37 Final chapter: Glory of the Witches
Captain Dorian gnashed his teeth while feeling resentful with the current outcome. He had just come out from a major clash with the aborigines hiding behind the two orbiting satellites of a purplish blue colored planet. His initial vanguard team of three thousand spaceships had been reduced to around four hundred. Furthermore, this was the seventh time they had been ambushed by the aboriginals!
At the beginning, he felt that they were just insignificant bugs with their outdated vessels and ammunition; not worth a second glance. Crippling the center of control of these low-intelligence aborigines' home base should have been a walk in the park. Young Master Wales wouldn't even need to appear.
However, they were more persistent than fruit flies! They kept on coming and clashed with their formations again and again without a moment of reprieve. After all the skirmishes, the numbers of the aborigines' space ships had dwindled ten times more than them, but they themselves have suffered greatly as well! He had no choice but to report it to his superior about their losses. These insignificant skirmishes will mar his reputation greatly.
Unwillingly, he pressed a levitating monitor to report. "Vanguard Alpha 20 reporting. Requesting for assistance from the other squadrons. Our squadron had been reduced to--"
A sudden explosion occurred at the rear end of their formation. One of the ship's personnel who was receiving the progress report from the affected area paled. He instantly ran towards a life pod while he shouted, "Captain, please evac now! Something has attacked the ship behind us, and the explosion has made the ship's main core became unstable!"
Captain Dorian immediately pressed the evacuation button. However, his ship, which was in the middle of the formation, together with a few other ships was cleanly cut into two halves simultaneously. The resulting vacuum pulled him and the rest of the crew out to space as they struggled to switch on the emergency life support function on their gray bodysuits. Multiple explosions spread through their formation like a virulent virus, engulfing the remaining ones, destroying them together.
Captain Dorian's fleet had been ambushed from the rear of the formation. Something had jammed their radar and shield silently without any anomaly detecting it. Although their gray suit could preserve their lives with the basic life support function, the chain explosions had wiped all possibility of survival for them. He had died a gruesome death along with his crew members and subordinates from the other spaceships. After Dorian's death, his body had been engulfed with a mysterious blue energy, protecting it from any damage. Suddenly a gigantic black halberd carved with numerous runes appeared and decapitated the head of the captain swiftly.
The glowing Qi Bursting halberd, together with the decapitated head flew from the debris and landed in its master's gloved hand, Belathine Empire's ex-high general, Aruthos. His other hand was clamped over the head of the dead Captain Dorian. A blue fire ignited on Aruthos' hand as he closed his black eyes in concentration. A few minutes later he tossed the head away with a grim expression.
Aruthos flew back into the cockpit of his own spacecraft with an imposing gait. Unlike the others, his cultivation was high enough to warrant him the ability to fly on his own. However, he still needed the black recombinant suit for life support and camouflage. Behind him, a group of Onis similarly wearing black recombinant suits entered their own light spacecrafts. Their eyes trailed over their Commander in fervor and reverence. These small group of warrior Onis were the crux of the guerrilla squad, The Dragon Lance Squad. They were specially formed to counter the initial skirmishes with the foreign enemy while collecting much needed intel. The others were just a decoy to confuse the enemies.
"How did I perform, Love?" The strict and rigid General Oni was now talking sweetly via the VIRCOFF network to Helen. All his imposingness melted away into a deep enthralling seductive voice.
"Not bad. Keep it up, Husband." The mellow sounds of a woman transmitted in with a tinge of exasperation.
The Oni still had the gall to flirt in the middle of an important operation! Helen was the main strategist behind the Dragon Lance Squad while Aruthos had taken the Commander position. The husband and wife combo was the strongest, most well-coordinated group among the elites of the space military division. Together, they oversaw the front-lines and held thirty percent of the total numbers of soldiers.
Aruthos turned serious, "I finally manage to catch their leader. It is bad news. We have only destroyed their scout. Their main forces, totaling at one hundred thousand has not arrived yet. They even have an equipment to destroy planet-level targets..."
He explained in great detail about the intel he obtained from absorbing the dispersing fragmented memory of the enemy. However, since the corpse's position wasn't high level enough, the detailed information eluded him. He knew they needed to catch a higher leveled enemy. However, time was of the essence at the moment.
Helen remained silent. She turned to her side, where her superior was standing erect while listening in on the intel given by her husband.
"Good job, Aruthos. Helen, inform all strategists to connect to VIRCOFF in virtual chamber 5 for strategy meeting in five minutes. We have a lot to do. " The Grand Marshall commanded solemnly.
Calendar Year 4505.
On the 3155th year of the Wimbledon Royal family reign over the Graycastle Empire, an intergalactic war between the Graycastle Alliance Force with the enemy from space begun two weeks after the start of the mass migration to Planet Verdant.
The initial clash between General Aruthos Krizathess of the Dragon Fang Division with the enemy resulted in the annihilation of 3000 enemy space vessels. The confrontations took place at the fringe of planet Starfall, a high-density gaseous planet at the periphery of the galaxy. However, the initial victory was short-lived as the remainder of the incoming enemy's main battalions numbering at 97,000 vessels kept pushing forward with ferocity and overwhelming numbers which forced Graycastle Alliance to retreat.
The second major clash which occurred on an asteroid field, only 80,000 kilometers from Starfall was so dreadful, over one million military men and women, were sacrificed to annihilate a third of enemy forces, roughly 38,000 of the enemy's space vessels. Dead soldiers in shattered recombinant suits with thousands of crushed Graycastle Alliance's spacecrafts wreckage littered the asteroid field, making a heartbreaking scene in the hearts of the people. The fights and innumerable number of deaths were closely documented by a number of dedicated war-journalists following each group of soldiers engaging in battle. Hence, the citizens of the world who had tuned in their Cerebral Connectors were given live-footage of the battlefield in real-time while shedding tears of sorrow and helplessness during each confrontation.
Due to the steep reduction of personnel, Grand Marshall Alethea Silverstrom had issued a command for all soldiers to fall back to 120 of their outposts, which were positioned along the path towards their home planet.
For a short moment, the remainder of Estrella Corporation's personal army numbered at 59,000 was given a moment of reprieve. To steer clear from further resistance, they even tried to perform a short space-jump to the vicinity of the targeted planet. However, the crown princess of Graycastle had stepped forward and performed a never-to-be seen extraordinary ability by forcefully shattering the dimensional tunnel. She had prematurely made half of the enemy exited at a location where they were besieged from thirty-five of the space-military outposts which were strategically positioned in a formation. Another half's space-jump were canceled out as they reappeared at the same position again. From then on, the leftover Estrella group of 30,000 vessels had moved forward without performing any jumps, as they engaged with each outpost swiftly.
The third clash at the formation outposts was similarly violent. Many notable Generals perished during this period, dragging along the enemy with them while effectively cleaning out 17,000 enemy vessels. The Oni Generals, Aruthos Krizathess and Pulosta Bessailes, two Witch Generals from Sanctuary 3, Helen Krizathess and Samantha Antoire, and three Ogre Generals, Orlo Vestanya, Stolisk Stalada and Voslovos Statens were amongst the notable generals who went Missing in Action (MIA) during missions, suspected to have died valiantly for the greater good. However, they had effectively delayed the movements of the enemy while buying more time for the citizens for migration by two months.
The high number of casualties was a result from the large differences in technology level. However, the over-three-milion courageous space-military fighters kept on standing their ground and fought until the last man standing at each outpost, providing the much needed time for the civilians to evacuate from the planet.
After the 7th major battle, finally, less than 8,000 enemy vessels appeared in Neverwinter airspace. The last fight from the final resistance of the planet were cut short by the bombardment of an advanced weapon harnessing the power of the dying Sun. The three-month long intergalactic war was finally ended after the unstable planet's core was shattered, effectively destroying the remnants of the final resistance.
The mass migration of the ordinary civilians started immediately after the experts tested the connection's stability between the two planets. In the large group, not only humans and witches were present, the other races were present too.
Everybody was looking around, accessing their future homes. They knew their home planet was no more once the Cerebral Connector stopped functioning. No news of the war could cross over through the portal.
This will be the place for them and their descendants to take root in the future.
Some were filled with sadness. Some, with mixed emotions. It was understandable, since they understood their ancestral home where the bodies of their ancestors laid will be gone forever. Nonetheless, some of the civilians, especially the younger generations, were filled with anticipation for the unknown. Their bright eyes had cast the shadow of sorrow away from the eyes of their elders. They knew that their time to shine has come.
The multitude of races had made the new community into a unique one. Migrating to an unknown location had made them viewed each other as fellow kin from the same homeland. They had put aside their differences and worked together with unity. Every one of them had a family member in the space-military division. They were reminded day and night that their family courageously faced the enemies from space to give them this precious opportunity to start anew.
Year after year, communities of varying races migrated out of the new Neverwinter Empire after they were sufficiently ready. They became the pioneer of their own race, establishing a new Empire of their own. While carving a new land to be called their own, they hadn't forgotten Neverwinter's efforts in the previous intergalactic war as they maintained friendly ties with the Witch nation for hundreds of years to come. There were also some who didn't wish to leave, as they became the permanent residents of the new empire.
A year after the establishment of new Neverwinter Empire with the ascension of a new King and Queen of Neverwinter, the famed Immortal King, Roland Wimbledon, with his wife, Anna Wimbledon officially entered into seclusion. Although the legendary wizard and witch's traces had disappeared, the couple were still revered as the Spiritual Leaders of the new empire for all time.
"Mr. Wales Estrella, following the Empire's commandments regarding the universal law of Preservation of intelligent life forms, you have been charged with genocide of Planet Azul of the uncharted Sector X-319. In addition to that, you have also single-handedly ushered the extinction of the entire solar system by harvesting the Sun as the core of these live-bound planets surrounding it. You have also been charged for lobbying the Council members of the Empire and several officials involved in Energy Harvesting Regulations in order to bypass most of the requirement.
Do you plead guilty?" Prosecutor Aidern Velasquez resounded in front of a court session witnessed by all the media of the Empire. Seated behind him was two representatives from Planet Azul, a woman and an old man, with a solemn expression. Both of them were trembling slightly, although it was unclear whether it was due to extreme sadness or rage. If a stare could kill, the person they were staring at right now would've combust into fire. The old man had just recovered from a bout of heart attack after the news of their perished beloved homeland reached their ears.
The scandal of the Estrella Corporation was so sensational, it had been covered and broadcasted to all the planets in various sectors. The worst thing was, the Estrella Corporation had denied their involvement in the incident, pushing all the blame to the now estranged young representative Wales. Afterwards, they then tried to wash their hands by sending a large sum of compensation to the two representatives. Nonetheless, they had still been indicted by the Empire, while their political power and trading rights were reduced to nearly 50%.
Two days later, the world had been shocked again by the news of the assassination of Wales Estrella. The genocide criminal has been assassinated en route to the high security prison in sector D. The assassination marked the start of a series of high-profile assassinations involving a long list of political figures, businessmen, officials and important public figures. 80% had a direct or indirect relation to the Estrella Corporation, driving the Empire-backed trading giant to bankruptcy.
"Your Highness, I've never imagined you could be this heavy handed." A small satisfied smile crept over Alethea's expression. "The operations were even funded by themselves. How ironic. The agents sent over by Your Highness are the best of the best in this field. I have never thought that you've think this far ahead when you send them over with Zenti's teammates."
Inside a small obscure apartment, in a high-density Space City at the edge of Sector B, Roland and Anna were playing host to the visiting ex-Grand Marshall and the Captain of Ballista Mercenary. They were sitting and drinking sweetened tea while partaking scones. However, the topic they were idly chatting over would've shocked anyone from the empire if they were heard.
"My love for my homeland is as much as you. Obviously, they need to pay the price for what they have done to us. Anyway, I wouldn't even know you survived the final bombardment if you're not here. I'm so glad, Alethea, Zenti." Roland smiled at his long-time friend cum subordinate and nodded at the suave mercenary captain. [They looked good together. Who will ever guess after thousands of years later, Alethea would finally found someone to confide in?] Roland was genuinely happy for her.
Alethea and a few other high ranking generals and witches were able to camouflage themselves and blend in with the remnants of the enemy fighters as they returned to the Empire with the help of Zenti's group.
"Is it okay for you to leave Verdant, Your Highness?"
Anna added, "Let the young ones grow with this adversity. Linneia and her husband have been very reliable. Anyway, if they can't manage anymore, we're just a teleportation away. Let's our old bones rest a little."
A sprightly lovable voice came from the kitchen of the apartment, "Who want some cookies?! The experiment was a success!" Celine skipped in happily with a tray of cookies, fresh from the oven. Pasha was a step behind her with a warm smile.
"On the thirty-fifth year of the New Verdant Calendar, a faint signal of a long-lost communication channel has been detected by Shayla and Lintmann, two prominent frontier teleporters, while exploring the galaxy near an available portal, at the west-side of Sector 67-11. The two-man team had reported to the headquarters and asked for additional professional assistance. An additional twenty professional intergalactic inspectors were sent over as additional manpower to find the exact location of the signal.
After nearly two months of searching in all direction, the inspectors had finally pin-pointed the exact location. The signal had come from one of the three older versions of Graycastle's space vessels orbiting an unknown planet. We had finally re-established connection with the brothers from our previous homeland, the Demonic race.
The current de-facto Leader of the community, Tralish Zod, had taken over the leadership mantle after most of the Elders from their race perished in a previous confrontation with the local inhabitants of the planet. The confrontations came from the united opposition of the local inhabitants preventing the Demonic tribes from settling at a corner of their land. He had switch on the beacon handed down by what was left of the Council of Elders, following their instructions. The signal was sent out for nearly ten years before a response was received.
Representatives had been dispatched to the Demonic tribes to discuss relocation to Verdant but was flatly rejected by the leader after lengthy discussions with their surviving clansmen. However, he had asked for assistance from Neverwinter to negotiate for land with the local inhabitants of planet Clairsteel.
The current Queen of Neverwinter, Queen Linneia Wimbledon, had gone to the planet herself to negotiate terms with the local community, the second establishment of Kohiten's giants. They had come to an agreement and was provided with a continent of their own after she connected the giant community with their long lost brethren on Planet Garnet. The continent has established a permanent trade route with Verdant after the construction of the fourth teleportation portal by a group of professional builders assisted by assistant witches from the Witch Union.
A Verdant ambassador has been appointed to be placed on the continent's side for a five-year term; Princess Aila Wimbledon, to further assist the tribe and establish stronger ties. - Wimbledon, A., March 11th, Verdant year 35"
Aila terminated her connection with the main server of Neverwinter's grand archive after finishing her final entry. The archive was named as 'Glory of the Witches', a tribute from the whole of Verdant occupants to the Witch nation who had sacrificed and contributed the most during the previous Intergalactic War.
She walked in between the large electronic shelving full of blinking lights one last time before she would embark on a journey to the Demonic Continent on Planet Clairsteel. Over there, the Cerebral Connector could not be linked to the main server as the distance of the two planets were too far away. Maybe, the system will be upgraded and fully established nearing the end of her term as ambassador. However, she wasn't positive about it.
As one of the frontier teleporters working under the government, she had seen many new wondrous sights fraught with danger and excitement. Nonetheless, they had adopted a non-intervention attitude towards the local inhabitants of the visited planets. Hence, this will be the first time she will actively interact with intelligent occupants of other planets. She was filled with anticipation for the future.
She nodded towards a pair of guards standing outside the main server hall and directly walked towards her Queen-mother's study to bid goodbye. A group of helpers followed her as she adjusted the coordinates on a sophisticated bangle on her wrists. A small portal opened to transport her and her helpers away, watched by her Queen-mother at the side. Aila promised to assume her role as an excellent ambassador, bringing honor to Neverwinter.