Part 38: Schemes and Memories
I apologize, my leader. Admiral Grey turned out a far more treacherous villain than I could have imagined. Had it not been for his vile threat, we could have liberated Ongess, rescued the princess, and destroyed the entire Combined Fleet in one stroke.
Forgive me. I shall not fail again.
Very well. Your idealism is a virtue to our cause. We will forgive any mistake which arose out of a desire to see our creed fulfilled.
You are too kind, my Veniczar.
There is a project we have been working on. You will accompany us to oversee its completion.
You will leave New Eden?
We already left four days ago.
Of course. A failed lab experiment that opened a black hole above Diode, destroying it.
A failure? No. They say that the greatest scientific discoveries are those found by accident. Come with us. Soon, we will unveil a new weapon against the Alliance. One that will allow us to turn the tide of this war and strike terror into the hearts of every imperialist from Solaris to Far Port.
You killed me You killed all of us
We are the greatest force of freedom in the history of the galaxy.
You will stand trial for your crimes against the people.
Your orders, captain!?
Your orders, sir!?
Captain, what do we do!?
I dont know!
No, Ava. Just taking a quick nap. Or trying to. What do you have?
The latest intelligence reports from the Alliance.
The Alliance has made further gains against PACT since the Second Battle of Ongess. Latest intel suggests Arcadius is pulling his forces back Cera to try and prevent the Alliance from entering PACT territory.
So Cera will be the decisive battle of this war If Cera is liberated, the Alliance will be poised to launch strikes into PACT territory. That's a situation which not even Arcadius will take lightly. He has to realize the Alliance cannot be defeated once that happens. His only options would be to either sue for peace, or risk total annihilation.
The Alliance has never fought a war beyond the Neutral Rim in its entire history. It seems inconceivable they plan to conquer all of PACT space.
Grey doesn't fight a war unless he intends to win.
It's been a long fight. But it seems like the end is in sight.
I would have preferred to celebrate her birthday on Cera. Doesn't look like we'll make it on time.
11 YEARS AGO
There is no portrait for a young Kayto, so Im going to have to continue to use the adult version. Which is kind of weird, but you work with what youve got.
But you still have that stack of paperwork to do, right? 'Sides, the graduation ceremony's coming up. We've got a lot of work to do.
Nobody else seems to think so.
Because you never ask for help. You always try to handle everything by yourself. You know, that just makes you look stuck up. You should stop.
Oh yeah. But deep down, I know you want me to stay here. 'Cause there's nothing Ava Crescentia likes less than having to fill out paperwork by her lonesome.
And there we go. I'd say that's good enough for today.
Don't worry. I'm sure you filled them all out properly. Come on, let's go. I have to pick Maray up from her lessons.
But I should double check--
Your scarf? Don't need it.
I can see your breath. Take it. Ugh, it's already winter. Everything's gonna be buried in snow again soon.
So, you figure out what you're gonna do after graduation?
Well, tell me once you decide.
It's gonna be tough without you, pres. The school's gonna miss you.
Yeah. She's gotten quite good. I should take you to one of her concerts.
The conductor scolded me again for dozing off.
Really? I thought he liked you.
I don't think so. He's always saying I slow down too much. But I think the song sounds better that way.
O-oh! Look Kayto!
So it is The next thing I know, I won't even be able to get outside anymore because our door will be frozen closed.
You're such a wimp about the cold, Kayto. We can build snow forts and have snow ball fights!
I can't believe we haven't figured out how to build a dome over Cera City.
That would be no fun!
I'll take a hot beach over the cold any day. Too bad we don't have much of that here.
I bet Ava likes the snow more than you! Don't you, Ava?
Mm. It's not bad.
Come on. My mom wants you over for dinner.
I shouldn't intrude.
No choice. It's a direct order from mom.
I want Ava over too!
Your dad wanted this too.
Then I guess I have no choice. Thanks.
Don't worry about it.
I'll be right there.
Priority one message from the Alliance. One of their scout drones just reported a sighting of the Legion in the Helion system.
Helion? That's pretty far from the front lines. What's it doing so far from the action?
Whatever it's doing, it's not charity work. Is the Alliance taking action?
Admiral Grey has deployed four fleets to the Legions last known position. We have been contracted to scout the situation before the Alliance ships arrive.
Then set a course.