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March 29, 128797

Jamtren System (Era’tran capitol)


It had been 238 years since Mak’to’ran’s death, and every one of them had been a downward slide for the V’kit’no’sat despite the fact that there was a long trail of dead Zak’de’ron across the galaxy marking their ‘successes’ in the war. If one was to measure by destruction, then the V’kit’no’sat had been winning…but the Hadarak did not wait for them to finish. More and more systems were being chewed up in their expanding purge and now even the bordering V’kit’no’sat systems were taking sporadic hits. Some had held, some had fallen, but nobody truly cared when the entire empire was in decay.

Mak’to’ran had held them together by many means, but first most was by purpose. Now with him passing that purpose was gone and all the V’kit’no’sat had left was vengeance, but vengeance wasn’t enough. Most of the planets in both warring empires had not changed hands, but their fleets had sought out each other and engaged the heaviest of targets early, leaving the V’kit’no’sat with less than 20% of their original strength now, and who knew how much the Zak’de’ron had left, but it wasn’t much.

Mario’topa was a Zen’zat assigned to Jamtren, the most secure Era’tran system within the galaxy. He had not been involved in any of the fighting, but had been watching events through the Urrtren as they filtered back across the galaxy. Oddly enough the Zak’de’ron had not taken it down, for perhaps it served them better by instilling despair in the millions of V’kit’no’sat worlds that had not yet been touched to see what had become of the others.

And Mario’topa felt despair. He felt it deeply, as did most others. If they survived this war the Hadarak would kill whoever was left. The mighty war machine the V’kit’no’sat had devoted millennia building up was now mostly spent, leaving more planetary defenses than warships and forcing the galactic map to stall its changes as the requirements to take new territory were overwhelming the mobile assets of either side.

It was a war of attrition and cunning now, and the V’kit’no’sat were outmatched, he thought. Mak’to’ran’s war plans had worked brilliantly, striking at the heart of the Zak’de’ron worlds and bypassing their servants. The information gathering operation prior to that had been massive, and Mario’topa had seen much of it as one of Mak’to’ran’s personal Zen’zat. He’d known the Zak’de’ron would sacrifice their servants to no end, so the dragons had to be targeted directly and immediately, but to do that they had to know where they were and Mak’to’ran seemed to have a sense of where to look. An extensive hit list had been composed, and when the targets were delivered to the fleet for the first preemptive attack, the Zak’de’ron had been caught completely off guard.

Their worlds burned, and so many of their race died it was thought that the war was going to be over far quicker than even Mak’to’ran had predicted in the best of outcomes, but the Zak’de’ron servants did not waiver, either because their leadership had not been completely destroyed or because of the discipline instilled in them. Regardless, the backlash had been just as bad for the V’kit’no’sat as key systems were targeted and annihilated in orbital bombardment with the Zak’de’ron rarely taking possession of them afterward.

Jamtren had not been targeted, but the Hjar’at capitol of Mavro had been the first hit and obliterated over the course of 2 years of fighting. The Zak’de’ron had spent so many resources doing it that Mario’topa could not believe their tenacity. Either they had far more ships hidden away in the galaxy than the V’kit’no’sat thought, or they valued that system for reasons beyond what the V’kit’no’sat understood.

The Hjar’at had always been the most militant of the V’kit’no’sat races, and when their leadership had been decapitated first off in the war it had a chilling effect on all the others. When the Zak’de’ron were finished with Mavro, there was nothing left to retake. Every world, every outpost in that system had been torched and ground into rubble. Not even the planetary defense stations had been spared. The Zak’de’ron had completely erased all technology from the system, leaving only ash and crater as testament to what had previously been a system of 903 billion Hjar’at and Zenzat.

After the initial purge of most of the Zak’de’ron population, things got worse and worse for the V’kit’no’sat, but it looked like they would be able to win the eventual war of attrition. As fleets were destroyed more ships were being made to replace them and the V’kit’no’sat had far more factories and population than the Zak’de’ron’s servants had, so it seemed the trend would snowball in their favor. It might have too, but that hard fought victory was denied to them when Itaru came under unexpected attack 189 years into the war.

Not a single Zak’de’ron ship was there, or even close to the capitol system. A great deal of its defense fleet had been pulled away for offensive operations, leaving the most heavily fortified system to rely on its static defenses that no-one in their right minds would attempt to take. It had seemed a worthwhile gamble with little downside, for the Zak’de’ron didn’t have enough ships to take it anymore, and the reinforcements flowing out from Itaru into the warfront were claiming many worlds while saving several of their own. But the cunning of the Zak’de’ron was not to be underestimated, and when the bulk of Itaru’s defense fleets were away fighting the war, the war found its way to Itaru in another form.

The independent Oso’lon and J’gar had struck the system together, using most of their galactic fleets for the invasion and losing nearly all of their ships to do so, but after 13 years of grinding war the last of the moons in the system…Solen’aic…finally fell. It was not obliterated the way the Zak’de’ron

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