 999 strong fleet of yours will either have to compromise with the other various factions, suffer annihilation at the hands of this mysterious enemy of yours, or some combination of the two. And you don't want that, do you?"
The Emperor looked down at the ground and closed his eyes.
"No. I don't."
"Good. Now—"The man began before some sort of legal documents and writing utensil appeared in front of the Emperor. "—please read the following document, and when you're ready to agree, please grab a hold of the pen and sign your name."
Kor'Sul scanned over the agreement. Much like what the man had told him earlier, the agreement stipulated that the people under his rule would be whisked away to a section of space unknown and inaccessible to even their ancient "enemy." A place that the document specified was populated by species who would be quote, unquote "easy pickins" for his fleet (a side-note explaining that the human phrase simply meant that his fleet would find the navies easier to combat with than the TEC or Advent). Species that a bolded, highlighted, and underlined clause said that the Vasari MUST defeat and subjugate within a three year time frame or else the agreement would be rendered "null and void."
After going through the entire document, Kor'Sul grabbed the pen and signed his name upon the golden page. He admitted to himself that the deal was a promising and tempting of offers. Assuming of course, that the man and his "employer" could hold their end of the bargain, which he strongly doubted. Still, he figured signing the paper was the best course of action he could take, less he anger the powerful psychic who would undoubtedly fling him around again with telekinesis.
Upon finishing the last "character" in his name, the contract glowed brightly before disappearing altogether along with the pen.
"Very well Mr. Sul. As per the agreement, a specialized "timer" has now been sent to your room. When it reads zero, I'll swing on by to congratulate you on a conquest well-done or to…collect the debt you owe."
Suddenly, the Emperor's body fell back to the ground rather roughly. The man stood up and headed towards the blast door leading into the throne room, as the Emperor squirmed on the ground, trying to get back to his feet.
"Oh and…next time you see me, please don't call me "human," because I find that to be a bit of a misnomer. Instead—"
After hitting the door's switch, he stopped, pulled out a pair of shades, put them on, and turned to regard the lowly form of the emperor.
"—call me "Smith." Agent "Smith."
With that, he turned back to his front, and proceeded out of the throne room, the blast door shutting closed behind him. After finally getting up, the Emperor merely stood there, staring at the door and panting heavily. He did not have long to do so, before the door opened again, and Nerazih, his aide, came storming in, flanked on either side by a pair of Shock Troopers.
"My lord!" He said bowing, the troopers following suite. "Something has happened! You must come to the bridge to see it for yourself!"
Ignoring the fact that his body wasn't feeling as spry as it usually was at the moment, the Emperor stood straight, performing the Vasari equivalent of gritting his teeth, and said: