The fall of empires, those so great and powerful, those seeming to be eternal states, all of them fall. Some fall farther than others, and some fall harder than others. In the end, their fate is all the same. The same can be said for one in particular, one vastly superior to all its opponents and allies. A race whose genocide and conquest was known to all, but none wished to challenge them in fear of being the next target. Their neighbours who had been at peace became victims to their expansion, and soon, they even turned on their own allies.
This people, driven by one man, a tyrant of an emperor, who in the end saved his people and ultimately led to the downfall of the next generation of tyrants, this man, was as normal as any could think. Elected into power, he became mad and the conquests began.
Many died defying him, including his own kiith. He led to the downfall of his people, their fall from grace.
At one time, in the First Time, they were known by the title, of the Hiigaran Empire . . .
Birth of an Empire
In the desolate wasteland of the ice planet at the edge of their solar system, a group of ice miners were startled at the sudden grinding sound of their sifter. They shut down the systems and stopped the vehicle.
“What in Sajuuk’s name was that?” the chief asked as the noise stopped.
The others tried to figure that out, and a group went out to discover that their sifter was on top of a large metallic object. “Sir, the problem is some sort of chunk of metal. Uh we can’t seem to figure out what it is.”
“Call an excavation team. This isn’t our job.” He said. Though he wondered deeply what the object buried in the ice of this planet was.
The excavation team was stunned. The sifter had long gone about its business, and they had completed digging out this object of interest. At first they thought it was some kind of alien star ship, maybe Bentusi or Osyrian. But what they found was much greater. The design was the same. The casing modules were missing, but those were of Bentusi design anyway.
This object was capable of massive amounts of power output, and capable of dragging huge fleets into hyperspace.
They had found the Second Core.
They brought their discovery to the Daiamid. It was decided, that the core would be activated. It would be greatly beneficial to them and to all others in the galaxy. Little did they know of what was to come.
At the time, I had only been seven, and therefore none the brighter as to what was to come. My friend Vela and I were on one of the spaceports above our home. We tried to find out homes, though it was hopeless and silly as there was no way we could see them from here. I’ve known her since before I can remember, and I still know her today, though we’ve grown farther apart and have found our own paths.
“You see this? The whole thing is our home.” said Barromus pointing at the whole of Hiigara. We called him Barry for short. He was a teenager but we did not know what age at the time. He was paid to watch us, but he never complained about the many pranks we played and the trouble we’d get him in. He was thinking of studying law, so it made it just that much funnier in the end.
He told us to follow him, so we did. He led us to another window, and told us to look down at an object that was very peculiar. A silver object, it looked very unfamiliar. It wasn’t a structure and it wasn’t a ship. We had no idea what to call it.
“That is the Core.” He said mysteriously. We did not understand at the time exactly what he was saying, but it was some kind of power source, an ancient but powerful one. “It is the same thing that got the Bentusi so strong. And now we have one.” He said.
“You mean the trader people in those big ships?” Vela asked.
“Does that mean we can use ships big like that too?” I asked.
“Yes. And we’ll be stronger than anyone could imagine.” He said. At this time, I did not know how true he was. And how I wish he wasn’t.
Double my lifetime later, seven years after the Core had been retrieved, our republic, a peaceful territory of ten star systems in the inner rim, had become a darker place. Barromus, who has become the successor to the Chancellor, has changed quite a bit. He graduated highest in his class last year at law school, and had even skipped a year prior to this. The Chancellor took notice to this.
“Isn’t it great how powerful we have become?” He asked me once. I said it was very good and agreed with him on all of our wealth gained. I noticed it growing up. It was great. Poverty ceased to be, civil wars were no more, our allies also profited from this. The Bentusi have recognized us as an equal power which was an honor to us and gained us a lot of respect from other races of the Council.
But that was before I saw it coming. I think I was thirteen when I began to actually think about things. For one, over the course of five years, a flagship was built, and finished when I was fourteen. Its power was monstrous and hideous, and it was powered by the Core. It was eight kilometers long and three kilometers tall, and its hull was covered in weapons. No ship could match it. And what came after was far worse than I could have predicted.
Three years after the launch of Sajuuk’s Wrath, the Chancellor was overthrown by a collective led by none other than Barromus. They took control of the council, and claimed that their governmental system was holding them back. Promises were made, and eventually fulfilled. But not without the longest most gruesome bloodshed they had ever seen since the preindustrial era.
I stood there in the city square with my friend Tallos and his cousin Cora. We watched the screen intently and I was horrified at the sight. “They’re holding us back can’t you see?” asked the maniac that once had been my guardian. “We could be so much more. Our empire will grow. Our territory could be expanded tenfold! This starship and our far jump advantage, means we have the ability to do whatever we please!” The thing that made me sick the most was not that he was saying these things. It’s that the people were going along with this. The Daiamid, our own Kiith-Sa were agreeing with him.
The Chancellor was but a representative himself and had no power over anything, but he was there to regulate the peace. He was now cuffed and taken off his pedestal. It was replaced by this crazed man who has seen darkness and embraced it.
“Take me and my advisory as your new leaders, and I assure you, no kiith will ever suffer. Peace will be restored among us. Under the will of the Daiamid, I will personally do as the people have chosen for me! I will take Sajuuk’s Wrath to our nearest enemies and make an example of them for all others so none will dare challenge us! Just last week messengers of peace were sent to the planet Gilead to ask for an alliance. They have not returned and we have good reason that they have been killed.” This brought silence to the room.
“Give me the power and I will bring them to their knees!” there was a supportive uproar among the hundred and eighty three kiith representatives. I walked away. I couldn’t take this.
“Aden, what is it? Isn’t this great?” he said enthusiastically.
“Are you a fool? This is the fall of our people. This is a disgrace! He’s a tyrant Tallos! Don’t you see?” I said.
“But this could be good for us.” He said. I ran off. I wouldn’t speak to him about this if that was the side he wished to take.
Later that day, I was up on one of the old broken wind turbines watching the sunset. I was still processing the events of the day, this historic day. Barromus had become the Hiigaran Emperor and ended the two thousand year old Republic. And now he was going to send the most destructive device in the galaxy to a planet that had not even officially declared war. The fleet may still be in transit.
It sickened me. I knew him once, he was nothing like this.
“I thought I’d find you here.” She said sitting beside me and leaded on my shoulder.
“What do you think?” I asked.
“You know me . . . this can only end horrifyingly. I’m sick to my gut about it, sickened that someone so . . . lawful and good could do something this extreme.” Exactly as I feel.
The wind blew and we smelled the sweet smell of the ocean as the sky became more vibrantly orange. This was the only form of calm I could get. My whole life I’ve been running to here. Vela knows this, but no one else has found me so far, mainly because we used to run away together here. Even if this is the first time I’ve seen her in months, it feels like I’ve seen her just yesterday.
He sat in the bridge of the great flagship of the Hiigaran Empire as it made its first crusade. The ship exited hyperspace through the blue door, right above Gilead in low orbit.
He picked up the transmitter and spoke, “This is Barromus Talkaal, the newly appointed Hiigaran Emperor, aboard Sajuuk’s Wrath. You have brought death upon some of our own, therefore this will be your last moments to plead forgiveness to your god or he shall smite you down.” He said.
The response came after a few seconds. “What is this some kind of joke? We haven’t killed anyone without defending ourselves! You attempted an invasion with a fleet of cruisers! Of course we resisted!”
“You defied your god and now you must pay the price.” He said.
“You’re not our god you fool, we’re Osyrian! We believe in no god!”
“Then burn for your heresy!” he said. “Fire the main cannon to their capital!” he ordered. And his will was done. The front cannon fired, breaking the cloud barrier and melting the city to a puddle of metal. “Destroy their major cities and fire on their orbital defences!” he said.
The planet was decimated. Their population was cut from eight billion to the millions. No one would ever know the truth about this battle. The crew of the flagship were his own men, and they knew the truth as much as he did. He would return to Hiigara a hero.
And he did. Upon arrival home, he announced the victory, highly over exaggerating the Gileadian defences and saying it was an epic battle and nearly lost. This was a lie, but he was now a war hero as well as their emperor. He would see to it that the Hiigarans be the most powerful race in the galaxy. It was his one and only goal.